The Bible SUPERSTITION OR AUTHORITY?

by Herbert W. Armstrong
1985 edition


Why is the world's best selling book held in awe by some, in
passive discredit by others, and understood by virtually none?
--------------------

WHY the Book of mystery nobody seems to know? Why do the many
churches of traditional Christianity disagree about what the Bible
says?
Have you ever PROVED whether, as the book itself purports, it
is the authoritative Word of the Creator God? Rather, have you not
simply assumed, from what you have heard, read or been taught, that
it is either authentic, or else the religious writing of a small
ancient Jewish race, groping in the darkness of human ignorance and
of superstition, trying to develop a concept of God?
If you are college or university educated, you have
undoubtedly been taught that humanity originated through the
theoretical process called evolution. But the educated of this
world in nearly all cases have been taught only one side of the
subject of origins -- the theory of evolution. On the contrary most
of those lacking higher education in the United States "Bible
Belt," for example, have been taught only, and accepted without
PROOF, the teaching that the Bible is indeed the very Word of God.
A world famous evangelist has confessed publicly that he
accepted the authority of the Bible without having seen it proved.
Even though he had seen no real proof that the Bible is the
authentic word of God, he had decided to accept it as such on sheer
faith. But the Bible quotes God as saying: "Prove me now
herewith ..." and again: "Prove all things." This evangelist
apparently accepted the authority of the Bible because he had
"accepted Christ" and at the same time blindly accepted what those
humans who led him into the acceptance of Christ themselves
accepted.
Isn't it about time -- and the point of rational wisdom, that
you PROVE this important question once and for all? Because, IF the
Bible is in fact the inspired authentic Word of a living, all
knowing, all powerful God, then your eternity will be judged by it.

I Faced This Same Question

In the year of 1926, at age 34, I personally was faced with this
question. I was challenged on both evolution and belief in God and
the Bible. I was brought to realize that I had simply assumed,
without proof, that a Creator God exists and that evolution was not
the true explanation of origins. Both my marriage and my business
life were at stake.
I realized I had made no in-depth study and research into
either side of the question. The stakes were high. I delved into
the most serious study and thorough research of my life. First I
pursued thoroughly the works of Darwin, Haeckel, Huxley, Vogt and
Chamberlin, and even of Lamarck before Darwin. Their works were
learned, thought-provoking, although theoretical, and soon my head
was swimming. I felt my mental underpinnings slipping away. I was
confused. I realized that, though I had been reared in a family
that had been of the Protestant faith for generations, I had simply
ASSUMED, because of Sunday School upbringing, that God exists. Now
it appeared evident, IF evolution be true, the existence of God was
a myth. I had to be sure. I could no longer carelessly assume.
On the one hand studies in evolution shook my faith in God and
the Bible. But in studying H.G. Wells' book, "The Outline of
History", I noticed such statements in accepting the evolutionary
theory as, "Scientific men have discussed the possibility of
life ..." but they point merely to questionable possibilities. "They
consider" thus and so. "Astronomers give us convincing reasons for
supposing ..." "We do not know how life began upon the earth."
"Probably the earliest forms of life were ..." "They must have
appeared ..." "Speculations about geologic time vary enormously ..."
"There seems to be ..." "The first jelly-like beginnings of life
must have perished ..."
I was amazed! Here is an accepted book based on evolution. But
expressions like "the possibility," "they consider," "convincing
reasons for supposing," "we do not know," "probably," "they must
have," "speculations about," abound. Mr. Wells and the scientists
did not seem to be SURE!
Then I looked into the Bible, discredited as it is by those
who believe what they may suppose, what they do not know, what may
well have been, etc., And in the Bible I found definite, positive
statements expressed as in AUTHORITY. For example, in Genesis 1:1,
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." No "may
have created." Or "we do not know how the earth came." No "we may
well suppose." No theories. Just the authoritative positive
statement, "God created ...." Then verse 3: "And God said, Let
there be light, and there was light." Not "perhaps," not "we may
well suppose," but " ... there was light." A definite, positive
statement of AUTHORITY. All the way through the Bible I found it to
be POSITIVE, definite, authoritative! The Bible claims to be the
SURE Word of God. It is not unsure! It is not speculative.
Then in its chapter of origins, in Genesis, it explains
definitely with authority how man originated, how the first man
made a decision on which human civilization has been built -- and it
gives the only possible explanation of WHY we live today in a world
of awesome materialistic progress and accomplishment, paradoxically
with appalling and escalating evils. Evolution has no explanation
and no solution to offer. The Bible has both.
Evolution gives no explanation of why humans exist on
earth -- of the present paradox of mounting evils accompanying
awesome progress -- no hope for the future of a world falling apart,
about to destroy itself with the nuclear weapons of mass
destruction. No explanation of the cause of the appalling evils and
the hopeless future staring so many youths in the face today. The
Bible explains it all. It reveals the causes, the present effects,
and the tremendous PURPOSE being worked out here below.
Yes, but how do we KNOW, definitely, whether the Bible
revelations are in fact TRUE? Personally I had to be SURE. I proved
the existence of God to my satisfaction, and I PROVED the
authenticity and authority of the Bible. That was satisfying to me
beyond words. But YOU! You have a mind of your own. You will be
held responsible for how you analyze it. That is YOUR problem and
not mine. I can only share with you what I have learned and proved,
and you must be responsible for YOUR decisions.

It Dares to Foretell the Future!

Here is a book -- the Holy Bible -- that dares to write out the future
history of this world in advance -- that dares to prophesy what is
actually going to happen within 15 or 20 years to specific nations,
including Russia, the British Commonwealth, China, the United
States, Italy, Turkey, Ethiopia, and many others -- most of the major
nations of this world.
But would you believe it if I told you what this book
predicts? If I told you what it predicts about your nation? Would
you believe it?
You know, we have gotten away from believing that the Bible
means what it says. We may not be ATHEISTS. We may not ridicule the
Holy Bible. But we are living now in an age of SKEPTICISM. We are
living in an age of doubt.
Most highly educated people, and men of science, assume that
the Bible is not the infallible revelation of a supernatural God,
and they assume this WITHOUT THE SCIENTIFIC PROOF that they demand
on material questions.
Most fundamentalist believers assume, on sheer faith, never
having seen proof, that the Holy Bible is the very Word of God.
Very few people have stopped to prove whether or not the Bible
is really the inspired Word of God. Very few people TREMBLE before
what it says or regard it as having REAL AUTHORITY.

How Could You Prove It?

Some people seem to think that Jesus' miracles were recorded to
prove his divine Messiahship. But the skeptics don't believe those
miracles ever occurred.
Some people will say answered prayer is the proof of
inspiration. But the skeptic has had no prayers answered. He
doesn't believe that anybody ELSE has.
There is, however, one source of irrefutable PROOF!
The Bible itself purports to be the infallible, divine
revelation of truth, revealed by the very Creator and Divine Ruler
of the entire universe. In your Bible, One is quoted, claiming that
HE is God, speaking in the first person, saying that he can make
and unmake nations, that he can carry out his judgments over
millenniums of time, claiming that he can foretell infallibly the
future of cities and empires, but that no MAN can.

TAUNTING the Skeptics

WHO IS this, quoted as saying, "I am God, and there is none like
me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times
the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand"?
One is quoted saying those very words in Isaiah 46:9-10.
Who is this claiming to foretell the future? Is it merely some
ignorant, ancient human with no power to make good his boast, who
wrote this blistering challenge to the skeptics, recorded in Isaiah
41:21-23? -- "Now, the Eternal cries, bring your case forward, now,
Jacob's King cries, state your proofs."
Yes, state your PROOFS! "Let us hear what has happened in the
past, that we may ponder it, or show me what is yet to be, that we
may watch how it turn out; yes, let us hear what is COMING, that we
may be sure that you are gods; come, do something or other that we
may marvel at the sight! -- why, you are things of naught, you can do
nothing at all!" (Moffatt translation).
There is the taunt of the One quoted as being God, and quoted
in the first person, taunting skeptics, saying, "Why, you're
nothing at all. Come on! Let's hear your arguments that we may
watch whether it turns out. Predict what is going to happen in the
future, and let us watch and see whether you can foretell. Have you
the power to bring it about? Are you a God? Do you rule the
universe? Can you make and unmake nations? Can you pronounce a
sentence or a decree on a nation, and bring it to PASS?" That is
the taunt of the God of the Bible to the doubter.

Prophecy is a PROOF of God

Prophecy is a proof of divine revelation! If One, in the Bible,
speaking and claiming to be God, can make prophecies and tell what
is going to happen in the future to nations, to cities, to empires,
then if it actually happens in every case, and without a miss,
you'll know that was a real God speaking.
But, if it were some person writing this, some human mortal
writing in ignorance, groping in superstition, making great boasts,
and claiming that he could foretell what was going to happen to
proud cities, to nations, to great empires, and then it never
happens, you know that that man was merely writing make-believe out
of his own imagination.
Yes, prophecy is a proof of God, a proof of the divine
revelation of the Bible. Prophecy is a taunting challenge that the
skeptic dares not accept!
History shows human civilization started with the development
of a few single cities -- Babylon, Nineveh and others. These
city-states developed into the earliest nations -- Assyria, Egypt,
Israel, Phoenicia, Chaldea, etc. Then, about the 7th century B.C.,
the first empire over nations was formed by the ancient king
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon -- the Chaldean Empire. About 604-585 B.C.
the Chaldean armies invaded and took captive the Jews in the land
of Judea. Among these Jewish captives, removed from their land and
deported to Babylon and Chaldea, was a very brilliant Jewish lad
named Daniel.

Prophecy Concerning Judah

There is one prophecy concerning the Jewish people, that they were
to be invaded and conquered, driven out of their own land and would
be punished for a period of 2,520 years. (See Leviticus 26:14-39
and, for a full explanation, write for our free book "The United
States and Britain in Prophecy".) Now, put that together with other
prophecies such as Haggai 2:20-22. Exactly 2,520 years from the
time that they were invaded and the land of Palestine was given
over to King Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. the very nation to whom
that land was deeded by God Almighty took possession of it.
That nation was not the Jewish people, but birthright people
who descended from Abraham. The birthright means right of birth,
and includes the possession of the land, that is, it includes
material resources and possessions. The possession of the land that
God promised to Abraham was handed on to Isaac, Abraham's son, and
then to Jacob. And then Jacob, just before he died, and when his
eyes were so dim with age that he couldn't see, reached out and
conferred that same birthright, including the possession of the
land of Palestine, not upon Judah, the father of the Jews, but upon
Ephraim, and together with him his brother Manasseh, both sons of
Joseph.
Joseph was one of the 12 sons of the ancient patriarch Jacob,
who was renamed Israel. Usually you don't hear of any tribe of
Joseph because Joseph was given a double portion. And his two sons,
Ephraim and Manasseh, each became a tribe. And so, rather, you
usually read of the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh.
When the name Joseph is occasionally used, it includes the two
tribes.

How Prophecy Was Fulfilled

Ephraim was made the chief birthright holder. And so, 2,520 years
from 604 B.C. Ephraim was to take Palestine again counting 2,520
years from 604 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1917.
When it comes to translating time and getting down to an exact
day of the year 2,520 years after Nebuchadnezzar came down to
Jerusalem and Palestine was surrendered to him, the Bible gives us
the date in terms of the Hebrew calendar. That calendar is set up
according to the new moons, with every month being 30 or 29 days.
Today we're living under what we call the Roman calendar or, as it
was slightly altered by Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar.
Actually, it is a pagan Roman calendar. The Roman calendar is all
that most of us know because we've been born in a world that uses
that calendar and no other.
A certain date according to the Hebrew calendar, will coincide
with a certain date on the Roman calendar one year, but the next
year will be about 11 days earlier, or maybe about 18 days later in
the year, because the Hebrew calendar -- sometimes called the sacred
calendar, which came from God -- goes according to the moon and runs
in 19-year cycles. The Roman calendar by contrast was concocted by
men who tried to make it come out right every year, and they've
never been able to make it do that!
So, when it comes to translating a certain prophesied date
recorded in the Hebrew calendar (in this case the 24th day of the
9th month -- see Haggai 2:20-22) to a date in 1917 according to the
Roman calendar, it takes some effort to figure. I found the Hebrew
date corresponded to December 9, 1917, which was 2,520 years from
the time Nebuchadnezzar accepted the formal surrender of the Jews
in 604 B.C.
I looked and found that the Turks, who are gentiles even
though they, in part, descend from Esau, Jacob's brother, possessed
Palestine in 1917. Esau, remember, anciently possessed the
birthright from Abraham through Isaac, but sold it for a bowl of
red soup when he was hungry. The Turks surrendered Palestine to the
British, on, what date? I had heard, and it had been published that
the date was December 11, 1917. December 11, 1917, I found, on
further investigation, was merely the date on which General Allenby
and his army made their triumphal march into the city of Jerusalem.
But it was two days before, on December 9, that the Turks made the
surrender.
That prophecy was fulfilled down to the very day, December 9.
And it was on the equivalent date, in 604 B.C., 2,520 years before,
six centuries before the birth of Christ, that the Jews formally
surrendered Jerusalem and Palestine to the gentiles from Babylon.
God Almighty has been able to keep his prophecies.
(For the evidence of who the birthright people are in
prophecy, see our free book "The United States and Britain in
Prophecy".)
At this point I want to give you a prophecy from the book of
Daniel, which, in itself, is one of the strongest proofs of the
inspiration of the Bible.

Revealed to Daniel

This prophecy was written some 500 years before the birth of
Christ. Could any man have written this prophecy and made it come
to pass? Could any man foresee in advance that the events in this
prophecy were going to happen? This prophecy, the longest in all
the Bible, begins 500 years before Christ and carries up to our
time and into the immediate future. So let us continue with the
prophecy.
Daniel was one of four extraordinary, intelligent and
brilliant Jewish lads in the Judean captivity. These four men were
stationed in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean
Empire, in training for special responsibilities in the Babylonian
government. Daniel was a prophet who had been given special
understanding in visions and dreams (Dan. 1:17).
Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world ruler. He had
conquered a vast empire, including the nation Judah. This king had
a dream so impressive it troubled him -- moved him to tremendous
concern. He demanded that his magicians, astrologers and sorcerers
tell him both what he had dreamed and what it meant. They could
not. They were baffled. Then Daniel was brought before the king.
Daniel disclaimed any more human ability to interpret dreams
than the Chaldean magicians, "BUT," he said, "there is a GOD in
heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king
Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28).
First, God's purpose was to reveal to this world-ruling human
king that there is a GOD in heaven -- that GOD IS SUPREME RULER over
all nations, governments and kings -- that God RULES THE UNIVERSE! It
was God who placed the cherub Lucifer on the throne of the earth
and Lucifer, who has become Satan the Devil, remains on earth's
throne only because God allows it, and only until God sends Jesus
Christ to sit on that throne when he removes Satan. This Chaldean
king knew only about the many pagan demon gods. He knew nothing of
the true living ALMIGHTY God. Like people and rulers, even today,
he did not know that God is the living, REAL, active, RULING and
GOVERNING PERSONAGE who actually and literally governs not only
what is on earth, but the UNIVERSE ENTIRELY!
The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S
GOVERNMENT -- the fact that God RULES -- the truth of THE KINGDOM OF
GOD -- the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS
CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal -- preserved in writing for us
TODAY -- what is to happen in the latter days -- actually within the
next two decades -- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

For US, Today!

This is no dry, dull, dead writing for a people of 2,500 years ago.
This is LIVING, TREMENDOUS, BIG NEWS for OUR DAY! It is advance
news for us, NOW. News before it happens -- of the most colossal
event of all earth's history certain to occur in your
lifetime -- during the very next few years!
This is THE TRUE GOSPEL! It is the very gospel Christ
preached! It is intended for you and me TODAY! It is vital that you
UNDERSTAND!
Read, in your own Bible, Daniel 2, verses 28 through 35. In
his dream, this king had seen a vast statue -- larger than any image
or statue ever built by man -- so colossal it was terrifying, even in
a dream. Its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver,
the belly and thighs of brass, legs of solid iron, feet a mixture
of iron and clay.
There was a time element. Nebuchadnezzar had viewed it until
a supernatural STONE came from heaven, smashing the statue on its
feet. Then the whole of the statue broke into small pieces, and was
actually blown away by the wind -- it disappeared! Then this STONE
expanded miraculously and quickly became a great MOUNTAIN -- so great
it filled the whole earth!
What did it mean? Did it have meaning? Yes, because this was
God's doing. Unlike ordinary dreams, this one was caused by God to
convey the message of God's sovereignty to Nebuchadnezzar -- and,
because it is part of the written Word of God, to us today -- to
reveal important facts of the TRUE GOSPEL!
"This is the dream," said Daniel (verse 36), "and we will tell
the interpretation thereof before the king."
This, then, is GOD'S interpretation. It is decidedly not
Herbert W. Armstrong's interpretation. Men ought never to interpret
the Bible. The Bible gives us GOD'S OWN INTERPRETATION! Here it is:
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings" -- he was the first real
WORLD RULER over a world empire! " ....for the God of heaven hath
given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." God was
revealing himself to this human world-dictator as the MOST HIGH
Ruler over all.
People today, like this Chaldean king, seem not to think of
God as a RULER -- as the Supreme One who GOVERNS -- as the Head of
GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing himself through Daniel to
Nebuchadnezzar -- and through the Bible to you and to me TODAY -- as a
SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL, GOVERNING GOD who is to be obeyed!
"Thou," continued Daniel to this human emperor, "art this head
of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to
thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear rule
over all the earth" (verses 37-39).

What IS a Kingdom?

Notice! This is speaking of KINGDOMS. It is referring to kingdoms
that bear rule over the people on earth. It is speaking of
GOVERNMENTS! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in
the hearts of men." It is not speaking of churches. It is speaking
of the kind of GOVERNMENTS that bear RULE and AUTHORITY over
nations of PEOPLE here on earth. It is literal. It is specific.
There is no misunderstanding, here, as to what is meant by the word
kingdom.
There is no misunderstanding the interpretation. GOD gives his
own interpretation through the prophet Daniel. The great metallic
image represented national and international GOVERNMENTS -- real,
literal KINGDOMS.
It represented a succession of world-ruling governments. First
was the head of gold. That represented Nebuchadnezzar and his
kingdom -- the Chaldean Empire. After him -- later, in time
sequence -- was to come a second, then a third KINGDOM "which shall
bear RULE over all the earth" -- world empire!
Then, verse 40, the legs of iron represent a fourth world
empire. It was to be strong, even as iron is strong -- stronger
militarily than its predecessors. Yet, as silver is less valuable
than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, though each metal
was harder and stronger, the succession would deteriorate morally
and spiritually. The two legs meant the fourth empire would be
divided.
After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian
Empire, then Greece the Greco-Macedonian Empire, and fourth, the
Roman Empire. It was divided, with capitals at Rome and
Constantinople.
Now -- verse 44! Read it! Get your Bible. See it with your own
eyes in your own Bible. Here, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, is God's
explanation of what the KINGDOM OF GOD IS:
"And in the days of these kings ... " -- it is here speaking of
the ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by
connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7, and Revelation 13 and 17, is
referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE that is now forming,
out of the European Common Market, before your very eyes!
Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a union of
TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS that (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect the old
ROMAN EMPIRE.
So, mark carefully the time element! "In the days of these
kings" -- in the days of these ten nations or groups of nations that
shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman Imprints what shall
happen:
" ... shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume all
these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever"!

Yes, in OUR TIME!

Now here we have described FOUR universal world empires -- the only
four that ever existed! Revelation 13 and 17 show that, after the
fall of the original Roman Empire, there would be ten
revivals -- SEVEN of which would be ruled over by a gentile
CHURCH -- the "daughter" of ancient BABYLON -- a church claiming to be
Christian, but actually named by God "MYSTERY, BABYLON the
great" -- or, more plainly, BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES!
Six of those have come and gone. The seventh is now
forming -- the last, final brief resurrection of the Roman Empire by
ten European groups or nations. These are revealed in Daniel 2 as
the ten toes of iron and clay mixed.
In their days -- and they shall last but a very short space,
possibly no more than two to three-and-a-half years -- shall the GOD
OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM that shall never be destroyed.
This, then, shall be THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
That prophecy of Daniel 2, combined with those of Revelation
13 and 17, alone are a convincing PROOF of the existence of God and
the authenticity and authority of the Holy Bible.
But there is much more constituting incontrovertible proof.

Longest, Most Detailed Prophecy in the Bible

Next we come to the detailed prophecy of the eleventh chapter of
Daniel.
It is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It is
most specific, describing historical events, up to the present, in
more detail than any other prophecy. It is the longest prophecy in
the Bible.
The prelude is found in the 10th chapter of the book of
Daniel. The prophecy came to Daniel in the third year of the reign
of Cyrus, king of the Persian Empire (Dan. 10:1). A "man,"
apparently the archangel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), appears before
Daniel, to make him understand what shall befall God's people in
these present "latter days" (10:14).
The first verse of the 11th chapter is a continuation from the
last verse of the 10th chapter. The angel says to Daniel, "Behold,
there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth
shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his
riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a
mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion,
and do according to his will" (Dan. 11:2-3).
Actually there were 12 more kings in the Persian Empire, but
only the first four following Cyrus were of importance for the
purpose of this prophecy. They were Cambyses, pseudo-Smerdis,
Darius and Xerxes. It was the last, or Xerxes, who was the richest
of all and stirred up war with Greece.
Then King Phillip of Macedonia planned a great war to conquer
the Persian Empire, with an army made up mostly of Grecians. He
died before the plans were completed. But his son, Alexander the
Great, took over his plans, and invaded Persia. He met the Persian
army at the Battle of Issus, 333 B.C. (Dan. 8:2, 5-6). Then he
swept down into Egypt, and then to a final crushing defeat of the
Persian Empire at the Battle of Arbella, 331 B.C., after which
Alexander marched on a conquest clear to India, sweeping all before
him.
Notice now verse 4 of the prophecy: "And when he shall stand
up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the
four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to
his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up,
even for others beside those."
How marvelously -- how accurately -- that came to pass. We quote
from one of the authoritative English-language histories published
in the last century, "A Manual of Ancient History" (Student Series)
by Rawlinson: "Cut off unexpectedly in the vigor of early manhood
[the 33rd year of his age, June, 323 B.C.], he [Alexander] left no
inheritor, either of his power or of his projects" (p. 237). The
Empire was left leaderless and in confusion, but out of this
emerged, by the year 301 B.C., four divisions, just as prophesied,
as a result of a division of the Empire into four divisions by
Alexander's generals. They were:
1. Ptolemy (Soter), ruling Egypt, part of Syria and Judea.
2. Seleucus (Nectar), ruling Syria, Babylonia and territory
east to India.
3. Lysimachus, ruling Asia Minor.
4. Cassander, ruling Greece and Macedonia.
Thus was the prophecy of verse 4 fulfilled to the letter.

The "King of the North" and the "King of the South"

Now notice what follows. From here the prophecy foretells the
activities only of two of these four divisions: Egypt, called "king
of the south," because it is south of Jerusalem; and the Syrian
kingdom, the king of the north, just north of Judea. It is because
the Holy Land passed back and forth between those two divisions,
and because their different wars were principally over possession
of Judea, that the prophecy is concerned with them. Here is verse
5:
"And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be strong, and one of
his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion;
his dominion shall be a great dominion." In history, we learn that
the original Ptolemy I, called Soter, became strong and powerful,
developing Egypt beyond the greatest dreams of Alexander. One of
his princes, or generals, Seleucus Nicator, also became strong and
powerful. And, in 312 B.C., taking advantage of Ptolemy's being
tied up in a war, he established himself in Syria, and assumed the
diadem as king.
Verse 6 says, "And in the end of years they shall join
themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall
come to the king of the north to make an agreement [margin,
"rights" or "equitable conditions," or "marriage union"]: but she
shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor
his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and
he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times."

Fulfilled to the Letter!

At the end of 50 years, this occurred exactly as described!
Syria's ruler, the king of the north, at this time was
Antiochus II, called Theos. His wife was named Laodice. And, says
Rawlinson's Ancient History, page 251, "Her influence ... engaged him
in a war with Ptolemy Philadelphus [king of the south], B.C. 260,
which is terminated, B.C. 252, by a marriage between Antiochus and
Bernice, Ptolemy's daughter."
The prophecy says "he that begat her" shall be given up. Also
that she shall not retain the power of the arm, neither shall the
king of the north, whom she married, stand. All three are to come
to their end. Notice how accurately this came to pass.
Says Rawlinson's History, page 251 and 252: "On the death of
Philadelphus [he that begat her], B.C. 247, Antiochus repudiated
Bernice, and took back his former wife, Laodice, who, however,
doubtful of his constancy, murdered him to secure the throne for
her son Seleucus (II) B.C. 246 ... Bernice ... had been put to death by
Laodice."
Nowhere in all the Bible is there so literal a prophecy,
giving so many details of future history. And to read an ancient
history of these kingdoms is simply to see unfolded before your
eyes, step by step, verse by verse, this marvelous prophecy. There
can be no doubt of its right application!

The Holy Land Changes Hands

Next let us notice verse 7: "But out of a branch of her roots shall
one stand up in his estate [margin, "in his office"], which shall
come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of
the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail."
"Out of a branch," or "shoot," of her roots. Her parents were
her roots. Hence, this must be her brother, who next should occupy
the throne of king of the south and fulfill this prophecy. Now
listen to this accurate fulfillment, quoted word for word from the
same page of Rawlinson's work (p. 252):
"Ptolemy Euergetes [the III, eldest son of Philadelphus (p.
272) and therefore Bernice's brother, a branch of her roots]
invaded Syria, B.C. 245, to avenge the murder of his sister,
Bernice ....In the war which followed, he carried everything before
him."
The eighth verse of Daniel 11 says this king of the south
would carry captives and vessels of silver and gold into Egypt, and
continue to reign more years than the king of the north, who at
that time was Seleucus II, and verse 9 says he (Seleucus II) shall
come into Egypt. As verse 7 said he should "enter into the fortress
of the king of the north," Ptolemy III did seize the fortress of
Syria, Seleucia, the port of Antioch, capital of the kingdom! Then
he carried back to Egypt immense booty and 2,500 molten images and
idolatrous vessels which, in 526 B.C. Cambyses had carried away
from Egypt. He continued to rule until 222 B.C., while the king of
the north, Seleucus II, died in 226 B.C.
When he died, his two sons took over the kingdom of the north;
first Seleucus III, 226-223 B.C., who ruled only three years, and
then his brother Antiochus III, called "the Great," 223-187 B.C.
Both of the these two sons of Seleucus II assembled immense forces
to war against Egypt, avenge their father, and recover their port
and fortress, Seleucia.
And this was accurately prophesied in verse 10: "But his sons
shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great
forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass
through: then shall he return and be stirred up [margin, "be
stirred up again"], even to his fortress."
"And," continues verse 11, "the king of the south shall be
moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even
with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great
multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand."
In fulfillment of the latter part of verse 10, Antiochus the
Great, after 27 years, recovered his fortress, Seleucia, and he
also conquered the territory of Syria, as far as Gaza, including
Judea. But the young Egyptian king, now Ptolemy IV (Philopator),
was roused, and with an army of 20,000 inflicted severe defeat on
Antiochus the Great; and fulfilling verse 12, he killed tens of
thousands and again annexed Judea to Egypt. But he was not
strengthened, for he made a rash and speedy peace with Antiochus,
and returned to dissipation, throwing away the fruits of victory.
Says verse 12, "And when he hath taken away the multitude, his
heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten
thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it ["prevail" -- RAV,
RSV]."
"For," as verse 13 continues, "the king of the north shall
return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former,
and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and
with much riches." It was "after certain years," or 12 years later,
205 B.C., that Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving his throne to an
infant son, Ptolemy Epiphanies. Then Antiochus assembled a greater
army, and won great victories.
He then made a treaty allying Philip of Macedonia with him,
and others, against Egypt, and they wrested Phoenicia and southern
Syria from the king of the south. In this they were assisted by
some of the Jews. Josephus' Jewish history says many Jews helped
Antiochus. But notice how accurately Almighty God had foretold
this, hundreds of years before it happened! --
"And in those times there shall many stand up against the king
of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves
to establish the vision; but they shall fall" (v. 14).

Read It in Your Own Bible!

To save space, the reader is asked from this point to read each
verse of the prophecy from his own Bible, thus saving us reprinting
the prophecy in full here. We give here only the facts in history.
Verses 15-16 -- "the glorious land," of course, refers to Judea,
the Holy land. Antiochus the Great besieged and took Sidon from
Egypt, ruined the interests of Egypt in Judea at the Battle of
Mount Panium, 198 B.C., and then Antiochus took possession of
Judea.
Verse 17 -- "upright ones" (see margin) in Hebrew means "equal
conditions, or marriage," but the one he marries will not stand on
his side. In 198 B.C., Antiochus arranged a marriage between his
daughter, Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra of 31 B.C. in Egypt) and
young Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of the south, by which he hoped
subtly to gain complete possession of Egypt; but the plan failed.
Says Rawlinson, page 254, "Coele-Syria and Palestine promised
as a dowry, but not delivered." Cleopatra did not truly stand on
the side of Antiochus, for it was only a trick to gain possession
of Egypt.
Verse 18 -- and so Antiochus turned his attention in another
direction and tried to conquer, 197 to 196 B.C., the islands and
coasts of Asia Minor. But the Roman general, Lucius Cornelius
Scipio Asiaticus, utterly defeated him at the Battle of Magnesia,
190 B.C.
Verse 19 -- Antiochus next turned his attention to the
fortresses of his own land, in the east and west. But, attempting
to recruit his dissipated wealth by the plunder of the Oriental
Temple of Belus, in Elymais, he was killed, 187 B.C.
Verse 20 -- Seleucus IV Philopator (187-176), his son, in an
effort to raise money, sent a tax collector, Heliodorus, through
Judea. But he reigned only 11 years, when Heliodorus poisoned him.
Verse 21 -- he left no heir. But his brother, a younger son of
Antiochus the Great, named Epiphanes (Antiochus IV), a contemptible
reprobate, came by surprise and through flattery took the kingdom.
To his aid came his assistant, Eumenes. Rawlinson says, page 255,
"Antiochus [Epiphanies], assisted by Eumenes, drives out
Heliodorus, and obtains the throne, B.C. 176. He astonishes his
subjects by an affectation of Roman manners" and "good-natured
profuseness [flattery]."

Antiochus Epiphanes

Verse 22 -- "the prince of the covenant" does not refer to Christ.
This was the attempt of Antiochus to replace the Jewish high priest
by another who would be subservient to him.
Verses 23-24 -- although only a few were with him at first, yet
by this "Roman manner," by deceit and flattery, he crept into power
and prospered. He also invaded Galilee and Lower Egypt. His
fathers, the former kings of Syria, had favored the Jews, but says
Rawlinson, page 255, they "were driven to desperation by the mad
project of this self-willed monarch."
Verse 25 -- Rawlinson, pages 255-256, says, "Threatened with war
by the ministers of Ptolemy Philometor [now king of the south], who
claim Coele-Syria and Palestine as the dowry of Cleopatra, the late
queen-mother, Antiochus marches against Egypt ... B.C. 171" (pp.
227-278). But he was met by his nephew, Ptolemy Philometor, king of
the south, with another immense army. But the Egyptian king was
defeated through the treachery of his own officers and was
outwitted by Antiochus.
Verses 26-27 -- continuing in Rawlinson, page 278: "After his
victory at Pelusium, Antiochus advanced to Memphis, and having
obtained possession of the young king's person [Ptolemy Philometor,
king of the south], endeavored to use him as a tool for effecting
the entire reduction of the country." In 174 B.C., the uncle of the
king of the south sat at a banquet. Antiochus pretended to ally
himself with the young Ptolemy, against his brother, Euergetes II,
but each was trying to deceive the other.

The Abomination of Desolation

Verse 28 -- in 168 B.C., returning from Egypt with great plunder,
Antiochus set himself against the Jews, massacred many, and then
returned to Antioch with golden vessels from the Temple at
Jerusalem.
Verse 29 -- the same year, he again invaded Egypt, but with none
of his former success, because Philometor, king of the south, got
help from Rome.
Verse 30 -- the Roman fleet came against Antiochus, he was
forced to surrender to the terms of Popillius, commander of the
Roman fleet, and retire from Egypt and restore Cyprus to Egypt.
Returning through Judea, smarting under the defeat, he vented his
exasperation against the Jews, and extended special favors to those
Jews who would turn from their religion.
Verse 31 -- then, 167 B.C., the next year, came the climax of
the horror. Antiochus sent troops to the Holy Land, who desecrated
the Temple and sanctuary, abolished the daily sacrifice (see also
Daniel 8:11, 24) and (Kislev 15, Hebrew calendar) placed the
abomination -- an imagine the altar in the temple precincts, making
it desolate (Rawlinson, p. 255). Many who claim to teach the Bible
try to apply the prophecy of this verse to Moslems in the 7th
century A.D., building the Dome of the Rock on the supposed site of
the ancient Temple at Jerusalem! But every verse of this prophecy,
step by step, verse by verse, unfolded in actual history, just as
here recounted, so there can be not the slightest shadow of doubt
as to this abomination that "maketh desolate" -- it was an idol set
up in 167 B.C., by Antiochus Epiphanies.

The Prophecy Comes to Christ and the Apostles

Verse 32 -- Antiochus tried to end the religion of the Jews. He took
away the daily sacrifice, forbade the ministration at the Temple.
He perverted by flatteries the Jews who were willing to forsake
their religion.
But -- right here, the prophecy cuts off from the continuation
of events in the history of those ancient north and south kingdoms.
Up to this point, the prophecy was unfolded, step by step, in the
actual history of the northern kingdom of the Seleucidae, or Syria,
and the southern kingdom of Egypt. But, say most commentaries, all
accurate details seem suddenly to stop short with this verse.
Now let us notice verse 32 in detail, and particularly the
last part:
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt
by flatteries." This, Antiochus Epiphanes did do. But now notice
the last part of the verse: "but the people that do know their God
shall be strong, and do exploits."
So our question now is, when, beginning with, and following,
167 B.C., did people begin to know God, and to be spiritually
strong, and to do exploits in the Lord's service? The answer is, at
the time of the Maccabees, beginning in 166 B.C., and, two
centuries later, at the first appearing of Jesus Christ and in the
days of the apostles!
Verse 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."
Jesus and the apostles did instruct many. But Jesus was put to
death, and history indicates that all the early apostles were
martyred, except John. And this continued, many days, even into the
Middle Ages, when millions were martyred for their faith.
Verse 34 -- "Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with
a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And
[verse 35] 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."
Here is described in general the whole course of God's people,
from the days of Christ to the present. Compare with such passages
as Rev. 12:6, 11, 13-17. And notice the vision carries on down to
this present time of the end.
Verse 36 -- The king of the north -- who is he, now, in the early
and middle New Testament times, to which our prophecy has come? In
65 B.C., Syria was swallowed up by the Roman Empire, and became a
Roman province. The Roman emperor now controlled Judea, and
therefore the king of the north, here referred to, is, at this
time, the emperor of the Roman Empire. This verse says he should do
according to his will, and he did -- exalt himself, and magnify
himself above every god, and he did; for the Roman emperors
required all to worship them and sacrifice to them, as a god. He
was as a god. He was to speak against the true God, and he did and
persecuted all Christians.
Verse 37 -- his fathers had worshiped idols, but the Roman
emperors set themselves up as gods.
Verse 38 -- the Roman emperors honored the god of forces, or
(margin) munitions, and developed the greatest war-making power the
world ever knew. "And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he
honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and
pleasant things." After setting themselves up as gods, before A.D.
476, the emperors who followed, beginning with Justinian, A.D. 554,
began to honor with gold, silver and power a god in a high
religious office never known to their fathers. (Compare this
prophecy of Daniel with Revelation 17:4, 5 and 18:3, 16.)
Verse 39 -- the emperors did acknowledge the supremacy of
religion, increased it with material glory and caused it to rule
over many.

Prophecy Skips to Present

Now we come to the very present century.
Verse 40 -- "And at the time of the end shall the king of the
south push at him ...." Who is today the "king of the south"?
It cannot be the king of Egypt, for in 31 B.C. Egypt became a
province of the Roman Empire, swallowed up by the king of the
north. Today Egypt is a republic ruled by native Arabs. It has no
king of its own.
But, in the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (verse 7), 247-222
B.C., Egypt annexed part of Ethiopia, immediately south of Egypt
(Rawlinson, pp. 272, 273). Since that time, the 11th edition of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica says (article "Ethiopia") Egypt and
Ethiopia were two or three times under the same government. Thus,
the two were as one land. And the only portion of that land of the
"king of the south" that remained independent until the 20th
century is Ethiopia!

Ethiopia, the King of the South

Ethiopia was the only country in all East Africa that continued
independent, and had a government and kingdom dating back before
the Roman Empire. It was the southern part of the kingdom of the
south. So it is the only possible government that could be the king
of the south.
At the time of the end -- our time -- this king of the south was
to push at the king of the north, now at Rome!
In 1895 King Menelik, of Ethiopia, sent an army of 9,000 to
10,000 men against General Baratieri's Italian army.
North of Ethiopia was Eritrea, belonging to Italy. And
southeast was Italian Somaliland.
In 1896 General Baratieri with 13,000 men tried to defend
Eritrea against the Ethiopians. They lost 4,600 whites and 3,000
native troops, and more than 3,500 were taken prisoner.
In a later engagement the Italians were cut to pieces because
of their inexperience in fighting in mountainous country and
because they were greatly outnumbered. This defeat was disastrous
to Italian expansion in Africa.
Ever since, Italy demanded revenge! In 1927 Mussolini set the
time, at just 40 years from that defeat, or 1935, when he would be
ready "finally to make our voice heard, and see our rights
recognized!"
1935 came. The hour struck! Mussolini attacked! Now notice
verse 40: " ... and the king of the north shall come against him like
a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships;
and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass
over."
A whirlwind comes in the air, sweeping all before it.
Mussolini did send a great air force into Africa! Also many modern
"chariots" -- trucks, tanks, etc. -- and ships, loaded with soldiers.
More than 100,000 sailed to Ethiopia.
And, notice it, Mussolini's forces were to pass over -- in the
air! It is at this precise point in this astounding prophecy that
Mussolini's struggle in Ethiopia and in World War II ended.
Mussolini did not finish the prophecy. There is yet another leader
to arise in Europe! Notice what will next happen!
Verse 41 -- "He shall enter also into the glorious land ..."
-- the Holy Land. This is soon to be fulfilled.
When the coming revival of the Roman Empire takes the Holy
Land, then the nations will be plunged into the initial phase of
the great, last and final crisis at the close of this age! Other
prophecies reveal that this revival of the Roman Empire will bring
into subjection the U.S. and Britain! (Request our free book "The
United States and Britain in Prophecy".)
"And," continues verse 41, "many countries shall be
overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and
Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" -- the modern land of
the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The coming dictator will unite
many others with him -- 10 in all (Rev. 17:12) -- reviving the ancient
Roman Empire.
Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now
the "king of the south."
Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after
its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the
king of the south) shall be at his steps -- and he will then control
them. Italy lost control of Libya and Ethiopia at the end of the
war.
Verse 44 -- but news out of the east and out of the
north -- Russia and the Orient -- shall trouble the revived Roman
Empire. Russia will enter the war!
Verse 45 -- the coming Roman Empire shall establish its palace,
as capital of the revived Roman empire, and eventually its
religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2 says the city
shall be taken! "Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help
him"! This language signifies the end of the "beast" and the "false
prophet" at the hand of God! You will find this end described in
Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12. Write for our free booklet
"Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?"
And now what is the time of this end, at the close of this
marvelous prophecy? The next verse, Daniel 12:1, says at the time
of the resurrection of the just -- at the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ!
This prophecy begins with the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt,
soon after the death of Alexander the Great -- 2,300 years ago. But
it ends at the time of the resurrection and the Second Coming of
Christ to bring peace at last to the region -- and to the entire
world! It is so plain, there can be no doubt of its right
application!

A Present Day Proof

There is a present day PROOF of the existence of God and the
authenticity of the Bible. It concerns this very booklet before
your eyes this minute, and the work that produced it.
The central prophecy given by Jesus Christ himself is found in
Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. These are three accounts by three
inspired writers writing on the same theme.
I refer to Matthew 24:14, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then
shall the end come." Jesus was speaking.
He was replying to a question by the apostles, "What shall be
the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?" (Verse 3). This
is the only place in the Bible where the words "end of the world"
appear.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples atop the Mount of Olives,
facing Jerusalem from the east. The gospel of Christ, the only
gospel he proclaimed and taught, was the kingdom of God. In verse
11 of this same speech Jesus warned them that many false prophets
would arise. In verse 4 Jesus warned these apostles: "Take heed
that no man deceive you." He was speaking to them. He had preached
to and taught them the good news of the kingdom of God. In verse 5,
Jesus said to his disciples, "For many shall come in my
name," -- every place in the Bible when people came in the name of
Christ they were appearing as his representatives or ministers,
"saying I [Jesus] am Christ, and shall deceive many."
That happened. Within a very short period after the Church was
founded on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, a violent controversy
arose concerning whether the gospel to be proclaimed was the gospel
OF Christ -- Jesus' own gospel that he proclaimed and taught, or a
gospel ABOUT Christ. Jesus had come as a messenger bearing a
message from God about the kingdom of God. That message was his
gospel. But soon many were ignoring Jesus' gospel -- the kingdom of
God -- and preaching merely that Jesus was the Christ, preaching
about the messenger, ignoring his message or gospel. That is still
continuing today. In Galatians 1:5-6 we learn they were, only 20
years after the Church was founded, turning to another gospel than
that which Jesus taught.
For 1,900 years this went on. Then, beginning 1934, the true
Church of God started the present World Tomorrow program, for the
first time in 1,900 years proclaiming the gospel OF THE KINGDOM!
Meanwhile, during the years we have been proclaiming this gospel,
the weapons of mass destruction have been produced that can erase
all humanity. The END OF THE WORLD -- OF THIS AGE -- IS NEAR! (Be sure
to request a copy of our free booklet "Are We In The Last Days?")
That very fact is another proof of the authority Bible!
Yes, IT TRULY IS TIME YOU KNEW THE TRUTH!