"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

PALM SUNDAY - An Extraordinary Fulfillment of Prophecy


 ~~ By James Fire 
(this teaching was delivered on 4/10/2022 at The ETERNAL LIVING WORD Church - the video is hyperlinked here)

Turn in your Bibles to DANIEL 9, and put a marker in it, then turn to:

MATTHEW 21:1-9, one of three passages in the Gospels that reveal this incredible event that we call Palm Sunday!
1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 "And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.'" 6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!

“Hosanna” – meaning “save now”! And “the Son of David” – a title of the Christ (or Messiah; MT 22:42) of Israel. Up to this point whenever people tried to take Jesus and make Him King (JN 6:15), He refused. But on this day, He doesn’t just allow it, He arranges it! Why on this particular day, not any day earlier or later? This is a crucial prophecy that points directly to the identify of Who the Messiah is. Jesus is the ONLY One to fulfill this prophecy!

God revealed His entire plan for the future, and in particular, for the Jew and for Jerusalem, for Israel as a nation. The entire Bible is a document of declaration in which GOD reveals His ultimate plan: to dwell among His people Israel in Person, and to reign from Jerusalem over all the world. And as Handel wrote, “And He shall reign forever and ever! King of kings, and Lord of lords. Hallelujah!”

Now let’s look at this prophecy that’s been nearly completely fulfilled, and prophecy Jesus fulfilled Himself in His last days of earthly ministry:

DANIEL 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].

We’re going to examine what’s known as the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel. This 70 weeks prophecy is given to accomplish six things, but let’s first look at this word “weeks”:
The Hebrew word for “weeks” is shavua, literally “sevens” (a unit of seven), so 70 units of seven – 490 years. We know these are seven year units, not units of months or weeks, because when referring to days (or months), as in a literal seven-day week, it uses the word “days” with it. In v. 24, however, “days” does not appear in the text, so the “weeks” in v. 24, actually refers to 70 “seven year units” or 490 years.

Six objectives are being accomplished in this prophecy:

First, to “finish transgression.” God will clearly put an end to all rebellion after 490 years when Christ returns at His Second Coming. Satan’s reign will be ended, the antichrist and false prophet consigned to the lake of fire; Satan himself imprisoned for 1,000 yrs.

Second, to “make an end of sins.” The term “sin” is a more general term, but it too will come to an end, and in the sacrificial sense as the LAMB of GOD was slain, this brought about the end of sin for us; we will not be judged for our sins – our sins were judged already at the Cross of Calvary! This is declared in the next objective of these six:

Third, to “make atonement for iniquity.” Christ atoned for the sins of mankind almost 600 years after Daniel’s revelation, but Israel rejected her Messiah. Yet in the future she will embrace Him (JER 24:7; HOS. 5:15; ROM 11).

Fourth, to “bring in everlasting righteousness [of the ages],” This points to God ushering in an age characterized by righteousness, specifically the kingdom of Israel (ACTS 1:6) aka the Millennial Kingdom (IS 2:2; IS 11; 60:21; JER 23:5-6; REV 20).
(TTUF study on the Millennium based on the Old and New Testament (find it under the Bible Study tab at www.thetruthunderfire.com). Or click on this link.

Fifth, to “seal up vision and prophecy.” At present, many prophecies of the Bible are yet unfulfilled (for every prophecy of the First Coming of Christ, there are two about the Second), but when the final seven years of the 490 years is finished, then all of the prophecies will be “sealed” or completed.

Sixth, to “anoint the most holy [place].” Though this refers to dedication of the Most Holy Place in Ezekiel’s millennial temple (EZEK 41-48), it also refers to the Messiah Himself; referring to Christ’s enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords, the “Anointed One” Who will reign from what will become the world capital: Jerusalem (DAN 2:34-45; 7:27).

DANIEL 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [arrives], there shall be seven weeks
[or 49 yrs] and sixty-two weeks [434 yrs]; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

This passage was written in the year 539 BC by the prophet Daniel. God foretold the very day that MATTHEW 21:1-9 speaks of (also MARK 11:1-10; LUKE 19:29-44); namely, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, what we call Palm Sunday.

First there was a decree to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem and its Temple were in ruins at the time of this prophecy. Hope was needed for their restoration, so God decreed that they be rebuilt, and they were by the official, royal order of the Persian king Artaxerxes on March 5, 444 BC. The Temple was restored over 70 years earlier, (completed in 516 BC by Zerubbabel; EZRA 6:14-15), After returning from the Babylonian exile, the Jewish people under Nehemiah assumed the task and completed the work (NEH 2:1-8).

