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THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 4-10

         

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 231B

July 13, 2005

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 4


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.

I made a case in Prophecy Updates 230B, 231, & 231A to prove we do not have a full week of seven prophetic years (360 days per year) left to be fulfilled in Daniel’s 70 weeks of years. The personal pronoun “HE,” which appears three times in 9:27, does not refer to the topic subordinate “prince that shall come” in verse 26, but to topic dominate “Messiah” in the same verse. The topic dominate of the entire discourse is the Christ, the One Anointed of God to be King of Israel. Christ is “the most Holy” in verse 24, “the Messiah the Prince” in verse 25, “the Messiah” in verse 26, and the triple “he” in verse 27. Messiah is the topical, contextual, figure of this entire discourse, not a coming antichrist from Rome or Europe. In fact, some forty years after Messiah was cut off, this scripture was fulfilled when Titus, the Roman prince, came down and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple with a flood of troops, and desolations continued until the final battle of that war was fought at Masada.

The early church fathers, followed later by noted theologians such as Theodotion, Havernick, Hengstenberg, Barnes, and the revered Baptist theologian B. H. Carroll, held that the three personal pronouns (he) in Daniel 9:27 referred not to the prince of verse 26, but to the subject of all four verses, that being: “the most Holy” (v.24), “Messiah the Prince” (v.25), and “Messiah” (v.26), who is Jesus Christ, the Messiah the Prince.

The various figures shown at the end of this prophecy update will help you to better understand the narrative discourse that is to follow.

We know that Jesus, from his baptism, had a ministry of more than three prophetic years (1080 days), but that it fell short of three and one-half prophetic years (1260 days). He was “cut off” at some point in the “midst” of the seven prophetic years, that is, in the “midst” of the fourth year. We know that Christ’s first Passover after his baptism is found in John 2:13, his second in John 5:1, his third in John 6:4, and his fourth in John 13:1. So that accounts for three prophetic years totaling 1080 days. Now, let’s look back at the time that expired from his baptism to his first Passover. First, he was tempted for forty days. After that he called his first disciples ((John 1:35-51), performed his first miracle in Cana (John 2:1-12), had his first stay in Capernaum (John 2:12), and then traveled to his first Passover in Jerusalem (John 2:13). I contend this probably took 65 days. And this, when added to the 40 days of temptation, totals 105 days. And this, added to the 1080 days between the Passovers, gives us 1185 days, which linguistically qualifies as being in the “midst” of Daniel’s 70th week in the fourth year. So I contend that Jesus Christ, the Messiah the Prince, has already fulfilled the first 1185 days of the last week of Daniel 9:27, and that instead of 2520 days remaining, we only have 1335 days left to be fulfilled. When Daniel’s clock begins to tick again to finally complete the Age of the Gentiles and Daniel’s 70th week, it will only have to tick for 1335 days.

Daniel’s prophetic clock stopped ticking when Messiah was crucified. Messiah started confirming the seven year covenant at the time of his baptism, fulfilling promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David in the final 70th week. But he was cut off (crucified) after finishing 1185 of the final 2520 prophetic days. At this point the clock stopped when he made the temple spiritually desolate, thereby causing the acceptance of the sacrifice and the oblation to cease being acceptable to God. And it will continue to be so until the consummation of this age when he returns and, at that time, the spiritually desolate will have his wrath poured upon them.

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.

Matthew 23:37-39 – 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! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. [39] For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

It will be helpful to look at the figures on the end of this prophecy update to understand the following narrative.

Once Daniel’s clock begins to tick again it will be as if it never stopped. It will start to tick when the Israelis believe they have peace and safety. From the time it begins to tick, until it closes Daniel’s 70th week, with its final tick at the end of the battle of Armageddon, will be 1335 prophetic days. It will be 1290 days after it starts to tick that the Abomination of Desolation appears on the Temple Mount. It will be about 75 days after it begins to tick that Israel will be attacked by a confederation of Islamic nations that were once a part of the old Roman Empire. I believe the seven vials of God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth during the 45 day period that occurs between the 1290th day, when the Abomination of Desolation is set up, and the coming of Christ with the saints on the 1335th day. The initial attack of the antichrist, 75 days after peace comes, will drive Israel into the wilderness for the remaining 1260 days left in the 1335 days.

I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

If these numbers 1260, 1290, and 1335 seem strange, please consider the last three verses in the book of Daniel, where he is told he will be standing in his inheritance when the 70th week closes.

Daniel 12:11-13 – And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. [12] Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. [13] But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

Romans 11:25-27 – For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Daniel, along with all the other Old Testament saints of Israel, will return to rule and reign with Christ at the end of the battle of Armageddon, which closes “the end of the days” of the Age of the Gentiles.

The world will see Israel flee into the Negev for 1260 days after some 75 days of false peace. The 1260 prophetic days are found expressed several different ways in the Scripture. At times it is identified as 42 prophetic months (30 days per month). It is also referred to as time, times, and half a time, where a time is equal to one prophetic year, times to two prophetic years, and half a time to one-half a prophetic year, making a total of three and one-half prophetic years (360 days per year).

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The remainder of this Update was photographed for transmission such that continuity might be maintained. It may not produce on some types of equipment.

         
     

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 5

What a Difference a “He” Makes!


More than 31 years ago I accepted the Pastorate of Dardanelle MBC, while still a Seminary student. I attended the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and Arkansas Tech University during the summers of my time in Seminary because it did not offer summer courses. I graduated from the Seminary in 1975 while enrolled full time at Arkansas Tech University, from which I graduated and began teaching at Dardanelle High School in 1977. I have not changed my beliefs on any of the things I was taught in Seminary concerning salvation, security of the believer, the two church ordinances, or the local identity of the church. However, there are many things I once believed in prophecy that I am no longer able to teach with any conviction. I came to Dardanelle MBC like Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, believing I was ready to teach prophecy. As I studied the doctrines of salvation, the church, and the church ordinances I discovered realms of Scripture to validate what I had been taught, but when I began to search for Scriptures that would fit all the diagrams from which I was teaching prophecy, I found very few I did not have to distort. I retired as a synoptic analyst in the National Security Agency, and I know quite well how to put the pieces of a puzzle together to form a whole premise. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are called the Synoptic Gospels, and they can be pieced together synoptically into a Harmony of the Gospels. All the pieces of the salvation-church-ordinances puzzle came together and formed a perfect picture of conformity, but the many pieces of the prophecy puzzle simply would not mesh together, unless I symbolized or spiritualized to a massive degree. I found that in our work there was harmonious agreement on the doctrines of salvation, the two church ordinances, and the church itself, but in prophecy I found “first of the weekers,” “mid-tribbers,” “seventh trumpers,” “last of the weekers,” split rapturists,” and “progressive rapturists” – Or Pre, Mid, Seventh Trump, Post, Split, and Progressive positions. I knew there had to be a reason for these great divisions, and was hopeful that perhaps the answer might be found in a historical search to see if all of them have always existed and, if not, when did each one arise. What I found brought back a lot of memories from my earliest teachings when I was a teenager. Before 1827 only three positions were taught – The Last of the Week, the Seventh Trumpet, and the Mid-Tribulation positions – And the Mid-Tribulation position was born in 1788 (See Updates 74A and 73D). During all my research I also discovered something that shocked me with memories of a position I had also heard as a teenager – Before 1800 the vast majority of Bible expositors believed that the “HE” in Daniel 9:27 was not the antichrist, but the true one, Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes. I am convinced they were correct.

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.

I was fully aware of all this by 1992, but out of cowardice as to what I knew I would face from the bulk of my brethren, I would only teach it at Dardanelle MBC. My cowardice certainly did not lead me to lie to the brethren – I simply stopped talking about the first three and one-half years of Daniel’s 70th week in my lectures, stopped presenting the worldwide antichrist empire that is taught today, and honed in on the last 1260 days of the tribulation period. I have firmly believed the Seventh Trumpet position since 1982, and taught the “HE” of Daniel 9:27 was Jesus since 1992. Knowing that I must soon face my Savior, and give account of all I have taught from his Word, I decided to publicly declare what I truly believe about Daniel 9:27, for better or for worse. Many of the men who taught me prophecy, whom I love and deeply respect, may well denounce me and regret ever having known me, but I will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ and, in all conscience, I cannot continue to keep this to myself. I was taught synoptic analysis in the AWS and NSA, and contextual analysis in the Seminary. The synoptic subject of the contextual discourse in every verse of Daniel 9:24 to 27 is the Messiah the Prince, Jesus Christ. In verse 24 Jesus is “the most Holy” who is anointed. In verse 25 Jesus is “the Messiah the Prince.” In verse 26 Jesus is identified as “Messiah” who is cut off. And in verse 27 Jesus is the “he” who confirmed God’s blood covenant at his death in the “midst” of the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks of years. Jesus has already confirmed most of the first three and one-half years of the last week of seven prophetic years. The prophet Isaiah, who wrote some 150 years before Daniel, whose writings were probably in Daniel’s possession when he wrote during Babylonian captivity, wrote of the one who would fulfill the “covenant” of Daniel 9:27.

Isaiah 42:6 – I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

How did the Jews look at Daniel 9:24 to 27 at the time of Christ’s birth? Were any of those in the Middle East expecting his coming on the scene to be near? Henry H. Halley, in his well known “Bible Handbook” of 1927, wrote the following concerning the expectation of the Messiah: “Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius state there was general expectancy over the East that the time for the Messiah to appear was at hand. It was based, partly at least, on Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27). By the popular interpretation at that time, the 70 weeks was understood to mean 70 sevens of years, that is, 490. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem, from which they were to be reckoned (Daniel 9:25), was issued in 457 B.C. Hence the time was about up. The Son of God was about to appear.”

Simeon clearly revealed Jesus as the one who had come to fulfill the covenant to his people Israel, and as a light to lighten the Gentiles.

Luke 2:25-32 – And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. [26] And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. [27] And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, [28] Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, [29] Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: [30] For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, [31] Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; [32] A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

The word “he” in Daniel 9:27 does not refer back to the “prince that shall come” in Daniel 9:26 – That prince has already come, and the ones he led destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The “he” refers not to a coming antichrist, but to the contextual subject of each verse from 24 to 27 – Messiah the Prince, Jesus Christ. I am not waiting for an antichrist to destroy a sanctuary that was destroyed in Jerusalem more than 1900 years ago. I am waiting for the return of a Messiah who was cut off for my sins in the “midst” of Daniel’s last week after having fulfilled most of the first three and one-half years of it. The covenant was finished when the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and a token sign of its fulfillment was manifested by resurrection of many of the Old Testament saints, who came out of their graves after his resurrection.

John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 27:50-53 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. [51] And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; [52] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, [53] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

You will find a thorough verse-by-verse exposition of Daniel 9:24 to 27 in our Prophecy Archives in Parts 1 through 4, but I will, in this Update, exposit on verse 27 as it relates to Christ.

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.

“He” is used three times. In each case it pertains to Jesus the Messiah. ”He” began to “confirm the covenant” with the “many” who would believe he was the one sent to confirm it when he was baptized in water by John, and he completed the covenant when he was crucified in his baptism by fire at Golgotha in the “midst” of Daniel’s 70th week, some three and one-half years after his water baptism. His water baptism pictured what would finish the covenant some three and one-half years later when he died, was buried, and then resurrected to complete the covenant. I am of the opinion he fulfilled the covenant during the first 1185 days of Daniel’s last week, and that the remaining 1335 days will begin when Israel actually believes it has “peace and safety.”

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.

“He” caused “the sacrifice and oblation to cease” being acceptable to his Father when he became the true sacrifice that made void all the offerings, which had only pictured what he would do to confirm the covenant.

“He” made the Temple and its offerings spiritually desolate because of “the overspreading of abominations” he had twice cleaned out of it. The Temple had become a den of thieves and those who ministered in it had turned into blind guides.

Matthew 23:37,38 – 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! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Matthew 21:12,13 – And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, [13] And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Matthew 23:23,24 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. [24] Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

“He” has made the Temple and all its sacrifices “desolate, even unto the consummation” of this present age. They will not be restored until Jesus returns at his Second Advent.

Matthew 23:38,39 – Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. [39] For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

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 “consummation” of this present age comes to pass when “that determined will be poured upon the desolate” men and women of this present age of the Gentiles who are spiritually desolate, having not the Spirit of Christ. And that determined will be poured out on the antichrist. He will be in a position where no one can help him, as well as his false prophet, and both will then be cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. The battle of Armageddon is the consummation of this age, and the last days of the tribulation period will see Michael the Archangel deal with the forces of evil during the pouring out of the vials of wrath.

Romans 2:28,29 – For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Daniel 11:45 to 12:1 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. [1] And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Matthew 24:21 – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Revelation 19:19,20 – And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. [20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Daniel 7:11 – I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

Daniel’s 70 weeks of year’s clock stopped ticking when Jesus the Messiah was cut off in the “midst” of the last week. The Hebrew word “midst” in a seven year week could mean any time between the end of the third year and the beginning of the fifth year, in other words, at any time during the fourth year. I believe Jesus fulfilled the first 1185 days of the 2520 days in Daniel’s 70th week, and only 1335 days remain. When the Israelis truly believe they have “peace and safety” enough to actually “say” it, then the clock will start to tick again, and they will shortly thereafter be attacked some 1260 days before the final battle of Armageddon.

I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Revelation 11:2 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Revelation 13:5 – 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.

I was astounded to discover how much of our prophetic teaching about the antichrist’s reign, the tribulation period, the time of the rapture, and a multiplicity of all things related to prophecy, are all tied primarily to the interpretation that the “he” of Daniel is the antichrist. I have made my choice – I believe the majority of the prophetic teachers before 1800 were correct – I believe the “he” is Jesus. This has been a hard choice for me to make – what a difference a “he” makes! (See also Archive Prophecy Update Number 102)


SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 232A

July 16, 2005

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 6 


Have We Taken the Wrong Path in Prophecy? 

Have We “Bought the Farm” in Prophetic Teachings? 

It is absolutely amazing how the great majority of our prophetic teaching on the antichrist, and all the events associated with his arrival and departure during the last seven years of the Age of the Gentiles, is based on Daniel 9:27, and the understanding that the three “he’s” in it refer to the antichrist. All of the prevailing positions on the rapture, so widely differing among the brethren, the pre, mid, pre-wrath, post, split, and progressive positions are all based on the three “he’s” being the antichrist. All of our charts and diagrams are based on the antichrist being the three “he’s” in Daniel 9:27, showing two boxes, each one three and one half years in duration, which are supposed to be the final seven years of the Gentile Age.  I seriously doubt if most of the men and women, who are teaching prophecy in 2005, realize how much of what they are teaching being correct is dependant on the first HE in Daniel 9:27 being the antichrist.  Quite frankly, I am acutely aware of what they teach, and am prepared for it if it is correct, but some of them have never looked at what was taught about the HE in Daniel before 1740 by all expositors, and are not prepared for what I believe about the HE.

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. 

There are times a part of me wishes I had never gone back in time to see what was believed, and what was taught, about the three “he’s” in Daniel 9:27. In all my years of research on publications prior to 1740, I have yet to find anyone publishing what is routinely taught today. The first expositors of the Church Age on the Old Testament all held in their writings that the three “he’s” in Daniel 9:27 were Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes. The idea that the “he’s” might represent a future antichrist failed to appear in any of their writings. Among the best known writers of the first four centuries, who believed the “he’s” were Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes were: Hippolytus, Clement of Alexander, Julius Africanus, and Eusebius. 

The Catholic writers of the Dark Ages continued to state this belief in the Sargis DOAberga document and, in this period, Theodore Beza, Arnold of Villanova, and Pseudo Aquinas all continued to proclaim that the “he’s” were indeed Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes. I could find no writer among them that identified the “he’s” as referring to a future antichrist.  The vast majority believed it was Jesus Christ, and a minority believed it was Antiochus Epiphanes, but none believed it to the future antichrist.

In the Protestant Reformation times both Martin Luther and Melanchthon said the “he’s” in Daniel 9:27 were the Christ, not antichrist. Melanchthon dated the 70 weeks of Daniel from the second year of the great Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus, with 69 weeks to the baptism of Christ, and placed the crucifixion of Christ in the midst of the 70th week, three years after Christ’s baptism. This is the position I hold today. I believe Christ fulfilled the covenant during his ministry in the first part of the last seven years, and we are waiting for the second half to be fulfilled following the attack of antichrist against Israel. Other Reformation writers who held the three “he’s” were Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes were Georg Nigumus, Johann Funck, Jacques Cappel, John Tillinghast, Joseph Mede, and Heinrich Bullinger. And, once again, I was unable to find a single writer during the Protestant Reformation that identified the “he’s” as the future antichrist. I am not saying one did not exist, but I could not find him. 

In the Post Reformation period Isaac Newton, Cocceius, Johann Petri, William Wilson, Heinrich Horch, Jahann Bengal, and the Belenburg Bible, all identified the three “he’s” in Daniel 9:27 as being Jesus Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes. And, once again, I could find no writings in this period that stated the “he’s” were the future antichrist. 

From the Post Reformation period to 1740, I could not find a writer that identified the three “he’s” as being the future antichrist. Among American expositors who identified the “he’s” as being Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes were Samuel Langdon, John Davenport, Ephraim Huit, and Samuel Osgood. Among the Old World expositors, during this period, who held the “he’s” were Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes, were Bishop William Winston, William Hales, Louis Gaussen, Archibald Mason, and Edward Bukersteth.  Calvin, in his exposition of Daniel, clearly identifies Christ as the “HE” in Daniel 9:27.

So, the question I have been forced to address is a very simple one. Were they all wrong up to 1740? Should we have changed the teaching that the three “he’s” refer to Christ, and made them apply to the antichrist? I have made my choice – the old fellows were right, it is Christ! This teaching lasted well into the 20th century, and is still held by a minority in this present century. I was exposed to it as a young man many years ago, and I now believe it. One of the greatest Baptists of history, B.H. Carroll, who was born in the 19th century, carried this teaching into the 20th century. It began to decline in popularity after John Darby began to popularize the Pre-Trib Rapture position in 1827, but it was still the majority belief until the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909, after which it became more and more of a minority belief. 

There was a very popular song in my youth titled “What a Difference a Day Makes!” I assure you, that the title I ascribe to Daniel 9:27 is a most profound one – “What a Difference a ‘HE’ Makes.”  The Age of the Great Evangelical Prophecy Revisions involves the three “HE’s.”

As I mentioned in Part 2 of “The 70 Weeks of Daniel,” the time of the great evangelical age began in the 1730’s, and the conversion of John Wesley in 1738 is often said to be the beginning of it.  I have, for clarity of purpose, marked the Evangelical Movement as beginning in 1740.  The minor changes in prophetic teachings began in 1760, but the major revisions began in 1827, and accelerated up until 1912, by which time most of the prophetic teachings of today had been established with all the associated charts, graphs, theology, and eschatology.  The movement marked a gradual shift from the importance of the local church to huge masses of assemblies of believers and great camp meetings.  It has now reached its zenith, with biblical teachers and teachings on many types of communication media being pictured and spoken to the invisible masses on the receiving end of the high tech communication blitz. They send out their high tech transmissions to what they consider to be a universal church made up of all believers.

I have not been able to find a single commentary, published prior to 1740, that identified the three “HE’s” of Daniel 7:27 as the future antichrist, which the world is expecting soon to arise.  So the question I poise is a simple one – Were all prophetic teachers wrong before 1740?  And if they were right, how does that affect what is taught today?  Is there a radical difference?

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.

What are some of the ramifications to prophetic teaching today if the “HE’s” in Daniel 9:27 are not the future antichrist?  Are the changes drastic?  Yes, indeed they are!  What are some of them?

1. We would not have to have a peace treaty signed between antichrist and Israel.

2. The antichrist would not have to be a Jew.

3. The antichrist would not have to be a Roman prince or come out of Europe.

4. We would not have seven full years left to be fulfilled in Daniel’s prophecy of 490 years.

5. There would not be two 1260 periods left to be fulfilled in the tribulation period.

6. The antichrist could strike suddenly without three and one half years of peace occurring, leaving only 1260 days before Armageddon would end the tribulation period.

7. The temple would not have to be rebuilt for the antichrist to occupy prior to Christ’s coming for his saints.

8. The “first of the week” rapture position, seven years before the 2nd Advent, would not be correct.

9. Is it possible that the following Scripture could be applicable to some aspects of today’s teachings based on Daniel 9:27?                         

II Timothy 4:3,4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Could it be that the recent outpouring of fictional books advocating the whisking away of all believers before the tribulation period might be more fable than fact?  Could it be that tickling the ears of the masses by telling them what they want to hear is much more acceptable to them, and much more profitable to the writers and teachers, both financially and in acceptance and popularity?

II Corinthians 5:10,11 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [11] Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Which position is correct? I could care less personally, because I am prepared for something that might fool us all. How is that possible? I just WATCH!  I both practice, and advocate to the church I pastor, to do the following:

Mark 13:34-37 – For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. [35] Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: [36] Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. [37] And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.


SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 232B

July 17, 2005

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 7

Age of the Prophecy Revisionists


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 vast majority of preachers today do not realize the major revisions to prophetic teachings that were brought in during the age of the great revisionists from 1760 to 1920. I do not accept the majority of the revisions that were made during this period.

I challenge anyone reading this to produce a pre-1740 book on prophecy, based on Biblical interpretation, that shows a diagram dividing the tribulation period into two sections, each one 3 and ½ years in length, with the first resurrection occurring at the beginning of the first 3 and ½ year period.

I would also like for someone to show me a published book before 1740, based on Bible interpretation, showing a diagram dividing the tribulation period into sections, each one 1260 days in length, with the first resurrection occurring at the beginning of the second period of 1260 days.

For that matter, I would also like to see a published book before 1740, based on Biblical interpretation, teaching that the rapture would occur at the middle or the beginning of the tribulation period.

It is possible that a pre-1740 published book does exist somewhere that shows the tribulation period divided into two sections, each one 3 and ½ years in length, but I have looked long and hard for it in many ancient, musty, religious book archives in the U.S. and abroad, and I have yet to find it.

Prophetic teachers of this generation have lived with the two division diagrams so long they think they came over on the Mayflower. But basically these diagrams were a product of the first of the week rapture position, which is such an ingrained part of prophecy teaching today. The so-called “first of the week” position, as well as what is known as the “middle of the week” position, cannot be found in existence in any published book about the Bible before 1740. In fact, it is the term “week,” appropriated by the revisionists, that is largely responsible for the mass exodus from orthodox prophetic teaching, which occurred in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The bulk of all prophetic teaching of today is based, directly or indirectly, on the revisionist teaching on Daniel 9:27, which, to a large extent, was accelerated with the initial appearance of the “first of the week” position in the early 19th century. If the teaching on Daniel 9:27 by the revisionists is incorrect, then much of today’s prophetic teaching is in error. I believe this is the case, and I have been labeled as a revisionist myself because of it. I am certain that the great Bible expositor B.H. Carrol, who continued to believe the pre-1760 teachings until his death, was correct in what he taught concerning Daniel’s 70th week. For you see, before 1827, the majority of orthodox prophetic teachers were convinced that the “he” in Daniel 9:27 was Jesus Christ, not the antichrist – THEY WERE RIGHT. We are not waiting for a “week of seven years” to be fulfilled! Why not? – Because Jesus has already fulfilled most of the first 3 and ½ years. We are facing a tribulation period of the last 3 and ½ years, preceded by a much briefer period of peace than many are expecting.

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.

According to the vast majority of popular Protestant prophecy teachers today, the first half of Daniel’s last “week” (the seventieth) will be 1260 days of peace following a peace treaty between Israel and the antichrist. This teaching came into existence at some point in time between 1740 and 1830 when, for the first time, preachers began to teach that the three “HE’s” in Daniel 9:27 represented the end time antichrist. Prior to that time the vast majority of preachers taught the three “HE’s” represented Jesus Christ, and a minority believed it had already been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, but I have yet to find anyone who said it was the end time antichrist, which is what most preachers are sure the “HE’s” represent today. In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes occupied the city of Jerusalem, entered the Holy of Holies, desecrated the sanctuary by offering unclean animals upon the altar of burnt-offerings, polluted the whole building by sprinkling it with water in which flesh had been boiled, dedicated the Temple itself to Jupiter Olympus, erected a statue of deity to Jupiter, and plundered the temple treasures. But Messiah of verse 26 was not cut off (crucified) before 168 BC, nor did Antiochus ever confirm a covenant with Israel. The three HE’s of Daniel do not represent Antiochus or the future antichrist – they represent Jesus.

This period of 1260 days of peace is adamantly taught as fact by many today. Please look at the following Scriptures and see if they present three and one-half prophetic years of peace. In every case they represent a 1260 day period that will be fulfilled during the last 1260 days of antichrist prior to the Second Advent of Christ.

Revelation 11:2,3 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot FORTY AND TWO MONTHS. [3] And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREESCORE, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREESCORE DAYS..

Revelation 12:14 – And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for A TIME, AND TIMES, AND HALF A TIME, from the face of the serpent.

Revelation 13:5 – 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..

Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until A TIME AND TIMES AND THE DIVIDING OF TIME.

Every time the capitalized phrases in these verses are used, they always refer to the last 1260 days, never to the first 1260 days. I contend this is because Christ fulfilled the first half of the week before he was cut-off (crucified). We will not have the advantage of three and on-half years of peace to reveal the antichrist to us.

One of the most interesting facets found in interpreting Daniel 9:27 is that it is not directly quoted by specific content in the New Testament. And, equally interesting, is the fact that any inferred reference taken from it is by indirect inference to a period of time that happens to match the one-half of one of Daniel’s weeks of 2520 days, or three and one-half years of 360 days in length. Even more interesting, in all cases it refers strictly to the last half of the 2520 day period by expressions like “42 months,” “1260 days,” and “time, times, and half a time.” I do not believe the first half of the seven year period is specifically detailed for those of us living in the last days because it has already been fulfilled by the Messiah the Prince, and only the later portion has yet to come to pass before Armageddon.

I implore you to take a look at what was taught by most orthodox prophetic teachers before 1827 about Daniel’s 70th Week. It is fully exposited in our Prophecy Archives on Updates 230B, 231, 231A, 231B, 232, and 232A. Also please scan Updates 73D, 74A, 76, 78A, 82A, 114A, 144A, 144F, and 219B for the pre-1760 Rapture Position.

I am not concerned about the position believers hold on the rapture unless it is taught to be as firm a doctrine as salvation by grace, but the recent massive publications of books that have come out of the “Left Behind” series is staggering, and some have come to believe it is one of the great doctrines of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I am only anxious that the massive numbers of believers on this planet realize the very distinct possibility that they may have to go through part of the tribulation period, which I believe is in the not too distant future. Many believers have never even heard any other position than the first of the week and, if they do hear there is, the one telling them usually tells them it is most certainly incorrect. The every day believer-on-the-street has no idea of what was believed before 1740, only what began to be taught after that, principally since 1827. I am not looking for a group of people to believe what I teach about the rapture and Daniel’s 70 weeks of year, I am simply trying to advise believers to be aware what many routinely teach today as fact was not taught before 1740. I am certainly not looking for followers – for McElmurryites – I am looking for “considerers.”

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 232C

July 20, 2005

THE 40 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-29 PROPHECY – Part 8

For many years I have challenged anyone to produce a book published as a commentary on the Bible prior to 1740 that taught or showed the following:

1. The “HE” in Daniel 9:27 as representing the future antichrist.

2. The “rapture” occurring at, or before, the “first of the week.”

3. The “rapture” occurring in the “middle” of the week.

4. A “last of the week” diagram divided into two 1260 sections.

I am not saying that 1 to 4 do not exist. I am saying I have searched diligently for many years, and have never been able to find such books or publications before 1740. So what will I do if someone ever answers the challenge and does present such a legitimate published document?

I will simply ask this question – Why is this book the only one floating in the midst of a sea of publications that teach otherwise? One of the strongest natural instincts in the human nature we brought out of our mother’s womb is “ACCEPTANCE.” And anyone who is blind to the effect that it has on their way of thinking in a society based on religious, social, and group ACCEPTANCE, is indeed blind to what could be the greatest motivation factor in what they teach, and why they teach it. I was made ACCEPTABLE to God by grace through faith some 61 years ago, and now I persuade men to be well pleasing (ACCEPTABLE) to him rather than to men. To be ACCEPTABLE (well pleasing) to God does not always mesh with being ACCEPTABLE (well pleasing) to man.

Ephesians 1:6 – To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us ACCEPTED in the beloved.

II Corinthians 5:9-11 – Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be ACCEPTED of him. [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [11] Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

There are two different inspired words translated as “accepted” in these two Scriptures. The one in II Corinthians means “well pleasing.”

Colossians 3:23-25 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; [24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. [25] But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

THE PROPHESIED DESOLATIONS OF JERUSALEM!

What Did the Jews Know from Daniel 9:24-27?

Daniel 9:1,2 – In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; [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.

They knew that the 70 weeks of years (7 X 70 = 490), during which the desolations of Jerusalem would occur, were to begin as stated in Daniel 9:25.

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.

The 490 years were to begin when the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued, which some thought was the Artaxerxes Longimanus commandment issued in 457 BC.

And they knew it would be 483 years when Messiah the Prince arrived to fulfilled the last 7 years (7 + 62 = 69 weeks of years = 69 X 7 = 483 years).

However, after completing the 484th, 485th, and 486th years, he was cut off (crucified) by the Jews between the 486th and 487th years, that is, in the “midst” of the seven year period, between the third and fourth years. The word AFTER in 9:26 is a continuous running narration of 9:25 and, as such, is understood to contain the seven weeks without repeating them, hence the Messiah was to be cut off AFTER the 69th year DURING the 70th week of years.

Daniel 9:26 – 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.

According to the preponderance of the evidence, Jesus was born in 4 BC, and came as the Messiah the Prince to be baptized by John in 27 AD at age 30, which was the age a man could be a priest in the line of Aaron, and it was this event that marked the beginning of the 484th year since the 457 BC commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem had been issued. Jesus began the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks when he was baptized. He completed more than three years of it, but less than three and one half years, probably leaving some 1335 days to be completed before the final desolations of Jerusalem were completed.

Daniel 12:12 – Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

The completion of the 1335 days marks “the end of the days” in Daniel’s 490 year prophecy, and Daniel will stand on this earth in his resurrected glorified body at that time.

Daniel 12:13 – But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

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.

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.

All three of the “HE’s” are the Messiah the Prince, who was cut off (crucified) between the 486th and 487th year of Daniel’s 490 year prophecy.

FIRST DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM (SPIRITUAL)

The first desolation of Jerusalem occurred when the Messiah the Prince declared it to be spiritually desolate just before he was cut off from Israel by crucifixion.

Matthew 23:37-39 – 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! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. [39] For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

SECOND DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM (PHYSICAL)

The second desolation of Jerusalem, which followed the rejection of the Messiah the Prince, occurred in 70 AD when Titus destroyed the Temple and the City.

Luke 21:24 – 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.

THIRD DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM (PHYSICAL)

The third desolation of Jerusalem occurred in 135 AD when Hadrian finished the desolation of Jerusalem and gave it the name of a Roman city.

FOURTH DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM (PHYSICAL)

The last desolation of Jerusalem will occur when the antichrist overruns it, sits on the temple mount, even “showing himself that he is God.”

Daniel 11:41 – He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

Daniel 11:45 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

II Thessalonians 2:4 – Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Zechariah 14:1,2 – Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. [2] For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

The attack of antichrist will mark the beginning of the last three and one half unfulfilled years of Daniel’s 490 years, and the 490 years will be completed at the Second Advent of the Messiah the Prince.

Luke 21:25-28 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I Peter 1:18-21 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM (SPIRITUAL & PHYSICAL)

Isaiah 62:1-12 – For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. [2] And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. [3] Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. [4] Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. [5] For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. [6] I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, [7] And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. [8] The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: [9] But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness. [10] Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highways; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. [11] Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. [12] And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Isaiah 12:1-6 – And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. [2] Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. [3] Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. [4] And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. [5] Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. [6] Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.


PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 233

July 22, 2005

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL’S 9:24-27 PROPHECY – Part 9

The Summary to Parts 1 through 8


This is the final issue of a nine part series and, since I consider this to be an important subject, it is a long one. In the many years I have studied this subject, I have found it to be one of the most difficult prophecies I can be precisely accurate in expositing, and yet it is one of the easiest to interpret within prescribed limits. And so, after considering the many different ways of counting the time from “the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince” by many different men, which you have read in the previous eight updates, I freely admit there are only two things of which I am certain. After all the glitter and calculations have been considered, only these two conclusions can I consider to be valid without question, and I will state them later in this final Update of the series.

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 reasons one cannot be exactingly precise are numerous. The errors made in calendar adjustments between Oriental and Western calendars based on the movements of different astronomical movements of two different heavenly bodies, the actual birth date of Christ appearing to be 4 BC, assorted other shifts in time keeping by the ancients, and whether the years listed are supposed to be 360 or 365 and ¼ days, have combined to make it impossible to take an oath any one of the many sets of calculations is absolutely accurate. However, it is a situation that can be narrowed down to one of two proclamations issued to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, and a sufficiently accurate outcome by applying 360 day prophetic years to one, while applying 365 and ¼ days to the other proclamation, which have led me to say that one or the other must be correct. Since I have described the calculations by B.H. Carroll and others, as applied to the third proclamation, which were based on 365 and ¼ days, please allow me to quote directly from a book by John Urquhart, who bases his calculations on proclamation number four, and uses 360 day prophetic years. The following quote is taken directly from “The Wonders of Prophecy,” by John Urquhart, Charles C. Cook, Fifth Edition.


BEGIN QUOTE FROM “THE WONDERS OF PROPHECY”

“That third edict has very generally been regarded as the decree ‘to restore and to build Jerusalem’ – a view in which I formerly concurred. But a closer examination of the terms of the edict does not support that conclusion. Those terms are most explicit. Ezra is empowered to convey the treasure contributed by the king and his counselors, from Babylon to Jerusalem, to receive other voluntary offerings, to expend the funds, and to appoint magistrates and judges. But there is no mention whatever of building and restoring Jerusalem; and, if that task had been assigned to Ezra, it would be hard indeed to explain why, in an edict fully transcribed and elaborately minute in regard to everything else, no reference whatever is made to that important undertaking. When we turn to the fourth degree, however, we meet for the first time, language which is in significant accord with the description of “the commandment spoken of by Daniel. Nehemiah tells us that, when Artaxerxes asked ‘For what dost thou make request,’ he replied: ‘If it please the king, and if thy servant hath found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldst send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it.” He also begged a letter to ‘Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me according to the good hand of my God upon me.’ Here we have in explicit terms an authorization to Ezra to build the city of his fathers’ sepulchers; and the fourth decree is consequently ‘the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.’

To apply these results, we have first of all to inquire what those 483 years are. Are they years in every respect like the years of our own calendar? There are clear indications in Scripture that the Hebrew month, like that of Babylonia and of Egypt, consisted of 30 days. The year consequently contained 360 days; multiplying those 483 years by 360 so as to find the entire number of days, we divide by 365.25 and so change them into calendar years. The result of this rough and ready, but sufficiently accurate, method is that 483 prophetic years are found to be equivalent to 476 years of our ordinary chronology of today.

We have to ask next to what special point in the past we have to stretch it onward into the future. The narrative in Nehemiah furnishes a perfectly clear reply. We are told that the concession was made ‘in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the King.’ He began his reign in the year 465 B.C. He was now in the twentieth year of his reign: in other words 19 years of his reign were completed and the 20th year was in progress. Deducting these 19 years from 465, we are brought to 446 B.C. – the year in which the edict was issued ‘to restore and to build Jerusalem.’

‘A word or two will now complete our demonstration. Applying the 476 years of the prediction to this point (446 years before the birth of our Lord) we find that they bring us down to that event and leave 30 years over. That is the year 30 A.D. is specified as that of the Savior’s cutting off in his crucifixion. While everyone will feel how amazing that the year and the very month – the month Nisan – of our Lord’s death should have been fixed centuries beforehand, some may imagine that there is, nevertheless, a slight inaccuracy. We are told (Luke 3:23) that Jesus entered upon this ministry when he was about 30 years of age. The year 30 A.D. would, therefore be the year when his ministry began, and not the year of his crucifixion. But the Scripture is absolutely accurate. When the division between the time B.C. and the time A.D. was made, the year 1 A.D., was really the year 5 A.D.; and the year 10 the year 14 A.D.; and the year 30 the year 34 A.D. And thus the year 30 A.D. in our chronology was really the year of our Lord’s death. The chronology was in error, but there was no error in the Scripture; and that sacrifice, which will be remembered and celebrated throughout eternity, was offered at the appointed time.”

