Two things I need to tell you.
- I am not as dry as these bible study notes might convey. I cannot tolerate sitting in some boring service, therefore, I refuse to be boring. I am animated; wave my hands around as I explain God's word, and I make unusual faces to emphasize what I believe to be God's frustration at the world. (While God may well get frustrated, He has no expectation of our performance, therefore, we are not held to some unreachable moral standard - Christ has redeemed us from the law. As followers of Christ, we have merely accepted the life He granted us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.)
Sinners, as the religious crowd likes to call them, are simply those outside of an intimate relationship with the Father, and yet, they are just as forgiven as the believer. What then is the difference? Relationship.
Well now, wait a minute. One might say, I sit with those prune faces (that includes me) in church, and their faces show no life - this life in Christ of which we speak. I get that and here is why I think this is a common problem. Church leadership teaches sin. On the whole, we focus on how to backslide, or, we preach some convicting sermon on the evils of drink. This teaching can be a problem as we walk away more adept in the knowledge of sin than of who we are in Christ. Sin, on the other hand, is nothing more than missing the bulls-eye of a target. Now suppose that target is a very long way off; how difficult is it to hit a bulls-eye that seems no bigger than a dime. Everything we do and have interactions with is analogous to having the wind move you, or some distraction that pulls you off target. Having shot in competitive archery, some 40+ years ago, I completely understand the number of things that can make you miss the bulls-eye that now looks like an American dime at this distance. I realize this seems like I am being simplistic, but I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have sat through sin teachings for years.
- I have, over the last few years, come to understand what Islam teaches. I understand that many believe that the Mahdi is coming. It is easy to get wrapped up in the hatred such disturbed beliefs seem to deserve. Our difficulty, as followers of Christ, is to stay focused and not hate. On the optimistic side, many Muslims are coming to the Lord because they are having dreams in which Jesus shows up. The most recent I heard is that Jesus stands at the end of a bridge and bids them to come. Peculiar how they recognize Jesus having never seen Him; but then, how many of us have ever seen Him. The point of this is that one of the grandsons, asked me today, what country would I like to visit? I thought about for a couple of seconds, and told him, that if you had asked me that same question two or three years ago, my answer would have been Paris - for the beauty and romance; Italy - because its charm and cuisine; Spain - to take in the pageantry. There were so many places that ran through my mind, that because of pictures and travel logs, I have longed to go there. But, because of immigrants, looting, raping and pillaging the streets of virtually all of these cities, I would no longer feel safe there. Sadly, I espoused this information, out loud, to my young grandson as we walked up to the front of the warehouse store. My wife immediately admonished me to watch what I say. I did not consider that I was probably creating a fear in the boy as well, but thought about the possibility of a physical altercation I might have, as many Muslims shop there.
No, I have never had a problem like many of you are experiencing, but our turn, here in America, will come. I used to prophesy this to the church about ten years ago. For doing so I was effectively kicked out.
Only a fool would look at the changes America has experienced and not see the looting, raping and pillaging, many of you are experiencing coming to America. The bottom line is that I have to fight against the prejudices I so easily fall into.
One of the things that I hear in my spirit, frequently, is Jesus response to the disciples as they asked Him, do you want us to call down fire on them? Depending on the preacher, you can get several types explanations for the rebuke Jesus gave them. I believe His come back was filled with wisdom and correction, for He said in Luke 9:54-56 NASB .. "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."...
I do not write this to tell you how to deal with the violence many of you are surrounded with on a daily basis. I am telling you, that we, as followers of Christ, live in grace. If you try to perform some act of violence like I am aware of on my wife, I will react. I would love it if God gave me the green light to call fire down on those who are acting out, but He doesn't.
Will a time in which He does grant the green light come? Absolutely, and it is right after the rapture of the church. Sadly, the church and grace will be gone, but the day of the prophet of the highest God will be back in force. Elijah called fire down on two separate groups of one hundred troops. Look this up 1Kings chapter one.
With that exposure to the inner struggles I have, I return to the commentary at hand.
Antiochus returns in glory and victory and sets his heart to break his Jewish covenant and plunder Palestine.
Daniel 11:28 CJB Then the king of the north will return to his own land with great wealth; with his heart set against the holy covenant, he will take action and then return home.
- That is, Antiochus, with the spoils of Egypt, and the gifts and presents he had received there; so the author of the first book of Maccabees says, [John Gill]
“set against the holy covenant.” Roman, Greek and Jewish sources differ with regards to the details at this point. There is no question that on his return from Egypt, Antiochus raided the temple treasury, most likely to secure additional funds for his continuing military activities. The sources disagree about whether this incident took place after the First Egyptian War (September 169) or after the Second. IVPBBC
And his heart shall be against the holy covenant; not the covenant he had made with Ptolemy, which was a fraudulent one; but the covenant between God and the Jews; whereby they became a distinct and peculiar people, having a religion, laws, and ordinances, different from all others; for which reason they were hated by other nations, and particularly by Antiochus; and his heart was the more enraged against them at this time, for the following reason; a false rumor being spread in Judea that Antiochus was dead, Jason took the opportunity to recover the office of high priest from his brother Menelaus; and, with a thousand men, took the city of Jerusalem, drove his brother into the castle, and slew many he took for his enemies. Antiochus, hearing of this, concluded the whole nation of the Jews had revolted from him; and therefore took Judea in his way from Egypt, in order to suppress this rebellion; in the Apocrypha: John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Antiochus leads a second expedition into Egypt but is turned back by a mandate from Rome in league with Cyprus. He then turns against the Jews and many apostate Jews help him to pollute the temple altar and doing away with Jewish sacrifices.
Daniel 11:29 AMPC+ At the time appointed [God's own time] he shall return and come into the South, but it shall not be successful as were the former invasions [of Egypt].
Second Egyptian War, 168. In the spring of 168, Antiochus again had to besiege Memphis, and he did so successfully, taking control of lower Egypt. As he again prepared to lay siege against a weakened Alexandria, he actually had himself crowned king of Egypt. But there was a difference this time. Egypt had appealed to Rome for help, and their ships arrived as he approached Alexandria. Roman consul Gaius Popillius Laenas met him by the walls of Alexandria and commanded Antiochus to leave Egypt. When Antiochus replied that he had to consult with his advisers, the Roman consul drew a circle in the dirt around the king and insisted that he give his answer before stepping out of the circle. A humiliated Antiochus conceded to Roman authority and straggled toward home looking for a way to vent his misery. This was probably in July 168. IVPBBC
Daniel 11:30 CJB because ships from Kittim will come against him so that his courage will fail him. Then, in retreat, he will take furious action against the holy covenant, again showing favor to those who abandon the holy covenant.
- “because ships from Kittim will come against him”
– this is modern day Cyprus
Why Kittim? The island country of Cyprus is small, split between the Greeks and the Turks, and it is a known point for the trafficking of drugs and female sex slaves. Why then would it be a modern source of trouble? Perhaps a quick dip into Biblical genealogy can give us a clue.
Genesis 10:1-4 NET. This is the account of Noah's sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3) The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4) The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim, and the Dodanim.
Balaam, when pushed by Balak the son of Zippor - The comparison of Numbers 22:4 with Numbers 21:26 suggests that Balak was not the hereditary king but a Midianite and that a change of dynasty had taken place.
Balaam the son of Beor was from the first a worshipper in some sort of the true God; and had learned some elements of pure and true religion in his home in the Far East, the cradle of the ancestors of Israel. But though prophesying, doubtless even before the ambassadors of Balak came to him, in the name of the true God, yet prophecy was still to him as before a mere business, not a religion.
Numbers 24:23-25 NET. Then he uttered this oracle: "O, who will survive when God does this! 24) Ships will come from the coast of Kittim, and will afflict Asshur, and will afflict Eber, and he will also perish forever." 25) Balaam got up and departed and returned to his home, and Balak also went his way.
- Regardless of the insignificance of Kittim/Cyprus, or the national allegiance, God has spoken prophetically that destruction will come upon Eber and Asshur will be afflicted, all launched from the shores of Kittim.
- “so that his courage will fail him.”
Your courage failing you is not so tangible and has more of an internal effect. The word used here – כאה kâ'âh - means, properly, to become faint-hearted; to be frightened; to be dejected, sad, humbled, Job_30:8; Eze_13:22; Psa_109:16. The meaning here is, that he became dispirited, dejected, cast down, and abandoned his purpose.
Because God and the prophetic, operates on a principle of pattern, then it is highly probable that we can expect this pattern once again. We may be looking Antiochus Epiphanies at the moment, but that will not be his name in the future.
- “Then, in retreat, he will take furious action against the holy covenant, again showing favor to those who abandon the holy covenant.”
For a second time (cf. Dan_11:28) Antiochus took out his frustration on the Jews, the city of Jerusalem, and their temple. He vented his fury against the holy covenant, the entire Mosaic system (cf. Dan_11:28), favoring any renegade Jews who turned to help him (cf. Dan_11:32). He desecrated the temple and abolished the daily sacrifice.
Antiochus sent his general Apollonius with 22,000 soldiers into Jerusalem on what was purported to be a peace mission. But they attacked Jerusalem on the Sabbath, killed many people, took many women and children as slaves, and plundered and burned the city.
Daniel 11:31 CJB Armed forces will come at his order and profane the sanctuary and fortress. They will abolish the daily burnt offering and set up the abomination that causes desolation.
- desecration of the sanctuary.
