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Answer to Question #3
Footnote on Daniel 9

End Time Prophecy


Daniel 9:23-27

Numerous movies and books presenting end time events such as the antichrist, the man of sin and the seven-year tribulation period have flooded the market.  Though these scenarios are often colorful and thrilling, they are, unfortunately, lacking in Biblical scholarship and, therefore, unsatisfying to reasonable minds.

Bible Facts

What Does the Bible Teach?

This is the question every student of the Scriptures seeks to know.   Let us, therefore, briefly consider the above-mentioned topics, using scriptural reasoning and the historic fulfillment of prophecy.  We will begin with the popular belief that there will be seven literal years of tributlation.

While it is true that the bible clearly teaches that "there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation" (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21), it does not reveal the duration of time for this horrific event.  Where does this idea come from?  This popular theory is based upon an interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27.  Let's take a brief look at this prophecy.


The Seventy Weeks of Years
Daniel 9:

(vs. 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. 

(vs. 25)
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, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 

(vs. 26)
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah 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 thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 

(vs. 27)
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:  and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Verse 24 speaks of 70 weeks of covenanted favor.  In the Hebrew it literally means seventy weeks of years.  (See The Emphasized BibleRotherham translation.)

A3Dan9_2.jpg (2670 bytes)

One Prophetic Week is 
equal to 7 years.
70 Prophetic Weeks are 
equal to 490 literal years.


<----------------Seventy Weeks (490 years)---------------->


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, and threescore and two weeks:  the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.   Daniel 9:25

7 weeks

Threescore and two weeks
(62 ) weeks

1 week

(49 years)

(434 years)

(7 years)

7777777  +    


+  7

<------------------------483 years (69 weeks)--------------->[   70th   

<--454 B.C.
Nehemiah's Commission
to rebuild the walls
of Jerusalem

29 A.D.-->
Jesus becomes the
Messiah, the Anointed,
at his baptism.

70 weeks of 7 years each, equals 490 years total.


The 70th week, or the last 7 years, began with our Lord Jesus' baptism.  3-1/2 years later (the midst of the week) brings us to his death on the cross, and another 3-1/2 years after that (at the end of the 490 years) the first Gentile convert, Cornelius, and his family are baptized and receive the holy spirit.

Verse 25 supplies us with the starting point of our 70-week prophecy.  We are told that "from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah (the anointed one) the Prince shall be seven weeks (7), three score (60) and two (2) weeks (69 total weeks)."  

Nehemiah was commissioned to build Jerusalem in 454 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:3-8; 6:15; 7:1) 

Though many Bible commentaries put this event at 445 B.C., we quote Dr. Hale's work on chronology, pp. 449-531; Dr. Priestlie's "Harmony of the Evangelists," pp. 24-38; and "Rollin's Ancient History," Vol. 2, 447, to support the 454 B.C. date.

Therefore, we begin to count the 69 weeks (69 x 7 = 483 years) from 454 B.C. which ends with 29 A.D. The year our Lord became the Messiah by being anointed with the holy spirit at his baptism.   Matthew 3:13-17

Verse 26 states that some time after the 69th week, Messiah would be cut off.  Verse 27 reveals that "in the midst of the week (the 70th week) he (Messiah) shall cause the sacrifice (the typical animal sacrifices of the law) and the oblation to cease."

How?  By offering the true sacrificehis own life.  This prophecy was fulfilled when our Lord was cut off in death 33 A.D., 3 1/2 years after his ministry began in 29 A.D., in the middle of the final week of the prophecy.

The true understanding of this prophecy hinges on verse 27.  To see an illustration of the events in this verse, see our chart below.

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"And he (Messiah, or the Anointed One) shall confirm the covenant (the 70 weeks' covenant of exclusive favor to the Jewish people) with many for one week (beginning with Jesus' baptism in 29 A.D. until 36 A.D.): and in the midst of the week (33 A.D.) he (Messiah) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, (Jesus would cause the typical sacrifices of bulls, goats, lambs, etc. to cease being acceptable before God since he had fulfilled them) and for (or because of) the overspreading of abominations (Israel's religious hypocrisy became an abomination after their repudiation of Christ) he (Messiah) shall make it desolate, even until the consummation (or completion) and that determined (predetermined in God's plan) shall be poured upon the desolate." (Pronounced by Jesus over the nation in Matthew 23:38)


Popular Fiction

The Seven Year Tribulation period is supposed to be the last, or seventieth, week of 7 years.  This last week of years is broken off from the rest of the prophecy of 69 weeks, without scriptural authority, and separated by more than 1970 years!


