By Alice Childs
Daniel’s 70 Weeks – Part 2
Bible Reference – Chapter 9
In Part 1 of this study, we learned why there are no 10 “lost” tribes of Israel. We saw from scripture that these tribes are not now, nor have they ever been “lost.” Every descendant of each of the 12 tribes of Israel has certainly never been lost to God. He knows the name and whereabouts of each and every one of them. This is very important since the descendants of each of the 12 tribes of Israel will play a vitally important role in the coming time of The Tribulation.
In Part 1, I only used Old Testament scripture references to demonstrate the truth that the so- called 10 “lost” tribes of Israel are not and never have been lost at all. One of the readers following this series, Karole Fedrick, being a good Berean as all ought to be, has correctly pointed out that there are references to all of the 12 tribes in the New Testament as well.
The New Testament passages of Acts 26:7 and James 1:1 demonstrate that all of the 12 tribes of what had been the united Kingdom of Israel were still in existence long after the Jews had returned to Israel, after the Babylonian captivity, when Israel as a nation was under the domination and protectorate of the Roman Empire. Most importantly, 144,000 young male virgins, who are direct descendants of each of these 12 tribes, will play a pivotal role during the coming Tribulation.
If you missed Part 1 of this study, go back and read it so that you will have some historical background and a frame of reference as we move on into Part 2 – The 70 “weeks” (or more accurately the 70 “sevens”) of the prophecy given to Daniel.
I. The Prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years
This prophecy was given to Daniel by God in order to show Daniel three things God was going to do in relation to his (Daniel’s) people, the JEWS, during the final 7 years that will be The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, or as we call it, The Tribulation:
(1) The time God has ordained for the Jews
(2) The time God has ordained for God’s holy city Jerusalem
(3) The time ordained by God to:
(a) finish the transgressions (of Israel)
(b) make an end of their sins
(c) bring in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24)
**Note: In chapter 2 of Daniel (and later on again in chapter 11), God had already given Daniel a detailed future history spanning the great Gentile world empires which were to, in one way or another, directly impact the nation of Israel from Daniel’s time right up to the time of the “revived” form of the Roman Empire that would be resurrected during the last days. This “revived Roman Empire” is what we are currently watching take shape today. This regrouping and re-forming entity is a whole other topic that will need to be addressed separately at a future time.
The formation of this new reviving form of what was once the old Roman Empire is rapidly nearing completion right now in real time, and all that is lacking is for a strong, decisive leader to arise and take the helm of leadership of it. The man who will rise to prominence and power after the rapture of the Church will come from somewhere within the confines of what was once the old Roman Empire. This man will be the one who will be THE ANTICHRIST.
His identity and his rise to power is for the moment being restrained (held in check) by The Restrainer, who is none other than the Holy Spirit acting in His FUNCTION as the supernatural Restrainer of Evil. It is He, the Holy Spirit, functioning through the corporate body of the Remnant Church whom He indwells, who is holding back the complete flood-tide of evil. His restraining function in the Church Age is keeping evil from completely overwhelming and destroying the Church during this Dispensation of Grace.
Jesus told Peter when He first mentioned this “called out body” that would (after Calvary) become the Church, Jesus said that HE would build (future tense) HIS Church against which the very gates of Hell would not prevail. At the time Jesus made this statement, the Church had not yet been born and Jesus’ reference to it was as yet future, hence His statement,
“I WILL BUILD my Church…” In addition, He promised that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, in particular verse 7, also Matthew 16:18).
After Jesus’ death, burial, bodily resurrection, and His ascension back to Heaven, Jesus did indeed begin to “build His Church” (Acts chapter 2). The Church was birthed on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit – the promised Comforter – was actually sealed within (Ephesians 4:30) the newly birthed Church, thus enabling her to withstand the horrendous persecution that would relentlessly pursue the Church from her birth right up until her removal in the rapture.
The indwelling Holy Spirit, who is “sealed within” every believer, functions as the restraining power “letting” or preventing the full onslaught of evil from engulfing the world (as it will in the Tribulation) and preventing the Antichrist from being able to rise to power, until the restraint that holds him back is removed from the earth at “the day of redemption,” which is the rapture of the Church from this earth (Ephesians 4:30).
Again, it is the Holy Spirit (working through the Remnant Church whom He indwells), whose purpose and function as the Restrainer of Evil that will be removed from earth – at “the day of redemption,” which is the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church, and not the PERSON of the Holy Spirit who will be removed from the earth.
