CHAPTER FIVE - INTERLUDE

REVELATION CHAPTER FIVE - INTERLUDE

 

CHAPTER FIVE INTERLUDE

 

The events recorded in Revelations 6:1 through Revelation 19:21 are connected with the last or "Seventieth Week" of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks." It is necessary to stop here and understand the importance of this connection.

 

The ninth chapter of Daniel centers clearly upon the person of Jesus Christ and is one of the few places in Scripture where God ties himself to a definite timetable of events. This passage is therefore one of the strongest evidences to prove the divine inspiration of the Bible.

 

Many of us are frequently asked why we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and it is helpful to know certain passages which clearly set forth predictive elements that are unmistakable and which do indicate the ability of the Bible to predict events far in the distant future. This could only be by divine power.

 

The passage we are looking at is that kind of passage. It pinpoints the exact moment in history when the Jewish Messiah would present himself to the Jewish people, and it does so over five hundred years before the event took place. It is so plain and detailed that it has always been an acute embarrassment to Jewish commentators.

 

In the seventeenth century a very learned Jew published a book in which he set forth the claims of Jesus Christ to be the Jewish Messiah. In the preface to the book he told how he himself had been converted by listening to a debate between a knowledgeable Jew and a Christian convert from Judaism over the meaning of this passage in Daniel 9. The moderator of the debate was a learned rabbi, and as the Christian pressed the claims of this passage home it became so clear that the passage was pointing to Jesus Christ that the rabbi closed the debate with these words: "Let us shut up our books, for if we go on examining the prophecy we shall all become Christians."

 

This prophecy is not a vision nor a dream. It was not given to Daniel through means that we have seen already in the book, but it is a direct message to the prophet from the angel Gabriel. This is the same angel that appeared to Joseph and to Mary, as recorded in the opening chapters of the New Testament. The angel Gabriel was sent to the prophet Daniel to give him a clear and undisguised look into the future in answer to a prayer of the prophet. The first part of the chapter is taken up with that prayer, which we shall not repeat here, for we want to focus on the prophetic elements of the chapter, but do read the prayer through.

 

It occurred, Daniel tells us, "in the first year of Darius the king, the son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede." Therefore, at this time the Medes and the Persians had taken over the former empire of Babylon.

 

Daniel was himself an old man, almost ninety years of age. He had been reading, as he tells us, the prophet Jeremiah. It is interesting to note that Daniel also studied the Scriptures. Though he was a prophet and God spoke to him directly, yet he learned many things from the Scriptures. Where God has spoken in writing, he does not add a vision. From his study of Jeremiah, Daniel realized that he was nearing the time of the end for the predicted seventy years of Babylonian captivity. Daniel himself had lived through this whole period for he was but a teenager when he was captured and taken to Babylon. Now, almost seventy years later, he realizes that the time of predicted deliverance was near, and so he begins to pray on the basis of the promise of God.

 

That is very revealing, and it tells us an awful lot about prayer. Prayer is not merely an exercise in asking God for things; prayer is primarily a means by which we get involved in God's program. When Daniel learned what God's program was he prayed that he might be involved in it, that he might have a part in it and thus to cooperate with what God was doing. This desire is reflected throughout this beautiful prayer. He did not simply say, "Well, it is all going to happen anyway so there's no use in worrying about it or praying about it." Had he said that the predicted events would have happened, but Daniel would have had no part in them. Thus this is a means by which the prophet gets involved in God's work.

 

This prayer is one of the most impressive in the Bible. It is a model prayer for any who are concerned over national decay. If we are concerned about the state of our country today, I suggest that we read Daniel's prayer through and see how beautifully and wonderfully he gathers up the whole situation, realistically appraises it, and lays it before God. He did not pray, as some of us do, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep." This is a searching, penetrating prayer of confession, of praise, and of earnest petition to God. To read it is a moving and powerful experience.

 

But Daniel was interrupted as he prayed and never finished. His report of that interruption is in Daniel 9:20-23 - "And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."

 

Notice especially the exhortation of the angel to understand the vision. This is especially significant in view of the reference Jesus himself makes in his famous prophetic message delivered on the Mount of Olives just before his crucifixion and recorded in Matthew 24:15 - There he refers to this prophecy of Daniel and says, " When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" ,thus indicating how they would know that the time of the end had arrived. Matthew adds in parenthesis these words "(let the reader understand.)" There is thus a clear exhortation on the part of both the angel Gabriel and the Lord Jesus Christ that readers should carefully consider and understand this passage. Someone has properly called it "the backbone of prophecy." Everything else must fit into the outline of this great prophetic revelation in Daniel Chapter 9. See attached chart.

