Rome and Antiochus

Scripture: Daniel 8:1-27, Luke 2:1, Matthew 24:15
Lesson: 10
The Bible gives ample evidence to help us correctly identify prophetic symbols in history, but other common interpretations defy the Scriptural evidence.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

[Welcome comments]

This is a difficult lesson and I’m not sure I can spend an hour or 50 minutes talking about this because I think I can cover it adequately in about half that time. It’s on Antiochus and Rome, or Rome and Antiochus. Now some of you might want to know, where is Antiochus in the Bible? He’s not. But we’ve got to explain; there’s a lot of confusion about the interpretation of Daniel 7, 8 and the little horn. Who is the little horn? We have a memory verse, Luke 2:1, “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” I think one version says a census. Well, the purpose for that census was to tax the people. Now let me quickly give you an overview of what the issue is. In Daniel 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 there are prophecies that highlight five major kingdoms. Those kingdoms being Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and then papal Rome or the divided Roman Empire that reaches to the end of the world. And that’s where we are now.

And you might be saying, “Pastor Doug, why so much emphasis on those kingdoms? There were many other kingdoms in the world. What about the Inca Empire, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Indian Empire, the great empire of China. And as you travel around the world you can see the ruins of other great civilizations. What about them?” Well there were many great civilizations that made great contributions to mankind. They’re not mentioned because they did not have control or occupy God’s people. The only nations that are mentioned in these prophecies are the ones that actually had impact on or occupied the Promise Land, and later had a big influence on God’s people. Those powers that we just cited all had that great impact on God’s people. Babylon occupied Jerusalem, as did Medo-Persia, as did the Greeks, as did the Romans, as did Papal Rome, or the divided Roman Empire. God is not trying to ignore other peoples, it’s just these are the ones that had the greatest impact on the history of the church, God’s people.

But, when you get to Daniel 7 and 8, and it transitions from Medo-Persia to Greece, and then Greece to Rome, there is a fork in the road among Christians there. Many Christians believe that the little horn power is not Rome and it is not Papal Rome; that it was this obscure king of the Seleucid Empire named Antiochus. There were actually a few Antiochus kings, and there were a few Epiphany kings. The word epiphany sort of means they put themselves in the place of a god. Any of you ever heard someone say, “I’ve had an epiphany”? It means, “I’ve had sort of a supernatural vision, a vision from God.” So many of them kind of embraced that title. This one fellow called himself, or is known as Antiochus Epiphanius, was an especially rabid ruler.

I should begin by giving you a little bit of history here that helps fill this in. I’m going to jump ahead and then back up here. Let me just read some things to you from some religious encyclopedia. “Antiochus IV Epiphanius [?]. 175-164 BC was the time in which he ruled. The eighth ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Epiphanius was simply a common epitaph that many leaders used, meaning divine. Some people refer to him as Epiphaminus [?] meaning madman.” They sort of used that to make fun of him. “He was violently bitter against the Jews and he made a furious and determined effort to exterminate them and the religion.” This is true. He devastated Jerusalem about 168 BC. That was the year when Greece transitioned to Rome as the world empire. “He defiled the temple, offered a pig on its altar, erected an altar to Jupiter, prohibited temple worship, forbade circumcision on pain of death. You have no idea how many thousands of Jews were killed by him because they clung to the religion of the Bible. Sold thousands of Jewish families into slavery; destroyed all copies of scriptures that he found.

By the way, the Dead Sea Scrolls, one reason that the Ascene Jews went to such pains to hand copy so many copies and to hide them in different caves, was to make sure the Romans didn't do what Antiochus Epiphanies did. Would be to God that we could have all the copies of the scriptures that had been destroyed by this Greek king today. But many sacred writings were destroyed by him. He was demon possessed, is what it was. The guy was demon possessed and he wanted to obliterate the religion of the Jews. Keep in mind, Jesus hadn't come yet. These were God's people. He slaughtered everyone where he discovered possessions of copies of the scriptures. He resorted to every conceivable torturer to force Jews to renounce their religion. Ultimately, his abuses led to the Maccabean revolt. You've heard of the book of Maccabees? Some Bibles have the book of Maccabees. It's considered an apocryphal book, not because it isn't historically accurate, but most theologians don't feel like it should be mingled in with Scripture because it's not necessarily inspired or sacred, but it's got a lot of accurate history. So the Maccabean revolt resulted from the abuses of Antiochus Epiphanies, this terrible king.

