|"If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence against My people, when My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13-1
Note: Scriptures are blue.
Transcription of a sermon given by Charles J. Voss in 1997.
A lot has been said about Daniel nine.
It is claimed to prove that Jesus is the Christ
Does it or does it not? That is the question.
You may be surprised by the answer!
As a former Local Elder, in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), I taught what I had been taught--that Daniel Nine Proves That Jesus Is the Christ. 1 I have given sermons preaching this "truth" and sermons based on this "truth-so called."
Like nearly every one else in my former Church I accepted the article by Mr. William Dankenbring as the unadulterated pure "Plain Truth." In addition as a Local Elder, I urged the congregation to be as the Bereans 2 and study the Scriptures to see if these things are true. But I must confess that I accepted the explanation of Daniel as taught by the church without ever searching the Scriptures to determine if this doctrine was true.
If it came from Pasadena I just assumed that it was true and that was a big mistake. Before I show you the keys as to why this doctrine is wrong, and why everyone should have known it was wrong, me included, lets get a little background on the article and also on Daniel.
The article in question is titled Daniel Nine Proves That Jesus Is the Christ. My question is "Does it?" What Ill show you today is Daniel nine does not prove that Jesus is the Christ. I wont be able to show you exactly what it does prove, but one thing we do know is the ancient Jews understood it and we will get into that as we progress.
But before giving you the misapplied key that unlocks the secret--a background on Dankenbring's article is needed first. This doctrine was totally embraced by the Radio Church of God (RCG) and it's successor Worldwide Church of God and all breakaway groups of WCG. This doctrine comes from Catholic/Protestant prophecy and was taught in Ambassador College and is accepted as truth by WCGanity. 3
Mr. Dankenbring opens his article by saying:
"Do you KNOW Jesus is the Christ? Can you prove it from Bible prophecy? Fundamentalists believe Jesus is the Christ. But many cannot prove it. They believe the Bible is "Gods" inspired word--but again, they are hard put to produce any evidence. They have faith that God exists--but they cannot prove it. They accept these things on sheer faith. Such a "belief"--such a "faith,"--is weak, wishy-washy and utterly worthless, in "Gods" sight! Empty faith--dead faith, the kind held by most people today, will not save anyone. There is no need to assume that Jesus is the Christ. You can know.!"
He is very emphatic in saying that Daniel nine proves that Jesus is the Christ and that you can know without a shadow of a doubt. Continuing:
"The OT is full of detailed plain prophecies referring to the coming of the Messiah, or Christ the Anointed One. From Genesis to Malachi prophecies reveal many facets of both the first and second comings of Jesus Christ but no OT prophecy pinpoints the exact time of the coming of Christ and none occur as specifically as the book of Daniel." Turn in your Bible to Daniel 9, and read the prophecy for yourself," he states.
So Dankenbring is specifically stating that if you go to the book of Daniel it will prove that Jesus is the Christ. Well let's just do that. Please turn to Daniel 9:1. "In the first year of Darius..." gives the time setting. Now skipping on over to verse 24: (Dan. 9:24-27)
"In the first year of Darius... 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. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild 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. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: 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. (Daniel 9:1,24-27)
So Mr. Dankenbring takes the number of weeks, mentioned in those scriptures, and adds them all together and multiplies by seven. Then he says that a day is for a year and comes up with 483 years. These 483 years would have passed beginning with the year 457 when the decree went forth (and remember we read the decree went forth was to rebuild Jerusalem) till 26 AD. However, he says, because we are going from AD (CE) to BC (BCE) we must add an extra year and that brings us to 27 CE. Then he goes on to say 27 CE was the year Christ began his ministry and if he ministered for three and a half years and was cut off in the middle of the week. Then he states Christ was crucified on a Wednesday and rose on a Sabbath and we now have a nice neat little package that really is neat and nice to look at but the question is, "Does it hold water and is it true?" I say to you that it does not! and I will show you why.
First of all, why was Daniel concerned about these dates? He had realized that the 70 years of captivity were over and was wondering when the Jews would go back to Jerusalem. Let us start back in Jeremiah. We will get the full background to this question and then I am going to give you the key, and the key is really simple, as to why Dankenbrings statement and why his paper is completely false. And why everyone that was in WCG or any of the splinter group COGs and all of us should have caught the error in this. Now I am not condemning anybody because I, myself, did not know see the error and preached sermons using Dankenbrings paper as proof. Lets go back to (Jeremiah 25:8-12):
"Therefore thus said YHWH of hosts; Because You have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, said YHWH, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be desolation, and astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, said YHWH, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Jeremiah 25:8-12)
Notice the seventy years the Jews were to be in captivity that was prophesied by Jeremiah. In the Scofield Reference Bible the note for verse 11 states:
"At the end of the seventy years 539 therefore it began in 609 BC in Jerusalem". [Thats just a little note I had in my "inspired margin".] Now lets go to (Ezra 1:1-2)
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of YHWH by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled. YHWH stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, YHWH CREATOR of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah." (Ezra 1:1-2)
To see a short list of the Scriptures in Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah that are used in this article, click on the word Appendix.
It goes on to tell about gathering together the people to rebuild. And what are they going to rebuild? The house of CREATOR which is the Temple not Jerusalem. They are going to rebuild Him a house at Jerusalem, not rebuild Jerusalem but rebuild the Temple. The footnote says that is in 538 BC so that would be the first proclamation that goes forth to rebuild the Temple. In Ezra chapter 2 starting with verse one it lists all the people that went out of captivity and back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Then verse 64:
"The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore." (Ezra 2:64)
So theres quite a few that left Babylon. In Ezra 3 we see the altar is set up in the seventh month. (Ezra 3:3)
"And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto YHWH, even burnt offerings morning and evening. From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto YHWH. But the foundation of the Temple was not yet laid." (Ezra 3:3,6)
They had been sent back to build the Temple, they had built the altar but they had not done anything about the foundation or the Temple itself. Jumping down to verse 10 then to 4:18-22.
"And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of YHWH (Ezra 3:10)
"The letter which you sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them. Give you now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built, until another commandment shall be given from me. Take heed now that you fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? (Ezra 4:18-22)
Thus, the point is that king Artaxerxes has given them permission to rebuild the Temple but he has specifically said, "Do not rebuild Jerusalem." Going now to chapter Ezra 5:16:
"Then came the same Sheshbazzar, [the footnote says this is Zerubbabel] and laid the foundation of the house of CREATOR which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished. (Ezra 5:16)
They were working on the Temple but it was not finished yet. Going to chapter 6 verse 1:
"Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the archives, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a scroll, and therein was a record thus written: In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of CREATOR at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations be strongly laid; the height threescore cubits, and the breadth threescore cubits. ... And the CREATOR that has caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of CREATOR which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed. (Ezra 6:1-2,12)
This is the second decree to rebuild the Temple. For the next decree go to Ezra 7:
"Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra (Ezra 7:1)
We have a different king now; this is the third king. Down in verse 7:
"And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim 4 unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. (Ezra 7:7)
Notice this was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the King. The dates given for that are 458 BCE to 457 BCE and the reason for two dates is because the Jews civil calendar began in the fall and the Babylonian calendar began in the middle of the winter. The dates get even more involved as we get into this. Verse 9:
"For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his CREATOR upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of YHWH, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. (Ezra 7:9-10)
Now this is the third command to rebuild the temple. Going down to verse eleven:
"Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of YHWH, and of his statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the CREATOR of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. (Ezra 7:11-12)
There has been a lot of discussion on whether Ezra had the authority to rework and to edit and make a compilation of the scrolls of the Hebrew Scriptures (OT). Here it specifically says he is "a scribe of the words of the commandments of YHWH, and of his statutes to Israel." So he is given that authority and responsibility.
"Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the CREATOR of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem may go with you. And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your CREATOR which is in your hand; and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the CREATOR of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem. And whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for the house of their CREATOR in Jerusalem; (Ezra 7:12-13,16)
Dr. Hoeh says it was in the year 457 BC when the third decree was given to go and rebuild the Temple. We have seen this date before. Dankenbring used it and stated it was the command to rebuild Jerusalem. So they are taking all of these things back to Jerusalem, and for what reason?
"Blessed be YHWH CREATOR of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the kings heart, to beautify the house of YHWH which is in Jerusalem: (Ezra 7:27)
"Blessed be YHWH CREATOR of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the kings heart, to beautify the house of YHWH which is in Jerusalem: (Ezra 7:27)
I want to repeat that because it is extremely important. This is the third decree from the emperor in Babylon, whether he was a Babylonian or whether he was of the Medo-Persian Empire or whether he was pure Persian. The third decree stated that "Blessed be YHWH CREATOR of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the kings heart, to beautify the house of YHWH that is in Jerusalem" and that date Dr. Hoeh says is 457 BCE.
Going back to Mr. Dankenbring's paper, he states:
"The decree of Artaxerxes [in] Daniel 9:25 explains: '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.'"
Did you catch the fatal flaw with Dankenbring's theory? If not, we will explain, back to the article:
"In the seventh year of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra came to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:1-9). With him he had a letter containing the decree of Artaxerxes permitting the rebuilding and the restoration of Jerusalem."
Do you see the discrepancy? Do you see what is wrong with this article and thus the theory that Daniel proves that Jesus is the Christ? This statement has been there since 1970 and I have read over it and I have given sermons on it. People in WCGanity have read over it and given sermons on it, but nobody has realized the error in this theory, and it is so glaring! To repeat Mr. Dankenbring:
"In the seventh year of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra came to Jerusalem. With him he had a letter containing the decree of Artaxerxes permitting the rebuilding and the restoration of Jerusalem."
And what did we just read in verse 27 prior to that?
"Blessed be YHWH CREATOR of our fathers, which has put such a thing as this in the kings heart, to beautify the house of YHWH which is in Jerusalem."
We have read nothing whatsoever about rebuilding Jerusalem. Yet Mr. Dankenbring says that this decree was for the restoration of Jerusalem. He makes this flagrant and open misrepresentation of the truth in order to use the Ezra date in his calculations to force them to end at 27 CE. Whether he was mistaken or whether he did this intentionally is not for me to judge other than to point out flagrant untruth. Mr. Dankenbring owes us all and open an heartfelt apology. Now lets go on with what Dankenbring states a couple of paragraphs later:
"In this decree Ezra was given authority to take with him all the Jews wishing to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the city [Mr. Dankenbring says] and to beautify the house of God and to do whatever else God commanded. What year was the decree given and what was the seventh year of Artaxerxes?"
And Mr. Dankenbring ploughs down through a lot of literature sources to justify the different dates and then he provides a little chart. He emphatically states:
"Four hundred eighty three years were to pass beginning from 457 when the decree went forth."
That was the decree, remember, that was given to Ezra to beautify the Temple and Dankenbring states:
"If you add the 483 to that  you come up to 26 AD. But you add one year for the fact that there is no year zero, and that brings you to 27 AD." He goes on to say, "In 27 AD the Messiah appears, Jesus Christ."
Going back to Daniel 9 and rereading that:
"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. Know you therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and then sixty-two weeks and another week. (Daniel 9:24-25)
So, Mr. Dankenbring takes this commandment to go forth and rebuild Jerusalem and he picks the date that Ezra was sent forth to beautify the Temple. Now I ask you, "Are they the same?" No, theyre not! What about rebuilding Jerusalem? When was that done?
Please turn to Nehemiah 2. Nehemiah was the cup-bearer to the king and by this time Ester had married the king. We all know the story of Ester and her becoming queen, and most likely through Esters influence was Nehemiah appointed as cup-bearer. Lets read that in Nehemiah 2:
"And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes..." (Neh. 2:1)
In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes! The commandment given to Ezra to beautify the Temple was in the seventh year. That is a thirteen-year difference from the time the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was given and the time Ezra was sent to beautify the Temple.
" in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence before. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever; why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers sepulchers, lies waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? (Neh. 2:1-3)
Nehemiahs concern is the fact that Jerusalem has not been rebuilt, the walls are torn down, and the gates are all burnt. The Temple has been finished but Jerusalem has not been rebuilt.
"Then the king said unto me, For what does thou make request? So I prayed to the CREATOR of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it pleases the king, and if thy servant have favor in thy sight, that thou would send me unto Judah, unto the city, of my fathers sepulchers, that I may build it. (Neh. 2:4-5)
And remember on the second decree to Ezra he was specifically forbidden to rebuild Jerusalem. The commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was to Nehemiah, thirteen years after Ezras third commandment. So that basically disproves completely Mr. Dankenbrings paper. But we are going to talk about it a little bit more. Reading the next verse:
"Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), How long will your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time." (Neh. 2:6)
I want to point out that "queen" refers to Ester, so Ester was there and Nehemiah has been sent back to rebuild Jerusalem. Going back to Daniel 9:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah... (Dan. 9:24-25)
Mr. Dankenbring uses the date Ezra went back to beautify the Temple he does not even mention Nehemiah. But the scripture plainly shows in Nehemiah 2:3
"Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers tomb lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire? And I said unto the king [verse 5] if it please the king, and your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah to the city of my fathers tomb that I may rebuild it." (Neh. 2:3)
May rebuild Jerusalem, the Temple was not even a consideration at that time because it had already been rebuilt.
