07 The Time of the End pt 2

Discovering Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Good evening, and welcome back to our 7th night together. Tonight, if you remember, we are halfway through a subject that we started last night - so if, for some reason, you WEREN’T here last night, you’ll probably want to grab the notes from yesterday.
We ARE going to review a fair bit of last night’s presentation, because it’s really important material, but because this is so foundational, I’ll encourage you to catch up.
And of course, if you have any questions, you know where I am.
Last night we handed out some envelopes. If you wanted to give an offering—no pressure if you don’t—please drop those in the question box on the back table.
I mentioned last night that we’ll be moving our meeting location to the Cornerstone Christian School gym. You can grab a schedule for this week and the address will be at the top, or you could write it down from the screen. It’s super easy to get to: just got north, 3 miles PAST the 3 mile junction.

Questions and Answers

Question 1: Isn’t it true that the Bible has been corrupted over time, and now we have no idea what the original documents said?
No, that’s not true at all. We have far more manuscript evidence for the reliability of the Bible than just about any other ancient writings. And when we found the Dead Sea scrolls, which had been hidden in a cave for about 2000 years until we found them in the middle of the 20th century, we were amazed to find that they read the same way our modern Bibles read.
Now, it’s true that every so often, there are copyist mistakes and translation errors, but we have so much manuscript evidence that it’s easy to figure out where that may have happened and make the necessary corrections.
But we know for sure that we have essentially the same Bible today that Jesus and the disciples were reading (at least as far as the Old Testament is concerned), and we have the same New Testament books that the earliest Christians were reading in the first and second centuries.
And it just goes to show that God’s promise regarding the Bible is good:
[Isa 40:8 NKJV] 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."
Some people would like to pin down one specific translation as the best translation — and I agree that there are some translations that are better than others. The truth is that any translation of the Bible struggles to communicate the language of the Bible English or Chinese or Russian or Spanish, and it’s not easy to do. For example, in Greek there are at least four different words that are translated into the English word, Love. Greek has a lot more nuance in its communication than English does. Not to mention sentence structure, and the way that the Hebrew or Greek language impacted the thinking of the authors of the Bible. That’s a tall order, but I think that most translations do a pretty good job of accurately representing the thoughts and messages of the authors of the Bible. Since each translation is limited by the skills and mindset of its translators, it’s always safest to read widely and not confine your Bible study to just one translation. For reading in public, I like the New King James Version, but you might prefer the older King James or some other translation, and that’s fine.
Question 2: What do the first and second beasts mentioned in Revelation 13 mean?
Here’s what we’re going to do: instead of me just telling you what they mean, we’re going to study the foundations of Bible prophecy together, and I’ll give you the tools you need to study Bible prophecy for yourself. And eventually, we will get to that chapter, and I think the answer will be as clear as day.
So be patient, and let’s pick this up again when we’ve covered enough of the essential principles.
Question 3: Where did Cain find a wife?
This is a question that has fascinated people for many centuries. The Bible mentions, in Genesis 4:17, that Cain did indeed have a wife, and they had children together. But where in the world did she come from if we only had Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel?
What you have to remember is that the stories of Genesis take incredibly long spans of time and compress them into short stories. These people were living for many centuries, and there is little indication of how much time passed between Abel’s murder and Cain having children with his wife.
It’s also important to remember - and here’s the part that’s hard for us to wrap our heads around in our time - that the prohibition against marrying near relatives was not put in place for many centuries after Adam and Eve. We know that one of the key reasons for NOT marrying a near relative is the possibility of diseases and congenital defects that come from not broadening your family’s gene pool. But in the very beginning, I suppose, after the human race had been created perfect, the risks of a narrow gene pool were not the problem they later became.
And so it’s likely that Cain actually married his own sister - and Genesis 5:4 actually tells us that Adam had “sons and daughters” after Cain and Abel. So there was someone for Cain to marry, but it was probably his sister.
Aren’t you glad you have more options than that today?!

Upcoming Presentations

Tonight, we’re going to finish our study of “The Time of the End,” which will take us even deeper into the book of Daniel.
Then on Sunday night, what will it actually be like the day that Jesus returns? We’re going to open the Bible and look at five things you can know for sure.
And I promise you, even if you’ve studied this for years and years, you’re probably going to learn something new - because, after all, it IS one of the most talked-about subjects in the Bible.
On Tuesday night, “The Anatomy of Evil.” If you’ve ever wondered how God can be good and the world is STILL a bad place, then you’re not going to want to miss this - because we’re going to dive into Revelation chapter 12 and start finding some really incredible answers.
If God is good, then why do people suffer? If God is all-powerful, then how can terrorists bring down planes and shoot people in the street? Why do we have war and disease and suffering?
It’s a really big subject, and obviously we can’t answer EVERY question in an hour, but I promise you this: the material we’re going to study will give you a really solid foundation for understanding - and making sense - out of one of the trickiest problems philosophers have ever wrestled with.
Then on Wednesday night, our subject will be “The Ultimate Mind Game.” There is a battle going on for the hearts and minds of the human race, and if you’re part of the human race, I’m pretty sure you’ve sensed it.
And one of the biggest keys to winning that battle is simply knowing the enemy’s tactics. So on Wednesday night, we’re going to start by looking at a group of people in Revelation chapter 14 - and then we’ll peel back the layers, and I’ll show you some solid principles for dealing with temptation.
On Friday night, our topic is “The Coming of the Lawless One.” In the book of Second Thessalonians, Paul describes a wicked ruler who pretends to sit on God’s throne, and he promotes something the Bible calls “the mystery of iniquity,” or in some translations, “the mystery of lawlessness.”
This is a subject you don’t want to miss, because we’re going to study some of biggest themes in Bible prophecy. And it will help set the stage for . . .
. . . Saturday night, when we’ll look at “Revelation’s Sign of God.” In the last days, just before Jesus comes, the Bible says that God’s people will have a special message for the planet, and they will have a special sign that sets them apart as the people who follow the Lamb wherever He leads them.
I can almost guarantee that you’re going to learn something new - and THIS subject will set the stage for . . .
. . . “Revelation’s Forgotten History” on Sunday night so we have a bit of a trilogy going on:
“The Coming of the Lawless One”
“Revelation’s Sign of God”
and “Revelation’s Forgotten History.”
These are three subjects that will build on each other, and you're going to want to attend all three. On Sunday night, we’re going to go looking for a text that a lot of people are sure can be found in the Bible, and you and I are going to go looking for it.
Is it there?
Then on Tuesday night, with sincere apologies to Robert Redford, our subject will be “A River Runs Through It.” There is a river that begins in the Garden of Eden and leads all the way to the Paradise found in the book of Revelation. And the good news is, while you and I have to wait for Jesus to come back, you can already enjoy this river. You can have a little preview of the Paradise that God offers AFTER Jesus comes again.
Then on Wednesday night, we’re going to ask a VERY interesting question: what really happens one second after you close your eyes for the very last time, and draw your final breath?
Where do you go ONE SECOND after you die? . . . and I think you’re going to be utterly surprised at how much detail there really is in the Bible.
Tonight, our subject will be “The Time of the End, Part Two.”

Prayer

“Father in heaven, tonight we are absolutely amazed by how much detail You’ve provided in the pages of Bible prophecy. The path to Your throne is absolutely clear, and tonight, we ask that You would illuminate that path and bring us into Your presence. Please, I ask, forgive our sins, make us fit to study the Bible, and when You speak, we promise we will listen - and we will follow the Lamb. These things we pray, in Jesus’ holy Name, Amen.”
Tonight, I want to bring you back to your elementary school days and begin with a math lesson. Let’s pretend, for a moment, that this series of numbers on the screen is a number line.
Do you remember number lines? Good. And you may have told your teacher you would never actually use this in real life!
All the numbers to the left are negative numbers - all the numbers to the right are positive numbers - and this little gold line in the middle is zero.
So let’s do a math problem. What is negative two plus three? The answer is one. That’s a pretty easy problem.
Now let’s pretend that this ISN’T a number line, but it’s a date line. All of the numbers to the left of the gold line are the years BC - Before Christ - and all of the numbers to the right of the gold line are the years AD.
Are you with me?
Good. Now let’s do the same problem, but this time, we’re calculating YEARS instead of numbers. If we begin in the year 2 BC, and we move three years into the future, where do we land?
How many think the answer is one? That’s a pretty good answer, except that with years, you have to calculate just a little bit differently.
The answer is actually 2 AD, because there was no year zero. The year 1 BC was immediately followed by the year 1 AD. So you move three years down the line, skipping zero (because it doesn’t exist) and you land on 2 AD.
Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, all you have to remember is this:
When you calculate years, if you cross the BC/AD line, you just add one to the total.
How much do you add to the total? One.
OK, one more principle before we get started:
In Bible prophecy, the language is symbolic, and quite often, a day is used to represent a whole year.
So, for example, when Jesus tells the church of Smyrna that they’re going to suffer “ten days” of persecution in Revelation 2, that actually turned out to be ten years under the Emperor Diocletian.
This is a fairly prominent feature of Bible prophecy, and you find it all over the place:
So for example, when the people of Judah had sinned for 40 years, God told the prophet Ezekiel to show them how long they’d been sinning by having him publicly lie on his side for 40 days.
God said, “I have laid on you a day for each year.”
Does that make sense? In Bible prophecy, what does a day usually represent? A year.
Good. Now we have two new principles:
When you calculate dates and you cross from BC to AD, always add one to the total.
In Bible prophecy, a day usually represents a year.
Now we’re ready to pick up where we left off last night.
Last night, we studied Daniel chapter 8, and we discovered that it’s a parallel prophecy to Daniel chapter 2.
So we quickly reviewed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to give ourselves a reference point:
The head of gold was Babylon.
The chest and arms of silver represented Persia.
The belly and thighs made of bronze were the Greek empire.
The iron legs were the Romans, and the feet of iron and clay pointed to the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 AD and the fragmented Western Roman Empire.
That’s all review.
Then we turned to Daniel chapter 8, where . . .
. . . we had most of the same kingdoms, but different symbols.
There was a ram with two uneven horns, which represented the Medes and the Persians. And if you remember, we KNOW THIS FOR SURE, because Gabriel told us, point blank, that it represented Persia.
Then we saw a goat with one big notable horn, which symbolized who? Alexander, the first king.
That horn broke off, and it was replaced by four new horns, and those predicted the four generals who eventually took Alexander’s place.
And then we saw a little horn - and it was a pretty big subject, so we skimmed over it quickly - but that little horn represented the Romans - both in their united phase, and then in their divided phase.
So it kind of covers the same ground as the legs and the feet in the statue.
So we had a ram, a goat, and a little horn.
And then there was one more part - does anybody remember what that was?
It was the 2,300 days.
Daniel 8:14 NKJV
14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
This part of the prophecy was completely different. There were no animals, there were no horns, and there was no conquest. It’s just a prediction of time.
And this was the ONLY part of the prophecy where Gabriel didn’t really explain it. For everything else, Gabriel gave us a LOT of detail: the ram is Persia, the goat is Greece, the little horn is a “king who understands sinister schemes.”
Those three parts have LOTS of explanation - but the 2,300 days? Gabriel simply says it’s true, and it’s going to happen “many days in the future.”
And that’s it.
Daniel gets so upset, trying to understand it, that he actually gets sick. He KNOWS it’s important, but he can’t understand.
So does that mean that you and I can’t understand it?
Absolutely not.
You and I discovered some important clues:
In Daniel 8:17, we discovered that the vision “refers to the time of the end.”
In Daniel 8:19, we discovered that the 2,300 days refer to an “appointed” time at the end - and THEN we discovered that Paul describes a last-day event that IS appointed . . .
. . . and that event was the judgment!
Acts 17:31
He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.
Then we looked at the prophecy itself, and saw that in 2,300 days, “the sanctuary shall be cleansed,” so we went to the rest of the Bible looking for more information on the cleansing of the sanctuary.
So we have three big clues:
1. It’s a prophecy about the time of the end,
2. It’s a prophecy about a time that’s already appointed, and
3. It has something to do with the cleansing of the sanctuary.
When you look at all the evidence, the theme of the judgment comes up again and again - and there is no doubt that God is pointing us to the Old Testament sanctuary - which proves to be one of the most important keys for unlocking the book of Revelation.
There is no question that the language of Daniel 8 is sanctuary language. Not only does it MENTION the sanctuary, it also uses animals to describe the Persians and the Greeks - a ram and a goat - that would have been used as sacrifices in the sanctuary.
In other prophecies, you have unclean animals - like a bear, and a leopard - that would not have been used in the sanctuary but in THIS prophecy the animals are clean.
It’s another piece of evidence pointing us toward the sanctuary.
Plus: you’ll notice that Daniel chapter 8 actually talks about sacrifices, and mentions the sanctuary several times.
So the last time we met, we went on a tour of the Old Testament sanctuary (or tabernacle) to see what we could discover.
We saw the altar of burnt offering, where sinners would bring a sacrificial animal, confess their sins over it, and then the animal was sacrificed. And of course, that pointed forward to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sins.
We also saw the laver, a large wash basin where priests would have to cleanse themselves before they went inside the tabernacle, into the presence of God. And of course, that represents the cleansing that you and I need before WE can step into the presence of God.
Then we went inside, and we saw that the sanctuary had two rooms - the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
In the Holy Place - there was a seven-branched golden candlestick which pointed to Jesus, the light of the world.
There was a table of “showbread,” with twelve loaves of bread, which pointed to Jesus, the bread of life.
The priest was a symbol of Jesus, who is the great High Priest in heaven’s sanctuary.
And the altar of incense represented our prayers being mixed with the righteousness of Christ before they ascend into the presence of God.
Then, in the Most Holy Place, we found the Ark of the Covenant - a symbol of God’s throne - and this was the place where the presence of God would literally take up residence between the two angels - or cherubim.
How do I know that? That’s what the Bible says in Exodus 25:22
“…I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony.”
The Ark of the Covenant, or the “Ark of the Testimony,” represented God’s throne in heaven.
And if you study what the Bible says about Lucifer - you discover something really interesting. Ezekiel 28 calls him a “covering cherub.” The covering cherubs were the two angels on top of the Ark of the Covenant, and that means - at some time in the distant past - Lucifer actually had one of the most prominent positions in heaven. He was a covering cherub, standing right next to the throne of God.
The sanctuary is one of the most important keys for understanding Revelation - and if you read the book of Revelation very carefully, you’ll find sanctuary language all over the place:
In Revelation 11, John sees the throne of God in vision.
Revelation 11:19
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple.
In Revelation 1, John sees Jesus dressed like a High Priest, and standing where? “In the midst of the seven lampstands.”
In Revelation 5, Jesus appears in the throne room of heaven, but He doesn’t appear as a human being; He’s a slain Lamb, which is also sanctuary language.
Revelation 8:3
Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense that he
should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Now that’s not the altar of sacrifice, out in the courtyard — this is the altar of incense, right up against the curtain — and the smoke from that altar rises up in the presence of God’s throne, which is on the other side of the curtain.
It might be in the Holy Place, but its primary function has to do with the Most Holy Place.
Revelation 14 described the Second Coming with sanctuary language.
Revelation 14:15-18
And another angle came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has come
for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Now remember: a lot of the feasts in Israel had to do with harvest time - like the feast of the firstfruits - and that’s the reason you find the Second Coming described in the language of harvest so often.
In First Corinthians 15, Paul says Christ is the firstfruits, and then the rest of us become part of the harvest “at His coming.”
It’s all sanctuary language!
Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle, And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire
and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”
When it’s time for the Second Coming, they make an announcement in heaven - in the heavenly sanctuary.
This is one of the biggest keys to the book of Revelation, and I can’t emphasize this enough: there is a sanctuary in heaven.
The earthly sanctuary — the one that humans built —It was patterned after the REAL sanctuary that God built in heaven.
We saw that last night, from the book of Hebrews.
And the sanctuary motif isn’t just limited to the book of Revelation, either:
The prophet Isaiah ALSO saw it.
Isaiah 6:1
In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.
Where was God’s throne? In the TEMPLE.
This is easily one of the most dominant themes in the Bible.
Now . . . last night, we studied the sanctuary and its furniture, but we also looked at the seven festivals that happened every year.
There were seven feasts that showed us the complete work of Jesus for the church. The whole year proved to be a prophecy of Jesus’ ministry from the day He died on the cross to the day He comes again.
So you had the Passover, where a lamb was slain and the blood was smeared on the doorpost of your house in order to prevent the angel of death from visiting. That was a prediction of the cross, where the Lamb of God died to save us from the wages of sin.
Then you had the feast of unleavened bread, where all leaven was removed from your house, and that symbolized the removal of sin from your life.
On the third day, the priest would wave a sheaf of grain as an act of faith that the rest of the harvest would come, and that pointed us to the third day, when Jesus rose from the dead, becoming the “firstfruits of them who slept.” It was a guarantee that you and I will ALSO rise from the dead and become part of the harvest when Jesus comes again.
You had the feast of Pentecost, which pointed to the day when Jesus launched His New Testament church - on the VERY DAY of Pentecost.
Then you had a long break over the summer, which kind of synced with the Dark Ages, and then when fall came, you had three more feasts:
The feast of Trumpets, which was a solemn warning that you had ten more days to make things right with God - because the next feast was the Day of Atonement - the solemn day of judgment.
If you didn’t make things right by then, you were cast out of the camp of Israel forever.
And then the last feast was the feast of Tabernacles, when the people of Israel would go camping in little booths made of branches. It was a celebration of the fact that their time in the wilderness was over, and they were now in the Promised Land.
They were celebrating the fact that God had kept His promise to bring them home - and of course, THAT points to the second coming of Christ, when God will literally “tabernacle” with His people, and you and I will finally be home.
That’s what we studied last night.
But then we slowed down and examined the Day of Atonement.
Some people call it “Yom Kippur.” Ten days earlier, they blew the trumpets as a warning: you have ten days to make things right.
The Bible says that everybody was supposed to search their hearts. Leviticus 23:29 says, “For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.”
Everything - absolutely EVERYTHING - had to be right, or you would be removed from God’s people forever. This was your final chance.
And during the Day of Atonement, they had a special ritual to cleanse the temple, a ceremony you find in Leviticus 16:33
…then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting...
So WHY would the sanctuary need atonement? It’s usually PEOPLE who need atonement - not buildings.
Except that all year long, the sins of Israel were symbolically transferred into the sanctuary. You would confess your sins over a sacrificial lamb - then the lamb would die in your place - and the blood was carried into the tabernacle.
It was all symbolic of Jesus taking your sins on Himself - but that meant that symbolically. All that sin was IN the sanctuary, in the presence of God.
So once a year, they cleansed the building:
It was the most solemn day of the year, and two goats were chosen. One was called “the Lord’s goat,”- it was sacrificed, and the blood was carried into the sanctuary.
That was a symbol of Jesus.
The high priest - who was ALSO a symbol of Jesus - went ALONE into the Most Holy Place, carrying that blood - and he sprinkled it on the lid of the ark, which was called “the mercy seat.”
This was a very solemn occasion. If everything wasn’t exactly right, the high priest would drop dead in the presence of God.
The Day of Atonement is also mentioned in the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 9:7
But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins...
The High Priest when into the second compartment - the Most Holy Place - by himself, just once a year - and he offered the blood in the presence of God.
He did that on Yom Kippur, the day of judgment, and he did it every year, until . . .
. . . suddenly, at the death of Christ, an unseen hand suddenly ripped the veil in two, exposing the Most Holy Place.
It was the moment when all those rituals in the temple were suddenly finished. Why? It’s because the REAL Lamb of God had just come and died on the cross.
The REAL Lamb of God had just died in the courtyard of the Heavenly Sanctuary, and He was going back to HEAVEN’S SANCTUARY as our great High Priest.
When Jesus died, we no longer needed the earthly sanctuary - we no longer needed the symbol - because we had the real thing.
Now, the Lamb of God is our High Priest in the real sanctuary - the one in heaven:
Hebrews 9:24 NKJV
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
We have the REAL Lamb, and the real sanctuary.
Now let’s get back to our prophecy:
Daniel 8:14 NKJV
14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
Let me ask you: when was the sanctuary cleansed? On Yom Kippur, the day of judgment.
So what is Daniel trying to tell us?
This is absolutely amazing. Gabriel DIDN’T explain this in Daniel chapter 8, but in Daniel chapter 9, he comes back!
That’s why you always have to read the whole thing!
Daniel chapter 9 opens with Daniel praying for understanding. And while he’s praying, he suddenly gets a visitor - the angel Gabriel, the same angel who visited him at the beginning of this story.
Daniel 9:21-22
Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.
And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.”
In other words, Gabriel is saying, “Daniel, I know you didn’t get this the first time, so now I’m going to explain it.”
And for the rest of this chapter, Gabriel explains it - by giving Daniel something known as the “70-week prophecy.”
Now, before we look at it, let’s review our two new principles:
If you’re calculating dates, and you go from BC to AD, how much do you add to the total? One.
And in Bible prophecy, what does a day represent? A year.
How many days would there be in a week? Seven days. So a “week” in Bible prophecy would actually be seven years. Does that make sense?
Good. We’re going to move carefully and methodically, because we’re about to cover a LOT of material. And we’re going to let the Bible speak for itself, because the 70-week prophecy is something a lot of people talk about, but most people rip it out of context.
Let’s get started.
Daniel 9:24
Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city...
Let me ask you: who are Daniel’s people? The Jews. And which city would be Daniel’s city? Jerusalem.
What Gabriel is saying is very important:
“Daniel, seventy weeks are DETERMINED for your people.”
The original word is CHATHAK, which means “set aside,” or “cut off” from something else.
He’s cutting off seventy weeks from the prophecy of Daniel chapter eight - the vision from the beginning that Daniel was trying to understand.
“Daniel, seventy weeks are cut off from the prophecy for YOUR people and YOUR city.”
So let me ask you: how many days in a week? Seven. And a day represents what? A year.
This is SEVENTY weeks, which is 490 days. And 490 days is how many years? 490 years.
This is very important: Daniel 9 does not stand alone. Gabriel is taking seventy weeks or 490 years, out of the prophecy of Daniel chapter 8.
So let’s put that in a chart:
There were 2,300 days in Daniel chapter 8.
And there are 490 days in Daniel chapter 9.
Those first 490 days are cut out from the longer prophecy, and they’re set aside for Daniel’s people. It’s a prophecy about the Jews and the city of Jerusalem.
What we don’t know is when the prophecy starts. But Gabriel is about to explain that, too.
Daniel 9:25
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 sixty-two weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
“Daniel, after 69 weeks, Messiah will come.”
That’s seven weeks, plus sixty-two weeks. Sixty-nine weeks.
And when does THAT begin? When the decree to rebuild Jerusalem goes out.
And that’s something we know for sure. Under the Persians, there were several decrees that allowed the Jews to return to the Promised Land, but the one where it all took effect? That happened in 457 BC, under a king by the name of Artaxerxes. Not only did he let them go back, but he actually financed their mission — he gave them what they needed to rebuild.
You can read the whole decree in Ezra chapter 7 - and it gives us our starting date:
457 BC.
Now here’s what we know:
Gabriel said that it would be 69 weeks until Messiah the Prince, which is 483 years (remember, a day for a year) — and of course, you add one to the total when you cross the BC/AD line, so
that takes us to 27 AD.
Now 27 AD happens to be the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. Does anybody know what happened in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar?
The baptism of Jesus. According to Luke chapter 3, that happened in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. And on that occasion, the heavens opened, and God announced the beginning of His Son’s ministry.
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus spent so many years in relative obscurity? It’s because, according to Daniel 9, it wasn’t time to begin His earthly ministry.
So we have 69 weeks until Messiah makes His public appearance - but the WHOLE prophecy is SEVENTY WEEKS, * which takes us down to 34 AD.
And does anybody know what happened in THAT year? The stoning of Stephen.
Stephen the deacon makes one last appeal to the nation of Israel - one last appeal to accept Messiah - he reviews the whole history of Israel - and they reject it, and they stone him to death.
And THAT was the beginning of a great persecution, spearheaded by none other than Saul of Tarsus, who later became the apostle Paul.
And the Bible says that persecution scattered the believers, which means that the gospel is suddenly carried all over the place.
The gospel goes to the Gentiles.
In the words of Jesus, in Mathew 21, the vineyard is rented out to someone else. He says, “The kingdom of God will be given to a nation bearing the fruit of it.”
In 34 AD, the seventy weeks is over. The special period of time set aside for Daniel’s people is finished, and the gospel goes to the Gentiles.
And according to the Bible, that means that EVERYBODY can now be an Israelite. YOU can be an Israelite. Paul writes:
Galatians 3:29 NKJV
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
You and I can be descendants of Abraham, even if we don’t have a drop of Jewish blood.
Listen to what Paul says:
Romans 2:28, 29
For he is not a jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart.
Now, I want to be clear: the people of Israel will always have a special place in God’s heart - but the sharp distinction between Jew and Gentile is now gone. The difference is not about genetics, but about belief—the heart. The promises of God are not for those who are born as children of Abraham, but for those who are born again as children of Christ.
And honestly, the whole national Jewish identity was always SUPPOSED to disappear. The Bible teaches that Israel was supposed to be a “light to the Gentiles” - they were supposed to bring the Gentiles INTO the covenant family - and now, under the New Testament, that’s exactly what God has done.
You and I have been grafted in. Listen to what the Bible says:
Romans 10:12
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
The distinction is gone. The time was up - there were 70 weeks, or 490 years for Daniel’s people. Stephen is put to death, and the gospel goes out to the rest of the world.
And that happens in 34 AD.
So we’ve got the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 BC.
We’ve got the baptism of Jesus - the appearance of Messiah - right on schedule in 27 AD
and the close of the time set aside for Daniel’s people in 34 AD.
And it would be amazing enough for a prophecy to predict the exact timeline of Jesus’ ministry and death and the gospel going to the Gentiles, but there’s more!
At some point AFTER the 62 weeks, which are part of the 69 weeks, Messiah would be cut off for other people. So when was Messiah cut off?
At the cross. And that DID happen after His baptism.
Then Gabriel says that someone would come and destroy the temple - AGAIN. And of course, that happened, too, in AD 70, when a Roman general named Titus marched into Jerusalem and absolutely destroyed the temple.
So you’ve got the death of Christ, and the sack of Jerusalem. So let’s put that on the chart:
At some point after His baptism - Jesus dies on the cross. And we know that happens before the stoning of Stephen, so we’ll put it here, after the 69 weeks.
That is VERY specific - but it gets even MORE specific.
Let me ask you: how much time elapses between 27 AD and 34 AD? It’s seven years. In prophecy, it’s ONE WEEK - the SEVENTIETH week.
Now listen to this:
Daniel 9:27
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering...
So let me ask you: who put an end to the sacrificial system? I’m not asking who caused problems in the system or who delayed the system. I’m asking, who made the sacrifice and offering system obsolete—ending any need for it?
It was Jesus.
They no longer NEEDED the sacrifices, because the real Lamb of God had come and given His life on the cross - so the hand of God rips the veil in two.
This is clearly a prophecy about Jesus.
And yet if you read SOME modern books, they try to say this is a prophecy about the antichrist - but read the ninth chapter of Daniel very carefully, and it’s obvious: he’s talking about Messiah the Prince. He says MESSIAH is cut off for other people.
This is a prophecy about JESUS Christ, not ANTIchrist - and it’s only in the past 150 years or so that anybody has tried to make this about something other than Jesus.
This is CLEARLY about Messiah. And it says that in the middle of the week, Messiah brings an end to sacrifices, which is exactly what Jesus did.
So let’s put that on the chart.
The middle of the week would be the spring of 31 AD, when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. He brings the sacrifices to an end, and the veil in the temple is torn in two.
And it happened RIGHT ON TIME. There can be no doubt that Jesus is EXACTLY who He claimed to be. More than 500 years in advance, Daniel saw it all, and he even gave us dates.
There is no question that the Bible is NOT a human document - it is inspired by God.
Now let me slow down and address a couple things:
If you look online for the date of Jesus death you’re going to find what I found just a few days ago when I was exploring the exact date of Jesus’ death. Biblical scholars do two things to find the date, a) they narrow down the historical figures associated with the crucifixion and the intersection of their time in public office. That narrows the date to between 29 AD and 36 AD. Then, based on the fact that the Bible states Jesus died on the preparation day—the 6th day of the week—they go looking for when the new moon landed on a Friday, the 6th day. That could only be 30 AD or 33 AD, as I stated earlier this week in my Q&A time. But the problem with that reasoning is that the Jews didn’t use our calendar to figure out when the new moon was (and the new moon was essential for finding when passover should be). They calculated it from the time they could see a sliver of the moon for a reasonable chunk of time. NASA says the New Moon in AD 31 was on a Wednesday. But since you wouldn’t be able to see the New Moon until typically a day or two after the “official” astronomical new moon, the Jews would very likely have been celebrating the Passover on a Friday in AD 31. This means that the prophecy in Daniel is also backed up by the astronomical data and Jewish practice of Jesus’ day. (https://clearbibleanswers.org/books-michael-pedrin/lunar-sabbath-the-big-lie/93-ad-31-and-the-friday-crucifixion-lunar-sabbath.html?showall=1)
The second thing that I want to point out is that in recent years, some people have taken this last week of the prophecy - the 70th week - and they have removed it from the rest of the prophecy and put it down at the end of time.
They say that it represents seven final years of earth’s history. This is in spite of the fact that there is nothing in the text here in Daniel 9 to suggest you can separate this week from the other 69 weeks.
So let me ask you: does that make sense? Does the 70th week come after the 69th week, or does it come at some random moment in the future?
Let’s just think logically. Let’s say I told you it was 70 miles to my house, so you allowed yourself about an hour to get there. But after four hours, you still haven’t found the right exit on the freeway, so you call me.
“I thought you said it was 70 miles!”
“Well, it is - but what I forgot to tell you is that there are 2,000 miles between the 69th mile and the 70th mile!”
Does that make any sense? Of course not - and it doesn’t make any sense here, either.
This is a chronology — a timeline — and the 70th week comes right after the 69th.
Now let’s finish the prophecy - because some people DO think that antichrist is mentioned in the very last verse. So let’s read it.
Gabriel says that Messiah would be cut off, and then this happens . . .
Daniel 9:27
… and on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
Now let me ask you: after Jesus dies, what was left desolate? The temple. In Matthew 23, Jesus told the priests, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate.”
And who did that? It was the Romans, in AD 70.
What you have in Daniel chapter 9 is a parallel structure. It gives the same idea twice, which is a pattern you find all through the Bible.
First it tells us that Messiah is cut off, and
then it says a prince would come to destroy the temple. That’s the crucifixion, and the destruction of the temple.
Then it says that Messiah would bring an end to the sacrificial system in the middle of the week,
and then someone would come and destroy the temple.
It’s saying the same thing twice: Jesus is crucified, and the Romans destroy the temple.
And all of this makes perfect sense, because the WHOLE POINT of the prophecy is to show Daniel when time runs out for his people.
There is no need to chop up this prophecy and move pieces all over the place, because it makes perfect sense if you read it in context.
So let’s look at it.
You’ve got 70 weeks for Daniel’s people, and we know that ends in 34 AD.
You’ve got 69 weeks until Messiah the Prince, and Jesus is baptized in 27 AD.
It says that Messiah brings an end to the sacrifices in middle of the week, and He’s cut off in the crucifixion in 31 AD - right on schedule.
It’s absolutely breathtaking. And Gabriel says that THIS prophecy - the 70 weeks - is lifted out of the 2,300 days.
He just solved the puzzle.
The 2,300 years ALSO begin in 457 BC, and if you remember to add one as you cross the BC/AD line, * it ends in the year 1844.
After the Dark Ages.
Do you realize what this means? The spring festivals pointed us to the earthly ministry of Jesus - and after a long break, the fall festivals pointed to the end of time.
After 2,300 days, the sanctuary will be cleansed. It’s not the second coming of Christ, but it IS the beginning of the time of the end.
Slowly and deliberately:
It's the heavenly Yom Kippur, the real Day of Atonment, the hour of judgment.
That means that today, the books are already open, and the scene from Daniel 7 is already taking place:
Daniel 7:9-10
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his
throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto
Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
At some point, before Jesus comes, the judgment begins. And when the judgment is over, Jesus receives a kingdom - the next event in Daniel chapter 7:
Daniel 7:14
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting
dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
The moment is coming when the stone will smash the statue, and the kingdoms of men will pass away forever.
The moment is coming when Jesus will establish HIS kingdom, the one that lasts forever - and He does it the moment the judgment is finished.
Do you realize what this means? We’re just about there. The history of THIS planet is just about finished.
The judgment hour is under way, and when it’s finished, history is over.
And when Jesus comes, the decisions are made.
Revelation 22:12 KJV 1900
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Let me ask you: how can Jesus give out rewards when He comes? It’s because the judgment is already finished. It happens JUST BEFORE HE RETURNS.
And at some moment, the world will KNOW that the judgment hour has begun.
Revelation 14:6-7
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto
them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice,
Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come…
It’s really true. There really IS a time of the end, and you and I are already there. And that means that the kingdom of Christ is just around the corner.
Just about everything the Bible has predicted has already happened. We are just a heartbeat away from the Second Coming. Jesus came the first time, exactly the way the Bible said, and right on time.
There were literally dozens of prophecies designed to let the world know when Jesus would come. The SANCTUARY showed us in detail.
And now the Bible says He’s coming again - and it’s not going to be wrong about THAT either.
God is not going to let human suffering last forever. So my question for you is this:
Where are you with Jesus? Because at some point very soon, they’re going to close the books, and Jesus will come - and then it’s over.
So where are YOU with Jesus right now?
Tonight, if you stand with Jesus - if you choose HIM to represent you in the final judgment - if you choose to believe that the cross covers your sins, and you want to be ready for Jesus to come, then stand with me and pray.

Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we are astounded at the way You laid out world history in advance, and we can see it: Jesus IS the Lamb of God, the Messiah. We believe that He died for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and that He’s coming again. Right now, at this moment, we are standing to say we believe. We believe that You will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and we believe that through Jesus, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“We know that we’re sinners, but we choose to believe, and we long to see Jesus come. It’s our prayer that He would come quickly - in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Good night - we’ll see you tomorrow night at the Cornerstone Christian School, when we’ll actually LOOK at the second coming of Christ in detail.
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