The Hero of Revelation, Pt. 2

The Hero of Revelation, Pt. 2

Scripture: Daniel 9:24-25, Isaiah 61:1
Date: 02/18/2017 
The book of Revelation is about Jesus. He is the central figure and hero. Part 2 of 2

Revelation: The Bride,The Beast & Babylon - DVD or Download

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One of the most famous attractions in the San Francisco Bay area is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. During its construction, the Golden Gate Bridge had one of the best safety construction records of any project during that time. Because of the extreme risks, the chief engineer was absolutely adamant about their using the most rigorous safety precautions that had ever been used in bridge building. But the most conspicuous safety measure was a gigantic net suspended from end-to-end under the bridge about halfway between the bridge and the bay. During construction, this net saved the lives of 19 men who were later known as the Halfway to Hell club. With the net in place, these men were much more courageous and brave during construction because they knew there was a mechanism to protect them if they should fall.

Friends, as Christians we get to participate with Jesus in building a bridge that will connect Heaven and Earth. There are dangers along the way, but Jesus has promised to protect us, and we don't need to be afraid. So join me now as we discover the fascinating Bible facts about the Hero of Revelation.

During the Civil War, there was this one individual that really surprised everybody. His name was Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He was actually from Maine. He was a schoolteacher, English major, actually majored in rhetoric and different languages, seemed like something of a bookworm. But he had very strong convictions about slavery. And when, finally, the Civil War broke out, even though his family was very religious and he, maybe, was a pacifist by nature, he thought the cause deserves that we lay our lives down for this, and he joined the forces.

Because of his education they quickly promoted him. And the next thing he knew, he was involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. Some of the soldiers under him were a little worried. They said, "This guy is always reading. He's a bookworm, he's a lamb." and he seems so polite and he seems so articulate, they thought, "What's he going to do on the battlefield?"

Well, it turned out, in one of the biggest and the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, 50,000 people died in one day. It's been the bloodiest battle in American history, in any of our wars. The south was trying to take this hill, and they were trying to flank around the troops of the north, and Chamberlain knew that he needed to hold that hill at all cost and they… for three days, the battle raged, and the South continued to throw soldiers at that hill trying to get behind the troops and to defeat them. And they fought the group from Maine that he was over, they fought until they ran out of ammunition. And finally, he told them, "Fix your bayonets and charge." When they were coming up the hill after them, he told his men to charge back at them with just bayonets. And it so terrified the Southerners that they turned and they ran. They didn't realize they had run out of bullets. They later called him, instead of the lamb, they called him the Lion of Little Round Top. Little Round Top was the hill that they were defending.

Well, you know, Jesus, when He comes again, He's coming like a lion. When He came the first time, He came like a lamb. But He is the central focus of the entire Bible. And our presentation tonight, dealing with the Hero of Revelation, is part of our Prophecy Encounter series. I've got a lot of material to cover. You may want to have a pen or pencil handy because we're going to give you some notes. We're going to be looking at prophecies in Revelation, in Daniel, and all through the Bible, that show us who Jesus is, so we can know that He is the central focus. If you look in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel is praying. God's people are captives in Babylon. He's saying, "We've been here 70 years." Daniel is reading the prophecy of Jeremiah that said after 70 years they would go home. So even Daniel read the prophets. And he's praying saying, "Lord, we've been here 70 years. How long? How long will you tolerate your people? How long till the Savior the Messiah comes?"

While Daniel is praying, the angel Gabriel comes, same one that appears to Mary, and he hasn't aged a bit when he appears to Mary at 500 years later. And he gives this prophecy, "70 weeks are determined for your people…" I’m in Daniel 9:24, "for their holy city, to finish transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and the prophecy…" talking about the visions about the coming of the Messiah, "and anoint the Most Holy." Very clear that this is a prophecy that talked about the Most Holy being anointed, 70 weeks. So what does the 70 weeks represent?

Now, in the Bible, a day equals a year. First let's talk about the starting point here. It tells us that it says, "From the going forth of the commandment…" If you read in Daniel 9:25, what's the starting point for this prophecy? "From the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem." Jerusalem had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. The Persian king, Artaxerxes, issued a decree. You can find that in your Bible in Ezra chapter 7. That they could go back and he also helped subsidize their mission to rebuild the city, to rebuild the temple. And the Bible says that would be the starting point of this 70 week prophecy. "From the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, there'll be seven weeks…"

Now he breaks up that 70 weeks into three parts: there'll be seven weeks, and 62 weeks, then you have your final week. Okay? And so seven weeks was the time it took them to rebuild the walls and the streets and troublous times in the temple. Then there were 62 more weeks, the Most Holy would be anointed. Then during that last week, He would confirm the covenant with the people, but in the midst of that last week He'd make the sacrifice cease. Now I've said it, I’m going to say it several times because I know this is a lot of information, and I want you to have this clear in your mind.

First of all, when you're dealing with a large Bible time prophecy like this, there's a pretty safe principle that you apply a day for a year. And there's three references there, you can see that support that principle. Now I’m going to put a chart up on the screen and explain this time prophecy. You see the decree is given 457 B.C. Artaxerxes you can find it in Ezra 7. It's a pretty well accepted date in ancient history. And so, 483 years after the command is when you would expect to see the Messiah anointed. He begins His ministry. He then confirms the covenant with God's people for the last seven years. In the midst of that last seven years He makes the sacrifice cease. Stay with me.

All right, Jesus was baptized when? You can read in the gospel of John 1:29. He came to John the Baptist, and it says, "John saw Jesus coming to him and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!'" You know, if you read in Luke, it tells us that the year that John was preaching when Jesus was baptized, it talks about Pontius Pilate being in power. You've got Tiberius Caesar, you've got Herod. There is only one year in history when these three characters, their reigns overlapped and it was 27 A.D. 27 A.D. is exactly 483 years after King Artaxerxes' decree in 457. That's when the Messiah was baptized.

What happened at the baptism of Jesus? You can read in Acts 10:38 where Peter said, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit…" He was the anointed, the Christ. "and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." and so Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit exactly 483 years, but now you've got one week left still to get to 490, right?

Now we're going to talk about what happened during the ministry of Jesus. We're parking the prophecy of Daniel. So you all with me? We're going to come back to it. It said that He would confirm the covenant during this week. What did Jesus do during that time? Let's look at the ministry of Christ and are there prophecies about the ministry of Christ? So I’m putting layers in here. Prophecies in prophecies. Isaiah 61:1, first sermon Jesus preached He quotes from this in Nazareth, His home church. He said, "The spirit of God is upon Me because the Lord has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor."

Christ is the Anointed. He's telling people, "I am the Anointed." "He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…" Did Jesus do that? "to proclaim liberty to the captives…" People captive by the devil and sin. "and the opening of prison to those who are bound." He came to set the captive free and to proclaim liberty to the captives and the great day of the Lord. And people that came to hear Jesus preach, you know, spies were sent to arrest Him and they came back and the leader said, "Where is He? We told you to arrest Him." You know what their answer was? "Never man spoke like this man."

And I can testify to you, that was my impression because I grew up believing that Jesus was… in our home, my mom didn't say very nice things about Jesus. Came, like I said, from a Jewish background, and we thought Christians were the problem. My Jewish relatives, they'd say, "Oh, yeah, Jesus was… He was a good man. He was a teacher." And I would ask my grandfather, I’d say, "Now you realize that He said He was the Messiah. Do you think He told the truth?" They said, "Oh, yeah, He was a good man. He was a teacher. He's a prophet." "Well, He said He was the Son of God. He said He was the only one. He's the only door." And so they used to kind of stumble over that. So I was very antagonistic about Jesus.

When I finally started reading the Bible, so I could argue with Christians. And I’d read where it says, "He that is without sin cast the first stone." I had heard that expression all my life. I said, "Oh, Jesus said that." "Turn the other cheek." Oh, Jesus said that. "Go the second mile." And all of these things I was reading in the Sermon on the Mount, I’m going, "I've been hearing these things all my life. I had no idea that Jesus said them." I said, "Wow, He was really smart." I mean, He just said, He's the most quoted person in history. Nobody ever spoke like this Man spoke.

Now you look at the prophecies and the events surrounding the cross. Are there some of those in the Old Testament? For one thing, just the week before He was crucified, they call it the triumphal entry. "Rejoice greatly, o daughter…" by the way, this is Zechariah 9:9, "rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you. He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."

And then you go to the New Testament and then you see the story where Jesus rode into Jerusalem through the golden gate on a donkey. Justice had been foretold with all the people rejoicing. By the way, a little amazing fact I'll throw in. If you go to Jerusalem today, you'll see this picture of what they call the Golden Gate. There's something odd about that. It's all bricked up. That is the gate that Jesus rode through. You know why it's bricked up? Because when the Muslims took Jerusalem, they knew the Jewish prophecies said, in Zechariah, "The Messiah would ride through this gate." They wanted to prevent that from happening. So I think it was Suleiman the Magnificent, he had it all blocked off and they put a cemetery in front of it to desecrate the ground to prevent the Jewish Messiah from coming. But they were about 700 years too late.

Don't go anywhere, friends. We will be back in just a moment to complete today's presentation. Can you imagine what it would be like to be out in the middle of a dark ocean by yourself floating around and then discover you're surrounded by hungry sharks? You would be so thankful if a helicopter came by to rescue you. Well, you know, we have a study guide that talks about salvation and it's called "Saved From Certain Death." In this beautifully illustrated Scripture-filled resource, we will answer the big questions about salvation. What must I do to be saved? How can I have peace in my heart? How do I live a victorious life, and share my faith with others? To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen or visit amazingfacts.org, and ask for offer number 109. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let's get back now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the word of God.

Are there prophecies about the betrayal of Jesus? Yes, quite a few. Matter of fact, you can read in Psalms, a thousand years before Jesus was born, King David wrote, "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, he has lifted up his heel against me." After they ate bread together, Judas went out and he betrayed Him. And then, again, you read in Zechariah, it says, and this is 11, verse 12, "Then I said to them, 'If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages, and, if not, refrain.' So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.'" How much was Jesus sold for? Thirty pieces of silver, exactly. And then it goes on to say, "And the Lord said to me, 'Throw it to the potter,' that princely price that they set upon me. So they took the thirty pieces of silver and they threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter." You know what Judas did with the money when he was overcome with guilt? He went into the House of the Lord, he threw the silver down. They did not know what to do with the money because it was blood money. They used it to buy a potter's field to bury strangers in. What precise details were foretold hundreds of years earlier, thousand years earlier. No, this one hundreds of years earlier regarding the betrayal of Christ.

Amen.

What about the manner of His death? Was that foretold? You realize when some of these prophecies were written, they didn't practice crucifixion. But you look in Psalm 22. Now, do you know what the first words are in Psalm 22? "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?" does that sound familiar? That's what Jesus uttered from the cross. People think, "Did he say that because he was discouraged?" No, Jesus said that because later in that Psalm you find these other predictions. Read in Psalm 22:16, "For dogs have surrounded me, the congregation of the wicked has enclosed me. They pierced My hands and My feet…" describing crucifixion.

It's in that same Psalm, that Messianic Passover Psalm where He says, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?" Christ had not lost courage, He was directing them to the Psalm that showed the very thing that was happening that day as He hung up on the cross. It says, "They divided My garments among them, and they cast lots for My clothing." What a precise detail. And then you read, of course, in the New Testament there, Mark 15:24 at the foot of the cross, "When they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take." Gambling there at the foot of the cross.

But when they came to Jesus, it also says none of His bones would be broken in that prophecy in Psalm 22. It says, "When they came to Jesus after breaking the bones of the thief on the right and the left, they saw He was already dead and they did not break His legs." Notice John goes on. John quotes from the prophecy, "But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out." Talks about Christ, the Messiah being pierced. Blood and water came out but they did not break His bones. It says, "For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, 'not one of His bones would be broken.'" And again another scripture says, "They look on Him whom they had pierced." Quoting again that scripture, Jesus was pierced, His bones were not broken, He was crucified, they gambled for His clothing. Was He the one? Do the prophecies all talk about Jesus?

Now I told you, don't forget about Daniel. We're going back now to Daniel chapter 9. We got one week to go. And it says, "After the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself." Was Jesus cut off?

Yes.

And when a person dies of old age, that's not being cut off. But when they're 30 years old, 33 and a half, He died in His prime. He was cut off from the land of the living. But not for Himself, for who?

For us.

For me, for you. He died for you as though you were the only one who had ever sinned. He loves you that much. And then it said, "He would confirm the covenant with many for one week." So that last seven years, from His baptism until seven years later, He is confirming the covenant with the Jewish people. Three and a half years in person, three and a half years through the apostles, until, finally the first Christian martyr, which is Stephen, he is tried by the Jewish supreme court for his faith. They do the same thing to him they did to Jesus. They bring him out of the city. He's falsely accused and then he is executed and he prays for the forgiveness of those who kill him, the same thing Jesus did.

In the middle of the week he causes, He makes the offering and the sacrifice to cease. Three and a half years after Jesus was baptized, when He dies on the cross, what happened in the temple? You read in Matthew 27:51, "Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split…" and the veil of the temple is torn, showing that the purpose for that sanctuary was complete. Jesus said, "Destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I will make one without hands." He spoke of His body, the church. Two things were torn, the temple was torn and the high priest tore his garments. We now have a new priesthood. If you are a believer in Christ, then you are part of that royal priesthood. Amen?

And we also have a new temple. If you are a believer in Christ, you are a living stone in that building. That's what Paul and Peter say. We are the household of God. Church is not a building, church is the people.

Now, go back, I want you to see the chart again. And you notice here, we got from the decree until the 69 weeks are complete, you've got 483 years and 69 weeks. Four hundred and eighty three days and a day is a year. Christ is baptized 27 A.D. He confirms a covenant with God's people for another week before the gospel goes to the Gentiles. Three and a half years in person, then He dies and He causes the sacrifice to cease. Then He does another three and a half years through those that heard Him.

And you'll find this is in Hebrews 2:3 where it says that, "How shall we escape…" notice this. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord…" 27 A.D. from His baptism began to preach for three and a half years until He was executed. "And was confirmed to us by those that heard Him," for three and a half years. Do you know the Jews did not go when Christ rose? They did not go to the world yet. He said, "First begin in Jerusalem and Judea." He says, "Do not go, but first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The apostles' ministry for the first three and a half years was exclusively to the Jewish nation. At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is poured out, it says there were devout Jews dwelling in Jerusalem from every nation. They preached to Jews. In Acts chapter 3, Acts chapter 5, they're all Jews being baptized.

It wasn't until Stephen was stoned, it says, "A great persecution arose and the gospel went everywhere." Then Paul is converted, following that, in the next chapter. Peter then goes to Cornelius and starts to preach to the Gentiles who he had been calling unclean. Finally the gospel began to go to everyone. That was exactly 490 years after, as Daniel had said that prophecy. You've got the decree, 457, the baptism of Jesus marks the last week of that prophecy, first three and a half years He confirms the covenant. He then causes the sacrifice to cease by His death on the cross. Then He says to the disciples, "As the Father sent me, now you go confirm the covenant with the lost sheep for another three and a half years. Stephen is stoned. And He says, "Now the gospel goes to the Gentiles and everybody, whosoever will.

This is exactly what God said would happen. There's no question that Jesus was the Messiah that Daniel foretold. And I've even got a quote here from Josephus, the Jewish historian, that to me it just blows me away. Josephus, Flavius Josephus was a contemporary of the apostles and he wrote this from the time of Christ. "Now there was about this time, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to Him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles, He was the Christ." This is coming from a Jewish scholar who is not writing in the Bible. It says, "And when Pilate, at the suggestion of principal people among us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him, for He appeared to them alive again after the third day."

So this is not just the Bible, friends, this is history. And even this Jewish historian says, "Yeah, He was the Messiah, He appeared, He rose from the dead." "As the divine prophets had foretold these things and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribe of Christian continues with us and they are not extinct even to this day."

So I want you to consider what we've looked at here. There are prophecies that tell about the time of His birth, that He'd be born of a virgin, the time of His baptism, the type of ministry, the events of His betrayal, the manner of His execution, His resurrection, His ascension. This is all foretold in the Old Testament. And then people say, "Pastor Doug, we had a question I didn't read tonight. How do you know the Bible is true?" I’m going, pff! What evidence will you accept? What evidence will you accept? The book has been supernaturally preserved. Everything it says has come true. And Jesus is the best evidence of all.

Amen.

You start to put the pieces together, friends, and you can see Jesus is what the whole Bible is talking about. Amen?

Amen.

So why did He come? Three quick reasons we're going to review. One He came as our example. Jesus, He said, "I've given you an example that you should walk as I've walked." Jesus Christ came and that, by the way, is John 13:15. "I want you to live as I have lived." A Christian is a follower of Christ. He came to show us the Father, is the second reason He came. He said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." And then, finally, He said, "I've come because I want to take your place." He is our substitute. He died as a sacrifice for our sins because He loves us. But there's something that we need to do. We need to accept that sacrifice in our behalf.

Amen.

You know, when Jesus was being tried, Pilate said to Him, "What am I supposed to do with Jesus who is called the Christ?" Everyone really needs to answer that question. He is the central figure of human history. All of history dated from His birth. You cannot just ignore Jesus. God has given an incredible gift that we might be forgiven.

Amen.

I remember reading a story years ago about this, a railway switch keeper in Prussia over in Europe where they had this span that crossed the bridge, a railroad track crossed the river and there was a drawbridge. And whenever the train was approaching it would toot its whistle and he would raise this flag and said, "All clear, keep going." And one day, while he was at his station waiting for the train, it tooted the whistle and he gave the all clear sign. But that was also a day that he had brought his 4-year-old son with him to work and he had taken his eyes off his son who had wandered out on the trestle and he saw the train coming. Knowing the speed of the train, seeing how far out on the track his son was, he thought, "What do I do? If I leave the bridge up, the train will go off and all those people will perish in the river. If I don't switch the train off the track, my son is going to perish."

And so he shouted out to his son, "Lay down now. Lay down and do not move." And he knew the boy couldn't outrun the train and the boy just lay down. The bridge went down, the train went across the river and the man never knew, and the people went by, they are waving at the man in the booth. They had no idea that what the decision he had just made. After the train passed, he ran out there expecting maybe to find the mangled remains of his children. His boy had obeyed and he was alive. The whole train went over him. Next day the King of Prussia gave that man a reward for being willing to sacrifice his son to save all those people. His son did not die.

You've probably heard variations of that story. But it is true that our Father gave His Son and He did die. And a lot of the world doesn't even know, as they go on their merry way, they're alive today because of the grace of God, because the penalty for sin is death. And why aren't these people all dead? Because Jesus, by His sacrifice, bought the human race time, probation to make a decision. We've got just this life. One life to make a decision. That's why all the prophecies are there that you might have an encounter with Jesus.

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