 

There are two general parts to the prophecy. It occupies but a few verses (24 to 27), and is divided into two sections. There is first a listing of the objectives that are to be accomplished during the course of the prophecy; and, second, there is a three-fold division of the time set forth. We have the first section in Daniel 9:24 - " 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."

 

There are three wonderful things to note about that first section:

  1. There is a specific time period decreed. "Seventy weeks of years, "says the angel Gabriel. What explanation can we give this, "Seventy Weeks of Years?" See Numbers 14:34 - "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise." A day for a year! See Ezekiel 4:6 - "And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year." A day for a year! So if we have seventy weeks times 7 days/week then we have 490 days and if on God's time scale a day is a year, then 490 days is equal to 490 years. As we can see then, a week of days is seven days, and a week of years would be seven years, thus there would be seventy periods of seven years. If we multiply seventy times seven we have a total period of four hundred and ninety years. It is all in agreement. This time is decreed (literally, cut off or apportioned), unto a certain specified people; "your people," said the angel to the prophet. Daniel's people would clearly be the nation Israel. Furthermore, the prophecy would concern Daniel's holy city. There is only one holy city that Daniel was interested in and that was the city of Jerusalem.
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  3. We have a clear limitation of this prophecy to a time period involving only the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. In other words, this timetable has no effect if the Jews are not in Jerusalem. It is operative only when the Jewish people are in Jerusalem. When did the Jews return to Jerusalem? May 15, 1948. THEREFORE……WATCH!
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  5. There are six goals which are detailed to be accomplished during this stretch of four hundred and ninety years.

 

They divide into two halves. The first three deal with the work of redemption:

  1. "to finish the transgression"
  2. " to make an end of sins"
  3. "to make reconciliation for iniquity"

Notice that they all have to do with solving the problem of sin.

 

The next three deal with the final realization of the hopes and dreams of men. They are, specifically:

  1. "to bring in everlasting righteousness," i.e., to establish the kingdom of God, the kingdom for which we pray in the Lord's prayer, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Thy kingdom come, thy will he done..." {cf, Matthew 5:10}. That is what it means to bring in everlasting righteousness.
  2. "to seal up the vision and prophecy" Now the Hebrew phrase, "to seal" means to complete, to bring to an end. It means that all predictions are to be completed, fulfilled, and there is no longer any need to predict a future event.
  3. "to anoint the most Holy" can only refer to the temple in Jerusalem. It is clear from this that there must be a temple in Jerusalem in order for these four hundred and ninety years to be fulfilled.

 

That gives us an overall view of the prophecy. The full course of it would cover four hundred and ninety years, at the end of that period the problem of human sin would be solved, and the problem of human suffering would have ended. All this is to take place within the predicted time period.

 

The second section marks out for us a three-fold division of the four hundred and ninety years. The first two divisions are described in 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 threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

 

What is Gabriel talking about here? He says there is a definite starting point when the four hundred and ninety years would begin. It is a clear-cut, precise act, recorded in history. It is the time when a decree should go forth to build the city and walls of Jerusalem.

 

In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are recorded several decrees by Persian kings concerning Israel, but two of them clearly relate to the building of the temple. The temple was built before the city walls were restored. There is only one decree (recorded in Nehemiah, Chapter 2), that gave permission to the Jews to rebuild the walls and city of Jerusalem, and that decree is precisely dated. It reveals one of those remarkable "coincidences" which are really not coincidences at all, to learn that the historian Herodotus (who is called the father of history), was a contemporary of the king, Artaxerxes, who issued that decree. Both Herodotus and the other famous historian of those ancient days, Thucydides, record the career and dates of this king, thus he is one ancient king whose dates are clearly and unmistakably recorded for us.

 

According to Nehemiah 2, the decree was issued in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes. We can pinpoint that precisely as occurring on March 14, 445 BC. (Other commentators pick a different starting point. They recognize the same event, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, but they date it at 454 BC. That is because they are following Bishop Ussher, the seventeenth-century Irish bishop who took it upon himself to insert dates into our Bible. But he had a great deal of trouble with his dates. It was he who dated creation at 4004 BC. Bishop Ussher has been proved wrong in a number of cases, and the interesting thing is that no secular historian has ever accepted the date 454 BC for Artaxerxes' 20th year.) The secular historians all give the date 445 BC. That is the correct starting point of the four hundred and ninety year period. Those who use 454 BC as the starting point find the termination for the first 69 weeks at 30 AD, which is sometimes regarded as the date of the crucifixion.

 

The angel also indicated that this 490 year period would be divided, first into two divisions, one of seven weeks, and then sixty-two weeks. Seven weeks of seven years each is forty-nine years. During that forty-nine year period the city was to be built again, "with squares and moat, but in a troubled time." History has clearly fulfilled that. The city of Jerusalem was built again. The walls were repaired and the entire city was restored once more. That carries us down to the close of the Old Testament period. Then would follow sixty-two weeks of years, which would be a period of four hundred and thirty-four years. Add this to the forty-nine years and there is a total of four hundred and eighty-three years unto the coming of one here called "an anointed one, a Prince." Now anointed one is the Hebrew word for Messiah. There are no articles in the Hebrew at all. It is not "an anointed one, a Prince," but it is simply, "Messiah, prince." So what the angel says is, from the going forth of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem unto the coming of Messiah Prince would be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, or a total of four hundred and eighty-three years.

 

Now that is very precise, is it not? We cannot find a more precise timetable of events anywhere in the Bible. If it began on March 14, 445 B.C., and we add to that four hundred and eighty-three years, to the exact month (because we know that the month in which the edict to rebuild Jerusalem was issued was the Hebrew month Nisan, which splits across our months of March and April), then it brings us down to April, 30 AD. Wait a minute doesn't 445 BC plus 30 AD = 475 years? How can we account for this difference? We must realize that there are "years" of different lengths. A lunar year is 354 days. The calendar year has 360 days. A solar year has 365 days. The Julian, or Astronomical Year, has 365¼ days where it is necessary to add one day every four years to the calendar. Which one of these years should we use for our calculations? We find the "KEY" in the Word of God.

 

Genesis 7:11 - 14 - In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

 

Genesis 8: 3 - 4 - And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

 

In this Genesis account we see that from "the second month, the seventeenth day of the month" to " the seventh month, on the seventeenth day" is five months and is equal to 150 days. Here, then, is the "KEY" - 30 days per month or 360 days/year. So we see that we are to use in "Prophetical Chronology" a calendar of 360 days/year rather than 365¼ days/year. If we work this out carefully, as certain chronologers have done, we find that there are 476 years inclusively! 476 years x 365¼ days/Astronomical year = 17389 days. 17389 days/360 days/prophetic year = 483 prophetic years! These four hundred and eighty-three years (seven years short of the full four hundred and ninety), was fulfilled on the very day the Lord Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, with the multitude of disciples bearing palm branches in their hands going before him crying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!" Thus he fulfilled Zechariah's prophecy, " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zechariah 9:9.

 

Luke tells us that on that occasion the Lord said a most significant thing. Luke says, " And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, " Luke 19:41.

 

What kind of a triumphal entry is this? "He wept over it!" And what does it mean, "Would that even today..."? Why "this thy day"? Because that very day was the fulfillment of the four hundred and eighty-three years. Jesus went on to say,

 

" And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:41 -44.

 

Here is our Lord's prediction of the destruction of the city, fulfilled by Titus, the Roman general, forty years later. Then he said these very significant words. All this will happen, he said, "... because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:44b

 

They should have known. Daniel had indicated very plainly, exactly to the day, when Messiah would come, but they "did not know the time of their visitation." They prided themselves on being students of Scripture. Jesus had said to them, " Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." - John 5:39.

 

Thus they missed the time of their visitation.

 

That brings us then to the remarkable events that follow, for, in the next section of Daniel 9, we read of what occurs after the four hundred and eighty-three years, but before the seven-year period begins. It is a very strange interlude.

 

"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." Daniel 9:26

 

"After the sixty-two weeks (i.e.. after the four hundred and eighty-three years), "shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." The gospel accounts record that it was one literal week of seven days after the triumphal entry that the Lord Jesus was crucified on the little hill that stands outside the Damascus gate, north of the city of Jerusalem, and literally "not for himself." As John tells us in the opening words of his gospel, "He came unto his own, but his own received him not," John 1:11.

 

He came to offer himself as king to the nation that had learned of his coming for many centuries from the prophets, but instead of a crown he received a wreath of thorns; instead of a scepter, a broken reed was put into his hands; instead of a throne, he hung upon a bloody cross. He "had not for himself" for which he came. But in that crucifixion the redemption of the nation Israel and of the whole world was accomplished. There he made an end of sin, he finished transgression and atoned for iniquity. That first part of the predicted accomplishments was fulfilled when our Lord was "cut off" on the cross, after the sixty-two weeks.

 

Then, Daniel was told, "the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city." That occurred in 70 AD, forty years after our Lord's crucifixion. If the seventieth week, the final period of seven years, had followed the sixty-ninth week without a break then the whole period of four hundred and ninety years would have ended sometime in the period of the book of Acts. But there is no account in Acts to indicate when this period ended. It is very clear that there is some kind of gap between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week, a gap of indeterminate length. There is a long period during which the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Roman people. As we shall see, "the prince to come" is a reference to the Antichrist who is a Roman, the last Caesar of the Roman world. But the city was not to be destroyed by him, but by "the people of the prince who is to come." That the Romans would destroy the city, but not the final Roman head, is very clear from this prophecy.

 

This, of course, is exactly what happened. Roman armies under Titus came in and surrounded the city and its end came with a flood. One of the most horrible sieges of all history is recorded for us by Josephus, the historian who was present and saw it as an eyewitness. He describes the terrible days in which Jerusalem was under siege by the Roman armies, and how starvation and famine stalked the streets of the city; people died by the hundreds and bodies were stacked up in the streets like cord wood. Mothers ate their own children in order to survive. But finally the city was overthrown. The walls were breached and the Romans entering in were so angered by the stubborn resistance of the Jews that they disobeyed the orders of their general and burned the temple, melting the gold and silver so that it ran down between the cracks of the stones. In order to get at the metal they pried the stones apart with bars and thus fulfilled our Lord's prediction that not one stone would be left standing upon another.

 

All this is history and it all happened during a time gap in the seventy weeks. The seventieth week has not even yet come. The gap has covered over 1900 years so far.

 

This is not a new teaching. It was held by some of the earliest church fathers. For instance, at about the beginning of the third century Hippolytus, speaking of this very prophecy said. "By 'one week' he meant the last week which is to be at the end of the whole world." So it is very clear that there is to be a gap in time of indeterminate length.

 

That brings us to the last week. The last seven years!

 

"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." Daniel 9:27

 

Who is this strange individual referred to as he? "He shall make a strong covenant with many [this refers to the nation Israel, the mass of the Jews] for one week." [He must have already been referred to in this prophecy or the angel would not have simply used a pronoun to identify him. The nearest antecedent and the only one which matches grammatically, is the reference to "the prince that shall come."] " When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: [then don't wait; get out of Jerusalem as fast as you can!]) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:15 - 21

 

This clearly indicates that this last week of Daniel's prophecy lies yet unfulfilled. We can expect to see the rise of a Western confederacy of nations, which may even be taking shape today, and which will ultimately be dominated by this strange individual who has appeared in these prophetic sections. He will make an agreement with the Jews as a nation, possibly to allow the construction of a temple once again. This is why the whole Christian world is watching Israel constantly and hanging on every rumor concerning the building of a temple again on the ancient site. There must be a temple in the days when these final events occur.

 

"He shall make a covenant with many," evidently refers to an agreement to allow the restoration of Jewish worship in Jerusalem. In the midst of the week, after three and a half years, "he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease," and, as we have learned from previous prophecies, shall set up an image in the temple, an image of himself, the Roman ruler, to be worshipped as God. This is what Jesus called "the abomination of desolation." This shall go on "until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." We know what that end is. Both John, in Revelation, and Paul, in Second Thessalonians, have told us his end will be at the appearance again of Jesus Christ. Zechariah says, " And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. " Zechariah 14:4.

 

He will return to the very Mount from which He left the earth. He will wreak vengeance upon the nations assembled against Jerusalem and especially against this blasphemous individual who has come into control of the world.

 

This all fits in very closely with other prophetic portions. We do not have any doubts about its general thrust. The passage is so tremendously significant because it already has been partly fulfilled in precise accuracy concerning the first coming of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, we can rest assured that the rest of it will be as fully and accurately fulfilled as the first part was. This is a helpful passage to use with those who deny the supernatural element in the Scriptures.

 

But, someone may ask, how do we explain this long gap? Why does this great parenthesis of time come between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week? The only explanation seems to be that there is a note of contingency about God's predicted events. God says that something is going to happen, and the ultimate fulfillment of it is sure, but the time of its fulfillment relates to the behavior of those concerned and their reaction to the prophecy.

 

We have this clearly set forth in the book of Jonah. Jonah went to Nineveh and prophesied, "Yet forty days and the city will be overthrown," {cf, Jonah 3:4}. But the people of Nineveh repented. They stopped dead in their tracks, and from the king down to the humblest citizen they put on sackcloth and ashes, stopped all the business of the city, and repented before God of their wickedness. The result was, forty days went by and nothing happened. God delayed, postponed, the fulfillment. As we know, Jonah was unhappy about that. He did not like God's postponement, but God showed him that his own heart was hard and callous.

 

All this confirms what we have here. There is a strange element of contingency in prophecy. Perhaps a word of Peter's from the third chapter of Acts will help us here. Remember that after the day of Pentecost, Peter was preaching to the people in connection with the healing of a lame man at the temple gate. He said a very unusual and strange thing to them, as recorded in Acts 3:17 - 21 - "And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.."

 

This is the reason why the gospel historically was preached to the Jew first and then to the Greek, as recorded in several places in the epistles of Paul. It had to go to the Jew first, after the day of Pentecost, in order that these people be given an opportunity to repent. Had they done so, this whole prophetic scheme of the full seventy weeks would have been fulfilled in that day, and long, long ago earth would have moved into the millennium. We would be beyond it now for a thousand years would have been over by now. But God's program in time hangs upon human reaction.

 

This is very important to see, for once again we are facing the likely fulfillment of these things. What will happen? Is it all going to be fulfilled in our day? Who can say for sure? We can never say, "Yes, this is the final fulfillment; these events are moving surely and unmistakably to the end." Perhaps not. Enough people may take this seriously and change their lives to set themselves in tune with God's program and stop living for themselves to such a degree that God will change his schedule, hold off the end for awhile, and let us go on. Sometime, of course, the end will come.

 

It will be marked, as Jesus indicated, by a failure of people to take warnings seriously. He said once to his disciples, "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8. Will he find people who believe God, and act accordingly? Who can say what these days are going to bring. It may be that the present turning away, the present refusal to take these warning events seriously is of sufficient intensity to precipitate the final end. Who knows? Only God!

 

When Israel turned away from God and refused the offer of the Savior, God's countdown stopped. It is like the launching of rockets today, with which we are so familiar. There is a final countdown, but at any moment something can go wrong and delay the countdown and it is not resumed till the trouble is corrected. God has been counting ever since the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, counting away year after year. Four hundred and eighty-three years ran their course, and then the Savior came. It was almost the end. Seven more years were to follow, but something happened and the countdown has been delayed. It will be resumed again when there is a temple in Jerusalem and an agreement between Israel and the Western ruler.

 

What does this mean to me and to you? Let's take a look again at Revelation 5: 6 - 8:

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

 

Look closely at verse 7, the very moment that the Lamb "took the book" the Dispensation of Grace is done, the Church Age is finished, God's Prophetic clock restarts counting down the final seven years to coming of Jesus Christ as KING!

 

It says to me that it is time to take seriously the days in which we live. It does not make any difference whether we are in the last days or not, we are responsible to act according to the Word of God, and to understand that God's program is going to run its course exactly as predicted. Our relationship to it will be determined by how seriously we identify ourselves with what God is doing in our day and give ourselves to the advancement of his work, not ours.

 

 

 

 

STUDY QUESTIONS

 

 

  1. Daniel's study of the scripture led him to pray a scripture filled prayer. How could we use scripture in our prayers? Seeing that God's schedule is on time, how do you feel led to pray?
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  3. What is it like to do a jig saw puzzle that has missing pieces? Has this study of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" made understanding the jig saw puzzle of God's Prophetic timing more difficult or less difficult?
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  5. For Daniel and Jesus, is the emphasis on what the future holds? Or on who holds the future?
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  7. Does this study frighten you? Or does it prepare you?
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  9. What will happen? Is it all going to be fulfilled in our day?

 

 

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GROUP PRAYER

 

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