Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P29 (12-15-20)
We will read about a prophecy from Daniel, an absolutely exciting prophecy of the exact time Jesus made His triumphal entry in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Daniel prophesied the exact date in history when that event occurred! Daniel’s prophecy was written around 535 B.C and Jesus came riding on a donkey on April 6, 32 A.D., the exact time determined from Daniel’s prophecy! God must really want us to know something!
God wants us to know Him, that He is God, and by knowing God that we might have life in His name, to live as God intended for us to live. Daniel prophesied that when the Messiah comes that He will put an end to sin, to take away the sins of mankind from the eyes of God, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up vision and prophecy, and anoint the Most Holy One. Jesus Christ fulfilled all that was recorded by the Old Testament prophets concerning Himself. No more prophecies today as that ended with Christ.
When events like this happen to the precise time in history, and was written down beforehand, from a prophet of God, who lived over a 1000 years before the actual event occurred, then we must have confidence that these original Hebrew scriptures are not only inerrant, but that God Himself spoke through the prophets. These scriptures must have come by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by God Himself, who spoke through the prophets.
What is the probability that over 360 prophecies are all fulfilled exactly as recorded in the scriptures in the person of Jesus Christ? Jesus claimed to be God, and fulfilled all the claims concerning Himself, as recorded down through the prophets! God wrote us a love letter, an instruction manual for life.
Let us continue in our study in A Closer Look at Jesus Christ, in Chapter 8: The 70 Weeks of Daniel. It is helpful to buy this book. There are additional charts that help the reader see these things more clearly.
I do not know anything any more exciting than this prophecy. You can have prophecies that deal with fulfillments, as in Isaiah 53, but today we are going to talk about a prophecy that literally nails the very time and date down that the Messiah was going to appear. It is not just a prophetic utterance. It literally gives the date of the appearance. People love dates. This is the only place where we ever had one. The fact of the matter is, because of the importance of this prophetic event, it absolutely wrapped up what all prophecy is about, the coming of the Messiah, which is why we have specific details in this prophecy in Daniel 9:25. Daniel 9:25 explicitly explains the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We talked about the importance for us to have the confidence in the word of God, to realize this is not some kind of fairy tail we have in front of us. This is a book that was written by God for man, in order to be blessed to understand, not only God, but to understand what we as man, who we are, and how we are supposed to function on the face of this earth. It is an instruction book to us. It is a love letter to us. It is absolutely inerrant in its original languages.
So we have to come to grips with that. Otherwise, how will I ever come into a situation, if I do not believe this is inerrant, then how am I going to be in a situation of saying this is wrong and this is right. Who is going to be the determining factor on that?
So we are talking about the word of God that we can trust in and rely upon. Jesus testified of its inerrancy. It is a book we can absolutely depend upon for our very lives. If this scripture does not bear this out, I do not know what scripture would. It is an exciting prophecy of the entirety of the New Testament.
This particular prophecy by the prophet Daniel is an ideal example of the inerrant biblical prophecy and fulfillment, as well as an unbelievably fascinating study of the validity of the word of God. Daniel predicted the restoration of the city of Jerusalem a 170 years before it occurred. He prophesied the specific time of the coming of the Messiah, the promised Savior over 600 years before it happened. The detailed accuracy of this prophecy, as I said, makes it one of the most remarkable passages in the word of God. Now, it is called the Sixty Nine Weeks of Daniel. If you have your bible, turn to Daniel 9:20.
20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill – 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[or weeks] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[or Most Holy One]
So he told us something, that this person was going to put an end to sin, to atone or take away the wickedness of people, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, to fulfill it all, and to anoint the Holy One. This was going to take place in what he said, in “seventy sevens”.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[Or death and will have no one; or death, but not for himself] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[Or ‘week’] In the middle of the ‘seven’[Or ‘week’] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
Now, we are talking, therefore, about a one week deal that is dealing with end time. He, Satan, will confirm a covenant with many for one seven and then what we will be talking about today is the sixty nine sevens and what that is talking about. This will help us confirm the coming of the Messiah, but will also shed light on that last seven years which is the tribulation period and the rapture, which I believe we are heading toward with great rapidity.
So let us look at Daniel 9:25.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, [or Messiah, the prince] comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
So you have two periods, one seven week period and a sixty two week period. What is a week in the scripture? One of the ways to determine what a week is referring to is in the Hebrew language, as a seven week period, or a week of seven times seven, which is a seven year period. Let us see if that is confirmed in Genesis 29:27-30.
27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
The word “weeks” in Daniel 9:25 (Sheh-vu-im, plural) is the very same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 29:27-30 (Sheh-vu-ah, singular) where Jacob worked for Leah and Rachel one week each, or (as the context clearly brings out) seven years each!
In other words, one week = 7 years. Therefore, 69 weeks x 7 years = 483 years.
Daniel was therefore saying that this time span from the issuance of the commandment to rebuild the city until Messiah the Prince would come would be a total of 483 years!
What did he say? What had to occur before Messiah the prince comes? There had to be an issuing of a decree. What was the nature of that decree? It was to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. What is he saying here? He is saying the time span of the decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, from the issuing of that decree to when the Messiah the prince comes, there will be 483 years. That is very specific. You cannot get any more specific than that!
Let us take a look at the book of Nehemiah. Turn to Nehemiah 2:1-8. Once again, in this book of Nehemiah, the governor is Nehemiah. The date it was written was 430 B.C., approximately 105 years after Daniel’s prophecy. What we are talking about is 105 years before this decree, Daniel received a prophecy in regard to that that there is going to be an issuing of a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Whenever that decree is granted, you can just put on your calendar that 483 years following that, the Messiah is going to come.
That Messiah is going to be the one who, as we read in the scripture, is going to be the Anointed One. He is going to be the one who is going to finish transgression, put an end to sin. What did Jesus say on the cross? I came to take away sins.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
He came not to atone, but to take it away, for wickedness and bring in everlasting righteousness. Do we today possess the righteousness of Christ? Only because of the one who is the righteous one. Seal up vision and prophecy. In other words, there is no more. Do not add to this. And to anoint the most Holy One. When is that going to occur? 483 years after an issuance of a decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. So in Nehemiah, it tells us about that event.
1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.
Here is Nehemiah, appearing to King Artaxerxes. He was a servant, who was obviously well thought of by the king, and so well known, that the king recognized his sad face, and commented on it in a specific time in history, and Nehemiah, after praying to God, given the boldness of God, spoke to the king why he was sad. The city of his forefathers had been ruined and he wanted to rebuild it. The king granted him permission to do so. He gave him permission to have all the wood he wanted in order to accomplish the task. He gave him a letter of protection to keep him safe in the process. That was during the reign of Artaxerxes that that occurred.
1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes
King Artaxerxes was not just a biblical character but he is also an historical character. There is no difference in the two. When the bible says there is a King Artaxerxes, there is a King Artaxerxes. That is also substantiated, as if it needed to be, by history itself. King Artaxerxes reigned for 40 years (465-425 B.C.). The twentieth year of his reign was 445 B.C.
Now we know something. It was 445 B.C. when King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah the permission to go and restore Jerusalem. Now, what did it say? It says very clearly that from the time of that issuance of that decree until Messiah the prince should come would be 483 years. So, we know something. That was prophesied. In 445 B.C., we are going to look into the month of Nisan in terms of our present calendar.
The Hebrew month of Nisan is equivalent to our month of March. The first of Nisan fell on March 14 according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. We, therefore, know as a historical fact that King Artaxerces’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given to Nehemiah on March 14, 445 B.C.
This is where in the audio, seeing the charts helps.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, [or Messiah, the prince] comes, there will be seven ‘sevens (or weeks),’ and sixty-two ‘sevens (or weeks)’. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
We have now established, according to scripture, that from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah comes there will be 483 years. Recall the math, that 62 + 7 = 69 years and 69 x 7 = 483 years.
So remember those two segments, a week of sevens (7 x 7 = 49) and then the sixty-two weeks (62 x 7 = 434). And, if you again do the math, 49 + 434 = 483 years. So, either way, the math comes out the same way, to 483 years.
But, why is it broken down into two parts? From 485 B.C., when King Artaxerces issued the decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, is the exact time of 49 years, the exact length of time to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. You will also note that it was the close of the Hebrew prophecy as far as the writing of the Old Testament was concerned. That was Malachi, and that was the close of the Old Testament prophecy. The close of the Old Testament was in the year of 396 B.C. That was when the city of Jerusalem was completed, when Malachi was written. The next 430 years, involved in this prophecy, is the silent years. There was absolutely no word from God at all during that period of time, the remaining 62 weeks, or 434 years, until the coming of the Messiah. That is why they were looking for Him so intently.
So when that prophecy said it was going to be a prophecy of seven weeks, or 49 years, it was first breaking it up to how how long it will take to rebuild the temple, to restore the building of Jerusalem, and then the remaining 62 weeks, or 434 years, will be the number of years until Jesus Christ came to this earth and marched in Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
Let us discuss just for a moment about this. According to the biblical Hebrew calendar, a lunar calendar, there are only 360 days in a year. We have 365 days in a year and they have 360 days in a year. So when you look at 483 years, which is how many years it is going to be from the issuance of the decree until Messiah the prince comes, and from our own research, that would be March 14, 445 B.C,. If you extend that forward, you have 483 years times 360 days, not 365, like on our calendars, and you calculate 173,880 days (483 x 360 = 173, 880 days).
In other words, on April 6, 32 A.D. something is going to happen. That is, Messiah the prince is going to be recognized.
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
So, if you move forward 173,880 days from March 14, 445 B.C., you will come to April 6, 32 A.D., which is the date on which Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, thus fulfilling the prophecy of “Messiah the prince”.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’
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