LESSON THREE * PART 3
DANIEL'S 490 YEARS
Remember that we were talking about the fact the Church Age, God going to the Gentiles with what Paul called "His Gospel," was something that had been hidden from the whole human race. Nobody had any concept of a 1,900 plus years of time where God would go to the Gentiles without Israel. The Old Testament is full of references that Israel had an understanding, that the Messiah would naturally, come to Israel. And through Israel, would bring peace to all the nations of the world. I mentioned before about this Rabbi in the Jerusalem Post who had this understanding.
Well, he wasn't very far off according to the Old Testament concept. Now I'm going to use what the Lord Jesus did Himself as my authority for doing it. You will find in Book 5, Lesson 3, Part I we did a whole lesson on Parenthesis and Dashes. If you will mark them in your Bible as we come to them, it will help you know if a certain thing in this prophetic program has already happened, (-) or is it still future. We're going to go through Old Testament prophecy that lays out the whole program. And we're going to show how much was accomplished until the time of Christ's first coming. The rest still has to be future. As I said, my authority for doing it this way is because Jesus did it. Luke Chapter 4 verse 16. Now this is again in his earthly ministry:
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day,..."
I remind all my classes constantly, to never forget that Jesus' whole three years of ministry was under the Law. People miss that. Everything He taught, said, and did was in accordance with the Law. I emphasize, we're under Grace, not under Law! But nevertheless, we can come in here and we can learn so much from the Gospels, even though it was all under Law. So He went into the synagogue because He was a Law keeping Jew, in so many words. So He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day (Saturday):
"...and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book (or the scroll); he found the place where it was written,"
Now when He uses the words, "He found," this is where you have to be a stickler for words. When it says, "He found the place," what does that indicate? He looked for it. He had this portion of Scripture on His mind and for a purpose. So He went through the scroll until He came to this portion of the Scripture which was Isaiah 61. He found where it was written and He reads to the synagogue audience:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (that's what He read out loud, out of Isaiah). And he closed the book (or the scroll), and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them (as they sat there, marveling at what He had said and done.), This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Isn't that something? Let's go back to Isaiah Chapter 61 and see what He did. Those Jews in the synagogue knew what He did.
"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,..." (-)
Now in the Old Testament, what's the punctuation mark? Comma. What did Jesus put there? Period. See that. That's where He stopped. He stopped after reading "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." But, what didn't He read?
"...and the day of vengeance of our God;..."
What is that a reference to? Tribulation. This is the 70th week of Daniel. This is the prophecy. There's no break here in Isaiah. Isaiah has no idea that the seven years is going to be pushed out 1,900 years into the future. Jesus knew. So He stopped exactly where this much prophecy would be fulfilled. And everything beyond that, Jesus knew would be in the future. But the twelve didn't know it. The Jews of Jesus' day didn't know it. The prophets that wrote it didn't know it. And this is what we have to be aware of. That these things that Paul wrote, were hidden in the mind of God. Now God wasn't caught off balance and then all of a sudden had to shift gears, and change His program. He knew the end from the beginning, but He didn't reveal it. He kept it secret from the whole human race until it was time for it to be revealed. This is what we have to understand. Read on. The prophecy said that the day of vengeance of our God, the Tribulation:
"...to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vine dressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord:..."
You have to stop there a minute. What does Exodus 19 promise the nation of Israel? As they came out of Egypt, they're camped around Sinai. The Lord told Moses if Israel would keep the commandments, they would be a kingdom of what? Priests. And here it is. Now what's the program? Christ would come. He would present salvation, the acceptable year of the Lord. Then would come the day of Tribulation, Daniel's 70th week. And what would follow Daniel's 70th week? The Kingdom. What's left out? 1,900 plus years of the Church Age. It's not in here, but everything else is.
Come to Psalms Chapter 2. Have your pens ready so you can prepare yourself for this. As I give you the next reference, I want you to write it in the margin of your Bible, so that if you want to show this to someone, you can go from reference to reference without having to use a concordance or to tax your memory. Don't be afraid to write some things in your margin, because after all, this is a Book meant to be studied. Psalms Chapter 2. And I might as well take the first six verses in their context.
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The whole world's population is in those two statements. The heathen are the Non-Jew world - the Gentiles. The people are the Jews - Israel. Together they say, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity."
"The kings of the earth set themselves (the rulers of the Gentile nations), and the rulers (of Israel), take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."
What's this about? Rome, Pilate and others in authority, consorting with the high priests and rulers of Israel to crucify the Messiah. In those final days of Christ's earthly life before He was crucified, what's the Jews position? When Pilate said, "I see nothing wrong with this man," they said, "We have no king, but Caesar. Away with this Man. We'll not have Him to rule over us. Crucify him."
That's the prophecy. They're rejecting His offer of ruling them as a benevolent King. They don't want any part of it. So they say, "Break his bands asunder." I'd like to stop a second. Do you see the pronouns here are plural? Where the people say, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." Why plural? Remember what I taught you way back in Genesis Chapter 1, Elohim is a plurality. It's a Godhead of three, not one. Here's the reason for the pronoun. Same way back in Genesis 1:26, when God said, "Let us make man in our image," what are the pronouns? They're plural. Because Elohim is a Trinity. He's a plurality in the Godhead. Verse 4. As they were rejecting the offer of Christ's Kingship and His Kingdom, and they said, "Away with him. Crucify him." What was the attitude of God, who was in heaven? Read on:
"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh (not a laugh of amusement, but a laugh of what? Scorn, ridicule and judgment): the Lord shall have them (the nations of the world) in derision." (-)
Then (we don't know how much time, even the Old Testament prophecies, allotted for that verse 4, the time of derision. No hint. But what's the immediate thing after that? Then, and that's a time word) <I>shall he speak unto them (the nation of Israel, but also the nations of the world) in his (grace and mercy? No in His) wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure."
What is that? The Tribulation. Daniel's 70th week. We'll be looking at the verses now, that describe that awful period of human history. Then we're going back to Matthew 24 and see what Jesus says about it. The Tribulation has run its course in verse 5. What comes on the scene in verse 6? The Kingdom.
"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." There's the kingdom. And then, verse 8:
"Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (or the Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Who's possession? The Messiah's, when He rules and reigns here on the earth. He's not just going to rule and reign over Israel. He's going to rule the whole world. Now there's the Old Testament program in a nutshell, plain as day. But I said that we were going to break it in half, or break it like Jesus did. How much of this prophecy was fulfilled at His first coming? Well, up until the verse that speaks of his wrath and vexation, that never happened. God didn't pour out His wrath in the Book of Acts, did He? God hasn't poured out His wrath upon the human race. Oh, we have a lot of calamities. We've got wars and famine. That's not the wrath of God. That's just the evidence of the curse. We know nothing of what it's going to be like on this planet, when God's wrath is poured out, especially during that last half of the seven years. That's going to be the real vexation.
So you can split that whole prophecy right there between verse 3 and verse 5. That first part was fulfilled. The Messiah came, offered Himself as King, and the world rejected Him. And in between that you have to go to Psalm 110:1. Keep your hand here in Psalms 2 for just a second and we'll come back to it. But now in Psalms 110:1. This took place in the interval between verse 4 and verse 6 in Psalm 2:
"The LORD said unto my Lord,..."
Now the casual reader won't see the difference in those two terms, "Lords." The average reader will just say, "Well what is this? Just one person talking to another?" Well in essence, it is. But I'm going to show you something. The first LORD is all capitalized, but the second Lord is Capital L, but small o-r-d. Now, what's the difference? If you know your Old Testament terms for Deity, the first LORD is the Jehovah God. And this is one of the few instances where Jehovah does not refer to the Son, as much as it does to the Father. But here we have in essence, God the Father saying to Jehovah Adonay. And Adonay meant "Master," and that's why Christ is referred to so often as Master even in the New Testament. He was Jehovah Adonay. So what you have here is God the Father saying to God the Son at the time of His rejection:
"...Sit thou at my right hand, until..." (-)
And what's that word, "until?" Time word. Yes, He ascended, and Hebrews tells us that after He had purged us from our sins, He sat down at the right hand the Majesty on high, right in accordance with Psalms 110. And so He ascended and He sat down at the right hand. But He's only going to stay there until some point in time, when the world is ready for His return. And then you can come back to Psalm 2. Then the LORD says:
"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill in Zion."
Oh, it's been interrupted. But does that mean that the last half isn't going to be fulfilled? Not at all. It's coming. It's going to be just as sure as everything that went before it. I was going to have you write in your margin. Write in here that the next portion of Scripture you want to go to is Psalm 118. But write it here in Psalm 2. Then you go to Psalm 118, to verse 22:
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." (-)
It doesn't sound like an awful lot, but that's loaded. Now, who claimed to be the Stone, and Who was the Stone, the Rock of Offense, that presented Himself to Israel? Jesus! He was to be the Headstone of the corner. But what did Israel do? They rejected Him. They cast that Cornerstone aside, and it became a Stone of stumbling. You can split that verse right in the middle. Because, you see, He has not yet become the Headstone of the corner. That will be fulfilled when He comes back and sets up His kingdom.
So the first half was fulfilled at His first coming. You put a little dash in there and a parenthesis around it, and that's the last 1,900 and some years. And the last half is yet going to be fulfilled. He's still going to be the Headstone of the corner. He's going to fulfill all these Old Testament prophecies. Now then in the margin, write, Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 6. And I'm not hitting all of them by any means. I'm just hitting the ones that are easiest to understand.
"For unto us (the nation of Israel. They're the "us," no one else) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (-) and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,..."
What's all that in reference to? Well, when He sits upon the throne in Jerusalem and sets up His Kingdom. Again, verse 6:
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:..."
That happened at His first coming. But He hadn't set up His government as yet. He hadn't set up the Kingdom. So you put a dash in there, because that's all been pushed out into the future. We don't know how long from now, but it's already been pushed out some 1,900 plus years. But the prophecy is that the King would come and He would end up by setting up His Kingdom. Let's go on to Isaiah 61. That's the one that we looked at a moment ago, but let's stop there so you can put your next reference there. Isaiah 61. Put your dash or parenthesis, however you're marking it, after the word "Lord," in verse 2. After the word "Lord" where there's a comma, you put right in there a parenthesis. The rest of that prophecy is even future to our time.
Now go to Joel Chapter 2 and it will be verse 29. Write there Isaiah 61:2, and in Isaiah, write in your margin Joel 2:29. Let's start at verse 28. This is the same portion that Peter quoted verbatim in Acts Chapter 2, on the day of Pentecost. And again, Peter quoted the whole prophecy because he did not know, that a break would occur before it would be fulfilled.
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh (that happened at Pentecost): and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." (-)
That happened of course, at Pentecost. Which was in conjunction with His first coming. But you see, Peter went right on and read the next verse as if it too, would be fulfilled. And what does it say?
<I>"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come</I> (did that happen? No. Then the next verse,). <I>And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance,..."
What's that in reference to? The Kingdom. So you put a parenthesis back there between verse 29 and 30. Verses 30 through 32 haven't happened yet. But they're going to. In this margin, you can write, "Zachariah 9:9,10." Zachariah is the next to the last book in the Old Testament. I always tell people to go find Matthew and then back up to the left, to Malachi, and right before Malachi you'll find Zachariah. Now between verses 9 and 10:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King (capitalized) cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon the colt the foal of an ass." (-) (now, did that happen? Sure it did. That was fulfilled on the triumphal entry. Then verse 10:)
And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the house from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen (Gentiles): and his dominion (or his Kingdom) shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth."
What's that? The Kingdom. Did it happen? No. Is it going to happen? You'd better believe it. But you see, it's been interrupted. There's been a period of time put in there. I have one more in the New Testament, believe it or not. Luke Chapter 1, between verses 31 and 32. Now watch it carefully again:
<I>"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." (-)
Did that happen at His first coming? Absolutely. But then look at the next verse. That didn't happen.
" He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:"
Is Christ sitting on David's throne tonight? No. That won't happen until He returns. After the Tribulation has run its course. Then He will return and sit upon His throne in Jerusalem.