This fourth and final prophetic outline in the book of Daniel will enlarge upon the previous prophetic pictures found in Daniel chapters two, seven, and eight. It will chronologically take us from the Medo-Persian Empire, to Greece, to pagan Rome, to the break-up of the Roman empire, to the rise of papal Rome, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the development of the New World Order, to the Battle of Armegeddon, and finally to the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ. What a fantastic vision!
Gabriel speaks with Daniel
The opening verse of the eleventh chapter of Daniel, is a continuation of Gabriel’s explanation to Daniel. Gabriel begins by telling Daniel that Darius the Mede was favored of heaven. We know from the sixth chapter of Daniel, that Darius did all he could to save Daniel from the lions’ den. So heaven confirmed and “strengthened him.”
Gabriel now begins this outline of the rise and fall of nations with Medo-Persia. The Medes began the reign of this empire, and then the kings from Persia became the more dominant. How many more would arise after Darius? There would arise four Persian kings: Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius I, and Xerxes.
One of the grave mistakes of the Persians was in their attempt to conquer westward. They would “stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” In fact, they would stir up about forty nations against the Greece. Xerxes, king of Persia, would recruit soldiers as far away as India to fight against the Greeks.
By 480 BC, a vast navy set itself against the smaller Greek forces. The Persian ships crowded each other and could not effectively maneuver. The Greek ships assaulted the Persia vessels and won this decisive battle in the Bay of Salamis. By 479 BC, all Persians troops were driven from Greek soil. By 331 BC, the Greeks became the next world empire.
Verses 3, 4
“And a mighty king [Alexander the Great] shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven [or his four generals]; and not to his posterity [for Alexander had no son], nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.”
A mighty king from Greece would arise, namely, Alexander the Great. He would conquer the Medes and Persians and become the next world empire. After his death, Alexander’s kingdom would be divided among his four generals. Ptolemy would control Egypt. Seleucus would control Babylon. Lysimachus would control Asia Minor. Cassander would control Macedonia. However, none of them would be as strong or mighty as Alexander.
King of the South
The king of the south refers to the area of Egypt controlled by Ptolemy. The king of the North refers to the area of Seleucus, who controlled the area of Babylon. These two, Ptolomy and Seleucus, battled against one another. The land of Palestine was located in between these two warring divisions of the Grecian Empire.
Note this very important point, while verses 3-15 are focused on the Grecian empire, verses 5-15 will only focus on two of the four divisions of Greece, namely, the areas of Egypt and Babylon. These two divisions will be referred to as the “king of the south” and the “king of the north.” The “king of the south” refers to the king of Egypt, and the “king of the north” refers to the king of Babylon. More on this point later.
Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy II, the king of the south, married Antiochus II, the king of the north, “for the king’s daughter of the south [Berenice] shall come to the king of the north [Antiochus II] to make an agreement [by marriage].” However, Antiochus’ former wife, Laodice, killed Antiochus, Berenice, her son and the Egyptian ladies that came with her, just as the prophecy predicted, “But she [Berenice] shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he [Antiochus] stand, nor his arm [their son]: but she shall be given up, and they [the Egyptian ladies] that brought her, and he [Ptolemy II, who died during this time] that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.”
Imagine the precise details in verse 6. Daniel told of all of this in advance. Therefore, Daniel saw more than the rise and fall of empires. He saw battles take place. He saw warring factions within the Grecian empire play out, and much more.
King of the South Invades the King of the North
Ptolemy III, son of Ptolemy II and brother to Berenice, invaded the north in revenge. He was successful in recapturing the gods and vessels, and brought them back to the south.
King of the North Retaliates Unsuccessfully
Seleucus II, king of the north, tried to regain territories and fortunes from the king of the south, but returned empty-handed.
The King of the North and His Sons
The sons of Seleucus II, the king of the north, would fare much better than he did. Antiochus III set out to regain Palestine and Jordan against Ptolemy IV, the king of the south. Antiochus III was defeated by Ptolemy IV at Raphia in 217 BC. However, Ptolemy IV did not follow up his victory to solidify the Egyptian empire. Antiochus III decided to direct his energies towards the east and was successful. When Ptolemy IV died, then Antiochus III tried again to defeat Egypt.
“But his [Seleucus II] sons [Seleucus III and Antiochus III] shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces [from the kingdom in the north]: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he [Antiochus III] return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. And the king of the south [Ptolemy IV] shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. And when he [the king of the south] hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it [for Ptolemy IV did not follow-up his victory]. For the king of the north [Antiochus III] shall return [after the death of Ptolemy IV], and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.”
The King of the North Wins
By 201 BC, the Egyptians surrendered.
“And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south [Egypt] and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people [the Jewish nation], neither shall there be any strength to withstand.”
It was during this time that the Jewish people were nearly exterminated. The temple was ravaged, and Jerusalem was plundered by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of the north. However, even Antiochus IV could not withstand the next world empire which is introduced in verse sixteen, namely, Rome.
In summary of verses 1–15, we began with the prophetic outline in verses 1 and 2 with the rule of the Medes and Persians. Then the Empire of Greece was described in verses 3–15. The primary focus was on Egypt (the king of the south) and the area of old Babylon (the king of the north).
In this battle between the king of the south (Egypt) and the king of the north (Babylon), we found that in the end the king of the north won. This is very important for us to remember, because chapter eleven of Daniel closes with another confrontation between the king of the south and the king of the north. See verses 40–45. At first the king of the south wins. (verse 40a) But in the end, we again find the king of the north defeating the king of the south. (verse 40b)
However, in verses 40-45, Egypt (the king of the south) and Babylon (the kingdom of the north) are being used symbolically. How do we know that? It was prophesied that literal Babylon would never rise again. See Jeremiah 50:39, 40; 51:59-64
If literal Babylon never rises again, then in the end the name Babylon must be used symbolically. More on this later.
Let us now turn to verse 16, which will introduce the next world empire—Rome.
By 168 BC, the Roman armies had defeated the Grecian Empire. In 65 BC, Pompeii entered Jerusalem, and by 63 BC, Judea was under Roman jurisdiction.
“But he [Rome] that cometh against him [Antiochus] shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land [of Palestine], which by his hand shall be consumed.”
Julius Caesar and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar set “his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom.” The Romans had captured the whole of Alexander’s kingdom. The woman who “shall not stand on his side, neither be for him [Julius Caesar]” was none other than Cleopatra.
Julius Caesar’s Death
Julius Caesar turned his attention toward the coastlands of Africa, “after this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease…Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” Cleopatra’s corrupting influence upon Julius Caesar led to his own princes, Cassius and Brutus, to signal the conspirators to stab Caesar to death in the Roman Forum.
Augustus, the Raiser of Taxes
“Then shall stand up in his [Julius Caesar’s] estate a raiser of taxes [Caesar Augustus] in the glory of the kingdom.”
Since Julius Caesar had no son, Octavius, his nephew whom he adopted, succeeded him. When Octavius became emperor, the Senate gave him the title of Augustus. Luke makes reference to Caesar Augustus, saying:
“It came to pass in those days [the birth of Jesus], that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Luke 2:1.
Hence, Augustus is the “raiser of taxes,” who died peacefully “neither in anger, nor in battle.” Daniel 11:20.
In verse 20, we are nearly half way through the chapter, and we recognize that we are in the section dealing with the Roman empire. We have gone from Medo-Persia (verses 1, 2), to Greece (verses 3-15), to the break-up of the Grecian empire into four divisions, and now a description of Roman history. Remember, Daniel is seeing future events over five hundred years in advance. Rome was not even a recognized power in 550 BC. But God predicted that it would become the next world empire after Greece. I think we can conclude that we can trust what the Bible says about future events.
The “vile person” who succeeded Augustus was Tiberius. Because of his drunkenness, Rome did “not give the honour of the kingdom.” Tiberius was not well liked, but he came “in peaceably” because of the “flatteries” of his mother, Livia.
The Crucifixion of Christ under the Reign of Tiberius
During Tiberius’ reign (AD 14–37) there were many uprisings, many conquests, and there was, of course, the crucifixion of Christ in AD 31. “And with the arms of a flood shall they [the Jewish nation] be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant [Jesus Christ].” These arms of a flood were overcome by a greater flood of Roman armies. The arms were broken and their flood of Jewish uprisings were themselves flooded over by Rome. This, of course, reminds us of the flood of Roman armies that destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
We are now in the middle of the chapter. What do we find? We find the crucifixion of Christ. His life, death, and resurrection are in the very center of this vision. This teaches us that Bible prophecies are not simply about the rise and fall of empires. It is about the ministry of Jesus and how earthy events tie into that.
It was during the time of the Roman empire that Christ was crucified. In Daniel chapter nine, we discovered the seventy-week prophecy that pinpointed the very day Christ would be crucified. This seventy-week prophesy provided us with the starting date for the 2300th day prophecy. Both of these time prophecies are focused on the ministry of Jesus and the plan of salvation.
In summary, verse 22, introduced the persecution of the Jewish nation by the Romans. The flood of Jewish uprisings would be overflown by the greater flood of Roman armies. The verse also revealed the death of the Messiah to come, Jesus Christ.
Now consider this, the Jewish nation in the first century could have followed the flow of Bible prophecy and this prophesy in particular. They could have known that Greece would replace the Medes and Persians as the world’s superpower. They would have seen fulfilled the fall of Greece to the next world empire—Rome. This would not have been too difficult.
They could have comprehended verse 20, where Caesar Augustus was called the “raiser of taxes.” In just two more verses, there is “the prince of the covenant,” the long-awaited Messiah. Remember, Jesus was born when Caesar Augustus was in power. And it was Caesar Tiberius who rule when Jesus was crucified.
What else did the Jewish nation have? There was the seventy-week prophecy of Daniel chapter nine that pointed to Christ’s first advent and His crucifixion. They had the sanctuary service, that pointed to the ministry of the Messiah as both Lamb and Priest. They had all that they needed to welcome Jesus as soon as He was born.
We are living in a very similar time. While they had the seventy-week prophesy, we have the 2300th day prophesy. But so many of the Jews seemed to be oblivious to the fulfillment of the seventy-week prophesy. Do we not find the same today with the 2300th day prophesy? Are we just as unprepared for the second coming of Christ, as the Jews were of Christ’s first advent?
We would do well to study the reasons for the failure of the Jewish nation to accept Christ, as described in verses 23-25. These verses well described the reason why the Jewish nation came to such a tragic end with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.
An Unholy Alliance
Because of the fierce persecution the Jewish nation experienced at the hands of the kings of the north, especially by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, they decided to make an alliance with Rome in 162 BC. The decree with the Romans read as follows:
“The decree of the senate concerning a league of assistance and friendship with the nation of the Jews. It shall not be lawful for any that are subject to the Romans to make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist those that do so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or money; and if any attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans shall assist them, as far as they are able; and again, if any attack be made upon the Romans, the Jews shall assist them. And if the Jews have a mind to add to, or to take away anything from, this league of assistance, that shall be done with the common consent of the Romans. And whatsoever addition shall thus be made, it shall be of force.” Flavius Josephus, “Antiquities of the Jews,” book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6, The Works of Flavius Josephus, p. 374.
Nearly 150 years before the triumphs of Caesar Augustus, the Roman nation was comparatively small. Yet, she would grow in power and possessions through alliances and leagues. In exchange for a hefty tribute, nations would receive Roman protection from foreign invasion. It was precisely this kind of arrangement that the Jewish nation had with Rome. It would seem under these conditions that the Roman power and the Jewish nation would be allies, or friends. However, Rome would work “deceitfully” and bring all things to her advantage. In the end, the Jews would not only lose their homeland to the Romans, but would be massacred by them.
This illustrates the important point that a common enemy does not make two people friends. The Christian religion does not need to make alliances with other religions or with nations. God is able to take care of His church. The purpose of the church is to prepare a people for heaven. We are to be law-abiding citizens, but we are not to compromise our faith for any political or temporal gain.
Rome Began with Pacts and Leagues
The Roman Empire absorbed the “fattest places of the province” of Alexander’s conquests. The Romans were able to do “that which his fathers have not done, nor his father’s fathers.” They acquired vast territories through pacts or leagues. The usual way of gaining territory was through war and conquest.
They “shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches.” The Romans acquired great wealth in exchange for promising protection. They would scatter among the nobility and even the soldiers the spoils and tributes of other nations. “Yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.” In other words, the Romans would even work deceptively to bring down the strongholds of other nations, even for a time, for no strongholds in those days could withstand the pressure of Rome’s military, political, and economic power over time.
We might now ask ourselves, “Why would this history be recorded for us?”
It does serve as a milestone for the flow of history from the time of Medo-Persian (verses 1, 2) until the Battle of Armageddon (verse 45). But there must be something more.
While prophesy does not repeat itself, history does. Is God warning us not to forsake truth for the protection of a secular power like Rome? Could men and women for the sake of peace and prosperity begin to compromise their faith? Could such a circumstance exist in these last days? Consider the following passages in Revelation chapter thirteen:
“And [the second beast or superpower shall] deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the [first] beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the [first] beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live [the first beast comes back to political power]. And he [the second beast] had power to give life unto the image of the [first] beast, that the image of the [first] beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he [the second beast] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark [of the first beast], or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:14-17
What a religious crisis! The second beast will force the whole world to worship the first beast. If they refuse to worship the first beast, they face economic sanctions and even death.
But what will happen to those who do worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark?
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the first beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8
What a religious crisis! Nearly the whole world, according to Revelation chapter thirteen, will worship the beast and his image. Those who do not worship the beast and his image will be threatened with economic sanctions and even death. If they remain faithful unto death, they will receive the crown of life.
But most of the world, will compromise for the promise of peace, security, and prosperity. But notice that their names will not be “written in the book of life.”
This is a very serious situation that we do not want to minimize in our study. We will pick this back up in a later lesson. But for now, we must learn the lessons of the past that we might not make the same mistakes in the future.
Thus far, in verses 23, 24, we see Rome taking control through pacts, alliances, and leagues. Rome did so with both secular and religious powers. But as we will see in the next verse, Rome used force as well as deceit. But her own corrupt ways would lead to her own eventual destruction.
Rome Ends with Force and Deceit
“And he [Rome, under Augustus] shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south [Egypt, under Antony] with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he [Antony] shall not stand [as Rome defeats Egypt in the Battle of Actium, in 31 BC]: for they shall forecast devices against him. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat [when Augustus and Antony were once allies, both eating at the same table] shall destroy him [Augustus defeats Antony], and his [Antony’s] army shall overflow [or be swept away]: and many shall fall down slain. And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief [neither one wanted to share the throne together], and they shall speak lies at one table [they shall act as if they support one another, but it is all a big lie]; but it shall not prosper [for all lies and corrupt ways will come to an end]: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed [God Himself will only suffer such corruption to continue for so long].”
What do we learn from this history? Those who use force and deceit will eventually come to an end.
As we consider the terrible behind-the-scenes political intrigue and backstabbing in Rome, we can now understand why the alliance between the Jewish nation and Rome had ended with the destruction of the Jews, Jerusalem, and the temple. The Jewish nation was clasping hands with a bad partner.
History will be repeated in these last days. Many will wonder after the first beast of Revelation thirteen. The second beast will form an unholy alliance with the first beast, and the world is led astray. More on this later.
After this detailed description of the Roman world during the time of Christ, and the Jewish nation’s rejection of Him, the prophecy now turns to the next major epoch of Roman history, namely, the time of Constantine.
Constantine became emperor in 313 AD. He made Christianity the religion of the empire. Was this good or bad? It was tragic! It led to the compromise of the Christian faith and the eventual rise of the Church of Rome to control the empire by 538 AD.
Therefore, verses 28-30, will serve as the transitional period between pagan Rome and papal Rome. A process that took over two hundred years to develop.
“Then shall he [Constantine] return into his land [Constantinople] with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.”
In 330 AD, Constantine transferred the capitol of the Roman empire from the city of Rome to the city of Constantinoble. Where was Constantinoble? Today it would be called Istanbul, Turkey.
This momentous move, from Rome to Constantinoble, separated Constantine’s forces by more than one thousand miles. The shortest track, involved climbing mountainous areas and crossing the Adriatic Sea. Such a move greatly weakened the western part of the empire. With fewer military personnel in the west, invading tribes and nations would enter in, plunder, and settle in the west.
Eventually, the emperor in the east would look for someone else to handle the affairs in the west. By 538 AD, emperor Justinian would turn to the bishop of Rome to rule in both civil and religious affairs.
So how did the bishop of Rome gain so much political clout?
When Constantine became emperor of Rome in 313 AD, he established Christianity as the national religion. This gave the bishop of Rome the opportunity to be both head of the church and the head of religion throughout the empire.
But was this good for Christianity?
Hardly. Constantine would mesh his own pagan beliefs with the traditions of the Church of Rome. He lavished the Church of Rome with money. He built great cathedrals and even paid people money to come to church.
History records, “The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.
“The compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of the ‘man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.” Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, page 50.
The uniting of paganism and Christianity, led to the corruption of the church, and the development of many false doctrines and teachings. The uniting of church and state, would lead to the persecution and martyred of over 50 million of God’s faithful followers.
The Church of Rome gained a lot of political and economic clout from the time of Constantine in AD 313, to the time when emperor Justinian handed over the reins of government to the Papacy in AD 538.
But what was at the heart of meshing church craft with state craft? It reads, “his (Constantine’s) heart shall be against the holy covenant. . . he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” Verses 28, 30
What is the “holy covenant”?
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Hebrews 8:10.
God wants His Law to be written upon the hearts and mind of His people by faith. Why? Sin is the transgression of God’s Law. See 1 John 3:4. God does not want His people to continue in sin, but to bring their lives into perfect conformity to His will.
How could Constantine be against the holy covenant? How could he be against God writing His law upon the hearts of His people?
Constantine would pass a law that would be contrary to the law of God. It would be a law that would force God’s people to break the Ten Commandments.
Have we ever seen such a law legislated against God’s people?
In Daniel chapter three, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, tried to force the children of Israel and all its citizens to worship the golden image. Would this have been against God’s holy covenant? Certainly! In Daniel chapter six, there was a law that forced men and women to pray to king Darius for thirty days, and to him alone. What this against God’s holy covenant? Absolutely!
While we can praise God for delivering His people in both instances, these are examples of how nations can pass laws that are in conflict with the law of God.
What did Constantine do that brought persecution to God’s commandment-keeping people? In 321 AD, Constantine passed the first National Sunday Law. He hoped to bring the millions of sun-worshiping pagans to the Catholic church. Was the Church of Rome participants in this unjust and unholy law? Indeed, they were. What was the result of such a religious law? It brought persecution to God’s true church.
History records, “The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine. This edict required townspeople to rest on ‘the venerable day of the sun,’ but permitted countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits. Though virtually a heathen statue, it was enforced by the emperor after his nominal acceptance of Christianity
“The royal mandate not proving a sufficient substitute for the divine authority, Eusebius, a bishop who sought the favor of princes, and who was the special friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced the claim that Christ had transferred the Sabbath to Sunday. Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwittingly acknowledge its falsity and points to the real authors of the change. ‘All things,’ he says, ‘whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s Day.’—Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, page 538. But the Sunday argument, groundless as it was, served to embolden men in trampling upon the Sabbath of the Lord. All who desired to be honored by the world accepted the popular festival.”
Throughout the centuries, the penalties for breaking this Sunday law became more stringent. God’s people would eventually be punished by the Church of Rome, as the state would enforce her decree supporting Sunday worship.
Why would a National Sunday Law bring persecution to the saints?
In the very heart of God’s Law is the seventh-day Sabbath, which reads:
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8–11.
The seventh-day Sabbath is not the Jewish Sabbath, for it was instituted at Creation thousands of years before there was a Jew. The Bible says:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1–3.
Therefore, by enforcing Sunday, the first day of the week, Constantine was in direct opposition to the fourth commandment of the law of God.
The Western Empire is Weakened
Paraphrase: “At the time appointed he, the Roman powers, shall return, and come toward the south against the Arian nations; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter, for the Arians now controlled the city of Rome.”
After the death of Constantine, the empire continued to crumble, and it became more difficult to protect her interests in the western part. Those new invading forces, the Heruli, Goths, and the Vandals weakened the empire. In fact, the Goths eventually controlled the city of Rome. Consequently, “it shall not be as the former, or as the latter” in the western part of the empire.
“For the ships of Chittim [the Vandals and others] shall come against him [Rome]: therefore, he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.”
Paraphrase: “For the ships of Chittim, the Gothic nations, the Arian nations, shall come against him, western Rome: therefore, he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation, animosity, and rage against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with others by teaching them to forsake the holy covenant.”
The emperors of the east were grieved by these invading forces ransacking Rome. They were unable to hold the empire together, so they decided to have “intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” An alliance continued to strengthen between the Vatican and the emperors in the east, both of which were against the holy covenant in their support of Sunday legislation and other erroneous church teachings.
Papal Rome begins to rule the empire
Abomination that Makes Desolate
Paraphrase: “And arms, the armies of Clovis, shall stand on the part of the Roman Church, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength by substituting Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary with their own earthly priesthood. They will war against all that will not submit to the primacy of the pope.”
The Vatican began to move into the position of ruling both civilly and religiously in the west, when “arms [or armies] shall stand on his part.” In AD 496, Clovis, king of the Franks, dedicated his sword to fight the battles of the Vatican. Consequently, France became the first Catholic nation. In AD 508, Clovis had defeated the Visigoths. By AD 538, the Vatican had gained complete control of the Western Roman Empire. Justinian, emperor of the Roman Empire, conferred this control to the Papacy. In that same year, the Ostrogoths, the last opposing power rivaling the Papacy, was destroyed.
With military support from other nations, the Papacy would “pollute the Sanctuary of strength.” We will want to keep these two things in mind. First, there is the use of military force. And second, there is the pollution of the “Sanctuary of strength.” The sanctuary is holy. It would be polluted by something unholy. There would be something unholy being place where it ought not to be.
By using military force to destroy those who had the truth, the Papacy was now able to substitute the truth with her traditions. For example, the Papacy would now be able to set up her false priesthood throughout the empire.
This false system, whereby a Catholic priest acts as a mediator between God and man, is an abomination. Christ alone is the Mediator between God and man. In fact, only Jesus could fulfill this role since He is able to represent God to man, and man to God. Jesus is fully God, who became fully man. He is the God-man, and there is no other.
With the Papacy now controlling the empire both civilly and religiously, the “abomination that maketh desolate” was now set up.
The phrase taken away in this passage comes from the Hebrew word soor, which means to pluck away or remove. The Papacy would exalt the concept of mediation, but they would not exalt the mediation of Christ as our high priest. They would “pluck away” from Jesus His rightful role as the one Mediator between God and man.
Christ alone is the true high priest of the Christian faith, and there is no other. See Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:14-16; 8:1, 2. Therefore, any one, whether Catholic or not, that would rival Christ as the one Mediator between God and man, would be a false and abominable system. This principle would not only apply to the Catholic faith but to any religion that tries to be the Mediator between God and man. Only Jesus can fill that role.
1260 Year Rule of Papacy
These verses will now describe the Dark Ages of Papal rule for 1260 years, from AD 538 to 1798. During this time, we find on the one hand, gross compromise on the part of the Roman Church, but on the other hand, we find a steadfast faith on the part of God’s true church, even in the face of persecution and death.
As we read through this section, which brings us to the “time of the end,” we want to pay careful attention to the apostasy that develops when we leave the truth of God’s Word for the traditions of men. Again, this would be true of anyone, whether Catholic or not, that compromises the truth for political and economic gain.
Verses 32–35: Papacy’s Flatteries Verses the Faithful
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries [those who work against God’s covenant naturally corrupt themselves with boastful words]: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits [for in the midst of this Papal apostasy, God had a true church that continued to move forward even in the face of persecution. They became stronger as they remained faithful under pressure.]. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many [God’s true church instructs people in the Word of God, not in the traditions of men. They even risked their lives to share the truth when it was forbidden to even own a Bible]: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days [these faithful Christians risked their lives to proclaim the truth. History estimates that as many as 50-100 million people were murdered by the Church of Rome during the Dark Ages of Papal rule]. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help [God will not allow the Papacy and her forces to completely eradicate the true and faithful. God will always have a faithful remnant. They found refuge in the Alps and Piedmont mountains. They eventually found help with the discovery of the New World—America]: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries [yet, many of the Protestant churches would become corrupted with the sin of self-centered boasting]. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed [the persecution of the righteous would continue until the “time of the end” in 1798, when the Papacy would lose her political power. Once she lost her political control, the persecution would nearly cease. Tragically, the Bible predicts that the Papacy will return to political control. Are we seeing the developments of that even today?].”
The Papacy performed wickedly against the covenant by thinking she had the power to change God’s law. See Daniel 7:25. They corrupted many statesmen and religious leaders by flatteries, such as calling Clovis the “Most Christian Majesty” and the “Eldest Son of the Church.” However, there was a faithful remnant in the Christian world that could not be bought or sold. The trials they faced purified their characters and made them white.
Verses 36–39: False traditions lead to a false god
“And the king [the Papacy as a political power] shall do according to his will [in exercising goverance over the nations]; and he [the pope] shall exalt himself [above everybody else], and magnify himself above every god [by claiming to have all power in things spiritual and temporal], and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods [by claiming to be God on earth, and possessing the authority to forgive sins], and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished [the Papacy would prosper in earthly power, possessions, and prestige until the fulfillment of the 1260 year prophecy]: for that that is determined shall be done [for surely these things shall take place].
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers [for the Papacy does not share the same faith and doctrine as the apostles. You will not find any of the false teachings of the Catholic church contained in the New Testament. Why? Because the Papacy did not exist in the first century. It took centuries to develop the papal system and her false traditions. Therefore, the apostles did not teach Catholic doctrine], nor the desire of women [nor would she accept the teachings brought forth by the reformed churches], nor regard any god [of any other religion]: for he shall magnify himself above all [the pope views himself as above all others].”
“But in his estate shall he [the Papacy] honour the God of forces [When the Papacy lost the power of the Spirit, she resorted to the power of the state]: and a god whom his fathers [the apostles] knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”
“Thus shall he [the Papacy] do in the most strong holds with a strange god [Because the Papacy has place her traditions above the Word, she ultimately fails to worship the true God], whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory [The Papacy would increase with power with her false system. After all, she ruled for 1260 years both civilly and religiously. But at what cost spiritually?]: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain [The Vatican is a worldwide system of banks, schools, publishing houses, and places of worship. Her influence takes in world leaders, captains of industry, and many other influential people and organizations in the world. Not only did she rule in the past over all of western Europe, but the Bible predicts that she will again. More on this point later.].”
One of the most tragic lessons from the above description of the Papacy, is how much effort she places in trying to control this old world. The Bible is clear that the faithful look for a New Heaven and a New Earth. They seek citizenship in Christ’s eternal kingdom. So why would the Papacy exert all her effort in controlling an old world that will soon be burned up? Because she does not know Jesus. If the Papacy knew Jesus, there would be no pope or Catholic priesthood.
We have now arrived to the “time of the end.” This is the year of 1798, when the Papacy received her deadly wound and lost her political control over the nations.
The Time of the End
Verse 40: The King of the North and the King of the South
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [the atheistic French Revolution] push at him [the Papacy, the King of the North]: and the king of the north [the Papacy] shall come against him [the king of the south; an atheistic power] like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
Here we have the time of the end. The time of the end is not the end of time, but is the beginning of last day events. Daniel was told to, “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” Daniel 12:4.
When the Papacy received her deadly wound in AD 1798, simultaneously all around the world people began to open the book of Daniel. Knowledge was increasing concerning the prophecies of Daniel. Therefore, the time of the end brings us to the year of 1798 and the end of the Papacy’s 1260 year rule.
We know historically that it was the atheistic French Revolution that inflicted the deadly wound upon the Papacy in 1798. Is the king of the south, therefore, being used symbolically to refer to the atheistic French Revolution?
We know that the king of the south was used earlier in the chapter to represent Egypt. See verses 5–15. Does the Bible, therefore, use Egypt symbolically to represent an atheistic power like the French Revolution?
The Bible says:
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” Revelation 11:7–9.
The two bodies that were dead for three and one-half prophetic days (or three and one-half literal years) are the Old and New Testaments. We are told that the power which persecuted the Word of God is spiritually, or symbolically, “called Sodom and Egypt.” We know that the French Revolution was an immoral revolution—Sodom. But is Egypt used symbolically to represent an atheistic power? Yes. Notice that this power came out of a bottomless pit, meaning that it had no foundation in the Bible—it is an atheistic power founded on erroneous principles.
So why would God use Egypt to symbolically represent an atheistic power?
In Exodus 5:2, we read, “Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” In these boastful words, Pharaoh denied the very existence of the God of Israel. And ever since then, Egypt has been used to represent atheistic powers in Bible prophecy.
Did any power in 1798 manifest this spirit?
“By the decree of the French Government, declaring that the nation acknowledged no God, the Old and New Testaments were slain throughout the limits of Republican France.…On the 1st of November, 1793, Gobet, with the Republican priests of Paris, had thrown off the gown, and abjured Religion. On the 11th, a ‘Grand Festival,’ dedicated to ‘Reason and Truth,’ was celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which had been desecrated, and been named ‘the Temple of Reason:’” George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, 175–177.
Was the Bible suppressed for three and one-half years in France?
“In 1793, the decree passed the French Assembly suppressing the Bible. Just three years after, a resolution was introduced into the Assembly going to supersede the decree, and giving toleration to the Scriptures. That resolution lay on the table six months, when it was taken up, and passed without a dissenting vote…On the 17th of June.” George Storrs, Midnight Cry, May 4, 1843, vol. 4, nos. 5–6; 47.
It was the atheistic French Revolution that suppressed the Bible for exactly three and one-half years. It was this same power that inflicted a deadly wound against the Papacy in 1798.
Now we have another question to answer. Is the Papacy rightly symbolized by Babylon, the king of the north?
In Revelation chapter seventeen, it says:
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5.
This verse teaches us that Babylon is being used symbolically in prophecy. It is representing a woman. A woman in Bible prophecy represents a church. See 2 Corinthians 11:2; Jeremiah 6:2; Isaiah 51:16; Ephesians 5:22–35. However, this woman is a harlot, representing an apostate church. See Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 3:1–9; Revelation 17:5.
This apostate church is the “MOTHER OF HARLOTS.” As the mother, she would represent the main apostate church. But she is not alone. As a mother, she must then have daughters that have also joined in her apostasy.
This harlot also represents a great city, for the Bible says:
“And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” Revelation 17:18.
So here is an apostate church that reigns from a great city.
Now this harlot church is said to sit upon many waters, Revelation 17:1. Waters represent people, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. See Revelation 17:15. In other words, this harlot church has wide support among the nations.
She also sits upon a scarlet-colored beast. See Revelation 17:3. A beast in Bible prophecy represents political power. See Daniel 7:23; Revelation 13–19. Therefore, this harlot church sits upon, or possesses, political power.
She also sits upon seven mountains, for the Scriptures read:
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads [upon the beast] are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth,” Revelation 17:9.
What is the great city that sits on seven mountains?
That is unquestionably the city of Rome. Is there an apostate church that is located in Rome? Yes, it is the Church of Rome. Does the Church of Rome possess political power? Yes, the Church of Rome possesses political power. Does the Church of Rome have the support of much of the world? Yes, the pope is perhaps the most popular international world figure today. He is highly welcomed to speak at the United Nations, which houses the nations of our world.
We can clearly see that Babylon is used symbolically in Bible prophecy, and has particular reference to the Papacy.
Therefore, in verse 40, we accurately read:
“And at the time of the end [of 1798] shall the king of the south [an atheistic power, the atheistic French Revolution] push at [or war against] him [the king of the north, the Papacy].
The Bible has clearly established that the events of 1798, with the deadly wound of the Papacy and the fulfillment of the 1260-day prophecy, is the “time of the end.” This means that you and I are living in the “time of the end.” As such, we are now able to understand the prophecy of Daniel 8:14.
Remember what it said in Daniel 8:17, 26, “Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision [the mareh]. . . . And the vision of the evening and the morning [the 2300-day prophecy] which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision [mareh]; for it shall be for many days.” More on this point later.
What will happen next?
The collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union
Notice the latter part of the verse 40. It reads:
“the king of the north [the Papacy] shall come against him [the king of the south; an atheistic power] like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over,” Daniel 11:40.
When did the Papacy, since 1798, come against an atheistic power like a whirlwind?
It happened just before our eyes. It was the fall of the Soviet Union. Newsweek magazine entitled its article on the fall of Communism as the “Days of the Whirlwind.” Newsweek, December 25, 1989. [Emphasis supplied.]
The atheistic seeds that were planted in the French Revolution gave birth to the Bolshevik Revolution, in Russia, over one hundred years later—in 1917. As Communism spread, it took over nations that were once predominately controlled by the Papacy. Most of these countries were found in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa, South America, and Central America. A real death fight went on between the Vatican and Soviet Communism. But, as the Bible predicted, the Vatican would prevail over Communism. The symbolic king of the north, the Papacy, would triumph over the symbolic king of the south in the form of the Soviet Union. Consider the following news items supporting the fulfillment of this prophecy:
“Of all the events that have shaken the Soviet bloc in 1989, none is more fraught with history—or more implausible—than the polite encounter to take place this week in Vatican City. There, in the spacious ceremonial library of the 16th century Apostolic Palace, the czar of world atheism, Mikhail Gorbachev, will visit the Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II.
“The moment will be electric, not only because John Paul helped inflame the fervor for freedom in his Polish homeland that swept like brush fire across Eastern Europe. Beyond that, the meeting of the two men symbolizes the end of the 20th century’s most dramatic spiritual war, a conflict in which the seemingly irrestible force of Communism battered against the immovable object of Christianity.” Time, December 4, 1989.
“The Soviet president’s session Friday with Pope John Paul II is the latest development of a revolution in the Communist world that the pope helped spark and Gorbachev has allowed to happen.” USA Today, cover story.
“Until recently, the battalions of Marxism seemed to have the upper hand over the soldiers of the Cross. In the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Lenin had pledged toleration, but delivered terror. ‘Russia turned crimson with the blood of martyrs,’ says Father Gleb Yakunin, Russian Orthodoxy’s bravest agitator for religious freedom. In the Bolshevik’s first five years in power, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were cut down by the red sickle. Stalin greatly accelerated the terror, and by the end of Khrushchev’s rule, liquidation of the clergy reached an estimated 50,000. After World War II, fierce but generally less bloody persecution spread into the Ukraine and the new Soviet bloc, affecting millions of Roman Catholics and Protestants as well as Orthodox.” Time, December 4, 1989.
“The rush to freedom in Eastern Europe is a sweet victory for John Paul II.” Life, December 1989.
“In private meetings with heads of state, back room consultations with dissident groups and persistent propagandizing for his crusade against tyranny, he [John Paul II] has helped bring about the greatest policy change since the Russian Revolution.” Life, December 1989.
“His [Pope John Paul II] triumphant tour of Poland in 1979, says Polish bishop, altered the ‘mentality of fear, the fear of police and tanks, of losing your job, of not getting promoted, of being thrown out of school, of failing to get a passport. People learned that if they ceased to fear the system, the system was helpless.’ Thus was born Solidarity, backed by the church and led by such friends of the pope as Lech Walesa and Tadeusz Mazowieke, who subsequently became the Soviet bloc’s first Christian Prime Minister.” Time, December 4, 1989.
“In 1935 Joseph Stalin, absolute ruler of the Soviet Union, was given some unsolicited advice. Make a propitiatory gesture to the Vatican, he was told. Pushed too far, his country’s Catholics might become counterrevolutionary. Stalin’s great mustache amplified his sneer. ‘The pope. And how many divisions has he?’ The answer then was that he has none. The answer now is that he needs none. The structures of Communism are crumbling to the touch.” Life, December 1989.
“In May 1981 before a vast audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul was shot and severely wounded by Mehmet Ali Agea. There was immediate speculation that the gunman had been sent by East bloc plotters from Bulgaria, sponsored by the Soviet secret police. Their aim: to silence the one man capable of shaking the foundations of international Communism.” Ibid.
This amazing prophecy even describes how the Vatican would bring an end to Communism in the former Soviet Union. The Papacy would topple the Soviet Union by chariots and horsemen and ships. What do chariots and horsemen and ships represent in Bible prophecy? Chariots and horsemen represent military strength.
“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him,” 1 Kings 1:5
“And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.” 1 Kings 20:1
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war,” Revelation 19:11.
Ships represent economic power.
“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters,” Psalm 107:23
“For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off. . . . And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate,” Revelation 18:17, 19.
It might be logically asked, How could the Papacy defeat the Soviets militarily and economically?
As will be shown in the following news items, the Papacy formed an alliance with the United States. The United States would accelerate an arms race with the Soviet Union, so that the Soviet economy would collapse.
“In 1981, the Communist bloc got another shock. A new American President, Ronald Reagan, began fulfilling his promise to challenge the Soviets, not to placate them. Over the next few years, he accelerated the military buildup and announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a space-based system for protecting against missile attack. He backed anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, and Afghanistan. And with American troops, he liberated the island of Grenada from Communist thugs.
“The Soviets’ confidence was shaken. . . . The Western Europeans also pressured the Soviets. NATO forged ahead with military modernization. German voters spurned Soviet ‘peace overtures’ and elected a government that voted to deploy new intermediate-range missiles. . . . Military pressure from America and its Western allies had caused the Soviets to flinch.” Reader’s Digest, March 1990.
“For Gorbachev, the ferment in the Baltics is shaking not just a small corner of the empire built by Lenin and Stalin, but the foundations of the empire itself. The nationalities question is a potent distillation of many other signs, from a crumbling economy to violent ethnic clashes. . . . As the economy deteriorates and shortages grow, public disillusionment with Communism and with Gorbachev himself are rising, and hostile republics, nationalities and interests groups are competing more fiercely for political power and for shares in the shrinking economy.” U.S. News & World Report, January 15, 1990.
“Reagan came with very simple and strongly held views,” says Admiral Bobby Inman, former deputy director of the CIA. “It is a valid point that he saw the collapse [of Communism] coming and he pushed it hard.” During the first part of 1982, a five-part strategy emerged that was aimed at bringing about the collapse of the Soviet economy.
“1. The U.S. defense buildup, already under way, aimed at making it too costly for the Soviets to compete militarily with the U.S., Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative—Star Wars became a centerpiece of the strategy.
“2. Covert operations aimed at encouraging reform movements in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
“3. Financial aid to Warsaw-Pact nations calibrated to their willingness to protect human rights and undertake political and free-market reforms.
“4. Economic isolation of the Soviet Union and the withholding of Western and Japanese technology from Moscow. The administration focused on denying the USSR what it had hoped would be its principal source of hard currency in the twenty-first century—profits from a transcontinental pipeline to supply natural gas to Western Europe. . . .
“5. Increased use of Radio Liberty, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe to transmit Administration’s messages to the people of Eastern Europe.” Time, February 4, 1992, 29–30.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Daniel was shown that the Soviet Union would fall, due to economic and military pressure from the Vatican and the United States. Imagine that! God used Egypt as a symbol of an atheistic power before there ever was an atheistic nation. He would give the exact year, 1798, when the Papacy would receive its deadly wound by an atheistic power, and then, predict the fall of an atheistic power, the Soviet Union, here in these last days.
The Glorious Land
“He [the Papacy] shall enter also into the glorious land [of America], and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”
The word countries is a supplied word by the translators and is not actually in the original Hebrew text. Therefore, we will focus on the exact phrase, “and many shall be overthrown.”
The next big event, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, will be the clasping of hands between the Papal power and the United States. We are told that the Papacy would enter into the glorious land.
In verse 16, the glorious land referred to the land of Palestine, where the Jewish people were to be a blessing to all other nations. They were to share the Word of God with all kindreds, tongues, and people. They were to tell of the Messiah to come. They were to share the principles of His law, and explain the meaning of the sacrificial services. But Israel had kept all these things to herself. Therefore, God raised up for Himself another people. It would be the church that would share and exemplify the very principles set forth in Scripture.
But throughout the centuries the true church had been persecuted, first by pagan Rome, and then by papal Rome. Eventually, God’s people would find freedom of religion in the New World of America. This New World would eventually become known as the United States. Here in this great nation the gospel has been freely preached. From this great nation, the Bible has been translated in hundreds of languages and spread throughout the world like the leaves of autumn. The United States, in comparison to all other nations, best fulfills the prophecy pointing to the glorious land.
It is God’s desire that this great nation should maintain the principles that have made her great. Here Christianity has been able to progress because our people have been taught that they can go directly to Jesus Christ as their Mediator between God and man. This great gospel principle has for hundreds of years protected us from evil men who would force the conscience of their fellow man. God designed that this nation should ever provide freedom of religion.
However, the Papacy would enter into the glorious land of America and “many. . . shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” What will happen in America that will cause many to be overthrown while others try to escape? We will study this more fully in Revelation chapter thirteen.
There is no conflict described here between the Papacy and the glorious land. Here is described an entrance, not by conquest, but by redefining, clasping hands, forming a coalition, finding common ground, agreeing on points of doctrine, and forming a partnership. Is such a relationship occurring today? And who in America is foremost in forming this relationship with the Vatican? More on this point later.
But with the pope’s recent visit to America in September of 2015, we saw the beginnings of the whole world wondering after the pope. Religious leaders from America and around the world joined in the papal visit. The pope’s visit to the US Congress, the United Nations, and to Philadelphia will bring the world that much closer to the New World Order of Church and State.
But there are some who do not support these developments. Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon choose to escape, and do escape this unholy alliance.
Who are Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon symbolically representing?
In ancient times, these three nations were the three enemies of ancient Israel. Are there three enemies facing God’s church today? Yes, in Revelation chapter sixteen, they are described as the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. See Revelation 16:13. In Revelation chapter nineteen, they are described as the kings of the earth, the beast, and the false prophet. See Revelation 19:19–20.
The Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet
Who is the dragon?
The Bible says,
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him,” Revelation 12:9.
The dragon represents how Satan and his demons have used deception through the varied forms of spiritualism.
Paul said, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,” 1 Timothy 4:1.
There are a great number of people who are deceived through the many faces of spiritualism today. The main source of these deceptions is the common and erroneous belief that we can communicate with the dead.
Who is the false prophet?
The Bible says:
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.” Revelation 19:20.
The description of the false prophet is the same as the description of the second beast in Revelation chapter thirteen. For example, the Bible says:
“And he [the second beast] exerciseth all the power of the first beast [the Papacy] before him, . . . And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast. . . . And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” Revelation 13:12–14, 16.
We will study more about this second beast power in Revelation chapter thirteen. But for now, we can see that the false prophet, is working with superhuman effort to bring about the union of church and state in the end of time.
The second beast, the false prophet, will be foremost in stretching his hand across the gulf in clasping hands with the Roman power. This power will pressure our lawmakers in forming an image to the beast [the uniting of church and state], in worshiping the first beast [in legislating a law that works contrary to the Ten Commandments], and in receiving the mark of the beast [by giving our allegiance to the first beast, the Papacy].
Who is the beast?
The beast of Revelation chapter thirteen and seventeen, represents none other than the Vatican. In this threefold union of the dragon, the false prophet, and the beast (the Papacy), Satan will lead this world into a time of trouble such as there has never been since there was a nation.
However, not all who are in the communion of these institutions will participate in persecuting others. God has His people in all of the churches. There is a gulf between the Vatican and the average Catholic. There is a vast difference between Protestants who love their neighbor, and those who would force their beliefs upon others. Therefore, in this last great struggle between truth and error, the true and faithful will come forth and take their stand on the side of God. In fact, the word for chief, as in chief of the children (verse 41), means firstfruits and shaking. In other words, not all will come out of symbolic Edom, Moab, and Ammon, but the chief of the children will. The firstfruits come out.
Those who are seeking for truth will escape. They will be shaken out of the false churches and religions. The issue that will shake them out of these fallen churches and religions is the agitation over the “mark of the beast.” See Revelation 13:11-18
To these precious souls, God calls, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues,” Revelation 18:4. God currently has some of His people within the walls of spiritual Babylon, both the mother and her daughters. However, the firstfruits, those seeking to know truth, will come out of these corrupted religious institutions.
But what are they coming into? The Bible says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” Revelation 14:12. “And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman [God’s true church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [those saints living in the end of time], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” Revelation 12:17.
These precious souls escape by keeping all of God’s commandments by the faith of Jesus. They are choosing to obey God rather than men. They choose to “worship him that made heaven, and earth” rather than to “worship the beast,” Revelation 14:7, 9.
The events described in verse 41 are yet future as of 2015. But things are on the move. The pope will have universal sway again as predicted by the Word, and the “mark of the beast” will be imposed upon all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond.
Vatican Exercising Worldwide Governance
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries [all nations]: and the land of Egypt [atheistic China] shall not escape.”
In this verse, we begin to see the Vatican exercising governance over the world. This part of the vision will be expanded upon more fully in Revelation chapter seventeen. There is not one country that will escape this New World Order of Church and State—not even atheistic China. The Vatican will supersede the sovereignty of all nations. She has already begun to fill the void made by the fall of Communism.
Vatican Influencing the World Economy
In this verse, we begin to see the Vatican influencing the economic orders of the day. There is the World Bank, the Vatican Bank, and UN Resolution 2030. There will be a push for a new economic realignment. This is in part, due to the global warming or climate change agenda. It is also due to the downward trend of the world economy. But at some point, the world’s temporal prosperity will suddenly decline. All countries, with their economies so fully integrated with one another, will not be able to come up with a national solution. The world will be looking for a global solution to this worldwide economic crisis.
Why do I believe this depicts an economic crisis? Let me begin by asking another question:
When did literal Egypt lose all her precious things in the Old Testament?
God punished Egypt with one plague after another for not letting Israel go. When the tenth plague hit Egypt, the Egyptians became eager for the Hebrews to take her precious things and leave the country. In like manner, when our world experiences one disaster after another, from both natural forces and terrorist sources, our world economy will crumble. The world will look to the highly centralized, multi-national, and multi-cultural Vatican to work with the United States and the United Nations to solve these global problems. All the countries will be involved and supportive of this New World Order of Church and State.
Why will this involve the whole world?
The verse says that the Ethiopians and the Libyans will be at his steps. The Ethiopians were the rich neighbor of Egypt, while the Libyans were considered the poor neighbor. The Bible says:
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man [of any nation] might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16–17.
All nations, whether rich or poor, great or small, will be caught up in this economic decline and will be faced with the mark of the beast, which is the “mark” of the first beast—the Papacy.
It should be noted that in verse 43, Egypt is used symbolically to represent the world. As we have seen, Egypt can symbolize an atheistic power as in verses 40 and 42, but it can also symbolically represent the whole world. For example, when Egypt experienced the devastation of her ten plagues, it prefigured the time when the whole world will be devastated by the seven last plagues. See Revelation 16. Therefore, the loss of economic power in verse 43 is not referring to any atheistic power, but to the world at large.
Verse 44: Tidings Out of the East
The message that inspired Edom, Moab, and Ammon to escape, has now reached its crescendo in verse 44.
The tidings out of the east are in reference to the Second Coming of Christ.
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:27.
God’s true church will be preaching the soon return of Christ and preparing a people for His return.
What will the rest of the world have done? Paul warned us:
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14–15.
Satan will come and pretend to be Jesus. Jesus warned us of this deception, saying:
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.…Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:4–5, 11, 23–24.
If someone tells you that Jesus is in New York City or in London, do not believe them. When Jesus comes the second time, “every eye shall see Him.” Revelation 1:7
Nobody will have to tell you when Jesus comes. You will be able to see Him for yourself. He is returning with all His angels. See Matthew 24:30, 31; 25:31-35.
Therefore, the tidings out of the east will not only proclaim the soon return of Christ, but they will also teach others how to avoid and escape Satan’s impersonation of Christ.
The tidings out of the east also refer to the special sealing of God’s people, when an “angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God” cries out “with a loud voice,” saying:
“Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Revelation 7:2–4.
The purpose of these verses is to help identify those who will receive the seal of God and thus be shielded from the destruction of the seven last plagues. The angels of God are holding back the fierce winds of unsanctified human passion until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.
This seal of God is a sign of ownership. These faithful followers of Christ have received the light of truth and are steadfastly settled in it by the grace of God. Those who receive the mark of the beast, on the other hand, have rejected the light of truth and are unsettled in their relationship with Christ.
But none will say “I never knew about the seal of God,” or “No one told me about these things.” For as our sun reaches the four corners of the earth, just so will everyone have enough light to make an intelligent decision between the seal of God and the mark of the beast.
The requirements of the seal of God are given in 2 Timothy 2:19, that only those who depart from all evil are sealed for the kingdom and protected from God’s wrath to come. Evil and sin are defined as the breaking of God’s Law. See 1 John 3:4. Therefore, we cannot separate the seal of God from keeping all of God’s Ten Commandments. Just so, God describes His last-day followers as those who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.
By the “faith of Jesus” we become obedient children unto God. As children, we become more and more like our Savior Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the seal of God and the character of God are inseparable.
In Revelation 14:1, the sealed company are said to have the Father’s name written on their foreheads. Seal, sign, mark, and name are synonymous terms. Therefore, God signs, marks, or seals them with His name. God’s name is an expression of His own perfect character. This special company of believers are sealed with the altogether beautiful character of Jesus. They have received, day by day, the transforming power of the character of Christ, and have thus separated themselves from evil.
A seal is also defined as that which authenticates or confirms. As such, a seal is often used in connection with laws or legal documents. The law of God is itself a transcript of the character of God. In those Ten Commandments is expressed God’s standard of truth, justice, love, and mercy. It is God’s desire to write His law upon the hearts and minds of His people. See Hebrews 8:10; 10:16. It is the law of God that is referred to as the sign of discipleship. See Isaiah 8:16, 17, 20. Writing God’s law upon the heart and mind of man is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring the individual into harmony with the will of God. See 2 Corinthians 3:3.
The seventh-day Sabbath is God’s fourth commandment that is declared to be the seal, sign, or mark of holiness. See Exodus 31:15–17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20. While all of God’s commandments are under attack, it will be the Sabbath commandment, of all the commandments, that will mostly trampled upon in these last days. Indeed, a national and universal Sunday law will stand in opposition to God’s seventh-day Sabbath.
Thus far, we see the “glad tidings from the east” referring to a people who proclaim the soon return of Christ and who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. They do so in a world that has overwhelmingly wondered after the beast—the Papacy. In the face of religious persecution, God’s commandment-keeping people remain faithful to Him. In a world swept away by the deceptiveness of Satan’s impersonation of Christ, and his demons impersonating the deceased, they will remain vigilant against Satan’s spiritualistic devices.
In Bible prophecy, north represents judgment. For example, “Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.… And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.” Jeremiah 1:14, 16.
While God’s people are proclaiming the judgment hour message (see Daniel 7:10; 8:14; Revelation 14:7), the world will have already judged God’s people and penalized them with economic boycotts. See Revelation 13:15–17. With love from above, God’s people must continue to warn an apostate Christianity and the whole world, to turn away from their evil course before it is too late.
Have they not read, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1–2. Have they not read, that “he that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword”? Revelation 13:10.
Unfortunately, this apostate Christianity will take that fatal step in “great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” Daniel 11:44. There will be many martyrs in the end of time, but the promise of God is, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.
The apostle John declares:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years [in heaven].” Revelation 20:4.
Notice that it is not the persecutors that reign with Christ and receive eternal life, but those who are persecuted.
Verse 45: Battle of Armageddon
This verse brings us to the battle of Armageddon. Here is depicted a great battle symbolically fought between the seas (the Mediterranean) and the glorious holy mountain (in Jerusalem).
What battlefield existed between these two geographical points in ancient times?
The prophetess Deborah was instructed of God to tell Barak to lead ten thousand men to fight the enemy of Israel. They would engage in battle by the “waters of Megiddo.” Judges 5:19. It was here that all the wicked were slain. See Judges 4:16.
God has drawn our attention to the literal battle that has already been fought at the waters of Megiddo, so that we might better understand the worldwide battle of Armageddon. Armageddon and Megiddo come from the same root word. The battle of Armageddon is not a literal battle in the Middle East. The word Armageddon means mountain of slaughter, and it is without question worldwide. The outcome will be the same: all the wicked will be slain.
When the wicked attempt to wipe out God’s people in one decisive blow, they will themselves be totally annihilated by God’s intervention. Christ will come and the remnant of the wicked will be “slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8. When Christ comes to deliver His people, He will slay the rest of the wicked with the sword and the brightness of His coming.
Interestingly, Barak’s name means sword of lightning. His name well describes how Christ will destroy the wicked in the Battle of Armageddon.
The Papacy is able to enter into the glorious land of America (verse 41), but she is not able to enter into the glorious holy mountain (verse 45). She can enter into the minds of Protestants who are willing to compromise truth for a party platform, but the Papacy cannot enter into the minds of the faithful followers of Christ who will be settled in the truth and cannot be moved.
“These [the 144,000] are they which were not defiled with women [the apostate churches]; for they are virgins [obedient to God]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:4–5.
These faithful saints were sealed with “the seal of the living God.” Revelation 7:2; See also Revelation 7:3–4.
While the world will receive the mark of the beast, God’s people will receive the seal of the living God. When Jesus comes, He will resurrect the great faithful multitude throughout the ages that have trusted in Him. He will translate the living saints. But the wicked who have received the mark of the beast, will be lost eternally. What a tragedy!
In summary, we have learned that we are more than two hundred years into the “time of the end.” We just saw a fantastic prophecy fulfilled in our day; the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union. There are only five verses left and Jesus will be here. We are now awaiting the events of verse 41, which cannot be far off. Perhaps God is waiting for more precious souls to surrender their hearts to Him. He will allow time to linger just a little longer. But when God’s people are ready to be sealed, last day events will be rapid ones.
We will now turn our attention to Daniel chapter twelve.