Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 26
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|I hope you’re seeing in Daniel 11 how sure the Word of God really is. When God says it, He means it, that ought to settle it. Well, that’s the way we are in Daniel 11. There is a lot of room for discussion on many of these verses and you understand, I hope, that I’m approaching this as tenderly and as cautiously as I can having never been a student of prophecy before.|
A Vision of Conflict – Part 2 (Daniel 11:21-35)
Turn with me to Daniel 11. I hope you’re seeing in Daniel 11 how sure the Word of God really is. When God says it, He means it, that ought to settle it. That’s like somebody went into a church one time and saw a banner that said, “God said, I believe it, that settles it.” The fellow walked in and said, “You know that’s all wrong. It ought to be, “God said it, that settles it, it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not.” That’s a whole lot better way to say it. Well, that’s the way we are in Daniel 11. There is a lot of room for discussion on many of these verses and you understand, I hope, that I’m approaching this as tenderly and as cautiously as I can having never been a student of prophecy before. I tell you what, my fire has been lit. I am so excited about what we’re studying in these days.
Well, this is “A Vision of Great Conflict – Part 2.” Now all of chapter 10, chapter 11, chapter 12, they all fit together. It started back in 10:1. Daniel has a vision of great conflict. Verse 14 of chapter 10 says very specifically, “this is for your people,” in other words, Israel, “and also concerning the latter days.” And so it’s very important to remember that. Now we mentioned it this morning and let me mention it again tonight to keep this in balance in your mind. Way back in chapter 7 we saw portrayed for us, a little horn that’s going to come out of that latter day Rome with the ten nations, the United States of Europe, if you please. There’s going to be a little horn to come out of that place. It’s going to get bigger than the others and of course we tied that into Revelation. We begin to realize that’s the Antichrist. It could really be no one else. And he’ll have power over Israel for the last three and a half years of this age. That will be from the middle of the tribulation time, the great tribulation, until the end. He’ll make a peace pact as we saw in chapter 9 with Israel in the first part of that last week, the seventieth week, and in the middle of it he’ll break it and that’s when Satan is finally cast out of heaven.
Satan will incarnate him and with the power of this new Rome behind him, he will bring great persecution to Israel. The result of that however will be that one-third of all of Israel will be saved. That will be their day of atonement. God is not finished with Israel yet. And so we see the little horn of chapter 7.
But in chapter 8 remember, we saw the small horn, different from the one in chapter 7. For the small horn in chapter 8 comes out of Greece, not out of Rome. And we saw very clearly that it had to be a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes who was probably the worst individual that had ever been known to Israel at that time. He brought great persecution to the people. So we see the Antichrist, then we see his preview there in chapter 8. Well, we see that reversed here in chapter 11.
In chapter 11 it doesn’t start off with the Antichrist, it starts off with Antiochus Epiphanes. Verses 21-35 we believe, I believe, is talking about Antiochus Epiphanes. Again, another, little bit more clear picture of who he is. But then in verses 36-45 it appears to me, and we’ll document this the next time we come together, that he speaks there of the Antichrist. So he just reverses the whole thing. We see this interplayed all the way through Scripture.
I had a thought this afternoon. Do you realize to the liberal theologian who believes that chapter 11 was written after the fact, do you realize he would almost have to have a deceptive motivation to even say that? He would have to erase verse 1, particularly of chapter 10, and there’s so much of that Scripture he would literally have to say was just put in there to deceive everybody. Because if it wasn’t as God said it, you’d have to take that out. Daniel said, “I saw this revelation.”
Well, before we get into verse 21 tonight and we start looking at Antiochus Epiphanes, would you look back in chapter 8 and let’s just read one more time verses 23-25, talking about the same man we’re going to be looking at tonight. And so much of this overlaps itself. And at the risk of just boring you to tears, we’re going to plow our way on through it. That’s the difficult part we’re in right now in chapter 11 of Daniel. Verse 23, “And in the latter period of their rule,” whose rule? Well, the four generals that took over Alexander the Great’s kingdom. Certainly the one to the North and the South as we saw this morning were the important ones and the latter days of the Seleucid Dynasty in the north a man came about known as Antiochus Epiphanes, just exactly like the Word of God said, “when the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise insolent and skilled in intrigue.” And here I believe what Daniel is doing; he’s looking through something like a megaphone. He’s seeing Antiochus Epiphanes that we’re looking at here. But all the way through the end he sees the latter days and sees a preview of the Antichrist.
