The 70-Week Prophecy of Daniel 9 also foretells end time events related to the ministry of the 144 000 and Jesus’ Second Coming.
Today’s program is Part 2 of a 3-part series on the 70-Week Prophecy of Daniel 9. We’ll be focusing on if and how the Seventy Sevens of Daniel have an end time application. If you’re not familiar with this prophecy I invite you to listen to Part 1, which was an introduction to the prophecy and how it was originally fulfilled.
ERRATUM NOTICE: The previously published version of the podcast mentioned that Jesus’ sacrifice put an end to the Levitical priesthood in 1844. This was a mistake. The Levitical priesthood ended at the Ascension of Jesus in 31 AD. The podcast audio file has been corrected. Thank you for your understanding.
Quick recap of the Seventy Sevens
In Part 1 of this study we laid the foundation to understand the 70-Week Prophecy of Daniel 9 (also called the Seventy Sevens by the Jewish people). What is this prophecy all about? In a nutshell, three things:
- It told the Jewish people they had a period of grace of 490 years during which they might prove their faithfulness to God and remain His chosen people.
- It predicted the exact year of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and of His death on the cross.
- It prophesied the destruction and total desolation of Jerusalem for the transgression of the Jewish people.
We saw that at the very core of this prophecy we find a Sabbath test and a probationary period.
- The 70-year Babylonian captivity was a punishment upon the children of Israel (mainly the tribes of the south) for violating God’s weekly Sabbath commandment and yearly Sabbath ordinance.
- These 70 Shemitah or Sabbath years were played out over 490 years of Israel’s history since the ordinance had been given. The Lord therefore imposed a 490-year probationary period. Their period of transgression became their period of probation.
- Because of the history associated with the 70-Week Prophecy, at its very core we find the Sabbath issue, which as we know is the end time issue. This is a clear indication that the 70-Week Prophecy of Daniel 9 has an end-time application. However, this is not a dual fulfillment prophecy. Let’s understand why.
Why the 70-Week Prophecy doesn’t have a dual fulfillment
- If the 70-Week Prophecy were to have a dual fulfillment in the end time, and of course we understand that it would be accounted as 490 literal days instead of literal years, we would need the fall of the latter rain, the appearing of Satan, and the death decree to all happen within days of each other. It would also require that a third temple be built in 7 weeks. Both of these scenarios seem unrealistic.
- The 70-Week Prophecy is tightly connected to the 2300-Day Prophecy. They both have the same start date. If there were dual fulfillment it would have to apply to both and they would both have to end on the same date because the work is cut short. I can’t find enough evidence of a dual fulfillment of the 2300-Day Prophecy. The Sanctuary work that began in 1844 carries through until the end of time and the completion of the Day of Atonement ceremony on the earth. However, the prophecy itself was only fulfilled once, from 457 BC to 1844.
- One additional reason why I don’t subscribe to the dual fulfillment view is because I’m not able to find in history a decree that meets the criteria specified in the Bible that would be the trigger for the prophetic countdown. In the Book of Ezra we read about a few decrees issued by kings concerning Jerusalem: King Cyrus, King Darius and King Artaxerxes. Only the decree issued by King Artaxerxes in the year 457 B.C. which is mentioned in Ezra Chapter 7 meets the two criteria given in 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”. We have to be very discerning about this point and make sure that any decrees meet the two conditions: rebuilding and restoring the city. We need both in order for us to consider that there can be dual fulfillment of this prophecy. If I’m wrong about this and there has been a decree issued about Jerusalem, whether by Great Britain or any other ruling power, that meets these two conditions, I’m certainly happy to consider that scenario.
What does happen is that the events of the last week of the 70 weeks, that is to say, the events of the last period of 7 years, will be repeated at the end of time. We’re going to describe shortly the historical template of the last 7 years and how those events will be repeated in the end time.
Before we do that, there’s something else that we need to consider. We need to factor in Satan’s plan to deceive the world by focusing their attention on Jerusalem where he will stage and star in a counterfeit Second Coming. Let’s tackle that first, then we’ll come back to discuss how the events of the last 7 years will be repeated.
The End Time Counterfeit Fulfillment of the 70-Week Prophecy
Evangelical and most Protestant Christians believe that the final 7 years of this prophecy will be fulfilled in the end time. Some world leader, most likely Trump whom they believe to be a new King Cyrus for the Jews, will issue a decree to rebuild the city and a third temple. The anti-christ beast would subsequently cause the animal sacrifices to cease in that temple and ultimately would destroy the temple and the city. The Jews would undergo a 7-year Tribulation period under the anti-christ’s dominion but the Church would have been raptured to heaven.
There are two basic flaws in this scenario:
The first flaw is the interruption of the prophetic timeline. They’ve inserted 2000+ years between the first 69 weeks and the last week. This is not how the prophetic continuum works. History is prophecy being fulfilled, and history is a continuous flow without gaps or jumps.
The second flaw is the false belief that the Church will be raptured to heaven. In sacred history God’s people always have to undergo the tribulation. God is with us and delivers us in the midst of the tribulation but we have to go through it.
The Futurist interpretation of the last 7 years is a very subtle scenario. For decades Satan has been conditioning Protestants to believe that Jesus will return on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is where they expect Him to return. Therefore, when Satan appears on the Temple Mount in counterfeit glory pretending to be Jesus the whole world will be deceived. No human alive has ever beheld such glory. Like John the Revelator, the whole world will fall on their feet to worship this fallen angel.
Satan will support the anti-christ beast and the US National Sunday Law. The world will then worship the dragon, that is to say, Satan, and the beast. The US National Sunday Law will very quickly spread to become a Global Sunday Law implemented in all countries. This is all described in Revelation 13.
In this way we can consider that to a certain extent the prophetic fulfillment proposed by the Futurists and Evangelicals will come to pass, but it’s a counterfeit fulfillment. This is Satan’s deceptive plan that he’s carefully nurtured and prepared for many decades now.
The End Time Reenactment of the Historical Events of the 70th Week
Now that we’ll be able to recognize and denounce the counterfeit scenario, let’s review how the history of the last 7 years will be repeated. I agree with Sister Ellen White that this prophecy was completely fulfilled. But as I explained, the historical template associated with this prophecy will be repeated.
What does that mean? You know, I used to scratch my head when I heard Bible scholars say that: “The prophecy has been fulfilled but the history will be repeated”. I’d be skeptical and think to myself “What on earth does that mean? It’s semantics. What’s the difference between the prophecy being fulfilled and the historical pattern being repeated? It’s exactly the same thing!”
But the 70-Week Prophecy has given me the opportunity to really grasp the difference between the two concepts. Yes, they’re close but there’s a very important nuance. Let me now describe for you the historical template of this prophecy and how that history will be repeated.
The Bible itself tells us that history will be repeated, but that we’ll forget our history:
“9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11).
As we analyze the 70-Week Prophecy from a historicist viewpoint we’ll observe two important facts:
- As we just said, the historical template of the 70 Weeks will be repeated. This means that the events that were part of the original prophetic fulfillment will be repeated in a very similar way although with a couple of significant differences that I’ll highlight. It also means that at the end of time the backdrop of this timeline of events is the Sabbath issue, the same as it was in ancient Israel.
- The 70-Week Prophecy sheds light on the warning for God’s people found in Daniel 12. This warning can best be understood by analyzing the 70-Week Prophecy in conjunction with Daniel Chapter12. We’ll do that in Part 3 of this series.
Let’s consider the historic events that took place during the last 7 years of the 70-Week Prophecy and see how that template is going to be repeated in our generation. Remember that according to historicists the last week started in 27 AD with Jesus’ baptism and the beginning of His public ministry. At the close of the first period of 3.5 years, in 31 AD which is the middle of that last week, Jesus was cut off. His public ministry on earth came to an end. The second period of 3.5 years ends at the stoning of Stephen. The death of Stephen signaled the end of the probationary period for the Jews. At that point Paul and Peter begin to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
Question no. 1: What happened at Jesus’ baptism?
Answer: The Holy Spirit fell upon Him and He had the anointing of heaven to begin His public ministry.
Question no. 2: What happened right after Jesus was baptized?
Answer: The Holy Spirit carried Jesus to the desert to be tempted. Satan appeared in person to tempt Jesus. He disguised himself as an angel of light. Jesus rebuked him with God’s Word: “It is written”.
Question no. 3: What happened just before and at Jesus’ death?
Answer: A death decree was pronounced against Him. Jesus was derided, mocked and scoffed at. There was darkness over the whole land. Jesus cried out to the Father “Why have you abandoned Me?” Then Jesus said “It is finished”. The earth quaked and the rocks were rent. The veil of the temple was torn in half. The graves of the saints opened and the dead were raised. Two days later Jesus was resurrected (the First Fruits of the dead). An angel appeared at the tomb to let the women know Jesus had resurrected. Jesus took the resurrected saints with Him to heaven to be the First Fruits offering to the Father.
The Historical Template of the Last Seven Years
The pattern of events that took place in the last week of the 70-Week Prophecy will be repeated in our generation, with these two major differences:
First major difference with the original fulfillment of the 70-Week Prophecy:
God’s people take the place of Jesus. The events that happened to Jesus that brought His ministry to an end will happen to God’s people.
When men persecute God’s people it’s as if they were persecuting Jesus. Let’s see the evidence of that in the Book of Acts. Remember how Saul persecuted God’s saints? Listen to the dialogue when Saul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus: “3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou Me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:3-5).
What events will happen to God’s people at the end of time that parallel those which happened in Jesus’ time?
- The saints will be baptized with Holy Spirit fire and receive the abundant Latter Rain. They’ll go forth to minister the Three Angel’s Messages to the world with the power of the angel of Revelation 18.
- Satan will appear to increase the power of the evil trinity, to tempt God’s people, and to tempt the wicked into issuing the death decree against God’s people.
- Just as Jesus was betrayed by the church leaders as well as one of His own disciples, God’s people will also be betrayed. Our church leaders, brothers and sisters who are not solidly grounded in the truth will betray us. Our family members will betray us. Listen to how Jesus described it in Mark 13 verses 9 and 12-13: 9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. … 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake”.
- After 3.5 years their ministry will be cut off, like Jesus’ was. Just as Jesus was the First Fruits of the dead, so the 144000 are the first fruits of the earth. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4). The death decree will be proclaimed against them. However, God won’t allow them to be put to death. Instead, the death decree against God’s remnant people brings about the close of probation for the world. The remaining events follow quickly.
- Michael stands up in heaven (Daniel 12:1). In the same way that the veil of the Jerusalem temple was rent to signal the end of the Levitical priesthood (in 31 AD), the death decree signals the end of the Melchizedek priesthood in heaven. Jesus finishes His work of intercession in the Most Holy Place. “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (Revelation 15:8). The seven angels carrying the seven plagues come out of the Sanctuary and pour them out upon the wicked.
Second major difference with the original fulfillment of the 70-Week Prophecy:
The 7-year timeline will be cut short. Instead of seven years, only one full period of 3.5 years will be fulfilled up to the death decree. The seven years are compressed into 3.5. After the death decree, as the plagues begin to fall, there should be only a few short weeks to the Second Coming.
What evidence do we have that this timeline will be cut short? Let’s read a few verses about the fact that the Lord will shorten the time:
“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Daniel 2:21).
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
“Yet for the elect’s sake the time of trouble will be shortened. ‘Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him? … I tell you that He will avenge them speedily’ (Luke 18:7-8). The end will come more quickly than men expect” (EGW – Great Controversy page 630).
“For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth” (Romans 9:28).
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12).
|When in ancient history||Original events in ancient history||History re-enacted through equivalent end time events|
|At the beginning of the last week||Jesus’ baptism, beginning of His public ministry||Outpouring of the Latter Rain. Beginning of the Loud Cry of Revelation 18.|
|Shortly after the beginning of the last “week” (last 7 years)||Jesus’ temptation in the desert and Satan’s appearing as an angel of light||Satan appears in a counterfeit Second Coming.|
|In the middle of the week||End of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus cut off||End of the ministry of the
144 000. Death decree issued.
|At the end of the week||Stoning of Stephen||No equivalent takes place. The second half of the week is cut short. Only the events of the first half of the last week are played out in the end time.|
The End Time Scenario in One Headline
Let’s consider the last verse in the prophecy, Daniel 9:27, to see how the end time scenario is already contained in the very language used. This verse clearly foretells an end time reenactment of the original events. Note that the “he” referred to in this verse is always Jesus, never anti-christ.
Interlinear analysis of Daniel 9:27:
7 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.
Sacrifice: Strong’s 2077
zebach: a sacrifice
feasting (1), offer (2), sacrifice (98), sacrifices (54), sacrificial (1), slaughter (1).
First mention: Genesis 31, Jacob and Laban -> leads to the time of Jacob’s trouble
Oblation: Strong’s 4503
minchah: a gift, tribute, offering
a gift, tribute, offering
gift (5), gifts (2), meal offering (7), meal offerings (1), offering (152), offering* (1), offerings (14), present (12), sacrifice (3), tribute (14).
First mention: Genesis 4, Cain’s offering from the fruits of the ground ->unacceptable offering (See John 16:1-2).
Let’s interpret Daniel 9:27 by applying the two codes contained in the word “sacrifice” first associated with Jacob and the word “oblation” first associated with Cain:
- It tells us that in the middle of the 7-year period, that is, after 3.5 years, Messiah will return to the earth to deliver His people from Jacob’s time of trouble and prevent them from being slaughtered at the hand of the wicked.
- It also tells us that the offerings of the wicked are wrong and not appreciated in heaven, just as Cain’s wasn’t. The Sunday worship of the wicked, those who didn’t receive the love of the truth, is not acceptable to the Lord. Like Cain, they’re offering worship according to their own inclination, not the worship that God clearly stated He requires of His creatures. Like wicked Cain who killed his brother Abel for his righteousness, they’ll want to kill their Sabbath-keeping brothers and sisters for our obedience to God’s law. “Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2).
Three More Pieces of Evidence
We have three more pieces of evidence that the historical template of the 70-Week Prophecy will be repeated at the end of time in relation to the Second Coming.
Evidence No. 1: The 70-Week Prophecy is linked to the Outer Court
When Seventh-day Adventists study the 2300-Day, the 1260-Day and the 70-Week Prophecies in the context of the Sanctuary we associate time with a specific place. We lay them out as follows:
- The 70-Week Prophecy is linked to the Outer Court
- The 1260-Day Prophecy is linked to the Holy Place
- The 2300-Day Prophecy is linked to the Most Holy Place
In the ancient Israel type on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest began his ministration in the Most Holy Place but finished it in the Outer Court by placing the sins of God’s people on the head of the scapegoat. This will happen in our generation. In the type the Outer Court is the earth. Jesus will come back to the earth to symbolically place all the sins of mankind on Satan’s head.
Evidence No. 2: Jesus appears right after the 70-Week Prophecy is given
Remember that the original Bible manuscripts were a scroll with no divisions. Therefore when we’re trying to better understand a passage it’s helpful to read what immediately precedes it and what follows it. Those passages are usually connected.
We know that the 2300-Day Prophecy in Daniel 8 precedes the 70-Week Prophecy and that both are connected, as we discussed in Part 1 of this study. Now notice what comes immediately after the 70-Week Prophecy is explained to Daniel: Jesus appears in Daniel 10.
“5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (Daniel 10:5-6).
And oh by the way, the appearance of Jesus described here, as well as the prophet’s reaction, is exactly parallel to Revelation 1. The parallel appearance of Jesus in both passages places the importance of this message – the shortening of time – on par with the messages to the Seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
Evidence No. 3: Daniel 9 and 10 are linked in the chiastic structure of the Hebrew Book of Daniel
If we take the opposite perspective and instead of looking at the Bible as a continuous written scroll and instead consider the chapter divisions, we reach the same conclusion: Daniel 9 and Daniel 10 are closely related in the chiastic structure of the Hebrew portion of the Book of Daniel.
The Book of Daniel is written in both classical Hebrew and Aramaic. Chapters 2 through 7 are in Aramaic. Chapter 1 and chapters 8 through 12 are in Hebrew.
Many Bible scholars have overlaid a chiastic structure on the Aramaic portion of the book.
When you place the 6 chapters of the Hebrew portion of the Book of Daniel in a chiastic structure, Chapters 9 and 10 are linked. In other words, the 70-Week Prophecy is connected with Jesus’ appearing in Chapter 10. This is a third witness that the 70-Week Prophecy is absolutely connected with the Second Coming of Jesus.
The key message that the 70-Week Prophecy has for the generation of the end is the shortening of time. This important message is brought by Jesus Himself. It was not revealed to previous generations because that message is for us.
The message of the shortening of time is on a par with the messages that Jesus gave to the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation. Our brothers and sisters who believe in the Secret Rapture and the 7-Year Tribulation are misguided. They don’t have 7 years!
Time is very short. Only the Father knows exactly how short. But our responsibility is to know when it is near, even at the door.
Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!
Our Next Study
In our next study (062) we’re going to connect the 70-Week Prophecy with other important prophecies such as Daniel Chapter 12 to get a full picture of the prophetic timeline and other important warning messages the Lord has for us. Be sure to check in again soon. You don’t want to miss it.