Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress” (Daniel 9:25). I cannot even begin to recount the times I have talked to people of other religions who claim their so called sacred writings are the Word of God. I have had these discussions with Mormons, Hindus, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gnostics and many others. Each time I have always issued the same challenge: Prove it! The Bible has proven itself over and over again to be the Word of God. It is clearly of Divine origin. It is supported by over 5000 ancient manuscripts, pieces of manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts. The sixty-six books of the Bible were written by forty different authors over a period of 1500 to 2000 years, in three different languages, on three different continents. Yet its message is unique and each book compliments the other. Furthermore, archeological discoveries have proven the cities, peoples and events chronicled in the Bible are right on target. One group (the fastest growing cult in America), for example, has searched North, South and Central America in vain to find one shred of archeological evidence to support their so called sacred writings, which they claim to be “another testament of Jesus Christ.” Give me a break! The same can be said for the writings of Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gnostics and many others.
I could list one reason after another as to why the sixty-six books of the Bible constitute the Word of God. However, the most compelling reason I point to that proves once and for all the Divine origin of the Bible is the accuracy of fulfilled biblical prophecy. The Hebrew prophets had to meet a very stringent requirement—100 percent accuracy, 100 percent of the time—no exceptions! I could point to any number of fulfilled prophecies, but the one that always strikes me as amazing beyond compare is one found in Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel was praying, interceding on behalf of the Hebrew people and seeking God’s plan for their future when the angel Gabriel showed up and in four verses of scripture gave him the entire future of God’s chosen people. Only verse 27 awaits fulfillment. The most amazing part of this prophecy is verse 25. Without getting into all the language and word studies necessary to fully understand this verse, it basically says from the time a decree is given to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem” until the Triumphal Entry and rejection of Jesus (see Luke 19:37-40) there would be 483 years, or 173,880 days. We know this decree was issued by Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 B.C. We know Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey on April 6, 32 A.D. If you do the math (using a 360 day Hebrew/prophetic calendar), adding the time between March 14 and April 6 and the leap years, you arrive at exactly 483 years to the day. How’s that for 100 percent accuracy, 100 percent of the time! No other book that claims to be the Word of God even comes close. The Bible is clearly the Word of God as it has proven itself to be of Divine origin over and over again. Why people continue to reject it is beyond me, other than they “loved the darkness rather than the Light” (John 3:19)
It has all come to pass, exactly as the Bible predicted. However, verse 27 still remains unfulfilled. But there is no cause for alarm! Verse 26 clearly says there will be an interval between the fulfillment of the first 483 years and the final seven years of this prophecy. Verse 27 deals with this final seven years. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long this interval will be. But it does tell us the events of this final seven years mentioned in verse 27. In fact, this is the most documented time in Scripture. It is dealt with in Matthew 24-25, Luke 21, Revelation 6-19, and a few other places as well. These passages outline the time period leading up to and including this seven year period, which the Bible describes as “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” and “The Tribulation,” with the final three and one half years being described as “The Great Tribulation.” Well, chew on this awhile: For the first time in 1,600 years, there exists a modern version of the ancient Roman Empire, “partly strong and partly weak,” as Daniel predicted in chapter two. There exists, for the first time since before Daniel was born, a nation called “Israel.” Neither of these existed until this generation. Israel was reborn in one day in 1948 (see Isaiah 66:7-9). The Benelux Treaty that began the modern movement for the reunification of Europe was signed in 1948. Also in 1948, Bell Laboratories introduced the transistor, an invention which marked the beginning of the computer age. Daniel further predicted the increase of knowledge—probably the best description of our modern age. All these things, the Bible says, would be a reality when the time came for the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27. Again, we have greater evidence to the Divine origin of the Bible as the Word of God, to the exclusion of all others. What is this telling you and me? First of all, God’s Word is true. Secondly, its message about salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) is true as well. Jesus is the only way (John 14) to salvation. And finally, He is coming again—first, in the air for His Church at the Rapture (see 1 Thess. 4:13-18), and then literally to this earth at the Second Coming (see Acts 1:9-11). The question is: Are you ready? If Jesus came for His Church today, would you be caught up with all the saints of all the ages or would you be left behind? That is a question everyone must answer personally.
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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