FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
July 17, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XVII THE PROPHETIC TIMETABLE FROM THE COVENANT WEEK TO 1844 (Continued)
The last prophetic week or seven literal years of the Covenant week of Daniel 9: 24-27 began with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as “the Lamb of God,” Christ “the Anointed” the equivalent of the Hebrew Mashiach, the promised “seed of a woman” (Gen. 3: 15; Gal. 4: 4, 5). After completing His prophesied work exclusively in Palestine, among His own chosen people—as the “Teacher come from God” (John 3: 2), the “Prophet like Me, raised up from your midst, from your brethren” (Deut. 18: 15, 18), they, in strange collusion with their hated Roman masters temporarily united, and crucified Him “in the midst of the week, or three and half literal years after, A.D. 31. John the beloved disciple records this plain gospel truth: “He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1: 11, K.J.V. (see verses 1-14).
The remaining three and a half years witnessed the disciples—the Twelve and the seventy—continuing Christ’s work as He commanded them, particularly after the endowment of the Holy Spirit’s power at Pentecost, fifty days after His resurrection. In addition, they now proclaimed with unwonted power in Jerusalem the glorious truths clustering around His crucifixion, death, and resurrection.
Using threats, imprisonment, and floggings the Jewish religious leaders tried to suppress these truths, warning the disciples to stop preaching and performing miracles in the name of Jesus. Three and a half years after His resurrection, the Sanhedrin—the highest judicial body of the nation having power over life and death, after his eloquent defense of the false charges raised against him, indicting them of being guilty of Christ’s death, dragged Stephen, one of the first seven deacons of the Jerusalem church, out of the city and stoned him to death—the first Christian martyr.
During the administration of the Roman procurators, however, death sentences of the Sanhedrin had to be confirmed first by the Roman governor (John 18: 31) but occasionally circumvented it (Acts 7: 58; see chapters 6-8). Thus ended the 70-weeks and the chosen-people status of the Jews in 34 A.D., by their rejection of Christ.
This effectively exposes the Gap theory taught by not a few Christian fundamentalists as both untenable and unbiblical. The Gap Theory holds that “the seventieth week is separated by a vast gap of over nineteen centuries and will not be fulfilled until the end of the age, and that it pertains to the acts of the antichrist rather than to those of Christ.”
“Most of the older expositors, who make the baptism of Jesus the terminus of the 69 weeks of years, recognize the “one week’ of years as following immediately, without a break—the crucifixion taking place 3 ½ years later, in the ‘midst’ of the seventieth week of years. Such scholars recognized the remaining 3 ½ years of the last week as pertaining to the founding of Christianity through the preaching of the disciples.
Since neither wording nor logic indicates a gap, the burden of proof rests on those who would break the continuity of this period. . . . To insert a 490-year period a ‘gap’ of two thousand years, four times longer than the entire 70 weeks itself, constitutes unwarranted manipulation. It changes the prophetic measuring line into an elastic band. Those who follow such a procedure have abandoned a measuring line of ‘determined’ length for one of wholly indeterminate length, and have made it a vast, nondescript period totally foreign to this specific prophecy. . . . .
“The six-fold applications of the prophecy [see Daniel 9: 24] that were to be accomplished within the 70 weeks [490 literal years] were completely fulfilled in the work of Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. These all actually took place in the week of years immediately following A.D. 27 . . . .
“The desolation of the Jewish nation, though delayed by divine mercy for some years after the close of the 490-year period allotted to the Jews, exactly fulfilled the specifications of the prophecy when the Roman armies destroyed the Temple and the city of Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews in A.D. 70.
“The entire 70-weeks prophecy finds fulfillment in [3 events] the ministry, rejection, and death of the Messiah in the ending of the period allotted to the Jews, in the confirmation of the covenant by the blood of Christ, and in the inauguration of the heavenly ministry for all believers, both Jew and Gentile, under the New Covenant. In view of the perfect fulfillment of all the prophetic specifications in the period of the 70 consecutive weeks of years, we find no reason whatever for cutting off the last week and relating it to the end of the age. . . . .
“We recognize that the gap theory, which applies this prophecy to a future antichrist, is an unwitting outgrowth of the counter-Reformation of the sixteenth century. It is our profound conviction that the system based on the separated week is an unwarranted innovation.”- Question on Doctrine, 1957, Review & Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C.
The Counter Reformation. The Gap Theory, being “an unwitting outgrowth of the counter-reformation,” deserves more notice here. A Wikipedia search reveals the following facts that should enlighten all diligent students of Bible prophecy as to what really the counter-Reformation was aiming for, and appears thus far, to have succeeded in mainstream Christianity’s interpretation of the end-time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Note:
“Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) was a Spanish Jesuit theologian, identified with the Futuristic Christian eschatological view.
“Works. In order to remove the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church from consideration as the Antichrist, Ribera began writing a lengthy (500-pages) commentary in 1585 on the Book of Revelation(Apocalypse) titled in Sanctum Beati loannis Apostoli & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij, proposing that the first few chapters of the Apocalypse apply to ancient Pagan Rome, and the rest he limited to a yet future period of 31/2 literal years, immediately prior to the second coming.
During that time the Roman Catholic Church would have fallen away from the pope into apostasy because of the Reformation cry stating that ‘the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist.’ (Martin Luther, Aug. 18, 1520). Then he proposed, the Antichrist, a single individual, would:
— persecute and blaspheme
— rebuild the temple in Jerusalem
— abolish the Christian religion
— deny Jesus Christ
— be received by the Jews
— pretend to be God
— kill the two witnesses of God
— conquer the world
“To accomplish this Ribera proposed that the 1260 days and 42 months and 3 ½ times of prophecy were not 1260 years as based on the year-day principle (Numbers 14: 34 and Ezekiel 4: 6) , but a literal 3 ½ years, hence preventing the arrival at the deduction of (1) the 1260 years to be related to the Dark Ages (according to Historicism (Christianity) interpretation of eschatology from 538 A.D.
When the papal power was fully established in Rome until its political blow in 1798 A.D. when Louis-Alexandre Berthier the general of Napoleon captured Pope Pius VI as prisoner to Valence, France , and (2) the Antichrist to be related to [the] papacy.”—Wikipedia, art. “Francisco Ribera.”
From 34 A.D. to 508 A.D.
The prophet Daniel wrote: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up shall be 1290 days.” Dan. 12: 11, K.J.V. The word “daily” here is the Hebrew tamiyd, meaning “to stretch continually.”
“The line of prophecy in which these symbols [the “beast,” the “image,” the “mark”] are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Rev. 12: 9); he it was that moved upon Herod to put the Savior to death. But the chief agent of Satan in making war upon Christ and His people during the first centuries of the Christian Era was the Roman Empire, in which paganism was the prevailing religion. Thus while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome.”- E. G. White, Great Controversy (1911 ed), p. 438.
The pagan Roman emperor Constantine nominally converted to Christianity in 323 A.D. In 321 A.D. he enacted the first ever Sunday law forbidding labor in cities and towns but allowed country labor on Sundays during the harvest season. (See Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, translated in “History of the Christian Church” by Philipp Schaff, D.D. , Vol. 3 p. 350, NY, 1884.
“Mithraism, an outwardly refined sun worship, invaded the Roman Empire in B.C. 67, and made way for itself by gathering under its wing all the gods of Rome, so that ‘in the middle of the third century [A.D.] Mithraism seemed on the verge of becoming a universal religion.”- Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XVIII, art. “Mithras,” p. 624, 11th edition, 1911. In 508 A.D. Clovis, king of the Franks [France) who ruled over Western Europe, converted to Catholicism, giving the Bishop of Rome supremacy over both Eastern and Western Europe. “The daily” (pagan Rome) was “taken away” and “the abomination that maketh desolate (papal Rome) began to be set up. Dan. 12: 11. Uriah Smith says: “We think it clear that the daily was taken away by A.D. 508.
This was preparatory to the setting up, or establishment of the papacy, which was a separate and subsequent event.” – Daniel and the Revelation, p. 273. The word “sacrifice” after the “daily” is italicized (K.J.V), meaning, “it was supplied by man’s wisdom and does not belong to the text.”- E. G. White, Early Writings, pp. 74, 75. “The daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation represents Rome, in its pagan and papal forms. These are the two powers that have desolated God’s people.” – James White, “Bible Adventism or Sermons on the Coming Kingdom.” (Continued next week)