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The Daniel 9:27 Debate
by General James Green
DANIEL 9:27 HAS been debated for years upon years. And this study will take us one step further into the Daniel 9 controversy.
What we have already discovered in this series is that Daniel 9:25-26 speaks only of ONE “prince,” not TWO [a “good prince” and a “wicked” one (Antichrist)]. We have also seen that the “people of the prince” were the Roman armies that God used to destroy Israel. This destruction was done in AD 70. So, we do NOT have to look to the future—some 2,000 plus years down the road from Christ!—and await a rebuilt Jewish Temple which makes it possible for Antichrist to come, make his seven-year peace covenant with Israel, break it after 3½ years, persecute the Jews for the subsequent 3½ years (3½ + 3½ = 7 total years)...causing MILLIONS to DIE.
We need not look for a “flood” of military/satanic power to come either (Dan 9:26c). NO! This “flood” has already come. Between the setting up of the Kingdom of God—after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension—until He comes back the second time, we have the “dispensation of grace.” This is the time for ALL (including the Jews!!!) to receive Christ as Savior—not some, while others have their time in some 1,000-year millennium when Jesus supposedly resides in a rebuilt Jewish Temple!
Our opponents paint a picture of a repeat of AD 70 whereby Antichrist, along with a revived “Roman Empire,” comes as a “flood” to persecute all the world. The core of the storm will be centered in Jerusalem, of course.
NOW WE HAVE the New Agers capitalizing on the END-TIMES with the 2012 movie. This “end of the world” scenario depicts “cataclysmic volcanic eruptions (a flood of burning lava), wrathful tsunamis (floods of water destroying whole cities) that cover high mountains,” etc. All this is expected to happen on Dec. 21, 2012 (more on this in another article).
The word “flood” (Dan 9:26) is Strong’s #7858 (sheteph, Heb.). It comes from the Hebrew word shataph (Strong’s #7857). These two Hebrew words are tied together in Daniel 11:22: “And with the arms of a flood (sheteph) shall they be overflown (shataph) from before him, and shall be broken” (see also Dan 11:10, 26, 40). All the references to “overflowing” in Daniel’s writings refer to ENEMY INVASIONS—like the “flood” (of Roman armies) that destroyed Jerusalem (see also Psalm 18:4; 2 Sam 22:5 = “FLOODS of ungodly men”; Isa 59:19 = “the enemy shall come in like a FLOOD”; see also Jer 46:7-9; 47:2-3; Nahum 1:1, 8; et al.).
The “flood” caused Jerusalem to become “desolate”—just as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. The “abomination” was the Romans themselves—“with the abominable armies, he shall make it desolate” (marginal translation).
Remember what Jeremiah said (through prophecy) about Babylon? “The sea is come upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness...when her waves to roar like great waters...” (Jer 51:42, 43, 55). You see, Bible language uses “waves,” “water,” “floods,” etc., in reference to armies. Did not Jesus use this language in Luke 21:25 when He said, “And there shall be signs in the sun...in the moon...in the stars...upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the SEA and the WAVES roaring.” Now, was Babylon or Jerusalem destroyed with literal water?
WHEN INDIVIDUALS/NATIONS fill their cup of iniquity, God’s judgments follow—God, many times, sends “HIS” ARMIES (Matt 22:7) to execute judgment upon the guilty; He also uses natural means, like in the case of Noah’s Flood. But in the END of the world we know, by Scripture, that God will use FIRE, not WATER!
OUR OPPONENTS TRY to put together a rational or exegetical connection between the assumed “evil prince” of verse 26 and some future “Antichrist” figure (some say a “Roman prince”) imagined in verse 27: “And he (Antichrist, they imagine) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (i.e., 7 years): and in the midst of the week (i.e., 3½ years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease...”
Some hold to the idea that Antiochus (171-164 BC) was this “evil prince.” I have covered this in other articles, yet we can say it’s true that Antiochus did command the cessation of sacrifices and oblations (see 1 Macc 1:54; 4:52); temple services were suspended from the 15th of Kislev, 168 BC, to the 25th of Kislev, 165 BC, which is enough to be 3½ years.
Testimony of Scripture
ROMANS 15:8 STATES, “...Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Jews) for the truth of God, TO CONFIRM the promises made unto the (Jewish) fathers.” For 3½ years, Jesus ministered to the Jewish nation, and was rejected by the same (Matt 23:37; Lk 19:42). Their rejection caused God’s judgment to come upon their children in AD 70.
OUR OPPONENTS IN the Dispensationalist camp connect Daniel 9:26-27 with Acts 15:13-18...focusing the future on Israel (read v. 16). Verse 16, especially, is “proof”(?) that God will have a “Jewish” millennial Kingdom AFTER the (BEGRUDGED!) Church Age is over—so they claim. This “tabernacle of David” (which is fallen) is said to be a remnant of Israel that survives God’s judgments in the future. The “bad/ungodly” Jews will be killed, but through salvation, the Jews that survive will be purified.
But our friends also teach that the Holy Spirit will “GO UP” with the “raptured” saints, just before this seven-year period—how, then, can any Jews receive salvation if both Christ and the Holy Spirit are GONE?
Amos 9:11 Connection
JAMES IS ACTUALLY quoting Amos 9:11 in Acts 15:16. The expression “In that day” or “After this” refers to the period of restoration AFTER THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, and it derives from historical circumstances tied to the standpoint of Amos in the 8th century B.C., not the future tied to the standpoint of we who live in 2010 or beyond.
Besides, when we honestly look at Daniel 9:25-27, the word “prince” is the same “prince” in both verses. One scholar plainly asked, “How then can that same Hebrew word that is translated ‘Messiah Prince’ in verse 25 be translated ‘foreshadower of AntiChrist’ in verse 26?” GOOD POINT!
JUST WHERE DO we find this word in Daniel 9:25-27? As I said, WE DON’T! Yet our opponents have been putting “Antichrist” in 9:26-27 for decades.
There is no doubt that Rome (in various forms), in historical continuity, reaches from before the birth of Christ to our day, even now. But to say that some Roman “Antichrist” will come to rule the world is more than yet to be seen. This is not to say that Rome will not try to—she has always tried to “rule the world”!
Where Do We Find...
ANTICHRIST PROMULGATING COVENANTS in the Old Testament with Israel?
Those scholars that study Scripture responsibly, not irresponsibly (the latter being men like LaHaye, Hagee, Lindsey, and so on), point out: (1) Messiah would administer a covenant to the nation of Israel—Isa 42:6; 49:8; 55:3-4; 59:20-21; 61:8; Mal 2:6-7; 3:1. (2) Messiah would administer individual deliverance from evil through a personal spiritual and moral transformation—Psa 72:4, 12-14; Jer 31:31-34; 32:37-41; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28. (3) The Messianic Covenant would result in peace/social blessedness— Psa 72:7; Isa 9:6-9; 32:1-2, 16-18; 54:10; 56:6-8; 66:12-14; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-18; Ezek 34:23-26; 36:29-30; 37:24-27. (4) The New Covenant promises to the Jews returning from their Babylonian captivity would be FORFEITED if they REJECTED THEIR MESSIAH—which they CERTAINLY DID! (Look up Zech 11:7-17; Micah 5:1-7; Dan 9:26-27; Isa 8:14-15; 42:24-25; 48:16-19. (5) A new people, an obedient people, would inherit Israel’s promises. There are ample Scriptures proving this. One minister did the following contrasts: (a) Deut 31:21 compared with Rom 10:19; 11:11. (b) Psa 118:22 compared with Matt 21:42-44; Isa 2:1-5; 8:14-18; 11:10; 28:16; 42:1-6; 48:6; 49:22; 52:10, 15; 54:3; 55:5; 56:6-8; 60:1-11; 61:6-11; 65:1-15. (c) Hosea 1:10 compared with Rom 9:27; Joel 2:28-32. (d) Amos 9:11-12 compared with Acts 15:13-18; Micah 5:7-8; Zech 6:15. (e) Zech 8:7 compared with Matt 8:11-12; Zech 8:20-23.
If we go to the N.T., we see that Jesus the Christ, the Good Shepherd (see Jn 10:1-8 compared with Ezek 34:23; 37:24; and Zech 11:7), was teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of God (see Mk 1:14) and peace (see Acts 10:36-37) to the LOST SHEEP, that is, THE NATION OF ISRAEL (see Matt 15:24).
You see, 430 years before the Law of Moses (Gal 3:17), the Holy Covenant of Promise was given. Christ came, at the appointed time, to CONFIRM the promises made by His Father unto the fathers (see Rom 15:8). This CONFIRMATION to Israel, by Jesus the Christ, the Messenger of God (Mal 3:1), the Mediator of the N.T. Covenant (Gal 3:17; 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24 and 13:20) is still in operation.
IT IS POINTED out that if the Antichrist of Daniel 9:27 was the “covenant-maker,” then a very different Hebrew idiom would have been used: “confirm the covenant” should have read “CUT a covenant.” The specific Hebrew word used in Daniel 9:27 refers to the “causing” of a covenant that already exists “to prevail” (see Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:6-13). There is NO WAY around the obvious. It is not talking about an “Antichrist” at all, or an entirely new and different “cut covenant.” It is speaking of “confirming the covenant” that had already been made to the Israelites, and Romans 15:8 shows us clearly that Jesus the Christ made those (O.T.) promises effective; so how can our opponents declare this is yet future?
The Jews can NOW receive salvation. They do not have to wait until a supposed Antichrist arrives in the future to make a peace covenant with Israel, as taught, and then break it, then persecute the Jews—which is called the “Great Tribulation.” Friends, Christ settled the account with the Jews of His day—His generation rejected Him and put Him to death; their “Great Tribulation” came as described in Matthew 24:21. That generation—not some future one—went under “Great Tribulation.” This is not to say that Jews/sinners have not suffered tribulation throughout the centuries. And indeed, there will be great tribulation/wrath at the end of the ages.
LUKE RECORDS THIS: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and JERUSALEM SHALL BE TRODDEN DOWN OF THE GENTILES, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lk 21:24). You see, the Jews have continued to be in tribulation all these centuries...rejected by the world because they rejected their Savior. “...until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The “times of the Gentiles” refers to the time Israel would be under the domination/oppression of non-Jews. It began, really, when a part of Israel was taken captive to Babylon in 586 BC (see 2 Chron 36:1-21; Dan 1:1-2); it will not end UNTIL the times of the nations are fulfilled—when the Church Age of grace is completed. It is during this time that the Jews CAN fall under His mercies and grace LIKE ALL OTHER LOST SINNERS.
Israel has no special place in the future. The idea that she does is upheld by certain “Christians” that see this dichotomy: the Church as “spiritual Israel” and natural Israel as “children of the flesh” (as if God recognizes two Israels). I’ll be doing a whole article on this subject. It was John N. Darby that started this “two (valid) Israels” stuff. In actuality, “TRUE ISRAEL” consists of both converted Gentiles and converted Jews; this “Israel” IS THE ONLY ONE GOD RECOGNIZES!!! Natural (racial) Jews must go the way prescribed for ALL by the N.T.—REPENT AND BE SAVED!