THE 70-WEEKS PROPHECY / SATAN'S FIRST COUNTERATTACK
Exodus 6:4 | Psalm 78:56–57 | Psalm 78:58–59 | Psalm 78:60–61 |Jeremiah 25:11 | 2 Chronicles 36:15 | 2 Chronicles 36:16 | 2 Chronicles 36:17 | 2 Chronicles 36:18 | 2 Chronicles 36:19 | 2 Chronicles 36:20 | 2 Chronicles 36:21 | 2 Chronicles 36:22 | 2 Chronicles 36:23 | Daniel 1:6 | Daniel 5:28 | Daniel 9:24 | Daniel 9:25 | Daniel 9:26 | Daniel 9:27 | Numbers 14:34 | Matthew 3:16 | Matthew 21:43 | John 1:11 | Matthew 20:18 | Matthew 23:37-38 | Matthew 26:28 | Hebrews 10:16 | Matthew 5:18 | Daniel 7:8 | Daniel 7:25 | Hebrews 8:1-2 | Galatians 3:28-29 | 1 Peter 2:9-10 | 2 Corinthians 5:21 | Matthew 27:46 | Mark 15:38
With the blueprint of the plan of salvation in the possession of Israel, God’s chosen people were to prepare the world for the coming Messiah. God led Israel from Egypt to the land of _______________ (Exodus 6:4) where they were to prepare for the first coming of the Messiah. But soon after they had received the sanctuary plans, they _______________ and _______________ the Most High God and did not _______________ His _______________ (Psalm 78:56-57).
Because of this, God forsook the _______________ of Shiloh, The _______________ He had placed among men, and delivered them [Israel] into _______________ (Psalm 78:60-61).
As a result of Israel’s continued rebellion through idolatry, God warned that the whole _______________ would be desolate and that Israel would eventually go into captivity to serve the king of _______________ for _______________years (Jeremiah 25:11).The Lord sent _______________ to His people because He had _______________ on them, but they _______________ the messengers of God, _______________ His words, and _______________ at His prophets (2 Chronicles 36:15-16). Therefore, He brought upon them the king of Babylon, who took away all the articles from the _______________ of God and the _______________ of the house of the Lord (2 Chronicles 36:18). “Then they _______________ the _______________ of God and broke down the _______________ of Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 36:19).
Among those taken captive to Babylon were four young Hebrew men named _______________, _______________, _______________, and _______________ (Daniel 1:6). One of these young men, Daniel, was used by God as a prophet during this 70-year period of captivity in which the tabernacle and the city of Jerusalem lay in ruin. Daniel was shown that at the end of the 70 years, Babylon would fall to the _______________ and the _______________ (Daniel 5:28), opening the way for Israel to return to its own land. In fact, King _______________ of Persia (2 Chronicles 36:22), who overthrew Babylon, made a proclamation, or decree, in which he wrote, “All the _______________ of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And he has _______________ me to _______________ Him a _______________ at _______________ which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!” (2 Chronicles 36:23)
During his time in Babylonian captivity, Daniel also received a vision of warning against Israel. The prophet was shown that Israel was going to be given another period of grace, a period of _______________ weeks that were “determined” upon the people of God (Daniel 9:24). The word “determined” used in Daniel 9:24 means “cut off, allotted to.” It meant Israel would have 70 weeks allotted to them to complete the mission God had given them: that is, to prepare the way for the Messiah.
During this period, they were to _______________ the transgression, make an _______________ of sins, make reconciliation for _______________, bring in everlasting _______________, and anoint the Most _______________ (Daniel 9:24). In other words, this time period was given to them to put an end to their rebellious disposition that put them into captivity and to prepare for the first coming of Christ.
The vision also gives the starting point of the prophecy, stating, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the _______________ to _______________ and ______________________________ until Messiah the Prince, There shall be _______________ weeks and _______________ weeks”— or a total of 69 weeks (Daniel 9:25). In other words, if one were to count 69 prophetic weeks from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, it would lead to the very year in which the Messiah would be anointed to begin His work of redemption. While Cyrus had given a commandment to build the house of God, it was not until King Artaxerxes of Persia issued a decree, found in Ezra chapter 7, which included both the building of the temple and the city that this prophecy would go into effect. (It was carried out by Ezra, a Hebrew priest and scribe.) Artaxerxes’ decree is known to have come in the year 457 BC.
The time prophecies of Daniel are based on the principle that a prophetic day is always counted as one literal _______________ (Numbers14:34). Since 69 weeks equals 483 days, this prophetic time period would amount to 483 years. Thus, counting 483 years from 457 BC brings us to AD 27, the very year that _______________ was _______________ at the Jordan with water and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16). Note these commentaries on this prophecy:
“This space of ‘seventy’ weeks is not to be understood of weeks of days; which is too short a time for the fulfillment of so many events as are mentioned; nor were they fulfilled within such a space of time; but of weeks of years, and make up four hundred and ninety years; within which time, beginning from a date after mentioned, all the things prophesied of were accomplished; and this way of reckoning of years by days is not unusual in the sacred writings” (John Gill Commentary on Daniel 9:25).
