Hosea – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’ and to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’

Verse 2 – “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges, for she is not My wife, nor am I her husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, and her adulteries between her breasts;

Israel, as Hosea’s wife, has lost her privilege of being a wife by physical adultery and Israel spiritual adultery.

Verse 3 – Lest I strip her naked and expose her, as in the day she was born, and make her like wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.

The day of Israel’s birth was when God delivered her from bondage of Egypt. Then Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years. God said they will become captive again if they don’t repent.

Verse 4 – “I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry.

Verse 5 – For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has done shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.

“I will go after my lovers” – Israel gave credit to other idols, gods, as the ones who were giving them their goods, needs, instead of depending on God. Any time someone places their trust in something more than God Himself, for the things they need or their success, that is exchanging the true God for an idol.

Verse 6 – “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths.

Verse 7 – She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.’

The Israelites were thanking, worshiping, false gods, especially Baal, whom they thought controlled the weather, their farming, food, and shelter, instead of their true God which was the One that gave those blessings. Therefore, God would make their path so disappointing that they would return to Him. When people get desperate enough for a better way, then they will seek the One who controls it all.

Verse 8 – For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold – which they prepared for Baal.

Israel was a prosperous nation at this time, but had been led by their leaders to believe it all came from Baal. Both Gomer and Israel had run after other lovers for gain of material success.

verse 9 – “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season, and will take back My wool and My linen, given to cover her nakedness.

Verse 10 – Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand.

Israel’s punishment would include the disgrace of having her sins exposed for everyone to see.

Verse 11 – I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her New Moons, her Sabbaths – all her anointed feasts.

Israel was about to be taken into captivity by the Assyrians, and when that happened they would not be allowed to hold any feasts or worship their God on any day.

Verse 12 – “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, of which she has said, ‘These are my rewards that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

Israel had also forgotten who gave them that land in the first place and made it to prosper. If it was taken away, then they might remember that their God was the giver of all blessings.

Verse 13 – I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, and went after her lovers. Then she forgot Me,” says the Lord.

Baal was the most important of the Canaanite gods and the children of Israel had been commanded to destroy all the idols when they had first entered the Promise Land, but they didn’t . Before long, they were worshiping these false idols. What you tolerate will more likely conform you.

Verse 14 – “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will being her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her.

Verse 15 – I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

As one generation to another, from the time of Joshua, Israel grew further and further from the ways of God, they became more corrupt. We see the same in our society today: As more and more children are brought up in households with no thought or care for God’s principles, each generation becomes more selfish, self-centered, and ignore right or wrong.

Verse 16 – “And it shall be in that day,” says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call ‘Me Master,’

Verse 17 – for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more.

Not until Israel was sitting in captivity and Judah taken by the Babylonians, would the entire nation wake-up! And, not until we come into a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, can we know Him as Husband, Father, lover of our souls, and Savior.

Verse 18 – In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safety.

A covenant between beasts and birds refers to peace with man and God. This will be fulfilled during the millennial time (Isaiah 11:6-9).

Verse 19 – “I will betroth you to Me forever, yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy;

Verse 20 – I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.

Just as God was willing to give Israel His loving grace, He does so to us through His beloved Son, Jesus. We are undeserving and so was Israel, but because of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness He does it in spite of ourselves.

Verse 21 – “It shall come to pass in that day that I will answer,” says the Lord; “I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth.

Verse 22 – The earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil; they shall answer Jezreel.

Verse 23 – Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people (Gentiles), ‘You are My people!’ and they shall say, ‘You are My God!’ ”

I’m still amazed every time I read God’s word and see that He forgives and shows mercy to those, including me, who don’t deserve anything from Him. No one can forgive and show mercy like Him. Generation after generation strays from God, but because He is a merciful God, He gives hope and shows kindness right in the middle of punishment or discipline.

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Hosea – Introduction and Chapter 1

Introduction: Hosea addresses the northern kingdom in this book, often called Ephraim, the largest tribe of the 12 tribes of Israel. Jeroboam II (782-753 B.C.) was still reigning in Israel. Hosea was another prophet to Israel before they were taken captive by the Assyrians. Hosea prophesied long after Jeroboam II and spanned the reigns of the last six kings of Israel. Hosea wrote this book during the early years of King Hezekiah and ranged from 755 to 710 B.C. This book ranges 40 years of ministry.

When Hosea begins, Israel was enjoying a temporary period of political and economic prosperity under Jeroboam II. The reign of Israel’s last six kings were brief since four were murdered and a fifth was carried captive to Assyria. The last years of the northern kingdom, the people refused to heed Hosea’s warnings of imminent judgment. The people were in a spiritual stupor, riddled with sin and idolatry. Hosea offers the possibility of salvation if only the nation would turn from idolatry back to God – repent!

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeoboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

Verse 2 – When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: “Go take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord.”

This was not a vision, but a command from the Lord, to enter into a marriage that would portray God’s perspective of Israel. A promiscuous wife describes her behavior and character. She is not called a prostitute. The children that they would have, would bear the shame of their mother’s behavior and at the same time represent the shameful behavior and condemnation of the children of Israel.

Verse 3 – So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

God often commanded his prophets extraordinary obedience in extraordinary times. Hosea knew ahead of time that Gomer would be unfaithful to him, and so it was with Israel.

Verse 4 – Then the Lord said to him: “Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while I will avenge the blood shed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.

Jezreel, “God will scatter.” Jehu’s dynasty began in violence and would end in the same. Elijah had predicted that the family of Israel’s King Ahab would be destroyed because of their wickedness (1 Kings 21:20-22), but Jehu went too far in carrying out God’s command when he had seventy of King Ahab’s son’s slaughtered (2 Kings 10:1-11).

Verse 5 – It shall come to pass in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

The very place where Jehu carried out the slaughter of Ahab’s sons was where God promised to put an end to Israel’s independent kingdom (“break Israel’s bow.”). This happened 25 years later when the Assyrians attacked and carried the people into captivity.

Verse 6 – And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but will utterly take them away.

Verse 7 – Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah. Will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.”

And Hosea’s daughter’s name meant “Not an object of mercy or gracious favor.”

Verse 8 – Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.

There is no indication that these are Hosea’s children. In verse 3, it says, Hosea took Gomer as his wife and bore “him” a son, but the next children, it says, “And she conceived and bore a daughter, and a son.”

Verse 9 – Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, for you are not My people, and I will not be your God.

Lo-Ammi – “Not My people,” was a symbolic proclamation that Israel had broken covenant with God. God’s statement amounted to a decree of divorce from Israel.

Verse – 10 “Yet the number of children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, you are the sons of the living God.’

God’s divorce was not final, only to that generation. Gentiles as well as Jews, “as numerous as the sand in the sea,” when all God’s children would be united.

Verse 11 – Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel!

There will be “one head,” Jesus Christ, appointed by the Father, when His people accept and embrace Him.

Daniel – Chapter 12

Great Times of Trouble

Verse 1 – “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.

The second half of the seven-year period of tribulation is going to be a horrific time for all man-kind. However, all those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be delivered. God knows every name; He knows every person who will be saved, beforehand. (Revelation 13:8; 17:8, says all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, will marvel at the beast.) Revelation 20:5 – and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Verse 2 – And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.

This particular resurrection not only refers to those saved during the tribulation period and kept their faith, but the ones who “Pierced Him,” these are the ones that are raised in shame and contempt (Revelation 1:7 and 14:13). The first resurrection is the one found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (verse 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The second death for all those who have died and are not found in the Book of Life, are resurrected after the thousand-year reign and stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Verse 3 – Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

Those who are wise – those who teach the Gospel about Christ and live their lives as examples who follow Christ.

Verse 4 – “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

In Hebrew, to “close up the words” and seal the book, is a reference to preservation until the end times. This was necessary because in the end times many will run to and fro seeking answers that will be found in the Book of Daniel. Knowledge will increase as these events begin to unfold. Understanding will come in like a flood when all these predictions begin to happen.

Verse 5 – Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.

Verse 6 – And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”

Verse 7 – Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

Daniel saw two others – Two was the minimum number of a witness necessary for an oath (Deuteronomy 19:15). One of the men answered that the time of the great tribulation (the second half of Daniel’s seventh week), would be for a time, times, and a half time, or three and one-half years. By the end of the great tribulation, the power of the holy people, Israel, will be shattered, causing them to turn in faith to their long-rejected Messiah, Jesus, ( Zechariah 12:10). At that time, Jesus will return and deliver them and all these things will be complete (Zachariah 14:1-21).

Verse 8 – Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

Verse 9 – And he said, “Go your way Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Verse 10 – “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

If you are not born-again, blood-bought, you don’t have “God’s Spirit” living on the inside of you, therefore the things of God seem foolish to you because you lack truth and understanding. This all makes perfect sense to the righteous.

Verse 11 – “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

This verse can be very confusing because there hasn’t been daily sacrifices in a temple in Israel for centuries. However, there has to be a third temple built, so when it is, they could possible start sacrificing again but the Antichrist will set up an image of himself to be worshiped.

Verse 12 – “Blessed is he who waits, and come to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

The great tribulation, three and one-half years, is only 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6; 13:5). The 1,290 days, may include the time for judging the nations (Matthew 25:31-46).

Verse 13 – “But you, go away till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”

Daniel was reassured that he would be laid to rest for a while, but would live again to a great reward, and so shall all those who are in Christ!

Daniel – Chapter 11

There is no break between chapter 10 and 11. The conversation between Gabriel and Daniel continues. Now we will see what the vision is all about.

Verse 1 – “Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.

Although Gabriel visited Daniel “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia,” he revealed to Daniel that he had stood up to strengthen and protect Daniel since the first year of Darius.

Verse 2 – “And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.

The word “yet” in Hebrew means besides, still, henceforth. So there is yet three kings after Cyrus. These were Cambyses the son of Cyrus (530-522 B.C.). False Smerdis an impostor who impersonated the real Smerdis to obtain the throne. The real Smerdis was killed by his brother Cambyses, (522 B.C.), Darius Hystasphes or Darius 1 who married a daughter of Cyrus (522-486 B.C.)

This was Xer or Ahasuerus, which was richer than all before him, see Esther 1:4-7.

Verse 3 – “Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

Verse 4 – And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.

Alexander the Great finally defeated the Persians in 331 B.C. He conquered all the way to the border of India and south to Egypt. His empire was far greater than Persia had been. On his way back to Babylon he came across a funeral of a man, Hephaestion, who was dear to him. In showing respect to the dead , it was customary to drink to intoxication. After two days a fever was in his system and grew worse and in a few days he died. He divided the kingdom among his four generals before he died.

Verse 5 – “Then the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.

The king of the South-Ptolemy Soter, who had Egypt, Palestine and part of Syria in the south. One of the princes – Seleucus Nicator who now has three-quarters of Alexander’s kingdom.

Verse 6 – “And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.

Ptolemy II of Egypt made an alliance with the king of the North, Antiochus, by giving his daughter, Bernice, in marriage. So Antiochus divorced his wife and married Bernice. Bernice had a son, but when her father died Antiochus took back his first wife, Laodice, and she had Bernice murdered. Instead of the kingdoms being united, Ptolemy III took the throne when his father died and declared war to avenge his sister’s death.

Verse 7 – “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail.

Bernice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes, marches toward the North with a mighty army and succeeds.

Verse 8 – “And he shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North.

Verse 9 – “Then the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land.

Verse 10 – “However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.

The sons of the North, Seleucus Callinecus’ sons, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. These two sons gathered an army to avenge their land being taken by the king of the South avenging his sister.

Verse 11 – “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy.

Verse 12 – “When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail.

Verse 13 – “For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment.

The king of the North may have been Antiochus III the Great. He defeated many cities in Egypt and established himself in Israel. He was later defeated by the Romans at Magnesia.

Verse 14 – “And in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South; also certain violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.

Verse 15 – “So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.

Verse 16 – “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will , and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power.

Verse 17 – “He shall also set his face to enter with strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him a daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.

Antiochus III would make Israel a possession of the Selecuid kingdom in 198 B.C., and force a peace agreement on the Plolemies. Antiochus III would give his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy V as a wife, hoping to control the Ptolemaic kingdom through her. This attempt failed because Cleopatra helped her husband instead of her father.

Verse 18 – After this he shall turn his face to the coast-lands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him.

Verse 19 – “Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

Antiochus III would then turn his attention to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea but would be defeated by the Roman commander Lucius Cornelius Scipio in 191 B.C. And then Magnesia in 190 B.C. this would cause Antiochus III to focus on his own country, being killed by a mob defending the temple Zeus in Elymais.

Verse 20 – “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or battle.

The king who would arise in his place is Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), who sent his tax collector, Heliodorus, to collect money to pay Rome. Seleucus IV was killed by poison from his tax collector.

Verse 21 – “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.

Verse 22 – “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.

Here is where it might get confusing because Gabriel may be talking about two different time periods. Some references say the prince of the covenant is the high Priest Onias III, who was assassinated by Menelaus in 170 B.c. Others relate this event and prince of the covenant to the Messiah in 26 A.D. I think both are right because of the following verses.

Verse 23 – “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.

Verse 24 – “He shall enter peaceable, even into the richest places of providence; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers; he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.

Flash back to Antiochus IV would increase in power by shearing the wealth with all his followers. Also, Rome protected all their provinces by showing kindness and leniency.

Verse 25 – “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him.

Verse 26 – “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall fall down slain.

Verse 27 – “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.

These two treacherous kings were probably Antiochus IV of Syria and Ptolemy VI of Egypt. Antiochus IV (King of the north), having plundered Egypt, would return to his land with his heart set against the holy covenant. On his way home, he would attack Israel, kill 80,000 Jewish men, women, and children and plunder the holy temple (169 B.C.).

Verse 28 – “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.

Also another time in the future, under Vespasian, in 66 A.D., the Romans invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethesda, and Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected. They destroyed the inhabitants, and left nothing but ruin and desolation. The only reason why some Jews could escape was because Vespasian was called back to Rome. On his returning to Rome he was made emperor and his son Titus took up the work of subjugating Jerusalem. Titus came upon Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and in five months destroyed it and the temple. 110,000 Jews perished and 97,000 were taken captive. So these verses could refer to either times and events.

Verse 29 – “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.

Verse 30 – “For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

Verse 31 – And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

Antiochus IV would launch another attack against Egypt, but this time ships Cyprus, the Roman fleet led by Gaitus Popilius would force him to retreat. On his way back he plundered Jerusalem. He stopped the daily sacrifices and slaughtered pigs on the altar erected in honor of Zeus. This happened in 168-167 B.C.

Verse 32 – “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

Verse 33 – “And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.

Verse 34 – “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue.

The Maccabees would be this little help, but would experience much suffering in the battle with Antiochus IV. In the end , the Maccabees would defeat Antiochus, rededicate the holy temple in Jerusalem and establish the festival of Chanukah, which Jewish people still celebrate today.

Verse 35 – “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purge them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

Verse 36 – “Then the king shall do according to his own will; he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, an shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.

Now the vision goes to the end times, when people with understanding, believers, will be persecuted for their belief in God. They will be beheaded because they did not worship the best. The Antichrist will magnify himself and speak great blasphemies against the true God of Israel. He will claim to be God.

Verse 37 – “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor desire women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above them all.

In other words: The Antichrist, beast, won’t recognize any deity or religions of all, not even pagan ones, instead, will proclaim himself to be the ultimate power.

Verse 38 – “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.

Verse 39 – “Thus he shall act against the strong fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

Verse 40 – “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.

The Antichrist, from this point through the end of Daniel, is the main focus. The Northern nations and the nations of the South will attack the Antichrist, but he will go through them like a flood and not be defeated.

Verse 41 – “He shall also enter the Glorious Land (Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand; Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.

Verse 42 – “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

Verse 43 – “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.

Verse 44 – “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.

Verse 45 – “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

The Antichrist will establish his military between the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Jerusalem. There the nations of the earth will gather (Zechariah 14:2) at Mount Megiddo to begin the campaign of Armageddon  (Revelation 16:13-16). At that time, when all nations have come against Israel, they (Israel) call on the Messiah, Jesus. He will deliver them and the Antichrist meets his end.

Jesus told His people in Matthew 23:39, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you  say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” There will come a day, at the end times, when all of Israel will recognize the Messiah as Jesus and call on Him, and that defines His second coming!

 

Daniel – Chapter 10

Verse 1 – In the third year Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar. The message was true but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision.

Assuming Daniel was around 15 when he was taken captive, he would be 84 when he received this vision, 536 B.C.

Verse 2 – In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.

Verse 3 – I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Verse 4 – Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,

The Tigris River is about 20 miles from Babylon. Evidently, he hadn’t returned to Jerusalem with the rest of the captives. He had stayed behind, for some reason, and was now fasting and praying.

Verse 5 – I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!

This description of this man is almost the exact same description of Christ in Revelation.

Verse 6 – His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Verse 7 – and I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Verse 8 – Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.

Verse 9 – Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.

The presence of God All Mighty is so over-powering, that no one is able to stand. Have you ever been praying, and you felt His presence so strong that your body felt like jello? Daniel laid on the ground face down!

Verse 10 – Then, suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.

Verse 11 – And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

We can look at other passages in scripture, Daniel 8:16-19 and 9:21-23, and now see this is Gabriel that is speaking.

Verse 12 – Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

Verse 13 – “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I have been left alone there with the king of Persia.

This prince of Persia had to be a supernatural force to have opposed Gabriel. Therefore, we can conclude that it was a demonic spirit seeking to influence the affairs of Persia and oppose God’s purpose. He was able to overpower it with the help of Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, and who is the designated archangel in the New Testament (Jude 9).

Now let me encourage you when your answer to your prayers are delayed. There are principalities, evil demonic spirits that are always opposing God’s purpose for the Christian’s life and things He wants done on earth. As Daniel continued to fast and pray for 21 days, there was a battle taking place in a realm that Daniel was not aware of. We too need never give up on an answer to our prayers because we have no ideal when or how things have to line up or the battles that are fighting to bring about our answers.

Verse 14 – “Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

Verse 15 – When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless.

Verse 16 – And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before, me “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.

Daniel starts describing another that comes and touches his lips; Christ is either standing with Gabriel or Gabriel is the one who gave strength because in 9:21, Gabriel appeared to Daniel as a man, however, Christ is the One who gives strength.

Verse 17 – “For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.”

Verse 18 – Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me.

Verse 19 – And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

Verse 20 – Then he said, “Do you know why I come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come.

Verse 21 – “But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.

Both Persia and Greece were represented by angelic “princes”, or demons. Greece would follow Persia as the next world power. This book of “Scripture of Truth, is God’s heavenly decrees about the future of all nations.

Daniel – Chapter 9

Verse 1 – In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans –

The vision of chapter 9 takes place during the same time as chapter 6. Daniel is about 81 years old.

Verse 2 – in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord, given through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy-years in the desolation’s of Jerusalem.

Daniel was studying the writings of Jeremiah and realized that the 70 years of their captivity was almost up. He also knew that it would be under the Medes and the Persians that they would be allowed to return to Jerusalem.

Verse 3 – Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

Verse 4 – And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,

Verse 5 – we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.

Verse 6 – “Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.

As Daniel read through Jeremiah’s writings, he saw how many times God had tried to bring His people back to Him through the prophets. God still speaks today through His word, pastors, and other Christians, but some still ignore. Sometimes the truth hurts, and its easier to think it doesn’t apply to us. Daniel included himself in this confession.

Verse 7 – “O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day – to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all countries to which You have driven them, because of unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

Verse 8 – “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Verse 9 – “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

Verse 10 – “We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

Verse 11 – “Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice, therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.

The Law of Moses that Daniel was referring to is found in Leviticus 26:27-33 and Deuteronomy 29:63-68. God plainly states: Blessed will you be if you… and cursed you will be if you…

Verse 12 – “And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such never has been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

Verse 13 – “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth.

Daniel mentions the curses in Deuteronomy 28. Israel was disciplined harshly because they were God’s chosen to show the rest of the world who He is. The bigger the position, the bigger the responsibility. When we call ourselves a Christian, child of the Most High, then we are to act like it! We adopt His will for our lives through His precepts and principles. Israel failed to do that, so they were judged.

Verse 14 – “Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.

God still uses circumstances, other people, and His word to bring people back to Him. Some will have to hit rock bottom before they cry out and return to God.

Verse 15 – “And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day – we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

Verse 16 – “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all who are around us.

Verse 17 – “Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.

Verse 18 – “O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolation’s, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.

Verse 19 – “O Lord, hear! O Lord forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Wonder what would happen to our own nation if we prayed as Daniel did for Israel? He prayed with such passion for himself and God’s people as a whole. So many times our own prayers are self-centered and selfish. I’m guilty of not praying enough for my country too. Do we take the time with the same compassion to pray for even the lost?

Verse 20 – Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord God for the holy mountain of my God,

Verse 21 – yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about he time of the evening offering.

Verse 22 – And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.

Had the temple still been standing, the evening offering would have made it around 3:00 or 4:00.

Verse 23 – “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

Notice what Gabriel said: “At the beginning of your supplications!” Before Daniel even finished praying, an order was given to come to him with understanding. Wow! James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Don’t ever doubt that God is not listening to your prayers, because He is!

Now what vision is Gabriel talking about that he has come to give Daniel understanding for? There is no vision in this chapter so we go back to chapter 8. The only part of the vision that Daniel said he didn’t understand was the cleansing of the sanctuary with the 2300 days, he neither understood it nor was given the interpretation. The cleansing of the sanctuary refers to the judgment.

Verse 24 – “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

Seventy weeks – 70 periods of 7 years, or 490 years. Christ’s death came at the end of the 69 weeks (483 years later). One interpretation places the 70th week as the seven years of the great tribulation, still in the future.

Verse 25 – “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublesome times.

There will be a period of 49 years followed by 62 weeks (434 years), making a total of 69 weeks from the decree to the coming of the Messiah the Prince.

Verse 26 – “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, the end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolation’s are determined.

The book of Daniel, written in the sixth century B.C., predicted not only the precise date of the Messiah’s coming, but that the Messiah would be put to death sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was done by the Romans. There appears to be a time gap from the end of the sixty-ninth week to the beginning of the seventieth week. Almost as if the clock of time stops for a good while.

Verse 27 – Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of this week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abomination, shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

The final seven-year period, or the seventieth week, will begin when the ( coming prince) will make a peace treaty with Israel. This prince is the Antichrist, who will desecrate the future temple and put a stop to worship. After the first 3 and one-half years, the Antichrist will break this covenant with Israel, leading to a time of great persecution of he Jewish people and followers of Jesus. This will last for another 3 and one-half years. This Antichrist will declare himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 13:5-7 states that he will exalt himself to be God and speak great blasphemies. Daniel’s description was perfect. Whether you believe this or not, it will come to pass!

 

Daniel – Chapter 8

As with chapter 7, this chapter precedes chapter 5, chronologically. This dream probably occurred when Daniel was around 70.

Verse 1 – In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me – to me, Daniel – after the one that appeared to me the first time.

Verse 2 – I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai.

Belshazzar only reigned for 3 years, and it was under his reign that the Babylonians fell to the Medes and Persians. So this vision is in the final year of Belshazzar and the Babylonian empire. Also, this vision is after the one he had in chapter 7. Elam’s involvement was prophesied by Isaiah, 21:2.

Verse 3 – Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.

These two horns were the kings of the Medes and Persians. The higher horn represented the growing dominance of Persia in the Medo-Persia empire.

Verse 4 – I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no beast could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.

The Medes were under Darius and the Persians under Cyrus, united together to bring about the downfall of the Babylonians. Darius only ruled for two or 3 years and then died at the age of 64. Persia then took the throne through Cyrus the nephew of Darius. The kingdom was eventually known as the Persian kingdom. No nation could stand against them.

Verse 5 – And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

This goat is none other than Alexander the Great. This conquer, swept across the entire Near East in only three years. This was amazing because Greece was not yet considered a power when this prophecy was given.

Verse 6 – Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power.

Verse 7 – And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.

Shattering both horns symbolized Alexander breaking both parts of the Medo-Persian empire. Alexander’s empire covered Greece and Macedonia in the west, and east almost to the Indus River, through Synia in the south, Palestine, and Egypt.

Verse 8 – Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.

At the height of Alexander’s power, being only in his thirties, he died. His kingdom was split into four parts by his generals. Four winds of heaven – north, south, east, and west (Jeremiah 49:36).

Verse 9 – And out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.

This little horn came out of the four winds, the four generals provenances, so it was not the Grecian empire. It was moving towards Israel. In the second century B.C., Antiochus IV, the eight ruler of the Seleucid empire (Babylonia and Syria) overthrew the high priest, looted the temple, and replaced worship of God with a Greek form of worship. A further fulfillment of this prophecy of a powerful horn will occur in the future coming of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Verse 10 – And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.

Antiochus brutally trampled and persecuted the Jewish people from 170-164 B.C. He blasphemously presented himself as the prince of host, stopped daily sacrifices and defiled the holy temple.

Verse 11 – He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.

We know of another who fits this same description, Satan, the beast, the Antichrist.

Verse 12 – Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Verse 13 – Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under-foot?

Verse 14 – And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

An angel announced that Antiochus’ defilement of Israel would last 2, 300 evenings and mornings, until the temple was rededicated by Judas Maccabeus in 164 B.C. This even is still celebrated today during the festival Chanukah.

Verse 15 – Now it happened, when I Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.

Verse 16 – And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

Gabriel, is one of two angels mentioned in scripture, the other being Michael. Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11). and the Messiah (Luke 1:26).

Verse 17 – So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”

The time of the end,” refers to the whole period from the end of Israel’s exile to the second coming of Christ. We know these events predicted took place between the sixth and second centuries B.C. These verses have a double-fulfillment of the vision because it also pertains to the Antichrist.

Verse 18 – Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright.

Verse 19 – And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.

Verse 20 -“The ram which you saw having the two horns – they are the kings of Media and Persia.

Verse 21 – “And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king.

Verse 22 – “As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

Verse 23 – “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes.

This description describes both Antioch IV Epiphanes and the Antichrist at the end of history.

Verse 24 – His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

Verse 25 – “Through his coming he shall cause deceit to prosper under his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human hand.

This verse has to be referring to the Antichrist. This parallels to Daniel 2:34, where the stone cut out without hands will destroy the last earthly kingdom and establish the eternal kingdom of Christ.

Verse 26 – “And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.

Gabriel tells Daniel t seal it up, not for hiding, but to preserve it and secure it. These events didn’t take place for four hundred years and the future hasn’t happened as of yet.

Verse 27 – And I Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.

There are people today with such an insight to the full understanding of these visions and many more. They have the ability to relate current events to certain prophecies that make total sense. Our God does want us to know what is about to take place or He wouldn’t have put it in scripture. He wants us all to be ready for the second coming of His precious Son. Don’t let it take you by surprise.