Monday, September 30, 2013

Daniel Panel: Delayed Understanding - Part 3

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The third question is related to the twelfth chapter of Daniel where the prophet Daniel was given many end time prophecies which he did not understand. When he asked the Lord to explain them, he was told that they would not be understood until the time came for them to be fulfilled. Are we in that period of time today when we are understanding end time prophecies that no one has ever understood before? And if so, does that mean we are living in the season of the Lord's return?

So the question for our experts is this:

#3. Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Oh, I'm a tech guy, so I love the prophecies in Daniel 12:4. The angel tells Daniel, "Shut up these words and seal the book, even to the time of the end." In other words, it's referring to the end times. And this is it today!

"Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased." What the angel is saying is, Daniel, you just can't understand this stuff right now. It's too far in the future. There are going to be too many changes.

The two main changes that you are going to see are these. First, you are going to see people traveling all over the place like they never have traveled before. Today we can travel by trains, planes, automobiles, some even in space shuttles and rocket ships. People are traveling like they never have in all of history. My grandmother who grew up in the 19-teens used to tell me that she used to drive around when the cars only went 35 mph. She had to wear goggles, otherwise the dust blew into her eyes. Truly today we travel and go farther and faster than we've ever traveled before.

Secondly, knowledge will increase. The Bible says in the end times people will be obsessed over knowledge. Today like no other day we have an incredible amount of information to access. We have the Internet. We have libraries of information we can access by just getting on our smart phones and checking info out. We are truly living in a time of great knowledge.

There's also a spiritual aspect to the increase in knowledge, and that involves that Bible prophecy will start being understood. Daniel had to seal these prophecies up until the end times, but once the end times were nearly over, this information would be revealed. As we get real close to the end of the end times with the return of Jesus, people are starting to understand Bible prophecy like they've never understood it before.

Randall Price, World of the Bible Ministries
I think God is saying to Daniel that the closer we get to the actual fulfillment of those prophetic events given him, the clearer the details will become. In context it's talking about people studying Daniel's own prophecy. Daniel 12:4 says that people will go to and fro and they'll travel around trying to understand the details of this specific prophecy. I think they will understand it because they are getting closer to the actual time of the events.

Some people have said that prophetic events cast their shadow before them. So, in one sense, you can see what's coming before it comes. You may not be there for the time of fulfillment, but as you are so close to it you are able to see those signs along the highway that point to the final destination.

Tim LaHaye, Tim LaHaye Ministries
I think we are living in the signs of the times. We are seeing fulfillments unlike anything that any generation beforehand has ever seen. The stellar sign is Israel being brought back into the land. No nation in the history of the world has ever survived being pull up from its roots and scattered somewhere else for nearly 1900 years. They just sink into the sands of time, except for the Jew. The Jew was expelled from their homeland for 1,850 years. When the Lord got ready to bring them back into the land from all over the world, He used different means. Today it's an historical fact that Israel has been gathered back into the land amid the trouble and the tribulation that they are going through. It isn't the Great Tribulation that Jesus warned would come, but it's still troublesome times, just as the Bible predicted. We are on the cusp of seeing Daniel's prophecies all being fulfilled.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
There is a progressive understanding of Revelation. Revelation has been given once for all to the Saints in the Scriptures. But, our understanding of the Scriptures has developed over time. There were the great battles over topics such as: "Who is Christ? He has come? What is His nature? Is He God? Is He human?" Jesus is completely God and He's completely human, and the Church has had to settle that. There are many other theological battles involving understanding of the Scriptures that have come throughout Church history, such as the rediscovery during the Reformation of salvation by grace through faith.

As we've drawn closer to the Second Coming of Christ, it seems like there's more interest and more understanding of the prophetic end times. Not that there's been any change in the Scriptures, rather it's just that we understand prophecy better. How could we've understood some of the prophecies about the restoration of Israel until they actually came forth? Now we're living in the day when Israel is a nation. Who'd of thought? Only Bible believers would have. Imagine that, and now it's real! So, as we draw closer to the Lord's return, a lot of the prophecies make more sense and we can understand them a little better.

Daniel prophesied that there would be an increase in learning. I think that's biblical, prophetic learning. That's what we are seeing. We are understanding not only the prophecies about Armageddon and so forth, but we are beginning to understand about Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39. There has been discussion of other prophetic wars like in Ezekiel 35, and some have suggested Psalm 83 as being a prediction of more immediate warfare with Israel's immediate neighbors. These things were never discussed much in Church history. Now that we're getting closer, we can see these things happening. We read the headlines and everything seems to be coming together, and so we anticipate the Rapture of the Church imminently. We see the stage being set for all the things being prophesied in the Scripture.

Gary Frazier, Discovery Worldwide Ministries
Almost all conservative prophecy guys I know all understand something called Progressive Illumination. We understand that in the 66 books of the Bible that we hold in our hand, this it's God's written record to us. We don't believe in Progressive Revelation as we think that God said everything to us that He's going to say in those 66 books. But, we do understand that the Holy Spirit of God has a way of illuminating the minds of Christ followers to help them understand the times in which they live.

The reality is I could go back 60-70 years from our time. Can you just imagine a person sitting in their living room at home reading the thirteenth chapter of the book of Revelation, and they are reading verse 16-18 which states that every man, woman, boy and girl will be required to take a mark or number upon their right hand or upon their forehead, and without it they cannot buy or sell? That just simply says that without this mark or number there is no way to survive as there can be no commercial transactions. There is no possible way before Al Gore "invented" the Internet that we could ever have experienced or understood the technological explosion that has happened in recent times.

As we move through the years, those people past could not possibly grasp what the future was going to hold with regard to technology. Our generation on the other hand, we fully understand. Today there's biochip implant technology and RIFD's. We realize that today we live in a surveillance society. All these may play into the Mark's economic system.

I personally believe that, yes, God is opening our minds and we are understanding things that no generation has ever understood before. That should remind us that we are living in the last days.

David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
The bottom line on this question is that because of historical developments like the re-establishment of the state of Israel, and because of technological developments like computers and the Internet, we are now understanding end time prophecies that no one has ever understood before. And that, in turn, means we are living in the season of the Lord's return. In other words, we are living on borrowed time. The crucial question is, "Are you ready for the Lord's return?" I sure hope so.


In the tenth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will next answer the fourth question, "What is your favorite prophetic passage in Daniel, and why?"

Friday, September 27, 2013

Daniel Panel: Delayed Understanding - Part 2

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The third question is related to the twelfth chapter of Daniel where the prophet Daniel was given many end time prophecies which he did not understand. When he asked the Lord to explain them, he was told that they would not be understood until the time came for them to be fulfilled. Are we in that period of time today when we are understanding end time prophecies that no one has ever understood before? And if so, does that mean we are living in the season of the Lord's return?

So the question for our experts is this:

#3. Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?

Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
When Daniel sees the prophecy given to him by God by an angel, there were still other prophecies that were yet to be given. God told Daniel to seal his book until the time of the end. Daniel's book would be sealed. Now we know that Daniel understood a lot of the prophecies that God gave him, but God didn't give him everything. As a matter of fact, the Scripture even tells that Daniel got sick at times because he couldn't understand all of the prophecy.

So, God told Daniel to seal the prophecies up because there was to be more revealed. That's when we get to the book of Revelation, where in chapter 22 John receives the conclusion of the matter. The Bible says God told John not to seal the book because the time was at hand. Daniel's prophecies were sealed until the time of the end, but then when John received the end of the prophecy, we now have these two bookends of prophecy complete and understandable.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
You have to get closer to the time of the end to understand Daniel's prophecy. It's interesting to me that Daniel was told, "Seal up the prophecy, for you're not going to figure this all out right now." Whereas in Revelation, the Seals are opened by the Lamb and the judgments are then poured out.

