The Last Generation
Nothing appears to be so melodramatic as the book of Revelations, but beware. All will come to pass! Moreover, Jesus and the apostles were adamant that there were different degrees of reward in hell and in heaven (Matthew 11:21-24; Luke 8:5-8; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 1 Corinthians 15: 40-42). Whatever we sow in this life we shall reap in the next (Galatians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 9:6).
Truth and righteousness are currently quickly disappearing into a dark void. In a vision I saw many swept away in a cultural torrent sweeping the world, but I also saw crowds pressing forward on a low bridge just above the waters. These are ones who will run into the name of Jesus for refuge. His name is a strong tower. So what lies ahead? Are we willing to consider and prepare?
PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
As end-times are approaching rather quickly now the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 rises to prominence.
To which of the ten virgins will we belong to, to the five wise or to the five foolish? All ten were virgins signifying people washed in the blood of the lamb. They were caught asleep in the middle of the night when the call came ‘the bridegroom is coming’. They arose and trimmed their lamps. They knew where they had to go but needed their lamps in the darkness. Five of them could not proceed for their oil had run out. The five wise virgins could not give them of their oil.
It is clear from the parable that 'oil' is a personal possession. It was not something the five wise virgins could give to the five foolish ones. Who are the five foolish virgins and in what were they found wanting?
The number 10 is indicative of a trial or test. The parable is full of symbolism. Five had run out of oil and failed the test. What does 'oil' represent in scripture? Oil can symbolize many things; anointing, consecration, the Holy Spirit, the word of God, unity, joy and gladness, for example.
The name Gethsemane, in Hebrew, means “oil press”. Oil is still pressed from the fruit of eight ancient and gnarled olive trees that give the garden a timeless character. It is fitting that this was also the place where the will of Jesus was totally crushed. 'Not my will, but Yours' and He sweated drops of blood. Jesus was crushed in soul when He presented Himself as the Lamb of God, carrying all our sins, and released the oil of self-sacrifice as a sweet aroma to the Father. He could have called out to the angels to save Him from this ordeal, but He chose not to.
Turning our attention back to the parable, what was it that the five virgins lacked? All ten had fallen asleep, so sleep was not the issue. Here we shall focus on the first major issue. Later we will look at another shortcoming in the foolish virgins.
SHORTCOMING NO. 1.
An important clue is provided by the manner in which Jesus rejected the five foolish virgins when they arrived much too late at the door - ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’. They presumed to have the right to participate in the wedding because they had been washed in the blood of the lamb.
Where have we come across that before? Jesus warns us in Matthew 10:33 - ‘But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven’. In other words, 'I do not know you'. These are the sort of Christians who will find themselves carried away in the torrent described in my vision. Fear and peer pressure will cause them to capitulate to the ungodly demands of the world around them. They will compromise their Christianity for the sake of a peaceful and prosperous life. Jesus said that the end of the world will be as in the days of Lot when Sodom and Gomorrah set the standards. Lot settled in Sodom and Gomorrah because the locals accepted him, in their midst, as long as he didn't 'ruffle any feathers'. Lot's married daughters and wife eventually perished because they were tied to Sodom. Lot's life did not end well (Genesis 19:30-38). Lot lost a great deal by living a compromised life with the Canaanites. His descendants eventually became enemies of God's purposes.
Persecution of the Jews has a long history. As a nation, the Israelites rejected the gospel and have suffered much ever since. Their peace will come when they reconcile with the one they crucified. A small portion, but growing in number, the Messianic Jews, already have.
In Germany, trying to live alongside that gentile nation only prolonged their sufferings as the events of Kristallnacht and its aftermath demonstrated. Having to display the Star of David singled out the individual and businesses as fair game for persecution. Muslims introduced this compulsory practice in the 8th Century long before Hitler did.
In Germany, many Jews escaped early or went into hiding, or attempted to hide their identity out of fear of the populace. 'There's no way the Germans we live with will continue to do these things. It's only an episode.' That was the atmosphere. It was also the atmosphere on Kristallnacht. They couldn't comprehend it. It came as a blow. I remember my mother standing pale and crying… I remember her phoning her gentile friends – she had more gentile friends than Jewish friends – No answer. No one answered her.’ Professor Zvi Bacharach.
When I had the reputation of being a creationist, on academic staff at an Australian university, in the 1980's I was similarly ruthlessly targeted, not because I was a Jew, but because I believed the Bible more than evolutionary philosophy. I was a biological scientist with a chemistry-physics background. That made me a worse thorn in the flesh of the university than if I had belonged to any other discipline. Although there were a few other Christians of high standing in the university none of them dared to intervene on my behalf. One should not be surprised that many Christians hide their faith even today to protect their status. However, Jesus wants all to make a stand. Jesus gives grace and boldness for us to make a stand, as the lyrics of this song from Isaiah 45:4-6 encourage us to do.
Be strong, fear not:
Behold your God will come with vengeance,
Even God with a recompense;
He will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped,
Shall be unstopped.
Then the lame man shall leap as an hart,
And the tongue of the dumb sing:
For in the wilderness shall waters break out
And streams in the desert'.
Not all who deny Christ today face extreme persecution. In most instances, attending local bible studies or worship groups means facing raised eyebrows from even our closest friends, relatives and work colleagues. Milena and I faced that for years! So-called friends turn their back on you when you want to talk about Jesus. The hardest to face is the daily rejection by close family members. Jesus warned that this would happen.
'Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be those of his own household’ (Matthew 10:34-36).
I know many who believe they are saved, but hide in the woodwork. They dare not talk about Jesus to their friends for fear of losing them. Neither will they utter a single word in our defence nor will they risk ridicule from peers by openly attending a bible study. We knew a couple who hung a picture of Jesus in their doorway, but could we ever discuss our common faith in Jesus with them? Never!
I was humiliated in my academic position for years. However, there was a member of staff who would kindly rent his holiday house to our family, on occasions. Imagine my surprise at his funeral when the pastor gave the eulogy. He apparently was a faithful member of the church, but did he ever open his mouth in public or come to my defence? No! He wasn’t going to risk his status at work. He didn’t have enough oil or grace for that.
We remember the words of the apostle Paul ‘I beseech you therefore brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God’ (Romans 12:1-2).
Unfortunately, many are not willing to stand up for Christ in public. If they are afraid today how will they respond when society and schools really get worse? As Jesus said, ‘For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry'? (Luke 23:31).
OIL AND SACRIFICE
There are at least 43 scriptures associating oil with a sacrifice in ancient Israel, the ‘grain offering’ in particular. This offering, carried out on the brazen altar, symbolised the anointing given to Christ to enable Him to bear His sufferings. An angel visited Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to strengthen Him just before His passion. The grain offering prophesied of the sufferings of Christ that was fulfilled 1500 years later.
‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron's sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD’ (Leviticus 2:1-2). Jesus was that finely milled flour, the bread from heaven, crushed and pure, given to us and blessed with sufficient oil or anointing to carry His mission through to the end until He could say ‘It is finished’.
Fortitude under persecution is seemingly one of the things the five virgins lacked. It is not something one can pass to another person. It is gained by experience. It is a personal possession. Jesus had much to say about that in a number of His parables.
‘And these are those likewise being sown on stony places who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with gladness. But they have no root in themselves, but are temporary. Afterward when affliction or persecution arises for the Word's sake, they are immediately offended. And these are those being sown among thorns, such as hear the Word and the cares of this world, and the deceit of riches, and the lust about other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful’ (Mark 4:16-19). To avoid shame some Christians hide their light under a bushel.
SHORTCOMING NO. 2
What advice did the wise virgins give to the foolish ones about their lack of oil? 'But the wise answered, saying, no, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came'. (Matthew 25:9-10).
What does this advice remind us of? 'Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding' (Proverbs 23:23). The foolish lacked all of these. They might have been intellectuals and formerly highly educated but they were foolish in spiritual matters. I have a deep sense that aspects of all four of these were missing in their lives. They had not been teachable at church nor had shown any great interest in bible studies, and most probably thought much of the Old Testament irrelevant. They had not paid the cost of giving up their time to study the word of God. Like the first group, who hid their light under a bushel, there was also no real desire to seek out communion and fellowship in the church. As we shall see in the next section, such people only had an 'Outer Court experience' of the Lord, figuratively speaking. If this statement is meaningless to you then it probably means that you also have had much too little Old Testament teaching! Please have a look at my bicycle parable regarding the Old and New Testaments.
Now perhaps we can begin to appreciate why it took such a long time for the foolish virgins to buy their oil and why the Master was angry with them. It takes time to catch up on biblical knowledge and to learn proper interpretation. The five wise ones had probably spent hours and hours attending bible studies and participated in deeper church activities than just fetes. This is not something one can gain overnight. So the foolish missed out on the marriage.
SHORTCOMING NO. 3
A common lack of spirituality in the average person who confesses faith in Christ is a lack of desiring spiritual gifts. Most Christians prefer to be complacent 'happy' Christians not ruffling anybody's feathers as long as they have whatever they desire to satisfy their comfort. A job, opportunities for holidays, perhaps owning their own home; these desires would be typical of Christians not living in a poverty stricken country. The enemy encourages the accumulation of wealth to destroy a Christian's desire for further growth.
What was the first gift the Holy Spirit gave to the church on the Day of Pentecost? It was the gift of prophesying in tongues. The average Christian is too proud and indignant to surrender their tongue to the lordship of jesus! As the apostle Paul explained he claimed to have prayed in tongues more than anybody else he knew. He further explained that he prayed with the understanding and also prayed without understanding what he was praying about. He obviously implied that he was able to sing and pray in an unknown tongue to edify himself in the Lord as the Holy Spirit gave him unction (1 Corinthians 14:14-19). This is why he could be led by the Spirit and had so many astounding heavenly revelations.
One of the most unfortunate things in Christendom is the belief by many that when one is born again one is automatically and simultaneously baptized by the Holy Spirit and fire. There is nothing further from the truth as many testimonies and this scripture testify (Acts 8:9-25). What astounded Simon the sorcerer once the apostles arrived from Jerusalem? Simon had already witnessed the many miracles done by Philip the evangelist.
There are so many testimonies of pastors who had been teaching that tongues was from the devil only to ashamedly testify later in life how wrong they had been. People who miss out on their private prayer language in the Spirit lose much. I wonder how Jesus will view it on the Day of Judgment when He comes with rewards? I invite you to view this amazing testimony by a Baptist church leader.
A THREE-WAY SPLIT ON THE WAY
Scripture is clear about a three-way split that will divide Christians into three distinct groupings before the 3 ½ year rule of the Anti-Christ that coincides with the prophetic ministries of the two special witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13). Pastor Hal Oxley, of Life Ministry Church in Melbourne, expressed the same in his book 'End Day Prophecy', 2018. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Two of the groups will be spared from Satan (the red dragon), but one faction will have to face the full onslaught from the red dragon - the 'Outer Court' group. These are the ones who will not be able to buy or sell unless they conform and sell their soul to the will of the beast whose number is 666 (Revelation 13:13-18). This will be a fearsome time especially for those with young families. Now is the time to escape from this potential fate. The choice is ours. We ought to aim to belong to one of the first two groups - Either to the Bride or to the Manchild. Realistically speaking our aim ought to be in the Bride of Christ. We know very little about the Manchild group who are caught up to heaven which I associate with the character of Enoch, the 7th from Adam, who pleased God so much that he ascended to heaven whilst still alive ('And Enoch walked with God, and then he was not, for God took him' (Genesis 5:24). The number 7 always points to the book of sevens, Revelation.
The Outer Court Group - those who will be given over into the hands of Satan to try
Marc Dupont in his book 'Persuing Open Heavens' (Sovereign World, Kent UK 2002) touches upon the same thing on page 89 and onwards. He explores the difference in the attitude of Christians as to where they are living right now in relation to their place in God's temple. 'How to enter the Holy of Holies. take us past the brazen altars of the outer court and bring us into the Holy of Holies. Do we really understand what we are asking for? Probably not, but still that is the prayer the Holy Spirit is raising up within us as He cries out "Abba Father" in the language of our hearts.
In the tabernacle of Moses and Solomon there were three different and distinct courts, or areas to enter. Each represented a more intimate area of relating to God. First there was the outer court, then the Holy Place and finally the Holy of Holies. The outer court was where the Burnt Offering Altar and Laver could be found......come into the gates of the temple and the courts of the Tabernacle First with thanksgiving - the expression of daily mercies and care. But, if we are to press further in something more is required - worship or adoration of who He is. Now we are going beyond "mere singing"; we are beginning to minister to Him as opposed to just singing about Him... much more than thanksgiving.....That sacrifice is much more costly! It requires the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart! (Psalm 51:16-17).....in short, God is after a people who are as desperate for Him as He was for us...a heart that is burning for His burning, consuming presence'.
This split into three specific groups of Christians towards end-times is clearly evident from a careful reading of Revelation Chapters 11 and 12. Let us begin with Revelation 11:1-2. 'And a reed like a rod was given to me. And the angel stood, saying rise up and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it, but leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it was given to the nations. And they will trample the holy city forty-two months'.
What does this mean? It is symbolically talking about a group of people who are neither in the Holy Place nor in the Most Holy Place of the temple (in a spiritual sense). They are, figuratively speaking, in the 'Outer Court' of the temple/tabernacle where the blood sacrifices were being burnt. As Christians they know of and believe in the blood of Christ for forgiveness. They reap the various benefits of being in Christ. They are within the curtain, representing God's embrace, but their heads are not covered, so to speak, and will be open to spiritual attack of the most dreadful kind - the inability to buy or sell unless they take up the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17). This would mean loss of their salvation and the denial of Christ. Such 'offers which one can't refuse' are already being made by militants in isolated instances in Indonesia where Christians are being coerced to convert away from Christianity on the pain of death. What a dreadful choice these people will have to make.
This 'Outer Court' group is the same group identified in Revelations 12:17 as the rest of her seed, 'And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ'. Satan is given power over them for 3 1/2 years, as before. (For justification of the measures of the Most Holy Place see "The Holy of Holies" on this website).
'And a mouth speaking great things was given to it, and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to continue forty-two months. And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those dwelling in Heaven. And it was given to it to war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation' (Revelation 13:5-7). There it is again, forty-two months which is 3 1/2 years.
I elaborate more on this in my Kindle book available through Amazon "Supernatural Visions and Dreams: Personal Experiences" .
The 'Woman' group - out of Satan's reach for 3 1/2 years in the wilderness
Who is this woman? 'And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered' (Revelation 12:1-2).
She is not Mary waiting to be delivered of baby Jesus. Jesus is already a fully grown man in His glorious resurrection body as King of kings, seated at the right hand of the Father. This woman shines with the glory of the SUN. This woman has the testimony of Jesus Christ and can be none other than a representation of the glorious bride of Christ, not of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus. How do we know that she has the testimony of Jesus Christ? Because the rest of her seed has the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17). Moreover, the Shulamite woman, a widely acknowledged allegory of the bride of Christ, is spoken of by the groom in the following terms, 'Who is she who looks forth like the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, awesome as armies with banners?' (Song of Solomon 6:10). This is a perfect description of the woman in Revelation 12:1-2.
'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, and that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church'. (Ephesians 5:25-32). Jesus is the bridegroom. All this spiritual symbolism prophesies a physical reality still to be realized.
Although the image doesn't show it, she wears a crown of 12 stars - 12 latter day apostles of the Lamb (as Pastor Hal Oxley of Life Ministry Church in Melbourne also believes). The bride of Christ is the true church that will bring a manchild forth. As you will see below, she identifies with people spiritually located in the Holy Place which contained the lampstand, the consecrated bread and the altar of incense which speaks of the prayers of the saints. When Jesus appeared to the apostle John, on the Island of Patmos in a symbolic vision, Jesus explained that the candlesticks that John saw, is the church.
'the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches' (Revelation 1:20). In the Greek, the word for angel (angelos) can mean either a spiritual or human messenger. The 7 stars, in Revelation Chapter 1, signify the fullness of the apostolic company,
'And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ' (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The Manchild group - caught up to heaven out of Satan's reach
Who is this Manchild? The Bride shines with the glory of God. The bride comprises the righteous whether ‘Jewish’ or gentile Christians.
She labours in pain and brings forth a manchild, who is caught up into the presence of God before the dragon can overcome him.
'And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman, being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child. And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne' (Revelation 12:4-5).
The manchild represents a multitude as is also true for the glorious woman who represents the bride of Christ. It is a male because 'he' will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Biblically, headship is always associated with maleness. 'His' total purity allows Him to be entrusted with this mandate. Many associate the manchild with the 144,000.
'These are those who were not defiled with women for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men as a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they were without blemish before the throne of God' (Revelation 14:4-5).
My take on this is that it has nothing to do with sex or literal women. The term 'defiled with women' could symbolically mean seduced by spurious or false doctrines in wayward churches such as the stunning harlot called Babylon that sits on the beast in Revelation 17:4-6. She is called a harlot because she is in collusion with Satan while simultaneously claims Christ as her husband. In the Song of Solomon a woman refers to a church not to an individual woman. The comely black woman, smitten with love for her lover in the Song of Solomon, symbolizes the Bride of Christ. Many other women represent churches in the scriptures. Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, and Eve, the wife of Adam, are types of the bride of Christ for example.
The pattern of being caught up, as in this case where the manchild is being caught up, follows that of the ascension of Enoch who was the 7th from Adam (Genesis 5:24). Enoch was caught up because he walked with God and pleased God. One could say Enoch was found perfect in the eyes of God. Like Enoch, the manchild obviously will please God 100% (100-fold as in the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:18-23). I associate this group with those who are figuratively located in the Most Holy Place, in the very presence of God. That is, of course, exactly where they are also physically transported to - into the throne room of God.
BODY, CHURCH and BRIDE
My current understanding is summarized in the schematic flowchart below.
TIMING OF THE FIRST AND SECOND COMING
The First Coming of Jesus, His birth, His crucifixion and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost were predetermined according to an exact time-table that the Father has. You will note in various scriptures that Christ was crucified on the same day when the Jews were sacrificing lambs for the Passover and that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the exact day when the Jews were celebrating the Day of Pentecost. Passover was the day when the death angel passed over the homes of the Hebrews in ancient Egypt as part of the tenth plague while, 50 days later, Pentecost was instituted on their calendar when God came with fire and loud thunderings on the mountain which led to the revelation of the 10 commandments.
"For we yet being without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6) and " And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting" (Acts 2:1-2).
God had been counting the 50 days for Pentecost to arrive and then poured out His Spirit on exactly that day. At Mount Sinai, not on the Sinai Peninsula but in Arabia (Jordan), God gave them tablets of stone because their hearts were hard as stone but in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost God gave them new hearts of love. So the pattern is set that the second is always the best. Adam was given Eve but Christ, the second Adam, will be given a perfected bride. This was paralleled in the life of Jacob when he laboured 7 years but then Laban gave him Leah to wife whom he did not love. Jacob had to labour another 7 years to take Rachel to wife whom he had loved from the beginning. Leah had a weakness in her eyes as did also Eve ("And Laban had two daughters, the name of the older, Leah, and the name of the younger, Rachel. The eyes of Leah were weak, and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance" Genesis 29:16-17). Thus, here again, the earlier born woman was the less desirable. The harmonious patterns in God's Word is what impressed me the most when I was born again.
Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic rabbi and a New York Times best-seller, recounts that about 100 years ago a Jewish rabbi turned to Christ as he was meditating on the timing of the coming of the Messiah in Daniel's 70-week prophecy (Daniel Chapter 9). The scriptures also prophesied that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem and would come from the lineage of King David. The 70 week prophecy foretold the exact time of Christ's first coming (Christ is Greek for Messiah, the anointed one) and also that it would have to be before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. Jesus was the only candidate who fulfilled all the requirements including those prophesied by Isaiah. This caused a great impetus in converting an ever growing number of Jews to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Thus many Jews have become Christians, or as they prefer, Messianic Jews.
Daniel's prophecy also foretells Christ's Second Coming but not exact;ly when that would be. The prophecy foretells a 3 1/2-year rule of the Antichrist at the very end which the book of Revelation describes in detail. However, the prophecy is silent about the number of years between the first and second coming. It only refers to an overspreading of abominations separating the 3 1/2 years of Christ's ministry from the 3 1/2 years of Antichrist's rule.
"Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people, and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know, then, and understand that from the going out of a word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in times of affliction. And after sixty two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of a coming ruler shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end shall be with the flood, and ruins are determined, and war shall be until the end.
(Dan 9:27) And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on a corner of the altar will be abominations that desolate, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator" ((Daniel 9:24-27).
The going forth of the commandment is attributed to King Cyrus who was prophesied to become the catalyst for the return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity. The historical dates of the Persian kings are known well and therefore serve as a starting point for the prophecy; when 'the word to restore' went out. Listen to Jonathan's podcast.
HOW LONG BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND COMING?
Daniel's prophecy doesn't tell. We have to ascertain that from a number of other prophetic bits of information, including the sayings of Jesus Himself.
"And He said to them, going, say to that fox, behold, today and tomorrow I cast out demons and I complete cures, and the third day I am being perfected" (Luke 13:32).
'Today and tomorrow' refer to the church age, between the First and Second Coming, whereas the third day refers to the 1000-year Millennium which immediately follows the Second Coming ( Jesus employed the '1000-years for a day' prophetic time element from 2Peter 3:8 and the Psalms). This is not the only clue regarding the time gap. When Daniel interprets the meaning of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the huge statue (Daniel 2) he also reveals the 7 kingdoms that have to come to pass before God's kingdom will crush the world's kingdoms. We are currently in the kingdom of the ten toes that are a mixture of iron and clay. You may recall that the statue representing the pagan kingdoms of this world was destroyed by a rock that grew to the size of a mountain smashing the toes and causing the whole statue to crumble and be blown away (Daniel 2:31-45). That rock is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ and the mountain that grew out of it His church:
"And I saw Heaven being opened. And, behold! A white horse, and He sitting on it having been called Faithful and True. And He judges and wars in righteousness. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head many diadems, having a name that had been written, which no one knows except Himself;
and having been clothed in a garment which had been dipped in blood. His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in Heaven followed Him on white horses, being dressed in fine linen, white and pure. Out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations. He will shepherd them with an iron rod. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of God Almighty. And He has on His garment and on His thigh a name having been written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:11-16).
More detailed evidence of the duration of the church age is explained in the 15 articles under my menu "The True Age of the Earth". The additional evidences are based on,
The timing codes hidden in the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon
The parallel patterns between the Creation Week and the Redemptive Week
The mysterious four days during which the sacrificial lamb had to be hidden from sight at the time of the Exodus from Egypt
The 120 Jubilee years for the whole world (coming in 50-year cycles) that have to be fulfilled from the time when Adam and Eve first sinned on "Day 10", not from the time when the first Year of Jubilee was fulfilled by the Hebrews according to the Jewish calendar. The great Day of Atonement was held during the 50th Feast of Tabernacles in the religious cycle of Israel. Israel was momentarily perfected every 5oth year. The perfection of the Bride of Christ will come after 120 Jubilees reckoned according to the world timetable. The number 120 is Bible code for 'the end of all flesh'.
The church had experienced Passover (Exodus12:1-11; 1Corinthinans 5:7-8; Luke 22)., for Christ, the Lamb of God, had redeemed us. The church had experienced the Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-16; Acts 2:1-4), when it was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. But the church has never experienced its Feast of Tabernacles. Like Israel, who had to wait 40 years because of their disobedience (to enter the Promised Land, Numbers 14:34), so the church has to wait 40 Jubilee years (40x50 years = 2000 years from the time the church was born, approx 32 AD) to enter its Promised Land and its Feast of Tabernacles (Hebrews 4:1-11; 9:1-28; 11:38-40; Revelation 8:1-5; 11:15-19; 12:13-17, New Wine:Becoming Like Jesus, J Hammond, p266, 2013)
Come Lord Jesus
The first time Jesus came as a lamb full of grace and truth, the second time He will come as the Lion of Judah to rescue His redeemed and to mete out His vengeance on all those who did not believe and persecuted His followers. In hIs Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56) CS Lewis revealed that Aslan (the lion) is the all-powerful creator of Narnia and that he wrote Aslan as a portrait, although not an allegorical portrait, of Christ. The sacrifice of Aslan by the White Witch and then her destruction by the resurrected Aslan parallels the events of the First and Second Coming of Christ.