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Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

–a short study on Daniel 9:24-27 by Jim Gibson

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27)

These four verses found in Daniel constitute one of the most controversial passages found in the Bible. From the early church fathers to the modern commentaries, this prophecy has been interpreted with a plethora of views. There are those who maintain that this prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes in approximately 168 B.C. However, many place its fulfillment during the time of the life of Christ. Still, others say that its ultimate fulfillment extends to the time of the antichrist toward the end of the church age. Let’s see if we can wade through the maze of difficulties that this passage presents and, hopefully, discover its true intent and meaning.

Before I begin to explain this passage of Daniel’s prophecy, I will share with the reader the more popular dispensational view.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Islam prophecy The Papacy

Warning! prophecy

warning-prophecy

Turn your eyes towards Memphis (Egypt), for out of it shall come the Great Confusion! The author of confusion is even now marshalling his forces for this Great Confusion! He is gathering his forces from a great nation and eastern nations, friends that will join with him. So sudden will be the Great Confusion, that it will cause a mighty widening of the eyes of those who have not discerned the signs of the times. But be ye not deceived! Be prepared! And be not deceived by the great society, for it will come to travail and then bring forth the Great Confusion! Be prepared!  Even now the skies are red, red with warning, and black, black with clouds gathering for the great confusion, which is almost upon you!

In 1965 Virginia Berg received this prophecy, which she called the Warning prophecy. The first paragraph was given to her in the middle of the night. She said that God woke her out of a deep sleep and told her to start writing. She obeyed; the prophecy was the result. Please note the bracketed word Egypt was not part of the prophecy; it is an interpretation that God meant Memphis Egypt.

In 1974 as a young Christian on hearing this prophecy I was spurred on to reach people with the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ. Now 42 years later I have looked at this again. Whether or not this is a true prophecy from God, the message in it I believe is amazingly resonant with our times now.

Back in the 1970’s I was taught and I accepted the notions that are described as part of the futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy. I believed at that time in a rise of a future AntiChrist and that he would sign a 7-year peace pact centred on the Middle East, especially Israel. Eventually he would rule the world. After a period of Great Tribulation, I believed, he would be defeated by Jesus Christ Who returns at His Second Coming.

This tract shown here I used to hand out on the streets in Australia, warning people of the impending peril that was coming. In the 1970’s and 80’s the world went through a great fear of nuclear war, which passed when the Soviet Bloc broke up and the Cold War ceased. Since then also I have come to no longer believe in the Jesuit inspired false interpretation of Bible prophecy (futurism). I never believed in the John Darby Nelson concept of dispensationalism and pre-Tribulation Rapture though that is a branch of futurism.  Now I believe that we are coming towards the end of the “Church Age”, which is symbolised by the 1000-year period in Revelation chapter 20, called the Millennium, except it is much longer than 1000 years. I also believe that we are in the period towards the end of that called by some the “little season”, where Satan is loosed or unbound from the pit he was bound in during the Church Age (see Revelation 20 study for details).

I believe now though that there is an interpretation of this Warning prophecy, which uncannily makes a lot of sense:

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Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines prophecy The Papacy

The AntiChrist and Great Tribulation

Chapter 4 of the book “When Jesus Returns —what then?” by Jim Gibson. I have edited the text only where necessary, changed underlining to bold text and used the KJVER Bible version. 

The antichrist. Probably no other personage in all of Christendom, besides the Lord Jesus, has captivated the imagination of both saint and sinner alike. Books and even movies have been produced centering on this one infamous individual. Since the antichrist is such an integral part of dispensational thought, it necessitates some consideration for discussion.

According to the dispensational view, after the rapture of the church, the antichrist will make his presence known in the world’s political scene. He will make a covenant with the Jewish nation, but will break that covenant after 3½ years. Also, he will sit in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be the Jews’ Messiah. The Jews will reject him as their Messiah and, consequently, he will begin to persecute them. This period of “great tribulation” will last for 3½ years ending at the Second Coming, thus precipitating the battle of Armageddon. This is just a brief synopsis of the dispensational teaching regarding the antichrist. There is some variation to this particular interpretation among the dispensationalists, although its basic tenets are the same.

