BEFORE THE START of Daniel's 70th week

What must be the condition of the world before the covenant of Daniel 9:27 can be implemented?
Throughout human history God has fulfilled the promise of Amos 3:7.
"Certainly the Lord Yahweh does nothing unless He reveals His secret plan to His servants the prophets."

This plan has been fulfilled faithfully and completely according to His perfect wisdom and timing.
But, the plan has been revealed in bits and pieces over the years. This is called the progressive revelation of God.

The best example of this is in regard to the first coming of Jesus and the salvation provided by His sacrifice on the cross.
It is stated at 1Peter 1:10-12.
"As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look."

From the first salvation promise of Gen. 3:15 to the final prophecies in the book of Malachi, the promise of the coming Savior of the world was revealed little by little until completely fulfilled by the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth.
Just as Jesus Himself proclaimed at Luke 24:44,
"These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Now the very same principle of Amos 3:7 applies to the prophecies about the end times.
The various details have been revealed little by little to God's people.
From the Old Testament prophets, to the words of Jesus and the writings of the apostles, God's prophetic time line is recorded in the Bible.

And the same certainty of fulfillment for that time line will be realized according to the perfect wisdom and timing of God.

Of concern for us at this time in history, is what is the next item on God's time-line.
According to all the written chronological indicators, the next event in the time line is the start of the 70th week of Daniel.

The 70th week is a future 7-year period of time during which and because of which God will fulfill His promise to Israel to estalish them as the chief of nations through which He will govern all the other nations of the earth.
During that period of time, Jesus will return to the earth and God will begin to fulfill all the blessings and judgments involved with His second coming.

But exactly how near or how far is that event from actually occurring?
As of right now, it has been almost 2000 years since the resurrection of Jesus.
And of course the 70th week still has not happened.
In this episode I will show that such an extended period of time was in fact prophesied and necessary before the 70th week could begin - before the antichrist could come on the scene, and before Jesus would return.

This 7-year period is mentioned directly only one time in Scripture.
But there is reference to it indirectly several times by focusing on the midpoint of that period of time.
The direct reference to the 70th week is at Dan. 9:26-27.
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city.
Basically, this is 70 periods of 7 years each that equals 490 years.

The 6 items mentioned in verse 24 relate to Israel, but have application to the entire world.
They will not all be completed within the parameters of the 490 years, but will be fulfilled through and because of the 490 years.

Since the promise relates directly to the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, we need to understand the start and character
of the 70th week according to the history of Israel.

The chronological flow of Dan. 9:25-27 is precise.
For details on the 70 weeks of Daniel see commentary.

Daniel 9:25,
So you are to know and understand that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,

The decree was issued by Cyrus of Persia in 536 BCE, which is actually 454 years before Christ's birth.
(The time adjustment is because of an 82 year corruption in the Persian king list).
From that decree there were then 483 years until the formal arrival of Messiah the prince.
As the verse continues, this is broken down into two periods.
"until Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with streets and moat, even in times of distress. "
A. During the first 49 years (7 weeks), the Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the city and temple.
B. After that there were 434 years (62 weeks) until the formal arrival and presentation of Jesus to the nation of Israel.
This occurred in about 30 AD.
Jesus described it at Luke 19:44, "because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Dan. 9:26
Then after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing.

At that time, that is after the 434 years, and after His official presentation of Himself to the nation, the Messiah was cut off.
He was rejected and crucified by the leadership and people of the nation.
Acts 3:13-15 summarizes it -
"The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses."

Daniel's chronology continues.
After the Messiah is rejected by the nation,
"the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; and to the end there will be war; desolations are determined."

So, at the time that Daniel received his prophecy, the city and temple were in ruins.
He wrote his prayer at Dan. 9:18,
"My God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name."

Within the first 49 years from the decree, the city and temple will be rebuilt.
Then after 434 more years it will be destroyed again.
But then, the city and temple will be rebuilt again.

And that's the next thing mentioned in the chronology. After a period of wars and desolations, the city will be rebuilt
and the prince who is to come will establish a 7-year covenant experiment that will authorize the practice of animal sacrifices.
We know that the covenant will allow the sacrifices because in the middle of the week, the sacrifices will be stopped.
"he will establish a covenant with the many for one week."
This "one week" refers to a SPECIFIC 7-year period of time.
It will begin at some time AFTER the city and sanctuary are destroyed.

But a covenant that allows for the practice of animal sacrifices requires the existence of a functional sanctuary.
Whether the temple will be or indeed even CAN be in existence before the start of the week is an unknown factor.
But it is very unlikely that the world community would tolerate the sacrifice of animals without some kind of unilateral agreement that would allow it.

The next thing in Daniel's chronology is that at the midpoint of that covenant experiment, the prince who is to come will break the covenant by putting a stop to the sacrifices and setting up the abomination of desolation.
And then after that, the desolator will be destroyed.

Jesus presented the same chronology as found in the Olivet discourse by comparing Mat. 24 with Luke 21.

The covenant and the start of the 70th week are not mentioned anywhere in the NT.
However, the midpoint of the week IS mentioned.
Also, that specific event that will fulfill the action mentioned at Dan. 9:27 is mentioned.
That is, the event that puts a stop to sacrifices and offerings is referenced.
At Mat. 24:15, Jesus refers to this action when He said, "when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place."
At 2Thes. 2:4 Paul wrote concerning the man of lawlessness, "he takes his seat in the temple of God displaying himself as being God."

And so, for Christ's chronology:
FIRST: After His resurrection, there will be persecution because of His name specifically from the Jewish nation.
Luke 21:12,
"they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors on account of My name."

Notice specifically - the persecution from the Jews. After the removal of Jewish authority when the nation was disbanded with the fall of Jerusalem, the Jews no longer could drag Jewish Christians into their synagogues. Although antagonism of Jews against Christians continued, it was through verbal and written attacks rather than physical abuse.

SECOND: during that time the city and temple will be destroyed.
Luke 19:43-44, "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will put up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground, and throw down your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Luke 21:20-22,
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of punishment, so that all things which have been written will be fulfilled."

THIRD: The nation of Israel will be disintegrated and the Jewish people will be scattered throughout the world.
Luke 21:23-24,
"there will be great calamity upon the land, and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

FOURTH: After the fall of Jerusalem the general historical trends of wars between nations and kingdoms will characterize the international environment. Mat. 24:6-8
"And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains."

This is the description of history from that time until now.
Over the last 1900 some years the city of Jerusalem has existed and will exist in various levels of reconstruction and population.
But even though the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt, and there is an established nation of Israel, there is no temple.
The city is still a divided city subject to both political and religious unrest.
The real significance of desolation is that the city AND the temple will remain outside the sphere of God's blessings.

That is, cursed and rejected by God.
That is the significance of the cursed fig tree at Mat. 21.

Jesus described it at Mat. 23:38. "your house is being left to you desolate."

Now, according to Jesus the next event on the prophetic schedule is the start of THE specific tribulation.
This will be the great persecution from the man of lawlessness; the beast personage of Rev. 13.
Mat. 24:9-15
"Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place—let the reader understand— For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again."

It is this abomination event that will mark the start of the tribulation.
Since the abomination event will involve a functional temple or at least a sanctuary in Jerusalem, then there must be a rebuilt city and sanctuary in place before that abomination event can occur.

Jesus did not mention the start of the 70th week; the 7-year covenant experiment.
His focus was on the mid point of that 7 years.
We are not told why, and I see no reason to speculate about a reason.

So I will back up a bit.
Prior to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the apostolic church lived under the onslaught of persecution from both the Jewish nation and the Roman empire. Luke 21:12-13,
"they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors on account of My name. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony."

Jesus taught that before THE tribulation, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed.
Without departing from the chronological progression that He gave,
the whole scenario could have occurred in the first century.
1. The city and temple could have been destroyed.
2. The nation could have been judged and the people dispersed.
3. The people could be re-gathered.
4. The sanctuary could be rebuilt.
5. The abomination event could occur.
6. And Jesus could have returned.

The book of Acts and the epistles do not mention the fall of Jerusalem.
They all focus on the promise of Christ's second coming.
But every mention of the fact and the promise of the second coming of Jesus falls under the umbrella of 2 Thes. 1:6-10 thru chapter 2.
Paul indicates that it was possible for that present onslaught of persecution to escalate into the great tribulation that Jesus said would occur. He taught that the abomination event could occur and that Jesus would return to rescue believers from the persecution by the man of lawlessness.

"For indeed, it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."

This then, was the understanding of the early church - that the abomination event could occur, the tribulation could begin,
and Jesus could return to rescue the persecuted church from the great tribulation.
Jesus taught it at Mat. 24:15-44.
For the sake of the elect ones, those days of tribulation will be cut short at an unknown day and hour, and Jesus will return to gather His elect ones from the farthest end of the earth UNTO the farthest end of heaven.

No one knew the exact number of years involved for Christ's chronological scenario.
But about 35 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Paul was confident that the second coming of Jesus would happen according to the perfect wisdom and timing of God. At 1Tim. 6:14-15, he exhorted Timothy to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at His own time."

In the same year Peter expressed the possibility that Christ's time line could be fulfilled.
At 1 Peter 4:7 Peter wrote, "the end of all things is near."

A few years later, he knew that he would die very soon. He wrote at 2Peter 1:14, "knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as our Lord Jesus has made clear to me."
Tradition tells us that Paul also died in the same year. In about 68 AD, he wrote at 2 Timothy 4:6-7,
"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."

And still the prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem was unfulfilled.
However in 70 AD it was destroyed.
And the prophecies of Dan. 9:26 and Luke 21 were explicitly fulfilled.

Once Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed, the chronological scenario moved on to the next prophesied events.

1. the re-gathering of the Jewish people.
2. The rebuilding of the city and sanctuary.
3. The start of the great tribulation with the abomination event.
4. And the return of Jesus.

But as the years passed after the fall of Jerusalem, it became more and more UNLIKELY for those specific things to occur.

John wrote his gospel and letters sometime after 85 AD.
In all of his writings, he did not mention the fact that Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed.
And in his three letters, his focus was to exhort Christians to godly living in anticipation of the 2nd coming of Jesus.
The prophesied time line was not mentioned.
Also in the book of Jude, which is traditionally said to have been written after 75 AD, the focus is on godly living in the midst of many false teachers.
The focus for the future is still on the confident expectation of Christ's second coming without any reference to the prophesied time line.

However, the prophesied time line given by Jesus was still the divinely inspired scenario for the future.
And then finally, and also in anticipation of the 2nd coming of Jesus, God gave to the church additional information through the book of the Revelation.
The revelation given to John indicates that some very technical factors needed to be in place before the abomination event could occur.

Basically, it revolves around the specific details about the rise of the beast.

In Rev. 13 John was given some specific details that in actuality could not be fulfilled at the time of writing, nor for many many years.
Those details require the development of a technology that must be in place for these things to be accomplished.
FIRST: The world-wide awareness of the death and healing of the world ruler.
Rev. 13:3, "I saw one of his heads as if it had been wounded to death, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast."

This requires a global communication technology that has come into existence only in this modern era.

SECOND: The economic controls that will exist.

The mark of the beast and the required worship protocol requires technology that is - even today not fully developed.

In order to implement the degree of control described at Rev 13:16-17, it would require the kind of technology that was simply not in existence at that time. Nor in fact, would it be until what has been developed now in the 21st century.
And the push toward a cashless society, using only a digital currency, and unique identification protocols, is moving us even closer to that control.

"And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name."

THIRD: The world-wide life-like image of the beast requires combinations of holographic, drone and AI technology
as well as global communication technology.
Rev. 13:14-15,
"And he deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed."

All this technology must be in place before the beast can begin his world-wide reign.
That is, before the midpoint of the 70th week.
And technically, before the start of the 70th week - only 3 1/2 years before.

Some of the final words given to John are at Rev. 22:6-7
And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show His bond-servants the things which must quickly take place.
And Jesus told him,
7 "behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

The word group for "quickly take place" and "coming quickly," is taxis. It basically means, without delay.
In the context of Christ's specific time line and the technical information in the book of the Revelation, the word group indicates that there will be no interruption in the plan of God for the chronological progression of these end time events.
There will be nothing that interrupts or delays God's plan.
It does not mean and cannot mean, imminent.

Now - since the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the church has continued to focus on the evangelistic commission that Jesus assigned to it at Mat 28:19-20.
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

The end of the age is a period of time that will begin when Jesus returns. In fact, Jesus told the disciples as representatives of the entire church, that they would "not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes." Mat. 10:23.

This then is to be the focus of the church while maintaining a confident expectation that Christ will return according to the perfect wisdom and timing of the plan of God.
Jesus said that His return will be at an unknown day and hour after the tribulation of those days is cut short.
He said that it is a moment in time that is known only by God the Father.
Paul wrote that God will bring it about in His own time.

But application of the revealed time-line requires a reborn nation of Israel with a functional sanctuary in the city of Jerusalem.
And it requires an advanced technology in order to fulfill the language of Revelation 13.
And only in such a world environment could someone come on the scene and establish a covenant experiment that basically
forces all the nations to comply.

To summarize:
We are living now in the period of history described by Daniel as "to the end there will be war; desolations are determined."
And as Jesus described it, "Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled."

According to Dan. 9:27, at some time after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, a Roman prince will establish a covenant with the many people of the Middle East.
As of this date no such covenant has been established.
As to the nature of this covenant - at the middle of the 7-year period, the prince who is to come will put a stop to sacrifices and offerings.
This indicates that prior to that time, a temple or sanctuary will be in existence and animal sacrifices will be performed.
At the present time, there is no temple or sanctuary in Jerusalem
And the nature of the religious and political environment in the Middle East, suggests that it is not likely for a Jewish temple to be allowed in Jerusalem, let alone for animal sacrifices to be allowed.
And this strongly suggests that it is the covenant that will establish peace and religious toleration so that both Islam and Judaism can have their respective temples.

All this indicates that before the midpoint of the 70th week, there must be a functional temple or sanctuary in Jerusalem.

Also, prior to the advancements in technology that we see today, a unilateral agreement of peace and religious toleration, could not likely be enforced.
And the rise and activities of the beast as described at Rev 13 could not be fulfilled until specific technology had been developed.
The timeline is precise.
First: the fall of Jerusalem
Second: the re-gathering of Israel into a national entity.
Third: the establishment of a unilateral covenant experiment.
Fourth: the rise of the beast 3 1/2 years later.
Fifth: the return of Jesus at an unknown day and hour after the rise of the beast.

And we are moving rapidly toward a global environment that will fulfill all the requirements for the establishment of the covenant experiment.

Jude 20-21
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."


Questions and comments are always welcome

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