When reading the first chapter of Mark I was struck by the message that it reports were spoken by John the Baptist as well as by Jesus. "Repent for the kingdom of God was at hand. I began to understand that what they were saying was that the time for Israel to complete its prophetic mission was at hand. That the kingdom of God was finally to be ushered in. It is then that I thought back to Daniel's word spoken of this time.
Here is the prophetic word given to Israel about the kingdom and the arrival of the messiah and their anointing him.
24 “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
First it should be noted that the prophetic week mentioned here is a period of seven days and that each day is a literal year of time. This seventy week period then covers a span of time equal to 70 X 7 and is 490 years. Following is the list of things that Israel was to accomplish...
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.
When did this prophetic clock start ticking?
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
The command was given by Darius, ruler of the Persian and Mede empire that overthrew Babylon, for the children of Israel to go and do the work to restore and build Jerusalem. . The first time period of 7 weeks or 49 years are for the completion of this work. This is to be followed by another time span of 62 weeks or 434 years. Near the end of this 62 week period the messiah was to come forth. It needs to be noted here that at the end of this second period which lasts 62 weeks, the messiah is to be cut off... 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; This does not mean that Jesus began His earthly ministry but that at the end of this 62 weeks He was cut off from the land of the living, He died. In total this period of 69 weeks spans a time of 483 years.
At this point did Israel complete its mission from God?
Israel as a nation continued in their transgression, their rebellion towards God, for they did not accept Jesus and the new covenant. They continued to sin in the same ways they always have. Though Jesus himself made reconciliation for their iniquities they refused to take part in it. Everlasting righteousness? No way if they could not accept the first three parts. To seal up vision and prophecy? Is the vision fulfilled? Are they now standing in righteousness toward God? If they had then they would have anointed the messiah. They did not anoint, they crucified.
What happened in that last week or two of the sixty two week period?
During the period of the last week or two, two people were to come according to prophecy. The first was the return of Elijah. It is he who is to turn the hearts of the people back to God. It is he who is to point out, to declare the messiah. Jesus himself declared that John the Baptist was this Elijah for He said in Matthew 11.13 “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. Therefore Elijah has come during the 68th or 69th week of Daniel's prophecy. He was, Mark 1.3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ” This is John's testimony, his declaration; John 1.29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Into the world the message of John was heard, "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Into the world, He who was declared by John to be the messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, also cried out His message; "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Many people heard the message and many saw the miracles that Jesus had done and were ready to make Him king. However these did not include those who would do the anointing of the messiah. The priests and the pharisees of the Sanhedron, the rulers of the people, took counsel instead to slay Jesus.
All of Israel was looking for the messiah, the king, who would overthrow the Romans and establish His kingdom. The triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem during this period of time was not that of King of Kings though. His entry into the city was as the Lamb of God. His first entry through the gates in triumph was to perform the sacrifice. Do you know that before you can have a nation separated to God to be ruled by a king, it is necessary to have a sacrifice for sins performed by the priest? Jesus was not only the lamb to be sacrificed but is also the high priest who would offer Himself and His blood to atone for the sin of the world. First comes the priest then comes the king. His first entry was as priest in the Order of Melchizedek and they missed it.
Take a look at Daniel's prophecy in 9.24 again; transgression, sin, iniquity, righteousness are what is being spoken of. These are the acts of a priest not a king. When that is done then you can anoint Him as king. Yet Israel did not anoint Him. This anointing for king is then something that has yet to be fulfilled. We are left then at the end of the 69 week period with a sacrifice performed by the high priest of our confession.
So what happened next... ?
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
This is the Roman army who came to destroy Jerusalem in 70 ad. There was certainly a great deal of destruction and Israel was dispersed among the nations. The anti christ was not there. Just the people of the prince who is to come. Approximately 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jerusalem was burned to the ground. Forty... the number of judgement. They rejected the gospel, they rejected the atonement, they rejected the Christ and for their error they were dispersed throughout the known world for their disobedience.
The Time of the Gentiles
Here is what Jesus said to the leaders of Israel; Matthew 21.43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. This because the leaders would reject the corner stone of the new covenant, Jesus and Him crucified for the atonement of their sins. If this was a one time rejection before His death and ascension then there would be hope that the time out of the grace of God would be short. Their time of grace would be about forty years for them to repent and accept the truth. Would they turn and accept the gospel or would the words of Jesus be fulfilled?
We already know through history that they continued in their rebellion to the revelation that Jesus is Lord. That they were destroyed. Paul Himself declared that the time for Israel was coming to a close when; Acts 18.5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
What sorrow of heart at the loss of Israel. We who were not Jews were engrafted into the vine of God who is Jesus yet the Jews themselves were broken off because of unbelief. Note that not all of Israel fell away for there have always been Jewish believers in the body of Christ. Though the nation itself did cease until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The centuries unrolled themselves and passed to our era, this present century.
In all this we have not yet talked of the 70th week, the last week of Daniel's prophecy. It is now that God brings about the restoration of Israel so that the final chapter, the final week, can be played out on the world scene.
During the first world war the Balfour declaration is signed that promises to divide the land of the turkish empire and with it set aside some land for the creation of the state of Israel.
God begins to move on the hearts of the Jewish visionaries and a call begins to go out to establish a Holy Land. To bring the Jews back to Palestine.
During the next world war, the atrocities of Hitler towards the Jews of Europe begins to open the hearts of Gentiles to bring forth the Balfour declaration and make it a reality. In 1949 the UN votes to establish the nation of Israel.
As it took wars to destroy the nation, it took wars to build it up once again. Always the hand of God visible to those with eyes of faith. For Daniel's last week to occur some very amazing things still need to happen. Perhaps at the end it will take the anti-christ himself to set the last pieces in order.
This antichrist, the prince of the people to come, will do his work and...
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
There are those who believe that this verse is referring to Jesus because he took away the sacrifice by being the sacrifice for sins. Yet notice that this occurs in the middle of Daniel's last week and Christ was already cut off at the end of the sixty nine week period. He did not get cut off for others at the middle of the seventieth week.
So this final week has not yet begun.
At this period of time it is easy to see that Israel is now a nation and that there are plans to rebuild the temple and re-institute the daily sacrifice. When Israel begins to offer the sacrifice once again there will be someone who will confirm a covenant and will cause it to cease mid way through the period.
This is the anti christ who makes the covenant and the anti christ who will then take away the sacrifice. Then the wing of abominations shall cover the world and desolations will afflict all of mankind.
This is Daniel's final week. At the end of this week the messiah shall return as conquering king and enter Jerusalem once again. This time the children of Israel will cheer their messiah as He enters the gate in the morning. They will also see the wounds in His hands and feet and they will ask the question...Zechariah 13.6 ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’.... and they will know the truth... that the messiah is Jesus, that they crucified Him, that they have resisted and fought against Him for nearly two thousand years. They will finally see what the apostle Paul finally saw and realized;Acts 9.5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” ... and they too will repent
On this revelation they will each go off to themselves, not rejoicing but in shame and tears. Each to His own house.
Zechariah 12.10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 "In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 "And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 "the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 "all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
It is then that Israel will complete its repentance and usher in the kingdom of God. Then the people of Israel will come back to the Lord and they will anoint Him as king of kings and their mourning shall be turned to joy. Then Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years. The branches that have been broken off will be grafted in once again and the wine of its grapes will bring joy to the world.
Sunday, November 21, 1999
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