At the beginning of 2020, I said it would be a year of trouble, all the while many ‘prophets’ were falsely prophesying it would be a year of blessing and increase. Sound familiar? (cf. Jer. 14:14). At the beginning of 2021, I said this year would be even worse than 2020 (and it is), despite many ‘prophets’ still falsely proclaiming peace and prosperity (cf. Jer. 6:14). Instead of warning, they dismiss (cf. Jer. 23:21-22), deceiving people into trusting a lie (cf. Jer. 28:10, 15). Instead of getting right with God, many are deceived into a false sense of security, sung to sleep with a deadly lullaby. You do not need to be a prophet to make the claims I did, but rather be able to identify the signs of the times through knowledge of scripture, and then simply join the dots (cf. Dan. 9:1-3). Yet despite the obvious, many still cling to the false prophets who continue to prophesy falsely (by name by nature), stating, all will be well, things are going to get better (peace, peace, and security). Through COVID, God has exposed the lies (cf. Deut. 18:20), separating sheep from goats and has exposed some wolves as well. Yet many still insist that these false prophets, who falsely prophesy in God’s name (thus saith the mighty spirit), are sound biblical teachers, even after what they have said does not come to pass, repeatably. Due to so many following these delusions, soon God will send them the strong delusion – the greatest false teacher and false prophet of them all, the antichrist (2 Thess. 2:7-12). COVID was used to wake people up, yet still, most remain asleep. Having failed to heed the warning, the next stop, for the sleepy church, will be the tribulation (cf. Rev. 3:1-8). That is the word I heard in March 2020.
Kingdom Seekers Fellowship
Kingdom Seekers Fellowship meets every Sunday at 5pm, in Broadbeach Waters. Currently, we are walking through the book of Daniel. After the meeting, we continue having fellowship by sharing a meal together. A recent message has been posted below. Anyone is welcome.
DANIEL, CHAPTER NINE
‘One Minute to Midnight’
Chapter nine is largely consumed with Daniel’s prayer; Daniel was praying a desperate plea for God to forgive Israel’s sin without delay (9:19) in response to his misunderstanding of the times’ signs and scriptural consideration. Daniel’s plea was that God would act quickly in mercy due to knowing through the writings of Jeremiah, the seventy years of captivity had concluded (Jer. 25:11-12). Therefore, he falsely assumed God was now going to judge the nations and set up His Messianic Kingdom. Daniel’s reference to God’s holy hill and city (9:16, 19, 20) refers to his understanding of the Messiah ruling from Jerusalem (Isa. 65:17-25, esp. v 25). Remember, Daniel saw Jesus taking dominion over the earth in chapter seven (vv. 9-14, 26-27), causing him now, much anxiety (7:15, 28, cf. Heb 10:31).
For this reason, Daniel was pleading with God for forgiveness. How much more should we be praying like Daniel today! What Daniel thought to be happening next for him is happening next for us. In fact, the event is even knocking at the door.
Despite Daniel’s devotion to God and dedication to the scriptures, he misunderstood the timing of the end times events, which is why the angel Gabriel came. This was the second time Gabriel was sent to Daniel (8:16) to help him understand the vision of the signs of the times (8:17, 27, 9:22, 23, 25). God wanted Daniel to understand the scriptures and the signs of the times, in the same way, He does us today (cf. 10:10-11). Although Daniel did have some understanding of scripture and the vision (10:1), he gained more understanding of his times through the angel Gabriel (10:11, 14), and yet was still not able to fully comprehend it (12:8). We, however, live in the day Daniel saw and can, therefore, fully understand the prophetic scriptures (12:2) through the signs of the times (12:10). By doing so, we are also responsible for warning others (11:33). Only the unwise and wicked are to remain ignorant in these last days (12:10).
While Daniel was still praying for mercy by confessing sin, Gabriel swiftly came at the time of the evening sacrifice (9:20-21). Although Daniel was not in the Land, having no Temple, he still observed and obeyed the Law of God, the very thing Israel had neglected (9:5). Daniel continued to follow the Law regardless of where he was, who was in power, and what laws were in place (cf. 6:10). Due to Daniel’s commitment to God, God sent Gabriel to answer him while still praying (9:20-21).
Gabriel was sent to confirm God’s covenant with Israel (9:23) and clear up the matter of seventy years (9:1; cf. Jer. 25:11–12; 2 Chron. 36:21). Gabriel informed Daniel that God’s plan would be fulfilled in seven seventies, not seventy years. Seven seventies amount to four hundred and ninety years. The period has to do with Israel’s history (10:14, 11:14) and the holy hill (9:16, 24), not the church or even the history of the world.
By the conclusion of four hundred and ninety years, six things will happen:
1. Israel’s transgression would finish (9:24)
2. God would put an end to Israel’s sin (9:24)
3. God would atone for Israel’s wickedness (9:24)
4. God would bring everlasting righteousness to Israel (9:24)
5. God would seal up the prophecy (9:24)
6. God would appoint the most holy place, in Israel (9:24)
The above listed six things will be fulfilled after the four hundred and ninety years are completed, taking place in the millennial kingdom. The prophecy is sealed/confirmed until that day. On that day, God will appoint Jesus (7:25-27) who will anoint the holy temple (Ezek. 41-46). Those claiming the prophecy has been fulfilled fall well short on the above-listed items one, two, and six. Item six fulfills Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 31:31-34), which is impossible to claim this side of the millennium. The closest Israel will come to fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy this side of the millennium is in the coming great tribulation (cf. Rev. 7).
The seventy sevens begin with the decree to rebuild the temple, which commenced on March 5, 444 B.C., issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus (Neh. 2:1–8). Artaxerxes permitted the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem’s city walls. The decree commenced the period Gabriel informed Daniel of (9:25). Remember, the completion of the prophecy sees in the return of Jesus Christ, who anoints the holy place (9:24). Therefore, the prophecy does not end with the first appearing of Jesus, as some suggest, but His second.
Dwight Pentecost (1985) sums up verse twenty-six this way, The sixty-two “sevens.” (434 years) extend up to the introduction of the Messiah to the nation Israel. This second period concluded on the day of the Triumphal Entry just before Christ was cut off, that is, crucified. In His Triumphal Entry, Christ, in fulfillment of Zechariah, chapter nine (v. 9), officially presented Himself to the nation of Israel as the Messiah. He was evidently familiar with Daniel’s prophecy when on that occasion, He said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).
Israel missed their Messiah, rejecting Him, and therefore have been temporarily put aside until the full number of Gentiles come into the kingdom (Rom 11:25). There is now a gap between Christ’s first appearing and His second, due to being cut off after sixty-two weeks (9:26), which means there is an interval between the sixty-ninth and seventieth sevens. Again, the gap temporarily set Israel aside (Matt. 21:42-43, Rom. 9-11) and established the church (Matt. 16:18) on the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah. On ‘that’ Rock (the revelation of Christ), the church would be built. Even to this day, Israel has rejected their Messiah, but they will call upon His name in the tribulation (Matt. 23:39). Jesus will not return until they do. Amillennialism overlooks this, missing verse twenty-six, stating, the seventieth week was fulfilled with Christ’s First Advent. However, He was “cut off” through crucifixion, having “nothing” (9:26). The prophecy of having ‘nothing’ applies to Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:11).
In-between Christ being cut off and His return, another would come, destroying the holy city and the sanctuary (9:26). The one to come was Rome, where the prince’s people destroyed the city, desolating the house (cf. Matt. 23:38), leaving not one stone on another (Matt. 24:2). This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. As horrific as that event was, suffering did not end there for the Jews, for their suffering would continue until the end. The end would not come before war, and desolations came first (9:26). Israel will continue to suffer from the event of 70 A.D. until the Second Avent; only then would the Jews be delivered of Gentile dominance (cf. Lu. 21:24). The greatest time of trouble for Israel is still before them (12:1, Jer. 30:7, Matt. 24:21).
