Discerning if We Have Entered Daniel's 70th Week
What is Daniel's 70th Week?
The 70th Week, the final week of years, is the last part of a prophecy given to the prophet Daniel during the reign of Darius, king of Persia (See Daniel 9). It remains to be fulfilled. Its fulfillment will precede the return of the Messiah, aka. the Second Coming of Christ.
After the Persians conquered the Babylonian Empire, Cyrus, an earlier Persian king, issued a decree allowing the Israelites to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple. The prior temple, Solomon's temple, was destroyed when the Babylonians conquered Israel. Just before its destruction, Jeremiah gave a prophecy that the Israelites would be in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. It was at the close of this period of exile, when Darius was king of Persia, that Daniel prayed concerning the prophecy and asked about the restoration of the sanctuary. Daniel received an answer to his prayer and it addressed the complete restoration of the sanctuary. The angel Gabriel delivered the answer in the form of a new prophecy called the 70 Weeks of Years. Each week is 7 years, so in this context a day represents a year. The first 69 weeks were fulfilled in the past, from the time Artaxerxes, second king after Darius, issued a commission to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem until the time that the Messiah, Jesus, was killed. (For more detail of the past fulfillment see the book: Don't Worry... Be Faithful.)
Why is the 70th Week Yet to be Fulfilled?
The 70th Week is reserved for the end time. This can be seen in at least two ways:
1. The total prophecy can not be complete until the Second Coming, for that will be the time of the end of sin and the complete restoration of the sanctuary, the anointing of the most holy.
Dan 9:24 - Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.
2. There is a separation between the 69th and 70th weeks during which continues the war between the two princes (KJV), i.e. Jesus and Satan.
Dan 9:26 - ... and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; ... and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
The Details of the 70th Week
The prophecy of the 70th Week is found in Daniel 9:27 and amplified in 12:11-12. Events are described at the start, midpoint and end of this 7 year time period. They are represented graphically as follows:
Notice that some events continue after the end of the 70th Week, so the Second Coming does not occur until the "Blessed Day". The start of the 70th Week begins with a strong covenant, an agreement, involving many people or nations. This agreement must involve Israel because the prophecy was directed to Daniel's people and his holy city. The implication is that this will involve Israel's right to exist and the status of Jerusalem.
An extended discussion of the events of the midpoint can be found at Sacrifice & Oblation in Prophecy. To be brief, we shall say it is the time when a world government and religion will be imposed on everyone. This is the time when all will face the choice of accepting the mark of the beast and supporting that system. It is also the time the two witnesses will appear and when the seven trumpets of Revelation will be blown.
The end of Daniel's 70th Week brings the final Day of Atonement and the end of probation. The window of opportunity will have closed for getting ready to pass through the dimensional doorway that will be opened. Only those who believe, who let God's love reside in their heart, will be able to pass through the doorway, in a rapture of love.
The end of the 70th Week is also the time that the power of the Antichrist will be destroyed. This is followed by the period of wrath, the final cleansing and purification of the planet.
When Will the 70th Week Occur?
How does one determine the start of the 70th Week? In my opinion, there is no way of taking any passage in the Bible and determining X number of years to count from an event in the distant past up to the Second coming. The closest one comes is the concept of the Day of the Lord, which points to the end of this millennium, as do other calendars. Beyond that, the exact time can not be known because it depends on the free will of mankind and how history plays out. Even Jesus couldn't name the day or hour at his time, but he did give us the signs to watch. One of them is Daniel's 70th Week. (See: The Signs Jesus Instructed Us to Watch.)
When the Earth is ready for the return of the Messiah, Heaven will know this ahead of time. In general, the future remains a probability but there does come a point ahead of time, when an event becomes a virtual certainty. For the Second Coming, that point will come at least 7 years prior to it and by the nature of its readiness cause the triggering, the start of the 70th Week.
The only way for us to know if we have entered the 70th Week, is to see an event that appears to fulfill its start, followed 3½ years later by the events of the midpoint. If things happen on schedule, then we know where we are in the prophetic timeline. The events of the midpoint are more clearly defined than the event at the start. The midpoint includes the worldwide warning by God's angels and the Holy Spirit, followed by the system of Babylon, the world government that is also a religion. Membership comes with a mark on the hand or head. Once the midpoint is confirmed, one knows that the Antichrist will reign for 3½ years and then the apostate and desolating religion of Babylon will be destroyed.
