Why is there a Time Gap between
the 69th and 70th “Seven”?
The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 contains a gap in the fulfillment of the 69th and 70th ‘Seven’ of the total 490 Year Prophecy. The gap occurs because Jesus the Messiah was rejected when He presented Himself as King. He was killed and Israel was judged through war and exile for 2,000 years. But the Bible promises the return of Jesus the Messiah and the restoration of Israel with the completion of the final Seven Years of the 490 year prophecy.
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
The ‘he’ in verse 27 is the ‘ruler who will come’ in verse 26
In looking closely at these verses, a couple of questions come up. Which person is the ‘he’ in verse 27 pointing back to in the previous verses? Why is there a break in the timeline of the prophecy?
In Hebrew, the pronouns are not capitalized - this is an English translation choice made by the editors. There are no capitals versus lower case letters, so this indicator is not in the original text. Punctuation in the English was added as well by a translator/editor, rather than something in the original Hebrew text. So determining the identity of the ‘he’ in verse 27 must come from immediate context and comparing with other Bible verses about the same subject.
Grammatically, it is the Messiah that is ‘cut off’ in Daniel 9:26. “Cut off” in Hebrew means violently killed. There is a break/gap in the timeline, but the words ‘cut off’ are specifically referencing Christ’s life being ended. Although the rejection of Christ is the reason that the gap occurs, the verb ‘cut off’ in the verse is the action happening to Christ Himself. A copy of the book of Daniel was found in the Septuagint found in Dead Sea Scrolls. The Septuagint translation from the Hebrew scriptures to Greek is dated to the 3rd century BC. This verse in the Bible is one of several prophecies foretelling hundreds of years before it occurred, that the Messiah would be murdered.
The ‘he’ in verse 27 could refer back to two people mentioned in the previous verses. The events happen of verse 27 happen after the Messiah is murdered in verse 26. There is another person who is mentioned in verse 26, after Christ is killed - the ‘ruler who will come’. The ruler who will come is the ‘he’ in verse 27. In comparison with other scriptures, it is seen that the ‘ruler who will come’ is the ‘man of sin’, ‘man of lawlessness’ in other scriptures, who is more commonly called the Antichrist. More details can be found about this man under the post concerning the Evil World Ruler.
The Identity of the ‘he’ is Determined by Context and Cross References
The ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27 ends the sacrifice and offering in the Jewish Temple and sets up the abomination of desolation in its place. The same person who causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease, is the one who confirms the covenant and the one who sets up the abomination of desolation. The covenant is confirmed by someone after Christ’s death. The same person removes the sacrifices and oblations and sets up the ‘abomination of desolation’, which is a phrase picked up in other Old and New Testament scriptures. This helps in connecting the identity of the person with the pronouns in the passage of Daniel 9:27. The one who removes the sacrifice and offerings in the Jewish Temple and then sets up the abomination of desolation in its place is definitely not the Messiah directly in these other scripture passages, so it cannot be in Daniel 9:27 either.
And I heard, but I understood not: and I said, O Lord, what the end of these things? And he said, Go, Daniel: for the words are closed and sealed up to the time of the end. Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified; but the transgressors shall transgress: and none of the transgressors shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time of the removal of the perpetual sacrifice, when the abomination of desolation shall be set up, a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But go thou, and rest; for yet days and seasons to the fulfillment of the end; and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
These Events Happen At ‘the Time of the End’
It can be seen from history that the first 69 ‘sevens’ occurred in the 483 years between Persian King Artaxerxes proclamation 445BC and Jesus’ presentation of Himself as King on the first Palm Sunday 30AD. For a detailed explanation of the timing of the 483 years, please refer to the Seven Year Prophecy post on the website. The events of the treaty / covenant, the end of sacrifice and offering in the Temple (in the middle/midst of the ‘seven’), and the set up of the abomination of desolation all happen during that final seven years before Jesus’ literal physical Second Coming to earth. Daniel 12 lists all these events and places them into the ‘time of the end’. Of course, this brings up the question of ‘when is the time of the end?’
The Total 490 Years
The totality of this prophecy is listed in Daniel 9:24, and includes specific objectives must be accomplished within that time frame. These objectives are for Daniel’s people (Jewish nation of Israel) and his holy city (Jerusalem). These objectives are: “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.” It is true that when Jesus died, He completed the first half of these objectives. He was the sacrifice for sin. However, everlasting righteousness has not been ‘brought in.’ This will happen when He establishes His kingdom on earth in the future. Vision and prophecy are sealed up until the ‘time of the end’ as Daniel 12:9 states. Prophecies will not unsealed until the time of the end. Jesus is the one who opens the seals of the scroll in Revelation 5-6. This event had not happened yet at the time of the writing of Revelation in 95AD. The final objective is to anoint the most Holy. This will happen when Jesus returns to earth, defeats the Antichrist and sits in the Jewish Temple in Israel as the true King of Israel and God to be worshipped. All of these objectives of Daniel 9:24 must be completed within the 490 year timeframe. They have not all been completed yet because Jesus was rejected. This stopped the clock in the total 490 year time frame at the 483 year mark, and will resume completing the final seven years and all the objectives in the future.
The Events of Daniel 9:27 Did Not Happen In 30-37AD
In Matthew 23, Jesus presented Himself as King riding in on a donkey on Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9. This is the end of the 69th ‘seven’- the first 483 years of the total 70 ‘sevens’/490 Years prophecy of Daniel 9:24. If there is no gap, then the 70th ‘seven’/Final Seven Years must continue on here so there is no gap. If this is the case, one must then explain how the next events listed in Daniel 9:27 occur within the seven years following the Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday. After Jesus presents Himself as King in 9:25, next: 1) the Messiah is cut off/destroyed/killed 9:26, 2) the city and sanctuary/temple are destroyed 9:26, 3) war occurs bringing desolations 9:26, 4) the covenant made 9:27, 5) sacrifice and offering removed 9:27 (temple must be rebuilt first for this to happen), 6) the abomination of desolation is set up 9:27, 7) the end of desolations comes 9:27.... So if there is no gap, where do all these things occur in the seven years right after Jesus presents Himself as King?
Jesus is killed very soon after the triumphal entry in 30AD, but I don’t see the rest of these events happening historically any time in 30-37AD. The destruction of the city and temple (‘sanctuary’ in Daniel 9:26) occurred in 70AD, which puts this particular event 40 years after Christ. So there is at least a 40 year gap between the 69th ‘seven’ and 70th ‘seven’. These events did not all occur directly after in the seven years after the Triumphal Entry. Within this gap are the events of Daniel 9:26 - Christ’s murder and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple with war, but the events of Daniel 9:27- the covenant made, the sacrifices removed, the abomination set up and the end of desolations - will not occur until the time of the end.
The Events of Daniel 9:27 Did Not Happen By 50-60AD (Matthew)
In the book of Matthew, written between 50-60AD, Matthew recounts Jesus’ words concerning the ‘abomination of desolation’. Jesus was referencing Daniel. He spoke of events that would occur at the time of the end. The event of the abomination of desolation is listed as part of a long sermon discourse that Jesus gave in response to very particular questions of His disciples.
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Jesus first gave them a list of things that are not signs, and then He gave a list of events that occur right before His Second Coming. He talked about the great tribulation that will be brought about after the ‘abomination of desolations’ is set up when the Antichrist will chase down and persecute the Jews and others. His words are direct references back to Daniel 9 and 12.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
It is clearly seen from these verses that Jesus connects the events of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11 to His Second Coming when He returns physically to earth in the clouds with great glory with His angels and a trumpet. None of these events happened in the first century or in the centuries since. So there is a gap between the Triumphal Entry of Christ at the end of the 69th seven and when the covenant/treaty is made resuming the last seven years again. Within this gap are the events of Daniel 9:26 - Christ’s murder and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple with war. Historically, the events of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70AD then scattered the Jews out of the land of Israel and over the earth for 1,900 years until the rebirth of the nation in 1948.
The Events of Daniel 9:27 Did Not Happen By 50-60AD (Thessalonians)
Paul in 1 & 2 Thessalonians also referenced the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15) as connected with the tribulations, and the Second Coming of Jesus. The letters to the Thessalonians were written between 50-60 AD. So from Paul’s perspective, he was telling the Thessalonians to look for the abomination of desolation in connection with the return of Christ, and was encouraging them that it hadn’t yet occurred. So from Paul’s perspective, since it hadn’t happened yet, there was at least a 20-30 year gap at this point of writing Thessalonians, between the time of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry in 30AD and Paul’s writing about the future abomination of desolation.
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thess. 2:1-12
From these verses, Paul tells the Thessalonians that certain events will precede the Second Coming of Jesus. The falling away (departure), the man of sin revealed - who sets himself up to be worshipped in the temple of God (abomination of desolation) and has lying signs and wonders that people believe, and then Jesus returns to destroy him. These events correspond with Daniel 9 and Matthew 24. They had not yet occurred at the time of Paul’s writing.
The Events of Daniel 9:27 Did Not Happen Around 70 AD
Daniel 9:27 begins with the word ‘then’ in the KJV. The covenant/treaty is the next event to occur after Jesus death, after Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed, after the war. Nowhere in the history of the first century, or in the centuries since, have these next events occurred; the covenant has not been made, the sacrifices and offerings haven’t been re-instated and then stopped (temple hasn’t been rebuilt for this to happen), and the abomination of desolation has not been set up. All of these events are a part of the final seven years, and none of them have occurred yet. Jesus didn’t do these things after He rose from the dead and walked the earth for 40 days before He ascended. They didn’t happen in 70AD. Jesus has not returned. He does not return to earth until after the Antichrist sets up the abomination in the temple and starts persecuting the Jews and others. Jesus returns to the earth to defeat him. So it only makes sense that it is the Antichrist who confirms this treaty in Daniel 9:27, because this happens before Jesus comes back. And it is the Antichrist who breaks the treaty through the abomination and persecution. And these two events must happen in the Seven Years leading up to Jesus’ Second Coming, because Jesus returns for the express purpose of defeating the Antichrist and setting up His good kingdom on earth.
After Jesus pronounced judgement on the Jews in Matthew 21-23 for rejecting Him and murdering Him in the coming days, He then gave more details about the events of the final Seven Years. In Matthew 24-25, Jesus referenced the events of Daniel 9 and 12: un-paralleled tribulations (Dan. 12:1, Matthew 24:21), the abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27, Daniel 12:11, Matthew 24:15), and the resurrection and judgement (Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:31-32); connecting all these events together to the ‘time of the end’ - right before, during and after the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus presented Himself as King, and they rejected Him. This stopped the time clock on the complete fulfillment of the 490 year prophecy of 9:24. This is what caused the gap.
The Events of Daniel 9:27 Did Not Happen By 95AD
The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation in 95AD. He had visions of the future. And from his perspective, the Antichrist and the abomination of desolation still hadn’t occurred. This is 65 years after Christ’s death, and 25 years after the destruction of the temple. These events are in the future from John’s perspective. So now there is at least a 75 year gap between the 69th and 70th ‘seven’.
All of the passages previously mentioned also correspond with Revelation 13, where the Antichrist and the False Prophet rise. They both are able to do lying signs and wonders. The False Prophet is able to make the statue of the Antichrist speak. This is the abomination of desolation that is set up in the temple.
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth [False Prophet], and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast [Antichrist] in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast [Antichrist], whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. [False Prophet] And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast [Antichrist], telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast [Antichrist] who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power [False Prophet] to give breath to the image of the beast [Antichrist], that the image of the beast [Antichrist] should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast [Antichrist] to be killed.” Revelation 13:11-15
The Time of the End is the Time
Surrounding Christ’s Second Coming
Daniel himself, and the angels he was talking to, set these final events at the time of the end. The ‘time of the end’ from the context of Daniel 12 is determined by other events listed there as well that relate to the events leading up to, during and after the physical Second Coming of Christ to the earth. These are: 1) the time of tribulation that is unequaled 2) power of the Israel shattered 3) Israel’s people delivered and 4) the final resurrection to life and inheritance or to judgement.
“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”
Jesus referenced these same events right before the time of His Second Coming. 1) the time of tribulation that is unequaled (Matt. 24:21,29), 2) power of the Israel shattered (Matt. 24:15-28) 3) Israel’s people delivered (Matt.24:13,22) and 4) the final resurrection to life and inheritance or to judgement (Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46).
The Time Gap Occurred Because Jesus was Rejected
at His First Coming
Matthew 21-25 follows the timeline set up by Daniel. In Matthew 21:1-16, Jesus rode in on the donkey presenting Himself as King, but then He began His rebuke of the leadership and of all in Israel who didn’t know the time that the Messiah would first arrive. If they had known the prophecies of Daniel, they would have known the time. But in the book of Matthew, there is a big shift at this point. Jesus now rebuked them and prophesied judgement, because the leadership and majority of the people rejected Him and would kill Him in fulfillment of Daniel 9:26. At the end of Matthew 21, Jesus said, ‘Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” This was a pronouncement of judgement.
Matthew 22-23 contains another parable and judgment about the kingdom offer being removed from that specific generation of Jews. Chapter 23 ends with the words, 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” In these verses Jesus prophecies their destruction for rejecting Him as their King. These chapters follow right in line with the order of events in Daniel 9:24-26. The Messiah arrives, presents Himself as King, gets murdered and then the temple is destroyed and wars of desolations come in 70 AD. These events all happen in the gap between the 69th and 70th ‘seven.’
The Placement of Three and a Half Years
Several passages talk about the second half of the Seven Years (3.5 years) and break up this time into 1260/1290 days, 42 months and time (1x), times (2x) and 1/2 a time (.5) - 3.5. All of these designations are three and a half years. This is the time of the Antichrist’s reign of terror that begins at the moment that he stops the sacrifices and offerings & sets up the abomination of desolation and the time when Jesus Christ returns to defeat him. This event occurs within the middle of the Seven Years, leaving 3.5 years.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:27
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Daniel 12:7
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Daniel 12:9
“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, away from the presence of the serpent. Revelation 12:14
“But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. Revelation 11:2
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 11:3
“Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Revelation 12:6
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Revelation 13:5
The first 483 years were fulfilled historically as demonstrated previously between the time of Artaxerxes command and Jesus entrance into Jerusalem. So the last ‘seven’ must correspond to seven years bringing the total amount of time to 490 years of the total fulfillment of the prophecy. The final events fit within the final 3.5 years of the final seven years of the total 490 years as demonstrated previously in this discussion and in the Seven Years Prophecy post on the website. The 1,260 days, 42 months, time times and half a time, all correspond to the 3.5 year timeframe.
Reasons for the Gap
The entire 490 Year Prophecy given in Daniel 9:24 has six objectives that are specifically for the nation of Israel. Because the generation of Jews living at the time of Jesus’ first coming by and large rejected Him, it brought a break in the objectives. But God will finish fulfilling these promises to them at the moment when the final Seven Years are completed and Jesus’ 1,000 year reign begins.
Mountain Peaks of Prophecy
There is an aspect that is found in much of Old Testament prophecy where the same prophecy will have both a near and far fulfillment. The New Testament writers employ this technique as well. In prophecy studies, they sometimes call it the ‘mountain peaks of prophecy’. This is the idea that a prophet would be looking into the future and observing more than one event (on the mountains), like looking through a telescope and seeing two things back to back, but not able to see the valley of time in between.
The Christian Church - the ‘Mystery’ that fills the Gap
The visions and dreams Daniel received and interpreted contain a general series of successive empires that would rule over and occupy Israel until the final kingdom when Jesus will return to crush the final empire. These empires are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Antichrist (extended from Rome), Jesus’ kingdom. There is a gap between the Roman empire and the Antichrist’s kingdom because during this time, the Christian church exists doing God’s work. In the Old Testament, the Christian church was a mystery (not talked about) because Jesus had to offer the kingdom to Israel, and they had to reject Him, before the Christian church could then be formed. So for this reason, the Church is not mentioned in the Old Testament.
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Jesus offered the kingdom to Israel, but they did not understand that the Kingdom had a spiritual as well as a physical aspect to it. Israel was hoping for a Messiah who would save them from Roman occupation. The leadership and majority of the nation of Israel rejected Jesus as their King. So Jesus only explained His death and resurrection to those who followed Him. They would receive a spiritual kingdom initially at Jesus’ first coming, but then will also receive the long awaited physical kingdom far in the future at Jesus’ Second Coming. In the intervening time, Jesus would form the Christian Church made up of Jews and Gentiles, who would go into the world and preach the gospel until the time when Jesus returns.
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples asked Him if it was time for the physical Kingdom to be restored to Israel. His response was that it wasn’t time and that they needed to focus on spreading the gospel. He did not tell them that they were wrong in thinking a physical kingdom was coming, only that it would come in God’s time - a time that appeared to be after the mission is completed. Jesus had also told them in Matthew 24 about this mission that would need to be completed before He would return and set up the kingdom on earth. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14. Then Jesus ascended into the clouds, and two angels promised them that He would return, ‘in the same way’ He left - physically in the clouds. These verses show what is happening in the gap between the Roman occupation and the rise of the Antichrist (Roman-connected) Kingdom, that Jesus will destroy. In the gap is 1,900 years when Israel has not even been in the land between 70AD and 1948. In the gap is the 2,000 years that the Christian Church has been busy spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ from 30AD until Jesus’ return. The Antichrist’s kingdom will rise and will torment the people of Israel one last time before Jesus comes and defeats the Antichrist, and sets up His final Kingdom in Israel and over the world.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
...which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
...having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace...
These verses talk about the Christian Church being a whole new thing. Every type of person who is a believer in Jesus is a part of this new thing ‘in Christ’, as opposed to Israel, which was a nation made up of only one nationality whom God had given the Old Mosaic Covenant. This group of people who are ‘in Christ’ were first called the ‘Way’, and then were called Christians. The first group was given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the resurrected Jesus is the ‘head’ of the ‘body’ of believers. This brand new thing was a mystery in the Old Testament.
“For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
This brand new thing combining Jews and non-Jews ‘in Christ’ was a mystery in past ages. Most Jews and their leadership had rejected Jesus as their Messiah and King and He was killed. But God used this to reconcile all peoples to Himself through Jesus’ payment for sin. The gospel message must go out to all the world. This is what is happening in the gap of time. For the last 2,000 years, followers of Christ have been going all over the world telling people about how they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. And the Christian Church of all nations has grown. Jesus will come back when all nations have heard.
The Return of Israel - the Final Seven Years Resumes
But it is important to note that God chose Israel to be the nation, the family, through which Jesus had come into the world. And God had made specific promises to them as a nation that have not yet been fulfilled. Abraham was the father of the nation of Israel. God made several promises to him. One of these was that through His line all families of the world would be blessed. This is the promise that was fulfilled by Christ. But God made other promises to Abraham’s descendants, the nation of Israel, specifically. God promised to give them a specific plot of land in the middle east. Many have returned to the land of Israel since 1948, but they do not yet occupy the entire borders that God gave Israel originally. These promises will not be fulfilled until Jesus’ Second Coming when He returns and defeats the Antichrist in Israel, and sets up His Kingdom over Israel and the earth from Jerusalem. This is a physical promise made to a specific people.
Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
For the last 2,000 years, Christians have been spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through the world. When the message has gone to all nations, then Jesus will come back. Many Jews will come to follow Jesus in the time leading up to His Second coming. When Jesus returns, he will defeat the Antichrist along with everyone who is on his side. Those who are left, will all be followers of Jesus. This includes a remnant of believing Jews who will have accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and who will receive the kingdom of Israel as promised to them when Jesus reigns on the earth from Jerusalem.
The Seven Years leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus will finish out the final objectives for Israel listed in Daniel 9:24. Some Jews will have been tricked by the Antichrist and will be on his side. Those who aren’t will be chased out of Jerusalem and some will be killed. But those who are left, who believe that Jesus was their Messiah who came, and who will be coming back, will get to receive the land and kingdom promised to them in Israel forever.
For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but in relation to God’s choice they are beloved on account of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
The quote within Romans is a reference back to Isaiah 59 which prophecies that God will in the end return and fight for those in Israel who have trusted in Him. These verses reference Megiddo which is the place where the final battle of Armageddon between Jesus and the Antichrist will occur at the end of the Seven Years and then end of the age. Once this happens, all of the objectives in Daniel 9:24 will be complete.
And He saw that there was no one, and was amazed that there was not one to intercede; then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will He repay: wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies; to the coastlands He will deal retribution. So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives. “A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those in Jacob who turn from wrongdoing,” declares the Lord. “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”
Dual Fulfillments and Prophecies with Gaps
There are several places in both the Old and New Testament where the idea of the mountain peaks of prophecy occurs. This is the idea that a prophet would be looking into the future and observing more than one event (on the mountains), like looking through a telescope and seeing two things back to back, but not able to see the valley of time in between. So essentially the valley being talked about is the gap in between Jesus’ first and second comings. So Daniel in chapter 9 saw the events leading up to Jesus’ first coming, then he saw the events leading up to Jesus’ second coming, and he wrote them back to back. Because Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension and the Church Age were a mystery in the Old Testament, these events are in the hidden valley from the view of the prophet. Here are some other examples of this:
Isaiah 61:1-2 - Original Prophecy
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor [gap 30AD to future] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
Luke 4:18-20 - Jesus’ Quotes the Prophecy
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Note that Jesus read this prophecy of Isaiah in the synagogue, but didn’t read the entire thing. Why? Because He was presenting Himself to Israel as the Messiah. He was able to set the proclaim the good news, captives free spiritually, etc. because He was going to die for the sins of humanity. But the day of vengeance against Israel’s oppressors couldn’t come, because the Jews were the ones who delivered Him up to the Romans to be crucified. Because of the rejection, the gap occurred. Jesus will fulfill the second half of the prophecy, “the day of vengeance of our God..” when He returns at the Second Coming and pronounces judgement on the Jews’ final oppressor - the Antichrist. Then Jesus can bring the complete fulfillment of this prophecy when Israel is both spiritually and physically saved. But when one reads the original prophecy in Isaiah, there would have been no reason to know, that the prophecy would be fulfilled at two separate events.
She gave birth to a son, a male child, [gap 3BC to future] who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. [gap 30AD to future] The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
This vision from Revelation talks about the two events: Jesus is born, and He will rule. But these events don’t happen back to back. Then it talks about how He ascended, and at some point after this the ‘woman’ (Israel) hides for 1,260 days. In comparing with other passages, this is the same 1,260 days that the Antichrist has his reign of terror. He creates the treaty and tricks the Jews, then He sets up the abomination and sets out to kill them. In Matthew 24, Jesus was very clear that as soon as people see the abomination set up, they needed to run from Jerusalem and hide. The Jews/Israel/Woman hides for the very same time period that the Antichrist is chasing and murdering people. When you read Revelation 12:5-6 however, all of these events appear back to back and out of order. But other passages clarify what is happening.
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
Hosea prophecies that the Israelites will have no king, no worship for a long period of time. This is the gap between Jesus’ ascension and the time when they finally return to the Lord. This gap occurs before the last days. It is the last 2000 years.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one [gap 3BC to future] who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
This is a famous passage fulfilled by Jesus born in Bethlehem. But He did not become ruler over Israel at that time. This will still happen in the future, as Jesus promised His disciples when He ascended into heaven - that someday He would return physically to earth ‘the same way he left’ to finish what He started by defeating Antichrist and setting up His Kingdom.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. [gap 30AD to future] I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
These verses in Zechariah are the ones that are fulfilled beginning when Jesus came at the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday). He was presenting Himself as King. But because He was rejected, He could not take the throne at the time. But if you read these verses from Zechariah, you have no idea that there is a gap between the time He rides in on the colt in verse 9, and the future time when He will return to defeat His enemies and will set Israel and the nations free from the Antichrist’s reign of terror.
Acts 2:1-4, 11-21, Joel 2:28-32
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ...we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.” But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel (2:28-32):
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
In the verses in Acts, the Holy Spirit has given the first followers of Christ the ability to speak with other languages to other people of many nations who had gathered for the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. People wondered what was going on and how they were able to speak all the languages. Some people assumed they were drunk. The Apostle Peter explains by referencing a prophecy from the book of Joel. Peter’s use of these verses can be seen as a partial/double fulfillment. The Holy Spirit had come, just as Joel had said, and had given them the ability to preach the gospel to the nations, just as Jesus commissioned them to do. But this prophecy in Joel speaks specifically of what will occur before the Day of the Lord.
The Day of the Lord is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He comes to judge the Antichrist and the earth and to restore the remnant of believing Jews to the Kingdom of Israel that was promised to them. Before these events occur, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all speak of the gospel being preached to all nations, and then the end will come. So this prophecy in Joel is applied to both the time of the First and Second Comings of Christ. Though if you were to read Joel by itself, you would only think to apply it to the Second Coming. Like many prophecies, the prophecy in Joel 2 has dual fulfillments. The rejection, resurrection, ascension and church of Jews and non-Jews who preach to the world, are all mystery events that occur within the unseen gap. These are just a few examples of scriptures with partial or dual fulfillments found in scripture. There are many more.