END OF QUOTE FROM “WONDERS OF PROPHECY”

What follows is my summary of Parts 1 through 8 of the 70 weeks – In the Agency there were times when reams of information, collected from all over the Soviet Union, would be piled on the desk of an analyst, day after day, week after week, perhaps month after month, and from it all he or she was expected to present conclusions as to how it did, or did not, or might, or could, present a scenario that would of future benefit in confrontations with forces and peoples of other nations. In all analysis work there are times when one feels completely helpless because the evidence usually cannot be molded into a concrete pattern of certainty. I am thankful for my training as an analyst because, at times, there are things you can know FOR SURE, others of which you are reasonably certain, some that are fifty-fifty, a high percentage of those in the “definite maybe” category, and some that leave you setting all alone not having the foggiest idea what it all means, if anything.

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.

So let me present to you two things that I know FOR SURE, and these two are quite enough to make my point, because more than 95 percent of the world’s prophetic teachers today are in complete disagreement with them. Ironically, all of the world’s prophetic teachers before 1740 did agree with them, and a majority of them considered then to be true into the beginning of the twentieth century. The beginning of the Great Evangelical Age in 1740, the beginning of the popularization of a pre-tribulation theory in 1827 by John Darby, and the publishing of the Scofield Bible in 1909 pushed the following two teachings into antiquity by the middle of the twentieth century. And the very popular twentieth century book, “The Late Great Planet Earth,” which was followed by the “Left Behind” series of publications during the present century, has almost eliminated the possibility of anyone ever hearing these two conclusions or even knowing they once existed. But I AM SURE the following TWO conclusions are correct.

(1) The three HE’s in Daniel 9:27 are NOT a future antichrist.

(2) There are NOT 7 years of Daniel’s 70TH week waiting to be fulfilled.

They are quite enough because so many other prophetic teachings are based on them being a lie. I would say that more than 95 percent of the prophetic teachers today are teaching that that Daniel 9:27 represents the antichrist, and that we are waiting for the entire last week of seven years to be fulfilled. In the previous eight updates I have listed a bevy of great Bible preachers who believed the two things listed above. I am acutely aware that what I have presented has, and will continue to cause a wide variety of emotions among those who have taught, and do teach, that these two things are not true. But I ask those who have the most violent reaction – did you know what was taught before the teaching of Daniel 9:27 arose that has dominated the last 100 years of prophetic teaching – Did you know it before you starting teaching what you teach today? I had been exposed to the teaching of it as a youth in the forties by old Missionary Baptist preachers, but I did not know where it came from, or the history of it, until I studied it for myself. Have you ever studied it for yourself? Please don’t attack the personal integrity of all those men of God prior to 1740, as well as the majority who held it into the early twentieth century, to prove your position. I attempt not to attack the personal integrity of any man’s character to prove any case, interpretation, or point I am attempting to draw from the Scriptures, and diligently try to make my case on what I believe the Bible teaches. I spend a great deal more time asking myself why I teach it, what my real motive is in presenting it, and invariably I find myself asking myself – are you presenting it to please men or God, are you teaching what God wants them to hear or what they want to hear? I spend so much time in judging my own motives in teaching something that it does not leave me with much time to think about the motives of others. However, I do not think I am out of line or out of God’s will to ask others to do the same. I concentrate on following Jesus as he leads me along the path he directs me to follow, which doesn’t leave me much time to think about what he has chosen for other men to do in his fields of labor.

John 21:21,22 – Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? [22] Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

One really does not have to go back before 1740 to find the teaching that the HE’s in Daniel 9:27 represent Christ. Here are just a few of many authors published after 1827 who were not swayed by the new teaching of the HE’s representing a future antichrist.

1. The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary on Daniel by Robinson, Section XXXVI, “The Last Week and It’s Employment.”

2. The Layman’s Commentary on Daniel by Charles John Elliott. D.D.

3. An Interpretation of the English Bible by B.H. Carroll.

4. Halley’s 1927 Bible Commentary by Henry H. Halley

5. The Prophecy of Daniel by Edward J. Young, 1949

6. Commentary on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown

7. Great Prophecies of the Bible by Ralph Edward Woodrow, 1971

8. The Book of Daniel by Curtis Mitchell, 1968

9. The Wonders of Prophecy by John Urquhart           

10. The Seer of Babylon by Clarence H. Hewitt, 1948

11. The Pulpit Commentary, Volume 29, 1896

Have you ever gone back and checked to see what was taught before 1740? Did God choose not to reveal the truth about Daniel 9:27 until after 1740? Did he choose the Great Evangelical Movement as the time to reveal the truth about Daniel 9:27? Did he wait to popularize the truth of the Pre-Trib Rapture by John Darby in 1827? Did he wait to spread the Pre-Trib position across the country and world by Scofield in 1909? Certainly, the answer to all these questions is an individual matter between you and God. I have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for everything I have taught, so I persuade men of what I believe about the Second Coming of His Son. I would be a spiritual fool to do otherwise.

II Corinthians 5:10,11 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [11] Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Colossians 3:23-25 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; [24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. [25] But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

I do not question your motives in what you teach or why you teach it, that is a very personal matter between you and God, and something you alone are capable of doing. I only know it is something God wants all of his children to do. I hope my motive for presenting this series is made manifest in your consciences.


         

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 233A

THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL & THE RAPTURE POSITIONS!

Part 10

July 24, 2005

The Movement and Men behind Today’s Rapture Teachings!

What do you believe about the rapture and the tribulation period?


Today, many of the believers on this earth have a fixed set of beliefs on the subject, but have never examined the movement or the men who brought in what they believe.  I hope that, whatever you believe about the rapture, you will check out what I am presenting in this Update.

1. Try and find any publication commenting on the Bible before 1740 that taught the HE’s in Daniel 9:27 were the future antichrist, which more than 95 percent of believers are taught it represents today?

2. Try and find any publication commenting on the Bible before 1740 that taught a pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation rapture of the saved.

3. Try and find any publication before 1740 that divides Daniel’s 70th week of seven years into two 1260 day periods.

What is taught in more than 95 percent of believer’s circles today came into being after 1740.  Is it right?  That’s your call!  But you should be aware of when and where, and who, brought in what most believe today concerning these teachings.  For a thorough and comprehensive outline of the who, what, why, when, and why these positions are taught as fact by the vast majority, please consult Archive Prophecy Updates 230B, 231, 231A, 231B, 232, 231A, 232B, 232C, and 233.  What follows is an outline of a movement and the men who taught prophecy after it began.

The Great Evangelical Movement began in the 1730’s, and John Wesley was the first great man associated with it when he was converted in 1738, coming out of the Church of England to become a part of the movement.  You will not find the three prophecy teachings listed after paragraph one being taught before 1740.  So how did these three things come to be today’s popular positions on the rapture and the antichrist?

The first man who lived during this movement who introduced a new teaching on the rapture was Morgan Edwards, who wrote an essay on it between 1742 and 1744, but said he taught it as early as 1740.  Edwards pastored in four churches after that in Ireland, England, and America before the book was finally published in 1788.  The book was published in 1788 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  In reality, Morgan’s book does not teach the rapture occurring before a seven year period made up of the seven years of Daniel’s 70th week, but rather a rapture that occurs 1260 days before Christ’s Second Advent, which really makes Morgan Edwards someone who would be labeled a “Mid-Tribber” today.  So, the Evangelical Movement began in the 1730’s and he was the first man who began what led to the popular rapture teachings of today.  At the time Edwards wrote his book there was no teaching that the antichrist was the “HE” who would come and fulfill the covenant of the last week of Daniel 9:27.  But there was a teaching that Christ had already fulfilled the first half the 70th week, which would have opened the door for a teaching the antichrist could come to close out the last half of the week, only to be destroyed by the Second Advent of Christ.  This could explain why Edwards did not have his rapture occurring seven years before the Second Advent, but rather 1260 days before it.  He placed the rapture 1260 days before the Millennial Reign, not 2520 days, as in the Pre-Trib position, which came later.  Actually, the 1788 published book was more of an essay published in “book” format from what Edwards had written between 1942 and 1944.  It is quite possible he simply used Revelation 12:6 as the 1260 days that was to follow his rapture.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

I knew the Pre-Trib Rapture did not originate with John Darby or with Margaret McDonald, because I found traces of it among some of the “Brethren” in Ireland before 1827, so I waited until I could discover the origin of the traces.  I found the origin in Morgan Edwards, who was ordained to the ministry in Cork, Ireland on June 1, 1757.  Darby, McDonald, and Edwards all had their influence during the time of the Great Evangelical Movement that began in the 1730’s and thereafter swept its religious fever across the world.  The religious zeal of the movement today is still going strong in organizations led by many strong leaders pumping huge financial assets into mass media activity.  Millions of individual contributors send their offerings to provide funding for the leader and the organization he or she heads.   So, for all these reasons, I am going to give a brief history of Morgan Edwards.

The clergyman, Morgan Edwards., was born May 9, 1722 in Trevethin parish, Wales.  He was educated at Bristol College in England from 1742 to 1744 where he wrote the essay of his views on prophecy in his eschatology class, which was later published in Philadelphia in 1788 under a long title: “Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following titles – Millennium, Last Novelities.”  He was ordained to the ministry in Cork, Ireland on June 1, June 1757.  He came to America in 1761 and became pastor of a Baptist church in Philadelphia.  Morgan resigned from the church in 1770, and never pastored thereafter, but continued to travel widely as an evangelist and lecturer.  He is credited as being the founder of Rhode Island College, which is known today as Brown University.  He was active in obtaining funds for the permanent support of the institution, and was one of its fellows from 1764 until 1789.  He died in Pencador, Delaware in 1795.  Does published evidence exist that the Pre-Trib rapture position was taught before 1740?  Could be!  And I will keep looking for such publications.  However, at this point, all evidence I have found indicates it came out of the Evangelical Movement that began in the 1730s, and that Morgan Edwards, who would be labeled as a “Mid-Tribber today”, was the father of it.

Morgan Edward’s new teaching did not initially gain acceptance when he began to teach it in 1740, but some 87 years later, and some 39 years after his essay was published in 1788 in America, and as the “Brethren” movement grew in the United Kingdom, John Darby began the process of popularizing a modified version of it across England in 1827.  His greatest barrier to break through was history, because he knew it had not been taught before 1740.  Darby wrote into the doctrinal platform of the “Brethren” one innovation which still marks the “first of the week” distinctive today – a resistance against the lack of evidence it was taught before 1740.  In his book, “Prophecy and the Church,” Allis quotes Darby as having said: “I do not want history to tell me Nineveh or Babylon or Jerusalem is in the hands of the Gentiles.  I do not admit history to be, in any sense, necessary to the understanding of prophecy.” Please read the last paragraph in this Prophecy Update for a fuller explanation as to why Darby would naturally have disliked what was historically taught before “The Great Evangelical Movement.”

The man, who brought what is known today as  the Pre-Trib rapture to the forefront of nineteenth century prophetic teaching, was John Darby of England who, in 1827, led the initial period of its popularity rise in England and then in the United States.  Both Morgan and Darby lived and taught in the first 100 years of the Great Evangelical Movement.  This movement swept into America in the nineteenth century and began to change the prophetic teachings that came over with the settlers of the eighteenth century.  It was a time of movements and men, and the local churches were caught up in its fever and prophetic teachings.  Today we see the local churches relegated to obscurity – it is a time of great men and great movements on the mass media networks of the world – and they are offering their prophetic teachings on the great media. –  Great men and great organizations and great ministries and great results, but the things they teach about the rapture and Daniel 9:27 were not taught before 1740, as far as I have found in my research.  Is what they teach on prophecy correct?  It is your call!  And every person should make up their own mind.  But very few ever study it out for themselves.  They approach the Scriptures with pre-conceived ideas from these great evangelical men and mold the Scripture into what they were taught by them, rather than letting their own study of the Scriptures mold what they believe.  This generation is a generation led by great religious organizations and the great religious men who lead them. The age of the teachings of the first local churches is vanishing away.  We have become individual followers of the teachings of individual men and women on the mass religious media, who teach and preach to what they believe to be a great universal, invisible church made up of all believers.

II Timothy 4:1-4 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.   

Now, just suppose that I find a published document, dated prior to 1740 that teaches a Pre-Trib position existed before 1740.  Am I supposed to then cast out all the thousands of the teachings of those who lived from the time of the completion of the New Testament  until 1740, and put all my faith in that one lone teaching of a Pre-Trib position, that none of them ever heard of, or even thought of?  Again, the call is yours!  But I implore you to at least consider what you have read, and to be prepared in case the Pre-Trib rapture position is not correct.  Jesus is coming – that is certain!  When he is coming in regard to the tribulation period is not!  So, I just get up every day hoping it will be the day of his coming.  I have been advised by some I cannot do that if I am not a Pre-Tribber.  Why not?  I may not be correct about when I believe the rapture will occur in reference to the tribulation period.  Is it not also possible you may not be correct in the position you hold?  So, until the issue is finally settled by Jesus, why don’t we all teach what we believe about it, and do what Jesus said to do regarding his coming.

Mark 13:35-37 – Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: [36] Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. [37] And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

John Wesley, Morgan Edwards, and John Darby were three of the great men who lived during the first 100 years of what has come to be called The Great Evangelical Movement.  The first trickling out of the local churches in the United Kingdom began in the late 1730’s, and slowly increased thereafter.  After 1827 the trickling became a great flood, with many pulling out of the local churches in England and across Europe into movements led by men.  These movements accelerated the growth of the concept of a universal church made up of all believers.  The great Evangelical Movement swept across the United States after 1827 and literally engulfed it after the publication of Scofield’s Bible in 1909.  The prophecy teachings on the first of the week rapture, brought in by the Evangelical Movement, began to penetrate into local churches around the world quite noticeably after 1850, and within 100 years it virtually became a doctrinal position in many local churches, and some began to consider those who believed otherwise to be heretics.  People did not have to come out of a local church into some movement to hear it.  It had become the most popular teaching in the local churches by 1912.  In fact many of the present local denominational and non-denominational churches came into existence during the Great Evangelical Movement, being organized by men who came out of this movement that began in the 1730’s.

One of the great men of the Great Evangelical Age, which is in full swing today, was Dr. Scofield, whose Bible with his footnotes was published in 1909 and became the most widely read in the world.  It has influenced more men and women than any other Bible (with its own commentary) than can be realized this side of heaven.  What and who influenced what you believe, and have you ever checked out what you believe about the rapture from a historical standpoint?  The call as to what you believe is yours, not mine, nor any other man.  But I most certainly do try to persuade men, and am acutely aware that I will stand before Jesus to give account of it.  And I do indeed hope that my reason for doing this is made manifest to you.

II Corinthians 5:10,11 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [11] Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Since I have mentioned Dr. Scofield in many of my Archive Prophecy Updates, I should at least give you a brief history of the man.  Cyrus Ingersoll Scofield (1843 to 1921) was ordained in Dallas, Texas, October 1883, where he began his ministry as Pastor of the First Congregational Church.  He produced the Scofield Reference Bible and the Scofield Bible Correspondence Course.  His Reference Bible was completed in 1907 and published in 1909.  He is one of the “Christian Hero Trading Cards” (#2311) by Ed Reese.

