Six Promises of Christ to His People and City: Daniel 9:24

This is an article written in 2010, written when I was still caught up in Amillennialism. As such it requires a lot of rewriting. But because a lot of this is still, I believe, quite valid – and was the product of much study – I have been wanting for a long time to give this an overhaul and offer it again for your consideration. As always, I am open to comments.


The first correction I make to the original article is the title, which did not include “and city”. But that qualifying phrase is prophetically significant.

There may very well be as many interpretations as there are weeks to this prophecy of Daniel 9:24– 27. While many different views have been around for a number of centuries a sizable consensus of Christianity has agreed that the fulfillment of these six promises were to be achieved through the Messiah – and that they were all fulfilled during the century of Christ’s life on earth. That second phrase, although more controversial for some, is borne out by Scripture. I hope to show – and here we differ from many other full preterists – all six of these promises were fulfilled at Calvary and shortly thereafter. [0a]

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Hebrews concerning Christ, refers to Him as “the Author and Finisher of our faith”, Hebrews 12:2. This prophetical passage before us dwells and details the wonderful steps of those promises, promises given to the Jews and – by His grace-given faith – to all of us who have also entered into those same promises, Galatians 3:16; 6:16; 2nd Cor. 1:20. To know this passage and to meditate on its truths can’t help but strengthen our faith and magnify our Redeemer.

But the modern futurist and dispensational interpretation tends to downplay this and trade it for fictions that have much to do with Antichrist but – except for the white horse scene at the very end – little to do with Christ. [0b]

Certainly, in eternity we will finally enter into the real blessing of being with Christ but, we recognize that much of what others are looking for in the future we already have now. How many of us Preterists, when singing the usual hymns with our futurists friends, have had to mumble other words in those obligatory 4th stanza Jesus-is-coming-soon lines! We finally understand that much of the supposed future comfort is or ought to be a present possession. The Blessed Hope is not a verb but a noun. It is not a transient event, but a Person who reigns right now. And because He reigns we overcome, as salt and light. And as soldiers in the Good Fight. Not heading for our mental bunkers.

All of this becomes much more a reality for us when we take these six promises in Daniel 9 to heart, studying how Christ has fulfilled every one for our benefit and application.

Here is the text that we need to study:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish [“restrain”] the transgression, and 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

“Seventy weeks” = one unit = 490 years. This topic was dealt with in a couple of other articles. If I can convince you what the six foretold events here are, and to Whom they refer, the timing will take care of itself.

These are the six actions that Christ has brought about:

1. Finish transgression.
2. Make an end for sins.
3. Make reconciliation for iniquity.
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
5. Seal up the vision and prophecy.
6. Anoint the Most Holy.

Gabriel comes to Daniel in answer to his prayer. Actually the angel’s answer is even larger than the prophet’s prayer. (This reminds of Eph. 3:20-21 and Romans 8:26). Daniel had asked for understanding of the two visions (Dan. 7 and 8, respectively) in light of his finally understanding from Jeremiah that the Captivity must soon come to an end.

Daniel asked for clarity on the physical captivity of his people. The angel, exceeding his expectations, declared also the release of the people of God from spiritual captivity.

This is now the second time that Gabriel appeared to Daniel. In the previous chapter, two years earlier, he had given understanding concerning the earlier kingdoms and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple as well as the times afterward. An instructive compare/contrast study would be the two temple judgments in these two chapters, Dan. 8 and 9. There are similarities and differences. In Dan. 8:13 we read of that earlier temple’s “transgression of desolation”. That earlier desolation, severe as it was, was not permanent. After a period of about six and a third years the temple was finally cleansed, v. 14.

However, the judgment of the temple mentioned in Daniel 9, Herod’s Temple, faced permanent destruction, which the Messiah later referred to as the “abomination of desolation”, Matt. 24:15, which had an “end with a flood”, Dan. 9:26 – 27. [0c]

One reason the verses in Daniel 9 are often misunderstood is because they are plucked out, without regard for the clarifying context of the previous chapters of like theme, in this case, Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 8. Each of these chapters deal with the same trials afflicted on the people of God. [0d]

His People, His City

When we read this passage we should remember that the response of Gabriel, first of all, has reference to the concerns of Daniel – to his people, city (mentioned six times in his prayer), and sanctuary. Of course we, by faith and gracious inheritance, enter also into these promises, but there is a danger when Christians rush to the universal application, forgetting context. To understand the recipients and context of the passage helps to nail down both application and timeline.

The first three events promised in Daniel were of things to be removed, taking care of a negative situation – our sin. For God to do His work, He must first rectify the mess we have made. This reminds us of God’s mission for the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10):

“See, I have this day set you [speaking to the prophet]
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down.
To build and to plant.”

While it is important to see ourselves in this passage in Daniel 9 it is just as important to see the antecedents: the transgression of Daniel’s people and city and people, v.11, and going back to the arch-transgression in the Garden.

To Finish THE Transgression

Notice that it is “THE transgression”, not transgression in general. This likely points ultimately to a single foundational transgression. Daniel had indeed confessed that “all Israel have transgressed your Law” but I think that the angel’s reference to transgression, while encompassing Daniel’s concern, also points back to the sin of Adam. The transgression of the first Adam was ended by the obedience of the Second Adam. And that, of course, was how the transgression was finished. Romans 5:12 – 19 brings this out. Verses 12, 15, and 18-19 summarize this point pretty well:

12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

15. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

18. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

And Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:21-22 writes in the same vein:

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

And in verse 45 he strengthens the connection, identifying Christ as the “last Adam”.


It should be obvious with a careful reading of these six promises that they all have their fulfillment in that period. There is no gap. Not a two thousand-year one, nor a forty-year one. This plain reading is very often overlooked by many futurists as well as many Preterists, Partial and especially all too many Full Preterists. [1a]

2.To Make an End of Sins

Many of us older folks remember the first Gulf War and the televised images of oil wells in the Gulf region burning almost out of control. The smoke from the burning could be seen clearly from space. I say “almost” out of control, because, though it took awhile, every one of those fires was extinguished.

The point is this: The method used to extinguish those fires illustrates the first and second of these prophesied events:

1. First the fires had to be capped. It would be pointless to attempt extinguishing fires while they were still being fed at the source, while fuel was still pouring out. So the firefighters stopped the fire by means of a momentary explosion, arrested the pouring out of fuel (both liquid and oxygen). They then capped the well before it could re-ignite.

This is similar, in a way, to what Jesus did. First he took care of sin (singular) at its source. As far as we are concerned, He capped (covered) sin. This is the principle of sin, and Satan as the arch Fire-Starter. In Christ’s perfect life, death on the Cross and resurrection we have the strong man overcome by the Stronger Man (Mark 3:27, Luke 11:21– 22), Satan bound (Rev. 20:1- 3). He triumphed openly over him by the Cross (Col. 2:13- 15). This is that “shutting up” of transgression.


2. Then the individual fires (plural) could be put out. The Gulf War firefighters may not have used foam, but I will use it for this part of the illustration, since it fits the Hebrew word used here fairly well. (KJV “make an end of”) really means “to cover up” – and because it is covered up, to hide from view. (Song of Sol. 4:12 is a good example). This is where God casts our sins behind His back because of Christ’s death for us. This happened only at Calvary and will never be repeated. Once again – it did not happen at AD 70 nor will it some time in the future. Nor was it, as some Preterists imagine, a process of covering up culminating in AD 70.

I suspect that, like in the previous clause, a definition is forced into the words, and not drawn out of the words. And, like in the previous clause, the assumption is that this clause (“make an end of sins”) is referring to the end times, and not to the times of Christ, since clearly, sin has not been made an end of. No, that is true: Sin still exists to afflict, at times, the best of Christians – yet they are covered up.[2b, 2c] That is why the saint doesn’t lose his salvation by an act of sin. For that matter, that is also why Old Testament saints like David did not lose theirs.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” – Psalm 32:1

3.To Make Reconciliation for Iniquity

We now come to the third event of Christ’s ministry for His people. We are told in this passage that He will come “to make reconciliation for iniquity”. This reconciliation had occurred at the cross. This is when reconciliation was effected, by the perfect life and sinless death of the God-man, Christ Jesus, the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God. Because there was (is) no blemish in His sacrifice, or fault in His life of demonstrated holiness, we too, who believe in Christ’s sacrifice for us, are totally accepted in Christ (Eph. 1:6).

Reconciliation” means to “hide”, “cover” or “pardon”. This is what God does with our sins in view of Christ’s payment for them. It is not as though, strictly speaking they cease to exist. We are pardoned because of the peace attained for us by Christ (Eph. 2:14- 22; especially verses 13- 16).

“But now in Christ Jesus you were once far off are made near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; to make in Himself of two one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby;” Eph. 2:13- 16

Christ is our peace. Matthew Henry writes:

“He is not only the peace-maker, but the peace. He is the atonement.”

He is our reconciliation, our ongoing means of acceptance with God. This prophesied reconciliation is not only found here in Dan. 9, but was promised as far back as Genesis 3:15, when our first parents were first encouraged with the good news of a coming Savior.

Where else do we read of this reconciliation that we have through Christ Jesus? Here are just some of the many verses that could be quoted:

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. – Rom. 5:11

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; –
2 Cor. 5:18

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. –
Col. 1:20

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. –
Heb. 2:17

Think of it! How greatly this doctrine magnifies Jesus Christ. Approaching the altar as eternal Priest without blemish He presented the perfect sacrifice – Himself! Who among the wisest of the Old Testament Priests could have foreseen that they were, in their persons and vocation, types of such an astounding act of God? Christ is the High Priest who puts an end to all other priests – and to the Levitical priesthood altogether. Jesus Christ became at the same time “Priest of the most high God” (Heb. 7:1), “holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners” (verse 26) and the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), both sacrificer and sacrifice, pure and unblemished.



GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE FINAL THREE EVENTS
These last three prophesied events confirm the Messiah as Priest, Prophet and King:


A. His Priesthood is shown by his bringing in everlasting righteousness. He did this by living a righteous – perfect – life, and by being the spotless Lamb, sacrificed for our sin. His death, as well as His life, pleads for us.

What has this to do with “everlasting righteousness”? Everything. It is at the Cross that Christ is able to be, as our Perfect Priest [4a], “both just and justifier of him who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). In Christ we are declared righteous by imputation so that we can be increasingly righteous in experience. This is having “Christ formed in us”. [4b]

B. His office as Prophet is shown by his sealing up of vision and prophecy. God spoke before to us in various ways, but from the time of the unveiling of the Gospel He has now spoken to us through the Son. Christ is the Prophet who puts an end to all prophets and prophecy (Heb. 1:1- 2).

C. His Kingship is shown by his anointing of the Most Holy. Some versions imply that the anointing is of the most holy place, yet that word is not in the original. Textually, either “place” or “person” is a possible recipient of “anoint”.[4c]


Notice that these blessed events all happen through the agency of Christ fulfilling His Messianic mission. They all happened at the Cross. All six of these tremendous benefits for saints everywhere – because the city and people of Daniel’s concern have now expanded worldwide – these can all be nailed down at Calvary, all six of them. There are no loose ends that require fulfillment in AD 66 or 70 or – God forbid – way off in our future. [4d]

4. BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS

The fourth of these promises has often been misunderstood, both as to interpretation and to timing. In fact, to get the first right assures the second will be correct as well.

This is the first of three positive statements. The first three events prophesied in Daniel were largely negative, that is, a taking care of a negative situation the estrangement of Daniel’s people and city from God through sin. For God to do His work, He must first rectify the problem. This reminds us of God’s mission for the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10):

“See, I have this day set you [speaking to the prophet] …
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down.
To build and to plant.”

Remember, for Daniel these were all still in the future. For us in 2023 these events are both history and present reality. In reading different commentaries I noticed that some writers dwell almost exclusively on the local application, but touched only lightly on timeless significance. All of the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. If Christ is ours, these promises are also ours by inheritance.


Now we get into God’s building up (edification) through Jesus Christ. This bringing in of “everlasting righteousness” is nothing less than the new life that we have in Christ Jesus. “Not having our own righteousness”. This is the righteousness that the Holy Spirit convinces the saints (and saints-to-be) of (John 16:10). Sadly, very many of the Jews had missed (and still miss) the glory of this righteousness, having held onto their own works-righteousness (Rom. 10:3- 4). There are many passages in the Old Testament that promise this righteousness to come to God’s people. And there are many New Testament passages that encourage the 1st century saints on this righteousness brought to them through Christ. [4e]

So what is the interpretation of this “bringing in everlasting righteousness”? What exactly is this? Clearly it is the work of God, not man.

The New Testament – especially Romans [4f] – has much to say about righteousness in general and, specifically, the righteousness of Christ which is ours on the basis of faith. Two examples here are:

But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, as attested by the Law and the Prophets. And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21-22a

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”1st Corinthians 1:30

5. SEAL UP VISION AND PROPHECY
These last two events (sealing up and anointing) are perhaps the most controversial of all, not only as to the timing but as to the respective meanings. But if we keep in mind that these events, like the previous four, must have been fulfilled within the contiguous (gapless) Seventy Weeks we will already have eliminated many wrong interpretations.

Understanding also that there should be no separation between the three components of the 70 weeks (7 + 42 + 1) directs us to find the fulfillment for this prophecy in the first century.

If we believe that the six events here in verse 24 are in order or, at least, with some events happening at the same time but not listed out of order, then we have a clue as to what the sealing up of vision and prophecy cannot be, and that is the end of inspired writing. I say this because the sixth and final promise in this passage, the anointing of the Most Holy, clearly precedes, inspired Scripture. In other words, events five and six would be reversed in time. Highly unlikely.

So much for what the phrase does not mean. What does it mean? First of all it should be mentioned that the actual phrase is “to seal up the vision and prophet”. Let us take a look at this “seal up” (“chatam”). See the note [5A] below for how Scripture uses the term elsewhere.

And then we have this “sealing” passage in Daniel 12:4:


“But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (See also verse 9)

Even though Daniel uses this same term in the twelfth chapter it seems that the usage is not exactly parallel. The sealing of 12:4 is one that Daniel himself is able to do. And the sealing of 12:9 is already accomplished at the time of the writing of Daniel (“the words are – present tense – closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”) Yet the “sealing up” (back to 9:24) of “vision and prophet” is clearly part of God’s grand purpose for His people. As such, this sealing up is tied to the Messianic promise, in line with rest of this prophecy.

So what does “seal” mean here? It is one of Daniel 9‘s many covenant-related words (see Neh. 9:38) . It means also to shut up, to “seal up”. Consequently, it has come to mean “to finish” (see Gesenius) It has to do with authority and ownership (1st Kings 21:8, Jer. 32:44). When God uses this word, however, we are speaking of His sovereignty and lordship over His own. I believe Paul had this in mind when he wrote 2nd Tim. 2:19 and Eph. 1:13. The NT word “seal” or “sealed” is related to “chatam” in its application. For the believer (whether true Israel or Christian of the NT or our time) the sealing is a sign of God’s ownership of us, and of His protection of us (2nd Cor. 1:22, Eph. 4:30, Rev. 7:3: 9:4).

The sealing up of vision and prophet is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the recipient.[5b]There were many back then, just as now, who thought they were standing on the promises when they were just sitting in the premises. It was to no advantage to them at all that their premises was the Temple or the holy city.

This sealing up turns out to be two-edged sword. Because all of the promises in the Old Testament had to do with Christ, in some way or other, once Christ came All those who persistently reject – or put off – obedience to the truth that they know make themselves prone to this judicial hardness of that same Word that could have saved them. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. “Take heed how you hear”. The overwhelming majority of Jews, when their promised Messiah came, didn’t recognize Him because he didn’t conform to their carnal and blind idea of what the Messiah should be like. So, by the 1st century, the vision and prophecy was sealed up. It had done its work. The “Annas” and “Simeons” – the receptive few – were benefited by promises. But “the rest were blinded”.

The “sealing up” (“finish”) of Christ is the completion of His work on the cross, when He cried, “It is finished!”

Sealing up of the vision and prophecy is not the same as the closing of the canon, or the end of prophecy in general. It has a specific reference to Messiah, all the prophecies concerning this passage has to do with Him. Barnes’s comment is worth sharing at length:

“According to this interpretation the meaning would be, that the prophecies would be sealed up or settled by the coming of the Messiah. The prophecies terminated on him (compare Rev 19:10); they would find their fulfillment in him; they would be completed in him – and might then be regarded as closed and consummated – as a book that is fully written and is sealed up. All the prophecies, and all the visions, had a reference more or less direct to the coming of the Messiah, and when he should appear they might be regarded as complete.”

6. ANOINT THE MOST HOLY
This anointing spoken of in Daniel 9:24 is the anointing of the Christ in the New Testament. Though there are references to His followers anointing Him, the primary application is to the Father [6A]. The physical temple ceased to be a factor in prophecy when Christ died on the Cross:

“Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” (Matt. 27:50)

God did here what we have all with items of lesser importance: When we are done with it, we tear it in half. But, more importantly, it signifying the entrance to the Holy of Holies was opened. And, because of Christ’s entering in [6b], we also have had access through Him:

“…having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” ! (Heb. 10:19).

WHY IS ALL THIS IMPORTANT?

Hopefully I have shown, having gone through all of the six prophesied actions of the Messiah in Daniel 9:24, that these were all fulfilled in the time of Christ’s first coming. To understand that these all relate to Calvary is to gain greater insight into what Christ has done for us, His elect. It actually magnifies Christ and encourages faith in Him. It not only proves that we will be, but that we already are overcomers through Him and in Him. The more these truths sink in, the more you will see the alternate view (a supposed future fulfillment of some or all of these events) as greatly devaluing Messiah’s redemption on the Cross.

The people that the writer of Hebrews speaks of are those same people of God that Daniel prays for in Dan. 9. The more we go over these verses in Daniel 9:24 ff., the more we will see how the New testament has the cross-references that enable us to make sense of them. We have no desire of, nor need for, “newspaper theology” when it comes to parsing out this passage. By nailing down the New Testament fulfillment, we make more sure the present application to us: We can rest that much more securely in our salvation in Christ.

