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Friday, May 10, 2013

Daniel's Prophecy of the 70 Weeks # 12

4. In the middle of the Seventieth Week, the Roman prince will suddenly reverse his friendly attitude toward the Jews and "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."

Quite evidently, after the seven-year treaty has run for only three and one-half years, the Roman prince tears up his agreement as a mere scrap of paper. In this violent and faithless procedure, he manifests the spirit of present-day trends, which are already distressingly clear. There was a time when nations had some regard for their solemn agreements, but covenant-breaking seems to have become the fashion of the age. Covenants, pacts, treaties, conventions, and agreements violated on the slightest pretext, and obligations, undertakings, promises, and guarantees unfulfilled, have left the world in a state of moral chaos. As states have gone off gold, so they have gone off their whole system of political responsibilities. It is not a pleasant picture. We live today in a world of what is called "power politics," which means that force has taken the place of morality. And let us not forget that when he arrives, the Roman beast will honor only a "god of forces" (Daniel 11:38).

But what are the motives which lead the Roman prince to tear up his treaty with the Jewish people? The reasons for his change of attitude are not stated in the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. But one reason may be deduced easily from what we know of his character and career. No one could hate our Lord Jesus Christ and at the same time really love the chosen people from which He came according to the flesh. By his very nature, the Man of Sin will be violently anti-Semitic. His treaty with the Jews will be based wholly on political expediency. Therefore, once he has reached the pinnacle of world power aided by their great wealth and influence, he will have no further use for them. Like certain rulers today, he keeps his treaties only as long as it is profitable to do so. And as he will break with the Jewish people in the middle of the Seventieth Week, even so he will break with the apostate church which he has supported as long as he needed  her influence in his rise to world power. Just as the Jew will pay dearly for the treaty with the Roman beast, so the great harlot will pay dearly for her ride (Revelation 17:16).

But there is another reason for the Roman prince's change of attitude toward the Jew. From 2 Thessalonians 2;4 and Revelation 13:8-15 we learn that, intoxicated with his great power, he will actually take his seat in the temple of God and demand the honors and worship of God Himself. This to the sternly monotheistic Jew will certainly be the very "abomination of desolation," and many will refuse to bow the knee, in spite of the fact that this idolatrous worship will become almost universal (Revelation 13:8). This refusal on the part of godly Jews will furnish the Roman beast with the necessary pretext for the breaking of his treaty and the forcible cessation of the Jewish Temple sacrifice. It should be noted here that according to the exact language of Daniel 9:27, the beast's treaty will be made with the many of the Jewish nation, the clear implication being that some Jews will not join in the compact from the beginning of the last week. Furthermore, we should not forget the effect of the testimony of the Two Witnesses, who undoubtedly will denounce the treaty throughout their ministry during the first half of the week and seal their testimony with martyrdom.

To some, this idea of the modern world worshiping a man may seem to be utterly incredible. But already there are certain tendencies appearing in the world of scholarship and religion which are leading definitely in this direction. First, there is the popular doctrine of the "finite God." Second, there is the identification of this "God" with the "soul", or "social consciousness," of humanity. And third, there is a growing recognition of the high value of symbolism in religion. These tendencies finally can lead to but one end: Let the world once come to identify God with humanity, and the next logical step will be the apotheosis of some great representative of humanity as a symbol of God. And the coming prince will be the greatest man (save One) the world has ever seen. For that matter, men have always been able to find reasons for worshiping themselves. F. L. Godet, noted Swiss theologian, pointed out that the "theological system" of the antichrist could be summed up in three propositions: "1. There is no personal God without and above the universe. 2. Man is himself his own god - the god of this world. 3. I am the representative of humanity; by worshiping me, humanity worships itself." More than ever in our day we may see the rapid development of this humanistic religion, which will reach its consummation in the blasphemous claims of the Roman beast. But, thank God, even in his awful day, there will be some who will refuse to bow the knee!

5. The breaking of the "firm covenant" between the Jews and the Roman prince will mark the beginning of a period of unparalleled "desolations" for the Jewish people.

Since this period of "desolations" begins in the middle of the last week and lasts "even unto the full end" (9:27), obviously it will continue for three and a half years. This is exactly the time specified in Daniel 7:25 during which the Roman beast 'shall wear out the saints of the Most High"; the same measure of time given in Revelation 13:5-7 when this beast "shall make war with the saints and ... overcome them"; the same time mentioned in Revelation 11:2, during which the holy city shall be trodden down of the Gentile nations; the same time referred to in Revelation 12:6, 14, during which the "woman" (Israel) shall be given the special protection of God. Thus all of divine prophecy fits together perfectly: The same persecutor, the same kind of persecution, the same nation under persecution, and exactly the same length of time. A number of very ingenious prophetic schemes have been worked out by the artifice of taking these 1260 days and turning them into years. How much more simple and satisfactory it is to take these passages just as they read without any tampering with the language. In this way, the prophecy of the Book of Revelation synchronizes exactly with Daniel's prophecy of the end time.

~Alva J. McClain"

(continued with # 13)

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