Who Confirmed The Covenant?

   
In the prevailing view of Bible prophecy, the well known passage in
Daniel chapter 9 concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel is commonly
interpreted to put forth the proposition that the Antichrist
will make a 7 year treaty with the Jewish people. But is this
proposition actually accurate, and if it is not, what are the
implications for the rather large cluster of prophetic interpretations
that rest upon this idea of a treaty that will be broken "in
the midst of the week?" (Daniel 9:27)

   
Daniel's 70th week is one of the premier prophetic
passages in the entire Bible

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but it has been distorted to
the point where the interpretation that is popularly offered is so far
off from what the text actually says that most believers simply take
the interpretation for granted. This traditional interpretation
has become so deeply ingrained that study Bibles routinely offer it in
their margin notes. Indeed, few people are aware that it is this
very text
that is the primary passage used to teach the faulty
idea of a 7-year tribulation, and the fictional 7-year treaty.
The truth is, there is not one verse in the entire Bible that
teaches either concept.


   
The key to Daniel's 70 Week passage is found in the summary
of what is to occur during a period described as "70 weeks." That
summary occurs in Daniel 9:24:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and
upon thy holy city, to

[a] finish the transgression

[b] and to make an end of sins,

[c] and to make reconciliation for iniquity,

[d] and to bring in everlasting righteousness,

[e] and to seal up the vision and prophecy,

[f] and to anoint the most holy."

   
Various sequential aspects of the prophecy are then detailed,
including how long it will be until the coming of "Messiah
the prince," and how long His ministry will last. These details are
found in verses 25 and 26. Then the prophecy bluntly informs us that
after the Messiah has come and gone, an unnamed "people" will come
and destroy "the city and the sanctuary." (verse 26)

   
The last aspect of the prophecy elaborates on the destruction of
the sanctuary and the abominations that are to occur. It even
describes the reason for the devastation as the text
tells us it is "...for the overspreading of abominations [that] he
shall make it desolate." (Daniel 9:27)

   
Once again, it's crucial that we see that Jesus the Messiah
is the fulfillment of these prophecies

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and the totality of what
He accomplishes is in verse 24. One may simply read through the
points of verse 24 and ask WHO fulfills each and every aspect
of the prophecy? The answer is JESUS CHRIST.


   
Another way to approach this is to reverse the perspective. Does
the Antichrist "finish the transgression?" Of course
not.
Can it be said that the Beast is the one who will "make
an end of sins?" Obviously not. Does the Son of Perdition
"make reconciliation for iniquity?" The answer is self-evident.
Does the wicked one "seal up the vision and prophecy?" He
does not.
And does the Antichrist "anoint the most holy?"

Of course not.


   
The focal point of the entire prophecy is JESUS CHRIST. It
may also be instructive to recognize that because we are reading this
prophecy so many years after its fulfillment we don't fully
appreciate the incredible accuracy in it. We need to point out that
Daniel's incredible work was written about 550 years before JESUS
was born!

   
It's worth noting that the coming of the Messiah was always the
central hope implied in virtually every prophecy. The belief that God
would send a Messiah is the great historic longing that existed in
almost every historic time period of Israel and Judah. One of the
great wonders of this prophecy is that it not only provided
precious details about the arrival of the Messiah, it even included a countdown
to the events that would lead to His arrival!

   
Conversely, the Antichrist is never mentioned. There
is no mention of a 7-year treaty, nor a 7-year tribulation. All of
those understandings have been artificially attached to the prophecy.
The central message in this entire prophecy is the arrival of the
Messiah, and what will happen once He arrives. Having said that, let's
take it chronologically.

   
The first part of the prophecy, after the summary in verse 24,
breaks down the period into separate components. Verse 25 says 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." Most prophecy teachers have recognized
the 'year for a day' principle in this prophetic language. Under this
perspective, each "week" is seen as a seven year period.
Thus, the first period of "seven weeks" may accurately be depicted
as seven seven-year periods

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or 49 years. The second
period of "threescore and two weeks" (which is 62 weeks) may be
seen as 62 seven-year periods, or 434 years. That totals
69 "weeks" or 483 years

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leaving only the third period of one
"week" (7 years) for the total of 70 weeks.

What the text is saying is that the commandment to build
Jerusalem will trigger three time periods. To offer a rough
paraphrase, it's telling us the commandment will be given, then 49
years later something related to the prophecy will happen. Then a
period of 434 years will elapse, and then the Messiah will arrive. The
last period of 7 years will then elapse. A characterization of the
first portion of the prophecy is added when the text tells us the time
when the sanctuary is to be rebuilt will be "troublous."

   
Textual evidence in the historical books of Nehemiah and Ezra
suggest that it took about 49 years to rebuild the wall and the temple
after the command to construct them was given by the Persian king
Cyrus: "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath
given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to
build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah." (Ezra 1:2).

   
After the initial building period of 49 years elapsed, the second
period of 434 years went by with almost nothing occurring that was
related to the messianic expectation. This second period is the period
between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the coming of
Jesus Christ

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and it turns out to be 434 years!

   
It is at this point that the gigantic error is made in the
prophetic interpretation

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and it changes the meaning of almost
everything. Because the prophecy is broken up into 3 period (49 years,
434 years, and 7 years), prophecy interpreters claim that the prophecy
was "suspended" after the Messiah arrived, and the last 7
year period, which they identify as the tribulation, was pushed far
into the future. They then say the Antichrist will
emerge and inaugurate that last 7-year period. The problem is, the
text never actually says any of that, nor does it even infer a
gap between the 69th and 70th week.

   
The Messiah arrives after the 2nd period of 434 years
(62 weeks in the text). There is no reason to believe the unfolding of
the timeline stops at that point. Thus, the Messiah arrives at the
beginning of the 70th week and it commenced when He
arrived. Remember, the focus of the prophecy is on the Messiah who
must accomplish everything specified within the 70-week
period.

   
After the Messiah arrives, the text simply continues with the
chronological description: "And after threescore and two weeks shall
Messiah be cut off...." (Daniel 9:26) This verse is simply saying
that after the second period of 434 years (the 62 weeks) has
gone by, the Messiah is to be "cut off." It then continues the
chronological statement from the point of the 'cutting off' and says
that at some unspecified time after the Messiah is cut off, "the
city and the sanctuary" will be destroyed.

   
In the next verse, the prophecy provides us with the details of the
cutting off of the Saviour. Again, the focal point of the entire
prophecy is the Messiah, so after He arrives, "he shall confirm
the covenant with many for one week...." (Daniel 9:27) This is precisely
what would be expected as when He arrived, there would be "one
week" left to the 70 weeks. The obvious question should be how
can the Antichrist suddenly get inserted into this
prophecy and "confirm" a covenant that has never been mentioned?
Indeed, the Antichrist himself has never been mentioned
in the entire text!

Furthermore, it's useful to recognize that the term covenant
is not the same term as the word treaty. We
separate the Bible into the Old Testament and the New Testament, and
the word "testament" is interchangeable with the term covenant
(see Hebrews 9:15). On the other hand, a treaty is a
political instrument that is used between nations

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not a sacred
agreement between God and man.

   
In the Old Testament, God made an agreement with man that if the
people will adhere to His "covenant," He will protect and keep
them and be their God. This is articulated in Exodus with the
children of Israel where God says "Now therefore, if ye will obey my
voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a
peculiar treasure unto me above all people...." (Exodus 19:5). In
the very passage in question in Daniel, which is prophetic on its
face, God further promises that He will bring the Messiah who will confirm
the covenant that He has already made.

   
Although it is a new covenant in that it brings out certain
characteristics that were somewhat veiled in the Old Testament,
because it is a covenant with Israel, it is actually a renewal
of the covenant that God made through Moses. Thus in Jeremiah,
God says "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a
new covenant with the house of Israel...." (Jeremiah 31:31)

  
Therefore, about 50 years after God promised to Jeremiah that He
would remember Israel with another covenant that will build upon the
existing covenant, He tells Daniel that "the Messiah the
Prince...shall confirm the covenant with many...." (Daniel 9:25,
27).

   
The New Testament writers recognized this as the Apostle Paul explicitly
wrote on the subject when he stated "And this I say, that the covenant,
that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law,
which was four hundred and thirty years after...." (Galatians 3:17) Through this confirmation, we learn that Christ
is the heir of all the promises. He is the Seed of Abraham upon
whom the blessings are bestowed, and He is the only one who "brings
in everlasting righteousness." (Daniel 9:2).

   
The twist on the truth that has come to dominate the prophetic
expectations of so many millions will reap a bitter harvest. As vast
numbers of Christians are deceived on this subject, their
lives and actions are predicated on a false understanding of the
immediate future

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and the fruit of it will be dreadful. Very few
understand the enormous spiritual ramifications of embracing
significant error in our prophetic perspective. Indeed, it was the
fact that Israel did not recognize the time of their
visitation from God that brought the nation of Israel to "the
overspreading of abominations" that were the natural outgrowth of
their refusal to recognize Jesus as their promised Messiah.

   
Literally millions upon millions of believers are now similarly deceived
in that the person explicitly described in the scriptures as the MESSIAH
is actually seen as the Antichrist. Our Saviour told the
Pharisees that attributing the works of God to the Devil was the
unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31). The blind religious leaders of
yesteryear claimed the person doing the miracles in their presence was
actually a vessel of the Devil. The truth was, that person was Jesus
Christ
and the Jewish leaders committed blasphemy of the Holy
Spirit in their refusal to recognize Jesus was the individual
prophesied of in Daniel 9:27.

   
How is it any different when the modern day Pharisees, the
denominational Christians of our time, are now claiming these
magnificent prophecies apply to the Antichrist, when the
exact opposite is true as these words testify of the awesome truth of
"the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ?" (Titus 2:13) As the
import of this great truth sinks in, it affects practically everything


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including the actual identity of the chosen people, our
individual standing in Christ, and the immediate future of America
in a prophetic context.

   
The very fact that most "believers" will simply discard this
pointed exegesis testifies that it is the organized churches that have
perpetrated the great fraud that Christendom finds herself entangled
in. And because of their lazy refusal to study the truth of the
scriptures on a personal level

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instead relying upon the
false doctrines of their hireling shepherds

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we will shortly see
the big surprise in which so many that thought they were saved will be
turned away. The scriptures will not be broken, and they tell us it is
"for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience." (Colossians 3:6)

April 21, 2003 - James Lloyd

Copyright © 2003 Christian Media Network

See Also

The 70 Weeks Of Daniel Book

The 70 Weeks Of Daniel Audio

Translation Of Israel

The Remnant In Romans

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
64