THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL, AND THE REST

The Significance of the Time Element



Michael F. Blume

February 2003


Daniel 9:24-27 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. (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. (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. (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.


The Crucial Placement of the 70th Week

The above verses from Daniel 9 show us that a period of 70 Weeks is noted to be given to Israel. The Weeks are broken down into three sets as follows: 7 Weeks, & 62 Weeks & 1 Week. The last Week is the 70th Week. Controversy abounds around this final week.

The first set of 7 Weeks is the amount of time it would take for Israel to restore and rebuild Jersualem. 49 Years. The following 62 Weeks is the amount of time that is covered in Daniel chapters 8, 10 and 11. The 70th Week is the period in which Jesus Christ came to this world and ministered and died on the cross. It must be noted that the coming of Christ and the work of the cross was not said to require the full final week of seven years. He simply came at the start of that Week and ministered and died during it.

It is very important that we ascertain the placement of the 70th week of Daniel 9:24 due to the fact that the entire futurist interpretation of prophecy hinges on its placement in the future, thousands of years after the 69th Week. If the 70th week of Daniel consecutively followed the previous 69 weeks, then the Futurist interpretation of prophecy is destroyed.

By coining the term "Futurism", I am not being derogatory. Futurism is simply the label that suits the frame of interpretation which proposes that a future period of seven years for an unprecedented great tribulation. Futurism adamantly states that the vast majority of the Book of Revelation is not yet fulfilled.

The sole basis for the belief of a future seven-year tribulation period is what can be called the "Gap" interpretation. It is said that a gap of an untold amount of years exists between the 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel 9. However, anyone reading Daniel 9 without the influence of opinions and scriptural gymnastics would never come to that conclusion, themselves. One must have heard such an opinion to ever propose such a thought, for nothing in Daniel 9 proposes anything similar to the insertion of a gap between these last two periods of Weeks.

Futurism will argue that the 70th Week is distinguished from the preceding 62 Weeks since the implication of a gap is present. However, the first 7 Weeks are also distinguished from the following 69 Weeks and the 70th Week. But futurists will not insert a gap of any number of years between those first 7 Weeks and the following 62 Weeks.

Consistency, thou art a rare jewel!

Futurism must insert a gap of thousands of years after the 69th Week in order to have a future seven-year tribulation period. A future seven-year tribulation period is a major tenet of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. Since the 70 Weeks are said to be determined upon Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24), the placement of the 70th Week in the future means that God will return to his dealings with Natural Israel after the rapture of the Church.

This makes the Church a second rate issue! It renders natural, unregenerate Israel to be the main issue in Godís concern, with God accepting animal sacrifices once again. But the Bible teaches that the blood of Jesus is the final sacrifice, once and for all time, that God will ever accept. He simply will not honour nor even so much as regard animal blood ever again!

Hebrews 10:1-3 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Hebrews 10:17-18 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

All of these passages stress the fact that there are no more offerings for sin, since Jesus Christ offered His blood once and for all. Mankind may offer sacrifice of blood towards God, but God will simply not accept nor regard any such things since Christ has been offered once and for all.

Hebrews 10:1-2 notes that if a sacrifice could be offered that would make the offerers perfect, sacrifices would then cease to be offered. The work would be completed. What purpose is there in offering sacrifice for sins if the offerer was rendered perfect, or complete? When one is purged by a sacrifice to no more have a conscience of sin, there is simply no further need fo0r sacrifice!

Hebrews 10:14 tells us that Christís sacrifice, in fact, perfected forever the folks that were sanctified. In other words, placing verses 1 and 2 together with verse 14, we learn that since Christís sacrifice, offerings have been made to cease! Jesus paid it all!

He cried, "It is finished," when He died on the cross.

Verses 17-18 tell us that God was moved to no more remember the sins and iniquities of those sanctified by the blood offering of Jesus Christ. And since sins are "remitted" by Christ, there is no further offering that is required for us!

Many argue that offerings continued to be given by Israel in Jerusalem long after the crucifixion of Jesus. But we must understand that man may continue to make sacrifices to God, however that does not mean God honours them. If your payments to a financial institution have been completed, yet you continue to make payments, you make those payments in vain. By the same token, Israel offered sacrifice in vain, for God recognized Christís sacrifice as the final sacrifice for sins for ever. Israel continued on in their offerings due to unbelief. Yet God considered sacrifices to have ceased since Christís sacrifice sanctifies and perfects forever those who are sanctified.

