Hello folks. Lots to cover this week, so let’s jump right in.
After reading an earlier part of this series, someone asked me what I wanted my readers to take away from this study. So, I want to be sure we hit the main idea as we look at what we’ve seen thus far.
God has, in His word the Bible, shared with us His plan for the redemption of mankind. And He has also shared how He is implementing that plan. Understanding that He is doing that helps us interpret passages of scripture where He gives us details on His plans. In other words, seeing the big picture helps us figure out the individual passages.
My main idea in presenting this study as I have is to show how we interpret those passages according to the grand story arc that God has provided. And the specific idea I want to clarify is the removal of the church, the bride of Christ, from the earth near the end of time, commonly referred to as the Rapture.
So far, we’ve looked at the beginning where we saw the introduction of God’s redemption plan. Then we looked at Enoch and Noah, whose lives were types or examples of how God is going to conclude His plan in the end. We then studied a bit about Abraham which gave us the beginning of the redemptive plan’s implementation.
God used Abraham to create the Jewish nation through whom He would provide the Messiah. He also made promises to Abraham regarding his descendants, and the fulfillment of those promises would be the frame for the end times. In other words, things that were prophesied to happen in the end would be God keeping His promises to Abraham.
So, to understand the end times, you need to know how God plans to deal with the Jewish nation. And that takes us to Daniel.
Daniel was probably a teenager when he and others were taken to Babylon as part of God’s judgment on Judah for their sins. He and some of his friends were put into service in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar. But Daniel and his friends determined they would remain faithful to God regardless of where they were.
God gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams which put him in Nebuchadnezzar’s favor. Daniel and his friends became leaders within the king’s administration with Daniel also serving in the subsequent administrations of the Medes and Persians.
In Daniel 9, we find that Daniel had been reading the letters from the prophet Jeremiah. He saw that God told Jeremiah that the exile of the Jewish people would last for seventy years. And counting the years since the people had left Judah, Daniel knew the time was almost up. So he prayed to God for forgiveness for his people and that God would fulfill His word and remember them.
God answered by sending an angel to give Daniel some information regarding the timeline for the Jewish nation. If you study prophecy, you will know that the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar which Daniel interpreted gave an account of Gentile history until the end. But what God gave Daniel involves just the Jews. That’s important to understand when trying to make sense of it all.
God gives Daniel some specifics of the prophecy in chapters 10-12, but I’m just going to look at what is in chapter 9, as it gives an overview and provides the foundation for the Rapture.
“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. 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. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; 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. 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.” Daniel 9:24-27.
There is a lot there, but the basics are that 490 years were provided for the Jewish nation for God to fulfill His promises to them. After the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, 483 years would pass and then Messiah would enter the city and be killed for others. Afterward, the people of the prince who is to come would destroy the city, including the temple. Sometime later, that prince would make a covenant with Israel for seven years, completing the 490, but would break that covenant three and a half years in. Then would follow great desolation and tribulation for the Jewish people.
Exactly 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued, Jesus entered the city on a young donkey. By the end of the week, He was crucified for the sins of the whole world. And in 70 A.D., the Romans came and leveled Jerusalem.
The prophecy then appears to predict that the actions of the prince who is to come begin immediately, but we know from history that didn’t happen. This is why we have to understand how God is dealing with the Jewish nation and the rest of the world. Thus far, there has been approximately 2,000 years between verses 26 and 27 of Daniel 9.
At the point of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Jewish time clock stopped, and we entered what is known as the church age or the times of the Gentiles, mentioned by Jesus in Luke 21:24. God has put His dealings with the Jewish nation on hold while He deals with the rest of the world, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and salvation with them, and bringing as many into His kingdom as will believe, His plan of redemption.
But when this church age, which has an undetermined length, is completed, God will start His Jewish clock again and finish His work with the people of Israel as He promised Abraham.
Now, what does this tell us about the Rapture? This tells us where we are on God’s prophetic clock. He has expended 483 years of world history for the Jewish people out of their 490, and He has stopped their clock. He has provided an undetermined amount of time for everyone who will to believe on Jesus Christ and enter His kingdom.
He is preparing to complete His promises to the Jewish nation and judge the world for its sins. But before He does that, He will follow the example He gave us with Enoch and remove the righteous, His church, from His coming wrath. The church can be declared righteous because of His righteousness which He imparted to them.
The rest of the world will go through His judgment in the last seven years which He prepared for the Jews. However, just as He did with Noah, He will provide a way for the Jewish nation as a whole to be saved through the judgment, all those who choose to recognize Him as their Messiah.
I’m running a bit longer with this episode, so thanks for reading this far. And we’ve covered a lot of material, so let’s see if we can recap so it makes sense.
Daniel, our prophet of title, was given the timeline God provided for fulfilling His promises to the Jewish people. All but seven years of that time was accomplished up to the point where they produced the Messiah, Jesus Christ, which was God’s primary objective in creating the Jews. God then stopped the clock, pulling the Jews from the timeline, while He completes the times of the Gentiles.
After that time is finished and He removes His church from the earth, He will restart the clock and rejoin the Jews to the world’s timeline. The last seven years for the Jews, a time of great trial known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation, will turn the hearts of the Jews to Him and bring His wrath and judgment on the world.
As I said, we’ve covered a lot of material, so please don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comments. This is a very complex part of the story, and it’s like trying to stuff a grand piano into a shoebox. As careful as I’ve tried to be, I’m afraid it’s inevitable that I’ve left something out or created some confusion.
Next week we’ll look at the particular scriptures that point to the Rapture. I’ll try to finish it up in one more session, but we’ll see how God leads.
Until next time! Have a wonderful week!
Do you know Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? According to scripture, all anyone must do is recognize their sin condition, realize that Christ died to pay for that sin, and ask Him to save them from it. Salvation is a gift of grace we receive by faith. Meet Him today! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!
5 thoughts on “The Return—Part IV: Seeing the Prophet”
This part reads like Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, Agents of the Apocalypse. It was the first time I read anything that made sense of Daniel’s prophecies! I had never understood the “abomination of desolation” described in Matthew 24 that then refers to Daniel in the footnotes. Come to find out it isn’t explained there either. It was only a few years ago that I read his book after my daughter suggested it to me.
I’ve been so frustrated that churches only teach the Gospels and selected Old Testament stories without touching what the prophets were talking about. I only got turned on to this stuff in my 60’s!!
Anyway… This was a great review for me.
Thanks for commenting. And I’m glad it clarified some things for you.
The book of Daniel and the book of Revelation are bookends, so to speak. They explain each other. Daniel got the outline and overview of the Jewish end-of-time timeline, and John got the play-by-play of the Tribulation. So if you want to understand the end, you need to read both. And remember, God’s not going to throw everything at you at once. That’s why you need to read the Bible over and over. As He shares more with you and you grow in your understanding, He’ll give you additional stuff each time you study it.
That’s kind of the point I was making with this study. You read the Bible and see the big picture and the smaller sections begin to make sense.
As far as that label, the abomination of desolation, that’s just one of the many names for the person who will show up at the end and be Satan’s fake Christ. The actual term is descriptive of what he will do. He’ll set himself up in the Jewish temple and declare that he’s God. He makes himself an abomination, like an idol is called an abomination, and then he desolates the Jewish people. They flee out of Jerusalem for a time before Christ returns with His saints.
Jan Markell from OliveTreeViews.org, someone who is a proponent of Bible prophecy, says she gets emails from people all the time who say the same thing you did. They want to attend a church that still teaches Bible prophecy, but they can ‘t find one. Too many pastors won’t touch it because they think it’s too controversial, but they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Over a quarter of the Bible is prophecy. I wonder how those pastors are going to explain to God one day that they failed to teach their congregations so much that God had for them. If you want to hear more about prophecy stuff, you can find Jan’s stuff at that web address. You can also find her on YouTube. And as I mentioned before, feel free to email me with any questions you have. I love to study this part of the Bible too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I just tried commenting on Part V but was unable to. In any case, lots to unpack here. Can we have a phone call sometime? Email me at email@example.com so we can share contact information and set up a call, if that works for you. I’d enjoy that!
LikeLiked by 1 person
We’re you logged in to WordPress? I was just able to. Give it another shot and let me know if you can or get an error.
Yes on the call. I’ll email you this week.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was logged on. I’m sure the problem was on my end somewhere. I’ve had this happen a few times before at random on a couple different blogs. No worries. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.