God deals in timelines. He planned the ages of time which began at the six days of Creation. The first seven days constituted the first week. And that was over six thousand years ago. He made the earth at just then right distance to revolve all around the sun to complete one full year. He made the first man and the first woman and seven ages, seven time-periods mankind would go through after the Fall, where God would test them to see if they could fully obey, and they couldn’t, or wouldn’t…and didn’t. And isn’t that the same story that has plagued human beings since then? And in the moving of time ever forward, century after century, millennium after millennium to now our time in the nearing end of the sixth age or dispensation, God brought all to fruition of the age, that particular century and place with the word, “And it came to pass.”
With the miraculous birth of Yeshua-Jesus the Messiah, God used the words, “In the fullness of time.” That exact time was completed to the full after four centuries of man’s total failure and destruction on his own. He needed a savior-someone who could save him from his sins and give him life eternal after death…and, the other big thing no one ever hardly mentions, “to save us from the Wrath of God that is to come upon the whole world!” But that’s for a not to distant time-period known as “The Day of the Lord, ” or “The Tribulation.”
Yet the one I shall address, what this time-period in God’s Plan of the Ages did…it brought mankind a Redeemer, a Savior, when God Himself became flesh-became a man and dwelt among us. This God-Man, fully God and fully man was and is Yeshua-Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Christ.
Now, let us look at some miraculous, awe inspiring things about how and when all this came about.
We have to go back in history to the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people and the prophet Daniel (605-538/37 B.C.) who received the prophecy of the seventy weeks as it related to the Jewish people being with their Messiah in his Kingdom.
In the first year of the reign of the Meno-Persian king Darius in 538/37 B.C., Daniel understood that the seventy-year captivity as written by Jeremiah was coming to completion. Daniel misunderstood about Israel returning to their land and the kingdom would be set-up. However, God sent his messenger angel, Gabriel to give Daniel understanding of the prophetic message of the seventy weeks which would assure him that God would fulfill His covenant promises to the nation…but not the time Daniel thought.
So Gabriel told Daniel that God would bring Israel back into their land and set up the Messianic kingdom in God’s plan and time. His timeline. And this countdown of years from start to finish would involve specific people and places and events and time. For this all to happen as decreed by God, seventy sevens of weeks would have to pass, or 490 years until Messiah Jesus returns to reign on earth and Israel-the Jewish people are permanently back in their land.
In this prophecy, Jesus Messiah would come on the scene almost 500 years after a decree was given to the Jewish people to rebuild the Temple and the walls and moat and plaza, four decrees were issued by three Persian kings. Therefore, one must determine which decree started the count-down that fits when Jesus was crucified.
The first decree was issued by Cyrus to rebuild the temple around 539 B.C.
The next decree was by Darius to restore the temple in Jerusalem about 519/18 B.C.
The third decree was by Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 B.C. for the return of more exiles and further enhance the temple and worship.
The final and fourth decree was also by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 B.C. to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.
The prophecy by Gabriel also said that sixty-nine weeks would expire when the Messiah would be “cut-off,” meaning a violent death or crucifixion! This happened in the year 33 A.D. in Jerusalem in Judea to Jesus of Nazareth! That means that 483 years had to be completed to this horrific event! And the only decree that matches this is the fourth one, the one issued by Artaxerxes in 444 B.C.
So the death of Yeshua (and His burial, resurrection and ascension) stopped the countdown to when Messiah will reign on earth and the Jewish people will once more truly be God’s people and be in their land in His kingdom.
There is a “gap” of time that has existed since the Messiah was “cut-off” and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in 33 A.D. that started the “Church Age” whereby God is calling-drawing people all over the world and every nation to His Son Yeshua. This operation has been going on now for over twenty centuries or the past 2,000 years! This will continue until God calls His church-the believing church home by His Son at the Rapture.
Once this has happened (perhaps soon?) then the last seven years of Daniel’s Seventy Seven of Weeks will commence upon the whole wide unbelieving people of earth! This future time period of seven years will start when the “Antichrist” signs a seven year covenant with Israel! And then, and only then God will pour out His almighty wrath upon the unbelieving world.
Then at the very end of the Tribulation period, the last seven years of human history, Yeshua Jesus, the Messiah the Christ will return from Heaven with His armies of angels and saints as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and set up His kingdom on earth and He shall reign for a thousand years.
Thus the 490 years as decreed by God and told to Daniel by the angel Gabriel for all these things to be completed will be fulfilled.
For this is God’s marvelous “Timeline” in His awesome Plan of the Ages and the fulfillment of all scripture in His Holy written word-the Holy Bible.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,