The Rapture part 5

 

Today we begin part 5 of our series on the Rapture. In our first 4 lessons I established a very strong foundation from scripture showing that the rapture view cannot be found within the Bible. I proved that the kingdom and the church are the same thing and that Jesus did not fail to setup the kingdom as was prophesied by the OT prophets. I showed that Jesus will come again someday but we donít know what it will be and there are no signs. I showed that on that day the world will end and both righteous and unrighteous will be resurrected and judged.

††††††††††† These first 4 lessons are all a person really needs to show that the premillennialist view is false and is not supported within the Bible. So, no matter how many prophecies they misinterpret or how many times the go to the book of Revelation for proof of their doctrine we can know their interpretation is not correct because it would contradict the very plain passages that have already looked at in previous lessons.

††††††††††† However, to be fair and to give their view a more through treatment I want to press on and examine more of their most commonly prophecies that they have misapplied so that we can have better understanding of how to show these people what the Bible really says about these prophecies. Last week we took a detailed look at Matthew 24 and I showed that verse 1 Ė 34 were talking about the destruction of Jerusalem of 70 A.D. In those verses Jesus gavehis disciples the real signs they could look for to know that the destruction of Jerusalem was about to happen and that it was time for them to run for their lives.

 

Matthew 24:15 " Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

 

We also observed that Lukeís account made it very easy for us to see that the abomination of Desolation was the Roman army that would surround Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Now Last week I simple did not have the time to look at Danielís prophecy but as promised that is exactly what we are going to do today. This is important because this goes hand and hand with what Mat. 24 says about the destruction of Jerusalem and it will give me the chance to explain to you what the premillennialist teach on this prophecy.

Let us begin by looking at,

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, (ah-has-u-air-us) of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans --2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

 

To help us understand what is going on here lets reflect on the history leading up to this moment. Earlier in history while the children of Israel was still a nation all though divided they warned over and over again to repent or they would be taken into captivity. In fact Jeremiah spends nearly his whole life preaching this message to the children of Israel that they would be in captivity for 70 years before they will have their freedom once again. We can see this in,

 

Jeremiah 25:12 ' Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a perpetual desolation. Also see 29:10.

 

At that moment Daniel was still in captivity but he knew that the 70 years was almost up so he turns to God in prayer. To keep things in context I want to read all his prayer and as I do please not humility and the sincerity of his prayer,

 

Daniel 9:3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,5 "we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.6 "Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.7 "O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day -- to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.8 "O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.9 "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.10 "We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.11 "Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.12 "And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.13 "As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth.14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.15 "And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day -- we have sinned, we have done wickedly! 16 " O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.17 "Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord's sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.18 "O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.19 "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name."

 

As we read Daniel was pouring his heart to the Lord and asking for forgiveness for the Jewish Nation and that they could once again go back home and be a nation united under God once again. Daniels received a reply to his prayer from the angle Gabriel.

 

Daniel 9:20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God,21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

 

Daniel was a very righteous man and he took a stand for Godís way even from a very young age and because his faithfulness the angel says that he greatly beloved and that he is going to be given the wisdom to understand the vision he is about to be given in response to his prayer. This vision contains the prophecy of the abomination of desolation that Jesus spoke of in Mat. 24. First lets read this vision and then break it down so that we can determine what its talking about.

 

Daniel 9:24 " 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.25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.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. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

 

This prophecy is many times called Danielís 70 weeks. The first thing I want to point out is that the 70 week period is broken up into 3 segments. 7 weeks period, 62 week period and then a 1 week period. This works out to be 490 days and every scholar I ever looked including Hal Lindsey and those like him agree that each of these days represent 1 year so this 70 weeks 490 years. We can also see that at the end of the 62 week period the Messiah or Jesus would be present and the last week refers to Jesus ministry on the earth except in the middle of that week he was cut off or as we know crucified. Now we will are going to look at this in more detail in just a second but I want point out the premillennialist are with me on what said so far except for the week. They agree that at the end of the 62 weeks begin Jesus ministry but since the Jews rejected Jesus they would say that last week had been put on hold and they give this week an entirely different meaning because they say that this last week has to do with the 7 years of tribulation after the rapture.

