As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said. ‘My Lord, what will be the outcome of these events?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will undersatand’1
The Angel Gabriel, 6th century B.C.
I truly don’t know. Like J. Dwight Pentecost said at the beginning of the chapter eleven, this could be the 667th interpretation of that mysterious number. And it could prove to be just as wrong as all the others. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What I do know is events are occurring that appear to be fulfilling the end-times prophecies. Things are happening like the dispensational scholars have said. And this could mean that the Antichrist and his kingdom are soon to appear on the world scene.
But I also realize I could be wrong like so many sincere students of Bible prophecy who have come before me. Yet, even if I am wrong, there is an important lesson to be learned by the events I have talked about in this book.
Someday these end-times events that Jesus warned us to watch for will occur. And when they do, they may happen in a way we don’t expect – in a place where we’re not looking. As in the days in which Jesus appeared to Israel, we may be waiting for the Messiah but looking for the wrong signs.
And once again, Jesus will come at a time when we least expect.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything stand. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with the truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. 2
Apostle Paul, A.D. 62
And it doesn’t mean you should take my opinions about Bible prophecy and build your faith around them. I could be wrong, in part, or in all. But if it turns out I am wrong, it doesn’t mean the prophecies have failed. Someday all the end-times events predicted in the Bible will occur exactly as written.
In the meantime, we students of prophecy need to remember two things. First, the images in Bible prophecy have an on-going nature. And, second, the wicked spiritual forces attempting to bring the Antichrist and his kingdom on the scene were already beginning their work at the time of the Apostle John.
These two facts make it easy for sincere Bible students to mistakenly see events occurring in their day as fulfillments of prophecy. And this could be the case with the recent events in Europe and the Mediterranean. In other words, I could be jumping the gun.
Now I will tell you what these events do mean. They mean that you and I had better be ready. There’s a chance I’m not jumping the gun. The end-times events predicted in Bible prophecy – that terrible time period referred to as “the day of the Lord” – could soon spring upon the world like Jesus said, as a “thief in the night.”
The question now before us is: When the day of the Lord begins who will survive? According to the Apostle Paul, in order for us to survive, we must be prepared. Paul warns, when that terrible time begins it may be already too late (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). He said that to survive the day of the Lord will require special armor. We will need to be wearing what he calls “the full armor of God.” He said:
take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the
The first part of our armor is to gird our loins with the truth. This means, if you’re not a believer in Jesus, then you need to become one. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
But before we can come to Jesus for salvation, we must first recognize something. In God’s eyes, we are all sinful and guilty of death. If you don’t think you’re guilty of sin, tell me which of God’s 10 commandments have you not broken? Have you never told a lie? Have you never coveted something that belonged to another or taken something that was not yours? The Bible clearly tells us that we all are guilty of sin: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The Bible also clearly tells us that, by our own merits, we are not pure enough to stand before a Holy God and survive. The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
Yet it is in this hopeless condition we find our hope. The fact that we have together all “become useless” means that all of us – no matter how bad or good we think we are – have exactly the same chance before God. Because we’re all under sin, we are all eligible for His great salvation. About this hope, the Apostle Paul said:
while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
So, how does the Bible say we can take advantage of this hope? Paul answers this question. He said:
what does it [Scripture] say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and
When we have come to believe in Jesus, and that we are all sinners and that Jesus died for our sins, we have put on the first part of our armor – we have girded our loins with the truth.
Now we need to put on the second part of our armor – the breastplate of righteousness. Just knowing what to believe isn’t enough. We must act on our belief and begin creating a genuine relationship with Jesus. We must accept, by faith, His forgiveness for our sins. And we must begin living a life that is pleasing to Him. This means that when we stumble back in sin – and we very well may – we immediately go back to Him and confess our sin and start over. When we’ve believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and have turned from our former sinful life, then we have put on the breastplate of righteousness.
And there is one more important part to our armor we must not forget – we must shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. This means we need to always be willing, at a moment’s notice, to leave this world behind for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. We need to be always ready to go and preach His Gospel message, and we need to be ready for His return.
To have this attitude
requires us to guard our hearts. We need to always make sure that our treasures
are in heaven and not on earth. When we have this disposition, we have
on the third part of our armor and are ready for the day of the Lord.
Are you ready for the day of the Lord? (Have you put on the full armor of God?) Have you girded your loins with the truth? (Do you believe you are a sinner and that Jesus died in your place?) Have you put on the breastplate of righteousness? (Do you have a real relationship with Jesus and have you turned from your sins?) Are your feet shod with preparation of the Gospel of peace? (Are you willing, on a moment’s notice, to leave this world behind for Jesus and His kingdom?)
If not, now is the time to put on the full armor of God. If you wait too long, it may be too late and you’ll have to face the terrible day of the Lord without it.
This could be the last call.
“And behold, I am
coming quickly [suddenly]. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy
of this book [who is ready]”. 3
Chapter 13 Notes
1. Daniel 12:8-10