The LORD, The LORD God is God the Father.
It is an interesting thing to look back over the history of our land and our nation and the nations of the world and realize there has never been a subject that has been more prominent than the subject of peace. And at the same time there’s never been a time when peace has been more absent and puzzling and gloomy. In fact, in our country we’ve averaged a war about every 25 years.
Beginning with the War of Independence of 1776, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, 1845 the Civil War, 1861 the Spanish American War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean Conflict, The Vietnam War…you name it. You look back over our land. It’s been a land of conflict and strife, now, the War with Iraq.
Scarcely a generation has passed in which this so-called “Christian nation” has not sent its young men to war and records will prove if you study them carefully that the history of the world is written in the blood of millions who have died on the battlefield. Millions more will follow.
The world is a world of war. It is not a stranger to us, and there’s not one of us here that doesn’t know something about it, even in our own family, or we know people that have been a part of our extended family that have served in the military.
But with all that we know of war, and all that we understand about it, because of our approach to peace in the world, there’s not anything that we can say that would compare to the war that is coming some day, the war that will end all wars.
It’s referred to in the Scripture as the Battle of Armageddon, no matter how one reads history or ponders the future. Thinking people realize that this world is on a collision course, heading for disaster.
The Bible has much to say about the final war. The basic Revelation concerning the end of the Battle is given to us in the 16th chapter of Revelation, so as you hold to your place in Daniel 11, keep your place also in Revelation for we will come back to a Scripture there.
13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
As we consider the events in this great battle, briefly, I want to discuss the preparation for Armageddon, then the place where the battle will be fought and the purpose of Armageddon and the people who will be in that battle.
The Bible teaches that after the Rapture of the Church (“Church” meaning those who have asked God for forgiveness of their sins and have by faith accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts: therefore have become eternally redeemed), the Bible teaches that the Tribulation Period will immediately begin, here on this earth.
The stage is set for the great conflict, first of all, by the Satanic persecution, and opposition to the nation of Israel when the Church is raptured out of here, and the Holy Spirit is removed in the sense that He is the restraining influence on evil in this world, and He is removed, because He goes out of this world in the form of the Christian people whom He indwells.
Then, all hell is going to break out on this earth, but added to that revelation is:
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men….
I think this verse is a reference to the persecution of the nation of Israel who is responsible for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The purpose of Satan and his persecution of the Jews, beginning at the middle of the tribulation period (the last three and one-half years), is to destroy the opportunity that Jesus Christ would have to rule and reign with the Jews. Satan’s purpose is to destroy the Jewish people before the kingdom can be set up, and cooperating with Satan and his efforts to destroy the Jewish nation is the beast who is the reestablished Roman Empire and the false prophet, the head of that great religious system. This unholy trinity is mentioned here in Revelation 16:13, namely (1) the dragon, (2) the beast and (3) the false prophet: the unholy trinity.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Just as God has a Trinity, Satan has a trinity and that unholy trinity is going to be let loose on this earth during the period we know as The Tribulation, and together they are going to vent their wrath upon the nation of Israel and prepare the way for the coming conflict.
What we have learned from the Book of Daniel, that God is not through punishing the people of Israel for their disobedience, you remember when Daniel prayed his prayer in the 10th Chapter he saw the captivity that was his in Babylon coming to conclusion and he assumed that because the 70 year of captivity was accomplished that the nation of Israel was going to be immediately restored to her place of glory, and he prayed and he asked God to give him wisdom concerning the captivity period, and God sent His angel to him with the message that we’re studying in Chapter 10 and Chapter 11.
And that angel said to Daniel, “The judgment upon the people is not yet accomplished.” And then he unfolded the message, that the Persians would be involved in trampling over the land of Palestine.
Followed by Alexander the Great and his Grecian empire followed by Antiochus the Great, and then by Antiochus Epiphanes and the Greek world, and the Persian world and then the Egyptians, and the assassin the North and South entered the land and they all would be trampling all over the land of Palestine, literally fulfilling the Scripture of prophecy that said “The land of Israel would be trodden down by the Gentiles” which has continued to happen even until today. And God said that after the period of trampling the land with all these countries then comes the Roman dominion. This Roman dominion is that which takes place in the preparation for the Battle of Armageddon.
The preparation for the Battle of Armageddon is already in progress, and the only thing that remains to keep the final countdown from taking pace is the rapture of the Church.
If the church of Jesus Christ would be raptured out of the world tonight, immediately the clock would begin to tick. We are definitely living in the last days.
It’s hard to grasp all of this, but let’s just walk through all this. It’s interesting to trace the Scriptures and find the movement of armies and the sequence of events that are basically involved in the great campaign.
Remember that covenant is made between The Antichrist and Israel at the beginning of The Tribulation period, right after the Rapture, according to Daniel 9:27.
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, and for overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The Prince that shall come, The Antichrist, makes a covenant with the nation of Israel. The Antichrist is described for us in Chapter 11 of Daniel, just like he has been in earlier chapters, 7 and 9.
36And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
That is a description of The Antichrist and the Scripture says “that the antichrist is going to set himself up as God and he’s going to go to the Jewish people at the beginning of the Tribulation period and he is going to promise them that their sacrifices and their temple worship and the opportunity to get back into Judaism as they once knew it in the glory days can be theirs again.
Because he will covenant together with them to reestablish their worship, the Jews will “swallow it”; they will believe him. They will be so excited that here is someone who has promised to protect them so that they can worship!
Remember Jesus told them ”I came in mine own name and you didn’t receive me. Another will come in his own name and you will receive him.“
Someone has described this antichrist in very graphic terms…that this man will have the dynamic personality that is needed to weld nations together, and even to fool the Jews. He will have that rare ability to influence television and radio audiences, plus live crowds, with his appearances.
He will be able to make men throng to hear him, and see him, and this prince, The Antichrist, who is the head of the European Confederation, the revived Roman Empire, will make a treaty between all the European Nations and Israel and he will promise them that they will be protected, and the result of that will be that the Jews will neglect their own defense. And they will put their guns away and they will be lulled into a spirit of protection and they will think that they have nothing to worry about that all of our neighbors are for us and the great world leader is on our side. He will protect us. We’re safe! We can live in peace!
But just as they are about to be lulled to sleep, Ezekiel tells us in Chapter 38 that from the North there is going to be an invasion. It’s hard for us to believe that Russia would be so interested in Israel, but now we know why. Notice Ezekiel 38:10-12. Verses 10 and 11 are talking about Russia invading Israel.
1The word of the LORD came unto me saying, 2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. 3And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4And I will turn thee back, and put hooks unto thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen all of them clothed with all sorts of armor even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands; and many people with thee.
7Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them 9Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
10Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when My people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16And thou shalt come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against My land, that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? 18And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that My fury shall come up in My face. 19For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 21And I will call for a sword against him throughout all My mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 22And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood: and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. 23Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
How did they get like this? You see, The Antichrist told them that everything was okay and they would be safe. They could rest and he would take care of them. And now that they are set up, the Russians are going to take advantage of them and they head out to Israel, to take the Jews, who are dwelling in peace and safety.
This passage describes the armies’ invasion of Israel from the North.
Russia is north of Israel. Notice in Daniel 11:36 and 11:40 . . .
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
If you go back to verse 36 you’ll realize that the “him” in Verse 40 is The Antichrist. It’s important to recognize that Daniel Chapter 11 is a prophecy against The Antichrist and his leadership.
Get in your mind’s eye the picture as the northern and southern powers are in readiness to attack Jerusalem. A very dramatic event takes place as described in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 38: 21-23
21And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 22And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23Thus will I magnify myself and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Just as these nations converge on Israel and are just about ready to attack them, God intervenes, and He rains down fire and brimstone and judgment. God’s judgment on the people leaves only one-sixth of the great hoard of people remaining.
The judgment will be so great that it will sort of compare to when the Egyptians came after the Israelites when they escaped from Egypt. It will be like the night when 185,000 Assyrians died in their sleep, as they prepared to attack God’s chosen people. So great will God’s judgment be upon those people who are about to attack Israel that according to
11And it shall come to pass in that day that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. 12And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
All of them but one-sixth of them will be killed, and because of the stench of that many dead people, when people go by it in ships, they will have to hold their nose. It will take seven months to bury the dead. God intervenes for His people in the middle of the campaign.
The purpose of this intervention is quite clear: He hasn’t finished teaching Who’s in charge! God is in charge!
Ezekiel 38:23 tells us . . .
Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Divine intervention! Now remember the covenant is made with Israel. They are lax in their defense. The Russians get interested in the unwalled cities. They send their troops and different troops get ready to pounce on Israel. God says (paraphrased), “Wait a minute. I’m going to show you Who’s in charge.”
The Antichrist will move his army into Palestine and Daniel 11:43 states . . .
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
(Just when The Antichrist has settled his armies in the land)
Tidings out of the East trouble him. Revelation 16:12 tells us that the armies of the East are going to cross the barriers, that before, had prohibited them from coming into Palestine.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
That’s two hundred million soldiers! Some might think that is impossible.
13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
Now the stage is set. The remaining armies of the north and the south that survived the Divine Judgment of God from hail and fire are still there. The armies of The Antichrist and the European states are still there and
the great hoard from the east have crossed over the Euphrates River and they are all ready to march upon God’s Holy City.
But just about the time that Israel is going to be attacked and her annihilation seems certain, we read . . .
11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Here comes the Lord! He’s going to put it all right.
When all these nations that are gathered together against Jerusalem see the Lord and His armies in heaven coming, they forget they are angry at one another and they begin to fight against the Lord.
20sup>And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
And the war is ended! So in one dramatic blow the Lord brings to a conclusion the War of Armageddon and the Bible tells us that immediately the nations will be established upon this earth… and that’s where Daniel 12 comes in.
Just like God said it would happen it will be! He’s getting everything in order.
It’s such a wonderful thing to be a student of the Word of God and read the newspapers and see what God is doing to set everything up so at the right moment this can begin to happen.
Remember if you know the Lord, you have been saved from the wrath to come and we will be with the Lord. We don’t have forever to do what God has called us to do. We need to ask God to build within us a holy urgency for the cause of Jesus Christ.