Verse 24 says, “And his power will be mighty, but not by his own power.” And remember this: that’s an important statement. It’s not his own power. He’s allowed to have this kind of power. It’s an evil power, but God’s granting it for a reason. Back in verse 12 it’s on account of the transgressions of the host of God. Israel has rejected God. God is allowing this persecution to come to them to drive them back to obedience to Him. “And his power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; he will destroy mighty men and the holy people, and through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency.”
Now that’s what we’ve already seen in chapter 8 about Antiochus Epiphanes. Now we move to verse 21 of Daniel 11. I just wanted to make sure you realized that you’re talking about the same individual and I think he’s doing the same thing. He’s just simply saying, “I’m saying this about Antiochus Epiphanes and it’s going to take place. And if it is you can take it to the bank that the Antichrist will come about just like I’m telling you in my word.”
So verse 21 we see it says, “And in his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.” Let’s just work our way from verse 21 down to verse 35. Or let’s put it this way: as far as we can get tonight. Now I hope you got the handout. If you don’t have one that we passed out this morning, we should have some back in the foyer. If you don’t get one and somehow we ran out, if you’ll call the church office we’ll run you one off. Because we have taken verses 1-45 as best as we could and tried to put the names in there for all the “he’s” and all the “him’s.” One of the most difficult passages of Scripture that I’ve ever been through.
The king of the north will be a despicable person
But let’s begin in verse 21. Four things about the small horn of chapter 8, Antiochus Epiphanes, as a preview of the Antichrist who will come in the latter days. First of all, and I think verse 21 says it very well, he will be a despicable person. And that’s what is being told to Daniel at this time. And I think that is very well put. He starts right off and describes his total character, inside and out. Contemptible, despicable is the words that will describe this man. The word “despicable” comes from the root word meaning to despise. So he was a man who was very shrewd; he was a man who was very untrustworthy.
But go on in verse 21. It says this, “on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred.” Now, if you’ll look on your little sheet that we passed out this morning, in verse 21 we tell you the story there. He was not to be the one to take the throne. However, he took it, he seized it. How did he do that? It says, “but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.” Now, that word “intrigue” tells you a lot about this despicable man. The word “intrigue” comes from the word meaning “slippery,” “slippery place.” But actually here it would be used as “slippery actions.” He’s very smooth, folks. He knew exactly what to say, he knew exactly who to say it to, and he knew exactly when to say it. That’s something about him. He was a man of intrigue, a man who was very slippery and very smooth.
This is exactly the way the Antichrist will be when he comes to this earth. So many people will think that he is a man of peace; they’ll think he’s a solution to all the world’s problems. It will be incredible how he’ll sucker people to himself, but inside of him he’s a deceitful man. He is a despicable person. As a matter of fact, I understand that from history that he bribed so many people to get the kingship. In other words, he told them and promised them offices, very high offices, he promised them money and wealth and anything else he could promise them. He used that method of deceit and those flattering words to get to the place that he would get to. And so we see the fact that he’s a very slippery person. As a matter of fact, I even understand from history that he talked Rome into backing him. Incredible. Whereas later on Rome backed Egypt and stopped him on one of his campaigns but at the first part they would even back him. He knew again, what to say, who to say it to, and he knew when to say it. He was a despicable person; a preview of the Antichrist.
The king of the north will be a defiant person
Well, verse 22 takes us a step further. He was not only a despicable person, but he was also to be a defiant person. Verse 22 says, “And the overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.” It’s very interesting here. First of all it shows you his military genius, just like the Antichrist will have when he comes about on this earth. He defeats all the armies who invade his territories. He has such an ability to do that. Remember, though, it’s not his own power; remember that now. It’s not his own power: he’s being allowed to do this, just like the Antichrist will. Because it is God, remember, who raises up kings and sets up kingdoms. It’s God who puts them down whenever He’s through with them to accomplish His purpose.
The last part of verse 22 is interesting however. It says that “also the prince of the covenant.” Now, what in the world is he talking about? Now what I’m going to share at this point is strictly speculation: we don’t know for sure. But I think what he’s talking about there is the high priest of that day. The high priest was the man by the name of Onias III. He was the high priest of Jerusalem at this time. Antiochus Epiphanes, to show you how defiant he was, he could care less about the high priesthood of all of Israel. God didn’t scare him, friend. As a matter of fact, later on he’s going to proclaim himself to be God just exactly like the Antichrist will do. He’s going to desecrate the temple, all these other things. And so defiantly he was going to shatter that priesthood.
As I understand history, Onias III had two brothers. And evidently this shows you some of the depraved heart of Israel at this time. Jason was one of his brothers, and Jason, it is said, bribed some of the people who were close to Antiochus Epiphanes so that he could get the priesthood. Now what in the world has an emperor got to do with the priesthood of all of Israel? However, somehow it worked and Onias III was pushed out of office and Jason moved in. Later on there was another brother, to show you the kind of things that went on. A man by the name of Menelaus and he also bribed, with a higher bribe, to get Jason’s spot. In the mean time, he kills Onias III. Well, it’s a mess. You ought to study the history of all this stuff. I’m just summarizing; it’s a mess.
Well, the Jews get very upset. First of all, what’s Antiochus doing interfering in their priesthood and doing what he’s doing? And so they revolt: they revolt against the high priest, they revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes. And when this happens, this causes, the one we’re looking at here, Antiochus Epiphanes, to raise up against the Jews. In other words, he’s always had that hatred for them, he has absolutely no respect for their priesthood whatsoever, a very defiant man, and, buddy, when that revolt moved—and you’ll see later on in the Scriptures when it talks about that we believe this is when it takes place—when that happened he just literally smashed and shattered the high priesthood of Jerusalem. And he got his own puppet high priest into the office that he could side with, and later on we see all the desecration that he brought to the temple.
So he was very defiant. You talk about God; he would laugh in your face. He had no respect for our God whatsoever. And he shows this by the way he dealt with the priesthood there of Israel. So he was a very despicable man and he was going to be a very defiant man. Absolutely no respect whatsoever to the religion of Israel.
The king of the north would be a very deceptive person
And then, thirdly, he was going to be a very deceptive person. Not only was he despicable, not only was he defiant, but he would be a very deceptive person. And from verse 23 on down to verse 28 we begin to see how deceiving this man really was. First of all, let’s look at him in his own land. Verse 23 says, “And after an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.”
Now, let me tell you what’s going on in all the history in verse 23. You see, he makes an alliance with the king of the South. The king of the South, of course, is Egypt, and that’s Ptolemy VI. Actually, it ends up being his nephew. He’s kin to him because of his sister Cleopatra that married into the lines of dynasty there of the kings of the South. So he makes a treaty there with Ptolemy VI. Why does he do that? Because he needs to buy some time. You see, old Antiochus, anything he ever did had deceit written all behind it, and the only reason he makes this alliance with the kings of the South is he doesn’t want anybody bothering him while he builds up his army. In the meantime, while that’s going on, he conquers many areas. That’s what it’s talking about here in verse 23: “He will go up and gain power with a small force of people.” His little army begins to gain a lot of respect because he’s whipping this person, that person, these others, but he doesn’t have to contend with Egypt; he’s with a peace treaty with Egypt all this time.
Well, verse 23 shows then that he gains a lot of respect with a small force of people. Well, in verse 24 look what it says: “In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty, and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.” Now what’s happening here is in his own land; this is not outside his land. This is not him conquering somebody else. But what he ends up doing and as far as I can understand from history, the people in his kingdom were very poor people, and so he comes on like a modern day Robin Hood. He decides to go into his wealthy people, takes their wealth away from them, and gives them to the poor people. Well, what do you think that does? That wins the poor people over to his side and what he’s doing, he’s building favor, he’s building an army, he’s getting ready to attack the one he’s supposed to be at peace with in Egypt: the king of the South.
He’s a deceiver. Anything he ever does is deceptive and it’s all for his own personal gain. You’ve got to see that about Antiochus because the Antichrist is going to be the same way, friend. All he wants is that greed for power. That’s all he wants and he’s doing it very deceptively.
Well, not only in his own land, but outside his land. Verses 25-28. First of all in Egypt, now notice what he does now. He’s supposed to be at peace with Egypt. It says in verse 25, “And he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army.” He’s had some time now at peace with them to build up his army. Now he turns now on his very kinfolk, that Ptolemy VI is his own nephew: “so the king of the south will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war.” As far as I can see in history it says that the army of the south was actually bigger than his army and so they have a mighty confrontation. But remember, the power that he has is not his own power. Things are working because God’s allowing them for a specific purpose in the life of Israel: “but he will not stand,” that’s not talking about Antiochus but the king of the south, “for schemes will be devised against him.”
Well, this was a time of all kinds of corruption, even in Israel, but especially with these pagan kings. Here are the people in the king of the south’s own army that begin to turn against him. He’s got a bigger army than Antiochus Epiphanes but his own people begin to turn against him. Verse 26 says, “And those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain.” The people who ate at his table, the closest generals he had to him, turned on him in the hour of conflict and they would not support him, allowing Antiochus Epiphanes to defeat the king of the south.
One historian made the statement that it seems like with the intrigue already spoken of about Antiochus Epiphanes, he may have had something to do with that. Even though it’s a long way away, he might have had something to do with causing those generals down there to turn against their own leader. Who knows; we don’t know that.
Well, in verse 27 it says something else. Now what happens is he takes Ptolemy VI prisoner and takes him home. Now watch: “As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil.” Now, this is the most interesting story. I just wish I could take this history and put it up here and we’d just read it and say “amen” and go home. This is very difficult preaching, by the way, and not the kind I would choose every time I get in the pulpit. But if you’ll hang with me there’s some really interesting things going on here.
He takes Ptolemy VI back to Egypt. Well, as soon as he’s gone, and as soon as his army disappears, having conquered Egypt, they put Ptolemy VII on the throne. They’re not about to recognize the fact that he’s conquered them. And so when he gets back and he’s got Ptolemy VI in prison there, he gets with him and he says, “Listen, I need to side, we’re blood, let’s side together. Let’s you and I go back down to Egypt. Let’s go back down there and whip them. You can be king and I’ll be the one who conquered all of Egypt. We’ll work together; you go with me.” And so he talks Ptolemy VI into doing that.
History tells us they got as far as Memphis which is down in that region, and that’s as far as they could go. It didn’t turn out like they wanted. It says, “They speak lies to each other at the same table.” The only reason he was siding with Ptolemy VI was to get his help and support in re-attacking Egypt to take the kingdom over. And it says, “but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time.” In other words it’s not over with yet. It won’t succeed. Had he succeeded perhaps we could say verses 36-45 could be Antiochus Epiphanes: no way folks, because the end has not yet come. God stopped him dead in his tracks. He got as far as Memphis; he put Ptolemy VI king over Memphis but that’s as far as he could go.
Now watch with Israel. You see, first of all you see how deceptive he is in his own land. Take money away from the wealthy, give it to the poor just simply to deceive them into becoming a part of his own army. Then you see him with Egypt, how he makes a peace treaty with them, turns right around, attacks them, conquers them, and then when they put a new king on the throne, sides with the one he takes prisoner to go back with him. He’s constantly a man of deception. Well, it goes on in verse 28, “Then he will return to his land with much plunder.” Now he’s embarrassed. Now, friend, back in those days when you’ve gone out to a military campaign and you don’t come back with much plunder, the people realize that you’ve been humiliated. And he had been humiliated, but he takes a lot of plunder back just to save face among his people.
But watch how he deals with Israel. And, folks, this is why this is all in here. Because Israel stands between Syria and Egypt and on his way back he’s got to go through Israel. Watch what he does, “but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.” Friend, he sets his heart against them. He is going to devastate Israel because of the fact he was defeated, whatever, they become a whipping boy for him. And verse 29 says, “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South.” And that takes me to the next step.
So first of all we see that he is despicable; secondly we see that he’s defiant; thirdly we see that he’s deceptive. And I almost left this out of verse 28: when he goes back and he turns against the holy covenant or when he turns against Israel, history records he slew 80,000, he sold 40,000 into slavery, and he kept 40,000 to take back with him as his personal slaves. So this is the kind of devastation that he’s bringing to Israel. A very deceptive man.
The king of the north was a very determined person
Well, the fourth thing that we want to look at tonight: he’s despicable, he’s defiant, he’s deceptive, but finally, he was a very determined person. And you see that not only with Egypt but also with Israel. He was a man that was not going to be humiliated; he was a man that was not going to take anything less than victory for an answer. Verse 29 says, “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South.” He can’t stand it. He got to Memphis, they got defeated and now he says, “I’m going to go back. I’m determined! I’m going to whip Egypt one more time.” And it says, “but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before.”
And history records exactly what happened. It says in verse 30, “For ships of Kittim,” that’s Rome, folks, Rome that had once sided with him now turns against him and sides with Egypt, “For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened.” They’re going to defeat the old boy and they’re going to turn him back to his homeland. Well, you saw what one humiliation did to him. This time, buddy, it’s a total defeat. And this time that much more anger is going to be vented towards Israel: “and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action;” now what does he do? “So he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.”
This is a sad, sad verse. The Jews that are there, there are apostate Jews that will not stay honorable to the covenant and they’re going to turn against their own people. And he’s going to come back and through bribery and through intrigue, he’s going to gain even more of his army right from the ranks of the very people of Israel. Verse 31 says, “And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice.” Now some historians believe this particular event takes places when the Jews have revolted because of the high priest situation I told you about a while ago. We don’t know that for sure, but what he does now is he is going to desecrate the sanctuary. He’s going to do away with the regular sacrifice. He goes right into the temple, he sets up an altar to Zeus or to Jupiter, which was a pagan god of that day, and he sacrifices a pig on the very altar that those little lambs were slain in obedience to the Mosaic Law.
He outlawed any Mosaic sacrifice and he took something pagan, he took something and polluted the very altar right there in Jerusalem. And it says, “And they will set up the abomination of desolation.” And that’s basically what that’s speaking of, how they will defile completely what the temple was all about. Verse 32 says, “And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant.” He’s consistently gaining forces out of the very people of Israel: the apostate Jews that will not stay true to God.
But here’s the good part, the last part of this Scripture. And it will so happen, by the way, in the latter days, in that last 70th week when all the persecution comes by the Antichrist, it will happen the same way. “But the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” Probably referring to the three Maccabees there, Judas and his two brothers and how they were the ones who finally revolted. Their Daddy saw one of them walk into the temple one day to make a pagan sacrifice and he couldn’t stand it and he went out and killed him and killed another royal official and then the whole family ran up into the mountains.
He was killed, two of his other sons were killed, but Judas took over. And the word “Maccabee” there is not a family name. The word “Maccabee,” and you’ve heard of the Maccabean revolt, the word “Maccabee” means “the hammerer.” And he got the name Maccabee because he was unwilling to let them continue to desecrate the temple. It was Judas Maccabees, the hammerer, who finally cleansed the temple several years later and they were able to restore the temple worship.
Verse 33 says, “And those who have insight among the people will give understand to the many.” You’re going to see this in chapter 12. In the latter days when the Antichrist comes, thank God they’re going to have this book. As a matter of fact, he says, “Seal it up! And keep it until that time.” And there are going to be people at that time, I believe, that are going to come back to the book of Daniel and those people are going to give understanding to many and these will be the ones that will lead precious Israel back to the Lord, as they look back in Scripture and they’ll have understanding and they’ll know how to lead the people. Yet, it says, “yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder, for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.” And this just shows you more and more turning away. It gets bad!
You know, folks, we’ve studied this in James and everywhere else: when you’re persecuted and going through difficult times, you put a man under the squeeze, you’ll find out what he’s made out of. And you’re going to find out the apostate Israel during this time. Verse 35 says, “And some of those who have insight will fall,” why will they fall? This is beautiful, “in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time.” Not the end of that time. I don’t believe he’s saying that. I believe it’s going to be passed on from generation to generation the fact that when you’re persecuted you stand true to God, “because it is still to come at the appointed time.”
Verse 36 says, “Then the king will do as he pleases.” Now who is that king? We’ll talk about that the next time we come together. I believe he takes a mighty leap in talking about this pagan man called Antiochus Epiphanes in verse 35 and I think he just takes like a slingshot. Have you ever shot a slingshot? And I believe he pulls it back like that and goes and shoots us all away to the last three and a half years of the great tribulation, the days of Jacob’s distress. And he shows us that’s exactly the way it’s going to be during that time. You say, “How can you prove that?” Well, I can’t, but I have some pretty good ways of giving you why I think the way that I do.
So what’s old Antiochus going to be like? We studied him in chapter 8 and now we’re studying him again in chapter 11. It must be important; it’s been brought up twice in the book of Daniel. First of all, he’s going to be a despicable man. He’s going to be despised. Secondly, he’s going to be a defiant man, could care nothing about the God of Israel. Thirdly, he’s going to be a very deceptive man. But, fourthly, he’s going to be a very determined man. And he’s going to bear down on Israel. And that’s what was prophesied to Daniel.
Did it take place? History says it certainly did, exactly the way God said it would take place. So we have a little bit of a preview here. There are those who say, “Aw, there’s not going to be any great tribulation. Jesus is going to come, one judgment, the wheat and the tares going to be side by side and a new heaven and new earth automatically going to be there.” Well, friend, if you believe that, there’s a whole lot of Scripture you’re going to have to cut out of your Bible. I have a friend who is so adamantly opposed to anything we’re teaching in the book of Daniel. He thinks the kingdom is here now, bless his heart. We are in the spiritual kingdom aren’t we? Of grace. But he thinks that’s the same kingdom talked about in Daniel and he just has the hardest time understanding anything else.
You take him to Revelation 20 and you show him the 1000 years, he looks at it and says, “I don’t even see it.” I don’t know if he’s blind or if he’s not reading it or what. Isn’t it amazing the people that are convinced the other way will not pay a bit of attention to what you’re trying to get them to see when you try to reason with them from the Word of God. They will not do it. So friend, if you disagree with us, I love you anyway. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. One of us is wrong and as soon as you agree with me we can walk on. No, I won’t do that. I say that facetiously, but so far, as far as from my study, I can’t see it any other way. Nobody has convinced me. I’ve read the books, I’ve heard the arguments, I hear them all the time. Nobody has convinced me that God’s finished with Israel.
I think people forget that God promised Abram a seed, which was Christ Galatians 3 tells us; a land; and He also promised him a nation. And it was an everlasting covenant. Now how do you handle that? “Oh, I don’t know.” Well, that’s what I thought: you’ve got to deal with it. And one day when that tribulation comes I’ve got another friend that believes we’re going to go out in the mid-tribulation. And you know what the mentality of the mid-tribulation usually is? The grass roots mentality is they’ve suffered behind the iron curtain, there ought to be suffering in America. It wouldn’t be fair for God to let them go through all that if America is not going to go through some difficult times. Well, that sounds good, I can also assure you I believe in my own personal theology that we are going through some tough times. But, friend, why in the world don’t you look at what the Word of God says? He didn’t say the 70th week was for Christians. He said the 70th week was for Israel, “your” people, and the holy city. How do you cram the church into that? I can’t do it.
I believe Jesus is going to come for His church. And folks, if 1992 is what He’s been talking about… If that European Common Market comes together, you think it’s not going to come together? You can write it down, it is going to happen. Had a man in our church just recently went to a big seminar, he’s in a big business, and it said, “Gentlemen, you better get ready for what’s going to take place in Europe in 1992.” Those nations are coming together. You say, “Is that what he’s talking about in latter day Rome?” I don’t know, but it just might be. And if it is we’re right on the heels of what’s going to take place with the church. I believe He’s coming for the church to take us up.
Somebody said, “Aw, the rapture is not in Scripture in the noun.” That’s right: it’s the verb. I’d much rather be in the verb, wouldn’t you? Who wants to talk about it; let’s go, friend. It’s there in the verb. Thessalonians is going to have to be cut out of your Bible if you don’t understand that we’re going to be taken up in the air. We’re going to go up to meet Him. That day is coming. I believe it could be today, don’t you? I believe it could be tomorrow. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I still think maybe He just might have enough grace on us as a church to do it right in the middle of one of our praise times on Sunday evening. Right in the middle of “our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love our God is an awesome God.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if He came right in the middle of “God”? And for those of you who might be left, study Daniel.