The Potential for Fulfillment in Our Time
So far this decade, as of 6/21/97, there have been three events which have the possibility of being the fulfillment of the start of Daniel's 70th Week. They are:
1. The agreement to begin the Middle East peace process which occurred at Madrid, Spain in October of 1991.
2. Oslo 1: the Oslo Accords, signed privately on Aug. 20, 1993 and then publicly in Washington DC on Sept. 13, 1993. In addition, letters of mutual recognition were signed Sept. 9th.
3. Oslo 2: the Taba Accord was signed in Washington DC on Sept. 28, 1995.
It is interesting that there have been 3 potential fulfillments, each exactly two years apart. Will there be another in the fall of '97? If not, perhaps in the fall of '98. Since the 70th Week should end on the Day of Atonement, a fall feast day, it is important that it begin in the fall of some year. The mere presence of these potential fulfillments, like echoes of a tremendous force approaching us from the future, sending ripples back in time which became our recent history, each echo bringing a strengthening of the agreement, give one a feeling that we are indeed close to the blessed day. Amen, Abba come.
The Start of the 70th Week - the fall of 1991?
When the Mideast peace conference convened in the fall of 1991, many got excited over the implications of Biblical fulfillment that this event represented. Even though most people don't know about Daniel's 70th Week, many are aware that a peace treaty involving Israel is a sign. When this event is coupled with the prophecies of Edgar Cayce, who is often interpreted as predicting the Second Coming for 1998, along with some support from other sources including the interior locutions (an inner knowing inspired from Heaven, neither a voice nor a vision) of Fr. Stefano Gobbi, it seemed that we indeed had entered the 70th Week in the fall of '91. This is the perspective presented in the book, Don't Worry... Be Faithful. The dates for this potential fulfillment can be summarized as follows:
When the spring of '95 passed without fulfillment of the midpoint events it was clear that the Madrid conference of '91 was not the start of the 70th Week. In hindsight one can see that the conference was not sufficient fulfillment. It was the beginning of the process, not a final agreement. The prophecy begins when an agreement is reached among the nations involved.
Since there was no fulfillment I was forced to take a much closer look at the popular view that Cayce predicted the Second Coming for 1998. What I found was this was not exactly true. Cayce never said that from his vantage point in the early part of this century he could say that the Second Coming will occur in 1998. What he actually did was report that those who built the Great Pyramid, around 10,500 BC, predicted the Second Coming for '98 via their timeline in stone. In addition, when this prediction was first reported in reading 5748-5, Cayce appears to have also stated that it is due for a correction. The details of this analysis can be found on the web page: Cayce, 1998 & The Great Pyramid.
Another source used in the book to support 1998 is the Dead Sea Scroll "The Last Jubilee". It states that the Messiah will return on a jubilee year. A jubilee occurs once every 50 years. From our records of history alone, one can not say with certainty which is the correct year. As footnoted in Don't Worry... Be Faithful, it comes down to selecting a year from within an acceptable range. Our records can only point to the next one occurring around the turn of the millennium.
The Start of the 70th Week - the fall of 1993?
In taking a closer look at the Interior Locutions of Fr. Gobbi I found that subsequent messages made it clear that he actually pointed to the year 2000, and furthermore, these new messages made a clear commitment to that year. The year 2000 is the end of this millennium so the number itself has an added appeal. Additionally, it lines up with the second potential fulfillment of the start of Daniel's 70th Week in the fall of 1993. So once again it appeared as if we had entered the final week of years. A summary of this potential follows:
In the process of reviewing the Apparitions of the Blessed Mother I encountered a different interpretation of the midpoint events, i.e. what the daily sacrifice is that shall be abolished. According to the interior locutions of Fr. Gobbi, the Eucharist of the Catholic Church is the sacrifice, the pure oblation, that is offered in the mass everyday throughout the world. At the time I found this interpretation very appealing for several reasons. Since Christianity shifted the focus of the covenant from Israel to the church after the time of Jesus, it seemed to make more sense to find the daily sacrifice in the church, rather than in Israel. Besides, Jesus was the final sacrifice, so one might question why the temple sacrifices should return in order to satisfy prophecy. The other alluring reason is that this interpretation did not require any temple building to be rebuilt. No restoration was needed, the daily sacrifice was already being offered.
