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Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Blow the Trumpet in Zion
Daniel 9 Taught by Dave Breese
About Dave Breese (Deceased)
Key Verse: Daniel 9:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Seventy-Weeks Prophecy
20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God,
In Daniel 9:20, we have the key to understanding the 70th week of Daniel, which we will come to know as the tribulation, which ends with the second coming of Christ. In this verse, Daniel is seen praying for the sin of himself and for the sin of Israel. He is not praying for any other people, or for any other land. The focus on Daniel and Israel is the key to understanding eschatology (rapture, tribulation, second coming of Christ, millennium/kingdom age, eternal state), which is about Israel and the church, with the focus being on Israel. The church will not replace Israel for the promises that were made to Israel by God. The church is not a brick and mortar structure, but is the born again body of believers in Christ, which may, or may not, assemble in a brick and mortar structure. God is using His prophecy to Daniel to tell of His plan to restore “His chosen people,” Israel (Genesis 12:1-3; Deuteronomy 7:6), to their promised land (Genesis 13:14-15; 15:18-21; 17:6-8; 28:13-15). The 70th week of Daniel was designed for the Jews and Gentiles who are not believers in Christ. There is no purpose for born again believers in Christ to have a place in the tribulation, whether they are Jew or Gentile.
This article discusses the purposes of the 70th week of Daniel, and shows that week as being the tribulation, as depicted in Matthew 24, and is the key to understanding the tribulation and second coming of Christ. The rapture of the church takes place before the events of Matthew 24. Born again believers in Christ have no place in Matthew 24, or in any other passage that relates to the tribulation. The 70th week of Daniel/the tribulation, is designed for the purpose of God for judging sin, and for bringing Israel to saving faith in Christ as the Messiah. Following the tribulation will be the second coming of Christ, which will be followed by the Millennium/Kingdom age. The word “tribulation” is often used in ways that understate its severity. It will be a time of escalating severity that has never been experienced, per Matthew 24:21, “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” Yes! People go through times of tribulation, but no one will ever experience the kind of tribulation that awaits the 70th week of Daniel.
“The mountain of my God. ” Thy holy mountain – Jerusalem was built on hills, and the city in general might be designated by this phrase. Or, more probably, there is allusion either to Mount Zion, or to Mount Moriah. Barnes Commentary, Daniel 9:16)
Terms for reference. The terms, “1,000 Year Reign of Christ, Millennium, Kingdom, Kingdom Age, and Kingdom Of God,” are synonymous in respect to this article.
Book Introduction – Daniel
Date of Book of Daniel,607 B.C., to 534 B.C.
Date of Daniel 9, 538 B.C.
Scofield Reference Note
Daniel, like Ezekiel was a Jewish captive in Babylon. He was of royal or princely descent ( Daniel 1:3 ). For his rank and comeliness he was trained for palace service. In the polluted atmosphere of an oriental court he lived a life of singular piety and usefulness. His long life extended from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel ( Daniel 14:20 ), Joshua, the high priest of the restoration, Ezra, and Zerubbabel.
Daniel is the indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy, the themes of which are, the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments. These, except the first, are Daniel’s themes also. But Daniel is distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles” ( Luke 21:24 ), (See Scofield “Luke 21:24”) . His vision sweeps the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its end in catastrophe, and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom.
Daniel is in four broad divisions:
Introduction. The personal history of Daniel from the conquest of Jerusalem to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar, 1:1-21.
The visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results, 2:1-4:37.
The personal history of Daniel under Belshazzar and Darius, 5:1-6:28.
The visions of Daniel, 7:1-12:13.
The events recorded in Daniel cover a period of 73 years (Ussher).
Re: The Times Of The Gentiles
Luke 21:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Macarthur Study Bible Note: 21:24 the times of the Gentiles. This expression is unique to Luke. It identifies the era from Israel’s captivity (ca. 586 B.C. to Babylon; cf. 2 Kin. 25) to her restoration in the kingdom (Rev. 20:1–6). It has been a time during which, in accord with God’s purpose, Gentiles have dominated or threatened Jerusalem. The era has also been marked by vast spiritual privileges for the Gentile nations (cf. Is. 66:12; Mal. 1:11; Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10).
trodden down of the Gentiles: Scofield Reference Note: The “times of the Gentiles” began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar 2 Chronicles 36:1-21, since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile overlordship.
