Spurgeon, Edwards, Wesley, Calvin, Tyndale, Luther and Wycliffe pointing fingers at LEFT BEHIND

Daniel's 70th Week

The Left Behind novels teach that Daniel's 70th week-of-years predicts a tribulation during which an Antichrist like their fictional Nicolae Carpathia would make a covenant with Israel, and then break that covenant. In their official defense of Left Behind theology titled The Truth Behind Left Behind, with Introduction by Tim LaHaye, apologists Mark Hitchcock and Thomas Ice write that "The seven-year Tribulation is a cornerstone of the entire Left Behind series." (page 89) Then they go on to discuss Daniel 9:24-27 as the basis for this teaching, calling this passage "the indispensable key to all prophecy." (page 90)

However, they teach this by splitting apart Daniel's '70 weeks' prophecy, leaving the first 69 of those weeks back in ancient times and moving the 70th week two thousand years into the future, in modern times.

This is not what the plain reading of Scripture indicates; nor is it the traditional understanding. Consider what Calvin and Luther said about it. They understood the 70th week to come right after the 69th week, beginning during Christ's ministry on earth.

This is what Daniel actually wrote:
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
And this is how Calvin understood the 70th week:

"The angel now continues his discourse concerning Christ by saying, he should confirm the treaty with many for one week. ...the angel says, Christ should confirm the covenant for one week..."
—John Calvin, "Lecture Fifty-First"
"In the last Lecture we explained how Christ confirmed the covenant with many during the last week..."
—John Calvin, "Lecture Fifty-Second"
Available on the web at http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol25/htm/iv.xx.htm on the "Christian Classics Ethereal Library" provided by Calvin College of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Luther had a similar understanding:

"For when Christ sent out the Gospel through the ministry of himself and of the Apostles, it lasted three or three and a half years, that it almost amounts to the calculation of Daniel, namely the 490 years. Hence he also says, Christ shall take a half a week, in which the daily offerings shall cease; that is, the priesthood and reign of the Jews shall have an end; which all took place in the three and a half years in which Christ preached, and was almost completed in four years after Christ, in which the Gospel prospered the most, especially in Palestine through the Apostles (that when they opened their mouth, the Holy Ghost fell as it were, from heaven, as we see in the Acts of the Apostles), so that a whole week, or seven years, established the covenant, as Daniel says; that is, the Gospel was preached to the Jews, of which we spoke before."
—Martin Luther, "Sermon for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity; Matthew 24:15-28"
from his Church Postil, first published in 1525
available online at http://www.orlutheran.com/mlsemt2415.html

The traditional understanding is that Daniel's 70th week does not refer to an end-times 7-year tribulation during which a character like Left Behind's Nicolae Carpathia makes a treaty with Israel and then breaks it. Rather, it refers to the 7 years during which Jesus, and then his Apostles preached the Gospel exclusively to God's covenant people, the Jews.
Daniel's 70th week
came right after the 69 weeks, not 2000 years later as an end-times tribulation as Left Behind teaches.
"Christ confirmed the covenant with many during the last week..."
- John Calvin

The Tribulation Jesus spoke of
was a tribulation on "this people," the Jews, beginning when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem — not a 7-year period in the end times as Left Behind teaches.
"'for then shall be great tribulation, such as had not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.' All this pertains still to the Jewish nation."
- Martin Luther

The Antichrist is not
a future leader like Left Behind's Nicolae Carpathia, but came to power when the Roman Empire, which was restraining it, got out of the way.
The papacy and Islam are "the two horns of Antichrist."
- John Calvin

The Temple in Jerusalem
does not need to be rebuilt, with its priesthood and sacrifices, to fulfill prophecy.
"He will make to cease the sacrifice and offering ... Christ ... offered himself up as a victim, then all the rites of the law came to a close."
- John Calvin

The Abomination of Desolation
was fulfilled by the Romans at the desolation of Jerusalem.
"But the abomination of which Daniel writes is that the Emperor Cajus, as history tells, had put his image in the temple at Jerusalem as an idol, for the people to worship, after everything there had been destroyed."
- Martin Luther

Daniel's 70th Week
for unbelievers after the Rapture. Christ is coming once, not twice as Left Behind claims.
'the Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up ... to meet the Lord in the air ... then sudden destruction cometh upon them ... and they shall not escape.'
- Paul