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Special Prophecy Update Number 147D
November 25, 2003
THE THREE “HE’S” IN DANIEL 9:27
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.
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 I have yet to find anyone teaching what is taught today prior to 1742. 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. The idea that the “he’s” were the antichrist did not appear in any of their writings. Among the best known writers of the first four centuries, who believed the “he’s” were Jesus Christ 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. I could find no writer among them that identified the “he’s” as referring to 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 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 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. And, once again, I could find no writings in this period that stated the “he’s” were the antichrist.
From the Post Reformation period to 1742, I could not find a writer that identified the three “he’s” as being the antichrist. Among American expositors who identified the “he’s” as being Christ 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, were Bishop William Winston, William Hales, Louis Gaussen, Archibald Mason, and Edward Bukersteth.
So, the question I have been forced to address is a very simple one. Were they all wrong up to 1742? 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 still 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 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.” Which position is correct? I could care less personally, because I am prepared for either one to be correct. How is that possible? 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.  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:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
I am qualified to be his servant because I was saved by grace through faith so I could walk unto good works!
Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I am supposed to serve him in good works in his house, in one of his local churches that teaches his truths.
I Timothy 3:14,15 – These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
I am supposed to serve him in a church that teaches the truth he taught the first eleven disciples, and to whom he delivered the authority to do so just before his ascension.
Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The Lord has assigned me a work to do in a local church at Dardanelle, Arkansas. I am the pastor of that church by his appointment and their accepting it. I feed it and do the work of an evangelist.
I Peter 5:1-4 – The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
II Timothy 4:3-5 – 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;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
So, if I am doing what I am supposed to do faithfully in one of Christ’s local churches when he does come, I do not have to be concerned about the time of his coming. I may be killed in a car crash today or die in my sleep at the crack of dawn tomorrow, which are both just a form of early rapture. Do the following daily, and you won’t have to be concerned about the “he’s” in Daniel 9:27, or when the rapture is going to produce the “change.”
I Corinthians 15:51,58 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Hebrews 10:21-25 – And having an high priest over the house of God;  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
II Peter 1:4-8 – Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.