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The Kings of the North and South

In this article the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in here, right or wrong, are my own.   

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 Introduction

From my library:

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{PK 547.1- 548.2}

Honoured by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honoured by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come.  His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labours closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days” – in the closing period of this world's history – he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. 

It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose.  “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end”.  “Go your way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. . . Go you your way till the end be: for you shall rest, and stand in your lot at the end of the days”.  Daniel 12:4, 9, 13.   

As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living.  With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures.  Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood.  But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. 

“The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein”.  Revelation 1:3.   

From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory.  Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld, – power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring, – how completely has it passed away!  As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished.  James 1:10. 

So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. 

And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation.  Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure.  His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. 

A careful study of the working out of God's purpose in the history of nations and in the revelation of things to come, will help us to estimate at their true value things seen and things unseen, and to learn what is the true aim of life.  Thus, viewing the things of time in the light of eternity, we may, like Daniel and his fellows, live for that which is true and noble and enduring. 

And learning in this life the principles of the kingdom of our LORD and Saviour, that blessed kingdom which is to endure for ever and ever, we may be prepared at His coming to enter with Him into its possession.

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ššššš

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kings of the

NORTH and SOUTH

  

A little background:

Daniel had been taken captive by the young king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon around 606BC and that kingdom had lasted a long time (about 66 years), but eventually the “head of gold” had been replaced by the two “silver arms” of the Medes and Persians.  (Daniel 2:37-39.)  Then the “one side” of the bear soon came to the fore and the new kingdom had become entirely Persian. (Daniel 7:5, 17.)  Daniel could have been 85 years old at that point.   

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Daniel 10:

1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia [c. 535BC] a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar [by the Babylonians, Daniel 1:7]; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision [which made him very sad].    

2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks [as a consequence of the vision]. 3 I ate no pleasant bread [cakes etc.], neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth [a vegetarian diet], neither did I anoint myself at all [I didn’t waste time], till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

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It cannot now be said by the LORD's servants, as it was by the prophet Daniel: “The time appointed was long”, for now is the time nearer than it was [by 2,500 years].  “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we [first] believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day[light]; not in rioting and drunkenness [partying], not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put you on the LORD Jesus Christ, and make not provision [or place] for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts [desires] thereof”.  Romans 13:11-14.

And that’s what Daniel did – he fasted, not by denying himself food – but by living simply and cleanly to clear his mind as he endeavoured to comprehend in detail what he had been shown in his past visions.  He had seen in them that Babylon was to be superseded by the Medes and Persians (Daniel 7:4-5, 8:20 et al), and this had now been a fact for about five years.  Persia (today’s Iran) now controlled all the area from Turkey across to Mongolia and down the Arabian peninsular to the borders of India.  “(. . . From India even to Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces) . . .”  Esther 1:1. Today that is what we call the Middle east, and comprises Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, etc. and even Egypt – all of which is Muslim territory.  

(See map page 6.)

Daniel also tells us what he  had found out earlier:

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus [c. 538BC], of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans [by Cyrus the Persian, his son-in-law]; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. [Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:9.]  And I set my face to the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed to the LORD my God [for he had been in Babylon about 68 years at that time] . . .” Daniel 9:1-4. 

As a consequence of this prophecy he had seen many of his countrymen and women leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem under the guidance of the newly appointed governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Jeshua [aka Joshua].  (Daniel was considered too old to make the trip and so remained in Babylon.)

This is what happened:

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Ezra 1:

1 “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing [c. 537BC], saying,

2 ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He has charged me to build Him a house [temple] at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all His people?  His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4 ‘And whosoever remains in any place where he sojourns [whoever doesn’t go], let the men of his place help him [make a donation] with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem [that I will make]”.   

5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.

6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.  7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; 8 even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them to Sheshbazzar, the prince [treasurer] of Judah . . .

 

Chapter 2:

1 Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and came again to Jerusalem and Judah, every one to his city; 2 which came with Zerubbabel [then follows a long list by families] . . .  

64 The whole congregation together was forty-two thousand three hundred and threescore, 65 beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women [just over 50,000 people]. 66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five;

67  their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.   

68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the [site of the] house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place. 69 They gave after their ability to the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand [61,000] drams of gold, and five thousand pounds of silver, and one hundred priests' garments. 70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims [temple servants], dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities”. 

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Daniel did not cease to pray and agonise over the information he had been given, for although the seventy years were up and some of the people had returned, he had also been told of a longer time period of 2,300 day/years which would be needed for the sanctuary/temple to “be restored to its rightful place”.  Daniel 8:14, margin. This not only puzzled him, but also made him sick through apprehension for what must happen to God’s people in that large space of time, so he had been searching for two years for the answer.

If he had lived on (we are not told when or how he died), he would have heard about much trouble and strife over the rebuilding of the temple and city (and even a time when the work actually ceased for a while), until Ezra the scribe and friend of king Artaxerxes arrived on the scene in 457BC with a full authority from him to “restore” the nation to its former independence. (See note 1, page 52)  But that was to be eighty years into the future.  In between there was a confirmation of Cyrus’ decree by Darius the Great in 520BC. 

“And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.  And they built, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius [the great], and Artaxerxes king of Persia”.  Ezra 6:14. (To see more, go to Appendix A, page 55.)

Here’s an important point:  History doesn’t just “happen” – the Son of God needed the actions of three kings before He got what He wanted.  In fact, even more than that, for He used a girl who became queen of Persia (see note 2, page 52), a boy who loved her, and a scribe (writer and historian) whom the boy admired.  But Cyrus gave the first command to “build” Jerusalem in 537BC, Darius re-confirmed the order in 520BC after another person had cancelled it, and Ataxerxes added the “restore” portion in 457BC.  Many lives needed to be interwoven, and many years pass, for God to get His way.  It took 80 years in all!   

However, in answer to his petitions, Daniel received not only the light and truth which he and his people most needed at that time, but a view of the great events of the future, even to the first advent of the world's Redeemer.  Then, in a greater blaze of glory, he was shown that which we are about to read, the prophecies of the kings of the north and south.  As we do that, let’s remember, “Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition [warning], upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall [like they did]”.  1 Corinthians 10:11-12.

Lateral thought:

Those who claim to be sanctified, while they have no desire to search the Scriptures or to wrestle with God in prayer for a clearer understanding of Bible truth, do not know what true sanctification is or how it works. Daniel talked with the Son of God and the future was opened before him.  But the high honours granted him were the result of humiliation and earnest seeking.  All who believe with the heart the word of God, will hunger and thirst for a knowledge of His will.  God is the author of truth.  He enlightens the darkened understanding and gives to the human mind power to grasp and comprehend the truths which He has revealed, so that the “wise” (the reborn ones) might understand.  We NEED to know the future if we are to co-operate with God more fully, and the best way to learn it is to study the past, for “there is nothing new under the sun, that which has been, will be”.

We are told; “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  Is there any thing whereof it may be said, ‘See, this is new?’  It has been already of old time, which was before us”.  Ecclesiastes 1:9-10.

Regarding this point, one day Jesus said to His disciples, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen [the eleven]: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He that eats bread with Me [Judas] has lifted up his heel against Me’ [Psalm 41:9], now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may [still] believe that I am He [the Sent One].  Verily, verily, I say to you, He that receives whomsoever I send receives Me; and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me”. John 13:18-20.

The angels and people of the unfallen worlds are just like us, they too desire to know what’s going to happen, and they also press God to explain the future, which He does as they are able to accept it.

So information was what Daniel was after:

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Daniel 10:

4 And in the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel [aka Tigris]; 5 then I lifted up my eyes [he had been praying], and looked, and behold a certain Man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl [an unidentified jewel], and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude. 

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Because he too was “a friend of God” – one who willingly and cheerfully carried out his duties, (John 15:14-15) – Daniel was treated to close fellowship and often had sessions with his Redeemer.  This was one of them.  The Son of God appeared to him while standing on the waters of the river.  Daniel did not receive this vision because he was perfect, but because he was an overcomer.  His history, if all was written, would open chapters before us that would show us the temptations he had to meet, of ridicule, envy, and hatred; but he learned to master the difficulties in the strength of his LORD. (Consider Daniel chapter 6.)  He did not trust in his own strength; he laid his whole soul and all his problems open to his heavenly Father, and he believed God heard him, and he was comforted and blessed.  He rose superior to ridicule; and so will every one who is an overcomer.  Daniel acquired a serene and cheerful state of mind, because he believed that God was his Friend and Helper.  The demanding duties he had to perform were made easier because he brought the light and love of God into his work.  “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth” to such as walk in them.  See Psalm 25:9-10.

Jesus told him as He tells us, “Come to Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”.  Matthew 11:28-30.

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Daniel 10:

7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me [in the prayer session] saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. [This explains why visits are so infrequent today.] 

8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.  9 Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground [he fainted]10 And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 

11 And he [the angel Gabriel] said to me, “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright: for to you am I now sent”.   And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood trembling.   

12 Then said he to me, “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words.  13 But the prince [king] of the kingdom of Persia [Cyrus] withstood me twenty-one days: but, lo, Michael [“He who is like God”], one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  14 Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your [God’s] people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days [years]”. 

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Although the Son of God was there in the vision, it was one of His helpers, named Gabriel, who lifted Daniel up.  He explained that he had again been busy in the king’s palace but now that problem was fixed, and he had come to help Daniel. Once before he had been sent from the palace to Daniel’s side in answer to his petitions.  Daniel tells us that on that occasion, “And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God [Jerusalem]; yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel [an angel in human form], whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly [from the king’s side], touched me about the time of the evening oblation [about 3pm]. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, ‘O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding’.”  Daniel 9:20-22.

By this statement of Gabriel’s we can see that heavenly agencies have to contend with many problems before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its time.  The king of Persia was being led by the highest of all evil angels at that time.  He was refusing, as did the Pharaoh in Moses’ time, to obey the request of the LORD.  Gabriel declared, “He withstood me twenty-one days”.  But Michael (the Son of God) came to his help, and once the right decision was reached He left while Gabriel and other angels remained with the king of Persia, holding the evil powers in check, giving right counsel against evil counsel.  Good and evil angels are constantly taking a part in the planning of God in His earthly kingdom.  It is the Son of God's purpose to carry forward His work in correct lines, in ways that will advance His Father’s glory, but Satan is ever trying to counterwork His desire. 

Day by day the choice between good and evil in our minds is going on, influenced by God and the devil.  (See note 3, page 52)  Why is it that those among us who have had many opportunities and advantages do not realize the intensity of this work?  We should be intelligent in regard to this.  God is the Ruler despite Satan’s claims.  By His supreme power of persuasion God holds in check and controls earthly potentates.  (See the picture in Revelation 7:1.)  Through His agencies He does the work which was ordained before the foundation of the world.  This is how “righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34), for if they have no sinful pride its leaders can be shown what to do.  

What we shall see in these kings/nations of the north and south, is a picture of what was, and is, happening all over the world every day, for murder for political gain, assassination, intrigue and wars are the norm in this world, and as the explanation continues we shall see the expansion of empires until in the last days the actions of the kings of the north and south become world-wide.  We shall also see a great deal of detail in some of the sections, when He gives us the personal actions of some of the participants, and from this we can understand that God knows everything of the future, down to the number of hairs on our heads on any given day.  (Matthew 10:30.)  The people referred to were the pop stars and famous ones of the times, and were written about and gossiped about by the ordinary folk who were familiar with their names and behaviour.

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Daniel 10:

15 And when he [Gabriel] had spoken such words to me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb [he fainted again].

16 And, behold, one like the similitude [likeness] of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said to him that stood before me, “O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.  17 For how can the servant of this my LORD [me]  talk with this my lord [you]?  For as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me”.

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Even though this man of God had been blessed by the LORD many times over his long life, in this situation so near to the bodily presence of the Son of God, he could retain no strength in his sinful flesh, and needed special help.   That’s why Gabriel came to him in the likeness of humanity – the Son of God and His people are ever solicitous for our well-being and comfort and don’t want to add to our stress.

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Daniel 10:

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 and said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be to you, be strong, yea, be strong”.   And when he had spoken to me, I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me”.

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We have just read that Daniel, the prophet of God, was a man “greatly beloved” of heaven.  Why?  He held the position of president of the council of leaders in the courts of Babylon/Persia (Daniel 6:1-3), and served and honoured God alike in prosperity and trial, and yet he humbled himself and confessed his sin and the sin of his people.  With deep sorrow of heart he acknowledged: “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and from Your judgments: neither have we hearkened to Your servants the prophets, which spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.  O LORD, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries where You have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against You”.  Daniel 9:5-6.

Daniel did not seek to excuse himself or his people before God, but identified himself fully with them.  In humility and contrition of soul he confessed the full extent and demerit of their transgressions, and vindicated God's dealings as just toward a nation that had set at nought His requirements and which would not profit by His entreaties. This was not just lip-service, but a fact, which was evidenced by his presence in Babylon as a captive.  He was a man “subject to like passions as we are”, yet one who was willing to be used for the good of others.  See James 5:17.

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Daniel 10:

20 Then said he [Gabriel], “Know you wherefore I come to you?  And now will I return to fight with [words and thoughts against] the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come.  21 But I will show you that which IS NOTED IN THE SCRIPTURE OF TRUTH: and there is none that holds with me in these things, but Michael your Prince”.

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The words of the angel to the father-to-be of John the Baptist, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God,” show that he holds a position of high honour in the heavenly courts.  Why?  Because when he came with a message to Daniel, he said, “There is none that holds with me in these things [understanding the words of God], but Michael [Christ] your Prince”. The Saviour speaks of Gabriel in the Revelation, saying that “He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John”.   Revelation 1:1.  And to John the angel declared, “I am your fellow servant and of your brothers [and sisters] the prophets”.   Revelation 22:9.   Wonderful thought – that the angel who stands next in honour to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to erring men, because he too has searched them out.  Did you notice that he said this was all written in the Book already?  Not in Daniel’s writings, for they were in the process of being written, but maybe somewhere back in Moses’ words?  Isn’t it nice to know that angels study our Bible too? 

Or do the people of the universe have an extra Book of the Future to read? “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?’ And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.  And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof’ [and show us the future].”   Revelation 5:1-5.

Gabriel then reminded Daniel that all the worldly glory around him was due for another change of master very soon (to him) – it was actually to be around 334BC, nearly two hundred years, before it happened – but that is not a long time to an angel!

 

Chapter 11:

But now he got down to detail:

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Chapter 11:

1 “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him [I’ve been around for a while]

2 “And now will I show you the truth [of the future].   

“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 Greece.

3 “And a mighty king shall stand up [in that European kingdom], that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 

4 “And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven [north, south, east, and west]; 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”.

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The three kings mentioned were:

1)  Cambyses, c.530-522BC;  (There was one called Gaumata c.525BC who impersonated Cambyses’ brother Smerdis and usurped the throne while Cambyses was fighting in Egypt.  He ruled just long enough to suspend the temple building, but he should not be counted because he was an imposter and Cambyses was alive.  See Ezra 4:4-5.)

2)  Darius the Great, c.522-486BC who killed Gaumata and took over after Cambyses died

3)  The third was Ahasuerus (aka Xerxes) c.486-465BC.  He was the king who divorced his disobedient wife and eventually married the Jewish lady named Esther.  See Esther 1:1-3; 2:16-17. 

The LORD foresaw the troublous times that were to follow during the reign of Xerxes, and the death decree that would be issued, and He not only worked hard to change the feeling in the hearts of men in authority, but also inspired Zechariah to plead with the remaining exiles to return.

“Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north,” was the message given to the scattered tribes of Israel who had become settled in many lands far from their former home.  “I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, said the LORD. [But now] Deliver yourself, O Zion, that dwell with the daughter of Babylon.  For thus said the LORD of hosts; After the glory has He sent me to the nations which spoiled you: for he that touches you touches the apple of His eye.  For, behold, I will shake My hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants [they’ll have internal troubles]: and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me”.  Zechariah 2:6-9.

It was those “whose spirit God had raised” (Ezra 1:5) who had returned under the decree of Cyrus, the first opportunity.  But the Son of God did not cease to plead with those who voluntarily remained in the land of their exile, and through many agencies He made it possible for them also to return. The majority, however, of those who failed to respond to the decree of Cyrus, remained unimpressed to later influences; and even when Zechariah called them to flee from Babylon without further delay, they did not heed the invitation.

So much like today, although ours is also a spiritual movement, not just a physical one!  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”.  Ephesians 6:12. 

Meanwhile conditions in the Medo-Persian realm were rapidly changing.  Darius Hystaspes, under whose reign the Jews had been shown marked favour, was succeeded by Xerxes the Great (aka Ahasuerus).  It was during his reign that those of the Jews who had failed of heeding the message to flee were called upon to face a terrible crisis.  Having refused to take advantage of the way of escape that God had provided they were now brought face to face with death. A careful reading of the book of Esther shows how the LORD was able to override the death decree and give His people one last chance.

4) The fourth king was Artaxerxes Longimanus, c.465-423BC, one of the sons of Xerxes.  He obviously had much to do with Esther, one of his father’s wives.  I believe that it was because of his connection with the Jewish nation through her that he gave Ezra such favourable conditions.

In the issuing of this decree by Artaxerxes, God's providence was clearly visible.  Some discerned this and gladly took advantage of the privilege of returning under circumstances so favourable.  A general place of meeting was named, and at the appointed time those who were desirous of going to Jerusalem assembled for the long journey.  “I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava,” Ezra says, “and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi”.  Ezra 8:15.  He had expected that many would return to Jerusalem after their brush with death, but the number of those who responded to the call was disappointingly small, and there were none of the workers for the temple.  Many who had acquired houses and lands in Persia had no desire to sacrifice these possessions.  They loved ease and comfort and were well satisfied to remain.  Their example proved a hindrance to others who otherwise might have chosen to cast in their lot with those who were advancing by faith.

Ezra then sent for some of the elders who were assembled, “And I sent them with commandment to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say to Iddo, and to his brothers the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God.  And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen; and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty; also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name”.  Ezra 8:17-20.

But then came a change. 

The wealth and strength of the Persian empire aroused the interest of a new king in Europe, Alexander the great.  Around 334BC he decided to build an empire of his own.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

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Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He succeeded in being awarded the generalship of Greece and, with his authority firmly established, launched the military plans for expansion left by his father. In 334 BC he invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns lasting ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. Subsequently he overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire.i[›] The Macedonian Empire now stretched from the Adriatic sea to the Indus River.

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The “goat” had overcome the “ram”!  Daniel 8:3-8.  

In doing so, he was hailed by many, especially in Egypt, as a saviour from the hated Persians. But his kingdom was not to last for long.  Gabriel commented on the fact that at the height of his power, he would be struck down and his empire divided into the “four winds of heaven” - north, south, east and west.  He died in a drunken orgy in Babylon and his kingdom was eventually divided amongst his four generals after much war, murder and intrigue. 

It was not very long before the general in the north, Lysimachus of Thrace (Greece and Turkey), combined the west (Cassander of Greece and Macedonia) under his umbrella, and then he in turn was absorbed by Seleucus of Syria which left just one in the north, with Ptolemy of Egypt in the south.  It was in this manner that the terms “king of the north” and “king of the south” came to be used, with “north” representing the area of Greece/Syria/Babylon/Persia, and “south” indicative of Egypt, the rejecter of the living God.  (They started as limited geographical terms, but eventually became spiritual and world-wide.  The brass “belly” of Greece had become the “two thighs”.  Daniel 2:32.  See map, facing page 39.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

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Following his desire to reach the “ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea”, he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, without realizing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following Alexander's death a series of civil wars tore his empire apart which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by the Diadochi - Alexander's surviving generals. Although he is mostly remembered for his vast conquests, Alexander's lasting legacy was not his reign, but the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered.

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As a result of the Greek presence, one of their dialects became the common language of all the then known world and the nations could communicate with each other easily. Greek customs and manners flooded all societies, including that of the Romans.  This was a great help when Jesus walked the earth.

From now on in the revealing of the future, the angel Gabriel uses the terms “king of the north” and “king of the south” to describe the military and political activities that were to take place in that area.  Why?  Of what use is it for us to know who did what to whom in old times?  Apart from the fact that as each period passed the people of God could see where they were in history, there is also the fact that in the last days these two divisions of Satan’s earthly kingdom still exist (one as a counterfeit of God’s people, and the other against them), and they still fight against one another, much to Satan’s disgust, for Satan’s kingdom is divided against itself. 

We are told, “He [Jesus] called them to Him, and said to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but has an end’.”   Mark 3:23-26.  Satan cannot control the passions of natural men any more than God can, for they all have the instincts of “the beast” – they want their own way.  All he can do is persuade, trick, and hassle men (and women) until he gets what he wants.  But we need to see that that is most of the reason for the appalling state the world is in, and that God and Satan are trying to get their own way, one for good and the other for evil.  Knowing the history will help a lot in seeing the future, and where we live in relation to it!

It is not important that we remember all the details of these conflicts, but it is important that we see and understand the principles of the war which is being fought between the two sides.  Satan uses either (and sometimes both) to harass and try to exterminate God’s people (spiritual Israel), but often they just end up fighting each other, for the nature of “the beast” (unsaved human nature) is that it likes to fight and kill. 

Gabriel continued, not in symbols or pictures, but in plain words:

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Daniel 11:

5 “And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he [south] shall be strong above him [king of the north], and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.    

6 “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 [by marriage]: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he [north] stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her [whom she brought forth, margin], and he that strengthened her in these times.

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During the wars and coups that occurred in these areas during the next three hundred years, no matter who conquered whom, or for how long, these two divisions must always remain the basis for our reading or we can have no understanding of what God is trying to show us.

At this point in time the king of the north, based on Syria, now included European Greece, while the king of the south was Egyptian Greece under the Greek kings called Ptolemy, which they later changed to Pharaoh.  One of them, Ptolemy Soter (c. 367-283BC) annexed Cyprus, Phoenicia, Cyrene, and many other islands of the Mediterranean and built up quite a power base.

To give us some idea of how detailed this chapter can be, let us look carefully at the above opening.  There were naturally frequent wars between the families of these two kings as they struggled to rule the whole of the then known world individually.  But the second king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus [“the loving brother”] and Antiochus Theos [“the god”] the third king of Syria, eventually realised that they could not outdo each other and so they proposed a truce.  Antiochus was asked to divorce his wife, Laodice, and marry Berenice the daughter of Ptolemy, who was given an enormous dowry by her father.

However, as the record shows, she could not retain her power over Antiochus who brought his wife and children back into the court.  But his wife, fearing that he might change his mind again, had Berenice and her son murdered, and then, all the attendants of the unfortunate woman!  Ptolemy, the Egyptian father, not having the strength of arms, could do nothing about it, and grieved till he died!

Laodice was probably egged on by Antiochus, but she repaid him by having him murdered also so her son could take over! 

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Daniel 11:

7 “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: 8 and shall also carry captives [back] 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.

9 “So the king of the south shall come into his [north’s] kingdom, and [then] shall return into his own land”.

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“But out of a branch of her roots”, Berenice’s brother Ptolemy Euergetes [“the benefactor”], became king and invaded the north with a large army.  By this time it was Antiochus’ son, Seleucus Callinicus [“beautiful victor”], who was in charge of the north, with his mother Laodice.  After killing the mother  Ptolemy conquered much of the north even towards Babylon, but had to make a hasty retreat when some people in Egypt tried to take over his kingdom.  He did manage to retrieve a lot of loot, including some idols which Cambyses had previously taken from Egypt, which is why he was called “the benefactor” by the Egyptians.  He very nearly disposed of “the king of the north” as a force completely!

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Daniel 11:

10 “But his [north’s] sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one [son] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 

11 “And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be moved with choler [great anger], and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north [Syria]: and he [north] shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his [south’s] hand.  12 And when he has taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up [in pride]; and [then] he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it. 

13 “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”.

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As an indication as to how accurate the word of God is, we are told that only one of Seleucus’ sons would retaliate.  He had two sons, but after the eldest took the throne and assembled a great army to invade Egypt, he was poisoned by some of his generals, and his brother, Antiochus Magnus [“the great”] was the one who attacked.  He defeated the Egyptian army on the plains of Israel and contemplated invading Egypt but was persuaded to enter into a truce.  Both sides thought that this would give them time to prepare for the next engagement. (Rather like the Germans and the English in the First World War in 1918.) 

The fourth king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philopator (“he who loves his country”) (221-205BC), won the battle when the two multitudes met, but lost the war when he failed to conquer the land of the north, because he wanted an easy life.  He did get to Jerusalem where he wanted to enter the temple and make an offering, but when he was refused because he was a Gentile, he burned with anger against the whole nation of Jews and took it out on some 40,000 Jews who lived in the chief city of Egypt, Alexandria.

Inevitably, this allowed Antiochus to regroup and come “after certain years” (about fourteen) when Philopater died and his son Epiphanes (“God is manifest”, who was only five years old, became Pharaoh.  It was from this time that Egypt began to decline as a world power and the upper kingdom split from the lower one.  Antiochus, of course, expected an easy victory, but it was not to be.

Thus another prophecy which had been made about 593BC began to have a fulfilment. 

“Yet thus says the LORD GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people where they were scattered: and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation [upper Egypt]; and they shall be there a base kingdom.  It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations”.  Ezekiel 29:13-15.

In its place a new power is introduced:

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Daniel 11:

14 “And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also “the robbers of your people” shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall [in due time]”.

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“Many” were to “stand up” or revolt against the young king, the foremost of whom was his Prime Minister, but he was soon defeated by the loyalists.  At the same time, Philip of Macedon (part of Greece) entered into an agreement with Antiochus (king of the north) to share Egypt between them when they conquered it.  But there was a new power in the background, “the robbers”. 

Daniel had seen this in one of his earlier visions:

“Therefore the he goat [Greece] waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn [Alexander] was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven [the generals].  And out of one of them [from the west] came forth a little horn [Pagan Rome], which waxed exceeding great, toward the south [Egypt], and toward the east [Syria], and toward the pleasant land [of Israel]. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven [the people of God]; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars [their leaders] to the ground, and stamped upon them”.   Daniel 8:8-10.

Far away on the banks of the Tiber River in Italy, a small group of people had been growing in strength and vigour, and now it (the Republic of Rome) reared its head amongst the nations.  It was different from other nations in that it was a republic (like our democracy) in which many had a say in elections for leaders, rather than just being headed by a king.  They now interfered in behalf of the young king of Egypt and protected him from the king of the north.  This was c.200BC.  From this point on the Romans, more than any other people, become the subject of Gabriel’s lesson, for they were destined to become the masters of the world.  But even they were to have a limit as to how long they would be able to do so, as Gabriel noted 

Rome at first simply sent an ambassador to Egypt who appointed a wise old man to be the boy’s guardian.  Then he promoted Scopas, a foreigner who was a general in the Egyptian forces, who then marched into Palestine (as the Romans called Israel) and lower Syria, and took that area into the authority of Egypt. 

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Daniel 11:

15 “So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount [to attack the cities], 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.

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Antiochus had been busy in a war elsewhere while this was going on, but he came back and roundly defeated Scopas and his army and besieged them in the city of Sidon in Palestine.  Numerous attempts to raise the siege failed and Scopas eventually had to surrender and the “king of the north” was in control again.  

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Daniel 11:

16 But he [Rome] that comes against him [king of the north] shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land [Israel], which by his hand shall be consumed. 17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones [some of the Jews] with him; thus shall he do: and he [Satan] shall give him the daughter of women [a special person], corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. 

18 “After this shall he turn his face to the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf [from his own side] shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him [he won’t be punished for this action!]19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found”.

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This time it was Roman armies that came against Antiochus.  They had become connected to the Jews in 168BC by a treaty, and in 65BC Pompey of Rome reduced Syria to the status of a Roman province, which naturally gave the Romans the right to the title of “the king of the north”.  They then took possession of Israel about 63BC when Pompey settled an argument between two Jewish brothers as to who should rule the Promised Land.  The one he favoured was delighted with the result, but now the iron hand of Rome was in control and we are getting into a time of history that every westerner is familiar with.

The only part of Alexander’s former kingdom which remained independent was Egypt and now the Romans began to look upon it with desire.  When the Egyptian king died in 51BC he left his kingdom to his eldest child, Cleopatra, and one of her younger brothers, provided that they got married and ruled together.  (This was a common practice in those days.  When the first died she married the other.)  But because they were young he asked the Romans to be their guardians, for that country was regarded as the “police state” of that time, just as the United States of America is of ours, and the republican Pompey took on the role. 

A new star now appears in our story, for the general Julius Caesar quarrelled with Pompey, who fled to Egypt but was murdered there.  Caesar followed him and took over the role of guardian when he found the young Ptolemy and Cleopatra hostile to each other, and in doing so he became aware of many internal disturbances in the kingdom as well which threatened the supply of food to Rome.

He called in his armies and set up a mediation process, but Cleopatra realised that her girlish charms could work a miracle (she was 22 and he 50+) and she persuaded Caesar to stay on in Egypt.  She had one son with him but he did not survive to make a mark in history.  One of the Egyptian officials stirred up a lot of trouble and a revolutionary group tried to destroy Caesar’s ships, so he sent his troops to burn many of their naval vessels in Alexandria, which was the capital city, and undoubtedly the greatest metropolis in the world at the time.  (Unfortunately, the burning ships also set fire to the great library which contained about 400,000 books.)  The Jews of that city helped Caesar and the result was that Rome became leader of Egypt (and virtually the whole world) from then on.  The husband Ptolemy was drowned after a naval battle and Cleopatra became sole ruler with Julius Caesar in the background.  This was about 47BC.

Later, when Antony and Caesar Augustus had a dispute Cleopatra persuaded Antony to forsake his wife, who was Augustus’ sister, and stay with her and they dominated the land for the next ten years.  (See note 4, on page 53)  

Thus for a time the king of the north and the king of the south were apparently amalgamated. But we should always remember that “north” equals a pretended Christian religion while “south” is the opposing one.

After many a victorious campaign Caesar was assassinated (“stumbled and fell”) by the hand of his friend Brutus in “his own land” in 44BC.  

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Daniel 11:

20 “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.    

21 “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”.

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Octavius (aka Augustus) succeeded his uncle Julius and after a period of three equal leaders (the triumvirate) became the first of the sole emperors, ruling from 27BC to 14AD.  Rome ceased to be a republic and became a “glorious” empire and the stage was set for the new arrival.  “Peace was promoted, justice maintained, luxury curbed, discipline established, and learning encouraged”.  Daniel and the Revelation, page 254, by Uriah Smith.  

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed [which required an enormous census]. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed [25% is the figure mentioned], every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn”.   Luke 2:1-7.

After a “few days” (about 14 years) Augustus died peacefully in his bed aged 76.  We are now in recognisable history and are becoming familiar with the leaders of the two arms of Satan’s kingdom.

Then came the “vile person”.  Tiberius was the son of Augustus’ wife from a previous marriage, but was considered too depraved to be nominated as successor, so the selection was given to another.  But God’s word is sure and that man died before Augustus who was now persuaded by Livia to choose her son.  Although he “came in peaceably”, and reportedly declined the honour several times, dissimulation on his part and flattery on the part of the senate eventually saw him installed as the emperor who was on the throne when Christ was crucified. 

Daniel and the Revelation, pp 256-7, U. Smith.

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The person brought to view in the text is called “a vile person.” Was such the character sustained by Tiberius? Let another paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Americana answer:

“"Tacitus records the events of this reign, including the suspicious death of Germanicus, the detestable administration of Sejanus, the poisoning of Drusus, with all the extraordinary mixture of tyranny with occasional wisdom and good sense which distinguished the conduct of Tiberius, until his infamous and dissolute retirement (A.D. 26), to the isle of Capreae [Capri], in the bay of Naples, never to return to Rome. . .  The remainder of the reign of this tyrant is little more than a disgusting narrative of servility on the one hand, and of despotic ferocity on the other. That he himself endured as much misery as he inflicted, is evident from the following commencement of one of his letters to the senate: 'What I shall write to you, conscript fathers, or what I shall not write, or why I should write at all, may the gods and goddesses plague me more than I feel daily that they are doing, if I can tell.'

'What mental torture,' observes Tacitus, in reference to this passage, 'which could extort such a confession!'’” . . .

“Acting the hypocrite to the last, he disguised his increasing debility as much as he was able, even affecting to join in the sports and exercises of the soldiers of his guard.  At length, leaving his favorite island, the scene of the most disgusting debaucheries, he stopped at a country house near the promontory of Micenum, where on the sixteenth of March, 37, he sunk into a lethargy, in which he appeared dead; and Caligula was preparing with a numerous escort to take possession of the empire, when his sudden revival threw them into consternation.  At this critical instant, Macro, the pretorian prefect, caused him to be suffocated with pillows.  Thus expired the emperor Tiberius, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and twenty-third of his reign, universally execrated.”

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We now come to a definitive position in this prophecy.  What the king of the north did to the Son of God and His people. 

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Daniel 11:

22 “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.

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“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John [the Baptist] the son of Zacharias in the wilderness”. Luke 3:1-2.  It was the year 27AD and a few months later Christ came to be baptised, following which He went forth saying, “The time is fulfilled”.  Mark 1:15.  This “time” was an obvious reference to another prophecy we have already looked at.

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command-ment to restore and to build Jerusalem [in 457BC] to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks [69 weeks of day/years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after [the] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [crucified], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come [the Romans] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary [in the year 70AD]; and the end thereof [of the Jewish nation] shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.

“And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week [after three and a half years] He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading [increase] of abominations He shall make it [the city of Jerusalem] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”. Daniel 9:25-27.

Gabriel now reminds us of some details of the time when the Jews and Romans made the agreement to be allies.

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Daniel 11:

23 “And after the league made with him [the Romans], he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

 24 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 [use his weapons] against the strong holds, even for a time [there was to be a limit]”.

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The Roman “peace” was so great and so welcomed by the people of the civilised world that they tended to forget that it was initially imposed on them by force of arms.  In fact, some kings even left their kingdoms to Rome in their wills.  The people did indeed share in the wealth of the government, and to be a Roman “citizen” meant many privileges. 

For example: “But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city [it had been granted a charter of freedom from Rome]: and, I beseech you, suffer me to speak to the people” and this was granted.  Acts 21:39.

And in another place: “And as they bound him with thongs [cords], Paul said to the centurion that stood by, ‘Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?’ When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, ‘Take heed what you do: for this man is a Roman’. Then the chief captain came, and said to him, ‘Tell me, are you a Roman?’ He said, ‘Yes’. And the chief captain answered, ‘With a great sum [of money] obtained I this freedom’.  And Paul said, ‘But I was free born’.  Acts 22:25-28.  Rome sold privileges like that!

It had all started with the pact made between the Jews and the emerging empire.  Not until the conquest of Palestine (the Roman name for Israel) did the relationship sour, but it held good for most of the other nations within the fold.  Outside were only barbarians and uncouth tribes. 

Back in 168BC:   

Daniel and the Revelation, pp 258-9, U. Smith.

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Grievously oppressed by the Syrian kings, the Jews sent an embassy to Rome to solicit the aid of the Romans and to join themselves in “a league of amity and confederacy with them.” [18] The Romans listened to the request of the Jews, and granted them a decree couched in these words:

“'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.”

This decree was “written by Eupolemus, the son of John, and by Jason, the son of Eleazer, when Judas was high priest of the nation, and Simon, his brother, was general of the army.  And this was the first league that the Romans made with the Jews, and was managed after this manner.” [19]

At this time the Romans were a small people, and began to work deceitfully, or with cunning, as the word signifies.  But after this they rose steadily and rapidly to the height of power.

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Notwithstanding the Roman world-wide “peace” there were always rumblings of revolt and this came to a head when Antony became leader of Egypt with Cleopatra.  Neither Augustus nor Antony could be content with half an empire, so war was inevitable between Augustus as the king of the north and Antony as the king of the south.

We continue listening to Gabriel:

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Daniel 11:

25 “And he [north] 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 [south] shall not stand: for they [Rome] shall forecast [send] devices against him. 26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat [his allies] shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow [desert to Augustus]: and many shall fall down slain.

27 “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”. 

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It took time and many battles, but the former friends who had often eaten at the same table now became implacable enemies.

The decisive battle was fought at sea with Augustus having fewer men and ships, but greater skill and help from his master, the devil. We are told that Cleopatra sailed with Antony’s fleet but the noise and strife the war frightened her and she left in her ship with much of the fleet following her.  Antony impulsively chased after her and this gave the victory to Augustus.

Daniel and the Revelation, pp 261-262, U. Smith.

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Five hundred ships of war of extraordinary size and structure, having several decks one above another, with towers upon the head and stern, made an imposing and formidable array.  These ships carried about one hundred twenty-five thousand soldiers.  The kings of Libya, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Comagena, and Thrace were there in person, and those of Pontus, Judea, Lycaonia, Galatia, and Media, had sent their troops.  A more splendid military spectacle than this fleet of war ships as they spread their sails and moved out to sea, the world has rarely seen.  Surpassing all in magnificence came the galley of Cleopatra, floating like a palace of gold beneath a cloud of purple sails.  Its flags and streamers fluttered in the wind, and trumpets and other musical instruments of war made the heavens resound with notes of joy and triumph.  Antony followed close behind her in a galley of almost equal magnificence . . .

The fleets at length entered the Ambracian Gulf in Epirus, and the land forces were drawn up on either shore in plain view. Antony's most experienced generals advised him not to hazard a battle by with [sic] his inexperienced mariners, but send Cleopatra back to Egypt, and hasten at once into Thrace or Macedonia, and trust the issue to his land forces, who were composed of veteran troops. But illustrating the old adage, Quem Deus perdere vult, prius dementat (“Him whom God wishes to destroy He first makes mad”), and infatuated by Cleopatra, he seemed desirous only of pleasing her; while she, trusting to appearances only, deemed her fleet invincible, and advised immediate action.

The battle was fought September 2, 31 B.C., at the mouth of the gulf of Ambracia, near the city of Actium.  The world was the stake for which these stern warriors, Antony and Augustus, now played.  

The contest, long doubtful, was at length decided by the course which Cleopatra pursued.  Frightened at the din of battle, she took to flight when there was no danger, and drew after her the Egyptian squadron numbering sixty ships.  Antony, beholding this movement, and lost to everything but his blind passion for her, precipitately followed, and yielded a victory to Augustus, which, had his Egyptian forces proved true to him, and had he proved true to his own manhood, he might had gained.

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Many of his former allies now deserted Antony, and when his soldiers also declared their support for Augustus, he took his own life.  As we all know, Cleopatra did the same by allowing a snake to bite her.  This was “a ritual act of deep religious significance carried out in a very strict, spiritualized ceremony”, for “the true meaning of the cult of Osiris is that it grants immortality” and that was what she expected.  National Geographic, July 2011, page 57.

Back in verses 24 and 27 a time period has been mentioned for the supremacy of the city of Rome as the king of the north and now we have date to start it from.

Daniel and the Revelation, p262, U. Smith.

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This battle doubtless makes [marks?] the beginning of the “time” mentioned in verse 24.  As during this “time” devices were to be forecast from the stronghold, or Rome, we should conclude that at the end of that period western supremacy would cease, or such a change take place in the empire that that city would no longer be considered the seat of government. 

From 31 B.C., a prophetic “time,” or 360 years, would bring us to A.D.  330.  Hence it becomes a noteworthy fact that the seat of empire was removed from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in that very year.

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We now come to a most interesting part of the saga of the kings of the north and south for Gabriel jumps forward quite a few years!

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Daniel 11:

28 “Then shall he [north] return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant [the professed people of God]; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.

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The next great achievement of the king of the north was against Jerusalem in the year 70AD.

Daniel and the Revelation, pp264-265, U. Smith.

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Under Vespasian the Romans invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected.  They destroyed the inhabitants, and left nothing but ruin and desolation. 

Titus besieged Jerusalem, and drew a trench around it, according to the prediction of the Saviour.  A terrible famine ensued.  Moses had predicted that appalling calamities would come upon the Jews if they departed from God.  It had been prophesied that even the tender and delicate woman would eat her own children in the straitness of the siege.  (Deuteronomy 28:52-55.)

Under the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, a literal fulfillment of this prediction occurred.  Hearing of the inhuman deeds, but forgetting that he was the one who was driving the people to such direful extremities, he swore the eternal extirpation of the accursed city and people.  Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70.

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Not just Jerusalem, but the whole country of Judea was subjugated and the Jewish people were prohibited from entering Jerusalem on pain of death.  Many of them were taken into slavery and most of those who escaped that fate were effectively banished to other countries throughout the world, but there was always a remnant who remained in Judea. 

The dispersion was to last until 1948 when the modern state of Israel was again formed, and it has since had many battles with the Palestinians who had taken over the land in those centuries.  These are still continuing today.

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Daniel 11:

29 At the time appointed he [north] shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former [when he went against Egypt], or as the latter [when he attacked Judah].

30 For the ships of Chittim [north Africa] 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”.

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As we have seen above, the “time appointed” ended in 330AD.  The “return” this time was to Constantinople in Turkey which led to the breakup of the great Roman Empire, because Constantine transferred the seat of his government to there, and on his death gave the power to his three sons. 

Soon there was only an east and a west division in the Empire, and the city of Rome lost its prestige among the nations. The barbarians from the north of Europe and from the top of Africa began their attacks on the city and extended their conquests until the imperial power of the west expired in 476AD.  During that time also the Vandal navies from north Africa under the leadership of Genseric sailed out of Carthage every spring against the grain fleets of Rome and caused enormous panic and economic distress to the inhabitants of the city.

This was the time when the two “legs” of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2, separated into a Pagan [heathen] side and a Papal [religious] side.  The only strong man the people of Rome could find to lead them out of their problems was the bishop of Rome, a nominal Christian.  He opened the doors of his church (figuratively speaking) and invited many of the Pagan people to become professed Christians under his protection.  But when the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity as exhibited in the Roman Catholic Church was, and is, only paganism baptised.

In the inevitable stampede to enter the Church of Rome because it had the emperor’s blessing, the loyal Christians found themselves outnumbered and out-doctrined, so many of them left as per God’s instructions and went “into the wilderness” countries of Asia and the Far East where men did not know God as well as the Europeans.  “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1260 day/years, from 538-1798].  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels . . .” Revelation 12:6-7.

The “war” of words which had begun in heaven when Lucifer rebelled, took a new turn and the battles began on earth in earnest – they were both wordy and physical.  The “king of the north” power now passed to the bishop of Rome and he and his successors took the title of “pope” or “father” in plain disobedience to the word of the Son of God, who said, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ”.  Matthew 23:9-10.

Daniel and the Revelation, p268, U. Smith.

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“Indignation against the holy covenant.”  This doubtless refers to attempts to destroy God's covenant by attacking the Holy Scriptures, the book of the covenant.  A revolution of this nature was accomplished in Rome.  The Heruli, Goths, and Vandals, who conquered Rome, embraced the Arian faith, and became enemies of the Catholic Church.

[The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from and inferior to—God the Father. This was the time that the “little horn” plucked up three other horns “by the roots” and then became the leader of the horns. It took from 508AD to 538AD to accomplish this.  See map facing this page.]

 It was especially for the purpose of exterminating this heresy that [the emperor] Justinian decreed the pope to be the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. 

The Bible soon came to be regarded as a dangerous book that should not be read by the common people, but all questions in dispute were to be submitted to the pope.  Thus was indignity heaped upon God's word.

Says the historian, in commenting upon the attitude of the Catholic Church toward the Scriptures:

“One would have thought that the Church of Rome had removed her people to a safe distance from the Scriptures.  She has placed the gulf of tradition between them and the Word of God.  She has removed them still farther from the sphere of danger, by providing an infallible interpreter, whose duty it is to take care that the Bible shall express no sense hostile to Rome.  But, as if this were not enough, she has laboured by all means in her power to prevent the Scriptures coming in any shape into the hands of her people.  Before the Reformation she kept the bible locked up in a dead language, and severe laws were enacted against the reading of it.  The Reformation unsealed the precious volume”. 

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This union of church and state by the emperor Justinian is commented on more fully by Gabriel in the next set of verses.

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Daniel 11:

31 “And arms [of the state] shall stand on his [north’s] part, and they [together] shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate”.

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It was by the union of religious and secular power that the popes of Rome were able to vanquish the three deviant “horns” and establish a universal religion in the western part of the Empire.  (See Appendix B, page 58, and note 5, page 54.)

The eastern half of the Empire however, was soon to be swamped by a new religion, the Muslim faith, which started around 622AD, which was in direct and violent opposition to professed Christianity.

We have this recorded for us in the book of The Revelation:

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Revelation 9:1-5. 

“And the fifth angel sounded [his trumpet], and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth [Lucifer/Satan, Luke 10:18]: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit [of sin and death].  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit [unlike the light of the gospel].   And there came out of the smoke [beings that looked like] locusts upon the earth [there were so many of them]: and to them was given power [by the devil], as the scorpions of the earth have power. 

And [yet] it was commanded them [by God] that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months [of day/years]: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man”.

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They were soon out of control and successfully conquered all of the Middle East including Jerusalem, came up to the walls of Constantinople in Turkey, and then moved on down across the top of Africa to the Straits of Gibraltar, over which they crossed into Spain, Portugal and parts of France taking the religion with them.  They were known there as Moors, and in the east as the Saracens and Turks of the Ottoman Empire.  They kept attacking the Europeans for the 150 years between 1299 and 1449. “So the false religion became the scourge of an apostate church”.  Daniel and the Revelation, p493, U. Smith. 

Satan now had two religious arms which he is still using very effectively in our time.  One to confuse, and the other to destroy.

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Daniel 11:

32 “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.  33 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 [years].    

34 “Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many [foolish virgins] shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white [in their robes of righteousness], even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed”.

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This newly appointed religious staff in the hand of Satan, the king of the north in 538AD, was given great power to attract members because he had woken up to the fact that persuasion often does more than brute force can do when it comes to getting followers.  From that time he found that using a counterfeit religious garb on his “king of the north” was more profitable than the outright hostility of his “king of the south”.  The two “legs” working in concert could hold up his “fighting man image” much better than before.

But God’s true people who stayed on in Europe when they should have left, were not fooled by this and openly stood in opposition.  Many mistakenly thought to oppose the pope by force of arms, but they were soon beaten into submission.  To the Son of God’s dismay many died at the stake, and in other ways, but He used their deaths to reach to those who sat on the fence as it were, and promised the martyrs a glorious place in His kingdom.

 

Note:

All this was to continue “to the time of the end” which came at the conclusion of the “time, times and half a time” (the one thousand and three score day/years) prophecy.  Thus until 1798 the power of the “little horn” held great sway in the lives of the nations of Europe and indeed, the rest of the world.  Its “wounding” came when the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte under the command of General Berthier took the reigning pope (Pius VI) as a prisoner back to France in 1798 where he died in exile.  Of course, a new pope was soon elected, but this event sounded a death-knell to the papacy’s political power over the nations.

It sank lower and lower on the world scale as the new nation of Italy absorbed most of its land around 1860, until indeed, in 1929 the pope was retired by Mussolini into what is now called Vatican City, an estate of some 110 acres with a population of about 800 and today he rules his dominion from there.  Not until recently has the Roman Catholic religious system come back into universal favour (his deadly wound healed), when all the world revelled in the reign of John Paul II who died in 2005.

The kings of north and south had truly become world-wide by this time in Gabriel’s narrative.

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Daniel 11:

36 “And the king [of the north] 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.  

37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women [he introduced celibacy in the priesthood], nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 But in his estate shall he honour the god of forces [he loved Baal]: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 

39 “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”.

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Because of the state of the nations in Europe, God could do little for them, and Satan had a free hand in elevating the popes to become just slightly lower than God Himself in the minds of his followers!  One of the most successful lies of the mastermind was to convince the people of his church that the “mother of God” should be worshipped as much, if not more, than her “son”!  

The other great “abomination”, an abomination of desolation (that which leads to death), came into existence when the church directed men’s attention to itself as the purveyor of forgiveness, and thereby took “away the daily” ministration of Christ from heaven.  It instituted the “unbloody sacrifice” of the daily mass, again in direct contravention of God’s word, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission”. Hebrews 9:22.  In this one stroke the Roman church placed men’s concentration on her churches and priests on earth and disposed of Christ’s entire heavenly ministry. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the LORD pitched, and not man”.  Hebrews 8:1-2.

“Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host [against Christ], and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His [heavenly] sanctuary was cast down. And an [the] host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression [because of their rejection of the true gospel], and it cast down the truth to the ground [to the earth]; and it practiced, and prospered [in its lies]”.   Daniel 8:11-12.

Not until the Reformation (c. 1517) did any voice raised in opposition have any effect on its sovereignty, and that was only because those men then announced that the Roman Church was NOT Christian, and never had been.  It was pure “Babylon” from start to finish.  In their own way, they were saying, “Babylon [not Israel] is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”.  Revelation 14:8.

Even then the voices of the Reformers were soon muted by those who flocked to their churches, for they did not come fully “out of Babylon” as they could have.  Many clung to the specious doctrines of the mother church, including the changes in “the times and laws” that Gabriel had told us about.  Daniel 7:25.   So their organisations became the “daughters of Babylon” in accordance with the scripture, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS [daughters] AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”.  Revelation 17:5.

But what they did do was pass the mantle of the “king of the north” on to the United States of America when that country opened its doors to them as refugees and proclaimed itself the Land of the (religiously) free in 1776.  Since then the lines have been blurred because of “political correctness” and today it is difficult to separate the protestors (Protestants) from the persecutors (Roman Catholics), so that both can be known as the “king of the north”, but with the emphasis on the new version. 

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Revelation 13:

11 And I beheld another beast [a new nation] coming up out of the earth [a sparsely populated area]; and he had two horns like a lamb [looked peaceful], and [yet] he [eventually] spoke as a dragon [an agent of Satan]

12 And he [the latest king of the north] exercises all the power of the first [king of the north] beast before [in front of] him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship [agree with] the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed [by becoming friends with it].   

13 And he [new north] does great wonders [in the power of Satan, verse 2], so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 and deceives 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 [copy of] the [first] beast [the church/state union], which had the [deadly] wound by a sword [verse 3], and [yet] did live. 

15 And he had power [given him by the people] to give life to the image [copy] of the beast, that the image [copy] of the beast should both speak [through its laws], and cause that as many as would not worship the image [copy] of the beast should be killed [a death decree.  Remember the story of Esther?]   16 And [first] he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 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.

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Now comes the part which should interest us the most:

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Daniel 11:

40 “And at the time of the end [after 1798] 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. 

41 “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.

42 “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.  43 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”.

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This has not yet happened! 

What we can expect is that the latest version of the “king of the south”, the opposers of professed Christianity, will make some concerted violent action against the “king of the north”, those who profess to be upholding the truth of God, but are liars. (See Revelation 3:9.)   I believe that this means that the Muslim nations (not just a small group of terrorists), will amalgamate and attempt to conquer the Western world, possibly starting with the nation of Israel.  They will be successful for a period of five months while the West prepares to fight back, just as the U.S. had to do after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.  “And to them [south] it was given that they should not kill [destroy] them [north], but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man [painful]”.   Revelation 9:5.  Thus the conflicts of the future will be both geographical and spiritual, involving literal armies and religious motives.

(Although in one sense modern Israelis are not outwardly Sunday-keeping, their god is the god of force which they use freely.  Real “Israel”, as we are told, is a spiritual condition whether in the Old or the New Testament. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”, and as such, they are scattered all over the world.  Romans 2:28-29.  Ancient Israel were told, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked [proud].  For the LORD your God is God of gods, and LORD of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward . . .”  Deuteronomy 10:16-17.  “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live [eternally].”  Chapter 30:6.)

This double application of a prophecy is made possible because the “day for a year” principle does not hold into the future.  It ceased in 1844 when the LORD uttered the words that “there should be time no longer”.  Revelation 10:6.  This time, which the Angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, for both of those are still with us, but of prophetic time, which would precede the second advent of our LORD.  That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time, for all the future times are literal and without specific start or stop dates. 

But this attack will provoke the U.S. and its allies to retaliate in a tremendous way, “like a whirlwind”, and to an enormous extent, for the word goes on to say that he (north) will conquer the world!  Because the Muslim religion is worldwide it will be necessary to fight worldwide.  This will not just be physical but will also require a great deal of propaganda, foremost on the subject of which day is the right one on which to worship, as well as other controversial doctrines. 

Coupled with this devastating world war there will be a series of (un)natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and epidemics and volcanic activity which will kill millions, and these will be used by the religionists as a warning that their god is angry with the people of the world, and will be until they all come into line in worship.  Satan will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation as a means to his desired end.  He is not concerned with how many humans he destroys in the process, for to him we are less than animals.

“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be?  And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?’  And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you.   For many shall come in My name, saying, “I am Christ[ian]”; and shall deceive many.  And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’.”   Matthew 24:3-7.

Those who “escape out of his hand” unnoticed will be “relatives” of the Sabbath-keeping “pleasant land” of spiritual Israel, for the attention of the king of the north will be on persuading Friday-keepers and no-day keepers to honour his day – Sunday.  (At first true Sabbath-keepers will be able to keep Saturday and Sunday without a problem.  See appendix C, page 59.)  

Gabriel goes on to say that “north” will be so successful in this attack that “he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver [the finances of the world], and over all the precious things of Egypt [the king of the south]: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [at the end of the world] shall be at his steps [will follow him]”.

As it says in another place, “And I saw one of his heads [he has seven plus one, Revelation 17:11] as it were wounded to death; and his [that] deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered [worshipped] after the [whole] beast.  And [in this] they worshipped the dragon [the devil, Revelation 12:9] which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like to the beast?  “Who is able to make war with him?”  And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty-two months [3 years].  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name [character], and his tabernacle [His way of life], and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given to 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 . . .”  Revelation 13:3-8.

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Daniel 11:

44 “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.  45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain [spiritual Israel]; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him”.

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If we think of this king of the north being geographically along the top of Africa (Libya) and down to the south (Ethiopia) then “east and north” would be back in the vicinity of Israel.  Give this a spiritual application and we have the Protestants of the United States of America and the Roman Catholic Papacy uniting with spiritualism (the “beast”, the “false prophet” and the “dragon”, whose three “frog-like spirits” are “spirits of devils”, Revelation 16:13-14), apparently convincing all the world to accept their way of worship until a loud cry comes from spiritual Israel who maintain that that system is not Christian at all! 

North will then attack these detractors AND OVERCOME THEM.  This means that they will cease to object eventually (when there is no one who will listen to them).  Then he will set up his system and it will say, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow”.  Revelation 18:7.

“Therefore shall her [Babylon the Great’s] plagues [the final three of the seven last plagues] come in one day [24 hours], death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the LORD God who judges her [allows her to reap what she has sown]

“And the kings of the earth [the politicians], who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her [in a worldwide union of church and state], shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city!  For in one hour is your judgment come’.”   Revelation 18:8-10.

 

Chapter 12:

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Chapter 12:

1 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book [of Life]”.

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Regarding that Book, Jesus said, “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels”.   Revelation 3:5.

But Gabriel did not stop there – he continued with the background reason as to why the king of the north has so successfully stopped the mouths of God’s witnesses.  Michael (He who is like God) has been doing a work in the heavenly sanctuary, cleansing it of the spiritual pollution that the conflict in this world has caused, and at that time He stops because there is no one in the whole world who wants to change from their condition.

 He says, “He that is unjust [unsaved], let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous [saved], let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work [his choice] shall be”.  Revelation 22:11-12. 

He also said, “But in the days of the voice [trumpet] of the seventh angel, when he shall BEGIN to sound [Revelation 11:15], the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets”.  Revelation 10:7.  So at this time the mystery of God (the preaching of the everlasting gospel) is finished because there is no one else to tell it to.

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Daniel 12:

2 “And many [but not all] of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”.

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Here Gabriel lets us in on the fact that there is to be a unique resurrection of some special people just before the second coming. 

All who have died in the faith of the three angels’ messages which have been proclaimed since 1844 (Revelation 14:6-12), come forth from their tombs glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. For the word goes on to say, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yea, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works [rewards] do follow them’.”  Revelation 14:13.

“They also which pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies at Calvary, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people from all ages, are raised to behold Him in His glory, and to see the honour placed upon the loyal and obedient.  At His trial, “Jesus said to him [Caiaphas the high priest], You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”.  Matthew 26:64.

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Daniel 12:

3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.  4 But you, O Daniel, 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”.

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At this point Daniel was told that his book was to be sealed for many years, even until 1798, but that after that time understanding of the Bible and especially the prophecies of his book would be greater than before.  Not that God deliberately hides the truth from any man, but often it requires a set of circumstances and experiences that enable His people to see that which they had not seen before.

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Daniel 12:

5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two [angels], the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.  6 And one said to the Man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”

7 And I heard the Man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when He held up His right hand and His left hand to heaven, and swore by Him that lives for ever that it shall be for “a time, times, and a half”;

“and when he [north] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished”.

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It appears from this scene that even the angels who were attending the Son of God had not fully comprehended the words of Gabriel either, for one of them asked the question, “How long?”  The answer given must have sent shivers down Daniel’s spine, for again it was stated, “when he [the king of the north] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people”, which means that when he has so dispersed God’s witnesses that he feels that he has won the controversy, then the end shall come!  The end result of the “war in heaven” and on earth, will be that it will look as though Satan and his followers have won – just as it looked when the Son of man bowed His head on the cross and died!  (That was a “great disappointment” for the disciples and tested their faith severely.)

Did you notice that this is recorded as happening three times during the war?  (Check out Appendix B, page 58 again.) 

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Daniel 12:

8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, “O my LORD, what shall be the end of these things?” 9 And He said, “Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall [begin to] be taken away [508AD], and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 

[508 + 1290 = 1798 which is the commencement of “time of the end.]

12”Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 

[508 + 1335 = 1844 which is when Christ’s ministry changed.]

13 “But go you your way till the end be: for you shall rest, and stand in your lot at the end of the days”.

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Daniel did not fully understand what he had been hearing because of his sadness of heart, but in response to his request for more information, he was told that it would have to wait to be completely unravelled until there was a people who could see all these things. 

Then the LORD added two time prophecies.

The traditional interpretation of these has been to look backwards to the time when the king of the north did these things in history, but there is also a place for them in the future, for the attack by the king of the south on the king of the north which was to occur at the time of the end, 1798, has as yet no counterpart in history. 

Back in 1842-44 when the three angels’ messages first came to the notice of the Advent people, they “ate the little book” of Daniel with great joy, but overlooked the fact that their “belly was to be bitter” afterwards.  Revelation 10:8-10.  After experiencing the “great disappointment” their whole attention was concentrated on staying with the LORD and it is understandable that they also missed the next verse in the chapter.  “And He said to me, ‘You must prophesy AGAIN before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings’.”  Revelation 10:11.   

This means that the whole saga of the first, the second and the third angels’ messages is to be repeated (the seven thunders, Revelation 10:3-4), with the additional mention of the understanding gained since that first experience, this time without the help of prophecies based on time or dates. (See Appendix D, page 60.)

Maybe we can see it like this:

There will be a need for another “abomination which makes desolate” (the choice of which will also lead to the second death), which will direct to another “time of the end” which will indicate the close of probation for the world, and usher in the time required for the “loud cry”.  That period appears to be 1290 days, or 3 years 7 months, and could be from the setting up of the Universal Sunday Laws, but as those will take effect at different times in different countries in the world, it can not be an easily defined date.  

However, that will inevitably lead to a Sabbath desecration law which will bring with it a terrible time of religious persecution the likes of which the world has never seen.  Jesus told us, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened”.  Matthew 24:21-22.

Following that (or rather, coinciding with it) will come the “blessing” time.  He or she who survives the persecution of those days in the strength of the LORD and comes to the end of the 1335 days (3 years 8 months and 15 days) will undoubtedly receive the special blessing of translation without seeing the first death.

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Note 1:

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Daniel 9:25.

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the [appearing of the] Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [of years], and threescore and two weeks [7 + 62 = 69 = an overall total of 483 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times”. [457BC + 483 years = 27AD.]   BACK

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 Note 2:

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“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, ‘Think not with yourself that you shall escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but you and your father's house shall be destroyed: and who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’”  Esther 4:13-14. BACK

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Note 3:

 

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Acts of the Apostles pp 362.2-3

He who serves under the bloodstained banner of Immanuel will have that to do which will call for heroic effort and patient endurance.  But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle.  As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the stronghold for aid, and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour.  He realizes his need of strength from above.  The victories that he gains do not lead to self exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One.  Relying upon that Power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it vibrates in other minds.   

He who teaches the word must himself live in conscious, hourly communion with God through prayer and a study of His word, for here is the source of strength.  Communion with God will impart to the minister's efforts a power greater than the influence of his preaching.  Of this power he must not allow himself to be deprived.  With an earnestness that cannot be denied, he must plead with God to strengthen and fortify him for duty and trial, and to touch his lips with living fire.  All too slight is the hold that Christ's ambassadors often have upon eternal realities.  If men will walk with God, He will hide them in the cleft of the Rock.  Thus hidden, they can see God, even as Moses saw Him.  By the power and light that He imparts they can comprehend more and accomplish more than their finite judgment had deemed possible.  BACK

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Note 4:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra_VII

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Cleopatra VII Philopator (Greek, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ;

Late 69 BC[1] – August 12, 30 BC) was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek[2][3][4][5][6][7] origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death during the Hellenistic period.

The Ptolemies, throughout their dynasty, spoke Greek[8] and refused to speak Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents like the Rosetta Stone.[9] By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.

Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.

After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Her unions with her brothers produced no children. After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian's forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC.[10] She was briefly outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh by his supporters, but he was soon killed on Octavian's orders.   Egypt became the Roman province of Aegyptus.    BACK

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Note 5:

Later, a split between the Roman and the Greek branches (c.1054AD) saw the rise of the Eastern Orthodox communion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church

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The Orthodox Church, also officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church [note 1] and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church,[4] is the dominant Christian denomination in Greece, Romania, and the majority of Slavic countries, including Russia. It considers itself to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and his Apostles almost 2,000 years ago. Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian communion in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents.  BACK

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Appendix A:

(From page 12.)

 

The decree of Artaxerxes

 

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Ezra 7:

1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah . . . the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest: 6 this Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king [457BC]9 For upon the first day of the first month [our March/April] began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month [August/September] came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. [This was the portion of the decree that “restored” civil authority to Jerusalem] 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of His priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you. 14 Forasmuch as you are sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand;

15 and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16        and all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: 17 that you may buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 

18 “And whatsoever shall seem good to you, and to your brothers, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

19 “The vessels also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver you before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.   

 21 “And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, 22 to a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

24 “Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.

25 “And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach you them that know them not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, LET JUDGMENT BE EXECUTED SPEEDILY UPON HIM, WHETHER IT BE TO DEATH, OR TO BANISHMENT, OR TO CONFISCATION OF GOODS, OR TO IMPRISONMENT”.

27 [Ezra added] Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: 28  And has extended mercy to me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes.  And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

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This final part of the decree which was issued “according to the commandment of the God of Israel” was given to Ezra in the 1st month of the year but he and his company took five months to get to Jerusalem, so it did not take effect until just after the middle of the Jewish year [our Sep/Oct].  Moreover, it forms the basis for the commencement of time prophecy which declared the time of the first coming of the Messiah.

Gabriel told Daniel, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment TO RESTORE and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [crucified], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come [the Romans] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the 70th, or the last 7 years of the prophecy]: and in the midst of the week [after 3 years] He shall cause the [ceremonial] sacrifice and the oblation to cease [for He is the Lamb], and for the overspreading of abominations [increase in wickedness] He shall make it desolate [without meaning], even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”.   Daniel 9:25-27.

So, if we add 483 years to midway through 457BC we arrive at mid 27AD when Christ was baptised.  Three and one half years later, in the middle of the last “week” He was crucified in March/April of 31AD and the ceremonies of the temple ceased to have any significance. The disciples continued on for the next three and a half years with the Jews, until the stoning of Stephen in 34AD which rounded off the seventy weeks.

The original length of the prophecy had been for 2300 day/years (Daniel 8:14), and so, by subtracting 490 years from that figure we find that there are 1810 years required to finish the prediction.  This takes us to the middle of the year 1844, when the sanctuary/temple was to be restored to its rightful place in the minds of the believers, but that’s outside the scope of this present book.   

P. S. 

(Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah, came to Jerusalem about 444BC, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, to finish the work by building the wall around the city and making it safe from its enemies.  Nehemiah 2:1-10 etc.)   BACK

 

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Appendix B:

(From page 39.)

The little horn

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Daniel 7:

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast [the world-wide nation of Rome], dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth [iron swords]: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue [those disagreeing with it] with the feet of it: and it was diverse [different] from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns [smaller internal powers].

8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn [the Papacy], before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots [never to be seen again]: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things . . .  

19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints [the people of God], AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM; 22  until

1) the Ancient of days came, [in 1844]

and

2) judgment was given to the saints of the most High; [at Second Advent]

and

3) the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. [the third advent.]   

23 Thus he [the angel interpreter] said, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth [Babylon, Meda-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome.], which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings [smaller kingdoms] that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse [different] from the first [ten], and he shall subdue three kings [the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli.  They were secular and religious, he was religious and secular, and he destroyed them because of their religion.]

25 And he shall speak great [blasphemous] words against the most High, and shall wear out [persecute] the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws [in the Ten Commandments]: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time [360+720+180=1260 day/years from 538-1798].     BACK            BACK again

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Appendix C:

(from page 46.)

 

How should Christians behave while all this is going on?

 

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Revelation 13:15-17.

And he [Protestant America] had power to give life to the image [a new copy] of the [first] beast [the Roman Catholic system of a church controlling the state, the woman sitting on the beast of Revelation 17:3], that the image [the American copy] of the beast should both speak [through Federal laws], and cause that as many as would not worship the image [copy] of the beast should be killed.  And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand [because it pays to obey], or in their foreheads [because they believe it’s right]: 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. 

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If we are aware that very few laws are ever passed with a death penalty attached as the first and only punishment for transgression, then we may be able to trace the probable path of the Sunday law in the Federal United States.

1.  The first law will simply give a weekly rest day for working people, not one in seven, but particularly first-day, Sunday.  When most of the people just sit around, go shopping, or play on that day, the religious leaders will feel that they need a bit more bite to the law.

2.  It will be declared that shopping or playing sports defeats the purpose of the rest day, and God is still sending destructive plagues, so those pursuits will be banned on penalty of a fine.

3.  Then voluntary attendance at a church (any church) will be required to give the day the sanctity that the religious leaders desire.

4.  When most of the people decide not to go to church but stay at home instead, compulsory attendance will be introduced on pain of fine, or a jail term.

5.  Longer and longer jail terms will be imposed until the incorrigible ones (some of whom will be Sabbath-keepers) will be threatened with a death decree.

6.  Finally, those who persist in keeping the seven-day Sabbath, even if observing all the other prohibitions, will be proscribed as enemies of the state and declared to be traitors and need to be executed to appease the wrath of God.

Note: It is only when seventh-day Sabbath-keeping is not allowed that the Sabbath-keepers will need to disobey any of the laws.   BACK

 

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Appendix D:

(From page 51.)

The final call

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{GC 603.1-604.1}

“I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.   {GC 603.1}

This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844.  A terrible condition of the religious world is here described.  With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood.  In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred.  Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. 

As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity.  A belief in spiritual manifestations opens the door to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and thus the influence of evil angels will be felt in the churches.   {GC 603.2}

Of Babylon, at the time brought to view in this prophecy, it is declared: “Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:5.  She has filled up the measure of her guilt, and destruction is about to fall upon her.  But God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out, that they partake not of her sins and “receive not of her plagues.” Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon.  In connection with his message the call is heard: “Come out of her, My people.”

These announcements, uniting with the third angel's message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.   {GC 604.1}    BACK

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To Ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"