The Seven Bowls Revelations 16:1-19

Here is a list of the different bowls that are found in Revelations, first starting in chapter 16:1

 God's wrath on the earth

 First Bowl

1.First went and poured out his bowl on the earth and severely  painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

Second Bowl

2.The second poured out his bowl into the sea. It turned to blood like a dead man's, and all life in the sea died.

Third Bowl

3. The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. I heard the angel of the waters say:

You are righteous,
who is and who was,
the Holy One,
for You have decided these things.
Because they poured out the blood of the saints 
and the prophets,
You also gave them blood to drink;
they deserve it!

Fourth Bowl

4. The fourth poured his bowl on  the sun. He was given the power to burn people with fire, and people were burned by the intense heat. So they blasphemed the name of God, who had the power over these plagues and they did not repent and give Him glory.

Fifth Bowl

5. The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues because of their pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.

Sixth Bowl

6.The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming from the dragon's mouth, from the beast's mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet. 
For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty.

Seventh Bowl

7. Then the seventh poured out of his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying, "It is done!" There were flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder. And a severe earthquake occurred like no other since man has been on the earth so great was the quake cities of the nations fell. Babylon the Great was remembered in God's presence; He gave her the cup filled with the wine of His fierce anger. Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared. Enormous hailstones, each weighing about 100 pounds, fells from the sky on people, and they blasphemed God for the plague of hail because that plague was extremely severe.

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Daniel 9:24 Seventy Weeks

Daniel 9:24

Verse-By-Verse Commentary 

By Dr. Grant C. Richison

For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.’”
 24     “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.”
Daniel earlier read in Jeremiah about the seventy-year exile of Israel (9:2).  Gabriel now reveals to Daniel Israel’s future by the vision of the seventy sevens (9:24-27).  “Seventy weeks” is literally seventy units of seven (seventy heptads, units of measure). 
·        Verse 24 gives a comprehensive picture of the entire prophecy.
·        Verse 25 presents the first 69 sevens (483 years).
·        Verse 26 gives the events between the 69th and 70thsevens.
·        Verse 27 concludes with a description of the 70th seven (7 years). 
The word “weeks” is misleading, for the Hebrew for “weeks” means literallysevens (heptads).  These sevens represent years in this passage because Israel was aware of weeks as years (Le 25:34).  They celebrated a Sabbath rest year after each six years of farming (Le 25:1-7).  Seven “sevens” of years (that is, 49 years) led to the Year of Jubilee (Le 25:8-12).  Those in the west think in terms of ten in measurement, whereas Jews thought in terms of seven. 
This vision is one of the most important prophesies of the Bible.  Seventy seven-years add up to 490 years.  Jerusalem suffered under Gentile rulers for seventy years (v.2) during the years of Daniel.  Jews (“your people”) and Jerusalem (“your holy city”) were to suffer under Gentiles for 490 years from the point of this prophecy.  There is an intercalation in these 490 years; God interrupts these years.  This prophecy has to do with Israel, not the church. 
The word “determined” means to cut off.  God will certainly cut off the seventy heptads at a predetermined time.  God fixed this time so that it cannot be changed.  The seventy sevens will end for Israel and Gentiles simultaneously at the Second Coming of Christ. 
The seventy heptads (490 years) concern “your people” (Israel) and “your holy city” (Jerusalem), so this prophecy relates primarily to Jews.  The prophecies of Daniel two, seven and eight relate to the Gentiles but this prophecy of Daniel nine relates principally to the Jews.  This prophecy does not concern itself with world history or church history, but with the history of the Jews and Jerusalem – “for your people and for your holy city.”  
Since Israel and Judah failed to follow the principle of letting farmland lie fallow once every seven years for 490 years, God forced them to make up for seventy sabbaths (Le 25:1-726:34-35) by sending them into captivity. It would take 490 years to make up for seventy sabbatical years.   That is why God established that the captivity to Neo-Babylonia last seventy years.
God gives six purposes for these 490 years.  The first three have to do with the sin of Israel and the last three with the kingdom:
1.      “To finish the transgression” – this will bring to end the rebellion and apostasy that sent Israel into captivity.
2.      “To make an end of sins” – Israel as a nation will go back intofellowship with God after the divine discipline of captivity.
3.      “To make reconciliation for iniquity” – restoration will bringexpiation or covering of past sins through the Messiah.
4.      “To bring in everlasting righteousness” – God will cause the restoration of Israel in the Millennium and will launch new norms where righteousness reigns. 
5.      “To seal up vision and prophecy” – God will seal this prophecy until the restoration at the Second Coming will fulfill God’s covenant for Israel. 
6.      “To anoint the Most Holy” – God will restore the Messiah in the restored temple. 
God will accomplish these six things in anticipation of the Millennial kingdom.  These things summarize God’s program to be true to His unconditional covenants such as the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant.
God already fulfilled some of these purposes.  God will complete Hisprogram for these six purposes when the 490 years run their course.  This program involves: 1) delivering Jews from the Babylonian captivity, 2) delivering them from sin at the Messiah’s advent, and 3) complete deliverance from oppression at the Second Coming of Christ.   
PRINCIPLE:  God has a fixed prophetic plan for His people and this world. 
APPLICATION:  The prophecy of the seventy heptads indicates that Israel’s kingdom did not come immediately in Daniel’s day.  The seventy heptads of the Times of the Gentiles must run their course.  When this happens, God will establish Israel as His nation once again in the Millennial Kingdom.  God is always true to His Word.

Israel's Future, Part 2

Israel's Future, Part 2
Sermon by John MacArthur
Daniel 9:24‑25 Take your Bible, will you please? And follow it as we study tonight in the ninth chapter of Daniel. Daniel, chapter 9. One of the great exciting prophetic portions of the Word of God, Daniel chapter 9. And we're looking in these days at verses 20 through 27, the last half of the great ninth chapter of Daniel. Now let me see if I can't give you an introduction that will help you to find your focus as we look again at this text.
Jeremiah, the prophet, was a very special man. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. And Jeremiah's role was different than Daniel's.
For Jeremiah lived before the children of Israel were taken into captivity. And his ministry was to warn them about the inevitability of that catastrophic judgment of God. For if there was one thing that Israel cherished it was its independence, its national existence, its autonomy, its personal identification as God's people. But Jeremiah came as a messenger of God to tell them that unless they repented from their sin, they would undergo divine judgment and they would be taken out of their land to become prisoners of a foreign nation.
For years Jeremiah warned them. He warned them in what he said and he put on vivid living demonstrations, object lessons, to show them what was coming. And through all the years of Jeremiah's ministry, nobody listened to him, nobody heeded what he said, they ignored him. They shoved him aside and finally threw him in a pit. But Jeremiah lived to see his prophecies come to pass. He lived to see the Babylonian siege that ended in the capture of the city of Jerusalem and the decimation of the nation. He lived to see an unrepentant, rebellious, sinful people carried off into captivity. Now Jeremiah wrote of this captivity and it provides for us a very important setting for the ninth chapter of Daniel. In Jeremiah chapter 25 verse 9, Jeremiah wrote this: Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant," God used Nebuchadnezzar, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them and make them an horror and an hissing and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp and this whole land shall be a desolation and an horror and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."
In the twenty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah, this is repeated. Verse l0:
For thus saith the Lord, After seventy years are accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you in causing you to return even unto this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil. And then verse l2, And then shall you call upon Me and you shall go and pray unto Me and I will hearken unto you and you shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.
And I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will turn away your captivity and I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have driven you, saith the Lord, and I will bring you again into the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.
Now Jeremiah gives the prophecy of the Babylonian captivity and indicates it will last 70 years, first of all, in chapter 25 and then emphasizing not the captivity but the restoration 70 years later, he repeats the prophecy in chapter 29. Now with that in mind, look at the ninth chapter of Daniel and you will see how this all begins. Verse 2, In the first year of his reign,. that is the reign of Darius who was the king of the Medo‑Persian Empire in its first year. The first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by. books the number of the years,"
that is the duration of the captivity, concerning which the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem."
Now, Daniel is reading Jeremiah. It isn't that Daniel for the first time discovers Jeremiah, he has known what Jeremiah prophesied. But now Daniel has been in captivity 68 or 69 years and he knows that he is very close to the time of the restoration and no doubt he is familiar with the fact that Isaiah predicted that it would be Cyrus who would give the decree to return. And I take it that Darius and Cyrus are the same individual, most likely Darius being a title and Cyrus being his proper name. And so he senses that the fulfillment of Isaiah's indication regarding Cyrus is possible. He knows that he himself has been in captivity for 68 or 69 years and if God started counting the 70 with the first deportation, it has to be very near when the Lord is going to restore his people to his land.
But he also knows that Jeremiah said it will be when the people turn their heart toward Me, and when the people seek Me with all their heart and when the people turn back in a spiritual dimension. And so, immediately then in verse 3 of chapter 9, he sets his face to the Lord to seek by prayer and supplication with fasting and sack cloth and ashes and he begins to confess his sin and the sins of his people. In other words, he knows there has to be a spiritual response that precipitates the end of the captivity.. So, Daniel is studying the prophecies to get his bearings regarding God's time table. Now may I say at this point that that's precisely what we're doing to? We're endeavoring to understand Daniel so we, too, can get our bearings prophetically, so we, too, can understand what is happening in the flow of history. And this is, frankly, a very good illustration of how to understand prophecy.
I would just point out one thing that just hits me very hard here and that is that when Daniel read the term "seventy years," what did he think that meant? He thought it meant seventy years, didn't he? What amazes me as you read various and sundry Bible commentators is that when the Bible says seventy years, they immediately go into instant hocus‑pocus and they invent all kinds of fantastic symbols which were not the case in Daniel's mind.
And I think it's interesting, also, that when Daniel found out what the prophetic scheme was, he didn't become a prophecy buff and put on his pajamas and sit on the roof. He didn't just play fascination with prophecy. He got on his knees and began to confess his sin to get ready for what God was going to do. That's a proper response because God had given as far back as the twenty‑sixth chapter of Leviticus the condition for blessing and the condition for blessing was confession of sin and obedience to God's standards.
So Daniel prays and he prays from verse 3 to l9 and in verse 20 the answer comes. And that's the text we're going to look at tonight. And we already started it and we're just going to kind of move along.
Tremendous text.
Now, first of all, we mentioned there are three perspectives and three persons in this passage verses 20 to 27. First, there's the circumstances of Daniel, then the coming of Gabriel, and finally the communication of God. Now we've already seen the circumstances of Daniel in verse 20. He was speaking and praying and confessing his sin and the sins of his people Israel. He was presenting his supplications before God and his concern was for the holy mountain of God not for his own purposes and his own goals and his own projects, but for God's. And so, he is communicating with God. That is his circumstance at the moment.
We then move, secondly, to the coming of Gabriel in verse 2l. In the very process of Daniel being involved in prayer, Gabriel arrives, being caused to fly swiftly, the text says. It doesn't take angelic beings long to get from heaven to earth and he moved fast. And he came with an answer, incredible answer. He said in the end of verse 23, therefore understand the matter and consider the revelation." In other words, Gabriel says to Daniel, "Daniel, don't miss this one."
You know, even the best of us can kind of tune in and tune out, can't we? Even the best of us come to times in our lives when we, by our human weakness, sort of miss great realities.
I'm under no illusions, folks, I want you to know that I know you don't hear everything I say. I know that because I get wrong answers when I ask you sometimes. I know. And I know you come in and out.
You're distracted by the...somebody. in front of you who is doing something, or your mind wanders. But may I say to you what Gabriel said to Daniel? Don't miss this one. And if you go away a little bit loose on it, get the tape.
Now God knew that there could be even in a good man like Daniel a little bit of mind wandering in something so mind‑boggling as this prophecy that's about to come and he might get a little lost in the shuffle. And so he says, If you get anything, please get this." You haven't learned at all yet, Daniel. Something to be said for humility.
that can still listen and still learn. Many of us need to be delivered from the false and fatal idea that we've already. got it all. The Lord delivers me from that thought all the time.
That brings me to the third point,the communication of God‑‑ because in verse 24 to 27, you have the message that Gabriel brings from God. The circumstances of Daniel‑‑he's praying. The coming of Gabriel .
dispatched from God with the answer. The communication of God, the most incredible prophecy regarding the history of Israel ever given in the Bible. And we began last time to look at it. Verse 24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end 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 a Holy of Holies," is the literal rending..rendering. Now, just by way of reminder. This is the overall perspective. Gabriel says I have a prophecy, a period of time called seventy weeks" in the text is determined. Now that word "determined" has to do with the sovereign, eternal plan of God. Comprehensively does God control all future events. Literally the Hebrew word means "to cut off." It's as if God has just cut off or cut loose a seventy‑week period, pulled it right out of human history and in that period He will accomplish His purposes with His people Israel.
Notice again in verse 24, it is not only determined by God but it is determined by God upon thy people and upon thy holy city. That is referring to Daniel's people who were the Jews and Daniel's city which is Jerusalem. So it is a prophecy. about the Jews and Jerusalem. In contrast to the prophecies prior in the book of Daniel which were mainly dealing with the Gentile world powers. This one deals with Israel. And the purpose of it is all given there in verse 24. There is a six‑fold purpose for this seventy‑week period. Three are positive and three are negative. First are the negative ones: to finish the transgression. That is to restrain sin in principle.
Secondly, to make an end of sins, plural. Not only to restrain firmly sin in principle but to break the power of sin in specific, not only the principle of sin but the sins themselves.
Thirdly, to make reconciliation, or literally it is the word used in Genesis for the pitch that Noah put on his boat. And what it means is "to cover over iniquity, to be a covering for iniquity." And we know the covering for iniquity was nothing less than the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
So, God has determined a 70‑week period to do away with sin in general as a principle, sin in specific as an act, and to make reconciliation or covering or atonement for iniquity. And having dealt with sin, there are then three positive things. He will bring in everlasting righteousness. This is a great thought and we didn't really develop it last week, let me just give you a footnote. The word really means "the righteousness of eternity," or the righteousness of the ages." Do you know that there is a righteousness of eternity. In other words, there is a true righteous standard. There is a righteousness in the mind of God that is the righteousness of eternity, but it's never been brought into the earth. We function on a man‑made system. The righteousness of the ages indicates that there are rules and standards of life that are right and they've always been right and they'll always be right and they are God's standards and they. are not now in vogue in the world.
But there will come a day when the 70 weeks are over that the world and all of man's forever will be controlled b.v eternal principles of justice and equity that Daniel calls the righteousness of the ages.
Then the Lord will seal up the vision and prophecy, that is it will be the end of revelation, there will be no more need for scriptural revelation or prophetic revelation. Isaiah 2 tells us that God will dwell in the presence of the earth and will be our teacher and the nations will be brought before Him to learn. God Himself will teach.
And then, finally, to anoint a Holy of Holies. There will be in the Kingdom a building of a millennial temple and that is going to be a marvelous thing.
Now, you get the picture. This is a consummate concept. Seventy weeks are determined, at the end of those 70 weeks, God will have totally dealt with sin and will totally bring in everlasting righteousness.
There will come an end to revelation and He will establish a kind of worship in a temple like the world has never known. And all of this, beloved, is referring, I believe, to the millennial kingdom and extends even on into the everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ. What is it saying then? Mark it. There's a 70‑week period of time that runs all the way up to the end of man's day and the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ. God has cut this period out.
Now, there's a key to the whole thing‑‑the first two words of verse 24, seventy weeks.. What are they? Well, the term for "'?eeks,??????Hl or ???????? in Hebrew, does not mean "week." It means "seven," seventy sevens. It doesn't in itself identify days, it doesn't identify. weeks, it doesn't identify months, it doesn't identify years, it just means seventy sevens. And so, whenever you see the term, you've got to get its meaning from the context or the verses around it. And I'm convinced, as are almost all, certainly all evangelical Bible scholars, that it refers to years, not weeks of days but weeks of years. Why? Well, Daniel was already thinking in sevens of years. Verse 2, he was thinking of the seventy years prophecy. So he was thinking in terms of years. And there's a sense in which I see a play on words here. Daniel is thinking, "Lord, seventy years and it will all be over." And God is saying to him, "No, seventy times seven, seventy sevens." You're not there yet. Oh, there will be restoration to the land after the seventy but there's a lot more after that until all of sin is dealt with and everlasting righteousness is brought in. And so, I think he plays off of the very thought of the seventy.
And let me add another reason why. I believe it refers to years. The Jews had the concept of weeks of years. For example, the Sabbath rest of the land was to occur, according to Leviticus 25:3 and 4, every seven years. In other words, there were six years where you worked your land and the seventh year your land had to rest. And so they saw years in terms of weeks of seven. And after seven weeks of seven years, in the forty‑ninth year, came a year known as what? The "Jubilee Year," and the land rested and all the estates returned to their original owners and all debts were forgiven and all slaves were freed. And so a multiple of these week of years was very familiar to the Jewish thinking.
And may I add another thought? Another reason I believe it refers to years is because the only other time Daniel ever uses the term shabuwa or seven, he uses it in chapter l0 verses 2 and 3. And as he refers to it in verse 2, it says three full weeks, "and then in verse 3 three whole weeks." And what he uses there is the word for days. He uses it specifically for days in the Hebrew. And it's almost as if he puts the word days in reference to weeks in chapter l0 and leaves it out in chapter 9 so that you'll know there's a difference.
But I think there's one other thought that's just amazing, just amazing in this prophecy. Now think with me on this. Daniel knew this, Daniel knew that one of the reasons the children of Israel were taken into captivity, now mark this, one of them‑- there were several‑‑but one of the reasons they were taken into captivity was that they had constantly violated that seventh year Sabbath. They had become greedy and self‑indulgent and materialistic and they'd worked that land six years and instead of letting that seventh year rest to restore the land, they'd plow that land the seventh year and they kept doing it and kept doing it and kept doing it and they violated Sabbath year after Sabbath year after Sabbath year after Sabbath year. And that is one of the reasons that they were removed from the land because God wanted to give to His land its proper Sabbath rest. You see? And if they wouldn't let the land rest when they were in it, then God would empty it of them and let it rest on His terms. And in 2 Chronicles 36:2l, it says: "To fulfill the Word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, talking about the captivity, .until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths, for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath to fulfill threescore and ten years.. How many is that? Seventy.
Now listen, this is a tremendous truth. God says you're going to stay out of that land for 70 years. You know why? They had violated how many Sabbaths? Seventy. They violated 70 Sabbaths. How many years would it take you to violate seventy Sabbaths? Four hundred and ninety. It seems to be that the Spirit of God is telling us that just as they had violated the Sabbath for 490 years, so 490 more years would be determined upon their history. Amazing. In their 800 years as a nation, they had violated 70 of their Sabbaths. And so, God uses the same number of years violated as the basis of His future plan. And each year in captivity was for one seven‑year period when the Sabbath was violated. Boy, God is very exacting, isn't He?
And so, I believe these are weeks of years. And you people...I read a commentary that said, "Well, we can't be sure they're years, they might just be symbolic of movements. They might mean days or weeks or long period? You know, that's just so much spaced‑out hocus pocus. Daniel didn't have any problem with seventy years, he understood that.
Now, what is the length of these years? How long is a year? You say, "It's easy, 365 days." No, that's not easy. Because not everybody used the 365‑day year in Daniel's time. How about that? You say, "What kind of year did they use?" Well, some used a 360‑day year and then they had to throw in an extra month every once in a while to catch up. You say, "Well, hmm, which year did the prophecy refer to? It's very important." Well, I believe, the prophecy refers to a 360‑day year. Now stay with me, folks. This is where we separate the men from the boys. Going to get heavy. Hang on. According to Genesis, the flood‑‑now you say, "Wait a minute, how did we get in the flood?" Don't worry about it. We're working our way back to Daniel. The Bible says in Genesis 7:11, don't turn to this just listen. If you start fumbling around in your Bible you're going to find yourself under the bed saying the Greek alphabet. Just hang in there. I'm going to give this my best shot, folks, we're going to get through this. All right, according to Genesis 7:11, the flood began on the seventeenth day of the second month. And the flood came to an end on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. Now if the flood started on the seventeenth day of the second month and ended on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, how many months was the flood? Good class, five months...five months.
You say, "What's so interesting about that?" Listen to this. In Genesis 7:24 and in Genesis 8:3, the Bible says the flood lasted for one hundred and fifty days. Now if the flood was l50 days and the Jews counted that as five months, how long were their months? Thirty days.
Twelve thirty‑day months equals a 360‑day year. So we believe the Jews functioned on a 360‑day year calendar. The earliest known months used then in the biblical text were 30‑day months giving us a 360‑day year.
And then every once in a while they'd throw in an extra pile to catch up with the solar year.
Now let me give you another thought. Are you ready for this one?
Daniel 7 says that the great Tribulation will last for a time (that's one),times (that's two), and half a time (that's half)‑‑ times, time, half a time, three and a half. Revelation l3 says the Tribulation will last forty‑two months. And Revelation l2:6 says the Tribulation will last l260 days.
Now isn't that interesting? We have three different time frames for the Tribulation. In one place it says three and a half years, one place it says 42 months and one place l260 days. Three and a half years equals 42 months. Is that right? That's right. I'll tell you that's right. Thirty‑six plus six‑‑three and a half, okay. Three and a half years equals 42 months, but if 42 months equal l260 days, they have to be months of 30 days. There's no other way.
So again we find not only in Genesis but clear in Revelation that the Bible is still counting on the same kind of clock, months are 30‑day months. So, Daniel would have used a biblical prophetic calendar. He would not use the pagan 365‑day year. So, what do we have? We have a period of 490 years of 360 days. Are you still with me? Four hundred and ninety years of 360 days.
Now you say, "When did this period begin? Because if we can find out when it begins, we can find out when it ends." Good thinking. That's right. Let's find out when it begins. It even tells you in verse 25. And it just says this, and I like this, know therefore and understand. Get it. He keeps saying this all through this text. Now get this. It begins from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Now that's fairly clear, right? You say, "Hey, we're in great shape." It begins right at the command to restore and build Jerusalem. That's terrific‑‑except there were four of those commands, four of them. Three of them are given in the book of Ezra: one by Cyrus, one by Darius, and one by Artaxerxes. And then there was a fourth one by Artaxerxes, a second one of his. Now, which one is the one we start with cause they were all given at different dates, and if they all start at a different time they're all going to end at a different time? And there's much debate as to which of these is right.
Now some say the first decree of Cyrus is the one. That's the one and they find that, by the way if you're interested, in the first chapter of Ezra. And so they say the first decree of Cyrus is the one and the reasoning being that in Isaiah 44, the Bible tells us that Cyrus would be the servant of God who would lead the people or let the people go back to the land to rebuild their city and so forth. So they say the 490 years began when Cyrus made the first decree. You know when that was? 536 B.C. Okay, let's take that. Let's say it began in 536 B.C. and it went from there. And by the way, if you'll notice over in verse 27, it says: "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." For one week. The seventieth week is cut off the other 69, so we can't count that one. We'll see where that comes in later. So back to verse 25. It begins with a commandment to build Jerusalem and it goes unto the what? The Messiah. And it will be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks. Seven and threescore and two is 69. So, the first 69 or 483 of the 490 start with a decree and end with the Messiah.
And so some scholars say it has to be the first decree, it has to be the decree of Cyrus because in Isaiah 44:24 to 28, Isaiah said Cyrus would make this decree and so forth. But you know what happens? When you go with 483 years from 536 B.C., you wind up around 54 B.C. and you can't have the Messiah 54 years before Christ. You've got a problem. In fact, Christ doesn't really start His ministry until 30 A.D. and so it's 80 years off.
You say, "Yeah, but it's close." But God isn't just close, folks. God is not just close. And you know what this fellow said that holds this view? He said, "Well, the solution is that the Ptolemaic calendar and the Ptolemaic list of the reigns of kings is off 80 years." That's no solution. You can't prove that. You can't just say, "Well, we come up 80 years short so therefore history's 80 years off." That's not too convincing. There's no proof of that at all.
So, we don't accept that first decree. And I'll tell you another reason why. Because in the first decree of Cyrus there was no command to rebuild the city, only the temple, only the temple.
Then some people say no. Nobody says it's the second decree of Darius but they'll jump to the third one and they'll say, "It's the first decree of Artaxerxes in 458 B.C." And that's moving a little bit ahead in the calendar, about 90...80 years or so. They're trying to make up that little slack. And so they say 458. And if we go 483 years from 458, which is the decree of Artaxerxes, we wind up at 25 A.D. Well, that's a problem, 25 A.D, because the only thing that can be remotely close to 25 A.D. would be the baptism of Christ. And the baptism wasn't His presentation as Messiah. The baptism was the Father's approval. That was between Himself and God. There's not even any comment that anybody around made any statement about it at all. We don't even know if they heard what was going on. They heard a noise.
And by the way, the first decree of Artaxerxes said absolutely nothing about the city either, only about the temple. Nothing about restoring and rebuilding the city.
There's one other alternative. And that it is the fourth decree which is the second decree of Artaxerxes. There are basically two that really have found the thread of truth and it has been sustained throughout history. One is Sir Robert Anderson who lived a hundred years ago and was with Scotland Yard and wrote a classic book called The Coming Prince. And the other is a rather new book written by. Dr. Harold Hoehner of Dallas Theological Seminary in which he confirms with tremendous accuracy the figures of Sir Robert Anderson though he differs with him on one year. He wants to push it up just one year, and I'll show you that as we go. And this is a fascinating, fascinating thought.
In the first three decrees there was no authorization given at all for the building of the city. So it can't start there. In fact, it's most interesting to me, and I was reading through Ezra to check all of this, that when they were building the temple in Ezra chapter 4, this is most interesting, they were stopped for a while in their building because they were accused by their Jewish enemies of attempting to rebuild the city without a permit. So we know they didn't have that right until that decree of Artaxerxes. That's the only decree that fits. And that's found in Nehemiah chapter l and chapter 2. Nehemiah chapter l and chapter 2. And I just want to read chapter 2 verse l because we don't have to spend too much time in this point. But it says in chapter 2, "It came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, "and then it goes on to say that he made the decree as you read down through verse 8. But I want you to note the month was Nisan and the twentieth year of Artaxerxes. When did Artaxerxes begin to reign? There's very little doubt about that.
Historians tells us that he acceeded to the throne in 465 B.C. That's in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, by the way. So that's a very established fact, 465 B.C. So his twentieth year would be what? 445‑‑cause we're coming down toward the birth of Christ. So 445, and according to Sir Robert Anderson's calculations, the years of a king's reign were from the first of the month of his reign. And so if it's the month of Nisan, it begins at the first of the month of Nisan. And that is again substantiated, he feels, because there's no other date mentioned. So it would be likely the first day of the month of Nisan in 445.
Now for us, that translates to March l4, 445 B.C. And by the way, if you want to read the book The Coming Prince you can wade through this material. Several hundred pages of all of the calculations. So on March l4, according to Sir Robert Anderson, 445 B.C. began the 483 years. This is the first 69 weeks.
When did it end? Back again at our verse. Look at it, verse 25, "...unto the Messiah." Unto the Messiah, the Prince. It is then consummated that first 69 weeks in the arrival of the Messiah the Prince, it will be‑‑he says‑‑seven weeks and threescore and two weeks. "The streets shall be built again and the wall even in troublous times." Now stop there for a moment.
So we have these two periods divided. First seven weeks and then 62 weeks, equaling 69. Now watch this. The first seven weeks is a 49‑year period. So let's separate it out. Seven weeks, verse 25 indicates, until the street is built again and the wall even in troublous times. Now if you study the book of Nehemiah, you'll find out one thing very quickly. They had a lot of trouble building the city, didn't they? Troublous times. But he sees, the prophet sees, a 49 year period. So if you go from 445, 49 years later you're at 396 B.C. and that's a very crucial time for that was not only the time when they completed the city but that was the time also when the Old Testament canon was completed as well. It's as if God established His people in their land, God established His city, God established a temple and God established His Word. And from there till the coming of John the Baptist, there was no prophet. God had affirmed His people, His city and His Word.
And by the way, it says in verse 25, in those 49 years, "The street would be built and the wall." And the actual word for "street" is the word for public square, or marketplace and it probably is best understood as the inside of the city. And then the wall is actually the word for a moat or a ditch or an external fortification. And what it means is the city was completed inside and outside. It was fully done in those years. Complete restoration in 49 years. And, beloved, there's's only possible that that could have occurred from the decree of Artaxerxes because it was at that time that Nehemiah began to rebuild. So the decree of Artaxerxes, I believe, has to be the decree and you have the period of time in which the city is finalized. All you need to do is read Ezra 9 and l0, Nehemiah 4, chapter 6, chapter 9 and you can see the trouble they. had in doing it in those troublous times.
Now, we covered the 49 years and we have another period in verse 25. And then comes threescore and two weeks, or 62 weeks‑‑62 weeks. And this goes from the time of 396, from there on ahead. Now, let's take the whole figure of 483. From 445 B.C., we want to go 483 years. You have 69 times seven years which equals 483 years. And then you have 483 years times 360 days. And that's the figure I want you to get. The total of days is one hundred and seventy‑three thousand, eight hundred and eighty days. That is 483 years times 360 days. Remember, I told you we're dealing with a 360‑day year. So in order to convert that to a 365‑day calendar like we have, we have to reduce it to days and then divide it back again. So we're dealing with l73,880 days from the decree of Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. to the coming of Messiah the Prince. The Messiah will come in l73,880 days.
Now, the phrase unto Messiah the Prince, I think, is a very interesting phrase. I think it's a phrase that carries with it a very official terminology. Mashiyach nagiyd, the Messiah, the anointed one, the Prince, the Ruler is a very official term. By the way, that very term prince is used first of Saul and used other times of kings. So it is a kingly concept. It isn't the birth of Christ we're looking at.
It isn't the baptism of Christ we're looking at. It is the presentation of Christ as the Mashiyach nagiyd as the Prince, the Messiah. And that's what you have to keep in mind.
Now there are only two events in His life, the life of Christ, where He is officially set apart. One is the baptism, and two is the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Now some believe it's the baptism. But as I said, it can't be because He was not being presented to men there but to God. And the men didn't even know what was going on. There is utterly no reference to Israel. There is no statement about messiahship, only .This is My beloved Son..
And so, if it isn't the baptism, it has to be the triumphal entry, it has to be. There's really no other alternative. And wonder it says in Isaiah 46:l0 that God is the one who declares the end from the beginning. And He predicts things that are not yet done. God told Daniel the very day Jesus would enter the city of Jerusalem and what did they say? "Hosanna to the King of David." The Messiah.
It didn't last long. And after, verse 26 says, after this seven and threescore and two weeks, shall Messiah be...what?...cut off. Let's pray.
Lord, the time has just flown by tonight, hard to believe. It's so exhilarating to study Your Word. Oh, what assurance it gives us. What an infinite mind, what incomprehensible truth, all beginning way back with the Sabbath. And for every defiled Sabbath, there would be a Sabbath to repay it in the captivity.
And for every block of seven years so defiled, there would be another seven years determined in history. How marvelous, how accurate, how exacting that it all should come to the very day, the very day that Jesus when He entered the eastern gate on the colt, the foal of an ass, with the palm branches strewn at His feet, hearing the hosannas", must have had a heart that was exhilarated beyond anything we can believe. It must have had ringing in His ears, the prophecies of Daniel. How heaven must have rejoiced that this great monumental prophecy which if wrong by one day would defy the veracity. of the Word of God had indeed come to pass. God, we thank You that You do such things with absolute precision. We thank You that if You're a God who can care for the calendar, You're a God who can chart the destiny. of every soul. And so, we are pleased, Father, that we know You through Christ and that the infinite wisdom that is Yours as manifest in what we've seen tonight is granted to us in an unlimited fashion to so live that we may be to the praise of Your glory. Thank You for loving us and for letting the Messiah be cut off for us. We praise You in His blessed name. Amen.

Israel's Future, Pt 1

Israel's Future, Pt 1
Sermon by John MacArthur
Tonight I want to draw your attention back to the ninth chapter of Daniel where we left off three months ago. And we got through the first 19 verses before we went away and we're going to pick it right up there for our Bible study tonight. What a great week it's been for me in the adventure of this tremendous tremendous chapter. In fact, this afternoon, I spent a couple of hours just reading through another paper dealing with the intricacies of the prophecy of this particular text, just to fill my mind with even more of the wonderful things that the Spirit of God has given us here.
As we come to chapter 9 verses 20 through 27, we come to the most marvelous, exact, amazing prophecy in all of the Bible. It is in the mind of some writers the single greatest defense of the divine authorship of Scripture. In fact, Sir Isaac Newton once said, quote: "We could stake the truth of Christianity on this prophecy alone, made five centuries before Christ," end quote. We could stake the truth of Christianity- on this prophecy alone." A powerful statement, monumental prophecy and you'll see as it begins to unfold. Frankly, I want to tell you at the beginning, we're not going to get through the whole thing tonight; it's just too rich, there's too much in it. We're going to take our time so that you can understand the fullness of all the Spirit of God is saying.
Now let me remind you of the scene a little bit as we approach the ninth chapter of Daniel because it's been a few months since we talked about this and you may need some refreshing. You remember, that after the reign of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two parts: the northern kingdom known as Israel, the southern kingdom known as Judah. Israelhad been taken into a form of captivity and they were dispersed and never really returned. So, Israel at this particular time is out of existence as such, that is the northern kingdom. The southern kingdomof Judah, the southern half of the divided kingdom has also been taken into captivity, this by the nation Babylon.
There were a series of three deportations. Nebuchadnezzar came, first of all, in about 605, or 606, and he carried away the young men of the nobles and the princes, among them a young man named Daniel and his three friends--Mishael, Hananiah and Azariah who became known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Babylonian terms. So, the nation of Judah, the people of God, had been captive in the land of Babylon. Babylon was the first great Gentile world empire of which there would be four: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
Now Daniel, who was taken captive, because of the amazing commitment to God that he had and because of the marvelous quality of his character, had risen to become the prime minister of Babylon. Even though he was a Jew in exile, his quality caused him to reach the very highest place in the land. And so, Daniel, at this particular time in chapter 9, is the prime minister.
The Babylonian Empire has, however, been defeated. And for one year the Medes and the Persians have been in power and the king by the name of Darius whom I believe is the same as Cyrus--Darius being a title rather than a name--is in power. And so we find then, at this particular time, that the people of God had been in captivity for nearly 70 years. They- have endured the Babylonian Empire and the fall of the Babylonian Empire and they are now living under the power of the Medo-Persians.
Interestingly enough, Daniel again, because of the prowess of his nature, because of the character of his life, because of the impact he had made on society, maintained his position in the Empire even though the structure of the Empire changed. So, Daniel is still prime minister in a foreign land.
Some scholars believe it's about 537 B.C., or so. And Israel has been captive, or Judah has been captive, nearly 70 years by now. In fact, some believe from the first deportation, it's in the sixty-ninth year.
And since Daniel was in the first deportation, he's very concerned that the 70 years is fast coming to an end, for Daniel had been exposed to the writings of Jeremiah.
Look back at verse 2 of chapter 9. "In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, or Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years. He was reading in the Old Testament canon, "...Concerning which the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah." Now Jeremiah had mentioned several times that the captivity would be a captivity of 70 years. And so Daniel knew that if God began to count with the first deportation, that 70 years was nearly up. Now he didn't know whether God started with the first deportation or the second deportation or the third deportation, which was in 586, so he really didn't know specifically when it began and therefore didn't know specifically when it ended, but he knew that it was imminent. Now Daniel is too old to go back to the land, but he has in his heart the people of God. I'm sure he knew that he wouldn't go back, but his heart longed to see the people go back. For 70 years their nation had been a rubble. For 70 years they had been dispossessed. And worst of all, they- had been under Gentile domination.
And so Daniel in chapter 9 begins to pray. And he is asking God to bring the captivity to an end. He wants the people to be brought back to the land. Now, in answer to his prayer, God gives him a monumental prophecy and that is what occurs from verses 20 to 27. His prayer is from verse 3 to 19.
Now keep in mind that this is not the first great prophecy given to Daniel. Daniel was the recipient of other amazing statements from God. You will recall the first two great prophecies that Daniel received were in chapter 2 and in chapter 7. And both of them dealt with the Gentile world empires. Chapter 2 gave to Daniel a broad outline of Gentile world history: the four great empires to be succeeded by a fifth and last great empire which was the Kingdom of the Most High God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then in chapter 7, God gave him that same vision in another format and He added to it the whole element of the antichrist and how he would rule over the final form of the final phase of Gentile world power.
So Daniel's visions to this point have been related primarily to the Gentile world powers. But from chapter 7 verse 28 on, the focus turns away from the Gentiles and it turns toward the Jews-- Israel, God's people. And chapter 9 gives us this great prophecy of the people of God.
If you look at verse 24, it will give you a hint. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy holy city." And that is an affirmation of the basic content of this prophecy that it relates to Israel, or to Judah if you're looking at it from the southern kingdom viewpoint. As chapter 9 opens, the people are still in depression, they are under foreign rule, their land is in heathen hands, their holy city is a heap, their temple is in ruins and they're ready to go back. And Daniel knows the time is near. And so he prays.
Now, as this unfolds to us, from verses 20 to 27, I want you to see three features--three features and three main characters. Number one, the circumstances of Daniel; number two, the coming of Gabriel; and number three, the communication of God. Three features, three main characters--the circumstances of Daniel, the coming of Gabriel, and the communication of God.
Let's look, first of all, at the circumstances of Daniel in verse 20. And by the way, we find him in very familiar circumstances. And while I was speaking and...what?...praying." If ever there is a man in the Bible who is associated with praying, it is Daniel, is it not? In fact, he was so committed to prayer that it got him in a lion's den. Daniel was a man of prayer. Daniel was praying.
If you go back to verse 3 of chapter 9, you'll find the beginning of his prayer. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by- prayer and supplication with fasting and sack cloth and ashes and I prayed unto the Lord my God." I mean, this is a man who is serious about his prayer. This is not whimsical. This is not a passing fancy. This is a man who settles into prayer with great commitment. Daniel was a man of prayer. In fact, it was in chapter 6, you'll remember, that his great commitment to prayer was the trap that they used to get him thrown to the lions. But he never wavered. If you go back to chapter 6 verses l0 and 11, you'll find that it didn't matter what the decree of the king was, Daniel was going to pray no matter what and God sustained him because of his faithfulness. He faced Jerusalem as was his custom and he prayed three times every day because that's the way he had been trained and that was what he was committed to doing. And so we find him in a common circumstance.
Now look again at verse 20 and you'll find four verbs there that are important. "And while I was speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God..." Four verbs: speaking, praying, making confession, and laying up supplication. Just four ways of speaking about his prayer, four elements, four ingredients, four facets. And I think in a way they are there to sort of sum up verses 3 through l9. All of those four verbs, by the way, are repeated somewhere in the prayer in verses 3 to l9. And so, this is the Holy Spirit's way of saying - Now while Daniel was praying that prayer - and the Holy Spirit just picks out four verbs selected from within the prayer to sort of sum it up. While Daniel was in the midst of that prayer. In other words, the idea is before the prayer had ever ended, while it was still going on, God began to move.
Now we could say a lot about Daniel but I guess maybe. the greatest thing about Daniel is at the end of verse 20, in terms of the focus of his prayer. There are a lot of things you could focus on in prayer, Daniel had the right focus. Most people have the wrong one. Believe it or not, most people, most of us included, most of the time pray to consume it upon our own lusts.
That's just basically the way we pray. "Lord give me this." "Lord, protect me from that." "Lord, make sure I get my needs." "Lord, me, me, me, me." But that was never Daniel's focus. He was speaking and praying and confessing his sin and the sins of his people Israeland presenting his supplication, laying it up before the Lord my God. And for what purpose? "For the holy mountain of my God." It was for the sake of Zion. It was for the character of God. It was for His holy name, the mountain being representative of all of His glory. He prayed for God's glory and that was the heart and the focus of his praying. It grieves me so much when I hear people say, "Well, you need to demand this from God and demand that from God and you tell God what He has to give you and you lay claim to these and that." Daniel prayed for God's glory, not his own indulgence. And in response to that, he got a prophecy without equal.
And I guess as I was thinking through this, I couldn't help but think Daniel got such an incredible answer, I wonder if my prayer life could be so altered that God could be so gracious to do in my life just a portion of the marvelous things He did in Daniel's. And as a result of that, I went back over the chapter again and started to relearn because I had forgotten some of them already, relearn the characteristics of Daniel's prayer that released such a word from God. I couldn't help but think what is it in Daniel's prayer that caused such a response. In fact, in verse 2l it says, "Yea, while I was speaking in prayer the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning being caused to fly swiftly, touched me." Now get this. I mean, the guy didn't even say "Amen" before the angel had arrived with the answer. Now that's the way to pray. And when the answer came, it was a more marvelous answer than anyone could have ever imagined.
How can one so pray to receive such a divine response? How can one so pray to be so blessed? So, I went back over the chapter and I do it just briefly for you. What was right about Daniel's praying? What made it so answerable? What made it so that God touched Him? Because it seems sometimes that we pray and we don't have the sense of the touch of God. What was it? Be reminded, will you? First of all, he prayed in response to the Word of God. He prayed in response to the Word of God. His prayer was born out of experience in the Word. That's verse 2. "I understood by- books the number of the years, I was reading Jeremiah and I set my face to the Lord." In other words, the parameters of his prayers were established by- the Word of God. He prayed within the bounds of the revelation of God. He probably read Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 25:l2, Jeremiah 29:l0 cause all of those verses talk about the 70 years. And he said, "I know what God's purpose is. God's purpose is 70 years. And consistent with God's revelation, I can now pray for God to send my people back because it's consistent with the time frame He's established in His own Word."
So, the first thing you learn about prayer is that prayer is to be lined up with the revelation of God. You cannot pray rightly unless you understand the eternal purposes of God, you see. Second thing, and I have to add that just because it's so obvious, he prayed not only in response to God's Word but in accord with God's will. He said, "Lord, You've already said You're going to do it, so do it." In fact, the only request in the whole prayer and all of the stuff from verses 3 through verse l8 is just preparation, and he finally comes down to verse l9 and here is the request, "O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, hearken, and do." That's the request, one word, do it. You said You're going to do it, it's in Your Word that You're going to do it, it's Your will to do it, do it, according to God's will. If you ask anything in My name and in accord with My will, I'll do it. So Daniel says You said You'd do it, do it. That's the way to pray.
He prayed also, thirdly, with fervency. Verse 3, "I set my face..."
That's a Hebraism for a resolute spirit. "I set my face unto the Lord God." And he got serious. He fasted. In fact, some commentators think that Gabriel started the fly when he began to fast, before he'd even started to pray. Because God sure didn't wait to hear his request before He knew what he was going to ask. He was resolute, fervent.
He prayed with self-denial, verse 4, "I made my confession." I mean, the man began with the fact that he was not worthy, right? Whenever you go into the presence of God you have to go in on that premise, that you are not worth-v. And he prayed for others. That was really the heart of his prayer. You notice in verse 5, we; verse 6, we, our, our, our; verse 7, us, unto all Israel; verse 8, us, our, our, we; verse 10, we, us; verse 11, all Israel, us, we, us, us. There was nothing selfish about his prayer. He prayed for Israel.
So, he prayed- in response to God's Word, in accord with God's will, with fervency, self-denial, prayed for others, prayed with confession, didn't he? That's number six. Verse 5, he says we've sinned, we've committed iniquity, we've done wickedly, we've rebelled, we've departed from Your precepts, from Your ordinances, we never listen to Your prophets. See, he's dealing with his own heart, the heart of his people.
He prayed, seventh, dependent on God. Utterly dependent on God. He said "You're a great," in verse 4, "awesome God, You keep Your covenant, You show mercy to those that love you and to those that keep Your commandments.. In other words, he prayed his prayer dependent on the absolute unchanging promise of an unchanging God.
And finally, I would say that he focused on God's glory. The whole point of his prayer was on the glory of God. That was the whole thing. "Do it for Your sake." Verse l9, "O Lord, hear, O Lord forgive, O Lord hearken and do, and defer not," and here it comes, "for Thine own sake, O my God, for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name." This is Your people and Your city and Your name is at stake. And he was praying. And he was praying the right way.
There's another little note about his praying, too, in verse 2l, look at it. It says at the end of the verse that the angel Gabriel came, and I like this, "He touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Now that's a very special thing, the time of the evening oblation. Daniel had brought his prayer to God at a very, very special time. This was the time of the evening sacrifice and it was also a time for prayer, 3 P.M. was the time. Ezra 9 indicates that this time was also a time for prayer, in verse 5.
But this was traditionally a very special time--in the evening, Daniel when he was living in Jerusalembefore the captivity as a boy would have remembered. Smoke would rise from the temple ground because a lamb was slain and the lamb was slain for sin and offered up to God. Sins were confessed. The one who brought the lamb would lay his hands upon the lamb signifying identification and confess his sin with his hands on the lamb and then the lamb would be offered as a sacrifice. Daniel would remember that. And he would remember also that there was a meal offering and a drink offering associated with that sacrifice.
But let me just give you a little thought here. Isn't it interesting that 69 years later, he is still faithful to the evening oblation though there hasn't been one for 69 years and though there's no temple for him to look to? Now there's a man who doesn't forget, and that was the key to his spiritual success. A lot of people departed from Israel, got in a pagan land and forgot the whole deal. Not Daniel...remembering again anchors the soul. And so he remembered. He could remember even though there hadn't been a sacrifice since 586 B.C. And there he was and what a fitting time to confess his sins. He was confessing them. And I just believe that every day at 3 o'clock may have been, because of the tradition in which he was raised, his time to confess his sins even though there was no sacrifice offered. And so, Daniel came to God in prayer but he came with a sense of the need for a cleansing. So he was praying, the circumstances of Daniel.
Second, the coming of Gabriel, verse 2l. And this is really a wonderful text. Look and see what happens. "Yea, while 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." Now what an amazing thing. Daniel is still praying and the angel arrives before he's even done. Now that will give you a little idea how fast angels fly. Heaven is not very far away when you have a supernatural body.
Notice it says "Gabriel the man," or "the man Gabriel." Now that is not to deny that he is an angel. It is only to identify- him with the previous appearance in chapter 8 verse l6 because in chapter 8 verse l6, you remember, when Daniel was by the banks of the river Ulai he heard a man's voice and the man's voice called and said "Gabriel, make this man to understand the visions. So when he came near where I stood and when he came, I was afraid and fell upon my face. And he said unto me, Understand, O son of man," and so forth and so on. In the eighth chapter, Daniel confronted Gabriel the angel in a human form. And the reason he is called here the man Gabriel is probably best understood as a way of identifying him with the same visible form. You see, if he had come only as a spirit being, Daniel would not have known that it was Gabriel because Daniel wouldn't have known what Gabriel looked like. But it was Gabriel.
And I believe that God wanted Daniel to know it was Gabriel. Why? Because I believe Gabriel is a number-one, class A messenger angel. And Daniel was to know that this was a high priority delivery and that he was getting Gabriel.
So, the reference to the man Gabriel is not a denial that he's an angel but it serves to link him with the vision of chapter 8 verses l5 and l6 where he appeared in the form of a man. And Daniel makes that comment when he says, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning."
By the way, you might also note, too, that the word for man here, the word ishis sometimes used of a servant and it could be in that sense, too, that he's called the man insofar as he acts as a servant of God. And by the way, the word Gabriel, have you ever thought about that word? The last two letters of that word signify the name of whom? Of God. And literally elmeans the "strong one." God, the strong one. And the first part of Gabriel comes from the Hebrew word, basically the word is gabar. And gabarmeans "the strong one." So it is man--the strong one; God--the strong one. Or, it is "the strong man of God." The strong one of the strong God. That's his name. And he was the key heavenly messenger.
Who was it that announced to Zacharias the birth of John the Baptist? Gabriel. And he was the greatest man who ever lived up until his time. Jesus said that in Matthew 11:11. Important announcement. Who was it who announced to Mary the birth of Jesus Christ in Luke l:26? Gabriel. Now this is a repeated function of holy angels in the Scripture. Angels were involved in the revelation of the law to Moses. You can find that in the seventh chapter of Acts in the sermon of Stephen. He says the angels delivered the law to Moses. Zechariah says there was an angel that talked to me and interpreted the visions from God.

Much of the book of Daniel, much of the book of Revelation came through the mediation of angels. Angels were used as God's messengers. Now, back to verse 2l. This angel was caused to fly swiftly, so fast he got there before Daniel finished praying. And by the way, just keep this in mind, angels literally are not omnipresent so they have to go from somewhere to somewhere else, right? So it is a question of speed. That's right, it's an issue of speed. In fact, we find also in Daniel, don't we, that God had dispatched one angel to deliver a word to Daniel and the angel got held up in space by some demons and the Lord had to send Michael to loose him so he could finish the journey. So angels go from somewhere to somewhere else. And this one went fast. By the way, the only other angel named in the Bible is Michael, the only other good angel is Michael and he's super angel, champion angel, the leader of the heavenly forces. The one other angel who's mentioned is Lucifer.
But notice at the end of verse 2l, it says that "...he touched me." He was so intent in prayer and I think it indicates something of the posture of prayer. Daniel was so intensely involved in prayer, no doubt his eyes were closed, his head was bowed and the angel had to touch him to wake him up, to make him alert to his presence. Then verse 22, "And he informed me and talked with me and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." And Gabriel speaks to him about his mission.
Now Daniel's prayer was not for understanding. And Daniel's prayer was not for skill. And really, those two words mean very much the same, it's very hard to distinguish the two. But Daniel wasn't asking for something for himself. Daniel wasn't asking for insight into the future. Daniel was not some kind of a lurid prophecy- buff. "O Lord, just show me what it's going to be," see. I mean, what concerned Daniel was the purpose and the plan of God, not the fascination of the future. But, the angel said, "I want to inform you. I've come, O Daniel, to give you skill and understanding." The Lord wanted to assure Daniel of His unwavering purpose to fulfill all of His promises and He wanted to assure Daniel fully so there would be no question in his mind.
Verse 23, "At the beginning of thy supplication, when you first started this process of prayer," and that's why some commentators believe it was when he began to fast because that was the real beginning of the prayer, even before he had uttered the prayer. But at the beginning, whenever it was, early in the day, "The commandment came forth." Where do you think it came from? It came from God. All of the angels' commandments come from God. "And I am come to show thee." Now get this. "For thou art greatly beloved." Isn't that tremendous? Tremendous thought. Just when you began to pray, the commandment came: send him an answer and take it firsthand and I want Gabriel to deliver it in person.
Now how in the world do you ever tap that kind of a divine resource? I think it has to do with the character of your prayer and the quality-of your life. The word went out. And by the way, the word is in verses 24 to 27, as we shall see. Gabriel was the divine agent. Why? Why did God answer his prayer? Not only because he prayed- as he should pray, but because he was what he should be. See it in verse 23? "For thou art greatly beloved." Oh, what a thought that is. What a thought that is.
I think a good parallel, I just really thought of this just this moment, is in the book of Jude. There's a wonderful little verse in Jude verse 20, you don't need to turn to it, just listen to it. It says this: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying' in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God." And what do you mean--keep yourselves in the love of God? Boy, initially that's a scary statement, isn't it? What do I have to do to stay in the love of God? What is he saying? Is he saying that I can step outside the love of God? Well, not in the ultimate sense, but I think the way to perceive that is this.
There is, if you will, you draw a circle on the ground somewhere just for the mental imagery, and a great big wide circle and assume that within that circle- and by the way, that circle has an "O" around it and that stands for a great word in the New Testament...what is it? Obedience. So I call it the circle of obedience but you draw this great big circle and as long as you stand in it, that's where it rains the love of God. That's where the love of God is releasing blessing in the fullness. Now as long as you stay within that circle, you are keeping yourself in the love of God.
God's blessing is always going to be poured out on the obedient. As soon as you step out of that circle and You begin to be disobedient, it isn't that God has stopped pouring out the blessing, it's just that you stepped outside of the parameters in which it's happening. It isn't that God says, "O Daniel, I love you more than anybody else." What He's really saying is, Daniel, you are in a greater position than most to receive the blessing that I want to give all, but because of the character of their lives, I'm unable to do it." In other words, there's a certain kind of life that puts you dead center in the circle of the raining of God's eternal blessing. And that's right where Daniel was. I don't know about you but that's where I want to be. You want to be there?
I think about this and then I think about John. He says, .For thou art greatly beloved." And John, whenever he writes about himself, he says, "...and there was Peter, and there was Andrew and there was James and then there was the disciple whom...what?...Jesus loved." I mean why call yourself John when you can call yourself that? Right?
And so, Daniel--not only because his prayer life was so right but because his character was so right--was greatly beloved by God. You know what that says to me also? That says to me that God has the capacity- to respond to my obedience, that God actually does pour out blessing when I am obedient to Him. I want to be greatly beloved because I want to experience what that means for His glory.

So, He says, at the end of verse 23, "Therefore...therefore what?...because you're so greatly beloved, I want you to understand the matter and consider the vision." You kind of have to get your thinking cap on and listen carefully and get it good. A better way to understand the word "vision" would be to translate it "appearance" because it isn't really a vision. This is the real angel Gabriel there in some kind of physical form. It's a real appearance of Gabriel rather than a vision. And so, God sends His angel and we see the circumstances of Daniel and the coming of Gabriel.
That leads us, thirdly, to the communication of God...the communication of God, verse 24 to 27. Just listen to this: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end 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 build Jerusalemunto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks. The streets shall be built again and the wall even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks 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 of it shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 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, for the overspreading of the abominations he shall make it desolate even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Now do you know why the angel told him to listen carefully? You've read that many times and you probably don't understand everything that I just read. That is a very complex statement, highly complex, and yet startlingly accurate. Let me see if I can give you a little summary so you get a feel for it.
First of all, the entire prophecy has to do with Daniel's people and Daniel's city, that is the nation of Israeland the city of Jerusalem"?
Secondly, there are two different princes mentioned. There is Messiah the Prince in verse 25 and there is the prince that shall come in verse 26. One is Christ and one is antichrist.
Thirdly, the entire time period involved is exactly specified as 70 weeks, verse 24. And 70 weeks are divided into three sections: first section is seven weeks, the next one is 62 weeks and the last one is one week. So you have three segments. The whole time period begins, according to verse 25, at the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The end of it all, in verse 25, is when the Messiah the Prince comes.
Now, that's just a general view. And we'll see it as we go through this text. Look at verse 24. And we're not going to get finished, in fact, we may not get as far as I thought tonight, but we'll jump in at verse 24 for a moment. "Seventy- weeks are determined upon they people." Now I want you to notice the word "determined." This is a divine indication. This tells us that God has a plan, that God charts the course of history, that God has predetermined what's going on. It's the assumption of a comprehensive plan of God. In fact, the Hebrew word for determined is a most fascinating word. It literally means "to cut off something." And the idea is that in all of human history, in all of the flow of human history, God has cut off a segment of time and pulled it out for His own purposes with His own people. He has taken a period called "seventy weeks" and cut it off from the rest of history. And it is a period geared to the accomplishment of the deliverance of Israel.
Notice again in verse 24 that it is "thy people and thy holy city." Daniel had prayed in his prayer for the people, he had prayed for the city and the answer came related to both.
Now, what is the purpose of this prophecy? There are six purposes given in verse 24, they are just astounding. First of all, the seventy weeks are cut out of history for God to work with your people and your city for these six objectives. Three are negative--watch it--and three are positive.
Number one--to finish the transgression. Literally it means to restore restrain firmly the transgression. In the world in which we live today, sin has the freedom to express itself. But there's coming a day when that will not be the case. There's coming a day when every time sin rears its head it will be crushed with a rod of iron. It will be firmly restrained and the freedom of sin to express itself will be over. All apostasy will be over. All evil will come under divine control. And this seems to be a word--that is the word "transgression" which has reference to a general perspective on sin.
Now look at the second purpose. Not only to finish or to restrain firmly the transgression, but to make an end of sins-- plural. Not only is sin in total to be dealt with, or in general, but sins in specific are to be dealt with as well. Now there's a lot of debate about what the verb means--to make an end. Some think it means "to end." Some think it means "to seal up." And every time the root word of "to seal up" is used, it speaks about divine judgment in the Bible. It always assumes the idea of judgment. But the idea is that not only will God deal with sin as a totality, but God will deal with specific sins as well. In other words, there's a seventy-week period of history, the end of which God will wipe out sin. Now that's a great finality in that thought.
Finally, the third negative statement. To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity--to make reconciliation for iniquity. The verb is kaphar, it simply means "to cover iniquity, to cover sin." And literally in the Hebrew it is "to atone for, or to expiate." It is the normal Hebrew word for atonement. Now did you get it? Now watch. There's coming a time when God is going to deal with sin in general. He's going to deal with sins in specific.
And He's going to deal with it by bringing about an atonement for those sins. Summing up these three: they all refer to getting rid of sin. And that was a welcome word for Daniel because it was sin that had brought Israelto captivity. The first deals with the idea of sin in general, the second, sin in specific, and the third tells how--by atonement.
And I really believe that what Daniel sees but doesn't see, what the Spirit of God speaks of here, has to be the coming of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. It was on the cross that sin in general was dealt with, right? Even though the full application of that awaits His Second Coming. It was on the cross that sins in specific were dealt with as He bore them in His own body. It was on the cross that atonement was made. And so I see in those first three purposes of the seventy weeks a picture of the cross and its marvelous and amazing provision for sin.
Satan's head was bruised...where? the cross, even though the final sentence hasn't happened. All of our sin was paid for, right?
All of our sins were dealt with. We not only had the general problem of a sin nature taken care of, but we had received from the cross the forgiveness of every specific sin as well. So, sin has been dealt with there.
Then there are three positive purposes for the 70 weeks. Number one, to bring in everlasting righteousness. What a great exchange. You do away with sin and you bring in everlasting righteousness. Literally, it is in the plural. It is the righteousness of the ages, the righteousness of the eons, the permanent righteousness of eternity.
Righteousness takes permanent control. Now mark this. The Jews never saw in the Old Testament the distinction between the first and second coming of Christ and the gap in between. So that you can have a prophecy in the Old Testament that comes to the cross and is followed immediately by an understanding of the kingdom because the gap, or the church age, is a mystery. So, the first three are how God is going to deal with sin and the next three, how He is going to establish eternal righteousness.
The fifth one, it says He will seal up the vision and prophecy. In other words, there will come an end to revelation. There will come an end to prophecies. There will come an end to visions. Why? Because in His great glorious and eternal Kingdom, when it's finally established, we shall know as we are known, revelation will cease, all knowledge will be ours. Some believe that's speaking of the completing of the New Testament. That it's saying the New Testament canon will be finished? But I don't take that view for the reason that it says that there will be an end to prophecy and prophecies and visions will occur in the initiation of the Kingdom, according to Joel 2. So there has to be room for that in the future. So I see this as the final consummation.
And you can't get too picky about fitting it all in a little chronological thing. What the prophet is saying is there's coming a time when the Messiah will come and the Messiah will end sin and the Messiah will bring in the Kingdom of everlasting righteousness and there will be no need for us to be receiving little special revelations because everything will be disclosed to us...everything. And I think he sees, especially in a Jewish context, the glorification of the Jewish saints in the Kingdom.
Finally, and this is a good word at the end of verse 24--and we'll stop with this--to anoint, now mark this, the Holy, or better, a Holy of Holies, or a Most Holy. Now what is this? The best translation, beloved, is "a Holy of Holies." And what it is saying is simple. The phrase "Holy of Holies" refers either to the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle or the Holy of Holies in the temple. And I believe that what it's saying is that in the end with everlasting righteousness and with full knowledge, and we shall know as we are known, there will also be the establishing of a Kingdom temple. And all you have to do is read Ezekiel 40 to 48 to find that confirmation. This is the restored temple of the millennial Kingdom.
So, you get the picture, right? Summing it up. You have a prophecy here. And if this doesn't wet your appetite for next week, I don't know how to do it. You have a prophecy here that stretches from Daniel's day to the time when the Messiah comes when He does away with sin and sins and He atones and He establishes a Kingdom of everlasting righteousness and He ends visions and prophecies. A marvelous thought. And He builds a magnificent incomparable millennial temple.
This prophecy stretches from Daniel's day to the end. And the amazing thing is that the prophet tells us exactly how long it's going to be--70 weeks, 70 weeks. The first three negative parts of this perspective seem to point to the cross. The second three positive points go beyond the cross to the Kingdom?? And that lets us know that there's a gap in there. We know it will be 70 weeks from Daniel's time till the end.
But we also know that those 70 weeks are divided into three sections. First, there's a seven-week period; then there's a 62-week period; and then there's a final seven-week period. And we're going to find out next time that there's a gap in there that accounts for the distinction between the coming of Christ the first time and the second time. Now if you want to know specifically what the 70 weeks are, you come next Sunday and I'll tell you.
Let me just reiterate as we part, tonight. What has the Spirit of God said to you tonight? I think the sum of what I sense in my own heart is this. Daniel received the very best things that God could ever give. And you know what the very best thing is that God can ever give?
A sense of His own presence. What do I mean by that? I mean, it isn't things. The greatest thing that you could ever receive from God is His Word brought into your presence under the dispatch of His own angels.
What a thought...what a thought. The New Testament affirms that His angels are still ministers, that God can bring into our lives great realities from His very throne. Now I don't want to be mystical about it, I just want to be in the place where I can know what it is to be greatly beloved so that I can experience all that goodness that God desires to give. I'm not looking for visions or revelation, but only to sense that God has brought to my heart the truth of His already revealed Word in a very special way.
Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying. I can put it another way. The thing that I fear the most is dryness in my spiritual life. And I covet that I should so live that every time I open the Word of God it's as if God touched me with His own hand, it's so alive to me. And so, in the words of Jude, I would say: Keep yourself in the love of God." Know what it is to be greatly beloved by God because you stand in the circle of obedience. And that's a matter really of your own character, the virtue of your life. And then when you fall on your knees to pray, you'll receive from God's hand things far greater than you ever dreamed.
Well, it's very frustrating not to be able to finish this because I'm so excited about it. I'm going to leak this sermon out of me all week long. I can feel it coming.
Father, thank You for our fellowship tonight. We're so grateful for just the thrill of Your Word. Wonderful to be together tonight to enjoy- this great text and just to begin to scratch its surface. We sense that You're so very real, that You hear our prayers, and You move Your angels in response. How wonderful to know You're really involved, You really do respond as we see in the case of Daniel. O God, that we should be so greatly beloved, that we should receive such a Word from You, that there should be such a freshness when we on- en its pages, that we should know the outpouring of Your blessing.
Father, we pray tonight for every person who is here. We ask Your special attention to every need. There are many of these dear folks who have burdens. Help them to pray right. Help them to get their character lined up with Your principles and to pray in the way You taught us to pray so that they- can know the fullness of Your answers.
Father, for those who may be with us gathered tonight who've never given their life to Christ, we pray this might be the night they. Do that. Open their hearts.

Lord we just thank You for this good fellowship. We thank You for the testimony of every life here that knows You and loves You. May this be a week of special blessing for the sake of Your name above all things, we pray, amen.