My Thoughts on the Holocaust

My Thoughts on the Holocaust

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“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering
and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never
the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Elle Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor.

The International Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January got me thinking again about this terrible, wicked and unimaginable event that took place during the Second World War. Actually, so huge are the events, crimes, planning and atrocities surrounding the murder of the six million Jews by the Nazis that I found my mind, in trying to grapple with them, going all over the place. I therefore understand then why places like Yad Vashem will continue for years to come to unravel the evil seeds, that once having taken root in the minds of the Nazis, blossomed into a crime of such huge and demonic proportions.

In the end I thought of my father, Guy Usher Hedding, whose birthday is on the 27th January. He volunteered to fight in the Second World War. There was no draft in South Africa at the time and yet he felt urged upon in his heart to sign up, join the 8th Army and go to war against the Nazi war machine. He fought in North Africa at Tobruk and El Alamein and then through Italy. He was in many respects oblivious to the evils that were being perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jewish people, as were most people, but he did know that their agenda for global domination was evil and had to be resisted and risked his life for it. He took hold of the big picture and in his small way made a vital contribution in overthrowing one of the most brutal regimes known to humankind and thereby helped to bring the Holocaust to an end.

The scope and extent of the Holocaust was not really grasped for some years until after the Second World War. It became apparent as more and more death camps, killing fields and documents were discovered and this continues to be the case. Some believe that because of the newly found burial sites in Russia that probably more than six million Jews were murdered by Hitler’s thugs, in this case by the Einsatzgruppen. This military wing of the SS operated as killing units that murdered Jews after the German army had swept through Poland and parts of Russia. They viciously gunned down men, women and children with a hatred and coldness that is quite honestly unimaginable. The big question then is, what brought young German men to a place that they could act with such brutality, day after day, and seemingly without a conscience? How could their minds be so corrupted and convinced that what they were doing was right? It is actually these questions that have to be answered if we are to stem the current rising tide of antisemitism and avoid another catastrophe like this.

I believe that we should consider the following;

Hitler believed that it was the Jews that caused the defeat of Germany in the First World War. He was of course wrong as when America finally entered the war the stalemate on the Western Front changed and the German Commanders knew that Germany was overwhelmed and doomed and thus surrendered. Nevertheless, Hitler allowed his mind to be infested with the false notion that the Jews had sold Germany out and had caused its defeat.

After gaining the attention of influential people by means of his rantings in the beer halls of Munich he began a movement to return Germany to greatness but, as he persistently taught, the Jews being the great obstacle to the fulfillment of this dream. They had to be neutralized and this is why their extermination was at the very heart of his agenda and he was prepared to do anything to achieve it. We see this in his final statement in the closing days of World War Two that he wrote just before he shot himself in the bunker in Berlin. In this last testament, as it were, he wrote that the thing that he was most proud of was the fact that he had confronted world Jewry. A legacy he said that the world would one day come to appreciate.This is amazing in that it wasn’t his great military victories that he was proud of but rather the fact that he had on an industrial scale exterminated Jewish men, women and children.

Hitler and his thugs went through three stages in their journey to reach the end goal of the final solution to the Jewish problem as he saw it.

1. The need to discredit the Jews
In every speech Hitler maligned the Jews and re-enforced this in his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) that he wrote in 1925. When he came to power in 1933 he thereafter passed the Nuremberg Laws on the 15th September in 1935 that essentially singled the Jews out to be the reason, as he put it, for Germany’s misfortune. They were thus stripped of their German citizenship and marked literally as traitors to the country by insisting that they wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing. They were consequently publicly humiliated and their influence and place in society had to be limited and was. To totally discredit the Jewish community he insisted that every family in Germany should read his book and he cunningly advanced his narrative against the Jews by using radio and the printed press.

In particular he mobilized young people into joining military type militias (Brown Shirts) and camps whereby he filled their young minds with hatred for the Jews. He knew that in just a few years these same teenagers would become the soldiers of the Third Reich and so they had to be thoroughly brain washed in order to believe in the Nazi cause and carry out, without question, its murderous dictates and they did!

2. The need to delegitimize the Jews
Once Hitler had successfully discredited the Jews he could move to the next stage of his war against them. That is, to delegitimize them meaning that they had no right to live in Germany or anywhere else where Germany had sovereign control. They were “illegal beings” which had to be removed from the pure Aryan peoples. His propaganda machine presented the Jews then as rats and blood sucking animals that were gnawing at the very lives of Germans. The Jews were then bugs or pests and so their Synagogues, institutions and businesses could be burned down and they were on Kristallnacht in November of 1938. Being delegitimized they could now also be rounded up, removed from society without protest and placed in concentration camps. This stage of delegitimization was indeed the road to the third and final stage:

3. The need for extermination
Once the task of rounding up the Jews of Europe began, with the onset of World War Two and Hitler’s Blitzkrieg victories, Hitler then moved to implement what would be called the “Final Solution”. The question he thus put to his senior leadership and commanders was, what should be done with the vermin Jews who were now pouring into concentration camps in Germany and Poland? The answer always was, extermination; and so on the 20th January in 1942, at a villa on the Lake Wannsee near Berlin, a group of top Nazis led by Reinhard Heydrich gathered for lunch. They ate Caviar and drank Champagne and laid the plans for the extermination of the Jews on an unprecedented and industrial scale. In fact, if they had gotten their way they would have exterminated 11 million Jews, for this was the figure they agreed upon at this diabolical meeting.

This then is the threefold process that Hitler moved through in his war against the Jews and it is the process that antisemites everywhere still implement today. That is, discredit the Jews, delegitimize the Jews and then exterminate the Jews. The BDS movement has done this for years as their leadership have unashamedly admitted that their end goal is the destruction of the Jewish State. The Palestinian Authority has brain washed its children with school text books that call for the destruction of Israel and at summer camps where they teach their children to hate Jews and murder them. We’ve all seen videos of Palestinian teenagers singing songs calling for the liberation of all of Palestine and then, when individually being interviewed, stating that their highest goal in life is to die killing Jews! These young minds have been infected with the same process that Hitler and his thugs implemented and thus their consciences have been seared and so they go to their deaths as terrorists singing, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free.” The same is true in those territories controlled by Hamas and Hezbollah and the leaders of Iran. Also, in the colleges and universities of the west, this threefold plan has been implemented and so today one sees young American college and university students violently protesting on the streets while wearing T Shirts that state, “6 million were not enough.”

The truth is, we certainly remember but we better learn and act as well. When we hear of Jews being discredited it’s time to stand up and speak out. Once they are delegitimized the struggle becomes more intense, urgent and dangerous. Elie Wiesel knew this because he experienced it and of course, Yad Vashem is a stark reminder of what happens when people remain silent and do nothing. Its message and warning is more urgent than ever because antisemitism is rising all over the world and even the COVID-19 pandemic is being manipulated to discredit the Jews. Writing in January 29th edition of the Jerusalem Post, Michael Freund states, “Jews, Zionists, and Israel are accused of having created, spread, financed and used the virus to expand their global domination, impose a New World Order, but also as a means for profit.” It’s time to act!

As for my father, what made him volunteer to go to war against the tyranny of Nazism? It was his conscience that had not been seared and that taught him to discern between good and evil. The Bible tells us that in fact the natural law of God has been written on our hearts enabling us all to discern good and evil (Romans 2:14-15). He obeyed his heart and went to war against the antisemites. He is of blessed remembrance.

Malcolm Hedding.

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot
drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word
in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil
triumphant.”
Dr. Martin Luther King

As we think of Martin Luther King and his legacy, allow me to share a few thoughts of my own that have to do with my particular journey in life. I am a white South African by birth who was born into this world in 1952 when the minority Afrikaner Nationalist Party was in power and was boldly implementing its policy of Grand Apartheid. At that time there were approximately three million whites in South Africa and nineteen million black people. We lived in the northern part of the country in a region called the Vaal Triangle. This was a predominantly an Afrikaner speaking area and, though we were white but English speaking, we were overwhelmed in numbers by the white Afrikaners and therefore were literally hated by them because being the 1950s this was just fifty odd years after the Anglo Boer War in which the Boers ( Afrikaner Farmers) were overrun and defeated by the British and disinvested thereby of their two republics. Indeed the British starved their women and children to death in concentration camps and so we were the objects of their resentment.

Traveling to school every day on the bus to a town called Nigel was consequently an obstacle course in that, being a minority, we were routinely harassed, verbally abused and even beaten up by the Afrikaner students. I well remember how all the Afrikaner students were barefoot and all the English students on the bus wore shoes and because of this we were called “sissys” (weaklings) and traitors and told to go home to England. South Africa, we were told, was not our country; we were “uitlanders” (outsiders).

Years later, when having graduated from high school, I was drafted into the First South African Infantry Battalion located in the Cape Province at a town called Oudtshoorn. Once again, being English speaking, I was part of a minority group in that, the military being an all white enterprise, was dominated by Afrikaans speaking recruits and commanders. I well remember the first day that we were mustered on the parade ground to be welcomed by the Regimental Sergeant Major. He brazenly told us that if we were English we would be regarded as “Kaffirs” in this army and if we were Jews we would be regarded as worse then “Kaffirs.” ( A derogatory term borrowed from the religion of Islam meaning an infidel and in apartheid South Africa applied to the majority black population. Today, and rightly, so it is banned). I was of course shocked by this and have never forgotten it.

There were two official languages in South Africa at that time, English and Afrikaans. In the military we were told that this meant that we would be instructed on one day in Afrikaans and on the next day in English. Naturally, given the climate of the day, this was never implemented and so it ended up being one day Afrikaans and the next day Afrikaans and so on! While in the military we were also subjected to propaganda lectures and I well remember that somewhere in these lectures the phrase ” Onse saak is reg” (Our cause is right) would always come up. It was baffling from the place that I stood in life.

At the political level the English speaking South Africans, led by the United Party and Liberal Party (Later the Progressive Federal Party) were always hopelessly outnumbered by the ruling Afrikaner Nationalist Party and consequently, though technically we had the privilege of voting, we were in fact disenfranchised. We would never have a real voice in government and of course the black majority were totally excluded from the power structures of the country. It was a mess!

So, I never felt a part of the country and could never understand or appreciate the feelings of nationalism that others had. I was told from my youthful years that I didn’t belong and should go home to England. I was a traitor and a foreigner and was only tolerated and not accepted. The fact that my father fought on the side of the British in the Second World War only exacerbated things. We were the enemy even though white!

My point is that I had every reason to feel hard done by and in need of reparations, entitlements and special privileges. After all, I was a victim of harassment, discrimination and prejudice and if so had to be compensated. Thankfully, I had a father who knew better and who was determined that I would not grow up with a “victim and poor me mentality.” He therefore gave me and my brother a word of advice that has stood us in good stead all through the years and which enabled us to see that others do not define who we are and we should never let them. These are the words that my father spoke into our lives:

“My sons the world, the government, society and your family owe you nothing.
So, expect nothing from them and get up, stand on your own two feet and
make something of your lives.”
Guy Usher Hedding

My father only had a Grade Ten or Standard Eight education and yet he spoke a number of African languages, fought in the Second World War, worked hard, became a Manager on a Gold Mine and honored God. He was loved and respected by all who knew him and he made it in life because he knew that he had it in him to succeed with the help of God. He was never going to become anyone’s victim and he would not stoop so low as to ask anything from them. The world owed him nothing! My brother and I have lived by this creed and it has freed us to realize our potential under the God of the Bible. It could have been so easy to see myself as a victim of discrimination and prejudice and consequently wallow in the mud of that swamp always blaming others for my plight but I had a father who would not tolerate that nonsense and neither should you. We were never victims and we don’t intend to be until the day we die no matter what the majority or minority may do to us. With God we can do all things and nothing can separate us from His love in Christ. We can therefore stand strong amongst men and forgive all who have wronged us and even love them. We are not victims!

Today I am a proud naturalized American citizen and I know that Dr. Martin Luther King stood strong and confident and never embraced the curse of victim-hood. He was free from this debilitating sickness of the soul and therefore able to articulate a dream that was powerful and transforming because he drew upon the gifts that God had given him. He was a Christian preacher, having all things in Christ, and therefore free to forgive and love and change our nation for the better. Our great nation desperately needs to not only hear his message, but more important still, his heart because, if we do not, we will stand on the precipice of being engulfed by bitterness, hatred and prejudice. Some decades later another remarkable man, having been imprisoned for twenty-seven years, walked out of prison strong, confident and free from bitterness because he never saw himself as a victim but as one who had it in him to reach out to all men and make the world a better place. His inner man was free from victim-hood and liberated to touch all men with a dream of goodness. His name was Nelson Mandela.

Martin Luther King had a dream that all men could be free, treated as equals and enjoy the dignity that God himself had given them. He could thus speak out against injustice and did, not as a victim, but rather as an oracle of what was right. That dream had better take hold of our own hearts lest we fall into the trap that others, because of what they have done to us, must give us things and make us happy. I still hear the words of my father, “My son stand up and be strong and make something of your self because the world owes you nothing.” Martin Luther King, in his own way knew this to be true, and we thank God for the gift of his life to our nation.

Malcolm Hedding


Note:
This article in no way wishes to places the Afrikaner people in a bad light. It is merely my historical reality and I recognize that all peoples, including the English, have “skeletons in their closets.” The Afrikaner people are resilient and have demonstrated their inner strength by overcoming their history of prejudice and have embraced their new future in South Africa with remarkable optimism and faith. It was in fact Afrikaner leaders who boldly led the country out of the apartheid nightmare. They are today a hard working and godly people who are making a huge difference to their world. God has not forgotten them and neither should we.

Hanukkah 2020

Hanukkah 2020

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“But the court shall be seated, and they will take away
his dominion, to consume and destroy forever. Then the
kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms
under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the
saints of the Most High.”
Daniel 7:26

The verse above, taken from the Hebrew Prophet Daniel, partially records the events surrounding the “first” Hanukkah. Antiochus Epiphanes, the evil Seleucid regional king, attacked Jerusalem in 168 BCE, invaded the restored Temple and committed the Abomination of Desolation. He actually put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. Thankfully, he and his dark hordes were overcome by Judas Hasmoneas; nicknamed Maccabee because he, together with his people, fought like a “hammer” and finally restored the sanctity of the Temple.

At the root of this assault against the Jewish people, so many years ago, was the curse of anti-Semitism. Sadly, this curse has manifested down through the centuries and today it is rising again everywhere. In the light of this; how can we celebrate Hanukkah? Is it possible to light our Hanukkah Candles, knowing full well that throughout Europe and even America ant-Semitism is at levels approaching the pre-war era and Israel herself is under threat of annihilation from Iran and her proxies? This is not speculation but the hard reality facing us. The truth is; yes we can and should because:

  1. 1. The “heavenly court” is seated. In other words G-d is watching and His heavenly Sanhedrin is seated. This designates sovereignty and quiet resolve. The resolve that watches over Israel day and night.
  2. The “dominion” of the anti-Semites will be taken away; just as that of Antiochus Epiphanes was taken away and that of all the evil doers of history.
  3. The people of Israel, in Daniel’s oracle called the “holy people”, will in the end be triumphant and at rest and, the light of G-d’s knowledge imparted to them, and through them, given to the whole earth will finally bring real peace to a broken and dark world. The miracle of Hanukkah will be for everyone….and,
  4. Ant-Semitism will finally be a thing of the past. G-d’s blessings will rain down on Israel forever and forever and the glory of the Lord will cover the whole earth. This is His sure promise.

So, just as the first Hanukkah was characterized by a miracle of light so now, we must, should and will believe that new miracles of light will preserve and sustain the nation of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere. Already, in this month of Kislev, we have witnessed the remarkable return of the remnant of Ethiopian Jewry and that of the Jews of Eastern Europe, who continue to ascend to Zion. Hanukkah is about deliverance and restoration and thus, with Daniel’s words giving us encouragement, it is my joy to wish you all a blessed and very special celebration of Hanukkah. May your days be filled with much joy, love and light.

Hanukkah Sameach,

Malcolm Hedding.

Living for Christ

Living for Christ

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In the final and third chapter Paul gives his readers a number of timely exhortations. These are as follows:

Personal requests

“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may run
swiftly and be glorified, just as it was with you…”
2 Thessalonians 3:1

As ever Paul is aware that he needs the help of God, coupled with the prayers of His children, to enable him to complete the assignment given him when he was first called on the road to Damascus. He is committed to the preaching of the Gospel and in this regard wishes to articulate the message in a way that it, as he puts it, ” will run swiftly” without hindrance from evil people. This reminds us of the following:

1. That we should all embrace the potential and mandate that God has given us in life.
2. That our goal should be to complete the assignment that God has given us. We should end well as Paul did (2 Timothy 3:6-8).
3. That we work with God and not for God in this great endeavor and therefore prayer is the power that makes our partnership with God effective (2 Corinthians 6:1). Without it we can do nothing and, Paul knowing this, calls upon the believers at Thessaloniki to stand with him in it.
4. That we can always expect opposition from people who, trapped in their rebellion against God, will do all that they can to resist our message. Our message is counter culture because the prevailing culture is dark and controlled by the Devil and his hordes (1 John 5:18-19).
5. That, though we live in a world given over to the darkness of the powers of evil, Jesus will keep those who come to Him from these wicked entities. The truth is, the Devil cannot attack Christians when and how he desires! (1 John 5: 18-19). Thanks be unto God, because we have truly been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and placed in the Kingdom of light and of His dear Son ( Colossians 1:13).

In the light of all of this Paul is confident that they will listen to what he has to say and do the right thing before God. Consequently God will direct their hearts to embrace His love and patience. God, living in us by Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, is a wonderful blessing.

Church problems

“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly
and not according to the tradition which he has received from us.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6

“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If
anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10

This passage reminds us that the local Church is filled with people who are imperfect even as they embrace the sanctifying power of Jesus in them. They continue to fail and get things wrong. We must be patient with them knowing that God loves them but we must also, if needs be, give them correction when needed. This sometimes has to be tough!

Here at Thessaloniki there were believers, who for whatever reason, were living unruly lives and were consequently not working and providing for themselves and their families. Some suggest that this was happening because they were taken up with the doctrine of imminence (Jesus could come at any time soon) as concerning the second coming of Christ and therefore saw no need to work. Thus Paul corrects this doctrine by the teaching contained in the first part of the epistle and then strongly corrects them in this passage. He is tough indeed and therefore calls upon other believers to shun them if they do not rectify their lazy and sponging lifestyles. If they do not work then they should not be given anything to eat!! Strong words indeed and sadly, totally foreign to the modern Church, that largely embraces a corrupt understanding of the love of God.

Moreover Paul encourages them to model their Christian lives on his. In other words he is saying, as he writes elsewhere, that they should follow him as he follows Christ. All leaders in the household of faith should be able to make this declaration.

Final exhortations

“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13

He closes this short but powerful epistle by making a few recommendations:

1. That they should not grow weary in doing good. Good works, while not the grounds of our salvation, are certainly the evidence of it. Christians should be known in their communities as people who do good, and in fact God has prepared good works beforehand for them to discharge and “walk in” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

2. That, because he is the planter or father of the Church, they should and must obey his exhortations given in this epistle. Obedience to spiritual leaders is a crucial part of local Church life but it is earned because these leaders have labored amongst them in sacrificial ways (Hebrews 13:7;17). Consequently, those who refuse to obey must be marked and disassociated from, not as enemies, but as those who need spiritual correction. Hopefully this will bring to the offender conviction and godly change. Leading God’s people is not an easy business!

The epistle to the believers at Thessaloniki ends with the usual Pauline benediction.

Malcolm Hedding.

Two Great Signs of Jesus Coming

Two Great Signs of Jesus Coming

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We have noted that Paul writes to the Church at Thessaloniki in order to encourage them in the light of the trials and persecutions they were enduring at the hands of ungodly people. These people, he asserts, if they do not repent, will end up in everlasting destruction after Jesus comes a second time in great glory, attended by mighty Angels and in flaming fire. He furthermore asserts that it is on this day that the faithful Church will be resurrected and raptured to meet Him in His on-coming glory and majesty. This is clearly stated.

In chapter two the Apostle now turns his attention to another issue that was facing the local Church in that there were some in the Church who were destabilizing it by claiming that Jesus could return at any time. They were so convinced of their position that they were living unruly lives by refusing to work etc. Paul therefore puts pen to paper to correct their misguided theological position and to urge them to sober up and earn a living as the signs that have to take place in the world heralding the soon return of Christ were not yet evident. This essentially means that the doctrine of anytime imminence, as relating to Christ’s coming, and which is still taught in segments of the Church today, is false!

This is in fact a ” no-brainier ” as Jesus in His “Olivet Discourse” clearly taught that He would only come again once certain signs, including that of the revelation of the Abomination of Desolation, were evident in the world. So, having set this background let’s examine the text before us:

Words of introduction

Paul begins by headlining the subject matter that he now intends to address:

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and
our gathering together to Him, we ask you…………”
2 Thessalonians 2:1

In other words, he makes it clear that he is now going to address the subject of the Second Coming of Jesus and the rapture, here referred to as, “our gathering together to Him.”

Words of caution

He then goes on to urge them not to believe fanciful ideas about the rapture whether presented by people who claim to have Holy Spirit revelation on this matter or who preach powerful sermons or who write books on the matter, because Jesus will not come again a second time for His Church until they witness a great falling away from the faith and the actual rise of Antichrist.

“Let no one deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless
the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition.”
2 Thessalonians 2:3

In actual fact, the deception of which Paul warns has happened, in that the idea of a secret rapture seven years before the “great falling away” and the rise of the ” son of perdition” has effectively taken root in many churches and has consequently undermined Paul’s words of caution. The truth is, the rapture of the Church at the Second Coming of Jesus will only take place, according to Paul, once we witness a huge falling away from the faith and the rise and deeds of Antichrist. Paul is very clear about this!

As an aside, it must be placed on record that the writings of the early Church, demonstrate that the first century Christians took the position that Paul takes on this matter and that the so-called pre-tribulation rapture teaching was never taught. Indeed, to be honest, it was embraced because of a prophecy that a woman gave in a Closed Brethren Church in Scotland in 1830! Sadly, as Paul warns, many have been deceived by it.

Words of instruction

Paul now seeks to equip them with truth so that, if the Son of Perdition, arises in their lifetime they will be able to identify him. This means that most certainly the Church is going to have to endure his antagonism and troubles! We need to know this more than ever as we see the day of his evil rise to power approaching. So then the Son of Perdition will be characterized by the following:

1. He will oppose God
2. He will sit in a rebuilt Third Temple
3. He will claim to be God
4. He will show, that is demonstrate by supernatural powers, that he is God
5. He will be inspired by satanic power……and,
6. He will be destroyed by the second coming of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:4;8-10

Paul, having underlined these things, then doubles down by saying, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?” (V5) So, the question has to be asked, “Why would he treat this matter with such urgency if indeed they would be raptured before all of this? Or, to put it another way, how could Paul ask them to look for something that they would not be around to witness and therefore unable to see? Indeed, he told them these things to forewarn them, and us, as to what we should look for before Jesus comes a second time. That, and that alone, is the context!

Words of explanation

“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed
in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,
only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the
way.”
2 Thessalonians 2:5-6

Paul also tells them that the rise of Antichrist, one of the validating signs of Jesus Second Coming, is regulated by the sovereignty of God. That is a “restraining factor”, is prohibiting this evil to arise before its time. This “restraining factor”, in context, cannot be the Church because he has just affirmed that the Church is to look for a great falling away and the deeds of the son of perdition as heralds of Jesus’ coming. How can the Church do this if she is raptured beforehand? To believe that the Church then is the restraining factor is therefore irrational! So, then, what is this restraining factor? It is Angelic! That is, the only restraining agents in the Bible are angels. Consider the following:

1. They restrained evil at Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-21)
2. They restrained evil in the defense of Israel (2 Kings 6:16-18)
3. They restrained the advance of the Media-Persian and Greek Empires (Daniel 10:10-17)
4. They restrained the spiritual attacks of the powers of darkness against Jesus (Matthew 4:11)
5. They restrained the attempt by evil rulers to murder Peter (Acts 12:5-11)
6. They are presently restraining the Kings from the East from crossing over the river Euphrates (Revelation 9:13-15)….and,
7. They are restraining the rise of Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:5-6)

Words of exhortation

“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren
beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you
for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the
truth to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the
glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

In closing this section of his teaching Paul reminds them that they could be deceived by the supernatural deeds and signs of the son of perdition if their lives are not anchored to the truths of God’s word. Thus he adds another troubling sign to the coming of Christ by stating that deception will be rampant in the Church. Jesus said the same thing. They are to be watchful as, again, God will allow this strong delusion to test the Church. These days, I believe, are upon us and the true remnant is being separated from those that are false.

He moreover gives thanks for them because he knows that they have been elected by Jesus Christ to know the truth and to live it out through the process of sanctification. They must stand firm in the truth knowing that it has the power to transform them into the glory of God. Moreover, as they live out and stand in the truth, God by Jesus Christ, will comfort, established and bless them in their good works.

May these things be true of us!

Malcolm Hedding

Urgent Call to Pray

Urgent Call to Pray

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This morning at 2am (9th November) I was suddenly awakened and was somewhat overwhelmed by the presence of God. It was unusual to say the least and then thoughts began to race through my mind, and I knew that God was speaking to me. These were the following:

  1. I instinctively knew that the battle over the President and his administration was demonic! Yes, demonic, and that principalities and powers in dark places were seeking, with everything at their disposal, to overthrow Donald Trump.
  2. I also was aware that the Holy Spirit is calling upon the Church to work with God in prayer and intercession, now more than ever, in order to resist this assault by dark demonic powers. This call to prayer is more urgent than that which went out before the elections.
  3. I was shown the life of King Hezekiah who fell desperately ill and even the prophet Isaiah came to him and declared,” Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live” (Isaiah 38:1). Hezekiah was a good King and did what was best for Israel and his people and upon his urgent intercession, God relented performed an absolute miracle and gave him 15 more years (Isaiah 38:5). I felt that the Holy Spirit was clearly saying that, because of all that Donald Trump has done for Israel heaven is going to relent and a great miracle is about to happen confounding the proud and arrogant who have fought so hard over the years to remove him from power.
  4. I began to “argue” with God as it were, like Abraham did of old concerning the destiny of Sodom, and intuitively held up before Him the fact that His character is such that He will and must bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her (Genesis 12:1-3). Donald Trump has done more for Israel than any other President in history; the God of Israel must and will respond if we pray. This is His invitation.

Upon driving to work, I phoned my son Daryl to tell him what had happened to me in the early hours of the morning. He was encouraged but didn’t say too much. When I got to my office at the Church, I asked the Lord to confirm this encounter by another revelation given to someone else of credible Christian character. I reckoned, if God really did speak to me then He wants me to say something and I needed confirmation.

In the course of the morning I suddenly received a message from Daryl that he had received a notification from Eric Metaxas whereby he endorses a revelation from a “heroic leader” serving in the Underground Church in China to the effect that:

“Righteousness and justice will soon prevail in America.”
“Satan’s hidden agenda to destroy America will soon be exposed”…and that,
“God will swiftly change everything soon.”

Needless to say, this is exactly the message given to me in the early hours of the morning. I am passing it on to you as encouragement and fuel for urgent prayer.

Malcolm Hedding

Seasons of the Christian Life

Seasons of the Christian Life

Blog
The Church at Thessaloniki was founded as a consequence of Paul’s Macedonian Call as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:6-10). Thessaloniki itself was established  in 315 BC and it is situated today in Greece at the north-east part of the country on the Aegean Sea. The old city is still very beautiful and, with the new, is the second biggest city in Greece. The Church was planted somewhere around AD 50 and Paul’s epistle to them was written between AD 51/52. It is a relatively short epistle encouraging the believers in the face of persecution and giving them some general instructions about the glorious Second Coming of Jesus. It is most worthy of our careful and diligent study
                                          The Cycles or Seasons of the Christian life
                                                               Chapter 1:1-12
The Christian life is always changing and going through seasons or cycles as we take hold of Christ and seek to be transformed into His image. We must know this otherwise when difficult times beset us we can become bewildered and discouraged. The spiritual consequences of this can be serious. So, here in chapter one Paul begins with his familiar greeting and then goes on to encourage them as they walk with Christ. He gives thanks to God for them and then launches into a very interesting overview of the Christian life. Christians, he tells us, will have to face:
1. A cycle of growth V3-4a
                        “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
                         as is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and
                         the  love of every one of you all abounds toward
                         each other.”
Christian growth must be in character and in what we do and it must be constant. In other words, love and faith. The faith that Paul talks about here is not the gift of faith but the fruit of faith that grows like a muscle (Romans 12:3). Our lives must impact those around us for Christ and this must be dynamic because Paul uses words like “exceedingly” and “abounds” to describe their embrace of love and faith in Christ. In their case they were well known in the churches for their faithfulness in this regard. What are we well known for?
2. A cycle of judgment V4b-10
                       “….we ourselves boast of you…..in all your persecutions
                        and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest
                        evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may
                        be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,  for which you
                        also suffer;”
The believers at Thessaloniki were facing persecution from ungodly people. Paul reminds them that this is evidence of God’s judgment over their lives. In the context here this must be understood, not as God’s anger or disapproval but as His correction. We are all subject to this and, believe me, this season will come to all of our lives and, if it doesn’t, then we do not belong to Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us of this in his twelfth chapter. For Paul then, this judgement cycle or season is:
(A) External, in that we have embraced the kingdom of God that will always challenge, and be in conflict with, the culture around us. This culture will always then resist us because we “have turned the world upside down.” In short, our troubles prove that we belong to heaven! Thus our trials prepare us for an eternal future in the kingdom of God.
(B) Internal, in that it refines and purifies our characters. Some carnal habits and pursuits do not leave our lives because we pray, read the Bible and attend Church albeit very sincerely. No, sin can be so ingrained in our lives that only troubles and trials will remove it. Sadly, this is the way we all have to walk and it is the way of the cross. We must die to the self life and learn to choose the way that Jesus would take. This is not easy and it is the cross that we must pick up daily.
(C) ironic, in that the people, or troublers, prepared for hell are the people that God uses to prepare us for heaven! Here we are told that the people who persecute the Church will be severely dealt with at Jesus’ second coming. They will be banished to “everlasting destruction” away from the presence of the Lord. Death is not annihilation but eternal separation from God. These are all those who have rejected the good news of Jesus but by troubling the church have better equipped it for heaven.
3. A cycle of glorification V11-12
                         “…..that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified
                         in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God
                         and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul prays that they will be worthy of this calling and follow through with it because if they do Jesus will be glorified in them. The tense here is present continuous meaning that they will enter a season wherein the grace and love of Jesus will shine through them and be infectious. Oh what a wonderful season this is!
A final note:
                       “……..since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with
                       tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are
                       troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from
                       heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking
                       vengeance on those who do not know God…..”
It is clear from this passage that the “troublers” will in the end be dealt with on that “Day” when Jesus comes a second time in flaming fire, and in the presence of many angels, to the Mount of Olives. It is to be noted, as well from the text, that this will also be the first day that the true followers of Christ will see Him and get rest from their earthly trials and troubles. This will not be at a secret rapture but an all glorious, visible and dramatic one when Jesus comes back to the earth in flaming fire with His mighty Angels. It is, according to Paul, on this day, that Christ’s followers will be resurrected and first gaze upon Him. They, we are told, will be overcome by His brilliance and glory. There is precisely nothing secret about the rapture of the Church! See footnote.
May God by Jesus Christ count us worthy of these things. Amen!
Malcolm Hedding
Footnote:
The early church document called the Didache, that nearly made it into the New Testament Canon, and written in the Galilee round about 50 AD, states, as concerning the second coming of Christ:
“Gather frequently together, seeking the things which benefit your souls. For the whole span of your faith will not profit you if you do not persevere until the end. For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters will be multiplied, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will change into hate.
As lawlessness increases they will hate, persecute and betray one another. Then the Deceiver of the world will appear as the Son of God, and he will do signs and wonders and the earth will be given into his hands and he will do terrible abominations surpassing all evil done since the beginning of the world. Then all of humanity will be tried by fire and may succumb and perish. But those who endure in their faith will be saved from the cursed one.
Then will appear the signs of truth with the first sign heaven opens, then the sign of the sounding trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead. Yet not of all the dead, but as it is said, “The Lord will come and all His saints with Him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The Prophetic Role of The Church

The Prophetic Role of The Church

Blog

“For the Lord is our Judge (The Supreme Court), the Lord is our Lawgiver
(The two Houses of Congress); the Lord is our king (The office of the
President).” Isaiah 33:22

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

In recent years, by virtue of pressure from the secular and political world, it has become popular to claim that the Church of the Living God has no role to play in the political life of a nation. The so-called “Johnson Law” in the USA, was passed to silence the Church and thereby rob the nation of the voice of God in public life. This was in fact a blatant violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution and, thank God, it was reversed by President Donald Trump. That the Church has nothing to say to America today is irrational and not biblical, given the crucial role that political issues play out in the destiny of nations. Has the sovereign God of the earth really got nothing to say to the nation through the mouthpiece of His Church on the earth? I think not.

It must be remembered that Mary Queen of the Scots feared the voice and prayers of John Knox more than any other and said so. He called her out for her sins though always respectful and non-politicized. America would never be where it is today if it were not for the prophetic voice of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. His voice was also non politicized and peaceful and yet it was cruelly silenced. The Wesley brothers, by their powerful preaching and urgent messages of repentance, transformed Britain and the prophetic voice of William Wilberforce abolished slavery. I could go on..

The Bible itself is testimony to the fact that great spiritual leaders are raised up to speak power to those in government. Moses is the great example of this as he fearlessly stood before pharaoh as is Daniel. As usual, their voices were resisted, ignored, and closed down but their prophetic warnings overtook the nations and peoples they addressed, and history has vindicated them. Today Christians in America are ignored and treated with disdain and even freely mocked for their faith, as Judge Amy Barret recently has been. Also, a huge event in and around the Washington Mall just two weeks ago, involving Franklin Graham, Jonathan Khan, near on one hundred thousand Christians, and many other spiritual leaders was generally ignored by the media. This for them was not news but, only if they knew, the God of Heaven was speaking to them through His servants. They are the losers!

As this very contentious election draws near it would be good to be reminded of the fact that:

“Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Righteousness is the standard of God’s Holy Word. It was upon this book and its teachings that the United States of America was established. No one can deny it. Even its idea of three houses of government came from the pages of the book of Isaiah and the inscription on Liberty Bell, proclaiming liberty to all, is taken from the book of Leviticus (Leviticus 25:10). Many of the initial thirteen states built their constitutions on the principles of the five Books of Moses and these remain emblazoned on their great halls of governance to this day. In fact, for two centuries and more the Sunday morning sermons, of well-known preachers, were routinely published in the daily newspapers and the children prayed in schools. Our Presidents, not for nothing, took their oath of office with a hand on the Bible. A good people were thereby birthed, righteousness flourished and God, by Jesus Christ, exalted the nation to be the greatest on the planet. Who can deny all of this? Bruce Feiler writes:

“And by rallying so intently around the words of Leviticus 25, Americans
we’re affirming their commitment to the country’s moral foundations and
its roots in the Hebrew Bible.”

With the passing of time the nation has become unthankful, it has abhorred the words of its prophets and delighted more and more in unrighteousness and now listens to the decadent voices that come out of Hollywood for guidance. Today America is in a free fall to possible ruin and it’s doing it while ungodly politicians mock God at every turn and tell you that all is well. If the call to repent and change is not heeded this collapse of the nation will accelerate.

So, the coming election, like that of all elections, is not about political parties but righteousness as declared by the inspirational light of the Bible that gave birth to our great Constitution and nation. The party or group that most serves these dictates should be supported. This is an undeniable biblical truth and a challenge to everyone who loves America. No doubt, as ever, it will be scoffed at and the same dark spiritual forces that snuffed out the life of Dr. King will attempt to do the same again by ridiculing those who like him affirm biblical truth. It was in fact a word from God, six thousand years ago, that declared that all men are created equal and in the image of God. It took America’s great Founding Fathers to affirm it for the world in 1776 and a Christian Prophet to the nation in Dr. King to make it real in 1968.

Remember then, that you, as a Christian, have a prophetic voice and responsibility in this upcoming election and therefore you are required to honor God by voting for those people who best support the founding ideas of our Constitution and the principles of righteousness as reflected in the pages of the Bible. This election, as with all elections, is not about individual personalities but policies that best reflect the pages of scripture. It is these that the nation was built upon and which, if embraced again, will save it from decline. God bless America and may He be pleased to exalt her again!

Malcolm Hedding

Say No to The New World Order

Say No to The New World Order

Blog

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though
the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the
flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls-yet
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

Since the beginning of the Corona Virus a pattern has developed whereby leaders and people of influence of one sort or another have begun to talk more openly of the need for the imposition of a New World Order or global government. Many of these people are unelected and speak for no one and yet, because of their great wealth, they have gained a voice and an influence over crucial international organizations by which to pursue their global agenda.

It has become therefore clear that there is more to COVID-19 than a global virus. Doctors, scientists, politicians and commentators of good repute have voiced their serious concerns about what is really going on. This cannot be denied. For sure the virus is very dangerous and particularly so for elderly people and they must be protected, but it is clear by now that those seeking to impose a New World Order upon us are seeking to use this pandemic to regulate the global community in a way that we have never seen before. The virus and its implications have been politicized and this is seen by the fact that Gordon Brown, the erstwhile Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, George Soros, the Pope, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill Gates and many others have called for global government or a New World Order. It’s almost as if they had prepared for an event like this to give them leverage to attain a prearranged new global alignment.

Also, the ruthless lockdown measures everywhere are totally inconsistent with the data, facts and science surrounding the virus and some leaders, like the Mayor of Nashville, have deliberately lied to their communities in order to keep them in lockdown and thereby ruining the business platform of their cities. Why would they do this? Because the majority of these people are left leaning politicians who seek to impose a new reality on the world around them. This is precisely why in America the radical left, including large parts of the Democratic Party, have actively supported the burning, looting and destruction of property by rioters who are allowed, and in some cases encouraged, to ignore the COVID-19 safety precautions. COVID-19 provides them with an opportunity to move their agenda forward.

That is, they want a Socialist New World Order and to achieve this the idea of national pride, honoring the flag and patriotism is firmly rejected and those who stand up for these are demeaned, demonized and smeared. In the case of America, the very foundational pillars upon which the country has been established have to be shaken, discredited and removed. The idea then of, “Making America Great Again”, is anathema to them and has to be challenged at all costs. The New World Order elites are therefore determined to move forward with their agenda to remove anything that will stand in their way. Can anyone explain why radical Marxist Communist organizations, by their own confession, like Antifa and Black Lives Matter are given the stamp of endorsement everywhere? These are the principles they live by:

“The Communists despise making a secret of their opinions and intentions.
They openly declare that their aim can be reached only through the violent
overthrow of the whole existing social structure.”
Karl Marx

‘We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country,
of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It
must be destroyed.”
Karl Marx

How in the world has America become susceptible to Marxist Communism? Well, because; while the nation was sleeping, radical Marxists got a foothold in her institutions of learning and began to organize and plan by polluting young minds with socialist concepts of society. An avowed American Marxist said this:

“We’ve combined youth, music, sex, drugs and rebellion with treason-and that’s
a combination hard to beat.”
Jerry Rubin

These Marxist storm troopers are now loose on the streets burning, destroying, attacking the police and even killing anyone who gets in their way and there are members of the Congress and Senate aiding and abetting them! The well known and respected British commentator, Melanie Phillips writes, “It’s the Democrats who have endorsed Black Lives Matter, tacitly allowing or openly encouraging the arson, looting and intimidation of the public in various Democrat-run cities in pursuit of the seditious BLM agenda of destroying western society.” Comrade Lenin said this in 1922, “First we shall take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia (China). After that, we shall surround and undermine the USA, which will fall into our hands without a struggle-like an overripe fruit.”

To be sure we are witnessing an attempt to curtail the freedoms that people living in democratic countries have enjoyed for hundreds of years. That is, the freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the freedom to own private property and the freedom of the right to own and bear arms. The mainstream media in most countries, has now abandoned its role of accurately reporting the news in favor of agenda driven reporting. This is really called “brainwashing” and its going on night after night at prime time! Real journalism has effectively died.

We need to know that the awful hatred presently levelled at the Trump Administration has much to do with resisting:

(1) A strong America that is a bastion of personal liberty
(2) A strong America that is a bastion of Christianity
(3) A strong American economy that is the envy of the world…and,
(4) A strong America that leads the world

These things are a serious obstacle to the globalists and therefore there can be no New World Order until America is folded into a new world financial system. The American constitution and its capitalist economy, that ignite freedom as the world has never seen it and the accumulation of wealth (The American Dream) must be reorganized. This struggle is now unfolding before our eyes and COVID-19 is the catalyst to achieve this. You must know this!

And speaking of COVID-19, this is precisely why there is talk, not of a normal vaccine that will take care of the problem, but of a more complex vaccine that will have the ability to monitor one and validate one’s membership of the global community. It is for this reason that a medication that has been proved safe for decades and of little cost, and therefore not dangerous in any way, called Hydroxychloroquine has been banned even though it has been proved very effective in healing COVID-19 patients. I have a friend who was at death’s door because of the virus and was healed in two days by taking Hydroxychloroquine. The “Frontline Doctors” who are highly skilled and respected medical practitioners were literally scorned, demonized and closed down for telling the truth. Why? Well because a greater agenda is at play here.

So then, if you think that all of this is just conspiracy theory, consider the following:

1. The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gehebreyesus recently said the following, “Covid-19 is not the final goal. No, the ultimate aim is the re-ordering of society.”

2. The Mayor of Chicago was videotaped saying that the people everywhere must be compelled to obey the dictates related to COVID-19 because when it is all over, they will have to give their allegiance to the coming New World Order.

3. President H. W. Bush, making a speech some years ago also clearly stated that there will be, without a doubt, the imposition of a New World Order on the nations of the world.

4. The annual meeting of world leaders and unelected luminaries at Davos in Switzerland, at the beginning of this year, openly stated that the year 2021 must be a “reset year” for the global economy. In fact, George Soros speaking at this event felt so emboldened by the climate there that he declared Donald Trump to be the major threat to world peace and that he would be removed in November of this year. How ironic, in that it was Donald Trump and his administration that has brought a major peace initiative to the Middle East and Eastern Europe…and more peace deals are in the works. He has succeeded where all the stooges of Davos have routinely failed for decades.

5. And then there is the UN Agenda for 2030 that openly asserts that by this date there must be the imposition of an entirely new global financial system. Once again, in keeping with all the globalists, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, recently said when speaking of the impact of COVID-19, “We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future.” What he means is that the world must be herded into the so-called “sustainable goals” of the 2030 Agenda. These goals are so huge, complex and global in nature that, though they deny it, to implement them will require the establishment of a new global financial system. This in turn means that in just ten years it is their goal to achieve global government because, whoever controls the financial systems of the world will control the nations of the world. This is the coming New World Order that all these people long for and envisage.

However, the only obstacle standing in the way of achieving this Socialist World Government is Donald Trump and his administration with its emphasis upon national pride and sovereignty, a strong American economy and a strong military capability. The slogan, “Make America Great Again”, is anathema to them! Donald Trump’s administration must at all costs, including violence and anarchy on the streets of America, be dismantled and they are sure going to try. This will only heighten now with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Already radical Marxists have stated that they, “Will f…. ing burn the place down” if a conservative Judge is elected to the Supreme Court!

My friends it is certainly time to say no to the New World Order as, if it is imposed upon the nation, these globalists will “dethrone” America’s constitution and economy and fold her into a “Globalist Socialist Republic!” It’s time to wake up.

A Biblical Perspective

“It was granted to him to make war against the saints and to
overcome them. And authority was given him over every
tribe, tongue and nation.”
Revelation 13:7

“For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be
of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the Beast, until the
words of God are fulfilled.”
Revelation 17:17

The Bible clearly predicts the rise of a New World Order and at some point, even the United States of America will succumb to this project. All nations will give their allegiance to a coming world government which essentially will be evil in a way that we have never seen before. God will hand the nations over to this because of their overflowing wickedness and rebellion against Him. This will prepare them for the Great Day of His wrath. Christians and right-minded people everywhere will have to take their stand against it. Undoubtedly this will constitute a test for the Church of the Living God and thereby it will be purified and made ready for Jesus’ return. Even now, amidst the Corona Virus pandemic, we have witnessed the attempt by politicians to unduly clamp down upon the voice of the Church in society by the imposition of draconian measures against people of faith. Pastor John MacArthur has bravely stood up against this and called it out.

However, by the repentance of God’s people and the grace and mercy of God the inevitable capitulation of nations to a New World Order may be delayed and we may have time to preach the Gospel in greater power and prepare our families for what lies ahead. We must know this because, “The night is coming when no man can work.” This is precisely why we must be in in a place of prayer for our nations as never before and take hold of our democratic right to vote for those candidates that resist the New World Order.

It’s time then to wake up, pray and shine for Christ. The message of His Gospel is the only hope of the world and the coming New World Order will definitely seek to close it down. This is why we have to say, “NO!”

Malcolm Hedding

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 8

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 8

2020 Devotionals Blog

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel.”
Daniel 10:1

“I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen,
whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl,
his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his
arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words
like the voice of a multitude.”
Daniel 10:5-6

“And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary
fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifice, and place there the
abomination of desolation.”
Daniel 11:31

“Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him
understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Matthew 24:15-16

In our last study we noted that Daniel, inspired by what he saw in the pages of scripture, humbled himself and prayed for the deliverance of his people from exile. He identified himself fully with the sins of his people and in so doing was subsequently heard by the God of Israel and given a remarkable vision of the journey of Israel until the time of the end. Included in this amazing revelation was a precise prophecy concerning the arrival date of Messiah and His death for the sins of the world. This is really quite astonishing.

Chapter ten opens with another record of Daniel’s dedication to a rich devotional life, we should and must learn from this in that it teaches us that, God hears and acts on behalf of those who seek Him with all their hearts (Psalm 119:2). It’s as simple as that! Daniel therefore, almost at the end of his long career in government and, now serving the Persian King Cyrus, was so moved by the plight of his people and the promise of God in Jeremiah’s oracle, to return them to Zion, that he gave Himself to three weeks of fasting and prayer. No wonder God answered his prayers and compelled Cyrus to issue a decree that paved the way for Daniel’s people to return to the land of Israel (Isaiah 45:1-5). Again we note that God fulfills His word through the determined dedication of His servants! But we should further note:

Daniel’s privilege

Daniel’s unswerving commitment to God and His purposes in the earth resulted in God honoring him with a wonderful revelation of Jesus (Daniel 10:5-9). The description here in this passage of the Angel of the Lord is almost exactly like that given to John in the first chapter of the book of Revelation. The Angel of the Lord is always revealed in scripture as having divinity. That is, He is a theophany, God appearing in human form. Daniel is quite overcome by the magnificence of Christ and so should we be! His strength failed and he trembled and yet the pre-incarnate Christ strengthened him and told him that he was greatly beloved in heaven. This is the greatest compliment anyone could ever receive in life. The honor and esteem of men is nothing compared to this. May we strive, by our dedication to Jesus and His kingdom, for this status as well. What do you think that heaven says about you and me?

Daniel’s insights

Daniel’s prayers ignited an immediate response from Heaven meaning that the Angel of the Lord was sent to pave the way for the Jewish people to return to the land of Israel. However, we are told that He was greatly resisted by strong demonic principalities that mirrored in the unseen world what was happening in the seen world. Subsequently, Michael, the Archangel of war, was sent to aid Him in this battle (Daniel 10:12-13). Herein lies great spiritual truth for us to understand:

1. What is seen in our physical world is a picture of a more real spiritual world, and most often demonic world, because scripture tells us that the whole world lies in the grip of the evil one (1 John 5:19). The Angel of the Lord and Michael are up against the demonic princes of Persia and Greece. These hold their place in the heavenlies in order to resist and frustrate the purpose and will of God on earth. In this case the liberation of the Jewish people from exile.

2. As we work with God in prayer, based squarely on God’s Word, we can change the destiny of nations, but we must employ the dedication and commitment that Daniel exemplifies. Believe me, strong principalities of evil have got a grip on our nations. Very often we are not prepared to pay the price for what we say we want in the will of God. We must learn to pray as the early church did. When they prayed heaven shook the building in which they were gathered (Acts 4:31).

3. The detail of the following chapters is the foundational teaching for Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and thus, prophetically speaking, these constitute one of the most important passages in the Bible. This is so because the events spoken of here in verses 20 to the very end of the book are a mirror of future events. We know this because in the immediate context they refer to Antiochus Epiphanies, who committed the Abomination of Desolation in BC 168. Jesus specifically applied these same verses to the events that took place in AD 70 and to the end of the age. He actually referred to these passages in particular when speaking of events related to His second coming ( Matthew 24: 15). We urgently need to take note of these things. Here both Daniel and Jesus are warning us of the soon coming Antichrist, as did Paul and John. How much does scripture have to say before we get the message?

4. After Alexander the Great died his empire was divided up and given to his four generals.The main body of chapter eleven is a long list of the intrigue and wars that erupted between the Grecian rulers of the region, that is, the Seleucids and the Ptolemy’s. It is there to remind us that spiritual victories are not easily won given the demonic resistance that opposes them. We have to persevere and not give up or fall prey to discouragement. Paul acknowledged this in his Ephesians letter when he stated that having done all to oppose wicked and evil principalities in heavenly places we must, having done all to stand, keep standing ( Ephesians 6:10-13).

5. The goal of these events is to bring Israel to physical and spiritual restoration. This is the part purpose of the Great Tribulation as it will also, purify the Church and judge the world. In the context of the passages of scripture before us then, the Great Tribulation will constitute an attempt by demonic powers, working with world leaders, to annihilate Israel, (Daniel 12:7). To stop this we are told in chapter twelve that Michael, the Archangel of war, will again stand up to defend Israel. He will overcome these vast devilish principalities and dislodge them once and for all. The book of Revelation records the same conflict stating that these evil powers are overcome because there is “war in heaven” ( Revelation 12:7-10) and prayer on earth. Here that same conflict brings about war on earth. Thus a conflict will erupt on earth that the nations have never seen before (Daniel 12:1-2) but it will lead to the spiritual recovery of Israel. Again, that which the Devil intends for the destruction of God’s purpose on the earth will in fact advance it. The same saga played itself out at the crucifixion of Jesus. The end time conflict will be a huge one that will surprise the world; so Jesus also quoted this passage from Daniel as a warning in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:21).

6. These end time events are now rapidly approaching us and Daniel is further told that these will begin to unfold when a time arrives upon the earth when knowledge will rapidly increase and people will travel “to and fro” across the globe as never before ( Daniel 12:4). That time is our time and we should, like Daniel, turn to “battle prayer” as never before. This is why Daniel is told that “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Moreover, those who strengthen themselves in the Lord, and serve Him with all their hearts, have a glorious eternal future in that they will shine “like the brightness of the firmament” and like the “stars forever and ever” ( Daniel 12:3). Their great exploits had to do with the fact that they resisted the coming Beast and “turned many to righteousness”. Jesus, quoting this very passage, made the same promise to His followers (Matthew 13:43).

Daniel is finally told that all these things will be hard to understand until the end time arrives; then the Holy Spirit will shed light on them. He must go his way and rest until the day of resurrection. His work is done and he has faithfully completed the assignment that God gave him in life. He will now one day, at the coming of Messiah, arise from the dead to receive his reward ( Daniel 12:13). Paul testified to the same thing and we must press on as well to complete the call of Jesus over our lives (2 Timothy 3:6-8). David, though greatly flawed, also served the will of God for his generation (Acts 13:36). It is now our time to run! Blessed be Daniel who has left us such a wonderful legacy. Having facilitated the return of his people to Zion, Daniel, the greatly beloved of God, died in exile!

Malcolm Hedding