The idea of God reverting back to animal sacrifice is simply out of the question in light of these scriptures! Therefore, the idea of a future dealing with natural Israel through animal sacrifice is absolutely out of the question as well.

And this is what Danielís 70 Weeks were said to accomplish.


Daniel 9:27 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.

The "He" of verse 27 would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Daniel used the same words that Hebrews 10:2 used.


Hebrews 10 :2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Daniel 9:27 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 ceaseÖ


SPIRIT OF GUILT AND CONDEMNATION



How many saints of God suffer from condemnation and guilt? They think they are not good enough. But Hebrews 10 tells us that His sacrifice removed all concern for past iniquities out of Godís mind. So, there is no further need for an offering for sins. Notice the link between a conscience cleared from past sins and the subsequent lack of need for further sacrifices.

The same spirit of guilt that plagues Christians who are ignorant about the absolute finished work of the cross of Jesus is behind the futurist interpretation of prophecy.

Now, let me state right now that some futurists declare that any thought of Godís acceptance of further sacrifices is nonsense. But the idea of a future seven-year tribulation period is originally based upon the thought of Dispensationalismís proposal that God will revert to the natural Jews through their offering of animal sacrifices once again. Despite watered down forms of Dispensationalism that teach a future seven-year period without Godís approval of further animal blood, we must understand that the origin of any future period of tribulation is based upon "raw" Dispensationalismís error.

This spirit of guilt that so many suffer is the ulterior root motive for the futurist doctrine that refuses to accept the fact that Christ made an end of Godís acceptance of blood sacrifice. And that is the reason futurism is so appealing to so many.

To say that an antichrist is responsible for causing sacrifices to cease, when Hebrews 10 clearly notes that Christís sacrifice causes them to cease, is to attribute the work of God to the work of the devil! Itís like saying the work of the Holy Ghost is committed by Satan. But the actual spirit of antichrist, according to 1 John, is nullifying the work of the cross. What doctrine uplifts the work of the cross more? Futurism or the Partly Fulfilled teaching?

THE WORK OF THE CROSS


We all know that God continues to work in the lives of believers once they accept the work of the cross into their lives and apply it to themselves through obedience to Acts 2:38. However, we must understand that God does not have to provide any further means by which He will work in our lives. The work of the cross is a finished work in the sense that it has provided mankind with all that we will ever need in order to make Heaven our home one day. Itís likened to a table set and prepared with food. The meal is ready and served. Just come to it and receive!

Daniel 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.

By the time the event of the cross occurred, all of these six points listed in verse 24 were fulfilled. Do not let anyone curb your attention away to something other than the cross as the means of fulfilling these six points.

Post-Tribulation proponents unwittingly believe in a Pre-Tribulation tenet of faith when they propose a future seven-year tribulation period. Without the gap between the last two weeks of Daniel, the weeks are consecutive, and there is no basis for a future seven-year period. Godís dealings with Natural Israel are finished! The Church is the last and final thing on Godís Schedule for Planet Earth. The Church is Godís Number 1 issue! All future ages will see the Church as the Number 1 issue.


Eph 2:5-7 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Notice the thought, "Throughout all ages." The church is not going to be followed by another age of Godís dealings with anybody else, including natural Israel, for that would require an age following the Church when the Church will not be highlighted. This alone proves a future seven-year dealing with natural Israel after the Church is removed is false doctrine. No, the Church will be the highlight and the Number 1 issue "throughout all ages"!


Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

With the above thought in mind, note the following words in Revelation, and ask yourself what is the GOSPEL that the following angel is preaching.


Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

The above angel is in heaven and is preaching. If Paul said that even an angel who preaches any other Gospel than that which Paul preached about Christ would be accursed, then we know that if this angel in revelation is preaching the everlasting Gospel, it must be the same Gospel of Christ that Paul preached. Otherwise itís a fallen angel!

Only one message was ever given by Jesus to be preached to all nations.


Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And this is the message we find recorded as follows:


Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38 salvation is forever the only way to enter the Kingdom of God!


ISRAELíS TRANSGRESSION


Israel became captive in Babylon due to a specific transgression. We read reference to this as follows:

Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah was referenced to have noted a seventy year period of captivity. We read Jeremiahís words to that effect.


Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Let us ask ourselves why it was a period of specifically 70 years.

In order to learn that answer we must refer back to the days of Zedekiah when Israel was indeed taken captive by Babylon. The Bible gives us the reason for this period of time.


2 Chronicles 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

Israel neglected the keeping of Sabbath Years. And for that reason, she would be taken captive so that the land could enjoy the Sabbath years robbed of her by her occupants, Israel. Most everyone knows about Sabbath days. Every seventh day was considered a day of rest. However, Sabbath Years were also legislated under Mosaic Law in order that the Land might enjoy her rest as well!


Lev 25:3-5 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; (4) But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (5) That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.

The Sabbath Year did not allow for planting and sowing of fields. The land would rest on the seventh year as the people rested each seventh day! And negligence of that Law would mean captivity for the people.


Leviticus 26:33-35 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. (34) Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. (35) As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

So we see why Israel was held captive. They neglected the Sabbath Years that were due to the land that it might rest. But, why was it specifically 70 years they would be held captive in Babylon? The Bible gives us the answer for this as well.

This is a very important issue, because the entire purpose of the captivity of Israel in Babylon, of which Daniel was praying about, led to the further issue of the 70 Weeks that we are dealing with.

Ezekiel was alive during the days of this captivity, and we read these words in his book.


Eze 4:5-6 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. (6) And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

God often had Ezekiel, and other prophets, perform physical acts that signified or represented events that God would bring upon Israel as a nation. Here we read of one in which he was told to lay on his left side for the very long period of time of 390 days. And then he would lie on his right side for an additional 40 days. Each day represented a year in which Israel committed iniquity. When you add 390 with 40, you get 430 years.

Keep this number in mind as we explain the issue of Sabbath Years.

There were two kinds of Sabbath Years. One fell on every seventh year. But there was another sort of Sabbath Year. Every 50 years was considered the Year of Jubilee, and this year was also a Sabbath Year. We know this fiftieth year was a Sabbath as well as the seventh year, because of the following correlation of verses.


Leviticus 25:4-5 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (5) That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.

Leviticus 25:11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.

Notice that in both the seventh year and the fiftieth year the people were prohibited from sowing and reaping that which grew of itself. Neither were they allowed to gather grapes from the undressed vine. This rendered the Fiftieth year to be a Sabbath as well as the Seventh Year!

When you divide the 430 years of Ezekielís reference of Israelís sin by 7, you will find that there were 61.4 Seventh Sabbath Years. Divide 430 by 50, and you learn there were 8.6 Jubilee Sabbath years.

61.4 + 8.6 = 70.

This is precisely the number of years Israel was held captive in Babylon! Godís ways are so perfect!

Since Israel neglected that many Sabbath years, they were required to pay that same number of Sabbath years back to God and give the land rest. Therefore, they were held captive in Babylon for seventy years.

ANOTHER CHANCE FOR ISRAEL


But there is an additional thought we must consider.

Since Israel neglected 70 Sabbath years, the idea of 70 times 7 comes into play. Keep in mind that a Sabbath year was every seven years apart. And this is very significant, for this same figure comes into play regarding the Seventy Weeks!

Weeks are sets of Seven. And they have been known to be sets of seven years in the Bible, since it is noted as such in Jacobís dealings with Laban concerning Rachel and Leah.

Genesis 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

When Jacob realized he married Leah after working seven years for Rachel, Laban told him that he must fulfill a week and work seven more years for Rachel.

So 70 Weeks would be rendered 70 X 7.

As a dozen is indicative of 12, so is a heptad indicative of 7. So 70 Heptads of years are equivalent for 70 X 7 years.

Israel neglected 70 Sabbaths, and was held captive that many consecutive years in order to give the land rest. The mention of 70 X 7, or 70 Weeks, to be rendered to Israel after their release from Babylon tells us that God was actually giving them another chance! They should have learned their lesson after captivity in punishment for neglecting those years. And it is no coincidence that God gave them an additional amount of time that allows for 70 Sabbaths once again.

We understand that God knew the future, and did not have to watch the next 70 weeks in order to learn whether or not Israel would repeat the same sin all over again in neglect of the Sabbaths. But God is nevertheless righteous, and treats us fairly. His foresight of mankindís acts, in other words, does not determine His giving of opportunity to mankind.

Let us ask ourselves why there would be an insertion of a gap of thousands of years between the 69th and 70th weeks, when there was no gap between the 69th and 70th year of captivity? The connection between the 70 Weeks and the previous 70 years of captivity cannot be denied. Therefore, the consideration of the lack of a gap in the preceding years must indicate that no such thought of a gap should be considered in the 70 Weeks of Daniel.

Furthermore, was there a gap of hundreds of Sabbaths between the 69th and 70th Sabbaths that Israel neglected, to begin with, giving reason for their initial captivity in Babylon? No!


Futurismís Gap theory destroys the entire picture and reason for Israelís captivity in Babylon to begin with! None of it makes sense in light of the fact that Israel was held captive for negligence of Sabbath Year law. However, it makes perfect sense that there is no gap between the 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel when you consider that no gap existed in any previous periods of time related to these 70 additional Weeks.

Mosesí Law demanded humility and repentance for negligence of Sabbath Years.

Leviticus 26:39-42 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. (40) If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; (41) And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: (42) Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Daniel does just that!


Daniel 9:3-5 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (4) And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; (5) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Daniel 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

It was all about negligence of Sabbath Year Rests! The specific Law of Moses, with the specific curse noted by Daniel, is found in the passages we read from Leviticus.

Jesus comes after the first 69 weeks.


Daniel 9:25 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.

From the departure from Babylon to rebuild the city of Jerusalem would be 7 Weeks plus 62 Weeks.

7 + 62 = 69.

This tells us that Jesus would come immediately following the 69th Sabbath Year.

This is very significant!

The final Week of Daniel begins with the coming of Jesus Christ. In other words, He is there for the final probation period. Would Israel neglect the 70th Sabbath year? Jesus comes at that point. We know what happened the last time Israel neglected 70 Sabbaths. What would happen this time?

Jesus is made known at His water baptism by John, and immediately proceeds to begin His ministry.


Luke 4:16-19 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (17) And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (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, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Notice that He did this on the Sabbath Day! Very significant!

The words Jesus used throughout this speech are filled with SABBATH terms. In fact, they are filled with Jubilee Sabbath terms!

Preach the Gospel to the poor.

Heal the brokenhearted.

Preach deliverance to the captives.

Recovery.

Set at liberty them that are bruised.

Preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Jubilee Year!


We know these are Jubilee Sabbath terms, because we read the following concerning the Jubilee.

Leviticus 25:39-41 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: (40) But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile: (41) And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

Note the reference to the man who became poor, and is sold due to his poverty. He is removed from his possessions and lives as a servant. But on the year of jubilee, this captive man is restored. Recovery occurs. He is set at liberty! In the year of the Jubilee! All these are Jubilee terms that Jesus referred to.

Jesus is actually saying that He is the Jubilee Sabbath! He is the Rest!

Notice there are 6 elements listed in Daniel 9:24, as well as 6 items listed in Jesusí words in Luke 4. Let us compare them, and note that Jesus is saying that the six things listed in Daniel 9:24 would be fulfilled in His ministry.



Daniel 9:24

Luke 4:18-19

1. Finish the Transgression
1. Preach the Gospel to the poor.

2. Make an end of sins.

2. Heal the brokenhearted.

3. Make reconciliation for iniquity.

3. Preach deliverance to the captives.

4. Bring everlasting righteousness.

4. Recovery of sight to the blind.

5. Seal the vision and prophecy.

5. Set at liberty them that are bruised.

6. Anoint the most holy.

6. Preach the acceptable year of the lord


1. The transgression that Israel committed was crucifying the Lord. (More about this later). And the crucifixion gave way for the death, burial and resurrection to occur. And that speaks of the Gospel! So you can see how the first element of the lists coincide. The same occurs with each of the following.


2. To make an end of sins regards the heart. Spiritually speaking, it is the heart that must obey the doctrine, so that we are no longer the servants of sin. So our hearts that were broken by sin are healed!

3. Reconciliation for iniquity is made due to alienation from God by our sins. And since our sins captivate our souls in bondage, you can coincide the issue of reconciliation for iniquity with deliverance to the captives!

4. Everlasting righteousness is likened to light. We read of the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in His wings. This is Jesus. And therefore, the thought of recovery of spiritual sight to the blind is noted!

5. The vision and the prophecy given throughout the Old Testament culminated in Jesus Christ. He sealed up all vision and prophecy. All of it pointed to Him. In that sense, He sets at liberty them that are bruised. Bruises are inward bleeding and hurts. Since His entire ministry and purpose was to save that which was lost, all prophecy and vision culminated in His setting at liberty those who were sinners.
6. The most holy corresponds to the Jubilee. More about this later. But let me say for the moment that the Jubile Sabbath is actually a Sabbath of Sabbaths! Since the Sabbath is holy, The Jubile is Most Holy. And Jubile is also known to be the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus Christ arrived at the start of the final probation period of the Last Heptad, or Week. Would Israel neglect a full Sabbaths once again? Babylonian captivity was meant to cure them of this negligence. And they had been given another 70 Sabbaths.

Note what Jesus described Himself as, in order to truly see a great significance of why He came when He did!

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus would give them rest, Himself! In other words, He is the true Sabbath! Sabbath days of all sorts were indicated to be "shadows" of Jesus Christ in the epistles.


Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION


Although Israel was given another 70 Sabbaths, Gabriel told Daniel that Israel would not only neglect Sabbaths again, but "finish the transgression"! In other words, she would sin to the ultimate degree in negligence of Sabbaths.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, Ö

But how can you violate Sabbath keeping any greater than simply neglecting all Sabbaths, which Israel already was guilty of? Answer: Reject and Crucify Jesus Christ, the Ultimate Sabbath!

Jesus used similar language in describing Israelís sin of crucifying Him.


Matthew 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.


Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

"Fill ye up the measure of your fathers." Finish the transgression!

JESUS IS THE SABBATH OF SABBATHS



Every 7 years was a Sabbath year. Israel would work six years in the land, and give the land a rest in the seventh year.

Every 50 years was a Jubilee Sabbath year. Since Jubilee is the year following 7 Sabbath Years, you could say that Jubilee year was a Sabbath of Sabbath years! A super Sabbath! J8ubilee immediately followed the 7th Sabbath year, or the 49th year. Jubilee is the fiftieth Year. (It is fascinating to note that not was there a Sabbath day and Sabbath year, but also a Pentecostal day and a Pentecostal Year! Pentecostal means 50th! Jubilee was a Pentecostal Year!

Since the 49th year was the 7th Sabbath, and the 50th Year was the Jubilee Sabbath, we have two Sabbath years in a row! A double portion!

Therefore, when Jesus used scriptures from Isaiah in Luke 4, that referred to the Jubilee Year as being fulfilled in Himself, He was actually saying He was the Sabbath of Sabbaths! Rejecting Him, then, would be rejecting the Sabbath of Sabbaths! And that is how Israel would "finish the transgression" of violating the Sabbath to the ultimate degree!

The Sabbath was holy (Exodus 20:8). It only stands to reason that the Jubilee Sabbath of Sabbaths was most holy! This is significant because Daniel was told that the anointing of the most holy would occur in the 70 Weeks.

What else could be the crime of "finishing the transgression" of Sabbath negligence aside from rejecting Jesus, the true Sabbath? If the six points in Daniel 9:24 are not fulfilled yet, then something other than crucifying the Lord of glory is finishing the transgression of negligence of Sabbaths. Can a future antichrist, set up as God in the temple, accomplish a worse sin than Godís own people accomplished in crucifying the Lord of glory?

THE POINT OF INTOLERANCE


Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

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

Notice that we see the same figure used as in Daniel 9. 70 x 7.

Did Jesus imply that you could forgive a person 69 x 7 times, and insert hundreds or thousands of additional times before you reach the 70th time? Of course not. You might say that this reference has nothing to do with Danielís 70 Weeks, though. I beg to differ.

Jesus gave us an example of forgiveness and unforgiveness in Matthew 18. After telling Peter to forgive until 70 x 7 times, we read the story of a lord who forgave his servant of 10,000 talents (which some say could equal $7.5 Million today). The same servant went out and refused to forgive his fellow servant of a mere 100 pence ($17). The lord heard of it and revoked his forgiveness of the servant, and imprisoned the servant until he would pay the full amount owed.

With this in mind, let me say that many have wondered about the reference to binding and loosing that Jesus made as follows:

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Some have proposed that we can bind devils and loose angels. However, this is not at all the context of the passage. The context regards forgiveness and unforgiveness. If we continue reading, we find that loosing is noted as follows:


Matthew 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

Notice that Loosing is forgiving.

And binding is noted here:


Matthew 18:29-30 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. (30) And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

Unforgiveness is noted by imprisonment.

Consider that God forgave Israel 69 times when they broke 69 Sabbath years. But when they broke the 70th Sabbath year, he imprisoned them in Babylon. They were bound! Jesus told Peter to forgive until 70 x 7.

As the Master disregarded the forgiveness he gave to his servant, we read:

Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

The servant had to pay all that was due up to the last dime! Israel was likewise bound in Babylon until they paid back all the 70 Sabbaths they neglected to give to the land! Until 70 x 7!

When they "finished the transgression" of crucifying the Lord and thereby destroying the Sabbath, Himself, there was no way to pay back that debt. They could only be destroyed. Only hell could punish them for such a crime. Mere temporal captivity cannot pay back a crime of rejecting the ETERNAL SABBATH, Jesus Christ.


WHY WAS GOD SO CONCERNED ABOUT BREAKING SABBATH?


Note the force of Godís hatred towards breaking Sabbath.


Hebrews 4:1-3 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (2) For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (3) For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews refers to a Psalm.


Psalm 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Why would God be so wrathful?

This issue goes all the way back to the garden of Eden.

God first provided the Rest for mankind in the days of the Garden of Eden. Mankind rejected that rest and failed to enter into Godís rest. This same spirit repeats itself throughout the entire Bible! It is the true antichrist spirit. To reject Godís rest is to seek oneís own self-exaltation instead, for Godís Rest gives God glory!

Note the appeal of self-exaltation given by the serpent.


Genesis 3:5-6 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Israel repeated this very same transgression. By giving man Sabbath, we see God giving a hint of restoring Eden to humanity. And when Christ came, God was actually bringing mankind back to the Rest first provided in the Garden! But Israel rejected it! The self-exalting spirit in the woman was in the Pharisees and Sadducees and pother religious leaders of Jerusalem in Christyís day.


Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

No wonder Godís wrath was kindled by Israel rejection of Sabbath! These Sabbaths were shadows of the true rest in which God originally created mankind to dwell. The spirit of rejecting those Sabbaths was the spirit that first rejected anything to do with Godís will for mankind. A seventh day or year is not the point. Itís what the seventh day and year stood for that mattered.

The same spirit arose in ultimate defiance and full manifestation when Jesus Christ, the true Sabbath, was given to them. The serpent was manifested to tempt the woman in the Garden. That same serpent grew and manifested in greater manner when Christ, Himself, came.


Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


A GAP BETWEEN THE 69TH AND 70TH WEEKS?


Israel consecutively neglected Sabbath years. So, after their bondage in Babylon as the form of punishment for such neglect, they were given another 70 consecutive Sabbath years to keep. That demands there be no gap in the 490 years. A gap between the 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel destroys the entire picture of the Sabbath year principle, and Israelís second chance. And the entire picture of Jesus Christ coming as the Sabbath of Sabbaths at the last heptad/week is ruined!

The 70 weeks of Daniel are connected to the 70 Years of captivity in Babylon. Was there a gap between the 69th and 70th years of captivity? Of course not. Was there a gap in the previous 70 Sabbath period before the Babylonian captivity? No. Of course not! If Israel had to pay back precisely each and every forsaken Sabbath year to God through the means of their Babylonian captivity Ė no more and no less Ė if the entire concept surrounding the issue was bereft of any inkling of a gap Ė why throw a gap in between the 69th and 70th weeks in this second chance period? It makes no sense!

By studying the significance of the time element in this issue, the gap interpretation absolutely falls flat on itís face. Jesus Christ came before the last and final Sabbath Year period as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, Himself. Israel rejected Him.

But we have accepted Him!

Jesus restored all that Adam lost.

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God gave Adam dominion to subdue the earth. Jesus came to restore this kingdom to man.


Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

However, Israel rejected Him.


Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

We are that other nation!

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:


Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

He would have gathered Israel beneath His wings. This speaks figuratively of the covering wings of the cherubim that were depicted on the ark of the covenant. To be seated the throne of Christ with Him, is to be beneath the covering of His wings. Upon the mercyseat of the ark of the covenant, were the forms of two cherubims whose wings covered that throne/seat. Ephesians says that we are seated together with Him above all powers and names. This is the Rest! Seating on the throne! We have "Power Now!"

Let us ever appreciate the Eternal Rest we have entered by accepting Christ and fulfilling Acts 2:38 and entering into His body, the Church! He hath made us kings and priests!