March 5, 2012
The Alexander Complex
Again the Bible is completely accurate as it predicts the events of Alexander’s demise, describing in detail the “four horns” that replaced the single broken horn between the goat’s eyes. These four horns represent the four generals who would later divide the sum of Alexander’s great conquests among themselves: Ptolemy became master of Egypt, Cyrene, Cyprus, and Palestine; Seleucus grabbed Syria, Babylonia, and the southern area of Asia Minor; Cassander took possession of Macedonia and Greece; while Lysimachus became the uncontested ruler of Thrace and western Asia Minor.
As I ponder Alexander the Great’s abbreviated life, I recall the story of a newspaper reporter who went to a nursing home to interview one of the senior patients. The reporter was surprised to see that the gentleman looked so young. He asked the standard question: “To what do you attribute your long life?” The man looked the reporter in the eye and said, “Son, I drink a lot of whiskey, and I live a very promiscuous life. I smoke a box of cigars every other day, and do just about anything I want-everything the world calls wrong.” The reporter, taking notes furiously, asked, “Well, sir, you’ve got to tell me: how old are you?” The man replied, “Thirty-two.”
This man, like Alexander the Great, figured he had the world on a string, but when the string suddenly broke sin found him out, and sin won. Alexander the Great had conquered the outside world but had failed to deal with the demons within.
Enter the Madmen
Now the plot thickens, providing us with a prophecy that should make anyone who doubts the veracity of the Book of Daniel a believer. As Daniel watched the vision unfold before his eyes, there came out yet another horn-a fifth horn. It started small, but quickly grew to great influence and power toward the south, the east, and the “Beautiful Land.”
Remember, Daniel’s vision was describing events that would not take place for another two centuries, yet the prediction is accurate down to the very person described, Antiochus IV, also known as Epiphanes, the eighth ruler of the Seleucid division of the expanded Greek empire. Since he did not possess a legitimate right to the throne, Antiochus stooped to bribery and chicanery to become king, and what a cruel monarch he was.
He was a madman-one of the two we’ll speak of in this chapter. His anti-Semitism ran high. He hated God’s chosen people as no ruler had ever hated them. Why did this tyrant take center stage in Daniel’s vision? For two reasons: First, to remind us that almighty God knows-in minute detail-what will happen in history. Antiochus really did appear on the scene, he really did hate the Jews, and he really was the cruelest, most diabolical king anyone could imagine. But there is a second reason why Antiochus is mentioned here: Antiochus Epiphanes is a symbol of the Antichrist and how he will act during the time of the Tribulation.
Remember, the little horn of chapter seven is the actual Antichrist; the little horn in chapter eight is the Jew hater Antiochus Epiphanes, a photocopy of the Antichrist of the Tribulation. That’s why we can use the texts in chapter eight to document the desecration the Antichrist will bring upon the house of Israel during the time of the end.
The Great Masquerade
Let’s look further at the arrogance of this man-symbol of the Antichrist-who magnifies himself as the prince of the host, that is, prince of the Jewish people. He would glorify himself as their prince-just as Jesus Christ will one day reign as their King-again, an end-time hint that the Antichrist will also do his best to “appear as Christ” in what will be one of the greatest masquerade attempts of all time. Second Thessalonians 2:4 says that the Antichrist “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This comparison is an absolute match between Antiochus Epiphanes and the Antichrist.
While some Jews would go along with Antiochus’ treachery-feeling they might con their way to independence by toadying up to the tyrant-they would soon discover they had backed the wrong candidate, their hypocrisy soon coming back to bite them. Even as these Jewish “turncoats” were hoping for the best deal they could strike with their foreign intruder, Antiochus began his slaughter of more than one hundred thousand Jews, demanding that the temporary survivors of his holocaust substitute heathen idols for the one, true God.
He tore up their law, defiled their women, desecrated their Sabbath, had circumcised babies hanged, and forced Jews to sacrifice a sow on the holy altar of the temple. He removed the candlestick of light, the censers of gold, the veil, and the crowns and golden ornaments that adorned the temple. He scaled off mountains of gold for his own amusement and stripped the temple of everything that held significance for the Jews. He laughed in the face of the God of the Hebrews as he commanded that coins be stamped with the inscription: Epiphanes-God! Such blasphemy then-or now-does not go unpunished.
The Signs of Things to Come
Having accomplished his filthy deeds, Antiochus Epiphanes continued to supervise one of the greatest massacres of all time, boasting of his actions at every possible moment. If you would like to know more of this man’s reign of terror, read the Book of Maccabees 1:29-64. This madman’s behavior is but a mild warning of the activities of the Antichrist yet to appear-who will arrive on the world scene sooner than most imagine.
Amazingly, Antiochus Epiphanes actually enjoyed a degree of acceptance in the early days of his reign, as we’ve noted, by those hypocrites willing to go along with him for their own gain-even as the Antichrist will dupe millions of our world’s people with his charisma and international leadership skills. In the time of the end, this “beast” will make a peace contract with Israel, but in the middle of the peace process, he will break his word and rescind the treaty. 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.”
Antichrist-Temporarily in Control
This breaking of the peace is a significant time in history, for now those with eyes to see will observe that the Antichrist has, in fact, become the devil incarnate. Just as Jesus was God in human form, this Antichrist, during the second three and one-half years of the Tribulation, will have Satan living in him. That’s when he will say, “I am God,” just as a haughty, maniacal Antiochus stamped coins with his own image in an attempt to promote his own deity. Remember, this is what Satan has always wanted to do-to be like the most high God (Isaiah 14:12-14). That’s why he was ousted out of the third heaven and why Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
We must remember that the evil one has never been successful. Not that he hasn’t tried. You’ll recall how one day, deep in the wilderness, Satan promised Jesus the world and everything in it if He’d simply bow in allegiance to him (Matthew 4). Jesus didn’t take the bait. However, when we come to the time of the end, the Antichrist-the embodiment of Satan-will finally pull off his coup and become what he’s always wanted to be, magnifying himself above every god, with the assistance of an international religious public relations machine that persuades most of the world that he is the man of the hour. In spite of the evil he will do, in all probability he will still become Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
This is the one who one day will sit on the throne in the temple in Jerusalem, look into his mirror, admire himself for his accomplishments, smile, and tell himself, “I am God, and there is none other like me.” My friend, beware of New Agers who tell you that you can become God or like a god. To be seduced by this sweet-sounding rhetoric is the sort of banal thinking-or lack of thinking-that helps to set the stage for what will happen with the advent of the Antichrist. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The day of the arrival of the Antichrist is rapidly approaching.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
When the Light Goes Out!
I really enjoy flowers and plants. My husband, Jack, and I have numerous trees, shrubs, and flowering plants around our house.
Last summer I was especially proud of some beautiful ferns we had hanging outside around our patio. Given just the right amount of light and water, they really flourished, with dark green, luxuriant leaves and tendrils that cascaded over the sides of the pot like a vibrant, intricately woven tapestry.
I enjoyed those ferns all spring and summer long, and when fall approached, I couldn’t stand to see them die. So Dr. and I carried them to the office and gave them to various staff members to take home.
All except one — the largest and most beautiful plant of all. We put that one in the office chapel up by the pulpit. It was so beautiful, so fresh — it was a reminder of God’s blessings to us through nature. And many commented on how much that fern added to the room.
Then one day a week or so later, I went into the chapel and immediately noticed that something was wrong with the plant. It was still alive, but its rich green color seemed duller and its leaves were drooping. “Oh my, I thought, “What’s wrong? Are we going to lose this beautiful fern?”
Then I saw the problem — inside the walls of the chapel, the plant wasn’t getting enough light. So I moved it so it would get full exposure to the overhead light, and I opened the window blind so natural light came in. And do you know, by the very next day that fern had perked up and looked healthy and full of life again.
The Lord really used that incident to speak to my heart about the importance — and the power — of light in our spiritual lives. When we begin to flounder, to feel wilted, weak, and listless, it’s a sure indication that we need to draw nearer to the light. The vitality and strength we enjoy in our lives come from the Light of the world — from Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
I love the beautiful description of the Apostle John, who wrote, In him was life; and the life was the light of men…. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:4,9).
Step out of the shadows
Next, James says there is no shadow of turning with God. Do you know what causes a shadow? Something comes between you and the source of light!
Is there a shadow in your life today? Then find what has come between you and the Lord. Could it be materialism, caring more about this world’s goods and “things” than eternal values? Could it be a person — perhaps you’re in love with a person who is not God’s choice for you. Maybe the object between you and the Lord’s Light is your own desire to be successful.
Could it be that you’ve allowed indifference, resentment, or a critical, judgmental spirit to come between you and God and cast a shadow over your life?
Take a look at your life today. Don’t wait too long! Without a daily infusion of the power of God’s Light, the vibrant colors of your life will begin to fade. Your zeal and energy to witness for Him will wither. Your desire to be all that He wants you to be will shrivel away.
Remember, just going to church is not enough if you keep an “umbrella” over you to block out the light. My beautiful fern would have died just as dead inside the chapel as it would have inside a cellar — without the power of the light! When I let in the light, my plant was fully restored. And the Light of God will do the same for our lives.
But that’s not all. We are so much more important to God than a fern plant. His plan for us is so exciting and fulfilling.
You can be God’s light
As we continue to draw near to His light, something wonderful happens. We begin to glow and radiate His light until it shines on others still living in darkness. Our lives can be beacons, drawing precious souls to Christ. This gives purpose and meaning to our living.
Jesus himself said to us, Ye are the light of the world…. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14,16).
You may feel that, even at your best, your light is. too small to be of much use. But it isn’t. In the gathering darkness of the world around us, even a candle can be seen. And as we work together for the Lord, combining our efforts and our resource, to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission in these last days of time, the power of God’s light will shine through us and reach into the darkest corners of the earth.
Oh, I want to help light up the world for Jesus, don’t you? My heart goes out to people who still walk in darkness, even in the United States and Canada, as well as in other nations. There is such sadness and despair, such confusion and deception. Men and women live under heavy burdens. Young people face peer pressure and temptation. It seems that Satan has launched an all-out assault on mankind.
I understand full well what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15).
If ever there was a time for us to draw near God’s light, it’s today. If ever the people of the world needed someone to lead them out of darkness into the marvelous light of our Lord and Saviour, it is now. If ever any Christians had the opportunity — and obligation — to win the world for Christ, you and I do.
In the words of a beloved old gospel song —
“There’s a call comes ringing o’er
the restless wave,
Send the Light, send the Light,
There are souls to rescue, there
are souls to save,
Send the Light, send the Light!”
God help us to hear that call today and to do all we can, give all we can, be all we can to send the light of the gospel.
God help us to SHINE!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Brother Van Impe,
I met you many years ago in South Carolina while I was attending Bob Jones University. I have come to the same conclusion you have regarding the lines of separation and am so blessed that you have remained faithful to the Lord. I pastor a group of folks at Emeritus in Lakewood, New York who live at a retirement facility. The church is non-denominational because many of the aged people are of the Catholic and Protestant backgrounds. My job is to feed the sheep and get them ready to meet the Good Shepherd. The message I preach is fundamental and Bible all the way. I simply focus on Christ and who He is and what He did so they can know whether or not they are saved. I have lost three members over this past year, but praise the Lord, all knew Christ as Lord and Savior! Funerals are bitter sweet. Now, that’s who I am.
The reason I am writing to you, I want to encourage you and your wife to stay the course- Christ is surely coming back real soon. My wife and I are praying for you guys, and for God’s richest blessing upon your lives. Won’t heaven be wonderful when we will have all eternity to get to know one another. We as God’s preachers must “rightly divide the Word of Truth” no matter what the cost. You are an encouragement to me when I feel like Elijah and the only one left who preaches the truth. But of course I know the Lord has His remnant. As Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said so many years ago, “The test of a man’s character is what it takes to stop him.” Dr. Van Impe, don’t stop preaching the truth! You’re not alone.
Pastor Steven S.
Please continue to preach the truth and I know you will. It grieves me greatly by the falling away of so many so called spiritual leaders. Satan loves counterfeit religion. Pray for a great awakening into the spirit of truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth.
Lord I pray, that the voice of truth will never be silenced, that the truth will be heard by all, that the spiritual teachers will come to understand that the love of the kingdom can only come through truth not lies, it’s impossible for God to lie or be a part of one. Protect and bless JVIM as they are a voice of truth. Praise God, Amen
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
For anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet, Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have good news! You will see your furry or feathered friends again – in heaven! Explore this exciting truth taught by twelve of the greatest Christian theologians.
You will see and hear the exact spine-tingling statements from the pens of men like Dr. John Walvoord, Dr. Billy Graham, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Dr. John Calvin and many others. This video study deals with animal intelligence, animal communication, and how animals literally teach humans some valuable lessons.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils I Timothy 4:1
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Timothy 3:13
Will everyone be in Heaven? Are there many paths to follow to get there? Can anyone get to Heaven without the Lord Jesus Christ? In this world of Political Correctness the answers are shocking. The very foundations of Christianity are under attack.
Drs. Jack & Rexella Van Impe meet these attacks head on in this fascinating new video Christianity Seduced. They stand for Biblical Correctness – “…let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4). In this amazing study you will discover that the New Age teaching is nothing new but has been around since Satan first spoke in the Garden of Eden.