The Holy Spirit, being deity as the third Person of the Triune Godhead, is omnipresent, meaning that He in His PERSON is always present everywhere. It is only His FUNCTION as the Restrainer of Evil indwelling the Church during the Dispensation of Grace that will be removed from the earth with the Church in the rapture. The Person of Holy Spirit, after the rapture of the Church, will function on earth just as He did during Old Testament times in the other dispensations.
Once the living Remnant Church is taken out of the world in the rapture and the restraining INFLUENCE of the Holy Spirit is removed with the Church in which He is sealed, only then can the Antichrist be identified and rise to power in his appointed time.
This is why it is both pointless and foolish for anyone during the Church Age in which we are currently living to attempt to identify the Antichrist. His identity cannot be known, nor can he come to power and prominence on the world stage before God’s appointed time for him to be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).
Although it is without a doubt a virtual certainty that this “Man of Lawlessness” is already here working, biding his time behind the scenes; nevertheless, he cannot arise to power until after the rapture of the Church. We are told about this “coming prince” and his origins in Daniel chapter 9.
In Daniel chapters 9-11, God gives detailed prophecies concerning the Jews and the end times. The entire book of Daniel, including these verses in Daniel 9:20-27, are among the most astounding and most important verses in all scripture with regards to the revelation of future events. The book of Daniel is one of the most authenticated books of the entire Old Testament, both historically and archaeologically. It is vitally important for us to remember that the book of Daniel existed in documented form almost three centuries BEFORE Christ’s birth.
In Daniel chapter 9, the angel Gabriel interrupted Daniel’s prayer to give him a 4-verse prophecy which included the following:
(1) (Daniel 9:24) the scope of the entire prophecy
(2) (Daniel 9:25) the 69 “weeks” (or heptads) which is literally interpreted as groupings of 7’s, so that it really means 69 “weeks” (sevens) of years
(3) (Daniel 9:26) an unspecified interval of time between the 69th and 70th “week” of years
(4) (Daniel 9:27) the 70th “week” appointed to Israel
The analogy of a “week” of years was common in Israel as there was, according to the Law of God, supposed to be a “Sabbath for the land” during which time the land (of Israel) was to lie fallow every 7th year for the recovery of the earth.
It was in part the failure of the Jews to comply with these laws that led God to punish them by sending them into captivity into Babylon for 70 years, thus giving the land (of Israel) the times of rest that it was due because of the failure of the Israelite people to do as God had commanded.
Remember, the focus of this passage is upon Israel and Jerusalem, and not upon the Church. The Church had not yet come into existence. It was at that time still a “mystery hidden in God,” and the creation of such an entity (the Church) was never revealed to ANY of the Old Testament prophets.
The scope of this prophecy in Daniel includes a sweeping recounting of events that have yet to be completed, but that will be completed during that, as yet to be fulfilled, last 70th “week,“ or last 7 years. It will be these last 7 years that will be the completion of the Dispensation of Israel under the Law.
The word “dispensation” simply means an “economy” or an “administration.” Much like we have differing administrations in our government, so too God has divided the timeline of human history into different administrations, also called dispensations.
The Dispensation of Israel Under the Law lasted from the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai up to the time of Jesus’ death on the cross at Calvary. However, the Dispensation of Law was cut short, or postponed if you will, 7 years short of its completion because Israel rejected Jesus as her Messiah (the Messiah who was “cut off but not for Himself,” as it states in Daniel 9:26). Israel rejected her Messiah and crucified the Lord of Glory instead. Because of this, Israel’s 70 “weeks” was stopped after 69 of those prophesied “weeks” were finished, but BEFORE the 70th week was to commence.
Israel still has 7 years left to complete her 70 weeks of years that was appointed to her by God. The unfinished dispensation of Israel Under Law that preceded the Dispensation of Grace (also called the Church Age), in which we live, never really ended but was POSTPONED by God 7 years short of completion.
During the time between the ending of Israel’s already fulfilled 69 “weeks” of years of Israel under Law, there has been a great gap of time. During this gap, a new dispensation – the Church Age – has been in effect for over 2,000 years now. Once the rapture of the Church takes place, that event will close out the Church Age, and will end the Dispensation of Grace.
After the Church Age ends, Israel will once again take center stage in God’s Plan for the Ages in order to complete the last 7 years of the 70 “weeks” of years that God appointed to Israel. That is the focus of God’s prophecy given to Daniel in chapter 9.
In Part 3, we will look in depth into the first 69 weeks that have already been fulfilled, so that we can end this series with the last 7 years yet to be fulfilled, which will be the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble “(Jeremiah 30:7), best known as The Tribulation. So until next time, stay tuned.