Daniel 11: Follow-the-ChurchProphecy focuses on the powers that rule God's people:
You may have wondered why the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation only mention certain kingdoms or realms. Many significant and powerful empires are not mentioned in Bible prophecy. In the prophecy of Daniel 2, there are four realms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome) that would successively reign from Daniel's day until the Second Coming of Jesus. These realms are focused on because they are the realms that would rule over God's people. God's people are everywhere, so more specifically, prophecies follow the powers that rule over God's visible church, the organization on earth, and its associated movement, that He establishes to share His truths with the world. God always has a church, one church/movement, through which He works in a special way. This does not preclude other churches, organizations and individuals from working for God and being used for His purposes. But, He works to bring all into one fold. As an example, God intervened in Saul's (Paul's) life directly, but then sent him to his church for healing, baptism and instruction (Acts 9:1-22, 13:9).
God's Glory Revealed Through His Church:
The church is described as Christ's body. It is how Jesus chooses to work in this world. It is a visible organized entity that many are added to daily. There are many who are not of this fold, but they are still God's people and saved by His grace.
Tracking God's Organized Church:
The church was the nation of Israel (the "church in the wilderness" - Acts 7:38), located in Palestine. They were replaced by the Apostolic church by 34 AD (Dan. 9). Over the centuries that church was replaced by successive organized movements to whom God entrusted His work, including the Waldenses, the Protestant Movement and finally the Remnant. If we track the church, we can see it initially located in Palestine, and then moving its base of operations north and west to various areas as God provided safe havens from persecution and opportunity for sharing His message. These areas are encompassed within the territory of the four successive realms of prophecy.
The Church Continues...
When studying prophecy, keep in mind that the church is real and functioning. It did not become an untraceable non-entity after the cross (31 AD). It is real, organized, and known. When the church shifted from Israel to the Apostolic Church, prophecy keeps right on going (34 AD). The literal church keeps right on going, and literal wars keep right on going.
The church continues as a literal entity from Israel to the Remnant, operating from the territory of four successive realms ruled by literal rulers. This is soundly established in Daniel's prophecies in chapter 2 and 7. When studying Daniel's later prophecies, such as Daniel 8 and 11, they are also parallel to the others, and we must again follow-the-church, which means we must follow-the-realm; both lead us away from the Middle East and into western Europe and America. For example, by the "time of the end" (after 1798), we identify kings in prophecy by looking withim divided Rome (the territory of the 4th realm) not by looking in the Middle East (the territory of earlier realms).
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