Jesus never said that He came that you and I should not have to suffer in this life.
Does The Triumphal Entry and the Dispensational teaching on Daniel change that fact?
In Daniel chapter 9 we have the 70 week Prophecy which prompts the dispensational teaching, that we will not see the Great Tribulation. Verse 24 states the purpose for these 70 weeks. They are to be for Daniel’s people and His holy city. Thus these weeks would be determined for the Nation Israel (the Chosen) and for Jerusalem. The Dispensational understanding of these weeks has the 69th week ending with Jesus’ triumphal entry, and the 70th week not beginning until the coming of the future Tribulation.
This understanding creates problems with the context of this passage of Scripture. Here is why. The things which are to be accomplished within these weeks will include the following for Daniel’s people: Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city…to make atonement for iniquity”. This is the first of the things that these weeks will accomplish according to verse twenty-four, yet this is the work of Jesus on the cross, and it is the most important work of all for God’s chosen. But the cross is not seen within the Dispensational timeline for these 70 weeks. This timeline therefore has to be an erroneous understanding of these 70 weeks then doesn’t it?
Why, how can we say this? Verse twenty-six says:
Daniel 9: 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks (remember there were 7 weeks before these 62) the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
This verse places the crucifixion after the first seven and sixty two weeks. So this means that somehow the crucifixion is placed by scripture outside of the Seventy weeks — if we accept them as they are understood by Dispensationalists. In the Book AND THEN THE END SHALL COME, I have given another possible understanding for these weeks. But there is no explanation within pre-Trib Dispensational theology for all the missing portions of Israel’s history that occurs within the dispensational interpretation.
◦ There is also another dilemma for the pre-Trib Dispensationalist position. The gathering or Rapture at the end of the Tribulation is said to be for only the Jews of Israel. It they say does not include others chosen within scripture, because they say that the church was not even yet instituted when this catching away was taught by Jesus, and therefore it could not be for the church. This was because Jesus was teaching His Jewish disciples about what would happen to the Jews during the Tribulation. Yet these same Theologians don’t realize that they (by their own 70 week teaching) have already severed Israel from this little segment of history when Jesus was teaching on this Rapture. For when Jesus was teaching these, His disciples, they could not yet be Christian, because the church is not yet established, and if Daniel’s people the nation Israel is also cut off before Jesus teaching we have a great dilemma, because the disciples had no Israel at this time and they had no church. This of course is ridiculous thinking, but It must be pointed out.
So they totally miss the purpose of these weeks. Listen:
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression (what does this mean?), to make an end of sin (What does this mean?), to make atonement for iniquity (what does this mean?), to bring in everlasting righteousness (what does this mean?), to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
All of these things must happen within the 70 weeks. So this
ending of God’s dealing with Israel at the time of the Triumphal Entry as recorded in Scripture in chapter 12 of John’s Gospel, and in chapter 21 of Matthew is erroneous if the 70th week does not immediately follow. Why? —because it makes everything in John following chapter 12, and in Matthew following chapter 21 not to be for Israel. It is erroneous because they have claimed that Jesus teachings on the gathering during this time, which also covers the crucifixion, is not for the church. Why? — because the church did not yet exist when Jesus was speaking these things? This is the illogical end that we would face were we to take pre-Trib teaching seriously. But millions of us do just that.
Wait there is another problem. Visions and prophecies about Daniel’s people must also be sealed during these 70 weeks. What about Israel’s diaspora and regathering, both of which have taken place outside the Dispensational interpretation of the 70 weeks, and both of which were prophesied. And what about the covenants and promises made even before Daniels vision that are now given to us the one new man of Ephesians 2, which is today part of the commonwealth of Israel? These things cannot be as they teach them. This violates what scripture teaches about these 70 weeks.
So there must be another understanding of the seventy weeks — one completely different from what pre-Trib dispensational theology teaches. The Seventieth week must include the remainder of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. It must include the dispersion and regathering of Israel. It must include you and I the recipients of Israel’s New Covenant. It must also include the Great Tribulation that brings about the consummation of this present age and Israel’s salvation placing her people of that time back in the Olive tree. And this so that all Israel might be saved.
This leads to a very important question. What is to be our response to the probability that the church will see Great Tribulation? It is often stated that those who believe in a post-Trib Rapture have some sort of death wish. Do I want you and I to experience the wrath of Satan should it come in our lifetime? Do I want to see an Antichrist system come to rule this world? Do I want to see God mocked and His saints persecuted for their faith? I have no desire to suffer — ever, but many will, in fact many have, and why should I think that I am so special that I would not need to. I in fact, may have to, if called upon, stand up for the one who loved me so much that He would voluntarily give up glory and suffer and die for my sins and yours. Jesus never said that He came that I should not suffer. Men in service suffer and die almost every day for their country and those of us in it, and someone greater than my country and its hero’s has sacrificed with great suffering that we might have life eternal, and why would I not suffer for Him if He undeservedly comes under attack by His own creation?
The Bible merely tells us what has and what will happen. It is the history past present and future of God’s dealings with His people of this human age. To think that Israel is His only people recorded in the prophetic 70 weeks shown to Daniel is simply wrong. As in the one man Adam all died, so also in one man the Messiah of Israel shall all men be made alive through the resurrection.
You and I are in God’s Olive tree, one new man with the saints who preceded those who accepted Israel’s Messiah, we are chosen, we are grafted in, we are given a blessed hope, if we are in Him and remain in Him.
God’s grace is sufficient for your situation. He will not put on you more than you are able to bare. Our faith in Him not in our faith is our lifeline. He is our only hope. May the God of Abraham and the Apostles be with you and bless you and keep you.
That was a very good article Jerry!
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Thanks for taking time to read it.
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Lee, I see that you posted this. Thanks for your kind words. Your sharing means a lot to me, as do your expressions of faith and trust in our Savior.
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