QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 65
A woman preacher said last night that the Holy Spirit and the Holy are two different Spirits.
I assume the woman preacher meant that "Holy Spirit" and "Holy Ghost" were two different spirits. If so, this is not true. It is a statement gross ignorance. The only version of the Bible in which the words "Holy Ghost" appear in is the King James Version. That is because the word "ghost" was used as a synonym for "spirit" in years past. In fact, the word "ghost" still means spirit in the English language. However, it has come to mean the spirit of someone who died, and thus should not be thought of in reference to the Holy Spirit.
The words "Holy Spirit" appear in the King James version seven times. (Psalm 51:11; Isaiah 63:10,11; Luke 11:13; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; and 1 Thessalonians 4:8). The words "Holy Ghost" appear ninety times, all of them being in the New Testament Scriptures.
To confirm "Spirit" and "Ghost" are the same, read John 7:37-39. There Jesus makes a promise of "living water" flowing out of the "belly," or innermost part of the being, of the believer. In explaining what Jesus meant, the Scripture says, "But this spake he of the SPIRIT, which they that believe on him should receive: for the HOLY GHOST was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified" (verse 39). Notice, He was talking about the Spirit, which He says is "the Holy Ghost."
Here is another example. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove. Luke 3:22 says, "And the HOLY GHOST descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." Earlier, in the same book, we read, "And John bare record, saying, I saw THE SPIRIT descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him" (John 1:32). Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10 also say the "SPIRIT" came in the form of a dove.
Romans 5:5 says God has "given" the "HOLY GHOST" to us. Acts 5:32 says the same thing. 2 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:8, and First John 3:24 says we have been given "THE HOLY SPIRIT," and "THE SPIRIT." To say these are two different spirits is simply not true.
I commend you for questioning what you hear, and wanting to know the truth. Keep up the good work, and do not take for granted that what people say about the Word of God is true. The Scriptures tell us, "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 3:1).
Are you saying that if a person that is saved by grace may be cast out of God's presence? ? I have a son who is not living close to the Lord but who surely was saved in his teens. What about him?
Yes. That circumstance is not owing to any weakness in the grace of God, or a reluctance on His part to bring us all the way home. Salvation is not only by grace, it is "through faith" -- i.e., "by grace through faith" (Eph 2:8). As long as a person has faith, grace is sure. But God has spoken quite clearly about unbelief as well as faith. An evil heart of unbelief can enter into lethargic souls who do not fight the good fight of faith (Heb 3:12). We are warned about this condition, and admonished to avoid. For those who take the admonition seriously, they will be brought to glory. For those who do not, they have confirmed they have no compelling appetite for God or longing for glory. God has nowhere suggested such souls are safe. Unless that situation is changed by their repentance, they will be cast out as surely as Adam and Eve were thrust from the Garden.
This is not a pleasant word, and is not intended to be. I do not know the state of your son, and God has not given us the license or the wisdom to pronounce judgment on such things. I too have a son in this condition. I have told him, and you must tell your son, there is no life promised to the person who lives at a distance from God. Anywhere and everywhere the Scriptures address such a condition, solemn warnings are issued. There is not a solitary word of comfort to such, only exhortations to return while they still can.
In the end, God alone will determine the eternal destiny of everyone. Until then, He has told us what He thinks about coldness of heart, being far from Him, unbelief, slothfulness, worldliness, etc. He has left no doubt about these things, and is never ambiguous in His words concerning them. When we deal with people who are not living close to God, we must tell them what God has said about that situation. That can be used to awaken them from their slumber. If their state causes grief to us, it is only representative of the great grief it brings to our Lord and the Holy Spirit.
Actually, there is no such thing as "dead faith." When James declared "faith without works is dead, being alone" (James 2:20), he was saying that a claim to faith without works is not true. Faith without works is no more faith than a body without a spirit is a person. Faith that does not work is spurious faith. Nowhere is faith represented as being deficient or incapable. Rather, it is like a grain of mustard that expands, grows, and produces fruit. Those who keep the faith will never find themselves moving away from the Lord. To keep the faith. however, involves fighting the good fight of faith.
That is the kind of faith God gives, for faith comes from God. It is not the product of the intellect, or some other human capacity. It is given to us to believe (Phil 1:29). We obtain like precious faith (2 Pet 1:1). Faith comes to us from God and Christ (Eph 6:23). The Scriptures know nothing of various kinds of faith. There is "one faith" (Eph 4:5), and it consistently moves the individual into harmony with the mind and purpose of God. That faith, however, must be kept.
Justification is by faith at the foundational level. It is by works at the evidential level.
We are, indeed, to be judged according to our works. Those works will reveal whether we were dominated by faith or unbelief. One's works are the great revealer of what a person really is.
The grace of God does teach men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly and righteously now, in this world. When this does not occur, men have frustrated the grace of God by their preference for iniquity. When the formation of godly character is accomplished, it is still through the grace of God, even though 100% of our effort is involved. Faith will unashamedly confess, "It is God that works in us, both to will and to do of His own good pleasure" (Phil 2:13).
The Gospel announces a righteousness that comes from God by faith (Rom 1:18). Considerable reasoning is presented to us on this matter, with a plain declaration that God's own righteousness is imputed to us (Rom 3:22-4:25). We must not. allow theological language to minimize these words. Righteousness is plainly said to be imputed "without the law" and "without works" (Rom 3:21; 4;6). It is our business to embrace a view of justification that allows us to receive the pure word of God on the matter.
Where it says God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave (Psa 49:15), where does ones spirit and soul go after they die? I thought our spirit and soul went to God after we died? I am confused by this statement.
We have a threefold nature: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess 5:23). The spirit is the real us. It is the part that is born again, and is being conformed to the image of Christ. Our soul is the part of our earthly nature through which we express ourselves in thought, word, and deed. That is where our emotions and will are found. The soul has to be controlled, for it is capable of descending into sin, or rising into righteousness. That is why David counseled his soul (Psa 42:5,6,11; 43:5). It is why Jesus told us to possess our souls, governing them through His power (Luke 21:19). The soul is knit to the body, and, with the body, is not yet saved. That aspect of salvation will occur at the resurrection of the dead.
When believers die, their spirits go to be with Christ. That is what is meant by the phrase, "absent from the body and present with the Lord" (2 Cor 5:8). The soul and the body will be raised in the resurrection of the dead, then joined with the redeemed spirit, making us whole persons.
You must remember that before Christ, very little was revealed and known about these matters. It was Christ alone that "brought life and immortality to light" through His Gospel (2 Tim 1:10). The fine distinction between the soul and the spirit was not seen as clearly in old times as it is since Jesus has been exalted to God's right hand. A few times, both of them are mentioned together in the Old testament Scriptures (1 Sam 1:15; Job 7:11; Isa 26:9). Now that Jesus has come, the Word of God is powerful, able to distinguish between 'the soul and the spirit" (Heb 4:12). Even then, there is not a lot said about it.
Both parts are unseen, but the spirit is the superior part. That is the part with which Mary rejoiced when told she would give birth to the Savior (Lk 1:47). That is the part that grew strong in Jesus when He was a child (Lk 2:40). That is what He committed to God when He died (Lk 23:46). That is what Stephen asked God to receive when he was stoned to death (Acts 7;59). Paul served the Lord with his spirit (Rom 1:9). The Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirit that we are the children of God (Rom 8:16). The spirit is the superior part of us. It does not go into the grave.
My next question to you would be: how come Paul speaks usually in the past tense for stuff that is supposed to be happening every day in our lives.
All of the realities declared in such texts (and there are a host of them) are the way we began our spiritual life. We were delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's Son (Col 1:13). We were raised up and made to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). We became new creatures in Christ, with old things passing away and all things becoming new (2 Cor 5:16). God's laws were written upon our hearts and put into our minds (Heb 10:16-17). We were justified from all things (Acts 13:39). We were made accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6). We were made dead to sin and alive unto God (Rom 6:11).
Our old man was put upon the cross by the Lord Himself. Our slate was wiped clean. We were reconciled to God, and delivered from the power of darkness. However, all of these things are obtained by faith. We are not in heaven yet, and still have to contend with the devil, principalities and powers, and the "old man ." That must be done, however, fully persuaded that what God said is true. All of these were experienced in our spirit. But we also have a body and a soul, and Satan has access to them. There is where we are tempted, and there is where we must fight, run, and wrestle.
Our commission is to avail ourselves of the resources grace provides, keeping the "old man" upon the cross, and refusing to allow him the dominance in our lives. All of this can only be done in the full persuasion that these things have already occurred in our inward man. That is how we started our new life in Christ. We started alive, not dead. We started forgiven, not guilty. We started justified, not alienated. We started reconciled, not enemies. We started spotless, not defiled. However, like Israel, we were placed just inside the promised land, not at the heart of it, or in heaven itself. Our job is to maintain the state in which we began, and to do it by strong faith.
Cross bearing does not have to do with being justified, but with making the journey from time to eternity, and earth to heaven. Keeping the flesh crucified is not what brings us into Christ, but what keeps us there. Overcoming is not why God remitted our sins, but what is required to finish the race.
We still have the flesh to contend with, which is yet to be "saved." That will occur at the resurrection of the dead. Until then, there is work to be done. All of the admonitions for the involvement of believers is because of that situation. It is not to get them into Christ, but to assure they do not depart from Him.
The phrase "more than conquerors" does not mean we have already conquered. It means are fighting a battle in which we are assured of victory if we live by faith (1 John 5:4-5). Everyone who fights wins--they are more than conquerors. Everyone who runs wins the prize. But when our fighting and running cease, the promises are forfeited, for they are not made to quitters.
The key to everything that troubles you on these things is faith. We hold all of God's blessings by faith. As long as we are strong in faith, giving glory to God, the promises declared are ours -- but only so.
It is much like Israel coming out of Egypt. Their deliverance is credited 100% to God. Never are they said to have come out under their own power. Yet, they were intensely active in the preparation for their deliverance, and in coming out at Midnight. It would have been foolish to say they did not do anything. Yet, when they stood on the other side of the Red Sea, no one would have told you they got there in their own strength.
From God's viewpoint, "the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Heb 4:3). From our viewpoint, we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing it is God that works in us to will and do of His own good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13). The views you have mentioned are two sides of the same coin. From God's side, the works are done. From ours, we are a work-in-progress.
Luke 17:37 can you clarify why Jesus answered "wherever the body is there the eagles will be gathered together"
This text is pregnant with meaning. The saying, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered," speaks of vultures being gathered to a carcass. It applies to several scenarios, all of which are true.
First, this word was given in response to a question by Christ's disciples. The Lord has just finished speaking of "the day when the Son of man is revealed." It would be like the days of Noah when sinners were caught off-guard. The flood came and "destroyed them all." Matthew says it "took them all away" (Matt 24:39). Matthew also tells us this whole discourse was the Lord's response to three questions from the disciples. Their questions were prompted by the Lord's reference to the destruction of the temple (Matt 24:2). The disciples asked, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt 24:3). the first questioned related to the destruction of Jerusalem, and remaining ones to the consummation of the ages. Christ's answer did not clearly distinguish between these things. He spoke of Jerusalem's destruction, as well as His appearance in glory, and the end of the world. His answer revealed that the destruction of Jerusalem as a miniature picture of the end of the world, having much in common with the final outcome of all things.
When the disciples heard of people being taken or gathered, they asked, "Where, Lord?" Jesus responded by saying, "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered."
The saying in question finds a fulfillment in all of the cases: the destruction of Jerusalem, the revelation of Christ in His glory, and the end of the world--the latter two occurring simultaneously (2 Pet 3:10-12).
Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, the Roman armies would compass Jerusalem like birds of prey (Lk 21:20). In this vase, Jerusalem was like a dead carcass, ready to be devoured because of its refusal to receive Christ. The armies gathered to it like a carcass to be devoured.
Concerning the coming of the Lord in all of His glory, the Savior Himself is the body, and the people of God are the eagles. They will be gathered to Him, not to devour Him, but to be where He is.
Concerning the end of the world, the angels are the eagles coming to reap the world, gathering the tares into bundles, and the believers to the Lord.
The point in all three is that everyone will eventually be where they belong.
How do I have to explain my friend that having sex before marriage is a sin?
and what can we do to prevent temptation?
Sex before marriage is called "fornication" in Scripture, and it is serious. In fact, the Bible tells us it will exclude us from heaven. "For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Ephesians 5:5). The Lord also tells us the wrath of God comes upon people for this sin, as well as other acts of immorality. "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:6).
Fornication sins against the Lord by prostituting the body -- giving it to someone to whom it does not belong outside of marriage. Here is how God states it. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your" (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Simply put, your body is not yours to give to someone outside of marriage. Although it sounds very strong, sinning in this manner makes you a harlot, or prostitute before God. Such a sin takes the body, which does not belong to us, and gives it to someone else. That is precisely what 1 Corinthians 6:17-19 says. if you are ever pressured to commit fornication, respond that you do not want to be a harlot before God.
In order to prevent giving in to the temptation to commit this sin, you must stay away from circumstances that make it easier for you to be tempted in this area. Do not be together alone for long periods of time. When you are together, spent some time in prayer and reading the Scriptures together. Together, ask the Lord to help you both in this matter.
Also, call this sin what God calls it: "fornication." That sounds a lot different than 'sex before marriage." Because that is a word the Holy Spirit uses in the Bible, He will help you to see the seriousness of it, and give you wisdom and strength to avoid it.
Keeping yourself pure is not only good, it is necessary. The word of the Lord to you is, "Keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22). If you are serious in your efforts to do this, God will see to it that you do not sin in this manner.
May the Lord bless you as you seek to please Him.
At what age should a person be baptized? Some children understand well the plan of salvation but I am not convinced they are mature enough to be immersed.
There is no special age. Also, understanding the plan of salvation is not the critical factor. Rather, it is whether a sense of the need of salvation is strong within the child. They may be an extraordinary child like Samuel or David, seeing their need for a Savior, and earnestly wanting to do what He commands. They also may be slower in apprehending the need for salvation.
When young children ask me to be baptized, I always have them write out the reasons they want to be baptized. I want them to think seriously about what they have requested, and frequently, if not always, writing it down brings out that kind of thinking. Most of the time, their words will make it quite clear whether they are discerning enough, or whether they are being pressured by their peers. If I cannot detect where they stand by their writing, I will speak with them about their perceptions of Jesus Christ. if their understanding of Him is too rudimentary, they are not ready. Also, if they keep on asking, that tells me they should not be ignored.
I seriously doubt that any of the persons obeying the Gospel in the book of Acts could have recited the plan of salvation, as ordinarily conceived. However, their hearts were tender, and they were willing to instantly do what they were told. That tenderness and eagerness is what qualified them. It is no different with a child.
Can a believer be saved if baptism is physically impossible?
First, I am not sure such a question should be pursued. "Physically impossible" does not mean really impossible. It only means men cannot see a way for it to be done. Nor, indeed, does that obviate the fact that all things are possible with God (Matt 19:16). That would be like asking if a camel could go through the eye of a needle (Matt19:24-25). What if the question you have posed had been asked concerning the Ethiopian eunuch in the middle of a desert? (Acts 8:27-39).
Two things come to my mind -- things that should assist us to have faith. First, we should shun the presentation of scenarios that do not take the power and provision of God into consideration. Second, God is not looking for a reason to condemn people. In view of these two realities, we do the best we can, targeting to do what the Lord says. Then, we must leave matters in His hands that are not addressed in his Word, and for which we have no answers.
Should a woman baptize a person during a church service when the elders are present. This happened in my church.
Nothing in Scripture even suggests who should baptize the people. There are very few instances where it is categorically stated who did the baptizing. John baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9). Philip baptized the eunuch (Acts 8:38). Aside from the reference that follows, I know of no other instances where the one doing the baptizing is specified.
Paul said he was glad he only baptized a few of the Corinthians, namely Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanus (1 Cor 1:14-16). There is no word in Scripture that instructs who is to do the baptizing. Nothing suggests that elders or any other leader should. No Scripture has been violated by a woman baptizing someone. No principle of Scripture has been breached by such an action. People may have differing preferences in this matter, but it is their preference, not one revealed by God.
"What is your understanding of the role of "Apostle for today?" Is there such a thing or did it all die out with the 12 and Paul.
Here is where the grammarians introduce great confusion. The word "apostle" is used in a general, as well as a specific, sense. As you already know, it means a messenger, or one that is sent on a mission with due authority. You will find there are apostles sent forth by Christ Himself (the twelve and Paul), the Holy Spirit (Paul and Barnabas), and the church (Epaphroditus). The Apostles of the Lamb will be seen to be superior to all of them: specially chosen, specially send, and specially endued with power. With that in mind, I offer the following observations.
First, there is the distinction of "the twelve Apostles" (Matt 10:2; Lk 22:14; Rev 21:14). They are also called "THE twelve" (Matt 20:17; 26:14; Acts 6:2; 1 Cor 15:5). These focused on, but were not limited to, the twelve tribes of Israel (Gal 2:7-9), and Peter was the chief among them. Paul was a special Apostle, called out of due time, and provided a special appearance and tutelage from the Lord Jesus (1 Cor 15:8). His focus, though not a limitation, was the Gentiles (Rom 11:13; 1 Tim 2:7; Gal 2:7). He also acknowledged that the real intention of his apostleship was to reach the Jews (Rom 11:13-14).
