MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 9 Continued
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
A Difficult But Not Impossible Prophecy
Nathan Jones: The Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy recorded in Daniel 9 has the claim to fame for being an extremely difficult topic in Bible prophecy. Interpretations have ranged far and wide and conclusions made in a number of different ways, and yet there is a general consensus interpretation among conservative Bible scholars that fits perfectly into the overall biblical structure of how the end times will play out.
The difficulty in interpreting this prophecy lies in the fact that some of it will not come to pass until the future, and so from our perspective in the here and now, it therefore can be hard to understand. For those parts that have been fulfilled, we have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight and so can look back and declare, “Ah, so that’s what that meant!” Still, there are some bits to Daniel’s Seventieth Week that remain future and so haven’t happened yet, and those are the parts that continue to leave many students of Bible prophecy scratching our heads, because we are not quite sure what to make of them.
Vic Batista: I appreciate the honesty! But that doesn’t mean that the Lord has left us hopeless when it comes to interpreting Daniel’s amazing prophecy. Many clues given in the text and the parts of the prophecy that have already been fulfilled are helpful in building the most accurate prophetic scenario possible.
Let’s look at that scenario by recapping the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy, starting with Daniel 9:24.
Nathan Jones: The Angel Gabriel has come down from Heaven in answer to Daniel’s prayer of repentance for his people Israel. God has a response already prepared for Daniel, and has dispatched Gabriel to deliver it.
God is going to answer a question that has been weighing heavily on Daniel’s heart. Daniel’s people — the Jews — remain in exile in Babylon. They want to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their country. God appears ready to focus His attention back on the Holy Land. Daniel is wondering just when this is going to happen. God responds beginning in verse 24.
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”
Vic Batista: So, the Angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:24 provides the six-fold purpose for the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy:
- to finish transgressions
- to make an end to sin
- to make reconciliation for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up visions and prophecy
- to anoint the Most Holy.
Nathan Jones: Instead of God telling Daniel the remaining few years until the Jews will return from exile, He remarkably declares a whopping 490 years! With this revelation, God sort of skips past Daniel’s question about when the return from exile would be, even skipping over the return from the First Exile, which began in 536 BC. The 70 years of exile promised the Jews found completion at the same time the Temple ended reconstructed in 516 BC.
Instead, Daniel receives an answer in the context of 490 years beyond the return of the First Exile. God’s focus is far bigger than Daniel’s question. In answering Daniel, God’s not focused on the Jewish return to Israel, but the Jewish return to Him.God's not focused on the #Jewish return to #Israel, but the Jewish return to Him. Click To Tweet
Also puzzling is Gabriel’s revelation that a break would occur during those 490 years, with the last week of years — Daniel’s Seventieth Week — occurring well after the Messiah is cut off. History shows us to the day that 483 years from “the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince” ended when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But, the final seven of the 490 years remains. They haven’t happened yet. That great mystery — the Church Age — broke up the 490 years, so that seven remain unfulfilled.
By the end of those seven years, as the world awaits the return of the Messiah, six different purposes of God would be accomplished.
The first purpose is “to finish transgression.” The transgression embodies primarily the Jewish rebellion against God. When Jesus returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation, a Jewish remnant will call out to their Messiah to rescue them from the Antichrist, and that’s when the Jewish people will finally recognize Jesus has been their Messiah all along. The Gentile nations, too, will be destroyed by Jesus’ return, leaving only a believing Gentile remnant. That means the only people who will live on into Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will be believers in Christ. All others who have rejected the Messiah will be cast into Hades to await the final Great White Throne Judgment, which will be held at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ.
The second purpose is “to make an end to sin.” Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom after defeating the Antichrist, and during the utopian Millennial Kingdom the sin nature will be partly lifted. The final fulfillment of this purpose can only reside in the Eternal State, when the sinful, fallen body no longer remains, superseded by our sinless, glorified bodies.
The third purpose is “to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Atonement for mankind’s sins was made possible once Jesus shed His blood on the Cross. To be forgiven of our sins, we have to accept Jesus as our Savior. The Jewish people as a whole have yet to accept this truth, as they are still waiting for the Messiah. They did not recognize when Jesus first came. They will when He returns. The iniquity of the Jewish people will be forgiven, and as a people they will be reconciled with God.
Vic Batista: What a fantastic reminder that Christians today need to pray for the Jewish people, that God will open up their eyes to see the truth of the Messiah!
To Bring In Everlasting Righteousness
Nathan Jones: We’ve looked at the first three purposes of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy. Now let’s tackle the fourth purpose — to bring in everlasting righteousness.
Nathan Jones: The fourth purpose of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy is “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Everlasting righteousness will be inaugurated by the Messiah’s earthly reign. The thousand year Kingdom of Jesus Christ, described in such brilliant detail in Revelation 20, is defined as an age of peace, righteousness, and justice.
But, the Millennial Kingdom is only just the beginning of everlasting righteousness. Of course, during the Millennial Kingdom, people will be born to those Tribulation Saints who survived the dark time and lived on in their earthly bodies into Christ’s Kingdom. Those believers who entered and those born to them still retain their sin natures. Satan will be allowed one final rebellion at the end of the thousand years, and he will feed off of those sin natures, fomenting rebellion in the hearts of the millennial children. Therefore, everlasting righteousness must find its fulfillment in the Eternal State that follows this final rebellion. Righteousness blossoms upon Jesus’ return, but everlasting righteousness manifests beyond the Millennial Kingdom.Everlasting righteousness finds its fulfillment in the Eternal State. #Heaven Click To Tweet
A permanent state of righteousness is what Christians long for. The world is such a mess right now, and many wonder if this horror is how existence is always going to be. But, no, God clearly tells Daniel via Gabriel that this fallen time period will come to an end, the Jewish exile will come to an end, and those faithful to God will live to see everlasting righteousness come upon the world. Isn’t that exciting?
Vic Batista: Mankind longingly anticipates a truly peaceful world. We exist during a time when so many awful events are rocking our planet. Evil appears to be unchained. But, God wants to encourage not just Daniel, but all His faithful, not to lose hope. The Lord will come soon. Jesus Himself will personally take care of this mess.
We believe the Rapture will happen very soon, and after that, Daniel’s Seventieth Week will play out. The result will be God’s wonderful purposes will be achieved.
In the twenty-second segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, God will seal up visions and prophecy.