For many years dispensationalists (futurists) have asserted that the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks has not yet occurred but will come in the future. However, if we read Daniel 9:24-27 carefully, we discover that the last week has already taken place in the most significant way. There is no room for a gap of a couple thousand years from week 69 to 70.

Christian theologians agree that those 70 weeks are “70 weeks of years,” not weeks of days. It means that each “week” contains 7 years for a grand total of 490 years. These verses amazingly and accurately predict the time of the arrival of the Messiah. The beginning of the 490 year countdown began in 457 BC, some think it was 445 BC as dictated by verse 25, but that is another discussion. In any case, this 490 year span marked the remaining time for the Old Covenant and the pinpointing of the Messiah’s arrival and His work to be accomplished. Gabriel’s words to Daniel were concerning the Jews only, not future Gentile believers (v24).

Verse 24 reveals six things that must be accomplished during this “70 week” (490 year) period:

1) “Finishing of the transgression” – Done. John 19:30

2) “Make an end to sin” – Done. Matthew 1:21Hebrews 9:25-26

3) “Make atonement for iniquity” – Done. 1 John 1:7,9Romans 6:14-15

4) “Bring everlasting righteousness” – Done. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3-4

5) “To seal up [fulfill, end] the vision and prophecy” – Done. Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and ushered in the New Covenant (insight from Luke 5:36-39 & wine miracle at Cana in John 2).

6) “To anoint the most holy” (the word “place” as been added in some versions but should not be there) – Done. Hebrews 1:9. Jesus is now the Holy Temple and He is not a physical building (John 2:19-21).

Since Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies by way of His first coming (as cited above), there is no need for a future “week” (7-year period). Dispensationalists error regarding verse 27. They misinterpret the word “he” as referring to the Anti-Christ rather than to Jesus Christ! They assert that the Anti-Christ will make a firm covenant with the Jewish nation. Since when does Satan have the ability to make a firm promise? He is the “father of all lies” according to John 8:44. If he lied about a covenant then it is NOT FIRM! The “Firm Covenant” made is the New Covenant that was “firmly established” during Jesus’ earthly work which was totally fulfilled and described in this section of Chapter 9. But in the middle of that final week (3 ½ years) He was crucified (“cut off”) which, in God’s eyes, ended animal sacrifices. All rituals in the Temple became obsolete in God’s eyes when Jesus died, rose, and ascended. This practice by the Jews was forcefully ended in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed everything (and this ritual has not been re-instituted for good reason). God’s message to the world is “It is finished” as Jesus stated on the cross. The stoning of Stephen was the end of the second 3 1/2 year part and the end of the 70th week of the Daniel prophecy. Now I understand why God made sure that all the “low-lights” of Jewish history were recounted in verse by Stephen just before he was murdered by Jewish leaders. Again, God was making a firm statement to the world. God’s Old Covenant with the Jewish nation was always contingent on whether or not they followed Him (Deut.28:1-2). In other words it was always conditional, never unconditional. Soon after Jesus rose from the dead, a converted Paul turned to the Gentiles. This all pointed to a major change from Old Covenant to New Covenant, and Daniel’s prophecy described it hundreds of years before it happened. The context of these four verses in Daniel Chapter 9 is describing the end of the Old Covenant which first had to be made obsolete in order to enact the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13).

So what effect on futuristic interpretation does this have? They assert that the missing week of Daniel will feature Anti-Christ making a deal with the Jews. Things will be nice for the first half (3 ½ years). Then the evil one will turn on the Jews leading to “the Great Tribulation.” Upon careful reading of Scripture, I discovered that the word “the” is not used before “great tribulation.” It does in a Scofield Bible because he was a dispensationalist and added the word to fit his theology. Mr. Scofield added the word “the” to Revelation 7:14. The King James Version does not. Jesus did speak of great tribulation when referring to the horrors of 70 AD. Revelation DOES speak of believers coming out of great tribulation which could refer to any time period in the church age. A special reward awaits these people. According to dispensationalists, however, only one group living in the future would get this honor. In my view, this disses all believers who have gone through very tough times throughout the Church Age, even being tortured and murdered for their faith. I believe they will all be given this special reward.

So, the historical approach to end-time prophecy wipes out “the great tribulation” and some alleged  Anti-Christ activity. But we all still believe in the rapture which occurs upon Christ’s return. At that time, according to 2 Peter 3:10-12, all earth and heavens are destroyed. So how can Jesus rule on earth for 1,000 years if it is gone? Maybe it’s just possible that many Christians do not understand what the millennium is all about, but that’s another story. All the fuss over pre, mid, or post-tribulation rapture is not worth arguing about. There is no 7-year great tribulation. That 70th week is not in the future because it had to have already happened.

All this will be a paradigm shift to many believers because the dispensational method of eschatology has dominated western Christianity with few believers realizing it. Hence few have been exposed to the historical approach which takes a hard look at what has already occurred and how it lines up with Bible prophecy.

For a more detailed work on this topic, including info about a Jewish curse on anyone calculating Daniel’s 70 Weeks leading to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah, go to my website called and click on “Bible Commentary,” scroll down, then click on “Daniel” and read commentary on chapter 9. If anyone is interested in learning more about Anti-Christ from the historicist viewpoint, read my commentaries on Daniel, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation.

My desire is to have both points of view taught in churches and to allow individuals to decide what they want to embrace. But we often find only one view taught. This happened to me for over 30 years and I did not realize it until I read about church history. No one has all the answers about end-time prophecy, but there are some fascinating parallels when we look at history and see its symbolic representation in Daniel and Revelation.