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The Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom (more)
Believe in Jesus and you will inherit eternal life. But look at the context of John 3:16 for a true understanding of the Gospel. John 3:14-15, says: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." The people of Old Testament Israel were told to look upon the serpent to be healed of sickness and disease. But Christ was lifted up so that we can be healed from sin. We must be saved from sin. All sins are habitual. If we still sin, we must continue to look to the cross in order to stop sinning – in order to be healed from our sinful habits, so that we no longer sin. Only then can we inherit eternal life. (more)
Daniel and Revelation
From the Islamic Antichrist Perspective
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Part One of this book gives an overview of events that should happen during the course of the end times. This view of eschatology is a literal furture-fulfillment interpretation. But it doesn’t fit most of the more dispensational future-fulfillment views of eschatology. Scriptural reasons for these views will be covered in detail.
Part Two of this book is a complete commentary on Daniel from the Islamic Antichrist Perspective. The reader will find this commentary to be significantly different from other commentaries on Daniel. Some commentaries are futurist oriented while others are preterist oriented.&nbs; Both of these traditional views of Daniel understand the legs of iron to be Rome. This book takes the Islamic antichrist perspective.  From this perspective, the legs of iron is the Islamic Caliphate. You will find an abundance of Scriptural evidence for this view.
Part Three of this book is a complete commentary on Revelation from the Islamic Antichrist Perspective. Revelation has more Old Testament allusions than any other New Testament book. Most scholars know about these references to the Old Testament. But every traditional interpretation of Revelation chooses to ignore this Old Testament context. Revelation is packed full of symbols. And most of the symbols can be found in the Old Testament. I believe that no interpretation of Revelation is valid without bringing the meaning of these Old Testament symbols into Revelation. We should not just guess at what a symbol might mean. Let’s let Scripture interpret Scripture.
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Traditionally, the four beasts of Daniel 7 are identified as Babylon, Medes-Persia, Alexander the Great, and Rome. The fourth beast is seen as Rome, so many argue for a revival of the old Roman Empire. But Daniel 7:17 NIV says, “The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.” At the time of this vision, Babylon was only a couple of years away from being conquered by the Medes and the Persians. Babylon, and the Medes-Persians had long since risen from the earth. Also, Daniel 7:11-12 tells us that when the fourth beast is destroyed, the other three will be stripped of their authority but will be allowed to live for a season and a time. This verse rules out ancient kingdoms which are long gone and will not be around when the fourth beast is destroyed.
Daniel 7 was covered back in chapter 9 of this book. We concluded that the four beasts are modern-day end-time kingdoms. The lion represents England and the United States. The bear represents Russia. The leopard represents the European Union. And the fourth beast represents the United Nations. These four, which influence and try to control Israel, can be seen in the organization of nations called the Middle East Quartet. Representatives of the Middle East Quartet are:
United Nations — Secretary-General
European Union — High Representative Baroness Ashton of Up Holland
Russian Federation — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
United States of America — Secretary of State John F. Kerry
Special Envoy — Tony Blair
Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is the special envoy to the Quartet. Thus the lion, which represents both England and the United States, has a representative in the Quartet from both England and the United States.
Back in chapter 9 we talked about the large iron teeth of the fourth beast. The United Nations is a government, but it does not have the military power needed to enforce its "resolutions." In other words, it does not yet have its teeth. The UN is not yet a complete one-world government. However, the fourth beast will have large iron teeth that will crush and devour its victims. UN resolutions are considered international law, but the UN is not always able to enforce its laws.
There is another aspect of the iron teeth which should be considered. In Daniel chapter 2, we learned that the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron and clay, represent a revived Islamic Caliphate. Could it be that the United Nations will adopt Sharia law all for the sake of "peace and safety"? Could Sharia law be the "large iron teeth" of the United Nations? Could the rich elite of this world decide to use Islam and Sharia law as a means to clamp down on and control the people while they remain effectively exempt from their own laws?
The head of gold is Babylon. Thus, the entire statue is symbolically referred to as "mystery Babylon." Let's take a quick peek at Revelation to see how Islam, which is itself a form of government, will become the one-world religion. And the one-world government is the United Nations.
Revelation 17:1-6 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, (2) with whom the kings of the earth committed [adultery], and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her [adulteries]." (3) He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored [beast], full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the [adultery] of the earth. (5) And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (6) I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement.
