[This is the text to the second half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video. The full video can be seen here.]
I mentioned before how that I was an atheist, till I was nearly 21. But a series of events, and my search for the truth, brought me to the God of Abraham. Months later I came to know Jesus. Afterwards for me, there was only one choice: that was to live the truths and teachings of the first Christians as a full time disciple of Jesus. And, with other like-minded young people, I soon became a rather zealous activist for that cause.
At times, I would go out with others to share the message of God’s love with strangers. You get some mixed responses. But sometimes you meet people who are just overjoyed that you’ve told them something they were searching for all their lives.
I’d become a passionate student of the Bible. But I still had (and have) a lot to learn, especially in the way of growing up spiritually, probably like all of us. One day I met a young man around my age who was also a serious student of the Bible. I was eager to share my new faith and even to sort of “debate”. I hate to admit this, but I might have wanted to get the best of him in a religious argument, God forgive me.
He knew the Bible well but much of it was more in his head and had not been accepted so much by his heart. Back then I’d not met many who knew so much but had not mixed faith with all their knowledge.
So we began to sort of “duel”. I’d share some truth with him. He’d counter with, “Yes, but this proves that’s not really true!” I’d swoosh, go forward! He’d back up, strike back and …in some ways wound me. I should have just seen that it had become a useless religious argument. So finally, he hadn’t convinced me and I hadn’t convinced him.
He left. But I wasn’t doing so good. I had a feeling that I hadn’t really been doing what I should have. And, afterwards, it was almost like I was cut and bleeding in my heart and mind through all his doubts and skepticism.
One of his big doubts was about prophecy. He shared what he’d learned from some theological circles that Daniel 8 and other chapters are all just “the past”, prophecies now all totally fulfilled. I sure didn’t think so. But his words had wounded me and afterwards I was battling heavily with doubts, wondering if maybe he was right.
That night I took some time to really pray and cry out to the Lord about all this. And I felt led to read again this chapter we’ve just been studying, Daniel 8. Is it really already all fulfilled? Then I read Daniel 8:17 where the angel Gabriel told Daniel, “Understand, oh son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”
Three times in two verses the angel uses the same words. “The End”. Was that time, 160 BC, “The End”? No. I believe that perhaps the angel even repeated himself here because God knew, in advance, that questions like this would arise as to how all this would be interpreted in the future.
The wonderful thing for me in this experience was to have the power of God’s Word working in my heart to give me answers in the face of these strong doubts that came against me that day.
My faith was restored through simply accepting, at face value, what the original words of the prophecy said, that these prophecies in Daniel 8 are predicting the same horn we saw in Daniel 7: the evil endtime leader, talked about later in the New Testament by Paul and in the book of Revelations.
You might say to all this, “Well of course, it’s all obvious!” And if you do, that’s great. But let me just warn you, there are those who doubt the truths we’ve read in these chapters. And you might run into some of those doubts, or doubters, sometime. For me this chapter will always be something personal. Through it, God spoke to me individually and rescued me from doubt that tried to snuff out my faith.
And I hope for you, in all we’re reading, that it won’t just be a matter of knowledge of future events to come, no matter how important or real. I hope you’ve found how the living power and presence of God’s Word can reach and change the deepest places in your heart, giving you joy and peace and that divine touch He has for each of His children. God bless you!
[The text to the first half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video can be seen here.]