Home > Radical Islam, Theology and Eschatology, Wars and Rumors of War > Daniel 9:27 Redux: Will Antichrist Make A False 7-Year Peace Treaty With Israel?

Daniel 9:27 Redux: Will Antichrist Make A False 7-Year Peace Treaty With Israel?


By ICA

Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Also see the complementary article titled “Daniel 9:27 And The Confirmation Of The Covenant – A Peace Treaty?” for an in-depth examination of Daniel’s 70th week …

BookOfDanielOne of the most commonly held positions by many premillennial Christians today asserts that the time leading up to the Second Coming of Christ will be immediately preceded by a seven-year “peace treaty” signed between Antichrist and Israel. While I had at one time held to this position myself, subsequent studies have lead me to conclude that there is no solid Biblical basis for this view, only interpretative assumptions. Years of personal study as it relates to Biblical eschatology has also made it apparent to me that, even though we’d all love to believe we have every aspect of the prophetic texts completely figured out, we still continue to see as through a glass darkly. With as many opinions regarding secondary doctrines as there are Christian denominations, one obvious reality is that there is not a single pastor or teacher or author who has a complete and perfect understanding of Scripture or that is free from error, myself included, indicating that one interpretative method or hermeneutical approach alone cannot provide all the answers that we so often seek as students of Scripture.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can vigorously debate secondary doctrines (these must never be allowed to divide us) yet remain united on the essentials of our faith. Recently, I had the pleasure of engaging in a spirited debate regarding the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 with Joel Richardson, author of “Mideast Beast” (which I highly recommend) and a brother in Christ whom I esteem highly. Following our debate, Joel felt it was necessary to defend the view which posits an upcoming seven-year peace treaty between Israel and Antichrist by writing a subsequent article titled “The Antichrist’s False Peace Treaty” and offering a number of reasons why he believed it to be a sound, tenable position. What I present to you, however, are reasons why I believe it is not.

In his article, Joel begins sharing reasons why he believes in a seven-year peace treaty by writing that:

The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah:

Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, for we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’ … Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you become its trampling place. (Isaiah 28:14-16, 18)

One question we should ask ourselves when reading this portion of Isaiah is whether or not a seven-year peace treaty is mentioned in the text. From the passage itself, it is evident that no such peace treaty is mentioned. In order for one to see a seven-year peace treaty in this chapter, one must first assume a seven-year peace treaty to begin with and then superimpose it into Isaiah’s words. Given the context of Isaiah 28 itself, however, what can be ascertained is the fact that Isaiah is referring to the sin of Ephraim’s false “priests and prophets” who have rejected God and have stumbled in their drunkenness and pride. (Ephraim is completely left out of the list of the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7 because of their disbelief and idolatry, cf. Deut 29:18-21; Hosea 5:9, 11). Isaiah later describes Ephraim’s religious leaders in Jerusalem as making a “covenant with death” — a rejection of God that is in stark contrast to the “covenant of peace and life” made between God and the priests of Levi in Malachi 2:5 who revered and feared the Lord. The rebellion of Ephraim in Isaiah 28 would see them become like a fading flower, for in rejecting God’s covenant these so-called “priests and the prophets” deceived themselves through false visions and stumbling judgments into believing that the wages of their sin would not scourge them. The wages of sin, of course, have always been — and will always be — death.

Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and for Ephraim’s religious leaders to reject the Father of Heaven was to embrace the Father of Lies (cf. John 8:44). Fortunately, God sent us His Truth. He sent Messiah — the Cornerstone that the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22) and the Rock of our Salvation (1 Corinthians 10:4) — who would swallow up death and be victorious over it, promising all those who believe in the covenant that He Himself confirmed with His blood (Matthew 26:28) to never taste the death of which He speaks (John 3:16; John 8:52). In my opinion, this appears to be the ultimate focus of Isaiah 28, not a false seven-year peace treaty with Antichrist.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Death, where is your sting? She’ol, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (HNV).

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord” (HNV).

Elsewhere, Isaiah reveals that after being scourged and trampled, Israel will repent of their misplaced trust. No longer will they trust or rely on the Antichrist (which this passage in Isaiah refers to as “the Assyrian”) for their security. Instead “in that day” they will rely solely on the Lord:

Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 10:20)

Any imagined scenario of the future that is informed by Scripture must include the reality that Israel will come to “rely on the one who struck them.”

As before, there is no mention of a seven-year peace treaty in the text, only an assumed treaty that is once again superimposed into it. The emphasis in the above quote to “never again rely on the one who struck them” itself assumes that to “rely” on “the Assyrian” must somehow mean that a seven-year peace treaty had already been signed between Israel and Antichrist and subsequently broken. But the text says no such thing and need not be the case at all. In fact, for the sake of argument, it could very easily mean to rely or depend upon “the Assyrian” in the sense that they were hoping to make peace with him, not that they had already experienced a broken seven-year peace deal before. The Islamic nations and terror organizations surrounding Israel have repeatedly struck against the Jewish state time and again, and continue with plans to do so again this very minute, even after the Camp David and Oslo accords. Yet because of regional realities, Israel is today still being forced to rely on the surrounding “Religion of Peace” nations to actually agree to peace year after year. Israel has no other choice right now but to depend on genocidal enemies who wish nothing more than the complete and total destruction of the Jewish state. As these nations continue to grow increasingly hostile toward Israel, it is also becoming increasingly clear that they will never agree to peace with Israel. True peace will only be achieved when Christ returns as Deliverer:

Micah 5:2,5, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity… This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels …”

Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob‘”

Next, the article likens the punishing “flood” that Ephraim is promised to suffer in Isaiah 28 to the “flood” of Revelation 12:15 and Daniel 9:26, even though he agrees that words must be scrutinized more closely in their immediate contexts. While the “flood” of Daniel 9:26 could be equated with the “flood” of Revelation 12:15 contextually they cannot be equated with the flood of Isaiah 28, notwithstanding the fact that Ephraim is completely left out of the list of the tribes of Israel in Revelation 7.

So also does Paul refer to the misplaced trust Israel will place in the covenant with the Antichrist just before the time of Jacob’s Trouble (labor pains):

While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

If Scripture does not teach that Israel will engage in a deceptive covenant or peace treaty, then where did Paul get this idea that just before the birth pains (Jacob’s Trouble – the last 3.5 years) Israel would be saying, “Peace and Safety” (or alternately “peace and security)?

The quote above presumes that it is Israel who is saying “peace and safety.” In my humble opinion, this is a common misconception. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 is quoted, but it is the previous verse that identifies when the destruction happens, and thus upon whom the destruction comes. While “Allah” and his false “prophet” are themselves responsible for the never-ending death and destruction running rampant all throughout the Muslim world, the Muslim world blames Israel as the primary source of all the ills that plague them, a claim often echoed by Islamic clerics and Muslim leaders worldwide. They have deceived themselves into believing that in order for there to be peace and safety anywhere upon the earth Israel must first be destroyed. And “peace and safety” (or alternately “peace and security”) is precisely what Israel’s enemies expect to finally achieve as they are gathering together under “Allah’s” divine mandate to come up against Jerusalem, anticipating that Israel will finally be a nation no more in fulfillment of their own false Islamic “prophecies.” But it is not “Allah” that will be gathering them. It is Yahweh. And it is not Israel that will be destroyed. It will be them:

1 Thessalonians 5:2-6, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when THEY shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.”

Verse 2 puts the destruction as occurring on the day of the Lord, which occurs at the Second Coming of Christ according to Scripture. A future seven-year tribulation, however, would require that we stretch the day of the Lord to include the entire seven years, despite the fact that there are passages that absolutely forbid the day of the Lord from overlapping into the tribulation. The two are mutually exclusive. Here are five examples (courtesy of Tim Warner):

1. Throughout the Old Testament, very specific “celestial signs” are associated with the coming of the Day of the Lord. The darkening of the sun and moon will usher in that day (Isa 13:9,10, Isa 24:19-23, Joel 3:13-15). Here is one example.

Joel 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

These verses establish a clear sequence of events. They place the cosmic signs, the darkening of the sun and moon, between the end of the tribulation and the beginning of the day of the Lord. This absolutely forbids any overlapping of the tribulation into the day of the Lord. They are distinct events. No other interpretation is possible.

2. The very first time the day of the Lord is mentioned in the Bible, the text clearly forbids associating it with the tribulation. Isaiah describes the “day of the Lord” as follows:

Isaiah 2:10-19, “Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up — And it shall be brought low — Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, And upon all the oaks of Bashan; Upon all the high mountains, And upon all the hills that are lifted up; Upon every high tower, And upon every fortified wall; Upon all the ships of Tarshish, And upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day, But the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.”

Twice these verses indicate that the Lord alone will be exalted in the Day of the Lord. This is an exclusive statement. No one else can be exalted or worshipped during the day of the Lord. Yet, during the tribulation, Antichrist is worshipped as God (Rev 13:3-8,14, 2 Thess 2:4) and the image of the Beast will be worshipped as well. Isaiah’s statements about the Lord alone being exalted, and the idols being abolished during the day of the Lord forbids any overlapping with the tribulation and reign of Antichrist.

3. Zechariah 14:7 indicates that the day of the Lord may just be one literal day. The Hebrew text says “one day”:

Zechariah 14:1,7, “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee… But it shall be one day (echad yowm) which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light.”

Also see Isaiah 10:17:

Isaiah 10:17, “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day (echad yowm)”

4. In Isaiah 13:9, Joel 2:1 and Zech 14:1 we read in each of these verses that “the day of the Lord cometh”, and in each verse the text immediately begins to describe the battle of Armageddon. The word “cometh” or “at hand” is the Hebrew word “bow” and it means “to come” or “arrive”, and it implies the beginning of the day of the Lord. In each case the arrival of the day of the Lord brings about the battle of Armageddon.

5. Joel 3:9-17 describes the gathering of the armies of the nations around Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, the cosmic signs, and the coming of the Lord. After the armies are gathered, but before the cosmic signs, Joel wrote that the day of the Lord is “near.” The Hebrew word means “at hand,” “imminent,” or “next in sequence”. The day of the Lord must begin after the surrounding nations are gathered for the battle, which occurs at the end of the tribulation, according to Revelation 16:13-16.

Those who believe in a future seven-years of tribulation assume that Israel is the one saying “peace and safely” years earlier than the day of the Lord, essentially stretching the day of the Lord into a seven-year tribulation which scripture absolutely forbids, as we can see above. But it will be the enemies of Israel who will be the ones declaring “peace and safety” immediately prior to the day of the Lord, the day in which sudden destruction comes upon them. It is impossible for Israel to be declaring “peace and safety” while she is being attacked and surrounded on all sides. Consider some of the following recent quotes, for instance, which are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:

Turkey’s Erdoğan Blames Israel for Mideast Insecurity, Calls Israel A Threat To Middle East Peace – “Turkey’s prime minister stepped up criticism of Israel on Wednesday and scoffed at remarks by Israel’s prime minister, a sign of escalating distrust between the Jewish state and its only ally in the Muslim world… Erdogan told reporters in Paris that he perceived Israel as the principal threat to Middle East peace…” Read more.

Pakistani Cleric: World Peace Will Be Established Only When All The Jews Are Wiped From The Earth – “Pakistani cleric Pirzada Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai argued that world peace will be established only when all the Jews are wiped out from the earth. In the video entitled ‘Yahodi Islam Kay Aur Aman Kay Asal Dushman Hain’ (Jews Are the Real Enemy of Islam and Peace), Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai states: ‘And all the troubles that exist around the world are because of the Jews. When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified and the sun of peace would begin to rise on the entire world.’” Read more.

Ground Zero Mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: For Peace Israel Must Be Destroyed – “Imam Rauf stated that there will not be peace until Israel ceases to exist. He says that Israel is destined to collapse and ‘In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.’ To this day, Rauf has not said that Israel has a right to exist and has chosen to work with those dedicated to the country’s elimination.” Read more.

Former President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat: Peace For Us Means Israel’s Destruction – “We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.” Read more.

“For World Peace, Israel Must Be Destroyed” – “‘It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds [Jerusalem] to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!’” Read more.

Iran: World Forces Must Strive To Annihilate Israel To ‘Solve All The World’s Problems’ – “In a speech published on his website Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the ultimate goal of world forces must be the annihilation of Israel… Ahmadinejad added that ‘liberating Palestine’ would solve all the world’s problems … ‘Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems … Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.’” Read more.

Hamas MP: ‘The Jews Are Behind Each And Every Catastrophe On The Face Of The Earth’ – “The Jews are behind each and every catastrophe on the face of the Earth. This is not open to debate. This is not a temporal thing, but goes back to days of yore. They concocted so many conspiracies and betrayed rulers and nations so many times that the people harbor hatred towards them. Throughout history — from Nebuchadnezzar until modern times… They slayed the prophets, and so on. Any catastrophe on the face of this Earth — the Jews must be behind it.” Read more.

Elsewhere, Daniel also speaks of the Antichrist’s use of deceptive peace promises to attain power:

“And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease (or feel secure). (Daniel 8:25)

In my opinion, “feeling secure” in no way necessitates that a seven-year peace deal be signed. A friend of mine visited Israel not too long ago and enjoyed it greatly. Israel has prospered and grown immensely since its rebirth and restoration in 1948. Sure, there are certain areas that are under constant watch due to terror threats from Islamic militants (just as there are in the United States and other countries), but overall Israel is a safe place to visit and the defensive wall separating Israel from the Palestinians has reduced suicide bombings by 90%+, so much so that Israel has been able to reduce the amount of soldiers required on security deployments. They feel secure. In fact, I’d be much more at ease visiting virtually any city in Israel than I would visiting many American cities.

“According to a study conducted by the University of Haifa’s Center for the Study of Crime, Law & Society, Israel’s murder rate is one of the world’s lowest, which shows the murder rate in Israel is declining. The murder rate per 100,000 residents has remained virtually unchanged over the past 28 years, and has declined during the past few years. The study says that the crime rates have to be examined in relation to the population size. From this perspective, the research shows that the number of murders per 100,000 people was 2.35 in 1980 and 2.29 in 2006. This data is low compared to other countries. For instance, in Russia, the number of murders per 100,000 people was 18 in 2004, and in the United States, the number of murders per 100,000 people was 7.5 during the same year.” (The Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2008)

Israel is the most secure nation in the Middle East. But, if conditions and events on the ground are any indication, a threat is looming on the horizon. Not a peace treaty.

