Daniel, the Predictive Historian of the Falling Away 

While Isaiah, of course, gives us the most predictive history on the children of Israel as God’s people, Daniel gives us the most predictive history for the Fullness of the Gentiles people, that is us in our nation and in our time! Beyond the interpretation of dreams for the King of Babylon, Daniel’s visions and visits from both Gabriel and the Son of Man came in answer to his fervent prayers, first to confess the sins of His people for the past and present, and then to ask, “What is going to happen to my people.” Sometimes the answers made Daniel faint immediately and sick later.

12-1:  Eschatology of Last Things.

“Last Things” or end time events have become known in the Biblical world as “eschatology”. And some of the weirdest and most unsound Bible teachings in the world have come out of eschatology, not to be confused with the real eschatology of the Bible itself. Since part of the problem of these interpreters of last things who ignore the ASPI method of Bible study and teaching is that they most general start and end with the book of Revelation, taking it completely out of the context of the other teachings of Christ and of the Bible as if the book of Revelation was not part of the authorized Semi-Public Word of God, in reality and in interpretation. Many have taken advantage of the neglect by most believers of last things and the book of Revelation, to spin their horrifying tales with scary and awesome symbols and charts. You can generally tell the real ASPI interpreters from the charlatans when they drag out charts to show you elaborate timeliness and kingdom phases, like as originated with Darby and Scofield, and like Tim LeHaye has done with his other books not considered to be fiction. In short, in order to keep such errors of interpretation caused by such private interpretations, independent of Jesus and the Prophets, we will consider last things from Daniel, Jesus in Mark 13 and Matthew 24, and from the book of Revelation, showing the similarity in the method of sweeps and in the parable like nature of the teachings. If we succeed, and you buy it, we will have come one giant step forward in throwing off of the yoke of the fundamentalists which they have intimidated and forced on the Southern Baptist Convention. If the foundation for Bible conservatism and salvation is their pre-millennium beliefs where they have intimidated, and we throw off that yoke, at the same time we can start a revival that can likewise destroy their hold on control and on a spirit of warfare that has crept over the Convention like a dark cloud. {I say that surely this is the most destructive of all bad influences on the kingdom today that has helped to bring on the Falling Away; and surely if Osama Bin Laden or the Pope were not such logical candidates for the man of sin, we might have to choose a fundamentalist to fit that role.}

12-2:  The Six Sweeps of Daniel

While I target for “last things”, sometimes called “end times” or eschatology, is Mark 13 with additional understanding from Matthew 24 and Luke, the legitimate place to start with this awesome subject of last things is in the book of Daniel, after we have gained some perspective from the Apostle Peter’s great sermon on the day of Pentecost, as he explained exactly what was happening with Coming of the Holy Spirit to earth in a special way. Peter and the Prophet Joel explain each other, typing the events of that day together with the “last days” as Peter quotes from Joel 2:28-32 on the famous subject of the Day of the LORD from the Old Testament. Far better than running off with charts and weird drawings, and interpretations as weird is it to start with something as bASPIc and easy to understand as Peter’s message with his New Testament interpretation of “last days” and the Day of the LORD mentioned so often in the Old Testament, and always with references to the cessation of light from the sun, the moon, and the stars. {That in New Testament times and today gains attention since the world is quite accustomed to the routine of sunrise, sunset, the stars at night and the moon.} There were two sayings common among the Hebrews, “tomorrow in Jerusalem” to encourage themselves with better days; and “the Day of the LORD” to denote ultimate justice. And this is also a good principle of the ASPI and Bible understanding. Since the Bible is semi-publicly interpreted, in other words of “no private interpretation”, and since what the Apostles say about the Old Testament quotes interprets the Old Testament Prophets, and vice versa, we should start with what is most easily understood in the New Testament and from the Apostles of Jesus Himself in order to understand “last things”. Goodness knows, the struggle for Peter to understand was hard; but he had the help of Jesus, the Master Teacher, and don’t forget that Jesus after His resurrection was with them 40 days explaining the things of the kingdom before He Ascended on to heaven. Likewise, we must remember that Peter now had the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and explain. We might add that as we get all this information on “last things” from Acts 2, as Peter quotes from Joel 2:28-32, we are also getting info from Dr. Luke who wrote Acts, and I maintain also from the Apostle Paul who left for him manuscripts for research.

12-3:  The Period of “Last Days”, Pentecost to the Second Coming.

If you would ask most Bible believers today, “are we living in the last days?”, they would say “yes”; and if you had asked the Bible readers of the first few centuries if they were living in the last days, they would say “yes”; and both are correct. The last days often confused with the final period of history, say about the last 40 years of history during what is called the Falling Away, is often confused with such periods of history as “the latter times” and the Falling Away. Pure, simple, and scripture is the period of history from the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, marked according to Peter and Joel with the Coming of the Spirit to take Jesus’ place and reside and work on earth to the Second Coming. You may want to read Acts 2:14-21 right now. You will see that the major part of it is Joel 2:28-32; and you will note how the Apostle Peter in an effort to explain that the other disciples were not drunk as it seemed and since it was so early in the day, explained that what was happening there in Jerusalem at that very moment was that which was predicted by the Prophet Joel. “But this is what was spoken by the Prophet Joel….’ (Acts 2:16) Okay, we need to nail down quickly certain obvious Biblical facts in order to proceed from the Bible with the wide sweep of eschatology.

First, on this first day of Pentecost after the Ascension was the beginning of the “last days”. In the Bible, you have “latter times”, end times, and last days; but you can clearly see from the context of Acts, Peter, and Joel that the last days started with the Coming of the Holy Spirit in great power to take the place of Jesus on earth. Second, and by the way the end of the last days with the Day of the LORD is also given in Joel and from Peter as “the great and awesome {or notable} day of the LORD”. The sweep of what happens in-between the beginning and the end of the last days in the order of Joel is: (1) the power and help of the Holy Spirit becomes more democratic and common during the last days, not like the specialized empowerment of the Old Testament, as say during the period of the Judges; (2) the last days will be a continuous period of signs in the heaven above and the earth beneath, those signs summarized as “blood, fire, and vapor of smoke”—and certainly every year we see those; but (3) just before the Day of the LORD the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood—obviously the shaking of the heavens and the earth that Paul wrote often of, and the earth melting with fervent heat of which Peter writes; and that leaves for the Day of the LORD itself the Second Coming of Christ and the Judgment Court of which we previously read so much in Daniel; and of course another characteristic of the continuity of the last days is the growth of the kingdom of God as “whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved”. This would correlate with the Gospel being preached in every nation from Jesus in Mark 13 and Matthew 24. Also, the Fullness of the Gentiles of Paul in Romans. {We would naturally think that while the final days of this old earth are marred by the Falling Away, that with more and more of the signs in the earth beneath and the heavens above, the extent to which humans, hopefully also Jews, call upon the name of the LORD will increase; and we are inclined to think that this unique combination of Falling Away from the tares and the stumbling will be mixed with new and surprising callings on the LORD which Daniel is told is the time of refinement and making white, alias a final tribulation as contrasted to the Great Tribulation which took place obviously during the first few centuries as the most awesome persecution which if not shortened by God would have even deceived the elect.}

12-4:  The First Sweep of Predictive History in Daniel.

With this simple Bible perspective, we will jump into the first four cycles of Daniel, then add to that the fifth cycle which we did not complete in chapter 1. The first sweep is given in the first vision that Daniel himself had and of the four beasts, and the peak and valley events are: (1) God, the Ancient of Days, sitting in Judgment with His court and the power to execute; (2) The Man of Sin, or the Son of Perdition, respectively of the Greek and Roman Empire, like a parable, completely fulfilled in the end time Man of Sin of Paul in II Thessalonians; (3) Other kingdoms under the control and judgement of God and kings given a period of dominion according to the determination of the Ancient of Days; (4) Establishment {not fulfillment} of the Everlasting kingdom of Christ to rule over all other kings and kingdoms, determined by the Ancient of Days but not truly established on earth until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and (5) The Second Coming of Christ to finalize the reign of Christ over all other kingdoms of this earth, and then deliverance to the Great Judge that God may be all in all. Thus, in the simplicity of Peter, Acts, and Joel we have with a first broad sweep of Daniel some of the main events of all time and eschatology. We can start our table of peaks and valleys. {The complete Table of the sweeps of Daniel is listed in the Appendix, each sweep is identified by a color coded and at the top of the column.}

12-5:  The Second Sweep of Predictive History in Daniel.

With the second sweep of Daniel, of course, our radar sweep of the future must continue to peak up some of the previous peaks and valleys; but since we come closer, we will pick up more peaks and valleys, or at least see some of those previous peaks and valleys clearer. The second sweep is the interpretation of the first vision of Daniel about the four beasts, and we find it we looked at in chapter 1 of this book in Daniel 7:15-27. (1) Daniel has explained to him that these four beasts, like explanations from Jesus in parables, are four kings, giving some more details—therefore we really do not need to add a peak or valley event here; (2) the focus of Daniel’s interest is on the details about the little horn, the man of son or perdition so important throughout history and throughout Daniel’s sweeps, mainly on how he speaks very pompous words against the Ancient of Days; (3) the pompous little horn, the man of sin, in his fight against the saints is prevailing {the Falling Away, of course}; (4) the Ancient of Days judges in favor of the saints and the Lord Jesus Christ executes Judgment at His Second Coming; (5) the son of perdition will be a revolutionary that tries to change “times and laws”, and the saints will be given into his hands for a “time, times, and half a time”; (6) The Court of God takes away the dominion of the man of sin and Satan, destroying it forever; and (7) the greatness of the kingdoms of the earth will be over to the Kingdom of the Most High God where the saints will obey and serve Him. {And you should take a quick look at this Table of Last Things in the Appendix before we must move it to the Appendix of this book in order to add all of the five cycles of Daniel, Mark 13 and Matthew 24, and the corresponding sweeps of the book of Revelation.}

12-6:  The Third Cycle of Predictive History of Daniel.

The third cycle of Daniel is based on the second personal vision of Daniel, Daniel 8:1-28, the vision of the Ram and the Goat and with the interpretation from Gabriel himself, sent from heaven by the command of God as the beginning of Daniel’s prayer. While much of it is about the kings of Persian, Greece, and Rome—which you might if interested in history want to compare with secular history, all well-known facts, we do get additional insight into the little horn, the man of sin again, as the little horn spreads from the north to the south, east, and west; and as the forces on earth join with the fallen forces from heaven to wage war. {You are reminded of the war between Satan and the beast of Revelation which is against the Woman and Her seed, Mary being the woman and the seed being those who would be called saints.} And before we pass on to the fourth cycle, you should know that Gabriel was sent to make Daniel understand about “the time of the end”, to use the words of Gabriel himself.

12-7:  The Fourth Sweep of Predictive History of Daniel, 9:1-27.

The fourth sweep of Daniel 9:1-27, with the coming of Gabriel to give an answer to Daniel about what is to be the fate of his people, prayer on which started after Daniel read the Law, the historical books especially Judges, and the Prophets, and in particular as he focused on the 70 weeks of Jeremiah. (1) 70 weeks {or in reality 70 years} is the amount of time from Captivity to great desolation for Israel, God allows in order to let all the transgressions of Israel run their course, to make an end to their rebellion and unfaithfulness, to make reconciliation to God for their sins, to bring in the everlasting righteousness of Christ and the kingdom of God on earth, and to seal up all the Old Testament through the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles {the New Testament record, or the second half of the oracles of God}; (2) From the Restoration until the Messiah comes and will be cutoff will be 69 years; (3) behind that will be the physical realities of temple and Jerusalem destruction, in the abomination of desolation, of the spiritual reality of separation from God and Christ that happened the year after approximately 100,000 Jews were converted; (4) this anti-Christ, a prototype or parable of the ultimate man of sin of the very end times, will be the Roman general Titus, later Caesar, who destroys the temple and Jerusalem in 75 A.D.; (5) Satan and the man of sin, during the Falling Away and after the release of Satan by the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, will prosper under the wings of desolation; and (6) the end of the desolation is in the consummation where the Jews again receive some spiritual blessings, perhaps more in eternity than here on this earth, although we must allow from Paul and Romans something to happen among the Jews after the Fullness of the Gentiles: The Fifth Cycle of Predictive History in Daniel, 10-12.

Fifth cycle of Daniel, in Daniel 10-12 with Daniel’s personal vision of the Glorious Man. Up to this point, Daniel has received primarily bad news in answer to his prayerful requests as to what will happen to his people. Now, we are hopeful like Daniel for more good news, although as in the nature of all sweeps in Daniel or elsewhere like in Revelation and Mark 13 and Matthew 24, there is much repetition. Here are the prime peaks and valleys, sometimes with just details of the previous peaks and valleys, of this last sweep. (1) while all know chapter 10 to be on Persia, and eleven to start on the famous kings of the north and the south, where the king of the north ultimately turns into the man of sin of the end times, we still must remember how Daniel was informed in an introduction to the interpretation that “the vision refers to many days yet to come” (Daniel 10:14); (2) it is the king of the north, first a Grecian king then a Roman king then the man of sin, that will take away the daily sacrifices and defile the temple in Daniel 11:31, the famous “abomination of desolation” of Daniel and referenced by Jesus in Matthew 24; (3) the people who know God shall be strong and carry out great exploits—obviously Acts and the Apostles including Paul contrasted with only a year from the Jews as “the people who do wickedly against the covenant” and who are flattered by Satan and the next-to-the-last man of sin, the Roman Emperors; (4) While the process continues throughout history and the world of those who understand instructing many (11:33), the great tribulation happens where “they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering”; and then (5) we go all the way to the Falling Away of the final tribulation where “some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end” (11:35) {perhaps you have never thought of the Falling Away period as a time when the kingdom of God, if not the churches, will be (a) refined, (b) purified, and (c) made white from this beginning to the end with the Second Coming, so that we might think of the simultaneous Falling Away and refinement, purification, and whitening as the Final Tribulation; (6) the king of the north, now almost completely turned the final anti-Christ, or man of sin, shows his colors with (a) do according to whatever he wants, (b) exalting himself above every god, (c) blasphemy against the God of gods (11:36), and (d) prospering right up to the time the cup of wrath is full, (e) ignoring the God of his fathers, (f) ignoring women, (g) put a god of war to whom he is devoted above all else, (h) war against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which has to be no less than Satan himself—and the man will come out in the open to acknowledge this worship and service of Satan, (i) and this king, the final man of sin will advance the “glory” of Satan, (j) he will make wickedness to reign over many and divide up the land for his own gain; (7) NOW WE ARE NEARER TO THE END for the words are “at the time of the end” (11:40), there is a battle between the king of the north and the king of the south who attacks him, but the king of the north will enter the countries and overwhelm them all the way to the Glorious Land of Palestine with a taking of the riches of the lands and countries; (8) News from the east and the north, and the Great battle happens as “he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many” (11:44); (9) as he also plants the “tents of his palace” between the seas the glorious holy mountain, sound like on the Gaza strip doesn’t it; (10) “yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him” (11:45); (11) there shall be a time of trouble such as never seen from the beginning to then; (12) this is the time of deliverance of the people of Daniel, everyone who is found written in the book of life; (13) the body resurrection of the all the dead with a separation into a group of (a) shame and a (b) group of “some to everlasting life” during the period of which some will shine like the firmament and like the stars forever.

12-9:  The Sixth Sweep of Predictive History in Daniel, Daniel 12:4-13.

Since we have obviously come to eternity with the Judgement separation of the shamed and the recipients of everlasting life, we will need a sixth cycle or sweep in order to finish Daniel 12:4-13, which is especially addressed to Daniel, but also applicable to us. (1) Shut up the book from now to the time of the end; and (2) from now to the time of the end, “many shall run to and fro” {an obvious increase in world travel}, “and knowledge shall increase” {obviously the information explosion}; (3) how long until the fulfillment of all these wonders Daniel asks, and receive the answer of a “time, times, and half a time” so here specifically the time, times, and half a time is applied to history from the time of Daniel to the very end—time would be from Daniel until the Jews are cut off from salvation, times would be the time of the last days, the preaching of the Gospel to every nation, and the Fullness of the Gentiles, and the halftime would be that short period of the Falling Away, the realization of the Man of Sin, and the Release of Satan with the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from earth, corresponding also to the Final Tribulation, and somewhere in there before the Second Coming of Christ comes with the final great battle lead against the man of sin and Satan; (4) all of the things mentioned will be completely fulfilled as in the Falling Away and withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, “the power of the holy people has been completely shattered”; (5) Again is the integration in this sixth cycle like in the fifth cycle of how “many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and one of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” (12:10).

12-10:  Signs for the Time, Times, and the Half Time.

If we are right in our interpretations of Daniel, and in the previous teachings of Jesus in Mark 13 as well as Matthew, then the time would relate to the generation of the four disciples who on Mount Olive asked the questions about things to come, the times would refer to the generations after them of the history of the kingdom of Christ until 2006, and the half time would refer to the 45 last years of the earth, the time of the Falling Away. What we really desire to look at is the remaining parables and teachings of Mark 13 and of Matthew 24, 25, recalling that more of this event of last teachings form Jesus on the Mount of Olives is recorded in Matthew 24 and 25 than in Mark 13. It is the same time and event, but Mark in the name of action and brevity has shortened the teaching time and content; and I think as stated before, that Mark is more concerned about his generation and himself than he is concerned about end times. That is understandable. Of course, we are much closer now, even perhaps in the 45 last years of earth during the Falling Away; and we naturally are more concerned about Matthew and all the teachings, yet we will stick with Mark in order to make our efforts more a condensed version and with comments. {Anytime you wish you can read Mark, Matthew, even Luke and John; and a good harmony of the Gospels, like Robertson’s Harmony is recommended as an assist in the paralleling of events in the life of Christ.}

“…that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” (Daniel 12:7b)

  1. Time.

We have learned from Daniel that the “time”, the first major division of time in the three divisions, would be from Daniel’s own generation until the Jews, like the Messiah are cutoff from the kingdom. 69 years after Restoration until the Messiah is cut off, and 70 years until the people of Israel are cut off. Remember Daniel’s incessant questioning about “what will happen to my people?” and “when will it happen?”  It is the equivalent of the “How Long?” Of the book of Revelation. Before praying for his people Daniel was reading from the Prophet Jeremiah, and of how the city of Jerusalem would be “desolate” for 70 years (Daniel 9:2). {What specifically read was 70 years of “desolations” in Jerusalem. This is more than deserted, a city and nation and land left homeless as the Jews are in Exile, but it speaks of desolations of worship in the Temple once selected by God, of spiritual desolation of the people from God with their rebellion, disloyalty, and unrighteousness.} Whatever period we see in Jeremiah, and it indeed appears to be the time of Captivity, it is neither the 69 weeks or 70 weeks of Daniel. God changes the focus from the nation of Israel and Jerusalem to the Messiah where He has ordained it all along. We have a new 70, this time 70 weeks of 490 years in parable form as 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 in the 70 weeks with the addition of a 62 weeks of 434 years as the “time” before the crucifixion of Jesus as the “Messiah shall be cut off” (9:26) for the world. This much is very clear, except for the little mathematical manipulation of numbers where 1 week is equal to 7 years, as Gabriel comes to give Daniel skill in understanding.

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times…And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and sanctuary. (Daniel 9:24-25)

490 years is all the time the nation of Israel has left with God and the kingdom of God. It starts with the Restoration {recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah, and some of the Prophets} and continues until the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ {the of Daniel are “Messiah”, Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word Christ, and “Prince”, for the Son of God}. This is a parable method of saying to Israel that you have one week of 7 years after you cut off the Messiah to get your spiritual affairs in order, and from then on through the times and half-a-time, there will be few conversions among the children of Israel. God needed them back in Palestine in order that Christ might be born as predicted in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, and the light seen throughout all Israel. God needed Israel to also see the extent of their rebellion in that they cut off His very own Son. However, after they cut Him off, they had only one week of seven years {approximately 33 A.D. to approximately 40 A.D.} of conversions {approximately 100,000 with 3,000 alone on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension}.  That these little manipulations of time and numbers, like the one week of 7 years of Laban and Jacob are justified is the historical evidence for (1) the decree for Restoration in 457 B.C.; and (2) the coming of the Messiah as announced by John the Baptist 483 years later {7 X 69} in approximately 26 A.D. {I am sure you are aware of the minor problems from Bishop Ussher’s dating method, whereby Jesus was actually born approximately 4 B.C.} During the 3 ½ years of Christ’s ministry, midway of the 7 years, Jesus Himself confirmed the covenant with many Jews. The finishing of the transgressions of Daniel, the same as the filling up of the measure of their—the point at which God said enough is enough, the original 490 years of the 70 weeks of Daniel above. Once again, if you take Restoration {several dates are possible when you look at the various decrees from Persian rulers that controlled the Jews}, as 457 B.C. then the end of any spiritual enlightenment of the Jews was approximately 33 A.D. The “abomination of desolation”, alias the ultimate abomination of these desolations, the desecration of the holy of Holies in God’s own temple at Jerusalem—the ultimate as a symbol of how the people of God had let their God down—is mentioned twice in Daniel {9:27, 11:31 and 12:11} and once in Mark 13:14. {Matthew 24:15 is the equivalent of Mark 13:14.} More specifically the complete phrase is used in 11:31 and 12:11 while the wording is somewhat different in 9:27.

“But he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate. Even until the consummation which is determined is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

On the wings of those abominations and desolations comes the Roman General Titus {called Daniel a prince since later Titus will become a Caesar of the Roman Empire, having destroyed the city and the temple of Jerusalem, allowed by coming on the wings of Israel’s desolations, desecrated the temple; and the daily sacrifices were terminated, approximately 75 A.D.} So centered around that great destruction of Jerusalem, Titus was mad after Jerusalem held out so long against his siege and the city and area was strewn with Roman crosses of the crucified, is the passage of Mark 13:14-23: (1) the abomination of desolation; (2) fleeing the housetops of Jerusalem and the cities of the area; (3) a period of great tribulation the record of which starts in Acts and goes on into Revelation, alias the rest of the first century, (4) and which continues for a couple of more centuries of “tribulation such as has not been seen since the beginning of time until this time, nor ever shall be, and unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days” (Mark 13:19020}

  1. Times.

Actually, the Great Tribulation, as contrasted to the Final Tribulation of the halftime, belongs more to the “times” than to the time. Even as the preaching of the Gospel to every nation before the end of the age belongs to both the “time” and “times” so it likewise marks the end of the Age with the Second Coming and the Gathering. With the desolations of the Jew complete as the chosen people of God, evangelism turns to the Gentiles, and under the control of God goes toward the Fullness of the Gentiles. The gospel is preached to every nation, and the United States replaces the nation of Israel as the chosen people of God. The Great Tribulation runs into the Final Tribulation in Mark more than in Matthew, but the “times” would include both, the Final being more a tribulation of the disintegration of nature, and as much on the elect as on the non-elect; but with the addition of the Falling Away as it passes from the “times” to the halftime. The false prophets and teacher of Mark 13:21-22 starts even in the time, gets worse in the “times”, and becomes extremely bad to the extent of the vast heaping up of an army of itching ear teachers in the half time of the Falling Away.

  1. Half Time.

Things move fast in the predicted 45 years of the halftime: the period which Paul calls the Falling Away. The period where the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from earth, the final man of sin and son of perdition {beyond the king of the north of the Greek and Roman Empires} makes His appearance; and as the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, Satan is released from his symbolic imprisonment of 1000 years which started on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension of Jesus. The man of sin, as king of the north, leads an army against the king of the south and defeats him. He makes his palace between the holy mountain of the Glorious Land and the seas; and after frightening news comes to him from the north and east, he is cut off with no one to help him. Although we have no real justification to look for the nation of Israel to again prosper physically and spiritually, apart from the consummation in heaven and of the new Jerusalem with the new earth lowered from heaven, we do have justification to look for a last giant battle be fought in the Glorious Land of the Middle East; and I think we can see how rapidly the sides between the Muslims on one side and the West of U.S. and Israel has built up in only 5 years, realizing how significantly it can change in the gigantic last battle in 40 more years.  And having cleared the board of fictitious interpretations, and having laid a foundation in the ASPI of the Bible, we are clear to speculate on the possibilities of only 40 more years for this earth since undoubtedly, we are already in the Falling Away of “they will not endure sound doctrine…”  {We are allowing for only 5 years of the 45 years already in the Falling Away, when in reality it would seem more like we have been in the Falling Away for 10 years, even 20 years when you consider the fuedamentalists takeover of the SBC as a significant step into the Falling Away.  And although you may consider some of this as pure speculation, surely you will at least treat it with the same respect that you treat the fictional studies of Tim LeHaye on the Second Coming and the End of the Age.}

12-11:  In the churches and Kingdom Evidences of the Falling Away

The key to understanding is whether you can see in the churches and in the kingdom of Christ of today evidences of the Falling Away among God’s people. I will not repeat all the arguments here of three of my previous books that include studies of the Falling Away: (1) SOME SOUNDS OF SOUND FAITH, (2) SOME MORE SOUNDS, and (4) volume 4 of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries, “Christ, Paul, and the Falling Away”, this last of which treats the book of Hebrews as the book of the Falling Away, of the First and of the Last in the Half-Time. It can be summarized in the words of Paul as “Beware brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God…” Never forget that all of the so-called children of God, the nation of Israel, that came out of Egyptian bondage, and over 20 years of age fell in the wilderness except for four; and furthermore, that the Scriptures tell us that were forbidden from eternity in the eternal rest of God. Pure and simple that is the First Falling Away; and Paul speaks in II Thessalonians of the necessity of the Second Falling Away before the Second Coming of Christ. Like I say, I will not try to repeat the evidences in society and churches and the kingdom today that the Falling Away is well under way, but rather I will make a more general approach from the local church behaviors of II Timothy, in particular to explain the difference between the bad characteristic of church behavior in the “perilous times”, chapter 3, and the absolute intolerance toward sound doctrine of the Falling Away, chapter 4.

However, for some perspective, a perspective that we obviously have not gained in today’s kingdom of Christ and God by the respect or toleration we have for the tares and goats, by a reminder about both parables. While we are looked at both, recall as Jesus interprets those parables, that Satan is actually planting traitors and deceivers inside the kingdom of God. Why do you think Satan would want to do that, and why would the tares, humans with freedom of choice, desire to get into the kingdom under the leadership of Satan? Well, I think we have the human motivations in the bad behavior of church members as recorded in II Timothy 3:1-9 where there a form of religion or “godliness” without the power of conversion; and where the motivations are factors like “love for self”, “love for money”, to be in a democratic and gracious crowd that will listen to their boasting and even accept their traitorous doctrines from Satan, even like Satan despising the truly good people and good deeds that come their way, loving their pleasure more than the god they claim to serve when in reality they show that they are serving more the god of this world, Satan; headstrong and haughty as a diversion from their commitment to sound doctrine; blasphemers and unholy in their denials of the power of godliness, they nonetheless with unthankful, unholy, and unforgiving attitudes cover up their blasphemies with the sheep’s clothing to look like any other kingdom or church member. While we are told to give such a tolerance of no physical separation from the kingdom until God takes care of it at the end of the halftime, we likewise are told not to associate with them if they be called brothers, telling us in several ways and on several occasions in the Bible that we are more free to associate with the tares in the kingdom and the tares in the church than we are with the tares in the rest of the world, the tares that have made no public commitment to the kingdom and church. “And from such people turn away!” (II Timothy 3:5b)

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother {yes, church members}, who is sexually immoral {and don’t forget the earlier difference between habitual practices and brief stumbling’s}, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” (I Corinthians 5:9-11)

It may seem incongruous, at first, to think that we should have more toleration for the tares out there in the world than we do for the tares that are called brethren in the church, but that is the gist of the kind of TOLERATION OF THE TARES that the Word of God teaches. These tares are far more dangerous since they look like sheep and since they are hiding in among the wheat field of the kingdom. Our toleration, gone amuck to the extreme of the toleration of the American Democratic Faith, which is world and has a worldly goal, allows them to continue their dirty work of the Falling Away, and under the leadership of the great progenitor of the lie and of the Falling Away, Satan himself. Let us look again as a reminder of the parable of the goats and the sheep as explained by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46, and part of an explanation of what happens after His Second Coming of Matthew 24,25 and Mark 13.

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory {this has to be the Second Coming, which is the subject under discussion by Jesus anyway, and since here Jesus comes in glory as contrasted to the humble way He came the first time}…and all the holy angels with Him {this shows it also to be the Second Coming since this time He does what He refused to do the first time, although the angels were available to Him, to bring them for assistance in the Separations of the sheep from the goats at the four corners of the earth, admittedly a very large job, and of the dead as well as the living to be identified by their names in heaven and their DNAs, no doubt; although I think that with the names, the angel of that believer also has a specific location where they know to go for the body, and since the soul is already in heaven, where the angels will also gather sheep, that person can help in the location—right, it will be no small job, but much simpler than the Creation of the old heavens and earth}…then He will sit on the throne of His glory {well, we know that the Returning Lord is seated on the throne of judgment and rule}…All the nations will be gathered before Him {yes, the angels have been active in gathering all the nations before the Lord Jesus Christ}…and He will separate them one from another {the Great Separation},…as a shepherd divide his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”…{even as according to Ephesians we are chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world, so our kingdom inheritance has also been prepared}…”for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in: I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” {do we really believe that such simple acts of kindness can take a person out of the goat category and put them in the sheep category; yes, when it is a habit of life and belief that shows itself in many gracious acts}…”Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and gave You drink”? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ {Well, Jesus answers as he told about the little child of faith or the little big child of faith, the least of the members in the kingdom of God, how any time you have done these acts of graciousness to the least in the kingdom, you have for all practical purposes also done it because of faith in Christ, and you have passed from goat status in your life to sheep status!}…And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren {I think they will see Jesus nod toward the sheep on the right hand}…you did it to Me.”

The judgments of Jesus turn toward those on the left hand, after the angels have gathered them from the four corners of the earth also, the living and the dead, toward the goats on the left hand; and it is not good, but it is all over.

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…” {the company kept in life determines the company kept in eternity, if one is a servant of Satan—by definition any of the world not a servant of God—then that person will also share with the fate of Satan and his angels}…for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ {what we do for other sheep in the kingdom of God and of Christ shows our faith and the reality of our faith, you know like James said “faith without works is dead”; it is non-profitable, and does not save, and it shows a certain respect of persons among the sheep, that is also a bad sign}…Then they {the goats of course have a spokesman, and the last chance to boast or complain in the kingdom}… also will answer Him {the tares or goats always have an answer until this final chance to answer, then they lose all control; as a matter of fact with the End of the Age and the Gathering of the Angels into the two groups, they have already lost control, and begin to think that as they see who their associates are now}…, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will also go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

As usual you can free download this bible study on Daniel in PDF at


Jerry Vaughan McMichael for SunGrist

19 Writing Prophets: Chap 1 Preface to the Writing Prophets


CHAPTER 1   Preface to The 19 Writing Prophets 

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There is no substitute for the reading of the Writing Prophets themselves even as there is no substitute for the actual reading of the NT {New Testament} and the whole Bible. Like one Bible teacher said many years ago, “Read your Bibles, they will throw a lot of light on the commentaries.” Then again with something as difficult as the Writing Prophets, especially in order to ascertain the relevance for today, some guidance is helpful based on hours with those Writing Prophets. When Philip the evangelists caught the Ethiopian reading from the queen of the Writing Prophets, Isaiah, Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian replied, “How can I except some man should guide me?” Thus each reader of the Writing Prophets or of a commentary such as this on the Writing Prophets needs to have some nudge like for the Ethiopian in the direction of Christ and other things most clearly known in the NT to help with the OT {Old Testament}. Often you will find in the pages of this commentary the statement “What God considers most important in the OT in order to quote in the NT”; and that is the real “study guide”, that and the ASPI for Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation. While this is a day of “itching ears” Bible teachers with either “private” interpretations of the Bible, out of the total context of the Bible; or even more popular Bible teachers and preachers who claim for themselves extra-biblical interpretations. {You know what I mean, those who say “The Lord told me” or “God gave me a word”, as if, like Apostle Paul wrote in Corinthians, either “the Word came out of them or came to them only.”} Yet Peter wrote in II Peter 1:20, and that Word of God still stands like a prophecy against any man or woman who would claim to have a private interpretation that glories themselves and makes a profit, “no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation”. God Authorized a more public interpretation consistent with all the Apostles and Prophets; and it would be the API if it were not for the fact that academic scholarship or credentials or even popularity is not sufficient for the understanding and teaching of the Bible, hence the ASI for Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation. Perhaps the biggest mess ever made with the Bible of the OT among any society was by the religious leaders of Judaism during the life of Christ; and while we will not repeat here the labels Christ had for these scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests of His day, you will recall that they were blind, they could not understand, and they had come to substitute the teachings of men for the commandments of God. Well, that is happening again today as we see an unbelievable number of men and women who teach the Bible for profit; and we appreciate some of the extent today of the popular “heaping up of teachers with itching ears” of II Timothy 4:3,4, which matches if is not greater than the present intolerance among church members and denominations of sound doctrine.

1-1:  God’s Efforts to Collect a People for His Name.

The history of the OT, indeed of OT and NT times, is a struggle on the part of God to get a people for His name that will keep His covenants. Since like the Apostle James said at the Great Jerusalem Conference, “known unto God are all His works from the beginning”, God knew that it would be a struggle from the 80 years in the wilderness to cull a real people from Israel through the periods of judges, the united kingdom, the divided kingdoms, captivity, restoration, the time of Christ, the termination of the Jews for new people in the kingdom three and one-half years after the crucifixion, the increase in number of Gentiles as His people, all the way to the Fullness of the Gentiles with the spreading of the Gospel to every nation, and then the Falling Away of the Gentiles except for a remnant, much like what happened to two-thirds of the Jews during Daniel’s period of the probational covenant. God expected all this; no doubt, He has a certain number of people in mind for His eternal kingdom, and perhaps one reason that the Second Coming has been extended so long is because God has determined that certain number.   Even as He designated early in history and in Genesis that man would populate the whole earth, so He needs a certain number of kingdom members to repopulate the new earth. In short, all of the rebellion against God’s covenants was expected by God, planned on by God, and God knew that it would take thousands of years to repopulate His kingdom while taking only a small remnant out of each generation that claimed some association with God.

1-2:  19 Writing Prophets.

The impression that this is only the 16 Writing Prophets is somewhat of a simplification in that there is an introductory chapter on Psalms also, from the Prophet David, with a little of the Prophet Solomon from Proverbs, and even a little from the Prophet Job as dictated by the Magic Outline of the Bible under 12 topics as used in all five volumes of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries. However, we no way can such a chapter do justice to the extent of the messages in this Bible literature of Wisdom and Praise. In short, the bulk of this volume is on the 16 Writing Prophets, the 4 so called major prophets because of the size of their books–Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, and the 12 minor prophets. Actually, to be more precise, this is on 19 Writing Prophets, the 16 major and minor with Moses, David, and Job.

1-3:  The Message of the Writing Prophets.

The message of the Writing Prophets, if we can consider that they have one most prominent and consistent message throughout all 16 books, as you will find discussed in the next chapter, goes something like this: “God’s people are not acting like God’s people; a more immediate disaster or disasters is here or on the way for punishment unless they repent as a nation, called a day of the LORD and Lord; and the ultimate and final day of the LORD and Lord is pending fulfillment with an eternal punishment for the unbelievers {this included God’s people that cultivate “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God} and eternal reward for believers whose names are written in the book of life, the final disaster at the end of the Age after the Second Coming of Christ. Now all of this message is not in the 16 Writing Prophets per se; but the kernel is with slight explanations and further revelations to be given in the New Testament. As we study the message in these Prophets, having in this century as in the past two hundred centuries a complete Bible of 66 books, we reserve the right to use all of the Bible truth on each book.

There are two corollary messages to this “The Message” that we would seek to make clear from the writings of these 16 Prophets: (1) that God is in control of history, that God makes history on the daily and routine level as well as at the level of nations and the world, that God knows all His works of history from the beginning to the end, works on individuals and works on nations, and that God is actively and always involved in the making of history to the extent that the contemporary hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes with incidents also like 911 are under His immediate control {we will need to discuss how God has much of the natural and beyond world under automatic control, but always with the option of immediate intervention which He quite often exercises}; and (2) that the 16 Writing Prophets were writing words of God, and of Scripture, quite often they simply recorded words of direct dictation from God.

LEARN CHRIST commentaries  

You are welcome at any time in this series of studies on the Writing Prophets to free download the complete book in PDF.