He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8

Daniel 11-12

Daniel 11

Angelic Announcement of the Overthrow of Persia

1 “As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.

2 Now I will show you the truth. Three more kings will rise up in Persia, and the fourth will be far richer than all of them. When he has grown strong through his riches, he will incite everyone against the kingdom of Greece.

3 A mighty king will arise, who will rule with great authority and do whatever he pleases. 4 When he has risen to power, his kingdom will be broken up and divided to all four winds of the sky, but will not given to his descendants nor ruled with the authority with which he had ruled, for his kingdom will be uprooted and given to others besides these.”

The Kings of the South and the North

5 “The king of the south will become powerful. One of his princes will become more powerful than him, and in his dominion, he will reign with great power. 6 At the end of these years, they will join together, and the king of the south’s daughter will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, nor will he retain his. She will be given up, along with those who came with her and her father, and those who supported her during these times.

7 But from the descendants of her lineage, one will arise to replace the king of the south. He will come with an army, and will enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and will take action against them, and will prevail. 8 He will also carry their gods captive into Egypt, with their molten images, and with their beautiful vessels of silver and gold. For years, he will refrain from attacking the king of the north. 9 He will come into the realm of the king of the south, but he will return to his own land. 10 His sons will assemble a great military force and will wage war, advancing, overflowing and passing through like a river. They will return and wage war, up to to his fortress.

11 The king of the south will be moved with anger and will come out and fight the king of the north. He will send out a great military force, but it will be conquered. 12 When the king of the south has captured the military force, his heart will be prideful, and he will cast down tens of thousands, but will not prevail. 13 The king of the north will return and will send out a military force greater than the former. At the end of a period of years, he will advance with a large army, backed with great riches.

14 During that time, many will rise up against the king of the south. Also, the violent among your people will establish a rebellion to fulfill the vision, but they will fail.

15 So the king of the north will build a military blockade, advance, and take the well-fortified city. The forces of the south will not stand, not even the special forces. They will not have the strength. 16 But the one who comes against him will do whatever he pleases, and no one will stop him. He will establish himself in the glorious land with the power to bring destruction. 17 He will be determined to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, aligning and implementing equitable conditions with him. He will give him a daughter in marriage, to corrupt from within, but she will stand neither with him nor for him.

18 After this he will turn his attention to the islands and will take many, but a commander will cause their reproach to cease, and moreover, he will cause his reproach to turn back on him. 19 Then he will turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, and he will stumble and fall, and will not be found again.

20 Then he will establish a tax collector to represent him and go throughout the kingdom in order to maintain its glory. Within a few days he will be destroyed but not in anger or in battle.

21 In his place a contemptible person will rise up, to whom the honor of the kingdom had not been bestowed. But he will come in a time of security and will obtain the kingdom through deceit. 22 And overwhelming forces will be swept away and shattered before him, and will be broken. Yes, also the prince of the covenant.

23 After the treaty is made with him, he will work deceitfully, for he will rise up and will become strong, with only a few people. 24 In a time of peace he will come into the richest parts of the province, and he will do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers. He will distribute plunder, spoil, and riches to his followers. Yes, he will devise his plans against fortified cities, but for a limited time.

25 He will stir up his power and courage against the king of the south, with a great army, and the king of the south will wage war in battle with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he will not withstand them, for they will devise plans against him. 26 Yes, the ones who eat from his royal table will destroy him, and his army will be swept away. Many will fall down slain.

27 As for both these kings, their hearts will be fixed on evil and they will speak lies at the table, but it will not succeed, for the end will still be at the appointed time. 28 Then he will return to own his land with great wealth. His heart will be against the holy covenant. He will take action before returning to his own land.

29 He will return at the appointed time and come into the south, but it will not be in the latter time as it was in the former. 30 For ships of Kittim will come against him. Therefore he will be disheartened and will return. He will rage against the holy covenant and will take action. He will return and show regard to those who forsake the holy covenant.31 His forces will rise on his behalf, and they will desecrate the sanctuary fortress. They will remove the continual burnt offering and set up the abomination that brings desolation.

32 Those who act wickedly toward the covenant, he will corrupt through flattery, but the people who know their God will be strong and take action. 33 Those who are wise among the people will instruct many, yet they will fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder, for many days.

34 Now when they fall, some help will be given to them, but many will deceitfully align with them. 35 Some of those who are wise will fall, to refine and purify them, and to make them white, to the time of the end, because it is yet for the appointed time.”

The Tyranny of the Western King

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and will speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He will prosper until the indignation is accomplished, for that which has been determined will be done. 37 He will not regard the gods of his fathers, or the desire of women, or regard any god, for he will magnify himself above all of them.

38 But instead, he will honor the god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know, with gold, silver, and with precious stones and costly things. 39 He will deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. He will greatly honor whoever acknowledges him. He will make them to rulers over many and will divide the land for a price.

40 At the time of the end, the king of the south will attack him, and the king of the north will come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, with horsemen, and with many ships. He will enter into the countries, moving through and overflowing them.  41 He will enter also into the glorious land, and many countries will be overthrown, but these will escape from his power: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.

42 He will also extend his power over the countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 But he will have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. The Libyans and the Ethiopians will will also be subject to him.

44 But news from the east and from the north will trouble him, and he will go out with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep many away. 45 He will pitch the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain, yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.”

Daniel 12

Michael’s Deliverance and the End Times

1 “At that time Michael will rise up, the great prince who watches over your people, and there will be a time of trouble, such that has never been since the nations began, until this time. At that time your people will be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.

2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine as the brightness of the expanse. Those who turn many to righteousness will shine as the stars forever and ever.

4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, to the time of the end. Many will run back and forth, and knowledge will be increased.

5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there stood two others, one on each side of the river bank. 6 One said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long will it be to the end of these wonders?’

7 I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by him who lives forever that it will be ‘for a time, times, and a half’ and when they have finished shattering the power of the holy people, all these things will be finished.

8 I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what will be the outcome of these things?’

9 He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined, but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.’

11 From the time that the continual burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days.

13 But go your way until the end, for you will rest, and will stand in your inheritance at the end of the days.’ ”

1 John 4

Testing the Spirits

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, as to whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard will come, and even now already, is in the world.

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of deceit.

God is Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 By this, God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is what love is: it is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we remain in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.

15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God. 16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so we are in this world.

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother.

Psalm 123

A Song of Ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to you,
you who sit in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress;
so our eyes look to the Lord, our God,
until he has mercy on us.

3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured much contempt.
4 We have had our fill of scoffing
from those who are at ease,
of contempt from those who are proud.

Proverbs 29:2-4

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

3 Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

4 Through justice a king makes the land stable,
but he who takes bribes tears it down

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