In conclusion, the idea that the Antichrist will confirm or forcefully make a covenant with Israel does not depend on Daniel 9:27, but is in fact well established in other portions of Scripture.

I respectfully beg to differ with my friend on this topic for a number of reasons:

1. The word “covenant” in Daniel 9 is used in a Messianic context. This suggests that the “covenant” is between God and man, not between nations. Additionally, the word “gabar” in Daniel 9:27 suggests that a covenant already in place is what is strengthened (which would be the Abrahamic covenant), not that a new one is created. How can a covenant be strengthened if it doesn’t already exist?

2. What good is a watchman if they know precisely when destruction is coming yet, instead of telling people to leave in advance, only tells them to flee once it is nearly too late? In Matthew 24:15-20, Jesus tells his readers to flee immediately when they see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. Why doesn’t Jesus tell His readers to look for the “seven-year peace treaty” to make sure they were out of harm’s way before the Abomination was set up in the middle of it? Since a seven-year peace treaty would be as observable as any Abomination that causes desolation, would it not have made perfect sense for Jesus to give His readers ample time by instructing them to flee certain trouble up ahead rather than waiting until the last possible moment? If a seven-year peace treaty were in fact true then it certainly begs such questions. But telling them to wait until they see the Abomination that is so horrendous they can’t even return to their homes to retrieve a single item because their very lives now hung in the balance makes absolutely no sense if they could have left much earlier. This seems to point to one inescapable conclusion: Jesus did not mention the “seven-year peace treaty” because no seven-year peace treaty will ever exist.

3. It makes little sense that an Islamic Antichrist, already able to “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26), would then develop a sudden change of heart and decide to forcefully impose a seven-year peace treaty with Israel — the very nation that Islam seeks to destroy today — particularly when “the end thereof shall be with a flood” after seeing the city and sanctuary destroyed. If “the end thereof shall be with a flood” of wars and desolations, how can there be “peace” for a full 50% of the time remaining until the Second Coming of Christ?

4. The Hebrew text of Daniel 9:27 says that He confirms the covenant “one” week, not in the sense that the covenant itself only lasts for the duration of “one week”, but rather that the confirmation of the covenant is what happens in the one week. The Hebrew text says “gabar bĕriyth rab echad shabuwa” which means “strengthen covenant many one week”. We cannot say dogmatically that the covenant is confirmed “for” one week (7-years) since “for” isn’t in the original Hebrew text, even though the full futurist view absolutely requires it. Some translations like the Lexham English Bible and the Darby Translation put the word “for” in brackets to let the reader know it isn’t in the original. I understand the need to insert something in there to improve the syntactical or linguistic flow/readability of our receptor language, but we need to be aware that it could just as easily be “in one week” or “for the one week” every bit as much as “for one week.” The LXX renders Daniel 9:27 to say “And one week shall establish the covenant with many”. Douay-Rheims says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week”. Young’s Literal Translation says “he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week.”

In conclusion, it is my firm conviction that Isaiah never speaks of a seven-year peace treaty between Israel and the Islamic world. The expectation of “peace and safety” not being declared until the end of tribulation by Israel’s enemies suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that “covenant” in Daniel 9:27 is being used in a Messianic context suggests no peace will exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that Christ pointed to the Abomination of Desolation that takes place in the middle of a supposed seven-year peace treaty and not the peace treaty itself suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that Antichrist will destroy the city and the sanctuary and that wars and desolations would then come like a flood per Danial 9:26 suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. Finally, given the fact that we have the 7 weeks plus the 62 weeks plus the 1 week certainly suggests that the covenant is strengthened “during” or “in” or “for the” one week, not “for one week” in the sense that it only lasts for 7 years. The full futurist doctrine that posits a seven-year peace treaty is built around a word (“for”) that isn’t even in the original Hebrew text. Obviously, this is not the best pillar upon which to build an entire doctrine.  But a word that is in the original Hebrew — “gabar” — suggests a covenant that already exists is what is strengthened (the Abrahamic covenant), not that a new covenant is created. Something cannot be strengthened if it does not already exist. When all is said and done, the partial-futurist position that I hold (that we are only waiting upon 3.5 years of great tribulation and not 7-years of tribulation) does not depend upon the understanding that the covenant must be confirmed “during” the one week. The position of hyper-futurists, however, absolutely requires that it be “for” one week, otherwise it crumbles. But don’t take my word for it. Do what all good Bereans must do: Test everything in light of Scripture, and hold fast that which is good …

2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness …”

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant [‘the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ’ (Gal 3:17)] with many [‘this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’ (Matt 26:28)] for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering [‘For the law … can never with these same sacrifices … make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?’ (Heb 10:1-2)][<– Christ | Antichrist –>] 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. [‘when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel … then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again (Matt 25:15,21)].”

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Update: December 11, 2013

Joel Richardson has updated his article in response to my critique. I’ll take a moment to comment briefly:

To be fair, my article never says or even infers that Isaiah mentioned “a seven-year peace treaty.” In the world of debate, this is called a straw man argument. It involves misrepresenting your opponent or their argument in a way that is very easy to tear down (like a straw man), and then proceeding to do so.

Brother Richardson’s article did not say that Isaiah 28 wrote about “a seven-year peace treaty” specifically, I agree. However, I disagree strongly that his position is misrepresented by a straw man argument. The reason why is very simple. My friend’s article began by specifically stating that: “Most premillennialists hold that the beginning of the final seven years before the return of Jesus will be marked by some form of deceptively made ‘peace treaty’ or covenant between the Antichrist and the leadership of Israel. Opponents of this view argue that this belief is only found in Daniel 9:27 and no where else. This claim, as we will see, is simply false.” Thus the article itself infers that what it believes to be a seven-year peace treaty in Daniel 9:27 is found elsewhere in Scripture. In the very next paragraph, we read that: “The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah.” Even though Isaiah does not say “a seven-year peace treaty” in those exact words, anyone reading the first two paragraphs of the article alone is given the distinct impression that this is exactly what Isaiah was referring to. No straw man argument was required.

The word used in the text is “covenant”. It is referring to a vey well know historical security alliance that Judah made with Egypt. Instead of acknowledging the historical context of the passage, MW limits the meaning to a mere “rejection of God”. MW states that the meaning of the passage concerns Ephraim’s sins

Even though there existed an historical alliance between Judah and Egypt, Isaiah 28 uses the example of Ephraim to demonstrate the consequence of sin, the futility of rebellion, yet gives the hope of Messiah. In my humble opinion, the context of Isaiah 28 is not merely speaking of a “covenant” between nations, but rather the breaking of a covenant that existed between God and Ephraim. If Isaiah was merely referring to a covenant or security alliance between nations, then why does he point to Christ (Isaiah 28:16-17), the One whom Malachi calls the “messenger of the Covenant” (Malachi 3:1)? “God is speaking to scoffers and boasters when He refers to the Cornerstone — His precious Son — who provides the firm foundation for their lives, if they would but trust in Him. Isaiah uses construction terminology (measuring line and plumb line) to make his point; these are things the people would understand.” (Read more at Got Questions.org). Instead of a covenant with God, they made a “covenant with death” and an “agreement with Sheol” (the grave), but God promises that this covenant with death would one day be annulled (implying, it seems, by a covenant that would never be annulled) and that the agreement with Sheol would be broken (Isaiah 28:18). When Christ confirmed the covenant with His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28) it was final. Even the law “cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ” (Galatians 3:17). Death no longer had its sting, Sheol no longer its victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Ephraim is not one of the twelve tribes. Ephraim is not one of Jacob’s 12 sons. Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph.

Ephraim was indeed considered one of the 12 tribes. Joel is, of course, correct that Jacob had 12 sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher) and that Joseph had two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim). According to Genesis 48:5-6, however, the reason for Ephraim (and Manasseh) being full tribes is due to the fact that Jacob adopted them as if they were his very own sons:

Genesis 48:5-6, “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.”

This is vital. Both Ephraim and Manasseh are now Jacob’s sons, thus the 12 tribes of Israel are: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. Levi was not given an inheritance (Joshua 13:14). This is precisely how the 12 tribes of Israel are listed in Numbers 1:

Numbers 1:1-16, “Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai … ‘Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above—all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies. And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house. These are the names of the men who shall stand with you: from Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel the son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab the son of Helon; from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama the son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur; from Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gideoni; from Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; from Asher, Pagiel the son of Ocran; from Gad, Eliasaph the son of Deuel; from Naphtali, Ahira the son of Enan.’ These were chosen from the congregation, leaders of their fathers’ tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel.”

The reason that Ephraim is not included in Rev. 7 is simply because Ephraim is not one of the 12 tribes.

If Ephraim was not included in Revelation 7 simply because Ephraim was not one of the 12 tribes, then why is Manasseh included? If it was simply to replace Dan, why would Manasseh replace Dan and not Ephraim when it was Ephraim who was given favor?

Genesis 48:13-14, 20, “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn… So he blessed them that day, saying, ‘By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ’ And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”

As we can see above, Ephraim was one of the 12 tribes and is even acknowledged as such by the Lord Himself. Jacob adopted both Ephraim and Manasseh. They are his and therefore received all the inheritance that a natural son would received. God does the same for us when He adopts us into His family through Christ (Ephesians 2). So the question remains, why was Ephraim not included in Revelation 7, but Manasseh was? Given the fact that the “144,000” are sealed servants of God, I think a very good reason why is due to Ephraim’s disbelief and idolatry. This condition does not exist in those who follow Christ:

Hosea 5:9-11, “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure… Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept.”

Hosea 13:1, “When Ephraim spoke, trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended through Baal worship, he died.”

The only tribe not included in Revelation 7 is the tribe of Dan. Manasseh fills his place.

Why is Dan not included? Likely for the same reason as Ephraim. See Judges 18.

The notion that Ephraim is forever rejected, as MW seems to infer by repeatedly stating that they are not included in Rev. 7 is simply refuted by the fact that Ezekiel 37 makes clear that the future unification of “Ephraim” and Judah will take place in the Messianic Kingdom at the resurrection.

Ephraim is not forever rejected, evidenced by Ezekiel 37, as Joel correctly notes. As Coffman’s Commentary of Ezekiel 37 points out, however, “It is significant here that God through Ezekiel did not recognize Ephraim as ‘the Israel of God,’ a title that Ephraim had arrogantly usurped for themselves. He appeared here in his true status as Ephraim with whom certain tribes of Israel were associated. Judah, through whom the great Davidic king would come, was always the true center of the ancient Israel, not Ephraim.” As my article titled “The 144,000 and the Great Multitude – It’s Not What You May Think” points out, the list of the 12 tribes as they appear in Revelation 7 reveal who the Israel of God is.

Not only does MW fail to recognize the difference between the two kingdoms, but he also fails to see the two subjects of chapter 28. Verses 1-13 relate to Ephraim, while verse 14 shifts to speaking about Judah, the Southern Kingdom. The prophetic warning is directed specifically to the rulers of Jerusalem … The “covenant” spoken of in Isaiah 28 is made between the rulers of Judah and Egypt. Ephraim has nothing to do with this portion of the chapter.”

The entire oracle was spoken in the hope that Ephraim’s fall would serve as Judah’s warning, so it seems to me that Judah is addressed from about verses 5 to 13, or possibly 9 to 13. In my view, both are addressed from verse 14 onward. Regardless, my focus is upon the assertion that the covenant of Daniel 9 is spoken of (or equated with) the covenant mentioned in Isaiah 28. Both of these chapters ultimately point to Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27; Isaiah 28:18).

Isaiah 28:14, 16, 18,  “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem … ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed’ … Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand …”

Acts 4:10-11, “[L]et it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’”

Sadly, more outright straw man arguments [regarding MW’s response to Isaiah 10:20]. I never claim that this passage infers a seven year peace treaty. I simply hold that the passage is (1) prophetic and (2) the historical background concerns a security pact, treaty or alliance. Again, anyone can consult any number of solid commentaries on this passage to confirm this.

Again, no straw man argument was needed. Joel’s article specifically stated in the opening paragraphs that: “The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah.” Which “covenant” is Joel referring to? The seven-year peace treaty he believes will be signed between Israel and Antichrist.

Despite the fact that virtually all premillennialists, including the earliest Church writers very much disagree that verse 27 is Messianic (we believe it refers to the Antichrist, who abominates and desolates the Temple) MW never says, “in my opinion” or includes any such qualifier. It simply is Messianic because MW says it is. For those who are not informed about the historical debates surrounding this passage, such comments can be very misleading.

Joel is right, I should state “in my opinion” in areas where we differ. I should also point out, however, something that is not my opinion, but is fact. Teaching the 70th Week of Daniel as still awaiting a full future fulfillment was largely popularized relatively recently, aside from Ireneaus and his student Hippolytus who put a date on Christ’s second coming around 500 AD that has long since come and gone (I presume this is who Brother Joel is referring to when he says “including the earliest Church writers”). The belief that it was anyone other than Christ who confirmed the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is virtually nonexistent prior to the 19th century. We can verify this by reading any pre-19th century books on the matter. If there are any, I will acknowledge it. To date, however, I have not seen any.

The word gabar simply means strong or firm. Once again, MW doesn’t even acknowledge that there are a few very solid possible options as to how to interpret this verse. Some scholars say that it means that “he” will confirm a covenant, as MW holds, while many others understand it to mean that he will, through strength, actually enforce a covenant. Some say that he will make a strong covenant.

I concede with Joel that there are other options. But it means more than just strong or firm. It also means to make strong, to strengthen, to prevail. The word “gabar” has only three Hebrew letters which are, from right to left, the following Paleo Pictograph characters:

Gimmel = Foot or burden-bearer, to gather, carry away.
Beyt = the House of Israel.
Resh = the head of a man, first, beginning, chief ruler.

A Messianic Jew named Maria Merola of Double Portion Inheritance points out that the word “gabar” paints a picture of the Messiah who is the “gimmel” גָּ the one who “bore the burdens” (Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 14:25; Jeremiah 23:33-38; Matthew 11:30) for the “beyt,” בַ the House of Israel, and is the chief ruler, the “resh” ר for the “government shall be upon his shoulder.” Merola also notes that the Hebrew word for “shoulder” in Isaiah 9:6 is “shekem” which literally means “the neck between the shoulders as the place of burdens.” The word “gabar” is therefore synonymous with the words “strengthen” and “prevail.” Thus, as Merola also points out, we could accurately read Daniel 9:27 as, “And he shall strengthen the covenant with MANY for one week …”. If Daniel 9:27 was describing Antichrist, confirming (or strengthening) a covenant with Israel would necessitate that there would already be a covenant in place.

Moreover, “From a grammatical standpoint the pronoun ‘he’ must refer to its antecedent. If we do this it will be immediately plain that it means the Messiah. This will be apparent if we quote the passage again from the 25th verse and connect up the main events pertaining to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the ‘prince’ to its proper place at the end of the chapter. Quote: ‘Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto MESSIAH the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks . . . and after the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off . . . and He, (the Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ You will notice mention is made of seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks and last of all one week. This accounts for all seventy. It is after the sixty-ninth week that Messiah is cut off. That fact definitely places it in the seventieth week—that last remaining week of the prophecy. It was during this week that Christ did confirm His covenant with many according to Matt. 26:26-28. On this solemn occasion Christ instituted the most sacred of Christian ordinances, the Lord’s Supper, saying, ‘This is My blood of THE NEW TESTAMENT (literally covenant), which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.’

Conclusive Proof Links Christ With the Covenant. The death of Christ very definitely instituted the New and Everlasting Covenant, and Christ emphatically confirmed that covenant with many during the three and a half years of His ministry on earth. Even the words of Daniel are almost identical with those of Matthew — ‘He shall confirm the covenant with many’ — ‘this is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.’

The evidence is very conclusive. There are 281 references to ‘covenant’ in the Scriptures according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. Not one of these references in any way introduces the idea of a covenant between the Jews and the Anti-Christ. ‘There is not a hint anywhere that such a covenant is suggested, intended, proposed or prophesied at any time. Concerning the covenant between the believers and the Messiah there are many scores of such references. They are found in almost every book in the Bible. The reason is because when the Jews broke the Old Covenant, (see Jer. 31:31-33) then God purposed to make a new and everlasting covenant with His people. Consequently all the prophets refer to it and Daniel foretold that it would be ratified in the 70th week of his prophecy. cp. Heb. 8:7-10.

Even more convincing is the testimony supplied by the Hebrew word for Covenant used in the phrase, ‘He shall confirm the covenant.’ The word for covenant is ‘Bereeth’ according to the Pulpit Commentary ; it is spelled ‘berith’ in Young’s Analytical Concordance. In the Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 29, p. 275, a lengthy exposition points out that ‘Bereeth’ is only used in connection with a Divine Covenant. It is never used to designate a ‘league’ with any other power or force but is always reserved to describe a covenant between God and man. For that reason the covenant cannot apply to anyone except the Messiah. It cannot possibly describe a covenant with the Anti-Christ or any political group involving apostate Jews.” Read more at Historicist.com.

In conclusion, beyond the fairly significant historical and textual errors (ie. confusing the northern and southern kingdoms, and failing to acknowledge the context of the passage as one of a well known historical security alliance), there are also the various straw man arguments

I should have made it more clear that my focus was not upon the history, but upon the theology. If I was not clear enough, the fault is mine.

I would also qualify this discussion by pointing out the my primary reason for arguing my position as I do is because those who interpret verse 27 as Messianic also use this same argument as the basis for replacement theology, a theology that I find outright demonic.

Though I wouldn’t classify replacement theology as “demonic” I am in complete agreement with my friend Joel regarding the err of replacement theology and in fact take it one step further by also rejecting the notion that the New Testament church alone is the Bride of Christ. From what I read in Scripture, it is believing Israel that is the Bride, not the NT church alone. Although I do not adhere to traditional dispensationalism (that replaces the Bride with the NT Church), I also do not adhere to covenant theology that replaces Israel with the Church. I adhere much more closely to progressive dispensationalism because, as Gentile believers, we do not replace the Bride, believing Israel. Rather, we are grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel and are now fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built together as one body per Ephesians 2. In my view, the traditional dispensational understanding is therefore itself another form of replacement theology, which I reject in all its forms. At the end of the day, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua.

I am not saying that MW holds to replacement theology, but his hermeneutic of spiritualizing very literal passages is precisely the method used by replacement theologians.

Replacement theology over-spiritualizes many portions of Scripture while ignoring the plain and straightforward teachings of others, such as Ephesians 2. It is my belief, however, that one interpretative method or hermeneutical approach alone cannot provide all the answers that we so often ask as students of Biblical eschatology.

As I replied to a comment yesterday below, given what has happened throughout history to the nation of Israel and to the Church and what is now happening today within the epicenter of prophecy, I decided to approach Scripture in a way similar to those who’ve now developed Progressive Dispensationalism — a refinement of the older Traditional Dispensationalism — by studying other views to appropriate more of a “complementary” or “correlative” hermeneutical framework. By not being confined to one narrow view and carefully studying the work of others and understanding why they believed what they believed, we can adopt what merit other positions have to augment our own understanding. Although some who staunchly maintain a certain eschatological paradigm may feel somewhat apprehensive with this approach much like a Traditional Dispensationalist, for instance, would reject the approach of a Progressive Dispensationalist, keeping the good meat of other views and spitting out the bones does seem to provide answers that other positions in and of themselves do not fully address as it relates to Bible prophecy.

We’ll agree to disagree. It’s ok to not always agree on every point and to have differences of opinion. Truth be told, that’s why Brother Joel is an author, because “Mideast Beast” (which I highly recommend) was a view that was different from the mainstream. And authors rely on differences of opinion.

Update 2: December 12, 2013

Brother Joel has updated his article again, perhaps in response to mine. Instead of saying that Ephraim “was not one of the twelve tribes” he now notes that Ephraim was not one of the “original” twelve tribes. I’m not sure what he means by “original.” Joseph never received a tribe, so the original twelve tribes always included Ephraim as one of the twelve. There is a difference between the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve sons of Israel.  At any rate, I’ll try to be brief in addressing a few more of his points.

MW’s view although not entirely his (it has also been articulated by 119 Ministries and a few others) is a relatively new view and somewhat unique in that while it is technically Premillennilalist it relies on arguments that are typically made by Amillennialists or Preterists.

It is not just “technically” Premillennialist. It is completely Premillennialist. As for the understanding that it was Messiah who confirmed the covenant of Daniel 9:27, this is a view that has been held almost exclusively by the Church for the first 19 centuries. This is not new. The understanding, however, that the 70th week was “split” into two 3.5 year periods where the second period is still yet awaiting a future fulfillment was, to the best of my knowledge, introduced in the 16th century by Francisco Ribera. As for Amillennialism and Preterism (I prefer the term Historicism over Preterism), though I spit out much of what it teaches, it still has some meat worthy of a good chew.

Those who hold this view most often argue that the expectation of a seven year period is potentially setting up the Church for deception, as there are no genuine signs to look for prior to the Antichrist setting up the Abomination of Desolations.

Personally, I don’t think the Church will be deceived when the Abomination of Desolation is revealed. If there is any genuine sign to look for before the Second Coming, it would be the AoD, not a seven-year peace treaty.

It most often necessitates that the references to the Temple mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Rev. 11 and four times in Daniel (8:11-14, 9:27, 11:31 12:11) all be taken as spiritual and not literal. This despite the fact that there is no basis within any of these actual passages to understand them in a non-literal sense. Those who espouse this view most often look to various examples in the NT where of the Temple is used in a metaphorical sense as his basis to reinterpret the literal references in the NT to the Temple and retroactively reinterpret passages that speak of the Temple in the OT. The argument is that because the Temple is used in a spiritual sense in some passages, we may now go back and reinterpret passages that were always understood as literal and see them as spiritual. But this is the precisely the hermeneutic of replacement theology.

Remember, keep the meat and spit out the bones. Brother Joel evidently takes issue with separating replacement theology from the understanding that the temple in the eschaton is the Church. However, it needs to be understood that the temple being the Church is not an invention of replacement theology. This is how the temple today is defined for us in the New Testament. In fact, each and every single time the Apostle Paul speaks about the temple of God and uses the Greek word “naos” (G3485) in Scripture he is referring to believers both individually and collectively. He is referring to the Church:

1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple [naos] of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple [naos] of God, God will destroy him. For the temple [naos] of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple [naos] of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple [naos] of the living God …”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple [naos] in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Even the Apostle Peter agrees in 1 Peter 2, the only time he ever refers to God’s temple:

1 Peter 2:4-5, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Every time Paul refers to the temple as the Church he uses the word “naos” (G3485) and always calls it the temple of God or the temple of the Holy Spirit or an equivalent expression. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul again refers to the temple of God (“naos” ) which, as in each and every other usage of the expression, would in my opinion again be referring to the Church as it always had before, not a physical temple. According the position espoused by Brother Joel and other traditional dispensationalists, however, we’re now being told to believe that in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul suddenly changes what he consistently referred to in previous epistles when speaking about the temple of God. But if Paul spoke of the Church each and every time he wrote about the temple of God before, then it only stands to reason that he was again referring to the Church when writing about the temple of God in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica. In other words, we’re now being told to interpret 2 Thessalonians 2:4 in light of a doctrine, not in light of Scripture. Doing so forces Scripture to conform to our understanding when what we all need to be doing is forcing our understanding to conform to Scripture:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple [naos] of God, showing himself that he is God.”

The only other times Paul spoke about a physical temple were in 1 Corinthians 9:13, Acts 25:8 and Acts 17:24. In both 1 Corinthians 9:13 and Acts 25:8 he uses the word “hieron” (G2411) specifically to refer to the physical temple in Jerusalem, not “naos.” In Acts 17:24, however, he uses the word “naos” to refer to physical temples in general, however his entire point was that it was no longer a physical temple in which God dwells. Why? Because the Church was now that temple. In these instances where Paul spoke about a physical temple he never referred to it as “the temple of God” or an equivalent expression.

Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

The unwillingness to accept the New Testament’s explicit definition of the temple of God as being the Church forces one to see inconsistencies when, in my view, inconsistencies do not exist. We’re dealing with types and prophetic foreshadowings of events that took place during the time of Antiochus, Christ and maybe even Titus, and how we can see fulfillment in the eschaton. We’re still seeing through a glass darkly, but if Scripture now defines the temple of God as being the Ekklesia, then it is a definition that I must accept.

If the references in Daniel, 2 Thess and Rev 11 to the Temple are literal however, then it also stands to reason that the Temple must be built before the Antichrist can desecrate it.

Daniel’s prophecies often spoke about the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. As we can see from above, the New Testament tells us that the “temple of God” is the Church and that we, as believers, now offer up the sacrifice of praise (cf. Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:5). Even if the prophet Daniel himself believed the prophecies he received of the end times referred to a physical temple would not change this reality. The revelation that the Church would become the temple of God was progressive and prophets were evidently not always granted a full understanding of the prophecies they were given, which is quite apparent in Daniel 12 itself:

Daniel 12:8-10,Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.'”

Even though Daniel was not always granted full understanding, he was faithful in recording the prophecies he was instructed to write down. Not knowing that the temple of God would one day be the people of God, however, would have conceivably been somewhat bewildering to Daniel if he had himself assumed that it was a physical temple that would be defiled during the time of the end. This could very well have been one of the reasons why Daniel did not understand all that he was receiving. According to the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:24, a physical temple today would be little more than an empty building, void of the presence of God. I am sure that Christ would have known this as well, suggesting that Jesus would in no way have been referring to a physical temple as the “holy place” in Matthew 24:15 when referring to the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel, nor would Paul have depicted an empty rebuilt temple as being the “temple of God” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  A building absent of God is just another building. But the “holy temple” that is the Church in which God dwells, however, is a whole other matter. This may have been why Jesus said “let the reader understand” in Matthew 24:15 — because Daniel did not:

Matthew 24:15, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand–“

Ephesians 2:19-22, “… you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 we read about the “man of sin” or “lawlessness” setting himself “eis” (in or against) the temple of God, seeking to defile it, and then being destroyed by God at the brightness of His coming. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 Paul stated the exact same thing, saying, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” In my view, this is certainly not a coincidence. Most translations say that before the “man of sin” is destroyed he will “sit” or “take his seat” in the temple of God. The Greek word for “sit” is “kathizō” (G2523) but it means more than to simply sit down physically, as one would sit on a chair. It also means to appoint, or to set or to confer a kingdom on someone. When we say that we have a sitting President or Head of State, for instance, it does not mean that they are physically sitting down. It means that they have taken their seat in office. According to the Greek, it appears that the “man of sin” will likewise be taking his seat or official position, which could possibly be referring to Islam’s Mahdi as he takes his seat as the self-proclaimed “Savior of Humanity” in defiance of Yahweh and His people. Thus the “man of sin” is called the “man of sin” for a very good reason: he sins against God and against His people — the Temple of God — whom he sets himself against once he assumes his “office” as “Savior.” This, of course, would be showing himself as God because according to Yahweh “apart from me there is no savior… I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 43:11, 46:9b).

In Revelation 11 we see what happens when this “man of sin” sets himself against God and against God’s Temple. The following four quick points reinforce why this temple is not physical:

1. The Angel who speaks to John uses the exact same expression in Revelation 11:1, saying, “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” Even the word “naos” is used when referring to the temple of God, the same word the Apostle Paul used when referring to the temple of God as the Church, not a temple made of stone.

2. The very first time we find the word “temple” in Revelation is in 3:12a regarding the Church in Philadelphia when Christ says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.” To be made a pillar in the temple of God must mean that the temple in view here is not one made of stone, but rather one that is made of people.

3. Lampstands/candlesticks were important items that were found in the physical temple in the Old Testament, yet John shows us that this time the lampstands/candlesticks in the temple of God are represented by the two witnesses (11:4), which again would indicate that the temple in view is not a physical temple made of stone, but rather one of people.

4. In the Old Testament a priest was one who served within the physical temple. In Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 we are told that anyone who has been washed by the blood of Christ is a priest, and the Christian understanding of this according to 1 Peter 2:5 is that as priests we now “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We no longer offer animal sacrifices in a temple made of stone.

Indeed, we are being built together upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building is fitted together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22). Considering all that we have just learned, could it not therefore stand to reason that when John speaks of the “holy city” being trampled in 11:2 that he is referring directly to God’s people, and not a physical third temple built in Jerusalem? In my opinion, there is no doubt (cf. Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells”; also see Matthew 5:14).

This view absolutely requires that Jesus’ ministry last exactly 3.5 years in order to fulfill the first 3.5 years of the final 70th week. The problem however is that very few scholars today believe that Jesus’ ministry lasted more than 3 years. While one can surf the web and find all sorts of online characters offering their views, among those who have genuinely researched the data in a scholarly and responsible fashion, one will not find any support for Jesus’ ministry to have lasted 3.5 years. Briefly, Jesus was crucified on Passover, and there are only three total Passovers mentioned in the Gospel of John. This limits Jesus ministry to roughly two years, certainly less than three years.

