"HOW LONG TILL THE END?"
I. THE REMARKABLE INSIGHTS THAT GOD GAVE TO DANIEL CONCERNING THE FUTURE.
A. The prophecies of Daniel are so precise and accurate that it has led the Bible critics to try to late date the writings of Daniel.
1. They claim that they were written after the fact by an unnamed scribe who put the name of Daniel on them.
2. Why have they made this conclusion?
a. Because they have great evidence and proof that this happened? No.
b. Simply because he spoke with such accuracy of the events that would take place in the future. It would be impossible for him to know these things.
c. Of course this position must be taken by them because they deny the divine inspiration of the scriptures.
d. A fact that the book of Daniel proves.
e. If you accept their logic, you would have to conclude that the book of Daniel has not been written yet, for he speaks with great preciseness of the things that are happening in our world today, and some things that have not yet happened, but seem on the verge of happening.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream [is] certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
B. It seems that God gave to Daniel the timetable for the future.
1. The timing of the first coming of the Messiah.
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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
a. The Hebrew word translated weeks is shabu'a which is literally sevened. It can be days or years. In this case in Daniel it is years. Thus 7 plus 62 or 69 seven year periods.
b. This would be 483 years.
2. So 483 years after the commandment would go forth to restore and build Jerusalem especially the walls of Jerusalem the Messiah would come.
3. Daniel was in Babylon and had been there for almost 70 years, at the time that Daniel was writing this prophecy, Jerusalem was still lying in ruins.
4. In the year 536 B.C. Cyrus the king of Persia declared,
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah.
Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem.
5. It is said that Daniel showed him the prophecies of Isaiah where the prophet some one hundred fifty years earlier had declared:
That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel.
For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not
6. The commandment of Cyrus was to rebuild the temple not the city walls.
7. Zerubbabel and Joshua led a contingent of 42,360 people back to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity and started the great project of rebuilding the temple.
8. The destruction of the Temple and city was much greater than any of them had imagined, and they began to get weary and disheartened with the task.
9. It was then that Malachi the prophet spoke to them words of prodding.
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built.
Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
[Is it] time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house [lie] waste?
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes.
10. The Lord also spoke through Zechariah the prophet words of encouragement for Zerubbabel. He saw in a vision the menorah that stood in the temple, and beside it were two olive trees with two golden pipes that went from the olive tree into the cups of the menorah through which the oil automatically flowed into the cups keeping them always full. Zechariah asked, "What are these Lord?" and the Lord answered the prophet, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of host, this mountain shall become a plain."
11. The Temple was finished in 519 B.C. some 17 years after the work had started.
12. Seventy four years later in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes Nehemiah who was the cup bearer to the Persian king was talking to some men who had just come from Jerusalem. Nehemiah was asking them about the conditions there and they told him how discouraged and demoralized the people were because of the enemies that surrounded them. The walls of the city had never been rebuilt, thus the enemies would come into their dwellings at night and were plundering the people.
13. This was disheartening news to Nehemiah and he evidently was showing his sorrow on his countenance when he took the wine to the king, who asked him what was wrong, for he was always such an upbeat person, the king had never seen him like this.
14. Nehemiah told the king what was troubling his heart, and when the king asked him what he could do, Nehemiah asked for permission to go to Jerusalem and lead the people in the rebuilding of the walls.
15. Permission was granted in the year 445 B.C., a very important day, for it began the countdown to the coming of the Messiah. Some 483 years later the Messiah should come on the scene.
16. When Daniel gave the prophecy, he was in Babylon so the years were predicated on the Babylonian calendar which was a 360-day year. So it would be 173,880 days.
17. The date of the commandment was March 14th, 445 B.C. 173,880 days from that date would bring you to April 6th, 32 A.D.
18. I do not believe that it was an accident that this was the very day that Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem as He presented Himself to the nation as their Messiah.
II. DANIEL HAS ALSO GIVEN US A DAY FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH TO THE WORLD.
A. This prophecy is also associated with an event that is yet future.
B. When the ruler arises to lead the newly formed European Community he will make a covenant with the nation of Israel, but after 3 1\2 years he will come to the rebuilt temple and stop the daily sacrifices and prayers as he stands in the holy of holies he will declare that he is god and will demand to be worshipped as God.
C. It is time once again to start marking off the days on the calendar, for 1290 days later will Jesus come to set up the eternal kingdom of God.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
And [one] said to the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, How long [shall it be to] the end of these wonders?
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished.
And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what [shall be] the end of these [things]?
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.