DANIEL’S SEVENTY WEEKS AND THE THIRD TEMPLE. In my last post, I stated that there are two errors that are shaping much of the end time teaching in our churches. Let’s remember that Satan is the ‘father of lies’ and is a deceiver. Ever since the resurrection he has known that his days of control over the earth are coming to an end. The best he can do is to prolong them. This he does by veiling the eyes of God’s people to the truth. One of those errors is what is known as ‘Daniel’s seventieth week’ i.e. that there is a period of seven years that God has reserved for dealings with the Jews. Christians will be taken out of the Earth during or before that time. Thus instead of being God’s agents of restoration in the Earth, many Christians are looking to escape from it.
In the time of Daniel, God’s people were in exile in Babylon because of their repeated rebellion against Him. The angel Gabriel came to Daniel with a message that gave Israel another chance. They would return to their Land and rebuild their temple in preparation for Messiah the Prince. The prophecy would commence with a command to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the temple, known later as the second temple or Ezra’s temple.
In this prophecy God tells Daniel:-
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for 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.” Daniel 9:24
The ‘weeks’ in the prophecy are weeks of years, so a week is seven years. According to this wrong teaching, only 69 weeks have been fulfilled and there is another week or seven years to go. They teach that between the 69th and 70th week, God has inserted the Church Age. When the Church is ‘raptured’ out, then comes the 70th ‘week’ of God’s dealings with Israel during the great tribulation. They believe that all the promises contained in vs. 24 have not yet been fulfilled.
Coupled with this idea of a 70th ‘week’ yet to come is, what I believe is a MIS-interpretation of Daniel 9:27
”Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”
This interpretation goes like this: - ‘He’ in the sentence refers to the Antichrist. He makes a peace pact with Israel. After three and a half years, ‘in the middle of the week,’ he breaks the covenant and stops the sacrifices at the temple. From this they reason that a third Temple will have been built. This supposedly happens during the last ‘week’ or seven years of the prophecy given to Daniel, and will be a time of God’s special dealings with Israel – a time of great tribulation. Meanwhile Christians will be ‘raptured’ out to escape the tribulation and there is much speculation about whether this will be ‘pre-trib,’ ‘mid-trib,’ or ‘post-trib.’ This is the popular end time teaching in many evangelical and Pentecostal churches. It is a firmly held and rarely questioned belief, passed on from one generation to the next.
The truth is that the seventy weeks were seventy consecutive weeks as you would normally expect. If God was intending to insert a long period of at least 2,000 years between the 69th and 70th week, one would expect some indication of it in the Scriptures. There is none. The ‘He’ in vs. 27 refers to Christ not the Antichrist. The seventieth ‘week’ was the week which included Jesus’s ministry. After 3 and a half years of ministry, In the ‘middle of the week,’ Jesus brought an end to the need for animal sacrifices, by making the one perfect sacrifice for all time. By His ministry and sacrificial death on the Cross He confirmed or strengthened the Abrahamic covenant, “The covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ,” (Galatians 3:17) and in so doing, He fulfilled all the promises contained in vs 24. God has only one answer for this world’s condition, and that is the Cross of Christ. Anything that He is going to do was accomplished there. It is a finished work. We just haven’t understood the full extent of all that the Cross and resurrection has achieved. In these last days of the Church Age, God will bring revelation on the finished work of Christ which will cause the Church to rise up in Kingdom authority.
Jesus moved with a sense of purpose. He understood the plan of Redemption and worked within the will of the Father. He often said, “it is not time yet” or “My time is not yet come,” (e.g. John 7:6), because He was working to the plan. He said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(Matthew 15:24). When He sent the disciples out He told them to go only to Israel. (Matthew 10:5:6) That is because the work of redemption had to be first demonstrated in Israel, the pattern and priestly and prophetic nation. During that seventieth ‘week,’ Jesus taught the principles of the Kingdom; He was crucified and resurrected; the Holy Spirit was poured out and the infant Church established. Then and only then, the word came to take the gospel to the Gentiles. (Acts 10) and Paul, who was to be the apostle to the Gentiles, was called and commissioned. The seventy weeks had been completed. There is no ‘seventieth week’ to be yet fulfilled.
When we see that, we can see that this teaching which occupies so much of our thinking about the end time is wrong. We can stop looking for an Antichrist to make and then break a pact with the Jews and stop watching for the third temple; it is not part of God’s plan. The third temple as far as God is concerned is the Living Temple which Christ is building as in Ephesians 2:21:22. The Jews may or may not build another temple but it is not a marker for a seven year count down to the 2nd Coming, preceded by the ‘Rapture’ pre, or mid ‘trib.’ Jesus is not planning to snatch His people out of the world but to cause them to rise up in Victory over the forces of darkness which keep the world in bondage. 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 [the ‘rapture’ scripture] is about the manner of the 2nd Coming, when the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord and escort Him back to the throne.
On the night He was betrayed Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for His disciples-
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15
God told Daniel that some end time truth is sealed until the time of the end; (Daniel 12:9) but about 200 years ago, there were those who went ahead of the Spirit and put together an end time scenario which doesn’t leave a lot of room for the Holy Spirit to bring revelation on the real plan of God for the Church. Getting raptured out any moment may sound exciting but what God really has for the Church is even more exciting.
Very soon a ‘Joshua’ generation will arise in the Earth that will bring down the ‘gates of Hell.’ [Mat 16:17,18] This is what God has been working towards since the promise in the Garden that the Seed of the Woman will crush the Serpent’s head. (Genesis 3:15).Christ and the Church is that Seed. This Seed is also the Seed of Abraham which will possess the gate of his enemies and be a blessing to the whole earth. (Genesis 22:17, 18)(Galatians 3:16, 29) If you belong to Jesus then you are part of this Overcoming Seed. Jesus has done all the work and is now seated at the Father’s right hand ‘waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.’ Hebrews 10:13. That’s our job!
A generation of the Seed of Abraham and the Seed of the Woman will rise up to our full potential in Christ. This is ‘Elijah’ that Jesus said would come and ‘restore all things’ before His 2nd Coming. [Matthew 17:11]. In Acts 3:21 it says that the heavens must retain Jesus “until the times of the ‘restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” This will happen any time from now to 2027. How I know that is for another time
The days ahead are days of the restoration of all things which God has been working towards for millennia. These are exciting times. “Christ in you is the hope of glory.”