Digging Up the Past

Persepolis: City Of Persia

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: David Down


Series Code: DUTP

Program Code: DUTP000017

00:01 Beside the old Elomite city of Shushan there flows the small
00:04 river of Ulai and on the bank of this river is the traditional
00:09 tomb of the prophet Daniel. If Daniel could wake up and look
00:13 around him, I am sure he would immediately say, I must be
00:17 in the last days of this world's history. You see, when his
00:20 visions were ended, the angel said to him, and I quote
00:24 from Daniel chapter 12 and verse 4 But you Daniel shut up
00:29 the words and seal the book until the time of the end.
00:33 Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase.
00:37 Well, right over his tomb are fluorescent electric lights
00:40 and nearby traffic roars up and down between Abidjan and Tehran.
00:45 So indeed, knowledge has increased and men are running
00:50 to and fro. So these were the days the great Medo Persian
00:54 empire and David will be showing you around Persepolis
00:58 which means the Persian city.
01:35 I wish I could take you to Persepolis. Its a fantastic
01:39 place. And its a wonderful place to visit. I've been there
01:43 many times. But it so happens that just at the present time
01:48 the Ayatollah Khomeini is the man in charge of Iran and its
01:53 not a healthy place to be unless you're a Muslim
01:57 and a fundamental one at that. However I've been there many
02:02 times. Let me show you some pictures of what is to be seen
02:06 in these fantastic ruins of Persepolis.
02:09 Looking out over the city from the nearby hilltop, you can
02:14 see the ruins spread out beneath you.
02:16 And there's a lot of it, acres and acres of it.
02:19 And then looking close up, you walk up these steps,
02:24 you got to pay your money of course to get into the ruins,
02:27 at this little box office, and then up the steps onto the right
02:32 platform on which the city was built, A man made platform and
02:37 here you see the steps leading up and the reliefs on the wall
02:42 as you go, strange to say or interesting it is,
02:45 that here you can see the soldiers of the Medo Persian
02:49 allies, a Mede and a Persian, a Mede and a Persian,
02:53 You see them? Side by side. And so it was the Medes and
02:56 Persians who ruled at this time. And then you come to the great
03:01 Apidona or audience hall, two great winged bulls stand at the
03:07 entrance. And there's a lot of pillars here. I just wonder how
03:11 long they're going to stand there, You know. Some of them
03:13 look as though they could fall over with a decent breeze.
03:15 And an earthquake will surely bring them down.
03:18 And then there's this picture of Darius. That's a relief of
03:22 Darius fighting the Persian symbol of evil.
03:25 And then you see him, of course being victorious and then you
03:33 see the reliefs of the Persian king Darius and behind him is
03:39 his son XerXes. You will notice that in the hand of Darius
03:43 there is a scepter and if he holds out the scepter to you
03:49 you're in good luck. You can have an audience. If not, well,
03:52 it's bad news for you. And so the king of Persia is depicted
03:56 here with his scepter. Now not very far away from Persepolis
04:00 are the tombs where the great Persian kings were buried.
04:05 And up on the face of the cliff here you can see the tombs
04:10 where Artaxerxes, Darius and other kings were buried.
04:14 Then we notice not very far from here is an interesting
04:19 fire altar. You see the Persians were not idolaters.
04:23 They worshiped the elements, fire, water, air and the earth.
04:29 And these were sacred symbols to them and so when somebody
04:33 died, you couldn't contaminate or defile any of these elements
04:37 by a dead body. So what to do with a dead body?
04:41 If you can't burn it, if you can't bury it, if you can't
04:44 throw it into the river, what can you do with a dead body?
04:46 Well, they had the answer. And that is they exposed it for the
04:52 vultures. Now when the Persians were driven out of Persia,
04:56 that is, those who adhered to the old Zoroastrianism religion,
04:59 they fled to India and they are now known as the Parsis.
05:04 Now the Parsis also have this problem,
05:07 and so they have what they call towers of silence.
