Many long years ago when I was in Bible college, I asked the Old Testament professor how we knew that Jesus was the Christ. He told me that I already believed, or I wouldn’t be at a Bible College. I pressed him on the point, and he became angry with me. This really threw me for a loop, as I couldn’t understand why asking a question so important would be treated as if I were rebellious. It was years later, I figured out that his anger was because he didn’t know a good answer and I had embarrassed him in front of the whole class. He was a Dispensationalist, and therein lies the problem.
The Dispensationalists destroyed Daniel 9. They have incorrectly positioned their views of a future tribulation and antichrist in the Seventy Weeks prophecy. All is a muddled confusion when one does this. It is so pervasive throughout the Church, we need to address what it has done to our sure foundation. (Not to mention Jewish Evangelism.)
By inserting a seven year tribulation and a future political antichrist into this passage, the Dispensationalists have lost the Truth of Messiah. We need to emphasize that this is our greatest scriptural assurance that Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth is in fact the Messiah, the long awaited consolation of Israel. For if the prophecy is not about the “anointed one,” and that the anointed one is not “cut off,” then Yeshua/Jesus is not the Messiah. For He is the only one who came at the time the prophecy indicated.
Daniel said there would be 490 years from the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem and the temple, to the coming of Messiah, His being cut off, and the resulting destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by a coming prince (Titus).
If one is considering the “plain reading of the text,”or what the theologians call the “historical, grammatical reading” (exactly the way my professor taught us to work through any other passage) then there is no seven year tribulation, nor a political antichrist, nor a gap in the Seventy Weeks. There is Messiah cut off, and the destruction of Jerusalem. There is nothing in the Seventy Weeks passage that was not fulfilled at the Mo’ed, or appointed time.
“Seventy weeks of years are decreed, concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end of sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most Holy place, [or One]. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, [the Messiah] there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and cisterns, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one [Messiah] shall be cut off, and shall have nothing and the people of a prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolation’s are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” Daniel 9:24-27 personal translation
What was to be Accomplished
In Daniel 9, we find our eternal promise of redemption. From Adam’s first sin to the last sin of mankind, there is but one solitary event that purchased our freedom. It was this timeless eternal sovereign event, where the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the universe [Rev 13:8]. However, it did happen at an appointed time and a specific time and place in history.
There are six things listed that are to be accomplished within the scope of the prophecy.
1. To Finish the Transgression
This is the great promise of a redeemer who removed the consequences of the Original Sin, that of dying spiritually and physically. What Adam lost, Jesus restored. All have learned this great truth throughout the generations.
. . . he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Gen 3:15b
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. Is. 53:5
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Heb. 9:15
2. Put an end to sin
Sin will be put away, it will no longer be accounted to us, but now it is laid on our Messiah.
. . . she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. 9:26
4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” Heb. 10:4-7
3. Atone for Iniquity
We are reconciled to God, as our sin is being atoned for.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Is. 53:6
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 2 Cor. 5:18
21 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, Col. 1:21-22
4. Bring in Everlasting Righteousness
It is Messiah, and Messiah alone, who is everlasting righteousness.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) Heb. 9:11
17 If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 5:17-21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:21
5. Seal both Vision and Prophet
The prophets spoke of the coming redeemer. His arrival at the appointed place and time sealed this, and all other promises.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; Matt. 11:13
But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Acts 3:18
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, Rom. 15:8
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 1:20
6. Anoint a Most Holy One or Place
The Hebrew is simply translated messiah, without the article “the” or “a,” and leaves some wondering if it is an anointed place or an anointed one. It is clear from its fulfillment that it was the anointed ONE.
These things were all fulfilled at the that singular event we all call The Cross. Any other interpretation leaves one with what the theologian’s call an “insufficient cross”.
And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Luke 1:35
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:18-22
32 And John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:32-34
There is nothing here of a seven year tribulation, secret rapture, or political antichrist. All possible dates end right as the prophecy indicated they would. Nothing has been left out.
The 490 years adjusted to take out the errors of the Gregorian Calendar.
A more complete explanation coming in our Commentary.