BLUF: The Kip Argument attempts to validate Old Testament prophecies (Daniel and other prophecies about Jesus) then moves into the modern day with the upcoming Ezekiel 38/39 Magog invasion. If the Magog invasion happens exactly as Ezekiel lays out then I would strongly urge non-believers to take another look at biblical prophecy.
The Kip Argument came about because I wanted to convey a lasting message to my Atheist friends that would stick with them even after I’m not around. It attempts to validate Old Testament Prophecies and then use that to springboard to events that I assess are on the near horizon, namely the Ezekiel 38 Magog Invasion of Israel.
The Old Testament piece mostly focuses on Daniel and discusses timelines, then briefly moves on to prophecies specifically about Jesus before reaching the conclusion of the coming Magog invasion. Watch for the discussion in the middle for the dating of Daniel, and then the follow up from Matthew.
The Kip Argument:
Jeremy Love the spirit here. However, if the bible is to be believed (and it its because it was written by an author outside of time) you have Ezekiel 38 still to come where Iran and Russia lead an invasion into Israel. But before that can happen the conditions have to be set, such as Israel having no walls and living in security. That would seem to indicate Psalms 83 will happen first.
Jeremy And in completely unrelated news a 1,000 year old bible was found which just happened to show Psalms 83 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060726-ireland-psalms.html
Kip The Bible is to believed because it was written by an author outside of time? No Jeremy, those are a claims without clear evidence. I dispute your claims that an entity can exist “outside of time”, that such an entity can/would write books, and lastly that an such questionable entity existing outside of time wrote a book “to be believed” when it’s stories appear just as one would expect representing knowledge, worldviews, and cultural frameworks from ancient desert dwelling people — including errors of knowledge and disagreements between historical events (inside the same text).
Re: your second post. Awesome!
Jeremy You dispute my claim? Good! That forces me to make a case and was a setup after all. You have to at least give me credit that I’ve taken this stance, wild and crazy as it is, and must now defend it. Although in the words of Charles Spurgeon “Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself.” So with that being said would you mind if I presented the reason for that ridiculous belief? Also, there is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation before investigation. (Edmund Spencer). Mind if I investigate and present? 🙂
Kip By all means, good Sir. You have the floor!
Jeremy Only if I do my job right. “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne & I myself have founded empires, but upon what do these creations of our genius depend?–Upon force! Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, & to this very day millions would die for Him.” Napolean Bonaparte
Jeremy Kip, first do you think it is possible that the God of the bible could exist and if so then could it also possible that He could send a message to us?
Kip I don’t know the answer to those questions. I wouldn’t know how those things might be possible. I can’t say “no”, because I’m not privy to the workings of the entire universe. I can’t say “yes”, because given my current understanding of physics, logic, and philosophy, the existence of such a thing would defy many details in these principles.
My simplest and most honest answer is, “I don’t know but it seems unlikely.”
Jeremy I’m not asking if you believe it. I’m just asking if you will concede that it is possible, even if unlikely.
Kip I’m really sorry I wasn’t clear. Rationally, I do not know if such a thing is possible. If you *were* asking for my belief, I would have answered, “no, I don’t believe that is possible.” I hope you understand that I’m splitting hairs, not to dodge your question, but to avoid being misleading.
I do not know, because I don’t have enough information to make an factual assessment whether gods positively do exist, or if it is even possible that they can.
Jeremy We can go from here. “IF” God exists, could he send us a message that could be authenticated by us? (God being all powerful, all knowing…etc). I”m not asking you to concede God exists, only asking a follow up assuming that He does.
Kip If I understand you, you are asking me, “Can (UNKNOWN X) send humans a message which is capable of authenticating (UNKNOWN X) as a source.” I don’t know if humans have the capability to authenticate gods (i.e., creator beings), from anything else sufficiently more advanced than us. Or tell god-like beings apart from each other in the case where they may want to deceive us.
So not only do I have the question of whether such a being could produce such a self-authenticating message, but could a human brain understand such a message? We can see we have major barriers to inter species communication; and I can only wonder what it might be like to try and communicate with something that grew on another planet altogether, let alone in another dimension.
I’m off track I assure you. To answer your question: It’s only logical to assume that a being who is ALL POWERFUL AND ALL KNOWING can do literally anything. “Sending a message that could be authenticated by us” is a subset of “literally anything”. So a god who has these attributes could indeed do that. You gave me the answer in the setup.
Jeremy Right on. To be clear I’m defending/supporting the God of the bible and the attributes that the bible details about him. We can talk Zeus or other dieties in another discussion if you like. For now, I would like to talk about the The Principal Discovery which is that the bible isn’t just thematically linked. It is an integrated message system of 66 books penned by 40+ authors over 1,500 years and it is provable (strong word I know) that it has its origin from outside our time domain. God uses his characteristic of being outside of time to authenticate his message. The more you study it, the more you find out that every word is in place for a reason, and they all point to Jesus. That is the audacious/ridiculous (outside of God) claim I will support in the following posts…
Jeremy So let me start by saying that the bible is the only holy book that hangs its authenticity on its ability to write history in advance. Before I get into the weeds with prophecy let me tell you why I think this is relevant to YOU today. Some skeptics may ask the question well why doesn’t God just pop on down and intervene….let us know he is there? My contention is that he has in the past on several occasions and will again in the very short future. The very short future is what should matter to you and WILL validate scripture again. One of the times when God tells history in advance is in the Book of Daniel where Daniel interprets a couple of dreams and one of those dreams has to do with nothing but the Gentile rule throughout upcoming history. His analysis is so accurate that many believed Daniel was written much later than it was, but Daniel is THE most authenticated book in the bible. We’ll get to him later. Another example Israel being sent into captivity, twice, and then being prophesied to come back into existence as a nation some 2,000+ years later. That happens to be the most accurate prophecy in history. It is accurate to the day. More on that later. So what’s the next big one? It is the battle described by Ezekiel 38 called the battle of Gog and Magog. I will detail this in the following post….
Kip Before you go further, there are some concepts that you are using that require some unpacking. For the time being, let me focus on your current premise as I understand it.
I understand you to be saying that, in absence of any other evidence, prophecy alone is enough to accurately authenticate the progenitor of the Bible as the same God written about, and that this being resides outside of time.
This overlooks many other possibilities, some of which I mentioned in my earlier post. I don’t see how you could say this was accurate, or why one would simply assume such a being MUST reside outside of time as the only way to accurately predict future events.
Jeremy This (prophecy) is just one dish on the buffet. But before I go on to the other dishes I have to prepare this one properly so it has a good presentation, is fun to look at, and is hopefully satisfying after you’ve had a sample. There is other evidence. Prophecy isn’t in a vacuum but I want to show just how awe inspiring and precise it has been and, if the bible is to be believed, will be.
Gloria A thing may not be used to validate itself. (This is from Logic 101, and should be common knowledge among educated people.)
Jeremy Hi Gloria! Welcome to the discussion. I hope you enjoy the exchange. Feel free to interject anytime. We will be getting to the logic portion of the two opposing world views a little later. As for a thing validating itself, allow me to present my prophecy evidence first. I am not going to use prophecy to validate prophecy, I am going to use History and the near future to validate what God’s word says.
Jeremy There are so many places to start with prophecy it can difficult to choose one, so let me start with my favorite. The book of Daniel. Why Daniel? It reveals Gentile history in advance. The bible generally deals with history, both past and future (prophecy) through the lens of Israel. The book of Daniel has two exceptions to this. It is exceptional because it shifts from Hebrew to Aramaic for chapters 2 through 7 then back to Hebrew. In fact, Daniel 4 was written by King Nebuchadnezzar himself! He not only wrote it, he posted it throughout the world. Daniel was so accurate that in 332 BC when Alexander was conquering through Jerusalem a priest named Juddua showed him references to himself in Daniel and the city was spared (Josephus). So with that small introduction let me get into those prophetic writings of history in advance…
Jeremy To set the background let’s begin with Nebopolassar who was intent on annexing parts of Syria from Necho II and at the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, lead by Nebopolassar’s son Nebuchadnezzar, the Egyptian army was defeated and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the control of Babylon. On his way home Nebuchadnezzar stopped to lay siege to Jerusalem and learns of his father’s death. He takes some of the best princes from Judah to get post graduate training as advisors in the Babylonian high court. Among these is Daniel. Now Nebuchadnezzar gets back to Babylon and he has all of these cronies that advised his father and he wants to know if he can trust these guys are not. Are they the real deal? In his second year as king Nebuchadnezzar has a strange dream. He comes up with a way to test his magicians, astrologers, enchanters, sorcerers, wise men…they had 5 different titles but they all overlap. The Babylonians used some of the occult in their dealings with knowledge and wisdom. So he tells his astrologers that he has had a terrible dream. And not only does he want the interpretation, he wants his astrologers to tell him what the dream was. His advisors are like, “Well tell us the dream and we will interpret it.” But the king just told them they were trying to buy time and that they were trying mislead him and hope the situation changes. They fire back at the king and tell him that nobody on earth can reveal it except the gods. What he asks is too difficult…
Jeremy So the king was peeved and ordered everyone with that job description executed. Daniel was in this job description and when Arioch, the commander of the King’s guard, was rolling around carrying out the King’s order, Daniel stopped and asked him why the King gave such a harsh decree? Arioch explained, then Daniel went in and asked the Nebuchadnezzar for time, so he could interpret the dream. So he goes back to his house and tells Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah that they are going to have a serious prayer meeting that night because their heads, and all of the otherwise mens’ heads, depended on it. Daniel gets shown the dream in a vision that night and the first thing he does is praise God. Next, he went to Arioch and asked to be brought before the King. So picture this, Arioch, being a shrewd bureaucrat, walks into the throne room with Daniel and announces, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the King what his dream means.” Well played Daniel…
Jeremy So the King asks if Daniel is able to tell him what he saw in his dream. And what follows is one of the best instances of grandstanding in the bible. With all of the advisors on the back row who couldn’t answer the king’s request and with their lives on the line, Daniel proceeds to both tell the king what his dream was and then the interpretation. Keep in mind this is 700 years before Jesus. Daniel starts by telling Nebuchadnezzar that there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries and explains that his dream shows what will happen in the future…
Jeremy Daniel 2:31-35 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue – an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain that filled the whole earth.”
Jeremy Daniel 2:36-41 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. After you will another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, for iron breaks and smashes everything – and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
Jeremy Daniel 2:44,45 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of the mountain, but not by human hands – a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold pieces.. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
Jeremy Nebuchadnezzar is impressed and promotes Daniel and the other 3 to high position in the Babylonian court. Daniel survives and is later promoted to roughly the same job in the Persian empire after they conquer the Babylonians! More on that later. What Daniel described the Time of the Gentiles that begins with Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah and will continue until the second coming of Jesus. These are the empires that ruled the world and they are described even more accurately in Daniel 7. The head of Gold was Babylon (606 BC – 539 BC), the chest/arms of silver were the Persians (539 BC – 332 BC), the abdomen and thighs was Greece (332 BC – 68 BC) and the Iron is Rome I (68 BC – ? *who conquered the Romans?) and the Iron mixed with clay is what I’ll call Rome II or the coming world government that will be run by the Antichrist. Now that’s not too shabby of a prediction, but it gets more detailed in Daniel 7. This chapter describes how God sees the statue from Daniel 2…
Jeremy Oh, and the rock not made by human hands is Jesus. When he returns he will smash all of the current countries on earth and his kingdom will fill the earth.
Kip My objection with your claims on the date of Daniel and by whom it was written, are based on Hebrew and Greek loan words used in the earliest surviving mss (Dead Sea Scrolls).
It’s the opinion of most scholars that Daniel wasn’t finished until after Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the altar of the Temple of Jerusalem in 167 BCE.
The claim that Nebuchadnezzar wrote Daniel 4 and “posted it throughout the world” seems unlikely as there are no other earlier copies of this extent, despite many thousands of examples of writing in clay in stele and cylindrical from at that time period. If there were we wouldn’t be running into the former problem of dating this book.
Jeremy I’ll pause to address this. From 285 to 270 BC, 72 scholars at Alexandria translated the Old Testament into Greek. That project is called the Septuagint and that document is what is primarily quoted in the New Testament. This was commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus, the son of Ptolemy Soter who was one of Alexander the Great’s 4 main Generals. Daniel was so acurate that in 332 BC when Alexander was conquering through Jerusalem a priest named Juddua showed him a reference to himself in Daniel and the city was spared (Josephus: For the date, cf. the Loeb Classical Library ed. of Ant. XI 317, p. 467 notes c and e) That’s a couple hundred years before Antiochus Epiphanes. But while we are here why did these “most scholars” choose Antiochus Epiphanes as the time Daniel was written? (They still have problems with the history to follow even if this was true.)
“Earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew, presumably made for the use of the Jewish community in Egypt when Greek was the lingua franca. The Pentateuch was translated near the middle of the 3rd century BC; the rest of the Hebrew scriptures were translated in the 2nd century BC. The name Septuagint was derived from a legend that 72 translators worked on the project. Its influence was far-reaching. The Septuagint rather than the original Hebrew Bible was the main basis for the Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and some Arabic translations of the Bible.”
Also, speaking of cylinders. There is something called the Cylinder of Cyrus at the British Museum in London that I will be citing later along with other finds. 😉
Jeremy I’ll pause to review where we are in the timeline of Daniel as it is not put together chronoligically. Chapters:
1 – Babylonian Captivity 606 BC
2 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream 602 BC
3 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Image
4 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
7 – The vision of the 4 beasts 556 BC
8 – The Ram and He-goat vision 554 BC
5 – Babylon falls to Persia 538 BC
9 – Vision of the seventy weeks 538 BC
6 – The Lion’s Den
10-12 Closing visions (A glimpse of the dark side)
I am going to skip down to Chapters 7 and 8 which covers the future gentile world powers in detail then touch on the fall of Babylon and the 70 weeks. That should close out Daniel and we’ll move on to what the Bible says about the immediate future (I believe) and why you should care. (Pending any questions)
Jeremy Also, a fun science fact: The metals listed in the dream follow from heaviest to lightest in terms of specific gravity.
Gold 19.5 Head
Silver 10.5 Chest/Arms
Bronze 8.0 Abdomen/Thighs
Iron 5.0 Legs
Iron+Clay 1.9 Feet
No earth shattering insights as to why this is, just a fun fact or happy coincidence.
Moving on to the time of the gentiles in detail…Daniel Chapter 7. Keep in mind that the most astonishing passage in the bible is in chapter 9. So stay tuned.
Kip Earliest fragments of the LXX document are from Leviticus and Deuteronomy dated to the 2nd century. The stories of Juddua meeting Alexander and Ptolemy’s translation of the OT into Greek remain legendary.
I’m familiar with the Cylinder of Cyrus from doing previous research on the Book of Isaiah.
Jeremy So are you saying you don’t believe the entire old testament was translated into greek in 270 BC?
Kip I’m saying that there’s no consensus that it was the way the legend tells it. And as no documents survive from that period, I’m left with a question mark instead of a cohesive picture.
Kip If it happened that way, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, mind you. It seems perfectly reasonable. Except… of course, those verses that predict events on paper dated to time periods after the event they report.
Jeremy The excpet. Of course. I believe Daniel lived around 600 BC with Nebuchadnezzar and the book of Daniel happenned exactly as it says it did. Modern critics say the book was completed around 168-165. The skeptic has a lot of trouble with this because of how bang up accurate it describes the world powers both before and at the time (and unitl the end of time) of Jesus. That is half my point. Without getting too wrapped around the axle about which exact century the earliest evidence exists, let me move on (briefly) to the beasts. Then on to the awesomeness that is Chapter 9 after which I will get to where I really want to go, and that is the immediate future. (2 years? 10 years?)
Kip Overall I’m really interested for you to make a case that predictability means 1) Your God exists, 2) Your God is moral, 3) Your God created the Universe, as opposed to some other entity, god, demi-god, alien, or natural occurrence.
I’m glad you’re taking the time to lay out all these supposed prophecies, but I’d like to, at some point, tackle the larger issues at hand.
Jeremy We’ll get to the other issues. But this started with my comment: “However, if the bible is to be believed (and it its because it was written by an author outside of time) you have Ezekiel 38 still to come ” and you replied, “No Jeremy, those are a claims without clear evidence. I dispute your claims that an entity can exist “outside of time”. Yes, this is detailed. But you are a detail oriented individual. Let me wrap this line of thought up and present my case for the God of the bible being outside of time then you can hit me with the other issues. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15 The most amazing passage in scripture and the conclusion are coming.
Jeremy Moving right along in Chapter 7 Daniel has a vision of 4 beasts. These beasts are the same 4 empires described by Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. The statue is how man sees these empires. Shiney, valuable, regal etc. The beasts describe how God sees these empires. The first of these is Beast 1: “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it. Not surprisingly, this is the Babylonian empire. No surprise here as Daniel is alive at this time.
Beast 2: ““And there before me stood a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, “Get up and eat your fill of flesh!” This is the Medo-Persian empire. It was not as regal as a lion. Xerxes had 2 1/2 million men in his army. The bear signifies the raw strength of the Persians. The 3 ribs are the 3 primary conquests of the Persians of Babylon, Egypt, and Lydia. On its side references the Medo-Persian empire since Cyrus the Great was half Mede, half Persian. The Persian influence eventually wins out but it still has the “weaker” side of the Medes.
Beast 3: “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had 4 wings like those of a bird. This beast had 4 heads and it was given authority to rule.” A leopard is characterized by speed. Alexander the Great started his career at 20 when he assumed the mantle of his father, Philip of Macedon and in just 6 years he had conquered the whole Persian empire. By 29 he had subdued the entire world. Not bad. Interestingly, when he died his kindom was divided into 4 and given to his top 4 Generals: Cassander got Macedonia and Greece, Lysimacus got Thrace, Bithynia, and most of Asia minor, Ptolemy controlled Egypt, Cyrene, and Arabia Petraea while Seleucus held Syria and the lands all the way to the India. Israel would then be trapped between fighting betwen the successors of Ptolemy and Seleucus.
Jeremy Now we get to beast 4. I want you to keep in mind I believe, based on the evidence, that Daniel wrote this in 600 BC. But even if you date it to 180 as the skeptics do, you still have the fourth beast to deal with intellectually. Beast 4, “After that, in my vision at night and I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast – terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It has large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from the former beasts, and it had 10 horns.” The text then does a shift to what I believe is the Rome II version of the empire in which the anti christ comes to power. Verse 9 then talks about the Ancient of Days and so forth. But that’s for another time. Rome is on the rise and 1 by 1 Greece’s broken quarters fall to Rome. Cassander’s kingodm falls in 146 BC, Lysimachus’s kingdom in 133 BC, Seleucus’ kingdom in 64 BC, and finally Ptolemy’s kingdom in 31 BC. As a side note for some reason I have the only physical description of the anti christ given in the bible. Zachariah 11, last verse. I’ll leave that to you to read.
Jeremy So Daniel sees all of this and he’s like….ok. What do I do with this? So he asks one of the “guys” standing around. What does this mean? So one of them told Daniel, “These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” Cool, kinda spooky but cool. So Daniel has a question about the 4th beast because it was different from the first 3. You can read what follows as it is describing the great tribulation written about in Revelations. On to Chapter 8.
Jeremy In Chapter 8 he sees a vision of the Ram and the Goat. He sees the Ram butting West, North, and South. That’s Persia again who was yet to invade Babylon. Then a goat comes out of the west and he’s so fast he doesn’t even touch the ground. That is a clear idiom for speed. The speed in which Alexander the Great moved across the land. We know this because in verse 20 the Angel Gabriel tells him. ‘The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.” 21 The shaggy [u]goat represents the [v]kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.” Well that describes what happened to Alexander’s kingdom exactly as it happenned to have happenned. Interesting. But lets say this is so accurate you think Daniel wasn’t written until 180 BC. You still have the 4th Beast to contend with which is also the legs of iron and the feet of iron mixed with clay from chapter 2. It is described as having large iron teeth and it crushes and devours its victims and tramples them underfoot. It was different from the other beasts. This turns out to be true in history. The Babylonians took the best of the princes captive and sent them to post graduate school. They recongnized the value of the cultures and people they were fighting. By contrast, Rome loved destroying things utterly. Also, there were 2 legs of Rome. One in the West, Rome, and the other leg was in the East, Constantinople.
68 BC Rome emerges
44 BC Julius Caesar assassinated
31 BC Battle of Actium
64 AD Nero begins his persecutions
284 AD Diocletian divides into 2 (legs)
312 AD Constantine moves to Byzantium
The Eastern leg survives for a thousand years after the West one collapses.
476 AD The Empire breaks into pieces (Each remaining segment has had its era, Dutch, French, British et al)
Notice how accurate Daniel is. No emerging world power defeated the Romans. It had 2 legs, literally. The Iron mixed with clay is the final One world government that is coming. That is the one that will be destroyed with the rock not cut by human hands. Jesus.
Jeremy Daniel 8 also talks about the little horn which turned out to be Antiochus Epiphanes. Daniel 8:9,10 – And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, toward the south, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
Antiochus IV 8th King of the Syrian dynasty 175-164 BC (1 Macc 1:10; 6:16)
Ascended the throne following the murder of his brother Seleucus philopator. Real heir was hostage in Rome, Demetrius
Antiochus succeeded in obtaining the throne largely through flattery and bribery 11:21
Came to power in 175 BC. Invaded Egypt and defeated Ptolemy 6. V.9
Recalled from Egypt by Rome, he made Jerusalem a buffer state
-Plundered and desecrated the Temple.
Called himself Epiphanes, “the illustrious one”
The Jews called him Epimanes, “the madman”
“11 It even magnified itself [m]to be equal with the [n]Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. 12 And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, [o]while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host [p]to be trampled?” 14 He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be [q]properly restored.”
Jeremy If the 2,300 days are taken as being literal 24 hour days, the period would be between 6 and 7 years, which approximates the time of Antiochus began to perpetrate his atrocities in about 170BC. He dies in 164. It’s interesting, but no precision. The Jewish priest, Judas Maccabeus (the hammer) drove out the Syrian army, at which time the temple was cleansed and rededicated after its pollution. This cleansing is still celebrated in the Feast of Lights, Hannukah John 10:22
The literal translation of the word “days” there is Evening/Morning which could = 1150 days which is 110 short of 3 1/2 years.
Fastforward to the New Testament and Jesus is giving a confidential briefing to Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They want to know when Jesus will return. Jesus points them to Daniel 9 as the key to “End-time” prophecy. They wanted to know WHEN will these things happen, WHAT will be the SIGN of his coming, and WHEN is the end of the age?
So what’s the sign? Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let me interject a question and observation here. The abomination of desolation is when Antiochus set up an idol (probably Zeus) in the Holy of Holies. Jesus said that is going to happen one more time. The first observation is that there needs to be another Temple in Jerusalem for this to happen. But let us pretend there is one there today. Question: How can YOU see what is going on the Holy of Holies? Only one guy is allowed in there, once a year and after great preparation. Answer: CNN.
As a fun aside here and if you think the Jews rebuilding the temple is far fetched, imagine during WWII when biblical scholars were wrestling with this verse as there had to be an Israel before there could be a temple. 🙂
This is further astonishing that Jesus says this about the abomination of desolation in the temple when he had just finished predicting the building’s destruction! Mark 13: As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold [a]what wonderful stones and [b]what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”
This prediction turned out to be true in 70 AD when Rome destoryed it. Jesus predicts an event that is going to happen in a building that he predicts is going to be destroyed! Staggering if you think about it.
Kip Re: Literal translation of “days”. Heb: ereb boqer. Eng: Dusk to Dawn.
This is an example of using a verse and having to re-tool it to make it work. You can’t call this accurate.
I think if the creator of the Universe wished to communicate it’s intentions regarding a small tribe residing on the thin crust of an unremarkable planet in an out of the way solar system, somewhere off in the corner of the galaxy, which has no special place in relation to the other galaxies, I can only hope he would use a better method of communication than cryptic and veiled references in book.
Bishop Not necessarily. The use of ‘ereb bower’ is used in a non-literal manner in many different places: generally, though, to mean a length of time from ‘here’ to ‘there’ and most often just referring to “soon.” So nothing has to be retooled here at all except maybe a perspective of inquiry.
This is one of the main reason why I’ve stopped discussing biblical scholarship with fundamentalist end-times nuts and atheists. They reside within the exact same headspace of literalism in the bible that isn’t even good scholarship in the first place. I mean, take this kid for instance: I haven’t seen so much dispensationalist nonsense since I was a child (or finished reading Crowley, depending on my mood of throwing jabs around). It’s utter nonsense that is straight out of Lindsey’s _Late Great Planet Earth_ and the 70s/80s ilk like that. Most biblical scholarship has progressed lightyears from these backwater ideas.
Though, to be honest, it really is beyond me why so many words are being used just to answer the simple question you put forward. Sounds like a lot of noise with so very little signal.
Jeremy I said it wasn’t precise. Just interesting.
Jeremy Bishop. I’m getting there. But I am a fundamental end time literal nut. 🙂
Bishop I’d have never guessed.
Kip Bishop, re: “used in non-literal manner”. Yes it has been “re-tooled” (i.e, re purposed for another meaning (i.e, other than “day”)). Jeremy is saying that since ereb boqer literally means “dusk” “morning” instead of the non-literal “day”, that he can take the number 2,300 preceding it and divide it in half, 1150 for dusk, and 1150, for the rest of the morning (or something like that).
I’m an atheist, and I don’t really think all atheists view the Bible the same, despite your point of view. I personally view it as mixture of etiology, folklore, and legend, of which I alluded to by one of my earlier statements in this thread.
This started because Jeremy made a statement, I disputed it on various grounds, and he then asked me if I would allow him to make his case. I told him he had the floor. I think it would be horribly rude of me to pull the rug out from under him on the grounds that I disagree, when I knew I disagreed beforehand.
Will this solve the fundamental problem of faith versus reason? No. I can predict, with fairly good experience to back me, that this is exactly what all these arguments will come down to.
Still, I’m interested to see what drives a person. I’m interested to know what one must ignore, and leap to grasp, in order to retain various beliefs – even when in direct defiance of reality.
Plus, I like Jeremy. I like you. Even though I disagree with you both on particular, even fundamental, issues. There’s always more to a person than just their belief system.
Jeremy “I think if the creator of the Universe wished to communicate it’s intentions regarding a small tribe residing on the thin crust of an unremarkable planet in an out of the way solar system, somewhere off in the corner of the galaxy, which has no special place in relation to the other galaxies, I can only hope he would use a better method of communication than cryptic and veiled references in book”
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2
These were noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all openness of mind, yet searched the scriptures daily, to prove whether those things were so. Acts 17:11 (Check it out for yourself)
You want me to use my brain right? So does God. My view is they aren’t cryptic and in contrast are really straight forward. Where I ere is in my interpetation of them. As to the WHY of this statement, I do have an answer but that is for another time. I’m sure we’ll get there.
On to Daneil 9!
Jeremy The 70 weeks of Daniel are verses 24-27 of chapter 9. Daniel starts this chapter by praying and is interupted by Gabriel who comes down to give him a word. Here’s the breakdown:
24 – The Scope
25 – The 69 Weeks
26 – The Interval
27 – The 70th Week
24 – Seventy weeks have been declared for your people and your holy city, to: finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for inquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision, and prophecy to anoint the most holy place. (Holy of Holies)
From a theological viewpoint you could say that Jesus has already made an atonement for iniquity for us in the present, but I think we can agree the other stuff hasn’t happened yet as there is still sin, still transgression, no holy place….
So what’s a week? There are a few in the bible. There’s a week of days. (Gen 2:2, Ex 20:11), a week of weeks: Feast of Weeks (Lev 23:15,16), a week of months: Nisan to Tishri (Ex 12:2, Lev 23:24), and a week of years: Sabatical years for the land (Lev 25:1-22; 26:33; Deut 15; Ex 23:10,11; 2 Chr 36:19-21)
25 – So you are to know and discern that FROM the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem UNTIL Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
Notice the 69 weeks are 7 + 62. Rechob = stree, charuts = wall, moat.
This is a mathematical event that goes from something, to something.
There are 4 decrees in the bible but only one that deals with the city of Jerusalem and that is by Artaxerxes, March 14, 445 BC. (Nehemiah 2:5-8,17,18)
If we use a 360 days/year calander from this date it calculates: 69x7x360 = 173,880 days
Super, what does that mean on our calendar?
Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry April 6, 32 AD (Jesus begain his ministry in the fall of 28 AD. Tiberius appointed 14 AD, Agustus died August 19, 14 AD, within the 15th year of Tiberius (Luke 3:1) the 4th Passover: April 6, 32 AD: Source: Sir Robert Anderson “The Coming Prince” 1894)
445 BC – 32 AD = 173,740
Mar 14 – April 6 = 24
Leap Years = 116
Why 360 day years instead of 364 and 1/4?
First, the bible deals in 360 day years. (Gen 7:24, 8:3,4; Daniel 9:27, Rev 11:2,3;13:5)
Also, and more importantly to the skeptic all ancient calednars AT ONE TIME (emphasis added :)) were based on a 360 day calendar including: Assyrian, Chaldean, Egyptian, Hebrew, Persian, Greek, Phoenician, Chinesse, Mayan, Hindu, Carthaginians, Etruscans, Teutons
Then they all change about 701 BC. For some unknown reason. Joshua 10:12,13 maybe?
Jeremy So this is either absolute proof of God being accurate to the day regarding when the Messiah would present himself in Jerusalem on a donkey, or this is just convenient math. Even if you don’t buy the exact date of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem or the decree you are still really darn close.
Jeremy OH, I almost forgot. Daniel 9:26 “Then after the 69 weeks (62+7) the Messiah will be CUT OFF and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will DESTROY THE CITY AND SANCTUARY. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
Remember that bit about Jesus telling the disciples when you see an abomination of desolation in the temple then that is when you head to the hills; RIGHT after he finished predicting the temple would be destroyed? And we were kinda going back and forth on the earliest manuscripts being Matthew maybe around 80 AD so it could have been a fraud? That prophecy is here also, 600 years before Christ, at least 300 by the Septuagint, and 180 if you are skeptical of the time when Daniel was written. So the exact year Jesus said it is pretty moot, but still interesting.
In 70 AD Titus Vespasian commanding the 5th, 7th, 10th, and 15th Roman Legions did exactly that. The temple was destroyed, Jerusalem sacked, and Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege. This verse says it will happen after the Messiah is cutt off, which means to kill, execute, eliminate. Isn’t that interesting? 🙂
Jeremy As a fun aside Revelation 13:1,2 “Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mount like that of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his trone with great authority.”
Notice anything familar? The beasts are written in reverse order in contrast to Daniel. That is because Daniel was written in the past, and Revelation happens sometime in our future, so it is looking back.
Jeremy A final word on Daniel. He was quite an exceptional individual. He rose to be, roughly, the prime minister of Babylon AND the Persian empire after they capture Babylon. That’s quite the accomplishment. According to Josephus on October 12, 539 BC, Cyrus’ general captured Babylon without a battle by diverting the river Euphrates so that the troops could pass under the gate. (Josephus, Antiquities, Xi, 1,2) When Cyrus the great made his grand entrance Daniel is out on the road waiting for him and he hands Cyrus a 150 year old scroll, from Isaiah, which contained a personal letter addressing Cyrus by name!
Isaiah died 150 years before Cyrus was born. So Cyrus reads the following:
Isaiah 44:27 ” “It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ‘Be dried up!’
And I will make your rivers dry.
28 “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd!
And he will perform all My desire.’
And [x]he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’
And of the temple, ‘[y]Your foundation will be laid.’”Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed,
Whom I have taken by the right hand,
To subdue nations before him
And [a]to loose the loins of kings;
To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
2 “I will go before you and make the [b]rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
3 “I will give you the [c]treasures of darkness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
4 “For the sake of Jacob My servant,
And Israel My chosen one,
I have also called you by your name;
I have given you a title of honor
Though you have not known Me.
5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will [d]gird you, though you have not known Me;”
Holy cow. Cyrus is duly impressed. This is a cute story that is documented by Josephus but is not in the bible. However we do know that Cyrus then freed the captives and returned the vessels that had been plundered from the temple 70 years earlier. He gave the Jews incentives to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple (2 Chr 36:22; Ezra 1:1-4)
And then he promoted Daniel to roughly the same position in the Persian empire.
If you go to Iran today they still hold Daniel and Esther in VERY high regard. How do I know? My wife’s Grandfather was stationed in Iran in the Air Force back in the 70s. They told him so. He also visited Daniel’s tomb. It is there to this day.
Scott Well, while all this commentary is FAR too long to actually make me wish to read, the original post is very cool. The idea that people in general do not wish to make war with other people is not too much to handle. No amount of prophesy (read: guessing) is going to change some things. A book does not define who we are.
Jeremy Stick around Scott. If you read nothing else I think you will enjoy my conclusion.
Jeremy Here is a short list about prophecies regarding Jesus from the Old Testament. There are over 300 but I will only list a few. The point is to show how literal these prophecies were as opposed to allegorical as well to further demonstrate that the bible is an integrated message system, penned by 40+ authors, over 1,500 years. The list:
Psalms Messianic Details
Son of God 2:7, 45:6,7, 102:25,27
Son of Man 8:4-6
Son of David 139:3,4,27,29
Prophet 22:22,25; 40:9,10
Speak in Parables 78:2
Will calm the storm 89:10
To be despised 2:6, 69:19-22
To be rejected 118:22
To be mocked 22:7-8, 89:51-52
To be whipped 129:3
To be derided 69:8,20
Impaled on a cross 22:1-2, 14-17
Given wine mixed with gall 69:20-22
Lots cast for his garments 22:18-19
Not a bone shall be broken 34:21
Rise from the dead 16:10
Ascend to heaven 68:19
At the right hand of God 110:1, 80:17
Is the High Priest 110:4
Will judge the nations 89:35-37
Is the Son of God 2:7
Is the Son of David 110:1 (Matt 22:42-45)
People will sing Hosanna to him 118:25-26
Will come in glory in the last days 102:16-23
Psalms 22:1, 7-8 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? All that see me laugh me to scorn, they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, “He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”
He was to be of David’s family (2 Sam 7:12-16; Ps 89:3-4, 110:1;132:11; Isa 9:6, 7, 11:1)
He would be born of a virgin (Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14)
He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
He would sojourn in Egypt (Hos 11:1)
He would live in Galilee (Isa 9:1,2)
In Nazareth (Isa 11:1)
To be announced by an Elijah-like herald (Isa 40:3-5); Mal 3:1, 4:5)
Would occasion massacre of Bethlehem’s children (Gen 35:19-20; Jer 31:15)
Would proclaim a Jubilee to the world (Isa 58:6; 61:1)
His mission would include the gentiles (Isa 42:1-4)
Ministry would be one of healing (Isa 53:4)
He would teach through parables (Isa 6:9-10; Ps 78:2)
He would be disbelieved, rejected by Rulers (Ps 69:4; 118:22, Isa 6:10, 29:13; 53:1)
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Zech 9:9; Ps 118:26)
Betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:1-13; Ps 41:9)
Would be given vinegar and gall (Ps 69:21)
They would cast lots for his garments (Ps 22:18)
His side would be pierced (Zech 12:10; Ps 22:16)
Not a bone would be broken (Ex 12:46, Num 9:12, Ps 34:20)
Would die among malefactors (Isa 53:9, 12)
Jeremy Yes, some of these are fully theological points, but many are specific about the details surrounding his ministry, where he would live, and his death. Most were out of his control. I especially like the 30 pieces of silver. There is more in that one detail but I’ll leave that for your research if you like. One rationalization is that the writers of the gospels knew all of these and penned their work in such a way as to fulfill the old stuff to further their agenda. But then would they really be willing to be brutally killed for a hoax?
So, Kip, let me assume that all of this is nice and well but you aren’t in the slightest bit moved by any of this to investigate any further. I’ve been WAY more detailed than most reasonable atheist/theist discussions care to go here on FB. But I’ve only hit a small percentage of these prophecies. According to one count, there are 8,362 predictive verses, 1,817 predictions on 737 separate matters (J Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy)
Super fun, so let me move on to something more tangible. I am not talking about Revelation. If you are alive when all of that goes down it will be self evident anyways.
I turn your attention to Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83, both of which I think will happen in the near future, before Revelation, and it will happen EXACTLY as the bible says it will happen.
Jeremy For your reading: Ezekiel 38 and 39. I will only hit the highlights here. The Magog invasion is pretty popular, and debated, prophecy about a Russian and Iranian lead invasion into Israel. The result is that God delivers Israel from an invasion against all odds for the following purpose:
Ezekiel 39:21 “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward.”
So who are the players? They are listed as Persia, Cush, Phut, Libya, Gomer, Togarmah, Meshech, and Tubal.
Jeremy Magog is Russia (some say Turkey), Persia is Iran, Libya is Libya, Gomer is the Cimmerians that settled along the Danube and the Rhine, Poland, Czech, Germany, Cush is Etheopia or Sudan, Toarmah is Turkey.
I saw a map on foxnews, but I can’t remember what the story was about, but it was THIS exact map with these countries highlighted except for Etheopia. Next time I’ll get a picture.
Jeremy Interestingly, Sheba and Dedan are spectators…Yemen and Saudi Arabia (not sure who Tarshis is).
So the basis of this battle is that Russia allies with Iran to go down to Israel for the purpose of taking spoil. When they are about to overcome Israel, God intervenes and magically rains fire from heaven and destroys them all.
Great story. So what? The key to remember is this was written 2,500 years ago. Russia didn’t become a world player until recently so why would it lead an invasion anywhere?
Russia and Iran certainly haven’t had any alliances in history. They just started cahooting a few short years ago.
One of the interesting passages here is Ezekiel 39:9 the Israelis will use the weapons for fuel for 7 years. Nuclear weapons?
In verses 12-14 it describes 7 months of cleansing, followed by a more detailed search where they will leave markers by the bodies so that professionals can bury them. Sounds like something directly out of a modern NBC handbook. They bury them in the valley of Hamon Gog (read: downwind).
Another interesting observation is who is currently providing Persia, Cush, Phut, and Togarmah with their arms? Russia. From Amnesty International’s website: “Transfers include missiles and missile launchers, anti-tank missiles for the Russian made T-72 tank, and MIG jet fighters. Russia also supplied AK style assault rifles to LIBYA…and continues to supply helicopter gunships to SUDAN.”
If you throw in the Iranian nuclear emergency and the oil discoveries in the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran you get the preparatory steps that are leading to the Magog invasion. But we aren’t there yet and let me tell you why.
Jeremy As you know I lean more towards a literal interpretation of the bible. So, as a rule, I have to stick by that when reading these prophecies.
In Ezekiel 38:8 it says, “After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you (speaking of Magog) will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate.” Notice how accurate this verse is and how it speaks in past tense about the them being gathered and the land desolate.
Impressive no? But down in verse 11 it says, “You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people-all of them living without walls and without gates or bars.”
Well that definitely does not describe the current state of Israel. There are walls. They are definitely not recovered from war. They are in a constant struggle. So this indicates that something dramatic has to happen IF this whole Magog thing is to happen EXACTLY as the bible says it will. One of the things to notice here are not the countries that Ezekiel lists, but the countries he leaves out. Look again at the map. All of those countries are pretty far off from Israel right? None of them are their neighbors. Interesting. Currently around Israel and NOT mentioned as attackers in Ezekiel 38 are: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Palestinian authority. So where are those countries mentioned?
I now direct your attention to Psalm 83.
Again I’ll let you read the passage and I will just hit the highlights.
First, the list:
Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philista, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt.
Those are all Islamic states and this is a list of all of their current next door neighbors. I can go into detail if you like but I’ll let you dig into that if you choose. But notice in verse 4 it says: “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
Have you heard that in the news lately?
Jeremy So what might be the order of events that lead to Magog?
1. Israel re-gathered in the Land (Ez 37:12; Isa 11:1112; Deut 30:3-5)
2. Ancient cities rebuilt and inhabited (Ez 36:1-5, 8-10)
3. They meet Muslim resistance (Jer 49:16; Zep 2:8; Ez 25:12; 32:5; 36:2;Oba 1:10)
4. Israel establishes an army for defense (Ez 36:67; 38:8)
5. Adjacent Muslim nations confederate (Ps 83:1-8)
6. Confederacy committed to the destruction of Israel (Ps 83:1-5,12)
7. War starts between Confederacy and Israel (Jer 49:2, 8, 19)
8. Title regained : “My people Israel” (Hos 1:8-10; Rom 9:25,26, Ez 36:8-12)
9. Israel decisively defeats the Confederacy (Oba 1:9,18; Ez 25:13,14; Jer
49:10,20,21,23-26; Isa 11:12-14)
10. Israel has become “an exceedingly great army.” ( Ez 37:10: Jer 49:21)
11. Israel takes prisoners of war. (Jer 48:46,47; 49:3,6,11: Zep 2:10,11)
12. The Region is reshaped (Isa 17:1 (Damascus finally gets “theirs”, Jer 49:2, Zep 2:4)
13. Israel expands its borders, Euphrates to Nile (Oba 1:19, Jer 49:2: Isa 19:18,19)
It would appear we are between steps 5 and 6 in this list.
Thank you for sticking with me. Now for the conclusion.
Jeremy The history of the world powers was accurately written down 700 years before Jesus. Rome was never overtaken by another world power. We are awaiting the “Rome II” version to come that will be the final world government.
The prophecies about Jesus are specific and were also in black and white hundreds of years before he walked the earth.
You said in an earlier post, “I think if the creator of the Universe wished to communicate it’s intentions regarding a small tribe residing on the thin crust of an unremarkable planet in an out of the way solar system, somewhere off in the corner of the galaxy, which has no special place in relation to the other galaxies, I can only hope he would use a better method of communication than cryptic and veiled references in book.”
God will invade. But before He does there are a couple more major world events that will happen that have been written down for thousands of years to prove this to you. That is if you don’t believe the other major world events like Israel becoming a nation again which is also prophesied and is spot on accurate.
Even the description of Jerusalem written by Zechariah is spot on with this absurd prophecy! “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people around about…and in that day I will l make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be torn to pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”
All of the leaders of the major countries in the world are sitting around today puzzling about what to do with Jerusalem. It is right there for you to see!
If Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 happen, just as the bible lays out, my hope is that you will give the other prophecies a second look.
2 Peter 1:16 – “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
Let me close with a quote by C.S. Lewis:
“God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”