Category: Eschatology

True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

Obviously, not every prophecy is from God. That is why we are warned by John “to not believe every spirit but to test the spirits whether they are of God …” (1 John 4:1). We are never to assume that every prophetic utterance, spiritual experience or demonstration of spiritual power is from God.

Testing the spirits working in the body of Christ is the responsibility of every Christian, but especially of the church leaders and pastors. This is done using the gifts of discernment given by God to Christians in general, especially the leadership of a congregation.

9 Principles for Judging Prophecy in Scripture

How do we determine between true prophecy and false prophecy? John Hagee, general editor of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible gives us nine principles to apply in determining if a prophetic word is true.

1) Prophecy agrees with the Word of God.

All prophecy is to be judged by Scriptural standards. Since all true prophecy comes from the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the Word of God, all prophecy will have to agree in fact and in spirit with the Word of God.

Prophecies are never to be received just because they are dramatic or given by certain individuals. In 1 Corinthians 14:29, the apostle Paul tells the church “to let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” (or evaluate). Why was there a need to evaluate what was said? This is to determine whether the speaker had truly communicated the Word of God through the Holy Spirit.

God will never contradict His Word

Every prophetic utterance comes either from God, the flesh or from the devil through an evil spirit. We need to test every spirit and evaluate every prophetic word because it is possible for a speaker, under the control of his own emotions, to imagine that God was speaking to him and through him. It is even possible for Satan to counterfeit a prophetic message (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

God will never contradict Himself, and we can distinguish between true and false prophecies by confirming them with what God has already said in His word.

2) Prophecy will edify, exhort and comfort.

1 Corinthians 14:3 says “he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation, and comfort to men.” The word edify means to build up or strengthen. Paul’s choice of this word was a wise one because the huge mistake the Corinthian believers were making was to emphasize their own personal strength to the neglect of the church.

Paul detected that the believers were neglecting prophecy (that edifies the church) and giving a wrong emphasis to tongues (that edifies only the speaker). They wanted to build themselves up, but they did not want to build up their fellow believers.

The word exhort means to encourage. It could be the speech of a basketball team coach inside the locker room just before a championship game, rallying the team to go out there and give everything they’ve got to bring home the crown.

And the word comfort means exactly that. It has the idea of not only consoling but also strengthening. In other words, to comfort someone is not just to cry with them when they’re hurting; it’s putting your arms around them and strengthen them to carry the load.

A true prophetic word will build someone up, not tear them down; it will encourage someone, not discourage them; and will strengthen, not weaken someone. So when anyone speaks a message into your life under the auspices of prophecy that leaves you filled with condemnation or fear, that message is not from God.

3) Any prophecy containing predictions that do not come true is false prophecy.

How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord? Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.”

God’s true prophets are always 100 percent accurate. Modern day “prophets” boast of being 75 percent accurate, or maybe 80 percent, but that admission only brands them as false prophets. A prophet sent by God is never wrong; what he predicts will come to pass.

Several Christian cult leaders have predicted the return of Christ and the “supposed” end of the world and repeatedly failed. Believers today must exercise spiritual discernment because many “false prophets have gone out into the world and (1 John 4:1).

4) Prophecy must bear fruit and agree with the Holy Spirit in conduct and character.

Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Any form of joy and peace that bypasses righteousness is a demonic spirit of religiosity. A man who prophesies and does not care and provide for his family is a false prophet. A man who prophesies and lives in sexual immorality or financial irresponsibility is in deep deception and is a false prophet.

Prophecy must agree with the fruit of the Holy Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22-23, namely: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If the prophecy is without love, joy, or peace, it is not from God.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJVOne thing we need to remember is that false prophets do not go around screaming obscene slogans. Instead, they come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-16). They look fine. They talk fine. They even act like sheep, but their purpose is to devour and deceive the body of Christ.

The first thing a false prophet or any person in deception will tell you is, “Don’t judge me.” But you are not actually judging; you are simply inspecting his fruit.

5) True prophecy produces liberty, not bondage.

Romans 8:15 says believers did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption by whom they cry out, “Abba, Father.” Also in 2 Corinthians 3:17, it says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

In the new covenant ministry, there is freedom in the Spirit. God’s people no longer have to live by rules and regulations. God wants His children to obey Him not because of an external code (the Law), but because of internal character. God’s word is written on the hearts of His children and they obey Him because of the new life He has given them.

True prophecy will bring liberty to the individual and not bondage. Any form of control over another person by intimidation, manipulation, or domination is witchcraft. False prophecy will always lead to witchcraft and so Christians are warned to not get hooked on anyone but Jesus.

6) A prophecy that comes true but promotes disobedience against God or Scripture is not a true prophecy.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Moses describes a prophet or a dreamer of dreams who predicted an event and it occurred, which was the test of a true prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). But then the prophet invited the people to join him in worshiping other gods.

Why would a prophet deliver a true message followed by an invitation to worship false gods? For the same reasons formerly orthodox religious leaders in the church will abandon their calling and get involved in cults or even organize their own cults in order to have a following, exercise their own authority and make money.

Moses clearly states that just because the prophecy comes true does not mean the person who gave the prophecy is from God. Any prophecy that causes a believer to look to another source for spiritual guidance such as horoscopes, psychic, hot lines, and palm readers is not from God.

7) True prophecy injects fresh fire into the meeting of believers.

The Bible says that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Paul here isn’t suggesting that the law was a mistake for he knew that the lost sinner must be slain by the law and left helplessly condemned before he can be saved by God’s grace.

But a legalistic prophetic word brings death. A prophecy that condemns and puts the congregation under a dark cloud of guilt, thereby killing their joy, power, and effectiveness in witnessing for Christ is not from God.

True prophecy inspired of the Holy Spirit brings spiritual life to a meeting of believers. If a prophecy comes that destroys the worship service, that prophecy is not from God.

8) True prophecy given by the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit.

The Word of God says, “It is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6b). The Spirit was given to bear witness to Christ (John 15:26; 16:14) and we can trust the Spirit’s witness because “He is truth.” We may not be present at the baptism of Christ or at His death, but the Holy Spirit was present.

Today, the Holy Spirit is the only person active on earth who was present when Christ was ministering here. The witness of the Father is past history, but the witness of the Spirit is a present experience. And it is the Holy Spirit indwelling every believer that bears witness with their spirit.

Among the 9 principles used to judge prophecy, this is the only one that’s subjective. But when a given prophecy bears witness with your spirit, you’ll know that it is from God.

9) Any prophecy that comes true but does not give glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ is the spirit of divination.

This principle is much the same as principle number 6. The fact that a prophecy comes true is not proof it came from God. Again as John says, we need to test every spirit and every prophetic word that’s spoken.

Jesus Christ, the God-man

A prophecy uttered that comes to pass and yet denies the deity of Christ is false prophecy. Some groups today deny that Jesus is God (such as the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims). Back in John’s day, people did not have a hard time believing that Jesus was God. But they had a hard time believing He was a real man.

Conclusion

False prophets and false prophecy abound in the world today. False prophecy leads to deception and makes the believer the object of manipulation or domination by false prophets who have ungodly motives and hidden agenda.

Are We Living in the End of Times?

Are We Living in the End of Times?

The answers to the question of when will the world end and how is definitely something that everyone would like to know. Are we living in the end times? Are we the terminal generation? Does the Bible have some answers for us?

Yes, it does. The Scriptures are not silent; God tells us when, how, and where the world as we know it will end.

The Bible gives us at least 7 prophetic signs that we are the generation that will see the coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of glory.

1. The Rebirth of the Nation of Israel.

Every major prophet in the Old Testament testified that God would bring the Jews out of their Gentile graves (Gentile nations) and bring them back to Israel before the coming of the Lord. This was fulfilled on May 14, 1948.

7 Prophetic signs that confirm we are living in the last hour

Israel literally became a nation again in one day (Isaiah 66:8) when the British Government decided to endorse the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine after discussions within the cabinet and consultations with Jewish leaders. This is known as the Balfour Declaration.

The rebirth of the nation of Israel in one day is not a historical accident. It is the hand of God controlling the affairs of men just as the prophets of Israel said He would.

2. Jerusalem Will Once Again be the Capital of the Nation of Israel.

The Jews did not control the Holy City from 70 AD when the Romans under Emperor Titus attacked the city and destroyed the temple (as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:1-2) until the Six-Day War of 1967.

After winning the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, Israel took control of Jerusalem once again. As a result, they were able to capture the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the West Bank (formerly known as Judea & Samaria).

7 Prophetic signs that confirm we are living in the last hour
Photo Credits: theocracywatch.org

For the first time, Jerusalem is under the control of the Jewish people in two thousand years. God has promised to save His people from all corners of the earth and He specifically told them that they will again dwell in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:7-8).

*Related Article: Jerusalem is the Eternal Capital of Israel

Jesus is not coming to London, New York, Rome or Palestine. Zechariah 14:4 & Acts 1:9-12 tell us clearly that Jesus will return to Jerusalem in glory. Also, the final battle will center on Jerusalem and Jesus will reign from Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom.

3. The Jews Will be Back in Their Land.

The Jews had been scattered over the earth and lived in various parts of the world, mostly in Europe, since their dispersion in 70 AD. And for almost 20 centuries the children of Israel have not lived in their homeland simply because one did not exist.

But after a time of living in all the countries in the world, the Jews would begin to return to their land in fulfillment of the promise of God to bring them back. Isaiah Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied that God will bring the Jews from all corners of the earth back to their land (Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 16:14-15, 23:7-8 & Ezekiel 37: 11-13).

Are we really Living in the End Times
Photo Credits: c4israel.org

After thousands of years, the Jews were re-gathered into their homeland. The Jews from the north country (Russia) have returned to Israel by the tens of thousands as have Jewish people from around the globe. We have seen them on television newscasts disembarking from planes in Tel Aviv.

We have read it in every form of print media. But we read it first in the Bible. It is another sign that we are living in the last days.

Another miracle was the restoring of a pure language when in the 19th century, a Zionist movement brought about the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language. In 1948, Hebrew became the official tongue of the state of Israel

4. Knowledge Shall Increase.

An important sign confirming that we are the terminal generation is recorded in Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

The literal translation of this Scripture indicates that the terminal generation will experience a knowledge explosion. We are definitely that generation.

From the Garden of Eden until A.D. 1900 men walked or rode horses just as King David and Julius Caesar. In the span of a few years, mankind invented the automobile, the jet plane, and the space shuttle.

Knowledge shall increase in the last days

Medically we have experienced such a knowledge explosion that medical science has had to redefine death. Men can be kept alive indefinitely by machines and miracle drugs.

Increase in knowledge is also evidenced by the information superhighway. You can sit in the quiet of your own home and drown yourself in information and knowledge from the internet.

5. Days of Deception.

Jesus warned that the number 1 problem on the earth in the last days would be deception.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” – Matthew 24:4-5, 24

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the cult called The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name based in Davao City, Philippines, is known for his claim of being the Appointed Son of God as well as being the owner of the universe.

7 Prophetic signs that confirm we are living in the last hour

Secular humanism is deception. New Age theories and philosophies are deceptions. Environmental gurus who teach that the earth is but the breast of “mother goddess” are doling out deception.

Satanism and the occult are deceptions. The apostate church, which has a form of godliness, but denies the power of God, is practicing deception (2 Timothy 3:5). The fact that deceptions abound tells us that we are in living in the end of times.

6. There will be Famines, Pestilences, and Earthquakes.

The United States of America has the ability to feed the world. Yet, they pay their farmers not to grow certain crops lest they glut the market and drive prices down.

And every night on television, we see starving children with bloated bellies, bulging eyes, and bare ribs. Why? Jesus said that in the last days, there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places, which are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:7-8).

God uses earthquakes to communicate with the spiritually deaf. The Bible records at least thirty-three instances where God used an earthquake to get man’s attention.

Are We Living in the End of Times

The earth quaked at Mount Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:18). God used an earthquake in Jerusalem at the Crucifixion to split the veil of the temple from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). God used an earthquake at the resurrection to roll the stone from the borrowed tomb – not to let Jesus out but to let us in (Matthew 28:2).

Just last month (June 2019) about 20 earthquakes have been reported in different parts of the world such as the Philippines, India, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, Alaska, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

The constant trembling of the earth is God’s voice speaking through nature reminding us that we are the terminal generation.

7. As in the Days of Noah.

Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:36-37).

What characteristics marked the days of Noah? Genesis 6:5 tells us that man’s wickedness on the earth was very great and that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

If you open your morning papers or watch the news on TV and the internet, you’ll lose your appetite because of the murders, rapes, kidnapping, assaults, child abuse, spouse abuse, government corruption, pornography, adultery, homosexuality, fornication and drug addiction that are happening.

This generation is as Noah’s generation with the thoughts of its heart continuously evil. This is how we know we are living in the end of times.

Closing Thoughts

These 7 prophetic signs that have already taken place and we see happening right before our very eyes are all leading up to the soon return of Christ. What are we supposed to do? “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28)

We must also be more watchful and prayerful (Luke 21:36). Are we watching and praying as we are told? More importantly, are we in Christ?

Watch and Pray

This is the question that we must answer individually. Am I really a part of the body of Christ which makes me a candidate to escape all these things that are about to take place? Do I have a redemptive covenant with God through His Son Jesus Christ?

Do not be deceived! It’s not just merely saying a simple prayer and coming to Church on Sundays or when it’s convenient for you. Because if you do not love to fellowship with God now, you’re not going to want to spend eternity with Him.

If you do not enjoy worshiping Jesus for an hour, you’re not going to enjoy worshiping Him for eternity.


*Reference: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible (Top 20 Questions)

*Recommended Resource: The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse
By Dr. David Jeremiah

“The end times.” “The apocalypse.” “The day of judgment.” Terms such as these are both fascinating and frightening for any student of God’s Word. They point to key questions people have wrestled with for centuries, including:

  • What does the Bible tell us about the future?
  • How much can we understand about biblical prophecy and its application in our lives?
  • What signs and signals will precede the end of everything as we know it?
  • Which of those signs and signals have already come to pass, which are we experiencing now, and which are still to come?

In this landmark collection, bestselling author Dr. David Jeremiah offers answers to these questions and much more. Drawing from decades of experience as one of the world’s most-respected Bible teachers, Dr. Jeremiah has updated content from previously published works in additional to writing new material on a wide variety of subjects.

The result is a truly epic and authoritative guide to biblical prophecy-a must-have resource for Christians seeking to navigate the uncertainties of the present and embrace God’s promises for the future.

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

Do you know that many people are willing to spend money on psychics and will do almost anything in their quest to know the future? Only to end up disappointed because these fortune-tellers are not able to give accurate predictions.

If you want to have a glimpse into your tomorrows, there is only one place to look – the Bible. Unlike horoscopes, astrological predictions and New Age books, God through His written Word, foretells the future with inerrant accuracy.

The God who created the heavens and the earth knows the end from the beginning and has given us a snapshot of things to come. But you may ask, “How am I supposed to understand a book that has been written several hundred years ago in a culture that’s very different from ours?” This is where a good prophecy study Bible comes in.

In this review of the New King James Prophecy Study Bible, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into what’s in it, its amazing facts and features, and my recommendations.

Product Name: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible (Understanding God’s Message in the Last Days)

General Editor: John Hagee

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Edition (Year Published): 2015

The Best Place to buy: Christianbook.com

Verdict: Highly Recommended

Features of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

A. The Bible Text

In order to give the reader a detailed imagery of what the Bible is talking about and to assist them in personal study, special features such as italics, paragraph breaks, quotation marks, etc., have been incorporated both in the text of the Bible and in special study aids on each page.

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

B. Introduction to Prophecy and Events of the End Times

Since approximately twenty-seven percent of the Bible was prophetic at the time of its writing, having some guidelines to follow for their proper interpretation is of utmost importance.

This section discusses both prophets and prophecy:

  • Who is a Prophet?
  • What are the Two Purposes of Prophecy?
  • How to Interpret prophecy

It also gives us a short introduction to:

  • The Last Days
  • The Rapture
  • The Tribulation
  • The Second Coming
  • The Millennium

C. Master Index to Bible Prophecy

This is divided into five sections:

  1. Prophecies Fulfilled from the beginning to the Exile of Judah
  2. Prophecies Fulfilled from the Exile of Judah to the First Coming of Christ
  3. Prophecies Fulfilled at the First Coming of Christ
  4. Prophecies Fulfilled during the Church Age
  5. Prophecies Fulfilled after the Rapture of the Church

And within each of these sections are the prophecies listed in biblical order along with their reference texts, a short description of the prophecy and a notation regarding its fulfillment.

D. Monies, Weights, and Measures

Although we cannot make exact equivalents and determine the actual monetary values of the currencies used more than two- or three-thousand years ago, relating them to current values in terms of how much a common laborer gets paid on a daily basis is helpful.

E. Top 20 Questions about Bible Prophecy

This is one of my favorite features of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible. These articles answer the questions most frequently asked about prophecy and end time events. Questions such as: What is God’s view of the Tribulation? What is Armageddon? Who is the coming Antichrist? How can I know Bible Prophecy is accurate?

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

F. Diamonds for Daily Living

Who doesn’t enjoy reading the Psalms? Diamonds for daily living is a series of forty devotions drawn from the Book of Psalms.

While Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life guides you into a 40-day journey to discovering God’s purpose for your life, the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible gives you 40 Diamonds for Daily Living to encourage you, especially during difficult times.

H. God’s Great Salvation

Undoubtedly, the theme of salvation runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God has laid out His plan of salvation for man from the time that Adam and Eve declared their independence and rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden.

Explore God’s Great Salvation with these 20 articles starting with the “Forbidden Fruit and Lost Innocence” on page 11.

I. God’s Great Promises

This series of seventeen articles explores the covenant promises found in God’s written Word, the Bible. We know from reading the Bible that God has made several covenants not only with the nation of Israel but with the Church as well.

But which ones are for Israel only and which ones are for His Church? Does God plan to fulfill them? How confident are we that He will? The covenants God made with Israel are so significant that they say a lot about His covenant with the Church.

Start your study of God’s Great Promises with “The idea of Covenant in the Bible” on page 26.

What is in the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

J. Evidences

The Christian definition of faith is NOT belief without evidence. As Oxford professor John Lennox said, “Faith is not a leap into the unknown, but an evidence-based commitment.”

This series of 47 articles offers a positive apologetic for the Christian faith that includes among others:

  1. The Uncaused Cause of Everything Else
  2. What Happened to Jesus’ Body?
  3. The Trinity
  4. Was Jesus the Predicted Messiah
  5. The Search for the Historical Jesus

K. Spokesman for God

The prophets of the Bible spoke God’s word. Read about the main prophets and their messages in this series of articles.

L. Bible Insights

This collection of over fifty short articles provides additional information about the Bible, its people, its times and its prophetic message.

M. Bible Prophecy Charts

In this feature of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, there are sixteen charts given on the key aspects of Bible prophecy, including the prophecies of Daniel, the Tribulation, times of the Gentiles, the Rapture and the Millennium.

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

What Others are Saying about the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

“The Bible helps alone are priceless. There are charts and outlines for every book that list the prophecies with references and give the fulfillment references. I really like the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible and I am excited to have this tool at my disposal. I’d say this is a must for equipping believers to be prepared with truth and ready to give answers to those who question the reason for their faith” – Nellie Dee

“The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is packed with amazing features that will help beginners and serious students of Bible prophecy. It is filled with special features that offer details designed to bring a clearer understanding of prophetic themes.” – Kara

“The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is an excellent tool for understanding Bible prophecy and so much more. I wasn’t actually planning on buying it, but couldn’t leave it in the store after looking inside.” – Tommy King

“Pastor John Hagee has done a truly magnificent job with the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible. Each book provides us with information on the author, the time it was written and of “The Christ” of that book. Christ’s words are also in red letters plus there are references that point the reader to parallel verses in order to help them understand better what they’re currently reading. This would make a wonderful gift for our friends and family.” – VicsMediaRoom

Conclusion

The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is a great material for anyone who is serious about understanding God’s message in the last days. As I said in my article Reasons to Study Bible Prophecy, approximately 1/3 or 27% of the Bible was prophetic at the time of its writing and if we claim to love studying the Bible, we must also love to study Bible prophecy.

What better way to do this than having your own copy of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible.

Get you copy here: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, 2015 Edition

Real Joy of the Heart

Real Joy of the Heart

The issue I have seen in the lives of many believers is that they don’t live like they have real joy in their hearts. They have Christ in their lives but they do not seem to be experiencing real joy that is found in Christ alone.

Bible Verse: John 16:22 (NKJV)

“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

Reflection and Challenge

In context, this verse is a part of a conversation between Jesus and His twelve disciples. Jesus was trying to prepare them for His crucifixion, but they were not getting it. They wanted more clarity and Jesus understood this very well.

But Jesus also knew that they needed more than just information; they needed their hearts and mind to be prepared to endure the crisis that was coming. They would be very sorrowful but only to have a sudden change of heart. Because God, by His grace and power, will turn their sorrow into joy.

While the crucifixion and all that went with it seemed like a bump in the road or some kind of obstacle to overcome on the way to fulfilling God’s plan, it was exactly how the plan would be fulfilled.

God Transforms our Sorrows into Joy

There’s a principle laid out in John 16:16-22 and that is this: God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution, but by transformation. Jesus’ illustration of the woman giving birth makes this pretty clear. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy.

In birth, God does not substitute something else to relieve the mother’s pain. Instead, He uses what is there already but transforms it. And so it is in the Christian life: God takes seemingly impossible situations, adds the miracle of His grace, and transforms trials into triumphs and sorrows into joy.

God transforms our sorrows into joy

As Spurgeon put it, “It is most remarkable and instructive that in their sermons or epistles the apostles do not appear to have spoken of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ with any kind of regret. Although the Gospels mention their distress during the actual occurrence of the crucifixion, we hear of no such grief after the resurrection, and especially after Pentecost.”

Their extreme sorrow of heart was changed to joy of heart after they realized Jesus rose from the grave. When a person gets saved, he receives a completely changed heart and he can actually experience real joy.

Unlike just happiness, joy is a heart attitude. It cannot be artificially manufactured by great circumstances. Read the middle phrase again. “Your heart will rejoice.” Do you see the root word joy in rejoice?

When Christians Lose Their Joy

The last phrase of John 16:22 says, “True born again Christians cannot lose their joy” (paraphrase). But why are there so many Christians who are like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh? No enthusiasm, gloomy, depressed, or just going through the motions.

I realized that I am talking about people’s heart since I can’t see their hearts. Actually, it’s possible. We can tell what’s in peoples’ hearts by the way they live their lives. Because what’s in their hearts is how they live.

Throughout the Bible, it says that what you actually believe in your heart will show. So if we don’t act like we have found real joy in Christ, perhaps God hasn’t changed our hearts in salvation yet.

Going Through the Motions

Don’t just go through the motions because your denomination says to do so. I have been called “happy go lucky” and “carefree,” because I have a joyous song in my heart.

Unbelievers can’t understand because they don’t have that joy. If you have joy in your heart, it will show in worship, praise, lifestyle, attitudes … EVERYTHING.

Please inspect yourself and find out if real joy is in your heart. If it is, praise God. If not, find out why. You won’t regret it.

Waiting for the Coming of Our Lord

The world today does not want Jesus Christ or His church. The world is rejoicing while we are suffering, longing for our Lord to return. In fact, all of creation is suffering “the pains of childbirth” because of sin, awaiting His return (Romans 8:22)

While the immediate application may have been to the sorrowing hearts of the disciples, the ultimate application is to all of God’s people as they await the second coming of Jesus Christ.

To us, it seems like a long wait, but God does not measure time as we do (2 Peter 3:8). And while we are waiting, we must deal with our trials and hurts on the basis of transformation and not substitution, if we expect to mature as Christians.

What is Palm Sunday About?

What is Palm Sunday About?

Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Resurrection, is one of the few incidents in the life of Jesus that is present in all of the Gospels (Mark 11:1-11; Matthew 21:1-17; Luke 19:29-40 and John 12:12-19). But what is Palm Sunday all about? Why is it significant?

Palm Sunday commemorates the event known as the “Triumphal Entry.” This was about Jesus entering into Jerusalem riding on a colt. Since this event was mentioned by all Gospel authors, we can conclude that it was significant not only to the people of Jesus’ day but to all Christians throughout history.

Fulfillment of Prophecies & Demonstration of Jesus’ Authority

Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus sends two of His disciples ahead of Him to Bethphage to get the donkey and its colt that He needed for the event (Matthew 21:1-6; Mark 1:1-6; Luke 19:29-34). They were told that if anyone asked what they were doing, they were to say that the Lord needs them and then they would be sent right away.

Note: While most people today think of a donkey as nothing but a humble beast of burden, in that day, it was looked on as an animal fit for a king to use (1 Kings 1:33).

This preparation before the triumphal entry was designed by Jesus to demonstrate His authority. He knew that the animals would be there and He also knew that they would be given to His disciples if they said the Lord needed them.

Zechariah 9:9

At that time, the disciples did not understand the significance of what was happening but after the resurrection, they could look back and realize how Jesus had demonstrated in this and the other events His authority, that He was in control of all events and not losing control to evil times or wicked men (John 12:16) .

Riding on the back of a borrowed donkey’s colt that no one has ever ridden, a crowd comes to greet Jesus, laying before Him their cloaks and waving leafy branches on the road they cut from the trees. Jesus was in the center of the procession and the people all around Him were shouting expressions of praise and celebration, hailing Him as the “King of Israel.”

Little did the people know that they were fulfilling an ancient prophecy:

“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 118:25-26

What is the Significance of Palm Sunday?

Jesus’ riding into Jerusalem accomplished two purposes: 1) In the first part, He is revealed as the sovereign King, the one with authority but who comes in peace; and 2) as He entered Jerusalem Jesus was recognized as the coming Messiah who brings salvation.

The Gospels tell us that multitudes of people came with Jesus in the procession. The news of His arrival in Bethany had spread so there was time for the crowds to gather, especially those from Galilee and all those who were looking for the Messiah.

Needless to say, Messianic expectations were very high at this time so the people naturally thronged to see Him when the word of His arrival in the area spread. After all, His teachings and miracles had drawn crowds everywhere He went.

The Triumphal Entry
Photo Credits: Free Bible Images (Pinterest)

As Jesus rides into Jerusalem as a conquering King He is hailed by the people as such, in the manner of the day. He ascends into the royal city, His palace, like a king and receives the praise and worship of the people that only He so deserves.

Interestingly, no longer does Jesus tell His disciples to be quiet about Him but to shout His praises. That day, Jesus openly declared to the people that He was their King and the Messiah they had been waiting for.

Unfortunately, the people did not welcome Jesus and lavished Him with their praises because they recognized Him as their Savior from sin. They received Him out of their desire for a messianic deliverer who would lead them to revolt against Rome.

Roman Triumphal Entry vs. Christ’s Triumphal Entry

At Passover season, the city of Jerusalem was the delight of the Jews and the despair of the Romans. Thousands of devout Jews from all around the world would arrive in the Holy City with their hearts full of excitement and nationalistic fervor.

During the festival, the population of Jerusalem more than tripled making it necessary for the Roman military units to be on special alert. They lived with the possibility that some enthusiastic Jewish Zealot might try to incite a riot or kill a Roman official. There was also the potential for disputes among various Jewish religious groups.

What is Palm Sunday all about?

Jesus’ triumphal entry was nothing like that of a Roman triumphal entry but it was a triumph just the same because as God’s anointed King and Savior, His conquest would not be military but spiritual.

In order to merit a triumph, a Roman general would have to kill at least five thousand enemy soldiers. But the Gospel would “conquer” some five thousand Jews and transform their lives in a few weeks (Acts 4:4). Christ’s “triumph” would be the victory of love over hatred, truth over error, and life over death.

Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

When the people saw Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, they hoped that perhaps He would be to them a great temporal deliverer. They hailed Him as King with their praises, recognizing Him as the Son of David who came in the name of the Lord.

Jesus had been widely recognized by his followers as “the Coming One.” So when the people repeated their “Hosanna” to God in the highest, they were praising God for sending them the Messiah, the Savior of Israel.

Note: The word “hosanna” is the Greek writing of the Hebrew verb “save;” it is a request for salvation or deliverance, as in Psalm 118:25. It was part of the Hallel, consisting of Psalm 113 – 118, which was sung at the Passover season.

What is the significance of Palm Sunday

They recognized that Jesus was a prophet and so it was fairly easy for them to get caught up in the Messianic fervor in light of His miracles and teachings. They hailed Him as their King without grasping the truth about His inevitable suffering as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

In fact, even the people closest to Jesus did not understand that His triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the promised Messiah was not to take up His throne but to die on the cross.

And when Jesus failed the expectations of the crowd and refused to lead them in a massive revolt against the Romans, they quickly turned on Him and within just a few days, their shouts of “Hosanna” would change to cries of “Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21).

Note: The Jewish leaders had decided not to arrest Jesus during the feast, but God had determined otherwise. The Lamb of God must die at Passover.

Significance of Palm Sunday to Believers Today

Palm Sunday is something that Christians continue to celebrate and commemorate today. It was an important event that served as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 118:25-26), Jesus’ recognition as sovereign King and Messiah and it prepared the way for the events that led to His death and resurrection.

The Jews desired deliverance from the Roman occupiers, but Jesus came to deliver us on a much deeper level – from the power of sin and death.

As our Savior, deliverer and King Jesus truly deserve all our praises and adoration. Hallelujah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Conclusion

Palm Sunday is the story of Jesus the King who came not in His majestic glory and splendor; He did not come as a conquering king with His kingdom of armies. Instead, Jesus came on a lowly donkey, on the clothes of the poor and humble, in lowliness and servanthood.

When Jesus came for the first time, He came in love, grace, and mercy and sacrificed His own life for the redemption of mankind. But when Jesus comes again, He will come in power and glory to conquer, rule and reign.

Are you awaiting His return?

The 3 Levels of Tribulations

The 3 Levels of Tribulations

The term “Tribulation” generally refers to a state of great suffering or trouble. In Christian eschatology, the Tribulation will be the final 7-year period of Daniel’s 70 Weeks when Jesus will judge the wicked world and restores Israel. It will be a time of great distress that occurs prior to the return of Christ to rule and reign here on earth for a thousand years.

However, tribulation could not only refer to a future event. Even now, God’s people and the world are going through two of the 3 levels of tribulation.

Level 1 Tribulation

This is the tribulation of all the unbelievers in the world which started when man disobeyed God’s command and was driven out of the Garden of Eden, a paradise of full joy and contentment, and God cursed the earth (Genesis 3:17-19).

So from that time that man became sinful until now, the people of the world work and work so hard in order to eat, while at the same time suffering all kinds of illnesses, accidents, and all kinds of misfortunes under the bondage of the devil who has become the ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Level 2 Tribulation

This is the tribulation for the believers after Jesus came to earth to be the second Adam and Son of God. This is classified further into 2 sub-levels:

A. The tribulation of compromised or unfaithful believers in Christ.

Apparently, there are Christians who compromise to the world and do not fully obey the commands of God. Their tribulation is just like that of the unbelievers in the world. They are suffering the curse of God on earth from the time of Adam and Eve.

So just like the people of the world today, the unfaithful Christians work and work with no contentment and are suffering all kinds of illnesses, accidents, and misfortunes in life. They sincerely believe they are saved and have full salvation.

The 3 Levels of Tribulation

However, that salvation is only partial because they have no salvation from sickness and accidents and they do not enjoy the open floodgates of heaven to supply all their needs according to God’s riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).

They may only have salvation of their souls so they may be saved in the end and not go to hell if they remain faithful and hold on to their faith in Jesus Christ.

B. The tribulation for the faithful and carefully obedient believers in Christ.

These are the people of God that the Bible says God will protect just like Noah when God spared him and his family during the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), and Lot when God rescued him during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).

Remaining faithful and obedient to God does not mean being free from difficult times trials and suffering. The faithful righteous believers will suffer persecutions because it is part of the “cross” that Jesus said in Matthew 16:24. But the Lord will “make their yoke easy and their burdens light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

*Read here: What is the Christians Response to Trials

When they cry out to God, He will deliver them from all troubles (Psalm 34:17-20) because the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment (2 Peter 2:9).

And their light persecutions will accompany their hundredfold blessing in this present age and in the age to come. When the Great Tribulation will start, these faithful carefully obedient believers will just fly to the Wedding Banquet in heaven without experiencing death (Matthew 16:28).

Level 3 Tribulation

This is the final Great Tribulation spoken of by Jesus immediately following the rapture of the faithful believers. There will be great tribulation that is unequaled from the beginning of the world and never to be equaled again. And unless those days will be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22).

The elect are the Jews, the chosen people of God, and they will suffer greatly. As Jesus said, “They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:23-24).

Jesus also said, “Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemies” which is how they “will know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20. What is the status of Jerusalem now? It is surrounded by Arab nations who want nothing more than its destruction.

The 3 :Levels of Tribulation

The great destruction of Jerusalem is just about to happen but the faithful believers who are now going through the narrow gate will take their “flight” while the vast majority of compromised believers who go through the broad way will go into destruction where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 7:13-14).

These are the “believers” to whom Jesus will say, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

Concluding Thoughts

Each one of us will encounter trials and tribulations that will place some pressure on us in possibly every area of our life. Trials are part of life and we cannot always expect life to be trouble-free and smooth-sailing.

Even we as Christians should not expect to navigate through life without encountering challenges, obstacles, and difficulties. Question is: are we suffering tribulation as a result of compromise and disobedience to God? Or are we suffering persecution for being faithful followers of Christ?

To go through trials and tribulations now is one thing; to go through the horrors of the Tribulation in the future is another thing.

God is loving, merciful and gracious; He wants everyone to accept His offer of salvation and be caught up to heaven before the terrible Day of the Lord.

Have you accepted Jesus’ invitation to be part of His heavenly kingdom by acknowledging that you a sinner in need of a Savior? 


Guest Author: Bishop Moses R. Chungalao

Recommended Resource: Lord Why?: Trials & Tribulations are all in His Plan
By Reno Johnson

If you find yourself facing adversity and discouragement, take hope and strength knowing that God is with you in your trials. In Lord Why?, Pastor Reno Johnson will help you learn to see difficulties as opportunities, not obstacles. He provides practical, biblical wisdom for overcoming whatever types of opposition you face.

What About The Unbelieving?

What About The Unbelieving?

God has promised His people a new heaven and a new earth. The old creation must make way for the new creation, if God is to be glorified. Jesus said this event will occur when “the world is made new” (Isaiah 65:17). By then, God’s eternal purpose in Jesus would have been accomplished and so as Ephesians 1:10.

The overcomers shall inherit the Kingdom of God: the new heaven and the new earth and will enjoy a special relationship with God. What about the rest of the unbelieving world? What will happen to them? They shall not inherit God’s Kingdom!

Bible Verse: Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Reflection and Challenge

Is cowardice enough to send a person to hell? L. Morris says John here isn’t speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which makes a person to ultimately choose himself and his safety over Christ.

Many Christians today say that they believe the Bible, but don’t live the way they should. If we truly understand the seriousness of our sin and the cost for Jesus to pay for our salvation, you would understand the consequence of being an unrepentant sinner. That is true for yourself and everyone else. Do you truly believe it?

Ephesians 1:10

The book of Revelation tells us what will happen in the end: God wins! And those who thirst for Him will be given freely from the fountain of life. This will all happen when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Revelation 21:2). That should be very encouraging for all Christians, but also very humbling. The most important fact about the city is that God lives there with His people.

On the other hand, those who reject Jesus and become apostates are specifically prohibited from entering the New Jerusalem. All of those unrepentant family members, friends, coworkers, and everyone else that did not accept Jesus as their Savior will have to face God and pay for their sin in the Lake of Fire for eternity. Once in, you can’t get out.

The Lake of Fire

Hell or “the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:15) is a witness to the righteous character of God. He must judge sin. Hell is also a witness to human responsibility, the fact that people are not robots or helpless victims but creatures able to make choices.

God does not send people to hell; they send themselves by rejecting the Savior (Matthew 25:41; John 3:16-21). Hell is also witness to the awfulness of sin. If we once saw sin as God sees it, we would understand why a place such as hell exists. So to think that people I know could spend eternity there is heart-breaking.

Just seeing how the entire world is falling apart makes me wonder if the end of the world is drawing near. Nobody knows when they will die. Are you prepared to meet God?

If we truly believe that people you know could spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, won’t it affect how you relate to all the people around you?

Have you given them the Gospel? Do you pray for them? It is worth thinking about since every person will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. How does that affect how you live?

Waiting Upon the Lord’s Promised Return

Waiting Upon the Lord’s Promised Return

Bible Verse: 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

Reflection and Challenge

In context, this verse is talking about the day of the Lord or what we call His second coming. In Revelation 16:15, it is written that “He will come like a thief in the night.” And as nobody knows when the thief is coming, so is the Son of God will come at a time that nobody knows precisely about. Yes, not even the angels nor the Son Himself knows when exactly He is coming back, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36).

As Christians, we are anxiously waiting for this great day when we get the chance to be finally home with our heavenly Father. The meaning of this verse can be taken by heart not only as we wait upon the Lord’s promise to return but in all His promises.

Truly, God is eternal; He has no beginning and no end. He goes beyond and over the limits of time. His time zone is different from ours and from anyone and anywhere else’s. His timing is always perfect. He is not slow but patient in answering us, in His own perfect timing. After all, He knows what is best for us all when and wherever we need it!

So, the next time you feel weary and tired waiting for answers, why not think about how unworthy we truly are, how undeserving we truly are for His love and providence. Yet, He loved us even when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). He answers our prayers at the right time when He finds us ready to receive.

Looking forward to the joy that is prepared for you, can you wait as long as it takes?

Understanding the 70 Weeks of Daniel

Understanding the 70 Weeks of Daniel

The prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 which is often called the “Backbone of Bible Prophecy” and “God’s Prophetic Clock” tells us that God has put Israel’s future on a time clock. As I said in my article, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Timeline,” this prophetic passage is quite detailed.

Daniel 9:24-27

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

And after the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week, He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

In order for us to have a better understanding of its astounding accuracy and significance, let’s break it down into ten basic keys.

Ten Keys to Understanding the Seventy Weeks of Daniel

1. It’s about weeks of years.

The term “week” refers to sets of seven. It could refer to sets of days, weeks, months, or years. The context determines its meaning. In the context of Daniel 9:24-27, we know that this refers to sets of years because Daniel had already been thinking in terms of years in Daniel 9:1-2.

2. The total time is 490 years.

The period involved is a time period of 490 years (seventy sets of seven-year periods using a 360-day prophetic year).

3. It’s about the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.

It’s very important to note that the 490 years concerns the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem, not the church. Gabriel tells Daniel this time period is “for your people (Israel) and your holy city (Jerusalem)” (Daniel 9:24).

The Jewish people and Jerusalem

4. The purpose of the seventy weeks.

The purpose of these 490 years is to accomplish six divine goals. The first three have to do with man’s sin, and the last three have to do with God’s righteousness:

  • to finish the transgression
  • to make an end of sin
  • to make atonement for iniquity
  • to bring in everlasting righteousness
  • to seal up vision and prophecy
  • to anoint the most holy place

Christ’s death on the cross made provision for sin, but Israel’s acceptance of this sacrifice will not be realized until they repent at the end of the seventy weeks, in conjunction with Christ’s second coming. The last three of these goals look ahead to the coming Kingdom Age.

5. When the clock starts ticking.

The divine prophetic clock for the seventy weeks or 490-year period began ticking on March 5, 444 BC, when the Persian king Artaxerxes issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

6. The first sixty-nine weeks (483 years).

Sixty-nine sets of seven (7 X 69) or 483 years would transpire between the beginning of the countdown and the coming of the Messiah. This exact period of time – 173,880 days – is elapsed from March 5, 444 BC, until March 30, AD 33 – the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-44).

The precision of this prophecy is staggering! I call it the greatest prophecy ever given. It stands as a monumental proof of the inspiration of the Bible.

7. The gap called grace.

The first sixty-nine weeks have already run their course. But what about the final period of seven years or what is called the “seventieth week?” When Israel rejected Jesus Christ as its Messiah, God suspended His plan for Israel. So there is a gap or parenthesis of unspecified duration between the sixty-ninth week and seventieth set of seven.

During this parenthesis two specific events are prophesied in Daniel 9:26:

  • The Messiah will be killed – this was fulfilled on April 3, AD 33.
  • Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed – this was fulfilled on August 6, AD 70

God’s prophetic clock for Israel stopped at the end of the sixty-ninth week set of seven. We are living in this gap between week sixty-nine and seventy – it’s called the church age. The church age will end when Christ returns to rapture His bride, the church.

After all, since the church was not around for the first sixty-nine weeks from 444 BC to AD 33, it makes sense the church will not be here for the final week of years either. The seventy weeks have to do with Israel, not the church. This rationale supports the pre-Tribulation Rapture view.

8. The Antichrist’s treaty and the final seven years.

God’s prophetic clock for Israel will begin again after the church has been raptured, when the Antichrist comes onto the scene and ratifies a seven-year treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). This is the seventieth set of seven years, which awaits fulfillment.

Because the first sixty-nine weeks of years were literally fulfilled down to the very day, it stands to reason that this future time of seven years will just as literally fulfilled in the future.

The Antichrist signs a 7-year treaty with Israel

9. The Antichrist breaks the treaty.

In one of the greatest double-crosses of all time, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel at its midpoint (after 3 ½ years) and set an abominable, sacrilegious statue or image of himself in the rebuilt Temple of God in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21); Revelation 13:14-15). The final 3 ½ years will be the “Great Tribulation” Jesus talked about in Matthew 24:21).

10. The end of the seventy weeks.

At the end of the seven years, God will slay the Antichrist (see Daniel 9:27, 2; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:20). This event will mark the end of the seventy sets of seven and the beginning of the one thousand year reign of Christ when the six divine goals in Daniel 9:24 will be completely fulfilled (see Revelation 20:1-6).

Closing Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, predicting a time period of 173,880 days to the very day is the greatest prophecy ever given. Be reminded that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on March 30, AD 33, the first sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) were fulfilled to the very day.

Jesus knew the significance of it when He said to the people, “If you have known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace” (Luke 19:42 NASB). He added those sobering words, “Because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44 NASB).

Jesus emphasized “this day” and “the time” to the Jewish people because He stood before them fulfilling this astonishing prophecy. The time of visitation had come on the exact day prophesied but they had missed it due to their unbelief.

Jesus is coming again someday, maybe very soon. There is a final future “time of visitation” that will also occur right on time according to God’s timetable


*Reference: The End (A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days) by Mark Hitchcock

Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Timeline

Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Timeline

Daniel 9 which contains the “Seventy Weeks” prophecy is no doubt one of the most significant and detailed prophetic passages in the Bible. It begins with Daniel praying for Israel, acknowledging they have sinned against God and asking for God’s forgiveness.

In answer to Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel explained that during a period of “Seventy Weeks” or “seventy sets of seven” (Daniel 9:24), the Lord would accomplish six specific purposes for the Jewish people.

The first three have to do with sin and the last three with righteousness. The Lord would “finish their rebellion,” that is, the transgression of the Jewish people, and “put an end to their sin” – Israel’s national sins (Zechariah 12:10–13:1). The last three divine purposes focus on righteousness and the future kingdom of the Messiah.

When Jesus returns, He will establish His righteous kingdom (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 31:31-34) and rule in righteousness (Isaiah 4:2-6). All of these wonderful accomplishments would be fulfilled during seventy weeks – 490 years – that Gabriel divided into three significant periods: 49 years, 434 years and 7 years.

Timeline of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

A. Period 1 – 49 years (Daniel 9:25)

During this period, the Jews would rebuild the city of Jerusalem in troubled times. The key issue here is the date of the decree. This is not the decree of Cyrus in 538 BC permitting the Jews to return to their land and rebuild their Temple (Ezra 1; Isaiah 44:28) because the emphasis of this decree is on the city of Jerusalem.

While some scholars opt for the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 BC, sending Ezra to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:12-26), that decree also emphasized the Temple and its ministry. The decree of Daniel 9:25 is probably that of Artaxerxes in 445 BC authorizing Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and restore the gates (Nehemiah 2:5-8).

B. Period 2 – 434 years (Daniel 9:26)

Gabriel affirmed that 483 years are involved from the giving of the decree to the coming of “the Anointed One,” the ruler (7 x 7 = 49, 7 x 62 = 434; total = 483). When we count 483 solar years from the year 445 BC, we end up with AD 29/30, which brings us to the time of Christ’s ministry on earth.

But this Anointed One, the Christ, would not be permitted to rule; for His people would cry out, “We do not want this man to be our king” (Luke 19:14 NIV). The Messiah would be “killed appearing to have accomplished nothing.”

This speaks of His rejection by the Jewish nation (Luke 13:33-35; John 1:11) and His crucifixion as a criminal, turned over to the Roman authorities by one of His own disciples. But He would die for the sins of the world, including the Jewish nation.

That same nation that asked for Jesus to be crucified went on to persecute the church and kill Stephen (Acts 7). In AD 70, the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 was fulfilled when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and the Jewish nation was scattered.

The Romans are the “prince” (or ruler) who will arise and “whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple,” and that prince is the future Antichrist that Daniel described as the “small horn” and the blasphemous king (Daniel 7:8, 24-25; 8:23-27). This takes us to the third period.

C. Period 3 – 7 years (Daniel 9:27)

The “prince” refers to “the Antichrist” (Daniel 9:26) who will rule in the final seven years of the prophetic calendar that Gabriel gave Daniel, the period we know as “The Tribulation” or “The Day of the Lord.”

While the Lord has always known wars and desolation (Matthew 24:3-24), the end of the age will introduce a time of terrible suffering that will climax with the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 6 – 19; Matthew 24:15-35). The event that triggers this last seven-year period will be the signing of a covenant between the Antichrist and the Jewish nation.

At this time, the Antichrist will be a key political figure in Europe – one of the ten toes of the image in Daniel 2, and the “little horn” who emerges from the ten horns (Daniel 7:8, 24-25) and he will have the authority and ability to end the Middle East problem. He will covenant to protect the Jews from their enemies, probably so they can build their Temple and restore their sacrifices.

The spiritually blind Jewish leaders, ignorant of their own Scriptures, will gladly enter into the covenant. “For I have come to you in My Father’s name, and you have rejected Me,” Jesus told the Jewish leaders of His day; “Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them” (John 5:43).

After three and a half years, the Antichrist will break the covenant, seize the Temple, and put his own image there, and he will force the world to worship him (2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 13). This is the “abomination that causes desolation” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11) about which Jesus spoke and that marks the midpoint of the tribulation period (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).

The “man of lawlessness” and “the one who brings destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), who up till now has deceived the world by playing a shrewd political game, will reveal himself as a tool of Satan and a cruel world dictator, Christ will defeat him when He returns to establish His kingdom (Revelation 19:11-21).

Concluding Words

We are living today in the church age when Israel has been partially blinded and temporarily set aside (Romans 9–11). Like Paul, we must have a heart concern for the Jewish people, pray for them, and seek to share the Gospel with them.

Gentile believers have a debt to the people of Israel (Romans 15:24-27) because they gave us the knowledge of the true and living God, the inspired written Scriptures, and the Savior, Jesus Christ.


*Reference: Study Notes & Commentary (NLT Bible) – by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe

*Recommended Resource: Daniel: The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentary

Perhaps no Old Testament book is as far-reaching in envisioning historical events as the Book of Daniel. In this revised edition of his classic work on pre-millennial prophecy, Walvoord addresses alleged historical inaccuracies, considers past and future fulfillments of specific prophecies, explores different approaches to interpretation, and examines textual and doctrinal issues.


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