Monday, January 19, 2009

 

DANIEL CHAPTER 11 VERSE BY VERSE

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

DANIEL CHAPTER 11:1-45

History Ends-Prophecy Begins

The great Reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) was so overwhelmed with the historical accuracy of Daniel's prophecy in the first part of chapter eleven that he wrote forty pages of commentary describing in minute detail the future exploits of each world leader, the battles engaged, and the ensuing intrigue. In fact, the meticulous and historically accurate nature of these verses has persuaded many liberal ministers to believe that Daniel could not have written this book, suggesting that no one could have been privy to so many details of forthcoming events.

Therefore, they argue, the Book of Daniel must have been written much later. To that I would simply reply that since God is God, and since He knows all things, it really would not be difficult for the Almighty to fill Daniel with His Holy Spirit and through him make known the events in history yet to come (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Some readers may want me to spend as much time as John Calvin did in delineating past predictions that have already been fulfilled in the first part of chapter eleven, perhaps hoping that I would trace the accomplishments of every king, every skirmish, and every historical circumstance in this four hundred-year period to prove there are no errors in Daniel's prophecy. However, for those who may not have as great a historical bent, this would be too much detail, since the first thirty-five verses of this chapter eleven include 135 prophecies-each completely fulfilled down to the smallest detail.

Undoubtedly, delving into each of the 135 predictions would become exceedingly laborious. With those considerations in mind, I will simply sketch out a few of the completed historical events of this chapter and then spend most of the time exploring the confluence of the many events that suggest so strongly that we are now at the time of the end-a discussion which begins with verse 36.

DANIEL 11:1-4
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of C recta.And a mighty king 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; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

Details that Confound the Skeptics

These first four verses trace the history of four Persian rulers and Alexander the Great of Greece-giving summary details of the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria, whom, as you will recall, represented the two major divisions of Alexander's worldwide kingdom. It is this kind of historical detail that confounds the skeptic who says, How could any one-God included-have known with such accuracy the events, people, and interaction of nations four centuries before such events took place? Here, however, we are not concerned with the critics' skepticism, but rather rejoice in the knowledge that we have a God who knows the future, has ordained its activity, and is now allowing us to unseal mysteries so long hidden from view.

Here's a quick summary of some of the enormous amount of prophetic information contained in Daniel's vision-all of which has now been fulfilled. When Daniel received his fourth revelation, Cyrus was king of Medo-Persia. However, Christ- in the vision-told Daniel there would be three more MedoPersian rulers prior to the reign of successor number four. The three kings were Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius I Hystaspes. The fourth would be Xerxes I, a powerful ruler who later accumulated great armies, power, and wealth over a four-year period which he used to invade Greece in the year 480 B.C. I highlight this here because it was Xerxes' attack of Greece that moved Alexander the Great to attack Medo-Persia some one hundred and fifty years later.

However, not all would go well for Alexander in spite of his great power and dominance of so much of the then-known world. Though the young king grasped worldwide control, he soon died of malaria and syphilis at the age of thirty-two. Previously, we saw a defeated Greece predicted in the form of a leopard (Daniel 7:6), and as the goat in Daniel 8:5-6. Events prophesied; events fulfilled.

DANIEL 11:5-35
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which.shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.And the king of the south 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 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 the king of the north shall return, 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.And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.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; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south 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 shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: 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.And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.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 Wars between the South and the North

From verse 5 we begin to see a powerful struggle taking place between the kings of the South-Egypt-and the kings of the North-Assyria, today's Syria. These nations were constantly at each other's throats, alternating victories. It was a see-saw world of power-grabbing, palace intrigue, and battle fatigue for supreme command of the region. Finally, a scheme was devised to put an end to these constant wars that were taking such a great toll on the people and their respective governments.

This was the plan: Ptolemy II had a daughter Berenice, and it was decided that if she would marry Antiochus II of Syria a union designed to create a long and lasting peace in the area could be forged. However, even the best laid plans of kings and princesses often do not meet all expectations, and since it was a forced marriage, Antiochus II of Syria hated the arrangement. However, for political reasons, he chose to live with what he disliked. But when the king of Egypt, Ptolemy II, died, Antiochus realized he suddenly had a golden opportunity to get rid of his spouse-which he did. He divorced her and took back his original wife, Laodice.

The ancient soap opera continued to play out when Laodice, overcome with jealousy, had Berenice poisoned along with most of her family. In the end, the hoped-for peace between Egypt and Assyria did not hold. In fact, this was only the beginning of the shedding of blood between the powers of the north and south.

Other high profile names to surface during the next four centuries would be men such as Ptolemy Euergetes, Seleucus Callinicus, Antiochus III, and Ptolemy Philopator, along with the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes who, upon returning from Egypt after having amassed great wealth, began to show his unnatural hatred toward the Jews, an attitude best described by the phrase, His heart shall be against the holy covenant (v. 28). This beast of a man would also be a precursor of the persecution an end-time global dictator exercises against Israel during the Great Tribulation hour. We have seen earlier that Antiochus was the designated archetype of the future man of iniquity-the Antichrist yet to come. I believe he will soon be on the scene as the clock of history winds down and brings us to the time of the end.

It is impossible to do justice to the history that takes place between verses 1 and 35 without writing a major compendium on the prophecies and their actual fulfillment. There are already many commentaries available that deal with such issues. For our purpose, however, the most important, underlying message of these first thirty-five verses is this:

They contain 135 Bible prophecies that have been 100 percent fulfilled.

There is no supportive evidence in history to contradict any of the 135 prophecies, i.e., everything prophesied has come true.

They provide a convincing introduction to end-time events-a period of time in world history that is rapidly approaching.

Prophecies still to come in this chapter can be expected to be fulfilled in the same manner as the 135 prophecies were in the first thirty-five verses of Daniel chapter eleven.

Daniel 11:36-45
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him 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.He shall enter also into the glorious land, 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.He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The King of the Time of the End

Up until this point in chapter eleven, the 135 prophecies that deal with the Persian and Grecian empires have been fulfilled with minute precision-every event verified and documented by the rigors of both religious and secular history, and culminating with the end days of the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes (164 B.C.). Now, however-beginning with verse 36-we find ourselves in new territory. Here we suddenly confront prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. Nothing here can be related to previously predicted and fulfilled historical events, which means we are now stepping into areas that speak of a yet-to-be-fulfilled future-specifically the life and times of the Antichrist who will wield his worldwide influence for seven years as he and his worldwide reign lead up to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As this Antichrist of the Great Tribulation is described in Daniel's revelation, we learn again that he does as he pleases, magnifies himself above every god, speaks terrible things against God, and prospers until the indignation is finished (Revelation 14:10). He will be an absolute dictator who, like a child, demands his own way and expects to accomplish all his objectives on his own terms. The Antichrist will blaspheme the one true God and will do monstrous things against the God of gods. You'll recall that the same thing was said of his predecessor-the little horn of Daniel 7:25.

In simple terms, the Antichrist will be a madman who claims he is deity, one who will run the end-time show in an attempt to obliterate Israel. The Scripture also adds that he will not regard the desire of women (v. 37). Some scholars have suggested this to mean that the Antichrist will not engage in the normal physical desires which a man has for a woman. This idea, however, does not fit the context. More in line is the thought that this is a specific urge or craving the women of Israel had to become the mother of the Messiah, fulfilling Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 9:6-7.Therefore, because the Antichrist hates God-and hates Christ-he has no regard for the Savior, the desire of women for centuries to bear and deliver the Messiah. The Antichrist will hate Jesus so much, and become so violently opposed to everything for which He stands, that he not only refuses to bow down and worship the Savior, but also executes those who do (Revelation 13:15; 20:4).

The Great Deceiver

Some have suggested that the Antichrist will be a Jew who has departed from the God of his fathers, Yahweh. However, this cannot be the case because according to prophecy he must emerge from the revived Roman Empire and must therefore be a son born within the European Union. It's my belief that we can expect the Antichrist to be a Gentile who defects from his religious upbringing and becomes an avowed believer in, and promoter of, the philosophy of the New Age movement. I encourage you to pay careful attention to this movement in the days ahead as you see its power manifested around you. Remember that New Age thipking is much more harmful than a few innocent crystals, shamans, incense-burning bookstores, Tarot cards, and some mystical, put-you-to-sleep music.

Pay particular attention to the words that advocates of the New Age movement use, such as you are little gods, or you can be like a god, or you can make your own happiness, or you need to do nothing more than center yourself in your own consciousness, along with a constant repetition of the phrase I am, a not so subtle suggestion that they regard themselves as good as miniature gods. These words and phrases put them on the precipice of blasphemy, and create an apostate atmosphere in which the Antichrist will feel very much at home. We who have ears to hear must remember that God is revealing these final truths to Daniel. Today this book is now open and unsealed. The predicted events are happening and the time of the end has arrived.

Not only is the Antichrist a great opponent of almighty God and His people, but he is also a great deceiver. He comes as a man of peace, making a binding covenant with Israel at the beginning of the seventieth seven of years. This pact will tie Israel so tightly to the Antichrist that Israel will, for all practical purposes, be an arm of this revived Roman ruler in the Middle East. Therefore, any attack on Israel will be regarded as an attack on the Antichrist himself.

But when Israel is later attacked by Egypt and Russia (kings of the South and the North) we will begin to see the pact with Israel for the sham it really is. How deceitful will the Antichrist be? Daniel 11:38 says,He shall honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

The Antichrist will get his own way because of his ability to beguile virtually all the nations of earth with his smooth tongue and New Age-like thinking, wresting the entire world under his control. The gods he honors will be New Age gods, people, and personalities, all minor gods of whom he, the Antichrist, is chief. It will be a Robin Hood scenario where he takes from the rich and gives to the poor-an activity for which he will receive uncritical, rave reviews. He will heap masses of money and an abundance of material things upon the have-nots of the world, and they will honor and follow him as so many lemmings over the precipice until he ultimately gets what he wants. But watch out, because at that point this E.U. Pied Piper will rid himself of his most ardent followers.

Revelation 13:1-18 is an important reminder of the global extent of this dictator. For your easy reference, I'm listing the entire passage. It's important that you read this text in its entirety because of its detailed predictions of what this beast, or Antichrist, will resemble:And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And 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, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 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 might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Here is a beast who will be killed and then resurrected as Christ was (Daniel 11:45; Revelation 12:3). To ensure that his power base remains unchallenged, he will insist that the mark 666 be given to all-rich and poor, free or bond. This mark on their foreheads or in their right hands will be mandatory for buying something as simple as a loaf of bread. Unknown to many Christians, these numbers, in various forms, are already being prepared as identification tags on products going in and out of the European Union. Recently, one thousand Greek Orthodox priests and nuns conducted protest marches in Athens against an upcoming I.D. they claim contains the number 666. Things are moving at a quickening pace, but none of what we are presently experiencing could possibly be understood until our time-the latter days. Until then, Daniel would remain a sealed book, closed until the time of the end. Only at that appointed time would the book be unsealed and revealed-its mysteries brought to light. That hour has arrived.

The Seventieth Week Is Rapidly Approaching

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him 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.

This king of the South is Egypt, combined with a federation of Arab nations that will unite with Egypt. These countries are listed in Ezekiel 38:5-6 as Persia (modern-day Iran and Iraq), Ethiopia, Libya, and Togarmah (Turkey). Syria is mentioned in Isaiah 17:1, and the listing continues in Psalm 8 3:4-8 as Edom, Moab, Ammon (Jordan), Gebal and Tyre (Lebanon), and the Philistines (Palestine).

The king of the North, Russia, also appears on the scene, coming from the north as prophesied in Ezekiel 38:15 and 39:2. Similar references to these northern military movements can be found in Jeremiah 1:13, 6:22, 10:22, and Joel 2:20. In fact, if one draws a line from Palestine of old-Israel today-to the North Pole, one must go through Russia, and actually intersect the city of Moscow. Furthermore, Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal are all cities identifiable within Russia today.

Furthermore, if one took the name Meshech back to its origin, it would be Meshech, then Mosach, then Moscoti, then Moscovi, and finally, Moscow. The prophecies of Daniel's fourth revelation are now on the edge of fulfillment. The message of verse 40 is taking shape. Since God kept His promises 135 times in the first thirty-five verses of Daniel chapter eleven, there can be no argument that He will keep the promises He made in verses 40 to 45.

The Campaign of Armageddon Begins

As I mentioned earlier, Rabbi Shvili in his book Reckonings of Redemption, written in 1935, states: We Jews can know everything about our future just from the Book of Daniel. How true! Other Jewish Rabbinical scholars clarify the depth of teaching discovered in verses 40-45 of the eleventh chapter of Daniel. Quoting the Midrash Tehillim they state: There will be three different attacks against Jerusalem at the time of the end. The three military advances mentioned by these Jewish scholars will be observed and explained as we move ahead in our discussion of the forty-two-month Armageddon campaign.

When Russia heads south to do battle, she will be a mighty force as she comes against the Antichrist's army with chariots, horsemen, and many ships. This is the first military wave of the three-pronged Armageddon campaign mentioned in Daniel 11:40 when the king of the South (Egypt and her Arab federation) and the king of the North (Russia) begin their pincer movement. Ezekiel 3 8:16 says,And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Once Russia has made her move, the Antichrist will be furious. He will enter the glorious land, Israel.

Here is the upcoming scenario. The Antichrist will sit in Jerusalem-in the Jewish temple at the midpoint of the Tribulation hour-the second three and one-half years, calling himself God. Since he knows that he has only a short time to do his global mischief while incarnated by Satan, he spews forth wrath and hatred. When he hears that Russia and the Arab federation are invading the region, he moves at breakneck speed and puts an end to the militaristic activity of Russia, Egypt, and her hoards. The European Union has taken a position in the conflict and the Antichrist has subdued and driven back the first wave of Russian and Arab invaders. At this point Russia has fled to Siberia (Joel 2:20).

Now the second movement of troops is about to move into the Middle East for another invasion of Israel. Daniel 11:44 states:Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy.

The Antichrist is now on a bloody rampage. He's heard that great oriental armies are moving down into the region to do battle accompanied by the leftover rag-tag army of Russia that had previously been pushed back to Siberia. This frustrates him as he wonders how he'll be able to fend off two hundred million troops who are out to destroy him (Revelation 9:16). He's now overwhelmed and fears he will be unable to maintain enough of a power base to defend himself. During this juncture, the Antichrist is killed by Gog of Russia (Daniel 11:45). But, as we learned earlier he suddenly comes back to life, duplicating the resurrection of Jesus Christ-something no one in history has ever done (Revelation 13:3). He flaunts this demonic miracle and uses it to again position himself as a god among men, reestablishing himself when he needs it most-when his reputation and strength are on the line. Because of his miraculous resurrection, all the world worships him (Revelation 13:8).

Israel-a Nation Not at Rest

Verse 45 of this chapter says,And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The Bible teaches that the Antichrist is going to plant himself between the seas-the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. The holy mountain, which is Jerusalem, is where he will then live for three and one-half years after his resurrection, usurping the Jewish throne as he sets himself up as god in the Jewish temple. Second Thessalonians 2:4 declares,Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

This is the midpoint of the Tribulation period. Russia now invades the land of unwalled villages against them that are at rest (Ezekiel 38:11). Israel became a nation in 1948 but has never been at rest since that memorable day. No nation on earth longs more for peace than Israel. Daily newspapers and periodicals constantly portray the restlessness and uneasiness Israel experiences. Soon a western leader out of the European Union will arise and confirm the covenant of peace for seven years (Daniel 9:27). However, even this final contract made between the Antichrist and Israel will be short-lived, lasting only forty-two months, after which Russia strikes, aligned with Egypt and her confederation of Arabs. This, I repeat, is that first wave of military force marching against Israel in the Armageddon campaign.

Then China and the remnants of Russia's fallen army join in the fray for the second wave of the Armageddon campaign, as two hundred million soldiers move against Israel-not a difficult assignment for a nation which, in the next decade, will boast a population of more than 1.4 billion people. They will march out of the Orient downward across the areas of Iraq and Syria. Revelation 16:12 says,The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

This second wave of gigantic military power eliminates one-third of earth's inhabitants (Revelation 9:18). In spite of this colossal power, China and Russia are also defeated.

Finally, in the third and closing scene of the Armageddon campaign, the Antichrist and his armies battle Christ in what becomes the war to end all wars. Armageddon, or HarMegeddo, is the gathering place (Revelation 16:16). From there the armies march to the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2). Then Zechariah 14:2 occurs as all nations gather against Jerusalem to battle. The Antichrist has been doing everything in his power during his final forty-two months to pour out venom on his enemies, but now he speaks the ultimate blasphemy by saying, I will stop the King of Kings from coming to power. Egotistically, he believes he will also be victorious against the Lord of hosts. Revelation 19:19 sets the stage for this apocalyptic event:I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Christ that sat on the horse, and against his army.

In Revelation 19:11, Christ appears on a white horse to rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But stubborn and rebellious to the end, the Antichrist insists he will never be defeated by any enemy, including Christ. But this time he's wrong because Christ destroys him with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Christ then takes this beast-the global dictator-along with the false prophet who headed up the world church-and casts them both into a lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). A thousand years later, when Satan is thrown into that same lake of fire, the beast and the false prophet are still in existence, suffering the torment of hell forever and forever.

Again, this final reminder: If God proved himself 135 times in the earlier portion of Daniel chapter eleven, He will surely fulfill these remaining prophecies-and not just some day, but in our day. When will these events take place? At the time of the end (Daniel 11:4; 12:4). It's later than you think. Here's why. The ancient Jewish writing-Avodah Zara 3 B-states: The war of Gog and Magog [Russia] will be one of the key events to usher in the Messianic Era. The revered Jerusalem Targum adds: At the end of days, Gog and Magog shall march against Jerusalem, but perish by the hand of Messiah. Ezekiel 39:6 verifies this. The stage is now set for the Antichrist to appear. Then seven years after the evil one's dominion of the international scene, Jesus Christ returns to rule on earth in majesty and great glory for one thousand years-the explosive finale to this great Book of Daniel, and our focus in chapter twelve.

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