Why Ezekiel 38 Will Precede Daniel 9
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.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the
decree 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”
Dispensationalists believe, with
good reason, that there's one week of years left to
fulfill from the promise the angel Gabriel delivered to
Daniel near the end of the Babylonian captivity.
We know the prophecy as Daniel's 70 weeks.
Each week in the prophecy represents 7 years.
69 of these weeks (7 plus 62) had passed when the
Messiah presented Himself to Israel as their King on the
only day in His life that He did so.
On our calendar it became known as the first Palm
In the prophecy 69 weeks equals 483
years (69 x 7).
This is the exact time that had passed since
Artaxerxes Longimonus issued his decree giving Nehemiah
permission to begin rebuilding Jerusalem (Nehemiah
(The city had been destroyed when Nebuchadnezzar's army
conquered Judah and took its people captive to Babylon.)
Daniel's prophecy was being fulfilled in specific
detail, and Israel's failure to realize this marked the
beginning of the end for them (Luke 19:41-44).
After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be
cut off 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 (Daniel
The Hebrew word for Anointed One is
Four days after He presented Himself to them,
they executed Him, which is what the Hebrew word
translated “cut off” means.
Nothing the angel Gabriel had promised to Mary (Luke
1:32-33) had come to pass.
Three days after that He rose again, fulfilling a
sign He had promised to the religious leaders to prove
His authenticity, the sign of the prophet Jonah (Matt.
12:39-40). He gave them 40 days to recognize the
most dramatic fulfillment of a prophetic sign in the
history of mankind and accept Him as their Messiah, and
when they didn't He ascended into Heaven, fulfilling
another prophecy in the process.
Then I will go back to my place until they admit their
they will seek my face; in their misery they will
earnestly seek me” (Hosea 5:15)
About 38 years after that the Roman
armies destroyed the city and the sanctuary, and for all
practical purposes the nation of Israel ceased to exist.
But a few years before that happened, the Jewish
leadership of the Christian movement called the Church
had become divided over the issue of whether Gentiles
who were coming into Christianity had to put themselves
under the Law first.
In other words did a Gentile have to become a Jew
before becoming a Christian?
The unspoken question that lurked behind it was
even more troublesome to them, and that was, “If not,
what's to become of Israel?” They had been taught that
the only way to God was through Israel.
Was this being changed?
The Council At Jerusalem
They all came together in
Jerusalem, where James, the Lord's half brother and head
of the Church in Jerusalem set them straight. Israel is
being temporarily set aside, he told them, while the
Lord takes out of the Gentiles a people for Himself.
After that He will restore Israel to allow the remnant
of mankind one more chance to seek Him (Acts 15:13-18).
Therefore, Gentiles would not be required to
convert to Judaism in the process of becoming
The Greek word translated “take” in
Acts 15:14 means to carry away for one's own
purpose and the
one translated “out of” means to remove from a
specified time and place.
Before restoring Israel to fellowship with Him,
the Lord will take a people for Himself out of the time
and place of the Gentiles.
James was describing the rapture of the Church
and saying it will precede Daniel's 70th
Paul, who was at the meeting,
confirmed this by saying Israel has been blinded in part
until the full number of Gentiles has come in. After
that Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25).
As I've indicated in previous studies this is
another testimony that the rapture of the church will
precede Israel's restoration and redemption.
From these two prophecies we understand that
Israel's rejection of the Messiah did not end the Old
merely interrupted its 490 year post exilic duration 7
years short of its allotted time.
After the Church is gone this seven years has to
“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 on a wing of the temple he
will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until
the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Daniel
The final seven years
will begin with a covenant to be signed by the
“ruler who will come”, mentioned in Daniel 9:26.
Gabriel said this leader will come from the
people who would destroy the city and the sanctuary
after the Messiah's execution.
In the middle of this last seven years He will
put an end to sacrifices and offerings by setting up the
Abomination of Desolation which kicks off the 3 ½ year
Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-21).
Put this all together and you can
begin to see why I believe the Rapture of the Church
will precede the beginning of Daniel's missing 70th
According to these prophecies the church has to be gone
before Israel returns to their covenant relationship
with the Lord.
And That's Not All
But my main purpose in reviewing
all this with you is to find the answer to one very
important question, and here it is.
What event will suddenly cause Israel, currently
a predominantly secular
nation, to officially restore their Old Covenant
relationship with God? The study of human nature tells
us that while people typically fall away from their
beliefs gradually, they don't come back to them the same
Usually, some external change or event, often
catastrophic in nature, has to take place to snap them
back. And so
it will be for Israel.
And remember, it has to be a return
to the Old Covenant because they're seven years short of
completing the time God allotted to them, and the only
reason they will need a Temple is for the purpose of Old
If it was the rapture of the Church that gets
their attention they'd be motivated to enter a New
Covenant relationship rather than return to the Old
Covenant. Something else has to happen . And it will.
An unexpected event that will
threaten Israel's very existence is set to take place
soon and God will use it to bring them running as a
nation to Him, ending a 2000 year estrangement. This
event won't be a protracted one that causes them to
slowly conclude that they're doomed and drive them to
their knees in a desperate plea for help.
Rather it will be one orchestrated and executed
by God Himself for the specific purpose of
opening spiritual eyes that have been blinded since that
first Palm sunday.
It will happen so fast that they won't realize
what has transpired until it's all over.
God will cause a coalition of enemy
forces to strike with out warning in such numbers that
it will seem like a cloud has covered the land, and when
they do, He will decimate them with torrents of rain,
hailstones and burning sulphur.
Then He'll sew such confusion in the ranks that
they'll turn on each other.
When it's over there will be so many dead bodies
that it will take Israel seven months just to bury them
Of course the event I'm referring
to is the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39. Four times
during Ezekiel's prophecy of this battle God's objective
was made clear.
Ezekiel 38:23, 39:7, 39:22, 39:28 all tell
us His goal is to
show His greatness and holiness to Israel and the
nations so Israel will know He's the Lord their God.
This is the event that will cause Israel's national
reconciliation with God and kick off the remaining seven
years of the Old Covenant.
Today there appears to be a
growing desire among some in Israel for a Temple.
But if you read between the lines you'll see it's
a nationalistic movement, not a spiritual one.
Advocates are hoping a Temple will underscore
their right to the land by demonstrating their
historical presence there.
But this movement is by no means reflective of
the national mind set. Most people realize the danger in
such a thing.
But after the Battle of Ezekiel
38, the demand for a Temple will be a spiritual
movement that will represent the great majority of
people in Israel. They'll want to worship the God
they've rediscovered and Old Covenant worship requires a
Temple. It won't be just a monument to their past but a
necessity for their future.
And with the great victory God will have just
handed them, who will dare to deny them? Even the coming
world leader will appear to be championing their cause,
enforcing a covenant that will allow them to build their
Israel it will seem like peace has finally come.
One More Time
Sad to say, the Battle of
Ezekiel 38 won't result in a permanent peace for
They'll discover they've been deceived by the very one
who they thought to be their champion, bringing about
the worst period of persecution the Jewish people have
And this time when foreign nations are mobilized against
them, it won't be just a regional coalition.
Zechariah 12:3 says all the nations of the
world will line up against Israel. This time Israel will
know in advance what their fate will likely be and
will come crawling to God for help (Hosea
This time God won't just use His
signature weapons of rain, hail, earthquakes and fire
that He can deliver from afar.
Nor will He sow confusion into the enemy's mind
to have them defeat themselves.
This time He'll fill the sky with the armies of
heaven, with His own Son at their head. The Son will
slay them all with just the Word of His mouth.
This time they won't spend multiple months
burying the dead.
This time the birds will devour the carcasses (Rev.
This time will be different because
this time it won't be only the Father they will have
This time it will be the Son as well (Zech 12:10).
The reconciliation will finally be complete and
the Kingdom Age will begin.
You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah