Counting the Years Until the Messiah

The Number of the Years

Book of Daniel Chapter 9

Focus Daniel 9:1-3, 19-27

Most people avoid the Book of Daniel but if you base your beliefs on facts, most of what God’s Prophet Daniel has written down for us has already become the truth and those things written in our future will also come to be true.

The Book of Daniel deals with facts!

Daniel was in constant contact with our Heavenly Father all the days of his life!

We already know that Daniel always prayed 3 times each day but the truth is every time Daniel had a thought or if he learned something he did not quite understand, Daniel always went to the Lord in prayer. A great example for us all.

Paul said we are to pray without ceasing and the Prophet Daniel was one of God’s children who did so.

Another thing we should remember is, that no matter that Daniel was taken away from his homeland and knew of the destruction of Jerusalem, Daniel remained faithful to Jehovah all his days.

When have studied the Word of God enough to know the Lord always does everything the right way because His Heavenly Father insisted on it, then we will know that our Heavenly Father will never do things that are wrong for His children!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Even when threatened with death, Daniel remained faithful to Jehovah, the One True God!

What did we learn from the Book of Ezekiel? God rewards faithfulness!

Daniel was always one who would give us a timeframe, so we do not have to guess.

*Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

It is this Darius who conceived a plan to secretly enter into Babylon, while the Babylon army was unprepared, killed King Belshazzar and took over the rule of the Chaldean nations.

Some say he was a viceroy of Cyrus and this may be true, but he ruled Babylon for short period of time.

We should understand that this was prophesy being fulfilled.

Daniel had interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and this was the beginning of the fulfillment of that dream and that prophesy.

Prophesy is such a fascinating subject that most of us love to hear about our future.

I have to admit that I am not studied enough to give good lessons on this subject, there is only just so much material that can included in 30 minute lessons.

For those who do not know these are the same lessons I teach in Sunday School.

The greatest future is available to only those who have their name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

We should not miss the fact that Daniel was studying the Scriptures and came across the written Book of Jeremiah and the prophesy that the Jews would return to their homeland at the end of 70 years and Daniel was trying to see in his mind how these things would take place.

Daniel himself, with Jehovah’s help, had interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and right before his own eyes he was seeing this thing take place.

*Dan 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

What did Daniel see in the Book of Jeremiah?

Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
Jer 25:13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

Daniel realized that part of these words of Jeremiah had become the truth. We should understand that the Word of God contains only the truth!

The King of Babylon had been punished. The nation of the Chaldees were being punished by the foreign power, that that was the silver of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

Some say the two arms of that statue represent one Darius and two Cyrus.

We can be sure that Daniel was also familiar with the Scriptures of Isaiah.

Isa 44:21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

We can say that this is still true today.

And another great prophesy would be soon in the making, which again left Daniel in amazement. The omnipotence of God. The All-Knowing Jehovah God!

Isa 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Isa 44:23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isa 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
Isa 44:26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
Isa 44:27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
Isa 44:28 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.

We can just imagine the thrill of Daniel as he heard that Cyrus had united the Medo-Persian Empire and was the supreme rule of a big part of the world. Even larger than that of Nebuchadnezzar.

There was really only one thing to do and that was to pray.

*Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Dan 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Dan 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

You if we would just look at what is going on in the world today as we live, we would see the Word of God being fulfilled right before our eyes, but we will never know unless we study the Scriptures and the Prophets, as did the Prophet Daniel.

How can we ever know the truth of our world if we refuse to read and study the Word of God?

There is so much in our future to look forward to when your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

We could leave the doom and gloom of our world behind in our thoughts of the delightful things of living with our Savior.

Rememeber Jesus said, I go to prepare “you” a mansion, in my Father’s House.

When we know the truth of God, why in the world do we not claim that truth and quit worrying over the lies of this world!

Our world is not coming to an end, it is the Lord who is in control, not the so-called powerful men in our world.

We do abuse our world, but we are not the cause of climate change, it is the Lord who is in control.

We just need to make daily contact with our Heavenly Father!

Daniel saw the fulfillment of promises made to his people.

We are blind if we do not see those same promises then and now.

The world is moving along according to the plan of God! Nothing can change this!

The Church needs to quit belly aching and get busy about the work the Lord has given to us to do. This is what our world lacks the most!

We have always seen where that the Lord’s rewards come according to our faithfulness! He is always faithful to fulfill His own Words!

Our faithfulness begins with our prayers!

We show our faithfulness by accepting the Word of God just as it is written!

We need to live as though the Lord could return at any time because He could.

There are no more prophecies that need be fulfilled in the Church Age except the Lord’s return!

All other prophecies concern Israel and the promises made to Israel.

1) We must clearly understand that disaster comes to those who refuse to repent and turn away from their sin, and to all those who reject the Word of God!

2) Disaster comes to those because the Lord is a righteous God and to be true to those who love Him, He must execute justice upon all those who are disobedient!

The Lord knows those who Love Him!

Those who love the Lord pray!
Those who love the Lord call upon His Holy Name!
Those who love the Lord will confess that they are sinners!

How does the Lord know we love Him?

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

If we truly believe these things, what is wrong with us?
Why do we not claim the truth of God?
Why do we not own our faith and our faithfulness?

If, we pray with the truth in our heart, God will answer our prayers!

Now we may not get a visit from the angel Gabriel, but even this is not impossible!

When we pray, we must know what we are asking God to do, and we must know He will only do according to the Word He has given to us!

*Dan 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

When Daniel prayed this prayer, Jerusalem was a city of ruins and the Temple of Solomon was completely destroyed and the Jews were scattered all over the empire of Babylon, which had just been taken over by the Medes.

Daniel was not praying because these Jews had become righteous because they had not, and we will never be righteous in these bodies of flesh.

No matter, our righteousness the Lord is always righteous.

Daniel was praying for God’s mercy!

We know God is love and His mercy is based upon His love. If we show mercy, then we can receive the mercy of God!

Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Mercy is compassion shown to those who are miserable!

Most all these Jews were miserable in captivity. Misery is great unhappiness.

Without the Lord we will never know true happiness!

Our happiness is based upon our faithfulness to the Lord!

Mat_25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

The truth is the Lord has sworn an oath that He would never forsake Israel.

The truth is the Lord will always be merciful to those who repent from the heart!

Today we live in a world where most people and a lot of the Church, have forgotten that there is a penalty for violating God’s commandments and that penalty is death!

Without repentance that penalty of death will hold true!

Should we plead with God in our prayers? In some cases we may need to be almost like a pest.

The Lord wants to know if we are serious!

We see that Daniel did and Daniel pleaded that God would do exactly like He said He would.

Luk 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

After 70 years these Jews had learned a valuable lesson, which was, you do not go against the Word of God and win!

Our world has not learned this lesson as of yet!

God did not have to look at Jerusalem to see the devastation left by Nebuchadnezzar.

God makes things out of nothing, so things that are destroyed in the world, including terrible damage, are nothing compared to His awesome power of life.

If God can make the Sun and the stars then a city or a Temple is nothing to Him!

But the Lord God will not do things we can build ourselves but He will help us even in these things.

After those 70 years the Lord did allow many of these Jews to return to Jerusalem and Jehovah even caused the enemy to pay for the reconstruction of the City of Jerusalem and the Temple and then the City Walls.

When the time is right, the Lord will even cause the enemies of the Jews to pay for the building of the third temple and even endorse it.

*Dan 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
Dan 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

We might ask, why was Daniel so much more important than we to get his prayer so quickly.

1) The Lord loved Daniel.
2) Daniel had been faithful all his days.
3) Daniel did not ask anything for himself. After the Jews returned home, Daniel stayed where he was all his remaining days.
4) Daniel prayed according to the revealed will of God.
5) God had more work for Daniel to do while he remained in Babylon.

We can see the phrase “being cause to fly swift” to mean that God answered this prayer of Daniel even while he was still praying.

God did not want Daniel to be too concerned about the war that was happening around him, and he only needed to concern himself with the answer to his prayer.

God had already given Daniel the prophecies concerning the rule of all nations. This was not going to change and there was no need of asking for these things to change.

The Babylon Empire had ended, and the Mede-Persian Empire was in place.

Soon the armies of Alexander would come and after this the Roman Empire would begin. Even this empire is gone as it was and we are now left with the resuts. The ten toes of iron mixed with miry clay.

Even though Daniel could not live long enough to see all these things come to be, he did know what the Lord said is always true.

In the end that “Rock” that “Stone” cut out by the hands of God would rule this world!

Now Jehovah would give Daniel the approximate times this would take place.

Daniel had seen that a “prayer of faith” is the most powerful tool we have as those who love God.
Daniel had seen that, he had sin in his life, and he confessed his sin.
Daniel was also asking the Lord to forgive the sin of his nation. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Daniel was praying for the Lord to come as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Daniel did not realize that the Lord would certainly come twice and most all the Jews had missed that the Lord would first come to establish His Church and then return to rule this world.

We know that Gabriel did not just drop in to check on Daniel. Gabriel was sent by Jehovah. The angels are first and foremost God’s messengers!

By the way, in this Scripture is written, Gabriel could have come in the glory of an angel when in most cases angels come as humans.

Remember Daniel is having another vision, this vision more like a dream or being in a trance, rather than a Supernatural vision.

Daniel had seen Gabriel before:

Dan 8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
Dan 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

This time Gabriel had a more specific mission!

*Dan 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
Dan 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Gabriel had left Heaven from the face of God, coming directly to Daniel to cause Daniel to understand a great message.

The message concerned the first and the second coming of the Messiah. (Yeshua Ha Meshia)

What had Daniel seen? The Word of God is intended to encourage our prayers! When we see with our own eyes the fulfillment of a prophesy of God, or we see it approaching, we need to be more earnest in our prayers and the confessing of our sin.

We should concentrate not only on speaking to the Lord but also on listening to what the Lord has to say.

At the very beginning of Daniel’s prayer God already knew what Daniel would pray and the Lord sent Gabriel.

He first told Daniel the he was greatly loved, and this is true of every child of God and certainly true of Daniel who had remained faithful to his God all his days, even if he was a captive in a foreign land.

We must never forget, we are the adopted children of God. He chose us and He loves us!

When we are looking to see what God is telling us, the best place to look is in the message of a true pastor!

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

So what was the message given to Gabriel for Daniel?

*Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

So how do we explain those 70 weeks.

This space of “seventy” weeks is not to be understood of weeks of days; which is too short a time for the fulfilment of so many events as are mentioned; nor were they fulfilled within such a space of time; but of weeks of years, and make up four hundred and ninety years; within which time, beginning from a date after mentioned, all the things prophesied of were accomplished; and this way of reckoning of years by days is not unusual in the sacred writings.

Gen 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Gen 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
Gen 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

Jacobs week of 7 days was a period of 7 years he served to Rachel his wife he desired so much.

Seventy years according to the Bible is our prime years and any years beyond those 70 requires so much extra strength they are hard to live.

Psa 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Notice the days of our years.

Jeremiah prophesied Judah would serve 70 years in Babylon.

Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

2 Chronicles saw the completion of those 70 years as the coming of Cyrus.

2Ch 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
2Ch 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Notice the “Sabbath Year”.

In every seventh year it was God’s commandment the land would receive one year of rest.

The prophet Zechariah saw the ending of those 70 years as the rebuilding of the Temple.

Zec 1:12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

For most Bible Scholars these references to sabbath years are to be sabbatical years and to be 490 years according to the Book of Leviticus.

Lev 25:8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

Since Israel had not kept the “sabbatical year” since the time of the Judges, then God would give the Promised Land 70 consecutive sabbatical years during their exile again 490 years.

Back to Daniel 24:

1) The first part of God’s plan is to stop the transgression of the Jews. This will only fully take place at the Second Coming of the Lord. The end of those 490 years.

2) The second part of God’s plan is to put an end to sin in this world. This will take place during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.

3) The third part of God’s plan is to atone for all wickedness. This took place on Mount Calvary where the Lord Jesus Christ made atonement for all our sin. ALL the Sin of All the People since Jesus died on the Cross.

4) The fourth part of God’s plan is to establish righteousness upon this earth. Again during the Millennial Reign of Christ.

5) The fifth part of God’s plan is to fulfill all prophesy. Takes place when we have reached the New Earth and the New Jerusalem.

6) The sixth part of God’s plan is to anoint the Most Holy. This is the anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ. King of kings and Lord of lords!

So when would these things begin?

*Dan 9:25 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The starting point of God’s plan would be the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple and that completion, would not happen till the walls of the city were also complete. This would take 49 years.

The first decree was issued buy Cyrus in 538 BC but stressed the rebuilding of the Temple.

Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 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.
Ezr 1:3 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.

The second decree went out from Artaxerxes I, and given to Ezra in 458 BC and this time it was to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

Ezr 7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
Ezr 7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
Ezr 7:13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

Sometime later a third decree issued in 445 BC finally caused the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

This was the 49 years of the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Then began the 62 weeks or the 434 years to the first coming of the Messiah.

Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

What was not revealed to Daniel was the Church Age, which began when the Messiah was cut off.

*Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

What do we know? We know that Jesus Christ did not die for Himself. He died for me and He died for you, and He died for everyone else who have sin to their account!

To the world of that day, it seemed that Jesus died for nothing.

To the world of that day, it seemed that Jesus did not accomplish anything with His life.

What the world rejects is that Jesus, God in the flesh, came to this earth to die. He died so that we may live!

Jesus Christ is everything to all those who trust Him!

Just a few short years after Jesus died and then rose from that death to live 40 more days and had many more witnesses and then went back to Heaven, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple but this did not end the suffering for Israel because they made one more tremendous mistake.

Mat 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Mat 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

As it stands right now the Jews will continue to be punished until the Lord returns for the second time.

Between then and now, it what is called the Church Age!

This is the gap between the 69nth and the 70th week.

This leaves one 7.

*Dan 9:27 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, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This new covenant is the covenant of “Grace”.

What did Jesus say of this time period?

Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

We need to pay attention to the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles, including the Apostle Paul, and we will know all these things and miss out on the wrath of god shown to all unbelievers!


Let’s Pray!

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