This is the eighteenth in a series of expositions of the book of Daniel. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of January 20, 2013. This message deals with Daniel’s end times prophecy of 70 weeks. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.
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Daniel 9:20-27 / 70 Weeks
While Daniel was praying, Gabriel came swiftly.
Gabriel explained that God’s timetable for the redemption of Israel would consist of seventy weeks, representing 70 periods of 7 years, a total of 490 years.
During this time, God would accomplish 6 specific purposes. (V.24)
All six revolve around the atonement, reconciliation, salvation, and sanctification of Israel.
The fulfillment of all of God’s promises through prophecy.
And the coronation and enthronement of Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It is important to remember that this prophecy is specifically for Israel.
There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week – Gabriel didn’t tell Daniel what would occur in the gap between those weeks.
This is because that period of time (the present) has to do with the church, not Israel.
The church age was a mystery that God had hidden in the Old Testament times., and didn’t reveal until the time of the apostles.
Ephesians 3:1-13 (vv.4-5)
We, as the church, must have a genuine concern for the Jewish people.
We should pray for them and seek to share the Gospel with them.
Gentile believers have a debt to the people of Israel because they gave us the knowledge of the true God, the scriptures, and the Savior.
Each week represents a period of 7 years. (7×70=490 years)
These 70 “weeks” are divided into 3 periods.
This 360 day year is called a prophetic year. We see a clear picture of this in Revelation, where 3-½ years is said to be 1260 days. This is consistent with other areas of Scripture too.
Daniel’s 490 prophetic years would only be 483 calendar years.
1. Period 1 = 49 years (7 “weeks”)
The Jews will rebuild the city of Jerusalem during troubled times.
This would begin with the decree of Artaxerxes in 444 B.C.(some scholars say 445), authorizing Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls.
The Decree was given in the 20th year of Artaxerxes’ reign
Artaxerxes reigned from 464 to 424 B.C.
This does not refer to Ezra, in 457 B.C., as the emphasis of the prophecy is on the city, not the temple.
This verse concludes the 69th week, when Christ is crucified and the temple is destroyed on 70 A.D.
2. Period 2 = 434 years (62 “weeks”)
Add period 1 and 2 together, and you get 483 prophetic years (476 calendar years) This is the amount of time until the Messiah is cut off (crucified)
Starting with 444 B.C., we come to the year 32 A.D. Jesus was crucified in 32 A.D. (Some scholars say 31 A.D.)
That comes to 476 years.
The rest of the prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the Temple.
The word “flood” can also be translated “overflowing”, probably referring to the dispersion of the Jews into all nations in 135 A.D.
3. Period 3 = 7 years (1 “week”)(V.26-27)
The “prince to come” in verse 26 is the future Antichrist. His people are the heathen nations.
There is a gap of unknown time between the 69th and 70th weeks.
The beginning of the last week will be marked by the signing of a covenant between Antichrist and Israel.
After 3-1/2 years, the Antichrist will break the covenant and a time of great suffering will begin.
This will climax with the return of Christ.
With this verse, we are already into the 70th week, which begins when the antichrist confirms his covenant with Israel.
In the middle of the week (3-½ years) he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
This suggests that the levitical system, including sacrifices will have been restored.
In fact, it is my understanding, that the levitical blood line has been kept till this day.
This ending of the sacrifices is part of the abomination of desolations that Christ mentions.
This is when the antichrist will stand in the temple, and declare himself to be the messiah.
2 Thessalonians 2:4
This event will trigger the flight of Israel into the mountains.
Note that there is an undetermined gap of time between the 69th and 70th week.
This gap, is the time in which we are currently living.
The clock for the 70th week begins ticking at the rapture.
When will that be? Whenever the fulness of the gentiles has come in.
This is when the last person who will be saved is saved.
When everyone has had an opportunity to hear the Gospel. (This is easier than ever today, my ministry is proof.)
We don’t know when that will be, but what if that last person gets saved today.
What if some little girl, in some little church this morning walks the aisle and accepts Christ?
What if God says “my church is now complete?” Are you ready?