In the last installment I started with the Lord’s marvelous prophecy to Daniel concerning the 2300 years. Just the first 490 years have been covered so far. We have 1800 more years before the “cleansing of the sanctuary”; it’s 70 AD and Jerusalem and the Temple have been obliterated. The Christian church must be given time to grow.
The Diaspora, that great scattering of the Jewish people around the world had long been in progress.
The Gospel would eventually be taken to Rome, to the fourth great kingdom of earth, as prophesied about in Daniel. That fourth great Beast with “iron teeth”! [Daniel Ch. 7]
Remember something here. Daniel actually lived back in Nebuchadnezzar's time, in Babylon – in the belly of the first great Beast. Daniel was given these prophetic visions long before they occurred. The same is true, BTW, for the book of Revelation. Jesus gives John visions of future events and a restatement of what has occurred already, to show that they’re linked together, Old Testament and New! People tend to forget this and think all of Revelation happens in our future. This is not the case! More on this later …
The Lord states there will be 4 great kingdoms (Beasts) on earth and no more! Remember this – it’s crucial! The U.S., Russia, and China are not kingdoms as described in Daniel. The 4 great kingdoms are; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Rome is the last one and there will be no more.
[Note: Here again it’s important to mention the modern Sanhedrin. Volumes of books have been written about the rise of an Islamic kingdom, or the rebirth of the Roman kingdom, or the inception of a United Nations “kingdom”, etc. The truth is that you can stop wondering about it! There have only been 4 major world “kingdoms” in our history - period; and there will be no more!]
If the 2300 year prophecy wasn’t enough for you, imagine being told specifically which earthly “world” kingdoms would be appearing in history and then seeing it come to fruition! That’s what we have in these modern times, folks! We have the benefit of hindsight to see and realize that God is what He says He is! All of us should be on our knees asking for forgiveness after this realization. We have NO EXCUSE in our time. The proof is there, if only you’ll see it.
Now, back to the 2300 years. John wrote Revelation around 95 AD while imprisoned at Patmos. The Roman Emperors Nero and Domitian had devastated the Christians already in Rome but the Christian church was growing by leaps and bounds anyway.
Please forgive me here for skipping over so much history, but in the interest of time and space, I have to.
The church flourished eventually, even in that great city which traded with all of the world - Rome! Up until the year 321 AD Christians had begun to worship openly, on the Sabbath (Saturday), and had never heard of anything called Easter. Instead they celebrated Passover, differently than the Jews of course, because for Christians Jesus is our Passover lamb. So much for Sunday being the day Christians worship! It simply wasn’t the case. Ask a Christian today why they worship on Sunday and they don’t know. Some will tell you it’s because Christ rose on the 1st day but when asked to show the change (to Sunday) in the Bible, they can’t.
Continuing with our history, however, something was about to change.
The Emperor Constantine, in 321 AD, changed the day of worship by Christians to Sunday, the day of pagan worship to Sol Invictus Deo (the ultimate sun god). He did this by force of arms and by punishment of death and he did it with the help of the Bishop of Rome! The last great Beast mentioned in Daniel was slowly becoming the political/religious entity mentioned as the Beast in Revelation and elsewhere.
Now is the time to speak of Daniel (and Revelation) again and talk about that Beast that will cause all great and small to receive a mark.
Again, we don’t have to wonder who or what this is. The Bible tells us plainly. The Bible uses symbols to teach us these things and they are key to understanding prophecy. Revelation is made up almost entirely of symbols, though real events happen as well. The mark of the Beast is not a tattoo or implanted chip. It is something that affects your work life (your hand) and your beliefs (your forehead). You’ll see more clearly as I proceed.
Dan 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.
Dan 7:2 Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.
Dan 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. [the symbol of the sea means multitudes of people]
Dan 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it. [did you know that Babylon’s “coat of arms” symbol and the figure painted on it’s gates was a winged lion?]
Dan 7:5 "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!' [the combined powers of the Medes and the Persians, Persia being the stronger, therefore raised up on one side. The 3 ribs were; Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt.]
Dan 7:6 "After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. [did you know that Alexander the Great’s symbol was a Leopard, a Leopard with 4 Wings because he conquered with such speed? It had 4 heads because after Alexander’s death the kingdom was split into four pieces represented by 4 of Alexander’s generals]
Dan 7:7 "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
Now we come to an important realization. So far, hindsight history has shown us the truth; Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece are the kingdoms sequenced in world history. The next kingdom (beast) can only be Rome! Rome was also famous for it’s use of iron weaponry. I can prove this further.
10 horns make up the Beast. These 10 can be traced to history as well. These 10 nations were; the Vandals, Heruli, Ostragoths, Visigoths, Bergundians, Suevi, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, and Alamanni. Some of these eventually became the modern nations of Europe. Now, it’s time to continue with the Bible …
Dan 7:8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
Let’s focus on the “little horn”. There are distinct characteristics of this little horn:
1. It rose out of the fourth beast (Rome).
2. It rose among the 10 horns.
3. It “uprooted” 3 of the 10 horns (this actually happens later, as I’ll show).
4. It has “eyes like a man”.
5. It has a “mouth speaking pompous words”.
6. It will make “war against the saints”.
Dan 7:21 "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them,
Dan 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
7. It will think to “change times and laws”.
Dan 7:25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
My friends, history shows that only one thing fits all of these characteristics, only one! Remember, this one thing will persecute the saints (given unto it’s hands) for a time and will continue to trouble them until the return of Christ (verse 22). A new Beast or kingdom will not arise. This one ultimate incarnation of the 4th Beast will be the biblical Anti-Christ as spoken of in 2 Thessalonians by Paul, who was trying to reassure his fellow Christians over what was to be:
2Th 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2Th 2:2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2Th 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Ladies and gentlemen, that historical Anti-Christ who calls himself Holy Father and attempts to take the place of God, and who changes Times and Laws (the 10 Commandments and the day of worship) is none other than the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. Nothing else fits! There is no future Temple to be rebuilt! The “End” will be an enforcement of the “mark” by the power of the “little lamb” beast (to be described later) that helps this 4th Beast. The Bible describes, later in Revelation, Satan entering into a representative of this 4th Beast and performing miracles, such as to fool the Elect themselves if it were possible, and claiming leadership of earth and claiming to be Christ!
Remember what I said earlier? That Revelation repeats what’s in the Old Testament at times? Continue reading Daniel from verse 8 and see if you’ve read this in Revelation!
Dan 7:9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
Dan 7:10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.
Dan 7:11 "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
Dan 7:12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
Dan 7:13 "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
Dan 7:14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
Volumes could be written on this but I have limited space. look at this comparison between Daniel and Revelation:
Daniel 7 ------------------------------- Revelation 13
The sea (v.3) --------------------------- The sea (v.1)
A lion (v.4) ----------------------------- A lion (v.2)
A bear (v.5) ---------------------------- A bear (v.2)
A leopard (v.6) ------------------------ A leopard (v.2)
A dragon-like beast (v.7) ------------ A dragon (v.2)
Ten horns (v.7) ------------------------ Ten horns (v.1)
A boasting mouth (v.8) -------------- A boasting mouth (v.5)
War on the saints (v.21) -------------- War on the saints (v.7)
Changes times & laws (v.25) ---- Mark of the beast (v.16)
Did you catch that last one? Does man have the right to be called Holy Father? Can man change the 10 Commandments to his liking? Can man change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday? Can man do all these things and still be God’s representative on earth?
The answer is emphatically NO! Man will pay for this eventually. Do you not realize that only one Commandment has something to do with a “time”? It’s the 4th Commandment – you know – the one that says; “Remember the Sabbath” !!!
Read these quotes from the Roman Church:
"Of course the Catholic Church claims the change was her act...and the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters."
Thomas, H.F., Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath.
Again, Rome says "It's (Sunday's change for Saturday) the MARK of our authority to OVER-RULE God's law."
Father Enright, C.S.S.R., President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., History of the Sabbath, p. 802.
"Sunday is our MARK of authority...The CHURCH IS ABOVE THE BIBLE, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact." The Catholic Record, Sept 1, 1923.
"The Bible says, 'Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.' The Catholic Church says, "No, by my divine power, I ABOLISH THE SABBATH DAY, and command you to keep holy the first day of the week." And,lo! the entire civilized world, BOWS DOWN in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church."
You see? The RCC admits it! An old saying goes:
“What prophecy predicts, Rome admits”.
Now, how many modern day churches can you think of that still follows Rome’s dictate? Most of them, right! Luckily, God is a most loving and patient God. He gives us time to figure things out and at the “end” will provide us with a clear choice on the matter.
BTW, in case you’re still not sure the Papacy is the “one”; the Roman Church greatly increased it’s power in the year 476 AD. The imperial Roman government ruled by the Caesars collapsed and shortly thereafter, one by one, 3 of the horns were “plucked out by their roots” and destroyed by the political influence of the Papacy. These 3 horns resisted the influence of the Papacy. The Heruli were wiped out in 493 AD, the Vandals in 534 AD, and the Ostragoths in 538 AD. No modern European country can trace it’s lineage back to these nations.
What does all this have to do with the 2300 years? Well, as a friend pointed out recently the Bible states that before the cleansing of the sanctuary the Beast will have some time to actively persecute the saints. This time is described in Daniel and/or Revelation as;
- a time, times, and a half of time
- 42 months
- 3 1/2 years
Remember our day for a year rule in the last blog entry? A time is 1, a times is 2 ones. A half of a time is 1/2 of 1. 1 + 2 + 1/2 = 3 1/2.
The first description totals 3 1/2.
42 months in years is 3 1/2 years
3 1/2 years is , of course 3 1/2 years!
The number of days for 3 1/2 years totals 1,260 days. using our day for a year principle this becomes 1,260 years for the persecution of the saints! Do you remember the length of time of the dark ages? Do you remember the length of time the Papacy had the power to burn, torture, mutilate, rape, murder, and otherwise persecute the saints?
Why, this period of time is slated by historians to be between 538 AD and 1798 AD. How much time is that? 1,260 years!
If these historical events combined with biblical truth don’t make you think about all this in a serious way – then I feel sorry for you!
That brings us up to the year 1798. What happens in 1798?
Napolean’s general, Louis Alexandre Berthier, entered Italy, invaded the Vatican, organized the Roman republic, and took the Pope Pius VI as prisoner back to Valence (France) where, after a torturous journey under Berthier's supervision, the pope died, dealing a major blow to the Vatican's political power. The head received a deadly wound! [read Rev. Ch. 13]
This one is getting to be very long – I think I’ll break it up here. We still have 46 years or so to go. A lot can happen in that short time. Stay tuned!