Since I have made several references to John Nelson Darby in previous Updates, it would also be appropriate to include some information about his life.  I have chosen to take this extract from the account given by William E. Cox, which follows:

BEGIN EXTRACT OF WILLIAM E. COX ACCOUNT

It is impossible to understand fully the dispensational view of eschatology apart from some history of its origin and main spokesmen. Biographers of John Darby refer to him as the father of modern dispensationalism.   

Around 1825 many dissenting groups were beginning to pull away from the established churches in different parts of Europe. The three paramount centers seem to have been Dublin, Ireland, and Plymouth and Bristol in England. The leaders of this movement recognized the pen as being "mightier than the sword," and turned out an abundance of literature publicizing their new beliefs. Darby referred to the church as "the Brethren." The headquarters for the printing of the Brethren was in Plymouth. Thus, it followed naturally for this new denomination to be called Plymouth Brethren, and the name stuck.

 Darby was not the founder of the Brethren movement, although he became its dominant leader and shaped its history. Even though there were many great names associated with the movement, they all were dwarfed, and his name continues in the minds of friend and foe alike. By 1830 he was in complete control of the movement and definitely shaped its dispensational doctrines. That his leadership was unshakable is evident from the fact that, although he made many bitter enemies among the founders of the movement, no man was able to unseat him. Many indeed tried, but themselves were forced either to buckle to Darby or leave the group.

 The "father of modern dispensationalism" was born John Nelson Darby in Ireland, in the year 1800, and died in 1882. He was an honor student in Westminster and Trinity College, where he studied law. He was a successful lawyer until the age of twenty-seven, at which time he gave up his law practice to become a curate in the Church of England. He followed this profession until the time he joined the Brethren movement about 1827.

 Darby's biographers say he was eccentric, homely, crippled, and had a deformed face, yet that he possessed a magnetic personality and a keen organizing ability. The man was indefatigable, having been known to travel, it is said, for days while living on acorns. He came from a family background of education, culture, and social standing. He apparently was blessed with a keen mind. William Blair Neatby, who was critical of the movement headed by Darby, described him (A History of the Plymouth Brethren, p. 192) as follows:

‘No doubt Darby had many perfectly intelligible titles to success.  His attainments were great and varied, apart from his classic and theological scholarship.  He could write and speak in several modern languages, and translated the whole Bible into French and German.’

While convalescing from injuries received when his horse threw him, Darby was convinced of the authority of Scripture and the importance of prophetic teachings. He was especially impressed by the thirty-second chapter of Isaiah, which he referred to as describing "a state of things in no way established as yet."

 In spite of his belief in the authority of the Scriptures, Darby retained some of his old Anglican beliefs. For example, Neatby says of him (ibid., p. 63): "...Darby alone among the earlier Brethren remained a pedobaptist."

 Darby wrote into the doctrinal platform of the Brethren one innovation which still marks the dispensational school today. We refer to his disregard of and actual contempt for history. In his book, Prophecy and the Church, p. 26, Allis quotes Darby as having said:

‘I do not want history to tell me Nineveh or Babylon is ruined or Jerusalem is in the hands of the Gentiles.  I do not admit history to be, in any sense, necessary to the understanding of prophecy.’ 

The Plymouth Brethren, when first organized, had two main distinctives: (1) theirs was an ecumenical movement, and (2) they sought to do away with an ordained clergy and anything which even resembled organization within the local church. They were opposed to music or any type of ritual in the church service. Darby's watchword, according to his biographers, was "the union of the children of God." The Brethren frowned on ordination as constituting a man-made ministry, and the very word "Brethren" was an attempt to get away from denominationalism.

While the subject of the Lord's second coming soon came to dominate the dispensational school, it scarcely entered into their thinking at the very first. Their two main starting ecumenicity, and looseness of organization-may be seen from the following quotations.

‘We should come together in all simplicity as disciples, not waiting on any pulpit or ministry, but trusting that the Lord would edify us together, by ministering as He pleased, and saw good from the midst of ourselves (Thomas S. Veitch, ‘The Brethren Movement’).’

‘That ordination of any kind to preach the Gospel is no requirement of Scripture (Neatby).’ 

Following his break with the Church of England and his joining the Brethren movement, Darby, along with the rest of the Brethren, claimed to have been given many "rediscovered truths." These alleged truths supposedly had been taught by the apostles, then lost sight of. Even the great Reformers had not known of these doctrines. These "rediscovered truths" were, in fact, the direct opposite of all historic Christian teachings proclaimed by the Reformers and extant commentaries. Notice was given to the world at large that everyone should look on all previous post-apostolic teachings as false, and that only the "rediscovered truths" of the Brethren should be embraced.’

END EXTRACT FROM WILLIAM E. COX ACCOUNT

I had been exposed to what I now believe about Daniel’s 70 weeks of years and the rapture as a young man.  I lived in England from 1958 to 1961, which is the land of ancient books commenting about prophecy in countless old book stores and, if they have not diminished in number at the libraries of Oxford and Cambridge, they have thousands of them.  After my retirement from the USAF Branch of the National Security Agency, I sat under teachers in the early seventies that I greatly admire.   I could tell that two of them, through comments they casually made, knew about the pre-1740 teachings.  While in Seminary I never argued with anything that was taught from entrance to graduation.  I simply sat still and soaked in as much as I could.  I was there to learn, and not to argue or teach – they were the teachers and I was the “teachee.”  I still love and respect them all, both dead and living, and am hopeful I cause them no grief by what I teach about Daniel’s 70 Weeks and the rapture.  I suspect that two of them held positions at least similar to what I believe on the two aforementioned subjects, but may never know this side of heaven if that is true.

I kept waiting for some well-known respected man in our work to issue something about the pre-1740 teachings on the two subjects I have been addressing.  I certainly did not want to be the Long Ranger.  I am no different from other men – I want to be accepted and loved by the rest of my brethren, and I knew I would be rejected and spurned by many of them if I presented what you have just read in this Update.  So I waited, and waited, and waited, and then waited some more.  All this time the Lord kept bothering me about not telling the brethren what I believed, but I knew what would happen if I did, and simply fought him off, with a promise of doing it in the future.  I never lied about what I believed, I just refrained from teaching anything about the first three and one half years of peace, and only talked about what the antichrist would do during the last three and one years.  I would run my laser pointer up and down across the horizontal length of Clarence Larkin’s two box diagrams, saying, “now that’s where the rapture will occur,” which usually got a laugh.  In my books I had the rapture occurring after the opening of the sixth seal, because I really did not know when the seventh trumpet would actually sound in the juxtaposition of the seals and vials.  At that time I was not satisfied in the way I had the seals, the trumpets, and the vials aligned and overlapped.  I was never satisfied with parts of the diagrams I put in my second book, but did the best I could in making them as compatible as possible in my uncertainty of the seal, trumpet, and vial alignment.  I did not come to what I believe to be the proper alignment until about 1992.  You will find what I came to believe in Archive Prophecy Update 146E in diagrammatic format.  Then, I passed 70 years of age in 2002, and my conscience, in not revealing what I believed, was eaten down to the quick.  I realized at that point I was going to have to give up and do it, because I knew I would have to face Christ at his judgment seat, and I was aware at age 70 my end was drawing very near.  Well, now my conscience is clear with the Lord, and I hope my reason for issuing this 10 Part Series is also clear in your consciences.

II Corinthians 5:11 – Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Tom McElmurry, Pastor, Dardanelle, Arkansas