April 16, 2012
Beloved, we want to resume our study in the book of Daniel chapter 9.
King Jesus Will Reign
However, there is a second part to this prophecy that refers to the presentation of Jesus Christ as King. Note there are two princes in this text: The first is Jesus, who will reign as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The second prince is a Roman general who invades Jerusalem. Here, we are talking about the first Prince-Jesus Christ-who will be “cut off” after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, for a total of sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years.
Now, we take the 483 years and multiply it by the Jewish method of reckoning-which is 360 days in a year. Do you know what 483 times 360 is? 173,880 days. From the date that Nehemiah said, “You may go ahead and rebuild your wall and Jerusalem” (March 14, 445 B.C.) to the day that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (April 6, 32 A.D.) exactly 173,880 days had passed. Now do you believe that prophecy is right on? If the Jews had only studied their Old Testament prophecy, they would have known that Jesus was their Messiah.
This is why Jesus said to His people, the Jews, in Luke 19:42, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes.” Day 173,880 was the crowning day, and Jewish minds did not grasp it-nor did they accept their Messiah. If God could prove-as we’ve just outlined-the precise arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem, is there any question that the remainder of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel will be fulfilled?
As we come to the close of this most important prophetic chapter in the Bible, we also need to deal with the content of verse 26 that speaks of the prince who will come to destroy the city and the sanctuary. This prince was Vespasian and his son Titus-Roman generals who in 70 A.D. marched on Jerusalem and murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews, again destroying the city.
Here we see a similarity between the treachery of this father and son and an earlier tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes, because all three are types of the Antichrist who will rise to power in the last days. But here Vespasian and Titus are highlighted because they are Roman princes. Later, the Antichrist will come as an international leader out of a revived Roman Empire that is presently expanding and wielding influence just as Daniel predicted. For this and many more reasons-all documented by God’s Word-we are dogmatic when we say that our era of time could definitely be what Daniel called “the time of the end.”
Now what about the apparent ‘gap’ that exists between verses 26 and 27-a gap of some two thousand years? This is an important period of time, because without it, we would be forced to see these events taking place within a limited period of 490 days, instead of 490 years. The former would be impossible. There are skeptics who scoff that a gap between these verses is a man-made theory. However, the Bible states emphatically that there will be a period of time-a gap-between Jesus’ first and second coming. Isaiah 9:6 says,
“Unto us a child is born” (the virgin birth); “unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (the government was not upon His shoulder the first time He came to Jerusalem).
When Jesus Christ comes again-the second time-that’s when the government will be upon His shoulder, as He rules and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a period of one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
By the time we reach verse 27, the Antichrist is already in full power, and Daniel’s seventieth week is in effect. It begins when this evil one confirms his peace contract with Israel. This is the start of the seventieth week, and the beginning of the seven year period of Tribulation. The Antichrist deceives a gullible world by confirming the covenant with many-first with Israel- for one week, one shabua-or seven years.
The information I am about to present is vitally important. If the first sixty-nine weeks, or shabuas, total 483 years or 173,880 days on the Jewish calendar annually, and this prophecy was fulfilled in every detail on the final day-then the final week or Hebrew shabua, the last seven-year period of 2,520 days, will also be fulfilled right up to the exact moment.
That’s why Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 mention forty-two months, and Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 cite 1,260 days as one-half of the Tribulation period. Then in the middle of that shabua-after forty-two months- the Antichrist causes the sacrifices to cease. Antiochus Epiphanes, a predecessor and forerunner of the soon-coming global dictator, previously did this centuries ago when he stomped out the Jewish sacrifices and desecrated the Jewish temple.
The Rebuilding of the Temple
How could such an act be perpetuated in our day without the existence of a temple? Here’s the answer. Israelites are talking about rebuilding the temple in our day. I encourage you to read your newspapers and weekly magazines with spiritual eyes in the days ahead because even now building materials are being gathered and temple utensils created for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. When the new temple is erected, all will go relatively well for a while, but then, midway into the Tribulation hour, the Antichrist will sit proudly on that temple throne and claim to be the world’s god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The false prophet will create an image in the likeness of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:15) and all mankind will be commanded to fall down and worship the beast of the revived Roman Empire mentioned in Daniel 7:8-just as Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people of Babylon to bow down and worship him.