The Seven-Year Tribulation Theory

With this proper understanding of Daniel's prophecy before us, we will now consider the popular seven-year tribulation concept.

Where do these seven years come from?   They are simply broken off from the 70 weeks of years that we have been considering in Daniel 9:24. 

Is this reasonable?  Let's consider and see.  First, we must note that nowhere else in prophetic reckoning is one portion of a time prophecy ever separated from another portion.  This is exactly what has been done in this case! 

The last seven years of this time prophecy have been separated from the preceding 483 years by a period of over 1970 years! 

Not only have these seven years been transported from the beginning of the Christian era to the end of the Christian era (for no reason) but, additionally, this "end-time scenario" adds insult to injury by changing the meaning of the "he" in verse 27. 

Instead of it being a prophecy which brings us to Jesus Christ the Messiah, "he" in verse 27 is said to be the "man of sin," "the antichrist."  And if that's not pad enough, there's more.  The precious 490-year covenant of exclusive favor for Israel becomes a covenant of diabolical intentions between the antichrist and the deceived world of mankind.  What a twisting of Scripturea monstrous deception!

Where Did This Erroneous Idea Originate?

During the Reformation, Christian leaders such as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and others had correctly identified the Papal System (the organizationnot the individual Catholics) as the Man of Sin and the Antichrist.  

In an attempt to shift this protestant interpretation of Scripture away from the Roman Catholic Church, a Jesuit priest by the name of Ribera created this Frankenstein idea of a literal, singular man of sin, far away in the future.

What Say the Scriptures about This 
Man of Sin?

The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically about this man of sin.  We quote 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8:

The Man of Sin
2 Thessalonians 2:1-8

(vs. 1)
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him

(vs. 2)
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

(vs. 3)
Let no man deceive you by any means:  for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

(vs. 4)
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

(vs. 5)
Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things?

(vs. 6)
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

(vs. 7)
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (He who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. New American Standard translation.)

(vs. 8)
And then that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.


In verse 3 the Apostle Paul speaks of a falling away from the true faith and a revealing, that is, an understanding of that man of sin which would take place before the coming again of Christ.

Verse 4 indicates that this man of sin would exalt himself above all other religious rulers.  The apostle states in verse 7 that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work."  In other words, this iniquitous principle was already working in the apostles' day and would continue to work secretly for a time, while some opposing force stood in the way.  But after this hindrance was removed, it would have a free course and progress rapidly to the development of the Antichrist.

What testimony does history give us in fulfillment of this prediction?  History reveals that the thing which hindered a rapid development of Antichrist was the fact that the place aspired to was already filled by another, the Roman Emperor.  The Romans had not only conquered the world and given it politics and laws, but also recognized that religious superstitions were the strongest chains by which to hold and control a people.  So they adopted a scheme which esteemed the emperor as the director and ruler in religious as well as in civil affairs.  In support of this it was claimed that the emperor was a demigod, in some sense descended from their heathen deities.  As such, he was worshipped and his statues adored.  As such he was styled in Latin Pontifex Maximusthat is, Chief Priest, or Religious Ruler.

Pontifex Maximus is the very title claimed by and given to the pontiffs or popes of the roman Hierarchy since this Antichrist obtained "the power and seat and great authority" of the former ruler of Rome.  (See Revelation 13:2)  We see then that what hindered the early development of Antichrist was the fact that the coveted seat of spiritual supremacy was filled by the representatives of the strongest empire the world had yet known.  For ay to have attempted an open display of ambition in this direction would have exposed them to the wrath of the masters of the Roman world.

The Hindrance Removed

So this iniquitous ambition (within the church) at first worked secretly, disclaiming any intent to gain power or authority, until a favorable opportunity was presented.  That opportunity came at the time of Constantine's reign (320 A.D.).  When the power of Rome was rapidly failing, he adopted Christianity to strengthen and unify his empire. 

During Constantine's reign, opposition to Christianity gave way to favor, and the Imperial Pontifex Maximus became the patron of the "professed" but really apostate Church of Christ, taking her by the hand and assisting her to a place of popularity and splendor.  Afterward, as the Imperial power grew weak, she was able to put her own representatives upon the religious throne of the world as chief Religious RulerPontifex Maximus. 

Thus, under Constantine, all hindrance was finally removed, which set speedily in motion the organization of Papacythe church nominal under the headship of the bishop of Rome as Pope.  Listen to Daniel's prophetic description of this same man of sin.  We quote Daniel 8:10 and 12:

(vs. 8) 
And it became great even unto (controlling) the host of heaven (the entire Church) yea, it magnified itself even up to the Prince of the host.  (It assumed to itself honors and dignities, and applied to itself prophecies and titles which belong to Christ Jesus alone, the true Chief or Prince--Head of the Church).  And it took away from him (Christ) the continual sacrifice (the ransom sacrifice.  Jesus' life which he gave once for all was replaced with the establishment of the Mass, where Christ is claimed to be recreated by the Priest and crucified over and over again for the forgiveness of sins!  This error is known as transubstantiation).

Listen to Ezekiel's prophetic description of the office of Papacy found in Ezekiel 28:2:

"Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God"

How fitting!  this describes the heart attitude of the line of Popes who boastfully claim to be Christ's representatives on earthhaving his power and authority.

The Apostle John speaks of this spirit of the world (pride and selfishness) which crept into the early church in 1 John 2:15-19,22.  He states in these verses that "even now are there many antichrists" and he further warns of a great singular antichrist that was yet to appear.  This antichrist is the same as the man of sin that Paul wrote about.  The name "Antichrist" has a two-fold significance.  The first is against (or in opposition to) Christ.  The second meaning is instead of (or a counterfeit of) Christ.  The Scriptures use the name Antichrist in the second sense of misrepresenting, counterfeiting (taking the place of) the true Christ.

The Great Deception

Here, then, is what we should expect, and what we do find in Papacy.  It is not in opposition to the name of Christ, but an enemy or opponent of Christ in that it falsely bears his name, counterfeits his kingdom and authority, and misrepresents his character, plans and doctrines before the worlda most baneful enemy and opponent indeed, worse by far than an outspoken foe!

As Christendom looks intently for a Man who will stand up and be worshipped as God, causing all to take the mark of the beast during this dreaded seven-year period of tribulation, what has actually occurred?  This mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7), Antichrist, Satan's counterfeit system of true Christianity, haas been at work since the Apostle Paul's day, reaching its zenith of power during the period known to historians as the "Dark Ages."

The Scriptural Scenario

In light of history and fulfilled prophecy, we want to now present the sequence of events we do expect ahead.

We have entered the "time of trouble" since 1914 with the outbfreak of World War I.  The trouble has increased and will continue to do so as "birth pangs upon a woman in travail." (1 Thessalonians 5:3)  Jesus predicted that "men's hearts would be failing them for fear, looking after those things which are coming on the earth."  (Luke 21:26  And further, "unless those days would be shortened, there should o flesh be saved."  (Matthew 24:22)  It is then that our returned Lord Jesus Christ with his church in glory, will intervene and say, "Peace be still," just as he did when he calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee.

Satan will have been fully bound, unable to deceive the nations anymore, his old evil social order (the heavens and earth which are  now2 Peter 3:7) having been fully removed.

It is then that Jesus will have fully set up his "new heavens (one true religion) and new earth (a righteous government on earth)."  Deliverance form sin and death will be offered to all mankind, and this will be the answer to millions of Christian prayers over the past 2000 years, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, in earth as it is in heaven."  Matthew 6:10

Hallelujah!  What a Savior


Click to go to the following:

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For information from STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES on Daniel 9.

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For booklet on "Can We Identify Antichrist?" 

  A3AntichristBklt.jpg (2450 bytes)  A3BkletChUnion.jpg (2768 bytes)

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For booklet on "Church Union and the Antichrist."  

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For Information on Who Will Be "Left Behind"?

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For Reformation Views on Who Is the Antichrist.

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     For Information on Ribera and Catholic Counter Reformation Views

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)     Back to Question #3 on The Seven Years' Tribulation.


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