INTRODUCTION–THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL—ARE THEY TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS LITERAL WEEKS OR A PROPHETIC PERIOD OF TIME WHEREIN GOD HAS DESIGNATED TO USE ISRAEL? HAVE ALL SEVENTY WEEKS REACHED FULFILLMENT, IF NOT WHAT PERIOD IS LEFT REMAINING? WHAT ARE THEIR MR IMPORTANCE? HOW DOES ONE DETERMINE THE BEGINNING POINT FOR THESE SEVENTY WEEKS? WHAT ROLE DID THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE PLAY IN THESE WEEKS AND HOW DOES THIS REBUILT TEMPLE DIFFER WITH THE ONE SPOKEN OF IN JOHN 2? WHAT ROLE DID NEHEMIAH PLAY IN THESE WEEKS? THE MESSIAH, WAS HE CUT OFF AT THE CLOSING OF THE 69TH OR 69 1/2 OR FULL 70TH WEEK? THE prince WHO BREAKS THE COVENANT WITH MANY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 70TH WEEK, ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND THIS TO BE THE TRUE CHRIST OR THE ANTI-CHRIST WHO OFFERS PEACE TO ISRAEL? WHAT TWO INDISPUTABLE REASONS MAKES IT TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO FIGURE PROPHETIC TIME BY THE JULIAN CALENDAR? WHAT STARTLING DISCOVERY WAS MADE IN THE 16TH CENTURY BY CHRONOLOGISTS THAT UPSET THE TIME OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND THREW B.C. AND A.D. TIME OFF 4-6 YEARS? HERE IS AN UNFORGETTABLE SUBJECT TO DETERMINE HOW MANY LITERAL YEARS ACTUALLY FELL BETWEEN THE REBUILDING OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM AND THE CUTTING OFF OF THE MESSIAH. THE DISCOVERY OF TILE YEARS BETWEEN THESE TWO PERIODS WILL INDISPUTABLY DISTINGUISH TILE TRUE PROPHETIC WEEKS USED UNTIL THE TIME OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST.
Daniel 9:20-27 has always remained a difficult subject to teach. Mainly because when the Julian calendar was updated the chronologists discovered they were 4 to 6 yrs. off on recorded time, therefore this being some 15 centuries or more after the birth of Christ and not knowing where to place this 4 to 6 years- –the chronologists placed their 4-6 years as floating time in a place where I believe would perhaps be one of the most confusing places they could possibly have placed it and that was around the birth of Christ which determines the ending of recorded B.C. time and begins A.D. and with the study of Daniel’s 70 prophetic weeks this 4 to 6 years does anything but help the situation in determining the prophetic time spoken of by the angel unto Daniel concerning the period of time that had been designated for the remaining years God would have use and purpose for Israel before the millennium. However with the assistance of a chart found on pages 4 and 5, I feel sure we can show just how important this entire study of Daniel’s 70 weeks is to determine how much prophetic time is left in the program of Israel, whether 7 years or one week or only 3 1/2 years remaining and to furthermore determine just where in these prophetical weeks was the Messiah actually cut off- after 69 full weeks or 69 1/2.
Let us state in the beginning it is not our desire to correct the Julian calendar, for when the angel spoke to Daniel, the Julian calendar was not even in existence, being the work of a group much later -Catholic Church-therefore the 70 prophetical weeks are determined from no other calendar than the one all Jews are familiar with, the Hebrew calendar where time is based upon the moon-30 days being lunar month containing 360 day year and not solar time as the Julian calendar- with 365 days. As stated the angel knew nothing about a Julian calendar when he was speaking unto this Jewish man Daniel. Daniel, like all orthodox Jews even today, recognizes time by the Hebrew calendar, certainly not the Julian calendar which now is more confusing with their 4 to 6 floating years unaccounted for.
Neither is our main purpose in this vast study to determine the birth of Christ or any such, thus our only purpose is to see if we have enough recorded time to fulfill either 69 full weeks up to the death of Christ or would there be enough time from the hour the commandment went forth to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian destruction unto the cutting off of the Messiah to fulfill 69 1/2 weeks-The answer may surprise you! Also it is our purpose to remove the 4 to 6 years which the Julian chronologists declared was unaccounted for simply because God himself has never lost any time, 4 to 6 floating years placed at the beginning of A.D. or birth of Christ led only to confusion in the study of the prophetical weeks of Daniel seeing that the chronologers placed their floating gears into a period that seriously affects and hinders the true knowledge of prophetic time concerning the setting of Daniel, furthermore, I am not ignorant of the fact that among these people following a message delivered unto us by God’s Seventh Church Messenger there has remained a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel as to whether there is really one full week left, making Jesus to be cut off at the close of 69 full prophetical weeks or is there only 3 1/2 years remaining which would cause Christ not to have been cut off at the end of 69 weeks but would stretch time in years out to 6942 weeks taking up half of the 70th week (which is 7 years). The question is more important than one realizes seeing that you cannot adjust the prophetical week either to 69 or 69 1/2 unless you have enough years between the beginning of Daniel’s week unto whatever time prophetically the Messiah was cut off. In other words, you cannot, just up and say he was cut off after 69 or 69 1/2 unless you have enough years between the beginning of that prophetical time until the time he was cut off. The confusion seems to stem from several particular statements made by Bro. William Branham when certain questions were asked him during the time he preached the Seals. These brief answers have now left in the minds of certain people trying to follow this message a question whether there is only 3 1/2 years left of the 70 weeks or a full 7 year period left as this prophet had previously drilled into the minds and hearts of the followers. If there are only 3 1/2 prophetical year’s left to be fulfilled that means the first 3 1/2 years of the 70 week was taken up during the first advent of Christ causing Christ to be cut off in the middle of the 70 week instead of being cut off at the end of the 69 week as the prophet had so forcibly taught in 1962.
I will have no explanation as to why I feel the prophet made these two confusing statements until I come to the end of this message. I remember very well saying to myself when those statements were made, Lord somewhere there must be a reason and purpose of yours causing these statements to be made, when already you had anointed your prophet messenger to inexhaustibly teach your people that Christ was cut off at the close of 69 prophetical weeks which ,would leave Israel with one more full 7 yr. period at some future date to be dealt with. I am fully aware this message God delivered through the mouth of his servant will set our thinking perfectly in line with the true revelation of the word of God. Beloved, I sat there absorbing that marvelous week of study on the 70 weeks of Daniel when it seemed as if that anointed prophet exhausted himself to the very extent of study, trying to bring forth every historical event into perfect alignment with the scripture and would continually ask the people DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT? DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT? Do you now see how that 69 weeks has passed and there yet remains one more prophetical week to begin somewhere in the future for Israel? Do you see how the prophet would say that Christ was cut off at the very closing of the 69th prophetical week making an exact total of years from the going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem a total of 483 years? Each time the congregation was asked if they understood they would echo a hearty amen and it seemed they were firmly convinced when they said amen until several years later when the prophet made a statement or two that seemed to undo their amen.
All I will say here is God is a great teacher and sometimes after thoroughly explaining a subject to a person’s perfect understanding, at some later date he may give you an examination through a question or two to see if you really did get the message in the heart that the prophet explained while teaching the 70 weeks of Daniel. Bro. Branham surely taught in his anointed message which is in book form and tape recorded called THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL that Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly on Palm Sunday April 2nd which closed out the 69 weeks and exactly fulfilled 483 years since the commandment went forth to rebuild the city. I have only one question to every reader before actually entering into this vast study. Realizing that Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday April 2nd and was crucified 5 days later how in this world can you possibly take 5 literal days and make 3 1/2 years out of them!!! So you see the point of our study is-how much actual time is there in years from the going forth of the commandment to the cutting off of the Messiah? If there were 69 full prophetical weeks expired you need 483 prop. years between the two points or if 69 1/2 weeks were used up you would absolutely need 486 1/2 years. And you may be astonished to learn that there wasn’t 486 1/2 natural years expired between the going forth of the commandment the angel spoke of and the cutting off of the Messiah!!
Some time ago this subject began to press heavily upon me, surely somewhere there had to be a true and proper interpretation and understanding as to what this 70 weeks of Daniel is and is not in respect to that remaining period of time of 70 weeks. Truly, this is not a salvation doctrine, however I grant you before the bride of Christ leaves this earth she will not be in confusion or ignorance as to the reality of those 70 weeks, but will have a true understanding informing her to the time factor which God has designated he will use in dealing with that nation of Israel and if those things are properly interpreted in the light of the scriptures as the scripture foretold what would be and history confirmed it, running parallel with it should even more convince us that God’s word is that much more the truth, yet as we endeavor to do so I am fully persuaded both from historical truths and scriptural truth that we are entering into something that only time itself will prove whether it’s right or wrong.
THE SETTING OF DANIEL 9:24-27
I am sure that we are all familiar with the setting in Daniel how for almost 70 years Daniel and the children of Israel had remained in Babylonian captivity and no doubt recognizing the fact that they had been in captivity almost 70 years as Jeremiah the prophet had previously prophesied they would remain in captivity. Seeing that time almost expiring and being very concerned over the future of Israel Daniel declares a fast and begins to pray to the one he knows has all the answers. Mainly what plans almighty God may have for his people Israel in days to come. Recall Jerusalem for almost 68 or 69 years has lay in waste and the temple destroyed. Daniel earnestly seeks God until he has the answer. 21 days have passed and still Daniel cries before the Lord, Oh God what about thy people Israel? What part more do we have to play in your great role seeing our city lays waste and thy people in captivity? After 21 days a message arrives from the Glory world at the hands of an angel who declares he has been trying to reach Daniel since the first day he began to pray. The message came in symbolical language and it is very doubtful that Daniel himself was fully aware of the fullness of the interpretation in all of its application, yet it would give him knowledge to know that God was not through with Israel even though she had been in captivity almost 70 years and the temple and city of Jerusalem itself did lay in waste. God still had a plan in mind for his people where in he conceals the length of years that he would personally use Israel in his divine will, these years are wrapped up in symbolical terms of what God calls 70 weeks.
WHAT IS A SYMBOLICAL WEEK?
The messenger declares to Daniel there is 70 more weeks determined upon thy people and the holy city and in that 70 weeks 6 things shall be determined (1). To finish the transgression (2). Make an end of sin (3). Make reconciliation for iniquity (4). Bring in everlasting righteousness (5). To seal up the vision and prophecy (6). To anoint the most holy. To do this according to Dan. 9:25 would require 70 prophetical weeks, the starting of the first part of the 70 weeks would be when the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 69 weeks; the streets shall be built again and the wall even in troublesome times and after 69 weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolation are determined. (70 A.D.) v. 27 and he (prince) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate even until the Consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The message is brief, however in it Daniel knows there is much in the plan of God left for his people. Of all the years left for Israel after she would be released from Babylonian captivity and be in useful service unto God would be what the spirit determines 70 weeks. In determining what 70 weeks is we must ask ourselves the question, is this 70 weeks literal weeks as gentiles know weeks as 7 days determining one week or does these 70 weeks symbolically cover a lengthy period of time and if so how much time does it actually cover? We discover that the Jews were familiar with the term one week as being 7 years for recall when Jacob had been tricked by his father-in-law thinking he was receiving Rachel to be his wife was actually receiving Leah and we are told in the scripture that when Jacob confronted Leban as why he had tricked him after he had already served 7 years only to get the wrong woman Leban says it must not be done in our country to give the younger before the first born. Note Gen. 29:27 for a key-Leban says fulfill her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shall serve with me 7 other years! Verse 28, Jacob did so and fulfilled her week (7 years) and he gave him his daughter Rachel to wife also.
Yes, according to the angel’s message Israel still had 70 more prophetical weeks in God’s program. Using this symbolical language God was able to convey his message to those he desired to receive it and yet at the same time hide it from the wise and prudent.
69 WEEKS SHOULD HAVE LED JEWS TO CHRIST
You would be made to wonder how the Jews in the day of Christ could have ever possibly missed his first advent had they taken to heart the angel’s message of the 70 weeks being determined upon the city and the people. Someone who was called the Messiah was to be cut off after 69 full weeks had expired, at exactly the time that Jesus Christ was cut off! Surely the Jews knew from their own records as to the time the commandment had gone forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem! All they would had to do was count off 483 years from that hour and the Messiah should be in the land of Israel being prepared to be cut off! Had the Jews of Christ’s day been on their toes they would have walked right into the first advent of Christ being guided by the 70 weeks of Daniel.
As already stated 6 things would be accomplished during the 70 prophetical weeks according to the symbolic message which should not only be determined upon the Jew but upon his holy city as well. As a matter of fact that the going forth of the commandment to rebuild the city began those 70 weeks! Recall that the commandment that set the 70 weeks in motion was to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (the holy city).
Daniel now with his prayer answered holds the blue-print on the measurement of time that God yet has in store for Israel before the millennium. The angel has instructed Daniel how to apply his mystical yardstick of 70 weeks-it will be determined upon the basis that 7 years equals one week and to the time that the Messiah would be cut off from the going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem would require 483 years of actual time.
TIME OF THE GENTILES BEGINS WITH OVERRUN OF JERUSALEM – 600 B.C.
Luke 21:24 testified Jerusalem would be trodden down by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled. For the first time in 2500 years in June 1967 did Israel have complete control of the city of Jerusalem! 1967 was the first time in 2500 years that a heathen flag had not flown over Jerusalem while somewhere foreign troops tramped down her streets. Times magazine sometime ago reported that Jerusalem, which is the city of 3 faiths-Jewish, Christian and Moslum, had changed hands some 25 times-this my friend was all accomplished during the time of the gentiles (25th time Jerusalem went back to Israel). But when was Jerusalem first overrun, when did foreign troops first march over her soil and take over her holy city? It is interesting to note, though of no real value to this message, that the 10 tribes of the north which split away from the 2 southern tribes called the southern house of Israel (Judah) was carried away by Assyrian and after 130 years and 6 months the 2 southern tribes were carried away into Babylon as Jerusalem was burned to the ground and her temple and walls destroyed in approximately 600 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar, the first world empire ruler. Jerusalem was trodden down approximately 600 B.C. and throughout Babylon, Mede-Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire would be trodden down by the gentiles until the time of the gentiles be fulfilled. I said approximately 600 B.C. because historians cannot seem to agree upon the date that Jerusalem first fell to gentiles therefore it was around 600 B.C. when the time of the gentiles began. Began to what? Trod down Jerusalem of course. So, for the sake of argument we will say it was around 600 B.C., not debating the 6 to 8 years that Jerusalem was trodden down.
DANIEL’S VISION OF THE LITTLE HORN
Note, when we come to Daniel 9, is it not strange that in Daniel 7 a vision had already broken before Daniel showing him the 4th world empire that would rise up (the Roman empire) and how it would break into 10 horns (during the middle ages) and how up between these 10 horns would rise a little horn having a mouth speaking great things changing times, laws, seasons, etc., and would be given power to pluck up 3 horns (or 3 kings) of their national authority (not identity). That horn was none other than the papal power springing into uncontrollable authority during the dark ages. Once that papal power began to project itself it took more and more supreme authority until finally by the time you reach the 12th century we find the little horn (the pope) sitting in the Vatican holding the same identical authority and being recognized the same as those of the ancient caesars who once ruled Rome! How, my friend, is it possible that the same power and authority which rested on one political chair could suddenly jump over to another chair still in Rome? How the papal power gained such Power and prestige is the discussion in our next article entitled, “FROM ROME TO THE VATICAN” or The 8th HEAD IS OF THE 7th, don’t miss it !!
DANIEL ALREADY INTRODUCED TO prince or little horn
Is it not strange that as Daniel conferred with the angel who explained to him in the final week (79) of Israel’s history before the millennium he spoke to him concerning this little horn, calling him the prince who broke the covenant with Israel in the middle of the week! Is it not strange that in vision Daniel had already been introduced to the little horn who would play such a part in the last week of the series of 70. An angel in Dan. 7:24-25 had previously explained this little horn would be granted a measurement of time referred to as time, times, and a dividing of time or 3 1/2 years spoken of also in Rev. 13 as given power for 40 and 2 months this is all the same measurement of time, and that measurement of time begins when the anti-christ breaks his covenant in the middle of the 70 week, (Dan. 9 1 the scriptural yardstick of time, times, and a half time means 3 1/2 years, a period of time within that final 70 week when the horn will be allowed to exercise his authority in all fullness fulfilling that qualification of all the ancient caesars which he inherited when the imperial chair fell to him before the Dark Ages and that is that he would be worshipped as God! 2 Thess. Ch. 2-tells us of such an hour when this restored imperial headship (8th is of the 7th) will announce to the world that he is God and shall sit in the temple in Jerusalem demanding that he be worshipped as deity. Had there never been another verse of scripture written in the entire Bible we would know that horrible character when he appears on the scene given a time, times and half time or 3 1/2 years in his office.
Therefore, with that fact placed in our minds and recognizing the fact that we are dealing with the 70 weeks of Daniel a period of time which is cut out for the Jews and that holy city Jerusalem, somewhere within this 70 week the world is going to see a character that fits this period and tribulation time as he is given a time, times, and a dividing of time to exercise his authority especially against Israel!
The angel informs Daniel to understand, “That from the going forth of the commandment or the decree or authoritative letter issued unto them showing they legally carried the king’s sanction,” what did this service issued by the king declare? Please read this scripture carefully – to restore and build Jerusalem unto the cutting off of the Messiah would he a total of 69 weeks. Paraphrasing it in this manner it would read “from the going forth to rebuild Jerusalem, getting it ready for the first advent of Christ unto the Messiah who is the Prince would consist of a prophetic 69 weeks or 483 actual years of time. Note please, that the word Prince in v . 23 is capitalized, while the prince appearing below it in the same verse Is not. Isa. 9:6 spoke of Christ the Messiah as the Prince of Peace. To the cutting off of the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks 3 score and 2 weeks ( 69 weeks) if these weeks of 7 spoken of by the angel were nothing more than a natural week of 7 days, in 490 literal days all prophecy would have been fulfilled from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. That we know is impossible!!
DETERMINING WHERE 70 WEEKS BEGAN
Locating where these weeks belong might create a misunderstanding, though I hope not. If we will but analyze this message in the light of the scripture I do not believe there would be any misunderstanding. I, as so many others in times past, had taught that the beginning of the first 7 weeks or 49 years of the angel’s message began from the time they actually began to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem and not the city itself as this verse plainly said (Dan. 9:25). We hope by the grace of God to show that rebuilding the temple was not rebuilding Jerusalem and that the Jewish people who returned from Babylon faced quite a few years (8) before the temple itself was completed and that it was 93 years, literal years, after the temple had finally been completed before we find one word mentioned concerning rebuilding the city. therefore there is a vast difference between building a temple and building a city. In order to place a beginning for the 70 weeks of Daniel we must determine where the commission came forth to rebuild Jerusalem. For this fact we shall consult 2 sources (1). The Bible (2). Secular history, and recall we only use secular history that verifies the scriptures, not that history would run contrary to the word of God which is truth.
CYRUS’S TEMPLE – 538 B.C. (2 Chron. 36:22-23)
Turn with me first to the scriptures in Ezra. Ezra as you know was the noted scribe living under the reign of Cyrus (the 1st King of Persia) who took over the Babylonian Empire. Cyrus. taking over the kingdom, fulfilled the prophecy found in Isaiah 44:28. Think of it-somewhere in the scope of time, long before the temple was ever destroyed by Nebuchadnezzer and his Babylonian army the spirit of God came upon Isaiah who prophesied “Behold Cyrus my anointed shall build my house (or build me a house), and at that hour of prophecy the first temple was still standing and no Jew had been deported to Babylon! Yet, 70 years passes after the captivity and no sooner had Cyrus captured the Babylonian Empire he felt inspired to fulfill that prophecy! Seeing his empire filled with Jews and knowing how sentimental they were about returning to their city and land, unbeknown to him as why he felt inspired to release them, he let them go. When this report reached their ears it is generally believed that here is where Daniel confronted Cyrus as to what his part was in rebuilding the Lord’s house, therefore Cyrus made a decree and 3 times in history did the commandment go forth to rebuild the house of God. (1). The original commandment went forth under Cyrus (2). The 2nd commandment went forth unto Darius and the (3). Went forth under Artaxerxes. Ezra 3 record where they had returned unto the land shortly after their return from Babylon which, according to Bro. Branham, occurred around 538 B.C. (a figure used by most historians). 538 B.C. would have allowed them to fully serve their Babylonian captivity and we note according to Ezra when the 7th month was come, (meaning the 7th month of the Jewish year which came during the first year of their release) and the children of Israel were in the cities the people gathered themselves together in the land as one people. Now notice what happened in the 7th month of the 1st year.
ALTAR ERECTED SEVENTH MONTH
Jeshua their high priest who is also spoken of in Haggai and Zechariah stood up, “then stood up Jeshua the son Jezadak and his brethren the priests and Zerubabbalel (the one appointed governor by Cyrus to govern the Jews socially, politically and religiously during that hour). The son of Shealtiel, and his brethren built the altar of the God of Israel and offered burnt offerings thereon as it is written in Moses the man of God (note they built an altar long before they built a temple) and they set the altar upon his bases for fear was upon them because of the people of that country and they offered burnt offerings theron unto the Lord even burnt offerings morning and evening, they kept also the Feast of the Tabernacles (recall this is the 7th month of their holy year). See it is during that first political year of their return into the land in the 7th month they built the altar-they built the altar long before they built the temple! Therefore that is why I say let those Jews in our period get that holy spot and you’ll see the altar of sacrifice go up before you know it. They won’t necessarily have to build the temple at that time of getting that holy spot, Building that altar will put the Jew in his prophetical fulfillment of God’s word for recall he is God’s timepiece. We note in Ezra 3: they offered their burnt offerings, their daily burnt offering by number according to the custom, however note not one word about the temple being rebuilt has even been mentioned, has it? Recall, the year of 538 B.C. and Cyrus, the first king of the Medes and Persians is still on the throne and reading down into Ezra 3:1-4 – you come into the 2nd year after the Jews have returned to their land and according to Ezra 3:8 Cyrus is still king and still nothing is said about the house being built.
TEMPLE FOUNDATION LAID 2ND YEAR
Now watch carefully in the 2nd month in the 2nd year of their return (recorded also in Haggai and Zechariah the contemporary prophets) we find the appointment of Levites from 20 years old and upward being appointed to work on the house of the Lord. Recall, in those days they only had ox carts, pack mules etc., nevertheless by the 2nd year of their release they are ready now to work on the house of God on which Cyrus had released them to work. Yet, with modern equipment today you let that holy spot fall into their hands, equipped with the wealth of the Jewish world behind them and the knowledge that they have been without this holy spot for over 1900 years brother I guarantee you they’ll exhaust every means to see that house goes up in its proper time factor.
FOUNDATION LAID AMIDST PRAISES
Note, back in Ezra it was not until the 2nd month of their 2nd year after their release did they appoint Levites and set them to work on the house of the Lord. Space does not permit us to go thoroughly into Ezra’s writings however, you read from Ezra 3:8 and there you will notice in verse 10 when the builders of the temple laid the foundation they sang together, giving praises unto the Lord because he is good and his mercy endureth forever, and all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord as the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, and many of the old men who had seen the first house when the foundation was laid wept aloud before the altar, etc.” Carry this thought over into the book of Haggai and Zechariah and we learn when they found that one stone which was the chief corner stone having 7 eyes engraved in it Zechariah said they laid it with shouts and praise for in the spirit they knew what this stone represented. (1). It was a type of Christ the Messiah who would have the seven spirits of God within him or the seven attributes-not seven individual spirits-but within him would be the seven spiritual attributes and Christ being God incarnate meant these seven attributes of God would be in him in a bodily form. This special chief corner stone is the stone that the builders had to angle all their measurements from. Remember when you lay the foundation of a building there is always one particular stone from which you determine every angle. If the building is a rectangular or a square it must have exactly four-90 degree angles and these angles must be determined from a spot of measurement. Those old orthodox Jews shouted and praised God when that chief corner stone with the seven eyes was put in place by a prophet, for in the spirit they knew this was the beginning and the end,-you can start from this stone go 300 yards south make a 90 degree angle go another 100 yards, turn and go down 300 yards and always if you make a 90 degree angle you’ll come right back to where you started. They knew in the spirit this was Christ-this represented Christ-it would begin with him and end with him, Hebrews 12:2. Remember the foundation for the temple was laid with joy, praise and worship in the 2nd year after their return. Without getting too technical and since the historians cannot fully agree as to the time we will only say that it was roughly around 536 or 537 B.C. That would place us now around 536 or 537 B.C., provided the fixed point of 538 B.C. is correct as a date when Cyrus released them to return and build the house. Cyrus financed the expedition through certain means of the treasury of the Persian government.
DARIUS’S PERIOD OF MISUNDERSTANDING
However it should be noted after being in the land the 2nd year and the temple foundation laid there has not one word been said concerning rebuilding the city of Jerusalem itself because no sooner do they begin to build the house when a group of Arab complainers who are in the land begin to fight the project. They accuse the Jews of in-surrection and sent a letter to the king informing him if he will check the past record of the Jewish people he will find them to be a people of insurrections and in every kingdom they have been a hard people with which to get along. Allow them to build this house and they will revolt etc.! Meanwhile for some political reason Cyrus is not on the throne at the hour the letter arrives at the palace and it is Darius who is on the throne and knows nothing about the previous arrangement. Darius, unaware of the previous decree Cyrus had made, sends word to Jerusalem to stop the work immediately-our time period is now around 519 B.C. Ezra 6: is written between this period and shows there has been a delay in building the house. More letters are written back and forth as the work is at a standstill-one letter would grant release for the work, another would say stop the work. Hurrying on we must show where the temple was finally built. One may ask the question, where does all of this fit into the first period of the 70 prophetic weeks. Ezra 6:1 recorded a second letter being sent to Darius who by this time has become very concerned over the situation and searched back into the previous records and there found the decree that Cyrus had made concerning his permission for the Jews to return and build a house for God and having found this decree Darius makes a decree himself. Ezra 6:1-3 records the dimensions of the house Cyrus had granted permission to build. Space does not permit us to record these verses however you should read them. Leaving the dimensions in verse? We are shown how the king addresses the governor personally. Knowing what is going on now, Darius says, “Let the work and this house of God alone, let the governors and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in this place and therefore giving tribute and expense unto these men that this work be not hindered granting them whatever they need etc.,” In. v. 11 we find the Lord himself speaking saying, you have tampered and played with this project long enough I want this house to go up. Darius continues by saying whoever hinders this work whatsoever shall be hung and his house made a dunghill and the God who has caused his name to dwell there (Darius continues) destroy all kings and people who shall put forth their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree let it be done with speed).
THE HOUSE COMPLETED, WHEN?
Verses 14-15 states this house was finished on the 3rd day of Adair. Adair is the last month of the Jewish holy year which is equal to our month of February, and approximately 10 or 11 days of March. Adair closes out the Jews holy year yet (not their civil year) therefore we note carefully that the house of God which Cyrus released the Jews to build was not finished until the 6th year of the reign of Darius the king, somewhere around 519 B.C. and recall Cyrus was still on the throne while the Jews were still in their 2nd year of release-a total of at least 8 years before the house was built after their release. However note Jesus’ remarks in John 2: where it is said that 40 and 6 years was required to build the temple and the people ask Jesus and you say you would build it in 3 days (John 2:19-21). Recall it was here Jesus and his disciples stood before this magnificent temple, the heart throb of every proud Jew. It’s beauty splendor and size was magnificent yet the people said it took 46 years to build this temple, true it took 46 years to build what they were looking at in John 2: but recall from the dimensions laid forth in Cyrus’ decree as to the size of the temple to be rebuilt it was in no comparison to that of the magnificent size that was in Jesus’ day.
THE 46 YEAR TEMPLE IN JOHN 2
Since the first seven weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks required a total of 49 years I had always felt it had taken 46 years to build this temple. After Cyrus’ release, considering at least the 2 years of hindrances the poor Jews faced would have covered the entire 49 years or the first seven weeks of the 70 weeks, however through Jewish history I was privileged to learn something that changed my entire line of thought, the 46 years required to build the temple spoken of in John 2 has nothing to do with the building of Cyrus’ temple which was finished around 519 B.C. in the 6th year of Darius reign. The hidden point which most of us do not know is that the temple referred to in John 2: requiring 46 years to build was under the administration of King Herod not Cyrus and Darius. It seems according to Josephus, the Jewish historian, Herod was appointed king over the Jews by Caesar Augustus, he certainly was not in line for heirship of the king. Israel had not had a king of proper heirship since the days of Zedekiah (2 Chron. 36:11-21) when Jerusalem was overrun by Nebuchadnezzer, killing the king and all of his heirs, leaving the throne to be vacant until he who shall come in the name of the Lord shall have perfect heirship to the throne and that is none other than King Jesus who was born in the day of this appointed King Herod. For recall the wise men from the East coming to worship the baby who had followed his star inquired, where is he who is born King of the Jews? Herod, being part Jew (Jew and Arabian), when having been made king by Caesar wanted to do something to build his influence and change the public’s tide of opinion about himself. What could Herod do that would change this tide of opinion about himself-what could be more effective than to take the little small temple that Cyrus had instructed the Jews to build and greatly magnify it, beautifying and moving back its foundation walls to a far greater extent-this is the work of the temple that required 46 years. As a matter of fact, Herod died even before it was finished, his work being not finished on the temple until ap-proximately seven years after the birth of Christ. Herod’s death came somewhere around 4 years after the birth of Christ.
Seeing so many historical dates out of focus with the holy scriptures I began making a study Into those things using the Bible as a true basis and guide line. I thought Lord here’s another confusion that I’ve found already, then it dawned upon me somewhere this Bible has all the answers that one needs provided it is studied properly, therefore I am only going to read you historical events from secular history that can be backed up by the word of God-it is this word that has stood the test through the ages. Only history running true parallel with the word of God shall be used in our study!
Note once we discover that it was not the commandment or instruction by God to go forth and build the house in Jerusalem, that is our starting point to begin the 70 weeks of Daniel as I had previously thought, where then are we going to find the beginning of such a decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem itself? We have plainly seen the decree concerning the house of God issued by Cyrus and finished in the 6th year of Darius, now we must discover when the decree came to rebuild the city for that’s what the angel said would start the 70 weeks.
DECREE TO BUILD THE CITY – 445 B.C.
Recall it was Isaiah 44: which prophesied that Cyrus would rebuild a house, It did not read Cyrus would rebuild the city-only the house (2 Chron. 36: 22-23). Cyrus set it in motion, Darius saw it completed, however, according to Haggai the city itself lay in ruins throughout that period. It was not until the days of Nehemiah who lived even in a different period from those Jews first released, who is the wine-cupbearer for a new king on the Medo-Persian throne, Artaxerxes Longimenus (Longimenus implies a man with long arms). Artaxerxes, according to history, took over the Persian throne approximately 465 B.C. and scripture records that Nehemiah was down in the 20th year of this king’s reign bringing us to the year 445 B.C. We are now in the period of the 4th king of Persia and Nehemiah, according to the first chapter of his letter, tells us that some Jews visited him who had returned with the group in 538 B.C. released by Cyrus and had returned under the capable leadership of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Zerubbabel. Since that release time has drifted by for a period of 93 years and still the city lay In ruins.
JERUSALEM IN RUINS AS NEHEMIAH ADDRESSES KING
Nehemiah inquires concerning the place of his fathers and finds that after 93 years the city still lay in ruins the city is still untouched, only the altar and temple has been built. For recall building a temple was all that was required by Cyrus in Isaiah 44: (and II Chron. 36:22-23) Nehemiah is heart broken and grieved as he enters the presence of the king and the king noticing his cup-bearer as he brings in his wine that he is not his usual joyful self inquires what is troubling him! Chapter 1 v. tells us the month is Chisleu equal to our latter part of November and first part of December it is in the 20th year of the new king’s reign that he receives word of the condition of the city however it is not until the month Nisan equivalent to our months of March and April that he stands before the king low in countenance and the king says, seeing you are not sick, this can be nothing but sick of heart, it is now that we begin to see that his prayer and fasting before the God of heaven according to Chapter 1:4-11 is about to pay off.
Nehemiah stands in the presence of the king with a sorrowing heart over the conditions that still remains with the city of Jerusalem. Standing before the king and queen he is asked a question, what can I do to help you, Nehemiah? Read carefully Chapter 2, verse 3 as we hear Nehemiah say why wouldn’t my countenance be sad when the city, the place of my fathers sepulchre liens waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Recall 93 years have passed since the release to rebuild the temple and the city still lays in waste and the gates have never been rebuilt, verse 4-the king inquires what do you request, and gets this statement-Nehemiah prays to the God of heaven and the God of heaven according to v. 5 impresses him to ask to be sent to Jerusalem unto the city of his fathers sepulchre that he might rebuild it: According to historians it is believed that the queen who sat by his side (Ar-taxerxes) was Ester, Artaxerxes inquired of Nehemiah how long he would be gone, verse 7 & 8 tells us that letters were issued unto Asaph the keeper of the kings forest to give Nehemiah the lumber he needed and letters were issued unto governors beyond the river to assure Nehemiah a safe journey. Is it not strange that people have always felt that Nehemiah was only the wall builder around the city-that Is true, but he returned to build the city also for we note in chapter 2 v. 17 as Nehemiah had gathered together the officials of Jerusalem saying, “See the distress we are in how Jerusalem lieth in waste and the gates thereof are burned with fire; come let us build up the wall of Jerusalem that we be no more of a reproach.”
In the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes which was approximately 445 B.C. Nehemiah was handed letters of authorization allowing him to return and rebuild Jerusalem the city of his fathers, Bible scholars all seem to agree that 445 B.C. was the beginning of the time factor for the 70 week period to be set in motion.
IMPORTANCE OF CHART
Studying the chart on page 4 and 5 one finds much to absorb and may I say that this chart did not come easy. It is pitiful when you can’t gel historians to agree and most writers who study after these historians only pick things here and there placing them together making them to read and say what they would like for them to say, regardless whether it lines up with the scripture or not. My first thought was, seeing there is so much confusion about this subject already I won’t even touch it, yet somewhere this thing must line up where each part falls in place.
FLOATING YEARS AND TOO MANY DAYS MAKES JULIAN CALENDAR UNPROFITABLE
Mainly the confusion links from the fact that so many are guilty of trying to use and stay in line with the Julian calendar. However I tell you it won’t work, you will never figure biblical time that involves time especially around the birth of Christ. Seeing the first of all that chronologers nearly 1600 years after the birth of Christ updated the calendar and discovered they were 4 to 6 years off and having to account for this time did not know where to place it. Therefore placing it back where B.C. time expires and A.D. time begins (with the birth of Christ) and perhaps having no knowledge of 70 prophetic years did not realize they had placed these floating years in the worst place possible and (2nd) because the Julian or Roman calendar is a calendar set up on solar time requiring 365 1/4 days out of a year-making the Julian calendar impossible from which to figure prophetic time. You will note on the first line of the chart we designate our first dark black line to represent Julian calendar days and our 2nd line represents Hebrew calendar days with the 3rd dark line representing the scripture and the biblical account. Therefore because January 1 began a Julian calendar year we naturally put on the Julian calendar line Jan. 1st although the Julian calendar should never be used from the time the decree was given, concerning the Hebrew or 2nd line. We also use the first month of the sacred year Abib or Nisan and ac-cording to many historians the commandment to rebuild came forth on March 14th. Many historians use March 14th, therefore to please the historians we’ll set down March 14th on our chart as the beginning point for the 70 weeks. However March 14th Is translated into the Jewish month Nisan corresponding with approximately Malan 1st, why do I say approximately? Simply because I don’t know when the New Moon appeared. However, note over a 19 year period cycle the Moon will fluctuate (backward and forward) therefore about every 3 years the Jews add another month to balance it and bring it back into its equinoxial setting therefore we say approximately. So using the year 445 B.C. with the month of March to correspond with the Julian calendar figuring time we come all the way down through time to our Point Zero Dec. 31st (final day of the Julian year) adding all that time up according to the Julian calendar would give you a full 445 B.C. Julian calendar years.
ZERO POINT–WHAT IS IT?
We do not mean for the zero (0) point on our chart to be misleading and certainly it is not exact, therefore do not become alarmed thinking we are attempting to place the birth of Christ at zero (0) point which Dec. 31st meaning B.C. time would end at this point with A.D. time beginning. However, since the chronologers have placed 4-6 years floating years of time around point zero (0), allowing a couple of years of that lost time to be over on the B.C. side and the remaining on the A.D. or vice versa. This makes some historians say that Christ was born in 4 B.C. However we know he could not be born on the B.C. side of time since his birth establishes the break between B.C. and A.D. Therefore our zero (0) point represents only one thing-a reasonable margin of attempting to establish where B.C. breaks off and A.D. begins, in this case it’s according to Julian calendar time for It is the Julian calendar time and not the Hebrew calendar time that presents this confusion (in time) and to have a full 69 prophetic weeks we must have 483 proph. yrs. before Messiah is cut off, some 33 1/4 years past zero (0) point. Truthfully, our Julian calendar is of no real value to us as figuring prophetic time once we come to the line of where the prophetic time begins seeing it carries 3651/4 days solar time therefore we must turn and work strictly from the Hebrew calendar from the beginning of the commandment 115 B.C. (Passover season) until the ending of, shall we say, the 69 weeks which ends in another Passover season 483 years later.
VIEWING DEVASTATION MADE 163 YEARS AGO
Recall when Nehemiah returned to rebuild the city 445 B.C. (Passover season) Ezra is still alive however Nehemiah makes no mention of Haggai or Zechariah-undoubtedly they have left the scene. Another year has expired and these early con-temporary writers who came with the first wave from exile some 93 years ago have now passed on. Ezra being the only one mentioned was seen on his trip, verses 11 – 17 pictures of that prophetic site after coming to Jerusalem the terrible devastating sight of over 163 years ago, at the hand of Nebuchadnezzer stares Nehemiah in the face. No doubt Sassafras, broom sage etc. are growing everywhere within the ruin city. And as they rose up as one man and began to clean away the rubbish and marks of devastation placed there 163 years ago the prophetic clock of the 70 weeks had already started ticking away.
WHAT TRANSPIRED IN THE 7 PROPHETIC WEEKS OR 49 YEARS?
(1). We note the first 12 years of that period of 49 years was used to build the walls, and after the walls had been built they set up the gate and rebuilt the city. Nehemiah tells of the times he had to tell the people to continue with the walls; how they found certain writings of Moses and how Ezra built a large platform on which he stood instructing out o; the book of the law from the early morning until late in the evening-a reading which brought great sorrow and repentance upon the people and for days they would feast and fellowship. One morning they heard from tfie reading of the law and a revival broke out stimulating spiritually during that period of time (of the 12 years), they brought back the golden vessels unto the house of God that had been built by now over 100 years ago in the 6th reign of Darius. The priesthood function was set in order and truly Israel rejoiced in a tremendous revival. Haggai and Zechariah have already left the scene; Nehemiah finishes his job and returns to the king’s palace.
MALACHI THE LAST PROPHETIC VOICE UNTIL JOHN THE BAPTIST
Turn with me now to the book of Malachi. Historians are at a loss as to when Malachi prophesied so in order to hit it precisely they say Malachi’s writings fall somewhere between 450 and 400 B.C., that’s to be sure to get them into the proper time factor. Everyone I am sure is aware that Malachi was the last prophet to the House of Israel for over 400 years until John the Baptist came on the scene. We note that Malachi’s prophesying on the scene comes at the close of? Prophetic wk. period (49 years). It is his prophecy that brings the period to a close, however we note a strange difference in what Nehemiah said during that period of rebuilding; how revival came; golden vessels placed back in temple; priesthood restored back in order with long periods of bible or scriptural reading to the people and them rejoicing over what God had said, however when you come to the closing of the 49 year period we find in a short period of time things have drifted again into apostasy! Only a few years under Nehemiah the priesthood was set in order and the temple dedicated, a great revival came as Ezra read the scripture, people rededicating their lives and put away their foreign wives, however we find Malachi prophesying bitterly against a priesthood which only less than 25 years before was in a great revival.
MALACHI CONDEMNS PRIESTHOOD
It is Malachi who is prophesying against this priesthood declaring they’re offering polluted bread upon the altar, polluting the true ways of God and turning away from that walk of dedication which had led them into the 70 years Babylonian captivity in the first place. having already turned away from God, longer observing his laws and statutes! God had given them such prophets during this period as Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Nehemiah; men who had brought them back reestablishing them in the land and giving them such a great opportunity to rededicate themselves. Now Malachi stands at the end of this period, the last voice to come to Israel closing out the 49 year period or the first seven prophetic weeks and look what this priesthood is doing polluting the temple and its ritualistic worship! Reading the final chapter of Malachi we see him rebuking them as the period closes out. Ezra is not in the picture neither is Nehemiah, Haggai or Zechariah for it is now the closing phase of the 49 year period. Watch this Malachi, living in an hour when the temple was being turned into a house of merchandise, is prophesying against the priesthood rebuking them. Mal. 3:1 his prophecy changes, reaching into the far flung future and says “Behold I send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me,” what is Malachi actually seeing? He sees John the Baptist who is born of the lineage of the high priest family. Continuing the prophecy “Behold He shall come saith the Lord God of Hosts, but who may abide in the day of his coming, who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and fullers soap,” Yes, as Malachi stands rebuking the priesthood of that day he looks down into the future past 400 silent years unto a time when a young man will be born from the lineage of a godly priest and shall be the forerunner of the Messiah who according to Malachi’s prophecy shall come into his temple. What the Messiah actually did once coming into the temple is not recorded by Malachi however the apostle John records what happened, Christ came into the temple and took a whip and cleaned house. This was shortly after his ministry began. Christ was visiting Jerusalem during the Passover Season and found the condition even more severe than was in the days of Malachi who began the prophecy against this ministry. Christ takes a whip and runs the money changers out saying you have made my Father’s house a house of merchandise. It is interesting to know that on his last trip to Jerusalem he again cleaned house running the money changers out, turning their tables over etc. and is it not strange to note that even 37 years after the death of Christ that it was the actually fighting of these men in the priesthood fighting among themselves causing insurrections, murders etc. that brought the Roman army to Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to put down the trouble that they the priesthood and their many factions were responsible for – this led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Look at the priesthood in the day of Malachi up until the day of Christ and out into the final destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was none other than that priesthood whose ancestors were rebuked by Malachi that brought the total devastation against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Titus. No doubt this shall be more meaningful once we touch that period however Malachi closes the period and Israel does not have another voice with “Thus saith the Lord” for over 400 years to prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. Malachi’s ministry closes the period (first 7 prophetic weeks or 49 years) witnessing the priesthood badly slipping from their dedication after they had been properly restored through Nehemiah and those who came on the scene after the dedication of the temple; the walls of the beautiful city being restored; the records brought up to date by the scribes according to 2 Kings and Chronicles concerning their history, their exile etc. Malachi witnesses them slipping away from all this dedication with a feeling in his heart, somewhere God would have to do something. It was under such a slothful indifferent attitude of that priesthood that inspired Malachi to prophesy saying “Behold I send my messenger and the Lord whom ye shall seek shall suddenly come to his temple,” what was it? Malachi saw Jesus appearing at the temple at that Passover Season in Nissan sometime after his 30th birthday after his 40 day fast. After the choosing of his 12 disciples we find him at Jerusalem during the Passover Season. The temple courtyard is full of sheep pens, bull pens, pigeon coops and what have you – Christ walks into the temple to these Wall St. money changing bunch of Jews with a whip in his hand and you know the story of what happened.
One of the major purposes in this message is to prove both by scripture and history that the events shown in detail in the 9th chapter of Daniel up until the coming of the Messiah, the Prince, had only enough literal years to fulfill 69 full prophetic weeks; only enough time elapsed to culminate all the things recorded that must transpire in 69 weeks and that there is not enough literal years of time available to finish 69 1/2 or even 70 weeks by Christ’s death.
JULIAN CALENDAR SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED IN FIGURING PROPHETIC TIME
In our endeavor to cover this subject something of interest had never occurred to me until recently as I had spent the better part of the day researching various sources of reliable histories. My thoughts became so confused when I could hardly find any historians that would agree as to the actual year of the birth of Christ. To me it becomes confusing when historians would say Christ was born in 1 B.C., when historians were supposed to have used his birth to regulate A.D. 1-leaving that B.C. period of time. B.C. to me is Before Christ was born, anything after Christ is not B.C. but A.D. Finally it broke through what these historians were speaking of saying Christ was born 4 B.C. When I began to study these 70 weeks from the standpoint of our present day calendar under which our present time is regulated (old Julian Calendar) which has already been updated twice, and after 1582 when Pope Gregory updated it for its last time astronomy made a startling discovery that changed everything. It began to appear as they studied the astronomical cycles of everything that the Julian calendar was way off course! They discovered that they were out of date, out of coordination with time as much as 4-6 years! What were they to do with these 4-6 years? Therefore by Julian Calendar time that shifted the birth of Christ from 4-6 years depending on the historian and which ever way he wanted to go, whether he wants to place some of that lost time over on the B.C. side or not. This period of 4-6 years is referred to as the floating period of years. Say if you want to use 4 B.C. for the birth of Christ, that is 4 years to work out the birth of Christ then you could wind up over at his triumphal entry into Jerusalem in 30 A.D.! (that is using 4 B.C. For birth) but the point is this, with floating years placed just anywhere you have nothing stable to work on to prove his birth as to when it was and certainly God had no intentions of accepting a Roman Calendar to determine his 70 Jewish weeks when first of all they were weeks deter-mined on the Jew and his holy city!
70 WEEKS DETERMINED BY HEBREW CALENDAR ONLY
Certainly not! Furthermore God did not have 4-6 floating years in mind when he said-to the coming of the Messiah being cut off would be 7 weeks and 60 and 2 weeks making a grand total of 69 full weeks or 483 years of prophetic measured time which is spoken in the word. It seems as though chronologers are more lenient to give way and favor the Julian calendar and adjust everything to it rather than take history and the scriptures and deal with the birth of Christ on the basis of that and here throw out the use of the calendar, because if they have lost record of time then you have nothing on this Julian calendar to even go by in the first place. So, rather than make the adjustment anywhere hack in time after the death of Christ which would have in no way interfered with the counting of those prophetic weeks. Instead, they place those unaccounted for years around his birth–(worst place possible) when actually A.D. doesn’t mean AFTER DEATH, it means after the advent of Christ! but with the floatation of 4-6.years in there, these bewildered historians can begin A.D. at any point they choose. However beloved, this subject of 70 prophetic weeks determined on the Jew and his city can not be dealt with on such a flimsy basis because it is prophetic. God never loses sight of any time when he refers to the Jewish 70 weeks, does He? Therefore, I approached this strictly from the standpoint of history only when history and the scriptures would run in true parallel, each to the other.
60 and 2 WEEK PERIOD
Begin reading in Dan. 9:25, “Know therefore and understand of the going forth of the commandment or the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah or the prince shall be 7 weeks (7 prophetic weeks of 7 years each making a total of 49 years). threescore and two weeks (62 weeks) the streets shall be built again and the wall even in troublous times. That means that in this period of 62 weeks which should be 434 years beginning at the break of the first 49 years, taking you right on through the birth of Christ and the cutting off etc., the city and everything would absolutely be restored, rebuilt, inhabited, populated and will be in that state as the Messiah would be born, yes even at this time he would be cut off! We have several Jewish writings such as the Maccabees etc. Many times it has been asked why did not the christian church accept those writings of the 400 year period along with the New Testament as being authentic? There are two ways to look at this — (1). We must realize that Malachi was the last voice of God having a revelatory impact, looking ahead to the future, predicting events etc., Sure, these writings spoke of the coming of the Messiah yet in none of them did it have Thus Saith the Lord to this extent, that it had that revelatory punch looking ahead to predict world events in respect to what God would do concerning the coming of the Messiah! However, I want to say that does not mean that God did not lead those godly Jews who lived in that period, during that period God’s dealing with them was more for survival for existence and preservation. Reading the book of the Maccabees you won’t find anything in there of a revelatory nature, that is, looking into the future in advance, you have strictly the supernatural guidance and preservation of those men as they dealt with the situation in that hour for survival of the faith which was fast being taken away from them. True, they had visions; they had dreams; they had super-natural visitation but it was solely God’s dealing with that respective hour — it carried no revelatory punch of looking to the future Therefore this seven week period ended “thus saith the Lord.”
PREPARING CITY FOR MESSIAH’S COMING
Let us examine this first seven week period or 49 years from the standpoint of history. What happened in that period of time which coincides perfectly with the scripture saying the city would again be built in troublous times. Recall Jerusalem had fallen under Nebuchadnezzar and lay for seventy years desolate in every respect. Cyrus freed the Jew as the Medes and Persians came into power. As this period of the first seven weeks closed where the temple, walls, city etc., were rebuilt and time began to progress on into this sixty-two week period, the world empire fell out of the Persian hands and went into the third world empire, the Grecian empire in 325 B.C. Alexander the Great had completely conquered the then known world and shortly after gaining control he goes back to Babylon, dies, and leaves his vast empire to be guided by his four generals. Then many times, like politicians do, they became rivals one against the other, gaining their authority by doing this or that against each other. We find in that period of time Israel was still under the control of whatever division of the empire that happened to be in the lead. Israel was caught between the territories of Syria and that of Egypt. It so happened that these two territories being elements of the Grecian Empire under the jurisdiction of two of these four heads, the governors, the heads of state began to become rivals against one another and for many years there was a period of time it is said in history that Israel was caught between the hammer and the sickle.
JERUSALEM — THE CROSSROAD OF THE WORLD
Israel is that little narrow strip of land that lays along the coast of the Mediterrenean. Coming from Asia Minor wanting to go to North Africa unless you travel down a long vast territory of deserts you had to go through the land to Israel. Israel was the bridge between two con-tinents. Miles and miles south of there is nothing but a vast sandy desert stretching hundreds and hundreds of miles. No army ever crossed that vast desert, instead they used the Holy Land. That little narrow strip facing the Mediterrenean was always the gateway between the two continents. Every empire’s troops have tramped her streets, therefore Jerusalem as a city has had her cross to bear for survival. During that long period of time, the in between period spoken of by the angel as a 62 week interval of Jewish history leading down through the birth of Christ, Jerusalem was constantly under oppression being overridden and overpowered especially after that Grecian breakup and I might say this during that same period of time the priesthood became more and more corrupt.
PRIESTS RESPONSIBLE FOR JERUSALEM DESTRUCTION -70 A.D.
Recall how Malachi had prophesied against the corrupt priesthood! Watch to what extent it fell. The Jewish history records the entire history of the priesthood from then right on down through Caesar and Titus who came and once again destroyed Jerusalem. Beloved, that priesthood had become so filled with politics that often different priests of the Levite tribe who wanted to become the High Priest bough( their office from whatever Imperial power was in position and often these other priests who would be of rival parties would assassinate one another. Insurrections and everything else happened through that priesthood. That is the sad story of the priesthood leading up to the advent of Christ and on into Titus’ period of destruction. Anyone who has read Josephus realizes this is what caused Vespasian and the Roman army to be at Jerusalem. There were three rival party men, all contemporary one with another, wanting to have the office of the High Priest because naturally the Romans being in power had placed certain judicial authority to the High Priest to govern the Jew in his social and religious affairs, therefore any High Priest who held that position naturally found himself in good standing with the Roman Governors. Recall when we read Haggai and Zechariah, Jeshua the son of Josedech was a godly man who was the High Priest for the exiles coming back from Babylon and Jeda who followed him also was a godly man. However once we leave that period which brings us on into the closing of this 69 week period. See how closing out the 49 year interval, Malachi had already begun to rebuke that priesthood because they had forgot what those early priests were, and how they walked before God when they came back out of Babylon to rebuild that temple, rebuild the walls and rededicate themselves as a nation of people back to God.
ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES — WHO WAS HE?
Following the untimely death of Alexander the Great, his vast empire was divided between four of his commanding generals who had already entered the field of politics in various areas of the kingdom. The territories of Syria and Babylon was given to General Seleucus. Antiochus Epiphanes was the eighth king of a list of twenty-six to reign over this particular territory of the divided kingdom until Rome conquered the world. Wars and revolutions were most common among these new territories and geographical boundaries changed frequently, old ones wiped out and new ones installed. Israel, as you recall, lay in the crossroads the two main empires of Syria and Egypt. Antiochus Epiphanes passing over that route to Egypt to engage in warfare stops off at Jerusalem. Having heard of the magnificent temple of the God of heaven, desired to go in and view the sights but he, being a Gentile, was denied this privilege by the High Priest. Being greatly insulted and angered he informed the Jews he would not take this lightly and upon his return from an engaged battle with Egypt he would deal harshly with them. Upon his return from his battle he passed through Israel and Jerusalem slaughtering Jews by the thousands. Entering the holy temple he sacrificed a sow upon its altars and erected a statue to Jupiter in the holy place. It was here the Maccabean period as known to history began.
DEFILES TEMPLE 168 A.D.
Antiochus Epiphanes destroyed Israel’s one God worship and imposed much Grecian mythology upon the people which they detested. One such family was the Maccabees living in a village not far from Joppa. Mattathias Maccabee, an aged holy man and his five sons rebelled and formed a guerilla army which battled Antiochus until the old man’s death and Judah, his son, picked up the fallen sword to head the army. This guerilla army battled him until his death in 163 B.C. and on into the reign of his son who persecuted Israel also until at last a peace treaty was agreed upon. Judah and his guerilla army recaptured Jerusalem on the same day of the same month some years later, then purified the temple. Since there are hundreds of years in this 62 week period there is no need for us continuing on just in this period of time when we desire more so to discuss the closing of the period. We are only going to say the first part of the 62 weeks which must be taken from that 400 years will bring us right to the advent of Christ.
NISAN 445 B.C. SETS WEEKS IN MOTION
Recall, according to history and scripture that decree which began this 70 week time began in the month Nisan in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longeminus, King of Persia. in his 20th year of reign and he took over the reign in 465 B.C.. he had been reigning 20 years bringing it down to 445 B.C. Since most all historians base their dating upon the Julian Calendar we would like to familiarize everyone from the Julian standpoint. Naturally the Jewish month Nisan or Abib corresponds with part of our month of March. Historians rough it off that it corresponds to the month of March however it does not correspond to the entire month of March, So, for the sake of measuring the time most chronologists say that the month of Nisian began on the 14th day of March of that year 145 B.C. The Scripture declares that the decree or commandment was given sometime in the month Nisian, not on the 1st day. I will use a fixed point around the 7th of Nisian equal to the 21st of March as a beginning point to measure time to the end of the 69 weeks. To show you it would be in true respect to the Julian Calendar. we leave the Hebrew counting and since we are figuring it from the Julian basis we begin with the calendar year on January 1st. On the chart I have 445 B.C. above for the beginning Julian calendar time-January 1st would signify the beginning of that year.
DETERMINING ZERO POINT
Certainly you must have a beginning point (445 is our beginning point) as well as a stopping point for B.C. where A.D. will commence, Right? That way you have something to work from and something to work to. On our chart we refer to our point which we are working toward-to end B.C. and begin A.D. time as point zero (0). December 31, which is chosen being the final day of any Julian calendar year. Right? That is a fine place to work toward, however don’t get alarmed, we are not trying to say Christ was born on December 31 in order to begin our A.D. period, NOT AT ALL. I’m not working this on the basis of the calendar, I am working it on the basis of history and the scripture as you will see shortly. So relax, (Point zero is to help dismiss that 4-6 years floatation). I am an old country boy who must have figures and facts to work with, therefore we are going to examine our chart from the full year standpoint beginning with January. We realize that the decree was not granted unto Nehemiah which began the 70 weeks until the 7th day of Nisan, therefore I set it up on the basis of March 14th, according to many historians yet we broke it down on the chart for the Hebrew equivalent.
EXAMINING ZERO POINT DETERMINES END OF B.C. PERIOD
Watch carefully, working from left to right towards point zero, December 31 would end B.C. and begin A.D. That is as far as it could go on B.C. time. That leads you down to year 1 B.C., ready to cross over into the A.D. period at the birth of Christ. Doing so we end up with 445 Julian calendar years. Now we realize somewhere after we stop using B.C. we must come into the Advent of Christ. Here was the point that really did make me dig. Examining my point zero of December 31, last day of the year according to the Julian calendar then January 1 would begin year 1 A.D. —zero point is December 31 — now I had to establish somewhere just what time in relation to point zero was Christ born! Face it, it must be established!! Therefore I looked at point zero and said if he was born to the left of point zero time would still remain in the B.C. era because all you have done is merely lengthier time which would either push point zero backward or forward a few years (4-6). You have actually lengthened this span of time in relation to his birth. Next as I looked I thought, if he was born somewhere within the last 6, 7 or 8 month period of that point zero year ( point zero) then we can establish B.C. and A.D. on the basis of when Christ was born, still allowing point zero to be back on the Julian calendar year. As already stated you don’t determine B.C. or A.D. on the basis of our point zero, December 31. you would be only measuring that particular year on the basis of how many days of that year were truly used in the B.C. period before Christ’s Birth moving over to A.D. time. Recall until you come to the actual birth of Christ you are still in B.C. time, right? You are closing out the final year for B.C. with the birth of Christ and as we previously stated God has not lost any time.
WHERE IN RELATION TO POINT ZERO WAS CHRIST BORN
Here is where in my study I had to turn to history to find out whether secular history runs parallel to the scriptures in reference to the birth of Christ. First, let us turn to the scriptures and although I am not a fanatic there are several things we are going to be touching upon_ Our main object is not to determine what or when Christ was born or anything but it is only to determine whether or not enough time had elapsed by the’ death of Christ to fulfill prophecy., Could 69 1/2 weeks possibly have been! fulfilled at his death or was there only enough time for 69 weeks? Turning to Matthew, let us see what is recorded concerning the birth of Christ. Matt. 2:1- Recall, Herod was not truly a Jewish king, only an appointed one, appointed king by the Roman Caesar. Herod is not a king after the kingly line, because Zedikiah was the last king Israel ever had of the old dispensation. Herod was part Jew and part Arabian, nevertheless that does not prevent us from using Herod as a focal point in history and scripture, because all history we have studied dealing with the Roman period of that hour refers to King Herod. Herod was at Rome on two separate occasions when he received his kingship as authenticated by the Caesars. Matt. 2:1- “Now Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and we are come to worship him. When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” We are familiar with the story from there on down, I am sure. From that setting we are instructed Christ was born when Herod was king. We want to discover if other writers would refer to this in any way. When I read in secular history that Herod died 4 B.C. I thought, that is crazy!! From the scriptural account Herod was the dirty pup that made that decree having all the little children 2 years old and under put to death in Bethlehem (Matt. 1:16-18). From the scribes they learned where he was to be born. According to the scrolls they read IN BETHLEHEM. Herod instructed the wise men to seek out the young child and when they found him to let him know of his whereabouts that he might also go they found him to let him know of his whereabouts that he might also go and worship him. This would have been wonderful had it been truth but an angel of the Lord appeared to the wise men instructing them to return another route. Realizing what had happened Herod made a decree based on the time which the wise men had reported of seeing this star in the east. See, it had taken them that long to get to Jerusalem — all two year olds and under were to be killed. When that decree came forth an angel appeared to Joseph in a night dream instructing him to take the young child (not little baby) and his mother into Egypt and remain there until I send for you. This Joseph did and Jesus as a young child was in Egypt until Word came that Herod was dead. According to Biblical account we realize that Jesus was in every probability from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years old. We have no way of knowing how long he remained in Egypt, yet there is every possibility; he remained there 6 months to one year. I am not saying that is how long he remained there. Our concern is only to let you know he was in Egypt when Herod died and that he was not a little baby but a young child!
HEROD AND CAESAR. TWO WORLD FIGURES
Note what the gospel of Luke says concerning the birth of the Christ Remember we are in search for any world figure that scripture may speak of in order that we may establish a time factor. Herod was alive and lived somewhere in proximity of 3 to 3 1/2 years after the birth of Christ ( that is approximately). Now we are beginning to narrow it to a central point, aren’t we? According to the gospel of Luke which brings in world history we read, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” Beloved, that informs us who was emperor during that period, doesn’t it? Now from a historical point we have something to work with — the taxation of Caesar Augustus.
THE TAXER–CAESAR AUGUSTUS
Notice, the angel had already appeared to Mary informing her she would be with child. Watch how everything progresses! “And the taxing was first made where Cyrenius was governor of Syria.” This also is recorded in history! Isn’t it strange Joseph and Mary were journeying to Bethlehem to pay their taxes? Mary had no idea the baby was going to be born during that trip. Joseph wasn’t a pauper, and Mary, like any other young mother expecting her first child, would have been so taken up in preparing little dainty clothes, getting things ready — that is the natural instinct of a young mother getting ready for her child and I believe home there – were some dainty little clothes that had been woven and placed the awaiting the arrival of this little child which she was to bear. However, since having never known a man she did not know when the child was to be born. What do we now have to work on? Mary isn’t aware she is running into difficulty along the road, she is heading for Bethlehem on the back of a mule with Joseph only to pay taxes, feeling firmly secure there is plenty of time and no need for worry Arriving in Bethlehem they discover that the little town is crowded with others who have also come to meet the Roman centurion, pay their taxes and return home. Bethlehem is bursting at the seams. The inn full. These are not traveling tourists but people like themselves waiting their turn to pay taxes. No place at the inn could be found; no place in the house; no place available. However, the inn-keeper said I have a stable you are welcome to use. The stable was a cave in a high bank of the hillside. The caves scattered over the land were used for stables to shelter cows, sheep etc., so the inn-keeper said, you can have it. Recall, this happens to be in a time of year when it wasn’t cold. I can see Joseph saying, well it isn’t cold, we will be plenty warm out there with the things we have brought — not having any idea something was about to happen!! But GOD DID! He ordained the entire thing in the first Place, He set the stage. I can see the first day of taxation. Joseph goes out but there is such a long line he couldn’t get to the tax collector. You may ask, why go through that long drawn out procession? Because beloved, the scripture states, “AFTER CERTAIN DAYS”. This lets me know they were there more than one clay! God definitely detained them there long enough that the child was born and Mary having no little baby clothes with her shows she was not expecting the child on their trip. Scripture says shepherds watched their flocks by night on a hillside outside, approximately a mile away from the stable. When that child was born, suddenly a great light from heaven lit up the entire area, and the angels appeared to the shepherds saying, “Fear not behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, there is born this day in the city of David a saviour which is Christ the Lord,” and this is the sign whereby ye may know ye have found him, you will find the young baby wrapped in swaddling clothes (swaddling cloth is old rags used to wrap animals necks to keep from wearing blisters on their necks by their collars. You see, God did not want Mary to have anything to wrap that baby in, in other words this was humility for truly he was born to be a lamb, the Lamb of God. This scriptural setting had revealed one important thing—the man who sat on the Roman throne, Caesar Augustus!
The next question to ponder is what will verified ancient history bring out on this period? Ancient history shows Augustus’ period coming into power approximately 31 B.C. For approximately five years he was quite busy constantly con-tending against two or three rivals for the position of the throne of Rome. By the the year 26 B.C. he had gained the throne and was in complete power of the Roman Empire when the advent of Christ took place. History verifies scrip-ture by saying, “In those days when Herod was king in Judah and Cyrenius governor of Syria there went out a decree from Caesar August-us that all the world should be taxed” and then history refers to the scriptures how that Mary & Joseph had gone to the place to the lineage of David in Bethlehem and was there when Jesus was born and even refers to how angels published his advent, then returns the subject to speaking of Caesar Augustus who lived 14 years after this event and died. establishing his death at a fixed point of 14 years (using the whole number) not referring to any fraction of the 15th year but establishing 14 years as a whole number with no fraction of years after the birth of Christ as a fixed point after zero (0) Dec. 31 on our chart. Next, I was curious to know whether any other historian would back this up, I consulted a certain historian although I don’t necessarily approve of much of his writings. I discovered here he runs true to history and established that 14 A.D. was the end of Caesar Augustus’ reign. For further verification I turned to early European history were here also if established that in that same period of time, 14 A.D., it ended the reign of Caesar Augustus and many historical writers refer in places to King Herod during that period. Therefore if Caesar Augustus lived 14 whole number of years after the birth of Christ from point zero, December 31 (ending Julian Calendar year not Hebrew). I am now able to establish a vital point of 14 A.D. from our zero point to end Augustus’ period.
15TH YEAR OF TIBERIUS CAESAR–WORD CAME TO JOHN
At this point we have not established where exactly point zero is in reference to B.C. and A.D. time, have we?
In Luke 3:1 we received some help. There we found the name and date of the Caesar following Augustus. Luke 3:1 “Now in the fifteenth (15th) year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod …” note, this Herod is not the Herod referred to in Matthew who was Herod the Great. This was Herod’s son. He also had another son called Philip. Therefore, don’t confuse him with Herod the Great! This is the Herod recorded in Acts 12 who harassed the early christians, decked himself out and made a speech. The people applauded him as a God (Act 12).
Yet again the point is not the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar that we are after but it will help–“Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.” The word of God came to John in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius, therefore we move a line from 14 A.D. to another fixed point allowing 15 more full years when John the Baptist began his ministry. Adding 14 as a whole number to 15, another whole number, gives us 29, doesn’t it? That of course is determined from point zero, Dec. 31, on your chart. Somewhere in that 15th year of Tiberius’ reign “came the word of the Lord to John the Baptist in the wilderness and he appeared at Jordan and began to preach.” We can have 29 full years to work on from point zero, December 31. However, there is every possibility that we could have a fraction of another year. This alone cannot inform us where point zero begins. Notice, this scripture stated it was in the 15th year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius who followed Augustus who died in 14 A.D. Watch John as he came preaching “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is come.” We do not know how long John preached before Christ came for baptism but notice the key word we find as a certain time of the year rolled around. Luke 3:21 “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to Liesus being about 30 years of age also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened and I the Holy Ghost descended in a form of a dove etc…” There was only six months difference between the age of John and the Lord Jesus.
JESUS — 30 YEARS OLD IN
CAESAR TIBERIUS’ 15 YEAR OF REIGN
“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty (30) years of age,” WHEN? In the 15th year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius! Some time beyond that 15th year Christ was baptized being about 30 years of age! However that doesn’t tell us exactly his birthday, only that he was about 30. He could have been short six months, two months, then again it could be after his birthday. Personally, I feel it was just short of the 30 year mark nevertheless it was very close to the 30 year mark–see, he began to be about 30 years of age. Now we have 14 years to add to 15, making up 29 full years and some fraction beyond the 15th. You might have a fraction of a year over the 14 A.D. which would balance it. Now we begin to have something solid to work with to determine the birth of Christ and knock out those 4-6 floating years. However you can also begin to see you are now working within 2-3 months of our fixed point on the chart, December 31 (October-December), can’t you? Recall, you have two men’s names mentioned in history and in sacred scripture in connection to the life of Christ that proves valuable in determining first where point zero should be placed. Bear in mind we are not trying to make this fall in line with the Julian Calendar. We are only trying to come up with scripture and history which runs in continuity. It makes no difference if by the Julian calendar they wind up twelve years off course, that won’t affect God at all. Just remember God has never lost any time, he remembers each time the sun comes up and goes down; he knows where every day is. Therefore, it is important to know, in order to focus his birth where B.C. ends and A.D. begins, that Jesus was approximately 30 years of age at his baptism. This shows that if we used the full 30 years in his life by merely adjusting slightly our middle point of 14 A.D. (death of Caesar Augustus) backward and forward allows us a full 30 year birthday of Christ. This will be an important point in counteracting certain traditional thoughts which are nothing more than hand me down stories that he preached 3 1/2 years.
DID HE PREACH 3 OR 3 1/2 YEARS?
He was 33 years of age when his ministry ended with the full 69th week of Daniel’s Weeks determined on the people and their city or did his ministry end in the middle of the 70th week? We must check this out to determine which of these things will bear out. According to Leviticus the order of the priests entering into their office of ministry was not to be anointed until they were 30 years of age. Leviticus sets the perfect Old Testament order (pattern) (which Christ was under, Gal. 4:4) foreshadowing Christ who would enter into his heavenly high priest office showing Christ must also be around 30 years of age when he approached that hour for his public ministry to go forth. Therefore if we can somehow determine from that positive 15th year in the reign of Tiberius Caesar (not Caesar Augustus who died in 14 A.D.), for it was somewhere within that 15th year of Tiberius’ reign that Jesus was baptized, being about 30 years of age. We now begin to ask our-selves the question from that point, using 30 full years for a number), if Christ preached 3 1/2 years of his life and was then cut off it made him approximately 33 1/2 years old at death or was it less? No where in scripture are we told Christ preached 3 1/2 years however, since we understand the anti-christ will set in Jerusalem 1260 days declaring himself to be god which is the counterpart to him, then we believe that somewhere it will bear out that Christ did preach 3 years. Therefore by taking the number 30 as a whole number and placing 3 1/2 more years on to, that we have exactly Six years from our hypothetical time point of Zero, (December 31), Alright, if that is his age then the scripture tells me when he was crucified. How many realize that the scripture shows us when he entered Jerusalem. It was on Palm Sunday. Historians declare he entered Jerusalem April 2 yet remember they are using the (Pope) Julian Calendar which the Jew knew nothing about in that day. That date is not in accordance with the Hebrew calendar. Recall the Hebrew calendar is determined by the moon. If the New Moon occurred that particular year in its normal way and since we know the date he was crucified and the number of days he was in Jerusalem before crucifixion we see he entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of the month of Nisan and was crucified five days later making his crucifixion take place on the 15th day of the month—the very first day of unleavened bread. For recall, he had eaten the Passover with his disciples on the evening of the 14th day, right? Abib, sometimes called Nisan, happens to be the first month of the Jews holy year (Exod. 12). Furthermore it also corresponds with our spring season, doesn’t it? Using positive dates concerning these two Roman Caesars as guidelines we are able to establish Christ’s lifespan to his baptism–he being approximately 30 years of age and if he preached 3 1/2 years beyond that point the scripture clearly shows us the time of month he was crucified ending his earthly ministry, Nisan 15th, Passover month. Determining from that fixed point begins measuring backward and you can see by the chart Christ would be born somewhere in those early months according to the Julian calendar which corresponds to the fall of the year, that is— (1). Providing he was fully 30 years of age and (2). Providing he preached a full 3 1/2 years ending his life on Nisan 15th after the passover had been eaten closing the 14th day. Beloved, we are not trying to be contrary to scriptures, we are only trying to establish whether there was enough time elapsed at the death of Christ to bring into focus a full 69 prophetic weeks which is 483 years of time since the commandment went forth to rebuild Jerusalem! (445 B.C.). Or did it require 69 1/2 prophetic weeks to pass before his death? Practically all of us were born in Babylon and we inherited much hand me down stuff such as Jesus being born on December 25th. Receiving the truth into our hearts causes all these hand-me-down teachings to leave, doesn’t it?
TWO METHODS–NOT SIX MONTHS APART
Beloved, watch closely, I am going to use two different methods in order to show you something and remember, whichever method we use you shall see that we come up only six months different regardless to which method you accept. Recall, all we are interested in this part of the study is do we have enough timespan to fulfill prophecy exactly in 69 weeks? Was there enough time elapsed for 69 weeks to fulfill themselves and the Messiah be cut off? That is what we seek to find out. Notice, if Christ was near 30 years of age when baptized and preached 3 1/2 years after that, being cut off Nisan 15 of the 33rd year. Was he 33 1/2 years old when crucified? Or was he somewhere past his 33rd birthday. Scripture shows he was crucified the following day after the Jewish Passover (14th) which would fall upon the 15th day of the month of Nisan, corresponding to our Julian calendar month of April 7th. Measuring backward exactly 33 1/2 years from the 15th day of Nisan or 7th of April, what do you have? Beloved you are brought back approximately for his birthday to occur around the 1st of October in the fall of the year which is the start of their new civil year, as their old year faded out! Figuring up the days between that time shows Christ to be exactly 33 years, 188 days old — just 5 days beloved over the one half Julian year. We are using these figures to establish something very important. We must now establish how much time was left within that final year in which Christ was born which was still recorded under B.C. time because it is this particular year which is moving us toward our point zero period — the center, the focal point closing out B.C. time and beginning A.D. time. Therefore there would be 91 days that you would take off of that year leaving approximately 200 and some odd days. Since you are taking off 91 days of that special year which decides the time and being fully aware that the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem did not actually come on March 14 but fell around Passover, Nisian 7th, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign leaving 285 days + 444 full Julian Calendar years unto point zero (being Dec. 31 final day of any Julian Calendar year). However, when we break that down using that month around October (beginning of Jewish new civil year) as the month Christ was born, to begin what historians classify as A.D. time, we would have a time factor of 444 years and 194 days. — bringing you up to approximately 1st of October actual birth month of Christ, placing Christ’s birth around October 1st would allow him 33 1/2 years or to be more precise 33 years 188 days old being crucified on the 15th day of the month Nisan. Adding all that available time together from the going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem would actually give you a total by the Julian calendar 478 years and 17 days. However when you convert those Julian years to prophetic years it gives you 485 years exactly allowing yourself exactly a 2 year period for the gap between the end of the first 7 weeks or 49 years until you actually enter back into the beginning of the 8th prophetic week (commencing 62 week period) historians all agree and you will too once you see how the angel broke the intervals up himself leaving a gap in time at the end of the 7th prophetical week and the end of the 69 prophetical week. Historians all agree that once those 19 years expired in relation to time somewhere between those 2 periods lies a broken gap of time to be reckoned with. Beloved why think it strange God would allow a brief 2 year period closing out his 49th year before beginning his new segment of 62 weeks because when you come to the end of the 69th week already there has been a gap between 69 prophetic week and the 70th of somewhat over 1900 years whereby he inserted the entire Grace Age. Bear this in mind the top line on our chart signifies time recorded by the old Julian calendar beginning with 445 B.C. (time factor) throwing 70 weeks into motion) as a full figure not allowing any years to be counted off during that 2 year gap simply counting straight through the Passover Season would roughly be 33 A.D. you have a total of 478 Julian calendar years breaking it down into prophetic years by the Hebrew calendar add it all together you receive a total of 485 prophetic years. allowing you 2 years over the alloted time to fulfill 69 full prophetic weeks, therefore beloved we say the Messiah had to be cut off closing the 69 weeks for there simply is not enough years and months required between the 2 points to fulfill 69 1/2 prophetic weeks, thus allowing Israel somewhere at a later point to fulfill the other half of week (3 1/2 years) no my friend counting every possible day between the 2 points it is totally impossible to stretch the time needed and that is not allowing for any break between the years there just isn’t enough time. Therefore according to calculated time Israel still has one more 7 year period in her history to be fulfilled.
FLOATING YEARS CONFUSE B.C. AND A.D. TIME
Reading from still other writers who will use 445 B.C. to begin the countdown as a full figure yet will declare that Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on April 2nd 30 A.D. ( there again we come hack to those miserable floating years) that the chronologers had to place somewhere, however using 30 A.D. as finishing point to climax those 69 prophetic weeks which is only an adjusted figure leads one into confusion, as have been stated those 4 to 6 floating years causes historians to wind up in the period of Christ’s life with adjusted years depending on where you place his birth, this heavily distorts a focal point to work from to figure the ending of the 69 prophetical weeks or even 69 1/2 had you had enough time which you didn’t to me, I must have an established point to work with not 4 to 6 years floating around anywhere in his life. If you were to use 445 B.C. as a beginning point and 30 A.D. ending point and did not know about those 4 to 6 floating years existence and not knowing where to place his birth you could easily wind up having him crucified the year he was baptized and we’re all aware that he lived over 3 years beyond his baptism, didn’t he? See how confusing it can all be when ignorant of those floating years, again I repeat using Julian calendar time using every available year you wind up with 481 years and 333 days causing you to be minus one year 227 days badly needed to produce 69 prophetic weeks (provided you used 30 A.D. finishing point). Just remember in no way possible will God declare a certain amount of years needed to fulfill 69 prophetic weeks and then for some reason shave over a year off of that time. Then somewhere we’re going to have to come up with much better figures than the Julian calendar can produce to get a more precise count of years assuring us of enough time to fulfill the weeks. Therefore we must have a more accurate time to the true year period that Christ was crucified no longer can we rely on ancient Julian instruments for figuring time, again you will read in many history books where Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D. but there again if you didn’t realize what these writers actually had in the back of their minds concerning those 4 to 6 floating years you could become very confused, see that explains why some writers place Herod’s death at 4 B.C. when scripture teaches us he was still alive when the child Jesus had gone to Egypt.
All of this has been stated to establish a line of time needed to even complete 69 full prophetic weeks much less 69 1/2. Let’s study this thought concerning the possibility as to when Christ was actually born because either way we place it you would only come up short 1/2 year. Taking a full over all length of everything we’ll need no less than 483 years to the time he is cut off. First off let’s say we don’t want to accept the fact that Christ was born in the fall of the year and neither do we want to accept the fact he was born December 25th (at least we shouldn’t) therefore we’ll establish the fact that Jesus was born around April or somewhere the first of spring, watch closely what happens
3 1/2 YEAR MINISTRY DISPROVES SPRING THEORY
If we hold firmly to these other proven figures in his life we’re certainly going to wind up against a brick wall. Beloved you cannot have him born in the spring around April living to his 30th birthday around April being baptized and preaching 314.! years and allow his crucifixion to fall around April 7th, it simply won’t figure out that way, why-because you have a 1/2 year that throws the entire thing off-course! I had always been sure of one thing he wasn’t born December 25th however probably I thought he was born perhaps in the spring of the year assuming that’s when lambs are born. Well beloved, in Indiana lambs are born around through the middle of March and then about the first of April that’s lambing season however does that determine that lambing season is at this time the world around, certainly not for my friend as you are aware it can be cold and snowing where you live and hot enough in Argentina to fry an egg on a tin root.- We must realize settings in other parts of the world are different; The more I looked at this the more I was determined somewhere there had to be a guideline that would give people a better understanding, if our minds have been only strictly motivated by tradition then somewhere there must be something that can be used as a truthful guide line, either we crucify tradition or make the scripture fall short.
In order to have Christ born in the spring of the year we could do this (1) we could say Christ being about 30 years of age at his baptism ac-tually means he was more likely 29 1/2 then he preached 3 1/2 years making him 33 years old at crucifixion born around April and crucified around April. If you do that you are going to run into a snag because according to the Levitical order a requirement of 30 years of age to enter the ministry under the Old Testament period which certainly Christ was under the Old Testament period (Gal. 4:4), causing him to fall 6 months short of the scriptural ministry. (2) or you might say this he being almost 30 years of age when baptized ready for the ministry yet he only preached 3 years, however to do this you have him cut short 6 months from his counterpart the anti-christ who spends 3 1/2 years (not 3 years) declaring he’s God and the man in the world See beloved whichever way we look at it we’re faced with one thing. We a ust crucify tradition.
TWO UNDISPUTABLE THEORIES SUPPORT AUTUMN THEORY
Lying in bed one night before going to sleep I pondered, surely Lord you have left a guide line for thy people concerning this matter seeing the damage this 4 to 6 floating years has done to thy prophecy of 70 weeks and a floating time for the birth of Christ somewhere there is a line. I dropped off to sleep and sometime later awakened with these thoughts pressed heavily upon my mind, we poor gentiles have lived under the effect of the old Julian calendar which begins our year in the dead of winter thus ending in the dead of winter; there’s our 24 hours beginning right in the middle of the night and ending in the middle of the night to correspond with our yearly Roman pagan season, but beloved not so with the Hebrew year – her civil year begins in the very beginning of fall and ends in the fall in order to correspond with the creative days recorded in the book of Genesis “And the evening and morning were the first day.” See, night first followed by day that’s why the Jew begins his day at sunset and ends at sunset not in the middle of the night and ends in the middle of the night as does the gentiles. Again we note his civil year starts in the month Tishri corresponding around our last 10 days of September and the first 20 days of October. It is the beginning of his civil year which records time from creation therefore you have 6 months of winter followed by 6 months of summer corresponding to the 12 hours of night and 12 hours of day. My next thought was the one of whom we preach is none other than the God of creation himself who came in the form of flesh giving his life a ransom in order to regain hi: fallen creation why would it not be just as easy for him to be born at the beginning of his own year of reckoning time (beginning of fall) and then be crucified in the month of Nisan to correspond with the beginning of his religious redemptive year in order to prove that he was redeeming his creation (being the very God of creation himself).
LAMBS, SLAUGHTERING SIZE, NOT SUCKLINGS NOR GROWN SHEEP USED FOR PASSOVER
As I pondered these thoughts I thought Lord this is good but it’s not quite enough I need another guideline from somewhere if we are going to make this run true to order, next my thoughts went to where he gave Israel her redemptive year as he was ready to lead them out of Egypt saying “This shall be the beginning of months to you in the month Abib (of Nisan) a time corresponding with the last 10 days of March and first 20 days of April (Exodus 12) Jehovah had instructed that on the Ot of e m nth you take a I ‘Listhat’s only 4 days before the Passover which takes place on the evening of the 14th day. Recall this slain lamb had to be a large enough lamb to feed the entire family if the lamb was too large for one par-ticular family according to scripture they were instructed to invite another family to share it with them, an observance to be observed throughout all their generations. Now watch carefully the God of heaven made this commandment—-right!! Now just suppose beloved that this annual Passover season occurs in the time of season when you haven’t got any lambs around! People are going to run into serious trouble aren’t they because (1). You can’t use a grown sheep neither can it be a small suckling lamb it had to be a good sized lamb although it could not be classified as a grown sheep! Years ago we raised sheep and I had an opportunity to study them. A 4 to 6 month old lamb becomes of marketable age depending of course upon its particular breed, if they were of extra good stock in about 4 months they could develop into about 75 to 80 lbs. while others would require a full 6 months before developing into a good sized slaughtering lamb.
WHAT 4-6 MONTHS OLD SLAUGHTER LAMBS REVEAL
That Passover Season must fall in a period when they would be slaughtering lambs by the multitudes for The God of creation would see to it that his own people would have plenty of lambs during that season, don’t think for a moment he would grant such an order and then allow his own animal to run contrary to it. There would be lambs galore, furthermore the Passover season would not occur in lambing season for in that season lambs are only baby sucklings lambs. They must be lambs for Passover season that had reached a mature age slaughtering size for that feast which would require an age of 4 to 6 months growth making that lamb ready for Passover season.
Some might question the weather concerning that fall season of the year well believe it or not the weather in the holy land in the fall being very nice and about as balmy and warm as it is around April therefore you can’t use the weather as an argument saying it was too cold for shepherds to watch their flocks by night.
BORN ACCORDING TO HIS OWN CREATIVE CYCLE
Watching carefully — subtract 6 months from the Passover season would bring you back approximately to the Jewish month Tishri which is their New Lunar month of their civil Year equal to our October!! With these things in mind we can now make the scriptures come into focus (1). He was about 30 years of age when baptized and preached 3 1/2 years,one historical writing consulted even stated that it was in the fall OF THE YEAR DURING THE 15 YEAR OF TIBERIUS THAT CHRIST APPROACHED JOHN FOR BAPTISM. Understand my findings are not based upon that statement although that’s what the writer said, and these things are worthy of mentioning. Note beloved if Jesus was about 30 when baptized ministering 3 1/2 years and was, crucified in the 7th day of April (Julian calendar time) or 15th day of Nisan Hebrew calendar taking all of this in his life placing it into that prophetic time spoken of in Daniel after 60 and 2 weeks shall the Messiah and the Prince be cut off but not for himself Dan. 9:26. Generally it is accepted by scholars and students of history alike that Jesus was introduced to this Israelite nation April 2nd fulfilling that very prophecy as he entered triumphantly into Jerusalem (Hebrew time Nisan 10) 33 A.D.
Recall always the lamb used for Passover season was to be put up 4 days before the Passover feast held in the closing evening of the 14th just shortly before the 15th day. 33 A.D. would be giving us the whole number (past number) establishing 33 A.D. for the end of his life gives us a whole number (again one must bear in mind those 4 to 6 floating years) therefore with that thought in mind that Christ was crucified Nisan 15th having eaten the Passover supper with his disciple at the regular hour closing the 14th day extending into the 15th (2) having preached 3 1/2 years and being near 30 years of age at his baptism one can well see that he was born in the fall of the year. Going forth of the commandment around Passover season 445 B.C. allows us a full 485 years and 8 days (Julian calendar) allowing us exactly 483 years with a 2 year gap marking the distinction between the 2 divided periods of time 7 and 62 weeks making a grand total of 69 full prophetic weeks to the day Christ rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sun-day, note — failure to use these figures we turn up with what many other historians figures were and etc. Bro. Branham in perfect agreement with what most historians teach stated Christ’s triumphant entry in Jerusalem April 2nd ( Nisan 10) close out the 69 prophetic weeks constituting that 483 years of reckoning time therefore beloved it is impossible to take 4 or even 5 days of the remaining time to his crucifixion and stretch it into 31/2 years it is totally impossible!! I repeat had Christ been cut off in the middle of the 70 week you would need no less than 4861/2 years of time to reckon with, furthermore we have shown much opposed to what I have always believed Christ could have been born in the fall of the year simpler than he could have been born in the spring of the year. It is just as easy for me to believe now that he was born according to the cycle of his own creation because was it not him who took upon himself the form of his own creation becoming a part of it and born earthly according to the cycle of it then offering himself in sacrifice as God’s Passover Lamb at the beginning of the New Jewish Paschal Year as the very one who had redeemed this creation.
Allow me to read an article taken from history written to the Roman senate by Pontius Pilate explaining the events of the crucifixion. The letter was written in the 18th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar recall scripture itself has already taught us that Christ’s baptism came in the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign (note we are using the full number or already completed number of the reign of Tiberius during Christ’s baptism. The article stated in the 18th year of the reign of Tiberius Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, the report read somewhat impressed Tiberius and a suggestion was made to the Roman senate that Jesus of the Jews be made one of the many Gods of the Romans however the senate refused, instead came up with a verdict of ousting all of the christian believers from Rome. The time 33 A.D. Now I would like to read you something else, also from identically to the same period of time telling what Pilate or showing what Pilate had done in the city of Jerusalem how he had taken some money from the temple to bring in a new aqueduct and what a great commotion it caused among the Jews, recall it was under the rule of Pilate that the event narrated in the New Testament occurred. Jeshua called Jesus son of Joseph of Nazareth became known as a great teacher of essene doctrine wa accused of blasphemy before Pilate and was condemned to be put to death by the Romans in the Jewish year 3801 or according to their way of denoting christendom time 33 C.E. ( christian era) giving us once again 33 A.D. as a whole number therefore not showing any fraction over the 33 (that is so many months) I am fully convinced that Christ was 33 1/2 years of age when he was crucified he preached 3 1/2 years because the anti-christ his counterpart will sit 3 1/2 years in the temple. Christ was baptized just shy of enough time of his 30 birthday to have returned from his 40 day fast, from there to Nazareth where he remained until he heard John was in prison and by the time he actually began his ministry Christ was fully in that 30 year age and again if that would be true it backs up the fall theory for his birth.