I am considering the angel’s prophecy found in Daniel 9:24 at this time. If one would read the prophecy it would be seen there are six works of God that must be fulfilled before one cold claim the 70 Weeks prophecy is fulfilled. I have already discussed the first two claims by the angel in three blogs preceding this one, showing that these works of God were fulfilled in Christ nearly 2000 years ago, and this third work is no different. The angel claimed “Seventy weeks are determined …to make reconciliation for Iniquity…” While sealing involved purchasing and hence ownership, reconciliation involved peace between enemies or offended parties. God desires love not forced servitude from his children, and he always makes the first move toward our salvation:
2 Corinthians 5:18 KJV And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Take note here that the sense of the Scripture is that this reconciliation between God and man is not just with the Church but with the whole world. Friends, remember, have no need of reconciliation. God reconciled us to himself while we were yet his enemies. Remember that the Scripture says that no one seeks after God – no one:
Romans 3:10-18 KJV As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14) Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: (15) Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16) Destruction and misery are in their ways: (17) And the way of peace have they not known: (18) There is no fear of God before their eyes.
No matter who we are, we all begin life as an enemy of God, because as descendants of Adam, we act out of his rebellious spirit, which is at work within us from birth. No matter whether we are speaking of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the enemy, ‘the kingdom’ is within us (Luke 17:21). Our hearts are slaves to do either good or evil.
Abraham was called the friend of God only because God made the first move at reconciliation and he had to do it twice before Abraham responded (Romans 3:11). So by Christ’s death, God reconciled himself to man. But the New Testament reveals this aspect is only 1/3 of full reconciliation.
- Part One ~ God begins the reconciliation process by coming to us – God loves us!
- Part Two ~ God works in us through his Spirit and changes us, enabling us to respond to his love – we love God!
- Part Three ~ the logical result of our being reconciled to God; we cannot in good conscience hate whomever God loves! If God loves our enemy, it means there is something lovable and valuable about him. If we are in love with God we must, out of a good conscience, find out what God loves about our enemies and love them as well – we love one another!
God has committed the ministry of reconciliation unto us, the Church. It is by means of his Spirit that he has reached out to us and, through us, to the world. His purpose is that we all should, on our part, be reconciled to him (2Corinthians 5:14-21). In other words, we need to submit to Christ who has bought us with his own blood. It is he who works within each of us a willingness to become reconciled to God.
Paul says Christ has brought us near to God, in that through him we have become the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). There is no difference between any of us from God’s point of view (Romans 2:11), so we ought to love those whom God loves. We have fellowship together (1John 1:3) and the love we have for one another is confirmation of our reconciliation with and submission to God (1John 1:5, 7). God expressed his love to us at Calvary. So, though we love God, we love him only because he loved us first (1John 4:9-10). Therefore, we ought to do the same i.e. love one another. When we do, we show the world and confirm to ourselves that God’s love dwells within us and works through us. For God is light (1John 1:5), and we ought to live and move and have our being in the Light (1John 1:7; Acts 17:28) and so love one another.
We have, therefore, been delivered from our rebellion against and our independence from God our Father. By trusting in Jesus, we have put off the old man (Adam) in order to receive the New Man (Christ). Indeed, Christ has purchased the world through his blood and in purchasing the world has taken on the responsibility of all our debts (sins). As the propitiation of our sins, Christ has made peace between God and us, between us and God, and between one another including peace within our own conscience (Hebrews 9:14).
In these three elements or aspects of the Seventy Weeks Prophecy is a threefold picture of our salvation. First, restraining or “finishing the transgression” has delivered us from our old man – the power of sin or the sin principle within us. Christ gave us his life that we might have life. That is, instead of living on our inherited life from Adam, we are living, through faith, on the gift of life from Christ (Romans 6:23; 1Corinthians 15:54-57). In this aspect of the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, Christ has saved us from the penalty of sin, which is death. This work of salvation cannot become undone. I neither can become more saved, nor can I become unsaved. This is because this aspect of our salvation is entirely the work of Christ. We have no participation in it, so anything we do or don’t do cannot add to or take away from his finished work. This is salvation in the past tense.
Secondly, “making reconciliation for iniquity” concerns our own involvement in the work of salvation. God has reconciled himself to us and empowered us by his Spirit to reconcile ourselves to God and to one another. We begin by reckoning our old man is dead and that we live in Christ (Romans 6:11; 8:10). Because we reckon this to be so, we are able to walk in our new life, which is Christ (Colossians 3:4). If Christ is our life, we are suddenly able to do as he did, because it is through his power working in us that we are able to both desire and live in the will of God (Philippians 2:12-13; cp. Romans 6:14). All this is possible only because now we receive our life’s power not from Adam (the old man), but from our new Master – Christ our Savior. We can dwell at peace with God, our neighbor and ourselves. This is a daily practice and can be hindered by the flesh and the enemy of old habits. The point is, however, we now have the power to change, because we are free to draw our strength from Christ. Therefore, through Christ’s reconciling us, we are daily being saved from sin’s power. This is salvation in the present tense.
Finally, in “making an end of sins” we have been sealed with Christ’s Holy Spirit. It is the seal of promise that claims us as his and not Adam’s (Ephesians 1:13-14). We have been purchased by Christ, who has taken responsibility for all our debts, that is, all we owe or ever will owe. Nevertheless, there is still the presence of sin in our lives, but we have Christ’s spirit within us, which engages us in a constant battle with our old life in Adam (the spirit v/s flesh). But this is only temporary. One day we shall be given our new body (1Corinthians 15:42-57). Today, in this body, we bear the image of the old man, but after this body dies, we shall bear the image of Christ. We must yet put on, as it were, a new immortal, spiritual body to be able to participate to the full in the Kingdom of God (1Corinthians 15:50; 2Corinthians 5:1-4). All this is brought about because Christ not only has saved us from death, but has also saved us from death’s sting – our sins (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). He put a seal upon us and purchased us for his own and paid all our debts. This will be realized at the full redemption of his purchased possession (Ephesians 1:14), when we shall see him as he is (1John 3:1-2; cp. 2Corinthians 5:1-4). This is salvation in the future tense.
Thus, these first three works of God mentioned in Daniel 9:24 are complete in Christ, showing that the 70 Weeks Prophecy is fulfilled, and that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to look for a future fulfillment of the final week. The angel spoke of three more works of God to be completed within the 490 years of this prophecy, and I shall speak of them in my next few blogs.