If ye love me, keep my



John 14:15





And The Chosen Nation



     From the top of Mount Sinai, the Almighty said to Moses: “Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”  (Exodus 19:3-6)

     Notice the words “if” and “then.”  God said that “if” Israel obeyed, “then” they would be His peculiar treasure.  That tiny word “if” involves a big issue.  That word has to do with conditions.  God loved Israel.  He chose them apart from any obedience on their part.  He brought them out of Egypt, bore them on eagles’ wings, and brought them to Himself.  Yet contrary to popular opinion, God’s use of the word “if” made it clear that the continuation of His favor to the Israelites was conditional upon their response to His goodness, upon their choices to obey.  In other words, the members of the chosen nation must themselves chose correctly, or the consequence would be disastrous!

     Forty years later, Israel entered the promised land and remained there for about 800 years.  During this period, many responded to God’s love by obeying His voice.  But the majority strayed from the path of righteousness.  Again and again God manifested His mercy by raising up prophets and pleading with Israel to return to the covenant.  Yet apostasy continued and deepened.  Finally, after hundreds of years of warning, disaster struck.  In 722 B.C., Judah was taken to Babylon.  Such was the result of wrong choices.

     In 586 B.C., armies of Babylon demolished Jerusalem, and burned the temple with fire.  The Jews were removed from their land and carried into captivity.  Yet, in the mercy of God, this exile was not to be permanent.  The prophet Jeremiah predicted that God “would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2).  After seventy years the Jews would leave Babylon, return to their land, and rebuild their temple and their city.  God had decided to give His chosen nation another chance to respond to his love.  In simple terms, the Lord was saying: “You blew it.  Let’s try again!”

     This “second chance” granted to the nation of Israel is revealed in the prophecy of the “seventy weeks.”  Near the end of the Babylonian captivity, the angel Gabriel told Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).  This seventy-week period was “determined” for Daniel’s people, the nation of Israel.  During that period, the chosen nation would have another chance “to finish the transgression” and “to make an end of sins.”  Near the end of this period, something big would happen.  The Messiah would come “to bring in everlasting Righteousness.”  As we see in chapter 6, Israel’s destiny as a nation would at that time be determined by her choice to receive or reject that Messiah!

     Math was never my favorite subject in school.  Yet we must apply ourselves to some mathematics in order to understand this particular prophecy.

70 weeks = 490 days

     God said to Ezekiel, who was contemporary to Daniel, “I have appointed thee each day for a year”  (Ezekiel 4:6).  The 70-week prophecy must be “a day for a year” because it would reach down hundreds of years to the coming of the Messiah.  Thus 490 days equals 490 years.  When did it start?  Gabriel tells us in the next verse, “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, threescore and two weeks” (Daniel 9:25).

     Persia conquered Babylon in 538 B.C.  Then King Cyrus issued a decree for the Jews to return to their land and to rebuild their temple (Ezra 1:1-3).  Later, King Darius issued another decree that led to the completion of the temple (Ezra 6:1,8).  Still later, King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild the wall around the city (Nehemiah 1:3; 2:1-9).  Yet the predicted “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” did not occur until Persian King Artaxerxes issued a lengthy decree giving Ezra official authority to “set magistrates and judges” over Jerusalem to “execute judgment” upon all who refused to follow the laws of God and the king (Ezra 7:21, 25, 26).  This was the only decree which fully restored civil authority to Jerusalem and to the Jewish state.

     That commandment occurred “in the seventh year of Artexerxes” ( Ezra 7:7).  The date was 457 B.C., as many Bibles state in the margin of Ezra chapter 7.  Gabriel said,  “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [49 years], and threescore and two weeks [434 years]” (Daniel 9:25).

 49 years + 434 years = 483 years

     Going forward 483 years from 457 B.C. comes to A.D. 27, the time of “the Messiah the Prince.”  The word “Messiah” means the “Anointed One.”  In A.D. 27, which was the very year specified in prophecy, Jesus Christ was “anointed” by the Holy Spirit at His baptism (Matthew 3:16,17; Acts 10:38)!  Then Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, ….repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15, emphasis added).  Jesus knew He was fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel chapter 9! 

     The total period mentioned by Gabriel in Daniel 9:24 was “seventy weeks,” or 490 years.  Gabriel then subdivided this total period into three smaller periods 7 weeks (verse 25), 62 weeks (verse 25), and one week (verse 27). 

7 weeks + 62 weeks + 1 week = 70 weeks

     We have seen that 7 weeks plus 62 weeks brings us down to A.D. 27 the time of Christ’s anointing as the Messiah. That leaves one final week of the prophecy.  Gabriel said, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27).  One week equals 7 days, which means 7 years.  This famous 7 year period is often called “the 70th  week of Daniel.”  In the next chapter, we will focus our attention on the controversial 70th week.

The “70th week of Daniel” Delusion

     In 1945, after months of agonizing deliberation, President Harry Truman finally decided to drop an atomic bomb upon Japan.  Right or wrong, the ultimate goal of his decision was to end world war two and to prevent the death of millions.  So, on August 6, a bomb called the “Little Boy” fell on Hiroshima.  Three days later, another bomb called the “Fat Man” dropped on Nagasaki.  Approximately 130,000 people were instantly vaporized.  Many have argued whether or not it was the right thing to drop those bombs.  But in the minds of those who made that decision it was for the ultimate good of America.

     Dear Friend, it is for the ultimate good of the entire evangelical world for God’s bomb of truth to now drop upon the gigantic prophetic delusion that is presently believed by millions.  It is time to drop the “Little Boy.”  We will save the “Fat Man” for a later chapter.

     The Bible says, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27).

     Have you ever heard of the “seven-year period of great tribulation”?  The whole idea is rooted in two words of the above sentence!  The two words are “one week,” Supposedly, that period of “one week” applies to a final seven-year period of great tribulation at the end of time.  Right now, all over planet earth, in books, in magazines, in videos, on the radio, in seminaries, on the internet, and at Bible prophecy conferences, Christians are talking about events that they firmly believe will occur during a final seven years of tribulation.

     According to a popular interpretation of Daniel 9:27, the “he” refers to a future Antichrist who will eventually make a covenant, or peace treaty, with the Jews during the final seven years of tribulation.  In the “midst” of this tribulation, the antichrist will cause “the sacrifice….to cease.”  In order for the sacrifice to cease, they must have been restarted.  Therefore, according to countless modern interpreters, there must be a rebuilt third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

     A popular Christian magazine called Endtime reflects this current view: “Three-and-one-half years after the confirming of the covenant [by the Antichrist] the Jews’ third temple must be completed and sacrifice and oblation be in progress.  We know this because Daniel 9:27 states that in the middle of the seven years the Antichrist will cause the sacrifice and oblation to stop.”

     Much of the Christian world is now locked in a fierce debate about whether Jesus will return for His church before the seven years (the pre-tribulation view), in the midst of the seven years (the mid-tribulation view), or at the end of the seven years (the post-tribulation view).  Yet by far the most explosive question, which few seem to be asking, should be” Is an end–time ‘seven-year-period of great tribulation’ really the correct interpretation of Daniel 9: 27 in the first place?”

     Historically, Protestant scholars have not applied Daniel 9:27 to a future period of tribulation at all!  Neither have they applied the “he” to the antichrist!  Rather, they applied it to Jesus Christ.  Notice what the world-famous Bible Commentary written by Matthew Henry says about Daniel 9:27: “By offering himself a sacrifice once and for all he [Jesus] shall put an end to all the Levitical sacrifices.”  Another famous Bible commentary written by Adam Clarke, says that during the “term of seven years,” Jesus would “confirm or ratify the new covenant with mankind.”  Finally, another well-respected old commentary declares:  “He shall confirm the covenant—Christ.  The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him.”

     The following ten points provide logical and convincing evidence that the “one week” spoken of in Daniel 9:27 does not apply to any future seven-year period of tribulation at all.  Rather, this great prophetic period has already been definitely fulfilled in the past!

1. The entire prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 covers a period of “seventy weeks.”  This period applies to one complete, sequential block of time.  This prophecy would start during the Persian period and would end during the time of the Messiah.

2. Logic requires that the 70th week follow immediately after the 69th week.  If it does not, then it cannot properly be called the 70th week!

3. It is illogical to insert a 2,000-year gap between the 69th and the 70th week!  No hint of this gap is found in the prophecy itself.  There is no gap between the first 7 weeks and the following 62 weeks.  Why insert one between 69th and the 70th week?

4. Daniel 9:27 says nothing about a seven-year period of tribulation, or about any Antichrist.

5. The focus of this prophecy is the Messiah, not the Antichrist.  Modern interpreters have applied “the people of the prince” who would come to “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (verse 26) applied to the Antichrist.  Yet the text does not say this.  In the past, that sentence has been applied to the Romans, who under Prince Titus did “destroy the city and the sanctuary” in A.D. 70.

6. “He shall confirm the covenant.”  Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8)  Nowhere in the Bible is Antichrist ever said to make or confirm a covenant with anyone!  The word “covenant” always applies to the Messiah, never to the Antichrist!

7. “He shall confirm the covenant with many.”  Jesus said, “This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many” (Matthew 26:28).  Jesus used the same words, because he knew that He was fulfilling Daniel 9:27!

8. “In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.”  The 70th week was from A.D. 27 to 34.  After three and a half years of ministry, Christ died in A.D. 31, “In the midst (middle) of the week.”  At the moment of His death, “the veil of the temple was rent [torn] in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51).  This act of God signified that all animal sacrifices had at that moment ceased to be of value.  The Great Sacrifice had been offered! 

9. “For the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.”  Jesus plainly applied this “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15) to the time when His followers were to flees from Jerusalem before the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70.  Jesus told His 12 disciples, “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies [the Roman armies led by Prince Titus], then know that its desolation is near” Luke21:20, emphasis added).  Those disciples did “see” those very events.  Christ’s very last words to the Pharisees from inside the second temple were, “Behold your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).  Thus Daniel’s prophecy about Jerusalem becoming “desolate” was exactly fulfilled in A.D. 70!  Jesus understood this perfectly.

10.                 Gabriel said that the 70th-week specifically applied to the Jewish people (Daniel 9:24).  From A.D. 27 to A.D. 34, the disciples went only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6).  At the end of the 70 weeks, in the year A.D.34, Stephen was stoned by the Jewish Sanhedrin (Acts chapter 7).

Then the gospel began to go to the Gentiles.  In Acts chapter 9, Saul became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13).  Then in Acts chapter 10, God gave Peter a vision revealing that it was now time to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-28; Acts13:46).

The explosive evidence is overwhelming!  Point by point, the events of the 70th week have already been fulfilled in the past!  The following eight words found in Daniel 9:27: “confirm....covenant.…many.…midst....sacrifice….cease….

abomination….desolate”  all find a perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ and in early Christian history.

     One reason why the Jewish nation as a whole failed to receive its Messiah was because its leaders and scholars failed to correctly interpret the seventy-week prophecy.  They failed to see Jesus Christ as the Messiah who died in the midst of the 70th week.  The same thing is happening today!  Amazingly, sincere Christian scholars are now misinterpreting the very same prophecy.

     The entire “seven-year period of great tribulation” theory is a grand illusion.  It may go down in history as the biggest evangelical misinterpretation of the 20th century!  It can be compared to a big, fat hot air balloon.  Inside, there is no substance, only air.  As soon as Daniel 9:27 is understood correctly and the pin of truth is inserted, the balloon will pop.  The fact is that no text in the Bible teaches any “seven year period of great tribulation.”  If you look for it, you will end up like Ponce de Leon, who tirelessly searched for the famous fountain of youth and never found it.

     The current debate and tremendous confusion over pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation is really a smoke screen of the enemy that is hiding the real issue.  What is the real issue?  We will find out when we study what the book of Revelation actually teaches about Israel, the temple, Babylon the great, and Armageddon.

Steve Wohlberg

     “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” 

     “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21, 22

How long were the Israelites in Captivity?

What is the seventy week prophecy all about?

When was Jesus Born in fulfillment of the seventy- week prophecy?  He came right on time as He promised.

Does this have something to do with the long-suffering of God and the forgiveness of Jesus?