All of these six promises were fulfilled at the time of Christ’s incarnation. A lot more cold be written on what this means but, since this article is already long, this will have to wait for later.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< N O T E S >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[0a] But not all the events prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27 happen during the 70 weeks. The latter parts of verses 26 and 27, respectively, were fulfilled during the Jewish War. It is a mistake to assume that those events were part of the 70 weeks. The math doesn’t work out.

[0b] The Talmud, being more spiritually astute than many modern Christians – and definitely than most modern Jews – teaches that all the prophecies of the prophets referred to Messiah. The Talmud would agree here with Paul that “all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen” (1st Cor. 1:20).

[0c] A good study is to consider why the first temple was not abominated like the second one was. The answer is that the Jews of the New Testament sinned against a greater Light, that light being Christ. See John 15:22. What makes the “last days” last is precisely this rejection of a most irrefutable personal testimony and demonstration of Messiah Himself. This, also, is why there could never be any future “last days”.

[0d]. And each of these passages in Daniel give us descriptions of their coming Messiah, each time with additional insights:

In
2:34, 44 He is the “Stone … cut out of the mountain without hands” which “broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold”. (Many commentaries that I came across refer this to the Kingdom, not the Person, of Christ, but the Patristic consensus favors more the personal application.)


In
7:13 – 14 He is “One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!
In
8:25 He is the “Prince of princes”.
Here in
chapter 9 He is named two or three times, depending on interpretation.
9:25Messiah the Prince”,
9:26Messiah” and (according to some) “the Prince who will come”, an interpretation I agree with.
10:13 lit. “Michael, first of the chief princes” (see Gill, Pool, Henry) and again in verse 21, “Michael your Prince”.


And, lastly, in
12:1 He is “Michael … The great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.

[1a] Some Preterists insist, on the basis of the phrase in verse 24 “and your city”, that the desolation of the temple and destruction of the city must thus also be included within the 70 weeks. But this overlooks the desolation already announced by Christ 40 years earlier in Matt. 23:37-38:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate”

[2b] John Owen says this about this part of Daniel 9:24:

“And the most proper sense of the word [CHATHAM] is “to cover or conceal,” and thence “seal,” because thereby a thing is hidden…Now, to hide sin or transgression, in the Old Testament, is to pardon it, to forgive it. As, then, the former expression (KALA) respected the stop that was put to the power and progress of sin by the grace of the gospel, as Titus 2:11, 12, so does this the pardon and removal of the guilt of it by the mercy proclaimed and tendered in the gospel.”

[2c] Here are the Old Testament uses of the word KALA:

Ge 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Ge 23:6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
Ex 36:6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
Nu 11:28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
1Sa 6:10 And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:
1Sa 25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
Ps 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
Ps 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
Ps 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
Ps 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
Ec 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Isa 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
Jer 32:2 For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.
Jer 32:3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
Eze 31:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
Da 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

[4a] The best source for studying out the priesthood of Christ is the book of Hebrews. Every chapter from the 2nd to the 10th has at least one reference to the priesthood of Christ, and what this means for the believer. That would be a study in itself. Here are some verses from Hebrews that speak of Christ the High Priest: 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; :5:1, 5, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 26; 8:1-3; 9:7, 11, 25; 10:21; 13:11.

[4b] But was there not righteousness in the Old Tcovenant? Yes and no. The righteousness of those earlier saints was always a qualified, not absolute, righteousness. Abraham believed God and it was counted (imputed) to him for righteousness. Old Testament righteousness was by obedience of faith to the Law. New Testament righteousness, is worked by the Spirit of Christ in regenerated hearts. The righteousness brought by Christ is absolute and internal. It is a righteousness born of changed hearts and minds. Both degrees of righteousness are found in Isa. 56:1:


“Thus says the Lord, Keep justice, and do righteousness: for my salvation is soon to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.”


And this revelation of God’s righteousness is shown to be fulfilled in Romans 3:21:

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets.”
The “everlasting salvation” here is this same everlasting righteousness. The “Israel” here is not national Israel, but the true “Israel of God” (Gal. 5:16, Rom. 2:28- 29; 11:26- 27), redeemed people of both Jews and Gentiles.

Romans 5 is a rich source of information of this righteousness that is the possession of all saints. Since we are reconciled by His death (vs. 10) we are likewise saved by His life. We now reign in life because of the gift of God’s grace, applying Christ’s righteousness to us (vs. 17ff). Not only this, but we also are enabled to actively work out Christ’s righteousness in our lives (Romans 6:13-23, Phil. 2:12- 13, Rev. 19:8). All saints are perfectly righteous positionally, yet we are far from perfect experientially. To be sure, I believe we will always have faults up until the last day of our lives, yet every true saint will grow in grace. God does not have any still-born children.


There are very many other passages that beautifully elaborate this righteousness we have in Christ: 2nd Cor. 5:20- 21; John 6:40; Phil. 3:9, etc.

[4c]. This belief that the text refers to the Messiah, as opposed to His Temple, was shared, interestingly, by many Jews throughout history. Nachmanides wrote: “This holy of the holies is the Messiah, who is sanctified from among the sons of David.” The irony is that modern dispensationalists are at odds with this understanding of Jewish scholars, even while at the same time underscoring their interpretation as being God’s plan for the Jews.


[4d]. Suggested line of study: Consult a modern dispensational work, like Charles Ryrie’s or John MacArthur’s Study Bibles, or one of John Hagee’s books, and find out which of these six prophesied events they say still await fulfillment (or at least Full-fulfillment). It is interesting to see how they are quite willing to see some of these as having been fulfilled at the time of Christ’s first coming and yet others still awaiting future fulfillment. But wouldn’t it make more sense to see all of these as having been fulfilled at the same era – the time of Christ’s earthly generation? And not just within that generation but that all six of these promises were realized at Calvary? The torn veil signifying access at last into the Holy of Holies for the Highest High Priest, Christ, giving edifying gifts (Ephesians 4:7-12) to the church.

The veil, though torn down from their temple, still remained over the eyes and hearts of the Jews who disbelieved their Messiah. That veil can only be taken away in Christ:

But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away”2 Cor. 3:14-16

Dispensational authors like those cited seem to also have a veil over their minds (We don’t say hearts) when it comes to the Jews. Misunderstanding limited purpose of the Jewish dispensation has necessarily blinkered their eschatological vision.

[4e] . Passages from the Old Testament (especially Isaiah) and New Testament (especially Romans) dwell on the righteousness brought to the saints.

Thus says the LORD, Keep judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.”Isaiah 56:1

But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.”Isaiah 45:17

See also Isaiah 9:7; 45:13, 24; 46:13.

[4f]Righteousness” occurs 39 times in Romans.

[5A] Here is a representative sampling of the twenty plus uses of the Hebrew term:

“So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.” (1st Kings 21:8)

“And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.” (Neh. 9:38)


“Write also for the Jews, as it pleases you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.” (Esther 8:8)

“Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, says the LORD.” (Jer. 32:44)

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” (Isaiah 8:16. See also 29:9- 16 and comments below)

[5b]

Consider Isaiah 29:9– 16. It is very helpful in showing us what the “sealing up” means for those who do not “take care how they hear” the Word of God:

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed “(chatam”), which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed (“chatam”) :

And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”


This is the sealing up. And an awesome, sobering truth it is too. We must all take care how we hear.

[6A]. Anointing of Christ in the New Testament is primarily from God, secondarily from humans (Luke 7:38, 46; John 11:2; 12:3, etc.). See also these verses:

Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,


Joh 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (= the Anointed One)

Ac 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Ac 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 

[6b] O. T. Allis in Prophecy and the Church indicates this may mean the entrance of Jesus Christ into Heaven itself when “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption ” [Hebrews 9:12] for all His elect.”

This happened at the Ascension. What reason would there be for it to be delayed further?

But, if number 5 really is the closing of the canon, then we would have these last two events out of order. What would be the logic in that. It seems more reasonable that these six events are listed sequentially.
———————


Rev. Jan. 26, 2023

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Seventy Weeks = 490 Years = One Unit of Time

Asterisktom's Blog

Seventy Weeks = 490 Years = One Unit of Time

There. I made that the title of this piece because that is my main point. All the rest is proof and commentary.

It goes against both common sense and Scriptural usage to imagine that there are one or two gaps within this period of 70 weeks. I hate to admit that, earlier on, I have taught both variants. It was because I valued the authority of men over the Word of God.

It is against common sense.
It is ironic that we have to argue for common sense on this very point of imagined gaps in the 70 weeks, because those who hold for gaps, for the most part, also hold very strongly to Cooper’s dictum “If the plain sense makes sense seek no other sense”. Dispensationalists run that flag up everywhere in Scripture, almost … except…

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Jesus calls Fishers and Menders

Asterisktom's Blog

When I first became a Christian in the 70’s I was enamored with the writings of Watchman Nee. I am not anymore, but one thing he wrote about Mark 1:16 – 20 stuck with me as noteworthy. Here is the passage of Jesus calling His first four disciples:

“16. Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18. And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.”

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THE MAGI

Asterisktom's Blog

Who were they? And what did they follow?

Did you ever wonder just who the Magi of the familiar Christmas story were? And why did God use them, of all people, seeing that they were foreigners and assumed strangers to the Promises of Abraham? A little background might be helpful.

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”Heb.1:1- 2

One of those “various ways” that God spoke to the Jews at the closing of their age, and at the dawning of the age to come, was the “star” that pointed to the Messiah’s birth. In revealing His Son to the world, God chose to use instruments from afar – the Magi from…

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A Puzzle Piece Falls in Place

Asterisktom's Blog

Every once in a while some major piece of the Bible puzzle seems to come into place, and it is always exciting when it does. This is what had happened to me with Daniel 9. But please don’t mistake candor for bluster, as if my epiphany is your truth . Your mileage may vary. I am just explaining how I felt when these pieces came into place.

For a long time, although being clear on the sixfold Messianic fulfilment during the 1st century (see article below), and on the events of AD 70, what eluded me was the starting point of this prophetical time. I was led to unwarranted assumptions by a number of writers.

CITY, NOT TEMPLE
Most of these writers trained me – and maybe you? – to look in the wrong direction. The focus was on the temple, and who gets credit for initiating the

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Six Promises of Christ to His People and City: Daniel 9:24 (Part one of two)

This is an article written in 2010, written when I was still in Amillennialism. As such it requires a lot of rewriting. But because a lot of this is still, I believe, quite valid – and was the product of much study – I have been wanting for a long time to give this an overhaul and offer it again for your consideration. As always, I am open to comments (cross-examinations and/or kudos equally welcomed. I don’t claim to have finally arrived on all points.)


The first correction I make to the original article is the title, which did not include “and city”. But that qualifying phrase is prophetically significant.

There may very well be as many interpretations as there are weeks to this prophecy of Daniel 9:24– 27. While many different views have been around for a number of centuries a sizable consensus of Christianity has agreed that the fulfillment of these six promises were to be achieved through the Messiah – and that they were fulfilled during the century of Christ’s life on earth. That second phrase, although more controversial for some, is borne out by Scripture.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Hebrews concerning Christ, refers to Him as “the Author and Finisher of our faith”, Hebrews 12:2. This prophetical passage before us dwells and details the wonderful steps of those promises, promises given to the Jews and – by His grace-given faith – all of us who have also entered into those same promises, Galatians 3:16; 6:16; 2nd Cor. 1:20. To know this passage and to meditate on its truths can’t help but strengthen our faith and magnify our Redeemer. God’s people are constantly in need of the Living Waters and of the Balm of Gilead.

But the modern futurist and dispensational interpretation tends to downplay this and trade it for fictions that have much to do with Antichrist but little to do (except for the white horse scene at the very end) with Christ.

Certainly, in eternity we will finally enter into the real blessing of being with Christ but, we recognize that much of what others are looking for in the future we already have now. How many of us Preterists, when singing the usual hymns with out futurists friends, have had to mumble other words in those obligatory 4th stanza Jesus-is-coming-soon lines! We finally know that much of the supposed future comfort is or ought to be a present possession. The Blessed Hope is not a transient event, but a Person who reigns right now. And because He reigns we overcome, as salt and light. And as soldiers in the Good Fight. Not heading for our mental bunkers.

All of this becomes much more a reality for us when we take these six promises in Daniel 9 to heart, studying how Christ has fulfilled every one for our benefit and application.

Here is the text that we need to study:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish [“restrain”] the transgression, and 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

“Seventy weeks” = one unit = 490 years. This was dealt with earlier. If I can convince you what the six foretold events here are, and to Whom they refer, the timing will take care of itself.

These are the six actions that Christ has brought about:

1. Restrain transgression.
2. Make an end for sins.
3. Make reconciliation for iniquity.
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
5. Seal up the vision and prophecy.
6. Anoint the Most Holy.


Gabriel comes to Daniel in answer to his prayer. Actually the angel’s answer is even larger than the prophet’s prayer. (This reminds of Eph. 3:20-21 and Romans 8:26). Daniel had asked for understanding of the two visions (Dan. 7 and 8, respectively) in light of his finally understanding from Jeremiah that the Captivity must soon come to an end.

Daniel asked for clarity on the physical captivity of his people. The angel, exceeding his expectations, declared also the release of the people of God from spiritual captivity.

This is now the second time that Gabriel appeared to Daniel. In the previous chapter, two years earlier, he had given understanding concerning the earlier kingdoms and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple as well as the times afterward. An instructive compare/contrast study would be the two temple judgments in these two chapters, Dan. 8 and 9. There are similarities and differences. In Dan. 8:13 we read of that earlier temple’s “transgression of desolation”. That earlier desolation, severe as it was, was not permanent. After a period of about six and a third years the temple was finally cleansed, v. 14.

However, the judgment of the temple mentioned in Daniel 9, Herod’s Temple, faced permanent destruction, which the Messiah later referred to as the “abomination of desolation”, Matt. 24:15, which had an “end with a flood”, Dan. 9:26 – 27. 1


One reason the verses in Daniel 9 are often misunderstood is because they are plucked out, without regard for the clarifying context of the previous chapters of like theme, in this case, Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 8. Each of these chapters deal with the same trials afflicted on the people of God. 2




I realize this is a lot of preambling to the main point here but I think it is important background.

His People, His City

When we read this passage we should remember that the response of Gabriel, first of all, has reference to the concerns of Daniel – to his people, city (mentioned six times in his prayer), and sanctuary. Of course we, by faith and gracious inheritance, enter also into these promises, but there is a danger when Christians rush to the universal application, forgetting context. To understand the recipients and context of the passage helps to nail down both application and timeline.

The first three events promised in Daniel were of things to be removed, taking care of a negative situation – our sin. For God to do His work, He must first rectify the mess we have made. This reminds us of God’s mission for the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10):

“See, I have this day set you [speaking to the prophet]
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down.
To build and to plant.”

While it is important to see ourselves in this passage in Daniel 9 it is just as important to see the antecedents: the transgression of Daniel’s people and city and people, v.11, and going back to the arch-transgression in the Garden.

To Finish THE Transgression

Notice that it is “THE transgression”, not transgression in general. This likely points to a single instance of transgression. Daniel had indeed confessed that “all Israel have transgressed your Law” but I think that the angel’s reference to transgression, while encompassing Daniel’s concern, also points back to the sin of Adam. The transgression of the first Adam was ended by the obedience of the Second Adam. And that, of course, was how the transgression was finished. Romans 5:12 – 19 brings this out. Verses 12, 15, and 18-19 summarize this point pretty well:

12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

15. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

18. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

And Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:21-22 writes in the same vein:

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

And in verse 45 he strengthens the connection, identifying Christ as the “last Adam”.


It should be obvious with a careful reading of these six promises that they all have their fulfillment in that period. There is no gap. This plain reading is very often ignored by many futurists. But it is also overlooked by a number of Preterists, Partial and especially all too many Full Preterists.

To Make an End of Sins

Many of us older folks remember the first Gulf War and the televised images of oil wells in the Gulf region burning almost out of control. The smoke from the burning could be seen clearly from space. I say “almost” out of control, because, though it took awhile, every one of those fires was extinguished.

The point is this: The method used to extinguish those fires illustrates the first and second of these prophesied events:

1. First the fires had to be capped. It would be ridiculous to put out fires while they were still being fed at the source, while fuel was still pouring out. So the firefighters stopped the fire, by means of a momentary explosion, arrested the pouring out of fuel (both liquid and oxygen). They then capped the well before it could re-ignite.

This is what Jesus did. First he took care of sin (singular) at its source. As far as we are concerned, He capped sin. This is the principle of sin, and Satan as the arch Fire-Starter. In Christ’s perfect life, death on the Cross and resurrection we have the strong man overcome by the Stronger Man (Mark 3:27, Luke 11:21– 22), Satan bound (Rev. 20:1- 3). He triumphed openly over him by the Cross (Col. 2:13- 15). This is that “shutting up” of transgression.


2. Then the individual fires (plural) could be put out. The Gulf War firefighters may not have used foam, but I will use it for this part of the illustration, since it fits the Hebrew word used here fairly well. (KJV “make an end of”) really means “to cover up” – and because it is covered up, to hide from view. (Song of Sol. 4:12 is a good example). This is where God casts our sins behind His back because of Christ’s death for us. This happened only at Calvary and will never be repeated. Once again – it did not happen at AD 70 nor will it some time in the future.

I suspect that, like in the previous clause, a definition is forced into the words, and not drawn out of the words. And, like in the previous clause, the assumption is that this clause (“make an end of sins”) is referring to the end times, and not to the times of Christ, since clearly, sin has not been made an end of. No, that is true: Sin still exists to afflict, at times, the best of Christians – yet they are covered up. That is why the saint doesn’t lose his salvation by an act of sin. For that matter, that is also why Old Testament saints like David did not lose theirs.Psalm 32:1.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
John Owen says this about this part of Daniel 9:24:

“And the most proper sense of the word [CHATHAM] is “to cover or conceal,” and thence “seal,” because thereby a thing is hidden…Now, to hide sin or transgression, in the Old Testament, is to pardon it, to forgive it. As, then, the former expression (KALA) respected the stop that was put to the power and progress of sin by the grace of the gospel, as Titus 2:11, 12, so does this the pardon and removal of the guilt of it by the mercy proclaimed and tendered in the gospel.”

To Make Reconciliation for Iniquity

We now come to the third event of Christ’s ministry for His people. We are told in this passage that He will come “to make reconciliation for iniquity”. This reconciliation had occurred at the cross. This is when reconciliation was effected, by the perfect life and sinless death of the God-man, Christ Jesus, the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God. Because there was (is) no blemish in His sacrifice, or fault in His life of demonstrated holiness, we too, who believe in Christ’s sacrifice for us, are totally accepted in Christ (Eph. 1:6).

Reconciliation” means to “hide”, “cover” or “pardon”. This is what God does with our sins in view of Christ’s payment for them. It is not as though, strictly speaking they cease to exist. We are pardoned because of the peace attained for us by Christ (Eph. 2:14- 22; especially verses 13- 17). Christ is our peace. Matthew Henry writes:

“He is not only the peace-maker, but the peace. He is the atonement.”

He is our reconciliation, our ongoing means of acceptance with God. This prophesied reconciliation is not only found here in Dan. 9, but was promised as far back as Genesis 3:15, when our first parents were first encouraged with the good news of a coming Savior.

Where else do we read of this reconciliation that we have through Christ Jesus? Here are just some of the many verses that could be quoted:

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. – Rom. 5:11

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; –
2 Cor. 5:18

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. –
Col. 1:20

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. –
Heb. 2:17

Think of it! How greatly this doctrine magnifies Jesus Christ, our great High Priest! Approaching the altar as the Priest without blemish He presented the perfect sacrifice – Himself! Who among the godliest of the Old Testament Priests could have foreseen that they were, in their persons and vocation, types of such an astounding act of God? Christ is the High Priest who puts an end to all other priests – and to the Levitical priesthood altogether. Jesus Christ was at the same time “Priest of the most high God” (Heb. 7:1), “holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners” (verse 26) and the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), both sacrificer and sacrifice, pure and unblemished.

The next phrase (“bring in everlasting righteousness”) is a positive statement of what is here stated negatively. The two phrases go together. In fact, some see these next three events as being chiastic to the first three. A chiasm is an inverted structure that God’s Word often uses, as in ABCCBA. But I am not sure, however, if there truly is a chiasm here.

GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE FINAL THREE EVENTS
These last three prophesied events confirm the Messiah as Priest, Prophet and King:


1. His Priesthood is shown by his bringing in everlasting righteousness. He did this by living a righteous – perfect – life, and by being the spotless Lamb, sacrificed for our sin. His death, as well as His life, pleads for us. Charles Wesley expresses it well:

“Five bleeding wounds He bears,
Sustained on Calvary.
They pour effectual prayers.
They strongly plead for me,”.


What has this to do with “everlasting righteousness”? Everything. It is at the Cross that Christ is able to be, as our Perfect Priest 2, “both just and justifier of him who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). In Christ we are declared righteous by imputation so that we can be increasingly righteous in experience. This is having “Christ formed in us”.

2. His office as Prophet is shown by his sealing up of vision and prophecy. God spoke before to us in various ways, but from the time of the unveiling of the Gospel He has now spoken to us through the Son. Christ is the Prophet who puts an end to all prophets and prophecy (Heb. 1:1- 2).

3. His Kingship is shown by his anointing of the Most Holy. Some versions imply that the anointing is of the most holy PLACE, yet that word is not in the original. Textually, either “place” or “person” is a possible recipient of “anoint”. Scripturally, I believe the case is much stronger for a person, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ .


This will have to do for now. But please notice that these blessed events all happen through the agency of Christ fulfilling His Messianic mission. They all happened at the Cross. All six of these tremendous benefits for saints everywhere – because the city and people of Daniel’s concern have now expanded worldwide – these can all be nailed down at Calvary, all six of them. There are no loose ends that require fulfillment in AD 66 or 70 or – God forbid – way off in our future.

More later.

Note
1.
A good side-study is the question of why the first temple was not abominated. The answer is that the Jews of the New Testament sinned against a greater Light, that light being Christ. See John 15:22. What makes the “last days” last is precisely this rejection of a most irrefutable personal testimony and demonstration of Messiah Himself. This, also, is why there could never be any future “last days”.

2. And each of these passages in Daniel give us descriptions of their coming Messiah, each time with additional insights:

In
2:34, 44 He is the “Stone … cut out of the mountain without hands” which “broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold”. (Many commentaries that I came across refer this to the Kingdom, not the Person, of Christ, but the Patristic consensus favors more the personal application.)


In
7:13 – 14 He is “One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!
In
8:25 He is the “Prince of princes”.
Here in
chapter 9 He is named two or three times, depending on interpretation.
9:25Messiah the Prince”,
9:26Messiah” and (according to some) “the Prince who will come”, an interpretation I agree with.
10:13 lit. “Michael, first of the chief princes” (see Gill, Pool, Henry) and again in verse 21, “Michael your Prince”.


And, lastly, in
12:1 He is “Michael … The great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.

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Six Promises of Christ to His People and City. Part 3: Daniel 9:24



“Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.”

His People, His City

When we read this passage we should remember that the response of Gabriel, first of all, has reference to the concerns of Daniel – to his people, city (mentioned six times in his prayer), and sanctuary. Of course we, by faith and gracious inheritance, enter also into these promises, but there is a danger when Christians rush to the universal application, forgetting context. To understand the recipients and context of the passage helps to nail down both application and timeline.

The first three events promised in Daniel were of things to be removed, taking care of a negative situation – our sin. For God to do His work, He must first rectify the mess we have made. This reminds us of God’s mission for the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10):

“See, I have this day set you [speaking to the prophet]
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down.
To build and to plant.”

While it is important to see ourselves in this passage in Daniel 9 it is just as important to see the antecedents: the transgression of Daniel’s people and city and people, v.11, and going back to the arch-transgression in the Garden.

To Finish THE Transgression

Notice that it is “THE transgression”, not transgression in general. This likely points to a single instance of transgression. Daniel had indeed confessed that “all Israel have transgressed your Law” but I think that the angel’s reference to transgression, while encompassing Daniel’s concern, also points back to the sin of Adam. The transgression of the first Adam was ended by the obedience of the Second Adam. And that, of course, was how the transgression was finished. Romans 5:12 – 19 brings this out. Verses 12, 15, and 18-19 summarize this point pretty well:

12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

15. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

18. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

And Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:21-22 writes in the same vein:

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

And in verse 45 he strengthens the connection, identifying Christ as the “last Adam”.


It should be obvious with a careful reading of these six promises that they all have their fulfillment in that period. There is no gap. This plain reading is very often ignored by many futurists. But it is also overlooked by a number of Preterists, Partial and even Full. More on this later.

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Six Promises of Christ to His People and City. Part 2: Daniel 9:24

Gabriel comes to Daniel in answer to his prayer. Actually the angel’s answer is even larger than the prophet’s prayer. (This reminds me of Eph. 3:20-21 and Romans 8:26). Daniel had asked for understanding of the two visions (Dan. 7 and 8, respectively) in light of his finally understanding from Jeremiah that the Captivity must soon come to an end.

Daniel asked for clarity on the physical captivity of his people. The angel, going beyond this, declared the release of the people of God from spiritual captivity.

This is the second time that Gabriel appeared to Daniel. In the previous chapter, two years earlier, he had given understanding concerning the earlier kingdoms and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple as well as the times afterword. An instructive compare/contrast study would be the two temple of judgments in these two chapters, Dan. 8 and 9. There are similarities and differences. In Dan. 8:13 we read of that temple’s “transgression of desolation”. The desolation at this time, severe as it was, was not permanent. After a period of about six and a third years the temple was cleansed, v. 14. However, the judgment of the temple in Daniel 9, Herod’s Temple, faced permanent destruction, which the Messiah later referred to as the “abomination of desolation”, Matt. 24:15,which had an “end with a flood”, Dan. 9:26 – 27.

One reason the verses in Daniel 9 are misunderstood is because they are plucked out, with regard for the clarifying context of the previous chapters of like theme, in this case, Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 8. Each of these chapters deal with the same trials afflicted on the people of God. Each of these ends with description of the Messiah, every time with clearer and clearer insight.

More later….

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Six Promises of Christ to His People and City: Daniel 9:24

This is an article written in 2010, written when I was still in Amillennialism. As such it requires a lot of rewriting. But because a lot of this is still, I believe, quite valid – and was the product of much study – I have been wanting for a long time to give this an overhaul and offer it again for your consideration. As always, I am open to comments (cross-examinations and/or kudos equally welcomed. I don’t claim to have finally arrived on all points.)

This is the first of several planned articles on Daniel 9:24.


The first correction I make to the original article is the title, which did not include “and city”. But that qualifying phrase is prophetically significant.

There may very well be as many interpretations as there are weeks to this prophecy of Daniel 9:24– 27. While many different views have been around for a number of centuries a sizable consensus of Christianity has agreed that the fulfillment of these six promises were to be achieved through the Messiah – and that they were fulfilled during the century of Christ’s life on earth. That second phrase, although more controversial for some, is borne out by Scripture.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Hebrews concerning Christ, refers to Him as “the Author and Finisher of our faith”, Hebrews 12:2. This prophetical passage before us dwells and details the wonderful steps of those promises, promises given to the Jews and – by His grace-given faith – all of us who have also entered into those same promises, Galatians 3:16; 6:16; 2nd Cor. 1:20. To know this passage and to meditate on its truths can’t help but strengthen our faith and magnify our Redeemer. God’s people are constantly in need of the Living Waters and of the Balm of Gilead.

But the modern futurist and dispensational interpretation tends to downplay this and trade it for fictions that have much to do with Antichrist but little to do (except for the white horse scene at the very end) with Christ.

Certainly, in eternity we will finally enter into the real blessing of being with Christ but, we recognize that much of what others are looking for in the future we already have now. How many of us Preterists, when singing the usual hymns with out futurists friends, have had to mumble other words in those obligatory 4th stanza Jesus-is-coming-soon lines! We finally know that much of the supposed future comfort is or ought to be a present possession. The Blessed Hope is not a transient event, but a Person who reigns right now. And because He reigns we overcome, as salt and light. And as soldiers in the Good Fight. Not heading for our mental bunkers.

All of this becomes much more a reality for us when we take these six promises in Daniel 9 to heart, studying how Christ has fulfilled every one for our benefit and application.

Here is the text that we need to study:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish [“restrain”] the transgression, and 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

“Seventy weeks” = one unit = 490 years. This was dealt with earlier. If I can convince you what the six foretold events here are, and to Whom they refer, the timing will take care of itself.

These are the six actions that Christ has brought about:

1. Restrain transgression.
2. Make an end for sins.
3. Make reconciliation for iniquity.
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
5. Seal up the vision and prophecy.
6. Anoint the Most Holy.

More later.

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Biblical Mnemonic Devices

As a Bible major at Bob Jones I had to do a lot of memorization of Bible passages as well as their location. One thing that has helped me to learn some of these is the use of mnemonic devices. For those who may not know, a mnemonic device is anything that helps you remember an important fact. Very useful in tests and quizzes. An example, and one a taught my world history students, is placing an “x” right in the middle of “Boer” (as in Boer War) to form the word “Boxer”. This is to show that the Boxer Rebellion occurred during the Boer War in South Africa*. Different continents, yet related political impulses brought both about.

Getting to the Bible, there are several useful ones that came to mind when I was at school. Here are a few:

The 39 and 27 chapters of, respectively, the Old and the New Testament, are similar to the chapter breakdown in Isaiah, where there is a grand change in content.
For that matter the other two major prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, also have similar changes in theme.

Speaking still of the Old Testament, two of the post-exilic historic books, Ezra and Nehemiah as well as Daniel, in each of their 9th chapters, have detailed prayers for national repentance and rededication.

An example from the New Testament: Paul’s 18-month stay in Corinth is recorded in Acts 18, the first 18 verses!
Are there any mnemonic devices that help you to remember Biblical content?

Note:
*To be exact, the Boxer Rebellion broke out a week after the start of the 2nd Boer War.

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