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The word antichrist is only found five times in Scripture and only mentioned by one apostle, namely, John. However, Paul explicitly refers to the antichrist calling him the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” in Second Thessalonians. He implicitly references him in First Timothy by ascribing to him certain causal attributes. Thus, these are the only two apostles who even addresses this evil personage, and, the following passages are the only texts that we can rightfully or critically examine in order to glean information concerning the antichrist.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest [known] that they were not all of us. … Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:18,19,22)

“And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 7)

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called god, or that is worshiped; so that he as god sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons]; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation hermeneutics

Revelation 20

This chapter includes the one thousand year period, called the Millennium, when Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years (v.1-3), the Second Advent of Christ (v.4-6),  followed by a short period of Satan being loosed out of his prison and the battle of Gog and Magog (v.7-10), and finally the Great White Throne Judgment (v.11-15). Satan is cast into the lake of fire where the AntiChrist “beast” and his “false prophet” are. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Verses 1-3

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Firstly we read that an angel brings down from heaven the key to the bottomless pit (prison of some kind) (v.1) and the old serpent (the Devil, Satan) is bound there for a thousand years (v.1-3). The ‘angel’ must be stronger than Satan (Matthew 12:29). We’ll see that he is Jesus, who is more powerful than Satan (an angel is not necessarily stronger). After the thousand years bound in prison Satan is loosed for a short period (v.3).

So the question must be asked what does Satan being ‘bound’ mean? That is, Satan is bound “that he should deceive the nations no more”. Before Jesus came to Earth, the first time, all nations were ignorant of the one true God, except for God’s chosen people, Israel. And we read that after Jesus knocked the Apostle Saul (or Paul) off his horse, while he was on the road to Damascus (Acts 9 and 26), Saul asked Him who He was (Acts 9:5; 26:15). And Christ told him that He is Jesus, and that He had chosen him (Saul) to be a minister to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, that is, to the rest of the nations of the world.

Luke 1018

Christ tells Saul the mission:

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified [set apart] by faith that is in Me.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation hermeneutics

Revelation 19

The focus here (v.1) is in heaven. Salvation is from the Lord God not the usurper. God has judged the great whore, the “old woman of prophecy,” and avenged the murder of the true believers (v.2). These are the enemies of God, but what do the Scriptures tell us about the timing of these events?

The LORD said to My Lord, Sit You on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool? (Matthew 22:44. Also Psalms 110:1)

Christ must remain on the right hand of the Father, until all His enemies, including the great whore, are judged or put under His feet (or made His footstool). Christ cannot bodily return in His Second Coming to Earth until all His enemies are piled up and He rests His feet upon them.

6-Left_Behind_DVD_cover
“Left Behind” series of books and movies was very popular promoting a secret rapture.

There is no secret rapture before Christ’s Second Coming. He resurrects all believers, both living and dead, at His Return, and all are judged then, and not before He has destroyed all His enemies.

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30,31)

It will be very well known. It will be noisy. All will see it happen. It will be global.

Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

Now read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:42, 51-54. This means new bodies like the old but instead incorruptible. There is no doubt amongst commentators that these passages are about the Return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 18

John saw another angel (v.1) bringing an important message that Babylon the great (the whore) is fallen (v.2). Compare this description with Jeremiah 50:39; Isaiah 21:9; 14:23 and 13:21. There is a very strong comparison between the fall of the old Mesopotamian Babylon city and spiritual Babylon the great, the city of Rome. The fall of Babylon has been already declared (Revelation 16:19 and 17:16) but now it is completed. Verse 2 also signifies that the Papacy, Vatican city (and the Roman Catholic Church) has become the habitation of every foul spirit. The false church has made alliances with the nations of the world for commerce and political power, which is signifies by their fornication with the false church (v.3).

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Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury kisses popes ring indicating recognition and subservience
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So-called protestant Billy Graham accepts and
acknowledges the Papacy. He worked with the RCC
in many of his crusades.

Then the Apostle John hears a voice (v.4) calling God’s people to “come out of her.” “Her” is the Romish Church. Be not a partaker of her sins! As God once had a captive people in the old Mesopotamian Babylon, so He also has people in spiritual Babylon. From the time of the Reformation God has been calling His people to come out of her. It cannot be doubted that He has many true and earnest believers inside the Roman Church or at least those seeking the truth of the true living God. The invitation is given to the people of God yet in captivity, lest by remaining they should be involved in her destruction.

They should not to be involved in the ecumenical movement promoted by the Vatican, to so-called ‘unite’ all under one world religion. Their plan for unity between Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and protestants is, “The only true road to unity was for all to admit their errors and return to Rome.”  False prophets, like Billy Graham, Rick Warren and others in the so-called modern evangelical churches promote this dangerous idea of joining with the Roman Catholics as if they are just another Christian denomination. They are in opposition to true faith. Thus I believe these protestant and evangelical pastors are collectively described in the “false prophet” of this revelation.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 17

This is one of the most discussed chapters in the entire Bible. It speaks of Babylon the great, the great whore. But who is she?  What does the great whore in fact symbolise?

In the language of futurist view of Bible prophecy this chapter describes some future world kingdom and its leader, the AntiChrist. For much of my Christian life I was sold that interpretation, and I believed it for a long time. But the interpretation itself was developed and promoted by agents of the real great whore, the Papacy, and the beast, the Roman Catholic Church, which is the false church that has at all times opposed true believers. Do not be deceived and open your mind to the simple straightforward interpretation, which is that the book of the Revelation describes the history of the Church since Jesus Christ formed it and it ends with His second coming.

missions

The preceding chapters have described a series of historical events that led to the overthrow of spiritual Babylon, which is described here as the great whore or harlot. Up to this point in history the interpretation of the revelation has been largely achieved by looking in history for events that have already happened.

With the sixth vial we saw opening of the way for missionary activities spreading the gospel, from the 18th century up to the present time.  The following seventh vial brings on events that are yet in our future so we cannot be too dogmatic about them. But one thing we can be certain of is that the seventh vial brings on the final overthrow of the Anti-Christ power of spiritual Babylon.  This is described in the last verses of chapter 16. Now in chapters 17, 18 and 19 her downfall, the overthrow of the apostate church, the triumph of the Word of God, and the victory of Armageddon, are described in great detail.

This chapter opens (v.1) declaring that it is about the judgment of the great whore. The word ‘whore’ symbolises the false church as a whore is not the true bride (of Christ), but an imposter.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 14

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The vision of this chapter opens with “a Lamb stood on mount Zion”. In chapter 13:11, the false lamb was seen, who “spoke as a dragon”. Here, in contrast, we see the Lamb of God, the same Lamb as in Revelation 5:6,7. In chapter 5 it is clear that the Lamb is Christ who took the book with seven-sealed book. Here and in Hebrews 12:22 are the only verses in the New Testament where the phrase ‘on mount Zion’ occurs. It is the same as “Jerusalem above” of Galatians 4:26. Hebrews 12:22 defines Mount Zion as the heavenly Jerusalem. Mount Zion is symbolic of the city of the great King, the seat of the worship of God in Jerusalem, and is used as a symbol of the true Church (Psalm 125:1,2). The saints who have entered into the covenant of Christ are said to have come, not to the mount that could not be touched, but to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. It is there used for the church of the saints, and such is its meaning in this passage

The Church of true believers are also marked in their foreheads (v.1), yet this is not a literal mark. The 144,000 (v.1-4) is symbolic of the believers who stand against the Satanic evil of the Papacy and its forces. In chapter 7:4, the same number are spoken of as sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It means there, a great, indefinite number. Here, I take that the meaning is the same. It is a great multitude, a round number, who are associated with the Lamb. (Alternate views of what the 144,000 represents include that it represents some 144,000 Jewish believers, or, a chosen 144,000 believers from the Christian church).

In verse 4 there is reference to those “not defiled with women”. This means those who refuse sinful intercourse with the world. Spiritual adultery or fornication is being wedded to the world and partaking of its sins. The expression “they are virgins” is symbolic that their lives are not defiled by the world. See 2 Corinthians 11:2; Hosea 2:19,20.

The believers were found to be without fault, because they are forgiven, and their sins are washed away (v.5). Then John saw “another angel fly”, which is symbolic of the true gospel being rapidly preached throughout the world to every nation and language group (v.6). The angel (v.6,7) means God’s Holy Spirit is the agency whereby this message is preached to the world. Since the Reformation the preaching of the gospel to the world has expanded quickly and is continuing to this time. This does seem to put us now towards the very end of world history (but who can say?). 

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 13

The last verse of chapter 12 (v.17) describes the future of the true Church, with the dragon continuing to make war with (to persecute) them so long as they uncompromisingly continue to follow the Word of God and maintain their testimony of faith alone in Jesus Christ.

In this chapter John describes his vision of a beast (v.1) that rises up out of the sea, which means out of the nations of peoples.  It is the same beast described in v. 12:3 which was there described as the “great red dragon”. This seven-head beast (see below) represents the last 4 major empires of man.

The kings or emperors of those kingdoms are represented with “the name of blasphemy” written on them, meaning that they claimed god-like status, which we know was not uncommon among kings, for example, Nebuchadnezzar did with his golden image in Daniel 3 decreeing all to worshop his image; Artaxerxes is described as king of kings (Ezra 7:12), because he ruled over conquered kings, this led to a god-like status; Alexander the Great, who asserted that he was the son of Jupiter Ammon (Greek god); and the Roman Emperors, who all claimed divine status and required men to worship their statues and to offer them sacrifices.

TheBeast
Seven-headed beast of Revelation 13:1,2. It incorporates the last 4 major kingdoms, Babylon (lion), Medo-Persia (bear), Greece (4-headed leopard) and Rome the dragon (4th beast). Refer Daniel 7:1-7. If the first 3 animals are real animals then what is the dragon? I suggest it was a dinosaur that was alive at the time of Daniel, or at least was known to them.

On one head, Rome, it had 10 horns (v.1). The 10 horns represent the 10 kingdoms that pagan Rome was divided into but in v. 12:3 there were only 7 crowns, which are seen on the heads of the beast. But here the 10 horns each have crowns—there are 10 crowns—and those crowns are diadems (Greek διάδημα diadema). Diadems are worn by the kings. So this beast is different from pagan Rome. It has evolved from pagan Rome but it is more ‘wonderful’ and more dangerous. This must mean 3 additional kingdoms were added to this final kingdom (the beast) which I believe is an indication of papal Rome consolidating its power after the 4th century AD.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Roman Catholic Church the Bible The Papacy the Reformation

Revelation 11

In the last chapter we saw the revelation deal with the open book, which symbolised the Bible that God thrust upon the nations in their own native languages after the Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church was opposed to its circulation, and many persons were burned for the only crime of possessing a Bible. With that book John the Apostle was commanded to preach the true gospel. That was representative of the missions to spread the gospel to the world. Events continue on from there. Chapter 11 events occur under the sixth trumpet up to verse 15 when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet and the Lord returns to claim His kingdom.

This chapter opens with the Apostle John being given a reed to measure with (v.1). It is a divine measure, not by man’s standards but by God’s. There is a divine standard for measurement, given to the Apostles by Christ, and that is the New Testament of Jesus Christ.

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The revelations always apply to peoples and nations not buildings and things. In verse 1 “…measure the temple of God, and the altar and them that worship therein” symbolises the true Church, the true faithful believers. They are measured against the Word of God, but the false church measures itself by its false pagan traditions, decisions of the Popes and decrees of councils.

Thus “the court … outside the temple” which is “given to the Gentiles” (v.2) symbolises the false church, the false institutionalised Latin Roman church, of religionists, which persecutes  “tread under foot” the true Church for “forty and two months” or 1260 days. The period of time many have suggested is calculated by a day symbolising a year. Isaac Newton wrote that these ‘days’ are actually prophetic years. Therefore the Roman church persecutes the true believers for 1260 years, though I believe that this could be symbolic of a longer period of time than that.