What God was saying to Daniel is first of all, "Daniel, you are wanting to know three things: When is the Messiah going to come? When are the Jews going to get to go back and rebuild the city of Jerusalem? And thirdly, when are they going to rebuild the Temple?" If you were living in 535 BC in the 6th Century like Daniel was and you were Jewish, you would want to know when these things were going to happen. Then the Lord tells him it's not going to happen for a long time. It's not going to happen for 483 years, or 69 "sevens". Even from a decree that hadn't even been issued yet to rebuild the city until the Messiah comes and then He's going to get killed. Then the city of Jerusalem is going to be destroyed and the Sanctuary is going to be destroyed.

If you were Jewish and you were just making this stuff up out of your head, you would never say that. You'd want the Messiah to come and conquer the world. You would want to rebuild the Temple. You'd want God to bring in the kingdom right then and there. But, that was not what was going to happen. Instead, God revealed to Daniel exactly what was going to happen in the future. Daniel recorded it whether he liked it or not. The Messiah will eventually come. He will be killed. The city will be destroyed. The sanctuary — the Second Temple — will be destroyed as well. This was bad news from a Jewish perspective. And yet, it was exactly what was going to happen, and did.

God gave Daniel the ability to look down through the tunnel of time and down through the halls of history into the distant future and see exactly what was coming in the future. Daniel recorded these events with such precise detail that we know that these prophecies only could have come from God Himself.

Brian Thomas, Blessings to Israel Ministries
Yes, there were many prophecies which Daniel wrote about, but he did not understand those prophecies. For example, if we look at Daniel 12:4, there were signs of the times in which these things would be understood as we got closer to the end. Daniel was told of course of many prophecies, including the fulfillment of the return of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Daniel 12:4 says that in the end, which is the last days, people will run to and fro and knowledge will increase. We look today at travel. My grandmother is 91 years old, and she actually says that she never traveled on an interstate road until she was well into her 20's! Now as I go to airports, I see little babies on airplanes quite regularly. And so, I think that we clearly see travel has increased. We see planes taking off. People are going to and fro. Traffic jams are common.

Now let's look at knowledge. We see advances in technology and science and medicine that are taking place that have not happened yet prior to this time in history.

I also believe that Daniel 12:4 could refer to the time period of the Tribulation when all these cataclysmic events are coming upon the earth and people will run to and from the Bible to gain understanding of what is happening and what is taking place. Why are these things coming upon the earth?

If we continue if we look at verses 8 and 9, we find that God says those prophecies will not be understood until the end times. There have been some happenings historically and technologically that help us understand these prophecies. For example, look at the nation of Israel. When teaching prophecy, I'm always stressing the importance of the nation of Israel. Prior to 1948, it would be very difficult to understand a lot of the prophecies concerning what's going to happen with Israel. But, now that Israel is in the land, we can more clearly understand these things.

Let's look also in Revelation when it speaks of how there will be two witnesses who will be killed and their bodies will lie in the street for three days. We're told the whole world will look upon them. Well, how could that have happened prior to the invention of satellite television? Now we have smart phones to watch video. I think that will allow the means by which many people will look upon these two witnesses and their dead bodies.

Finally, we look at Revelation where it tells us that a third of the earth will be burned during the Tribulation. Now that we have the capability of nuclear warfare, I think we have a clear explanation as to how that can happen, and how it can happen so quickly.

I think those are just a few of the many examples of the events that Daniel wrote about, and how now we can understand them a lot better.

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
Daniel was shown four great empires. He was only living in the first one, so discussion of the other three were all yet future. The empire that he spent the most time on was number four, and number four was going to be a worldwide empire led by somebody whom we later identify in Scripture as the Antichrist. The peoples he originated from would be the continuation of the Roman Empire we believe. So, Daniel was talking about something that he didn't know anything about yet. It was revealed to him in Scripture, but was yet to happen in history.

The Bible is full of examples of delayed understanding. Revelation has one where the Battle of Armageddon is talked about. There's going to be at least a 200 million man army raised at that time. The Apostle John could not have understood that as there was only 200 million people in the entire world at the time he wrote that. Who understands an army of 200 million? The generation today with almost seven billion people on the planet could. So, these things are understandable the further we get into history.

Michael Norten, Author of Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts
Daniel obviously wouldn't have necessarily understood about how the Messiah would be cut off. What a surprise to learn about the Temple being destroyed again!

Technology is trying desperately to catch up with the Bible. As new breakthroughs are made, we understand prophecy better than we just did 20 years ago. The closer we come to fulfillment, the easier it is for us to understand what was formerly not understood prophecy. I believe that's what God was referring to when He told Daniel to seal up his book.


In the ninth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will finish answering, "Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Daniel Panel: Delayed Understanding - Part 1

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The third question is related to the twelfth chapter of Daniel where the prophet Daniel was given many end time prophecies which he did not understand. When he asked the Lord to explain them, he was told that they would not be understood until the time came for them to be fulfilled. Are we in that period of time today when we are understanding end time prophecies that no one has ever understood before? And if so, does that mean we are living in the season of the Lord's return?

So the question for our experts is this:

#3. Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
Yes, we are. One of the opening prophetic chapters of Daniel is chapter 2 where Daniel interprets the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar concerning the successive Gentile empires that would rule over Israel. In that interpretation given to Daniel, God told him only initially that the first empire would be the Babylonian Empire. God didn't really explain to him what the other empires would actually turn out to be.

Later on in chapter 8 in the vision of the ram and he-goat, God reveals to Daniel the next two empires, which were the Medo-Persian Empire and the Greek Empire. But, the fourth empire — the one that Daniel was most interested in and asked about, God does not specifically say it's the Roman Empire. Later in Daniel 9, it's revealed to Daniel that the people of that fourth empire would destroy Jerusalem, and from history we know that it was the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Because of that destruction, we now know that the people of the Antichrist accordingly were from the Roman Empire, as the Antichrist will be.

I'm not sure if Daniel really understood who that fourth empire was, but God then begins to give him many other details about that coming Roman Empire, including that last stage or last phase of it represented by the feet of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream which is not made of solid iron but iron that has been mixed with clay. This imagery indicates a kind of weakness that would be in that last stage of the Revived Roman Empire. Even then, I don't think that Daniel fully understood that last empire. From where we are in history, obviously we can look back at Rome. Having now gone beyond 70 AD, we can understand Daniel's prophecies much better and we can see today that the Roman Empire has revived in the form of the European Union. That's one example of the many prophecies that Daniel probably did not fully understand, and there are probably others.

Daniel is told in chapter 12 to close up the book and seal it because it was meant for the times in many days to come. Those prophecies were not all for his time. I think that Daniel could accept that and realized that he was merely the recorder, the messenger. He was not the one who would need to be able to explain all of it to everybody in his day.

Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible Church
One of the examples that comes to mind is Daniel 7:23. There the passage talks about the final empire that would exist before the Second Advent of Jesus. It is the fourth beast and Daniel says it's going to subdue. The language is very specific about that. The final empire is going to subdue the whole world. That's talking about a one-world government.

I don't think Daniel in his time period could have ever seen something like a one-world government with his own eyes. He was prophesying during the days of Neo-Babylonia which was a localized government, and yet he's revealing some entity that would have jurisdiction over the entire world according to Daniel 7:23.

Just look at what's happening today. Look at the plans in store for a one-world government. Look how these politicians no matter what party they are in can't even get through a speech without mentioning globalism in some way. Clearly we are living in the time period where we have caught up to Daniel's prophecy of globalism.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries
Within the prophecies of Daniel, especially in the issue of the four empires and the final ruler of the fourth empire who is the Antichrist, there are lots of gaps in the information. You could not just take the book of Daniel and develop a full-scale chronological sequence of events. Daniel is told to seal the book, for it would not be fully understood in his time. Not that nothing could be understood, but a lot couldn't be understood.

When John finishes Revelation, he is told the opposite, to not seal the book because the missing pieces of information in Daniel were then provided in Revelation. When you combine the two books, you can get a good study of the sequence of events. And so, the reason that Daniel is told his prophecies wouldn't be fully understood is because there are gaps in the information, and those gaps we now have filled in Revelation.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
Daniel 12:4 says that, "Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased." I believe we are seeing that knowledge being increased today in the 21st Century. I have no doubt in my mind that Daniel longed to want to understand these prophecies, but he could just not understand them in his day. But, in the Last Days, those who will seek to understand and read these prophecies will be able to do so.

I tried reading the Bible before I became a born again Christian and it was like trying to read Chinese. I couldn't understand one iota of that book. But, when I got saved, then the Holy Spirit of God came to reside within me. That's the last days ministry of the Holy Spirit as explained in John chapters 14-16 which tell us that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us to understand these very prophecies. Psalm 119:18 is fulfilled, "Open thou my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." So, it's the Holy Spirit of God that illuminates us to understand these very prophecies.

God told Daniel, "Daniel, you are going to seal the book, and these prophecies are not going to happen in your lifetime." And yet, God tells John in Revelation 22:10, "Seal not the sayings or the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand." That's talking about the imminency of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ which could happen at any moment and at any time. Until the return happens, knowledge will be increased and so too our understanding of these last days prophecies.

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
In Daniel 2, it's recorded that Nebuchadnezzar lay in his bed one night and he had a dream. Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon and so a very powerful man of a very powerful empire. He saw a statue that was composed of four different kinds of metals. He didn't understand what this statue meant, so Daniel was called in eventually and he interpreted this dream for Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar was wondering what was going to happen in the last days and later years. After he was gone, what would life be like? Who's going to be running things? Daniel's interpretation of that dream is the answer to Nebuchadnezzar's question about what is going to happen in later days. Specifically, Daniel talked about the four empires: the Babylonian Empire which Nebuchadnezzar was a part of, then the Medo-Persian, then the Greek, and then the Roman Empire.

Very, very interesting is the part of the interpretation that just grabs my attention which is that dream ends with a stone that is cut out of this mountain without human hands. That stone becomes the dominant, the premiere kingdom, over all the earth. It crushes even any memory of the original four. That could not be understood until the days in which we are living right now, and that's the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.


In the eighth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer, "Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Daniel Panel: The Gap Prophecy - Part 3

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The second question is related to one of Daniel's most famous prophecies called the "Prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years" which is found in Daniel chapter 9. Beginning with verse 24, Daniel prophesies that six spiritual goals will be accomplished among the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. He then proceeds to divide the 490 years into three periods.

The first division is a seven week period or 49 years during which the Temple would be rebuilt. This would be followed by a period of 62 weeks of years, or 434 years, making a total of 483 years. The ending point of this second period of time would be the death of the Messiah. It just so happens that it was exactly 483 years from the time Artaxerxes the King of Persia issued an edict for the rebuilding of the Temple to the time when Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This left one week of years, or seven years, of Daniel's prophecy to be accounted for and finally fulfilled.

So the question for our experts is this:

#2. Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
In the book of Daniel in chapter 9, there are six things that will be accomplished by the end of the 70 Weeks of Daniel. First accomplished was to finish the transgression, second to make an end of sin, third to make atonement for iniquity, fourth to bring in everlasting righteousness, fifth to seal up vision and prophecy, and sixth to anoint the most holy place. The only way to believe that those have already been accomplished is to give ourselves over to the allegorical approach to Scripture.

Take number one, for example, to finish the transgression. This is talking about the Jewish transgression, because Daniel was writing to his people Israel. Has the transgression of the Jewish people ended? No. Make an end of sin, has that ended? No. Make atonement for iniquity? This is probably talking about the Feast of Atonement, but that's an upcoming event that Jesus Christ will personally supervise when He comes to the earth bringing everlasting righteousness. Nobody in their right mind would argue that we have everlasting righteousness today just looking at the world and the condition it is in. Seal up vision and prophecy? We can discuss that one. Anoint the most holy place? I believe that's a reference to Jerusalem receiving the King of King and Lord of Lords, which is Jesus. He'll anoint that Holy place and make Jerusalem the capital of the entire world.

These 70 weeks have not fully occurred yet if you demand their literal interpretation.

Gary Frazier, Discovery Worldwide Ministries
I absolutely believe that at the end of the 69th week of years as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27 there is a very clear gap. What happens textually is that we have the Messiah, the Anointed One, who is cut off. At that point in time, as the text continues we then can see clearly that there's going to be the fulfillment of the final 70th week.

When we look historically at this, we know that those events did not happen in the very near future following the time that Daniel wrote this. But more importantly, I think there's an obvious gap there simply because of the fact that during Daniel's day when God gave that vision to Daniel, He repeatedly speaks about the fact that this is about your people and about your city. This relates to the Jewish people. There was not a clear understanding then that there was going to be something called the ecclesia, the Church, the "called out ones." When the Church was born, that Church Age or that Age of Grace when the Gospel would be taken to the whole world, that was not something that the Jewish people could grasp at that particular time say 500 or so years before Jesus. I personally see a very clear gap there that facilitates the spread of the Gospel.

After the gap, ultimately the Tribulation period that we know is coming will be ushered in, and that's the final seven year period. I think a person who honestly sits down without a preconceived agenda and reads the book of Daniel literally as God intends will come away with a very clear understanding that there's very obviously a period of time between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel.

Randall Price, World of the Bible Ministries
Let's call the time between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel a gap, or a parenthesis, or intercalation. Some of the idea of a gap is in the grammar itself, allowing for it because Daniel says "after the 69 weeks."

Amillennialists want to put that 70th week immediately at the time of the Crucifixion leading up to the end of the Second Temple. The grammar doesn't say that. No, the text is very careful in the way it says this. In the Hebrew text there's something called athnach, which seems to make a break there so that you would see these things as quite different. These are interpretive notes that the rabbis put in.

From my perspective, when we look at the content of the text, it's very clear that what comes after this cannot be related to what goes before this, because we already have mentioned the prince who is related to the people who will destroy the Temple and the sanctuary. That is one text. Then it goes on to say that this one who is coming, who is related to them, is himself going to be involved in desecrating, not destroying the Temple, but desecrating the Temple and making a covenant. He then himself will be destroyed as a result of that act. None of that fits in past history. It certainly can't fit the time of the First Temple. It can't fit any history afterwards.

As futurists we are looking at Daniel 9 as a template, or a pattern, or even a paradigm you might say, for the Olivet Discourse fulfilled in the book of Revelation in chapter 6-19. It seems so clear that the 70th Week of Daniel is this prophetic time period that's mentioned by Jesus. He already says, "When you see (future) the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet," and that comes from Daniel 9:27, so that has to be fulfilled yet future from Jesus' time. The Apostle Paul uses the same language in 2 Thessalonians 2-4, and then Revelation 11:2 picks up the same language talking about forces who will desecrate for 3 1/2 years or 1,260 days the area outside the sanctuary. From that point of view, the desecration of the Temple cannot fit as part of the past history that Daniel is talking about. No, it has to be projected into the far future.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
As matter of fact, I think there are two gaps. At the end of the 69 Weeks it says that the Messiah is cut off, though not for Himself. The people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The Messiah came at the end of the 69 weeks and He died, and apparently the clock stopped there. Then in about 40 years, the next prophecy was fulfilled which was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary. So, there's a little gap there of 40 years.

The next event to look at is the wicked prince. This prince comes and makes a treaty with the many, which presumably is Israel because the whole prophecy is about Jerusalem and Israel. The Antichrist makes this treaty for one week, that's seven years according to Daniel, and that's the beginning of the Tribulation.

So, there's a little gap between the Messiah being cut off and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. And then after that, there's a long gap that has lasted 2,000 years before the Tribulation is kicked off with the signing of the agreement, or covenant, between the Antichrist and Israel. This is still yet in the future.

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
When we read in Daniel 9, it talks about six accomplishments. When the 490 years Daniel is given ends, six things would have happened.

The first thing to happen is to finish the transgression. That means the people, the Jews, who have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they have to finish the transgression of rejecting their own Messiah.

The second thing to happen is to make an end of sin. The end of sin is the end of rebellion against God. So, at the end of the 490 years, rebellion against God would have ended.

The third thing to happen is to make atonement for iniquity. There has to be a sacrifice for the sins of the people, and that's Jesus' death on the cross.

The fourth is to bring in everlasting righteousness. You have to have righteous people to have everlasting righteousness, and you have to have a righteous king, and that's only the Messiah as King.

The fifth accomplishment would be to seal up vision and prophecy. Prophecy had to finally be fulfilled. All the prophecies given to Daniel have to come to a conclusion at the end of those 490 years.

Finally, the sixth thing that has to happen deals with the anointing of the most holy place. The most holy place is the Temple. There has to be a genuine Temple, but we are talking about the Temple Jesus sets up at the Second Coming.

Right there in Daniel 9:24-27, we are given those things that must happen by the end of the 490 years. Those things haven't all come to fulfillment yet, so there's a gap in time between the 69th week of Daniel and the 70th week.


In the seventh part of this series on the book of Daniel, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will next answer the third question, "Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Daniel Panel: The Gap Prophecy - Part 2

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The second question is related to one of Daniel's most famous prophecies called the "Prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years" which is found in Daniel chapter 9. Beginning with verse 24, Daniel prophesies that six spiritual goals will be accomplished among the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. He then proceeds to divide the 490 years into three periods.

The first division is a seven week period or 49 years during which the Temple would be rebuilt. This would be followed by a period of 62 weeks of years, or 434 years, making a total of 483 years. The ending point of this second period of time would be the death of the Messiah. It just so happens that it was exactly 483 years from the time Artaxerxes the King of Persia issued an edict for the rebuilding of the Temple to the time when Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This left one week of years, or seven years, of Daniel's prophecy to be accounted for and finally fulfilled.

So the question for our experts is this:

#2. Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
There is a gap between the 69th week and the 70th week of prophecy. Daniel clearly tells us in Daniel 9:24-26 that 69 weeks have already literally been fulfilled. The starting point for the 69 weeks is found in Nehemiah 2. Nehemiah reports rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem, and counting from 444 BC when that event happened all the way to the year 30-31 AD when Jesus comes down the Mount of Olives riding on a donkey thus fulfilling Zechariah's prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, the following day Jesus was crucified, thus ending the 69 weeks of prophecy. Daniel tells us in chapter 9:25 that after the 69 weeks of prophecy the Messiah is cut off, and that refers to the death penalty of crucifixion. Those 69 weeks have already literally been fulfilled.

There is one week of years that is still future, and that's a future seven year period of tribulation that will come upon this world. We see clearly then that gap between the 69 weeks and the start of Daniel's 70th week of prophecy.

What officially begins that seven year countdown? Daniel 9:27 tells us this, "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall perform the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate even to the consummation, and that determine shall be poured out upon the desolate." So, it's not that the Rapture begins the Tribulation period, but it's when this Antichrist confirms a seven year peace covenant with the nation of Israel, that's what will begin the final 70th week of Daniel's prophecy.

So what is that gap of time? It's the Church Age, from Pentecost up to now and until the trumpet sounds and we're taken out of here at the Rapture. Somewhere down the line the Antichrist comes on the scene, confirming a covenant with Israel, and that start's Daniel's final seven year countdown.

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
There's no question in my mind that there's a gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years. I believe the Daniel sequence of events becoming historical facts proves that. For example, Daniel said seven weeks of years would pass, and then he said 62 weeks of years would pass. Then he said that Messiah the prince would appear and be cut off, but not for Himself. Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and He was crucified about 32 or 33 AD, depending upon which dates you accept.

Then, the next thing that Daniel said, he said that the people of the prince shall come, the people of the Antichrist, and the Romans would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. That happened in about 70 AD. And so, you've got a gap right there between 32-33 AD when Jesus made His triumphal entry and was crucified until 70 AD when the Temple was destroyed. But, that gap is longer than those 40 or so years, because look at the next thing that Daniel said. He skipped down to the time of the end and he mentioned the fact that the Antichrist would sign a covenant with many for a period of one week of years. So, you've got a gap there again.

There's one other thing I think that indicates a gap. The angel talked about the Temple being destroyed, and that happened in 70 AD. But, it has to be rebuilt by the middle of the Tribulation period, so you need a gap or a time factor in there between the destruction of the Temple and the rebuilding of the Temple so that the Antichrist can stop the animal sacrifices and set himself up to be worshipped.

To me, it's just a sure thing that there's a gap. The sequence of events and the historical facts verify it to be so.

Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
The gap exists between the 69th and the 70th week. There's a reason for that gap. There was a question in the minds of the Old Testament prophets about how God was going to incorporate the Gentiles into the family of God. Paul addressed this is Ephesians chapters 2 and 3 very clearly. At the rejection of Messiah and beginning with the day of Pentecost, we have what's commonly called the Age of Grace, or the Church Age, or the Dispensation of the Church. At the beginning the Church was almost exclusively Jewish, but that soon changed with the spreading of the Gospel. As a result of that spread, the Gentiles became the dominant culture within the Church. It was through the avenue of this gap, this Church Age, that the Gentiles were brought into fellowship with God.

The Apostle Paul was very clear about the time when the last Gentile enters into the Body of Christ, not is saved, but enters into the Body of Christ. God is going to end this dispensation called the Church Age with the return of Jesus, to take the Church out of the world. Soon after that event, with the signing of a treaty of some kind brokered by Antichrist, that last week of years will begin and it's going to end with the Second Coming of Jesus.

So, yes, there's a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of years, and the purpose of that gap is to include the Gentiles into the promises that God made to humanity.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
Yes, absolutely there's a gap, because if you take the 69 "sevens" as 483 years from the decree to rebuild the city until the death of the Messiah, it clearly says in that passage that the Messiah will be cut off or killed. He's going to die for others, and not for Himself. That was clearly fulfilled in the death of Christ. So, the 483 years definitely lapsed right on time and right on schedule with the prophecy.

The question is, what do you do with the final seven years, the 70th "seven," the shavoia is the Hebrew term, the epitaph of seven years? When does that come to pass? Well, after Jesus died on the cross, seven years later all of prophecy had not been fulfilled. All of this had not come to pass as even the destruction of the Temple was 40 years later, not seven years later. So, it's obvious to most people that seven years is yet to be fulfilled in the future, in the time of Tribulation, which is also called the "time of Jacob's trouble."

All the rest of the passages concerning the 70th Week are about the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem. If the first 69 "sevens" are about the history of the Jew, why would not the 70th "seven" be about the history of the Jews as well? It's really as though God's time-clock starts ticking with the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to go and rebuilt the city, and for 483 years that clock ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks.. and stops at the death of Christ.

The gap is that God is now dealing in the Church Age with Gentiles as well as Jews. This was unforeseen in the Old Testament, and it's not part of the prophecy to the nation of Israel because they are going to be scattered during this time. When Israel returns to the land and the stage is set as it is today, once the Rapture occurs and the Church Age has come to an end, I believe the clock starts ticking again and the final seven years tick off as the world goes through the time of tribulation to the triumphal return of Christ.


In the sixth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will finish answering, "Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Daniel Panel: The Gap Prophecy - Part 1

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We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The second question is related to one of Daniel's most famous prophecies called the "Prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years" which is found in Daniel chapter 9. Beginning with verse 24, Daniel prophesies that six spiritual goals would be accomplished among the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. He then proceeds to divide the 490 years into three periods.

The first division is a seven week period or 49 years during which the Temple would be rebuilt. This would be followed by a period of 62 weeks of years, or 434 years, making a total of 483 years. The ending point of this second period of time would be the death of the Messiah. It just so happens that it was exactly 483 years from the time Artaxerxes the King of Persia issued an edict for the rebuilding of the Temple to the time when Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This left one week of years, or seven years, of Daniel's prophecy to be accounted for and finally fulfilled.

So the question for our experts is this:

#2. Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?

David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
This question is so important. Those who hold to the Amillennial viewpoint claim that the remaining seven weeks were fulfilled immediately after the death of Jesus because they believe God has no purpose left for the Jews.

Those who hold to a Pre-millennial view of Bible prophecy argue there is a time gap in the prophecy and that the last seven years of the prophecy will be fulfilled in the end times during the seven years of the Great Tribulation. That's when God will focus once again on the Jewish people and save a great remnant of them.

I strongly believe there is a time gap in Daniel's prophecy for a number of reasons. I believe we are still in that time gap today, and it's called the Church Age. When that age soon comes to an end, it will be followed by the final seven years of Daniel's prophecy in the form of the Tribulation.

The strongest argument in behalf of that gap is that the six prophecies of Daniel 9 that were to be fulfilled among the Jewish people during the 490 year time period remain unfulfilled to this day.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
Yes, there's definitely a gap. The 70 weeks of years were not immediate consecutive slots of time. After all, Daniel's 70 Weeks was explained to him in that it would occur in three segments of time. There would be seven weeks of years followed by 62 weeks of years, and finally one week of years.

Daniel 9:25-26 says that 70 weeks would begin with the going forth of the decree for the Jews to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. That's the first segments that would be seven weeks of years.

The second segment covers 62 weeks of years, when at the conclusion of those 69 weeks is when Messiah is cut off, which was at the Crucifixion. There was no break then obviously between the first and second segment.

The next seven years, which are the final seven years of that 70 weeks of Daniel, would have had to follow immediately after the Crucifixion. But, then Daniel goes on to say in the very next verse 27 that in that last seven years that it would be initiated by a covenant which will be confirmed by the Antichrist with many of the Jewish people. Obviously that didn't happen. The Antichrist is still this futuristic character as far as being on the scene of world politics. We can't recognize him from the past, and so because he's future there has to be a time gap.

Another reason can be found in verse 24. Daniel's told that "70 week are determined upon thy people." This is a determined time. It's not an actual time. When you look at a football game there are four quarters of 15 minutes each, and that's the determined time, but it's certainly not the actual time of the game which would in reality go on for maybe two or three hours. Why is that? Well, because there are breaks in-between quarters and there are times out and half-time and so forth.

When God dealt with that first 69 weeks of Daniel, He stopped His clock so to speak and turned His attention away from dealing with Daniel's people to instead turn to the Gentile nations of the world. We entered into that wonderful period in history in which we are still living today called the Church Age, or the Age of Grace. This time period has God gathering out from among the population of the world a very particular group of people, a special group, called the Church or the Bride of Christ.

We don't know when the last person is going to be saved and enter into the Body of Christ, but I can tell you that when that last person is saved and the Bride is complete, the Groom is going to come for His Bride, and that's the Rapture of the Church. That will be the conclusion of that gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel. Then God will complete those 70 weeks that He said He had determined upon Daniel's people with that last one week of time, that last seven years, which we refer to as the Tribulation.

That's the overall view of the 70 Weeks of Daniel. We are living in that gap period if you will of the Church Age right now in-between the 69th and the 70th weeks of Daniel.

Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible Church
I do believe there is a gap. I'm going to go right back to Jesus, because Jesus quoted Daniel 9:27 in Matthew 24:15, and that's in the context of the future. Then, just a couple verses later, Jesus talks about a time of unparalleled distress coming upon the world. He talks in verses 27 and 28 about His coming as the sign in the sky.

So, yes, I believe there's a gap. One of the main reasons I believe this is because Jesus believed there's a gap. If those segments kept running consecutively then all of the six events mentioned in Daniel 9:24 concerning Daniel's people and Daniel's city concerning the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel would be a reality today, but we don't see Israel today spiritually restored. She's been brought back to the land, but she's not yet in belief. So, there's obviously some kind of suspension in that prophecy. Therefore, there's a gap in the three segments.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries
Exegetically, Daniel divides the seventy "sevens" into three categories. First of all, seven "sevens" or 49 years is designated for the time Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Then we're told in Daniel that there will be another 62 "sevens" for a total of 483 before the Messiah arrives. This does not apply any break or gap of time between the first subdivision and the second subdivision.

But, then the angel doesn't go directly to the third subdivision, which is the last seven years. He says that after the sixty-second seven, three things would happen. One, the Messiah would be killed, which happened around AD 30-33. Second, Jerusalem would be destroyed along with the Temple. That happened in AD 70, followed by a long period of wars and desolations. After the long period of wars and desolations, then comes the last seven. The last seven begins with one event, and that's the signing of the seven year covenant between Israel and the Antichrist. That's what triggers the last seven years.

So, purely for exegetical reasons, there does appear to be a gap of time between the sixty-ninth seven and the seventieth seven. I believe that based on those exegetical reasons.


In the fifth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer, "Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Daniel Panel: Validity of the Book - Part 3

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Over the next few weeks we are going to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The first question is related to the fact that no book of the Bible has been attacked more viciously than the book of Daniel. Liberal critics hate the book with a passion because it contains precise prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled in history. They argue therefore that it must have been written long after the time of Daniel.

So the question for our experts is this:

#1. Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
The critics are liberal theologians. They take the fact that Daniel was written during the exile in the Sixth Century BC and they bring its timing all the way up to about 100 years before Christ. They do this because they hate Bible prophecy. They hate the fact that Daniel was so perfectly precise about the history, especially between the Seleucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt and the wars between them over 200 years.

Since the critics hate Bible prophecy, they have to do two things. First, they have to scuttle the date of the book. Second, they also have to scuttle the authorship as genuinely being Daniel.

Let's look particularly at the authorship of the book of Daniel. Critics have about four particular arguments that they make against Daniel being the author.

First, they'll say that the Book of Daniel is filled with historical errors, like for instance Belshazzar being listed as the son of Nebuchadnezzar. But, that's as easy one to explain. "Son" was a common title in the lineage of the kings, so he just meant that Belshazzar was a descendent of Nebuchadnezzar.

Second, the critics say Daniel 12:1 speaks of his death, so how then could Daniel write about his own death? The passage reads, "And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus." He merely remained there; it doesn't mean he died then. So, again, that's rather a useless argument.

Third, the critics will say the unity of the book of Daniel disproves that he was the author. Chapters 1-6 are historic in Daniel's life, and 7-12 are prophetic visions. But, who says that Daniel sat down all at one time and wrote the whole book out in one shot. He had over a whole lifetime to write this down. We all come in and out of things that happen in our lives. And, don't forget, the book of Daniel still has unity of theme.

Fourth, another critical argument is over languages. Chapter 1 and the beginning of 2 and 8-12 were written in Hebrew, while the rest of the middle chapters are written in Aramaic. That's easy to explain, because the chapters that are written in Hebrew are for the Jews. The ones that are written in Aramaic are for the Gentiles. No problem there.

Let's stop and remember that Jesus is the one who said in Matthew 24:15, "So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand." By saying "spoken of by the prophet Daniel," Jesus confirmed the authorship of Daniel. By Jesus we know that Daniel was written by Daniel.

Randall Price, World of the Bible Ministries
Liberal theologians want to date Daniel in the Second Century BC because it has prophecies that are so accurate and so clear concerning Antiochus IV Epiphanies and the Maccabees, and so they'll say there is no way this could be known except through what they call "post eventu" prophecy. That means "after the fact" prophecy. They'll make a wild claim that someone must have lived during that period prophesied to be writing in an apocalyptic genre and in the pseudonym of someone else, such as a famous person like Daniel.

Then critics will place Daniel as past history though with a sense of future history. The problem is the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest copies of the Bible that we have. Among them we now know are 11 fragments of the book of Daniel. That's 11 different copies of Daniel. These are all reliably dated to at least the late Second Century or the early First Century BC. And, another problem is that they are already copies of copies. These fragments are not fresh off the press. These are ones that have been in circulation for awhile. Therefore, Daniel is obviously recognized as canonical, which is part of what's considered sacred Scripture. These copies all come from the same time period.

Critics also allege a pseudo-Daniel wrote the book. There are a couple of problems with that theory. It takes a long time for any type of writing to be considered and adopted as relevant literature, much less sacred Scripture. There's authority invested in it. Then, if you don't know who the author is, even more time, but that's not the case. Daniel is a book that's long already been considered sacred Scripture.

At the very time during the Second Century BC when critics say Daniel had to have been written, that's impossible. The date of Daniel gets pushed back further, and any time you push it back before the Second Century BC, you already have to deal with the fact that you've got predictive prophecy. So, your case is won and their case is lost, because the only reason they argue this way is because they are anti-supernatural. They don't want to see there's a God who can tell the future.

Tim LaHaye, Tim LaHaye Ministries
Early dating Daniel is an old hackneyed idea from the liberal era when they were trying to destroy Daniel. And yet, Daniel is included in the Septuagint, but they still won't admit that Daniel was written at least 600 to 500 years before Christ. The Septuagint came out in 275 BC, so Daniel had to have been in print before that time, because it took probably 100 years for the book to circulate out. So, it's at least 350 years out, so what's the different? Whether 500 years or 350 years, it's therefore prophesy and so it's a supernatural act of God. The Dead Sea Scrolls kind of erased early dating when they discovered some of the writings of the prophets and realized that our Bible is the most authenticated book in the history of the world.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
The one argument that critics mostly deal in is the idea that Daniel could not have written about the events of the 300's and the 200's and the 100's BC. And yet, Daniel describes in considerable detail such events as Alexander the Great, depicted as the ram with one horn and that one horn being broken off and four horns taking its place. What a fantastic picture of what actually happened at the time of Alexander the Great! In 300 BC, Daniel couldn't have known that Alexander's army would be broken into four regions, they say.

The description of the war between the Israelites and Antiochus Epiphanies around 175 BC, when Antiochus Epiphanies desecration of the Temple and the Maccabean War started, is described in considerable detail in Daniel. So, the critics have decided the book had to have been written after 175 BC. Why? Because his prophecies are too accurate, and his history is too accurate for somebody to have written it back in the 500 BCs. Since these critics do not believe in predictive prophecy, Daniel cannot have been written in 500 BC. They rake Daniel over the coals. However, we believe that God does know the end from the beginning. God does give predictive prophecy and He gives predictive details.

Gary Frazier, Discovery Worldwide Ministries
First of all, let me just say that we'll always have those liberal theologians who are constantly attacking the accuracy and the authority of the Word of God. I personally don't spend much time with these people because I've found through the years that no matter how much we reason with them, you're simply not going to change their mind. They basically do not believe in the inerrancy and the authority of the Word of God. And so, you can talk to these supposed educated, articulate, and well informed individuals, but they already have their minds made up. They've bought into these various forms of German Rationalism, forms of Higher Criticism, and so forth. They try to take the Bible as though it's just simply a standard text. It's not. It is God-breathed.

The Jewish people have long accepted the book of Daniel as being written by the prophet Daniel. Jesus Himself in Matthew 24 referred to the book of Daniel when he said, "When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." If you take that perspective, then you have to understand that book had to either have been written in the very short span of the life and ministry of Jesus, or Jesus got it wrong. I'm not buying that.

I don't waste a lot of my time with liberal theologians. God's called me to preach the Bible, not necessarily defend it.

David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
The historical evidence proves that the book of Daniel existed long before the events it prophesied. In my opinion, the most important argument in defense of Daniel is the fact that Jesus Himself endorsed the book when He quoted it in His Olivet Discourse. If it was good enough for Jesus, then it's certainly good enough for me.


In the fourth part of this series on understanding the book of Daniel, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will next answer the second question, "Is there a time gap in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years?"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Daniel Panel: Validity of the Book - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we are going to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The first question is related to the fact that no book of the Bible has been attacked more viciously than the book of Daniel. Liberal critics hate the book with a passion because it contains precise prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled in history. They argue therefore that it must have been written long after the time of Daniel.

So the question for our experts is this:

#1. Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
I would remind those critics of several things. First, I would remind them that Jesus quoted from the book of Daniel. That's very important. Jesus called Daniel a prophet. As far as I'm concerned, that settles the issue for me.

Second, I would remind those critics of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars say that the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden at least 200 years before the time of Jesus. If the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden at least 200 years before the time of Jesus, then the book of Daniel had to have been written at least 200 years before the time of Jesus, because a complete copy of the book of Daniel was found with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Third, the fact that the book of Daniel uses wording and is written in a style that went out of use hundreds of years before the time of Jesus indicates that the book was written, well, hundreds of years before the time of Jesus.

The fourth and last thing that I would remind those critics of is that Daniel not only prophesied things that would happen before and during the inter-testamental period, he also prophesied things that would happen after the inter-testamental period. He prophesied that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed, and that the Roman Empire would break up but would come back into being. He prophesied that Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt. If Daniel could accurately prophesy things that would happen after the time of Jesus and the inter-testamental period, he could also accurately prophesy things that would happen before the time of Jesus and the inter-testamental period.

In conclusion, I would say that those critics are wrong. The book of Daniel was written several hundred years before the time of Jesus.

Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
Many of these critics actually don't want to give God any credit in that He can speak the future in advance. Daniel is a perfect example of what God said He would do. God said that He's a God that would speak the end at the beginning. Daniel's prophecy is proof text to that.

One of the problems I have with the critics is that if they don't believe what Daniel prophesied that have already come to pass, then they don't believe in the later prophecies as well. Daniel was truly a man of God. His prophecies were truly of the Lord, and history bares it out. We can trust Daniel's prophecies.

I normally let the critics know that even if they don't believe in the first part of Daniel's prophecies coming to pass, and that they have no confidence in the later prophecies that still have to come to pass, well I still do believe.

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
The accusations that the liberal critics present regarding Daniel are without any foundation. Whether you are looking at the book of Daniel from the internal or the external perspective, there is still evidence.

I think more important than the accusations against Daniel are the reasons for the critic's accusations. They could be classified basically into two areas. First, if they accept Daniel as an early date and the prophecies that Daniel recorded were fulfilled literally, then they have to admit that God is a miraculous God and there are such things as miracles. If they admit that prophecy is real, then they have to admit that the prophecies that Daniel wrote about regarding the end times must also be one day fulfilled literally.

