Chapter 1 FOUR YOUNG JEWISH
CAPTIVES IN BABYLON
NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM IMAGE
THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Chapter 3 NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S
THE FIERY FURNACE
RESTORED FROM HIS AFFLICTION
Chapter 5 BELSHAZZAR’S
Chapter 6 THE POWER OF
Chapter 7 THE FOUR GREAT
Chapter 8 THE RAM AND THE
GOAT - ANTIOCHUS AND ANTICHRIST
Chapter 9 DANIEL’S PRAYER
AND THE “70 WEEKS” PROPHEC Y
Chapter 10 MICHAEL AND THE
EXPLOITS OF THE KINGS OF PERSIA, GREECE, EGYPT & SYRIA
THE ANTICHRIST – THE KING WHO “WILL DO AS HE PLEASES”
Chapter 12 GREAT DISTRESS,
AND THE END OF THE AGE
THE book of Daniel is probably one
of the most controversial books of the Bible. Written during the sixth
century BC (approx 535 BC), it contains amazingly detailed prophecies
concerning future empires and world events.
History has shown that so far
these prophecies have been 100% accurate leaving non-believers in a
quandary. Either this book was indeed written by Daniel under God’s
leading or, as many skeptics argue, it was written after many of the
events had already taken place.
However, the authorship of this
book has been verified by Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew 24:25 Jesus
“Therefore when you see the abomination of
desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet….”
Jesus would hardly have sanctioned
this book if it had not indeed been written by Daniel.
The human author, Daniel, is
arguably one of the most amazing and Godly men that we know of in the
Bible. He is, as far as I know, the only man in the Bible of whom
nothing bad or negative is said. The Bible records some of the faults of
all of the great men of God from Abraham to the apostle Peter yet no
records exist of any flaws in Daniel’s character.
The book of Daniel is unique
because, along with the New Testament book of Revelation, it is the
first of the two major prophetic books of the Bible. Yet not even
Revelation gives the extraordinary detailed prophecies of world empires
and events that are found in Daniel.
Chapters 2:4 to 7:28 were written
in the Aramaic language, whilst the rest of the book was written in
Hebrew. Why would Daniel, a Hebrew, write a large part of his book in
the Aramaic language? The simple explanation is that during Daniel’s
time, Aramaic was the international language of business and government
and was understood by both Gentiles and Jews. As these particular
chapters deal with Gentile kings and kingdoms and God’s dealings with
these Gentile nations, it was written in a language that Gentiles could
As we study these prophecies we
will begin to under-stand the awesome nature of our God. A God who
foretells events centuries and even millennia before they are to occur.
Even the date
of the entry of His Son, Jesus,
into Jerusalem just before His crucifixion is foretold, along with the
events surrounding His yet future triumphant return.
We will read of amazing details of
world empires which were foretold to arise after Daniel’s day and which
history shows were accurate in every detail. We will read of the
detailed prophecies concerning kings and battles, all of which have been
verified by history. It’s no wonder that critics find it impossible to
believe that this book was written before the events!
Writers of horoscopes,
clairvoyants, etc, are thriving as people seek answers to the chaotic
world around us. Mankind desperately wants to know what the future holds
yet they search everywhere except in God’s Word. The so called
prophecies of Nostradamus are often quoted, yet these are non-specific
and can be interpreted to mean almost anything.
Whilst it is true that no human
being could have the ability to foretell so much detail of future
history, our God, who knows all future events, has exactly that ability.
God’s prophetic Word is specific and accurate.
Daniel is told to ... “conceal these words and
seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and
knowledge will increase.”
Is it coincidence that now in our
generation this book has been “unsealed” and “opened up”? Does this mean
that we are at the “end of time”?
Whilst the detailed prophecies of
what to us are now past empires are amazing, and faith inspiring, what
is even more relevant to us in this generation, are the prophecies
dealing with events leading up to the return of Jesus.
Why has God caused these
prophecies to be recorded?
“Remember the former things, those of long
ago: I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like
me. I make known THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, from ancient times, WHAT IS
STILL TO COME. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I
“Therefore I told you these things long ago;
BEFORE THEY HAPPENED I announced them so that you could not say, ‘My
idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.”
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you
while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written
about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.”
As we study the prophecies of
Daniel in our future chapters, our faith in our God who foretells all
things, will be strengthened as we understand that no false god, idol or
image could possibly have foretold such detail regarding future events.
Our understanding and longing for
the “blessed hope,” the return of Jesus, will also be strengthened as
we read of the events leading to His return and which seem to be
underway in our generation.
What a mighty God we serve!
YOUNG JEWISH CAPTIVES
PLEASE READ DANIEL CHAPTER 1
Chapter one of the book of Daniel is
essentially an introduction to the historical setting in which this book was
written and an introduction to the central characters, namely Daniel and his
In 605 BC, the Babylonian army led by
Nebuchadnezzar over ran and took control of the Hebrew city of Jerusalem.
Within weeks, Nebuchadnezzar’s father, King Nabopolassar, died resulting in
Nebuchadnezzar having to rush home to claim his throne.
Nebuchadnezzar took with him some of
the sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple and the best of the Jewish
youth. Daniel and his friends were among these captives. This fulfilled a
prophecy recorded in Isaiah 39:7 that future offspring of the Royal family
of Judah would be taken captive to Babylon where they would become officials
in the palace of the King of Babylon.
The sacred vessels were placed in the
temple of Marduk, the chief Babylonian God, no doubt because Nebuchadnezzar
wanted to express his thanks to his god for the victories he had just
experienced. To his way of thinking the fact that he had conquered Israel
showed that his god was more powerful than the god of the Hebrews. By
placing these articles in the temple of Marduk he was ridiculing Yahweh by
saying that Yahweh was subject to Marduk. However verse 2 clearly states
that it was Yahweh, not Marduk, who was responsible for delivering the
nation of Judah and the temple vessels into Nebuchadnezzar’s hands.
Subsequent events would show the King
that the God of Daniel was indeed the sovereign King, and that it was He
alone that was responsible for his victories.
Following his coronation,
Nebuchadnezzar, commanded Ashpenaz, his chief official, to bring the cream
of the Jewish captives into what must have been a type of Royal training
Amongst those chosen were Daniel,
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah who were just teenagers. They were young,
handsome and in excellent physical condition.
For three years they were students of
the Chaldean teachers who were the elite wise men of Babylon. The kings of
Babylon belonged to this class of men who were among the most educated men
of their day.
Daniel and his friends were probably
taught astronomy, astrology, mathematics, natural history, agriculture,
architecture and the Chaldean language to prepare them for service to the
These four young men had names that
honoured Yahweh, their God, and the first thing that the chief official did
was to assign them names that honoured Babylonian gods.
To Daniel, whose name meant Yahweh (El)
is gracious, they gave the name Belteshazzar which meant Bel (a chief
Babylonian god) protected his life. Hananiah, meaning Yahweh is gracious,
was assigned the new name of Shadrach (command of Aku,) after the moon god
Aku. Mishael (who is what God - El - is?) was renamed Meshach (who is
what Aku is?) and Azariah (Yahweh has helped) was given the name Abed-nego
(servant of Nebo) after the god Nebo.
No doubt the reason behind the name
changes was to help wipe the memory of Yahweh from the young men’s minds. By
the end of their training it was no doubt intended that they would no longer
be thinking like Jews loyal to Yahweh but would be thinking like Babylonians
loyal to Babylonian gods.
The pressure for these young men to
conform to the pagan culture of Babylon and the teaching of the Chaldeans
must have been immense to say the least. These youth had been uprooted from
their families, who had no doubt been killed or sold into slavery, and from
their friends and their familiar culture and way of life.
Right from the start these four young
men faced a dilemma. As was the custom in those days, the king had ordered
that these new officers of his Royal court were to receive food and drink
from his own table.
As young impressionable teenagers all
this must have seemed like a blessing. They had survived the slaughter in
Jerusalem and were now being elevated to privileged positions as students
which would eventually result in them being given powerful government
positions. All they had to do was obey their new masters.
The king’s food would have been the
best available but this was food that Mosaic law said that the people of
Yahweh were not to eat. In addition the king’s food was offered as a
sacrifice to the Babylonian gods before it was eaten.
What would we have done faced with
this decision? Surely it wouldn’t hurt to partake of the blessings from the
king’s table. Hadn’t God himself put them into this position in the first
place? They could have made many excuses which would have seemed plausible,
but they did not, and as a result, God saw to it that their stand was
honoured by causing them to be healthier and better nourished than those who
did indeed partake of the King’s food.
God gave these young men a gift of
knowledge and understanding that enabled them to learn their subjects well
and no doubt, to be able to distinguish true knowledge from the false. To
Daniel He gave the additional gift of understanding visions and dreams.
At the end of the three years of
training, Daniel and his friends were brought before the King who tested
them and found them to be ten times superior to his existing officials. What
a witness to God.
At the end of this chapter we read
that Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus. This king was
the king of Medo-Persia, and some have seen a contra-diction between this
verse and chapter 10, verse one, which talks about Daniel receiving a
message in the third year of Cyrus. However verse 21 does not say that
Daniel died in the first year of Cyrus, but is simply saying that Daniel
continued as an official during the entire reign of the Babylonian kingdom
until they were succeeded by the Medes and the Persians under King Cyrus.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM IMAGE
PLEASE READ DANIEL CHAPTER 2
UP TO this point the wise men of
Babylon had had an easy job with regards to royal dreams. Once the king had
related the contents of his dream to them they could give any explanation
that seemed appropriate and it would please the king.
Archaeologists have discovered that
these ancient wise-men actually possessed manuals to help them interpret
dreams. Lengthy volumes recorded dreams and the events that happened
afterwards. The job of the wise men was to hear a new dream then after
conducting a study of past dreams they could arrive at a likely meaning.
However, Nebuchadnezzar had awoken
from his dream in no mood for speculation and guess work. He was troubled by
the dream and he demanded answers. Humanly speaking his demand was
unreasonable. Not only were the wise men to interpret the dream but they
were also ordered to describe the contents of the dream. Their objections to
this demand fuelled the king’s anger and so he issued a decree that the wise
men should be slain.
As members of this elite band of wise
men, Daniel and his three friends were also under sentence of death. When
Daniel heard about the king’s order, he requested the king to grant him time
to accomplish the task.
The first thing Daniel and his friends
did was to turn to prayer asking God that they might be shown mercy and be
spared from the king’s execution order. As a result, that night, God gave
Daniel a vision revealing the dream and its interpretation. Daniel’s
immediate response was to utter a prayer of thanksgiving emphasizing the
power and sovereignty of God.
We again get a glimpse of Daniel’s
character, for instead of immediately rushing off to the king, his first
thought was to stop the execution of the wise men. Having accomplished this,
he was brought before the king where he immediately made it clear that what
the king had demanded was humanly impossible to fulfil and that only God in
heaven could do it. Daniel made it very clear that it was God who had given
the king his dream, and that it revealed future events. Daniel made sure
that no credit could be given to himself for fulfilling the king’s demand
but that all the credit belonged to God.
Daniel also wanted to make it very
clear to the king that it was the God of heaven who had made Nebuchadnezzar
the ruler of the then-known world and not the Babylonian gods. This took
courage on Daniel’s part, but he was obviously determined to make sure that
the king could not give any credit to his gods for the interpretation of his
vision. Daniel made repeated reference to Yahweh as the God of Heaven, not
just because that was indeed God’s dwelling place, but because the
Babylonians believed that their gods came from the earth. Daniel wanted to
make it very clear that Yahweh was not one of their gods.
Having made this clear Daniel then
proceeded to interpret the vision.
In verses 31 to 35, he reveals to the
king the contents of his dream, then in verses 36 to 45, he interprets the
“You, O king, were
looking and saw a great image. This image was enormous; it was
standing in front of you, and its appearance was extremely bright and
awesome. This image - its head was made of fine gold; its chest and
its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron,
its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued looking until a
stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron
and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the
silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the
summer threshing-floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them
was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and
filled the whole earth.”
