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Jan. 17, 2012
The Sign of Gentile History I
(Signs of the End of the Age)
(Daniel Names Future Empires)
The subject is, once again, one of the signs of the end of the Age. I think it's a very thrilling one. One that is full of information. I will have to cover a lot of territory. I'm going back into the book of Daniel, chapter 2. We're going to show you that Daniel foretold in advance the whole history of the world's future, naming empires yet unborn, doing a thing that only God could have revealed to him. In doing all of this, my purpose is to show you that as Daniel outlined the future history of the world, we can follow along now and see how far we've come, and that we are ready for the Antichrist. The little horn of Daniel 7 is ready to rule the world. But before he rules we have got to leave. So it all boils down to one thing. The same thing that I've been telling you in every message. The Lord is coming soon! And all the signs of the time point to that conclusion.
Now, if you have your Bible open it to the book of Daniel. We're ready to talk first of all about the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel chapter 2). Nebuchadnezzar was a world monarch in the sense there was none to challenge him. He was supreme and powerful.
He Cannot Remember the Dream
One night while he was sleeping in his royal bed, his royal head had a royal dream. And all of a sudden, he woke up and realized that he had had a tremendous dream. But he couldn't remember what it was, and it annoyed him. He couldn't remember it. But he had to remember it because it was so important. And while he was so frustrated trying to remember his forgotten dream, he decided he would do what kings could do. He reached up and pulled the cord that came down by his bed and a servant appeared at the door to see what the King wanted at such an early hour. And the King said, "Round up my wise men and bring them in immediately." (Dan. 2: 1 - 6)
The King Has an Awful Temper
So the servant went down the hall rapping on the doors of the wise men and called them into the King's bedchamber. When the King told the wise men of Babylon what he had in mind, I'm sure they all turned pale. They were scared, and they had a reason to be. They knew the King, and he had a terrible temper! He wanted what he wanted, and he wanted it now. And if he didn't get it, he gave the order, and there was no one to whom to appeal. And the wise men knew it! And I'm sure they were worried! One of the wise men spoke up and said, "Oh! King, the thing that you are asking nobody on earth can do." They said, "You tell us the dream. We've got a lot of dream books. We can tell you the meaning." The King said, "I don't remember the dream. That's why I called you in." When they couldn't tell him his dream, you know what the King said? "Take them out and execute them." I told you he had a temper. He must have. (Dan. 2: 7 - 11)
He spent many years bringing together the wisest, the most educated, and the most powerful men in his whole realm. And now in a fit of rage, in one moment, in an early morning, he orders them all taken out to be put to death! (Dan. 2: 12)
Arioch Gets a Reprieve For Daniel and the Other Wise Men
Some of the wise men were not in the palace that night. And the next day the guards went out to round them up, and they came to one who had royal blood in his veins. He had come from Jerusalem. He was Jewish. He was very handsome and brilliant. He had passed the King's course for wise men at the head of his class. His name was Daniel. And when the guard told Daniel the sad news, (Imagine! Getting a message like that early in the morning.), you've just been ordered to be put to death. Daniel said, "What's the hurry? Why's the King in such a hurry? Tell the King to give me a little time, and I'll tell him his dream." So the guard went back to the King and got a reprieve and a stay of execution was ordered (Dan. 2: 13 - 16).
Daniel and his Friends Pray
And you know what Daniel did? He got on the telephone and called up his friends, his best friends, his praying friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 1: 7). He said, "Come over here quickly, we've got to have a prayer meeting." And believe me when your life is at stake you can pray better than some other times. And they prayed and the God of Heaven revealed to Daniel the forgotten dream. (Dan. 2: 17 - 23)
Arioch Goes Before the King
And then Daniel went to the guard and said, "All right, guard, take me in." And the guard rushed in, hoping that if there was a reward for finding a man like this he would get it. And he said to the King, "Oh King, I have found a man." He really had nothing to do with it, but he was going to take credit if there was any possibility. So he said, "...I have found a man..." (Dan. 2: 24 - 25)
Now Daniel stands before the King, and in essence says, "Now King, I'm going to tell you your forgotten dream, but before I do, there is something I must explain. I don't want the credit for this. I'm not any different than anybody else. I'm just a human being. Don't get any idea that I'm God. There is a God in heaven however, He revealeth secrets, and He shall make known to the King what shall come to pass in the last days." (See Dan. 2: 28.) (Read also Dan. 2: 26 - 27.).
So you know that I didn't make it up look at it for yourself.
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and [He] maketh (shall make) known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days...." (Dan. 2: 28)
That phrase is very important. "...what shall be in the latter days...." For that tells us already the content of the dream. It's future. It's prophecy. Something that's coming to pass on the earth.
Daniel's About to Interpret the Dream
"...Thy dream, in the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;"
Daniel Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Forgotten Dream
"Thou, O King, saweth, and behold a great image...." (Dan. 2: 31)
And the King smiles, and he straightens up on his throne. He is pleased. That's right. That's what it was. He doesn't say that, but his reaction in the rest of this experience indicates that he knows that Daniel's on the right track. And Daniel goes on.
You'll notice that Daniel does not guess. They are not vague generosities like you're going to meet somebody important, or you're going to have an interesting experience. Nothing like that. He gets right down to specifics. That's the way God writes prophecy, and that's different from any other book that was ever written in this world. Notice, how precise and specific.
A Great Image
We would say awesome.
"[The] image's head was of fine gold,..." (Dan. 2: 32)
Very exact. Not the feet, the head - fine gold.
"...his breast and arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,"
So we have the image in four basic metals: the head of gold, and the arms and shoulders of silver, the belly of brass, and the rest of iron with some mixture of clay at the end.
Jesus Christ the Supernatural Rock
Now verse 34 says,
And that's the Hebrew idiom for supernatural Rock. And as one who reads the Bible you could guess already who that supernatural Rock is. For Paul said, "...that Rock is Christ." (I Cor. 10: 4). So we read on.
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet..." (Dan. 2: 34)
The stone that fell out of the sky was a supernatural Rock. It did not strike the image on the head nor on the shoulders, but on the feet. Notice the details. I am saying, they have to be exactly right to qualify for Bible prophecy. And the Bible prophecies are always that way, precise and exact. They're fulfilled exactly like they're written.
So it says,
"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and it filled the whole earth." (Dan. 2: 35)
The King is Overwhelmed With Happiness
So there is the picture. And Nebuchadnezzar is as pleased as he can be to think that he has a man in his realm that can do a thing like that. He has never seen such a demonstration of such supernatural power in all his days. All the abilities of the wise men with their magical powers, with their soothsayers, their astrology, and all the rest could not match anything like this. So now the king trusts Daniel to tell the interpretation of it too.
The Interpretation is Given by Daniel and his God
And Daniel says,
In verve 37 he starts to tell the King what it means.
Nebuchadnezzar, a Great King
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings:..." (Dan. 2)
Nebuchadnezzar Was a Very Proud Monarch
Nebuchadnezzar, being a very proud man, straightened up his shoulders, sat back in his throne, and smiled. It pleased him. Daniel told him you're a king among kings on the earth. In other words, you are a great king! And you can know that Nebuchadneezzar liked it.
Then Daniel says,
I can see a frown coming over his face. For at one point Nebuchadnezzar gave his testimony and said, "Did not I, Nebuchadnezzar, by my might build great Babylon?" (See Dan. 4: 30.) Nebuchadnezzar thought an awful lot about Nebuchadnezzar, and he thought he was the genius who done it all. So when Daniel says, "Everything you have my God gave to you." You can be sure he did not like that, but he's not about to interrupt. And Daniel goes on.
"...for the God of heaven [has] given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory."
"And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and made thee ruler over them all...." (Dan. 2: 37 - 38)
He didn't like the idea, I'm sure, that Daniel said God gave it to him, but when Daniel says this next sentence I'm sure he likes this.
Nebuchadnezzar and his Kingdom Represents the Head of Gold
"...Thou art the head of gold." (Dan. 2: 38)
Knowing Nebuchadnezzar he would like that. This great awesome image with a head of fine pure gold. And Nebuchadnezzar is that head. And I'm sure he sat back and smiled to himself and said, "Naturally." And then Daniel sweeps across many years of Babylonian history. And in verse 39 comes to a new empire.
"...after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,..." (Dan. 2)
And Nebuchadnezzar nods his head in agreement. He didn't think anybody could match the splendor of Babylon. So when Daniel said the next was going to be inferior, he agreed with that.
And then Daniel says,
So we are talking about kingdoms, world empires, for it says, "...another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth." (Dan. 2: 39)
Four World Empires
So we're talking about world empires not in the sense that they control every square foot of this planet, but in the sense that there was none to challenge. Nebuchadnezzar with his Babylon lasted about 75 years. (It was the first empire in this dream/prophecy.). Then came another empire, which Daniel will name in due time. It lasted about 200 years. This second empire was a dual empire represented by the arms-the silver empire. Then came a third empire, which Daniel was also to name. I'll show you in a little while. That empire lasted about 150 years, but it was a brass empire. It had come down from gold, to silver, to brass, and when that empire was destroyed then a fourth world empire came into existence. And it was a great powerful strong iron empire. Not named in the Bible, but history tells us full well what it is. We will say it in a moment.
But come now to verse 40.
"And where as thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay."
Note that well! They shall not cleave! Daniel says there are going to be four world empires. The golden empire of Babylon, followed by the dual empire of silver, which is followed by the single empire of brass, which is followed by the empire of iron which will divide in two like the legs and eventually into ten like the toes (ten toes, ten kings, or ten horns). Some strong like-iron and some weak-like clay. And they will get together and try to stick, but they won't stick, that's what he says.
Then he says, (Verse 44, very important verse.),
Which kings? Those ten coming out of the fourth world empire. In the days of these ten, shall the United Nations set up a kingdom. Oh, that's one version, but that's not the right one. Let me try again. In the days of these kings shall the World Council of Churches set up a kingdom. That's another version you read in the books, but that's not the right one.
I'm so glad it says,
Well if it will never be destroyed, then that's all there is. That's the end. So Daniel has here, now, outlined the future empires of the world starting with Babylon, going to the silver empire, to the brass empire, to the iron empire. (Then to the ten toes, kings, kingdoms, or nations.). And then to the empire of the Lord Jesus that will last forever.
Let me go on, verse 45,
That's the supernatural Rock.
"...and that it (the stone, the supernatural Rock) break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known unto the king what shall come to pass hereafter: the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (Dan. 2: 45)
Nebuchadnezzar Tries to Make a god Out of Daniel
Nebuchadnezzar does something now that tells me that he knew Daniel was exactly right. He was overwhelmed with his demonstration of supernatural power. He does just the opposite of what you would expect a proud oriental monarch to do. You know that oriental monarchs today and monarchs in the Middle East consider it so important to save face. Can you imagine, a proud, vain, powerful king of the world like Nebuchadnezzar sliding down off his throne and getting down on his rug and burying his face in the nap of the royal rug on the floor before his Hebrew slave Daniel? He wants to make a god out of Daniel. Can you imagine an oriental king bowing down before his slave to pray to him, to worship him, to burn incense? That's exactly what Nebuchadnezzar does. That tells me that Daniel was right in every detail or the king wouldn't have done this.
Now, Daniel knew what was going to happen! He warned the king in advance that he should not make a god out of him, but at this point the king forgets all about that. However, the fact that Daniel told us ahead of time what he told the king tells us that Daniel didn't accept what the king now offers to him.
But let me read it,
Nebuchadnezzar Was Very Religious
He's going to burn incense to Daniel like he did to his other gods. Nebuchadnezzar was a very religious man. He had a whole house full of gods, and he went to worship them regularly. He burned incense to them. Now, he's going to add Daniel to his collection evidently. At least if he had a chance, but we know Daniel wouldn't accept it.
Verse 47 says,
The King Tries to Give a Testimony
Now, that sounds pretty good, but it isn't good enough. When Daniel gets through telling the King, "Now, I'm not a God. Don't make a God out of me." Then the King tries to give a testimony concerning Daniel's God! And he says, "You know you've really got a pretty good God." Well, that's a good start, but that's not enough. Nebuchadnezzar will really have to come to the point where he can say you got the only God. It's not good enough to say our God is a good God among many gods. Now, Nebuchadnezzar, I'm glad to tell you eventually did come to that point. I told you that I'll be surprised if I see Constantine in heaven. I'll tell you now. I'll be surprised if I do not see Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel Witnesses to the King
Nebuchadnezzar was a hard nut to crack, if you know what I mean. Daniel would witness to him constantly, but he was a proud fellow. So proud. They're a hard kind to reach. Daniel said, "Now King, I'm going to tell you something. This is serious. If you don't humble yourself God's going to humble you. And he's going to deal with you." (Daniel 4: 22 - 37)
Nebuchadnezzar Goes Off to Seminary
And I can see old Nebuchadnezzar walking down the corridor of the palace laughing, and he thought he was all-powerful and supreme. And know what? It struck him within an hour after Daniel had told him that. It hit like a heart attack! Well, I don't know what the word for it is, but the doctors have a name. It's about so long. They say it makes a man think he's an animal. I don't know if that's the disease that Nebuchadnezzar got, but whatever it was, he went out of that place on all fours like a wild animal. And he went down into that field and started crawling around on his hands and knees eating grass. Imagine that! It was God's way of sending Nebuchadnezzar to seminary. Nebuchadnezzar had to go and learn something about God, and he did. He learned it the hard way. You know the tougher, the more proud, the more vain a man becomes the more God has to humble the man. And God knows how to do it. He really humbled Nebuchadnezzar. This proud oriental king is out there in the field with the oxen eating grass like an ox. He was there. His course took a long time. Seven years that course lasted. Imagine that! That was a rough course and during that time he never got to the barbershop, or the shower. The Bible says he was out there until his hair grew like eagles' feathers, and his nails like eagle claws. (Read Dan. 4: 30 - 33.). Now you can put that down as the first hippie in history. For 7 years crawling around the fields with the wild animals, but, you know what, back in the palace they didn't anoint a new king and hold a celebration, or a coronation. No! No! Daniel said, "Don't worry about the King. He just went off to school. When he passes his course he'll be back. So keep the rugs vacuumed, keep the throne dusted, keep everything spic and span because we want to be ready when he comes home from school." In due time they had the graduation services. Well, not quite.
Nebuchadnezzar Comes Home From Seminary
Out there in the field, all of a sudden, Nebuchadnezzar's sanity returned to him. He stood upright and looked at himself. He saw what a mess he was. He had learned his lesson. Can you see him coming in the front door of the palace? All the servants are absolutely chagrined. I think they took him around the back, brought him in, and took him to the servant's quarters, and put him in a shower first of all, then clipped his nails and trimmed his hair, and put on his Royal robe, and then he walked in like a proud man, an upright man. Not proud as in the sense he was before. But so pleased now that he could be home.
Nebuchadnezzar Gives his Testimony
And then he said, "Now, call all my subjects together. I want to make an announcement." And you know when he got them together he gave them a testimony that was a testimony. You read about it later on in the chapter (Dan. 4: 34 - 37). He says, "Now, I want to tell you. There is a God in heaven and He raises up who He will, and He puts down whom He will, and He is the God forever. His kingdom is eternal." (See Dan. 4: 34 - 37.). None of this mamba Pamba stuff, you got a pretty good God. What a testimony he had. He said everything in his testimony except, I took Jesus as my Savior. And you could hardly ask him to say that because that had not yet been revealed. So as far as an oriental monarch is concerned, I think he said everything that is necessary to indicate that he accepted the God of Daniel. I really believe that Nebuchadnezzar was saved, but that's later, not now. At this point he says to Daniel, "You've got a pretty good God."
Daniel and his Friends Get Promoted
Daniel gets an exalted position in the political realm, after he refuses the position of that of a god. And then Daniel says, "You know I had some friends who helped me pray, and I'd like if they got a little bit of a reward too." And the king says, "Anything you ask, you name it."
And Daniel says in verse 49,
Now that's a beautiful account, but there is more to it.
Now Daniel Has a Dream
Come now to chapter 7, and Daniel has his own dream. The other one was the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. It's the same dream with different figures except that now God adds additional details that He did not give before. This is not contradictory like some people think. This is only supplementary in the fact that additional details that were left out for God's own reasons in the revelation to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel here gets additional information, and by God's command writes it down for us. By the way, if I read too fast don't worry about that you can come up for breath anytime you like. And when I slow up and read slowly that means listen carefully. That's the important part, but I do want to read the other part, even though I read rapidly. I must do that because I have a lot of information to cover. I must cover thousands of years in just a few minutes, so that means I must talk fast. So here we go.
Chapter 7, verse 1,
This is Belshazzar now, not Nebuchadnezzar.
"...Daniel had a dream..." (Dan. 7: 1)
It's Daniel's dream.
"...and the visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters."
The Four World Empires
"And four great beasts (kingdoms) came up from the sea, diverse..." (Dan. 7: 3)
That means, different.
"...one from another."
Now we're starting with the four world empires, all over, but instead of talking metals we are talking about animals. The first one is the lion. This is the golden empire of Babylon. The next one will be the bear empire. It's the same as the silver empire. And the next one will be the leopard empire. It's the same as the brass empire. And the iron empire here is described as the strong fourth beast.
So let me read it,
And this is a description of what I told you about Nebuchadnezzar and his training in seminary.
"...I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it." (Dan. 7: 4) (See also Daniel, chapter 4.).
Which is another way of saying he regained his sanity again.
Media and Persia the Dual Empire
The number three is named there because history tells us that there were three countries, two of which join together, and that left a dual empire, two, but there were three originally. These two joined together so the three is mentioned there.
The Greek Empire Greece
Now, in verse 6,
This is the belly empire of brass. The number four is significant here. It says that four people are going to rule in this empire. Try to remember this because when I tell you how history unfolded you'll see how significant it was. Daniel hit it exactly on the head as we say.
"...the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given unto it." (Dan. 7: 6)
This empire is going to have four rulers. Remember that.
The Roman Empire
Now verse 7,
Here's the iron empire.
"...it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse (different) from all the beasts (kingdoms) that were before it; and it had ten horns." (Dan. 7: 7)
Ten Kingdoms or Nations Out of the Old Roman Empire With Their Ten Rulers
In the other story we ended up with ten toes. Now we end up with ten horns. It's the same story just different symbols. But now we're going to be given some additional information which was not revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, but is revealed to Daniel, and through Daniel to us.
That's those ten.
"...and, behold, there came up among them (those ten horns, kingdoms or nations)..." (Dan. 7: 8)
The Antichrist Comes Out of One of Those Ten Kingdoms/Nations
That phrase "...among them..." is extremely important! Extremely important! It means that Russia cannot rule the world, and it means that the Antichrist cannot come out of Russia or China.
Among these ten that come out of the iron empire, the fourth world empire, among them.
The Little Horn of Daniel is the Antichrist
"...there came up...another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Dan. 7: 8)
Over in verse 21, it says,
In Revelation 13 we're told that is the Antichrist who kills the tribulation martyrs. The little horn here is the Antichrist. And now we're given the additional information which was not given before. Namely that: after the fourth world empire, the iron empire, while these nations are trying to stick together, not succeeding, ten of them will band together. Among them one will arise, and he will rule the world! He will call himself God and demand that everybody worship him as God. He is the Devil's christ, the Antichrist, the Lawless One, the Son of Perdition, and so forth. The little horn of Daniel 7 is the Antichrist. He had eyes like a man, but he was speaking supernatural things. In verse 9, Daniel goes on through the rest of the history of time.
The Ancient of Days
And he says,
A Reference to the Great White Throne Judgment
"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him (Jesus, the Son of man): the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Dan. 7: 10) (See also John 5: 22, 27 and Rev. 20: 11 - 15.).
This Refers to the Antichrist and the False Prophet
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn (the Antichrist) spake: I beheld even till the beast (the Antichrist) was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." (Dan. 7: 11)
In Revelation 19 (verse 20) it says when the Lord comes, who is the true King, He's going to take the Antichrist and throw him straight into the fire of hell. And that's exactly, now, what Daniel is telling us.
Jesus is the Son of Man
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like..." (Dan. 7: 13)
Listen to this. Five hundred years before Christ Daniel talked about the Son of man. That's what it says. That's Christ.
"...One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days,..." (Dan. 7: 13)
That's God the Father.
"...and they brought Him (God the Son) near before Him (God the Father)." (Dan. 7: 13)
The Promised Kingdom
"And there was given unto Him (God the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7: 14)
Isn't that terrific! Jesus said, when ye pray, say, "...Our Father [who] art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done [on] earth, as it is in heaven." (See Matt. 6: 9 - 10.). And at his birth it is prophesied: He shall rule on "...the throne of His father David:" "...and of His kingdom there shall be no end." (Read Luke 1: 31 - 33.). He did not get that throne, not yet, but He will.
This Refers to the Second Coming of Christ When He Comes to Set up His Kingdom
Zechariah the prophet said,
"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day..." (Zech. 14: 9)
The Bride of Christ Who is the Church Will Reign With Him
In addition to that when the saints get to heaven in chapter 4 of Revelation and receive their crowns of reward, and lay them at the Savior's feet, they will give all honor and glory to Him. And when the Savior begins to break the seals in the little book, which is the title deed of earth, the saints will begin first to play in the harp orchestra and then to sing in the heavenly choir. They sing these words in addition to extolling, honoring, and praising Him for what He did. Well, listen to the words. I can't sing it, not yet, but I will!
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power:..." (Rev. 4: 11) "...for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every (race, and) kindred,...and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5: 9 - 10)
That's what we're going to sing when we get to heaven. So when the Lord comes back, the Supernatural Rock coming out of the sky, coming with the clouds of heaven, His Bride is coming with Him. "...and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5: 10). The Son of man (Jesus) is coming to reign on "...the throne of His father David..." (Read Luke 1: 31 - 33.). So let me go on.
It's amazing what Daniel wrote 25 centuries ago.
"I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things." (Dan. 7: 16)
The Four Kingdoms
"These great beasts,..." (Dan. 7: 17)
Now if you think this is my private interpretation, you're wrong!
This is what it says,
That is, the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the fourth beast, unnamed, the iron empire.
"These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, (or kingdoms), which shall arise out of the earth."
And that's what I was trying to tell you. And then it talks about the Antichrist and tells us what he is going to do. He kills the tribulation martyrs. (See verse 21.). Well, let me read a little bit more.
The Fourth Kingdom is the Roman Empire
"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth (the Roman Empire), which shall be diverse (different) from all kingdoms, (the three previous kingdoms), and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." (Dan. 7: 23)
The Antichrist Will Come Out of One of Those Ten Countries
"And the ten horns out of this kingdom (the fourth kingdom) are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;..." (Dan. 7: 24)
Another picture of the Antichrist coming out of those ten (kings or kingdoms) that come out of the fourth world empire.
"...he shall be [different] from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."
Those are the tribulation martyrs. It has nothing to do with us. We are not going to be here.
The Antichrist Will Reign For 3½ Years
"...and think to change times and laws: and they (the tribulation saints) shall be given into his (the Antichrist's) hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." (Dan. 7: 25)
And that's the Hebrew way of saying 3½ years. Time, one year; times, dual word meaning two years; half a time, half a year, 3½ years. Elsewhere we're told it's 1260 days. Elsewhere we're told it's 42 months. So there's no question about the time that the Antichrist will reign, 42 months, 3½ years, 1260 days exactly.
"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it to the end."
Daniel Could Not Understand the Dream
"Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart." (Dan. 7: 28)
Which is another way of saying, I couldn't understand what it was all about and I just pondered it and thought about it.
Daniel's Second Dream
Now in chapter 8, Daniel has another dream. And God gives additional information, particularly now in relation to the two middle empires (Media Persia and Greece). First of all, we have the lion empire, the golden empire, Babylon. Then we have the silver dual empire. Then we have the brass belly empire. Then we have the iron empire. Now, in this dream we discover we're involved with these two (Media Persia and Greece). This one is in existence (Media Persia) and this one (Greece) comes to attack this one (Media Persia). And it is destroyed. And this one (Greece) comes into being. Before we get through with (interrupting the dream of) this one (Greece), Daniel will name both of these empires (Media Persia and Greece) while he is still living in the days of the first one, the days of Babylon. I repeat only God can do a thing like that.
Now in chapter 8, we have another dream of Daniel's.
"In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first."
The Ram With Two Horns
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns:..." (Dan. 8: 3)
Now, here are the four empires. This second one is the Ram with the two horns. Remember the second empire with the two arms is the dual empire (the silver empire). In this case, it's pictured as a Ram with two horns. I'm going to tell you right away who it is and then as I read it you'll understand the next empire is the Billy goat empire (Greece) now with one horn. It's the same as the brass empire, the same as the leopard empire. So let me read it.
"...and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last."
The geographical directions are exactly right. As that empire (the silver empire) attacked the first one (the gold empire), the second empire came into being with the downfall of Babylon.
"...but he did according to his will, and became great." (Dan. 8: 4)
The He Goat is Greece
"And as I was considering, behold, a he goat..." (Dan. 8: 5)
We would say a Billy goat.
"...came from the west..." (Dan. 8: 5)
From the west! That's exactly the direction in which the third empire came.
"[He] ...came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat (representing Greece) had a notable horn between his eyes." (Dan. 8: 5)
One big horn.
"And he (the Billy goat) [ran] to the Ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before... [him], and ran unto him (the Ram) in the fury of his power."
Farm Boy Experience
Now, some of you who live on a farm can picture this. I'm glad for my farm background. A lot of these scenes in the Bible mean so much more to me. We had a lot of sheep. We had rams, and I use to watch them. They would come up together and butt their heads together. Touch their horns and pause a moment. They were not in silent prayer. I think they were muttering to each other and calling each other names or something. At any rate, whatever it was they had it all planned. Then they started to back up. Now, it's not natural for a sheep to walk backward, but when they were getting ready to do this they would walk backward. Each one would walk back the same distance, the same number of paces, and all of a sudden they would stop. It was silent. You didn't hear any signals, no bells, nothing, but they knew what was going on. And all of a sudden with lighting speed they would put it into high gear and shoot together until you would think the horns, and the brains was flying in all directions. But you know they never did. I don't know if they got a headache, but I think they must have. I can't see how two skulls could crack together like that without breaking anything, but I never saw them fall apart. And then, what do you think they do? They would pause a little while and do it again as if it was fun to fight. Now, I could tell you one time I was in between, and that's no fun! I was a little boy, and I remember it. I could not get up. Every time I tried to get up the ram would bump me down, and I had to call for help. Fortunately, there was help nearby. So I can picture this scene that Daniel saw in his dream.
This is How Media Persia Was Destroyed
Here is the Ram with two horns, the second world empire standing supreme and all powerful, and now comes the challenger, the Billy goat with one big horn, and he comes crashing from the west. And he smashes into him (the Ram) and when the contest is over. There is no Ram anymore. Now there is the third world empire, the brass empire. And Daniel is about, now, to tell us the names of those two empires. But let me read on.
Greece is the Billy Goat When Ruled by Alexander the Great
"Therefore the he goat (the Billy goat) waxed very great: and when he was strong,..." (Dan. 8: 8)
Listen to the language.
"...when he was strong, the great horn was broken;..." (Dan. 8: 8)
Nobody attacked him, the horn fell off.
"...and for it..." (Dan. 8: 8)
That means, in its place. (Out of the Greek empire)
"...came up four notable ones (Rulers, Generals)..." (Dan. 8: 8)
Now, those of you who remember, I said, try to remember that 4, in connection with the third empire, the belly empire, the brass empire, the billy goat empire, there was four. Four shall have dominion.
Now here it says,
And that's the Biblical way of saying, North, South, East, and West. Now, come over to verse 20, and I want to show you something that is astounding. And before I do, I must tell you something.
The Story About Dr. Albert J. McClain
The founder and first president, the late president of Grace Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert (Alva) J. McClain was by far the greatest teacher that I have had in my life! If you get a blessing from my ministry you owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. McClain. He had the unique ability to take the deep things of God and make them so simple that anybody could understand them and in it all be thrilled in it and say, "Well, how come I didn't see it all the time," because that's exactly what it says. And he was so unique in seminary that when he would lecture to us in theology class we would get all involved. We would laugh with him, and we would cry with him. We would listen to every word. And when the bell rang everybody was disappointed. Now you know that takes a good teacher. When Dr. McClain was a young man he did not believe in the Bible as the word of God, and he listened to the father of Dr. Paul Bauman, namely Dr. Louie Bauman, who is probably one of the greatest preachers of prophecy of this century. God did not permit me ever to meet or to hear Dr. Louie Bauman. I feel like I know him through his widow and through his son (Dr. Paul Bauman). But at any rate, Dr. McClain told us this story. He listened to Dr. Bauman telling what I'm telling you now. That God names empires many years in advance. And as he listened, he decided nobody but God could do a thing like that. And when Dr. Bauman gave the invitation Alva McClain walked down the aisle to accept Christ as his Savior. And praise God he did! There probably would not be a Grace Brethren Church or a Grace Theological Seminary and a lot of us would not have the ministries that we have were it not for Dr. McClain. So praise God that when he was a young man, a brilliant young man, a very brilliant man, he heard this passage and was saved. Maybe there's a brilliant young man who has decided the Bible cannot be the word of God and he doesn't believe it. Let me tell you one thing, you're no smarter than Dr. McClain was and if he decided that this was a supernatural demonstration, you might just consider the same thing.
The Ram With Two Horns is Media and Persia
Now let me read it to you. It's astounding. Daniel says, (In the day's of Babylon, remember.).
"The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." (Dan. 8: 20)
Media and Persia! Why every school child knows that the empire that followed Babylon was a dual empire, Media, Persia. And Daniel named it many years in advance. But that's not all. He went on to the next empire.
Alexander the Great is the First King of Greece
And he said,
Well, every school child knows that when Media Persia was destroyed. It was Greece that became the world empire, and the first King: that was Alexander the Great. The big horn, Alexander the Great. And what happened?
This is How Media Persia Destroys Babylon
Let me tell you what happened. The invading armies, the Medes and the Persians, came into the empire of Babylon. And Nebuchadnezzar said he had built an empire that could not be conquered, but he was wrong. He didn't know how smart the General would be that would invade the empire after he was dead and gone. (See Daniel 8: 1 - 4.).
Nebuchadnezzar was a genius. He had built the hanging gardens of Babylon to please his wife, who had come from the mountains, and she didn't like the monotony of the plains of Babylon. So he built one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, a mountain with trees, and flowers, and fountain, and gardens: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
He built a city that he boasted could not be conquered. But what happened was the invading armies came in, destroyed the armies of Babylon, including King Nabonidus, while the young boy, King Belshazzar, maybe in his late teens, early twenties, was back in the city holding a celebration. Thinking no armies on earth could conquer the city of Babylon because the way his great grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had built it. But they just didn't know just how smart the general was who was coming into the realm. He was coming in at the head of the armies of the Medes and Persians, and he knew he couldn't butt down the walls. They were thicker than this church is wide so a battering ram against those rocks wouldn't be sufficient. What he did was block off the Euphrates River. He had his soldiers dig a ditch into the desert and divert the water so that there was no water flowing in through the city of Babylon. The river flowed right through the city and when there was no water in the river, in the night, he marched his armies up the dried up riverbed. He found the gates open from the river in various places in the city. His soldiers went right into the city without a fight. Before they knew what had happened there was no Babylon, it was the empire of the Medes and the Persians (Dan. 5: 28, 31). "In that night was Belshazzar...king of the Chaldeans slain." (Dan. 5: 30), just like the Bible says. Media Persia lasted 200 years in round numbers.
Alexander With his Army
Then along comes the brilliant young general from the west. He was a genius. He was indeed a military genius. He loved to fight. He loved the contest. And he loved to out-wit his enemies. He didn't come with a big army. He came with a swift army. He came like a leopard. He pounced on his enemies. Now the armies of the Medes and the Persians were camped out one night on the sands of Media Persia. They knew there was a young upstart general from the west who was winning brilliant victories. But they thought he was still a long way off, and they would not have to face him for a good while to come. All of a sudden when they were not expecting him there he was. And he pounced upon them so to speak. And when the battle was over there was no longer a Media Persia. The Ram with the two horns was down, and the Billy goat was up. And Greece became the world empire. The brass empire came into existence. And now, Alexander stood supreme as King of the world, so to speak. (Dan. 8: 5 - 7)
The books tell us that Alexander loved to fight so much and now he had conquered the last army. There wasn't anybody left to fight. That made him very unhappy. Tradition says he sat down and cried because there wasn't anybody to fight. That's what he knew. He knew how to conduct military strategy, and when there wasn't anybody to have a contest with he was unhappy. And you know what he did? Daniel says, "The big horn, which was the first king suddenly fell off." (See Dan. 8: 8.). There was no fight. History says that because he had nobody to fight he started to drink, and he became a drunkard. At the age of 32 years and 9 months he was lowered into a drunkard's grave. Alexander the Great was dead. The big horn had fallen off. Then what happened?
History books say, four of his generals stood up in his place. (See Dan. 8: 8. Read also Dan. 8: 21 - 22.). Each one took a direction of the compass and reigned over the empire just like Daniel said. Can you imagine that! Hundreds of years in advance all foretold. And then what happened? Well, Greece lasted roughly a hundred and fifty years.
The Roman Empire
Then the Romans overran them, and then we have the iron empire. Daniel didn't name Rome, but he described it full well, the iron empire. And then what happened? Well, Rome was divided. There was the Eastern capital, Constantinople, the Western capital, Rome, and it was like the two legs of the image. Then what happen? Did another general come in and build another great empire? No! No! It fell apart. The wild hordes from the north came in and overran the empire. The Goths and the Huns, and the Visigoths, and so forth. And Rome had become so lazy, wicked, sinful, and so decadent they didn't offer much resistance and the wild hoards of the north overran the empire and it fell to pieces.
The Roman Empire Was Divided
They divided it into many pieces. There was Spain, then Italy, and France, and Germany, and England, and so forth. And these countries continued on for many centuries. They were enemies all the time, always fighting.
Out of the Old Roman Empire
And then, all of a sudden, in my lifetime, they began to say, "We must get together. We must have a United State of Europe." And President Kennedy, before he died, predicted that there would be a United States of Europe by 1970. He missed the date. Otherwise the prediction would still hold. We now have 10 countries banding together that they call the Common Market. They already have plans for a common currency. Very soon they will go back to real money, gold. And the American dollar is going to be in very serious trouble! I do believe.
The Antichrist Will Come Soon
At any rate, there will be 10 nations, maybe 11, 12, or more at first, but when the shifting gets all done, there will be ten. When they are ten one of their number will be elevated. He will become the Antichrist, remember. The little horn comes up among them (Dan. 7: 8) and speaks blasphemous things. When you take all the prophecies in the Bible pertaining to him it's a very clear picture. He is energized by Satan himself. You read all about him in Revelation 13. He is energized by Satan. He rules the entire world. He organizes everybody in the world into one church to worship him. He rules for 1260 days. God pours out such pledges from heaven like man has ever dreamed about. And when God gets finished with his empire there's nothing left. And the Lord comes down out of the blue in mighty power with His bride and the holy angels. He straightens everything out and starts all over with a group of saved people and reigns for a thousand years on this earth. John tells us after that He evacuates the earth. The lost of all ages are thrown into hell, and the righteous are evacuated (taken) to the eternal state of the saved. And then for all eternity we shall reign with Him in righteousness. A thousand years on the earth, and throughout eternity forever. So, where are we now in terms of the long story that Daniel told? And how does this prove that we're close to the coming of the Lord?
Well, where is Babylon? It's gone. Where is Media Persia? It's gone. Where is Greece? It's gone. Where is the Roman Empire? It's gone. And we have divided nations trying to stick together, but not sticking. That's what Daniel said. But now in that situation there will be ten that band together, then the Antichrist will make his appearance.
We Must go to Heaven First
We're all set for that right now, but listen. Before the Antichrist can make his public debut, you and I have got to leave. You see we won't join him, and he can't have his world church while we are still here. Furthermore, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "He who now keeps the lid on sin will continue to do so until He be taken out of the way." Then! (The adverb of time indicating the time element.). Then after the Holy Spirit, who is convicting the world of sin, is taken out. Well, He's not taken out while we're here because He came into our hearts, and He promised "...I will never leave thee..." (Heb. 13: 5). So He has got to go up when we go up. So He who now keeps the lid on sin will continue to do so until He is taken out of the way. Then shall that Wicked One be revealed whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. (Read II Thes. 2.). That's the Antichrist. So the Antichrist cannot make his public debut until we have taken off for heaven.
Jesus is Coming Soon!
And in the story of history as Daniel revealed it thousands of years ago, we have come to that point in time now where we're ready for the trumpet to sound, for the shout of command to be given, for the dead to be raised, and ready for all those who are living saints to be transformed and translated to the heavenly realm in the moment of the twinkling of an eye. It all means one thing, the Lord is coming soon! This is it. One more sign of the end of the Age. And put all the signs together it is overwhelming! We are living in the last days. Jesus is coming soon! Now, I can't set a date. That's impossible, and it's forbidden. But I can tell you we're not to be caught by surprise. We are to know when the signs of the times are being fulfilled because Jesus said in Luke 21 when you see these things begin then you look up because that's when you're leaving.
The Invitation to Receive Christ
We're leaving, but we don't want to be selfish about it. We would like to take everybody along. Is there anybody who doesn't have a ticket? Tell the Lord you don't want to be left behind. You would like a ticket there for free. He'll give you one tonight, you've got to meet His conditions.
"...whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Rom. 10: 13)
He made it as easy as He could. If He would've said you have to have a good education, that would leave some of us out. If He would've said you have to be rich, that would leave some of us out. If He would've said you have to be good looking that would leave some of us out. If He would've said you have to be famous, and do something big and important that would leave some of us out. You see! He made it so simple that anybody, no matter what his education and no matter what his qualifications, anybody at all can go to heaven. All you have to do is say, "Lord I'm a sinner, a miserable sinner. I know I can't save myself, but I want to be saved. So come into my heart now, and save me." And you know something. He'll do it because that's what He wants to do. He died for you because He loves you. And He wants to save you. It is not His wish that any should perish. So now! Tell the Lord which way you want to go! And that's the way it will be. It's your choice. You see, the Lord would love to force you to heaven, but He wants you to love Him. Love is by choice, not by force. That's why it is whosoever will (Rev. 22: 17). Let us pray!
Our Heavenly Father! How we thank Thee for the prophecies of Daniel. We are aware of the fact that Daniel said he couldn't understand it. And at one point he says he had something like a headache, and he went to bed for several days. And then You revealed to him at the end of the book that he should close it and not bother about it because it wasn't really for him, it was for the people of the end times, when the wise would understand. Now Lord! We believe we've come to the end time. We understand it, and it fits in beautifully with the record of history. Daniel's prophecies have come to fulfillment in supernatural fashion. And we praise Thee for the privilege of being alive in the greatest day of all history. When we see these prophecies leaping to fulfillment. We know that the end of the age is near, and one of these days Jesus will be coming to the sky and give the shout of command for those who love Him! Whether in the grave or walking around on top of the ground makes no difference. We'll be caught up and changed in a moment to meet Him in the air. Lord, we pray that nobody in this audience shall go away unsaved! If there's anyone now who is here without Christ, help such an individual to humble himself, and say, "Lord, the burden of sin that I've been carrying is too great for me to bear. You come into my heart, wash my sin away, forgive me of my sin, fill me with the Holy Spirit, and use me to bring glory to Your name for the rest of my days!" Lord! Do a mighty work, strengthen and encourage every Christian and bring to Thyself such as need the Savior. We'll worship and adore Thee! Now and forever in Jesus' name, Amen!
The Nathan Meyer Bible Prophecy Association (BPA)
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