Islam, Christianity & Prophecy, Pt. 3 - Critical Mass

Islam, Christianity & Prophecy, Pt. 3 - Critical Mass

Scripture: Daniel 11:40-45, Revelation 8:13
Date: 10/29/2016 
The third and final part in a three-part series dealing with the subject of Christianity, Islam, and Prophecy - "Critical Mass"

In the Fullness of Time by Doug Batchelor

In the Fullness of Time by Doug Batchelor
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Our presentation today is going to be the third and, God willing, the final part in a three-part series dealing with the subject of Christianity, Islam, and Prophecy. And today's message is more specifically called Critical Mass. I just want to let you know, you know, even as I was praying there I said, 'Lord, I am not sufficient to these things.' and this is really the first time that I’ve delved into talking about this subject and some of the deeper themes of Daniel 11. I wanted to make sure that I was at peace with what I was sharing. It's very - kind of an awesome responsibility when you're a pastor and you're teaching the word, that you teach it faithfully, but I do think that Islam plays a prominent role in prophecy. Now, just in the interest of review - we always have visitors or some who are watching that did not see the previous programs.

We talked first about sibling rivalry and I think we made a good case that you can trace the lineage of the two sons of Abraham being Ishmael and Isaac - some very interesting things - they are the founders of two great peoples, namely Christians and Jews under Isaac, and you have the Muslims - the Islamic religion - under Ishmael - Ishmael and the other sons of Keturah became the founders of the Arabs - Arab people - and, of course, from Isaac you have Christianity. Interesting things about them: Isaac had Jacob who had twelve sons and one daughter - became a great nation. God named all of them - they were given names by God - and then you have Ishmael had twelve sons - at least one daughter. God said he would grow into a great nation - he was named - one was from Egypt - Hagar was an Egyptian. Hagar picked an Egyptian wife for Ishmael and the other, of course, came from Mesopotamia, originally, but they were the Jews - later known as the Jews. They are the two greatest religions in the world today - by numbers.

There's many people that have no Jewish blood or that have grown into the Christian religion all around the world - 2.2 billion as of this message - and then you have about somewhere between 1.6 and 1.7 billion Muslims in the world today. The Muslims are growing more rapidly - much of it biological growth, but they're growing more rapidly. It's estimated that by 2050 there will be - if present trends continue - there will be more Muslims in the world than Christians. These are two very influential religions in the world when you look at, even the political scope of what's happening in the world today. And - shared a little bit last week about how it's interesting that in geography you have this northern kingdom where you have Italy, a peninsula, in the middle of that peninsula, on the western side, you've got the capital, many say, of the Christian religion, in the Vatican and they make pilgrimage to this place and the holy sites.

Well, and the largest peninsula in the world is Saudi Arabia and there on the western side - it is south of Israel on the western side - you've got Mecca, another place where people around the world make pilgrimage and it's almost like you've got these two similar yet different religions that are juxtaposed in the world today, politically and biblically. Join me in the book of Daniel for a moment - Daniel 11, verse 40, "At the time of the end of the king of the South shall attack him (the king of the North); and the king of the North will come against him like a whirlwind with many chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown;" - he's talking about whole countries - but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

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. But news from the East and the North shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet shall come to his end, and no one will help him." Those are some verses that we're going to delve into today - it's very mysterious. It says 'at the time of the end' - what is this talking about? We know those verses there from 40 to 45 are very important because if you read the next verse, "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."

Jesus speaks about this great time of trouble such as there never has been. "and at that time your people shall be delivered" - the ultimate deliverance - everyone who was found written in the book" - the book of life - and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake - a resurrection - so it's pretty clear that when Michael stands up, that it's over. You've got the resurrection, you've got this time of trouble, you've got the great deliverance - so what's happening just before that? Well, I think it's going to represent a showdown where the tensions that have simmered from the time of Abraham and throughout the Christian era, are going to reach critical mass.

Now, I know that America is a blessed country and we're a rich country - much of the economy of the world is measured by the U.S. dollar because it's a stable currency, but we are not the richest country. I don't know if you've - any of you been to Dubai? Or Kuwait? Or the United Arab Emirates? Wow - just to give you an idea: United States gross domestic product per capita - $57,000 a year. United Arab Emirates: 67,000 per capita. Kuwait: $71,000, Qatar: $146,000 - almost three times the U.S. they've got enough money just pouring in - if you could picture a pipe with money flowing out all day long - a very big pipe - there is a cataract - there is a river of money that flows into these countries every day and it's because of oil.

Have you ever wondered what would happen in the United States, even though, thankfully, we do produce a good percentage of our own oil, we are still dependent on foreign oil, but if suddenly there was some - I remember a California refinery went down not too long ago and prices just shot up and people were waiting in line - some of you remember the oil embargo from the 70s where people around the country were waiting in line. What would happen if the trucks could not deliver food in North America in our cities? Do you think everyone would behave well? A couple weeks go by - shelves would be stripped in a few days once people knew that the trucks weren't moving. Not that I’m trying to give terrorists any ideas, they already probably thought of everything, but we're just living, right now, on a hair-thin trigger - I mean everything is hanging by a spider's web right now.

So many things could happen that would quickly send the world into a time of trouble that cannot be imagined. Well, if you look in Revelation 8:13, "And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'" So the last three trumpets in the seven trumpets of Revelation are called 'woe'. So 'woe' means a time of great sorrow, distress, or tribulation. It also translates that well from the Greek, additionally.

So the seven trumpets in Revelation - often when they went into battle they communicated with trumpets. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14, "If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?" and when Jericho was taken they had seven trumpets going around the city and they blew these seven trumpets for seven days - they marched around the city once for six days, seven times on the seventh day - thirteen times around the city - but they still had seven trumpets. They blew the trumpets, the city fell, they attacked their enemy - trumpets often had to do with battle, in the Bible, and so these last three trumpets of the seven - I don't have time to study the seven trumpets with you right now - they're - well, let me say this: you've got several sevens in Revelation - you've got seven churches - covers the history of the church from the time of Revelation - first coming of Jesus - to the second coming of Jesus.

It's the spiritual history. You've got the seven seals in Revelation; it covers the political history that influences God's people, from the first coming to the second coming. And then you've got the seven trumpets; they cover a military history from the first coming to the second coming - battles and forces and powers that would be at odds - and it's not talking about all the kingdoms and all the wars of all the world. You wonder, does this prophecy talk about China or the Inca Indians, or does it talk about the, you know, some of the other nations? No, it's dealing with the nations that would have a direct impact on God's people and the proclamation of the gospel. So it starts in Israel, it expands from there through Europe where the gospel spread and it became the foothold - makes its way to America - are you aware that America sends out more missionaries than any other country in the world? That more mission dollars come from America than any other country in the world? So it shouldn't surprise you that these places that have been the guardian of the message are the ones that are principally mentioned in prophecy.

So then these three prophecies - if you look, for instance - we're going to go next to the rise of Islam, and if you read in Revelation 9 - go in your Bibles, you turn a little bit over and it's talking about that next trumpet. "Then the fifth angel sounded: and I saw" - this fifth angel is the first of the three woes - "I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth." - Now, if you lived back in Bible times, they would say, 'Smoke is coming! There's a forest fire!' - and then when the smoke got closer, it wasn't smoke, it was locusts - a plague of locusts. Now, I read to you last week - if you read in Judges chapter 6 it talked about when the Amalekites and the Midianites and the people of the East covered the land like locusts - with their camels - these are the people that comprised the Arabs and it describes them as locusts - and they ate everything in the land.

That's why Gideon was threshing wheat secretly, because there was no food - the locusts ate it all - the Arab enemies, at that time - and so, this would not be the first time that there was a battle between these two peoples. So here, this smoke coming out of the pit is describing the birth and the spread of the religion of Mohammed, who was this influence. Now when an angel falls, he's not a good angel. An angel is a messenger and he got these messages out of his cave and I don't believe it's the truth. And this whole new religion grew up - it's interesting, it all took place right about the time of the counterfeit Christian movement, which was 538 - Islam, well, it's hard to peg a date when it really became a religion, but about 612 is the time the historians put on it. Not long after that another group came up and they had their own version of the Bible.

They did have some Christian trappings and roots and, of course, Catholicism's got a lot of Christian roots, but it was co-mingled with some pagan religion, just as Islam had a little bit of lunar worship co-mingled, Christianity had solar worship co-mingled. So this is what's being described here in chapter 9 in the first twelve verses - it talks about these locusts prepared for battle. And this is the first trumpet - or the first woe of the fifth trumpet. Most Christian expositors - Martin Luther, Sir Isaac Newton, historian Edward Gibbon, and many others all saw the fifth and the sixth trumpets in Revelation 9 as the rise and the spread of Islam and its battles with the eastern and western Christian world that was growing there through Europe. And, again, I mentioned it started about 612 and its incredible rise from almost nothing - one reason they arose so quickly is right about this time there was a terrible plague - in 542 - and it lasted almost 200 years - it came and went. You've heard of the bubonic plague?

Well, the first bubonic plague was called Justinian's plague because it started in Constantinople, which was also the same place that the Muslims first attacked as the capital of Christianity and, during that time, 50 million people died and it so devastated the Christian world that, at that same time, the Arabs that were pretty much isolated from alot of that, they exploded in numbers through Arabia and they were, of course great traders during that time and the religion of Islam spread. And so, you notice if you go to verse 9 - so Revelation 9:1 through 12 is the fifth trumpet and the first woe - it's the rise of Islam - and it says they would torment - there's a number associated with it - they would be tormenting Christianity - they didn't kill them, they tormented them like the sting of a scorpion - it's not a deadly serpent - for five months.

Now, when we look at these Bible prophecies and there's a time period, what's the principle we use? A day is a year. A Biblical month had 30 days, that's why the 42 months comes to 1,260 days - because they're 30-day months - it's the only way those two could be reconciled. That's 150 days in five months, right? 150 days - a day is a year - 150 years - and it started in 1299 at the battle of Bethune - the Turkish Muslims began a persistent assault on the Eastern Roman Empire in Constantinople. In 1449, exactly 150 years later, the conflict of the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, it became a vassal state - it submitted to the Ottoman Empire, which was a Muslim power - exactly what the prophecy said would happen. Now, you go to Revelation 9:12 - it says - the angel doesn't want us to lose track so he says, "One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes" - to make up those three - "are coming" - these woes - the first two woes - are a battle between Christianity and Islam. Could it be the third woe is more of the same?

That's what I’m putting forth. Now, if you read in Revelation 9:14, it talks about four angels and it says these four angels - and I'll read this to you, "saying to the sixth angel," - who has the trumpet, so this is the sixth trumpet - he says, "'release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.' So the four angels, who had been prepared" - and you've got another time period here - "for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind." This represented a different woe - a different phase of battles that lasted over 300 years, between Islam and Christianity, where now they started attacking the Western Roman Empire and they, basically, had already swallowed up and conquered the Eastern Roman Empire and - well, you know, before I get into that, it talks here about four angels.

I just want to emphasize this a little bit. You read in Revelation 7 about four angels holding back the four winds of strife, here it's talking about four angels at the river Euphrates. Now, keep in mind, in the book of Daniel you've got four kingdoms that end up coming down and attacking Israel - or at least occupying Israel. The first was Babylon - across the Euphrates river - Medo-Persia came across the Euphrates river, Greece - Alexander went across the Euphrates and came back to Israel - Rome had to come in from the north again. All these empires came from the north and so the territory of Solomon reached as far as the Euphrates river and it meant an enemy force is coming in, so you've got these four forces. Well, now you've got them coming back and they're being released to attack the people of God - and this is the sixth trumpet, or the second woe.

Let's look at the time period here, and I'll have the numbers up on the screen for you in just a moment. If you've got a day and an hour - you've got an hour, a day, a month, and a year - well, an hour, even in the Bible there were 24 hours in a day. You can read where Jesus said, 'Are there not twelve hours in a day?' and so you've got 1/24 of a day or 1/24 of a year is exactly 360 days to the Jewish year - that's going to be 15 days. Then you've got a day, which is one day, then you've got a month, which is 30 days, and then you have a year, which is 360 days. You add all that up and you end up with - let's put - there we go, thank you. You add that up and that comes to 391 years and 15 days. This is incredible because, if you start at that earlier starting point of 1449, it extends to 1840 and, at that point, the Ottoman Empire lost its independence and authority.

It requested help from other European nations to continue existing. And what's incredible - this is one of the rare times in history - most of the time we understand prophecy clearly, looking back. Jesus said, 'When this comes to pass, then you will know.' And so we always try and use prophecy to say what's going to happen, more times than not we say, 'Oh.' After it happens we say, 'Oh.' But this is one of the rare times in history where somebody studied the prophecies and predicted in advance what was going to happen and it happened. How many of you have read about Josiah Litch? And when he studied this prophecy back during that great Millerite movement when they were anticipating the Lord's coming, he predicted, using the day for the year principle, the Ottoman Empire was going to fall and even predicted the date it would fall based on the date it started, and it happened.

Well, that really inspired everybody else that 1844 was a good date, which it was, they just had the wrong event. But it was very interesting that the Ottoman Empire, which had expanded during that time, fell. Now I want to go back to - go to Revelation 9 and we're going to be reading the verses from 13 on. "Then the sixth angel sounded: and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. So the four angels who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind." Now some have wondered, 'What does that mean, a third of all humanity?'

Well, maybe as many as a third of the soldiers involved in the battles over this 300-year period - or 391-year period. That would have been more accurate because the armies of Christianity were decimated during this time. Verse 16, "Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million;" - now every commentator I’ve read on that said, 'We're making a mistake here.' Now, I don't know, what does your Bible say? King James is - yeah - and here I’m reading the New King James that says "200 million" and many other versions put that; the reason is, that number is actually two myriads of myriads. The problem is, the word 'myriad' is an end - it's an imprecise number. Matter of fact, in the book of Acts, I think it's chapter 20, it said, 'Myriads of people came to hear the word of God.' Well, it wasn't a hundred thousand. So you'll see that word is sometimes used as an indefinite number.

It may, sometimes, mean ten thousand and sometimes it can mean 100,000. William Miller, who I agree with on this, he believed that that number was saying, two times 200,000 - that would be 400,000. Well, it is interesting that in the siege of Constantinople Mehmed had an army that numbered at least 350,000 and so it's talking about this incredible army on horseback, but it's not necessarily giving you a specific number. And it says, "And thus I saw the horses in the vision," - he used, principally, cavalry - "and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow;" - they did wear iron breastplates and they did have blue garments - "and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone."

Now, many of the - many historians believe this is describing the introduction of gunpowder. The Muslims were some of the first who began to take from the East the knowledge of gun powder and use it in warfare for cannons and arms. There were primitive rifles, but they saw the smoke and the fire and the brimstone firing out of the front of these horses and they'd turn around and fire behind them, like a good Cheyenne soldier, and they'd see them coming from the front and the back and they'd hear the roar of a lion - they couldn't describe - arrows don't make that noise when you shoot them - and so it's talking about it's like a roar coming - "and" - you can read this - "out of their mouths came fire, smoke and brimstone." and I think that this is describing some of the early firearms.

I’ve actually got pictures, I think, that you can see here on the screen. One artist's rendition of an early Ottoman cannon - now there you have it - firing - they could fire - their cannon balls were made of stone back then, but it would fire one and it just blew the walls to smithereens. It could fire one mile, which was a lot back then - I think the Germans invented a cannon that would go 20 miles, but - and then some of the small arms - the - even the early paintings, you can see that the Ottoman soldiers, they did have primitive guns that they used back then and they thought, 'Well, maybe he's describing this in vision.'

Now we get to the seventh trumpet - the third woe - and right now, friends, just in case you're wondering, up until this moment I’ve been talking about what's behind us. Now I’m getting ready to talk about what's ahead of us - or we're on the threshold right now. Revelation 11, verse 15, it says, "Then the seventh angel sounded:" - you know, several things happened between the second woe - first woe/second woe - and then the third woe - between the fifth/sixth trumpet there's several chapters, then you get to the seventh trumpet. "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!'...

The nations were angry, and your wrath has come," - it's talking about a time of unprecipitated international turmoil - not a nation, the nations - "and your wrath has come," - a time of judgment - "and the time of the dead, that they should be judged," - a time of judgment - "and that you should reward your servants" - it's a time of reward - "the prophets and the saints," - and that would be a resurrection. This is similar with what's happening in Daniel 12 and the end of Daniel 11 - "and those who fear your name, small and great," - and so, with that introduction, now, I’m going to jump to Daniel 11.

Now, I should tell you, as we go there, I don't have time to read all 45 verses and expound on them, but I’m going to just show you - I’m going to cherry pick a few verses - I'll just be honest with you - that are pretty easy to understand, so that we can get to the verses we're considering. For instance, if you look in Daniel 11, verse 2, it's talking about Persian kings: "and now I will tell you the truth: behold, three more kings will arise in Persia," - Daniel is having the vision during the time of, I believe it was in the time of Cyrus - "...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, he shall stir up against the realm of Greece."

You've heard of Artaxerxes and history calls him Xerxes I - and this king, any of you ever heard the story about the 300 Spartan soldiers that were able to resist the Persian advance? This is the Xerxes that had an army that they say numbered somewhere between 600,000 and one million. That is a massive, massive army. He invaded Greece, but he didn't succeed in taking it. And he was very rich and this is what's being described here in Daniel 11, verse 2. And jump over now to verse 3, Daniel 11:3, "Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds." Who do you think this is talking about?

That's right, that's Alexander the Great, who was a mighty king - incredible general - very young, considering what he accomplished - and he came from the North. Matter of fact, several of these kings, you're going to find out, are coming down from the North. And when he died - he died - they don't know if it was a combination of malaria or he drank too much and died through some kind of alcohol poisoning - his kingdom was broken up. There were different rumors and legends about what happened. Some of his generals, when they saw that it looked like he was going to die, said, 'Who will rule in your place?' and, ostensibly he said, 'The strongest.' and, at one point, he tried to take the hand of one of his generals and put it on the hand of a concubine who was pregnant at that time with what would be a boy, hoping that his dynasty would continue, but that didn't work out and it ended up his kingdom was divided, as the prophecy said, towards the four winds of heaven.

The four generals carved up - first they tried to do it peaceably and they ended up all fighting among themselves because power corrupts - they wanted more power - and his kingdom was divided among the four generals. You also find this being outlined in Daniel's chapter 8 as well - 7 and 8 - and those generals being Lysimachus, Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. And those - you see a map up there about the pink is one, you've got a gold color there, you've got - and Cassander, by the way, is the pink, Lysimachus is the gold, Ptolemy is the green, and what do you call that light green color? Light green.

You call it light green? Yes, thank you, very much. Girls, I thought, had about twelve different names for that one color. But we've only got one. And then, of course, the dark green would be the Ptolemy; Seleucus is the light green. And so those were the four divisions. Now, I want you to notice, as you look at the map, before we take it away, there's one little strip of land that connects them. That little strip of land is called Israel, because they're in Saudi Arabia, from where Mohammed came, is a vast desert - much of it was not easy to inhabit, and whenever there was a battle between Africa and Asia, they crossed over through Israel.

They often came down from the north. Matter of fact, I might pause here and just bear that out a little more. This is further down in my notes so I’m going to dig for it a little bit. Yeah, if you read, for instance, in the book of Jeremiah chapter 25, verse 9, "behold, I will send and take all the families of the north," - now it's important to understand this, because we're going to talk about the king of the North and the king of the South - he says, "I will send and take all the families of the North,' says the Lord, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon," - now, put the map back up for me for just a moment, please, Sherle. Yeah, you can see Babylon is actually, when you're looking from a satellite, Babylon is more northeast and east of Israel, but they always came in from the north because they couldn't cross through the desert.

There was one time when Nebuchadnezzar went the direct route and took a great risk and crossed the desert because his father died - he had to take the kingdom before someone else took it and he rode full bore through the desert and took the shortcut. But you could never take an army there because of the exposure - you'd lose them. And there was no food along the way and so they always came in from the north. And you'll notice that these kingdoms - Babylon and Medo-Persia and Greece and Rome - all came in from the north. You can also read that, by the way, in Jeremiah 1:15; it calls it 'kingdoms' from the north that would come. And before I leave the subject of the king of the North, Satan - the king of the North is ultimately God, remember Satan, he wanted to exalt his throne above the throne of God?

You read in Isaiah 14:13, "For you have said in your heart, 'I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount in the congregation on the farthest sides of the north." the ancients, at night, noticed that when they looked up at the heavens, the stars closer to the pole moved very slowly, whereas the ones closer to the equator were spinning - the stars didn't move, the earth moved, but they figured that the center was up at the top where it was more stable and they saw God as enthroned in the north. Of course, Israel's in the northern hemisphere, so you can see why they would see that. And so, the king of the North on earth - see, Jesus said 'The king of this world' because the devil tried to hijack our planet. He wants to be the king of the North. And so, in these prophecies, the king of the North is talking about earthly kings that want to conquer God's people that are taking the place of God. Did that all make sense?

I know I’m talking really quick because I’ve got a lot to cover and I’m looking at the clock. Alright, we talked a little about Alexander the Great - go in Daniel 11 to verse 20. Now, I told you I can't cover it all so I’m jumping. Daniel 11:20, "There shall arise in his place" - this is after the Greeks fell, in the north at least, the Greeks fell to the Romans. They still had the southern kingdom there in Egypt. It says, "There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom;" - well, this is really easy to figure out because you find the answer to who this is right there in Luke 2:1, "and it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." and that's exactly what Augustus Caesar did. Matter of fact, it's mentioned twice in the bible. Look in acts 5:37, "After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the taxing." It was so big, the taxing he did was, sort of, a universal taxing that it had a high point in history so the Jews referred to it - 'Oh yeah, the days of the taxing' - and Augustus Caesar, he basically took a census of the whole kingdom so he could accurately impose taxes on everybody. And it talks about him in Daniel 11.

So now we've transitioned, you can see, to where the Romans have replaced the Greeks in the north. Then you get to Daniel 11:25, "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." Many commentators believe this is describing when - how the Roman power has transitioned into the Roman church, after Augustus Caesar, about the time of Justinian, Christianity was legalized during the time of Constantine, and now it's transitioning more into a spiritual kingdom in the north that's fighting with a spiritual kingdom in the south, Islam, that had taken the holy land, namely, the crusades are being described here in Daniel 11, verse 25 - mighty armies crossing the ocean, the king of the North against the king of the South - but don't miss that - this is very important - I’ve got to take a breath and make sure we all take a pit stop here - I want you to - because I know I’m just going 'Aaah'.

It starts out talking about political battles and kingdoms, but when you get into the time of Jesus, it starts turning into spiritual kingdom, because the nation of Israel - Christ said, you know, My kingdom is not of this world.' He said, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' and now it became a battle for who has the truth. The whole purpose of the beast power - have you read Daniel 8? Cast the truth to the ground and practice and prosper. Cleansing of the sanctuary is the restoring of truth about God, as well as many other things. So it's - this is all dealing with the big battle for the truth, because the truth is what saves. It's the gospel that sets people free - sets people free.

So then you get to Daniel 11:33 - no, I’m sorry, Daniel 11:31 - "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." - this is describing what was happening where - when Catholicism became a power - it compromised - it's the big Catholic compromise of the gospel. It's what the Reformation was all about. They began to - they were praying to idols, they were, you know, selling salvation with indulgences and it became works oriented and transubstantiation and so many of these doctrines that were unChristian, slipped into the church. Well then, you jump to verse 33 - in the face of this great Catholic compromise is the Reformation, and I'll read there - and I'll read through verse 35, "And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days" - a day is what? A year. A year.

For many years - "They shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering." - this is describing what believers went through during that time of great compromise. Jesus said, 'You'll be hated of all nations.' It's describing a time of 1,260 years of suffering and persecution that the church would go through. You can read verse 34 of Daniel, "Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help;" - God'll sustain them. It's like the church was still prophesying, but it was clothed in sackcloth. God helped them, but it was restricted because there's this battle going on between the devil and his angels and God's forces. "and some of those of understanding shall fall," - a number of martyrs fell - "to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time."

It's saying, 'This won't last forever. The end is going to come.' Go down to verse 36 - then it says - Daniel 11:36, "Then the king shall do according to this own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every God, - we've read in Revelation 17 about this religious system that would speak blasphemies, putting herself in the name of God - "...speak blasphemies against the God of Gods," - who is that? - "and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done." It won't last forever. This is talking about a revival of papacy and the - the arrogance of putting themselves in the place of God. Now, you notice, we've gone to Daniel 11:36; now we're getting to the main passage that we can - we considered earlier, and that's Daniel 11, we're going to look at verses 40 to 45. Now, at that time - this is a prophecy of the end time - "at the time of the end" - by the way, that's when we're living now - the king of the South will attack the king of the North.

Alright, I think the king of the South is Islam. I just look at what's happened through history - the first woe, the second woe - it was the spread of Islam - the third woe - why did the prophet separate out those three woes? Is the battle between the sons of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac - that are now the two great religions of the world today, and it is a very powerful, wealthy, growing religious power, but it's not the truth. And something's going to happen - now, if you say, 'Pastor Doug, what's the attack going to look like?' I don't know. Some might have thought it was the twin towers, but I think it's going to be bigger than that.

Something's going to happen - you know, right now, the leaders of the western world are very conciliatory toward Islam because they know, if there's an incident, that the feelings between the people of these varying religions - these two principle religions - are growing threadbare, and if there is some major assault - I read, last week, in the news, that there has been chatter, according to the CIA or Homeland Security, that they hear that ISIS is threatening an attack on Rome, maybe even the Coliseum or the Vatican. Now just - I’m not making this stuff up, friends. You can read - anyone else read these things? What would happen if ISIS assassinates this beloved pope? Do you think that the world is going to sit back and say, 'Let's just all love each other; it's just a few radicals'? What would it take?

I don't know, but I’m saying that there could be some event that would trigger - you know, if the flow of oil is somehow cut off, people will put up all kinds of things on the news. People will watch about different terrorist things that are out there happening to other people. I heard someone say once, 'When you're out of a job it's a recession, when I’m out of a job it's a depression.' (Laughter) and, as long as it's out there somewhere - but if all of a sudden you can't buy stuff at the store and you can't get your gas at the pump, you're going to - someone in politics says, you know, 'We need to get a force together.

We need to get a coalition from Europe and we need to put an end to this.' folks are going to go, 'Yeah, if it's going to put gas in my tank, let's do it.' and if we're outraged because we feel like Christianity is being attacked or our way of life is being attacked - but something's going to happen where it says the king of the South will do something to provoke - some major incident - the king of the North. Don't know exactly what that will be, but the king of the North is not going to sit by anymore and talk about peace. You read here, it says, 'The king of the North will come against him like a whirlwind.'

Now, you know, prophecy tells us other places that there'll be a confederacy of Christians - Protestants in North America will be foremost in stretching their hand across the abyss to clasp the hand of Catholicism, and then, joined with spiritualism under that three-fold union, they're going to compel the world to believe a certain way. You know, it's hard for you to take powerful moves like that unless there's some scary event. People get scared and they'll sacrifice all kinds of freedom. And I think that an attack from Islam - a major attack - is going to precipitate a coalition of Christians. It's not an accident - is it just me or have you noticed the pope - his first time - Francis - visiting with a leader of the Russian Orthodox church, Greek Orthodox church, leaders of the charismatic church in North America, leading Protestants in North America, protestants in South America - he comes from South America.

This pope has done more and made more overtures to bring together Christians from around the world. Why? Because they know that history is going to repeat itself - that Islam is growing, they are losing a foothold in Europe, both through immigration and multiplication, Islam is spreading through Europe and they realize that the future for Christianity is at risk and it's going to take some major event. You know, we're not proud of it, but it is a fact that, during World War II when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, all of a sudden, our Japanese neighbors that we all loved, were put in camps. And now we're horrified looking back and we think, 'Oh, that would never happen again.' and what happened in Germany with the Nazis; that would never happen again.

Well, prophecy tells us a time of trouble is coming such as there never has been and, you know, human nature has not changed. We've become more sophisticated, but people are still killing each other in different parts of the world. Let me keep reading, "...the north shall come against him" - I’m in Daniel chapter 11, still verse 40 - "like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships;" - this can't be understood. Now, I doubt we're going to have chariots - there'll probably be Humvees and tanks and I - you know, they're trying to describe moving, massive military, but a great confederacy of military - many ships and a navy will enter the countries - not country - countries. This might be some of the Islamic countries. But you realize, it's not just terrorism that's happening in Europe and America, it's in Africa, it's in India, it's in Indonesia, it's in the Philippines - everywhere I’ve gone in the world they are having friction with their Muslim neighbors. Now this may not happen next year - it could happen in a month - I don't know when it's going to happen, but I don't think the prophecy's going to fail.

I think it's going to happen. This'll be the third woe - what they call this third caliphate. You know, they had the first one that took place there against the Eastern Christianity, and then Western Christianity and then - maybe the U.S. we already know how they feel, if you read the news. Keep reading - and it goes on to say "...many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand:" - this is a little bit mysterious, but I'll give you a theory: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon." Now, those three countries bordered Israel - Edom, Moab, and Ammon.

If you look in the Old Testament you might remember that King Jehoshophat - great king - was attacked by a confederacy that says the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the people of Mount Seir - Mount Seir is the Edomites - same group. Same three-fold union attacked. You remember the story where Jehoshophat went out in the battle and God said, 'Don't fight, have the priests sing.' and the priests went out singing, and while they went out singing, the Moabites, Edomites, and Amalekites all turned on each other and attacked each other, so he never had to actually engage them in battle. And you can read about that in your Bible - I can't remember the verse, but trust me, it's in there. But, even more than that, Moab, Edom, and Ammon were all related to Abraham and they're related to Islam.

They all believed in one God, originally. They practiced circumcision - they were sort of connected. And so, the reason that it may be saying that Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall escape is there may be big groups that will come over and say, 'Look, don't attack us, we want peace from the Muslim world.' or 'We'll convert.' I don't know what they'll say, but there's going to be some countries that will escape. I don't think it's the same modern countries because they don't even exist now, so we must be talking about spiritual terms. The Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites have all been conquered, intermarried, or disappeared. "He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape." - Egypt was the last holdout for the king of the South - "He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things" - this is saying he'll have control of the wealth.

You know, that wealth, it's interesting that so much of the world today is powered by oil and that oil is where it is because of a world being cursed back in the days of Noah. And that's almost like the blood of a cursed world is what's powering everything. But it translates into tremendous wealth. And I know the politicians will always argue that we entered the Gulf for, you know, purely moral reasons, but I can almost guarantee you that they were also thinking, 'We need to preserve the flow of the oil.' which was money. And whoever conquers these countries will have control of that fantastic wealth and power.

Russia's striving to have control of the pipelines for Europe and the gas lines, because you're controlling the air for the economy for these countries. Venezuela is in a terrible decline right now because they had overspent, based on their oil, and the oil prices went down and they're having an incredible recession there. And - they're on the verge, I think, of a revolution right now. Keep reading - "also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels." Boy, this is an interesting verse - "But news from the East and the North shall trouble him;" - my charismatic friends read this and they think that means Russia and China. I don't think it means that at all. Read in Isaiah 41:25, "I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come; from the rising of the sun" - now, does the sun rise in the north?

The sun rises where? East. In the east. And so here Isaiah says, 'I stirred one from the north. He's come from the rising sun. He will call upon My name. He will trample on rulers as on mortar,' - this is what - 'as a potter treads clay.' Revelation talks about Jesus treading down the potters and breaking the pots - that Jesus is the one - and so, tidings from the north and the east are talking about the real owner of the throne in the north - the real one who comes from the east. Jesus said, 'As lightning shines from the’ what? From the east to the west. How's the Lord coming? From the east to the west.

So what's making him nervous - what makes the devil nervous? He's come down with great wrath because he knows his time is short. Time for what? For Jesus comes. The Bible says that the devils say, 'Jesus, have you come to torment us before our time? They know that they're going to be cast into this bottomless pit and, ultimately, into a lake of fire and so tidings from the east and the north trouble him. So, it goes to say, "Therefore" - verse 44 - "he shall go out with great fury" - the devil's come down "with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many." Time of trouble such as there never has been.

Who are the ones he wants to annihilate? Those who serve the king coming from the east. It's going to be a great battle against God's people - "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." It talks about how the kings turn on Babylon in the end and none will help him. What does it mean, he'll plant his palace between the seas? You've read where Jesus said, 'When you, therefore, see the abomination of desolation stand in the Holy Place - that's Matthew 24:15 - "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."

There'll be a time of trouble such as there never has been. Jesus is quoting Daniel 12 - a time of trouble such as there never has been. Read in 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 3 - Paul says, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day" - the day of the lord - "...will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

So, when it talks about this king of the North - this beast power setting his tabernacle in the holy mountain, it's talking about that final beast papal power - that confederacy that says, 'I am God. Worship me.' and if you don't worship the beast and his image, you can't buy and sell, ultimately there's a death decree - seven plagues fall - a great time of trouble - it's going to be a great time of wrath. During the small time of trouble it's going to be pretty severe too. But you notice, the scriptures are all lining up.

It's talking about when you see the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place, Christ is talking about that same thing we just read there from Daniel chapter 11, where it says that "He'll plant the tent of his palaces between the seas and the glorious holy mountain;" - you know, my guess is that when this coalition of powers from the north - Christian coalition - different from the other Christian coalition - that a confederacy - they're going to say, 'Israel is our friend.' and because, you know, if there's this great Islamic struggle against the west, there will probably be an attack on Israel at the same time and they will use that as an excuse to protect our Jewish friends.

They will enter the Promised Land literally. I really think that may literally happen. I tell you, there's nothing more that a lot of Arab countries - not all, but many of these Arab people in countries would love to see Israel displaced. They won't even acknowledge them as a nation. That would be a good excuse for this military to come in and create a beachhead there. But more than anything it's talking about spiritually - that the beast power is going to put themself in the place of God, asking for the prerogatives that belong to God, and we're going to have to decide who we worship. Are we going to worship their way, their day? Or are we going to worship the way God says and the time he says?

You all know what I’m talking about? The bottom line is going to be worship. The Bible begins with two brothers being told to worship God. One worships his way - Cain does it his own way - man-made worship - and he gets upset at his brother who worships the way God says and he kills his brother. The Bible ends that way. It's the story of Jacob and Esau - one flesh, one spirit - it's the story of Isaac and Ishmael - and these are the two powers.

I think, in the last days, this battle between true and false is going to be played out between these two counterfeits. Now, I’m talking about counterfeit Christianity and I’m also talking about Islam, which is a counterfeit religion, but you're going to see a wave of Muslims coming to Jesus, I believe. I think you're going to see a wave of Jews coming to accept Christ as the Messiah. And you're going to see a wave of people who are trapped in Babylon - fallen Christianity - coming back to the bible.

Jesus said, 'Many sheep I have that are not of this fold, but they will hear My voice and they're going to come out of Babylon and there's going to be one fold and one Shepherd. And so, yeah, there is a time of trouble coming. I’m not worried about that. I think there is also - a time of great evangelism is going to come because, during this time of persecution, Jesus said, 'You will be brought before the kings and the leaders of the world to bear testimony for Me.' because people are going to be tried for their faith. And so, that's a quick overview of what I think is coming.

Cheer up, it's going to get worse - but then it'll get better. (Laughter) It's going to get really good because it says, 'Michael will stand up.' You know what that means when it says Michael stands up? When somebody starts picking on my kids, I’m going to stand up. And, in the context of the king of the North persecuting God's people - the Lord says, 'Michael will stand up.' Not only does it mean He ceases His intercession, the judgment is over, now He is going to come and act and He is coming for His people. And it says, 'They will be delivered, everyone that is found written in the book.'

So that's the big question - all of this is very interesting, but are you in the book? Have you accepted Jesus? I don't mean in a political, organizational way, because there's going to be plenty of political organizations that take the name of Christ - they eat their own bread and wear their own apparel. They use His name to take away their reproach, but they're not real. Are you going to be someone who has a personal, daily, saving relationship with Jesus, where He is the Lord of your life and you do His will because you love Him and you want to please Him? That's what it means to be saved - to accept that He died on the cross to save you from your sin.

All of these prophecies are just helping us know the time in which we're living. And God wants us to know don't wait, because the time comes when probation closes and it's too late. So now is the time to accept that call and to come to Christ. I want to be ready, amen? Amen. I see the final events are happening all around us, and - but we don't need to be afraid. Jesus promises He will protect His own.

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