Brother Joel prefaces his argument by asserting that anyone who believes Christ’s ministry lasted for 3.5 years must have somehow done so irresponsibly, so let’s consider a few facts ourselves and see if we can come to a responsible conclusion. According to my own studies and research, Tiberius was appointed as co-regent with Augustus in AD 11. In Luke 3:1 we learn that John the Baptist began his ministry about 15 years later, which brings us around 26 AD. Jesus obviously began His ministry sometime thereafter per Luke 3:23, giving us a date of around 26 or 27 AD. During Christ’s ministry, scripture specifically tells us that He attended at least three Passovers (John 2:13, 6:5, 11:55), as Joel notes. Another feast mentioned in John 5:1 was likely also a Passover, the reason being that in John 4:35 we read that it is 4 months till harvest, which take place one month after Passover. No other feasts take place between that time and Passover. Thus, Christ’s ministry would have been between 3 and 4 years. (Also see Luke 13:7. Some commentators/scholars believe this may even allude to Christ’s ministry, indicating it lasted for at least 3 years).

the very notion that Jesus ministry was 3.5 originated with Origen (who was later declared a heretic) and Eusebius (a Roman apologist with strong anti-Semitic supercessionist theology) who specifically argued for this in order to justify their pagan / anti-Semitic / supercessionist understanding of Daniel 9:27.

Joel is correct. However, this has little bearing. Even the heathens can occasionally get something right. Look at Muslims, for instance. They’re monotheistic.

This view absolutely requires that we interpret “the covenant” as taking place “during” rather than “for” one week. If the “covenant” is “for one week” then it cannot be applied to Jesus, as the covenant which he made is eternal and not merely a seven year covenant. The problem with this of course is that not only are there no translations that insert “during,” but all but a few obscure translations do translate it as “for one week”. This view must literally reject as wrong the translations of the KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, RSV, ASV, NIV, NLT, DBY, WEB, HNV, and several others. This view must stake its entire case on the notion that all of the translations got it wrong.

Obviously, I disagree with my friend’s conclusion. These translations are not in err. What is in err, however, is how we’re likely understanding it in our receptor language. Again, the Hebrew text of Daniel 9:27 says that He confirms the covenant “one” week, not in the sense that the covenant itself only lasts for the duration of “one week”, but rather that the confirmation of the covenant is what happens in the one week. The Hebrew text says “gabar bĕriyth rab echad shabuwa” which means “strengthen covenant many one week”. We cannot say dogmatically that the covenant is confirmed “for” one week (for only seven years) since “for” isn’t in the original Hebrew text, even though the full futurist view absolutely requires it. Some translations like the Lexham English Bible and the Darby Translation put the word “for” in brackets to let the reader know it isn’t in the original. I understand the need to insert something in there to improve the syntactical or linguistic flow/readability of our receptor language, but we need to be aware that it could just as easily be “in one week” or “for the one week” every bit as much as “for one week.” The English translation of the LXX (the Greek version that Christ Himself would have used) renders Daniel 9:27 to say “And one week shall establish the covenant with many”. Douay-Rheims says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week”. Young’s Literal Translation says “he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week.” The partial futurist position that I hold does not depend upon the understanding that the covenant must be confirmed “during” the one week. The position of full futurists, however, absolutely requires that it be “for” one week, otherwise it crumbles.

This view divides the final week in half and inserts a 2000 year gap into the middle of the week. Needless to say, this would be a very unusual way to organize the timing of the prophecy, without stating that this was the meaning. Instead, the division of the 70 weeks within the prophecy is broken up into 7 weeks + 62 weeks + 1 week. Notice that it is not broken up into 7 + 62.5 + 3.5.

This is addressed in the original article which can be read here.

This view requires that the 69th week concludes at Jesus’ baptism, ;eating 3.5 years for His ministry. Yet of the four “decrees” which are considered by scholars to fulfill Daniel’s decree, none aligns with 483 years from Jesus’ baptism.

The starting date for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was announced by Artaxerxes in 457 BC (cf. Ezra 7:13, 20). Others contend that the command to rebuild Jerusalem was already given to the Israelites by Cyrus per Ezra 1:3, however they were commanded to stop rebuilding by Artaxerxes according to Ezra 4:21, 23. Another command was later given by Artaxerxes to begin rebuilding again. According to Daniel 9:24-25 the Messiah would be anointed after 69 weeks had been fulfilled, which is 483 years (69×7). 457 BC plus 483 years brings us to the year 27 AD — which was the year that Jesus was baptized by John and anointed by the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry. This was the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

In my view, the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 BC is the best of the four separate decrees we find in Scripture and is, in my opinion, a sound logical deduction (the others are either too early or too late) since this one lines up perfectly with the prophecy. Daniel wrote in 9:25 that “From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Messiah], the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’”. Daniel did not say that “from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on a donkey” or “until the Messiah is killed”. Jesus had already been well known for a few years prior to His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem. Daniel said “until the Anointed One comes”, which is to say, is made known publicly or is revealed. When did this happen precisely? According to Scripture, it happened the day He was baptized by John the Baptist, when “John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:29-30). Notice what John says next: “I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” (v 31). And indeed, the Messiah [meaning “the Anointed One”] has now come, “And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him’” (v 32). The Anointed One is now revealed to Israel in fulfillment of Daniel 9:25.

This view must see the Antichrist as responsible for the Abomination of Desolations and the ceasing of offerings in Daniel 8:11-14, 11:31 and 12:11, while seeing Christ as responsible in 9:27. This view fails to acknowledge the clear connection between these our passages. It interprets 9:27 in an inconsistent manner from the other references to the Abomination that Causes Desolations and the ceasing of offerings.

One of the primary reasons why I ascribe Christ to the one who confirmed the convenant with many, aside from the fact that Christ said His blood was the blood of the covenant that was shed for many, is because the Apostle Paul himself — who was an expert when it came to the Old Testament scriptures — obviously believed that Christ was the One who confirmed the covenant and caused the sacrifices to cease, almost quoting Daniel 9:27a verbatim in Galatians 3:17 and Hebrews 10:2. Why would an expert of the Old Testament do that, unless it was because Christ was indeed the One who confirmed the covenant and caused the sacrifices to cease because Christ Himself was the final sacrifice? We’re dealing with types or prophetic foreshadowings of events that took place during the time of Antiochus, Christ and maybe even Titus, and how we can see fulfillment in the eschaton. Forcing the usage of a hermeneutic that always interprets such passages in a wooden literal sense will make other views seem inconsistent, but we’re still seeing through a glass darkly. If the Apostle Paul clearly believed that Christ confirmed (strengthened)  the promises of the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Galatians 3:14) per Daniel 9:27a, then so must I.

That being said, Daniel 9:26 speaks of two subjects, namely, the Messiah and the “people of the prince that shall come.” Even the original Hebrew of Daniel 9:27 again infers that two separate subjects are in view. Contextually, this would have to be the Messiah and “the people of the prince that shall come” per the preceding verse. As Don Henson of Life, Hope & Truth ministries explains, “a careful reading shows that ‘he’ [of verse 27] does not refer to the prince, but rather to the Messiah. Notice the phrase in verse 26 ‘the people of the prince.’ It is not grammatically correct to assign the singular pronoun ‘he’ in verse 27 to the plural ‘people’ in verse 26. If ‘he’ were to refer to the prince, the phrase should have been stated differently: ‘the prince of the people.’ But since the verse refers to the ‘people of the prince,’ the prince is not the proper antecedent of the pronoun. ‘Messiah’ is the only person mentioned in verse 26 that can be the antecedent of the pronoun he. So the phrase ‘he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week’ refers to the Messiah. (Read more).

This view must reject Jesus’ words according to their normal meaning in Matthew 24:8 as being a reference to birth pangs. For if Jesus used the image of birth pangs to refer to the signs that come before the Abomination of Desolations, then He is seen to be clearly dividing up the signs that precede his coming into two distinct episodes (beginning of birth pangs and actual birth pangs) divided by the Abomination that Causes Desolation.

There are numerous translations that do not render Matthew 24:8 as “birth pains” at all, but rather as “sorrows” or “sufferings” or “troubles.”  For instance, the King James Version, the New King James Version, 21st Century King James Version, Young’s Literal Translation, Webster’s Bible, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, the Jubilee Bible, the Douay-Rheims Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Wycliffe Bible, Darby, Common English Bible, Contemporary English Version, the Living Bible, the New Life Version, the Revised Standard Version CE and the Worldwide English NT. There are others I’m sure.

According to Strong’s ōdin is defined as “a pang or throe, especially of childbirth” which suggests that even though it usually refers to pains of childbirth, it is not always the case. We have clear proof of this in Acts 2:24 which refers to the “pains ōdin of death”. There is not a single translation I could find that said the “birth pains of death.” Thayer’s notes that ōdin also means “intolerable anguish”, not of childbirth but “in reference to the dire calamities [that] precede the advent of the Messiah.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines ōdin as “a birth-pang” as well as just “pain” in general and as “sorrows.”

The only verse where we know that ōdin refers to “birth pains” with absolute certainty is 1 Thessalonians 5:3, but this is referring to the sudden destruction that comes upon the enemies of God on the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is post-tribulational:

1 Thess 5:2-3, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Sudden destruction comes upon them on the Day of the Lord like birth pains upon a woman about to deliver. This happens virtually the same day of their destruction. However, if we take the position that ōdin in Matthew 24:8 refers to the beginning of birth pains and that birth pains only “take place at the end, at the conclusion of the pregnancy” according to Joel’s position, then how can birth pains possibly begin at the signing of a 7-year peace treaty or at the AoD, which takes place years before the actual “deliverance”? Unless Joel wishes to believe that birth pains begin much sooner than the day of deliverance, it diminishes his own argument. Regardless, even if ōdin in Matthew 24:8 should be understood as “birth pains” it would still be moot in my opinion considering the fact that it is simply describing what the initial events leading up to the “deliverance” are like, and not what they are.

This view must understand the passage in a way that violates the normal rules of grammar. The subject of a pronoun normally follows its antecedent. This is true in both English and Greek.

If we adhere to the normal rules of grammar, we are forced to identify Messiah as the one who confirms the covenant of Daniel 9:27, and the Antichrist as the one who sets up the Abomination of desolation. “There is another pronoun in verse 27 that also requires an explanation. In the New King James translation we see the phrase ‘one who makes desolate.’ Who or what is this ‘one’? … Obviously the one who is responsible for the ‘appalment’ (desolation) is the evil prince referred to in verse 26… There is an alternating pattern in verses 26-27 that is a common Hebrew usage. The first half of verse 26 refers to the Messiah, the second half to an evil prince. The first half of verse 27 refers to the Messiah and the second half refers to the abomination in the temple introduced by the evil prince.” (Read more).

Daniel 9:26, 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.

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.
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.”

To again quote Historicist.com: “From a grammatical standpoint the pronoun ‘he’ must refer to its antecedent. If we do this it will be immediately plain that it means the Messiah. This will be apparent if we quote the passage again from the 25th verse and connect up the main events pertaining to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the ‘prince’ to its proper place at the end of the chapter. Quote: ‘Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto MESSIAH the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks … and after the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off . . . and He, (the Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ You will notice mention is made of seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks and last of all one week. This accounts for all seventy. It is after the sixty-ninth week that Messiah is cut off. That fact definitely places it in the seventieth week — that last remaining week of the prophecy. It was during this week that Christ did confirm His covenant with many according to Matt. 26:26-28. On this solemn occasion Christ instituted the most sacred of Christian ordinances, the Lord’s Supper, saying, “This is My blood of THE NEW TESTAMENT (literally covenant), which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.’

Conclusive Proof Links Christ With the Covenant. The death of Christ very definitely instituted the New and Everlasting Covenant, and Christ emphatically confirmed that covenant with many during the three and a half years of His ministry on earth. Even the words of Daniel are almost identical with those of Matthew — ‘He shall confirm the covenant with many’ — ‘this is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.’

The evidence is very conclusive. There are 281 references to ‘covenant’ in the Scriptures according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. Not one of these references in any way introduces the idea of a covenant between the Jews and the Anti-Christ. ‘There is not a hint anywhere that such a covenant is suggested, intended, proposed or prophesied at any time. Concerning the covenant between the believers and the Messiah there are many scores of such references. They are found in almost every book in the Bible. The reason is because when the Jews broke the Old Covenant, (see Jer. 31:31-33) then God purposed to make a new and everlasting covenant with His people. Consequently all the prophets refer to it and Daniel foretold that it would be ratified in the 70th week of his prophecy. cp. Heb. 8:7-10.

Even more convincing is the testimony supplied by the Hebrew word for Covenant used in the phrase, ‘He shall confirm the covenant.’ The word for covenant is ‘Bereeth’ according to the Pulpit Commentary; it is spelled ‘berith’ in Young’s Analytical Concordance. In the Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 29, p. 275, a lengthy exposition points out that ‘Bereeth’ is only used in connection with a Divine Covenant. It is never used to designate a ‘league’ with any other power or force but is always reserved to describe a covenant between God and man. For that reason the covenant cannot apply to anyone except the Messiah. It cannot possibly describe a covenant with the Anti-Christ or any political group involving apostate Jews.

It is further explained that when the covenant is confirmed the sacrifice and oblation ceases. The Massoretic text renders it : ‘And one week shall confirm a covenant to many, and in the middle of the week MY sacrifice and offering shall be taken away.’ The use of the pronoun ‘my’ removes all doubt concerning what sacrifice and oblation is meant. It was the Mosaic sacrifices which God ordained and honored until the death of Christ. That is the only sacrifice God could call ‘MY’ sacrifice.

The death of Christ on Calvary DID institute the New and everlasting covenant and Christ Himself DID confirm that covenant with many during His earthly ministry. When Christ died on the cross the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, thus signifying that the old sacrifices and oblations had ceased to have any spiritual or efficacious value. At the best they were but a shadow of good things to come, (Heb. 10:1), and when Christ died on the cross the ‘better covenant was established.’ Heb. 8:6. The old covenant with its sacrifices and oblations became null and void immediately Christ died, and in that sense He caused them to cease.” (Read more).

Update: December 15, 2013

Sadly, Brother Joel had decided to remove his response, stating in part that “Further examination of MidnightWatcher’s rather extensive ‘responses’ prove to use significant portions of plagauiarized (sic) material simply cut-and-pasted from other sources on the internet. After prayerful consideration, I’ve decided to remove my response entirely.” Citing other sources is part and parcel of a healthy debate. In my opinion, our disagreement was not one that was debated in “a spirit of contention.” Naturally, both sides will defend what they’ve come to believe and why they believe it, but differences of opinion in this respect should not be something that allows division. I am saddened to see Joel remove his response and to disengage from the discussion, but that is his prerogative. I wish Brother Joel and his great ministry all the best for many years to come. May our Heavenly Father continue to use him for His glory.

If you have not already done so, I recommend his book titled “Mideast Beast” which can be purchased here.

In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.

Revised 12/15/2013
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  1. Willard
    03/16/2014 at 6:31 PM

    I have been saying this for a long time – 50 Jubilees from creation to entering the land – 70 Jubilees from entering the land to 2015 a Jubilee year =Total 120 Jubilees – Daniel 12:7 gives us the time line of 3500 years from entering the land which is 70 Jubilees – Time 1000 years – Times 2000 years and a half time 500 years

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  2. Willard
    03/16/2014 at 7:02 PM

    1416 BC add 2015 AD ( minus 1 year – no year zero ) divided by 49 years equals 70.

    You will find that Lev is clear that the Jubilee is 50 years not 49 – crops would be enough for 3 years not 2 years – it still works it just puts entering the land sooner which also is debated – it is also argued in a year 360 day or 365.25 days – regardless I agree with you

    Lev 25:10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.
    Lev 25:11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines

    Lev 25:20 You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops
    Lev 25:21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years

    There certainly is a lot of debate on the date of the Exodus but if we use the dates from the bible we arrive at a older period of time than some suggest – my archeology bible claims that it was in 1406 BC that they entered the land

    Using the verses below – The first temple was burnt in 587 BC which is a pretty good date – Jews claim that the first temple stood 411 years the question is was this from the date that the foundation was laid or the temple completed over 7 years ??? So 587 + 411 + 480 = 478 or some where in that area – Am I right – I do not know that is 100% correct but that is what the dates the bible has and history history gives us – than the same old question a biblical year or a solar year for a Jubilee – 49 year or 50 years for a Jubilee – I lean to 50 years and a solar year

    1Ki 6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD

    1Ki 6:37 The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv.
    1Ki 6:38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.

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  3. Willard
    03/16/2014 at 7:51 PM

    The 411 should have read 410 years that the first temple stood not 411

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  4. Elle
    03/26/2014 at 11:48 PM

    Hi,
    I just wanted to add something. Yeshua is the one who is confirming the covenant, but he does so through the 144,000 who are the same as the 2 witnesses. The 2 witnesses are the sacrifice and oblation Yeshua stops when he allows the beast to kill them. The rest of the passage needs to be broken down and taken back to their primitive roots.

    1.)and for the overspreading H3671
    wing, extremity, edge, winged, border, corner, shirt
    FROM H3670
    to be put or thrust in or into a corner, be hidden from view, be cornered, be thrust aside

    2.)of abominations H8251
    detestable thing or idol, abominable thing, abomination, idol, detested thing
    FROM H8262
    to detest, make abominable, count filthy, make detestable

    3.)he shall make desolate, H8074
    to be desolate, be appalled, stun, stupefy

    4.)even until the consummation, H3617
    completion, termination, full end, complete destruction, consumption, annihilation
    FROM H3615
    to accomplish, cease, consume, determine, end, fail, finish, be complete, be accomplished, be ended, be at an end, be finished, be spent

    5.)and that determined H2782
    to cut, sharpen, decide, decree, determine, maim, move, be decisive, be mutilated

    6.)shall be poured H5413
    to pour out or forth, drop (or rain), be poured, be poured out, be melted, be molten

    7.)upon the desolate. H8074
    to be desolate, be appalled, stun, stupefy

    CONCLUSION: It appears that what is being said is this: For concealing the detestable idol, Yeshua shall make desolate even until the end and that decided/decreed/determined shall be poured (7 vials) upon the desolated people. There is no way this is speaking of antichrist.

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  5. Mike
    04/29/2014 at 11:25 PM

    Elle, the “two witnesses” are the church (two, representative of the church being so few in number by that time). In other contexts, the church is the body of genuine believers referred to as the “seven churches”, the “holy city”, the “new Jerusalem”, the “lampstands and olive trees”, the “144,000” and the “bride”. In chapter 11, the church is identified as the “temple” and the “two witnesses”.

    The theme of the church being afflicted with severe persecution but having ultimate deliverance can be isolated as follows:

    Severe persecution of genuine believers in the first 4 seals (Rev 6:1-6)
    Deliverance of those genuine believers being in heaven (Rev 6:9-11)
    Judgment of their persecutors (Rev 6:12-17)

    The severe persecution of genuine believers, the 144,000 (Rev 7:4-8)
    The judgment of those who persecute genuine believers (Rev 7:2-3)
    Deliverance of those genuine believers in heaven (Rev 7:14-17)

    God’s claim of ownership (measuring) of those who are the temple of God, which is a promise of salvation.
    Severe persecution of those genuine believers (Rev 11:2)
    God disowning those who are not in the inner court (judgment of persecutors, Rev 11:2)

    The recurring theme of affliction and deliverance is meant as an encouragement to the seven churches (and thus, all genuine believers) who themselves were under severe persecution and facing the temptation to apostatize or otherwise compromise a genuine faith.

    Now we see a final installment of this theme in the mini-summary of chapter 11:7-13.

    The prophesying of genuine believers (the two witnesses, the church, which are also the lampstands and olive trees) in the days just prior to Jesus’ return (Rev 11:3-6)
    The persecution murder of genuine believers (Rev 11:7)
    God resurrecting genuine believers to life and deliverance to heaven (Rev 11:11-12)
    The judgment of the persecutors (Rev 11:13)

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  6. Anonymous
    07/16/2014 at 1:47 PM

    Very interesting article (and discussion) I must say. If I were a betting man i’d have to say that Joel removed his rebuttals and ended the debate because he really had no answer for the very convincing argument that the church is the temple that Paul was talking about not to mention Revelation 11. Also like someone said he made a big mistake about Ephraim not being a tribe, original or otherwise. There is no way around that too. Kudos, this certainly gives me a lot to digest and think about! Especially when Jesus said to let the reader understand, when Daniel himself said he did not understand!

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  7. Anonymous
    07/31/2014 at 4:16 PM

    Simple, nothing in dan 9.27 about a c is about J/C. Last half week is for Gog Magog after millennium reign. Two other dan verses in other chapters discuss abomination.

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  8. Vernon
    08/03/2014 at 4:29 AM

    A few of my pastor friends and I who actually study agree there is no 7 ear peace treaty taught in scripture. One pastor friend get very frustrated by things taught and then repeated and everyone simply believes it and teaches it as the way it will be in the future. In Dan.9 the one who confirms the covenant with many isn’t the beast it is Jesus. Jesus in his blood confirmed the covenant with many, with all who believed. Jesus did this by fulfilling the law of Moses by both his sinless life and his sacrificial death. The Price to come is Jesus not the Beast. Jesus handed the office of Christ to the Holy Spirit and He will be Christ again when he returns and is crowned king. Jesus said, “Everything the Father has He has given to me and everything I have I give to the Holy Spirit.” Who is Christ now? Who holds this office. The Holy Spirit does. Jesus is the Price to come and is called the price in other scriptures. Jesus was King when he was on earth and held this office. This relates to the Dan. 9 scripture because it says, “The People of the price to come destroy the temple.” This is believers who return with Jesus that destroy the Tribulation time Jewish temple built by Jews. It will be an abomination to God at the return of Christ and of course we will destroy it. It was also Jesus in Dan. 9 who caused the sacrifice to cease. The ark of the covenant will never be given to the Jews to sprinkle the blood of the a lamb on the mercy seat. They are a divorced people from God though God has promises with Abraham and prophecies to fulfill with them and through them. They are a called nation and if God calls someone He uses them weather they want to be used or not. (Jonah) Rom. “It is not according to him that wills or runs but God who has purpose.” Every Jew in the Roman Church understood Paul was speaking about Jonah. Again about Dan 9 speaking of Jesus and not the beast. Just read it carefully. It is obvious. Also understanding the Holy Spirit holds the office of Christ affect understanding of both the Trinity, and the Anointing of power to be a Wittiness that first came to the Church in Acts 2. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is of the Father the power and gift of the Father it is merely delivered by the Holy Spirit because He now hold the office of Christ. When People first received the Holy Spirit is when they believe Jesus is risen from the dead. When Jesus appeared to the disciples in the inner room it says, “He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    There are new things in prophecy that are only understood as we grow closer to the end times. Some things if I say them you won’t believe not because you understand why but simply because you think it is not knowable. The mystery of the Trinity has been answered. Ask me about this and it relates to prophecy in every way. Where Satan God the idea to sin when He was created perfect and how his rebellion and the necessity to prove him wrong before God judges him is the whole eternal purpose of God and why there has to be end times and explain why God gives him 3.5 years. Also if it is speaking about Jesus in Dan. 9 and not the Beast the tribulation is just 3.5 years not 7 years.

    I want to have you hear this even if you never hear me prove it. The second Wittiness is the Apostle John. He is also the one called “The Prophet.” There were three the Jews in Jesus’ day they were looking for. The return of Elijah. The Christ and the prophet. Elijah is the first wiriness as everyone says. The apostle John is the second wiriness and there is a wealth of evidence in scripture to prove this. Ask me. This is absolutely key to under standing and even looking forward to these times. The writer of the book of Rev. will be one of the two eye witnesses. Do not think of them as witnessers or ones who witness… They are eye witnesses..There is also a third eye witness. This is a huge revelation that brings much deeper understanding into Biblical Prophecy. Understanding the Trinity/Glory of God is also key. The things being revealed now to those that study are amazing. When I proved John was the second witness one pastor friend said, “This is so obvious why has no one ever taught this before. I think God has put a vale on our hearts that is being removed in the end times, “The wise will understand but the foolish will now understand. Be careful about simply following prophecy teachers because there are a lot of false teachings. Also there is no pre-tribulation rapture. Those that actually study and don’t just repeat what their teachers taught know this. Many of my pastor friends and I no longer believe the rapture comes first. At the very least if you see prophecies being fulfilled don’t say, “These can’t be the prophecies of scripture because the rapture must happen first.” Jesus told us that many would come in his name leading many astray on this very point of what marks the beginning of the end times. Coming in his name has a very specific meaning. It means many Christian teachers will lead many astray about what marks the beginning of the end times. You may be mentioned in prophecy! You may be teaching a false beginning of the end times and Jesus may have been speaking about many of you.

    I pray you be one of those called, “The wise,” who understand. It is a time to study scripture reading prophecy scriptures hundreds of times. Meditate! When you read ask every question you can possibly ask. If you pose a question the Spirit starts to teach. Look for answers and think with God. Many of you may not even know the Biblical definition of your human spirit understanding it is your mind your thought and reason. You know things because you understand them. You don’t know anything because you had an impression or heard a voice. You may know you heard a voice but the impression you had may have been indigestion from the pizza you ate. I a weary just teaching the nature of truth which we all need. I fear that many pastors will be those who do not understand who are called “the foolish,’ in prophecy. Do not let this be you. Study!

    Also I am just going to say this. Many of my pastor friends believe this now. The of God in the O.T. is not the person of the word/Jesus. He is the person of the Father when God walked with Adam in the cool of the day and when the angle of the Lord appeared. Understanding this and proving this to your self will relate to prophecy more than you know. Understanding the Trinity, how God can be three persons and one God and understand this will affect your understanding of God’s eternal purpose in many ways. If you have believed the Trinity you got it right. Understanding the Trinity will open your understanding to God’s eternal purpose. I will be teaching these things in a new prophecy collage for pastors and scholars starting in Alabama .soon where a team of pastors that actually do study will be teaching. We are dead on Orthodox. We all confess the apostles creed and are main line Jesus believing Christians.

    Jesus was Omani present still when the earth was created. The father left Omani presence entering the dominion of Angles. The “I Am.” Was Omani present from eternity past. There wasn’t space before God created an expanse there was only God. There are not two dominions there are three. The dominion of God is Omani presence. The Father exists in a place in the thrown room. Only the Spirit is everywhere present. Jesus is in his body that rose from the dead. Both the Father and the Word left being everywhere present and left the dominion of God so God could fill “All in all.” This has so much more to do with understanding prophecy and God’s eternal purpose than you now understand. Also note that the father did not sit on the heavenly thrown till after the time of the flood. He stayed on earth till the flood. He needed to call his nation before sitting on that thrown. God did not crate the heavenly temple it was built by angels and they set the thrown first. The thrown is set first to prepare the way for the King and the Father is the King of heaven and He assented to that thrown. “God is enthroned on the praises of His people.” The Father who alone is the person called “The Almighty.” Don’t worry. I am not messing with the Trinity. God is Co-equal. I would like you to understand why, and why God is perfect. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all three began before time in the dominion of God all three were everywhere present. The Father emptied himself first in by his investment in creation, then Jesus becoming a man and also the Spirit. Each in ways unique to their personal natures of power, love and righteousness. There is so much to teach that relates to understanding prophecy!

    Like

  9. Pat
    02/14/2015 at 11:31 AM

    Hi The “in one week ” in dan 9;27 correctly translated by Douay-Rheims bible refers to the crucifixion of Jesus precisely in the middle of the 40th jubilee period started in 6bc and ended 55 ad
    They started in 1416bc and the 70th jubilee ends sept 2015 ( 70 x49 = 3430 years) and 1416 add 2015 is 3431 less 1 for no year zero.

    Like

  10. Pat
    02/14/2015 at 11:34 AM

    Sorry I mistakenly said Jesus was crucified on middle of 40th jubilee but it was actually in the middle of the 30th jubilee period.

    Like

  11. White Tiger
    09/07/2015 at 11:39 AM

    Perusing through your works do gender an urge of gratitude unto our heavenly Father through our Yahweh Yesua’ Messiah !
    from : Pa Eng Hu.

    Like

  12. Willard
    09/08/2015 at 10:52 PM

    Pat – Jesus was crucified in the 80th Jubilee from creation and going backwards it was the 40th from Yom Kippur this year

    Like

  13. 09/20/2015 at 5:42 PM

    Excellent article. I have been saying these things all along. I appreciate your reading of the text in all truth. My view and interpretation of the Word of God and these end times isn’t based on a man made label that i want to give myself. It’s based on what the Bible says solely. Thank you for a much needed refreshing article.

