[ 961 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] The Son Given Dominion and a Kingdom |a
[ 962 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] The Son Given Dominion and a Kingdom |b
[ 963 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] The Son Given Dominion and a Kingdom |c
[ 964 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] The Son Given Dominion and a Kingdom |d
[ 965 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] The Four Great Empires Interpreted |a
[ 966 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] The Four Great Empires Interpreted |b
[ 967 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] The Four Great Empires Interpreted |c
[ 968 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] The Four Great Empires Interpreted |d
[ 969 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Daniel's Prayer and Prophecy |a
[ 970 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Daniel's Prayer and Prophecy |b
[ 971 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Daniel's Prayer and Prophecy |c
[ 972 ] Les Feldick [ Book 81 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Daniel's Prayer and Prophecy |d
THE SON GIVEN DOMINION AND A KINGDOM
Okay, good to see everybody in this afternoon. We realize many of you are here for the first time. Some are from out of the state, more than I can recognize individually. But we’re glad you’re here, and we trust the Lord will bless your time with us.
For those of you out in television, again we want to invite you to keep doing what you’re doing. Take your notes and study and learn to search the Scriptures on your own. Again, we always want to thank everyone for your prayers, your financial help, and most of all for your complimentary and encouraging letters. My, it helps doesn’t it, Mom, when we can read how the Word is blessing more and more hearts.
All right, now the first thing I’m going to have to explain, especially to my audience that has been with me all these years with that old music stand. I had a call and a fellow up in Minnesota wanted to know if he could make a pulpit for me, or a podium I guess he called it. I said, “No, not really. Because all of our mail says to never change a thing!” And that’s going to include my old music stand, even though it was getting pretty dilapidated and wasn’t mine. It belongs to the studio here.
But then he sent me a picture of it with a nice note, and he said if you’ll take it, I’ll deliver it. Well, what are you going to do? So, anyway, he brought it clear down from northern Minnesota and left it here at the studio for us. So we’re going to use it. But, if I get a lot of flack from my TV audience that they want the music stand back, then I’m going to have to give the podium to the station or someone who can use it.
Now, you know that’s the way our program has been set. I try to be communicable with my audience and tell you what takes place in the ministry. So this is the reason you see me behind a different podium.
Okay, we’re going to pick right up where we left off in our last program, which was a month ago now in our taping sessions—Daniel chapter 7 verse 9. Now, as I reviewed the programs, I know I did a lot of just reading verses in the first part of Daniel without much comment, because there was just no other way to do it. So I kind of apologize to my audience for that. But from here on, now, we’re going to be able to do a lot of what we normally do, comparing Scripture with Scripture. But with some of those chapters we covered in the last taping, we just couldn’t do that.
So here in Daniel chapter 7 we’re going to drop in at verse 9. And remember, in the first 8 verses of this chapter Daniel had a dream, a vision, in which he saw the progression of the same Gentile empires that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. Where Nebuchadnezzar saw metals: gold, silver, brass, iron, and so forth; Daniel sees them pictured as beasts of prey. And remember, back there in the first part of the chapter, the first, which was Babylon, was picked as a lion. Then he comes up with the bear and then the leopard and then the Roman Empire was something beyond description. All right, so that was Daniel’s approach to these coming world empires.
Now again, let me emphasize, this is exactly why the scoffers have ridiculed Daniel as being a forgery. Because how could Daniel foretell these coming empires so explicitly and so correctly unless it had been written after the fact? Well, you see, the scoffer knows nothing of Holy Spirit inspiration. God knows the end from the beginning. And even as we are today 2,000 years removed from the time of Christ, yet we are exactly where Scripture says we would be.
So as we look back at our own past election, even from the believers’ point of view, we have to recognize that God puts these people in office. And even though we try to do what we have to do, yet we have to recognize that God is in Sovereign control. He knows the end from the beginning. So He could very readily show Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar the progress of these Gentile empires.
All right, after he finishes that dream of these coming world empires as we see them coming on the scene today, in that same dream, now, we pick up in verse 9.
“I beheld (Or, he was a viewer of all these things in his vision.) until the thrones were cast down, (In other words, all these Gentile empires have come and gone, and they have now gone into the dustbin of eternal history.) and the Ancient of days did sit, (which is a reference to God the Father) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne (See, now this speaks of the throne in Heaven, where we normally speak of God as being seated on the throne—God the Father. God the Son is not on the throne in Heaven. God the Father is. All right, so the Father’s–) throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”
Now I’ve said it before. I get a little disturbed when people write books and try to explain Heaven. Because whenever they use Scripture to describe Heaven, they’re always using the description of the Kingdom, the 1,000 year reign. Listen! That is not Heaven. That’s merely the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ on earth. And it takes a stretch to go into the eternal Heaven of the Heavens, because Scripture gives us no clue. All we know is it’s going to be glorious. But we do have a little bit of a picture of the throne room itself, which is certainly not all of Heaven. To get a little glimpse of that, turn back with me to Ezekiel.
And the reason I’m doing that is because of the word “wheels” in the verse I just read. “His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” All right, now to pick that up, come back with me, like I said, to Ezekiel chapter 1. That’s where we have the description of these wheels. Got it? Ezekiel chapter 1 and, oh, let’s see, let’s come down to verse 4.
“And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures….” All right, now we have the description of these angelic beings and likenesses and so forth. But come all the way down to verse 16, and you find the word that brought me back here.
“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: (That’s a gemstone.) and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.”
Now your imagination can picture that as well as mine. I had someone try to paint something like that one time and they sent it to me. But it’s just something that is beyond us. And the only reason I’m showing this, is because the word is used in Daniel and again in Ezekiel.
All right, we also have a picture of it to a degree back in Revelation. So if you’ll come back to Revelation with me for a moment, we get that same kind of a connotation of the fiery flames and so forth that are pictured in the heavenly part, the throne room in the Book of Revelation. And, oh, let me see, where do I have to go? I had one picked out. But come with me first to chapter 4. Revelation chapter 4 and drop in at verse 2 for sake of time.
“And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (The throne upon which God the Father is positioned.) 3. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. (Now see, we can’t imagine this. This is beyond human comprehension.) 4. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment: and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” All right, now jump up to verse 6, and, remember, we’re comparing this with Ezekiel and Daniel.
“And before the throne (That is this throne in the Heaven of the Heavens. Not the throne that Christ will sit on in Jerusalem. This is in the heavenlies.) And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four creatures (living beings) full of eyes before and behind.”
All right, I think that’s far enough for now in the Book of Revelation. So come back with me again to Daniel chapter 7. So always remember, that when it comes to describing the Heaven to which we are going, we can only go just so far. We just cannot comprehend the glory and the beauty of what we’re going to call our abode. Now I had one writer speculate from some little pieces of Scripture that there would be mountains and rivers and so forth. Well, maybe, maybe not. But all I know is it’s going to be so glorious that even the Apostle Paul was not permitted to describe it. That’s why the Lord put that pressure on him with the—what did He call it, “the thorn in the flesh,” in order to remind him to never share what he saw up in Glory.
Now if Paul wasn’t permitted to show it, who in the world has got the brass today to say that they’ve got the right? That’s the only reason that I can put on it—that it is so far beyond our human understanding that God knows that there is no use in trying to describe it. And that’s where we’ll leave it. It’s going to be glorious. It’s going to be fantastic beyond comprehension.
All right, now back to Daniel chapter 7 then, after the reference of the wheels as burning fire in verse 9, now verse 10.
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: (in other words, from the throne room) thousand thousands ministered unto him,…” Now you’re getting used to the word trillions, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with thousands. I’ve got to bring these things in once in a while, because I like to see people smile. You know, back when I was young, there was a famous senator from the state of Illinois, who I think at the time was probably a chairman of the finance committee, by the name of Everett Derkson. Remember him? Good man!
Everett Derkson was a good man. And I’ll never forget reading that one time as the committee was discussing the budget—you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Everett Derkson says, “Now wait a minute, fellows. You’re talking millions and millions, then it won’t be long and it will be billions.” Well, poor ‘ol Everett wouldn’t have been able to take if he were to hear it today. Trillions. You know how much a trillion is? There’s no way of knowing, because I think I read a while back that there are less than a trillion seconds between now and the time of Christ. I mean, it’s just beyond us.
So anyway, here we’ve got millions—a thousand thousands is a million. All right, not even a trillion – a million. Verse 10:
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands (millions) ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand (That’s a hundred thousand in my understanding. Or is that a million? Anyway–) they stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Now, of course, that leaps up to the Great White Throne. Verse 11:
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: (Now remember, we talked of the little horn up there in verse 8 in our last program.) I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”
Now remember who the beast is in Scripture? It’s the anti-Christ. All right, now keep your hand in Daniel. We’re going to go back to Revelation and see exactly how perfectly Daniel fits with the Book of Revelation.
All right, when we get to the end of the Tribulation, the anti-Christ has been holding forth for the previous seven years, and the False Prophet, the religious leader. And as I mentioned in our last taping, if you’re aware at all of what’s taking place in Christendom, it is that constant push of meeting after meeting after meeting to bring all the religions of the world under one head.
And that, of course, in the Tribulation will be the False Prophet. All right, so the False Prophet and the anti-Christ are men born of women, flesh and blood, but they have been satanically empowered. All right, now here’s their end even as Daniel showed it.
“And the beast (the man anti-Christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet (The religious leader, whoever he is.) that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast,…(Now remember, that all goes back to those previous seven years of Tribulation. Remember all that? Back in the earlier chapters of Revelation. Now look at their doom. Look at their end.)…These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” All right, flip back to Daniel again just to make sure you get it all locked in, verse 11 again.
“…I beheld even until (the anti-Christ) the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12. As concerning the rest of the beasts, (These are the cohorts with the man anti-Christ and with these Gentile empires.) they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” All right, now we’ll go down into verse 13:
“I saw in the night visions, (Now this is still Daniel continuing on with his dream, or vision, however you want to call it. Now in his next night vision–) and, behold, one like the Son of man…” That’s a reference, of course, from the Old Testament of God the Son as we know Him. As we’ve been teaching in the daily program lately in the Book of Hebrews—that would be God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Creator God. All right, now he sees Him in this Old Testament dream.
“…came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, (Which again is a picture of God the Son coming before God the Father.) and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him dominion, (power, authority) and glory, and a kingdom, (And this kingdom will include–) that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion (or His rule, His government, His Kingship) is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
All right, now before I comment any further on that, let’s again jump up to Revelation, chapter 5. Revelation chapter 5 and you know you can’t study Daniel without studying Revelation or vise-a-versa. When we did the Book of Revelation way back in our little books—what, 10 through 14? That’s exactly what I did. I went back and forth between Daniel and Revelation. Well, now that we’re studying Daniel, we’ll have to do the same thing only the other way around. We’ll go from Daniel to Revelation. Now remember what Daniel just said—that he saw the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, and he came before the Ancient of days, and the father gave unto him dominion and glory and a kingdom. All right, now in Revelation chapter 5, then, we can pick it up right here in verse 1.
“And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne (Now have you got the picture? God the Father was seated on the throne, at least positionally, and he has a book.) a book (or a scroll) written within and on the backside,…” Now you see, it had to be a scroll, because they didn’t make books back in those times. I don’t know why the translators used it at all. But a scroll and it was rolled up.
Now it stands to reason that if you unrolled that scroll, what you write will be on the inside when you roll it up. You can picture that. All right, then after it’s rolled up, if you want to put something on the outside, yes, you can write on the outside of the scroll. Now picture all that, because that’s the point. All the details of this scroll, which is really a mortgage on planet earth between God and Satan, all the details are written on the open side. But when it was rolled up and sealed, then you have information on the outer part of the scroll. Now reading on:
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy (or who is able) to open the scroll, and to loose the seals thereof?” Now again, this was going back to antiquity. Maybe not long before Israel. But anyway, they already had the whole idea of buying and selling land and property with mortgages.
You know, I think a lot of us have got the idea that this is all a modern day phenomenon. No, it isn’t. They had mortgages clear back at the time of Ruth. You remember that. How Boaz had to pay the price of redemption to get the inheritance back. So that’s nothing new. So the Scripture is right in line with what everybody understood—that when you signed a mortgage, it was detailed, rolled up, and sealed with the things that mattered first on the outside.
Now, it’s the same principle that we’ve got today. If you’re really on top of things and you’re buying a piece of property that is mortgaged, you won’t take the person’s word for how much the mortgage is. What do you do? Either you or your real estate agent or the attorney—where are they going to go? The courthouse. You go into the recorder and you ask if you can see the copy of this mortgage of the property that you’re buying. Well, what’s the purpose? So that you know exactly the financial situation of that piece of property or you’ll get taken. It was the same way back in antiquity. Those details were all written on a mortgage and sealed. Same way with this spiritual mortgage—God made a mortgage with Satan when Satan picked up dominion of planet earth.
Now when did Satan pick up dominion of planet earth? Well, when Adam fell. It was Adam’s dominion. He was to have control of the whole planet. Everybody thinks just that little Garden of Eden. No, Adam had dominion of the whole planet. And when he disobeyed God, he dropped the ball. Who picked it up? Satan did. All right, but Satan didn’t just pick it up and glibly go his way. God set up a mortgage, in so many words, and that mortgage is going to demand payment before, once again, it becomes God’s dominion.
All right, now that’s the whole picture of mortgages through Scripture. It is to get us ready for this scenario in Heaven in Revelation 5. We’ve got a mortgage. Details. Sealed. But on the outside are certain details pertinent for the immediate. All right, now verse 5 and I’m going to run out of time if I don’t hurry.
“And one of the elders (up there in Glory) saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, (Who’s that? That’s Jesus Christ.) the Root of David, hath prevailed (He has maintained His ability–) to open the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” In other words, make time or make it ready to pay off.
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, (In other words, a reference again to Christ’s crucifixion, His death as the true atonement.) having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he (God the Son, the Lamb of God) came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him who sat upon the throne.”
“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints. 9. And they sang a new song,…” Why? It’s the beginning of the end of the curse of planet earth. God is now ready to pay off Satan in full and take back once again that which He had one time owned and controlled and then lost because of Adam. Now verse 9:
“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book,…” Now remember what made Him worthy? His death, burial, and His resurrection. Now, I’m going to keep hammering away at resurrection, because I had a phone call early this morning before we left. The guy said (just like I’ve mentioned over and over), “Why do so many people talk about Christ’s death, and they totally ignore the resurrection?”
And I’m afraid we’re all aware of that. But listen, the work of the Cross was not complete without the resurrection. He had to be raised from the dead in order to continue the whole unfolding of God’s plan for the Ages. Don’t ever discount the resurrection as part of the plan of salvation. All right, so here it is again.
“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Now you’ve always got to remember that John is a Jew, and the whole Book of Revelation is directed primarily to Israel. So don’t put us in here. This is not Church Age language. This is all God dealing with Israel. Verse 12, this picks up the resurrection.
“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power,…” Now that’s where I have to stop a moment. Where was His power exercised? At the resurrection. Resurrection power!
“…to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. 13. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, (They are all under His dominion now once again.) heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” And this is the whole concept, then, of the end-time scenario—because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross with His death, His shed blood, His burial, AND HIS RESURRECTION.
LESSON ONE * PART II
THE SON GIVEN DOMINION AND A KINGDOM
Okay, good to see everybody back again. You’ve had your coffee and your break. Again, for those of you watching us on television, remember, we always make four of these in an afternoon and in between times have a coffee break. That’s the reason that we keep it informal. For those of you that are joining us, we trust that you will learn to study the Word, and many of you are. My, we are so thrilled with the response that we’re getting of people finally learning to study and to enjoy this Book.
I had a phone call the other day. You could just sense the young man’s exuberance. He said, “Les, I’ve never found anything so exciting.” And it is! It’s a glorious Book! And this is what I like to show—how all the Scriptures fit together. And you know, the scornful out there, they don’t have a clue, do they? They just don’t have a clue.
All right, we’re going to pick up again where we left off back in Daniel chapter 7. But I want to go back to verse 14, even though we discussed it in the last half hour. I want to come back because I’m beginning to realize more and more that most of Christendom, most Church people, has no concept of this earthly Kingdom.
They may have heard the term “millennial,” or they may have heard the term “the thousand years,” but they have no concept that this is literally going to be a Kingdom with a King and ruled with government. It’s going to be without any sin, without any of the curse. But nevertheless, there are going to be flesh and blood humans from every nation on earth that are going to be involved in this glorious coming Kingdom.
Now just to show you how it has been referred to all though Scripture, even though we did a series on the Kingdom not too long ago, we’re going to rehearse it again. But before we go back, let’s look at verse 14. God the Son came before God the Father in verse 13, now verse 14:
“And there was given him (to the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, (Plain as English can make it. And in this Kingdom–) that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: (He’s the King!) his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
Now I say this with some trepidation. I’m convinced that this earthly Kingdom is going to slip on into eternity. Fortunately, the Lord led me to a well-written book way back, I think maybe even before Iris and I were married. It was written by a theology professor not in Dallas Theological Seminary, but of Dallas Bible School of sorts. I had a gentleman in one of my classes the other night who vows up and down that he was in that Bible School and he probably would be able to find the book for me again. But anyhow, the book was just simply laying out so clearly this concept of the 1,000 year rule and reign of Christ, and how that even at the end of the 1,000 years it will go right on into eternity.
Now on that basis, let’s come back and look at Revelation again before we go back further into the Old Testament. Come with me to Revelation 21, and I say this with trepidation. I don’t put this in concrete by saying, now this is the way you’ve got to believe it. But to me it’s worthy of thinking. It’s worthy of considering that since this 1,000 year Kingdom reign is spoken of over and over as forever and ever and ever, then it must go into eternity. Now are those people in the Kingdom going to go in as flesh and blood? No, I don’t think so. I think they’ll receive an eternal body of sorts. But nevertheless, come back to Revelation 21. This is interesting.
We know that this universe is going to be totally melted down and dissolved according to II Peter and other Scriptures, but here in chapter 21 we’ve got an interesting concept. Revelation 21 verse 1, and just look at what it says. After the Tribulation and after the 1,000 years, after the Great White Throne—nothing left but eternity, and what does John see?
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: (That’s what it says.) for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
Now let’s go back to Peter. I can’t just make mention of something and not let you read it with your own eyes. Come back to Peter, and I have to look a minute whether it’s first or second, it is chapter 3, I know. II Peter chapter 3—let’s go back and look at it. I think we did it in our last taping session, which is only a program or two if you watch it every day. But if you’re just watching it by the week, it’s already quite a while back. II Peter chapter 3 verse 10, now remember, the “day of the Lord” starts at the beginning of the Tribulation, but it carries all the way through the Kingdom. Everything now is under the Lord’s control.
II Peter 3:10
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (Plural. Now I look at that to be the solar system, the stars, the universe.) shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements (In other words, all the materials that make up these stars and these planets.) shall melt with fervent heat, (Well, naturally, because when you have the destruction of matter, you generate heat. That’s part of chemistry and physics.) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also (See?) and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Now you’ve got to remember that when this thing happens, the 1,000 year Kingdom has already passed, even the glory of it. It’s going to be burned up. Now verse 11:
II Peter 3:11-12
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, (Just literally melted down to nothing.) what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holiness and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God (That is the onset of eternity is the way I look at that.) wherein the heavens (the universe) being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements (in other words, all the materials that make up matter) shall melt with fervent heat?”
II Peter 3:13
“Nevertheless (Peter says by inspiration) we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Now, I don’t think Peter’s talking about the millennial Kingdom. I think he’s talking about this new heaven and new earth of Revelation 21. Well, be that for now, if you don’t agree, that’s fine. I’ve got no problem with that, but it’s worthy of thought.
Now then, if you’ll come back to Daniel chapter 7 again, being reminded that the constant language is that this 1,000 year heaven and earth Kingdom will not end at 1,000 years, but it will go on into eternity because of this kind of language. Look at the last half of verse 14 once again, if you will.
“…his dominion (That is Christ as King of Kings and LORD of LORDS over this earthly Kingdom) is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” It’s going to somehow slip on into eternity.
All right, but now just to emphasize again how much the whole Old Testament puts on this concept of an earthly Kingdom, we’re going to go back and hit just a few of these verses. Because, you know, I get letter after letter—Les, don’t ever stop repeating. Repeat and repeat and repeat.
Luther, how many years have you been sitting here? Almost all the way from the beginning. And here not too long ago he came up at break time and he says, “Les, don’t ever stop repeating.” You remember, don’t you? He said, “Today I saw something that I never saw before.” Well, it’s not because he hasn’t got what it takes. He’s human. And for all of us, it just bears repeating and repeating and repeating; then all of a sudden it just begins to make sense.
All right, so come back with me to Exodus chapter 19. I think this is the first time we have a definitive reference to a coming Kingdom. Now in latent language it’s in the Abrahamic Covenant. Of course it is. And in latent language it’s in some of the other covenants. But by the time we get to the Davidic Covenant, it’s for real. David is the first King in the long bloodline of families that will lead to the King of Kings, Jesus of Nazareth.
Now here in Exodus 19, if I’m not mistaken, is the first reference to a coming Kingdom. And it’s a reference, of course, to the 1,000 year or millennial Kingdom. All right, start at verse 3 of Exodus 19 so that you get the setting. Israel has just come out of Egypt. They’re gathered around Mount Sinai, and God calls Moses up into the mountain. You know the account of all that.
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called…” Now again, I always emphasize these terms of Deity, especially back here in Exodus. Moses goes up unto God and the LORD—now God involves Elohim, the whole Triune Godhead. But who’s the LORD? God the Son. So here you have the Triune God on the one hand, but immediately now it’s God the Son who speaks.
Now that reminds me. Do you remember when I first started teaching years and years ago? We were in John’s Gospel chapter 1 verse 1, and what is the term of Deity for the Son? What’s He called? The Word! “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…and by him were all things made that are made.”
All right, then you remember, what did I put on the board? Word! What do we do with words? Communicate! Exactly. So whenever God communicates with the human race, I don’t care where, when, or how, it’s always God the Son. Now mark that down if you don’t remember anything else today. Whenever God speaks, under whatever circumstance or whatever purpose, it’s always God the Son. Let me just prove it to you.
Come back—keep your hand in Exodus. You know, I told my last seminar, I guess that was when we were in Branson, that I do this all the time. I said you’ve just got to get used to me. This is the way I teach. Come back with me to Hebrews chapter 1. And you know, when people try to tell me through letter or a phone call once in a while that God spoke to them and told them something uniquely pertinent to the situation, I say, “Now wait a minute. God isn’t doing that today. God is not talking to any human being today. Don’t come and tell me what God told you, because I won’t buy it.” Because when God finished what’s between these two covers, the Word of God ended. It’s complete. And don’t you buy any of this rubbish where they say, well, I’ve had a special revelation from God. No, they haven’t. It hasn’t come from God. And here’s the reason scripturally.
“God, (the Triune, Elohim God) who at sundry times and in divers (or various) manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” Well, of course He did. All the Old Testament writers were prophets. Moses was a prophet. Daniel, who we’re studying now, was a prophet. The Lord Himself called him that in Matthew 24. All right, but now look at verse 2.
“Hath in these last days…” You remember what I said in the last half hour? When are the last days? Beginning with Christ’s first advent. And then the day of the Lord starts with the Tribulation. But the last days of Scripture are from Christ’s first coming all the way through. Because according to the Old Testament, there was no inkling of a 2,000 year Age of Grace. It was all going to keep right on going. So this is a reference to Christ’s first coming when He was here on the planet.
“God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,…” Now you grammar people, what tense of the verb is that? Past tense, absolutely. And what does past tense mean? That’s ended. God has spoken. It’s over. It’s complete.
Now I’ll show you another Scripture. Put your hand in Hebrews, we’re going to have some fun, aren’t we? Okay, now come back a few pages to Colossians chapter 1, Colossians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 25. Remember now, this is Paul the Apostle writing to the Church at Colossi. He’s writing during his prison experience. Won’t be much longer and he’ll be put to death. Now look what he says, and I dare say 99% of Christendom, even most fundamental, do not know what this verse says. Let’s look at it.
“(Paul—up in verse 23) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up (or bring to the full) that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh (In other words, his suffering, suffering for the sake of the Gospel.) for the body’s sake, which is the church: 25. Whereof I am made a minister,…”
Now you remember how I emphasized Acts chapter 9:15—when God told Ananias to go thy way, for he, Saul of Tarsus, is a what? Chosen vessel unto me. And you remember how I pointed out that word chosen? Out of the thirty times that the word chosen is used in the New Testament, only once in this verse in Acts 9:15 does it use the verb, or the Greek, that means divinely chosen. That’s what Saul’s Apostleship is. He was divinely appointed to be God’s spokesman here on earth. And that’s why people have to learn, whether they like it or not, that we take God’s orders through His designated Apostle. All right, so he says:
“Whereof I am made a minister, (by Divine appointment) according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, (See how we get it? Through the Apostle Paul, which is given to me for you. Now here’s what I came back here for. I wish we had it on the screen. It isn’t up there, but I wish it were.) to fulfill the word of God;”
Now those of you who have got Greek Dictionaries at home and a Strong’s Concordance—there they got it on the screen. I’m going to read it again, for the sake of our television audience.
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.”
Now just leave that on the screen, guys. When you get home, you find a good Greek Dictionary, or many of you have the Strong’s Concordance. This word “fulfill” means to bring to an end, to fill up, to finish. There are about four or five other words and they all mean the same thing—that when the Apostle Paul finished his letter to II Timothy, that completed the Word of God. Not the Book of Revelation. I refuse, and I have for 30 years, to believe that John wrote in A.D. 95. Now, I know that’s what tradition says, but tradition be blamed. I’m just not going to listen to it. This verse says it all—that to the Apostle Paul was given the wherewithal to complete the Word of God.
All right, now then, with that come back with me to Hebrews. Maybe I made my point. I hope so. Back to Hebrews chapter 1. If I’m not careful, I’m going to run out of time before I get back to Exodus. All right, Hebrews chapter 1, again. Let’s read it quickly.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2. Hath in these last days spoken (Past tense, it is finished.) unto us by his Son,…” Now, can you get it any plainer than that?
Now we’ve already lost my theme. Who is the Communicator? God the Son. God the Son always. Under any circumstance it has to be God the Son who communicates between the Triune God and the human race.
All right, now with that, come back to Exodus 19. This is why, even though God called to Moses and brought him up to Mount Sinai, when it came time for God to speak, who is it? God the Son! The LORD, L-O-R-D, and LORD is always a reference to Jehovah, who is God the Son. All right, my, that took me a long time to get full circle, didn’t it? All right, now verse 3:
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, (Now this is Jesus speaking in His Old Testament theophany.) Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,…”
Now be careful. Did they fly? How’d they go? Well, they walked. And the reason I do this, is because when the remnant of Israel leaves Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation, the Scripture says again they’re going to what? Fly like eagles. But they’re not going to fly. It’s going to be a supernatural exodus under God’s control. And that’s the point I’m trying to make. All right, so He says:
“…and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5. Now therefore, (Now remember, Israel is just fresh out of Egypt.) if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye (the Nation of Israel) shall be a peculiar (an intrinsic) treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” That’s why we call them the favored Nation, the Chosen People, however you want to put it. God said so. Oh, I know, Satan’s in control, but God is still above it all. Now here comes the verse I came back for. Took me fifteen minutes to get there. Can’t help that. Verse 6:
“And ye (the Nation of Israel) shall be unto me a (What’s the next word?) kingdom…” Now listen, whenever you see a word like that, don’t just run over it. Stop and think. What are the requirements of a Kingdom?
What do you have to have? You’ve got to have a King. Well, that doesn’t do any good. What does he have to have? He has to have subjects. Well, they’re not going to be floating around out in space someplace. Where are they? In a geographical area of land. Got it? A Kingdom then is going to involve a King and people and land, territory. All right, so they are to be:
“…a kingdom of priests, and an holy (or a set apart) nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
All right, now since I haven’t got an awful lot of time left in this half hour. Come up all the way with me to Isaiah. Otherwise, if I had more time, I would stop in II Samuel chapter 7 where God announces to King David that a Kingdom is coming out of his bloodline.
But let’s, for sake of time, jump all the way up to Isaiah chapter 9 where we have a good description. Verses you are all aware of, but most people don’t understand because they have no idea of this coming earthly Kingdom. Isaiah chapter 9 and jump in at verse 6. Now remember, Isaiah is writing, prophesying to Israel. Not to the world in general, but rather Israel.
“For unto us (to the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (And I tie that in with John 3:16.) and the government (the means of controlling this nation) shall be upon his shoulder: (the Son that God gives) And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Now those are all titles of the Son of God, of Christ, of Jesus of Nazareth.
“Of the increase of his government (as King) and peace there shall be no end, (Which again means, I think, that it’s going to go into eternity.) there shall be no end, (It’s going to be upon the throne of David, which was on Mount Zion in Ancient Jerusalem, and Mount Zion is still in Jerusalem.) upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (or rule, government) and with justice (There’ll be no corruption in His Kingdom.) from henceforth even for ever. (See that?) The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
All right, now since that is going to involve all the tongues and tribes, back up with me now to the very early part of Isaiah chapter 2. Now, I know this is repetition, but like I said, this is what most of us need.
“And it shall come to pass (It’s going to happen. Hasn’t yet, but it is coming.) in the last days, that the mountain (which is a word for Kingdom in Old Testament language) that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (In other words, it’ll be above any kingdom that’s ever existed.) and shall be exalted above (smaller kingdoms or) hills; (And here’s the key.) and all nations (Every nation on earth is going to what?) shall flow unto it.”
Jerusalem will be the capital of the world. All the ramifications of this worldwide Kingdom under Christ’s control will be headed up in Jerusalem. It will be the very vortex of all the activity.
LESSON ONE * PART III
THE SON GIVEN DOMINION AND A KINGDOM
Okay, good to have everybody back again for program number 3. For those of you out in television, again, we just want to welcome you to an informal Bible study. That’s all we want it to be. It is to learn how to study on your own. And, you know, I don’t attack anybody. I refuse to do that. Because my approach is, if I can show the truth simply from Scripture, they’re going to see the error. And it’s working. My goodness, how we get phone call after phone call.
I had a pastor call just before we left this morning. He said, “Les, I finally see it.” Well, I didn’t have to tell him and brow beat him. The Lord just opened his eyes and he could see it. That’s been my approach, and hopefully I’ll never change from that.
All right, we’re going to continue where we left off in Daniel chapter 7. But we’re going to leave it in just a minute and go back and look at some more references with regard to what God is promising here to the nation of Israel, as well as to the nations of the world once this Kingdom becomes a reality. So, let’s go back briefly to Daniel chapter 7 verses 13 and 14 for a kick-off place.
“I (Daniel) saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man (which is the other term for Christ of the New Testament) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, (or before God the Father) and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him (that is God the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,…”
And that’s what we’re looking at now for most of the afternoon—that to God the Son was given and promised a Kingdom, not just over Israel, but–
“…that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: (In other words, under this Kingship of Jesus of Nazareth.) his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Now we always like to emphasize that there is no time factor given in the Old Testament whatsoever. But when we get to the Book of Revelation, it’s what? A thousand years.
All right, now we’re not going to doubt Scripture and say, well, now it can’t be forever if Revelation says a thousand years. Because as we showed in one of our previous programs this afternoon, that when you get to chapter 21, what happens after this 1,000 year kingdom scenario is destroyed? We have a new heaven and a new earth. So I think we’re on the right track to feel that somehow or other (I can’t explain it) this 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ will go right on into the eternal. And what God does with the people…we’ll leave that with Him.
You know, I’m getting more and more all the time—I just tell people I can’t answer that. We’ll just wait until we get there, and then we’ll find out everything that we think we have to know. So we’re showing from the Old Testament, again, like we’ve done many times before, the promises of things pertaining to this Kingdom. Well now, we saw in our last program how that Jerusalem will be the capital of it all.
Now come back to Isaiah chapter 11, a portion of Scripture you’re all acquainted with. But again, it just shows how that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is going to rule the planet with absolute authority. He won’t need a House of Representatives or a Senate. He won’t need a Cabinet. He won’t need advisors. He’s going to be, as God, fully capable of running and ruling this Kingdom by Himself.
“And there shall come forth….” Now you know you’ve heard me say it a hundred times over the last years. When the Bible says it shall come to pass, or it’s going to come, what can we rest on? It’s going to happen even though it hasn’t yet. God isn’t through. It’s going to happen. It’s out in front of us. We can see now that it’s getting closer and closer.
How many of you are watching the daily program in Hebrews? I’m just kind of curious. Oh, my goodness, well, now you’ll know what I’m talking about. I caught just a few minutes of it this morning before we had to leave to come up here. Just a few minutes and do you realize that much of what I’m saying back there in 2001 I could have said last week? But this morning’s program just boggled me. I could have said it last week. You’d never know that that was spoken nine years ago. Well, why? Because everything is just coming now to a vortex—what I talked about ten years ago is now. It is still in the same beam, but now it’s getting closer and closer.
Well, the same way with all these Old Testament things. Yes, we’ve talked about them before, but we’re so much closer now than we were when I taught it maybe a couple or three years ago.
“And There shall come forth (It’s going to happen.) a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, (Now we’re speaking of Jesus the Christ. The Son of God. The King.) the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear (or the wisdom) of the LORD: and he shall not (Now here it comes. Here’s going to be how He will rule over this coming earthly Kingdom.) he shall not (rule) judge after the sight of his eyes,…”
In other words, now just stop a minute. Whenever there’s a big disaster—whether it’s the flood of the Mississippi, or whether it’s Katrina down in New Orleans—what did they expect the President to do? Well, get off his duff in Washington and get out and see it all firsthand so that he’ll know what the problems are. Right? This One won’t have to, because through His Omnipotent Eyes He’ll know everything that’s taking place in His Kingdom. See? So He won’t have to judge, or come to conclusions, after looking at something.
“…neither (will he) reprove (or make any corrections or so forth) after the hearing of his ears: (What he’s heard. He’s going to know everything, see? He’s going to be absolute Sovereign King of Kings.) 4. But with righteousness (See?) shall he judge the poor,…” Here’s where the Beatitudes come into play. The Beatitudes that were spoken on the Sermon on the Mount will finally become a reality in this 1,000 year rule and reign of Christ.
“But with righteousness shall he judge (or rule) the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of this mouth, (That, of course, was done during the Tribulation.) and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (He did that at the end when He got everything ready for the believers to come in.) 5. And righteousness…” No corruption. No cheating someone out of what belongs to them. It will be total righteousness. No sex trade. No liquor trade. No gambling casinos. All that stuff that pertains to the world of Satan will not be present in this Kingdom.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Then here we come to the animal kingdom. I love this, because you all know I love animals. I could read this verse once a day, every day, year in and year out.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,…” Now, do you picture these things? I mean, this isn’t pie in the sky. It’s going to happen. The wild animals are going to co-habit with the domestic animals. The innocent little lamb and the goats and the dogs and the cats and everything are going to be perfectly in conformity with each other, in harmony, if I can use that word. And there is no more curse, no more carnivorous animals.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, (Because he’s not looking at it for something to eat.) and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (For the same reason—that big cat isn’t going to look at a baby goat for his food.) and the calf (That is the calf of the domestic cattle as we know them and as Israel knew them.) and the young lion and the fatling together; and (Then in the midst of all that—what?) a little child shall lead them.”
See? It will be a perfect environment. Children can play amongst what we now call wild, carnivorous animals. They’re all going to be like pets. Now don’t forget what he’s talking about. The wolf. The leopard. The lion. Little kids are going to be able to play with them. Lead them. Gorgeous! Doesn’t that give you a thrill? My goodness, it’s unbelievable.
“And the cow and the bear shall feed; (That is together.) their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” In other words, it’s going to have the digestive system—instead of needing meat and blood that it gets from killing something, it’s going to have a digestive system that will be able to eat provender such as straw and grass and so forth like an ox.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy Kingdom: for the earth (the whole planet) shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, even as the waters cover the sea.” In other words, God is going to be in such total, total control of this heaven-on-earth existence. But now this isn’t Heaven. Like I said in the beginning of the first program this afternoon, this is not Heaven’s Heaven. This is an earth with a heaven-like atmosphere. And don’t ever mix the two.
Now, I’m going to show a little later, maybe not today, but in our next series of four, that we’re going to have some kind of a connection with this Kingdom. But I no longer feel that the Church (the Body of Christ) is going to come back in mass at the Lord’s Second Coming. I used to kind of think that, but not any more. Now, I think we’re going to have a connection with it, so don’t prejudge me until we get there.
All right, so here we have another description of the earth being as perfect as it was before the Fall. All right, now I think for sake of time, let’s just jump all the way up to Zechariah, the next to the last book in your Old Testament, chapter 14. And there it is in language as plain as anyone could hope to read it.
Now by the time we get to Zechariah, we get a clearer view of the fact that this Kingdom cannot come in until the seven years of Tribulation are passed first. We made reference to it with the mortgage and so forth. But now we’ve got a better description in Zechariah even than we have back in the Prophets and so forth.
“Behold, the day of the LORD (Which we said earlier is the beginning of the seven years of Tribulation.) cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (In other words, the Prophet and God are speaking to the Nation of Israel.) 2. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled,…” It’s going to be awful for the citizens of Jerusalem.
Now remember, while this is taking place, where are the remnant of Jews? Out there in a place of protection. We don’t know where, but he says out in the mountains God is going to protect them for these final three-and-a-half years, supernaturally. Nothing of the Tribulation horrors will touch that remnant of Israel—which, remember, will be about five million people. Now, that’s a good chunk of human beings, and God’s going to sustain them for three-and-a-half years. But for anything that’s left back there in Jerusalem who were not part of that escaping remnant at the beginning of that last three-and-a-half years, it’s going to be awful.
“…the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women raped; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” All right, then verse 3, when it looks like there is no hope and Satan and his anti-Christ and their hordes of Gentile armies look like they’re taking everything over.
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, (Who are under the control of Satan and his man anti-Christ, remember. And he’s going to go forth and fight…) as when he fought in the day of battle.” And then after all has been destroyed and defeated, He’s going to show up in Jerusalem.
“And his feet shall stand in that day (After the Tribulation horrors have come to an end.) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave (separate) in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley;…”
And we know from Ezekiel that through that valley will flow a river of fresh water all the way to the Dead Sea. Enough to totally heal it as we see now in, oh, let’s see, let’s just jump up to verse 8.
“And it shall be in that day, (When Christ has returned to Jerusalem.) that living waters (fresh water) shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, (That is out to the Mediterranean.) and half of them toward the hinder sea: (Or the Dead Sea, which is east of Jerusalem just a few miles, remember.) in summer and in winter shall it be.” All right, now here’s the verse that I always head for.
“And the LORD (God the Son, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth in all of His Glory) shall be king over all the earth: (Now be ready to show your fellow church people. Most of them don’t know this. Now some do, but most of them don’t. Now, they like to spiritualize it, you know, and allegorize it. No way. You take it literally. He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords over the whole planet, ruling from Jerusalem.) in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
Well then, thinking of that river of fresh water, I can’t help but think of Ezekiel. So let’s come back to Ezekiel for just a moment before we go into the New Testament. And I think it’s pretty close to the last chapter. Yea, it is. Chapter 47 and this is another one of the supernatural phenomena of the Kingdom. Now those of you who have been to the Dead Sea, or read about it, you know it is so full of salt and minerals that you can’t do anything but float in it.
It is by far the saltiest, most mineralized piece of water on all the earth. Even Salt Lake in Utah is nothing compared to the saltiness of the Dead Sea. But all right, look what’s going to happen. Chapter 47, we won’t take time to read these earlier verses, but he sees a river of water starting out of Jerusalem, and he sees it as it heads out toward the Dead Sea.
“Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, (See, that’s where the Dead Sea is from Jerusalem. Down, down, down to the east and down altitude-wise to a couple of thousand feet below sea level.) and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters (That is of the Dead Sea.) shall be healed.” They’ll be made like fresh water. Now verse 9.
“And it shall come to pass, (It’s going to happen.) that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live:…” In other words, along the banks of the river the various trees and the herbs and so forth are going to be just growing profusely, because it now has access to this beautiful freshwater river.
“…and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, (See?) because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed, and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. 10. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim;…” Now that pops a question, doesn’t it? Are we going to eat meat in the Kingdom? Now, I said we; I mean the people there.
I’m not sure we’re going to be there that full time or not. But anyway, are people going to eat meat during the Kingdom? Well, not meat, but evidently they’re going to eat fish, because these fishermen certainly aren’t going to catch nets full of fish just to let them rot. So I have to take from this that they are at least going to be eating fish. And we know they’re going to eat figs. They’re going to eat grapes. They’re going to have the fruit and so forth. But evidently, just look what it says.
“And it shall come pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.” So, that’s just a little tidbit. You can think about. You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to, but it certainly indicates that is the prospect.
All right, now let’s jump quickly into the New Testament. I’m going to start with Matthew chapter 5 and verse 17, Honey. Now Christ has already begun His earthly ministry. I think this is probably part of the Sermon on the Mount. Verse 17 of Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking and He says:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to (What?) fulfil.” Now the casual reader thinks, well, He must be talking about the Cross. No. Not yet. That’s still future. So what’s He talking about? All these promises concerning the Kingdom. All these promises of His being a King and His bringing in the Kingdom.
Now, lest you think I’m stretching the point. Keep your hand in Matthew, I’m not through there. Come all the way up to Acts chapter 3, and let’s drop in at verse 19 first. This is Peter, again preaching to the Nation of Israel in view of this coming Kingdom. The King has already been rejected and crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended back to Glory; but the whole promise is that He’d be coming back and would still be the King over this glorious Kingdom. So that’s Peter’s basis of his preaching. So verse 19, well, no, I’ve got to read verse 18 first.
“But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19. (So,) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20. And he (God) shall send Jesus Christ, who before (back in the Old Testament) was preached unto you:”
And what would He come for? To be the King! To set up the Kingdom. This is Israel’s prospect, especially now on this side of the Cross. The Blood of Atonement has been shed. He’s been raised from the dead. He’s ascended back to Glory. He’s seated at the Father’s right hand. Psalms 110 verse 1, what does it say? “Come sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” And when would that be? The end of Tribulation! And then He would come be the King.
All right, but now come all the way down through these verses that Peter is using to prepare the Jews for the coming of this King and His Kingdom. All right, now to verse 25. My, just look these carefully. Peter is telling the Nation of Israel—now you want to remember, there’s no concept of the Apostle Paul and the Gospel of Grace. Not a word yet. So all Peter is resting on are these Old Testament promises. And we’re going to go back and look at one of them after this. I have to. But look at verse 25, Peter said:
“Ye (the Nation of Israel, the Jews of his day) are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26. Unto you first (Israel) God, having raised up his Son Jesus, (in resurrection power, remember) sent him to bless you (Israel) in turning away (How many?) every one of you from his iniquities.”
See, Christ couldn’t come until every Jew had believed who He was, and they didn’t. So, it was postponed. And then, of course, we go on and we have the rising of the Apostle Paul and him becoming the Gentiles’ Apostle. But here we have this promise of this King waiting in the wings to bring in the Kingdom.
All right, now if you’ll flip back to Matthew chapter 5, maybe that’ll help you understand why I think that Jesus isn’t speaking yet of the Cross. He’s speaking of the King and the Kingdom which had been promised ever since, well, like we saw, Abraham. And in our last program we saw that Israel was promised everything in the Book of Exodus. But read the verse again.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” He came to bring in the Kingdom to Israel.
All right, now I forgot and I skipped back in Isaiah. So come back with me, because we don’t want to leave it out completely. Come back with me to Isaiah 42, because we’ve got to pick up the fact that God hasn’t forgotten about the non-Jewish world which we call Gentiles. Isaiah 42 dropping in at verse 1. Isaiah 42 verse 1. Oh, good heavens, that half hour is gone. Did you know that? Boy, they go fast. Are you ready, Honey?
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; (Now remember, God is speaking through Isaiah the prophet as he writes to the Children of Israel.) I have put my spirit upon him: (That’s a person.) he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Who are we talking about? God the Son. The Messiah, see? And He’s going to rule over Gentiles.
Well, what have we been saying all the way along? He’s not going to be just a King over Israel. He’s going to be the King of the whole planet. Every nation that is on the world today, I feel, will have enough survivors to begin every new nation that we have on the world today into the Kingdom. That’ll be all of the Orient. All of the in-between, the Middle East. All of Europe. All of the Americas, all South America. They’re all still, I feel, going to be represented in this glorious Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule.
