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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 1998

The Key To Unsealing End-time Bible Prophecy, Part I

    The "key" to the unsealing of end-time Bible prophecy lies in the concept of the elongated second, or last, half of Daniel's seventieth week to embrace the entire period of time now stretching between Christ's first and second advents. There is sound logic to this equation, and it is certainly good Wesleyan Arminian theology.

First, it is in keeping with the majority of Christian tradition that Christ (not Antichrist!) is the divinely-intended "covenant-maker" of Daniel 9:27. Only the ignorant would dare to contest that "majority" in this regard is not the case. Anyone can check the historical record. That's how we got our own eyes open—through historical research. The Daniel 9:27 "Roman Antichrist" theory of Sir Robert Anderson and the dispensationalists is a nineteenth century English Plymouth Brethren invention. To embrace it means to start off fundamentally miscued in one's journey of understanding end-time Bible prophecy—everything else in the line up from that point onward can only be skewed.

    Now many would agree with us, and accept the Christological identification of Daniel 9:27, who have not yet seen deeply into the consistency of logic and fullness of ideological relationships that this answer must imply. If Christ is the covenant-maker of Daniel 9:27, then what is the "covenant?" Obviously the covenant must be the "new covenant," or the Christian gospel, right? What other covenant did Jesus "cause to prevail" among the Jews, other than Christianity? Did Jesus ever preach or teach any other gospel other than the new covenant gospel of the kingdom? I don't think so. It is clear that Christ offered the Jews nothing other than the redemption from sin afforded in the new covenant.

    But was this offer limited to the Jew only? True, Jesus did indeed come to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" confirming the new covenant, but was that an end in itself? Did not God from the beginning intend that his gospel should be offered to the whole world? The text of Daniel 9:27 says that he shall confirm the covenant "with many."

    Read it again carefully. The text does not say that he shall confirm the covenant with the Jews only, or with the nation of Israel, but with "the many." Such is in keeping with Old Testament prophecy elsewhere: "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities "(Isaiah 53:11). "This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). "Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God" (Matthew 8:11). "The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39).

    Friends, it simply will not do to attempt to limit the application of Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks to the Jews only, or to the nation of Israel, for it is most assuredly a universal gospel text. And beside that, when did Jesus ever stop confirming the gospel to the Jews? Has there ever been a time in history when the Jews were barred from getting saved? And has their door of opportunity to be included among the "many" of Daniel 9:27 been closed by the ending of the Seventy Weeks in the first Christian century? I don't think so. The door of salvation is still open wide, to the Jews, and to everyone else.

    Now let's continue to be logical here. If Christ is the covenant-maker of Daniel 9:27, then it means that the "covenant" in question belongs to him, right? It is his covenant and it belongs to him. It goes where He goes; its fortunes and its outcome are tied into His own fortune and His outcome.

    So the next question becomes: where is Jesus? And what happened to him?

That Christ's own life was "elongated" (stretched out endlessly) by virtue of His glorified resurrection and ascension is obvious.  And what about his new covenant confirming ministry? Did it end when he left this earth? I don't think so.

   Salvation is through the new covenant. But how then could folks have gotten saved after the departure of Christ from this earth, if that covenant was not still being confirmed (caused to prevail) to them throughout the Christian ages through the mediation of the Savior?

    In other words, Jesus is still ACTIVELY ENGAGED in confirming the new covenant, and that happens every time the  Holy Spirit whispers the seal of pardon, or purity, to your heart, or to mine. (For more insight in regard to both the objective and subjective aspects of salvation, as it relates to the elongated understanding of the last half of Daniel's 70th week, please see our new book, How To Interpret End-time Bible Prophcy: A Wesleyan View available under the "products"  section of this website.)

   Friends, when we move in tight and take a closer look at this idea of the elongated last half of the seventieth week to embrace the entire period of time now stretching between Christ's first and second advents, it does make perfect sense.  By contrast, when we try to superimpose the mindset of pre-Christian Judaism upon Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, or upon any of the rest of the prophetic passages of the Old Testament, for that matter, intellectual dullness and spiritual darkness prevails.

   Friends, we have to interpret the Old Testament by the New Testament--and that in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ--, and not as the dispensationalists do, who interpret the Old Testament the way the Jews did, and then simply ignore the New Testament, whenever it contradicts their Jewish system of interpreting Old Testament prophecy.

    Yes, Daniel 9:27 is a wonderful evangelical text—the heart of the New Testament kerygmatic unfolding. But what does all this have to do with the "key" to unveiling futuristic Bible prophecy?

    Lord willing, we'll talk more about that next time. Stay tuned.

Related Article Links

The Key To Unsealing End-time Bible Prophecy, Part II
How Christ's Resurrection Changed Time