Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy – The Coming of Israel’s Chosen King Part 4

Daniel 9:26 – Gabriel Reveals Events in the Gap between Weeks Sixty-Nine and Seventy

By GF Herrin

Verse 26 describes some of the events that were to take place after the first sixty-nine weeks had been completed. It is commonly believed that the prophecy regarding the Messiah being cut off refers to the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice for sins on the cross at Calvary (Anderson, 125). So, “cut off” could be understood to mean “killed”. It is obvious from the wording of the text, “after the sixty-two weeks”, that the cutting off would take place after the second set of weeks had been complete. The phrase “cut off” is similar to the wording used by Isaiah: “He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people He was stricken” (Isa. 53:8). The interpretation of the verse in Daniel could also be that the Messiah would be cut off both from life and from having children. Jesus did not have any natural descendants so He was left with nothing and no one to survive Him. Also, the text states “but not for Himself.” This implies that the Messiah would die sacrificially, or for someone else. We know now that this refers to Christ who died as a ransom for our sins so that men could be reconciled to God through His Son’s shed blood on the cross. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

The second part of this verse introduces “the prince who is to come” as someone who is distinctly different from the Messiah. The passage states that it will be the people “of the prince who is to come” who will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (temple). The text states that the end would come like a flood. And until the war ended in Jerusalem and in Israel, desolations were determined that would occur. The understanding here is that a sudden attack or influx of a large army would cause the desolations to occur. We know from history that Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in A.D. 70 when the Romans laid siege to it.

Josephus describes the desolation of Israel after the war:

And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing, for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he {a foreigner} were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it (Flavius Josephus, The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 1901, Chapter 1.1, 666).

Futurists, those who believe in a future fulfillment for certain prophetic Scripture, interpret “the prince who is to come” to be the same person who is the subject of verse 27 – “he”. This is the one who “shall confirm a covenant” and “bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” So, there is the understanding from verse 26 that the people who are of the same nationality as a future prince to come will be the ones who destroy Jerusalem and the temple. Since the destruction was in fact carried out by the people of Rome, or the Roman soldiers, we discern that future prince from verse 27 who confirms a covenant and stop the sacrifices and offerings made at the temple will in fact be a Roman or one of the people of the Roman Empire.

Preterists, those who believe that most of the prophetic Scripture of the Bible has been fulfilled, contend that this reference to the “prince who is to come” refers to Titus (Mauro, 26), who along with his soldiers besieged Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Mauro interprets this passage to say that the people under a contemporaneous ruler will destroy the city and temple rather than interpreting that the destruction will be accomplished by the people who are the same nationality as the ruler whose coming is yet future. Mauro seems to make this assertion because of his presupposition that “he” in verse 27 (see next section) refers to Christ, instead of the future ruler from the Roman Empire who many scholars believe is also referred to in Daniel 7:25 (Mauro, 29). Mauro, in essence, holds to the opinion that all of the prophecies of the seventy weeks were fulfilled by A.D. 70. Mauro writes, “Thus the entire prophecy of the Seventy Weeks encompasses in its scope the rebuilding of the city and the temple, and the final destruction of both. It covers the stretch of time from the restoration of the people to their land and the city in the first year of Cyrus, down to their dispersion by the Romans into all the nations of the world” (Mauro, 26).

But how is that possible? There is nothing in the text in verse 26 to cause someone to conclude that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, along with the dispersion of God’s people, Israel, takes place within the seventy weeks. All that can be concluded is that the events in verse 26 take place after the first sixty-nine weeks. Since the Messiah’s death, the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem all occurred between the years of A.D. 2 and 70, well after the completion of the sixty-ninth week, this by necessity creates a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. Yet, Mauro insists that to suggest a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks is to “destroy the prophecy as a whole” (Mauro, 37).

