Studies in the prophetic Scriptures by Rev. Ivan Foster
I believe with all my heart that there is a need for the people of God to return to that spiritual state in which the early church was – a waiting expectantly for the return of Christ. So it was in Thessalonica. “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. The early church was a waiting church. It was not that they expected Him to come any day. Paul makes it clear in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that they were not to anticipate such an early return. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. No, before the return of Christ there was to be a great apostasy, a falling away and out of it was to develop the Antichrist, the man of sin and son of perdition, verse 4. (From the Introduction)
Biblical prophecy makes it clear that Antichrist’s kingdom will be a ten kingdom confederacy. Much of the territory envisaged in Scripture belonging to this kingdom is already within the European union. Political developments within that entity should be of particular interest to those watching for Christ’s return, since the rise of the man of sin and his empire will be a critical sign of that return.
In the light of the recent economic crises in Europe more and more people are musing about further political and economic integration. The link below is to a blog article that considers some of these issues and advocates for a federal Europe along the lines of the United States model of government. These kind of developments are necessary to the formation of the Antichrist’s kingdom.
Read the article: The united statelets of Europe
See also: Belgian leader proposes ‘United States of Europe’ (Dec 1,2005)
Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro should join forces to build a new and permanent co-operation structure aimed at boosting their political and economic relations, with a final common goal of accelerating EU membership. Read more…
An independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest parts of Europe, but it would stay out of the euro, deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tells EUobserver during a visit to Brussels this week.
Click here for video.
The financial crisis that has gripped Europe for many months now seems to be coming to a climax. Billionaire investor, George Soros, has indicated that he believes that there is just a window of three months to save the euro and the whole monetary union project. This is putting massive pressure on Germany as the de facto banker of Europe. To date the Germans have resisted the pressure to bear the costs of absorbing the national debts of European countries into a single pan-European debt and uniting the individual economies in an even more dramatic way. The pressure for Germany to shoulder this burden may well yet be the means of forcing her out of the euro and out of European monetary and economic union. Certainly such an event would be in line with what the Scriptures reveal about the territory which forms the confederacy over which Antichrist rules.
The emergence of that ten kingdom phase of the Roman Empire, predicted by Daniel the prophet and John the Apostle, looms increasingly large on the political horizon in Europe. The following is from a Daily Telegraph columnist commenting on the crisis:
As everyone has been saying, in order to be viable in the face of market pressures, a genuine currency (as opposed to a pretend one) must have a “lender of last resort” – a true central bank like the US Federal Reserve System. But this is impossible within the EU because the constitutions of member states are not compatible with each other or with the principle of underwriting debt across national boundaries (as the states of the US are under their genuinely federal system). So, either the existing democratic institutions and historical principles of all EU countries must be forcibly reconciled in a Year Zero political reconstruction, or there can never be a monetary union (let alone fiscal union) that will be sustainable. This is where we are.
In many ways the Bible is ‘a tale of two cities’. Two great cities dominate the theatre of Biblical revelation—Jerusalem and Babylon. Both these cities feature prominently in the events at the end of the age. Their history is wonderfully intertwined in Scripture. The rise of one inevitably meant the decline and fall of the other.
Today Babylon is a small settlement in Iraq. It has been most notable in recent times as the seat of one of Saddam Hussein’s extravagant palaces.
The Scriptures have a great deal to say about this city and understanding God’s purpose for Babylon is critical in understanding His purpose for these last days. It is not an overstatement of the case to insist that for God’s people to live as they ought in this age, and to have a right view of Christ’s return, they must have a right view of what God reveals about Babylon and Babylonianism.
What follows is a compilation of notes I prepared for our adult Sunday School class based on an old work by Rev. Septimus Sears called, Things which must shortly come to pass. It is a simple outline of God’s prophetic timeline for the last days as revealed in Scripture. There are few things more useful than to have a simple overview of the key points of that timeline! I believe that this will help remove a great deal of the confusion that surrounds this vital subject.
On July 19th, 2011 a columnist in The Daily Telegraph wrote the following:
“We are heading towards fiscal union or break-up,” said David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC. “Talk is no longer enough as the fire threatens to leap over the firebreak into Spain and Italy.
Syria is now on the map of countries in the region with an uprising
– Louai al-Hussein Analyst and writer
A BBC news story on the spread of the wave of democratic revolution sweeping across north Africa and the Middle east which has now reached Syria.
The nation of Syria will play a prominent role in the events that climax in the Saviour’s return. As a neighbouring antagonist of Israel, it is almost inevitable that it will be part of the end-time attempts to destroy God’s ancient people and extinguish their claim to the land God gave the Patriarchs.
Since 1987 the Temple Institute has been dedicated to the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. A great deal of work has been done in this project, including the manufacture of various pieces of Temple furniture; some of the High Priest’s vestments etc. It is the goal to have again a fully functional Temple for the worship of God in Jerusalem. It is claimed that every aspect of this work is carefully based upon the detailed descriptions of Levitical paraphernalia in the Scriptures.
But what does the Bible have to say about this matter? The Scriptures have a lot to say about Temple worship as far as this present age is concerned, as well as the role the Temple will play in the very last days and at the return of Christ. It is important for the Bible-believer to have a grasp of what God has revealed on this subject as the re-emergence of the Temple in Jerusalem is an important marker on the Biblical time line to Christ’s return.
Political events that have been developing in Egypt over the last few weeks have drawn the attention of the world upon that nation. It is always interesting – and important for the Christian – to examine such things in the light of God’s word. Bible history of course has a lot to say of Egypt and the role that nation played in the history of Israel in Old Testament times.
But the Bible has more to say about Egypt than just to record historical events. It very clearly points to a role played by Egypt in the events that will revolve around the Antichrist and continue even until the time of the end, Daniel 11:40. While, at this point, the immediate future for Egypt may involve great uncertainty, the word of God reveals to us the infallible purposes of the Sovereign God of Heaven whose counsel regarding that nation will be carried through. God declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:10)
Notes on the final word God gave to Daniel the prophet. These notes cover the material in two audio messages: Part 1, and Part 2.
Please take time to read Daniel 12:1-13
This chapter contains the final words of the Saviour to the prophet on the subject that He has been instructing him about—the rise of the little horn, his career and ultimate destruction.
It is also the end of the book. How fitting that a prophecy that began with what humanly speaking was a personal catastrophe—the wreckage of the kingdom of Judah—ends with a vision of the glory of the coming King Chap 10-12 and His assurance of future personal and eternal glory, v13. Even the disasters that befall us can become means of grace and glory to us.
Notes on the up close and personal portrait of Antichrist given to Daniel.
Scripture: Daniel 11:1-45
These notes cover three messages and you can listen to the audio of these Bible studies by clicking these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
The glorious man of Daniel 10:5-6 continues to speak. His purpose is outlined, Daniel 10:11-12, 21, Daniel 11:2. In this He is successful, 10:1. Cp Daniel 7:28, 8:27. The Saviour alone can instruct us in the truth of what is written! The material in Chap 11 & 12 is not entirely new but is rather a development/clarification of previous instruction that stretched back 20 years to Daniel 7:1. On several occasions Daniel has been drawn to inquire further into these matters and has received further instruction on the rise, activity and ultimate downfall of the little horn and yet it is only now that he comes to understand these things.
Notes on the vision of seventy weeks given to Daniel.
Scripture: Daniel 9:20-27
You can listen to the audio of this Bible study here. (62 minutes)
Before even beginning to consider the instruction that Daniel is given in these verses we need to remember their connection to what has gone before.
In Chap 7 Daniel had been given instruction on the little horn that would rise in the period climaxing in the end, the pouring out of Divine wrath and the coming of the Saviour having been invested with His earthly kingdom by the Ancient of Days.
Two years later, in chapter eight, he is again instructed in this little horn as far as its political origins are concerned and given further information as to his relation to Israel—the rebuilt Temple and its recommenced sacrifices (a sign of the end). The same timeframe is in view in both instances although looked at from a different perspective. Although some explanation is given 8:15-27 some matters, particularly related to the chronology, remain unclear, 8:27.
This study is continued from The rise and fall of Antichrist, Pt2.
You can listen to the audio of this message here.
Please read Daniel 8:1-27
Two years after the previous vision (7:1, 8:1) Daniel is given further instruction from God. He clearly links this vision to the former, v1. He has not forgotten what God showed him at that time, 7:28. There is a connection and an order to be observed. Having meditated and considered the word of God for a prolonged period there is now a fresh revelation from Heaven. This is the man God reveals more truth to. Understanding this subject is not the work of a day or two! Patient, careful, prolonged study is evidently needed!
It is also significant that what God says here involves some repetition of what He had formerly revealed. Yet there is a change of emphasis, a different perspective (Hebrew used again) and new truth revealed. This is God’s way—He speaks as One building line upon line. His word involves repetition of previously stated truth to impress it on our heart and to emphasize that each truth is contingent upon that which has gone before. Again God addresses the rise and fall of the little horn, the Antichrist depicted in chapter 7.