Many things in the Old Testament are figures of the New Testament. Jesus focused some of them, for example, Noah. Speaking of his second coming, he said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of the heavens, but [my] Father alone. But as the days of Noah, so also shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as they were in the days which were before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day on which Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not till the flood came and took all away; thus also shall be the coming of the Son of man. Then two shall be in the field, one is taken and one is left” (Matt. 24:36-40). Three things should be considered in this figure.
First: No one will ever be able to know when Jesus will return. Some fools have set a date, and been publicly humiliated.
Second: “…the day on which Noah entered into the ark.” How should we understand these words? Jesus will manifest himself to his chosen people who constitute the spiritual Church, where the carnal men do not belong (Rom. 8:5-8). The same text shows Jesus explaining the entrance in the ark: “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from [the one] extremity of [the] heavens to [the other] extremity of them” (Matt. 24:31).
Third: “…the flood came and took all away”, that is to say, there was no one left alive. Will anyone remain alive on earth when Jesus takes his Church away to heaven? Yes: those who believe in the great tribulation of seven years. These seven years are the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, according to the father of this interpretation (Dan. 9:25). Verse twenty-four declares that “Seventy weeks are apportioned out upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to close the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make expiation for iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal the vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies” (Dan. 9:24). The text is clear, saying, “Seventy weeks are apportioned out” for these things to happen from God the Father.
If there is one week missing, then only sixty-nine weeks have passed. The text declares that they are seventy. If the seventy weeks are not completed, then transgression has not finished, and so grace has not been manifested, and men has not been reconciled to God, as the apostle Paul proclaimed: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their offences; and putting in us the word of that reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Fourth: If one week is missing in the seventy weeks, there has not been an end to sin, and the letter to the Hebrews is wrong when it says: “But now once in the consummation of the ages he has been manifested for [the] putting away of sin by his sacrifice” (Heb. 9:26). Where sin rules, death also rules; this is what Paul says: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:6-11). This is possible only if Jesus Christ put an end to sins. If the one who is in Christ keeps on sinning, the new creatures are not new, and the old things have not passed away, and also, those who have not been born again are born with the very curse of Adam (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3-6).
Jesus said: “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). If it is impossible for men to stop sinning, Jesus in this case did not speak the truth, for he did not put an end to sins; but as there is still one week to be, Jesus did not put an end to sins, for he has not yet been sacrificed to extinguish sins, according to Daniel 9:24.
What complicates the life of those who say: “I sin and I am saved,” is what the apostle John says: “Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him, neither knows him” (1 John 3:4-6). And John makes clear that the one who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8).
Looking at the seventy weeks once more, we find a few contradictions in the thesis that states that there is yet one week for the prophecy to be fulfilled:
In Luke 16:16 Jesus declares that, “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached”. The prophecies of the Old Testament ended with Jesus Christ. Luke also registered that the book of Isaiah was given to Jesus. He read the following: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:17-19). Jesus closed the book and gave it to the minister and said to them: “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:20-21). The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled. It was finished! Then Jesus closed the book. The end. And Paul says: “For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). All prophecies about the Messiah were fulfilled in Christ. Now the very Jesus, author and finisher of faith, announces the kingdom of God with new justice, which in the Old Testament did not exist, (Rom. 9:30-33), with new promises (2 Pet. 1:3-11), new life (John 3:3-6), new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), and new inheritance (1 Pet. 1:3-4). The inheritance of Jehovah was exclusively for Israel, and it was an earthly inheritance, that is, the land of Canaan. The Christ born in flesh announced this (Matt. 15:24). But the resurrected Christ revealed the grace to all, and the kingdom of heaven for all (Titus 2:11).
As it is written in Dan. 9:24 that seventy weeks are assigned to make atonement for iniquity and bring an everlasting righteousness, and seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place, and they say that there is still one week missing, in this case Jesus has not yet died on the cross, and everything we have said above has not been fulfilled. Has it not, really? Let us look at what the prophecy says: “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks (483 years) […] the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing” (Dan. 9:25-26). Shall have nothing, in other words, the resurrected Christ is another, for the plan is another (Rom. 7:4). The Christ who died was the Messiah in the flesh; the one who rose up could go through walls, for his body had been glorified (Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:45-50).
From the prophetic point of view, the one who gave the command was Cyrus, the Persian (Ezra 2:64; 4:12-16). The king Artaxerxes gave the command to cease rebuilding the city and the walls (Ezra 4:21). This proves that Cyrus had ordered the restoration of the walls and of the city, too. Nehemiah, being told of this, and as the cupbearer of the king Artaxerxes, disturbed, asked permission to go finish the work, and the king granted him the request.
The order of Cyrus was issued in the year 457 BC, which added to the 33 years of the life of Christ until the cross, come to 490 years. The covenant of one week of Dan. 9:27 was: Half in his ministry with the disciples, and the other half after his resurrection, with the violent outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So it was the fulfillment of the seventy weeks of Dan. 9:24.
Finally, Jesus declares that there will not be a week after his return to take the spiritual Church, nor there will be a tribulation. He says, explaining the parable of the wheat and the tares: “He answered them, ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, and will cast them into the furnace of fire’” (Matt. 13:37-43). Then the wheat will go to the barn. No one will be left. Therefore the seventy weeks have already been fulfilled.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira