This is one of the most remarkable chapters in the whole Bible as far as prophecy is concerned. But, it begins with Daniel being sort of a prophecy buff. Daniel himself was interested in prophecy. He sort of used prophecy as a guide for his life and for his belief in what was transpiring around him.
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
So this would be the year 539 B.C. that the Lord gave this particular prophecy to Daniel, which means that it is almost a hundred years before the commandment was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which Daniel will prophesy concerning. So, in the year 539 B.C. Daniel receives this enlightenment from the Lord as a result of his reading prophecy and as a result of his prayer upon reading that prophecy.
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.
In Jeremiah 25, Jeremiah was prophesying the captivity and they are being taken into Babylon. Verses 11 and 12 read, “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolation.
In Jeremiah 29:10 we read, “For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good work toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”
So, here in the prophecies of Daniel, the Lord declares that the time of captivity in Babylon would be seventy years. Now, Daniel was carried away captive in the year 607 B.C. And, he knew that the seventy years that the Lord had prophesied was just about over. So, he is seeking the Lord just as the prophet Jeremiah said, “Then you shall seek me and you shall find me when you seek for me with all your heart.” So, Daniel is seeking the Lord. And I believe that it is really sort of a presenting himself to God knowing that God had placed him in a very strategic position. Darius loved Daniel. He was thinking of putting Daniel over all the counselors. Knowing that he was in that strategic position in the kingdom, he probably felt that the Lord may have some special task for me, even though at this time he was close to ninety years old. He figured that he was available. I believe that in this prayer he is more or less letting the Lord know that He is there and available and if He wants to use him in any way, there he is.
It is just a great thrill to just make yourself available to God. I don’t know what the Lord might want to do. I don’t know what the Lord might be wanting to do tomorrow in my life, but I just like to make myself available to God. When I wake up in the morning I like to just make myself available to God, saying, “Lord, I am here. I am available. If you want anything from me today, or if you have any plans, Lord I am here. Use me however you see fit.” That is why when suddenly a change of plans comes. I may be planning something and all of a sudden, bang. It all falls apart, but I don’t get upset. I just look around and say, “Well, Lord you have got something else in line, I guess. What is it?” To me it is an opportunity to be open to the Lord rather than all bummed out because my plans are wiped out, because this happened or that happened. You just say, “Lord, you have got something else in mind for me, and I am available.”
The person who is expecting to get disturbed is never disturbed, because disturbances don’t disturb him, because he is expecting to be disturbed. The only one that is disturbed over disturbances is the one who does not want to be disturbed. And, disturbances are always disturbing. If you are just open to the Lord and you look at the change of plans as something that God is interrupting, He evidently has something in mind. So, Lord work out your plan.
So, Daniel began to seek the Lord because of his knowledge of the prophecies of Jeremiah. Knowing that the seventy years of the captivity are almost over, he said in verse 3:
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
He is getting serious before the Lord. And Jeremiah said, “When you seek me with all of your heart, I will be found of you.” And so he is really committing himself to this time of prayer and supplication and fasting, and he has put on sackcloth and ashes. That is a sign of mourning always unto the Jew. When some sad event took place. as a sign of their mourning they would wear sackcloth, which was sort of a camel skin garment worn backwards, so that that itchy camel skin would be against your flesh. It was a way of punishing yourself with the sackcloth. The ashes was a sign of mourning. They put it on their foreheads.
And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said,
So, now we get into his prayer. Always with prayer, first of all, is the address. Who are you addressing in prayer? That is so important. People pray to many things. They pray to their friends. They pray to different entities. Who are you addressing? Jesus said, “When you pray say, Our Father, which art in heaven.” It is a good address for prayer. When the disciples prayed in the fourth chapter of Acts, they said, “O Lord, thou art God, thou hast created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them.” This is a good address for prayer. So it is important the address you put on your prayer, so he is addressing his prayer to:
O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to those that keep his commandments;
Lord you are faithful. You are an awesome God. You keep your word. Now, you see it was the basis of God’s word that prompted the prayer. He knew that God had declared that their captivity would be for seventy years. And, on the basis of that declaration, knowing that God keeps his word, keeps his covenant, he is praying to God on the basis that Lord you are the God that keeps His word. You keep your covenant, your promises.
Then he begins by the confession of sin. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Bible tells us that if you seek to cover your sins you will not prosper. Sometimes I think we seek to cover our sins by sort of trying to slow God a bit. We try often to make ourselves look better before God then we really are. We like to appear like. “Oh, I am bad, but I am not very bad.” And there may be some redeeming quality there. We have tremendous hatred and anger toward a person. We hate them. But, when we pray we say, “Lord you know that I don’t love them as deeply as I should.” It doesn’t sound bad, does it? “I don’t have that intense love that I know you would like me to have Lord.” Be honest. “God I hate him. Forgive me Lord. I know that is not the attitude that you would like me to have.” That kind of honesty God can work with. God can’t really deal with the hypocrisy. So it is important to be honest with God. We might as well, because He knows the truth any how. You are not fooling Him. You are only deceiving yourself thinking that you are fooling Him.
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
God we are at fault. It is interesting that so many times when God’s judgment comes upon a person’s life, they want to blame God. “Lord, why would you do this to me?” “Why would you allow this to happen?” They want to blame God for their calamity.
Years ago when I was pastoring in Tucson, Arizona, we had a lady visit our church whose husband was in the Air Force. He was an officer. I decided to pay a call on the family. And I went over to where they were living, and rang the door bell in the evening, and her husband came to the door. I introduced myself as pastor of the church and his wife had been there the previous Sunday and I was just calling on them to see if we could be of any service to them. And the fellow began to curse me vehemently. He was just shaking with anger. And he said, “I just brought my little girl from the hospital. She has been diagnosed as having polio.” Now, I knew he had a nine year old girl who was crippled because of polio, and now a second child. He began to rail against God. His father was a Presbyterian minister. He was angry with God, that God would allow his children to be crippled with polio.
When he finally got through with cursing me and cursing God and everything else, I asked him, “Well, do you serve the Lord?” And that opened up a whole new blasphemy thing. “Of course, not” was his answer phrased differently. I said, “If you are not serving God, then what obligation does God have to watch over you.”
It is interesting how people will live a life of sin. They will do terrible things and then when they begin to reap the consequences of what they have done, they blame God. They want to curse God. Daniel just confesses, “Lord, we are at fault. We have sinned. We are the ones that have committed iniquity. We have done wickedly. We have rebelled. We have departed from your laws, from your precepts, from your judgments. Neither have we listened to your servants, the prophets, which spoke in your name to our kings, and our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.”
Now, no doubt Daniel had heard Jeremiah, because Jeremiah was prophesying in Jerusalem at the time that Daniel was growing up. And, Daniel was one of the princes. And, Jeremiah was often in the court of the king prophesying and telling the king and the people that they needed to turn toward God, to turn away from the idols, or else God would allow the Babylonians to come and destroy the city and to be taken captive. And, he had heard these prophecies of Jeremiah. But, he acknowledges that they did not listen to the prophets, God’s servants that spoke in God’s name to the kings and the princes.
Now, he says, “O Lord, righteousness belongs to you.” He is not blaming God. He is not saying God is not fair, or Lord what you are doing is not fair. But, Lord you are righteous, even in judgment. Let that be one of the basic foundational truths that you have established in your heart. God is righteous. God is just. Because, many times people are prone to challenge the fairness or the justice of God.
What about the person that has never heard about Jesus Christ? What about the person that lives in some remote jungle who lives and dies without ever hearing or knowing of the name of Jesus Christ? Is God going to confine that person to eternal torment in hell because they did not believe in Jesus when no one ever told them, or they had never heard about Jesus? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that God is just, and what ever God does will be righteous and will be fair. You see when you come up against something you do not know, fall back on what you do know. God is fair. God is righteous. God is just. And, no one will be judged unjustly by God. No one is going to get a bum rap from God. No one can say, “Well, God is not fair.” For God is fair and righteous in all that He does. He acknowledges it.
O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
Again acknowledging that what has happened to them has happened to them because they have trespassed. You are a fair God. You are righteous in what you did. And, they are suffering the consequences of their own actions as is always the case.
O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, and our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him;
We have sinned against him. We have rebelled against Him. Over and over he is acknowledging their guilt.
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel has transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey the voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
In Deuteronomy 28 it speaks of the curse of the law. Beginning with verse 15, it says, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I commanded thee this day: that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake you.” And it begins to list all of these curses that would come. And, in verse 36 as he is talking about the curses, he says, “The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee,”
You see as yet they had not had a king. God was still ruling over them. This is when God was giving the law to Moses. They were an interesting people, because they were a people that were ruled by God. They were a theocracy in contrast to a monarchy. And, it was not until years later when Samuel was the prophet and they came to Samuel and they said, “Appoint a king over us.” But, God knew that they were going to reject Him from ruling and they were going to demand a king. So, here in the law, the Lord said, “shall bring thee and thy king that you shalt set over you, unto a nation, which neither you nor your fathers have known; and there shall you serve other gods of wood and of stone. And you will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all of the nations whither the Lord shall lead you.”
Daniel is acknowledging this. This curse of the law has come upon us. Here we are in this foreign nation and our king has been taken captive also, because we have sinned against the Lord.
And he hath confirmed his words (This is confirmation of the truth of God), which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us this great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
Never has a city been so utterly destroyed, wiped out, obliterated.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us; yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
In spite of the fact that God gave this horrible judgment, still the people didn’t turn toward God. I wonder what does it take to wake people up and to turn them toward God.
This present storm that is ravaging the east. It is called the worst storm in a hundred years. And, we have seen so many earthquakes. And, we see the terrorists beginning to operate within our nation. We see the gang warfare. We see the drive by shootings. When are we going to wake up? When are we going to pray? When are we going to seek God? When are we going to turn to the Lord? When are we going to confess, God we have sinned? What is it going to take to awaken the national consciousness? These things don’t seem to stir people. We just continue to go on.
England is being shocked now by what is happening among the children. These two ten year old boys lured this little two year old boy and brutally murdered him. It is just sort of triggered something in England. Thank God. Maybe they are waking up. I hope they are. These two teenage girls tortured and brutally murdered an eighty year old woman. These things are beginning to wake people up and saying, “Hey, there is something wrong in our nation.”
In a recent poll fifty percent of the people in England said they would move out of England if they could. Something is wrong. What is wrong? They have turned their backs on God.
In America, we have turned our back on God. But, what is it going to take to wake us up and turn us around? What is it going to take to get us to prayer like Daniel is praying, acknowledging to the Lord that we have sinned and have turned from His law and done wickedly. Thus Lord this judgment has come upon us. And he has only confirmed His word that He spoke against us. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us, and yet we did not make our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from these iniquities.
It is interesting to me that in the book of Revelation as it is describing the events of the great tribulation and these cataclysmic events, these catastrophes that are happening upon the earth, in the midst of them, it says concerning the people, “neither repented they of their fornications or of the idolatries or of their drug use” and so forth. In other words, all of this judgment and still they don’t repent. And it says, “they cursed the God of heaven.” Rather than repenting, they are cursing God for the calamities that have come.
Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that has brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand,
He is talking about the birth of the nation. We were in bondage in Egypt and you were the one that created the nation. You brought us out. You are a delivering God.
and hast gotten thee renown,
People talked about the God that delivered these slaves out of Egypt.
we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:
Now notice he is not appealing to God on the basis of his righteousness, his deserving, but he is appealing to God on the basis of God’s righteousness, God’s goodness, God’s grace, and God’s love.