Since that time I have come to realize there are problems with this interpretation. In fact, it is an old argument. The issue that the Eucharist can not be a recurring sacrifice was traveled by Martin Luther. Indeed, it was one of the main issues upon which he attacked the Church of Rome during the Reformation.
For more detail see: Interior Locutions of Father Gobbi
After a period of in depth study of the issue of the daily sacrifice this past spring, the spring of '97, I've come to see Daniel's prophecy in a much broader light. It is saying the same thing as other prophetic elements, such as II Thessalonians 2. It is the time that a world religion will be imposed on all the temples of the world, not just one temple or faith. For the details of this study see: Sacrifice & Oblation in Prophecy. As for the temple in Israel, Rev 11 indicates the presence of a temple in Jerusalem when the two witnesses appear and the city is trampled. This occurs at the midpoint of the 70th Week. As for the daily sacrifice, this refers to the regular form of worship in any temple. The temple in Jerusalem is not needed to satisfy the daily sacrifice but it will be affected when all temples are affected. If the ritual sacrifices have been restored, then they will become an issue when the system of Babylon is imposed on the world.
There is another reason the temple may be needed. 1290 days after the midpoint, 30 days after the end of Daniel's 70th Week, the Antichrist commits the macrocosm of the abomination and declares himself God. He needs a sanctified temple in which to do this and he can't sanctify it himself. A restored temple in Jerusalem could fit the bill.
It is now the summer solstice of 1997 and the spring, with all its feast days by various calendars, has passed without fulfillment. Once again we must conclude that another agreement, the Oslo Accords of the fall of 1993 were not the start of Daniel's 70th Week. This is tough stuff. Its hard to exercise discernment and keep expectancy high when events come so close yet fall short.
This time around the help from outside the Bible can not be reinterpreted; therefore, due to lack of fulfillment, the source of Father Gobbi's locutions must be brought into question. It must not be the Mary whose soul is the Blessed Mother of Jesus. This Mary acts as a representative of heaven. Certainly the Heavenly Court would not send the wrong message nor commit to a timetable too soon. In addition, there are the theological concerns alluded to above, so Fr. Gobbi must be set aside. (It is interesting to note that even though he did not stand the test of time, he did lead me to a truth about The Worldwide Warning.)
The Start of the 70th Week - the fall of 1995?
So now will the agreement of the fall of '95, Oslo 2, bring fulfillment of the midpoint events in the spring of '99?
Probably not. What was wrong with the events of the fall of '93? At first, they appear to fulfill the requirements of the start of the 70th Week - an agreement involving Israel and many nations. For that matter, the agreement of the fall of '95 would also fit. But a closer look at the details of the accords bring to light an important issue.
In a speech before the Knesset on October 23, 1995, by then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, he makes the point that the "so-called Oslo 1 and Oslo 2 accords" were successful because the issue of the status of Jerusalem was left out and is yet to be negotiated. A review of the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years shows that it applies to Daniel's people and his holy city. Therefore, as the peace process continues to develop, when it reaches the point of an agreement involving the status of Jerusalem, this then, should be the start of Daniel's 70th Week.
The Start of the 70th Week - Not Yet.
At present there is no event which appears to fulfill the start of the 70th Week. The Mideast peace process may very well evolve to that point, but it hasn't yet. Since, from a Biblical perspective, we are at least seven years from the Second Coming, it can not occur before the official start of the new millennium, January 1st, 2001 AD, according to the Gregorian calendar.
In the meantime, we simply must watch and wait, being as educated as possible in the word so as to know what to watch for and having the confidence that we are indeed living in the generation that shall see all the promises fulfilled.
In general, end-time prophecy is primarily about the reign of the Antichrist and how that affects our ongoing relationships with The Creator and each other. The added piece that the 70th Week gives us is a warning 3½ years prior. When you see an agreement, supported by many people, involving Israel and the city of Jerusalem, then take note and mark that day. 3½ years later may begin the time of the Antichrist. Paul mentions this sign in 1 Thess 5:3 when he says:
" When people are saying, Peace and security, then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,and they will not escape."
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©1997 Collins Hamblen