..To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"
Ten toes & ten horns
The text of the Bible quotes is from the King James version (unless otherwise indicated), with alterations to the "thee’s" and "thou’s" and the words ending in "eth", "est", etc. to make it conform to modern speech. Because of this, occasionally a word has been re-spelled, or added, to enable the reader to understand the sense more easily. Also, extra punctuation has been included where necessary, or the original altered to make easier reading.
None of these changes are intended to alter the meaning of the text.
All emphasis, and the words in square brackets[like this] have been added by the author.
š š š š š
Some of the statements in this book are adapted from the writings of E. G. White.
No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities.
"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
"But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,
even to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro[in the Bible],
and knowledge[of last day events] shall be increased".
The ten toes
It was in God's providence that Daniel and his three friends were connected with the great leaders of Babylon in 606BC, that these men might become acquainted with the religion of the Hebrews and learn that God rules (in His way) over all kingdoms. While they had control of much of the civilised world, they needed to know that God’s system is the only method that lasts, and Daniel and his friends were there to show them that, as are all God’s people in all ages to all peoples.
1And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep broke from him. 2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Young Nebuchadnezzar, who had recently inherited the kingdom from his father who had rebelled against Assyria, was very interested in what would happen to the new empire. He was so immersed in this desire that one night the living God was able to reach into his mind and supply him with the answer while he slept.
Speaking to His people the LORD had said, "I am God, the only God you've had or ever will have— incomparable, irreplaceable— 10 From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, 'I'm in this for the long haul, I'll do exactly what I set out to do . . .’" Isaiah 46:9-10 (The Message version.)
But God is "no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34), so He is just as willing to tell a non-believer as He is a believer.
The problem was that Nebuchadnezzar could not recall what he had been shown! I don’t know whether God withheld the dream or whether it was just a malfunction in the king’s brain but that’s not really important. We never lose anything from our mind once it is imprinted there, but getting the neuro paths to retrieve it is not always easy!
So he did what was natural to him – he called in the wise men who said they were able to be able to communicate with the gods, and therefore claimed to know everything.
3And the king said to them, "I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream". 4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack [the common language of the kingdom, for it was made up of many nations], "O king, live for ever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation".
5The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "The thing is gone from me: if you will not make known to me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6 But if you show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, you shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof". [He was suspicious of their claims.]
7They answered again and said, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it". 8 The king answered and said, "I know of certainty that you would gain the time, because you see the thing is gone from me. 9 But if you will not make known to me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed [or I forget]: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me the interpretation thereof".
10The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, "There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh [and we can’t talk with them]".
12For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
The magicians pretended to be able to control the laws of nature; the astrologers pretended to be able to predict the will of the gods from the star movements; the sorcerers were like the magicians, but had more dealings with rebel angels; the Chaldeans were the priestly class who had control of the books and the services of the state religion, and therefore held the highest authority. But it was all pretence and role play, for not even Satan can forecast the future, except that which he himself brings about, which is only short term anyway.
When none of them could tell the king his dream even in the face of a death decree (although they had many interpretations ready if he had been able to remember it), the king realised that they did not have communication with the gods any more than he did! That made him very angry because he appeared foolish in his own eyes for having believed in them at all.
14Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree so hasty from the king?"
Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
16Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
When Daniel heard of the death decree (it was obviously delayed in his case), he received permission to approach the king regarding it. He was only a young lad in a university type situation, but his care for the "wise" men who were also affected by the decree shows his Christian spirit. As two young men together, and sharing the same concern for humanity (Neb was normally a humanitarian), he and Nebuchadnezzar found common ground, and he received his time.
A little note:
Years later Nebuchadnezzar became a Christian and wrote one of the chapters in Daniel’s book. See Daniel chapter 4.
17Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 18 that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed [thanked] the God of heaven.
Daniel had not approached the king without an answer to prayer beforehand, for he was not presumptuous, and his trust in the living God was now extended to his Hebrew companions. Where did he get that understanding? In his day there dwelt in Jerusalem a lady named Huldah, a prophetess who ran a school for intelligent young royals, and she probably taught him and many others. (See
2 Kings 22:14.)
20Daniel answered and said, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: 21 and He changes the times and the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding [of the gospel]: 22 He reveals the deep and secret things: He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
23"I thank You, and praise You, O You God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might, and have made known to me now what we desired of You: for You have now made known to us the king's matter".
In his prayer of thanks Daniel gives us many attributes of the Son of God to ponder over, for some of them are not as straightforward as they seem at first reading. We need to know HOW God works to fully understand them.
24Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus to him; "Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation".
25Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus to him, "I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known to the king the interpretation".
26The king answered and said to Daniel, whose [new Babylonian] name was Belteshazzar [praising the god ‘Bel’, in Neb’s mind], "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?"
27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show to the king [they can’t]; 28 but there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be IN THE LATTER DAYS.
"Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, are these;
29As for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind upon your bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that reveals secrets makes known to you what shall come to pass. 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king [and any others who want to know the future], and that you might know the thoughts of your heart".
Daniel immediately disclaimed any relationship with the god "Bel" (also known as "Baal" in some circles), and told the king that the living God was the only one able to show the dream and its interpretation. He also denied being ‘special’ in any way and said that any follower of God should be able to do this, for the explanation would come from Him. Then he proceeded to describe the dream, because he had also seen it in God’s answer to him.
31"You, O king, saw, and behold a great image [a statue of a very fit man].
This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form thereof was terrible[awesome].
32"This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34"You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.
35"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
36"This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king".
As the king heard Daniel’s words the Spirit of God impressed him with the fact that this was exactly what he had seen. It had been a statue of a man in full strength, but with parts of his body made up of different metals, in descending order of value. As he had watched he had seen a ‘stone’ hit the statue on the feet, upon which it collapsed and the metals of it were blown away to disappear forever. In its place the stone grew into a great mountain which then filled the whole earth.
In a very brief way God was explaining the future history of the world under Satan’s management, for the statue of the man represented his technique! The declining value of the metals also illustrated the deteriorating worth of the morals of the nations as they departed more and more from God. In later visions God gave more detail to Daniel, including the names of the next two kingdoms.
Let’s look at one of those visions:
19And he [the angel Gabriel] said, "Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation [the conflict]: for at the time appointed the end shall be [a period called ‘the time of the end’, Daniel 11:35].
20"The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
21"And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king [Alexander]. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it [in his place], four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his [Alexander’s] power. [These four would become two.]
23"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up [we know it as Rome]. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power [Satan is behind it]: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people".
Then Daniel explained the meaning of the dream to the king:
37"You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has He given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all.
You [and your kingdom] are this head of gold.
39 "And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you,
and another third kingdom of brass,
which shall[all] bear rule OVER ALL THE EARTH.
40"And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron:
forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things:
and as iron that breaks all these,
shall it break in pieces and bruise".
Interpreting to the king of Babylon the dream of the great image, Daniel declared to Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom would eventually be superseded, because only "righteousness exalts a nation" and this is achieved by obedience to God’s guidance. Proverbs 14:34. Babylon’s greatness and power in the world would have its day, and then a second kingdom would arise that also would have its period of test and trial as to whether the people of it would continue to exalt the one Ruler, the only true God. Not doing this, they and their glory would fade away, and a third kingdom would occupy their place. This also would pass away, and a fourth, strong as iron, was to arise and subdue all the nations of the world. All this would happen in a seemingly very natural way because this world’s systems are only temporary, not having the power to last for long without God. The first three kings started their kingdoms off by following God’s principles, but then their successors gave them up and became prey to the other nations.
But the fourth was led by Satan from the beginning.
This Word, opened by the infinite God to finite human beings, recorded on the prophetic page, and traced on the pages of history, declares that God is the real ruling power in the world.
We now know that in Daniel’s time (c.606BC) the single-headed ‘golden’ kingdom of Babylon spread throughout the Middle East from present-day Turkey to Egypt, until the double-armed ‘silver’ kingdom of the Medes (Darius) and the Persians (Cyrus) took over from 538BC. In this way God was able to show that the kingdom which He said would "bare rule over all the earth" had expanded physically while deteriorating morally. (These two kingdoms are still with us today as Iraq [Babylon] and Iran [Persia].) The Medes were first in the conquering line, but were soon overtaken by the Persians. (See Daniel 7:5.)
The third ‘brass’ kingdom extended the "all the earth" condition considerably, in that it came from the west (from Europe) into Asia Minor. Under Alexander the Great the Greek tribes united and quickly conquered the then known world of civilisation, ruling from 331BC through to 168BC. It was during their opportunity to follow God’s way completely that the kingdom split into four minor kingdoms as shown by the four "horns" in Daniel 8:8.
Then it morphed into two sections, the "thighs of brass", known later as "the king of the north" and "the king of the south". (See Daniel 11:6.) The "north" was a combined kingdom made up by Seleucus from Macedonia, Syria and Persia in the Middle East, while the "south" consisted of the ancient kingdom of Egypt. The "king of the north" retained the worship of the Baals of Babylon, while Egypt as the "king of the south" continued in the tradition of the Pharaoh of Moses’ time who had refused to recognise the living God and who stuck to his paganism of many gods. Exodus 5:2. It is written, "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him". 1 Corinthians 8:5-6. The pharaohs knew OF the living God of course, but did not recognise His authority or salvation.
The Egyptian kings took on the Greek throne name of ‘Ptolemy’, just as the Roman emperors later took the title ‘Caesar’. Today we would call "north" the false Christianity, and recognise the "south" as heathenism, wherever they may manifest themselves.
None of the three kingdoms were to last for long, and the distances from the head to the thighs reflect this. Now, however, we come to the legs which make up the fourth kingdom and their length helps us to understand more regarding the prophecy.
The double branch continued with the Pagan Romans taking over from the Greeks around 168BC, but retaining the Greek language for the conquered world and using their educational methods. With these, and their military prowess, the citizens of one city greatly expanded Satan’s empire to include all of Europe from Great Britain to the edges of Russia and a great portion of Africa as well as the Middle East to the coasts of India.
The Romans also had a strong religion in Paganism (many of the world’s religionists today are Pagans or Pagan-derived) but the Republican ideas of government by the people of the city were foremost.(See endnote 1.) However, this changed when Julius Caesar set up a system in 49BC which led to the leaders becoming more important than the people, and taking the Pagan religious titles to themselves. Julius became "Pontifex Maximus" or "high priest" when he took over the kingdom. (See endnote 2.) He was followed by the emperors beginning with his adopted son, Augustus.
As the note from Wikipedia makes clear, there was a change from one leg to the other when the pure Paganism of early Rome became the ‘baptised’ Paganism of the Roman Catholic Church around about 538AD. (They called their multiple gods, "saints" in order to appear "Christian", [that is, having only one god], but the effect was the same.) Like the two arms of Medo-Persia, the two legs follow one another in history. (As one young person commented recently, ‘It’s as though the man shifted his weight from one leg to the other!’)
Nothing really changed except that the old ways were now considered to be "Christian" and the pope took the place of the emperor! This change occurred when the "woman" began to ride and direct the "beast", which means that the clergy, the church leaders, still ruled over the laity, or the commoners, in the western part of the empire. (See Revelation 17:3.) The capital of the Roman Empire had been moved to Constantinople in Turkey in 324AD and the city of Rome needed a strong man to protect it!
Through this pretended "Christian" religious/state union Satan began to spread his principles to the entire world, including the Americas and the former heathen lands of India and China etc. until it really could be said that his kingdom literally ruled "over all the earth" in a false spiritual way. God’s kingdom has the Son of God on the bottom "upholding all things", while Satan’s has a man on top of it ruling all things as a boss. Hebrews 1:3. (See illustrations next pages.)
This false religion continued strongly in Europe until 1798AD when the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Rome and took the presiding pope prisoner. After he died in exile his successor could not wield the political power that his predecessors had done, for the "beast" had received a near-deadly wound in the eyes of many of the people of the world through the rise of Protestants – it was no longer perceived as the church of God (which it had never really been, anyhow). See Revelation 13:3. It was NOT a "fallen" church which had become "Babylon" in Biblical terms, but was actually raised as such.
(Systems cannot change their spots – it is the people of them who can migrate from one to another.)
Soon after the night that Babylon fell to the Medes, the Chaldean priests took their religion and moved to a kingdom named Pergamos in Turkey. Some centuries later, the son of God told John to write to the Christian church of its capital city, "And to the angel[the leader] of the church in Pergamos write; ‘These things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges [the Bible];
I know your works and where you dwell, even WHERE SATAN'S SEAT IS: and you hold fast My name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, WHERE SATAN DWELLS". Revelation 2:12-13.
When the last king of Pergamos died without an heir it was found that he had willed his kingdom to the Roman Emperor, and the Babylonian priests then moved their system to Rome and became its major branch of Paganism.
Their assumption of the title "Christian" in 538AD was a deception, for it had always been strengthened by a power other than Christ. The problem today is that many religionists are coming to believe that the Roman church is a "fallen" Christian church, for its "deadly wound" is being healed! Revelation 13:3.
God says of it, ". . . he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people". Daniel 11:23. "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people". Daniel 8:24.
Today most of the world sees Vatican City as a religious state, but we should not forget that it is also a political one just as the ancient Roman Empire was. The two legs are identical except that with the first leg under the emperors politics ruled and religion was secondary, and then in the time of the second leg religion was first and politics second under the popes, although they ruled the European kings with a firm hand.
Where were God’s people in all of this? It was prophesied of them that they would leave Europe (as they had left Jerusalem after that city was besieged by the Pagan Romans in 66AD). It is written, "And the woman [God’s people] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1260 years from 538AD to 1798]". Revelation 12:6.
Most of the truehearted ones, like Abraham, left their homes and journeyed into the wildernesses of the heathen nations, going into "all the world" as they had been directed. "And He said to them, ‘Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’". Mark 16:15. They travelled through India and Africa, and some ended up in China, Mongolia, the Philippines, and many other countries of the East, the places God had prepared for them to evangelise.
However, as Satan’s church prospered, he sent missionaries (particularly the Spanish and Portuguese) to follow them and undo their work. Remember that God had said, "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully[amazingly], and [yet] shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people". Daniel 8:24.
If we look carefully at the persecutions that took place in Europe during that period we will find that mostly it was against those who opposed the Roman Catholic system from within. Even when the Protestants left that church they often fought amongst themselves as much as they fought against it, for they still followed the god of force, Baal!
Thus in 1798 we turn the corner of the ankles and find ourselves in the time of the feet and toes. This is in accord with the words of Daniel regarding the vision, which he said was given to explain history down to the "latter" or "last" days, the "time of the end" (not the end of time but a short period just before that). Verse 28.
At this point we should notice the addition of a new material, one which is not metal, but of the earth, Satan’s earth.
41"And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay [wet stuff], and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with MIRY [dirty wet] clay.
42"And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so THE kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [it really is only one kingdom, Satan’s, but he works through various men and their nations].
43And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they [the religions] shall mingle themselves with the seed of men [the nations]: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
To understand what this means we need to turn to the book of the prophet Jeremiah and read about an experience he had one day.
1The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words" [he needed to see as well as hear].
3Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel [from the same clay], as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6 "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? says the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil [it’s their choice], I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them [I’ll be able to save them]. 9 [However,] and at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 if it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them [I won’t be able to help them]".
Often the same humans make up the nations AND the churches/religions. But there are differences – national leaders are politicians (the government) and they rule the plebs. Religious leaders are clergy and they rule the laity. Just as the "government" is separate from, and above, the nation, so the "clergy" are separate from, and above, the congregation.
So "clay" represents God’s church. Isaiah recognised this when he wrote:
"But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we all are the work of Your hand". Isaiah 64:8. But this clay is in a statue which represents Satan’s work on earth, and it is "miry" with his principles, so it is a picture of his church, the "woman" dressed in scarlet. Revelation 17:3-4.
What are his two major principles? To have an elite man or group ruling a majority, and to persecute and kill those who do not agree with his ideas. He does the first through the adoration of his symbol, the sun and its day, and the second by using the power of the state to carry out his wishes.
This "clay" is mixed in the feet and toes with some of the "iron" of the legs, which gives a clear picture of the mixture of churches and nations in the last days. The "clay" is added to the metals to represent the "daughters" of the Roman church system of the second leg, for she is called "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS" in Revelation 17:5. Who are they? The various religions which follow the same system as she, but which do not have as powerful an influence in the world as she does. They are, amongst others, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic, joined with Islam, Hindu, Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist, Shinto, and the other Pagans - all who worship the sun or their ancestors.
They can’t mix together for long, because the leaders of both groups, religions and states, want the same thing – they want to dominate the masses!
However, God tells us through the vision that they, all the religions and their states, will unite for a short period of time in the last days, during which they will endeavour to exterminate the true people of God through their particular nation’s laws. This is not new, for attempted eradication or genocide is mentioned in many places in the Bible, but for our purposes Daniel 7:21 will suffice, where it is written. "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and PREVAILED AGAINST THEM". This has been the case from the beginning, when Cain killed his righteous brother (Genesis 4:8), but in this vision of the statue God tells us that in the last days His people will finally learn His ways and prevail against their persecutors. (That’s the stone hitting the feet of the statue, and the wind (the Holy Spirit) blowing them all away together.)
How will they do that?
How did Christ do it? By allowing His persecutors to have their way without retaliation, and thereby they exposed themselves to the universe as murderers without a cause. (See John 8:44.) The difference in the last days is that God will not have to allow His sons to actually die. Like Isaac with Abraham, they will be prepared to die for Him but will be saved at the last minute. (See Genesis 22.) Paul wrote; "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us[the people of God]. For the earnest expectation of the creature [all of creation] waits for the manifestation [the demonstration] of the sons of God". Romans 8:18-19. Another version says something like this: "All creation is standing on tiptoe awaiting the revealing of the THE sons of God". (See appendix A for more.)
44"And in the days of these kings [the toes are also ‘kings’ (kingdoms) of a special kind, Revelation 17:12] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45Forasmuch [because] as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure".
Here is a description of the ten toes from another angle.
"And the ten horns[on the dragon/beast] which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the [iron] beast [in the last days]. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast [but it won’t last]. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is LORD of lords, and King of kings: and [all] they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful [to His way of fighting]". Revelation 17:12-14. (See Appendix B for the whole chapter.)
There have been individuals like this in the past, but God needs the whole church to demonstrate this to finish the work.
The world’s position today in the image shown to Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the two feet (the kings of the north and south), and the ten toes, in a divided condition, and of a crumbling material, that will not hold together. Thus prophecy shows us that the great day of God is right upon us. It "hastens greatly". Zephaniah 1:14.
We need not, and cannot, expect union among the nations of the earth through political means, despite what many are saying, for God is here showing us that there will be a temporary union between religions and governments in the last days! It is this which will hold the union of states together for a while, but as the "clay" dries out (loses its fervour) the people will separate and war against each other again. It is at that time that the "stone" will be "cut out without[visible] hands" and cause Satan’s system of forceful religion to disappear. All the nations which made up the empires of the past will disappear together. (See Obadiah 1:16-17.)
But does not a striking stone use force?
Is it not with a "rod of iron" that the LORD rules? Psalm 2:9.
Does not "the kingdom . . . break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and[then] . . . stand for ever"?
Here’s where we need to understand one of the attributes of the LORD. He rules with the rod of love and this is stronger than iron or steel. Paul wrote under Inspiration, "For the kingdom of God is not[just] in word, but in power. What will you? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?" 1 Corinthians 4:20-21. The Son of God’s kingdom is the opposite of Satan’s and in it He does not use force of any kind other than the persuading power of love and truth.
The "stone" comes from a mountain which was standing to one side of the vision all the time. It represents the heavenly place of God, Mount Zion. "Sing praises to the LORD, which dwells in Zion: declare among the people His doings". Psalm 9:11. "The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him[a reference to His inbuilt power]". Psalm 50:1-3.
This is reflected in the earthly mountain which grows and fills the whole earth at the end of the vision. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King". Psalm 48:2. In another place it is written, "Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old; the rod of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein You have dwelt". Psalm 74:2.
Thus the vision finishes with two mountains in place of the man. The "stone", (the surviving Christians at the second coming), is shown as being cut out of the first mountain by the Spirit to underline the effect that they are truly Christian, reflecting the image of Christ fully, behaving as He would. It "grows" to fill the whole earth when the first resurrection takes place as Christ arrives for the second advent. "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years". Revelation 20:6.
Did you notice that in one text the "congregation" is called "the rod of Your inheritance"? It is the survivors of the church of God which destroy the statue. How do they do it? Through an Old Testament prophet we are told, "[God says], My covenant was with him [Levi – His priests] of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity". Malachi 2:5-6.
"But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And[at that time] I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against [those who profess Christianity], the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, says the LORD of hosts". Malachi 3:2-5.
Compare that with this:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called "Faithful and True", and in righteousness He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in[the] blood [of sacrifice]: and His name is called ‘The Word of God’. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, ‘KING of kings’, and ‘LORD of lords’". Revelation 19:11-16.
This is a description of the second coming which occurs as the image is destroyed. With the word of their mouths – with the truth – and only with the truth – do those who are "cut out" of God’s church in heaven, the "kings" and "lords" manage this. The sword comes out of His mouth as it does from theirs.
Thus it is written; "And they overcame him[Satan and his kingdom] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death". Revelation 12:11.
46Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours [incense] to him. 47 The king answered to Daniel, and said, "Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a LORD of kings, and a Revealer of secrets, seeing you could reveal this secret".
48Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king [as his law counsellor].
So that’s the standard by which all the other prophecies of world history should be judged. If our understanding of them doesn’t fit this one then our understanding is not correct.
Therefore let’s read on in another chapter, written nearly fifty years after the one we have just examined.
The ten horns
1In the first year of Belshazzar [the last] king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spoke and said, "I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse [different] one from another".
Out of the turmoil of political events which involved the nations of all the then known world, Daniel saw four animals come out of the sea of peoples in the kingdom of Babylon. (Compare Revelation 17:15.)
4"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
5"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus to it, ‘Arise, devour much flesh’.
6"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
7"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue [the remnant] with the feet of it: and it was diverse [different] from all the beasts that were before it;
"and it had ten horns[on its head]".
We should be able to see in these four animals those four metals which made up the fighting man, for they also picture the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.
Babylon, the ‘lion’ kingdom, commenced with a great moral man, Nebuchadnezzar, the speed of whose conquests is depicted by the eagle’s wings, but it soon degenerated into that of a mere man who lacked the courage of the lion, known to us as Belshazzar. (In the time of this vision Belshazzar had only a couple of years left in which to change his way.) We are shown this deficiency on the night the Median army attacked his city. "In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another". Daniel 5:5-6.
Later Daniel explained the meaning of the writing. "And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it[this is repeated for emphasis]; TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting; PERES [imperative version of ‘upharsin’]; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians . . . In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old . Daniel 5:25-31.
The ‘bear’ which came up one side first, signifies the Medo-Persian rebellion which was led by Darius the Mede. When his son-in-law Cyrus the Persian took over control after Darius died, the other shoulder was raised. The three ribs which it devoured represent the nations which fell during its tenure. It was Cyrus whom God was able to persuade to let His people go free from their Babylonian captivity, "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished[Jeremiah 25:12-14], the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has the LORD God of heaven given me; and He has charged me to build Him a house [a temple] in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up [to Jerusalem]". 2 Chronicles 36:22-23.
Then with twice the speed of the lion along came the Greek ‘leopard’, namely Alexander, whose kingdom was split amongst four of his generals when he died suddenly. (They murdered his wife and child in the process.) "And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up[at the height of his power], his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those". Daniel 11:3-4.
Then on the scene burst the fourth nation, the ‘iron beast’, Pagan Rome, the one which bore no resemblance to any living creature (as the others did), because as we have seen, it was Satanic from the start.
8"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots [leaving just seven plus one]: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man,
and a mouth speaking great things".
As the vision moved along, Daniel saw a little ‘horn’ (horns are weaker powers among the great nations) as it grew among the original ten on the head of this "beast". Of this kingdom it is written; "And the king shall do according to his will; and HE SHALL EXALT HIMSELF, and magnify himself above every god[it is a religious/political power], and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper [both spiritually and literally] till the indignation [the war] be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate [his behaviour] shall he honour the god of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain". Daniel 11:36-39.
A "strange" god it is when men worship the "mother" of their god!
We should note particularly that this newcomer (it comes up AFTER the ten horns are in place), pulls up three of them "by the roots". We are all aware of the fact that if we pull up a plant by the roots there is nothing left to regenerate, it ceases to exist, and so in this case three of the religious nations were disposed of, never to have a continuation again in Satan’s "garden". The nations of Europe were reduced to seven groups as the papacy rose to power.
I repeat, the ten horns on the head of this beast no longer exist, and if we were to look for them we would find only seven! That leaves us with seven plus one!
These "horns" have nothing to do with the ten "toes" of the statue because the "little horn" (the papacy) came into existence in 538AD AFTER the ten horns were already there, while we have seen that the ten toes represent the nations and religions that exist AFTER the papacy’s rule of 1260 years. The final actions of the feet and toes are therefore still in the future.
Daniel’s attention was then directed to another scene which was taking place in the vision.
9"I beheld till the thrones were cast down [placed in position], and the Ancient of days [God the Father] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.
10"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him:
"the judgment was set, and the books were opened[in preparation]".
He was shown a courtroom scene with God the Father in all His glory as the Judge, and an innumerable company standing around awaiting the verdicts.
This is one of the few times we are given a representation of Almighty God in the Bible, and because we cannot approach or see Him directly He is depicted in colours. The "fiery stream" is Daniel’s attempt to describe the "living water" of energy which proceeds from Him and gives life to all the universe. (See Ezekiel 47:1 and Revelation 22:1.) The "wheels" depict the angels who carry God’s throne throughout the universe, for He often travels around to be with His creatures. (Consider Ezekiel chapter 1, in particular verses 26 and 28, where the Son of God came to visit the exiles in Babylon.)
Daniel actually saw the "books" of record being opened, and the dead being judged out of them. In another later judgment scene we are told of some of those books and what they contained: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God[after the second resurrection]; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works". Revelation 20:12.
Right at this moment, Daniel’s attention was re-directed to another action
being performed by the little horn. It was speaking and saying, among other
"I sit a queen and am no widow"
11"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words [of blasphemy] which the [little] horn spoke: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
12"As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time".
This amazing little passage tells us that this judgment was set up and progressed BEFORE the end of the world, and that those who were being judged were not there in person because the resurrections had not yet taken place! (The presence of the people is not required until the judgment of Matthew chapter 25:31-32 when Christ is the Judge.) Only as time passed by did Daniel see "the[iron] beast" which harboured the "little horn" being destroyed at the end of the world. He also records for our understanding that the other kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece were also in existence until that time, although without any effective power.
Then his attention swung back to the court scene as he saw movement there.
13"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven [the angelic host], and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed".
As Daniel watched, the Son of God, the Advocate for His people (1 John 2:1), came into the court to receive the kingdom of earth as His rightful possession, and the names of the people He would be able to resurrect to inhabit it. Names were proposed, some accepted and some rejected as unfit by the Father. Jesus told us of this when He said; "Not every one that says to Me, ‘LORD, LORD’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name? And in Your name have cast out devils? And in Your name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess to them, I NEVER knew you[you wouldn’t let Me save you]: depart from Me, you that work iniquity". Matthew 7:21-23. (See also the parable in Matthew 22:1-14, and note verses 11-12 where it is the King/Father who inspects the wedding guests, for this judgment is also the beginning of the wedding legalities.)
Remember this? "And IN the days of these kings[the ten toes after 1798] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it [the Son of God’s kingdom] shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever". Daniel 2:44.
15"I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 "[He said] ‘These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18‘But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever’."
Here’s an interesting statement – in the vision which Daniel was receiving he could see others watching the same events! (All the universe would like to know what we are being shown. 1 Peter 1:9-12.) So he turned to one of those angels and asked what it all meant. The answer he received is what we have also read; the "beasts" represent the same four "metals" of the statue. Then he was told not to worry too much over the apparent vanquishing of God’s people during that time because in the end they would come out right.
19"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
20"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things [against God], whose look was more stout than his fellows".
However, the unnatural "beast" with its "horns" and especially the "little" one had really confused him. HOW could this be? And how LONG would it last were questions on his mind.
So he continued watching:
21"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints,
AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM[they lost the war of words];
the Ancient of days came[then there would be a pause in the war of words, but it would restart],
and[it would continue until]
judgment was given to the saints of the most High
[then there would be a another pause in the war];
and [then it would recommence until]
the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom
[then there would be an end to the war]".
The answers he received did not bring him much comfort. He was living near the end of seventy years of captivity in Babylon[after three generations], and cherished the hope that he and his people would soon be set free to return to their own land, having learnt their lesson and following God more completely, and therefore capable of finishing the work.
Now he was told that there would still be three major battles in the war against Satan, and that God’s people would lose every one! (We should remember that God and His people "fight" only with words. Daniel was being told that at any one time, more people believe Satan’s lies than God’s truths!)
The first "battle" was the 1260 year period during which the truth of the gospel made little headway in the world until the Ancient of days came to the judgment in 1844. "And such as do wickedly against the covenant[those who rebel against God’s way and yet call themselves Christians] shall he [the king of the north] corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries [not truly]. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed". Daniel 11:32-35.
Shortly after the first judgment commenced, the seventh-day Sabbath of the LORD was brought into prominence again and God’s people began to observe it publicly once more (it was in 1846 to be exact). There have been Christian Sabbath-keepers in every century since the cross, but they have always been persecuted. (Click here for confirmation.)
Since 1846 the Sabbath-keepers have prospered (externally but not internally) because the day is a fitting symbol of "resting in God" for justification, and they had the three angels’ messages of warning to give. (See Hebrews 4:1-11 and Revelation 14:6-12.)
Peter made reference to this judgment in one of his letters to the church and confirmed who would be being judged. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" 1 Peter 4:17-18. That this judgment should be finished BEFORE the second coming makes sense, for Christ and His angels need to know who have been accepted by God the Father and therefore who could be resurrected in the first resurrection to live among them forever. The ungodly will be resurrected some time AFTER the second advent. (See Revelation 20:4-5.)
The second "battle" refers to the fact that as the world enters the period just prior to the second coming, the ancient persecutions will be revived and the issue of force or love in religion will again hold sway. This time of persecution will be a lot shorter than the first because it will be cut short by the righteousness which is in God’s people. "Isaiah also cries concerning[spiritual] Israel, ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, [only] a remnant shall be saved [in the last days]: for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the LORD make upon the earth’." Romans 9:27-28. It is also written; "For he is not a Jew [a child of God], which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God". Romans 2:28-29.
During the interval of peace (rather, the lack of persecution) that follows the second advent (during the thousand years), the resurrected people of God will be able to see why the rebels refuse to be saved. John wrote: "And I saw thrones, and they[the resurrected saints] sat upon them, and judgment [understanding] was given to them [in conjunction with Christ]: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". Revelation 20:4.
The third "battle" during which God and His people lose the war of words is after the third coming when all the rebels are resurrected to face the last judgment (the one by Christ alone, the one referred to in Matthew 25 as the sheep and goat judgment in which there is much dialogue). "And I saw a great white throne[of pure justice], and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great [every human who has ever lived], stand before [the Son of] God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [the graves] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire". Revelation 20:11-15.
[Thus it is written] "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished . . . And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are [then] in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them". Revelation 20:5-9.
Regarding the lead-up to the attack, we need to hear the word of the LORD:
17[The LORD says] "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create [new] Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in [new] Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. [See Zechariah 14:3-4 where the LORD makes a space for the new Jerusalem.]
20"There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the [youngest] child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed [will bear the result of their iniquity].
21"And they [the righteous] shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23"They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them".
It will not take long (its called "a little season" in Revelation 20:3), for Satan to convince the rebels that the Person in the city is the anti-christ and that He should be expelled, along with His followers, for many believe in that fiction already. It will be helped by the fact that Satan will no doubt claim that he is the Messiah and that he has brought them all back to life!
But it will take longer to train all the civilians and non-combatants to the point where they are ready to do it. It will also take time to manufacture the weapons required and train the people into an army. This will require a special time as described in Zechariah’s next verses.
"And you shall flee[as the city comes down] to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal [a large area]: yea, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with You. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night [as we know it]: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. [The LORD shall be the light. Revelation 22:5.] And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [The Mediterranean], and half of them toward the hinder sea [the Dead Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be [for many years]. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one". Zechariah 14:5-9.
That’s why God says that the youngest of the resurrected rebels will not die until they are one hundred years old!
No one can die in the Lake of Fire without being fully conscious of what they are doing, therefore they cannot be babies. We are told that the "normal" or average lifespan of humanity over the centuries has been about forty years, so in effect, the Son of God is giving nearly two more life spans for the youngest in which to show "the watchers and the holy ones" that the rebels are determined in their course of action. The oldest to die of course, will have had much longer lives. Isaiah also mentions that the righteous will be in and around the city during that period, but will be quite safe from the rebels.
Moreover, in that day EVERYONE will be able to see the result of sin, but no one will change their mind, not saint or sinner.
We have read in Revelation 20 about God and Magog, and now we can read about them again from Ezekiel. In these verses we are given an insight into Satan’s mind as he prepares for war against God’s people.
1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog [another name for Satan], the land of Magog [his kingdom], the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal [angels and humans?], and prophesy against him,
3and say, Thus says the LORD GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws [like a prisoner of war], and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with you.
7"Be you prepared [for war], and prepare for yourself, you, and all your company that are assembled to you, and be you a guard [protector] to them [during the 100 years].
8"After many days [years] you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword [the great controversy], and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they [the redeemed] shall dwell safely all of them. 9 "You shall ascend and come like a storm [against the city], you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you.
10"Thus says the LORD GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall think an evil thought: 11 and you shall say, ‘I will go up to the land of unwalled villages [referring to the land around the city]; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates [Isaiah 60:11], 12 to take a spoil, and to take a prey’; to turn your hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say to you, ‘Are you come to take a spoil [loot]? Have you gathered your company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?’ [Let’s go!]
14"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the LORD GOD; In that day when My people of Israel dwells safely, shall you not know it?
15And you shall come from your place out of the [king of the] north parts, you, and many [leading] people with you, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 and you shall come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days [in the end of time], and I will bring you against My land, that the heathen [the ignorant ones among the rebels] may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes [when they see the result of your rebellion].
17"Thus says the LORD GOD [to Satan]; Are you he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring you against them?"
In a text we know so well, and yet have so little understood, we are told; "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture[without mercy, for it has been refused] into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB: and the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever [for as long as they last]: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name [character]’." Revelation 14:9-11.
With tears in their eyes the Son of God, the holy angels, and all the redeemed from the earth will have to watch as the unrepentant throw themselves against the glory which is the power of Christ in full majesty as He appears in the final judgment. Like an army advancing against machine guns the rebels who follow Satan would rather die than come and live in His kingdom.
"And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against[new] Jerusalem [which represents His true people through the ages]; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour". Zechariah 14:12-13.
It is God in whom "we live and have our being" (see endnote 3), and when He is totally rejected as He will be at this time, and His upholding power forced to be withdrawn, the DNA strands of the rebels will begin to unravel causing the "consuming away". This will be accompanied by what appeared to John to be a great fire. But even while this is happening to the rejecters of His mercy, they will be endeavouring to kill one another, so strong will their hatred of life!
Sorrowfully, the Son of God says, "For whoso finds Me finds life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate Me love death". Proverbs 8:35-36.
From that last great conflagration, the ‘Lake of Fire’ as John called it, will emerge the earth made new. Revelation 21:1.
But let’s get back to Daniel’s vision:
23Thus he [the angel] said,
‘The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24‘And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 ‘And he shall speak great words [of blasphemy] against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26‘But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end’.
The angel interpreter repeated the information so that we would get the full force of the words again. This time he added the information which gives us the length of the time period of the first "battle". A "time" in Bible prophecy is a 360 day year, therefore one time + two times + half a time = three and a half years. But time prophecies operating before 1844AD should be interpreted on the "day for a year" principle, which makes this period 360 + 720 + 180 = 1260 years. That’s the length of the little horn’s domination of Europe – 538AD to 1798AD. No wonder Daniel felt sick!
During that period, God said that the little horn would attempt to change God’s time and His laws, and that is what it has done. The time change is where the 4th becomes the 3rd and the 7th day Sabbath becomes the 1st day Sunday. Through a skilful use of church rules and twisted reasoning Satan has been able to fool nearly every professed Christian in the world into regarding the sun’s day as the legitimate day of worship, even though there is not one single verse or thought anywhere in the Bible to substantiate it! Based entirely on his idea he has so managed to convince them that many have been willing to kill those who objected to the change.
Along with this public disagreement with God’s way, he has also managed to seemingly alter the Ten Commandments so that bowing to and worshipping images is permissible in his church, even though in the Bible it is written, "You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God . . ." Exodus 20:4-5. (The second Commandment.)
To conceal this fact his church has removed this Commandment wherever possible, and divided the last one of the Ten into two, so that the number remains the same.
27[The angel continued] ‘And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.
28‘Hitherto [so far] is the end of the matter [there’s more to come]’.
"As for me Daniel, my cogitations[thoughts] much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart".
Not understanding how all this could happen under an all-powerful God, Daniel wisely decided that he would stop for while and ask God to continue to show him more later, which He did. But the answer he eventually received was; "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the[your] book, even to the time of the end [1798 onwards]: many shall run to and fro [in the Bible], and knowledge [of these things] shall be increased [then]". Daniel 12:4.
Note 1:[I have added the words in the square brackets.]
Paganism(from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic") is a blanket term used to refer to various polytheistic [many gods], non Abrahamic [one God] religious traditions. Its exact definition may vary: It is primarily used in a historical context, referring to Greco-Roman polytheism as well as the polytheistic traditions of Europe before Christianization. In a wider sense, extended to contemporary religions, it includes most of the Eastern religions, and the indigenous traditions of the Americas, Central Asia and Africa, as well as non-Abrahamic folk religion in general. More narrow definitions will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions. Characteristic of pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism [evangelism] and the presence of a living mythology [fairy tales] which explains religious practice.
The major difference between the Pagan and Christian religions is that Pagans worship multiple gods of force who punish or reward as they see fit. Therefore their worshippers’ effort is mainly directed at pacifying an angry god whom they consider has punished them or in trying to win its favour to get some cherished desire. Christians, on the other hand, worship a God of love, One who does not punish, hurt or destroy anyone at any time for any reason. It is sin and Satan which does all that. (See Romans 6:23.)
As the crucifixion demonstrates, the true God would rather die Himself than see His creatures hurt. He does reward good works, not because of them, but as a result of them. He says, "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs[homosexuals], and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie". Revelation 22:12-15. Back
Note 2:[I have added the words in the square brackets.]
The Pontifex Maximus (which literally means "Great Bridge-maker")[go-between or mediator] was the high priest of the Ancient Roman College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum). This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians [nobility] until 254 BC, when a plebeian [commoner] first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus [who followed Julius Caesar], it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian, Emperor from 375 to 383, who, however, then decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title.
Centuries later, after the word "pontifex" had become a term used for Christian bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, the title of "Pontifex Maximus" was applied within the Roman Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop. It is not included in the Pope's official titles, but appears on buildings, monuments and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times. Back
22Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill [a special meeting place], and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.
23For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him declare I to you [I’ll tell you about Him].
24"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is LORD of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; 25 neither is worshipped with [gifts from] men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things.
26"And [He] has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek the LORD, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: 28 for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, "For we are also His offspring". 29 "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device [i.e. an idol].
30"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men [and women] every where to repent: 31 because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance to all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead". Back
(from page 21)
Romans 8:9-39 (The Message translation)[I have added some line spacing for easier reading]
9But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. 10 But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms.
11It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!
12So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. 13 There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. 14 God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" 16 God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. 17 And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!
18 That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. 19 The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. 20 Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in 21 until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead.
Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. 22 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. 23 These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. 24 That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. 25 But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
26Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. 27 He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. 28 That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
29God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored.
We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
30After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
31So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
32If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? 33 And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? 34 Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. 35 Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
36 They kill us in cold blood
because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
37None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 38 I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, 39 high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Back
(From page 21)
1And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials [containing the seven last plagues, 16:1], and talked with me, saying to me, "Come here; I will show to you the judgment [the end result] of the great whore [prostitute] that sits upon many waters [the peoples of the earth, v15]: 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication [through church/state unions], and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication [her doctrines]".
3So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness [a place where there are not many Christians]: and I saw a woman [a church system] sit upon a scarlet coloured beast [Satan in all his earthly power], full of names of blasphemy [religious hate talk], having seven heads and ten horns [and no crowns, for democracy and money rule today].
4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour [of royalty and sin], and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 and upon her forehead was a name written,
BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS[professed Christian organisations]
AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
[(little) Babylon describes the Roman Catholic system,
and GREAT Babylon ALL of the anti-christs.]
6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus [she glories in death]: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [amazement].
7And the angel said to me, "Wherefore did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads [representing governments] and ten horns [representing religions].
8"The beast that you saw was [once in control of the world through its various heads], and is not [in sole charge right now, in the time of this vision - no crowns]; and [yet] shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [in the near future], and go into perdition [aka the Lake of Fire]: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder [worship it], whose names were NOT written in the Book of Life [beginning] from the foundation of the world [they are rejecters], when they behold the beast that was [once ruling], and is not [right now], and yet is [waiting an opportunity for its return].
7 crowns on heads No crowns 10 crowns on horns
In the past – In the present – In the future – to the 5th head democracy religious dominance
9"And here is the mind which has wisdom [spiritual guidance].
The seven heads are[also pictures of] seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
10"And there are seven kings [those crowned heads]: five are fallen [are in the past], and one is [the 6th is in charge right now], and the other [the 7th] is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space [only a short time].
11"And the beast [the whole dragon with the seven heads] that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [in person], and is of [the same nature as] the seven, and goes into perdition.
12"And the ten horns [the religious powers of the world] which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings [together, controlling all the world] one hour [for a short time] with the beast [the dragon, the 8th power]. 13 These have one mind [are in agreement], and shall give their power and strength to the [8th] beast [in the last days].
14"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them [through His people]: for He is LORD of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful [to His way]".
15And he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the whore [woman] sits, are [symbols of] peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16"And the ten horns [the worldwide religious powers] which you saw upon the beast, these shall [eventually] hate the whore [a major religious power], and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast [and the woman on its back], until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18"And the woman which you saw is [also signified by] that great city [which sits on seven hills, and], which reigns over the kings of the earth". Back
To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"