The second statement in the angel’s prophecy of Daniel 9:24 is, “Seventy Weeks are determined… to make and end of sins.” How are we to understand this? If the meaning is that there would be no more sin in the world, then this prophecy has no fulfillment in sight. However, if this second work of God can be shown that we have misunderstood its meaning and it is indeed fulfilled, then we are well on our way to proving that Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy was fulfilled almost 2000 years ago, which means our looking for a future seven year period of trouble just before the return of Jesus is false!
The phrase make an end is one Hebrew word—chatham (H2856). The sense of this word is expressed in the three Scriptures below:
Job 24:16 KJV In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
Esther 8:8 KJV Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.
Jeremiah 32:10-11, 14 KJV And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances. (11) So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open… (14) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
In other words, to make and end has to do with marking something out for oneself (Job 24:16); or taking responsibility for the activity of another (Esther 8:8); or taking ownership of something for which one has paid the price (Jeremiah 32:10-14; the seal of the deed). The fact is: we are marked in the sense that God has set his seal upon us (2Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13); and Christ has taken responsibility for what was written down (Colossians 2:14); and ownership of the human race has been transferred to Christ (1Corinthians 6:20; 7:23; Matthew 13:44, cp. 13:38), for Christ did indeed buy a field, and this field is interpreted as the whole world. He bought this field because of the treasure within, i.e. God’s people.
We are the treasure of God. It almost seems blasphemous to say such a thing, but when we think of the price that was paid to secure our salvation, then it is not difficult to remember Jesus’ words that where your heart is there your treasure will be as well. God’s heart is with us and we are therefore his treasure:
Malachi 3:16 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard (it), and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
Matthew 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
I have heard it taught that this second Scripture speaks of our having to sell all we have to gain Christ, but I know of only One who sold all he had (Philippians 2:6-8), and he bought us. He received us as we are and has led us to give up the things of this world and let him be our increase, but all this is a process taking our entire lives. Yet, from the very beginning he has always been ours by grace alone. We have paid no price, because we have nothing of value in terms of obtaining the Kingdom of God or laying claim on its King.
In Acts 20:28 we are told that Christ has purchased the church with his own blood. He has not only purchased the whole field (the world), but he has set his mark on us – the Church – in particular. He bought us and sealed us with his Holy Spirit:
Acts 20:28 KJV Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Eph 1:11-14 KJV In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Just as the thieves of Job 24:16 marked beforehand those homes they would later rob, Christ gives the “earnest of our inheritance” (his Holy Spirit) to all whom he sealed or marked before his coming to judge the world. Not only has Christ bought the entire world and marked (sealed) those he predestined to be his own, but he also took sole responsibility for all that was written against us:
Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
Our Father has reconciled himself to us through Christ. He has done all that could be done to save the world and what is done, as it says in Romans 5, is more than enough to undo all that Adam has caused through the sin of his rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Thus, this second work of God (cp. Daniel 9:24) is complete in Christ and does not await a future fulfillment in an imagined seven year period. As Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished!”