Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pre-Trib Attempts to Remove Jesus From 70-Week Prophecy and Replace Him withAntichrist

Daniel's 70-Week Prophecy
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, 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. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [457BC]unto the Messiah, the Prince, [Jesus]shall be seven weeks threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah [Jesus]be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He [Jesus] shall confirm the Covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week He [Jesus] shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:24-27).

This prophecy was written as 70 weeks, which is 490 days. As it turns out, however, the time period fits perfectly into 490 years. This type of Prophecy interpretation is called the, "day-for-a-year"  interpretation. There’s not time and space here to completely cover this prophecy but let’s quickly look at highlights. The event marking the beginning  of the prophecy is the, "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" (Vs.25). This command was given in 457 BC. Exactly 490 years after 457 brings us to 34 AD. Did a significant event occur in 34 AD concerning Jesus and His Gospel? An extremely significant event occurred. Stephen, one of the original deacons in the founding of the Church in Jerusalem, was stoned by the Jewish leaders. This blatant evil deed caused the early Church to scatter and, in so doing, the Gospel became completely opened to the Gentiles. Daniel prophesied that much would be accomplished during the last week of the 70-weeks. The words in his Prophecy correspond to Jesus` baptism, His Last Supper, His confirmation of the His New Covenant, His death, and the end of the sacrificial system, and the time when the Gospel would expand to the Gentiles. The only event that is even slightly unclear as fitting perfectly in the 70th week is the Stoning of Stephen. However, just a little investigating the events surrounding Stephen's death makes it very, very clear.We will show this in a moment.

"Messiah the Prince"
"Know, therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks threescore and two weeks"  (Vs.25). Seven weeks threescore and two weeks is 69 weeks, or 483 days. Convert these 483 days to 483 years and we have an exact fit. Starting at 457 BC and counting exactly 483 years brings us to 27 AD, the exact year Jesus was baptized and started His ministry.

"Anoint the Most Holy"
This is one of the events that was to happen at some time before the end of the 70 Week Prophecy.  This event actually happened at the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel's Prophecy. When Jesus was Baptized, as He came up out of the water, "the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a Dove, and lighting upon Him. And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt.3:16-17).

"He Shall Confirm The Covenant"
"He shall confirm the Covenant with many for one week" (Dan.9:27).

Underscore the words "Covenant" and "many." Now let's look at the following from Jesus at His Last Supper: "This is My blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt.26:28). Jesus' words are almost a quote from Daniel’s Prophecy. This is important! Pre-Trib removes Jesus from fulfilling this prophecy and replaces Him with Antichrist!! Not only is such a thing incorrect, it is... well, let's continue and let our Readers decide! Let's see if Jesus or Antichrist fits the Prophecy:

Did Jesus Confirm a Covenant?
And if so, did He "Confirm a Covenant for a WEEK?" He Did ABSOLUTELY! For exactly 7 years (7 prophetic days), Jesus did everything possible to confirm His New Covenant with the Nation of Israel. The 7 years started with His Baptism and ended 7 years later when the Jewish leaders stoned Stephen. The first half of the 7 years, 3 ½ years, Jesus personally conducted His attempts to, "Confirm His New Covenant" with the Jews. The second 3 1/2 years of that 7 year time period, the Disciples followed Christ's command to take the Gospel to the "Jews first" (Rm.1:16). The stoning of Stephen marked the end of the 70th week. So, the 70th Week started with Jesus' Baptism, His "Anointing," and ended when the Jews officially cast away their last opportunity to take part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The official leaders of the Jews called a meeting of the Sanhedrin in the Synagogue in order to put Stephen the Deacon on trial. Stephen's face shown as if he were an Angel as he addressed them, giving them an inspired speech, warning them that they were forever casting themselves away from being God's chosen people. Steven was stoned 3 1/2 years after Jesus was crucified, and his death caused the Gospel to be scattered "unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8; See also Matt.10:6; Lk.24:47; Rom.2:9-10) (See Acts 8:1 for Biblical documentation of Stephen’s death causing the Gospel to be "scattered abroad").

Is it Jesus or Antichrist?
Let's look at something very important. Pre-Trib says that, instead of Jesus making a Covenant for a week, Antichrist will make a future Covenant with the Jews for a prophetic week, which is 7 years. They arrive at this interpretation by moving the 70th week of Daniel from Jesus' time, and placing it to "End-Times." More on this in a moment. If the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy fits perfectly into the time frame starting at Jesus' baptism and ending when Stephen was stoned, a VERY important event must happen in the "Midst" (middle) of that week. DID IT?

"In the Midst of the Week"
Did something happen 31/2 years after Jesus was Baptized? And did this event, "Confirm His Covenant" and "Cause the Sacrificial System to Cease?" Daniel Prophesied, "He shall confirm the Covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease" (Dan.9:27).

"Sacrifice and Oblation Ceased" when Jesus Died
At the exact moment Jesus died, a miraculous event literally stopped the sacrificial system in the Temple. Matthew records it thus: "The veil in the Temple was rent (torn) in twain from top to bottom"  (Matt.27:51). God sent a direct signal to the Jewish nation that their, "sacrifices and oblations should cease" immediately! The Real Lamb had just died for humankind, thus in God's eyes, the "sacrifice and oblation" stopped, and it SHOULD have stopped for the nation of Israel and the rest of the world. The Jews may have repaired the torn veil, but it was for naught. There was, and is, to be no more sacrificing animals after Jesus died, ever! A quick note! Pre-Trib calls on an Ezekiel Prophecy to say there'll be a Temple in their so-called "Earthly Millennial Kingdom" in which there will be animal sacrificing. See Website "Ezekiel's Millennial Temple" to see 8 Un-Answerable Questions Pre-Trib faces concerning the Temple they say will be in place for a 1000 years here on earth.

Pre-Trib's 70th Week Interpretation
Pre-Trib says the, "Sacrifice and Oblation Ceasing" is yet in the future and will be fulfilled by Antichrist, not Christ! Is this a Double Error for Pre-Trib? We do not want to offend, so we will be kind and say that we respectfully disagree with the Pre-Trib interpretation. As a National News Netwoek says, "We Report - You Decide."  If Daniel's Prophecy is clearly outlining Christ's Baptism, His Last Supper, His New Covenant He made with His Church, and His Death on the Cross, shouldn't we leave that Prophecy as it is? If, however, someone has attempted to remove Christ from that Prophecy and attempted to replace Christ with Antichrist, we'll let our Readers decide if this is just a little "OOPS" error, or something much, much, more serious! We said "Double Error," and later in this Website we will look at mass confusion caused by removing Jesus from this Prophecy and replacing Him with Antichrist. Every Pre-Trib Minister should re-examine this!! Pre-Trib says that, instead of the Prophecy describing the work of Jesus, it describes Antichrist making a covenant with Israel allowing them to re-build their Temple and re-establish their animal sacrificial system. Then, according to Pre-Trib, 31/2 years later, half way through Daniel's 70th Week, Antichrist breaks his Covenant, stops the Jews from sacrificing animals, and begins persecuting them. Pre-Trib says this persecution goes on for an additional 31/2 years, thus completing the Prophecy. These 2 time periods of 31/2 years, says Pre-Trib, establishes the length of the Great Tribulation as 7 years.

Seven Year Tribulation?
This Pre-Trib version/interpretation of cutting off the 70th week of Daniel's Prophecy, substituting Antichrist for Jesus, declaring there'll be an Antichrist/Jew Covenant, and moving the Prophecy from Christ's time to the End Times, is the reason Pre-Trib says there'll be a Seven Year Tribulation. Actually, if we examine John's information in Revelation about the Tribulation, there is circumstantial evidence that it could be less than a year. We will present John's information here next, but for a complete look at the time and purpose for the Tribulation, see "The Great Tribulation."

Let's look at what John really saw in Revelation. Calibrating everything John saw, it looks as if the Tribulation could be 1 literally year. The actual time for the, "Seven Last Plagues" portion of the Tribulation seems about 2 literal weeks. We arrive at this by again using the, "Day for a Year" principle. Note the following: "Therefore shall her (Babylon's) plagues come in one day [1 day = 1 prophetic year], death, and morning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her" (Rev. 18:8). If the "one day" in this verse is prophetic time, "Day-for-a-Year," then the Tribulation would be 1 year. Now about that prophetic "hour." John saw the "Kings of the Earth who have committed fornication with her (the Great Whore or Babylon)," "Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour [day-for-year time is 2 weeks] is thy judgment come" (Rev.18:10; see also vss.17 and 19). If 1 day is a prophetic year, 1 hour would be a 24th of a year, which is approximately 2 weeks. Can we say for absolutely certainty that this "One Day" and "One Hour" interpretation is 100% correct? Maybe not, but taking into account all of the other prophecies in Revelation, it seems to make sense.For sure we know that God will take care of His people, no matter how long the Tribulation lasts.

Pre-Trib's Dilemma
If Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy is all about Jesus, and none about Antichrist, any attempts to remove Jesus and replace Him with Antichrist, must be corrected. If Pre-Trib accepts that this is so, and makes the adjustment in their interpretation, a most essential pillar in Dispensational Pre-Trib would be gone. Their version of an Antichrist/Israel Covenant and a 7-Year Tribulation would have no bases. What would this mean? We'll let our Readers decide.

We suggest that Scripture eliminates any possibility of placing Antichrist into the 70th week of  Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy, but, in addition, there are some other parts of the Pre-Trib version that need a closer look. Following are a few:
 
Antichrist's Focus During the Tribulation
Every Bible Prophecy about Antichrist during the Tribulation clearly depict his wrath and aggression will be totally focused against God's people who are, "Keeping God's Commandments" (See Rev.12:17 and 14:12) as opposed to Antichrist's "Changed Times and Laws" (See Dan.7:25). Pre-Trib agrees with this, saying these will be Jews. However, we must ask, which Jews? If Pre-Trib is correct, and the Church is gone to Heaven during the Tribulation, and the Jews convert to Christianity, surly those Jews will understand that Animal Sacrifice is not a Christian practice. Surly those converted Jews will know that Jesus is the final Sacrifice for sins, and surly they will not not want revert back to a practice that would imply they do not accept Jesus as their sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Pre-Trib says the "Covenant" made to the Jews by Antichrist will include allowing them to rebuild their Temple and resume their animal sacrificing system. For the non-Christian Jews, allowing them to rebuild their Temple and allowing them to begin sacrificing animals would be great. But for the Christian Jews, the Temple would be great, the the animal sacrificing, not so much. They'd want no part of participating in a practice that, in the Bible, in Hebrews, animal sacrificing would be a complete rejection of Jesus being the Savior. So, if Pre-Trib is correct about Antichrist allowing/encouraging the Jews to reconstruct their Temple and resuming animal sacrificing, he'd be very pleased with the Jews sacrificing animals because this would be a sign of their rejecting Jesus. So, instead of Antichrist aggressively making war against the animal sacrificing Jews, he'd be praising them and putting his entire efforts into killing those who refused the practice. So, does this whole animal sacrificing thing that Pre-Trib is attempting to place in Daniel's 70th week Prophecy fit into reality?   

Does it really seem to be a good idea to attempt to remove a week out of Daniel's 70 Week prophecy and re-attach it to end-times? All of the following events establish the fact that Christ fulfilled the 70th week of Daniel's Prophecy:
Christ's Ministry was 3 1/2 years in length.
His Baptism occurred exactly 483 years after the "Command to Rebuild Jerusalem."
At His Last Supper He Established His "New Covenant with Man."
At His death, the Temple Veil was torn, a sign the Jewish Sacrificial system should cease.
He gave the Jews an additional 3 1/2 year opportunity to be His Evangelists to the world.

 Stoning of Stephen
We said earlier that, when we look at all of the events surrounding Stephen's death, there would be no doubt that it marks the end of the 70th Week. Of course Pre-Trib totally disagrees. So, let's examine the evidence. Stephen was stoned 3 1/2 years after Jesus was crucified, and his death caused the Gospel to be scattered "unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8; See also Matt.10:6; Lk.24:47; Rom.2:9-10) (See Acts 8:1 for Biblical documentation of Steven’s death causing the Gospel to be "scattered abroad"). If our Reader will examine the the Scriptures we list above concerning this "Scattering," it will be clear that the timing is meaningful. There's something else that happened the very day Stephen died that had a huge impact on the Gospel going to the Gentiles. There was a man holding the coats of those who killed Stephen. Holding coats when someone was Stoned was significant in those days. It meant the person holding the coats was very approving of the stoning, and also meant that the holder of the coats was probably in charge of the event. In Stephen's case, we know who the Coat-Holder was, and we know he was very much in favor of the stoning and probably the organizer. Of course that was Saul who later became Paul the Apostle. It is very significant that Paul became the "Apostle to the Gentiles." Soon after he participated in Stephen's murder, Saul made his famous trip to Damascus. When the light shown, and Jesus spoke to Saul, He said, "I am Jesus. whom thou persecutest; It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks" (Acts9:5). It is apparent that, after seeing Stephen being killed, and hearing him describe Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and then hearing him pray, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Ac.7:59), Saul/Paul had this scene running through his mind, greatly disturbing his conscience. So, the stoning of Stephen was a very significant event and after considering everything else in Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy, it fits perfectly.
We have a choice. We can accept what fits perfectly in Daniel's 70th Week, and makes perfect sense, or, we can attempt to remove Jesus from the Prophecy and replace Him with Antichrist. To replace Christ with Antichrist requires a lot of speculation based on things that raise questions. The interpretation of leaving the 70th Week as covering the 31/2 years of Christ's ministry and 31/2 years from Christ's Death till the Stoning of Stephen, is the same interpretation that Martin Luther and many other Reformers embraced. The accuracy of this Prophecy, when properly interpreted, is flawless and has been the source of many conversions to Christianity. Pre-Trib's version has become popular, but, is an attempt to, "Remove Jesus from the Prophecy and replace Him with Antichrist?" Of course our Readers must decide for themselves which is correct. Most of all, let's Pray for God's Holy Spirit to help us know the Truth!

Scripture for "Day-for-Year"
Is there Scripture for converting prophetic days to years? The best proof is its accuracy, but there is Bible  evidence. (See Eze.4:6; Num.14:34). There’s no Biblical command to apply the principle, but when the time and events fit perfectly, it’s the right thing to do. Everything in Daniel’s 70-Week prophecy, especially the 70th Week, took place exactly in order. The odds of all these things being accidental are beyond calculation. The accuracy of this prophecy is proof that the Bible can be trusted—proof that God, who knows the end from the beginning, is the actual Author of the Bible.
                
Thank you SO much, Dear Reader for your time. May God's Spirit guide us into all Truth as we seek to prepare for His Coming! Please see Our Other Websites listed below.
Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.
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Check Our Other Websites:

Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Post-Tribulation Second Coming of Jesus
Will We Eat Pigs During the Millennium?

Planet Earth WILL be Destroyed After the 1000 Years!
New Jerusalem - How BIG is It?
Great White Throne Judgment Seat - When and Where
Christ's Kingdom - Millennial or EVERLASTING?

Hell Fire
Is God Torturing People Now
Did Jesus Suffer ALL of Your Hell?
The Rich Man and Lazarus?
Death
The Dead - Dead or Alive - What is Death?
Did Jesus Die YOUR Death for You?
Will Satan Ever Die - Bible Says "YES!"
Testing Our Doctrine About Death
The Dead Stand Before Great White Throne Judgment Seat

The Gnostics Attack the Sabbath
Were Gnostics Really Christian?
Were Gnostics Satan's Implants into the Church?
Is Gnosticism Alive and Well in Today's Churches
Church is Israel - Israel is Church
Is the Church Israel and Israel the Church?
Is the Bride of Jesus the 144 Thousand?
Did Jesus Offer the Jews a Millennial Kingdom in His Ministry?
Will New Jerusalem Sit in Israel? How Big is It?
Christ's REAL EVERLASTING Kingdom

The Sabbath
Is it a Sin to Observe the Sabbath?
Is There a Connection Between the Rapture and the Sabbath?
Will the Sabbath Be Observed By God's People During the Tribulation?
Who REALLY Changed the Sabbath in Early Christianity?
Un-Answered and Un-Answerable Sabbath Questions For Popular Preachers
How to Test Your Doctrine Concerning the Sabbath

Heaven
Marriage in Heaven - Millennial Kingdom?
Strange Animal/Demons the Millennium?
Why Jesus Hasn't Come to Take Us To Heaven?
Teachers of Anomia (Law Annulling)
Good Ministers Teaching Against God's 10 Commandments?
Teaching of Anomia - The Reason Jesus Hasn't Come Yet?
Pre-Trib Rapture and Sabbath
Pre-Trib Rapture and the Sabbath?

Walter C. Martin Jr.
Everlasting Gospel Ministries

These are just a few of the questions we examine in our Websites.
Thank you, Dear Reader,  for checking them. Please feel free to give us your comments and feedback if you look at our Sites.  If you send us your questions or comments, we will try to answer and add your question to these Websites. We will Not give your name or E-Mail address to ANY ONE or ANY Church Group or Denomination! Nor will we send you ANY annoying E-Mails!! It is NOT our purpose to get you to withdraw from your present Church, but to invite you to present things you learn here to your Pastor and Friends.
Let's pray that God will continue sending His Holy Spirit to guide as we prepare for Jesus to come. Thank You!
Your Brother in Christ!
Walter C. Martin Jr