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Daniel Chapter Eight
1. Numbers 12:5 How God talks to us
And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream.
In this vision Daniel received a lot more details of history (as God sees it) to pass on to us.
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2. Daniel 7:5 One side first
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.
In the previous chapter the bear came up one side first and this represented the Medes being the first rulers of the new empire, but soon the Persians became the major partner. So the horn in this chapter which come up first also represents the Medes.
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2a. Proverbs 14:34 A principle to live by
Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
[Moses said] And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you hearken to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to serve and to do them: and you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
By this God means that those who DO the right thing (Christian or non-Christian, from whatever motive) will succeed more in the world than those who ignore it. Doing the right thing lifts men up in the eyes of other men, but "sin" (or breaking the rules), brings only contempt and eventually, rebellion. So the coalition of the Medes and Persians, who were originally only a part of the great kingdom of Babylon, became its ruler when its standard of righteousness dropped. In like manner, when their standard dropped, the Greeks from the mainland of Europe became the rulers of the world, and so on.
Most people agree with this understanding, but few Christians are aware of its implications. If they should be the "head", and "above only", then how did a nation like Babylon become the ruler of the world? God says, speaking of Christians, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir". Isaiah 13:12.
Yet in the first verses of this book it is written,
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
The Lord "gave Jehoiakim... into his hand", and even some of the sacred vessels out of the temple BECAUSE Nebuchadnezzar was the most righteous ruler in the world at that time!! He was the one who was following God's rules more than any other AT THAT TIME.
Jeremiah 27:6-7 Nebuchadnezzar was God's servant
And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son...
He WAS the head of gold as mentioned in chapter two, without being a Christian. This is how God sets up kings and removes them. Daniel 2:21.
It was the exceeding sinfulness of the majority of the professed followers of God which made them the "tail" for the next seventy years! It is this rebellion against God by His professed followers, especially the leaders in His church, which characterizes this whole book, and that of The Revelation.
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3. Daniel 7:6
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.
Compare the he goat who "touched not the ground" with the leopard who had four wings for speed in the previous chapter. Alexander the great was the first king of new Greece.
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4. Daniel 8:20-22 Gabriel's explanation
The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
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5. The four remaining generals after Alexander's death were,
1. Cassander .....}
2. Lysimachus....} In the north
3. Seleucus ........}
4. Ptolemy ..........} In the south
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6. Daniel 8:23-24 The fourth kingdom
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full [it was also a time when the church was at a low position between Malachi and John the baptist], a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 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.
This mighty "little horn" rose from a village in Italy by rebelling against its rulers, the Etruscans, sometime in the eighth century before Christ, probably 753BC. In the year 509BC the leading families of the town set up a new form of government, one in which a pair of officials called "consuls" were elected for a one year term as a type of presidency over a "senate". Under this system the city prospered and increased in democracy. This way of life marked the beginning of the Roman Republic, a structure of government which lasted until Julius Caesar crossed the river Rubicon 460 years later and took over the country to set up the empire. There were three kinds of citizens in the republic. Slaves with no rights, citizens or plebians (including many ex-slaves who eventually received the right to vote), and the patricians, (descendants from the original families). These last were the ones who served in the senate by right of birth.
In time the city became ruler of the entire then known world and imposed its "peace" (Pax Romana) for nearly a thousand years over all of it! Its dominion stretched from Britain to India with one government, one law, one currency, one protection. This kind of power was certainly not by its own power, or of any human making! Behind the rise of the pagan Roman empire we should see the work of Satan, the adversary of God's people. He it was who set out to destroy "the holy people".
It was this nation which was ruling Israel when Christ was born in Bethlehem. It was a decree from one of its rulers which sent Mary and Joseph to that town for His birth.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Around the year 324AD the capital of the empire was shifted from Rome to Constantinople in modern day Turkey, and by 500AD the empire was well split into two - east and west - preparing the way for the transformation of the Roman bishop into a secular leader as well as a religious one.
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7. Psalm 16:3-4 " host of heaven" Can also mean the church of God on earth
But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Sing to the LORD, O you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.
But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive [to them].
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; 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, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them...
During the religious persecutions between 508 and 538AD the Roman religious power attacked and destroyed three groups of dissenters. Thus the "little horn" on the beast "plucked up" three others by their "roots".
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Exodus 25:8-9 God allowed His people to build a place of worship
And let [or allow] them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. [But make sure that it is] according to all that I show you, after the pattern of the [other] tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall you make it.
Here in the vision a new item is introduced to our understanding.
From the jump into sin by Adam in the Garden of Eden through to the times of Moses (about 2,800 years) the correct "way" to worship God was by offering the body of a lamb as a burnt offering which was completely consumed on an altar of stones. Genesis 4:3-4. It represented the death of the Son of God for the forgiveness and cleansing of the sinner, and the spiritual death of the offerer, at the time it was made. Originally the person in charge of the altar was the firstborn son in each family, but this changed during the exodus from Egypt.
Numbers 3:12 A changeover
And I, behold, I have taken the [tribe of] Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that opens the matrix [the womb] among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be Mine...
However, from Moses through to a time soon after the crucifixion (about 1,270 years), the "way" of worship was through many different animal sacrifices, and other rituals, in a building which eventually came to reside at Jerusalem. There was a very involved priesthood based exclusively on the family of Aaron the Levite, and a host of workers from the other families descended from the patriarch Levi.
In Moses' time (c. 1200BC) the building was a portable tent called the sanctuary, but from Solomon's reign (about 1,000BC) it was a stone building known as the temple.
Solomon's temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 536BC as we have already seen. Its replacement was destroyed by the Roman armies in 70AD, and there has not been another built in Jerusalem since that time. Today an Arab mosque stands on the site.
Jeremiah 7:21-24 Neither building was what God wanted but He was stuck with their choice
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings to your [other] sacrifices, and eat [the] flesh [yourselves]. For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people: and walk you in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well to you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Exodus 33:7 They had set aside a tent for this purpose as soon as they left Egypt
And Moses took the tabernacle [or tent], and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the Congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone to the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar [which hid Christ from their eyes] descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
The Israelites had liked the temples and ceremonies they had seen in Egypt, not realizing that they were counterfeits dreamed up by Satan to occupy men's thoughts and direct their worship to earthly values. Therefore they had made one of their own soon after leaving Egypt in the exodus, associating with it the presence of the LORD. Because they would have their own way, Jesus had to go along with them and attempt to teach His truth through a building of His own design, although He was horrified at the slaughter of so many innocents.
Hebrews 9:1-5 All this was a picture of something else - a tabernacle in heaven
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle [or two-roomed tent] made; the first [room or holy place], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil [or curtain], the tabernacle [or room] which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark [or box] of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant [the Ten Commandments]; and over it the cherubims [angels] of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony [the Ten Commandments] in heaven was opened...
Christians now have another "way" of worshipping God.
John 4:19-24 Christians are no longer confined to one place
The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you [Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father....
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth [wherever they are]: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth [without animal sacrifices].
Colossians 2:10-15 He removed the earthly sanctuary and its services
And you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened [or made alive in a new way] together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us [the laws of the earthly sanctuary], which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers [Satan and his angels], He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it [because they could not conquer Him by death on the cross].
Hebrews 10:1-23 He has made one offering of Himself
For the law [of ceremonies] having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience [or remembrance] of sins.
But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year [on the Day of Atonement]. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore [or, Which is why] when He comes into the world, He says,
Sacrifice and offering You would not, but a body have You prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Your will, O God.
Above [or before] when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said He, Lo, I come to do Your will, O God. [By this] He takes away the first [the sacrifices], that He may establish the second [the will or desire of God].
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every [earthly] priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same [earthly] sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting [or waiting] till His enemies be made His footstool. For [or, because] by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. [Who is He waiting for?]
Whereof [or, of this] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; [then He adds, NKJ] and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin [required]. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having a High Priest over the house of God let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)....
Matthew 22:16 God has no favourites
And they sent out to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care You for any man: for You regard not the person [or position] of men [in the church or out of it].
Luke 1:78-79 Christianity is a way of peace
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
John 10:1-5 Jesus is the "door" which is why it is called "Christianity"
Verily, verily, I say to you, he that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But He that enters in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To him the Porter opens; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out.
And when He puts forth His own sheep, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Acts 19:9 A separation time came
But when divers [different ones] were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he [Paul] departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
Acts 24:14 The 'way" came to be called heresy
But this I confess to you [said Paul], that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets [the Old Testament]. And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
We are not to worship in any one place any more, but should direct our thoughts and prayers away from any so-called sanctuary on earth and towards to the sanctuary in heaven and the Person who operates as our High Priest there. We may use His sacrifice at Calvary in a human body as a focus for our thoughts.
Hebrews 8:1-6 Our High Priest offers His own death as the offering
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
For every [earthly] high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this Man have somewhat also to offer. For if He were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, says He, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount.
But now has He [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
The "daily" or "continual" sacrifice mentioned as being 'taken away" by this power is the offering Jesus made in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned and repented. It was then that He offered His life as the Son of God in the place of theirs and was accepted by them. Since then He has offered His life as an exchange to every sinner, but has often been rejected. Unfortunately, in numerous religious systems today more emphasis is placed on the sacrifice of the Son of man at Calvary than His continuing one as the Son of God and this causes confusion in the minds of many.
Revelation 13:8-9 The offering of the Son of God
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are NOT written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear.
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9. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 A revealing must take place - not by criticism but by example
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed [or seen for what he is], the son of perdition [hell]; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
Isaiah 59:1-2 "By reason of transgression"
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear
Remember the principle of righteousness at Note 2a? When righteousness is worked by Christians then they guide the world and the false system is in the wilderness of anonymity or darkness. When the Christians fall away from the truth then they enter the wilderness and the false church controls the world.
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10. Note carefully that two things are being asked, but only one is answered.
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11. Numbers 14:34 A prophetic "day" = a literal year
After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know My breach of promise.
Ezekiel 4:6 A similar message had come through Ezekiel
And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year.
Daniel therefore knew about the day for a year principle in prophecy, but the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem was not couched in prophetic writing, it was meant to be understood literally.
Jeremiah 25:11 Restoration at the end of seventy years had been promised
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
2 Chronicles 36:19-21 The story of the temple
And they burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. For as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten [seventy] years.
2 Chronicles 36:22-23 It would not be long before the restoration
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, 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 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].
Thus Daniel knew from the book of Jeremiah that the rebuilding of the earthly sanctuary would occur at the end of seventy literal years, but this long, long period frightened him, for 2,300 days meant 2,300 years. He sought desperately for its meaning. The time period was the problem.
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12. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 It is God's desire that we understand all His words
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
Deuteronomy 30:11-15 We must use our hearts as well as our ears to understand
For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.
See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil...
So why is it so hard for us to understand or accept Gods messages at times? Sometimes we do not understand God's ways of behaviour and attribute actions to Him that He would not do, and sometimes we do not allow the Bible to be its own interpreter.
See the sections on "How to interpret the Bible", or "How to Understand Prophecy".
Other times we may be cut off from God by a transgression which we are not aware of, but which we SHOULD know about because we are professed followers of the LORD. In some way (which the Spirit is trying to show us) we are breaking the Ten Commandments and the effect of this blurs our consciousness and stops us from hearing the full truth.
Isaiah 59:1-2 We may have sinned in ignorance but that is no excuse
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not [cannot] hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness.
Leviticus 5:17 Especially if the sin is a plain command from God
And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist [or know] it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity [or feel the effects of it].
We should not be like Job and complain that we do not know of anything wrong in our life, but ask God to show us what the problem is and then be prepared to make changes as required. Let us not just claim obedience, but explain to ourselves why we do what we do (or not do) from the Bible, being sure that we have a plain (not one which needs explaining) "Thus saith the LORD" for every action.
Job 31:35-40; 32:1 Job was sure that he was innocent when he was not
Oh, that One would hear me! Behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that my Adversary had written a book [so He did!]. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare to Him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near to Him....
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
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13. Isaiah 52:6-10 Some last day events
Therefore My people shall know My name [or character]: therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that does speak: behold, it is I. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says to Zion, Your God reigns!
Your watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
1 Corinthians 15:26 Consider this fact
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
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14. Alexander the great died drunk in Babylon about 32 years old, after having conquered most of the then known world. He left many generals in charge at his death, but they were soon reduced to four.
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15. Remember the principle of righteousness at Note 2a? When the gift of righteousness is used by Christians then they guide the world and the false system is in the wilderness of anonymity or darkness. When the Christians fall away from the practise of the truth then they enter the wilderness and the false church controls the world.
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15a Revelation13:6-7 One of the great antichrists
And he [the little horn] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Here the little horn is following in the footsteps of the original rebel and terrorist, Satan, and it was he who supplied the plans and the power to overcome the saints.
Revelation 12:4-12 It was Herod who tried to kill the child Jesus (Matthew 2:16)
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born...
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him...
Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
He, who is "more subtle than any other beast of the field [or any creature]", the one called a "serpent" in Genesis 3:1, has always been the power behind the throne, for a dragon is a snake with wings and feet.
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16. Daniel 7:21-22
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed [or seemed to win] against them;
Until the ancient/ of days came,
judgment was given to the saints of the most High;
the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
There are three particular occasions when God's people are said to be "prevailed against", "destroyed", or overcome.
The first is this one, during the period of Roman domination,
until "the ancient/ of Days came".
The second is some time before "judgment is given to the saints"
The third is set in the period after the advent and before
the "saints possess the kingdom".
This information completely unnerved Daniel. He had lived through a time like these and it had seemed to him that God's people would never again fail Him. Now he was being told of three much greater occasions in the future. His grief for Jesus and His people overwhelmed him as he heard of the incredibly long period in the future.
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17. "many days" = distant future.
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