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The Seventy Week Prophetic Calendar

Daniel 9:20-27 • May 24, 2017 • w1187

Pastor John Miller continues our survey through the Book of Daniel with a message through Daniel 9:20-27 titled, “The Seventy Week Prophetic Calendar.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 24, 2017

Sermon Scripture Reference

I want you to follow with me beginning in Daniel 9:20. Daniel said, “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD,” all capital letters, by the way, that’s Jehovah or yahweh, “…my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications,” or thy prayer, “the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee: for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.”

The verses that I just read introduce us to and set the stage for (beginning in verse 24) the great prophecy known as the Seventy Weeks Prophecy. I want you to see the context of this prophecy that we’re going to look at (verses 24-27). It was while Daniel was speaking and praying and “confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel.” Remember at the beginning of the chapter we saw last Wednesday, that Daniel was reading out of the prophecies of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25. His Bible didn’t have chapters and verses, but he was reading the scroll of the book of Jeremiah. In reading Jeremiah, Daniel began to understand that God said their captivity in Babylon would last for 70 years. Why 70 years? Because before they were taken captive out of Babylon they had failed to give to God the sabbath years of the land’s rest. Every seven years the Jews were instructed by God not to plant their fields but to let the ground lie fallow for a whole year. Every seventh year was a year of sabbath, so for 490 years (pay attention to these numbers tonight)…

You know, when I was in school math was my worst subject. I actually still have nightmares that I’m in a math class back in junior high. Tonight we’re going to get a lot of numbers and figures, but they all have Biblical significance and importance.

For 490 years the Jews failed to give God the land-established rest, so they owed God 70 years. God allowed the people of Judah to go into captivity. They went into Babylonian captivity for 70 years before they would come back into the land. We’re going to get the prophecy tonight about their going back to the land of Israel and rebuilding Jerusalem, the city of God. God had them go away into captivity. Daniel saw that it was about 70 years, so what did he do? He began to pray. Prophecy should motivate us to pray, to seek the Lord, to share with others that Jesus Christ is coming again. It has practical implications. Even though God said He was going to bring them back into the land after 70 years, Daniel thought, “Well, I can also participate with what God plans on doing by spending time in prayer.” He was confessing the sins of himself and of the nation of Israel. What was on Daniel’s mind while he was praying? He was wondering, “What does the future hold for Israel?” This is key. Don’t miss this. What does the future hold for Israel because the prophecy we are going to look at tonight revolves around the nation of Israel. Israel is God’s time clock, and all of history revolves around the Jewish people—God’s revelation, God’s redemptive purposes, even the Savior of the world, the Messiah, was a Jew and came as the King of Israel.

Everything we’re going to read tonight in this prophetic chart revolves around God’s people and God’s city, Jerusalem. Interesting, that our President was just in the Middle East. I wasn’t able to pay attention to the news today, but just yesterday he was in Israel. He was meeting with the Palestinians and leaders of Israel rebirthing this whole idea of peace, there in the Middle East and in Israel, between the Palestinians and the Jews. Well, we know Biblically it isn’t really going to happen until the antichrist, the false messiah, comes. We’re going to see tonight that he’ll make a covenant with the nation of Israel for a seven-year period which is the last seven years of man’s history upon earth. It is known as the tribulation period, at the end of which Christ will return in His Second Coming glory, power, and majesty and establish His Kingdom on earth for a thousand years. Everything we read is about the future for Israel and what is going to happen to the holy city of Jerusalem.

While Daniel was praying, look at verse 21, God again sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel. Earlier in the book Gabriel showed up and had given Daniel prophecies, but the prophecies all pertained to the nations of the Gentiles—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome. Now, we’re leaving the Gentile nations and are talking about Israel as a nation. Daniel was praying as this angel came to him (verse 21) “…about the time of the evening oblation.” Even though Daniel was in Babylon, his timetable was Judean. He was back in the Jewish homeland. The time of the evening oblation was three in the afternoon or what is called “the ninth hour” Jewish time. That was the time they would give the afternoon sacrifice of the lamb for their sins—which is interesting, when Jesus died on the cross as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world, He was put on the cross at nine o’clock in the morning. At noon, everything turned dark, and He hung on the cross until three in the afternoon, which would be the same time—the time of the evening oblation—when He cried out and said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit…he gave up the ghost,” and died. It was at that same time.

It says that Gabriel “…informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth,” we don’t know when Daniel began to pray. We don’t know what time it was that he started to pray, but it was only three o’clock in the afternoon when Gabriel was sent to give an answer to his prayer. It couldn’t have been too early in the morning, but he got up in the morning and was praying. The cool thing is God answers prayer. Amen?

Daniel was praying in the first half of the chapter, and God sends Gabriel. The minute he started praying, God sent the angel with His answer. In Isaiah 65:24, God said to the prophet Isaiah, “…that before they call, I will answer.” To think heaven is that close. We think of it being far away. No, immediately the answer began to come. It’s a wonderful thing when we pray and God answers our prayers so speedily. God was going to give to Daniel information, understanding, and insight as to what the future held for the nation of Israel. When we know what the future is for the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, we know what is going to happen in the world around us.

Gabriel said, “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art,” notice verse 23, “greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” There are only two individuals that are referred to in this context of being “greatly beloved” in the Bible. Can you guess who they are? The first one is Daniel (not hard to figure that one out, right?), and the second one is the apostle John. John is the apostle whom Jesus loved. Isn’t that interesting that the two individuals in the Bible that are specifically called “greatly beloved” are the two individuals that got the great prophecies. We have the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation—the unveiling of Christ, the apocalypse. It was given by the other “beloved.” You say, “Well, does that mean that God doesn’t love us?” No. God loves all of us, but it would seem as though God really, really loved Daniel; and God really loved the apostle John. Which, by the way, funny is that John was writing his gospel and he put that in—that Jesus really liked him. I guess when you write your own gospel you can put that in, you know, “I’m the one that Jesus loved.” He put that in his own gospel. Neither Matthew, Mark, or Luke mentioned that.

The seventy years were about to expire, Daniel is praying and God sent the angel Gabriel…by the way, the same angel Gabriel, I believe, today is the same angel Gabriel that appeared to Mary. He first appeared to Elizabeth and Zacharias announcing the birth of John the Baptist. He then appeared to Mary announcing the birth of Jesus the Son of God. At these key points in Bible history, Gabriel shows up.

Beginning in verse 24 (and this is where you buckle your seat belts or your pew belts or whatever you want to call them), this just really is an amazing prophecy. This is what is called the seventy weeks prophecy. It’s a calendar, a time chart, of God’s future for Israel. It goes all the way out to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and will usher in the Millennial reign of Christ. We’re going to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” this is where you get very clearly the statement as to who the prophecy pertains to. Let me say it right now, lest I forget too. It’s not about the church. The church (the body of Christ, the bride of Christ) that we live in this period right now as the church age made up of Jew and Gentile, is not in this prophecy. We’re going to show you how it fits in, but it’s not in this prophecy. It’s all about Israel as he mentioned the two things, “thy people and thy holy city, to finish the transgression,” this is what the prophecy is going to cover. God is going to “finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins,” He’s going 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.” This is (verse 24) introductory, and the first question that we need to ask (and it’s kind of hard for me. I’m so hyped right now about all the information that’s packed in these verses, that I almost don’t know where to start) is what does the word “weeks” mean? “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

The word “weeks” (get this because it’s so important) is a Hebrew word heptad. The Hebrew word heptad means seven. It means a unit, a measurement, or a number seven. It’s like our word “dozen.” I was thinking today about years ago on Sunday nights after I would preach when our kids were all young and at home, our Sunday night cool family thing was Dad would stop on the way home from church at a donut shop. I would get a big pink box. The minute the kids saw that pink box come in the door they got so stoked—Dad trained them well. I would go into the donut store and say, “I want a dozen donuts.” Now, how many donuts is that? Twelve. The word “dozen” means twelve. We don’t know if it means donuts or eggs or if it means a dozen days or a dozen months or a dozen years. I believe, based on the calculations of this prophecy, this word heptad means years. It means a seven-year period, so seventy, seven-year calendar, which is 70 x 7 which adds up to 490. I’m not a mathematician but I have the notes here in front of me. That’s what it does.

I haven’t seen it yet, but we have it on the screen. (Can you throw this up on the screen, and I want to leave it up there for a little while.) We’re turning Wednesday night into Professor John’s lecture here. This is our first number right here, 70 x 7. The word heptad means seven. I believe if you take the prophecy literally, it’s talking about years. Daniel was just looking at Jeremiah and remember in Jeremiah seventy years were almost up. The whole context is not days, not weeks, not months, but it’s years—seventy sevens—are “determined upon thy people.” This covers, and we’ll look at the date that it starts, a period of 490 years and takes us from 445 B.C., Nehemiah 2, all the way to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I’ll kind of explain it a little more as we go along.

The overarching prophecy is covering a 490-year period. In this 490-year period, go back with me to your Bible (verse 27). What is God going to do? What is God going to accomplish with the nation of Israel? He lists six things in verse 24, and we need to look at them. The six things are, 1) “to finish the transgression,” 2) “make an end of sins,” 3) “make reconciliation for iniquity, 4) “bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) “to seal up the vision and prophecy, 6) “to anoint the most Holy.” When I read that, I just want to say, “Okay, that’s the whole ball of wax. That’s the whole enchilada. That’s it right there. This is what God is going to do in the 490-year period. Now, we’re going to see though, and I want you to notice on this little chart up here, what I’ve listed as the Church Age. There’s a gap between the first 483 years, which comes in two sections, 7 x 7 = 49 years, 62 x 7 = 434 years, that’s a 483-year period. This period has already been fulfilled. We’re living in the Church Age. There is one more 7-year period known as the tribulation that has to be fulfilled. This gap between the first 69 weeks and the 70th week is called the Church Age. It’s a parenthesis that has now lasted almost two thousand years. We’re living there right now. I’ll show you on the chart where I’m kind of guessing that we are in relationship to the Lord’s coming again for the church. We call it the rapture, and I have it listed there for you at the end of the Church Age taken from 1 Thessalonians 4.

Go back to your Bible with me to verse 24. (You can leave that image for me up on the screen.) Let’s look at these six things. What is going to happen in 490 years? First of all, “to finish transgression.” The challenge with these six items is that there is no explanation. They are just stated. Good Bible students differ a little bit about their meaning, and this is where they differ. Some feel that the first three have already been fulfilled. They feel that the second three are going to be yet future and still need to be fulfilled. I tend to believe that they are all future, they have a sense in which they are rooted in the past, the death of Jesus Christ, but they also project out in the future and will not be fulfilled until the Lord comes back in His Second Coming. I see at the top right-hand corner the Second Coming and Armageddon (Revelation 19) which comes at the end of what is called the 69th week or the last seven years, which will make the 490 years on Daniel’s time calendar for the nation of Israel. “To finish the transgression” means that God will wrap up dealing with Israel’s apostasy, sin, and transgression, or breaking God’s law. That’s what Daniel was praying about. He was confessing his sins and the transgressions of his people. “God, when are You going to forgive that? When are You going to cleanse that? When are You going to free us from these transgressions or these sins?”

Secondly, to “make an end of sins” or to finish dealing with the subject of sin. Which won’t be really finished or wrapped up for Israel until the end of the tribulation at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Thirdly, we see “to make reconciliation for iniquity.” These are the first three, and many feel that they’re fulfilled in the first coming of Christ when He died on the cross. Certainly, the atonement was made but it’s not going to be complete for Israel until He comes back in His Second Coming. Notice in verse 24, “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” That is very clearly a reference to the Kingdom Age or the Millennial reign of Christ, which is a thousand years, or the Davidic Kingdom. I know that you may not understand all those terms—some of you do, some of you don’t. I don’t know what other terms to use. It’s the Millennium, the thousand-year reign, the Kingdom Age. It actually can be called, believe it or not, the New Age. There’s a new world coming; and it will come when the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords—Jesus Christ—returns and He sets up and I believe literally will reign upon earth for a thousand years. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! No more elections in the Unites States. No more enduring politicians. Jesus Christ is coming back to reign! Amen? What a glorious day that will be…in righteousness and in truth. Not only bring in everlasting righteousness, notice verse 24, “to seal up the vision and prophecy.” That means to finish up all of God’s prophetic word given to Daniel.

Last, but not least, “…to anoint the most Holy.” The words “ most Holy” can have a fulfillment in either the temple or the Messiah. I think both are apropos and could be what he is speaking of that there will be a rebuilt temple in the Kingdom Age, the Millennium; it will be re-anointed and sanctified, and the Messiah will also be here and will be anointed. What we do know is that these six items that need to be fulfilled in this 70 seven-year period, 490 years (verse 24), will all be wrapped up, all be completed, all be a done deal in a 490-year period.

Here is what I imagine, and I’ve used this for years. Imagine God, try to picture God (I should’ve got an illustration) with a giant divine time clock in His hand—a stopwatch is what you’d call it. He didn’t have digital back then. God has this great big stopwatch in His hand, and there is going to be a date (and we’ll get it in the text) when God will start click click. He’ll hit the stopwatch and start it ticking for everything to get wrapped up—for all of history around Israel to be wrapped up—in 490 years. Kind of picture God saying, “Okay,” and He hits the stopwatch. There’s 490 years that have to tick off for God to fulfill His purposes and His plan for the nation of Israel. Now, we get the particulars. Notice verse 25. “Know therefore and understand,” some say this is the mathematics of the prophecy, “that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince,” Jesus Christ, “shall be seven weeks,” same word heptad which means seven sevens, so 7 x 7 = 49 years and a second category, “and threescore and two weeks,” which is 62 x 7 = 434 years, and it says that “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks,” or after 62 sevens, “shall Messiah be cut off,” referring to His crucifixion and death, “but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary,” which is obviously referring to Jerusalem, “and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”

We have to look at these categories. There are three separate categories for these numbers that God gave Daniel for the timeframe and the time clock of this prophecy. Go back with me to verse 25. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks.” The question is: When was this commandment given to go forth and restore and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem? Here’s the answer. I can give you all the background and all the information surrounding that, but I’m going to cut to the chase and just give what I believe is the answer. The answer is in Nehemiah 2. King Artaxerxes gave the commandment on March 14, 445 B.C. to go back to Jerusalem to restore and rebuild the city. It’s listed there for you on the chart, 445 B.C. Particularly, it was actually March 14, 445 B.C. As you look at this, the first is 7 x 7 = 49 years. Then, the second number is 62 x 7 = 434 years. Look at verse 25. It says, “seven weeks,” which is 49 years, “and threescore and two weeks,” which is 62 x 7 = 434 years. That adds up to 483. (You’re supposed to say, “Right.” Nod your head, you’re with me, right?)

Seven years are missing to our 490 years, and they still haven't happened yet—seven years of the last period of time of man’s history on planet earth. These first two categories add up to the 483 years. Now, follow with me in your Bibles. It tells us that the walls will be built “even in troublous times.” How many of you have read the book of Nehemiah? If you haven’t, read the book of Nehemiah. The walls were built in troublous times—built in 52 days but then they went on to continue to refurbish and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The temple was rebuilt, the walls were rebuilt, and all the opposition that Nehemiah and the people of Israel dealt with during that time is described there. This has already happened. During the 7 x 7, the 49 years, they’re rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. The 62 sevens or 434 years, nothing is said about the particulars about what is going on at that time. All it says is that at the end of those two periods, 49 years and 434 years, the Messiah is going to come. Pay attention. This is an amazing prophecy. It says at that time Messiah shall come. It says, “And after threescore and two weeks,” so after the 62 sevens, “shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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.”

When did the Messiah come? It’s interesting that if you calculate from March 14, 445 B.C. to April 6, 32 A.D., which is actually 173,880 days, guess what happened on that day? Jesus got on a little donkey and road from Mt. Olivet down through the Kidron Valley up to the Golden Gate and fulfilled a prophecy of Zachariah 9:9, “…behold, thy King cometh unto thee…lowly, and riding upon a colt the foal of an ass.” When He came into the city, before He went in and He looked over the city (listen to me very carefully), Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem and He wept and cried. He said, “O Jerusalem, if you had only known…at least in this thy day,” he actually mentioned that day, “…the things which were yours,” which we read about, those six things in verse 24. “If you only knew that I’m your Messiah.” If these Jews read the book of Daniel and calculated the time chart, they would have known that Jesus was their promised Messiah. If Jews today studied the book of Daniel and looked at it literally, they’ll know that their Messiah has already come. It was that very day that Jesus, the only time He publicly presented Himself as the Messiah, and as He rode that little donkey, and they’re waiving the palm branches and they’re hailing Him, “Save now, thou son of David,” which is a Messianic title, “Save now.” Jesus realized that only a few hours later this same crowd would be crying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him. We have no king but Caesar, and we will not have this Man to reign over us.” He came on that exact day that was prophesied of Daniel.

A man by the name of Sir Robert Anderson has written a book called The Coming Prince, and he has calculated the time. A Jewish prophetic calendar is 360 days. It is 12 months but based on 360 not 365 days, and you consider leap years and other things like that, he came up to the very day which took us from March 14, 445 B.C. to April 6, 32 A.D. It was the very day that Jesus rode His little donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and presented Himself to Israel as the Messiah, but they rejected Him. They didn’t recognize Him, and they crucified Him. It says that He will be “cut off,” notice that in the text. In verse 26, “…shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself,” He would be cut off. In the Hebrew it’s literally, “He would have nothing of Himself. He would give His whole life. He would be crucified and would die upon the cross.” Then it says, “…and the people of the prince that shall come…,” at the end of verse 26 is a reference to the Roman armies who came in 70 A.D. under the leadership of the Roman general Titus and destroyed the city of Jerusalem. It’s not talking about the antichrist, and I’ll point that out in just a moment, but it’s now the “people of the prince.” The “prince” in verse 26 is the antichrist. The “people of the prince” is the Roman soldiers. This took place, I believe, in 70 A.D., and all the wars and desolations and destruction that would happen unto Israel.

In the text, between verses 26 and 27, is the Church Age, the parenthesis that has now lasted for over 2,000 years and cannot be calculated in time. What you have here is the 483 years from the commandment to go forth and restore Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince has been fulfilled. Messiah was cut off. He was crucified, and now the Holy Spirit has come to form the church, Jew and Gentile. The church will be then raptured, caught up to be with the Lord, and when that happens we don’t know. Now you say, “Well, Pastor John, where are we on this chart?” I wish I knew, but my guess would be that we’re pretty close to the rapture. Amen? We’re living at the end of the Church Age when the Lord will catch the church up to heaven, and I believe that the rapture will happen before the tribulation, then there will be the last seven years that will be fulfilled knowing the time of the tribulation. Let’s look at it in this text.

In verse 27 it says, “And he shall confirm,” this “he” is the antichrist—the little horn, the man of sin, the son of perdition, during the time of Daniel’s vision of the kingdoms of the Gentiles during the ten toes when he will come and take over the world. I believe that we see the stage set in the world today for this antichrist revelation. “…the covenant with many for,” here’s our last seven-year period, “one,” heptad or one seven-year period. This is 1 x 7 which is 7. Seven years. Now that’s going to make the 490 years. That will be the end of the tribulation at which time Christ in the Second Coming will return in power and glory and majesty and establish His Kingdom. Everything that is prophesied there in verse 24 (those six items) will be finished and complete.

The covenant is an agreement that the antichrist will make with Israel. Watching Donald Trump, the President of the United States, standing there with the President of Israel and the Palestinian President talking about reviving the peace talks, I was studying this passage and it just blew my mind. It’s not new. It has been going on a long time. The world is going to be crying for peace and crying that there is peace in the Middle East. This antichrist, this man of sin, satan’s man of the hour, is going to barter this peace negotiation, this peace agreement. It’s going to be for a period of seven years. I believe that as a born-again Christian I’m going to be gone when this happens. I believe the church has to be caught up and raptured to be with the Lord before the antichrist can even come on the scene. I believe it’s futile to try to attempt to identify the antichrist. A lot of people think that Donald Trump now is the antichrist, with all due respect to the President. I don’t care if the antichrist is living in the world today. I’m not looking for the antichrist. I’m looking for Jesus Christ! Amen? I believe the church is caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

The antichrist comes on the scene and makes a covenant with Israel. This is where we get the seven-year period, and it is divided into two three-year periods. In the books of Revelation and Daniel it’s called a time, times, and a half a time. In the middle of the seven-year period, the tribulation, (we’re going to get it in our text) is going to be what is called the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. This covenant (verse 27) for one week in the Old Testament is called the time of Jacob’s trouble. Again, it’s primarily a Jewish period and God is going to be bringing Israel to its knees in repentance. Then they will be prepared and ready to recognize Jesus as the Messiah when He comes back the second time. It’s not just to pour out His wrath and judgment upon the world, it’s also to prepare Israel for the coming of their Messiah when they look upon Him whom they have pierced and recognize Him as their promised Messiah.

The seven-year period is described by Jesus in Matthew 24. He calls it a time of great tribulation and a time that was so great that unless those day be shortened there shall not flesh on planet earth be saved. It’s also described in the book of Revelation in great detail. That’s what the whole book of Revelation reveals from Revelation 6 to Revelation 19—when Christ comes back and puts an end to the antichrist. He goes into chapter 20 and establishes His Kingdom (notice I put it on the screen on your chart). It’s called the Kingdom Age. It lasts for one thousand years. The word Millennium is one thousand. It’s kind of like the word heptad which means seven or decade meaning 10 or dozen meaning 12. The idea here is the word heptad means seven, but this is the thousand-year period where Christ will reign upon the earth. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble.

I want you to go back with me to verse 27, and we’ll try to wrap this up. “…for one week: and in the midst of the week,” after three-and-a-half years, “he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This is exactly what Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24 when they asked Him what shall be the end of the Jewish nation and the end of the kingdom. When is thy kingdom going to come? He actually referred to the abomination spoken of by the prophet Daniel. This is the reference to it right here. What is believed is that one of the agreements that the antichrist will make with Israel and with the hostile Arab nations around Israel is that they will actually be allowed to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. The Bible says Jerusalem is the burdensome stone that is around the neck of the nations. That’s the real issue. It’s not just the Palestinian issue. It’s the issue of who gets Jerusalem—the birthplace of Judaism, an important place in Islam, and an important place to Christianity—the three major religions of the world all look to Jerusalem. There’s even an international cry right now that Israel ought to give up Jerusalem. It ought to be an international city that shouldn't have even anything to do with Jerusalem, and the whole issue of: Will we move our embassy in Tel Aviv over to Jerusalem? Will we recognize that as the capital of Israel? That’s going to become the issue. It seems as if this antichrist barters this agreement of this temple being rebuilt, and everyone is going to think he’s the messiah. The Jews are deceived.

Do you know that Jesus actually said, “I’ve come in My Father’s name and you received Me not? Another is going to come in his own name, him you will receive.” Jesus was referring to this man of sin, this prince that is going to come, this antichrist. He sets up an image of himself (Revelation 13) in this rebuilt temple and commands everyone to worship him. This is where the Jews realize that they’ve been deceived. It is not their messiah, and Jesus said, “Flee into the wilderness.” So, “…he shall make it desolate,” destroy the temple, “even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” There’s going to be wars, destruction, and we read about all these things clearly in the book of Revelation.

It was Sir Isaac Newton that said, “About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the Prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.” I believe that is what is happening today, but I’ve been studying Bible prophecy now for over 40 years, over four decades, and I’ve watched all the emphasis kind of come and go, and Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and all the books on the rapture and the buzz. A lot of people in the church today are growing weary and kind of growing discouraged. Some are even abandoning the hope that the Lord is going to come back and that we should even pay any attention to Bible prophecy or that it can be depended on or there is really going to be a rapture or the Lord is really going to return, and many are turning away from prophetic truth. God gave to Daniel this timeline for a purpose. It’s for the nation of Israel, but we can also learn by it even as Gentiles. God is in heaven. God is on the throne. God’s Word is perfect. It will be fulfilled, and God has a plan for Israel.

This is what happens. Remember God’s stopwatch? It started on March 14, 445 B.C. when King Artaxerxes gave the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem via this watch. Messiah the Prince came to Jerusalem. He was crucified and cut off, guess what God did? He stopped the stopwatch. He hit it and it stopped. It stopped at 483 years. There is still seven years left on it. I believe that when the church is raptured and caught up to heaven—not until, after the rapture—the antichrist comes and (Daniel 9:27) makes the covenant with Israel for one last seven-year period. God hits the watch again. He hits that last seven years, and there will be seven last years of history of man upon the earth when God is going to pour out His wrath upon a Christ-rejecting world. There will be plagues, famine, pestilence and war. The people who missed the rapture and turn to Jesus during that time can be saved, but they will be persecuted. They will suffer for their faith. It will be the time of greatest persecution of the Jewish people. The antichrist will hate the nation of Israel and persecute and slaughter Jews. It will also be a time when many Jews will turn to the Lord and be saved in preparation for the Second Coming. So, you see on the chart there Revelation 19, the Second Coming, He comes back at the end of the tribulation at the time the Battle of Armageddon is taking place in the world. All the armies of the world are gathered together in the valley of Megiddo. They’re fighting against each other. Man is going to destroy himself off planet earth, and Jesus Christ returns. He sets up His Kingdom for a thousand years.

You can do a whole study on the Millennium. It’s an amazing time, but the cool thing about that time is that Jesus is going to actually be here on planet earth. The Bible says, “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” It’s going to be a thousand years of peace on earth. Now, we’re going to be, as the church, in glorified bodies and will be co-reigning with Christ. It will be a glorious time. The lion lays down with the lamb and the animals are tame. You can actually pet lions and they won’t hurt you. You can play with a poisonous snake, which I don’t want to do. I don’t like to look at snakes let alone touch them, but even the animal kingdom will have peace on earth. The Bible says righteousness will cover the earth as waters cover the sea.

At the end of that time, satan has been bound for a thousand years. This may be more info than we need to get into tonight. It’s not in our text, but satan then is loosed for a little short season and is able to deceive people who were there during the Millennium—not the church, but people who aren’t saved. They will be led astray and war again and be destroyed. Then, the Great White Throne Judgment will be set up. I have it on the screen, Revelation 20. At the end of the Kingdom Age, all the wicked dead will be resurrected and will stand before Jesus sitting on this Great White Throne. He will judge them. Books will be opened, and everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire which is called Gehenna—the second death which is an eternal place of destruction and punishment. The righteous will enter into the new heaven and the new earth (the eternal state) which will be forever and ever and ever—eternal heaven with the Lord. You say, “Well, man. This is a lot to chew on. This is a lot to comprehend. This is a lot to cover.” The thing that really amazes me is to think—Isn’t God amazing? Isn’t it amazing that God is actually in control?

When you watch the news and you’re freaking out, realize that God spoke about what is going to happen. God is in control of what is going to happen. Our job is to occupy until He comes for us, the church. Our job is to pray, to preach, to evangelize, to serve, and to labor because the night is coming when no one can work. We only have right now to serve the Lord, to do mission work, to minister, and to lead people to Christ. It should motivate us. He that has this hope of the Lord’s coming purifies himself, even as the Lord is pure. It should be a motivation to purity, and I believe the rapture could happen at any moment. It could happen at any moment. The question is: Are you ready? Have you been born again? Have you trusted Jesus Christ? Are your sins forgiven? Are you ready to go to heaven? If not, why not? Tonight you can say, “Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins. Forgive me. Come into my heart and be my Savior. I want to surrender to You because I don’t want to be left behind for the tribulation. I want to be ready when You come to take the church home.” Let’s bow our heads in a word of prayer.

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our survey through the Book of Daniel with a message through Daniel 9:20-27 titled, “The Seventy Week Prophetic Calendar.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 24, 2017