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Someone Cares Series
Information Brochure No. 17

Our Redeemer -
The Theme of Prophecy


Multitudes today are losing faith in Jesus. How can we KNOW that He was the Saviour of the world? We can know because of the Old Testament prophecies.

1. What did Jesus show was the theme of the Old Testament prophecies?

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:25-27).

The great themes of the Old Testament were misapprehended and misinterpreted. Christ's work was to expound the truth which had not been understood by those to whom they had been given. The prophets had made the statements, but the spiritual import of what they had written was undiscovered by them. They did not see the meaning of the truth. Jesus reproved His disciples for their slowness of comprehension.

He maintained His disguise till He had interpreted the Scriptures and had led them to an intelligent faith in His life, His character, His mission to earth, and His death and resurrection. He wished the truth to take firm root in their minds, not because it was supported by His personal testimony, but because the typical law and the prophets of the Old Testament, agreeing with facts of His life and death, presented unquestionable evidence of that truth.

2. In what city did the Old Testament say Jesus was to be born?

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).

At the time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might have discerned the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One. The prophecy of Micah designated His birthplace. Even the very place of His birth and the time of His appearance were minutely specified. The son of David must be born in David's city.

3. Was there also a specific time when Jesus was to appear?

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," (Galatians 4:4).

Before the world was made it was arranged that the divinity of Christ should be enshrouded in humanity. "A body," said Christ, "Thou has prepared for me" (Hebrews 10:5). But He did not come in human form until the fullness of time had expired, until all the years of the prophecy had gone by.

4. When was that time to be?

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 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" (Daniel 9:24, 25).

Through His chosen agencies God will graciously make known His purposes. Then the grand work of redemption will go forward. This is what Gabriel revealed to Daniel in answer to fervent prayer. He was to bring in everlasting deliverance to all who would walk after Him.

The time of the first advent and of some of the chief events clustering about the Saviour's lifework was made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel.

5. Sixty-nine weeks is 483 days. In symbolic prophecy, what does a day represent?

"And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year" (Ezekiel 4:6).

A day in prophecy stands for a year. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given. "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks" (Daniel 9:25). that adds up to sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty three years. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, went into effect in the autumn of 457 B.C. (Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9) From this time, four hundred and eighty three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to this prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. 27 A.D. was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar.

6. Thus the 69 weeks ended in Tiberius Caesar's 15th year. What happened that year?

"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; ... Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3:1-3, 21, 22).

At His baptism in A.D. 27, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed, "The time is fulfilled," (Mark 1:15).

Tiberius Caesar began his reign in A.D. 12 and it was in the fifteenth year of his reign (A.D. 27) that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan.

7. The Hebrew word "Messiah" ("Christ" in Greek) means "anointed." If Jesus was the Messiah, (a) How was He anointed, thereby becoming the Messiah; and (b) When did that happen?

"That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:37, 38).

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," (Luke 4:18).

Christ came to preach the gospel to the poor. He reached the people where they were. He brought plain simple truth to their comprehension. How simple His language! Even the poorest, the most unlearned and ignorant could understand Him. Jesus at His baptism received the anointing (consecration) of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterwards began His ministry. The Old testament Scriptures stated plainly every detail of Christ's ministry.

8. Did Jesus recognize the fulfillment of this prophetic time?

"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

Christ Himself had sent the disciples forth with the message "The time is fulfilled" (completed). That message was based on the message of Daniel 9. The sixty nine weeks were declared by the angel to extend to "the Messiah the Prince." Christ had come at the exact time and in the manner foretold by prophecy. For seven years after the Saviour 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.9. Although the Jewish people wanted a conqueror, what would happen to the Messiah sometime after 27 A.D."And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:" (Daniel 9:26a).

In A.D. 31, three and a half years after His baptism, our Lord was crucified. With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of offerings which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease.

10. Jesus' baptism marked the end of the 69 weeks and the beginning of the 70th week of probationary time allotted to the Jewish nation. What would happen in the middle of this prophetic week?

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," (Daniel 9:27a).

Jesus, who made the covenant, would put an end to animal sacrifices by Himself being "cut off" and becoming our sacrifice on the cross.

In the midst of the seventieth week, Messiah was to be cut off. Three and a half years after His baptism Christ was crucified, in the spring of A.D. 31. The seventy weeks, or 490 years, were to pertain especially to the Jews. At the expiration of this period the nation sealed its rejection of Christ by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles in A.D. 34.

11. Did Jesus understand the prophetic time period pointing forward to His being "cut off" and doing away with sacrifices?

"And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem," (Luke 9:51).

"Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come" (John 7:6-8).

"And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples" (Matthew 26:18).

As the close of His ministry drew near there was a change in Christ's manner of labor. Heretofore He had sought to shun excitement and publicity. He had refused the homage of the people and had passed quickly from place to place when the popular enthusiasm in His favor seemed kindling beyond control. Again and again He had commanded that none should declare Him to be the Christ. It was a false conception of the Messiah's work, and a lack of faith in the divine character of Jesus, that had led His brothers to urge Him to present Himself publicly to the people at the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, in a spirit akin to this, the disciples would have prevented Him from making the journey to Jerusalem. They remembered His words concerning what was to befall Him there, they knew the deadly hostility of the religious leaders, and they would fain have dissuaded their Master from going thither.

12. Since after Jesus' death there were still 3.5 years of the final (70th) week for special ministry to the Jewish people, where did Jesus tell His disciples to begin their witness?

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Christ's visible power was about to be withdrawn from the disciples, but a new endowment of power was to be theirs. The Holy Spirit was to be given them in its fullness, sealing them for their work. Christ told His disciples that they were to begin their work at Jerusalem. That city had been the scene of His amazing sacrifice for the human race. In Jerusalem were many who secretly believed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah, and many who had been deceived by priests and rulers.

13. When did the gospel begin to go to the Gentiles?

"And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. ... And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. ... Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word" (Acts 7:59; 8:1, 4).

In the stoning of Stephen the Jewish nation once more rejected the covenant of mercy. The one week—seven years—ended in A.D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel. The disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution "went everywhere preaching the Word" (Acts 8:4), and shortly after Saul the persecutor was converted and became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the Gospel to the Gentiles were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study.

14. Was the Jewish nation still God's chosen people after 34 A.D.?

"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Romans 2:28, 29).

"Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43).

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10).

After A.D. 34 the Jewish nation were no longer God's people as they had rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. As a consequence the Lord rejected Israel as His nation.

God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. True circumcision is the worship of Christ in spirit and truth, not in forms and ceremonies with hypocritical pretense.

15. Under the New Covenant, who are the true Israel?

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:26-29).

"By the hearing of faith" they received the Spirit of God and became "the children of God by faith in Christ." From every quarter were coming accounts of the spread of the new doctrine by which Jews were released from the observance of the rites of the ceremonial law and Gentiles were admitted to equal privileges with the Jews as children of Abraham.

Caste is hateful to God. In His sight the souls of all men are of equal value. Without distinction of age, or rank or nationality, or religious privilege, all are invited to come unto Him and live. All who through Christ should become the children of faith were to be counted as Abraham's seed; they were inheritors of the covenant promises; like Abraham, they were called to guard and to make known to the world the Law of God and the gospel of His Son.


Jesus alone fulfills the prophecies of the Messiah. Through Him we can each become a part of God's true people—spiritual Israel. Is it your desire to be a part of God's true Israel today?

Page created: 7/26/98 Updated: 11/24/2006
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