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Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle | Prophetic Events to Come

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 13, 2022 3:00 am

Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle | Prophetic Events to Come

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 13, 2022 3:00 am

None of us is very good at predicting the future and some of us have a hard time recalling the past. We might remember an event from 20 years ago but we’ve forgotten what we had for lunch yesterday. Well, God sees the future with perfect clarity. He’s already there. And we can tap His wisdom for what to expect from the pages of Bible prophecy. Pastor Greg Laurie is helping us do that right now, on A NEW BEGINNING, as we study what the Lord tells us by way of the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. For some, mystery and uncertainty surround God's end times plan. Well, coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie offers biblical clarity. We don't know when the rapture is. The second coming will happen seven years after the rapture, but the Bible actually predicted the very date that Christ would arrive on the scene.

This is one of the most mind-blowing prophecies in all of the Bible. None of us is very good at predicting the future. Some of us have a hard time recalling the past.

We might remember an event from twenty years ago, but we've forgotten what we had for lunch yesterday. Well, God sees the future with perfect clarity. He's already there, and we can tap his wisdom for what to expect from the pages of Bible prophecy.

Pastor Greg Laurie is helping us do that right now on A New Beginning as we study what the Lord tells us by way of the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament. How many of you like puzzles? Raise your hand if you like puzzles.

I am not one of you. I admire you. Seems like smart people like puzzles. I'm going to sit down and work on this puzzle. If I'm with my wife and we walk through someone's home and there's a puzzle, she will literally sit down and start working on the puzzle.

If we walk through a hotel and they have a puzzle in the lobby, she will sit down. I'm going to work on the puzzle. I just keep walking. To me it is like, why?

It is a waste of time. Before us here in Daniel chapter 9 is a prophetic puzzle. We don't want to keep walking here. We want to see what this puzzle is all about because this puzzle or prophecy is the most remarkable in the book of Daniel. That is saying a lot because there are some significant prophecies in this book. I would even say this is one of the most mind blowing prophecies in all of the Bible.

Why? Because this prophecy that we are going to read in a moment gives us the exact date of the arrival of the Messiah. Not for His second coming. Though I think I can say with some certainty when the second coming of Christ will be. The second coming of Christ will be at the end of the tribulation period.

The Bible is very clear in pointing this out. So once the rapture happens let's kind of do a quick flyover. Here is the chronology of prophetic events to come from my viewpoint.

Number one. The next event I think on the calendar would be the rapture of the church where all Christians are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. On the heels of that is the emergence of the Antichrist.

We will talk about him a little bit more in a few moments. And that inaugurates the great tribulation period that lasts for seven years. At the end of the seven year tribulation period is what is called the battle or battles of Armageddon. And that is when Christ returns in what we call the second coming. The second coming is at the end of the tribulation period during the battle of Armageddon. But since the rapture hasn't happened we don't know when that is going to be. But you can count it pretty much from seven years after the rapture more or less.

Well we don't know when the rapture is. And I don't care what blood moons are doing by the way. I don't buy into any of the blood moon stuff.

And let me tell you why. The Bible does say the moon will be turned to blood. That is a prophecy by Joel also quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost that is speaking specifically of what will happen in the tribulation period. We are not in the tribulation period so please don't be sidetracked by blood moons.

There is plenty in the Bible that is reliable that we can depend upon. So having said all that we don't know when the rapture is. The second coming will happen seven years after the rapture. But the Bible actually predicted the very date that Christ would arrive on the scene. And you know the Lord revealed this to Daniel. And you know when the Lord revealed this to Daniel?

When he was praying. You know a lot happens when you pray. Not only does the devil not want you to preach the gospel. Trust me. The devil does not want you to pray.

Why? Because there is power in prayer. It has been said, and Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. He will do everything he can to keep you from going to the Lord in prayer. But Daniel was praying. And not only was he praying.

He was repenting of his sin. And he said the three hardest words. Do you remember what the three hardest words are to say?

No more dessert. No those are not the words. The words are I have sinned. See it is very easy for me to say you have sinned. But it is harder for me to say I have sinned.

But that is what Daniel said. And what is remarkable about that is we don't really know of any sin that Daniel committed. Though we know he was a sinner like the rest of us.

But he was willing to own up to his own sin and admit it. And so God worked as a result of this. Did you know that one of the greatest revivals in America started with a prayer meeting?

It happened in downtown New York City. There was a man named Jeremiah Lanthier who decided to hold a prayer meeting. So he handed out flyers to New Yorkers saying, join me at lunch time for prayer.

Very few people showed up. That is usually the way it is with prayer meetings. You know people will show up for a Bible study. Maybe even more people show up for a Christian concert or a worship event. But you say let's have a prayer meeting.

Your numbers will go down. But that did not deter Jeremiah Lanthier. And he called this little prayer meeting and only a handful showed up. But something dramatic happened.

The stock market crashed the next day. And soon his little prayer meeting was filling up. And within six months 10,000 people were gathering every day at lunch time in New York City for prayer. This isn't Sunday morning.

This is lunch time. They are praying. And they started renting theaters and concert halls because they were overflowing churches so they could hold these prayer meetings. And then God started moving. And 50,000 New Yorkers came to Christ from March to May. During that single year 50,000 people were coming to Christ every week. And when it was all said and done over 1 million people came to Jesus as a result of that prayer meeting. It is called the great prayer revival.

And God could do it again. It just starts with someone like you. Someone who will say, I am going to start a prayer meeting in my neighborhood. I am going to start a prayer meeting at my office.

I am going to start a prayer meeting over here. And He has taken that little step of faith. And while Daniel was praying he was repenting of his sin. I have sinned.

He said to the Lord. You know the problem is some people have never repented of their sins. And yet they claim to be Christians. I read recently that 50 percent of Christians don't have the assurance of salvation.

Now I am going to say something provocative. I believe one of the reasons 50 percent of Christians in America don't have the assurance of salvation is maybe because 50 percent of them aren't saved. Well how can you say that Craig?

Well wait. Half of Americans generally will say I am a Christian. Do you think half of America is Christian? Now if it is I sure don't see the evidence of it. And that is the only thing I can evaluate.

So my point is this. If you want to be a Christian you must believe in Jesus but you must also repent of your sin. On the day of Pentecost as the Spirit was being poured out people were deeply moved and they said to the apostle Peter what should we do. And Peter said, repent of your sins that you may be converted in times of spiritual refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. Repent. Well we say ok. What does that even mean?

Good question. It is actually a military term. It means an about face. You know the command about face.

That is what repentance is. It is about face. I am going this way. I repent.

It is about face. Now I am going that way. So instead of running from God I am running to God and I am doing what God wants me to do. Repent of my sin. That is important. You know people that say oh I just love the Lord so much and I have this deep feeling for Jesus. And ok.

Does it affect you in the way that you live? Because here is what Jesus would say. Hey listen. If you love me keep my commandments. Yes but I feel emotion. That is cool. Keep my commandments. Yeah but I feel.

Yeah nice. Do what I tell you to do. I would be like a husband saying oh dear I love you so much to his wife. I just love you.

I love you. And then he is having affairs with five other women simultaneously. That creep doesn't love you. Ok. And then the same way if we are saying oh I love the Lord and we are breaking His commandments. We are doing things His Word tells us not to do.

Do we really love Him? So Daniel repented of his sin. He asked the Lord to forgive him. And as he is waiting on the Lord God reveals something amazing. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Hey everybody. What are you doing this weekend? I would like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.

Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. And now Pastor Greg continues his message called Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle. Let's listen. You know God wants to reveal truth to you. He wants to show His will to you. And there is somebody listening to me right now that needs to know the will of God for their life.

And here is what the Bible says. If any of you lack wisdom let them ask from God and He will give it generously. So it is not like the Lord is holding them back saying, no I don't know if I want to give this to you.

He is like, I really want to generously give you My wisdom. So Daniel is praying. He is repenting.

And the Lord lays this on him. Look at Daniel 9 verse 25. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and 62 weeks.

The street will be built again and the wall even in troublesome times. And after this 62 weeks Messiah will be cut off but not for Himself. Stop there. I know some of you are scratching your head and you are saying, what? What does it even mean? Let me read it to you from a modern translation.

Listen. It will be 49 years says the Lord to Daniel plus 434 years from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah comes. Jerusalem's streets and walls will be rebuilt despite perilous times. After this period of 483 years the anointed one or the Messiah will be killed but not for Himself. His kingdom is still unrealized. So what does this mean?

Let's sort of take it apart and put it back together. God is telling Daniel that the city and walls of Jerusalem will be rebuilt because they are in ruin at this time. When did that happen? Under Nehemiah. Remember we studied that book together in a series we called The Rebuilt Life. So Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king. He was a Jewish man. A cup bearer means that you had access to the king pretty much 24 seven.

You were always in close proximity to the most powerful men on earth. So Nehemiah heard about the plight of his fellow Jews. How the city was lying in ruins. And he wanted to do something about it. He wasn't a construction guy. He didn't wear a hard hat. He wasn't an architect. He was a cup bearer. A counselor.

An advisor. But he thought I am in a position of influence and I want to leverage my influence for God's glory. And so apparently Nehemiah was a very cheerful guy because one day the king said, hey Nehemiah why do you look so sad?

He was probably one of those guys that is smiling all the time. And I love that when Christians are that way. Listen. Christians should be cheerful people. Christians should sort of light up a room when they walk in. So don't be a Debbie Downer or a Bobby Buzzkill. Be cheerful. The Bible says this.

A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit saps a person's strength. You know some people are always smiling. A person that comes to mind is Pastor Ricky Ryan. You know Ricky. You have all met him. He is our campus pastor over at Harvest Kumalani in Maui.

In fact if Maui became a person it would be Ricky Ryan. He always wears Hawaiian shirts. I have traveled with him around the world.

I have gone to cold climates. You know I am wearing a sweater. A jacket. Ricky is still wearing a Hawaiian shirt. In flip flops. It is like Ricky.

It is freezing. He just sort of is the personification of aloha. And he is always smiling. Always has an encouraging word. I have said to him, Ricky you are the most Christian Christian I think I have ever met.

You are just a great representative of Christ. So when Ricky isn't smiling it is weird. And I remember a moment when Ricky was not smiling and I was responsible for it. Ricky is a very good surfer. In fact when he was a young man he competed. And so he loves surfing. He loves surfboards as surfers do.

Do we have any surfers here? Ok. So Ricky got a brand new board. And he was putting it on top of his car and he said, Greg would you tie that down for me.

I said sure. Understand I have no mechanical abilities at all. I mean even tying a surfboard down is perplexing to me. So I did my best Greg version of tying a surfboard down.

And so he is driving ahead of me and I am behind him. And as he takes off I saw the board I tied down come off the car and go airborne. It was a light board.

A small board. And it is flipping in the air. Flipping. Flipping.

Flipping. And then it hits the ground. Boom. Hits the ground. Boom.

Hits the ground. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Thud.

Filled with things. And so we pull over. Ricky gets out of his car. He looks at his surfboard and looks at me. He is not smiling.

A rare moment in time when Ricky was like, what happened? Sorry man. I will buy you a new board.

Ok. This is how much it cost. I had to buy him the new board.

And I was responsible. But my point is Nehemiah was a happy cheerful guy. But at this moment in time he wasn't smiling so the king says, what is the problem Nehemiah? He goes, I am sad. I am sad for my people.

There are cities lying in ruins. And Artaxerxes says, well what do you want to do? Well king I would love to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls again. King says, I think that is a good idea. I will hate to have you gone.

But I will tell you what I will do because I like you so much. I am going to send an armed escort and I am going to underwrite the whole project. So the prophetic clock was set into motion. From the moment that King Artaxerxes gives the command to restore and rebuild to Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah is this many days the clock was now ticking.

The moment that wall started to be rebuilt. So Nehemiah 2.1 says, it came to pass in the month of Nisan. In contrast to the month of Toyota. It is a different month.

The month of Nisan. In the 20th year of King Artaxerxes. So we know it is the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes.

So let's do the math. Artaxerxes began his reign as king in 465 BC. So the 20th year of his reign would have been 445 BC. Remember we count backwards in BC years. Now the first day of Nisan is March 14 according to our calendar. And the 69 weeks of Daniel began with March 14 445 BC when the commandment of Artaxerxes was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Calculate it out and it comes out to 173,880 days.

What happened? From the moment that king gave the decree to rebuild the city 173,880 days later Jesus of Nazareth rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling Bible prophecy to a T. That is amazing to me. And by the way when Jesus rode into the city He was playing His hand if you will. For a large part of His ministry the Lord sort of flew under the radar. And by that I mean He would heal someone and He would say, don't tell anybody because my hour has not yet come.

Right? Now His hour has come. He knows exactly what He is doing when He mounts a donkey and rides in because the Bible says that the Messiah would come riding a donkey. So He was saying to everyone, you've got to write folks.

Make no mistake about it. I am your Messiah. So this is a total fulfillment of Scripture. So the people are having a party. They are waving palm branches. They are crying out Hosanna to the Son of David.

And you know what Jesus is doing? He is weeping. It is like someone crying at their own birthday party. I think when you get older maybe you do that. I don't even like to hear of birthdays anymore. You know when you are a kid. My birthday is on Sunday.

And then you get older it is like oh my birthday is on Sunday. Oh. Another year.

Oh. See you are almost crying at your own party. Here is Jesus.

The biggest party of the year. And He is weeping. Why is He weeping?

Because He knows He is going to be cut off. That is what Daniel said. Messiah will arrive and He will be cut off. Jesus knew He was going to die for the sins of the people. Look at verse 26 of Daniel 9. After the 62 weeks Messiah will be cut off but not for Himself.

Jesus was coming primarily to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He knew that. And He knew these very people that were crying Hosanna today and only ours would be crying crucify Him and let His blood be on us and on our children later. At 33 most people are saying it is beginning. At 33 Jesus Christ said it is finished. Pastor Greg Laurie with important perspective on God's plan today. And there is more insight to come as he continues this message here on A New Beginning. So many saw the movie The Jesus Music in theaters.

Many more were unable due to COVID. But it is now out on DVD and you can get a copy from us here at A New Beginning. It is the fascinating story of how early Jesus music caught fire almost instantly. Chuck Smith hardly ever shed a tear. But Chuck Gerard says he did the day he heard a new band called Love Song. He was moved.

So the next thing we hear is can you guys play tonight? It is youth night. Lonnie is preaching. Hours later Love Song debuted at Calvary Chapel.

I can't think of many pastors that would have allowed something like that to happen on their stage. Every night it was something new. A new band would form with new songs. Within six months there was 12 bands. I saw contemporary Christian music born right before my very eyes.

Yes that's true I did. And you know you have to understand that I came to Christ in 1970. So I came to this church called Calvary Chapel and all these bands were up on the stage playing and I literally thought I was going to have to just give up all music.

I mean I was raised listening to The Beatles, you know Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Birds, etc. And I thought well I guess I'll just listen to hymns now and not listen to music any longer. And all of a sudden here's this band called Love Song that I thought were artistically amazing. Fantastic songs.

Lush harmonies. Very strong message about the gospel. It moved me deeply. And I remember one of the first times I went to Calvary and this song was playing and the lyrics of it were, we're all gathered here because we all believe. If there's a doubter in the crowd we ask him not to leave. We ask him not to leave.

Give a listen to his story. Hear the message that we bring. Feel his faith swell up inside you. Lift your voice with us and sing.

Accept him with your whole heart. And use your own two hands. With one reach out to Jesus and with the other bring a friend.

With one reach out to Jesus and with the other bring a friend. I thought that song encapsulated really the essence of what this music was about. It was saying look our lives are changed. Christ has done this for us.

We want him to do it for you so reach out to someone and bring them to hear this message. And this music eventually became known as contemporary Christian music. Now there's a whole industry of these bands traveling around the world and of course contemporary Christian radio stations and so forth and that's fantastic. I love to listen to it but you know what?

It started in a revival and that story is told in this documentary film The Jesus Music. And we would like to send you a copy for no charge. And when I say no charge I'm going to ask you to send a gift. Now some of you can only send a little. You'll get your copy of The Jesus Music. Some can give a little more.

Some of you could give quite a bit more. Whatever you send will be used to continue our mission here at Harvest of bringing the gospel to people and teaching the word of God. So order your copy of The Jesus Music on DVD, Blu-ray and downloadable as well as soon as you can.

In fact why don't you do it right now? Yeah we have a copy waiting for you and we'll get it on its way as soon as we hear from you. We do appreciate your partnership. Frankly listener support is the only way we can bring you these studies each day. So get in touch with your donation and be sure to ask for The Jesus Music.

It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray and downloadable as well. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg brings us more insight from the study in the ninth chapter of Daniel. More from his series End of Days. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-25 11:35:38 / 2023-03-25 11:45:17 / 10

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