Now once that decree went out in 444 BC, the countdown to the arrival of the Messiah began; the prophetic stop watch that would continue for 490 years started ticking!

The passage says that there would be “seven weeks and then sixty-two weeks.” The seven year unit (“week”) x seven equals 49 years; sixty-two year units x seven equals 434 years totaling 483 of the 490 years prophecy, with the remainder of seven years left.
So, there are 483 years between 444 BC (when the decree went out to restore Jerusalem), to the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, riding on the donkey.

This is important because it reveals that Jesus Christ is that promised Messiah since He is the only One who fits the math of Daniel’s prophecy down to the exact day!

History has proven the Word of GOD to be true because these prophecies were fulfilled. First of all, Jerusalem was rebuilt occurring in 395 BC, fulfilling the first “seven weeks”—it was completed 49 years after 444 BC. As for “Messiah the Prince,” He came after the 62 weeks (434 years) — a total of 483 years!

What makes it complicated is the fact that the Jewish lunar year was only 360 days instead of today’s Julian solar year calendar of 365 days. But this problem is solved when the years are converted to days and counted down from the year 444 BC. The total number of days from the edict to restore Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah riding into Jerusalem is 173,880 (483 x 360), and when they are counted down from 444 BC the date they come to is Monday, March 30, 33 AD —celebrated annually as Palm Sunday. 

This is the day Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. There can therefore be no doubt that Jesus is the Messiah!

How much evidence is required for the world to understand that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Messiah, the Second Member of the Trinity, the Savior of the world—the Christ?

Daniel’s prophecy leaves no doubt whatsoever as to who Jesus of Nazareth is: the One the prophets spoke of, and the One whom the apostles attested to, namely the Messiah of Israel. The fact that this prophecy of Jesus Christ’s coming was given to Daniel in the sixth century BC, right down to the specific day, and that Jesus fulfilled it, is adequate proof that Jesus is who He said He is.

What an awesome prophecy to say the least! And what great proof it is to those who continually demand proof! An excellent book that deals with all this is by Sir Robert Anderson entitled, The Coming Prince (which you can get online as a pdf)!

Why did Jesus enter into Jerusalem on a donkey? Why not a horse? Or just walk into the city?
Kings rode either donkeys or horses for very significant reasons! Jesus chose to ride a donkey in fulfillment of more prophecy:

ZECHARIAH 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your [Messiah] King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey
.

When kings came peaceably they came riding on donkeys; but if a king came riding on a horse, it usually meant that he was coming for war! But the Prince of Peace, the LORD Jesus came riding on a donkey into Jerusalem, Yeru-shalayim, meaning “the city of Peace”, declaring peace to His people Israel. Yet He brought the sort of peace that is everlasting – bringing an end to sin by bearing the sins of His brethren – the Jews, and all of the sins of the world:
ISAIAH 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this
.
DANIEL 9:26
And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined
.

We pick up with the time immediately following the 7 weeks and 62 weeks, totaling 69 weeks, and it is prophesied that the Messiah will be “cut off”, executed as a criminal as it’s expressed in Hebrew. Of course this is a reference to the death of the Messiah and the fact that His earthly kingdom of Israel would not be set up at that time. That Kingdom will arrive at His Second Coming, beginning His Millennial Reign!

Jesus, just seven days after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (MATTHEW 21; MARK 11; LUKE 19), was “cut off” at the cross, and He died fulfilling the first 69 weeks.
The above notes were taken in part from this linked article from Harvest Bible Church

Now all of these 483 years have already transpired in the Old Testament days that led right up to the Cross of Calvary.

In those days there were just Jews and Gentiles; there was no third category of people. In the New Testament however, we have three categories: Jews, Gentiles, and the church! The church comprises both Jew and Gentile, collectively they are “one new man” (EPH 2:15), literally a new race of humanity, children of GOD, born of His Spirit through – not the first Adam, but the last Adam, Jesus Christ (1 COR 15:45-47).

Once the mostly Gentile church is completed – that is – the last number of souls that GOD is aware of, are added to the church and completes the bride of Christ, then the LORD will take us Home. This completion is known as “the fullness of the Gentiles”:

ROMANS 11:25
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in
.

This blindness in Israel that prevents them from perceiving Jesus as their Messiah is only temporary; when will it begin to lift? When the fullness of the Gentiles is completed – at the rapture of the church. GOD will then turn His attention back to Israel, that’s been back in the land for 74 years, and pick up this prophecy regarding the Jews and Jerusalem where He left off, at the crucifixion of Christ.

You see, the prophetic stop watch was ticking right along throughout the 483 years of Daniel’s prophecy of GOD’s judgment upon Israel, but on the day Christ was “cut off” – crucified – that stop watch – stopped!... Since then, GOD’s second program has been the church.

And that prophetic stop watch hasn’t ticked a single tock in over 2000 years! But it’s going to! And once it starts ticking again, sometime after the rapture of the church, GOD’s first program will resume. The stop watch will keep ticking for seven more years, starting with the rise of antichrist, his enforcement of the covenant with Israel, and assuming political, and economic power on a global scale as ten leaders give to him all of their worldwide authority (REV 17:12-13).

Three and a half years into this seven year period, he will demand worship as ‘God’ from the Jews, and the world when he sets his image in the temple (2 THESS 2) – and that’s when things will go south!

Israel will refuse to worship the beast who will then turn on them, and for the second half of this seven year period, the Jewish people will experience persecution and tribulation as they never have before!

MATTHEW 24:21
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be
.

Worse than Nazi Germany, when one out of every three Jews in the world was killed.
At this time to come, according to ZECH 13:9 two out of every three Jews will be killed. But the remnant of Jews (the surviving third of Israel mentioned before) who will come to faith in Messiah (IS 1:8-9; 10:20; JOEL 2;32; ROM 11) and will be preserved and greet their LORD when He returns to Earth with His church bride, wipes out the New World Order under Satan, the beast and the false prophet!

Returning to our LORD’s time on Earth:

The devil was well aware of the virgin birth of Christ, heard the angels that proclaimed the arrival of the Messiah, and understood that this is the One who, according to GOD’s plan, “will crush [his] head” (GEN 3:15). He had to sabotage this plan somehow!

So when the LORD Jesus was fasting and praying for 40 days, the devil went down – not to Georgia (sorry Charlie Daniels fans!), but to the deserts of Judea – to meet Him:

LUKE 4:5-7
5 …the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority, and their glory I will give You; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours
.

The LORD Jesus Christ didn’t dispute this claim of the devil: what he said was true, all of these earthly authorities were delivered to him when Adam sinned against GOD, lost his rule as GOD’s regent on Earth, and it was then transferred to Satan who has been managing things ever since.

Satan essentially said:
“Jesus, You can avoid the Cross and all that suffering! You came for the world – I can give it to You! Don’t take that long road full of pain, suffering, blood and death; take the short cut I can provide for You, spare Yourself! All you have to do is worship me – and it’s all Yours!”
Yet the LORD Jesus Christ rejected his offer in favor of obedience to the Father! I believe Satan will make, or perhaps has already made this very same offer to another man: the antichrist, we read about his global power granted to him by the devil in REV 13.

JOHN 5:43
I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive
.

JOHN 1:10-12, speaking of Jesus:
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

But for those who rejected Him, His own people, Israel – their fate was sealed once their Messiah was refused and crucified: because of this, the Jewish people, as we said before, will have to endure the time of tribulation, also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (JER 30:7).

At His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on this day we celebrate as Palm Sunday, one would think that He would be rejoicing at such a welcome, but instead, we see Him looking over the city with tears in His holy eyes:

LUKE 13:34-35
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 "See! Your house is left to you desolate and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!
'

'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' They will declare this expression at the Second Coming of Christ. They will weep and mourn as for an only son, once they realize that they made a horrible mistake and crucified their King (ZECH 12:10-14)! But this will kick off the Millennial Reign which will be inconceivably awesome and joyful!

Question: What would have happened if the Messiah was received the first time He came to this world? 
Had Israel received Jesus as their King, the Millennial Reign would have started 2000 years ago, the church would have never been conceived and we as Gentiles would be left out of the glorious, blessed plan as GOD intended to create for His Son: a bride. 

ROMANS 11:12
Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

In MATTHEW 26:5 the religious leadership of Israel conspired to kill Jesus:
5 But they said, "Not during the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

Yet GOD forced their hand, because the crucifixion of Christ had to happen on the feast day of Passover: He is the LAMB of GOD – just one week after the very day of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem in order to fulfill even more prophecy which will be addressed next Sunday, Resurrection Day!

ISAIAH 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all
.

See also a two part article by Lambert Dolphin (Part 2 to be published soon!):


Also, another two part article from TTUF:


And even more!




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