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The Time of Jacob’s Distress.
We begin this morning by reminding all of you are listening through face to face or a non face-to face type of ministry the four different questions that I said should be answered when it comes to the doctrine of divine prophecy.

And they are:

1. Why did God predict prophecy.
2. Where some of the prophecies are that God predicted.
3. How He predicted them and how they were fulfilled.
4. The role of prophecy and the illustrations God gives us to see the accuracy and preciseness of His prophecies.

We have looked at the first 2 indepth, and are noe ready for 3. How our Lord predicted and fulfilled certain prophecies. We begin with JER 30:7, “Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.”

What does the phrase, “the time of Jacob’s distress” mean? First of all, we note that Jacob was one of the sons of Isaac and represented Israel because of an experience that he had when the Lord changed his name from Jacob to Israel in GEN 32:28. In the ancient world names meant a lot and the fact that Jacob’s name was changed from Jacob to Israel meant that he went from being a deceiver (Jacob) to a prince with God (Israel) God. In Fact, let’s begin in GEN 32:24 and notice when and why Jacob’s named was changed to Israel.

GEN 32:24,– Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
If we were studying the life of Jacob we would compare scripture with scripture and you would see in detail that the individual described as “a man” was literally TLJC in what is known as a Theophany form. What is a Theophany? A Theophany is a manifestation of the person and work of Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate state which is the appearances of Jesus Christ before the First Advent. For example, the Lord jesus Christ appeared as the angel of the Lord, the primary Theophany in the Old Testament. There are many passages in the Bible that would prove to you that when the Bible says the angel of the Lord appeared that it was literally God Himself. For example, He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, EXO 3:2 cf. Acts 7:30‑35.


EXO 3:2, And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

Comparing scripture with scripture we see who it was who appeared to Moses.

Act 7:30-35, “And after forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. And when Moses saw it, he began to marvel at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ And Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. “But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush.

As the Angel of God, (the Lord jesus Christ) was in the pillar of the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night to lead Israel through the desert; EXO 13:21; EXO 14:19; EXO 23:20‑23, 32:34, 33:2; NUM 20:16; ISA 63:9.

He also appeared to Abraham as a man in GEN 18:1‑33.
He was also the wrestler with Jacob in GEN 32:24‑32.
He also appeared as an angel in HOS 12:4.

How do we know that this was God or the lord jesus Christ, we know that because the Bible says who is the only visible member of the Trinity, according to JOH 1:18; JOH 6:46; 1TI 6:16?

GEN 32:25-30, And when he saw that He had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven or wrestled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

When it says I have seen God “face to face,” it doesn’t mean Jacob has seen the deity manifestation of God but he had seen the overt manifestation of God in a human form, though not in His hypostatic union for He had not been born as of yet. You see, this falls under the doctrine of a Theophany which is an Old Testament manifestation of the Lord jesus Christ. Remember that there was never was a time in history when some part of the world did not “see” the Lord Jesus Christ – that’s the doctrine of Theophany.

A Theophany is a manifestation of the person and work of Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate state which is the appearances of Jesus Christ before the First Advent. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared as the angel of the Lord, the primary Theophany in the Old Testament. As we just noted, He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, EXO 3:2 cf. Acts 7:30‑35. As the Angel of God, the Lord jesus Christ was in the pillar of the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night to lead Israel through the desert; EXO 13:21; EXO 14:19; EXO 23:20‑23, 32:34, 33:2; NUM 20:16; ISA 63:9.

So, there are two reasons why this was Jacob wrestling with the lord jesus Christ.
1. Because the man or the individual had the authority to bless Jacob, verse 29.
2. Because Jacob said I have seen God face to face, again JOH 1:18; 6:46; 1TI 6:16.

So, Jacob represents Israel and as the prophet Jeremiah said JER 30:7, “Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he [Jacob or Israel, that is true Israel] will be saved from it.”

So the Tribulation period is a time of Israel’s distress not the Church of Jesus Christ. And JER 30:7 says this period is particularly called the time of Jacob’s trouble and Jacob refers to Israel.

Well all of this leads us to one of the most amazing prophecies found in the Word of God in DAN 9:24-27.


DAN 9:24-27, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. 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. Then after the sixty‑two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

I want you to first of all, notice DAN 9:24, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for YOUR people and YOUR holy city,”So, note that this whole Tribulational period has special reference to “Daniel’s people Israel” and “Daniel’s holy city, Jerusalem.” Now, in this passage, the seventy weeks of prophecy are really weeks of years.

For example, do you remember the first mention principle? The first mention principle is that principle by which God reveals in the first mention of a subject, the truth with which that subject carries with it throughout the Bible and it is repeated as it stands connected in the mind of God. For example, a simple basic illustration is found in the book of Genesis with the serpent. It is found in the book of Genesis with the serpent in the garden and basically when it is mentioned throughout the word of God it refers to Satan as in the final book in the Bible, the book of Revelation.

GEN 3:1, Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

This is the first mention of the serpent, and with exception of a few passages like the brazen serpent being lifted up, every time the serpent is mentioned in the Bible it refers to someone or something that is crafty, subtle and anti-God such as in

MAT 23:33, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?”

1CO 10:9, Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.

2CO 11:3, But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
We read again in DAN 9:24, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.

 

Here’s where it gets a little technical and I am going to try and do my best to make it understandable; For under the first mention principle, the first time a week or weeks are mentioned in the Bible is found in GEN 29:27. Most of you remember the story of Jacob and his lying father-in-law Laban who lied to Jacob and tricked him by giving him his unattractive daughter Leah on his wedding day. Believe it or not, but in the ancient world, they had fixed marriages and many times the first time you ever saw the one who you were about to marry was on your wedding day. We noted this in some detail when we studied the life of Jacob, who by the way, was simply reaping what he sowed because he was known for lying and deceiving others in his life.

Look at GEN 29:16-17, Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.
When it says “Leah’s eyes were weak” it is a Hebrew idiom meaning that she was “dull-looking” and she lacked overt beauty because “bright eyes” or “eyes like fire” in the Hebrew were considered to be beautiful in the ancient Oriental world. On the other hand, Leah’s sister Rachel, the other daughter of Laban  had a beautiful figure and beautiful symmetry, described by the word “form and she also had a beautiful face.I don’t know how much this really means although many times names do have meanings in the Bible.

But the name Leah means “wearied wild-cow” says Gesenius in his Hebrew word studies and the Biblical Library on page 265. And then Rachel, who was the younger daughter of Laban, her name means “ewe, the predominant element of the flock.” So, you can understand why Jacob wanted Rachel and not Leah!

GEN 29:18-21, Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I may go in to her [have sex with her].” And Laban gathered all the men of the place, and made a feast. Now it came about in the evening that he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her. Laban also gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?”
Leah was Laban’s reward to Jacob for serving Laban for seven whole years. Then in Laban’s self-justification for his deception of Jacob. Laban says in GEN 29:26, “It is not the practice in our place, to marry off the younger before the first‑born. Complete the week of this one [notice that the week refers to the seven years] , and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years or another week.”

Therefore, my whole point is to prove to you that in the analogy and typology, each week is a reference to seven years or a seven year period, according to the prophetic calendar. Therefore,  the principle: one week refers to seven years or a seven year period. So, we are now ready for a more detailed study of DAN 9:24-27.


DAN 9:24-27, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy {place.} 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. Then after the sixty‑two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end {will come} with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations {will come} one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

We live in what our Lord called in LUK 21:24 “the times of the Gentiles” And when God’s purpose “in the times of the Gentiles” is finished, then God is going to have to get the Church out of the way so that He can go back to dealing with Israel for He has unfinished business with Israel. Now, how do we know that? Now, let’s begin this passage with some isagogics or historical background. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquered Jerusalem in 606 B.C. and returned home with a group of royal captives, including a young man named Daniel.These Jewish captives were to be trained in all of the wisdom of this Pagan empire so that they could eventually serve as royal advisors.
Daniel distinguished himself by his outstanding character, his wisdom and the tremendous prophetic gifts which God had bestowed upon him due to his faithfulness. As a result of these prophetic abilities, Daniel was elevated from the position of a captive slave to ultimately become the First Minister of this great Babylonian Empire which at the time ruled the  world. While Daniel was taken to Babylon with the other captives, his contemporary, the prophet Jeremiah, continued to prophecy to the remainder of the Jewish people living under the Babylonian army which was occupying Jerusalem. Jeremiah declared in JER 25:11,”And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylonseventy years.”

In 538 B.C. Daniel was reading this prediction and knew that the seventy years of the Babylonian Captivity would end within two years, in 536 B.C. (It lasted from 606 B.C. to 536 B.C.). Now, Daniel began to pray and ask God to reveal to him the future of the Jewish people. While he was interceding on behalf of his people and Jerusalem, God answered by sending His angel Gabriel to give him “skill and insight” about the future course of history.

DAN 9:20-23, Now while 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 in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, [really the angel] whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in {my} extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. And he gave {me} instruction and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell {you,} for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.”

Daniel received one of the most amazing visions ever given to man. This vision of the seventy weeks of years foretold to the precise day when Israel would reject and “cut off” their Messiah and then looks forward to His Second Coming to set up His everlasting kingdom. It is an unusual prophecy because the time element is given so specifically and clearly. And I am going to try my best this morning to show that in

DAN 9:25, “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; which is 69 weeks of years or 483 biblical years and was totally fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ to the exact day. 483 biblical years (each year equaling 360 days). Now, an important but often overlooked point in considering the chronology of prophecy is the length of a year in the Bible. The Jewish year of biblical times was known as lunar ­solar and had only 360 days. The solar year, which we live by, of 365.25 days was unknown to the nations in the Old Testament. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica and Smith’s Bible Dictionary on Chronology, Abraham continued to use a year of 360 days in his original Chaldean homeland. In fact, the record of the history of Noah’s flood also confirms that a thirty day month was used in the book of Genesis.

Let me prove this to you because this is a fabulous prophecy and you need to know how I arrived at all the things I will be saying. In GEN 7:11, In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.Please notice when the flood started, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month. Now, when did the flood end? Look at GEN 8:4, And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. So it ended in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month.

Now, how many days in those five months? Well look at GEN 7:24, And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. 150 days equals 5 30 day months!

REV 11:3, says that three and a half years is twelve hundred and sixty days.”

REV 12:6, refers to the three and a half years of the Tribulation period as being one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

So, if we are to understand the precise times involved in the fulfillment of  prophecy, we still need to use the same biblical lunar-year of 360 days which the prophets themselves used. Remember, the Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written, and at the time this prophecy was written, they used lunar-years or 360 day years. If Daniel made an appointment to meet someone in one year, he would arrive in 360 days, not 365 days. Now, the failure to understand and utilize the true biblical year of 360 days has prevented a clear understanding of Daniel’s vision of the Seventy Weeks and many other prophecies which contain a time element.

Alright, so let’s begin to look at the prophecy. And all of this brings up a major issue, does God keep His word? Does God keep His word to Israel? DAN 9:24, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city,

The word decreed means allotted. And the phrase translated Seventy weeks in the Hebrew is the phrase Shaabu`iym shib`iymwhich literally means 70 X 7. Now, if you don’t believe me then you can believe the following translations, DAN 9:24 “Seventy `sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city” (NIV)

DAN 9:24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city,”(RSV)

DAN 9:24 “The Lord has commanded 490 years of further punishment upon Jerusalem and your people.(TLB)

So DAN 9:24, “490 years [is the way verse 24 begins literally] have been decreed for your people and your holy city, Seventy weeks [or 70 X 7 years or 490 years] have been decreed or allotted

Now, to whom has it been decreed or allotted? for your people [that’s the Israelites] and your holy city [Jerusalem].

So this prophecy has to do with those two entities, the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.

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