Daniel 025: World Governments on the Horizon (Part 2)

Daniel 025: World Governments on the Horizon (Part 2)
Daniel 7:25b • Dr. Andy Woods • June 11, 2017 • Daniel


Andy Woods

World Governments on the Horizon, Part 2

6-11-17     Daniel 7:25b         Lesson 25

If we could take our Bibles and open them to the book of Daniel, Daniel 7:25; the title of our message this morning is World Governments on the Horizon, Part 2.  Is there going to be a Part 3?  I don’t know, we’ll see how far we get today.  I’m hoping to finish the chapter today, God willing.  This sanctuary looks so spiritual and holy but you wouldn’t have recognized it Monday through Friday of this week at Vacation Bible School.  We had a tremendous turnout, we had about 80 kids and I noticed some of our VBS workers wore their green shirts; we have not been raided by the Environmental Protection Agency.   I know this is not a good time to do this because all the workers just walked out of the room but those that are in here that did contribute to VBS could you stand just for a minute so we could recognize you.  [Clapping]

We appreciate everybody’s hard work in that and one of the neat things about it is you see giftings in people you didn’t know they had come to the forefront.  It was just a tremendous week and I was a crew leader and anybody who thinks it’s easy to do VBS has never done it.  And so I’m really tired; so I’m just going to close in prayer if that’s all right.  [Laughter]  You guys are laughing, I was serious….. some people are clapping at that prospect.

Let’s take our Bibles if we could and turn to the Book of Daniel, chapter 7 and verse 25 as we try to finish the chapter today we see two world governments coming.  The first government that’s on the horizon is the kingdom of the antichrist that I believe is being built now in the world.  And it’s tempting to look at the conditions of the world, the direction of the world.  If all I had in this world was the news and I didn’t have the lens of God’s Word I would be a very depressed and defeated person.  But God has seen fit to disclose to us, not just the kingdom of the antichrist but the kingdom that follows.

You see, the kingdom of the antichrist, if I’m understanding my Bible correctly, and we’ll see that today in our verses, only lasts about three and a half years.  The kingdom of Jesus Christ will last a thousand years and it will really last forever because after that thousand year period this world will be replaced by fire with a new heavens and a new earth.  So the sermon application is very easy: what kingdom are you living for?

First of all, what kingdom are you a member of?  And number two, what kingdom are you living for?  As  you look at your own life and you look at the things that you invest  yourself in are you really living, are we living for kingdom values, eternal values or have we become so caught up with this world and the pressures of this world and the promises of this world that our lives really don’t have an eternal significance.  And so that’s what comes to the forefront as we go through these verses this morning together.


Of course the prophet Daniel is a sixth century prophet, he was raised up by God to define prophetically a period of time called the times of the Gentiles.  It’s a period of time that really began with the Babylonian captivity in the sixth century B.C. and it’s a time period that goes all the way until the second advent of Christ, yet future, at the end of the tribulation period.

Daniel sees, as we look at this chapter, these things about 553 B.C.

He is probably a man in his mid-60’s at this point.  The Babylonian Empire is still in existence when he has these prophecies that he sees in chapter 7, really what Nebuchadnezzar also saw in chapter 2, it’s just their perspectives were different.  What Nebuchadnezzar saw is a beautiful statue Daniel saw through a Jewish lens or eyes as four disgusting beasts that would trample down Israel.

Who are these disgusting beasts that are coming out of the sea in his vision.  Well, these are various empires that would be in power and would trample down the chosen people.  First came the lion which represented Babylon, the empire that would be in existence when Daniel had these prophecies.

Second came the bear which would represent the Media-Persia Empire which followed Babylon.  And then would come the Leopard which would represent Greece.

Greece then would be followed by this terrible beast, Daniel just describes it as a ferocious beast, which would represent Rome.  But in this vision Daniel began to see things that really don’t represent Rome completely or perfectly.  He sees a ten-horned or ten king confederacy which would dominate the world in the last days.  That part of the vision is yet future from our perspective, and that would be the empire of the antichrist.  So Daniel, in essence, saw Rome but he saw Rome sort of as a pretext, if you will, for something yet future, something Daniel couldn’t really understand but we, based on the time period we’re living in, can understand it, something called the new world order, one-world government.  And that is a ferocious form of government that brings an unrelenting persecution and enslavement to the masses.

And yet as depressing as that subject is to contemplate and think about it we learn in the rest of this vision that that new world order is on borrowed time.

God is allowing it to come into existence for a season but He will quickly bring it to an end as the Ancient of Days, verses 9-12, or God the Father, calls an end to that empire and then turns the kingdom of this world over to His Son, that glorious kingdom of Jesus Christ.  That kingdom that we are to be praying for regularly. Did not Jesus teach His disciples to pray this way?  “Thy kingdom come.”  Is that part of your prayer life?

[Daniel 7:9-12, “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool.  His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.  [10] A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened.  [11] Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. [12] As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.”]

Psalm 122:6 says we ought to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:” what does that mean?  When is the time period when peace will exist in the city of Jerusalem, and govern this world through Jesus Christ in peace.  That is an indirect way, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” to pray for the manifestation of the kingdom of God.

But Daniel looks at these things in verse 15 and he’s very troubled by what he sees and so he wants more explanation, verse 16, which he is given in verses 17 and 18.

But Daniel really is not happy or content with the explanation.  There is part of this vision that continues to bother him and this is that new world order or that one-world government that is  yet future from our vantage point.  So Daniel requests more information about that final phase of Gentile dominion before the establishment of God’s kingdom.

The angel that’s interpreting these things cooperates and begins to tell Daniel of a system of government that will extend over the entire world, verse 23, a worldwide empire.  [Daniel 7:23, “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.”]

Verse 24, an empire divided into ten kings, or kingdoms, or perhaps we could call these regions.  [7:24, “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.”]

And he continues to get this explanation in verse 25, of a horn that arose up amongst the ten with a boasting mouth; this would be the antichrist himself, who will be the ruler of this ten king confederacy.  Daniel see threes kingdoms or regions rebelling against the antichrist and having to be subdued, and yet seven cooperate.  And as Daniel continues to receive this information and get this explanation he sees something very interesting there in verse 25 which is causing an awful of confusion in our own day.

Notice, if you will, verse 25, “‘He” that’s the antichrist, “will speak out against the Most High” that part of the verse we’ve covered already, but then it continues on and it says “he” that’s the antichrist or the little horn, will “wear down the saints of the Highest One….”

If you go back to verse 21 Daniel already made a reference to this, he said, “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.”  There are many, many people today who will tell you that the church of Jesus Christ is destined to go into this time period.  There are Christians today getting their theology largely from You Tube, and other sources like that, that are listening to false teaching and they’re convinced that one of these days they’re going to be eyeballing it with the antichrist.  They’re not really looking for Jesus Christ, they are preparing to meet the antichrist.

There are those that believe the rapture of the church will take place, not before the tribulation period starts, the top view, what we believe is the correct view; the view that we teach here at Sugar Land Bible Church, but they come up with some other view.

Maybe the church will be raptured in the middle of this time period or at the end of this time period, or three-quarters into this time period.  And their lives are filled, not with the hope of Christ’s soon return but the subject of end times immediately grips their hearts with fear and they live, not in the hopeful expectation of the soon return of Jesus Christ but the fear of being plummeted into this time period of persecution and wrath and duress.

There are different ways that Christians have come up with to explain these different views; there they are in chart form.  We believe they’re in the  top view, the church will not see one second of this time period that Daniel is speaking of.  The church, by the promises of God will not see one iota of this time period that Daniel is predicting.  That’s what we call the top view, pretribulational rapturism.  In other words, we, as the church, will be removed from the earth via the rapture before this terrible time period even breaks out.   I have never seen it as hostile as it is for the body of Christ today towards believers in the pre-trib rapture.  I have never seen the personal attacks, the personal character assassinations, the personal venom coming against people that simply believe that Jesus is going to remove His church before the rapture takes place.  As you tour the internet you will see one attack after another.

Here’s one pastor, he says, “I personally do not believe that by the year 2020, any credible person will be teaching the secret pre-trib. rapture doctrine. I think the events that are coming in the next five years will utterly destroy the doctrine.” Now I don’t believe it will be a secret because we’re going to hear a trumpet and the world is going to see everybody gone; that doesn’t look very secret to me.  “I personally do not believe that by the year 2020, any credible person will be teaching the secret pre-trib. rapture doctrine. I think the events that are coming in the next five years will utterly destroy the doctrine.”

This is very common; this is a very common mindset out there, a very common attack.  I would interpret his statement as follows:  The reason that no one will be teaching the doctrine in the year 2020 is maybe by then the rapture will have occurred.  [clapping]  And there will be nobody left to teach the doctrine.  And I say to people you can disagree with us on the rapture all you want, we will explain it all to you on the way up.  [laughter]

But in prior sermons I’ve given you probably about seven reasons why we believe in the pre-tribulational rapture doctrine.  I won’t rehearse all of those arguments today but one of them stands out.  The bottom line is this: the church, whether you’re looking at 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 5:9, Revelation 3:10; Romans 8:1, whichever verse you want to gravitate towards is promised an exemption from divine wrath.

[1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”   1 Thessalonians 5:9, “because God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,.”  Romans 5:9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”  Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”   Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”]

We, as blood-bought saints, are not candidates for God’s wrath and  yet what is the tribulation period?  It is a manifestation of the wrath of God.  That’s why the whole subject of the tribulation begins in Revelation 6 with Jesus opening a seven-sealed scroll and as He opens up each seal the wrath of God comes to the earth.  It is not man causing these things; it is Jesus Christ Himself.  In fact, by the time you get to the end of Revelation 6 the world itself recognizes the wrath of God because they say “for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” [Revelation 6:17]

How could Jesus Christ, who absorbed in His body the penalty for our sins, the wrath of a Holy God in our place, thrust His bride into a time period where the wrath of God is manifested.  We do not teach that Jesus died for most of our sins and you need to go through this tribulation period to kind of work off your Karmic debt or whatever term you want to use.  We believe that it is a completed transaction.  This is why Jesus Christ said in His final statement from the cross, just prior to His death, “It is finished!”  The wrath of God against sin has been completely and fully satisfied and those that are related to Jesus Christ by way of faith live under that protective covering.

People say well, this is just an American doctrine, I mean, you look over in the Middle East and you see Christians literally being crucified, martyred, stoned to death.  You look at the suffering that Christians have experienced, even in the 20th century and the 21st century, not just in Islamic countries but in communist countries.  And people say well, then go over there and try to sell your pretrib rapture doctrine, this is an American doctrine, it doesn’t make any sense in other parts of the world.  And I am not here trying to undersell the suffering that our brothers and sisters are experiencing right now around the world.  According to The Voice of Martyrs ministry there have been more martyrdoms in the20th century alone than all of church history combined.  We are not here to promote the idea that Christianity is easy; we are not here to promote the idea that the Christian life somehow exempts you from suffering.

The Bible is very clear that there are various forms of suffering that we all experience as God’s people, like for example, ordinary trials. Didn’t Jesus say in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation; but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Didn’t Paul tell Timothy that as he grew in godliness he would suffer man’s wrath, “all who seek to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  [2 Timothy 3:12]

Paul goes on and he also explains that we daily experience Satan’s wrath.  That’s why we are told, Ephesians 6:11-12 to put on the full armor of God.  [Ephesians 6:11-13, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. [13]Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”]

We also know that the world system, Jesus says, hates us; we experience the world’s wrath regularly.  Jesus said do not marvel, John 15:18-19, if the world hates you for it hated me first.  A servant, He says, is not greater than his master, if they hated Me they will hate  you.  [John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. [19] If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.  [20] Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”]

These are various levels of suffering, not to be marginalized, not to be minimalized, not to be explained away, not to tell people that they will experience in one form or another as they walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Well let me tell you something about all of these forms of sufferings; as bad as they are, they do not represent the wrath of a holy God.  These forms of suffering can be very severe but they do not rise to the level of a holy God unleashing His wrath upon a Christ-hating, Christ-rejecting world.  That’s what the Book of Revelation is describing.  And when you under­stand the difference between these forms of wrath or ordinary trials or the wrath of Satan you can very quickly see the difference as you  move into the Book of Revelation with the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, the seven golden bowl of wrath judgments that bring the wrath of God to planet earth.

Do you realize that in the tribulation period itself half of the world’s population will be destroyed.  Let’s do a little object lesson; can we do that.  Just hold your hand up like this, four fingers; now some of you aren’t participating and I might call you out, like I did poor Anne back there, but you take your index finger and put that down.  That’s what happens in Revelation 6, it talks there about a quarter of the world’s population being wiped out.  And then you get to Revelation 9 (now I don’t see hands up everybody) put down that middle finger; that’s what happens in Revelation 9 because… don’t put your hands down yet, you can tell I’ve been working with kids all week, [laughter] I’ll be back to normal next week, I’ve just got to unwind a little bit…  But by the time  you get to Revelation 9 it says a third of the world’s population will be wiped out and what is left is half the world’s population.  Okay, you can put your hands down, we’ll have a snack for you at the end of service. [laughter]

That is a time of incredible severity, is it not?  World War I was bad, World War II was bad, but it pales, they pale, in comparison to what the Scripture reveals concerning the unrelenting wrath of God.  How could God put His bride into that time period?  It’s the equivalent of getting engaged to a woman and then becoming an abuser of her prior to the wedding day.  The whole doctrine of mid-tribulationalism, postribulationalism, prewrath rapturism, whatever idea you want to give it, not only does it take people’s eyes off of the soon return of Jesus Christ but it thrusts Christ’s bride, His blood bought church, into the wrath of God, something that is completely inconsistent with everything we know of the death of Christ.

And this is why when you get into the Book of Revelation you don’t see, particularly beginning in chapter 4 through verse 22, you don’t see a single reference to the church on the earth ever in that time period.  Revelation 4-22 is a description of this wrath; the church is never mentioned as being on earth.  The church is mentioned about 19 times, the Greek word ekklesia, in chapters 1-3 and then  you get into chapter 4 and if the church is referenced at all it’s in heaven, never on the earth.  Chapter 5, same thing.  Chapter 6, Jesus begins to open the seven sealed scroll, the word church completely disappears from the book at that point.  In fact, the concept of the church isn’t even there.  What is the church?  Jew and Gentile united together in one new man called the church.

Well, the book starts looking very Jewish to me; God is not working through the church, Revelation 7, He’s working (as I’ll explain in just a minute), through 144,000 Jewish evangelists.  Satan, Revelation 12, is not attacking the church as Paul says he does in our age, Ephesians 6, he’s going after the nation of Israel.  The church just drops off the radar screen.  Why is that?  Because the church has been taken to heaven; she is being rewarded by Christ in heaven during these events.

The church, as we have studied on Wednesday night before we decided to take our hiatus, is a mystery.  Ephesians 3:3-6 Paul calls the church many times a mystery.  Ephesians 3:9 he calls the church a mystery.

What is a mystery?  A mystery is a truth never before disclosed; that’s what the church is.  The church is a brane new work or move of God in history subsequent to national Israel’s rejection of His Son.  The moment that happened, the moment the nation of Israel, not every Jew but nationally the leadership rejected the Son is the moment God took the nation of Israel and put them into “time out”.  We had to put a few kids this week into time out.  And God put the nation of Israel into time out for two thousand years or more.   And because God does not leave the earth without a witness of Himself He created something He always knew he would create, it just hadn’t been disclosed yet, the church of Jesus Christ, beginning in Acts 2, this wonderful work of God whereby a person at the point of faith in Christ is baptized or identified into the body of Christ.  It’s a work of God that God has been doing for 2,000  years.  I’m part of it, you’re part of it, so is every Christian a part of it over the last 2,000 years.

Paul explains to us in Romans 11 around verse 25 that God’s program for the church is not just going to go on and on and on.  Paul explains that there is a whole number of Gentiles that must be reached in this age.  It’s a number known only to God so don’t ask me how many have to come in, I don’t know.   But at some point the very last Gentile believes in Jesus Christ, the bride of Christ is made full, is made complete and God says that’s it!  The earthly program of the church is over and God says to the Son, go get My children.

Now maybe this event is going to happen in our lifetime, I hope and pray it will, I can’t guarantee that but in this glorious event called the rapture of the church, the church at that point is taken to heaven and God, who has not forgotten Israel, who has had that nation in “time out” all of these centuries, who cannot forget His covenants and His promises to them, at that point the nation of Israel becomes center stage and Israel becomes the focus once again of God’s earthly work.  We in heaven are busy to be sure; we are watching, we are praising, we are worshipping, we are being rewarded, we are married at that point, the bride and the groom become husband and wife, all of these things are happening in the Father’s house while the horrific events of the tribulation period are taking place below.

So how, then, do we understand Daniel 7 and verse 25… see, that was just introduction, we’re getting into the text now, how do we understand this when it says “He … will wear down the saints of the Most High”?  Notice what it doesn’t say here; it doesn’t say the little horn or the antichrist will wear down the church; it says He will wear down the saints.   Why did Daniel not say church?  He did not say church because the church is a what?  A mystery.  Daniel knew nothing about the church.  In fact, this prophecy is given before the church existed and it concerns a time period after the church is removed.  And people say well, you know, hold the phone here, it says “saints” doesn’t it?

The thing to understand about this word “saints” is the word “saints” is a non-technical term.  Well, what do you mean by that?  A technical term is a word that always means the same thing everywhere it’s used.  That’s not how the word saints functions; sometimes we are called saints, Romans 1:7 calls  us saints as members of Christ’s church.  [Romans 1:7, “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”]  I like what J. Vernon McGee said, “either you’re a saint or  you’re an ain’t.”  But sometimes, Psalm 149:1, particularly as it shows up in the King James Bible, old figures are called saints.  So the word saint itself is not some sort of dead giveaway that Daniel is talking about the church; he’s simply talking about the people of God used in a non-technical sense.  And because Daniel is talking about a time period before the church existed He’s had these prophecies and He’s talking about a time period after the church is gone, I do not believe that the word saints at all is a description of the church.  Daniel couldn’t have known anything about the church.

Well who are these saints then?  These are people that God saves after the church is gone.  Do we realize that as members of Christ’s body…, as members of Christ’s body and as His bride, with all of our evangelism, all of our VBS’s, all of  our Sunday Schools, all of our missionary support, that God doesn’t need us?  Do we realize that?  Do we realize that God uses us because He wants to?  It’s a lot like my daughter, and I want to make sure she’s not in there, when we were teaching her to empty the dishes in the dishwasher and she was so small at that time, now she’s almost as tall as her mom, have you noticed that?  And we were teaching her how to empty dishes from the dishwasher and she was a very little person stumbling around and making some mistakes and I said to myself, it would just be a lot easier if I just did it myself.  But then I thought if I just did everything myself I deprive her of the joy of contributing; I deprive her of the opportunity to grow and become mature and learn a basic work ethic as a contributor of the family.  So we tolerated her inefficiency.

God is a lot like that with us.  God does not need us to evangelize planet earth; God’s got the whole thing under control.  I’ll show you exactly what He’s going to do in the end times, but in the interim time we’re like these little kids emptying dishes out of the dishwasher.  God condescends to our level and sees fit to use us even though He doesn’t need us because He doesn’t want to deprive us of the joy that we receive when we’re used by God.  Testimony after testimony of our DVBS workers this last week was the joy of serving these children; the joy of sharing the gospel.  In fact, I had one little boy in my group as a crew leader and during the week we had opportunities to ask kids different questions, I just asked my group the question, do you all know what Jesus did for you 2,000 years ago?  And a lot of the kids coming from church families could just give a quick answer, He died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead.  And one little boy says to me, I’ve never heard that before in my whole life.  He was not someone that comes from this church, I don’t know what kind of church, if any, he goes to, I don’t know anything about his parents.  And the joy that I had of explaining something that most of us take for granted to ears that have never heard it before is a joy that I wouldn’t exchange for anything.