“This is the dream.
Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king,
are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom,
power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the
beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them
into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all - you are this
head of gold. But after you another kingdom inferior to yours shall arise;
then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the
“And the fourth
kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and
shatters all things; so, like iron that crushes, that kingdom
will break in pieces and crush all the others. As for the feet and toes
which were partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, this is a divided
kingdom; it will have some of the strength of the iron in it, even as you
saw the iron mixed with common clay.
“And as for
the toes of the feet which were partly of iron and partly of clay;
some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be fragile. As you
saw iron mixed with muddy clay, they will combine with the seed of men; but
they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
“In the time of those
kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be
destroyed - a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will crush
all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself
endure for ever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay,
the silver, and the gold - the great God has made known to the king what
will come to pass after this. The dream is true, and its interpretation is
What a remarkable passage! In 603 BC,
six hundred years before Jesus Christ lived on earth; 540 years before the
Roman Empire was a reality; 270 years before the Greek Empire controlled the
world; and 70 years before the Medo-Persian Empire would over-throw this
Babylonian Empire, Daniel says, “God … will show King Nebuchadnezzar what
will happen in days to come.”
Click on Chart to Enlarge
THE FIRST EMPIRE
Daniel interprets the golden head of
the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as being
Babylon, a great city built on the same location where the tower
of Babel had been built much earlier by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah.
Babylon was formed in a perfect
square, 15 miles on each side. It contained 50 streets 150 feet wide with
the Euphrates flowing through the city, giving the impress-ion that the
river flowed from the throne of the king.
On both sides of the river there were
elevated terraces with hanging gardens - one of the seven wonders of the
world. The main street, Paradise Way, was paved with pure gold plated bricks
and led to their main temple. The city itself was surrounded by a wall 200 –
300 feet high and 87 feet thick with a moat around it.
The Babylonians are credited with
dividing hours into 60 minutes and the circle into 360 degrees. 600 years
later, three wise men (Chaldeans) from this area followed the star
heralding the birth of Christ.
This head was depicted as being of
gold which was an appropriate representation. Marduk, the chief god of
Babylon was called the god of gold, and gold was used extensively in
Babylonian buildings, images and shrines.
Herodotus, who visited Babylon ninety
years after the era of Nebuchadnezzar, was astonished by the amount of gold
there. Even the walls and buildings were over-laid with gold.
THE SECOND EMPIRE
The vision foretold that Babylon would
be succeeded by a second kingdom, represented by the image’s breast and arms
of silver. In 550 BC two distinct peoples, the
Medes and the Persians were united together under the same king,
to form one great power - two arms coming together to form one breast.
The Medo-Persian army laid siege to
Babylon, but Babylon had prepared for such a siege by storing sufficient
food within the city walls to last the population for 20 years. This,
combined with the fact that they had ample water from the river and that
they had such formidable defences, made them feel that they were
impregnable. However, God had decreed that they would fall, so fall they
The Persian king, Cyrus, learned that
in spite of being under siege, the Babylonians were still planning to
celebrate an approaching festival during which they would give themselves
over to a time of partying.
Cyrus decided that this was the day he
would attack, and that he would accomplish this by damming up the river
under cover of darkness. As the river level dropped to a sufficient depth he
sent men in from both the entry and exit points of the river into the city.
Under normal circumstances, even this
method of entry into the city would have accomplished little, as the river
was lined on each side of its course through the city with walls that could
not be climbed. However as the inhabitants of the city celebrated their
festival and lapsed into a drunken state, they left open the gates, giving
access from the city to the river, and thus their fate was sealed.
The night’s revelry cost the
Babylonians their kingdom and their freedom. In 539 BC, this part of
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was fulfilled as the Babylonian Empire was succeeded
by the Medes and the Persians.
It is fascinating to read Isaiah 45,
in which God promised Cyrus that He would open gates before him, and that
he, Cyrus, would restore Israel to their land and permit the rebuilding of
the Jewish Temple. History and the Bible record that both of these events
did in fact occur.
Again the choice of the precious metal
silver was an appropriate metal to use as a symbol for the Medo-Persian
Empire. In ancient times silver signified money and was the standard of
value and the medium of exchange. Medo-Persia became noted for basing its
power on money which was collected through an extensive tax system.
Daniel stated that Medo-Persia would
be inferior to Babylon. Obviously it was not inferior in military strength,
for it conquered Babylon. And it was not inferior in size, as it was a much
larger kingdom than Babylon. It was inferior in one respect, and that was
that being a partnership, it lacked the absolute unity that Babylon had
THE THIRD EMPIRE
Medo-Persia was to be succeeded by a
third Gentile kingdom, represented by the image’s belly and thighs of
This was the kingdom of
Greece led by Alexander the Great and
his successors. One belly divided into two thighs was again an excellent way
to portray the Grecian Empire ahead of time.
Alexander battled against the Persian
King Darius to overthrow the Medo-Persian Empire. As Alexander and his army
closed in upon the remnants of the Medo-Persian army, three of his own
people took Darius captive in an attempt to trade him to Alexander in return
for their own lives. However, as the Greek army closed in upon them they
brutally murdered Darius and fled for their lives.
They left the body in a cart, and when
Alexander was led to Darius’ bloodied corpse, the sight of this Persian king
who had just a short time before sat on the throne of a great Empire, moved
this great general to tears.
Alexander covered Darius’ body with
his own cloak and ordered that the body be given to the previously captured
ladies of the Persian Royal family, and that they were to give him a royal
funeral which Alexander himself paid for.
Eventually however, absolute power
went to his head, and Alexander, like many rulers before and after him,
started to claim that he was a god. He became involved in drunken parties
during which, it is recorded, he would even murder his own friends.
Legend has it that after one long
drinking session he toasted each one of his 20 guests, then completely
emptied the Herculean cup which contained 6 quarts of alcohol. He then fell
ill with a violent fever and died 11 days later at the age of 32.
Following his death his kingdom was
divided among his four leading generals, however, only two of the divisions
endured to play important roles in history. These two divisions were
headquartered in Syria and Egypt and are depicted by the two thighs of the
The Greeks developed and highly valued
bronze which they used extensively for their weapons of war. Thus their
kingdom was characterized by bronze.
Daniel said that the Greeks would rule
over all the earth, referring to the world then known to Daniel and his
contemporaries. It is an historical fact that Alexander’s kingdom ruled
considerably more of the earth than did the preceding Babylonian and
This part of the dream was fulfilled
when Greece conquered Persia in 331 BC.
THE FOURTH EMPIRE
Greece was to be succeeded by a fourth
Gentile kingdom represented by the image’s legs of iron, and feet and toes
of iron and clay.
At the time of Nebuchnezzar’s dream
Rome was nothing more than a village on the banks of the Tiber
River, but it was destined to become the fourth World Empire.
In 65 BC the Roman general, Pompey,
overthrew Syria, and by 30 BC Augustus had overthrown Egypt and taken
authority over Jerusalem. He proclaimed himself as the first Emperor of
The Roman armies conquered the
remnants of the previous empires as well as expanding into previously
The religions of the previous empires
were mixed up in the new empire, creating an even greater mixture of
paganism. Eventually the Roman Emperors began to demand worship of
By the time of the Christian era this
empire ruled an area comprising the whole of South Europe, France, England,
the greater part of the Netherlands, Switzerland and the South of Germany,
Hungary, Turkey and Greece as well as parts of Asia and Africa.
This was the Roman Empire, the fourth
empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. God’s portrayal of Rome with two legs was
again very apt for the ancient Roman Empire ruled extensive areas of both
the western and eastern divisions of the
world. In fact, in 364 AD the Roman Empire was divided politically into two
divisions - the Western Empire with
Rome as its capital, and the Eastern Empire with Constantinople as its capital.
Iron was an excellent designation for
Rome as ancient Rome was noted for its use of iron, especially in its
weaponry, and its iron swords shattered the inferior swords of its foes. As
Daniel noted in verse 40, just as iron is able to crush gold, silver and
bronze, so would Rome crush and shatter the ancient world.
This aspect of the prophetic dream was
fulfilled when Rome conquered Greece by 146 BC.
Let us now look at the future world
empire which will be in place at the time of the return Jesus Christ.
THE ROMAN EMPIRE
PLEASE READ DANIEL CHAPTER 2
LAST chapter we looked at the first
part of Daniel’s vision Daniel chapter 2. In that study we looked at the
Gentile world empires that were foretold by God, through the vision of a
large statue that He gave to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Almost without
exception scholars agree that the empires referred to were:-
– The head of gold
– The chest and arms of silver
– The belly and thighs of bronze
– The legs of iron
History has borne out the fact that
these four empires did succeed each other just as God foretold.
However, now the interpretation of the
dream becomes a little more complicated, and as a result there are a number
of differing opinions as to the nature of the empire that succeeds Rome.
But the Bible is clear, for verse 40
states that the fourth kingdom, Rome, is the final kingdom of the vision - a
kingdom which will be as strong as iron and smash everything in its path.
Verse 41 and 42, however, carry on to
say that the kingdom will be like the image’s feet of iron and clay - a
mixture of strength and weakness.
“As for the feet and
toes which were partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, this is a
divided kingdom; it will have some of the strength of the iron in it, even
as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. And as for the toes of
the feet which were partly of iron and partly of clay; some of the
kingdom will be strong and part of it will be fragile. As you saw iron mixed
with muddy clay, they will combine with the seed of men; but they will not
adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.”
This seems to be a contradiction – how
can this empire be as strong as iron yet then be weak and brittle. The
answer must lie in the fact that the original Roman Empire was indeed as
strong as iron overcoming all opposition. However, the Empire eventually
deteriorated from within and indeed became divided and weak.
The Roman Empire as such was never
superceded by another empire as the previous three empires were. In fact, in
a sense, the Roman Empire still exists today. Much of the Western world
today bases its structure, political and civil, around that of the Roman
Nebuchadnezzar’s vision stated that
this weakened stage of the fourth and final kingdom would continue until
such time as it is smashed by a rock (Jesus), and the God of heaven sets up
a kingdom that will never be destroyed.
As the previous parts of the image,
such as the two arms and the two legs, had significance with regards to the
particular empires they portrayed, so to does the final portrayal of feet
and toes. Most scholars interpret this to mean that the final remnant of the
Roman Empire will consist of 10 kings or nations (the toes). Just as clay
will not mix with iron, so these different groups of peoples will form an
uneasy alliance in the last days.
This interpretation is strengthened by
a reading of Daniel 7: 23-24 which is the interpretation of the vision that
Daniel was given of this same fourth and final kingdom.
“He gave this
explanation: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom that will appear on
the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms, and will devour
the whole earth, treading it down and crushing it. As for the ten horns,
they are ten kings who arise out of this kingdom. After them another king
will arise. He will be different from the earlier ones; and he will subdue
In these verses, the 10 kings or
nations forming the final world empire are symbolised by 10 horns rising
from within the final form of the Roman Empire. It is stated that at the
time of these kings, the saints will suffer for a set time, following which
the world’s rulers will worship and obey God. As this has not yet happened
in our history it must be a future event!
Further clarification is obtained by a
reading of Revelation 17:12 in which John received a vision of things to
occur in the “last days.”
“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not
yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings
along with the beast.” (Revelation
In his vision John is also shown ten
horns which he was told signify ten kings (kingdoms) who will form an
alliance with The Beast (The Antichrist). He is also told that at the time
of this vision this alliance had not occurred, and history again bears
witness to the fact that such an alliance has not occurred in the centuries
between then and now. This is further confirmation that this alliance must
still be a future event.
Both Daniel chapter 7 and Revelation
chapter 17 give clear evidence that the 10 nation confederacy will come into
being when an eleventh king rises, and rules over them. We will study this
further when we come to it chapter seven of Daniel.
The final stage of the fourth kingdom
is a future superpower which will be a revival of the original Roman Empire,
or at least a part of it.
Sometime in the future this revival
will occur, and many Bible scholars believe that the forming of this ten
nation alliance could be very near especially as we see the developments in
the European Union.
The Bible is clear that the final ten
nations will come out of what was the old Roman Empire, so before we can
look at who may be part of the final kingdom, we must first ascertain which
nations were originally part of the old empire.
The following schedule lists those
nations which formed a major part of the Roman Empire in bold print. Other
nations which only saw a minor Roman occupation or had some frontline
outposts in them are shown in light and underlined.
MODERN DAY COUNTRIES IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Portugal Spain Andorra France
Monaco Belgium Netherlands
Switzerland Liechtenstein Italy
Vatican City Malta Austria United
was occupied only
up to the Antonine wall while Ireland never formed part of the Empire.)
initial conquest of German territories up to the river Elbe under Emperor
Augustus may well have included a small part of the Czech Republic. Also the
campaigns of emperor Marcus Aurelius most likely conquered a considerable
amount of Czech territory, though these gains were abandoned by his son
Commodius without ever being recognised as a province.)
home to several forward positions of the Roman frontier system. Also the
campaigns of emperor Marcus Aurelius most likely conquered considerable
parts of Slovakia, though they were abandoned by his son Commodius without
ever being recognised as a province.)
Slovenia Croatia Hungary
Bosnia-Herzegovina Yugoslavia Albania Greece
Romania Bulgaria Turkey
annexation of the ancient kingdom of Armenia by Emperor Trajan part, if not
all, of modern day Georgia may have become part of the empire.)
annexation of the ancient kingdom of Armenia by Emperor Trajan, all of
modern day Armenia became part of the empire.)
annexation of the ancient kingdom of Armenia by Emperor Trajan part, if not
all, of modern day Azerbaijan will have become part of the empire.)
Lebanon Syria Jordania Iraq
(If any part of
northern Kuwait was part of the short-lived province of Mesopotamia, created
by Emperor Trajan, is unsure; though it may well have been.)
Emperor Trajan’s annexation of part of the kingdom of Nabatea as the Roman
province of Arabia Petraea, a small part of the Red Sea coast of Saudi
Arabia became part of the Roman Empire.)
(To what extent
the Roman province of Aegyptus extended into Sudan is unsure; though it must
have extended some way into this country to border on the kingdom of Nubia.)
yet an internationally recognised nation, “Palestine” is situated on recent
Jordanian and Egyptian territory, and was part of the Roman-occupied
province of Judaea.)
For many years students of Bible
prophecy have looked to the Western Nations as the most likely location of
the ten nation confederacy. This was fueled first by the founding of The
League of Nations following World War 1, and then by the forming of The
United Nations. However, in recent years focus has turned to the European
In January 1957,
six nations signed a treaty on the site of the ancient Roman Capital and
brought into being the European Common Market, which became the European
Union. This treaty has become known as “the treaty of Rome.” Coincidence?
The EU flag was designed as a circle of 12 stars inspired by the halo
of 12 stars that appear around the Madonna in Catholic pictures. Revelation
12 describes a woman (Israel) who has a crown of 12 stars, however, the
Catholics have always claimed that this figure represents the virgin Mary.
poster was issued a few years back by the EU which showed the tower of Babel
with the slogan “Many tongues, one voice.” Above the tower were shown the
Euro stars, but inverted, as in witchcraft, with the central
Another demonic symbol is being used
in conjunction with the EU. Revelation 17 describes a great harlot riding a
For some strange
reason this symbol is being used to represent the EU. For example, Britain
issued a stamp to commemorate the first European parliament elections in
The picture on the stamp was a woman
riding a beast. The new EU parliament building in Brussels contains a dome
with a colossal painting, three times life size, of a woman riding a beast.
In France, the
rival parliament building features a mural of a naked woman riding a beast,
and the Brussels’s headquarters of the Council of Europe contains a bronze
statue of a woman riding a beast – and the beast is depicted riding on waves
– just as in Revelation 17.
On January 2nd, 2002
a single European
unit of currency,
the Euro, came
This could eventually become the
catalyst that destroys the might of the USA as some nations move to make the
Euro the means of payment for oil instead of the US dollar. Should this
happen the US economy could fall into turmoil, taking many other economies
Is it coincidence that last year this
community formed its own fighting force? Although Britain’s Tony Blair
insists on calling it a “Rapid Reaction Force” it is really an army of
considerable size. It consists of 60,000 front line troops, 400 assault
aircraft and up to 80 warships. This force which will be used to represent
the European Community, has been drawn from the strongest of the nations in
the community. The number of nations involved in the force – 10 !!!
Today the EU consists of more than 25
nations and is still growing. The EU is on the march as never before,
despite its family feuding. What Napoleon, Hitler and many others failed to
do by violent means – unite Europe – is now being accomplished by more or
less peaceful means.
The future president of the EU will
have power which will rival, or even exceed, that of the American
While the European Union is most
certainly a prime suspect for being the final form of the Roman Empire it
has a major stumbling block in that it is difficult to reconcile the fact
that this Last Days Empire will consist of only 10 nations, not the growing
number that at present comprise the EU.
A small, but growing, number of Bible
prophecy students are now starting to wonder if we have in fact been looking
in the wrong direction and that this 10 nation union may in fact arise from
nations that formed part of the Eastern leg of the old Empire rather than
the Western division; in other words, the Eastern Moslem nations.
This view is being fuelled by the
growing hatred from radicals within these nations against Western
We know from the Bible that this
10-nation revival of the Roman Empire will hate God’s people, both Jew and
Christian, and will persecute and kill them.
Some prophecy students are looking at
King Abdullah of Jordon and watching developments surrounding him with
interest. As the 43rd generation direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad
this king would be held in high esteem by other Moslems as the standard
bearer of Allah.
It is interesting to note that even
the Israelis trust this king as they have appointed him (Jordon) as the
keepers of the Temple Mount. King Abdullah is even courting the Vatican, and
in late 2000 Pope John Paul II visited Jordon and received an enthusiastic
The Bible is not specific about just
who these 10 nations are and we Christians may not even see the final
formation of this confederacy as many believe that the Rapture will occur
before the Antichrist, the leader of this union, is revealed.
However as we watch and see an
alliance growing, be it from Western or Eastern nations, we can be assured
that the return of our Lord and Saviour is drawing very near indeed.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S GOLD IMAGE,
AND THE FIERY FURNACE
Please read Daniel chapter 3
IN chapter 2 we read how Daniel
interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a giant statue, and now, in
chapter 3 we read of the King erecting a statue of his own.
This statue measured 90 feet high by 9
feet wide and was either made of gold or overlaid with gold. Interestingly
there is today, a mound resembling the pedestal of a colossal statue, on the
Plains of Dura. This mound stands 20 feet high and measures about 46 feet
square at its base.
Although the dream image was some
years earlier, there can be little doubt that Nebuchadnezzar got his idea
for this statue from his earlier vision.
The reason for Daniel’s absence from
this chapter is not given. It is possible that he was away on business. Did
the king take advantage of Daniel’s absence, or even arrange it, so as to
take the opportunity to erect this statue unhindered by a prophet of God?
Was this the king’s way of now
renouncing any regard for Daniel’s God? Was he now trying to say that he was
the whole statue, not just its head, and that as such his kingdom would
never be superseded by another as Daniel had foretold?
Nebuchadnezzar demands total
allegiance and proclaims death to any who do not worship him by bowing to
herald loudly proclaimed, ‘To you the command is given, O peoples, nations
and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of
the horn, flute, harp, lyre, psaltery, bagpipe in symphony with all kinds of
music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar
the king has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship will be cast
immediately into the midst of a blazing fiery furnace’.”
History tells us that Nebuchadnezzar
was almost fanatical in his determination to bring retribution on those who
did not obey the laws.
However, there were three Hebrew men
who refused to obey the law to worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar.
To his credit the king does not just
accept the accusations of others but insists on making sure of the facts for
himself. This may have been because Nebuchadnezzar himself had set these
three men into high government positions and would have held them in high
When he meets with Shadrach, Meshach
and Abed-nego the implication is that because of their past relationship,
the King would have given them every opportunity to back down and conform to
his command. However, their continuing refusal to bow to his image, puts the
king in danger of losing face and his anger is fueled to such an extent that
his attitude towards the three changes.
These three men are in no position to
defend themselves as their guilt is clear. In obeying God’s law they have
broken the King’s law, and as such are prepared to suffer the consequences.
These men had all stood firm when they were first taken to Nebuchadnezzar’s
court and were ordered to eat food and drink from his table. They disobeyed
that order in favour of God’s law, and now they were standing firm again.
God often teaches us as we learn to firstly obey him, in small ways, then in
The three were thrown into a furnace
so hot that it killed the guards who threw them in. The king must have been
so angry with the three that he came close enough to see into the furnace,
no doubt relishing the prospect of witnessing the death of these men who
dared to disobey him.
But what Nebuchadnezzar saw was not
three men being burnt to death, but four men walking around, untied, in the
midst of the flames! Jesus, the Son of God, was with these men in the midst
of their trials, just as He promises to be with us. Presumably the three men
could see Jesus walking with them; but more often than not, in times of
trial, Jesus’ presence with us is invisible, but no less real.
responded, saying; ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego,
who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in
Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than
serve or worship any god except their own God’.”
This chapter is often seen as a type
of the Last Days.
Nebuchadnezzar is seen as a type of
the Antichrist who forces the world to worship his image. The furnace is the
Great Tribulation, and the three Hebrews are a type of Israel which will be
preserved during the Tribulation. The absent Daniel is seen as a type of the
absent church - the true church that will be raptured before the Tribulation
AFTER BEING RESTORED FROM HIS AFFLICTION
Please read Daniel chapter 4
IT IS interesting to note that chapter
4 is the only chapter in the whole of the Old Testament that was written by
a Gentile! These are not the words of Daniel but of Nebuchadnezzar, in the
form of a Royal Proclamation.
As well as having verse 4 written in
the first person that “I Nebuchadnezzar, was at home…” archeologists agree
that the literary style of this chapter resembles the style of
Nebuchadnezzar’s ancient inscriptions and that the character of the king
revealed in this chapter agrees with ancient descriptions of the man.
So why then did the king write this
proclamation? Could it be that he did it in order to teach all his people
the lesson which God had taught him – that man and his kingdoms were nothing
compared to the God of the Jews?
In the latter half of Nebuchadnezzar’s
reign the kingdom was at peace, the country prospered and the king had yet
another dream. Again the king called in all his wise men. It’s difficult to
understand why he didn’t just call for the one and only man who had
interpreted his earlier dream, but the fact is that he didn’t, and again it
wasn’t until Daniel appears that the king finally gets his dream
This time even Daniel was so shocked
by the meaning of the dream that he expressed the wish that the events
portrayed by the dream would actually fall on the king’s enemies instead of
the king. He did not want to tell the king the meaning, but Nebuchadnezzar
“This is the
interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued
against my lord the king; you will be driven away from mankind and your
dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat
like oxen, and drenched with the dew of heaven.
‘Seven periods of
time will pass over you, until you recognise that the Most High is ruler
over the realm of mankind and gives it to whomever He wishes. And the
command to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be
assured to you after you recognise that it is Heaven that
‘Therefore, O king,
may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing
righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor,
in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity’.”
God’s representation of the king as a
large tree that provided food and lodging for all was very fitting.
Archeologists have discovered inscriptions in which Nebuchadnezzar boasts
about the peaceful shelter and abundance of food that he provided for his
subjects. In some of these inscriptions the king talks of the mighty trees
of Lebanon and talks of his fascination with mighty trees.
This king who boasted of his might
that he had personally cut down these mighty trees, was now to be cut down
himself. Just as the stump in the dream was bound with a metal band, so now
God would bind the king with a form of mental illness. This illness would
cause the king to act like a wild beast and be driven outdoors to survive in
all kinds of weather. His hair would become long and matted, his nails would
grow long and like claws and he would eat grass like a wild animal.
