Finding Jesus in the Prophecies


By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Is it your prayer that the Lord will break through some of the darkness that still affects us in this present world? We need to see Jesus in all the circumstances of life. It is my prayer that the day star may arise in our hearts. That sure word prophecy, as we take heed to it, will be as a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the daystar arise in our hearts. It is my purpose that we may appreciate the value of prophecy in reference to our salvation.

Our salvation is often focused upon by merely studying the gospel, and so we should study the gospel of Jesus Christ. However it says that the daystar will arise in our hearts because we have a more sure word of prophecy, a word more sure than what Apostle Peter was talking about in verses 16-19, where he was describing the light that they saw in Jesus Christ as they, the disciples, followed Him. The disciples reported the gospel, but what does he say?

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. … 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy;

That is an interesting statement to make. There is something more sure than the representation of the apostles of their experience of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Did you notice that the prophets were diligently searching into the things that they prophesied. Who prophesied of what? Of the grace that should come unto us. They were searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. According to these words, the prophets actually testified before the sufferings of Christ, the details of the sufferings of Christ. Prophecy actually gave the story of redemption. To them “it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister” these things. The prophets are ministering unto us the gospel which is “now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel.” Think about what this is saying. The ministry of the prophets is more sure than that of those who reported unto us and have preached unto us the gospel. A more sure word of prophecy. Apostle Peter was saying, ‘We are not telling you cunningly devised fables; we are telling you what we have experienced of Jesus, but there is a more sure word of prophecy. The prophets have ministered unto you that which we are reporting unto you.’ The prophecies were received by the prophets to minister unto us the things that are reported by the preachers of the gospel. In other words, the origin of the ministry of the gospel is what?

Prophecy

Prophecy is the origin of the ministry of the gospel. Isn’t that the way it deducts from verse 12? The prophets have ministered unto us the things which are now reported unto us by those who are preaching the gospel. Who was first? The preachers of the gospel or prophecy? Self-evident. It was prophecy. I am thrilled with this story, because to me, as a minster of the gospel, I am comforted to know that I have not originated anything. It is originated under the inspiration of prophecy. All through my ministry, and even before, as a youth, I have heard ringing in my ears that, Prophecy is so tedious; and I did find it somewhat tedious, but I still remember when I was nine years old, I would be listening to some very capable preachers of prophecy, such as George Burnside and John Colthard.

These were men who understood prophecy powerfully, and I sat there in their meetings and my soul thrilled at the amazing descriptions of how prophecy has been portrayed in fulfilment in our time. As I became fascinated with this, I began to take it up myself as I grew older, but time and time again I would come across expressions such as, That’s not as important as Jesus in your life. One minister told me, as I was preparing people for baptism and I had to show them prophecy that they needed to understand, “Don’t burden these simple minds with prophetic details; some of the dear old ladies, they can’t comprehend what you are sharing with them. What is so important about the 2300 days, or the 1260 days for their salvation?” Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, what is all that really going to do to save you from sin? The king of the north and the king of the south of Daniel 11, the seven trumpets, the seven seals, and the seven churches of Revelation, is this important for our salvation?

I scratched my head many times at these kinds of suggestions because there is a scripture which does place prophesy apparently into a secondary position. Apostle Paul spoke of the gifts of the church, and he said:

1 Corinthians 12:29 [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.

Apostles and prophets are important, but then it says, I show unto you a more perfect way.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

We might know all the prophecies and we might have all faith, but is prophecy secondary here? It seems to suggest that. If I have all that but if I do not have love, I am nothing. Many people read this and say, What is all that to you if you don’t have love? What do they suggest? Love is more important than these. There is a suggestion in reading this which leads to the conclusion that, If I don’t have love, it doesn’t matter if I don’t understand prophecy. It came to me over the years, and I pray we can get it clear in our understanding.

The subject of prophecy was important enough that angels were commissioned by the Father and Christ to come to the prophets and explain these things. The problem in prophecy is not that it is not important, but that there are so many contradictory interpretations of prophecy that it leads to long drawn-out arguments to prove that what I believe is right. Have you had to sit through difficult studies because people are in disagreement on a subject and they go back and forth in debate? And you are sitting back thinking, I can’t see any value here; it takes away my enjoyment in the Lord Jesus Christ. What is the problem? Is prophecy the problem? It is man’s laborious effort to prove that, I am right in what I am teaching you. That is wearisome. What is needed is that, what we share from the word of God that is so important, needs to be shared with love.

If I have love I will not make the study of prophecy tedious. I will seek to make it sparkle and shine, as it does if it is correctly researched. The problem in the early Adventist church, when the 1888 message came, was that there was a need for the message of Christ’s righteousness, because they had been preaching the law and the law and the truth and the prophecy until they became as dry as the hills of Gilboa. I have watched this happened; I have seen how dry you can become if you study prophecy merely for the purpose of getting facts straight, and getting all the history clear. It’s exciting for the moment, but after a while it goes dry. Pick up in prophecy the love of an angel that came to Daniel, and the love that was shining out of the Revelation. Daniel is here terribly discomforted with all that he had come to learn of Israel and the future:

Daniel 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

Here was an angel telling Daniel, You are greatly beloved, Daniel, you have stood faithful through all this time, and I have now come in the love of heaven to give you understanding.

Daniel 10:18 Then there came again and touched me [one] like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace [be] unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

Daniel even had trouble understanding what he had been shown in the previous visions of the image. He had already been explained the beasts of Daniel 7 and the experiences of Daniel 8 and the 2300 day prophecy. He had been shown all these things and still he had problems; and so there comes this love of God that helps him to understand.

Daniel 10:20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

I am here to explain to you some things, and I have to deal with Persia, and Greece, these ungodly nations. I am active in something here, and as I am doing this there is someone working with me; who is it? Michael your prince. Who is that? Jesus Christ. Indeed, prophecy has to do with our Prince of love; the King of love my Shepherd is. Prophecy did not contain the element of unchristian love at all, but the Prince of love. He was right there, in the midst of all that prophecy. This Prince of love was sent to help us.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

A question was often asked me, What was the world that He loved? Aren’t we told not to love this world? God so loved the world that prophecy was describing. Did He love Nebuchadnezzar? He loved him, He wanted to save him. Did He love Alexander the Great? He loved him, He wanted to save him. Did He love Cyrus? Did He love the people of the nations? And what was He looking at? He was looking at the dilemma of warfare, strife and black darkness of hope as they were fighting each other, just as we see today. In the warfare we are surrounded with, civilians are being slain in the midst of conflict. Darkness, horror, misery, and multitudes in tumult. To these people in the darkness of the tumult of the conflict of the nations, He gave his only begotten Son. He loved them to save them.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

This scripture of John 3:16 tells us that God so loved these people that were ready to perish; to perish by the sword, by hatred, and by all the stresses of life and darkness. He said, I have given you light; the day star will arise in the darkness of prophecy – the prophecy of the events of the nations. Light will come; but men loved darkness rather than light. Why? Because through prophecy their evil deeds will be revealed and they don’t like it because prophecy is a light that shineth in a dark place. Indeed, in the darkness of human depravity, in the conflict of nations, amid war, bloodshed, famines and strife, Michael our Prince arises. Michael our Prince is here revealed standing before Pilate, the Roman prelate, in the course of unfolding prophecy:

Jesus In Front of Pilate

John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. …

What was Jesus the king of? The truth.

John 18:37 …Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].

Did He stay long enough to wait for what the truth was? He walked out. What is truth? Jesus says, I am king of the truth, and I have been born on this planet for that purpose. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The King of truth, here He was, and what was He saying? In a world of fight, and conflict, and war, nations rising against each other and conquering each other, I, the King of the Jews, am not engaged in physical warfare. If I was of this world, then would my servants fight. As He was standing before Pilate, the consequence of His words continued to crowd in upon Him, because before He went there, He had already met the darkness of the plight of the human race in Gethsemane, when He Himself was overwhelmed by the darkness.

The Gethsemane Experience

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

What were the angels’ words to Daniel? “There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” As Jesus was in this agony, prophecy was unfolding, and there He was in a fulfilment of prophecy that identifies Him standing there suffering. As He is suffering there, the angel with whom He had been engaged in all the previous prophecies was there to strengthen Him. Remember the picture of Jesus’ head upon the bosom of Gabriel. Gabriel and Michael were engaged in the darkness of the conflicts of this planet; and here is Jesus engaging in a way that most people do not understand is part of the prophecy of the nations.

In such darkness all humanity becomes afflicted as Christ Himself was afflicted. He was affected by the human depravity which is rampant on this planet. As He was perspiring these drops of blood, the angel encouraged and strengthened Him saying, ‘Remember, we’ve been through this along the way; Michael, remain strong, we have to come through this successfully.’ The prophetic picture was raised up in the mind of Christ as much as it will arise in the mind of you and me when we are in the grossest darkness of our personal experience. The very thing that Jesus went through was depicted in Isaiah 63, and this prophetical description stretches to the very end. I believe the angel must have reminded Him of that.

Isaiah 63:1 Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

This prophecy, in the first section of verse 3, is where Jesus found Himself. “I have trodden the winepress alone.” As He was perspiring those drops of blood, His garment was tainted. In the last part of verse 3 He was referring to the time when He will again be in the history of the nations. There He was first in Gethsemane, and now at the end.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

From Isaiah 63 through to the story of Jesus before He came to this planet, through to the point where He was suffering in Gethsemane, and then on through the history of nations to the point in time when He will come again on horseback with the angels, and there Isaiah chap. 63:3 (2nd part) will take place. This is a spanning prophecy, and when the heart is overwhelmed in the darkness of the lifespan that you and I live in just now, there is prophecy that will illuminate our darkness as it did for Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

In the darkness, when our mind can only comprehend reasoning from cause to effect and everything looks hopeless and absolutely disastrous, when you cannot make sense of anything anymore. We are a people with intelligent minds that want to see sense, and nothing makes sense in the events of life around you. As darkness is in your heart and you look at prophecy, God who can bring light out of darkness, shines in the darkness of your heart and the day star arises. This is what happened to Jesus that kept Him going when He came and fulfilled prophecy. When He comes again to fulfil prophecy, it is imperative that I have a knowledge of prophecy to be saved out of that darkness. Travel with me through prophecy to find Jesus the daystar that can arise in our hearts by a correct appreciation of prophecy.

The First Advent

If you were there in the time of Christ and you saw a man, and if today a man would arise and say all that Jesus said, how would you respond? Would you say, ‘Yes, that is Jesus Christ’? How do you know? He is doing all the works of Jesus Christ. How do you know that this is Jesus? We are told that false Christs would arise. Back there, there was Jesus, and the leaders of the church did not believe and accept Him. Why not? What was the problem? Would you have been any different to the people of that time if you were there?

John 1:9 [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Jesus was the Light.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Here is the picture. In the time of the first advent, He, the Son of God, the One who created us, came and He was not received by His church. There was darkness. The bewilderment and confusion of the minds of the believers was, Where is Jesus? Where is the Son of God? We believe that He might be the one, but we are not sure now because the leaders and the teachers of prophecy and of the law are not in agreement with Him. Does that sound familiar? How confused are the minds of the people today with all the different doctrines being taught even in the ranks of Adventism? Are they all in harmony and agreement with one another? It is the same thing as back then. What was the darkness?

As the Jews had departed from God, faith had grown dim, and hope had well-nigh ceased to illuminate the future. The words of the prophets were uncomprehended. To the masses of the people, death was a dread mystery; beyond was uncertainty and gloom. {DA 32.4}

We are told that they were dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, darkness. This was the horrible oppression that they were living under at the first advent.

For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour’s coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them “as a root out of a dry ground;” He had “no form nor comeliness;” and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11. {DA 27.1}

What a sad story; and how is it today? “The Jews had departed from God, faith had grown dim, and hope had well-nigh ceased to illuminate the future. The words of the prophets were uncomprehended.” And because those words were uncomprehended, what happened? How important was prophecy to them? Could they be saved without it? How could they recognise Jesus? We will look at a few prophecies that would have helped them to be able to see light in the darkness. In Matthew we read several references to Old Testament prophecies which will hasten our research to identify the daystar that was shining in their time, and which they were not comprehending. Here was Joseph in perplexity; his espoused wife was pregnant. What a darkness. He was going to put her away,

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

That was written in Isaiah 7 – a prophecy. Joseph now thought, Oh this is it, a virgin shall bring forth a son! Prophecy had made it clear. Another dark patch and a terrible time was when Joseph and Mary had to leave Nazareth while she was pregnant. What a thing to do, to ride on donkey back when you are ready to give birth. Mothers, how would you like to go on a donkey just at the time of birth?

Matthew 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, [in] the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

The Jews actually told Herod that this is where it would be because they knew the prophecy; and still they didn’t comprehend it. Strange. You can actually prove prophecy and still not comprehend it. But here was prophecy, and if they would have listened to prophecy they could have saved their soul.

Matthew 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

The child was in danger of being slain.

Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Prophecy! If only they would have listened and comprehended prophecy.

Matthew 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Because Herod had slain all the babies. Prophecy was there to identify light out of darkness.

Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Besides all that, we know Daniel 9:25-26. What was written there? A time prophecy that they could have known if they had comprehended. How important was this time prophecy? If they would have known the 2300 prophecy, they would have recognised Jesus when He was baptised. This is the 70 week prophecy and the building of Jerusalem:

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

If they would have gone into the 2300 days, they would have recognised Jesus when He was baptised right on time, in A.D.27. But they did not comprehend prophecy. Isaiah 53 told them what He would be suffering, but they jeered at Him when prophecy was fulfilling. And by failing to heed prophecy, the disciples, heart-broken that Jesus was now taken from them in death, couldn’t see any value in their experience. Why? Because they did not comprehend prophecy. Jesus had to restore them as they were walking on the road to Emmaus; He said to them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken;” and He showed them from the prophecies. Then they said, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way?” (Luke 24:25, 32). For us today prophecy is even more imperative than for them. Because they rejected prophecy, what was their dilemma? The words of Jesus were very sobering:

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

What a heartache, what a destruction of Jerusalem, what a disaster that could have been averted if they would have obeyed prophecy. Say, is prophecy important for your salvation? It is imperative. There is a beautiful prophecy of the detail of your salvation that you can never find in the gospels. We want to have a light that shines in darkness when sin overwhelms us. Prophecy gives a description that saves our soul. It is because of that ignorance that this love-sick sentimental Christianity has taken root with the Christians of today, and you just believe in Jesus and it matters not, whatever happens to you, you are going to be alright, just love. Love with the prophecies, yes.

How important is prophecy for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come, if we want to be saved in these last days? Is God concerned about you and me? He has given us enough prophetic light to identify our salvation. Like in the first advent, do we turn with loathing from prophecy to something that is a bit lighter because the debate over prophecy and the true interpretation of prophecy renders it tedious? Shall we walk away because it’s so heavy and so difficult? In my experience of study, I have found that the apparently most tedious prophecy actually carries within its bosom the preciousness of the Saviour. There is a revelation of salvation in the most tedious prophecy of study; a practical way of salvation is denoted in that prophecy, and practical terms which we need to understand if we are going to survive the most severe darkness that is coming upon us in the time of Jacob’s trouble. If I do not have this prophecy correct, I will be caught unawares. Jesus warned about it.

Daniel 11

In Daniel chap. 10, 11 and 12 is one vision, and that one vision is the most difficult study to unravel among the prophecies that are throughout the books of the Bible. It took me some years to see the value of studying it. When I finally did, I fell out of all blue skies. I met Jesus like I had never met Him before. He still vibrates within my heart when I look at Daniel chap. 10 through to 12. This is the entire vision. We will have a look at a few snippets to see what a valuable description of the daystar is here portrayed in the darkness of the human conflicts that existed over those years, from the time that it was given through to our time now.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days.

He would come and show what God’s people would be going through in the latter days. Are you interested so that you may know beforehand, so that when it is happening you don’t have to be destroyed like the Jews who didn’t comprehend the prophecies?

Daniel 10:21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

He began to proceed from chapter 11 onwards. He proceeded to take Daniel point by point through the unfulfilled history in minute detail, from Persia to Greece, and from Greece to its split when Alexander died. It split into four, and then, as the conflict amongst Greece took place among the generals, it split finally into the north and the south. That item continues through to Rome and Augustus Caesar. Augustus Caesar was the one who caused Jesus to be born in Bethlehem by calling for a census throughout the whole Roman Empire; he caused Joseph and Mary to travel on donkey back and make this unpleasant journey for a woman ready to give birth. A horse would have been better, but they were so poor they could only ride a donkey. Then there was Tiberius Caesar, under whose reign Jesus was baptised, and under whose reign Jesus was crucified.

Here we read about Augustus:

Daniel 11:20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes [in] the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

After him came Tiberius Caesar:

Daniel 11:21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.

The Prince of the covenant would be broken in the period of Tiberius Caesar. Under Augustus Caesar, the gatherer of the taxes, Jesus would be born, and under Tiberius Cesar Jesus would be baptised (cf. Luke 3:1, 21), and Pilate would have Jesus reigned up before Him in the hall of judgment.

But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, {DA 32.1}

The history of Egyptian captivity was shown through the symbols of darkness and a smoking furnace.

“When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.” {DA 32.2}

When you go through this painstaking study of Daniel chapter 10, 11 and 12, it is a long drawn-out study, but what you come to at the end is profound.

Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. {Ibid.}

You can study this in Daniel 11 – the coming of the Deliverer.

The nations were united under one government [Rome]. One language was widely spoken, and was everywhere recognized as the language of literature. From all lands the Jews of the dispersion gathered to Jerusalem to the annual feasts. As these returned to the places of their sojourn, they could spread throughout the world the tidings of the Messiah’s coming. {Ibid.}

At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. While the light of truth seemed to have departed from among men, there were souls who were looking for light, and who were filled with perplexity and sorrow. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the grave. {DA 32.3}

There it was in prophecy, and the Jews did not comprehend it. The wonderful opportunity for a worldwide knowledge, as it was in Nebuchadnezzar’s time when he submitted to God, could also have happened there. But darkness prevailed; why? Because of lack of the knowledge of prophecy. And from that point in time, the detail of Daniel 11 continues to unfold right through to Daniel 11:45 and Daniel 12:1. This is a very important point. If we don’t have this correct, we will be in the same dilemma as were the Jews.

Daniel 11:45 And he [the king of the north] 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. 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

What is this? This is the time of the close of probation. When? When the king of the north shall come to his end and none shall help him [When the Ottoman Empire in Turkey has been revived, and its seat of government has been placed in Jerusalem, between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, and it has finally come to his end, without any power to come to its help]. If we have a wrong concept of the king of the north, we will be lost. There is indeed a wrong concept, because some people teach that the king of the north is the papacy. When will the papacy come to his end?

The papacy will come to his end when Jesus comes and he is thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20); but if we believe it is the Catholic Church that is the king of the north, I am going to be waiting past the time of trouble for Jesus to come. That is what people are teaching. They are saying that when Jesus comes, you will be changed, that when Jesus comes there will be all these destructions, and therefore they are misconstruing the whole story. Jesus gave a warning when He was on earth to this very problem. Brethren and sisters, this is salvation, and if we do not have it right, can we be saved? Here Jesus warns, Watch, study carefully;

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

What does He say? Watch; carefully watch, because it is going to catch you unawares. If you are not watching you will be caught in the time of Jacobs’s trouble, and you will not be saved. What is Jesus saying you are to watch for? His coming. What coming is here referred to? Is it the physical coming of Jesus?

Jesus has left us word: “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” … What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven to find a people asleep. No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when He lays off His priestly attire and clothes Himself with garments of vengeance, and when the mandate goes forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: {2T 190.1}

The prophecy of Daniel 11, if we will know it and understand it, will help us not to be caught unawares. As we see the king of the north coming to his end, and none coming to help him, we will know what Jesus meant when He said we must be ready. We will know in all this prophetic description of the gospel of Jesus how we are going to be saved by correctly understanding the story of Daniel 11.

What We Must Do To Be Ready

Daniel 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits]. 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, [many] days. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end: because [it is] yet for a time appointed.

What is this saying? If I am going to be found ready for Jesus to finish His work in the sanctuary, what must I go through? An experience that is blackness to you. You will fall, to try you. When you fall, do you think that that is too late and you are now finished? No, you will fall to try you and to purge you, to make you white, even to the time of the end. When we go through these dark patches of our experience, prophecy illuminates the experience and says, You are going through that which can save you if you will do as Jesus did. When you have fallen drastically, in a way that is unforgivable, and you take hold of the Gethsemane experience of Jesus, you see light because you have fallen to purge you, not to destroy you. This is part of the preparation for the last days.

Those who are not watching, who are not vividly appreciative of these things, will lose their way as did the Jews. If we have a false comprehension of anything of God’s word that is necessary for the time in which we will live, we will not be saved. Our salvation is manifest via prophecy. Our time, as at the first advent, is a time of darkness. We are all looking for Jesus to come, and yet it has delayed for so long. Let us learn from the Jewish church the importance of Daniel 12:10. “The wise shall understand.” Let us understand the importance of Revelation 1:1-3, the revelation of Jesus Christ. As you plough through the seven trumpets, the seven churches, and the seven seals, to you will be revealed Jesus Christ, where you stand with Him today and the hope you have of salvation. May God add His blessings to these things, and may we continue to keep a mind focused upon the pure reading of prophecy and all of God’s word so that we may have salvation.

Amen.

[July 30, 2011]

Posted on June 9, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Pioneers, Prophecy, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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