Daniel 052 – Why the World Hates Jesus

Dr. Andy Woods | Feb 11, 2018 | Daniel 11:37b-38a | Daniel

Andy Woods

Why the World Hates Jesus

2-11-18      Daniel 11:37b-38a         Lesson 52

Good morning everybody.  If we could take our Bibles and open them to Daniel chapter 11 and verse 37.  The title of our message this morning is Why the World Hates Jesus.   Of course, Jesus in the Upper Room told us that the world would hate us and Him.  And why is that?  We’ll be looking at that today.  And I want to thank Alex Garcia for filling in last week.  He had a lot of stamina I understand and what you all need to understand is all of that tech stuff, he did that on purpose because part of ministry involves resilience and endurance and so we were trying to ascertain where he was at that level.  Of course I’m just kidding!  Some of you might think I’m serious.

Daniel 11:37, Why the World Hates Jesus.  And we find ourselves continuing on through the Book of Daniel, chapters 10-12 would be the final vision that Daniel had at the end of his life.  The year would be about 536 B.C.  And what a vision this has been.  He’s had information given to him in advance about Persia and then Greece, and then the warfare between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids and he had a lot of information given to him by God about a man named Antiochus IV.

And then, as we saw a couple of Sundays ago what happens in Daniel’s prophecies is he suddenly leaps into the distant future and he begins to receive information about the coming antichrist.  So Daniel has been having these visions, this information, probably back in the sixth century.  A lot of it concerns things that happened 400 years from his time frame.  As we’ve tried to meticulously document all of the things Daniel says about that time period have been fulfilled with great and stunning accuracy.  And then what happens is the prophet’s perspective leaps ahead at least two thousand years or more, and he begins to see information about the antichrist that’s coming, the time of tribulation that’s coming, and fortunately there’s a happy ending to all of this about the kingdom that’s coming.  And that really is the content of the rest of Daniel’s prophecies which we have not yet studied.

You can take Daniel’s information about the coming antichrist and you can divide it into four parts.  Number 1, the antichrist’s self-magnification, verses 36-37.  Number 2, the antichrist’s military power, verses 38-39.  Number 3, the antichrist’s military successes, verses 40-43.  And then there’s a happy ending to all of this, the antichrist’s military defeat, verses 44-45.  We just started inching our way through, if I remember correctly, the antichrist’s self-magnification.

Notice, if you will, verse 37.  It says of this coming antichrist, “He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers” I believe we talked about that last time.  And look at this next clause, “or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.”  Picking it up there with that second clause, for this coming antichrist “will show no regard for the desire of women” and I told you last time that I was grateful that the time ran out so I wouldn’t have to talk about that.  And I skipped town last week so I wouldn’t have to talk about it.  [laughter]  And I was hoping that the rapture would occur [more laughter] but it didn’t, so here we are, we’re going to have to talk about this.

What does it mean here when it talks about how the antichrist “will show no regard for the desire of women”?   A lot of people will take modern headlines, which are very interesting, and read them back into the Bible.  So as you well know there’s a lot of things going on in our culture regarding gender validity, as the term is called, I call it the gender surrender.  Some would call it the LGBTTQU, I almost run out of letters in the alphabet to describe this.  The LGBTTQU  movement, and all of that stuff is very real, all of that, I believe, plays a very important role in the end times.  I don’t want to soft-pedal on any of that whatsoever.  And yet people will use that to develop this idea, related to the antichrist’s gender preference, some would say he’s going to be a homosexual, and this and that, and the theories abound.

And this is a case where I’m convinced that people are taking current events and interpreting the Bible through current events.  I have no problem looking at current events but I think we need to start with the Bible first.  And I don’t think this verse means what everybody thinks it means in terms of the sexual preference or the sexual orientation of the coming antichrist.

Let me start here with this citation from a great commentator from a prior generation, Arno Gaebelein. In his commentary on the Book of Daniel Gaebelein says this: “Still more interesting is the statement ‘he shall not regard the desire of women.’ The Lord Jesus Christ is here in view. The word ‘desire’ is in the same construct form in Hebrew (hemdat) as in Haggai 2:7 and 1 Samuel 9:20, indicating that the noun following ‘desire’ is subjective not objective; hence it means “desired by women,” not a desire for women.” [Arno Gaebelein, The Prophet Daniel, Page 188]

In other words, if I’m understanding Daniel 11:37 correctly the prediction is this: when the antichrist comes on the scene it’s not that he will have some kind of hatred for the natural desire in a man for a woman; rather he will hate the one that is desired by women.  And to sort of unpack this what does it mean the one “desired by women” and the antichrist hating that one?  We really have to go back to the beginning of the Bible, we have to go back to Genesis 3:15.

Genesis 3:15 is the first Messianic prophecy given in the entire Bible.  It occurs right after the fall of man in Genesis 3 and we learn that there’s coming one who is going to fix the curse that’s now been ushered in by our forbearers and this is what the prophecy says, God speaking to the serpent, and no doubt Eve was standing right there when this prophecy was given: “‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.’”

Now it’s very interesting here in Genesis 3:15 it talks about “her seed…” “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;” and immediately that should strike you as sort of strange because in the natural sexual relationship between a man and woman in procreation it is not the woman that provides the seed, it’s the man that provides the seed.  So if that is true and that’s the normal occurrence of things why in the world would it say here “and her seed.”  There must be some sort of seed supernaturally implanted into her independent of the man’s contribution.

And so what you start to see opening up here is, it’s not as clear as we would like it but it starts to get spelled out in subsequent places in the Bible, the doctrine of the virgin birth.  The seed would not be his, the seed would be hers because this Messiah, or this coming one would be born of the woman’s seed, something supernatural planted in her.  And consequently from her seed shall come one that Satan will bruise on the heel but if you back up a little bit in that verse it says this coming one will crush the serpent or Satan’s head.  In other words, Satan will inflict a lot of damage along the way but ultimately there’s coming one from the seed of the woman who will take the serpent’s head and crush it and once a person’s head is crushed that would spell defeat.

So here at the beginning of the Bible, what you see here is a prophecy of a coming one.  And so what did Eve, what became her ambitions at that point?  She desired, she wanted to be the one that the Lord would use supernaturally to bring forth this Messiah.  So Genesis 3 is followed by Genesis what?  Genesis 4.  Notice, if you will, Genesis 4:1, this is describing the birth of her firstborn, an individual named Cain.  “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, ‘I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.’”

You’ll notice in this citation that “with the help of” is in italics.  I’m reading here from the New American Standard Bible.  And many times you’ll be going through your Bible, depending on what English version you’re using and you’ll see words that are in italics and at some point  you have to ask yourself why are some words in the Bible, not very many of them, but some of them italicized and some of them un-italicized.  Well, the words that are un-italicized are the words that the original text actually says; the words in italics are words that are added; for what purpose?  To smooth over the translation, because in languages  you don’t necessarily have a one to one correspondence; something could be articulated in one language which really doesn’t make sense in another language and since we’re living in the year 2018 and we’re speaking English and we’re reading an ancient text the translators go to work and they add words that smooth over the translation, that help the translation.

And I would argue this: that 99% of the time the translators do a wonderful job helping us to under­­stand something in our language that’s reflected in the Bible.  But there are some occasions in the Bible where I’m convinced that the translation obscures the meaning and this is one of those cases, in Genesis 4:1.  I believe that those words, “with the help of” obscure what Eve is saying.  And if you obscure what Eve is saying you miss the import of what she’s talking about in Genesis 4:1.

Here is what the verse look like when you remove “with the help of.”  It says this: “Now the man had relations with his wife, Eve, and she conceived and she gave birth to Cain, and she said, ‘I have begotten a manchild” taking out with the help of  “I have begotten a man child, the Lord.”  In other words, Eve mistakenly believed that she had given birth to the Messiah that was predicted in Genesis 3:15.  Why did she get this idea that a Messiah was coming?  Because she was standing right there, presumably in Genesis 3:15, when this prophecy was given.  And she had the natural desire to be the one who would give birth to this Messiah.

Now she should have perhaps known a little better because God said it would be “her seed” and this child that’s born, Cain, is Adam’s seed.  You see that?  But it didn’t stop the desire that she had to be the one that would be so favored of God that the Messiah would come forth from her womb. And she thought she was getting the Messiah and she got Cain and talk about parental disappointment, she didn’t get the redeemer she got the world’s first murderer.

But what I’m trying to get us to see is the desire was there; it was a natural desire that she had.  And as you continue to travel through biblical history, through the generations, you come to Genesis 5:29, now this is talking about Lamech, the father of Noah, concerning the birth of Noah.  Notice what Lamech said, “Now he called his name Noah, saying, ‘This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.’”  When Noah was born Lamech, and no doubt his wife, had this basic expectation that this is the guy, that this is the Messiah.  After all, he’s the one that’s going to fix the curse, he’s going to remedy the curse on the ground; the curse on the ground was introduced a few chapters later in Genesis 3, thanks to the fall of man.

So you again see this desire amongst godly parents to bring forth this Messiah; the Messianic expectation was always there.  And that’s why your Bible is very clear that although God did use Noah greatly in his generations he was not the Messiah.  And that’s the significance of the Bible narrating Noah’s failures and that’s why it draws our attention in Genesis 9 to his drunken state in the post flood world.  I mean, Noah was no doubt a tremendous man of God but he was no Messiah.  Certainly God used Noah to preserve the human race as we know from the Book of Genesis but he didn’t quite reach that high level of being the Messiah, meaning that Messiah is yet future.

And so my point is this desire is passed down from generation to generation to generation in pre-Messianic times and by the time the Lord found and begins the nation of Israel this was the normal desire of Hebrew women.  They all thought that they were going to be the ones, or they wanted to be the ones who would bring forth this Messiah who would correct the fall of man and crush the devil’s head.

And we know from biblical history that there was only one woman who would be given this honor and that’s Mary.  Luke 1:42-43 says, “And she cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”’  Now why is it that Mary is blessed to an abnormal degree in comparison to the rest of the women?  Why is she blessed “among women”?  Because she’s the one whose desire would be fulfilled; every God-fearing woman wanted this honor but it was to Mary the honor would be given and she would begat a child, not through a man’s seed but through her seed through the miraculous virgin conception, the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ.

So continuing on with this citation from Arno Gaebelein, notice again what Gaebelein says: “Still more interesting is the statement ‘he shall not regard the desire of women.’”  Gaebelein says, “The Lord Jesus Christ is here in view” here; now he’s commenting on our passage for this morning, Daniel 11:37.  “Pious Jewish women in Pre-messianic times had one great desire, they wanted to be mothers, with a view to Him, who is the promised seed of the woman. His birth was desired by these godly mothers of Israel. This King” now what king? The antichrist that is predicted here in the Book of Daniel, “This king then hates God and hates His blessed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

So rather than run to current events and read those into the Bible the better approach is to let the Bible interpret itself, and that’s what I’ve tried to do with the interpretation that I believe in but I’m now giving to you. When it says, “he will show no regard for the desire of women” he says “he will show no regard for the one desired by women.”  And who is that one?  It’s the Messiah.  It’s Jesus Christ Himself.  The antichrist therefore is going to hate a lot of things but there’s one thing in particular that Daniel tells us about under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he is going to have a tremendous hatred for Jesus Christ Himself.

Now let me take this a step further; what does 1 John 4:3 say?  It says, “and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming,” look at this next clause, end of verse 3, “and now it is already in the world.”  You see that?  Long before there emerges a man who will hate Jesus Christ, the antichrist, hate the one desired by woman, “the spirit of the antichrist” in the world will be alive and well.  In other words,  you’re going to be able to see the hatred of the world for Jesus as preparation long before the anti­christ even shows up.  The spirit of the antichrist is in the world today; the spirit of the antichrist was alive and well in John’s day, it’s just the antichrist hasn’t come  yet.  But the whole scenario has already been prepared.  Do you see that?

Paul says something very similar in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 in a context where he’s talking about the coming lawless one or the coming antichrist.  Paul says this: “For the mystery of lawlessness” he’s talking about the lawless one, verse 3, now he’s talking about the spirit of the lawless one, “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.”  God has put a restraint on the coming of the antichrist.  He has not shown up yet on the world scene but the spirit of the antichrist or the mystery of the antichrist is alive and well in the world.  And this is why the antichrist will be so popular, because he will speak the language of the world; he will speak what people already believe to be true in their hatred for Jesus Christ.

And as you look at our world today this is the only explanation you can rationally come up with to describe the condition of the world.  It’s so interesting to me that in our world, in our antichrist preparatory system spirituality is making a comeback.  Spirituality is in vogue.  I mean, all of these Hollywood stars and starlets talk about spirituality all of the time.  The Oprah Winfrey network talks about spirituality all the time.  Spirituality is good; what’s not good is the moment you start talking about the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ.  That’s a game changer!

Once you talking about how Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me,” once you start saying,  Acts 4:12, “there is no other name under heaven … by which we must be saved.”   Once you start talking 1 Timothy 2:5, that there is only “one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”  Once you start talking Matthew 7:13-14, “broad is the road that leads to destruction and many there are that go that way, narrow is the road that leads to life, few are those which find it.”  Once you start talking like that you find yourself on the outs.  [John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”  Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”   1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”  Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  [14] For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”]

Why is that?  Why is spirituality tolerated but the claims of Christ are rejected?  Because the antichrist is going to hate the one desired by women, the Messiah, and the Bible is very clear that that spirit is alive and well on planet earth.

So in the 1960’s we had these Supreme Court cases where they throw Bible reading and prayer out of the public schools.  No more Bible, no more prayer, no more citations of the Bible in public, and by the way, don’t put the Ten Commandments on the schoolhouse wall, this is actual language from the Supreme Court.  So you get the idea that these people are really interested in a separation between church and state.

And then you read something like this: In the wake of September 11th an increasing number of California public schools must attend an intensive three week course on Islam, reports ASSIST NEWS SERVICE.   The course mandates that seventh graders learn the tenants of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own Jihad….”  Now I don’t know how they’re going to do that.  Can you imagine telling a bunch of Jr. Higher’s to stage their own Jihad?  “…students must memorize many verses from the Koran and are taught to pray ‘in the name of Allah, the Compassionate and Merciful,’ and are instructed to chant, Praise Allah, the Lord of creation.”   [World Net Daily, “Brave New Schools: Islam Required in California District; Course has 7th-Graders Memorizing Koran Verses, Praying to Allah,” online: http://www.wnd.com, accessed 12 October 2009, 1.]

I thought we had a separation between church and state.  I mean, what if we went into a public school and said we’re going to teach a three week intensive course on Christianity and you can dress up like any Bible character you want, pick Matthew, Mark, Luke or John for example, and we want you to recite the Lord’s prayer.  You know as well as I know the opposition that would be immediately engendered and under the guise of separation between church and state.  But when Islam does it no big deal.  Why the blatant double standard?  We’re incensed at this double standard, it violates our sense of equity.

What the Bible is saying is to expect a double standard because the spirit of the antichrist, the hatred of Jesus Christ is alive and well in the world and in fact, it will precede the coming of the antichrist.
You can’t teach religion in the schools they tell us.  Listen to this, John Dunphy: “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call the Divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers.”  [John Dunphy, “A Religion for the New Age,” The Humanist  (January/February 1983): 26]

Oh, we’re going to preach religion in the schools, it’s just not your religion.  See that?  We’re going to teach fundamentalism all right, it’s just not going to be  your brand of it.  Well, I thought we had a separation between church and state.  Well, what we really mean by separation of church and state is a separation of the Bible from the state, that’s what we really mean, we just didn’t tell you that.  You say well that’s a double standard, that’s not fair.  John is saying the spirit of the antichrist is in the world, this is normal.  This is normal in a world that’s being prepared and set up for the one that will hate Jesus Christ above everything else.

I like this quote from Charles Francis Potter, back in 1935, a humanist.  He says, “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”  [Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128]

He told us this in 1935.  Here’s what we’re going to do; we’re going to take over the public schools. We’re not going to get rid of religion, we’re going to change religion.  Now we may come up with an excuse for this, separation between church and state, but you can see, there is no separation between church and state here.  It’s a blatant double standard.

And in fact, as I speak The Humanist Society has 501c3 tax exempt status.  They sure look like a church to me.  But why is it that when we want our views, coming from our 501c3 tax exempt status we can’t get anywhere in.  I mean, we can’t even get kids, hardly, we can hardly get permission to get in and rally the kids around the pole for the National Day of Prayer.  We can’t get into the classroom, we can’t authoritatively teach people the way I’m trying to teach today.  They telegraphed exactly what they were going to do and we sat there scratching our heads saying how did they pull that off?  They told us what they were going to do, they did it, and guess what?  The world system cooperates with them because the world system is an antichrist system; everything is okay except Jesus.  Everything is okay except the one desired by women; that spirit would be in the world before the antichrist came into the world.

You know, you take these cases that are breaking out all over the country, and one of them is right before the United States Supreme Court as I speak, so we’re going to get a ruling on this, probably in June, so you can bathe that in prayer, but all of these cases, whether it’s Oregon, whether it’s Colorado, there’s another case in California, another one in the State of Washington, it’s the same genre.  What’s the genre? People of the same sex community go into a business that’s owned by a Christian, someone in the creative industry, whether it be a cake decorator, a floral designer, and they go into that business under the existing laws and they demand that these people, who are Christians, who are holding to what the Bible has taught about the issue of homosexuality for the last 2,000 years, they go into these places of business and demand that these people use their creative abilities to participate in a same sex wedding ceremony.

Homosexuality is something that the Bible condemns.  So all over the country we have our brothers and sisters in Christ tied up in litigation because a lot of them are saying we just can’t participate, there’s a florist down the street I recommend to you.  But if you force me to do this you’re forcing me, under the force of law, to violate what I believe to be true based on the Bible and based on my convictions.  This is the United States of America that we’re living in, supposedly.

And I see these cases breaking out and how come it never works this way: someone goes into a Muslim bakery, a Muslim florist.  Are there Muslim cake decorators too?  Yes there are!  Are they Muslim florists too?  Yes there are !  Do Muslims have an opposition to homosexuality?  Yes they do.  You think our objection to homosexuality is strong, look at what they do in Islam.  In Islamic controlled countries they take homosexuals and throw them off two to three story buildings.

Why is it that with their stand against homosexuality I can’t find a single case anywhere in the country where it’s the Muslims on trial.  Why don’t people go into an Islamic owned business and demand the same thing? Why is it always the Bible believing Christians that are targeted?  Have you ever wondered that?  Why the double standard?   It’s related to 1 John 4:3, that “the spirit of the antichrist” would be operating in the world long before the actual antichrist shows up.  [1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”]

Or take this as an example; I remember this even as an unsaved person.  I’m in the garage and I’m hammering away with my hammer on a board with a nail and I miss the nail and I strike my thumb and why is it that the first word of profanity out of my mouth is condemning Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Second Member of the Trinity?  I mean why is it that when we cuss and we  use profanity and we’re angry at God we never say “oh Buddha!”   Or oh Confucius, or oh Mohammad?  Why is that?  Even unsaved people, it’s always Jesus Christ.  It’s related to this longstanding hatred that would be in the world against the one desired by women, Jesus Christ.  This is why the world hates Jesus.  This is why we cannot and should not expect any fair shake in this world. And if we even get a fair shake in anything that’s purely the grace of God because by definition we’re living in enemy territory.

He goes on in verse 37 and he says not only will he show no regard “for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god… “ You’re dealing with someone in the antichrist who is completely and totally irreligious. He hates everything that is called God, he hates the gods of his fathers, back to the beginning of verse 37, [“He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers….”] and that would even include the God of Gods that’s just been described here in verse 37, even hating Jesus Christ Himself.  Continuing on with verse 37 it says, “for he will magnify himself above them all.”  Why is it that the antichrist hates other gods (little “g”) including the God (capital G)?  Because he believes he’s God and all gods in the way of his self-promotion are put under derision.  A parallel passage, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, of the antichrist, says, “who opposes and exalts himself” see the “me” in that, “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.”

And I think that by the time this event that we’re reading about here, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Daniel 11:37, by the time this event in prophecy eschatologically takes place I don’t think people are going to be kind of scratching their heads surprised at what just happened because this will be normal, because the spirit of the antichrist will already be at work in the world.  In fact, what the antichrist is doing here is he is simply following a script that we already follow.  It’s called the doctrine of humanism, I referred to that a little earlier.

What is humanism exactly?  I think we should know something about it.  It’s probably the dominant view of the west; it’s what’s taught over and over again in the public school system under the banner of neutrality.  You know, the humanist, they’ve got two of them, one in 1933, another one in 1973 and to those two they added humanist 2000, the latest rendition.  Have you ever read through the Humanist Manifesto?  It’s not very long at all, it’s maybe ten to twelve pages, each volume.  It reads like a doctrinal statement of a church.  And it is unbelievable how what they believe is now part of our thinking.

I saw this clause this week in the Humanist manifesto, 1973.  It says this: ““We believe, however, that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions  that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species…”  Don’t put your Bible above me is what their creed is  “We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural [being]; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists,” watch this “we begin with humans, not God, nature not deity.”

What they’re saying here is man is the center of all things and God, if He exists at all, and we’re not even sure He’s there, is essentially irrelevant.  And they teach this over and over and over and over again in the public schools, in all kinds of different courses, masquerading as neutrality.  And we look around our churches and say what happened to all the young people?  I mean, I teach at a lot of prophecy conferences, I go to prophecy conference after prophecy conference after prophecy conference, I see gray-haired people.  Praise God for gray-haired people, or praise God you even  have hair to be gray.

But we’re all sitting around scratching our heads saying where did all the young people go?  Well the reality of the situation the other worldview has them the majority of the time.  We get them for what?  (I praise God we get them at all) A fraction of the time they are spent in their own seminaries by mandatory compulsion, humanistic seminaries, and we’re wondering why don’t we have any God-fearing young people.  There are a few, we praise God for every one of them but that’s not the norm. We’ve lost an entire generation largely because of this.

What do humanists believe?  That God, if He exists, is irrelevant. Well, if God doesn’t exist who is God?   You’re god, I’m god, man is the center of all things.  Well, where did we come from? We went from the goo to the zoo to you in what’s called evolution over billions of years. So what is man?  Is he a sacred being deserving of dignity and [can’t understand word] bearing the image of God. Not at all.  Man is an evolved animal rather than a special creature made in the image of God.

You know, we look at these kids today and we say these kids act like animals.  Why do they act like animals?  Well, what you act like if you were taught you were an animal over and over again?  You’re nothing but a naked ape is what they’re told.  How come people don’t treat each other with respect anymore?  I mean, what happened to dignity, chivalry?  What happened to a young person in a conversation saying yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am?  What happened to a man who opens a door for a lady coming into a building or getting into a car?  What happened to all of that?

Well, there’s an answer to all of that—we started thinking of ourselves as animals.  Why do we think we’re animals?  Because that’s what we’re taught.  If you teach people that you’re an animal and other people are animals, then there’s no need to treat other people with respect.  If you teach people that all human beings bear the image of God, even those that aren’t Christians bear the image of God, that’s what your Bible says, then you naturally treat people with respect.  Why is it that there’s so much short-temperedness and rudeness in people?  Have you driven those freeways lately.  I mean, put someone out of their way for five seconds at a stop light and you’re going to get some explosive angry reaction, a horn honk or some gestures which I won’t be doing here from the pulpit.  What is going on?  Why are people so insensitive and rude to other people?

And then  you throw in this whole layer of social media, talk about animalistic behavior, how people into a computer screen would say something that I don’t think they would say with face to face contact.  Don’t they understand that they are talking into another person?  Don’t they understand that they are dealing with someone who is an imager-bearer of God?  No, they don’t understand that and they don’t think that because of the evolutionary presupposition.

Folks, ideas have consequences.  We think we can just adopt this idea or that idea but there’s always a fallout.  There is a fallout in American culture for replacing the Judeo-Christian biblical worldview with the doctrine of humanism.  Humanists teach that there is an absence of any morals or values; it’s called situational ethics.  There is no absolute moral standard that governs the human race, like the Ten Commandments for example, it’s just whatever you think morals are to be in your situation.  And there’s complete and total confidence in the scientific method to solve the world’s problems.  Why is the world believing in global warming?  Isn’t that funny?  We’re freezing to death today.  Global warming… well science tells us global warming is true. Oh really, you mean the same scientist that tell me I evolved from a monkey, that crowd?  You mean the same group that can’t even get the weather report right is trying to tell me what the temperature of the earth is going to be like 10, 15, 20, 100 years down the road?  That isn’t science folks; that’s philosophy.  That’s humanistic philosophy.

And by the way, you might not know this but humanists themselves, they keep saying it’s neutral, it’s neutral, they call themselves a religion.  Did you know that?   They call it, in their humanistic manifesto the advancement of religion.  They call themselves religious humanists, or religious humanism.  And yet they can teach what they want in the public schools and we can’t and we cry foul and say it’s not fair and the New Testament comes back and tells us it’s not fair because you’re not home yet.  You’re living in the devil’s world… don’t expect it to be fair. Instead of complaining about it put on the full armor of God which is your defensive armament in Satan’s world.

You see, there’s a reason we’re called ambassadors.  2 Corinthians 5:20 calls us ambassadors.        [2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”]  What is an ambassador?  It’s somebody who represents another country on foreign soil.  If I’m America’s ambassador to Iran I’m representing American values on Iranian soil; the ambassador doesn’t go to Iran and expect Iran to become America because that’s the definition of an ambassador.  We can’t live in the devil’s world and expect the devil’s world to be our world.  If that were true we wouldn’t be ambassadors.  And this is an explanation that we’re getting here as to why the world hates Jesus Christ.

What was the very first lie spoken of in the Bible.  Genesis 3:4-5, which is what precipitated the fall of man, it says, “The serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die!”  Now she should have known better right then and there because God, in Genesis 2 says you eat from that tree you will die.  You’re not going to die, that’s how Satan always works; he challenges the authority of God’s Word.  [5] “‘For God knows” the serpent speaking, “that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened,” in other words,  you’re sort of naïve, you poor flatterer fundamentalist, don’t you know how your thinking can be broadened if you get away from this Book and  yet you start making decisions independently of this Book, the Bible, and they’re lethal.  God, at the beginning of human history gave them His Word concerning the two trees; two trees in Eden, the tree of knowledge, tree of life.  They probably looked exactly the same.  And yet one tree was good for them and the other tree was going to kill them.  They could not have known that simply by studying the two trees; they had to get a direct word from God.