All right, down to verse 6 and I guess that will kill this half hour.
“I the LORD have called thee (That is Israel.) I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, (For what purpose?) to be a light of the Gentiles;”
Well now, what did God promise Moses back in Exodus 19? That every Jew would become a priest of God. Well, Isaiah is putting it in a little different language, but it’s still the same thing.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
THE SON GIVEN DOMINION AND A KINGDOM
Okay, good to have everybody back again. We’ve lost a few people, but I can’t say that I blame them this afternoon. It’s been a long session. But anyway, we again want to let our T.V. people know that we’re just an informal Bible study. I don’t want it to be anything but that. I don’t want to start preaching at people. We just want to teach the Book. Although I do get a little wound up, I know I do.
But I still don’t want to get away from the teaching concept, so that people can see for themselves what the Book says. It doesn’t matter what some denomination says, or what I say, but what does the Word of God say. And we have to be able to rightly divide it—to separate Israel from the Body of Christ—and then it all falls in place.
All right, program number four for the afternoon, and we’re in book 81. My, I just asked Iris coming up—that means how many trips have we made to Tulsa? It’s been a bunch of them. Anyway, it’s gone fast.
Now let’s continue on that Kingdom concept before we go back and do a verse-by-verse with Daniel again. Let’s come back to Matthew chapter 3 and the onset of Christ’s earthly ministry, which is going to begin with John the Baptist. After all, John the Baptist was sent to be the herald of, or to announce, the King and His Kingdom to the Nation of Israel. Because all these covenant promises were made only to Israel. The Gentiles had no part of those covenants. But as we saw in the last part of the last program, Israel was to understand that even though all the covenant promises were theirs, they would still be instrumental in bringing the Gentiles to a knowledge of Israel’s God.
And, of course, we’ve been seeing a little preview of that in our study of Daniel with Nebuchadnezzar. That process where he was a total pagan with no concept of the God of Gods, but as you come up through his life, he sees a little more and a little more. Until finally, I think, before he left planet Earth he was a believer in the God of Israel, or the Most High. All right, so now remember that, that all these promises of this coming King were limited to the Nation of Israel because He was to be their King.
Well, what prompted the Romans to put on the cross above Christ the sign—“Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”? What prompted it? Well, He had that much understanding, even as a pagan ruler, that that’s what Jesus had claimed to be. That He had claimed to be the King of Israel. All right, now we come into Matthew chapter 3 and we start with John the Baptist. Verse 1:
“In those days (That is after Jesus had grown up in Nazareth as the carpenter’s son.) came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (down there by the Jordan River) 2. And saying, Repent ye:…”
Now, it’s interesting. You know, I get chewed up one side and down the other because I maintain that repentance is not a prerequisite for salvation today. We don’t repent and then get saved. We get saved, and then we repent or change directions.
I’ve got a fellow out in Indiana. He will hear this just as well as you will, and it won’t bother him a bit. He said, “Les, when they asked me if I’ve accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, I said, No, I never accepted Him as my personal Savior. I believed The Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4. The moment I believed The Gospel, He became my personal Savior.” Hey, I like that. Or the other one that they always use. Take Jesus into your heart. No, that’s not The Gospel. It’s not in this Book. What’s in this Book is that if you believe that Jesus died, shed His blood, was buried and rose from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
You believe that and what’s the first thing you do? You change your mind about things. You repent. And what does God do? He comes into your life. The Holy Spirit comes in. So don’t get that cart out there in front of the horse like most of Christendom does. Leave it where it belongs. Salvation comes first. But for Israel—yes, repentance was a prerequisite. And that’s what we’ve got to understand – the change in program, All right, so that’s what made me think of it.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent…” Now for Israel, you see, that was a logical word—because did Israel know right from wrong? Of course they did. They had the Book. They had the Old Testament ever since day one. They knew. And if they didn’t, it was their own fault.
They had to look at their own situation as a Nation as well as individuals and change their mind about these things in order for God to bless them with the King and the Kingdom. So, yes, for Israel a prerequisite was to repent. For us, it’s a result. What a difference.
“And saying, Repent ye: for (What reason?) the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Why? Because the King is in their midst. The King is already walking the dusty roads. And then he goes on to say:
“…The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Here is the first inkling that the King is on the planet. He’s in the midst of Israel. He’s ready to prepare Israel for the Kingdom.
Well, now I guess the next place I should stop would be at Peter’s confession of faith in Matthew 16. Now a lot of this I know we’ve covered over and over, but repetition is still the key. In Matthew 16 we’re at the end of Christ’s three years of His earthly ministry. He’s been performing miracle after miracle after miracle. He did all those miracles. Did they convert the Nation of Israel? No. No. Just a few.
So, you see, that’s not the key. Miracles do not bring people to salvation, even the miracles of Christ Himself. After three years of miracle after miracle after miracle, the supernatural was just an everyday occurrence. He has the Twelve and they’re up clear at the headwaters of the Jordan River in what we call Caesarea Philippi. The Roman word is Banias. In fact, we were just there last October. It’s beautiful. They’ve made a national park out of it.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, (the Twelve) saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, (Now watch this. We’ve gone over it before, but look at it again. They responded by saying–) Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”
Fellows, you’ve been with me now for three years. Who am I? That’s all He’s asking. Who am I? And Peter responds in verse 16. It’s what I call Peter’s confession of saving faith.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, (the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God) Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Any reference to the Cross? Any reference to His death? Not a word. And he was right on. That’s all God expected him to say, because that was the crux of the matter. Who am I? Well, you’re the promised Messiah.
Well, you see, if every Jew would have answered that way, as we saw back there in Acts chapter 3 earlier this afternoon, Christ would have come. They would have fulfilled that requirement by believing. In fact, I had a question in the mail yesterday, and it’s a good question. And I hope you’ve all been aware of that. If (and it’s a big IF) a human being could keep the Ten Commandments without ever breaking a one of them, could he get to Heaven on it? Well, yes, because he hasn’t broken them.
But what’s the problem? It’s not possible! Only Christ did. No human being can go through life without breaking the Law. It’s impossible. But if they could, then there would be nothing to keep them out of God’s Heaven. They’re sinless. They’re pure. But we’re not. We’re hell-bound sinners. All right, here was Peter’s confession of faith, “Thou art the Christ…,” the Messiah of Israel.
All right, you come on through the crucifixion and all that, and we’re not going to pick that up here, because we want to look first at Israel’s relationship to this Kingdom. Now come over with me to Luke chapter 1, because I want you to see what Israel was to have believed as a Nation of people. They were to believe it to the last Jew. Luke chapter 1 and let’s drop in at verse 67. Here we have Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, approached as to what the young lad’s name should be. And he said that his name is John. All right, now verse 67:
“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit,…” Now that’s the key. Don’t miss that word “filled.” He had all of the Holy Spirit that a man could have, so that he could thoroughly understand all that is facing the Nation of Israel. Don’t miss that.
“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied (He spoke forth being moved by the Holy Spirit, and look what he says.) saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of (Whom?) Israel;…” Not a word about the Gentile world. Israel. See, this is what we have to understand, and what most of Christendom still doesn’t understand—that everything Jesus said and did up until the Cross was on behalf of these Old Testament covenants made with Israel. Not a thing about the Gentiles.
“…for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;” How many Gentiles in the House of David? Not a one. Not a one. This is all strictly Jewish ground.
“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, (As we’ve been looking at all afternoon: Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses.) which have been since the ages began: 71. That we (the Nation of Israel) should be saved (From our sins? Come on, it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say that. Saved from their what?) our enemies,…”
Well, now stop and think. Who were Israel’s enemies, you might say from the very onset of Abraham, but especially by the time of Christ. Well, the Arab world around them. No different than today. It’s always been the same, being circumvented by the Arab world. All right, but when this promised King and Kingdom would come in, they wouldn’t have a thing to do with them.
“That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;” Now I hope you realize that anti-Semitism is coming up day-by-day again. We’re just about back like it was when Hitler showed up.
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David and all the rest) and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he swear to our father Abraham, 74. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him (That is the King.) without fear, 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
In other words, it’s going to be Heaven on earth. A Kingdom of righteousness, absent of wickedness. Then verse 76, he now comes with regard to the announcement of the King, the Messiah.
“And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people….” All Jewish promises.
All right, let’s jump over to the Book of Acts and come over to the scenario after His 40 days of being with the Twelve after His resurrection. Now, Easter Sunday’s coming up. Uh, oh, I’m dating the program, aren’t I? But on Easter, for just a few hours at least, a portion of the world’s population will be made aware of Resurrection morning. But, like we were talking on the phone yesterday, and he agreed with me 100%. I said, you know, there are multitudes of people that believe that Jesus died, was crucified, that He was buried, and that He arose miraculously from the dead. But they only know it historically.
Now, what do I mean by that? They don’t have it in the heart. It’s just a historical fact. Now, do any of you doubt that Washington crossed the Delaware on that cold, miserable winter day? No, you don’t doubt that. Why? Because history has reported it over and over, so we can all talk about it.
Well, it’s the same way with the rank and file of the world. Yeah, they know that there was this Jesus who was crucified and the Romans and all this, and He arose from the dead. But it’s just a historical bit of information. It doesn’t mean anything to them spiritually. Always remember that. That even though we have all the services of Christmas and all the services of Easter, for the rank and file of even most church members, that’s all it is. It’s just a mental assent to an historical record. But to bring it into a means of salvation, I’m afraid it’s for the precious few. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.
All right, now come back to Acts chapter 1. He’s been resurrected, and He’s been with the Eleven for forty days. Drop down to chapter 1 verse 3.
“To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion (That is His death, burial, and resurrection.) by many infallible proofs,…” And, you know, it has happened over and over—where a skeptic or an atheist will actually rant and rave that there was never such a thing as the Resurrection. And they go to the Middle East to prove that they’re right, and what happens? They become a believer! It happens over and over. There is so much evidence that indeed He arose from the dead.
“…being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” Now that throws a curve at people, because Matthew speaks all the time of the Kingdom of Heaven and now here we have the Kingdom of God. Now what’s the difference? Paul even speaks of promoting the Kingdom of God.
Well, I put it on the board. I suppose, what was it, two or three years ago now? I’ve had Sharon, she’s not here today. But I had Sharon put a big circle, then in the circle I had her draw two smaller ones. Remember that? All right, the big circle is the Kingdom of God. That includes everything that pertains to God’s holiness and righteousness: Heaven, the Angels, the Old Testament believers, the New Testament Jewish believers of early Acts. Everything that pertains to His holiness and His righteousness is in the big circle—the Kingdom of God.
So when Paul speaks of the Kingdom of God, yes, we, too, are part of the Kingdom of God. But those two circles that I had her put inside the big circle—one was the Kingdom of Heaven. Well, since Israel rejected it, that’s pretty much empty. But now what’s the other circle? The Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ—and that’s all Paul talks about, with one or two exceptions, he calls it the Kingdom. But the Body of Christ is that compilation of believers in this Age of Grace who have come into the Body by virtue of believing Paul’s Gospel. We become members of the Body, but we’re also in the Kingdom of God. See that?
Now, when the Body of Christ is taken out in the Rapture, it’ll still be part of the Kingdom of God, because Heaven is. But now the Kingdom of Heaven becomes the major component, because now Israel comes back into God’s economy. Israel will once again be in the limelight, and they will fill the Kingdom of Heaven, which is in the Kingdom of God. Now, does that make sense? I hope it does. Don’t get confused. The Kingdom of God is that overall—everything that belongs to God. But in it you have the Kingdom of Heaven, which will become a reality when the 1,000 years begins; and you’ve got the Body of Christ, which we trust is nearly full. It’ll be taken out and taken up into the heavens, but we’re still part of the Kingdom of God.
So when Acts speaks here of pertaining to the Kingdom of God, yes, because the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus has been proclaiming to be the King of is in the large circle. All right, now verse 4:
“And being assembled together with the Eleven, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father,…” Going back to John 17. What was the promise? That God would send the Holy Spirit. He said He would send a Paraklete—someone to come alongside and be your help. All right, that’s what He’s referring to here. That Jesus promised that when He would leave, the Holy Spirit would come. All right, so He says:
“…wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me. 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye (speaking through the Eleven, but to the Nation of Israel as a whole) shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” How many? Ten days. And what day will that be? Pentecost. And what happened? The Holy Spirit came down. All right, but we’ll look at that at another time. Now verse 6:
“When they therefore were come together, (Jesus and these Eleven Apostles) they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the (What?) kingdom to Israel?” It’s all on their minds. It’s all they’ve been hearing for three years. Well, now, Lord, are you ready to bring in the Kingdom and give it to Israel? What was His answer? Oh, you foolish Galileans? No. He just says:
“…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,…” Yes, the Kingdom is coming, but it’s not for you to know when.
All right, now lest you wonder why are they are at this late date now—after the Messiah has been crucified, He’s been buried, He’s risen from the dead, He’s been with them now for forty days showing His hands and in a physical body, He ate fish, walked with them, talked with them—why are they so expectant of the Kingdom? Well, come back with me to Matthew chapter 19. I haven’t looked at this in a long time. This is toward the end of His earthly ministry. Now don’t forget why I brought you back here. Why are Peter and the rest of the fellows so anxious about this Kingdom? Well, look what they got promised. See, everything fits. That’s why I love to teach, to show how it all fits.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, (That is unto Jesus.) Behold, we have forsaken all, (What’s he talking about? His family. His fishing. Galilee. It’s beautiful up there. I can see why they would hate to leave Galilee.) Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?”
What’s Peter asking? What’s going to be our reward? He knew he was saved. That wasn’t the point. What are we going to have for reward? Lord, look what we left. Look what we did to follow You these last three years. What are You going to give us? Well, you know what that shows me? Those men were just as human as we are. That’s all it is. It’s our humanity. Hey, if I’m going to do all this, what do I get in return? Now look at the Lord’s answer. He doesn’t rebuke Peter, not one bit.
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye who have followed me, (these last three years) in the regeneration (In other words, when the 1,000 year Kingdom comes in.) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,…” Now aren’t you glad we’ve been looking at it all afternoon? Where’s it going to be? Mount Zion in Jerusalem! The same place that David’s throne sat. Now, Jesus said, when I set up this Kingdom in my throne room there in Jerusalem–
“…ye also (You twelve men—now it won’t be Judas, it will be Mathias, but it’ll be the Twelve Apostles.) ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, ruling the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Now, do you have to be a Ph.D. to understand that? No. When the King sets up His Kingdom, He’s going to rule the whole planet. And who is primarily going to be in control of Israel? Well, the Twelve Apostles.
Now, I don’t know if I’ve got room on the board, or if I’ve got time. I haven’t got time. But I drew a map in one of my classes the other night. Do you realize how huge the Nation of Israel will be in the Kingdom? It’s not going to be that little slip of land along the Mediterranean. It’s going to be the whole Middle East!
Have I got time? Turn real quick to Genesis chapter 15. Because when these men are going to be ruling the Twelve Tribes of Israel, they’re going to be ruling a big portion of real estate. Genesis 15 and this is when God first deeded it to the Nation of Israel. It’s a real estate transaction.
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed (That is the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the Nation of Israel.) have I given (past tense) this land, (Now look where it goes.) from the river of Egypt (Whether it’s the Nile or another one that might have been there, but figuratively-speaking from the Nile.) from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” Now goodness, you all know the Middle East well enough now—from the Nile to the Euphrates, and then in Joshua it includes Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran—it’s going to be the whole Middle East. That is going to be Israel’s homeland.
LESSON TWO * PART I
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED
Okay, good to see everybody in this afternoon. My, we’ve got the room about full today. We appreciate so many of you that are in for the first time. For those of you joining us out in television, we always like to thank you over and over for your prayers, your letters, as well as your financial help. And we appreciate that so many of you pass it on to others and give them our time of broadcasting and so forth. We just praise the Lord for every part of it.
Well, we’re a Bible study, and we’re going to come right in and take up where we left off in our last taping. Since this is the first program of these four this afternoon, we’re going to go right back to Daniel chapter 7. You’ll remember that verse 14 was where we kicked off and spent two, three, or four programs on the Kingdom.
And the reason I do that is that so many church people across the whole spectrum of denominations know nothing of this thousand year glorious Heaven-on-earth Kingdom. They just don’t know what it’s all about. So that’s what we did the last several programs. So now we’re going to continue on, after hitting verse 14 for a kick-off verse, and pick up verse-by-verse in Daniel chapter 7 again.
“And there was given him (Now remember, this was all part of a vision that Daniel had, and in that vision he saw all this.) And there was given him (that is God the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, (That’s why we kicked off and had all those references on this coming earthly Kingdom. Not only would it be a Kingdom,–) that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom…”
Now remember I stopped and asked—what does a Kingdom involve? A King, a people, and a land—that’s three prerequisites for having a Kingdom—and He’s going to have it all. It will be:
“…an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” All right, now we’ll go on from there and drop down into verse 15, where now Daniel has come away from this vision experience. He says:
“I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.” You know what I think he had? He had a migraine! He had a headache after all of these revelations.
Now I always have to repeat and repeat and repeat—don’t just read this as some kind of a myth or a legend, because all through Israel’s history the supernatural was commonplace. So for someone like Daniel to have these visions one right after the other is not just a figment of someone’s imagination. They were real. This was how God was dealing with His Covenant People.
All right, after seeing these visions of not only the coming world empires (we’re going to come back to them in verse 17), but also of this glorious throne room experience where he saw God the Son standing before God the Father with the admonition that He would one day be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All right, verse 16:
“I came near unto one of them that stood by, (And that has to be an angel.) and asked him (this angel) the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know (or understand) the interpretation of the things.” Verse 17, and here we come to a recap, again, of his vision that he experienced up there in verses 3, 4, 5, 6, and so forth.
“These great beasts,…” Now always remember that when either the Book of Revelation or the Book of Daniel or even Ezekiel, when they speak of these beasts, they’re speaking of empires. And, of course, the beast of all beasts will be the anti-Christ and his rule over those final seven years. So don’t picture some humongous, horrible looking animal. Even though it is depicting wild animals, yet it’s an empire. It’s a government.
“These great (empires depicted as) beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” Who will be heading up these four Gentile empires? Now just for a second, turn back to the first part of the chapter, still in chapter 7; and we’ll just hit them briefly. Daniel 7 back to verse 4:
“The first was like a lion, (see, a carnivorous killing animal) and had eagle’s wings:…” Well, an eagle is pretty good at ripping flesh. Then you come down to verse 5. The next empire after Babylon, which was the Mede and Persian, and it, too, is pictured as a carnivorous beast.
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, (And you can see it’s carnivorous, because what does it have in its mouth?) and it had three ribs in the mouth of it…” See, it’s a meat-eating animal. All right, then you come down a little further to verse 6.
“After this (After the Mede and Persian Empire passed away, what overtook it?) I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard,…”
The Greek empire. Alexander the Great was pictured as a leopard. Well, the reason Alexander the Great is always pictured as something that moves fast and quick is because his conquests were so rapid. He was able to shave off hundreds of miles by taking daring detours and so forth. He was almost reckless, and yet his recklessness always paid off. So, there will be several references, even now today, to the speed of Alexander’s conquests. All right, here’s he likened to–
“…a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl;…” Depicting the four generals that would take over his empire, and we’ll be looking at that in a little bit. And then verse 7, here comes the fourth empire, which was in the first go-around, the Roman Empire.
“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 (It was different.) from all the beasts that were before it; (And then you come to the Revived Roman Empire at the end of the age with–) and it had ten horns.”
So, here we have the four Empires that were Gentile in nature. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—now let’s just go back, because everybody needs review. Come back to Daniel chapter 2, and we’ll see that in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; which, of course, Daniel interpreted, you have the same four empires. But here they’re depicted as a beautiful metal-composed statue or an image of a man. And you can just picture this out there in that Middle Eastern sun. Down in verse 31 of chapter 2, the same four empires but described differently. Verse 31, Daniel is interpreting. He says:
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image (or likeness of a man). This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was frightening. (I think because of its shimmering beauty. Now here it is.) 32. The image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, (Now, can you picture that in a bright sunlit day—that gold and silver?) his belly and his thighs of brass,”
My, just image how that would shimmer in that noonday Middle Eastern sun. Then as he went on down through the torso:
“His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.” All right, now those are the four Gentile empires beginning with Nebuchadnezzar in about 606 B.C. Now come back to Luke 21, because this is the way I like to teach.
This is the way I prefer to do it. It is not to just stay in one chapter, which sometimes I have to, but in this case I can jump you all the way up to Luke chapter 21 and tie it together. Luke 21 and we’ll drop in at verse 20. This is during Christ’s earthly ministry. So, if you have a red-letter edition, it’s in red. The Lord is speaking. He’s speaking prophetically. Now, He’s not talking about the Tribulation and Armageddon, but rather He’s talking about the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, (Roman armies) then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Now, file that word desolation in your computer, because I’m going to be using it periodically through the afternoon. Seven times the Book of Daniel speaks of desolation. So mark this one down.
“Then (Now remember who is speaking, and who He is speaking to. This is Jesus in His earthly ministry telling this to His people Israel.) Then let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them who are in the midst (that is of Jerusalem) of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereunto. 22. For these be days of vengeance,…” Now again, file that word. Just put it up in your computer. We’re going to talk about it a little later this afternoon.
“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written (back in the Old Testament prophecies) may be fulfilled. 23. But woe unto them that are with child, (That is when this big invasion of Jerusalem takes place.) and to them that are nursing, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land (of Israel), and wrath upon this people (the Jew).” Now verse 24 and here’s why we know it is not Armageddon; it’s not Tribulation; but rather it is A.D. 70. Here’s the kicker.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:…” That’s not going to happen at the end of the seven years of Tribulation. At the end of the seven years, the remnant of Israel will come into the Kingdom. But this group of Jews is going to be either killed or dispersed into all the nations. Here’s the part I want you to remember.
“…and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until (And what kind of a word is that? Time word. There’s coming a day when it will be no more, when the Prince of Peace will finally come and Jerusalem will finally be the City of Peace, and Christ will rule and reign. But until then, the Gentiles are going to control Jerusalem.) until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
So here we have—from the onset of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire, through the Medes and Persians, through the Greek, through the Roman. Then after the Roman Empire dissipated and fell away, up came the Muslim world. See, Mohammedan came out about A.D. 610. All right, from A.D. 610 until after World War I, when the British General Allenby defeated the Muslims who were occupying Palestine at that time, then it became a British mandate.
And of those of you who know anything about the War of Independence that Israel had to fight, the British army was present. They were the ones that kept everything subdued trying to keep peace and tranquility. And in their trying to do that, of course, they tried to help the Arabs win that war and did everything they could to see the Jews defeated. But you see, even Great Britain forgot one key player in world affairs. The God of Glory! And the God of Glory saw to it that the Covenant People won that War of Independence, and here they are in the news every day.
And again, I shared it with my seminars on the road. If ever you have any reason to doubt Scripture, there is one living proof. The Jew! He’s in the homeland. He’s where he belongs. I don’t care how much people fret about it, they are exactly where God wants them to be. Because never forget, the whole scenario for the Second Coming is Jerusalem. And He cannot come to a Jerusalem that’s under Muslim control. He’s going to come to a Jerusalem that is occupied by His Covenant People. Never lose sight of that.
In fact, someone just asked me if I would draw a map on the board before we get through with all this of what the Promised Land is. I don’t think I’ve ever actually drawn the map. I’ve described it. But you see, the Promised Land—from the day that it was deeded to Abraham, repeated to Moses, repeated to Joshua, and repeated through the Prophets—is all the way from the Nile River—I think I will. I think I’ll put it on the board.
Okay, here we have the Mediterranean Sea. Down here is the Nile River. And then up here, of course, you have Turkey. Now this is just a caricature. This isn’t a map. Okay, out of Turkey comes the Euphrates River all the way down to the Persian Gulf. Then from the Persian Gulf it’ll go all the way down to the Red Sea and back up to the Nile River. Now here, of course, is the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and here’s Jerusalem. Up here’s Damascus. Over here is Baghdad. Well, actually, it’d be more like down there. But anyway, that whole Middle East will be Israel’s homeland in the Kingdom.
Well, let’s put Baghdad more like down here. Because I remember when we were up here in the Golan Heights last fall, (those of you that were with us, you remember) we saw an arrow pointing to Baghdad. How far was it, Mom? Three hundred miles. See, the Middle East is, yeah, it’s large; but on the other hand, it’s pretty compact. But that’s Israel’s homeland. They have never had more than just this little neck of land like today, a little bit up here during the time of Solomon and David. But they have never had all of that. But they will, because God has promised it.
Now, I know a lot of people won’t like that. But I’m getting in the habit of doing things that people don’t like. I’m getting used to it. So anyway, the times of the Gentiles are those heavy boots of Gentile armies that have been on the streets of Jerusalem since 606 B.C. Now, even since 1948 when they declared their independence, they’re still under the political thumb, especially of America. They can’t do anything without America giving the final okay.
Now while I’m on this, and I think I’ve got time enough. Come ahead, if you will, to Romans chapter 11. As a rule, I go from Romans 11 to Luke 21; but today I’ll go from Luke 21 to Romans 11. We have another time situation and another filling of things that God has ordained. Only it’s the very opposite of what you see in Luke. In Luke we have the Iniquity of the Gentiles coming to the full. And when they finally reach the full mark, just like the Canaanites did after the promises made to Abraham—I hope you all remember that.
You know, when God first called Abraham out and promised him the Nation, He told him that it would be 430 years before his offspring would be able to come in and enjoy the land of Canaan. Well, why wait 430 years? It was going to take that long for the Canaanites to fill their cup of iniquity. Now, if you have any doubts about how wicked and immoral the Canaanite people were at the time of Israel’s occupying, you go back and read Leviticus 18. I will never read it in public. I can’t, because it is so explicit in the immoral behavior of the Canaanite people. They had reached the full mark.
And that’s why God was absolutely just and righteous in telling the Jews to do what with the Canaanites? Oh, we don’t even like to say it. Well, what did He tell them? Don’t spare a one of them. Men, women, children, babies—obliterate them. Well, Israel didn’t have the heart. They couldn’t do it. So, they left too many Canaanites, and what happened? Exactly what God knew would happen. The Jews embraced the Canaanite, idolatrous religion. And it was their downfall. So, God had to indeed deal with the Jew for embracing the Canaanite, idolatrous worship.
But all right, we’re going to have the same thing now. The world is filling its cup of iniquity. And if you don’t know that it’s being filled, you’re not in the news. You’ve got your head in the sand. I mean, it’s awful. And the more we travel and the more we hear, the more we understand how awful the behavior of the people of the world is becoming.
But here we have the opposite of that. And that’s in Romans 11 verse 25, where Paul has been laying out so clearly, that after the Gentile church age has come to the full, God will return to dealing with His people Israel. He’s not through with Israel. Now, we know that even most of Christendom, let alone the rest of the world—now always stop and think.
You know, I’m saying that more and more, aren’t I? Stop and think. How much of the world is under what we would call biblical, or Christian, influence? The Orient? Huh-uh. The Middle East? Huh-uh. Europe? Huh-uh. South America? Huh-uh. So what’s left? America. We’re the only part of the world. Now, I know there are a lot of Christians in China as a result of the underground Church. But by-and-large, the whole world outside of our United States of America has almost nothing to do with biblical Christianity.
All right, their wickedness is to them not all that unusual, because they’ve been doing it for centuries. But even for them it’s getting worse and worse and worse. All right, but now here in our beloved America we’re seeing a turning away from the Word of God. We’re seeing a direct opposition to our Christian message. They hate us whether we want to admit it or not. But on the other hand, God is filling His cup, which is the Body of Christ. So, as every person that gets saved becomes a member of the Body of Christ, we’re filling our vessel as the world is filling theirs.
All right, now I like to depict these two as coming up through the last 2,000 years almost side-by-side. Now look what this one is.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (This is another thing that had never been revealed before but is now revealed to the Apostle Paul. And the word secret is the other word for mystery.) this secret, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (this mystery is–) that blindness (spiritual blindness) in part (for a period of time) is happened to Israel, (The Jewish People—and that blindness is going to continue—and what’s the next word?) until (Until what? The Body of Christ is full. Now, it doesn’t say that in so many words. But it says–) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Now let me qualify why I know that’s the Body of Christ. Come back with me to Acts 15, and this is after that Jerusalem counsel. Paul and Barnabas have been debating with Peter and John and the rest of the Twelve in the Jerusalem church that they were commissioned to go to the Gentiles and the Twelve were commissioned to stay with Israel. Paul and Barnabas, by God’s help and by the Holy Spirit’s work, won the argument. All right, now James who was moderating that meeting in Jerusalem—come to verse 13 of Acts 15.
“And after they had held their peace,…” Well, what does that mean? Hey, it had been a riotous day. They had been arguing. You know, and I always point out—you know, not to be deriding the Jewish people. I love them. But on the other hand, I get a kick out of the way they do things, and one of them is when they argue. My, when they argue, there are no punches pulled. They go at it tooth-and-nail. Well, the word indicates that. So after they had spent the whole day arguing and everything, they finally “held their peace.” They finally quieted down.
“…James (the moderator comes up and he says–) answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen unto me: 14. Simeon (that’s Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, (That’s a reference to the house of Cornelius.) to take out of them (Now watch your language. To take out of whom? The Gentiles.) to take out of the Gentiles a people for his name.”
“And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16. After this (See? After God has called out the Body of Christ, and it’s full and complete.) I will return, (which is a reference to the final seven years and His second coming) and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down;…”
But what I want you to see is that this fullness of the Gentiles is the calling out of the Body of Christ. Whereas Luke, when he refers to the times of the Gentiles, is referring to the Gentile world under the headship of these empires that Daniel has been seeing in his prophecy.
All right, now then, for just a moment or two left, let’s come back to Daniel chapter 7; where he is reviewing, once again, these four great Gentile empires—first listed by Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron. Then Daniel saw them as a lion, as a bear, as a leopard, and as something beyond description. All right, now for the two minutes we have left, verse 18.
“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” Now what’s that a reference to? Well, the earthly, millennial Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign.
So right here between verse 17 and verse 18, we leap all the way up from the time of Daniel around 500 and some B.C. to the end time—which we feel we’re getting closer and closer to, with the soon appearance of that man of sin, the son of perdition, the prince that shall come and all these other names, but best known as the anti-Christ. And he’s coming. Don’t you think for a minute he’s not. The whole world is getting ready for him, and that’s what we’re referring to here in verse 18. It is after the time of these four empires.
I hope I’ve been making it clear for the last several tapings. I hope you realize that all four of these empires are now in the news every day. Iran was ancient Persia of the Medes and the Persians. Iraq was ancient Baghdad, or Babylon, over which Nebuchadnezzar ruled. Then you’ve got Syria, which is in the news now every day. And Syria was a part of Alexander the Great’s Empire, which we’ll see further on this afternoon. Then the Roman Empire, good heavens, you’d have to have your head in the sand not to realize that the European Union is in the headlines everyday. And they are, of course, the Revived Roman Empire which is setting the stage for the Second Coming of Christ. So, here we have the saints that will take the Kingdom as a result of Christ’s Second Coming, and they “will possess it for ever and ever.”
Now, I haven’t got time in 25 seconds, but I think I referred to it several tapings back. There are two favorite hymns by American church people that have a reference to this verse wrongly, and we’ll pick that up in another program.
LESSON TWO * PART II
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED
Okay, good to see everybody back. For those of you joining us on television, if you would like to come in for an afternoon of Bible study and coffee and all the goodies over there – it’s almost like a feast day, isn’t it? Just come over to Tulsa, normally the first Wednesday after the first Sunday, and you’ll enjoy the day. We’ve got folks today from Oklahoma City, Enid, Texas, Florida, and Nevada. My goodness, I hope I didn’t miss anybody. But anyway, we’re always glad to have visitors come in and join us.
All right, this is a Bible study. We’re going to just keep right on going verse-by-verse through Daniel chapter 7, and we’ve just left off at verse 18. And again, I do want to thank our television audience for all of their kind letters and prayer support and financial support. I can’t renege on doing that. All right, verse 18 again:
“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom,…” Now you know, people will just do anything with Scripture and twist it for their own ends.
Now, I don’t know when it started, but somewhere back in church history there was a movement abroad called Reconstructionism. What they were really preaching was that the Church would finally take over the world almost by force, militarily, and then be ready to hand it over to God at His Second Coming or whenever. And as a result of that theology came two of our favorite hymns, at least they were for me when I was a kid. One was “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Now just stop and think a minute. See how militaristic that is? And it is the same way with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It is militaristic.
And that’s not the way God is going to do it. God is going to let the Body of Christ fill up, and then He will take it out in the Rapture. In will come the anti-Christ and those final seven years, and then Christ Himself will be the One that will take the world by force with His wrath and vexation of those final seven years, especially the last three-and-a-half. So anyway, it’s amazing how people can twist the Scriptures to fit their own theology. All right, so enough of that. Now we can move on to verse 19. Daniel goes on.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast,…” Or this fourth empire. Now never lose sight of what I closed with.
In Daniel’s day, yes, Nebuchadnezzar came in 606 B.C. They held forth for a hundred years or so. Then came the Medes and the Persians, which is present day Iran and a part of the world just north of them. Then came Alexander the Great and what we call the Greek Empire. Then that faded away. A couple of hundred years later and the Romans came in. And, of course, the Roman Empire held forth, like I said in the last half hour, until around the fourth or fifth century.
After that you have the appearance of Mohammad and the world of Islam. They pretty much became the occupiers of that part of the world up until World War I when the British took over the Mandate of Palestine and so forth.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth empire, (the Roman) which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, (See, that’s exactly the way it was seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as well.) and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;”
Now all that shows is the absolute authority of these empires, and this Roman Empire especially. But, the Revived Roman Empire that’s going to appear for the final seven years of Daniel’s 490 years of prophecies, which will be coming, maybe not this taping but the next one. That will even be worse than anything that has ever been before, because it is an outpouring not only of God’s wrath, but of Satan’s. Satan, as we’ll see later, is also a major player—especially in those last three-and-a-half years.
All right, now verse 20. This is definitely Tribulation ground, because the ancient Roman Empire was not associated with the ten horns and so forth. So whenever you get to ten horns and ten crowns, then we’re leaping up to those final seven years.
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell;…” Now remember, we’re talking about nations. We’re not talking about some creature with ten horns sticking out of his head. We’re talking about an empire composed of ten distinct nations and kings and so forth. All right, out of the ten, three will disappear.
Now for thirty years I’ve taught it, and I still haven’t found any reason to change. It is that I feel these ten nations will be the original ten that came out after World War II. And they started with the Club of Rome in 1945. Those ten nations just moved on up through the years and became what we now know as the European Union. But the ten that originally started are still what I call “veto holders.” In other words, even though there are twenty-five or thirty nations coming into the Union, yet those original ten still have the final authority.
I’m going to take the time to read them, because a lot of people don’t understand who they are. I’ll try to go slow enough so that you can write them in your notes. We start out with the three small ones that I think will disappear – Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Now, if you can abbreviate, you can write a little faster. Then you’ve got the bigger ones – France, Germany, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom (that’s England, Britain), Portugal, and Spain.
Now those are the ten that came together right after World War II and formed what they called early on the Club of Rome. Then it became the European Community. And then the last few years we call it the European Union. And a year or two ago they formed their own currency called the Euro. And as I predicted way, way back—when that would appear, it would go right by the dollar in value. And I was right. It’s gone right on by and it is now presently about a dollar and thirty cents for every dollar.
So anyway, here is what I feel—now, I know there are a lot of different concepts of this end-time thing, but this is where I’m still the most comfortable—that these are the ten original nations of the Western European Union. The ten horns. And the three that fall away will be those three small ones—the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Then out of the seven will come the anti-Christ. All right, let’s go a little further in verse 20.
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell (or disappeared); even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”
In other words, he’s going to have a charismatic personality. He’s going to have an authoritarian air about him so that the world will succumb to his leadership. Now remember, he’s going to be an ordinary human being, but naturally he’s going to be given these things by virtue of God’s Sovereignty. But also, he’s going to be empowered later on by Satan himself. All right, now verse 21, as he beholds in this image or in this vision–
“I beheld, and the same horn (This man anti-Christ, now—the singular—he’s come out of the seven.) the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;” Well, what does that mean? That means that by the time he comes into full world dominion, which will be at least at the middle of the seven years, he’s going to turn on the Nation of Israel. First, because those are the saints that the Old Testament talks about. The Old Testament knows nothing of Gentiles as saints, so that’s always Jews.
All right, let’s see how the Lord Himself—and we’ll be looking at this more than once, because I get pounded constantly—don’t ever stop repeating. Jump up with me now to Matthew 24, and we’ll see exactly what Daniel is talking about.
How that at the middle of the Tribulation this man anti-Christ, the singular horn out of the ten, is going to turn on the Nation of Israel. And he’s going to do everything in his power to totally annihilate them. Now does that sound so weird and far out? No, they’ve got that guy down in Iran, that’s all he can think. It is to just totally destroy the Jewish people. He wants to nuke them in the worst way possible. But here’s what the Lord says in Matthew 24 verse 15.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,…” That is when this man anti-Christ will go into that rebuilt Temple as a result of the seven-year treaty, remember. We’ll be looking at all that over the next several programs. He will go into that rebuilt Temple and defile it with some sort of an abominational idol. It will infuriate the Jews, of course, but that won’t do them much good, because he’s going to turn on them with the idea of destroying every last one of them. All right, now drop down to verse 16.
“Then…” In other words, Jesus is telling the Jewish people of that day, when you see this happen—and it’s going to be on front page news. How this man has gone up to the Temple mount and has gone into the Temple and done all these things. It’ll be on “You Tube,” and it’ll be on the cell phones, and it’ll be all over the world. Everyone will know what’s going on. So Jesus tells his Jewish people—when you see this happen, then get out of town. That’s the best way I can put it. Get out of Jerusalem. And He says:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (to a place of safety that God will designate) 17. Let them who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house.” Now we’ve gone over this before, and I’ll probably go over it again. I feel these are the wealthier Jews of the area of Jerusalem living up in the penthouses of their beautiful apartments.
My, how many of you get the Jerusalem Post? Any of you? Am I the only one? Do you get it? Okay, do you notice the places that are for sale and for rent? Oh! Nothing less than a million dollars. I mean, there is nothing less than a million. Most of them are from two to three to four million dollars – apartments! Not houses with five acres like in America. These are apartments. So don’t think for a minute there aren’t a lot of wealthy people in Jerusalem. Absolutely! So to those kinds of people the Lord says, hey, you may have some things that you just don’t want to part with, it cost you a lot of money. Leave it. Leave it and get out of town!
All right, now we come down to the next level of the economic scale—the working people. I don’t care whether they’re professionals—lawyers and doctors and business people and the scientists and so forth in their Silicon Valley, or whether it’s carpenters or ditch diggers. We’re dealing with all the rest of that economic scale where it says:
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Now, I try to help people to understand, that when you read your Bible, understand that it’s talking in the language of that day.
Well, now think back 2,000 years—at the time of Christ. What was the occupation of probably 95% of the Jewish people? Farming and herdsman and orchards. They weren’t cosmopolitan. They were agrarians, so that’s the language. It is the same way when you read Ezekiel and all those things—you’ve got to understand that they’re writing in the language of antiquity. So, you have to use common sense and put it into the language of today.
All right, so to the working class, that whole middle area, He says: let him not turn back to take his clothes. In other words, don’t worry about a second set of clothes. Why? Because just like when Moses led the people out into the desert for forty years, what happened? Their clothes never wore out. Their shoes never wore out. Well, it’s going to be the same way with this escaping remnant of Jews. They won’t need a new set of clothes. They won’t need anything, because God’s going to provide everything for those final three-and-a-half years in this place of safety.
Because after all, I think we looked at this a couple of weeks ago, but let’s go back again before we lose our train of thought. Come all the way back to Zechariah, the next to the last book in your Old Testament, just ahead of Malachi. Zechariah chapter 13, because we’ve got to be realists, the Book knows what it’s talking about. And we have to believe it. Zechariah chapter 13 verse 8 and this is all part and parcel of what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 24 and Daniel is talking about in chapter 7.
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, (That is of all the land of Israel.) saith the LORD, two parts therein (two thirds) shall be cut off and die;…”
Now you’ve got to remember, the anti-Christ is going to be ruthless in killing off the Jews. He’s going to spare none of them. But God supremely, sovereignly, is going to spare the one third.
“…two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part (the one third) shall be left therein. (In other words, God’s going to protect them for this purpose.) 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire,…” That is of Tribulation.
Remember when we were back in Daniel and his friends were cast into the fiery furnace? You remember that I told you that was a picture in type of Israel in the Tribulation. Even though they were cast into that raging fired-up furnace, it never touched them, because the Son of God was in there with them. Well, it was a picture of this one third of Israel. They, too, will come through the horrors of those final seven years untouched, because He’s going to bring them through it. And as a result:
“…and I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, (We’re going to be talking on that a little later this afternoon.) and I will hear them: and I will say, It is my people:…” God hasn’t said that for a long, long time.
Already starting with Moses, how did He refer to the Nation of Israel? Your people. Thy people. And Moses said, they’re not my people, they’re Your people. No, they’re thy people. And all the way through Daniel’s experience, God says the same thing—thy people. But when it comes to this point in time at the end of the Tribulation, when this remnant of Israel will finally recognize their coming Messiah, then God will say “My people.” That’s part of the Jeremiah 31 New Covenant.
Now stop and think, be aware of the numbers. There are just a little over fifteen million Jews on the planet today. They just took a census of it, again, not too long ago. A few of fifteen million, so a third, is five million people. That’s about the same number that went out of Egypt under Moses. So it’s a pretty close parallel.
All right, reading on in Matthew 24, He says in verse 19—the next group of people you’ve got after the wealthy living in the penthouses, and the working class, the middle class—now we come to those who are homemakers and mothers and so forth.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days! (young mothers carrying their little ones) 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:” Because what happened three-and-a-half years earlier as a result of that seven year peace treaty? Israel was given permission to rebuild the Temple. They went back under the Law, and they enjoyed that for three-and-a-half years. It was a relative time of peace and prosperity.
So, here’s the kickback of it. Now since they’ve been under the Law, literally, they’ll have to hope that this great event won’t be on a Sabbath day. And I’m sure the Lord will see to it that it won’t be. So, hope that it won’t be on the Sabbath day, nor in the winter.
You know, a few years ago we were on a cruise ship on the Mediterranean. We were supposed to stop at Ashdod, but we couldn’t dock because of—man, we had fifteen, twenty foot waves that whole trip for two weeks. I got seasick every day. But you ought to see my tapes of those. We were in one of the ships that have little movies, and the ship taped it for us. And when you look at that DVD—not DVD, VHS—we didn’t have DVD’s in yet. There was a screen behind me because it was a movie theater. And that screen just goes like “this,” all the way through that whole hour of lecture. How I maintained without tossing my cookies, I don’t know. But anyway, we couldn’t dock. The seas were too high. So we go up to Haifa, and we rearranged our whole schedule so that we could send the buses down to Jerusalem from Haifa, so that they could at least tour. Well, they had fourteen inches of snow in Jerusalem! So we couldn’t even do that.
All to make the point that when Jesus said, hope that it won’t be in the winter time, because they can have 12-14 inch snowfall in Jerusalem. All right, verse 21, this is the whole sum of the matter.
“For then (beginning with the mid-point of that final seven years) for then shall be great tribulation,…” Now you know, that’s why some people feel that the first three-and-a-half years aren’t Tribulation.
Well, I beg to differ. Because, and now I’ll tell you why I differ. When they say that there won’t be much harm or danger or death and destruction until the first half is over—keep your hand in Matthew 24 and come back with me to Revelation chapter 6. Because I’ve got to make the point. Don’t ever think for a minute that it’s going to pie-in-the-sky the first three-and-a-half and then everything breaks loose. No. The first three-and-a-half is going to have enough of its own. Revelation chapter 6 and that’s after the white horse, the red horse, and the black horse; and then you come down to verse 7.
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth creature say, Come and see. 8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over one fourth part of the earth, (Now that’s speaking of population, not necessarily land area, but over population, because you don’t kill land area. You kill people. All right, and here it is that power was given unto this fourth horse over one fourth of the earth’s population.) to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Now, if you know your math, what’s one fourth of seven billion, which is the present-day population? Well, my little calculator said 1.75 billion people. That’s one and three quarters billion people who will lose their life in the first half. And then is when it really takes off. All right, so back to Matthew 24, again, if you will, because this is from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself. From the Creator God. From the God of Glory. And He will not stretch the point. Verse 21 again:
“For then (at this midpoint of the seven until the end) for then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world (Now you remember what that entails, all the judgments and the disasters that the human race faced for 4,000 years up to the time of Christ. But then He leaps ahead. He doesn’t just say has ever been. But He looks forward and through the eyes of the Creator God He could tell us exactly what it’s going to be.) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Now that tells us that this final three-and-a-half years is going to be the worst period of human decimations in all of human history. And the world is getting so ripe for it. Don’t ever blame God for coming down so hard on the human race.
All right, we’ve got four minutes left. Come back with me to Daniel. We’ll continue on a few more verses here in chapter 7. Verse 21 is what kicked us up to Matthew.
“I beheld, and the same horn (this man anti-Christ, the singular horn out of the ten) made war with the saints, (That is the Jewish people.) and prevailed against them;” He succeeded in killing two thirds of them, only the third that is providentially escaping will survive. All right, now verse 22.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment (or rule) was given to the saints of the most High;…” In other words, Israel is still going to come back under the rule and reign of their Messiah and King. Israel will become the greatest nation on the earth during that thousand year reign. All right, verse 22 again.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” The thousand year reign, which will open up as soon as these seven years have been culminated. All right, now verse 23.
“Thus he said, The fourth beast…” This fourth empire, which is a Revived Roman Empire which the world is getting ready for—this whole, I’m sure, this whole financial debacle is just setting the stage for a world economy, a world currency, which will lead to a world government and a world religion. It’s all coming together so quickly. All right, verse 23.
Thus he said, The fourth empire, shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, (It’s going to be different from all other kingdoms that have ever been in our past history.) and shall devour the whole earth, (Not just the Middle East, not just Europe, it’s going to be a world-wide government control.) and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” In other words, it’s going to be absolutely vicious in its control of the masses.
Now, I haven’t got time. We’ll do it in another one. I was just going to show you something from Revelation, but we’ll go on for now. Verse 24:
“And the ten horns (These ten nations out of which the three have fallen and you’ve got seven left.) the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: (Now that’s plain English. They are separate nations under separate governments, but they will all be brought together.) and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Three governments and I’ve already stressed who I think it will be. It’ll be the three little ones of Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. All right, then verse 25 and that’ll probably wind us up for this half hour.
“And he shall speak great words (Oh, he’s going to be arrogant. He’s going to be self-deifying, and he will–) speak great words against the most High, (That is against our God of Creation. Our God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:…”
LESSON TWO * PART III
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED
Okay, good to have you all back from the break. We’ll go into program three this afternoon. My, they’re going fast today, aren’t they? Okay, again, for those of you out in television, I haven’t mentioned it today, but we’re just an informal Bible study. That’s why I will not wear a suit and tie. I want people to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee, because this is just like a home Bible study, only quite a bit larger. And now since we’re reaching so many, it’s really getting large. But again, we always appreciate hearing from you and that you are praying for us out in TV.
All right, let’s go right back where we left off in Daniel chapter 7. We’ll repeat the verse that we closed with, might not have gotten all of it.
“And he (speaking now of this anti-Christ that’s coming) he shall speak great words against the most High, (In other words, he’s going to be blasphemous.) and shall wear out the saints (That is the Jews of his day. He’s going to be constantly on them in persecution and killing them off.) and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: (Now, I want you to catch that word. That’s part of his operation—it is to change things.) and they shall be given into his hand until (See, there’s a time word again. If you become a student of Scripture, you can tell exactly what it’s talking about. It’ll be–) until a time and times and the dividing of time (or three-and-a-half-years).”
In other words, just like Daniel chapter 9 is going to point out when we get there—at the middle of the seven years, exactly the middle of seven years, he will come from, I think, his headquarters in Europe. And he’ll go into that rebuilt Temple up there on the Temple Mount as result of the seven year treaty made back in Revelation, and he will turn against the Jews in particular. But he will also bring on despotic rule to the whole world.
All right, so it’ll be for three-and-a-half years. The first three-and-a-half and the second three-and-a-half. All right, verse 26:
“But the judgment shall sit, (In other words, what God has declared.) and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” That’ll be at the Second Coming of Christ when He will utterly defeat and destroy this man anti-Christ and whatever he’s been able to hold together.
Now you’ve got to remember that the scenario on planet Earth is going to be beyond human description. It’s going to be death and destruction. I’ve showed the verses over and over from Jeremiah and some of the other prophets of the total death and destruction that will happen on planet Earth in those last three-and-a-half years. All right, now verse 27:
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting…”
In other words, that’s what Christ will bring in at His Second Coming. That remnant of Israel that we saw escaping in Matthew 24 will come back up now, every last Jew a believer. They will now be a nation of men, women, boys, and girls—all believers—and they will begin to repopulate the Nation of Israel. And they will enjoy that whole Middle East as we drew it on the board in the first program this afternoon. That’s Israel’s future. Two thirds are going to be lost, but one third will come into the earthly Kingdom.
Now, you see, that’s a fact of Scripture that I’ve been emphasizing all over the country. We just came back from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee and had a fabulous time. And this is what I’m emphasizing—that God has never had more than the small remnant of the human race. Never has He had the multitudes. Only eight were on the ark.
Then you come up into Israel’s history. My, Elijah, you’ve heard me repeat it over and over. He thought he was the only one. That’s how bad it was. But God still had seven thousand scattered throughout the nation. But out of seven million that’s only like one out of a thousand. That’s not many.
And then you come to Isaiah at the time that he was prophesying the coming doom of the Babylonian invasion. How did Isaiah put it? Had it not been for the very small remnant of the righteous. Well, what’s a very small remnant? Not much! And that’s all that was left in Israel in Isaiah’s day.
And then, of course, in came the Babylonian invasion and took the whole nation out to Babylon. But did it change their spiritual life? No. They didn’t even have an interest in going back to the Holy Land when Cyrus came along and gave them permission. Out of those millions of Jews that went out to Babylon, only, I think, forty-four thousand came back under Ezra. That’s just a remnant.
Then you get up to the Lord’s earthly ministry, and He puts it so graphically. You all know the verses, “Broad is the way, and wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go therein.”
And then the other side of the coin is, “Narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life eternal, and few there be that find it.” So, that’s been a fact of Scripture.
Well, even here, you see, God doesn’t get the whole of Israel. He gets one third. Two thirds have rejected; and, of course had lost their life as a result of it. But one third, which would be that typical population number of Israel up though her history, about five million. They will come in and begin to repopulate the Promised Land. All right, now back to verse 28 in Daniel 7.
“Hitherto is the end of the matter….” In other words, this pretty much settled it—that after these four empires have run their course, they come back a second time around getting ready for the final seven years and the rule of the anti-Christ. That triggers the Second Coming and the setting up of God’s earthly Kingdom.
“Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations (or my thoughts) much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”
Now I have to think in my own mind, poor old Daniel. He’s now, I put it here in my margin, 87 years old. How old was he when he left? Fourteen. So he’s been out there in that foreign, pagan territory all those years. What would that be, about 73 years? What do you suppose was the longing of that man’s heart? The King and the Kingdom. Certainly! Now that they had run the course of the seventy years that had been promised, surely, now God would bring in the Kingdom. But I think he’s getting the drift. It’s not going to happen, Daniel. It’s way out in the future.
All right, so keep all that in mind. He’s just as human as we are, and, oh, how he was longing that these end-time events could get past and bring in the Kingdom. Now you drop into chapter 8, and all of a sudden, as I’ve said so often when I teach Paul, the prophet shifts gears. I think you understand what I mean by that.
All of a sudden it’s a different scenario. Primarily because up until now, with the exception of the first chapter or two, this was written in the language of the Babylonians and the Chaldeans. But now it comes back to Hebrew. Because now, you see, the Holy Spirit understands that it’s primarily dealing with Israel rather than with those Gentile empires of chapters 2 through 7. So now we come back to the Hebrew, and Daniel is now 87 years of age.
“In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. (In other words, still more visions.) 2. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river Ulai.”
In other words, he’s no longer in Babylon. He’s up in the capital of the Medes and the Persians, which is north and east of present day Baghdad. So he’s now part and parcel of the next empire. Miraculously. Unbelievable how this dear man Daniel was able to be such a major player throughout the Babylonian Empire, then goes right on into the Mede and the Persian and becomes the top man in the government over there as well.
“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram (Now we deal with the species we call sheep in this goat’s case, so it was a sheep ram.) which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, (In other words, it wasn’t like we normally would like to see on the perfect animal. But remember, this is a symbolic thing. All right, one horn was higher than the other.) and the higher came up last.”
Now in these succeeding verses—this is why the scornful and those who hate to admit the inspiration of Scripture claim that this was all written after the fact. But Daniel is predicting it to the very last detail long before it happens. And that is the rise of the Mede and Persian Empire confronted by Alexander the Great. Now that’s what all these succeeding verses are dealing with. So I’m not going to take lot of time with it, because most of you are probably not as interested in history as I am. But, you know, this is biblical history. This is what you read in a college history book and Daniel wrote it before it happened. See, that’s the miracle of Scripture.
All right, so now he sees the ram, which was indicative of the Medes and the Persians, a combination of two nations.
“I saw the ram (the Mede and Persian Empire) pushing westward,…” Now always stop and think. Why didn’t they go east? Why did they go west? Why didn’t they go toward the Orient? Why didn’t they head over toward China and Afghanistan and India?
Well, you see, in God’s divine purposes, which direction did the Gospel go? West. That’s why we’ve been so blessed in our western nations, because the Word of God did not go east; it went west. God did all of His workings over the last thousands of years through that move westward rather than eastward.
So when you go home tonight and you take a hot shower and you sit in front of a big plasma TV and you eat a T-bone steak, you know what you have to thank God for? That the Medes and the Persians didn’t go east, they went west! It’s that simple. Because you see, we’ve been so blessed, and you know where it started. Now, I didn’t intend to do this. I may even have to look a minute. Come back with me to Genesis. I think it’s chapter 9.
Now this is why I love Scripture. How God knows the end from the beginning because He’s in control of it. He created it. But way back here in Genesis chapter 9 verse 27, we have the three sons of Noah: Ham, Shem, and Japheth.
“God shall enlarge Japheth,…” Now who followed Japheth? Well, the Caucasian races. Japheth from the Middle East went up north into the Caucasians, then they migrated over into Europe. So Japheth is the progenitor of what we would call the Caucasian races. Shem was the progenitor of the Middle Eastern races. All right, so verse 27 again.
“God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem;…” Now, I don’t know how many of you remember how I taught that when we were back in Genesis. But you know how I look at that? The Caucasian people are going to be given the wherewithal, the energy and the ambition, to increase and enjoy technology. Just stop and think. The whole industrial revolution, where did it start? Not China. Not India. Europe and North America. All right, from the industrial revolution we jump across over to America and you’ve got the agricultural revolution—the tremendous increase in agricultural production and what have you. And you have the increase in manufacturing. Well, that was all part of the western civilizations. Not the Far East.
In fact, I tell Iris every once in a while—when I look at the news and how these third world people are still plowing with the old water buffalo, still plowing with a stick many times. Well, they’ve got the same brain capacity that our Mid-western farmers had. What made the difference? Well, I can only put one word on it. God.
Because I can remember as a kid when my Dad, who was farming in the 1920’s and the 1930’s—when those farmers would get together, what would they talk about? How they could plow more in less time. How they could produce more with less work. The Far East still doesn’t look at it that way. Why? Because God has singularly blessed the western culture.
But, now here’s the next one. This will make you smile. Even though Japheth is going to be given the wherewithal to have all the energy and do all the doing, who is going to finance it? The Jew—and he’s going to dwell in the tents of Shem. And I’ll stand on that until the day I die, because that’s just the way God ordained it.
You cannot do anything without money. Nothing. You have to go and borrow it, because nobody starts out with it. And where did everybody have to go? To the Jewish bankers. I think Genesis just says it all—that Japheth will be enlarged. They’re the ones that are going to set technology on edge, but they’re going to do it with Jewish bankers. And I think I can back it up with history and economics and everything else, that that’s exactly the way God intended.
All right, now I can take another one. When Paul was beginning his missionary journeys and he had gotten to the west end of Turkey to the Aegean Sea, he had intended to U-turn and go back along the northern shores of the Black Sea and then back into Asia. What happened? The Holy Spirit stopped him. He had a vision that night of a man over in Macedonia in Greece. And what did the vision say? “Come over and help us.”
And Paul didn’t argue. Instead of U-turning back to the east, he took a ship across the Aegean, went up to Philippi, and Christianity took hold in Europe. So, as we sit here enjoying all of our western culture and our blessings, it all began by God’s design.
All right, back again to where I was. Daniel 8 and verse 4, this is simple history. That’s all it is—by God’s foretelling it before it happened through the prophet Daniel.
“I saw the ram (the Mede and Persian Empire) pushing westward and northward, and southward; (Not east—west, south, and north. In other words, around the Mediterranean Sea and up over toward the Caucasians.) so that no beasts might stand before him, (In other words, no empire could stand before this Mede and Persian host.) neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.”
In other words, the Medes and Persians, under Artaxerxes and later on under King Cyrus, had absolute power and reign over the then-known world. All right, verse 5:
“And as I was considering, (When he saw the ram pushing to the west with its armies, all of a sudden something else came up in his vision, and it’s a goat.) behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.” Singular or plural? Singular. One. Well, who is this? Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great was the next major player on the stage of history.
Now there’s an inkling in here. Oh, I know what I wanted to look at. “And he touched not the ground.” Now what does that speak of? You can run so fast that it’s almost as if you’re not even touching the ground. That was the swiftness of Alexander’s conquests. He moved his army so much faster than anybody could ever dream possible. It was a supernatural thing.
You pick this up two or three times in the Scriptures, the speed of Alexander’s moving of his armies. All right, and “he had a notable horn between his eyes,” which is indicated by the singular Alexander the Great.
“And he came to the ram who had two horns, (In other words, Alexander the Great’s armies confront the Medes and the Persians coming from the east. All right–) And he came to the ram who had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.” In other words, Alexander the Great just overwhelmed the Mede and Persians.) 7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him,…” In other words, he had anger. He had nothing on his mind but to destroy the enemy.
“…and smote the ram, and broke his two horns: (In other words, he just utterly destroyed the governmental power of the Mede and Persian Empire.) and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.” In other words, Alexander the Great utterly defeated the Medes and Persians.
“Therefore the he goat (Alexander the Great) waxed very great: and when he was strong, (In other words, he kept getting stronger as he conquered more and more nations.) the great horn was broken;…” Now, how many of you know the story of Alexander the Great? Well, he was the master of dissipation.
He literally destroyed his own body with his riotous living—and not only with alcohol, but with women and everything else. So by the time he was thirty three, Alexander the Great had conquered the then-known world and cried, they tell us, literally cried that there were no more nations to conquer. He had conquered them all. That’s when God took his life.
Now then, Alexander the Great had now formed the Greek Empire, usurping the Mede and the Persian and taking up more from where he’d left in Greece and Egypt and Palestine and all of that. Then his empire was divided by four of his generals, and that’s where we constantly get this picture of four when it’s associated with Alexander the Great. You remember way back in chapter 7, Daniel saw this animal with four wings and so forth. All right, so he waxed great, but he was broken. In other words, he dies. And in his place came four notable ones and they’re going to divide the empire into four distinct areas.
Now as soon as you get to verse 9, we leap all the way from 300 B.C. to the end of the age and the anti-Christ. Now that’s the way Scripture does things. So you might want to make note of it in your Bible, that here in verse 9 we now leave off with history back in 300 B.C. and we jump all the way up to that which, we think, is near future. I think we’re getting so close. Of course, I said that ten years ago. But you want to remember, ten years in God’s eyes is not even a split-second and a hundred years isn’t much.
But you see, the reason I keep thinking more and more that we’re close, and I’m not stretching the envelope, is that when these prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah especially, when they were warning Israel of this coming Babylonian invasion because of their wickedness (I hope I get back to that before the afternoon is over.); that because of their horrendous idolatry they’re going to be overrun by these Gentile Empires, how long was it until it happened? Well, a hundred years. It sounds like it was going to be next month, because Isaiah says you’re going to have foreign languages in your midst. From what? Occupying troops.
But it wasn’t next month. It was a hundred years before it happened. But we can use the same analogy today. All of these end-time things that I can point out and stand here by the hour, when did they really begin? The last part of the 1800’s. Technology – when did you get the invention of the steam engine and the telephone and the telegraph? The late 1800’s. Then at the turn of the century you have the airplane. Then you come to the technology of World War I and World War II and it’s just a downhill flow.
All right, you can take it in every category. When did people start getting a knowledge of prophecy? The early or the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. Up until then it was never even mentioned. But then all of a sudden guys began to understand. The New Age movement—when did the New Age Movement begin? The 1890’s. And after the turn of the century, it, too, is on a downhill swing. So, all these things that are now coming to a head for our end-time scenario have been around a hundred years. That’s why I feel that we are appropriate in thinking that the Lord will be coming, yet, even in my lifetime as old as I am.
All right, so back to chapter 8. I’ve only got a minute left. Verse 9:
“And out of one of them (out of one of these four generals out of which the Greek Empire was divided) out of one of them came forth a little horn,…” Now that’s a title for the anti-Christ, but in this case it’s going to be the forerunner of the anti-Christ, or what I would call the prototype. Everything that this “little horn” is going to accomplish back in antiquity you’re going to see replayed by the man anti-Christ.
I haven’t really got enough time left to take that any further. But we’ll come back to it in our next program. Verse 9 and out of one of these Greek quarters of the Greek Empire, comes a guy by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes, who’ll be a Syrian. He is one of the four generals that take over the Greek Empire that was established by Alexander the Great. He will be a perfect prototype for the true anti-Christ.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED
Okay, good to have everybody back from your break. This is the fourth program this afternoon. We’re going to get out of here and get home in just a little bit, but let’s pick up one more program by going back to Daniel chapter 8 where we just left off in verse 9.
Now remember what I’ve been saying—this is history before it happened, prophesied by the prophet Daniel. Consequently, the unbelieving world can’t comprehend it. That’s the beauty of prophecy. It just simply proves that our Bible knows what it’s talking about when it can predict things or foretell things long before it happens. All right, now back to Daniel chapter 8 verse 9 again.
“And out of one of them,…” That is out of one of these four areas of the Greek Empire. Now don’t forget that after Alexander the Great, by his own cunning and his leadership, had conquered the then-known world and actually cried tears that there wasn’t any more ground to conquer, he died a drunkard’s death, really, if you want to know the truth of it, at the age of 33.
He had four generals, and in order to make sure that none of Alexander’s sons would take his place, they murdered them. See, now that’s how history works. These four generals connived to kill the sons of Alexander the Great so that there wouldn’t be anybody to usurp the power except themselves.
These four generals now divide the empire. And the worst of the four was Antiochus Epiphanes. Now you want to write that one down. Antiochus was the general that took over the part of the world that included Syria and Israel and Egypt. He was a despot, and he gave Israel fits. He was, well, we’ll see it here in the Scripture in just a minute. That’s why he is what the Scripture calls a preview of the man anti-Christ. So we go back to so many of the things that Antiochus did that we know the anti-Christ will do as well. Verse 9 again:
“And out of one of them (out of these four generals) came forth a little horn, (which is an indication that he’s the type or picture of the anti-Christ) which waxed exceeding great, toward the south. (See, that took in the land of Israel.) and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” And that, of course, is another reference to Palestine, or the land of Israel. All right, verse 10:
“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” Now, that may be kind of hard to comprehend. But one commentary designated that as the priests as they worked in the Temple. He made a point of killing them first and downtrodden them. All right, now verse 12:
“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice (Now you know, that’s in the realm of the Temple worship. He’s down in Jerusalem, and he had a daily host or–) an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.”
Now, I think all that is in reference to his destroying the Temple and the Temple worship and the Word of God and all that was associated with it. Then verse 13:
“Then I heard one saint (or a believing Jew) speaking, and another saint (believing Jew) said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host (That is the population of Jerusalem in general.) to be trodden under foot.”
Now keep remembering, this is all taking place back there in about 300 B.C. while Antiochus Epiphanes was ruling his part of the Greek Empire before the Romans came in. And the anti-Christ is going to follow in his footsteps now some 2,300 years later. All right, read the next verse. Verse 14:
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days;…” Now nobody of whatever I can read can give an answer to this, and I can’t understand it. So we’ll just leave that verse set. Nobody can understand what those 2,300 days are referring to. Now verse 15:
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.” Now whether it’s the Lord, or whether it’s an angel, I’m going to wait and see if it comes up in the coming verses.
“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. (So, I think that’s who the man’s voice in verse16 is—Gabriel.) 17. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face:…”
Now you can understand that Daniel is still very human in spite of all that God has been doing with him, and he was afraid. Who wouldn’t be? To have an angel the likes of Gabriel suddenly appear?
“…but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” See, now we’re leaping all the way over to what for us is still future, that would be 2,300 years plus.
“Now as he was speaking with me, (this angel Gabriel) I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And he (Gabriel) said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation:…”
Now the indignation in Scripture is the seven years of Tribulation. Let’s go back. I haven’t done it for quite a while. Keep your hand in Daniel. I hope I can remember where I’m at. Come back with me to Psalms chapter 2 again. We use it quite often. I always call it the outline of the Old Testament program.
And here we pick it up, of course, at the crucifixion, the rejection of Israel’s Messiah. Psalms chapter 2, I think it’s high time that we review it. We might as well start at verse 1. In years gone by we’ve used it quite often, but it’s been a while. Psalms chapter 2 and I just want you to see how beautifully this is laid out now since we’re seeing it also in Daniel.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? (What’s the matter with their thinking?) 2. The kings of the earth (Now in this case, it’s the likes of Pilate and the Roman authorities.) set themselves,…” In other words, you know, they were all prone to think that they were God themselves.
“…and the rulers (That is of Israel.) take counsel together, (In other words, when the High Priests consorted with Pilate to put Him to death.) against the LORD, (in other words, Jesus of Nazareth) and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (That is the reigns, or the controlling power, of Israel’s God. They wanted nothing to do with Him.) and cast away their cords from us.” Well, Israel had been that ridiculous all through their history, of course.
“Let us break their bands asunder, (That is the bands of the Triune God.) and cast away their cords from us. 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:…” How can Israel, or anybody else for that matter, be so ridiculous?
“…the LORD shall have them in derision. 5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, (That’s the Tribulation.) and (he will) vex them in his sore displeasure. 6. Yet (After running the course of the days of indignation, the seven years of Tribulation, this is what will follow.) Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
See how perfectly it unfolds. They reject the Messiah. They kill Him. But according to Old Testament prophecy, in short order the Tribulation would come in. Christ would return, and Israel would have the Kingdom. See, there’s no hint of Paul and the Church Age in anything in Old Testament prophecy. It was a secret kept in the mind of God until He gave it to the Apostle Paul.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said it unto me, Thou art my Son; (See, there we know we’re speaking of Christ.) this day have I begotten thee. 8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (the Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth…” As we’ve already seen, that’s a reference to the coming Kingdom.
All right, so all the way through, now, we’ve got this set of events: first Christ would be rejected, and then would come the Tribulation, then the Second Coming and the establishing of the Kingdom.
All right, now let’s come back up to where we were in Daniel chapter 8. Now we’re going to see this vision explained. Verse 20:
“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: (That’s Alexander the Great.) and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (Or Alexander himself.) 22. Now that being broken, (In other words, he died at the age of thirty three and his power is broken by virtue of physical death.) whereas four (Those four generals that we’ve been talking about.) four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
In other words, those four segments of Alexander’s Empire will become pretty much independent, yet they’re going to be fighting against each other. Verse 23:
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, (these four generals including the main player, Antiochus Epiphanes) when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, (In other words, I think it’s a reference to his demonic influence, satanic power.) shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” That’s Israel.
“And through his policy also shall he cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall he destroy many: (All right, now we come to an understanding that we’re talking about the anti-Christ. The one who is the follower of Antiochus Epiphanes, because of the capitalized word Prince. Here’s the key.) he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (Which is a title of Christ.) but he shall be broken without hand.”
Now let’s jump ahead. We’ll be coming to it probably in the next taping. But jump all the way up to chapter 9 verse 26, and here’s where you get the connection that now we’re talking about the anti-Christ confronting the Son of God, Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming. Daniel chapter 9 verse 26, we’ll look at this in detail in our next taping, hopefully.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, (a reference to His crucifixion) but not for himself: (In other words, He died for us, not for anything He had done. Now here it comes.) 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,…” Oh, I didn’t go up far enough. I should have gone up to verse 25. I’m sorry. Sorry about that. Jump back up to verse 25.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the (What?) Prince….” There, I made my point. Now it’s Prince, capitalized.
All right, now flip back. We will look at this in days to come. Now come back to Daniel chapter 8. This is the same Prince referred to in verse 25, the coming Christ. All right, so now we know that we are dealing with the anti-Christ, who is going to follow in almost the identical footsteps of Antiochus Epiphanes some 3,000 years earlier.
“…and by peace he shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (He thinks he can fight the coming Christ.) but he shall be broken without hand.”
Now let’s go back and see how the Book of Revelation deals with that verse. To what extent will God the Son utterly destroy this man anti-Christ. Revelation 19, let’s drop in at verse 19.
“And I saw the beast, (the anti-Christ) and the kings of the earth, (who he had subjected under his own power) and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, (Which is a reference to Christ, God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth, however you want to name Him.) and they had gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army.” But all we have to do is look at verse 20, didn’t take much but a spoken word.
“And the beast was taken, (the anti-Christ by virtue of the power of God the Son) and with him the false prophet…” The religious leader that’s going to head up a world religion.
Now we’ll come to that maybe in a later time, how that everything during the Tribulation is going to be under one world government. That’s why I feel we’re getting so close to the end. Everything is pushing for a one-world government, a one-world currency, a one-world religion. That is subtle, and it’s closer than most of us realize, the idea of a one-world religion. All right, that’ll be headed up by the other major player of these seven years, which is the false prophet.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him,…” See, miracles and religion, they go together. They just go together, never forget that. You don’t find Antiochus Epiphanes creating miracles. You don’t see Nebuchadnezzar performing miracles. But it’s always associated with religion. All right, this false prophet—one of his major points of winning the world will be miracles.
“…the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them who had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. (And here’s their end.) These both (As human men that God has seen fit to empower and to use.) These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” In other words, they do not get the advantage of the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be cast directly into the Lake of Fire.
All right, now come back with me to Daniel chapter 8, and we were at verse 25.
“…he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (God the Son, the Coming Christ) but he shall be broken without hand.” He won’t stand a snowball’s chance. Oh, he’s going to feel that he’s had the world under his thumb for seven years, and he thinks that he can defeat the Christ of Glory. No, he will not. He will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet. And then, as we know from Revelation, Satan will be locked up. They can’t put him in the Lake of Fire, yet, because he still has to come back at the end of the thousand years. Okay, now come back to chapter 8 verse 26.
“And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: (In other words, Daniel says, believe it.) wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days;…” Well, I can see why. My, when he got a picture of these end-time events and saw it so vividly, it was almost more than the human can take. So he was sick certain days.
“…afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Even Daniel could not get a complete picture.
In fact, this might be a good time. Jump all the way up to chapter 12, because this just says it all. Daniel chapter 12 verse 8. We’ll be looking at it again somewhere down the road, but for now it just says it all.
“And I heard, (all these things from these visions and from the angelic conversations) I heard, but I understood not:…” He couldn’t comprehend what all this was all about. Why? Because God didn’t give him that much insight.
Now you see, whenever I speak of God keeping things from people, such as Daniel and such as these other prophets—and even the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry, He kept things from those Twelve men that most of Christendom today thinks they understood—and they did not.
For example, did the Twelve have any idea of what we call the Church Age or the Body of Christ? No. Not a clue. Why? God did not see fit to tell them. And you see, all the way up through the first part of the Book of Acts, those twelve men did not have a clue. But they weren’t supposed to. It wasn’t their fault. Well, now read how Daniel puts it.
“I heard, (all these vision experiences) but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? (What is all this coming to? But look what God says.) 9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed til (When?) the time of the end.”
All right, what did I say a little while ago? I don’t know if it was this half hour or the last one. What began about a hundred years ago? Well, the understanding of prophecy. For seventeen or eighteen hundred years, Christendom knew nothing of end-time prophecy. They had no idea that the Jews scattered out into every nation under heaven would be going back home. They didn’t have a clue. But in the latter part of the 1800’s, Bible teachers began to see it—that evidently the Jews are going to come back to their homeland. It started in 1900. Well, it’s the same way here. Daniel is told don’t fret over it. It’s not for you to know. But when the end time comes, then God will begin to reveal these secrets.
All right, got four minutes left. Come back to Daniel and we’ll read the last verse once again.
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days;…(Because he could see the ramifications, how horrendous it all was, and yet couldn’t put it together.)…and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
All right, now then, for a couple of minutes we’ll start in chapter 9.
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes,…” See, we’re at the heart, yet, of the Mede and Persian Empire. Now remember, when Daniel talked about Alexander the Great, that was still out in the future. Don’t get confused now. We’re still in the Mede and Persian Empire time-wise in Daniel’s life. The Greek Empire will come later. Daniel is still writing from the time of the Mede and Persian Empire before Alexander the Great.
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;” Because they had defeated them. They had literally overrun the Babylonians. All right, verse 2:
“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 (What?) Jerusalem.” Now I told you to keep that word in your “computer,” didn’t I? Let’s go back to Jeremiah 25, and let’s just see what Daniel is talking about.
Jeremiah, come back to chapter 25 and verse 11. See, now this is the beauty of Scripture. Jeremiah is writing probably a hundred or more years before Daniel, and here it is.
“And this whole land (That is the land of Israel. Jeremiah 25:11—I noticed some of you are still turning the pages.) and this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment;…”
Do you remember years back I read what old Samuel Clemens wrote—the guy who wrote Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain—when he traveled in the land of Israel in the 1860’s. I think I can still almost quote it. He said—I have never seen such desolation. Even the weeds of the desert will not grow here. We rode for days and days and never saw a human being. The sun got hotter and hotter. I would not want to live here. Well, that’s exactly what was prophesied.
“…an astonishment (of the desolation); and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
Now, I know I’m going to have to push time. Come back with me really fast to Leviticus 26. Moses already speaks of it in Leviticus 26 verse 32. I won’t be able to wait for you.
“And I will bring the land into desolation:…” And we know it was for seventy years.
LESSON THREE * PART I
DANIEL’S PRAYER AND PROPHECY
Okay, it’s good to have everyone in today as we begin the third part of Book 81. For those of you out in television, again we just want to welcome you to our Bible study. And I have to take the time to thank you out there for your letters. My, how we enjoy mail time, don’t we, Honey? We still manage to read them all. We may not all get them the same day they come, but sooner or later we get every letter read. So don’t ever hold back from dropping us a note. And again, I have to emphasize: please don’t write two, three, or four pages; because then we can’t get every letter read.
But we do appreciate your letters, your gifts, and your prayers—everything that has made this such a blessing to so many. For those of you here in the studio—we appreciate your coming in. Many of you have traveled a good distance here today, and we realize that.
Before we begin the lesson, I want to again let our audience know we still have this question and answer book available. We just got a whole semi-load again the other day. It’s the one and only book we’ve ever had, and they are still going out by the hundreds. They are available, and if you’d like a copy just call the office and we’ll get them out to you. Probably the best $11 you’ll ever spend. They also make wonderful gifts.
Okay, now we’re going to get right into the Book, and we’re going to pick up where we left off after our last taping. For those here in the studio, that’s over a month ago. For those of you out in television, it was yesterday or last week, whatever the case may be.
We’re going to come back to where we left off in Daniel chapter 9. We made rather a hurried commentary on the first two verses. I didn’t really get to finish it like I’d like to, so I’m going to go back and touch on those for just a moment before we drop into verse 3. So, let’s start at verse 1.
All right, in chapter 9 verse 1, remember now that poor old Daniel is about 87 or 88 years of age, having been kidnapped out of Jerusalem when he was probably 12 or 14, which tells you how long he has now been out there in the area of Babylon and Shushan. Well over the 70 years that he knew the captivity was to be. So what’s in the old fellow’s mind? Well, we should be getting back to Jerusalem one of these days.
The seventy years of captivity has run its course. It’s over. And I think that’s why back even in a previous verse in chapter 8—if you want to look at it a minute, in verse 27—I think the old fellow was getting so anxious for the opportunity to go back home to Jerusalem; which, as far as we know, he never did. But look what he says in verse 27.
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision,…” Well, I think what he was really sick at was that he had spent all these years throughout that seventy years that was promised in prophecy and there was still no sign of going back to Jerusalem. Anyway, in chapter 9 verse 1:
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes,…” Now you remember I pointed out in the last taping that we are already past the Babylonian K ingdom. And by the miracle-working power of God old Daniel moves from Baghdad, or Babylon, up to Shushan which is the capital of the Medes and Persians. Unbelievable that here this Jew survives the whole Babylonian time and now moves up into the Mede and Syrian Empire and is still in a place of authority. It’s just unbelievable, except that God is in it. Now verse 2:
“In the first year of his reign (That is of Darius the son of Ahasuerus.) I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, (Well, what number of years is he talking about? The seventy. The seventy years should be fulfilled by now and we should be ready to go back home. All right, we’re looking at it in just a moment, but let’s finish the verse.) whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish (or fulfill) seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Now Jeremiah prophesied it—but you’ve got to know your history, and you’ve got to know your time. Jeremiah was writing about the time that Daniel was the little lad being carried out to Babylon. So Daniel knew Jeremiah at least by name if not personally, and he’s referring to his prophecy.
But before we look at Jeremiah’s prophecy, let’s go all the way back—and I love to do this to show the scornful world that this Book is like no other book. Nothing compares to this Book. Because here Moses is writing in Leviticus chapter 26—way back at the very beginning of the Nation of Israel you might say—and he’s already predicting this seventy years of captivity which won’t happen for years and years. Leviticus chapter 26, drop in at verse 32, and God says through the prophet Moses, who we know wrote Leviticus.
“And I will bring the land (At this point they weren’t even there yet, but they will be.) And I will bring the land into desolation:…”
Now, I’ve made the point on this program over and over down through the years: anytime the Jew was uprooted from the land—which we normally call the Promised Land, or that part of Palestine that was Israel—anytime the Jew was absent from the land, it went into desolation. No one else could come in and cultivate it and take advantage of it. God made sure it went into desolation.
See, that’s what ol’ Arafat never agreed to. That’s why when he was holding forth and he would say over and over that it was the Arab’s land; it’s always been their land; it has always been a verdant land, which meant green. It has always been a green land. No, it hasn’t. When Israel is out of the land, it becomes a total desolation. And I’ll comment on that a little further on. All right, but here it is. God says:
“And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies who dwell therein shall be astonished at it. (The desolation) 33. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: (In other words, they would be invaded by these enemy nations.) I will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.” Now verse 34, so we know that Moses was talking about the seventy-year captivity.
“Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths,…” Now for most people that needs some defining, doesn’t it? When Israel went into the Promised Land, as part of the Law what were they to do with the productive end of the land every seventh year? Let it lay fallow. They were not to farm the orchards or the grain fields. The seventh year was to be a land sabbatical. But did the Jews do it? No! They never did. For 490 years they never gave the seventh year sabbatical. All right, now look what the rest of the verse says.
“Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.” And how many would there be in 490 years? Seventy. So, there’s the promise of the coming seventy years of captivity down in Babylon while the land of Israel would lie fallow.
Okay, now let’s jump up to what Daniel is referring to—to one of his earlier contemporaries—Jeremiah chapter 25. This is the beauty of Scripture. These aren’t just fables conned up before the campfire. This is the immaculate, intrinsically prophetic Word of God. Here we have Jeremiah writing shortly before the Babylonian invasion and before the Temple is destroyed. Verse 11:
“And this whole land (See?) this whole land shall be a desolation, (The same word that Moses used. Nothing is going to grow or survive.) And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon (How long?) seventy years.” All in line with prophecy.
Now then, let’s come back to Daniel and carry on with what he’s talking about—that all these years of the seventy years out of the land are done, and it should be time for them to be going back and re-occupying the land and rebuilding the Temple and so forth. Which of course is going to happen as we’re going to see before the afternoon is over. All right, verse 2 again.
“In the first year of his reign (Ahasuerus or Darius) I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, (And I’m going to add—as well as Moses.) that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Now again, just to rise above all of the statements from the Arab world—they like to make it sound like (I’ve already alluded to it with Arafat) it has always been green, it has always been productive, it had always been Arab lands. Well, now let’s just show you what a lie that is.
Come back with me. Now, I didn’t intend to do this. That’s what I told Iris coming up, “You know, Honey, I never know where I’m going to stop at thirty minutes.” I have no way of knowing it. I don’t come up here with a set format or anything like that. I didn’t intend to do this. Let’s go back to Nehemiah. The unbelieving world knows nothing of this, yet we have to be aware of what the Word of God says. Go back to Nehemiah, and we’re going to be doing this again later this afternoon, hopefully.
Nehemiah chapter 2 just to show you that when Israel was gone those seventy years, nothing, nothing was done to embellish it; to bring it back into production; to get it ready for occupancy by whatever people might do it. No, it stayed desolate for the whole seventy years. Nothing was done to bring it back into production. Nehemiah chapter 2. He’s sent by the king to go back and get ready to rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem. Now Ezra, of course, was sent to rebuild the Temple. But Nehemiah was sent back a good long while later to rebuild the city walls and make it preparatory for occupancy by the Jewish people.
“Then I said unto them, (those who were examining this with him) Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem (Is…teaming with Arabs? Is that what your Bible says? That’s what the ridiculous would try to tell us. After seventy years there’s nothing in Jerusalem. It’s what?) lieth waste,…” It’s desolate, see?
Now that’s the point I’m trying to make. Don’t believe all this garbage. Don’t believe it. It’s not true. When Israel is out of the land, it becomes a total desolation. God won’t let anybody make anything of it, and—well, I might as well comment on it now. I was going to later.
Even after A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and drove the Jews out to go wherever they wanted, and they literally became the wandering Jews of the dispersion; again, did the Arab world come in and occupy Israel and Jerusalem and put it into production? Never happened! For nineteen hundred and some years Palestine—now I use the word Palestine as the big area in which we have the land of Israel. So don’t get on my case for calling Israel Palestine. Palestine is that geographical area.
All right, from the destruction in A.D. 70 until around the turn of the century of 1900, so that’s about eighteen hundred and thirty years, it was a total desolation. Oh, there were a few little isolated pockets of people, of course. But by-and-large the land was in total desolation.
You know, I’ve always over the years referred to Samuel Clemens, the author of Huckleberry Finn. We know him better as Mark Twain. And you’ve heard me refer to it more than once on the program. He traveled in the ancient land of Israel in the middle 1800’s. I think it was around the time of our Civil War, around 1865. And he wrote a book called Innocence Abroad. And he was merely speaking of being abroad as an innocent traveler. In that book he gave this graphic description of the land of Israel in 1865. He said, “The land is a total desolation. Not even the weeds of the desert will grow here. We traveled mile after mile and never saw another human being. The further we went toward Jerusalem the hotter the sun got. By the time we got to Jerusalem,…” he said again, “…I would not want to live here.” Well you see, that was all during that period of time when Israel was out in the dispersion, and the land of Israel was a desolation.
Now then, before I’d even seen this book by Mark Twain, I knew a gentleman who had been in World War II, detached from the American army and was attached to something in the land of Israel. So, he served a couple of years at the very height of World War II in Jerusalem. Well, he was in one of my home Bible studies in Iowa after I began teaching up there. And that was when we first became aware of this very fact. He was telling us that it was such a—and it was a term he used—Godforsaken. He said, “Why in the world anybody would want the Promised Land? What was God thinking when He gave such a worthless piece of real estate to Israel.” Well, that’s the way it was even yet in the 1940’s. It was still a total desolation.
Well, the first time Iris and I got there in 1975 it wasn’t much more than that. Because I still remember as we were coming down the Jordan Valley, I said to her, “Honey, how in the world could God ever call this the land of milk and honey.” It was still for the most part just barren desert. Now, of course, every time we go back there’s more cultivated area. My, remember last fall in the area of the Sermon on the Mount? My goodness, what used to be just brush and sand dunes is now banana groves. See, everything is just constantly increasing. But the point I’m trying to make is that when the Jew is out of the Promised Land, it is desolation. And don’t ever believe the propaganda of anything other than that. All right, now reading on in Nehemiah verse 17 again:
“…Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, (Now remember, this is at the end of those 70 years, even quite a few over, and Jerusalem is lying waste.) and the gates thereof are burned with fire:…” Has anybody fixed them? No. They’re still laying there charred just like they were when the Babylonians destroyed it. Nobody lifted a finger. And, oh, our people are being fed all this garbage. When Israel is out of the land, beloved, it’s desolate; and God sees to it that it stays that way.
Now even after modern days, when people would try to go and build up some of the cities—the Romans, of course, tried it, and every time they’d get started rebuilding a city, what would God destroy it with? Earthquakes. In fact, those are a lot of the places that we visit when we’re over there. Bet She’an is a good example right down there south of the Sea of Galilee. It was evidently a beautiful Roman Colony. But before they finished building the city, what happened? Earthquake. Totally destroyed it! It all lays there in rubble.
And then malaria came in when the Hula Valley was swamped. It was just totally infested with malaria. Malaria was so prevalent in the land of what we call Israel, that no more than two generations could survive it and they’d die off from malaria. Then the drought came in. The rain stopped. So, God used those three areas to keep it desolate: Earthquakes, Malaria, and Drought. And that’s all it took, and for the most part it stayed desolate. All right, just a couple more verses here in Nehemiah and we’ll get back to Daniel.
“…the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. (Because you want to remember, that in antiquity the wall was the first line of defense.) 18. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. 19. But (Now watch this.) when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite,…”
Now stop a minute. What kind of people are Ammonites? Huh? Arabs. So just as soon as the Arabs got wind that these Jews were thinking about fixing the place up, they opposed them. Then, already! And it’s no different than it is today. All right, reading on, verse 19:
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, (See, now that makes it plain enough.) heard it, (that they were going rebuild the city) they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?” Well, the poor idiots, you know what they didn’t know? Nehemiah had the contract in his hand from the king to get whatever he needed from the forest of Lebanon or from the quarries. He had it all okayed by the king and these Arabs didn’t know that.
“Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, (See, that’s always what makes the difference.) The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build: but ye (to the Arabs) ye have no portion; nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem!” And, beloved, it’s just as valid today as it was back here in 606 B.C. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that it’s still the Promised Land and God is in control.
All right, now time’s just about gone. I didn’t intend to do any of that, but maybe there’s a reason for it. Daniel chapter 9 again and we’ll move on. Verse 3, that’s what’s on the board.
“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: 4. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God,…” Now if anybody knew how great and dreadful, by now Daniel with all of his visions was totally aware, wasn’t he? So he knows what he’s talking about. He has seen God evidenced in more ways than one over these previous 70 years.
“…keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;” Now, what is that telling you? Who is Daniel primarily writing to? Well, his fellow Jews. That’s what this is all for. Even though we have a lot of Gentile prophecy in here, yet it is still Jewish ground.
So the objects of his prayer are the people of Israel who are out there still in captivity and haven’t as yet made their way back to Jerusalem, although that’s certainly now in the immediate future. So, we’re dealing primarily with the Jews under the Law, even though they’d been away from any Temple worship. Yet this is all Jewish language, “to them that love him and keep his commandments.” That’s exactly what Jesus instructed the people of His day—keep the Commandments.
I might be biting off more than I can chew. I think I can bring you back. I hope I can find it back in Matthew, where he told the rich young ruler—my goodness, I hope I can find it. I think it is 19, but I’m not sure. Well, I’m in Mark, no wonder I can’t find it! Come back with me to Matthew chapter 19 verse 16. Because I want you to see how identical the language is.
Now, I don’t know how many of you got to see the program this morning? I was getting ready, and I just got little bits and pieces of it. Did you? Did you see what I was driving at? Oh, when you compare the language of James, it’s word-for-word what Moses said back there in Exodus. Not even close to what Paul said. But it all fits if you leave it where it belongs. All right, now here’s another one. Exact words that Daniel is using. Oh, wow, down to two minutes.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, (I think I emphasized that this morning, didn’t I. Yeah. Matthew 19 verse 16.) Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Now look at His answer.
“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Now that’s plain, isn’t it? Why? Because they were under Law. They knew nothing of Grace. And that was exactly the situation that Daniel is speaking of.
Now flip back there for the minute that we have left. Back to Daniel chapter 9, his praying is based on his love for God as a good law-keeping Jew, and he is keeping His commandments. But the Nation? Huh! Anything but. The Nation has just almost become degraded. And we’ll take the next verse until the half hour is up. Verse 5 and now he’s praying on behalf of his people—We—the Nation, Israel. Now this doesn’t affect us Gentiles. Don’t ever try to come back here and pray like this for us today. We have Paul’s prayers to copy. This is Daniel praying on behalf of his people Israel.
“We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:” In other words, what’s he referring too? All the facets of the Law which the Jewish people should have known, if they didn’t, even though they were in captivity.
They still had the Law and Temple worship in their memory, if nothing else, because it had been drilled into them. Just like cults do today. They were taught those commandments and those rules and regulations from infancy on. So it became second nature for them to keep all these things.
Well, we’ll pick up here in the next half hour.
LESSON THREE * PART II
DANIEL’S PRAYER AND PROPHECY
Okay, good to see you all back from a coffee break. For those of you out in television, we just want to welcome you to an informal Bible study. Now I know I say it almost every program. But you’ve got to remember, new people are coming in every day, and we have to make them aware that we’re not just a bunch of kooks. We just love to study the Word! And it’s catching on.
My, I wish you could read our mail. Which reminds me—again, thank you to those of you out in television for your kind letters, your encouragement, and, again, for your financial help. My, I get newsletters from several other ministries; and they’re all crying for help, and they’re cutting back. So far…so far—I just asked the girls again yesterday, “How did we end up with the month of May?” Right on. And that’s all we can hope for. So again, thank you every one of you out there and for your prayers. My goodness, prayer makes all the difference in the world.
All right, right back to where we left off in Daniel chapter 9 in verse 5. I want to use it again, because I’ve got a Scripture reference that I’d like to bring in on this one. So if you’re with me in Daniel chapter 9 verse 5, where Daniel is now in his prayer to Jehovah.
“We have sinned, (as the Nation) and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:”
All right, let’s go back to II Chronicles. All the way back to that book of history, to the last chapter. And that can be your crutch if you want to share these things with people. The last chapter of II Chronicles and you can jump in at verse 15. We have exactly the scenario for which Daniel is praying for forgiveness. Now maybe this is an appropriate time to remind all of us: I know that what God says to Israel has no direct bearing on us today, except as we learn from it.
But you know, as I’ve said before when I taught Daniel way, way back in consort with Revelation—to a certain degree we can set America right up beside all of this, even though we not the Chosen Nation. We’re certainly not Israel. But we have been so singularly blessed like no other nation under Heaven has ever been blessed, and primarily because from day one, even though they may not have been totally born-again believers, yet all the people responsible for making America get off the ground and become such a nation is because it was always God-centered. We were a God-fearing people.
I’ll never forget, years ago my Dad was telling me that when he first, as a kid of ten years old, came up to our part of northern Iowa, it was still pretty much the frontier. But he rehearsed with me one day—we were talking about it—how that the first thing, not only the Baptists, but the Lutherans and the Methodists, they all got together so that they could build some kind of a building where they could share and hold their worship services. That was the most paramount thing. Not the bars. Not the other garbage that Hollywood likes to make you think made up the West Frontier. But the first thing that was pre-eminent was a place of worship. That was the mentality of America all the way up through our history.
Now granted, we had a lot of ungodly people along with it. You know, I’m always quoting Tocqueville, the French historian who traveled America, I think probably, I don’t remember exactly, but I think between 1900 and World War II. When he got back to France and wrote his book on history, he said that the reason America is so blessed is because America is populated by good people. Well, what made them good? Their worship. Their putting God at least in a place of reverence.
All right, so I can’t help but feel that we’re going to come under the same kind of chastisement. In fact, I think Billy Graham, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t like to quote people unless I’m sure, but I’m quite sure Billy Graham made the statement a long time ago—I’m going to say way back in the early 80’s. He was decrying how fast we were going down the tube spiritually. And he made this statement: “Unless America repents, Sodom and Gomorrah will rise up and tell God He’s not fair.” So judgment is going to come.
And I have to feel this in the back of my thinking as I teach these things concerning God’s dealing with a rebellious nation like Israel. Hey, we’re going to come under that same wrath some day. I’ve said it before on the program. I’m not saying anything new—that when God judges America, it’s going to be like no other nation has ever been judged, because we have been given so much responsibility. Churches on every corner—you know, I shared with one of my classes here in Oklahoma. A couple of years ago we were in a Seminar in north Georgia, but we were staying with some people in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As we left our host and hostess, why, the first thing we saw was a church. And Iris said, “Honey, I’m going to start counting churches.” Why, we hadn’t gone four or five miles and she was already up to like twenty four or twenty five. She said, “I might as well quit, I can’t keep up.” This is typical in America. Churches on every corner. We have been given a tremendous responsibility as a nation of people.
All right, now here’s Israel just shortly before the captivities begin. II Chronicles chapter 36 and jump in with me at verse 15.
II Chronicles 36:15a
“And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, (That is the prophets.) rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people,…” He wanted to give them an opportunity to repent, as we say today, and to have a change of direction.
II Chronicles 36:15b
“…because he had compassion on his people,…” Now that’s what I’m emphasizing all the time—remember, this is God and Israel. This isn’t God and the church. This isn’t God and Gentiles. This is God and Israel.
II Chronicles 36:15b-17a
“…because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: (Which, of course, was Jerusalem; but here comes that big flipside.) 16. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, (Israel) till there was no remedy. 17. Therefore…” What’s He doing? He brings in the Chaldees, the Babylonians invade them, see?
II Chronicles 36:17-18
“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, (these Babylonians) and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 18. And all the vessels of the house of God, (That is the Temple, remember.) great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.” All right, now drop all the way down to verse 21, and all this:
II Chronicles 36:21
“To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, (And I’m also going to add Moses.) until the land (the Promised Land, Israel’s homeland) until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: (As I explained in the previous half hour, every seventh year was to be left fallow and out of production as a land sabbatical. But they didn’t do it.) for as long as she lay desolate (70 years) she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.” Or the seventy years of the captivity.
All right, now come back to Daniel chapter 9 and I’m going to go into verse 6. I’ve got yet another portion that I want to take you to, and that’ll be in the New Testament. But let’s stop in Daniel chapter 9 again and read verse 6, so that you’ll understand why Daniel is praying the way he is praying in chapter 9.
“Neither have we (the Nation) hearkened unto thy servants the prophets,…” See, I want you to understand that there were prophets throughout Israel constantly preaching and warning them of judgment to come.
Now you remember when we did a verse-by-verse on the Book of Isaiah some time ago—I don’t think it’s even been on the air yet, except on the weekends. But, my goodness, what was Isaiah’s complaint? The same thing. Turn from your idolatry. Turn from your rebellion or you’re going to have foreigners in your midst. Well, they didn’t turn, and they got foreigners in their midst. All right, verse 6 again:
“Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, who spoke in thy name to our kings, (See, the upper echelon were just as guilty as the low man on the totem pole.) our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” What did they do with them?
Now turn with me to Acts chapter 7 and let the Scripture speak. Let the Scriptures tell us what they did with them. Acts chapter 7 and here we have Stephen, the last opportunity for the Nation of Israel at the time of Christ to yet repent of having crucified and rejected their Messiah and enjoy all the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises. Here’s their last chance.
I always call this the crescendo, the music word. This is the crescendo of Israel’s rebellion. This is when they came to the very peak of their adamancy – we will not succumb to this Jesus of Nazareth. So here we have Stephen, now, presenting their last opportunity. And always make note of the fact that when you get to the last verse or thereabouts and the first verse of chapter 8, we’re introduced to the next major player because Israel is rejecting.
All right, Acts chapter 7 verse 51 and Stephen is addressing the religious leadership, remember, of the Nation of Israel. To this religious leadership he says:
“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, (Oh, they were circumcised in the flesh, but not where it really counted in the realm of the Spirit, see.) ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: (or the Holy Spirit. Now watch it.) as your fathers (your forefathers back there in Isaiah’s time and before) as your fathers did, so do ye. 52. Which of the prophets (any of them that you could name) Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them who showed before the coming of the Just One.”
In other words, the very prophets that were promising the peace and prosperity and the glory of this earthly Kingdom, they killed them. And you’ve heard me say it a hundred times on this program—if they didn’t like the message, what’d they do? They killed the messenger. Okay, read it again.
“Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain (put to death) them who showed before the coming of the Just One: (The Messiah) of whom (speaking of the Messiah) ye have now been the betrayers and murderers:” That’s what the Book says. That’s not what I say. It’s Scripture. Then look at the next verse.
“Ye who have received the law by the disposition of angels, (Now that’s kind of a tough one to explain, because we know that the Law was given to Moses; but there must have been an angelic force along with it.) Who have received the law…(those Ten Commandments written by the finger of God in stone)…and have not kept it.” Why? Rebellion. Unbelief.
In fact, I had a call the other day from a lady that’s writing a book, and she said, “Les, I don’t know who else to ask.” Come back with me to Daniel chapter 9. She said, “I don’t know who else to ask. Why did Israel reject the Messiah?” Well, now you just think a minute—how would you answer the question? Why did Israel reject their Promised Messiah? Well, I took her to Matthew 16. Now let’s look at it. This is Bible study! I’m not under any set order to cover such and such in thirty minutes.
I took her back to Matthew 16. I probably wouldn’t rehearse it, but she was so thrilled with the answer she couldn’t say thank you fast enough.
She said, “This is exactly what I was looking for.” Now remember her question, “Why did they reject Jesus as the Messiah?” And this is a good place to go. We use it over and over—Matthew 16 starting at verse 13, at the end of His three years, just shortly before they go up for the Passover and the crucifixion.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, (clear up there at the headwaters of the Jordan, remember) he asked his disciples, saying, (nobody there but the Twelve) Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
How ridiculous can you get? Now don’t forget, what has He been doing every day for almost three years? Miracles. Miracles and more miracles. And they haven’t got a clue? No, they didn’t have a clue, except Peter. All right, verse 15:
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, (The Messiah. The Anointed One.) the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:…” But see, this was Israel’s problem then. It was Israel’s problem back here. And what’s the one word? Unbelief. Unbelief.
Look at America today. What’s our problem? What’s the matter with Congress? They don’t have a clue. They don’t know how to handle the Middle East, except by lobbyists and pressure. Why not? Unbelief. They no longer put any value on the fact that this is the revealed Word of God. To most of, I think, even our men in Congress, it’s just another book. No, it isn’t. It’s the Word of God!
All right, are you back at Daniel chapter 9? So like I said, kind of lay America side-by-side here because this could be our prayer today—although we’re not under Israel’s Law, we’re under grace, yet we still have access to the Father. We have absolute authority to pray on behalf of our nation and our leadership. Paul teaches it in I Timothy 2:6 that we should pray for them, and why should we? “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” And nothing in Scripture would oppose that. All right, now read verse 6 again after reading Acts chapter 7.
“Neither have we (the Nation of Israel) hearkened unto thy servants the prophets,…” In other words, they killed them or threw them in the dungeon. That’s where Jeremiah was, remember, when the Babylonians found him. He was in a dungeon.
“…who spoke in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel,…”
Now you know, I have to always keep hammering at that—because so much of even Christendom cannot get the fact through their head that all Twelve Tribes are still viable. Ten of them didn’t get lost. Don’t ever buy into that baloney. The Ten Tribes were never lost. They stayed as part of Israel even into the captivities and here is proof of it. It’s to all of those of Judah and Jerusalem, but also all Israel, the Ten Tribes.
“…and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.”
Now stop and think a minute, again. How far are we removed from that Babylonian invasion of 606 B.C.? About 75 years. That’s a long time. What had happened to a lot of these Jews that were transported from Jerusalem and Judea out to Babylon? Well, they began migrating all through the then-known Roman world.
And I make the point, because by the time we get to our New Testament, and especially now as we’re looking at the little epistles of James and Peter and John in our New Testament, they’re addressing Jews in the synagogue. How did they get there? Well, they’ve been there for six hundred years. Because as soon as they got transported to Babylon, they started getting involved in business and banking and so forth and they started migrating. So there were Jews scattered throughout the whole Roman Empire by the time of Christ.
Let me show you. I’ve got to do everything with Scripture. Jump all the way up to the New Testament. Go to Acts chapter 2, now this is the day of Pentecost. And this again is what most of Christendom just doesn’t get. They just can’t read it. Acts chapter 2 and drop down to verse 5. Now I’m saying this in regard to history—600 B.C. is when they were first emptied out of Jerusalem. And out of that whole nation of people that was taken captive, only 40-some thousand came back under Ezra. That’s just a little smidgen. What happened to the rest of them? Well, they migrated all over the then-known world, see? All right, but they still kept contact with the Temple in Jerusalem. They still, if they were good sincere Jews, would come back to at least one or two of the feast days.
Pentecost is a feast day and saw Jews coming from all over the then-known world, which is now the Roman Empire. Verse 5:
“And there were dwelling (or abiding) at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men (Now watch it.) out of every nation under heaven.” Well, what was the part of the world under heaven that they were talking about? The Roman Empire.
Now, the Roman Empire went all the way from Spain, across the northern part of the Mediterranean, across the Middle East, Turkey, out through present day Middle East, and then down around the Mediterranean, down across Egypt, and into North Africa. That was all the Roman Empire. There were Jews coming from all those Nations throughout the then-known world. Now it stands to reason, when those Jews have been out in these various foreign nations now for two, three, or four generations, what language were they speaking? Well, anything and everything but Hebrew. You got me? Now look at the next verse, verse 6.
“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, (from every nation under heaven, remember) and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” Goodness sakes, a sixth grader can understand that. In other words, if they came from France, what were they speaking? One of the French dialects. If they came from Syria, what were they speaking? A Syrian dialect. If they came from Timbuktu, they were speaking those. But on the day of Pentecost, what language did they hear it in? In their own language. See, that was the miracle of Pentecost. It wasn’t an unknown babble. It was their language that they heard. Come all the way back to Daniel now, verse 8.
“O Lord, (See how he is pleading in his prayer.) O Lord,…” What was the true name for Lord? What were they refraining from saying? Jehovah. That’s who they were really praying to.
“O Jehovah, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.”
All right, now let’s look at another one so that we get this pounded in at how far these Jews had gone in rebellion against the God of Abraham. Come back with me to Jeremiah 44. We’ve looked at it before. I’ve always got to remind people—I’m getting old, but I’m not senile. I know I’ve used these many, many times.
Jeremiah 44—the reason I use some of these over and over is because they are so plain and simple and explicit. There’s just no room for argument. Jeremiah 44 and drop down to verse 15, Honey. Jeremiah 44 and we’ll drop in at verse 15, because I want you to see how rebellious these Covenant People had become. And remember now, we’re writing about the time of 600 B.C.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, (idols) and all the women who stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, Pathros, (In other words, they had been migrating in and out.) answered Jeremiah, saying, 16. As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. 17. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…”
What was the queen of heaven in antiquity? The most immoral idol worship that you can imagine. Athena was one. Artemis was one in Ephesus. They were all part of the same female deities.
“…and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, (Now watch the language.) our kings, and our princes, (See that?) in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, (or food) and were well, and saw no evil. 18. But (Now look at this foolishness. What foolishness!) But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things,…” They had it all wrong. What was their problem? They had left off the worship of Jehovah.
Oh, they still did Temple worship. They went through the motions. But where was their heart? Worshipping these idols. Worshipping these pagan gods of the Gentile world. They were totally forgetting Jehovah.
LESSON THREE * PART III
DANIEL’S PRAYER AND PROPHECY
Okay, it is good once again to have you all back after another coffee break. For those you out in television, this is our third program this afternoon. Remember, we do four; and we would like to invite you from the Tulsa area to come in for the afternoon. It’s on a Wednesday afternoon, usually, that’s why we see mostly older folks. You know, that’s the big question that comes in, “Why don’t we see any young people?” Well, it’s a working day, and it’s not easy for young people to get off work and come in for something like this.
But anyway, for those of you that are here, we always appreciate you coming in. And again, for those of you out in television, we just want to thank you over and over for your prayers and your financial help and your letters of encouragement.
All right, we’ve only published one book over the years, and it’s been going out almost like tracts, because we send them out for $11.00 flat. We don’t charge any postage or handling. I had a fellow down in Louisiana a while back, and he said, “Les, I carry a stack of those books on my pickup seat, and if I talk to somebody that’s got any kind of spiritual interest, I just give them one of the books.” Well, we’ve got a lady in Indiana—how many has she given, Honey? Oh, sixty or seventy of them, at least. She just hands them out like tracts. It is an informative book that has 88 questions, and the answers have been taken from previous programs.
Okay, we’re here for Bible study and we’re going to get right back where we left off in Daniel chapter 9; remembering, now, that Daniel is praying on behalf of the nation. They’ve already been uprooted from their homeland for well over seventy years, but it hasn’t had any spiritual affect, evidently; so he still prays. Then, you remember, in my last program I said just lay America side-by-side and we could be praying almost these same things on behalf of our nation as we see them go so deep into unbelief, which is always the basic problem. All right, let’s drop in where we left off, and that’s in Daniel chapter 9 verse 9.
“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;” Now you want to remember, God is always ready and willing to forgive—whether it was Israel or whether it’s us nationally or individually. God is a God of forgiveness. All right, now verse 10:
“Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, (See how Jewish this is? This isn’t Grace. This is Law.) which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
“Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses (See how Jewish this is?) the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.”
“And he hath confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges (Wow. Where’s that put us? Where we are today. The same situation, it’s the higher echelons of those that are in authority over us.) our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.”
Now don’t forget what’s he talking about? The Temple was destroyed. The whole city was destroyed, knocked down to nothing but rubble, and the people all taken into captivity four or five hundred miles to the northeast to what is present day Iraq. Then it went on up later on into what is present day Iran. That was their area of the captivity. All right, verse 13:
“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.”
Now even though we did it in the very first program this afternoon, for the sake of those who may not have heard these programs I’m going to take you back again for repetition’s sake to Leviticus 26—because I want people to understand why Daniel is, at 606 B.C., referring to the things that Moses wrote in1500 B.C., almost 800 or 900 years previously. Well, again, it just shows how providentially the Word of God has been brought together—that even Moses could warn of this Babylonian captivity. And it never hurts to repeat. My, I look at these things over and over and over, so I hope that you as my listeners can do the same thing.
Leviticus 26 verse 32, and like I said last program, I’m getting old but I’m not senile. I know we did this in the first half hour, but we’re going to repeat it. Moses is writing in 1500 B.C.
“And I will bring the land (That is the land of Israel, the homeland.) I will bring the land into desolation: (It’s going to be reduced to nothing but desert.) and your enemies (the Arabs) that dwell therein shall be astonished at it. (The desolation.) 33. And I will scatter you among the heathen,…” The Gentiles.
Now you remember in our last program, I made mention that after they were taken out to Babylon they didn’t just stay there. From Babylon they moved out into other areas of the then-known world, so that by the time of Christ 600 years later, there were Jews all over the then-known world. They had their synagogues. They had their businesses. All right, so this is all foretold.
“…your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, (that every seventh year they were to let it lay fallow) as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then (while you’re gone) shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.”
And that’s why—now let’s just stop at Jeremiah again for repetition’s sake to see how it all fits. Jeremiah 25, because I know everybody doesn’t watch every program. Although, that is my favorite word from my listeners, “I watch you every day.”
I had a phone call this morning from up in Michigan. She said, “Les, my husband and I watch you every day.” And she emphasized the every. Well, I love that. That shows that they’re really interested in learning. Because you can’t just take this one day and skip a few—huh-uh, you might just as well not listen at all. But, oh, to get into it and just soak it up day in and day out.
All right, Jeremiah 25 once again, down at verse 11, Honey. Now, I want you to see how this fits perfectly with what Moses wrote 1,000 years earlier.
“And this whole land shall be a desolation, (same word) and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (See? It’s perfectly exact. It’s not just somewhere. It’s perfect.) 12. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon,…” And, you know, He did. My goodness, He came down on Babylon, first Nebuchadnezzar and then his grandson. You remember that? Belshazzar—when he saw the handwriting on the wall.
“…that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Because, you remember, the Medes and Persians came in and destroyed Babylon.) 13. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.” Of that then-known world.
All right, now let’s come back to Daniel and his prayer in Daniel chapter 9. Oh, let’s see, verse 13 and we’ll repeat it.
“As it is written in the law of Moses, (That’s why I went back to Leviticus 26.) all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.”
Now as I’m reading—this is the way I teach, I can’t help it. Let’s go back all the way up to Paul’s epistles for just a moment and see the graphic difference. Even though, as I’ve already said, we could almost pray the same way on behalf of our nation. But yet I want you to see the difference in the prayer attitude of this Old Testament prophet Daniel and our Apostle of the Gentiles, Paul.
Come back with me to Ephesians. I don’t know why the Lord’s kind of bumping me with this, but evidently there’s a reason. Ephesians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 15, because this is still another biblical prayer. Only instead of under Law by an Old Testament prophet, it’s under Grace by the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Ephesians chapter 1 starting at verse 15 and I hope something comes of this. I don’t know why I’m doing it, but there must be a reason.
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,” What does that tell you? How many church members have a real love for the Book and for fellow believers? Not many. Church is just an obligation. You fulfill it for an hour or two, and that’s all God expects for a week. But that’s not the real way. God expects believers to have a hunger for the Word and to have fellowship with like-minded believers. All right, back to where we were—Ephesians 1 verse 16 and he says:
“I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; (Now here’s the Apostle’s request on behalf of his fellow believers.) 17. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:”
Now wait a minute. What does all that mean? You see, that’s what makes us different. That’s what sets us apart—when as a believer we are constantly growing in Grace and knowledge. Not to get puffed up. Not to look down at anybody, but to just simply be a better ambassador, or reflection, of our heavenly connection. Do you see the difference in the prayers here? All right, then go on, verse 18.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know (not hope, not think, but) know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who (Who keep the Law? Bingo! That’s not what it says. It’s to us who what?) believe,…” Believe what? That Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And that is called Paul’s Gospel of Grace.
Do you see the difference? We’re people of faith. We’re not law-keepers. We’re people of faith. And when our faith is exercised, then Paul’s prayer becomes a reality. We grow in Grace and knowledge. You get to the place where people will come to you and say, I’ve got a question. Because they know that you’ve probably got the answer. That’s the result of the Apostle’s prayer.
All right, now there’s another one that I love over in Colossians. While we’re back here, we might as well pursue that one a minute. Come on back to Colossians chapter 1. Here’s another prayer from the Apostle. And I think that these are model prayers for us to use on behalf of our loved ones and our fellow believers. I want everybody to pray like this for me and for Iris and our family and for each other. This is the name of the game.
“For this cause…” In other words, because of who these Colossians are now, by their faith in that finished work of the cross of Christ. Not because they’re law-keepers; not because they’re Temple worshippers—but they have come out of Gentile paganism and they are now reveling in the Grace of God.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” Do you see what that is? Oh, that we become so knowledgeable in the things of God that people will just be drawn to say, “Hey, I’ve got a question. I know you’ve got the answer.” That’s where we have to be.
“That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, (to those around us—the lost world as well as fellow believers. That we might be–) pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
That’s twice in two verses that we are to gain knowledge. Well, there’s only one way to gain knowledge, and that’s what? Study. Study. That’s what your good students do. They study. Why? Because they want to be improving in whatever discipline they’re studying. All right, one more verse, verse 11:
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with (What?) joyfulness;” Now, you know I’ve always expressed the difference between happiness and joyfulness. Come back with me to Daniel chapter 9 and we’ll continue on in Daniel’s prayer.
But let me answer my question. What’s the difference between joyfulness and happiness? Well, happiness is when you don’t have any bills or notes due. Happiness is when you are in good health. Happiness is when all the neighbors speak well of you. Your bank account is healthy. That’s happiness. But what’s joyfulness? When it just seems like the ceiling is falling, the sky is falling, but we’re still happy. Why? Because God is in control. Now that’s joy. Not happiness. That’s joy. Happiness is when circumstances are good, but joy is when we can rest on the promises of God.
For example, have you ever read the book Foxes Book of Martyrs? Oh, yeah, it’s awful. Awful! But believers suffered down through the centuries for their faith. I think one of the most heartbreaking ones I can remember out of the book was on a real horribly cold winter night in Europe they had gathered believers. Stripped them of all their clothing and had them sitting out on a frozen lake, out on the ice.
And on the shore, to just make the temptations beyond comprehension, they had bonfires burning where people could warm themselves and so forth. But those poor Christians out there in the middle of the lake were freezing to death. Finally, one of them broke out and headed for a bonfire to warm up. But the minute he did, someone on shore went and joined those who froze to death. Well, that was just one example of what people have suffered for their faith. But the book was constantly showing that they were joyful in spite of it.
Well, we know even the Twelve all suffered a martyr’s death. The Apostle Paul suffered the martyr’s death. Only he was beheaded. Now, I know things aren’t always provable, but in one of the accounts I read of Paul being beheaded, he literally ran to the place of beheading. As if to say, hurry up and get it over with. I’m going to Glory.
Well, we’ve got to remember those things, because it may still happen here. I’ll never forget years and years ago, I was just a young Sunday School teacher and deacon. I asked my pastor at the time, after everybody had left. Iris and the little kids were waiting out in the car, as usual, weren’t you? Everybody had left and I said, “You know, pastor, there’s one thing that scares me and worries me.” He said, “What’s that?” I said, “If persecution should come to America, will I be able to stand it?” And, beloved, I’m going to pass it out to the millions of you hearing me. You know what his answer was? “If and when that happens, the Grace of God will be sufficient.” And that’s what we have to trust. We may have to yet die for our faith. But if we do, the Grace of God will be sufficient.
Okay, now let’s come back to Daniel, if you will, again. And continue on in his prayer on behalf of Israel. Verse 14:
“Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.” Remember, I showed you that in the last program—from Stephen in the Book of Acts—how they killed the prophets and they rejected even Stephen. All right, now verse 15:
“And now, O Lord our God, thou hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day: we have sinned, we have done wickedly.”
I think I shared with my class here in Tulsa last Friday night—what reminded me of it was Israel coming out of Egypt. What was one of the biggest miracles outside of the work of the Cross? I don’t ever put Christ in any of these areas, but outside of the miraculous power of resurrection and all that, what do you consider one of the greatest miracles in all Scripture? The Red Sea!
The Red Sea! What a fabulous miracle to bring three or four million people with all their herds and their livestock and their little kids. To bring them out of Egypt and through the horrible wilderness of Sinai was bad enough, but here they are up against the shores of the Red Sea. Not far behind are coming the armies of Egypt and all God tells Israel to do is what? Stand still. Don’t try to do anything. And what happened? The Red Sea opened up.
Now, it wasn’t just the separating of the water that I think was so miraculous, but it was the timing of it all. My goodness, after several million people had crossed the Red Sea and the last of the Jews are going up on the east shore, who’s coming in on the west shore? The Egyptians. And the timing was so perfect that by the time the last Egyptian comes in on the west side, the last Jew is going out on the east side, and what happens? The water comes back. Not a Jew was lost, yet He killed every Egyptian, including the king. Now I’m answering that because I get that question all the time, “Was the king of Egypt involved.” Yes, plain as day.
But now, here’s my point. What happened to the Nation of Israel in a matter of days or a few short weeks later while Moses was up in the mountain? Oh, the golden calf and the horrible immorality associated with it. They were dancing naked the Scripture tells us. And we know from antiquity that that was all part of pagan worship. And God actually had to put 3,000 of those Jews to death because of it.
But here’s my point: how in the world could the Nation of Israel behave so grossly immoral when the presence of God is over them in a cloud by day and a fire by night and having just brought them through the Red Sea? That’s enough to boggle the mind of anybody, isn’t it? And yet, that was Israel’s tale of woe all through history. In spite of all the miracles, they just couldn’t believe God.
And all the way up through their history—I know for years I used to think, you know, the Jews were all righteous people. No, they weren’t, only a small percentage. All the way through—you’ve heard me stress it in my seminars, especially when I’m going around the country—how did ol’ Elijah put it? Well, I’m the only one left. But what did God say? No, Elijah, I’ve got seven thousand that have not bowed their knee to Baal. Seven thousand out of seven million? That’s one tenth of one percent. And then you come up to time of Christ and He puts it so aptly. Wide is the gate, broad is the way, and many go in thereat that leadeth to destruction. They weren’t saved.
But what’s the other side of the coin? Narrow is the way, narrow is the gate, and (How many find it?) few there be that find it that leadeth to life eternal. So, it’s always been this way. But nevertheless, we still have to learn from others’ mistakes.
All right, I’ve only got two minutes left. Let’s finish the prayers, and then we’re going to be ready to look at some of the foundations of biblical prophecy in our last half hour. All right, continue on in Daniel chapter 9 and verse 16.
“O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee (I beg of thee.) let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: (That is the Temple mount as we call it today.) because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, (See, it’s been a generational thing.) Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.”
“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate,…” The Temple that’s been destroyed up there in Jerusalem.
“O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, (There’s that word again.) and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present out supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for (because of) thy great mercies.” Now then, I’m going to close with this verse.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, (What’s the next word?) forgive;…” Oh, Israel had been so rebellious. Israel was so steeped in unbelief, and all Daniel can plead for is that God would forgive them and restore once again the Nation to her city of Jerusalem and back to her Temple worship, so that God could continue on preparing for the coming of Messiah.
Because never lose sight of the fact—what’s in the back of Daniel’s mind? The Kingdom. When the King would come and Israel would yet enjoy that glorious Heaven-on-earth Kingdom. That’s in the back of his mind.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
DANIELS’S PRAYER AND PROPHECY
Okay, program number four this afternoon and for those of you joining us on television, it’s just another program today, tomorrow, or whatever. I trust most of you out there know we’re just an informal Bible study. I like to emphasize the study because that’s why we can go back and forth—compare Scripture with Scripture. And we’re going to do this right away now, right at the beginning of this program. We’re going to prove something by just comparing Scripture with Scripture.
And again, I want to thank all the folks here in the studio for coming in. Some have come all the way from southern Oklahoma and some came from Oklahoma City and others from other distance places. We’ve got one couple from Minneapolis, I know. So, we just appreciate people coming in and doing this with us.
All right, we’re going to go right back to where we left off. Daniel is still in his prayer, but he’s coming to the end of it now. We’re going to move on into another basic part of the Book of Daniel—that is prophecy. Daniel is a prophet, and I’m going to show you that even the Lord Jesus Himself referred to him as such. So, let’s come into Daniel chapter 9 and continue on where we left off. We’ll just sort of skim through these verses, because verse 24 is where we really want to start in this program.
“And whiles I was speaking, and praying, (He’s getting to the end of his prayer now.) and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; (Which, of course, is Jerusalem.) 21. Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man (We refer to him as the angel.) Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.”
Now that makes me have to stop and remind people. Throughout Israel’s history the supernatural was not all that uncommon. The appearance of angels, the appearance of these visions, and the miraculous as referred to in our last program—the opening of the Red Sea and all these things, the defeats of Samson. So, you see, throughout the Old Testament economy the supernatural was not, like I said, uncommon.
You come all the way up for the time of Christ to appear and who appeared to Mary? Well, an angel. Well, she wasn’t all that shook up. My goodness, if an angel appeared to one of us, they’d probably have to lock us up the next day because we wouldn’t be able to handle it mentally. But they did. They were used to these things.
All right, so Gabriel appears to Daniel, and he tells Daniel—you’re going to have a specific special revelation of the future. He said:
“…O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23. At the beginning of thy supplications (That is this prayer that we’ve been looking at for three half hours.) the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved:…” Now I’ve got to stop.
Whenever I teach Daniel, normally we also make a lot—and I’m going to be doing it in this half hour—what other book of the Bible do we always tie with Daniel? Revelation. All right, who wrote the Book of Revelation? John. And what was John called? The Beloved. Isn’t that amazing! Daniel writes this prophecy and he’s called the Beloved. John writes Revelation and he, too, is called the Beloved. Now, maybe that doesn’t mean much to you, but I think it does. It’s kind of an intricate connection here.
“…for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” In other words, don’t take it lightly.
Now here comes this prophetic vision which becomes, in my book at least, the very foundation of all Biblical prophecy concerning the end-time. Not so much concerning Christ’s first coming, although that’s in here. But it is basically the foundation of all of our end-time study of prophecy. All right, here it is.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people…” Now I have to stop, because I have gotten tons of questions over the years: why do you associate weeks with years? Well, let’s just see what the Book says about it. We know that a week is a period of seven years when it’s spoken of as Daniel uses it here.
All right, skip across, at least in my Bible, to verse 27, so that we have a jumping off place. Because I’m going to prove first that this word weeks is a period of seven years. Verse 27 of Daniel 9 and I’m just using the verse now to define the word weeks.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (Well, how long is that one week? Well, it’s seven years. How do I know? Turn all the way up—well, let’s finish the verse first.) and in the midst of the week (Now watch that.) in the midst of the week he (Speaking, of course, of the anti-Christ.) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations (such wickedness that you and I cannot even begin to comprehend) he (the anti-Christ) shall make it (That is the restored Temple.) desolate, even until the consummation, (or the end of those seven years) and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
All right, now let’s just qualify that a week is seven years. That’s my point. Jump up with me now to Matthew 24 verse 15. This is in the Lord’s earthly ministry, toward the end of it, of course. This whole chapter is prophesying these final seven years that Daniel spoke of in verse 27.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,…” And when did Daniel say it would happen? In the middle of the week. Don’t forget that now. Daniel says in the middle of the week this anti-Christ, or the prince that shall come as he calls him, will come into the Temple and defile it. All right, Jesus is putting his stamp of approval on that. He says:
“When ye therefore shall see that abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (in the middle of that week) (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” All right, that’s all we need of that verse for the time being. We’ll be hitting it again later.
Now, jump all the way up to Revelation where, like we just said, the other Beloved of Scripture is writing, John, and turn with me to chapter 11. Revelation chapter 11 and we’re just going to be looking at time-factors. I’m not going to associate anything with it. I just want you to see the time-factor. Revelation chapter 11 verse 2, all got it? No, I’ve got to wait. You know, I’ve said it before, my listening audience says, Les, I appreciate that you wait so I can find the Scriptures. Okay, here we are.
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: (Now here it comes.) and the holy city (Jerusalem, the Gentiles) shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” How long is 42 months? Three-and-a-half years. Okay. Next verse, verse 3:
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, (and these two witnesses) and they shall prophesy (or preach, or speak forth) a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” How long is twelve hundred and sixty days? Three-and-a-half years.
All right, now let’s go over to chapter 12. Now remember what I’m establishing—that this week that Daniel speaks of is seven years, and it is always split in half: three-and-a-half and three-and-a-half. From the opening day until the abomination of the anti-Christ going in and defiling the Temple are three-and-a-half years. From the abomination until the end and Christ’s Second Coming are the second three-and-a-half years. That’s all I’m trying to establish.
All right, chapter 12 and verse 6, now we’re speaking of the remnant of Israel that’s going to flee from Jerusalem to their place of safety. Verse 6:
“And the woman (this remnant) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the Godhead) should feed her there (or provide all her needs) a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” How long? Three-and-a-half years. You just can’t escape it.
All right, now come across the page, in my Bible anyway, and let’s see, up there in verse 14.
“And to the woman (this same escaping remnant of Israel) and to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle,…” Now remember, Exodus spoke of the same thing concerning Israel leaving Egypt as they flew with wings of an eagle. So, it doesn’t mean they’re going to fly. It’s just going to be a supernatural escape route.
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place,…” That place where God is going to protect that remnant of Israel for those last three-and-a-half years. And I think it’ll be five million Jews, because Zechariah tells us it will be one-third of Israel. And today, Israel’s population is fifteen million. I think we’re close enough that I can use the one-third: five million. Well, that’s not much difference than what The Exodus was.
You know, I get encouraged from time-to-time, and I don’t get the big head over it. Don’t worry. But way, way back when I first started teaching some of these things, I came to the conclusion that the number of Jews coming out of Egypt under Moses had to be between three and five million. Now that’s a big gap, I know. And if you’ll remember when I first taught this on television, I likened it to Dallas and Fort Worth. Remember that? I said Dallas/Fort Worth together is little over three million. Can you image those two cities moving out in mass with all their flocks and herds?
Well, that was Israel in The Exodus. But I’ve even expanded it to mean it could be five to seven. And I’ve now read some others that are using those same numbers—that it could have been as high as seven million Jews that came out of Egypt. Now, I know that’s pressing the envelope, so I’ll keep it back at three to five. But anyway, here we have it: this great exodus from, not Egypt, now, but from Jerusalem—out into a place of safety which is almost identical to The Exodus going out to Mount Sinai. It’s supernatural, again. All right, so this remnant of Israel will escape Jerusalem under the nose of the man anti-Christ, and she’s going to go to her place.
“…where she is nourished (Now, here’s my time-factor again.) for a time, (one year) and times, (plus two, for a total of three) and half a time (for a total of three-and-one-half years),…” Now, that should be enough to settle it that a week in Daniel is seven years. A half of seven is three-and-a-half.
Okay, now we’re ready to go back to Daniel, hopefully. I should never again have another question: why do you call a week seven years? All right, back to Daniel chapter 9 verse 24.
“Seventy weeks…” Of years. Now, if you know your math, that’s 7 x 70. And that’s how many? Four hundred and ninety years. Is that unusual in God dealing with Israel? No, over and over He uses that same number. Sometimes it’s 430, but 490 over and over throughout Israel’s history was a period of God’s dealing with the Nation of Israel. Here’s another one: four hundred and ninety years or–
“Seventy weeks are determined upon (My people? No. What’s the word?) thy people…” Well, why did God say thy people, when other times He says my people? Well, it depends on Israel’s spiritual relationship. When Israel is in right relationship with God, it’s what? My people. But when they’re out there in unbelief and rebellion—whether it was Moses or whether it was David or whether it was Daniel, it’s what? Thy people. Now—no, I’m not going to look. I’m not sure what the verse is. But when we come to the Second Coming and Israel suddenly realizes who He is, then what does the Scripture say? God will say they are My people. And Israel will say He is our God. But in the interim, no, it’s thy people. See that? Little intricacies of Scripture. All right, verse 24 again:
“Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, (That is Jerusalem.) to finish (In other words, to finalize the transaction between God and evil.) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, (Which, of course, was the work of the Cross.) and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,…” Which is a reference to the what, again? The Kingdom!
Oh, don’t lose the process. Go back to Psalms chapter 2. I have to use it over and over, because this is the simplest outline of prophecy in Scripture. And here this is fulfilling it to the exact words. Psalms chapter 2, some day you’re all going to know these verses by memory.
Psalms chapter 2 and let’s start at verse 1. I just love these verses, because they are so explicit and simple. Now this is David writing in 1,000 B.C. with regard to Christ’s first coming.
“Why do the heathen (In this case, it’s the Romans.) why do the heathen rage, and the people (Israel) image a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth (the Romans) set themselves, and the rulers (the religious leaders of Israel) take counsel together, against the LORD,…” Now goodness sakes, when did they do that? The night of His arrest, the night of His arrest they’re in the Garden.
What was the conspiracy? Why, we’ll point out who He is; you arrest Him; and we’ll do the rest. And you know what happened. They gave him a mock trial. Judas betrayed Him; the Romans took over and through it all the Crucifixion. But way back here in 1,000 B.C.–
“…they take counsel together, against the LORD, (That is God the Son.) and against his anointed, (the Messiah) saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” We’ll not let God rule over us. All right, now here’s God’s response from Heaven.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: (Not a laugh of comedy, but a laugh of ridicule and scorn.) the Lord shall have them (That is the whole human race—Gentile as well as Jew.) he shall have them in derision. 5. Then…” There’s the time-word now. We’re moving on in time. After they have rejected God’s anointed, then God will move in with His next point in human history. And what is it?
“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” The Tribulation—the wrath and vexation. Let me stop a minute. How many people in the world’s leadership—whether it’s America, South America; whether it’s the Orient or the Middle East or Europe—how many of the world’s leaders have any concept of this coming seven years? None!
I would dare say there isn’t a leader in the world that knows that these horrible seven years of God’s wrath is right out in front of us. The world’s getting ready for it. Everything that’s taking place around the world today is just screaming at us that the end is winding up. But they don’t know.
And they think we’re crazy. Isn’t it something? Those of us who have the knowledge, we have the wisdom, and they think we’ve lost it. They think we should be locked up. I trust you read what’s coming out of our government. We’re extreme right fanatics, you know. They’ll want to lock us up before long. Well, so be it. At least we know that we know what we’re talking about.
All right, so now read on. After they’ve rejected Him, then He’s going to come at the human race in His wrath, not His grace and mercy in this case, but His wrath and vexation. Then what’s the next event?
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” And what’s that? The Kingdom. The Millennium! All prophesied by David in 1,000 B.C. That’s why I love this portion. It’s so simple. My goodness, anybody should be able to understand that after the rejection would come the vexation and then would come the what? The King and the Kingdom.
How did Peter put it? You remember back a few tapings we were dealing with Peter, and I used it at the beginning of every taping session. First, the suffering, and then the glory that would follow. Well, here it is with regard to the human race. They’re going to suffer like you and I can never imagine. But what’s it going to lead to? The return of Christ and the glory which would follow.
And, of course, that is the real reason that Peter taught, too. It was that Christ would suffer by His rejection, but what would be the end result? His coming in glory and power. First, the suffering, and then the glory which would follow. All right, now verse 6 again, after the wrath and vexation–
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” The millennial reign of Christ.
All right, let’s go back to Daniel chapter 9, and we’ll read on a little bit. I don’t know if I’m going to have time to go to the board like I wanted to, but we’ll play it by ear. Daniel chapter 9 and reading on in verse 24.
“…to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, (the work of the Cross where He took on Himself the sin of the world) and to make reconciliation for iniquity,…”
All right, now that brings a point. A lot of people just can’t comprehend it, and I suppose they think I’m out in left field. But I want you to think. When Christ suffered and died, the first inkling of what He was going to accomplish we get from John the Baptist. And how did John the Baptist really open Christ’s earthly ministry? What was his statement? “Behold, the Lamb of God which (What?) taketh away the sin of the world.” How much? All of it!
I’ve been teaching this for thirty years. That work of the Cross was so complete that God the Father was satisfied and was willing to forgive every sin that had ever been committed. It’s done. But, it goes for nothing until it’s appropriated how? By Faith. That’s why it’s so ridiculous that people reject this message of hope and the promise of Eternal Life by believing that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Why do they hate it so, when it’s so simple? He has paid the sin debt for every human being who ever lived. From Adam until the last person in human history, it’s all been done for—paid for, forgiven.
All right, but now I’ve got to give you another word. I’ve only got three minutes. Oh, my goodness. Turn all the way up to II Corinthians chapter 5. This is what Daniel has already prophetically—(No, not Daniel—yeah, Daniel. Couldn’t remember whether it was David or Daniel.)—Daniel is prophesying this would come. II Corinthians chapter 5 verse 18. Oh, listen, this is mind-boggling. But the Book says it. And if the Book says it, God expects us to believe it. That’s where we become responsible.
II Corinthians 5:18
“And all things are of God, who hath (Past tense, it’s a done deal.) reconciled us to himself (Now, of course, Paul is writing to believers, naturally. So for us, of course, we know that we have been reconciled. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.) He hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, (And, of course, reference is to that finished work of the Cross.) and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” That we can tell the world, hey, you’ve been reconciled. God has already done everything to bring you to Himself. Now here it comes, verse 19.
II Corinthians 5:19
“To wit (that is to say), that God was in Christ, reconciling (The Body? No. The who?) the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath (Past tense, it’s a done deal.) hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (Of who? The whole world.)”
Every human being who ever lived God considered him as forgiven and reconciled. Now, I’ve got to use the forgiven word. I didn’t do that yet. Turn from II Corinthians and go on over to Colossians. I’ve already made mention of John the Baptist, “The Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” Not just the believer, but the world! The unsaved world goes to their doom not because they had no opportunity. It’s because they wouldn’t believe it. They wouldn’t take it by faith. And that’s what makes it so pitiful—that the vast majority of the human race walks all this underfoot, disregarding it rather than taking it by faith. Oh, it’s awful. But, you see, they can’t handle it. Okay, I’ve got to do it quickly. Verse 13 of Colossians 2:
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made us alive) together with him, having (What?) forgiven you (How much?) all trespasses (our sins);” Past. Present. And future. But it doesn’t mean a thing until you appropriate it by faith. And, oh, it’s so hard for the world to see it.