“If, then, the decree of 457 BC granted to Ezra himself is taken as the…commencement of the … 483 years, we come out to the precise year of the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah (or Christ): 483 minus 457 comes out to AD 26. But since a year is gained in passing from 1 BC to 1 AD (there being no such year as zero), it actually comes out to AD 27 … most remarkable exactitude in the fulfillment of such an ancient prophecy” (Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982] p. 290).
“The terminus for the commencement of these 69 weeks of years is stated to be from the going forth of the word (or decree) to restore and build Jerusalem (v. 25). This may refer to the divine decree, or one of three historical edicts:
- The decree of King Cyrus in 538 BC (Ezra 1:1–4);
- The order of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 BC …
- The order to Nehemiah in 445 BC to carry through the rebuilding of the walls which Ezra had not been able to accomplish.
Of these choices, (1) must be ruled out as coming nowhere near to the time of Christ’s ministry; (3) comes out too late, unless lunar years are used for the computation. Only (2) comes out right according to regular solar years, for it yields the result of AD 27, or the commencement of Christ’s ministry” (Lindsell, H., ed., Harper Study Bible, Revised Standard Version, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1964, 1965, pp.1312, 1313).
“The decree to rebuild Jerusalem … was 457 BC. Adding 483 years to 457 BC brings us to AD 26, the very year that Jesus was baptized and began His public ministry. A most remarkable fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, even to the year” (Halley, 1965, Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 349). This prophecy, in short, was a warning to Israel. They would have a total of 490 years to amend their ways and fulfill the mission for which they were chosen by God. If they failed, the _______________ of God would be _______________ from them and given to another _______________ to bring forth the _______________ of it (Matthew 21:43).
And this is exactly what happened! Christ “came to His _______________, and His own did not _______________ Him” (John 1:11). Christ was _______________ to the chief priest and to the scribes and they _______________ Him to _______________ (Matthew 20:18). As a result of Israel’s rejection of Christ, Jesus said, shortly before His death, “O _______________, _______________, the one who _______________ the _______________ and _______________ those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37) See! _______________ _______________ is left to you _______________” (Matthew 23:38).
Christ had come to span the six degrees of separation caused by sin. He would do this by becoming _______________ for us, though He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). In taking upon Himself our sins, Jesus would experience six degrees of separation from God. When He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you _______________ me?” (Matthew 27:46) He was experiencing that separation so we could be reconciled with God!
But in rejecting Christ, the Jewish nation had rejected the Lamb of God (altar of sacrifice), the Water of Life (laver), the Bread of Life (table of showbread), the Light of the world (candlestick), His intercession for them (altar of incense), and the law of God (ark of the covenant). They had, in essence, rejected the very purpose for which the blueprint had been given to them. The temple on earth was no longer sanctified by God’s presence. In fact, Rome destroyed the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70, and a temple has never been rebuilt since.
When Christ died, the _______________ of the _______________ was _______________ in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). This signified that the earthly temple was no longer sanctified by God’s presence. The prophet Daniel foretold that the Messiah would be _______________ off, but not for Himself (Daniel 9:26), and that He would _______________ a covenant with many for _______________ week, but in the _______________ of the week, he would cause the _______________ and _______________ to end (Daniel 9:27).
Christ was anointed, or baptized, at the beginning of the 69th week, which was the year AD 27, so in the midst of the remaining week, or seven years, He would be cut off, confirm the covenant, and bring an end to the sacrifices and offerings. Exactly three-and-a-half years after Christ was baptized, He was indeed “cut off,” “separated,” not for Himself, but for the world. He confirmed the covenant with many when He said, at the Last Supper, “This is my _______________ of the new _______________, which is shed for _______________ for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
The covenant He “confirmed,” or verified, was the same covenant found in the Ark of the Covenant, but this time, instead of it being written on tables of stone, Jesus would write the Ten Commandments on the table of our hearts. This was the _______________ that God would make with us after those days, “says the Lord: I will put _______________ _______________ into their _______________ , and in their _______________ I will write them” (Hebrews 10:16).
The very law that Satan sought to attack in heaven, the very law he wanted to nullify on earth, Christ through His death confirmed as holy and unchanging in nature. He established the law of self-sacrificing love through the demonstration of love on the cross. This is why Jesus said, “Till _______________ and _______________ pass away, one _______________ or one _______________ will by no means pass from the _______________ till all is _______________ .” (Matthew 5:18).
The prophecy also states that through His death, He would bring an end to the sacrificial system. There was no longer a need to sacrifice animals or keep certain ceremonial laws, which pointed forward to His work of redemption. These laws surrounding sacrifices were to cease, while the eternal law of God was confirmed.
Satan would now seek to use the death of Christ to his advantage, teaching that there was no longer any need to keep the Ten Commandments, that the grace of Jesus nullified the law of God. It was the very error he used in heaven to deceive the angels, saying that one need not keep God’s law in order to be holy. This error, that Christ nailed the moral law of God to the cross instead of the ceremonial law of Moses, has been challenged by spiritual giants from various backgrounds. Consider just a few of them here:
Charles H. Spurgeon: “He (Christ) took care to revise and reform the laws of men; but the law of God He established and confirmed. … Our King has not come to abrogate the law, but to confirm and reassert it. His commands are eternal; and if any of the teachers of it should through error break his law, and teach that its least command is nullified, they will lose rank, and subside into the lowest place. The peerage of His kingdom is ordered according to obedience. … The Lord Jesus does not set up a milder law, nor will He allow any one of His servants to presume to do so” (The Gospel of the Kingdom, New York: The Baker & Taylor Co., 1893, pp. 47, 48, comment on Matthew 5:17–20).
John Wesley: “The ritual or ceremonial law, delivered by Moses to the children of Israel, containing all the injunctions and ordinances which related to the old sacrifices and service of the Temple, our Lord indeed did come to destroy …
“The moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the Prophets, He did not take away. … This is a law which never can be broken, which “stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven.” The moral stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law, which was designed for a temporary restraint upon a disobedient and stiff-necked people; whereas this was from the beginning of the world, being “written not on tables of stone,” but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. … Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God, and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other” (“Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount,” reprint of 182 ed., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, vol. 5, pp. 311, 312).
Dwight L. Moody: “The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time when they were proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in Palestine, which belonged to Israel, but in the wilderness, because the law was for all nations.
“Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them. Because He gave new commandments it does not follow that He abolished the old. Christ’s explanation of them me them all the more searching. In His Sermon on the Mount, He carried the principles of the commandments beyond the mere letter. He unfolded them and showed that they embraced more, that they are positive as well as prohibitive” (Weighed and Wanting, Chicago: Revell, 1898, p. 15).
Martin Luther: “I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law or the Ten Commandments. … Can anyone think that sin exists where there is no law? Whoever abrogates the law, must of necessity abrogate sin also” (“Against the Antinomians,” secs. 6, 8, in his Sämmtliche Schriften, ed. By Johann Georg Walch, Vol. 20, St. Louis: Concordia, 1890, cols. 1613, 1614).
John Calvin: “We must not imagine that the coming of Christ has freed us from the authority of the law: for it is the eternal rule of a devout and holy life, and must, therefore, be as unchangeable, as the justice of God, which it embraced, is constant and uniform” (Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, trans. By William Pringle, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1949, vol. 1, p. 277, comment on Matthew 5:17).
Billy Graham: “Like Wesley, I find that I must preach the law and judgment before I can preach grace and love… “The Ten Commandments … are the moral laws of God for the conduct of the people. Some think they have been revoked. That is not true. Christ taught the law. They are still in effect today. God has not changed. People have changed … “Every person who ever lived, with the exception of Jesus Christ, has broken the Ten Commandments. Sin is a transgression of the law. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The Ten Commandments are a mirror to show us how far short we fall in [p. 109] meeting God’s standards. And the mirror of our shortcomings drives us to the Cross, where Christ paid the debt for sin. Forgiveness is found at the Cross, and no other place, according to the Bible (Sermons on the Ten Commandments, quoted in George Burnham and Lee Fisher, Billy Graham and the New York Crusade, pp. 108, 109. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich.).
The prophet Daniel foresaw this counterattack on the moral law of God and wrote that Satan, through the power called the little _______________ (Daniel 7:8), would attempt to _______________ times and _______________ (Daniel 7:25). We will cover more of this a little later.
Now, after Christ’s resurrection, He ascended to the throne of the majesty in heaven (Hebrews 8:1) to become a Minister of the _______________ and of the true _______________ which the Lord erected, and not _______________ (Hebrews 8:2). A vertical transition from the earthly temple to the heavenly temple had taken place at the cross. From then on, the minds of all humanity were to be directed to our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, and His work of intercession in the heavenly temple.
But there was also a horizontal transition. No longer were the Jews alone to carry this message of a risen Savior. Because many of them had rejected Christ, the gospel blueprint was to be spread by anyone professing faith in Christ. Anyone of any nationality could be a child of _______________ through _______________ in _______________ (Galatians 3:26). Since this transition, “There is neither _______________ nor _______________,” because all are _______________ in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) And if we are Christ’s, then we are “_______________ _______________ and _______________ according to the _______________” (Galatians 3:29).
To both Jews and Gentiles who accepted Christ, these words applied, “You are a _______________ generation, a _______________ priesthood, a _______________ nation, His own special _______________, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9); who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:10). The church after the cross now consisted of spiritual Israel, those born of the Spirit in Christ.
These believers were to go forward not with an earthly sanctuary, but with the message of a heavenly sanctuary. With renewed zeal, a new threat was posed to Satan. He would need to find a way to fight against the new spiritual Israel and the message of a heavenly temple.