Cleansing the Sanctuary

Cleansing the Sanctuary

Lesson: 11
The sanctuary rituals of washing and sacrifice are examples of the steps to salvation.
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Welcome, once again, friends, to another presentation in the 'Landmarks of Prophecy' series. We're very thankful that each of you are here. I want to thank you, personally, for your faithfulness in coming night after night. I want to thank our friends who are watching - all the groups that are gathered, both around North America and Europe - other parts of the world - and we're glad you're joining us for this study.

Tonight's presentation is going to be one that I'm actually combining a couple of studies into one presentation dealing with the subject of the longest time prophecy and the sanctuary. It's based on two chapters in Daniel's - Daniel chapter 8 and Daniel chapter 9. They're very important prophecies. You know, we've titled this series 'Landmarks of Prophecy' and one of the famous landmarks in the world is, of course, the Taj Mahal. An amazing building - a beautiful building - spectacular design and architecture - built in the 17th century. It took twenty years, roughly, to build it - 20,000 workers, I should say, were engaged for many years.

The emperor's wife died giving birth to their 14th child and he loved her so much that he wanted to build something that would just commemorate his love for her. And so, he had just the best architects in the kingdom that built this beautiful building. What many people are not aware of is that he also saw it as a place where people could find redemption. When the emperor dedicated the building - it was Emperor Shah Jahan - he declared in these words: "Should the guilty seek asylum here, like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin. Should a sinner make his way to this mansion, all his past sins will be washed away. The sight of this mansion creates sorrow inside and the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes. In this world, this edifice has been made to display, thereby, the creator's glory."

Very interesting. He speaks of a monotheistic creator and that this building was to be a place where a person could find asylum, like a city of refuge. So it's not just beautiful, it also had some representation of a place of worship as well, dedicated to his love for his wife. What many people don't know is that in 1830, the British had scheduled to demolish the Taj Mahal. They were going to dismantle it and auction the marble in England because, during that time, nobody was taking care of the grounds. It was dilapidating and they said, 'Well, where are you going to find a massive pile of marble like this that we could just sell? They actually brought equipment to the site ready to demolish it and at the last minute they received word from England, they said, 'The prices of marble in Europe have gone so low, it isn't worth it anymore to demolish it.' Aren't you glad that the price of marble dropped during that time? Otherwise, it would be no more.

You know, there is a building that the Bible talks about, it's called sometimes 'the tabernacle,' 'the temple,' 'the sanctuary,' that is found all the way from Exodus through Revelation and is mentioned by most of the major Bible prophets. In the context of this building, we're going to learn a lot about salvation tonight and some of the most interesting Bible prophecies that even relate to our day. The lesson today is Lesson 11, dealing with the subject of cleansing the sanctuary.

Now, when the Children of Israel came out of Egypt and Moses went up Mount Sinai, what did he get up there on top of Mount Sinai? Ten Commandments. But, you know, that's not the only thing he got up there. The Bible tells us the Lord gave him blueprints. Just like God gave blueprints to Noah to build the ark, he gave blueprints to Moses to build the tabernacle. This was to be the central place of worship in the Hebrew economy. It was a very specifically designed building that was to teach them about how God saves people. And here's a picture - at first, when they were going through the wilderness, they needed a portable tabernacle because they would strike their camp, move to another spot, pitch it again, strike it, move to another spot, and all these Levites that were designated to carry it on their shoulders from place to place. For forty years they carried their temple with them. Finally, when they got into the Promised Land, they built a permanent one, but there were some things that happened here that all illustrated the plan of salvation.

There was one door - how many ways of salvation does Jesus tell us there are? One - He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He said, 'I am the Door.' He's the Lamb of God. People would bring their lamb through that door and the first thing that happened on the entrance of the sanctuary was there was a sacrifice. There were two pieces of furniture that you principally saw when you went in. After you went in the door, the first thing was what they called 'the altar.' This is where the sacrifice took place and where it was burnt and presented to God. That represents the cross.

The next piece of furniture you saw was 'the laver.' It was where this water was and they would wash then, before they entered the holy place. So, in Egypt, the Children of Israel, before they were saved from slavery, they sacrificed a lamb. Then they went through the Red Sea - that water's a symbol of, like, baptism. Paul says that in 1 Corinthians chapter 10. They were baptized in the sea. When they went down through the Red Sea and came up, it was sort of a symbolic baptism. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Lamb. Jesus is the Rock. Jesus is the Living Water. Everything you look at in the tabernacle tells us about Jesus.

Then you went into what they call 'The Holy Place' - the first room of the tabernacle. And, by the way, all three tabernacles - the one in the wilderness that was portable, the beautiful one built by Solomon, the one later built during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah - they all had the same outline, because it was given by God. So it's very important. The first thing you saw when you went into The Holy Place was this table of showbread. Jesus said, 'I am the Bread of Life.' Right? The other thing you saw was a lampstand with seven lamps on it. That's because Jesus said, 'I am the Light of the World.' And then the third thing you saw was this altar of incense and that's where they would sprinkle incense and the pleasant aroma would waft over the curtain into the Holy of Holies or 'The Most Holy Place.' This represents the prayers - the intercession of Jesus. We pray in His name. So, before we go any farther, we saw three things in The Holy Place. Those are the three secret weapons for your being successful as a Christian.

