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Humble Hero

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    Prophet Daniel Foretold Christ’s Ministry

    The central theme of Christ’s preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15. The gospel message that the Savior gave was based on the prophecies. The “time” which He declared fulfilled was the period made known to Daniel.HH 99.6

    “Seventy weeks,” the angel Gabriel said,HH 100.1

    “are determined
    For your people and for your holy city,
    To finish the transgression,
    To make an end of sins,
    To make reconciliation for iniquity,
    To bring in everlasting righteousness,
    To seal up the vision and prophecy,
    And to anoint the Most Holy.” Daniel 9:24
    HH 100.2

    A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or 490 days, represent 490 years.HH 100.3

    The Bible gives a starting point for this period:HH 100.4

    “Know therefore and understand,
    That from the going forth of the command
    To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince,
    There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks,”
    HH 100.5

    sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years. Daniel 9:25.HH 100.6

    The command to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9), went into effect in the autumn of 457 b.c. From this time, 483 years extend to the autumn of a.d. 27. According to the prophecy, this period would reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In a.d. 27, at His baptism, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and began His ministry soon afterward. Then the message went out, “The time is fulfilled.”HH 100.7

    Then, the angel said, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years].” KJV. For seven years after the Savior entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews—for three and a half years by Christ Himself, and afterward by the apostles. “In the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Daniel 9:27. In the spring of a.d. 31, Christ, the True Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two, showing that the sacrificial service had lost its sacredness and significance. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and offering to cease.HH 100.8

    The one week—seven years—ended in a.d. 34. Then, by stoning Stephen, the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel. Persecution scattered the disciples, who “went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4. A little later, Saul the persecutor was converted and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.HH 100.9

    The angel had definitely pointed out the time of Christ’s coming, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles. It was the privilege of the Jews to understand these prophecies and to recognize their fulfillment in Jesus’ mission. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel concerning their time, Christ said, “Whoever reads, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. After His resurrection, He explained to the disciples in “all the Prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The Savior had spoken through the prophets and “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” 1 Peter 1:11.HH 100.10

    It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel whom Christ sent to open the future to John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things written in it. See Revelation 1:3. God will bless the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic Scriptures.HH 101.1

    The message of Christ’s first advent announced the kingdom of His grace. Likewise, the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The Savior Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.” “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34, 36.HH 101.2

    The Jews misinterpreted the Word of God and did not know the time of their visitation by God. They spent the years of Christ’s ministry and that of His apostles in plotting to destroy the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them. Similarly today, the kingdom of this world absorbs people’s thoughts, and they don’t notice the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the signs of the swift-coming kingdom of God. While we are not to know the hour of our Lord’s return, we may know when it is near. “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6.HH 101.3

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