12/08

December 8

3 John

This short letter contains several wonderful gems. One of my favorites is in verse 5-8, which is helping to support traveling missionaries on their journey, becoming fellow workers for spreading the truth. Their giving was said to have shown their love. What a wonderful testimony when the world sees our love for the Lord and His kingdom by supporting ministers.

In verse 2 John mentions these loved one, praying that they would prosper in all things and be in health. The Greek word for health is hugiaino, 5198. It means to be sound or whole in body. John wants the people to be healed and whole, and so does God, our Father.

In verse 4, John says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” John isn’t referring to natural children. He is referring to those people he oversees, those for whom he is responsible.

John also has to mention a brother who has spoken against John with malicious words, a man who does not receive them. I imagine every apostle or pastor experiences rejection and opposition. I know we have. I know Jesus did. I know the writers of the New Testament did. Most spiritual leaders aren’t trying to be mean or hateful when they are criticized, slandered, abandoned, or betrayed. However, they are put into a position where they have to protect the rest of the flock. John says to the beloved, “do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.” John is referring to Diotrephes, a man who is setting himself against John, trying to hinder his ministry and question his spiritual authority.

Daniel 11-12

In chapter 10 and the beginning of 11, Daniel is given a message concerning Greece and Antiochus Epiphanes. Kings from Egypt and Syria are involved in Persia’s fall. The branch in verse 7 is King Ptolemy III.

In 11:21 it says, “in his place, Antiochus’, shall arise a vile person.” From this point on, while comparisons can be made to Antiochus, but we also know this content is speaking of the Antichrist and the seventieth week.

In 11:27 the messenger said the end will still be at the appointed time. This is a set time, like making an appointment for a specific date. This time is not contingent upon the performance of others; it is a time already established by the Father. In verse 11:31, the abomination of desolation is mentioned, an event Jesus refers to when speaking of Israel’s future in Matthew 24:15.

One thing to notice is that the Antichrist has enemies. Some think he will rule the whole world, but that idea goes against Daniel 11. The antichrist will deceive many Jews, but not all (11:32). There will be those who know God and are strong and do exploits, obviously here on earth during the Great Tribulation. Many will be killed, but God allows it, causing those who remain to be purified.

The Antichrist will magnify himself over all, speaking blasphemies against Jehovah.
He will not regard the God of his fathers.
He will regard any god or leader.
He will set up a statue for worship.
He will rule over many.
He will divide the land for profit.
He does a lot of warring.
He comes to his end and no one helps him.

Chapter 12 starts with “At that time,” referring to the end of the Great Tribulation, a time of trouble like never before known to mankind. We read about the dead rising from their graves. Some of the dead will go to Hades. Others will rise to life. This sounds like the rapture, again, located at the end of the Great Tribulation.

God tells Daniel to shut up these words, because they aren’t going to come to pass for a very long time. The messengers say that in the end, many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. This could be interpreted in different ways; however, we do know that today there are nearly 8 billion people on this planet with knowledge at our fingertips through our technology.

In 12:5-7 it is confirmed that the Great Tribulation will be for 3 ½ years. Daniel was curious and asked what would happen next. The messenger ended the conversation with Daniel, saying those things were sealed until the end; however, we do see one more bit of information. The Great Tribulation lasts 1260 days, or 3 ½ years. The messenger mentions 1290 days, another 30 days. Then mentions 1335 days, another 45 days. What are those 75 days?

When we look at other prophetic Scripture, especially in light of prophecies from Revelation, we know God pours out bowls of wrath and devours the earth in fire, purifying the earth. We also know that God restores the earth in preparation for Christ’s reign during the millennium.

Isn’t it something that as small as we seem in comparison to the Universe, God is keenly interested in us? His great love is seen in the prophetic word, allowing us to know the future, to know Him.

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