When you come to God it is always good to just make your petition on the basis of God’s love and God’s grace and not on your merits or your worth. I never say I want justice. No sir! God, I want mercy. So, he is appealing to God on the basis of God’s righteousness.
Because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon the sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline your ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city that is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies.
Not justice Lord, mercy Lord, is what Daniel is saying. Not because we’re so righteous, but we come on the basis of Your mercies.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not for thy own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
So, he comes to the end of his prayer beseeching God to hear, respond and to do and forgive.
I am always interested in prayers that produce results, so this is a good model for prayer. It produced results.
And whiles I was speaking and praying, (before he was even through with the prayer) and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
This angel Gabriel who appears twice to Daniel and then some five hundred and thirty years later appears two more times, once to Zacharias the priest, as he stood before the alter of the Lord, and again unto Mary, that young virgin in Nazareth.
And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
So, notice that three times here, as Gabriel is talking to Daniel, he is talking about giving him understanding. The Lord wants you to understand the things of the future. It is a tragedy that so many ministers do not get into the realm of prophecy. You talk to a lot of them about the book of Revelation and they say, “O that’s a sealed book. No one really understands it. It is all figurative speech.” So they never get into the book of Revelation. It is not a sealed book. In fact, the name of it implies just the opposite. The word apocalypse means the unveiling, not the covering or hiding of truth. It is the unveiling of truth. And God intends you to understand it. And, He promises a special blessing if you will read it and keep the words of that prophecy.
Now, as the angel begins to talk to Daniel about the future, he says:
I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications (when you started to prayer) the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Now, where is heaven? The Bible speaks of the third heaven. Paul said, “I was caught up to the third heaven.” The first heaven is the atmosphere around our earth. The second heaven is the celestial heaven, the stars and the galaxies. The third heaven is the dwelling place of God, where ever that may be. We usually look up toward heaven, lift our hands towards heaven, but just where the throne of God is, we just don’t know. Is it within our universe, or is it outside our universe?
Now, we have begun to realize how vast our universe is. There are some stars and galaxies that are so far out in the universe that it takes fifteen billion years for their light to get here. And, that is traveling at one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second. Now, is God out side of that? Then how long does it take for an angel to get from there to here? They have to travel faster than the speed of light or else we are in trouble. You pray and fifteen billion years later the angel arrives. Traveling at the speed of thought. That is how fast angels can travel. Think it and you are there.
Now he begins to tell Daniel of the future.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (the nation of Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem),
And these are the things that are going to transpire within these seventy sevens. First of all:
to finish the transgression,
Man has been transgressing against God from the garden of Eden. There will come the finishing of man’s transgressions.
to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquities.
Paul tells us that we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
There is coming a kingdom of God, a kingdom of righteousness. The kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy.
and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
That is to complete the whole prophetic picture.
and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand,
God wants them to know and understand.
that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even be troublous times.
So he is giving him first of all a bench mark from which to begin to date the becoming of the Messiah. The bench mark will be the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. When that commandment goes forth until the coming of the Messiah will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens, or four hundred and eighty-three years, on the Babylonian calendar of three hundred and sixty day years.
Now in Nehemiah 2:1, we are told that in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, in the month of Nisan, Nehemiah was bearing the cup to the king. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells you that Artaxerxes began to reign in 465 B.C. The twentieth year of his reign would be 445 B.C. The month of Nisan in 445 B.C. was March 14, in the Julian Calendar. So, interestingly enough the Lord provides from history the very day that the commandment went forth from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to rebuild the city, which was March 14, 445 B.C.
Now according to the prophecy, four hundred and eighty-three years later, the Messiah the prince will come. Taking the four hundred and three Babylonian years of three hundred and sixty days, is one hundred and seventy three thousand eight hundred and eighty days. Which when you put it over against the Julian calendar figures out to April 6th, 32 A.D., four hundred and eighty-three years. We are told that Jesus began His public ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberias Caesar. The fifteenth year of Tiberias Caesar was the year 28 A.D. The public ministry of Jesus lasted through four Passovers. It began at a Passover time and lasted through four Passovers, or three years of public ministry, which means that being crucified on Passover, it would be the year 32 A.D. And, Passover is always on the 14th of Nisan, but in the Julian calendar Passover was on the 10th of April, on a Thursday. If you come back four days, you come back to the 6th of April, four hundred and eight-three years to the day from the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
It is interesting that up until this point Jesus had not allowed any public acclamation of Him as the Messiah. When they sought to make Him king, He disappeared. He passed through them. Many times He would say, “Go your way and tell no man.” And, He had deliberately refused to allow the people to acclaim Him or to put Him in the position of the Messiah. He had revealed it to a few people. To His disciples, He said, “Who do people say that I am?” And, they said, “Well, some think that you are John the Baptist, some think that you are Elijah.” “Well, who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Messiah. The Son of the living God.” Jesus said, “Blessed are you Simon, flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father which is in heaven.”
To the lady in Samaria, the woman at the well, she said, “We know that when the Messiah comes he is going to teach us all things.” And Jesus said, “Woman, the one that is talking to you, I am He.” But, He had not allowed public acknowledgment or recognition, until April 6th, 32 A.D. Then, He took special pains to prepare for this day by telling His disciples to, “go get the donkey in that village over there. He is tied on a particular corner. Bring him to me.” When they had brought the donkey to Jesus, He sat upon it, and they laid their clothes in the path and they began to wave palm branches and they began to acclaim Him as the Messiah, singing the Hallel Psalm of the Messiah, 118. “Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; save now, save now.”
When the Pharisees said, “Lord, rebuke them. That is blasphemy.” Jesus said, “If they would at this time hold their peace these very stones would cry out.” As He came within the view of Jerusalem, He began to weep, and said, “If you only knew the things that belong to your peace; at least in this thy day.” He is riding down on a donkey.
Zechariah the prophet said, “Rejoice, O daughters of Jerusalem, shout for joy, for behold your king is coming to you having salvation, but He is lowly, and riding on a donkey.” So, He has made special provisions and when they say, “Stop them. They are calling you the Messiah.” He said, “If I would stop them these stones would cry out.”
“This is the day the Lord has made,” the psalmist said, “We will rejoice and be glad in it,” one hundred and seventy-three thousand eight hundred and eighty days when the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem came. Right on time! He is riding in on a donkey just as the scripture said.
But read the next verse,
And after threescore and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off,
He is not going to set up His kingdom now. He is going to be cut off. And before the week is over He will be hanging on the cross, cut off. And as Isaiah predicted, cut off from the land of the living.
but not for Himself:
Who was He cut off for? He was cut off and crucified for you and for me. He didn’t die for His own sin. God made sure that the innocence of Christ was attested to.
Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him.”
Judas said, “I have betrayed innocent blood.”
The thief on the cross even said, “This man has done nothing amiss.”
God established in the mouth of three witnesses the innocence of Jesus Christ. He was cut off but not for Himself.
and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city
This is the destruction of Jerusalem again by the Roman troops under Titus
and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood.
The word is dispersion. The Jews will be dispersed throughout the world.
So the Messiah will come, but He will be cut off, the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed and the Jews will be dispersed.
Now it is interesting that Nero who began to put down the insurrection of the Jews and sent Titus and the Roman troops and Civilize to Israel to put down this rebellion, before it was put down completely, Nero died and Titus became the next Emperor.
and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Our world is racked with war. There has been two hundred years of war for every one year of peace, since Jesus was crucified. Even tonight there is warfare going on in parts of the world, of course, especially Yugoslavia right now. And such has been the case. The world has never really been at peace, when men were not in conflict with other men fighting and battling in war.
Of course in our century we have seen wars escalating into world wars, in which millions of people have lost their lives. There were two such wars now.
Wars are becoming more expensive, both in the number of lives that have been lost and the cost of waging war, wars of desolation to the end.
People talk about a glorious new age and new world. That is not going to be.
Now the “he” here is the prince of the people that shall come, but we jump now a span of time and the “he” is the antichrist.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:
You see the sixty-nine sevens brought you to the coming of the Messiah. But now, the Messiah was cut off, and with the Jews being dispersed, because these prophecies relate to the Jews, seventy-sevens are determined upon the Jews, your people and the Holy city. There was a stop of the prophetic calendar, the clock. And, there has been ushered in the time these gentiles, where God has poured out now upon the gentile nations the knowledge of His love and His grace.
As Paul the apostle said to the Jews, “Since you judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, I am going to the gentiles.” And the Gospel has been brought to the gentile nations. And the basic outreach of the Spirit is among the gentile people. But, the Lord again is going to deal with the Jews. There is a seven year period in which God is going to deal with them once more.
I am firmly convinced that before He does, He is going to take His gentile bride out of this world. And, when He removes His gentile bride, the church, out of this world, that will then open the door for God to begin to work with the nation of Israel once again. And, that will mark the working of God with Israel.
That coincides with this invasion of Israel by the Arab nations or Islamic nations as is described in Ezekiel 38. And, God’s destruction of that overwhelming army that will come against Israel will mark the beginning of God’s Spirit again upon the nation of Israel.
And we know that this Holy war of the Islamic nations against Israel could break out at any time. When Hussein began to shoot scuds at Israel, I thought then that this could be it. And it was just a foreshadowing of what is coming. It is going to happen.
And he (the antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many (not all) for one week:
For one seven year period he will make this covenant with Israel.
Now it would appear that the basis of the covenant will allow the Jews to rebuild the temple.
An interesting thing is going on in Israel today. Their main tact now is that Jesus is not the Messiah, because He claimed to be the Son of God. They do not believe that the Messiah is the Son of God. That is their basic claim today, why they reject the claim of Jesus as being the Messiah.
Now it should be noted that in the days that Jesus was here, the Jews and the rabbis did believe that the Messiah would be the Son of God. When the High Priest said to Jesus, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus said, “Yes.” “Are you then the Son of God?” Because they then believed that the Messiah would be the Son of God. And Jesus again responded, “You have said it.” Because the prophecy said to us, “a child is born unto to us, a son is given.” God said, “Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten thee.” But now today they say, “Well, we don’t believe that He is going to be the Son of God, and thus He is going to be a man like Moses, because Moses prophesied, ‘and there shall come a prophet like unto myself and to Him shall you give heed,’ and that is the Messiah. He will be a man.”
The obvious question then is, how will you know he is the Messiah? There answer, “He will lead us into the building of our temple.”
So they are looking now for a man to come and to make a covenant whereby he will lead them in the rebuilding of their temple, and they will acknowledge him and acclaim him as their Messiah.
Jesus said, “I came in my Father’s name.” Interesting, isn’t it? In other words, I came claiming to be the Son of God, in my Father’s name, and you did not receive me. Another will come in his own name and him you will receive.
I’ll tell you they are absolutely ripe to accept the antichrist, as soon as he makes the covenant allowing them the rights to rebuild the temple.
Now, we do know that during the great tribulation period there will be a temple in Jerusalem. For John in the book of Revelation, chapter 11, was given this ruler and told to measure the new temple and the courts, and this is in the middle of the tribulation. And, he said to John, “Don’t measure the outer court because it has been given to the gentiles.