    Like

  14. Anonymous
    09/21/2015 at 9:53 PM

    I have not read more than your first paragraph, but I am already impressed! You are like a breath of fresh air to a tired and conflicted soul! All the things I thought I ‘knew’ about end of days stuff I have been discovering are just not backed up by the bible. Where did all this stuff come from?
    What I so appreciate about you is that you are honest enough to say you don’t know – and honest enough to say that there are as many interpretations out there as there are bible scholars. For this reason I am interested to read more….
    Thank you., Janine

    Like

    • ICA
      09/22/2015 at 12:10 PM

      Hi Janine and C.A. Patin, thank you both for visiting the site and for the kind words. Feel free to visit the Theology and Eschatology section for other articles and to post any questions you may have. Blessings!

      Like

  15. Sharon
    10/27/2015 at 5:44 AM

    Just so it is not lost in the pages of comments and for those interested, I replied yesterday, 26/10/15, to a post by Christa on page 1,
    written on 4/27/14 at 8.07.

    Like

    • 10/27/2015 at 8:01 AM

      I have followed yours and Susan’s discussion from much earlier, did additional research and find that view to be compelling, so much so that I wrote a verse by verse commentary on Matthew 24, over 80 pages in length! Unfortunately, the moment I try to share that view, I get called a “preterist” (which I am not). It seems many ‘Christians’ are locked into one eschatological box or another, when it’s a simple truth that first century Jewish scriptures are best understood from a first century Jewish perspective, or they are not understood at all.

      Since that time, I have also discovered a possible different view of the parable of the wheat and tares…If you take a close look at the parable, I think you’ll see what I mean. Notice what Old Testament verse Jesus quotes. I am beginning to consider that the church is not in view there, but that the wheat is referring to Jews who believe, and the tares are Jews who do not believe.

      Like

      • FX
        10/27/2015 at 8:46 AM

        Bonjour,

        Is your Mathiew 24 commentary available somewhere to read online ?

        Sounds interesting…

        Blessings,

        FX

        Like

        • 10/27/2015 at 9:31 AM

          I have not released it for public viewing yet, though I am happy to post portions of it online, commentary on individual scriptures in Matthew chapter 24. It will eventually be an appendix to a verse-by-verse commentary on the Revelation I am writing, utilizing an Islamic end times view.

          Like

          • FX
            10/27/2015 at 10:46 AM

            Bonjour InfidelRising,

            Thanks for your reply.
            Sounds very interesting !

            I can either wait or if you’e ok to share the Mat 24 part, let us know where we can read it.

            Blessings

            FX

            Like

            • 10/28/2015 at 10:51 AM

              Is there a particular verse in question that you would like to read the commentary entry for?

              Like

              • FX
                10/28/2015 at 4:53 PM

                Bonsoir Infidelrising,

                No particular verses. I would be interested to read the whole thing! But I can wait until you’ve finished.

                Blessings,

                FX

                Like

          • FX
            10/30/2015 at 1:30 AM

            Merci beaucoup Infidelrising.

            I will read this with interest.

            Be blessed,

            François-Xavier

            Like

  16. ICA
    10/27/2015 at 11:10 AM

    infidelsrising, “I have also discovered a possible different view of the parable of the wheat and tares…If you take a close look at the parable, I think you’ll see what I mean. Notice what Old Testament verse Jesus quotes. I am beginning to consider that the church is not in view there, but that the wheat is referring to Jews who believe, and the tares are Jews who do not believe.”

    Hi brother, it sounds interesting and I’d like to read about this view also, particularly in light of verses like Matt 21:43 and 1 Peter 2:9. Also, when you say “church” do you mean grafted in Gentiles who become part of the one body of believers (Eph 2)? (The church — i.e. congregation or assembly — began in the Old Testament with believing Jews, cf. Acts 7:38, 1 Cor. 10:2-4 and Matt. 18:17).

    It always seemed to me that the wheat were all true believers in YHWH and His Messiah (the one body comprised of both believing Jews and Gentiles) and that the tares — which grow up after the wheat is sown and are gathered out of the kingdom for practicing lawlessness (Matt 13:41) — would be those who claim to be part of God’s kingdom, but are not (cf. Matt 24:5, 1 John 2:19, 2 Peter 2:1, Matt 7:15-16).

    Matthew 13:39b-42a, “… the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.”

    Matthew 7:20-23, “… by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

    Though the birds of the air seek to devour the good seed when the opportunity arises (Matt 13:4) those same birds are also nesting in the branches of the Kingdom (Matt 13:32).

    Like

    • 10/27/2015 at 5:19 PM

      Hi ICA.

      In my comment that you have replied to, my application of the word ‘church’ is meaning today’s idea of what the ‘church’ is…generally non-Jewish believers who generally don’t have an idea of their relation to the true Israel of God. I believe the evidence from the scriptures shows that the parable of the wheat and tares does not point to the ‘church’ that much of the west believes is the ‘church’. In other words, when pastors and preachers warn people about the ‘tares growing up with the wheat” as if that is referring to false converts in the congregations of today’s churches, they’re reading a 20th century ‘church’ into a 1st century Jewish document that simply has nothing to do with today’s modern day ‘church’.

      Before I go much farther, I will first answer your references to Matt 21:43 and 1 Peter 2:9. I believe both of those are identifying an already existing entity called ‘the church of God’ (1 Cor 1032) and “the church in the wilderness’ (Acts 7:38)….the genuine church of believers that has existed prior to the day of Pentecost. Those verses are not identifying a newly created entity, but just affirming the kingdom belongs to an entity that has already been in existence.

      (Mat 21:43) “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

      Jesus is not giving the kingdom to someone new, but merely prohibiting it from those who are not worthy of it and giving it to those who are.

      (Mat 21:44) “And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

      This is a warning to Jews. Better to be one who falls before Him in brokenness, than to be one whom He falls on later in judgment. Judgement was soon to come, around 40 years later.

      (1Pe 2:9) But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

      This is Peter (a Jew) clearly identifying first century Jewish believers with the group of believers in the Old Testament, the ekklesia church that existed prior to the day of Pentecost.

      Now, back to Matthew and the wheat and tares.

      Tares look like wheat, but are not. If the tares are the unsaved souls outside of the ‘church’ how do they look like genuine believers? Sinners outside the church are easily recognized by their distinctly ungodly speech, thoughts and behavior. Thus, unbelievers outside of the modern day ‘church’ I think are not in view here.

      Interestingly, the first Christians were Jews who retained much of their Jewish heritage and customs. They looked and dressed like their fellow unbelieving Jews, read the same OT scriptures in the same temple as the unbelieving Jews (the NT was not in existence at that time). Notice from the scriptures where the early Christians had fellowship. Caps mine for emphasis.

      (Act 2:46) Day by day continuing with one mind IN THE TEMPLE, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

      And where did they do their ministry?

      (Act 5:42) And daily IN THE TEMPLE, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

      For all intensive purposes, the early disciples (who were believing Jews) grew up together with the unbelieving Jews, the genuine believers (wheat) and the unbelieving Jews (tares).

      This first followers of Jesus were inextricably linked to Jews in the temple. It’s not until 70AD that we see a departure of Christians from Jews when Christians abstained from the Jewish resistance against Rome, heeded Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:16 and departed Jerusalem for the mountainous area of Pella. Jesus described the judgment upon Jews that was soon to come as a furnace of fire….

      (Mat 13:42) and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      Unbelieving Jews (the tares) remained in Jerusalem and suffered the judgment of God beginning in 70AD, a judgment that continues to this day. It was during Passover (the time Jerusalem would have been most populated with Jews) that Titus began the siege in earnest. It is ironic that these Christ-rejecting Jews gathered to celebrate on the Passover but suffered on account of their rejection of their God-given Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.

      The ‘times of the Gentiles’ continues and will continue until Jesus’ return. The judgment of 70AD continues today. The so-called ‘holy land’ is overrun with foreigners (Arab Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza and Jerusalem and other notable places). The city is partitioned into quarters filled with Christ-rejecting orthodox Jews, secular Jews, Roman Catholic idolaters, antichrist Muslims, homosexuals and other ungodly riffraff who defile the land. Jews cannot even pray on their own temple mount and it is occupied by the blasphemous monstrosity of the “Dome of the Rock”.

      Contrary to enthusiastic tour operators, there is nothing holy about the “holy land”, the temple mount, the dome, Rabbinical Jews, or the city itself which lies under a pall of doom that will only be lifted when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in judgment and war and Jews of Jerusalem wail and mourn in repentance according to Zech 12:10 and finally declare “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

      (Luk 13:35) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

      Rhetorical question for modern day ‘Christians’. If the tares are unbelievers in general (not necessarily in the church), why are those who “commit lawlessness” already in His kingdom?

      (Mat 13:41) “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,

      Notice that it is only the ‘stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness” that are gathered up, not the genuine believers. 70AD clearly was a judgment on those who were stumbling blocks and who from God’s perspective, were lawless, disobedient, rebellious, children of wrath.

      Why are such infidels “among the righteous”?

      (Mat 13:49) “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous,

      The scriptures we have seen earlier clearly show the wicked were among the righteous since the unbelieving Jews and believing Jewish followers of Jesus were often together in the temple, daily, only distinguished from unbelieving Jews by their love for each other.

      (Joh 13:35) “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

      Another rhetorical question: Why would Jesus be speaking to or about today’s church’ as many perceive the ‘church’ to be today? Could He not be considering the “kingdom” to be a Jewish kingdom that included genuine believers and unbelievers, with Him removing a portion of unbelievers from that kingdom? Perhaps the scriptures can enlighten us. Jesus quotes Dan 12:3. Why?

      (Mat 13:43) “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

      I believe this verse has already been fulfilled in the apostle’s ministry to the Jews first, which clearly ended at 70AD. The gospel was preached by righteous, born again, repentant, converted Jews, and to Jews exclusively for approximately 7 years (from the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 to the first non-Jewish convert in Acts chapter 10). After Acts 10, they continued to preach the gospel to Jews (but also non-Jews) until 70AD, at which time Christians abstained from participating in the Jewish resistance against Rome, and made their departure from Pella. Let’s look at Dan 12:3 again. Who is it referring to?

      Dan 12:3, in its context, is directed to the “sons of your people” (Dan 12:1)….Whose people?…. Jews.

      Now if Daniel 12:3 is part of the ending of a summary of the last temple period, then we should expect to see the text clearly identify who this text is referring to. Dan 10:14 begins such an end time context, a summary of the end of the Jewish nation, not the end of the world.

      (Dan 10:14) “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”

      It seems to me then that in the parable of the wheat and tares, Jesus is not talking about today’s modern ‘church’ and unbelievers (either in or out of the what most people consider the ‘church). He appears to me to be talking to Jews about Jews, distinguishing those who believe (the wheat) and Jews who do not believe (the tares) by the time of the end of age of Pharisaical Judaism, which for Jews was 70AD. He uses Dan 12:3 to identify who and what He was referring to…Jews and the end of their religion.

      (Mat 13:43) …. He who has ears, let him hear.

      Like

      • Sharon
        10/28/2015 at 12:40 AM

        PS infidelrising,
        I recommend Philip Mauro’s writings as a very good source on these matters. He is one of the sources mentioned by Susan earlier in this thread.

        Like

  17. Sharon
    10/28/2015 at 12:36 AM

    Infidelrising, hallo.

    I like what you have written. I too think the church of the Living God is a gathering of people called “the Israel of God” from the very beginning – most certainly post Genesis 3:15. All those faithful people who have been called according to the purposes of God since that early time. Galatians 4:24-27 shows quite clearly exactly that idea.

    I used to believe the church began at Pentecost but I am pleased to say now that I have been shown by God’s grace how wrong I was in that exclusive belief. Such a lot of Christendom is selfish in thinking that a huge part of the prophetic scriptures deals with them at the end when in fact we are a continuation of that which as you say was begun with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

    I am indebted to Susan’s writings in this thread at earlier inputs (WELL WORTH going through and reading) and ICA, who both opened up the scriptures to my rethinking on the whole end time understanding.

    I like what you have said re the wheat and tares and cannot think why it does not pertain to the believing and unbelieving Jews at the time of AD 70 as well as to the Israel of God in the end of time as we know it and those who think they are part of that entity.

    AD 70 was such an important time in history and is hugely overlooked by the “church” today as they erroneously interpret eschatology.

    I would be most interested in reading what you have written on Matthew 24 and on Revelation.

    God bless you.

    Like

  18. ICA
    10/28/2015 at 2:21 PM

    infidelsrising, “I am beginning to consider that the church is not in view there, but that the wheat is referring to Jews who believe, and the tares are Jews who do not believe… my application of the word ‘church’ is meaning today’s idea of what the ‘church’ is…generally non-Jewish believers who generally don’t have an idea of their relation to the true Israel of God… [Jesus] appears to me to be talking to Jews about Jews, distinguishing those who believe (the wheat) and Jews who do not believe (the tares) by the time of the end of age of Pharisaical Judaism, which for Jews was 70AD. He uses Dan 12:3 to identify who and what He was referring to…Jews and the end of their religion.”

    Interesting view. I guess it all depends how one defines the “church.” Here is my understanding.

    Firstly, imho, I’m not so sure that using the “modern” definition of the “church” as opposed to the Biblical definition would be the most expository way to ascertain the intent of Christ’s parable. In terms of the “Jews and the end of their religion”, the way I currently see it, the New Covenant is simply the ratification of the promises made under the Abrahamic Covenant whereby Jesus came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Romans 15:8) and is the Seed of Abraham upon whom the blessings are bestowed. In Galatians 3:14, the receiving of the Holy Spirit was fulfillment of the covenant that God made with Abraham. Christ did not end it, but rather confirmed (strengthened) it upon His death (Gal 3:17; Matt 26:28; Dan 9:27a; cf. John 16:7). He is its Mediator (Heb 7:22; 8:6; 12:24). As such, there was therefore no end to the “religion” of the Jews, as it were, for we as believing Gentiles have now been brought into “fulfilled” Judaism by being grafted into this Jewish paradigm — into one Olive Tree, one Body, one Temple that grows unto the Lord — not into a Gentile paradigm. In fact, Paul now makes no distinction between a believer who is a Jew and a Gentile who is a believer. “There is neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). If there is now neither Jew nor Greek and all are one in Christ Jesus, then the “wheat” is likely referring to all who have put on the righteousness of Messiah (both the natural branches of the Olive Tree that remain and those grafted in).