If, during the Tribulation period, the people do not bow to the Antichrist and give him full allegiance, they will be killed (Revelation 13:15; 20:4-5). When the pagan tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes set up his pagan deities in the place of the most high God, and put a sow on the temple altar, it was called “the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11). Now, more than two thousand years later, the Antichrist will also set up an image called “the abomination of desolation” according to the statements of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. Why? Because he is defiling God’s holy temple. The Jews revere their holy temple-the Antichrist mocks it and them by breaking one of the Jews’ commandments concerning the placing of an idol in the temple (Exodus 20:4-5). At this point their long sought-for temple again becomes desolate because of the abominable idol therein.
The Calm before the Storm
Jesus, in Matthew 24:15-21, says:
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 Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Why flee? Because Satan’s final forty-two months are about to be unleashed globally, and he’s filled with wrath (Revelation 12:12). Then Russia marches and the abomination of desolation (or image) is set up in the temple during this final three-and-one-half-year period known as the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). It is the time of the end (Daniel 11:40; 12:4).
This revelation and interpretation of the vision delivered to Daniel by the angel Gabriel was a two-edged sword: one of gloom and doom; the other of hope. Gloom, because the Antichrist is about to appear. Hope, because Christ destroys him with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Today, we are seeing what can only be called “the calm before the storm.” History is not yet complete, but the handwriting is on the wall for those who have eyes to see.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Someone With Skin On
I suppose this story has been told in a variety of ways, but it illustrates so well the heart-cry of all mankind.
As I heard it, a little boy woke up in the midst of a violent storm, frightened by the thunder and lightning, and cried out for his mother. She reassured him, and told him never to be afraid of the dark or the storm because God was right there with him.
In a few minutes the child cried out again, and the mother went back to his side and reminded the youngster of her earlier assurance that God was with him in the storm. “I know,” said the lad, “but I want someone with skin on!”
Don’t we all? Religions based on noble thoughts or impersonal cosmic forces, or centered around idols made of stone or wood, do not satisfy the deep longing inside the human breast for a God with whom we can have a personal, living experience. We seek a God we can touch — Someone with skin on — to be our Example, our Saviour, and our Intercessor.
Centuries after the time when God himself came down to the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening to walk, talk, and have fellowship with Adam and Eve, sinful man had lost sight of who God was and what He was like. Mankind stumbled about in the dark, disobedient and lost.
So God sent His Son to earth once again to reveal to man what God is like and to restore the lines of communication and fellowship. And to help man relate to God, the Father wrapped His Christmas present to the world — the divine spirit and person of His Son — in human skin!
The Apostle Paul wrote, For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus, our Example
The old gospel song, “Where He Leads I’ll Follow,” has a tremendous message in its lyrics. One line in particular describes Jesus by saying, “He the Great Example is, and Pattern for me.”
The truth is, Jesus gave us an example for living as well as His life. When we see how Jesus lived, how He acted, how He responded to other people and the circumstances of daily life, we catch a glimpse of how we should live. Oh, if only we would ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” when faced with life’s tough decisions and choices.
We know that His life was an outpouring of love and joy. His very first recorded miracle was performed at a wedding! He had dear, cherished friends in Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, in whose home He enjoyed rest and fellowship. When Lazarus died and Jesus was called, we’re told He wept for His friend. Onlookers even noted, Behold how he loved him! (John 11:36). And Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
The Gospels are filled with examples of the compassion of our Lord. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them (Mark 6:34). We’re told He taught them…and later fed them.
Acts 10:38 tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
This is the example Jesus set for us — He went about doing good. In love and compassion, He met people’s needs, touching, healing, and lifting them. And that is what we are to do.
In today’s dark world, you and I may well be the only light some people will ever see. We are the only hands of God that will ever touch them. Ours are the only feet that will bring the good news of the gospel to them.
I tell you, if Christ’s hands are not extended through ours, He will never reach out to some people. That individual in your world crying out for someone with skin on to come to him…is waiting for you.
“Oh, Rexella,” you say, “how could we ever expect to be like Jesus and minister as He did?”
Because He said so. Jesus said, Verily, verily, [truly, truly] I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:12,13).
Jesus, our Saviour
A short time after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought Him to Jerusalem to the Temple to be presented to the Lord, according to the law of Moses. Two remarkable and beautiful things happened there that day.
First, there was a priest named Simeon, an old man who had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When He saw Jesus, he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation (Luke 2:29,30).
There was also an 84-year-old prophetess named Anna in the Temple. The Bible says that she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him [Jesus] to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38).
Why is it so significant that Simeon and Anna recognized Jesus as the Saviour? Perhaps God knew that we today needed to see this confirmation of the faith of others in the holy Scriptures. The majority then and now could not see who He was and is because of spiritual blindness. The Lord Jesus entered the world He had created to rescue fallen man, yet those with whom He desired to be intimately associated rejected Him.
The Bible says, He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:10,11).
Jesus knew the price He would have to pay as the Saviour of the world. The Christmas card picture of Him being revered as a beautiful baby in a manger was for a brief moment. The adulation of those touched by the compassionate prophet, teacher, and healer lasted only a few days.
Jesus grew up in a humble home, in a despised village. His brothers and sisters misunderstood Him. The religious leaders of the day hated Him. And finally, when He was falsely convicted and crucified, His own disciples forsook Him.
But He died for everyone to redeem all mankind, willingly, by choice. He came to be a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Someone has said that Jesus would have come to earth, suffered and died, to save just one person. And I believe that is true. But it is also true that, had the Lord been born ten thousand times in Bethlehem, it would have been ineffective… unless He had a birth in our hearts. Only then is He our Saviour.
Jesus, our Intercessor
I’ve often heard the old folk proverb which suggests that before one criticizes a person, he should walk a mile in his shoes. The point is, of course, that one cannot really understand someone else’s behavior unless one has gone through their tests and trials.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that because Jesus, the Son of God, came down and wrapped himself in human skin and walked in our shoes, He knows what we’re going through… He understands. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Under the law of Moses, the role of the high priest was to intercede before God for mankind. And Jesus, who provided the ultimate sin offering in His death on the cross, now serves as our Intercessor in heaven before the Father.
Having walked the rocky road of human existence before us, He fully understands what it means to be hungry, tired, and penniless …to be misunderstood, slandered, falsely accused… to endure heartache, physical pain and suffering…even death!
Oh, He knows what you’re going through, He understands what you need…and He cares! He sees your struggles, He hears your cry. And He is reaching out to you.
I heard about a little girl whose mother was in the hospital, and who was spending the night alone with her father. Soon after her dad turned out the lights, the little girl said, “Daddy, are you there?”
“Yes, child,” he said, “I’m here.”
It was quiet for a moment, and then a little voice asked, “Daddy, are you looking at me?”
What a joy to know that, in our darkest hours, we can go ahead and go to sleep knowing that Jesus stays awake all night looking after us!
I love the beautiful words of the old song that says,
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share;
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Just now, reach out and touch the “skin” of Jesus the Lord, God’s “unspeakable gift” of love. Receive Him as your Example, accept Him as your Saviour, trust Him as your Intercessor.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack and Rexella,
I so enjoy your program and I just want you to know that you encourage me greatly. I am a new widow, and I miss my husband so much. He is with the Lord and I know I will see him again, but the separation is very hard. You give me hope when you speak of the Rapture. I watch for Jesus every day, and look forward to His coming! I look forward to meeting you in Heaven, and will give you a big Christian hug in gratitude for all your encouragement. Oh Rexella, you have a beautiful singing voice!
I loved hearing you sing “Were You There?” And Jack, stand firm on the Word. So few preachers take a stand for the truth anymore! God bless you and your ministry.
Keep up the good work, Jack and Rexella!
I am amazed by Jack’s knowledge of scripture. I don’t think many people know the scripture better than Jack.
May the good Lord continue to bless your ministry!!!
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are set to ride – and the USA slumbers in ignorance of the catastrophe about to descend upon her! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe want to awaken this nation to the perils that lie ahead, and the soon return of the Savior! Discover the answers to critical questions:
- How soon will apocalyptic judgments begin?
- What does the Bible say about the prediction of the world’s end in 2012?
- How do current events fit with prophecies of Christ’s coming?
- What is the Mark of the Beast and who will control it?
- And much more!
Unprecedented blasphemy; apostasy; heresy; so-called Christian leaders utterly turning their backs on the Word of God.
What does it mean? What does the Bible say about this colossal falling-away from the faith? What does it signal about YOUR FUTURE?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe offer the astonishing answers to these and other riveting questions:
- What does the word apostasy actually mean? Where are we seeing it today?
- What is the “blasphemy law”? How have our U.S. leaders responded to it?
- How does the persecution of Christians around the world relate to the final signs pointing to the return of the Lord?
- How is it possible to determine whether someone is truly a Christian when they claim to be?
- And much more!