05:11 and I've been to these towers of silence. You can't go inside
05:16 of course, not even Persians are allowed inside there.
05:19 Only two men carry the naked body through the gate into the
05:23 Tower of Silence and then the vultures swoop down and within
05:27 about 10 minutes there's only dry bones left.
05:30 And so you have the city of Persepolis. You have the
05:34 burial place of the kings, the fire altar. All this
05:38 in connection with the great city of Persepolis.
05:42 But then they had another great city. It was called Shushan.
05:46 Let's go there. Well here we are at Shushan.
05:51 and the archaeologists have been at work here.
05:54 The town itself is quite large. It's about a square mile,
05:58 nearly 4 kilometers in area. And here the archaeologists
06:05 have dug down really deep. They've exposed the old streets
06:08 and the houses and villages that were once here, but up on top of
06:13 this hill, they built themselves a castle.
06:16 Now this was not just for their comfort. It was for their
06:19 protection so that they wouldn't be bothered by the
06:21 local people who were always very curious, you know,
06:24 want to see what's going on. But its not altogether helpful
06:27 for the archaeologists and also a place to store the things that
06:31 they found from this place. And so the French archaeologists
06:35 have been working here since the year 1901. Now over on the far
06:40 side of the tower is the river Ulai. And here is the tomb of
06:48 the prophet, Daniel. Of course Queen Esther lived in this place
06:52 and it was here that the graphic events of the book of Esther
06:57 occurred. Archaeologists have exposed what was the palace
07:02 of the great kings of Persia in this place.
07:04 And you can even see the place where the harem was.
07:08 that would be where Queen Esther was. Well, Daniel the prophet
07:12 is said to have been buried here. And this is his tomb
07:15 by the river Ulai. I suppose if Daniel was to awaken today
07:19 he'd say, Well, this is it. You know he said, or he was
07:24 told by the angel. Shut up the words and seal your book, Daniel
07:27 until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro
07:29 and knowledge shall be increased. And he'd look up
07:32 and he'd see these fluorescent lights. He would see the jets
07:37 zooming overhead because this is on the direct route between
07:40 Abingdon, the great oil center and Tehran the capitol of Persia
07:44 or Iran today. And so the prophet Daniel was here,
07:49 right by the river Ulai when he had an interesting vision.
07:53 Its recorded in Daniel, chapter 8. He says, In the third year
07:58 of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel
08:01 after the one that appeared to me the first time.
08:04 I saw in the vision and is so happened while I was looking
08:08 that I was at Shushan the Citadel which is in the province
08:12 of Elam. And I saw in the vision that I was by the river
08:15 Ulai. So here's the setting right here by this little river,
08:19 Ulai near the city of Shushan, today called Shush.
08:23 Then I lifted up my eyes and saw and there standing beside
08:28 the river was a ram which had two horns. You know there's
08:33 some people that would say, Well you can make bible prophecy
08:36 mean anything. Well, no you can't. There are some prophecies
08:39 which are a little vague; but let me tell you, there's a lot
08:42 of prophecies that are very, very specific.
08:44 And you can't make this mean anything but what it says.
08:47 Here in verse 20 it says, The ram which you saw having the 2
08:52 horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.
08:55 You can't do anything else with that. So here's a symbol of the
08:58 great Medo-Persian empire. Now we are told, I saw the ram
09:06 pushing westward, northward, southward, so that no beast
09:09 could stand before him. He did according to his will and became
09:14 great. Then it says in verse 5, As I was considering suddenly a
09:19 male goat came from the west across the surface of the whole
09:23 earth without touching the ground. The goat had a notable
09:27 horn between his eyes. Again, you can't make this mean two
09:31 things. Its only one. And the goat represents the Macedonian
09:36 invasion. It came from the west, you see. And that's where
09:38 Alexander and his armies came. And this is not just guess work
09:42 because it says here in verse 21, The male goat is the kingdom
09:47 of Greece. The large horn that is between his eyes
09:50 is the first king. That is Alexander the great.