These Apostles were set "first" in the church, and have no peers (1 Cor 12:28). It was their doctrine in which the church continued (Acts 2:42), and they are referred to as "THE Apostles" (Acts 4:33,35; 5:12; 1 Cor 4:9; 2 Pet 3:2; Jude 17).
There are texts that mention others as "apostles." Acts 14:14 puts Barnabas with Paul, calling them "the apostles." Some affirm that Andronicus and Junia were apostles, citing Romans 16:7 as confirmation ("who are outstanding among the apostles" NASB). I believer that is stretching the text a bit. It rather seems to be saying they were held in high regard among the apostles, not numbered with them. Paul refers to James, the Lord's brother, in such a way as to suggest he also was an apostle (Gal 1:19). Paul also seems to class Apollos as an apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:6-9). 2 Corinthians 8:23 also refers to the "messengers (apostolos) of the churches." Of course, Jesus Himself is called "the Apostle and High Priest of our confession" (Heb 3:1).
The "gift" of Apostles was not a general one, but related to specific individuals related to the foundation. The names of the twelve Apostles, you may recall, are depicted as being on the foundation of the glorified church (Rev 21:14). The church is also build upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:20). This is evidenced by Peter's inspired instruction concerning selecting a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:20-26). He said such a person must have "accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us--beginning with the baptism of John, until the day that He was taken up from us-- one of these should become a witness with us of His resurrection." When the lot Divinely fell upon Mathias, the Spirit says he was "numbered with the eleven Apostles" (Acts 1:26).
I believe Barnabas was called an Apostle because he was sent forth by the Holy Spirit, together with Paul, on a special mission (Acts 13:2-3). Paul referred to Epaphroditus as a messenger of the church at Philippi. The word he used for "messenger" was apostolos. In his case, he was an apostle of the church, not of the Lamb. 2 Corinthians 8:23 also refers to the "messengers" (apostolos) of the churches."
There are, therefore, apostles sent forth by the church, and some especially sent forth by the Holy Spirit, as Barnabas. However, the accent is placed upon the sending of such individuals. With the twelve, however, the accent was upon their message and authority.
All apostles are not the same. Among the twelve, Peter, James, and John excelled. Among those three, John excelled. The twelve themselves excelled above Barnabas and James, as well as Paul and Epaphroditus. Jesus, of course, excelled above them all.
So far as being a foundation builder, the office of an Apostle is not perpetual. So far as sending men forth on special commissions, the church still does this, and the Spirit may very well do so also. But care must be taken not to attach authority to such individuals, or imagine that their word carries the weight of Scripture. The mystery of the ages has been revealed "to His holy Apostles and prophets" (Eph 3:5). I should think a man today to be most presumptuous to class himself among that elite group.
The Sabbath. Some say you must worship the Sabbath Starting Friday evening and if you don't you are breaking God's law.
Jesus said God did not make man for the seventh day Sabbath (Mark 2:27). The Spirit reminds believers, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Col 2:16-17).
When the Gentiles were converted, the Apostles and elders sent letters to them concerning obligations that were laid upon them. Here is what their letter said. "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell" (Acts 15:29). that would have been an ideal time to mention the observance of the Sabbath day, particularly since Gentile converts were addressed who were not familiar with the Law. The Holy Spirit not only directed these holy men concerning obligations to be kept, but excluded ones that were not bound upon them. the Sabbath day was one of the latter things.
Jesus did not bind the Sabbath upon ther church, nor did the Apostles. when other men seek to do so, simply ignore their word. it is not from God.
How can you separate the 70th week of Daniel from the other 69 and not separate the sixty-two and seven? Hasn't the 70th week week of Daniel been fulfilled through Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection?
Yes, the 70th week of Daniel has been fulfilled. The following provides a detailed explanation of the Daniel passage. This is the view I have held for several decades. one of my close friends and colleagues, Fred Miller, has expressed it well in the following.
"The vision come from the angel and does not originate with Daniel.
9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your 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. Seventy weeks: 70 times 7 or 490 years. This prophecy is a key to other time prophecies. A day equals a year in prophetic language. Thus this prophecy is to be accomplished in 490 years. Daniel's prayer concerning the 70 years is answered; however the angel gave him details of the city beyond his request. The things to be accomplished: The first three items, i.e., to end sin, to finish transgression, and make reconciliation for iniquity, must point to the cross. The next two point to the completion of the things to be revealed: that is, bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, i.e., the events that complete revelation in the New Testament; and finally the anointing points to the Messiah. These generally longed-for events, including the coming of the Messiah, are to be within the 490 years. More specific breakdown of the 490 years follows. 9:25 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. The commandment to restore Jerusalem: Which commandment? The commandment to Cyrus was in 536 B.C. Ezra was sent in 456 B.C. Usher places the decree to send Nehemiah at 448 B.C. The sixty nine weeks: This is one of the most incredible, yet clear, time prophecies in the Bible. 7 times 7 plus 62 times 7 equals 69 times 7, or 483 years. There is one more week to complete the seventy described in the verses immediately below. The whole period of 490 years is thus divided: (7 X 7) + (62 X 7) + (1 X 7) = 490. The 69 weeks bring you to the advent of the Messiah. It is not proper to separate the last week from the prophecy to a future date just as the first seven weeks are not to indicate a period unconnected with the 490 years. The violence this does to the prophecy is explained below. This 69 week statement says that from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem to the appearance of the Messiah will be 483 years. We choose the date from the decree to Ezra contemporary with Nehemiah the builder because this accomplished the spiritual return with the cleansing of the priesthood and because of the incredible fulfillment. From 456 B.C. (the decree to Ezra) the 483 years will extend to 27 A.D. (456 + 27 = 483) Jesus was born 4 B.C. He would have been 1 in 3 B.C., 2 in 2 B.C., 3 in 1 B.C. and 27 years later in 27 A.D. he would have been 30 years old. This is the exact year of his baptism when he was anointed, that is, when he became the Messiah. He did not become the Messiah when he was born. He has always been the Son of God but he became the Messiah when he was anointed. This incredible prophecy numbers the exact time period from the most important commandment to restore Jerusalem to Jesus' anointing by the Holy Spirit when he was baptized. One day equals one year: It is from this prophecy that the day-year principle is derived. One day in prophetic language is equal to one year in the fulfillment. Troublous times: The books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the long period of difficulties met in accomplishing the completion of the city. The 7 weeks or 49 years refer to this period beginning with 456 B.C. then the 62 weeks follow, or 434 years of waiting until the appearance of Messiah. It is the accuracy of this time prophecy which has caused Talmudic Jews to place Daniel in the writings rather than the prophets in the Jewish division of the Old Testament. 9:26 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 to the end of the war desolations are determined. After: the 483 years of waiting--how long after is specified below. The important prediction is that Messiah will not be cut off for himself but will die for others. Quite a prophetic statement, isn't it? After - destroy the city: Here the future destruction of Jerusalem, after the Messiah has been cut off, is foretold, but not how long after. It extends beyond the period, and the exact time of the destruction of the city (end of the war, desolations, etc.) is not given in the prophecy. We know the people of the prince (the Romans) did come and destroy the city and temple in 70 A.D. after the 483 years. The concept is that as a result of the cutting off of the Messiah the people of the prince will come to destroy the temple that has now been abandoned by God. In that sense it was already desolate when Titus destroyed it in 70 A.D. Titus did not make it desolate; Jesus made it desolate. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. He shall confirm: "He," the Messiah will confirm the covenant. Not the prince who destroys the city. This latter is the violent method of interpretation offered by premillenial scholars. With their interpretation the prophecy ceases to be a 490 year prophecy, as the seventieth week is yet to come. Incredibly they see the last seven years of the history of the world and Antichrist. But this is a 70 week prophecy, The last week refers to the seven years following 27 A.D., or it is not a 70 week prophecy. Jesus confirmed the covenant: We would hope to find a fulfillment of the confirmation of the covenant that would extend not only to Pentecost but to the conversion of the Gentiles in Cornelius' house. It does not go so far; but 33 A.D. does encompass the conversion of the apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and last apostle chosen to be in the foundation of the church; thus in prospect the confirmation of the covenant is complete. The seventieth week: Messiah came to bring and confirm a New Covenant. That confirmation would be accomplished in the seven years following Jesus' baptism in 27 A.D. The rest of 27 then 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, would make 30 A.D., the midst of the week. It is the year Messiah was cut off, but not for himself, as in verse 26, which is consequently when Jesus made the sacrifice and the oblation non effective. He caused it to cease in effectiveness. Once Jesus died on the cross you can offer lambs by the millions and they have no validity -- they are desolate. Jesus made the Temple worship desolate at the cross and it would remain desolate until that which was already determined was poured out later by the Romans on that which had already been made desolate by Jesus before they got there. What remarkable coincidence in this wonderful 70 week prophecy. No human could have devised this before the events transpired. It is a faith-building prophecy."
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