Daniel’s 70th Week

We left off our study of Daniel’s 70th week last month at Daniel 12:1, as Gabriel told Daniel there would be “a time of trouble, such as never was...” Gabriel was referring to a time spoken of throughout the scriptures, which has been described as the great tribulation. Jesus confirmed this prophecy given to Daniel, when He said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” Matthew 24:21. As we approach this study of the last week of the 70 weeks prophecy that the archangel Gabriel gave to Daniel, it is important to keep in mind the context of the prophecy, so we will recap what Gabriel told Daniel. He told Daniel that 70 weeks of years would transpire to bring in everlasting righteousness and seal up the prophecy, meaning to bring about the end of days at the Lord’s return to set up His righteous Kingdom on earth (Daniel 9:24). He told Daniel that from the restoration of Jerusalem (decreed by Artaxerxes in 445 BC) to the arrival of Messiah the Prince (Jesus) would be 69 weeks of years (69 X 7 = 483 years), which prophecy transpired exactly to the day in 32 AD (Daniel 9:25). Gabriel told Daniel that after this, the Messiah would be “cut off,” but not for Himself; which came to pass as our Lord and Savior was crucified, not for Himself, but for the sins of the whole world (Daniel 9:26). There remains one more week of the 70 weeks of years, which will bring about the fullness of time, as we know it here on earth. This time of great tribulation is also referred to in Jeremiah’s prophecy, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” Jeremiah 30:7. I can’t help but stop here and focus on the fact that Jeremiah prophesied that this great time of trouble is referred to as “Jacob’s trouble.” If you don’t believe in a pretribulation rapture (taken from the Latin Vulgate rapio, “to catch up”), spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, this is something to consider. The reason why Jeremiah prophesied that this would be a time of “Jacob’s trouble” is because the “bride,” referred to as the saints in Luke 5:34-35 and Revelation 19:7-9, will not be here; but God’s “firstborn” (Exodus 4:22), who are Jacob’s children - Jews - will be here. It will not be a time of trouble for the church, or Jews who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but it will be a time of great tribulation for Jacob (Israel). The wrath of God that will be poured out upon the wicked during the tribulation will not be poured out upon a remnant of Jews (144,000), who will be saved during that time (Revelation 7:3-8). These Jews will be sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3), so they will not be hurt during the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy, which happens before Jesus returns with the saints. Why do you suppose all of the saints are not sealed with the seal of God and protected from the wrath of God during the great tribulation? The answer is given right after John saw the Jews sealed on their foreheads in his vision, “After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number of all nations, kindreds, people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb (Jesus), clothed in white robes and palms in their hands” Revelation 7:9. The saints of God are in heaven and they will return with Jesus after the great tribulation (Revelation 19:11-14). Gabriel continued with the revelation he gave to Daniel, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” Daniel 12:2-3. This is confirmation that at the end of the tribulation period, the martyred saints will also be resurrected. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the catching up of the saints (rapture), “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Gabriel then told Daniel, “But you, oh 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. Daniel was told to seal up the book of the prophecy, until the time of the end, when knowledge would increase. The prophecies given to John expound on those which had already been given to Daniel hundreds of years earlier. I’m out of space – to be continued next month, God willing. In the meantime, are you ready, should the trump of God sound at any moment?