The Jews and Premillenialists have one major mistake in common. They both make the big mistake of believing that Jesus came to set up an earthly kingdom and failed. Both groups hold the same errors for the same reasons: a preconceived notion about the nature of the king and kingdom, and a failure to consider all that the prophets had said about the king and His kingdom.
A Time of Reformation
From reading the Old Testament it is clear that the Messiah would bring in some major reforms. Things would not be like before. The Jews and modern premillenialists overlook some critical points about how much of a reform would take place. There would be a change of law, a change of priesthood, a change of covenant, and a Gentile inclusion. Consider some prophesies that should have given the sense of a complete reform that was very unlike the system they knew even under their greatest king, David.
1. David said His "Lord"(someone higher than David) heard from "The Lord" that David's Lord would be a "priest forever" (Psalm 110) and that "His people" would be volunteers in the day of His power. So, the people under the Messiah would not be mere Israelites in the flesh who were imposed upon by virtue of their birth, but would have a new priesthood in Him and they would be His people by way of choice (volunteers) not birth. Obviously, the time of reformation would mean major changes in the very structure and layout of God's people.
2. The house of Judah and the house of Israel would enter a new covenant that was very unlike the Sinai covenant (Jer.31:31f). The covenant would be "written in their heart" and by this means God would be their God and they (those who have this new covenant written in their heart) would be His united people. Notice that unlike the Sinai covenant where you were born into the nation and then taught your relatives to "know the Lord" as they grew up among each other. The period of reform that Jeremiah speaks about would be totally different. Those whom you would call neighbors and brothers in this nation would know the Lord first and that would be why they were your neighbor and brother and share the covenant and nation with you. The common things that would be shared among "God's people" would be that they all already "know the Lord" and don't need to teach each other to know the Lord as in old Israel, and they would also share the forgiveness of sins that would not be "remembered again" as in the yearly atonement system. Thus, a yearly remembrance would not be a part of this system. Apparently, there would be a provision that made the repeated day of atonement unnecessary (Jer.31:31-33).
3. The physical temple in Jerusalem would no longer be needed. The reason for "My people" sharing a redemptive forgiveness where sins are remembered no more (Jer.31) should have been seen in Daniel's picture of the time of the Messiah.
God’s Redemptive Plan For Israel is stated in Daniel 9:24 :
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
Jeremiah and Daniel picture the same thing. A time of reformation what would bring a finish to transgression and an end of sin so that the repeated day of atonement would not be needed or a part of the time of reformation. Isaiah 53 should also be figured into this time of reformation to explain what was really happening to the Servant of God who was the Messiah as they were cutting Him off. He was wounded for our transgressions, not His own.
Summary of What God Will Accomplish
Make an end of sin (kattat)
Make atonement for iniquity
Bring in righteousness
Seal up prophesy
Anoint most holy place
This is the time of the Messiah in the first century, and does not look into our future, but the days that were future to Daniel and those with him in Babylon. They looked for the age of the coming Messiah (to them) to do all of the above things. What was the time-frame for these things to be accomplished?
The 70 Weeks of Years (490 years) are seventy sevens.
Daniel 9:25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
Seven weeks: 49 years (Jerusalem rebuilt) from the time of the decree to rebuild. This happened in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Sixty two weeks: 434 years (Messiah). This figures to the time of Jesus Christ. Wise men were able to calculate from Daniel's prophecy exactly when the Messiah should come. Wise people were not disappointed either. Foolish people were disappointed.
Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, [ and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.]
The 70th Week
After the 7 weeks (49 yrs) and the 62 weeks = into the 70th week. What happens into the 70th week (after the 69 weeks)? ?
Messiah cut off = crucified
Daniel gives a parentheses explaining a judgment that will come upon Jerusalem for this wicked deed of cutting off the Messiah prince.
Then (70th week) he will confirm a covenant with many for one week. Remember it is the new covenant that Jeremiah said would be different and that would be written in hearts to bring out God's people from those who were not.
3 ½ years of ministry of Jesus was a teaching time of new covenant and new kingdom teaching for the Jews.
Middle= Jesus dies on the cross – ends sacrifices and offerings by His substitutionary death
3 ½ years –apostles preaching exclusively to Jews. Thus, Jesus and His apostles were revealing and confirming this new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah in the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
[And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined. ]
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate." NKJV
On the WING of the 70 Sevens is an extension from the body of those 70 sevens.
The Wing of "Abominations" is an extension of time shortly after the abominations involved in cutting off the Messiah. On the wing of doing those abominable things to the Messiah and cutting Him off, something else will happen.
The Abominations of cutting off Messiah
An Extension off of those 70 Sevens:
The period of the fall of Jerusalem came on the wing of abominations at AD 70
The Consummation = the end of the Jewish Law and Temple System
It was destroyed by Titus, the Roman General, and his armies in AD 70
It has never been rebuilt
The whole system had been so destroyed that the priesthood has been lost for good
And he will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week, he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.
Jesus said this prophecy of Daniel would be fulfilled in THAT Generation – Matt.23:36-38; 24:15,34
490 – 33AD = 457BC
Decrees we know of:
In 457 B.C. Ezra led a group back to rebuild Jerusalem by the King's edict (Ezra 7:6,7; 9:9).
In 445 BC Nehemiah led a group to actually repair the walls by permission of Artexerxes Longimanus
Daniel’s Prophecy Came True
The 490 Years Brought ALL that was Prophesied
An extension or WING also would happen in THAT Generation, extending us to AD 70
How could a mere man using human wisdom have predicted all these things?
Daniel’s Prophecy Was Completely Fulfilled as to the 490 Years
Was also fulfilled as to the extended "wing" of those abominations
Jesus applied the prophecy of Daniel to the fall of Jerusalem – Luke 21:20-22
That fall was to happen in "this generation" that Jesus was speaking to– Matt.23:36; 24:34
This happened in that generation at AD 70. Thus, ALL of Dan.9:24-27 was fulfilled.
The time of reformation then would be a time when the temple of Jerusalem would not be needed. The Messiah would rule well without it, and the sacrificial system it offered would not longer be needed. The priesthood it offered would no longer be needed.
All of these things were in the picture that Jews and moderns premillenialists have overlooked or distorted. Jesus began His reign exactly as planned. The Hebrew writer shows that the old system has been replaced. Jesus was the prophesied Prophet, Priest, and King. The time of reformation did not need the carnal, earthly system of physical Israel. (Heb.9:1-17). The prophecy of Jeremiah had come true (Heb.8-10). The only thing that had not yet occurred, but was soon to happen as Hebrews was being written (10:24-25), was the things that would happen on the "wing" of those abominations, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It was still about 3 years away as the book of Hebrews was being penned. But, the covenant had been confirmed with many, and the church was composed of those people who had become volunteers in the day of His power. The church is the “gathered” of Old Testament prophecy. The land restored is the land of God’s holy volunteers who are in the “heavenly places in Christ” (Eph.1:3) and they are “gathered together in one all things in Christ”(1:10). We are a spiritual, holy nation (1 Pet.2:9). We have come to Mount Zion, the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem in this holy spiritual land of spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (Heb.12:18,22-24). We cannot come to the heavenly Jerusalem without walking in the heavenly places around it. The time of reformation does not have a physical temple made by hands, or a physical Jerusalem or a physical land. The kingdom was spiritual. The prophecies were made clear by Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world” and it does not ask for His servants to fight for the king or the land over which He would reign. We who know the Lord are in the kingdom (Col.1:13). Those who are still in the dark about it (Jews and premillennialists and all other unbelievers) have not been born again so they can see it (John 3:1-16). They have not been translated out of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. They still look for an earthly kingdom and it is they who will ultimately be “Left Behind” (and that itself is amazing. He makes foolish the wisdom of the world!). As they talk of being “left behind” and missing an earthly kingdom, they are missing the only kingdom God will ever have here. They are getting “left behind” now. The church is now gathering the saved in the spiritual kingdom that will be taken back to God in the last day (1 Cor.15:23-26). Jesus is reigning now. The last enemy to put down is death itself. If you are not now in the church of Christ, you are not in the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and you will get left behind and cast into outer darkness. The time of reformation is NOW (2 Cor.6:3).
Terry W. Benton
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /