Today’s Bible Reading: Daniel 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 29:2-4
Over the past few days we’ve read the amazingly accurate prophecies about Alexander the Great and the kings who would rule over the pieces of his divided empire. Yet, a worse ruler than any of these is still to come – the antichrist. This is who Daniel addresses in the remainder of chapter 11.
As we’ve seen from earlier passages the antichrist will come onto the world scene rather quietly. But eventually, through strong-arm tactics including murder, he will rise up to eventually rule over the entire planet. He will claim to be not only “a” god but “the” god (Daniel 11:36). He will dismiss the God of the Bible (Daniel 11:37).
Daniel also tells us that this man will have no regard for the desire of women (Daniel 11:37). Many believe this implies that the antichrist will be a homosexual. With the rise of homosexual power around the world, that is certainly a possibility. We’ll have to wait and see.
Nevertheless the antichrist’s reign will be marked by military conquest (Daniel 11:40-44) but will come to a sudden end (Daniel 11:45). During the antichrist’s reign there will be world-wide terror the earth has never experienced before (Daniel 12:1). But God has promised that anyone who believes in Jesus would be saved (Daniel 12:1).
Its perfectly okay to not understand exactly how the future will unfold. Daniel received this vision yet he did not understand it all (Daniel 12:8). There are many details God has not told us. There are many details we simply can’t understand.
During the end times some people will recognize what is happening because they will turn to their Bibles. Those who don’t will have no clue (Daniel 12:10). Many excuses will be made for the terrible things that happen on and to the earth. I would bet that much of the blame will be placed on those who believe in Jesus just like happens today. The world is rapidly doing all it can to remove Jesus from culture erroneously believing that the Bible has too much influence and is the cause of much of the world’s problems. What they cannot see is that the world gets worse the further we push God away. This attitude will apparently continue all the way to the end.
Today we have many who admit Jesus was a real person but deny that He was God. This includes Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslims. Back in John’s day, many held just the opposite view. They believed that God could not have become flesh and blood (1 John 4:2). Anyone who does not acknowledge that Jesus was 100% both man and 100% God is mistaken (1 John 4:3).
It amazes me how so many modern day scholars think they know who Jesus was. They reject the eye-witness testimony of people like John and Peter who spent 3 years with Jesus and who were empowered by the Holy Spirit to write their letters (John 14:26). I, too, used to claim that Jesus was at best a historical figure and more likely nothing more than fiction. But that was arrogance. I was not better qualified to make a conclusion different from those who knew Him. And neither is anyone else.
One of the greatest truths in the Bible is “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God doesn’t hate anything or anyone He has created. He provides food, rain, and sunshine for everyone even those who hate Him. More importantly, He sent His Son into the world to die for us even though we didn’t realize that we needed it.
Have you ever had someone think ahead of you and anticipate a need that you didn’t realize you were going to have? This is what God did. None of us would ever have thought we needed a savior because we naturally think we’re just fine as we are. But God knew better. And even though we have rejected Him, and mocked Him, and eliminated Him from our lives He fulfilled that need for us anyway. Because He is love. He gave us what we needed even though we didn’t deserve it.
Another great truth of the Bible is that anyone who has experienced God’s love need have no fear of punishment (1 John 4:18). The punishment for my many sins were paid by Jesus on the cross. Therefore, as a born-again believer, I will never receive any punishment from God. Notice that my sins did not go unpunished. They were punished. But not by me. God (in the form of Jesus) took on my punishment. That allows me to live completely free of fear and to receive 100% of God’s love.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.