Skeptics have scoffed at this account
of Nebuchadnezzar’s illness. However, a Greek writer named Megasthenes, who
lived from 312 to 280 BC related an interesting story that had been told to
him by the Chaldeans. According to this story, after he had completed his
military conquests, Nebuchadnezzar was “possessed by some god or other,”
whilst on the roof of his palace.
It is also interesting that between
582 and 575 BC, Nebuchadnezzar’s name disappeared from the historical and
governmental records of Babylon. It reappeared again for a time before the
king died in 562 BC. Records also indicate that Nebuchadnezzar’s reign
became more enlightened and less violent towards the end – after he had
acknowledged God as sovereign?
After giving the dream’s
interpretation, Daniel urged the king to repent of his ways, but this king
was on an ego trip!
Although there were a number of
palaces in the city, it is most probable that the king was standing on the
roof of the palace that housed the famous hanging gardens on the night he
was afflicted with this illness.
No doubt his heart was full of pride
as he looked out over the city that he had made the greatest city in the
world at that time. In the British museum there are six columns of writing
recovered from Babylon which describe the huge building projects of
Nebuchadnezzar. A total of forty-nine building inscriptions of this king
have been uncovered to date, and most of the bricks recovered from ancient
Babylon bear the inscription: “I am Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.”
This king rebuilt the old palace of
his father, and then built two more palaces. He built seventeen religious
temples and completed the huge outer walls that surrounded the city.
One of his most splendid projects was
the magnificent Ishtar gate. This was a double gateway through the walls of
the city and it was covered with bulls and four-legged dragons in high
relief. The approach to this gate was between strong fortress walls on which
were rows of lions in relief and covered with brightly coloured tiles.
However, his greatest feat, and the
one for which he is best remembered, was the hanging gardens. One of his
wives, the Princess of Media, grew homesick for the mountains of her
homeland. In order to satisfy her, the king had mountains built on the roof
of the palace complex. These mountains were planted with trees and other
kinds of plants which were watered by an ingenious hydraulic system which
lifted water from the Euphrates River up to the elevated gardens.
Humanly speaking Nebuchadnezzar could
have been said to have had reason to be proud of his accomplishments. But
even as the boastful words left the king’s mouth, God fulfilled His promised
judgment upon him.
The illness that Nebuchadnezzar was
stricken with is an actual illness known as Lycanthropy, an illness which
causes the sufferer to act like a wild beast yet allows the victim to retain
an inner consciousness. This explains how it was that eventually the king
was able to change his attitude even whilst suffering from this madness.
When the king finally recognised that
he was in a situation that he could not control, a situation which would
have been unbelievable to this once powerful king whose every wish was
instantly obeyed, he finally acknowledges a higher Power than himself.
As soon as he had repented and started
praising the one and only true God, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was restored to
Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honour the King of heaven, for all His
works are true and His ways are just; and He is able to humble those
who walk in pride’.”
While we are quick to condemn
Nebuchadnezzar for his faults and pride, there may be a lesson here for many
of us, for we too are often in danger of taking pride in our work and
accomplishments, instead of giving the glory and thanks for what we have
been able to do, to our loving God and Saviour.
PLEASE READ DANIEL
KING Nebuchadnezzar died on October
7th, 562 BC, after a 43 year reign. His son, Merodach who succeeded him, was
an evil man who is described in 2 Kings 25:27-30 and Jeremiah 52:31-34. His
reign lasted for only two years when he was assassinated by his own
Neriglassar who is referred to as
Nergalsharezer in Jeremiah 39:1 & 13, died a natural death after reigning
for 4 years. His son, Laborosoarchod who was only a child and had limited
mental capacity was beaten to death after ruling for only 9 months. The
murderers appointed one of their number, Nabonidus, to be king, and he
reigned until the Persians under King Cyrus conquered Babylon.
This chapter has in the past given
fuel to those who had stated that the book of Daniel was historically
in-accurate, as history records that Nabonidus was said to be the last king
of Babylon, not Belshazzar, his oldest son. Previous Babylonian records
mention no king named Belshazzar.
However Babylonian documents
discovered early in the 20th century solved the mystery. The documents
showed that Belshazzar was in fact the son of King Nabonidus. But this in
turn created another problem. If Nabonidus was king during the events
described in chapter 5 then why does one verse call Belshazzar “king”? This
question was in turn answered by other Babylonian documents which revealed
that in 555 BC, Nabonidus marched with his army to subdue rebels in the west
who had risen against Babylonian rule after the death of Nebuchadnezzar.
Before he left, Nabonidus placed his son, Belshazzar in temporary rulership
of his kingdom.
After subduing the rebels, Nabonidus
eventually built a royal palace in a distant town of Tema located in the
Arabian Peninsula and he settled there. Whilst he kept the title of King of
Arabia, Belshazzar retained the kingship of Babylon, creating a co-regency.
Belshazzar put on a huge feast for
1000 of his friends and officials, and while reading the description of the
festivities it is easy to picture the scene! The wine ran freely and the
hall was filled with the king’s wives and concubines.
Probably to impress them and his
nobles the king remembered the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar
had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, and commanded that they be brought
(Note that the term “father” does not
mean that Belshazzar was the immediate son of Nebuchadnezzar. In ancient
Oriental custom the word “father” was used loosely to refer to any male
In drunken bravado Belshazzar filled
the temple vessels with wine and toasted the heathen gods. The king could
not have chosen a more brazen way of showing contempt for Yahweh, the God of
the Jews - a God who hated the worship of false gods.
Immediately the hand of God pronounced
judgment on the king!
Obviously the king immediately sensed
that this writing on the wall did not contain a good message for him. This
same king, who just moments before had been filled with his own power and
importance, was now reduced to a quivering wreck. In his terror he called
for his wisest men and promised them a huge reward if they could read the
writing on the wall and tell him what it meant.
The rewards he offered were first
purple clothing, which was only worn by royalty, secondly a gold chain which
in Babylonian custom could only be given by a king, and thirdly, the
opportunity to be the third highest ruler in the land. As we saw previously
the highest two positions were taken by Nabonidus and Belshazzar.
After the queen reminds Belshazzar
about Daniel, the king finally calls on the one and only man in his kingdom
who could interpret the writing on the wall.
Daniel promptly tells the king to keep
his rewards. How different this was from the time when Daniel interpreted
the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time he accepted the rewards being
offered although he took great pains to point out that it was not his doing
but God’s that enabled him to perform this task.
Belshazzar is reminded by Daniel of
the time when his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, became arrogant and was
reduced, by God, to living like an animal. In verse 22, Daniel points out
that the king knew this but has allowed himself to fall into the same sin of
King Belshazzar would have been a
teenager when Nebuchadnezzar died, so he would have seen how God dealt with
Nebuchadnezzar. He would also have known about the dream of the statue and
its prophecy that Babylon would fall to the Medo-Persians.
Now as Daniel interprets the
handwriting, the king hears that his reign is at an end and that the
prophecy given to his ancestor is about to be fulfilled.
“At that moment the
fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the
wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the form
of the hand that did the writing. Then the king’s face changed and his
thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began
knocking together ….
“Now this is the
inscription that has been written out: MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN.
(Numbered, numbered, weighed and divided.)
“This is the
interpretation of the message: MENE - God has numbered your kingdom and put
an end to it. TEKEL - you have been weighted on the scales and found
wanting. PERES - your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and
(Daniel 5:2-3, 25-28)
The King and the population of Babylon
considered their city impregnable. Some historians believe that at the time
of King Belshazzar’s death, the city had in fact been surrounded by
Medo-Persian troops, under the leadership of King Cyrus, for up to four
months. The fact that they could party whilst surrounded by hostile troops
showed just how safe they thought they were.
“That very night
Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was slain.”
The city of Babylon was a fortress.
Its walls were thick enough to withstand the largest battering rams, and
even if the enemy could succeed in getting past this first wall, there was a
second wall built with fortress towers and ramparts.
The River Euphrates ran right through
the city giving the inhabitants all the water they needed and historic
records indicate that the city contained enough food in stores to last the
people more than 20 years. No wonder they considered themselves safe.
But King Cyrus outsmarted them. He
damned up the river and waited until the water level had dropped
sufficiently to allow him and his men to simply wade into the city via the
dried up river bed. However, even now the attacking army had a problem as
the sides of the river, as it wound its way through the city, were huge
stone walls with gates that allowed access to the river during daylight but
were securely locked at night.
But Belshazzar caused his own
downfall. The attacking army was causing such a noise that they could be
heard even above the din of the festivities in the palace. King Belshazzar
ordered his guards to investigate and as they opened the gates to discover
the source of the noise, the Medo-Persian soldiers poured in through the now
As they advanced into the palace
itself they found the king ready with his sword drawn, and during the
ensuing fight the king and many of his officials were slain. In spite of
Babylon’s seemingly impregnable defences, it fell in less than a day.
God’s prophetic warnings were
fulfilled to the letter. The initial vision of Nebuchadnezzar that his
kingdom would be felled by another had come to pass, and the message of the
hand writing on the wall had also been literally fulfilled with the death of
Belshazzar, and the end of the Babylonian Empire.
At the end of this chapter we are
faced with another historical puzzle.
“So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about
the age of sixty-two.” (5:31)
Who was Darius the Mede? Historical
documents make no mention of this person.
(Note that the people we know as the
Kurds are the descendants of the Medes)
Various explanations have been brought
forward, the most favoured of which is that the name “Darius” is actually a
title rather than a personal name. Darius means “Holder of the Scepter.”
It is known that King Cyrus divided
his kingdom into 20 provinces and appointed a governor to manage each
province. Thus this Darius the Mede could well have been the ruler placed in
charge of this particular province, a man by the name of Gubaru.
THE POWER OF DANIEL’S GOD
PLEASE READ DANIEL CHAPTER 6
THE Babylonian Empire had been
overthrown by the Medo-Persian alliance and now Darius the Mede ruled the
Remarkably we now find Daniel, who had
been one of the highest placed “non-Royals” in the Babylonian Empire, still
alive and still holding one of the highest positions with the new rulers.
By this time Daniel must have been in
his eighties, yet the King planned to place him in overall authority of all
his dominion. What a man Daniel must have been! Not only was he one of the
most Godly men mentioned in the Bible, but his character and abilities were
such that he could find favour with almost all men.
That is, except for those who coveted
Daniel’s favour and influence with the king, for themselves. I am sure that
Daniel’s character was such that he would have treated those under him with
wisdom and compassion, yet jealousy and anti-Semitism made those same men
eager to topple Daniel from his position.
The fact that Daniel’s enemies could
not find a single instance for which they could bring charges against him is
remarkable. How many of us could say with full confidence that we have never
committed a single act that could be held against us?
By now Daniel’s religious belief must
have been known by all and the officials would have known of Daniel’s custom
to pray regularly to his God. So they resort to trickery to achieve their
The kings of the
were powerful men, and their word was the law. Whatever they decreed had to
be done, but they were free to make whatever laws and decrees they wished.
was different. Once a King had made a law, even the king could not change
it. The Persian kings were believed by their subjects to be divinely
inspired by the god Ahura-Mazda, and therefore any law made by the king was
divine will. As such any attempt to alter the law would be seen as a direct
offense to their god.
“Then these commissioners and satraps assembled
before the king and spoke to him as follows: ‘King Darius, live forever! All
the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects, the satraps, the high
officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should
establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a
petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be
cast into the lions’ den. Now O king, establish the injunction and sign the
document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes
and Persians, which may not be revoked.’
“Therefore King Darius signed the document, that
is, the injunction.” (6:6-7)
Once the officials succeeded in
tricking the king into signing a decree, they knew that it could not be
changed. To the king’s credit, once he discovered that he had been tricked,
he did indeed try everything in his power to save Daniel, but to no avail.
Daniel could easily have saved himself
by simply not praying for the next 30 days, but as we have come to expect of
this man, he refused to take the easy way out. Many of us, I am sure, would
have reasoned that God would not want us to die, and so He wouldn’t mind if
we just stopped praying, or prayed in secret, for just a few weeks! But no,
Daniel did what he had done all his life. He continued to do what he knew to
be right, and trusted in God.
In the end Darius had no choice but to
order Daniel thrown into the lions’ den, but even as he did so, he expressed
the wish that the God whom Daniel served would save him.
The lions’ den was probably a cave, or
something similar, the mouth of which was sealed by a stone. The stone was
then sealed with both the King’s and his officials’ rings. This was probably
because neither party trusted the other. The King’s seal meant that the
officials couldn’t open the den to assist the lions in making short work of
Daniel, and the officials’ seals ensured that the King could not open the
den to release Daniel.
Darius must have really been close to
Daniel because he spent a night of anguish hoping against hope that Daniel
would indeed be safe. He must also have had some belief in the power of
Daniel’s God, for at the crack of dawn the next morning, he went to the
lions’ den and called out to Daniel, with at least some hope that he would
receive an answer. When he did Darius was overjoyed.
“When he had come near the den where Daniel
was, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king called to Daniel; ‘Daniel,
servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been
able to deliver you from the lions?’
“Then Daniel replied to the king, ‘O king, live
forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not
harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also towards
you, O king, I have done no wrong.’
“Then the king was overjoyed and gave orders for
Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was lifted up out of the den
and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
Daniel records how the officials who
had plotted his death were in fact themselves devoured by the lions. This
proved that the lions were indeed wild and hungry and that it was only by
God’s mighty power that Daniel had been saved.
Darius was so in awe of what had
happened that he issued a proclamation throughout his kingdom that all his
subjects were to fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples,
nations and men of every language who were living in all the land:
‘May your peace abound! I make a decree that in
every dominion of my kingdom men are to reverence and tremble before
the God of Daniel; for He is the living God; He endures, and
is steadfast forever, and His kingdom is one which will not be
destroyed, and His dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues,
He performs signs and wonders in Heaven and on earth,
for He has
delivered Daniel from the power of the lions’.”
This was an amazing decree from a King
and a nation who worshipped many false gods, and all because Daniel had not
given in to fear, but had trusted his God.
THE FOUR GREAT
PLEASE READ DANIEL
THIS chapter is the last of the
chapters written in Aramaic – was it therefore the last of Daniel’s writings
to be addressed particularly to the Gentile nations?
Daniel states that this dream was
given to him during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign as King of
Babylon. As we have studied previously, this was a co-reign between
Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, and his father Nabonidus, and is
believed to have been around the year 553 BC.
Many scholars believe that Daniel in
fact received the dream of this chapter between the events of chapters 4 &
The first thing we notice in this
vision is that Daniel is shown the sea churned up by the wind. In the Bible
the sea is often used as a symbol of the nations of the world, thus a sea
churned up would represent the nations (the world) in turmoil.
Out of this stirred up world Daniel
saw four great beasts emerge; beasts which Daniel is told represent four
future kingdoms. Even today we often refer to nations by symbols such as
the Russian Bear, the Chinese Dragon, the American Eagle, or the New Zealand
Although little is said about the
first three kingdoms in the interpretation that Daniel received, most
scholars believe that they are the same kingdoms represented in
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a giant statue in chapter 2.
first beast is described
as a lion with eagle’s wings. (v 4). This image portrays the kingdom that
existed at the time of Daniel’s dream, the
Kingdom of Babylon.
Interestingly, statues of winged lions were almost always found at
Daniel watched as the wings were
plucked off this lion. It was then made to stand on its own two feet like a
man, and a human heart was given to it.
In chapter 5 we studied how
Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God - his wings were plucked off. After
spending 7 years living like an animal and eating grass, the king was
restored to his kingdom. But the experience had changed him. History records
that towards the end of his rule he stopped waging war against other nations
and treated his subjects much more humanely – he had received a human heart.
is described as a bear raised up on one side and holding three ribs between
its teeth. (v 5). This beast represents the
which succeeded the Babylonian Empire.
As we saw in chapter 2 this kingdom
was a partnership between the Medes and the Persians. The fact that the bear
was raised up on one side more than the other is believed to represent the
fact that over time the Persians became the stronger one of the partnership,
overshadowing the weaker partner, the Medes.
The three ribs in the bear’s mouth are
the subject of some debate amongst scholars, however the majority suggest
that this represents the three largest kingdoms that were overrun and
conquered by the Medo-Persians. These kingdoms were Lydia, Babylon and
In Daniel’s dream the bear is told to
“get up and eat your fill of flesh.” In spite of the kingdoms and countries
that they had already overrun, history records that the Medo-Persian Empire
seemed to have an insatiable desire for war. They continued to conquer
nation after nation – they continued to eat their fill of flesh!
of Daniel’s dream was a leopard
with four heads and four wings. (v 6). This beast represented the next world
empire, the kingdom of Greece.
Leopards are noted for their swiftness
in attacking prey and the four wings of this beast are believed to represent
even more speed. Again history records the truth of these prophecies. Under
Alexander the Great, Greece’s conquest of the then known world was achieved
at an amazingly fast pace for that period of time. Alexander’s army moved so
fast that in the space of just 8 years they had marched, and conquered, an
area stretching more than 11,000 miles from Greece in the West, to India in
The four heads are symbols of the four
leading generals of his army who divided Alexander’s kingdom into four after
his early death at the age of 32.
which represents the
is so different and so
frightening that Daniel can find no living creature to describe it. (v 7).
This beast is so dreadful, so terrifying and frightening that Daniel
specifically asks to be told the true meaning of this fourth beast.
We know from history that in fact this
beast represents the Roman Empire which, because of its military strength
and its iron swords, was able to crush and shatter the then known world like
none other before it.
THE TEN HORNS
Ten horns rose from this beast’s head,
and while Daniel watched, an eleventh, smaller horn, rose from among the
ten, and on its way this horn uprooted three of the ten horns. (v 8).
Daniel is not left puzzled for long as
God gives him a clear interpretation of the meaning of these horns. He is
told that they represent 10 kings (or nations) which arise from within the
fourth, Roman, Kingdom. From among these ten kings, an eleventh king arises
who subdues three of the ten before taking his place as the ruler of the ten
kingdoms. This ten nation confederacy corresponds to the ten toes of
Since the ancient Roman Empire never
consisted of a ten nation confederacy, we can conclude that this form of the
fourth kingdom has yet to appear on earth. This understanding is further
reinforced when we read that the ruler of this confederacy, the eleventh
king, will be defeated and when he is, the nations of the earth will be
handed over to the saints (the people of God) and that this will then be an
everlasting Kingdom. Again as this has not yet happened, it must be yet
Sometime in the (near?) future the
Roman Empire will be revived in the form of a ten nation confederacy. Many
believe that we are seeing the initial stages of the forming of this
alliance in the developing the European Community, now the European Union.
Although this union consists of more than ten nations at this time, there
are fractures occurring and it is yet possible that it will itself splinter
into two or more groups, one of which may consist of ten nations.
THE PRINCE OF ROME
The leader of this revived Roman
Empire is obviously not content to be just part of this confederacy; he
wants to rule it. On his way, he subdues three of the ten who, it would
seem, oppose him. Once in control this king “speaks out against the Most
High,” and as we see in Revelation 13:5-6, he is “given a mouth speaking
arrogant words and blasphemies…” He will claim that he himself is God, and
he will try to speak with the same authority as God, and demand that he be
worshipped as God.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul writes
that the Man of Sin (the Roman leader) “…opposes and exalts himself above
every so called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the
temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
In Revelation 13:4, 8, 12, 15, John
states that this man will be worshipped by many people, and in Revelation
20:4 we find that many saints who refused to worship him were martyred.
Daniel is told that this king will
wage war against the saints, (v 21), and John confirms this in Revelation
13:7 where he writes that “it was given to him to make war with the saints
and to overcome them.”
The question many ask is, who are
these saints that the king has been given power to wage war against? Some
argue that they are the church (true believers) while others believe that
they are Jewish believers who are saved early in the tribulation period.
As the Rapture of the true believers,
the Bride of Christ, has already occurred before the Tribulation, the
reference to saints in this context must refer to Tribulation saints - both
Jews and Gentiles, who become believers after the Rapture.
the Prince of Rome, whom we
often refer to as the Antichrist, is given power to persecute these saints
for a specific period of time - a time, times and half a time. From
Revelation 12:14 and other references we know that this represents a period
of three and a half years. This period is also known as the time of God’s
Wrath - a period that we know from other Scriptures, occurs during the last
3½ years of the seven year Tribulation period.
At the end of these 3½ years the court
will sit, thrones will be set in place, the Ancient of Days will take His
seat, and the books will be opened. This can only refer to God Himself
sitting to administer judgment. This judgment corresponds to the crushing of
the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue by
which represents Jesus and His kingdom.
“In the night
visions, I kept looking, and then there was
One like the Son of Man, coming in the clouds of heaven.
He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. Then He was
given authority, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and
men of every language should serve Him.
His dominion is an
everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that
will never be destroyed.”
This dream of chapter 7 reinforces the
dream Daniel portrayed in chapter 2, and outlines the course of Gentile
world dominion from the time of the Babylonian Kingdom until the Second
Coming of Christ. The dreams chart the period of human history during which
Israel is subjected to the supremacy of the Gentile nations. This is the
period that Jesus Himself referred to as “The time of the Gentiles.”
It has been said that in Daniel
chapter 2, the Gentile nations are described as they appear to man -
brilliant, glorious images of precious metals, while in Daniel chapter 7,
they are described as they appear to God - as wild, ferocious beasts!
In view of world events around us that
seem to indicate the imminent prospect of the Rapture of the Saints and the
start of the Tribulation period, many Christians today believe that there is
a strong possibility that this “eleventh king,” the Antichrist, could be
alive and well on planet earth today. Indeed he could be biding his time,
and ready to take his place in history. He awaits only the event, possibly
the Rapture, that would give him the opportunity, amongst the ensuing chaos,
to take his place as ruler of the revived Roman Empire.
If you are reading this article and
you do not yet know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then friend, I
urge you to come to Him before it is too late. He is still waiting for you
to ask Him into your life; just accept the fact that Jesus, the Lamb of God,
died for your sins to deliver you from the condemnation and punishment
that would otherwise be yours.
Only God knows the timing of the
events portrayed above, but we are to be aware of the signs heralding the
return of Jesus. And friend, those signs indicate that His return is
imminent, even at the door. Don’t delay – you might be the last one to come
to Him before the Rapture!
THE RAM AND THE GOAT -
ANTIOCHUS & ANTICHRIST
Please read DANIEL chapter 8
THE previous chapters of Daniel were
written in Aramaic and addressed the future Gentile world kingdoms. In the
next five chapters God reveals to Daniel the future of Israel and thus he
now writes in the Hebrew language.
Daniel states that this vision was
received during the third year of Belshazzar’s reign over Babylon which
makes it around the year 551 B.C.
Verse 16 tells us that the angel
Gabriel was instructed to explain the meaning of this vision to Daniel. A
reading of The Bible tells us that Gabriel often seemed to be the angel that
God used to carry important messages to earth. He announced John the
Baptist’s birth to Zacharias and Jesus’ birth to Mary. This angel’s
appearance must be magnificent as even Daniel, who had encountered heavenly
beings before, was so terrified of this being that he fainted and fell to
Gabriel began the interpretation by
declaring that the vision pertained to “the time of the end.” (v17), “the
time of wrath” (v19), and “the appointed time of the end” (v19). To
understand this chapter we must first see what period of time these
statements refer to.
Similar statements in God’s Word
indicate that Gabriel is referring to times when God chastens Israel,
usually at the hands of Gentile nations. This “time of the end” began during
the 730’s B.C. and will continue until the second coming of Christ - a
period of time that the Bible also refers to as “the time of the Gentiles.”
Many scholars believe that in fact two
“times of the end” are referred to here. The first being the end of the
Grecian Empire climaxed by the evil rule of Antiochus Epiphanes (the little
horn of v9), and the end of the time of the Gentiles during which the
Antichrist will arise (the little horn of chapter 7). Many of the events
that Antiochus perpetrated against Israel and the Jewish temple will be
repeated by the Antichrist on a greater scale just prior to the return of
Daniel’s vision took him from the time
of the Babylon Empire to a future time when the Medes and Persians would be
the dominant world empire. They would make this city of Susa, to which
Daniel was transported, their eventual capital. The city was located
approximately 230 miles east of Babylon and 120 miles north of the Persian
Gulf. It was located near the junction of two rivers and a fortress was
built at the junction to protect the city. To one side of the fortress a 900
feet wide canal was built to connect the two rivers. This was the Ulai
the ram with two horns
In Daniel’s vision he is shown a ram
with two horns standing beside this canal and is told by Gabriel that this
creature, and the one that follows, represent kingdoms that will (future
tense) arise from the earth. This first beast represented Medo-Persia and
corresponded to the arms and breast of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue in
chapter 2, and to the bear in chapter 7. The ram was seen as the guardian
spirit of the Medes and Persians and the Persian King actually wore the head
of a ram on his head as he led his army.
The two horns of the ram are seen to
represent the twin nature of the Medo-Persian kingdom. History shows that
later in their alliance Persia became the dominant partner, portrayed in
Daniel’s vision by the fact that one horn became longer than the other. This
is a parallel prophecy to that shown in chapter 7 where the bear had one
side higher than the other.
The ram butted its way towards the
west, north and south overpowering other animals at will. Coming from the
east, Medo-Persia’s army conquered one kingdom after another, primarily
towards the west, (Babylon, Syria, Asia Minor) north (Armenia and regions
around the Caspian Sea) and south (Egypt, Ethiopia).
THE GOAT WITH THE PROMINENT HORN
Suddenly a goat with a prominent horn
is seen coming from the west attacking the two horned ram. This goat
represents Greece as did the brass belly and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar’s
statue of chapter 2 and the leopard with four wings in chapter 7.
Greece was situated west of
Medo-Persia and history again records the truth of God’s vision to Daniel.
Alexander the Great did move his army from the west and so rapidly did his
army move and conquer that “his feet did not touch the ground.”
This goat is portrayed with a great
horn between its eyes, representative of Greece’s first and most powerful
He was only 22 years old when he attacked Medo-Persia yet even at that
youthful age he amazed the ancient world with his military genius.
As soon as this goat became
exceedingly powerful, the large horn was broken and four other horns rose up
to replace it. Greece had hardly reached the peak of its power when
Alexander died and four of his generals divided his kingdom among
took Egypt, Cyrene, Cyprus, several
cities on the coast of Asia Minor and Palestine.
took Syria, Babylon, Southern Asia
Minor and the Iranian Plateau.
ruled Thrace and Western Asia Minor
settled for Macedonia and Greece
As Daniel watched, from out of one of
these four horns or kingdoms another fifth horn arose. It started small but
grew in influence and power towards the South, (Egypt) East (Armenia) and
the Beautiful Land. (Israel)
It must be noted here that this horn
differs from the little horn of chapter 7. This horn rises from the four
kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided. The little horn of
chapter 7 arises from the 10 horns into which the fourth, Roman Empire is to
be divided in the last days. However, without doubt the little horn of
chapter 8 is a type of the little horn, Antichrist, of the last days.
History records that a fifth horn or
king did arise from one of the four divisions of Alexander’s kingdom. The
eighth ruler from within the Seleucid division was a man known as Antiochus
IV or Antiochus Epiphanes. This king did start small as he was not the
rightful heir to the throne. He resorted to bribery and flattery to become
king but once he had his crown, his true nature showed as he tried to
enforce new religious and civic polices upon the Jews in The Beautiful Land,
and attacked Egypt to the South, and Armenia to the East.
the latter period of their rule,
when the transgressors have run their course,
a king will arise, insolent and skilled in
become very strong, but not by his own power.
He will destroy to an
and prosper and
perform his will;
He will destroy
mighty men, and also the holy people,
through his shrewdness,
he will cause deceit
to succeed under his hand;
And he will magnify
himself in his heart.
He will destroy many
while they feel secure and are at ease.
He will even rise
against the Prince of princes.
But he will be broken without human agency.”
After Antiochus became king, some
Jewish leaders, rebelling against God, made a covenant with the Greeks. They
built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, forsook the covenant of God, practiced Greek
customs, regarded themselves as Gentiles and worshipped false gods.
As a result God allowed this most evil
of kings to rule “the Beautiful land.”
Antiochus forced the Jews to worship
pagan idols. He ordered them to forget the law, to profane their Sabbaths
and feast days, to stop the practice of circumcision, to offer the flesh of
pigs and other unclean animals as sacrifices and to defile themselves with
all kinds of evil practices.
He had copies of the law burnt and
decreed that all Jews who kept copies of the law, obeyed the law, or
practiced circumcision would be executed. He even had circumcised babies
hanged, and put many righteous Jews to death.
THE REVOLT AND MASSACRE
Once following the spreading of a
false rumor that Antiochus was dead, Judea erupted in a revolt against his
reign. However, when he returned, alive and well, he was so angered by the
Jewish insurrection that he had 80,000 of them murdered, and another 40,000
sold into slavery. On one occasion he attacked Jerusalem, destroyed
buildings and the city walls and burnt large parts of the city down to the
Another time he was so angered by a
Jewish priest who refused to eat pork which had been offered to the Greek
god, Zeus, that he had him tortured, and seven of his sons dismembered
whilst their mother was forced to watch. He then killed her also.
Antiochus arrogantly entered the
Jewish temple and removed all its furniture and valuable ornaments. He
ordered the sacrifices to end and the worship of Yahweh to be replaced with
the worship of Greek gods. He had coins produced with the inscription
“Antiochus Theo Epiphanes” – “the god made manifest.”
This was an evil man indeed! He set
himself up to be “as great as the Prince of the host.” (v11) and without
doubt was supernaturally empowered by Satan. (v24)
6½ YEARS OF DESECRATION
Daniel heard one angel ask the other
how long would this little horn be allowed to carry on this horrible
transgression against the people of Israel and God’s temple. The answer
given was that this period would last for 2300 days.
Scholars debate the exact meaning of
these 2300 days. Some believe that it means 2300 “year days.” William
Miller who founded the Seventh-Day Adventists calculated that these 2300
years would end in 1844 at which time Jesus would return!
However the most logical answer is to
take the meaning as it reads and that it does refer to 2300 days which is
just under six and a half years. History records that Antiochus did indeed
persecute the Jews and desecrate the temple for a period of around six and a
half years. (from 171 to 165 BC)
Gabriel declared that this man of evil
would meet his end by supernatural means – without human agency. History is
vague on just how Antiochus met his death. Some reports say that he died
from grief in the city of Babylon as the result of his army being defeated
Another report says that he died in
Persia of epilepsy and madness. The second book of Macabees records that he
died with incurable pain in his bowel and that because of the pain he fell
from his chariot and his body was broken. Living for a brief period after
the fall his body became so infected that flesh fell from his bones and
produced an intolerable smell.
Whatever the manner of his death,
God’s judgment did catch up with this evil king who persecuted His people.
Following his death the temple was restored and Judas Maccabeus
re-instigated full temple worship.
preseRve the vision
Gabriel instructed Daniel to “seal up
the vision.” An alternative interpretation of the word “seal” is “to
preserve,” so Daniel preserved, or recorded, this vision, which would occur
380 years into the future, for future generations.
In this chapter we see God’s dealings
with the Jews, but we also see a foretaste of things to come in the last
days when an evil man (Antichrist), again indwelt by Satan, will mirror much
of what Antiochus did - but even more so.
Is that man alive
and well in our time, waiting only for the appointed moment to rise to
DANIEL’S PRAYER & the “70
PLEASE READ DANIEL
THIS IS one of my favorite
prophecy chapters in the whole of the Bible. It does something that no human
can possible do, and that is give the exact time when events will occur far
into the future. It foretells the precise time when The Messiah will appear
on earth and can thus be used as one of the most convincing pieces of
evidence that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy and that He must therefore be
the awaited Messiah!
It was the first year of
the reign of Darius, and as we would by now expect, Daniel was studying the
Sacred Writings. As he studied what had been written, he came across an
amazing prophecy by the prophet Jeremiah. This prophecy declared that the
Jews would be punished for their sins, and they would be taken into
captivity by Babylon.
This of course had come
true as Daniel himself was part of that captivity. However, what excited
Daniel was the rest of the prophecy which stated that this captivity would
last for a period of 70 years.
“‘And all this land shall be desolate and a
horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon for seventy
years. Then, when the seventy years are completed, I will punish the
king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their
iniquity,’ declares YHWH, ‘and I will make it desolate for ever’.”
(Jeremiah 25: 11-12)
As it was now 538 BC and
their captivity had begun in 605 BC, 67 years had passed leaving only 3 more
of the 70 to run.
Daniel immediately entered
into a period of fasting and prayer confessing that the Jews had indeed
sinned and deserved God’s just punishment. He then petitioned God to have
mercy on His chosen people and to restore them as a nation, and to also
restore His holy city of Jerusalem. Even though God had foretold that He
would do just that after the 70 year period, Jeremiah 29:10-14 also declared
that this would only take place when Israel called upon Him in prayer and
searched for God with all its heart.
“For YHWH says: ‘When seventy years have been
completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfil My promise to you, to
bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’
declares YHWH, ‘plans for peace and welfare, and not for evil and
calamity, to give you hope and a future.
“‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to
Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you
search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,’ declares
YHWH, ‘and I will bring you back from your captivity and will gather you
from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’
declares YHWH, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you
Daniel began to do the very
thing that would fulfill this requirement and subsequently bring their
captivity to an end. He sought the Lord God with all his heart. (Daniel
GABRIEL’S VISITATION & MESSAGE
Again Daniel is visited by the angel
Gabriel (9:21-27) who interrupted his prayer time to give him insight and
understanding. Insight and understanding of what you might ask? Daniel was
praying for something which needed little insight or understanding as
Jeremiah’s prophecy was fairly explicate and straight forward!
The answer must be from the previous
chapter (chapter 8) which ended with Daniel admitting that he was appalled
by the vision he had seen, and acknowledging that it was beyond his
understanding. Although 13 years had passed since that vision, Daniel must
have remained confused by the fact that the Jews were now in captivity, a
captivity which was prophesied to last a specific period of 70 years, yet in
the vision of chapter 8, God had shown Daniel that Israel would be punished
Daniel was now being told that their
captivity was near its end, yet he had also been shown that they would go
into captivity again. I’m sure that he sorely needed the insight and
understanding from Gabriel!
Note that this prophecy relates to
“your people” and “your holy city.” It is a prophecy for Israel and
“So know and discern this: From the issuing of a
decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Anointed
Prince of Peace, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’ and sixty-two
‘sevens’. The street and the moat will be built again, but in times of
distress. Then after the sixty-two ‘sevens’ the Messiah will be cut off and
will have nothing. The people of the (endtime Roman) ruler who is to
come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a
flood. To the end there will be war, and desolations have been decreed.
“And he (the endtime Roman Antichrist) will
confirm a covenant - a treaty - with the many for one week (lit.
‘seven’), but in the middle of that week he will put an end to sacrifice and
offering; and on the wing of abominations he will make desolation, (alt.
reading, on the pinnacle of the Temple he will set up an
abomination that causes desolation), until the complete end that is decreed
is poured out on the one who makes the desolation.”
Gabriel explained that a period of 490
years (seventy sevens) had been decreed by God for Israel and Jerusalem. God
had divided the Jewish calendar into seven year time periods with every
seventh year being a sabbatical year. Because they had ignored the
requirement to keep the sabbatical years over the course of 490 years (2
Chronicles 36:21) they were to be chastened for the years they owed God.
The reasons given for this 490 year
“to finish the transgression.”
“to make an end of sin.”
“to make an atonement for iniquity.”
“to bring in everlasting righteousness.”
“to seal up vision and prophecy.”
“to anoint the most holy place.”
Gabriel said that the starting point
for the 490 years would be from the time of a decree which would be issued
to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” This statement has raised some degree of
debate amongst scholars as a number of decrees were issued by Medo-Persian
kings allowing the Jews to rebuild various parts of Jerusalem. The first
decree was issued by Cyrus in 538 BC; the second by Darius in 519 BC; the
third by Artaxerxes in 458 BC and the fourth by Artaxerxes in 445 BC. So
which one of these decrees was Gabriel referring to?
Note that Gabriel was specific in that
the decree would permit the rebuilding of streets and moat (trench). This
would indicate that to be able to build a moat, the city walls must already
have been restored. History tells us that the city walls were still in ruins
for some time after the issuing of the first 3 decrees, therefore the 4th
decree issued in 445BC must be the one referred to by Gabriel.
69 “WEEKS” UNTIL MESSIAH
The prophecy tells us that from the
issuing of that decree until the Messiah, the Anointed One, comes a period
of sixty nine “sevens of years” would pass. In other words, 483 years (69 x
7) after 445 BC, the Messiah would come.
A number of scholars have calculated
the date on which this 483 year period would end and usher in the Anointed
One. Using the ancient calendar of one year equaling 360 days (as told in
the Bible) and starting from the known date of the issuing of the fourth
decree, namely March 14th, 445 BC, they have arrived at a fulfillment date
of April 6th, 32 AD.
So what happened on this date? This
was in fact the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey
proclaiming publicly for the first time that He was in fact the Anointed
One, the Messiah!
Note that Gabriel stated that after
this 483 years Messiah would “be cut off and have nothing.” The word
translated “cut off” was used for the death penalty and often referred to a
violent death. As we know, a week after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem
the Messiah, Jesus, was indeed “cut off” by the cruelest of deaths on a
The prophecy also foretold that after
the Anointed One had been “cut off,” the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary
(Temple) would be destroyed. In 70 AD, the Romans completely destroyed both
the city and the Temple. Gabriel said that the people who would then destroy
this city would belong to a coming prince. A reference to the future
Antichrist who would arise from amongst these Roman people.
Gabriel carried on to say that there
will be war until the end. History shows that the world has been at war in
some form or other ever since and will continue to be so until the end when
the Messiah returns.
The prophecy concludes by stating that
he (the Antichrist) will confirm a covenant (treaty) with many for a period
of 7 years. There has been a gap of time between the end of the first 483
years, ending in 32 AD, and the beginning of the last 7 year period of the
prophesied “70 sevens of years.” (490 years) but we can be assured that
God’s timetable will be outworked.
Many other prophetic verses in the
Bible inform us of just what will occur prior to, and during, this 7 year
period, but we are told by Gabriel that a 7 year treaty will start the
period. We are also told that at the midpoint, three and a half years into
the treaty period, the Antichrist will break the treaty and show his true
colours. He will put an end to the Jews worshipping their Messiah and will
set up an abomination on a wing of the temple. This will continue until the
end that is decreed for the Antichrist occurs, when Jesus returns.
An interesting fact gained from this
last part of the prophecy is the implication that the Temple must be rebuilt
in Jerusalem to enable the Antichrist to desecrate it. Just how close we may
be to the commencement of that preparations for the rebuilding and the
recommencement of worship in the Temple are well under way by a number of
Jewish organisations. Many scholars believe that the rebuilding could
commence within days of a treaty being organised which would enable Israel
to build on the Temple Mount. Could this rebuilding form part of the 7 year
treaty issued by the Antichrist? Only time will tell!
AND THE ANGELIC CONFLICT
PLEASE READ DANIEL
was 536 B.C. and Daniel is
still in Babylon despite the fact that Cyrus had allowed the Jews to return
to Jerusalem. We can only conjecture as to why Daniel did not return with
them. By this time he was over 80 and may have been too frail to make the
journey or possibly his important position may have made it difficult to
leave. Whatever the reason we can be sure that this Godly man was exactly
where God wanted him to be.
Chapters 10 to 12 contain the last
vision received and recorded by Daniel. Chapter 10 introduces the new
revelation and in so doing also introduces us to the role that both good and
evil angels play in human affairs.
The revelation is of a future great
war both between nations and behind the scenes war between angelic beings.
We are shown in this chapter how both God and Satan use powerful angels to
influence rulers and nations.
Daniel received this vision on the 3rd
day of the first month (about April) of the third year of the reign of King
Cyrus of Persia. The vision was such that Daniel immediately entered into a
time of mourning and humbling himself before God as he sought to gain
understanding of the vision. (v12)
For 21 days he continued in this
manner until on the 24th day of the month whilst he was standing beside the
Tigris River, probably on Government business, an angelic being appeared to
“I lifted my eyes and looked, and I saw a certain
man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of
Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of
lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the
gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a
tumult.” (Daniel 10:5-6)
Because the description of this
heavenly being corresponds exactly with the description given in Revelation
1:13-17 and 2:18 of the Glorified Christ, most scholars believe that he was
in fact Jesus Himself. However there are also those who believe he was a
Those who believe he was an angel
argue that no evil angel (the Prince of the Kingdom of Persia) could hinder
the progress of the Son of God for 21 days. Although we can indeed be sure
that no angel would have the power to hinder the progress of the Messiah,
Jesus Christ, it is also possible that God would allow this if it suited His
Secondly we have the statement that
the archangel Michael came to help this heavenly being. Some ask the
question, would Jesus need the help of one of His created angelic beings?
The answer is, of course, no.
Jesus would not need the help but
again He could chose to accept it if it suited His divine purpose. Remember
how Jesus did in fact accept the help of angels after His temptation by
(Matthew 4:11), and during His
agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
So, although there are arguments
against this being actually being Jesus Christ, they are not conclusive. In
either case this heavenly Being was wonderful to behold and brought strength
and understanding to Daniel.
Daniel had been privileged in the past
to have been in the presence of mighty angels and even God Himself, yet he
was still overawed at the presence before him. So much so that his knees
gave way and he fainted, falling to the ground.
If this could happen to such a
spiritual giant as Daniel can you imagine what it will be like one day soon
when each of us experiences our Lord’s awesome Presence? Maybe this is why
most of us never get to experience such an event in our earthly bodies? It
is only in our spiritual and renewed state that we will be able to withstand
such a glorious and wonderful event?
The man, be it The Lord or a mighty
angel, revived Daniel by touching him and raising him to his feet. He
continued to speak soothing words to Daniel reassuring him that he was held
in high esteem and proceeded to give Daniel the strength he needed. God will
always give us the strength we need to face all situations, if we will only
OPPOSITION IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM
Daniel is told that the response to
his prayers had been delayed by the fact that the Prince of the Persian
Kingdom had detained the messenger for a period of 21 days at which point
the mighty archangel Michael intervened allowing the messenger to proceed.
We know from other Bible references
that Michael’s task seems to be fighting Satan and his evil angels so there
is no doubt that this Prince of Persia was an evil angel assigned by Satan
to influence the Persian Kingdom. However Satan’s evil hordes are no match
for God’s mighty warriors! Be assured that God’s power is far above that of
Daniel is then informed that the
purpose of this vision was to inform him of a great war (v 1) which would
take place at a future time. (v 14). He is then told that after the vision
had been revealed the messenger and Michael would return to fight against
Satan’s prince of Persia again.
He also stated that when he was gone
the Prince of Greece would come. It is a fact of history that many years
later Greece did come and replace the Medo-Persian Empire.
Chapter 10 opens our eyes to the role
of angels that most humans are totally unaware of - that is, the influence
they have for both good and evil in the affairs of men and nations. It is
clear from this chapter that both God and Satan assign powerful angels to
influence the leaders of this world. Some scholars believe this is
particularly so in relation to the decisions nations make for and against
the nation of Israel.
The battle is being waged in the
spiritual world as much as on the earth, but our GOD WINS!
OF THE KINGS OF PERSIA,
GREECE, EGYPT AND SYRIA
PLEASE READ DANIEL
CHAPTER 11: 1-35
This chapter of Daniel reads like a
history lesson. A history lesson that was given in advance and one which has
proven by history itself to be 100% accurate!
Because of the wealth of historic
detail given to Daniel in this chapter, critics insist that this chapter
could only have been written after the events and not by Daniel. Off course
they have to believe that as to believe otherwise proves that there must be
a God for only God could foresee such events way into the future.
King Cyrus was still the ruler of the
Medo-Persian Empire in the year 536 BC when Daniel received this vision. He
was told that there would be three more rulers after Cyrus then a fourth
more powerful ruler would arise.
As we would know by now history proves
the truth of God’s prophetic word. The three kings were Cambyses who ruled
from 529 – 522 BC, Pseudo-Smerdis from 522 – 521 BC, and Darius I Hystaspes
from 521 – 468 BC. The fourth King was Xerxes I (486 – 465 BC) who became
very wealthy and amassed an army large enough for him to believe that he
could invade Greece. He did so in 480 BC with disastrous results for
It is true that there were several
more Kings after Xerxes, however it is clear that Daniel’s vision was only
up until the time that Persia invaded Greece. After that point in time the
vision carries on to describe the future “mighty King” of Greece. This King
was of course Alexander the Great who led the Greek – Macedonian army to
attack the Medo-Persian Empire in 334 BC and who eventually ruled the then
History confirms that Alexander’s
empire was indeed “broken up” and his kingdom was indeed divided into four
parts. Alexander died at the young age of 32 and as his sons were murdered
(“it did not go to his descendants”) the
kingdom was divided between his four generals
(“parceled out toward the four winds of heaven”).
The Southern division, Egypt, ruled by
the Ptolemies and the northern division, Syria, ruled by the Seleucids
became the most prominent of the four kingdoms. Years later Ptolemy II of
Egypt forced Antiochus II of Syria to divorce his wife, Laodice, in order to
form an alliance when Ptolemy’s daughter, Berenice, who then married
Antiochus. (“The daughter of the king of the South
will go to the king of the North to make an alliance.”) (v 6).
Just a few years later however Ptolemy
died and Antiochus promptly discarded Berenice and took back Laodice who was
so bitter that she then had her husband, Bernice and Berenice’s baby
murdered along with all the people that had come with Berenice from Egypt
(“she will be handed over, together with her royal
escort …”). (v 6).
Ptolemy III, Bernice’s brother,
succeeded his late father as the new King of Egypt and to avenge his
sister’s murder he successfully invaded Syria and put Laodice to death.
(“One from her family line will arise to take her
place. He will attack the forces of the King of the North …”) (v 7).
Some years later a new king, Seleucus
Callinicus, reigned in Syria and his two sons gathered a huge army to retake
their land occupied by the Egyptians. By 219 BC they had successfully
regained control of Syrian territory and had in the process gained parts of
Israel and Transjordan. Although one of the sons had been killed early in
the conflict the other, Antiochus III, reigned supreme.
(“His sons will prepare for war …”)
Eventually the king of Egypt
retaliated and in 217 BC the two armies met on the battlefield. Egypt won a
great victory and Antiochus retreated to lick his wounds.
(“Then the king of the South will march out in a
rage and fight against the king of the North …”) (v 11).
“After several years” the King of
Egypt died and was succeeded by his 4 year old son. Antiochus seized his
chance and after enlisting support from the Macedonians as well as Egyptian
and Jewish rebels (“the violent men among your own
people will rebel…”), (v 14), he successfully attacked Egypt.
Antiochus now ruled over Israel
(“He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land
…”) (v 16), and at first, treated them well.
However a new threat was arising for
the Syrians. The Roman Empire was growing and to combat this rising power
Antiochus decided that he would be better off if he formed an alliance with
the Egyptians rather than fighting them.
Consequently he married off his
daughter, Cleopatra, to the ten year old Egyptian king, Ptolemy Epiphanes.
(“He will make an alliance with the King of the
South. And he will give a daughter in marriage …”) (v 17).
He had an ulterior motive however as
the plan was that his daughter would work against her husband to ruin Egypt
from within. However Cleopatra sided with her husband rather than her father
(“but his plans will not succeed or help him”).
From then on Syria lost battle after
battle with Rome as the Roman Empire grew in strength and size. Antiochus
retreated to his home land with his power gone.
(“After this he will turn back towards the fortresses of his own country …”)
Antiochus was succeeded by his son who
was in turn succeeded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes who ruled Syria from 175 –
164 BC. This king was not the rightful heir to the throne but took it by
means of trickery and deceit. He was so evil that he became known as
Epimanes (madman). (“He will be succeeded by a
contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty.”) (v 21)
Antiochus’ rule was based on flattery
and intrigue at which he excelled. He played the princes and nobles of Egypt
off against each other thus weakening them from within and did the same with
the Jewish High Priests. (“… he will act
deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power.”) (v 23)
Hearing rumors that Antiochus had been
killed the Jews rebelled against Syrian rule. However Antiochus was alive
and well and when he heard of the rebellion he slaughtered many of the Jews,
sold many others into slavery and stole the temple treasures.
(“… his heart will be set against the holy
covenant. He will take action against it …”) (v 28)
“At the appointed time” Antiochus
invaded Egypt again However the Romans sent ships which prevented him from
taking Egypt. (“Ships of the western coastlands
will oppose him …”) (v 30)
His anger and frustration were now
turned in full upon Israel (“He will vent his fury
against the holy covenant”) (v 30), and his army occupied the Temple.
(“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the
temple …” (v 31)
Antiochus attempted to eradicate the
worship of the Jewish God and he erected an altar in the temple upon which
he sacrificed pigs to the Greek god, Zeus. (“Then
they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.”) (v 31)
The existing high priest, Menelaus,
turned to the service of Zeus so that he could retain his high position. The
people were forced to worship Greek gods and those that refused to do so
were put to death. (“… but the people who know
their God will firmly resist him.”) (v 32)
A temple priest, Mattathias Maccabeus,
along with his five sons refused to forsake their God and killed Antiochus’
representative and thus started the Maccabean revolt. Several of Mattathias’
sons were killed as were many of their followers.
Verse 33 – 35 tell us that this
happened in order for God’s people to be refined that they might better
serve him. We are also told that this would continue to happen until “the
time of the end” which would come “at the appointed time.”
Many prophecy students believe that
verses 2 – 35 record past historic events fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes
and history certainly supports this view. However the prophecies beginning
in verse 36 and continuing on through chapter 12 are believed to relate to
future events which will be fulfilled by The Antichrist in the last days
prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Antiochus was in fact a “type” of the
Antichrist to come.
THE Antichrist –
THE KING WHO “WILL do
as he pleases”
Please read DANIEL 11: 36
As we saw in the previous issue,
verses 2 to 35 of chapter 11 were fulfilled in past history. However many
Bible students believe that verse 36 through to the end of chapter 12 have
yet to be fulfilled.
The reasons for this belief are that
firstly, the events detailed up to verse 35 can be proven by history to have
occurred precisely as foretold. However there are no recorded historic
events corresponding to the events beginning with verse 36.
More evidence in favour of this view
is that verse 12:1 states that at the time of this king “there will be a
time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations
until then.” In Matthew 24:21-22, Jesus Himself indicated that this time of
distress would occur during the time period immediately before His return.
Further support for this view is that
the description of the king, beginning with verse 36, corresponds exactly
with the description of the Antichrist of the last day’s given in other
passages relating to the return of Christ.
Consequently it is believed that the
prophecies given in chapter 11:21-35 were fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes
whilst those given from verse 36 onwards will be fulfilled by the Antichrist
prior to the physical return of Christ.
This king, the Antichrist,
“will do as he pleases” which surely means
that he will be in a position to do so. To achieve this he will need to be a
dictator demanding sole allegiance to himself. Daniel 7:25b tells us that he
will even “try to change the set times and the laws.”
“exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of
things against the God of gods.” Revelation 13: 5 - 7 states that
he will “blaspheme God, and slander His name and
His dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He will be given power to
make war against the saints and to conquer them.” God will allow him
to succeed in his lust for power but only “until the time of wrath is
Not only will this dictator deny the
one true God but he will also show total contempt for any and all gods, both
those worshipped by his ancestors and by the gods worshipped by women in
particular. Instead he believes himself to be the all powerful God.
Some students interpret the phrase
“the gods of his fathers” as referring to the pagan gods worshipped by the
Jewish peoples during times when they departed from worshipping the true and
only God of Israel, and therefore conclude that the Antichrist will in fact
be of Jewish origin. Whilst he may indeed be Jewish, I find it difficult to
prove this based upon this one verse.
Verse 38-39 tells us that instead of
worshipping God he will worship “a god of
fortresses.” Although this is a difficult verse to interpret with any
certainty the implication seems to be that he will enjoy making war -
something which he will be very successful at doing until the time of the
In fact verses 40 – 45 give us
prophetic insight into a series of battles that will be waged in the end
days. The King of the South (Egypt) will attack the Antichrist at the same
time as the King of the North (Syria) brings both their army and Navy
against him. (11:40)
Bearing in mind that at this point of
time (The Tribulation period) the Antichrist will have a peace treaty in
place with Israel. It is therefore a possibility that Egypt and Syria in
fact attack Israel and that because of this the Antichrist will see this as
an attack upon himself.
He therefore rushes his army to the
Middle East invading many countries in the process, conquering Syria and
Egypt and it would appear also taking the opportunity to break his covenant
with Israel (“The Beautiful Land”) and invade them also. (11:41)
It would appear that in his hurry to
retaliate against the invaders, Egypt and Syria, he bypasses Edom, Moab and
Ammon, and they are delivered from his hand. (v 41). Although the exact
boundaries of Ammon in particular are unclear evidence seems to confirm that
in fact all three of these nations’ territories now form part of the nation
Although he takes this opportunity to
extend his power over many other, unnamed, countries, it does not all go his
way. Whilst no doubt enjoying his victories in the Middle East he hears that
nations in the east and north are rising against him and he sets out again
to put a stop to this new threat. (v 44). Some students believe that this
new threat is the invasion of Israel foretold in Ezekiel 38 -39 when Russia
(the land of Magog) and her allies attack from the north, and Iran (ancient
Persia) attacks from the east. But there is no reference given in Daniel 11:
44 as to the identity of these nations from the east and north.
This prophecy describing the
Antichrist and some of the battles he will be involved with ends with the
promise that in the end (at the return of Jesus Christ), he will be stripped
of his power and will meet his end alone. (12:45). Revelation 20:10 also
tells us that “he will be cast into the lake of fire where he will be under
divine judgment forever.”
END OF THE AGE
PLEASE READ DANIEL
In chapter 11 part 2 we learnt of the
rise of an evil king that other passages in the Bible refer to as The
Antichrist and The Beast. We also studied some of the battles that will
occur when this king is in a position of power.
Now chapter 12 starts by stating, “At
that time.” In as much as the previous prophecy referred to events that have
not yet occurred, events that we understand will happen just prior to the
return of Jesus Christ, so this reference fairly obviously is referring to
that same period of time.
The Jewish people have suffered
unbelievably down through the ages, yet Daniel is told that even worse is to
come during these last days.
time Michael, the great prince who watches over the sons of your
people, will stand up. And there will be a time of distress such as has
never happened from the beginning of the nations until then. But at that
time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will
be delivered.” (Daniel 12:1)
Satan knows that the Saviour of the
world is returning at the appointed time, and that His physical return is
intrinsically woven around Israel and its people. Therefore if he, Satan,
can wipe out this tiny nation and its people, he can forestall the return of
But God sends the archangel Michael to
protect the remnant that will survive. This “distress” will be a terrible
time for Israel, as other prophecies in the Bible tell us that two thirds of
those in the land of Israel will perish during the last half of the seven
year tribulation period. But “those whose names are found written in the
Book – will be delivered.”
Pray for the salvation of Israel and
In verse 4, Daniel is now told to
“close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end ...” I
am sure that Daniel could not understand all that he had been shown, but he
was being told to preserve the revelations he had been given so that future
generations, and in particular the last generation, would be able to read
God’s warnings of events in the last days.
Verse 4 concludes with the statement
go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
Surely this implies that at that time,
knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and especially events leading up
to the return of Jesus would be understood – much as they are today! Who can
doubt that knowledge has undergone an expediential growth in the last 100
years. From aircraft to rockets visiting the planets, from adding machines
to computers, from the finding of medicines and drugs to cure diseases to
the implanting of new body organs, the list goes on and on. For some of us
the majority of this knowledge increase has occurred in the space of a
single lifetime. Surely this prophecy must have almost reached its
I am sure that after being told to
seal this information up until the appropriate time, Daniel would have had a
question in his mind of just when would this time be. But God beats him to
it! The angels voice the question for him – “How long will it be before
these astonishing things are fulfilled?” And then they answer their own
question by saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.” (v 6-7).
At first glance it appears that the
angel was asking for a date when these things would occur, but the answer
shows that he was in fact asking how long the “distress” would last. The
answer was that it would last for a period of 3½ years – a time (one year),
times (2 years) and half a time (half a year.)
And at the end of that period of time
the “power of the holy people will be finally broken.” (v 7). In the Bible
the “holy people” are the Jewish race, so it would seem that this verse is a
reference to the fact that it will take all of this terrible time of
suffering to break the pride of the Jewish people, at least those that are
left, and to bring them to a point of recognizing Jesus as the Son of God
and their Saviour.
Daniel, understandably was puzzled. He
could not get his mind around what he was being told. I am sure that if he
had fully understood it all he would have been heart broken with grief
because of what would one day happen to his people. Instead he was told to
seal up all that he had been told until the world reached “the time of the
end” when it would then be understood. (v. 9-10).
Many Christians believe that we now
understand these prophecies. If this is true then we can conclude that the
return of Jesus Christ is indeed drawing near!
Verses 11 and 12 are the subject of
some debate and conjecture.
“From the time that the regular sacrifice
is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be
1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335
days!” (Daniel 12:11-12)
We know from other verses
(Daniel 9:27 and
Revelation 13) that the
“abolishment of the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination
that causes desolation” occurs at the midpoint of the seven year tribulation
This second half of the Tribulation
consists of 1,260 days (3½ Biblical years of 360 days each). Yet Daniel
refers to 1,290 days and 1,335 days.
The Bible gives us no explanation as
to the significance of these two sets of days, but by the very fact that
they are recorded means that they are important.
These figures may indicate that there
are 75 days beyond the Tribulation (that is, 1260 + 30 + 45 making 1,335),
before Messiah’s kingdom begins to function.
Daniel is now told to “go his way” and
that he will soon find rest (die). But at the end of the days he will be
raised to reap his rewards in Heaven. (v 13).
What a dept we owe this mighty man of
God. Through Daniel comes a large part of our knowledge and understanding of
events leading up to and surrounding that wonderful event we look forward to
so much – the return of Jesus Christ.
Many of the events Daniel was shown
have now occurred yet many more have yet to be fulfilled. Are we the
generation which will see the final working out of God’s plan culminating in
the return of Jesus Christ for His Bride? Oh how I hope and pray that we
As we go to sleep tonight, let us
ponder the possibility that we may awake in heaven, having taken part in the
Rapture. Or maybe there are still some years to go to the Rapture! Only God
knows - but we are exhorted to be ready and watching for that glorious
Friends, let us live each day as
though it might be our last, looking forward to our eternal reward, and
striving to take as many people with us as possible.
May God bless you,
and may we meet one day in heaven.
BOB HINES’ EMAIL AND WEBSITE