Thank you, Brother Scott for the manner in which you have conducted the debate & the thought provoking challenges in your postings. I hope & pray that our contributions to this & other threads will be helpful to others as we discuss the Holy Scriptures.
While we disagree on many points, it is wonderful that we have a fundamental agreement on our shared salvation by faith in our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, & our eternal hope of glory in the NH&NE.
I'll begin with John's request from the discussion thread, & my reply:
Begin with the passage:
24 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.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
As I understand this Scripture:
The prophecy is about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, his saving work & its results for for God's redeemed people;
Generally OT prophecy is best understood by its fulfilment, particularly in the life & ministry of Jesus, his saving work, & the Gospel resulting from the saving work, therefore read the NT to understand the OT;
The timescale - completed in 70 weeks or 490 years - around 35 AD;
69 weeks takes us to the baptism of Jesus, so the 70th week includes Jesus earthly ministry & the early Apostolic ministry - the first half of Acts;
Old Testament (Old Covenant) vision & prophecy will be sealed up by Messiah's life & saving ministry so that prophecy focuses on Jesus, his saving work & his kingdom, not on Israel's future, apart from the glorious restored covenant relationship detailed in v. 24;
All the blessings for God's people of v. 24 are accomplished by Messiah's saving work, and are received by repentance & faith and must be appropriated in the present Gospel age of grace;
Messiah's saving work - his death for sinners - ends the examples, shadows & patterns of the Law, so that the temple, and Jerusalem centred worship will cease with the destruction of the temple & city;
OT prophecy includes judgement for those who reject the covenant & particularly for those who reject the Messiah (Deut. 18, quoted by Peter in Acts 3);
The timescale for the perfect realisation of the prophesied covenant blessings of v. 24 is not revealed - the focus is on Jesus & his saving ministry - but Jesus himself in his Olivet prophecy could not reveal the timescale for his coming, only the timescale for the destruction;
The perfect fulfilment of all prophecy & covenant promises for Israelite believers, together with believers from all nations on earth will be accomplished in the NH&NE, after Jesus returns for resurrection & judgement, which is the next & final event of prophecy.
A gap between 69 & 70, future end times tribulation, millennium, restored kingdom for national Israel, earthly reign of Messiah, etc, are not written in the passage.
As I understand Bro Scott,
He sees OT promises & prophecies specifically relating to the earthly nation of Israel, & as they were not fulfilled before Messiah came, & the nation rejected Messiah & the Apostolic Gospel, & are not being fulfilled now in the present nation of Israel, there must be a future dispensation when all the OT prophecies happen literally.
That requires a gap in the 70 weeks, re-establishment of Israel as a Jewish nation, rebuilding the temple, & then destroying it all again in the 70th week, after which the surviving Israelites will believe in Jesus Christ who will reign over them as a mortal people, on earth, in person, for 1,000 years.
The present Gospel age is thus in effect a gap in prophetic revelation between weeks 69 & 70 during which God is not dealing with Israel as a nation, but mainly the Gentiles, & any Jews who do repent & believe in Jesus Christ.
[We don't hear much from the dispensationalists about the dreadful end of their millennium when all hell breaks loose & the wonderful restored earthly kingdom of Israel is burnt up along with the old earth, so that a NH&NE can be established. ]
I hope that is a fair brief summary of Bro Scott's position.
Brother Scott replied:
Although I myself would add more details, and although I would not claim that all of these things are taught specifically in and by Daniel 9:24-27, and although a few of the specifics are not exactly correct to my position, the above was indeed a fair "brief summary" of my position -- all except the parenthetical note at the end of the summary.
Concerning the truth, instruction, and promise of 2 Peter 3:11 -- Amen, and AMEN!
Brother Scott then replied with a detailed summary:
Putting the summary even simpler, I believe Dan. 9:24-27 refers to the Messiah, Jesus Christ & his finished saving work at Calvary, followed by the Apostolic Gospel, so that the purpose of the 70 weeks is the securing of the promised blessings to repentant sinners, & the confirmation of the covenant – as the new covenant - relationship of God with his people, both Israel & Gentiles who come to the same saving faith in Jesus. The fulfilment of the prophecy is thus recorded in Scripture, in the Gospels & the first half of Acts.
Brother Scott considers that the whole prophecy concerns the nation of Israel, & is yet to be fulfilled - in a future millennium, & has no relevance to the present Gospel age of grace. The blessings of 9:24 teach the perfect millennial condition of the people of Israel.
In his final posting, Brother Scott raised points of interpretation – jot & tittle:
[underlining mine for emphasis]
How can you come to a right understanding of what God the Holy Spirit precisely intended to communicate in the Scriptures, if you first rearrange the precise grammatical arrangement for the words by which He communicated? Precise grammatical analysis (as that in which I engage) handles each statement of God’s Holy Word word-for-word according to the precise grammatical arrangement in which God the Holy Spirit inspired and communicated that statement of God’s Holy Word. (For example – If God the Holy Spirit inspired the coordinating conjunction “and” to be precisely arranged at the beginning of each and every independent statement (sentence, clause) in a series of statements, then God the Holy Spirit had a precise reason for so arranging that conjunction; and it is my responsibility as a Bible student to discern and understand God the Holy Spirit’s precise reason for so doing.) Such a practice is not “extreme” grammatical analysis. Rather, such a practice is a precise, word-for-word (“jot and tittle”) grammatical analysis that regards and respects every single word that God the Holy Spirit inspired, in the precise grammatical arrangement in which God the Holy Spirit inspired it. Indeed, such a practice is “rightly dividing” God’s Holy Word of truth. Indeed, such a practice is the only way to understand precisely what God the Holy Spirit has inspired and communicated, before we engage in the matters of “interpretation” and “application.”
Throughout this discussion-debate it has become apparent to me that the primary disagreement between Brother Day and myself is not over Daniel 9:24-27, but is over the method of Bible study itself. Therefore, with my conclusion to this concluding post of the discussion-debate, I wish to provide a warning unto the members of the audience. The Lord our God desires that we should study His Holy Word according to the principle of precise detail, “rightly dividing” precisely in accord with the precise pattern that God the Holy Spirit has inspired. Indeed, in Deuteronomy 8:3 the Lord our God teaches the truth that we do not live by physical food alone, but “by every word” that has proceeded out of His mouth as recorded in His Holy Word. In Matthew 5:18 our Lord Jesus Christ indicated the importance of every “jot and tittle” in God’s Holy Word, indicating that not even one of them would pass “till all be fulfilled.” Even so, any Bible study or Bible teaching that follows a method of loose generalities, wherein things that are not precisely presented in God’s Word as the same are claimed to be the same, should be rejected as faulty. Indeed, when a Biblical position teaches us that there is “no need to study every detail” of the truths and promises of God’s Word concerning a matter, or that there is no need to ask concerning specific details of truth on a matter because it would be superfluous to do so, then that position of belief should be viewed with spiritual suspicion.
I agree 100% when Brother Scott says “the primary disagreement between Brother Day and myself is not over Daniel 9:24-27, but is over the method of Bible study itself. ”
I replied in detail to his final paragraph (above) in my post of Sept 1st in the comments thread:
But, does his attention to every jot & tittle find support in the words of our Lord? I think not, if we analyse them in context.
Mat. 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
We need to read the inspired words – the inspired Word – in its immediate context, & in its wider context. Jesus is there declaring that “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The minutiae of the Law would indeed be fulfilled, perfectly, by the One who gave the Law. The Law & covenants were hopelessly broken by the priests, lawyers & Pharisees who paid extreme attention to the detail. See Mat. 23. Jesus as the true Israel, as the covenant surety for his people, fulfilled the Law, so that in him we have perfect righteousness – the righteousness of faith. As Gabriel puts it: “to bring in everlasting righteousness.”
Jesus quoted from Hosea 6:6 on two occasions when the Pharisees accused him or his disciples of breaking the Law – eating with publicans & sinners, & eating with unwashed hands. Mat. 9 & 12. Those who paid extreme attention to the precise details of the Law were rebuked as not understanding the Word of God:
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Paul the ex-Pharisee puts it like this:
Phil3: 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Incidentally Paul is writing to the Philippians, where it is presumed Philippi did not have enough Jews to establish a synagogue, so he went to a riverside women's prayer meeting. And he writes to them: we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. He teaches that the Gentile believers are the circumcision which brings us to another major point of interpretation:
There is no suggestion in the teaching of Jesus or his Apostles that the Gospel age beginning at Pentecost is in any sense a gap in the purposes of God; that God is concentrating on saving Gentiles until such time as the Jews come to repentance after the church has been “raptured.” The inclusion of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church was accepted by the Jewish Christians at the Jerusalem conference (Acts 15) and as that went against the laws for incorporating foreigners into Israel, Exo. 12:48 it does show a surprising change. That is not a “replacement” but an inclusion. Paul refers to that inclusion as a mystery. Rom. 11:25 , Eph. 3:1-11 Note particularly:
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
The present Gospel age Jew-Gentile body of Christ is according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: It certainly isn't a gap.
Your conclusions from your attention to the precise grammatical detail of OT prophecy show a blindness to the reality of the fulfilment in & by the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.
You maintain that “not one New Testament passage precisely indicates that it is a fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th“week” of years.”
I maintain that a reading of the Dan. 9 prophecy, in context, and keeping it in mind as we read the Gospels & Epistles will show that countless New Testament passages – indeed the whole message of the NT - show that Jesus Christ & his saving work is the fulfilment of the prophecy.
Dare anyone wait for another dispensation to come to repentance? NOW is the day of salvation. The Jews who rejected the Messiah & the Apostolic Gospel suffered the prophesied consequences.