Now why did God give me that experience?  Because He needs me?  He doesn’t need me at all.  He wanted to give me the joy of participating in His work.  The work of God is going to get done, the only issue is are you going to comply with the Spirit of God and be the tool that He uses or not?  The issue is not is going to get the work done, the work is going to get done!  The issue is your level of participation; are you going to be third string on the bench doing nothing or are you part of that starting five?  I believe that God wants to give every church age believer the experience of being part of that starting five.  But the reality of the situation prophetically is God does not need us at all.

The fact of the matter is, He’s got a plan in place whereby world evangelization is going to take place.  Revelation 7 tells us it’s going to take place through the hands of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.  You can read all about it in Revelation 7.  There will be a great, innumerable multitude converted during that time, during these 144,000 Jewish evangelists.  You know, when a Jewish person gets saved, it’s interesting; they get set on fire for the things of God because the Holy Spirit starts to connect the dots for them and they recognize that what they have believed all of these years about the Old Testament Hebrew Bible actually points towards Jesus Christ.

You take the Apostle Paul, who had that revelation and that insight as he was converted on the Damascus road and the Spirit of God began to teach him.  You could not stop the evangelistic activity of the Apostle Paul.  We read all about it in the Book of Acts.  Can you imagine this world with 144,000 apostle Pauls?  The energy, the life, the motivation, the enthusiasm, and I’m not negating the fact that God can and does use the church today but we somehow have a mindset that we’re needed by God.  We’re not needed at all!  The whole program is in place, the only question is are we going to have the opportunity to participate.

Back to the opening question—then who are these saints?  It’s not the church.  These saints are those that are converted through the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.  It never says church here?  In fact, how could this be the church because it looks like as you read these passages that the antichrist is winning?  It’s very clear he’s wearing down the saints; how could that be the church when Jesus specifically said, Matthew 16:18, “…I will build My” what? “church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”  Look back at verse 21, “I kept looking and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.”  How could that be the church when Jesus promised that “the gates of Hades will not” same word, “overpower” His church.

And as we continue to move on we get even more of a description of what this man, the antichrist, or the little horn, is going to do.  Look, if you will, at verse 25, continuing on, it says, “he will intend to make alterations in times and in law;” what is this man, the antichrist, going to do once he comes to power?  Not only will he wear down the saints but he will make changes “in the times and in the law.”  Another way of saying that: he will create a world without God.  He will erase from planet earth every vestige of Christian thought.  He will create what we like to call a new world order, a one-world system of economics, politics and religion that exclude God and His point of view, and His perspective on life.

You know, we have an antichrist that’s coming but did you know that there have been little anti­- Christ’s that have arisen?  In fact, 1 John tells us that before papa antichrist shows ups there’s going to be baby antichrists.  You have many examples of people trying to erase God from the world.  You have an example of this in what is called the French Revolution.  Did you know that around the time of the American Revolution there was a completely different revolution taking place on the other side of the Atlantic in Europe?

And this is what one writer says about that French Revolution: the seven day week was replaced with a work week of ten days with the result that Sunday as a day of rest and Christian worship was eliminated.  The French Revolution was so monumental in what it tried to accomplish and get rid of God that it even changed the seven day work week, which comes right out of the Bible, to the ten day work week.  This writer goes on and he says, “The French calendar was also changed to reflect the new anti-Christian spirit of the revolution.  The convention voted on October 5, 1793 to abolish the Christian calendar and to introduce what they called a republican calendar.  The founding of the Republic, September 23, 1792, was the beginning of a new era and a new year 1.  Instead of the birth of Jesus Christ being the focal point of history the founding day of the new French Republic would define how time would be kept.”

Some other writers of the French Revolution say this: “When it comes to the liberty of conscience, religious liberty, civil liberty, it is interesting to note the vast difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution.”  So in their revolution the French cracked down on the church and confiscated its properties; they desecrated the altar of Notre Dame by placing atop of it a naked woman, the symbol of reason.  They did away with Annō Dominī, which means, as you know, the year of our Lord, and made 1792 their year 1, the first year of the republic, a republic without God.    How does that end?   And soon a republic that was subject to chaos and anarchy and finally tyranny.

This experiment without God didn’t end well.  The experiment that the little horn will bring in, a world without God, won’t end well; it’ll end with self-destruction and the judgment of God.  And people say well, pastor, come on, we’re living here in the United States, something like that could never happen here.  If I’d stood up in 1960, 1950, and said within a few years Christianity will be removed from public schools, the Ten Commandments will be banned from public school classrooms on the grounds that they are unconstitutional, home schooling–in some states home schoolers would be harassed (not here in the great state of Texas, thank God for that) but in other places of the world home schoolers will be harassed.  Evolution, the view that from the goo to the zoo to you would become the dominant thought of the United States.  And people that believe in the Word of God would be banned from holding public office.

You say well come on, now you’re getting hyperbolic, that doesn’t happen here in the United States.  I don’t know who you voted for of what and I don’t really care, that’s not my point.  But on Wednesday an exchange went on and you can find it on You Tube, between Presidential (former, thank the Lord for that) Presidential contender Bernie Sanders and one of the President’s people that he wants to put in charge of what’s called OMB, the Office of Budget Management, if I’ve got the title right, and there’s an exchange that goes on for about three minutes between Bernie Sanders and this Donald Trump appointee and this appointee had committed a great and serious offence in the eyes of Bernie Sanders.  What did he do?  Well, this man was a graduate of Wheaton College. Wheaton College, a Christian school, which banned a professor for coming to class wearing Muslim garb trying to show solidarity with Muslims.  This college, correctly in my estimation, said fine, you can do that on you own time but we’re a Christian college and we’re here to promote Christianity.  And in the process this particular public official made a statement about how Muslims are rejected by God as long as they are outside of faith alone in Christ alone.  In other words, this graduate of Wheaton College articulated publicly in an article in support of his Alma Mater, Christianity 101; the bare basics of Christianity, the exclusivity of the gospel.

And in this exchange with Bernie Sanders he brings up this statement that this public official made as he was seeking confirmation that Muslims are outside of the grace of God until they trust Christ.  And he kept repeating it and repeating it and repeating it, and don’t take my word for it, you can watch the whole thing on You Tube, and the thing concludes with Sanders saying I will not vote for this public official because of his Christian beliefs.  Sanders makes the statement that he is free to believe what he wants about the Bible but do not let it influence your behavior in public office.  Do we realize that John Jay, George Washington’s first Chief Justice to the United States Supreme Court, the first Chief Justice that America ever had said, and this is the quote that I’ve documented and it’s verifiable in the letters of John Jay, that we should prefer Christians for our rulers.  In other words, if you have a choice between a Christian and a non-Christian in an election you vote for the Christian because they’re governed by a certain code of ethics that the non-believer is not governed by.  That’s not my opinion, that’s what John Jay said.

And now we have degenerated to a point in this country where a former Presidential contender can publicly say a person is not fit to hold office because he believes the Bible.  My, how we have fallen!  If I’d said all of these things would happen in 1950 probably no one would have believed me.  And yet they’ve happened.  The spirit of the antichrist is alive and well, changing just exactly as Daniel saw the times and the seasons, the epics and the alterations setting the stage for this world without God.  It happened in the French revolution; to a large extent (if you’ve got your eyes opened and I know many of you do) you see the same thing happening.  He will change the law, the times, the circumstances.

Go up to a millennial today, ask them some questions: What do you know about the Mayflower Compact, America’s founding charter?  What do you know about John Winthrop, the Puritan that came to America and said America is “a shining city on a hill,” quoting the Sermon on the Mount?  What do you know about The Declaration of Independence that anchors our rights in God?  What do you know about The United States Constitution that divides power amongst three separate branches because of the biblical belief in the depravity of man?  Give them a quiz, what do they know about those things?  They know nothing about it; it’s been erased from the memories, it’s been erased from the school books.

Read the book by Paul Vitz called The Hidden Censors, a sociologist that began to examine what happened to the vestiges of America’s Judeo-Christian undergirding, the moment the Department of Education took its place, the moment education in America became federalized under the Jimmy Carter administration.  President after President has promised to abolish the Department of Education but it’s still there; it’s more powerful than ever.   Read what Paul Vitz says  in The Hidden Censors, how the understanding the history, some of which I’m explaining now, has been removed from the schools, from the minds of the youth.  It happened in the French Revolution, it’s happening right now in the United States of America, it’s happening all over the world.  And one of these days following the rapture of the church there will not be a single witness for Christ on planet earth; the world without God will have succeeded until God puts His hand on the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

I wish, pastor, you weren’t teaching these prophecies.  I wish you would teach something more relevant to our lives.  Boy, if you want relevance look at the prophecies of the Book of Daniel; look at what he saw under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

And notice what it says in verse 25, “and they” who is “they”?  That’s the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and their converts, “they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  Well, what in the world is that all about, “a time, times, and half a time”?  “A time” is a Jewish year; “times” plural, is two Jewish years, and “half a time” is half of a Jewish year.  So one plus two plus a half equals three and a half years.  Good, we’ve got two snacks available for you in the back.

He is talking here about the second half of the tribulation period when all hell itself breaks loose on the Jewish population and those that they convert.  Sometimes in the Bible you’ll find this expression: forty-two months, Revelation 13:5   Sometimes you’ll find this expression, “one thousand, two hundred and sixty days,” as Revelation 12:6 says.  Sometimes you’ll find the expression that’s used here, as in Revelation 12:14, “a time, times and a half a time.”

[Revelation 12:6, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” [Revelation 13:5, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”  Revelation 12:14, “But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.”]

The tribulation period has seven years to it, it’s divided into two parts, the midpoint is when the antichrist desecrates the Jewish temple, we’ll be saying a lot more about that as we continue in the Book of Daniel.  But the second half of it is what Daniel is referring to here.  A cross reference to that would be Matthew 24:15-22 where Jesus tells the Jews what they are to do when they see this desecration.

[Matthew 24:15-22, “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), [16] then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. [17] Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. [18] Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. [19] But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  [20] But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. [21] For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. [22] Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”]

They are to flee into the mountains of Houston… sorry, it doesn’t say that.  They are to flee to Washington D.C.  It doesn’t say that either.  It says, verse 16, “flee to the mountains of” what? Judea.  Ever where looked at where the mountains of Judea are?  They’re in the land of Israel, not in the  United States.  Jesus is not giving instructions concerning what Christians are to do when they see this happen.  The worldwide church will be gone at this point; all of His instructions concern the nation of Israel.  In fact, in Matthew 24:20 Jesus, to the Jews, says “But pray that your flight will not take place in the winter, or on the Sabbath,” Shabbat.   It’s interesting that in Israel today you can get into what is called a Shabbat elevator; the elevator in essence doesn’t work because it’s Shabbat.  Or, if I’ve got this right, perhaps you’re supposed to get in that elevator so the elevator worker gets a rest.

See, in Shabbat, in Sabbath it’s the seventh day, Saturday, the day of rest.  Could that be talking about the church?  This cannot be talking about the church because the church (beginning in John’s Gospel and into The Book of Acts) gathers not on the last day of the week but the first day of the week.  Jesus resurrected not on the last Saturday but on what?  Sunday.  Our meeting is on Sunday, not Saturday.  So how could this be a statement about the church when it’s pray that your flight will not take place in the winter, or on a Sabbath.  That has no relation to the church.  These are instructions to the Jewish people after the church has been removed.

Now do you want the angelic point of view on all these things?  Revelation 12:6-17 tells you exactly what the devil is doing.

[Revelation 12:6-17, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  [7] And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, [8] and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. [10] Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. [11] And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. [12] For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”  [13] And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. [14] But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. [15] And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. [16] But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. [17] So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”]

Have  you read the Book of Job lately?  The sons of God present themselves before God and who is right there with them to accuse?  Satan.  Yes, Satan has been thrown out of heaven but he has limited access, not to worship and serve as he once did as the high ranking angelic being, a cherub but now to communicate and accuse.  This is why Jesus said to Peter, or Simon, Satan has demanded permission to sift you as wheat.”  [Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;”]  There’s Satan, in heaven itself, not to worship and serve as he once did, but to communicate and to accuse.

And Revelation 12 tells us that in this second half of the tribulation period that privilege is gone, it’s removed, and consequently Satan, with limited access to heaven no longer has it and he plummets to the earth, knowing he has but a short time.  Well, what’s a short time?  It’s a “time, times and half a time,” three and a half years, forty-two months to do what?  To blot out the nation of Israel.  [Revelation 12:14, “The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.”]

Why would Satan want to blot out the nation of Israel?  Because he understands prophecy.  The prophecies are the kingdom program is going to be birthed on planet earth, not through the Southern Baptists, not through the Methodists, not through the Presbyterians, not through the Episcopalians, but through the nation of Israel.  That’s a prophecy as old as Genesis 12:3, [Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”]  That’s what God said, I’m going to bless the world through the nation of Israel and what better way in the darkened mind and in the darkened imagination of Satan to prevent that prophecy from happening than to blot out the nation of Israel.

And he knows he’s got exactly three and a half years or forty-two months to pull it off and this is why Jesus is giving specific instructions to the nation of Israel for their protection and provision during this difficult time period.  Anti-Semitism, or Jew-hatred has always been alive and well.  In our series on The Protestant Reformation I’ll show you that very clearly throughout the Dark Ages of church history.  Sadly I’ll show you the exact same anti-Semitism coming from some of the Protestant Reformers themselves who accomplished great exploits for God, in the book by Michael Brown, Our Hands are Stained with Blood.  I recommend that book to you as well.  He documents the anti-Semitism that has come forth, not from the world but from the Christian church because of their lack of understanding of some of these prophetic subjects that I’m dealing with right now.

And I have been to Israel twice, I’ve been to Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial two times, and let me tell you something; the smartest thing the nation of Israel ever did was build that holocaust memorial where it’s documented who died, what their names were, because we’re living in a world today of what I would call holocaust deniers.  In fact, Ahmadenajad, the former leader of Iran says the holocaust never happened.  It did happen!  Six million Jews were killed as a result of the holocaust.  I’ve actually been to Germany in the late 1980s and stood, with my own two feet in Dachau, it’s the exact same thing you’ll see in the movie Schindler’s List,  where the Jews are herded off of these boxcars, freight cars, told to run down the hill by the Nazi’s to get a hot shower and they go into these showers, which really aren’t showers, breathing, trying to get their next breath, thinking the water is going to come out of the spout and poisonous gas comes out.

The holocaust happened, anti-Semitism is real, Revelation 12 gives you the angelic motivation and what is causing these things.  Why is it that the nation of Israel is hated generation after generation after generation?  Why is it that when I turn on You Tube once again I run into all of these people who want to blame all the problems of the world on the Jews?  Why did the book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, document the fact, or try to argue the fact that the Jews were responsible for all the world’s problems, they’re controlling the banks, they’re controlling the finances.  Why is it that that book is the best seller in Islamic countries today?  There’s actually a spiritual reason for these things.  Satan has always wanted to blot out the nation of Israel prematurely because he knows that through Israel the kingdom will come, which he doesn’t want to come because once the kingdom comes he’s dethroned from the earth.  Right now Satan is running the world system; he’s called the god of this world, the god of this age, the prince of this world, but once the kingdom comes he’s done, he’s placed in a holding facility called the abyss where for a thousand years he doesn’t bother people.  And at the end of that thousand years, after his purpose is finished God takes him and throws him into the Lake of Fire.

If you were Satan would you like those prophecies?  This is why there’s so much of an attack on ministries and preachers and teachers who want to teach Bible prophecy.  Satan doesn’t want it taught, he doesn’t want it understood because the pages of Bible prophecy clearly spell his demise, the end of the story which doesn’t end well.  And this is the time period that Daniel is seeing.

One other quick point; I thought we’d get through verse 28 today, now my goal is just to get out of verse 25.  It says in verse 25, “a time, times and half a time.”  Forty-two months, one thousand two hundred and sixty days, that’s a calendar increment, isn’t it.  Did you know that the nation of Israel has calendar increments?  They had a sojourn in Egypt that would be 400 years, Genesis 15.  As I’ll be explaining they have a prophecy of the 70 weeks, 490 years.  The prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 29:10 talks about a captivity of seventy years.

Did you know that the nation of Israel has an actual calendar?  Israel has what we would call in Latin ad quo ad quem statements, time periods with a beginning and an ending.    You go into the New Testament do you have anything like that for the church?  Do we have a calendar?  No we don’t.  Do we have a seventy year captivity?  No we don’t.  Do we have a 400 year sojourn in Egypt?  No we don’t.  Do we have a 590 year or 70 weeks prophecy?  No we don’t.  The church is of a character that’s different than Israel.

Now very fast let me introduce you to public enemy number one, John Nelson Darby, in Ireland had a work where God was using him so significantly that he was baptizing a hundred people every week.  God’s hand was all over this guy and God was using him.  And then something happened, he had a horse riding accident, now this is in the 1800’s with the lack of sophistication in hospitals, medicine and those kinds of things, where he was laid up for a period of time.  The scholars call it Darby’s years of convalescence.  And he’s a man of God and what do you think he was reading during this time of convalescence as he was recovering from a broken leg from a horse riding accident?  Any guesses?  He was reading the Bible.  Do you know what he started to see in the Bible?  Exactly what I just said.

Why is it that Israel has a calendar and time increments, yet the church doesn’t?  Aha, the church and Israel are different and if that’s true, if Israel and the church are different God is coming back for the church at a different time than He’s coming back for Israel.  He’s coming back for Israel to rescue Israel from the antichrist at the end of the tribulation period.  Darby said that’s not what is going with the church, He’s coming back for the church through the what?  What?  It starts with an “r”… the rapture.  And that is the retrieval of a doctrine  called the pretribulational rapture theory.

And let me explain something to you; had God not sidelined Darby it is doubtful that we would have that doctrine today.   You know, we’re so activity oriented, he’s baptizing a hundred people a week, and suddenly he gets in this horse riding accident and he’s sidelined, and he’s probably wondering, what is God doing?  God is wrecking my ministry.  In reality what God was doing through Darby is to take his influence, which seemed like a lot, baptizing a hundred people a week, and turning it worldwide because he retrieved a doctrine that had been buried in church history, called the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture and look at all of the people around the world, generation after generation who have been positively influenced by this doctrine.

I say that to encourage you because some of you have been sidelined; you don’t know what God is doing.  Had it not been for this horse riding accident the global impact of Darby in God’s sovereignty probably could have never occurred.  We probably would have never heard the name John Nelson Darby.  And he gets all of this by looking at passages during a time of his convalescence like this one here in verse 25, “time, times and a half a time.”

We’ll continue with verse 26 next week but let me ask you a question.  If the rapture would occur today would you go?  Would you want to go?  How do you come under what I like to call the grace package where the rapture is applicable to you?  It’s simply by believing the gospel.  What is the gospel?  Good news.  Why is it called good news?  Because Jesus did all the heavy lifting; it’s all been taken care of.  What was necessary to bridge sinful humanity back to a holy God was accomplished through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  This is why Christ’s final words on the cross were “It is” what? “It is finished!”  It’s all done.

What do you do then?  You receive what He has done as a gift.  You don’t do it by works, you don’t do it by good deeds, you don’t do it by trying hard, you get it through a simple act of faith which simply means confidence or reliance or dependence on what Jesus did.  The Spirit places a person under conviction and they respond to that convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit by faith alone in Christ alone, trusting Christ and Christ alone for your eternity and the safe keeping of your soul.

Well, what else do you do?  That’s it!  Because He’s done everything and that’s what brings you under the  umbrella of God’s grace, including should the rapture happen this afternoon you would be taken in the rapture as a member of the body of Christ.  Becoming a Christian is not a twelve-step program, it’s a one-step program between you and the Lord, in a moment of privacy when you trust in Him and Him alone for the safekeeping of your soul.  If it’s something that you are doing now or have done, then on the authority of the Word of God you’ve just changed your eternal destiny.  If it’s something you need more explanation on I’m available after the service to talk.

Shall we pray.  Father, we are grateful for prophecies like Daniel  7, the insight that they give us into your purposes and even what you’re doing in the world today.  Make us good students and stewards of these prophecies as we walk with You this week.  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.