But Alva McClain suggests that Old Testament prophecy is not always given in a continuous chronology:

Although certain areas of the future are definitely clocked as to time sequence and extent, we shall find in Old Testament prophecy no absolutely continuous and unbroken chronology of the future. The prophets often saw together on the screen of revelation certain events which in their fulfillment would be greatly separated by centuries of time. This characteristic, so strange to western minds, was in perfect harmony with the oriental mind which was not greatly concerned with continuous chronology. And the Bible, humanly speaking, is an oriental book (Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom, 1974, 137).

Eye on the End Times – Ezekiel’s Gog – MaGog War Coming Soon?

Scholars commonly interpret the country of Togarmah, which is mentioned as being one of the countries that attacks Israel in the Gog – Magog war (Ezek. 38-39), as the modern country of Turkey. So, this news item below, in which the Prime Minister of Turkey mentions invading Jerusalem should serve notice that the End Time stage setting to the war could be speeding up.  Since Ezekiel’s prophecy tells us that it will take 7 years for the weapons from this war to be destroyed (Ezek. 39:9), I believe that the Gog – Magog war will take place just before the Great Tribulation and may even be the catalyst that leads to the Jews’ re- building of the third Temple in Jerusalem (since God will miraculously prevent Israel from being destroyed – Ezek. 39:6-8).

 

The Prime Minister of Turkey Is Now Having Talks About Invading Jerusalem, In A Major World War

http://shoebat.com/2014/12/29/prime-minister-turkey-now-talks-invading-jerusalem-major-world-war/

 

By Walid and Theodore Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
A major talk was organized in Konya the birth place of Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu and in his presence before a jubilant crowd shouting in Nazi style Davutoğlu can be seen elated at the statements spoken by the leader of Hamas, Khalid Mashal. The fiery speech hailed Turkey headed by Erdogan and Davutoğlu as the representative and head of the entire Muslim world and praised him for the soon invasion of Jerusalem in the coming world war.

In the speech, which was not aired in major media (Shoebat.com was able to obtain the footage thanks to Willi Adelberger) and after the crowd calmed down their Nazi style chants, Mashal reminded that “Jerusalem is the first center of direction for Muslims. It was Konya that in 1980 when Jerusalem was threatened rose up for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque”. Looking towards the near future Mashal declared:

As Turkey for centuries was the main defender of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, likewise with you are the center of the Muslim Umma (Muslim nation) which will carry on the mission of liberating Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.

At the 6:10 mark of the video Khalid Mashal declared:

know this, that strong Turkey is the strength of Palestine and of Jerusalem.

At around the 7:14 mark he exclaimed:

Turkey is the strength that represents all Muslim nations.

Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan’s right hand man, is seen instantly clapping in jubilation at such affirmations the moment Khalid Mashal spoke of conquering Jerusalem with the crowds waiving flags that stem from the Turkish favorite colors in which the Ottomans prided themselves with the “fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow” (Revelation 9:17) which are also the colors of the flags the neo-Ottomans like to carry. In every time one can see Davutoğlu, he is smiling in joy.

Mashal complemented the AKP Islamic party of Turkey of their accomplishments in what he termed “lightening speed to have accomplished what they accomplished for the advancement of the Muslim world”. “Allah is with us and is with you for victory” Mashal reminded of war against Israel. He ended his speech reminding that he will invite Erdogan and Davutoğlu into the Temple Mount: “We were welcomed in Istanbul and now in Konya and tomorrow we will welcome you into the platform of Al-Aqsa (Temple Mount) in the next conferences, by the will of Allah”.

It is obvious what this signifies: the Turkish government wants to invade Jerusalem in a holy war, or jihad. World War III will then be over Jerusalem, which indicates one glorious coming event: the Crusades will be revived, and the Final Crusade is will occur.

What is very sad, though, is that the Muslim world still has the spirit of jihad, and we in the West are still stuck in the mindset of the Enlightenment, in which the idea of Holy War or a Crusade is mocked and seen as lunacy, and where secular wars are praised over religious wars.

We must revive the spirit of Holy War, for no secular war will fully extinguish the enemies of Christianity. With secular wars there is an invasion, battles, and then compromise. In religious war there is no compromise, only obliteration of evil for the cause of the good.

Fulfilled Prophecies of the Bible

I was surprised when I talked to a Muslim man recently and he questioned why the Bible was different in validity from the Qur’an. Well, for starters, the Bible is a much older book than the Qur’an, which was only written in 632 A.D. But, also, in contrast to the Qur’an, which contains no prophecies that have come true, the Bible contains numerous prophecies that have fulfilled.

Below are several biblical prophecies that have all been supernaturally fulfilled:

Prediction Prophetic Scripture Fulfillment
The Succession of Great World Kingdoms Daniel 2:37-42 (written between 605 B.C. to 520 B.C.) The Kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome
Cyrus King of Persia Isaiah 44:28; 45:1 (written around 700 B.C.) predicts by name the reign of Cyrus Cyrus founded the Persian Empire, conquered Babylon in 539 B.C., and allowed the Jews to re-build and return to Jerusalem
The Destruction of Tyre Ezekiel 26:3-14 (written around 590 B.C.) Partially fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city of Tyre in 575 B.C. and left it in ruins, then, completely fulfilled when Alexander attacked the city and removed the stones, dust, and timber when he utterly destroyed it in 332 B.C.*
Jesus Christ’s coming Daniel 9:25 predicts that the Messiah will come 483 years after the command to re-build Jerusalem is given (see Nehemiah 2:1-8) Matthew 21:1-12 – April 6th, A.D. 32 – Messiah Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was worshipped as King
The Return of Israel to the Land Isaiah 11:11 The modern State of Israel was re-gathered and became a country in 1948, nearly 2000 years after the Jewish people were sent into exile
The Closing of the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem Ezekiel 44:1-2 In 1543, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent closed the gate and walled it up. It remains sealed to this day awaiting the return of the Messiah when it will be re-opened for Him to enter through it*

 

*Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, 1999, 613-14.

Immortal and Unstoppable – The Power of the Resurrection

 

 By GF Herrin

They were world beaters, maybe not in the traditional or worldly sense, but for sure in the manner that they went about their work. The original eleven disciples, hand-picked by the Lord Jesus when He walked the Earth, possessed boldness, courage, and determination to spread the Gospel despite the obstacles that stood in their way. Perhaps the most determined of all of them was an uneducated fisherman, a man of action, who, as far as anyone knew, had always been that way. Never content to sit around, Peter had an energy about him that was apparent to everyone. If a matter presented itself to be talked about, discussed, debated, and pondered, he wanted to resolve the question quickly so that the real work could begin.

After he met Jesus, Peter knew (Matt. 16:16) he had met God in the flesh, the Messiah, and also knew that the long awaited anointed one who was prophesied from long ago (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 42:1-4;Dan.9:25; Mic.5:2) had finally come.

It was Peter who offered to build tabernacles (shelters or booths) for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the high mountain (perhaps Mount Hermon) when Christ was transfigured (Matt. 17:1-9). It was Peter who got out of the boat to join the Lord in walking on the water (Matt. 14:20) it was also Peter who, filled with dismay, spoke up at the thought of His Lord being struck down by the chief priests, elders, and scribes (Matt. 6:21-22).

But, even Peter, in his moment of weakness had denied Christ, and along with most of the other disciples, had avoided the scene of the cross. What had occurred to transform the disciples from doubtful, un-motivated men mourning their dead teacher into determined, fearless witnesses for Christ? One event was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The major event, though, was the Resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus and His appearance to the disciples three days after He died.

The disciples must have felt the change inside of them. A boldness rising up within….A need to proclaim the Gospel….As if their very souls were bursting with joy and the power that His Spirit gave them all at once…and all their doubts had been erased in an instant…By His glorious appearance and Resurrection on that Sunday after the Passover. In one instant Christ had made everything new. No longer was there any uncertainty of what awaited each of them after they died. The disciples knew that they would be resurrected just like their Savior and Lord. Death’s grip would never truly have a hold over anything they did again.

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55)

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15).

Regarding the early followers of Christ’s willingness to surrender their lives for their faith, the second century Greek satirist, Lucian wrote, (these) “creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all times, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them.”

We can see from the Acts of the Disciples that the certain belief that they had in their own resurrection made a significant difference in their actions as well:

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words… Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:14, 22-24).

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

“Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 6:7-8).

Today, we are live in a dark time. Many Christians worldwide are persecuted on a daily basis for their faith in Christ. Christians in Iran and other Muslim countries choose to stand for Jesus and willingly die rather than deny Him and live in a world where there is no hope. Many Chinese brothers and sisters gladly gather together in secret so that they can worship the Lord, encourage each other, and continue to live boldly for Him. In the United States, now, many are concerned that we will be persecuted for our proclamation of biblical values and pointing out sins to our neighbors in order to tell them how they can be saved.

It is interesting to note that the word witness in Greek is “martyr”, which means, testimony. In the English language, the word, “martyr” brings up connotations of someone who has died for what he or she has believed in. They have paid the ultimate price. To witness or testify for Christ means that you in a sense do become a martyr. You die to yourself, so that you are faithful and loyal to Jesus who loved you and paid the ultimate price for your salvation. This should not be a strange concept to us, as we all die to ourselves when we come to Faith in Jesus Christ.

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39).

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Though we have died to ourselves, God’s spirit now lives in us, regenerating us and giving us strength and assurance that we belong to Him, no matter what happens now or in the days to come.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Be bold and encouraged to live and stand for Christ. Remember, you are essentially immortal and unstoppable!

Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy – The Coming of Israel’s Chosen King Part 3

Daniel 9:25 – Gabriel Reveals the Events of the Sixty-Nine Weeks

By GF Herrin

            This passage references the period of the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel’s Seventy Week revelation. This period spans from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until Jesus Christ presented Himself as messiah to the people of Israel. In question is when the prophetic clock for the period of seventy weeks actually began ticking. Philip Mauro contends that the decree that Cyrus gives (2Chron. 36:22-23) and Ezra 1:1-3) marks the beginning of the seventy weeks (Mauro, 19). Others have believed that the period might be identified by Artaxerxes’ decree given to Ezra in 458 BC (Ezra 6:3-8). However, these decrees only refer to the re-building of the temple in Jerusalem., not the actual city or city walls. The only reference in Scripture in which an actual command is given to rebuild the city of Jerusalem is the one from Artaxerxes given to Nehemiah (Neh 2:1-8) (Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, 1958, 244). The year it was given is widely believed to have been 445 BC (John Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, 1971, 228). Certainly, the book of Nehemiah validates the “troublesome times” that the builders would experience in thethe city of Jerusalem as they strived to restore their city, as predicted in Daniel 9:25.

The first seven periods of weeks refer to the length of time required to re-build Jerusalem. That period seems to have begun in 445 and concluded a generation, or forty-nine years, after the debris of Jerusalem had all been cleared out and the city was re-stored (Walvoord, 227). The second set of weeks, the sixty-two, or 434 years, is generally believed to have been completed in Jesus’ time. But which event signifies the time of Messiah the Prince mentioned in verse 26? Mauro argues that the time of messiah the Prince must have been the event of Jesus’ baptism that would have been the time of His “anointing” by the Holy Spirit (Mauro, 19).

However, Robert Anderson, who thoroughly researched the chronology of the time period from 445 B.C. to the time of Christ, calculates that the time of Messiah the Prince would have been April 6th, A.D. 32, the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was worshipped as King (Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 1954, 126-27). This would have been 483 prophetic years, (360 days per year) or sixty-nine prophetic weeks, after the command to re-build Jerusalem was given, on March 14th, 445 B.C. According to Anderson (Anderson, 128), prophetic Scripture validates this event as a significant moment as well: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

This time of Christ’s presentation to Israel (Matthew 21:1-12) would have represented the arrival of the long awaited King come to His people. It was the manifestation of the God-man coming in peace and mercy. Also, this represented the time that Jesus accepted the title of King and welcomed the worshipful cries of “Hosanna” because He knew that it was His appointed time. It was the time of Messiah the Prince. Anderson writes, “The twofold ministry of His words and His works had been fully rendered, and His entry into the Holy City was to proclaim His Messiahship and to receive His doom” (Walvoord, 229).

That this day was knowable by the Jews of Jesus’ time is attested by Jesus’ haunting message delivered to Israel:

Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation. (Luke 19:41-44).

Eye on the End Times – Palestinians seek UN resolution to end Israeli occupation

Is this the beginning of stage setting for the scenario of Israel becoming a burdensome stone?

Nimr Hammad, an adviser to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, has said that he will push to submit a UN resolution this week that will give Israel two years to negotiate a peace settlement that will ultimately lead to their giving up the land that they acquired when they defended their country from annihilation in the six day war in 1967.

The U.S. has historically vetoed any such resolution, but if that is the cas this time, then why is Secretary of State John Kerry wasting so much of the taxpayer’s money jetting across Europe and the middle east to speak with different heads of state?

http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-meet-palestinian-negotiator-london-000611664.html

 

Zechariah 12:3

And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

Daniel 9:27

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

 

Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy – The Coming of Israel’s Chosen King – Part 2

By GF Herrin

Gabriel Reveals the Purpose of the Seventy Weeks – 9:24

In response to Daniel’s passionate prayer on behalf of his people, God sends Gabriel to reveal to Daniel that seventy weeks have been decreed for his people and their holy city of Jerusalem. The meaning of the word “weeks” in Hebrew is “hepthads”. A hepthad is a unit of measurement that is used to signify seven things are grouped together (Lehman Strauss, The Prophecies of Daniel, 1969, 267-68). This grouping of seven years together was not without precedent in the biblical text. Years were collected into groups of seven by God in His instruction to the Hebrews on the proper cultivation of the land of Israel.

Moses speaks of God’s land use instructions:

“Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land” (Lev. 25:3-5).

The Lord instructed the Israelites to carefully follow this mandate of observing the sabbatical year of rest for the land. Part of the reason for God’s removal of His people from their homeland was to provide a period of rest for it. “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest– for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it” (Lev. 26:33-35).

The timing of the revelation of the Seventy Weeks is subsequent to Daniel’s understanding of Jeremiah’s seventy years as a significant prophetic period. The revelation at such a time suggests that God has put equal emphasis on the seventy weeks of seven period in regard to His chosen people. So, Daniel would have been especially interested to hear of Gabriel’s revelation of the future events. Gabriel, in verse 24 revealed six reasons for the Seventy weeks which will be discussed here.

To Finish the Transgression

As a nation, Israel had transgressed against God by turning to false gods and idols and offering sacrifices and offerings at the high places beginning during the time of Solomon’s reign. They also had not followed God’s statues and the Law that Moses had handed down regarding how they should live as His separate, chosen people who were called out of Egypt.

Part of the purpose of the seventy week period, then, is to finish the transgression of the people of Israel. The Hebrew word for “transgression” that is used is “pasha”, which can be translated to mean “revolt” or “rebellion”. In addition to rebelling against God’s ordinances, Israel would later commit the ultimate rebellion by rejecting Christ, their Messiah (Strauss, 277). However, part of the function of the Seventy Weeks, especially the last week, is to end Israel’s rebellion by reconciling them to God. This reconciliation will reach its ultimate fulfillment when Israel comes to saving faith in Jesus as their Messiah and King in the seventieth week. Zechariah writes, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10).

To Make an End of Sins

This speaks of the second advent of Christ in which he will come to rule as the God-man in His millennial kingdom on Earth. God will put in the hearts of his people, Israel a new nature to do His will and to follow His commandments and to avoid sin (Strauss, 278).

Ezekiel writes of this time, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Ezek. 36:26-28).

To Make Reconciliation for Iniquity

In the latter days, Israel will mourn for their sins and come to understand that Jesus, the Messiah, has provided the sacrifice for them so that they can be reconciled to the Father. Israel will become God’s holy people again to live with him in the New Jerusalem. The veil will be lifted from their eyes. The partial hardening that Paul spoke of in Romans 11:25 will be removed. Their spiritual blindness will be no more. The will come to realize that only Jesus Christ can save them from their sins.

Jeremiah prophesies:

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more (Jer. 31:33-34).

Israel will come to know God intimately and be restored into a close relationship as His children.

To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness

The events of the Seventy Weeks will accomplish the tasks needed to be done to bring forth Jesus as Israel’s chosen king. With Jesus, the true Israel, established as king, the theocracy will be re-established. The Messiah will reign on his throne in Jerusalem and bring righteousness to all the land.

The Scriptures foretell the Messiah’s millennial reign as king:

Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel’ (Ps. 2:6-9).

Jeremiah writes specifically of the righteousness that will be characteristic of the Messiah’s millennium: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:5-6).

To Seal Up Vision and Prophecy

Many interpreters hold the view that at the end of the Seventy Weeks all of the visions and predictions that the prophets made regarding the coming of Christ’s kingdom on Earth will be fulfilled. This includes the visions and interpretations of Daniel regarding the destruction of the Gentile kingdoms and establishment of God’s eternal, physical kingdom to come. Preterist Philip Mauro interprets this “sealing up” as an end to prophecy and vision given to the Jews as punishment to them for rejecting Christ (Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, 1998, 17). Certainly, sealing up could mean a stoppage of revelation given to the Jews. But, in the context with which this overall message is given (a response to Daniel after he prayed for his people and the city of Jerusalem), it makes more sense to understand this sealing up as a fulfillment of all prophecies given regarding Israel and their city.

In addition, the Hebrew word “nabiy” is more properly translated to mean “prophet”, not prophecy. Thus, the understanding is that a sealing up of the prophet or specific things spoken by the prophet will be accomplished (Thomas A. Howe, Daniel Notes, from Daniel class lectures, Southern Evangelical Seminary, 2008, 9.75). So, if we consider this, then it may be more accurate to interpret this passage as a statement that everything that Jeremiah spoke of including the reconciliation of Israel to God will take place at the consummation of the Seventy Weeks. This interpretation is consistent with God’s promises for Israel’s future redemption as well.

To Anoint the Most Holy

There are various interpretations regarding the anointing of the most holy. The text actually translates to “and anoint holy of holies”. This could refer to the anointing of the most Holy One, Jesus. E.B. Pusey seems to advocate that this prophecy referred to a spiritual fulfillment at Christ’s first advent (E.B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet, Nine Lectures, 1885, 196). Mauro also spiritualizes the passage when he states that the anointing was accomplished at Pentecost (Mauro, 17). A preferred explanation would be a futuristic literal fulfillment. Given the fact that Saul, David, Solomon, and Jehu (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13; 1 Kings 1:39; 2 Kings 9:6) were anointed with oil, wouldn’t it be expected that the King of kings, Jesus, would be formally anointed at the beginning of His millennial reign? After all, His reign will be the most anticipated event in the Scriptures. It is natural to expect that this coronation of Him will be marked by a formal anointing. It could also be interpreted that this prophecy foretells the anointing of the most Holy place of the future millennial temple. After all, in almost all of the places “holy of holies” appears in the Scriptures, it is used in reference to the altar, sacrifices, or priestly duties ministering in those areas (Howe, 9.76). Further, it is possible that this passage may be referring to both the literal anointing of our Lord Jesus Christ and the anointing of the Millennial temple. In the coming Kingdom, the man-God Jesus will dwell among men in His Holy place. So, it makes sense that the place of his dwelling will be anointed since He is holy.

Ezekiel prophesies of this incredible event:

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore (Ezek. 37:26-28).

End of Part 2

 

 

 

 

The Consequences of Free Will

 

By GF Herrin

     Jesus stood before the soldiers in His mock purple robe. Purple was the color of royalty but these soldiers had put it on him in an effort to castigate Him. These Gentiles didn’t know that He was the King of all Creation, the One who breathed life into existence. They had no idea that all things were created through Him and for Him and held together by Him (Coll. 1:17). If they had, how could they have done this?

“Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him” (Mark 15:16-20).

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10).

Why had He allowed them to do this to Him? After all, if He so desired, He could have struck them down at any minute or commanded His Angels to do so. Why endure it? The peasant clothes, the birth in an animal stable, the announcements delivered to the lowest of the low, the Shepherds? Why the plunge into obscurity, poverty, anonymity and ultimately torture on the cross? Why give up His Heavenly crown and become essentially a bondservant to man (Phil. 2:6-8)?

It comes down to choices. He chose this servant’s path because Adam (and men and women) chose the wrong path so long ago. God did not create us to mindlessly follow His commandments. Nor was it part of His plan for us to thoughtlessly put our trust in Him. Don’t get me wrong. There are steerings and nudgings and ways He reveals Himself and leads us to come to Him. But, whether you are a five point Calvinist or 100% Aremenian, you cannot deny that you have free will to make the choices you want to make in this life with regard to following Jesus or not. Mindless Robots are not His style. He equipped Adam and Eve with the ability to apply reason so that they could conclude for themselves what is good. God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave us the freedom to choose Him or not.

That choice or free will that we have been given has come with a price to Him, though. The consequences of giving us free will, were pain and suffering to Jesus Christ. When Adam and Eve chose rebellion instead of obedience, they brought the corruption of sin into the world.

Roman 5:12- 13 says, “we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.“

God is holy, righteous, and just. As sinful creatures we cannot be in His presence unless we have  had our sins removed. The only way for sin to be removed or cleansed from us individually is by sacrificial atonement. Jesus, perfect and sinless in every way, sacrificially died as payment for our sins by being crucified. Robert Morris http://www.theblessedlife.com astutely pointed out recently that Jesus traded His Heavenly crown for our crown of thorns. He gave up all He had, including His life, to willingly bear our ugly sinful crown with all of its thorns.

His Death was essentially the consequence of our free will.

 

 

Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy – The Coming of Israel’s Chosen King – Part 1

 

By GF Herrin

Daniel 9:24 – 27

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

 

Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy is perhaps the best known of all prophetic Scripture regarding Israel and End Times. It also may very well be the most often misunderstood of all eschatological Bible passages. The prophetic passages in Dan. 9:24-27 give us a glimpse of key events that are to take place impacting Israel and its people. Understanding the Scripture properly influences greatly how one understands many other pieces of Scripture involving prophecy of things that to take place before the coming age. To properly understand the message of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks is to understand God’s faithfulness and determination to bring forth Israel’s chosen King and Lord: Jesus Christ. Misunderstanding the Scripture is to underestimate God’s nature and faithfulness to His covenant people in respect to keeping the prophetic promises written of throughout the Old and New Testaments.

H.A. Ironside writes of the importance of understanding the Seventy Weeks prophecy:

For if the 70 weeks are to be misunderstood, then, an effort will necessarily be made to bend all the other prophetic Scripture passages into accord with that misinterpretation. But if we have a correct understanding of the teaching of this chapter, we can then see readily how all prophecy, without any forcing, falls right into place and is intimately linked with this the greatest of all-time prophecies (H. A. Ironside, Daniel, Kregel, 2005, 86).

A key to understanding the passages of the 70 Weeks in in understanding the context in which the revelation was given. It is clear from the passages in Daniel 9:1-19 that the revelation that Gabriel brought to Daniel was given to him in response to his fervent prayer. It is believed that the time period for the events described in chapter nine was approximately 70 years after Israel’s initial deportation to Babylon after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The text says that Daniel had been reading Jeremiah’s writings and understood that Jerusalem would remain desolate for seventy years.

Jeremiah’s prophecies clearly indicated a 70 year period in which Israel’s land would be left desolate:

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years (Jer. 25:8-11).

Jeremiah revealed what the Lord said would come after the 70 years in exile as well: “After seventy weeks are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word for you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jer. 29:10). When he came to understand Jeremiah’s prophecies regarding the seventy year exile that God had appointed, Daniel was prompted to pray for Israel’s forgiveness and for Jerusalem to be delivered from its time of desolation. As is evident in the words of 9:12, Daniel was familiar with the Law of Moses and the judgment that God would bring upon Israel if they were unfaithful to Him:

Moses writes, “I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within For the young man and virgin, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs” (Deut. 32:23-25).

He also would have known of the Scripture regarding the consequences of disobedience to God: “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Lev. 26:14-17).

But Daniel must have also understood the Scripture regarding God’s promised of faithfulness and mercy if only Israel would repent and turn away from its iniquities and call upon the name of Yahweh:

“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt– then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 26:40-45).

Daniel also understood from Jeremiah’s writings that God would never allow Israel to cease to exist as a people to Him. Jeremiah writes: “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.” Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord” (Jer. 31:36-37).

In Daniel 9:16, 18, Daniel appeals to God’s sense of righteousness and mercy in hope that He will turn away His anger from Jerusalem and His sanctuary. Daniel, in his sincere devotion to the Lord, is compelled to bring his humble petition to Him. There is nothing in the text to suggest that Daniel has excerpted words from prayers from people such as Nehemiah as some critical scholars have suggested (A. A. Bevan, A Short Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 1892, 150). It is Daniel’s familiarity with the Law, the writings of Jeremiah, and his intimate knowledge of the nature of God that enables him to compose such a humble prayer in chapter nine. This prayer serves as a great model for anyone needing to call upon the name of the Lord. Daniel, as a great man of faith, displays the kind of heart that God desires in His people. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

That his prayer is effective is evident in the swiftness with which Gabriel provides the answer to Daniel along with a revelation from God. Daniel pleadingly offers up a humble request on behalf of his nation, Israel, to be forgiven of sins and for Jerusalem to be restored back to its people. Understanding Daniel’s intended audience is a key to understanding the prophetic message that Gabriel brings to him. The revelation that Gabriel brings to Daniel directly addresses the remaining days for Israel. J. A. Seiss writes: “It is not the Jew and Jerusalem in one case, and Christians and the church in another. It is the Jew and Jerusalem first, last, and all the time, and nothing but the Jew and Jerusalem, and what pertains to them (J. A. Seiss, Voices from Babylon, 1879, 240). So, it is with the correct understanding of application that we must examine the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks in 9:24-27.

“When you Fast…”

By GF Herrin

In today’s world, more than ever before Christians are inundated with a culture that seeks and occupies its time with anything but God. Think of the distractions we must face: TV, movies, books, magazines, iPhones, the internet, sports, “higher” education, sex, food, money, work, physical fitness and many more. We are bombarded by distractions coming at us from all directions. With so much to distract us from God, how do we stay hungry for Him?

Well, one way to remove distractions from our relationship with the Lord is through the discipline of fasting. John Piper’s book, Hunger for God, is an excellent resource that points to fasting as a tool to eliminate worldly distractions and draw closer to God. He points out the many benefits of fasting and emphasizes that it is a biblical discipline that we are called to do.

Remember, Christ mentioned fasting as an activity that all believers should practice when he said, ”But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face” (Matt. 6:17). Notice, the Lord did not say if we fast, as if it may or may not be something that we partake in, but said, when we fast.

Also, we who are earnestly waiting for the return of the Bridegroom are in a sense mourning because He is not with us, right now. As hard as it may be to visualize, this time is only temporary. One day, we believers will live with Christ in the New Jerusalem. However, right now, we are called to fast since our King is not with us. And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast” (Matt. 9:15).

Fasting helps us to separate us from the temporary meaningless things that keep us away from prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with God. Jesus emphasized that these types of things would distract people from God’s word and ultimately from a healthy relationship with Him: “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).

You may need to fast from food to get away from all of the distractions from this world. If you are like me, you have precious little time to spend with Lord. Communion with God, though, is a paramount activity for you to be fruitful for Christ. If you have a besetting sin, activity, or obsession that has become an idol in your life you need to get away from it. Get rid of it and strip away all of the things that are preventing you from drawing close to God.

Remember, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).