On Sunday December 10, Dr. de Vries delivered his monthly sermon at NYC Immanuel Church on Angel Gabriel's Amazing Prophecy of Jesus recorded in Daniel chapter 9. Dr. de Vries encouraged members to read the Bible more and find the amazing proof of Gospel especially in this Christmas season that we can prepare our hearts to receive the savior's coming.
"In Gabriel's prophecy, the coming Messiah - the "Anointed One," the "Christ" - was going to (1) finish transgression off, (2) make an end to sins, and (3) make atonement for "iniquity," the inward sin condition - and do even more (Daniel 9:24)! God's grace is so awesome," shared Dr. de Vries.
"Daniel's own hope was that the Messiah would come to complete these needed ministries very soon. However, when Gabriel gave him the prophecy, he indicated that Messiah (sometimes translated 'Anointed One' or "Christ") would do his main work after seven 'sevens' (49 years) and then sixty-two "sevens" (434 years) - for a total of 69 "sevens" (483 years) after the work of restoring Jerusalem would begin. This would be a long time after Daniel. He would not live to see Messiah on earth," continued Dr. de Vries.
"That work of restoration of Jerusalem that would start Gabriel's count-down to Messiah's ministry was authorized by Cyrus in around 538-536 BC, at about the time of Gabriel's prophecy. However, it did not begin under Cyrus. That Jerusalem-restoration work began 80 years later in the reconstruction of the Temple under the Biblical Ezra in 458 BC, authorized and supported by emperor Artaxerxes. More reconstruction for the rest of Jerusalem was led by Biblical Nehemiah beginning in 444 BC, also authorized and supported by emperor Artaxerxes. These dates would place the Messiah's ministry to begin 483 years after 458 BC, according to Gabriel's prophecy - which would be AD 25."
"In AD 25, Jesus was about 30 years old (since Jesus was likely born in 5 BC). This was the very time of the beginning of Jesus ministry (Luke 3:23). Amazing prophecy and wonderful fulfillment! Even more amazingly, Gabriel revealed to Daniel - and to us - the deep and stunning mystery of the Christ's ministry - that "the Anointed One will be put to death, but not for himself" (Daniel 9:26 NIV's literal translation in a footnote). God's promised "Anointed One," the Messiah, would not rule as a new emperor, but as one who would die for others. This is a shocking, life-changing prophetic revelation that is so essential to the Gospel," said Dr. de Vries.
"By God's grace, the Joy of Christmas freely made available to everyone is so very deep. Still, the deeper truths of God's long-standing plans - revealed to Daniel, and through him to us - can help make our profound Christmas joy even more joyous. Joy to the World is now our ministry."
Members appreciated the sermon and the time of fellowship. Dr. de Vries family also prepared gifts to Immanuel children to celebrate this Christmas season in advance.