 

At the beginning of this 7 years the Roman anti-Christ is suppose to make a pact to protect the Jews and during this first 3 and Ĺ years the Jewish temple is suppose to rebuilt and animal sacrifices reinstituted. At 3 and Ĺ years the Roman antichrist is suppose to break his pact with the Jews at this point Hal Lindsey says this,

 

ďThe antichrist enters the newly-rebuilt Jewish Temple, places a statue of himself there in the Holy of Holies, and proclaims himself to be God. From that point on he demands that all people worship him and his statue. This is the ultimate sacrilege which could happen to the nation of Israel, and is was predicted by the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:27; 12:11) and Jesus Himself (Matthew 24:15). In Jewish Terminology this is what is called ďthe abomination of desolationĒ (New World page 178) ††

 

So as we can see the main difference between their view and what I am teaching you today has to do with that last week. Now please remember that for their view to have any validity we should be able to see something within those scriptures that indicate some long delay between the end of the 62 weeks and the final week. Friends I donít how many times you read those verses or what translation you read there is not one hint of any type of delay between those weeks and so from that alone tells you that the rapture view simply cannot be true with in these verses no matter how creative they get. Now before we get to last week lets take a closer look at this vision. First lets look at,

 

Daniel 9:24 " 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.

 

These things Daniel are talking about are to happen by the end this 70 weeks which we have already said represents 490 years. When we read these things you can easily apply them to Jesus because this exactly what he came to do for mankind as he died on the cross for our sins, finishing the transgression by putting an end to the power of sin and reconciling us to God by means of his death. The NT bears this out over and over again,

 

Hebrews 9:26He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

 

 

Now this does not mean that sin is gone but what it means is the Jesus has put a new system into place for the Christian where sin no longer has power over them because they can be forgiven of it under the new system Jesus established for us.

 

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

 

Jesus has reconciled us to God through his sacrifice of himself on the cross. It also worthy to note that Isaiah 53 also prophesied that Jesus would sacrifice himself for transgression in verses 5, 8, and 12 for sin in verse 10 and 12 and for iniquity in verses 5, 6 and 11. Please understand that this was to happen while Jesus came the first time and this is the exact same thing Daniel is talking about happening at the end of this 70 weeks. That being this case this cannot be pointing to something happening at Jesus 2nd coming as the premillennialist teach.

 

Daniel also says at that time everlasting righteousness will be brought in. This no doubt is referring to the proclamation of the good new of Jesus Christ. In Rom. 3:21-26 Paul makes it clear that heavens plan for making mankind righteous was being made know at that time and that it was through word of God just as Paul states in,

 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

 

Next Daniel says visions and prophecy will be sealed up. Now think about this, one of the major themes of OT visions and prophecies had to do with Jesus. There are over 300 prophecies about Jesus in the OT and Jesus fulfilled them all. There are many passages that bare this out. In John 17:4 Jesus said he had finished his work on the earth and in John 19:28 while Jesus was on the cross it says he knew all things were accomplished and in Luke 24:44 after Jesus resurrection he reminded his disciples that all the things written about him had to fulfilled. This is why Paul says this,

 

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

So, we can see that visions and prophecies of Jesus from the OT came to end because he fulfilled them all. In doing this Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses nailing it to the cross Col. 2:14. As result of this we received the new covenant and once Godís message was fully revealed all prophecy and visions came to end because there was no need for them any more because there is nothing new to be revealed from God. This means that no one today is receiving new revelations from God.

 

Finally Daniel also states that the most holy would be anointed. What does this term most holy mean. Well, grammatically it could mean a person or a thing and those who teach the rapture theory choose to interpret this as a thing specifically they believe this is pointing to the new temple that will be built during the 7 years of tribulation as per their view.

 

However, I believe there is ample evidence to show that this most holy is talking about Jesus and not building. Specifically I believe its talking about when Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit after John baptized Him. Please note the following reasons of why I believe that the most holy is referring to Jesus.

 

1. In context as we have already seen these things Daniel mention fit perfectly with the work of Jesus on this earth. Also verse 25 shows that the Messiah is what is under consideration in these verses because this is what the 69 weeks of the prophecy leads up to.

 

2. We can also see that anointing was practiced in the OT as rite of inauguration for the office of a prophet (1 Kings 19:16) a priest (Exodus 28:41) and a king (2 Samuel 2:4).

. Its very interesting that Jesus hold all 3 of these offices this can be seen in Acts 3:20-23; Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 21:5.

 

3. In Luke 4 Jesus ascribes Isaiah 61:1 to himself, which states that he was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor and we all know that when Jesus receive the Holy Spirit after his baptism in Luke 3:21ff is when began his ministry. We can see that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit in,

 

Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

 

4. In fact the word Christ means anointed one.

 

So I have no doubt in my mind that the most holy that was to be anointed in Daniels prophecy is talking about Jesus and certainly not some future temple that suppose to be built during the first half of an invented 7 years of tribulation at the end of time.

 

Daniel 9:25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.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. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

 

AgainI want to point out that this prophecy is defiantly talking about Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem that would follow. We have time line with in these verses that are broken up in to 3 segments. There is a beginning, duration and concluding event. As I pointed out earlier these 70 weeks break down to 490 days which represent 490 years and everyone scholar that I have read including the premillennialist agree with this interpretation. This timeline of 70 weeksbegins with the command to rebuild Jerusalem. While there are some different opinions of when this 70 weeks began the most common view is that it began in Ezra day when he led some of the Jews from Babylon back to Jerusalem in 457 B.C. The reason why this is good fit is because it works perfectly mathematically. Please keep in mind that during the last part of this 70 week period the Messiah will cut off referring to his death so that gives 486 Ĺ years because there would still the 3 Ĺ left of the 70 weeks. Now when you add 486 Ĺ to 457 B.C. it brings right to 30 A.D. which is the year that Jesus was crucified. We can also see that Ezra and his people began to rebuild Jerusalem and they believed this happened because of God.

 

Ezra 9:9 "For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

 

Even though they didnít finish rebuilding it until Nehemiah came along 13 years later we can still see that Ezra is the most logical choice for this timeline. The Prophecy also says that this rebuilding would be done in troublesome times and that exactly what happened as you read in Ezra 4. For example look at verse,

 

Ezra 4:4 Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building,

 

So now we can see that the first 7 weeks represent 49 years of rebuilding Jerusalem. The 62 weeks represent 434 years which is durations of time that leads up to Jesus the Messiah. Based on the Ezra date of 457 B.C. this gives a date of 26 A.D. which corresponds with the beginning of Jesus ministry. Then finally in verse 27 we find that the messiah would make covenant with many and bring an end to sacrifice and offering in the middle of that last week when he would be cut of killed. This fits perfectly with Jesus ministry on the earth and we can certainly see that this is talking about Jesus. Note the following points.

 

1. This prophecy says that the Messiah will be cut off. This also confirmed Isaiah 53:8. I donít know of anyone who denies that this whole chapter is talking about Jesus and so we can see that Jesus was to be cut off or killed just as Danielís prophecy declares.

 

2. Verse 27 says this Messiah will make a covenant with many. This exactly what Jesus came to do as he nailed the old covenant to the cross at his death according to Col. 2:14 and brought forth a new covenant as foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and this is clearly confirmed over and over again in the book of Hebrews of how Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant Heb 9:15 because the old covenant had become obsolete Heb. 8:13.

 

3. This Messiah would bring and end to sacrifice and offerings and this is exactly what Jesus did. I want you right this down Heb 9:11 Ė 10:18. I want you to read these verses very slowly to yourself tonight and you will see very clearly that the describe the blood of animal sacrifices are not sufficient but the Jesus sacrifice on the cross was sufficient and it only had to be done one time and so his perfect sacrifice did away withall other sacrifices and offerings.

 

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

 

So without any doubt whatsoever we can see that Danielís prophecy in that last week is talking about Jesus work upon this earth and has absolutely nothing to do with 7 years of tribulation some time in the future. Please remember that the premillennialist says the temple will be rebuilt and animal sacrifices will begin again. Does that make any sense to you? If Jesus brought an end to animal sacrifices because they were not sufficient in the first place why in the world would they be brought back? These are honest questions that needs to be answered and considered by those who teach the rapture theory.

 

One more observation I want to make about this last week is that the focus in on the middle of the week and as far as I can tell the Bible speaks nothing of those 3 Ĺ years remaining. Some have speculated on this remaining 3 Ĺ years but I see no reason to because again the focus is on the middle of that week and not the end of it and since the Bible doesnít talk about it I see no reason to try and assign anything to the remainder of that week. Now let turn our attention to the part of the prophecy that talks about the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.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. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

 

Note very carefully that the prince here is to come after the Messiah is cut off and when he comes he will destroy the city and the sanctuary and this is referred to as a war. This abomination of desolation is what Jesus spoke about in Mat. 24 that his disciples would be able to see coming and know when to escape Jerusalem. If you will remember Lukeís told us that this abomination of desolation prophesied here in the book of Daniel was an army surrounding Jerusalem. So, without a doubt this is talking about the Roman army lead by Titus when they destroyed the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

 

Well as we come to conclusion of our lesson I hope you have been able to learn how Daniels 70 week prophecy harmonies perfectly with history and with Jesus work upon this earth, his death and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. I also hope you have learned that there is just no room whatsoever for the rapture theory in this prophecy.