So this is why Satan’s original lie was to attack, to criticize, to marginalize, this Word because if he can get their eyes of this Word they won’t know the difference between one tree or the other; they look the same after all.  That’s why the book of Proverbs says, “There’s a way that seems right, but ends in” what? “ends in death.”   [Proverbs 16:25  “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”]

They’d gotten away from the Word, they couldn’t tell the difference between the two trees, they ate from the wrong tree and the process of death started that very day!  And part of the lie was flattery, you’re going to become more sophisticated once you get away from that Word,  you’re going to become more nuanced, and you know what?  I think God is holding out on you after all!  Why is that?  Because He’s trying to keep you back from fulfillment.  Do you realize how many people today stay away from Jesus Christ because they think Jesus Christ is going to destroy their lives?  What… the father of lies, Satan, what a colossal lie that is.  You don’t even figure out why you exist and what your purpose is and what life is all about until you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. John 10:10, Jesus said I have come to give them life, and life to the what? To the full.  [John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” NIV]

The moment you move in the direction of Christ, that’s enlightenment.  Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD,”  it is the beginning of wisdom but let’s not misquote the verse, let’s go back to the first one, Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;” you start getting smart when you submit to the authority of God.  The brain starts to work like God intended it to work under submission to the authority of God.

And people today are telling us that we fundamentalist Christians are anti-science.  Folks, do yourself a favor; get the book by Henry Morris, Men of Science, Men of God, that’s the title.  He documents as clearly as it can be documented how every major branch of science was founded by somebody who believed this Book the way we believe it.  In fact, probably one of the greatest scientists of all time, Isaac Newton, the discoverer of the law of gravity, did you know that Isaac Newton spent more time studying the Bible than he did the laws of gravity or nature?  Watch the humanist in print condemning Isaac Newton for this: oh, Isaac Newton, if he would just use his brilliant mind that he had to put away the Bible, to put away the superstition and start studying science think how far ahead we would be.  Let me tell you something, it was Isaac Newton’s belief in the Bible that gave him the incentive to study science.  Isaac Newton believed that God has revealed Himself, not just in Scripture but in nature.  And it was his obligation as a Christian to discover the laws, like the law of gravity, for example, that the Creator Himself had put into nature.

If you don’t have the Bible you don’t have science; this idea that we’re anti-science, anti-knowledge, I can’t think of a greater 180 degree misrepresentation than that one.  And what does Satan say here?  “you will be” like what? “God.”  What does the humanist say?  You are God!  What does the new age movement say?  You can become like God.  You can even become God yourself through the proper path of enlightenment.  What does Mormonism say?  Throughout the eons you’re going to be God and you’re going to be governing your own planet.

Are we seeing here a common thread?  This isn’t New Age, this is old life… old life!  And yet the antichrist will walk into the rebuilt Jewish temple and he will say I am God, and by the time he does that the world will be so conditioned with its New Age and it’s humanism that people will look at that and think it’s normal.  This is why the world hates Jesus Christ.

Moving down to verse 38, looking at the antichrist’s military power,  “But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know….”   You can’t just remove God from a person’s heart;  you have to replace it with an artificial substitute because humans are designed for a relationship with God and if they don’t know the true God you have to fill  the void with something else.

So what is the antichrist worshipping here? He is worshipping wealth and power.  Those are probably the two best substitutes you can have other than God.  I mean, if you’re not in a relationship with Jesus Christ your Creator, your Redeemer, then you’ve got to fill the void with something else.  You’ve got to fill the void with an artificial substitute and the two best replacements that I know of are number 1, power, and number 2, pleasure.  This is the whole problem with the woman at the well.  She was replacing a relationship with God that she knew nothing about with promiscuity.  She had had five husbands; the person she was currently with she wasn’t even married to.  And are you condemning her for that?  I’m not because if  you don’t know God you’ve got to have something.  You’ve got to fill the void with something else.

So what does Jesus come along and talk to her about?  Man, you need to get yourself morally straightened up woman!  That’s not what He says.  He says I have water that you don’t know anything about; what I can do with living water is replace the thirst that’s inside of you, that you are trying to fill with all of these experiences and I can replace that with a relationship to Myself.  That’s what Christianity is.  Christianity is not don’t do this, don’t do that, stay away from this, stay away from that.  It’s not “NO,” it’s better; better than what you have you can have Me is what Jesus said.   I think sometimes we miss this in our evangelism. We’re so worried about people’s behavior in the unsaved world; the fact of the matter is they’re doing what you would do and what I would do if we didn’t know Christ.

I would be doing the exact same thing because as Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”   There is an ache in the human soul for God and yet if  you don’t know God you’ve got to fill that void with something because if there’s something true about human beings they’re incurably religious.

Karl Marx, the initiator of communism, called religion the opiate of the masses.  He couldn’t understand why these people kept worshipping thing, no matter what culture you’re in they’re worshipping something.  They’re worshipping because that’s how they are designed.  And if they’re not worshipping God in spirit and truth you’ve got to fill the void with something else.  The problem is when that “something else” takes root you don’t have room any more for the truth.

Jesus, in Matthew 6 and verse 24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”  This is how to look at people doing a bunch of things that we as Christians would never do in an unsaved state; they’re just filling a void with an artificial substitute.

And this is where evangelism can take on so much power because you can talk to them about how, “you know, I used to do that” whatever “that” is, “but you know, no matter how many times I tried it I just came up empty.”  Have you discovered that in your personal life as you ask them?  Well, yeah, you know, I do this and the fix wears off so I do this again and I’ve got to keep doing it worse and worse and worse and worse, and now the conversation is opened up and now you can say well let me tell you about something that worked for me.  And you’re using the same evangelistic model that Jesus presented to the woman at the well and the conversation is opened and you can begin to talk to them about a relationship with Jesus Christ.

You see, this antichrist,  you’ll notice the word “instead.”  Because he’s rejected any semblance of God instead, opting to worship himself, he’s just filling this void with power, money, wealth and pleasure.  And I’m out of time, we’ll pick it up, the second part of verse 38 next week.

I can’t think of a better Segway into the gospel; I mean it could be that you’re here today having tried a bunch of stuff in 2017 that really hasn’t satisfied you; I’ve tried the career and I’ve got the career and it really isn’t all that everybody said it was and I’ve accumulated all this money and power, I’ve even accumulated fame and you know what?  I it’s sort like chasing the wind. Well, if that’s your condition then praise God because you recognize it’s an artificial substitute.  The fact that you even recognize it’s an artificial substitute is the work of the Holy Spirit.  And right now, where you’re seated or if people are listening or viewing this on a computer screen or whatever they can change their predicament right now simply by trusting in what Jesus has done, which is the gospel.

The gospel is good news because Jesus said in His final breath, “It is” what? “finished!”  Everything necessary to bridge the gap between lost humanity and a holy God, that broken fractured relationship has been resolved.  All you do under God’s conviction is you receive it as a gift by faith.  Becoming a Christian is not a twelve step-process; it’s a one-step process where you trust exclusively in what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross of Calvary, 2,000 years ago and as that happens (and that’s something you can do right now where you’re seared, you don’t even have to walk an aisle to do this, you don’t have to bow your head and raise a hand, in fact there is no biblical evidence anywhere in the Bible of people bowing their heads and raising their hands in evangelism.   The Philippian jailor just said “What must I do to be saved?”  Paul didn’t say okay, bow your head, and when I talk put your hand up. The revivalist tactics that we brought into the church, not that God can’t use that, I’m just trying to get us to the simplest point, based on the Bible, you receive what He has done as a free gift, which is faith.  Faith is another way to say trust or rely, or depend upon.  You trust not only no longer in yourself, your humanism, your good works, your sincerity, your denomination you trust Him for salvation alone.

And the moment that happens is the moment God does the work.  He gives you 33 things you didn’t have before, including the indwelling Spirit.  The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, takes residence in your life.  THAT is what fills the void that we go through our lives so frequently trying to fill with other things.  You can receive that now, even as I am speaking, in the quietness of Your mind, the quietness of Your thoughts.  And if it’s something that you need even more information about I’m available after the service to talk.  Shall we pray.

Father, we’re grateful for the Book of Daniel and the things that it reveals to us about our condition and the world around us.  Help us to walk these things out this week by faith.  And I pray this, Father, that  You would give us an opportunity, everyone in this room, to start a conversation and share this gospel with at least one person.  Can I pray that, Father, for this whole group?  Can I pray that  You would orchestrate everyone’s lives in such a way that this would be, they would have an opportunity to share this with one person.  I ask that You will do that work. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus name.  And God’s people said… Amen!