Today I’m going to share some very exciting news and some amazing prophetic scripture! I’m sharing one reason I know, beyond any doubt at all, that God is real. That He is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do!
There are many reasons I know God is real, but it was not until I began to study prophetic scripture that I came to a deeper understanding of just how great and amazing and all powerful and all-knowing and sovereign and holy God really is! He is a God that I can believe in!!!
Today’s post is long and you will have to put on your thinking caps for this one. But, if you do I promise you that you will learn something so wonderful and awesome!!! You might even have to read it over again. But it will be so worth it!
My bible study just finished a study of Daniel and Revelation this year.
We spent two years on Daniel and a few months doing an overview of Revelation. I’ve taught both many times. Daniel is from the Old Testament and Revelation from the New.
Together they give such insight into the span of history from Daniel’s time (586 BC) right into the future and then into eternity! The detail of prophecy is nothing short of truly amazing! If you spend any time at all in the prophetic books it’s hard to deny that God is the only One who can tell us what will happen before it ever does!
And He delights in telling us because the end is such good news for those who put their trust in Jesus!
ONLY I CAN TELL YOU THE FUTURE BEFORE IT HAPPENS. EVERYTHING I PLAN COMES TO PASS, FOR I DO WHATEVER I WISH. Isaiah 46:10 New Living Translation
BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER:
Let me tell you something important about prophecy! Prophesy can be talking about different times and events in the same book of the bible, in the same chapter, and even in the same verse. So we must keep it all straight. It takes some work! as we go through some very fascinating prophesy try to keep the dates and events straight. Even write them down on a timeline of sorts! This will really help.
History itself verifies Biblical facts. I’m not saying that we need any other person or event to validate God’s truth, but it certainly proves that a higher power than us does exist! You can’t argue with recorded history!
One of the MANY prophesies that have come to pass in Daniel (and one of my favorite) is found in Daniel 9:24-27.
Here’s a little back story:
Daniel and his people, the Jewish nation, were held captive by the Babylonians and later the Medo-Persians and even later by the Greeks and then the Romans. God had told them this would happen if they did not obey Him.
In spite of God’s warning, the Jews disobeyed God. Even after God send them prophets to warn them to repent (turn back to God) they refused. So God, good to his word, judged them and gave them into the hands of an oppressive people. The Jews were captured and the land of Israel was taken by these people and so was their capital Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple, the only God sanctioned place of worship, and it was destroyed.
Daniel had seen many things as a captive in a foreign land. But through it all he has remained faithful to the “LIVING GOD”. Daniel has been given several vision from God about the future of “his people”, the Jew, and their land.
In chapter 9 Daniel, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel with a special message straight from God Himself. The year this happened was “in the first year of Darius…” verse 1 of Daniel chapter 9. That year was 539 BC.
Here is what Gabriel tells Daniel…
V 24- SEVENTY WEEKS HAVE BEEN DECREED FOR YOUR PEOPLE AND YOUR HOLY CITY, TO FINISH TRANSGRESSIONS, TO MAKE AN END OF SIN, TO MAKE ATONEMENT FOR INIQUITY TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS, TO SEAL UP VISIONS AND PROPHESY, AND TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY PLACE.
V 25- SO YOU ARE TO KNOW AND DISCERN THAT FROM THE ISSUING OF THE DECREE TO RESTORE AND REBUILD JERUSALEM UNTIL MESSIAH THE PRINCE THERE WILL BE SEVEN WEEKS AND SIXTY-TWO WEEKS; IT WILL BE BUILT AGAIN, WITH PLAZA AND MOAT, EVEN IN TIMES OF DISTRESS.
V 26- THEN AFTER SIXTY-TWO WEEKS THE MESSIAH WILL BE CUT OFF AND HAVE NOTHING, AND THE POPLE OF THE PRINCE WHO IS TO COME WILL DESTROY THE CITY AND SANCTUARY.
There is much more to this prophesy, but too much to fit into this post. Can you understand the interpretation? Probably not. Most of us do not think or talk like a Jew living in the time of Daniel and we are probably not nearly as familiar with scripture as Daniel!
So let’s see if we can pull the scripture apart and let it reveal some absolutely wonderful prophesy!
Let’s start with the scripture again…
Verse 24: SEVENTY WEEKS
The word “weeks” in Hebrew is “shabuim” which means “seven”. So what God is saying is 70 shabuims or 70 x 7. And that equals 490. But 490 whats? Elephants, cars, stones? What? If we put the the “SEVENTY WEEKS” into the context of the rest of the book of Daniel we see that God is talking about YEARS! So God is saying something about 490 years. Tuck that away! It’s important!
HAVE BEEN DECREED…
God is making an eternal, binding decree. What is He decreeing? He is decreeing 6 thing that will happen within a 490 year span of time. The decree involves “YOUR PEOPLE” and “YOUR HOLY CITY”. Since God’s message is for Daniel, “YOUR” people are the Jews and Daniel’s holy city is Jerusalem.
There are 6 things decreed to happen in this 490 year span that deal with the Jews and Jerusalem.
- TO FINISH TRANSGRESSIONS- do away with not obeying God’s word, to stop man’s rebellion against God
- TO MAKE AN END OF SIN- just what it says
- TO MAKE ATONEMENT FOR INIQUITY-to cover over, to propitiate, to appease, to pay for what was done wrong
- TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS- to bring one into right standing with God, to be at peace with God
- TO SEAL UP VISIONS AND PROPHESY- to make come to pass
- AND TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY PLACE- to consecrate the Holy of Holies in the Temple
So God is making a decree that concerns the Jewish people and Jerusalem. He is saying that there will be a time span of 490 years for all of the six things above to happen. If you are paying close attention you might be saying that all these things have not happened yet. People are still sinning and rebelling against God, and not all biblical prophesy has been fulfilled yet. Again, tuck that away and remember it!
SO YOU ARE TO KNOW AND DISCERN…
Basically God is saying know this for sure. The word discern means to gain insight and understanding. That usually come from studying something deeply and really giving it your attention and thought. Don’t you think all God-breathed scripture is worth that?
THAT FROM THE ISSUING OF THE DECREE TO RESTORE AND REBUILD JERUSALEM
God’s people would eventually be set free from their captivity by a decree from the Medo-Persian king Artaxerxes on the 2nd of Nisan in 455 BC… or March 14 of the year 455 BC. They were freed to return to Israel and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the wall. This started the 490 year timeline of the “SEVENTY WEEKS” in the beginning of verse 24. This was the beginning of the 490 years God decreed!
(455 BC would be almost 90 years into the future from the date Gabriel told this information to Daniel. And it all came to pass… just as God said! Historical records proves God’s sovereignty! But God’s word in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the detailed story! )
UNTIL MESSIAH THE PRINCE
Messiah (means anointed One or set apart for a purpose) is Jesus. These next few scriptures gives us the exact time the Jews should have expected to see their Messiah, Jesus, come upon history’s scene! But we are not talking about when Jesus was born. We are talking about when He presented Himself to the Jews as the Messiah. That historic event took place on what we call Palm Sunday or the “Triumphal Entry”.
Now stay with me here…. A king would come into a land he had captured as their new king in two ways. One was riding on a white horse and it was a sign of a conquering king meting out justice OR he would come into a captured land as a peaceful and merciful king riding on a donkey. Jesus came from the mount of Olives riding into Jerusalem on a donkey!!!! He came to planet earth to bring peace. Peace not between men but between men and GOD! As he rode down the Kidron Valley into Jerusalem the crowds cried “Hosannah”, God save us! They threw their cloaks down before Him, a sign of great honor and waved palm branches, a sign of victory! Jesus was making it known in that one act that He was the Prince, the Messiah they had waited for.
THERE WILL BE SEVEN WEEKS AND SIXTY-TWO WEEKS; IT WILL BE BUILT AGAIN, WITH PLAZA AND MOAT, EVEN IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
Now let’s go back to Artaxerxes and remember the date the decree was issued to build the city of Jerusalem and the wall… 455 BC. From that date there will be 7 WEEKS AND SIXTY-TWO WEEKS UNTIL MESSIAH THE PRINCE. So God is telling Daniel that there will be 69 “weeks” or “shabuims” or “years” from the beginning of the edict on March 14, 455 BC until Jesus come into Jerusalem declaring Himself Messiah.
Now here is what we need to know about the years back in ancient times. They were 360 days long… not 365 days long! So 69 x 7 equals 483 years. The prophetic 69 “WEEKS” will be 483 years or 173,880 days! If we forward 173,880 days from March 14, 455 BC, the day the edict went out from Artexerxes to build Jerusalem and the wall, we get the date April 6, 32 AD. We can know that this was the date Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messiah. AMAZING!!!! AMEN!!!
Now back to Gabriel and back to the edict of Artaxerxes and the start date of 445 BC .. Gabriel tells Daniel that Jerusalem will be rebuilt and so will the moat during this time. The word MOAT mean something built as a defense. A wall in those ancient times would be a type of moat or defense! And Gabriel goes on to tell Daniel that Jerusalem and the wall around the city would be built in times of distress… and it was!!! Nehemiah chapters 2-4 tell the story in detail and history bears this out!
I tend to think God buried the headline! If the ancient scholars wanted to they could pinpoint the exact date of their Messiah’s appearing onto the world’s stage… IF they only knew these facts and “DISCERNED” what God was saying to Daniel. This make me want to weep for them. THE COULD HAVE KNOWN!!!! There is so much more about this in other scripture but I would need hours to explain it. Just know that even Jesus had a visceral reaction to the Jews as He was riding the donkey because they “did not know the time of your visitation” Luke 19:44. If you want to read all about Jesus and His triumphal entry and it’s meaning click HERE.
Okay let’s make sure you are with me so far… 490 years have been decreed by God for all the six thing to happen … the finishing the Jews rebellion against God, to end sin, to pay for man’s sin, to bring the Jews in right standing to God, to fulfill all prophesy and to consecrate the Holy of Holies in the Temple according to verse 24 of Daniel. The countdown began on March 14, 455 BC.
The holy city, Jerusalem would be build and so would the wall in a time of distress. This would happen in the time of Artaxerxes.
From March 14, 455 BC there will be 69 WEEKS or 483 year or 173,880 days from March 14, 455 BC until Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey as the Messiah. That was April 6, 32 AD.
Got it? Good!
THEN AFTER SIXTY-TWO WEEKS THE MESSIAH WILL BE CUT OFF AND HAVE NOTHING
After April 6, 32 AD or the 69 WEEKS or the 173,880 days MESSIAH (Jesus) WILL BE CUT OFF AND HAVE NOTHING. This means that he will die and have no heir.
And from historical dates we can then know that the 4th Passover of Jesus’ ministry and His crucifixion happened on April 10, 32 AD. Again historical records prove this out along side scripture! Only God could tell us with such precision and detail! What a faith builder! Does’t this make you want to bow your knee to God?
AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PRINCE WHO IS TO COME WILL DESTROY THE CITY AND SANCTUARY.
The last part of this prophesy speaks about a “PRINCE WHO IS TO COME”
The “WHO IS TO COME” is in context of the angel Gabriel telling Daniel this in 536 BC. It does not happen in chronological events. So we need to view the “PRINCE WHO IS TO COME” in light of where Daniel is in history. (Remember that prophesy can talk about different events in the same verse).
In 186 BC the Seleucid (Greek) ruler was Antiochus Epiphanes (means visible god).
“WILL DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY.
He captured Israel and destroyed the city, sold the Jews into slavery and desecrated the alter in the Temple by slaughtering a pig on it. He did other atrocities as well.
The prophesy goes on in that chapter but I think that is quite enough for now!
God continued to prophesy about the future of the nation Israel throughout the book of Daniel right into the thing yet to happen.
Let me make one last point… God said there was a timeline of 490 years for all the thing in verse 24 to be completed. Yet some of them have not come to pass. Why? Well, if we look at verse 25… there have only been 69 of the 70 weeks of God’s prophesy to Daniel accounted for. Or another way of saying that is 483 years have of prophesy have already happend in the 490 year timeline. There are 7 years unaccounted for. How can that be?
It’s simple! God has reserved a 7 year portion of the 490 years for the future.
After God’s prophesy about Antiochus Epiphanes scripture goes on to prophesy about the time of the end and the antichrist and his earthly government and rebellion. It tells in some detail about how he rises to power and how he crushes God’s people for a time and about his complete destruction.
This last 7 years of God’s 490 year timeline is know in the Old Testament as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” according to Jeremiah 37 and “the 70th week of Daniel” according to the book of Daniel. We most likely know it at “the tribulation”. A time in the future which will bring about the end of this earthly age.
God tells us about this time in both Daniel and Revelation and all throughout the bible. It’s a time when God reclaims the earth as His and it culminates with Jesus riding on a white horse (remember what that stands for) from heaven to conquer the earth and reign as King of Kings.When those last 7 reserved years of the 490 year timeline are complete the 6 things that must happen in verse 24 will be completed also.
AMAZING!!! HEAVY!!!! MIND BLOWING!!!! You bet!
Now, can you see why I know that God is real. That He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do? Yes, only the One, True and Living God could tell us the end at the beginning! And what a marvelous end it is for those who put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ!