Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P30 (12-16-20)
We continue in our study of Daniel’s prophecy of the coming Messiah, where the exact time in history, April 6, 32 A.D., where Christ Jesus would ride in Jerusalem on a donkey, often known as Palm Sunday today, was predicted. As we know that event did happen, exactly as recorded in Daniel, and described by the disciples of Jesus.
Daniel also predicted a final week of time, or last seven years of time in history as we know it today, that is a period of tribulation the world has never known. If anyone lived during the tiem of Nazi Germany, and know how horrific that was, just multiply that by a hundred times over.
We read in scripture about a time in history prior to that last seven year period of tribulation. The dead in Christ and those still living on earth will meet the Lord in the air, to escape this time of trial. This is often known as the rapture. As we see events unfold before our eyes, and as Jesus said, when we see the events Jesus described as the beginning of birth pains, He tells us to look up, for your redemption draws near.
So the question everyone should be asking is this. Are you in Christ? Are you ready to meet the Lord? If not, there will be a time of great tribulation that you will be in. There will be a strong delusion that those who would rather believe a lie, will believe, and it would be difficult for anyone to be saved. That is when the anti-Christ, the man of sin is revealed. He will force everyone great and small to take the mark of the beast.
God, in His mercy, sends a third angel with a loud voice, warning those who remain to not take this mark, or you will experience what is prepared for the devil, or Satan, and his angels, a place of burning sulfur, of eternal fire that never ends. Those who do take the mark will be immediately beheaded by the anti-Christ. Do not be caught in that period of time. That is a time of God’s great wrath. But even in God’s judgment, God is holding out mercy, through the 144,000 marked Jews proclaiming the gospel, the two witnesses, and the angels He sends to warn men on earth. Heed His warning today!
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.
| | | Decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem | March 14, |------------------------------------------------| Messiah 445 B.C. | | the Prince | <---------------- 483 years -----------------> | | |
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 long it will take to rebuild the temple, to restore the city 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.
| | | Decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem | March 14, |------------------------------------------------| April 6, 445 B.C. | | 32 A.D. | | | Messiah the prince | | is hailed as king | | | | <-------------- 173,880 days ----------------> | | |
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.’
So, what took place? After it says, the 62 weeks, or 434 years, where the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the power of the prince who is to come, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. But Zecharaiah promised that Jesus, the Messiah, is going to come, mounted on a donkey, even a colt, a foul of a donkey. It is a fulfillment of a prophecy where Jesus Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, people singing “Hosanna, Hail to the king”, mounted on a donkey, a colt, a foul of a donkey.
That is an amazing thing, to look at this 49 years from the time that Artaxerxes issued a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. At the end of that 49 years, it was completed. The Old Testament prophecy was completed, locked up, and never another book written until the New Testament 434 years later. And how, on the day it says, of April 6, 32 A.D., that Jesus Christ made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, announcing Himself as the king of the Jews. A king is coming to you.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
We rejected the King. There is no question about it, that with the students of the Pharisees and the Saduccees, and of the Jewish leaders of that day, they knew prophecy forwards and backwards, and do not tell me they could not figure this out. Yet, because this Jesus was not the reigning Messiah, but was a suffering Messiah. He did not come in on a white stallion. He came on a donkey. In other words, He came with a different agenda than what the Pharisees and religious people were looking for. They cut Him off.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ [after that 434 years] 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 [or Satan] 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.
It says what is going to come after this date of April 6, 32 A.D., that the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed again. It took 49 years for Nehemiah to rebuild it, and 434 years until the Messiah comes, and after the Messiah comes, the city will be destroyed again.
Let us look at what happened. After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, on April 6, 32 A.D., Jesus was cut off and crucified. Then in 70 A.D., the Roman king Titus and his legions attacked and completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple. In other words, according to Daniel’s prophecy, the Messiah had to be cut off prior to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
People say they are still looking for a Messiah. The bible tells us that the Messiah had to be cut off before the destruction of Jerusalem. So if anyone is looking for the Messiah, you are going to have to find Him prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. So if the Jews, for example, today are still looking for their Messiah, they will have to look some place prior to 80 A.D. There is no way for him to occur after 70 A.D. according to their own prophecies, their own bible, the Old Testament. We are told without question that the Messiah was going to be cut off, and after His being cut off, the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. History records the fact that in 70 A.D., that the city of Jerusalem was totally destroyed and the temple was totally destroyed.
You go to Israel today, there is no temple there. It is gone and has never been rebuilt again in 2000 years. Amazing! Amazing indeed! Prophecy without question. Fulfilled without question.
So folks, we are looking in Isaiah 48.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
I thank God for that. I do not know about you, but I think this is one of the most amazing prophecies I have ever encountered. Review the diagrams, and try to do the math yourself, from reading the scripture yourself, and see if you do not come to the same conclusion.
| | | Decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem | March 14, |------------------------------------------------| April 6, 445 B.C. | | 32 A.D. | | | <--------------- 483 years ------------------> | Messiah | | the prince | | | Messiah the prince | | is hailed as king | | | | <-------------- 173,880 days ----------------> | | |
Let us summarize, and reread Daniel, starting at 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:
He is talking about seventy weeks. That is divided up in three parts. You have the seven sevens, which is 49 years (7 x 7 = 49). You have 62 sevens, which is 434 years (7 x 62 = 434), and then you have one seven, or one week, which is seven years.
So you add up the two, 7 weeks plus 62 weeks, you have 69 weeks of years. And, if you add up the years, where one week is 7 years, you have 49 years plus 434 years, you have 483 years, from the time of the decree to rebuild the temple by Artaxerxes to the time of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.
This vision is broken up into two parts. There was the first 49 years, the time to complete the rebuilding of the temple, which read about in Nehemiah. That is also when Malachi was written, which is the close of the Old Testament. Then the second part is the remaining 434 years, called the silent years. Nothing was written during those remaining 434 years. No new Old Testament book was written during those years. There was no message from God during those years.
Decree of King Close of the Opening of the Artaxerxes Old Testament New Testament | | | | | | Old Testament | City of Jerusalem | | | being rebuilt under | | New | leadership of Nehemiah | | Testament | _____|_____ _______|______ | | | | Messiah | <---------------|----------------------------| Malachi |------------------------| the Prince | -----------> |<-------- 49 years -------->|_________|<------ 434 years ----->|____________| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 445 B.C. 396 B.C. 32 A.D. City of Jerusalem Christ’s public entry completed into Jerusalem
That was prophesied and predicted until the coming of the Messiah. That full period of time, 483 years, from March 14, 445 B.C., the issue of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes, to the time of Christ’s triumphal entry in Jerusalem, was also equivalent to the number of days in scripture as 173,880 days, using 360 days in a year, using the Jewish lunar calendar for a year. That comes out to be April 6, 32 A.D..
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]
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. 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.’[h] 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.”
That is the amazing part of that prophecy. Then it says, the Messiah will be cut off and Jerusalem will be destroyed. The temple was destroyed by Titus and his army in 70 A.D.. So according to their own prophecy, the Old Testament prophecy, Messiah had to come and be cut off prior to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. Anyone looking for the Messiah after 70 A.D. is looking for a Messiah contrary to the word of God. The prophecy is very clear, that He had to be cut off prior to that destruction, which took place in 70 A.D..
1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Do you think anyone fits into that category? Absolutely. That person is Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is one other week talked about in this prophecy, and that is another seven year period we are dealing with. This comes at the end times, when it says the church and all believers, dead and living, will be taken off the earth and caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
This is also known as the rapture. The seven years of unparalleled suffering following the rapture of the church, which is what that is referring to, will be an unprecedented time of wars, cataclysms, pestilence, under the leadership of a world dictator which will culminate in a gigantic war in Palestine, referred to as the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). I have stood and looked at that valley of Armageddon.
10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
We are looking at the last week, the last seven years of history as we know it from the bible. I believe that He will keep you, who are in Christ, from the hour of trial, to test those remaining on the earth. That is why many people believe the rapture is going to occur prior to this seven year period of tribulation.
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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