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The truth Jesus taught was a proclamation:  “The time has come, the kingdom of God is here ~ literally, heaven had come down in the person of Jesus.  Repent and believe the good news.”  

When Jesus said, “The time has come,” He was referring to the prophecy the angel had given Daniel when Israel was in captivity in Babylon many years before.  “Seventy weeks are given to your people and your city,” the angel told Daniel.  Since a day in prophecy stands for a year (see Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:60), the seventy weeks or 490 days represented 490 years.  

The angel gave the starting date for this prophecy.  “From the time of the command to return and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah arrives will be sixty-nine weeks.”  This command, which allowed the Jews to return to their land, was given by King Artaxerxes in the fall of 457 B.C.  From that date, sixty-nine weeks or 483 years later takes us to the fall of A.D. 27.  This was the time when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.  Soon after, He began His ministry.  

That is why Jesus could say, “The time has come.”  At just the right time, the kingdom of God had arrived.  

Then the angel also told Daniel that the gospel ~ the good news of the Messiah ~ would be preached to the Jewish nation for one week, or seven years.  But in the middle of that seven years, the sacrifices and services in the temple would come to an end.  In the spring A.D. 31, Jesus became the True Sacrifice on the cross.  At the moment He died, the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom.  The purpose and meaning of the sacrifices and services in the temple, became obsolete after His crucifixion.  

For three and a half more years, the disciples continued to share the story of Jesus with their Jewish nation.  But when Jesus’ follower Stephen was stoned to death in A.D. 34, the disciples began to scatter and carry the gospel to other nations and peoples around the world.  The seven years given to the Jews, had been fulfilled.  

Daniel’s prophecies pointed out the time of Jesus’ birth, the time of His ministry and of His death, and the time the gospel would be carried to other nations.  The Jews had the opportunity to understand these prophecies and to see them fulfilled in Jesus’ life.  After His resurrection, Jesus explained these prophecies to His disciples.  

The angel Gabriel, second-in-command in heaven after Jesus, brought those messages to Daniel.  Jesus would later send Gabriel to John with the messages of Revelation, which tell us when Jesus will come the second time.  As that book promises, God always blesses those who prayerfully study the prophecies in the Bible.  

At Jesus’ first coming, He introduced His kingdom of grace.  At His second coming, He will introduce His kingdom of glory.  And the Second Coming is predicted by prophecies just as the first coming was.  Jesus Himself gave us signs to watch for and said, “Watch, pray, and be ready at all times.”  That period is here; Jesus is about to return.  

The Jews misinterpreted the prophecies they were given.  They were looking for a different Messiah ~ one who would bring them power and glory ~ so they rejected Jesus and plotted His death.  If we let the cares of this world consume our thoughts.  And as we continue to ignore these sacred prophecies that point to His soon return ~ we will be as unprepared as they were, to meet our Savior at His return.   

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