    Secondly, Jesus said that the “wheat” and the “tares” would “grow together until [mechri] the harvest” (Matt 13:30), at which point there would then be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” If we accept the straightforward intent of the text, Jesus would be saying that once the harvest takes place, the “wheat” and the “tares” will no longer be growing together and all opportunity for the tares are then lost. If the harvest that Jesus referred to took place in 70AD, however, then why do we still have “wheat” and “tares” still existing together in the world today? Why do we yet live in an age where the “tares” still have opportunity to believe in Messiah? Since the “harvest” is given in what seems to be an eschatological context and with eschatological language, I have difficulty reading this particular passage as referring to anything but a judgment that is yet to come, when those “in” the kingdom (like the birds nesting in its branches) who claim to belong to God but are not His (this could be so-called “Christian” cults, for instance, and those who claim to believe in “Jesus” but reject Christ and Him crucified, and to those who have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof – cf. 2 Tim 3:5) are forever separated from those who are righteous and who are truly “of” the kingdom.

    Let’s consider the following:

    A. In Luke 13:28, Jesus refers to the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in an eschatological context, saying, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

    B. Jesus refers to “weeping and gnashing of teeth” again in Matthew 25:30-32 in an eschatological context where the command is given to “cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another …”

    C. If Jesus used the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” language in an eschatological context above, then chances are He used this language in an eschatological context when describing the separation in the wheat and tares parable as well:

    Matthew 13:39b-42, 49-50, “… the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth… So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    One final point: We also read of “harvest” language elsewhere in Scripture, and like the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” it, too, is found in an eschatological context (cf. Rev 14:15-20).

    I could be wrong, but it seems to be the best and most straightforward understanding, at least to me.

    Like

    • 10/28/2015 at 9:23 PM

      Yes, I agree it depends on how one defines the church. I think we both agree that the church is believing Israel, the church in the wilderness, the ekklesia assembly. I was just making a distinction between what the ‘modern church’ believes is the church, and how the bible defines the church.

      As far as “Jews and the end of their religion”, that is referring to Pharisaical Judaism. Jews today are not real Jews. They are blasphemous Rabbinical Talmudists for the most part, a form of Judaism which came out of the carcass of 70AD but which soon morphed into Talmudism. Thus, anyone claiming to be a Jew then and today, based on Rabbinical Judaism would fit Paul’s criteria for being a false Jew…

      (Rom 2:28) For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.

      (Rom 2:29) But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

      Even Paul distinguished the Judaism of his day as a false religion when he says….

      (Php 3:2) Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;

      Hardly anyone one would expect to be a recipient of blessing under the New Covenant. In contrast, Paul calls genuine believers the ‘true circumcision’.

      (Php 3:3) for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

      Now usually when I don’t speak in fawning adoration about modern day Jews and Israel people (usually Christians) will start accusing me of being anti-semitic, but that’s not true at all. I don’t have anything personal against Jews or Israel. It’s just a simple fact that those who claim to be Jews today have no favored position with God because according to Paul, they’re not even real Jews.

      I’m of the opinion that “….those who say they are Jews but are not..are a synagogue of satan.” (Rev 2:9, 3:9) were Rabbinical Jews who were once Pharisaical Jews.

      You asked “Secondly, Jesus said that the “wheat” and the “tares” would “grow together until [mechri] the harvest” (Matt 13:30), at which point there would then be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” If we accept the straightforward intent of the text, Jesus would be saying that once the harvest takes place, the “wheat” and the “tares” will no longer be growing together and all opportunity for the tares are then lost.” and “If the harvest that Jesus referred to took place in 70AD, however, then why do we still have “wheat” and “tares” still existing together in the world today?”

      I think the immediate context of the parable of the wheat and tares is limited to 70AD, but believers today can identify with those who were wheat then on account of a shared faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. And what about ‘tares’? Pharasaical Judaism does not exist anymore, so who today would be able to identify with them and be called ‘tares’?

      According to Paul, those who call themselves Jews really are not, so I do not lift Jesus’ definition of ‘tares’ out of its proper first century context to apply it to those who call themselves ‘Jews’ today. In other words, the ‘tares’ were unrepentant, unbelieving Jews leading up to 70AD.

      Pertaining to the

      (Mat 13:30) ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘

      That was part of the actual parable. The explanation of that part of the parable is given in…

      (Mat 13:39) and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.

      (Mat 13:40) “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.

      (Mat 13:41) “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,

      (Mat 13:42) and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      (Mat 13:43) “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

      The emphasis in this particular parable seems to be the demise of the tares, not an explanation of what happens to the wheat. The tares are burned up in judgment, but the wheat is collected afterward. This may be figurative of the judgment of 70AD, which destroyed the Jewish religion while genuine believers (the wheat) found refuge in Pella.

      John the baptist may have alluded to this earlier well when he said….

      (Mat 3:12) “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

      Here, the ‘threshing floor’ may be a term denoting judgment similar to how the word “threshing” was used in Isaiah 27:12.

      In John the baptist’ sermon, the chaff would be unrepentant Jews, while the wheat would be repentant, believing Jews who would survive the destruction of 70AD in a pre-emptive migration to Pella, then later, accomplish their mission to spread the gospel to all the known nations surrounding Jerusalem and finally die a marytr’s death.

      Similarly, in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, the tares would be unrepentant, unbelieving Jews while the wheat would be the repentant, believing Jews who emigrated to Pella, while the “righteous” (the apostles) “shine forth as the sun” upon a spiritually dark land filled with violence and immorality by sharing the gospel to the known world.

      You asked “Since the “harvest” is given in what seems to be an eschatological context and with eschatological language, I have difficulty reading this particular passage as referring to anything but a judgment that is yet to come,”

      Jesus quoted Dan 12:3, which was directed to Jews as part of a warning about the judgment to come which was fulfilled in 70AD. So yes, it is eschatological, but only in the sense of the end of the Jewish religion of the second temple period.

      Jesus follows up with another parable, of the mustard seed.

      (Mat 13:31) He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;

      (Mat 13:32) and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

      The “birds of the air” that “nest in its branches” is another quote from the Old Testament. One that pertains to a prophecy of a future Messiah and whose kingdom will include ‘every kind’ of bird’.

      (Eze 17:23) “On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And BIRDS OF EVERY KIND will nest under it; they will NEST IN THE SHADE OF ITS BRANCHES.

      In other words, He is warning them of judgment in the parable of the wheat and tares, then following up with a parable about the kingdom of those whom it has been given, which will have remarkable growth (like a mustard seed) and include “all kinds of birds”, meaning all kinds of people, not necessarily Jewish believers but also non-Jewish believers.

      You said here “If Jesus used the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” language in an eschatological context above (in Luke13:28) then chances are He used this language in an eschatological context when describing the separation in the wheat and tares parable as well:”

      “…chances are…” ?? Is that how we exegete the scriptures? ICA…come on my friend. We can do better than that! I don’t see how Luke 13:28 as necessarily an end time eschatological verse but rather, a general warning to his audience (Jews, those He ate and drank with and in whose streets He taught) that only He is the way into the kingdom. Those who do not strive to enter, through Him, will not be known by Him later and those will suffer judgment, signified by “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

      It could be, ICA, that Jesus used “weeping and gnashing of teeth” for two different contexts. One culminates in the judgment of the unrepentant, unbelieving Jews prior to 70AD, and the unrepentant, unbelieving souls at the time of His return.

      “weeping and gnashing of teeth” also occurs in…

      (Mat 8:12) but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

      The “sons of the kingdom” is commonly understood to be referring to the physical heirs of Abraham, not the general population at the end of all things. Thus, the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” can be used to apply to different people in different contexts.

      I don’t see why the use of the word “harvest” could also be used to mean differently in different contexts. I think it’s not wise to just assume that a repeated word means the same or is necessarily in the same context. “Harvest” could mean the harvest in the sense of an end time harvest of souls, but also the harvest in the sense of a completion of work or the end of a season. In the case of Matthew 13:30, the prophesied conclusion of the age of the physical temple and the judgment on the Jewish nation for their rebellion and unbelief.

      Also, the parable of the wheat and tares is far removed from Matthew 24:29-31 and the parables and anaologies that follow it that pertain to being ready for His return. It would seem rather odd for Jesus to be warn the Jews about the judgment at His return before He warns the disciples about the destruction of the temple in Matthew 24.

      Good questions ICA. I fully welcome questions, challenges and critical examination of the view that the wheat and tares are referring to believing Jews and unbelieving Jews leading up to 70AD. I think the evidence I have put forth already weighs in favor of this view.

      Like

  19. ICA
    10/29/2015 at 2:21 PM

    infidelsrising, “Jews today are not real Jews… those who claim to be Jews today have no favored position with God because according to Paul, they’re not even real Jews.”

    Hi brother, thanks for the detailed post. Yes, biblically speaking, Jews today who have rejected Messiah are not (yet) true Jews. Gentiles who have faith in Messiah are more Jewish in the Biblical sense than Jews who do not.

    infidelsrising, “I think the immediate context of the parable of the wheat and tares is limited to 70AD … Pharasaical Judaism does not exist anymore … This may be figurative of the judgment of 70AD, which destroyed the Jewish religion …”

    Is there anything specifically in the text that leads you to believe that Jesus is only referring to Pharasaical Judaism? Of the Essenes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, “the Pharisaic school of thought is the only one that survived the destruction of the Temple” according to Jewfaq.org. In fact, all Jewish movements today are from Pharisaical Judaism. Today it is simply called Rabbinical Judaism.

    Many of the natural branches of the Olive Tree that have been cut off for their unbelief will be grafted back in when they come to faith in Yeshua. This is happening today, and will continue to happen until He returns. If the Pharisaic school of thought survived 70AD, then the “tares” have not yet been gathered and burned in the fire.

    Just as we as believers are in the world today but not of the world, everything that is in the kingdom today but not of the kingdom will be removed from it forever, at the end of the age.

    infidelsrising, “The ‘birds of the air’ that ‘nest in its branches’ is another quote from the Old Testament. One that pertains to a prophecy of a future Messiah and whose kingdom will include ‘every kind’ of bird’.

    (Eze 17:23) ‘On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And BIRDS OF EVERY KIND will nest under it; they will NEST IN THE SHADE OF ITS BRANCHES.'”

    Interestingly, Ezekiel elsewhere uses birds to also refer to Israel’s enemies (Ezek 31:6,13, Ezek 32:4, Ezek 39:4,17), and here he writes that “birds of every kind” will nest in its branches.

    infidelsrising, “‘…chances are…’ ?? Is that how we exegete the scriptures? ICA…come on my friend. We can do better than that! I don’t see how Luke 13:28 as necessarily an end time eschatological verse but rather, a general warning to his audience ..”

    The exegesis of Scripture should always include the application of hermeneutics whenever possible, and for this study it certainly is. :)

    infidelsrising, “Those who do not strive to enter [the kingdom], through Him, will not be known by Him later and those will suffer judgment, signified by ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’… the phrase ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ can be used to apply to different people in different contexts.”

    Case in point. In the parable of the invited guest who comes to the wedding feast without the proper garments, he is bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 22:9-13). This is done after those who were originally invited refused to attend and were subsequently destroyed and their city burned (Matt 22:7). In Revelation 16:15, Jesus again uses similar language by imploring His people to “keep his garments” in the face of persecution by the Beast prior to His Second Coming. I think we would both agree that His Second Coming is also at the end of the age.

    infidelsrising, “I don’t see why the use of the word ‘harvest’ could also be used to mean differently in different contexts. I think it’s not wise to just assume that a repeated word means the same or is necessarily in the same context.”

    True, but we should examine words in context. Both times they are speaking of a judgment that take place at the end of the age.

    infidelsrising, “In the case of Matthew 13:30, the prophesied conclusion of the age of the physical temple and the judgment on the Jewish nation for their rebellion and unbelief… the parable of the wheat and tares is far removed from Matthew 24:29-31 …”

    But Matthew 13:30 doesn’t say the age of the physical temple and the judgement of the Jewish nation for their rebellion and unbelief. It simply says the “end of the age” when “the Son of Man will send out His angels” (v. 41). And this isn’t far removed from Matthew 24. Jesus repeats something similar in Matthew 24, saying that “Immediately after the tribulation … the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven … And He will send His angels …” (Matt 24:29-31). All of this parallels Revelation 6-7, which ends with the Second Coming of Christ.

    It’s a good discussion, brother. Before I end, let’s consider something else that we could deduce from it all. The judgment of 70AD did not merely end in 70AD after the temple was destroyed. This judgment is a judgment that began in the first century and is still in effect today, a judgment that will only come to its full and final completion at the Second Coming of Christ — the time during which everything that offends, including Pharisaical/Rabbinical Judaism which still rejects Yeshua, will finally come to an immediate end.

    Like

    • 10/29/2015 at 5:53 PM

      ICA, yes, I’m aware that the false Jews of today will someday repent according to Zech 12:10, and I rejoice for them in advance, yet am sobered at the thought that Christ-rejecting false Jews of today are on the wide road to an eternal hellish torment if they do not repent and put their trust on the Lord Jesus Christ today. The bible says “Now is the day of salvation”. Hopefully more false Jews will be called, and respond to the gospel with Godly sorrow that leads to repentance and that they can finally know and be forgiven by their Messiah.

      You asked “Is there anything specifically in the text that leads you to believe that Jesus is only referring to Pharasaical Judaism? Of the the Essenes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, “the Pharisaic school of thought is the only one that survived the destruction of the Temple” according to Jewfaq.org. In fact, all Jewish movements today are from Pharisaical Judaism. Today it is simply called Rabbinical Judaism.”

      Pharisaical Judaism was the leading school of faith during the time of Jesus and up to 70AD. Saducees disappeared altogether after 70AD. Pharasaical Judaism did survive 70AD but not for long. The last Sanhedrin was in 425AD and by that time, Pharasaical Judaism was already in decline, eventually morphing into the blasphemous Rabbinc Taldmudism of today, adding judgment upon judgment as it were.

      The assumption that today’s Judaism is also Pharasaical Judaism and therefore has some vaunted status is false. Today’s Judaism, though having its origin in Pharasaical Judaism, deserves no anti-semitic hatred, nor any unwarranted affection. We should not embellish and exalt their status when God Himself calls them “those who say they are Jews but are not” and “the synagogue of satan”.

      Without hatred, and with a heart of compassion toward those who are lost, let us still be fair and honest to the scriptures. Today’s Judaism fulfills the biblical criteria for being antichrist just as much as Islam.