Looking back over some other claims that Mr. Dankenbring makes in his paper. The first sub-title in his article is the prophecy of Daniel and he says this proves that Jesus is the Messiah. Just assume for a moment that Jesus was who they say he was. The sign that he gave, (he said, "This is the only sign that I will give"), will be the same as the sign of Jonah.
If Daniel nine proved that Jesus was the Messiah, I think that this would have been a good scripture for him use, and to show. He could have said, "I am him, I am here, here are the dates, here are the calculations and that proves it. But the writers of the NT completely overlooked Daniel 9, and they said the only sign would be the sign of Jonah.
Why was Daniel 9 overlooked in the NT? Because it does not prove Jesus is the Messiah.
Another point Mr. Dankenbring makes is after the second sub-title, "Seventy Weeks Prophecy." He says:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon the people and the holy city to finish the transgressions and to make an end of sins. Seventy weeks. How are they to be understood? The day for a year principle of Bible prophecy is understood by many students of the Bible. In Numbers 14:36 God tells the Israelites after the number of days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year shall you bear your iniquity for forty years."
Then Mr. Dankenbring comes to a conclusion and proclaims:
"Thus a day in the Bible is often a year being fulfilled. This is the same prophetic principle found in Ezekiel 4 prophesying about the punishment and the siege of Israel. God told Ezekiel this shall be a sign to the house of Israel. Lie upon your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it: according to the number of the days that you shall lie upon it you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon you the years of their iniquity,"
The Scriptures plainly state that the day for a year principle is concerning punishment. The question is "Does the day for a year for punishment carry over to include prophecy?" Regardless of what we have been told by "the scholars" there is no indication anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures that a day for a year carries over from punishment to prophecy. In pulling the wool over eyes Mr. Dankenbring points out two occasions where punishment is given as "a day for a year." Then he falsely says, "that proves it."
Now that Mr. Dankenbring says he has shown "that a day stands for a year in punishment" somehow he conjures up a theory that "a day for a year is also in prophecy." Then he states, "the seventy weeks in Daniel nine represents seventy times seven or 490 days, and since days stand for years, a total of 490 years." What was to happen at the end of these years? He then skips to the restoration of the third Temple.
The point is, Daniel 9 does not prove that Jesus is the Christ. To start with there are two invalid assumptions that Mr. Dankenbring makes. First he says the command to build Jerusalem was given to Ezra. In the second assumption he transforms the principle of "a day for a year in punishment" to somehow carry over to prophesy.
Then Mr. Dankenbring makes a very glaring mistake that we all in WCGanity should have spotted years and years ago. The date he uses for the going forth to rebuild Jerusalem is the date Ezra was given to beautify the Temple. It has been in the scriptures all these many years.
Going back to Daniel 9 and reading out of the Tanakh. As [you] read you will see that this is definitely not talking about the Messiah.
"In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans. In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, consulted the books concerning the number of years that, according to the word of YHWH that had come to Jeremiah the prophet, were to be the term of Jerusalems desolation - seventy years. I turned my face to YHWH CREATOR, devoting myself to prayer and supplication, in fasting, in sackcloth and ashes. (Dan. 9:1-3)
Daniels concern is that now the seventy years have passed, why havent the Jews gone back to Jerusalem?
"Now, O YHWH CREATOR - You who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, winning fame for Yourself to this very day - we have sinned, we have acted wickedly. O YHWH, as befits Your abundant benevolence, let Your wrathful fury turn back from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a mockery among all who are around us. (Dan. 9:15-16)
Daniel thought the delay in returning to Jerusalem was because of the Jews continual sinning while in captivity.
"While I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and laying my supplication before YHWH CREATOR on behalf of the holy mountain of my CREATOR. While I was uttering my prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had previously seen in the vision, was sent forth in flight and reached me about the time of the evening offering. He made me understand by speaking to me and saying, Daniel, I have just come forth to give you understanding. A word went forth as you began your plea, and I have come to tell it, for you are precious; so mark the word and understand the vision. Seventy weeks of years have been decreed for your people and your holy city until the measure of transgression is filled and that of sin complete, until iniquity is expiated, and eternal righteousness ushered in; and prophetic vision ratified, and the Holy of Holies anointed." (Dan. 9:20-24)
The story flow is the destruction of the first Temple and the rebuilding of the second Temple.
"You must know and understand: From the issuance of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of the anointed leader ... (Dan. 9:25)
NOTE: it does not say Messiah. It says anointed leader. The word messiah means anointed. The word Christ (Gk. Christos) in the NT also means anointed. By calling Jesus the Christ, Christians try to tie in with Daniel 9s anointed one, and say this is talking about the messiah who would come as a lamb and be slain. But thats definitely NOT what its talking about.... is seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat, but in a time of distress. And after these sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will disappear and vanish. The army of a leader who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but its end will come through a flood. Desolation is decreed until the end of war. During one week he will make a firm covenant with many. For half a week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the meal offering. At the corner of the altar will be an appalling abomination until the decreed destruction will be poured down upon the appalling thing. (Dan. 9:25-26)
Going back to Daniel 8 we get the story flow leading into Daniel 9 and then we will go into Daniel 10 and follow the story flow further. First of all Daniel is given a vision. Lets look at the interpretation of the vision in Daniel 8:
"While I, Daniel was seeing the vision, and trying to understand it, there appeared before me one who looked like a man. I heard a human voice from the middle of Ulai calling out, Gabriel, make that man understand the vision. He came near to where I was standing, and as he came I was terrified, and fell prostrate. He said to me, Understand, O man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." (Dan. 8:15-17 Tanakh)
Okay, so it is the time of the end, but let us see what end it is. Is that the end of the world or the end of some other occurrence?
"When he spoke with me, I was overcome by a deep sleep as I lay prostrate on the ground. Then he touched me and made me stand up, and said, I am going to inform you of what will happen when wrath is at an end, for [it refers] to the time appointed for the end." (Dan. 8:18-19 Tanakh)
"When he spoke with me, I was overcome by a deep sleep as I lay prostrate on the ground. Then he touched me and made me stand up, and said, I am going to inform you of what will happen when wrath is at an end, for [it refers] to the time appointed for the end." (Dan. 8:18-19 Tanakh)
That sort of seems like Christian end-time eschatological thought, but let us go on:
"The two-horned ram that you saw [signifies] the kings of Media and Persia; and the buck, the he-goatthe king of Greece; and the large horn on his forehead, that is the first king. One was broken and four came in its steadthat [means]: four kingdoms will arise out of a nation, but without its power. When their kingdoms are at an end, when the measure of transgression has been filled, then a king will arise, impudent and versed in intrigue. He will have great strength, but not through his own strength. He will be extraordinarily destructive; he will prosper in what he does, and destroy the mighty and the people of holy ones. By his cunning, he will use deceit successfully. He will make great plans, will destroy many, taking them unawares, and will rise up against the chief of chiefs, but will be broken, not by [human] hands. What was said in the vision about evenings and mornings is true. Now you keep the vision a secret, for it pertains to far-off days." So I, Daniel, was stricken, and languished many days. Then I arose and attended to the kings business, but I was dismayed by the vision and no one could explain it did the kings business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." (Dan. 8:20-27 Tanakh)
Referring to a book I got from Readers Digest years ago titled Great People of the Bible and How They Lived chapter 49 is on the Maccabees. Referring to it we will see that history is a lot of what was written in Daniel 8.
"The Syrian king Antiochus the IV attempts to exterminate Judaism and erect an altar to Zeus in the temple, but a brave group of rebels resist. Their remarkable leaders, the Maccabees, defeat the Syrians and establish an independent Israel devoted to YHWH."
Thats the introduction. The title is Fighters for Freedom: The Maccabees
"On a day in 175 BC a delegation of Jews returned to Jerusalem from Antioch in Syria. They had visited the Syrian king Antiochus the IV and presented him with a revolutionary proposal concerning the government of Judah. These men were the leaders of the Hellenizers, Jews who embraced the Greek way of life."
This is a continuation of the Greek Alexander the Great who died and his Greek Generals divided the spoil. They were in the process of making all the countries under their force follow the Greek way, to make them Hellenizers. Their leader Jason, (the leader of the Jewish Hellenizers that were trying to be like the Greeks) had built a gymnasium. There were fights between the conservatives and the Hellenizers because of everyday occurrences that continued until:
"That was the last straw in 170 BC Jerusalem rose in revolt. A force of 3,000 Hellenizers marched on the rebels, but the angry crowd stood its ground and routed them. Antiochus acted to prevent further disorder. A year later, in the summer of 169 BC, Antiochus invaded Egypt, (King of the north going against the king of the south.) which had also been Hellenized."
"They had seen the coins he had issued bearing the image of the Olympian Zeus with features closely resembling his own and stamped with his assumed title Epiphanes, meaning 'Creator Manifest,' and strange tales were told about him."
"During the summer of 169 BC some in Jerusalem started seeing things in the sky. For almost forty days there appeared golden-clad horsemen charging through the air in companies fully armed. All men prayed about the apparition, that it might prove to be a good omen. Then came a startling rumor that Antiochus was dead, and the people incensed by confusion and disorder prepared to fight. They were in the midst of having a battle when Antiochus rode into town, he was not dead."
"In finding Judah in turmoil he assumed the Jews were in revolt and his response was to order a massacre. With Jerusalem subdued Antiochus went on to plunder the temple. Helped by a dishonest high priest, he confiscated a sum equivalent to several million dollars, then defiling and looting the sanctuary itself, he returned to Syria."
"Later the same year Antiochus proceeded from political repression to religious persecution, something no Greek ruler had ever done before."
"The kings command was enforced to the letter. (His intent was to wipe out the Jewish religion.) He directed them to follow customs strange to the land, to profane the Sabbath and the feasts, and defile the sanctuaries by the priests, to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised. The decree ended with the words "Whosoever does not obey the commands shall die. The kings command was enforced to the letter. In mid December 167 BC Syrian authorities rededicated the temple to the Olympian Zeus. A statue of the god Zeus that had been sculptured to look like Antiochus himself was set up, and pigs were sacrificed in front of it on the altar of burnt offerings. Therefore the temple was defiled with debauchery and reveling by the gentiles who dallied with harlots and had intercourse with women within its sacred precincts."
"Next, on the pain of death for noncompliance, the entire population was summoned to eat pork. Most chose to live and ate a morsel, but many in Israel stood firm. They chose to die rather than be defiled by unclean food or to profane its holy covenant, and they did die."
"Many had begun to despair of Israels survival when a book suddenly appeared in their midst. No one knew where Daniel came from, but at once copies were being passed from hand to hand among the faithful. Some believed it was the work of the prophet who had lived almost 400 years earlier in Babylon. Why had no one ever heard of Daniel and his book? The book, itself, answered this question. It had been concealed by divine commandment until the moment of crisis when the children of Israel would need its message. Who could doubt that the critical time was fast approaching? All over the country people gathered in secret to listen while scribes read Daniel aloud. At seeing the enrapturous vision, composed in the highly colored language favored by the common folk, the message was an electrifying one. "Hold out for another three years and you will cleanse the temple" it proclaimed. Keep fighting-an anointed one is coming and Israel will become "Gods" kingdom on earth. Throughout that year many listened and believed."
The article talks about Judas the Hammer a son of the Priest Mattathias, one of the Maccabees who had been fasting and praying, and he had gathered an army to go against the Syrians. As a son of a priest Judas was also an anointed priest.
"Judas army outsmarted the enemy again and again and finally in early 164 BC he defeated the Syrians. Undeterred, Judas now carried out the greatest act of his career, cleansing and the rededication of the temple was a formidable task."
"Early one morning in mid-December 164 BC, exactly three years after the Syrian desecration, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offerings which they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the gentiles had profaned it, it was rededicated with psalms, and with harps, and lutes and cymbals."
"The annual winter festival of Hanukkah commemorates this day."
The next paragraph says that Antiochus Epiphanes died that year during the summer of 164 BCE. Skipping over a couple of pages:
"The yoke of the gentiles was removed from Israel [This is now talking about another king and high priest, Simon.] and the people began to write in their documents contrasting the first year of Simon the Great Priest and commander and leader of the Jews. The following year saw the capture of Acra and the last Syrian defenders surrendered in the face of starvation."
"After 450 years Jerusalem was once again the capitol of its sovereign state. The stage was now set for a momentous decision. Two years later, in the summer of 140 BC, the Jews made the supreme office hereditary in Simons family, thus making him a king in all but name."
Now, with what the Maccabees had done in our minds, let us go back and re-look at some of this in Daniel. Years ago I had proved and made notes in my Scriptures that the booklet Middle East in Prophecy just was not true because the things it said just did not pan out with history. Backing up a bit to chapter 8. (Remembering what you just read about the Maccabees.)
"When their kingdoms are at an end, when the measure of transgression has been filled, then a king will arise, impudent and versed in intrigue. He will have great strength, but not through his own strength. He will be extraordinarily destructive; he will prosper in what he does, and destroy the mighty and the people of holy ones. By his cunning, he will use deceit successfully. He will make great plans, will destroy many, taking them unawares, and will rise up against the chief of chiefs, but will be broken, not by [human] hands. What was said in the vision about evenings and mornings is true. Now you keep the vision a secret, for it pertains to far-off days." (Dan. 8:23-26)
Now let us go over to chapter 10:
"However, the prince of the Persian kingdom opposed me for twenty-one days; now Michael, a prince of the first rank, has come to my aid, after I was detained there with the kings of Persia. So I have come to make you understand what is to befall your people in the days to come, for there is yet a vision for those days." While he was saying these things to me, I looked down and kept silent. (Dan. 10:13-15)
"He who looked like a man touched me again, and strengthened me. He said, "Have no fear, precious man, all will be well with you; be strong, be strong!" As he spoke with me, I was strengthened, and said, "Speak on, my lord, for you have strengthened me!" Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I must go back to fight the prince of Persia. When I go off, the prince of Greece will come in. No one is helping me against them except your prince, Michael. However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth. (Dan. 10:18-21)
"And now I will tell you the truth: Persia will have three more kings, and the fourth will be wealthier than them all; by the power he obtains through his wealth, he will stir everyone up against the kingdom of Greece." (Dan. 11:2)
This chapter starts with the death of Alexander the Great and his four generals becoming kings and taking his place. It continues with the history and the marriage of one of the kings daughters to the kings son, etc.
Jumping forward to verse 31:
"Forces will be levied by him; they will desecrate the temple, the fortress; they will abolish the regular offering and set up the appalling abomination." (Dan. 11:31)
We just saw that when Antiochus Epiphanes did away with the Temple and the sacrifices and offered pigs blood on the altar and set up the abomination, the statute of Jupiter.
"He will flatter with smooth words those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people devoted to their God will stand firm." (Dan. 11:31)
The Middle East in Prophecy states that starting with that word but time jumps forward about 200 years until the time of Christ. But, if you go by history here is what happened.
"The knowledgeable among the people will make the many understand; and for a while they shall fall by sword and flame, suffer captivity and spoliation. In defeat, they will receive a little help, and many will join them insincerely. Some of the knowledgeable will fall, that they may be refined and purged and whitened until the time of the end, for an interval still remains until the appointed time.
"The king will do as he pleases; he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will speak awful things against the God of gods. He will prosper until wrath is spent, and what has been decreed is accomplished. He will not have regard for the god of his ancestors or for the one dear to women; he will not have regard for any god, but will magnify himself above all." (Dan. 11:31-37)
Verse thirty-seven is much clearer here than in the KJV. It states that this king will not regard the Greek gods or the god dear to women, which are the sensual Nimrod, Semiramis, and Horus trinity.
After verse 37 The Middle East in Prophecy says we jump forward to the end time, but we just read where this was actually fulfilled, and there is no year for a day and there is no duality. What it says is what it says, and that is what it means for when it happened. Going on:
"He will honor the god of fortresses on his stand; he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly things, a god that his ancestors never knew. He will deal with fortified strongholds with the help of an alien god. He will heap honor on those who acknowledge him, and will make them master over many; he will distribute land for a price. At the time of the end [Remember, this was close to the end for Antiochus], the king of the south will lock horns with him, but the king of the north will attack him [That is when we read Antiochus went against Egypt] with chariots and riders and many ships. He will invade lands, sweeping through them like a flood; he will invade the beautiful land, too [This is when Antiochus returned from Egypt and came into Jerusalem], and many will fall, but these will escape his clutches: Edom, Moab, and the chief part of the Ammonites. He will lay his hands on lands; not even the land of Egypt will escape. He will gain control over treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt and the Libyans and Cushites will follow at his heel. But reports from east and north will alarm him [that did not cover that, but he had to go back to Syria to save his kingdom], and he will march forth in a great fury to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal pavilion between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain, and he will meet his doom with no one to help him [And Antiochus Epiphanes died with bowl cancer]." (Dan. 11:38-45)
The point is, Daniel 9 does not prove that Jesus is the Christ. The question then is what does Daniel 9 prove? I have done some research on it, but do not have enough historical background to fit in these times and years as to how it fits in with the Maccabees. However, I am convinced that it does, based on what we have seen. But what I wanted to show you today is that Daniel 9 does not prove that Jesus is the Christ!
Also, if 'Christian' interpertation of Daniel 9 is fallacy, remember Revelation and Daniel 9 are tied in together, they play hand in hand. Revelation is dependent upon Daniel 9. In the Tanakh and the Hebrew Scriptures Daniel is not placed with the prophecies. The Hebrew Scripture is divided into three parts: the Law, the Prophecies, and the Writings. Daniel is placed in the Writings. The Jews at the time (approx. 164 BCE) understood what Daniel was. The Jews then knew that it was a book for their time and not for the end of the age.
Looking at the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica volume 17, under the title: The Book of Maccabees, it makes the statement:
"As it supplies a detailed and accurate record of the four years from the ascension of Antiochus Epiphanes to the death of Simon "
This is talking about the Book of the Maccabees, which is not a part of the Hebrew Scriptures, but we are going to get a point here I want you to remember.
" Without a doubt the most stirring chapter in Jewish history. This book is one of the most precious, historical sources we possess. In its careful chronology, order based upon the Seleucid era, and in the minuteness of its geographical knowledge, in the frankness in which it records defeat as well as victory
"The Book of Maccabees was originally written in excellent Greek from a pronounced pharisaic standpoint. Part of the book of Daniel was also written in Greek, and part in Aramaic. So the question is, and theres been a lot of discussion on, whether all of Daniel was written by Daniel 400 years or so BC or written later by someone during the time of the Maccabees.
"The date of composition can only be approximately determined as the writer is acquainted with the Greek addition to Daniel. The first century BC forms the superior limit as the book found favor in the Eastern Church in the first century and formed an inferior limit."
They are pointing out that parts of Daniel appear to have been written at that same time (approx. 164 BCE). There are a lot of similarities between The Book of Maccabees and the book of Daniel.
Looking at what the Jehovah Witnesses say about it in The Aid to Bible Understanding, they have a completely different twist on Daniel. Going back over what we have just gone over, but this time from the Jehovah Witness point of view:
"The king of the north and the king of the south after the successor of Persia, Alexander the Great falls, the kingdom is divided. The king of the south becomes strong and defeats the king of the north. The king of the north is in long domination. The king of the south defeats him. The king of the north makes alliance with those leading the holy covenant and fights "Gods" people but fails to destroy them. Disgusting thing that causes desolation is put in his place. "Gods" people undergo great trial but they receive help."[And that again ties in to what we have just read about the Maccabees.] "The king of the north overflows many countries and invades the lands of "Gods" people. Reports out of the north and the east disturb him, and he plants his tents between the holy mountain and the seas." [That is when he was called back home and his soldiers attempted to wipe out Judaism.]
If the book of Daniel had been full of historical errors the Jews of the Maccabeeian period would undoubtedly have rejected it as they did the apocryphal writings, such as the Book of the Maccabees.
However, the Jews accepted the book of Daniel and used it to prove to themselves that the Temple would be restored in three years, and it was three years to the day! What Daniel 9 does prove would take a lot more historical research from more books than I have available. But one thing I do know is it does not prove and that Jesus is the Christ. The reason I can be so dogmatic on that is that because Daniel 9 states the time period begins from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. But the Catholics, the Protestants, WCG, and all the COGS use the date that Ezra went forth to beautify the Temple. What we do know is that Daniel 9 does not prove that Jesus is the Christ.
For more information on what Daniel 9 does show us, see:
"The Decree of Artaxerxes: Is it the Key to the Date of the Crucifixion of 'Jesus' of Nazareth?'
2. Acts 17:10
3. I have coined a new word to describe the situation of RCG/WCG as it is today. The new word is "WCGanity." It is defined as, "That body of believers that stem from the original parent Radio Church of `God' and includes the present configuration of the Worldwide Church of `God' and all the breakaway splinter groups. These splinter groups or daughter churches are defined as 'denominations' of WCGanity." This term is not used or intended in a discriminatory manner--but strictly to identify the group I am referring to.
4. From Scofield's Notes: The word here is <Nethinim (given)> Probably this is another name for the Gibeonites who were assigned by Joshua to be perpetual slaves as "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for the house of `God' (Josh 9:23). As water carriers it is appropriate that they dwelt at the water gate. The Nethinim are mentioned: 1 Chr 9:2; Ezra 2:43,58,70; 7:7,24; 8:17,20; Neh 3:31; 7:46,60,73; 10:28; 11:3,21