Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy

 PROVES

Jesus Is the MESSIAH!

 

                        Hidden in the book of Daniel is a very important prophecy which

                        not only identifies WHO the Messiah is, but also plainly tells us

                        WHEN He would come to the earth!  It clearly speaks of His coming

                        TWICE – once to be “cut off” and killed – and then later to usher in

                        the Kingdom of God and to rule all nations as a King!

 

                        This prophecy, together with the Bible Codes, and other prophecies,

                        describe vividly the terrible state of immorality and world conditions

                        at the close of this present age, and the last seven years of this present

                        generation leading up to the coming of the Messiah!  It tells us about

                        the “Road Map” to peace and the critical year 2006.  Here is the

                        astonishing PROOF Jesus Christ  truly is the Messiah, and that He is

                        SOON coming again to this earth in our lifetime!

 

William F. Dankenbring

 

            The world is watching the Middle East breathlessly, but Biblical prophecy has much to tell us about the current prospects for peace in the region.  In a much misunderstood prophecy in the book of Daniel this very process is described, and tied in with the soon coming of the Messiah to save Israel, and the entire earth, from the ultimate “no return” condition of cosmocide and human annihilation.

 

            One of the most amazing and intriguing prophecies of all the Bible is found in Daniel 9:24-27.  Throughout the ages men and women have puzzled over the meaning of this cryptic passage.  It has stumped theologians, baffled scholars, and puzzled Christians  and Jews alike for thousands of years.   Very few understand just HOW this passage in the book of Daniel, written in about 500-600 B.C., relates to the coming of the Messiah, AND the prospects of “peace” in our generation!

 

            Let us carefully review this entire prophecy, and see how powerful and awesome it is, deserving to be studied by ALL people – Christian, Jew, Muslim, and unbelievers as well!

 

            First of all, let’s read the passage in the King James Version:

 

                        “SEVENTY WEEKS are determined upon thy people and upon thy

                                holy city, to finish [margin, to restrain] the transgression, and to make

                                an end [margin, to seal up] of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,

                                and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and

                                prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

 

                        “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the

                                commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem [margin, to build

                                again Jerusalem] unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and

                                threescore and two weeks:  the street shall be built again, and the wall

                                [margin, breach, or ditch], in troublous times.

 

                                And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be CUT OFF, but

                                not for himself [margin, and shall have nothing]:  and the people of

                                the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;

                                and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war

                                desolations are determined [margin, it shall be cut off by desolations].

 

                                “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK:  and

                                in the midst of the WEEK he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation

                                to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations [margin, and upon

                                the battlements shall be the idols of the desolater], he shall make it

                                desolate, even until the consumation, and that determined shall be

                                poured upon the desolate [margin, desolater]” (Dan.9:24-27).

 

            What a strange prophecy!  It outlines strange events to occur in and around Jerusalem, till the coming of the Messiah and the end of the age.  What are these mysterious “seventy weeks”?

 

            In Numbers 14:34 God told the Israelites, “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day of a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years . . .”  Each day of the prophetic 70 weeks, then, is a year in being fulfilled!

 

            Ezekiel confirms this same principle.  God told Ezekiel concerning the punishment and siege of Israel, “This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.  Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.  For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  And when thou has accomplished them, lie on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year” (Ezek.4:3-6).                                                   

 

            To understand the 70 weeks prophecy, one must realize each day of the prophecy equals a year being fulfilled.  Since there are seven days in a week -- or a total of 490 days in 70 weeks -- this prophecy involves 490 years.  At the end of this time period, the “Most Holy” -- the Messiah -- will bring in everlasting righteousness -- He will become King of the whole earth and put a complete end to all man’s rebellion.  All nations will finally be reconciled to Him.

 

            However, this prophecy does not say that this period of years is consecutive, from beginning to end.  It is divided up into three distinct periods – 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and a final week.

 

            But how are these 490 years to be understood?  When do they commence'?  And what do the three periods of time mean?  And when do they end?

 

            Notice.

 

            “Know therefore,” Gabriel told Daniel, “and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [the Messianic king] shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks [a total of 69 weeks or 483 prophetic years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Dan. 9:25).

 

                                                            Which Decree?

 

            What commandment or decree was this?  Daniel recorded this prophecy in 538-537 B.C. History records that Cyrus reigned from 538-537 until 530-529.  Cambyses followed Cyrus on the throne and reigned for eight years, until 522-521.  He was followed by Darius I who reigned 36 years, until December 23, 486, when Xerxes took the throne.  Xerxes was the Ahasuerus of the Bible (see Finegan, Light From the Ancient Past, p.238).  Xerxes reigned from 486 to 465-464 when he was followed by his son Artaxerxes.  Artaxerxes then reigned nearly 41 years, until 424 B.C.

 

            Which of these men made a decree to “restore and to build Jerusalem”?  Cyrus made a decree in 536-535 regarding the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1: 1-2).  This particular decree was specifically to build the Temple -- the city is not mentioned.  This decree, therefore, is not the one spoken of by Daniel in chapter 9:25.  The Jews had opposition in building the Temple throughout the days of Cyrus, “even until the reign of Darius king of Persia” (Ezra 4:4-5).  Local Samaritans frustrated their purpose and attempted to overthrow the project.  Work on the Temple ceased until the second year of Darius  (521-485) (see Ezra 4:24).

 

            Darius also made a decree and ordered the construction of the temple to continue (Ezra 6:11-12).  But, again, this decree was to build the house of God -- not the city of Jerusalem.  The Temple, except for the finishing touches, was completed by the sixth year of the reign of Darius (Ezra 6:14-15).  Therefore, the evidence is that neither of these two decrees was the one spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

 

            A third decree, however, was made by king Artaxerxes I (464-423).  Since the Temple was already built, Artaxerxes' decree concerned another matter.  In the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the Jewish scribe Ezra came to Jerusalem, carrying a copy of a letter containing the decree of king Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1, 6, 12).  We read in the book of Ezra: “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.  I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem . . . Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king . . . to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand: and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon . . .” (see Ezra 7:11-26).

 

            After this epochal decree, Ezra prayed to God, saying: “Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.  And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape . . . to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem” (Ezra 9:7-9).

 

            Mark carefully -- this decree gave Ezra authority not only to rebuild and beautify the house of God, but also to repopulate Jerusalem, to set government in operation, and to rebuild the city and the wall!  The Jews had never been given authority from the Persian kings to rebuild Jerusalem and the city wall.  However, early in the reign of Artaxerxes, the Samaritans had accused the Jews of building the city once again (Ezra 4:7, 11-12).  The king issued an order for the Jews to stop all such activity until further notice (vs.17-21).  After a through investigation, Artaxerxes issued another decree -- the decree mentioned in Ezra 7. This must be the decree Daniel had reference to since it was the first one that clearly involved the city of Jerusalem as well as the temple.

 

            When, then, was the “seventh year” of king Artaxerxes?  To understand when the seventh year of Artaxerxes occurred, we must find the year he ascended to the throne.

 

                                                   Artaxerxes’ Seventh Year

 

            Ctesias, a Greek physician at the court of Artaxerxes II, and who undoubtedly had access to the Persian archives, relates that Artaxerxes learned that Artabanus had killed his father.  Artabanus was slain, and Artaxerxes assumed the throne without fear of a rival.

 

            But when was Xerxes murdered?

 

            Discoveries in Mesopotamia and Egypt have thoroughly established the chronologies of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian empires.  The evidence of Ptolemy’s Canon, the Saros Tablets, and papyri dated with two calendar systems, reveal that Xerxes’ reign ended in his 21st year.  His 21st year then was counted from spring of 465 B.C. to spring of 464. (The Persian civil year was reckoned from spring to spring).  Artaxerxes’ first year thus began in the spring of 464 B.C. Artaxerxes must have ascended to the throne sometime in the year 465/64 B.C.

 

            A document that was written during the accession year of Artaxerxes has been found.  It is listed as Aramaic papyrus (AP 6) and was written from the Jewish colony of Elephantine in Egypt.  The document was dated the 18th of Kislev or the 17th of Thoth, ‘in the year 21, the beginning of reign when King Artaxerxes sat on his throne.’ Artaxerxes I took the throne in the 21st year of Xerxes.  He must be the Artaxerxes in question, since neither Artaxerxes II or III came to the throne in a year 21.

 

            The 18th of Kislev or 17th of Thoth dates the document as having been written the evening of January 2 or daytime January 3, 464 B.C., since the Hebrews reckon a day from sunset to sunset.  Therefore, by January 3, 464 B.C., Jews in Egypt obviously knew that Artaxerxes had ascended the Persian throne.  The document speaks of ‘the beginning of the reign’ of Artaxerxes, or his accession year.  What does this mean?

 

            As January 2/3, 464, is dated in the accession year of Artaxerxes, his first regnal year -- according to the Hebrew reckoning -- could not officially begin until Tishri 1, in the autumn of 464 B.C.! The Hebrew civil calendar began each year in the autumn with Tishri.

 

            Since the first year of Artaxerxes, according to the Hebrew civil year, did not begin until autumn of 464 B.C., seven years later would bring us to autumn of 458 B.C. The seventh year of Artaxerxes, therefore, was from the autumn of 458 to the autumn of 457 B.C.

 

                                                        Fall-to-Fall Reckoning

 

             But do we have proof that the Hebrews still used the fall-to-fall reckoning for their civil year after they returned from Babylonian captivity?  Or did they adopt the Babylonian custom of dating each civil year from spring to spring?

 

            There is conclusive evidence that during Nehemiah’s time the Hebrew civil calendar was still in use.  Consider: in Nehemiah 1:1, Nehemiah said he received bad news of Jerusalem in the month Chisleu, (November-December) in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.  He later mentioned that in Nisan (March-April), in the twentieth year of the king, he gave wine to Artaxerxes (2:1).  Thus Nehemiah said Chisleu or Kislev preceded Nisan in the 20th regnal year of Artaxerxes, showing he used a fall to fall reckoning.

 

            Today, the Jews still reckon the year from fall to fall, beginning the new year in the autumn.  They celebrate Rosh Hoshana, or New Year’s day, in the autumn, on Tishri 1. They have clung tenaciously to this practice.

 

            According to the Hebrew calendar used by Nehemiah, then, the seventh year of Artaxerxes fell from the fall of 458 to the fall of 457 B.C. Ezra's journey from Babylon to Jerusalem took place from about late March to about early August (Ezra 7:8-9), 457 B.C. He carried the decree of king Artaxerxes with him.  Therefore, the famous decree for the restoration of Jerusalem was signed, sealed, delivered to Ezra, and went into effect as soon as he reached Jerusalem -- in the late summer or early fall of 457 B.C.

 

            Now we have dated the decree.  Notice again Daniel was told that from the issuance of the decree till the coming of the Messiah was to be “seven weeks, threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Daniel 9:25).

 

            The re-settling and rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem made rapid strides from the 20th year to the 32nd year of Artaxerxes (Neh.5:14-16).  The building program continued into the reign of Darius II who succeeded Artaxerxes.  During his reign the wall around Jerusalem was finished (Neh.12:22, 27-30, 43).  But even after the wall was complete, many buildings within the city had yet to be built (Neh.7:11, 14; 11:1-2).  These were “troublous times,” as Daniel foretold and as Ezra 4:5 summarized.  Persecution and hindrances slowed progress.  But after the first seven of the prophetic weeks of the prophecy – a period of 49 years -- the city was rebuilt and the temple restored.

 

            Then Daniel mentioned “sixty two weeks” were to follow-- or 434 more years were to pass -- until the appearance of the Messiah.  Thus a total of sixty nine prophetic weeks -- or 483 literal years -- were to exist from the commandment of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. till the appearance of the Messiah.

 

                                                              457 B.C.        -- year-date of the decree

                                                            -483 years        -- time to pass till Messiah would come

                                                                26 A.D.

                                                                +1                -- since there is no year “zero” 

                                                                27 A.D.        -- year the prophecy would be fulfilled!

 

            Counting 483 years from 457 B.C., then, brings you to 27 A.D. This was the year the Messiah was prophesied to appear on the scene. 

 

            Was this prophecy fulfilled?  What happened in 27 A.D.? 

 

                                                     Jesus’ Ministry and Death

 

            The interesting fact is that Jesus Christ was born in 4 B.C., shortly before the death of king Herod (Matt.2:1-16).  Jesus began His ministry when He was 30 years old (Luke 3:21-23).  Subtracting 30 from 4 B.C., we come to 26 A.D.  But since there was no year “zero”, we must add a year in going from B.C. to A.D..  Thus the year 27 A.D. was the very year Jesus Christ began his ministry, and commenced preaching the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Matt. 3:13-17; 4:1-23; 9:35).

 

            This represents the FULFILLMENT of the 69 “weeks” of years of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy! 

 

            However, when He came, instead of taking His crown and ruling as a great King, He was persecuted, afflicted, abused, beaten, scourged, and CRUCIFIED by His enemies, the state, and the jealous religious leaders of His day.  In this, too, He fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 9!  For we read:  And AFTER threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be CUT OFF, but not for Himself . . .” (Daniel 9:26).

 

            The fact that the Messiah was to DIE was not understood by the Jews and the religious leaders of that time.  Yet Isaiah the prophet also foretold of this tragic yet awesome truth.  He wrote, about 700 years before Christ, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  and the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

 

            Isaiah makes it plain that He was not only to suffer greatly, but also to be killed as a “sacrifice” for our sins – even as the nation of Israel in ancient times sacrificed sheep, bulls and goats at the Temple of God to “atone” for their sins.  The Messiah became our “Passover lamb” (I Cor..5:7).  He became a “sin offering” for us (II Cor.5:21).

 

            Isaiah puts it this way:  “He is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not His mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment [He was judged, condemned, and imprisoned]:  and who shall declare His generation?  For He was cut off out of the land of the living” – that means He, the Messiah being depicted here, was KILLED!  “For the transgression of My people,” God says, “was He stricken” (Isaiah 53:7-8).

 

            “And He made His grave with the wicked” (verse 9).  Together with Him others who were real criminals were also crucified.  “And with the rich in His DEATH” (same verse).  He was buried in the grave of  rich man, Joseph of Arimathea (Matt.57-60).

 

            Do you see how Jesus fulfilled these ancient Biblical prophecies, and Daniel 9?  EVEN TO THE VERY EXACT TIME OF HIS MINISTRY AND EXECUTION! 

 

            No one else has even come close to fulfilling this amazing divine prophecy!

 

            Daniel also foretold what was to happen to the Messiah.  The Jews of Jesus’ time thought that when the Messiah would appear he would restore the Kingdom of Israel and deliver them from the Romans.  They looked for a shining knight on a white charger.  But when Christ came as the humble preacher from Nazareth, of all places, they did not understand this.  They were looking for a divine King to rescue them from Roman oppression.  But when He did not, they in turn rejected Him.  So they had Him put to death thinking that He was a seducer, a false teacher, a false prophet – a charlatan and a heretic. 

 

            After preaching the gospel for three years, from the spring of 27 A.D. until the spring of 30 A.D., Jesus was condemned by the Sanhedrin and the high priest, and put to death!

 

            Did Daniel foretell that Christ would die for our sins and reconcile us to God? 

 

            Notice again -- Daniel 9:26 – “And after [the period of] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [that is, killed], but not for himself . . .” Daniel prophesied that the Messiah would be “CUT OFF.”  The Hebrew word here is #3772 in Strong’s Concordance.  It is karath, a primitive root meaning “to cut (off, down, asunder); by implication, to destroy or consume; spec. to covenant (i.e. make an alliance or bargain, orig. by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces.”

 

            How would the Messiah be “cut off”?  What does this mean?  He would be killed, destroyed, put to death!  But in so doing, He would “make a covenant” -- the New Covenant -- in His own blood, reconciling sinners to God!  Thus He fulfilled the prophecy of making “reconciliation for iniquity” (Daniel 9:24).

           

            Most Jewish rabbis, to this date, however, have not recognized this astonishing truth of the Scriptures.  That is a sad fact.  Yet even their own translation of the prophecy in Daniel 9 provides us insight into this mystery.  Notice the Jewish Tanakh translation of this passage:

 

            "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city until the measure of transgression is filled and that of sin is complete, until iniquity is expiated and eternal righteousness ushered in; and prophetic vision ratified, and the Holy of Holies anointed.  You must know and understand:  From the issuance of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the [time of the] anointed leader is seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat, but in a time of distress.  And after those sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will disappear and vanish.  The army of a leader who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but its end will come through a flood.  Desolation is decreed until the end of war.  During one week he will make a firm covenant with many.  For half a week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the meal offering.  At the corner [of the altar] will be an appalling abomination until the decreed destruction will be poured down upon the appalling thing” (Dan.9:24-27).

 

            Notice!  The prophecy in Daniel 9 in the Tanakh says in verse 26 that after the seven weeks, and sixty two weeks, “the anointed one will disappear and vanish.  That is a strange statement!  The Jews expected that the Messiah would appear on a white horse, as a national champion against the Romans, and lead them to glory!  Yet that is not quite what God inspired Daniel to write!  God said that the Messiah would DISAPPEAR -- VANISH!

 

            After a ministry lasting three years, Jesus Christ was crucified and buried.  And then He arose from the grave, and taught His disciples for forty days, and then notice what happened.  After He gave them some final instructions, “He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud HID him from their sight.  They were looking intently into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, WILL COME BACK in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11).

 

            Jesus literally VANISHED before their very eyes!

 

            How amazingly, wonderfully and precisely this prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled!  Jesus truly “disappeared and vanished,” just as Daniel the prophet FORETOLD over 580 years before!

 

The Jewish Rabbis’ Error

 

Some may think that the application of this prophecy to the Messiah is contrived. In fact, most contemporary Orthodox Rabbis deny the messianic application of this prophecy.

 

However, it’s well established that ancient Jews believed that this prophecy pinpointed the time of Messiah’s coming. In recent years, compelling evidence has been discovered that revealed the Qumran community (the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls) believed Daniel’s verses were, indeed, a mathematical prediction of the time of Messiah’s coming. And they believed they were living in the very generation to which this prophecy pointed.

 

One of the most ancient rabbinical commentaries is the Talmud. In the Babylonian Talmud, compiled between 200-500 CE, ancient rabbis wrote extensively on the time of Messiah’s coming, as well as Daniel’s 70-weeks’ prophecy.

 

Rabbi Judah, the main compiler of the Talmud said regarding the times referred to in Daniel’s prophecy, “These times were over long ago.” (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin.)

 

In the 12th Century AD, Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon (Maimonides), one of the most respected rabbis in all of history, came on the scene and wrote profusely on the Torah – he was a leading Jewish scholar who rejected the Messianic claims of Jesus Christ.  He made a remarkable statement that many scholars believe is a reference to Daniel’s 70-weeks’ prophecy.  Declared Maimonides, “Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise [rabbis] have barred the calculation of the days of Messiah’s coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah.” 

 

            Why did the rabbis forbid the calculation of the coming of the Messiah?  Obviously, it is because the dates arrived at, from Daniel’s plain prophecy, pointed to a time during the first century – the very time Yeshua came on the scene – and they had already rejected Him!  They did not accept Him as being the “anointed one”!  Nor did anybody else come at that time who could have fulfilled the prophecy, so they forbad its calculation under the rubric that it was a “secret.”  How sad.  Rather than accept the plain evidence, they concluded the whole thing was a “mystery,” a “secret,” and since a plain calculation would have pointed right at Jesus Christ – they commanded the people not to try to calculate His coming!  So they IGNORED the plain evidence in the book of Daniel the prophet!  They rejected GOD’S OWN SIGN! 

 

Yet the evidence was so compelling, they chose to ignore it.  And as they did not want the people to be “led astray” and accept Jesus as the Messiah, so they cleverly decreed the calculations should be avoided.  To have accepted the calculations shown in Daniel, and to reject Jesus as the Messiah, would have meant that the Messiah simply did not come when He was prophesied to come, and this would have undermined the people’s faith in Scripture.  So since they rejected Christ, they also felt compelled to reject the prophecy of Daniel!   But in so doing, they just dug themselves deeper into the pit, and their darkness increased. 

 

Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi said, “I have examined and searched all the Holy Scriptures and have not found the time for the coming of Messiah clearly fixed, except in the words of Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, which are written in the 9th chapter of the prophecy of Daniel.”  This being said, then why didn’t he follow through to the natural conclusion – that is, that Jesus of Nazareth, a man of signs and wonders, fulfilled the prophecies of the coming Messiah? 

 

But of course, they did not expect their Messiah would DIE!  Yet many rabbis today expect that Messiah, son of Joseph, will be a Messiah who will be killed.  They then look forward to the coming of Messiah ben David.  What they fail to understand is that Jesus Christ combined both roles into ONE – He was both Messiah ben Joseph (Joseph was His legal “father”), and He was by direct lineage the anointed “son of David” as well! 

 

Messiah to Come During Second Temple Times

 

Daniel wrote his prophecy at a time when the Temple in Jerusalem was desolate. Destroyed in 586 BC, there was no indication in Daniel’s day that it would ever be rebuilt.  However, Daniel states very plainly that the Temple was going to be rebuilt, and also that the Messiah would come AFTER it was rebuilt!  He then declared that “the prince of the people who is to come” would destroy the Temple again (Daniel 9:26-27).

 

This shows plainly that the Messiah had to come to the Second Temple sometime after it was built and BEFORE it was destroyed.

 

            The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans under Titus in 70 A.D.  So the Messiah had to come BEFORE that date, to fulfill the prophecy!

 

            He did.  But the religious leaders and most of the people simply didn’t buy it.

 

Jewish history reports that in the aftermath of the Roman invasion of 70 CE, the people wept in the streets, crying that the Temple had been destroyed, yet Messiah hadn’t come.

 

In the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Rabh stated: “All the time limits for redemption (the coming of Messiah) have passed and the matter now depends only on repentance and good deeds.”

 

The truth is, He had come – but they had missed Him.  They simply did not expect Him to come as a humble carpenter, a meek and compassionate teacher, a miracle worker, who healed the sick on the Sabbath.  Their traditions forbade healing on the Sabbath.  But most of all, they were expecting a great king who would then rule over them and conquer the Romans.  When He did not at that time fulfill those particular Messianic prophecies, they rejected Him as the promised Messiah – and they completely missed the fact that He had indeed come, precisely as Daniel the prophet had foretold – even to the VERY YEAR ITSELF!

 

Truly, the Messiah had come, and then the Second Temple was destroyed, exactly as Daniel had foretold. 

 

The REST of the Prophecy

 

            But this event occurred BEFORE the fulfillment of the complete 70 WEEKS of the prophecy.  Technically, only 69 weeks had gone by.  One week of seven days – years – was left yet to be fulfilled. 

                                                   

            Let’s read the rest of this amazing prophecy.  Notice, Daniel had foretold that the Messiah would do several things – at the end of the prophecy of the seventy weeks, transgression would be “finished,” sins would be “ended,” reconciliation for iniquity would be accomplished.  Jesus Christ accomplished this in many ways through His personal self-sacrifice in 30 A.D., dying for our sins and transgressions.

 

            However, the prophecy also stated that at the end of the period of weeks, He would “bring in everlasting righteousness” and “seal up the vision and the prophecy” and “anoint the Most Holy” (verse 24).  This means that one week remains to complete the prophecy, and to bring in the Kingdom of God, to complete the prophecy in the full sense, and to anoint the Messiah as KING! 

 

            What happened after Yeshua was crucified, and resurrected?  After the first 69 “weeks” of years?  Notice:

 

            “The army of a leader who is to come will DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY, but its end will come through a flood.  Desolation is decreed until the end of war.  During one week he will make a firm covenant with many.  For half a week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and meal offering.  At the corner [of the altar] will be an appalling abomination until the decreed destruction will be poured down upon the appalling thing” (v.26-27, Tanakh). 

 

            In 70 A.D. Titus and Vespacian, Roman generals, led the Roman armies in a conquest of Jerusalem because of Jewish rebellion.  Over a million Jews perished in the war, and the city was burned and the Temple was razed. 

 

            However, many Bible prophecies show that the invasion of Judea and conquest of Jerusalem are also predicted as events leading up to the SECOND COMING of the Messiah! In the prophecy of Zechariah we read:  “Lo, a day of the LORD is coming when your spoil shall be divided in your very midst!  For I will gather ALL NATIONS TO JERUSALEM for WAR:  The city shall be captured, the houses plundered, and the women violated; and a part of the city shall go into exile.  But the rest of the population shall not be uprooted from the city.

 

            “Then the LORD will come forth [from heaven, where He has gone!] and make war on those nations as He is wont to make war on a day of battle.  On that day He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west . . . And the LORD my God, with all the holy beings, will come to you” (Zech. 14:1.5).

 

            The leader of the army which will come against Jerusalem will this time not be Titus or Vespasian, but the one foretold by Daniel who would arise in the END TIME, one who “will be extraordinarily destructive; he will prosper in what he does, and destroy the mighty and the people of holy ones.  By his cunning, he will use deceit successfully.  He will make great plans, will destroy many, taking them unawares, and will rise up against the CHIEF OF CHIEFS [the Messiah Himself!], but will be broken, not by [human] hands” (Daniel 8:24-25).

 

            This wicked king is also described in Daniel 7.  We read: “He will speak words against the Most High, and will harass the holy ones of the Most High.  He will think of changing times and laws, and they will be delivered into his power for a time, times, and half a times [three and one half years]” (Dan.7:25).

 

            The book of Revelation in the New Testament describes this wicked tyrant as a “beast.”  The apostle John writes:  “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for FORTY-TWO MONTHS [three and one half years!]. . . . He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them” (Rev.13:5-7, NIV).

 

            This beast, along with all the kings of the earth, will gather at Jerusalem to fight against the Messiah at His coming, at “the battle on the great day of God Almighty” (Rev.16:14).  John says, “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings -- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Rev. 17:14). 

 

            John goes on to describe in vivid prose the SECOND coming of the Messiah, as a conquering KING!: 

 

            “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 makes war.  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.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God [compare John 1:1-2,14].  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Out of his mouth comes 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.  On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. . .       

 

            “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.  But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet . . . The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Rev.19:11-20).

 

            Thus the army of this world-ruling beast will be destroyed by Christ, and the beast himself slain in the lake of fire.  As Daniel foretold, “its end will come through a flood.  Desolation is determined until the END of the war” (Dan.9:27).   The Messiah Himself will end the “appalling abomination” and the prophesied “decreed destruction will be poured down upon the appalling thing” (Dan.9:27).

 

                                                The Final Week of Daniel’s Prophecy

 

            These things will culminate in the final “week” of years of Daniel’s prophecy.  The last seven days or final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy refer to the final seven years of this present age, which culminate in the return of the Messiah.

 

            In the end of this amazing prophecy of Daniel, we read that a wicked leader arises, and he will “confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the MIDST of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (v.27). 

 

            What is this strange-sounding “covenant”?  The Hebrew word berith literally means “a cutting,” or a “compact, league, confederacy, treaty.”  That is, he will “confirm” an agreement, treaty, with the Jews and others, during the end-time of this age.  What treaty is this?  Could this be the so-called “Road Map to Peace” now being foisted upon the Israelis by the “Quartet” of the United States, Europe, Russia, and the United Nations? 

 

            Notice carefully!  The word “confirm” in this passage is Strong’s #1396, the Hebrew word gabar, a primitive root meaning “to be strong,” that is, “by implication, to prevail, act insolently: -- exceed, confirm, be great, be mighty, prevail, put to more (strength), strengthen, be stronger, be valiant.”

 

            Isn't this exactly what IS HAPPENING, TODAY, in the peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Palestinians? 

 

            The world has striven to “force” its own brand of “peace” down the throats of the Israelis, compelling them to accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank territories – a state which hates, abhors and detests them and which seeks their annihilation!  This process began in 1993 with the pact between Arafat and Yitzak Rabin.  It was pushed actively during the presidency of William Clinton.  Now it is being pushed by George W. Bush.  Originally, these accords were designed to bring peace to the Middle East over a period of seven years -- from 1993 to 2000 A.D.  But in the year 2000, the Palestinians initiated the present “intifada,” with increased violence and suicide bombings.  The Quartet now is striving to force peace down the throats of the Israelis and there is talk of sending special European troops to patrol the borders between Israel and the Palestinians.  The “Road Map to Peace” is intended to create a viable Palestinian state by the year 2005. 

 

            The prophecy states that a powerful world “prince” of the “Romans” or end-time world government “will confirm a covenant with many . . .”  The word for “many” in Hebrew in this verse is rab, meaning “abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality).”  It can refer to numbers, or even to a “captain, chief, great, lord, master,” or even “archer.” Interestingly, the Hebrew in Dan.9:27 uses the plural of rab, that is, rabbim.   How similar to the last name of the Israeli Prime Minister who began the peace negotiations at Oslo – Rabin!  Is this a Biblical and prophetic “play on words”?  Hebrews often use similar-sounding words as a “play on words” to teach a truth or to get a message across.  This is often done with names of people.  The word rabbim is very similar in sound to the name Rabin -- that is, Yitzak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who first signed the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, and who was subsequently gunned down and assassinated while campaigning in Israel!

 

            It seems very likely that the “treaty” mentioned in Daniel 9:27 could refer to the Oslo Peace Accords, which lasted “seven years” precisely.  They have now been revived as the “Road Map to Peace.”  

 

                                                “And in the MIDST of the Week”

 

            Daniel goes on to say, “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate . . .”           

 

            In the passage just quoted, the subject of the entire passage, from verse 24 to verse 27, is the 70 WEEKS.  As I have explained, we have seen the fulfillment of the first 69 weeks, or 483 years, leading up to the first coming of Messiah.  The final week, then, must refer to the seven years (last week of days) leading up to the climax of the SECOND coming of the Messiah to inaugurate the Millennial rule of God upon the earth! 

 

            Therefore, when the passage states, “In the MIDST OF THE WEEK he shall cause sacrifice and oblation to cease,” this would be a clear reference to the FINAL WEEK OF THE PROPHECY!   The final week under discussion is not necessarily the same week as the one just described, the “week” of the confirming of a very important “treaty” or agreement on the world scene. 

 

                                                   The 6,000 Year Plan of God

 

            Notice!  According to Jewish history and tradition, and early Christian traditions and beliefs, God Almighty is working out a 6,000 year plan on this earth with humankind.  This plan began in 4004 B.C., according to the chronology of Archbishop James Ussher.  This plan of God is based on the “seven day week.”  According to the apostle Peter, one day is with God as a “thousand years,” and a thousand years as “one day” (II Pet.3:8-10).  Thus in God’s Plan, the first six days of the week picture the first 6,000 years of mankind on earth.  The weekly Sabbath, or seventh day, pictures the Millennial kingdom of God (compare Rev.20:4; Heb.4:4-11).  Therefore, it will last 1,000 years!  This indicates that the previous six days would last 6,000 years!

 

            However, according, to the book of Jubilees, Jewish literature written by a Levitical priest during the intertestamental period, about 150-200 B.C., there is strong reason to believe that Adam and Eve did not sin, and forsake the ways of God, until seven years had passed in the Garden of Eden.  For the proof of this, read my article “Are We Nearing the End of the World?” Therefore, Adam and Eve did not come under the influence of Satan the devil, and begin their “work” week, until 3997 B.C.

 

            Although we cannot state with absolute certainly, the indication from Biblical prophecy and Biblical evidence, is that the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve should be counted from the time they sinned, and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  That’s when the countdown began.  The book of Jubilees tells us:  “And during the first week of the first jubilee Adam and his wife had been in the garden of Eden for SEVEN YEARS tilling and guarding it.  And we gave him work and we were teaching him to do everything which was appropriate for tilling.  And he was tilling.  And he was naked, but he neither knew it nor was he ashamed.  And he was guarding the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle and gathering its fruits and eating.  And he used to set aside the rest for himself and his wife.  And what was being guarded he set aside.

 

            “At the END OF SEVEN YEARS which he completed there, SEVEN YEARS EXACTLY, in the second month on the seventeenth day, the serpent came and drew near to the woman” (Jubilees 3:15-17).

 

            As we know, Eve and Adam both sinned, were enticed into transgression, and banished from the Garden.  This occurred most likely, therefore, seven years after their original creation, in 4004 B.C. -- or in the year 3997 B.C.  The seven years of idyllic paradise should not be counted in the 6,000 years during which mankind has been subject to the “god of this world,” Satan the Adversary (II Cor.4:4, Eph.2:2). 

 

            If we count 6000 years from 3997 B.C., we come to 2004 A.D.  Could this be the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week – the last “week of years” before the coming of the Messiah? 

 

            In other words, 2004 plus 7 equals 2011.  If we add one more year as the “Day of the Lord,” the day of God’s direct intervention to punish mankind, culminating in the return of the Messiah, then this would pinpoint His SECOND coming as the year 2012 (2011 plus 1). 

 

The Year 2012

 

            Will the Messiah return in the year 2012?

 

            Of course, we don’t know for sure.  But consider this:  According to the ancient Maya calendar, the end of the fifth world age will occur in the year 2012!

 

            And consider this:  Prophecies in the book of Leviticus concerning the Jubilee year, state that the Jubilee  year is to be a “holy” year – a time to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Lev.25:10).  In the year of Jubilee every man was to return to his possession and his family (same verse). 

 

            The apostle Peter declared that when Christ returns, it will be at “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).  He added that the heavens must receive Christ “until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) – that is, a grand, glorious JUBILEE! 

 

The prophet Elijah also prophesied that the Messiah would come on a Jubilee year.  We read in the book of Sanhedrin, in the Talmud, this notation “Elijah told Judah, the brother of Sala Hasida, ‘The world will endure not less than 85 Jubilees, and on the last Jubilee the Son of David will come’” (Talmud, Sanh.97b).

 

In the same reference, we read: “A sage of the school of Elijah taught a Baraita:  ‘The world will exist for SIX THOUSAND YEARS: -- the first two thousand years – from the days  of Adam to the days of the patriarch Abraham – the world was still in chaos, for the Torah had not yet been given.  The next two thousand years – from the Torah to the Mishnaic period – was to be the period of the Torah.  And the next two thousand years was to be the period of the Messiah.  But because of our transgressions, which were so very many, the Messiah did not come at the end of the fourth millennium, and those years which have already passed have already passed.”

 

            The fact is, the Messiah DID come at the end of the first 4000 years – He was born in  4 B.C., and began His ministry in 27 A.D.  But “because of our transgressions, which were so many,” He was REJECTED by the leaders and majority of His own people, and fulfilled the prophecy of being SLAIN – CUT OFF – for our sins and transgressions! 

 

            He will shortly return AGAIN, this time to usher in the Messianic Kingdom, at the end of the sixth millennium.  We are talking about our time, our generation – TODAY!

 

 

            When is the next “Jubilee” year to arrive?

 

     Israel left Egypt under Moses in 1491 B.C.  They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, because of their disobedience and lack of faith in God (Num.14:34).  Therefore, they entered the Holy Land in 1451 B.C. 

 

     When Israel first entered the Promised Land, they erected the Tabernacle at Gigal.  There it remained for 14 years – the time required for the people to conquer and occupy the land.  Once the land was conquered and occupied, the counting of the Sabbath land cycles could commence, and the counting of the Jubilee years.  This means that if we count 14 years from 1451, we come to 1438 B.C., the year of settlement and the beginning of the Jubilee count.  The first Jubilee would have been in 1388 B.C. 

 

            Now from 1438 B.C. to the year 2003, the present year, we have had 68 theoretical “Jubilees,” if anybody had been counting.  The next or 69th Jubilee would occur 3450 years from 1438 B.C. (50 X 69 = 3450 years).  The 69th Jubilee would therefore occur in the year 2012-2013 A.D.  That is just ten years from now!

 

            Remember this passage from the Talmud, the words of Elijah the prophet!  He stated quite clearly that the Messiah the Son of David will come ON THE LAST JUBILEE!

 

            Just something to think about!

 

End-Time Debauchery and Immorality

 

            Speaking of these last days before the return of the Messiah, Christ Himself had some serious warnings to all of us who live today.  He warned, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt.24:12, NIV).  The Moffatt translation has this, “And in most of you love will grow cold, by the increase of iniquity; but he will be saved who holds out to the very end.” 

 

            The New Testament in Contemporary English has this whole passage, “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name.  And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.  In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people.  For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in – nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.  Staying with it – that’s what God requires.  Stay with it to the end.  You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.”

 

            The Amplified Bible has this passage:  “And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.  And the love of the great body of people will grow cold, because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

 

            Interestingly, the Talmud in tractate 97A also speaks of this end-time age of wickedness and lawlessness. 

 

            We read:  “Rabbi Yohanan said the following:  In the generation when the son of David – the Messiah – comes, Torah scholars will diminish in number, and as for the rest of the people, their eyes will fail with pain and grief, and troubles will increase, and harsh decrees will constantly be renewed, so that as soon as the first evil decree has passed, the second evil decree will speedily come in its place” (Sanhedrin 97A).

 

            “It was taught in a Baraita:  Rabbi Yehudah says:  In the generation when the son of David will come, the Academy where the sages once gathered for the study of Torah will be used for prostitution, Galilee will be destroyed, the Galvan (the Bashan) will lie desolate, people living along the border of Eretz Israel who flee from the invading armies will go from town to town and not be shown mercy, the wisdom of the scholars will become dull, those who fear sin will be despised by the rest of the nation, the face of the generation will be like the face of a dog, and the truth will be absent, as the verse states (Isaiah 59:15), ‘And the truth is absent, and he who departs from evil is despoiled.’

 

            “The Gemara asks:  What is the meaning of the words:  ‘And the truth is absent’?  The Sages of the School of Rav said:  This teaches that the truth will be like flock after flock that go to the wilderness to pasture.  So, too, the people of truth will hide in the desert from the rest of the wicked generation” (97A).

 

            In the notes at the bottom of the page, the Commentator says:  The Academy will be used for prostitution.  Alternatively: the Messiah will not come until promiscuity increases so much that a public gathering place will be set aside and designated for prostitution.” 

 

            For the passage that says “it will become like a flock,” the Commentator says in the notes, “Some understand that this alludes to the proliferation of ideas and factions in the pre-Messianic period, with each group claiming exclusive possession of the truth” (vol.21, Sanhedrin, part 7, 97A, p.5).

 

            The Sanhedrin continues:  “It was taught in a related Baraita:  Rabbi Nehorai said:  In the generation when the son of David comes, youths will put the elders to shame, elders will stand up before youths to honor them, daughters will rise up against their mothers, to insult and humiliate them, and likewise daughters-in-law will rise up against their mothers-in-law, the face of the generation will be like the face of a dog, the people being filled with arrogance, and lacking all shame, and sons will have no shame even before their fathers.

 

            “It was taught in another Baraita:  Rabbi Nehemyah says:  In the generation when the son of David comes, arrogance will increase, high prices will corrupt people and turn them into swindlers, the vine will yield an adequate supply of fruit, but wine will nevertheless be expensive, because so many people will turn to drink, the entire kingdom will turn to heresy, and nobody will accept rebuke.

 

            “The Gemara notes that this Baraita supports what Rabbi Yitzhak said, for Rabbi Yitzhak said:  The son of David will not come until the entire kingdom turns to heresy” (ibid., p.6). 

 

            Just how bad will the moral condition of people become?  Very bad.  The rabbis cite the verse in Leviticus that speaks of leprous spots (Lev.13:13) that states:  ‘It is all turned white; he is clean.’  Once the leprous spots cover all the leper’s skin, he is declared ritually pure.  So, too, once the entire kingdom turns to heresy, the redemption will soon follow.”

 

            When will the Messiah come?

 

            “Our rabbis taught:  The verse states (Deuteronomy 32:36): ‘For the Lord shall judge His people, and repent for His servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.’  The verse speaks of the time when the Lord shall judge His people and bring them redemption.  The words translated here as ‘when He sees that their power is gone,’ can be explained in several ways.  According to one explanation, the verse teaches that the son of David will not come until the informers increase in number, and ‘their power is gone’ and grown in strength.  According to another explanation, the verse teaches that the Messiah will not come until the Rabbinic students dwindle in number, and their power to lead the people along the straight path is gone.  According to yet another explanation, the verse teaches that the Messiah will not come until the last coin is gone from the pocket.  According to still another explanation, the verse teaches that the Messiah will not come until people utterly despair of redemption, as the verse states:  ‘And there is none shut up, or left.’  They will be so cast down that they feel as if the people of Israel no longer have anyone to support or help them” (ibid., p.7).

 

            We are drawing very close to those days, today.  Iniquity is abounding and increasing on every side.  The Internet is filled with pornography, sleazy sex shows, and wickedness and turpitude.  Society is filled with teenagers practicing group sex and oral sex in their school classrooms, homes, and nobody seems to care anymore.  Judges rule that students, even six-year-olds, will go to jail or prison if they so much as pray in school, or cite the name of Jesus Christ.  Homosexuality is “in” and “adultery” is rampant, and faithfulness is regarded as foolishness and despicable.  How much longer will Almighty God put up with this WICKED generation?

 

            Our end-time generation is likened to the “aravah” – the willow branch which helps make up the “lulav” bundle used to rejoice before God at the Festival of Tabernacles.  It is one of the “four species” used in  rejoicing before God’s Throne.  The citron, which represents the heart, the palm branch, representing steadfast righteousness, and the myrtle, representing the eye of purity and wholesomeness.  And the final piece is the aravah, or willow branch. 

 

            The citron has both a sweet fragrance and a good taste.  The palm branch has no fragrance, but provides dates, a wonderful fruit.  The myrtle has a lovely frangrance.  These species represent righteousness and good works, and a heart of compassion and good deeds – Torah learning combined with righteous deeds of mercy and love.  But the poor willow branch – it has no fragrance, and produces no good fruit.  It is lacking in Bible knowledge and in good works and deeds.  What does it have, however? 

 

            The four species of the “lulav” represent the four kinds of people of God – those with both good knowledge and good hearts; those with good knowledge of God’s truth; those with good hearts but little knowledge; and then those who have little of either – no knowledge to speak of, and whose hearts are not filled with love and compassion.  They are like the “aravah” or willow branch.  Its only claim to fame is that it is shaped like a “mouth” – and although it cannot take pride in good deeds, or a heart filled with compassion, at least it CAN use its “mouth” to seek God in earnest, fervent PRAYER!  It can repent of its nowhereness, and nothingness, and turn to God in abject misery and REPENT of its past deeds, life, and lack of study, discipline, obedience, and faithfulness! 

 

            Even so, this end-time generation is like that “aravah” – it has no good works to claim as a merit; nor does it have much knowledge of God’s truth and His laws.  It can, however, humble itself in prayer and turn to God in repentance begging for mercy, insight, forgiveness, and God’s intervention and divine help. 

 

            Surely, the signs we see all around us show that we are the “aravah” generation.  Jesus Christ spoke of this generation when He declared, as He was being led to His crucifixion: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.  For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’  Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’  and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’  For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:28-31, NIV).

 

            We are living in the “dry” generation!   A “dry” tree is one without water, drought-stricken – and water is a symbol of God’s Spirit, and His holy Word. 

 

40 Years of Delay and Punishment

 

            It is very interesting that the date of 2012 AD is just five years after 2007 AD, which is exactly 40 years from 1967, the year of the “Six Day War” when Israel recaptured the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, after it had been in Gentile hands for almost 2000 years – ever since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple.  The generation of 1967 lacked the faith and obedience to God to begin rebuilding God’s House at that time.  Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and the Labor government in Israel allowed the Arab infidels to retain control of the Temple Mount.   That generation proved unworthy of the task.  Therefore, it appears that God has allowed that generation to “wander in the wilderness” of political confusion, terrorism, and national upheaval, for the forty years since that time. 

 

            The situation is reminiscent of the Israelites who came to the doorstep of the Promised Land, under Moses – but after the land was spied out by 12 spies, they revolted against Moses, lost faith, and refused to enter the Promised Land.  They were afraid of the “giants” in the land and the walled cities with armed defenders.  God thundered to that faithless generation, “The carcasses of you who complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness . . . According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection” (Num.14:29, 34).

 

            From 1967 till now Israel has known suffering, rejection, and mounting grief and terrorism.  Life hangs for many by a thread.  Will the next generation become more obedient to the heavenly calling, and take up the task of rebuilding God’s House, beginning in 2007 – after the 40 year punishment expires?

 

            In another amazing prophecy detailing forty years of besiegement upon the House of Judah – the Jewish state – God Almighty thunders to His prophet Ezekiel, “You shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days.  I have laid on you a day for each year.  Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem . . .” (Ezek.4:6-7).

 

            Could this also be a prophetic reference to the forty years from 1967 to 2007 – a time of besiegement of modern Israel and Jerusalem, at the hands of the surrounding Arab nations and the Palestinian terrorists under the leadership of Yasser Arafat?

 

The Temple Lies in Ruins

 

Today, the House of God once again lies in ruins.  Its place on the Temple Mount is horrendously occupied by a Muslim atrocity – the “Dome of the Rock” – where the pagan god Allah, whose sign is the crescent moon, is worshipped! 

 

                        Almighty God thunders:

 

                        “For thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Once more (it is a little while)

                        I will SHAKE HEAVEN AND EARTH, the sea and dry land; and

                        I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of all nations,

                        and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.  The

                        silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.  ‘The

                        glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the

                        LORD of hosts.  ‘And in this place I will give PEACE,’ says the

                        LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:6-9).

 

            History tells us that this message came to the Jews in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (Hag.1:1). This was 520 B.C.  The Jews became excited, stirred up, and rebuild the house of God.  It took them six years.  We read in Ezra, “And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel . . . Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar (the twelfth month), which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius” (Ezra 6:14-15).  This was in 515 B.C.

 

            The glory of that Temple was even greater than the glory of Solomon’s temple, with all its gold.  Why?  Because the Messiah came to that Temple!  He taught in it!  He revealed Himself to Israel in it!  He brought the hope and promise of PEACE!  But He and His message were rejected by a disobedient people, and they crucified Him, as prophecy foretold that they would (Isa.53:3-8; Dan.9:25-26).  That temple was destroyed, as a result, in 70 A.D.

 

“BUILD MY HOUSE”!

 

Zechariah declares, “Therefore thus says the LORD:  ‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,’ says the LORD of hosts, and a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem” (Zech.1:16, NKJV).

 

            God is anxious for the people to return to Him, and to rebuild His Temple.  God declares: “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night.  You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes, and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:7).

 

            God thunders, “Go through, go through the gates!  Prepare the way for the people [who are to return]; build up, build up the highway!  Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!” (Isa.62:10).  In other words, get rid of the impediments in your own personal life, take out the road-blocks, and remove the sins, and lift up the banner of the LORD – Yahveh Nissi, the “Lord our banner”!  Prepare the way for the return of the Messiah, who is coming soon!

 

            God declares through the prophet Malachi:

 

                        “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will PREPARE THE WAY before

                        Me.  And the LORD, whom you seek will suddenly come TO HIS TEMPLE,

Even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight.  BEHOLD, HE

IS COMING,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1, NKJV).

 

            Isaiah prophesied:

 

                        “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF

                        THE LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every

                        valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked

                        places shall be made straight [a plain] and the rough places smooth; the

                        GLORY of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall SEE it together;

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it(Isaiah 40:1-5).

                       

Adam Clarke in his Commentary points out that the Jews in Haggai’s time hesitated to go forth with the work to rebuild God’s House, through dread of the world power in those days, the Medo-Persian Empire, which was being politically seduced by the enemies of the Jews, the Samaritans, who did not want to see God’s House rebuilt or the Israeli state prosper.  The prophets assured them that this and all other world powers would fall before the Messiah, and they should get on with the work of rebuilding God’s House!

 

2520 Years and the Temple of God

 

            Let’s notice two important prophetic facts.  Zerubbabel and Joshua began their work on the Temple in 520 B.C., when Haggai’s message stirred their souls.  The temple of Zerubbabel, the second temple, was completed in 515 B.C., in the sixth year of king Darius. 

 

If we take the principle of 2,520 years or “seven times,” and apply it to the date they began building the House of God, it brings us to the fateful year 2001 – the very year of the incredible 9-11 catastrophe!  It brings us to the year the Muslim terrorists attacked the Twin Towers in New York City, symbols of America’s economic might, and attacked the Pentagon, symbol of America’s military prowess. 2520 years from 520 B.C. is 2001 A.D.  (Remember, there is no year “zero,” so a year must be added when going from B.C. dates to A.D. dates.)

 

The message came from Haggai on the first day of the sixth month, Elul, of the Jewish year (Hag.1:1), one month before the Feast of Trumpets.  The Muslim terrorist attack on the U.S. occurred on 9/11 2001, which was exactly one week before September 18, 2001, the first day of the holy seventh month of the Jewish calendar (Rosh Hashana or Yom Teruah).   One could deduce that the events of 9/11 were a WARNING from a loving God of what His justice requires if we do not repent of our sins, and REBUILD HIS HOUSE, and worship Him as He calls us to do!

 

            Now, let’s take another look at this prophecy.  If we take the principle of “seven times” prophecy, and apply it to the date the Second Temple was completed, in 515 B.C., then COUNTING 2,520 YEARS, it brings us to the fateful year of 2006 A.D. – just over two years from TODAY!

 

            The time is coming SOON when God’s Temple will be rebuilt!

 

2006 and the Broken Road Map to Peace

 

            The Quartet of Nations – the United States, Russia, European Union, and United Nations -- has drafted a road map for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement – also by the year 2006.  The new draft calls for the unconditional endorsement of a Palestinian state with interim borders in 2003, to be followed by a Palestinian state in 2005 with permanent borders.   2005 is seven years from 2012 – does this point to Daniel’s 70th week beginning in 2006 and ending with the coming of the Messiah in 2012?

 

            Kofi Annan the present Secretary General of the United Nations is scheduled to depart from office -- also in 2006.  Will his departure pave the way for the final “World Leader,” the Supreme Dictator of the New World Order – who will come into power by hook or crook, flattery and cunning, in 2006 A.D.?

 

2006 and the “Bible Codes”

 

            2006 is an interesting year.  Michael Drosnin in his book Bible Code II strongly suggests that the year 2006 is encoded in the Scriptures as a year to watch.  He states that the year 2006 is encoded with the words “atomic holocaust” and “end of days.” In his fascinating book Bible Code II:  The Countdown, Drosnin asserts: 

 

                        “ ‘World War,’ and ‘atomic holocaust,’ and ‘End of Days’ are all encoded

                        with ‘in 5766,’ the Hebrew year equivalent to 2006.

 

                        “I checked every year in the next hundred, and only 2006 appeared with all

                        three warnings.  It was a clear prediction that we might face World War III

                        in just five years.

 

                        “I told Dr. Rips.  He calculated the odds on the big computer at Hebrew

                        University.  He checked a hundred thousand random texts to see if all the

                        greatest dangers might appear by chance with the same year in any place

                        other than the Bible.

 

                        “ ‘It’s 100,000 to 1,’ Rips reported.  ‘I looked in 100,000 random texts, and

                        these words appear together only in the Bible.  It could not be by chance.

                        Someone intentionally put this warning into the Torah” (Bible Code II, page

                        21). 

 

            Drosnin then points out:

 

                        “It was beyond any doubt.  A hundred to one is the normal test.  A thousand

                        to one is  the strictest standard ever applied by mathematicians.  A hundred

                        thousand to one is decisive.

 

                        “According to the Bible code, we might really face the ultimate danger, a

                        nuclear World War, in 2006” (ibid.).

 

            Interestingly, the words “atomic holocaust” are also encoded in the Bible with the year 1945, the year the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, ending World War II.

 

            Toward the conclusion of his book, published in 2002, Drosnin declared:

 

                        “The more closely we looked at the warnings in the Bible code, the clearer

                        it became that the ultimate danger centered on 2006.  That is the year most

                        clearly encoded with ‘ATOMIC HOLOCAUST’ and ‘WORLD WAR,’ and

                        also with the ‘END OF DAYS’” (Drosnin, Bible Code II, page 235).

 

            Interestingly, the Hebrew year 5766 (2006 A.D.) was encoded with “in the End of Days” in the passage in Deuteronomy where Moses warned Israel of “the evil that will befall you in the End of Days.”  Eliyahu Rips, the Israeli mathematician who discovered the Bible codes, says that this is not a prediction, however, but in his view it is “a warning of what can happen, according to what we do.”  In other words, unless mankind changes its ways, and repents of the direction in which it is going, this “warning” could well become stunning “reality”!  It could well represent the beginning of GREAT TRIBULATION on the earth!

 

World War III

 

It is also interesting to note that Albert Pike, a top ranking Mason, stated that it would require three world wars before the Antichrist would be produced.  We have had World War I, World War II, and are now in the midst of World War III.  He stated that the first major part of the Third World War would begin between Israel and her Arab neighbors, and then spread to encompass the whole world.  The intifada began against the state of Israel in the fall of the year 2000.  Following this was the Muslim terrorist attack on America, for its support of Israel, on 9-11, 2001.  This spread to the war in Afganistan, to suppress the major base of al Queida and Osama bin Laden.  And the war against terrorism then spread to Iraq, a terrorist-sponsoring state which was – in the eyes of many – complicit in the attack on the World Trade Towers in 1994, and has had clear ties with al Queida. 

 

The war in Iraq is clearly part of the Western world’s war against terrorism.  Is it the beginning of the real End-Time conflagration prophesied in the Scriptures?  The attack on Iraq went through the city of Basra in southern Iraq.  

 

Why is Basra so interesting? 

 

Strange as it seems, science fiction author H.G. Wells in 1933 declared that World War III would come from events to occur in Basra.  Dr. Dennis Cuddy wrote in The Globalist:  The Power Elite Exposed:

 

            “After the Second World War, the United Nations will be the second

            attempt at World Government, but Wells understands that this attempt

            will also not be successful.  Thus, the plan for the ‘Modern World

            State’ would succeed in the third attempt. . . and would come out of

            something that would occur in Basra, Iraq” (page 50).

 

All these things are leading up to the “final week” of years of this present End-time age!

 

The Final Week

 

            In the middle of this final week of this age, the prince or mighty ruler who “confirms” this covenant will himself move against the Jews, causing the Temple sacrifices to cease!  This strongly implies that between now and the end of this age, before the final few years, the Jews must rebuild the House of God – the Temple – upon the Temple Mount!

 

            In the final negotiations over the city of Jerusalem, a provision will be established permitting JEWISH WORSHIP ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT, which is now under absolute control of Muslim authorities.  This in turn implies that a Temple or Sanctuary will be built atop the Temple Mount within the next few years! 

 

            Now notice!  The prince will cause sacrifice and offering at the Temple to cease in the “midst” of the final week -- that is, in the middle of the week (Daniel 9:27).  Half-way through a week is 3 ½ days.  Since this is a prophetic week, it refers to seven years.  Thus the Temple offerings and sacrifices will be terminated at the half-way point through the final “week” of years, or after 3 ½ years.  The future “prince” or Antichrist and his forces will “rule” over the holy city and its environs for the last 3 ½ years of the final “week” of years.  Notice how this coincides with the “beast” being given authority to RULE the nations for a period of 42 months (Rev.13:5), which equals 3 ½ years!   This is the same period of time “two witnesses” of God will prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem (“forty two months” equals 1260 days -- see Rev.11:3). 

 

            This desecration of the newly established Temple or Sanctuary is also mentioned in other prophecies in Daniel.  We read in the Jewish Tanakh in Daniel 11 of an ancient king by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is a type or forerunner of the end-time “beast”: 

 

            “Ships from Kittim will come against him.  He will be checked, and will turn back, raging against the holy covenant.  Having done his pleasure, he will then attend to those who forsake the holy covenant [apostate, renegade Jewish and Christian leaders].  Forces will be levied by him; they will DESECRATE THE TEMPLE, the fortress; they will ABOLISH THE REGULAR OFFERING and set up the appalling abomination [probably either a statue of the “prince” or he himself sitting in the Temple – compare II Thess.2:3-4].  He will flatter with smooth words those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people devoted to their God will stand firm.  The knowledgeable among the people will make the many understand; and for a while they shall fall by sword and flame, suffer captivity and spoilation.  In defeat, they will receive a little help, and many will join them insincerely.  Some of the knowledgeable will fall, that they may be refined and purged and whitened until the TIME OF THE END, for an interval still remains until the appointed time” (Dan. 11:30-35).

 

            This evil end-time tyrant will be the head of a coming “New World Order” or modern version of the ancient “Holy Roman Empire” of the Middle Ages.  He will “do as he pleases; he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will speak awful things against the God of gods.  He will prosper until wrath is spent, and what has been decreed is accomplished” (Dan. 11:36).

 

            This flattering, smooth-as-silk, “king,” this end-time political charmer, is also referred to in Daniel’s prophecy as a “contemptible man” (Dan. 11:21) who will “come in unawares and seize the kingdom through trickery” -- he will gain the leadership of the coming New World Order by cunning wisdom and sleight-of-hand, using deceitful, underhanded and devious means (Dan. 11:21).   He will most likely be the final head of the United Nations – the Secretary General who will replace Kofi Annan.

 

            This will be an age of savage and brutal terrorism.  It will be unmatched in all the annals of the history of mankind.  Blood will flow in rivers.  Millions will die in manmade terror acts, and even billions will be wiped out in massive thermonuclear and chemical-biological warfare.  It will be a time of rank and utter apostasy from the truth and laws of Almighty God – a time of incredible degradation and lewd behavior.

 

            Moffatt translates Daniel 9:27 as follows: “For a week of years the main body of the people shall cease to practice their religion; for half of that time sacrifice and offering shall cease, and instead of this there shall be an appalling abomination, till finally the appointed doom falls upon the sacrilegious abomination.”

 

                                                            What Should We Do?

 

            The prophecy of Daniel 9 and the “seventy weeks” has been fulfilled, to the very year, thus far.  There is no reason to think that the remainder of this amazing prophecy will not also be fulfilled to the very year!  Even the 7-year Oslo Peace Accords was prophesied!  And the events of the last “week” of years before the return of the Messiah are laid out for us -- including a period of apostasy, rebellion, overthrow, terrible persecution and travail among the nations.

 

            This would suggest that the “final week” of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy actually will begin shortly – perhaps in 2005-2006.  If this is the case, then this time frame would be the beginning of the final SEVEN YEARS of this age.  These final seven years will be seven years of unimaginable anguish, unparalleled SUFFERING on the earth.   Jeremiah wrote, “Alas!  For the day is great, so that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7, NKJV).

 

            Daniel says of these rapidly approaching days:  “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.  And at that time your people shall be delivered” (Daniel 12:1).

 

            Yeshua Himself warned us:  “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matt.24:21-22).  Jesus declared:  “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt.24:36i-42, NKJV). 

 

            We don’t know the precise details.  But we do have multiple signs that the END of this age is rapidly approaching.  We should be on “high alert” from this time forward!  Jesus said to His disciples, including those of us who live in this frightful generation, today:  “And what I say to you, I say to all:  Watch!” (Mark 13:37).

                                                                       

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

 

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

 

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,                                Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

                                                                                    -- W. B. Yeats