What Saith the Scripture?
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel
Or, The Wisdom of God in All of the Seventy Weeks
"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 in Everlasting Righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy"
by Tom Stewart
Daniel's Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:27)-- known also as the Tribulation Week-- is the present focus of prophetic interest, because it still remains to be fulfilled. However, The Ancient of Days (7:9) has wisely outlined a much broader program of Seventy Weeks-- from 445 BC to 2005 AD-- that includes Christ's Atonement on Calvary, the Church's evangelization of the world, the judgment of the world, and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom of the LORD Jesus Christ on Earth. The following is an exposition of Daniel 9:24, and is intended to emphasize some foundational aspects of "things to come" (John 16:13). All discussion and appreciation of the "things which must shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1) must first grapple with this revelation by the Angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, the "greatly beloved" (Daniel 9:23).
When the Redeemed of the LORD arrive at their Heavenly destination, much of their rejoicing will be centered upon how wise God was in planning the events of Daniel's Seventy Weeks. The Apostle Paul epitomized this very desire to make known God's Wisdom. "8 That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold Wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:8-10).
Seventy Weeks: Scope of the Prophecy
A period of 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24) is the equivalent of 490 days. But, was 490 days the actual intent of the revelation given to Daniel? Among the many objectives that would be attained in the Seventy Weeks is "to bring in Everlasting Righteousness" (9:24). That points to the Advent of the Messiah. "5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
Christians already know the LORD Jesus Christ to be the Sun of Righteousness With Healing in His Wings (Malachi 4:2), because of His atoning work on the Cross after His First Advent. But, wasn't Daniel actually being revealed the Second Advent of the Messiah and not simply the First? "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe" (Romans 3:22). Jews, who rejected the Messiaship of Jesus, still await the Advent of their Messiah. "For they [the Jews] being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (10:3).
It is entirely proper to view the Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24) as representative of a period greater than 490 days. "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of Promise" (Numbers 14:34). This passage establishes that the LORD used the possibility of equating a day for a year, i.e., in the punishment of Israel for refusing to enter the Promised Land after the negative report from the spies. Consequently, the Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24) can be properly interpreted as referring to a period of 490 years, because each week of 7 days would be the equivalent of 7 years, i.e., "each day for a year" (Numbers 14:34). Therefore, 70 weeks would be the equivalent of 70 times 7 years or 490 years.
In his book The Coming Prince -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Voice/The.Coming.Prince.html -- (1895), Sir Robert Anderson carefully outlined the position that the Seventy Weeks could be taken as: (1) 69 weeks: adding together "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" (Daniel 9:25), plus (2) a disconnected and final 70th week, i.e., separated from the end of the 69th Week (April 6th 32 AD) by approximately 1,966 years until the beginning of the 70th Week (1998 AD): "he [the Antichrist] shall confirm the Covenant with many for one week [the 70th week]" (9:27). Anderson determined that the "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" (9:25) referred to the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus' decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem of March 14th 445 BC (Julian). "For the wall of the city... the king [Artaxerxes, who was the son of Ahasuerus (a.k.a. Xerxes), who, in turn, was the husband of Queen Esther] granted me [Nehemiah], according to the good hand of my God upon me" (Nehemiah 2:8). Further, Anderson determined that 69 weeks of prophetic years of 360 days (69 x 7 x 360) or 173,880 days, proceeded from March 14th 445 BC (Julian) to April 6th 32 AD (Julian)-- the very Palm Sunday of our LORD's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
John Gill's Expositor (1760) commented on Daniel 9:25-- "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" (Daniel 9:25)-- in agreement with Sir Robert Anderson. Incidentally, Gill did briefly state another position on the Seventy Weeks taken from Sir Isaac Newton's Observations on Daniel. John Gill summarized Newton's position: "Sir Isaac Newton thinks the seven weeks unto Messiah, which he detaches from the sixty two, respects the second coming of Christ [e.g., 7 weeks of years from May 14,1948 to May 14,1997-- a modern application by contemporary interpreters], when he [Christ] shall come as a Prince, and destroy antichrist, and that it takes in the compass of a jubilee; but when it will begin and end he [Newton] does not pretend to say."
John Gill explains his reason for disagreeing with Newton. "Within the space of seven weeks, or forty nine years, reckoning from the twentieth of Artaxerxes; when the Jews had a grant to rebuild their city and wall, and were furnished with materials for it; and which was done in very troublesome times... Nehemiah chapters four and five for which the space of seven weeks, or forty nine years, were cut out and appointed; and that this event belongs solely to this period is clear from the Messiah's coming being appropriated to the period of the sixty two weeks; which leaves this entirely where it is fixed." In other words: (1) the "seven weeks" (Daniel 9:25) points to the period encompassing the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls, i.e., "to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (9:25), while (2) the "threescore and two weeks" points to "Messiah the Prince" (9:25) and His First Advent. Like Gill, John Zachary in his Threshold of Eternity (1989) agrees with Sir Robert Anderson's understanding of the Seventy Weeks. I, also, agree with Anderson, Gill, and Zachary; but, am grateful to know that Sir Isaac Newton lent his time, intellect, and name to the study of "things to come" (John 16:13).
Upon Thy People: Israel
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) concerns the Jews, i.e., Daniel's "people" (9:24). It is not a myth that God has chosen Israel for Himself. "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6). Israel is presently blinded by unbelief. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25). "Because of unbelief they were broken off" (11:20); but, "if they abide not still in unbelief, [they] shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again" (11:23).
The Church presently abides as the people of God only because Israel was cast off by God for unbelief. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead" (Romans 11:15). This is only a temporary situation, since Israel will soon be restored to faith and favor at the LORD Jesus Christ's Second Coming. "25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is My Covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (11:25-27).
Because God set His affection upon Israel, Satan has sought to exterminate Israel. "They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance" (Psalm 83:4). Though the LORD has allowed Israel to be afflicted, it is that they may learn to seek Him. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy Statutes" (119:71). God's anger against Israel's rejection of Himself will not be but for a short time longer. "In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer" (Isaiah 54:8).
Upon Thy Holy City: Jerusalem
Jerusalem is also known as Zion. "11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Thy judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. 13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following" (Psalm 48:11-13). The Psalmist extolled the virtues of Zion. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (48:2). We should familiarize ourselves with this Scriptural magnification because they are the thoughts of our LORD. Just remember the LORD Jesus' lament over Jerusalem: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37).
The kings and popes of this world have long sought to possess Jerusalem-- the apple of the LORD's eye. "7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus saith the LORD of Hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye" (Zechariah 2:7-8). Like a selfish child, Satan wants whatever the LORD Jesus possesses. "I [Satan] will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like The Most High [and possess what He possesses]" (Isaiah 14:14). O LORD, wilt Thou not judge Him?
Gabriel's delivery of this prophecy concerning the Jews and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24-27) demonstrates how a deficiency of understanding of Old Testament prophecies has crippled modern Christianity's appreciation of this Time of the End (12:4). Speculation about the geopolitical significance of Jerusalem and Israel haunts especially the Western mind; namely, "What is so important about Israel?" The King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) shall sit upon the "Throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32) making "[His] enemies [His] footstool" (Psalm 110:1). Jerusalem will be the focus of the Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ. "8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem... 9 And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name One" (Zechariah 14:8-9). Daniel's "holy city" (Daniel 9:24) is significant because God thinks it is significant.
To Finish the Transgression: The Church's Evangelization of the World
The Great Transgression of the Nation of Israel was the rejection of their Messiah. "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone [Jesus] which the builders [Jewish priests and scribes] rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the LORD's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matthew 21:42 cp. Psalm 118:22-23). One of the great mysteries of this Church Age is the obstinacy of Israel to Jesus-- their Messiah. But, Isaiah prophetically recorded Israel's reaction to her Messiah. "For He [the Son] shall grow up before Him [the Father] as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He [Jesus] hath no form nor comeliness; and when we [Israel] shall see Him [Jesus], there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).
Israel's loss was the world's gain. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 15:16), made it his practice to attempt to deliver the Gospel in each community to the "Jew first, and also [then] to the Greek [Gentile]" (1:16). Rejection from the Jews was common to Paul. Listen to Paul's discourse to the Jews of Antioch of Pisidia. "16 Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience... 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I [Jehovah] work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you [Habakkuk 1:5]. 42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath... 44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the Word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of Everlasting Life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:16,41-42, 44-46).
But, how can the Holy God (Joshua 24:19) in this Church Age of world evangelization "finish the transgression" (Daniel 9:24)? He has given man the godlike capacity to freely choose to accept or reject the "Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1Timothy 4:10). Still, we have underestimated the capabilities of God. Certainly He does good, because "there is none good but One, that is, God" (Mark 10:18); but, how can He also take credit for evil? "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). Only the Almighty can consistently, wisely, uncompromisingly, and sovereignly address evil, while remaining absolutely holy. "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil" (Proverbs 8:13). Even the Body of Christ must maintain this same holiness, while being "simple concerning evil" (Romans 16:19). How? "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).
The LORD's motivation "to finish the transgression" (Daniel 9:24) is certainly not to propagate sin, but to bring sin and sinning to a conclusion. "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers" (Matthew 23:32). Not until that measure of sin is full, will God allow Himself to not forgive. Then and only then, will God not forgive the unforgivable. "31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:31-32).
To Make an End of Sins: The Judgments of the Tribulation Week
Even the Early Church saw the need of warning the world of "judgment to come" (Acts 24:25) when evangelizing the lost. Contrary to the belief of the lost sinner-- and backslidden professing Christian-- all sin must be judged. "Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward" (Hebrews 2:2) in the past. Since God has not changed-- "I am the LORD, I change not" (Malachi 3:6)-- He will still judge all sin. "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (1Corinthians 11:31).
God hates sin, so there will be a Tribulation Week. "Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile" (Romans 2:9). Even when the Judgments of the Tribulation Week seem to come from man, i.e., the first 5 Seal Judgments (Revelation 6:1-11), God has merely induced sinful man to fulfill His will. "26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD, and against His Christ. 27 For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:26-28).
Why all this Divine, Tribulational ferocity against sin? God hates sin because it is against the highest good of Himself and the universe. David recognized this fact when he confessed the sin of his adultery with Bathsheba. "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest" (Psalm 51:4). All sin is the "transgression of the Law" (1John 3:4), but what Law is transgressed? "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27). Therefore, all the ills of mankind emanate from sin. "Your sins have withholden good things from you" (Jeremiah 5:25). Also, "Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; He will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins" (14:10). Soberly, God warns: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20).
Sin is so much a part of mankind that mankind eliminating itself would seem to be the perfect fulfillment of Gabriel's revelation to Daniel to "make an end of sins" (Daniel 9:24). But, Scripture assures the Faithful that "except those days [the days that are about to come upon the world] should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:22). The suicide of the world will be prevented by the miraculous hand of the Creator, because "God is love" (1John 4:16).
Also, God is Only Wise (Romans 16:27); so, He has masterfully engineered His Providence to use man's sin to "make an end of sins" (Daniel 9:24). The Psalmist informs us: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10). Even when man does "evil with both hands earnestly" (Micah 7:3), the Almighty assures us that "no weapon that is formed against thee [not to mention Him] shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17).
To Make Reconciliation for Iniquity: The Atonement of Christ on Calvary
Without the voluntary sacrifice of the Son of God upon the Cross of Calvary (32 AD), Christianity would be as the ungodly who deny the Only LORD God (Jude 5)-- a well without water. "Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots" (12). If the LORD Jesus had succumbed to the wilderness temptation of the devil (Matthew 4) or failed to prevail in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14), Christianity would have died in childbirth. "7 But we speak the Wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden Wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the LORD Of Glory" (1 Corinthians 2:7-8). But, Jehovah well understands the value of His Son's sacrifice. For "without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]" (Hebrews 9:22) of sins.
Just as "it is a fearful thing [for a sinner] to fall into the hands of the Living God" (Hebrews 10:31), it is an amazement that God has heralded across the world the Gospel message: "Be ye reconciled to God" (2Corinthians 5:20). Only the LORD of LORDS (1Timothy 6:15) could make the magnanimous offer of reconciliation for sinful man. "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2Corinthians 5:18). Mankind simply does not comprehend how mortally sin has impacted the human race. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2). God is actually working to reconcile man, not to damn man. "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2Corinthians 5:19).
Consequently, the presence of even one sinner in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15) is evidence that the LORD will not overrule His gift of the ability of mankind to make Godlike moral choices of right or wrong, in order to impose another gift of eternal life. "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him" (1Kings 18:21).
To "make reconciliation for iniquity" (Daniel 9:24) is a gift from God. Gabriel revealed to Daniel that God's program involved a free gift. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our LORD" (Romans 6:23). This aspect of Daniel's Seventy Weeks prophecy points directly at the Cross of the LORD Jesus Christ. For this, the LORD Jesus "stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51) to reconcile us to Himself on the Cross. "20 And, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled" (Colossians 1:20-21). All that remains for anyone to participate in this program of reconciliation is a willing act of faith. "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Perseverance in faith is also required to receive the benefits of the LORD Jesus Christ's reconciliation. "21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled 22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in His sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister" (Colossians 1:21-23). But, thanks be to God, that He has granted to us His Holy Spirit to work "in [us] both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). The LORD Jesus shared the secret of His success-- and our success-- "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). In other words, we must willingly cooperate with the work that the LORD has promised to perform. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power" (Psalm 110:3). Also, "Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness" (143:10).
To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness: The Second Coming of Christ
Apart from the LORD Jesus Christ, righteousness is only a fantasy. "21 But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference" (Romans 3:21-22). Only God's "righteousness is an Everlasting Righteousness" (Psalm 119:142). When He whose "name is called The Word of God" (Revelation 19:13) appears at His Second Coming to "smite the nations" (19:15), then Everlasting Righteousness will be brought in.
Righteousness has become a word associated with those who are "holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:5) when rolled from the tongue as "self-righteousness". Consequently, the possession of true righteousness is often lost in an attempt to distance oneself from being identified as a modern Pharisee. But, David was unafraid to admit his righteousness. "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me" (Psalm 18:20). Yet, this Old Testament Saint clearly comprehended the source of his righteousness. "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast" (36:6).
Likewise, we of the New Testament times ought to have even greater appreciation of true righteousness, because of the fuller revelation of the LORD Jesus Christ. "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (2Peter 1:1). Though righteousness is an act of the will, it would be foolhardy for anyone to say that we are righteous simply because we will it. The Apostle Paul set forth the right idea. "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1Corinthians 15:10). Coupled with the grace of God, our Gospel understanding is: "If ye know that He [the LORD Jesus] is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him" (1John 2:29).
To Seal Up the Vision and Prophecy: The Sealed Battle Plan of God
Later in the Book of Daniel, the angel told Daniel to seal up the prophecy given to him. "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). Why would the LORD go through all the trouble of revealing His prophetic program to Daniel, only to tell Daniel to "shut up the words, and seal the book"? It appears that the LORD will divulge His battle plans only on a "need-to-know" basis. "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:10). Those hypocritical that are truly not seeking the LORD will be unaware of what the LORD is accomplishing in the affairs of man. "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matthew 16:3). Again, "None of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the LORD of Glory" (1Corinthians 2:8).
Unfortunately, the world has taught its own to value all the wrong things, i.e., "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1John 2:16). With this warped sense of reality, the world system has produced generations of "murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage" (Jude 16). How can such an evil generation understand or appreciate the "manifold Wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:10)? They will not understand. Again, "None of the wicked shall understand" (Daniel 12:10). Just look at those who are "at home" in this world. They are completely deceived. "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1Thessalonians 5:3).
The Holy Spirit is the source of teaching for the Saints. "But the Anointing [the Holy Spirit] which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John 2:27). Knowledge of God's prophetic battle plan is dispensed only by the Spirit of God. "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come" (John 16:13). The same Spirit that shows the Saints "things to come", prevents the enemy from obtaining Understanding of His battle plans-- even though the enemy has access to the same Scripture of Truth, which the Saints possess. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned" (1Corinthians 2:14).
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, faced an overwhelming enemy, that the LORD promised to defeat, if they would "believe in the LORD [their] God" (2Chronicles 20:20). Even as the LORD gives His people deliverance and peace, He gives confusion to the enemy! "22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir [who were supposedly allies], utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another [self-destruction]" (2Chronicles 20:22-23).
To Anoint the Most Holy: The Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ
Though our LORD humbled Himself to the death of the Cross, He will soon be exalted on the "Throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). "8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: 10 That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:8-11).
This time of triumph and exaltation will come following His Second Advent. "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1Corinthians 15:28). Israel will finally be converted. "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26). An even greater multitude of Gentiles will also be converted. "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?" (11:12).
That "fullness" (Romans 11:12) will come in a single day. "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isaiah 66:8). Along with converted Israel will come the converted Gentiles to physically populate the world under the dominion of the King Of Kings, and LORD Of Lords. "Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD" (Zechariah 8:22). The Feast of Tabernacles, which points the Millennial Reign of the Messiah (Leviticus 23:34-43), will again be celebrated. "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD Of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16).
The Prince of Peace will extend His peace to the subjects of His Millennial Reign. "10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: 12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream" (Isaiah 66:10-12).
The Millennium's peace will be conspicuous for the absence of Satan the tempter. "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" (Revelation 20:1-3). The world will soon see how much of a burden "that old serpent" has been, by how pleasant the world will be without him.
But, Millennial Saints, be warned. Satan will be loosed from the Bottomless Pit at the end of the Millennium for the LORD to test to see what you have learned during those 1,000 years. "And after that he [Satan] must be loosed a little season" (20:3). Many will fail that test and be destroyed with Everlasting Destruction. "7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of Heaven, and devoured them" (Revelation 20:7-9). Even in the Millennium, the physical inhabitants of the Earth-- particularly the children of those who initially entered the Millennium-- will need to learn to trust the LORD Jesus Christ. Millennial Saints, claim this promise for your children: "As for me, this is My Covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My Words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever" (Isaiah 59:21).
Good, wise, and intelligent government will be seen during the Millennium by the reign of King Jesus. "6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Even with the temporary rebellion at the end of the Millennium, the LORD Jesus Christ will rule forever. "And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:33).
Heaven will have to be forever, just to accommodate the Saints' necessity to praise the Living God. "Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely" (Psalm 147:1). The inhabitants of Heaven are awed by the "manifold Wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:10) in the planning and execution of the Seventy Weeks. "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1Peter 1:12).
Even looking imperfectly at the events of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, it is difficult not to stand in amazement and say, "What hath God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23). What we do not understand now-- but will discover later in Heaven-- will cause us to join the Heavenly throng in adoration of our LORD. "Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). Our love for God will only grow as we understand more fully how the Infinite God has made available the "unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8) to "whosoever will" (Revelation 22:17)-- you and I. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16).
Thank you, LORD Jesus.
[For a discussion of the Tribulation Week, see our articles, "Tribulation Timeline" (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), and (Part 4). Our articles, "1998: Year of the Apocalypse" (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3), deal with the apocalyptic significance of 1998.]