Mixed Sources (Joel Smith/Others) some text emphasized -- 40 Para

Jesus gave three promises relating to the time of His Return, which we will examine in this chapter (14:3)

First Time Prophecy (14:4)

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (mat 24:3) (14:5) see

In answer to this question, Jesus prophesied:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (mat 24:14) (14:6) see

A similar prophecy is found in Mark, wherein Jesus says: (14:7)

And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (mrk 13:10) (14:8) see

Note that Jesus says unto all nations, not unto all persons. Christian scholars recognize that it was sometime in the 1840's that the Gospel had reached all nations. It had reached even to the heart of Africa by 1844, the year of the birth of the Bahá'í Faith. (14:9) 49 78

Second Time Prophecy (14:10)

And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? (luk 21:7) (14:11) see

Jesus tells them:
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (luk 21:24) (14:12) see

Just as Christ had foretold, Jerusalem was destroyed (by the Romans) in both the first and second centuries after His crucifixion. The Jews fell by the edge of the sword and were led away captive into all nations. see also (14:13) 50

After the Romans, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem and strictly prohibited the Jews from entering the city. So the Gentiles were the only people who by law were allowed to live in Jerusalem. This continued for many centuries until the Ottoman Empire was forced by Western countries during the 1800's to break with their policy of religious intolerance and recognize the rights of other religions. This process took some decades and is evidenced by several documents signed in 1844-the year that the Bahá'í Faith began. The Jewish people gradually began to return to the Holy Land, fulfilling this prophecy. [Click 'see' for Edicts of Toleration details -ed] (14:14) see

Isaiah prophesied that God would assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isa. 11:12). But what year did the Jewish people first begin to conceive the idea of returning to the Holy Land? It was the year 1844. (14:15) see

In that very year, a Jewish man named Mordecai Noah, who had made the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land the focus of his life, delivered a number discourses which were published the following year. His message reflected the fact that the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. He said: "..the Almighty.. threw the mantle of his Divine protection over his chosen people, and has preserved them amid unheard-of dangers to this very day.. the same people.. he had brought out of Egyptian bondage, and.. given the land of Israel.., and who is now leading us back in peace and happiness to repossess our ancient and promised heritage." (14:16)

Further evidence that the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled in 1844 comes from the Book of Revelation, a major theme of which is Christ's Return: (14:18)

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (rev 11:2) (14:19) see

This prophecy predicts that the temple (at Jerusalem) will be given unto the Gentiles (non-Jews) for forty-two months. Forty-two months is equal to 1260 days (each month, equaling 30 days in Biblical prophecy). Several passages in the Bible use the word day to mean year. One outstanding instance of this principle of "a day for a year" is Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks (490 days), predicting the First Coming of Christ (See also (num 14:34, (eze 4:6). (14:20) see

Thus, "1260 days" means 1260 years. At the end of this 1260-year period, according to Revelation, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled. (1 Noah, M. M. Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845, pp. 24-25 (Cited from Lord of Lords, by Hushidar Motlagh). (14:21) see

It is a historical fact that in the Muslim calendar observed within the lands where Daniel, Ezekiel, and Nehemiah all lived for some time-the year 1260 is the year 1844 of the Christian calendar. Thus, another prophecy of Jesus regarding His return was fulfilled in 1844, the year the Bahá'í Faith began. see also (14:23) 64

Third Time Prophecy (14:24)

Again, in Matthew, in answer to the question regarding the time of His Return, Jesus replies: (14:25)

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.) (mat 24:15) (14:26) see

Here is the prophecy of Daniel that Jesus spoke of: (14:27)

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? (14:28)

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (dan 8:13-14) (14:29) see

Daniel refers to the sanctuary, which is in the holy city being trodden under foot. Revelation echoes this same theme, as seen above: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months (14:30)

Jesus clearly states that His reference to Daniel's prophecy relates to the time of His Return. Daniel states that the time for the fulfillment of this transgression, this abomination, is two thousand and three hundred days. As mentioned above, in the language of prophecy "2,300 days" signifies 2,300 years. see ancillary (14:31)

We know when the 2,300-year time period begins because the Angel Gabriel tells Daniel. In Daniel, Chapter 8, Daniel states that while he was trying to understand this vision, he saw the Angel Gabriel and heard a voice that said Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision (Dan. 8:15-16 NIV). Gabriel then proceeded to explain to Daniel the meaning of the vision, but in the end, Daniel admits that he still did not understand. (14:32) see

In Chapter 9 of Daniel, he pours out his heart in prayer to God, and in answer to this prayer, Gabriel returns to help him understand the vision (dan 9:23). Among the things that Gabriel tells Daniel are: 1) the number of years that relate to the Jewish people, and 2) the point in time at which the vision begins. (14:33) see

1) The number of years that relate to the Jewish people:
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. (dan 9:24) (14:34) see

Seventy weeks times seven days for each week equals 490 days. In the language of prophecy, this "490 days" signifies 490 years. This prophecy is recognized by Christians as referring to the first coming of Christ-the anointing of the Most Holy (14:35)

2) The point in time at which the vision begins:
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. (dan 9:25) (14:36) see

Here Daniel states the prophecy of the 70 weeks in a different way, explaining it as 69 weeks-after which (during the 70th week) the Messiah shall be cut off (dan 9:26), meaning Christ shall be crucified. (14:37) see

The vision begins from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. In 457 B.C., Artaxerxes, king of Persia, issued a decree on the first day of the Jewish calendar month of Nisan (March 21), which eventually resulted in the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. It was 490 years after the decree to rebuild the temple, when Christ was 33 years of age, that He was crucified (14:38)

Daniel had predicted with complete accuracy the year of Christ's First Coming. He also predicted the year of His Return (14:39)

The first 490 years of the 2,300-year prophecy relate to the Jewish people, and to the First Coming of Christ. In the verse Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, the word in the original Bible manuscript that is translated as "determined" is the Hebrew word chathak. Some of the meanings of this word are "to cut," "to divide," and "to be marked out." These 490 years, then, are to be "marked out" of the 2,300-year period (14:40)

After this time period, the time of the Jews was fulfilled. But both Jesus and Gabriel state that "2,300 years" refers to the time of the end-the Second Coming. And 2,300 years after the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem brings us to March 21, 1844. This is the time that Christ said He would appear, and the year the Bahá'í Faith began. Thus, with these extraordinary prophecies, Daniel links Christ and Bahá'u'lláh together. (1 See Strong's Lexicon Hebrew reference number 2852) (For a fuller discussion of these prophecies, see Every Eye Shall See, Chapter 3: When Shall These Things Be?) see also (14:41) 51 12

We see that all three of these promises Jesus made to His disciples point to the year 1844: 1) The Gospel would be preached to all nations, 2) The times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled, and 3) The words of Daniel regarding the abomination of desolation would be fulfilled (14:42)

As the year 1844 approached, based on these three promises of Jesus, over a thousand Christian ministers in Great Britain and the United States alone were preaching the imminent Return of Christ. They eagerly awaited His Coming. Some of their followers gave away all of their possessions. When Christ did not return with the great outward signs that they were expecting, this led to what is known today as the Great Disappointment (14:43)

Prophecies are rarely given in an open, unequivocal, and easy-to-understand manner. They are almost always couched in symbols, metaphors and mysteries, and are only understood after they have been fulfilled. In response to the questions posed to Him about the time of His Return, Jesus could have told His disciples: I will return 1,844 years after my birth. But the Bible never gives such plain signs of things to come. This is why Matthew states, after Christ's response to His disciples, whoso readeth, let him understand. Just as it did upon Christ's First Coming, it takes a searching heart to recognize Him at the Second Coming (14:44)

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