Did you catch it? Bread, light, the altar of incense - that's reading your Bible - that's the bread of life, 'Man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word...' Right? God said, 'Let your light shine.' Be a witness - and you need to pray. That's that altar of incense. Those three things are the keys to having a close relationship with God.

Now you went through the veil into what they called 'The Holy of Holies' and there was only one thing in there. What was that? That was the ark - the golden Ark of the Covenant and there - what was inside? Ten Commandments.

This sanctuary is a very important study for New Testament Christians because when you read Revelation - when Jesus appears in Revelation chapter 1, He's among seven candlesticks. What do you think that means? That's the seven candlesticks in the temple. Revelation chapter 11, it talks about 'I saw the temple of God opened in Heaven.' The temple on earth was a miniature of a very real temple that God has in Heaven. When you read the Bible prophecy books of Isaiah - chapter 6 - 'In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up and the train of His robe filled the temple.' The vision is in the temple. Ezekiel - I read it today in my personal devotions - chapter 40 - he's measuring the temple - the vision's in the temple.

Zechariah, Daniel - the context of so many of these great prophecies - Revelation - are in the context of this building. There are some secret lessons that we can learn about God and how He saves and even prophecy, from studying this. So, one of the important things that happened with Jesus' ministry - let's go to the lesson - the story at the beginning of your lesson - is - the center of worship for the Jewish nation, during the time of Christ was the temple.

Now the temple, during the time of Jesus, was the one that had been rebuilt. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the one of Solomon. It lasted about 400 years and then Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it. And then years later - 70 years later - they came back and, during the time of Ezra, Nehemiah - they rebuilt it. But it didn't have quite the former glory. But then along came a Roman-Jewish king - Hasmonean king - named Herod the Great, who was quite a builder. He loved to build - passionate builder. He built Massada. He built Caesarea. He built everywhere. He also was pretty heartless. He's the one that killed the babies in Bethlehem.

But to show, for political reasons, the Jews that he would be a good king, he refurbished their temple and it was a beautiful place. And it still was the place where they worshiped. So when Jesus came in to teach in the temple, you know the people would bring in their sacrifices? Well, the religious leaders had turned it into a bazaar where they were selling lambs, selling doves, selling sacrifices - the courtyard of the temple, that was supposed to be a place of prayer and praise and worship, it sounded like a flea market and it was like a stockade auction house. Everybody was fighting over the price of sacrifices and it smelled and Jesus walked in there one day and He said, 'My Father's house is to be a house of prayer for all nations.' By the way, he's quoting the Old Testament. He said, 'You've turned it into a den of thieves.' Fire flashed from His eyes. He overturned the money changers' tables. You remember reading about this? He made a cord - a whip out of cords - it doesn't say He whipped anybody, but just His holding it was probably enough. And then He said, in John chapter 2, verse 16, "Take these things hence; make not My Father's house an house of merchandise." Notice, Jesus said 'My Father's house.' At the end of Christ's ministry, when the religious leaders rejected His teaching, He said, 'Behold, your house is left to you desolate.' That's interesting to consider. There's a change.

Now, we're going to go into Question #1 and I've got a lot to cover so you pray for me. I'll pray for you because I'm going to talk fast. I'll pray you can listen fast. It's a very important study. Alright, question #1: we're going to - and this is based on a prophecy in Daniel chapter 8 and it tells us - matter of fact, open your Bibles. We really need to look. If you've got your Bibles with you, open your Bibles to Daniel 8. You need to at least introduce this before we dive into the question. Daniel 8, verse 1, "In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, a vision appeared to me - to me, Daniel - after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in vision, and so it happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in vision that I was by the river Ulai. Then I lifted up my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns," - now he starts to have this vision. He's above the river and he sees this ram and he's wondering, 'What does this mean?' And then later, there's a goat. If you read the previous chapter he says, 'I was in vision and I saw a lion, then I saw a bear, then I saw a leopard.' And while he's wondering what these things mean, the angel comes and explains that these animals represent different kingdoms and empires that will have some dominating influence over God's people during their reign. He foretells the history.

You know, in Daniel 2 - you remember we studied that? He gave a panorama of the world's history and their kingdoms through that giant metal image. God often repeats these things and uses different parables and dreams to give perspective. So now in Daniel 8 - let's go into this. First he sees a ram by the river - "And the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and he became great. And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes." One notable horn - "then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven."

