Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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January 24, 2017
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January 24, 2017
Evolution Of My Last Seven Years Chart, The Birth Of This Article, Definition Of The Seventieth Week, Seventy Weeks Prophecy Spans A Period Of 490 Years, From Weeks To Years, Hebrew Word "Shabuwa", Daniel's Prophetic Age, When It Was Fulfilled, Last Seven Years Chart Graphic, Three Key Events On Last Seven Years Chart, Complete Seventy Weeks Prophecy, Additional 75-Day Period, Abomination Of Desolation, Great Tribulation, The Beast's 3 1/2-Year Reign Of Terror And How The Time Is Expressed In The Scriptures, My Understanding Of Different Phrase Included In Seventy Weeks Prophecy, General Titus And Roman Armies And Allies, Destruction Of Jerusalem And Temple Compound, First Jewish-Roman War, Masada Falls To The Romans, Ongoing Desolations, "Week" "Midst Of The Week" And "Seventieth Week", Daily Sacrifice And Oblation Cease, Holy Covenant May Have Been A Military Agreement Or Alliance Between General Titus And Allies, Traitorous Herod Agrippa II And Bernice, Conspiracy Against Covenant, Ten Horns, Hatred Of Babylon The Great, My Long History As A Staunch Futurist, My Re-Examination Of The Prophetic Scriptures, My Discovery That I Had Been Doctrinally Deceived For Decades, Widespread False Doctrine Regarding Christ's Future Return And Rapture, Why I Had To Abandon Misguided Ideas, Look To God's Word Only
Below is an updated version of a chart which I originally made on December 24, 2000 entitled the "Last Seven Years Chart". I have made it larger, clearer, and I have added a few more details to the chart, in order to enhance your understanding regarding what the Prophet Daniel was writing about over two and a half millennia ago. While the original version of this chart has bee available on my web server for a little more than sixteen years now, I had never actually written a full article to accompany it. That is, until now. In fact, you are getting a three-part series! :)
Furthermore, it was really not my intention to write this series. As some of you may have noticed, I have been spending a lot of time in recent days making some major improvements to the Bill's Bible Basics website. Most of these improvements have been behind-the-scenes in the HTML and CSS code, but it is also observed in better paragraph formatting in my articles, much more flexible web pages which will display better on a variety of devices, and just about one hundred new article header images, which is a project I have long neglected, until now. Within a few days at best, all of my articles will contain a header image in the top right corner of the page, opposite my BBB logo in the top left corner of the page.
At any rate, when it came time to create the header graphic for the Last Seven Years Chart HTML document -- that is, for the web page -- I made the image, and then I looked at the Seven Years chart itself. I knew right away that it was time to give it a good update, because the one I created so many years ago was lacking, and my graphic skills have improved considerably since that time. So, I worked on the header image earlier this morning. But then I also decided that I really needed to offer some kind of an explanation for the chart, for those people who may be clueless regarding what it is about. Thus, here I am with a brand new series on my hands.
As many Bible-knowledgeable Christians will already know, the Last Seven Years -- or Seventieth Week -- is a part of the overall "Seventy Weeks" prophecy. This was a series of astounding, precise time prophecies which were given to the Prophet Daniel by the Angelic Messengers. This "Last Seven Years Chart" reflects my understanding of the Seventieth Week prophecy at this current time. It is based entirely on verses we find in the Book of Daniel, as well as in the Book of Revelation. It may be updated at some point in the future as my understanding of Daniel's prophecies becomes more clear, Lord willing.
More precisely, the phrase Seventieth Week pertains to the final seven-year period of Daniel's 490-year prophecy, and certain prophetic events which the Angels said would occur in Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple, and which would lead up to the glorious Return of Jesus Christ towards the very end of that 490-year Prophetic Age. For those of you who may not fully understand how we arrive at a total of four hundred and ninety years, based on a prophecy that seemingly only covers a period of seventy weeks, it comes down to understanding the original Hebrew words which are used in Daniel's prophecy.
As I point out in articles such as "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?", the Hebrew word in this prophecy which is translated into English as "weeks", is the word "shabuwa", or "shabua". This word does not mean "week" in a literal sense; it actually means "seven". In other words, in Hebrew, the phrase really means "seventy sevens", or a total of four hundred and ninety. I explain this more in a few other articles, which I again encourage you to take the time to read. Suffice it to say that if we read everything in context that is written in the Book of Daniel, as well as compare it with other verses and events which are described in the Bible, we come to understand that the "seventy weeks" are not referring to seventy seven-day periods; rather, they really mean seventy seven-year periods, or a total of four hundred and ninety years. As I mentioned earlier, this is a very exact, very precise time prophecy. Furthermore, it is describing a Prophetic Age which began over four hundred years before Christ was born.
In actuality, I have become increasingly convinced by the Scriptures in more recent years, that the final events of Daniel's Prophetic Age occurred during the latter years of the First Century, exactly as Jesus had warned His followers about forty years earlier, while He was still with them in human flesh. While I will be discussing these events to a limited degree in this current series, please refer to the series and articles which are listed at the end of this series for an in-depth, Scripture-based examination of this amazing subject.
At first glance, the above chart may seem rather confusing to some of you, due to the many time periods which I have included on it. It was a little confusing to me too when I first decided to work out Daniel's prophecies in a graphic form over sixteen years ago. However, if you take your time and really study the chart carefully, you will get the gist of it. The reason why I added so many different details to this chart, is so that my readers can properly understand the relationships between the different points in time, no matter which part of the chart you look at.
To give you an easy point of reference, and to help you to understand the foundational elements and key moments of the prophecy, I have marked three locations on the chart with the letters A, B and C. These three letters correspond to the following events and points in time:
A = The beginning of the final 7-year period, or Seventieth Week. The start of this period is marked by an alliance, pact, agreement, or a Holy Covenant, which is confirmed between the different parties who are mentioned in the Book of Daniel.
B = The middle -- or midst -- of the 7-year period, when the Jewish Daily Sacrifice and Oblation are abruptly halted by the Beast. This point also begins the period known as the 3 1/2 year Great Tribulation.
C = The end of the 7-year period when Jesus Christ returns to the Earth, following the Great Tribulation, and takes the Elect -- that is, the Bride of Christ -- to be with Him forever in His Eternal Kingdom.
Below is the original prophecy which was given to the Prophet Daniel by the Angel, and upon which the above chart is based in large part. Please note that the first sixty-nine weeks of this Seventy Weeks prophecy are explained in more detail in some of the articles and series which are listed at the end of this current article:
"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. 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. 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. 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."
Daniel 9:24-27, KJV
While they are not mentioned in the above main prophecy, in other prophecies which were also given to Daniel, there are two additional time periods of thirty days and forty-five days -- or a total seventy-five day period -- which seem to occur after Jesus has returned at the end of the 70th Week part of the Seventy Weeks prophecy.
To better understand how I arrived at these conclusions regarding the specific time intervals which are shown in the chart, please invest some time in slowly reading the Books of Daniel and Revelation in their entirety. All of the time frames shown above are mentioned in them. It simply requires a little bit of work to compare the different verses which are found in each chapter, in order for a clear picture to form regarding when each period begins and ends.
As I mentioned earlier, in Daniel and the Book of Revelation, we are told that the Beast -- who is a foreign political and military leader who invades the land of Israel -- causes the Daily Sacrifice and Oblation to cease in the Temple. He also sets up something called the Abomination of Desolation, which I fully explain in a separate series. This vile Beast also rages and blasphemes against God continually, and he likewise persecutes the Saints of the Most High for a period of three and a half Jewish years; that is, during the final three and half years of the Seventieth Week which is known as the Great Tribulation. This three and a half year period is mentioned in these prophetic books in the following manners:
1. "forty-two months"
2. "1,260 days"
3. "time and times and the dividing of time" (3 1/2)
4. "time, times, and an half" (3 1/2)
As I briefly mentioned earlier, Prophet Daniel also mentions a 1,290 day period, as well as a 1,335 day period. The latter time span is the same as 44.4 Jewish months at thirty days each, while the 1,290 days equals exactly forty-three Jewish months. Following are the specific verses where these time spans are mentioned in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. I have added a few words in brackets in order to clarify what is being said:
"And he [the Beast] 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."
Daniel 7:25, KJV
"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he [the Beast] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."
Daniel 12:7, KJV
"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. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days."
Daniel 12:11-12, KJV
"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. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."
Revelation 11:2-3, KJV
"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 12:6, KJV
"And there was given unto him [the Beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
Revelation 13:5-7, KJV
Now, concerning the main Seventy Weeks prophecy -- that is, Daniel 9:24-27 -- as I point out in some of the series which I list at the end of this series, at this current time, I lean towards the following understanding regarding some of the words and phrases which are included in it:
• The phrase "the people of the prince that shall come" is a direct reference to General Titus and his Roman legions.
• The phrase "destroy the city and the sanctuary" obviously refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70 AD -- or close to it -- by Titus. It really depends on the accuracy of the historical record. I accept this date by faith.
• The phrase "with a flood" refers to a wave of Roman armies or legions, as well as local allies who join forces with the Beast -- that is, General Titus -- in order to subdue and conquer Israel, and specifically to totally crush the city of Jerusalem, which had become a political hotbed, and a very serious thorn in the side of Rome.
• The phrase "unto the end of the war" is referring to the First Jewish-Roman War. As I explain in other articles, this was a seven-year war which began in 66 AD, and concluded in 73 AD. Right in the middle of those seven years -- that is, "in the midst of the week", exactly as the prophecy states -- is 70 AD when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. Are you starting to see how Biblical prophecy and secular history join hands here? It is very interesting, isn't it? At any rate, Herod the Great's Jewish fortress of Masada was one of the final places to fall to Roman conquest during that seven-year war. By that time, the fortress had become one of the final strongholds of the knife-wielding Jewish rebels who were known as the Sicarii. It is recorded in the historical annals that 960 people chose to commit suicide there, rather than submit to Roman authority.
• The phrase "desolations are determined" refers to the great destruction which was wrought by the Romans, resulting in both the Temple Mount and Jerusalem being left in ruins and barren, and much of Israel being left bereft of a significant Jewish population for a substantial period of time. In fact, in recent years, and contrary to the Futurist point of view, I have been leaning towards the belief that the Temple won't ever be built again. My reasons are explained in the article entitled "Revelation's Babylon the Great", which is currently in the process of being updated.
• The phrase "the week" refers to the 70th week, or the final seven-year period of that 490-year Prophetic Age, which the Prophet Daniel describes in his "Seventy Weeks" prophecy. To reiterate, I believe that "week" lasted from 66 AD to 73 AD, and constituted the events of the First Jewish-Roman War.
• As I explained earlier, the phrase "midst of the week" is referring to the middle of that final seven-year period; that is, right at the middle of the First Jewish-Roman War.
• The phrase "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" obviously refers to the Temple sacrifices and oblations being put to an end in the middle of this seven-year period. Given that the historical record indicates that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Titus and the Romans in 70 AD, this would seem to be when the sacrifice and the oblation ceased.
• The phrase "the covenant" is one item I am not so certain about. Based upon a few other verses, my current leaning is that it may refer to an agreement that General Titus may have possibly made with Herod Agrippa II and other of his allies, regarding the invasion of Jerusalem. Please note that this Herod actually sided with Titus, and Herod's armies fought right along side of Titus' troops. In fact, to prove what a traitor he was, following Jerusalem's fall, both Herod and his sister Bernice went to live in Rome. Again, this is a historical fact which you can easily confirm for yourself.
Another very strong reason why I tend to believe that this covenant may have been some kind of military agreement or alliance, is because we are told by Daniel that this leader secretly works against the covenant after it is made. This leads me to believe that it was just a Roman ploy all along. Consider the following verses which may possibly be related to the covenant that is mentioned in Daniel 9:27:
"And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."
Daniel 11:27-32, KJV
In my opinion, what further adds weight to the possibility of this being a military treaty of some sort is the fact that in the Book of Revelation, we are told by John that Ten Horns -- that is, ten kings or possibly military leaders -- side with the Beast as a result of their mutual hatred of Babylon the Great. Their ultimate goal, of course, is to utterly destroy the mysterious Babylon -- by fire, no less -- as we see by the following verses:
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and TEN HORNS, and seven crowns upon his heads."
Revelation 12:3, KJV
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and TEN HORNS, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."
Revelation 13:1, KJV
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and TEN HORNS . . . And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and TEN HORNS . . . And the TEN HORNs which thou sawest are TEN KINGS, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast . . . And the TEN HORNS which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."
Revelation 17:3, 7, 12, 16, KJV
So there you have it; some background information regarding how I currently understand some of these ancient prophecies, and how I came up with the time frames that you see in this Last Seven Years Chart. Of course, I won't dare claim that I fully understand it all, or that I have it all correct. I am sure that I don't. Bible prophecy is a very deep, difficult subject to grasp, and spotty historical records do not help us in our quest to understand what is stated in God's Word. However, I do believe that there is enough found in secular records to confirm much of what I've stated in this series.
While I could conclude this series here and now, and just leave it a very short article, I would like to personally address some of my Christian friends. In particular, I want to address my Futurist-leaning friends. As many of you will already know, and as I amply explain in the series "Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?", for over forty years of my life, I fully and totally embraced the Futurist perspective. For those of my readers who do not understand what I mean by this, it means that I was utterly convinced, and diligently taught, and publicly preached in four locations around the globe, no less, that Jesus Christ would hopefully return during our lifetimes, or perhaps sometime after our earthly lives have concluded. After all, some of us are getting up there in age now.
I also clung to the firm belief that many of the events which I discuss here, were future events, and not past, fulfilled events. Like so many of you, I looked forward to a seven-year Holy Covenant, a new Temple standing on Mount Moriah in East Jerusalem, the arrival of the Antichrist who would sit in the Temple and declare himself "God", the Great Tribulation, the Mark of the Beast and the Rapture. So as you can see, I was a very solid Futurist. I was just like so many of you still are today. "So what changed?" some of you are probably no doubt asking yourselves. "What could possibly cause you to abandon such long-held beliefs, and make such a u-turn in your belief system?" Well, I already explain it quite fully in the series "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?", but I will tell you again here.
As I said, this belief in the future Return of Jesus Christ was a very powerful, driving force in my personal life, and I endured persecution, and sometimes engaged in arguments -- which I will no longer do -- because of it. That is just how convinced I was. However, after so many years of embracing the Futurist theological perspective, about five years ago, I began a more thorough examination of the Scriptures on my own, unhindered by outside voices, in order to determine if what I had begun to sense was truly from the Lord or not. As it turns out, what I discovered is that contrary to what I had long believed, I had not embraced what is truly written in the Scriptures. I had in fact been long deceived by the doctrines of men. I had fallen under the spell of one of those "wannabe prophets" who happened to be a Futurist.
This powerful deception in my life began over forty-five years ago, when I was still a young Christian man, and had no foundation in God's Word, or any degree of Wisdom and Spiritual Discernment. Like so many other people of that era -- and millions of people since then -- I became a very easy prey for this misguided doctrine regarding the Lord's future Return to the Earth.
Sadly, this false doctrine still has a very strong hold on millions of modern Christians. In fact, it continues to be the dominant belief system of Western Christians today, who very anxiously -- but misguidedly, in my view -- wait for the so-called "Second Coming" of Christ, at which time they expect to be Raptured to Heaven. In fact, I would dare say that it is this false doctrine which quite possibly may be keeping organized religion alive today. After all, they need to give their sheep hope, and a reason to continue attending their church buildings, and putting money in their coffers.
So what caused me to suddenly change my views and make such an unprecedented about-face in my personal beliefs? Well, I can tell you this. It didn't result from listening to some fancy TV or radio preacher; or from reading someone's latest book; or by listening to some preacher in a huge stadium. It also was not just some sudden impulse that I had. It was in fact a very gradual change in my understanding, as I will be explaining a bit more in upcoming parts of this series.
In actuality, I already told you what happened, and why I had to forsake my misguided ideas. The simple truth is that I stopped listening to men, and instead, I looked directly to the Word of God, led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit; which is what we should all be doing anyway, shouldn't we? This truth is very evident in verses such as the following, which advise us to confirm all things with God's Word, and to be led by the Holy Spirit in our understanding:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Acts 17:10-11, KJV
"Prove [test, examine] all things; hold fast that which is good."
1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV
"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
Matthew 13:52, KJV
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
John 5:39, KJV
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .