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TANATA is devoted to discussing the paradoxes and the mysteries of life, among which is the paradox of the coexistence of good and evil. “God is love,” John tells us. Evil exists, we would suggest, not because God is detached or unconcerned, but because free will exists which is required for true, unforced love to exist. Still, it is painfully hard to reconcile this paradox. We believe that all evil one day will be judged and destroyed, until then we must pray.

DANIEL 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

REVELATION 1:7

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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Thursday
Oct222009

Sir Isaac: Bible Prophet?

“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 made important and revolutionary contributions to every major area of science and mathematics, including optics, physics and astronomy. Newton is credited with inventing calculus. Much overlooked by esoteric thinkers and seekers of occult or hidden wisdom is the fact that Newton spent much of his life studying and supporting the Bible as a literal document, which does not sanction occultism. In our view, there is nothing which has been hidden from man by God, his greatest revelation being the person of Jesus. Newton would agree with this, if his position as a biblical literalist is to be given any weight. (We have read one report that Newton veered closely to a nervous breakdown after dabbling in alchemy, which produced nothing of value to him.)

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 indeed can be said to have 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 of peace will return 49 years after Israel issues her call to return and rebuild their new nation. This arguably has not happened, depending on how one defines rebuilding a new nation. Israel has not yet experienced a gathering in of all of the Jews in the world in Israel, which has been foretold.

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).

***

A SECOND TAKE
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

Christ.”

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 × 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 of Peace. After 62 weeks the Messiah was cut off. After the 7 weeks He will come as Messiah the Prince. Some have believed 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, many Christians believe.

1 WEEK
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 Antichrist, 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 9:4)

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… “

(Daniel 9:27)

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 testament (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.

Newton’s interpretation of Daniel’s half a week:
“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 summarized his findings regarding the prophecy as follows: “Thus have we in this short Prophecy, a prediction of all the main periods relating 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 of 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.”

Sir Isaac Newton, the author of classical physics and a devout Christian, interpreted the Book of Daniel, providing insights which are still profound today.

Sir Isaac Newton, upon whose work nearly all of classical physics is built, was a deeply religious Christian, who saw the hand of God in all things. To him, all of the great laws of physics which he discovered, were the laws of God that testify of his design. He would have been appalled to know that centuries later, atheists would be claiming that he had really discovered self-existent laws, which explain the universe so well that God is no longer needed in the equation.

Newton wrote an entire book interpreting the prophecies of the Biblical books of Daniel and the Revelation of John (also called “The Apocalypse”). His insights vary in several respects from the “standard” modern Christian interpretations, and his perspicacity might well be vindicated as the rest of these prophecies are yet fulfilled. Besides his immense intellect, he provides a huge contribution which few can supply even today. He had a wealth of knowledge of ancient history, obtained by reading mountains of documents in the original Greek, Latin and Hebrew, in which he saw many of those prophecies literally fulfilled long after they had been revealed. To him, it was a proof of the foreknowledge of God, which was his purpose in writing the book.

His work, Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, published in 1733 (six years after his death and the year after George Washington’s birth), has recently been reprinted.1 This article is essentially a review of that book, focusing especially on the new contributions he made to the study of the first two visions of Daniel, in identifying exactly what kingdoms of the world are indicated.

***

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the greatest physicists and mathematicians of all time, born in England in 1642, about 22 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Galileo had laid a cornerstone of physics called “relativity” upon which Newton would build much of the rest of the edifice.

Johannes Kepler had just died in 1630, who had discovered three laws of planetary motion, which Newton would derive from his own laws. Physics can be divided into the pre-Newtonian period, which had changed little from the times of ancient Greece, and our modern post-Newtonian period after he provided his three laws of motion, law of gravity, and the mathematics of calculus. Words like inertia, momentum and acceleration had to be added to the language and then also given precise mathematical definitions. Finally in the twentieth century, Einstein and others added refinements in the fringe areas of the very fast, very small and very large, but for most physics problems of everyday life, and even to put a man on the moon, Newton’s laws suffice. Newton himself solved an incredible number of problems, including the refraction of light to make rainbows and explaining how the bulge at the equator of the earth causes the 26,000-year precession of the equinoxes. He even applied his law of gravity to determine the ancient position of the moon, reconstructing the Judean calendar to determine the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.2 An excellent biography of Newton is that by the science writer James Gleick who shows just how revolutionary Newton’s work was.3

1.1 Newton’s Religion
Newton was a devout Christian. He hoped that his entire work in physics would inspire men to believe in God. He stated that:

“When I wrote my treastise about our System I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.”4

He spends the first part of his book showing that while many of the other books of the Old Testament contain a wonderful and sacred history of God’s dealings with men, the Book of Daniel holds a special place of containing many detailed revelations directly from God about the kingdoms of the earth. Those kingdoms can be traced in history, verifying the foreknowledge of God. Even in his day people doubted the authenticity of the book (and of course even more so today) but as far as Newton was concerned, anyone who rejected the Book of Daniel rejected Christianity.:

Daniel was in the greatest credit amongst the Jews, till the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. And to reject his prophecies, is to reject the Christian religion. For this religion is founded upon his prophecy concerning the Messiah.5

He concluded his introductory chapter with:

Daniel is most distinct in order of time, and easiest to be understood, and therefore in those things which relate to the last times, he must be made the key to the rest.6

In other words, if you want to understand the Book of Revelation, be sure to understand the Book of Daniel first. However, he was careful only to use history to interpret already fulfilled prophecy, and not to fall in to the trap of predicting the future, as if he were a prophet himself:

The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence.

Sir Isaac Newton accepted the books of Daniel and Revelation as revelations from God. He viewed both books as detailed and accurate representations of the history of the world’s dominating kingdoms, and, in the case of Daniel, viewed it as prophesying both the first and second coming of Jesus. He understood that the scriptures taught that the true Church of Jesus Christ had been lost, and he awaited three separate future events: 1) the restoration of the gospel by an angel, 2) the re-establishment of the true church, and 3) the rise of a new world kingdom led by the Jesus himself, which will crush the kingdoms of the world as the stone pulverized the statue to powder.

He saw the whole purpose of these revelations is not to satisfy man’s curiosity about the future, but to be a testimony of the foreknowledge of God after they are all fulfilled in the last days. He proposed that the revelations can be understood by discovering rules governing their consistent imagery, but only after they have been fulfilled, unless an interpretation is given with the revelation. Truly Newton’s genius was remarkable, and we could learn much from his insights and systematic methods.

MORE on Newton as a biblical literalist.