The seventy weeks of Daniel 9
To help us understand the rapture, let us review the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9.
Daniel 9: 24-27, 24 Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
Seventy-seven speaks of seventy weeks of years, seventy times seven years, that is 490 years. Your people speak of the people of Daniel, the Jews. Your holy city speaks of Jerusalem. This prophecy is about the Jews and Jerusalem. The entire scope of this prophecy span 490 years. At the end of 490 years, transgression, sin, and wickedness will be put to an end. There will be everlasting righteousness, the vision will be sealed up, and the Holy of Holies in the temple will be anointed. The entire scope of this prophecy is still not yet fulfilled because there is still transgression, sin, wickedness, there is no everlasting righteousness, and the third temple had not been rebuilt.
V 25 Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
Angel Gabriel gave Daniel a specific timeline. From the time a decree was given to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah will be 7 X 7 plus 62 x 7 years. This adds up to 69 weeks of years, that is 483 years. This part of the prophecy had been fulfilled. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:8-9 on 14th March 445 BC. Based on the Jewish lunar calendar of 360 days per year, 483 years worked out to 173,880 days. Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, 6th April 32 AD, Zechariah 9:9. According to Sir Robert Anderson in his book ‘’The Coming Prince”, the number of days from 14th March 445 BC to 6th April 32 AD worked out to be exactly 173,880 days, taking into account, leap years and other considerations. Jerusalem was rebuilt in times of trouble amidst opposition from the Samaritans.
Nehemiah 2: 8-9, “And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests”.
Zechariah 9:9, ‘’Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”.
V 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
Sixty-two seven of years is 434 years. 434 plus 49 years is 683 years. After 683 years, the Anointed One, meaning the Messiah will be killed. This was fulfilled on Good Friday. The people of the ruler came to destroy the city and the sanctuary. This was fulfilled in 70 AD, when the Romans under General Titus Vespasian came and destroyed Jerusalem, the temple, and killed more than 1 million Jews. Wars will continue in the world and had continued ever since. The prophetic time clock was temporally switched off after 483 years. The last 7 years of world history between 483 to 490 have not started yet. This prophetic time clock will restart again when the last person on earth is saved and trigger off the rapture. The rapture is described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever”.
V 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
He, speaks of the antichrist who will show up on the world scene in the last 7 years of world history known as the tribulation. The antichrist will successfully negotiate and brokered a peace treaty between the Jews and the Arabs for 7 years. The third temple will be rebuilt and the temple sacrifice will be restored. There will be peace in for 3 1/2 years. After 3 1/2 years, right into the middle of the 7-year tribulation, the antichrist will set up His image in the Holy of Holies and forced the Jews to worship his image. This image is called the abomination of desolation. The Lord Jesus alluded to this event in Mathew 24:15. Trouble will break out when the Jews refused to worship the image of the antichrist. This will trigger off the great tribulation, the last three and a half years of world history. The antichrist is foreshadowed in history by Antiochus Epiphany IV, who conquered Jerusalem between 175-164 BC. He set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies, splashed swine blood on the altar, and forced the Jews to worship him as God. The future antichrist during the tribulation will desecrate the third temple in the same way. Paul described this antichrist as the ‘’man of lawlessness” in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Matthew 24:15, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand”.
2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4, ‘’Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God”.