A Praying Woman is Powerful

My mom, younger brother, and I lived with my grandmother from the time I was 5 years old until I started the 5th grade at 10 years old.  As my two cousins will testify, “Mamaw” knew The Lord in a very special way.

My sweet Grandmother had a habit of kneeling beside the bed at night and praying to her Savior. She often prayed softly, but loud enough so that I heard my name being presented to the throne room of Heaven. There were times, I felt if I opened my eyes , I would see her and Jesus having a cup of tea while they talked.

Her prayers affect me to this day even though she died Christmas Eve 1976. This was only 4 months after my conversion from atheism to a follower of Christ. As she lay in the hospital bed, I asked The Lord to let her sleep so she would not be in pain and the confusion of Parkinson’s disease.  I got news of her death after I left the hospital and arrived at home where my wife and 2-month old daughter waited for me.

That exact prayer for God’s mercy would happen years later for my saintly mother, who died from a lung infection.  My prayer was, “Lord, let her sleep to escape the pain of death.”  The doctors asked the  family to say our good-byes.  When it came my turn, I trembled.  My mother had been praying for 10 years for my return to the Lord.  She often asked me when I was going to come back to the faith I once knew.  Lately, I had begun to feel that familiar pull of the Holy Spirit to repent of my sins and receive forgiveness.

 The Lord was knocking hard on the door of my heart. A lump the size of my fist was stuck in my throat as I approached this beautiful woman who also knew the Lord.  Here lay the woman who gave me life and was the sweetest non-obtrusive woman I had ever known. She was only moments away from the penalty passed upon all….death.  We would be separated, perhaps forever.

Years earlier, after my conversion, she and I had studied the Bible about the resurrection and the coming of Jesus.  It was in this study we saw the plan for those who die in Christ.  The clearest verse is found in 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 (GW)

The Lord will come from heaven with a command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the dead who believed in Christ will come back to life.  Then, together with them, we who are still alive will be taken in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In this way we will always be with the Lord.  So then, comfort each other with these words!

When I leaned in close to my Mom who seemed to be at peace, but under the influence of the drugs to help soften the sting of death, I said these words through wet tears dripping on her hand. I held her soft sweet hands close to my face.

 “Mom, I will see you resurrection morning.”

Immediately, I felt a squeeze of her hand! Twice! That tightening of her hand had strength despite the drugs and impending death.  It communicated the unspoken words, “You better be there.”

Like those who see their life pass before their eyes when they think they are about to die, I recounted my fall from grace.  My fall had been dramatic just like my conversion.  When converted, I was compelled to teach others about what I had learned.  I became a Bible teacher with a very large class.  I got involved in prison ministry and a world-wide magazine did a story on my ministry.  A Christian brother (Charlie) and I began a radio ministry called Answers from Scripture.  When Billy Graham came to town, I participated in training to become a counselor.  For several nights, I had the incredible experience of working next to Jesus and the Graham team to help people start their “Jesus Journey.”

I did things under the power of God I never dreamed likely or possible.

But, a series of events in 1994 had me shaking my fist at God.  I felt He had forsaken me and I turned back to the world and began to drink for the first time in my life.  I became an alcoholic after infidelity from my wife, a sick child with a rare disease, divorce, loosing my job, and the death of my father in a car wreck.

I was so low, that I could not feel God’s presence any longer, but He was there protecting me and hearing the prayers of these two powerful women in my life….not to mention many others in my church and my family.

This experience with my dying mother would only make louder that “still small voice.”  Later, that year, I would return like the prodigal son…dirty, broke, and doubtful.  That is a story unto itself.  My God had not forsaken me!  He  allowed me to waste my inheritance for the salvation of my soul.

My experience is now firmer than ever before….in Christ, but I know that the prayers of these two beautiful women interceded for me and prayed in my stead when I could not or would not do so.

(For my three-part conversion story, click here:)

A Clean Pig Returns to the Mud-Part 1

A Clean Pig Returns to the Mud-Part 2

A Pig Washed A Second Time-Conclusion

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Last night (New Year’s eve 2015), I felt that same feeling of hearing my name being presented to The Lord. Just like I heard from my grandmother and my mother years before.

My beautiful wife of almost two years (Judy) has a tradition of praying at midnight each new year. (What a contrast to the parties and drinking that I once indulged.)  I tried to stay up till midnight, but we both feel asleep.

I was awaken by a soft touch on my arm and the sound of my beloved wife praying for me at midnight. She said The Lord woke her at 11:55 PM to pray.

There is nothing more powerful than a praying and believing woman! It was the women during Christ’s time on earth, that were closer and more loyal than the fearful men.  These women dared the enemy of man and his agents, by standing at the foot of the cross to comfort the dying Savior.  Except for John, the disciples had all fled.

I am blessed by the prayers of a Grandmother, Mother, and now my wife who encourages me along in my “Jesus Journey.” Also, those two female cousins I mentioned at the start, also pray for me!

Thank you, Judy, for carrying the prayer torch into another year and for praying for me…and my children.  May I come to know the Lord like the women in my life.

Yes, I am blessed by the women in my life.  But, I bet you are too!


“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous (woman) avails much.”

James 5:16

Wise Men Still Search For Him

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Matthew 2: 1-2

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They call me a wise man, but it seems the more I study the world around me and the stars above, the more I know I don’t understand.  I am like a little child never able to satisfy my curiosity.  So many scrolls to read and so little time.

The other “wise men” like myself have a great interest in ancient writings, but we also priests and have religious duties for our tribe. The Greeks call us Magi which denotes more about our office and less about our wisdom.

Because of the feeling of imminence of something spectacular, my fellow wise men have reduced our search for understanding among the many scrolls from other cultures to those we obtained and passed down from the ancient people of Israel.
Our people have collected many scrolls dated from the time the people of Jehovah and the prophet Daniel were conquered and sent to serve the king Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.  This king  recognized the value of the “wise men” and often called upon them for advice, understanding, and to help him understand dreams or visions.

Our nation conquered Babylon and we had a time of rule before the Greeks conquered us and then Rome conquered Greece.  We are hundreds of miles directly east of the favored town of Jerusalem, which is now occupied by Rome.

We have studied closely the writings of Moses and the many prophets that Jehovah sent to the people who descended from Abraham and Jacob.

*Of particular interest now is the writings of Daniel.  We have been studying his writings with great wonder because it tells of the falling of nations before it happened and has a time prophecy that is very clear if studied closely using only the passages of their Tanakh (Old Testament).

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The birth of the Messiah the Prince is imminent if the ancient scrolls of Daniel and the Jewish prophets are correct.  My companions and believe they are.  That is why we are embarking upon this long trip.

The scroll written by a prophet called Micah tells us where the Messiah will be born!  Bethlehem!

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Micah 5:2

So, that is the direction we are going to travel.

Because of what we have learned from the scrolls passed down to us, my fellow “wise men” and I are packed to leave immediately on a trip of about 1,500 miles.  We have some gifts carefully selected to represent what we know about this new King.  There is about 12 of us, not counting the men assigned to protect us in our long journey.

We have three costly gifts to represent the three aspects of the king:

Gold that he might be rich and strong in his rule.

Frankincense that He will be a sweet savor to His God as a priest for the people.

Myrrh for the anointing of His body when He is laid to rest.

Frankincense and Myrrh also have practical medical uses as well.  We have much of it for the king and his family.

Our supplies must sustain us and our comfort for a couple of years.  These supplies are many and will burden the backs of our animals.  The number of our travelers  are growing.  We expect some to join us along the way as we tell of the purpose of our journey and of the great king.

We are going to see the King!  Tomorrow we leave at the rising of the sun!

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We spend the sleepless night talking and enjoying the warmth of the fire,  filled with the excitement  of meeting this new king prophesied hundreds of years before.  One of the men in our entourage pointed out something very interesting during the night.  He found in the scroll of Isaiah these words:

The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.

Isaiah 60:6

While this prophecy is related to another great king of the Jews (Solomon), we can see ourselves with our camels and gifts on a similar journey as those who traveled to honor king Solomon.

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.

1 Kings 10:10

We expect Bethlehem to be packed with visitors coming to see the new baby king.  We desire to worship him because He is our new-found God.  Through the study of the scrolls we have discovered the only true God to be in the story of the Jews  found in the Tanakh and their great prophets including Moses who wrote the first five books called the Torah.

Another strange event from the darkness of the night seems to confirm our study of the ancient scrolls is correct.  A very bright star appeared in the east as if celebrating the birth of a the new king.  We may be a little late for the birth, but we greatly wish to honor this great king.

Amazingly, as the sun rises, the star remains bright!  It is as if it is encouraging us to follow.  This we will do.

As we rise with the sun and prepare for the journey, my heart begins to race with excitement.  The warmth of my camel’s back is high above the ground.  It is from up here that I will spend the coming months contemplating  the mystery of the Creator and the story of the Jews.

I am reminded of what I read in the scroll of  Isaiah:

“Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel”

Isaiah 7:14

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On Christmas Eve night 2016, we will continue the journey with the wise men as they travel through Jerusalem and  arrive in Bethlehem..  We will look closely at the visit of the Magi and why their visit brought great concern upon both Herod and the people.

Until then, I leave you with the words of a wise man:

“I love those who love me.

Riches and honor are with me,

Enduring riches and righteousness.

My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold.”

Proverbs 8: 17, 18

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*Footnote and for further study on the time prophecy of Jesus’ first coming:

The book of Daniel  reveals that a great king called Messiah the Prince is to appear exactly 483 years from when a proclamation is established by our ancient  Persian King Artaxerxes, in the seventh year of his reign (457 B.C.).  The proclamation was for the Jews to go back to their homeland and restore and rebuild Jerusalem,  the city destroyed by Babylon.  A little simple math from Daniel tells us that the Messiah would come around  27 AD to proclaim the kingdom of God to those of whom He made promises.  We also know that he will be “cut-off” after only 3 1/2 years of ministry.  So He will die a young man.  This is sad, but we also are a little confused about him living again.

We were able to calculate his birth based on the 70 weeks mentioned by Daniel:

 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.”

Daniel 9: 25-26 

 

Second Coming Predictions-Details to the Secrets

 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.  I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:

Daniel 7: 15:16

We skip through some important stories to come to the follow-up to the Daniel 2 prophecy which we studied last time:

Daniel 3: Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold and the experience of the fiery furnace for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

Daniel 4: Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream about his pride in building the kingdom and his humiliation of grazing like an ox.

It seems Nebuchadnezzar was very reluctant to believe it was God who “sets up kings and removes kings.”

Daniel 5:  Belshazzar’s Feast his fall to Cyrus as predicted by God.

Daniel 6:  The plot against Daniel and his experience in the lion’s den.

The point is there are many years between Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the dream of Daniel in Chapter 7.

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In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

Daniel 7:1

Notice, Daniel wrote down the dream to tell the main facts of the dream.

The content of what he wrote down is found in verses 2-15.

I invite you to read these verses and consider the dream.  I predict you will be confused just as Daniel. Here are the “main facts” of the dream. Care to give it a try on interpretation?

1.) 4 winds that stirred up the great sea

2.) 4 different beasts came out of the sea.  They were different from each other.

3.) The first beast look like a lion and had eagle wings.

4.) The second beast was like a bear.  But it stood up favoring one side and in it’s mouth were three ribs.

5.) The third beast looked like a four-headed leopard with four wings of a bird on its back.

6.) Next a very unique but terrible, fearful, and exceedingly strong 10-horned beast that was eating, stomping, and destroying.

7.) As Daniel continued to look at the 10-horned beast, he noticed that 3 of the horns were plucked up and a mysterious little horn came up where the 3 horns were originally. This little horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and it hand a mouth on it.  That mouth said some “pompous” things.

8.) Daniel continued to watch.  Then someone called the Ancient of Days appears.  A million (thousand thousands) minister before “Him,” but 100 Million (ten thousand times ten thousand) stood before him.  It is very likely these numbers are symbolic of countless numbers due to the roundness of the numbers the idea of expressing vast numbers related to an easier number to comprehend i.e.,  a thousand.

9.) After this multitude settles down, the books are open.  What books?

10.) Daniel was concerned about he “pompous words of the 4th beast. He continued to watch until the the  beast was slain and its body was burned up in the flames.

11.) The “fifth” power is one that will never be destroyed.  God described its ruler as “one like the son of Man coming in the clouds.”

12.) All people, nations, and languages shall serve Him.

That is the framework of the dream Daniel wrote down.  Do you understand it?  Don’t worry.  Daniel didn’t either.

Daniel admitted he didn’t understand the dream and after writing it down, he asked one of the attending angels for an explanation.  This we will review, but first let’s review last week’s clear understanding of Daniel 2

Daniel 2 Review:

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he did not understand and it troubled him greatly.  None of the wise men, I call the “Fakers,” were able to help the King.  But God used Daniel and his three companions to both remind the king of his dream  and give him the interpretation.

This interpretation comes straight from Daniel and needs “no private interpretation.”

Quite simply, Daniel told the king that four (4) great powers would arise.  He identified the first two in scripture as Babylon, then the dual kingdom of the Medes and Persians.  After Daniel’s time, the other two powers appear on the scene as history tells us: Greece (Belly and thighs of brass) and finally Rome (Legs of iron).

Rome was the ruling power when Jesus was on the earth teaching and dying for our sins.  It was a Roman decree and a Roman cross upon which our Lord died.  Rome continued to rule as the disciples went out in the power of the Holy Spirit and built up the church.

Also during this time, the church began to be persecuted as we will see later.

The king’s dream does not stop here.  The legs of iron are followed by the feet and toes of iron and part clay.  This identifies the fall of Rome into 10 divisions, partly strong and partly weak.  Three division were wiped out and there are current countries that have roots in these tribes.  The Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths were the 3 kingdoms eliminated by Rome. 

The prophecy ends with these startling words:

And in the days of these kings  (The old division of Rome or what we now call Europe) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

Daniel 2: 44-45

Over and over, the Bible talks of the 2nd coming as a time of destruction from the Lord.  More specifically, it is described as follows:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

2 Peter 3:10

It also includes the unsaved:

…turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

2 Peter 2:6

“For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
That will leave them neither root nor branch.

Malachi 4:1

So when all the kingdoms of the earth is destroyed, God will create a new heaven (old destroyed) and new earth (old destroyed) and the “Rock” and God’s kingdom will fill the who earth.  God will be our God and we will be his people.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

Isaiah 65:17

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21: 3

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Daniel 7-Introduction

In Daniel 7, another dream or vision is given.  But this time, it is given to Daniel.  Like king Nebuchadnezzar, the dream troubles Daniel and he does not know what it means.  But, it is interpreted for him by the attending angels.

Like Daniel 2, we will let the Bible interpret itself and then we will check it out through history.

In this vision of Daniel, we will see that God has a way of revealing truth and the future in a way as to prepare the heart to receive it.  Daniel 7 is a principal of repeating and expanding.  We will see the same four powers, but with more detail concerning the nature of the powers and we will see the introduction of a terrible power that comes from one of the powers described by Daniel 2.

A verse comes to mind as I write this introduction.  Jesus said to His disciples the principal I just described of preparing the heart for truth:

 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

John 16:12

The apostle Paul said something very similar:

I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able

1 Corinthians 3:2

In the Christian walk, especially as we interact with new Christians, we should be careful to give truth only as they are ready to receive it.  We are to be:

Be wise like snakes and gentle like doves.

Matthew 10:16

This vision of Daniel 7 is like meat.  It will be new to many who read this and you might not be ready to receive it or digest it,, but the words are certain and can be supported through the Bible and history.  As we begin, pray for the Spirit of Truth and let the story reveal itself to you.  Keep in mind, you have a loving and forgiving Savior who desires you to find peace and comfort in Him and his revelation.

OK?  Let’s begin.

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Daniel 7-Part 1

The book of Daniel is about 4 animals that give fear and wonder to Daniel.  But, he is particularly interested in  the fourth beast and the little horn power. The interpretation is given to Daniel and it goes way beyond the time he is living even until the coming judgment of planet earth.

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

Daniel 7:1

This first verse is important because it gives the time and Daniel’s dream.  The first year of Belshazzar would be 540 BC.

Here is what Daniel saw that year:

“I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.”

Verse 2 and 3

As the beasts are described, they look something like below.  Very strange!  Wouldn’t you agree?  They are animals with something unusual about each.

When we read and study the Bible, we should read it as literal unless there is some overall reason to apply symbolism.  Here we have good reason to apply the rule of symbolism because of the description of the beasts, but even more important the interpretation given by the Bible itself for these symbols of great beasts.  To do otherwise is to lose the message God is giving us. Is that a fair statement?  I will explain as we go along.

To help us with the beginning of this prophecy, let’s look at some passages that unlock the symbolic meaning of this prophecy and others.  In Daniel’s vision, he is seeing “the four winds stir up the Great Sea.” 

What does the four winds and the Great Sea represent?

Revelation describes the four winds in this passage:

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree…”Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Revelation 7:1, 3

From this passage in Revelation, we can see that the 4 winds represent turmoil, strife, destruction.  Another passage supports this interpretation:

 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Behold, disaster shall go forth
From nation to nation,
And a great whirlwind shall be raised up
From the farthest parts of the earth.”

Jeremiah 25:32

Even more important is the self interpretation from this Chapter about the beasts.  In its interpretation we can see that logically the winds and sea would indeed represent nations arising out of turmoil and wars:

What are the four beasts?  Let’s let the angel of Daniel 7 tell us:

“Those great beasts, which are fourare four kings which arise out of the earth.”

Daniel 7:17

If four kings or kingdoms arise, where do they come from?  The sea of people and the winds of war.

So early in this prophecy, we can conclude that Daniel is seeing four kingdoms arise from the many people and the results of conquering wars.  It is interesting that King Nebuchadnezzar also saw four kingdoms:  Babylon, Medes/Persia, Greece, and Rome.  Then Rome is divided into 10 kingdoms.  It is in the days of these kingdoms that our Lord sets up his kingdom that shall never be destroyed by wars or strife.

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Daniel goes on to describe the four beasts in more detail:

 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

Daniel 7: 4

2347-1st-Beastx220

The wings represent the rapidity  by which Babylon conquered its foes under king Nebuchadnezzar.  But, the wings are plucked and a man’s heart is given to it.  The boldness of the Lion wanes as it comes to a close of its earthly domination.  The man’s heart compared to the Lion illustrates the weakness that came about as it lay dormant and exposed caused by wealth and luxury.

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It is now a perfect target for the next power to arise and take its place.  This power is the dual kingdom of the Medes and the Persians and is represented by the bear that raised itself up on one side and had three ribs between its teeth.

And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

Daniel 7:5

1198-2ndBeastx94

Eventually the Persians dominated the kingdom and became stronger than the  Medes.  They came up “last” as we will see in the prophecy in the 8th Chapter.  The Persians also become the dominant power.  The command to devour much flesh was obeyed and it left nothing but three bones.  These likely represent the three conquests of the Medes and Persians:  Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt

This power represented by the bear ruled from the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus in 538 BC to the battle of Arbela in 331 BC.  A time span of  207 years.  It fell to the next kingdom represented by the four-headed leopard with four wings of a fowl,

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

Daniel 7:6

1200-3rdBeastx94

If two wings represent speed, then 4 wings on the quick-footed leopard must represent a extremely rapid course of conquests for the next kingdom of Greece under Alexander the Great.  This corresponds with the Daniel 2 prophecy and history.

Alexander have no parallel in historic annals for suddenness and rapidity.

Rollin, Ancient History, b.15, sec.2, gives the following brief synopsis of Alexander’s marches:-

“From Macedonia to the Ganges, which river Alexander nearly approached, is computed at least eleven hundred leagues. Add to this the various turnings in Alexander’s marches; first, from the extremity of Cilicia, where the battle of Issus was fought, to the temple of Jupiter Ammon in Libya; and his returning from thence to Tyre, a journey of three hundred leagues at least, and as much space at least for the windings of his route in different places; we shall find that Alexander, in less then eight years, marched his army upward of seventeen hundred leagues [or more than fifty-one hundred miles], without including his return to Babylon”

Alexander the Great died succeeded his father Philip II at age 20 and lived to reign only about 11 1/2 years more.  He died at age 32.  His life spent in the fast lane of wars and debauchery.

Alexander’s empire was divided among his four leading generals:

Cassander (Macedon and Greece in the west)

Lysimachus (Thrace and parts of Asia on the Hellespont and Bosphorus in the North

Ptolemy (Egypt, Lydia, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele Syria in the south)

Seleucus (Syria and all the rest of Alexander’s dominions in the east.)

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Next to arise on the world scene is Rome illustrated as the “dreadful” and terrible beast.”  It was different from the other powers and it  had ten horns corresponding to the 10 toes of Daniel 2:

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7: 7

There is not a beast in nature that Daniel can use to describe this fourth beast and how “dreadful and terrible” it is.  It’s great teeth devour and brake to pieces the other countries.  The only that that has a recognizable feature is its 10 horns. Again, the same number of the 10 toes of part iron and part clay of Daniel 2.

fourth beast

The nature of Rome was cruel.  They perfected the tortuous death of crucifixion believed to have been invented by the Persians.  Death by crucifixion could last up to 6 days!  It was on a cruel Roman cross that Jesus took the shamefulness of our sins upon himself.  This act by the Creator was the ultimate demonstration of the sacrificial love for His creation.  It was part of the good news.  But, the fact that Jesus arose a victor over the death of the cross that the good news message is most nearly complete.  The other part of the good news is that Jesus will one day return to change us and to rescue us forever from the pull and presence of sin.  The good news cannot be captured by a list of events in the life of Jesus.   it is an experience initiated and propelled by the Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit.

We will end Part 1 with a description by Daniel of the 10 horns and the little horn that arose:

And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

Daniel 7:20

Who was this final power that captured the attention of Daniel?  This horn had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things and was more stout than the others.

This horn displaces three horns and speaks great things.  This power exists today! It will bring the final deception of many people on this earth.  In the next post we will discover the identity of the little horn and how it is described in Revelation 13 as the Beast that the “whole world wonders after.”

Despite the little horn’s power, we can trust in the One who is greater.  Terrible times will come, but we can find peace in our Lord both day and night.

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.”

Psalm 42:8

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