NET BIble ©
(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
Keeping Godʼs Commandments
Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have already heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness. The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Words of Reassurance
I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, that you have conquered the evil one. I have written to you, children, that you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young people, that you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.
Warning About False Teachers
Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.
Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also.
As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. Now this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life. These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.
Children of God
And now, little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.
Testing the Spirits
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.
You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the worldʼs perspective and the world listens to them. We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
God is Love
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. We love because he loved us first.
If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.
Introduction and Thanksgiving
From the elder, to an elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth (and not I alone, but also all those who know the truth), because of the truth that resides in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
Warning Against False Teachers
But now I ask you, lady (not as if I were writing a new commandment to you, but the one we have had from the beginning), that we love one another. (Now this is love: that we walk according to his commandments.) This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning; thus you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist! Watch out, so that you do not lose the things we have worked for, but receive a full reward.
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting, because the person who gives him a greeting shares in his evil deeds.
Though I have many other things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come visit you and speak face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
The children of your elect sister greet you.
New Life Individually
And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you formerly lived according to this worldʼs present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest
But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you are saved! - and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.
Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare
Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak - that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.
The Day of the Lord
Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in Godʼs temple, displaying himself as God. Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you. And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satanʼs working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.
Call to Stand Firm
But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good thing you do or say.
The Destruction of the Temple
Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts and walking away, his disciples came to show him the temple buildings. And he said to them, “Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!”
Signs of the End of the Age
As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ʻI am the Christ,ʼ and they will mislead many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of birth pains.
Persecution of Disciples
“Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name. Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. But the person who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Abomination of Desolation
“So when you see the abomination of desolation - spoken about by Daniel the prophet - standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. The one on the roof must not come down to take anything out of his house, and the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ʻLook, here is the Christ!ʼ or ʻThere he is!ʼ do not believe him. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Remember, I have told you ahead of time. So then, if someone says to you, ʻLook, he is in the wilderness,ʼ do not go out, or ʻLook, he is in the inner rooms,ʼ do not believe him. For just like the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
The Arrival of the Son of Man
“Immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
“Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
“But as for that day and hour no one knows it - not even the angels in heaven - except the Father alone. For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left. There will be two women grinding grain with a mill; one will be taken and one left.
“Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
The Faithful and Wise Slave
“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom the master finds at work when he comes. I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave should say to himself, ʻMy master is staying away a long time,ʼ and he begins to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with drunkards, then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Destruction of the Temple
Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look at these tremendous stones and buildings!” Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!”
Signs of the End of the Age
So while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that all these things are about to take place?” Jesus began to say to them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. Many will come in my name, saying, ʻI am he,ʼ and they will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These are but the beginning of birth pains.
Persecution of Disciples
“You must watch out for yourselves. You will be handed over to councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. First the gospel must be preached to all nations. When they arrest you and hand you over for trial, do not worry about what to speak. But say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The Abomination of Desolation
“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. The one on the roof must not come down or go inside to take anything out of his house. The one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! Pray that it may not be in winter. For in those days there will be suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, or ever will happen. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved. But because of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut them short. Then if anyone says to you, ʻLook, here is the Christ!ʼ or ʻLook, there he is!ʼ do not believe him. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the elect. Be careful! I have told you everything ahead of time.
The Arrival of the Son of Man
“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds with great power and glory. Then he will send angels and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
“Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
“But as for that day or hour no one knows it - neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son - except the Father. Watch out! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey. He left his house and put his slaves in charge, assigning to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to stay alert. Stay alert, then, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return - whether during evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or at dawn - or else he might find you asleep when he returns suddenly. What I say to you I say to everyone: Stay alert!”
Daniel has a Vision of Four Animals Coming up from the Sea
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream filled with visions while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion. Daniel explained: “I was watching in my vision during the night as the four winds of the sky were stirring up the great sea. Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one another.
“The first one was like a lion with eaglesʼ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it.
“Then a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ʻGet up and devour much flesh!ʼ
“After these things, as I was watching, another beast like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. This beast had four heads, and ruling authority was given to it.
“After these things, as I was watching in the night visions a fourth beast appeared - one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. It had two large rows of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns.
“As I was contemplating the horns, another horn - a small one - came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things.
“While I was watching,
thrones were set up,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His attire was white like snow;
the hair of his head was like lambʼs wool.
His throne was ablaze with fire
and its wheels were all aflame.
A river of fire was streaming forth
and proceeding from his presence.
Many thousands were ministering to him;
Many tens of thousands stood ready to serve him.
The court convened
and the books were opened.
“Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their ruling authority had already been removed, though they were permitted to go on living for a time and a season. I was watching in the night visions,
“And with the clouds of the sky
one like a son of man was approaching.
He went up to the Ancient of Days
and was escorted before him.
To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty.
All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him.
His authority is eternal and will not pass away.
His kingdom will not be destroyed.
An Angel Interprets Danielʼs Vision
“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed, and the visions of my mind were alarming me. I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed to me the interpretation of the vision: ʻThese large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. The holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.ʼ
“Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them, until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.
“This is what he told me:
ʻThe fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth
that will differ from all the other kingdoms.
It will devour all the earth
and will trample and crush it.
The ten horns
mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom.
Another king will arise after them,
but he will be different from the earlier ones.
He will humiliate three kings.
He will speak words against the Most High.
He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually.
His intention will be to change times established by law.
They will be delivered into his hand
For a time, times, and half a time.
But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed -
destroyed and abolished forever!
Then the kingdom, authority,
and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven
will be delivered to the people of the holy ones of the Most High.
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
all authorities will serve him and obey him.ʼ
“This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me greatly, and the color drained from my face. But I kept the matter to myself.”
Daniel Has a Vision of a Goat and a Ram
In the third year of King Belshazzarʼs reign, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me previously. In this vision I saw myself in Susa the citadel, which is located in the province of Elam. In the vision I saw myself at the Ulai Canal. I looked up and saw a ram with two horns standing at the canal. Its two horns were both long, but one was longer than the other. The longer one was coming up after the shorter one. I saw that the ram was butting westward, northward, and southward. No animal was able to stand before it, and there was none who could deliver from its power. It did as it pleased and acted arrogantly.
While I was contemplating all this, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of all the land without touching the ground. This goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes. It came to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the canal and rushed against it with raging strength. I saw it approaching the ram. It went into a fit of rage against the ram and struck it and broke off its two horns. The ram had no ability to resist it. The goat hurled the ram to the ground and trampled it. No one could deliver the ram from its power. The male goat acted even more arrogantly. But no sooner had the large horn become strong than it was broken, and there arose four conspicuous horns in its place, extending toward the four winds of the sky.
From one of them came a small horn. But it grew to be very big, toward the south and the east and toward the beautiful land. It grew so big it reached the army of heaven, and it brought about the fall of some of the army and some of the stars to the ground, where it trampled them. It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the army, from whom the daily sacrifice was removed and whose sanctuary was thrown down. The army was given over, along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion. It hurled truth to the ground and enjoyed success.
Then I heard a holy one speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “To what period of time does the vision pertain - this vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the destructive act of rebellion and the giving over of both the sanctuary and army to be trampled?” He said to me, “To 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be put right again.”
An Angel Interprets Danielʼs Vision
While I, Daniel, was watching the vision, I sought to understand it. Now one who appeared to be a man was standing before me. Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai. It called out, “Gabriel, enable this person to understand the vision.” So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground. Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” As he spoke with me, I fell into a trance with my face to the ground. But he touched me and stood me upright.
Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision pertains to the appointed time of the end. The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. The male goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. The horn that was broken and in whose place there arose four others stands for four kingdoms that will arise from his nation, though they will not have his strength. Toward the end of their rule, when rebellious acts are complete, a rash and deceitful king will arise. His power will be great, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause terrible destruction. He will be successful in what he undertakes. He will destroy powerful people and the people of the holy ones. By his treachery he will succeed through deceit. He will have an arrogant attitude, and he will destroy many who are unaware of his schemes. He will rise up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken apart - but not by human agency. The vision of the evenings and mornings that was told to you is correct. But you should seal up the vision, for it refers to a time many days from now.”
I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up and again carried out the kingʼs business. But I was astonished at the vision, and there was no one to explain it.
Daniel Prays for His People
In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire - in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books that, according to the word of the LORD disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem were seventy in number. So I turned my attention to the Lord God to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God, confessing in this way:
“O Lord, great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned! We have done what is wrong and wicked; we have rebelled by turning away from your commandments and standards. We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets, who spoke by your authority to our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors, and to all the inhabitants of the land as well.
“You are righteous, O Lord, but we are humiliated this day - the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far away in all the countries in which you have scattered them, because they have behaved unfaithfully toward you. O LORD, we have been humiliated - our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors - because we have sinned against you. Yet the Lord our God is compassionate and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. We have not obeyed the LORD our God by living according to his laws that he set before us through his servants the prophets.
“All Israel has broken your law and turned away by not obeying you. Therefore you have poured out on us the judgment solemnly threatened in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against you. He has carried out his threats against us and our rulers who were over us by bringing great calamity on us - what has happened to Jerusalem has never been equaled under all heaven! Just as it is written in the law of Moses, so all this calamity has come on us. Still we have not tried to pacify the LORD our God by turning back from our sin and by seeking wisdom from your reliable moral standards. The LORD was mindful of the calamity, and he brought it on us. For the LORD our God is just in all he has done, and we have not obeyed him.
“Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with great power and made a name for yourself that is remembered to this day - we have sinned and behaved wickedly. O Lord, according to all your justice, please turn your raging anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. For due to our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
“So now, our God, accept the prayer and requests of your servant, and show favor to your devastated sanctuary for your own sake. Listen attentively, my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins and the city called by your name. For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, but because your compassion is abundant. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, pay attention, and act! Donʼt delay, for your own sake, O my God! For your city and your people are called by your name.”
Gabriel Gives to Daniel a Prophecy of Seventy Weeks
While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my request before the LORD my God concerning his holy mountain - yes, while I was still praying, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen previously in a vision, was approaching me in my state of extreme weariness, around the time of the evening offering. He spoke with me, instructing me as follows: “Daniel, I have now come to impart understanding to you. At the beginning of your requests a message went out, and I have come to convey it to you, for you are of great value in Godʼs sight. Therefore consider the message and understand the vision:
“Seventy weeks have been determined
concerning your people and your holy city
to put an end to rebellion,
to bring sin to completion,
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in perpetual righteousness,
to seal up the prophetic vision,
and to anoint a most holy place.
So know and understand:
From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives,
there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.
It will again be built, with plaza and moat,
but in distressful times.
Now after the sixty-two weeks,
an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing.
As for the city and the sanctuary,
the people of the coming prince will destroy them.
But his end will come speedily like a flood.
Until the end of the war that has been decreed
there will be destruction.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one week.
But in the middle of that week
he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt.
On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys,
until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”
An Angel Appears to Daniel
In the third year of King Cyrus of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel (who was also called Belteshazzar). This message was true and concerned a great war. He understood the message and gained insight by the vision.
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine came to my lips, nor did I anoint myself with oil until the end of those three weeks.
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month I was beside the great river, the Tigris. I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen; around his waist was a belt made of gold from Upaz. His body resembled yellow jasper, and his face had an appearance like lightning. His eyes were like blazing torches; his arms and feet had the gleam of polished bronze. His voice thundered forth like the sound of a large crowd.
Only I, Daniel, saw the vision; the men who were with me did not see it. On the contrary, they were overcome with fright and ran away to hide. I alone was left to see this great vision. My strength drained from me, and my vigor disappeared; I was without energy. I listened to his voice, and as I did so I fell into a trance-like sleep with my face to the ground. Then a hand touched me and set me on my hands and knees. He said to me, “Daniel, you are of great value. Understand the words that I am about to speak to you. So stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up shaking. Then he said to me, “Donʼt be afraid, Daniel, for from the very first day you applied your mind to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I have come in response to your words. However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was opposing me for twenty-one days. But Michael, one of the leading princes, came to help me, because I was left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to future days.”
While he was saying this to me, I was flat on the ground and unable to speak. Then one who appeared to be a human being was touching my lips. I opened my mouth and started to speak, saying to the one who was standing before me, “Sir, due to the vision, anxiety has gripped me and I have no strength. How, sir, am I able to speak with you? My strength is gone, and I am breathless.” Then the one who appeared to be a human being touched me again and strengthened me. He said to me, “Donʼt be afraid, you who are valued. Peace be to you! Be strong! Be really strong!” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened. I said, “Sir, you may speak now, for you have given me strength.” He said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Now I am about to return to engage in battle with the prince of Persia. When I go, the prince of Greece is coming. However, I will first tell you what is written in a dependable book. (There is no one who strengthens me against these princes, except Michael your prince.
And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood to strengthen him and to provide protection for him.) Now I will tell you the truth.
The Angel Gives a Message to Daniel
“Three more kings will arise for Persia. Then a fourth king will be unusually rich, more so than all who preceded him. When he has amassed power through his riches, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. Then a powerful king will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases. Shortly after his rise to power, his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky - but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.
“Then the king of the south and one of his subordinates will grow strong. His subordinate will resist him and will rule a kingdom greater than his. After some years have passed, they will form an alliance. Then the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, nor will he continue in his strength. She, together with the one who brought her, her child, and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time.
“There will arise in his place one from her family line who will come against their army and will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and will move against them successfully. He will also take their gods into captivity to Egypt, along with their cast images and prized utensils of silver and gold. Then he will withdraw for some years from the king of the north. Then the king of the north will advance against the empire of the king of the south, but will withdraw to his own land. His sons will wage war, mustering a large army which will advance like an overflowing river and carrying the battle all the way to the enemyʼs fortress.
“Then the king of the south will be enraged and will march out to fight against the king of the north, who will also muster a large army, but that army will be delivered into his hand. When the army is taken away, the king of the south will become arrogant. He will be responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of people, but he will not continue to prevail. For the king of the north will again muster an army, one larger than before. At the end of some years he will advance with a huge army and enormous supplies.
“In those times many will oppose the king of the south. Those who are violent among your own people will rise up in confirmation of the vision, but they will falter. Then the king of the north will advance and will build siege mounds and capture a well-fortified city. The forces of the south will not prevail, not even his finest contingents. They will have no strength to prevail. The one advancing against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand before him. He will prevail in the beautiful land, and its annihilation will be within his power. His intention will be to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, and he will form alliances. He will give the king of the south a daughter in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but it will not turn out to his advantage. Then he will turn his attention to the coastal regions and will capture many of them. But a commander will bring his shameful conduct to a halt; in addition, he will make him pay for his shameful conduct. He will then turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall, not to be found again. There will arise after him one who will send out an exactor of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed, though not in anger or battle.
“Then there will arise in his place a despicable person to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will come on the scene in a time of prosperity and will seize the kingdom through deceit. Armies will be suddenly swept away in defeat before him; both they and a covenant leader will be destroyed. After entering into an alliance with him, he will behave treacherously; he will ascend to power with only a small force. In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long. He will rouse his strength and enthusiasm against the king of the south with a large army. The king of the south will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to prevail because of the plans devised against him. Those who share the kingʼs fine food will attempt to destroy him, and his army will be swept away; many will be killed in battle. These two kings, their minds filled with evil intentions, will trade lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time. Then the king of the north will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land. At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did. The ships of Kittim will come against him, leaving him disheartened. He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor those who forsake the holy covenant. His forces will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary, stopping the daily sacrifice. In its place they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. Then with smooth words he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly. These who are wise among the people will teach the masses. However, they will fall by the sword and by the flame, and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time. When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully. Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time.
“Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur. He will not respect the gods of his fathers - not even the god loved by women. He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. What he will honor is a god of fortresses - a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.
“At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him. Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river. Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him. But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.
“At that time Michael,
the great prince who watches over your people,
There will be a time of distress
unlike any other from the nationʼs beginning
up to that time.
But at that time your own people,
all those whose names are found written in the book,
Many of those who sleep
in the dusty ground will awake -
some to everlasting life,
and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence.
But the wise will shine
like the brightness of the heavenly expanse.
And those bringing many to righteousness
will be like the stars forever and ever.
“But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase.”
I, Daniel, watched as two others stood there, one on each side of the river. One said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, “When will the end of these wondrous events occur?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the one who lives forever: “It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.”
I heard, but I did not understand. So I said, “Sir, what will happen after these things?” He said, “Go, Daniel. For these matters are closed and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made clean, and refined, but the wicked will go on being wicked. None of the wicked will understand, though the wise will understand. From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. But you should go your way until the end. You will rest and then at the end of the days you will arise to receive what you have been allotted.”
The Two Beasts
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, and on its heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bearʼs, and its mouth was like a lionʼs mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule. One of the beastʼs heads appeared to have been killed, but the lethal wound had been healed. And the whole world followed the beast in amazement; they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: “Who is like the beast?” and “Who is able to make war against him?” The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months. So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God - to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed. If anyone has an ear, he had better listen!
If anyone is meant for captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed by the sword,
then by the sword he must be killed.
This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints.
Then I saw another beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but was speaking like a dragon. He exercised all the ruling authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, the one whose lethal wound had been healed. He performed momentous signs, even making fire come down from heaven in front of people and, by the signs he was permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, he deceived those who live on the earth. He told those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had been wounded by the sword, but still lived. The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast - that is, his name or his number. This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beastʼs number, for it is manʼs number, and his number is 666.
An Interlude: The Song of the 144,000
Then I looked, and here was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, who had his name and his Fatherʼs name written on their foreheads. I also heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. Now the sound I heard was like that made by harpists playing their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one was able to learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.
These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, and no lie was found on their lips; they are blameless.
Three Angels and Three Messages
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, and he had an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He declared in a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!”
A second angel followed the first, declaring: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city! She made all the nations drink of the wine of her immoral passion.”
A third angel followed the first two, declaring in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, that person will also drink of the wine of Godʼs anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb. And the smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever, and those who worship the beast and his image will have no rest day or night, along with anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints - those who obey Godʼs commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this:
ʻBlessed are the dead,
those who die in the Lord from this moment on!ʼ”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their hard work, because their deeds will follow them.”
Then I looked, and a white cloud appeared, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man! He had a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple, shouting in a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud, “Use your sickle and start to reap, because the time to reap has come, since the earthʼs harvest is ripe!” So the one seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Another angel, who was in charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to the angel who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes off the vine of the earth, because its grapes are now ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes from the vineyard of the earth and tossed them into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Then the winepress was stomped outside the city, and blood poured out of the winepress up to the height of horsesʼ bridles for a distance of almost two hundred miles.
After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
because his judgments are true and just.
For he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality,
and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!”
Then a second time the crowd shouted, “Hallelujah!” The smoke rises from her forever and ever. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures threw themselves to the ground and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne, saying: “Amen! Hallelujah!”
Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God
all you his servants,
and all you who fear Him,
both the small and the great!”
The Wedding Celebration of the Lamb
Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting:
For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns!
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him glory,
because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).
Then the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.” So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The Son of God Goes to War
Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Then I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying high in the sky:
“Come, gather around for the great banquet of God,
to eat your fill of the flesh of kings,
the flesh of generals,
the flesh of powerful people,
the flesh of horses and those who ride them,
and the flesh of all people, both free and slave,
and small and great!”
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf - signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. The others were killed by the sword that extended from the mouth of the one who rode the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.
The Thousand Year Reign
Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. He seized the dragon - the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan - and tied him up for a thousand years. The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)
Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Satanʼs Final Defeat
Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.
The Great White Throne
Then I saw a large white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened - the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire. If anyoneʼs name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire.