GOD's ARMY, CONTENDING for the FAITH
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murjahel

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DANIEL

- A PROPHET FOR THE LAST DAYS

Daniel was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He was a godly man. He is mentioned along with Noah and Job for his uprightness and intercession.

Ezekiel 14:20

"Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness."

He was a member of the royal family.

Isaiah 39:1-8

"...said Isaiah to Hezekiah...and of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon..."

Daniel 1:3

"And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the kings seed, and of the princes..."

Daniel was one of the greatest prophets of all time.

 

His prophecies covered a great period of time.

 He spoke of events from his own time until the second coming of Jesus.

 He gave a chronological prophecy of the first coming that was accurate to the day (Daniel 9:24-27).

 He gave details on events preceding the second advent of the Lord.

He also gave much truth to aid the people of the last days.

Without Daniel's prophetic book, many other prophetic books would be unclear.

His book predicted the whole course of empires from Babylon to Christ's kingdom in the millennium.

With all the great prophecies, the book of Daniel is still one of the least understood books of the Bible. Daniel has been one of the most ignored books, and it has also been one of the most attacked books of the Bible. The Jews put it with the historical books of the Bible, and not with the prophetic books. Many critics of our day have said that no one could possibly have been so accurate in foretelling events to come.

Yet, Daniel was a man that was very sensitive to God's voice. Daniel studied the Word of God, and listened to God's Spirit reveal even more facts than the earlier prophets had heard. Daniel is filled with two kinds of prophecy.

 

 His book has both DESCRIPTIVE

and PREDICTIVE prophecy.

DESCRIPTIVE These prophecies reveal what we should remember during the last days.

PREDICTIVE These prophecies predict and tell future events.

 

 

THE CHARACTER OF DANIEL

 

Daniel was "GREATLY BELOVED".

He has been called the "Old Testament John." God speaks only good about him.

Daniel 9:23, 10:11, 10:19

"...for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter and consider the vision..."

"And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words..."

"And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not, peace be unto thee..."

Daniel was STRONG OF PURPOSE.

He resolved not to defile himself. This unwavering persistence to remain true to his God set him apart from many others. He was also strong of purpose in his intercession. Even if it meant the lion's den, he would not cease his intercessory prayers.

 

This great prophet was WISE, TACTFUL,

and COURTEOUS.

 He "requested" of the prince that he might not defile himself. This caused him to be admired and loved by those who held him captive.

 

This prophet was also INTELLIGENT and SPIRITUAL.

He was gifted for "God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom..." (Daniel 1:17). His knowledge was superior to all the learned men in Babylon.

Daniel 1:20

"And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in the realm."

Daniel's knowledge came from a great foundation in the Word of God. He studied the Word in depth. He knew the old prophecies. God built more prophetic revelation upon this base of Scriptural learning of Daniel (Daniel 9:11-13).

This was a BRAVE man. In his private devotions he showed bravery. In telling the king the prophetic message, he was brave. In entering and remaining in the lion's den, the bravery of Daniel is shown.

Yet, this man was also HUMBLE.

 He was careful to give the credit and praise to God (Daniel 2:28-30).

Daniel was PRAYERFUL.

Daniel 6:10

"...he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."

Daniel was a GODLY man.

Ezekiel 14:20

"Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were... shall but deliver their own souls by their RIGHTEOUSNESS..."

This young man was taken from the city of Jerusalem in the first of the deportations from Judah. In the third year of Jehoiakim (606 B.C), the best, the most educated, and the most skillful of the land were taken. Daniel's three friends were a comfort to him in that difficult time. He was closely associated with Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael.

Unfortunately, many know these three by the names that the Babylonians gave them. I am sure that they preferred their own names which gave glory to God, and not the other names which gave glory to false gods.

 

CHANGE OF NAMES

HEBREW  versus BABYLONIAN

DANIEL - God is my Judge

 BELTESHAZZAR -prince of Bel

 

HANANIAH - gift of the Lord

SHADRACH - command of Aku (moon god)

 

AZARIAH - whom Jehovah helps

ABED-NEGO - servant of Nego (god of science)

 

MISHAEL - who is what God is

MESHACH -who is what Aku is

 

Daniel's was taken captive from his own people. He received favor from his captors. God spoke to him so that he might interpret dreams and visions. Angels frequently appeared to him. His holy living gave him a life that was unique. He may not have had a special call to the prophetic ministry as did Isaiah or Jeremiah. At least, we have no record of such. Yet, he was given a prophetic ministry as he served his God in difficult times.

 

There in the court of the terrible ruler of his day (Nebuchadnezzar), he watched as many of his people were unmercifully slaughtered by a corrupt government. He prophesied messages from God from the place where you least expect to find a prophet. Under the nose of the most wicked of men, God had a man who was attuned to the heart of God.

 

A BOOK FOR THE LAST DAYS

The book of Daniel is a book for the end time. Its truths are to be revealed fully and understood in the last days. Therefore, it was mainly written for our time.

Daniel 12:4,9,10

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased... for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."

 

The people of past generations did not understand the book of Daniel as we can understand it today. God is taking the "blinders" off our eyes in the last days so we may see prophecies in the book of Daniel that past generations could not. Not all of the people today can even understand the prophetic message in Daniel. It says in verse 10 above, that only the "wise," but none of the "wicked" will understand. So, this book is still a mystery to many. Even in the church of the last days, many will avoid, ignore, misunderstand, mis-interpret, and shun the book of Daniel.

 

The purpose of the revelation of the prophetic teachings of Daniel in the last days is to make the last generation awaken to the plan of God as never before. This prophetic revelation will result in many turning to the Lord as Savior.

Daniel 12:3

"... they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

This verse shows that the revelation of the message of Daniel was to result in much wisdom for God's people, and in the turning of many to the Lord. In Matthew 13, the Lord refers to this same idea.

Matthew 13:43

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father..."

So Jesus identifies the time of this prophetic revelation as being after the judgment of the tares within the church. This judgment is a last day judgment on the church. This event will cleanse the church of the hypocrites and troublemakers that have hindered it from revival. This event will allow the double portion of the latter rain revival to commence. The church will carry forth a great message of prophetic truth to the world at that time. A fresh revelation of the truth in the book of Daniel is part of that message we will have.

Daniel 12:10

"...many shall be purified, and made white, and tried."

The prophetic message of Daniel will cause us to purify ourselves. Too many have thought of prophetic studies as a "choice." It is not optional to study prophecy. A true study of prophecy will cause us to purify ourselves. With the harvest of tares being so near, we must get all the help we can to be pure.

I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

It is the "hope" of the prophetic message that causes us to seek purity. The more we learn about God's plan for the future, the more we will seek purity.

It is like a girl waiting for a date. If her boyfriend calls and says, "I'll be there in two minutes!", what is her reaction? If she is ready, she is joyful. She may finish fixing her hair, etc. She awaits his arrival with a smile. If she is not ready, there is frustration, fear, and distress.

It is the same with the prophetic revelation. If we are ready, we have joy, anticipation, and continue to purify ourselves as we await the coming of Jesus. If we are not ready, (as many are not) there is frustration, worry, and distress. Many today that are not ready within the congregations, scoff at prophecy teaching and do not want to believe. Some get mad at the prophet, or at the Word of God.

When the revelation of the book of Daniel is presented in these last days, the result should be that many will repent and seek a new purification. Jesus is coming soon whether they are ready or not, so they had better get ready.

Daniel describes the last days with some specific observations. He says it will be "a time of trouble" and the trouble will be "such as never was..." (Daniel 12:1). We do live in troublesome times. The world is seeing disasters as never before. The perversions of mankind are horrendous. The murder of our unborn is carried forth with the blessings of our laws. Sin is rampant and permeates even the congregations of the church.

The last days will be a time when "thy people shall be delivered." (Daniel 12:1) This refers to the rapture of believers in the last times. We do live in the generation when this will occur.

Some in the last days will be "wise". (Daniel 12:3) There are some in these days who are studying the Word, and understanding it as never before. They are beginning to spread the message of the Lord for these last times. God is raising up a new group of prophets who have a message from His Word, and are beginning to deliver it to a troubled and sinful world.

 Some in the last days will turn "many to righteousness." (Daniel 12:3) There is great revival already. This revival and soul winning effort will be even greater when the church is purified by the harvest of tares.

"Many shall be purified and made white..." (Daniel 12:10) This is the purification that results from prophetic revelation of the last days.

 

Many will be "tried" (Daniel 12:10). This part of the last days, we would rather omit. Yet, in the last days, we must realize that the devil will seek to get many to oppose us. The opposition will come from the religious community at first. The tares within the church, who were put there by the devil, will seek to hinder and oppose all of God's prophets. They will attempt to stop any revival movement. After the harvest of tares removes them, the devil will use the wicked outside the church to oppose the revived church as never before. Zechariah, Matthew, and Ezekiel go into more detail on these trials than Daniel.

 

In the last days, the "wicked shall do wickedly..." (Daniel 12:10) There is more wickedness in our day than ever before. Yet, the Bible promises:

Romans 5:20

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound..."

Therefore, the wickedness of the day should not hamper our revival endeavors. The word "wickedly" is from the Hebrew word "rasha." It means "to cause trouble, to condemn, to vex, and to disturb." There are many, even within the congregations of today, who will cause trouble, condemn, vex, and disturb the ones who are God's true prophets of the last days.

Daniel 12:10 also tells us that "None of the wicked shall understand..." in the last times. Those that do condemn, cause trouble, vex, and disturb God's people will not be able to understand the prophetic revelation of God in the last days. They will not appreciate prophetic teachings, and will scoff at its messages.

"But the wise shall understand..." (Daniel 12:10) The word for "wise" is the Hebrew "sakal". It means "those that guide wittingly, that be circumspect." This word is used only here and in Daniel 12:3. Daniel could have used the more common word "chakiym" for "wise", but it means "to be wise as a magician." It was used of the wise men of Babylon Yet, in the last days, our wisdom in God's prophetic message will not be as a magicians with sleight of hand and trickery. Our message is truth and certainty. It is by these prophetic truths we will guide people from the tragedy of not finding salvation from the Lord.

The word for "understand" is the Hebrew word -"biyn." It means "to separate mentally, to rightly divide, to understand, to perceive, to discern with intelligence." Those who wisely study the revelation of Daniel will have a fresh and clear understanding of the prophetic message of the Bible. They will not teach as the scribes did in Jesus' day, with many "maybe", and "I think..." No! Rather, as Jesus did, the wise will understand prophecy so well that they will speak with authority. (Matthew 7:29, Mark 1:22)

Thus, with great eagerness, we should begin to study the book of Daniel. It was written during the years 616 to 536 B.C. Daniel was the person to whom these truths were revealed. Jesus referred to him in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. Ezekiel referred to him in Ezekiel 14:14, 20, and 28:3. He was a captive in Babylon and Shushan when he penned these messages.

It is the 27th book of the Bible. It contains 12 chapters. There are 357 verses, and 11,606 words in the KJV. The language of the original is:

1:1 - 2:3 = Hebrew

2:4 -7:28 = Aramaic

8:1 -end = Hebrew

The part in Aramaic is mostly descriptive prophecy. The part in Hebrew is mostly predictive prophecy.

Critics have attacked the book of Daniel. They have denied its genuineness, mainly because of its fantastic miracles (lion's den, fiery furnace, etc.) They dislike its specific prophecies because many have already been fulfilled so precisely as Daniel prophesied. They have a hard time with fulfilled prophecy because it lends credence to the rest of the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. They do not want to believe them, so they seek to discredit this book.

Despite their objections, the book of Daniel has endured and has been protected by God. Just as the lions were unable to devour Daniel, the critics have been unable to devour his book of prophecy.


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DESCRIPTIVE PROPHECY

HOW TO HAVE THE BLESSING

AND POWER OF GOD

IN THE LAST DAYS

Daniel chapter 1

Most people who have read the book of Daniel, have seen a series of short stories, and then at the end of the book found some prophecy. There is more to the stories that most have realized. They too are part of the prophecy of Daniel. They are descriptive prophecy. These stories describe something about prophecy. They teach us something we should remember, or know, in the last days. The events of the stories are true, and yet, the lessons derived from them are to be known by us of the last days.

These stories show great lessons in personal trial and triumph. These Hebrew children went through some trials that were a type and shadow (as the tabernacle was). These stories show us how we are to live.

EXAMPLES OF OTHER DESCRIPTIVE PROPHECY

Abraham goes to sacrifice Isaac on the altar

= Christ to come as the lamb of God as our substitute

 

Lot and family delivered from Sodom

 = rapture of church before tribulation

 

Noah and family in the ark

=protection of 144,000 during the tribulation,

and those protected in Petra

 

Jews wandering in the wilderness 40 years

=how Christians overcome in their Christian life

 

Hosea buying his wife back from adultery =

God redeeming Israel

Jehoiakim was raised to the throne of Judah by the Pharaoh of Egypt. He continued tributary to Egypt for three years. In the fourth year, Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered Syria and Judah. The first captivity had the best and most talented of Judah carried away to Babylon. The 70 year captivity began here. Daniel was taken captive at that time.

Jehoiakim served Babylon for three years and then rebelled. (II Kings 24:1-7) Nebuchadnezzar was so busy with other wars, that he did not attack for 3 or 4 more years. Then in the eleventh year of Jehoiakim, Babylon again attacked Judah. Captives were again taken captive (second captivity). Jehoiachin reigned three months, and then was taken captive. Zedekiah was made the king. He ruled 11 years and rebelled. Babylon came and destroyed Jerusalem (third captivity).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were in the first group taken. Daniel was probably about 12 years old at the time. Ashpenaz, master of Nebuchadnezzar's eunuchs, was to choose out some who had no blemish, but were talented and wise (Daniel 1:3-4). They were to be taught the language of the Chaldeans. They had three years to be prepared.

QUALIFICATIONS OF THE CHOSEN ONES

They must be:

princes (verse 3)

youths (verse 4)

without blemish (verse 4)

handsome (verse 4)

well-educated (verse 4)

knowledgeable (verse 4)

proficient in science (verse 4)

refined and polished (verse 4)

 

 

OUTLINE OF CHAPTER ONE

CAPTURED to serve a gentile king verses 1-2

CHOSEN according to the king's standards verses 3-7

TESTED according to God's standards verses 8-14

APPROVED as superior in all respects verses 15-20

SERVED to magnify the true God verses 21

Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael had passed Nebuchadnezzar's standards. Now they had to pass God's. The world has different standards than God has. The world looks on our heredity, our age, our looks, our education, our knowledge, our financial status, and whether we are "suave", "distinguished", or "macho." However, that is not how God judges.

How do you judge the people in the congregation? How do people determine who to invite to the congregational services? God has different standards than most of the people today. In the last days, God is going to purify a church to be ready for the rapture. He will find a faithful and pure people.

Ephesians 5:27

"That He might present it (the church) to Himself a glorious (full of God's glory) church, not having spot (from the Greek -spilos = blemish), nor wrinkle ( hrutis = mark of age), or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish (amonos = without fault)."

I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him, purifies himself..."

God tested the RESOLVE of Daniel. Christians in the last day revival cannot be indecisive, double minded, unstable, and wavering in the decisions of faith.

Daniel 1:8

"Daniel purposed in his heart..."

Resolve, purpose, and decision must come first.

James 1:8

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

Too many Christians are indecisive. They do not resolve to serve God no matter what. This indecision always means inner conflict and misery. NO undecided person can be really happy. There is an old saying-

"To the ship that is bound for no harbor, no wind can be favorable."

It is difficult to always make the right choices in life. The decisions are not made easy for us. They often involve cost, and penalty. Daniel could have chosen to:

"When in Babylon, do as the Babylonians..."

"Keep up with the times..."

"Experience new things..."

"Be like everyone else..."

etc.

One cannot afford to throw away convictions like an old pair of shoes. Nor can one afford to save the convictions as one would a Sunday suit for Sunday use only. Many people do use their convictions that way. God cannot give His approval to those people. If our convictions are like a soft piece of wax, and are molded by whatever is near, the results could be any variety of hideous shapes.

Can you say "NO !"? Or do you try to keep up with the times?... or decide to experience all you can in life?... or do as whoever you are with decides to do?

Jesus said, "I am the way..." We need to follow Him and Him alone. We cannot afford to waver in our following. We cannot keep choosing different paths. We cannot take our eyes off of Jesus, as our only goal. Too many Christians waver in their goal in life. They do not do as Daniel, and "purpose" in their mind an unwavering conviction to serve God no matter what. God is searching in these last days for a people who will resolve in their minds to hold fast to their Christian convictions.

Daniel purposed not to defile himself. The reason was religious, not physical. The meat from the king's table was slain incorrectly and offered to a false god. The Jews were forbidden to eat meat killed in wrong ways. They were not to eat meat offered to idols. (Exodus 34:15) The "pulse" diet that Daniel requested was probably vegetables and fruit. These could not be defiled, as was the meat.

In the last days, we must purpose not to allow ourselves to be defiled. We will be tested, as was Daniel. The church today is like the Jewish captives. We live in the Babylon of our day. Vile sins are all about us. The government is ruled by wicked sinners. The laws of the land are often permitting, condoning, and sponsoring vile sins. Will we, the church of the last days, be like Daniel and his friends? We are to be the "church", which means the "called out ones." Are we allowing God to call us out to a life that holds firm to convictions no matter what the cost? We must become the church that is without blemish. Are we as resolved in our minds, as was Daniel?

To the congregations mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3, it is re-iterated to each: "him that overcometh..." God wants an overcoming church. He wants a people that overcome the temptations and tests of every age. In Revelation, the congregation of Philadelphia is the one that represents the revival church of the last days.

Revelation 3:12

"...him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is the New Jerusalem, which cometh down from heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name..."

The devil, all his tricks, and all his cohorts with their temptations must be resisted. We are to resist him "steadfastly..."

I Peter 5:9

"...whom resist steadfast in the faith..."

The church of the last days is to be a hindering force against the evil of the day. We are to hinder even the capability of the Antichrist to make his appearance till after we are raptured.

II Thessalonians 2:7-8

"...he that letteth (Greek, katecho =holds down, hinders) will let, until he be taken out of the way. Then shall that wicked one be revealed..."

Therefore, if we are to resist steadfastly, and to hinder the evil of the day, we need to resolve not to defile ourselves. We are in a wicked world, that the devil uses to tempt us to compromise. We must stay different.

Daniel succeeded to stay firm in his convictions. He was blessed and rewarded by God for his steadfastness. On the exam day of the test, Daniel and his companions were found in the best of condition. Nebuchadnezzar "found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in the realm." They graduated "magna cum laude." Daniel was blessed with "understanding in all visions and dreams."

Many today would like to have understanding, wisdom, knowledge, and a prophetic gift. Yet, if they fail the tests of God, they will not have these spiritual gifts. Some may pass the standards of mankind, but fail the test that counts. God's test of our determination to hold onto our convictions is the real test. It has great reward. God greatly blessed Daniel for his resolve.

There is coming an exam day for the church of the last days. In Matthew 13, it is called the "harvest of tares." In Ezekiel 9, it is shown by the marking of those who "sigh and cry for the abominations..." In Zechariah 5, it is shown with the flying scroll entering the household. In I Peter 4, it is called the "judgment" ( Greek- krima = damnation) of the church. The event will culminate the test of the last day church. Will you be one that resolved not to be defiled? Many who are not so "resolved" on that day, will suffer damnation. The resolved will enter into the double portion revival of the last days that precedes the rapture.

Many people want blessed like Daniel. They want power and gifts like Daniel. Yet, they do not want to have the resolve not to defile themselves. Many will often look to be sure they pass the world's standards, but seldom check to see if they pass God's test. They may look in the mirror on Sunday morning to check their hair and face. They may be sure their Sunday clothes are pressed and clean. Yet, they resist the urge to look into the Bible and see if they are measuring up to the standards that God has set.

In the church today, there is a great controversy over how to have the blessings and power of God. Daniel had it, and shows to us in chapter one how he obtained it. He received it from God, and "God gave" (Daniel 1:17) the blessings to Daniel because he "resolved" (Daniel 1:8) not to let the temptations of his day defile him.

Each of the first few chapters in Daniel, presents a story that is intended to teach us a lesson for the last days. This first lesson is intended to teach us how to obtain God's blessing and power for the last days. If we want the power of God, and the blessings of God, and the gifts of the Spirit in operation, we must resolve and determine not to be defiled.

The last days is filled with many false prophets (as the Bible often warned). There are many hypocrites in the church congregations. There is gossip, bitterness, clamor, character assassination, sin, perversion, spiritual abuse, and false teachings in the congregations. The outside world is also tempting people within the congregations to not serve the Lord. Peer pressure is causing many to hide or betray their convictions.

In Daniel's day, many failed the test of God. There were more than Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael there. There were many more Jews, and probably most defiled themselves. We do not know their names for they succumbed to the anonymity of apostasy. They ate of the diet of the Babylonians. They partook of that which defiled them. Many people within the congregations of today, fail too. The Bible says that they have a "form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (II Timothy 3:5)


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THE IMAGE

 

- THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

 

DESCRIPTIVE PROPHECY

 

HOW TO CONQUER FEAR IN THE LAST DAYS

 

Daniel chapter 2

 

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. When he awakened, he could not remember the dream. He knew in his heart that the dream had great import. He spent sleepless hours concerned about this forgotten dream. He called for the magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers of the Chaldeans to explain to him the dream. They were not only to tell the interpretation of the dream, but to also tell him what the dream was.

Had they only needed to interpret a dream that he would relate to them, they could have faked the interpretation. But Nebuchadnezzar would be able to remember the dream as they would relate the true dream to him. So they could not fake it as they probably were accustomed to doing. Failure to correctly relate and interpret the dream would mean death.

They were unable to relate the dream. Nebuchadnezzar was angered and ordered them all to be destroyed. Daniel and the three Hebrew children were in the group that Nebuchadnezzar ordered to be killed.

Daniel asked the reason for his death sentence. Then he asked for a stay of execution so he might have time to pray and ask God for the dream and the interpretation. Daniel and his friends prayed. The concern for his own life and the lives of his friends caused him great concern. The battle against fear is a battle we all must face.

In the last days, fear of death will cause great consternation to many. Events will be occurring that will make many realize that life is fleeting as never before. Persecution will come against Christians as never before. In the tribulation, those who become Christians will be martyred.

Luke 21:26

"Men's hearts failing them for fear,

and for looking after those things

which are coming on the earth;

for the powers of heaven

shall be shaken."

Will we be prepared for the fearful events of the last days? Can you handle the fear that will come to many? Daniel had to face a great fear, and this chapter is DESCRIPTIVE prophecy to show us how to handle the fear that will come.

There are many kinds of fear. Some fears have physical consequences. Some fears have mental effects. Some fears are real, and some are imaginary. Fear can cause us to become sick. Some fears can paralyze us so that we are unable to function.

Daniel mastered fear by courage. His courage was more than animal bravery based on brute strength. His courage was founded in his faith in God.

Sometimes the bravest are those who suffer alone. A soldier can lose all fear for an instant during a battle. The noise, the training, the comradery, etc. all mold together and he temporarily forgets the fear. But what of those who suffer where no one can applaud the courage? The fight may be a bed of sickness, or a trial of persecution. Their courage must be greater to withstand the time, the monotony, and the lack of praise.

During the last days, the courage needed by the latter rain saints will have to be like Daniel's courage here. During the last days, fear will be one of the greatest enemies of the saints. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "all we have to fear is fear itself..."

We are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us..." We have One in us Who is "greater than he who is in the world..." We are to hinder the evil of this world until we are "taken out of the way..." The Scriptures definitely give us the assurance that we can stand bravely against the devil and his cohorts.

Most fears are unfounded. They are like the "boogie man" in the basement. They are like the feared "someone under the bed" fear that most have had at one time or another. Yet, the fear is real. The turmoil of the dread is paralyzing.

Many fear the consequences of living righteously. People fear honesty doesn't pay. Some fear speaking out about Jesus. Some fear persecution. Some fear ultimate defeat. Some fear the loss of unsaved friends.

The wicked often seem to have the advantages. They seem to prosper. Yet, there is no permanence in their prosperity.

Psalms

"I have seen the wicked in great power

and spreading himself like a bay tree.

Yet, he passed away

and lo, he was not,

yea, I sought him,

but he could not be found.

Mark the perfect man,

and behold the upright,

for the end of that man is peace."

The choice Daniel makes here shows it is always right to do right. It is never right to do wrong. Daniel did have human reason to fear. What if God would not relate the dream and the interpretation? Many would be afraid to even expect God to do that. Daniel did not allow that fear to stop him from asking.

II Timothy 1:7

"God hath not given us

 a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love,

 and of a sound mind."

If we entertain fear within us, there will be exaggerated fears without. Faith within will destroy and eradicate the fears without.

I John 4:18

"There is no fear in love,

 but perfect love casteth out fear,

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

 

Love and fear are incompatible.

 

If we find ourselves in fear, then we must get an inrush of love to correct that fear. God's love can be shed upon us by His Spirit. Daniel had a love for God, and a love for his friends that allowed him to combat fear. His faith and his prayers combatted fear. God continued to show his love to Daniel and related to him both the dream and the interpretation.

In the last days, we too must conquer the fear that the devil will attempt to infuse within Christians to paralyze them from doing what God wants done. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to know what was to happen. He wanted Daniel to also know so it could be recorded in his book for the last days. If Daniel had let fear paralyze him from the proper course of action, we would not have ever had a book of Daniel. We too must combat fear. We must go to a loving God in intercessory prayer and expect Him to reveal whatever we need to know to destroy fear.

 

THE DREAM

Why is this dream of Nebuchadnezzar of such import? This dream will demonstrate to the world that God knows the future. We can see, as did Nebuchadnezzar, where we are in God's plan for time.

God is omniscient. This means that His knowledge is infinite. The knowledge of God is precise, minute, certain, vast, and all embracing. All God says is absolutely true and right. He is too wise to make any mistakes. God can neither err nor fail. Paul said:

Romans 11:33

"O the depth and riches

both of wisdom and knowledge of God."

 

Man is forgetful, but God knows every detail of the past (except forgiven sins). We often need to refresh our memories. We may dig down into the artifacts of the past and try to learn what has happened in those past times. God knows it all.

God also knows all the present. God challenged

 

Abraham to count the stars and said that Abraham's seed would be as the stars. Ptolemy said there were 1026 stars, but we know there are billions. God knew the exact number and has a name for each of them. God also knows:

our ways (Psalms 119:168, 139:3),

our words (Psalms 19:14, 139:4),

our thoughts (Psalms 139:2),

our desires (Romans 8:27).

 

This omniscient God also knows the future.

Isaiah 41:21-23, 42:9, 46:10, 48:5-7

"...let them (fale prophets and false gods)

bring forth,

and shew us what shall happen;

...declare us things to come.

Shew the things that are

to come hereafter,

that we may know that ye are gods...

Behold the former things have

come to pass,

and new things do I declare;

before they spring forth

 I (Jehovah God) tell you of them...

Declaring the end from the beginning,

and from ancient times the things

that are not yet done,

saying My counsel shall stand,

 and I will do all My pleasure.

I have even from the beginning

declared it to thee;

before it came to pass

I shewed it thee;

lest thou shouldest say,

Mine idol hath done them;

and my graven image,

and my molten image,

hath commanded them.

...I have shewed thee new things

from this time, even hidden things,

 and thou didst not know them.

They are created now,

and not from the beginning;

 even before the day when thou heardest

 them not; lest thou shouldest say,

 Behold , I knew them."

One third of the Bible is prophecy. Even the name of Cyrus was predicted 180 years before he was born. (Isaiah 45:1-4, 46:11) God knows the future and He loves to show mankind that He does. He has always enjoyed revealing His secrets to us.

Amos 3:7

"He revealeth His secret

unto His servants the prophets."

Nebuchadnezzar had succeeded Nabopolassar. Nebuchadnezzar was the "basest of men" (Daniel 4:17). He was involved in three deportations of people from Judah (606, 598, and 588 B.C.). He was involved in putting Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael into the fiery furnace. He also had many of the captives blinded. Of all the men and rulers of history, this was one of the most wicked.

 

Why then would God give him this dream? He was not godly, he was not praying to the true God. He had not requested this information. Yet, God gives him a dream that reveals all of history forward till the millennial reign of Jesus.

It was the Jews who had questioned why God had allowed the captivity to Babylon. God had faithfully warned them about the captivity, but they chose to listen to false prophets who told them what they wanted to hear. Babylon was victorious in battle over God's people, and was wealthy, and powerful. God demonstrated with a dream to Nebuchadnezzar that He was still in control, and had the future all planned out. God had the king have the dream, and by his incessant insistence to find out what the dream was, and what it meant, Nebuchadnezzar publicized the whole matter for the Lord. (God isn't dumb!)

THE HEAD OF GOLD

The dream contained the sighting of an image. The image of a man had a head of gold. This represented Babylon. (Daniel 2:32, 35, 38) The golden head typified Nebuchadnezzar's own kingdom. Perhaps it was pride that caused him to build a golden statue of himself later. As Daniel described the dream, Nebuchadnezzar probably was smiling at this point.

Nebuchadnezzar ruled for 43 years. Evil Merodach ruled for the next 2 years. Then Neriglissar ruled for 4 years. Nabonidus and Belshazzar ruled then until the Babylonian overthrow in 546 B.C. This kingdom represented by the head of gold

did come to an end.

 

THE BREAST AND ARMS OF SILVER

The breast and arms were silver. This represented the next kingdom that would succeed Babylon. (Daniel 2:32, 35, 39) The silver represented a material inferior to the gold. This showed the lessening of power. Nebuchadnezzar had absolute power. Medo-Persia had government by law, and the king was bound by the law also. Nebuchadnezzar probably ceased smiling now, for this was a prophecy that his kingdom would someday end. People don't like to face that fact.

The two arms represented the dual kingdom of the Medes and Persians. It continued as a kingdom until 334 B.C.

 

THE BELLY AND THIGHS OF BRASS

The belly and thighs were made of brass. This represented the third power to come - Greece. Brass is inferior to the preceding materials. Brass is inferior in quality, but superior in strength. This means that the Grecian kingdom is less despotic. Greece was known for its superior art and culture. Alexander's kingdom stretched over more land than had ever been ruled by one man.

 

THE LEGS OF IRON

The legs were of iron. This represented the Roman empire. (Daniel 2:4, 35, 44, 45) The old Roman empire followed Greece in the empires who were used in the punishment of Israel. The Roman empire later broke into the Eastern and Western divisions (hence the two legs). It continued as a power until 364 A.D.

THE TEN TOES OF IRON AND CLAY

The feet of iron mixed with clay represented the nations of the last days. (Daniel 2:33-35, 41-44) These last powers will be destroyed at the coming of Jesus. The iron and clay represent the different types of governments that make up these empires. The clay represents those ruled by the masses. The iron represents those ruled by absolute monarchs or despots. The iron and clay do not mix. They are good types for this incompatible type of rule. The ten toes represent the revised Roman empire of the tribulation.

THE STONE

Then in the dream, a stone appears which smites the image in the feet and causes the whole image to be destroyed. This represents Jesus who will at His second coming destroy the enemy at Armageddon. (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45)

This was God's prophecy, not Daniel's.

This was a God-given dream, and a God-given interpretation. It did not leave any doubt. It told precisely the succession of powers until God intervenes and sends Jesus to rule this earth. God told the lessening of splendor, with the increasing in power of each kingdom. Daniel told the king:

Daniel 2:27-28

"The great God hath made known

to the king...

 what shall come to pass hereafter."

This dream and much of the book of Daniel shows the coming of the Messianic kingdom. Israel had been a dominant kingdom, but the Gentiles were to have many years of domination of the world. However, God wanted it to be known that the Lord Himself would come and remove the Gentile powers from their domination.

The iron and clay are the dominant powers of today. They will remain the Gentile powers to control until the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will soon come with power and glory.

Revelation 16:14-16

"For they are the spirits of devils,

working miracles,

which go forth

unto the kings of the earth

 and of the whole world,

to gather them to the battle

 of that great day of the God Almighty.

Behold, I come as a thief.

 Blessed is he that watcheth,

and keepeth his garments,

lest he walk naked,

and they see his shame.

And He gathered them together

into a place called

in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon."

Revelation 19:11-21

"And I saw heaven opened,

and behold a white horse,

and He that sat upon him was called

 Faithful and True,

and in righteousness He doth judge

and make war.

His eyes were a flame of fire,

 and on His head were many crowns...

the armies in heaven followed Him

upon white horses,

clothed in fine linen, white and clean...

He hath on His vesture,

 and on His thigh written,

KING OF KINGS,

AND LORD OF LORDS..."

There will be a cataclysmic overthrow suddenly that will end the Gentile domination of this world. The Lord will come and set up His kingdom, and we will return as His army to reign with Him.

 

Joel 3:10-11

"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining; And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army; for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"

 

What does this all tell us? That God knows the PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE! He knew the future kingdoms and their nature and destiny. He knew the ultimate victory of the Lord Jesus. This God wants us to know in the last days that He has had this knowledge all along.

 

He knows our tomorrows. He knew today, He knew yesterday. Don't fear, for He has had all things planned. All we need to do is step into His plan and allow Him to bring us to these events to come on the right side.

 

Not only does God know all, He is willing to share that knowledge. He told wicked Nebuchadnezzar, and He told righteous Daniel. He told many other prophets. He had it recorded in His Word, so you and I could know. He is willing and insistent to share the prophetic word. God wants to speak to us in the last days also. Prophetic revelation is not something of the past any more than miracles are a thing of the past.

 

Joel 2:28

"And it shall come to pass afterward,

 that I will pour out My Spirit

upon all flesh:

and your sons and your daughters

shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

your young men shall see visions..."

God shall reveal Himself, His doings, His way, and His future plans to even the prophets of today.

Habakkuk 2:14

"The time will come when

all the earth is filled,

 as the waters fill the sea,

with an awareness

of the glory of the Lord."

 

God doesn't want people simply to stand and prophesy prosperity and good for people.

The false prophets in Jeremiah's day did that.

The true prophets will prophesy of judgments and blessings.

They will warn the religious and the wicked.

True prophets usually faced opposition from the religious people more than from the wicked.

In the last days, the Christians need to beware false prophets.

 

II Timothy 3:1-9

"This know also,

that in the last days

perilous times will come...

having a form of godliness,

but denying the power thereof...

men of corrupt minds,

 reprobate concerning the faith...

their folly shall be manifest unto all men..."

II Peter 2:1-22

"But there false prophets

also among the people,

even as there shall be false prophets

among you...

it had been better for them

not to have known

the way of righteousness,

than after they have known it,

to turn from the holy commandment

delivered unto them..."

 

The revealing God of the past is the revealing God of the today. But don't follow any prophet. Listen to the true prophets of God. God is revealing much, but new revelation must not contradict the past revelations of the Lord. Revelation is built precept upon precept.

 

God is opening up the "sealed" book of Daniel in these last days as He had promised, and we are to enjoy its revelation. True revelation of the book of Daniel will harmonize with the other prophecies of the Word.

 

The descriptive prophecy of this part

 is to show us, of the last days,

why we do not need to fear.

 

Our God has it all planned.

He is in control, and has been for all eternity.

There is no need to fear.


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THE FIERY FURNACE

Daniel ch. 3

THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

Nebuchadnezzar built an image of gold. This image was twelve and a half feet by 125 feet. It was gold plated. On its day of dedication, the princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, sheriffs, and provincial rulers were to attend. The sound of the musical instruments was to signal them to bow and worship. The penalty for not doing so was to be death in a fiery furnace.

Three Hebrew boys would not comply with the directive of Nebuchadnezzar. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, who were friends of Daniel, had refused to bow to this golden statue. (Perhaps Daniel was elsewhere.)

The king gave them a second opportunity. When they again refused, Nebuchadnezzar became furious. The furnace was heated seven times hotter than ever before. The three young men were bound and led toward the furnace. On the way, the king's men succumbed to the heat and died. The three had to walk the final steps to the furnace alone, without the urging of the captors.

Inside the furnace, the ropes burnt off of the three young men. Their clothes did not burn, and they were unhurt by the fire. Nebuchadnezzar noticed that there was a fourth person walking in the midst of the fire.

 

If you recall, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar had an image with a head of gold. The arms and shoulders of the image was silver, and this indicated that the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar would soon end. The Babylonians had the idea that their gods could be changed and influenced. Thus he had a statue built of all gold, and hoped to influence the gods to not have his kingdom end.

 

The prophetic message given by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar about his dream was not acceptable to the king. Many today do not like the prophetic word of the Bible and the prophets of God. The prophets of God have always been opposed by the religious people of the day. Many religious people hope to change the message of God. Nebuchadnezzar sought to change the fact that his kingdom would be overthrown. Many today want to keep the U.S.A. from facing the judgment predicted in the Bible. Some want to delay the rapture or the tribulation. Some hope the whole prophetic picture is wrong.

Nebuchadnezzar thought if everyone bowed to this image of gold, and to what it represented, the gods would be impressed. He was desperate to make his kingdom last forever. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael could not condone or agree with this. Pressure was applied by Nebuchadnezzar with the threat of the fiery furnace.

Today, pressure is applied to the prophets of God to change their message. Many will leave a church if the pastor teaches to give to the needy, and not to receive and build big bank accounts. Some will leave if the message is ever that a saint is not going to be healed. They will look for prophets that will lie and give false prophecies that the Lord will definitely heal. They act as though the fact that the Lord might call someone home to heaven is a defeat. The young saints, or unsaved ones in a congregation, who hear the prophecies of healing and miracle are shaken by the death when it comes. They see it as lies, and failure of the gospel message. So, a person who speaks a true rhema of God is pressured to change their message, or else.

It is not uncommon for the religious of a congregation to oppose and pressure the true prophets to change the message. The patriotic of the nation will pressure the minister to avoid sermons that tell of judgment on this so-called "religious nation".

The hypocrites of the congregation will keep many pastors from ever preaching on the "judgment that begins at the house of God." They would rather hear of the judgment of the wicked outside the church. The pressure is often hidden, but it is real.

The fiery furnace has been often the threat against those who hold to the prophetic word of the Lord. Fire is an indispensable element in the tempering process. It is necessary to make steel, glass, and china. It purifies and strengthens. God develops and tests character by allowing us to go through a fiery furnace experience. During these last days, we will face fire.

Some have the idea that we should just prosper and be blessed. They have lost the whole concept of God testing and trying us. Yet, there are still fiery furnaces for us to face in the last days.

Nebuchadnezzar's fire of wrath met defeat because the Lord Himself was there to protect the three young men. Notice their reply to the king.

Daniel 3:16-18

"Shadrach (Hananiah), Meshach (Mishael), and Abed-nego (Azariah), answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God Whom we serve, is able to deliver us out of thine hand, O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

God needs such willingness to suffer for Christian stands, and for the prophetic message. Are you true to God in the midst of ridicule? trial? sickness? and sorrow? With the fire of the trial, there is victory. Man's wrath turned to praise of the three young men, because they had the fortitude to stand firm and not yield. Many probably yielded in that day to the king's ultimatum. Many today waffle under the pressure to recant, or turn against the true Word from the Lord. Even the fiery furnace did not dissuade the three men. Some have sold out for 30 pieces of silver, a bowl of soup, or some other worthless offer. Where are the saints who will not recant the convictions of the faith?

Each of us face a personal test. We are going to be tested by fire in the last days, as were these three young men.

I Corinthians 3:12-15

"Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is..."

I Peter 1:7

"...the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire..."

Malachi 3:2

"He is like a refiner's fire..."

What we profess will be tried in the last days. The trial is valuable. We may not seek the fiery tests, but they are said to be worth more than gold... When we are tried by our fiery trials of the last days, we will "be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (I Peter 1:7) If we can't take the fiery trial, we are demonstrating a lack of "gold."

Don't be shocked by the trial.

I Peter 4:12

"think it not strange concerning the trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you..."

 

Many act shocked when a trial comes. They wonder how can God allow these people to speak lies, spread untruths, hate me...etc. We, as the saints, should expect the trials to come. We are adequately warned in the Word of them. The saints who were our examples suffered many a trial.

Joseph was hated by his brethren, sold into slavery, lied about by a rejected woman, imprisoned for years, etc.

David was hated by Saul... chased about the country side... Saul tried to kill him...

Daniel was thrown into the lion's den...

Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, stoned...

The fiery trials we face will bring perfection and maturity to us. They will establish us in our faith. They will leave us with renewed strength. They will settle us...

I Peter 5:10

"that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,

strengthen, settle you..."

The fiery furnace will be experienced by many. The story in Daniel chapter 3 is a type of the 144,000 Jews who during the tribulation will be protected in the fiery trial of the tribulation. The church will experience a fiery trial in the days of the latter rain revival. There are tough days ahead.

We are going to need the presence of the Lord with us. Just as Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael walked about the furnace with the Lord, we will also experience the presence of the Lord in a special way during our trials.

Faith will be required of us, as it was of the three in the original fiery furnace. Examine the faith of those three young men.

FAITH IN THE ABILITY OF GOD

Daniel 3:17

"Our God is able to deliver us..."

God is able to deliver us from every trial. Some trials we will not have to face, but some we will face. When we do go through a trial, we know that the Lord is with us in it.

FAITH IN THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

Daniel 3:17

"And He will deliver us out of thine hand..."

The three did not know if they were going to be delivered out of the hands of Nebuchadnezzar by way of death or miracle... Yet, in some way they knew that the Lord would give them victory. As they approached the fiery furnace, the guards fell dead. Yet, the three kept going, and walked into the furnace of fire without being forced to go. That is faith in the willingness of God to deliver.

ACCEPTANCE IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

Daniel 3:18

"But if not, be it known unto you, O king, ... we will not worship the golden image..."

As Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him..." They were aware of the fact that they might become martyrs here. The idea of martyrdom is foreign to many Christians of today. Like the people in Jeremiah's day in Jerusalem, they do not see how they could ever be allowed by God to die. Down through the ages, many have faced fire, lions, sword, etc. These martyrs entered the joys of heaven, demonstrated to the world that heaven is not a place to be disdained. The three young men walked into the fiery furnace to face their Lord... whether in the furnace or in heaven... they didn't care. They let that choice up to the Lord. Many today fight death, and fear going to heaven. They automatically brand any prophet who would say, "It is time to go home to Jesus" as a false prophet.

Faith is always confronted with a choice. Faith, true faith, will always choose God, even when costly. The choice of the three Hebrew children was not easy, but neither will be our choices in the last days.

Faith is always involved with a risk. Abraham left Ur, not knowing exactly where God as leading him. We may like to play it safe, or leave a few bridges behind us to make retreat possible... but God wants us to take a risk.

Faith always encounters opposition. The pathway that God gives us is not strewn with roses, and does not resound with cheers from onlookers. We can expect opposition. It will most often come from the religious community. Our stand will face great opposition.

Deliverance from the trial is not always the highest good. The three Hebrew children were delivered into fire. They didn't say... "Why Us?" The incidence of trial is unequal. Some are healed, and some have miracles. Some will be taken home to heaven. The ones who are taken home to heaven are not the "doomed". They are the blessed ones. The ones who face trials are not the mistreated. They are the ones who will be greatly rewarded.

The presence of Jesus is our reward, as He was the reward of the three young men in the fiery furnace. The fire did not harm them. Only their ropes were burnt. The enemies died just getting near the flames. Inside the furnace, Jesus awaited. He walked, and probably talked, with these three.

Many today want the presence of Jesus.

 They ask and ask for it.

Jesus is awaiting us inside the furnace of trial.

 If we lower our convictions in these last days, we may escape the fiery trials.

Yet, we will also miss the precious presence of Jesus.

We can have His presence.

In the last days, we will need His presence.


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THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD

THE HUMBLING OF THE GREAT NATION

Daniel chapter 4

There are many lessons that God wants us to know during these last days. The book of Daniel contains some lessons and truths for us to remember during these times. These truths were shut up in the "sealed" book of Daniel until the last times. Now the prophecies of the end times have been adequately given that we can now look at these events and understand the types and truths they were meant to relate.

In chapter one of Daniel, we saw how God wants us to firmly hold our convictions in the perilous times of the last days.

 

 Chapter two related to us how God knows all the coming events and we can safely trust in His omniscience.

 

In chapter three, we learned how during the trials of the last days, the saints will have the presence of the Lord.

 

Now we come to chapter four, and we will here see that the Lord wants of the last days assured of His omnipotence. God is sovereign and can humble the proud and sinful nations of the last days. Those who have ignored and rebelled against His authority will see the omnipotence of the Lord.

God had worked hard to soften wicked Nebuchadnezzar to repentance. Nebuchadnezzar was shown that Jehovah is the true and present God with the events of the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar made speeches about the God of the Hebrews, but had never owned Jehovah as his God.

 

Note what God then says about Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 51:34-37:

"Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he that crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he that swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out. The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say, and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore, thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will plead thy cause and take vengeance for thee; I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps..."

Chapter four of Daniel is now Nebuchadnezzar's final chance to turn to God. He has a vision of a great tree whose height reached up to heaven. There was an abundance of fruit on the tree. The beasts found shelter under the branches of the tree. The fowls of the air dwelt in the boughs. The fruit of the great tree was meat for all flesh.

This tree was cut down, and only a stump was left. The beasts were driven away. The birds took flight. The fruit was scattered. This vision represented the kingdom of Babylon. It was a great and powerful nation. Nebuchadnezzar would soon be cut down like the tree, and be humbled by God.

 

Amazingly, Nebuchadnezzar again called for his magicians and wise men. They had failed him before, and still, Nebuchadnezzar was so worried about this dream, that he again turns to these "fakes" to help him. He is like many people in church congregations today who sneak a peak at their horoscopes, try other ungodly methods to know the future, and seek their counsel and advice from the unsaved, ungodly people. These wise men and magicians again failed to interpret his dream; just as the horoscopes, fortune tellers, quija boards, crystal balls, etc. fail people today..

 

Daniel 4:6-7

"Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof..."

 

Daniel arrived, and with the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom from the Lord, he related the interpretation of the dream to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel then gave Nebuchadnezzar a chance.

 

Daniel 4:27

"Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility."

 

The king did not follow his advice. It is amazing how people are so stubborn to refuse the plain and simple way of salvation.

 

 

Destruction and judgment from God is avoidable, and still mankind often refuses to escape the judgment of God. About a year later, the king walked in the palace and took credit for all the glory of Babylon.

 

In that same hour, God's judgment fell.

Daniel 4:31

"While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee."

 

The king was smitten with a form of insanity in which he fancied himself to be a beast. This is known as LYCANTHROPY. The historian, Abydenos, in 286 B.C. records what seems like another tradition of this.

 

For seven years, Nebuchadnezzar dwelt with the beasts in the field. He ate grass, and slept in the open fields. His hairs grew long, and the nails of his fingers became as bird's claws.

 

His right mind did not return until the seven years were finished.

Nebuchadnezzar had learned that God is all-knowing with the dream of the image. He had learned that God is all-present with the events of the fiery furnace. Yet, he doubted that God was all-powerful. He had warning from God a year before this judgment fell, and still he was proud, sinful, and unchanged by the warning. The king felt confident in his power and strength. He did not fear judgment for his sins. Many try to appear as super strong, and they think they can avoid God's judgment. Judgment from God is sure for sin, and if we harbor unrepentant sin, we will be judged. However, our God is above all, and none can stay his hand.

MESSAGE OF DANIEL 4 FOR THE LAST DAYS

Note the similarities to a certain country today. Nebuchadnezzar represented the great world power of the day. It was a nation that took credit for the glory and power of the world. It faced a judgment of 7 years of humbling before all. When God showed His omnipotence, it came as quite a shock.

What world power is to be humbled at the beginning or just before the tribulation? The Antichrist and his kingdom is to be the major, and only superpower of the tribulation period.

 

What has happened by then to the United States and Russia? The Russian nation is defeated at the beginning of the tribulation, and again at the end of the tribulation.

 

Yet, the U.S.A. is not a power during the tribulation. Why not?

 

The humbling of the U.S.A. will happen just before the tribulation begins. The judgment will be quick, as was Nebuchadnezzar's.

 

The U.S.A. is now a great world power.

 

It is proud, as was Nebuchadnezzar's. As a nation, it is confident of its greatness. Patriots are shocked at the thought that it could ever be defeated. God has given warnings (as Korea, Vietnam, Iran, etc.) that the nation is not invincible.

 

A war will occur somewhere near the beginning of the tribulation,. This war will humble the proud nation of the U.S.A. Just as Nebuchadnezzar was humbled for rejecting the Lord for so long, the United States will be humbled for its perversions, wickedness, and murdering of nearly 40 million unborn children in the last few years. It will take the United States out of the picture for the whole seven year tribulation period.

God gave Nebuchadnezzar 12 months to repent. Nebuchadnezzar was proud, as are many of this country. There was reason for his pride. The city of Babylon was magnificent. It had walls 14 miles long on each side. Around these walls was a moat of water. The walls were 108 1/2 feet thick. The walls were 417 feet high. There were 100 brass gates to the city. The houses were three or four stories tall. The city was built on both sides of the Euphrates river. The bridge across it was 3240 feet long. There was a tunnel built under the river also. There were hanging gardens in the city each of 400 square feet. For hundreds of years this was the main ruling city of the world.

The U.S.A. also has reasons for pride. Many great things have been done in the U.S.A. We could look at the greatness of this vast country, as Nebuchadnezzar did at his. Yet, there are millions of unborn children being murdered at the hands of some doctors in this country. There is an abundance of pornography, and sexual perversions. The greed, crime, and wickedness is rampant. Many of the so-called Christians of this country are apathetic to the sins of the nation. Warnings have been uttered by the prophets of the country. The Scriptures have been opened to reveal a great judgment on the nation of the United States. The lesson that the United States needs to learn is taught in Daniel chapter 4.

Daniel 4:26

"...after that thou shalt have known

that the heavens do rule."

Daniel 4:34

"(God's) dominion is an everlasting dominion,

and His kingdom is from generation

to generation.

And all the inhabitants of the earth

are reputed as nothing:

and He doeth according to His will

 in the army of heaven,

and among the inhabitants of the earth:

and none can stay his hand,

nor say unto Him, What doest thou?"

Daniel 4:37

"...those that walk in pride,

 He is able to abase."

The pride of Babylon was abased, and the pride of the United States will be abased soon. The Lord is aware of the great sins of this nation, as he was about the sins of Babylon. Judgment is coming.

See Revelation 6; Isaiah 13, 47;

and Jeremiah 50-51

for a description of the humbling defeat

of the United States.

 

The U.S.A. will be defeated by Russia in a terrible nuclear war.

Russia will then look about to see what it has won as spoils of this terrible war.

It will realize that the little nation of Israel is no longer protected as it had been by the nation of the United States.

Russia will decide to take Israel.

God and Israel defeat Russia as described in Ezekiel 39.

 

This sets the stage for the Antichrist to then come to power and put together his ten nation kingdom to seemingly rule for the tribulation period.

The United States is in its last days a powerful nation. It has put prayer and Bible reading out of the schools. It has began a campaign of killing unborn children. It is purposely teaching perverted, homosexual lifestyles in opposition to the condemnations of such in the Bible.

Yet, many still call this a "religious nation." It does have many "religious groups"... but they all need repentance and revival. A warning vision was given to Nebuchadnezzar, and yet he refused to heed its message.

 

The revelation and unsealing of the prophetic message of Daniel is coming now to this nation. The land is resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit for its sins. Many of the churches themselves are apathetic and deaf to the call for repentance.

The Lord of heaven is still the omnipotent God Who will again show that the "heavens do rule", and that His is the only dominion that is forever... He is able, and will abase the United States for its sins...

The people in this country, and some that are even in church congregations, are often proud and haughty. They feel they can live as they please and still not be judged. God is aware of every word, thought, and deed. He is a righteous, sovereign, and just Judge. He will humble the proud... He wants us to be aware of the coming judgment.

Another thing we need to note, is the ability of God to save even the worst of people. This proud and haughty evil ruler, named Nebuchadnezzar, came to accept the Lord after his great humbling.

 

The chapter 4 of Daniel, was written by Nebuchadnezzar.

Do you know some who are so evil that you have given up on seeing them saved.

God loves a challenge.

He wants all to be saved.

Even murderous, haughty, and horrible men as Nebuchadnezzar can be saved.

This evil man not only came to accept God, but he even authored one of the chapters of the book of Daniel.

God saw fit to include this book in our Bible.

 


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THE JUDGMENT OF GOD

Daniel chapter 5

 GOD'S FINAL WARNING

Belshazzar, the son of Nabonidus, was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar reigned while his father (the real king) was away on a military mission. He took advantage of "dad" being away. He planned for a night of revelry. In a drunken condition, he called for the vessels of the temple. He wanted to drink wine from these vessels from Jerusalem that his grandfather had stolen.

 

In the midst of this, a hand appeared coming through the wall. The hand wrote a message on the wall before all the guests. That ended the party.

 

Daniel 5:6-7

"Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against the other. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

It may seem strange to us that there were still soothsayers, etc. in the land. One would think that after their failure in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the people would realize their lack of real ability. Yet, the prophet Jeremiah wrote the words of God that said...

Jeremiah 5:30-31

"A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and priests bear rule by their means, and My people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end?"

 

The Babylonians preferred the false prophets of their day, the children of Israel preferred the false prophets to Jeremiah's true prophecies. Today, unfortunately, the false prophets are also preferred to the true word given from the Lord.

A child of God, who was diagnosed with cancer, asked a friend to pray and ask God whether he was going to die or be healed. The friend spent time in loving intercession for the child of God. The friend heard God speak a word that he did not want to relate to the child of God.

 

The Lord said that he was going to give the person with cancer the gift of faith to patiently endure the disease, but in the end, the child of God was going to be called home to heaven. Reluctantly, the message was related to the child of God.

Some, who may have had good motives at first, challenged the prophecy. The person who gave the message was called a "false prophet." The child of God was told by the ones who later proved themselves to be "false prophets" that God had told them that he would not die of cancer, but be healed miraculously. The one with the true word from God was made to look like he had told his friend that he was going to hell, not heaven. Instead of helping the child of God to live victoriously in the final days, they kept attacking his friend, and reassuring the child of God he would not die.

The child of God is now home with the Lord. He has gone ahead of us to intercede directly to the Lord in heaven for some loved ones. The false prophets had many who preferred to listen to them.

 

 The young believers and unsaved who heard their prophecies, and then saw them not come true are probably shaken in any faith they may have had. They presumably view the congregation with distrust and are less likely to be saved than before.

 

The times have not changed from Daniel's time. The people still prefer the false prophets. They still want to hear the messages that tickle the ears. The people cannot bear the truth. They will persecute and punish the true prophets for the rhema messages from the Lord. The soothsayers are kept near, the false prophets are never made to answer for their false prophecies.

Daniel 5:8

"Then came in all the king's wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king, the interpretation thereof."

The queen remembered one that was left out when the wise men were called in before the king. She related to Belshazzar about one who made no pretence of wisdom, but spake a message from the Lord God. Daniel was summoned.

Daniel 5:13, 17

"Then was Daniel brought in before the king... Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet, I will read the writing unto the king and make known to him the interpretation."

Daniel reminds Belshazzar of the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar, his grandfather. He reminds him of the pride that led to his seven year downfall. Then he rebukes this sinful king before all.

Daniel 5:22-23

"And thou his son (grandson), O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy lords, thy wives and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified."

Then Daniel gives an interpretation, not translation, of the writing on the wall.

Daniel 5:26-28

"This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."

This fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 2:39. The breast and the arms of silver that were to replace the head of gold, were now at hand to take power.

 

Ancient historians (Xenophon, Herodotus, and Berosus) tell us the story of what happened that night. Cyrus diverted the waters of the Euphrates river into a new channel so that the river bed entering the city was dry. Two deserters, Gadatas and Gobrias, guided the army of Cyrus through the dry river bed into the city while the Babylonians were carousing at their annual feast to their gods. The Persian army took the city without a battle. Gobrias killed Belshazzar.

 

It took courage for Daniel to relate to Belshazzar the interpretation of the message. The prophets of God often have to relate messages that the people do not want to hear. But prophets are not here to speak what the people want to hear, but to relate what God wants them to hear.

The translation of the words are:

MENE = numbered

MENE = numbered

TEKEL = weighed

PERES = division

(UPHARSIN = the plural of PERES)

FUTURE MEANING OF THIS DESCRIPTIVE PROPHECY

This passage represents the future judgment of the United States. In the Bible, "Babylon" is used to refer to whatever power is the dominant power of the day to which the passage is addressed. There are times that the term "Babylon" refers to the kingdom of the Antichrist, sometimes it refers to Rome, sometimes it refers to literal Babylon, and sometimes it refers to the United States.

The "vessels" that are misused by Belshazzar refer to the Jewish people who still reside in the United States. Nearly half of all the Jews in the world reside in this country. The United States are traditionally a supporter of the nation of Israel. Yet, in the United States there is a growing tendency to not back the nation of Israel. There is much anti-semitism in this nation also. Some recent government decisions have hurt the nation of Israel. The likelihood of the "vessels" being misused in this country is very high. This passage seems to prophesy that it will occur shortly before the destruction of the United States.

Just as the Babylonian empire came to an abrupt end, the United States will also soon come to an abrupt end. This is not a pleasant subject, and I dislike the thought as much as anyone. Yet, the word of God is plain. Patriotism cannot undo the prophetic Word of God. What this message indicates, is that we have little time to do our work. We cannot hope our loved ones accept Jesus after the rapture. The events after the rapture will mean most, if not all, our loved ones will quickly be killed by the war that kills one fourth of the people of the world (over a billion people).

One more pleasant thought is that the rapture of the church is to happen before this war. The war that starts the tribulation (Counterfeit Armageddon) will occur soon after the rapture.

Jeremiah 50:28

"The voice of them that flee and escape out to the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of His temple."

Jeremiah 51:6, 45

"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul... My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord..."

I Thessalonians 5:9

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ..."

II Thessalonians 2:3, 7-8

"...for that day shall not come, except there be a falling away ("apolusa," not "apostasia," it means "separation") first... only he who letteth (hinders) will let (hinder), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked One be revealed..."

After the rapture of the church, the war will kill many millions of people. This war is described in several places in Scripture. The descriptions sound as though the war will be atomic warfare.

Isaiah 13:8-10, 13, 19

"And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth; they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. ... Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. ... And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited..."

Jeremiah 50:46

"At the noise of the taking of Babylon, the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations."

The reasons for the judgment of the United States is "sorceries" (Isa. 47:9), which indicates witchcraft, and drug abuse. Pride is also indicated as a major sin. It is also stated that the nation lives in pleasures, dwells carelessly, and does not take the warnings of judgment to heart. The children of the Lord are also said to be shown "no mercy" (Isaiah 47:6).

Isaiah 47:1-11

"Come down and sit in the dust... thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate... thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen; I will take vengeance... for thou shalt no more be called, 'The lady of kingdoms.'... thou didst show them no mercy... thou saidst, I shall be a lady forever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, and dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me: I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children. But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood... shall evil come upon thee: thou shalt not know from whence it riseth; ... desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know..."

There will come a great wind, as is common in atomic explosions.

Jeremiah 51:1-2

"thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against Me, a destroying wind; And I will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land..."

The Bible seems to indicate the war will follow a time of disarmament. The United States has been destroying bombers, missiles, nuclear weapons, ships, submarines, and the number of ready troops.

Jeremiah 51:30

The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds, their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces: her bars are broken..."

The destruction will be complete and devastating.

 

Jeremiah 51:36-44

"...Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant... I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats... how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations... her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth... the wall of Babylon shall fall..."

 

Who is the powerful nation that will be used of God to bring this desolation upon the United States? The Scriptures seem to indicate it will be Russia.

Jeremiah 51:48

"...the spoilers shall come from the north..."

 

Jeremiah 50:3,9,41

"For out of the north there cometh a nation against her which shall make her land desolate... I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country... Behold, a people shall come from the north, a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth..."

 

There is a warning that the Lord will cause to alert the nation to the danger, but it shall largely be ignored. The word used in Jeremiah is "rumour", which is from the Hebrew word, "shemuah". This word means "a report, an announcement."

Jeremiah 51:46

"And lest your heat faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler."

This message may be hard to accept. The United States is a nation we have grown to love. We know many of its sins, and hope God doesn't judge it as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, He would have to apologize to those cities if He did not judge the horrible sins, perversions, and murder of this country. Even though the United States is a great, and strong, nation... even though we have sent men into space... God will still judge. The only thing stopping the wrath of God right now on this country is the presence of the interceding Christians. Just as the destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah did not start until Lot and his family were out of the city, so the Lord will rapture the church before the destruction of the first war of the tribulation destroys the United States.

Jeremiah 51:53

"Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord."

God is not only a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. His justice demands that fullest satisfaction be given for breaking His laws. His love caused Him to prepare a way to escape this judgment. His justice demands that those who refuse His love, be judged for the sins they will not repent. Man is a free moral agent. God allows each person to choose God's love, His way of escape... or to suffer His justice. We must choose... We must warn others of the choice... We have so little time.


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THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD

Daniel chapter 6

Daniel continued in a position of influence. As in politics of today, in that time there were great rivalries and competition for power. A plot was hatched against Daniel. Daniel was accused of breaking a law that was designed against him. The King sought to deliver Daniel, but was powerless according to the law. The result was the casting of Daniel into the lions' den.

Darius the Mede was probably Astyages. The term "Darius" is a title, not a proper name. It means "the maintainer." The same term was used of Xerxes and others. Josephus speaks of him as the son of Astyages and kinsman of Cyrus (book x, ch. 11). He may well have been Astyages, himself. This would make him to be the husband of Esther, also known as Ahasuerus.

Darius set about to organize the kingdom. He divided the kingdom into 120 provinces. Over each of the provinces, he appointed a prince to rule. Over the 120 princes, he appointed three presidents. Daniel was one of the presidents, and he was to be the head of the other two presidents. The princes reported to their separate presidents, and the presidents reported to Darius.

Daniel was preferred over the other two presidents because of his excellent spirit. This created a jealousy in the 122 other rulers. They looked at the life of Daniel to find a fault so they could accuse him before Darius. Yet, they could find no fault in him.

Daniel 6:4

"Then the presidents and the princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdoms; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error, or fault found in him."

They decided to trick the king into a decree that he would be unable to change. They knew Daniel would refuse to obey an order not to pray to his God. They knew that Darius would seek to excuse Daniel for this failure, so they had to devise a plan to get the law decreed in a manner that even Darius would be unable to allow Daniel to escape the penalty.

Daniel continued to pray, in spite of the decree. He showed his loyalty to God was above any loyalty to man. He was thrown into the lion's den, despite the king's reluctance.

Daniel was preserved miraculously in the den of lions.

The 122 guilty conspirators and their families were cast into the same lions' den and were devoured.

This shows that Daniel had not been cast into a den of several well-fed, toothless lions.

These lions were numerous enough to devour hundreds of people, and must have been quite hungry.

 

Too often in our world today,

religion is regarded as a weakness.

 

The accusers of Daniel, as our accusers also,

think that our religion will be our downfall.

 

Many today think religion will hurt one socially, educationally, professionally, and militarily.

 

Many will try to keep their religious views quiet.

 

They want us to think religion is all right for the church buildings, but not for the work place.

 

These same ones desire religion relegated to Sunday,

and want the rest of the week to be

non-religious.

 

Daniel kept his religion as more than a ceremony, it was his life and character. Don't let your religion become a convenience. Don't try to manufacture a god to suit your own wishes.

 

The true God demands to be worshiped, and to be honored seven days a week, and every week of the year. He is a jealous God.

There are times when God does not seem to answer your prayers. Sometimes the mouths of the lions that we face do not seem to be closed. But what about all the Christian captives during the ages who were not released? Many of the Christians of the early church were thrown to the lions and were devoured of the same.

Why are some of the sick Christians not healed? Why do some who seem to have immense faith die? These questions have troubled many through the ages.

Whether we are delivered before we are thrown into a lions' den, or before we are put into a fiery furnace... or have to go through the trial... we know that our God is with us, as was the same God with Daniel. Our God can feel our infirmities, and knows our troubles... He deliver some, and not deliver others... but in both cases ... He is with all of us.

There are some who will be protected during the tribulation. These 144,000 Jews who are sealed with protection from the seven trumpets will be like the three Hebrew children (Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael).

 

The 144,00 are sealed with a mark in the forehead and thus are marked by God to be protected (Rev. 7:1-8, 9:4). Then in Revelation chapter 14, we see them in heaven.

 

These missionaries of the tribulation do a great evangelistic work after the church has been raptured. The three Hebrew men are a prophetic type of these 144,000.

 

Daniel, on the other hand, is a prophetic type of the two witnesses of the tribulation.

 

Daniel is put down into the lions' den, and then later brought back up victoriously.

 

The two witnesses return to earth and face the Antichrist, False Prophet, and their cohorts.

 

They show forth a faith similar to Daniel's.

 

Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses who return to earth for the three and a half year time of prophetic confrontation with the evil of the day.

Just as Daniel was lifted out of the den in the morning, the two witnesses will be resurrected and raptured after being dead for 3 1/2 days.

There are five raptures in the first resurrection.

(1) Christ and many saints that were resurrected at the time of Jesus' resurrection were raptured to heaven. These were the "firstfruits" of the resurrection.

(2) Those who are Christ's at the rapture of the church will ascend to heaven soon.

(I Cor. 15:23, John 14:1-3, I Thess. 2:19, II Thess. 2:1-7).

 

(3) The 144,000 Jews after their protected evangelistic efforts of 3 1/2 years are raptured to heaven.

(Rev. 7:1-8, 12:5, 14:1-5, Isa. 66:7-8, Dan. 12:1)

 

(4) The tribulation saints (those saved after the rapture of the church) are raptured during the seventh trumpet. It is at this time that the unsaved have so hardened their hearts that they refuse to be saved, no matter how great the judgment from God.

(Rev. 6:9-11, 7:9-17, 15:2-4, 20:4-6)

 

(5) The two witnesses are raptured after their resurrection

(Rev. 11:7-11).

The two witnesses return to the earth during the trumpet judgments. They come to prophesy for 1260 days. The come and preach, put plagues on those who oppose them, and to kill those who try to kill them. The demonic spirit from the Antichrist finally kills these two witnesses. They are resurrected three and a half days later.

Enoch was a great prophet who "walked with God."

 

We first read about him in

Genesis 5:18-24.

"And Jared lived 162 years, and he begat Enoch. And Jared lived after he begat Enoch 800 years and he begat sons and daughters. All the days of Jared were 962 and he died. And Enoch lived 65 years and begat Methuselah. And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah, 300 years, and he begat sons and daughters. All the years of Enoch were 365. And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."

Then in Hebrews 11:5, the writer speaks of Enoch.

"By faith, Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him, for before his translation, he had this testimony...that he pleased God."

The name "Enoch" in Hebrew is "hanokh", which means "consecrated." Certainly Enoch consecrated his life to the Lord.

His life began 65 years before Methuselah was born, and yet he has

not died. Enoch was raptured, and taken from this earth alive 69 years before Noah was born.

The book of Jude quotes from the book written by Enoch.

Jude 14-15

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which the ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.'"

 

This "Book of Enoch" was known to the early church. Not only did Jude quote from it (showing not only his validation of the book, but also that God validated it by including a small part of it into the Holy Word); but Origen and Tertullian and others in the early church mentioned this book by name. For many centuries this book of Enoch was read and enjoyed; and now in these last days we can once again read the book that Enoch wrote.

Enoch is one of the "two witnesses" mentioned in the Bible.

Revelation 11:3-12

"And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1260 days clothed in sackcloth.

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouths and devours their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all their plagues, so often as they will.

And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of that great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified.

And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations shall see their dead bodies 3 1/2 days and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and shall make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth.

And after 3 1/2 days the Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet and great fear fell upon them who saw them.

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, 'Come up hither.'

And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them."

In the book of Zechariah of the Old Testament, these same two witnesses are seen:

Zechariah 4:11-14

"Then answered I, and said unto him, 'What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candle-stick and upon the left side thereof?' And I again and said unto him, 'What be these two olive branches which through the golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?' And he answered me and said, 'Knowest thou not what these be?' And I said, 'These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.'"

Nicodemus wrote a book that the early church enjoyed. Though

it was not included in the Bible, it is a wonderful book.

 

In Nicodemus 20:2-4, we are told:

"Two very ancient men met them and were asked by the saints, 'Who are ye, who have not been with us in sheol, and have not had your bodies placed in paradise?' One of them, answering said, 'I am Enoch. who was translated by the word of God, and this man who is with me, is Elijah,the Tishbite, who was translated in a fiery chariot. Here we have hitherto been and have not tasted death, but are now about to return at the coming of the Antichrist, being armed with divine signs and miracles to engage with him in battle, and to be slain by him at Jerusalem and to be taken up alive again in the clouds after 3 1/2 days.'"

In "The Book of Enoch", Enoch describes the rapture of Elijah:

Enoch 90:31

"These three angels who had taken me up, also brought the ram (Elijah) who had come up to me; and put us in the middle of the sheep during the judgment time."

Enoch had seen Elijah as the "ram" in Enoch 89:52:

"One of them (rams) was not killed - but the Lord of the sheep saved it and brought it up to stay with me."

This "ram" was called his "son" since Elijah was a descendant of Enoch.

Enoch 105:2

"I and my son will join ourselves with these of the last days, and peace will come... Rejoice, you that are upright. AMEN."

Elijah was a man of like nature to the rest of Christianity.

James 5:17

"ELIJAH WAS A MAN SUBJECT TO LIKE PASSIONS AS WE ARE, AND HE PRAYED EARNESTLY THAT IT MIGHT NOT RAIN, AND IT RAINED NOT ON THE EARTH FOR THE SPACE OF THREE AND A HALF YEARS."

So Elijah was not a "super saint", or some fantastically spiritual person that the rest of us cannot hope to be like. He was human. What makes him different from some Christians is that he set himself apart to God. Yet, he still had the same temptations as you and I. If we, as Elijah, give ourselves to God...we may have what Elijah had.

Elijah was a man of faith. He walked by faith, not sight. Because of this faith, he could sit by the brook Cherith, even when it was drying up. He could live with a widow, who never had more than a handful of meal in her kitchen. He could go to the top of Mt. carmel against 850 false prophets. He could stand up against a wicked king. He could even believe God when he told him he was about to be raptured. These took great faith. Elijah, not only had faith, he acted on his faith.

James 2:17

"FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD."

Elijah was a man of separation. He walked in a separation from the evil around him. He never fraternized with sin. Probably, he was called unsocial, or "holier than thou." Though most of Israel had backslid from the true faith, Elijah went about the sinful nation without partaking in the vile sins of the others.

Elijah was a man of intercession. He was constantly burdened for the people of Israel. He was a prophet, not only because the call of God was on his life, but the call of God was on him...because he cared about the spiritual condition of the people.

This man, Elijah, had courage. This was not a normal boldness... for remember his flight from Jezebel! But when God gave him a task, no matter how impossible... he did it unquestionably. The only time this courage failed, was when he took his eyes of the Lord, and looked at the natural circumstances.

Elijah was a man of obedience. He followed God's instructions, even when they were weird. God's instructions are usually weird. Remember when Peter asked Jesus for some money to pay his taxes? Peter was told to catch a fish and take the money out of its mouth. At another time Jesus told the servants to fill the wine jars with water and serve it. Ezekiel was told to preach to the mountains. Elijah was told to challenge the 850 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, all alone. He was told to tell the king it wouldn't rain until Elijah said it would. He was told to sit by a brook and wait daily for ravens to bring him food. He was told to take a final walk and visit the sons of the prophets, because later that day... the Lord was going to rapture him.

Almost always, the instructions of God seem strange to us. Elijah was able to do whatever God said to do.

Moses was a lawgiver, and the deliverer of Israel from Egypt. He saw his task accomplished. Elijah was a reformer. His job was to turn Israel from worshipping a false god, back to the true God. God will reward Elijah by allowing him to finish his mission. So during the tribulation, Elijah will return from heaven and finish the task that God gave him to do. The people of his former day would not listen to Elijah. Yet, in the tribulation, Elijah will finally see success.

Malachi 4:5-6

"BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD; AND HE SHALL TURN THE HEART OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, AND THE HEART OF THE CHILDREN TO THEIR FATHERS, LEST I COME AND SMITE THE EARTH WITH A CURSE."

Elijah, together with Enoch, will soon return to this earth to personally confront the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The church will be removed, and the 144,000 missionary Jews of the tribulation will be raptured after their ministry in the first part of the tribulation.

 

About that time Elijah will return with Enoch, and challenge the Antichrist, cause plagues, minister, and prepare the people of the final days of the tribulation for the return of Jesus.

 

They will finally be killed, and be dead upon the street for several days.

Then as the enemies of God party about their dead bodies, they will be resurrected and raptured.

 

Daniel was put into the lions' den for a night. The king anxiously awaited the morning when he could rescue Daniel from the evil in which he had been placed.

 

In the same way, God will anxiously rescue the two witnesses from the evil of the world in the latter part of the tribulation. God is a deliverer. He protected Daniel, and He will protect the two witnesses.

The concluding verse of each of the previous four chapters of Daniel, shows that Godly living brings reward.

Daniel 3:30 shows that Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael were promoted for their Godly stand.

Daniel 4:37

"I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol,

and honor the King of heaven..."

Daniel 5:29

"Daniel... should be the third ruler in the kingdom..."

Daniel 6:28

"Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the king."

Thus, it is the overcomers, the Godly, the faithful, and those who are determined to be righteous - who are delivered by the Almighty God. This is vital for us to know and remember in the last days.

In the letters to the seven churches of Revelation chapters two and three, we notice this phrase is repeated to all of them...

"to him that overcometh will I give..."

Blessings are reserved and given to the overcomers. God will deliver and bless the faithful. It may mean a battle, or a fight to become an overcomer, but the ones who endure the battle and do overcome will be delivered and blessed.

Let us now summarize and update the first six chapters of Daniel.

 

chapter title prophetic lesson

 

1. BLESSING OF GOD

God will bless and empower if we resolve not to be defiled, as God blessed those who resolved not to be defiled by the food of Babylon.

 

2. OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

God has known the future, and is in control, as God knew the successive national powers shown by the great image.

 

3. OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

God will be with the 144,000 Jews of the tribulation, as He was with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace.

 

4. OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD

A superpower will be humbled for the seven years of the tribulation, as God humbled Nebuchadnezzar for seven years.

 

5. JUDGMENT OF GOD

God will give a final warning, as He gave Belshazzar the handwriting on the wall.

 

6. DELIVERANCE OF GOD

The two witnesses will be protected during the tribulation, as was Daniel in the lions' den.

 

The first six chapters of Daniel emphasized the descriptive prophecy.

 

The next six chapters of Daniel will show a different type of prophecy.

 

Predictive prophecy will foretell prophetic events and individuals that will come.


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THE COMING OF THE ANTICHRIST

Daniel chapter 7,8

FIRST VISION - VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS

chapter 7

In the first year of Belshazzar's reign (vs.1), which was after the vision of the image that Nebuchadnezzar had seen, and shortly before the overthrow of Belshazzar with the handwriting on the wall, Daniel was given some additional information. The vision of the image had shown Daniel the basic outline of the future, with the reigning empires that were to eventually come. Yet, not much detail was in that vision. The vision of the four beasts in Daniel chapter seven, covers the same period and adds much detail.

Let's examine the symbols of this vision.

Daniel 7:2

"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came from the sea, diverse one from another..."

BASIC SYMBOLS

"WINDS" symbolize wars, strife, and judgments from God (Jeremiah 25:32-33, Revelation 7:1-3,8:7-13, Daniel 7:1- 3)

"SEAS" represent peoples (Revelation 17:15)

"BEASTS" represent kingdoms and rulers (Daniel 7:17, 23-24, 8:20-23, Revelation 13:1-18,17:8-17)

"HEADS" represent kingdoms (Daniel 7:6, 8:20-23, Revelation 17:8-17)

"HORNS" symbolize kings of the kingdoms (Daniel 7:23-24, Revelation 17:12-17)

"LION" symbolizes Babylon (Daniel 7:4-12-17, Habakkuk 1:6-8, Ezekiel 17:1-24)

"BEAR" symbolizes Medo-Persia (Daniel 7:5, 12-17)

"THREE RIBS" represent the three conquests of Medo-Persia -- Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt

"LEOPARD" represents Greece (Daniel 7:6, 12, 17)

NON-DESCRIPT "BEAST" represents Rome (Daniel 7:7-8. 17:27)

"TEN HORNS" represents the Revived Roman empire of the last days

"LITTLE HORN" represents the Antichrist of the tribulation period (Daniel 7:24)

 

THE VISION EXPLAINED

Daniel sees the future as a series of ravenous beasts. Each beast shows characteristics of the gentile nations who would successively reign during the future years. The vision of the image that Nebuchadnezzar had, showed the glory of the nations to come. The vision of the beasts that Daniel has here shows the true nature of the nations to come.

The lion with eagle's wings is Babylon who ruled at the time of the vision of Daniel. It had approximately two more years of rule yet, when Daniel received this vision. The wings of the lion picture the swiftness of conquest of Babylon. Winged lions are found carved in stone from the Babylonian period. Some of them are in the great museums of the world.

The bear with three ribs between its teeth, represents the power, Medo-Persia, who in several years following this vision would overthrow Babylonia. The three ribs were the three major conquests of Medo-Persia. The three powers, Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt formed an alliance to keep Medo-Persia from coming to power. They were all destroyed by Medo-Persia.

The beast that was like a leopard is Greece. The four wings demonstrate the swiftness of Alexander's conquests. He employed the original "blitzkrieg" type of conquest. By the age of 33, Alexander had conquered the civilized world. Following his death, the empire was divided into four parts. This is the four heads of the beast. The four generals of Alexander divided the Grecian empire.

Cassander ruled Macedon and Greece.

Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia.

Ptolemy ruled Egypt and Palestine.

Seleucus ruled Syria and Babylon.

The final beast in a non-descript beast that refers to the extended Roman empire. The Roman empire, as shown in this prophetic vision has three parts.

(1) Ancient Rome (shown by the beast itself)

(2) The revived end time ten nation empire (shown by the ten horns)

(3) The kingdom of the Antichrist (shown by the little horn)

 

This final beast represents the final time we call the "last days." Rome was ruling when Peter stood on the day of Pentecost and announced that what the disciples were experiencing was the outpouring prophesied by Joel for the "last days." Thus, the last days were already begun at that time. We are now in the last days of the last days. Daniel was thus more interested in this beast than any other.

The beast was "dreadful", "terrible", and "strong". The "great iron teeth" indicate the vicious nature of these empires. As in the vision of the image, the last empire is there represented as a combination of strong and weak nations (iron mixed with clay). In the same way, the last nation here is more than one nation, it is many empires dominated by the same evil spirit.

The "ten horns" are the revived Roman empire of the last days. A ten nation confederation is in great power after the defeat of the U.S.A. and Russia near the beginning of the tribulation (see chapter 4).

A "little horn" will arise after the ten are formed (not before). This is the Antichrist.

He is the "man of sin." II Thessalonians 2:3

He makes a seven year covenant with Israel,but will break it in the middle. Daniel 7:25, 8:21, 9:27, 11:35-36, 12:7

This Antichrist is the same beast as mentioned in Revelation 13:1-10.

Both (this horn and the beast of Revelation) are spoken of as conquerors, blasphemers, and controllers of the revived Roman empire. He changes times, and laws. He persecutes the people of God. He will be destroyed at the second coming. Daniel 2:44-45, 7:8- 11, 20-26, 8:8-9, 20-24, Revelation 13:1-7, 17:12- 14, 19:11-21

Daniel 7:24

"And the ten horns our of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise; and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."

Daniel 8:9

"And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land..."

 

This "little horn" (the Antichrist)

does not come until after the confederation

 of the "ten toes",

 and after the rapture.

II Thessalonians 2:7-8

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (the church, i.e. the body of Christ) who letteth (hinders) will let (hinder) until he (the church, the body of Christ) be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one (the Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."

The Holy Spirit will still be here on the earth. He does not leave until - all who will be saved - are saved. The salvation of souls requires the presence of the Holy Spirit. People are not saved a new way during the tribulation, they are saved in the same way that we are now. We respond to the convicting of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus forgives our repentant heart. Then we are brought into a relationship of being a "child of God." Without the conviction from the Spirit, no one would feel a desire to be saved.

John 14:16

"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever."

In Joel 2:16:-21, Peter described the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy in Joel chapter 2. The tribulation is referred to in verses 19 and 20, of Acts 2. Here it refers to the blood, fire, and vapours of smoke... the sun turning to darkness, and the moon into blood... These are tribulation judgments. Following that in verse 21, it says:

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

This will continue to be the work of the Spirit during the tribulation, i.e. the inspiring of mankind to call out to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness. In fact, the Bible teaches about a great revival during the tribulation. The 144,000 Jews are saved shortly after the rapture (Revelation 7:1-8). These are only a small part of those saved during the tribulation...

Revelation 7:9, 14

"After this, I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb... These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb..."

During the tribulation, and after the rapture of the church... and while this revival is taking place on the earth... the Antichrist will come from one of the four divisions of the old Grecian empire. (This will be discussed more fully in the next vision in chapter 8.)

The Antichrist rules a powerful kingdom (Daniel 7:7). His kingdom is diverse from all that have preceded it. Perhaps it is a republic form of government (7:7). He defeats 3 of the 10 powers of the revived Roman empire (8:8). He will be a great orator, and make many verbal promises (8:8). His appearance is described as being "more stout than his fellows..." (7:20). Perhaps this refers to an impressive appearance.

He will war against any, and all, of God's people.

Daniel 7:21,25

"...made war with the saints, and prevailed against them... shall wear out (afflict) the saints of the most High..."

The Antichrist will come to his end.

Daniel 7:11

"...I beheld, even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame..."

Daniel is shown in this vision, that the "Ancient of Days" (God the Father) will someday sit in judgment over the Antichrist and his cohorts. The saints will return with Jesus at the second coming, and be joint heirs with the Lord.

Daniel 7:9,10,13,14,21,22,27

"...the Ancient of Days did sit... the judgment was set, and the books were opened... One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven... there was given Him dominion... an everlasting dominion... the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom...the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High..."

SECOND VISION -- THE RAM AND THE HE GOAT

chapter 8

The time of this vision, is in the third year of Belshazzar. It is two years after the vision of chapter 7. Belshazzar was overthrown by the Medes and Persians in the third year of his reign, so this had to be shortly before the overthrow of the Babylonian empire. Daniel had had approximately two years to absorb all of the previous vision.

This vision of the ram and he goat, has a double fulfillment. The early fulfillment is Alexander the Great. Then in the last days, it will have a more complete fulfillment with the coming of the Antichrist.

The ram represents the Medo-Persian empire (Daniel 8:1-4, 20). The he goat represents the Grecian empire, or a part of the Grecian empire (Daniel 8:5-26). (The Grecian empire was divided into four parts after the death of Alexander.)

FULFILLMENT

Medo-Persia, the ram, is shown with two horns. The two horns represent the kings of Media, and Persian. The two horns of this vision correspond to the two arms in the vision of the image. The ram has always been a symbol of Persia. It is found on ancient coins, and on pillars in their capital.

Greece, the he goat, was also represented by the brass in the vision of the image, and by the leopard in the vision of the four beasts. In 8:21, the horn that was broken off was Alexander the Great. Alexander had begun to rule at age 20. In thirteen years, he had conquered the known world. We are told that he wept because he had no more powers to conquer.

Josephus states that when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem, he was shown the book of Daniel. He was shown this part of the vision of the he goat, Greece, who would destroy the ram, Persia. He was so pleased with that prophecy of Daniel's book that he spared the city of Jerusalem.

The four horns are the four divisions of the Grecian empire. After Alexander's death, the kingdom fell apart. The four generals seized different parts of the kingdom. The modern terms for these divisions are:

Greece,

Turkey,

Syria, Iraq, and Iran,

Egypt.

Daniel 8:9 shows us why God went into such detail on this vision. He is making sure we can know the area from which the Antichrist will come. The Antichrist will come from one of the four divisions of the Grecian empire.

Daniel 8:9

"And out of one of them came forth a little horn..."

The Antichrist shall conquer the other three (Daniel 7:8, "were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots..."). Then the other nations of the revived Roman empire will give to him their power.

Note the emphasis of God to inform us of the final fulfillment of this passage. He does not want us to think that this prophecy would all be fulfilled in the coming of Alexander.

Daniel 8:17

"...for at the time of the end shall be the vision..."

Daniel 8:19

"I will make known what shall be in the last end of the indignation..."

Daniel 8:26

"...shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days."

In the final fulfillment, the ram is Iran. It comes against the goat, i.e. Iraq. Iraq will emerge the winner. The two horns of the ram will be broken. Later the "great horn" of the he goat will be broken... (This may refer to Saddam Hussein.) Four notable ones will arise, and out of one of them will emerge the "little horn..." This is the Antichrist. The Antichrist will become "great" and "prosper" (8:9). He will conquer many people.

The Antichrist will sign a treaty with Israel and allow them to proceed with their sacrifices to Jehovah. The attendance of the Antichrist at the temple site will defile the sanctuary. The temple site will remain defiled for 2300 days.

Daniel 8:13-14

"Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the translation of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said to me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

 

There are two periods of 1260 days in the tribulation. Then at the end of it will Jesus come. The battle, and the return of the Jews from Petra will take up thirty days (see Daniel 12:11, 1290 minus 1260 = 30 days). Then will Christ come to the temple to cleanse it. Thus if the time from the beginning of the tribulation until the cleansing of the temple is 1260 plus 1260 plus 30... then the time totals 2550 days. 2550 minus the 2300 days foretold here is 250 days. Thus, the Antichrist signs the treaty with Israel, and defiles the sanctuary on the 250th day of the tribulation.

At the end of this tribulation period, during the final thirty day period of Daniel 12:11, the Antichrist will be defeated "without hand" (Daniel 8:25). It is the "Prince of Princes", Jesus, Who will defeat him.

Note, that at the end of this vision, Daniel "fainted, and was sick certain days..." The original Hebrew says that Daniel "became (hayah) and became (hayah) very sick..." The emphasis is to show that he was extremely sick. He did not simply become emotionally upset, but terribly sick by reason of what he had seen and had been told. Many today want to know about the Antichrist, and details about him.

 

Yet, the emphasis of all prophecy is to be - Jesus.

 When God reveals facts about the "man of sin", the horrible one called the Antichrist, it sickens the people of God.

 

We, as saints, desire to see - Jesus,

...not - the main cohort of the devil.

 

 We should, in these last days,

 be looking up,

 as we see signs of the wicked, evil cohort of the devil.


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THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

 Daniel is to be shown, beginning in chapter 8, some shocking predictive prophecies. Suddenly Daniel is "slain" in the Spirit.

Daniel 8:17-18

"...I stood... fell upon my face...

in a deep sleep upon the ground."

 

God wanted to speak with Daniel, and therefore, as God sometimes does when He wants to speak to us, Daniel fell prostrate before the Lord.

 

In our times, some are "slain in the Spirit." Some try to make this just a demonstration of the power of God.

Yet, many who have been "slain in the Spirit," have stood back up still sick, still in temptation, etc.

The act of being "slain in the Spirit", when it is legitimate, has always occurred when God wants to speak to a person, or persons.

Even sinners are shown to be "slain in the Spirit" in the Bible.

It is not a sideshow of God, it is a pronouncement of God that He wants to speak.

 

Those who are "slain in the Spirit" should remain down until they hear God's message for them.

Daniel remained down, and listened to a great revelation of details about the last days.

 

Not only are not all who are

"slain in the Spirit" healed,

 but in Daniel's case,

he became very sick.

 

Daniel 8:27

"And I Daniel fainted,

and was sick certain days;

afterward I rose up..."

After the vision, after the visit of Gabriel, and after the message from God, Daniel was very, very sick for days. This may ruin the concept of many today. Some will teach that sickness is a sign of a lack of faith, but this would show a blessed prophet in the midst of receiving one of the greatest blessings of his life, sick, and utterly sick!

 

We, today, should not fear the experience of being "slain in the Spirit", but we should not try to simply make it a sideshow of God either.

 

It is not an event that an evangelist should use, to make the people give him a standing ovation. It is an event that occurs when God is trying to speak to someone. Perhaps if the sick person would remain down on their back, or face, after being "slain in the Spirit", they would hear God's purpose in the sickness, or discover from God the sin that keeps some from receiving their healing, or find the blessing and demonstration of power that God wants to reveal in their coming miracle... etc.

 

Instead, many jump up from the experience, and think the experience itself was designed to announce their miracle. Had Daniel jumped up, after being "slain in the Spirit", he would have missed this great revelation from God.

Daniel 8:13-14, 9:27, 12:11

Daniel 8:13-14

"Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary, and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Daniel 9:27

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

Daniel 12:11

"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."

The Jews have in measure returned to the land of Israel. Many more shall return soon. The return began with the restoration of the nation of Israel, after nearly two thousand years of not being a nation.

 

In May of 1948 there was a restoration

of the land.

Soon there will be a spiritual restoration.

 

The spiritual restoration will begin with the return of the true Ark from the land of Ethiopia.

Details will be taught in other lessons, but basically, the prophecies of the Bible tell of it being carried from Ethiopia, and passing on dry ground across the Red Sea.

 

The cloud by day, and the fire by night above it will draw attention to the miraculous nature of the God of this Ark.

The world will note this great event.

Many Jews who have not yet returned to Israel will then return, and a revival of the Jews back to their old covenant with God will occur.

The Ark will be placed in a tent on Mt. Zion, and the Temple will be hurriedly finished.

 

Because of the defeat of Russia, as recorded in Ezekiel 38-39, and the obvious Presence of an Almighty God about this Ark, the Antichrist will fear the Jewish nation.

Therefore, although contrary to his nature, he will sign a treaty with them that will insure their right to offer sacrifices at the Temple, and to worship Jehovah.

Many Jews will believe that this Antichrist is the promised Messiah, since he offers peace, and seems to honor the same Jehovah.

 

The Ark being returned, the masses of Jews now in revival to Jehovah, the shekinah glory again over Jerusalem, shall make many to proclaim "Peace, peace!"

 

On day 250 of the tribulation, the Antichrist shall go to the city of Jerusalem to sign the treaty with Israel.

He shall enter the Temple to show his acceptance of the Jewish worship of Jehovah.

Many will claim him to be the Messiah.

This event is mentioned in Daniel 8:13-14.

There it mentions the beginning of the "daily sacrifice". The Jews will, now that the Ark is back in the Holy of Holies of the Temple, begin to sacrifice lambs, oxen, turtledoves, and goats to the Lord Jehovah at the burnt altar. The very presence of the Antichrist at this event is called the "TRANSGRESSION OF DESOLATION."

The word "transgression" is the Hebrew word "pesha."

In the Greek Septuagint,

it is translated with the word "hamartia."

These words mean "sin, missing the mark..."

 

The Jews miss the true Messiah, they should have accepted, they sin in accepting this imposter of the devil as the Messiah.

It is a terrible day.

That is why it is called that "transgression of desolation..."

It is the sin that makes the event a waste... utterly ruins what could have been a great day...

 

From that event of ruining the opening sacrifice of the Temple, until the cleansing of the Temple by the true Messiah will be 2300 days.

After the Lord Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation, He will help us defeat the Antichrist, and his armies, then go to Petra, and return with the repentant Jewish people who have been hiding there from the Antichrist.

 

When Jesus comes into the city of Jerusalem with the Jewish people who are now proclaiming Him to be the true Messiah, He will cleanse the Temple.

 

The event of the Antichrist attending the sacrificial service at the Temple begins a terrible 2300 days for Israel.

They enter a deception of the devil designed to bring many to a damnable death.

The Antichrist deceives many Jews and people of the world.

Daniel 8:25

"And through his policy

(sekel = skill, understanding),

also shall cause craft (mirmah = deceit)

to prosper in his hand:

and he shall magnify himself in his heart,

and by peace (shalvah, not shalom, = rest, security,

 ease [only time used in the Bible]) shall destroy many."

 

This Antichrist is an evil man. He deceives, promises peace, and shows forth many signs.

Yet, he is very evil.

In Daniel 8:12, and 24, it says that he "practised."

This is the Hebrew word - "asah", which is usually used to refer to "making evil."

The Antichrist is a very evil, destructive, deceitful, man.

 

After 1260 days of the tribulation, the Antichrist enters the Temple again.

This time, his main cohort, the false prophet, sets up an idol of the Antichrist in the Holy of Holies.

The Antichrist declares that the sacrificing should cease to Jehovah.

The worship of the Antichrist is ordered, and the worship of Jehovah is forbidden.

 

This event is called

the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.

Revelation 13:11-15

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake like a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him; and causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the site of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the site of the beast: saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."

In Daniel 9:27, the word for "abomination" is different from the word "transgression" in 8:13-14.

This word is the Hebrew word - "shiqquts".

 It means "detestable, filthy, causing utter pollution."

This event is MUCH WORSE than the "missing the true" target of the first time he entered the temple.

This time he commits a sin so horrible that it is utterly detestable.

This desolation, or making of total waste the Temple site, continues until the cleansing of it by Jesus 1290 days later.

It is at this time that the Presence of God departs from the Temple, and goes to Petra where He will plead with His people to accept the true Messiah.

Matthew 24:15

"When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,

spoken by Daniel, the prophet,

stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand...

then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."

 

There in Matthew's gospel, we find that Jesus warned the people of the last days to not go into the Holy of Holies when this idol of the Antichrist is set up there.

They are to know to go no further than the Holy Place, which is the first of the two rooms of the Temple worship center.

If anyone enters the Holy of Holies and does not worship the idol image of the Antichrist, they will be killed by the image.

 

When this event occurs in the middle of the tribulation, the Jews, who have thought that this evil man was the Messiah, will realize that he is not.

They will recall this teaching of Daniel and flee to the mountain stronghold of Petra.

II Thessalonians 2:4

"...who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God..."

Here Paul warns that the Antichrist will try to set himself up to be as God. He will attempt to make the Temple of God in Jerusalem his site, and his possession.

 

This is an ABOMINATION to God.

 

The Jews who flee to the mountains will anger this evil Antichrist.

He will attempt to drown them. There is a canal now being finished that will run from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea.

Some have speculated, and I probably concur, that it is likely that the Jews will use this dry canal as an escape route from the angry Antichrist.

He will probably open the water gates to hope to drown these Jews who have rebelled against him.

The earth will open up and swallow those waters.

 

Jesus will return from heaven 1260 days

after the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.

 

The Jews in Petra will by that time have come to realize that, not only was the Antichrist not the Messiah, but that Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified nearly 2000 years earlier is the true Messiah.

 

As they call out for Jesus to forgive them and return to them... we, the saints, in heaven will return with Jesus and defeat this evil Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon.

 

Within 30 days, the battle will have been won, the Antichrist and the false prophet slain and put into the lake of fire (1000 years before anyone else).

 

Then Jesus will cleanse the Temple site exactly 2300 days after the Antichrist first stepped his foot on the site of this Temple.

 

The Hebrew word for "cleanse" is "tsadaq".

It literally means

"to become righteous,

to be counted as righteous,

 or to be put into a position of right standing before God."

 

The Lord Jesus will evict the image of the Antichrist, and show Himself to the world to be the true Messiah, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He will be worshipped there.

No longer will the Temple be a site of total worthlessness, waste, and pollution before God.

 

We, the saints, will rule and reign with this conquering Jesus.

 


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THE SEVENTY WEEKS FOR ISRAEL

Daniel chapter 9

Darius (Daniel 9:1) is Ahasuerus I, husband of Esther. History also knows him as Astyages or Xerxes. Being married to a godly woman, and having the wise and spiritual Daniel in the kingdom as one of the rulers, this Darius would have been unlikely

to discourage Daniel from his prophetic endeavors. This vision of chapter 9 is approximately a year after the one in chapter 8. Daniel has been told of an Antichrist, and some startling events to come. He has undoubtedly wondered when all these things would occur.

One of the hardest things for a prophet to understand is the timing of the prophetic revelations that he is given. This is evident throughout the Bible. Sometimes prophetic events centuries apart are listed in Scripture in the same verse. Yet, the prophet knows what God has spoken, and does not understand the timing of the events. Jesus read from Isaiah 61, and had to stop in the middle of a verse. He came to fulfill the first part of the verse, but would not fulfill the latter part of the verse until the second coming.

In his quest to understand the timing of the events, Daniel began to search the Scriptures. Any true prophet loves the Word of God. A prophet understands that all prophetic revelation must be tested and proven by this Scripture. If a prophet would neglect to search the Scriptures, and trust only in personal revelation, the results would be disastrous. The devil has taken advantage of many such a prophet, and has led them astray. Many false cults have started with such a prophet. Daniel was a true prophet. Surely, God would speak with him. He knew that, and yet he did not await another vision or dream to get new revelation. He went to the inspired writings of Jeremiah and of Moses.

Daniel 9:2

"...I Daniel understood by books the number of years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet..."

Daniel 9:13

"As it is written in the law of Moses

 all this evil is come upon us..."

His study in the Word told him not only the length of the captivity, but also of the sins that led to the captivity. In the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, he found much prophecy. Much of Jeremiah deals with the last days, and more is being comprehended about the book than ever before. As Daniel read of the terrible sins and rebellion of the nation of Israel, he was inspired to intercede.

Daniel 9:3-11

"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed unto the Lord my God... We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts... Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets... Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law... therefore the curse is poured out upon us..."

For many days Daniel prayed and interceded for his nation.Daniel knew that he was in the midst of the 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah. He wept and called for the wisdom and knowledge to know when the nation would return to God. The revelation of chapters 7 and 8 in Daniel had sparked his interest, and peaked his curiosity. As with most of God's prophets, he steadfastly refused to give up trying to understand the visions and prophecies.

Finally, Gabriel arrived to explain in greater measure the prophecies, and the timing of such prophecies to Daniel. Gabriel is one of four angels name in the Bible (Gabriel, Lucifer, Michael, Abaddon). Gabriel's message was a confirmation of the truth Daniel had found in the books of Jeremiah and of Moses.

From Jeremiah, Daniel had learned there would be seventy years of captivity because of Israel's sins.

Jeremiah 25:11

"And the whole land shall be a desolation,

and an astonishment;

 and these nations shall serve

the king of Babylon seventy years."

Then in the writings of Moses, Daniel learned about a prophetic curse for Israel.

Leviticus 26:14-18

"But if ye will not hearken unto me,

 and will not do all these commandments...

ye shall sow your seed in vain,

 for your enemies shall eat it...

 they that hate you shall reign over you...

 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me,

then I will punish you

 seven times more for your sins..."

 

Thus, Daniel knew that the captivity was to last 70 years,

and if the children of Israel did not repent of their evil ways,

 they would suffer seven times more judgment from God.

 

This 7 time 70 years would finish the judgment of Israel.

Now, Gabriel comes to Daniel and says:

Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks

 are determined upon thy people,

 and upon the holy city,

 to finish the transgression..."

 

The "seventy weeks" is literally "seventy sevens".

 

The word for "weeks" here is the Hebrew word - "shabua".

It means "sevens."

 

 Since Daniel knew the 70 referred to literal years,

he knew that the 7 times 70,

 would mean 490 more years of judgment for Israel.

The seventy sevens of years was to start when the decree was given to return and rebuild Jerusalem. This came on March 14, 445 B.C. Artaxerxes issued the decree in the 20th year of his reign. This was the husband of Esther.

Nehemiah 2:1-8

"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, the king, that wine was before him; and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it... The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me..."

It was prophesied to Daniel that it would take seven sevens of years (49 years) to rebuild Jerusalem.

 

This also occurred as prophesied, for in exactly 49 years the city had been rebuilt.

 In the year 396 B.C., the city was completely rebuilt.

 

Then there would be 62 more sevens of years

 (434 years)

 until the Messiah would be "cut off."

 

This indicates that in sixty nine sevens (483 years),

 

the Messiah would be "cut off."

 

 This is 69 times 360 days =

173,880 days later.

 

 On this date, April 6, A.D. 32, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

 Passover occurred on Nisan 14, which was April 10 (Thursday in A.D. 32).

 He presented Himself as the Messiah, and three days later was crucified.

 

 The prophecy was exact to the day.

 The end of the 69th seven was to be marked with the appearance of the Messiah, as the "Prince."

 

The coming of the Messiah was to be officially announced on the day wherein the Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

This was proclaimed in the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah.

Zechariah 9:9

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;

shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:

 behold, thy King cometh unto thee:

 He is just, and having salvation;

 lowly, and riding upon an ass,

 and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

The Jews, who knew prophetic Scripture better than many Christians do today, saw the Lord Jesus riding on the colt into the city of Jerusalem, they knew this was a statement and claim to be the promised Messiah. Jesus did this on the exact day predicted by the prophecy of Daniel.

There has been a pause between the 69th and the 70th seven. There are seven years more left for the Jewish people. The interval is called the church age. For nearly 2000 years God has been dealing with the Gentiles, and using the church to evangelize the world. Soon God will turn back to the Jews and finish the seven years. This one seven year period that is yet left to occur is commonly called the tribulation. It is to be marked by the appearance of the "prince that shall come." (Daniel 9:26). This is the Antichrist.

During the last of the 70 sevens, the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with the Jewish people. The covenant will be broken by the Antichrist in the middle of the tribulation. This divides the last seven years into two halves of 3 1/2 years.

Daniel 9:27

"And he shall confirm the covenant

 with many for one week;

and in the midst of the week

 he shall cause the sacrifice

and the oblation to cease..."

In Daniel 12:11, the last half of the tribulation, the 1260 days, has another 30 days added to it. This extra 30 days includes the battle of Armageddon, the gathering of the Jews in Petra, and the cleansing of the Temple. Then in verse 12, another 45 days are added to the 1290. These 45 days are the judgments of the humans left alive after the battle of Armageddon. The Lord will determine which ones will enter into the time of the millennial reign on the earth. (See Matthew 25:31-46) Certainly, the ones who survive to this point are "blessed", for they are can enter into the millennial blessings, and be ruled in peace and harmony during the next 1000 years.

God has had a purpose for the seventy sevens given to Israel. In fact, the purpose of this chapter 9 of Daniel is to reveal the covenant that God is making with Israel. God makes a covenant to give Israel just 490 more years. In that 490 years, God promises to do certain things. God has plans for Israel, and His plans tell us that He will do certain things in just 490 more years of dealing with Israel.

Jehovah is a covenant maker.

"Jehovah" means in a literal sense - "I am, I was, I will be..."

 Throughout Daniel, the names "Adonai", which means "Lord" or "Master"; and "Elohim",

 which means "Almighty God" are used.

 Yet, in chapter 9, the name "Jehovah is used seven times.

 

This name stresses the eternal nature of God. The name Jehovah is also used when stressing God's covenant nature. When God makes a covenant, it is certain that He will fulfill its tenets, for He is eternal. Some people with whom we may make covenant, will die before they can fulfill their end of the deal. However, with God, He is eternal, and He will (though it take 490 years of dealing with Israel) fulfill His end of the covenant.

In Daniel 9:24, the reasons for the 490 years are plainly stated. He is making a covenant promise to Israel, and promises to accomplish certain things in those 490 years.

Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people

 and upon the holy city,

to finish the transgression,

and to make an end of sins,

and to make reconciliation for iniquity,

and to bring in everlasting righteousness,

and to seal up the vision and prophecy,

and to anoint the Most Holy."

 

++++++++++++++++++++

 

TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION

 The word for "transgression" is the Hebrew word "pasha", which means "revolt, rebel." Israel's great revolt was to turn away the true Messiah. The seventy sevens of years will complete that revolt, and bring them to a place where they will finally accept the true Messiah. The nation of Israel will eventually be converted.

Romans 11:25-27

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."

TO MAKE AN END OF SINS CONCERNING ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM

This will be accomplished at the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will come back after the 490th year of the seventy sevens of years that Daniel explains.

Ezekiel 37:26-28

"Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."

TO MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY

The Hebrew word for "reconciliation" is "kaphar". This word means to cover," or "to make atonement." This event was done at the end of year 483, of the 490 years, on the cross of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:20-21

"And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet, now hath He reconciled."

TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jesus will do this when He ushers in the Millennium. This is at the close of the 490 years of dealing with the nation of Israel. The world has longed for a time of peace, righteousness, and justice. The world sees more crime, turmoil, sin, and debauchery than ever before. Politicians promise and promise. They cannot give the world perfect justice and righteousness. Our Lord has set aside 490 years of dealing with Israel and the world and intends to bring at the close of those 490 years the righteous kingdom that He has promised.

Isaiah 9:7

"Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this."

TO SEAL UP THE VISION AND PROPHECY

All the prophecies concerning Israel and Jerusalem will be fulfilled by the end of the 490 years. All of us are impatient. We long to see the rapture, the second coming, etc. Israel has also been prophesied concerning great and wonderful events. They have waited (sometimes impatiently) for these to occur. The Lord has promised to bring fulfill all the prophesied blessings by the end of the 490 years.

Joel 4:16-18

"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy... the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord..."

TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY

This refers to the cleansing of the Holy of Holies of the Temple. The Lord Jesus will at the end of the 490th year enter the Temple in Jerusalem which the Antichrist has defiled with His presence and with the image of himself that was to be worshipped.... Jesus will cleanse that place with His presence. The abomination of desolations will be ended.

Daniel 9:14

"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

++++++++++++++++++

Thus, Daniel has revealed to him, 490 years of God to complete His dealings with Israel. He was shown what the covenant promise would include. He saw many details about those 490 years. Perhaps, or should I say - probably, he did not understand the gap of time between the 69th and 70th week. Yet, God was not finished with the prophetic revelation to Daniel. He had much more detail to be taught about the plan of God.


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SPIRITUAL BATTLES

Daniel chapter 10

Daniel 10:1

"In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision..."

This event happened during the third year of Cyrus, on Nisan, day 24, five years after the vision of the seventy sevens of years. Cyrus was the son of Astyages and Queen Esther (of the book of Esther).

Cyrus was the subject of a number of prophecies of Isaiah, concerning the restoration of Israel from Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple after the captivities.

Isaiah 44:28-45:1

"That saith of Cyrus, He is My shepherd,

 and shall perform all My pleasure:

 even saying to Jerusalem,

Thou shalt be built; and to the Temple,

Thy foundation shall be laid.

 Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus,

 whose right hand I have holden..."

 

Thus, the name of Cyrus

 was predicted by God through Isaiah

 150 years before he was born,

 and about 200 years before he made

the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.

Ezra 1:1-2

"Now in the first year of Cyrus,

 king of Persia,

 that the word of the Lord,

 by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled,

 the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,

 that he made a proclamation

 throughout all his kingdom,

 and put it also in writing,

saying, Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia,

 The Lord God of heaven hath given me

 all the kingdoms of the earth;

and He hath charged me to build Him

 a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."

 

insert... (the word spoken of by "Jeremiah'

was the 70 year captivity [Jer. 25],

that the coming of 'Cyrus' as spoken of by Isaiah

fulfilled... Isaiah prophesied of Cyrus who would

come and enamble that 70 year period to end.

 So there is no disagreement in Scripture here) 

The appointed time of the fulfillment of this vision that Daniel saw is in the last days. He saw a vision long before it was to be fulfilled.

Daniel 10:1

"the time appointed was long..."

Daniel 10:14

"Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days."

An exciting part of this vision is the viewing of Jesus the Messiah. Daniel saw the Lord Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus came to this earth as a babe.

Daniel 10:5-6

"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in lined whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude."

Compare the description of Jesus by Daniel, with the description of Jesus by John in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:13-17

"...One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength."

 

The vision has a profound effect upon Daniel. "There remained no strength in me..." (vs 8). His "comeliness" (Hebrew = hod, beauty) was "turned into corruption" (Hebrew = ashchith, was made ugly) (vs. 8). Then Daniel was slain in the Spirit (vs 9). After a hand touched him and sat him upright, Daniel was still so shaken that he "stood trembling" (vs 11). Daniel then was told to "Fear not!" The whole confrontation was so devastating to Daniel, that he became speechless (vs. 12).

 

Our Lord has promised to never leave us, and we know that the Holy Spirit abides with us always. There is also a guardian angel about us. Demonic forces come to try to hinder and defeat us. These spiritual presences are constantly about us, but we don't normally see them. If, suddenly, we were allowed to view some or all of the unseen, spiritual beings about us, we too-- like Daniel -- would be speechless, afraid, weak, and trembling.

 

There are two worlds -- the natural, and the supernatural. Both of these worlds are inhabited. Both of these were created by God.

Colossians 1:16

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him."

Some don't want to believe in angels. The Sadducees of New Testament times were a group that denied the existence of angels. There are some in our day also who likewise deny their existence. Angels are mentioned 294 times in the Bible. Spirits are mentioned 540 times. To believe the Bible to be inerrant, and true - one would find it hard to deny the existence of the spirit world.

Mankind is unique. Mankind has a spirit being within the physical body. We too are part of the spirit world. Temporarily, we are confined to this physical body. Soon, we will be given a new body, one that is a spiritual body.

There are many kinds of spirit beings.

a. DEITY (God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit)

b. SERAPHIM

c. CHERUBIM

d. ZOA

e. SPIRIT ANIMALS

f. ARCHANGELS (Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer)

g. UNNAMED ANGELIC PRINCES OF NATIONS

h. COMMON ANGELS

i. DEMONS

j. DEMONIC HORSEMEN

k. MAN'S SPIRIT

Some of the spirit beings are good,

and some of them are evil.

Ephesians 6:12 BAD ONES ARE MENTIONED

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and against rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in high places."

Mark 8:38 GOOD ONES ARE ALSO MENTIONED

"Whosoever is ashamed of Me... of him shall also the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh with His holy angels..."

The word "angel" is from the Hebrew word "mal'ak". It means "ambassador," or "messenger." The Greek word is "angelos" which means "messenger." Usually, the word brings a the connotative idea of a heavenly being not of this earth. However, the word "angel" is sometimes used to refer to these heavenly beings, sometimes used to refer to Christ, and sometimes used to refer to men. The reason we usually think of a heavenly being, is that most often when mankind encounters a heavenly being, it is being used as a messenger, and therefore called an "angel."

There are some ARCH-ANGELS mentioned in the Bible. The word "arch" means "chief, great, as a prime minister." Therefore these are some of the heavenly beings that were created to be leaders amidst the other created heavenly beings.

Michael, whose name means "who is like unto God", is a heavenly authority who is charged with protecting God's people. He will lead the last war in heaven against the devil and his evil cohorts. We will see the devil defeated by God's holy angels, and cast down upon the earth in the middle of the tribulation. This final expulsion of the devil from heaven is recorded in Revelation 12:7-12.

Gabriel, whose name means "God is great", seems to always bear good news (Daniel 8:16, 9:21, Luke 1:9, 26). He must love being the chief of the messenger angels.

Lucifer is described in the Bible as being a beautiful angel. He fell through sin (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-17). He led many other spirit beings, and one third of the angels of God fell in the revolt instigated by this Lucifer. We call him Satan, the devil, etc. It is because of his fall into sin, and the rebellion that he started that we, the saints, are involved in a spiritual battle. The devil and all his cohorts hate every human being, but especially, the saints of God.

Many evil beings in the spirit world are at work in this world against the saints. Daniel 10:13 speaks of an evil being called the "prince of Persia." This evil angel tries to control and make evil the nation of Persia. He tries to hinder Gabriel from getting the message of God to Daniel.

Daniel 10:13

"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

This refers to a 21 day battle of evil angelic forces, whom the devil had stationed about Persia, against Gabriel and Michael, two of the arch angels of God. A spiritual warfare is continuing to this day in the unseen, invisible world about us. We may be often, or usually, unaware of it - yet, it continues.

Daniel's prayer was heard the first day that he prayed it. The answer was sent to Daniel. Yet, it took 21 days for it to reach Daniel. Daniel continued to fast and pray for those 21 days.

Daniel 10:2-3

"In those days, I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh, nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."

The purpose of Daniel's prayer and fasting

is revealed in Daniel 10:12:

"...Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words."

This "prince of Persia" delayed the great arch angel Gabriel for 21 days. Finally, Michael was dispatched to help Gabriel. This should tell us something. This should make us aware that delays are not denials. Sometimes our prayers are not answered as quickly as we would like them to be. There are probably reasons that we cannot see. Spiritual warfare is going on, and God is having His good angels do battle against the evil ones of the devil.

 

In the last days, there will be a great warfare going on, because the devil knows his time is short. The devil had his "prince of Persia" desperately fight Gabriel to try to keep Daniel from receiving this prophetic message for the last days. Even in those days, the devil was trying to keep the saints of the last days from learning about prophetic truth. Even then, the Lord was making sure that His prophets would receive and record their prophetic words for the people of these last days.

 

Many battles have been fought already to bring these prophetic books to you. You are already involved in spiritual warfare. Unfortunately, many of the saints of today are unaware of their foe, their part in the battle, their weapons, their goals, etc.

It is time for the saints of the last days to fight back. We have a work to do, and many saints have wondered why the work seems so hindered. Many have wondered why their loved ones are not responding to conviction, why the way seems so hard, and why the persecutions seem so well organized. The answer is that the forces of the devil are fighting against you.

Michael held back the hindering forces of the "prince of Persia" while Gabriel took the answer to Daniel. Then Gabriel returned to the battle, and continued to fight these evil forces.

Daniel 10:20-21

"Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth (this is a reference to a book in heaven which foretells all human events); and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince."

Michael and Gabriel finally defeated the "prince of Persia", but the devil immediately sent in another evil force to inspire the people of the next ruling empire to persecute the Jewish people. The "prince of Grecia" is the demonic power that inhabited Alexander the Great. This evil demon inspired him to conquer the known world in 13 years. This is the same evil demon who will inhabit the Antichrist. This evil demon is now bound in the abyss within the earth, and will return to inspire the Antichrist to his evil conquests.

Revelation 17:8

"The beast that thou sawest was (this demon inhabited Alexander the Great), and is not (now he is confined in the abyss): and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (he shall come out of the abyss to inhabit and empower the Antichrist), and go into perdition (he will spend eternity in the lake of fire)..."

All kingdoms of this world have evil angelic beings who seek to dominate the nation to evil. God sends His forces out in answer to the intercessory prayers of His saints. The spiritual warfare ensues, and though unseen, it is VERY REAL. Nations rise and fall as a result of these spiritual wars. We are more involved that we know. Our prayers (as Daniel's) are heard, and become part of the battle.

Are you doing your best in this last day battle? Or - are you hiding in a foxhole somewhere? The parable of the ten virgins, with 5 wise and 5 foolish, shows us that all slumbered and slept. We must not only have our lamps trimmed and filled with oil, but also remember to stay alert and awake in the last hours before the coming of the Bridegroom.

The Bible warns us that in the last days, it will be like it was in the days of Noah. Noah preached the right message, but few listened. Today, the cares of life have many unaware of what is happening. We need to awake, and get involved with God's plan.

"As in the days of Lot..." indicates that many people are like Lot and his family. They had to be practically forced to leave Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels compelled them to leave. Even then, Lot's wife had her heart so much in that place, that she looked back.

The devil is out to deceive the very elect, if possible. He is out to distract us from the spiritual battle if he can. He will work all the harder to distract us, as we approach the rapture and second coming of Jesus.

We are in the final generation.

Matthew 24:32-34

"...verily this generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled..."

We have seen many signs fulfilled! We should be anxiously awaiting the coming of Jesus. Yet, many are like the lukewarm Laodiceans of Revelation chapter 3. These ones feel comfortable, relaxed, and are not in any spiritual battle against the devil.

 

Luke 21:29-31 tells us to "know ye that the kingdom of God is at hand" when we see the "fig tree" bud (Israel become a nation). This, and other signs, should make us as anxious as John was when he penned the last words of the book of Revelation:

"Even so come, Lord Jesus."

Until Jesus comes, we are to be a hindering force in the spiritual warfare that continues. Until the rapture takes us "out of the way" (II Thessalonians 2:7), we are to hinder the devil's plan. Too many church people are hindering God's plan, not the devil's plan. Their eyes are not anxiously looking for Jesus to come, they are distracted from their main goal, and they are not in the spiritual battle to defeat the devil.

The early church had a greeting that needs resurrected. They greeted each other with the word "MARANATHA" which means -"The Lord cometh." We are to anxiously await the Lord, and do battle for Him so He may return soon.

Revelation 22:17

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him that heareth say, Come! And let him that is athirst, Come! And whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely."

The book of Daniel is primarily written to inform the saints of the last days about the prophetic messages that they need.

This chapter 10 is designed to awaken the last day saints to the nature of the spiritual battle in which we are to be engaged.

 

Wake up!

 We must do battle!

We are still on the battleground.

 Too many Christians are trying to afford their mercedes and yacht!.

Too few are defeating and hindering the plans of the devil!


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PREDICTIONS OF WARS TO COME

 Daniel chapter 11

Chapter 11 is Gabriel's revelation to Daniel of the time from the days in which Daniel lived unto Antiochus Epiphanes, and then skipping to the last days and to the Antichrist.

 

Much of the chapter covers many wars that were to sweep back and forth over the land of Israel.

 

Israel was situated between two powers.

To the North was Syria, and to the South was Egypt.

 As these two powers sought to dominate the other, the nation of Israel was caught in the middle of the conflict.

These prophecies show the accuracy of God's prophetic revelation to His prophets. They have all been fulfilled up to verse 35, and the rest (from 35 to the end) deal with the Antichrist.

The revelation of Daniel 11 begins with telling of four more kings of Persia to come before Greece would conquer the Persians.

Daniel 11:2

"Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and a fourth shall be far richer than they all; and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia."

These four kings who followed Cyrus (son of Astyages and Esther) were:

Carnbyses - 527-520 B.C.

Smerdis -520 B.C.

Darius Hystaspis -520-485 B.C.

Xerxes 485-464 B.C.

Xerxes stirred up Persia against Greece and was defeated by Greece in 480-479 B.C.

Then a "mighty king" is predicted to come in verse 3.

 This was a prediction of Alexander the Great of Greece. He invaded Persia in 336 B.C.

 

Alexander the Great had 35,000 soldiers and attacked a Persian king who had hundreds of thousands of soldiers including 50,000 Greek mercenaries.

It took Alexander the Great only 13 years to conquer the whole Persian empire.

After his death, the kingdom he had conquered was divided into four parts.

 

The fourth verse of Daniel 11 predicted this division.

Daniel 11:4

"And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those."

The four divisions were to his four generals.

Cassander ruled Greece and Macedon (western).

Lysimachus ruled Asia Minor (Turkey and part of Greece) (northern).

Seleucus ruled Syria, Babylon, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon (eastern).

Ptolemy ruled Egypt (southern).

 

They were to rule the divided kingdom until Alexander's son by Roxane came of age to rule.

In 311 B.C. the child and his mother wee murdered. Within 15 years, not one of Alexander's family, including three wives, two sons, a brother and his wife, or his mother were left alive.

 

The posterity of Alexander was prevented from ever claiming the kingdom that Alexander the Great had conquered.

 

The accuracy of the prophecy is awesome.

The rulers of the Northern division and the rulers of the Southern divisions of the divided empire engaged in many conflicts. In verses 5 to 11 some of these are recorded. The "king of the South, Ptolemy, of Egypt, with one of his princes (Seleucus I called Nicator) went and conquered Babylon.

In verses 6-9, there is reference made to the fact that they made a league together by marriage of Bernice (daughter of Ptolemy II) to Antiochus II Theos.

This marriage was made on condition that Antiochus put away his wife Laodice and her children.

Later he recalled Laodice.

She then poisoned Bernice and her husband. She set her son, Callinicus (Seleucus II) on the throne.

 He later was called Antiochus I.

Seleucus II died four of five years before Ptolemy III due to a fall from a horse.

 

Then in Daniel verses 10-12, it is recounted about the kings of the North and the South and their continued conflicts.

In fulfillment history tells us of Seleucus III and Antiochus III (called "the Great").

 

Seleucus III assembled a great army, but was poisoned by two of his own generals after two years.

The King of the South, Ptolemy Philopater (means "lover of father") defeated Antiochus the Great.

However, this was the high point of Ptolemy Philopater's life and kingdom,

it declined from that point.

 

In verses 13-14, we are foretold of Antiochus' return.

He defeats Egypt and Philip of Macedonia.

Then Scopas of Egypt subdued Palestine while Antiochus was involved elsewhere. (See verse 14)

Antiochus returned and retook Palestine (verses 15-16).

Instead of reconquering Egypt, Antiochus gave his daughter, Cleopatra, to Ptolemy to seal a covenant.

He hoped to have Cleopatra there at Ptolemy's side to constantly convince him to not attack the North.

Cleopatra later helped Ptolemy instead of her father, according to history.

Daniel 11:17 predicted this.

Daniel 11:17

"...he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her;

 but she shall not stand on his side,

neither be for him."

 

Antiochus built a navy, and conquered many islands.

However, the Roman consul then defeated him.

This was predicted in Daniel 11:18:

"After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease..."

Antiochus was forced by Rome to pay for the war that he caused. He returned to the city of Antioch and perished soon in the war in Luristan.

Daniel predicted this in verse 19:

"Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found."

Seleucus IV, 187-176 B.C. raised taxes and cause much grief for his land. A few days after he plundered the Temple in Jerusalem, he was poisoned by one of his own men.

Daniel 11:20

"Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of his kingdom; but within a few days, he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle."

 

Antiochus Epiphanes, the subject of verses 21-34, is a type of the Antichrist. He came a short time before Jesus came in His first coming. He fulfilled some of what the real Antichrist will fulfill.

 

This should have demonstrated to the Jews what the Antichrist would be like.

 

Just as Antiochus Epiphanes came shortly

before the first coming of Jesus,

the real Antichrist will come

just before the second coming of Jesus.

 

 In the same way, John the Baptist came as a type of Elijah.

 John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus at the first coming of Jesus,

and Elijah will be one of the forerunners of Jesus at His second coming.

 

John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah.

 

Antiochus Epiphanes came in the same evil spirit as the real Antichrist.

 

Antiochus Epiphanes adds to the picture of the vile person the real man of sin.

The real Antichrist is known

as the "son of perdition"

(II Thessalonians 2:3)

and "beast" Revelation 13:1),

but Antiochus Epiphanes is called a

"vile person" (vs 21).

Antiochus Epiphanes comes to power on a peace platform, just as the real Antichrist will.

Daniel 11:21

"...he shall come in peaceably,

and obtain the kingdom by flatteries..."

I Thessalonians 5:3

"When they shall say Peace and safety;

then sudden destruction cometh upon them..."

Revelation 6:2

"And I saw, and behold a white horse..."

Both Antiochus Epiphanes and the Antichrist are to be known as

the "prince of the covenant."

Daniel 11:22

"yea, also, the prince of the covenant..."

Daniel 9:26-27

"the prince that shall come...

shall confirm the covenant

with many for one week..."

Antiochus polluted the sanctuary of the rebuilt Temple, and stopped the daily sacrifice, and so will the Antichrist.

Daniel 11:31

"they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate..."

Daniel 9:27

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate..."

II Thessalonians 2:4

"Whoso opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

Matthew 24:15

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand."

After Antiochus Epiphanes made a covenant with the Jews, he worked deceitfully. He divided the spoils of war with his friends. He sometimes would go out and throw handfuls of money to the people. He prepared to go to battle with Ptolemy, but defeated Egypt by corrupting some of Ptolemy's men.

Antiochus returned to Antioch, but then heard that some in Jerusalem had rejoiced over a mistaken report of his death. He immediately turned against the Jews (verse 28).

Antiochus returned and conquered Egypt again. Rome kept his victory from being as complete as he wanted it to be. This angered him all the more, and so he took his anger out on the people of Jerusalem.

Daniel 11:29-30

"At the time appointed, he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or the latter. For the ships of Chittim (Rome) shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute, the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."

When he returned to Jerusalem, he killed 40,000 Jews. He boiled swine's flesh and sprinkled the broth in the Temple. He prohibited Jewish worship and dedicated the temple to the false god, Jupiter Olympius.

The Jews, under the Maccabees, decided to revolt. The war lasted four years, after which Antiochus died in a war in Persia. This Maccabeean revolt is predicted by Daniel in verses 32-34:

"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with flatteries."

The rest of the chapter deals with the Antichrist of the tribulation period.

The example of Antiochus Epiphanes was just to prepare the people of the last days to know what to expect from the actual Antichrist.

 

The time interval between the two is explained in verse 35:

 

"...even to the time of the end

(Hebrew, gets = extremity):

 because it is yet for a time appointed..."

 

Therefore, this final person talked about is one at the extreme end of the time, at the end of the 70 sevens of years.

 

It shall happen "at the time of the end (extremity)..." (verse 40).

The Antichrist shall do according to his own will. He will exalt himself above every god. He speaks vehemently against the true God. He is a very prosperous person. (See verse 36)

It is said that he will not regard the God of his fathers... and many believe this means that he is a Jew. (see verse 37)

Also it is predicted by Daniel 11:37, that he will not regard "the desire of women..."

This has been used to teach that he will be homosexual.

He may be, but this verse is not such proof.

It was an ancient term applied to Jesus.

So this verse is teaching that the Antichrist will not regard Jesus as his Lord.

 

"Nor regard any god..." (verse 37)

 but he shall regard the "god of forces"

(verse 38).

This false god is honoured by the Antichrist.

He will war against the nation of Egypt, and this reminds us of the many wars described earlier in Daniel 11 between the rulers of Syria/Iraq against the rulers of Egypt. The Antichrist is from the Syria/Iraq area.

Edom, Ammon, and Moab (the modern nation of Jordan) will not come under his control. God probably protects this area, so that the city of Petra will not be dominated by him. God will protect many Jews within that ancient city for the last half of the tribulation.

Tidings out of the east (China) and out of the north (Russia) will trouble the Antichrist. He will, near the end of the tribulation, go out to defeat Russia afresh. (See verse 44)

He will put his capital in the city of Jerusalem for the last half of the tribulation. Yet, despite all this, he will come to an end. His end will be the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20, 20:10, Isaiah 11:4).

The evil forces of the devil had sought to keep Gabriel from bring this prophecy to Daniel. The devil does not want us to know details about the Antichrist to come. One thing that the devil really does not want us to realize is that this man, as evil as he is, will still have a defeat at the end.

 

The Antichrist will suffer an ignominious, horrible end.

 He may oppose God and God's people...

but he will be the one who suffers

agonizing defeat.


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THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Daniel chapter 12

 Daniel was written especially for the Jewish people. He mainly deals with the persecution of the Jewish people by the Gentile nations. His details about the Gentile nations, that were to come, concentrate on the way they affect the nation of Israel. He did however, tell many facts about the Antichrist and the 70th seven of years, about which the church has great interest.

Now in chapter 12 of Daniel, we find the emphasis to be on the latter half of the tribulation period of seven years. The first half of the tribulation has been called "the lesser tribulation." The latter half has been called "the great tribulation. The first 3 1/2 years is not as severe a judgment as the latter 3 1/2 years. In the first half of the tribulation, the Antichrist is in covenant with the Jewish people. In the latter half of that seven years, the Antichrist has broken the covenant. This latter half of the tribulation is the worst time ever upon this earth.

Daniel 12:1

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which standeth for the children of Thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."

 

"At that time" refers to the mid-point of the tribulation. At that mid-point time, four great events take place.

1. The Antichrist puts his capital on Mount Moriah. The false prophet sets an idol up in the Temple of Jerusalem. The covenant with the Jewish people that allowed them to worship and sacrifice to Jehovah is broken. Many Jews who realize suddenly that this Antichrist is not the Messiah flee to Petra. The "Abomination of Desolation" occurs.

Daniel 11:45

"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain..."

II Thessalonians 2:4

"Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

 

Revelation 13:4-14

"...And they worshipped the beast saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? ... And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven... another beast... deceiveth them that dwell on the earth....saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast..."

2. Michael stands up and casts the devil and his cohorts out of heaven.

Revelation 12:7-12

"And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.... the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore, rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

3. The great tribulation begins.

Daniel 12:1

"there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was..."

Matthew 24:21-22

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

Jeremiah 30:7-11

"Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it... though I make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished."

4. Daniel's people are delivered. The 144,000 Jews who are saved after the rapture of the church, and after the start of the tribulation, are protected for the seven trumpet judgments, and are to minister for 1260 days. Their time is up, and during this middle time of the tribulation, they are raptured up to heaven.

Daniel 12:1

"and at that time Thy people shall be delivered..."

The delivering of the people of God in the middle of the tribulation is one area that has sparked controversy. Some believe in a mid-point rapture of the church. They use this verse for part of their teaching. It is a confusing subject, for many are not taught much about prophecy, and this is an easy area in which to become confused.

There are five different raptures taught in the Bible to be part of what we call the first resurrection. Confusion over which is which in the Bible has led to some believing in a pre-trib rapture, and others believing in a mid-trib rapture.

Let's examine the five raptures in Scripture.

1. Christ and many other Old Testament saints were resurrected, and later raptured at the time of the resurrection of Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:20-23

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ, the FIRSTFRUITS: afterward they are Christ's at His coming."

Matthew 27:52-53

"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

Ephesians 4:8-10

"Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above the heavens, that He might fill all things.)"

2. They that are Christ's at the time of what we term the "rapture of the church" will soon be raptured.

I Corinthians 15:23, 51-54

"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ's at His coming... Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory!"

I Thessalonians 4:16-17

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

3. The 144,000 Jews that are saved during the early days of the tribulation will be raptured after their time of ministry is finished.

Revelation 7:1-8

"I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel..."

Revelation 12:5

"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne."

Revelation 14:1-5

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion (a heavenly mount Sion), and with Him an hundred forty, and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads... they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders..."

Daniel 12:1

"and at that time Thy people shall be delivered..."

4. The ones who are saved after the rapture of the church, and during the tribulation, are martyred. They too need a resurrection and rapture of their glorified body to heaven. Since the rapture of the church has already taken place, this is a later resurrection and rapture.

Revelation 6:9-11

"And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held; And they cried with a loud voice, saying How long, O Lord... it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled..."

Revelation 7:9-17

"After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues, stood before the throne... What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? ... These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God..."

5. The final resurrection and rapture of believers is found in Revelation 11. Near the end of the tribulation, two witnesses come to minister for 1260 days. These two are Enoch and Elijah. They had previously been raptured to heaven in their earthly bodies to be brought back during the tribulation so they could then finish their ministries. After they have finished their ministries, the demon that inhabits the Antichrist will kill them. They will lie dead in the streets for 3 1/2 days, and then be resurrected and raptured to heaven.

Revelation 11:7-11

"And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city... shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. ...And after three days and an half, the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."

There are two resurrections. There is a resurrection of the just, and a resurrection of the unjust. They are 1000 years apart.

Daniel 12:2-3

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

 

The first resurrection began with Christ's resurrection, and will include all five raptures and resurrections previously listed. Then after the tribulation, the millennium will begin. After the 1000 year millennium, there will be a second resurrection.

John 5:28-29

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

Revelation 20:4-6

"And I saw thrones and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

The righteous, who have ever lived, are all resurrected by the end of the tribulation. They are given eternal, glorified bodies. They will rule and reign over the human people left alive after the tribulation and their posterity. For the 1000 year millennium, the people will multiply and reproduce. We, the saints, will rule and reign over them.

At the end of the millennium, the people that we have ruled and reigned over will be given a final test. Those who pass it will be allowed to enter the new earth and be ruled and reigned over by we, the saints, for the rest of eternity.

The ones who fail the same test will be killed. At that time, all the wicked who have ever lived, or will ever live, will be in sheol's hell or abyss, except for the Antichrist and the false prophet [who are in the lake of fire]. All the wicked of hell are resurrected, and given an eternal body. They will stand before the great White Throne and be judged by God. Then their eternal bodies and their souls will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. Their eternal bodies and souls will suffer eternal torment there. This is the second resurrection.

***********************

Since the purpose of the book of Daniel concerns a time that was far to the future of the time Daniel received it, he was told to shut up the parchment on which he had written the book. He was told to put a seal on it. This was an ancient method of protecting a writing from unauthorized viewing.

Daniel 12:4

"But thou, O Daniel. shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

In the end time, this book is to be understood in a way in which it never could be understood before. The Jewish people included this book with their historical books. They never understood all the prophetic significance of it.

Two indications of the time in which it will be understood are given.

"Many shall run to and fro..." This seems to indicate a great increase in travel, and speed of travel. With airplanes, cars, etc. we today have great ability to travel with much, much more speed than the people of Daniel's day ever imagined.

"Knowledge shall be increased." It once took many centuries for the knowledge of mankind to double. Now, it takes about 4 years for the knowledge of mankind to double.

************************

DANIEL'S VISION OF CHRIST

Daniel 12:5-7

"Then, I Daniel, looked and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the Man clothed in linen, Which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the Man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when He held up His right hand and His left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him That liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half: and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things should be finished."

Daniel sees two angels, one on either side of the Hiddekel River (now known as the Tigris River). In the middle of the river, is a Person standing upon the waters. This intrigues Daniel, for he emphasizes the fact that this Person is standing on these waters. Perhaps this is the reason that Jesus let the disciples see Him walk upon the waters, so they would realize that this appearance to Daniel was the same Person.

Jesus was asked by one of the angels... How long from the event being discussed until the end of all things. The "WHEN" question is always on the top of the list of questions that people have for God. We, as saints, know Jesus will return, we know God will bless, we know the answer will come... but WHEN????

 

We are impatient, and in a hurry... and we won't apologize for it! Even John ended the book of Revelation with... "EVEN SO COME, LORD JESUS." Anxiousness is commended by God (Hebrews 11:16).

The answer is that it will be "a time, and times, and a half". This is an ancient way of saying "three and a half years." From the middle point of the tribulation, when Michael stands up, etc. until the end of the tribulation is 3 1/2 years. The end will coincide with the SCATTERING of the nation of Israel. The Antichrist will have power to scatter and persecute the Jewish people, but he will not be able to destroy them. When the Antichrist returns from conquering Russia, and attacks the Jewish people, with the intent to wipe them out, Jesus will return with us, the saints, to fight the battle of Armageddon.

Daniel does not fully understand, and he states in verse 8:

"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things."

Notice here that Daniel calls the One on the river - "Lord". He has realized the deity of the Person standing on the waters. However, Daniel is confused with the full meaning of the message. So have - many, most, and perhaps all of us - been also confused, at least in part.

Daniel 12:9-10

"And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up (Hebrew = satham = shut in) and sealed (Hebrew = chatham = sealed in the roll with wax and a signet ring to protect the unauthorized reading and understanding of the roll) till the time of the end. Many shall be purified and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the

wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand."

Daniel 12:13

"But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."

The book of Daniel was not to be fully understood until the end times. We live in the end times, and the book of Daniel is becoming clearer and clearer. We are seeing the unsealing of its prophecies. Even Daniel could not understand all of its message in his day. Down through the ages, many have pondered it message. Some have partially understood, but now in these last days we should be understanding it more clearly than ever before.

Daniel is assured in the last verse of the book to have a part in the last days. He is not one of the two witnesses, but there are some of the prophets that have a part in the tribulation judgments. The "angel" that showed John about in the book of Revelation was one of the prophets. Many of the other messengers, called "angels" in that apocalypse, were also prophets. It is extremely likely that Daniel is one of them.

*****************************

Daniel 12:11-12 reveals that there will be 75 special days added to the last 1260 days of the last half of the tribulation. It is said that one is "blessed" if he comes to the end of the 1335 days of the second half of the tribulation.

The first 30 of these is the thirty added to the 1260, making it the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11. This is the time for the battle of Armageddon, the gathering of the Jews from the city of Petra, the return of Jesus from Petra to Jerusalem, and the cleansing of the Temple.

Those humans left on the earth, who survive the 1290 days, will then be gathered to come before the Lord Jesus at His throne. Jesus and we, His saints, will begin the ruling and reigning of the earth by judging which of these humans will enter into the millennial reign to be ruled and reigned over.

This is a judgment that last 45 days. It is described in Matthew 13:39-50. There the Lord gathers the people and separated them as one would separate sheep and goats. The "goats" are sent to hell, to await the White Throne Judgment in 1000 years. The "sheep" are allowed to enter the millennium. We will be charged with teaching and preaching to them about why they should choose to serve Jesus. They, their children, and their children's children, etc. for the rest of the 1000 years are to be likewise taught. A final test, when the devil is loosed for a short season, will determine if they truly believed our teachings, and love Jesus.

This is quite a revelation for Daniel. He would soon die, and the message of his book will be unsealed shortly before the final end of his prophecies. We live in that time. If you choose to understand the prophecies of Daniel, you shall. If you are "wicked", you will apathetically pass by this fantastic book of prophecy given to Daniel.

Daniel 12:10

"none of the wicked shall understand,

but the wise shall understand."


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murjahel
John
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