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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).

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"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.

9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:20-27 KJV)

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?

12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (Daniel 12:8-13 KJV)

"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.

Crossing The Jordan River

"22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.

Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:7-21 KJV)

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).

The Stars Of Heaven

"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.

5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying,

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; 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 5:12 Saying with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:1-14 KJV)

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"?
(a) See The Horsemen Of The Apocalypse and The Apocalypse Of Jesus Christ
(b) See Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?; also The Church Today and The Church In The End Time


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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.


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