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In Matt. 18:21 Peter asked Jesus how often to forgive his brother. He assumed that seven times was sufficient. But Jesus told him "seventy times seven," or 490 times. Jesus then immediately told him a parable to illustrate this principle, saying,
"Therefore the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which would take account of his servants, and when he began to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents."
The story goes on to show how the debtor was brought before the king, who demanded that the debt be settled immediately. Obviously, the debt had been "on the books" for some time. So why did he now demand payment? It is because payment was due after 490 times of forgiving the debt.
The principle is illustrated in the 70 "weeks" (i.e., 490 "days"), for Jerusalem found in Daniel 9:24. The sin of that city began to accumulate a "debt," because all sin is reckoned as a debt in Scripture. Yet God normally forgave the debt once a year on the Day of Atonement when the high priest went into the Most Holy Place to obtain forgiveness for the nation.
There was a problem, however, during the time of Daniel's 490 years, which extended from 458 B.C. to 33 A.D. When the high priest went into the Most Holy Place of the second temple to sprinkle the blood of the goat upon the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant--there was no Ark and no mercy seat available to them. The Ark had disappeared with Jeremiah earlier when the Babylonians had destroyed the first temple in 586 B.C. They had no mercy seat whereby they could truly obtain forgiveness.
The Most Holy Place in the second temple, then, was an empty room, as proven years later when the Roman general, Pompey, conquered Jerusalem in 63 B.C. He went into the temple expecting to find a lot of gold to plunder. Josephus tells us that he went into the Most Holy Place, but found only a stone where the Ark of the Covenant was supposed to be sitting.
I would suppose that he also found a lot of dried blood on the stone as well, where the high priests over the centuries had sprinkled blood on this substitute for the Ark. The point is, the high priest was unable to keep the Day of Atonement as the law specified. He was unable to obtain true forgiveness and mercy for the people.
And so, the debt for Jerusalem remained on the books of heaven for a full 490 years until 33 A.D. Then the time came for this debt to be "reckoned" and the ledgers balanced by the heavenly Accountant. That is when Jesus died on the cross to pay the full penalty that the law demanded for all the sin that had accumulated in Jerusalem. Of course, in the process He also paid for the whole sin of the world going all the way back to Adam and for all time.
This number (490) can be good or bad, depending on whether or not the debt can be paid. It is normally associated with the fact that Jesus has given us His life as payment for sin, and in that sense we call it "Blessed Time." But if a person does not avail himself of that payment, that day becomes his day of accountability, and he is treated like the debtor in Matthew 18. In that parable, the debtor is set free if he has forgiven those who have trespassed against him and who are thus indebted to him. If not, then he is treated by his own standard of measure, and he is held accountable for his own debt.
Another illustration of this is found in the case of O. J. Simpson, who was acquitted of criminal charges on the Day of Atonement in 1995, but was held liable 490 days later on civil charges and told to pay a "debt" of $33.5 million. He was like the debtor in Matthew 18.
More recently, we have come to see a major sign that Babylon itself, the Queen of Heaven, is now on a 490-day cycle leading to her final Court Date on Oct. 7, 2006. It began on June 4, 2005 in Babylon, New York, where a music teacher at Queens College took her own life after taking prescription drugs that were supposed to alleviate depression.
I attended her funeral, because I know her mother, since I have conducted Bible studies at her house in Minnesota. At the funeral the officiating priest mentioned that she taught music at Queens College in Babylon, New York. I knew she was from New York, but did not know this detail. I knew then that this woman represented all the Christians living in the great Babylonian captivity of the past 2,500 years, who had died without deliverance. I also knew that this was a significant symbolic event that would provide us with lawful "cause" against Babylon.
Some months later in December of 2005 the Father told us that the seventh vial upon Babylon was to be poured out a week earlier than normal. Normally, the vial is poured out on the 7th or 8th day of Tabernacles. But this time it was to be poured out on the first day of Tabernacles (Oct. 7, 2006), and it was to be poured out in Babylon, New York--the symbol of Great Babylon.
Even so, it was not until this past month (May, 2006) that I finally discovered that the vial will be poured out precisely 490 days after June 4, 2005, when the teacher in Babylon, New York had taken her life. Babylon is to be held accountable for refusing to let God's people go free at the appointed time. We declared the Jubilee on Sept. 23, 1996, but as of today, Babylon has not complied with the decision of the Divine Court.
There is no way that I can make up this stuff. This is the kind of sign that happens when we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
The original Babylon was given authority over Jerusalem and other nations for 70 years. Jeremiah's message was to submit to "Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, My servant" (Jer. 27:6) and even to actively seek peace for Babylon (Jer. 29:7) during that time. They were to recognize that God Himself had given these nations to the king of Babylon as judgment for the sin of Jerusalem. They were to submit to that judgment and submit to Nebuchadnezzar as unto the Lord.
But after 70 years had passed, Babylon went beyond her mandate and attempted to retain her captives beyond her allotted authority. Jeremiah prophesied this in Jer. 50:33, saying, "all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go." If Babylon had set its captives free at the appointed time, they could have retained all the benefits of their labor without incurring any liability. But Babylon did not know the voice of God and did not know that God was able to hold them liable for their violation of the law.
God used this violation as legal cause to bring about Babylon's fall. So it is in our day. The woman who was essentially killed by the pharmakeia of Babylon on June 4, 2005 is the type and symbol of Babylon's refusal to let God's people go and provides God with legal cause against Babylon today. That is why Babylon is going to court on Oct. 7, 2006.
Other than that, not much is happening.