(NOTE: All Scripture verses were taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)
FOCUS: God reveals His timing
KEY SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 12:28
“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
PROPHECY CONNECTION #1:
Regarding time, the Lord God seems to favor certain numbers — most specifically seven, four, and three …
A. Genesis 7:4 — “THE LORD said to NOAH, ‘Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.'”
B. Exodus 12:40-41 — “Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, to the very day, all THE LORD’s divisions left Egypt.”
C. Exodus 34:28 — “MOSES was there with THE LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments.”
D. 1 Kings 16:8 — “So [ELIJAH] got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD.”
E. Luke 4:1-2 — “JESUS, full of THE HOLY SPIRIT, returned from the Jordan and was led by THE SPIRIT in the desert, where for forty days, He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them He was hungry.”
F. John 2:18-22 — “JESUS answered [the Jewish leaders], ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’
“The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years [Note: 6 is “man’s number”] to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’
“But the temple He had spoken of was His body.After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He said. Then they believed Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” [NOTE: The temple — called “Herod’s temple” — was destroyed in 70 A.D.!]
PROPHECY CONNECTION #2:
Keeping in mind that the Hebrew year is consistently made up of 360 days, here are some examples of the numbers seven and three in “end times” prophecy …
A. Daniel 9:22-27 — “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people [the descendants of Israel] and your holy city [a.k.a. Jerusalem] to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.  He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ [approximately three and a half years] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And ON A WING OF THE TEMPLE, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
NOTE: The “sanctuary” (a.k.a. the temple) spoken of in verse 26 was destroyed in 70 A.D. The temple in verse 27 has not yet been built!
B. Revelation 11:1-13 — “I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, ‘Go and measure THE TEMPLE OF GOD and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample the holy city [Jerusalem] for 42 months [three and a half years].
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days [three and a half years] clothed in sackcloth…. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified [Jerusalem]. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial…. But after three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
“At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
C. Revelation 12:6 — “The woman [symbolizing the nation of Israel] fled into the desert to a place prepared by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days [three and a half years].”
D. Revelation 12:9, 13-14 — “The great dragon was hurled down — the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him….
“When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time [three and a half years], out of the serpent’s reach.”
E. Revelation 13:1-5 — “And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea…. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority…. The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months [three and a half years].”
PROPHECY CONNECTION #3:
Numbers specifically relating to “the abomination that causes desolation” (Daniel 9:27) …
A. Daniel 9:27 — “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ [seven years]. In the middle of the ‘seven’ [three and a half years] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. AND ON A WING OF THE TEMPLE, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
B. Daniel 12:11-12 — “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days [three and a half years + 30 days]. Blessed is the one who waits and reaches the end of 1,335 days [three and a half years + 45 days].
THE BOTTOM LINE: The God of heaven has given us SPECIFICS regarding when the third temple will be desecrated. Jesus gave us confirmation that the prophecy made through Daniel regarding the abomination that causes desolation WILL BE FULFILLED. And He gave instructions to those who will be living in Judea at that time in history (see Matthew 24:15-25). Jesus also foretold WHAT WILL HAPPEN “immediately after the distress of those days.” There will be an unprecedented sign in the heavens, foretold by the prophets Isaiah and Joel. THEN “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky … And He will send His angels … and they will gather His elect …” (Matthew 24:29-31).
“Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” — Jesus Christ, The Lamb (Revelation 2:10c, NIV)