In sum, the understanding given to Daniel from Gabriel is a decree from God, revealing the things to come (9:24, 26, 27, 11:36). Although Daniel was given a detailed description of what would take place ‘after this.’ He was not permitted to dwell on it, as it would take place well after his own time (12:9, 13). However, John, who received the same, and a more detailed version of the things to come, was instructed ‘Not to close up the book’ (Rev. 22:10). The command to John, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book,” means, proclaim it, ‘For, the time is near, even here!’ The words “The time is near” relate to the message’s urgency due to the shortness of time remaining (Rev. 1:1, 3, 7, 22:7, 12, 20).
The urgency was introduced from chapter one of John’s revelation (1:1b, 3b, 7) and further communicated to the churches (Rev. 2-3). This is the reason why the seven churches were to have a listening ear (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22, 13:9, 21:7). Today, however, few churches do when it comes to the message on the things to come through the period of the end times, placing instead more value to having ‘your best life now.’ Based on the instructions given to John, we should not only be reading the books of Daniel and Revelation, but every other Bible book containing prophetic literature, which includes all the major and minor prophets. These books all talk about the things to come, which is argued to come in our lifetime. The things to come refer mostly to the great tribulation.
As mentioned earlier, the understood timing of the tribulation gives rise to great controversy, forging two sides made up of Preterists and Dispensational Futurists. While the Preterist position maintains that the tribulation events were fulfilled in 70 A.D. with the sacking of Jerusalem, Futurists believe that the predicted events are unfulfilled and will remain so until the signing of the peace treaty (Dan. 9:27). The signing of the peace treaty, not the rapture, will commence the tribulation, although the rapture is likely to coincide. The one who ‘confirms the covenant’ is the antichrist (Dan. 9:27), who will then be unrestrained and revealed but not to all (2 Thess. 2:9-12), by the taking away (removal/rapture) of the church (2 Thess. 2:3-8).
The book of Daniel, chapter nine, provides compelling evidence for the pretribulation position as held by Futurists by not only revealing the timing of the event but its duration. Again, the chapter starts by revealing that Daniel had an initial understanding, through prophecy (cf. Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10-14), of a ‘seventy-year period’ in Babylonian captivity (Dan. 9:2). The captivity was a result of Judah’s sin (Dan. 9:4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 20). Daniel was given divine, corrective revelation of the ‘actual time’ in captivity (Dan. 9:22).
The determined or decreed length of time (seventy sevens) came as a result of not keeping the Sabbath-year rest (2 Chron. 36:20- 21; Jer. 25:11; 29:10) as commanded by God (Lev. 25:2-6; 26:34-35, 43). For a total of seventy sabbatical years that Judah violated, they received one year in captivity; that is, for each year within the seven; amounting to seventy sevens within a total eight hundred years of occupation of the Promised Land. This prophecy has been largely fulfilled: Seven weeks (Dan. 9:25a) and another sixty-two weeks (Dan. 9:25b), or four hundred and eighty-three years were served from B.C. 445 (Neh. 2:1-8) to 30 A.D. (Lu. 19:28-40). Then the Messiah was “cut off,” as predicted in verse twenty-six of Daniel chapter nine. Here, the passage clearly shows a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventh week, in the same way, does Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 61:1-2). Of which, (Isa. 61:1-2a) Jesus read only the first section (Lu. 4:18-19), leaving the second part out (Isa. 61:2b), indicating a future fulfillment that will take place throughout the tribulation.
As for the ‘one week’, or seven years of Daniel’s prophecy left remaining (Dan. 9:27), this period will be divided again into two halves (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5) covering the years commencing with the release and revealing of the antichrist (Rev. 6:2; 2 Thess. 2:3b) to the return of Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:11).
The final ‘week’ (Dan. 9:27) or seven years derived from the Hebrew word ‘shavuim’ would be better translated ‘sevens.’ The actual term for ‘week’ is ‘Shavuot.’ Again, up until this point, Daniel (Dan. 9:2) expects the Kingdom of God to be established after the seventy weeks (years) of captivity, much like John the Baptist (Matt. 11:3), and the disciples thought that Jesus was going to set up the Kingdom at His first appearance (Lu. 19:11); likewise did the Jews in Jerusalem (Mk. 11:9-10). As such, Daniel misunderstood not only the length of time but the gap in-between, to which God brought correction through His angelic messenger, Gabriel (Dan. 9:22-27).
To reiterate, commencing the ‘seven weeks’ is the signing of the covenant or peace treaty, ‘guaranteeing’ seven years of peace (Dan. 9:27). The signing of the peace treaty will coincide with the rebuilding of the third, tribulation, Temple. The antichrist, however, will break this covenant halfway through the tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:1- 2). Isaiah predicts the same, calling this ‘false peace treaty a “covenant of death” (Isa. 28:15). In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul also mentions it, referencing a perceived time of “peace and security” before sudden destruction (1 Thess. 5:3). As previously stated, and supported through Paul’s writings, the destruction occurs after the rapture (1 Thess. 4:15, 17). Here, the distinction between ‘they’ (1 Thess. 5:3) and ‘those’ (1 Thess. 5:7) from ‘you,’ ‘we’ (1 Thess. 5:5, 10), and ‘us’ (1 Thess. 5:6, 8, 10) makes it clear. As addressed in previous chapters, The true church will be removed before the coming destruction; therefore, it members will not go through the tribulation. Further support outlining the futuristic timing of this event is found in the book of Revelation, chapter seventeen.
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast” (Rev. 17:9-12).
The seven kings refer to seven fallen world-dominating empires (first five: Egypt; Assyria; Babylon; Medo-Persia; and Greece). “The one that is” refers to Rome, being the then ruling empire (sixth) at the time of John’s writing (A.D. 95). The “other” (seventh) has not yet come and will be established under the antichrist as the next world-dominating ‘prince’ or world ruler (Dan. 9:26-27; 2 Thess. 2:2-4, 6-8; Rev. 13). The antichrist is both the seventh and eighth ruler in that he will bring about the ‘revived Roman empire’ as predicted in Daniel (Dan. 2, 7, and 9). This will be established during the antichrist’s first term of three and a half years. At this time, he will co-rule alongside ten kings. However, the second term will be somewhat different, seeing the resurrected, Satan-incarnated son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3; Rev. 13:3-4), the antichrist (Dan. 7:25; 8:23-26; 11:36; 2 Thess. 2:3-8; Rev. 13:5-6), singlehandedly ruling over the submitting nations: “being of one mind” (Rev. 17:13), and “making war against the Lamb” (Rev. 17:14).
In support of the above, Daniel’s writings were confirmed by Jesus (Matt. 24:15). What Daniel received from the angel Gabriel, as recorded in the book of Daniel, chapter nine verse twenty-seven, remains unfulfilled. This includes the “abomination of desolation,” as directly quoted by Jesus (Matt. 24:15), speaking about the antichrist and his established sacrificial worship in the rebuilt tribulation Temple (Rev. 11:1–2). Daniel refers to the abomination of desolation twice more (Dan. 11:31; 12:11), indicating from that time, “one thousand two hundred and ninety days” remain until the Messianic Kingdom is established. This then places the act of the abomination of desolation at the mid-way point of the tribulation, forty-two months in (Dan. 9:27), with a further forty-two months to go, plus seventy-five days more in-between the Second Advent and the millennial dispensation (Dan. 12:11-12). Again, this creates several problems with this event having been fulfilled as Preterist claim. The obvious one, of course, is that Jesus has not returned in the manner described in the book of Revelation, chapter one, verse seven: “Every eye shall see Him.”
In conclusion, it was the sense that the Messiah might come at any moment and establish His rule on His holy hill that caused Daniel to pray to God for mercy and forgiveness. Although the prophesied event was many days from Daniel’s time, it is right in front of us, being now ‘One Minute to Midnight.’ Due to that reality, the church should be praying as Daniel prayed (We have sinned) in the hope God will forgive us for departing from Him, and His word. Right now, the prophetic time clock has been paused, yet the next strike of that clock will commence the great tribulation. ARE YOU READY!