February 27, 2012
The Reign of the Antichrist
Before we close this chapter, it’s important to review the activity of the Antichrist for the eighty-four months that he appears on earth. His reign begins when he makes a peace contract with Israel and the nations. Daniel 9:27 says, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” The Hebrew word for week in the above passage is shabua, a time period of seven years, or eighty-four months.
In the midst of the week or shabua-after forty-two months-he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. His first item of business is to make peace with Israel, an agreement he honors for three and one-half years. At that point, however, Russia begins its march southward to Israel to break the peace contract that the Antichrist originally made with Israel. Then Gog and Magog (Russia) go up against the land of unwalled villages when Israel is at rest (Ezekiel 38:11).
We know that since she became a nation in 1948, Israel has neither been at rest nor at peace. Soon a peace program of seven years duration will be contracted. But it will be short-lived. Russia ruins it. During this battle the Antichrist comes to his end (Daniel 11:45). Yes, he actually dies, but Revelation 13:3 says, “his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered [marveled] after the beast.” In other words, the Antichrist is resurrected. He comes back to life. That’s why everyone marvels at him, literally standing in awe of his great political prowess and enormous ability to move the minds and hearts of people globally.
To the world, he appears to be like Jesus, returning to life. It’s at this point he magnifies himself above every God (Daniel 11:36) and exalts himself above all gods to a deluded and deceived world (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He literally says, “I am God.” Today, as you watch an acceleration of the New Age movement and its “I am God” philosophy, crystals, shamans, chants, and channeled messages that permeate every segment of our society-even entering the church of Jesus Christ-be aware that this global satanic activity has already proved instrumental in preparing the way for this great deceiver to set himself up for worship (Revelation 13:15), a time when he literally “wears out the saints” (Daniel 7:25). This activity takes place through to the end of the seven years when Jesus Christ ultimately returns and destroys the evil one with the brightness of His glory, casting him into the lake of fire where he remains forever and ever (Revelation 19:20).
- Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
When his dream had been explained by the angel Gabriel, Daniel felt a sorrow of heart, for he now began to understand what would one day happen to his people, the Jews. His dream had helped him catch a glimpse of the terrible times of persecution that would fall upon them. He was rightly disturbed and confused because he was not totally privy to understanding the great blessings-the rest of the story-that would ultimately come to his people-blessings we will discover as we continue to unwrap the sealed mysteries of the time of the end, even as we see Daniel’s humanity surface when he is physically and psychologically devastated by the vision he sees in chapter eight.
We have come to the close of the section that addresses God’s rule over the Gentiles. To help you understand where Daniel is emotionally at this point, I’d like you to put yourself in his position for a moment. You have just dreamed something tantamount to a nightmare in chapter seven that has unnerved you. You fainted; you became anxious-so fearful that you needed help to interpret what you experienced. Now, you are taking your agitation and dismay to the next practical level by asking yourself:
If three more Gentile kingdoms, as suggested by the dream, are supposed to arrive on the scene to dominate the world after Babylon, what will be the fate of my people, the Jews, during that period of time? How long will their trials last? What will be the end result?
These vexing questions are coursing through Daniel’s mind, but still, he has no answers.
But God never leaves His people in a state of confusion. For that reason, God begins to provide Daniel with specific revelations that relate to the future history of His people. With that brief background, we now spend the remainder of the book reviewing these revelations, giving special emphasis to interpreting the prophecies that address “the time of the end”-predictions that not only relate to Israel during the latter days, but also speak to you and me-Jew or Gentile-today.
- In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
- And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
The year is 551 B.C. Daniel sees himself at the Palace of Shushan, a city in Persia about 230 miles east of Babylon and 120 miles north of the Persian Gulf. Daniel makes it clear that this vision took place before his troubling dream in chapter seven. What we are about to learn is that the vision Daniel now sees again projects him into the future when the superpower Medo-Persia would rule the then-known world-a partial rerun of what Daniel has already learned in earlier dreams.
- Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
- I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
- And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
- ;And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
- And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
- Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
- And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
- And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
- Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
- And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
- Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
- And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
New Symbolism-Same Message
Daniel’s been here before. The difference is that in this vision the symbols have been changed. Just as the bear appeared in chapter seven as rising higher on one side, so, in similar fashion, there is now a picture of one of the horns of the ram rising higher than the other, indicating again the dominance the Persians exercised over their partners, the Medes. So far, this is not new information, but this reiteration does not diminish the significance of the drama.
The ram with the two horns standing before the Ulai River again represents Medo-Persia and corresponds to the arms and breast of silver we saw in chapter two and to the appearance of the bear in chapter seven. Historically, this is 100 percent correct, as we would expect. It’s God’s Word. We know that the symbolic, protective force of the Medes and the Persians was a ram with a sharp horn. Not only that, but the Persian ruler, when engaging in foreign military expeditions, proudly wore the head of a ram on his head as a symbol of his enormous power.
Now the ram goes into action, lowering its fierce head and butting at prey to the west, north, and south. Ultimately, as our history books tell us, Medo-Persia laid waste Babylonia, Asia Minor, and Syria to the west; Armenia, and the area of the Caspian Sea to the north; and then conquered Ethiopia and Egypt to the south. Symbolized by a ram, the Medo-Persian Empire butted up against virtually every nation and principality in sight and soon became the greatest power on the face of the earth.
So far, this is more of a confirmation of Daniel’s earlier dream than anything else, and such confirmation continues as we now see the nation of Greece symbolized by a goat, the equivalent of the brass stomach and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar’s image in chapter two, and the leopard with wings in chapter seven. So fleet of foot is this goat that when it runs its feet do not touch the ground-an apt description of the awesome power of the swift, far-reaching campaigns of the Greco-Macedonian army.
Suddenly, however, the vision provides us with additional, detailed information, more than we saw in Daniel’s earlier dream. Greece is not only the goat, but now we see a great horn appear between its eyes, a symbol of Greece’s first great monarch, Alexander the Great. There had not been a military strategist the likes of Alexander in the annals of history. Son of the great militarist Philip of Macedon and student of Aristotle, Alexander, in the course of his short life, conquered one and one half million square miles. While in power, he was revered by all as a young king with singular skills and enormous intelligence, amazing the world with his military prowess.
His crowning victory came with the destruction of the once-invincible Medo-Persian empire in less than a three-year interval- 334-331 B.C. But he did not live long. He died of malaria and syphilis at age thirty-two, lamenting that there were no more worlds to conquer. During the final years of his life, Alexander spent as much time indulging his passion for sex, immoral conduct, and alcohol as he did in destroying his foes. In the end, Alexander’s true enemy lay within.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
But What Have I to Offer?
The little boy was only about 8 years old, bright-eyed, blonde, and so very cute.
He came up to me that Wednesday evening before the crusade service started and said, “I have something for you, Rexella!”
I smiled down at this vibrant little guy, knelt beside him, and asked, “What is it?”
He excitedly held out a brown paper bag for me to open. Inside was a freshly-baked, crusty-brown loaf of bread. “Oh, how nice!” I exclaimed. “Did your mother make this for me?”
“No, I did!” he said proudly. “I made it for you.”
I couldn’t keep from giving him a hug of appreciation for his gift that meant so much to me. To some it may not have seemed like much — a slightly misshapen, slightly overdone loaf of homemade bread. But behind it was an overflowing supply of generosity and love for my husband and me.
And even little is much when it is given with love.
Jesus confirmed this with His comments about the giving of a poor widow who dropped two tiny coins into the offering at the Temple. Contrasted with the large sums being given by the wealthy, her gift must have seemed insignificant to those who looked on. But the Lord said, “This woman has given more than all the others. They gave a portion of their abundant wealth — she gave all she had, even her very living” (see Mark 12:41-44).
I think it is very significant indeed that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took note of that small, sacrificial gift and said that, in His eyes, it was worth more than all the other gifts put together. The New Testament account doesn’t actually say so, but I wonder if God didn’t bless those two little coins and multiply their value many times over!
How God will use your gift
He did that one day with a little lad’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes. Jesus multiplied that simple sack-lunch into enough to feed a multitude of 5,000… with lots of leftovers.
I believe the Lord performed this miracle for more than one reason. Yes, He felt compassion for the multitude that had followed Him and listened to His teaching all day long. He wanted to meet their physical need and satisfy their hunger for food as He had satisfied their thirst for spiritual truth.
But I believe this miracle may also have been to encourage the faith of His disciples. Perhaps they may have been tempted to send the multitude away hungry (“what good is so little among so many?”) and use the few loaves and fishes as a meager snack for the staff.
But the Lord demonstrated in a graphic way that, in His kingdom, there is always enough to meet the need. He blessed and broke the bread and fish, then had them serve the hungry people. When everybody had eaten his fill, the disciples gathered up what was left. And there were 12 baskets full — one basket for each disciple!
What a great lesson! What a great miracle! Yet, it could not have happened without the unselfish giving of the little boy who handed over his lunch. What if he had said, “There are too many hungry people here, and I have barely enough food for myself. I can’t afford to give… and what little I have wouldn’t make much difference anyhow.”
But he did what he could do — shared what he had. And his gift fed a multitude… and taught Jesus’ disciples a great lesson. Plus, I’ve always felt the little boy must have ended up taking more food home that night than he’d started out with. So he had a chance to witness to his parents about what the Lord had said and done.
Who could have blamed the poor widow if she had said, “Look at all the rich offerings the wealthy people are giving at the Temple. I have only these two mites — worth less than a penny. There’s no way I can give. No one would even know if I did give, or miss my tiny offering if I didn’t.”
But out of love for God she gave — and Jesus himself noticed and called attention to her generosity!
Your giving is important
So often people look at the worldwide soulwinning outreaches of Jack Van Impe Ministries and feel that our program is so big that we don’t need their help. “What I have to give is so little in comparison to your need that I’m embarrassed to even offer it,” they say. In essence they’re saying, “But what have I to offer?”
You know what this ministry is doing. We’re on weekly television, with regional audiences that are growing with each telecast. The rating services say that already we are number one with some segments of the viewing audience. Our goal is to blanket the entire world with our program ministering to multiplied millions each week.
In addition, our overseas radio broadcasts are touching thousands upon thousands of homes across Europe and in many other countries. Each month we receive letters from people in many nations who have been blessed and helped through this outreach.
And we are able to do this on a fraction of the budget of many larger organizations. It has always been our policy to hold overhead expenses to an absolute minimum and use virtually all of our funds for pure ministry. And we make sure the ministry gets full value for every dollar invested. That’s the secret of how we have been able to accomplish so much on a fairly small income.
And this is why every support gift we receive is important. Even a small offering sent to Jack Van Impe Ministries very probably will accomplish as much as a larger amount given to a “big name” organization. Some friends also have the misconception that most of this ministry’s support comes from those who give very large amounts — thousands and tens of thousands!
We have no corporate sponsors, no denominational underwriting, no group of wealthy benefactors. Actually, what keeps us going are the regular, faithful, sacrificial gifts of friends who send $10, $20, or $50 each month, or as often as they can. Every gift we receive — large or small — is important.
What is in your hand?
What do you have to offer? Give that. For remember, to whom much is given, much is required. But even if you had absolutely no material possessions, you still could give your love, your encouragement, your prayers. It means so much to know our friends are standing with us.
What do you have to offer? What God has placed in your hands. What you are willing to give to His work. If all you have to give to God in Jesus’ name is a cup of cold water, then that is all God expects.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not (2 Corinthians 8:12).
Over the years the Lord has blessed my husband and me with many precious friends who have shared the burdens and the opportunities of this ministry. Occasionally, in addition to the support given for our work, we have received a card or a word of encouragement, or a small personal gift. I have appreciated all of them.
But I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night when that charming 8-year-old brought me the best he had to offer, a loaf of bread he baked himself!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
One thing that goes through my mind each time I watch your show, which I have since around the early to mid-90’s is that I can count on you to speak the truth and the hard truth. Thank you for that!! You are one of few that speak so boldly and I can’t even begin to tell you how I appreciate this ministry. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I would love that others would grow a backbone and stand up for truth and righteous.
I started watching your show about 5 yrs. ago and I try to never miss a teaching of the word of God. Youre about the only pastor in this world that I know that teaches the truth in the bible. Youre a true leader and I love you for that, Keep up the great job.
Love R. & C. A.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
You and your family need the facts about an abomination taking place right now – one of the vital signs of Bible prophecy that signals the soon return of Christ.
It’s the advent of Chrislam an ungodly blending of Islam and Christianity that’s being promoted by some Christian leaders today! They’re even reading the Koran alongside the Bible in Christian churches!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have prepared this powerful video expose to show you how this dangerous trend fulfills Bible prophecy – and threatens to destroy Christianity.
Discover these critical answers:
- What two global leaders are promoting Chrislam?
- Which notable Christian ministers are open to it?
- What does the Bible say about Chrislam?
- How does Chrislam fulfill two key final prophecies before Christ’s return?
- And much more!
The Bible says in these latter days the love of many will grow cold – apostasy will set in – and supposed religious leaders will have a form of godliness but lack its power.
We’re seeing these prophecies fulfilled today!
You and your family deserve to know the facts – the truth that many supposedly ‘Christian’ leaders want to hide from you!
There is only one way to heaven, through salvation in Jesus Christ. Choosing Christ means a change in lifestyle ? and many preachers today just don’t want to tell people that they must be transformed!
But Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe set the record straight in their landmark teaching video, Reclaiming and Restoring Biblical Christianity