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When Shall Messiah Come?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2020 8:00 am

When Shall Messiah Come?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 21, 2020 8:00 am

Taken captive and marched off to another country, Daniel and his friends have some amazing adventures in Babylonia. But through it all, they are faithful to God. As you enter into their story, you'll learn more about: the sovereignty of God, and why we must be holy and Christian living in a secular culture. In the latter half of this book, Daniel's own visions are recorded, and--in them--we catch glimpses of the future. How are these visions relevant to our lives?

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Welcome to the Bible study our reviewing Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repair and you think and act biblically. I began our study of the second half of the book of Daniel last week I began with an apology, stressing that the second half of Daniel is chiefly prophecy as opposed to the first half of the book which is chiefly narrative acknowledging that we have two main sources of difficulty with the prophetic half first-place. We don't always understand is difficult to interpret.

And secondly, when we do understand it, or at least when we think we understand it, it's not always easy to see how it's relevant to our own lives. I have no such apology for this ninth chapter.

However, because this is a great chapter.

This chapter contains the prayer of Daniel for the sins of his people. A prayer which is worth studying all by itself, and then after Daniel had prayed confessing his people sins and asking God for wisdom and God gave him a revelation that was brought by the angel Gabriel, which is in the judgment of many commentators. The chief prophetic passage in all, the word of God. They commentators have called it the key to prophecy. When commentators called it the backbone of prophecy because it's the structural time framework upon which many other prophetic details can be attached. Artus, he gave a line was a careful scholar and spent much of his life studying and comparing prophetic passages send in one place he wrote of this revelation.

The prophetic message Gabriel brought from the throne of God to Daniel is perhaps the most important not only in the book of Daniel, but in the whole of the Bible clear understanding of it is indispensable to every reader of God's word wants to know God's purposes concerning the future the few verses which contain the words of Gabriel events relating to Jewish future history are predicted the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity rebuilding of the city in time of distress.

The coming of Christ in humiliation is death. The destruction of the temple in the city by the Romans.

The desolation's and wars which were to follow all this is prewritten in this great prophecy final end of the time of the Gentiles the great eventful week of seven years is revealed in the last verse I said a moment ago that this second half of the book is largely prophecy as opposed to the first half, which is chiefly narrative yet. It's interesting that when we come to this ninth chapter, we find it placed in a narrative setting is a contrast development between this chapter and the chapter that's gone before the previous chapter after Daniel had received his vision of the ram in the boat and was troubled by it. We are told at the very end that he was so agitated by what God revealed to him that he actually became ill because of the revelation now ask the question at that point if Daniel became so agitated by what had happens that he actually became ill should Daniel have done to overcome his malady. What would you or I do. I suppose that I were in a situation I find myself talking to myself. Along these lines and saying something like now. James is business of receiving revelations about the future and interpreting them is tough work very distressing and attends to get you down, depressing, in itself, and it's obviously a strain on your mental faculties. The fact that this latest revelation is made you sick indicates that you are probably stressed out and what you really need is a vacation.

Why don't you knock off this prophecy business for a while go away come back, get your head together, then you can pick it up again or I can imagine that someone else might have said to me you know the problem is you're trying to take all of this upon yourself what you really need to do is can are with the courts, astrologers, the child deals. Why should you be the only one that has to interpret prophecy.

Let them do it a bit at any rate, why can't you assume that their interpretations are as good as your own. I don't know how you would handle a situation like this, but it is instructive, no doubt intentionally instructive to see what Daniel did. Daniel was so sick that he first began to study the Bible and secondly he began to pray.

I was not all that remarkable is that's what we ought to be doing at all times.

We are to be studying the Bible and pray because that's the way we grow is God's people. Yet here is Daniel, the great prophet, distressed doing precisely that.

The fact that he did is no doubt meant to encourage us when we because whatever affliction has come into our lives say well maybe we have to seek another solution were told about the very beginning of chapter 9 the first year of Darius first year of his reign.

I Daniel understood from the Scriptures. He was studying the Bible. According to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet even mentions the book that he was using for his daily devotions. The desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years. So I turned to the Lord and pleaded with them in prayer and petition, and fasting and in sackcloth and ashes. Several things that are worth noting about that in my judgment.

One is the very fact that Daniel studied Scripture is a Daniel was the prophet Daniel was the one who had been receiving revelation very book of the word of God that were studying is his book if ever there was a person whom we might say, didn't need to study the Bible because after all, the very things he himself had written where the Bible or at least were part of it certainly was Daniel and you Daniel turns to the word of God and studies it carefully burns this great prophet Jeremiah who had preceded him in the final days of Jerusalem before fall sickening.

It's interesting to note about this is that when Daniel turned to the Bible, and began to study it.

God directed him to the very passage administered to him in his distress say in the previous chapter. He had a vision that showed him the kind of distress that was going to come upon his people was a prediction of time of great affliction brought about by a particularly wicked ruler who would rise up out of the Greek state in its latter days.

This so bothered Daniel that he was second.

Here is the turns the Bible for comfort. God directs them to the 25th chapter of Jeremiah in which Jeremiah and very explicit terminology speaks of the duration of the Babylonian captivity as being just 70 years the words it was going to happen in their bad times ahead and there had been bad times in the past, but it wasn't all bad news here was good news. God was going to turn the captivity of his people and bring them back into their own land. Once again it's always difficult to date events of history because it's hard to fix starting points and sometimes years are calculated and what are for us. Strange ways.

In the Old Testament. We know that there was a partial deportation of people from Jerusalem to Babylon in the year 605 BC city itself wasn't destroyed in 586 BC and its probable that Daniel was among the captives that were taken away, not at the time of the destruction of the city. Many of them were actually killed, but earlier in that previous deportation in 605 reason that is significant for this particular portion of the story is this the fall of the city to the Babylonians was only about 48 years before this time but if Daniel was not reckoning from that date, but rather from the time of his own deportation passage in Jeremiah. After all, says not that the time dating from the fall of Jerusalem would be 70 years, but that the Jews would serve the kings of Babylonia for 70 years. Daniel was dating from the earlier period of his own deportation when he himself and other Jews began literally to serve the Babylonians, then by that reckoning 67 years of gone by city of 67 years. Out of the 70 years had gone by then the time of the regathering was almost there really three years to go. Daniel is the thought about that could hardly help but be encouraged as this third thing. Not only was he encourage began to pray about began to pray fervently.

He prayed confessing sin of his people and asking God now to do the thing that God promised that seem strange to you.

Read the word of God of something that God has said he would do and then go to prayer immediately fervently pray that he would do it you one of those misguided hyper Calvinist soups as well. God's going to do something, then I guess God's going to do it.

There's nothing for me to do, I might as well just sit back and do nothing.

That's wrong guy to Calvinism that's not even the Calvinism of John Calvin Calvin at this particular point of his two volume study of Daniel has a long section dealing with Daniel's prayer and because Calvin is often best on prayer. Some of the best things a Calvin wrote about prayer. I read this carefully and I find Calvin saying all what a mistake it is to think because God says he's going to do something. Therefore, we have nothing to do with it.

Why, when God works. God works through channels in one of the channels is our prayer in our own personal activity.

He says it's a matter of fact, far from being at an excuse for soft read of the promises of God is actually one of the greatest stimulus as you and I could possibly have fervent about effective at any rate, this is what Daniel did when he read the God was going to bring the people back from babbling to their own land recognize that the time was close hearts of the people had to be prepared for this momentous regathering, so he prayed this prayer is worth one study all by itself, it has three great parts as first part which she acknowledges his sentence and of the people. That's roughly in verses four through 11 and there's a section in which he turns to think about God's judgments.

The judgments that had come upon the people because of their sin and acknowledges that all that is just that God's judgments were richly deserved because of the sin is just confess to the Almighty, we find that in verses 11 to 14 and then finally at the end, beginning with verse 15 Daniel begins to plead with God, not on the basis of his prayer or his righteousness.

So the quality of the people's repentance on the basis of God's mercy, which is the only way any of us can ever approach to study what good prayer is there is as of the elements a confession of sin and acknowledgment that the justice of God is just and a plea for mercy as you see her get anywhere with God in completing your righteousness. But if you come, the publican confessing your sins and seeking mercy. Then we find God ready and willing to forgive you find them to be as merciful in your particular case. As the Bible declares him to be the beginning that I want you to see one special thing about this prayer before we move on to the prophecy that follows about is the way in which Daniel is great man of God, about whom nothing bad is said in all the pages of Scripture on this great man.

Daniel identifies himself with his people in the confession of their sin will you notice it is by the repetition of the first person plural pronoun pronoun we begin again in the passage is really very striking.

Let me read you some verses we have sinned and have done wrong.

We have been wicked in every ballot we have turned away from your commands and laws we have not listened to your servants the prophets, we are covered with shame, we end our kings, our princes, our fathers are covered with shame because we've sinned against you, we have rebelled against the Lord.

We have not obeyed the Lord our God or The laws he gave us. We have sinned against you, we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God. We have not obeyed him. We have sinned, we have done wrong. You do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy see what Daniel is doing to say I think one of the hardest things in any of us ever had to do is really genuinely the confessing. All we can confess sin as long as it's the sin of someone else, and sometimes we can do that in such a way that it almost looks like we're confessing our own sin we say, for example, Lord, I want you to forgive me for doing this thing. But of course you have to understand that I wouldn't of done it or so and so hadn't done so and so that's a way of confessing their sin rather than your own, or even when we do confess our sin. We don't confess it wholeheartedly. Hardest thing to do and perhaps that's why were so unsuccessful in our prayers. Why it's so hard for us to pray because until we confess our sins were not really coming to God in the basis of his mercy were still pleading our own righteousness, and as long as were pleading our own righteousness. We can't comment if we do, we don't receive answers to our requests hears way to learn learn from Daniel we sin, we have been wicked. We have done wrong and if you're praying alone.

What you should probably say is why I I I Daniel did that and that's why he was such a great prayer warriors, not the righteous but are the great prayer warriors, it's women and men who recognize that they are sinners and come to God for his grace. At any rate that's undoubtedly why God heard and answered his prayers. He did Daniel pray this way when he got to the end.

He had a very moving plea, old Lord, listen, old Lord forgive all Lord here and ask for your sake. Almighty God, do not delay because your city and your people bear your name and anguish, God responded with a great revelation.

We have in the latter portion of the chapter. Now it's a difficult process difficult revelation, but I recently read it beginning with verse 2477s are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression put an end to send to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy don't understand this from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one ruler, comes, there will be seven sevens and 62 sevens will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the 62 sevens the anointed one will be cut off, but will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.

The end will come like a flood war will continue until the end and desolation's been decree you will confirm a covenant with many for one. Seven but in the middle of that seven put an end to sacrifice and offering and 1 Who Causes Desolation Will Pl. abominations on a wing of the temple until the end that is decreed is poured out on him that is difficult is I want to acknowledge. As I begin to talk about this that there are many varying interpretations of this in the ancients. For example, Jerome, in his commentary on Daniel lists the great variety of views that existed even this time it is early in church history certainly varieties of bots diminished from the time of Jerome. Rather, they multiplied, and there are probably. I guess with all the variance hundred so different interpretations of this even in our own time. All I can do is tell you what I think this vision means place to begin. I believe is with the acknowledgment that the new international version is done as a service and translating ordered that the King James Bible called weeks as sevens and put in quotation marks around is because the Hebrew word actually is the word seven or perhaps to put it more accurately a group of seven something now the word is used, to mean a week. Obviously, because if you have a group of seven days, that's a week and so it's not wrong to translate the word week when that's an appropriate translation as I say the word doesn't mean we get mean 700 Group of Seven, and for that reason they can actually refer to the Group of Seven anything and the new international versions of tried to preserve that possibility by simply rendering it seven or sevens outmost commentators that is, those of a variety of interpretations where passage as a whole is concerned, recognize that sevens are involved here are not seven literal weeks or seven days, which would make a week with seven years for this obvious reason.

If you take the time frame that spelled out here in then count on from the starting point, whatever that may be this proper number of weeks.

Nothing particularly significant happened in that time, but if you regard these weeks is weeks of years so have in the first case the first grouping seven weeks 49 years.

In the second grouping 433 years and total grouping minus the last week of seven years, 483 years. Then the time frame is about right because it starts with the decree to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem and extends down through history for a sufficient number of years to embrace the coming life ministry and death of the Lord Jesus Christ was people see that most commentators begin to take things at least in that way. The second thing that is relatively clear as we approach the passages that verse 24 lists a number of things that are going to have to happen within this 70 weeks of years.. Of 490 years all are six things seven the sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city put an end to transgressions put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy that we read those phrases and some of them are a bit puzzling look at them at the beginning were not exactly certain what they mean.

The last one for example in my Bible bears a footnote the words the most holy are in the footnote capitalized with a note that says or most holy place or most holy want even the translators of the new international version work sure exactly what to make of that phrase they're not all confusing. For example, this bomb in the middle that says to atone for wickedness can hardly refer to anything other than the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because where else in all of history as atonement for wickedness been made has to embrace the ministry of Jesus Christ. And if that's the case, that gives us a way in which we can begin to think about the other things to put an end to transgression and sin, that would relate also to the work of Jesus bring in everlasting righteousness was referred in some way to the establishing of God's own righteousness in his people, the community of the righteous.

The church seal up vision and prophecy is in my judgments, the culmination of the New Testament Canon saying that this will all be completed in this life. And then finally to anoint the holy one, which as I said may refer to the Messiah himself to a re-consecration of the holy place. At any rate. Some of these things begin to fit into the pattern. The chief difficulty we have in working this out historically is that were not exactly sure of the point from which to begin number three main possibilities. One is the decree that was issued in the rain of Cyrus the King and which is recorded the very end of second Chronicles 36 chapter verse 23 and then the very beginning of Ezra, which follows second Chronicles immediately. Our Bible so two passages joining the two books together. We have this reference to cypresses decree problem with this is that it's a bit early. Besides, there's nothing in the wording of that decree to speak about the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

It concerns the temple we might say well if double the start of the city wouldn't be far behind the strictly speaking, that decree doesn't refer what we have here, and since the dating doesn't work out real well anyway I believe is the least attractive of the three alternatives. The second possibility is the decree issued by Artaxerxes the first of the seventh year of his reign, which is recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra were number of decrees. This is the second one. Ezra actually gives it in full.

In verses 12 through 26.

This decree was issued. We believe in the year 457 BC. So if we move forward 49 years from that date is the first grouping of the weeks of years become the 408 BC. And that's the time by which the temples of the been built in the walls reconstructed most.all of that and then moving on. 433 more years.

We come to 8027 Alexa bit early and some people's opinion because it seems early. They pick the third of the possibilities which I'll mention in a moment, but I mean show how this has to be taken in the first place. When you pass from numbering years BC the numbering years ADF to add what because when you pass from one BC to one A.D. actually cover two years that was only one. There's no way in our accounting as we do that to account for the zero year so when you talk about year 8026 is actually the 8027. Adding the right number of years to the starting point.

Secondly, when Daniel writes here. He writes to the appearance of the anointed one that doesn't strictly refer to his death refer I would think in the context of his ministry was baptism. Money was made known to Israel. When John the Baptist announced the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world.

If the ministry of Jesus Christ was three years long as I believe it is in most other people believe it is also then you come to the year A.D. 30, which is why judgment is the perfect year established by other sources for the crucifixion comes out exactly right by that kind of reckoning the third possibility is been a very popular one in past years and this is the decree that is recorded in Nehemiah chapter 2 verses five through eight.

It occurred in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes the first that is 13 years after the one I just been talking about when you put all those figures together you come to the year A.D. 39 or 40.

Now that's no great problem because all Daniel is saying is all these things should be accomplished by that year doesn't have to be more specific. Generally, commentators of been unsatisfied with that a talked about what they call a prophetic year to year of 360 days rather than an accurate 365 1/4 days by making all the necessary adjustments that follow from that kind of reckoning. They come out. Also the year A.D. 30 that was very popular viewpoint some years ago and for long time. That's the one that I thought was best myself. Although I changed my mind recently. I think the second one is the more acceptable.

The easiest one to figure but whether you take the second of the Florida weather.

There's another possibility for the dating that we don't even know about.

The point is, all of these things were to of been brought. The plants are launched by the completion of this important. That's the case, and quite obviously there's a strong emphasis upon the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point of the entire prophetic picture of all God's plans and history and I asked because we have to deal with that one about that last week at 70th week that comes after 69 weeks. How are we figure on it.

I suppose that there have been differences of interpretation of the first parts differences that involve this last week of been multiplied far more to give you Calvin's opinion, and does the calculations somewhat along the lines that I've just been doing in order to date all these things up to and including the ministry of Jesus Christ.

But I guess this last period of seven years, and he faces the difficulty that all of the space. Namely that if you begin with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the completion of the 69 weeks in Avalon.

The seven years. Nothing particularly significant happened in those seven years, and so he says well the only way he can explain it is that this cutting off in the middle of the seven years must refer to the resurrection. In other words, he passes at that point from a literal examination of the years has years to something of a figurative interpretation and generally speaking that's the pattern that reformed people following Calvin have adopted down through centuries that may be right, whom I to think differently in the great John Calvin. But I do in this particular case, I think in this case, the people who have suggested a break in the unfolding of the prophetic picture after the 69th week are probably right. According to this view has many variations, but according to this view. At this point God began to do a new and very startling thing in the church which came in to being in a special way that Israel was not part of the people of God but the church came into being as a special way at the time of Christ in his resurrection pouring out the Holy Spirit upon all flesh. And this is a great age in which the church is being gathered together from all races, all nations, Jews and Gentiles all times. All languages and at the end of that. When this particularly great important movement of God's plan and history is completed all the number of the church is gathered and then this last week will begin to unfold again and will become a time of great persecution.

This is the way they take the passage is talking about a time of great persecution on the link it up the appearance of the Antichrist, which is mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.

I think that there's one very strong argument for doing that and that is that in his final discourses before his crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ referred several times to the abomination of desolation that is spoken of in Daniel it's here in this passage occurs in the 11th chapter and again in chapter 12 Jesus spoke of the abomination of desolation which Daniel links to the final week not as something to come in the immediate years following his own death and resurrection, but is something that's associated with the events that take place at the very end of history when these things begin to happen, says Jesus lift up because your redemption draws nine that's the case then this is as I say, think my judgment, it's the best good interpretation of these things now how do we conclude, let me conclude by these two observations number one God has a plan and a timetable for history, God can lay it all out here in terms of years.obviously is not merely a general plan with a specific plan included in that plan is the return of Jesus Christ rezone and judgment. You and I may not know the details of that plan even when we read a passage like this and think we understand we may be wrong of the fact we may be wrong with the fact we may fail to understand the details of God's plan doesn't mean that God doesn't have one. Perhaps it's a case that God gives us these things in terms which, from our perspective are general enough so that we might not get complacent in our interpretation might rather be stimulated to look forward to the return of Jesus Christ our blessed hope repairing for that regardless of when it may occur. You're not a believer in Jesus Christ applies to you in this way, Jesus one day will return in judgment. This is a day of grace, but it is not an unending day of grace they will end, Jesus will return now is the time to prepare for the coming then secondly I make this conclusion it is true that God has a plan and history.

It works thoughtlessly for the fulfillment of his plan, but as we saw the case of Daniel in his prayer that does not mean that God does not do that without human agents. God works in history, but he works through people doesn't just work abstractly doesn't just cause events to happen. People certainly on works through his church to know Jesus Christ as Savior liver him and bear witness to him in a special way. That means you say that if you're obeying the Lord Jesus Christ as his witness and if you're following amateur disciple and God is working through you.

These things that are being accomplished that are so important.

These things that God counts so important that he's given major portions of the Bible to explain again to warn us about the these things are accomplished in part through what you and I do that.

So you say it means it nothing really that you and I do for Christians fails to matter you testify to Jesus Christ that matters. If you fail to testify that matter so you will pay Jesus Christ that matters.

If you disobey Jesus Christ that matters is not constructed things in a way causes people to sit back, wipe their hands and say well, God will work then let him work will my stand in his way, but is constructed things in such a way, those were spiritual say God is working, then let me work because he has honored me by choosing to work through me that you do that God will bless your testimony, God will honor your stand. You may not see it. We don't always see it now. Sometimes all we see are the hard things now we live for now.

God will honor that. And will be revealed before the angels in the day of Christ coming to spray father many things in your word are beyond our understanding, and when we come to a passage like this, we must confess that, having done our best still know that there is much we fail to comprehend father forbid that we should use a lack of comprehension as an excuse for failing to live by what we know our father. We know more than enough. You've told us more than enough of what we should do, how we should live what difference it makes father just give us grace to do that to be heroes or heroines, just to be saints. Jesus, you have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study are featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse.

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