April 13, 2015
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
History Ends-Prophecy Begins
The great Reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) was so overwhelmed with the historical accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy in the first part of chapter eleven that he wrote forty pages of commentary describing in minute detail the future exploits of each world leader, the battles engaged, and the ensuing intrigue. In fact, the meticulous and historically accurate nature of these verses has persuaded many liberal ministers to believe that Daniel could not have written this book, suggesting that no one could have been privy to so many details of forthcoming events.
Therefore, they argue, the Book of Daniel must have been written much later. To that I would simply reply that since God is God, and since He knows all things, it really would not be difficult for the Almighty to fill Daniel with His Holy Spirit and through him make known the events in history yet to come (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Some readers may want me to spend as much time as John Calvin did in delineating past predictions that have already been fulfilled in the first part of chapter eleven, perhaps hoping that I would trace the accomplishments of every king, every skirmish, and every historical circumstance in this four hundred-year period to prove there are no errors in Daniel’s prophecy. However, for those who may not have as great a historical bent, this would be too much detail, since the first thirty-five verses of this chapter eleven include 135 prophecies-each completely fulfilled down to the smallest detail.
Undoubtedly, delving into each of the 135 predictions would become exceedingly laborious. With those considerations in mind, I will simply sketch out a few of the completed historical events of this chapter and then spend most of the time exploring the confluence of the many events that suggest so strongly that we are now at the time of the end-a discussion which begins with verse 36.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of C recta.
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
Details that Confound the Skeptics
These first four verses trace the history of four Persian rulers and Alexander the Great of Greece-giving summary details of the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria, whom, as you will recall, represented the two major divisions of Alexander’s worldwide kingdom. It is this kind of historical detail that confounds the skeptic who says, “How could any one-God included-have known with such accuracy the events, people, and interaction of nations four centuries before such events took place?” Here, however, we are not concerned with the critics’ skepticism, but rather rejoice in the knowledge that we have a God who knows the future, has ordained its activity, and is now allowing us to unseal mysteries so long hidden from view.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the enormous amount of prophetic information contained in Daniel’s vision-all of which has now been fulfilled. When Daniel received his fourth revelation, Cyrus was king of Medo-Persia. However, Christ- in the vision-told Daniel there would be three more MedoPersian rulers prior to the reign of successor number four. The three kings were Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius I Hystaspes. The fourth would be Xerxes I, a powerful ruler who later accumulated great armies, power, and wealth over a four-year period which he used to invade Greece in the year 480 B.C. I highlight this here because it was Xerxes’ attack of Greece that moved Alexander the Great to attack Medo-Persia some one hundred and fifty years later.
However, not all would go well for Alexander in spite of his great power and dominance of so much of the then-known world. Though the young king grasped worldwide control, he soon died of malaria and syphilis at the age of thirty-two. Previously, we saw a defeated Greece predicted in the form of a leopard (Daniel 7:6), and as the goat in Daniel 8:5-6. Events prophesied; events fulfilled.
Daniel 11: 5 – 36
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
The Wars between the South and the North
From verse 5 we begin to see a powerful struggle taking place between the kings of the South-Egypt-and the kings of the North-Assyria, today’s Syria. These nations were constantly at each other’s throats, alternating victories. It was a see-saw world of power-grabbing, palace intrigue, and battle fatigue for supreme command of the region. Finally, a scheme was devised to put an end to these constant wars that were taking such a great toll on the people and their respective governments.
This was the plan: Ptolemy II had a daughter Berenice, and it was decided that if she would marry Antiochus II of Syria a union designed to create a long and lasting peace in the area could be forged. However, even the best laid plans of kings and princesses often do not meet all expectations, and since it was a forced marriage, Antiochus II of Syria hated the arrangement. However, for political reasons, he chose to live with what he disliked. But when the king of Egypt, Ptolemy II, died, Antiochus realized he suddenly had a golden opportunity to get rid of his spouse-which he did. He divorced her and took back his original wife, Laodice.
The ancient soap opera continued to play out when Laodice, overcome with jealousy, had Berenice poisoned along with most of her family. In the end, the hoped-for peace between Egypt and Assyria did not hold. In fact, this was only the beginning of the shedding of blood between the powers of the north and south.
Other high profile names to surface during the next four centuries would be men such as Ptolemy Euergetes, Seleucus Callinicus, Antiochus III, and Ptolemy Philopator, along with the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes who, upon returning from Egypt after having amassed great wealth, began to show his unnatural hatred toward the Jews, an attitude best described by the phrase, “His heart shall be against the holy covenant” (v. 28). This beast of a man would also be a precursor of the persecution an end-time global dictator exercises against Israel during the Great Tribulation hour. We have seen earlier that Antiochus was the designated archetype of the “future man of iniquity”-the Antichrist yet to come. I believe he will soon be on the scene as the clock of history winds down and brings us to the time of the end.
It is impossible to do justice to the history that takes place between verses 1 and 35 without writing a major compendium on the prophecies and their actual fulfillment. There are already many commentaries available that deal with such issues. For our purpose, however, the most important, underlying message of these first thirty-five verses is this:
- They contain 135 Bible prophecies that have been 100 percent fulfilled.
- There is no supportive evidence in history to contradict any of the 135 prophecies, i.e., everything prophesied has come true.
- They provide a convincing introduction to end-time events-a period of time in world history that is rapidly approaching.
- Prophecies still to come in this chapter can be expected to be fulfilled in the same manner as the 135 prophecies were in the first thirty-five verses of Daniel chapter eleven.
With that brief background, we will now proceed to the futuristic nature of Daniel’s revelation which begins in verse 36 in next weeks study.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Have you ever wondered how the world must look to a little baby? After nine months of confinement, tucked close beneath its mother’s heart, the world must seem a strange, vast place.
Looking up from its crib, perhaps a little one’s first awareness is of faces looking down. Probably the first person to attract the baby’s attention would be its mother.
“Who is this person?” might be the baby’s first question, if it could speak. I’m told that the miraculous, divinely-planned bonding between child and mother begins almost immediately after birth. Many experts believe a baby even recognizes its mother’s voice from months of hearing it inside the womb.
And the baby’s next question might be, “Who is that man?” Given the proper time, care, and attention from the male parent, the infant will grow to recognize and love its father, too. Throughout every stage of its growth and development, that child needs the influence and nurture of both a mother and father. Expressing affection to the child in a positive way, like hugging, is important in developing a sense of security.
Sorry to say, too often there is not enough of a relationship between fathers and children. There is too little male bonding. Some recent studies have determined that a great many men spend only about ten minutes a day with their children. As a result, fathers are virtual strangers to their offspring. Children can’t identify with their father-they don’t know who he is or what he stands for. They would find it impossible to say what their dad’s outlook and philosophy is.
This condition is one of the sad and serious consequences of homes broken by divorce. There are millions of single-parent homes where children grow up never knowing the influence of a man in the house.
Even in homes with mothers and fathers, sometimes dads spend too many hours watching TV, or involving themselves in hobbies or activities that take them away from their children. Sometimes, even church activities can keep men really busy with Sunday and Wednesday services, and perhaps one or two other nights of serving on boards or committees.
Because of the hectic pace of modem life… and possibly even because of the demented, evil behavior of a small percentage of men who victimize and abuse youngsters-the normal, healthy bond of intimacy between father’s and children is deteriorating.
In recent months, there seems to be a new emphasis on developing positive parent-child relationships-especially with fathers. I applaud this and encourage every Christian father to invest more time and interest in his children. Almost nothing is more important to the whole family’s welfare than for the man of the house to be a real father.
As I look back over my childhood and teenage years, I realize what an important role my dad, Rex Shelton, played in my life. And looking around at the multiplied thousands of youngsters who have absolutely no father-image, or a father who takes little or no interest in them, or even worse, a father who persecutes and abuses them, my heart goes out to them.
No wonder our youth are out of control, our families deteriorating, and our nation veering disastrously off course! God, give us fathers-godly men like my precious dad!
Caring and sharing
I knew my father. He was a real, flesh and blood, down-to-earth person. He was not afraid to share his struggles and troubles openly…not to burden his children but to let us see how he worked through hard times and faced adversity…and how he trusted God. He openly showed us the reality of Christian living.
Dad had a big heart. He cared for others, and always was quick to extend a helping hand. Dad came from a family of eight children, and he even helped take care of his brothers and sisters, taking responsibility for them until they were old enough to be on their own.
My dad was tenderhearted… and not afraid of tears. He was moved by the feelings of others. If I cried, often he cried too, sharing my sorrow, and offering comfort and encouragement. I always knew he cared.
He also was free-spirited and fun loving, and never outgrew the joy of playing. I remember going swimming and water skiing, and tobogganing with him in the snow. Once, when I was just a little girl, Dad and I were out walking in the snow and I got so cold I couldn’t stand it. Dad picked me up, put me inside his coat, wrapping it snugly around the both of us. I felt so secure in his arms-protected, safe, warm, and loved.
That’s really how Dad made me feel all my life. I never remember him saying, “Leave me alone-I don’t have time for you right now.” He made time for me when I needed and wanted him-he was always there, physically and emotionally.
When I had a serious tooth problem and had to go to the dentist for a root canal, it was Dad who took me and held my hand through the frightening ordeal. And it was Dad who taught me to face reality, putting Merthiolate on a scrape and saying, “Rexella, this WILL hurt-but it will help you get well.”
Dad knew how to make me feel special. Sometimes I’d follow him out into the backyard garden-just because I enjoyed walking with him and looking at the vegetables. He’d find the biggest and best red tomato in the whole garden and give it to me, along with a salt shaker he’d carried in his pocket just for that walk.
Children love to know what their fathers do. My dad was a quality control inspector on a General Motors auto assembly line. I’ll never forget when he took me to see his work. I was so proud of him-I thought he was so important. It made me look up to him even more.
My father did not send me to church with my mother-he took us to church as a family. I started singing at church when I was about five years old. When I’d look out at the congregation, Dad was always there and his face shone with approval!
Years later, when Jack and I were young evangelists, whenever we were within 50-100 miles of home, Dad would drive over to be in our services. Sometimes it meant he could only sleep four or five hours that night because he was up each morning at 5:30 a.m. for work.
I’ve always thought it must be profoundly painful to be publicly ridiculed or disciplined by one’s parent. Dad always corrected me privately. I sometimes needed correction-and I got it! But Dad never humiliated me or made my misdeeds a public spectacle. And he used my mistakes as opportunities to teach me a better way.
Once I was trying to train a puppy to do tricks-with little results. I got so exasperated that I was yelling! Dad came out with a handful of treats and said, “Try using these as rewards-it will work better.” Then he told me that when he was a boy, his mother had taught him to use sugar cubes instead of a stick to train his horse. I never forgot that lesson.
I was so fortunate-so blessed to have a good father. It was never difficult for me to understand or receive God’s love because I had experienced the love of an earthly father. I could believe God would take my burdens (Psalm 55:22), supply my needs (Philippians 4:19), protect me (Psalm 91:11), direct me (Proverbs 3:5,6), and give me everlasting life and love (John 3:16). My earthly father had exemplified all these things to me. If Dad had these qualities, how could I doubt that God had them to the ultimate degree?
My dad taught me how to live. And he also taught me how to die. When my father’s life came to an end, I remember the whole family gathering in his hospital room to spend the last precious hours with him. He suffered in dignity…and died in peace.
Shortly before he crossed over into heaven, I was alone with Dad for a few minutes. I asked, “Dad, we don’t have a lot of time left to be together here in this world. Is there anything you have to tell me?”
He was quiet for a long moment, then he squeezed my hand gently and said, “Fulfill the reason for which you’ve been born!” Those words have been my goal ever since. And with all the strength and wisdom I can summon, each day I try to give my best…to the work of God that is my life’s calling.
Walking through the valley
Not long after this happened. Dad stirred a bit and said, “Look, I’m walking through the valley!”
“Who is waiting for you on the other side?” I asked, as tears streamed down my cheeks.
“My Lord,” he said. “My Lord is waiting.”
In a few minutes, Dad said he needed to rest, but he wanted to pray before he went to sleep. I held his hand as he prayed. He said, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.”
I knew Dad could lay down to sleep, knowing he had been a good father-that his primary work was done. Like the Apostle Paul, he could say, “I’ve finished the course.”
Looking back fondly, somehow it seems just right that, in his last supplication, Dad would revert to that simple, beautiful child’s bed-time prayer. After all, he was moving into the presence of his Father.
The other day, after an exhausting session before the TV cameras, I was feeling a bit weary and under the weather. For some reason, when I got home I opened an old scrapbook, and a piece of paper fluttered loose. It was a church attendance slip from my childhood days. Written on the back, in Dad’s handwriting, was a note he’d jotted down for me after I’d sung at church. But his words reached across the years and blessed me once again. “Dear Rexella,” I read through my tears, “this was your most beautiful and best yet. Love, Dad.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Hello Jack and Rexella,
I’ve been witnessing to my friend Lynne and praying for her salvation for a couple of years. She continued to believe she was going to heaven by her good works.
We hadn’t visited each other for several months, but then she invited me to her house to lunch. During the visit yesterday, she said she’d been getting up at 6:30 on Sunday mornings to watch your program. Through your teaching she became concerned that maybe she wasn’t so sure she was going to heaven.
Her spirit was now open to receive the gift of eternal life through the shed blood of our Savior Yahshua. 🙂
I wanted to share this blessing with you.
Your co-laborer in the Messiah,
Dear Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe, I’m a big fan of your show! I’ve been watching since the age of 10 and I wanted to tell you guys what a blessing your ministry has been in my life! I’m 24 years old now and since I’ve started watching your program I’ve studied bible prophecy. You’ve planted a seed in my heart and I’ve been on fire ever since! Although many Christians say to me that we don’t need to worry about the coming of The Lord and you don’t need to watch that program, I say to them read your Bible! Jesus commanded us in Mark 13 to watch! I thank God for you two and your staff for standing up for God’s word! I want you two to know The Lord has used your ministry to set a fire within me and I don’t care if my own mock me for preaching about His coming. Until He returns or I take my final breath and God calls me home I will preach about His coming! God has used you two in a mighty way not in just my life, but many lives as well! I cannot wait for the day we meet each other in Heaven and more importantly for the day we see our Lord Jesus Christ face to face. Oh come soon Lord Jesus!
J. W N.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe lay out the evidence that YOU are part of the Rapture generation — the people who will see the coming of Christ and be caught up to meet Him in the air!
In this power-packed teaching, you’ll get answers to critical questions such as:
- What does Armageddon really mean?
- What do recent natural disasters have to do with Jesus’ prophecies of the latter days?
- What are some examples of recent Islamic terrorist attacks?
- What does this have to do with their obeying the Koran?
- Could this be the year that the Lord will return? What are the signs?
- What does the Bible say about terrorism being one of the major signs before the Lord comes back?
- And Many More!
Are we now living in the era of the final three Popes? How do these final three Popes signal Christ’s imminent return?
Acclaimed Bible scholar and teacher Dr. Jack Van Impe draws upon his lifetime of research and study to make a definitive case for Christ’s imminent return.
This power-packed volume is thoroughly documented yet easy to read; an inspiring account proving beyond any shadow of doubt that Jesus is coming soon!