Daniel 9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Daniel’s Prayer for His People
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8 Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11 Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12 Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16 O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. 17 So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
Comments: All following notes come from the MacArthur Study Bible.
9:1 the first year. Ca. 539 B.C. made king. This may mean that Darius (a title, not a proper name, see note on 5:31) refers to Cyrus who was made king by God’s allowance (cf. Ps. 75:6, 7). Since Cyrus was the first monarch of the Medo-Persian empire, this time note was also the first year after the death of Belshazzar, when Babylon fell.
9:2 seventy years. Daniel’s study of “the books” (OT scrolls) focused on the years prophesied for the captivity by Jeremiah in Jer. 25:11, 12 and 29:10. Since the end of that span was near, he prayed for God’s next move on behalf of Israel. Cf. 2 Chr. 36:21, where it is indicated that the 70 years of exile were intended to restore the Sabbath rests that Israel had ignored for so many years (cf. Lev. 25:4, 5; 26:34–43).
Jeremiah 25:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
25:11 seventy years. Here is the first specific statement on the length of the exile (cf. 29:10). This period probably began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when Jerusalem was first captured and the temple treasures were taken. It ends with the decree of Cyrus to let the Jews return, spanning from ca. 605/04 B.C. to 536/35 B.C. The exact number of Sabbath years is 490 years, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity. This was retribution for their violation of the Sabbath law (cf. Lev. 26:34, 35; 2 Chr. 36:21).
Jeremiah 29:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
29:4–10 Jeremiah’s counsel to Israelites in Babylon was to take all the steps in living as colonists planning to be there for a long time (70 years, 29:10, as 25:11).
Daniel 9:4–19 I prayed. Various aspects of the passage give rich instruction regarding prayer. True prayer is: in response to the Word (v. 2), characterized by fervency and self-denial (v. 3), identified unselfishly with God’s people (v. 5), strengthened by confession (vv. 5–15), dependent on God’s character (vv. 4, 7, 9, 15), and has as its goal, God’s glory (vv. 16–19)
Daniel 9:11 the curse. This refers to the judgment that God brought, as promised, for Israel’s disobedience in the Land (Lev. 26:21–42; Deut. 28:15–68). This is in contrast to the blessings associated with faith and obedience (Lev. 26:3–20; Deut. 28:1–14). God had given the promise that even in a time of judgment, if Israel would confess their sin, He would bring blessing again (Lev. 26:40–42).
9:16. Daniel prayed for restoration in 3 aspects. In effect he asked God to bring back “Your city” (vv. 16, 18), “Your sanctuary (v. 17), and “Your people”(v. 19). God’s answer embraced all three (v. 24).
Gabriel Brings an Answer
20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
9:21 the man Gabriel. This angel, called a “man” because he appeared in the form of a man, appeared also in 8:16. Cf. the angel Michael in 10:13, 21; 12:1. the evening offering. This was the second lamb of two offered daily (cf. 8:14 and see note there), this one at 3 p.m., a common time for prayer (Ezra 9:5).
Seventy Weeks and the Messiah
My note: To gain an understanding of the 70 weeks of Daniel is to gain an understanding of how long it will be until the world that we know is destroyed, with a new one replacing it… New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2). The study of the timing of the 70 weeks of Daniel shows that we, who are living in the church age, are living in the time between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. The remaining events on the calendar of God are the rapture of the church, the tribulation, the 1,000 year reign of Christ/the Kingdom Age/The Kingdom Of God, the Great White Throne Judgment (for unbelievers), and the eternal state (for those who have been born again). Revelation 21:5 “I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:12, “the names of the 12 tribes of Israel’s sons are inscribed on the gates” (of the New Jerusalem”)
Seventy Weeks and the Messiah
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
My note: It is important to read these notes on verses 24-27 until they are easily understood. The key to determining the time line of the 70 weeks of Daniel (weeks of years/490 years) is to use “360 day years.” At present time we are living in the time that exists between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel (weeks of years.we are in the dispensation of grace). The 69th week (the 483rd of 490 years) ended when Christ entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. From the time that our Lord was crucified, until the time of the tribulation, born again believers in Christ await the rapture of the church, which precedes the tribulation. For unbelievers, they are not caught up in the rapture, but enter into the 7 year tribulation (the 70th week of Daniel, years 484-490).
9:24–26 Seventy weeks…from…until. These are weeks of years, whereas weeks of days are described in a different way (10:2, 3). The time spans from the Persian Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem, ca. 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1–8), to the Messiah’s kingdom. This panorama includes: 1) 7 weeks or 49 years, possibly closing Nehemiah’s career in the rebuilding of the “street and wall,” as well as the end of the ministry of Malachi and the close of the OT; 2) 62 weeks or 434 more years for a total of 483 years to the first advent of Messiah. This was fulfilled at the triumphal entry on 9 Nisan, A.D. 30 (see notes on Matt. 21:1–9). The Messiah will be “cut off,” (a common reference to death); and 3) the final 7 years or 70th week of the time of Antichrist (cf. v. 27). Roman people, from whom the Antichrist will come, will “destroy the city” of Jerusalem and its temple in A.D. 70.
9:24. This highly complex and startlingly accurate prophecy answers Daniel’s prayer, not with reference to near history, but by giving the future of Israel in the final end of the age. God promises 2 sets of 3 accomplishments each.
First, those related to sin are: 1) finish the transgression, i.e., restrain sin and Israel’s in particular in its long trend of apostasy, as in v. 11; 2) make an end of sins, i.e., to judge it with finality (cf. Heb. 9:26); and 3) make reconciliation for iniquity, signifies to furnish the actual basis of covering sin by full atonement, the blood of the crucified Messiah who is “cut off” (v. 26), which affects the first two realities (cf. the fountain, Zech. 13:1).
Second, those accomplishments related to righteousness are: 1) bring in…righteousness, the eternal righteousness of Daniel’s people in their great change from centuries of apostasy; 2) seal up vision…, i.e., no more revelation is needed and God will bring these anticipations to completion by their fulfillment in Israel’s blessing as a nation; and 3) anoint the Most Holy, consecrate the Holy Place in a temple of the future that will be the center of worship in the millennial kingdom (cf. Ezek. 40–48). Clearly this must be understood to sweep to the end of Gentile power and the time of Antichrist right before Christ’s return. Summing up, the first 3 are fulfilled in principle at Christ’s first coming, in full at His return. The last 3 complete the plan at His Second Advent.
9:27 Then. This is clearly the end of the age, the Second Advent judgment, because the bringing in of righteousness did not occur 7 years after the death of the Messiah, nor did the destruction of Jerusalem fit the 7 year period (occurring 37 years later). This is the future 7 year period which ends with sin’s final judgment and Christ’s reign of righteousness; i.e., the return of Christ and the establishment of His rule. These 7 years constitute the 70th week of Daniel. he shall confirm. “He” is the last-mentioned prince (v. 26), leader of the Roman sphere (cf. chaps. 2 and 7), the Antichrist who comes in the latter days. The time is in the future tribulation period of “one week,” i.e., the final 7 years of v. 24. He confirms (lit., causes to prevail) a 7 year covenant, his own pact with Israel for what will turn out actually to be for a shorter time. The leader in this covenant is the “little horn” of 7:7, 8, 20, 21, 24–26, and the evil leader of NT prophecy (Mark 13:14; 2 Thess. 2:3–10; Rev. 13:1–10). That he is in the future, even after Christ’s First Advent, is shown by 1) Matt. 24:15; 2) by the time references that match (7:25; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5); and 3) by the end here extending to the Second Advent, matching the duration elsewhere mentioned in Daniel (2:35, 45; 7:15ff.; 12:1–3) and Rev. 11:2; 12:14; 13:5. middle of the week. This is the halfway point of the 70th week of years, i.e., 7 years leading to Christ’s second coming. The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel (v. 27a), which has resumed its ancient sacrificial system. Three and a half years of tribulation remain, agreeing with the time in other Scriptures (7:25; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5, called “Great Tribulation,” cf. Matt. 24:21) as God’s wrath intensifies. abominations…one who makes desolate. The Antichrist will cause abomination against Jewish religion. This violation will desolate or ruin what Jews regard as sacred, namely their holy temple and the honoring of God’s presence there (cf. 1 Kin. 9:3; 2 Thess. 2:4). Jesus refers directly to this text in His Olivet discourse (Matt. 24:15). See note on 11:31. the consummation. God permits this tribulation under the Antichrist’s persecutions and ultimately triumphs, achieving judgment of the sin and sinners in Israel (12:7) and in the world (cf. Jer. 25:31). This includes the Antichrist (11:45; Rev. 19:20), and all who deserve judgment (9:24; Matt. 13:41–43).
Christ relates the 70th week of Daniel to the tribulation and His second coming.
Matthew 24:3-8 Introduction
Christ tells His disciples, who are Jews, about the coming tribulation.
Christ will continue with a discussion about the great tribulation and His second coming.
The Jews who find themselves in the tribulation will be those who had not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, which means they were not born again. From this point, forward, any mention of Jew, or Gentile, relates to those who had not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior; had not been born again; and had missed the rapture and were left behind to face the oppression of the anti-Christ and the wrath of God (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.)
Matthew 24:3-8 New American Standard Translation (NASB)
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
24:8 sorrows. The word means “birth pangs.” Famines, earthquakes, and conflicts have always characterized life in a fallen world; but by calling these things “the beginning” of labor pains, He indicated that things will get notably and remarkably worse at the end of the era as these unique tribulations signal the soon arrival of Messiah to judge sinful humanity and set up His millennial kingdom. Cf. 1 Thess. 5:3; Rev. 6:1–17; 8:1—9:21; 16:1–21; see note on v. 14.
Matthew 24:9-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
This discussion relates to those who will be left behind from the rapture of the church. Christ is speaking to Jews.
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
Matthew 24:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Note: It is the gospel of the kingdom, not the gospel of Christ, that will be preached.
14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
24:14 preached in all the world. Despite all the tribulations that would come—the deception of false teachers, the wars, persecutions, natural disasters, defections from Christ, and all the obstacles to the spread of the gospel—the message ultimately penetrates every part of the globe. God is never without a witness, and He will proclaim the gospel from heaven itself if necessary (cf. Rev. 14:6). and then the end will come. “The end” refers to the final, excruciating birth pangs (see note on v. 8). This is how Christ characterizes the time of Great Tribulation described in the verses that follow.
Matthew 24:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Notice the reference to Daniel that Christ uses to explain the tribulation.
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
24:15 abomination of desolation. See notes on Daniel 9:27; 11:31. This phrase originally referred to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria in the second century B.C. Antiochus invaded Jerusalem in 168 B.C., made the altar into a shrine to Zeus, and even sacrificed pigs on it. However, Jesus clearly was looking toward a yet-future “abomination of desolation.” Some suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple (see note on v. 2). However, the Apostle Paul saw a still-future fulfillment (2 Thess. 2:3, 4), as did John (Rev. 13:14, 15)—when the Antichrist sets up an image in the temple during the future tribulation. Christ’s words here therefore look beyond the events of A.D. 70 to a time of even greater global cataclysm that will immediately precede His coming (cf. vv. 29–31).
Matthew 24:16-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Notice the reference that Christ makes to the Sabbath (vs 20). Such a reference would have no meaning to Gentiles. Also, Christ did not have such a discussion with Gentiles. This discussion at the Mount of Olives was made by Christ, to Jews, about Jews.
16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
24:1—25:46 This is the last of the 5 discourses Matthew features (see Introduction: Historical and Theological Themes). It is known as the Olivet Discourse, and it contains some of the most important prophetic material in all of Scripture
Matthew 24:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Christ discusses the great tribulation with His disciples, who are Jews.
21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
24:21 great tribulation. The words “has not been” and “nor ever shall be”—along with the description that follows—identify this as the yet-future time in which God’s wrath shall be poured out upon the earth (see note on Rev. 7:14). Jesus’ descriptions of the cataclysms that follow closely resemble the outpouring of divine wrath described in the bowl judgments of Rev. 16 and His subsequent appearing in Rev. 19 (see note on v. 30).
Matthew 24:22-28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
My comment. 24:22 those days will be shortened. If the afflictions of this time were to continue, “no flesh would be saved,” meaning that no Jews would survive. But “for the elect’s sake” (the elect are Israel, Deuteronomy 7:6); the attack of the anti-Christ is against Israel. Gentiles who come to Christ will also suffer, but the focus of the tribulation is the attack by the anti-Christ on Israel. Daniel 7:25, 7:27 and Revelation 12:14 suggest that the actual length of time that the Beast will be permitted to terrorize the world will be set at 3½ years, which will occur after the anti-Christ breaks the covenant with Israel, which will be the last half of the tribulation.
