Category Archives: Prophecies for Our Time

Science, Sickness, and Death-Good Reasons to Doubt?

Listen to my teaching, and you will be wise; do not ignore it.

Proverbs 8:33

A Brilliant Mind Falls Short

Albert Einstein was arguably one of the most brilliant minds of all times, yet he admitted his short-comings and “limited mind” on the topic of God.  He did not believe in a personal God. He considered himself an  agnostic or a “religious unbeliever.”

Einstein was not an atheist. He could see the work of a Creator in the order of the cosmos. He often complained about being put into the atheist camp:

“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”5

“I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”6

Einstein also expressed his skepticism regarding the existence of an anthropomorphic God, such as the God of Abrahamic religions, often describing this view as “naïve”[3] and “childlike”.[11] 

In a 1947 letter, he stated, “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously.”[12] In a letter to Beatrice Frohlich on 17 December 1952, Einstein stated,

“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.”[13]

He also said, in an interview with the Saturday Evening Post (1929):

“As a child, I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”

When asked,

“Do you accept the historical existence of Jesus?”, He replied emphatically,

“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”7

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The Shortcoming of Scientific Intelligence-Lack of Knowledge

Here is the oxymoron of Einstein’s statements. It fits many who consider Jesus to be a wise teacher, but nothing more:

Albert had doubts about the existence of a personal God, but he found Jesus wise and appealing in many ways. That is personal. Despite all this, he would not follow God’s own instructions so that he could know him personally:

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

God, Himself, tells the reader of His word that it is possible to know and understand Him.

But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these, I delight,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:24

It is possible to have a personal relationship with One who delights in things.  Being delightful is a very human emotion. It is an emotion that God possesses. There are human beings (like God) who are loving, kind, and always does the right thing for others, often sacrificing their own desires and comforts.  They did not come to be this way by themselves.  God is the author of these qualities!  But, there is another author at work that has opposite qualities.

Here is the big hangup in the scientific mind.  They won’t accept the fact that evil had a beginning and the flames of its passion are whipped up by this entity in the minds and hearts of people every day.   He is the author of destruction and death.

The scientific mind can’t, or won’t, consider the Bible as a viable book to read and study; therefore they will not search for spiritual knowledge. And since they won’t search its inspired writers, their skepticism grows. The converted Paul said,

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14

They can’t see the order of the cosmos and life as did Mr. Einstein. They would rather attribute it to chance and billions of years of blind luck. But, let’s be fair.  There are some very good reasons for people to doubt the existence of God or, at the least, a personal God.

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Religion and Jesus-Two Different Things:

Real followers of Christ (not the religious) have found that the key to understanding God is Jesus. It is all about Him from Genesis to Revelation:

1 Corinthians 2:14

You search the Scriptures,…. these are they which testify of Me.-Jesus

John 5:39

At another time, Jesus revealed to his disciples an important truth about the God of the Old Testament and Himself.

 “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Luke 24:  44, 45

So if the scriptures are about Jesus, we can’t just say he is a “good teacher” or a “good moral man”….who suddenly and without warning appeared on the scene.  He is the One who all the writers of the Old Testament wrote and sought over the millennia of time. But, when

the time was right, God sent his Son…..Galatians 4:4

So, why wouldn’t a scientific mind desire to have a knowledge of Jesus and scripture?  It is because it is not science and does not fit into the comfortable world of science and its operational sterile paradigms.  The Bible is not a book of science, but rather a book about the human experience and spiritual truths. If God is all that He claims to be, then He is the author of science and the scientists are merely the discoverers of His science.  For example, scientists did not create the laws of gravity…they discovered them.

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Religion is Its Own Worst Enemy

Another couple of reasons for the scientific mind to dismiss the book that provides insight into many of the human experiences not addressed by science is the radical religionists and suffering.

The religious people are their own worst enemy! The ones who are not real followers of Jesus, but people who are re”religious” portray the God of mercy and loving-kindness and his truth into undesirable rounds of ceremonies, does and don’ts, eternal torment, and guilt trips. Some even feel God desires them to terrorize people into belief…and I am not just talking about our friends in the middle east. How often is eternal burning hell used as a weapon to scare the uninformed into belief?

You can’t blame unbelievers.  For a long time, this was my main reasons for unbelief and disdain for churches.  There are no answers or peace in such a religious world. But, there is a path to truth in Jesus who invites people into a one-on-one experience with Him.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

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Unbelief in God Because of Death and Suffering

Often I receive comments from readers of this blog and some of my Facebook sites who say that Jesus is “an imaginary friend.” While others ask, “Where was God’ when my (fill in a family member relationship) died from cancer or was killed in a car wreck, etc.

Einstein had similar feelings about the incompatibility of a caring God and the daily horrors of planet earth:

How many have asked….

 “Why would God allow my family member to die of cancer?”

Why has he allowed death and destruction to reign on this planet?”

Where was God when...If there is a God, He is not in control.”

These questions pre-suppose that God should make our lives perfect and without sin, death, and destruction.  To the uninformed, belief is contingent upon our feelings of what God should be like.  But, this is not according to what is revealed in God’s word.  This author captures my next thoughts exactly:

God made man perfectly holy and happy; and the fair earth, as it came from the Creator’s hand, bore no blight of decay or shadow of the curse. It is transgression of God’s law–the law of love–that has brought woe and death. Yet even amid the suffering that results from sin, God’s love is revealed. It is written that God cursed the ground for man’s sake. Genesis 3:17. The thorn and the thistle–the difficulties and trials that make his life one of toil and care–were appointed for his good as a part of the training needful in God’s plan for his uplifting from the ruin and degradation that sin has wrought. 

God’s Love for Man. Page 9

When God made man as described in the opening chapters of Genesis, everything He made, He declared “good” or “very good.” There was not death, decaying, or the curse. But something went terribly wrong. Evil in the form of a rebellious angel called Lucifer began the journey of sin, death, and decay.  He is the author of the bad things in this life not God for it is written:

 Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.

James 1:17 (ERV)

So when we blame God for the evil in this world, we demonstrate we do so without a knowledge of God and what He has revealed to us through his word.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55: 8, 9

Einstein’s failure to understand the motives of God are the result of his incorrect assumption that God intended this universe as His ultimate perfect creation. Einstein could not get past the moral problems that are present in our universe. He assumed, as most atheists do, that a personal God would only create a universe which is both good morally and perfect physically. Where Einstein erred was in that thinking that there was a god who designed the universe, but designed it in such as way as to allow evil without a purpose

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It would be too inconvenient or dangerous to the dedicated scientist and to their worldview to consider there might be more to existence than what can be explained through formulas, books, test tubes, and philosophies, or unbelieving professors that focus only on what can be seen and understood by “limited human minds.”  Therefore, many won’t listen or follow any of Jesus’ words even though all are invited to follow Him down a path of discovery. So His words are chosen by unbelievers and religionists like fruit from the tree of knowledge to fit their own likeness of God, while other less palatable instructions are left to rot on the altar of narcissism and selfishness.

…while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

John 5:39

Ultimately, we cannot project limited human thoughts, philosophies, or reasoning upon God and create Him in our own image. He is supreme.  We are not.  He is omnipotent, we are not.

 How can we intelligently base our decision to be an unbeliever based on cancer which is often the result of our own actions i.e. smoking cigarettes or runaway eating of anything and everything?

The order and intelligence of the design of the universe leave us will little excuse for unbelief.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Romans 1:20

Yes, you can know God personally, but you must search and desire to understand and gain knowledge unlike what you will gain from the textbooks or even blog sites like this.  Being a scientist does not mean you can’t study and read the Bible.  If you do, at the least, you will find wisdom.  In fact, there are many scientists who are believers in Jesus and have faith in God’s word.

I have concluded that unbelievers are the uninformed! When I searched out Jesus through the Bible I found Him. He is there if you will just look.

Listen to my teaching, and you will be wise; do not ignore it.

Proverbs 8:33

If you want to begin your Jesus journey through the Bible, I invite you to click on the site below to begin a basic understanding of God’s word.  These studies will lead you to a deeper and deeper to an understanding of spiritual things and the God who made the universe.

Free Online Bible School

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References

  1. “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” (Albert Einstein, “Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium”, 1941)
  2. “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.” (Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59–215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The New Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005, p. 206. )
  3. Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman (eds) (1981). Albert Einstein, The Human Side. Princeton University Press. p. 43.
  4. Cable reply to Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein’s (Institutional Synagogue in New York) question to Einstein, “Do you believe in God?”.
  5. Prinz Hubertus zu Lowenstein, Towards the Further Shore: An Autobiography (Victor Gollancz, London, 1968), p. 156.
  6. G. S. Viereck, Glimpses of the Great (Macauley, New York, 1930), quoted by D. Brian, Einstein: A Life , p. 186.
  7. G. S. Viereck, “What Life Means to Einstein,” Saturday Evening Post, 26 October 1929; Schlagschatten, Sechsundzwanzig Schicksalsfragen an Grosse der Zeit (Vogt-Schild, Solothurn, 1930), p. 60; Glimpses of the Great (Macauley, New York, 1930), pp. 373-374.

 

 

 

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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Second Coming Predictions-God Reveals Secrets About The Future

“When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.

Ezekiel 33:33

It has often been said that “hindsight is 20/20.”  In our study, we will look back at prophecy found in Chapter 2 of Daniel and we will see the future beginning with Daniel’s time (6th Century BC) and moving forward through the first coming of Jesus and on through the years of ancient Rome to the time of  modern Europe up to our time in 2014.

This prophecy is important because it makes some predictions about Europe that still holds true to this day, some 2,500 + years later. But it does not stop with modern times.  It continues to the future to let us know what the future holds for this planet in rebellion.

Later, it will  tie in with other prophecies by Daniel and Revelation.  Actually, the Daniel 2 prophecy is the  foundation and touchstone for other more detailed prophecies.

It lays out before the reader the great monarchies that affected God’s people.  It demonstrates how these powers were to be temporary and victims of their own strategy of living by the sword and their own might without regard for the great and only true God who created them.

Finally, it ends with hope in a coming kingdom that will “fill up the whole earth” through out eternity-This is the soon coming of the kingdom of God-The return of Christ!

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“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”

Amos 3:7

There IS a secret, God’s secret.  But it is something He desires to reveal to those who would search or want to know.  The way He chooses to reveal this “secret” is through His servants the prophets.  It is not revealed through those who work for the enemy such as fortune tellers, psychics, soothsayers,  and those with familiar spirits.

“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”

Leviticus 19:31

People, especially followers of Jesus, should seek God rather than the enemies who seek to deceive:

And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their GodShould they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

Isaiah 8:19

We often forget that there is an enemy of God and His creation.  It has been the work of the fallen angel ,formerly called Lucifer, to confuse the mind of man through lies and deception.

Regarding the enemy called Satan or the devil, Jesus said,

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

Matthew 8:44

Jesus claimed the opposite:

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6

Satan is a liar, Jesus tells the truth. The world has managed to twist this around.  The work of the Holy Spirit also directs the seeker into truth:

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

John 16:13

It is the work of the third member of the Godhead to guide mankind into truth and to reveal the “things to come.”

This Spirit is given every person who comes in the world.  It is through the Spirit we are given the desire to know the truth and to wonder about the future.

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

John 1:9

The work of God the Father, Jesus, and The Spirit is to reveal or pull back the curtain of the future to show, to warn, and to save. This work is for every person who comes into the world.  God gives each a measure of His Spirit, so truth can be revealed.  Because  of this work, the liar will be overcome and people will find peace in knowing the future God has planned….if they choose to seek and yield to the pulling or drawing of the Holy Spirit.

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Starting with this understanding, we will lay the ground work for studying Bible Prophecy.  We will let the work of God impress upon our hearts the truth about the future and the character of God through the visions of Daniel and Revelation.

Today, we look at a basic prophecy found in Daniel 2 which will help us understand the framework for more complicated prophecies later in Daniel and repeated in Revelation.  As we shall see, the two books go together and interpret each other.  This is the goal, to let the Bible interpret itself.  My personal desire is that you will be able to know this material and be able to explain it to others who “have an ear.”  This prophecy turned my heart from unbelief and to searching the truth about Jesus.

Let’s get started.  Much to cover, but I will try to make it as simple and quick as possible.

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Have you ever had a dream you could not  remember? Did you feel that the dream was very important, but you just could not remember it?

This is exactly what happen to an ancient king.  His name was King Nebuchadnezzar.  It was in his second year as king that he “had dreams” that troubled him so much that he could not sleep.  His story is found in Daniel 2.

daniel 2 dreaming

He needed help in remembering his dream so he sent for the people who claimed to know about dreams and spiritual matters:

Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”

Daniel 2: 2-3

daniel 2 astrologers

This wise men tried to impress the king so they spoke in his language “Aramaic” and made a simple request,

“Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

Daniel 2:4

Here is the first sign, these guys were fakes.  If they were so knowledgeable of matters of the spirit, etc., then why did they not know ahead of time that the king did not remember the dream?  They were not even good listeners because the king was anxious to “know the dream.”  This meant he couldn’t remember the dream!

They were anxious to give an interpretation and get back to whatever they were doing, but they did not realize that the true God of heaven was about to reveal the true prophets from the false prophets.

These men had something new thrown at them.  It is apparent that the king had never asked them to tell him the dream.  Usually he would tell them a dream and they would interpret.  Interpretation is easy.  You can make it up so it sounds plausible,.  Just ask my son. 🙂 But reading the mind of someone else is something altogether different.  Only God has that ability.

“My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap.  However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

Daniel 2:5-6

They couldn’t believe what they were hearing so they requested again that the king would tell them the dream,

 “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”

Daniel 2:7

But the king was wise to their tricks and he said,

“I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.”

Daniel 2:8-9

daniel 2 angry

The fakers then informed the king that his request was not fair.  But, unwittingly they said a couple of things that were true:

“There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean.”

Verse 10

Truth #1-There IS no man “on earth” who can help the king.  Only the Omnipotent God of heaven has the answers about the future.

“…there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

Verse 11

Truth #2 -The “gods” do not dwell with flesh.  Why?  Because they are not real.  They are not alive.  They are dumb idols, but the Creator Himself would one day  become flesh and dwell among flesh.  In fact, He would come in the flesh:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

None of this mattered to the king. He was extremely angry.  He was furious and made a decree to have all the wise men killed. In the king’s mind, he knew they were all fake, they would attempt to deceive him and therefore they were useless to him.

 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; 

Verse 12-13

In today’s world, there are many who claim to know more than they really do and surprisingly there are many who know the true God who  are given wisdom by Him.  They are confident and humble in their knowledge and wisdom.  Daniel was such a man.

Daniel asked the king for more time, which was obviously granted even though the fakers wanted time too, but I think the king had heard of the God of Daniel and gave them extra time expecting they would deliver.

Daniel went back to his three friends and they had a prayer session and sought God.

“Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

Verse 17-19

These four men, asked for mercies regarding the secret.  The secret was revealed to Daniel.  His first action?  “Bless the God of heaven.”  May we never be in such a haste that we fail to stop to thank our Creator for His “mercies.”  There is a blessing for us when take time to thank God.

Daniel’s prayer of blessing to the God of heaven is below.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.

“I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Verses 20-23

Notice the things Daniel confirms about God:

1.) Wisdom belongs to God

2.) He changes “times” and “seasons”

3.) He sets up kings and removes kings

4.) He gives wisdom to the wise  (Notice who gets the wisdom.  It is the wise! Who gets the knowledge?  Those who have understanding!)

5.) He reveals secret things (This fits with our opening verse from Amos 3:17-He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.)

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Next, Daniel intercedes for the wise men, even the fakers.  He could have just saved himself and his three friends, but the character trait of the person who knows the true God of heaven is to save life, not destroy it, even if the “wise men” are fakers.

Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wisemen of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

Verse  24

Daniel is taken in before king Nebuchadnezzar.  The king asks,

“Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”

Verse 26

Before Daniel answers the king, he demonstrates, with power, the comparison between the fakers and the true God in heaven.

“The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.  But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”

Verse 27

Daniel has a mini-sermon before he starts to reveal to the king what he wants to know.  The mini-sermon is this:  There is a God in heaven (He is real).  He reveals secrets or things that man on earth would not know.  These secrets are given to man through God’s servants the prophets.  It is not only for the prophets benefit, but also it is for the benefit of the ones who are hearing the message from God through His prophets.

I can image the king on the edge of his seat.  He can sense through Daniel’s confidence that what he is about to hear is truth and there is no guile (falsehood or fakery) from the mouth of this prophet of God.  It is one man (Daniel) and his God (Jehovah) in comparison to the many astrologers, magicians, and soothsayers.

Truth does not come through the majority.  It comes from the God of heaven and His prophets. It has always been a testimony to the power of God, that one with God is stronger than the majority.

Daniel begins to explain the dream:

Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be.  But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

Verse 28-30

The dream is for the benefit of  both the prophet (who makes known the interpretation) and the one who is receiving the interpretation so that the thoughts of the heart may be revealed.  Notice the phrase:

“for OUR sakes…”  

What a wise and powerful Creator!  Daniel is telling the king that God’s revealing of the dream and God’s secrets is for both the speaker and the hearer!

As a speaker and writer for God, I am blessed as much or more than the hearer!  Our great God blesses us both if we have ears to hear!

When I read Bible prophecy, it has a strange effect of letting me know where my heart stands with God.  The effect can be fearful or it can be comforting.  All people have the invitation to move from fearful (lost) to comforting (saved from the penalty of sin i.e., eternal death)

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Daniel tells they king the topic of the dream.  It is about

“….what will be in the latter days.”

“The term “latter days” is simple to understand in context of the dream.  Since this dream will be about the “latter days” of the kingdom of Babylon and its kings we can use it in that context.  But, it is also about the end of all kingdoms as well.  So the “latter days” can also refer to the end of time and this earth as we know it.

To the amazement of the King, Daniel begins to recount the dream for him.  As he talks, the king begins to remember and cold chills run throughout his body:

“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.  This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronzeits legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

 “This is the dream.”

Verses 31-36

Graphically, this is the image the king saw:

Daniel 2

The king must have been amazed as he recalled each detail.   Before the king could say anything, Daniel began the interpretation.  We will let Daniel interpret for us.  Then we will look back at history to see if it was true.  Finally, we will look into the future using the foundation of the interpretation.

Here is how Daniel interpreted the king’s dream as God showed it to him:

“Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.

Verses 36-38

So what does the head of Gold represent?  Daniel said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “you are this head of gold.”

Nebuchadnezzar and the kingdom of Babylon is represented in both time and space as the “head of gold.”  Could there be any other interpretation with something so plainly spoken?

The King must have been proud as he thought, even if just for a moment, that he was the top and the most valuable metal in the image.  But, he was soon to be disappointed.  Daniel continues with the interpretation of the great image,

But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.

Verse 39

As great and wonderful as was King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, it would fall to another.  Not just another, but one that was inferior.  Just as silver is of less value and strength as gold, the next kingdom was to be inferior.

Does the Bible tell us who this next kingdom was to be?  Yes!  The story can be found in Daniel 5.  It is an interesting story about Belshazzar (The son of Nebuchadnezzar and current king of Babylon) The king and his subjects were having a feast with debauchery, and disrespect for things God had made holy.  During the drunken sacrilegious feast, a man’s finger appears and writes a message on the wall.

This supernatural act made the  king’s “countenance” change.  Like his father Nebuchadnezzar, he was troubled as to what it meant so he called for the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers.   Remember them?  They are the fakers.   Just as they could not see Nebuchadnezzar’ s dream. They were unable to read the writing and make an interpretation.  Sound familiar?

handwriting on the wall

Fortunately for the king, the queen remembered Daniel.  She told the king,

There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans,and soothsayers. Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

Daniel 5:11-12

Daniel’s interpretation confirms what he had told King Nebuchadnezzar with the image of God falling to an inferior kingdom,

And this is the inscription that was written:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

Daniel 5:26-28

That night the king was slain and Babylon fell to  the dual kingdom of the Medes and Persians led by Cyrus and Darius.

That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.  And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Daniel 5: 30-31

The Medes and the Persians was represented by the arms and shoulders of silver.  (Two arms-two kingdoms)

It is interesting and shows the fore knowledge of God as to how Babylon fell and the way the enemy was able to get into the walled city.

Also, before Cyrus was born, God called him by name as the conqueror of Babylon

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut

Isaiah 45:1

So how was Cyrus and Darius able to get into the walled city of Babylon?

*They dried up the river Euphrates (Sound familiar)! This diverted the river that ran under the walls and through the city.  Along the river within the city was another set of walls with gates. The citizens were protected should someone swim in under the outer walls.  The enemy swimmers would then need to get through a second set of gates.   But on the night of Babylon’s fall, the gates had been left open due to drunken feast!  So the Medes and Persians were able to walk under the walls and up the banks through the leaved gates and into the city!

God is so amazing!  He knows the end from the beginning!

* See pages 265, 266 of Volume 1 of the book The Great Events by Famous Historians in the chapter on “Conquests by Cyrus The Great B.C. 538,” by George Grote. — University Edition, copyrighted 1905, by The National Alumni.
See also The Golden Age, as of June 7, 1922. page 572.

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But, there was to arise yet a third kingdom represented by the belly and thigh of brass.

“And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.”

Verse 39

The deciding point in the fall of the Persians
was
reached on the field of Arbela, B.C. 331, in which the Grecians,  were entirely victorious; and Alexander
became absolute lord of the Persian empire.

More could be said on this third kingdom, but let’s move on.  We will talk more about each kingdom as we study the prophecies that provide more detail.

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The events really pick up when the powerful fourth kingdom comes on the scene,

And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 

Verse 40

History tells us that this fourth power of legs of iron is none other than the “iron monarchy” of Rome.  Rome became the world power after it crushed the third kingdom of Greece.

Rome was in power during the life of Christ on earth and continued on for hundreds of years afterwards.

But the prophecy does not stop there,  there was to be a time when this iron would mix with clay (partly strong and partly weak substances)

It is interesting that Rome eventually was divided into 10 divisions by the invading nomadic tribes.  These divisions became the modern day countries of Europe.  Three of these 10 divisions were eventually annihilated so that there was only 7, but even those events are part of the prophecy were will study later in Daniel and Revelation.  Those divisions of Rome are as follows:

10 Toes or Divisions of Rome

Heruli
Ostrogoths
Vandals
Franks
Visigoths
Burgundians
Lombards
Anglo Saxons
Alamanni

Seuvi

map_europe476 (1)

Daniel continues on and informs the king of something that stands to this day.  These divisions of Rome would attempt to unite, but as iron does not mix with clay, they would never unite:

 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragileAs you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay

Verses 41-43

This 4th kingdom would be divided and would never reunite.  Though out recent history there have been attempts to reunite the old divisions of  Europe, but it has always failed and it always will because the God of Heaven has spoken. Those who have tried were:

 Charlamagne, 8th Century;

Charles V l6th Century;

Louis XIV l5th Century;

Napoleon, l9th Century;

Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler, 20th Century.

All of these men invested enormous
resources and countless lives in their efforts to unite Europe, but each one failed. Even today the leaders
of Europe are trying to unite as one, but God says this will never happen!

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Daniel ends the interpretation of the dream with a dramatic ending!

You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Verse 34, 35

Jesus is the Rock that was cut out without hands.

For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

I Corinthians 10:4

Daniel takes the king and the reader of this chapter to a time when God would set up his kingdom that would never end:

 And in the days of these kings 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.

Verse 44

Daniel 2(1)

When Jesus returns the earth is melted and no trace of anything left on this earth will be found.  Then He will make a new heaven and a new earth.

About 500 years before Jesus came to this earth the first time as a lamb to pay for the sins of a planet in rebellion, we see a prophecy concerning his second coming when he comes to “break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.” It will stand forever!

 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:30

When Jesus returns the earth passes away.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35

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

II Peter 3:10

And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 4: 62

When God destroys the earth, he creates a new heaven and a new earth that will last forever:

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

Isaiah 65:17

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Daniel tells the king,

“The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

Verse 45

After hearing Daniels recalling of the king’s forgotten dream and the  interpretation, there wells up in the heart of this heathen king both fear and joy!

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel

Verse 46

This is what each of us should do as we see that God is in control of the history of planet earth and of our own lives.  He knows the exact number of hairs on your head.  He is all powerful, but most important, He loves each one of us so much as to send His son to pay for the sin we have committed.

His law, that can never be changed, shows we are sinners and deserve to die for eternity, but God makes a substitutionary   sacrifice (atonement) for us so that we might live and enjoy the greatest gift he could have given us:  Life to the uttermost!

The king understood that there is a God in Heaven who reveals secrets

The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”

Verse 47

I hope you have been blessed by this study.  Next we will look at a vision given to Daniel that repeats this dream, but expands it.  He will receive other visions that will demonstrate that God knows the end from the beginning.

Part 7-Second Coming Predictions-The Spirit of AntiChrist

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,

Revelations 13:16

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 14:12

I hope you appreciate our slow walk up to identification of the Antichrist.  It is important to have the ground work laid so that when we arrive, it will all make sense and be supported by scripture.  There is so much confusion about this topic.  But, it does not have to be so if we are using sound Biblical exegesis in our walk.

In previous studies, we were able to determine from scripture that the father of lies (Satan) works  through deception.  He creates delusion so great that more (rather than few) are deceived.  If it were possible, the very elect could be deceived.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mark 13:6

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:24

Why are the elect not deceived?  We discovered that it is because they love the truth, the righteousness of God, and have a personal relationship with Jesus.  This passage expresses it well:

“….they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2: 10-11

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

In these last days, we can expect Satan to have perfected his system of deception.  His work will mimic the work of God even in appearances.

For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:14-16

We cannot trust appearances… those things that appeal to the eye…things that are majestic and grand.  It is only through the simple word of God and a trusting relationship with Him that we can count ourselves as the elect.

Had Satan revealed himself in his real character, he would have been repulsed at once, for Adam and Eve had been warned against this dangerous foe; but he worked in the dark, concealing his purpose, that he might more effectually accomplish his object. Employing as his medium the serpent, then a creature of fascinating appearance, he addressed himself to Eve.

Great Controversy, page. 532

We must compare what we hear and see with what we know about God through our personal experience (testimony), but even more important through his written word (law).

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word,it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 8:20

It is a noble thing to research scripture to see if your preacher or teacher is telling the truth as found in God’s word.  In these last days, it will be critical in discerning and avoiding the way that seems right, but leads to destruction:

These (followers in Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Acts 17:11

The Bereans loved the truth and compared the Tanakh (Old Testament) with the preaching of Paul to make sure he spoke truth.  Shouldn’t we do the same?

Too many Christians rely heavily on preachers and teachers to spoon feed them with theories, ideas, and doctrines.  Most have little knowledge of God’s word and practical experience.  Further we have the power of media, film, grand churches, and masses to help push us down a broad path, rather than seek the narrow path.

Here is a test….Which one of these pictures best represent how Satan will appear to deceive people?

Devil Christ-the-Priest-top-half Cardnial Keith Obrien

We can be certain that Satan will not be obvious.  He will appear as a sheep, but inside is a ravenous wolf…a lion seeking to eat and kill as many as possible.  He is insane and self-deceived.  He uses ministers.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 

2 Corinthians 11: 14-15

If we are looking for a mean-spirited ugly Antichrist that is easily identified, then we are already on a broad path of deception.

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The Real Antichrist

Hollywood and the” Left Behind”  books  have portrayed the Antichrist as a Romanian man named Carpathia leader of the world community  and world government who rises to power after the rapture.  After 3/12 years in power, he is assassinated , but then resurrected by Satan and  and seeks to destroy the followers of Jesus.

But the Bible paints and entirely different picture as we have learned in these series of Second Coming Predictions.

What the Bible has to say about the real Antichrist?

The word Antichrist is found only 4 times in the New Testament (King James Version).  They are all in the books of 1 John (3 times) and 2 John (1 Time).  Let’s read all four:

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

1 John 2:18

John warns us that by looking for one Antichrist, we miss the many that were already come.  Is that true today?  Yes!

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

An antichrist that has already come is a liar and denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Plain enough.  Right?

and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4: 3

So, we can know that the spirit of the Antichris is already in the world.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 1:17

Again, deception is connected to the antichrists that are in the world already.

The disciple John (who would later write and warn us about a power described as a beast in Revelation 13) gives valuable information. but it is the tip of the iceberg:  He states that the followers had been taught about the coming of “The Antichrist,” but there were already many that have gone out in the world. These antichrists work through deception.  They are liars just like their father the devil.  They deny that Jesus is the Messiah, that He came in the flesh and that He will return in the flesh. They deny the relationship between the Father and Jesus.

All of these antichrists can be overcome by  an understanding and acceptance of God’s word as given to holy men who were moved by the work of the Holy Spirit. This includes the books and letters  of the New Testament in addition to the Old Testament.

Paul warns us as well:

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3: 13-15

Remember as we move forward, that the work of the Antichrist is not just one person, but the work of many including Satan himself. It will be deception that can only be unlocked through a comparison of their words with the words of God and a trusting relationship with the Lord.

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Paul compliments the words of John when he talks about how the work of the antichrists causes apostasy.  Many will leave the truth because of the deception of the antichrists. In fact he warns Jesus will not come until after the “falling away.”

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Here we learn more about the nature and personality of the Antichrist.”

There will be a falling away, not just people but many churches.  They will fall away from plain teachings of Jesus and God’s word.  Those that fall away, do so because they are deceived.  They “loved not the truth.”

It has always been the work of Satan to take God’s word away from the people. ..to minimize it….to ridicule those who believe it and live by it.  Because it is here where his hand is revealed and his plan made plain.  His plan is to counterfeit the work of God.  To sit in the temple of God and receiving honor as God himself.  Despite this appearance as an angel of light, he not only is opposing God, but he makes it seem like he IS God or, at the least, represents God.

Paul tells us that the work of the Antichrist was already at work.  Paul refers to him as “that Wicked” who would be revealed to the whole world. He tells us that when Jesus returns this system of deception by Satan and the one who he gives power to deceive will be broken and will be consumed by the brightness of Jesus coming.  But for now, he works in the specific method of deceiving and counterfeiting:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thessalonians 2: 8-11 (KJ)

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So we can understand from scripture that the Antichrist is referred to as “that Wicked.”  But, we shall also see that this work of deception against God is through a power described as the beast.  It will not be just one person, but many who support the work of deception.  It is possible that the ones doing the deceiving think that they are doing the work of God by persecuting those who disagree with their teaching and power.  Remember, the deception is not only towards others, but also the person doing the deception is deceived.

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Timothy 3:13

“the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”

John 16:2

Imagine killing someone and thinking you are doing God’s will.  This is strong delusion.  Remember Paul did this very thing before his conversion.

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To learn more about the work of the antichrists, we must move from the books of John to Revelation and Daniel.  John also wrote Revelation and had more to say about the work of the deception caused by the Antichrist.  But this time, he uses symbols that compare with the book of Daniel.  They both saw the same vision even though they were separated by hundreds of years.

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The Beast of Daniel and Revelation

From comparing scripture with scripture, we will see the hand of Satan at work throughout the ages.  It is he that gives the beast of Revelation his seat and great authority.

Many teachers and preachers read the following verses and make great sermons with plenty of opinion and twisting of scripture, but when we study the passages of scripture that bring us up to this point in earth’s history, we will know exactly who is the beast and therefore the Antichrist:

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Revelation 13: 16-18

We have many clues about the beast here, but unless we understand how we get to this verse, we will lack wisdom from God’s word.

Here are some of the clues:  The beast has a world wide influence regardless of a person’s  position in life or income (small and great, rich  and poor, free and slave)

There will be something (a mark) that will distinguish them from those under the control and power of the beast and those who have not been deceived.  Persecution will come upon those who refuse to go along with the beast.  They will not be able to buy or sell.

If we are wise, we will understand the number of this man.

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If we  want to know the entire truth about the beast, we must go back and compare Daniel with Revelation.  This we will do beginning next week.

Who is the real Antichrist?

Can you think of a world power rich in religious history whose authority on religious matters comes from a single man and has great influence on all both small and great, rich and poor?  A power that looks like the real thing in angelic clothing living in a beautiful tmeple, but denies the words of God by putting the requirement of studying its book rather than the Bible for acceptance?  In fact, this man is worshiped and adored.

Next week, we will begin our journey back to Daniel and Revelation so that we can come back to the present and understand the future…from the word of God.

I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

2 Timothy 1:12

Part 6-Second Coming Predictions-The Basis for the Anti-Christ’s Deception

“and all the world wondered after the beast..” 

Revelation 13:3

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie

2 Thessalonians 2: 10-11

How can the beast of Revelation 13 (aka the Antichrist) convince an entire world to follow?  In the coming studies, the Antichrist will be revealed through God’s word.  Please understand it is not something I discovered.  It has been known for thousands of years.  Great men and women of God proclaimed it long before our generation. But, there is a counterfeit as there is with all of God’s truth.  The enemy uses deception because he is the father of lies and there is no truth in him.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25

So how can we know the truth about the Antichrist?  Only one way. From our Creator through His written and inspired word.

“Thy word is truth.”

John 17:17

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When we begin our study on the Antichrist, we must understand the foundation from which this work of delusion operates.  This delusion is so strong that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”   The elect, are not deceived.  Why?    The answer lies (in part) in our opening passage 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11.

They received the love of the truth.

Over the years since my conversion to Christ from atheism (40 years), I have seen people come to Christ and receive Him.  And, just as Jesus warns in the parable of the seed, there are many who receive the truth with joy, but for various reasons (e.g., cares of this life, riches and  tribulation), they fail to grow roots in the soil of Christ to  produce fruit into salvation See Matthew 13.

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Matthew 13: 20-21

Our passage in 2 Thessalonians 2, says, that because the truth is not loved, they are open to strong delusion and they will believe a lie.

 Last week we studied how the religious people of Christ’s day did not accept Jesus and the only way to salvation, because they were comfortable in their religious experience.  They were self-deceived and felt no need of Jesus nor His words.  Their whole world revolved around tradition and the way things had always been done.  Change was not an option to them. The change was frightful and promised no hope or comfort.

The religious people of the time had the Tanakh (aka Old Testament) which was full of the prophecies about their Messiah Jesus, but Jesus didn’t fulfill the image they had formed for the coming Messiah.  To this day, they continue to look for Him based on tradition and not the Tanakh (scripture). It was because of their traditions, the power of their peers, and false beliefs about scripture that caused them to be in a state of delusion.

This will happen again before the Lord returns, or should I say , it is happening!

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One of the first works of Jesus after His resurrection was to explain to His disciples about Himself as in scripture (Tanakh). It was because of Jesus’ “Bible study” and the reality His resurrection that His followers built a stronger faith in Him.  We are told in scripture that faith comes by hearing God’s word.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:17 NIV

If we desire more faith in Christ, then when need more of the word of God.  Wouldn’t you agree? Revival in our hearts will come when we hear more of the word of God and less of our own word.

When talking with the Jews, Jesus said,

For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

John 5:46-47

Indeed, Jesus gave a “Bible study” to His disciples when he talked with His disciples on the first day of the week after His resurrection.  It was not a New Testament Bible study because this portion of scripture was yet to be written,  Don’t misunderstand, the New Testament is just as much of scripture as the Old Testament because holy men spoke (and wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit through the followers of Jesus.

“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Luke 24:44-45

Peter compared the letters of Paul with scripture. Notice that the untaught and unstable “twisted” the meaning of his writings as they do with all scripture:

and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

2 Peter 3:16

We miss the entire story of Jesus if we say, “Well, that is in the Old Testament. It has been done away with. I don’t have to listen to it.  It is true that there is an old covenant that passed away, but it does not mean that the words of the Law of Moses (First five books of the Bible), the Prophets (Major and Minor prophets, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, etc), and the Psalms (poetic books) have no meaning for us today. To think this way is to not receive the love of the truth and the teaching/encouragement that comes with God’s entire word. It also means missing more about Jesus!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 NIV

When Jesus prayed for His disciples and all believers in John 17, he prayed to the Father these words:

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

John 17:17

At the time Jesus prayed this prayer, the New Testament had not been created. Paul had not been converted.  Jesus was referring to the Tanakh which contains all the books of what we call the Old Testament.  Jesus used the Tanakh to help His disciples understand the scripture which spoke of Him.

The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

Psalm 119: 160

As the writers of the New Testament began to write about Jesus (the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and write letters to believers (writings of Paul, Peter, James, etc) they expounded on the Tanakh and their experience with Jesus.  They encouraged the believers to trust in the entire word of God.

Notice that when Paul wrote an encouraging letter to young Timothy, there was no New Testament.  He is referring primarily to the scripture or Tanakh:

“…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Did you notice that ALL SCRIPTURE makes the man of God complete.  If we ignore any portion of our Bibles, we are in danger of being incomplete.  For sure, we will miss learning more about Jesus.

It is unfortunate that we (Non-Jews) call the books of the Tanakh the “Old” Testament.  It insinuates that it is not only ancient, but irrelevant to those living after the cross.

Soon, I hope to write on the Old Covenant VS the New Covenant.  This is, perhaps, where people become confused and throw out good doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. It is true there are things that are old and things that are new, but some things never pass away.

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

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If the Antichrist is going to be effective in the work of strong delusion so that the whole world follows,the word of God, the word of God must be minimized and ignored.  Tradition, pomp, and display should dazzle the eyes and ears so that God’s word becomes old and out dated.  Public opinion and the professional preachers must reign supreme.  It must be in the hands of religious people who have an agenda of power and hide parts of God’s word that reveal their work of deception.  All this must come together for the enemy to succeed in deceiving the whole world, so that the Antichrist may flourish.  Sadly, it has already happened and continues to this very day.

“And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 15:9

We are instructed to beware of  teachers, leaders, and false prophets both in and out of the church who teach something contradictory to the entire word of God.

The children of Israel were warned to stay away from mediums (where the dead would talk), and fortune tellers.  Why? Because, they placed themselves in a place where they could be deceived:

“And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?”

Isaiah 8:19

It was not the dead that talked, but satanic agencies appearing as a dead person.  God appeals to them to seek Him and not things and places that would open them up to deception.

The next verse gives us a basis to avoid delusion in all situations, including those who speak without using God’s word:

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 8:20

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be where there is darkness and not light to direct me. Rather, I desire the light of God’s word to direct my path.  Don’t you?

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Psalm 119: 105

We can conclude from God’s word that the work of the Antichrist will use strong delusion on those who do not love God’s truth.   The tools of the Antichrist are sights, sounds, and yes even miracles. The choice in the end is to acknowledge one or the other.  God’s truth or the sights, sounds, and false teachings  of the Antichrist.

The work of the Antichrist looks to take away the one thing that can unmask the work of the enemy. It is God’s word and the work of the Holy Spirit who guides people into truth.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth

John 16:13

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In times past, we have seen God’s word burned by the Nazi’s. During the Dark Ages, the reformation began when a single Bible written in a little known language (Latin)  was found by Martin Luther. chained to a monastery wall.

Today, in the 21st Century, there are countless paper Bibles in multiple languages. In the last few years, the Bible has been digitized so that the work of finding verses and understanding it in it’s early language of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic has become very easy.  I use Bible Gateway and Strong’s Lexicon often in writing these studies.

Despite the availability of the Bible, many do no read it or study it.  We are told an interesting prophecy related to the word of God and the end times:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord”

Amos 8:11

This was fulfilled in the Dark Ages, but because we have the Bible so abundantly, we might be tempted to think this prophecy only applies only to those in old times. But, read carefully.  It is a famine of HEARING the words of the Lord.

This appears to make reference that the preachers and teachers of our time using less and less of the word of God, so the people don’t “hear” the words of the Lord.

If you have teachers and pastors who not only teach the word of God, but also handle it correctly, you are blessed. But never forget,  reading and understanding God’s word is not just for those who have a PHD in religion. It is for you.  If you are willing to follow God’s word, he will reveal more and more of His truth.

If anyone decides to follow God’s will, they will know the teachings, whether it is from God or not.  If someone decides they don’t want to do God’s will, the opposite must be true.  They will be confused and, perhaps, on the path to strong delusion.

“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God…”

John 7:17

Who will God teach knowledge? What makes it easier to understand?

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?”

Isaiah 28:9 (first part)

The answer is simple:

“…them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

Isaiah 28:9 (last part)

Is this not a description of little children (infants)?

This is why Jesus said,

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3

The context of this verse is when the disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Verse 1). Jesus put a child in their midst to help them understand the great truth that we must have the faith of a little child.  Jesus went on to say in the next verse:

“Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

Matthew 18:4

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The work of the Antichrist was at work during the time of the disciples as well as at the time we are now living.  This work was a perversion of God’s word (lawlessness) and even leading people away to a different teaching:

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”

2 Thessalonians 2:7

This verse takes us back to our opening verse concerning strong delusion.  Let’s read again:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie

2 Thessalonians 2: 10-11

“…though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Galatians 1:8

There is another gospel preached in these last days from a messenger who appears as an Angel of Light. The deceptive work of the Antichrist will first be upon those who choose sights, sounds, public opinion and the words of professional preacher doctrines that they personally prefer instead of God’s word.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

2 Timothy 4:3

Have you noticed that the council and warnings from God’s word is not to unbelievers, but to believers who have become like the Scribes and Pharisees of old….Religions and comfortable in their traditions.

If we feel we are in need of nothing and we can never learn any more truth. If we feel our denomination has all the truth, we are setting ourselves up for strong delusion.  It is God’s word that has all the truth!

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But, there is another work of the Anti-Christ that is perhaps even more important to understand  The objective of the Anti-Christ is to come between you and Christ.  It is not only what you know, but who you know. It is less about information and more about revelation and obedience to his will.  If salvation was dependent only on knowing the scripture (head knowledge), then only those with a PHD in religion would be saved.

Joyce Meyer said something that is very relevant here,

“You see, there is a difference between information and revelation. No matter how much information you get, if it never turns into revelation it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good.”

That revelation must be about Jesus and His will. It is when we have a revelation about God and Jesus Christ that we make our election sure and we will never fall:

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” 

2 Peter 1:10

What are “these things” that we should do to make sure we never stumble? The answer is found in it’s context which are the words preceding Verse 10:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

2 Peter 1:5-9

Is this not a pattern of growth?  But, notice the part I underlined.  It is telling us that we will be “fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We actually begin to know more about Jesus by doing those things described through the power Jesus gives us.

This idea is expressed in the Old Testament when Jeremiah disclosed that Joaish (The last good king of Judah) knew Him because of what he did for others:

He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?
    declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 22:15-17 (NIV)

Jesus said the same thing in different words:

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent….We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

John 17:3, 1 John 2:3-6 (NIV)

Eternal life is dependent on who you know (Jesus).  But to know him must come through both God’s word and a revelation about Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. This will give you a heart to help others.  If we are not willing to follow, the truth is not in us and we are deceitful to others and of little value in the work of God’s kindgdom.

We may be like the Anti-Christ and have,

 “…. a form of godliness but deny its power”

2 Timothy 3:5

That power comes from God’s word and following it so that it affects your neighbor for his/her good.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

2 Corinthians 13:5

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I hope you have seen through this study the need to base your faith on the word of God and not on sights, sounds, large crowds, and the influence of the world.

Also, knowing Jesus through a practical experience with Him day by day.

These two things will provide the basis for avoiding the strong delusion that is upon the earth now.  Next time, we will move further into our study of the Antichrist and the plans to take away the one thing that will unmask the work of Satan behind the scenes….the word of God.

Blessings to you and your family until next time….Eddie

 

Part 5 Second Coming Predictions-Strong Delusion

“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.’ For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

Matthew 24:4-5

Many who read this passage think on simple terms and convince themselves they could never be deceived by someone who said they were Jesus. But, there are many around the world claiming to be Christ or a Prophet that have built a cult of followers around them.

A quick look at Wikipedia shows many in the world claiming “I am the Christ.”

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If you have 25 minutes to watch a documentary on a person claiming to be Christ, click here.  I must warn you that this can be disturbing if you are a follower of the only name under heaven whereby we are saved.  Notice, as you watch (if you do), how the beauty of the true Creator is used to seduce the followers into a lie and away from the true God.  The ramblings of the false Christ is seductive to people who love not the truth as found in God’s word.

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Before you can understand the false, you must know the true.  Herein lies the problem, many are confused by minimizing or ignoring the words of God Himself-The Holy Scripture.

Also, many are looking for answers and expect them to come from a leader other than the proven word of scripture.

Often delusion is self-made. The scripture warns us ahead of time:

“Let no one deceive himself….”

1 Corinthians 3:18

“Do not be deceived….”

1 Corinthians 6:9

For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Romans  16:18

The subject of delusion is often avoided by many because:

1.) It is not politically correct to think that other people are being deceived.  It is asked by those who don’t know God’s word, “Who can judge something like that?”

2.) It forces the fact that there is an enemy who works hard to deceive people.

3.) There are actually some people deceived, even in the Christian churches.

4.) No one thinks they are deceived or can be deceived.

But let’s start with this question:  How can anyone know they are deceived or not?

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

Matthew 7:15

Deception does not come in a red suit and a pitch fork.  It comes looking nice and easy on the eyes. This is why delusion can be so powerful. It mimics truth and appeals to the sense of sight and sound.

Satan has used deception since he appeared as a serpent to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. His desire is to destroy as many as possible.  He is compared to a hungry lion:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because  your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

1 Peter 5:8 

 He is called  the father of lies:

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father”

John 8:44

“Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! So it is no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. In the end they will get exactly what their actions deserve.”

2 Corinthians 11: 14-15

With our ancient enemy seeking to personally deceive us, the most pressing question is, “How can I keep myself from delusion?” It is all about knowing the true Jesus as described in  the entire Bible

What God has said2

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Delusion-For Religious People Only

Jesus reserved harsh words and most urgent warnings for religious people.  Those who were not religious, or were considered “sinners” by the religious community, received a softer exchange of words, encouragement, and personal interaction.  The religious people of Jesus’ day asked the disciples,

“How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16 

These words came from the scribes and Pharisees (Religious leaders and scholars)

Jesus heard them and said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

His biggest enemies were the Bible scholars and religious people of the day.  His friends were not particularly gifted Bible students, nor were they likely “church” members.

Goal for church

His true followers were average people, perhaps less educated, at least in the religious schools. They were not content with their lives and felt a need of the presence of the Lord. They were often meek and unassuming.  Jesus said it was these who would inherit the earth:

“Blessed are the meek,

For they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5

Their spiritual neediness made them more open to the words of Jesus and salvation, but also open to deceivers in sheep’s clothing.  If Jesus is not introduced properly to a spiritual needy person, they are subject to being fed by the deceiver.

On the other hand, those who feel that no need of a physician and are comfortable in their “religious” experience are, perhaps, in danger of being self-deceived.  It seems that there are much more warnings for the “comfortable” than for the needy.

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—Revelation 3:17

Notice being wealthy is not about physical wealth, but spiritual wealth as demonstrated in its context. Perhaps when Jesus was talking more about perceived spiritual wealth than actual riches when He said,

 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25

True, these words of Jesus came after speaking to the rich young ruler when “he went away sorrowful because he had great riches” Mark 10:25. But notice that he felt rich spiritually because he said,

“Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Mark 10:20

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To illustrate the types of  people Jesus sought and who became his friends and followers, I have made a short list:

  1. A woman with multiple marriages and living with someone(John 4)
  2. A group of men and women who were not of the same “faith” but were moved by the testimony of the woman with multiple marriages (John 4)
  3. Someone with mental problems that had 7 demons (Luke 8:2)
  4. Someone caught in adultery (John 8)
  5. A hated tax collector (Matthew 9:9)
  6. Simple Fishermen with violent tempers so great, Jesus gave them the name “Sons of Thunder.” (Mark 3:17). They wanted to kill the Samaritans because they did not accept Jesus (Luke 9:54)
  7. Someone with a socially unacceptable disease (Matthew 8:1)
  8. A hated soldier of an occupying country (Mathew 8:5)
  9. Two people demon possessed, but would be considered mentally sick in today’s society. (Matthew 8:28)
  10. Someone with a blood disease of 12 years (Mark 5:25)
  11. Someone who was blind (Mark 8:23)
  12. Someone who could not speak (Mark 9:17)
  13. A doubting follower in jail for political reasons and for preaching Christ (Matthew 11: 1-6

“I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.” Micah 4:7

Again, the words of Jesus brings warning:

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

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In contrast there were controlling religious leaders of Jesus’ day who were part of the big church, who constantly followed Jesus, but for the wrong reasons.  They show up on the scene early, just before Jesus is baptized and makes his ministry public.  They came to John to be baptized.  John’s response seemed judgmental and harsh:

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” Matthew 3:7-9

The Pharisees and Sadducees were proud and content with their lives.  Their character was marked by a “holier-than-thou” attitude who knew the truth and the Tanakh (The Old Testament)…at least that is what they thought.  But even more, they believed their lineage made them superior to everyone else.  This pride sought to destroy Jesus and anybody else who went against their beliefs:

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.” John 8: 39-41

As Paul and James would later concur, it is the fruit of works that determine the identity of the tree. The Scribes and Pharisees responded to Jesus in a very accusatory way making reference to the events surrounding His birth.  In effect, they called him a bastard (Illegitimate child born to unmarried parents).

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” John 8: 41, last part

Again, their smug holier-than-thou attitude shines through.  But Jesus says something that is powerful underneath the stern language. He starts with the idea that if they loved the God of Abraham they would love Him if they understood His words, but they are incapable of doing so.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word” John 8:42

Their preconceived ideas about God and a misunderstanding of scripture led them to “not (being) able to listen to the words of Jesus.”

Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God…You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

Matthew 22:29, John 5:39

Their knowledge of scripture and how to interpret it was all wrong, because they missed seeing Jesus in it! They were self-deceived by twisting things to fit how they felt rather than letting God’s word interpret itself.

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;  knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of Godspoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1: 19-21

These words tell us that the prophetic word is confirmed.  How is it confirmed?  Is by its fulfillment.  Because of this, we should listen and follow it until the light rises up in our hearts.  The prophecy cannot be interpreted by one person, it is done so by the men moved by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture.  As we compare scripture with scripture, we will see the light and understand.  How many people are willing to do this?

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Continuing with the argument by the religious leaders, Jesus says a truth that reveals that their religion is a sham and they are something other than what they appear to the people:

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resourcesfor he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44

What a powerful scene to behold!  Here Jesus is telling the religious leaders and religious people who followed them that their father was the devil!  It is the truth they are missing.  They have their own resources for “truth.”

Jesus is telling the truth, but they don’t want to hear it!

But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” John 8:45-47

It is sobering to know that, even the scholars and religious people in the church who refuse to hear and follow the word of God are, simply not of God!  Is this possible?

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord,Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

Luke 6:46

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matthew 7:21-23

How important it is to know Jesus, not just with lip service, but with obedience to the will of the Father in heaven.  Many of the church leaders today, take the extreme opposite view of the Scribes and the Pharisees who taught a strict legalistic form of religion. The teachers of today teach a cheap grace whereby obedience is minimized, eliminated or spiritualized away. But how can you be a follower of Jesus and refuse to obey His word?

Notice that it is the ones who know Jesus that obey the law of God who are His friends.  Those who have a dramatic experience of doing many wonders in His name are not safe.  It is the ones who do the will of the Father in heaven.  Jesus’ will and the will of the Father are not against each other.

For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:50

We must beware of those who would minimize or eliminate obedience to the will of God as found in scripture.

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The religious leaders  have called Jesus a bastard and now they say He is demon-possessed.  Why would they say that?

“Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” John 8:48

Jesus defended himself and answered,

 “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.” And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

John 8:49-51

By dishonoring Jesus, they are dishonoring God the Father! Keeping the word of God results in never seeing death.  Conversely to not obey the word results in eternal death.

But notice how they react:

“Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

John 8:52-53

Follow their reasoning.  Jesus says if they keep His word they will never see death. But, they reason that since Abraham is dead and the prophets are dead, Jesus is claiming to be greater than Abraham! Just what are you saying Jesus?  Then Jesus delivers the bombshell, he calls them a liar.  Abraham saw the coming of Jesus and was glad. But, what really threw them over the edge was when he claims the title Moses gave to the children of Israel as the One who was their God i.e., “I AM.”

“If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 8:54-58

Those who practiced “lawlessness” like the religious leaders of the day had missed Jesus in their studies and were self-deceived because they wanted scripture to say something that it did not.  They wanted a Christ that was like them and would free them from the bondage of their enemies.

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So, as we study the topic of delusion, we must be willing to do the will of God or we will be subject to strong delusion.

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

John 7:17

If we are not doing the will of God as shown clearly in the scripture, our worship is useless because we are following the philosophy of man:

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:7

Let us not become so religious that we miss Jesus.  It is all about Him.  If we come to into a relationship and know Him, we will be assured of eternal life

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

1 John 2:3

If we say that we know Him and disobey Him or lead a life of lawlessness, we deceive ourselves:

He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:4

Again, strong words from Jesus to religious people who claim to know Him.

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There are millions today that are deceived because they love not the truth.

As we will see next time, the biggest deception of all time is upon us today.  It is in our newspapers and on our news.  It is cleaver, powerful, and appears to be from God.  We will consider this portion of scripture and how it relates to religion.  Please notice carefully the things that set up “strong delusion.”

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

2 Thessalonians 2: 8-12

We will study the Anti-Christ.

Friend, there is hope for you today, if you simply ask the Lord to take charge of your life and direct your path through His word.  Begin to read and follow the words of our Creator.  Let it become your spiritual food and drink.  Let  it speak to you and you will find Jesus in its pages from Genesis to Revelation.

Jesus is real.  It is not about becoming religious.  It is about knowing Jesus and following Him.  Won’t you do that today?  Your life will be fuller and you will find peace with Jesus in mind and thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3-Second Coming Predictions (7 Years of Tribulation?)

“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.”

Daniel 12: 1

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Matthew 24:21

No doubt, there is predicted a “time of trouble” by Daniel and Jesus in these two verses, but how long is it?  Is it 7 years as surmised by Hal Lindsey and his followers?  What passages of scripture does he use to support this length of time?

There is no verse in the Bible that has the phrase “7 years of tribulation”, or “trouble.”,  The length of the time of trouble in the verses above is not specific.  It is just a “time of trouble.” The attempt to make it 7 years  comes from a fanciful interpretation of  Daniel 9: 24-27  prophecy.  Despite this, the Daniel 9 prophecy is powerful when interpreted in its setting.  It has helped  many believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Nevertheless, Hal Lindsey and followers predict 7 years of tribulation before Jesus returns based on a part of this prophecy.  He states that since the church is “raptured” and the “saved” are spared from any uncomfortable situations i.e., time of trouble, Anti-Christ, etc.  But as we saw in the Bible in the previous post, there is no room for a 2nd Coming part (a) and part (b) (Invisible/Literal). Jesus will come back just one time.

  Let’s read the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 and compare it with actual history and Biblically documented historical dates to see if there is a 7-year tribulation hidden somewhere in it.  In the process, we will discover the power of this prophecy written almost 500 years before Jesus!

Please follow closely.  When we are finished, I recommend you verify the dates at your local library or other resources.  Beware of the confusion of the internet.  Also, I have included a chart at the end in the “Appendix” to make these dates easier to see and follow.  There are also other helpful references.

Ready? Here we go:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy 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.

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 (7), and threescore (60) and two weeks (2): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

 And after threescore (60) and two weeks (2) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (1): 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 9: 24-27

If you count up the number is parenthesis, you will have the 70 years mentioned at the start.  There is a reason why they are split up that way.  I will not go into those historical reasons in this writing.

The setting for these verses is important in understanding the prophecy.  Daniel and his people (The Jews) had been taken captive by Babylon and the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and lay desolate as prophesied by Jeremiah.  It was predicted by Jeremiah that they would be in captivity for 70 years!

“In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”

Daniel 9:2

As the 70 years drew near to the end, Daniel began to pray and confess his sins and the sins of the people (Verses 4-20). Then Gabriel (an angel) came and informed Daniel that he had come to

“give thee skill and understanding.” 

Daniel 9:22

Then Gabriel gives the vision as stated in Verses 24:27 above.  This is the skill and understanding Daniel needed other than simply knowing the Jews would soon be freed after 70 years of captivity.

From Daniel 9: 24-27 above, we observe the following:

70 weeks was given to Daniels people (Israelites) and the city of Jerusalem to:

  1. Finish the transgression
  2. Make an end of sins
  3. Make reconciliation for iniquity
  4. Bring in everlasting righteousness
  5. Seal up the vision and prophecy
  6. Anoint the most Holy
So God was giving the Jewish people 70 weeks or 490 days to do all those  things; ending with anointing the most Holy.  We shall see that the anointing of the most Holy is not in regards to the apartment in the sanctuary necessarily, but the Holy One of God-Jesus
The  70 weeks given to the Jews are are calculated in the verses in sections:
three score (60) and
two weeks (2)
7 weeks (7) and
1 week (1)
Quick addition shows this is 70 weeks or 490 days (7 X 70).  But in Bible prophecy the day = year principle should be used to unlock the timelines for history.  The verses that supports this principal can be found in the passages below:
 “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.”
Numbers 14:34
  “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
Ezekiel 4:6
So God was giving the Jewish people 490 years for their assignment.  During this time, he sent prophets and others to inspire and help keep them close to him.  But as one reads their story, it is quickly seen that they often went after other gods and forsook the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob…the one and only true Creator God!
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city…”
Daniel 9: 24
If we can determine where the 490 years begins (with certainty) we can understand the other parts of the prophecy.
The time lines starts here:
“….from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”
Daniel 9: 25
This command to restore and build Jerusalem can be found in Ezra Chapter 7 when Artaxerxes gave the commandment in 457 BC (See the **notes at the end).
So, now that we have a starting date, let’s see where it takes us:  The first stop is the coming of the Messiah the Prince
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince….
Daniel 9: 25
The Messiah the Prince can refer only to Jesus himself.  He is both the Messiah and a Prince
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
John 1:41
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
John 1:45
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6
So we know that from the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Jesus would be a certain length of time.  How long?
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 (7), and threescore (60) and two weeks (2): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
From 457 to Jesus is 69 weeks or 483 days or 483 prophetical years.  Lets do some math:
Starting at 457 BC and moving through history 483 years brings us to the fall of 27 AD
This is the date Jesus was baptized by John (anointed) and he began his ministry as the prophecy predicted. Here is an important verse in connection with Jesus’ baptism:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Matthew  3:16
A dove  represents anointing.
Another interesting passage that makes sense in the light of Jesus beginning his ministry exactly on time according to Daniel’s prophecy some 500 years before Jesus is this one:
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…”
Galatians 4:4
The time was “full.” In other words, Jesus came to this earth and began his ministry right on time.  It may be possible that this quote is in reference to this particular prophecy.  Whatever the case, we know that God knows the future  and will not do anything unless he reveals it by his prophets:
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
Amos 3:7
69 weeks or 483 years of the 70 weeks or 490 years has been explained.  Isn’t it comforting to know that God, through the prophet Daniel let the world know when Jesus would come on the scene?
 Now let’s look at the last week or 7 years.  This is where Hal Lindsey and his followers use the 7 years as a period of tribulation.  They disconnect it from this time line and attempt to run it down to the end of time after Jesus “raptures the church.”  But we are going to  let the verses speak for themselves.  We will keep the last week on the timeline as intended.  If we do, we learn the most interesting part of this prophecy.
Daniel tells us after Jesus began his ministry that Jesus would be cut off:
“Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:….”
Daniel 9: 26
But before He is cutoff he would do the following:
“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,
Daniel 9:27″
Jesus was to “confirm the covenant with many for 1 week or 7 days which is 7 years in prophecy. But He is “cut off” in the middle of the week or 3 1/2 days or 3 1/2 years
Jesus ministry was exactly that long (3 1/2 years) before He was “cut off” or crucified on a Roman cross in 31 AD.  He ministered from 27 AD to 31 AD.
As Daniel 9:27 stated, the sacrifices and oblations also ended at the time of Jesus’ death.  The law of ceremonies had served their purpose of teaching the Jewish nation about the price of sin, the sacrifice for it, and the plan of salvation.  Those ceremonial laws were the School Master to bring people to Jesus and help them understand the lesson of sin, forgiveness, and grace.  The School Master died forever the day Jesus died on the cross as the true Lamb of God.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:24, 25

All the festivals, drink and meat offerings and special Sabbath days (Not the weekly Sabbath) were shadows pointing to  the body of Jesus.   All those had served their purpose and were fulfilled in Christ:

“Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Colossians 2:17

On the other side of the cross, the people looked forward in faith to Jesus (the Messiah) and what He would do for them.  All of us on this side of the cross look back in faith at what Jesus has done for us.

 Something extraordinary occurred at the crucifixion of Christ to demonstrate the truthfulness of the two verses above:

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Matthew 27: 50, 51
Thus ended the rounds of ceremonies and the laws put in place by Moses to teach about Jesus.  Please note:  These laws did not include the 10 commandments as some would assert.  A study for another time.
Jesus told His disciples this:
 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 15: 24
Jesus was “confirming the covenant” with the children of Israel during His ministry.  With them he spent most of His time.  His plea of the coming Kingdom of God was a message primarily to the Jews.
He also told His disciples to do the same:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 10: 5, 6

This the disciples did for 3 1/2 more years after Jesus was “cut off” or crucified in 31 AD.

This takes us 3  1/2 years forward to the end of the 70 weeks or 490 years.

In the year 34 AD some interesting things happen to mark the end of the 490 years “determined” or given unto the Jewish nation:

In this year Stephen was martyred and Paul was converted to be the teacher to the Gentiles

“I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” 

2 Timothy 1:11

A very interested passage of scripture also marks the end of 70 weeks given to the Jews to do all those things of the covenant listed in Daniel 9.  It is a point where the burden of carrying the gospel to the entire world is taken off the shoulders of the Jews and given to the Gentiles. It is the point where God determines who is a real Jew or seed of Abraham.

Paul and Barnabas were preaching to a large group, but were interrupted by the Jews because of the large following of the two disciples.  Those religious leaders who were interrupting contradicted Paul and Barnabas  and actually blasphemed God!  But it is what Paul and Barnabas say that marks the transition from Jew to Gentile or Spiritual Jew:

 “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:  45, 46

The appointed people of God had failed to keep the covenant (agreement) and God turned to the Gentiles and made them heir to the promises of God:

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:29

No longer was there a distinction between literal Jew and the God’s chosen people simply identified as belonging to Christ:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 2:28, 29

Thus the 70 week prophecy came to an end! There is no room or context in the prophecy for 7 years of tribulation or the Anti Christ. It is simply not there.  To try to force it takes away from a beautiful and important part of the ministry of Christ.

While Hal Lindsey has everyone looking at Jerusalem for the rebuilding of the temple to mark the soon return of Jesus, the Anti Christ is at work elsewhere in the world.  this we will see in future studies.  This is so deceptive that almost the whole world is taken in.  What a great diversion by the enemy of mankind!

In conclusion, the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9 is mishandled to try and support 7 years of tribulation at the end of time and the work of the Anti Christ.  If the prophecy is kept in its context, it becomes a prophecy to support Jesus as the Messiah, his crucifixion, the spread of the gospel, and God’s long suffering with the lost sheep of the house of Israel!

Below is a summary chart of the dates we have discussed above:

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APPENDIX

Below is information if you want more detail otherwise I hope this prophecy helped you see how God is in control.

*Notes about the dates described above:

Ezra has three decrees with different dates that could be used.  Nehemiah has a date also.  But the decision as to which one to use, you must keep in mind the key words of the prophecy: “the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.”

The four decrees are :
The decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4)
The decree of Darius I (Ezra 6:1-12)
The decree of Artaxerxes I (Longimanuus) (Ezra 7: 12-26)
The decree of Artaxerxes (Nehemiah Chapters 1 and 2)
Let’s eliminate some of the dates  based on the guiding verse of Daniel 9:25
Ezra 1-gave instruction only for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Said nothing about the whole city.  We can eliminate this date.
Ezra 6-simply the endorsement by Darius of the decree of Cyrus.  Only mentions the building of the “house of God.” We can eliminate this date.
Ezra 7 makes provision for complete restoration of the Jewish state, including the right to appoint magistrates and judges, hold trials, and pass and execute sentence upon violators of the own national laws. This is the date that fits the idea of “restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem.” 
Nehemiah 2-Wording has not been preserved, but was simply a reinstatement of Artaxerxes original authorization to Ezra recorded in Ezra chapter 7.
Determination of the date of the decree: It was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes’ reign (Ezra 7:7,8)
Biblical evidence for the 457 BC start date:
The dates for Artaxerxes reign are well documented in the ancient sources: Greek historians, Ptolemy’s Canon
The Babylonian business tablets
Elephantine papyri from Egypt
From the above documents, we know that Xerxes was killed in late December of 465 B.C. and the reign of Artaxerxes began at the time.

Artaxerxes Reign

Fall to Fall

First year 464/463 B.C.
Second year 463/462 B.C.
Third year 462/461 B.C.
Fourth year 461/460 B.C.
Fifth year 460/459 B.C.
Sixth year 459/458 B.C.
Seventh year 458/457 B.C.

 

Therefore, the seventh year of Artaxerxes, according to Jewish reckoning, extended from the fall of 458 to the fall of 457 B. C.

Note: the references in this prophecy to destruction of the city and temple and desolations:

“….the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined… for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”

Daniel 9:27

This is not reference to a small historical character called Antiochus or a future Anti-Christ, but to the total destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD as predicted by Jesus himself when he told the disciples.  There has never been a temple since then and never will be!

“Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Matthew 24:2 

“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,.  Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not e in the winter or on the Sabbath.   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 should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Matthew 24: 15-22

The total destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman soldiers was horrible.  Many who tried to escape were crucified outside the city.  At one time, the number of crosses outside the city almost made it look like a forest of trees.  Those who heeded the advice of Jesus escaped the city and remained alive.