09:54 And so we have the Macedonian invasion. And then we find
09:59 here it was to be followed by the break up of the Macedonian
10:03 empire. It says in verse 7, I saw him confronting the ram.
10:09 He was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, broke his
10:12 two horns. Therefore the male goat grew very great.
10:16 Remember Persia was to be great Macedonians were to be very
10:19 great. And when he became strong the large horn was broken.
10:26 Now kings don't usually die when they're strong.
10:29 Its when they're weak and old and feeble. But here was a king
10:33 who was to be deposed or he was to die when he was strong
10:37 and that's what happened to Alexander. He was only 32 years
10:40 of age, just in the peak of his manhood when he died in Babylon.
10:44 And of course he didn't have any child, any son to succeed him.
10:49 And so it says, The large horn was broken. In place of it
10:53 four notable ones came up, one toward the four winds of heaven.
10:57 And so there ought to be four kings in the place of the one.
11:01 And that's exactly what happened because his kingdom was divided
11:05 among his four Generals. Cassander of Greece,
11:10 Lysimicus of Turkey and Seleucus took the land of Syria
11:16 and Palestine, and Ptolemy took Egypt. So you've got these four
11:23 subdivisions of the Macedonian empire. Just exactly as the
11:27 bible says. Now it says, Out of one of them came a little horn
11:33 which grew exceeding great. Now its only a little horn, but
11:37 it became exceeding great. You see, first you've got great
11:40 then you've got very great, then you've got exceeding great.
11:42 And that, of course, very aptly describes the great empire of
11:48 Rome, which became the greatest of all these empires of the past
11:52 Now we are told concerning Rome, He even exalted himself as high
11:58 as the prince of the host and by him the daily sacrifices were
12:02 taken away, and the place of his sanctuary were cast down.
12:05 Now the Romans came to Jerusalem and completely destroyed the
12:10 temple at Jerusalem. And so the place of the Jewish sanctuary
12:14 was cast down. Then a question was asked. Verse 13.
12:20 Then I heard a holy one speaking That would be one of the angels
12:25 and another holy one said to the certain one who was speaking
12:28 How long will the vision be concerning the daily sacrifices
12:33 and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both
12:36 the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?
12:39 In other words, How long would this destruction of the
12:44 sanctuary go on and the sanctuary be obscured?
12:47 The great sanctuary truth be obscured? And the answer was
12:52 given, Unto 2,300 days or evenings and mornings
12:58 means the same thing, you know. In Genesis 1, it says,
13:00 that the evening and the morning was the first day.
13:02 So 2,300 days. Now in Ezekiel 4, and in verse 6, we are told,
13:09 that a day in prophecy symbolizes a year.
13:12 So here is a period of 2,300 years. Let's put that on the
13:18 board so that we can just illustrate it and see what we
13:21 are talking about, right? 2,300 years.
13:28 Alright now where do we begin?
13:32 What marks the commencement point of this
13:34 prophecy? You can read Daniel chapter 8 right through and you
13:39 won't get a clue as to when it begins and of course
13:42 therefore you can't work out when it ends. Why?
13:46 Why would God give a prophecy and not give a beginning
13:48 or an ending? The reason is given in verse 27, and I Daniel
13:53 fainted and was sick for days. Afterward I arose and went about
13:58 the kings business. I was astonished by the vision
14:00 but no one understood it. Of course they couldn't because
14:03 no beginning date had been given. Daniel and his friends
14:07 could not understand it. Well, some years went by.
14:12 And then Daniel was praying and he had another vision.
14:15 The angel appeared to him again. It says in chapter 9, verse 21,
14:20 While I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel whom I'd seen
14:24 in the vision at the beginning being caused to fly swiftly,
14:27 touched me about the time of the evening oblation, and he
14:30 informed me and talked with me and said, O Daniel, I have now
14:33 come forth to give you skill to understand. Now remember
14:38 he said nobody understood the vision. Now the angel says,
14:42 understand. Aha. So here was to be given the final information
14:47 about this time prophecy. He says, Consider the matter and
14:52 understand the vision - that is this vision of the 2,300 days.
14:56 Alright. Now here is given this shorter period that we've
15:02 already discussed. 70 weeks are determined for your people
15:06 and it says in verse 25, Know therefore and understand that
15:11 from the going forth of the commandment to restore
15:14 and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince, shall be 7 weeks,
15:18 and 62 weeks. Now here is a period of 69 weeks, and its
15:23 obviously marking the beginning of the both periods. And it says
15:29 >From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to
15:32 rebuild Jerusalem. Now the decree was issued by king
15:36 Artaxerxes of Persia in the year 457 B.C. Now the 457 B.C.
15:43 would be 456 complete years before Christ. Now this period
15:51 of 69 weeks do a little rapid multiplication by 7 and you'll
15:57 find that that comes to 483 days or years. My writing is terrible
16:04 isn't it. Eh? But if you subtract 456 from 483
16:11 What do you get? You get 27 A.D. In other words-We'll put here
16:18 27 A.D. and that is the very year in which Jesus Christ was
16:24 baptized. Alright now seeing as the first part of it is
16:29 confirmed by fulfilled prophecy we can have confidence in the
16:33 rest of it. Subtract 456 from this and what do you get? 1844.
16:42 So the termination of this point is 1844 A.D.
16:49 Now, don't forget the question that was asked. How long
16:54 will the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary be obscured?
16:58 Unto 2,300 days, in other words until 1844. What happened then?
17:04 That was the year in which a lot of people were expecting
17:08 Jesus Christ to return. You see they had studied this very
17:12 prophecy. They knew it was going to be fulfilled in 1844.
17:15 And they thought that the cleansing of the sanctuary
17:19 was the return of Christ to this world to purify the world
17:23 by fire. You see, they hadn't done their homework
17:26 quite enough. They had the dates right but they had the wrong
17:30 event. And they were expecting Christ to return in 1844.
17:33 He didn't come. It was a bitter disappointment to them.
17:37 So, what did they do? Well they had another look at the
17:40 prophecy. And what does it say here? Then shall the sanctuary
17:45 be cleansed. What is the cleansing of the sanctuary?
17:49 Remember, the sanctuary is in heaven. The earthly sanctuary
17:53 had been destroyed in 70 A. D. It must be referring to the
17:56 heavenly sanctuary. And what is the cleansing of the heavenly
18:01 sanctuary? Well, they discovered the truth of the heavenly
18:07 sanctuary in 1844 and then they went on to understand what is
18:12 meant by the cleansing of the sanctuary. Let's have a look at
18:15 Mr. Winterdon's model of the sanctuary.
18:17 to understand that. Once a year there was a special ceremony
18:22 conducted at the tabernacle or the sanctuary.
18:24 And this was the one occasion in the year when the high priest
18:29 went into the inner apartment of the sanctuary.
18:32 Before he did that he was required first of all to take
18:36 a bullock and sacrifice this. You see, a priest had a
18:40 bigger responsibility than the common people and so his
18:44 sacrifice had to be bigger because he was more guilty
18:47 if he did make mistakes. He had more responsibility.
18:50 And so he took this bullock and sacrificed it and the blood
18:55 was taken into the inner apartment of the sanctuary
18:58 and sprinkled on the mercy seat, as it was called
19:01 which was where the ten commandments were.
19:04 Now, just so we can see what happened here, let us ask
19:08 Mr. Winterton to remove these, four coverings that were over
19:12 the sanctuary and then we get a good look inside.
19:15 Now you'll notice that there were two veils, one here and
19:18 one at the entrance to the inner apartment of the sanctuary.
19:21 Okay, so we'll take this one off first. Thank you, Mr. Winterton.
19:25 And then we'll take the other one off so that we can see
19:29 right inside there. Alright, now you'll notice that inside here
19:34 there is the ark of the covenant where the 10 commandments
19:37 were and this is all symbolic of the presence of God.
19:41 So, the blood of the bullock was taken in there and sprinkled
19:45 and then the high priest came out and then he took two goats.
19:50 Now we have already pointed out that a sacrificial animal
19:55 whose blood was spilt was symbolic of the sacrifice of
19:58 Jesus Christ on the cross, wasn't it?
20:00 Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world
20:04 John the Baptist said concerning Jesus, and
20:07 the little lamb or goat, the same thing. Now he took these
20:10 two goats and would you believe it? He cast lots over them.
20:14 And one of them was chosen to be the Lord's goat and the other
20:19 one was designated as the goat for Azazel. Or he was
20:24 a symbol actually of the devil, or Satan.
20:27 the reason I say that is because the Lord's goat was sacrificed.
20:31 The blood was spilt. The other goat was not sacrificed.
20:35 Its blood was not spilt and without shedding of blood, there
20:38 was no remission of sin. So there's now way that that
20:40 represents the Lord Jesus Christ you see. Now he took the blood
20:44 of this goat and took it into the inner apartment of the
20:48 sanctuary and sprinkled it there before the presence of
20:51 God and then he came out and confessed all the sins of the
20:56 children of Israel over the- this live goat and then he
21:01 committed it to the hands of a capable man, a strong man
21:06 who then led it into the wilderness and there it perished
21:10 with the sins upon it. Now what's the meaning of all this?
21:12 Its very interesting. This live goat of course being sacrificed
21:17 was a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the
21:20 cross. And the work that was done in here was a work of
21:25 judgment. You see this was the Yom Kippur, the day of
21:29 Judgment that was celebrated on this 10th day of the 7th month
21:34 And the Jewish people of today still recognize Yom Kippur as
21:39 the Judgment Day. And so this represented the blood of Christ
21:45 being offered as a sacrifice for our sins in the judgment
21:49 day and it was also referred to as the cleansing of the
21:54 sanctuary. The sanctuary was cleansed or the objects here
21:58 were purified on this day by this spilt blood.
22:01 Now after the work of judgment was finished then the high
22:06 priest came out and confessed the sins over the live goat.
22:09 This was not sacrificed. It represented the responsibility
22:14 of Satan. You see the devil is not only got a lot of his own
22:17 sins to account for, but he is responsible for the sins that he
22:20 has tempted other people to commit. He is not a sacrifice
22:24 on our behalf. He is simply getting the consequences of his
22:29 own temptations that he has imposed on God's people and
22:33 so he's punished not only for his own sins but for the sins
22:35 that he tempts others to commit. That's only fair enough,
22:39 isn't it? Serves him right. And so this animal was taken
22:43 away and it was allowed to perish in the wilderness.
22:46 Alright, now I have said that this represents the cleansing
22:49 of the sanctuary. We have already pointed out that the
22:52 sanctuary is a symbol or a model of the great sanctuary of God in
22:57 heaven. Therefore this work of cleansing or judgment that goes
23:01 on this inner apartment of the sanctuary symbolizes the great
23:05 judgment day in heaven. Now you might say just hold on a
23:10 minute. Do you mean to say that there's anything in heaven that
23:13 needs cleansing? Surely heaven is a clean place. Surely heaven
23:17 doesn't need any housekeeping to clean it out or anything like
23:21 that. Well just before you start using any reasoning, just let's
23:25 notice what the bible says about this. In Hebrews and in chapter
23:30 9 and in verse 23, now this is not I that am saying this,
23:35 This is what the Bible says. Listen. Therefore it was
23:38 necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens
23:41 should be purified with these but the heavenly things,
23:46 notice it mentions things in heaven. Heaven is a real place.
23:49 And its got these real items of the sanctuary up there,
23:53 including the ark of the testament with the
23:55 10 commandments. It says, But the heavenly things themselves
24:01 were better sacrifices than these. So, there you are,
24:04 the bible says that heavenly things were purified or cleansed
24:08 by something better than the blood of goats or animals
24:12 It was cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
24:15 Well, why did it need cleansing? What was there to cleanse?
24:19 Let me read to you what it says here in Acts, chapter 3, and in
24:23 verse 19. Peter is preaching on the day of Pentecost
24:26 and he says, Repent therefore and be converted that your
24:30 sins may be blotted out so the times of refreshing may come
24:35 from the presence of the Lord and that he may send Jesus
24:38 Christ who was preached to you before. Now notice, Before Jesus
24:42 Christ comes back to this world there's something needs to be
24:46 blotted out or cleansed from the books of record in heaven.
24:48 And that's the record of our sins. You wouldn't like to get
24:52 up there to heaven, would you? and find that the books up there
24:56 that have recorded all your sins have still got them all
24:58 recorded there? Why, somebody would say, Hey, your ought to
25:01 have a look at here. Here's all the sins of D. K. Downs.
25:04 I wouldn't want that, No. But in the great judgment day
25:07 when it is found that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my
25:11 Savior and I'm covered by his precious blood, my sins are
25:16 going to be not only forgiven they'll all be blotted out.
25:19 So there'll be no trace of them. That is what heaven needs
25:22 cleansing of, the record of our sins. So you see there is a
25:27 work of judgment. There is a work of cleansing, of
25:29 purification in heaven, of getting rid of the record of our
25:33 sins up there. Alright, well now what really goes on in this
25:38 great judgment day? In 1 Peter chapter 4, and in verse 17,
25:42 it says, For the time has come, or it should be really
25:47 translated, will come, The time will come for judgment to begin
25:52 at the house of God. You see, people who don't accept Christ,
25:56 are automatically condemned. They are condemned already
25:59 according to John 3:18. If you don't believe that Christ died
26:02 for you, you've got a pay the penalty of your own sins.
26:05 There's no question of whether you're going to be forgiven
26:08 or not if you don't choose to be forgiven. But if you have
26:12 been forgiven, it is possible to change your mind, you know,
26:16 and turn away from Christ. So when forgiveness is recorded
26:21 against your name, we've got to figure out or God has to figure
26:24 out whether that forgiveness has been maintained. And that's what
26:30 the judgment in heaven is for. Not to decide whether the bad
26:35 people are going to heaven or not, but whether the people-
26:37 judgment must begin at the house of God whether God's
26:41 people have lived up to their profession of faith or not.
26:44 And then if they have, their sins are blotted out.
26:48 Now the standard in this judgment is recorded in
26:52 James, chapter 2, and in verse 10. Listen to this carefully,
26:56 because we're all going to face up to a judgment.
26:59 For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in
27:03 one point, he is guilty of all. Some people say Well, it doesn't
27:08 really matter if you just keep don't keep one of the
27:12 commandments, just as long as you keep 9. Oh, no.
27:14 Here it says, If you stumble on one point you're guilty of the
27:18 lot. For he who said, Do not commit adultery also said,
27:22 Do not murder. You see. Its speaking here about the law of
27:25 10 commandments. So speak and so do as those who will be judged
27:31 by the law of liberty. Its a law of liberty. Keep it and you go
27:36 free. Break it and you're in bondage to sin and the devil.
27:40 And so, So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the
27:44 law of liberty. And so we're going to be compared by this
27:49 great standard in heaven, God's ten commandments and that
27:52 includes the fourth commandment, the 7th day Sabbath.
27:56 And so if we want our sins blotted out by Christ in that
28:00 great day, then the thing to do is choose to believe in Christ
28:04 for the forgiveness of sin so that your sins can be blotted
28:07 out and choose to keep all of his commandments by his grace
28:11 and by his strength, including the 7th day Sabbath, because
28:16 this is going to be the great standard in the judgment day
28:21 in heaven which has been going on since 1844. Who knows how
28:25 soon it will come to your name? Believe in Christ and choose to
28:31 follow Him and keep His commandments.
28:33 In our next program, we'll be showing you the ruins of
28:36 the city of Rome and telling you about the two great wonders
28:41 that the disciple John saw in the sky.


Revised 2014-12-17