24:26 do not believe it. No one should consider the claims of self-styled messiahs because all of them are false. When Christ returns, no one will miss it (vv. 27, 28).24:28 the eagles will be gathered together. The location of a carcass is visible from great distances because of the circling carrion birds overhead (cf. Job 39:27–30). Similarly, Christ’s return will be clearly evident to all near and far. The same point is made by the lightning in v. 27. The eagle-carcass imagery here also speaks of the judgment that will accompany His return (Rev. 19:21).
Matthew 24:29-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Glorious Return Of Christ “After” The Tribulation
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
vs 29, “after the tribulation”
24:29 the sun will be darkened. Such phenomena are a common feature of Day of the Lord prophecy (see Is. 13:9, 10; Ezek. 32:7, 8; Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15; Amos 8:9). The ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies takes place during the time of the Beast’s reign (Rev. 6:12, 13; 8:12).
24:30 the sign of the Son of Man. I.e., the Son of Man Himself is the sign. The events described here precisely parallel the description in Dan. 7:13; Rev. 19:11–21. all the tribes of the earth will mourn. I.e., over their own rebellion. Israel in particular will mourn over their rejection of the Messiah (cf. Zech 12:10–12).
My note: 24:31 from one end of heaven to the other. All the “elect/Jews”. from heaven and earth are gathered and assembled before Christ. This is the culmination of world history, ushering in the millennial reign of Christ (cf. Rev. 20:4).See the following verses:
Ezekiel 36:24-29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.
Ezekiel 37:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”
Jeremiah 16:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
Jeremiah 29:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
Jeremiah 30:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 For behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ The Lord says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it.’”
My note: Not all Jews will be saved. All will be gathered, but not all will enter into the Millennial Kingdom. Consider Luke 16:19-31, where two Jews had died (Lazarus, a righteous Jew, and the rich man, who was not righteous). Lazarus is shown as being in the bosom of Abraham, which is the Presence of God. Scripture consistently teaches that the spirits of the righteous dead go immediately into the presence of God (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). The rich man is shown to be confined to Hades where he was being tormented. “Hades” always refers to the place of the wicked prior to final judgment in hell. Both places of residence are permanent, with no way of going from one place to the other, and with no end to either. (Reference made to MacArthur Study Bible notes)
Matthew 24:40-41 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
John Walvoord’s Note: 24:40, 41 the one who is left, is left to enter the kingdom; the one who is taken, is taken in judgment. I.e., taken in judgment
MacArthur Note: (cf. v. 39) just as in Noah’s day (“took them”; v. 39). This is clearly “not” a reference to the catching away of believers described in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.
Matthew 25:31-34 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:40 New King James Version (NKJV)
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:41 New King James Version (NKJV)
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:45-46 New King James Version (NKJV)
45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The eternal destiny is the same for those in Matthew 25:45-46, as for those who were taken in Matthew 24:40-41. In the Judgment of the Nations, also known as the Sheep and Goat Judgment, Christ is judging the Gentiles as to how they treated the Jews (My brethren) during the tribulation. Because of the compassion that the “sheep” gentiles had for the Jews, it showed that they recognized the Jews as being the elect of God, and that they had come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Because the sheep gentiles were granted entry into the Millennium, thereby gaining entry into the eternal state, they would have been given immortal/imperishable bodies, per 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. This passage (1 Cor 15:50-54) relates to the rapture of the church, prior to the tribulation. However, the truth that relates to the sheep gentiles of Matthew 25, is that in order for people to spend eternity with Christ, “they must be given a body that is immortal/imperrishable.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-54 New King James Version (NKJV)
Our Final Victory
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Let’s consider the two events that surround the 70th week of Daniel, which are the tribulation and the second coming of Christ. At the second coming of Christ, He sets foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel.
The rapture, from rapio (Latin), and harpazo (Greek).
Preceding the tribulation is the rapture, which is a time of comfort for believers in Christ. It is a time where believers are looking for “the blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Savior” (notice that Christ is called God and Savior). The rapture is an event where Christ delivers His saints from the wrath that will fall upon all people who are present during the tribulation. All of the wrath that occurs during the 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God, which begins with Revelation 6:1 and ends with Revelation 19:21. In the rapture, Christ comes to take His people to heaven. It happens quickly, with no notice to unbelievers, and where deceased believers are resurrected, given immortal and imperrishable bodies, caught up in the air to meet Christ in the clouds, and then are taken to heaven. Believers who are alive will also be given immortal and imperrishable bodies, will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and will also be taken to heaven. Those living believers will never die, but will live eternally with God, as will the resurrected saints. Dead believers will be caught up first; living believers will follow. Christ will come in the air to take His saints to Heaven. The destination of Christ and His saints is Heaven, where the saints go before the bema judgment (the Judgment Seat of Christ) and receive rewards, which is followed by the marriage of the Lamb, which takes place in Heaven. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Titus 1:13; 1 Thes 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 2 Corinthians 5:10…the Holman Christian Standard Bible has the best translation…; Revelation 19:7-9)
2 Corinthians 5:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.
The second coming of Christ.
At the end of the tribulation Christ will return to earth with His previously resurrected saints and angels; He will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel. The tribulation will be a time of God’s vengeance on unbelievers, with a resulting eternal separation of them from God. There will be conflict and public disorder all over the earth. Jews and Gentiles who accept Christ during the tribulation will experience famine, pestilence and cosmic disorders, and will be murdered and come under great persecution by the forces of the anti-Christ. Total worldly conditions will be worse than anyone in the world has ever experienced. The murders of those who turn to Christ will be so numerous that God will shorten the time of tribulation, so that all of God’s people will not be murdered. But, all Jews will be targeted by the anti-Christ. The second coming of Christ will be seen by all who live on the earth. There will be great cosmic disturbances. Those who see Christ coming to earth (with His saints and angels) will mourn at the sight of Him coming on the clouds; that will not be a time of joyful mourning. The angels will be sent by Christ to gather all of the Jews from the four corners of the earth and take them to Jerusalem, but not all Jews will enter the Kingdom of God. Christ will reward the gentiles who showed compassion for the Jews (My brethren), by giving them an immortal/imperrishable body (1 Cor 15:50.53) and allowing them to enter the Millennium/Kingdom. For the Gentiles who did not show compassion of the Jews, they will be taken to judgment, for eternal punishment. The gentiles who showed compassion on the Jews, recognized the Jews as being the elect of God (Christ referred to the Jews as being “My brethren”), which was a result of their coming to know Christ as Lord and Savior. All of the wrath that comes upon the “earth dwellers” (those who were not raptured), comes by the will of God, Christ, and the angels. (2 Thes 2:8-9; Matt 24:4-31; 40-41; 25:31-46; Revelation 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8; 13:14; 17:8; 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9,12; 8:1, 5; 8:7, 8, 10, 12, 9:1, 13, 11:15; 15:1,16:1, 16:3,16:4, 16:8, 16:10, 16:12, 16:17; 19:11-21; 20:1-15; Zechariah 14:1-16)
Before we close this post, we must consider dispensations, or “times of testing.” The following information comes from the Scofield Study Bible, as a note to Genesis 1:28. The same information is shown in Scofield Reference Notes and Scofield Reference Notes Bible Commentary, both of which are contained on the internet.
In the church age, we are under the dispensation of grace. We have already been tested as to whether we will come to salvation by “grace through faith,” per Ephesians 2:8. We, who have come by grace through faith in Christ have passed God’s test of the dispensation of grace. We will not be present during the tribulation, to be tested again. Those who will be left behind after the rapture of the church takes place, those who are called “earth dwellers,” will be given the opportunity to pass the test of accepting Christ as Messiah, as their Lord and Savior, per Revelation 3:10. However, they will probably be martyred because of that decision.
Revelation 3:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
My note: The testing of this verse is for people who had not been born again at the time of the rapture. Believers in Christ persevere because of their new birth by the Holy Spirit. Their spirit dwells within the Spirit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwells within the spirit of the believer who has been born again (John 14:20). Notice the words “My perseverance.” The words of Jude 1:24 show that God keeps us from falling from the Presence of God; it is God’s perseverance, and not ours, that keeps us secure in Him. The truth of God’s Word is that after we have been born again, we can not be unborn from the Spirit of God. John 10:28-29 tells us that “no can can snatch us from God.” “No one” includes those of us who have been born again.
Genesis 1:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
DISPENSATION: A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. (See Scofield “Genesis 1:28”), note 5.
“And God blessed them”
The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1 Timothy 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Genesis 3:24 See, for the other dispensations:
Conscience (See Scofield “Genesis 3:23”)
Human Government (See Scofield “Genesis 8:21”)
Promise (See Scofield “Genesis 12:1”)
Law (See Scofield “Exodus 19:8”)
Grace (See Scofield “John 1:17”)
Kingdom (See Scofield “Ephesians 1:10”)
Make this article relevant for today.
John 3:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”