Good morning everybody. Let’s take our Bibles if we could and open them to the Book of Daniel, chapter 12, looking this morning at verses 11-12 at least, and maybe, just maybe, not promising anything, finishing verse 13 which would take us to the end of the book. Of course this section that we’ve been looking at so carefully is part of Daniel’s final vision that he received in the sixth century. And he went through, chapter 10, a lot of warfare before he received the vision. The vision starts in chapters 11 and 12; the warfare is described in chapter 10. And what a vision this has been as Daniel has spoken of Persia, Greece, the warfare in the Grecian dynasty, Antiochus IV, and then suddenly he leaps into the distant future around verse 36 and he begins to see information prophetically about the coming antichrist, and finally the tribulation period and the millennial kingdom.
We’ve seen verses 1-4, a description of the end times, what’s coming. And then we get a lot of information which is where we find ourselves, verses 5-13 of the duration of the end times. That last section that we’re working through is kind of… I like to call it a question and answer session. Round one is where an angel asks another angel how long? And that answer is given there, primarily in verse 7, it reveals the second half of the tribulation period which is 1,260 days. You should probably remember that number, 1260. And through that process you have a converted Israel and God is going to fulfill His covenants through that converted Israel. That is the purpose of the tribulation period.
And then, beginning in verse 8 you have a second round of questions and answers and this time it’s not an angel asking another angel about these things, Daniel asks a question. He wants to know not so much when but he wants to know how and what will be the outcome of these things. And you start seeing the answer given in verses 9-13. Verse 9, as we have talked about, is information about progressive illumination, how Daniel is meant to record it and put it away because it be up to a distant generation to make sense, prophetically, of this information. [Verse 9, He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.”]
And verse 10 describes two kinds of people, the righteous and the wicked. The righteous, with a right heart before God will turn to the pages of God’s Word and will start to understand these things in the distant future but the wicked, they will never understand. [Verse 10, “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”] So our attitude towards the prophetic Word of God determines whether we are righteous or wicked. There’s an awful lot of people that reject prophecy, they won’t teach on prophecy, and yet I would say that puts them in the category of the wicked rather than the righteous. The righteous will long to understand these things.
And then you move into verse 11 where we have some information about preparation for the millennial temple. Take a look, if you could, at Daniel chapter 12 and notice if you will verse 11, “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be” what’s the number there? “1,290 days.” Maybe Daniel got his six and his nine backwards there because I thought the second half of the tribulation period was 1,260 days. In fact, I thought I had this whole thing figured out; there’s a 7 year period, explained in Daniel 9:27, the future tribulation period. There’s an event right in the middle of the tribulation period where the antichrist will desolate or desecrate the temple. He’ll set up a pagan image in the temple, Revelation 13:15 describes that. [Revelation 13:15, “And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”] And then there’s going to be another 1260 days and at the end of that latter 1,260 days you’ll have the Second Coming of Christ and the Kingdom.
Seven years, something happens in the middle, so we have the tribulation period divided into two 3 ½ year increments; 42 months and 42 months, 3 ½ years and 3 ½ years, 1260 days and 1260 days. I mean, I thought I had this thing wired, I thought I had it nailed and then Daniel comes along and he changes the numbers on me. He’s talking here, not about 1,260 days; he’s talking about 1,290 days, and according to my old math he just added 30 days on.
And cheer up, it gets worse. Look at verse 12, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” That’s another 45 days beyond the 30 days that he just added. So there is this very interesting set of verses here, verses 11-12, of an additional 75 days. And as I’ve shared with you before I can hear in my ears, still wringing, the voice of my eighth grade English composition teacher, Mrs. Ream who told me over and over again never introduce a brand new thought in your conclusion. I mean, in your conclusion you’re supposed to sort of summarize things and you don’t just pull a whammy out of thin air and introduce something brand new. And apparently Daniel never took Mrs. Ream’s composition class because he completely violates that rule and he throws a curve at you just as the book is ready to end.
Now people say to me all the time, how long are we going to be in the Book of Daniel. Well, it depends on how many curve balls get thrown our direction as we’re trying to wrap up this book. What in the world is going on here with this additional 30 days, verse 11, and this additional 45 days, verse 12? Well, I think verse 11, and by the way, that’s how it looks graphically, you have the tribulation period, 7 years, divided into two halves; the desolation or desecration of the temple happens right in the middle; then you have the Second Coming of Christ, then you have a thirty day period where something is going on. And then you have a forty-five day period where something else is going on. And then finally the kingdom of God arrives on the earth.
And it is a perplexing thing to try to figure out what is Daniel doing with these additional seventy-five days. And the thing about it is he doesn’t do a lot of explaining; you have to sort of put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. I think beginning here in verse 11, the additional 30 days beyond the 1,260 days has something to do with the temple. And that’s why I have entitled this message A Consecrated Temple. The reason I think that is because if you look very carefully at verse 11 it talks about what the antichrist will do in the middle of this seven year tribulation period. It talks about him abolishing “the regular sacrifice.” Doesn’t that take place in the temple. And it talks about “the abomination of desolation” that will be set up. Isn’t that going to happen in the temple. So apparently this additional thirty days has something to do with the temple.
Now it is interesting that in Jewish history there are four temples; two past, two future. The first temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. The second temple was built by the returnees from the Babylonian exile and was the temple functioning during the life of Christ, and that was destroyed by the Romans, A.D. 70. And yet if you study your Bible very quickly there is a third temple on the horizon, not yet built, perhaps built very soon, which will be what I would call the antichrist’s temple. In order for the antichrist to desecrate this temple midway through the tribulation period you need a Jewish temple in existence. And what the antichrist will do in terms of desolation and putting an end to Jewish sacrifice is something that will take place in that temple.
And yet if you study your Bible very carefully you learn that there’s actually going to be a fourth temple. Temple three will give way to temple four, that is the glorious millennial temple described in Ezekiel 40-48. That is the temple in the millennial 1,000 year kingdom that the Shekinah glory of God will enter. Just as the Shekinah glory of God entered and ultimately departed from the Solomonic temple when temple four is functioning during the kingdom age the glory of God will re-enter that temple. You say well, yeah, but what does all that really mean. Well, here’s what it means: the glory of God is going to re-enter the temple. That’s the secret interpretation.
If all of the other temples were literal, and they are, why wouldn’t temple four be literal as well? But you see, some way, somehow temple three, the desolated desecrated temple must give way to temple four. Temple four, as Ezekiel describes it, it is depicted in the most grandiose of terms. It’ll be a temple much larger than temple two, the Herodian temple that was functioning during the life of Christ. And some way, somehow temple three has to give way to temple number four and you know what? It’s going to take time for God to purify temple three. Temple three will be odious, it will be a stench in the nostrils of God being a desecrated temple, and temple three is going to give way to temple four. And I think it’s going to take at least thirty days to fumigate the building… describing a process of time. It’s going to take time to purify and refurbish the desecrated third temple into the glorious fourth millennial temple.
Now there is another school of thought which indicates that temple three is going to be destroyed with bowl judgment number seven. In fact, when you read about bowl judgment number seven, Revelation 16:18-20, an earthquake of such a caliber that no earthquake like that has ever existed, and it talks there about every island fled away and the mountains were not found, and it talks about hundred pound hailstones plummeting to the earth and killing people, you can imagine the topographical disaster that would happen.
[Revelation 16:18-20, “And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.  The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”  “And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.”]
Many people believe that temple three will be destroyed or perhaps injured or broken with that seventh bowl judgment. So therefore with a destroyed third temple another possibility is it’s going to take some time to reconstruct it into the glorious millennial temple and that process will take thirty days. Either it’s a reconstruction of the temple altogether or it’s cleansing of temple three, some way, somehow in preparation for temple four. These things can’t happen instantaneously; they require time for these things to occur. And that’s what these additional thirty days are four, in my humble opinion.
People say well, isn’t that kind of strange, I mean, does God put things on hold? Does He violate His calendar for temple preparation? In fact, God does this all of the time. In the Maccabee’s books, 1 Maccabees, chapter 4, verses 36-51, now you might be looking for Maccabees in your Bible, it’s not there, if we were in the Roman Catholic Church it would be there but it’s not in your Bible; if it is in your Bible you can come talk to me afterwards. But we know about, and we’ve studied it in depth, about this incredible desecration of the temple that took place under Antiochus IV, in the intertestamental period. And 1 Maccabees, chapter 4 tells us that Judas Maccabeus and his army went to great lengths to cleanse the temple in Jerusalem and to cleanse it of the abominations in it that were caused by Antiochus IV.
You see, Antiochus IV is a prefigurement, if you will, as we have studied, of the coming antichrist. And when Antiochus IV went into that temple and desecrated it, just like the antichrist will do in the future, the Maccabee’s books record how the Jews were so careful to re-consecrate, to rededicate that temple, to put that temple into proper motion following this desolation. And of course, this is the miraculous event of Hanukkah, you want to keep that holiday or that feast day in mind, I’m going to be referring to it again in this message. It was the time where the Jews, to re-dedicate the temple lit the Menorah and there was only enough oil to burn for one day, and according to the traditions of Judaism the lamp has to burn eight days in order for that temple to be properly cleansed and rededicated. And the intertestamental books tell us that the oil miraculously burned, not for one day but for eight days. God did a work to help this temple go through proper rededication and consecration to the Lord.
In fact, that work of God about a hundred and fifty years before the time of Christ is so profound that the Jews add it to their normal calendar system, Hanukkah, which means dedication or Feast of Lights. So if it took some time to rededicate the temple after Antiochus IV had desecrated it, why does it seem strange to us then, that when the antichrist desecrates the future third temple it’s going to take some time to reconsecrate, to rededicate, in preparation for the coming millennial temple.
In fact, it’s interesting that over in 2 Chronicles 30:2-4 King Hezekiah postponed the Jewish calendar for one month, thirty days for Jewish months I might add. [1 Chronicles 30:2-4, “ For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month,  since they could not celebrate it at that time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers, nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem.  Thus the thing was right in the sight of the king and all the assembly.”] Hezekiah postponed, for one month, the celebration of the Passover because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers. God so values a properly consecrated temple that He postponed Passover for one month, thirty days. Why can’t the same thing happen in the end times, as temple three is being prepared to ultimately become temple number four.
2 Chronicles 30:2-4 says this, “ For the king and his leaders and all the assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to celebrate the Passover in the second month,” that’s not where they normally keep the Passover,  “for they could not keep it at the regular time, because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together at Jerusalem.  And the matter pleased the king and all the assembly.” God so values a cleansed and purified temple that He is in the habit of postponing the regular calendar in Judaism for thirty days or one month. And the kingdom is very important to God but in the kingdom there has to be a proper functioning temple and it’s going to take thirty days to reconsecrate it, rededicate or perhaps rebuild it into the glorious millennial structure that it will be as described in Ezekiel 40-48.
You say well gee, pastor, this is really interesting information; how does this relate to my life? I mean, this is just a bunch of Jewish stuff yet future, how does this relate to me? Well, here’s the application; apparently God values a consecrated temple. A consecrated clean and pure temple is something that God wants to work in and through. And let me remind you of where the temple is today in the church age. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This becomes the proper injunction or exhortation for living a moral life in Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:16-20 says this: “Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, ‘THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.’  But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” So what? Well, here’s the so what, verse 18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. [19 ] Or do you not know” Paul says, 1 Corinthians 6:19, “that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Christian, your body doesn’t belong to you any more. God has chosen to use your body as a manifestation of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, every single sin I ever committed in my body, in this case it’s talking about sexual immorality, but we can put into that equation any other sin, whether it be gossip, or bitterness, or jealousy, or whatever sin we may be drawn to the moment you commit that sin you’re not just affecting yourself, you’re affecting God. You’re affecting the Holy Spirit that is living inside of you because in the age of the church the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and everything we learn about the character of God is that He values a clean consecrated temple. How is your temple doing in that area? That’s the application.
What things have you, have we, let into our lives, areas of casual sin, areas of compromise, forgetting the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in each one of us. We have to understand something as church age believers; we are experiencing a privilege today, it’s been going on for the last two thousand years, that was never experienced by any Old Testament saint. It wasn’t experienced by anybody that I can tell in the Old Testament, even in the Gospels, until the birthday of the church and the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit began in Acts chapter 2. You see, because in the Old Testament what you’re going to see over and over again is the Spirit came upon certain people to do a work, to rule as king, to function as a judge. It says this over and over again, “the Spirit of God came upon”… UPON! And then in the Upper Room Jesus says the rules are about to shift; the Holy Spirit will not “upon,” but it will be what? “in!” You see how different we are from God’s working in the past? The Spirit of God is not upon me to do some temporary task, He is in me forever.
Daniel himself, Abraham, Noah, Job, all the greats of the past never had what we have today. Jesus said in John 14:16-18, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper,” that’s the Holy Spirit, “that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” If God is putting His kingdom program on hold to purify a Hebrew temple we learn that God apparently values a consecrated temple. And what does that say to us? How much more the warning to us. How much more the exhortation to us to live for God in a pure way practically, letting our practice catch up with our position. Since I am privileged in a way that very few people in redemptive history have been privileged, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. It’s a different way of looking at sin, isn’t it?
It’s interesting to me that Paul doesn’t go on a rant about sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6, he doesn’t start citing all the venereal disease statistics, he doesn’t walk around trying to shut down all of the pornography places in the first century sense. He doesn’t second guess their salvation. A lot of pastors will do that, your salvation is second guessed as you move off into sin. Paul just simply says this: Do you not understand a basic pneumatological truth? Pneumatological means the Spirit. Have you never been told, have you never been taught that the Holy Spirit is inside of you and that you are privileged above and beyond those, even in the Old Testament era. That’s a pretty steep application, wouldn’t you say? So we need this additional thirty days to sort of reconsecrate, rededicate, perhaps even rebuild the temple so that it moves away from the antichrist’s temple, the third temple, into the glorious fourth temple.
Now having said all that, look, if you will, at verse 12, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” As I have mentioned before, that’s what your typical prophecy chart looks like, premillennialism. Going to the far right you’ll see the tribulation period, the Second Coming and the kingdom. In fact, in our doctrinal statement here at Sugar Land Bible Church we argue for premillennialism, that Jesus comes back first at the end of the tribulation period and the kingdom follows. And I’m wondering if we need to revise the statement. Maybe it should say we also believe there’s a seventy-five day interval in between the second advent of Christ and the kingdom age… a seventy-five day delay. Thirty days to fix the temple and an additional forty-five days to do something else. Why the additional forty-five days? He doesn’t explain it but leaning on some great theologians and some great minds I think we can cobble together an explanation.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum says this: ““The Millennium will not begin the day immediately following the last day of the Great Tribulation” why? “because there will be a seventy-five day interval. During this time between the Great Tribulation and the start of the Messianic Age, a number of events will occur. The existence of this interval is demonstrated in Daniel 12:11-12.” [Arnold Fruchtenbaum, (2003). The Footsteps of the Messiah: a study of the sequence of prophetic events (Rev. ed., p. 367). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.]
What event has to happen in that additional forty-five day interval? So we have the tribulation period begins with the peace treaty between the antichrist and Israel, exactly 1260 days later the antichrist will desecrate the temple; exactly 1260 days after that event Jesus will come back. Then there is 30 says reconsecrating, rededicating the temple as we talked about. And then there’s an additional 45 days for something to occur. And it even says there in verse 12, “How blessed” you should underline that word “blessed” “How blessed is the one who keeps waiting and attains 1335 days.” [Daniel 12:12] What is going on in these additional days? I can posit a guess; seven things have to happen. The first thing that has to happen is the beast, that’s the antichrist, must be cast into the lake of fire. The antichrist will have run the world prior to this point; Jesus comes back, takes the antichrist and throws him into the lake of fire and then He does that with his sidekick, the false prophet.
Number one, the beast is throw into the lake of fire. Number two, the false prophet is cast into the lake of fire, in fact, they’re the first two people into the lake of fire. Did you know that no one is in the lake of fire right now? Did you know that the lake of fire was never created for people? It was created for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41 reveals that. [Matthew 25:41,“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”] People today who die without Christ go to a place called Hades (which is not a nice place by the way). You’ll see it described in Luke 16:19-31. But no one is in that lake of fire yet, they are in Hades ready to have their venue changed from Hades to the lake of fire. The devil is not even thrown into the lake of fire. A lot of people have this vision of Satan as if he is in hell right now. Now he’s not, he’s running the world. But the day will come when he will be bound for a thousand years, more on that in just a second, but the very first two individuals into the lake of fire are the beast, the antichrist and the false prophet.
You say well, where are you getting this from? It’s in the Book of Revelation, chapter 19, which describes the return of Christ. “And the beast was seized and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” [Revelation 29:20] Is this going to happen in a nanosecond? It could, we’re dealing with God, but apparently this is sort of a process requiring some time; those would be a couple of events taking place in that forty-five day interval.
And a third thing has to happen. Satan has to be bound. When is that going to happen? Before the kingdom starts. Revelation 20:1-3 says, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”
Satan, you’re no longer running the world. So Satan himself must be bound, incarcerated in a place called the abyss.
That’s why it’s so foolish in your prayer life to bind Satan. Christians do this all of the time, Satan, I bind you, as if I’m sure Satan is real scared of that. Satan is running the world, we’re living in the devil’s world. What we can pray for is protection from Satan but we’re not on offense here; we’re on defense. But when Jesus Christ comes back He goes on offense and takes the unholy trinity, the beast, false prophet, and Satan, the first two into the lake of fire, the third one bound in the abyss because the Book of Revelation tells us, chapter 20 that God has one more purpose for Satan to fulfill. God keeps Satan around long enough to fulfill God’s purpose. This is not the movie Rocky folks, this is not two equally suited heavyweights Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed battling this thing out. This is no contest; God Himself created Satan and uses Satan for His own purposes. He’s got one final purpose left; that’s why he goes into the abyss but the other two go into the lake of fire.
And then what is going to take place? You have something called the judgment of the Jews. You see that described in Ezekiel 20:33-44, there will be Jews or Hebrews that will survive the great tribulation period. Not everyone is killed. How do I know that? Because Jesus said in Matthew 24:22, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect” that’s the Jews or the Hebrews, “those days will be cut short.”
I mean, there has to be Hebrews living on the earth so God can fulfill His covenant promises to the nation of Israel. If all the Jews die there’s no one left to fulfill the covenant through. The problem is at the end of the tribulation period you’ve got all these survivors, Jesus is saying some of you are believers, some are unbelievers, so He puts them through a judgment in the wilderness where the believing Jews, you see this all in Ezekiel 20:33-44, pass under the shepherd’s rod. They, in other words, are determined to be believers and they go into the earthly kingdom in their mortal bodies and they begin to repopulate the earth and it’s through that group that God is going to fulfill all of the promises that He has ever made to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Well, what happens to the unbelieving Jews? They’re cut off, cast off the earth into Hades. So what you see being described here is a judgment in the wilderness of the Hebrews that is not going to take place in 30 seconds, it’s a process. And Daniel is revealing the length, forty-five days of this process.
Now something else is going to happen during these 45 days. You’re going to have a judgment of the Gentiles. Where is that described? That’s described in Matthew 25:31-46, it’s the famous sheep and goat judgment. And this is very important because social gospel people misrepresent this verse all of the time. You know what “social gospel” is? Right? You give water bottles out to people while they’re on their way to hell. That’s social gospel. You fill their stomach with food for twenty-four hours but you never give them the gospel which will keep them out of an eternal hell. And there are all kinds of people, I’m sort of shocked that it’s happening today, this is a heresy that a prior generation recognized but it’s back today in rapid form, through religious progressivism, the religious left, this idea that we’re going to build the kingdom of God on the earth without the King. And so the focus of the church becomes putting the kingdom together, humanitarian concerns. It’s not that I’m against humanitarian concerns but let me tell you something; if the church gets involved in humanitarian concerns without using humanitarian needs as the platform to preach the gospel the church is off in some area that God never called the church to.
And so these verses are used over and over again, Matthew 25, to teach social gospel. And yet this is not social gospel when you put it in context. Context is king! It’s a description of Jesus returning to the earth at the end of the tribulation period and He takes His seat on David’s throne in Jerusalem and gathered before Him are the nations; that would be the surviving Gentiles. And Jesus is making a determination, those Gentiles who survived the tribulation period, which one of you are believers and which one of you are unbelievers? He calls the believers sheep; He calls the unbelievers goats and He makes that determination by how they treated His brethren.
Well, what’s the brethren? You ask a social gospel opponent they’ll say the brethren is the unmet needs of all of humanity. That is not who the brethren are! The brethren, when you study it out in Matthew’s very Jewish gospel are the Jewish people that are going to be under great persecution by the antichrist, most likely the 144,000 Jews described in Revelation 7. Think about the antichrist persecuting these people and going after them. And you demonstrate that you are a sheep, you demonstrate that you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ during this terrible time period because you’ll have a natural inclination and a desire in your heart to help the Jews.
That’s very different than the social gospel use of this passage. A few of these verses, I don’t have time to read them all, but you know the passage well, verse 31, it says, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels are with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne,  All the nations” ethnos, Gentiles, “will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed”’ didn’t I tell you to pay attention to the word “blessed” in Daniel 12:12? Why are they blessed? Because they’ve been determined through this 45 day process to be sheep, believing Gentiles, who can enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies and being to repopulate the earth. They’re not goats, the goats aren’t blessed. The goats are cast off the earth into Hades.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”  Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?’  ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?”  ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,” wasn’t Jesus Jewish? Who would His kin be genealogically? It would be the fellow Jews that are being persecuted during the seven year tribulation period. “‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brother of mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
I can’t tell you how that verse is abused by people today, whether it’s Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Ron Sider, or any other advocate of social gospel, they use this verse to teach that we need to be good to all of humanity because after all, all of humanity are Christ’s brothers. That is NOT what the verses are saying. You can believe whatever you want but don’t quote the Bible in the process thank you very much! This has a contextual specific meaning to the beginning of the kingdom with Jesus ruling on David’s throne in Jerusalem. He is figuring out here who are sheep and who are goats. Sheep enter the kingdom in mortal bodies, goats are cast off the earth into Hades and the whole determination is made based on how they treated the Jews, His brethren, during the tribulation period, because faith, at least in this time period, demonstrates itself by its works. “Faith without works is dead.” [James 2:26]
And this is going to be such a time of great duress and stress and need for the nation of Israel that they’re going to need help and only people that have a relationship with God in the tribulation period will have any understanding of this and any desire to reach out and help the Jews. And by the way, this verse has nothing to do with the United States of America and its refugee border policy. Now you laugh at this but there is now an ad that runs two minutes through the world Relief Fund where they all, Christian leaders, some of them I was surprised to see being sucked into this, names that I’ve respected for a long time, names like even Joni Erickson Tada, and I don’t condemn here, I don’t know how much they told her how they were going to use her name when they asked her to read these verses. But all of these leaders are reading these verses and at the end they’re applying it to the fact that we, as the United States of America, either have our borders open… the last time I checked God created borders, the nation state… we need to have our borders open and welcome the refugee amongst us.
I’m all in favor of immigration but let’s make it right here; we’re in favor of LEGAL immigration. When somebody crosses the borders against the laws of the land they are going directly against the Bible which teaches to respect the laws of that land. And if somebody is going to enter the United States of America with no respect for the border laws, how do we expect them to behave properly under the United States government when they can’t even respect the laws coming in? This is how the World Relief Fund, using evangelical Christians to promote this, is misusing this verse. Don’t take my word for it, go home and Google it, you’ll see the whole thing yourself.
That is not what the verse is saying. This isn’t talking about immigration policy; this is not talking about social gospel. This is talking about a specific judgment in a point in time where Jesus, when He returns is going to separate the sheep from the goats amongst the Gentiles, believing and unbelieving survivors of the tribulation period are going to have to be separated just like Jesus will separate the believing from the unbelieving Jews in the judgment in the wilderness. And isn’t it interesting there in verse 33 or perhaps that’s verse 34, it says those that survive this judgment and enter the kingdom—what kingdom? The thousand year kingdom that He’s about to set up. He calls those that survive this judgment and enter the kingdom “blessed.” That is exactly why Daniel says, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” [Daniel 12:12] They’ve survived the 45 day interval, they’re determined sheep, not that they’re saved by their works but they demonstrated their faith with their works by helping the Jews and they go into the kingdom and they’re called “blessed.”
That’s a problem with coming to a church like this that believe in context; it wrecks everybody’s political philosophy of the day. Folks, I hope we’re mature enough to understand that just because someone quotes the Bible doesn’t mean they’re quoting it correctly. Last time I checked Luke 4, the devil quotes the Bible. In fact, Jesus and the devil got into a Scripture quoting contest there in Luke 4. When Jesus quoted it, it was contextual. When the devil quoted it, it was ripped out of context. And we need to grow up to the fact that not everybody who preaches the Bible and quotes the Bible is quoting the Bible accurately.
And so this process will take 45 days. And then something else is going to have to happen; you’re going to have to have a resurrection of Old Testament saints and tribulation martyrs. We already learned about the resurrection of Old Testament saints, didn’t we? Daniel 12:2. [Daniel 12:2, “”Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”]
And when we go to Revelation 20:4-6 we have the resurrection of tribulation martyrs. Revelation 20:4-6, “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.” [6, “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”]
Now if you’re a member of the church age you don’t have to worry about this stuff too much directly because at the point of the rapture you’re already in your resurrected body. We are with the Lord for seven years, returning with Him to rule and reign under His delegated authority. This is talking about things that are happening to the survivors of the great tribulation period. And God’s program for tribulation martyrs and Old Testament saints.  “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
And there’s actually a fourth thing that has to happen, the rewarding of Old Testament saints and tribulation martyrs. Didn’t we study that already, Daniel 12:3. “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” People begin to illuminate with the glory of God, but not everybody, only those who have insight and lead many to righteousness during this terrible ordeal called the tribulation period.
Jesus, when He was on the earth spoke over and over again about the doctrine of rewards. In Luke 19:17 it says this: “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’” Verse 19, “And he said to him also, “‘And you are to be over five cities.’” One guy gets authority over ten, one guy gets authority over five. Why is that? Because they treated the Jews with different levels of compassion during the tribulation period.
So what you can see here in this list of information is the explanation for this additional forty-five days; the first thirty for the temple, the additional forty-five for these seven things: the beast is cast into the lake of fire, the false prophet is cast into the lake of fire, you have the binding of Satan, the judgment of the Jews in the wilderness, the judgment of the Gentiles in what’s called the sheep and goat judgment, the resurrection of Old Testament saints and tribulational martyrs, and then the rewarding of Old Testament saints and tribulational martyrs.
I guess God could do everything lickety-split, in a nanosecond, but these things require a process of time; maybe just 45 days, maybe if all of this starts at the beginning, 75 days total, and beyond that you’re either going to have to have a rebuilding of the millennial temple or some sort of consecration of it and God is getting the world ready for the earthly reign of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you something, as a blood bought saint, the work of God in your life today as I speak, everything He’s doing, is preparing you for that reign as well. It’s training time for reigning time.
Character is being developed in you so that you can function under His delegated authority in the earthly reign of Christ.
Paul Benware, a great scholar says, ““Time will be needed to set up the governing administration of His kingdom after the rewarding has taken place. Once the judgments determining who can enter the kingdom have been concluded, it may take another forty-five days to form the government structure necessary to operate in the kingdom… After the saints and unbelievers have been separated, it will take time to appoint saints to different government posts and to inform them of their various responsibilities.” [Paul Benware, Daniel Commentary (p. 275)]
That’s the explanation for the forty-five days and the seventy-five days of the whole. Isn’t it interesting that you don’t have to sit there and panic when you hit a verse like this and you consult the rest of the Bible? The whole Bible just fits together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. And that’s your job as a Bible reader, to make these pieces fit. Are you saying, pastor, that there’s a difference between election day and inauguration day? Of course I’m saying that, we’re used to that, aren’t we? When is election day? November. When is inauguration day? January. Why the space? Preparation for the reign. Get the right cabinet, get the right people in place. Presidents, even today, have what is called transition teams functioning between November, election day, and January, inauguration day, to put the right government in place, to prepare for inauguration. That’s essentially what’s going on right here.
Now before we dismiss you, let me confuse you just a little bit more. Can I do that? The nation of Israel has seven feasts; four are spring feasts and three are fall feasts. Four spring feasts related to the first coming of Christ; these feasts are all typological, they fulfill certain things in the earthly ministry of Christ. When you study those first four feasts in the spring you’ll see that Jesus did specific things on each feast day. And then we have three fall feasts related to the Second Coming of Christ. And between the spring and the fall there’s a large gap. And guess what we’re living in right now? The gap, between the spring and the fall.
Here is what the feasts look like on a Jewish calendar. Four spring, three fall; four fulfilled, three yet to be fulfilled. And here is my conviction on atonement—when Jesus Christ comes to rescue a repentant Israel in the tribulation period that will take place on atonement, sometimes called Yom Kippur. And when you look at a Jewish calendar and you start with atonement and you go seventy-five days into the future what does that take you to? Hanukkah, Feast of Lights, Feast of Dedication, the feast that we spoke about a little earlier, the gap of time that will be necessary to either rebuild or reconsecrate or refurbish the millennial temple. Judaism has a feast day for that event, that has to do with the miraculous oil that continued to burn and its [can’t understand word] calendar. Isn’t that interesting that that’s 75 days after atonement when the Second Coming of Jesus Christ takes place. Isn’t that astonishing.
I frankly had no idea that this related to the Hebrew calendar until I was speaking at a conference in Germany last summer and guess who was there? The pastor of the First Church in Jerusalem. He introduced himself as the pastor of the Jerusalem church and I said are you serious? You’re like the pastor of the Jerusalem church? His name is Meno Kalisher, and he said not only am I the pastor of the first church in Jerusalem or the Jerusalem church, you ought to see my sermon illustrations. When I talk about the Mount of Olives I just tell people to look out the window. I mean, just a fascinating guy. Hebrews Christian, Jewish Christian, he gave me a little book, and in this book he explained to me this missing days. And I said well one of these days I’m going to get to that passage, can you send me that book. It’s been several months, almost a year but we finally made it. And that’s what he explains in this little book. That’s an explanation for the seventy-five days: atonement happens on a calendar in Judaism leading right into Hanukkah, the rededication of the temple, and you can see how significant that it because you’re going to have a fully functioning millennial temple that will have to be purified, consecrated, rededicated, following its desolation by the antichrist.
It’s astonishing to me how God has everything on such a time table. And if that’s true, why are you so worried about things in your life. Oh, I’m not married yet, I’m really worried. Well, you probably should talk to people that are married. [Laughter] My wife’s in the nursery, right? Okay! [Laughter] You don’t need to sweat it, God is going to bring the right person into your life at the right time. Oh, I’m so nervous, am I going to get this job, am I going to get that job? God is going to bring it into your life for His purpose at the right time. See that?
See how God is a God of perfect timing, keeping Israel’s feast days right down to the exact day in His end time program? Four feasts fulfilled, three feasts future. And in fact, that atonement is so significant it’s going to [can’t understand word] seventy-five days to Hanukkah which is the typification, a prefigurement of a consecrated and functioning millennial temple.
Isn’t God great? I don’t know about you, I just love this stuff, it just interests me. And it looks like our study on Daniel will be postponed yet one more week. Amen. Because we didn’t finish verse 13. Next week we will not only finish verse 13 but we will also be speaking about something very significant, talk about calendar, did you know that next week, Monday, not Sunday when we meet but the following Monday it will be exactly seventy years since the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, one of the greatest sociological national and political miracles in modern history. How could we not comment on that given the precision of this timetable that we’re studying.
Did you know that as I speak Israel is in the news all of the time? Did you know that as I speak the nations of the earth are gathered to divide Israel’s land? Did you know that the President of the United States, not too long ago, moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? What does all of this mean? What is its significance? How does it relate to us? Well, you’ll have to come back next week to find out.
For those of you that may be here today having never trusted in Christ our exhortation to you is to believe the gospel. You can sum up the gospel in three words, all beginning with the letter S. Number one, Sin. Sin separates us from a holy God. We’re under His judgment automatically because of sin. Number two, Savior. When Jesus died on that cross two thousand years ago He was thinking about you as an individual. He was thinking about you specifically. He wasn’t thinking about the United States generically, perhaps He was but when He died on that cross He was thinking about you as an individual and the need you would have for salvation.
Sin, Savior, and the third S is Salvation. Salvation transpires or occurs when a person trusts exclusively in Jesus Christ. That is the only requirement that must be fulfilled before a person who is lost and dead in their trespasses and sins has the gap bridged and they enter a relationship with the God that made them and the Holy Spirit enters them; that’s what we call salvation, and that’s just one very away, believe or trust. Trust is a synonym for believe. The Spirit convicts us of our need to trust in Christ and we respond the best we know how in the privacy of our own minds, the quietness of our own hearts, we respond the best we know how by way of trust, which is the only way to reach out in God and receive a free gift from Him. Sin, Savior, salvation!
See, what’s going to happen this week is the Holy Spirit is going to put you in a position, and I’m praying that this will happen, where you’re going to be given an opportunity to share your faith and you’re going to draw a blank, what do I say, what do I say? Just remember the three S’s, get those in in the conversation, Sin, you’re Separated from God, Savior, Jesus died for you as an individual, Salvation, salvation can be gained by faith alone. Try it out this week and watch what the Lord does.
Shall we pray. Father, we’re grateful for Your truth, Your timing, Your prophecies, Your end times program. We’re grateful for the communion table. Help us leave here today, Father, with an attitude of gratitude looking at what You have done and what You’re yet to do. 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!