Revelation 2020 - Lesson 4B

Daniel 7 & 9; Age of the Gentiles (Part 2)

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  • So far in our study we’ve moved through the first two sections of the book of Revelation, according to how John divided it for us

    • First we studied the things John saw, which were recorded in Chapter 1

      • In that chapter John saw a vision of the resurrected Jesus and he received his commission to write what he sees

      • From that chapter we learned that the contents of this revelation are trustworthy

    • Then we studied the the things that “are,” which were the seven letters to the churches found in Chapters 2-3 

      • These letters included a prophetic side that foretell the seven phases that the Church passes through during its time on earth

      • As we studied those seven periods, we learned that we are currently living in the seventh and final period: Laodicea 

      • We are part of the apostate church, where false teaching and unbelief are rampant

    • So the times that “are” describe the period of history while His church exists and it serves as a link between Parts 1 and 3

      • The church bridges the period from the first century when John received this Revelation

      • Until the events that take place after these things, meaning the events that follow the Church age

      • Those times have yet to begin and that’s where we’re going next…to Part 3

  • But before we moved forward in time, we began a journey backward in time to understand ages and last days

    • Because to understand how God brings our age to an end, we must first understand how – and why – He began the age

      • And as we learned, the background on our present age is found in the book of Daniel, particularly in Chapters 2 & 7

      • We studied Chapter 2 in our last class, and tonight we open with a study of Chapter 7

    • Both chapters describe the Age of the Gentiles, a period of history God established to judge His people Israel 

      • The name reflects the purpose of the age: it’s a period of history when Israel will be under judgment

      • Understanding this period of history is essential to understanding the events in the book of Revelation 

      • Because the events of Revelation are the culmination and fulfillment of this age

      • And time and time again in this study, we will refer back to what we learn in these chapters

  • Jesus told us in Luke 21 that our current age is called the Age of the Gentiles and it would be marked by three circumstances for Israel

    • The Age of the Gentiles stops with the reversal of the three factors that began it

      • First, Israel would be subjugated to Gentile powers

      • Secondly, the Jewish people would be scattered outside their land exiled in other nations

      • Thirdly, the city of Jerusalem would be conquered and occupied (to varying degrees) by Gentiles

      • For as long as these three things remain true, the Age of the Gentiles continues

    • Daniel 2 was the overview of the age told by a statue that represented a timeline of the four kingdoms that would dominate in the age

      • The first was Babylon, the second was the Medo-Persian Empire, the third was the Greek Empire 

      • And the fourth kingdom began when Rome conquered the Greek Empire

    • The last image in the dream is a rock fallen from heaven, uncut by human hands, that destroys the statue

      • It falls at the feet of the statue, representing an end of the timeline and an end to the age of Gentiles (and Gentile domination over Israel)

      • And establishes a new kingdom that fills the whole earth

    • This pictures Jesus coming to Earth to finish the Age of the Gentiles and establish a Jewish Kingdom

  • Main thing to realize from Daniel 2, is that as long as we are waiting for Christ, we are in a period of Gentile domination over Israel

    • What fixes that is not political peace in the middle east, but rather Jesus’ return

      • In the Kingdom Age, Israel will be the chief nation on the earth, all Jews will live in their land

      • And Jerusalem will be holy and protected from Gentile defilement – now the home of Jesus

  • Tonight we move a step closer to understanding why what we’ve just studied is important

    • We know that the fourth kingdom is the one that really matters because it brings us to Jesus

    • Plus, it is the one we are in today so it does and should have our attention

  • And as it turns out, that’s the purpose of Daniel 7, to give us additional detail on the Fourth Kingdom and how it ends

Dan. 7:2 Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
Dan. 7:3 “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
Dan. 7:4 “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
Dan. 7:5 “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’
Dan. 7:6 “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
  • Because of Daniel 2, we can summarize Daniel’s vision in this chapter

    • Like Daniel 2, this vision is a depiction of the Age of the Gentiles and the details confirm it clearly

      • But instead of a statue showing a timeline of the age, we now have animals which represent the nature of each period

      • And the animals line up neatly with the earlier chapter

    • First, we start with a lion, which like the head of gold in our statue represents the nation of Babylon

      • The national symbol of ancient Babylon was a lion with wings

      • And in the ruins of ancient Babylon, archeologists have unearthed a lion statue with wings (missing)

      • The lion stands like a man and has a mind of a man, which symbolizes the man at the start of this age: Nebuchadnezzar

      • We will return to this detail later

    • Secondly, there is a bear with three ribs, which represent the Medo-Persians

      • The kingdom was the result of a uniting of Medes and Persians 

      • But the Persians were by far the dominant force in the union represented by the bear standing lopsided

      • The kingdom reached its zenith by conquering Lydia, Babylonia and Egypt - the three ribs devoured by the bear

    • The third animal represents the third kingdom, the Greek Empire

      • The Greek empire moved swiftly, like a leopard, completing its expansion in barely four years

      • Therefore, a leopard with wings represents the absurd speed of the Greek conquest

      • And the four heads and four wings represent the kingdom split into four parts upon the death of Alexander the Great

  • Finally, we get to Daniel’s description of the fourth kingdom

Dan. 7:7 “After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
Dan. 7:8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
  • And like in Daniel 2, the fourth kingdom breaks the pattern

    • We remember from Daniel 2 that the fourth kingdom began with Rome but becomes an alliance of Gentile powers over time

    • Collectively, these bits and pieces of what was once a single kingdom conspire to achieve the purposes of the age

    • They subjugate Israel, scattering the people outside the land and maintain control over Jerusalem

  • While in the case of the first three animals Daniel referred to real animals, in this case he was at a loss for a comparison

    • This animal was simply dreadful and terrifying 

    • And like the statues, this fourth beast crushes and breaks apart the previous three kingdoms

  • But now we get additional information about this kingdom beginning with the ten horns on this beast

    • And in addition to the ten, we now find there will be an eleventh, who emerges from out of the ten

    • And notice this eleventh horn is personified

    • He has eyes and a mouth of a man

    • This reminds us of Daniel’s description of the lion, standing like a man with a mind of a man

  • Also remember that Nebuchadnezzar was the only man granted power over the whole earth 

    • We’re seeing a pattern that the ones who comes at the end is like the one who comes at the beginning

  • When this eleventh horn appears, he will uproot three of the original ten and then take his place as the leader of the group

  • Before we look at this extra horn, let’s finish the vision

Dan. 7:9 “I kept looking 
Until thrones were set up, 
And the Ancient of Days took His seat; 
His vesture was like white snow 
And the hair of His head like pure wool. 
His throne was ablaze with flames, 
Its wheels were a burning fire.
Dan. 7:10 “A river of fire was flowing 
And coming out from before Him; 
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, 
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; 
The court sat, 
And the books were opened.
  • The end of the age happens with the Ancient of Days seated on His throne in ruling and judgment 

    • We remember that the statue ended in the same way, with the rock (Christ) Who comes from Heaven to set up the Kingdom

    • So now Daniel finds his attention drawn to that fourth beast, so that’s where the rest of the chapter goes as we expected

Dan. 7:20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.
Dan. 7:21 “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them
Dan. 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
  • The ten horns reminds us of another “ten” in the statue, that of ten toes

    • Because the statue gave us a timeline, we know the toes represent the end of the Age of the Gentiles

    • So we bring that knowledge forward here to understand that these ten horns also represent the end

  • Daniel  wants to know about the ten horns, but even more so about this eleventh horn 

Dan. 7:23  “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
Dan. 7:24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
Dan. 7:25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
Dan. 7:26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
Dan. 7:27 ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
  • Once again, we are told that the fourth kingdom crushes and breaks into pieces the prior kingdoms

    • So this fourth period of the age is a period of fracturing and dividing the world into pieces

    • But these pieces will expand to devour the whole earth, uniting into a single kingdom

  • And eventually, it will be led by this eleventh ruler for a times, time and half a time

    • This obscure reference to a period of time is one of several places we see a clear connection to Revelation

      • This term appears only here and in Revelation, and if it were not for Revelation, we wouldn’t be able to interpret its meaning

      • But in Revelation we learn that this term means 3.5 years (come back to this later)

    • So this world ruler will gain complete control over the earth for that period of time  

      • But after the 3.5 years, the leader’s authority and dominion will be taken away by the saints of the Highest One at His appearing

      • And this new kingdom will be everlasting

    • So to summarize, we have confirmation of what we learned in Daniel 2, that the Age of Gentiles will consist of four kingdoms

      • The fourth kingdom is by far the most important because it brings us to the end of the age and the arrival of Christ

      • At the end of the age, the world is ruled by ten rulers that eventually become 1 man ruling the world with seven others

    • There are some important details we’ve just learned that we need to remember:

      • We have 10 kingdoms before the eleventh ruler can appear

      • This enables us to debunk theories others have as to the identity of this eleventh ruler – as we don’t have the 10 yet

      • The Second Coming of Christ awaits these things

    • So Daniel 7 helped to confirm the kingdoms laid out in Daniel 2

      • Emphasized importance of the fourth kingdom

      • Reveals how the fourth kingdom ends: 10 leaders minus 3 = 7 + 1

    • So let’s superimpose all we’ve learned in Daniel thus far onto a single chart

      • The Age of Gentiles is a long period of history that begins with Nebuchadnezzar and runs until Christ’s Second Coming

      • There are four stages and the final stage is the key piece in the puzzle since it ushers in the eternal age and the Kingdom

      • The end of this age is marked by an upheaval in rule such that the entire planet will be under the authority of ten kings

      • And during the final 3.5 years, the ten are overtaken by a single man who disposes three and persecutes believers

      • He rules until Christ’s return

  • The first three kingdoms have come and gone, so we now have historical dates we can add to our overview

    • And these dates tell us that the church age exists entirely within the fourth kingdom

      • And that fact leads us to a fundamental question: how long will the church exist within this period? 

      • Will it exist until the end of the age or will it end prior to the end? 

    • We learned in Part 2 of John’s outline of Revelation that the church will experience seven periods in its existence and we are in the seventh now

      • So we know we’re approaching the end of the church age

      • But that doesn’t tell us what the relationship is between the end of the church and the end of the age of the Gentiles

      • We’re lacking details about the timing of the events that end the age

    • Thankfully, Daniel 9 gives us the timing of those events and let’s us put the church in the proper perspective

      • We’ll study that timing in four sections beginning with Daniel’s mistake

Dan. 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans —
Dan. 9:2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
  • Daniel is in the first year of Darius of Median descent, which tells us that the Babylonian empire has fallen to the Medo-Persians

    • This happened about 69 years after the nation of Israel had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar

      • Daniel is now an old man having spent most of his life in Babylon

      • And on this day he’s reading “the books” meaning the books of Scripture, and among those books he’s reading Jeremiah

    • It’s interesting to see the prophet Daniel reading the prophet Jeremiah, and it reminds us that everyone benefits from reading Scripture

      • Even a prophet needs to read other prophets 

      • And in fact, Jeremiah was a contemporary of Daniel, so it shows how quickly Scripture was understood to be inspired

      • Daniel is acknowledging Jeremiah’s writing to be Scripture just a few decades later

    • But as Daniel reads Jeremiah he makes a mistake in interpretation 

      • Another moment of encouragement: If Daniel can misinterpret Scripture, so can we…but we must be open to receiving correction from God 

      • Daniel reads that the number of years appointed for the completion of Jerusalem’s desolation was 70 years

Jer. 25:11 ‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer. 25:12 ‘Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the LORD, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation.
  • Remember, when Nebuchadnezzar finished invading the land, the city was literally desolate

  • The walls were down, the temple was razed and every Jew was set outside the land…none remained according to Ezekiel

  • Jeremiah says the desolation of Jerusalem was to last seventy years, and that must have triggered Daniel to remember another Scripture

    • Notice Daniel says he was reading in the books (plural), so he was consulting other Scriptures too

    • He was probably reading Leviticus 26 

    • In that chapter, the Lord promised to set Israel outside the land if they disobeyed the land sabbath requirement

Lev. 26:32 ‘I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it.
Lev. 26:33 ‘You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.
Lev. 26:34 ‘Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
  • In the law, the nation of Israel was required to allow the land to go unplanted every seventh year

    • This allowed the land to rest, which improved future harvest

      • To ensure the people had enough food in that seventh year, the Lord provided a double harvest in the sixth year

      • But in time the people forgot the law and farmed all seven years

    • This disobedience went on for a time…a long time…for 490 years until Israel owed the land 70 sabbath years of rest

      • And the Lord promised in Leviticus 26 that He would put Israel outside the land for 70 years as penalty and to let the land rest

      • After the land had “enjoyed” its seventy years of rest, then the people of Israel would be permitted to return to the land

    • So Daniel put 2 and 2 together and concluded that Israel’s 70 years in Babylon was the appointed time for that penalty

      • And since the 70 years was about to end, then his people were about to be set free and allowed to return to Israel

      • And Daniel was correct in that assumption

      • In a couple of years, Darius would be replaced by Cyrus, and Cyrus would issue a decree allowing Israel to return to the land

    • Jeremiah did specify that the period for the land rest was 70 years, but Daniel assumed too much about that period 

      • Specifically, Daniel assumed that the 70 years was the entire time for the Age of the Gentiles represented by the statue

      • Daniel assumed that once Israel had paid its penalty in Babylon and returned to the land, the Kingdom would arrive as well

  • And we know this because of what Daniel does next….

Dan. 9:3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
Dan. 9:4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Dan. 9:5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.
  • Daniel launches into a long confessional prayer at this point, praying not only for himself but for the entire nation

    • He’s expecting the Age of the Gentiles to end and the Kingdom to begin

      • And to help move that process along, Daniel enters into confessional prayer

      • Why did he feel the need to pray in that way? 

      • Because of something Daniel remembered from elsewhere in Leviticus 26

Lev. 26:40 ‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me —
Lev. 26:42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.
  • In Leviticus 26 the Lord calls Israel to confess their sins against Him for violating the Old Covenant, including ignoring the land sabbath

    • They must confess their sin and the sin of their forefathers’ disobedience in acting in hostility against God

    • Hostility refers to Israel’s rejection of Jesus in His first coming 

  • If a future generation of Israel makes these confessions, then the Lord will remember His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

    • In other words, when Israel repents of violating the Old Covenant, they will receive the promised Kingdom

    • The Kingdom promise is found in the Abrahamic Covenant

    • And here the Lord sets the timing for Israel to receive that covenant

    • The Abrahamic covenant is unconditional…Leviticus 26 simply defines the timing of its fulfillment 

  • So as Daniel read these words, he correctly recognized that the 70 years of Israel’s captivity in Babylon was penalty for their ignoring the land sabbath 

    • But he also mistakenly assumed that those 70 years marked the end of the Age of the Gentiles and the coming of the Kingdom

      • So Daniel begins to engage in the national confessional prayer hoping to usher in the Kingdom 

      • Daniel has the right idea but the wrong timing

    • The end of the age of the Gentiles will, in fact, end with the nation of Israel turning to God and confessing their sin as Leviticus requires 

      • But that moment didn’t happen in Daniel’s day, obviously…it still hasn’t happened

      • So Daniel’s mistake prompts the Lord to correct Daniel’s mistake by sending the angel Gabriel to give Daniel the correct view

      • And in the process, we gain answers to our questions about the timing of the end of the age and its relationship to the church

Dan. 9:20 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,
Dan. 9:21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering.
Dan. 9:22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.
Dan. 9:23 “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.
  • As Daniel was praying, the Lord dispatches Gabriel to give Daniel insight with understanding

    • Here’s the correct understanding of God’s plan for the Age of the Gentiles

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.
  • Gabriel tells Daniel that seventy weeks has been appointed for Daniels’ people, not merely 70 years

    • But seventy weeks can’t be right…it’s less than 70 years

    • And that confusion is the result of an unfortunate translation choice in my English Bible

  • The literal word in Hebrew is shavat, which is literally translated “sevens” 

    • So Gabriel said that the time for Daniel’s people and for the city of Jerusalem would be 70 sevens = 490

    • But 490 of what?

    • Days, weeks, months or years?

    • Really the only conclusion is years

  • Gabriel bursts Daniel’s bubble saying that the Age of Gentiles would last 490 years

    • But how can that be true? We’ve already passed 490 years and yet the age is still ongoing?

      • We haven’t seen the ten kings, we haven’t seen a single world leader running the entire world

      • And we certainly haven’t seen the Lord return to set up His Kingdom

    • It turns out the 490 years is counted in a unique manner, and Gabriel gives us the way to count those years in the next passage

Dan. 9:25 “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.
Dan. 9:26 “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.
Dan. 9:27 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.”

It’s important to consult the slides that accompany this course to understand how to interpret this passage but what follows is a summary:

  • Daniel’s 70 sevens are counted in three blocks

    • The first block runs from the issuing a decree to rebuild the city until the rebuilding is complete

    • That first section lasts 7 sevens or 49 years

  • The second block runs contiguously from the rebuilding of the city until Messiah 

    • That second block is 62 weeks or 434 years and ends with the Messiah being “cut off”

    • We now understand that being cut off refers to Jesus’ death on the cross

    • The total years from the decree until the Messiah’s death will be 69 sevens or 483 years

  • At that point we still lack a seven-year period to bring the Age of the Gentiles to an end

    • In v.27 we see that final seven year period beginning with a covenant 

      • But interestingly, that event is not connected to the prior block of time

      • There is no connecting word suggesting that the beginning of that final block is contiguous with the prior 69 sevens

    • So that means the final seven begins at some unknown moment

      • Which implies there is a break or pause in the timeline

      • This makes sense since we know that many more years have passed

  • In v.27 we’re told that the pause or break ends with the signing of a covenant between the one and many for one seven year period

    • Once that covenant is signed, the pause ends and the final seven years begins 

      • At the end of that seven year period, the “one” meets a complete destruction and the age ends

      • So who is the “one” and the many in this covenant?

    • The “many” must be Israel, because the effect of the covenant is to allow grain offering and sacrifices

      • Only the Jewish people engage in those practices

      • So it’s logical to assume that Israel is the many entering into an agreement to that effect

      • And there is a “one” who will broker that deal with Israel

    • Since the “one” was not specified in the text, it must refer to someone already known to Daniel

      • And since this is happening at the end of the age, it leads us to conclude that the “one” will be the little horn

      • That one comes upon the scene and eventually takes over the world 3.5 years before the end of the age

      • When that eleventh horn strikes a covenant with Israel, the clock starts and the age enters its final 7 years

  • Now where does the church fit into this plan? 

    • Paul tells us in Romans 11 that the pause in that timeline is made necessary by the church

Rom. 11:7  What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
Rom. 11:11  I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
Rom. 11:25  For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
  • At Christ’s first coming, the nation was hardened by the Lord apart from a remnant of believers

    • But this God-intended stumble for Israel was not intended to bring them to ruin

    • Instead, they were hardened (prevented from receiving Christ) so that salvation could come to the Gentiles

  • And God was just in hardening His people in this way because of the Old Covenant terms

    • That covenant agreement (which Israel voluntarily entered) required penalties from the nation if they failed to keep the Law

    • Those penalties manifest as the Age of the Gentiles, culminating in a final seven year period under the authority of a single Gentile

    • This age is specifically for Israel’s sake because of the terms of the Old Covenant

  • The Lord is using that agreement to hold Israel under judgment for a time while the Gospel goes to Gentiles, the Church Age

    • So the Age of the Gentiles is extended for an unknown period of time during this pause while the Lord makes room for the church

    • And only after the fullness (or complete number) of those in the Church comes does the Lord return to finish His word with Israel

  • Also, we learn that the 490 years counts the time after the land sabbaths 

    • Remember, Jeremiah said Israel would be outside the land long enough for the land to enjoy a complete sabbath for 70 years

      • So while they were in Babylon no one farmed Israel’s land

      • That seventy year period represents 10 sevens 

    • Then the decree was issued to let Israel return and rebuild the city, and this began the countdown on the seventy sevens

      • So the seventy sevens were appointed for entirely different reasons, and those reasons were given to us by Gabriel as well

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.
  • Those six reasons become a topic for a future discussion, but for now it’s enough to know that the 490 counts a different set of goals

  • Altogether the two combined equal the length of time for the Age of the Gentiles: 80 sevens

    • Ten is the number of testimony, and for 10 sevens the nation was outside the land 

    • That was a testimony that God would give the land its sabbath

    • And seven is the number of completion

    • So 70 sevens will be used to complete the end of Israel’s sin under the Old Covenant

  • And altogether, the total is 80, and the number 8 is the number for new beginnings

  • So let’s review what we’ve learnt from Daniel

    • The Age of the Gentiles is a period of time judging Israel for their disobedience under the Old Covenant

      • Began with Babylon

      • Concludes with a single world leader

      • Lasts for 490 years, but includes a pause period

      • When the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, then the final “seven” may begin

  • Next week we start to look at the “things that take place after these things”

    • But first we will take one last look at the break between the Church Age and what follows, so we can understand how the Church Age comes to a conclusion (and why)

      • And we will look at the start of the final seven of Daniel’s 70 sevens