Good morning everybody. If we could take our Bibles and open them to Daniel, chapter 9 and verse 24. As the events of this week were taking place I started to ask the Lord, is this the end times that we’re seeing? And in the process I was studying our passage in the Book of Daniel and in the process I was studying our passage in the Book of Daniel and I read these words, “the end will come with a flood. [Verse 26] And I said oh my gosh. Then I saw another passage that said the last trump and I said well, our President is named Trump…. [laughter] I mean, we’re getting close, don’t you think? If you’re joining us for the first time I was joking about all that stuff.
We are continuing to move progressively through the Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel was written by a guy outside of his comfort zone having been displaced from his home. You say why doesn’t the Bible apply to our lives at all. Some of you have been displaced from your homes; I know from personal e-mails. And Daniel being displaced from his home, being exported about 350 miles to the east, found out that God’s faithfulness didn’t stop at the borders of Israel. And so I think this is something that Christians in Houston need to be reminded of as we walk through this difficult ordeal together. The faithfulness of God never stops because people have been displaced from their comfort zone. In fact, that’s the time that God really shows up and begins to demonstrate His faithfulness towards us. We’re just not aware of the faithfulness of God until He puts us into situations where we need His faithfulness and that’s what the events of last week I think unfold and I think that’s what’s happening here in the Book of Daniel.
Chapter 1 is an introduction to the book; we’ve gone through that. We’ve gone through chapters 2-7 very carefully. We moved into chapters 8-12 which are specifically, as we have said, addressed to the nation of Israel in captivity. We’ve seen chapter 8, that great vision of the ram and the goat. And we find ourselves in the last few Sundays and into this Sunday and the next Sunday at least into chapter 9 which is the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 9 give us the setting of the book. The setting historically is given there in verse 1; Daniel, as we have said, is living in the year 538 B.C. You might want to jot that date down because he’s going see in our study of the prophecy he received something that’s going to start about 100 years after he would leave the scene. He is, as we have said, in his early 80’s at this time.
Verse 2 gives us the prophetic setting; the nation of Israel had gone into captivity for 70 years. You’ll find that figure in the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 25, verse 11; chapter 29, verse 10. And you say why 70 years, why not 80 years, why not 60 years. Well, as we have said in prior sermons the issue has to do with the fact that the Jews were to allow their land to have a rest on the seventh year, every year.
What we discover in the Old Testament is the Jews did not let the land have its rest for 70 sabbaths; there are 70 sabbaths that the nation ignored. So God said okay, you want to play that way then I’ll let the land have its rest without your permission. And He kicked them out of the land for 70 years. That’s where that seventy year figure comes from.
And now that 70 year figure is about to come to an end. Daniel knows what time it is prophetically so he begins to pray to the Lord. Now what you’re going to discover with the 70 weeks prophecy is the 70 weeks prophecy involves math. So becoming a good Bible student (I know this is painful) involves mathematics.
Let’s do a little bit of mathematics, shall we? If Israel ignored 70 sabbath years and the sabbath comes up every seventh year that means how many years of total disobedience are we talking about. Well, 70 times 4 equals 490. A 490 year cycle of disobedience was coming to an end. And I think this: Daniel had a misconception in his mind; he thought that the kingdom was going to materialize at the end of the 490 years of disobedience that the nation was just coming out of. After all, he is the one that as a teen ager had seen the statue of Daniel 2; he saw the stone cut without human hands destroying the feet of the statue and growing and growing and growing until it filled the whole earth. And when we were in Daniel 2 we said that is the manifestation of the kingdom of God on the earth.
I believe Daniel thought the kingdom was going to materialize; the 490 years are ending, the kingdom is coming. And what he discovers through an angelic manifestation, Gabriel, dispatched from heaven, said the kingdom is going to come Daniel, that part of it you’re correct on but it’s not going to come as quickly as you think; it’s not going to come at the end of the 490 years you’re coming out of; there’s a future 490 years. See the symmetry there? 490 at the beginning of the chapter; 490 at the end of the chapter. There’s a future 490 years, yet future, then the kingdom of God is going to come.
But Daniel, in his misconception offers a prayer, it’s one of the greatest prayers in the Bible, verses 3-19, Gabriel arrives from heaven to give Daniel the truth, verses 20-23. And what Gabriel puts into Daniel’s lap is the Seventy Weeks prophecy, the prophecy of the seventy sevens. I believe this, that the prophecy of the seventy sevens, although it’s not the easiest prophecy in the Bible to grasp at first sitting, it requires some mental work, if you will track with me as I try to (as God gives me grace) unpeel the layers of this prophecy, you’re going to walk away from this mental exercise with two blessings you didn’t have before.
The first blessing you’re going to have is you’re going to have almost, if not complete, total confidence that the Bible is God’s Word because what’s happening in your school, what’s happening in your office, what’s happening with television, what’s happening on media, what’s happening in American society is you are being portrayed as a member of the flat earth society because you have the audacity to believe the Bible. In reality this prophecy will furnish you and fortify you for those battles because you walk away saying only the Bible could reveal something like this; only God who is omniscient and outside of time and knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning could see this in such precision. That’s blessing number one.
The second blessing that you are going to walk away with is you are going to have something that most of Christendom does not have… a blueprint of the future! When you get onto You tube, I don’t recommend you do that too frequently by the way, you’re going to find people making one confused statement after another about the end time and the reason people are telling us that we are going to go through the tribulation period, people are telling us that the antichrist is next, not the rapture, some think the Book of Revelation already happened (can you imagine that). On and on the confusion goes and the reason for the confusion relates to the fact that they never started with the foundation; they’re just reading a bunch of scattered prophecies throughout the Bible and they’re trying to make sense of them. And because they’re sitting in churches where their spiritual leaders aren’t telling them anything about prophecy they’re left to their own devices.
And yet, if you understand the Seventy Weeks prophecy you have the blueprint, you have the foundation, you have the grid through which all Bible prophecy revolves around. So this is not necessarily a sermon or sermon series that I’m doing here that will pack cathedrals and chapels and fill up audiences but it is something that requires some mental discipline. There are some things in the Bible that are easy to understand but there are other things that are a little bit more difficult to get under the surface and because we live in sort of an intellectually lazy society we have a tendency to check out when the preacher goes too deep.
But the fact of the matter is in the depth of the study that you are going to be blessed by God in those two ways I just described, ironclad proof that the Bible is God’s Word and the much needed filter or grid or blueprint which all of Bible prophecy revolves around. Put yourself in my position; how would you communicate this prophecy to people that really have perhaps limited understanding of it? How would you, as a scholar, communicate this at a level, as J. Vernon McGee says, where you could put the cookies on the bottom shelf? That is the great struggle of being a Bible teacher. Anybody can be relevant if they don’t care about being biblical. And anybody can be biblical if they don’t care about being relevant. How do you do both simultaneously?
And so as I’ve been praying about it and you’re not the first group I’ve tried to teach this to, what I do to understand this prophecy is I divide it into ten points or ten concepts. Point 2 will build on point 1; point 3 will build on points 1 and 2. Point 4 will build on points 1-3, etc. So these points are logically arranged; if you’re lost on point 1, I would recommend you take a few Sundays off and checking back in when we finish this prophecy. You have to stay with me, every point will follow the prior point.
So I’ve divided this into ten points. Now obviously I can’t teach all ten points today… well, maybe I can actually, I didn’t get a chance to preach last week. [Laughter] I’ll just double the sermon, is that okay with everybody? No, I won’t do that to you! I’m going to try to cover points 1-4, if we’re fortunate points 1-5 today and we’ll be picking it up next time.
So here we go, the prophecy of the Seventy Sevens. Point number 1 is the focus of the prophecy is the Jews and the city of Jerusalem. Notice, if you will, Daniel 9 and verse 24. “Seventy weeks have been decreed for” Sugarland Bible Church…. Oh, it doesn’t say that! “Seventy weeks have been decreed,” Gabriel speaking to Daniel in Babylon, “for your people and your holy city….” The prophecy concerns the nation of Israel. Notice what it says, “your people” and your “city”. The prophecy is directed towards Daniel; Daniel was a Jew. The whole prophecy revolves around the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem. It is not a panorama of world history. That’s not why the Holy Spirit gave it. It’s not even focused on the church. In fact, when you get into Paul’s writings in the Book of Ephesians what you’ll discover is the church was a mystery at the time this prophecy was given. This prophecy has nothing to do with the church.
The whole clock that Daniel is about to receive from Gabriel concerns specifically the nation of Israel. And as honestly as I know how to say this, most people when they misinterpret the prophecy and there are many people today misinterpreting it, miss that fundamental point, as simple as it sounds. Robert Culver, in his commentary on Daniel says, “Let the postmillennial and amillennial commentators” now those are the people who believe that the church is Israel and the church has replaced Israel and we’re in the kingdom. If we’re in the kingdom now I don’t know how in the world you’d explain the events of last week. “Let the postmillennial and amillennial commentators look long and steadily at this fact. This prophecy is a prophecy for Daniel’s people and Daniel’s city. No alchemy of Origenistic spiritualizing interpretation can change that.” [Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1977), p. 149]
You say well, what is “Origenistic spiritualizing”? If you’ve been tracking with our Sunday School series on The Protestant Reformation you already know exactly what that is. It’s a practice that started in Alexandria, Egypt. The bottom line is people look at the Bible and say it doesn’t mean what it says, it means something else. That is a method of interpretation that you have to reject to understand the nuts and bolts of not only this Bible timeframe that Daniel is being given here but any prophecy in the Word of God. And because people will not accept at face value what it says right on the outset, this is a prophecy concerning Israel, they misconstrue the whole thing.
So fact number 1, the prophecy concerns the nation of Israel, the Jews, the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and specifically it concerns their city, the city of Jerusalem. All right; so far so good!
Fact number 2, the prophecy consists of a 490 year time period. You have to picture this like a stop watch that God gave to Daniel (through Gabriel) and there happen to be 490 years on the watch. Now look back, if you could, at Daniel 9:24, “Seventy” what? “weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city,” now some of your Bible versions will say “Seventy sevens have been decreed for your people and your holy city.” The word translated “week” or “seven” is the Hebrew word shabua and all it means is a unit of seven. It’s sort of like the way we use the word dozen; when we use the word dozen we’re talking about a unit of what? Twelve. So when the Hebrew word seven, or week is used it’s talking about a unit of seven.
So just like the word dozen, we say a dozen what? A dozen months, a dozen days, is it Valentine’s day and I give (or get) a dozen roses. How about my nutritious breakfast from this morning, a dozen donuts? So what are we talking about? A dozen of what? That’s how you have to look at this word “seven,” seven what exactly. The word “seven” there is referring to a unit of seven years. How do I know that? Well go back, if you could, to the beginning of the chapter, Daniel 9:1-2, and notice how many times the word “year” or “years” emerges. It says, “In the first” what? “year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— in the first” what? “year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of” what? “years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy” what? “years.”
Now as you read through those two verses how many times do you see the word “year” or “years”? Four times. What’s my point? My point is Daniel had been thinking in terms of years. He was not thinking in terms of days because when Daniel says days he uses the word days. You guys with me on that? Daniel 10:13, what does it say there, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days;” when Daniel says days it means days, he writes the word “days.” He doesn’t write that here in Daniel 9; he just says the unit of seven, seven years, because Daniel had been thinking in terms of years.
Now you say well, wait a minute, Pastor, is that word “seven” or shabua, is it ever used of a seven year increment elsewhere in the Bible. And the answer to that question is yes. Genesis 29:27, this is talking about the Patriarchs, is it Isaac who served Laban to gain Rachel’s hand for how many years? Seven years; that’s the Hebrew word shabua. Genesis 29:27 says this, “‘Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.”’ Genesis 29:27 uses the word “week” or “seven” and everybody, in context understands that that is talking about a unit, not of seven days, not of seven months, but seven years.
So when you see this expression “week” in Daniel 8:24 you have to just mentally substitute in your mind a seven year time period. This can’t be months or days for the simple reason that there’s not enough time to accomplish everything that this prophecy says must be accomplished. So most people understand this word “week” as a reference to a seven year period of time.
Now let’s get our calculators out again; what does it say here? Not just week but how many weeks? Seventy, seventy sevens; seventy times seven is what? 490 years. The prophecy consists of, fact number 2, a time period of 490 years. God gave to Daniel, back in the sixth century, a stopwatch. It didn’t have sixty minutes on it like ours does, sixty seconds, it had on it 490 years. And every good stop watch has a start button, a pause button and a stop button. That is exactly what Daniel has been given here. The revelation of a 490 year stop watch with a start, pause and stop button. The whole thing symmetrically is designed to clear up Daniel’s misconception that he thought the kingdom was going to come after the 490 years that the nation of Israel was emerging from. No, no, no! The kingdom will come Gabriel says to Daniel, but it won’t come after the 490 years you are coming out of; it’s going to come at the conclusion of another 490 years that you know nothing about.
Well, gee, can you give me some information about this 490 years that I know nothing about. Thank you for asking. That’s what the seventy weeks prophecy is all about. Fact number 1, the prophecy concerns who? Now don’t get lost too fast on me, let’s try that again. Fact number 1, the prophecy concerns who? Israel. Fact number 2, the prophecy consists of how many years? 490 years. You guys with me? So far so good?
Now you’re going to listen to this one, you’re going to say who cares (some of you are saying that already). This, number 3, won’t make a lot of sense to you until I finally get to point 6 so you might listen to this and say well, it’s no big deal. It’s a BIG deal, with a capital B, and a capital I and a capital G. But you won’t recognize it as a BIG deal until later on in the presentation, most likely next week. Fact number 3, each year of the prophecy does not… does NOT consist of 365 day Gregorian calendar years, which is our normal calendar, but 360 day prophetic years.
In other words, when God deals in judgment He does not think about 365 days per year; He thinks about 360 days per year. You say well how do you know that? Well, one way we can tell is looking at the two time periods in history, one future and one past, where God has intervened in judgment.
Notice Revelation 11:2-3, it says of the end times, “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” Revelation 11:3 says, “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” One thousand two hundred and sixty days! Isn’t this interesting that one verse says half of the tribulation period is 42 months; oh, and by the way, half of the tribulation period is 1,260 days. So with those two numbers I can put 1,260 days into the numerator and 42 months into the denominator and I can figure out how many days per month we’re talking about. So when you do the division how many days per month are we talking about? Thirty days per month. How many months in a year? Twelve. So let’s multiply 30 times 12 and we get the number 360. When God thinks about judgment He is thinking in terms of not 365 day Gregorian calendar years that we’re accustomed to. He’s thinking in terms of 360 day prophetic years.
Now this mathematical reality is not just true in God’s judgment yet future, it’s also true in God’s judgment yet past. Notice, if you will, the flood. You say I’ve already noticed that, I’ve been pushed out of my house… no, I’m talking about THE flood. Notice if you will Genesis 7:24. Notice what it says here, it says, “The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.” You think our flood was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet! 150 days it took for the water in the global deluge, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, to recede.
Now notice, if you will, Genesis 7:11, it says, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” The flood, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, began on the seventeenth day of the second month.
Having said that, take a look at Genesis 8:4, “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains” plural “of Ararat.” The flood started, the waters came the seventeenth day of the second month; the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat the seventeenth day of the seventh month. In other words, the waters lifted the ark on the exact same day of the second month and the seventh month. Now how much of a time period is there between the second month and the seventh month? Seven minus two is five months. So you see what we’ve got here. Genesis 24 says the flood lasted 150 days. Of course we know it rained 40 days and 40 nights but for the water to finally recede it took 150 days. One verse says that.
Another couple of verses, putting them together, tell us that that same time period was five months. So let’s do this again; let’s put 150 days in the numerator, five months in the denominator; let’s do the division and how many days per month are we talking about? Thirty days per month. How many months are in a year? Twelve. So twelve times thirty equals…. Drum roll please—360 days per year.
So both in Genesis, the flood, and the Book of Revelation, judgment yet to come, the way the Creator thinks is not 365 day Gregorian calendar years the way we think, but 360 day prophetic years. How many years total on this prophecy? 490. Let’s do some more math. Let’s multiply 490 years by 360 days. Anybody know the answer to that? 176,400 days. God says to Daniel I’m giving you a time clock that consists of 490 years, and oh, by the way, that translates into 176,400 days. And you guys are saying when is he going to finish and we get dismissed for lunch.
Fact number 1, the prophecy concerns who? Israel. Fact number 2, the prophecy consists of how many years? 490. Fact number 3, each year the prophecy consists of how many days? 360. You guys with me so far? Fact number 4, what’s going to happen when the prophecy runs its course? What’s going to happen when the time clock reaches the end of 490 years? What is going to happen? And the answer to that is six prophecies will be fulfilled for the Jewish people, which read as follows: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to” number 1, “finish the transgression,” number 2, “to make an end of sin,” number 3, “to make atonement for iniquity,” number 4, “to bring in everlasting righteousness,” number 5, “to seal up vision and prophecy,” and number 6, “to anoint the most holy place.”
Gabriel, through God, saying to Daniel is when the clock reaches 490 years this is what you can expect to happen. So let’s look at these six things and see if we can understand this a little better. The first three are negative in the sense that these three things will stop. The bottom three are positive in the sense that these three things will be implemented. Through who? Fact number 1, the Jewish people. Of course, the great Hebrew scholar, Arnold Fruchtenbaum helps us a lot with deciphering these Hebrew phrases. What is meant here when he says in verse 24, at year 490 there will be a finishing of transgression. What that simply means is the Jewish people will stop rejecting Jesus. The Jewish people, the nation of Israel, will be in faith as real as you and myself, I, us, are in faith today—the conversion nationally of the nation. Don’t expect that to happen until you get to the conclusion of this 490 year period.
What does this mean, “to make an end for sin”? What that simply means is Israel’s daily sins will be over; they’ll be a thing of the past. This nation that has been so obstinate against God throughout biblical history and even today continues to be obstinate, that obstinacy will be over. The daily sins of Israel will end. Why is that? Because Israel has a covenant called the Abrahamic Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant gives to the nation of Israel three blessings: land, seed and blessing. The blessing component is amplified in what is called the New Covenant in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31:31-34, it is talking about the born again regenerated experience of the Jewish people.
[Jeremiah 31:31-34, “Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,  not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.  But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”]
Just as you at one point trusted in Christ and were revolutionized from within because the Holy Spirit came into you, that same reality is going to happen for the nation of Israel wide scale. Jeremiah predicted, “a new covenant I make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah … My covenant which they broke… I will put My law” where, “within them, and on their heart I will write it.” They will know me.
Why is it that to an unsaved Jew and to you a born again Gentile the unsaved Jew looks to you as some kind of enigma or mystery? The answer is very simple; you have the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit that they don’t have. If you don’t have the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit the only thing you’re left with is legalism which has no power. What the human race desperately needs is a revolution from within; the theologians call this regeneration or the impartation of divine life which takes place the moment a person places their personal faith in Christ. If that has never happened to you it doesn’t matter what denomination you go to or are involved with. It doesn’t matter how many good works you have done. It doesn’t matter what your grandparents believed or what your parents believed, if you have never been born again you are not a Christian, period!
Born again Christianity is not a denomination within Christendom. Oh, there’s the born agains over there, just like the Baptists and the Presbyterians and the Methodists. That’s a totally wrong way of thinking. If a person is not born again I don’t care where they go to church, they could be Metho-Catho-Bapterian for all I care. Or they may be a Bapti-costal-fundamatic, whatever they are if they have not been touched by the Spirit of God which enters a person at the point of faith alone in Christ alone, you are not a Christian. So this born again reality, according to the promise of the New Covenant is going to cover the nation of Israel in a nationwide revival. But don’t expect it to happen until we hit the end of Daniel’s clock of 490 years.
And something else will happen for Israel; they will “make atonement for iniquity,” they will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, because the atonement of Christ, the shed blood of Christ is a valuable thing but it doesn’t do anybody any good until they receive it by faith. It doesn’t matter that Jesus died on a cross for the sins of the world, as we heard Alex Garcia so beautifully articulate this morning, it doesn’t matter if that happened, if a person has never received that. I’m not talking about what their family does, what their church tradition does, I’m talking about you and what you do with it. It has no value to you until you trust in it.
And at the present time the bulk of the Jewish nation has not trusted in that atonement and so as I speak today, with the exception of the very small number of Jews that get saved in the church age, the nation of Israel continues under the judgment of God, never having received what Jesus has done for them. Oh but how different it’s going to be once we hit year 490 and the thing wraps up. You can expect a regeneration of a nation. That’s what Isaiah is talking about.
Can a nation be born in a day? The answer would be yes. You want to talk about revival, awakening, we pray for revival all the time for our country. God has sent us out of mercy various revivals at various times of history but let me tell you something, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” You think the first awakening in America was a big deal, or the second great awakening in America was a big deal? It pales… PALES in comparison to what God has in store for the nation once they get to year 490.
What else is going to happen? What will be brought in, verse 24, is “everlasting righteousness.” What is that? It is the establishment of the long awaited kingdom of God on the earth in and through the Jewish nation. Isaiah spoke of this kingdom, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us and the government will rest upon His shoulders….” Verse 7, There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his” what? “kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.” That’s what Daniel 9:24 is talking about when it speaks there of everlasting righteousness.
It’s the same kingdom that Jesus taught us to pray for. “Thy kingdom” what? “Thy kingdom come.” You say well, I’m kind of confused about this idea of the kingdom, do you have any good sources you could recommend on that? This is my shameless plug for Wednesday nights where we are developing carefully the doctrine of the kingdom, beginning again this Wednesday. I invite you to attend either physically online.
But what Daniel is saying, what Gabriel to Daniel is saying is once the clock hits the end of the time period, which is 490 years, the visible manifestation of the kingdom of God will exist on planet earth. So then if that’s true why would I try to set it up before that 490 period has elapsed? You see how this prophecy clears up so much confusion in what people are trying to bring in today through human power? It’s a waste of time.
In fact, if you’re trying to set up the kingdom of God now and the next kingdom on the prophetic horizon is not God’s kingdom but the antichrist’s kingdom, which God will overthrow, who are you working for without even knowing it? The devil! The devil is a pretty sneaky guy. Wouldn’t that be something, if he could convince Christendom or a sector of Christendom to doing his work for him. Well, the devil doesn’t work like that, does he? Well, just ask the Apostle Peter about that. He opened his mouth one time, Jesus, don’t go to the cross, Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”
You don’t think the devil can use a Christian? If that weren’t true why are we told to put on the full armor of God, the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation? So that we will not be deceived. Christianity is deceived today. It’s been deceived, as we’ve been studying, going back to the Dark Ages. People are all confused on this because their shepherds are not teaching them prophetic truths. They’re teaching them about any number of subjects, maybe some of them important, but they’re not talking to them directly about prophecy. So what are the sheep supposed to do? They’re left to their own devices. Well, I know the Bible says something about the end times; I know where I’ll go to find truth, that great theologian, Facebook, or You-tube, and their minds are a kaleidoscope of confusion.
What else is going to happen? There’s going to be a sealing up of vision and prophecy for who? Israel. What does that mean? It means that all of Israel’s covenants will be in fulfillment at the end of the 490 years. All of Israel’s prophecies will be in a state of fulfillment and realization at the end of the 490 years. Everything that God said He could and would do for Israel, all of the unfulfilled promises will be an abject reality. And how much of Christianity today, it would be shocking to discover, teaches the doctrine that God is finished with Israel; Israel’s promises are null and void.
Let me tell you something; that is an attack on the character of God, who cannot lie. If God can cut Israel’s cord, which many people today say He can, then He can cut your cord and any promise He’s made to you about eternal security is not worth the paper it’s written on. You throw out Israel, you throw out the character of God and you cut the spiritual legs, the spiritual foundation right under your feet. See folks, theology, you might look at it as just pie in the sky stuff but this stuff speaks to daily life because right now you’re going through problems and you need to know, are these promises from God true or not? When I see the Jews in the Middle East regathered I say there it is, the faithfulness of God. That doesn’t make me want to boycott Israel; that’s insanity. It reminds me that God means what He says, says what He means, keeps His promises and if He’s going to keep His promises to wayward Israel He’s going to keep His promises to who? To us. That’s why this matters.
Number 6, there will be an anointing of the most holy place which is a reference to the temple. The temple will be functioning and in operation during the millennial kingdom. In fact, the Book of Ezekiel says the very shekinah glory of God that entered the Solomonic temple and later departed from the Solomonic temple will go right back into that temple. There are, in Jewish history, four temples. The first temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel is living after that first temple was destroyed. Temple two would be rebuilt by the exiles returning from the seventy year captivity. That was the temple that was functioning during the time of Christ as it was beautified by Herod. And who destroyed that temple? The Romans, A.D. 70.
But there’s a third temple coming; this is the temple of the antichrist. This is the temple that he will desecrate midway through the tribulation period. We’ll be saying a lot more on that as the study unfolds. What’s going to happen to that temple? I think it’s going to be destroyed in the seventh bowl judgment which is a description, Revelation 16, of the greatest earthquake in human history. And yet that antichrist temple will be replaced by the glorious, beautiful, functioning of the millennial temple that will function for a thousand years.
You say well, you don’t really get into the details like this do you? I mean, you don’t get out a measuring stick and measure it, do you? Read Ezekiel 40-48 and tell me if there’s not mind-numbing detail in those chapters. In fact, on your one year Bible reading program people get to Ezekiel 40-48 and hit the panic button because there’s so much detail that is describing the millennial temple. That is what Daniel says will manifest itself when we hit year 400 and conclude the year 490. That’s the temple he’s talking about there in verse 24.
Now I want you to see something and I’m getting ready to conclude, believe it or not. When Daniel had this vision there was no functioning temple. Daniel had this vision in which year? 538. Well, when was the Solomonic temple, temple one destroyed? 586. When would that temple be rebuilt by the returnees? 515. When Daniel had this prophecy there was no temple and yet what is Daniel seeing in this vision? He’s seeing temple four, Daniel 9:24. He’s seeing temple three, Daniel 9:27. He is seeing temple two, Daniel 9:26. Daniel prophetically is seeing in his vision three future temples although not one was in existence at this time.
How would we summarize fact number four? I would summarize it this way: the political and spiritual restoration of the nation will be fulfilled at the end of the 490 year clock. You put all of those facts together and that’s what it’s saying. That’s why the Jews today cannot be a fulfillment of this prophecy because although they’ve been regathered politically they are not yet birthed spiritually. I think what we are seeing today is largely stage setting for the fulfillment of this prophecy but it is NOT the whole thing.
Fact number one, the prophecy concerns who? Israel. Fact number two, the prophecy consists of how many years? 490 years. Fact number three, each year the prophecy consists of how many days? 360. Face number four, what is going to happen at the conclusion of this 490 year time clock would be the political and spiritual rebirth of the nation of Israel.
Speaking of time clocks mine just elapsed so we will continue this study next week. But you know, there’s another temple we haven’t even talked about. The apostle Paul says your body is the what? The temple of the Holy Spirit. How does that happen? A person trusts in Christ, the Holy Spirit enters a person at the point of faith, and their body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. Wouldn’t that be great if on a day like today when we’re talking about past temples and future temples that you yourself became the temple of God.
How does that happen? That’s what we call the gospel, which means good news; it’s good news because Jesus did everything in our behalf in terms of His sacrifice and His resurrection from the dead. We trust, not in ourselves but what he did in our place. If a person will simply place childlike faith in the completed transaction of Christ then their body at that point becomes the temple of the Spirit of God; they become alive spiritually. The Shekinah glory of God enters you just as real as the Shekinah glory of God entering the Solomonic temple, just as real as the Shekinah glory of God entering the millennial temple.
So if the Spirit is placing you under conviction our exhortation to you here at Sugar Land Bible Church is to believe the gospel. As Harry Ironside so well said years ago, the gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. That is the requirement that God makes for salvation. You’re not following a self-help course, you’re believing and trusting in what He has done and if it’s something you need more information I’m available after the service to talk.
And then for the rest of us that have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, if the Holy Spirit is really living inside of me maybe that should change the way I live. What do you think about that? Maybe I shouldn’t be participating in impurity, gossip, all sorts of other impurities, slander, unresolved bitterness, because when you participate in those things as a Christian you involve God in it because the Spirit of God is in you for how long? Forever! And that’s what a teaching like this does; it reminds us of our need to be spiritually born and if we have been spiritually born it reminds of our need to live according to the new identity which we have in Christ Jesus. Behave holy because holy because God Himself is holy. Shall we pray.
Father, we’re excited about this prophecy and the things it’s going to reveal to us as we continue to work our way through it. We sympathize with people that are going through great difficulty now in the Houston area and we ask that we could be a blessing to them as a church. We ask that they would walk with You through this great difficulty. We’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen.