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In The Greatest Prophecy Ever Fulfilled

A Study of Daniel 9:20-27
Daniel’s 70 Weeks
By L.R. Shelton


These nine messages were originally delivered over THE WORD OF TRUTH RADIO NETWORK
(The True Israel of God, also by L.R. Shelton)



Message #1



I have been impressed by the Holy Spirit to begin a series of messages today on the subject, THE GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED, based on DANIEL 9:20-27.

My prayer is that our gracious Lord by His Spirit will open the eyes of our understanding to give us light and knowledge upon this blessed portion of His Word which speaks both of the .'goodness and the severity of God" (Rom. 11:22). It speaks of God's GOODNESS because in it we have the great prophecy concerning the work of our Lord Jesus Christ in bringing the grace and mercy of God to His people by His substitutionary work on the cross. And it sets forth the SEVERITY of God against the sins of the Jewish nation in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory.



The Scripture containing this GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED is one of the most marvelous and most important in the Word of God. That which is of most supreme interest in this portion is the divinely recorded TIME MEASURE, starting from the return of the Israelites out of Babylonian Captivity down to the culminating event of all prophecy and all history, even unto "Messiah," and to His being cut off and having nothing.



In the first part of Daniel 9, Daniel has been praying and confessing both his sins and the sins of his people Israel; because he had understood by books the number of years, whereof the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, the Prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem (9:2). In answer to Daniel's prayer came this great prophecy that we desire to look into. With your Bible in hand, let us read together the account of the answer to Daniel's prayer beginning at v. 20:



"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 my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision from the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the 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 Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even 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 thereof 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, and for the overspreading of the abomination he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."



Before we go any further, let me state my reason for bringing this series of messages. First, that I might GLORIFY my Living, Triune God in Christ who has Himself set before us this GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED that He might be glorified both in His GOODNESS in sending Christ to die for His people, and in His SEVERITY in bringing the Jewish nation to a state of desolation and wrath because of their rejection and crucifixion of the Lord of Glory.



Second, that we might set before you the CENTRAL THEME of God's Word THE CROSS OF CHRIST that God came down to reconcile us unto Himself by the sacrifice of His only Begotten Son at Calvary. This prophecy sets this forth; it presents our Savior and Mt. Calvary. It gives us in detail, that in His being cut off for His people He would make an end of sins by Himself becoming the sin offering for His people: that He would make reconciliation for iniquity so that poor sinners could be reconciled to the Holy God; and that He would bring in everlasting righteousness so that His people for whom He died would have a right standing before God in Him.



The third reason for bringing this series of messages is to show that THESE SCRIPTURES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH AN ANTICHRIST who is supposed to come in the future, which from that time till now would have been about 2500 years. Neither does it set before us a TRIBULATION period at some future date wherein the Jewish nation will play an important role. No, these things are based upon a wrong interpretation of the 26th and 27th verses of Daniel 9. What these verses refer to is the desolation brought on the Jewish nation by Titus, the Roman General, in A.D. 70, and is confirmed by our Lord Himself in the Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. All of this we will refer to again and look into in detail in later messages.



Let us now set before you briefly the things contained in this GREATEST PROPHECY that we will be studying in the weeks to come. This greatest prophecy pertaining to Daniel's people, their sanctuary and the city of Jerusalem is linked with a time period of seventy weeks. Bible students recognize that these seventy weeks or 490 days are symbolic of years each day representing a year, that is 490 years. It was this same year-for-a-day principle that was used in Numbers 14:34. Because of unbelief, the Israelites were to wander for 40 years in the wilderness, a year for each day that the spies were absent searching out the land. This same scale was used in Ezekiel 4:4-6, "I have appointed thee each day for a year." Now we know that this interpretation is true because it has already been fulfilled. From the going forth of the Commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince (v. 25) was 69 weeks or 483 years. I said this was fulfilled because it was 483 years from the time that King Cyrus gave this decree for the Jews to go out of Babylonian Captivity to the baptism of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, by John the Baptist in the river Jordan.



