Sermon by Hal Mayer
Keep the Faith Ministries
February 2018 Sermon
This morning I’d like to spend a little time in Daniel 11 and why it’s important for us to understand this prophecy correctly. Several years ago I did a four part series dealing mainly with the last few verses in this chapter, so if you want to go into more detail on this subject than we’re going to cover today, I suggest you go to my website and listen to those sermons. They are titled “The Willful King”, and if you don’t have access to the Internet let me know and I’ll send you the four CDs.
There are a lot of things happening in the Middle East today that have many people wondering if events happening over there have anything to do with the prophecy of Daniel 11, and so I thought it would be good once again to talk about it. What we’re going to do today is cover some of the same information covered in the “willful King” series, but in a much more condensed and abbreviated form, and so you’ll be getting the main points of four sermons in one, and there will be some new information as well, so don’t think you won’t learn anything new.
Of all the prophecies in the Bible, Daniel 11 is probably the most difficult to understand, and I think there are several reasons for this, and it’s not God’s fault, by the way. #1, Daniel 11 covers a lot of ground, over 2500 years, and people get bogged down in all the details; and #2, there are so many voices and so many ideas and interpretations of this prophecy that people don’t know what to think or believe; #3, the pioneers of our faith had conflicting ideas about it, so it can be a bit confusing to go by what they say; and finally #4, the Spirit of Prophecy has very little to say about this chapter by referencing the chapter and verses, except she says that this prophecy has nearly reached its complete fulfillment, but I think there’s plenty of evidence elsewhere in inspired writings so we don’t have to guess about what it means and especially who the king of the north and the king of the south are in these last days.
First of all there are some ground rules when studying Daniel 11 that we need to recognize and follow and be careful not to deviate from what Daniel has revealed in the previous chapters, and if we miss this point, more than likely we will come up with wrong answers and be guilty of leading others astray. So once again, what I’m about to say is extremely important. In chapters 2, 7, and 8 Daniel has given us a sequence of events that tells us plainly about the various world powers that would succeed one another starting with Babylon and then moving on to Medo-Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. So when we get to chapter 11, are you listening? When we get to chapter 11, don’t expect Daniel to digress or drift off in some other direction. He’s going to stick with what he has already revealed in those other three chapters. So as we read Daniel 11 we need to look for him to follow the same narrative and reinforce what he has already said.
The one difference we see when we look at chapter 11 and compare it with chapters 2, 7, and 8 is that Daniel doesn’t mention Babylon at all, why? Because at this point Babylon was already overthrown by Medo-Persia, so there was no need for Gabriel to mention that nation as he’s explaining things to Daniel toward the end of his book.
So, let me give you a quick outline of the verses leading up to the last few verses in the chapter, which we will be paying special attention to today. In verses 1 and 2 of Daniel 11 it refers to the kings of Persia right from the start, rather than Babylon. Then verses 3-13 are talking about the kingdom of Greece with Alexander the Great and the dividing up of his kingdom after he passed from the scene.
Now, it’s important for us to recognize that when Gabriel is telling Daniel about these various kingdoms, he is using literal language to explain the rise and fall of literal nations and goes into great detail about who all the various kings were, and referring to them at times as either the king of the north or the king of the south, so it’s not my purpose this morning to go into all this literal history in detail. I’m just giving you an overview of this chapter, so we’re just going to skip over all this history and get right to the part that concerns us in these last days; things that are in the process of being fulfilled right now and things that must shortly come to pass in the very near future.
So, as we move on in the chapter, when we read verses 14-29 it’s talking about the literal kingdom of pagan Rome and all the history and divisions of that empire and what happened after Greece fell. Then from verses 30-39 it continues to deal with the same power, Rome, as it changed from pagan to papal. So now we have a secular power that becomes dominated by a spiritual power; a takeover of the civil government by religion, which is a union of church and state, and that’s why we have literal or secular history being the focus in most of the earlier verses, but when papal Rome takes power we have a spiritual application being introduced into the prophecy that wasn’t there in the previous verses. This is an important point to keep in mind.
So as we come to verse 40 now, it brings us down to the time of the end, which is the most important thing for us to understand since it affects us in a way that verses 1-39 do not, and verses 40-45 affect us spiritually in a way that the previous verses do not. So if we just get all these things in our mind as an overview, it will help us understandDaniel 11 as a whole and keep us from going off on some tangent that God never intended we get involved with, or think there’s another power of some kind being introduced other than the four Daniel already mentioned in the previous chapters.
So what I want to focus on this morning is what the king of the north and the king of the south are doing today, and what or who is represented by these two kings in verses 40-45, but we’ll have to back up and explain a few verses before we get there.
Since you are just listening right now and can’t see a visual aid, I want you to imagine that you’re looking at a map of the Middle East, in fact, if you have a map like that in the back of your Bible you might want to take a look at it to get a better idea of what I’m saying.
If you locate Jerusalem on the map and at that point draw a horizontal line east and west all the way through the map, everything above that line would be north and deals with all the various kings of the north through the years and all the history covered in verses 1-39, and everything below the line would indicate the same thing regarding the kings of the south and all their history. And the reason I chose Jerusalem as the center point is because of what it says in Ezekiel 5:5. Notice what it says there, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it (where?)in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.”
So this is an important thing to keep in mind. Bible history is given as it relates to God’s people, and at the time Ezekiel wrote this, literal Jerusalem is the focal point because that’s where God’s chosen people were. But is literal Israel God’s chosen people today? Absolutely not! That ended when Jesus wept over Jerusalem and said, “Your house is left unto you desolate” and they crucified Him three days later. And so, it’s not literal Israel that are God’s people today, but spiritual Israel, or the Christian church, and we’ll talk more about that in a few minutes. But for now, let me ask you, what were the main kingdoms that caused Israel so much trouble that were north and south of Jerusalem? It was the Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms to the north and Egypt to the south.
Now if you’ll notice where that line goes as you follow it east from Jerusalem, you’ll see that it goes right through the middle of the Arabian desert, and the only practical way to get to Israel, at least during Biblical times, was to follow the Euphrates or Tigris rivers north and then come down toward the south to get to Jerusalem, or if you were directly north you wouldn’t have to follow the river around but just come straight down from the north, but all the invading armies that were above the line had to come from the north regardless of where they were geographically. And so, invading armies would always come from the north if they were above the line and from the south if they were below the line, and that’s simply how the designation king of the north and king of the south came to be.
Now I want to backup a little bit in the chapter and look at some of the identifying marks dealing with the papacy or papal Rome. In verse 36 it says, “And the king (the word “the” is a definite article, which means it’s talking about a specific king here and not a king that has not yet been introduced, and what king was last mentioned in the previous verses? Papal Rome. So let’s read it that way) “And the king (the papacy) shall do according to his will; and he shall (do what?) exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”
Now there’s a lot of important information in this one verse. First of all I want you to notice that the language describing the king that does according to his will sounds a lot like the description of the little horn power mentioned in Daniel 8 beginning with verse 9 and onward, which everyone agrees is papal Rome. The other place you’ll find this kind of language is in Isaiah 14 referring to Lucifer where he says of himself, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” And so we know what power is behind the papacy, because Lucifer and the papacy have the same ambitions and are described in a similar manner. So this language is another indication that the king that does according to his will in verse 36 is a power that has finally built up enough strength to take over, and again, that would be none other than papal Rome.
And here’s another important point. Every time you read the words “and the king shall do according to his will,” it signifies a new king or new power is taking over. In Daniel 11:36 it’s papal Rome taking the place of pagan Rome, and there are two other places where Daniel 11 uses this phrase to pinpoint a new power take over, so we need to take a brief look at those.
Now, there was a lot of history that happened between the three times this phrase is used, which we don’t have time to go into today, but these three powers in particular are mentioned in order for us to be able to follow the history as we read the chapter, and they are all dealing with the kings of the north. It’s not the king of the south, but the king of the north that plays the most prominent role in the chapter; and it’s also the king of the north that is the most important for us to identify in these last days so we don’t get side tracked by what we see happening in current events. We must learn to walk by faith in what the Bible says and not by the sight of current events. This has already happened in the past with some of our Advent pioneers and we don’t want to repeat the same mistake twice, but unfortunately some are, and that’s what has recently led to the confusion I mentioned earlier.
In the past I have read the last eight chapters of The Great Controversy several times, and I’m in the process of reading it once again, and those last eight chapters deal specifically with the closing events of this world’s history, starting with “The Aims of the Papacy” to “The Controversy Ended,” and if you will read those chapters you will not find even one sentence about any other power or main issue spoken of as taking place in the last days that we are to look for, other than the Papacy, apostate Protestantism, spiritualism, and Sunday sacredness. And so again, don’t look for some other power or religion to be the dominant force in these last days that we should be focusing on.
Even though we hear a lot in the news today about Isis, and terrorism and radical Islam, and President Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and all the commotion that’s causing, there is nothing in inspired writings dealing with last day events that would suggest that the false religion of Islam, that began with the descendants of Ishmael, should now be our focus, or that there’s something in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation to give that religion a place in final events, None! The devil would love for us to spin our wheels by focusing in on Islam and the unholy land when all the while the papacy is working in the background to undo all that Protestantism has done. If we are looking over here and over there for the fulfillment of prophecy, the devil is laughing, because he knows we cannot also be doing that which we’ve been commissioned to do by warning the world about the inroads of the papacy by proclaiming the three angels’ messages and the dangers of the Roman power when our eyes are somewhere else.
The pioneers of our faith were united on one point that I think is important for us to consider. Here’s what they said, “Nations are mentioned in prophecy when their history becomes interwoven with that of God’s people.” And friends, Islam and literal Jerusalem are not interwoven with God’s people in these last days, so don’t get caught up with what’s happening in these Middle East nations that have rejected Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world; and don’t try to inject a nation in the last 6 verses of Daniel 11 that Daniel has not previously mentioned in chapters 2, 7, and 8, because that breaks the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy.
Now let’s get back to what we were talking about a few minutes ago. The first time the phrase, “and the king shall do according to his will” is used, is in verse 3 and refers to Alexander the Great. Then in verse 16 we see this phrase used a second time and refers to the beginning of the pagan Roman Empire and whoever was king at that time. And the third time it’s used is in verse 36, which we just read. So from verse 16, when pagan Rome came to power, untilverse 36 when a new power is indicated, who was that third power? Pagan Rome was succeeded by what? It was succeeded by papal Rome. And so, from verse 36 to the end of the chapter there’s no reason to look for another power to be introduced between verses 36-45, to do so is to wrest the Scriptures. We’re dealing with papal Rome all the way through to verse 45 as the king of the north, and I know there are those that would argue with me about that, but just remember what we’ve already discovered earlier. There is a sequence of events in chapters 2, 7 and 8that tells us plainly about the various world powers that would succeed one another starting with Babylon and then moving on to Medo-Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. So when we get to chapter 11 it would be inconsistent to introduce another power as the king of the north, and we shouldn’t expect Daniel to digress or drift off in some other direction. He’s going to stick with what he has already revealed in those three other chapters. So as we read Daniel 11 we need to look for him to follow the same line of reasoning. Otherwise it’s confusion and uncertainty, and God is not the author of that.
Now back to verse 36 for a minute. It says toward the end of the verse that this power, papal Rome, “shall prosper till the indignation (that’s God’s fury) be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” In other words the papal power would not continue to dominate without being checked for a time, and we know from history that in 1798 the pope was taken captive by Napoleon’s army and he died in captivity the following year, and it looked like, at least at that point in time, that the papacy would be no more. However, we know also that Revelation 13:15 says the deadly wound inflicted by France to the papacy would eventually be healed, and boy do we see that healing process taking place right before our eyes today as the papacy is making great strides in America, which used to be a Protestant country. However, it can no longer be said that the United States is a Protestant country, because the Protestant churches are no longer protesting against the papacy, are they? In 1929 Benito Mussolini, then Prime Minister of Italy, signed the Lateran Treaty giving power back to the papacy, and ever since that time it has been growing in power and influence around the world and will soon be fully united with apostate Protestantism to exalt the first day of the week.
During the time of the Reformation the reformers knew that the papacy was the antichrist of Bible prophecy, and they plainly said so. But today we see the Protestant churches uniting with the papacy through the ecumenical movement, and soon we will see a revival of persecution that will more than rival the atrocities of the dark ages.
Now, when we get to verses 37-39 we have a description given of the king of the north that only fits one power, and again, that’s the papacy. All of these last few verses are making a case for the papacy, that it is indeed the king of the north. Notice what it says:
“Neither shall he (the king of the north) regard the God of his fathers (in other words, papal Rome would not worship the pagan gods of their pagan fathers), nor (would he regard) the desire of women (speaking of the celibacy of the Catholic priesthood), nor regard any god: (Why?) for he shall (do what?) magnify himself above all. (There’s that language again, “he shall magnify himself above all”) But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: (in the past the papacy had no armies of its own, but nonetheless the popes had large armies at their command) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. (All you have to do is go into some of the great Catholic cathedrals to see that everything is adorned with gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pleasant things, and there’s a parallel description of this same thing when you read about the whore that sits upon the beast in Revelation 17. Here it’s telling us that papal Rome would worship gods the pagans knew not, such as images of Christ and the apostles, the Virgin Mary, and canonized saints) thus shall he do in the most strong holds (or in the fortified cities) with a strange god (or again, a foreign god whom their fathers didn’t know), whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them (these false gods) to rule over many (through a wrongly educated conscience), and shall divide the land for gain.” It’s a well known fact that the papacy has sold kingdoms, and countries, and divided the land to fill its coffers with gold.
Then in verses 40-45 there are some very interesting things the papacy has done and is in the process of doing right now. And please understand that we are speaking of spiritual things here in these verses and not about literal things. If we miss this point, friends, we will be missing what the book of Daniel has been leading up to in these closing verses, and we’ll see that as we look at verse 40 and onward.
So let’s begin with verse 40, “And at the time of the end” (that would be from 1798 to the coming of Christ and not just something that happened in the year 1798 only. In Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, pages 9, 10 the prophet says we are now living at the time of the end. That was written in 1882, 84 years after 1798. And so now, today, we are living at the time of the end as well. Now let me start over) “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him (the king of the north): 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.”
So who is the king of the south mentioned here? Well, in Daniel 11:5-8 it tells us plainly that Egypt was the king of the south anciently, but why, at the time of the end, are we to apply a spiritual application to Egypt rather than continue on with a literal interpretation? That’s a good question, and the answer is two-fold. First of all we must remember that papal Rome is a spiritual power, and secondly, in Revelation 11:8 John gives to Egypt a spiritual application when dealing with the French revolution, and that’s what Daniel 11:40 has reference to at the beginning of the time of the end.
Notice what John says in Revelation 11:8, “And their dead bodies (the Old and New Testaments) shall lie in the street of the great city (France), which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Now Jesus wasn’t crucified in France, was He? No, but He was crucified there in the person of His saints. Jesus said, “In as much as you did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.” Let me read a paragraph or two from The Great Controversy, page 269 to prove the point of literal Egypt becoming spiritual Egypt in verse 40 as it deals with the French Revolution, because both the time and the circumstances are right on target.
“’The great city’ in whose streets the witnesses are slain, and where their dead bodies lie, is ‘spiritually’ Egypt. (Is what? Spiritually Egypt). Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands. No monarch ever ventured upon more open and highhanded rebellion against the authority of Heaven than did the king of Egypt. When the message was brought him by Moses, in the name of the Lord, Pharaoh proudly answered: ‘Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go.’ This is atheism (this is what? Atheism! Remember that, because it becomes important later on) This is atheism and the nation represented by Egypt would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance. . . According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land where the testimony of God’s two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom. This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of France.”
Now let me read you one more short statement that will help drive this home. Acts of the Apostles, page 585, “In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of the book of Daniel. One is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to (what?) the last days.”
So, Revelation unseals that part of the book of Daniel which relates to the last days, and of course that would be the last few verses in Daniel 11, because that’s the only portion of the prophecy of Daniel, starting with verse 40 in 1798, relating to the last days or the time of the end. In other words, Revelation will explain the spiritual application of who the kings of the north and south are in the last days; does that make sense? This is the reason why the book of Daniel, as it relates to the last days, should be understood and interpreted spiritually and not literally. We just read that Revelation is given to basically make the prophecy of Daniel understandable. Daniel’s prophecy was sealed and Revelation breaks the seal so we can know what it means. Now tell me, is Revelation mostly dealing with symbolic things or literal things? Symbolic things. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that Revelation was given to the apostle John in figures and symbols. In fact Revelation 1:1 tells us that very thing. Notice what it says there: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and (did what?) signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”
By the way, who was this angel that came to John? It was Gabriel, wasn’t it? And who was the angel that came to Daniel? Also Gabriel. I don’t know about you, but I find that interesting. Through Revelation the same angel takes the words of Daniel and reveals to John what they mean, and do figures and symbols have to do more with literal or spiritual things? Spiritual. When John wrote that what was revealed to him was “signified” to him by Gabriel, the word “signified” means to make something known by a sign, and a sign is a symbol, and a symbol something that represents something else. For instance, Israel today is a symbol for the church rather than the literal nation of Israel. That’s why the Spirit of Prophecy refers to the remnant church as spiritual Israel, and it’s the same way with the last 6 verses of Daniel 11. The king of the north is a symbol of a spiritual power, the papacy, and the king of the south is no longer the literal nation of Egypt, but now represents something else, and we just read that that something else is atheism, and Islamists are not atheists, if you might be thinking that Islam is now the king of the south, as some are saying.
Daniel 11:40 deals with the French revolution and Revelation 11 tells us that Egypt is now represented by atheism as manifested through what happened in France. It was atheism through the French revolution that became the spiritual king of the south, and papal Rome, which is a spiritual power, is the king of the north and remains so throughout the rest of the chapter. Now notice what verse 40 says the papacy does to the king of the south or to atheism. We already read this verse a few minutes ago, but let’s read it again and name names where they fit.
“And at the time of the end (that would be sometime between 1798 and the return of Christ), shall the king of the south (atheism) push at him (the king of the north, or the papacy): and the king of the north (papacy) shall come against him (the king of the south or atheism) like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships (or military force); and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
So here’s the question, When did the papacy come against atheism like a whirlwind with the threat of military force sometime after 1798? If you’ll check your memory banks you’ll recall that the only time this happened was in 1989 when the pope, backed by the United States when Ronald Reagan was president, and when Mikhail Gorbachev was head of the Soviet Union. President Reagan’s famous words in 1987 have been memorialized when he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” and it was two years later when the wall between East and West Germany came down and right afterward at the downfall of the atheistic Soviet Union. And so Daniel 11:40 is history friends; it’s fulfilled prophecy. It’s not a current event we’re looking at, but something that has already happened.
Now let’s move along to verse 41, which says, “He (the king of the north or the papacy) shall enter also into the glorious land (or the “pleasant land” as it’s called in Zechariah 7:14 and which The Youth’s Instructor, May 14, 1903, during Old Testament times, called the unrepentant nation of Israel, but would it be literal Israel today? No! We’re way past literal Israel as God’s chosen people at this point in the prophecy, and so we’ve got to be talking about spiritual Israel or the church. Neither can this verse be dealing with the Catholic Church or the Protestant Sunday churches, because you can’t have the papacy entering itself, and the Sunday churches fell to the papacy a long time ago. This is a reference to a post 1798 church, which has to be the SDA church.), and many countries (“countries” is a supplied word by the translators and it’s better to leave it out) and many (that would be many spiritual Israelites or church members) shall be overthrown (or “waiver through weakness” that’s the definition in Hebrew for “overthrown.” In other words, their faith would be overthrown because they’re spiritually weak): but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”
Now, because of time restraints I’m not going to explain what the last part of this verse means, because it would take too long. If you want to know you can listen to “The Willful King” series online or ask and I’ll send you the CDs. The reference to Edom, Moab, and Ammon is very interesting and I will tell you this much, Moab, Edom, and Ammon represent believers in the last days that escape out of the errors, or the hand of the papacy and her harlot daughters, and I want to be a part of that small remnant, don’t you? The one point I do want you to understand this morning is the part about the papacy entering the church and overthrowing the faith of many. We’re not just talking about any old church here, but the one that was raised up not long after the time of the end began in 1798, and which time period does this verse cover, and what church do you suppose that would be? That would be the remnant church spoken of in Revelation 12:17; the one referred to over and over again in the Spirit of Prophecy as spiritual Israel.
Has this verse been fulfilled? Was there not a coming out of the church because of apostasy about the time atheism was dealt a severe blow in 1989? Absolutely! In the late 80s and early 90s there was a mass exodus from the church, of which I and thousands of others were a part. So you see, it all fits, doesn’t it? We can’t say that this verse has reached its complete fulfillment however, because there are some who continue to come out, but those numbers are getting fewer and fewer, unfortunately, and friends, you will not get this information by interpreting the last 6 verses of Daniel 11 literally. Is that important to know? Absolutely it is, because if you stay in an apostate church you will be held accountable for everything it does and teaches. Read Testimonies for the Church, Volume 3, page 269 if you really care to know what will happen if you fail to remove yourself from apostasy.
Let’s look at Daniel 11:42 now, “He (the papacy) shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries (or the earth as the concordance says. In other words, there’s no place in all the world that people will be able to get away from the dominating power of the papacy, and this power build up is now in the process and has been for some time. And then it says): and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”
Now we’ve already determined that atheism is represented by spiritual Egypt and if you’ll think about it, atheism and worldliness are about the same thing, because both classes live as though there is no God in heaven. Both atheism and worldliness are about satisfying the lusts of the flesh and the belief that there is no penalty for transgressing God’s Ten Commandment law. So when it says “and the land of Egypt shall not escape,” that means even those who have no religious scruples will not be able to escape the long arm of the papacy once she comes back into full power along with apostate Protestantism. Even those who have no religion will have to bow to a religious power or be killed. Those who live for self and say like Pharaoh, “who is Jehovah that I should obey His voice,” even they will have to worship the beast or be killed. Again, listen to “The Willful King” series if you want more detail about this verse. Now let’s move on to verse 43.
“But he (the king of the north or the papacy) shall have power (that is to rule or have dominion) over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: (In Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, page 217, we’re told that pride and the love of the world are the things of Egypt, and we already know that the papacy prides itself on having great wealth, and when you have great wealth you can control people. You’ve heard of the saying, “money is power,” well this is true of the papacy, and she will use the leverage she has with money to control the world. Revelation 17:18 also speaks of the papacy as reigning over the kings of the earth, which would make it the most powerful king, wouldn’t it? By the way, that’s who the king of the north is, the most powerful king in the last days, and I’m sorry, but that cannot be Islam. And then it says) and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his (the papacy’s) steps.”
Now what could it mean to be at the steps of the papacy, and who or what is represented by the Libyans and the Ethiopians? The only other place in the entire Bible that mentions the Libyans and the Ethiopians together is inJeremiah 46:9, 10, so we’ll want to take a quick look at what it says there, and wouldn’t you know it, the context is dealing with the last days. “Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; . . For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate(satisfied) and made drunk with their blood (that is the blood of God’s enemies): for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice (the concordance says “Slaughter” because that’s what you do to a sacrifice, and where is this going to happen?) in the north country by the river Euphrates.” This is speaking of Babylon. In other words, those who don’t come out of spiritual Babylon are going to suffer a great slaughter in the last days.
In verse 43 we just read that the Ethiopians and the Libyans were mighty men which represent war powers that will unite with the papacy to push her global agenda, it’s really no more complicated than that. In the end the military powers of earth will march with the papacy against God’s people in an effort to rid the earth of this one small group that refuses to bow and worship the beast power. The whole world will wonder after the beast except a small remnant who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. But as we read on, something happens to trouble the king of the north and his cohort, apostate Protestantism, so let’s find out what it is.
Verse 44, “But tidings (or news) out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him (the papacy): therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away (annihilate) many.”
What could be more troubling to the papacy and make it more angry than it has ever been, than to hear the announcement from a small group of people empowered by the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, giving the loud cry of the third angel and exposing it as Babylon and calling people out of her communion and that of her harlot daughters that have united with her? Just when it looks like the papacy has finally reached its goal of world dominance there comes a troubling report, and why is this news coming out of the east and out of the north? The Bible gives two reasons for this, and the first is found in Revelation 7:2 where it says, “And I saw another angel ascending from (where?) the east, having the seal of the living God.”
Now who do you suppose this angel is? The third angel you say? Well, this angel endorses the third angel’s sealing message, but this angel is much more than that. I’ll read it to you from Manuscript Releases, Volume 15, pages 221, 222. After quoting Revelation 7:2, which we just read, it says, “Who is this? The Angel of the covenant. He comes from the sunrising (or the east). He is the Dayspring from on high. He is the Light of the world. ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ This is the One Isaiah describes: ‘Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’”
And so, the papacy is troubled by the announcement that Jesus is about to come, and because of the third angel’s sealing message; and that of course has to do with the seventh-day Sabbath, and the papacy doesn’t like that and the fact that Jesus will soon be coming from the east to vindicate His downtrodden law. But it says this news also comes out of the north. What could that mean? In Isaiah 14:13 and Psalm 48:2 it says that the location of God’s throne is in the sides of the north in the temple in heaven, and you’ll also remember that the table of showbread that represented God’s presence was on the north side of the earthly tabernacle. So what is this telling us? To put it simply, this troubling message to the papacy and all her supporters is a message that comes directly from the throne of God in heaven.
Verse 44 also says the papacy “shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” Now, to utterly destroy God’s faithful remnant and to actually be able to accomplish it are two different things. That may be the devil’s future plan, but that plan will not succeed, because Jesus will come to deliver His people before the devil can make good on his threat. You can read all about this in The Great Controversy, page 635.
Now to the last verse of Daniel 11, verse 45, “And he (the papacy) shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
Now let’s allow the Bible to interpret itself as we seek to understand the meaning of some of the words in this verse. First of all let’s see what Revelation says about the sea or seas, and remember, Revelation is the compliment of the book of Daniel, one a prophecy and the other a revelation, and as we apply the spiritual and symbolic meaning to the word “sea” or “seas” and not to literal seas, this verse begins to make perfect sense. There are several places in the Bible we could go to find out what “seas” means, but the best one is in Revelation 17:15 where the angel tells John, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth (that’s the papacy), are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” You could also go to Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 where the Bible uses the word “sea” to represent nations of people.
Next I want to take a look at the word “between” where verse 45 says the papacy would “plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas” and so forth. The same Hebrew word “between” is translated elsewhere in the Bible as “among” or “in the midst of.” Now we need to understand something, and please don’t think I’m throwing stones at the old King James Bible. The translators were Biblical language scholars that did their best, but they were not prophets; they were not inspired by the Holy Spirit like those who wrote the Bible, and sometimes they didn’t use the best transliteration from Hebrew into English, and besides, they didn’t have the Spirit of Prophecy to help them in their understanding of last day events like we do. It’s not any particular translation of the Bible that has been preserved through the ages by a miracle of God, but the manuscripts of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. You can read that for yourself in Letter 32, 1899. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit you will come to wrong conclusions no matter what translation you use. Anyway, a better translation of the word “between” in this instance would be the word “among” or the phrase “in the midst of” as it’s used elsewhere, because that makes much better sense when trying to understand the spiritual significance of this last day prophecy. So let’s read the verse that way.
Verse 45, “And he (the papacy) shall plant the tabernacles of his palace (among or in the midst of) the seas (or the large bodies of people) in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
With this one simple word change, without doing violence to the Scriptures, we have the papacy planting itself, not between the Mediterranean sea and the Dead sea in old Jerusalem, as some think, but in the midst of the large bodies of people. In Ezekiel 28 it tells us that trouble started in heaven when Lucifer wanted to take God’s place upon the holy mountain of God, but he was cast out of heaven to the earth for his rebellion, wasn’t he? And so, in these last days he’s still trying to take God’s place, but since he can’t do it by physically taking God’s place in heaven, he does it by directing the minds of the people, through his representative, the papacy or the man of sin, to himself as being in the temple of God. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 it says the papacy “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Notice what it says about this in The Great Controversy, page 55, “The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. (Now listen carefully to this last sentence) Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God (who is where? In heaven) to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them.”
So you see, this is the way Satan is today sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God in the minds of over two billion Catholics, only to increase that number as the great controversy nears the end, because we’re told plainly that the whole world will wonder after the beast.
Now I want to spend a few minutes dealing with what it means for the papacy to “plant the tabernacles of his palace” in the “glorious holy mountain.” During Old Testament times, the Bible identifies the “glorious Holy Mountain” as the literal city of Jerusalem as it says in Daniel 9:16. So if we give the spiritual application to the “glorious holy mountain” that this verse demands, what would be represented by the “glorious holy mountain” today? Wouldn’t it be the New Jerusalem? Certainly old Jerusalem today is not a glorious or a holy place. Have you ever read what Sister White wrote about old Jerusalem? Basically she says not to go there and be indoctrinated by old fables, and that “old Jerusalem will never be a sacred place until it is cleansed by the refining fire from heaven.” So get the idea out of your head that literal Jerusalem is referred to in this last day prophecy. It’s still Jerusalem, but it’s the one in heaven that will be inhabited someday soon by spiritual Israel.
And so it’s clear that “the glorious holy mountain” in Daniel’s prophecy is the new Jerusalem in heaven, or the holy mountain of God as Ezekiel says, and the devil, working through the papacy, wants people to direct their worship to himself as the one who sits there. He doesn’t really sit there, but he wants to receive the worship that should be directed to the One who really does sit there, and so far his plan has been very effective, hasn’t it? Yes, but you say, the devil has been directing peoples’ minds through the papacy to himself for centuries, so how can that be a fulfillment of what it says in verse 45 at the time of the end?
Well, that’s a good question, and it’s true, the papacy has been doing that for many centuries, because it’s been a process the devil’s been working on for over 6000 years, but there’s one thing the devil has not yet done that he will have to do in order to really solidify his deception in the minds of the people.
For the sake of time I won’t read it, but if you go to The Great Controversy, pages 624, 625 you’ll find that the crowning act of deception is when Satan himself will personate Christ, and we’re told the people will prostrate themselves in adoration before him, and that’s when he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed, and that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name, and this is the strong, almost overmastering delusion we’re told, but of course the people of God will not be misled. Satan’s blessings are pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, and the unmingled wrath of God will then be poured out upon those that worship this false christ.
You know, earlier I said the Spirit of Prophecy has very little to say about Daniel 11, and that’s true in terms of actually quoting and commenting on the last few verses, but in reality she has a great deal to say about these verses, because the last several chapters in The Great Controversy explain in detail how this prophecy will be fulfilled, and that’s exactly what I’ve been sharing with you for the past hour.
Now, before we close I want to share one last point with you. Verse 45 talks about the papacy planting “the tabernacles of his palace,” and we should have some idea about what that’s talking about. The Hebrew meaning of “tabernacles” and “palace” both have to do with being temporary in nature. The word tabernacle or tabernacles means “a tent,” this is the same word used hundreds of times in the Old Testament to refer to the wilderness tabernacle God instructed Moses to build, which was also temporary, wasn’t it? And “palace” means, “a palace tent.” In Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary it gives an interesting definition of “palace” that fits right into the true meaning of this last day prophecy by saying a palace is a place where a king resides (the king of the north) such as a pontifical palace. Perhaps Noah Webster had some insight into Daniel 11 when most Protestants at the time understood that the man of sin was the papacy.
Now tell me, will the papacy sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God, be permanent or temporary? It will be temporary, because Revelation 19:20 says he’ll come to his end when he’s cast alive into the lake of fire, but I believe its influence will come to an end before that time.
Well, I think I’ve kept you about long enough, but I hope you’ll study these things for yourself since it’s for yourself that you will have to answer to God someday soon. If you forget everything else we’ve studied today, remember this one thing; according to Daniel 11:41 the papacy has already entered into the “glorious land,” the church, and that being true, do you think it’s safe to stay? The verse doesn’t say anything about the papacy leaving once it enters, does it? In other words, the only ones who escape out of his hand are the ones who leave, the faith of all others will be overthrown, and there’s very little time now to leave that land where the glory has departed, and who knows how much longer the Lord will suffer things to continue on before He steps out of the Most Holy Place and makes the solemn announcement recorded in Revelation 22:11, and every living person will either be unjust and filthy forever, or righteous and holy forever. May God help us to make the right choice as we think about the very sobering and serious hour in which we live.