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WHICH GOD?

By Sammy G. Tabuena (2011)

Daniel 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

In a video title, “The Unveiling of the Man of Sin” (22nd Annual International Prophecy Conference, www.godsnews.com), Dr. Joe VanKoevering said this:

“Any student of the Hebrew will discover from the original text that the correct translation should actually be: ‘The gods of his fathers” and not ‘The God of his fathers’.”

He also quoted Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum’s The Footsteps of the Messiah:

“The very fact that the plural form of the word ‘God’ is used in a context where the singular is found in the majority of cases makes this a reference to heathen deities and not a reference to the God of Israel…Further evidence that the King James Version is incorrect in its translation here is seen in the fact that almost all other English translations, both from Jewish and non-Jewish sources, have rendered the word for God in the plural.” (p. 140)

Then he mentioned about Dr. John F. Walvoord, in his commentary, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, refuting Gaebelein:

“Gaebelein and others upholding this view, however, overlook a most decisive fact that the word for ‘God’ here is Elohim, a name for God in general, applying both to the true God and to false gods.”

“If the expression had been the usual one when referring to the God of Israel, the Jehovah of his father, the identification would be unmistakable. Very frequently in scripture, the God of Israel is described as Jehovah, ‘the Lord God’ of their fathers. Although Daniel uses ‘God (Elohim) of my fathers’ in Daniel 2:23 in view of this common usage elsewhere in Scripture, for Daniel to omit the word Jehovah or Lord, (KJV) in a passage where a specific name for the God of Israel would be necessary, becomes significant.”

“The expression should be rendered ‘the gods of his fathers,’ that is, any god, as most revisions translate it. In keeping with the blasphemous character of this king who magnifies himself above every god, he disregards whatever deities his fathers worshipped. In keeping with the general word for god, Elohim, the expression, ‘the gods of his fathers,’ becomes a general reference to any deities whether pagan or true God.” (p. 273, 274)

Then Dr. VanKoevering concluded that the Man of Sin cannot be a Jew and must be a Gentile, based on the following three arguments (The Footsteps of the Messiah by Fruchtenbaum):

1. Typology: since Antiochus Epiphanes, a type of the Antichrist, was a Gentile, then the Man of Sin must be a Gentile.
2. Imagery: since the Beast arises out of the “sea” (Rev. 13), then the Antichrist must be a Gentile who comes out of Gentile nations.
3. The Nature of the Times of the Gentiles: since the Antichrist is the final ruler of the times of the Gentiles, then he has to be a Gentile.

So where will the Man of Sin originate from? According to Dr. Vankoevering, the Antichrist will come from the Muslim world. He based his answer from the following passages:

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Dr. VanKoevering, quoting from his book, The Church Under End Time Attack, concluded that since the antichrist will deny the deity of Jesus, deny that Jesus is the Son of God, and deny the relationship between the Father and the Son, the Antichrist will be a Muslim.

Then he makes a bold statement that the man’s name is: His Royal Highness Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal. Then he proceeded to explain that this man is a Gentile, but he is welcomed in Jewish synagogues, Catholic cathedrals, and Protestant chapels.

Are Muslims the only ones who deny the deity of Jesus? Are they the only people in the world that deny that Jesus is the Son of God? Don’t the cults and other world religions do the same? Didn’t the Jews themselves reject Christ as the Son of God? Can the antichrist also, therefore, be Jewish, since the Jews denied the deity of Christ?

While we are not dealing with the topic about who the antichrist is, this is one example of:
1. Proving a private interpretation by twisting the text of the Word of God, the King James Bible of 1611;
2. Creating a doctrine out of typology and symbols, rather than basing typological illustrations out of plain doctrine first; and
3. Interpreting Scripture by exegesis and “going to back to the original Hebrew”, rather than by believing the English text and allowing the context to determine the meaning of the words.
It only takes 15 minutes to see whether a preacher is a Bible believer or not, or whether the teaching has a Biblical or corrupt foundation. You don’t have to listen for two to four hours before you can see that the man’s authority for the “revelation” he is teaching is the Word of God or just human wisdom.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A key word in “rightly dividing the word of truth” is to ask “which?” When the Bible says, “gospel”, you ask, “which gospel”? Gospel of Grace or Gospel of the Kingdom?
Which “kingdom”? The “kingdom of God” which is not “meat and drink”, or the coming “kingdom of God” where there is “eating and drinking”?
Which “grace”? The “grace” that “hath appeared unto all men”, or the “grace” that is yet “to be revealed” at the last time?
Which “church”? The “church, which was in the wilderness”, or the “church, which is the Body of Christ”?

When the Bible says “God”, then we are to ask, “which God”? Context determines meaning, and not just the word itself.
Is the King James Bible in error when it says “the God of his fathers”? Or should it be, as in the modern versions, “the gods of his fathers”?

There is no problem about trying to prove something such as the Antichrist had to be a Gentile and not a Jew, provided the text is left to stand as it is. But when a preacher tries to twist the Word of God to fit his doctrine, he lost the final and sole authority for what he teaches.

We do not profess to be scholars, but the student of the Word would be bothered about listening to a doctrine that is supported from a foundation of doubting the very Word that they profess to be teaching.

Two simple rules in Bible study:

1. Believe what you read, rightly divided.
2. The Bible defines itself; context determines meaning.

In other words, the King James Bible is the Word of God. Let us study it by “rightly dividing the word of truth”.

Daniel 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

There are 3 different “Gods” in Daniel 11:36-38:

I. “The God of gods”, which, is “the God of his fathers”

II. “Every god”, which is “any god”

III. “The God of forces”, the “god whom his fathers knew not”
“God” vs “gods”

Notice the following contrasting pairs:

1) “every god” vs. “the God of gods” (v.36)
2) “The God of his fathers” vs. “any god” (v.37)

If we follow the modern perversions and the Bible corrupters, the contrast is lost in verse 37:

1) “every god” vs. “the God of gods” (v.36)
2) “the gods of his fathers” vs. “any gods”? (v.37)

“God of gods” vs. “God of forces”

Notice another contrast.

1) “God of gods” vs. “God of forces” (vv.37, 38)
2) “The God of his fathers” vs. “the god whom his fathers knew not” (vv. 37,38)

Be careful not to confuse the “God of gods” (with the capitalized “G”) with the “God of forces” (also with a capital “G”).

The Bible does the defining, the explaining, and the interpreting for you:

1) The “God of gods” is the “God of his fathers”.
2) The “God of forces” is the “god whom his fathers knew not”.

A more detailed study on the Bible usages of the word “God” or “god” is desired in the future but is beyond the purpose of this article. This is written for the purpose of showing how changing a word in the King James text can change a doctrine, and how important it is to learn the principle of considering the context in understanding Scripture.

While the “god of this world” is blinding the hearts of men, our prayer is that the “God of light” will illumine our hearts with the Word of God.

A blessed new year in the 400th year
of the Word of God in English,
the Authorized King James Bible of 1611!

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