Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 82
TRIBULATION PROPHECY- 1
Daniel 9:25 – 11:31
Okay, good to see everybody in this afternoon. We realize there’s folks here from Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama. Did I miss anybody? We’re glad that all of you folks came in. And for those of you joining us on television, again, we want to welcome you to another Bible study. We are presently going verse-by-verse through the Book of Daniel. We again want to thank you for your prayers, your letters, and your financial help—all that makes this possible.
All right, we’re not going to waste any time for announcements. We’re going to go right back to where we left off in our last program—which for those of you in the studio, again, was a month ago. Back to Daniel chapter 9 and we’ll go on back to verse 24. Jerry’s got 25 on the board, which is a-okay. But let’s go back to verse 24, which is the beginning of this tremendous benchmark of Bible prophecy.
You just cannot be a student of prophecy if you do not have an understanding of this portion of Scripture in Daniel 9:24 to the end. Because, again, it just refutes the scoffer, because this is so accurate. And that’s what drives them up the wall. Then they begin to accuse that—oh, this was written long after the fact, and that Daniel was just a forgery. But, not true. Daniel was recognized as a prophet by the Lord Himself in Matthew 24. So we can rest on the promises that this is the revealed, inspired Word of God, and this prophecy is absolutely necessary to understand our end-time events. All right, verse 24:
“Seventy weeks (Or seventy sevens of years—that’s 490 years.) are determined upon thy people (Now watch the language. God is addressing Daniel and the “thy people”, of course, of Daniel was the Nation of Israel.) are determined upon thy people (the Nation of Israel) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,…”
Now, I have to stop. I can’t help it. I wasn’t planning on that, but something just came into mind. Here about a month ago in one of my classes here in Oklahoma the subject came up – how much of the world did God reconcile to Himself when He finished the work of the Cross? All of it! And see, that’s hard for people to comprehend. Well, then we skipped from reconciliation to forgiveness. How much of the world’s sin was forgiven as a result of the Cross? All of it! And one gentleman, just almost aghast, said, “You mean to tell me that everybody’s sin is already forgiven?” And I said, “Yes.” Well, I tried to prove as much as I could from Scripture, but I don’t think the guy was satisfied.
And you know, the next day I had in the mail a book that somebody had sent to me. I don’t remember the author’s name, but it was dealing with that very subject. Within two or three days, I got another book from some other part of the country dealing with the same subject. And before I got back to that class, I had a third one. So, I went armed with three books all dealing with the fact that when Christ finished the work of the Cross, He reconciled every human being. He forgave all the sin of every human being.
Now, you see, that’s beyond us. That’s why it had to be God Himself who did it. No humans could have ever accomplished that. But now that does not make everybody go into Heaven when they die. It just means it’s possible. God has already done everything that needed to be done for the salvation of every human being, and all mankind has to do is believe it for their salvation. He died for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose again!
And that brings up—now I’m going off Daniel. I can’t help that. I’m going off Daniel. Come back to John’s Gospel chapter 1. This just substantiates that the work of the Cross made reconciliation possible for every human being from Adam to the end. It made forgiveness a reality for the same number of people, because Christ did it all. All right, now that’s what makes this verse so pertinent.
“That (speaking of Jesus as John the Baptist was announcing Him) that was the true Light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Anybody exempt? No. In other words, everything that Christ did was not just for the few. It was for the total number. But what’s the sad reality? The only ones that can cash in on it are those who take it by faith. So what happens to most of them? It’s for nothing. And that’s what so heartbreaking—that here Christ has accomplished all of that. He went through the suffering and the death of the Cross so that He could bring reconciliation and forgiveness to the whole human race, and yet only the small few cash in and take it by faith. Well, I didn’t intend to do that, but evidently there’s a reason. So, here it is.
“…to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,…” He did everything that was needed to take care of the sin problem and to make reconciliation. Now that’s a word that you only see spoken again, if I’m not mistaken, in Paul’s Epistles. I think it’s II Corinthians chapter 5 where we have reconciliation brought up.
But anyway, getting back to the prophecy part of it now, there would be 490 years from the time of a decree—that we’re going to look at here in a little bit—from a decree that went out from the Mede and Persian King to rebuild the city walls until this finished work of the Cross could be accomplished. Four hundred and ninety years. All right, now we jump into verse 25 and we see these 490 years broken into three categories. The first one is 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 shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (Or 62 weeks times seven, which is 434 years) the street shall be built again, and the wall, (The city and everything would be built.) even in troublous times.”
All right, now let’s just go back a moment before we go any further and determine when was this commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which is going to be the trigger-day of these 490 years. Go back with me to Nehemiah. That’s back right after the Kings and the Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah. We’ll probably be seeing it a little later this afternoon, but you’ve got to remember—there were two decrees given to the Jewish people out in that Babylonian captivity.
Now, I trust you all realize, and remember, now, that for the last several programs we’ve been dealing with Daniel and Israel in that Babylonian captivity. But there were two decrees that brought it to an end. The first one was given by Cyrus, not to Nehemiah, but to Ezra. And his job was to take a group of Jews back to Israel, back to Jerusalem, and rebuild the Temple. Because, after all, you’ve got to remember that this four hundred and some year period of time is going to take us to Christ’s First Advent. And by the time Jesus comes and appears to the Nation of Israel, the Temple has to be operating. So God in His foreknowledge has prompted Cyrus to give Ezra the decree to go back and rebuild the Temple.
Well, then some years later the next king in that line of Persian and Mede Kings was Darius. He gave the commandment to Nehemiah to—not rebuild the Temple, that’s Ezra’s job. Nehemiah is to restore the city wall and the gates. Now again, you have to understand ancient history. How long would a city of any worth last if they didn’t have a defensive wall? Well, not long. So that was always the first prerequisite. It was to get that wall of defense with its gates and so forth. So the second king after Cyrus who gave Ezra the command to rebuild the Temple is Darius; and he’s going to give the orders to Nehemiah.
All right, Nehemiah chapter 2 and remember, now, this is the decree that is dating the 490 years. Not the decree to rebuild the Temple, but the decree that Daniel uses as a starting point of this 490-year prophecy. Here it is. Chapter 2 verse 1:
“And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, (That’s our April, in the spring.) in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.” Now remember, this isn’t Daniel; this is Nehemiah.
“Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I (Nehemiah) was very sore afraid.” If you read history and the account of some of these historians, you’ve got to almost pick up a little bit of the personality of these Oriental Kings.
They were egotists that you wouldn’t believe. And if they thought that one of their servants was unhappy, it was a reflection on him. So, what would he do? Destroy him. Get rid of this guy. This is what I think put the fear into Nehemiah. It was that the king recognized that he wasn’t happy. So, what does he do? He prayed. Well, I don’t blame him. His life was on the line, whether you know it or not.
“And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, (Jerusalem) the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?” As a result of that Babylonian destruction, you know, seventy or eighty years earlier.
“Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? (What did Nehemiah do? Now, I like to take little portions of Scripture. This has a tremendous lesson. Do you know that? Just these four or five words–) and I prayed to the God of heaven.” How did he do it? Did he run to his prayer closet and get down on his knees? He didn’t dare say a word in front of the king. So, how did he pray? Silently. He didn’t even move his lips.
I remember one time—you remember that, Honey? We were up on the Temple Mount and the guide told us—you know we can’t carry a Bible, and for goodness sakes don’t pray moving your lips. Because the Muslim police are all around us watching, and if they would have caught you moving your lips in prayer, they’d have jerked you out.
All right, so Nehemiah was no different. He didn’t dare even move his lips as he’s standing there before Darius the king. So, what’s the lesson? When can you pray? Anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance—and you can pray silently, you don’t have to move your lips. You don’t have to speak out loud.
Now, let me give you a Scripture. Keep your hand in Nehemiah. Now we’re on the matter—you pray wherever you are, whatever the circumstances, and that’s fine with God. He hasn’t laid down a stipulation that you go up to the Temple the fourth hour of the day. Come back with me to I Timothy chapter 2 and verse 8 and keep Nehemiah as your example.
Here he’s standing before an Oriental king who would just as soon give the command to take him out and kill him as look at him. He dare not let that king realize that he’s praying. But he is. Scripture says he is. All right, now look what Paul tells us in I Timothy chapter 2 verse 8.
I Timothy 2:8a
“I will therefore that men pray (Where?) every where,…” Not in a particular prayer closet. Not in some sanctuary. Not down at the altar. Anywhere! And that’s our glorious privilege, that we can come into the throne room. Well, the Book of Hebrews says the same thing—come boldly into the throne room of Heaven in our time of need.
Okay, back to Nehemiah. Here is this young Jew, now, who is just a cupbearer, a servant of Darius the king, and the king recognizes that he’s just not up to par. He’s got something bothering him. The problem was—he was homesick for Jerusalem. Just like Daniel was as we saw in one of our other programs. “So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Now verse 5, back to Nehemiah 2.
“And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.” The city—in other words, basically get the wall and the gates repaired.
“And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.” Now here it comes. This is what Daniel is referring to, and that’s why I’m taking the time to show it to you—verse 7.
“Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters (See?) let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; 8. And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest,…”
Well, that stands to reason. If you’re going to build something, you’ve got to have material. And the chief source of wood and building material, of course, was Lebanon. The cedars of Lebanon were one of their favorite building materials. So he needs permission for all this in order to accomplish anything.
“And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” So, what’s he got? He’s got the decree to go back and rebuild the city walls, rebuild and fix the gates of the city. He has all the pertinent permission that he needed to get the lumber and the timbers from the cedars of Lebanon.
All right, now come back with me to Daniel chapter 9. That is the beginning date of this decree. Now, archaeologists a long time ago, I think back to the 1800’s when they were still having access to one of the great libraries in the Middle East—which, of course, were shut down later. But in one of those libraries, they actually found this decree. Dated in March, I think it was the 14th if I’m not mistaken, but it was in the year 454 B.C. Now remember, this is before Christ.
Maybe I can put it on the board, and that way you’ll remember it a little bit better. We’ll start back here with Nehemiah’s decree. Like I said, I think it was March 14th, if I remember right, 454 B.C. All right, now we take that ahead 49 years, or seven weeks of years (when Ezra rebuilt the Temple), and that brings us up to 405 B.C. All right, now I think the reason that Scripture and the Holy Spirit, or however you want to put it, has broken a time factor here, is that this probably, and I can’t set this in concrete. But it just almost seems that 405 B.C. is when Ezra, who went earlier, had completed rebuilding the Temple. They had a chapel dedication, and they were now ready to once again restore Temple worship. That was, as near as I can tell, about that 405 B.C. period. So there was probably a celebration that the Temple was being rededicated and so forth that the Scripture has seen fit to break it down into this 49 period of years. All right, now let’s go on in verse 25 again.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (given to Nehemiah) to restore and to build Jerusalem (to restore the city and the city walls) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
Now we go for another total. Not only the seven weeks up to 405, but now there’s going to be another threescore and two—three times twenty is sixty plus two, so there’s going to be another 62 weeks of years. If you’ve got your calculator with you, that’s 434 years. I hope it is.
All right, so now you go another 434 years. But remember, we’re talking in terms of B.C. and A.D. now, till we come all the way through. We’re going to come past the time of the birth of Christ, and we’re going to travel all the way to A.D. 29 and the Cross—which completes 483 years of the 490 years of Daniel’s prophecy. I hope I’ve got my numbers right.
All right, now let’s go back and look at it again. So, threescore and two weeks (62 weeks of years) times seven makes for a total of 434 years after the first 49 years of rebuilding the temple. That takes you up to A.D. 29 and a total of 483 years of the 490 years of prophecy.
Daniel 9: 26a
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (Now, that’s where you have to take it slow.) the people of the prince that shall come (Now who’s the prince that’s coming? The anti-Christ! That’s the small letter “p” in this verse 26. And where is he going to come from? The empire that–) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…” The Temple the second time and who was that? Rome in A.D. 70.
Now, I hope I’m not going too fast and not confusing. So, from Nehemiah’s decree until the Cross is 483 years. Now, that is so explicit to be prophetic. See, that’s why it drives them up the wall. We’ve got seven years unfulfilled of that prophecy. Okay, two minutes left, we’ve got to hurry. Let’s look at verse 26 again.
“And after threescore and two weeks (483 years of the prophecy) shall Messiah be cut off, (crucifixion) but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…” The second time which was in A.D. 70.
Now you want to remember, the Babylonians destroyed it the first time—the Temple and the city in 606 B.C. All right, now they’ve come and rebuilt the Temple and the city of Jerusalem again, only to have it all done over a second time in A.D. 70, which was 40 years, of course, beyond the Cross.
So, we’ve still got that seven years unfulfilled, which we will recognize in another program as the seven years of Tribulation. But get one thing out of verse 26 so that you’ll never lose it—and that is that this anti-Christ, this prince that shall come, is going to come out of the empire that destroys Jerusalem and the Temple the second time. And that was Rome. The Roman Empire.
Now you see, at the time that Daniel is writing, the Roman Empire hasn’t even appeared the first time. The Roman Empire is still out in the future. That’s what makes all of this so hard for the scoffer to accept—that Daniel had such perfect revelation of the future, that even though it hadn’t happened, history proved that it did.
All right, I’ve only got a few seconds left, so we’ll finish verse 26.
“…the prince that shall come shall (come out of the empire that will) destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof (building up to that time) shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” And, of course, there Daniel is referring to the horrors of the Tribulation that will leave not only Jerusalem and the land of Israel in desolation, but it will be worldwide. This whole planet will have to be totally destroyed in order to be regenerated and ready for the King.