The Seventieth Week

As mentioned earlier, Gary DeMar says that, "only dispensationalists believe that the entire seventieth week is yet to be fulfilled".

Let us look at the verse which describes the events which will occur during the seventieth week:

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan.9:27).

There is no evidence that the Lord Jesus ever confirmed any covenant for a time period of seven years. Therefore the word "he" at the beginning of this verse does not refer to the Lord Jesus.

The only mention made of this "covenant" in Gary DeMar's book Last Days Madness comes when he quotes J. Barton Payne: "The 490 years then conclude with the three and a half years that remained, during which period the testament was to be confirmed to Israel (cf. Acts 2:38)" (Ibid.), 327).

Daniel 9: 27 does not speak of anyone confirming a covenant for three and a half years. Instead the covenant will be confirmed for seven years. Next we will examine the explanation given by preterist, Dr. Kenneth Gentry. He attempts to build a case that the word "he" refers to the Lord Jesus and the covenant is "the divine covenant of God's redemptive grace":

" 'He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.' Considered from its positive effect, this confirming of the covenant with many makes reconciliation and brings in everlasting righteousness (v. 24)" (Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, 318).

Dr. Gentry correctly says that the Hebrew word translated "confirm" means to "make strong." He also says that the "covenant" is in regard to the "better testament" of Hebrews 7:22 (Ibid., 318). He also says that this "testament" is in regard to "the divine covenant of God's redemptive grace". If that is true then according to Dr. Gentry the covenant must be in regard to the "New Testament". No other covenant or testament meets those definitions. Now let us put his ideas into verse 27:

"And he shall make strong the New Testament with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate"  (Dan.9:27).

Common sense dictates that if anyone makes strong a covenant for one week then the act of "making strong" must occur at the beginning of the week. One cannot make strong a covenant for one week if the act of making strong does not occur until the middle of the week. Therefore, we must believe that the Lord Jesus made strong the New Covenant while he was still alive, since the preterists teach that He was not crucified until the middle of the week. However, the Scriptures reveal that this is impossible:

"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Heb.9:16,17).

It is impossible that the New Covenant could have been "made strong" while the Lord Jesus remained alive since it "is of no strength at all while the testator liveth".

So how does Dr. Gentry solve this problem? He simply has the confirmation of the New Covenant fall in the middle of the week:

"This confirmation of God's covenant promises to the 'many' of Israel will occur in the middle of the seventieth week" (Ibid., 319).

Again, if the New Covenant was "made strong" for a period of seven years then it must have been made strong at the beginning of the seven years. After all, how can the New Covenant be made strong for seven years if it is not made strong until the last three and one-half years? That would mean that it was never "made strong" during the first three and one-half years.

To borrow a response of Sir Robert Anderson to an equally preposterous idea put forth another person who denies the futurist position, "Can absurdity be any more transparent and complete?"

If the Lord Jesus confirmed the New Testament for seven years, then Dr. Gentry should be able to point to an event that marks the end of that seven year period. After all, the climax of Daniel's prophecy occurs at the end of the 70th week when Daniel is told that many wonderful things will come upon his people and upon his city, Jerusalem (Dan. 9: 24).

However, Dr. Gentry is unable to find any event that marks the end of the 70th week. He says: "Although the event that serves as the terminus of the sixty- ninth week is clearly specified, such is not the case with the terminus of the seventieth. Thus, the exact event that ends the seventieth is not so significant for us to know"  [emphasis mine] (Ibid., 319).

Since Dr. Gentry cannot pinpoint any event that happened three and a half years after the Cross that even remotely resembles the events described by Daniel he simply says that the "exact event is not so significant for us to know".

Gary DeMar's answer in regard to the end of the seventieth week is equally unsatisfactory. He first quotes Payne saying that the seventieth week "terminated in A.D. 33, which is the probable date for the conversion of Paul. At this point the Jews, by their stoning of Stephen, in effect cut themselves off from the blessings of inheritance under the newer testament" (DeMar, Last Days Madness, 327).

The following verse describes what will happen at the end of the seventieth week, and anyone with a mind not disturbed by the ideas put forth by the preterists can easily see that it is not describing Israel being cut off from the blessings of inheritance under the newer covenant:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" (Dan.9:24).

This verse is describing blesssings which will come to Daniel's people, the Israelites, at the end of the seventieth week. One must throw reason to the wind in order to even imagine that it is speaking of Israel being cut off from blessings!

After quoting Payne, Gary DeMar says that the seventieth week ended when Paul met with Peter three and a half years after the crucifixion: "This means that Paul's meeting with Peter and Peter's instruction concerning the Gentiles occurred 3.5 years after the crucifixion, marking the end of the seventy weeks 'for Israel' " [emphasis mine] (Ibid.).

Gary DeMar�s answer in regard to the end of the seventieth week bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the Scriptures say will happen at the end of that time period.

The Coming Prince

"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week" (Dan.9:26-27).

Here we read that the people of the "prince that shall come" shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The preterists and the futurist agree that this destruction of Jerusalem is referring to the events of A.D. 70. Notice that the verse makes it clear that it was only the "people" of the prince that shall come who destroyed the city and not that prince himself. Since it was the Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70 then "the prince that shall come" must refer to a man from a revived Roman empire.

"Type" and "Anti-type"

The following two verses are in regard to the events that occur in the middle of the 70th week:

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan.9:27).

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place" (Mt. 24:15).

These verses speak of the one who will cause the sacrifices to cease and who is responsible for the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. The two verses which follow also describe a person who is responsible for causing the sacrifices to cease as well as setting up the abomination of desolation:

"And out of one of them came forth a little horn...Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down...How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" (Dan.8:9,11,13).

"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate" (Dan.11:31).

Either these verses are describing the same person or else the person in the eighth and eleventh of Daniel is a "type" of the person described in the ninth chapter of Daniel. The Scriptual evidence points to the fact that the relationship is between "type" and "anti-type" because the "little horn" of chapter 8 comes out of one of the "four horns"(v.9,22) while the "little horn" at Daniel 7:8 will come out of the "ten horns" at Daniel 7:7.

There are many preterists and dispensationalists who identify the person in the eighth and eleventh chapter as being Antiochus Epiphanes, a man who came out of Syria and persecuted the Jews and profaned the Temple at Jerusalem in 164 BC. Therefore based on this we can understand that Antitochus Epiphanes is a "type" of the person described at Daniel 9:27.

A "type" is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. The "anti-type" is the fulfillment of the type. In order to see a relationship between a "type" and its "anti-type" there must be a correspondence between the relations of things to one another.

Here we can see a similarity in particular circumstances on which a comparison can be based. This relationship between Antiochus Epiphanes and the person of Daniel 9:27 can be described as being analogous since similarities are inferred from a similarity of two things in certain particulars--those particulars being "the causing of the sacrifces to cease" and the "setting up of the abomination of desolation".

Therefore, if the Lord Jesus is the man who causes the sacrifices to cease at Daniel 9: 27 then we must believe that He is the fulfillment of the "type", the evil man Antiochus Epiphanes. Since that idea is too profane to entertain we must look in the Scriptures for a person who shares the same evil character of Antiochus Epiphanes:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thess.2:3,4).

The "son of perdition" will make a "treaty" with the nation of Israel that is to last seven years (the Hebrew word translated "covenant" can mean "treaty" or "league"). In the middle of that seven year period the "man of sin" will break the treaty he made with Israel by refusing to let them continue their Temple worship, which includes offering sacrifices. He will also set up what is described as the "abomination of desolations" in the Temple. That will signal the beginning of the "great tribulation":

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains...For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mt. 24;15,16,21).