I want to quote to you from Josephus. Josephus is one of the greatest historians. He was actually friends of Titus, the Roman emperor, who destroyed Jerusalem. And I know it seems very strange that Titus would be friendly with a Jewish historian when he crucified so many Jews who rebelled. But this has happened before, where; Artaxerxes was married to a Jew at the same time he was getting ready to exterminate them all. And so, Josephus ended up being a very dependable historian. He was a contemporary of John, the Baptist and Jesus. He wrote extensively. He wrote with a bias, of course, for the Jewish nation because he was Jewish. He probably was a believer in John the Baptist, based on some things that he wrote about the Messiah. But listen to what he writes about Antiochus Epiphanies.

“The King,” the king being Antiochus Epiphanies, “being thereunto disposed beforehand, complied with them and came upon the Jews with a great army and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the temple to put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice.” Does that sound like Daniel? Make the daily sacrifice cease, Daniel 8. “And the expectation [?] for three years and six months.” Now, does that time period sound familiar? Josephus makes a point of highlighting these things from Daniel 8, basically saying, “This fellow must be the fulfillment of Daniel 8 because here he defiled the sanctuary, he is the abomination of the holy place, for three years and a half, and he made the daily sacrifice cease. Voila, he is the fulfillment of these things.” These statements by Josephus, can you understand, if you were a Jew at this time, you wouldn't have any problem saying, “Well, he must be the fulfillment of Daniel 8.” If I were living back then, I probably would think so, too. Josephus did not have the perspective of what was going to happen to Rome in a few years, did he?

Let me give you and other modern example of why this could be misunderstood. You're a Christian living in the 20th century, and you read in the Bible, one of the heads of beast receives a deadly wound, and at the deadly wound is healed and all the world wonders after the beast. Then you lift up from looking at the Bible and you turn on the TV and the headlines say, “Pope John Paul has just been shot. He is in critical condition, it looks like he's going to die.” But he heals and he then becomes the most widely seen human being in the history of the world. You might be tempted to say, as many did, “Why, he’s the fulfillment of that.” Can you understand that? Because we have a tendency when you read prophecy, we want to put prophecy up as a template right over the headlines, and say, “Are today's headlines fulfilling this whole passage of prophecy?”

Now I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I probably will get some letters on this. But I personally believe that God is big enough where a prophecy in the Bible can have a modern day application, or an application to a specific time in which you live, and still be a historic prophecy. Let me give you an example. When John in Revelation writes the seven messages to the seven churches, it could be that some of the things that he said to those churches that really cover stages of the church's history did actually apply to those churches in Asia. And so they would read these letters from John and say, “Yeah, we do have a sister in her church who's like Jezebel, and is trying to get us to go back to Roman idolatry.” There may have been some things that were relevant to those churches in that day. But we know looking back now that those prophecies really talked about the ages of the church. But it's even more than that. I believe that when you read the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3.

Not only does it cover the history of the church, starting with Ephesus, going to Laodicea, I believe those prophecies talk about a cycle that a church goes through, and a cycle an individual might go through. Many people I've seen start out like Ephesus and end up like Laodicea. I've seen it many church movements, they’re on fire, they’ve got that first love. They start out like Ephesus, and you follow, after four generations they're like Laodicea. I've seen church families, they build their church, they're on fire, they're reaching their neighborhood, God blesses them. Then they get big, they get lazy, start out like Ephesus, end up like Laodicea. What I’m getting at is, don't try to put the prophecies of God in a single dimension, flat. God is very broad and comprehensive. And there are many aspects to a prophecy, but they shouldn't conflict. I don't think you can say, “Well, this prophecy means this, it also means that,” these two opposite things, because truth doesn't conflict.

Another example of what I'm talking about. You've heard me cite this many times because it's one of the great examples in the Bible. King David, and I'll get back to Antiochus, King David is thinking of building. The temple. He's thinking of building the physical temple. He's assembled all the material from his multiple conquests. And Nathan the prophet comes to him and he says, God has told me to tell you you're not going to build me a temple because you're a bloody man. But then he makes this prophecy, “Your son who should come after you, who will be of your seed, he will build me a house that will last for ever.” Now did the literal son of David, named Solomon, ultimately build the temple that David wanted to build? Yeah. So that was fulfilled. But is that prophecy really talking about something much further in the history that was much broader, talking about Christ, the son of David, who would build a house that would last forever? The temple of Solomon didn't meet the whole prophecy because it didn't last forever. So the greatest fulfillment of that prophecy was Christ. Having said that, there may have been some fleeting, kind of a carnal template.

You could take Antiochus Epiphanies and say, “Well, he is causing the daily sacrifice to cease.” And he did cause problems for 3 1/2 years, and he did create an abomination in the temple by sacrificing a pig, and tried to annihilate and destroy many among God's people. You could understand if you lived in their time that would be what their interpretation would be. Because Josephus said this most Jews. Now keep in mind, most Jews do believe the Old Testament. They study the prophecies of Daniel. Some people think the Jews just don't believe the Bible. They do believe the Old Testament. They take the prophecies of Daniel and, very much like Christians, up to Greece they interpret the way we do. Babylon, Medo-Persia, when they get to the little horn they don't go to the Roman power. They go to Antiochus Epiphanies. The influence of Jewish rabbis and scholars has affected Christian theologians, and they part back there in history. And they say, “Yes, Antiochus was the little horn.”

Matter of fact, I think I've actually got a picture. You want to see what Antiochus looks like? They do have coins that are minted with his image. That's probably not too far, I think that's Jupiter on the right, the back of the coin. But they found out from his era. The fellow was a pit bull. He doesn't meet all the prophecies about this little horn. Having said all that, is Antiochus Epiphanies is the little horn? There are a lot of problems with that.

Let's first go to reading the prophecies. Daniel 7:7-8, “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly. It had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces.” The image in Daniel 2 goes through a sequence of five kingdoms: Babylon, gold; silver, two arms, Medo-Persia; belly and thighs is Greece; the legs are iron. Who is that? That's Rome. And the feet are iron and clay. That's the papal Rome. So how can you now take this new perspective of this other vision and say this fourth beast is now a different power altogether? I think that's a problem. It must also be Rome, it's got the iron teeth. There's a connection there. “It had great iron teeth, it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with the feet of it. It was diverse from all the beasts that were before it. And it had 10 horns.”

Well, the Roman Empire divided into 10 parts. “I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn.” Now, some would say, “Yes, this Daniel 7, the little horn, is Rome, but not Daniel 8.” No both little horns are the same. “Came up another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” That's because in 538, when this evil power came into existence, the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths, three powers that were part of the 10 divisions of the Roman Kingdom, were overthrown when he was given an army. “And behold, in this horn were the eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.” Well, they say Antiochus is the fulfillment of this because he claimed to be a god. Well Alexander the Great claimed to be a god. The Caesars all claim to be gods. But not in the same way as the Pope claims God. They did not claim the power to forgive sin. There were differences.

Daniel 7:23, “And he said, the fourth beast,” the angels interpreting, “the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom.” It's not one king, it's what? It's a kingdom. It can't just be Antiochus Epiphanies. “Which shall be diverse from all kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth.” He didn’t spread the whole earth. Rome was a global kingdom, or at lease they called it a world kingdom then, for the whole civilized world. “And it shall tread down and break in pieces, and the 10 horns out of this kingdom are 10 kings that will arise.” You see there were 10 more kings in the Seleucid Kingdom. And they said, “Oh well, see. There were still 10 kings.” But they were minor because Rome took over. The 10 divisions of the Roman Empire are this. “They will arise and another will rise after them and he will be diverse from the first. He will subdue three kings.” Why is he diverse? Because they were purely political.

This one is religious and political. “And he’ll be diverse from the first. He’ll subdue three kings, and he shall speak great words against the Most High, [?] the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws.” Now Antiochus Epiphanies told them they could not circumcise anyone, they couldn’t keep the Sabbath. So they say, “He’s the fulfillment of this.” Can you understand the confusion? There were some parallels and that’s why it confused them. But I think you can find much better example of this in the little horn of the papal power in changing the laws of God, telling people. Because he did it under the pretense of Christianity. He said, “This is God’s religion.” He didn’t say it’s a different religion. “Think to change times and laws, and they’ll be given into his hands until a time, and a times, and the dividing of time.” That’s 3 ½ years. “But the judgment will sit and they’ll take away his dominion.” So it’s telling us that his dominion is taken away in the judgment. Antiochus Epiphanies didn’t last that long. How can he be the fulfillment of that?

Daniel 8:9, talking about this goat-ram prophecy, “Now out of one of them.” Keep in mind, who is bigger in history, Alexander the Great or Antiochus Epiphanies? How many of you had heard of Alexander the Great ever since you were a child? Big impact on history. Had you, before you got involved in this Bible study, knew who Antiochus Epiphanies was? Until I studied Daniel 7 and 8 I had never heard of the character. They didn’t teach him in school. But the interesting thing is they make this one king bigger than Alexander the Great, when you look at Daniel 8. That’s not realistic, I don’t think. “Out of him came forth,” Daniel 8:9, “a little horn which waxed exceedingly great towards the south and towards the east,” meaning he was already in the west, “toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great even to the hosts of heaven. And it cast down some of the hosts and the stars to the ground.” That’s talking about the truth that was cast to the ground. Later it says in Daniel 8, “he casts the truth to the ground.” “Yeah, he magnified himself, even to the prince of the hosts.” Put himself in the place of Christ. “And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away.” It’s not just talking about not being able to offer sacrifice in the temple. The daily sacrifice is to God. The whole purpose of the daily sacrifice was salvation through the blood of the Lamb. And so taking away salvation through the blood of the Lamb is what happened during the Dark Ages. They said it’s salvation through works. [end side one]

…through repeating prayers, through paying penance, and lighting candles, and praying to altars. The daily sacrifice of faith in the blood of the Lamb was taken away. We weren’t saved by the blood of the Lamb anymore. You understand? That was the whole thing. The daily sacrifice was all about the Messiah coming and the blood of the Lamb. “In the place of his sanctuary cast down and a host,” an army, “was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression. And it cast the truth to the ground.” So this was not just an attack on God’s people. It was an attack on the truth.

Now how do you attack truth? By killing everyone who believes it? That just spreads the truth. You attack truth by substituting it with lies. Antiochus Epiphanies didn’t cast the truth to the ground. But during the Dark Ages the truth was completely lost because it was obscured by counterfeits. Did you hear the difference? The truth is cast to the ground by obscuring it, eclipsing it, with counterfeits. “He cast the truth down to the ground, then he practiced and prospered.” Antiochus didn’t prosper. He self-destructed and died. “Then I heard one saint speaking to another saint, and that certain saint which spoke said, How long shall the vision be concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the hosts to be trodden under foot? And he said to me, Unto 2,300 days and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

Well they tried to talk about that 2,300 days, when did the Maccabees get back in to try to cleanse the sanctuary from what Antiochus had done? And they made it literal days. This is obviously a prophecy where a day equals a year because first of all, not only is 2,300 days and the other days in Daniel’s prophecy represent years, only once a year did they cleanse the sanctuary, on the Day of Atonement. How many times? Once a year. So, Even if you say 2,300 days of atonement, how long is that? 2,300 years. So either way you look at it it’s years. And in 1844, if you go from 457, the only place you’re going to land is 1844, God raised up a movement that was a cleansing of His sanctuary on the earth from where the truth had been cast down. As Christ entered the holy of holies to cleanse His sanctuary from the sins. That’s when the church of Laodicea began. Seven ages of the church, we are now living in the last age of the church. The devil hates this truth and he’s attacking it. So this whole interpretation of Antiochus Epiphanies is a diversion.

Why do we have a lesson on this? I don’t always do this. I’m going to read the introduction to the Sabbath School lesson because I think it’s so important. “The subject of the sanctuary was the key that unlocked the mystery of the disappointment in 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great Advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. As the disciples of Jesus, after the terrible night of their anguish and disappointment, were glad when they say the Lord, so those now rejoice who had looked in faith for His second coming.” 1844 was a pivotal time in the history of the church, not our church, but God’s church all over the world. In that they had come out of great darkness and He was now leading them into marvelous light by bringing together the different components of truth that had been cast to the ground and lost. He brought them all together into one body. You know, Seventh Day Adventists aren’t the only ones who know about baptism by immersion. The Baptists obviously had that. We’re not the only ones who understand the truth about salvation by grace, Lutherans had that. We’re not the only ones who understand the truth about the dead being asleep until the resurrection. There were Moravians who understood that. Or that hell doesn’t burn forever and ever, or that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Different revival and reformation movements all around that time had discovered these components. God brought them all together into one body. He began to cleanse the sanctuary on earth at the same time He was cleansing His sanctuary in heaven.

The devil hates this truth because it’s going to the world and he’s trying to say, “No, no, no. This people is not the fulfillment of this prophecy. They’re deluded. When Jesus didn’t come in 1844 it was just a big mistake and they’re afraid to admit it and so they concocted, they manufactured this doctrine. Really the fulfillment of 1844 wasn’t in 1844; it was way back before the time of Christ with a guy named Antiochus Epiphanies.” Can you see why this is so important to understand? There’s an attack on this because they’re trying to blast away at the pillars of this people and what our mission is. And so you might say, “Why are we studying Antiochus Epiphanies?” Let’s keep going here. Do you understand why it’s important to understand this? There are only two choices. Either that little horn is Rome or it was this rabid Greek king. Who did live and he was a problem and he had a place in history and prophecy, but he is not the fulfillment of the little horn. Let me go on here.

Who was ruling the world after the time of the Greeks? Now I’m going to give you some scripture to read. Matthew 22:17, “Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar or not?” In the time of Christ, what power was taxing the world? That was our memory verse, remember? The Roman power. John 11:48, “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him. And the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” Who was ruling over Israel in the time of Christ? The Roman power.

Luke 3:1-2, “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, being governor of Judea, and Herod, being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip, tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of the Traconitis, and Lysanias, the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas, being the high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.” This is one of the most important verses in the New Testament. You know why? Ancient history’s a little sketchy, and we sort of know roughly when some people reigned, but it’s difficult sometimes to know exactly because the records are very obscure. Many have been destroyed. This verse in Luke is a very important verse, not just for Bible scholars, but for historians from every walk, because it outlines the overlap of many different rulers, many of whom we have information on. And it’s like when you get one person’s life and then it says, “in this year of his reign and this year of this reign,” it’s like the confluence of many GPS signals and it pinpoints things. Triangulation, you know how that works? That’s what’s happening here. We’re triangulating these dates. There is no question about when Jesus was baptized, AD 27, because of this verse. It tells you precisely when this was happening.

Now the reason we’re reading this verse, how many Roman rulers are mentioned here? Tiberius, Pilate, Herod, Herod Philip, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Traconitis. All of them except Annas and Caiaphas. There are about five different Roman rulers. Who was ruling the world? Who is the fourth kingdom in Daniel? Was it Greece, or was it Rome? Who held the reigns when Jesus was born? What kind of soldiers went into Bethlehem to kill the babies? They were iron swords that were used, iron nails that went into Jesus’ hands, iron spear. It was the iron kingdom that was on the throne. It was not Antiochus Epiphanies.

Some of you have heard of the classic by Edward Gibbon on The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is the undisputed authority classic. He spent years writing this. “The arms of the republic,” Rome, “sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, the ocean.” Notice this, “And the images of gold,” Babylon, “or silver,” Medo-Persia, “or brass,” Greece, “that might serve to represent the nations and their kings were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome.” Even this consummate historian, this guy is just one of the greatest historians of ancient time. He clearly saw that Rome; you see the language he’s using from Daniel 2. He clearly saw that Rome is the fulfillment of this fourth power. It’s not this little, like I said, bipolar king. He was a plague to the Jewish nation, but it was much. He only ruled a few years. The Roman Empire ruled for hundreds of years.

You notice when you’re reading in Daniel 8, why can’t Antiochus not be the fulfillment of it? The Medo-Persian ram became great. The Grecian goat, very great. The little horn, you notice it says becomes exceedingly great. Now, did Antiochus become greater than Medo-Persia and Greece, Alexander the Great? This little horn is exceedingly great. You notice what happens when you study the prophecies of Daniel? You’ve got the power of Babylon, it was golden, but it didn’t last as long as Persia. It’s silver, inferior metal, but it lasted longer. Silver is harder than gold. Which is followed by bronze, which isn’t worth as much as silver, but it lasts longer. The Greek kingdom lasted longer than the Persian. Which is followed by iron, which is inferior in value to bronze, if you’re going to pay for them, but it lasts longer; it’s harder. Each kingdom lasts successively longer than the one before it. The value of the metal is less, but it’s more durable. Antiochus Epiphanies just would not; that whole sequence would be broken if he’s the fulfillment. He didn’t last long; he wasn’t brought to his end by some divine means. He just died.

Point two, only a few verses are given to Alexander the Great. Are we to believe that more verses are given to Antiochus Epiphanies than Alexander the Great, if he’s the little horn? According to Daniel 8:17, 19, 26 the prophecy dealt with end time things. And the little horn with the last power is presented in the vision. Because he dies in 164 BC, how can Antiochus be the little horn? It’s supposed to reach to the end time. According to Daniel 8:25 the little horn would be “broken without hand,” a phrase we saw earlier through parallelism with Daniel 2:34-35, depicted a supernatural and cataclysmic destruction. Why, given what’s written about the demise of Antiochus in history; there’s nothing supernatural or cataclysmic about it. He just dies in battle. There are so many reasons, when you match them up, that he cannot be the real historic fulfillment of that power. That prophecy in Daniel 8 is talking about the little horn being the papal power, and wounded 1798. Came back into power again. 1844, God begins cleansing the sanctuary in heaven and all of these things are very clear.

Let me share something else with you here. The history of the northern and southern kingdom of Israel mirrors the history of God’s church in the last days. Let’s talk about prophecy for a second. When Jesus said, “When you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains,” Matthew 24. What was Jesus talking about? Jesus is quoting Daniel 8, Daniel 9, Daniel 12. It talks about the abomination of desolation. He says, “When you see these things let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Now, you tell me, has that happened? Is that past or present or future? The abomination of desolation, do we have to worry about fleeing in the mountains, or is that all in the past? Is there still a future application to fleeing into the mountains? Was there an application in Christ’s time, fleeing in the mountains? That one statement that Jesus made not only referred to the Roman power that surrounded Jerusalem, and the Christians had to flee when they had an opportunity into the mountains. Did that happen? Matter of fact, one reason I know that is when you read that same prophecy in Luke, Jesus said, “When you see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, let those that be in the city flee into the mountains.” He specifies Jerusalem encompassed with armies. But at the end of time, is there still an abomination that’s going to encircle God’s people with laws, and that will be our signal to flee from the cities? And so, there is also a modern interpretation. Jesus makes one prophecy, but do we have two applications of it there?

For the people living back in the days of the Maccabees, I don’t fault them for looking at Antiochus Epiphanies and saying, “Why, he is causing the daily sacrifice to cease, he’s putting himself in the place of God, he’s defiling the sanctuary.” For their headlines, I think that it may have reinforced their faith in God’s word. But now we’re standing. It’s like the difference between you and I, if you’re in New York City, you can look at the Empire State Building and then you can look at a chick coop or a pigeon coop on someone’s roof and you see a big difference between the Empire State Building and a chicken coop. Isn’t that right? Because of your perspective. But you get in a jet airplane and you fly over New York City at 30,000 feet, you get a whole different perspective. You don’t see a big difference between the Empire State Building and the chicken coop, but you can see all of New York, or all of Manhattan. We now have the vantage point of history, and God wants us to see the whole city, not just the chicken coop in the big building. That’s what they saw back then. That’s all they could see because of their perspective. But you and I, God wants us to look at it with the perspective of the historic fulfillment of this prophecy.

They are parallels, Ancient Israel. Now let me tell you real quick. What happened to the Jews; there is a turning point with Christ. The church now becomes spiritual Israel. It includes Jews and Gentiles. They repeat the history. God’s people were filled with His Spirit in the days of Solomon, King David, very close to the Lord. They were at the climax of the kingdom. They drifted away and there was a big split. Part of the split was because the northern kingdom turned to idolatry. Ahab married Jezebel, and this paganism came into their worship. They began to worship idols at Bethel and Dan. The southern kingdom said, “We’re going to stay with the scriptures. We’ve got the temple.” And they remained faithful for many years. Well finally judgment fell on the northern kingdom. Judgment finally fell on the southern kingdom, because they gave themselves over to idolatry, too.

This is what’s also happened to the church. Started out united, filled with the Spirit, but there was a split because of paganism. Idolatry came in. True church went into war with those who were sort of the government church. Back in the Old Testament they had 10 tribes against two tribes. Same thing’s happening, but ultimately what happened to the southern kingdom is happening to Protestantism. Both Catholicism and Protestantism have drifted a long way from the word of God. And what happened when that happened? In the Old Testament when the children of Judah drifted from God judgment came on the whole nation. What’s going to happen in our day when God’s people; Protestants also are abandoning the scriptures for tradition and paganism. Judgment’s going to come. The history of the people of God in the Old Testament is now being mirrored by the church in the New Testament. Can you see that?

Matter of fact, I had Sherle put some pictures up on the screen here. I’m always amazed. When you think about Rome and you see. Even the architecture. Look at the Vatican, and look at the Capitol. Did we make an image to the beast? And you know it’s interesting, in the middle of the Vatican they’ve got this big obelisk. You ever look at the Beltway, Washington, DC? You know what’s in the middle of the Beltway of Washington, DC? The Washington Monument, a big obelisk, in the very middle of it. It’s almost like we’ve made an image to the beast. Ancient Rome had a senate; we’ve got a senate. They had a congress; we’ve got a congress. We are on a Roman calendar, aren’t’ we? And America basically has popularized the Roman calendar and method of timing for the whole world. And so history is repeating itself.


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