Second, one of the reasons they do not accept Daniel as written during an early date is that it lifts up the Jews and the nation of Israel. Daniel is very specific and very clear that the nation of Israel and the Jewish people will play a very, very important role in end time prophecy and the history of humanity. Anti-Semitism just absolutely forbids the liberal critic from accepting that. Anti-Semitism is such a strong part of that kind of liberal theology that no matter how clear Daniel is, it's totally rejected many times simply on the basis of Anti-Semitism.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
The very basic problem is that the critics for the most part do not believe in predictive prophecy of any kind. So, the fact that Daniel made any future prophecies is a problem for them right from the beginning. For them, a priori, in advance, you just can't do that. I mean, if you can predict the future, this would be the Word of God, and it can't be that. So, if I'm determined that it has to be a humanistic book produced by a human being, then I have to look for a humanistic explanation of how that book came to be.

They reject the idea that Daniel knew about the four empires that would succeed one another in advance, even though the Roman Empire didn't even exist at that time. Even a critic would have to admit if you push the date of Daniel back to the Second Century BC, Rome still wasn't ruling the world at that point, so they say, "Well, he made a lucky guess." Or, "People have read that into it after the fact." In reality, God uses Daniel to help us understand what was going to happen in the future.

Daniel's prophecies deal especially with the Jewish people. He keeps saying in the book, "your people," the Jews; "your Holy city," which is Jerusalem. These four empires that he predicted would succeed one another from Babylon to Persia to Greece to Rome all dealt with the Jewish people. The Babylonians destroyed the first Temple. The Persians allowed the Jews to rebuild the second Temple. The Greeks desecrated the second Temple. And, the Romans destroyed the second Temple. All of that is part of the total picture of that prophecy.

When Daniel then goes on to predict what would happen in what we would call the inter-testamental period, then the flag goes up again and the critics say, "Oh, he couldn't have known all of that in advance. Why, it would take divine inspiration to understand that." So, the first challenge is if you don't believe God can predict the future in advance, then you're going to have to try to explain this away somehow.

Critics will also look at a few challenges in the text and say, "What about the Persian words that appear in the text?" Well, Daniel tells you himself that he's living in the Persian period after the fall of Babylon. The Persian words were all administrative titles that were used of administrators in the Persian Empire in the part of the story that deals with the Persian aspect of the empire. The Babylonian part is clearly Babylonian and the three Greek words are instruments in Nebuchadnezzar's band that he has imported from Europe, his latest "alternative rock band from Europe" that's going to play at the dedication of his statue.

The hermeunalogy used in the book clearly indicates a Sixth Century author, not a Second Century author. The Aramaic of Daniel 2-7 is royal Aramaic. It's Sixth Century Aramaic. It's not Second Century Aramaic, and the critics know that.

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
Josephus Flavius was the court historian for three successive emperors in the Roman Empire. He recorded that Alexander the Great when he annexed Jerusalem received a copy of the book of Daniel, and that occurred in 332 BC. We have Josephus' record to know that the book of Daniel was at least recorded by 332 BC. That's a pretty convincing argument for an early dating of Daniel. Also, all of the Septuagint which was translated in 300 to 200 BC, it included the book of Daniel. So, we have these two witnesses that are very strong.

Michael Norten, Author of Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts
Jesus didn't have any problem with Daniel when he quoted him in Matthew 24. The biggest problem critics have to explain away is Daniel 11. It's so explicit in its prophecies that they just can't stand prophecy being so accurate. That's the big problem for them.


In the third part of this series on understanding the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will finish answering, "Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daniel Panel: Validity of the Book - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we are going to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The first question is related to the fact that no book of the Bible has been attacked more viciously than the book of Daniel. Liberal critics hate the book with a passion because it contains precise prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled in history. They argue therefore that it must have been written long after the time of Daniel.

So the question for our experts is this:

#1. Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
I would say, first of all, that there have always been critics of God's Word as many people have never accepted the fact that we have a miracle-working God. Prophecy in itself is a miracle, and they just cannot accept that.

There's plenty of support for the authority and validity of the book of Daniel, both from the secular world and from other prophets in the Bible. Josephus tells us about the time that Alexander the Great approached Jerusalem with his army and he was met by the High Priest who revealed to Alexander what the prophet Daniel had prophesied about him. This so impressed Alexander that he spared the city so he didn't actually try to destroy Jerusalem. This reference if that conversation took place just as Josephus said would have occurred around 300 BC, which is much, much earlier than when the critics say that Daniel had to have been written.

Probably for me the most definitive authority is our Lord Jesus Christ. He's the one who said in His Olivet Discourse, "When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet," and He goes on to tell that when this happens the people should run for the hills. Jesus made there a reference to His understanding and recognition of Daniel as a true prophet from God. Jesus for me just really settles it all right there.

Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible Church
I would ask the liberal theologians to examine why they hate the book of Daniel first of all. I think the reason they hate it is because if the book was written in the Sixth Century, and it's predicting things that happen in the Second Century, then you've got an omniscient God who's behind it and who can see the end from the beginning. That's unacceptable to the liberal mind, so they have to generate some kind of philosophy. So, they end up dragging Daniel into the Second Century and making it a history lesson.

What did Jesus say about Daniel? You know those bumper stickers, "What would Jesus do?" Let's ask then, "What did Jesus say about the book of Daniel?" Jesus in Matthew 24:15 quoted Daniel 9:27 when He said, "The prophet Daniel says." The liberal mindset claims someone other than Daniel wrote the book, but that really doesn't comport well with what Jesus said. I'd rather agree with Jesus than the liberals at the end of the day myself.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries
To start understanding liberal theologians, they would premise that either God does not exist, and if He does exist, He doesn't provide really true prophecies. Just throw out those detailed prophecies that Daniel provides, especially those in chapter 11!

Liberals then have to give another accounting for prophecies being fulfilled, so they have to give a late date for the book of Daniel. That won't solve all the problems, because the Septuagint has the book of Daniel in it, which puts Daniel no later than 250 BC. A lot of the events like the Maccabean prophecies were not fulfilled until about a century after that. So, they still have a problem no matter what date they use.

If you believe God can make predictive prophecies, then there's no problem. But, for those prophecies in Daniel, they have to find another way to explain them. Also, they don't have any archaeological reasons for a late date of Daniel. It's just a presupposition liberals work from that God does not give detailed prophecies.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
These liberal critics hate the book of Daniel. Daniel was so accurate and precise in his prophecies, so they'll say that Daniel could not have written the book of Daniel, rather someone else after the fact wrote it, or someone after the events of the inter-testamental period wrote of the so called "400 years of silence."

Daniel wrote his prophecies in the Sixth Century BC. Many of those prophecies were fulfilled in the Fourth or Third century BC, and there are other prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled in the future.

We hear all the time, "Oh, Daniel didn't write the book of Daniel." But, somebody in the New Testament confirms the authorship of the book of Daniel, and clearly that is Jesus Christ. He says in Matthew 24:15, "When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whosoever readeth let him understand." Jesus is talking about that future desecration when the Antichrist goes into that third rebuilt Jewish temple and desecrates it. Jesus said Daniel wrote the book. To deny that Daniel wrote the book of Daniel is to deny the very words of Jesus Christ, and we don't want to do that.

Brian Thomas, Blessings to Israel Ministries
The critics, the liberals, the Atheists, the Agnostics — they all love to discredit the book of Daniel. The reason they do so is because Daniel wrote with such accuracy and precision concerning prophecy. He wrote prophecies from the time of his day all the way to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. There are those who say Daniel actually wrote prophecy with more accuracy than historians have written history, and I certainly agree with that as well.

What the critics do then is they will claim Daniel was written around the time of maybe a hundred years before Jesus Christ. They claim that because they try to place it after the time of Antiochus Epiphanies. Daniel wrote about prophecies concerning Antiochus Epiphanies with great accuracy and precision, and that of course shows the divine inspiration of our God. The critics though will say, "Well, that's just not possible."

