“About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the Prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.”
Sir Issac Newton 1642-1727
Sir Isaac Newton was likely one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. He made fundamental contributions to every major area of scientific and mathematical concern in his generation. He made revolutionary advances in mathematics, optics, physics, and astronomy. He actually invented the mathematic discipline known as calculus.
In addition to his unequaled mental capability, Newton was also an ardent Bible scholar who was very fluent in the ancient languages. He studied and translated the book of Daniel from the original Hebrew and his interpretations are the foundation of a book entitled, NEWTON’S PROPHECIES OF DANIEL, by the Oregon Institute Of Science and Medicine.
Regarding his perception of how God was working in the lives of men in revealing truths from the Word of God, Newton wrote:
“Amongst the Interpreters of the last age
there is scarce one of note who hath not made some
discovery worth knowing; and thence seem to gather
that God is about opening these mysteries.
The success of others put me upon considering it; and
if I have done anything which may be useful to following
writers, I have my design.”
Newton’s keen insight into Daniel’s prophecies may be the greatest contribution he ever made.
Almost 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton was given prophetic insight into our present time. God has raised up a group of men and women who are insisting upon a literal interpretation of Daniel’s Prophecies.
There is a great deal of resistance to it, as well as much “clamor and opposition.” But God’s Word is just that: God’s Word! Men can either listen to it and believe what it says, or they can disregard it and miss out on what God is really saying.
If Newton were alive today, most Prophecy students would probably label him as a date setter. And yet, all he is really doing is insisting upon a literal interpretation of the prophecies. By so doing, he arrives at the conclusion that the Messiah the Prince will return 49 years after Israel issues her call to return and rebuild their new nation.
NEWTON’S INTERPRETATION OF DANIEL
The “70 Weeks” Of Daniel are critical to our understanding of Endtime Prophecy. Modern Bible scholars have created a “traditional” interpretation that may have, “rendered the Word of God of no effect” (Mark 7:13).
Almost 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton wrote on the Proehecies of Daniel. Newton was one of the greatest scientist who ever lived. He was an ardent Bible scholar who studied and translated the prophecies of Daniel from the original Hebrew. The following highlights some of his important insight.
70 WEEKS COMPLETED
Newton contended that the 70 weeks represent 490 years that ended with the death of Jesus Christ (from NEWTON’S PROPHICIES OF DANIEL):
“Seventy weeks are cut out upon thy people
and upon thy holy city, to finish trans
gression, etc. Here, by putting a week
for seven years, are reckoned 490 years
from the time the dispersed Jews should be
re-incorporated into a people and a holy
city, until the death and resurrection of
Christ; whereby transgression should be
finished, and sins ended, iniquity be
expiated, and everlasting righteousness
brought in and this Vision be accomplished
and the Prophet consummated, that Prophet
whom the Jews expected; and whereby the
the most Holy should be anointed, he who
is therefore in the next words called the
Anointed, that is, the Messiah, or the
Christ. For by joining the acconplishment
of the vision with the expiation of sins,
the 490 years are ended with the death of
Newton outlined this 490 years as follows:
“Now the dispersed Jews became a people
and city when they first returned…in the
seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus when
Ezra returned with a body of Jews from
captivity, and revived the Jewish worship;
….to judge & govern the people according
to the laws of God & the King, Ezra vii.25
There were but two returns from captivity,
Zerubbabel’s and Ezra’s; in Zerubbabel’s
they had only the commission to build the
Temple, in Ezra’s they first became a city
by a government of their own. Now the
years of this Artaxerxes…was in the year
(458 B.C.) Count the time from thence to
the death of Christ, and you will find it
just 490 years.”
Newton felt that the 70 weeks of Daniel were completed with the death of Christ around the year 33 or 34 A.D. In addition to the completion of these 490 years, Newton also believed there was a significance to the 7 weeks, 62 weeks, 1 week and 1/2 Or a week.
For a summary of Newton’s interpretations of the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks, please review DANIEL UNSEALED. In this exciting booklet, Newton shows how the 62 weeks related to the First Coming of Christ. From 436 B.C. Newton counts 434 years (62 x 7 = 434) to arrive at the birth of Christ around the year 2 B.C.
Newton then shows how the 7 weeks relate to the Second Coming of Christ. 7 weeks of years, or 49 years, is the time between the call to return to the land of Israel and the coming of the Messiah the Prince. After 62 weeks the Messiah was cut off. After the 7 weeks He will come as Messiah the Prince. Some have belived that the 49 years began on May 14, 1948 with the call to return and rebuild Israel. Others believe that those 49 years began in June 1967 when Israel captured Jerusalem as Arab armies on 3 borders were on the move to invade Israel. Regardless of when the 7 weeks of years begins, it will end quickly as Jesus returns as the Prince of Peace to Rapture His bride.
Newton’s interpretation of Daniel’s 1 week is rather brief:
“Yet shall he confirm the covenant with many for one week. He kept it, notwith standing his death, till the rejection of the Jews, and calling of Cornelius and the Gentiles in the seventh year after his passion.”
Like a growing number of Bible scholars, Sir Isaac Newton felt that the 1 week portion of Daniel’s prophecy related to Jesus Christ and not the Anti-christ, as modern day Bible scholars teach.
The covenant Daniel was referring to was the one mentioned previously:
“O, Lord, the great and awesome God, who
keeps his covenant of love with all who
love him and obey his commands… “
Daniel begins his prayer to God by referring to God’s covenant of love and mercy. God sends his answer to Daniel through the angel Gabriel:
“He will confirm the covenant with many
for one week. . . “
Could it be as simple as Newton states? Did Jesus confirm the “covenant with many” of Daniel’s people, in other words, Israel?
Remember what Jesus said in Mark 14:24:
“And He said unto them, this is my blood
of the new testamenf (covenant), which is
shed for many.”
Did Jesus confirm His covenant of love and mercy with Daniel’s people for 7 years? According to Newton, there was a 7 year period between the death of Christ and the time the Gospel was sent out to the Gentiles at the calling of Cornelius. If this is correct, then this could be the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.
The new covenant was a “strengthened” one which was offered to the Jews from the time of Christ’s death until it was also sent to the Gentiles. The word for “confirm” is “strengthened”,in the Hebrew. If this period was 7 years long as Newton says, then it could represent the correct solution.
1/2 OF WEEK
Newton’s interpretation of Daniel’s half a week is also quite brief:
“And in half a week he shall cause the
sacrifice and oblation to cease; that is,
by the war of the Romans upon the Jews:
which war, after some commotions, began in
the 13th year of Nero , A.D. 67, in the
Spring when Vespasian with an army invaded
them; and ended in the second year of
Vespasian, A.D. 70, in autumn, September 7
when Titus took the city, having burnt the
Temple 27 days before: so that it lasted
three years and an half.”
Newton felt that this portion of Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled at the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in A.D. 70. The fact that this siege lasted for 3 1/2 years is recorded in history. It seems more than coincidence that Daniel’s prophecy does mention a 3 1/2 year period after which the Temple sacrifices would cease. If Newton’s interpretations are correct, it helps answer many questions which surround this prophecy of Daniel.
Newton summarised his findings regarding the prophecy by saying:
“Thus have we in this short Prophecy, a
prediction of all the main periods re
lating to the coming of the Messiah; the
time of his birth, that of his death, that
of the rejection of the Jews, the duration
of the Jewish war whereby he caused the
city and sanctuary to be destroyed, and
the time of his second coming: and so the
interpretation here given is more full and
complete and adequate to the design, than
if we should restrain it to his first
coming only, as Interpreters usually do.
We avoid also the doing violence to the
language of Daniel, by taking the 7 weeks
and 62 weeks for one number. Had that
been Daniel’s meaning, he would have said
sixty and nine weeks, and not seven weeks
and sixty two weeks, a way of numbering
used by no nation.”
Roger Metzger says
Genesis 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed.
Have you “wrestled” with God? Is the language of your inmost being, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me” ?
The doctrine that the true Israel consists of true believers is reinforced by Paul’s illustration of the olive tree from which some of the physical descendents of Israel were broken off because of unbelief and others who were gentiles (in the sense of not being physical descendants of Israel) were grafted in.
Sir Isaac Newton was born in 1642 and died in 1727. Like all of the protestants of his era, Newton used the historicist method of Bible interpretation based on the premise Jesus had swept away many of the rabbinic traditions but that Christianity is the true CONTINUATION of the religion of the Hebrew patriarchs of antiquity. In Newton’s day, the clergy of the papal system were teaching that God had rejected the Hebrews and that the Church had REPLACED them as the object of the Lord’s supreme regard.
Does anyone know of any writer or theologian before the nineteenth century who used the word, “rapture”, to describe the being “caught up” mentioned in I Thessalonians 4:13-18? Most of the people of my acquaintance who use that word that way can trace that usage to Cyrus Schofield’s Bible Notes published around the end of the nineteenth century or the beginning of the twentieth or to later writers. Schofield’s eschatology seems to have originated with John Darby in the nineteenth century. Sir Isaac Newton died in the century before that. I’m almost certain that neither Newton or any other protestant of his era promoted the doctrine of a pretribulation rapture.
In the late 1960s, I worked for about a year for a mortician. During that year, I heard dozens of funeral sermons. None of the funeral sermons I heard that year included I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (printed in italics below). I think the reason was that if that passage is taken literally, it seems antithetical to the eschatology of Darby and Scofield.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Is this a reference to the book of life? If so, Daniel (and Newton) would have understood the phrase, “thy people” in Daniel 12:1 as a reference to true believers rather than a reference to a political organization or a religious organization.
There is more to this subject, of course, but Daniel 12:1 seems to be about true believers being rescued out of tribulation rather than being “caught up” before the tribulation occurs.
OK, I’m a little dense in my understanding. What does this mean as far as the 7 year tribulation? Is Newton saying that part of that has already happened?
Roger has some valid comments. The rapture does have an interesting history and it is rather strange how a teaching believed to be so obvious by its ardent supporters was unknown for about 2 millenniums. I find those who believe in the rapture tend to bend the rules of exegesis to support their theory which tends to be their master rather than Scripture. They read more into the text than what is actually there.I know of no reference anywhere in Scripture to a 7 year period of tribulation. Tribulation yes, 7 years, no. If I am wrong I would welcome correction based on biblical evidence. Also from my reading of the New Testament true believers will go through that tribulation rather than being zapped away from it. In Matthew 24 the sign of the Son of Man in heaven comes after the tribulation, not before it. They seem to have it all back to front. And later in that chapter where Jesus uses Noah’s experience as a parallel to the end-time experience of God’s people it is the lost, not the saved who are taken away! However, the greatest problem I have is that they do not allow the New Testament to interpret the Old. Jesus did draw attention to Daniel (Matt.24:15) and for good reason. The antichrist was going to oppose His people from then till the end of time so He warned about it in answer to the question put to Him by the disciples. The context of their question is end-time stuff. No less than 3 times He warns of “false christs,” “false prophets”, “false messiahs,” Maybe this rapture stuff is evidence of “false prophets”?
Please provide an example or two of how proponents of the rapture “read more into the text than what is actually there”.
re: 7-year Tribulation, it might be helpful if you became acquainted with the works of Sir Robert Anderson, who cracked the code in 1894, as published in his short book on the 70 Weeks of Daniel titled, ‘The Coming Prince ‘
The biblical references you’re looking for are found in Daniel and Revelation. The reference to “time, times and half a time” (i.e 1+2+0.5=3.5), “1,260 days” and “42 months” mentioned in Daniel and Revelation to be references to represent a period of 1260 years (based on the 360-day Jewish year multiplied by 3.5). This is period of time (3 1/2 years) represents 1/2 of the Tribulation…. it’s simple math. 2 x 3.5 = 7 years.
In John 14:3 Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
What do you think he meant by this?
To proponents of the Rapture, it’s clear that this verse dovetails with
1 Corinthians 15:52
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” and
1 Thessalonians 4:17
According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Re: Noah, it really depends on how you look at it. Noah and his family were sheltered from God’s wrath in the ark. It’s thought that Isaiah 26:20 refer’s to God sheltering his bride/church from the coming wrath:
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
Do you welcome the explanation or would you care to refute it with biblical references of your own?
William Sides says
God is always the same, but people and times are different.
Old Testament people are subjects of the kingdom,
New Testament Christians are the bride of Christ.
Note that subject of the kingdom are unlimited in number, as these people are: from the beginning to Pentecost/(start of church/bride) and continue after the Church age/rapture after Chapter 4 in Revelation. Subject of the kingdom will forever be born and multiply, but not the Church/bride.
The Church/bride has the indwelling holy spirit and is limited in number, as it has a beginning and end, which is Chapter 4 Revelation.
(Old Testament people)/(subject of the kingdom) plus (people born after the church/bride is complete) are ruled by God and his bride forever.