Now, we do know that the Jews today are desiring to rebuild the temple. There is a lot of talk and activity going on towards the rebuilding of the temple. We were at the temple institute just a couple of weeks ago and we saw these beautiful silver vessels to carry the blood of the sacrifices. We saw the silver trumpets that they were making to call the people to assembly. We saw the copper pots that they were making for the priests to wash before administering their priestly duties. They are making all of the furnishings for the temple now, and they claim that they have found the ark of the covenant. The Rabbi we were talking to said, “We have seen it. We know exactly where it is.” And they are just now waiting for the Messiah to come to lead them in the rebuilding of the temple.
This man that is coming, he shall confirm the covenant for this seven year period, but in the midst of that seven year period, or after three and a half years,
he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation (the end), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
In II Thessalonians 2, as Paul is talking about the antichrist, he said he comes to the temple of God and shows that he is God and demands to be worshipped as God. Revelation 13 tells us that they are going to set an image of the antichrist in the Holy of Holies.
Jesus in talking about his coming said, “When you see the abomination of desolation that Daniel spoke about standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness,” And he said, “Let him who reads understand.” And immediately after those days there will be a great tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again.
This profaning of the rebuilt temple by the antichrist will be man’s final act of blasphemy against God, and will bring upon the earth the great judgment and wrath of God. The cup of His indignation will overflow and the world will go through a blood bath such as it has never seen before, as Jesus said, or will ever see again. And Daniel tells us that in chapter 12, that there will be a time of trouble, verse 1, “Such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time the people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
Now, some of the Jewish scholars, Dr. Asher Kaufmann one of the leading ones, has come to the conclusion that the Dome of the Rock Mosque does not stand over the sight of the temple of Solomon or the temple of Herod, but it actually lies three hundred and twenty-two feet south of where the temple of Solomon stood. There is there a little copula over a flat bedrock that is called, “the Dome of the Tablets.” And, it is his conclusion that the reason it is called the Dome of the Tablets or Dome of the Spirit is that within the Ark of the Covenant, the tablets of the law actually were placed on this spot. That this is the spot of the Holy of Holies. It is directly in from the east gate. And from the Mishnah, we know that when they had released the goat in the wilderness that would be a priest on the top of the Mount of Olives overlooking the top of the east gate to the High priest who would come out of the Holy place and wait for him to give the signal that the scapegoat had disappeared. And then he would announce to the people on Yon Kippur that their sins are gone. The scapegoat has gone into the wilderness and your sins are gone, and the people would rejoice. This is exactly in from the East gate, out east towards the Mount of Olives. And, he believes that this is the sight of the temple.
Now, interestingly enough, if he is right, the Jews could rebuild their temple without ever touching the Dome of the Rock Mosque. In other words, it could remain there. All they would have to do is put a wall along side the Dome of the Rock and they would have a large area, several acres, for their temple and for their court. The only thing that they would leave out would be the outer court, and that is where the Dome of the Rock stands. It is on what would have been the outer court, if indeed this is the place of the Holy of Holies. And of course it would be significant as the Lord said to John, “don’t measure the outer court. It has been given to the gentiles.”
The stage is set. The actors are all in place. The props have all been set up. We are just waiting for the Father to say, “draw the curtain for the final act.” We are there. The beginning of the seventieth week, which will be divided into two segments. The first segment will be the acclaiming of the antichrist, his making the covenant with Israel. But then in the midst of that seven year period, breaking the covenant and setting up the abomination which will bring the desolation upon the world, the judgment of God and the wrath of God. So, the whole scene is being set before us today and at any time God could give the signal and open the curtain for the final act.
Paul said, “knowing the time, it is high time we awake out of our sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Peter said, “seeing that these things are to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be?” This material world is just about over. It is just about to be dissolved in the wrath and the judgment of God. What kind of people ought we to be? If you are a materialist, you will lose everything. If you are walking after the Spirit, you will not lose a thing,
Jesus said, “Don’t lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust can decay, thieves can break through and steal, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” What manner of persons ought we to be in all holiness and Godliness. He answers His own question. We need to be living holy, Godly lives, walking and living after the Spirit.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7345