Greece Will Conquer Persia
2 The person who looked like a human continued, “What I am about to tell you is the truth. Three more kings will rule Persia. Then there will be a fourth, who will become much richer than all the others. As he becomes strong through his wealth, he will turn everyone against the kingdom of Greece.
3 “Then a warrior-king will come. He will rule a vast empire and do as he pleases. 4 But as soon as he is established, his kingdom will be broken into pieces and divided in the directions of the four winds of heaven. The empire will not be given to his descendants. It will no longer be like his empire, since it will be uprooted and given to others.
The Northern and Southern Kings
5 “The southern king will be strong, but one of his officers will become stronger than he is and rule a vast empire. 6 After a few years the southern and northern kings will make an alliance. The southern king’s daughter will go to the northern king to make peace. She won’t hold on to her power, and the alliance won’t last. She, those who came with her, and the one who fathered[a] and protected her will be given away.
7 “At that time a shoot will grow from her roots to replace her father. He will attack the northern army, enter the stronghold of the northern king, fight against them, and be victorious. 8 He will take the metal statues of their gods and their precious utensils of silver and gold back to Egypt. He will rule for more years than the northern king. 9 He will invade the southern kingdom and return to his own country.
10 “Then his sons will prepare for war. They will assemble a large number of forces so that they can overwhelm the enemy and pass through its land. They will return and wage war all the way to the stronghold. 11 The southern king will be outraged. He will go to fight the northern king, who will raise a large army that will fall into the southern king’s hands. 12 When that army is captured, the southern king will become conceited. Although he will dominate tens of thousands of people, he will not always be strong.
13 “The northern king will return and raise an army larger than the first one. After a few years he will invade with a large army and a lot of equipment. 14 In those times many people will rebel against the southern king, and violent men from your own people will rebel in keeping with this vision, but they will be defeated. 15 Then the northern king will come, build dirt attack ramps, and capture a fortified city. The southern forces will not be able to withstand him. Even their best troops will not be strong enough. 16 The invader will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand his attack. He will rise to power in the beautiful land and it will be completely under his control.
17 “Then the northern king will decide to invade with the power of his entire kingdom, and some decent men will invade with him. He will give the southern king his daughter as a wife in order to destroy the southern kingdom. But this will not succeed or help him. 18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and capture many of them. But a commander will silence the insults that the northern king makes and even insult him. [b] 19 He will turn back toward the fortresses in his own country, but he will stumble, fall, and disappear.
20 “Another king will take his place. He will have a cruel official go out in royal splendor. But in a few days the king will be destroyed, although not in anger or war.
21 “A contemptible person will take his place. He will not be given royal splendor. He will invade when people are feeling secure, and he will seize the kingdom using false promises. 22 He will overwhelm large forces and defeat them, including the prince of the promise. [c] 23 After an alliance has been made with him, he will act deceitfully and rise to power with only a few people. 24 When people feel secure, he will invade the richest parts of the provinces and do something that none of his predecessors ever did. He will distribute loot and wealth to his followers. He will invent new ways of attacking fortifications. But this will last only for a little while.
25 “With a large army he will summon his power and courage against the southern king, who will prepare for war with a large, strong army. But the southern king won’t be able to withstand him because of the schemes devised against him. 26 People who eat the king’s rich food will ruin him. His army will be overwhelmed, and many will die in battle. 27 The two kings will both plan to do evil. They will sit at the same table and tell lies. But they will not succeed, because the end must wait until the appointed time. 28 The northern king will return to his country with a lot of wealth. He will be determined to fight against the holy promise. He will take action and return to his own country.
29 “At the appointed time he will again invade the south, but this time will be different from the first. 30 Ships will come from the west to attack him, and he will be discouraged and turn back. Angry at the holy promise, he will return, take action, and favor those who abandon the holy promise. 31 His forces will dishonor the holy place (the fortress), take away the daily burnt offering, and set up the disgusting thing that causes destruction. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who abandon the promise. But the people who know their God will be strong and take action.
33 “People who are wise will help many to understand. But for some time they will be defeated by swords and flames. They will be captured and looted. 34 As they are being defeated, they will get a little help, but many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise people will be defeated in order to refine, purify, and make them white until the end times. But the appointed time is still to come.
1 John 3:17-5:21
17 Now, suppose a person has enough to live on and notices another believer in need. How can God’s love be in that person if he doesn’t bother to help the other believer? 18 Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.
19 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be reassured in his presence. 20 Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we can boldly look to God 22 and receive from him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey Christ’s commandments live in God, and God lives in them. We know that he lives in us because he has given us the Spirit.
Test People Who Say They Have God’s Spirit
4 Dear friends, don’t believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every person who declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God. 3 But every person who doesn’t declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn’t from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world.
4 Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 These people belong to the world. That’s why they speak the thoughts of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever doesn’t belong to God doesn’t listen to us. That’s how we can tell the Spirit of truth from the spirit of lies.
God’s Love Lives in His People
7 Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 8 The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. 9 God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he lives in us because he has given us his Spirit.
14 We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. 16 We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.
17 God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him with regard to love. 18 No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.
19 We love because God loved us first. 20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates another believer is a liar. People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen. 21 Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.
Those Who Believe in Jesus Are God’s Children
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God. Everyone who loves the Father also loves his children. 2 We know that we love God’s children when we love God by obeying his commandments. 3 To love God means that we obey his commandments. Obeying his commandments isn’t difficult 4 because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world. 5 Who wins the victory over the world? Isn’t it the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This Son of God is Jesus Christ, who came by water and blood. He didn’t come with water only, but with water and with blood. The Spirit is the one who verifies this, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three witnesses: [a] 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.
9 We accept human testimony. God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony that he has given about his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them. Those who don’t believe God have made God a liar. They haven’t believed the testimony that God has given about his Son.
11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is found in his Son. 12 The person who has the Son has this life. The person who doesn’t have the Son of God doesn’t have this life.
13 I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life.
14 We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. 15 We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.
16 If you see another believer committing a sin that doesn’t lead to death, you should pray that God would give that person life. This is true for those who commit sins that don’t lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I’m not telling you to pray about that. 17 Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, yet there are sins that don’t lead to death.
18 We know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.
19 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
20 We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, guard yourselves from false gods.
- 1 John 5:8 Four very late manuscripts add verses 7b–8a: “in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. These three witnesses agree. And there are three witnesses on earth:”
1 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let’s go to the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing inside your gates, Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built to be a city
where the people are united.[a]
4 All of the Lord’s tribes go to that city
because it is a law in Israel
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 The court of justice sits there.
It consists of princes who are David’s descendants.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you prosper.
7 May there be peace inside your walls
and prosperity in your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my relatives and friends, let me say,
“May it go well for you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek what is good for you.
A song for going up to worship.
- Psalm 122:3 Hebrew meaning of this verse uncertain.
A person who will not bend after many warnings
will suddenly be broken beyond repair.