Alright, we've got to pause there. We'll come back to this chapter, but I just wanted to read it right from the Bible and then we're going to go in - interpret, study - 'What does this dream mean?' Alright, question #1: Daniel had an amazing vision - chapter 8 - in which he saw a ram with two horns. Whom does this ram represent? Later in the chapter, the angel comes to Daniel and tells him. You can read in verse 20, "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the Kings of Media and Persia." Later it says one of those horns was bigger than the other - it started out with the Median one but then the Persian kingdom became greater. Later, that empire was just called the Persian empire because of that other horn. Now, this should also be remembered - that if you're a Jew, what do they do going through the wilderness? What was their occupation - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David? Shepherds. They were very familiar with sheep and goats. Jesus compared the judgment to sheep and goats. And so, here, with these two creatures, he illustrates these two great empires.

Alright, I'm going to jump right to question #2: Next Daniel saw a goat with a great horn between his eyes. What does this mean? That's talking about this goat is representing the next king and he attacks the ram. It says he comes from the west. This is the Kingdom of Greece coming from the west. It says he comes very quickly, very fiercely - there's no historian that will deny that, among the empires - ancient empires - nobody did it quicker than Alexander the Great. He was thirty-two when he died. From the time he was nineteen until about twenty-four he was conquering the world - very rapid. His soldiers Marched faster and farther than just about anybody else.

And so there's this battle between the two and the goat destroys the ram. Alexander defeated Darius and he conquered the Persian empire and overtook their territory. Daniel 8, verses 21 and 22, "The rough goat" - the angel tells us - do we have to guess what it is? - "The rough goat is the king of Grecia:" - Grecia is how they said it in King James - "and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." - Now this is exactly what happened with Alexander the Great. It says he came from the West, that's where he came from. When you're going to fight Persia and he did it with ferocity; he did it with great speed. In the prior chapter - chapter 7 of Daniel - Greece is compared to a leopard with four wings because his feet didn't even touch the ground - he went so quickly with his conquering. Considering they didn't have mechanized armies back then, no army moved faster, in history, than Alexander the Great's army. It was just incredible. And then it says that, at the height of its power - in its prime - the horn - the main, principle horn is broken off. It doesn't wear down, it snaps.

Alexander died suddenly. Though he could conquer the world, he didn't do very well conquering himself. They're still not sure - they don't - it was after a night of pretty rowdy drinking he fell ill. They don't know if someone tried to poison him. They're still not sure and we may never know until Heaven, what exactly happened. They don't know if it was malaria - it was a fever - they don't know if it was alcohol poisoning, but very young he died and on his deathbed, I think I told you, his wife asked him 'Who will rule in your place?' And he said, 'The strongest.' And that's what happened. It says, 'Out of the place of that' - you can read here in this next section - "now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation." The four principle generals of Alexander the Great then divided his empire among them into four regions. And then they eventually began to fight among themselves. But the kingdom of Greece then lasted longer, even, than the kingdom of Persia.

Question #3: Then, as you read on it says, out of one of those four horns a little horn begins to sprout. You know, like a deer antler - you get a fork starts coming off it? And out of that horn, another - one of the four - another one starts to sprout and it ends up becoming a very big power. What power did this little horn represent? You can see the fulfillment of this during the time of Christ. What empire followed the Greek empire? Rome - acts 2 - 18:2, rather - "Claudius (Caesar) had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome." He had control over the whole empire and, at that point, he was suspicious of the Jews and told them they had to leave.

So you've got this goat, just to review, and the principle power is Alexander the Great. It's broken off and from it four come up - four other horns - four divisions - four generals of Alexander the Great - and one little horn begins to come up from among these. But now there's something different about this power. This power's the one we want to notice because you read on - it grows into what we later know as the antichrist power. You read in Daniel 7, verse 8, "...in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." There's something different about it. Later it says it's guilty of blasphemy - its pompous words.

And it talks about this also in Revelation chapter 17 - what this power does. Revelation chapter 7, verse 24, "he is diverse" - or different from - "the first." The first kingdoms that we saw - whether it's Babylon, Medo-Persia, or Greece - they were your typical monarchies led by a government. But what happened with Rome - Rome not only was the iron monarchy, as the Roman empire, led by Caesars, began to fall, in its place, the Roman power was substituted with a religious power - that's telling you what happened historically. If you've been through fifth grade, you've encountered this. Gradually, as the Roman power began to crumble, the Christian church grew, but it didn't just stay a religion, it became a political religious power as well. You know what I'm talking about.

Question #4: Daniel was told that this little horn would defile the sanctuary. How long would it be until the sanctuary was cleansed? Now we're going to get into the longest time prophecy in the Bible. And you read in Daniel 8, verse 14, "Unto" - there's your answer - oh wait, maybe you don't have it on your screen yet. There you go. "Unto" - say it with me - "two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Now go back to your Bibles for a second. Cleansed from what? - Is something we want to find out. If you look in Daniel chapter 8 and if we read down here - verse 12, "Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifice and he cast down the truth to the ground. He did all this and he practiced and prospered."

So what's happening is the truth of God and the truth of the Bible and the truth of Jesus, during this time, becomes compromised, and yet, it prospers. Well, I'm going to give you a little quick history. I won't diverge on this but I think most of us know that during this period of time - about three or four hundred years after Christ - originally, Christians were persecuted in Rome. They fed them to the lions, right? I used to wonder as a kid - I'd hear how they burned Christians at the stake and they fed them to the lions - you know, they make jokes about that all the time - and then, all of a sudden, Rome becomes the center of Christianity. And you go, 'What happened? I thought they weren't allowed there and then all of a sudden it becomes headquarters. Something obviously changed, right? And really what happened was, with the conversion of Constantine - I'll say more about this later - what was once considered “religio illicita” - forbidden religion - was persecuted, outlawed, they were killed, they built catacombs, they went underground - it suddenly became the state religion and it, almost overnight, became fashionable, with the conversion of Constantine, to be a Christian. But what happened is, a lot of people started coming into the church from the different Greco-Roman religions that weren't totally converted - didn't even know the teachings of Jesus - and they tried to bring some of their pagan ideas with them.

We studied the other night about the truth about Hell - that people do not go right at death to - before judgment or resurrection - a place of burning where they burn through all eternity. Did we - we learned there is a lake of fire, there is a punishment, but there's misunderstanding that came in from Greek mythology, right? Cast the truth to the ground in practice. The idea of purgatory - this halfway burning place - we found out that that's been now renounced. It's not biblical. There's nothing in the Bible about that.

The idea that the dead go immediately to Heaven as soon as they die and then they come back for their bodies - or they're in Abraham's bosom waiting - we found out that's not in the Bible. And a lot of other things - the truth was cast to the ground. The idea that you don't need to keep the Ten Commandments anymore because once you believe in Jesus you can somehow now ignore His law - that's another one of the truths that was cast down to the ground. All kinds of things began to get corrupted during this time. So, when would there be a cleansing of the sanctuary?

Alright, question #5: I'm going to bring it all together so stay with me in these questions. How did Daniel respond when he saw the little-horn power persecute God's people and obscure the truth? When Daniel was getting this information about this vision from the angel, he just - he sees what's happening to his own people and he's heartbroken. And it says in Daniel 8:27, "And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days;" - he's an older man now, you know, he came to Babylon probably fifteen - sixteen years old - seventy years have gone by - he's in his eighties - maybe even longer. And he has this very heavy vision of God's people being persecuted by this antichrist power and it - he actually swoons, practically. He's sick and he can't understand it and the angel knows he's going to have to come back and finish explaining this prophecy. It's finished in Daniel chapter 9.

Now, you can understand, Daniel is a young man. Before he is carried off captive to Babylon - the most beautiful building in the world was not the Taj Mahal back then, it was not even the hanging gardens. The most beautiful building in the world was a multi-billion dollar building built by David, who gathered the money, and his son Solomon did the construction. It had golden rooms. It had bronze pillars bigger than any in the world. They even named them - two pillars - they were so big. And Daniel grew up, as a boy, seeing this majestic temple. It was one of the wonders of the world.

But he lived long enough to know it was destroyed. He watched - Daniel watched as his people were conquered, the city was destroyed - Jerusalem - the place that God had chosen - David had ruled. They were scattered as slaves. Many were slain. And the yearning of Daniel's heart, for the seventy years he was in Babylon: 'When will the Messiah come?' 'When will the Son of David come?' 'When will we get to go back to Jerusalem? At the beginning of Daniel 9 - it actually says Daniel is reading the Bible. Now he didn't have the same Bible we have, but he had the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isaiah, David - all the prior prophets. Daniel is reading the prophecy of Jeremiah.

He tells you in chapter 9 - and he realizes there Jeremiah says, 'Seventy years and God's people will come back.' And Daniel says, 'Lord, seventy years is up. the king of Persia's now here. When are we going home?'

While he's praying, the angel, Gabriel, comes to him and he says, 'Daniel, I've come to give you understanding in the vision.’ And here - here you have that. He says, "At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you," - so angel - the angel Gabriel, has come to explain the vision - what vision? The one he started having in chapter 8 but he fainted. So this is the one that's actually introducing the coming of the Messiah - the first coming of Jesus.

Question #6: In the next chapter, the angel explains the prophecy in greater detail. How long was the time period not previously described in the vision? Now get your Bibles. Turn with me to Daniel chapter 9 - read 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" - boy, angels are fast - at the beginning of Daniel's prayer Gabriel is sent. Angels don't travel the speed of sound or the speed of light, they travel the speed of angels - the speed of thought, anyway - they're going fast - he's going through the cosmos - "at the beginning of your prayer the command went out and I have come forth to tell you, for you are greatly beloved. For consider the matter and understand the vision."

Now there's no vision in chapter so what vision is the angel talking about? The one in chapter 8 he didn't get to finish explaining because Daniel fainted, right? "Seventy weeks" - here we go, verse 24 - Daniel 9:24 - "seventy weeks are determined upon thy people" - who were Daniel's people? The Jewish nation - "seventy weeks" - the word 'determine' there means 'cut off' or 'allotted' or 'remain' for your people. For what? To introduce the Messiah to the world. "Thy holy city, to finish transgression, to make an end of sins." - The final sacrifice for sin would be offered - "to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness" - that's Christ who brings that everlasting righteousness - "to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy." You know what the word 'Christ' means? Anointed. You know what the word 'Messiah' means? It's Hebrew for 'anointed.' When the prophet Samuel poured oil on David's head, he was anointed with oil. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit.

He was the anointed of God, when God became a man, okay? So he said, "seventy weeks are to be determined for all these things to be accomplished. Know and understand" - now here's the starting point for all these prophecies - verse 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;" - that's a total of sixty-nine - "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times." - That's what happened during the time of Nehemiah, they rebuilt the street and the wall in troublous 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. And the end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined." - Jesus talks about the abomination that makes desolate - "then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;" - now the 'he' that confirms the covenant - there's two people here: one, you've got the Messiah the prince coming, the other you've got a prince that comes to destroy. 27 - He's going back to the Messiah the prince - "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."

So we need to understand this. Jesus said, in Matthew 24 - the second coming - Jesus talks about the abomination of desolation - He says, 'Written of by Daniel the prophet. Whoever reads let him understand.' Jesus is telling you and me tonight, 'I want you to read and understand this.' Okay? So this is the prophecies He was referring to in Matthew 24 - that He says we should understand.

Alright, we just read it, now let's go back to our screen here. In the next chapter - chapter 9 - the angel explains that the prophecy - from chapter 8 - in greater detail. How long was the time period not previously described in the vision? You can read that in Daniel 9:24, he says - how much? - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,...to seal up the vision and prophecy." Now how many days in a week? Seven. Seven. It's always been that way. How many days is seventy weeks then? Seven times seven is forty-nine - that'd be four hundred and ninety, right? But in prophecy, a day equals a year.

I'll show you some Scriptures on that in just a minute. So God is telling Daniel there are four hundred and ninety prophetic years that are going to be allotted to your people to fulfill their main mission - the main mission of the Jews was to introduce the Messiah. God said to Abraham, 'Through your seed all the world will be blessed.' How is the whole world blessed through his seed? Principally through Jesus, right?

Alright, so question #7: What was the starting point for the 2,300-day and 70-week time prophecies? He tells you right there in Daniel chapter 9, verse 25, "Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. Unto the Messiah the prince" - from this point to this point - "shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." Alright, threescore and two is sixty two, right? A score is twenty. Sixty-two plus seven is how much? Sixty nine.

So you've got one week missing. He tells us what happens in the midst of that last week - he makes the sacrifice cease. So he breaks it up like that because there's a first seven weeks - they're building the wall and the street. Then you've got another sixty-nine weeks and at the end of that sixty-nine-week period, it says that the Messiah is going to be anointed and begin His ministry. So, unto the Messiah the prince - seven weeks - threescore and two weeks. The starting point is from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. Can we know, from all the dusty musty records of history, when did that happen? Good news - it's given in your Bible. It's in Ezra 7:7 - you can remember that - good number. Ezra 7:7, "The decree of King Artaxerxes" - that's a fun name. Let's all say that together. Artaxerxes - it sounds like a special college course. 'I'm studying Artaxerxes.' That king gave a decree that allowed them to go back - it was the most prominent of the variety of decrees that came saying that they could rebuild the city and the walls and the temple and that is 457 BC. It is a very clearly established date in history.

So you've got the starting point - 457 - and he says now it'll be sixty-nine weeks until the Messiah begins His ministry. First there'd be the seven weeks - 49 years - while they're building the street and wall in troublous times. Then there'd be another sixty-two weeks - a total of sixty-nine, right? Now, when you're interpreting Bible prophecy, what is the principle that you're supposed to use? A day equals a year. You can read this - there's several verses in Ezekiel 4:6, "...I have appointed thee each day for a year." You can read Numbers 14:34, "...each day for a year." Even Jesus established this. One time they came to Christ, I think it's Luke 13, and they said, 'You'd better be careful, Jesus. John the Baptist has been arrested.' This is about six months into Jesus' ministry. Jesus said, 'Go tell that fox I teach, do cures, cast out devils. Today, tomorrow and the third day I will be perfected' - or completed. Jesus didn't teach three more days, He taught three more years. But He made a prophecy and He used the day for a year principle. So when you interpret these prophecies, that's the only way it even comes close to adding up.

Alright, question #8: The angel said that if you were to count 69 weeks from 457 B.C., you would come to Messiah the Prince. Did this happen? This - what I - when I was up in the cave and I read this, I was so excited when I realized how true prophecy is, I literally got up - I couldn't sit down anymore because I was so excited. I'm all by myself and I just started jumping up and down and praising God. I said, 'Wow! Christ came right on time the first time, just like He said He would. Why don't more people believe the Bible?'

So now, did it happen?' If you go - a day equals a year in prophecy - if you go four hundred and eighty-three years from 457 B.C., It comes to the baptism of Jesus in 27 A.D. Matthew 1:22 and 23, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." It says, specifically, in Daniel 9:24, part of the purpose would be "...and to anoint the Most Holy." Was Jesus anointed with the Holy Spirit when He was baptized? Did the Spirit come down like a dove? What marked the beginning of Jesus' ministry? His baptism.

You know, one of the most clearly established dates in the New Testament is Luke chapter 3, verse 1. Do you have your Bible? And the reason is, they give so many dates - he gives so many corresponding leaders during this time, there's very little doubt about when it was historically. Some of these ancient dates it's hard to pin down, but let me tell you what Dr. Luke did for us. Luke 3, verse 1, "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar" - that's not that hard to establish - "Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea" - that's one more benchmark - "Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother, Philip, tetrarch of Iturea and of the regions of Trachonitis, and lysanias Tetrach of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the Word of God came to John."

Look at all of those different leaders. You can triangulate all of those different points - triangulate would be only three - he gives about five different leaders. There's only one date in history when we know that they all corresponded - 27 A.D. It is such a well-established date. This is the year that Jesus was baptized. That is exactly the right time period after 457 B.C. Mark 1:15 - when Jesus began preaching you know what He said? "The time is fulfilled." Right after His baptism Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled." What time is he talking about? He's talking about the time from Daniel's prophecy. He was anointed. He began to preach.

This is what they were all waiting for. Every Jew read the prophecy of Daniel 9 wondering when the Messiah would come. Which also means, if they had been studying their Bibles back then the way they should have, they could have known the time of His birth because a high priest could not reign until he was thirty years of age - a priest couldn't serve until he was thirty. Joseph began to rule at thirty. David began to rule at thirty. Priests began to rule at thirty. They could have guessed the Messiah would begin His ministry at His thirtieth birthday - and that's when Jesus was baptized. Did you know that? It says, 'As Jesus began to be thirty years of age.' Also in Luke. All they had to do was count back thirty years from the anointing point and they could have guessed when he would have been born.

So we've got a couple of charts here that we're going to put up just to review what we're looking at. First we know, from 457 - you've got sixty-nine weeks - that would go 483 years to the point of His baptism - that would be 27 A.D. - And it happened right on time. And then it tells us - this is when the decree became - or began - with King Artaxerxes and up until the time of Christ's anointing - He began His ministry - He began His public work. But then there's one more week - notice it said, 'Seventy weeks are determined upon your people.' We're only dealing with sixty-nine weeks. What's happening to that last week? It says, 'For one week He will confirm the covenant with His people.' The last week is a time of confirming the covenant with His people, okay.

So, you have these time prophecies, you've got the decree - and I just want to make sure I keep up with my slides here - and then you've got the baptism of Jesus - you can see it on the screen there in A.D. 27 - Those are the sixty-nine prophetic weeks. We've got one final week there that takes place next. Go to #9 in your questions.

Question #9: What was to take place next in the prophecy? And you can read - the answer to that is - Daniel chapter 9, verses 26 and 27. It says, "After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for Himself." Who was He cut off for? For you. For me. He was cut off from the land of the living. Jesus laid down His life. In His prime He died for us. After that the Messiah would be cut off - you know, this was something that a lot of the religious leaders just didn't understand and they struggled with because they wanted the Messiah to come and flex His muscles and be a combination of King David and Sampson and overthrow the Romans and make them a world empire. Having a Messiah come that would die as a lamb didn't fit in very well with what their hopes and dreams were. Then it goes on and it says, "And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."

Alright, I want to pause here real quick. You got your Bibles? This - don't miss this - this is really, really, really important. Go to the book of Hebrews chapter 2 - it's in your New Testament - Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord," - for three and a half years Jesus ministered - "and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him." - Christ, I'm going to tell you what I'm going to say, then I'm going to say it, then I'll tell you what I told you because I know this is a deep study and a lot of material. You've got the 490-year prophecy - we all got that? The Lord breaks it up in three sections. First He says there's seven weeks - or 49 years - building the street and the wall again in troublous times. That's when they got re-established in the Promised Land. Then another 62 weeks of that 490 years go by - that reaches to 70 A.D. - It says the Messiah would be anointed.

So here we are, but there's one week left. The Messiah's anointed but Jesus doesn't preach seven years, He only preaches half of that. He preaches three and a half years in person and then He is cut off in the middle of that last week. That reaches to 34 A.D. - Christ dies in 31 A.D. He says, 'I will preach - I'm going to train My twelve apostles - I will preach' - and then He says - when He leaves and He goes to Heaven He tells the apostles, 'As the Father sent Me, so send I you.' But - catch this - Jesus did not say 'Go to the world' first. Matter of fact, He said, 'Don't go anywhere. Wait in Jerusalem until you receive the Holy Spirit and when you receive the Holy Spirit, you'll be My witnesses. First Jerusalem, then Judea' - I'm in acts chapter 1 - 'Then Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.'

When Christ sent them out preaching after He rose, He said, 'Go not in the way of the Gentiles but go, rather, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He wanted to finish confirming the covenant to His own people first. And, you know, I often hear people say, 'Well, you know, the Jews were the problem with Christianity.' That's really a misstatement because the whole early church was Jewish. The Bible that we read came from the Jews. The apostles were Jewish. When the day of Pentecost - thousands were baptized - who were they? It says in Acts chapter 2, 'There were now dwelling in Jerusalem devout Jews out of every nation under Heaven.' And so the Lord specifically kept his promise to Abraham. He said, 'I'm going to confirm the covenant to your people for a full seven years. Three and a half years through the Messiah - He will be cut off - then another three and a half years through those who heard Him, the apostles. You see, isn't that what we just read in Hebrews? He confirmed it, then He also did it through those who heard Him, right?

You remember when Jesus died on the cross? What happened in the temple at that time? The veil was ripped from top to bottom. You can read that in our next question. 2 Corinthians 3, verse 14, "...because the veil is taken away in Christ." Two things were torn when Jesus was tried and when He died on the cross. The high priest tore his robes. How many of you remember that? Caiaphas got mad and he tore his robes. The high priest was never to rend his garments. It's in the Levitical law. Do we have a new priesthood now? Doesn't the Bible say that we are kings and priests of God? 'You are a royal priesthood.'

And also the veil in the temple was torn. You know why? Because there's a different temple now. You see, there's two temples - there's one in Heaven and one on Earth. The Bible says 'What? Don't you know that ye' - plural, not just your body but you - 'are the temple of God.' Paul says, 'You are living stones, built up to a habitation of the Lord.' Jesus is the cornerstone in this new house. Christ said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' And they got all upset - 'What, are you threatening to demolish the temple?' And John says that He spoke about His body.

When Christ rose after three days, the church is called 'The body of Christ.' There is still a temple on earth. You and I are the priests. You and I are the living stones in that temple. And that's why this is such an important subject, because not understanding the subject of the temple in the last days - and there's still a temple in Heaven. Because when Moses - when he made the temple in the wilderness, it says he got the pattern from the original in Heaven where Christ now intercedes as our High Priest. But we're to be a living temple that God works through here on Earth, amen?

Alright, so we're just going to review another chart here. So we've got the decree that starts in 457 B.C. - You reach up to the baptism of Christ - for three and a half years Jesus preaches in person. He dies in A.D. 31. He preaches another three and a half years through the apostles and that would mark, then, the end of that 490-year prophecy. So this all happened perfectly, but there's one more prophecy given in Daniel chapter 8 that only has one starting point we've got to go back to.

Question #10: To whom did Jesus tell His disciples to first preach? Matthew chapter 10, verse 6, He said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles...but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." That's what they did. They went, principally, among the Jews and they went to the synagogues as they traveled through Asia for the first three and a half years.

What warning did Jesus give to the chosen people? Question #11: He says, "The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you," - this is Matthew 21:43 - "The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, ...and it will be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." Now, who is that other nation?

That's our next question - question #12: Who is the other nation spoken of by Jesus which would become His chosen people? This is very important. Galatians chapter 3, verse 29, "And if ye be" - say it with me - "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Now, is this Pastor Doug making something up or is this the words of the Bible? How many of you have accepted Christ? Then you are Abraham's seed and all the heirs - all the promises that God gave Abraham belong to you. Let me give you another one - Romans chapter 2, verses 28 and 29, "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; ...but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly." And the Bible says it's circumcision of the heart and not the flesh. Now don't misunderstand - I think I've mentioned I'm half Jewish and happy to embrace that. I'm proud of it - in a humble sort of way. How do you say that? But I want everyone to know that doesn't mean God doesn't still have a special work and purpose for the Jewish nation. Paul said we are grafted into the stock of Israel when we become Christians.

There's only one covenant made in the Bible. The new covenant is made - 'A new covenant I will make after those days,' saith the Lord, 'with the house of Israel.' So if you're going to accept the new covenant of Jesus and His blood and His sacrifice, you become at least a spiritual Jew - if you're Christ's then you're Abraham's seed. That's why it's still helpful to read the Old Testament, because you get adopted into all that heritage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Elijah, David, and the whole crowd. You become spiritual children. Isn't that exciting? Shalom, we're all related.

Alright, number - next chart. So then you've got the decree - going back to the chart one more time - we'll tie this off. You can look at the bottom part of this chart here - you've got the first sixty-nine weeks - Christ is baptized - three and a half years He preaches in person - three and a half years He preaches through the apostles - at the end of that, in 34 A.D., something happens.

Alright, go to your Bibles, real quick. Turn to Acts chapter 7. In Acts chapter 7, Stephen is the first martyr of the Christian church. After he was falsely tried by the same people who tried Jesus, he told them the wonderful Gospel that Peter had preached at Pentecost three and a half years earlier, but instead of repenting and saying, 'What must we do to be saved?' the supreme court - the leaders - the representatives of the nation plugged their ears. They gnashed their teeth. They didn't want to hear it. "Then they cried out" - verse 57 - Acts 7, verse 57 - sounds like a Boeing airplane - a 757 - "Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul." - Whose name is later changed to: Paul.

Wow, isn't this a pivotal point in history? 34 A.D. the nation officially plugs their ears and says, 'We don't want to hear about Jesus anymore.' They kill His representative the same way they killed Jesus - falsely tried, taken out of the city by a mob, executed, clothes are laid down - the clothes of Christ were taken away - and it says, if you read chapter 8, verse 1, "Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles." They went everywhere preaching. There was a great persecution and that just totally seals what happened here in that time period.

Alright, so Stephen is stoned, then in 34 A.D. At the same time that Stephen is stoned, Paul is converted - that happens in Acts chapter 7. You know what happens in acts chapter 10? Peter has a vision and he takes the Gospel to the Gentiles - Cornelius and his household. Now they stop preaching to just Jews. God tells Peter, 'Don't call any man unclean. I want everybody - whosoever will - to come into my kingdom.' It took them a while to be able to grasp that.

Question #13: According to the angel who spoke with Daniel, what would happen at the end of the 2,300-year period of time? Answer: it says in Daniel 8:14, "And he said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Alright, so now, starting at 457 B.C. You go 2,300 and you know when that comes? Two thousand - that's the longest time period in the Bible. That reaches to 1844. It tells us that the sanctuary would be cleansed. There's a special cleansing. Now I've got to tell you really quick. Once a year the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies - at the end of their religious year - and he would symbolically go through this ritual that cleansed them from the sins that had built up during the year and their sacrifices.

In 1844, a number of very important things happened. I'll put a chart up here. First of all, God began cleansing the sanctuary in Heaven. He began cleansing the sanctuary on Earth - a movement arose back then. I put together a little list here that I thought was kind of interesting. You know what happened in 1844 - for one thing? Charles Darwin wrote his 'Origin of Species' and you really had the birth of Evolutionism - of the evolution teaching. - A guy named Karl Marx - by the way, Darwin was the child of a pastor. Karl Marx, he wrote his 'Communist Manifesto.' You got the birth of Communism that led to great Atheism - two of those things together. First electronic message was sent. A guy named Samuel Morse - Morse code. You know what the message was? 'What hath God wrought?' YMCA was founded. Joseph Smith was slain. The Baha'I faith - looking at Daniel 8 - same prophecy - they came to the same time period but they said something totally different happened at that time.

It's interesting - other groups - Joseph Smith went - Wolff, rather, went around the world - a guy named Joseph Wolff - a Jewish preacher. And the movement that is bringing you this series of studies really found its beginning back then because in 1844, Christians all over the world thought that Jesus was coming. They called it 'The Great Advent Movement.' It had nothing to do with Seventh-day Adventists because there were no Seventh-day Adventists back then. The word 'advent' means 'coming.' They thought Jesus was coming. How many of you have heard of this before? They call it 'The Millerite Movement.' There were Baptists and Methodists, Presbyterian and Congregationalists, and when Jesus didn't come, they said, 'Look, it's not God's will we have all these different denominations. We've got to put aside our differences and study the Bible together and find out where have we drifted?

And all of a sudden the Lord began a movement that brought them all back to the Word of God. And that translated into a movement that is now 17 million strong and going around the world. And they're helping sponsor these meetings that you're receiving right now - people who are saying that Christians in the last days need to return to the Bible. Revelation tells us there are seven churches. The last age of the church is called what? Laodicea. You know what that means? 'A judging of the people.' And we entered the last phase of the history of the church in 1844 and boy, have things changed in the Industrial Age since then.

Friends, I look, I still have a little lesson left and I'm out of time. But I just wanted to cover as much of this material - I told you that it was going to be intense. I want you to know that God's Word never fails. Look at that - Jesus came right on time, when He prophesied it.

Some of you may have questions on this subject and I hope that you'll feel comfortable writing those questions in and let me know what you're thinking. I've got more I'd like to share with you about this but we're going to have to just go off the air with prayer. I'd like to invite Laura to come out. She's going to sing a few verses of a beautiful song and then we'll close with prayer after we go off the air, for our group that's watching.

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole.

I want thee forever to live in my soul.

Break down every idol,

Cast out every foe.

Now wash me and I shall be

Whiter than snow.

The whole purpose of this message is that we might be involved in the washing that happened in that sanctuary. That's where sin was washed away. Do you want that experience? That's my prayer. If Jesus came right on time the first time, just as He prophesied, and he said, 'I will come again.' Can we believe His Word? Yes. Amen. Let's ask Him to help us be ready.

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