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“Famous Failures of Prophetic Interpretation”

Manor house & people new try YouTube front page-flattenedI guess everyone has heard about times in history when someone has pointed out something they thought was just about to happen, because they felt Biblical prophecy was just about to be fulfilled. That happened one time as a direct result of misunderstanding something that’s in Daniel chapter 8.  (This article is the text of a video on this subject. The video can be seen here.)

The 1840’s was a time of tremendous change. The Industrial Revolution was changing the order of society as it had been for many hundreds of years. Science was making tremendous strides in understanding God’s creation. And politics and nationalism were bringing huge change around the world.

One new religious movement at that time saw the changes going on as a sign of the soon coming of God’s Kingdom on earth. This group often talked about the return of Jesus. And you could say, “Well, Mark, that sounds a good deal like what you’re doing.” And you might be right. So, I’m sharing this with you as a warning in some ways, both to you and to me. Because, as much as I believe in prophecy, I also know it’s possible to misinterpret things in the Bible.   So this group, back in the 1840’s, looked at some of these verses we’ve been reading, specifically Daniel 8:13 and 14, which say

Then I heard one saint speaking; and another saint said to that certain one who spoke, “How long will be the vision, concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “Unto two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

These verses are rather mysterious and I’m not in any way wanting to make fun of what happened. But these folks back then misinterpreted those verses and ended up being embarrassed and needing to make some difficult explanations. Here’s what happened.

A very key event occurred in the history of the Jews, during the time of their captive in Babylon and the beginning of their return to Israel. Some historians have set the date of that event at 544 BC. Setting the exact date on this and explaining the details and specifics are complicated and I won’t go into it here since it’s part of the class on Daniel chapter 9.

1844-merged-for blog postBut this Christian religious movement in the 1800’s came to the incorrect conclusion that “2300 days” in Daniel 8:14 actually means 2300 years. So they did their math. Using an approximate date of 544 BC, adding an additional 2300 years would mean that these verses in Daniel 8 tell us that the Kingdom of God would be set up in …1844!

The 1840’s were not a particularly traumatic time for people living in the United States. But for Europeans, the 1840’s were a time of revolution and major social dishevel in many countries. Well, this religious group I mentioned, spread out in many lands, came down to a fateful night in October of 1844 when they went up on their housetops to welcome the return of Jesus.Manor house & people-flattened

But, Jesus didn’t come back that night and that whole denomination was mocked and ridiculed.  It didn’t end there. Years later a new denomination was started. They looked over the mistakes the other group made and came up with a new idea. They saw places in the Bible that used the number “70”. And they added 70 more years onto 1844. That would mean that the coming of the Lord would actually be in…1914!

1914-merged- for blog postWell, 1914 was a very significant, turbulent year to say the least. It was the beginning of World War I, a war unlike any other before it. Also, in the fields of science, culture, business and technology, things were changing incredible fast. But, the Lord didn’t return in 1914. So they ended up saying that actually Jesus did return that year to the earth. But that He’s now presently “in the clouds”, looking over the judgment books. And honesty, if you keep up with these kinds of things, this type of prophetic interpretation is happening in our times just as much if not more than it was 100 years ago.

Sadam Hussein2-for blog postRemember Saddam Hussein? At the time of the Iraq war, there were all kinds of web sites and commentators saying that Saddam Hussein was the Biblical Antichrist. And the modern nation of Iraq was the fulfillment of Babylon the Great from Revelation 18. Websites and airwaves were full of those kinds of twisted, opportunistic interpretations of Bible prophecy, often for political motives and secular agendas.

We believers are supposed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But that doesn’t mean we’re to be naive, gullible and easily manipulated.

I believe it’s important to be very realistic and cautious about interpreting God’s Word. There’s just a real danger in getting overly specific about soon-coming events through a misapplication and misinterpretation of ancient Bible prophecy, especially if politics or nationalism is using Bible prophecy for their own secular ends. Not only can you just being totally wrong, you can do enormous damage to the faith of millions of people, the “multitudes in the valley of decision”, as the Prophet Joel talked about.

There are so many people today “in the valley of decision” who sense the truth and want to learn more. But when they’re stumbled by false teaching and prophetic interpretations that prove false, they turn away from God and search elsewhere for the truth they’re seeking.  That’s heartbreaking and must grieve the heart of the God of Abraham for any of us to do that. On the other hand, simply because mistakes like this have been made, it doesn’t take anything away from the certainty of prophecy. But it’s a serious, sober warning to us all to not teach speculation and hypothesis as something that we should take as absolute gospel truth.

 

दानिएल अध्याय 2 (Hindi)

D2 opening shot for blog post article

[The text to the Daniel 2 video in Hindi]

अपने पिछले अध्ययन में हमने वह देखा जो आप में से कुछ लोगों के लिए नया था: भविष्यवाणी और वास्तविक संसार में उसका पूरा होना. अपने पिछले अध्ययन में हमने पुराने नियम की कुछ प्रमुख भविष्यवाणीयों देखा और साथ ही इजराइल के इतिहास में राष्ट्र और लोगों के लिए कैसे ये भविष्यवाणी पूरी हुईं इस पर एक उड़ती नजर डाली.

picture of me for D2 blog post  और संक्षिप्त में हमने यह भी देखा कि बाइबल की कुछ भविष्यवाणी अभी भी पूरी होना बाकी हैं जिसका प्रभाव मेरे आपके और इस संसार पर पड़ सकता है. वास्तव में अपने पिछले अध्ययन के अनुसार फिर से यह बताना चाहता हूँ कि जब चेलों ने यीशु से संसार के भविष्य के बारे में पूछा, तब उसने विशेष रूप से दानिएल भविष्यवक्ता के बारे में कहा “इसलिए जब तुम …(भविष्य की घटनाएँ) …जिसकी चर्चा दानिएल भविष्यवक्ता के द्वारा हुई थी,(जो पढ़े वह समझे) मत्ती २४:१५

“जो दानिएल की भविष्यवाणी को पढता है वह समझे” इसका अर्थ यह है कि जो कुछ दानिएल ने कहा है वह महत्वपूर्ण है. अत: अब हंम दानिएल के दुसरे अध्याय का अध्ययन करने जा रहे हैं जिसे लगभग सभी मतों के विद्वानों में सम्पूर्ण बाइबल में संसार के इतिहास और भविष्य का संक्षिप्त चित्रण स्वीकार किया है. आइये हम देखे कि दानिएल कौन था, उसका जीवन कैसा था, और भी कुछ.

Young daniel 4 blog postयह लगभग 604BC का समय है जबकि दानिएल शायद उस समय अपनी किशोर अवस्था में था. उसका देश यहूदा (जो उस समय कहलाता था) 800 Judah map for D2 blog postवर्षो के अपने स्वतंत्र राज्य के अस्तित्व के अन्तिम कुछ वर्षों और महीनो में था.

यह एक बढ़ते हुए जवान के लिए एक अस्थायी कष्टदायक अशुभ समय था. उस समय के संसार की सबसे बड़ी खबर यह थी कि कुछ वर्षो पूर्व ही उस समय सबसे शक्तिशाली Assyria का पतन, और बेबीलोन के राज्य का उद्गम जो अपने पहले का सब कुछ जीतते और अपने अधीन कर रहा था.

main Babylon map for D2 blog post604BC में, बेबीलोन के राजा नबुकद्नेसर ने यहूदा और यरूशलेम जो पुराने राज्य की राजधानी इजराइल के रूप में जाना जाता था के विरुद्ध एक सेना की टुकड़ी भेजा. इसी धरपकड़ के दौरान हमारा जवान किशोर दानिएल बन्धुए और गुलाम के रूप में सैकडों मील दूर बेबीलोन की ओर ले जाया गया.

Exilefinal 4 blog postइसके बाद वे बेबीलोन ले जाये गये. दानिएल और उसके तीन दोस्त जो इजराइल के राज घराने से सम्बन्ध रखते थे उन्हें एक प्रशिक्षण देने वाले स्कूल में रखा गया. तत्काल उन्होंने अपने आप को अपने सच्चे विश्वास और दृढ मत में अपने नये शासकों के साथ सहयोग करते हुए भी अलग कर लिया.

Babylon city pictrue for D2 blog postबेबीलोन अपने समय में वैसा ही आदर और प्रेरणादायक शहर था जैसे कि रोम और एथेंस. या फिर आज के आधुनिक शहरो के जैसा. बेबीलोन सोने का शहर कहलाता था, — शिक्षित, आधुनिकतावादी, शक्तिशाली – उस समयों के लिए विश्व का केंद्र और लगभग अजेय था.

हम कहानी को उस समय से आरम्भ करते हैं जबकि दानिएल और उसके मित्र बेबीलोन में तीन वर्षों से रह रहे थे. हम क्या देखते हैं कि नबुकद्नेसर राजा एक स्वप्न देखता है. और वह स्वप्न उसे याद नहीं है. यह तो किसी के साथ भी हो सकता है परन्तु यह कुछ विशेष था. क्योंकि उस समय वह वास्तव में संसार या कम से कम सभ्य समाज में सबसे अधिक पहचान रखने वाला  शासक था. और तत्काल अपना रास्ता खुद चुन लेता था.

Neb first shot for D2 blog postअत: उसने वही किया जो एक संसार का शासक करता. उसने संसार के सभी  ज्योतिषी, जादूगरों और तंत्र मन्त्र करने वालों सबको बुलाया. और उसने कहा:

मैंने एक स्वप्न देखा है, और मेरा मन व्याकुल है कि स्वप्न को कैसे समझूँ?” (दानिएल २:३)

Advisors answer first time for D2 blog postऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि लोग पिछले २६०० वर्षों में भी नहीं बदले क्योंकि उसके सलाहकारों ने उत्तर दिया:

“…हे राजा तू चिरंजीवी रहे! अपने दासों को स्वप्न बता, और हम उसका फल बताएँगे.” (दानिएल २:४)

नबुकद्नेसर ने उन्हें देखा और कहा:

Neb answers advisors for D2 blog post“… मैं यह आज्ञा दे चूका हूँ कि यदि तुम फल समेत स्वप्न को बताओगे तो तुम टुकड़ेटुकड़े किये जाओगे, और तुम्हारे घर फुंकवा दिए जाएँगे. पर यदि तुम फल समेत स्वप्न को बता दो तो मुझसे भांतिभांति के दान और भारी प्रतिष्ठा पाओगे”. (दानिएल २:५-६)

सलाहकार फिर आग्रह करने लगे और राजा के द्वारा पुन: धमकाए जाने के बाद उन्होंने कहा;

Advisors answer 2nd time for D2 blog postपृथ्वी भर में ऐसा कोई मनुष्य नहीं जो राजा के मन कि बात बता सके; और कोई ऐसा राजा, या  प्रधान, या हाकिम कभी हुआ है जिसने किसी ज्योतिषी,या तंत्री, या कसदी से ऐसी बात पूछी हो. जो बात देवताओं को छोड़कर जिनका निवास मनुष्यों के संग नहीं है, और कोई दूसरा नहीं,जो राजा को यह बता सके.(दानिएल २:१०-११)

वास्तव में यह सच है कि कोई भी आपने जो स्वप्न देखा है वह कैसे बता सकता है. लेकिन यह नबुकद्नेसर के लिए बहुत ही असंतोषजनक था और उसने तत्काल यह आज्ञा दी कि सब ज्योतिषी, तंत्री, और कसदियों को मार डाला जाए. और यह दानिएल और उसके दोस्तों के स्कूल की स्थिति थी.

अब यदि आपने इसके बारे में पहले कभी नहीं सुना है तो आप यह सोचेंगे कि इस प्राचीन इतिहास में ऐसा क्या है जो भविष्यवाणी और भविष्य से सम्बंधित हो? लेकिन धीरज रखे हम विषय पर आ रहे हैं.

Daniel and guardतब आगे आप जानते हैं कि राजा के प्रधानो में से एक जो दानिएल और उसके दोस्तों की देखभाल के लिए नियुक्त था उसने उन्हें दंड के लिए तैयार रहने को कहा. दानिएल ने पूछा कि यह क्यों हो रहा है और उसने जब राजा के स्वप्न के बारे में जाना तो उसने अपने परमेश्वर से प्रार्थना करने का समय माँगा, ताकि परमेश्वर उसे स्वप्न और फल दोनों को बता दे.

तब उसे यह अनुमति मिल गई और दानिएल अपने दोस्तों के साथ प्रार्थना करने लगा. वह उस स्वप्न का अर्थ कैसे बता सकता था जबकि उसे स्वप्न ही नहीं मालूम था.

तब यहाँ देखिये कि वचन क्या कहता है:

तब वह भेद दानिएल को रात के समय दर्शन के द्वारा प्रगट किया गया..”(दानिएल २:१९)

Daniel praying 4 blog post articleइसका अर्थ यह है कि परमेश्वर ने वास्तव में दानिएल को नबुकद्नेसर का स्वप्न क्या है और उसके फल को बताया. यह परमेश्वर की अलौकिक शक्ति के बिना असम्भव था! इसलिए उसने धन्यवाद की वास्तविक प्रार्थना किया:

दानिएल ने उत्तर दिया और कहा:

परमेश्वर का नाम युगानुयुग धन्य है, क्योंकि बुद्धि और पराक्रम उसी के हैं. समयों और ऋतुओं को वही बदलता है, राजाओं का अस्त और उदय भी वही करता है; बुद्धिमानो की बुद्धि और समझवालों को समझ भी वही देता है; वही गूढ़ और गुप्त बातों को प्रगट करता है; वह जानता है कि अन्धियारे में क्या है, और उसके संग सदा प्रकाश बना रहता है; हे मेरे पूर्वजों के परमेश्वर, मैं तेरा धन्यवाद और स्तुति करता हूँ, क्योंकि तूने मुझे बुद्धि और शक्ति दी है, और जिस भेद का खुलना हम लोगों ने तुझसे माँगा था, उसे तूने मुझ पर प्रगट किया है, तूने हमको राजा की बात बताई है.” (दानिएल २:२०-२३)

तब दानिएल राजा के प्रधान के पास गया और उससे कही कि मुझे नबुकद्नेसर के पास ले चलो ताकि मैं उसके स्वप्न और भेद को बता सकूँ.

यह वास्तविक घटना है न ही कोई मूवी या ड्रामा. जैसा कि बाइबल में दर्शाया गया है ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि दानिएल उस समय लगभग १४ वर्ष का होगा. उसे और उसके दोस्तों को कई बार बच्चा कहा गया. वह यहाँ एक निर्वासित जवान था, जो अपने परिवार से दूर, अपने धार्मिक आधार से दूर, संसार के सबसे क्रूर, निर्दयी, क्रोधी, Daniel comes b4 Neb 4 blog postशासक के सामने जाने को तैयार था ताकि राजा ने जो स्वप्न देखा और उसका फल बताने जा रहा था. जैसे सारी सम्भावनाएं विपरीत ही क्यों न हो लेकिन उसे परमेश्वर पर विश्वास था.

दानिएल को राजा के सम्मुख लाया गया और ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि सिंहासन के समक्ष सारे लोग उपस्थित थे. और राजा ने उससे पूछा:

“क्या तुझमे इतनी शक्ति है कि जो स्वप्न मैंने देखा ही, उसे फल समेत मुझे बताये?” (दानिएल २:२६)

दानिएल ने उत्तर दिया:Dan & Neb main scene 4 blog post

“जो भेद राजा पूछता है, वह न तो पंडित, न तंत्री, न ज्योतिषी, न दूसरे भाषी बताने वाले राजा को बता सकते हैं, परन्तु भेदों का प्रगटकर्ता परमेश्वर स्वर्ग में है, और उसी ने नबुकद्नेसर राजा को बताया है कि अंत के दिनों में क्या क्या होने वाला है. तेरा स्वप्न और जो कुछ तूने पलंग पर पड़े हुए देखा वह यह है.” (दानिएल २:२७-२८)

दानिएल के पास निर्भीकता और आत्मविश्वास था! और उसने तुरंत सारा श्रेय परमेश्वर को दिया अपने आप को नहीं वह यहाँ कहता है कि स्वर्ग का परमेश्वर राजा को यह बता रहा है कि अंत के दिनों में क्या होगा. अत: यह परमेश्वर की ओर से राजा को भविष्य के बारे में भविष्यवाणी का सन्देश था.

“…तेरा स्वप्न और जो कुछ तूने पलंग पर पड़े हुए देखा है: हे राजा जब तुझको पलंग पर यह विचार आया कि भविष्य में क्या-क्या होने वाला है,( यहाँ पर फिर से भविष्य का सन्देश है) तब भेदों को खोलने वाले ने मुझे बताया कि क्या क्या होने वाला है.” (दानिएल २:२८-२९)

यदि अपने पहले यह कभी नहीं सुना है तो आरम्भ में यह आपको आश्चर्यजनक और भेदों से भरा हुआ प्रतीत होगा. दानिएल राजा को पहले उसने स्वप्न में क्या देखा और उसके बाद स्वप्न का फल बताने जा रहा है.

“ हे राजा जब तू देख रहा था, तब एक बड़ी मूर्ति देख पड़ी, और और वह मूर्ति जो तेरे सामने खड़ी थी वह लम्बी चौड़ी थी; उसकी चमक अनुपम थी, और उसका रूप भयंकर था”. (दानिएल २:३१)Dan Neb and statue main scene for blog post

“ उस मूर्ति का सिर तो चोखे सोने का था, उसकी छाती और भुजाएँ चाँदी की, उसका पेट और जाँघें पीतल की. उसकी टाँगें लोहे की और उसके पाँव कुछ तो लोहे के और कुछ मिट्टी के थे. (दानिएल २:३२-३३)image crumbling2

“ फिर देखते देखते तूने क्या देखा कि एक पत्थर ने, बिना किसी के खोदे, आप ही आप उखडकर उस मूर्ति के पावों पर लगकर जो लोहे और मिट्टी के थे उनको चूर चूर कर डाला”. (दानिएल २:३४)broken to pieces 4 blog post2

“ तब लोहा, मिट्टी, पीतल, चाँदी और सोना भी सब चूर चूर हो गए, और धुपकाल में खलियानों के भूसे के सामान हवा से ऐसे उड़ गए कि उनका कहीं पता न रहा;whole earth

और वह पत्थर जो मूर्ति पर लगा था, वह पहाड़ बनकर सारी पृथ्वी में फ़ैल गया”. (दानिएल २: ३५)

Daniel looks 4 blog postउस समय उस कमरे में एक अदभुत अहसास हो रहा होगा. क्या इस समय दानिएल ने एक क्षण ले लिए भी कभी यह सोचा कि यदि वह गलत हुआ तो क्या होगा? क्या नबुकद्नेसर के सभी ज्ञानी लोग यह पूर्णतया विश्वास कर रहे थे कि यह जवान विदेशी बच्चा कुछ ही मिनटों में उनके सम्मुख टुकड़े टुकड़े कर दिया जावेगा. जब दानिएल ने अनजान अदभुत स्वप्न के बारे में बताना आरम्भ किया तब नबुकद्नेसर क्या अनुभव कर रहा था और उसकी क्या प्रतिक्रिया थी? Nebs advisors for D2 blog postआइये हम देखें कि दानिएल जब नबुकद्नेसर को स्वप्न का अर्थ बताना आरम्भ करता है तब क्या कहता है.

“स्वप्न तो यों ही हुआ, और अब हम उसका फल राजा को समझा देते हैं. हे राजा तू तो महाराजधिराज है, क्योंकि स्वर्ग के परमेश्वर ने तुझको राज्य, सामर्थ्य, शक्ति और head of goldमहिमा दी है, और जहाँ कहीं मनुष्य पाए जाते हैं, वहां उसने उन सभों को और मैदान के जीवजंतु, और आकाश के पक्षी भी तो तेरे वश में कर दिए हैं; और तुझको उन सबका अधिकारी ठहराया है. यह सोने का सिर तू ही है”. (दानिएल २:३६-३८)

दानिएल ने नबुकद्नेसर से कहा सोने का सिर तू ही है. यह इस स्वप्न के भेद को जानने कि कुँजी है. “नबुकद्नेसर तू और तेरा साम्राज्य बेबीलोन सोने के सिर हैं”.

“तेरे बाद एक राज्य और उदय होगा जो तुझसे छोटा होगा; (दानिएल २:३९अ)arms of silver

belly of brassफिर एक और तीसरा पीतल का सा राज्य होगा जिसमे सारी पृथ्वी आ जाएगी”.(दानिएल २:३९ब)

यहाँ से भविष्य के लिए कथन आरम्भ होता है. वह उसे बता रहा है कि उसके बाद कौनसे राज्य आने वाले हैं. अभी हम यहाँ देखेंगे कि दानिएल ने क्या कहा और उसका स्पष्टीकरण आगे देखेंगे.

“ चौथा राज्य लोहे के तुल्य मजबूत होगा; लोहे से तो सब वस्तुएँ चूर चूर हो जाति और पिस जाती हैं; इसलिए जिस legs of ironभांति लोहे से वे सब कुचली जाती हैं, उसी भांति उस चौथे राज्य से सब कुछ चूर चूर होकर पिस जाएगा”. (दानिएल २:४०)

“तूने जो मूर्ति के पावों और उनकी उँगलियों को देखा, जो कुछ कुम्हार की मिट्टी की और कुछ लोहे की थीं, इससे वह चौथा राज्य बटा हुआ होगा; तौभी उसमे लोहे का सा कड़ापन रहेगा, जैसे कि तूने कुम्हार की मिट्टी के संग लोहा मिला हुआ देखा था. feet and toesजैसे पावों को उँगलियाँ कुछ तो लोहे कि और कुछ मिट्टी की थीं, इसका अर्थ यह है कि वह राज्य कुछ तो दृढ और कुछ निर्बल होगा”. (दानिएल २:४१-४२)

यदि अपने अभी तक कुछ नहीं समझा है तो थोडा धीरज रखिए हम अभी इस पर आ रहे हैं. लेकिन आगे के पद को ध्यान से देखिये क्योंकि यह शायद अध्याय का सबसे महत्वपूर्ण पद है.

whole earth“ उन राजाओं के दिनों में स्वर्ग का परमेश्वर एक ऐसा राज्य उदय करेगा जो अनंतकाल तक न टूटेगा, औए न वह किसी दूसरी जाति के हाथ में किया जाएगा. वरन वह उन सब राज्यों को चूर चूर करेगा, और उनका अन्त कर डालेगा; और वह सदा स्थिर रहेगा;” (दानिएल २:४४)

जैसा तूने देखा कि एक पत्थर किसी के हाथ के बिन खोदे पहाड़ में से उखड़ा, और उसने लोहे, पीतल, मिट्टी, चाँदी, और सोने को चूर चूर किया, इसी रीति महान परमेश्वर ने राजा को बताया है कि इसके बाद क्या क्या होनेवाला है. न स्वप्न में और न उसके फल में कुछ संदेह है”. (दानिएल २:४५)

Neb final for D2 blog post articleतब दानिएल ने अपनी बात ख़त्म किया और वहीँ खड़ा रहा. निश्चय ही दानिएल और नबुकद्नेसर एक दुसरे को देख रहे होएँगे. Daniel looks 4 blog post निश्चय ही यह वहाँ उपस्थित सभी लोगों के बीच एक चुप्पी का माहौल होगा. क्या दानिएल मार डाला जाएगा या उसने नबुकद्नेसर को सब कुछ सही बताया आइये हम देखते हैं.

“इतना सुनकर नबुकद्नेसर राजा ने मुँह के बल गिरकर दानिएल को दण्डवत किया, और आज्ञा दी कि उसको भेट चढाओ, और उसके सामने सुगंध वस्तु जलाओ. (दानिएल २:४६)

Neb on face for D2 blog post articleनबुकद्नेसर दानिएल के सामने अपनी राज सभा के समक्ष मुँह के बल गिर गया और आज्ञा दी कि उसके सामने पशुओ की बलि चढाओ! क्या आप जानते हैं कि इसका मतलब क्या था इसका अर्थ है कि जो कुछ भी नबुकद्नेसर ने स्वप्न में देखा और राजा यह निश्चित जानता था कि उन सब बातो का यही स्पष्टीकरण हो सकता था!

“फिर राजा ने दानिएल से कहा, ‘’ सच तो यह है कि तुम लोगों का परमेश्वर, सब ईश्वरों का ईश्वर राजाओं का राजा और भेदों का खोलने वाला है, इसीलिए तू यह भेद प्रगट कर पाया.”(दानिएल २:४७)

“तब राजा ने दानिएल का पद बड़ा किया, और उसको बहुत से बड़े बड़े दान दिए; और यह आज्ञा दी कि वह बेबीलोन के सारे प्रान्त पर हाकिम और बेबीलोन के पंडितों पर मुख्य प्रधान बने.” (दानिएल २:४८)

जरा सोचिये कि किसी देश का शासक एक जवान किशोर जो कि एक निर्वासित और वास्तव में एक युद्ध बन्दी था के पैरो पर गिर जाए. यह उस समय सारे संसार के समक्ष इस शासक के लिए एक अकल्पनीय प्रभाव था. आइये हम इन सबको देखे और इसका अर्थ जाने. पद ३८ के द्वारा हम जानते हैं कि दानिएल ने कहा कि सोने का सिर नबुकद्नेसर और उसके सम्राज्य बेबीलोन को प्रदर्शित करता है.

head Babylon“और जहाँ कहीं मनुष्य पाए जाते हैं, वहाँ उसने उन सभों को, और मैदान के जीवजन्तु, और आकाश के पक्षी भी तेरे वश में कर दिए हैं; और तुझको उन सबका अधिकारी ठहराया है. यह सोने का सिर तू ही है.” (दानिएल २:३८)

और अगला पद बताता है कि चाँदी एक दूसरा राज्य जो छोटा होगा का प्रतीक है. अत: मूर्ति के ये भाग राजा या उसके राज्य को प्रदर्शित करते हैं. लेकिन क्यों नबुकद्नेसर और उसका राज्य बेबीलोन को “सोने का सिर” प्रदर्शित किया गया है. कुछ लोग यह सोचते हैं कि दानिएल वहाँ नबुकद्नेसर की चापलूसी कर रहा था. लेकिन परमेश्वर ने स्वयं यह स्वप्न दिया इस कारण यह सम्भव नहीं है. अब यहाँ हम नबुकद्नेसर के परमेश्वर पर बढ़ते हुए विश्वास को देखते हैं जब उसने दानिएल को कहा “सच तो यह है कि तुम लोगों का परमेश्वर सब ईश्वरों का ईश्वर, राजाओं का राजा और भेदों का प्रगट करने वाला है.” (दानिएल २:४७)

अत: उस समय यहाँ अब्राहम के परमेश्वर को सबसे बड़ा ईश्वर प्रमाणित किया. दानिएल के अध्याय ३ में नबुकद्नेसर ने सभी लोगों को यह आज्ञा दी कि सब जगहों पर दानिएल के ईश्वर की उपासना की जावे. और अध्याय ४ जो कि वास्तव में पूरा नबुकद्नेसर ने लिखा है. वह परमेश्वर की महान सामर्थ्य के द्वारा अपने आप को शून्य और पुनर्स्थापित करने पर अपने हृदय के पूर्ण परिवर्तन को बताता है. कोई अन्य विदेशी राजा इस हद तक नहीं पहुंचा जितना कि नबुकद्नेसर और इसीलिए परमेश्वर ने उसे और उसके साम्राज्य बेबीलोन को धन और ज्ञान के साथ सिर के रूप में प्रदर्शित किया. लेकिन आगे दानिएल मूर्ति के अगले हिस्से के बारे में बताता है, छाती और भुजाएँ चाँदी के, जो उस राज्य को  प्रदर्शित करता है जो नबुकद्नेसर के बाद होगा या दुसरे शब्दों में बेबीलोन के बाद आएगा.

arms Persiaबेबीलोन के बाद कौन आएगा? ठीक लगभग ५० वर्षों के बाद, नबुकद्नेसर के पोते के समय बेबीलोन के ऊपर दो राज्यों द्वारा कब्जा कर लिया गया Medes और Persians.

आप यह पूछ सकते हैं कि यह दोहरा साम्राज्य क्या है? इतिहास बताता है कि medes उस जगह से आए थे जोकि आज नार्थवेस्ट ईरान कहलाता है और ये वे लोग हैं जिन्होंने सबसे पहले बेबीलोन पर कब्जा किया था. क्या आपने कभी “दीवार पर हाथ की लिखावट” के बारे में सुना है.

यह वास्तव में दानिएल के ५ वे अध्याय से है जहाँ नबुकद्नेसर के पियक्कड़ पोते की पार्टी में प्रगट रूप से एक हाथ दिखाई दिया था. उस हाथ ने यह लिखा कि “तकेल, अर्थात तू मानो तराजू में तौला गया और हल्का पाया गया है.” (दानिएल ५:२७) और इस प्रकार बेबीलोन का राज्य medes और persian को सौंप दिया गया.handwriting on wall

MedesBab 4 blog postयह अध्याय हमे आगे बताता है कि उसी रात को बेबीलोन की सुरक्षा तोड़ दी गई और medes ने उनको हर कर शहर में प्रवेश कर लिया.

लेकिन मजबूत गठबन्धन वाला दूसरा सहयोगी Persian था. ये दोनों लोग प्राचीन संसार में अगली बड़ी शक्ति बन गये थे. अत: मूर्ति का अगला भाग दो हाथ थे जो यह प्रदर्शित करते थे कि बेबीलोन का सम्राज्य कुछ दोहरी प्रकृति वाला होगा. और निश्चय ही अगला सम्राज्य Medes और Persian दोनों का था. इसी प्रकार हम आगे देखेंगे.

अत: अब इतिहास से हम जानते हैं कि बेबीलोन के बाद आने वाला राज्य “चाँदी के हाथ” जिसकी यहाँ भविष्यवाणी की गई है वह Medes और Persian थे. वो तीसरा राज्य “पीतल का भाग” क्या है?bellybrass4blogpost इतिहास से हम जानते हैं कि एलेग्जेंडर महान की अगुवाई में ग्रीस ने ३३३ BC में Persia पर कब्जा कर लिया था. ग्रीस के बारे में पेट और जांघे पीतल की के सम्बन्ध में क्या कोई लक्षण है? वैसे तो ये भाग शारीरिक रूप से महत्वपूर्ण इन्द्रियों का भाग कहा जाता है. और ये लोग बहुत धार्मिक विचारो के थे जैसा कि बाइबल में बताया गया है कि आत्मा का स्थान शरीरों के बीच में होता है.

legs of ironऔर “चौथा लोहे का राज्य” आप इस बारे में क्या सोचते हैं? अब रोमियों ने ग्रीस से संसार की शक्ति को लगभग ४४ BC में ले लिया था. यहाँ लक्षण बिलकुल साफ हैं. जैसे कि रोमी सेना लोहे के समान इतनी मजबूत थी कि उनके लगभग 100 वर्षों के शासनकाल में मूलतःPaxRoman4blogpost कोई लड़ाई नहीं हुई. यह समय

“रोम की शांति” का था और कोई ऐसा राष्ट्र नहीं था जो उनके विरुद्ध उठ खड़ा होता. एक और बात है जो रोमन सम्राज्य के चित्रण में सही है जो कि सैंकड़ो वर्ष पूर्व आरम्भ हुई थी. क्या आप इटली रोमी राज्य की भूमि का मुख्य भाग के आकार के बारे में जानते हैं? इसका आकार किसके समान है? यह एक पैर या बूट के समान है.Rome map 4 blog site और आपके शरीर का सबसे लम्बा भाग कौन सा है? ये आपके पैर ही होते हैं. रोमी सम्राज्य अपने रोम के शहर से लगभग ५०० वर्षों तक जारी रहा.

जैसा कि हमने देखा “दो” भुजाएँ Persia और Medes को प्रगट करती हैं. और यहाँ मूर्ति के “दो” पाँव हैं. क्या रोमी सम्राज्य भी दो था? निश्चित था. रोम के पतन के बाद पश्चिमी भाग का विध्वंस हो गया. लेकिन एक पूर्वी भाग भी था, जोकि Byzantine सम्राज्य कहलाया, ByzantineMap4blogpostजोकि 1000 वर्षों तक चलता रहा, इस पूर्वी भाग का मुख्यालय Constantinople था जोकि आज Istanbul कहलाता है. अत: दो पाँव, चौथे सम्राज्य के दो भाग जैसा कि हमने देखा यह दानिएल और नबुकद्नेसर को लगभग ५०० वर्षो पूर्व ही दिखा दिए गए थे.

तब चौथे सम्राज्य के बाद, रोम के सम्बन्ध में स्थिति बदल गई. वैसे इन अनजान अंगुलियों के बारे में बहुत कुछ है, “… जो कुछ कुम्हार की मिट्टी की और कुछ लोहे की थी.” (दानिएल २:४१) इसका US congress4blogpostअर्थ क्या हो सकता है? अब जबकि लोहा निरंकुश रोमी सीजर और उसके बाद के निरंकुश शासको को दर्शाता है तो वहीँ मिट्टी जनता की सरकार या लोकतंत्र को दर्शाता है. मिट्टी परमेश्वर के शब्दों में “मनुष्यों” को दर्शाता है. जैसा कि यशायाह ६४:८ कहता है “… देख हम तो मिट्टी हैं…

अत: जनता की सरकार या लोकतंत्र “मिट्टी” की सरकार है. यह एक कमजोर प्रकार की सरकार है क्योंकि इसके पास “लोहे की शक्ति” (दानिएल २:४१) नहीं हैं. जोकि शक्तिशाली मनुष्य की निरंकुशता और उनका मजबूत शासन को दर्शाता है. जैसा कि कुछ निरंकुशताओ को हम इतिहास में आज भी देखते हैं.

और यह कहता है “सम्राज्य बंटा हुआ रहेगा” (दानिएल २:४१) रोम के पतन के बाद राष्ट्रों के टुकड़े हो गये थे, कोई ऐसी शक्ति नहीं थी जो प्रबल हो, हालाँकि नेपोलियन और हिटलर जैसे लोगों ने यह प्रयास किया. समय समय पर लगभग समान शक्ति वाले राज्य अपने अस्तित्व में रहे जैसे british, Spanish, ottoman, और chinese. लेकिन कोई भी राष्ट्र ऐसा प्रबल शक्तिशाली नहीं हुआ जैसे कि रोम अपने समय में था.

लेकिन “…उस पत्थर ने बिना किसी के खोदे …” (दानिएल २:३४) यह क्या है? जो मूर्ति पर लगा, कहाँ? अंगुलियों पर. यह दर्शाता है कि इतिहास के किस बिंदु पर, किस समय पर और कब यह घटित हुआ होगा? रोम के पतन के बाद. और यह पत्थर क्या करता है?image crumbling2 यह संसार के सारे समराज्यों को और मनुष्य के सम्राज्य को चकनाचूर कर देता और नष्ट कर देता है. दानिएल क्या कहता पत्थर अंगुलियों पर लगता है और पूरी मूर्ति चूर चूर होकर धूल हो गई और उड़ गई यह क्या दर्शाता है?

यहाँ वह नबुकद्नेसर से क्या कहता है शायद अध्यययन का सबसे अधिक महत्वपूर्ण पद.

उन राजाओं के दिनों में [कौन से राजा? अँगुलियों के समय हम इसके बारे में और अध्ययन करने जा रहे हैं] स्वर्ग का परमेश्वर, एक ऐसा राज्य उदय करेगा जो अनन्तकाल तक न टूटेगा, और न वह किसी दूसरी जाति के हाथ में किया जाएगा. वरन वह उन सब राज्यों को चूर चूर करेगा, और अन्त कर डालेगा, और वह सदा स्थिर रहेगा.” (दानिएल २:४४)

वह पत्थर “जो मूर्ति पर लगा” वह “बड़ा पहाड़ बन कर सारी पृथ्वी में फ़ैल गया”. परमेश्वर स्वयं इस पृथ्वी पर एक सम्राज्य बनाने जा रहा है.

whole earthकब? उस समय जो राष्ट्र रोमी सम्राज्य के बाद बचे या निकल कर आए वे लोहे और मिट्टी की अंगुलियों का प्रतिनिधित्व करते हैं. इसका क्या अर्थ होता है “पत्थर बिना किसी के खोदे” (दानिएल २:३४) यीशु को “सिरे का पत्थर” कहा गया है. (इफिसियों २:२०) जिसे कि मनुष्यों ने अस्वीकार कर दिया परन्तु वह परमेश्वर का चुना हुआ था. वह उस सम्राज्य का वारिस होने जा रहा है जो उसके लिए और उनके लिए जिन्होंने उसे चुना है तैयार की गई है.

और अब मैं यह आशा करता हूँ कि आपने कुछ पाया है. हम देखते हैं कि अभी कुछ बाकी है जोकि पूरा होना है. हम एक भविष्यवाणी को देखते हैं जो अभी पूरी होना बाकी है: उस पत्थर का आना जोकि मनुष्यों के सम्राज्य को चूर चूर करेगा, हम पृथ्वी पर परमेश्वर का राज्य उसके पुत्र यीशु के द्वारा आने वाला है देखते है.

और हम कैसे संदेह कर सकते हैं? नबुकद्नेसर ने भी नहीं किया. वह जानता था कि यही वह सपना है जो उसने देखा था और वह दानिएल के पैरों पर गिर पड़ा. राजा नबुकद्नेसर ने यह स्वीकार किया कि यह परमेश्वर का अदभुत चमत्कार ही है, जिसके परिणामस्वरूप दानिएल को उसने अपने सलाहकार के रूप में पदोन्नत किया.Neb on face for D2 blog post article
यह इस भविष्यवाणी की सबसे अदभुत बात है. इनमे से बहुत सी तो पूरी हो चुकी हैं, सम्राज्य आए और चले गये! तो जैसा कि कहा गया है, अन्तिम अभी तक क्यों पूरी नहीं हुई?

परमेश्वर चाहता है कि हम जाने क्योंकि वह हमसे प्रेम करता है, और उसके पास हमारे लिए इस संसार से कुछ बेहतर है. मेरे पास आपके लिए दोनों अच्छी और बुरी खबर है. यह संसार अब और अधिक बुरा होने जा रहा है. लेकिन अच्छी खबर यह है कि … जोकि हम पढ़ रहे हैं, और जो हमारे लिए हजारों वर्षो पूर्व कहा गया है. मैं आपके साथ फिर से यह वचन शेयर करना चाहता हूँ.

Dan 244 4blogpostउन राजाओं के दिनों में स्वर्ग का परमेश्वर एक ऐसा राज्य उदय करेगा जो अनन्तकाल तक न टूटेगा, और न वह किसी जाति के हाथ में किया जाएगा…(दानिएल २:४४)

हमने लगभग इस अध्ययन को समाप्त कर लिया है लेकिन मेरे पास एक और छोटी सी बात है. वह यह कि ये सब बाते आपको चिंता या भय में डाल सकती हैं. परमेश्वर इस संसार के सभी राष्ट्रों को नष्ट करने जा रहा है? लेकिन कृपया चिंता न करें. कुछ धार्मिक शिक्षक आपको यह विश्वास दिलाएँगे कि यह अभी पांच मिनटों में होने जा रहा है.

लेकिन आप विश्वास करें कि ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं है. हम अपने अध्ययन में इस मिथ्या शिक्षा को मिटाते जाएँगे जोकि आपके और आपके मित्रो के लिए आश्चर्य करने का कारण होगा. प्रभु यीशु ने कहा कि पृथ्वी पर उसके राज्य के आने के पूर्व कुछ विशेष बातें घटित होंगी, बहुत स्पष्ट चिन्ह, और चेतावनी और हम इन बिन्दुओ का अध्ययन करने जा रहे हैं.

लेकिन सबसे अच्छा तरीका कि आप भयभीत न हों वह यह है यदि आप न जानते हों तो कि आप पृथ्वी पर आने वाले परमेश्वर के राज्य का भाग होने के लिए आमंत्रित हैं. और वह आपके हृदय में अभी इसी समय अपना राज्य स्थापित करने के लिए इच्छुक है. और उसने एक समय कहा है “मैं तुमको नया मन दूंगा, और तुम्हारे भीतर नई आत्मा उत्पन्न करूंगा, और तुम्हे देह में से पत्थर का हृदय निकलकर तुमको मांस का हृदय दूंगा.” (यहेजकेल ३६:२६)

यह हल और उत्तर है. आप उस राज्य को जो आने वाला है अपने हृदय में अभी इसी समय प्राप्त कर सकते हैं और यह वह सदा के लिय स्थिर रहेगा. आइये आप मेरे साथ एक छोटी सी प्रार्थना करें.

“प्रिय यीशु, मैं तेरे राज्य का जो अभी है और जो आने वाला है का एक भाग होना चाहता हूँ. कृपया मेरे हृदय में आइये. मेरे पापों और पत्थर के हृदय को ले लीजिये और जैसा कि आपने वादा किया है मुझे एक नया हृदय और आत्मा दीजिये ताकि मैं आपको और आपके लोगों को प्रेम करते हुए अनन्तकाल तक रह सकूँ.”

यदि अपने यह प्रार्थना कर ली है तो उसने यह कर लिया है. उसने वादा क्या है और वह निश्चित पूरा करेगा.

अपने अगले अध्ययन में हम दानिएल के साथ आगे जाएँगे लेकिन जवान दानिएल के साथ नहीं. जैसा कि अभी हमने अध्ययन किया नबुकद्नेसर के साथ अदभुत मुलाकात के बाद वह अपने वयस्क जीवन में बेबीलोन के सम्राज्य में एक ऊँचे पद पर रहा. Daniel writing at desk4blog siteऔर जैसे जैसे उसकी वृद्धा अवस्था आने लगी उसे स्वत:  ही स्वप्नों और आत्मिक अनुभवों के द्वारा ज्ञान प्राप्त होने लगा जोकि सम्पूर्ण बाइबिल में आश्चर्यचकित कर देने वाले थे. आगे हम दानिएल कि पुस्तक के ७ वे अध्याय का अध्ययन करेंगे. यदि अपने दानिएल के २ रे अध्याय के अध्ययन में रूचि पाई है तो मैं आशा करता हूँ कि अगला अध्ययन आपको और अधिक रुचिकर लगेगा.

परमेश्वर आपको आशीष दे!

(Romanian) Textul a “O încadrare a profeției în istorie”

[Aceasta este varianta scrisă a înregistrării cu titlul “O încadrare a profeției în istorie“.]

Romanian thumbnail for ITPIHVreau să vă vorbesc despre ceva deosebit ce mi-a marcat în mod special viața. Este vorba despre profeții. E un subiect amplu. La auzul cuvântului „profeție,” diferite gânduri trec prin mintea fiecăruia, așa că am să explic la ce mă refer. Am să vă spun câte ceva despre mine, ca să înțelegeți de ce mă ineresează acest subiect.

M-am născut în Texas și am ajuns să merg la facultate fără să fi înțeles sau să mă fi interesat vreodată lucrurile spirituale. Devenisem ateu și făceam tot ce puteam să întorc de la credință pe oricare ar fi avut vreun fel de credință în Dumnezeu.

Printr-un complex de evenimente am ajuns în punctul în care a trebuit să recunosc… că există o dimensiune spirituală. Nu vroiam să devin “habotnic”, dar știam, îmi dădusem seama, că există o dimensiune în care se găsesc și spirite bune, și spirite rele.shot of me at firstEu vroiam să fiu cu cele bune.

Căutările mele m-au adus în contact cu diferite grupuri și, astfel, am întâlnit alți tineri, creștini cu vederi radicale sau, „Țicniții lui Iisus”, cum erau numiți pe atunci iar ei au reușit să mă ajute să înțeleg adevărurile din Biblie. Dumnezeu a folosit această împrejurare ca să îmi ofere un nou început și, pînă la urmă, mi-am dedicat viața în slujba Lui. Am trăit peste hotare mai bine de 30 de ani și m-am bucurat de o viață minunată, lucru pentru care sunt foarte recunoscător.

Deci, când vorbesc despre profeție, mă refer, de cele mai multe ori, la profeții din Biblie. Pe asta vom pune accentul în această serie de studii. O să ne ocupăm de profetul Daniel din Vechiul Testament. De fapt, când Iisus a fost întrebat despre viitor, l-a menționat în mod specific pe profetul Daniel. A spus: “Când veți vedea (evenimentele viitoare)… despre care a vorbit profetul Daniel (cine citește să înțeleagă)…” (Matei 24:15)

Îmi închipui că unii dintre cei care se uită la acest program au aflat destule despre acest subiect și de-abia așteptați să intrăm în detalii. Alții nu cunosc mai nimic despre toate acestea. Vreau să me adresez și unora, și altora, dar dacă ar trebui să aleg între cele două categorii, prefer să mă adresez celor pentru care acesta este un subiect nou. Așa eram și eu până când am ajuns aproape la maturitate. Acesta este, probabil, unul dintre motivele pentru care vreau ca și voi să bucurați de încântarea de a cunoaște adevărurile din cartea lui Dumnezeu, Biblia.

Acum, poate că unii dintre voi se întreabă: “Ce mai este și profeția?” Vă gândiți că, „da, sigur, sigur, într-o bună zi lumea se va sfârși și chestii din astea.” Așa credeam și eu cândva și totul mi se părea bizar și chiar stupid.

Bethlehem for blog postBun! Haideți să vedem dacă există ceva despre care a auzit fiecare dintre cei care se uită la acest program și care a fost profețit cu sute de ani înainte de a se întâmpla. Putem spune cu siguranță că fiecare dintre cei care urmăresc acest program au auzit despre Crăciun. Știți că de Crăciun oamenii cântă colinde. Se sărbătorește nașterea lui Iisus și ați văzut imagini cu Maria și Iosif și cu pruncul Iisus.

Romanian Jerusalem map for blog postAți auzit, probabil, un vechi colind, nu prea pot eu să îl cânt, dar e cam așa: “În seara de Crăciun venim/ La Vilflaim, la Viflaim/ Pe pruncul sfânt să-L preamărim/ La Viflaim, la Viflaim.

Acest colind este despre orășelul Betleem, de lângă Ierusalim, unde s-a născut Iisus. Poate că deja știați că acolo s-a născut, sau poate vă amintiți că ați mai auzit undeva de asta.

Probabil că cunoașteți măcar câte ceva despre acest subiect. Bun, haideți să ne uităm în Biblie. Haideți să ne uităm în Vechiul Testament, în cartea profetului Mica. Romanian Micah 5-2 for blog postLa mine în Biblie scrie că această carte a fost scrisă în jurul anului 700 Î.Hr. O să citim capitolul 5, versetul 2. Este ca și cum vocea lui Dumnezeu se adresează orașului sau sătucului Betleem. Spune “Și tu, Betleeme Efrata, măcar că ești prea mic între cetățile de căpetenie ale lui Iuda, totuși din tine Îmi va ieși Cel ce va stăpâni peste Israel și a cărui obârșie se suie până în vremuri srăvechi, până în zilele veșniciei.

Aici Dumnezeu se adresează Betleemului și îi spune că, cu toate că este un oraș micuț printre multe altele din regiunea Iuda (o provincie a Israelului din zilele acelea), totuși din Betleem va veni Cel care, până la urmă, va conduce poporul lui Dumnezeu și că asta era stabilit din vechime, din veșnicii.

Este o profeție din Vechiul Testament, profețită cu sute de ani înainte de nașterea lui Iisus, care ne spune exact unde se va naște Mesia, regele pe care Îl va trimite Dumnezeu. Sunt multe alte profeții ca aceasta.

Când toate acestea erau încă o noutate pentru mine, mi-a trebuit o bucată de vreme ca să încep să  înțeleg că există o putere în Ceruri, puterea lui Dumnezeu cel din Biblie, care a prezis viitorul lumii de mii de ani, și că aceste profeții, aceste previziuni s-au împlinit cu o exactitate absolută. Pentru mine asta a fost șocant. Aș putea spune că încă mai este. Acesta va fi subiectul acestor studii: profețiile care s-au împlinit și profețiile care urmează să se împlinească.

Când am menționat nașterea lui Iisus în Betleem am vrut să aleg ceva ce era cunoscut tuturor. Apoi, după ce am văzut din Biblie că cu sute de ani înainte de nașterea Lui a fost dată o profeție care spunea că Iisus se va naște în Betleem, veți putea aprecia importanța și relevanța acestui aspect. Așa că, mai departe o să aruncăm o privire asupra contextului istoric ca să ne încadrăm în timp, cum s-ar spune și să vedem amprenta profeției, care exista cu mult timp înainte și care prevestise multe dintre evenimentele cheie care aveau să se întâmple mai târziu.

Abrahamprays 4 blog postDumnezeu a ales un om cu patru mii de ani în urmă. Îl chema Avraam. El se trăgea din regiunea care în ziua de azi se numește Irak. Din urmașii lui Avraam a apărut poporul pe care noi astăzi îl cunoaștem cu numele de evrei. Dealtfel, și popoarele arabe, și credința musulmană se trag și ele tot de la Avraam.

Dar Vechiul Testament este cartea evreilor. Așa că, pentru a înțelege profețiile, trebuie să avem o perspectivă de ansamblu asupra istoriei evreilor. În același timp, va trebui să privim ascensiunea și declinul imperiilor antice până în zilele lui Iisus și ale Imperiului Roman.

Romanian History timeline for blogpostIată câteva personaje cheie din Biblie și perioada în care au trăit. Avraam este plasat în jurul anului 2000 Î.Hr. Iar Iisus în anul 30 AD. Între aceste date se situează Moise, în jur de 1400 Î.Hr. Regele David a trăit în jur de 980 Î.Hr, iar profetul Daniel, ale cărui scrieri vrem să le studiem, în jur de 600 Î.Hr.

Romanian Bible History Chart for video flat resized

Acest articol este mai lung ca de obicei. Pentru a continua, vă rog apăsați pe “continue reading”.

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भविष्यवाणी के इतिहास का एक परिचय (Hindi)

[यह इंग्लिश विडियो “An Introduction to Prophecy in History” का हिन्दी संस्करण है.]

मेरे पास आपको बताने के लिए कुछ है जिसने मेरे जीवन पर अत्यधिक अच्छा प्रभाव डाला है. यह एक बड़ा बिषय है. सिर्फ भविष्यवाणी शब्द लोगों के मन में अलग विचारों को लाता है. opening shotअत: मैं इसे थोडा सीमित करने जा रहा हूँ. परन्तु मैं पहले अपने विषय में कुछ कहना चाहूँगा ताकि आप इस विषय पर मेरी दिलचस्पी के बारे में समझ जाएँगे.

मेरा पालन-पोषण टेक्सास में हुआ और मैं आत्मिक जानकारी के पहले विश्वविद्यालय में था. उस समय मैं एक नास्तिक था जो और उन लोगों को उनके विश्वास से हटाने में लगा रहता था जो परमेश्वर पर विश्वास रखते थे. लेकिन सिर्फ अनुभवों के द्वारा मैं यह विश्वास नहीं कर सका कि एक आत्मिक संसार नहीं है. मैं “धार्मिक नहीं बनना चाहता था. परन्तु मैंने दोनों अच्छी और बुरी आत्माओं के संसार का अनुभव किया. और मैंने अच्छी आत्माओं के साथ रहना चाहा.

मेरी खोज मुझे अलग-अलग समूहों में ले गई और अंतत: कुछ जवान लोगों से मिला जोकि वास्तव में मसीही थे और यीशु के सनकी कहलाते थे. shot of me at firstउन्होंने मुझे बाइबल कि सच्चाईयों को समझने में मेरी सहायता की. परमेश्वर ने मेरे जीवन में एक नई शुरुवात की और वास्तव में मैंने अपना जीवन उसे समर्पित कर दिया. अभी मैंने ३६ वर्षो से अधिक का समय विदेशों में व्यतीत किया और यह एक अदभुत जीवन था लिसके लिए मैं धन्यवादी हूँ.

अत: जब मैं “भविष्यवाणी” कहूँ तब मैं बाइबल में कि भविष्यवाणी के लिए ही बोल रहा हूँ. और यही हमारी विषय वस्तु है. हम लोग दानिएल भविष्यवक्ता के बारे में अध्धयन करने जा रहे हैं. वास्तव में जब यीशु से भविष्य के बारे में पूछा गया तब उसने विशेष रूप से दानिएल भविष्यवक्ता के लिए उल्लेख किया. उसने कहा “इसलिए जब तुम …….(भविष्य की घटनाएँ)….जिसकी चर्चा दानिएल भविष्यवक्ता के द्वारा …….(जो पढ़े वह समझे). …. (मत्ती २४:१५)

मैं समझता हूँ कि आप में से बहुत से लोग इसके बारे में जानते होंगे और विस्तार में जानने के इच्छुक होंगे. और आप में से कुछ लोग ऐसे भी होंगे जो इस बारे में कुछ भी नहीं जानते हैं. और यदि मुझे इन दोनों समूहों में से चुनना होगा तो मेरा उद्धेश्य उनसे होगा जो इस विषय में नए हैं. क्योंकि लगभग इसी प्रकार मैं आगे बढ़ा. और शायद यह एक कारण है कि मैं यह चाहता हूँ कि परमेश्वर के वचन के सत्य के रोमांच और सच्चाईयों को जाने.

आप में से कई यह आश्चर्य कर रहे होंगे कि “संसार में भविष्यवाणी क्या है”? और आप सोचते होंगे कि एक दिन संसार का अंत हो जाएगा. मैं भी इसी प्रकार सोचा करता था और यह सब मुझे बकवास और विचित्र प्रतीत होती थी.

Bethlehem for blog postठीक है अब हम देखेंगे कि क्या सचमुच ऐसा कुछ है जोकि लगभग सभी लोग जानते है जिसकी घटित होने के सदियों पूर्व भविष्यवाणी की गई. यह कहना आसान होगा कि जो भी इसको पढ़ रहा है वह क्रिसमस को जानता होगा. और जैसा कि आप जानते हैं कि क्रिसमस पर बहुत से लोग प्राय: क्रिसमस करोल गाते हैं. यह यीशु के जन्म का मनाया जाना है, और आपने युसूफ और मरियम की बालक यीशु के साथ फोटो देखा होगा.

और शायद आपने यह पुराना क्रिसमस करोल सुना होगा जिसे मैं गा नहीं सकता पर जिसके बोल लगभग ऐसे हैं ““Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie…”.  यह क्रिसमस करोल यरूशलेम के निकट उस शहर के बारे में है जहाँ यीशु पैदा हुआ था. शायद आप पहले से ही यह जानते होंगे कि वह वहाँ पैदा हुआ था या शायद आपको यह याद होगा कि पहले कहीं सुना है.

Bethlehem map for blog postकम से कम कुछ तो है है जो आप जानते हैं. तब आइये हम बाइबल में देखें. आइये हम पुराने नियम में मीका भविष्यवक्ता कि पुस्तक को देखें. यह लगभग ७०० BC की है. हम अध्याय ५ के २ रे पद को देखेंगे. इसमें परमेश्वर कि आवाज के समान कोई गाँव बैतलेह्म को बोल रहा है.

यह कहता है “ हे बैतलहम एप्राता, यदि तू ऐसा छोटा है कि यहूदा के हजारों में गिना नहीं जाता, तौभी तुझमे से एक पुरुष निकलेगा, जो इस्राएलियों में प्रभुता करने वाला होगा; और उसका निकलना प्राचीन काल से वरन अनादि काल से होता आया है.” (मीका ५:२)

Micah 5 2 shotयहाँ परमेश्वर बैतलहम से कह रहा है कि यद्धपि बैतलहम (उस समय इजराइल का एक राज्य) यहूदा के क्षेत्र में एक छोटा स्थान है, फिर भी बैतलहम से एक जन निकलेगा जो अंतत: परमेश्वर के लोगो पर राज्य करेगा. और वह प्राचीन काल से अनन्तकाल तक राज्य करेगा.

पुराने नियम से यह एक सीधी भविष्यवाणी है जोकि यीशु के जन्म के सैंकड़ो वर्षो पहले, यह घोषणा करते हुए कि मसीहा, वह राजा जिसे परमेश्वर भेजेगा कहाँ जन्म लेगा की गई थी. और इसी प्रकार बहुत सी भविष्यवाणी की गई.

जब यह विषय मेरे लिए नया था, तब मुझे यह स्वीकार करने में समय लगा कि वहां स्वर्ग में एक शक्ति है, बाइबल के परमेश्वर कि शक्ति जोकि इस संसार के हजारों वर्षों के बारे में भविष्यवाणी करती है. और ये भविष्यवाणी अक्षरश: पूरी होती हैं. यह मेरे लिए आश्चर्यचकित कर देने वाला था. और कुछ मायनों में अभी भी है. यही वह सब है जिसका हम अध्ययन करने जा रहे हैं: भविष्यवाणी जो पूरी हो चुकी और भविष्यवाणी जो पूरी होने वाली है.

यह लेख साधारण से कुछ अधिक विस्तृत है. लेख को पढ़ना जारी रखने के लिए कृपया ” continue reading ” पर क्लिक करें.

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Text to “The Last 7 Years” video

[This is the text to the video “Daniel 9:27—The Last 7 Years”. To view this video, click here. Also, this blog post is longer than normal.]

 

D9b video text post headingHi again, I’m Mark. This video is going to be different from the ones I’ve done before. All the videos I’ve done till now have mostly been about prophecies that have been fulfilled. This one is going to be about prophecies yet to be fulfilled. Also, we’ll mainly be focusing on just one verse, the last verse in Daniel chapter 9.

You might wonder why a whole video would be centered around one verse. Well, we’re first going to have a short review of what we’ve seen already in Daniel chapter 9. That way, we’ll see how much prophecy is still to be fulfilled in this last verse in the chapter. At the beginning of the chapter, we found Daniel reading the prophecies of Jeremiah which predicted a 70 year captivity for the Jewish people who’d been carried away to Babylon. Daniel had read in Jeremiah 29:10,For thus says the LORD, After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.”

Daniel hands raised for D9  blog postAnd then we read that Daniel was moved to pray a very heartfelt prayer to God, for the Lord to forgive the Jews and for Him to fulfill His Word. While praying, Daniel had a visitation from the angel Gabriel who touched Daniel and then began to give him one of the most significant prophecies in the Bible. Gabriel told Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)

Gabriel told Daniel of a mysterious “70 weeks” “to make an end of sins”, “to bring in everlasting righteousness”. In our last class, we saw how that this “70 weeks” spoken of here is not what we would think of in our times. The meaning seventy weeks was “70 sevens of years”. And we saw this “70 weeks” was speaking about a period of 490 years.

I’m going over this somewhat quickly and you may want to review the class that was done before this if you have questions here. After Gabriel told Daniel about the 70 weeks, he broke this down and spoke of a period of “69 weeks”, 483 prophetic years. This was to be the period of time between “the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and “Messiah the prince.”

the commandment to rebuild for D9 blog postThe commandment to restore Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in 444 BC and Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in 33 AD. We saw in our class that the length of time between these two periods, “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and “Messiah the Prince”, amounted to “69 weeks”, 483 prophetic years, just as Gabriel had said would happen. [For an explanation of “prophetic years”, go to the text of the previous class on Daniel, about “The 69 Weeks” which can be read here.]

Going further, the prophecy said that “after” “Messiah shall be cut off”, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed again. This happened in 70 AD. But we still haven’t come to the conclusion of this prophecy. The 69 weeks of this prophecy were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus. But Gabriel’s prophecy of 70 weeks, 490 years, to bring in everlasting righteousness hasn’t happened yet. There’s still one “week” left. One last 7 year period is yet to be fulfilled in this prophecy in order to bring in God’s Kingdom on earth.

And that brings us to Daniel 9:27. But this is such a key verse; it’s fundamental to most of the prophetic verses in the Bible which are still not yet fulfilled. So I think at this point we should take a brief review of the chapters we’ve studied up till now. Because, in each of those chapters, we found things that are not yet fulfilled. And each one of those parts is an integral component, a piece of the picture that Daniel 9:27 is going to help us put together.

In Daniel chapter 2, we found Daniel as a young teenage who’d been carried away to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had dreamed a dream that he couldn’t remember. In his fury the king commanded to kill all the wise men of Babylon and Daniel was in training to be one of those. After he prayed desperately, God revealed the secret of the king’s dream to Daniel.

Dan & Neb for D9 postSo Daniel went before the king to tell him his dream. The king had seen a statue with a head of gold, arms of silver, a belly of brass, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Then in his dream the king saw a stone which hit the statue on its feet so that the whole statue crumbled to dust and was blown away. And the stone became a great mountain that filled the earth. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold was his kingdom of Babylon. After him would come another kingdom, then a third and then a fourth. We now know from history that those coming kingdoms represented Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

But here’s the part that’s really for us in this class. What did that strange stone represent when it hit the statue, causing it to crumble to dust, and then the stone became a great mountain that filled the earth? What was that? Here is Daniel’s explanation of this to Nebuchadnezzar. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

The 4 beasts of Daniel 7

The 4 beasts of Daniel 7

Those kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream have come and gone. But that final kingdom, the coming kingdom of God on earth has not yet happened. Then, many years later Daniel himself had a similar vision, but different. In Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 he saw 4 beasts rising out of the sea: a lion, a bear, a 4 headed leopard and then a great and dreadful beast. These four represented the same 4 kingdoms, seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream decades earlier.

But we’ve found that each prophetic chapter builds on the revelations of the previous prophetic chapter and then also introduces important new elements of the future to come. In Daniel 7 we were first told of “the little horn”, the future endtime dictator that’s spoken of more clearly in Daniel 8 and then also in the book of Revelation. It says of this “little horn” (Daniel 7:8) …“he shall speak great words against the most high” and “shall wear out the saints of the most high.” And a length of time was given for this period. “They shall be given into his hand …for a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).

But Daniel 7 also, like chapter 2, had a happy ending. Verse 27 ended the angel’s explanation to Daniel when he said, “And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

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Text for “The 69 Weeks” video

[This is the text version of the video, “Daniel Chapter 9-a ‘The 69 Weeks’.]

the commandment to rebuild-flattenedHi again, I’m Mark. For years I’ve been looking forward to this moment when I can be doing what I’m doing right now, sharing Daniel chapter 9 with you.

Because it changed my life. As I’ve mentioned before, I was an unbeliever but then, through a series of experiences, I came to faith in God. Later, when someone shared Daniel chapter 9 with me, I’d never seen anything like that. There’s nothing in this world can tell you, in advance, specifically, “This is going to happen and this is going to happen” and then it happens. But we have a God like that, the God of Abraham.

The first part of Daniel chapter 9 can be called “the 69 weeks” or perhaps more accurately, “the 69 sevens”. This chapter is concentrated. There’s a tremendous amount of information conveyed in very few words. In fact, there are really only 4 prophetic verses in the chapter and we’re going to look at the first 3 of those in this class. To start with, we need to know where we are in Daniel’s life and in the history of the Jews.

Daniel, as a young teenager, had been led away with some of the first captives that had been taken to Babylon from Jerusalem around 604 BC.Dan & Neb for D9 post Then, though a miraculous series of events, Daniel ended up telling Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, his dream, when the king couldn’t remember it.

But Daniel chapter 9 is near the end of Daniel’s life. In his 80’s now and has been working as a government official throughout his life. By this time, it’s not Babylon anymore; it’s the Medes and the Persians. So we’re looking at around 539 BC; the Jews are still in captivity, now under the Persians. Daniel chapter 9 starts like this.

Daniel at desk for D9 blog postIn the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years which came by the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:1 & 2)

In our times, we look back to the prophecies of Daniel to see our future. But Daniel is looking back to a prophet before him.  We’re finding Daniel reading the prophecies of Jeremiah. Here are the verses Daniel was reading, Jeremiah 29:10 through 13.

For thus says the LORD, after seventy years are completed at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.And then the next verse says, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

That’s a beautiful, comforting verse. God has their best interests in mind. So He’s thinking thoughts of peace and not of evil. Then verse 13 says,“And you shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.

The prophet Jeremiah was perhaps around the age of Daniel’s parents. God had told Jeremiah many years before that Israel was going to be taken captive and carried away to Babylon. And they were going to be there for 70 years. That’s what it says in Jeremiah 29:10, the verse that Daniel was reading. Let’s look at that verse again.

For thus says the LORD, after seventy years are completed at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

So Daniel understood by reading Jeremiah, “Our captivity is going to be for 70 years.” And do you know how long it had been? It had been around 68 years. So the same way we read Daniel and we go, “Oh my gosh! We’re in the endtime!” Daniel read Jeremiah and he felt almost the same way. “Oh my gosh! Two more years and that 70 year period is up!” So Daniel starts praying. God had told them, “And you shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Daniel kneeling for D9 blog postSo Daniel begins to seek God with all his heart. And he’s going to pour out his heart to God, in sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance and desperation. He’s praying for his people, he’s praying for his country, prophecy is just about to be fulfilled. This prayer is actually 16 verses long so maybe we can read the first three and last three verses.

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.  And I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession and said, ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your commandments and Your judgments.’  (Daniel 9:3-5)

And the last 3 verses of the prayer were

Daniel hands raised for D9  blog postNow, O our God, hear the prayer of Your servant and his requests, and for the Lord’s sake, cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our ruins and the city which is called by Your name. For we do not present our prayers before You because of our righteousness but because of Your great mercies.O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, hear and act. Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.   (Daniel 9:17-19)

Daniel was seeking God with all his heart. He was confessing his sins and the sins of his people. He was desperate for God to forgive, to heal, to answer the prayers of His people and to fulfill His prophetic Word. So we can go to verses 20 & 21.

Daniel smiling with Gabriel for D9 blog postAnd while I was speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my cry before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yea, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening sacrifice. And he informed me and talked with me and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come to give you skill and understanding. At the beginning of your prayers the commandment went forth and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved.’

There are not too many times in the Bible where an angel says that to someone, “You are greatly beloved”. In fact, this was said twice more to Daniel in Daniel chapter 10. Daniel must have been a really special person. He was greatly loved because he greatly loved the Lord.

Therefore consider the matter and understand the vision:

This has been our preparation for those 3 prophetic verses we’re going to be looking at in this class. There aren’t going to be any visions of beasts here, like in the earlier chapters. The angel Gabriel is going to give Daniel the straight Word of God. What if you tried to get the most important things in the history of the world for the next 2 or 3 thousand years into 3 or 4 verses? That’s what we’re going to have right here.

X plus Y underlined flattenedSometimes when I teach this, I use the analogy of Algebra, where you have things like “X” plus “Y” equals 5. So “X” and “Y” are unknowns. At the beginning of this, there are going to be some “unknowns”. The challenge for you is going to be to try to not figure it out right away. Because we’re going to have to wait for it and we’re going to have to put it together. So if you don’t understand this right away, just wrap it up in a bundle of faith and put it on the shelf for the moment. Because we’re going to work on it and we’re going to find it out. So Gabriel was telling Daniel,

Daniel leaned back on stool for D9 blog post…therefore consider the matter and understand the vision:”  Verse 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy.”

Now if you don’t watch out, you’re going to go, “Seventy weeks? Let’s see; 52 weeks in a year…” So you do your math and you get “a year and a half…that doesn’t make sense!”  And you’d be right. But here’s the first thing you need to know. The English word week in the Hebrew is “shabua”.

English week Hebrew shabua flattenedThat’s the Hebrew word for week. And in Hebrew that didn’t always mean 7 days. We have the word in English “a dozen”. It could be a dozen eggs, a dozen houses; it means 12. I’ll give you another example of this word shabua in the Bible. The most important verse in this chapter for people in our times is Daniel 9:27.

Genesis 2927 and Daniel 927 flattenedOur next class is mainly based around that verse. But an interesting cross reference is Genesis 29:27. Daniel 9:27 connecting with Genesis 29:27, interesting coincidence. It’s talking about Jacob, nearly 1500 years before Daniel. Jacob had to work 7 years for one wife, then 7 for the other wife; then 7 more years for the other things. Genesis 29:27 says, Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you shall serve with me still another seven years.

70 Sevens of Years flattenedThat’s another place in the Bible where the Hebrew word “shabau”, “a week”, is used as 7 years. So when it says “70 weeks”, it’s not talking about a year and a half. It’s talking about 70 sevens of years. If you do your math, you go 70 times 7 equals 490. Gabriel is telling Daniel that “70 weeks”, 490 years, are determined  “To make an end of sins”, “to bring in everlasting righteousness”. (Daniel 9:24)

Do we have an end of sins right now in our world? No. Do we have everlasting righteousness right now in our world? No. Maybe in our hearts, we have the kingdom of God within us. But in this world we do not have an end of sins and we do not have everlasting righteousness. So already, from what we can tell so far, this 490 year period has not come to its conclusion, even up to our modern times.

But, we were reading about Daniel praying desperately because that 70 years prophecy of Jeremiah was just about due to be fulfilled. It was just about time for the Jews to be allowed to begin to return to the land they’d been driven from so many years before. But then, the angel Gabriel here seems to start talking about something different. Nothing about that prophecy but about a 490 year period  “to bring in everlasting righteousness.(Daniel 9:24)

return1final for D9 blog postWhat about that 70 years prophecy of Jeremiah, did it get fulfilled? Yes it did. Two years after this prophecy of Daniel 9, King Cyrus of Persia signed a proclamation allowing the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. And they began to do that in fulfillment of the 70 years prophecy which had been given to Jeremiah.

But it seems God had something else on His mind. Gabriel’s message here to Daniel was about something far, far greater and more important. Gabriel’s message was at the heart of God’s overall plan for all nations, the salvation of all peoples and the bringing in of God’s rule and reign on our very earth.

One thing about these verses, they’re so packed with significance that it’s difficult to make this into a somewhat brief class, especially for those studying this for the first time. There’s much here that could be explored and looked into which I’ll need to pass over for now in order to focus on the most important elements of this message from Gabriel to Daniel.

490 years for D9 blog postSo Gabriel first gave the big picture Seventy weeks are determined… to make an end of sins to bring in everlasting righteousness. (Daniel 9:24)  We’re told of “seventy weeks”, a period of 490 years. But then in the next verses, he begins to break those seventy 7’s of years into smaller periods. Verse 25 says

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times.

The angel Gabriel is talking to Daniel somewhere in Persia, around 539 BC. At this time none of the Jews had even gone back to their homeland yet; they were all still captives. But as I was saying earlier, two years later, they were allowed to begin to return to Jerusalem. But that’s not what thiscommandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25) is talking about.

return2final-fixed-for D9 blog postThe Jews who returned to Jerusalem back then went back to a city that was ruins. They were allowed to go back but they couldn’t really rebuild. Because in those days, to fortify a city, you had to get permission to do that. Because if you have built up a city, you can begin to defend yourself, you could be independent from the Persians.

reworked Throne Room 1 for D9 blog postSo it was actually nearly 100 years after this time,  when Nehemiah poured out his heart to king Artaxerxes of Persia about the sad condition of the Jews who’d returned to Jerusalem, that this commandment to restore and build Jerusalem took place, around 444 BC. That’s what Nehemiah 2:5 records when Nehemiah said,

“And I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I pray that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, so that I may build it.

the commandment to rebuild for D9 blog postThe next verses in Nehemiah are about where Artaxerxes gave a decree to Nehemiah to go back and build. And that’s when the commandment went forth to restore and to build Jerusalem.

So let’s look at verse 25 again in that light.Know therefore and understand that, from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince,…

I didn’t believe in God until I was nearly 21 years old. And the first time I read this and saw that it’s speaking specifically about Messiah the Prince  in the Old Testament, I’ll tell you, I was really stunned. And I found that there are so many places, in the Old Testament, that specifically foretell a Messiah who would come. This is one of the most amazing ones right here.

new 483 years box for D9 blog postFrom the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks…”  (a week is seven years) 7 times 7 is 49 so 49 years  and 62 weeks”. Seven weeks plus 62 weeks equals 69 weeks which would amount to 483 years between the commandment to restore and build JerusalemandMessiah the Prince.

It’s almost hard to believe that the angel Gabriel, over 500 years before the birth of Jesus, gave an exceedingly specific prophecy to the prophet Daniel about a 483 year length of time before the arrival of Messiah, the Prince.But, you probably wonder, “Was it really exactly that length of time, 483 years?

Let’s look at that. First, it’s beyond the scope of this video to present to you the many historical details of all this. There have been some amazing studies to find the exact year of “the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem”.

The Coming Prince photoA book that has helped me in the study of all this was published in 1894,  “The Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson. Through much study, Robert Anderson found that the king that Nehemiah served, Artaxerxes, gave the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem in 444 BC.

476 years flattenedAnd since Jesus’ years of ministry looks to be between 30 and 33 AD, this would at first glance not fit, since the amount of time from 444 BC to 33 AD equals 476 years, not 483.

But here’s a factor that changes that. Throughout the Bible and in ancient societies, a year was calculated as 360 days, not 365¼ as we know now. Here’s something Sir Isaac Newton, who was an ardent student of the prophecies of Daniel, wrote about this fact

All nations, before the just length of the solar year was known, reckoned months by the course of the moon, and years by the return of winter and summer, spring and autumn. In making calendars for their festivals, they reckoned thirty days to a lunar month, and twelve lunar months to a year. From this comes the division of the path of the sun’s annual rotation into 360 degrees.”    

Here’s a chart to show this.

69 weeks main chart -11-flattenedThe angel Gabriel said there would be “7 weeks” and “62 weeks”, 69 weeks or 483 years between “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and “Messiah the Prince”. Historically between 444 BC and 33 AD there are 476 years. (Just to note: we go from 1 BC to 1 AD since there’s no year “0”.)

173880 days-flattenedSo it seems to not quite fit. But let’s do the math. The 483 Jewish years of this prophecy, each having the 360 day year of ancient times, would amount to 173,880 days.

173859 days-flattenedHistory says that 476 of our modern years past between these two periods. 476 years multiplied by 365¼ equals 173,859 days. So 483 years in the ancient world would equal the 476 years that modern history computes between these two key points in this prophecy.

Revelation 11 3D-d for D9 blog postThis same thing can be seen in the book of Revelation. Talking about a future period in the endtime of 3½ years, the length of time is called “42 months”  in chapters 11 and 13. But in several other places in Revelation, the same period is called “a thousand, two hundred and sixty days”.

A period of 42 months, mentioned twice between Revelation 11 and 13 and a similar period of 1260 days, also mentioned twice in those chapters. 42 months divided by 12 months equals 3½ years. And 1260 days, divided by a 360 day year equals 3½ years. These references in Revelation are talking about the same length of time reckoned with years being 360 days.

Let’s look at this all again from a larger view.

second main chart for 69 weeks -13-flattenedFirst we are told of “70 weeks”, 490 years, “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Then within the 70 weeks, a period of 69 weeks, 483 years, from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince. The 69 weeks are then broken down into periods of 49 years and 434 years. And it says, “the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times.” And the beginning of verse 26 says,And after sixty two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself…

History shows that it took the Jews 49 years to complete the rebuilding of Jerusalem. In fact, around the time of that completion, about 400 BC, was when the last Jewish prophet, Malachi, received God’s Word for the people. After that, for the next 400 years, there were no more prophets.  For believers back then, this part of the prophecy may have been a real beacon and light to their future. It could almost have been like a road sign, during a long desert crossing, that from the completion of the building of Jerusalem, there would be “62 weeks”, 434 years before the Messiah.

You can read the historical and prophetic books in the Bible from the time after the Jews had come back to Jerusalem and you never hear them saying that they were expecting the Messiah at any moment. But then, in New Testament times, there are repeated references to people who were expecting to see the Messiah in their lifetimes. Perhaps these verses from Daniel chapter 9 were talked about during that time. The Living Bible, says this in Luke chapter 3 verse 15  “Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and eager to know whether or not John [the Baptist] was He. This was the question of the hour and was being discussed everywhere.

Wisemen2-fixedMany of us have heard about “the 3 kings of the east”, also called “the 3 wise men” who saw His star in the east at the time of Jesus’ birth and came to worship Him. These wise men, “the magi” or magicians of the east may have known of this prophecy in Daniel 9. We read in Daniel 2 that after Daniel had told Nebuchadnezzar his dream, “Then the king promoted Daniel, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men [the magicians] of Babylon.” (Daniel 2:48) So it’s quite possible the 3 wise men from the east knew the time had come for the birth of the Messiah from this prophecy of the ancient chief of the wise men of Babylon, Daniel himself. They didn’t ask when the king of the Jews was to be born, just where.

Jesus on Cross for D9 blog postBut it even says, And after sixty two weeks shall Messiah be cut off,  but not for himself…”  (Daniel 9:26)  We can look back at this and truly be at a loss for words. The prophecy says  “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself“. The Messiah would be killed, but not for Himself.  And for those of you who know the message of Christianity, you know that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus of Nazareth willingly went to his crucifixion. He was cut off, not for Himself or his sins (He didn’t have any) but to give His life as an offering and a ransom for many. You may not believe that. Certainly I didn’t at all. But then, what can we do with this prophecy? We can doubt it, we can dismiss it, we can wish it wasn’t there. But it is. Not in the Christian writings of the New Testament but in the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament.

But there’s still another equally amazing part to verse 26. Let’s read the full verse and focus on the last part, “And after 62 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. The end of it shall be with a flood. And unto the end of the war desolations shall be determined.

Most of you watching this are not Jewish and this may not stand out to you. But for a Jewish person, especially one from those times back then, this would shock them very much. What they would notice is that Gabriel says here, that, after the Messiah shall be cut off, “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…” (Daniel 9:26)

At the time Gabriel gave this message in, 539 BC, Daniel and his people were in prayer and expectation that they’d be allowed to return to Jerusalem and hopefully to rebuild the city and even the Temple. But Gabriel is telling them that, at a future date, Jerusalem would be destroyed again. And the future Temple.  “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…” (Daniel 9:26)

Jerusalem-fixedDid this actually occur in history? Yes it did. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem in 33 AD. In 70 AD, the Roman legions of Titus surrounded Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the sanctuary. Israel was effectively ended; over 1 million were killed and the Jews were scattered among all nations for nearly 1900 years. But when does the angel Gabriel say that this will happen? “After Messiah shall be cut off. (Daniel 9:26)

So, God has a foreknowledge of events in our world. God has a destiny foreordained for mankind and it’s going to be fulfilled. We individually have free choice and we’re responsible for our choices. But God has an overall design for mankind.

I’m going to go over this once more.

third chart tenFrom 444 BC till 33 AD, from “the Commandment to build JerusalemuntilMessiah shall be cut offshall be7 weeks(49 prophetic years)  and62 weeks” (434 prophetic years) which make a total of 483 prophetic years. And it says, after the Messiah is cut off  “the people of the prince that shall come [the Romans] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

We can look back and say, “Oh, yeah”. But who can do what we’ve just seen here? Nobody can do that, nobody. No religion, no philosopher, no scientist. Only the God of Abraham can so clearly and explicitly tell us the future. And He did it. It’s so powerful. It’s just unique. But you know what?

That’s only 69 weeks. The angel said, “70 weeks

fourth main chart for 69 weeks 9-flattenedSeventy weeks are determined …to bring in everlasting righteousness.69 weeks were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus. So, there’s one “week” left. One last 7 year period is yet to be fulfilled in this prophecy in order to bring in God’s Kingdom on earth.

That’s what’s called “the 70th week” or “the Last 7 years” and that hasn’t happened yet. You could think, “Well, maybe 7 years after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, that would be the other 7 years and that would be the fulfillment, wouldn’t it?” But then, is that when there was  an end of sins? A bringing in of everlasting righteousness.

One of the most famous things Jesus of Nazareth ever taught was when His disciples asked Him how they should pray. His answer to His disciples has come to be called, “the Lord’s prayer”. One of the first things taught in that prayer is that we should pray to God, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

We only have to look at history and our own times to know that isn’t how it has been or is now. We don’t have God’s Kingdom on earth right now. That last “week”, the last seven years of this prophecy is yet to come, yet to be fulfilled. That’s what the final verse in this chapter is about, verse 27

When He was asked by His disciples about His return to the earth, Jesus referred to things mentioned in Daniel 9:27 and other verses we’ve not yet read in Daniel. Our next class is going to be centered around Daniel 9:27 and those other verses. We’ll find that this verse is the crux, the keystone, fitting together so much of what we’ve read already in Daniel and what can be found in the book of Revelation. I’ve already started on the next video on this subject and I’m eagerly looking forward to sharing that with you soon, God bless you.

 

Daniel 8, Personally

[This is the text to the second half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video. The full video can be seen here.]

I mentioned before how that I was an atheist, till I was nearly 21. But a series of events, and my search for the truth, brought me to the God of Abraham. Months later I came to know Jesus. Afterwards for me, there was only one choice: that was to live the truths and teachings of the first Christians as a full time disciple of Jesus. Witnessing scene 2 for blog postAnd, with other like-minded young people, I soon became a rather zealous activist for that cause.

At times, I would go out with others to share the message of God’s love with strangers. You get some mixed responses.Witnessing scene 3 for blog post But sometimes you meet people who are just overjoyed that you’ve told them something they were searching for all their lives.

I’d become a passionate student of the Bible. But I still had (and have) a lot to learn, especially in the way of growing up spiritually, probably like all of us. One day I met a young man around my age who was also a serious student of the Bible. I was eager to share my new faith and even to sort of “debate”. I hate to admit this, but I might have wanted to get the best of him in a religious argument, God forgive me.

Witnessing scene 4 for blog postHe knew the Bible well but much of it was more in his head and had not been accepted so much by his heart. Back then I’d not met many who knew so much but had not mixed faith with all their knowledge.

Witnessing scene 5 for blog postSo we began to sort of “duel”. I’d share some truth with him. He’d counter with, “Yes, but this proves that’s not really true!” I’d swoosh, go forward! He’d back up, strike back and …in some ways wound me. I should have just seen that it had become a useless religious argument. So finally, he hadn’t convinced me and I hadn’t convinced him.Witnessing scene 6-for blog post

He left. But I wasn’t doing so good. I had a feeling that I hadn’t really been doing what I should have. And, afterwards, it was almost like I was cut and bleeding in my heart and mind through all his doubts and skepticism.Witnessing scene 7-for blog post

One of his big doubts was about prophecy. He shared what he’d learned from some theological circles that Daniel 8 and other chapters are all just “the past”, prophecies now all totally fulfilled. I sure didn’t think so. But his words had wounded me and afterwards I was battling heavily with doubts, wondering if maybe he was right.

That night I took some time to really pray and cry out to the Lord about all this. Daniel 8 17 for blog postAnd I felt led to read again this chapter we’ve just been studying, Daniel 8. Is it really already all fulfilled? Then I read Daniel 8:17 where the angel Gabriel told Daniel, “Understand, oh son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

Daniel 8 19 for blog postAnd then two verses later the angel said, “Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation; for at the time appointed the end shall be.

Three times in two verses the angel uses the same words. “The End”. Was that time, 160 BC, “The End”? No. I believe that perhaps the angel even repeated himself here because God knew, in advance, that questions like this would arise as to how all this would be interpreted in the future.

The 4th beast, the 10 horns & "the little horn"

The 10 horns & “the little horn”

The wonderful thing for me in this experience was to have the power of God’s Word working in my heart to give me answers in the face of these strong doubts that came against me that day.

AC for Daniel 8 Personally blog postMy faith was restored through simply accepting, at face value, what the original words of the prophecy said, that these prophecies in Daniel 8 are predicting the same horn we saw in Daniel 7: the evil endtime leader, talked about later in the New Testament by Paul and in the book of Revelations.

You might say to all this, “Well of course, it’s all obvious!” And if you do, that’s great. But let me just warn you, there are those who doubt the truths we’ve read in these chapters. And you might run into some of those doubts, or doubters, sometime. For me this chapter will always be something personal. Through it, God spoke to me individually and rescued me from doubt that tried to snuff out my faith.

And I hope for you, in all we’re reading, that it won’t just be a matter of knowledge of future events to come, no matter how important or real. I hope you’ve found how the living power and presence of God’s Word can reach and change the deepest places in your heart, giving you joy and peace and that divine touch He has for each of His children. God bless you!

[The text to the first half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video can be seen here.]

Some Say The Antichrist Has Already Come

[This is the text to the first half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video. The full video can be seen here.]

My approach to the book of Daniel is that of a believer. But I don’t do this with sort of a simplistic, naïve attitude. I’ve done research on this and found that it’s all true, both from a historical and a spiritual perspective.

Antiochus Ephinanes in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, around 160 B.C.

Antiochus Ephiphanes in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, 166 B.C.

But, if someone studies Daniel chapter 8 and doesn’t have faith in God, they’ll often come up with some rather strange ideas about it. And sadly, those misunderstandings have been printed and published pretty far.

Man reading for blog postLet’s say you decide to do some research on all this and find, to your surprise, that there are actually Bibles around that, in their footnotes, say these prophecies of Daniel 8 have already been fulfilled! Or that this chapter was not written when Daniel said, but 100’s of years later!Man leaning forward for blog post

There was a group of famous, highly respected Bible professors, well over 100 years ago, who could be called “the Critics”. They seemed so wise and they had so much education. But what many didn’t have was faith in God. What they taught was that God simply can’t and won’t tell us the future.

And since Daniel 8:21 clearly predicted the coming of Alexander the Great, the learned “Critics” said that Daniel chapter 8 must have been written after the time of Alexander. We’ve gone over enough material in our earlier classes for you to know that God certainly does tell us the future, at least sometimes. We saw that in the prophecies He gave  Abraham, David, Jeremiah and many others.

But these theologians, intentionally or otherwise, spread unbelief in God’s Word. They said that the book of Daniel was written hundreds of years after the Bible says it was. Do you think God knew this was going to happen? Maybe that’s why He had Daniel write, at the beginning of each chapter we’ve studied, exactly what year it was when he got the vision or dream?

Daniel_2_verse 1 for blog postDaniel chapter two, verse one says, “Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams;…

Daniel_7_verse 1 for blog postDaniel chapter seven, verse one says, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream…

Daniel_8_verse 1 for blog postAnd Daniel chapter eight, verse one says, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel…

Each of those prophetic chapters starts off by giving the date of the prophecy. If the Bible is just a lie and a fiction, why should any of us waste time with it? But it’s not a lie or a fiction. It is a true historical account. And the contradictions and unbelief of some seemingly learned theologians should be seen for what it is and not affect us.

But, you could say,

“What about those that say that “the Little Horn” has already come!? That these prophecies in Daniel chapter 8 have already been fulfilled!?”

Some people say that. Remember how I told you that there have already been men in history, ones like Hitler, Napoleon and even Stalin?  Great, but evil, leaders of nations, who were in some ways foreshadowings of this final demonic dictator to come. Let me now tell you of another one from around 165 BC. And he certainly had many of the characteristics of the final Antichrist.  The Greek, Antiochus Ephiphanes was his name.

Temple troops and crowd-for blog postDuring the period of “The Return”, some of the Jewish people had come back to the land they’d been driven from by the Babylonians. They’d been treated fairly well during the time of Alexander the Great. But 200 years later, this Antiochus Ephiphanes became one of the greatest persecutors and tormentors the Jews ever encountered.

Antiochus in temple scene-midsize for blogDuring a 3½ year rule of terror, Antiochus Ephiphanes worked fiercely to destroy the faith and even the writings of the Jews. He forbid the Jews to worship God according to their customs.He even went into the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem and offered a sacrificial pig, an unclean animal, an abomination to the Jews.

It was a horrible, terrible time for the Jews. This godless man was certainly a forerunner and, at the least, a partial fulfillment of these prophecies. But, was he really the ultimate fulfillment of the little horn of Daniel 8?

If he was, then this is all now the past and all these prophecies have all already been totally fulfilled. Maybe we’re wrong about it all? “It’s all the past, nothing to get worked up about!” That’s what some say. I’ll finish this supplemental section to Daniel chapter 8 with a personal story where I was faced with these very questions.

[The second half of the text to this video will be published soon.]

 

“Famous Failures of Prophetic Interpretation”

(This is the text to the video “Famous Failures of Prophetic Interpretation” which can be seen here.)

Manor house & people-flattened-smallerI guess everyone has heard about times in history when someone has pointed out something they thought was just about to happen, because they felt Biblical prophecy was just about to be fulfilled. That happened one time as a direct result of misunderstanding something that’s in this chapter we’ve just gone over, Daniel 8.

early train for blog postThe 1840’s was a time of tremendous change. The Industrial Revolution was changing the order of society as it had been for many hundreds of years. Science was making tremendous strides in understanding God’s creation. And politics and nationalism were bringing huge change around the world.

One new religious movement at that time saw the changes going on as a sign of the soon coming of God’s Kingdom on earth. This group often talked about the return of Jesus. And you could say, “Well, Mark, that sounds a good deal like what you’re doing.” And you might be right.

So, I’m sharing this with you as a warning in some ways, both to you and to me. Because, as much as I believe in prophecy, I also believe it’s possible to misinterpret things that are in the Bible.  So this group, back in the 1840’s, looked at some of these verses we’ve been reading, specifically  Daniel  chapter 8, verse 13, which says

Daniel 8-13 for blog post

 

 

 

 

and verse 14

Daniel 8-14 for blog post

 

 

These verses are rather mysterious and I’m not in any way wanting to make fun of what happened. But these folks back then misinterpreted those verses and ended up being embarrassed and needing to make some difficult explanations. Here’s what happened.

return2final-fixed-smallA very key event occurred in the history of the Jews, during the time of their captive in Babylon and the beginning of their return to Israel. Some historians have set the date of that event at 544 BC. Setting the exact date on this and explaining the details and specifics are complicated and I won’t go into it here since it’s part of the class on Daniel chapter 9.

But this Christian religious movement in the 1800’s came to the incorrect conclusion that “2300 days in Daniel 8:14 actually means 2300 years. So they did their math.

1844-merged-for blog postUsing an approximate date of 544 BC, adding an additional 2300 years would mean that these verses in Daniel 8 tell us that the Kingdom of God would be set up in …1844!

The 1840’s were not a particularly traumatic time for people living in the United States. But for Europeans, the 1840’s were a time of revolution and major social dishevel in many countries. Well, this religious group I mentioned, spread out in many lands, came down to a fateful night in October of 1844 when they went up on their housetops to welcome the return of Jesus.Manor house & people- for blog post

But, Jesus didn’t come back that night and that whole denomination was mocked and ridiculed.  It didn’t end there. Years later a new denomination was started. They looked over the mistakes the other group made and came up with a new idea. They saw places in the Bible that used the number  “70”.1914-merged- for blog post

And they added 70 more years onto 1844. That would mean that the coming of the Lord would actually be in…1914!

1914 was a very significant, turbulent year to say the least. It was the beginning of World War I, a war unlike any other before it. Also, in the fields of science, culture, business and technology, things were changing incredible fast.

But, the Lord didn’t return in 1914. So they ended up saying that actually Jesus did return that year to the earth. But that He’s now presently “in the clouds”, looking over the judgment books. And honesty, if you keep up with these kinds of things, this type of prophetic interpretation is happening in our times just as much if not more than it was 100 years ago. Sadam Hussein-for blog postRemember Saddam Hussein?

At the time of the Iraq war, there were all kinds of web sites and commentators saying that Saddam Hussein was the Biblical Antichrist. woman_on_beast for blog postAnd the modern nation of Iraq was the fulfillment of Babylon the Great from Revelation 18.

Websites and airwaves were full of those kinds of twisted, opportunistic interpretations of Bible prophecy, often for political motives and secular agendas. We believers are supposed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But that doesn’t mean we’re to be naive, gullible and easily manipulated.

I believe it’s important to be very realistic and cautious about interpreting God’s Word. There’s just a real danger in getting overly specific about soon-coming events through a misapplication and misinterpretation of ancient Bible prophecy, especially if politics or nationalism is using Bible prophecy for their own secular ends.joel verse for blog post Not only can you just being totally wrong, you can do enormous damage to the faith of millions of people “the multitudes in the valley of decision”, as the prophet Joel talked about.

There are so many people today “in the valley of decision”, who sense the truth and want to learn more. But when they’re stumbled by false teaching and prophetic interpretations that prove false, they turn away from God and search elsewhere for the truth they’re seeking.  That’s heartbreaking and must grieve the heart of the God of Abraham for any of us to do that.

On the other hand, simply because mistakes like this have been made, it doesn’t take anything away from the certainty of prophecy. But it’s a serious, sober warning to us all to not teach speculation and hypothesis as something that we should take as absolute gospel truth.

Alexander the Great reads about himself in Daniel chapter 8

(This is the text version of the supplementary video to Daniel chapter 8, “Alexander the Great comes to Jerusalem” which can be seen here.)Daniel8 picture3_small

Here’s a little history to highlight the power of prophecy. opening shot for Alex-Jeru blog postIn Daniel 8, from 553 BC, we saw that Daniel was shown a vision of a goat with one horn. This goat was identified by the angel Gabriel as being prophetic of the Empire of the Greeks that was to come. Alexander the Great, and his empire, were the fulfillment of this, over 200 years later.

D 8-21 for blog postIn Daniel 8:21 the angel Gabriel tells Daniel, “And the rough goat is the kingdom of Greece; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” The vision not only predicts the coming of the empire of the Greeks, but it also ­mentions “the great horn” as signifying its first king.

I’m going to be quoting from an ancient Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus. He was sometimes an associate and a negotiator for the Roman government in the first century AD. But he also was a loyal Jewish citizen of Israel who wrote perhaps the most famous secular history of Israel, “The Antiquities of the Jews”. I’ll be quoting from book 11, chapter 8, paragraphs 4 and 5.

Josephus tells of when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem, during his conquests of the Middle East, around 332 BC. The high priest in Jerusalem, knowing that Alexander had recently destroyed Tyre and Gaza, poured out his heart to God for divine protection.

(Text in blue below is taken directly from “The Antiquities of the Jews”.)

Daniel8 picture priest sleepingAfter that God spoke to the high priest in a dream “that he should take courage, and adorn Jerusalem, and open the gates. The rest of the people should appear in white garments. But the priests should meet Alexander in the robes of their priesthood, without fear, because God would protect them.”Daniel8 picture3_small

When Alexander was not far from Jerusalem, the high priest went outside the walls of the city in a procession, with the other priests and multitudes of citizens.Daniel8 picture2a

Alexander’s army was expecting him to plunder the city. But, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, and the priests in fine linen, the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, Alexander approached by himself, showing respect to their God, and saluted the high priest.Daniel8 picture4a-corrected&merged-flattenedsmall for blog post

Those who’d come with Alexander thought he had lost his senses. Daniel8 picture4a-finally one asked him for blog post

Finally one asked him how, when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews?

Daniel8 picture4b-Alexander explains for blog postAlexander replied, “I did not adore him, but that God who has honored him with his high priesthood. I saw this very person in a dream, in these very clothes, when I was in Macedonia.

Macedonia for blog postAlexander and his primary forces were from Macedonia originally. In fighting the Persians, Alexander had three main battles, first at the Granicus River, then the battle of Issus, ­and the ultimate one, at Gaugamela.

3 battles for blog postBut Alexander is saying that, before he ever started his drive east to defeat the Persians, he’d had this dream in Macedonia that he is now describing to his followers here, outside the walls of Jerusalem.

[Alexander’s dialogue from “The Antiquities of the Jews” continues.]

Daniel8 picture4b-Alexander explains for blog postI was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia. And I saw this man who exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea. He would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians. I have not seen any other so clothed that way since then. And now, seeing this person, and remembering that vision in my dream, I believe I bring this army under the Divine conduct, and shall conquer Darius, destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.”

Daniel8 picture entering Jerusalem for blog postThen he gave the high priest his right hand and came into Jerusalem.

Daniel8 picture5b-for blog postAnd, when the Book of Daniel was showed him where Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians,

Daniel8 picture5c-for blog postAlexander supposed that himself was the person intended.

Daniel8 picture6-a-for blog postThe next day Alexander asked them what they would want of him. The high priest asked that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no taxes on the seventh year.

Daniel8 picture6-b-for blog postAlexander granted all they desired.

When Alexander the Great was shown Daniel’s prophecy by the priests in Jerusalem, he acknowledged that this was a prophecy about himself. Furthermore, years before this, he’d personally seen, in a dream, these ones in Jerusalem, dressed in priestial robes, coming to meet him. And this information is taken from a famous secular history book, written in the 1st century AD.

Why could this matter to us, over 2000 years later? To me, it’s another amazing proof of the veracity and certainty of Bible prophecy.

Here one of the most famous conquerors of all time is shown the prophecy about himself, which had been given to Daniel over 200 years before. Alexander acknowledged that it was about him and then asked the high priest what he could do for them.

And Alexander went on to be a benefactor of the Jewish people in his lifetime. So those who dismiss Bible prophecy and feel it’s not relevant to our times are doing so at their own peril. On the other hand, there are those who look for God to yet fulfill His Word, for the events of the endtime to come and the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus to be established. Bible prophecy was fulfilled so dramatically and tangibly in the secular world with Alexander in Jerusalem, reading about himself in Daniel Chapter 8. This should encourage us believers that it will yet be so in our times or times soon to come.