Let's wrap up Chapter 9 today.
Take time to read the final verses. I'll give you a quick, brief overview of what's going on. If you want more intensive studies on the end times and prophecy, you can e-mail me and I can point you in the right direction.
Daniel is still praying and confessing the sin of his nation. Gabriel came back to him and tells him God has heard his prayer and he is there to give Daniel the answer. Remember, God hears us too!
Now, we're on to verse 24 to the end.
Here is where all the seventy sevens and weeks comes from in much of the end times talk. Let me give you some facts first and then we can talk about the interpretations of this text.
(Honestly? I'm taking some of this right out of my Bible because there are greater and smarter people than me to get this explained really well)
"Sevens- probably seven-year periods of time, making a total of 490 years, but the numbers may be symbolic." Okay this is where there are 2 major differences in what plays out in the last "seven."
1. The last seven has yet to be fulfilled. The first ones have already come to pass over time and may refer to the restoration of Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. The final "seven" mentioned in verse 27 after the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem by "the people of the ruler who will come". Therefore, many believe this final seven will come upon us in war and destruction. This is typically the end-times belief that the tribulation period when the Anti-Christ comes and messes everything up is yet to pass. This is what the Left Behind series teaches. (which by the way is bad theology and Biblical teaching) (there, I said it)
2. The other option for the last "seven" is that it was fulfilled with the death and resurrection of Jesus. That the one who came to set up the "abomination that causes desolation" was setup in 168 BC by Antiochus Epiphanes and prefigureing the similar abomination that Jesus predicted would be erected in Matthew 24:15 which could be, according to some, 2 fulfillments. 1.when the destruction of Jerusalem hit in 70 AD and 2. the setting up of an image of the antichrist in Jerusalem in the future.
What this means is that the last "seven" or "week" as it is also called can play out like this:
1. It is when the time of tribulation comes and we're left behind to conquer evil and live with the (capital A) Antichrist until Jesus comes back to whoop butt and we rule with him for 1,000 years.
2. We are in the final "seven," the final "week," and we face many antichrists, and when Jesus comes back the whole darn thing will be over. We'll go straight to the par-tay in heaven. The thousand years is not literal but meaning forever or a long time.
3. There will be a tribulation period but for those who follow Christ, we'll never see it.
Couple of things:
1. Don't freak out about all the end times talk. It's been going on since Christ went up to heaven.
2. Heed some of the New Testament teachers.
- I John 2:18ff, "...this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come." I want to make a note that anti means "against." This can be anyone, and may not refer to one particular person.
- I John 2:22 "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son."
- Matthew 24 JESUS SAID, "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, then the end will come."
Remember, He was talking to His disciples right then. He gave prophetic insight to the end days and was talking to them like they would SEE the abomination that causes desolation. My guess is it was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The point is that we have work to do. We can't be all holed up and worried about things that God said would happen. There are nations yet to hear the gospel and Jesus is holding off for whatever reason until those nations hear this message. I believe He waits because of His great mercy and love. He is in the business of salvation and wants all men to have a chance to hear.
We are in a prime position to complete this calling. We live in an age where the gospel can reach millions by the click of a mouse. Let us not fix our eyes on what we cannot control nor predict. We are in the last days. This is it. What are we going to do? What can you do to bring all nations to Christ so that we can get the heck out of here and enjoy a new heaven and a new earth!
Remember, when this gig is over and Jesus restores all things this will be what we enjoy:
"Now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" Revelation 21:3-4
Now, that's a end time worth looking forward to!