According to the book of Maccabees, an individual named Geron was sent by Antiochus to dismantle Jewish religious practice. It is possible that the Syrian military contingent, seeking accommodation for their own worship practice, was partially responsible for some of the changes described in the temple. In December 167 a systematic program of instituting Greek religious practices at the expense of Jewish ones began in earnest. The sacrificial system and the Sabbath and festival observances were halted. Worship sites were set up around the country and circumcision was forbidden. The temple was consecrated to Zeus and became a center of polytheism and prostitution. IVPBBC
- the abomination of desolation.
In seeking to exterminate Judaism and to Hellenize the Jews, Antiochus IV forbade the Jews to follow their religious practices (including their festivals and circumcision) and commanded that copies of the Law be burned. Then he set up the abomination that causes desolation. In this culminating act, he erected on December 16, 167 b.c. an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offering outside the temple, and had a pig offered on the altar. The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Daniel 11:32 NET. Then with smooth words, he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly.
- “Then with smooth words, he will defile those who have rejected the covenant.”
2 Chronicles 24:17 NET. 17) After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah visited the king and declared their loyalty to him. The king listened to their advice.
The IVPBBC tells us, “There were many Jews who favored the Hellenization process and therefore, if promised personal benefit, would gladly side with the new policies. Foremost among these was Menelaus, the high priest, who was totally dependent on Antiochus for his lucrative office.”
We are trying to get a handle on what it is to be defiled, especially after rejecting the covenant. To begin with let's look at alternate words:
- pervert; seduce;
- deceitfully dissemble;
- those who violate the covenant;
- those who have already abandoned their religion;
- act wickedly toward the covenant
So, as you can see it is a broad spectrum of dispassionate acts.
those who act H7561 wickedly H7561 - rasha/raw-shah' - A primitive root; to be (causatively do or declare) wrong; by implication to disturb, violate: - condemn, make trouble, vex, be (commit, deal, depart, do) wicked (-ly, -ness).
The Word Study Dictionary tells us, "In the simple stem, this verb means to be or to become guilty, to act wickedly."
- “But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly.”
There is only one God, but to the Jew it is Jehovah. So, what does loyalty look like?
If Antiochus IV is a precursor of future events, then it is safe to say that at this point in time Jesus will not have returned and Israel will be under siege. Daniel 11:31 are one of those indicators.
Isaiah 65:12 CEV Your luck will end! I will see to it that you are slaughtered with swords. You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong.
We are told that 2/3 of Israel will be killed or destroyed by invaders. What is not clear to us is how they will defend themselves, nor how well.
Ezekiel 5:12 CEV A third of you will die here in Jerusalem from disease or starvation. Another third will be killed in war. And I will scatter the last third of you in every direction, then track you down and kill you.
Zechariah 13:8 CEV Nowhere in the land will more than a third of them be left alive.
In trying to find comparable words that might give you a secondary witness it is difficult at best. There is, however, this from the Prophet Joel.
Note the events and the timing, as they are deep in the middle of the tumult that we call the Great Tribulation. Joel describes a scenario where many are calling upon the name of the Lord. This act, whether confident or not, causes them to be delivered. The prophetic word also tells us that there will those that escape. There will be survivors.
Joel 2:30-32 NASB "I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. 31) "The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32) "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
Daniel 11:33 AMPC+ And they who are wise and understanding among the people shall instruct many and make them understand, though some [of them and their followers] shall fall by the sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for many days.
- “And they who are wise and understanding among the people shall instruct many and make them understand,”
Here it is not the professionally trained theologians and clergy, but the ordinary people of God, Jews. While the commentary may presume that it will be “those believers taught in the word who understand doctrine, who will be used to instruct,” the problem is you can't find a believer like that.
The church is doing a terrible job of creating wise and those with understanding. Ask yourself this question, where will they learn, as they will be pressed for time and for their lives?
Another aspect of scripture tells us that God will lift the veil from Israel's eyes, and, in so doing they will come to a knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah. In other words, they will come to a wise understanding, and then, direct, and encourage the faith of others and the weaker believers during the time of tribulation and persecution.
Here is where logic comes into play. When the church tells you that we cannot or do not do that anymore – that is to walk in the power of the spirit, then who will tell them?
As the time we are dealing with is “the great tribulation” then we should also know that there are two witnesses, sent from God, who stand in the streets of Jerusalem. These two preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and they walk in the mind bending power of the prophets. Since they are most likely Enoch and Elijah, they already have experience doing just that. I have suggested on many occasions that those who are left should follow their example.
- “yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.”
Great, you, while stuck here in the “great Tribulation”, are having amazing success. But there is no one to hang the neon signs that call people to your great faith rally. Why is that? Because, as Islam calls us the people of the book are seen as infidels worthy of only one thing, death.
There really is no way around this as those who are beheaded for the gospel's sake are in the uncountable numbers.