Tuesday, May 22 2012
The Seals Of Prophecy
At the heart of Daniel's "seventy weeks" prophecy (see also When You See What Daniel Saw and The Prophet Daniel's View Of Hanukkah) is the statement "to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity." Keeping in mind that the obviously-Messianic prophecy (no other human can "make an end of sins" and "make reconciliation for iniquity") is about Jesus Christ (see What Does Word of God Mean To You? and Appearances Of The LORD God), His first and second comings (as we will get to), the "make an end of sins" refers to His Passover Sacrifice (see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God and Christ Died For Repentant Sinners), while the "make reconciliation for iniquity" is accomplished by the delivery of the Sacrifice, as portrayed by the Day of Atonement (see The Day Of Atonement: It's All About Christianity and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?). The "cutting off" of the Messiah's ministry, by means of, and for the purpose of, His Sacrifice, will be restored, for the completion of His Ministry, for the rest of humanity (as we will read) beginning at the time of His Return (see The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished).
Further within the same prophecy is one of the two specific mentions of the "abomination of desolation" - as it will happen, in ultimate fulfillment, at Christ's return (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation and The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today). Notice also the statement "to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" (all of which we will explain, and prove from the Word of God, in this study).
"9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God [see Appearances Of The LORD God] for the holy mountain of my God; 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even 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 oblation. 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Notice carefully that, when Daniel had completed what he had been given to write, he was told "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
"12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin and The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?]. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:1-4 KJV)
When Daniel then inquired, "I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things," he was told "Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
"12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
"Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"
How can the words of the prophecies given to Daniel be "closed up and sealed till the time of the end" when anyone can freely and easily read them now? It obviously doesn't mean that people can't read them, as we just have. Does it therefore mean that they are sealed up against understanding them? That can't be either because many people in the true Church of God have understood much of the prophecies that were given to Daniel, even though Daniel didn't, from his time view, and even though they are "sealed" until the end (see also Could Christ Return Tonight?). What exactly then does "seal" mean?
The answer is found in the parallel, but time-view-perspective differing writings of the prophet Daniel, in the Book of Daniel, and the prophecies given to the apostle John, in his writing of the Book of Revelation. Daniel and John were given many of the same prophecies (although their symbolism differed), but notice, from the verses above that Daniel was told "the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end," while John, in describing the same events, was told "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand" (verse 10 below). People have freely read, and understood, the prophetic writings of both Daniel and John. That is something any human can do now. Declaring when the seals will be opened, and therefore when they are "sealed," or closed, is something that only Christ can do, as we will plainly read further below.
"22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
The authority to open the seals was given to the Messiah, by God, after His Sacrifice, as symbolized by Passover, and when He delivered the Blood of His Sacrifice to the Father in heaven, as symbolized by the Day of Atonement: "Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof," and "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" plainly reveals Who will open the events written in them, and when He received the authority to do so (the "end time" opening of them is covered in the Fact Finder question below).
"5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Fact Finder: (a) What are the first four "seals" that are opened? (b) In Revelation 22:16, we read "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." Who were, and are, those "churches"?
This Day In History, May 22
334 BC: Alexander the Great of Macedonia (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) defeated Darius III of Persia (see Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist and A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah) at the Battle of the Granicus.
853: A Byzantine fleet destroyed Damietta in Egypt.
1176: Hashshashins (an Arabic word, meaning "hashish eaters," from which the word assassin originated; see Assassins) attempted to assassinate Saladin (the Muslim sultan of Egypt; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad) near Aleppo.
1246: Henry Raspe was elected anti-king by the Rhenish prelates in France.
1377: Pope Gregory XI declared five papal bulls (see Papal Bull) against English theologian John Wycliffe.
1455: The opening battle in England's 30-year War of the Roses took place at St. Albans. The Lancastrians defeated the Yorkists.
1541: In Germany, the Ratisbon (Regensburg) Conference ended, its mission to reunify the Catholic Church having failed. From that time on, the Protestant movement became permanent (doctrinally, there is little difference between Roman Catholic and "Protestant" Antichristians; see also Is Your Religion Your Religion? and What's Your Angle?).
1629: The Peace of Luebeck was signed to end hostilities between the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark.
1807: A grand jury indicted former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1826: HMS Beagle departed on its first sea voyage.
1840: The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was ended.
1939: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) and Benito Mussolini signed a "Pact of Steel" committing Germany and Italy to a military alliance.
1941: The German battleship Bismarck entered the high seas for the first and last time.
1967: Egyptian President Nassar again (as he did in 1956, which led to the Sinai War) blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba by closing the Tiran Straits to Israeli shipping. It led to the Six Day War (see also A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1968: The nuclear submarine USS Scorpion and its crew of 99 was lost in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles southwest of the Azores (Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean about 900 miles west of Portugal).
1972: Under its new constitution, Ceylon became a republic and changed its name to Sri Lanka.
1990: North and South Yemen united to form the Republic of Yemen.
2002: A jury in Alabama convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry for the 1963 bombing of a Baptist Church in which four girls were murdered.
2008: 235 tornadoes during this week struck 19 U.S. states and one Canadian province.