A New Covenant for a New Creation
Daniel's 70 Weeks
Bishop Chuck Wallace
A New Covenant for a New Creation
"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace" ( Eph. 2:11-15 )
In the old testament, of all the nations on earth, God chose Israel. They were given the covenants of God. The other nations (Gentiles meaning nations) were left out of any covenant relationship with God.
God changed that order at Calvary. The death of Jesus at Calvary crucified the old man (Rom. 6:6).
The old man is our old identity, whether we are Jew or Gentile.
Romans 3:23 makes it clear; " We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
The Gentile nations sinned without the law; nevertheless they did not measure up to God's standard.
Death is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23.) However, Israel did not measure up either.
They, having the law, could not keep the law but broke it. After the reign of solomon, Israel became two separate kingdoms.
Ten tribes went with Jeroboam and became the Kingdom of Israel. Judah, Benjamin and the Lievitical priesthood remained with King Rehoboam and became the Kingdom of Judah.
The Kingdom of Israel eventually turned their back on God. In Jeremiah 3:8, God gives Israel a bill of divorcement. The Kingdom of Israel is outside of the covenant promises of God.
She has become part of the Gentiles (nations). The Assyrians drove her out of the covenant land.
They never returned from their captivity.
Later in history the Kingdom of Judah is carried away captive into Babylon, Like their sister kingdom, they also forsook God, However, God kept His covenant with Judah.
Beginning with the Persian King Cyrus to King Artaxerxes, a remnant returned to the land of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah was re-established. Their sin continued: Judah was never a free country again.
Because of sin, death reigned over Israel and Judah. But they were not without hope.
Faithful men and women of God looked for a savior who would redeem them from their sin and bring resurrection from death. This was accomplished at Calvary. However, this was not limited to Israel.
For Jesus was the "Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world."
Jesus destroyed the old identity on the cross. The Jew died, the Gentile died, the old covenant was done away with. When Jesus rose from the dead, he was the beginning of a whole new creation.
The former creation ended with the death of Jesus.
Colossians 1:15 states that "Jesus is the first born of every creature."
Colossians 1:18 says that "He is the beginning, the first born from the dead."
Colossians 3:11 states " There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision."
"Therefor if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
We who now believe what Jesus has done for us, who have been begotten by the word of truth are children of God, and part of the commonwealth of Israel. We are part of the new covenant that God made with Israel. This is a new Israel, the new creation of God. We are either functioning in the new creation, and experiencing resurrection life or we are existing in the fading memories of the former creation that has been done away in Christ. That, beloved, is death.
Daniel's 70 Weeks
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the 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" (Dan. 9:24)
Seventy sabbaths or weeks follow a prophetic theme found throughout the book of Daniel, and in fact, the whole of Scripture. That is, one prophetic day equals one year. We find this first in Numbers 14:34, where the twelve spies were sent into the promised land for 40 days.
The children of Israel believed that evil report of the ten spies. Therefore, they were to wander in the wilderness 40 years until all that generation died.
The only exception was Joshua and Caleb who gave a good report. They entered into the land. Each day equaled one year.
In Ezekiel 4:6 we find Ezekiel was to lie on his left side 390 days for the iniquity of the house of Israel, and 40 days on his right side for the house of Judah. "I have appointed thee each day for a year." There are two witnesses to this prophetic theme. Seventy weeks then is 490 years. This period of time was for the Jews who would return and rebuild Jerusalem, and their generations that would live there. They would have 490 years to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins. Man in his carnal state can't make an end of his sins, nor can he keep from transgressing the law.
Jesus Came to Fulfill the Law
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, nor the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matt. 5:17)
According to Hebrews 9:22, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." In the Old Testament, the Israelite could not approach God directly the way we can today. Everyone has sinned, and sin separates man from God. The Israelite would bring an animal to be sacrificed for his sin. It couldn't be any animal. It had to be without blemish. The priest would lay hands on the person, then lay hands on the sacrifice, and confess the sins of the person onto the sacrifice. Then the priest would kill the sacrifice. Now the priest could offer up prayer for that person and God would answer.
On the day of atonement, the high priest would offer a sacrifice for him self so he could be pure, then he would sacrifice a goat for the sins of all Israel. Before he sacrificed the goat. there was another goat, called the scapegoat. The high priest would lay his hands on the scapegoat and confess the sins of Israel upon him. There he would turn the scapegoat loose to run through the wilderness. This symbolized the sins of Israel being removed from the presence of God. However, Hebrews 10:4 makes it clear "that the blood of bulls and goats should not take away sins."
Israel's sins were only rolled back each year. Man sinned so it had to be a man to bring redemption from sin. John the Baptist declared Jesus to be "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." In order for Jesus to be the fulfillment of that type, He had to be without blemish, that is, perfect without sin. Jesus was just that. He was born with an incorruptible nature, the very divine nature of God. He was tempted in all points like us but in every area He remained without sin or any blemish. The law itself was a mirror image of His life. So much so that He said,
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
But to be the sin sacrifice and die, sin had to be a part of Him. "For the wages of sin is death." Because Jesus never sinned, it was impossible for him to die. his own words were "No man can take my life, I must freely give it" Therefore our sins had to be transferred upon Him like the type.
This is what happened in the garden of gethsemane. Jesus partook of a cup so horrifying to Him that He said, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine." That cup was the sins of all mankind being transferred upon Him. Jesus then became guilty of the sins of all mankind. Sin separated Jesus from God. I know that Jesus is God, however, God cannot dwell with sin, neither can He die. The man Jesus was separated or cut off from all the God life that was within Him. God did not die on the cross, the man Jesus did. Death immediately started working within Him right there in the garden. Jesus was under such stress that He hemorrhaged and blood came out in His sweat. As a man he was beaten. flogged and mocked until what was left of Him was nailed to the cross where He died. One of the final things He said was, "My God My God, why has thou forsaken me?"
Jesus finished the transgression. He made an end of sins, and He made reconciliation for our iniquity. Man has been redeemed. Jesus paid the debt of sin; death now has to be revoked. God accepted the sacrifice. Jesus was reunited with the Life of God. He was resurrected out from among the dead.
When he arose from the dead he was not alone, If Jesus paid our debt to sin, then we are no longer under debt. If death is the wages of sin, then death is revoked off of all mankind.
"Even when we were dead in are sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Eph. 2:5-6).
Before Calvary, sin was upon all mankind. Death is the wages of sin. All who existed before Calvary went to the grave. it didn't matter if it was Abraham, the prophet or the vilest of sinner, all were dead in their sins. When the body quit functioning, it went to the grave, sheol in the Hebrew, also called hell. Listen to these scriptures:
"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecc. 3:20)
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, wither thou goest." (Ecc. 9:10).
"The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence." (Ps. 115:17).
The difference between the Old Testament saints and all others who died is, the saints had a hope they embraced by faith.
They looked forward to Christ coming and paying their debt to sin, and bringing them out of their graves.
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Heb. 11:13).
When Jesus paid the debt to sin, and God raised Him from the dead, all mankind was raised with Him. The word "quickened" in Ephesians 2:5 means made alive. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people..." (Dan. 12:1). Michael is symbolic of Jesus, Who is the great prince. He is called "Messiah, the prince" in Daniel 9:25. Michael means "one like God" or "one in the likeness of God." Jesus is called "the image of the invisible God." (Col. 1:15). Jesus is called the "express image of His person" in Hebrews 1:3. Jesus indeed is one in the likeness of God. He also is our great High Priest who stands before God on our behalf to offer up His precious blood for our forgiveness.
"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" (Dan. 12:2).
The word "many" in this scripture is the Hebrew word "rab" found in 7227 in Strong's Concordance. This word means abundant or large quantity. This large number of people, were all those who died before Calvary. In Romans chapter five we find that by one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Yet that many was all mankind. likewise by one man's obedience many were made righteous. The many there meant all mankind as well. This "many" here in Daniel 12:2 are all those who sleep in the dust of the earth. At the resurrection of Jesus the dead were awakened. Those who had no knowledge of God were awakened to a prison. they were cut off from their physical existence and awakened to a world in which they did not know how to function. They are in a state of "shame and everlasting contempt."
This word "everlasting" is the Hebrew word olam, 5769 in Strong's Concordance. it means concealed, it is a length of time that is hidden or out of mind. it's not an eternal state. It could also mean that it is an unseen realm. They are watching us. As they see us receive forgiveness from our sins and develop a relationship with God through the gospel, and learn our real identity in God, they too begin to hear His voice and live. Those who knew God, or died in faith, when they heard the voice of the Son of God as they were awakened, followed Jesus into life.
"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt. 27:52-53).
These saints that came out of the graves did not appear in Jerusalem. They appeared to the beginning of the Church, the true holy city of God. They appeared outside the city, at the ascension of Jesus in Acts Chapter one. Neither did their old corruptible bodies come out of the graves. It was their glorious spiritual bodies that were seen. II Corinthians 5:1 talks about our house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;" (Acts 1:9-10).
The cloud that received Jesus out of their sight, were those Old Testament saints. Hebrews 12:1 says we "are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses."
"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:39-40).
All those who followed Jesus out of death, as well as those who are imprisoned in their shame, must remain in the unseen or concealed realm until we are fully swallowed up in this life. They without us should not be made perfect.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25).
We also who were dead in are trespasses and sins were made alive when we heard the voice of the Son of God.
When we heard the gospel and believed the Word of God, we were made alive. As we grow up in Christ, learning the old man is dead, and Christ is our identity, we begin to rule over these bodies we live in. We were born of the Word of God, that incorruptible seed. To every seed its own body. We are not the flesh but that spiritual body inside this flesh body. If we rule over this body to where sin is no longer in control, this mortal body will put on immortality. That is, this spiritual body inside us will be swallowed up and transform this outer body. If we let the flesh rule us, it will die, but we will live. However we will remain in that unseen realm with the "They that without us should not be made perfect."
They are waiting, watching, and learning from us,
When a people fully walk in His identity and are conformed to His image, they can appear together with us. We will make up the clouds of glory in which Christ will appear to this world. Jesus finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, brought in everlasting righteousness, sealed up the vision and prophecy, anointed the most holy. He fulfilled the vision, and made a way into the Most Holy Place, the very presence of God.
The Starting Point of the Seventy Weeks
"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" (Dan. 9:25).
The starting place for this prophecy is clear. It is when the commandments were given for the restoration of Jerusalem. The land of Judea, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, was to rest 70 years. The kingdom of Judah had been in captivity for that length of time. Daniel had been reading this prophecy when God gave him the 70 weeks prophecy. Cyrus, the first Persian king, had released a remnant to return and rebuild the temple. This was around 536 B.C. Later King Darius released a remnant back to Jerusalem. The temple finally was rebuilt, however the city of Jerusalem was still in ruin. Nehemiah was King Artaxerxes's cupbearer when he had heard about the condition of Jerusalem. The king had noticed that Nehemiah was sad. When the king found out that Nehemiah grieved over Jerusalem, he gave Nehemiah the commandment to go and rebuild the city. This is found in Nehemiah 2:1-8, in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes. In Nehemiah 5:14 we find that Nehemiah had been governor in Judah for 12 years. The year is 445 B.C., the walls will be finished in this same year. If you have ever read the book of Nehemiah, you know about the struggle they had to rebuild the wall. It was indeed a "troublous time." This was in the 32nd year of King Artaxerxes. The commandment given to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem was 457 B.C., 12 years prior to 445 B.C., in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes. During this same year, 457 B.C., the king also sent Ezra the priest to Jerusalem. This is found in Ezra 7:11-26, the starting place for the 70 weeks prophecy is 457 B.C. The first seven weeks of this prophecy will be fulfilled in 408 B.C. when Jerusalem will be rebuilt, 49 years from the commandment given to Nehemiah.
After 62 Weeks Shall Messiah be cut Off
"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" (Dan. 9:26).
After the seven weeks for the rebuilding of Jerusalem there would be 62 weeks unto the announcement of the Messiah. Four hundred thirty years from 408 B.C. brings you to the year 27 A.D. This is the year Jesus comes down to the Jordan River to be baptized of John. John baptizes Jesus, sees the heavens open, and a voice is heard, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." John the Baptist himself proclaimed, "Behold, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." From this time Jesus enters His public ministry. Sixtytwo weeks exact from the seven weeks Messiah the Prince has come. This brings us to the end of 69 weeks of this prophecy. Jesus has now entered the 70th week. The prophecy is clear. "After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off." This places the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in the 70th week.
In the Midst of the week
"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,..."(Dan. 9:27).
Jesus came to the nation Judah, to confirm the covenant.
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
The personal ministry of Jesus was confined to the land of Israel, to the kingdom of Judea. The Jewish nation as a whole rejected Him. However, many did follow Him and become His disciples. Upon them Jesus confirmed the new covenant. Jesus preached three and one half years. In the midst of the 70th week He was crucified, making an end of animal sacrifices. Once Jesus offered Himself as the supreme sacrifice, it would be an insult to God to offer up the blood of animals. The Jewish religion, with its system of animal sacrifices, was only a type of what Jesus did
for us in reality. Once you have the reality you don't need the type any more.
The New Covenant
"Behold, the days come, saith he LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer. 31:31-33).
Jesus confirmed this covenant with many for one week or seven years. For three and a half years. Jesus prepared His disciples (the many) for His departure. Part of the new covenant is that God would put His spirit within them, and us. It is the Spirit that writes His law in our hearts. The death of Jesus is what put the new covenant into motion. God's spirit could not enter us until sin was dealt with. That took the death of Jesus.
"For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:28).
The New Testament is actually the new covenant. In John 16:7, Jesus told His disciples that it was expedient that He go away. If He did not go away, the Comforter could not come. We know that the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God. This has two applications. #1, Jesus must die on our behalf to pay the price for our sin that the spirit of God could indwell us. #2, Jesus is the Comforter, the spirit of truth. If He did not leave this physical dimension, He could not live within us as spirit.
"And I will pray the father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:16-18).
When Jesus said these words, He had not left them. Yet He said that the spirit of truth dwelt with them and they knew Him. Jesus dwelt with them, He was that Spirit of truth. Then He said, "I will come to you." Jesus has confirmed the covenant with many for one half of the 70th week. In the midst of the week He makes the covenant active by His death and resurrection. This brings an end of the need for animals sacrifices. The law is fulfilled; Jesus returns as the Comforter, the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost. Through the Holy Ghost in His apostles, Jesus will continue to confirm the covenant with many for the remainder of the week. That is, for the next three and one half years.
The Fulfillment of the Promise
"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them" (Ezek. 36:24-27).
What was promised here through prophecy was that the Jews would return to their own land, Judea, and God would put His Spirit in them. This would give them a new heart, one after God. They would have the desire and ability to walk in God's commandments. It wouldn't be out of an outward law, but the law would be written in their hearts. It would be their nature. This beloved, is the new covenant. Many are looking for this to be fulfilled in our day. Actually it was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:4-5).
If we believe the Bible, God had gathered Jews out of every nation where they had been scattered. The purpose for this gathering was to fill them with His Spirit. That happened, as the disciples went out of the upper room speaking in tongues, so that every one, in their own language, heard the wonderful works of God, a large crowd began to assemble. Peter, anointed by the Holy Ghost, preached out of the book of Joel concerning this outpouring. He then preached Christ; 3,000 souls were baptized and received the Spirit. They did not leave Jerusalem either, but continued with the apostles, and were taught of them. The next day 5,000 souls were added to the Church. Every day thousands of souls came to the Lord. They assembled at Solomon's porch of the temple every day, then went house to house for their meals. This caused a national emergency. the believers from Jerusalem sold their possessions and gave the money to the apostles so that everybody's needs were met. This revival lasted three and one half years. At this time there was only a Jewish Church, a revival was only in Jerusalem and Judea. The 70 weeks of prophecy had to be fulfilled before the gospel could go to the Gentiles. The new covenant was made to Israel, and the only part of Israel that was left was the Kingdom of Judah, Judea. The Kingdom of Israel was given a bill of divorcement and became a part of the Gentile nations. ("Gentiles" means nations). Once the 70th week is fulfilled, (He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week), then the new covenant can go to the Gentiles.
The Gospel Goes to the Gentiles
Three and one half years has now passed. The 70 weeks prophecy has been fulfilled. The nation of Judah has taken a stand against the Church. Persecution has broken out, the Disciples scatter throughout Jude and Samaria reaching as far as Damascus. This fulfills Daniel 12:7,
"...for a time, times, and an half; and he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the Holy people, all these things shall be finished."
What is finished? The 70 weeks are finished. The new covenant is no longer limited to the Jews. It now goes to all the world.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8).
The year is now 34 A.D. A young man named Stephen, one of the seven deacons, is preaching before the whole Sanhedrin. There were none who could resist his message. He was stoned to death after seeing Jesus at the right hand of God. This is found in the sixth and seventh chapters of the book of Acts. There was a young Pharisee named Saul who consented to the death of Stephen. Saul then persecuted the Church wherever he could find them. While on his way to Damascus, a great light appeared and he saw Jesus. the Lord spoke to him. "Saul, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me" (Acts 9:4). Saul was made blind and told to go to Damascus, there he would be told what to do. He was met by a man named Ananias, a disciple, who prayed for Saul and he was healed and filled with the Holy Ghost. After that Saul became a disciple. He later became known as Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. These are his own words:
"A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me" (1 Cor. 9:17).
Later on, after the conversion of Saul, Peter has a visitation from God while on a housetop in Joppa. At the same time a Gentile named Cornelius has a visitation from an angel who tells him to send for Peter. Peter sees a sheet let down with all manner of unclean beasts, and hears a voice "to rise, kill and eat." Peter starts to resist for he never eaten anything unclean. Then the Lord says to him not to call common or unclean anything that God has cleansed. The Gentiles arrive, Peter understands the vision and goes with them. As Peter comes to the house of Cornelius, a crowd has gathered. as Peter Preaches, the Holy Ghost falls, and they are baptized in Jesus name. The Jews have now witnessed the new covenant being passed on to the Gentiles, because they heard them speak in tongues as they have. This was evidence of them receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:45-48).
The End of the Jewish Age
"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" (Dan. 9:26).
"...and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:27).
The nation of Judah, with its religion and priesthood, rejected the sacrifice that Jesus made. They continued with their ritual and animal sacrifices. this tramples underfoot the blood of Jesus. Their practice of animal sacrifices becomes an overspreading of abominations. With the 70 weeks of prophecy fulfilled, the new covenant has gone to the "Jews first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16). Though the apostle Paul and others, the gospel has been preached unto the whole known world. Now that Christianity has been established, with the destruction of Jerusalem, and the temple, the Jewish age has ended. This Happened in 70 AD.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14).
"For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Col. 1:5-6).
Starting in Matthew Chapter 23, Jesus begins telling of the destruction of Jerusalem. In Matthew 23:38, "Behold, your house is left unto you delosate." This prophecy continues through Matthew Chapter 24.
Jesus was in the temple when he spoke these things to the scribes and Pharisees. His disciples, hearing the words of Jesus, while observing the grandeur of the temple, were troubled. they came to Him and showed Him all the buildings of the temple. After all, they were Jews, and the temple is the central part of their religion. Jesus then says that not one stone shall be left on another that shall not be thrown down. He is prophesying of the destruction of the temple. Notice there is no indication that the Jews should ever rebuild the temple. The reason being, the Church itself is to be the temple of God. read Ephesians 2:20-22.
The disciples asked Him, "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matt. 24:3).
When you read these Scriptures, you have to realize Jesus had not yet gone away.
In John 14:16-18 Jesus says:
"And I will Pray the father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you"
Jesus told the disciples in these Scriptures that they knew the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost. He said that this Comforter dwelt with them. Jesus has not yet redeemed them. they do not have the Holy Ghost. Oh, but Jesus, who is that spirit of truth, dwelt with them for three and one half years. It was Peter who answered, when Jesus asked who do men say I the Son of Man am? Peter's reply was, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." The disciples knew the Spirit of truth, He was their teacher.
After Jesus goes to the cross, dies to redeem man, and is resurrected, He ascends back into that invisible dimension we know as heaven. There He stays until the 50th day from His resurrection. He returns as the Comforter. the spirit of truth. He begins indwelling all those who waited for that promise. They knew Him. He dwelt with them, now He lives in them. Jesus own words, "I will come to you."
Jesus came the first time and dwelt among them. Now He has come the second time to dwell in them. And He is here today in all of us who have received Him into our lives. He has given us tongues and other supernatural abilities to demonstrate that He indeed does live in us. If He indeed lives in us, we should not be looking for Him to be coming outwardly to us that we could be deceived. Later on here in Matthew 24 Jesus warns about false Christ's. "Behold he is in the desert: go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chamber: believe it not" (Matt 24:26).
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:27).
The Greek word here for lightning means glare or a bright shining. By the description of this Scripture, it refers to the sun rising in the east and shining all the way to the west, lighting up the sky.
It is the dawning of a new day. Jesus first returned and indwelt these in Jerusalem (the East); now He is indwelling us in the west, and all points in between. The Church, which is His body (Eph. 1:22-23) started in the East and has been going westward covering the whole earth. Jesus is the indwelling Christ and He lives in flesh: His people.
"Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1John 4:2-3).
Notice it does not say: "has come in the flesh" or "will come in the flesh." It said,
"is come in the flesh," present tense. He is here in flesh today, in us His people. In John's day there were antichrists, those who claimed they personally were the incarnation (or reincarnation) of Christ, and that you must follow them. And we still have those who think the same today. If we know Jesus is here inside of us, we don't follow any of these false Christ's. Neither Should we be looking for Him yet to come. What we Should be looking for, is to see Him as He is and become like Him, conformed to His image. That's how the world will see Him, as He is expressed in our lives.
Wars, Rumors of War and Earthquakes
It is not my purpose to go verse by verse. exploring all that is in Matthew 24. Only to highlight the main events. First there would be false Christ's, which we have already dealt with. Next there would be wars and rumors of war. I don't believe these are in order. rather these are just the things that would be happening. During the time of Jesus, and throughout the early days of the Church, Judea was at war with Rome. Many other countries conquered by Rome were at war. At the time of the crucifixion the Zealots were fighting the Romans up until 70 A.D. There would be earthquakes in many (diverse) places. On the day Jesus died there were earthquakes in Jerusalem, and many parts of the earth. There were famines. There was a great famine in Jerusalem and Judea. The famine would be in all the world of that day, but Jerusalem and Judea had been hit the hardest.
In Acts 11:27-30, we read where the church in Antioch sent relief to their brethren in Jerusalem and Judea. They sent it with Paul and Barnabas. There were also many pestilences that hit in those days. None of these things marked the end, only the beginning of sorrows. There would be great persecution of the Church. And many would hate and betray one another. That became evident throughout the book of Acts, as well as the letters of Paul. The Judaizers went throughout the whole known world trying to discredit the Apostle Paul and the Gentile church. These brethren of the circumcision would spread rumors, falsely accuse, bring the authorities down on them, even kill them. When Paul went to Jerusalem his last time, 40 men vowed not to eat until they had killed Paul. They must have starved to death.
"when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15-16).
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21).
What is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet? That is when the people of the prince that shall come will destroy the city and sanctuary. This event marks the end of the Jewish age. according to these scriptures, then, at that time, would be great tribulation upon that nation.
"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then, know that the desolation thereof is nigh" (Luke 21:20).
"For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people" (Luke 21:22-23).
The natural nation of Judah, with its law, its old covenant and priesthood, is no longer God's instrument in the earth. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is now that holy nation in the earth.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:" (Matt. 24:29).
This is not talking about a literal catastrophe in the sky. This is talking about the natural nations of Israel not being the light anymore. It is talking about the end of the Jewish age. The sun, moon and stars has been the symbolic description of Israel every since Joseph had his dream.
In Genesis 37:9-11 Joseph dreamed the sun, moon and the eleven stars bowed down to his star. This represented Jacob, the sun, his wife, the moon, and his eleven brethren, the stars. This came to represent the whole nation of Israel. Neither the nation of Israel, nor the House of Judah was a light anymore.
The Kingdom of Judah, all that remains of the Kingdom of Israel has now come to an end by the hand of Titus. and the Roman armies. In 70 A.D. Titus and his Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem, they have cut off the food supply. Those inside have been starving to death for quite some time. Finally they destroy the temple. Titus rides through what was the Holy of Holies. This fulfills Daniel's prophecy. When Shall these things be?
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled"
Who was He talking to? That generation. In Numbers Chapter 14, God said that the generation that left Egypt would wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all that generation would die. The only exception were Joshua and Caleb who believed God. Therefore a generation is counted as 40 years. Jesus told this to His disciples in 30 A.D., the year he would die and be raised from the dead. Forty years from 30 A.D. is 70 A.D. That generation saw all those things fulfilled. Will there be a restoration of Israel? Yes, both Judah, and all the nations of Israel will be restored as they find their place in the Church, the true, spiritual Israel of God. Will there be a rebuilding of the Temple? No, for we who are the Church, the body of Christ, are the temple of God.
God bless you.
Bishop Chuck Wallace