You can easily dismiss the critics. For example, if we look at the Septuagint, which is the translation of what we call the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, the translation was made around 280 BC, long before the time of Antiochus Epiphanies. Then, if we look at Alexander the Great, he actually spared the city of Jerusalem from destruction because of the fact that the High Priest was able to show that Daniel prophesied of his empire. Then, if we look lastly at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, in Matthew 24:15 He referred to the abomination that causes desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, so therefore our Lord validated the book of Daniel Himself.


In the second part of this series on understanding the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer, "Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wars of the End Times: Armageddon and the Millennial Kingdom

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

We are continuing our series on the nine end times wars prophesied in the Bible. Most people are surprised to find out there are so many, knowing of only the Battle of Armageddon. But, there are nine, and now we'll discuss the eighth and final ninth war.


#8 - The Battle of Armageddon (Joel 3, Zechariah 14, Revelation 19)

We are now at that famous battle, which is no battle at all, as you will see. It brings us to the Battle of Armageddon mentioned in Joel 3, Zechariah 14, and Revelation 19.

It appears that just as the armies from the east and the north start arriving in the Valley of Armageddon to challenge the Antichrist, the Lord breaks from the heavens. He arrives on the Mount of Olives. He speaks a supernatural word and all the armies are instantly destroyed. There is really no Battle of Armageddon. Jesus doesn't lead an army out to fight the Antichrist. He simply speaks a supernatural word, for after all, this is the One who spoke and the whole universe came into existence. He will speak and the Antichrist and his forces will drop dead in their tracks.

We are told in the Bible that Joel 3:16 says, "That the Lord will roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem." Isaiah 10:16 says the result will be a wasting disease. Zechariah 14:12 says that it will be a plague that the Lord will speak and it will cause the flesh of the soldiers to rot while they stand on their feet. It says their eyes will melt in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths, and the blood will be as deep as a horses bridle for a distance of 200 miles.


#9 - The Second Battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20)

Mercifully and joyfully, the Battle of Armageddon will be followed by 1,000 years of peace! The reign of Jesus from Jerusalem results in the world being filled with peace, righteousness, and justice. Swords will be beat into plowshares. The wolf will dwell with the lamb. Little children will play with snakes because they will no longer be poisonous. Jerusalem will be lifted up as the highest place on planet earth.

Jesus will reign as King of King and Lord of Lords. David in his glorified body will be the King of Israel. Multitudes will come from the earth to see the King of Kings. His glory will go out throughout the whole world. The blessings of God will flow through the Jewish nation to all the nations of the world to the point that when one Jew walks by, ten Gentiles will grab his robe and ask, "Can we walk with you because we know that God is with you." What a glorious time that's going to be!

Also, Satan will be bound. Sin and crime will then be greatly reduced.

Still there will be seething rebellion in the hearts of many if not most of those who are born during the Millennial Kingdom. There's going to be a great population explosion during the Millennium. Those who go into the Millennium in the flesh will all be saved people, but they will begin to repopulate the earth, and their children will have to come to the point where they are going to believe in Jesus or not. The point that the Bible makes is that most will not. There will be seething rebellion in the hearts of most people.

Why would there be resentment in the hearts of people in the midst of a perfect reign of Jesus Christ? The answer is really very simple. The answer is simple — because Jesus is going to rule with a rod of iron. Jesus will give the law. The law will be strictly enforced by those of us who will be reigning with Jesus in our glorified bodies. Those living in the flesh will deeply resent the fact that they cannot freely pursue their worldly lusts, because they will continue to have that sin nature in them. They know that if they step out of line there will be instant arrest, instant trial, and instant punishment. No appeal will exist, because every person ruling will have the mind of Christ. Justice will be swift, justice will be certain, and justice will be sure. So, they simply grind their teeth and say, "We love you Jesus," but they will be grinding their teeth.

Thus, when Satan is released at the end of the Millennium, the majority of those in the flesh will unite in one last great rebellion against God in the ninth war of the end times — the Second Battle of Gog and Magog. The rebellious peoples of the world led again by Satan will revolt against Jesus and try to overthrow Him.

Because this war is entitled a "war of Gog and Magog," it's often confused with the war in Ezekiel 38 and 39. There are some now saying they are the same war, but they are not, for they are two different wars. This can be proven very simply in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The War of Gog and Magog is a war of Russia with Muslim allies coming against Israel. In Revelation 19, we have Russia with all the world coming against Jesus Christ. There are many big differences between these two wars.

History is going to end as it began. It goes in a circle. History began with two people in a perfect environment who rebelled against God. It's going to end up with all of humanity living in a perfect society, and the majority will make the same decision to rebel against God.

One of the many purposes of the Millennium, and perhaps one of the most important, is for God to prove to mankind that man has an inherent sin nature that can only be redeemed by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.

The religion of Satan has always been Humanism, which is the belief in man. This philosophy teaches that man is inherently good and so man is capable of perfection through education and social justice. Humanists therefore believe that if society can be perfected, man can be transformed and man can also be perfected. But, the Bible teaches that mankind is fatally flawed with a sin nature that makes people naturally evil.

The Bible teaches that the only solution to the sin problem is the transformation of the Holy Spirit. That begins when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God will prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt when He puts all of mankind into a perfect society for a 1,000 years and then mankind responds with rebellion.

Again, the Second War of Gog and Magog will be the last war of history. Following it, God will take the redeemed off this earth and He will place us in the New Jerusalem which He is now preparing. God will then consume the earth with fire to burn away the pollution of Satan's last revolt.

Out of the fiery inferno will come a New Heavens and a New Earth. This earth is redeemed. This earth is refreshed. This earth is perfected.

God will then lower the Redeemed down to this New Earth inside the New Jerusalem. He will come to earth to live in their presence eternally.

My friends, eternal peace is coming. War is going to be gone forever. This hope of mankind will not be achieved by diplomats. It will be a gift of God through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace who died to redeem mankind and all of the cosmos. All I can do when I think about that is shout from the depths of my heart, "Maranatha, Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus!"


Application

As we have now taken a look at all the nine end time wars, there's always a question that seems to just simply leap out. It's the question, "Why?" Why in the world is all this going to happen? Why, for example, is there going to be a period of unparalleled horror on the earth called the Tribulation? Why would a God of love allow the slaughter of these wars to occur? This is very disturbing to most people, and do you know what it? It should be.

The answer though is really very, very simple. God must deal with sin. He has to do so because He is a holy God of justice and righteousness.

Personally, I'm glad the Bible teaches that God is going to deal with sin and that there will be judgment. You know why? God's promise of judgment means that life has meaning. If we're never going to be accountable for anything, life has no meaning.

The irony of the Tribulation is this, even when God pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is never to punish. Think about that for a moment. This is the glory of our God. Even when He pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is not to punish. Instead, we're told over and over that His fundamental purpose is to bring people to repentance so they can be saved.

In 2 Peter 3:9, we are told the only reason Jesus Christ has not returned is because God wishes for more people to be saved. God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But many, if not most, will perish. It's God's perfect will that all should be saved. But, in His permissive will, He allows people to be lost as they reject Him and His Son.

Judgments can motivate people to repentance. The prophet Isaiah put it this way when he wrote, "When the earth experiences God's judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness." The fact of the matter is that a great number of people will turn their hearts to God during the Tribulation, so large a number that no one can count them. They're a great host coming from every tribe and nation.

Where do you stand in your relationship with God? Have you been saved by grace thru faith in Jesus? Or, have you rejected Jesus and are therefore living under the wrath of God? Think about it. Grace or wrath? Think about eternity.