Daniel 9:24-27 – 8

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s continue and read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

In this post we will finish up with the last phrase in the 3rd couplet, that portion of Daniels prophecy that is defining what actually will happen within the time frame determined for this people and the holy city. It is the heart of the passage, and we checked out the first two couplets in previous posts.

COUPLET 3 – Second Thought

To Anoint the Most Holy

It is true that the passage in Daniel speaks of the most holy and some Bible believing Christians teach that it may refer to a future temple.

The Most Holy

But consider – Did not the Master describe Himself as a temple, that could be destroyed and would be raised up again?

John 2:19-21

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.

Do not the apostles often speak of the church as a temple of God on earth (– there is no temple in heaven don’t ya know…)

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ephesians 2:21

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

It is such a great thing that the temple concept, begun in the Messiah, is continuing both through individual believers and groups of believers.

The Anointing

Was not the Messiah anointed? Messiah literally means “the anointed One”

The passage in Daniel is speaking of the anointing of the Messiah, of His empowerment to perform the saving work of our souls.

Luke 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,

Almost exclusively, the Messiah would refer to Himself as the Son of Man, and Daniel 7:13-14 is the primary link that all consider to be Jesus’ link in the NT.

Acts 7:56 (compare with Daniel 7:13,14 Son of Man reference)

And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Daniel 7:13,14

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Right after the stoning of Stephen, the gospel goes out to the Samaritans and Gentiles.

Acts 8:5

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Before we move onto the next verse it may be important to remember that these 6 goals were to be performed on “Thy People” and upon “Thy Holy City”

Warning – Rabbit Trail Ahead

This may be a good time to remind my readers that throughout the OT, God had a remnant, a people that were truly Gods, and a city, even Thy Holy City. The obvious passage that comes to mind is 1 Kings 19:18 where God reminds the prophet of his remnant.

1 Kings 19:18

Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel,
all the knees that have not bowed to Baal,
and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

Isaiah also speaks of the faithful remnant in 46:3

3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;

Micah also speaks of the remnant, even in a verse that speaks of all of Jacob

Micah 1:12

12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob;
I will gather the remnant of Israel;
I will set them together
like sheep in a fold,
like a flock in its pasture,
a noisy multitude of men.

Zephaniah mixes his message with the following

Zephaniah 1:18

18 Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Even though Zephaniah prophesied of a “full and sudden end… of all the inhabitants of the earth”, just a few short verses later he claims in chapter 2.

7 The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.

Zechariah expands on the blessing on the remnant in Zechariah 8:11-13

Zechariah 8:11-13

11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts.

12 For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

13 And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Finally, James and Paul seem to echo some of these thoughts.

James links to the Zechariah passage, using the phrase “sowing in peace”, associating it with the New Testament body of believers.

James 3:18

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Paul follows up on the remnant idea clearly when he writes…

Romans 9:6

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Two chapters later, Paul speaks of all Israel’s being saved in the famous Romans 11 passage.

Romans 11:26

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

As an aside, (Whoa Carl – Is this a rabbit trail within a rabbit trail?) it is interesting in my mind that the little word “so” in 11:26 could be translated “in this manner, likewise, on this fashion, so in like manner. The method of God, that is of supplying blindness in part to Israel, supplies the gentiles entrance into the kingdom. This method has the result of all Israel being saved. This makes perfect sense if Israel being referred to in 11:26 is the faithful remnant, i.e. all those who have faith as Abraham, not just the blood line.

Let’s proceed in our next post – I think I sometimes do dah rabbit trail too much (?), but when I find something of interest, I tend to wander – My apologies!!!

I hope you will join me again as we continue to “Consider the Bible”.


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Conditional Security – Acts 14:21-23

Conditional Security - if-150x150 - Red with SplashContinue in the Faith

Acts 14:21-23

21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

It was Paul’s first missionary trip so we can forgive him for not understanding all the missiology that modern Christians now know and practice.

He must have returned to the Lystrians, Iconiumians and Antiochians to help them understand their eternal security I suppose he hadn’t yet written the letters that clearly teach the eternal security doctrine.

ContinueYet his message was “Continue in the Faith”. But Paul, once saved, you automatically continue in the faith, right?

Something must be wrong – Paul is wasting time with believers since the entire world needed to hear the gospel.  Why didn’t he simply keep going into new territory to reach more and more of the lost?  If those who truly believe are eternally secure, Paul seemed to waste his time visiting and encouraging the saints to remain faithful.

It is great that as modern believers we have finally come to the knowledge and wisdom to efficiently evangelize! 

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Daniel 9:24-27 – 7

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s continue and read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

Thanks for sticking with me in this journey through the hottest passage in Daniel. I taught this study in a Sunday School class that had never heard of this approach, and I appreciated the gracious (but firm) discussion during some of the previous couplets.

These next two posts we will finish up with those infamous six, that portion of Daniels prophecy that is defining what actually will happen within the time frame determined for this people and the holy city. It is the heart of the passage, and we checked out the first two couplets in previous posts.

This post we will take a look at the third couplet

COUPLET 3 – First Thought

To Seal Up the Vision and Prophecy

Vision – in the OT, this term only has the concept of a vision, whether ecstatic or as a prophecy.

Since it is coupled with the idea of prophecy, it may best be understood to be regarding visions, such as Daniel experienced.

Prophecy – in the OT, this term is translated as prophet 312 times, and as prophecy 1x. Our passage is the only time in the OT that this term is translated as prophecy.

Could Daniel be speaking of prophets being sealed up?

General Questions I Got

How does this relate to the resurgence of the apostolic ministry presently?

If Daniel 9:24-27 is time dependent, as he states in the beginning, does this verse teach that prophets were sealed up in the first century?

And how does this compare with the visions some have had in centuries past? Does this invalidate those visions?

Remember, as discussed in previous posts in this series, that to seal something does not imply permanence (Check out my 2 part study on Sealing, beginning with Sealing – Old Testament Basis).

OK, so how does that relate to the NT canon. Is it completed?

I would suggest that the apostles and prophets that spoke on the authority of the Christ have supplied all we need to live godly in this present world. Visions and prophets that speak the same message may be sent to wake the church up, but any message that crosses the scripture must be ignored or opposed.

Regarding the completion of sealing up prophets and visions, the NT seems to clearly address this.

Lets get Specific

To be a bit more specific, is Daniel speaking of THE vision and prophecy, that is, the very prophecy he is giving forth?

It is interesting that in Daniels vision/prophecy we are studying, he is told that the prophecy and vision were to be sealed up until the end of the 70 weeks.

Remember the concept of sealing. It is important to note that to seal something does not necessarily mean the object sealed will be sealed permanently!

One example of this very concept can be seen when John makes mention of sealing in Rev 22:10

Rev 22:10

And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

What is even more interesting to my thinking is that time is a factor in this verse also.
With that connection made, it would seem obvious that the topic of all prophecy has the Messiah smack dab in the middle of it. When He came, prophecy was being fulfilled. A few (of many) verses to support this follows.

Acts 3:18

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

John 5:39

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Matthew 11:13

All the prophets and the law prophesied until John

As has become evident, I consider the first advent to be the core of the prophecy Daniel experienced.

Is He not the focus and sum of all Scripture? Is He not the One to whom all attention, focus, love and honor is to be given? Consider the intent of the Scripture as you consider your interpretation of this difficult passage.

I hope you will join me again as we will again be Considering the Bible


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Daniel 9:24-27 – 6

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s continue and read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

This post we will continue to look at the second couplet

COUPLET 2 – Second Thought

To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness

Everlasting righteousness. Is there anything in this terminology that does not allow for the presence of sin alongside of the everlasting righteousness.

Everlasting is the Hebrew word `owlam, and is also, very very interesting. See A Study of Eternal/Everlasting if you want to be shocked. (I was)

Olam can mean for ever or everlasting, but is also a term that could mean a long duration. I personally believe Daniel is speaking of everlasting here, but the prophecy is so difficult to cipher, this issue may need to be revisited or reconsidered at a later date.

Anywho, I don’t understand this righteousness (that is everlasting) as speaking of filling/controlling/infecting all people on the earth. Daniels point is time dependent (either a long time or eternal), not the spread of righteousness within every person on earth.

With that refinement of thought, consider what the apostles wrote concerning the righteousness of Christ in the believer’s life.

1 Corinthians 1:30

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Rom. 3:21-26

Even the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God…through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare his RIGHTEOUSNESS for the remission of sins”

Rom. 5:17-21

By the righteousness of one…shall many be made righteous… unto eternal life by Jesus Christ

2 Cor. 5:21

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”

1 Peter 2:24

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto RIGHTEOUSNESS”

1 John 2:29

Everyone that doeth RIGHTEOUSNESS is born of him

Righteousness in the believers life is a New Testament teaching that directly relates to Daniels prophecy, if you will allow it.

The concept of righteousness needs further consideration – I looked into this as a study when I was just a youngin (as a Christian), and found it to be kinda surprising. If I find my notes I will post.

This completes our second couplet, and next time we get together, we shall enter into the third and final couplet.

I hope you will join me again as we “Consider the Bible”.


Persecution in the Land of the Free – 2

An unbelievable account of a group of peace loving Christians!hutterite

Find below the conclusion of a story that surprised me so much, that I felt I had to post it for your reading pleasure.

Excerpted from “Hell, Healing, and Resistance”
Daniel Hallock

Jacob Wipf managed to send a telegram to their wives, and they traveled immediately to Leavenworth. They started out from their homes at night, leaving their small children behind them. But a railroad agent mistakenly gave them tickets to the wrong station, causing a delay of an entire day, so that when the women finally arrived at Leavenworth around 11:00 p.m., they found their husbands close to death and barely able to speak. By the following morning, Joseph Hofer was dead.

His wife Maria was told his body had already been placed in the coffin and could no longer be viewed, but she was persistent and pushed past the guards to the commanding officer, pleading for permission to see her husband once more. Her request was granted, but she was not prepared for what she found: through her tears, she suddenly realized that the lifeless body of her beloved husband had been dressed in military uniform. Joseph had been faithful to the last, and now he was mocked in death.

Michael Hofer died only days later; at the insistence of his father he was allowed to lie in his own clothes. Immediately following Michael’s death, David Hofer was brought back to his cell and chained to the bars, unable to wipe away the tears that streamed down his face for the whole day. The next morning, with the help of a willing guard, David relayed a message to the commanding officer, requesting that he might be placed in a cell closer to Jacob Wipf. The guard returned an hour later and told David to pack up his things for immediate release.

David was at first incredulous, but left a brief message for Jacob and prepared to go. It is not clear what prompted this unexpected and sudden release, but it is probable that rumors of his brothers’ deaths were beginning to leak out, and the prison was worried that they would become martyrs in the public eye. Soon after, on December 6, 1918, the Secretary of War issued an order prohibiting handcuffing, chaining, and the otherwise brutal punishment of military prisoners – a token political gesture to counteract the case’s growing negative publicity. In reality, Jacob’s battle continued.

When two Hutterites visited him at Leavenworth five days later, they found him in solitary confinement, his hands still chained to the iron bars for nine hours a day. He was still receiving a diet of bread and water and sleeping on a concrete floor, although he had been given several blankets. In a message sent home to his family, he wrote:

Sometimes I envy the three who have already been delivered from their pain. Then I think: why is the hand of the Lord so heavy upon me? I have always tried to be faithful and hardworking and hardly ever made any trouble for the brotherhood. Why must only I continue to suffer? But then there is joy, too, so that I could weep for joy when I think that the Lord considers me worthy to suffer a little for his sake. And I have to confess that, compared with our previous experiences, the life here is like in a palace.

Considering that the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, it is hard to believe that the chaining of military prisoners was only stopped on December 12. The prisoners were given planks on which to sleep, and conditions gradually improved as the War Department continued to receive petitions on the men’s behalf. Jacob Wipf remained behind bars for four more months and was finally released on April 13, 1919, after being hospitalized for a brief illness.
But the deaths of the two Hofer brothers could not be so easily forgotten, and by the end of the year, the great majority of Hutterite colonies had emigrated to Canada to escape further persecution – including vandalism by their neighbors because of their refusal to buy war bonds.

So ended one of the most shameful episodes in American military history.


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Daniel 9:24-27 – 5

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s continue and read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

In this post we will start looking at the second couplet.

COUPLET 2 – First Thought

To Atone for Iniquity

The term atone has some wonderful synonyms in the Old Testament. To reconcile or to cover over is the principle thought.

Reconciliation is a great thought, but it takes two. Two parties need to agree with one another, (or better, with the truth) in order for true reconciliation to occur. In the New Testament, the thought of reconciliation is best understood by having two people with their backs together.

The reconciliation that was performed on the cross is one person, that is God, turning around to face the sinner. But the sinner, to complete reconciliation, must turn also for reconciliation to be realized.

Remember the purpose of the seventy weeks is to supply these six goals we are trying to understand.

For this post, I will simply refer you to a few New Testament passages. For me, this process (or act) of reconciliation is addressed clearly in the New Testament. I simply ask the reader to consider each New Testament truth in relation to the phrase we are looking at.

Hebrew 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.

2 Corinthians 5:19

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Colossians 1:20 – 22

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. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Ephesians 2:16
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

I have a difficult time seeing how this phrase could be more fully fulfilled (is that good grammar?) than through the work of Jesus the Messiah, and His death on the cross.

God provided the sacrifice of His Son to reconcile us to Himself, and as a byproduct, to reconcile each of us to each other. What other action could take precedence over that great work, making it insignificant compared to some future action that some may think Daniel is prophesying?

Is this understanding of Daniel 9:24 a viable interpretation that honors Jesus Christ and His work on the cross?

I will leave that to the reader, but it is good to remember that He is the sum and focus of all Scripture!


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Local Church Membership Q&A – 15

Church on a hill

Previous posts in this series were based on a pamphlet provided to me in my search for direction regarding local church membership.  A brother named Cody sought to help me and I wish him well.

When I replied with the previous responses, I did not hear from him for a period of time.  Of course, I feared I may have come off a bit strong, and in the interest of maintaining communication, reached out to him again.


As I have been thinking on this topic, I have considered 9 questions.

Time for Questions

One question will be offered for comment in the following posts Consider and respond, or again, if you want to discuss just let me know.

Does Local Church Membership follow after pragmatism or edification?  

By that, I would refer to the following.

1 Corinthians 10:23

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

If, for the sake of argument, the local church is “allowed” to have membership rolls, how is this beneficial to the average Christian?  Remember, permissible actions do not equate to be pleasing actions!

Membership could be seen as a method of allowing or restricting a believer from christian activities or “full fellowship”  This seems to be hurtful to the believer outside and create a sense of “arrival” for the one who is in “the club”.

It would seem that the benefit goes to those who might boast about the members. Although the principle topic is circumcision in Galations, could the attitude of Paul toward the judaizers be similar in regard to those who require local church membership from a believer?

Consider the following very loose paraphrase of Gal 6:12-13  (My apologies to Paul!)

Galations 6:12 – 13

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be members; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

For neither they themselves who are members keep the membership agreement they signed; but desire to have you sign up for membership, that they may glory in your potential attendance.


Our next post will address another question concerning the teaching of local church membership.  I do hope you will join me in my discussion with Cody, and supply comment or correction from the Word for our mutual edification.

If you read something in this discussion that concerns you, please take the time to send me your comments or reply within the post.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Daniel 9:24-27 – 4

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching. 

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers.  I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it.  I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it.  But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s continue and read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

COUPLET 1 – Second Thought

To Make an End of Sins

Golly – just when I made a point of Daniel not speaking of “finishing”, the very next phrase includes two Hebrew words, with the first one having finishing as a definition – Good Grief!

tä·mam’, – to be finished, to be completed (wholly), consumed, destroyed, cease doing, leave off doing, to seal up
&
khä·tham’ – to seal, seal up, affix a seal, to lock up, to be stopped

This last word is also used in this verse in relation to “sealing up the vision and prophecy”

Therefore – “To make an end” is referring to completely and wholly sealing up the object of the phrase, that is “sins”

First thought that fell out of my head was the locking up of Satan into the bottomless pit, but this can’t be speaking of that since the seal was placed on Satan, and he was shut up in the pit.

Also, this verse is referring to a concept (sins) and not a person.

Rev 20:3

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

It is important to note that to seal something does not necessarily mean the object sealed will be sealed permanently!  (See my two part study – Sealed – Old Testament Basis and Sealed – New Testament Teaching.)

It is preferred to consider this phrase to be a strengthened thought of the previous phrase where Daniel mentions restricting transgression.  Even so, the New Testament gives multitudinous references to the Messiah’s work on the cross and the effect of this act on sin.

Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

John 1:29

…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world

Acts 5:31

…forgiveness of sins..

Rom 3:25

….remission of sins.

Rom 8:3-4

..condemned sin in the flesh

Heb 1:3

.. by Himself purged our sins

Heb 9:26

…put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself

Heb 10:12

…one sacrifice for sins forever

1 Corinthians 15:3

…Christ died for our sins

1 Peter 2:24

…bare our sins in his own body on the tree

1 Peter 3:18

…hath once suffered for sins

1 John 3:5-6

… He was manifested to take away our sins.  Whoso abideth in Him sinneth not, whoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.

So, let me ask you a fair question.  Did He put an end to sin?  How you understand that question may color your understanding of this passage.

Of course we see sin every day in our world.  Sin sin sin.  Every where sin.  It seems to be getting worse with every passing day.  But the question is “Did He put an end to it?”

His sacrifice for our sin definitely paid the price for the our sin, provided power over sin (although we do not avail ourselves of this power too frequently), and has given us hope to be removed from sin in the near future.

For those who can discern the intent of the passage – ie sin has been dealt with on the cross and sin has no future, no enduring penalty, power or presence over the believer.

For the unbeliever, sin has also an end – but sadly without any victory!

Is this understanding of Daniel 9:24 a viable interpretation that honors Jesus Christ and His work on the cross?

I will leave that to the reader, but it is good to remember that He is the sum and focus of all Scripture!

I hope you will join me again in “Considering the Bible”.


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Persecution in the Land of the Free – 1

An unbelievable account of a group of peace loving Christians!hutterite

Find below a story that surprised me so much, that I felt I had to post it for your reading pleasure.

Excerpted from “Hell, Healing, and Resistance”
Daniel Hallock

Of all the accounts of resistance during the First World War, there are few more harrowing than the story of the four Hutterites who were imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth in 1918. The Hutterites are descendants of a large group of Austrian peasants who broke away from the Catholic church in the sixteenth century, living in self-sufficient communities and vowing allegiance to God over man. As pacifists, they refused to fight in any war, to hold public office, or to take oaths. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were martyred by the thousands, but by the nineteenth century had emigrated to Russia, where they lived peacefully until the late 1800s. At that time, their special exemption from military duty was repealed, and they were given six years to tie up affairs and leave the country.

Howard Moore (who met the four men while imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth) writes:
What could be more natural than that their leaders should look to America, the land of the free, a land that had been founded on the principle of individual liberty of conscience, a land settled by men who had fled from the four corners of the earth to escape religious persecution and, having settled, still welcomed all who wished to come to this continent to practice, free from persecution, their religious faith?

By 1874, most of the Hutterites had moved to South Dakota and begun new communities, or “colonies.” For forty-five years they lived in relative peace. But that peace was shattered by Wilson’s Conscription Act, and by the summer of 1918, four Hutterites living in South Dakota had been drafted into the Army against their will. Joseph, Michael, and David Hofer were blood-brothers. Together with a brother-in-law, Jacob Wipf, they were ordered to report to Camp Lewis, Washington, on May 25. Because they objected to military service on grounds of conscience, however, they refused to cooperate with even the basic induction procedures, and were thus considered to be military prisoners subject to military discipline. Persecution began immediately. Already on the train ride to the camp, another group of young men on their way to induction had grabbed the four Hutterites and tried to cut off their hair and their beards.
Upon arrival, they refused to promise obedience to military commands, to stand in formation, or to put on the uniforms given to them. For this, they were thrown into a “guardhouse,” where they were kept for two months before being court-martialed and sentenced to thirty-seven years in military prison. Following their court-martial they were transferred, with hands and feet shackled, to Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. There they were forcibly stripped and commanded to dress in military uniforms. When they refused, they were taken to a dungeon where water trickled down the slimy walls and out over the bare rock floor. The darkness, cold, and stench were overpowering. Their uniforms were thrown down next to them, and they were told: “If you don’t give in, you’ll stay here till you die, like the four we dragged out of here yesterday!”

Shivering in their underwear, the prisoners were forced to sleep on the cold, damp floor without blankets. During the first four-and-a-half days, they were given nothing to eat and received only a half glass of water every twenty-four hours. Then, for the next two days, their hands were chained to iron rods above their heads so that their feet barely touched the floor. They were beaten with sticks, and Michael passed out. All the same, they were separated from one another so as to prevent communication; David later heard Jacob crying out: “Oh, have mercy, almighty God!”

When the men were brought up from the dungeon into a yard containing other prisoners, they had severe eczema and scurvy and had been badly bitten by insects; their arms were so swollen that they were unable to put on their coats. Altogether, they had not eaten for six days. They were finally fed but then were returned to their cells and locked in for twenty-four hours a day, apart from a single hour on Sundays when they were allowed to stand in the courtyard under heavy guard. They endured this treatment for four months until they were chained once again for the four-day journey east to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They arrived in Kansas at eleven o’clock at night and were driven through the streets like pigs, prodded by shouting guards with open bayonets; they fumbled to retain the Bible, bag, and pair of shoes each had been given to hold in his manacled hands.

After being forced to run uphill to the prison gates, they were made to undress in the raw winter air and kept waiting, soaked in sweat, for their prison garb to be brought out. For two hours they shivered naked in the wind; by the time their clothes arrived, around 1:30 a.m., they were chilled to the bone. At 5:00 a.m. they were brought outside again and forced to stand in the cold wind. Joseph and Michael collapsed in pain and were taken to the infirmary. Jacob and David stood fast but refused to join a work detail and so were put in solitary confinement. Their hands were stretched through iron bars and chained together, and they were forced to stand in this position for nine hours each day, with only bread and water for nourishment. After two weeks, they began to receive occasional meals.

Join me in my next blog to find out the conclusion of this horrific story.

 


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Daniel 9:24-27 – 3

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s begin Considering the Bible.
I’m glad you came back. A little surprised since so few, at least in my experience, are willing to consider alternate viewpoints to Bible passages.

I admit, it is comforting to be settled in a belief system, and yet, when my faith was challenged and I couldn’t avoid the conflict, I found great peace in releasing my hold on deeply held opinions. It is good to fear the Lord.

Lets read the verse under consideration first.

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

So let us proceed into the first thought in Daniel 9:24. My plan is to look at each of these lines within the couplets and see if the New Testament can shed some light on this prophecy

COUPLET 1 – First Thought

To Finish the Transgression

Dang – Right away I got a problem.

What in tarnation is Daniel trying to say. At first glance I thought the New Testament would be able to give me direct associations of the transgression with the rejection and murder of the Messiah.

During the Lord’s condemnation of the Sadducces in Matthew 23, we hear Him speaking of the fathers filling up their “guilt jar”.

Mat 23:29 – 32

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

That last verse is sometimes translated as “Go ahead, and finish what your ancestors started” (NLT) or “Go on, then, and finish up what your ancestors started” (GNT)

In the Old KJV, the measure is commonly referring to a vessel. One good example is in Genesis 15:16, where the passage describes a vessel, being filled up with the sin of the Amorites.

In Matthew 23:32, the Lord is referring to the sin contained in the vessel of wrath that rejecting the Son of Man would accomplish.

That rejection would fill that vessel up to overflowing!

A few verses later (vs 36), the Master, after convicting the Pharisees of thier identification with thier fathers, states that all these things (described in verses earlier) shall come upon this generation.

It is very provocative that Jesus referred to the generation He was speaking to at that time.

Remember this passage is time dependent, just like Daniels…

The same thought is brought out when Paul speaks of the churches persecution under the Jews.

1 Thessalonians 2:14 – 16

14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

The CSB translates the phrase “As a result, they are constantly filling up thier sins to the limit.

The apostle Paul, whose heart broke for his people, the Israelites, realized that the Jews actions were condemning them, that they had abandoned the favor of God, and wrath was to come upon them..

But I wasn’t quite satisfied. Could there be more to this phrase “to finish the transgression”?

The next approach was to consider the couplet refrain of the Hebrew poetry that we mentioned earlier in the blog. The main thought in the first couplet seems to be Gods dealing with sin.

Again the New Testament gives us some good news.

Hebrew 9:26

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

“To put away” is the greek word athetesis, and it can be translated abolition, disanulling, and rejection. The thought of abolition of sin and finishing a transgression seems to have some parallels.

Heb. 10:4-11

It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins… But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever…hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…And their sins… remember no more”

“Hath perfected” is the greek word teleioo, and means to make perfect, to finish, to complete, to bring to a close, to bring to an end (goal). It is of the same root word that is translated “It is finished” in John 19:30. The verb “hath perfected” (or to finish) is describing the saint in the Hebrews passage.

Being perfected by the sacrifice of the Master certainly finishes transgression in the believer.

I am not trying to defend sinless perfection – I know myself too well. But the scriptures do give support to sin being done with in the believers life – See Rom 8:1-4, I John 3-4-6.

I think I am considering a concept (finishing the transgression), that isn’t spoken of in Daniels text.

So……

I went a bit further in my study and found that the verb “finish” is from the Hebrew word kala (H3607) and is usually translated as restrict, restrain, withhold, shut up, keep back, refrain, forbid.

Only once did the translators decide to use the word finish when translating this hebrew word.

So how does this effect the interpretation? “To finish” has the connotation of completion, of a conclusion, culmination, consummation. To be restrained is not necessarily so. To restrain, or to restrict requires the existence of the item being restrained, therefore this may allow, even require for the existence of sin to be present, in order to be restrained.

This twist in my understanding of the passage is quite exciting.

Did not the Messiah’s death and resurrection bring a lively motive in every believers heart and mind to say no to sin (restrain, resist, keep back, forbid sin!) and yes to righteousness?

I’m glad I dug a bit. I encourage all y’all to dig with me as we are “Considering the Bible”.

Thanks for visiting. May God the Father bless you today.


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Daniel 9:24-27 – 2

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching. 

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers.  I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it.  I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it.  But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s begin Considering the Bible.

Lets begin with a rabbit trail.  As you follow this blog, you will begin to realize I love to chase rabbits.  Some you may find interesting, some you may find irritating.  All of them I find worthwhile.  But I will warn you when I start chasing, and this is one of those times!

A RABBIT TRAIL

When looking at the six actions to be accomplished in  this prophecy, it seemed to follow a common pattern of Hebrew poetry.  You see, in Hebrew poetry, it is common for the prophet to declare a truth using two descriptions.  This is evident throughout the OT, and is especially noticed in the book of Proverbs. (Dang – the whole book seems to be full of thought couplets!)

This form of poetry has a structure of synonymous (or opposing) thoughts every two lines.  Consider

Ps 15:1-3

Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous.

who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue.

who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellow man.

or consider Daniel’s prophetic brother Amos.

Amos 5:24

Justice must flow like torrents of water,
righteous actions like a stream that never dries up.

Given this form of communication, it seems obvious that Daniel 9:24 has a similar poetic structure, defining 3 big ideas.

Couplet 1

to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins,

Couplet 2

and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,

Couplet 3

and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.

When I first started looking at these couplets, I had hoped to breeze through all six in one blog post.

So funny Carl.

Lets try to tackle one thought of Daniels at a time.  Our next blog will cover the first  couplet.

To Finish the Transgression

I hope you will join me again in  “Considering the Bible”.


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A Study of Eternal / Everlasting

everlastingEverlasting – It boggles the mind – at least my mind!

How can I grasp this concept?

I remember laying in bed at night when I was a young’n and thinking about the eternal, and just when I thought I had it figger’d out, some extra years would appear in my thoughts. I felt like a dog chasing my tail!

“Everlasting” in the Bible

When I was a dog chasing my tail, I didn’t have the desire or will power to go to the source to research this concept. Now that I am a Christian, I have the Word of God to search for answers.

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So lets Consider the Bible and search for answers.

First off, lets find out the words, in the Old and New Testament, that the inspired writers used to describe this concept!

Four Old Testament Hebrew words and three New Testament Greek words are translated to describe the concept of eternal/everlasting .

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OLAM – Old Testament “Eternal”
The most common word in the Old Testament is “OLAM”.  The following table analyzes this word in describing various eternal/everlasting things.

You might be asking by this time – What’s your point Carl?

infinity 1My point is that we cannot interpret the Word of God in a strictly literal, “technically accurate” manner.  Some folk have complained that this makes the Bible an unreadable document, that is, they could not simply pick up a Bible and understand it correctly.

When was the last time you considered the Bible to be a cartoon?  When I pick up a Blondie or Garfield cartoon, I don’t intend to spend more than a few seconds (at most) in understanding the message being conveyed.  I think the attitude towards the Word should be somewhat different.

The Bible was written in a completely different culture, time and place than what we live in.  To assume that  we have the right to simply understand the message in a 20th century North American context is foolishness.  Unless, of course, we see the Bible as a magic talisman, instead of a message from the living God.

In the case of this particular study, I find it amazing that some things that are described as eternal and everlasting (in our mindset) are not!

Does this take away from the core definition of eternal/everlasting? No – the core meaning is the core meaning!  What I think I have tripped over is how the overall context can affect the specific message of a particular word.

What do I mean?

Consider

Gen 9:16

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

What will happen to this covenant when there is no living creatures on the earth?  (BTW – that will happen!)  It is eternal between the two parties that enter into the covenant, so the default message is that although the term everlasting is used, it is not everlasting/eternal. The everlasting condition of this covenant is dependent on the existence of “every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth”.


How about this one.  The land of Canaan is to be an everlasting possession for the seed of Abraham.

Gen 17:8

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Two issues erupt in this verse.

  1. Who is the seed of Abraham?
  2. Is this promise or it’s reaffirmations unconditional?

The first point is simple to answer.  Paul labors the point of describing who the seed is in the book of Galations.

Gal 3:29

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Then two more issues occur to me. – (Come on Carl – gimme a break!!)

Was this promise or it’s reaffirmations unconditional?  Or did the Jewish people misunderstand this verse and “literally” interpret the promise, assuming the land was theirs unconditionally forever?

The very next verse after the great promise to Abraham, the Lord stated…

… Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

Unconditional promise?  Could the Jewish nation survive if they were disobedient and rebellious? (Did they?)  Could they assume upon verse 8 and ignore verse 9?  (What about the nation of Israel today?  Are they presently keeping “my covenant”? )  The everlasting possession was dependent on the Jewish nation’s keeping of “my covenant”.  It is very interesting to me that the covenant being referred to here was the Abrahamic covenant and that the nation’s allegience to the Siniatic covenant revealed the heart of the people towards God.  Additional examples of how the eternal/everlasting concept is modified by the context, can be found above and I would encourage you to consider them.

Does this contextual effect on the concept of eternal/everlasting continue into the New Testament?  I will leave that for you to study out.  Get back to me when you find something out, eh?

I gotta go study some Garfield!garfield


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Daniel 9:24-27 – 1

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching. 

As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers.  I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it.  I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it.  But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

So with that thought let’s begin Considering the Bible.

Daniel 9:24 – 27

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.

So, lets take our time and consider the text.

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.

Daniel introduces this prophecy by defining three specific subjects that are central to the prophecy.  The subjects of this prophecy are as follows.

A SPECIFIC TIME – Seventy weeks

The first thing I notice is that a specific time is determined.

The English word determined is interesting.   Determined = חָתַךְ châthak, khaw-thak’; a primitive root; properly, to cut off, i.e. (figuratively) to decree, to be determined, be decreed, be settled, be marked out —determine.

The implication is that the time frame of this prophecy is settled in the mind of God, that it is established, decreed, “set in stone”.  However the time period is set up by God, it will be played out based on that time line.  It is sure.

A SPECIFIC PEOPLE – Thy People

The second thing I notice is that this time is determined upon a specific people

Upon thy people
– this phrase is used 7 times in OT and not always referring to the Jewish nation – notably through the book of Exodus (4 times) where it is referring to the Egyptians.

Therefore this phrase is context sensitive and needs to be understood by the intent of the prophet.  It is obvious that the Jewish prophet Daniel was directing this prophecy to his Jewish brethren.  With that said, we must realize that prophecy is not meant primarily for unbelievers, but for those who have faith in the God of Israel, and trust in His message.

A SPECIFIC PLACE – Thy Holy City

The third thing I notice is that this time is determined upon a specific place.

Upon thy holy city
holy  = קֹדֶשׁ qôdesh, ko’-desh; from H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity:—consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (× most) holy (× day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.

The place is specific – that is it is the holy city and for the men and women this was written to, obviously meant Jerusalem, the city of the Great King.

Next post, we will consider the form of communication Daniel used, in order to help us understand his message.

I hope you will join me again in “Considering the Bible”.


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Local Church Membership Q&A – 14

Church on a hill

Previous posts in this series were based on a pamphlet provided to me in my search for direction regarding local church membership.  A brother named Cody sought to help me and I wish him well.

When I replied with the previous responses, I did not hear from him for a period of time.  Of course, I feared I may have come off a bit strong, and in the interest of maintaining communication, reached out to him again.


As I have been thinking on this topic, I have considered 9 questions.

Time for Questions

One question will be offered for comment in the following posts Consider and respond, or again, if you want to discuss just let me know.

Does Local Church Membership “have its privileges”?

Remember, as believers we are to take our marching orders from the Word, and not lean on the secular world (not even popular credit card commercials) for our wisdom.

I never considered asking my children if they wanted to join the family in order to fully enjoy all the privileges (and responsibilities) of the family. My wife and I just figured they were members of the family due to their birth into our family.

Is this wrong?

Am I missing something?


Our next post will address another question concerning the teaching of loacal church membership.  I do hope you will join me in my discussion with Cody, and supply comment or correction from the Word for our mutual edification.

If you read something in this discussion that concerns you, please take the time to send me your comments or reply within the post.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Daniel 9:24-27 – Introduction

Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.

As I have studied this topic over the years, a teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.

When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.

Sure, we may come away limping, like ol’ Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.

Enough – my next post will venture into “forbidden” territory!!!

Thanks for “Considering the Bible” with me. I hope these posts will challenge you to consider viewpoints that were hidden from me for decades in my Christian journey.


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