The woman is a prostitute. From a prophetic Scriptural perspective, prostitution is worshiping other gods (Ezekiel 16). It's a false religion. What other religion of the world today could become "drunken with the ... blood of the martyrs of Jesus?" Hinduism and Buddhism considers all life to be sacred and would never condone the murder of Jews and Christians. But the radical Muslim reads the Koran literally when it says to kill the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). The iron in the statue represents radical Islam and the clay represents moderate Islam. Sharia law is radical Islam, and is growing very fast world-wide. It's fueled by hatred of the West, which is understood to be the Jews and the Christians.
The woman sits on many waters. This means that radical Islam is spreading world-wide. The beast is scarlet-colored. The woman is dressed in purple and scarlet. So the beast is the antichrist and the one-world government. The woman represents the peoples of the world as they follow the beast and become Muslims. Today we have a compromise between Christianity and Islam called Chrislam. Any form of compromise would have to down-play or even deny the death of Christ on the cross, and the fact that the Son of God died on the cross for our sins. The Koran teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross (4:157-158).
Islam cannot compromise on their belief that God cannot have a Son, and that God cannot and would not die on the cross. The worst sin in Islam is called shirk. It's the association of partners with Allah. The Islamic sin of shirk is attributing to anyone or anything Allah's unique sovereignty. So believing that God has a Son is shirk. The Koran (4:51) says that Allah can forgive any other sin. But all who commit shirk will go to hell. Belief in the Trinity sends you to hell. How can there be a true compromise between Christianity and Islam? What does Scripture teach?
1 John 2:22-23 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. (23) Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn't have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
Let's continue reading in Revelation 19. Remember that the woman is the one-world religion of Islam. The first beast is the one-world government of the United Nations. The second beast (false prophet) is the leader of that one-world religion. The ten horns are ten regions of the world. Today, we see the beginnings of these regions as world trade centers such as European Union (EU) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Revelation 17:12-18 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour. (13) These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. (14) These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. They also will overcome who are with him, called and chosen and faithful." (15) He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. (16) The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire. (17) For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished. (18) The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."
The woman is mystery Babylon. It's Islam. The woman is the great city. From the next chapter in Revelation, we know this city is a port city. It could be the port city Jeddah, which is the principle gateway to Mecca. Or perhaps it's some other port city in the Arabian Peninsula. The beast receives power and authority from ten kings, who come into power for "one hour." Most likely these ten kings will be ten regions of the world. The authority and power of the entire world goes to the United Nations, who will give that authority and power to the beast. The beast uses Islam to make the people of the world desolate and naked. But while this happens, during this "one hour," the Islamic people of the world will martyr many Christians and Jews. But after this "one hour", Christ will overthrow the beast and set up his kingdom. Those who die for the testimony of Christ will be resurrected to reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4-5). Others, who have not taken the mark of the beast, will also be resurrected with mortal bodies to live in the nations.
Daniel 7:19-28 Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth [beast], which was diverse from all of them, exceedingly terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; (20) and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. (21) I saw, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; (22) until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (23) Thus he said, The fourth [beast] shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (24) As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. (25) He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. (26) But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end. (27) The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (28) Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my face was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Notice that the antichrist will change the times and the law. This is the forcing of Sharia law throughout the world. The antichrist will come against all those who refuse Islam and Sharia law because we know that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, and that Christ died on the cross for our sins. The antichrist will reign for three and a half years (a time, times, and half a time). But then Christ will overthrow the one-world government.
After Christ destroys the government of the antichrist the saints will be given the authority to reign with Christ over the nations. The word saints means holy ones. The saints are those who will have overcome all their sinful habits through a discipleship relationship with Jesus Christ. We will reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
Revelation 2:26-27 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. (27) He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father.
This vision in Daniel 7, along with Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, give us the first clear information about the Kingdom of God that will come. There were previous prophets which spoke some about this coming kingdom. Isaiah was told about the child that would be born, and the government would be on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). Likewise, King David was told that his descendent would rule on his throne forever. But was this just to be the government of Israel? Abraham was told that his descendants would be a blessing to all the nations. But would they rule over all the nations? Thus, Daniel's visions and dream interpretations gave Israel a whole lot more information about the coming kingdom. The Rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain that filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:35). And the fourth beast will devour the whole earth (Daniel 7:23). And here we see that the Kingdom of God will rule over all the nations under heaven.
Daniel 7:27 ESV And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.'
In New Testament times, there was great expectation and hope for this coming kingdom. When Jesus taught parables about the "kingdom of heaven" or the "kingdom of God," the Jewish people would have understood that he was teaching about the coming kingdom as taught by Daniel 2 and 7. But it's clear in Daniel 7 that the kingdom is only turned over to the "holy ones" (saints.) Israel was not yet ready for the coming kingdom. Their leaders were not "holy ones." Paul and John refer to Christians as saints (“holy ones”). This most likely comes from Daniel 7. The kingdom will be turned over only to those who completely overcome all their sinful habits through a discipleship relationship with Jesus. Therefore, Jesus taught in parables. He taught parables about holiness and what it takes to inherit the "kingdom of God", or the "kingdom of heaven."
Today we are living in a generation that has seen the kingdoms of the lion, the bear, and the leopard become world leaders. The United Nations was formed right after World War II. Both the United States and Russia became "superpowers" after World War II. The European Union was the first to unite a bunch of nations to form what will be one of the ten horns. And all four of these powers are putting great pressure on Israel to give up their land, including Jerusalem, which was part of the land given to Israel by God. Jesus tells us the parable of the fig tree, which is the sign that the kingdom of God is coming soon.
Matthew 24:32-34 "Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. (33) Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (34) Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.
Many people believe that the rebirth of Israel after World War II was the fig tree putting forth leaves. In the Old Testament, both the olive tree and the fig tree is symbolic of Israel, as Israel becomes a nation with a king. But as we know Christ is the real King of Israel.
Judges 9:8-10 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us. (9) But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, with which by me they honor God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees? (10) The trees said to the fig tree, Come and reign over us.
Israel became a nation in 1948, soon after World War II. The United States (lion) and Russia (bear) became superpowers after World War II. Thus, the baby-boom generation is the generation that will not pass away until the earthly kingdom of God comes.
But just how long is a generation? The length of a generation is not what is important. The verse states that the generation “will not pass away” before all these things happen. So the real question is how long do people live? Psalm 90:10 tells us that we live 70 years, or if by strength 80 years. (Yes, a very small percentage of the people reach 90 or even 100. But let’s use Psalm 90 to interpret these words of Jesus. We live to be 70 or 80 years. Israel was reborn in 1948. Add 70 or 80 and we get a date range of 2018 to 2028. All these things would have to include the seven-year tribulation period. Subtract 7 for the tribulation and we get 2011 to 2021. For other reasons, I’m narrowing it down a bit and looking at 2016.
At this point some will say, "No man knows the day or the hour." But does that mean no man will ever know? Suppose I were to take a coin out of my pocket, and without looking, put it in the palm of my hand hiding it with the other hand. At that point, no man knows whether heads or tails is showing - not until I remove my hand. Likewise, at that time, no man knew the day or the time when the earthly kingdom of God will be established. But no man knew when the fig tree would put forth leaves. But now we know. The kingdom of heaven will be established before this generation passes away. And as the signs get closer, we will know better and better the day of the resurrection.
When we see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel in Daniel chapter 12, we will know that the resurrection is 1290 days later.
During the third year of Belshazzar's rule, at about 554 BC, Daniel had a vision of a ram and a goat. The ram had two horns and the horns were long. One horn was longer than the other, but the shorter one later grew up. The goat had a prominent horn between his eyes. The goat overpowered the ram and trampled on him. At the height of the goat's power, the prominent horn was broken off and was replaced by four prominent horns. The vision is interpreted for Daniel by the angel Gabriel.
Daniel 8:1-8 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. (2) I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai. (3) Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. (4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no animals could stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself. (5) As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn't touch the ground: and the goat had a [prominent] horn between his eyes. (6) He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power. (7) I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him; and there was none who could deliver the ram out of his hand. (8) The male goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of the sky.
Traditionally, the vision of the ram and the goat is believed to be about the ancient Medes and the Persians who were conquered by the Greek empire of Alexander the Great. But as we will see, the vision states that it’s for “the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end” (verse 19). Of course the last part of the vision is undoubtable about the time of the end. Perhaps it starts with the Medes and the Persians and then jumps to the time of the end.
But since the vision states that it’s about the time of the end, some have endeavored to find an interpretation that is entirely fulfilled in the end times. This would be called a consistent futurist view. First, we will look at the more traditional view that begins with the ancient Medes and Persians. Then we will take a look at the latter part of the vision, which is assumed to be about end times. There are some very interesting aspects to the later-day aspects of this vision. Finally, we will take a look at how the entire vision might be fulfilled entirely during the end times. Consistent futurist views have the advantage that it doesn’t force the vision to unnaturally take a time-jump. The text itself does not have strong language indicating that it time-jumps. It’s also possible to consider both to be true, in that the earlier interpretation would become a type for the latter end-times fulfillment.
According to verse 20, the two horns of the ram are Media and Persia. One horn is longer, because Persia was more predominant than Media. When Daniel received this vision, he was most probably physically in Babylon, in service of Belshazzar the king. But in Daniel's vision, he saw himself in the city of Susa. Daniel was apparently familiar with the city of Susa, because he recognized the canal in his vision. The city of Susa was in Persia, and was about 200 miles east of Babylon. Daniel sees the ram from Persia. About 15 years after the date of this vision, the Medes and the Persians conquered the Babylonian empire and took over rule of Babylon. Here, we see that the ram charged west, north, and south. Persia is modern-day Iran. That was about as far to the east as people knew about in that day. Again, the city of Susa was about 200 miles east of Babylon. So the Persian Empire expanded west, north, and south as it conquered the Babylon Empire.
Now, what about the shaggy goat? Verse 21 says the shaggy goat is Greece. The Medo-Persian Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great. His empire is the shaggy goat with one horn. When Alexander the Great was killed in 323 BC, his top four generals each received a portion of the empire. These four generals are the four horns that replaced the one that was broken off. Some people, however, have argued that this is a weak fit for history. As we will see, such an argument may indicate that the vision is primarily focused on and end-times fulfillment.
Ptolemy Soter was one of the four generals of Alexander the Great that received a portion of the empire. Ptolemy Soter received rule over Egypt. After Ptolemy Soter, came Ptolemy Philadelphus, and then Ptolemy Epiphanes. When Ptolemy Epiphanes died, his son, Ptolemy Philometor, was too young to properly rule. Antiochus [IV] Epiphanes of Syria took the opportunity and invaded Egypt in this time of weakness. In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig on the altar and put an end to the sacrifices. The "abomination of desolation" was a stone structure, a statue of Zeus, set up on the temple mount. The "abomination that causes desolation" that is to come has several parallels to this one.
Thus, we see a connection between this general of Alexander's and the antichrist. The vision of the ram and the goat follows one of the four horns to the antichrist.
Daniel 8:9-11 ESV Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. (10) It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. (11) It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.
Antiochus Epiphanes is a type for the antichrist (false prophet). He does not acknowledge God's authority over him. Antiochus Epiphanes set up an abomination of desolation, and stopped the sacrifice and offering. In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us to watch for the abomination of desolation. He tells us to read Daniel for understanding. Daniel 11 is a prophecy about the abomination of desolation that was set up by Antiochus Epiphanes. That abomination of desolation was fulfilled in 168 BC. Since that abomination had already been fulfilled in the time of Jesus, he was telling us to look for the same thing to happen again. So, it makes since for Antiochus Epiphanes to be a tie-point between the events up to verse 9, and the events in the end times.
In chapters 11-12 of Daniel, we will see the same thing. Antiochus Epiphanes and the abomination of desolation (Daniel 11:31) is a type of the antichrist, and what will happen in the end times. Daniel 11:35 takes a time-jump from the fulfilled prophecy of 168 BC to the unfulfilled prophecy of the end times. Then, in Daniel 12:11, we see the second abomination of desolation that will happen in the middle of the week of the covenant.
Daniel 8 mentions the abomination of desolation. Instead of "abomination," it's called a "transgression that makes desolate" (Daniel 8:13). But more emphasis is placed on an event that happens about the same time. The antichrist becomes great. This vision even compares the antichrist with the host of heaven! The word "host" in the ESV can also be translated as "army." There is a battle in heaven at this time, and some of the host (Christ's army) and some of the "stars" are thrown to the ground and trampled upon. What does it mean for "stars" to be thrown down? In Daniel, "stars" are symbolic for angels. Some of Christ's army and angels are trampled upon. This does not mean they are killed. To be trampled upon, in Scripture, means they come under the control of those doing the trampling. Perhaps they are put into some kind of prison. This battle is probably the same battle in heaven that we read about in Revelation 12.
Revelation 12:7-9 There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. (8) They didn't prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. (9) The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
When we read the context of these verses, we can see that this battle happens after the 1260 days (Revelation 12:6) and before the times, times and half a time (Revelation 12:14). Thus, this war in heaven happens in the middle of the seven-year covenant. It's about the same time as the abomination of desolation.
In chapters 4 and 5 of this book, I made the argument that the New Jerusalem will appear in orbit around the earth at the start of the seven-year covenant. I also made the point that "heaven" and "sky" are the same thing in Scripture. The universe is heaven. There is no separate "spiritual realm." So there is no real distinction between aliens and angels. The "host of heaven" (Daniel 8:10) are aliens who are also Christ's angels. This is Christ's army.
Of course we also know that not all angels (aliens) are part of Christ's host. There are many fallen angels who fight for Satan. Apparently this "cold war" will turn into a hot war in the middle of the seven-year covenant.
Okay, let's go back to Daniel 8. Verse 10 starts talking about the antichrist of the end times. And verses 17 and 19 make it clear the vision is about the end times, the time of God's wrath. (The wrath is stated in verse 19.)
Daniel 8:17-19 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end. (18) Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. (19) He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
Now that we know this refers to the end times, let's back up to verse 12. Here we see that the battle in heaven, in which some of the host will be trampled upon, happens at the same time that the burnt offering is stopped. This is understood to happen at the same time as the abomination of desolation.
Daniel 8:12-14 ESV And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. (13) Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, "For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?" (14) And he said to me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state."
The 2300 days, given here in verse 14, has been a puzzle for a lot of people. It doesn't add up to anything for the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. So, it must have to do with the end times, not with 168 BC.
The host is trampled underfoot, the regular offering is stopped, and the transgression [abomination] that makes desolate, all happen at about the same time. This is the start of 2300 days. Yet we know from Daniel 12:11 that from the abomination there are 1290 days until the post-tribulation resurrection. So the 2300 days must extend past the end of the seven-year covenant.
Verse 14 clearly indicates the 2300 days ends with the sanctuary being cleansed. Must the sanctuary be cleansed right after the seven-year covenant? What if the sanctuary is destroyed at the time of Armageddon? Then it would take time for it to be rebuilt before it can cleansed again and animal sacrifice restored.
There is growing evidence that the temple mount is not actually the location of Solomon’s and Herod’s temple. At the time of Solomon, the boundaries of Jerusalem was the smaller City of David located about three quarters of a mile south of the temple mount. The evidence is mounting that the temple was built on the northern side of the City of David. They would not have built the temple three quarters of a mile outside the city.
But tradition is very strong. Tradition holds that the temple was built on the temple mount. Most likely the Jews will rebuild Herod’s temple on the temple mount. Ezekiel’s temple is too big and won’t fit on the temple mount. I think Herod’s temple will be rebuilt and then destroyed at Armageddon. Then Ezekiel’s temple will be built in the City of David after the week of the covenant.
On March 3, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the United States Congress. Many claimed this week was chosen for his visit because it would boost his political ratings in his upcoming election campaign. But it’s much more likely that the week was chosen because of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which was March 4 and 5 of that week. During the speech Netanyahu talked about Purim, saying that it begins tomorrow. This is the day when the Jews celebrate Purim by reading the entire book of Esther. Queen Esther was the queen of the Persian King Xerxes. Esther had not revealed to the king that she was Jewish. Iran is modern-day Persia. In the story Haman obtained permission from the king to exterminate all the Jews everywhere. There are obvious parallels to the modern-day Iran who wants to push Israel into the sea and kill all the Jews. Here is what Netanyahu said to Congress.
My friends, I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.
We're an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.
People have drawn further parallels between the events of today and the story of Esther. For example, Glenn Beck equates the United States with Esther and Netanyahu with Mordecai. Esther was the daughter of Mordecai’s uncle, who died. Her mother also died. She was brought up by Mordecai, who took her as his own daughter (Esther 2:7). The reason that Glenn Beck equates Mordecai with Netanyahu, and the United States with Esther, is that Mordecai asked Queen Esther to approach the king in order to save the Jewish people. She risked her life in approaching the king, without being called, because it was against the law and doing so would mean her death if the king did not extend his scepter to save her life. She did so and the Jews were saved. But what if Esther had refused? Would God have allowed the Jews to be destroyed? Mordecai said that God would find another way to save the Jews. But that Esther and her father’s house would perish. Who knows if God’s blessing on the United States has not been for the protection of Israel?
Esther 4:13-14 Then Mordecai asked them return answer to Esther, "Don't think to yourself that you will escape in the king's house any more than all the Jews. (14) For if you remain silent now, then relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Who knows if you haven't come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
It’s very true that God has blessed the United States because this country was founded upon faith in God. We were a Christian nation. We have been Israel’s greatest alley. But if we were to stop helping Israel, God will still find a way to protect Israel. Would abandoning Israel lead to the downfall of the United States?
In this baby-boom generation since World War II, we have prohibited prayer in schools, distorted the meaning of separation of church and state, promoted the killing of children in the mother’s wombs, and we are now attempting to redefine marriage as being other than the union between a man and a woman. In this generation we have glorified the sins of sex outside of marriage and the sin of homosexuality. Why then, has God continued to bless this nation as we continue to lead the world down the path of rebellion against God? Could it be that God has not removed his hand of blessing because we have continued to stand with Israel? Remember that the modern state of Israel was born at the start of this baby‑boom generation right after the start of World War II. The United States became a superpower and world leader also after World War II. We have been Israel’s only real alley. Could it be that this is been our true purpose all along?
At this point many will say that the people of Israel do not believe in Jesus as Savior and that modern-day Israel has nothing to do with Bible prophecy. Calvinism is mostly associated with election. The Calvinist view of Covenant Theology sees the chosen people of God as being the Church whereas God’s chosen people used to be Old Testament Israel. The Old Testament covenants are seen as continued in the New Testament Church. That’s why the Bible is divided into the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.” The word ‘Testament’ means covenant. It’s the traditional belief that the Church fulfills the promises of Israel and that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people.
Detractors such as dispensationalists refer to this belief as Supersessionism or Replacement Theology. Historically speaking, there were always some people who viewed the Jews as God’s chosen people. But they were rare. When dispensationalism came alone with Darby around 1830, much of this view began to change. Dispensationalism sees the Jews as being a separate plan or purpose with the Church age viewed as a “parenthesis” between two ages of Israel. Thus, God switches his focus between two sets of chosen people. (The correct view, I believe, is that Gentile believers are grafted into Israel. And thus there is no difference between two sets of chosen people.) In any case, there is a strong historic belief that God abandoned the Jews and they are no longer his chosen people. This was the source of most anti-Semitism throughout history.
Joel Richardson has a new book titled, “When a Jew Rules the Word,” has a shocking quote from Martin Luther. Richardson deals very effectively with Supersessionism. I highly recommend that everyone read this book.
Martin Luther believed that he was in the end times and thus the Jews would turn to Christ. But it didn’t happen. Later on in his life, Martin Luther became very bitter towards the Jews. The first chapter of Richardson’s new book quotes excerpts from Martin Luther shocking treaties titled, “On the Jews and Their Lies”.
It called for the burning of the synagogues and homes of Jews. It called for the burning of their prayer books and copies of the Talmud. Luther wanted to make it illegal for the rabbis to teach under the threat of death. Luther wrote, “Next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than the Jew.” Martin Luther was German. Years later, another German used this treaties to bring about the Holocaust against the Jews in Germany. Hitler’s major motivational argument for the “final solution” to the “problem of the Jews” came from this treaties of Martin Luther about the Jews.
After World War II, Hitler was defeated and the United States, along with the USSR, became world superpowers. The United States became the leader of the free world and the primary alley of the newly formed nation of Israel. No doubt dispensationalism spawned the growing view that God has not given up on the Jews and was instrumental in the United States’ bipartisan support of Israel.
The biggest rift between the United States and Israel is that of the two-state solution. United States presidents have wanted to take land from Israel. Christians who stand with Israel see that the two-state solution as an attempt to divide the land that God gave to Abraham. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel was attacked by Egypt, Syria and Jordan. God clearly helped Israel in miraculous ways and Israel wound up occupying much of Egypt, the Golan Heights of Syria, and the West Bank of Jordan. The United Nations asked Israel to stop, and Israel did so. Israel even returned to Egypt much of the land. But Israel kept the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip which was originally part of Egypt.
Today, the “two-state” solution is not about returning these lands to their former countries. It’s about making a new Palestine state that has never before existed. Israel needs this land to protect itself. Israel has already turned over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Almost immediately they elected the Hamas terror group as their government. And Hamas has constantly sent rockets into Israel. Without the West Bank, Israel has no defense against the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, who has attacked Israel with much more suffocated missiles that are supplied by Iran. Plus, the Golan Heights is a buffer zone between Israel and Syria.
In the next chapter, we will see the importance of the 1967 war. In it, Old Jerusalem was restored to the Jews. Jesus said about the Jews, “They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24). The Jews were led captive into all the nations in 70 AD. As of 1967, Old Jerusalem was no longer being trampled down by the Gentiles.
In the next chapter, we will see why this marked the start of the final seven weeks that were decreed in response to Daniel’s prayer for the desolation of Jerusalem to come to and end. After the seventy weeks, which ends with seven weeks, both the Messiah and the antichrist will come. The seven weeks will expire in 2016. Thus, Israel should be able to keep Old Jerusalem until at least 2016. Jerusalem will not be trampled down by the Gentiles during that time. However, in Revelation 11:2 we read that the Gentiles will trample Old Jerusalem for another forty-two months, which is the second half of the seven-year tribulation period.
The United States has been a great alley of Israel. But recent presidents of the United States, including Obama, have sought to divide Israel by bringing about the two-state solution. In section 14.1 of this chapter, we saw that the four beasts of Daniel 7 seem to be about the Middle-East Quartet in which the United States is the leader. The Middle-East Quartet is all about bringing about the two-state solution. It will be argued in the next section (14.5) that Daniel 8 is also about the United States and the two-state solution. The two-state solution seems to be directly related to the forty-two month reign of the antichrist. One would think that God’s hand of blessing for the United States will be removed when the United States turns against Israel and tries to force the issue of the two-state solution.
A number of people have read the following verses and concluded that the entire vision should be consistently about the end times that we are now living.
Daniel 8:17-19 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end. (18) Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. (19) He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
The NIV translates the Hebrew word for ‘indignation’ as wrath. But the Hebrew word means anger and Strong says it’s “strictly froth at the mouth.” It other words, the entire vision should be about a time when God is angry but has not yet poured out his wrath. The vision should relate to Israel. But Israel is not mentioned in the interpretation that is given by the Gabriel. But the visions of the end times are almost always about how other nations relate to Israel. This vision is no exception.
The two horned ram is identified with the Medes and the Persians. Both were in modern-day Iran. The problem with interpreting the vision as consistently about the end times is that the goat is identified Greece. It’s hard to imagine Greece as overthrowing Iran. It’s been suggested that the Hebrew word ‘Javan’ for Greece could really mean Turkey because the region of Greece was expanded after Alexander’s conquest and the broader area into Turkey was then called Javan. But this would violate grammatical-historical interpretation which says that names for places should reflect what the author and his audience would have understood.
But what if Gabriel used the word ‘Javan’ to identify a country that didn’t exist at the time of Daniel? The United States is a melting pot of people from all over Europe, including Greece. We are the ‘West’. And the goat is explicitly stated as coming from the west. The Hebrew word Javan can also mean ‘mire,’ as in muddy land. With this meaning the word occurs two times, in Psalm 40:2 and 69:2. In both cases the mire serves as metaphor for the absence of a stable foothold. This is in contrast to building your house on a Rock. Thus, the word Javan figuratively can accurately describe the United States, and the West, as it has become during this end-times baby-boom generation since the rebirth of national Israel right after World War II. If the vision is really about the end times, then the following statement should really identify the goat as being the United States.
Daniel 8:5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn't touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
The United States can literally send the B2 stealth bomber directly from a base in the United States across the ocean to a country in the middle-east. It can drop its bombs using stealth technology to avoid radar. It then returns to the United States without ever landing. This is accomplished by refueling several times in the air.
According to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu the world’s greatest problem is Iran’s aspirations to acquire atomic bombs. All conservatives and many moderates tend to agree. But in Netanyahu speech to congress, he asserts that Obama’s deal with Iran will all but guarantee that Iran achieves its goal and will acquire atomic bombs. Thus, the United States may very well have to attack Iran. Combine this with the possible scenario laid out in chapter one of this book and the destruction of Damascus. Today, the United States is politically divided almost as much as it was at the time of the Civil War. These events, along with an apparent upcoming financial crisis involving our historically unheard of national debt, could bring the United States to the point of internal destruction. We could wind up with many states declaring a secession from the union. If all this happens, the United States would split into four nations. The first beast of Revelation would come from one of these four. He is the bold-faced ruler who understands hidden things.
Daniel 8:22-23 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. (23) And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.