After the sixty-two sevens, the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing  (Daniel 9:26).

And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He slew him also  (Genesis 38:6-10).

 
 The Seventy Sevens

Just prior to his martyrdom, we can see below how Steven quoted the first two verses of Isaiah chapter 66.  This, we believe, took place on the feast day called “The Day of Atonement” three and a half years after the Passover crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  From the feast of Passover to Tabernacles was about six months.  Keep in mind that Isaiah was martyred, sawn in half, during the reign of King Manassah of Judah, and in that day the following prophecy would have sounded as speaking against Moses.  Steven is similarly charged with blasphemy against Moses before being stoned to death as recorded in Acts 6:11.  Now let’s continue to read on through Isaiah 66:3:

"This is what the Lord says: 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? 2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?' declares the Lord"
 
(Acts 7:49-50; Isaiah 66: 1-2).

3 "But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations" (Isaiah 66: 3).

Having quoted Isaiah 66: 1-2 and knowing what was written in Isaiah 66:3, Steven would have been broken hearted by the ignorance being displayed by the high priest and his fellow countrymen who were continuing to trust in what had become an abomination to God, the blood of animals.  His martyrdom marked the completion of the 490 year prophecy recorded in Daniel 9:24-27 and was followed by a great persecution against the Church.  This dispersed the believers and sent the Gospel to the gentile nations who were then to become joint heirs with fellow believing Jews of the promised Holy Spirit and become ambassadors of Christ to preach the Gospel of The Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.  Now, let’s explore Daniel’s amazing prophecy below:

24“Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

25“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven sevens, and sixty-two sevens.  It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26After the sixty-two sevens, the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.  The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.  27He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven.  In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Daniel 9:24-27).

(To help us understand the above prophecy, we are here using the Biblical chronology by Martin Antsey as presented in “The Wonders of Bible Chronology” by Philip Mauro.)

The One True God has given numerous outstanding prophecies to His people but this prophecy is in a most special category, and mainly so, because God The Son would walk among us here on earth and live in His people from that time onward, Emmanuel.  This prophecy spanned the time period from when the Persian Cyrus issued the decree in the year 457 B.C “to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:1-4) to the stoning of Stephen in 33 A.D. (completing the 490 years) and then on to the destruction decreed in 70 A.D.

483 years from the decree of Cyrus (the 7 sevens plus the 62 sevens having been completed), Jesus Christ was revealed and declared as “the Anointed One” at His baptism in the year 26 A.D., just after the feast of Tabernacles that year.  He then fasted for forty days and began His public ministry declaring “the time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15), which we understand to refer to Daniel 9:24-27 above.

During the feast of Passover in 30 A.D., in the middle of the 70th week of sevens, three and a half years into Christ’s public ministry, He was put to death fulfilling verse 24 “to finish transgression”.  No other generation of the human race could ever commit a greater crime than to nail to a tree the very Creator and Sustainer of all life.  For this reason, that generation would be charged with all the righteous blood that was shed upon the earth (Matthew 23:35).  Transgression reached its full end as Our Lord uttered the words: “It is finished.”

Jesus confirmed the New Covenant with His apostles the evening before He was crucified saying, “this is My blood of the new covenant which is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).  Having laid down His life for the redemption of His entire creation, all the sacrifices that were prescribed in the Law were not only done away with forever (Hebrews 10:9), but also became an abomination to God at that very moment.

“But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol.  They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations (Isaiah 66:3).

Jesus Christ abolished Mosaic sacrifices forever, but in ignorance the Jewish priests continued sacrificing their abominations up until 70 A.D. in what had become just a side of God’s temple.  He abandoned the former temple to establish His new creation in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). God’s true temple was now in the hearts of believers, fulfilling “to anoint the Most Holy Place”.  Jesus gave His followers a double witness regarding when they should flee both Jerusalem and Judea and escape the “wrath to the uttermost” when not a stone would be left upon a stone of their magnificent temple.  They would see the abominations mentioned above as well as Jerusalem surrounded by armies at the same time (Mark 13:14 and Luke 21:20).  This occurred at the feast of Passover in 66 A.D. when the Roman general Cestius Gallus invaded Judea from Syria to put down the Jewish rebellion.  History records that it was then that the entire Church fled both Jerusalem and Judea and crossed over Jordan to live in safety and plenty near Pella, fulfilling Isaiah 65:13-15 below:

"Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.  My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.  You will leave your name for my chosen ones to use in their curses; the Sovereign Lord will put you to death, but to his servants he will give another name” (Isaiah 65:13-15).

Of particular interest to us for this meditation, however, is verse 26 of the prophecy; “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing (Daniel 9:26).  This prophecy was fulfilled in that even His disciples and apostles were at a loss regarding what had happened to Him.  He re-visited them after His resurrection with instructions regarding the previously promised out-pouring of The Holy Spirit.  This would take place at Pentecost and complete the “anoint the Most Holy Place” of verse 24.  Of supreme importance, however, is the fact that Jesus Christ was not married, and He left behind no wife or children to carry on His NAME in this world.  Here it should greatly profit us to recall the account of Onan in chapter 38 of Genesis:

"Now Judah took a wife for Er, his firstborn; her name was Tamar.  And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord slew him.  Then Judah told Onan, Marry your brother’s widow; live with her and raise offspring for your brother.  But Onan knew that the family would not be his, so when he cohabited with his brother’s widow, he prevented conception, lest he should raise up a child for his brother.  And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He slew him also" (Genesis 38:6-10).

This dear brothers and sisters is a most serious matter, for it is here that we receive light on the gravity of our sinfulness regarding all forms of contraception (birth-control).  In our day, multitudes of confessing Christians are entangled in this most serious of offenses, to, in effect, spill our seed out on the ground instead of raising up seed for our most deserving Brother, Jesus.  We may testify with our mouths that we do not believe in evolution, but the minute we send our wives to have their tubes tied or we ourselves submit to a vasectomy, we completely lose our testimony.  No dear brothers and sisters, we did not evolve from an out-of-control animal.  Being made in God’s image and likeness, we are learning what it means to have self-control through the gift of The indwelling Holy Spirit, and it is simply a matter of understanding another God given gift, the gift of fertility, that is now most needed .  It is evident that both Leah and Lot's daughters knew their fertility signs (Genesis 30:16; Genesis 19:32-36).  Today, God has graced us with ministries that teach fertility stewardship to His body so that we "not be conformed to this world..", but instead be transformed by the renewel of our minds.

When Our Heavenly Father wishes to impress upon His children His displeasure of how we bear His NAME in this world, He reveals it in a way that is unmistakable.  God instituted marriage in the beginning (Genesis 2:22-24) and He ordained it to show forth His Heavenly Pattern.  This Heavenly Pattern came largely into view at Calvary or as the apostle Paul said: “that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known…”(Ephesians 3:10) and that “God’s invisible qualities…have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).  Calvary revealed that it was Christ Who was put to sleep (Genesis 2:21-24) and His helpmate taken from His side.  Jesus Christ, God The Son, is revealed as The Male and His Church revealed as the female (Ephesians 5:30-32).  Then through the ministry of Jesus, we see that the purpose of the marriage union is fruitfulness, “for by this is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit” (John 15:8).  Our Christian marriages are to be both physical and spiritual and therefore His admonition for us to be fruitful applies to both.  Because the sodomitic union, whether homosexual or contraceptive, cannot show forth His Heavenly Pattern in that it is an unfruitful union, He burned Sodom and He burned Gomorrah, thereby establishing a double witness (Deuteronomy 19:15).  Similarly, He not only put Er, (who had no children) to death for his un-spoken wickedness, but He put Onan to death also for refusing to give seed for his dead brother.  Furthermore, God had ordained that the linage of Jesus Christ would come through this same Tamar by her son Perez (Genesis 38).  In the same way, every Christian is to participate in the linage of Jesus Christ and contribute to the everlasting increase of His Great NAME in this world.  Thus, “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) and “I chose you and appointed you to bear much fruit and that your fruit shall remain” (John 15:16) are all related to that Kingdom that God promised to His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a Kingdom that shall forever see increase and never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 9:7).

My dear brothers and sisters, our NAME change takes place at believer's baptism and is a most serious matter (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).  It is the One NAME of Our Father, His Son and The Holy Spirit in which we are to be found doing all things (Colossians 3:17).  Our marriage to Christ means that our bodies belong to One husband and Him alone.  Better yet, His resurrected body now belongs to His wife, His Church, and therefore she is now seated where He is, in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 7:4).  We live in the darkest of days when those who claim to be civilized participate in the most barbaric of atrocities without even a blush of shame.  Included among them are those who claim the NAME Christian while chemically aborting their children with silent approval from the hireling clergy of our day, as She sits at the doorway of her house, on a seat by the high places of the city, calling to those who pass by, who are making their paths straight: ‘Whoever is naive, let him turn in here...’  But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol” (Proverbs 9:14:18).

Nevertheless, we live in the most glorious of days, because since Calvary every manner of sin can be forgiven if we show a sincere repentance.  The only exception is to reject the indwelling gift of God’s Holy Spirit.  Oh what hope we wretches have because of Christ Who loved us while we were yet His enemies, and gave Himself for us, to make us holy, cleansing us by the washing with water through the word, and to present us to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Apart from that inner working of His Holy Spirit and the continual forgiveness found in Christ, this would surely be impossible.  Yet we have this assurance from Christ’s own lips, that He loves His Church so much; He is not only willing to forgive us seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19).

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you (Isaiah 44:22).


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