Is there prophecy that just before Jesus returns the people of God will suffer the worst persecution known to mankind? Join us in part 2 of this explanation of what the Bible says about a Great Tribulation.

ROBERT >> Will there be a great tribulation at the end of the world like never before? Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Last week here on The Truth In Love we were talking about the great tribulation, and we found that that term was only mentioned three times in the Bible: In Matthew 24, in Revelation 7, and in Revelation chapter 2. But we also found that that great tribulation had nothing to do with some moment at the end of time; but rather in Matthew 24 it was discussing the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD; and the book of Revelation was not about some persecution and tribulation at the end of time, but rather, it was the persecution of the Roman empire upon the first-century Christians. It was already ongoing, they were already in tribulation, and it was only going to get worse until their great enemy, Rome, would fall. But there are other passages that people go to to try to say that there’s going to be some great tribulation at the end time.

One of those is Daniel 9:23-27. And that’s where I want to go today. Certainly, Daniel speaks of tribulation, he speaks of a time of great trouble; but is Daniel talking about some moment at the end time when Jesus comes again? Let’s see what the passage really has to say.

In Daniel chapter 9, you’ll notice that he is receiving a vision. It is a prophecy of things to come. And let’s just begin reading here in verse 23, Daniel 9:23. “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city.”

It’s clear from the reading of Daniel 9:23-24 that this vision was a vision of 70 weeks and that these 70 weeks are symbolic of the perfect and complete determination of God concerning the Jews and their city. So the 70 weeks has to do with the Jewish nation and the city of Jerusalem.

The 70 weeks are symbolic. The number 7 for perfect, the number 10 for complete; and 70 weeks is 7 times 10 times 7. What we’re going to see, this 70 weeks involves a number of things. The prophecy includes, notice these points from verse 24, 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.

Now let’s take a look at those individually. Notice what he said, to finish the transgressions, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring an everlasting righteousness. He’s talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God to salvation, Romans 1:16-17. He’s talking about the redemption that we have through the blood of Jesus Christ. He made an end of sins. He put an end to our transgressions by his death upon the cross that we read about in Romans 3:20-26. Romans 5:8, how that God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. So this idea of finishing sin, putting an end to sin, reconciling man to God, all of this was something that pointed to the first coming of Christ and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It says here that during this 70 weeks there would be a sealing up of the vision and the prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy. And you look and you see that when Christ came and his apostles were sent forth, that the prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, it was fulfilled in his church, and we have the complete revelation of God, as Jude said in Jude 3, The faith once for all delivered unto the saints. And the anointing of the Most Holy is mentioned here. The Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one is what the vision had to do with. And so when we look at this prophecy of Daniel chapter 9, the 70 weeks, remember, it’s about the Jewish nation, it’s about their holy city, Jerusalem, and that it points to a time when Jesus Christ would put an end to sin, when the prophecies of old would be fulfilled in Christ and in his church.

I want you to notice that this prophecy began with the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon to restore and to build Jerusalem. We read about that in the books of Ezra and the books of Nehemiah when they came back out of the captivity of Babylon and they began to restore that city, they began to build the walls of Jerusalem, they began to build the temple there in Jerusalem. These were troublesome times.

It says here in verse 25 of Daniel’s vision in chapter 9, “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.”

This did refer to a time of great trouble. There was great opposition from Sanballat the satrap of Samaria constantly ridiculing and trying to put obstacles and difficulties in the ways of those who were trying to come up with the walls of Jerusalem and with the temple. The prophecy continued, however, from the time they were restored out of Babylon and the rebuilding of the city until, it says, Messiah, the Prince, would come.

Notice, Messiah. The Greek is Christ. The Messiah, the Hebrew pointed to the Greek, Christ. He would come. And he was, notice, he was cut off.

It says here in verse 26, After the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. This is an obvious reference to the death of Jesus Christ. He was put to death not for himself, but for us.

As Isaiah had also said in chapter 53:5-6, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; by His stripes we are healed.”

All we like sheep have gone astray, and turned every one to his own way; but God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. So in looking at Daniel chapter 9, he speaks of the restoration of Israel out of Babylon, he speaks of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, he speaks of the Messiah, the Christ coming and dying for us. This is what these 70 weeks are about. And notice also he is confirming a covenant with many in the midst of all of this.

This is what it says in verse 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.”

You see here this covenant that was confirmed must have reference to the new covenant, the New Testament of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came, he lived under the law, the old covenant; but he came to bring a new covenant.

Jeremiah had prophesied about this in Jeremiah 31:31-34. “I’ll make a new covenant, God said, with the house of Israel.”

And in Matthew 26:28, when Jesus was with his apostles and he was giving them, you remember, the Passover meal. And at that meal, Jesus institutes what we now call the Lord’s supper. He gave them the bread, the unleavened bread, to remember his body; he gave them the cup to remember his blood, which, he said, Is poured out for many for the remission of sins, and that this blood is the new covenant, the new covenant. And so we see here that this covenant was confirmed at the first coming of Jesus Christ, and that would bring an end, as he says, to sacrifice and offering, those many sacrifices and offerings that were made under the law. Because you see, when Jesus came and he shed his blood, with that blood he confirmed a new and a greater covenant, and he put away the old. Those sacrifices and offerings only pointed to the greater sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself for the sins of the world.

According to Colossians 2:14, “he took the old law, its ordinances, its commandments, he took it away, nailed it to the cross.”

In Hebrews chapter 9 and chapter 10 we see that those old sacrifices were just symbolic. They couldn’t take away the sins of the world. But Jesus Christ came once and for all to take away all of our sins. So as we look again at Daniel’s prophecy, this prophecy was finished not long after Christ came the first time and died for the sins of the world. It was finished when the city and the temple in Jerusalem were destroyed and made desolate.

Notice what it says here as you go back and you read in verse 26, “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.”

You see here where he speaks of this utter end of the sanctuary, the temple in Jerusalem and how that this destruction was led by the prince of the people. This is the Roman commander. This is Titus, who would come on the wings of abomination and destroy, that is, with the ensign of an eagle, carried by the Roman armies and destroy that city and its temple.

We’ve read about this before in Matthew 24:15 when Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple in his generation, how that the Roman armies would surround that city in Luke 21:20.

And so we see that the prophecy of Daniel, yes, it speaks of the restoration of Israel out of Babylon captivity, it speaks of the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, it speaks of Christ coming and dying for the sins of the world, but it also points us to that desolation of the temple and the city of Jerusalem that would happen in the generation of Christ and his apostles. This would be the end of it. It would come with a flood, he said.

This was an act of God’s judgment, causing complete destruction upon the Jewish nation because they rejected Christ, because they rejected the saving gospel that we have in the scriptures. Now, the 70 weeks may be understood as 70 weeks of years, 490 years. And if you will count from the command to restore Jerusalem back in Ezra chapter 1, about 539 BC, and you’ll see that this will bring us all the way up to the time of Christ.

You’ll notice that the 70 weeks were divided, and they were divided into 7 weeks of years. 49 years are first mentioned here, the 7 weeks of years during which Jerusalem was rebuilt; and that was followed by 62 weeks of years, about 434 years to the time when Christ began his ministry in 26 AD; and then one week of years, 7 years, in the midst of which Christ was crucified, about 29 AD; and then finally, not long after, Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 70 AD, just as Jesus prophesied in Matthew chapter 24.

Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks, it doesn’t speak of some great tribulation at the second coming of Christ and the end of the world, no, not at all. It speaks of the return of Judah from Babylonian captivity to rebuild Jerusalem, and it continues until the first coming of Christ when he died for the sins of the world, and concludes with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans.

But now I want you to look at one other passage this morning from the book of Daniel, Daniel 12:1. The last chapter of the book of Daniel says, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”

That time. Now, the time that Daniel’s talking about here is the days of the Roman kings. He had gone through the history all the way back from the time of the Medo-Persian empire that rose after Babylon fell, to the time of the Grecian empire, to the fourth kingdom, the time of the Roman kings.

In Daniel 11 he describes this. Look at Daniel 11:36-45. “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.”

Now, that’s exactly what the Roman kings began to do near the end of the first century. And we see them causing the people to bow down to them and to worship them as gods. They set themselves above all the other gods and required emperor worship. If the Christians refused, which they did, they would be punished, they would be imprisoned, they’d be put to death. And so the time that Daniel has in mind is the days of the Roman kings and the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD when the Romans surrounded and besieged that city and ultimately burned and destroyed the temple.

Look in Daniel 12:6-7. Here it says, “And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be? Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”

Here in this verse he speaks of the shattering of the power of the holy people. He’s talking about his judgment upon the Jewish nation for their rejection of Christ.

You see this also in verse 11, where it says, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up. So this is the time frame of the book of Daniel: From the time of the Babylonian kings, through the Medo-Persian kings, to the Grecian kings, to the Roman kings, to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, that abomination of desolation spoken of in Matthew 24:15, described in Luke 21:20 as armies surrounding the city of Jerusalem that would happen in that generation of Christ and his apostles.

You remember in Matthew 24, Jesus encouraged the Christians to get out of Jerusalem, to flee into the mountains so that they could escape that great judgment and condemnation. And so what we learn from Daniel has nothing to do with some great tribulation at the end time.

No, we have learned in our lessons here on The Truth In Love on these Sunday mornings that there’s no end time prophecy concerning the antichrist and the great tribulation. The antichrist was not mentioned, we noticed, in Daniel 2, in 2 Thessalonians, in Revelation in our studies before, that the term antichrist was only mentioned five times in the Bible, where it speaks of the many who were against Christ in the first century. And the great tribulation we learned is only mentioned three times in the Bible. The phrase was used of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, it was used of God’s judgment on the wicked, it was used of the persecution of the church by the Roman empire; but it was never used as some great tribulation led by some great antichrist at the end time. And Jeremiah, yes, he spoke of troublesome times for the Jewish nation when they were taken captive by the Babylonians long before Christ; and Daniel, yes, he spoke of such times when they returned from captivity to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem until its later destruction by the Romans in 70 AD; but never does it say anything about some great tribulation just at the moment at the end time when our Lord comes again.
No, when Jesus comes, he’ll come suddenly, he’ll come unexpectedly. We must always be ready.

Are you ready to meet the Lord?

Will you let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

SINGING>> Each day I’ll do a golden deed by helping those who are in need.
My life on earth is but a span, and so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is inking low, a few more days,
and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.
To be a child of God each day, my light must shine along the way.
I’ll sing his praise while ages roll, and try to help some troubled soul.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low, a few more days,
and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done, where there will be no setting sun.
While going down life’s weary road, I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load.
I’ll try to turn the night to day, make flowers bloom along the way, the lonely way. Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
a few more days, and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done,
where there will be no setting sun.

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all.
Oh that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.

SINGING>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender.
Lord, I give myself to thee.
Fill me with thy love and power, let thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

Remember, you may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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