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
"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"
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
"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
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent
forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"
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
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"
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
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
"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel"
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
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"
"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
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