Six promises of christ to his people: Daniel 9:24

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. asterisktom

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    DANIEL 9:24

    There may well be more interpretations than there are weeks to this prophecy of Daniel 9:24- 27. While many different views have been around for a number of centuries the consensus of orthodox Christianity, until recent times at least, has almost always agreed that the fulfillment of these six promises were to be achieved through the Messiah, and that they were fulfilled during the century of Christ's life on earth.

    This interpretation, long held by most of the early Church Fathers as well as the reformers, has now become a minority view in this last century and a half. I will leave it to others to address the errors of this modern view in the world. (note 1) - and there are a lot of them - this article will examine the text itself. Hopefully I will convince the thoughtful reader, open Bible before him or her, of the treasure that we have before us. When the text is put in it's right setting as one of the clearest and most encouraging promises concerning Christ, "the Author and Finisher of our faith", the lesser view will (this is my prayer) be shown for what it is: an unintentional dishonoring of Christ and a blurring of that wonderful truth of the one people of God. To know this passage and to meditate on it's truths can't help but strengthen our faith and magnify our Redeemer. God's people are constantly in need of the Living Waters and of the Balm of Gilead. But the modern Dispensational interpretation takes this away and trades it for superficially pleasing fictions that have little to do with Christ. This Balm of Gilead - at least some of it's particular comfort - is by them hermeneutically sealed up from the saints, Jews and Gentiles alike who know Jesus, for whom it is divinely intended (note 2). May God open our eyes to His wonderful provisions!

    Here is the text that we need to study:

    "Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish ["restrain"] the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

    "Seventy weeks" = one unit = 490 years. This was dealt with earlier. If I can convince you what the six foretold events here are, and to Whom they refer, the timing will take care of itself.

    "your people", "your holy city". The ones and the place Daniel prayed for, the Jews and Jerusalem. And yet "people" has a wider significance (Matt. 1:21, Rom. 9:26, 2nd Cor. 6:16, 1st Pet. 2:9- 10) as sure as Abraham is called "father of many people" and as sure as Japheth will dwell in the tents of Shem.

    Christ is said to have done 6 things for His people (including us, since we are also part of the Israel of God and are sharers in their promises - Galatians 3:16; 6:16; 2nd Cor. 1:20):

    1. Restrain transgression.
    2. Make an end for sins.
    3. Make reconciliation for iniquity.
    4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
    5. Seal up the vision and prophecy.
    6. Anoint the Most Holy (Christ is the "Most Holy").

    The last three events especially relate to Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. But more on that later.

    Strong's Concordance says this:

    {3607} kala', kaw-law'; a primitive root; to restrict, by act (hold back or in) or word (prohibit): finish, forbid, keep (back), refrain, restrain, retain, shut up, be stayed, withhold.

    But hold that thought. I seriously wonder where that "finish" comes from. A better source is Gesenius's "Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament". He makes no reference to the "finish" or "end" definition of KALA. Unfortunately, I have this book only in hard copy, so you will have to take my word for it : )

    I did a search of the word on a Bible CD and came up with 17 occurrences from the Old Testament. As far as I know, these are the only uses of this word, KALA. A closer examination will reveal that none of them suggest the use of "finish" or "put an end to". The fact that that usage is insisted on in Daniel 9:24 - and nowhere else - makes me strongly suspect that Procrustean exegesis is going on, reading -into- the text to protect a system (eisegesis - the dreaded "Icy-Jesus"). In all other uses of the word (see below), it is translated by, "restrained", "refrained", "retained", "withhold", "forbid", "shut up", "stayed" (KJV for "held back"). The rendition at Dan. 9:24 is the sole oddball rendition. A study of the various cognates to this word (in Hebrew - and even in other languages) make the case even stronger. BTW, the "shut up" or "hemmed in" aspect shows up in words like "carcel" (jail) & "incarcerated" .

    Here are the Old Testament uses of the word KALA:

    Ge 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

    Ge 23:6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.

    Ex 36:6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

    Nu 11:28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

    1Sa 6:10 And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:

    1Sa 25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.

    Ps 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

    Ps 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

    Ps 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

    Ps 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

    Ec 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

    Isa 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

    Jer 32:2 For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house.

    Jer 32:3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;

    Eze 31:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.

    Da 9:24 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.

    Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

    More later
    #1 asterisktom, Jan 9, 2010
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  2. asterisktom

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    Six Promises of Christ (2)

    Continued from above

    Many of us here remember the first Gulf War and the televised images of oil wells in the Gulf region burning almost out of control. The smoke from the burning could be seen clearly from space. I say "almost" out of control, because, though it took awhile, every one of those fires was extinguished.

    "Gosh, thanks for the history lesson, Tom. What does this have to do with Daniel 9:24?"

    The point is this: The method used to extinguish those fires illustrates the first and second of these prophesied events:

    1. First the fires had to be capped. It would be ridiculous to put out fires while they were still being fed at the source, while fuel was still pouring out. So the firefighters stopped the fire, by means of a momentary explosion, arrested the pouring out of fuel (both liquid and oxygen). They then capped the well before it could re-ignite.

    This is what Jesus did. First he took care of sin (singular) at its source. As far as we are concerned, He capped sin. This is the principle of sin, and Satan as the arch Fire-Starter. In Christ's perfect life, death on the Cross and resurrection we have the strong man overcome by the Stronger Man (Mark 3:27, Luke 11:21- 22), Satan bound (Rev. 20:1- 3). He triumphed openly over him by the Cross (Col. 2:13- 15). This is that "shutting up" (KALA) of transgression.

    2. Then the individual fires (plural) could be put out. The Gulf War firefighters may not have used foam, but I will use it for this part of the illustration, since it fits the Hebrew word used here fairly well. CHATHAM (KJV "make an end of") really means "to cover up" - and because it is covered up, to hide from view. (Song of Sol. 4:12 is a good example). This is where God casts our sins behind His back because of Christ's death for us. This happened only at Calvary and will never be repeated.

    I suspect that, like in the previous clause, a definition is read into the words, and not drawn out of the words. And, like in the previous clause, the assumption is that this clause ("make an end of sins") is referring to the end times, and not to the times of Christ, since clearly, sin has not been made an end of. No, that is true: Sin still exists to afflict, at times, the best of Christians - yet they are covered up. That is why the saint doesn't lose his salvation by an act of sin. For that matter, that is also why Old Testament saints like David did not lose theirs.

    John Owen says this about this part of Daniel 9:24:

    "And the most proper sense of the word [CHATHAM] is "to cover or conceal," and thence "seal," because thereby a thing is hidden...Now, to hide sin or transgression, in the Old Testament, is to pardon it, to forgive it. As, then, the former expression (KALA) respected the stop that was put to the power and progress of sin by the grace of the gospel, as Titus 2:11, 12, so does this the pardon and removal of the guilt of it by the mercy proclaimed and tendered in the gospel."


    "Seventy weeks are determined for your people, and for your holy city, to shut up [restrain] the transgression,..."

    Like I wrote above, "KALA" is never rendered "to finish" or "put an end to", except (dubiously, I contend) here in Daniel 9:24. It should rather be translated "shut up", "restrained", etc. I also listed all of the occurrences of the word in the previous post, so I won't repeat them here.

    This prophesied event is seen in the New Testament. Whether what is being restrained in the following passages is sin or Satan, the one who had enslaved us by sin, these passages are all speaking of the same time, that time when Christ freed us on the Cross and restrained transgression. Sin is not totally destroyed, neither is Satan. Yet his power has been broken by the Cross.

    Each of the verses below illustrate, I believe, the foretold restraining of Dan. 9:24. The exact word in each verse that describes that event I have rendered in ALLCAPS:

    "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might RENDER POWERLESS him who had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Hebrews 2:14)

    "And you know what RESTRAINS him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now RESTRAINS will do so until he is taken out of the way." (2nd Thess. 2:6- 7)

    "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first BINDS the strong man? And then he will plunder his house." (Matt. 12:29)

    "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed But when someone stronger than he attacks him and OVERPOWERS him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder." (Luke 11:20- 22)

    (This verse does not have the "restrain" aspect. However the cross-reference above it - clearly the same event - does.)

    "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a GREAT CHAIN in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and BOUND HIM for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and SHUT IT and SEALED IT OVER HIM, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time." (Rev. 20:1- 3)

    More later
    #2 asterisktom, Jan 9, 2010
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  3. asterisktom

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    Six Promises of Christ (3)

    We now come to the third event of Christ's ministry for His people. We are told in this passage that He will come "to make reconciliation for iniquity". This reconciliation had occurred at the cross. This is when reconciliation was first effected, by the perfect life and sinless death of the God-man, Christ Jesus, the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God. Because there was (is) no blemish in His sacrifice, or fault in His life of demonstrated holiness, we too, who believe in Christ's sacrifice for us, are totally accepted in Christ (Eph. 1:6).

    "Reconciliation" means to "hide", "cover" or "pardon". This is what God does with our sins in view of Christ's payment for them. It is not as though, strictly speaking they cease to exist. (That day will come. Wonderful thought!) We are pardoned because of the peace attained for us by Christ (Eph. 2:14- 22; especially verses 13- 17). Christ is our peace. Matthew Henry writes: "He is not only the peace-maker, but the peace. He is the atonement."

    He is our reconciliation, our ongoing means of acceptance with God. This prophesied reconciliation is not only found here in Dan. 9, but was promised as far back as Genesis 3:15, when our first parents were first encouraged with the good news of a coming Savior.

    Where else do we read of this reconciliation that we have through Christ Jesus? Here are just some of the many verses that could be quoted:

    Ro 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

    2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

    Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

    Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

    Think of it! How greatly this doctrine magnifies Jesus Christ, our great High Priest! Approaching the altar as the Priest without blemish He presented the perfect sacrifice - Himself! Who among the godliest of the Old Testament Priests could have foreseen that they were, in their persons and vocation, types of such an astounding act of God? Christ is the High Priest who puts an end to all other priests - and to the Levitical priesthood altogether. Jesus Christ was at the same time "Priest of the most high God" (Heb. 7:1), "holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners" (verse 26) and the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), both sacrificer and sacrifice.

    The next phrase ("bring in everlasting righteousness") is a positive statement of what is here stated negatively. The two phrases go together. In fact, some see these next three events as being chiastic to the first three. A chiasm is an inverted structure that God's Word often uses, as in ABCCBA. I am not sure, however, if there is a chiasm here.

    These last three prophesied events confirm the Messiah as Priest, Prophet and King:

    Lord-willing, I will take this up tomorrow.
    #3 asterisktom, Jan 9, 2010
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  4. OldRegular

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    Some thoughts I had about the six promises several years ago. Notice I freely use the comments of others.

    Before jumping to erroneous conclusions about the 70th week of the revelation given to Daniel it might be wise to examine the verse that summarizes what is to be accomplished in the 70 weeks, Verse 9:24.

    Daniel 9:23 tells us that Gabriel not only gave Daniel the vision, or prophecy, but understanding of the prophecy. Since divine intervention was necessary to give Daniel understanding it is not unreasonable that readers would have differing interpretations. However, we have the advantage of reading the prophecy after full or partial fulfillment, depending on your interpretation.

    Daniel 9:24
    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.

    There are six promises in this paragraph. The first three of these promises indicate things to be removed; the last three indicate things to be attained. Note that all six promises are to be accomplished during the seventy weeks. It is instructive to list these promises and then determine which have been fulfilled. Three of these promises deal with the subject of sin and will be discussed together. These are

    1. to finish the transgression
    2. to make an end of sins
    3. to make reconciliation for iniquity.

    Oswald T. Allis in Prophecy and the Church [page 113] writes ‘Thus the words, “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of [or seal up] sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,” are to be regarded as referring to that atonement for sin which was accomplished, fully and completely, once for all, on the cross.’ There are several verses in the New testament that show that these three promises were accomplished through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 10:12-14, KJV
    12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
    14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Galatians 1:4, KJV
    4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

    Titus 2:14, KJV
    14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    Hebrews 2:17, KJV
    17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

    [B. H. Carroll presents a somewhat different view of the meaning of the promise”finish the transgression”. He states this has reference to the culmination of transgression by the Jewish people and their rejection and dispersal by God, citing as proof the following Scripture: Matthew 23:31-38, Luke 13:7-9, Luke 19:41-44, and Luke 20:13-16.]

    The fourth promise is

    4. to bring in everlasting righteousness.

    Now one could, perhaps correctly, argue that everlasting righteousness was not accomplished during or after the First Advent of Jesus Christ, even among those who become His disciples. Neither can one argue that such righteousness exists during the “so-called” earthly millennial reign since even proponents of that earthly millennial reign contend that sin is merely restrained by the iron hand of Jesus Christ to spring forth into full bloom again when Satan is released from his chains. [Also one thousand years is not everlasting.] What, therefore is meant by ‘everlasting righteousness’? The most logical explanation is that this righteousness is the imputed righteousness bestowed on the believer because of his faith in Jesus Christ. This imputed righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.

    Romans 3:22, KJV
    22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    Romans 5:1, KJV
    1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    1 Corinthians 6:11, KJV
    11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV
    21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    The fifth promise is to

    5. to seal up the vision and prophecy.

    Matthew Henry, B. H. Carroll, E. J. Young, and H. C. Leupold are in general agreement that this refers to a fulfillment and completion of Old Testament prophecy. By the completion of His mission Jesus Christ confirmed the truth of Old Testament prophecy. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews tells us that in Jesus Christ we have the fullest revelation of God:

    Hebrews 1:1-4, KJV
    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
    3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
    4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

    With the completion of the New Testament, the final revelation of Jesus Christ as shown to the Apostle John, vision and prophecy are brought to an end, that is, sealed.
    The sixth prophecy is to

    6. anoint the most Holy.

    O. T. Allis in Prophecy and the Church indicates this may mean the entrance of Jesus Christ into Heaven itself when “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption ” [Hebrews 9:12] for all His elect. Henry, Leupold, and Young believe that this refers to the anointing of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. B. H. Carroll believes that “the most Holy” refers to the Church that Jesus Christ Himself established. The Church as used in this context refers to the Church universal, the entire body of ‘true believers’ or Saints. Carroll’s interpretation seems to be preferable, however, the Church can only be referred to as ‘most Holy’ only because She is sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 10:10, 14, KJV
    10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].
    14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    We read further about the Church:

    2 Corinthians 11:2, KJV
    2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.

    Ephesians 2:19-22, KJV
    19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
    20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];
    21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
    22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

    1 Peter 1:2, KJV
    2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    1 Peter 2:9, KJV
    9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    Hebrews 12:18-24, KJV
    18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
    19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [voice] they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
    20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
    21 And so terrible was the sight, [that] Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
    22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.
  5. Grasshopper

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    I agree, so the question then becomes, is this righteousness different than the one ushered in by the New Heavens and New Earth?

    2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    If it is the same, then we are living in the New Heavens and New Earth. If it is not then what other righteousness is yet to come?

    Most dispies have the 70th week coming at a different time than the New H&E and also believe that the New Covenant and Jesus brought in righteousness. So you have:

    Jesus bringing righteousness, another righteousness coming in the 70th week of Daniel and yet another righteousness coming in the New H&E. 3 different Righteousness!

    But if Daniel's righteousness in the same that Christ imputes to believers and if John Owen (and others) is correct when he says this:

    'It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by heavens and earth, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, were often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which then was destroyed by the flood.
    ' 4. On this foundation I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state
    'First, There is the foundation of the apostle's inference and exhortation, seeing that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, in a day of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; let others mock at the threats of Christ's coming: He will come- He will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, -the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed: this we know shall be the end of these things, and that shortly." Sermon on 2 Peter iii. 11, Works, folio, 1721).

    then you have the New H&E as a metaphor for the New Covenant and the righteousness of Daniel and Peter is the same that Paul proclaims and the one imputed to believers! I quote you:

    "The most logical explanation is that this righteousness is the imputed righteousness bestowed on the believer because of his faith in Jesus Christ. This imputed righteousness is an everlasting righteousness."

    Bingo! Welcome to the New Heavens and New Earth.
    #5 Grasshopper, Jan 10, 2010
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  6. asterisktom

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    Six Promises of Christ (4)

    These last three prophesied events confirm the Messiah as Priest, Prophet and King:

    1. His Priesthood is shown by his bringing in everlasting righteousness. He did this by living a righteous - perfect - life, and by being the spotless Lamb, sacrificed for our sin. His death, as well as His life, pleads for us. As Wesley well put it:

    "Five bleeding wounds He bears,
    Sustained on Calvary.
    They pour effectual prayers.
    They strongly plead for me,".

    What has this to do with "everlasting righteousness"? Everything. It is at the Cross that Christ is able to be, as our Perfect Priest 2, "both just and justifier of him who has faith in Jesus" (Romans). In Christ we are declared righteous by imputation so that we can be increasingly righteous in experience. This is having "Christ formed in us".

    2. His office as Prophet is shown by his sealing up of vision and prophecy. God spoke before to us in various ways, but from the time of the unveiling of the Gospel He has now spoken to us through the Son. Christ is the Prophet who puts an end to all prophets and prophecy (Heb. 1:1- 2).

    3. His Kingship is shown by his anointing of the Most Holy. Some versions imply that the anointing is of the most holy PLACE, yet that word is not in the original. Textually, either "place" or "person" is a possible recipient of "anoint". Scripturally, I believe the case is much stronger for a person, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ .

    Now let us look at these last three events in more individual detail:

    The next phrase ("bring in everlasting righteousness") is the first of three positive statements. The first three events prophesied in Daniel were largely negative, that is, a taking care of a negative situation - our sin. For God to do His work, He must first rectify the mess we have made. This reminds us of God's mission for the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:10):

    "See, I have this day set you [speaking to the prophet] ...
    To root out and to pull down,
    To destroy and to throw down.
    To build and to plant."

    Now we get into God's building up (edification, edifice) through Jesus Christ. This bringing in of "everlasting righteousness" is nothing less than the new life that we have in Christ Jesus. "Not having our own righteousness". This is the righteousness that the Holy Spirit convinces the saints ( and saints-to-be) of (John 16:10). Sadly, very many of the Jews had missed (and still miss) the glory of this righteousness, having held onto their own works-righteousness (Rom. 10:3- 4). There are many passages in the Old testament (especially in Isaiah) that promise this righteousness to come to God's people. Below is just one of many, Isaiah 56:1:

    "Thus says the LORD, Keep judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed."

    Isaiah 45:17:

    "But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end."

    The "everlasting salvation" here is this same everlasting righteousness. The "Israel" here is not national Israel, but the true "Israel of God" (Gal. 5:16, Rom. 2:28- 29; 11:26- 27), redeemed people of both Jews and Gentiles.

    Romans 5 is a rich source of information of this righteousness that is the possession of all saints. Since we are reconciled by His death (vs. 10) we are likewise saved by His life. We now reign in life because of the gift of God's grace, applying Christ's righteousness to us (vs. 17ff). Not only this, but we also are enabled to actively work out Christ's righteousness in our lives (Romans 6:13-23, Phil. 2:12- 13, Rev. 19:8). All saints are perfectly righteous positionally, yet we are far from perfect experientially. To be sure, I believe we will always have faults up until the last day of our lives, yet every true saint will grow in grace. God does not have any still-born children.

    There are very many other passages that beautifully elaborate this righteousness we have in Christ: 2nd Cor. 5:20- 21; John 6:40; Phil. 3:9, etc.
  7. asterisktom

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    May 29, 2007
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    Six Promises of Christ (5)

    These last two events (sealing up and anointing) are perhaps the most controversial of all, not only as to the timing but as to the respective meanings. But if we keep in mind that these events, like the previous four, must have been fulfilled within the "seventy weeks" we will already have eliminated many wrong interpretations. We will know, for instance, that sealing up the vision and prophecy can Not mean, like at least some dispensationalists insist, that the everything prophesied has to come to fulfillment. Yet we know of some predicted events that are clearly in the future (like 1st Cor. 15:28, when all things will be subject to the Son and, then, the Son will be subject to the Father, "that God may be all in all").

    Understanding also that there should be no separation between the three components of the 70 weeks (7 + 42 + 1) directs us to find the fulfillment for this prophecy in the first century.

    OK, so much for what the phrase does not mean. What does it mean? First of all it should be mentioned that the actual phrase is "to seal up the vision and prophet". Let us take a look at this "seal up" ("chatam"), and how Scripture uses the term. Here is a representative sampling of the twenty plus uses of the Hebrew term:

    "So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth." (1st Kings 21:8)

    "And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it." (Neh. 9:38)

    "Write also for the Jews, as it pleases you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse." (Esther 8:8)

    "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." (Isaiah 8:16. See also 29:9- 16 below)

    "Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, says the LORD." (Jer. 32:44)

    "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Dan. 12:4. See also verse 9)

    Even though Daniel uses this same term in the twelfth chapter it seems that the usage is not exactly parallel. The sealing of 12:4 is one that Daniel himself is able to do. And the sealing of 12:9 is already accomplished at the time of the writing of Daniel ("the words are - present tense - closed up and sealed till the time of the end.") Yet the "sealing up" (back to 9:24) of "vision and prophet" is clearly part of God's grand purpose for His people. As such, this sealing up is tied to the Messianic promise, in line with rest of this prophecy. It may, or may not, be significant that "seal" ("chatam") is similar in sound (and cognate to?) the "determine" ("chatach") of Dan. 9:24.

    So what does "seal" mean here? It is one of Daniel 9's many covenant-related words (see Neh. 9:38) . It means also to shut up, to "seal up". Consequently, it has come to mean "to finish" (see Gesenius) It has to do with authority and ownership (1st Kings 21:8, Jer. 32:44). When God uses this word, however, we are speaking of His sovereignty and lordship over His own. I believe Paul had this in mind when her wrote 2nd Tim. 2:19 and Eph. 1:13. The NT word "seal" or "sealed" is related to "chatam" in its application. (This needs to be studied out more carefully). For the believer (whether true Israel or Christian of the NT or our time) the sealing is a sign of God's ownership of us, and of His protection of us (2nd Cor. 1:22, Eph. 4:30, Rev. 7:3: 9:4).

    The sealing up of vision and prophet is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the recipient. Consider Isaiah 29:9- 16). I know this is a long passage, but it is very helpful in showing us what the "sealing up" means for those who do not "take care how they hear" the Word of God:

    Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

    For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

    And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed "(chatam"), which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed ("chatam") :

    And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

    Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

    Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

    Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

    This is the sealing up. And an awesome, sobering truth it is too. We must all take care how we hear. There are many now, just as then, who thought they they were "standing on the promises" but who are merely "sitting in the premises". This sealing up turns out to be two-edged sword. Because all of the promises in the OT had to do with Christ, in some way or other, once Christ came All those who persistently reject - or put off - obedience to the Truth they know make themselves prone to the judicial hardness of that same Word that could save them. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. "Take heed how you hear". The overwhelming majority of Jews, when their promised Messiah came, didn't recognize Him because he didn't conform to their carnal and blind idea of what the Messiah should be like. So, by the 1st century, the vision and prophecy was sealed up. It had done its work. The "Annas" and "Simeons" - the receptive few - were benefited by promises. But "the rest were blinded". I believe also that, since prophecy in the OT was to point the way to Christ, the "sealing up" of "vision" and "prophet" means also that, since Christ, the Last Great Prophet, had come, there was no need for other prophecy. God spoke "in many portions and in many ways" through prophets in the past. But He now speaks to us through the Son (See Hebrews 1:1- 2). It may very well be that the "prophet" of Daniel 9:24 is the very same "Prophet" of Deuteronomy 18:18 and Heb. 1:2, namely Jesus Christ. The "sealing up" ("finish") of Christ, would then be the completion of His work on the cross, when He cried, "It is finished!".
  8. asterisktom

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    Six Promises of Christ (6)

    This anointing spoken of in Daniel 9:24 is the anointing of the Christ in the New Testament. Though there are references to His followers anointing Him, the primary application is to the Father 5. The physical temple ceased to be a factor in prophecy when Christ died on the Cross:

    "Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom..." (Matt. 27:50)

    God did here what we have all with items of lesser importance: When we are done with it, we tear it in half. But God's temple was replaced with a better one:

    "...having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh." ! (Heb. 10:19).

    Our Temple is Jesus. To be more precise, we who are in Christ Jesus are part of His temple, the body of Christ.


    Hopefully I have shown, having gone through all of the six prophesied actions of the Messiah in Daniel 9:24, that these were all fulfilled in the time of Christ's first coming. To understand that these all relate to Calvary is to gain greater insight into what Christ has done for us, His elect. It actually magnifies Christ and encourages faith in Him. It not only proves that we will be, but that we already ARE overcomers through Him and in Him. The more these truths sink in, the more you will see the alternate view (a supposed future fulfillment of some or all of these events) as a cheat and a great devaluing of Messiah's redemption on the Cross.

    The people that the writer of Hebrews speaks of are those same people of God that Daniel prays for in Dan. 9. The more we go over these verses in Daniel 9:24 ff., the more we will see how the New testament has the cross-references that enable us to make sense of them. We have no desire of, nor need for, "newspaper theology" when it comes to parsing out this passage. By nailing down the New Testament fulfillment, we make more sure the present application to us: We can rest that much more securely in our salvation in Christ.

    ::::::::::::::: Notes ::::::::::::::::::::
    1. Suggested line of study: Consult a modern dispensational work, like Ryrie's or LaHaye's Study Bibles, or one of Lindsey's books, and find out which of these six prophesied events -they- say await fulfillment (or at least Full-fulfillment). It is interesting to see how they are quite willing to see some of these as having been fulfilled at the time of Christ's first coming and yet others still awaiting future fulfillment. But wouldn't it make more sense to see all of these as having been fulfilled at the same era - the time of Christ's earthly generation? I have often wondered which came first (like the chicken and egg conundrum), the need for a severed (still to come) seventieth week or the inability of recognizing the spiritual unity of the one people of God? See the separate article entitled "What is the Root Error of Modern Dispensationalism?"

    2. The Talmud, being more spiritually astute than many modern Christians - and definitely than most modern Jews - teaches that all the prophecies of the prophets related to the Messiah. The Talmud would agree here with Paul that "all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen" (1st Cor. 1:20).

    3. The best source for studying out the priesthood of Christ is the book of Hebrews. Every chapter from the 2nd to the 10th has at least one reference to the priesthood of Christ, and what this means for the believer. That would be a study in itself. Here are some verses from Hebrews that speak of Christ the High Priest: 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; :5:1, 5, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 26; 8:1-3; 9:7, 11, 25; 10:21; 13:11.

    4. This belief that the text refers to the Messiah, as opposed to His Temple, was shared, interestingly, by many Jews throughout history. Nachmanides wrote: "This holy of the holies is the Messiah, who is sanctified from among the sons of David." The irony is that modern dispensationalists are at odds with this understanding of Jewish scholars, even while at the same time underscoring their interpretation as being God's plan for the Jews.

    5. Anointing of Christ in the New Testament is primarily from God, secondarily from humans (Luke 7:38, 46; John 11:2; 12:3, etc.). See also these verses:

    Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

    Joh 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (= the Anointed One)

    Ac 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

    Ac 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

    Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
  9. asterisktom

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    May 29, 2007
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    Thank you for posting this. I wish more would study this out more carefully. I appreciate especially the comments on just what is meant by "everlasting righteousness".

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