The Times of the Gentiles Recalculated- When do the scriptures say they end?
While recently doing an in depth study of the entire bible,I found myself rereading Haggai and Zechariah, and then Ezra and Nehimiah trying to get the right sequence of events.The question of the seventy weeks of years came up again and I found my self rereading Watchtower chronology, and their teaching on the Gentile times (Appointed Times of the nations) presented in their "insight " book. I had heard that their Chronology was obviously flawed, and knew that the former governing body member, Ray Franz upon discovery of this , when he would not back down, was soon after disfellowshipped. But reading this information in the "insight" book, I was impressed at how reasonable it was to suggest that the Gentile times were something real, as taught by Jehovah's witnesses. That Nebachenezar's dream of seven years of insanity had to have greater fulfillment than just on this one man so long ago.God's word is purified seven times, and God will very often use few words that are of Great importance with prophetic implications far beyond the ancient world. The lesson and connection was obvious. The heart of a beast was given to the kingdoms of mankind until he comes whose legal right it is, and " to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest (or lowliest, humblest) of men". ....... And who will God give it to? The one who has the legal right,of course, the Son of David, the promised seed of God's woman,the one who bruises the head of the sepent and sets up his Kingdom and rules forever upon this earth, the Christ, the annointed one, Jesus , the Messiah. Yes, the Kingdom was cut off from the house of David at the end of Zedikiah's's rule, when this same Nebachenzar who had this prophetic dream, burned the City of Jerusalem to the ground and put out the eyes of this wicked King Zedikiah, and carried him captive to Babylon. As stated there at Ezekiel 21:27 in reference to this Davidic Kingdom..."I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." It is speaking of the same thing in both these bible books.God giving rulership to him whom he will, whose right it is.The end of Zedikiah's reign is the beginning of the grander fulfilment of Neb. dream, the beggining of the rule of the gentiles over the earth without direct interference from God's Kingdom,with a decendent of David on the throne. The heart of a man (representing God's rule) standing in contrast to the heart of a beast representing man's rule independent of God. Even the Catholic church which claimed to rule in Christ's stead was unrelenting in it's hunger and greed for ungodly power. Power that was devoid of reason and love and only demanded obescience without question. Despte her claims, it WAS rule independent from God.It was not the promised Kingdom of Heaven taught by Christ and his disciples as she claimed.But I believe that the end of these Gentile Times will Find Christ actually on the Throne ruling from Jerusalem,The City of the Great King, the same Jerusalem he mentions at Luke 21, when he says... "and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." He was speaking of earthly Jerusalem. Where do you think God's Kingdom will rule from upon this earth. There is no doubt. The scriptures say..JERUSALEM!.But in what year exactly did these seven times begin? Of course this is the key to the understanding. Did they begin in 607 BC as taught by Jehovah's witnesses? Thereby (using the day for a year calculation) bringing us to the year 1914 A.D? Somehow it is not making complete sense.Like a piece of the puzzle that just doesn't seem to fit quite right.Something is wrong.These signs which Jesus said would happen within one generation have been going on far too long.In fact are we really seeing all these signs and in their major fulfillment? I do not think so. (I believe It has proved to be instead "wars and rumors of wars") As Jesus told us...do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately." But it is coming.(See One Master) In re-examining this prophesy, I believe that if indeed these seven times are marked as "The Gentile Times",as they seem to be, their completion is yet future, and the clues as to the year of their completion is all contained in the Word of God. With patience we will examine the evidence and the Chronology.First let it be said, that I believe our Chronology must rely on the word of God as fully as possible. As it is written,"every man is a liar", but "it is impossible for God to lie.Who would you rather trust? Written history will be turned to only to strengthen or help understand what is already written in the word of God, and only when neccesary .Looking at the WT chronology it must be admitted that it is completely dependent on human tradition or history in the matter of the prophesy here under investigation. Of course the birth of Christ must be used, but since our present day calender is based on his birth (the year of our Lord) even though maybe off a few years we can get pretty close.We will go with the date the WT uses of 2 BC for sake of argument.If you feel this is in error adjust accordingly. I cannot help mentioning a movie I happened to catch the other night Called National Treasure with Nicholas Cage.It was all about the secret symbols and messages written down by Freemasons, as to the whereabouts of this enormous treasure they had hidden. One clue and one riddle would lead to another, and only the correct understanding would lead to the treasure. But as each clue was solved, "the ring of truth" gave wittness that they had solved that part of the puzzle, and only with their perseveraance would they overcome all obsticles and reach their desired end.I must say I felt a little bit like this in my search for answerson this subject. But of course understanding God's word, espeacially something so stupendous as the end of the Gentile Times is really worth more than all the treasures in the world.As the Proverb says..."Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding;If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures;Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding." It seems that the maker of this movie was actually leaving clues pointing to these true treasures of God's word,or maybe encouraging investigation into the secrets of freemasonry, and yet masking it or keeping it still veiled ,so as not to offend, so to speak. The lessons to be learned are persistance in seeking, and using wisdom to gain understanding in God's word.Our delema, for those who have eyes to see, begins first with identifying the word or decree spoken of in Daniel Chapter nine "to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince", and to date it .There are three events or possiblilies for this first date. From there we will try to mark the year when Zedikiah's reign ended, marking the beginning of the Gentile times. The three possibilities are these. Cyrus's decree for the Jews to return to their homeland and build him an house. Darius's decree reiterating and strengthening Cyrus's. Or Artexerxies answering Nehimiah's request to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. I believe in reexamining the words given by the angel Gabriel to Daniel we find the key.Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. I believe the key in understanding which decree this was lies in the meaning of these "seven weeks" highlighted here in red. have you ever wondered why the sixty -nine weeks of years are separated in to two groups? Seven weeks and then sixty -two weeks? Has anyone ever given you an explanation? I have never heard one.I have asked Jehovah's witness about this and the best anyone I spoke to came up with was..." That is Just Jehovah's way of trying to throw you. It doesn't mean anything". Well, it wouldn't mean anything if they were correct about these seventy weeks of years beginning with Nehimiahs campaign to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.Seven weeks (49 years) from Nehimiahs efforts would bring you to no event mentioned in the Bible at all. Not Counting forwards, or backwards. Not according to man's Chronology or anything written in the Bible. But this 49 years has to be signifigant. God doesn't waste words or says meaningless things. Anyway, God's word is written to his servants and was given to his servant Daniel.Would he want to confuse them?I felt myself feeling alot like Daniel recently.Remember in Daniel the ninth chapter how Daniel says, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: "Notice the scripture says he understood the number of years, not that he understood that they had already ended.So he began to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:So here I felt a similarity, asking God to help me with this Chronology to help me to know when these seventy years began and ended "in the desolations of Jerusalem." Reading different Chronologies and opinions, including Ray Franz, et al.,which was bringing me to a fuller understandiong, but still feeling I had reached a dead end.To show these seventy years had not really ended yet, Daniel prays...Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. The date of these prayers, Daniel tells us is "In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;" All secular history gives 18 years from the beginning of Cyrus's reign to that of Darius.The Bible itself does not say exactly, but the bible will bear this out as we continue.In the book of Zecharias we find Daniels prayers are answered. "Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah" Zecharian 1:7"Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words." Zechariah 1:12,13. Yes, these 70 years were ready to come to a close."And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;"Zechariah 7:1..."Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,
Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?" Zechariah 7:4,5.Now we see God speaking of those seventy years in past tense.They are already completed.This was now Twenty-one years after the first year of Cyrus when the decree was given for the Jews to return to their homeland.Seventy minus Twenty-one leaves fourty-nine.So it was actually fourty-nine years from the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebbachanezar to the first year of Cyrus.This makes absolute sense in everyway according to scripture.Any other Chronology ignores scripture such as the one used presently by the WT Bible and Tract Society.Now "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" to Messiah [70x7or 490 years](Daniel 9:25) must be measured from Cyrus's decree."Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah.Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem." To build the house of YHVH in Jerusalem would certainly be the begginning of Jerusalem's restoration, although not completed for many years. This would mark this decree, figuring 29 AD (or CE) for the biginning of Christ's ministry at 455 BC.I would have to reiterate words written by a certain Philip Mauro From "The Chronology of the Bible" 1922,whom I will quote here "But, after much study of the entire subject, we are convinced that the Scriptures do not leave us in uncertainty as to those necessary matters of fact....Furthermore, it has become quite clear to us that the differences of opinion, to which we are referred, have arisen altogether from the fact that some of our able chronologists and expositors have adopted the mistaken estimates of Ptolemy as the foundation of their systems of dates, instead of grounding themselves upon the chronology of the Bible. Having committed themselves to a chronological scheme which makes the era of the Persian Empire about 80 years too long, they have been compelled to construe the statements of Scripture in such wise as to force them into agreement with that scheme; and inasmuch as the measure of 483 years from the first year of Cyrus would, if Ptolemy's table be accepted, come short, by many years, of any event in the lifetime of Christ, one must either abandon that table, or else must search for a decree of a Persian king, many years nearer to Christ, to serve as the starting point of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. The trouble, therefore, is not because of any uncertainty in the Scriptures, but that expositors have turned aside from the Scriptures, and have accepted for the 500 years immediately preceding the coming of Christ, a defective chronology based upon heathen traditions."The Chronology of The WT Society as well as most, is based actually upon lunar eclipses, which are quite frequent, sometimes many in one month are are much different from Solar eclipses which are much more rare.Using that hinge year of 455BC for Cyrus's decree fits in perfect with scripture as well as history. In fact it seems to be the correct way to solve the many questions the prophesy found in the Bible bookl of Daniel raises. For exmple as to the meaning of the "seven weeks" Now it all makes much sense, in fact it further fills out and explains the words penned by Daniel."and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation,"(Daniel 9:27)Yes the consumation is without argument the end of the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles."to put an end to sin, ... to bring in everlasting righteousness,"(Daniel 9:24) This will commence when Christ begins his rule from Jerusalem after Armageddon.When God "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Daniel 4:32) There are a few different time measurements given here. Seven weeks-sixtytwo weeks-sixtynine weeks- seventy weeks- and one week. While going forward in time the sixtytwo and seven weeks and one week are combined giving us seventy weeks.But the seven weeks must be counted backwards like a hinge in time giving us the end of Zedikiah's rule which would mark the begining of the "Times of the Gentiles" if indeed they can be counted at all.The seven times in which the Kingdoms of this world were given over to the heart of a beast, would make 2520 yars ending in 2017 or approximately .
May 25,2007 Copyright 2007. All rights reserved