Now while Christendom is generally united in the belief that the seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks (that is 69 weeks or 483 years), measured unto Messiah; concerning the final week of the Prophecy, the 70th week, there are two entirely different interpretations that are held today: the FUTURIST interpretation and the FULFILLED interpretation.  The FUTURIST interpretation is that a gap of 2000 years or so separate the 70th week from the other 69 weeks that measure unto the Messiah. The FULFILLED interpretation is that no gap is to be placed between the 69th and the 70th week, for the 70th week followed the 69th in logical sequence.  The FUTURIST interpretation is that the 70th week refers to the antichrist who will make a covenant with the Jews. This covenant, they say, will allow the Jews to offer sacrifices in a "rebuilt" temple at Jerusalem for seven years, but after three and a half years the antichrist will break this covenant and cause the sacrifice to cease and then will come the great tribulation period, and the Jews will suffer greatly under the antichrist.
 


The FULFILLED interpretation, on the other hand, is that the 70th week refers to the time when Christ would make and open the covenant to many, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, and cause the Jewish sacrifices commanded of God in the Old Testament to cease; by Himself becoming the final and perfect sacrifice for sins.  The FUTURIST interpretation causes us to look for an antichrist, and gives him honor and glory; while the FULFILLED interpretation causes us to look back to a crucified, risen, exalted Lord, who accomplished the Father's will in bringing in everlasting salvation and gives Him all the honor and glory. The FUTURIST interpretation holds out a false hope to Israel after the flesh and to the Jewish nation in telling them that they are still God's chosen nation, and that in spite of their continued unbelief they will be brought back into the land, build the temple, and be accepted of God and protected by Him in a so-called tribulation period of seven years. The FULFILLED interpretation shows that there is no respect of persons before God, that the only hope for the Jews as well the Gentiles today or in any other day, is the hope of the Gospel of the grace of God. The only hope held out to anyone is in the laying down of arms of rebellion against God in repentance, and fuming from sin to a holy God by faith in Jesus Christ who gave Himself as the sacrifice for sinners at Calvary.
 


The reason Satan has beclouded these verses to the minds of so many is because they spell the doom of the Jewish nation nearly 2000 years ago. These verses teach us that God prophesied to Daniel that the Jewish nation would finish the transgressions during these 70 weeks (or 490 years) and that they would be cut off from God as a nation because of their sin. Our Lord confirmed this in Matt.23:32,35,36,38 saying: "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. . . that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. . . and all these things shall come upon this generation. . . for behold, your house is left unto you desolate."  This is the reason our Lord gave such a detailed warning in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 to His disciples and followers; so that they would be warned and therefore flee from the city of Jerusalem before His judgments fell in A.D. 70. He said, "When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" (Luke 21 :20-22).
 


What were these things that were written? They were the prophecies given to Daniel about the destruction of his people, the Jews, their city and their temple, which took place in A.D. 70. Matthew 24:15-16 also reads—"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."  Our Lord saw this judgment coming for He knew the true word of prophecy, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). This is what made Him weep over the city of Jerusalem as He went into it the last time before His crucifixion, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace' but now they are hid from shine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that shine enemies shall cast a trench about thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19:4144).
 


Again when He went out of the city of Jerusalem the last time, He cried, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" (Matt. 23:37-38). These then are the main things we will be looking into in this series of messages on the GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED: the coming and cutting off of the Messiah, and the destruction and desolation of the Jewish nation, her city and temple, which is the GOODNESS and the SEVERITY of God.



Message #2



In our first message in this series on Daniel 9:20-27, we gave you an overall view of this GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED by showing you that in it we see both the GOODNESS of God in sending Christ, His dear Son, to die for His people; and His SEVERITY in bringing the Jewish nation to a state of desolation and wrath because of their continued sin in rebellion against Him, and their sin of rejecting and crucifying the Lord of Glory. These Scriptures in Daniel 9 are very explicit that this work of the GOODNESS of God and the SEVERITY of God would be done in a framework of 490 years, or seventy weeks of days—a year for a day—reaching from the time that King Cyrus of Persia gave the decree for the Jews to go out of Babylonian captivity (Ezra 1 :1-4) unto the baptism of Christ, the Messiah, by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. This was 483 years, and then into 3 1\2 years of the 70th week, when He should be cut off for His people.
 


Now in our present message we will seek to give a verse by verse exposition of this GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED beginning at v. 24. Listen now as we proceed! The seventy weeks (or 490 years) as we explained in our last message were determined upon the people of Daniel who were the Jews, upon their city, and upon their sanctuary or temple. THIS IS WHAT THIS PROPHECY IS ALL ABOUT: God's dealings with the Jewish nation, with the Jewish people' with the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish sanctuary or temple in a framework of 70 weeks or 490 years. And the central figure, the One who stands out above all, is Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God. Let us keep this in mind. You will notice that the first 49 years or seven weeks according to v.25 were spent in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, its walls and temple in very troublous times which was accomplished under Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah as recorded in the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah.



It is marvelous to me to see God's hand of providence in moving to fulfill this prophecy. You see God had given to the Prophets, Jeremiah and Isaiah, the exact length of time that the Jewish nation would stay in Babylonian captivity and when and by whom they would be released from this captivity. Jeremiah gives us in his prophecy, chapter 25:11- 12, these words, "And this whole land shall be a desolation. And an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord."
 


Then in Isaiah 44:26- 24:3, Isaiah sets forth in prophecy that God would raise up King Cyrus of the Persians to conquer Babylon, set His people free, and decree that the people should go back to Jerusalem to rebuild. Listen to these words' "Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: that saith to thee, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." As we have already stated, this prophecy and its fulfillment is recorded in Ezra 1: 1-4 and II Chron. 36:22-23.
 


Now I want you to notice the word, "DETERMINED" in v.24 and 27. The word means, having ascertained, having calculated, having fixed precisely, having settled conclusively in one's mind what he is going to do; he has resolved to carry it out. This is precisely what our God has done in this prophecy. He determined that there would be 490 years in which certain things would happen and then He did them. This period of time would stretch from the going forth of the Jews out of Babylonian captivity to the cutting off of Messiah upon upon the cross in the 70th week or in the last seven years.



We have already looked at one of them in verse 25—that there would be the building of Jerusalem again, its streets, walls and temple in troublous times. Then would follow a period of 441 years or 63 weeks in which there would take place these things recorded in v. 24: (1) to finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sins (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, (6) to anoint the most Holy One, and then, of course, the things set forth in v. 27—"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined
It is very essential to a right understanding of this prophecy to keep in mind that these things of vv. 24 & 27 were to be fulfulled and now have been fulfilled by Christ being cut off in the middle of the 70th week. And what followed immediately after this? His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into heaven and the utter desolation of the Jewish nation in A.D. 70.
 


Let us now look at each of these SIX THINGS in detail that are recorded in v. 24, and then following we will consider the things recorded in v. 27.
 


First "TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION." What does this mean and to whom does it refer? Listen now! The transgression of Israel had long been the burden of the messages of God’s prophets. It was for their transgressions that they had gone into captivity, and that their land had been made a desolation for seventy years. Daniel himself had confessed this, saying in v. 11 of his prayer, "Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us." But here in v. 24 the angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel the distressing news that the full measure of Israel's transgression was yet to be completed; that the children were yet to FILL UP the iniquity of their fathers, and that, as a consequence, God would bring upon them a far greater desolation than that which had been wrought by Nebuchadnezzar. For, "to finish the transgression" could mean nothing less or other than the betrayal and crucifixion of their promised and expected Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.



We must at this point bring before our hearts and minds the similar words spoken by our Lord, the Messiah, to the leaders of the people, the scribes and pharisees of His day as recorded in Matt. 23:32-35. After bringing such a railing accusation against them because of their sins, He said, "Fill ye up the measure of your fathers. . . that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth." In these words of Christ we find first, a declaration that the hour had come for them "to finish the transgression;" and second, a strong intimation that the predicted desolations were to come as a judgment upon that generation as appears by the words, "that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth." Then looking closely at Matt. 23:36 we find the awful doom pronounced upon the beloved city and people. Listen to this awful word of judgment! "Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation." Then He added in v. 38, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
 


Surely there is nothing in all history comparable to the judgments that were poured out upon Jerusalem at the time of its destruction in A.D. 70, which was the finishing of the transgression and the great desolation of the Jewish people with the cutting off of them from the true olive tree (Rom. 11). This awful judgment and desolation that awaited them was so upon our Lord's mind that His soul was made to cry out in anguish, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matt. 23:37).
 


Yes, even when our blessed Lord was on the way to the cross He thought more of the sufferings that would come upon that generation because they were to "finish the transgression" than He did of His own sufferings upon the cross. In Luke 23:27-31 these words of compassion, love and mercy are expressed. Listen! "And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then they shall begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" What He is saying here is this: Now if He—the innocent One, the green tree was made the object of such ill treatment and plunged into suffering, what will happen to those who are guilty, the dry tree, when judgment falls upon them, like it did, in A.D. 70 in the fall of Jerusalem?



My friend, are you beginning to see this great prophecy unfold before our eyes and the awful judgment of which it speaks? Let me warn you right here: if you fulfill your transgression against God, and bow not at His feet in repentance and trust His blessed Son for salvation from your sins, you too will be cut off in the day, "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in naming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (II Thess. 1:7-9). Oh, my friend, have you found mercy in the hiding place which God has prepared in Christ from His wrath?



Let me repeat something right here that I stated in our p v, message: no wonder Satan has blinded the minds of so many today as to the true interpretation of this prophecy concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. He has done it because it reveals the SEVERITY of God, the judgment of God against sin, whether it be a whole nation or an individual. In this case it was the utter, complete cutting off of the nation of Israel, from which the nation, as such, has never and will never return. God gave them up as a nation in 70 A.D. Now certain of the Jews after the flesh will be saved in the only way any one can be saved: by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They can only be saved by die Deliverer who came out of Zion, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself upon Calvary's mount for sin.



This is what is told us in the second thing mentioned in v. 24 of Daniel 9 and it is that Messiah when He was cut off in the middle of the 70'h week would make an end of sins by the sacrifice of Himself. This we will go into, the Lord willing, in our next message.
'Tis finished! the Messiah dies!


CUT OFF FOR SINS, but not his own
Accomplished is the sacrifice;
The great redeeming work is done.
Finished our vile transgression is,
And purged the guilt of all our sin;
And everlasting righteousness
Is brought, for all his people, in.
'Tis finished, all my guilt and pain.
I want no sacrifice beside.
For me, for me the Lamb was slain,
And I'm for ever justified.
Sin, death, and hell are now subdued
All grace is now to sinners given;
And lo! I plead the atoning blood,
For pardon, holiness, and heaven.
-copied

 


Message #3

It has been the delight of my soul for the Holy Spirit to open my understanding to the great truths set forth in this 9th chapter of Daniel. There seems to be nothing in Scripture that surpassed Daniel's prayer as recorded in verses I -19. It shows us the very heart of Daniel; his deep concern for the glory of the Lord his God; his hatred for sin and the need of confession before God of all the sins he and his people had committed; his concern for his people, the Jews, and their deliverance from Babylonian captivity; and sets before us a spirit of intercession that we should long to imitate. Listen to the closing remarks of his prayer as he pleads with God for mercy, "O my God, incline shine ear, and hear; open shine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for shine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name" (vv. 18-19).



Then in answer to Daniel's prayer the angel Gabriel was sent with a message of profound importance, such importance and with such effect upon Daniel that vv. 2 & 3 of Daniel 10 tells us that he was left mourning three full weeks. What then was this message that so affected Daniel? It was a message e both of the GOODNESS and the SEVERITY of God. The goodness of God in sending Christ, His dear Son, to die for His people, and His severity or judgment in bringing the Jewish nation to a state of desolation and wrath because of their continued sin of rebellion against Him and their sin of rejecting and crucifying the Lord of Glory.
 


In our previous messages we have showed you that vv. 24-27 of Daniel 9 gives us the timetable of 490 years in which God was going to perform certain things and cause His GOODNESS and His SEVERITY to be manifested.
 


We have seen the first of the six things given in v. 24 that would transpire in this period of 70 weeks of years or 490 years upon Daniel's people. the Jews, and upon the holy city Jerusalem. Today let us look at the second, d thing that was revealed to Daniel by the angel Gabriel that was to come to pass. When the transgression of the Jewish nation was finished, according to our Lord's own words of Matt. 23:32,34,35,36 & 38; then was brought to pass the words spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:23 that Christ, who was delivered to the Jews by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, they took and by wicked hands crucified and slew. This constituted the crowning sin of Israel.



Paul confirms this in I Thess. 2:16. In speaking of the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, who persecuted the Christians, who did not please God and were contrary to all men (v. 15), adds in v. 16 that because of this—the finishing of transgression—they filled up their sins alway, and for this the wrath of God is come upon them to the uttermost. This wrath of God did come upon them to the uttermost in A.D. 70 when the holy city, Jerusalem. was destroyed, the temple laid waste, the blood sacrifices ceased, the nation of Israel scattered among the nations of the earth and God cut them off from being His chosen nation. We know from Matt. 21:43 that He gave the kingdom to a nation bringing forth the fruits of Christ which I Peter 2:9 declares is the True Israel of God, the Church of the living God. Listen! "Ye are a chosen nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."



Listen now, as we go into the second expression given in v. 24 that Christ by His death "WOULD MAKE AN END OF SINS." It is a fact that the wrath of man is made to praise the Lord (Ps. 76:10) and this is what happened at the cross. It was the wrath of the Jewish nation that put our Lord upon the cross, which inhuman deed finished their transgression. But it served also to the putting away of the sins of God's elect and to make an end of sins by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here we see the marvelous workings of God's wisdom in causing that the extreme sin of man should serve to accomplish eternal redemption, and so provide a complete remedy for sin. For the crucifixion of Christ, though it was truly a deed of diabolical wickedness on the part of man, was on Christ's own part the offering of Himself without spot to God as a sacrifice for sins (Heb. 9:14). Yes, it was at the cross that our Blessed Lord Jesus "offered the one sacrifice for sins forever" (Heb. 10:12).



Oh how precious is this gracious truth to my heart and I am sure it is gracious to the hearts of all of God's redeemed ones. It tells us that One was willing to make of Himself no reputation, to take upon Himself the form of a servant, to be made in the likeness of sinful flesh, to humble Himself and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:7-8; Rom. 8:3). And I ask: For what reason? So that He might purge us from all our sins (Heb. 1:3); that He might purge our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:14); that He might declare God's righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom. 3 :25); that He might deliver us from the curse of the law upon our sin (Gal. 3: 13); that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4); and that He might present us to Himself holy and without blemish having no spot or wrinkle, in the day of our glorification (Eph. 5:27).
 


We could multiply these Scriptures over and over again, but we have given enough to show that these words, "to make an end of sins" (Dan. 9:24) were fulfilled in the death of our Lord, and this had to take place in the framework of the 70 weeks of years. In fact v. 26 tells us that it was after the 69 weeks or 483 years that Messiah was to be cut off which would then put it in the 70 h week. This fact we have brought out in our previous messages, that the 70'h week of Daniel has been fulfilled and is not something we are to look for in the future. The third expression used here in Dan. 9:24 that the angel Gabriel said would be accomplished was that our Lord was "TO MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY." What a blessed gospel truth this is, that our Divine and human Substitute for sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ, has made reconciliation for our iniquity. You see, dear friend, the need for reconciliation arises from the fact that we by nature are not only a sinner, but also an enemy of God. It is because we are sinners that we are also enemies of God, and as an enemy we need to be reconciled to God.
 


I ask then these questions: Have you ever been justified before God in Christ, based upon His perfect righteousness? Have you ever been reconciled to God by the death of His Son? Have you ever stood before God as a guilty, lost sinner and had revealed to your heart by the Holy Spirit that you have been justified before God by the blood and righteousness of Christ? Have you ever known yourself to be an enemy of God in your mind by wicked works, and had revealed to your heart by the Holy Spirit that you have been reconciled to God because your sin debt was paid in full at the cross?"
 


Oh, these are very important questions, because only in the death of Christ as an atoning sacrifice has there been accomplished that which would both JUSTIFY you before God and RECONCILE you to God. Listen to Rom Romans 5:8-10 where both of these truths are brought out: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
 


Follow us now because I want to show you the importance of this statement of prophecy in Daniel 9:24—this statement that our Blessed Lord would "MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY." You see, reconciliation has to do directly with the kingdom of God in that it signifies the bringing back those who were rebels and enemies into willing and loyal submission to God. In this connection, attention should be given to the great passage in Col. 1:12-22 which shows that, as the result of the death of Christ, those who have "redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins" (v. 14) are also "translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son" (v. 13). How? On the basis of Christ "having made peace for them through the blood of His cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself." And the apostle adds, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death" (vv. 20-22).

 

Listen now! It is certain then, that when Jesus Christ our Lord died and rose again, atonement for sin and reconciliation for the enemies of God were fully and finally accomplished as a matter of historical fact. It is important then, and essential to a right interpretation of this prophecy here in Daniel 9:24 to keep in mind that atonement and reconciliation were to be accomplished, and actually were accomplished, within the measure of 70 weeks from the going forth of the decree of King Cyrus for the Jews in Babylonian captivity to return to Jerusalem.
 


You ask, "What does all this mean?" It means that the prophecy has to do with the great and eternal purpose of God to establish His kingdom and to bring pardoned and reconciled sinners into it as willing and loyal subjects of Christ, the King. Watch it now! And when the time drew near the kingdom was proclaimed by our Lord Himself and by His forerunner, John the Baptist, as being "at hand." Therefore, our Lord's own words, when taken in connection with the prophecy of Gabriel, are very significant. He said, "THE TIME IS FULFILLED and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1 :15). This to me is proof positive that the 70th week of Daniel has already been fulfilled and is not to be looked for in the future.



Let me state it again, the more I go into this GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED, I behold the GOODNESS of God in sending His only Beloved Son to die in the place of His people, and to rise again from the grave as our living Lord and King. Dear friend, do you know Him?


The Lord is Zion's King,
Let Zion in him trust;
'Midst friends and foes his goodness sing,
And of his mercy boast.
He rules on Zion's hill,
With laws of peace and grace,
Laws that bespeak his kindness still,
And human pride abase.
Let saints his sceptre own;
His righteous laws obey;
Acknowledge him the Lord alone,
And walk the heavenly way.
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Message #4

In our previous messages on THE GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED from Daniel 9, we gave an outline of vv. 24-27 and what we believe the Holy Spirit had laid upon our hearts to bring forth from this great prophecy. We have shown that it had been revealed to the prophet Daniel that God had determined to show forth His GOODNESS and His SEVERITY upon his people, the Jews, and that this would take place in a framework, or measure of time, beginning with the return of the Jews out of Babylonian captivity. This time would be 70 weeks of days, or 490 years, a year for a day.



God showed Daniel through the angel Gabriel, that the greatest portion of this prophecy would be fulfilled in the 70th week or the the Lord from last 7 years and it would have to do with the Messiah, be crucified. or glory; and the Jewish nation would cause Him to cut off, in the middle of the 70th week, or after 3 2 years of His earthly ministry.  We are now in v. 24 of Daniel 9 wherein 6 things were determined to come to pass in this 70th week; and set forth before our eyes is both the GOODNESS of God and the SEVERITY of God. The GOODNESS of God is seen in sending His only Begotten Son to die f God is seen in in the place of His people; and the bringing in utter desolation upon the very nation, the Jewish nation of whom it was said "To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever, amen" (Rom. 9:4-5). You ask, "And why such judgment against the very nation who was the depository of the truth of God, the only true and living God, and the very vehicle that God used to bring His Son into the world?"



The answer to that question lies upon the pages of the Old Testament wherein we find the Jewish nation continually rebelling against the only true and living God, His light, His knowledge, His Word, His prophets, His providence, His patience, His longsuffering, and living in a state of unbelief. So in this time-table of 490 years their transgression would be fulfilled and God would bring upon them all of the promises of wrath which had so carefully been laid before them in Lev. 26, Deut. 28 and all the Prophets unto John the Baptist. Now we have looked at the first three things mentioned in Daniel 9:24 that were determined upon Daniel's people, the Jews, and the holy city. namely—"to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity."



Let us begin our study now at the fourth thing determined, and that is, that the Messiah was "TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS." No prophecy of God could cause His people to rejoice any more than to know that the Messiah, the anointed of God, would bring in everlasting righteousness to a people who are nothing but hell-deserving sinners. But this is just what our Blessed Lord did by His virgin birth. His holy life. His vicarious death, and His bodily resurrection from the grave.  Jeremiah prophesied of this bringing in of righteousness in Jer. 23:5-6 in these words, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth...and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
 


Now to me, the most prominent feature of the kingdom of God is His righteousness which was brought in by the King, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Listen how this is set forth in the New Testament. Matthew 6:33 reads, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness..." Why? Because it is such a vital part of God's kingdom, as brought out in Rom. 14:17—"The kingdom of God is not in meat and drink; but righteous, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."  Why are we to seek it? Because without this perfect righteousness we cannot be justified before a holy God. God demands a spotless righteousness before He will allow a sinner into His presence, and this perfect righteousness can only be found IN CHRIST This is set forth in such detail in Rom. 3:21-26 where we are told that God has declared His righteousness, that He has set it forth by the redemption in Christ Jesus; abd that He, an offended God, because of man's sins, can yet be just when He justifies a believing sinner who has trusted his soul in the hands of the Divine Substitute.
 


We can say then that a work of righteousness was to be done, and now has been done; for I Cor. 1:30 records that Jesus Christ has been made unto us "righteousness" by His cross-work, and this is greatly confirmed in these words found in II Cor. 5:21—"For God hath made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  Listen now as we go into the fifth thing that was determined upon the Jews as recorded in Daniel 9 which reads "AND TO SEAL UP THE VISION AND PROPHECY." I want you to pay particular attention to this "sealing up the vision and prophecy" for, if rightly understood, much light will be shed upon many Old Testament prophecies concerning the Jews. In fact I will admit that these passages of Scripture always puzzled me until l was able to see them in the light of Daniel 9:24.



Let us keep in mind what we have said many times before and it is this, that this prophecy has to deal with both the GOODNESS and the SEVERITY of God. And l do believe that in this expression, "to seal up the vision and prophecy" we have the severity of God upon the Jewish nation. Now, by comparing this prophecy with Isa. 6:10 we have set before us the statement that God would "seal up the vision and prophecy" to the Israelites after the flesh as part of the punishment they brought upon themselves. God said to Isaiah. "Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed" (Isa. 6:9-10).



Isaiah the Prophet also brings this out in another prophecy "For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed" (29: 10-11). These words of Isaiah along with the words spoken by Gabriel to Daniel in Dan. 9:24 gives us a remarkably accurate description of the spiritual blindness of the people and their rulers in Christ's day, who, though they read the prophets every Sabbath day, yet because they knew not their voices, fulfilled them in condemning Him (Acts 13:27).  Let us keep in mind what is being said here, and it is this: that the vision and prophecy would be sealed up, that both vision and prophet—both eye and ear—would be closed up, so that "seeing they would see not and hearing they would hear not" (Isa. 6:10).



Let us go further. Two times in the New Testament our Lord applied this prophecy of Isa. 6:9-10 to the multitude to whom He was speaking. In Matt. 13 when asked by His disciples why He was speaking to the people in parables, He said, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hash, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hash. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand" (Matt. 13:11- 13). But our Lord does not leave us without an answer to these few words. No, He goes on in vv. 14- 15 and gives the reason why this was being done. It was to seal up the vision and prophecy so that they would have no more light from God because their transgression against God was filled up.



Listen to what He says in w. 14-16! "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." But he adds to His disciples, "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear" (v. 16). What our Lord is saying here and which fulfills Isaiah 6:9-10 and our text in Dan. 9:24 is this: that He would give the scribes and Pharisees and the host of multitudes that followed Him no more light, so that they would fill up their transgression in crucifying Him, thus bringing down the wrath of God on that generation. This is brought out so clearly in our Lord's words of Matt. 23:32,34-36,38.
 


Again in John's gospel we have reference to this prophecy of Dan. 9:24, "The sealing up of the vision and prophecy," and also in Isa. 6:9-10; 53:1. Listen to John 12:37-41: "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, end hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Isaiah, when he saw Christ's glory and spake of him."
 


All of this is confirmed again by Brother Paul in Acts 28:24-27 when he quotes from Isa. 6:9-10 and shows that this darkness of heart, dullness of hearing, blindness of eyes had come upon the Jews of his day to the uttermost because they had filled up their transgression, and the sealing up of the vision and prophecy had taken place. If you will turn again to Isa. 6 you will find Isaiah asking the Lord a question in v. 11, "Lord, how long?" How long will the darkness of heart, dullness of hearing, and blindness of eyes be upon the people? And here was the Lord's answer, "Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land" (v. 12).



All of this came to pass in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was utterly destroyed—"Not one stone was left upon another" (Matt. 24:2); "The temple laid waste" (Matt. 24:15); "Great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time" (Matt. 24:21) came upon them, and those who did not die were scattered among the nations of the earth and cut off from before God as a nation. What an awful judgment came upon this most blessed of all nations! Why? Because of rebellion, unbelief and idolatry. And God's judgment is going to fall upon our nation like this someday unless there be a returning to Him in repentance, with broken hearts and contrite spirits.  I will say again as I have said before, no wonder this GREATEST PROPHECY that has ever been fulfilled has been so misinterpreted in our day by putting all of this in the future and applying it to an antichrist. Satan has tried to deceive the hearts of men concerning the Sovereign God of the universe who is both a God of love and mercy, and a God of wrath and judgment.



To every true follower of Christ, I extend this word of warning from Rom. 11:22—"Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, IF thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." May God have mercy upon us is my prayer.



Message #5



As we go into this fifth message from Daniel 9 on THE GREATEST PROPHECY EVER FULFILLED, I want to once again call your attention to the word "DETERMINED" in vv. 24 & 27. The word means: having ascertained, having calculated, having fixed precisely, having settled conclusively in one's mind what he is going to do; he resolves to carry it out. This is precisely what our God has done in this prophecy of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.
 


He determined that there should be 70 weeks, 490 years, or a year for a day, in which certain things would happen, and they did happen. This period of time would stretch from the going forth of the Jews out of Babylonian captivity, because of the decree of King Cyrus, to the cutting off of Messiah upon the cross in the 70'h week, or in the last seven years. Having determined to do these things in a framework of 490 years, God did it. Therefore the 70 h week of Daniel is something that has already been fulfilled, and not something yet in the future.



The importance of all of this is that God set upon the pages of Holy Writ a certain time in which He would give the nation of Israel the opportunity to turn to Him in true repentance. He sent the holy prophets, year after year, down to John the Baptist, calling upon them to repent and turn to God in mercy. He even sent His only Begotten Son to offer them mercy and grace, but they would not hear the prophets nor God's Son, but sent Him back to heaven saying, 'We will not have this man to rule over us." Therefore God poured out His wrath upon the Jewish nation in A.D. 70 and no longer deals with them as a nation, but sends forth His gospel of grace into all the world unto His elect, called out from among both Jews and Gentiles, and is making for Himself a bride, His church, who shall dwell with Him for eternity.

 

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