[This is the text to the video “Daniel 9:27—The Last 7 Years”. To view this video, click here. Also, this blog post is longer than normal.]
Hi again, I’m Mark. This video is going to be different from the ones I’ve done before. All the videos I’ve done till now have mostly been about prophecies that have been fulfilled. This one is going to be about prophecies yet to be fulfilled. Also, we’ll mainly be focusing on just one verse, the last verse in Daniel chapter 9.
You might wonder why a whole video would be centered around one verse. Well, we’re first going to have a short review of what we’ve seen already in Daniel chapter 9. That way, we’ll see how much prophecy is still to be fulfilled in this last verse in the chapter. At the beginning of the chapter, we found Daniel reading the prophecies of Jeremiah which predicted a 70 year captivity for the Jewish people who’d been carried away to Babylon. Daniel had read in Jeremiah 29:10, “For thus says the LORD, After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.”
And then we read that Daniel was moved to pray a very heartfelt prayer to God, for the Lord to forgive the Jews and for Him to fulfill His Word. While praying, Daniel had a visitation from the angel Gabriel who touched Daniel and then began to give him one of the most significant prophecies in the Bible. Gabriel told Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)
Gabriel told Daniel of a mysterious “70 weeks” “to make an end of sins”, “to bring in everlasting righteousness”. In our last class, we saw how that this “70 weeks” spoken of here is not what we would think of in our times. The meaning “seventy weeks” was “70 sevens of years”. And we saw this “70 weeks” was speaking about a period of 490 years.
I’m going over this somewhat quickly and you may want to review the class that was done before this if you have questions here. After Gabriel told Daniel about the 70 weeks, he broke this down and spoke of a period of “69 weeks”, 483 prophetic years. This was to be the period of time between “the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and “Messiah the prince.”
The commandment to restore Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in 444 BC and Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in 33 AD. We saw in our class that the length of time between these two periods, “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and “Messiah the Prince”, amounted to “69 weeks”, 483 prophetic years, just as Gabriel had said would happen. [For an explanation of “prophetic years”, go to the text of the previous class on Daniel, about “The 69 Weeks” which can be read here.]
Going further, the prophecy said that “after” “Messiah shall be cut off”, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed again. This happened in 70 AD. But we still haven’t come to the conclusion of this prophecy. The 69 weeks of this prophecy were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus. But Gabriel’s prophecy of 70 weeks, 490 years, to bring in everlasting righteousness hasn’t happened yet. There’s still one “week” left. One last 7 year period is yet to be fulfilled in this prophecy in order to bring in God’s Kingdom on earth.
And that brings us to Daniel 9:27. But this is such a key verse; it’s fundamental to most of the prophetic verses in the Bible which are still not yet fulfilled. So I think at this point we should take a brief review of the chapters we’ve studied up till now. Because, in each of those chapters, we found things that are not yet fulfilled. And each one of those parts is an integral component, a piece of the picture that Daniel 9:27 is going to help us put together.
In Daniel chapter 2, we found Daniel as a young teenage who’d been carried away to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had dreamed a dream that he couldn’t remember. In his fury the king commanded to kill all the wise men of Babylon and Daniel was in training to be one of those. After he prayed desperately, God revealed the secret of the king’s dream to Daniel.
So Daniel went before the king to tell him his dream. The king had seen a statue with a head of gold, arms of silver, a belly of brass, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Then in his dream the king saw a stone which hit the statue on its feet so that the whole statue crumbled to dust and was blown away. And the stone became a great mountain that filled the earth. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold was his kingdom of Babylon. After him would come another kingdom, then a third and then a fourth. We now know from history that those coming kingdoms represented Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
But here’s the part that’s really for us in this class. What did that strange stone represent when it hit the statue, causing it to crumble to dust, and then the stone became a great mountain that filled the earth? What was that? Here is Daniel’s explanation of this to Nebuchadnezzar. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
Those kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream have come and gone. But that final kingdom, the coming kingdom of God on earth has not yet happened. Then, many years later Daniel himself had a similar vision, but different. In Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 he saw 4 beasts rising out of the sea: a lion, a bear, a 4 headed leopard and then a great and dreadful beast. These four represented the same 4 kingdoms, seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream decades earlier.
But we’ve found that each prophetic chapter builds on the revelations of the previous prophetic chapter and then also introduces important new elements of the future to come. In Daniel 7 we were first told of “the little horn”, the future endtime dictator that’s spoken of more clearly in Daniel 8 and then also in the book of Revelation. It says of this “little horn” (Daniel 7:8) …“he shall speak great words against the most high” and “shall wear out the saints of the most high.” And a length of time was given for this period. “They shall be given into his hand …for a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).
But Daniel 7 also, like chapter 2, had a happy ending. Verse 27 ended the angel’s explanation to Daniel when he said, “And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ”
[This blog post is longer than average ones. To continue reading this article, click on “Continue reading” below this text here.]
A future period of great trouble and tribulation, followed by a coming kingdom of God and His saints on earth. Then, in Daniel chapter 8, we saw the things we’d been shown before being presented to us again, in a different picture, but the same truths. And more vital elements of the future were revealed for the first time.
Daniel saw a vision of a two horned ram coming from the east and a one horned goat push from the west. Their clash and the dominance of the goat over the ram was explained to Daniel by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel said, “The ram which you saw, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the kingdom of Greece…” (Daniel 8:20 & 21)
An incredible prophecy, predicting 200 years before it happened, the conquest of Persia by Greece. And again, in Daniel 8, we were given key bits of information that just almost didn’t seem to fit in with that chapter. But these are openings on the picture we’re now going to see in Daniel 9:27 and verses after this. In explaining about an evil endtime dictator to come, Gabriel told Daniel, “And in the later time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to their full, a king of fierce countenance and understanding intrigues shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and practice; and he shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23 & 24)
But also we took note of things we saw mentioned for the first time in Daniel chapter 8, things that will become much more important in our study of the 7 last years of Daniel 9:27. Here’s something like that from Daniel 8. Speaking of this little horn, Daniel 8:11 says “He magnified himself even unto the prince of the host”.
In other words, this future dictator will make himself to be like Jesus Christ. But then it says, “And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” (Daniel 8:11)Then in the next two verses we hear again of “the daily sacrifice” and “the sanctuary” in connection with future endtime events. (Daniel 8:12 & 13)
Back in Daniel 8, this mention of a daily sacrifice and a sanctuary didn’t really fit clearly with the other parts of the chapter. But now, it very much will fit as we look at Daniel 9:27. At this present time, I don’t know of any animal sacrifices going on in Jerusalem or any Jewish sanctuary or temple there. But, we’re going to strongly see a picture of animal sacrifices and a rebuilt Jewish temple as being a part of the events of the endtime, as we go further in the prophecies of Daniel.
We should now be ready to look at Daniel 9:27. In the last video, I said that studying these things is a little like algebra. There are going to be some X’s and Y’s, some unknowns. And that’s going to be especially true as we start looking at the specifics and details of Daniel 9:27.
If this is new to you, I can tell you that, almost certainly, you are not going to understand it at first. But we’re going to find that it’s not as unintelligible as it may seem. We already know what some of this means. And perhaps rather quickly it will begin to make some sense. Daniel 9:27 says, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offerings 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.”
You didn’t understand it, did you? No one does the first time they read it. So let’s start breaking it down. We’re going to find right away some things that we do understand. In fact, this is a little like doing a jigsaw puzzle. It can look really tough at the first. But then you find a piece or two that fit together. And after a while more fit until you get the whole picture. So first, it says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”.
You may not know who “he” is yet. You may not know what that covenant is. But what about “one week”? That’s something we already know. We already established in our video before this that a “week” in this prophecy means seven years. So right away we can understand that “one week” here is meaning 7 years, the 70th week of this prophecy we have been studying, that will fulfill the “70 weeks” “to bring in everlasting righteous” which Gabriel told Daniel about in verse 24.
So if that “one week” there means seven years, this should help us with another key point in this verse. Because next it says “and in the middle of the week”. The middle of the week. What is the middle of 7 years? Three and a half years.
And maybe that will ring a bell for some of you. In the video on the first part of Daniel 9, we talked about a period of 3½ years that is repeatedly spoken of in the book of Revelation. In some places it is called “42 months” (Revelation 13:5), in other places it is called “a thousand, two hundred and 60 days” (Revelation 12:6). And in yet other places in Revelation it is called “a time, times and half a time”. (Revelation 12:14) This is the same phrase that was used back in Daniel 7 for the first time as the length of time for this future demonic dictator’s reign of terror. Daniel 7:25 says “they shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time”.
The middle of the week, three and a half years, 42 months, 1260 days, a time, times and half a time. It’s virtually unique in the Bible that a future period of time would be mentioned and described so many times and in so many ways. It must be important. We’re going to look more that that 3½ years in a moment. But first, let’s see if we can find the meaning of more of these parts of the first half of Daniel 9:27. It says, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.”
I think we can be confident of what the word “week” means there. It’s the last 7 years of this prophecy that was given to Daniel in this chapter. But then, who is this “he” in the verse? There’s an answer to this that can be found in the verse before, verse 26. It says, “The people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”.
When we talked about that in the earlier video, we concentrated on the prediction that the city and sanctuary (Jerusalem and the temple) would be destroyed, after Messiah was cut off. But what about “the prince who shall come”?
Actually, that’s where Sir Robert Anderson got the title of his book “The Coming Prince” that we mentioned in the video before this.
“The prince who shall come” in verse 26 is who this “he” is at the beginning of verse 27. Is that just my guess? This is where it will help if we go forward from Daniel chapter 9 here and look at verses that speak more about these things, in Daniel chapter 11. We see the same thing again. In Daniel 11:21 we hear of a “vile person to whom they will not give the honor of the kingdom, but he shall come in peaceable, and obtain the kingdom by flattery.”
This is the first mention of the Antichrist in Daniel 11. But then, take note of this. Five times in the next few verse there is a mention of this “vile person” in relation to a “covenant” or a “league made with him”. The next verse, Daniel 11:22, it talks about “the prince of the covenant”. In verse 23 it talks about “the league made with him”.
The confirming of a covenant, the prince of the covenant, a league made with him. All speaking of this future Antichrist and a 7 year agreement made with him before the coming of Lord. But then in verse 28 it says, “His heart shall be against the holy covenant.” And in verse 30 it says, “He shall have indignation against the holy covenant” and “he shall have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.”
It seems prophecy is telling us that during this period of time, the Antichrist will turn against the covenant or league made with him and that he will annul or break the covenant at this point during the 7 years. And let’s read the very next verse because it is going to be one of the key ones in this study of the future events.
Daniel 11:31 says, “And arms [that means armaments, weapons] shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, [a temple to be built] and shall take away the daily sacrifice and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.”
There’s definitely a lot to digest and assimilate here. But we already found earlier verses in Daniel 8 that mention a “daily sacrifice” and a “sanctuary” as being something that will be part of the future to come. And now in this class on Daniel 9:27 we’ve read about something new, “he shall confirm the covenant”.
And we saw from verses in Daniel 11 that this seems to possibly be some kind of pact, or league, some potentially political agreement that this future demonic dictator makes. It will also have some kind of religious significance as well. And we’ve read now that it seems that later into his reign, “his heart shall be against the holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28) and that he breaks the covenant.
Then, here comes what may be considered one of the most important parts of the whole endtime picture: the middle of Daniel 9:27. It says next, “And in the middle of the week”, [at the 3 ½ year mark] “he shall cause the sacrifice and offerings to cease”.
This has been told us before in Daniel 8:11 “by him the daily sacrifice was taken away”. And we read it in Daniel chapter 11, verse 31 as well; it says they “shall take away the daily sacrifice and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.”
You may wonder why I said this is the most important part and why we’re concentrating on these details. Here’s why. Near the end of Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry on earth, His disciples asked Him, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) They wanted to know when He would return the second time. Jesus proceeded at first to give them general signs of His second coming. There would be “wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24:6 & 7)
But what is important for us here is what He gave next as perhaps the single most important sign of the imminence of His return. In Matthew 24:15, Jesus told His disciples, “When you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…” and He went on to say in the next verses, “then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)
It’s just stunning. This is exactly what we’ve been reading about here in Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31. That verse said, they “shall take away the daily sacrifice and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.” And Jesus pointed exactly at that verse and the verse similar to it, Daniel 9:27 as the most specific sign of His imminent return.
So what does it all mean? Has this happened yet? Is it near? Is any of this happening right now? We need to look carefully at this. Jesus Himself said in this passage we’re reading, Matthew 24:15, “whosoever reads, Let him understand”.
The verse that we’ve been studying, Daniel 9:27, places this event “in the middle of the week”, at the 3½ year mark of the final 7 years. The book of Revelation repeatedly talks about a final 42 month period before the end of this age. Are we there yet? Are we close? Is there any way to tell?
And I’m going to pause and just talk to you a minute because I feel it’s essential. There is some controversy about these things. Some people teach that these verses have already been fulfilled in history. Others, like myself, teach that these verses will have a future fulfillment. For example, some people quote the New Testament verse that says “the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ”. (Galatians 3:17) And so they say that Jesus “confirmed the covenant” spoken of here in Daniel chapter 9. It sounds similar. But the thing is, Jesus didn’t confirm any 7 year covenant, He confirmed a holy and eternal covenant. So the same words are used, but the meaning is different.
Some people say Jesus “caused the sacrifice and the offerings to cease” (Daniel 11:31). Well, Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins certainly caused the need for the Jewish animal sacrifices of His day to cease. But it seems, after Jesus’ Crucifixion, the daily sacrifices of the Jews in Jerusalem continued to go on, up until the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
And if we are to think that Jesus is the one who will “cause the sacrifice and offering to cease”, then are we also to think that He was the one spoken of who will “place the abomination that makes desolate” (Daniel 11:31)…in the Jewish sanctuary? No. So we’re driven back to conclude here that these verses are speaking of a future time, but perhaps very near, and a future man of sin who will fulfill them.
It’s clear from Scripture that an evil endtime dictator is prophesied to come before the return of Jesus and the beginning of God’s kingdom on earth. But we’ve learned more. We’ve been told of some “covenant” an agreement or peace pact which will begin the last “week”, the 7 last years before the coming Kingdom on earth. And we repeatedly hear of some “sanctuary” that evidently will exist at that time and also some “daily sacrifice” that will be going on in that temple or sanctuary. We are told that these will be stopped by this evil dictator to come and that he will set up something that Jesus called, “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet”. (Matthew 24:15)
But some people interpret this by saying “it’s all spiritual”. They quote the Bible where it says of believers “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?” (I Corinthians 3:16) From this view point “the daily sacrifice” is the obedience of each believer. According to a “spiritual only” interpretation, the future Antichrist will set up his “abomination” in the temple of our hearts, and will cause “the daily sacrifice” of our devotion and obedience to God to cease. Doubtless, in some ways that will happen for some. But will that be all there is to it?
I feel these verses will have a final physical fulfillment. The prophecies about the Messiah to come were fulfilled, specifically and literally by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In the same way, I believe this final Antichrist will fulfill literally and physically the prophecies we are reading about him here.
Throughout my lifetime there’s been a battle of one kind or the other over the land and destiny of Israel, or Palestine, as it is called by the warring sides. There are already preparations and plans made to build a third temple in Jerusalem and to begin animal sacrifices again.
For nearly 2000 years, this was completely impossible. But now, it may be very near. All that is needed is some kind of peace pact or agreement to change the circumstances in the Middle East to make this possible. And as we’ve been reading here, this is exactly what these verses in Daniel say will happen in the endtime. But Jesus told His disciples, “When you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” “then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time.” (Matthew 24:15 & 21)
From our study now of Daniel 9:27, when know when this future event will happen, “in the midst of the week”, at the 3½ year mark in the countdown to the end. And we find that the apostle Paul in the New Testament spoke of the same thing as a major sign to watch for before the return of Jesus. Some believers back then thought they’d missed Jesus’ second coming. But Paul told the Thessalonians, “That day shall not come except there first comes a falling away and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. [A New Testament reference to the Antichrist] Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (II Thessalonians 2:3 & 4)
Paul told the believers of his day that Jesus would not return to the earth “except there first comes” “the man of sin”, “the son of perdition” the same Antichrist little horn we’ve been studying in Daniel who “sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
It’s the same overall picture again. Another snap shot, another piece in the puzzle but the same idea, the same message. Before the return of Jesus to bring God’s Kingdom on earth, the Antichrist will sit in the temple of God (yet to be built) in Jerusalem. Until believers see that, Paul said, Jesus Christ will not return to take over the earth.
And the book of Revelation speaks of this time in much the same way. There’s a description of this evil endtime ruler that’s so similar to what we’ve read before in Daniel. Revelation 13:5-7 says “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [3½ years]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all peoples, and tongues, and nations.”
As Jesus said, a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world.” But what happens at the end of that time? Let’s look first at what Jesus Himself said in answer to this. We’ve already read in Matthew 24, “When you shall see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place…then there will be great tribulation.”
But to find out the end of this we can go further in Matthew 24, to verses 29 to 31. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken: Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven: and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
According to Jesus, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…” is when He will return to gather together His elect, His people and to begin the Kingdom of God on earth. And this is in agreement with Daniel 9:27. Let’s look at the verse again. “And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant [a peace pact] with many for one week [7 years]. And in the middle of the week [3½ years into the 7] he shall cause the sacrifice and the offerings to cease [future animal sacrifice] and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate even until the consummation [the end of the 7 years] and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Daniel 9:27 gives the same picture as the other verses, that the last 3½ years will go on until the end, till “the consummation”. And then it strangely says, “…and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” As we’ve seen so many times before, at the very end of one chapter is often a little glimpse of the next part of the picture still to come. In the book of Revelation, written over 600 years after these verses in Daniel, it also talks extensively about these last 3½ years. But what does Revelation say will come after that time? It speaks of “the Wrath of God” (Revelation 16:1) which will be “poured” (Revelation 16:2) out on the cruel, renegade persecutors of God’s people during the 42 months of Great Tribulation. At the end of the Great Tribulation, God will have taken away His people from the earth and “that determined will be poured upon the desolate.”
We’re nearing the end of this class and I’ve been a little concerned because it’s going to be longer than the other videos before it. But in praying about it, the Lord laid it on my heart to include a few more things. Certainly some are wondering, “What is ‘the abomination of desolation’?”
And the easiest answer for me is, “I don’t know for sure.” But here is a little speculation. Daniel 11:31 says, they “shall place the abomination that makes desolate.” And Jesus said that “the abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” would be “standing in the holy place.” (Matthew 24:15) In the Old Testament, “abomination” was the word used to describe an idol. It speaks of “Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and Milcom the abomination of Ammon.” (II Kings 23:13)
Idols in those days would often stand in temples and so that’s one possibility that this is something similar. Of course it’s probably not going to be exactly like idols of Old Testament times. But there are plenty of things we idolize in our times, even material things which most people love and cherish in their hearts. Then in Revelation where it talks about the future Antichrist, chapter13, it also talks about “the image of the beast” (Revelation 13:?) which also seems to be something man-made and again the word “image” is one that was used to refer to idols. Eleven verses in Daniel chapter 3 refer to the golden idol Nebuchadnezzar had built as an “image”. So this “image of the beast” in Revelation 13 seems possibly to be the same thing as “the abomination that makes desolate” in Daniel.
But in Revelation 13, this image is also connected in some way to a future worldwide economic system and “the mark of the beast” which many feel has something to do with advanced computer or even bio-technology. At this time, there’s no completely clear answer to what this is. My guess is that it will be some kind of technologically advanced creation of man which will play an integral part in the final New World Order economic system.
Another thing that should be brought in here is something we saw back in Daniel chapter 8. Almost out of context and the flow of the prophecy, Daniel saw this. “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said to that certain one that spoke, ‘How long will be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?’ And he said to me, ‘Unto two thousand, three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’” (Daniel 8: 13 &14)
In the video on Daniel chapter 8, I didn’t totally explain what I thought those verses meant, because at that time, we weren’t really ready for it. But now, in Daniel 9:27, we’ve been given a major part of the picture or puzzle. We’ve been told of a covenant or peace pact lasting “one week” or 7 years. We’ve learned more about the daily sacrifice and the sanctuary that were first mentioned in Daniel chapter 8. Roughly speaking, “the 70th week”, the 7 last years of this age, seems to run like this. We’re told of a 7 year covenant or peace pact. Three and a half years into this 7 year period we’re told of sacrifices which will cease. And we are told “the abomination of desolation” will be placed in the temple.
And like a puzzle piece that we just couldn’t fit, let’s go back and see if these verses in Daniel 8 now fit. One angel asked the other one, “How long will be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?” (Daniel 8: 13) This sounds like a question of how long will be the period where the animal sacrifices are going on and the period of the abomination of desolation. The other angel answered, “2300 days, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:14) So if we are understanding this correctly, around 8 months after the beginning of the 7 last years, animal sacrifices would begin again, marking a period of around 6 years and four months for the time of the sacrifices and of the abomination of desolation.
This last 7 year period would begin with the confirming of a covenant by the Antichrist. It seems there’s an indication that around 8 months later animal sacrifices will begin. Then, at the 3½ year point, the middle of the 7 years, the sacrifices will be stopped and the abomination of desolation placed in the temple. Jesus said the great tribulation would begin at that time. This will go on until the end of the 7 years. Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation…”, He would return for His people.
There’s a lot to absorb here and my goal is to try to make this as understandable as possible. In the classes I’ve taught on this in the past, I’ve tried to use what Jesus Himself said about these things when He was answering His disciples. Let’s look at that once more.
You could think of it like someone giving you directions. They might say “You go down this road and you’ll see some trees and there will be a hill”, kind of general things. This is like what Jesus did when He said there would be “wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24:6 & 7)
But the one giving you directions might then say something like, “But when you see that big red barn…, when you see that, then…”. That’s how Jesus taught this. After the somewhat general signs, He next gave something very specific indeed. He said, “When you shall see the Abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place…”, when you see that, “Then there will be great tribulation.”
It’s actually pretty clear and I’ve often encouraged people to even underline those words there in Matthew 24, “When” and “then”. Because there’s another one after that. Jesus next said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…” He will gather together His elect. So, to make all this simple and even something you could share with others, some people underline those words in their Bibles, “When”, “Then”, and “Immediately after”.
Have all your questions been answered? Probably not. Maybe you have more questions now than when we started this class. But hopefully at least they are new questions. We’ve covered a lot. And there’s so much more that still to be learned. But this is the point in prophecy that Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar about in Daniel 2 when he told the king,“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms. And it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44) This is the finishing of the 70th week, which brings us back to the point originally told us in Daniel 9:24, “70 weeks” “to bring in everlasting righteousness”.
It’s a very sobering picture. It doesn’t have to frighten us although perhaps some of it might. I’ll leave you with three beautiful verses, one from Revelation chapter 12 and then two from Daniel 11. In Revelation, talking about the people of the last days who will be facing the demonic forces of the Antichrist, it says of the followers of Jesus, “They overcame him [the Antichrist] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)
God’s people of the last days are going to face a time of trouble such as has not been before. But here it says that some of them will be overcomers and victors for God, as others have been who’ve stood up for Him through persecutions of past centuries. And in Daniel 11:32 & 33 we read of the same period of the last 3½ years, “but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they who understand among the people shall instruct many”.
For the believers during this last 3½ years, some at least are going to be strong and do exploits; it’s a promise from Scripture. They’ll be “instructing many”, even during great persecution, even through things we never wished would happen. There’s a purpose in this for the people of God, “to try them and to purge and to purify them, even to the time of the end”. (Daniel 11:35)
There are 3 more chapters in Daniel and, Lord willing, Lord helping me, I aim to continue this series of classes. But this one here is one of the most important that we’ll have. I hope you’ve understood it. And I hope that all of us will be prepared in our hearts for the future the Lord and His Word have shown us through these things. God bless you.