      (1Jn 2:22) Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

      John in the gospel said…

      (Joh 3:36) “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

      Evidently, the wrath of God abides on all observant Jews.

      John in his epistle said…

      (2Jn 1:9) Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
      (2Jn 1:10) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
      (2Jn 1:11) for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

      From (2 Jn 1:9-11) we can see that anyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Jews of the 1st century (and today) must therefore have a false god, the one who has blinded them. Those who call themselves Jews today do not abide in the teachings of Christ and are idolaters because their god is not also the Son.

      In the NT, the term “unbelievers” often refers to the Jews. For example, in….

      (1Co 14:22) So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

      Tongues were the sign of judgment, according to Isaiah 28:11. 70AD was the fulfillment.

      Paul must have been aware of Jesus’ warning the disciples of the imminent destruction of the temple when he said, referring to Jewish unbelievers….

      (2Co 4:3) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
      (2Co 4:4) in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

      Paul also exhorts the Corinthians….

      (2Co 6:14) Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

      He is exhorting them to not be ‘bound’ with false Jews.

      Such scriptures show that even the apostles knew the real character of false Jews. What about an entire nation of them?

      (2Ch 19:2) Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD?

      Such a verse as that above should cause those who support a nation of God-hating, Christ-rejecting idolaters, which is what a nation of false Jews is, to reconsider an exorbitant amount of affection, as modern Christian Zionists are so eager to display. Again, this does not mean I hate Israel, Jews or Christian Zionists. It just shows that we need to have a balanced look at what the scriptures say about them, even if it causes us to reassess our previously held assumptions or un-biblically based affections for false Jews. This is difficult for many, because many (including myself), support the nation of Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself.

      You said… “Interestingly, Ezekiel elsewhere uses birds to also refer to Israel’s enemies (Ezek 31:6,13, Ezek 32:4, Ezek 39:4,17), and here he writes that “birds of every kind” will nest in its branches.”

      That is very interesting. Perhaps it is suggesting that unbelievers are the birds that nest in the branches of Israel, or could it mean those who are ‘enemies’ of the Pharisees (Gentiles) would also inhabit the kingdom? Hard to tell on that one.

      You said “But Matthew 13:30 doesn’t say the age of the physical temple and the judgement of the Jewish nation for their rebellion and unbelief. It simply says the “end of the age” when “the Son of Man will send out His angels” (v. 41). And this isn’t far removed from Matthew 24. Jesus repeats something similar, saying that “Immediately after the tribulation … the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven … And He will send His angels …” (Matt 24:29:31). All of this parallels Revelation 6, which ends with the Second Coming of Christ.”

      True, angels are mentioned along with “end of the age”, but the age is not specifically stated. And what is to prevent angels from having a dual role? Could they not participate in judgment upon the Jewish nation beginning in 70AD and judgment at the time of Jesus’ return?

      True, it doesn’t say “physical temple” and “judgment” is not made obvious to us, non-Jewish, 21st century English speaking ekklesians. But to a 1st century Jewish mindset, the end of the world was not the worst thing to them, but the end of their religion would be. More clues from the scriptures….. Jesus explained who/what the tares were in….

      (Mat 13:38) and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

      Who are the “sons of the evil one”? According to Jesus, the Jews were children of the evil one.

      (Joh 8:44) “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

      And Paul called the Jewish false prophet Elymas a “son of the devil”

      (Act 13:6) When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus,

      (Act 13:10) and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?

      Acts 13:11 then goes on to describe how that Jewish false prophet went looking (still blind) for other (presumably Jews) to lead him. . . the blind leading the blind as it were.

      So we have multiple sources (John 8:44 and Acts 13:6-10) that show that “sons of the devil” were unbelieving Jews….which were also the tares. This again supports a first century fulfillment in 70AD of the wheat being believing Jews, and the tares being unbelieving Jews.

      Your last was….”Before I end, let’s consider something else that we could deduce from it all. The judgment of 70AD did not merely end in 70AD after the temple was destroyed. This judgment is a judgment that is still in effect today, a judgment that will only come to its full completion at the Second Coming of Christ — the time during which everything that offends, including Pharisaical Judaism which still rejects Yeshua, will come to an immediate end.”

      Except for the identification of Pharisaical Judaism still existing, I agree. Well, thank you for your stimulating, challenging questions and for your courtesy and the opportunity to share here. GOD bless you, and keep up the excellent work here at this site.

      (Mar 13:37) And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

      Like

  20. ICA
    11/04/2015 at 3:57 PM

    infidelsrising, “Who are the ‘sons of the evil one’? According to Jesus, the Jews were children of the evil one… we have multiple sources (John 8:44 and Acts 13:6-10) that show that ‘sons of the devil’ were unbelieving Jews …. which were also the tares. This again supports a first century fulfillment in 70AD of the wheat being believing Jews, and the tares being unbelieving Jews.”

    Scripture, inspired by the Spirit of God, calls all sinners — not just Jews — who do not repent and abide in the Lord to be the “children of the devil” (cf 1 John 3:8-10) and even mentions Cain to be among that group, who was not a Jew. It seems to me that Jesus had much more in view here than merely Jews who rejected Him.

    infidelsrising, “Well, thank you for your stimulating, challenging questions and for your courtesy and the opportunity to share here.”

    You’re more than welcome. Keep sharpening the iron, brother. God bless!

    Like

  21. Anonymous
    06/09/2016 at 4:47 PM

    There is a period of one week (seven years) left in reference to the prophecies discussed here. If you believe otherwise you really need to read, re-read and read again just Revelation alone.

    Like

  22. Anonymous
    06/09/2016 at 4:54 PM

    Anonymous, why do you believe there is a period of seven years still left?? I read and re-read multiple times and I see it nowhere.

    Like

  23. Sharon
    06/11/2016 at 1:40 AM

    Anonymous at 06/09/2016 at 4:47pm

    You have obviously come to this discussion “late” and missed all the tremendous scholarship of Susan throughout the discussion going back to 2013! You would do well to go to the beginning and follow the thread through the pages and “see” the evidence so well laid down that there is no 7 year period or one week left of the prophecies (Dan: 9:24-27) left.
    Sharon

    Like

  24. 09/15/2016 at 5:44 PM

    I’m new to this site. I have spent a good deal of time reading these blog posts re: Daniel’s 70 week prophecy. These are my observations comments and questions.
    1. It is obvious as I had before concluded that much of this prophecy is already fulfilled in Israel’s history.
    2. What might still be future is still disputed.
    3. I have decided that we can expect history to repeat itself and that therefore we could probably see Israel (Jerusalem) once again under siege for 1260 days.
    4. If the church and we individually are the temple referred to by Paul in 2Thess. And if the man of sin sets himself up as God in this temple being the church (and I might add in those who are the temple eg individuals within the church who are that temple) is that not redundant in that there is already the prophecy of a falling away? And does that not imply the total destruction of the church?
    5. Does scripture not imply in Romans chapters 9-11, that Israel the nation will be added back into the olive tree once the last of the Gentiles is saved (added to the olive tree)? Is this not confirmed by Zach. With the refining as purest gold of the 1/3 who will remain in the end. I’m trying to look at the big picture here.
    6. Is Gods called out ones, His elect, His body, His bride, etc not His olive tree– the Israel of God?
    7. Jesus says immediately after the tribulation of those days that the sun, moon and stars event will happen and the the sign of the appearing. There seems to be yet another great tribulation period — history repeats itself.
    8. At Daniel’s time the temple and the abomination of Desolation, would have represented an actual temple. Many of you seem to imply the need for a miracle in order for a rebuilt temple. God is in the miracle working business.
    9. In my book AND THEN THE END SHALL COME, I question the 2000 year gap theory, I suggest that the 70th heptad or seven, which is actually any integer or number divisible by seven could (since it is about Israel’s history — Daniel’s people) could actually span the entirety of history since the time of Abraham until the Second coming of Messiah.
    In the book, since this challenge was was made in an appendage, I did not set out to prove same.
    10. Why does it seem unreasonable to those on this forum to see the 1260 days of Revelation as the time of the consummation of the age? Just asking.
    11. How do we explain the fact that the Lord made it clear through Daniel to us who have seen one very important sign given to Daniel that that sign must be for the people of our general time? The sign given him for the last days was men running to and fro,and knowledge greatly expanding.
    12. How do we ignore the sign given by Paul to us that the man of sin setting himself up as God in the Temple of God is a sign of the coming day of the Lord? If this is a sign of the man of sin setting himself up in you and I as Believers, then who is the sign for? — since all who then qualify as this temple would be given over to deception, and there would therefore be no temple — no true believer left. This is the logical conclusion of that passage given your chosen scenario. Even though I agree with much of what is being taught and shared on this forum, we can still learn some things from the pre-Trib dispensationalist. This understanding I think being one of them.
    13. One writer states that Jesus did everything that was required of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy when He died and rose again, but I find it hard to believe that nothing is left for Him to do at His second coming. For example the Seventy sevens are said to make an end of sin. This will not occur until He returns, and depending how we understand mortality during the millennium, it possibly will not end until after the one thousand year reign. I am still inclined to include all of Israel’s history at least her history as a nation. Would that include the millennium? Seems so?
    14. Are the Seventy weeks representative of 490 consecutive weeks? The original shavuim (weeks, sevens, or besevened), seems to allow for the weeks to be computed by sevens, an integer multiply of seven. This based on. This based on E.J. Young’s The Prophecy of Daniel.
    15. Susan says in her 1/3/14 post concerning the destruction of Jerusalem — “Consider this – The greatest calamity of Israel’s history was about to happen. Realize what this meant. It was the end of the Jewish nation. It was the end of the Jewish religion. It was the end of Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the end of the entire O.T. System of sacrifices. It was the end of the feasts. All of it was about to be destroyed”. We need to consider that God has not established two religions, therefore the Jewish religion did not end. The new covenant is Jewish. The feasts have not ended, they will again be established in the millennium. Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that every one who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). I speak of why this is necessary in my book spoken of earlier. Even though I agree with the fact that much of Daniel is fulfilled, Israel is finished in God’s plan

    Liked by 1 person

    • 09/18/2016 at 5:03 PM

      The last sentence in my above post should read “isn’t finished in God’s plan.”

      Like

  25. 11/13/2016 at 12:37 PM

    2 PETER 1: 20 — Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”: Biblical prophecy is NOT a matter of personal interpretation but is the divine Word of God. The Holy Spirit, the Helper is our Teacher! There is no other basis for revelation of God’s Word than being led by Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit. Reasoning away the prophetic biblical Word of God is to ignore HIS warning at your own peril.

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  26. 01/22/2017 at 8:55 PM

    I am studying your argument, but your terminology vs. scripture sometimes leaves me confused as to which period you are really speaking of. Therefore, would you please be kind enough to send me your timeline for the Seven Year Covenant, The Day of the LORD, The Rapture, the Time of God’s Wrath and the Reign of the antichrist, and Daniel’s 70th Week so I might study your argument accordingly.

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  27. ICA
    01/23/2017 at 2:54 PM

    Jerry Warrington, “… would you please be kind enough to send me your timeline for the Seven Year Covenant, The Day of the LORD, The Rapture, the Time of God’s Wrath and the Reign of the antichrist, and Daniel’s 70th Week so I might study your argument accordingly.”

    Hi Jerry, in a nutshell:

    Seven Year Covenant: I don’t see the idea of seven-year-covenant (peace treaty) taught anywhere in Scripture.

    The Day of the Lord: This is the day of Christ’s Second Coming in great power and glory. I view it as one literal day (Zechariah 14:1,7, “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh … it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD …”; Isaiah 10:17, “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.”) The Day of the Lord is post-tribulational and is the day of His unrelenting wrath against the kingdom of Antichrist.

    The Rapture: From what I read in Scripture, the gathering of God’s elect takes place at the very beginning of the Day of the Lord at the instant the 7th and last trumpet begins to sound (2 Thess. 2:1-3, “… with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the Day of the Lord and our gathering to Him] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction …”. It is both post-tribulational and pre-wrath. See here for more info: http://ow.ly/Wu8s308h1IU

    The Time of God’s Wrath: The only type of wrath that we are promised deliverance from in Scripture is found in a post-trib context and it is reserved for the kingdom of Antichrist (and I would surmise the “goat” nations shortly thereafter, see Matt. 25:31-46). It begins on the Day of the Lord. Immediately after the tribulation the “sun” and “moon” are darkened (Matt. 24:29). The Day of His Wrath comes after these events (Rev. 6:12-18). See here for more info: http://ow.ly/mvqf308h2fk

    The Reign of Antichrist — Literal Man, Literal Days: In my view, if Antichrist is an actual person he will reign primarily during the Great Tribulation of the final 1260 days / 42 months / time, times and the dividing of time spoken of by the prophet Daniel and John in Revelation. The Abomination of Desolation would begin this count down. His reign would be primarily regional, not global, though his influence would be felt world wide. See here for more info: http://ow.ly/uxaG308h6ir

    The Reign of Antichrist — Figurative Man, Figurative Days: If Antichrist is a system and not a literal man, then it would have to be Islam itself. Knowing that the Ekklesia of YHWH (the Church) is the “Body of Christ” and is also referred to as His Bride that is filled with “the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11), it only stands to reason that Satan’s counterfeit of the Church — the Ummah of Islam — is the “Body of Antichrist” and referred to as the Whore of Babylon that is “full of names of blasphemy” (Rev. 17:3). If Antichrist is Islam itself, then it seems to me that the 1260 days could be referring to a much longer timeframe, similar to the days-of-years principle given to Ezekiel (Ezek. 4:6) and would therefore be more along the lines of an “historicist” understanding of the past 2,000 years, which views the Church as being in a perpetual state of tribulation from the time of the disciples until now (which I agree with regardless).

    Daniel’s 70th Week – Partially Fulfilled: One view is that the 70th Week started when Jesus began His earthy ministry and His death on the Cross halted the 70th week at the mid-point, leaving 1260 days remaining. The remaining 1260 days would be the Great Tribulation. Like the curtain of the physical temple that was ripped in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:50-51), the Messiah’s death appears to have caused a separation of the 70th week into two separate periods of 3.5 years, the first half already completed and the other half yet to come.

    Daniel’s 70th Week – Fulfilled: A second view, believed by the Church for nearly 19 centuries, states that the 70th Week started when Jesus began His earthly ministry and ended with the stoning of Stephen (Acts 11) when the gospel was then presented to the Gentile nations. See here for more info: http://ow.ly/34r3308h5KZ

    Hope this helps. :)

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