Category Archives: Jacob’s Trouble

On the origin of the Antichrist

[…] The only thing clearly stated about the geographical origins of the Antichrist is found in Dan 8:9 and 11:21. There he is depicted as coming out of one of the four ‘notable horns’ (i.e., one of the four divisions of Alexander’s kingdom). I believe his origins in both geography (Dan 8:9; 11:21) and descent (spiritual if not entirely genetic), will be from among the descendants of Ishmael and Esau (Ps 83; Isa 34:5-6, 8; Ezek 35-36, Obadiah 1:6-17) together with those nations (Ezek 38:5-6) that will support them in their final prosecution of “the everlasting hatred” (Ezek 35:5). Hence, I believe that the ten kings allied with the Antichrist will be Islamic, if not entirely Arab. For reasons I hope to explain in future correspondence, I’ve had this view since 1973 when the Lord revealed it during the Yom Kippur War.

Whether or not I am correct in my view of the ten kings, it should be evident to anyone that the Antichrist, regardless of his origin, will be able to command the forces of the Islamic world through a common hatred of what Daniel calls “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30). Not only in Daniel, but in the larger context of Old Testament prophecy, this final war against the covenant is depicted as a presumptuous defiance of God’s claim to the Land, the city of Jerusalem, and the sacred institutions of a restored Jewish worship. (Side note: The sacrifices that will be restored by unbelieving Jews are entirely without efficacy. This will become clear when they find themselves again cast out of the Land in flight from the Antichrist. Still, the “holy pace” in Jerusalem has real significance. As a divinely commanded token of the covenant, it remains holy and set apart, not simply because it is sacred to Jews, but by reason of the Word of God. Its sanctity does not inhere in the faith of the worshippers, but in the authority of the God who elects. This is why Satan desires to defile the place that bears God’s name, and to possess the city from which the Son is destined to rule all nations […] Continue reading

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Dan 2:44 – The Kingdom Shall Not Be Left To “Another” People

[…] You mention Daniel and the issue of the millennium. I can’t say much at the moment, but I know you’ll agree that there much more at issue here than mere questions of how different texts should be interpreted. I believe the battle is more spiritual than that. I believe how we see Israel is a gauge of how we see God. The tragic story of the church’s historic rejection of God’s declared intentions towards Israel is beyond mere flesh and blood.

Since time will not permit more, I want to call your attention to just one verse that is telling of so many others. It is Daniel 2:44. Notice that the scripture says “in the days of these kings.” What days? What kings? Dan 7:24 makes clear that the kings in view here are the ten kings that are contemporary with the final Antichrist. In John’s apocalypse, he is the beast that tramples down Jerusalem for the last 42 months (Rev 11:2; 13:5) before Christ’s return. Thus, it could hardly be clearer that these then kings are immediate contemporaries of the Antichrist. They are united with him through their mutual hostility against “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:29, 30). In this context, the term “holy covenant” is clearly identified with the ‘literal’ holy places and institutions, which are situated in a very literal Jerusalem (Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15-16). Hence, the Antichrist’s assault on Jerusalem is a further chapter in Satan’s long war against the covenant, which in this context is shown to be inseparably related to the literal Land and people of Israel […] Continue reading

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The Lord Shall Set His Hand Again The SECOND Time

[…] The status of the present return gives the illusion of a final return only because a second age-long dispersion beginning with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem was not clearly distinguished in the prophets from the much shorter Babylonian captivity. (Note: Those who scorn the concept of a “gap”, or better, ‘hidden age’ between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel should consider that if such an interim is not recognized as necessarily implicit in these prophecies, establishing a necessary distinction between a near and partial fulfillment [first-fruits/earnest] and a future fulfillment that is complete and final, then the more serious problem of failed prophecy presents itself, something that liberal critical scholars like to refer to as ‘prophetic dissonance’, since it is certainly no loss to them if prophecy has failed. But quite on the contrary, it is this very phenomenon, in keeping with the divinely designed puzzle of Messiah’s twofold advent, that forms the context and conceptual framework of the mystery revealed in the NT. Hence, a so-called ‘gap’ is by no means without scriptural precedent, but is inherent in the mystery that was divinely hidden for judgment. Indeed, it was necessary for Israel to stumble at the mystery).

Therefore, the first return would see the Jews back in the Land, but still short of the eschatological salvation necessary to endure in the Land, thus looking ahead to an ultimate future tribulation that begins ‘in the Land’. In significant analogy with the first return, the Jews exist in the Land once more as a viable nation with restored covenant institutions (Dan 11:31; 12:1), but the exile continues so long as Israel remains under covenant jeopardy. Thus, the Jews of the modern return are in essentially the same position as those living in the Land after the first return. Though lately returned to the land, they remain subject to the same future tribulation and desolations that ‘the prophets of return’ predicted would persist until the ultimate deliverance of the still future Day of the Lord. The Jews in the Land today are no more ‘home free’ than that first remnant for whom Jacob’s trouble remained a future ‘necessity’ (“for that which is determined shall be done” Dan 11:36). […] Continue reading

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Followup: “I Pray Not For The World”

[…] Future Israel will be living proof of God’s sovereign ability to bring about the necessary repentance and faith of a naturally unwilling people through mighty judgments and powerful constraints. Do such extreme measures nullify or circumvent Israel’s moral responsibility to choose life? Of course not, but it is not far to see that God has certainly ordained the precise conditions that will powerfully incline that nation’s will at the “set time to favor Zion” (Ps 102:13), so that His people are made “willing in the day of His power” (Ps 110:3), and not a moment sooner! (Compare Paul’s view of God’s sovereign timing of his conversion; Gal 1:15-16).

Here, I have suggested that reconciliation between the two passages should be sought in making a distinction between God’s care for all, and His eternal purpose to save only those who believe through grace. Others propose a different solution. They believe that the answer lies in assigning a more hyperbolic sense to the words, “all men.” In this view, it is not ‘all men’ without discrimination, but ‘all men’ in the sense of men of all kinds and stations of life. In this view, whenever the scripture says, “God so loved the world,” Jews are being reminded, and gentiles are being comforted, that the salvation of Christ extends to all nations and not to Israel only (compare Jn 11:52; 1Jn 2:2). Here, the contrast is being made between a narrow Jewish view of God’s love for Israel and the revolutionary new revelation of God’s unexpected intention to open a door of faith to the gentiles […] Continue reading

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Israel’s ‘Divine Right’ to the Land

[…] The issue of Jewish right to the Land and the city of Jerusalem will be the great stumbling block of the last days leading to the time of the unequaled tribulation (Jer 30:7; (Dan 12:1; Mt 24:21). The offense that the Land belongs to the Jews by divine right will be magnified as the world finds greater and greater fault with a people who dig themselves an ever deepening hole by their desperate struggle to secure peace by the arm of the flesh. They will incur the wrath and disdain of many nations, particularly those Islamic nations that particularly despise the covenant that grants the Land to a people of no special regard (Ps 83: Ezek 35:5; 36:5; 38:2-3, 5-6).

In my view, Piper’s view undermines this basic conviction of scripture concerning the relationship of the Jew to the Land. Furthermore, it opens the way for the church to turn its head away from the growing chorus of anti Zionism. The outcry against the “Zionist state” is not merely a protest against Israeli politics, it is a disdain for the covenant of election. The new anti Zionism masks the old anti-Semitism. But it ends in the same blood. It is really the secret envy that exists in every natural heart against the sovereignty of a divine election that has nothing to do with human merit.

Jews in unbelief do what unbelievers do. Get used to it! […] Continue reading

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