RIO REVOLUTION CHURCH
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OVERVIEW. I have taught and will continue to teach lessons which show how we daily rush toward that glorious Day when Jesus will appear in the clouds to call us home. Today, I summarize a remarkable prophecy from the Book of Daniel. This prophecy has been partially fulfilled in stages since Daniel's time. This prophecy will soon be completely fulfilled. In its final fulfillment, God has revealed the final victory over mankind's sin. God gave Daniel this vision to foretell the coming of the Unholy Trinity (Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet) and its defeat by the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
INTRODUCTION. I will summarize background features of this prophecy before making the final point. Please read Daniel, chapter 2.
Background of the prophet and the prophecy: The Babylonian Empire destroyed Jerusalem, beginning in 605 BC, taking many Israelites captive. Later attacks by Nebuchadnezzar finally destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple and enslaved the Israelite nation. Nebuchadnezzar selected the brightest captives to educate them in the Babylonian language and customs and to train them for service in the royal court. Daniel, a teenage captive, showed great promise. His name was changed to Belteshazzar. He entered government service, and eventually became a most respected and powerful official in both the Babylonian Empire and its successor, the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel's three boyhood friends— Hannaiah, Mishael, and Azariah, whose names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively— were similarly trained for government service.
Daniel was a man who never betrayed his love for and dedication to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jehovah (God) rewarded him in many ways, including the ability to prophesy the future through visions and dream interpretations. He wrote the Book of Daniel, one of the most amazing and important prophetic books of the Bible, in ca 536 - 530 BC.
A troubling dream: Babylon's king, Nebuchadnezzar, had a recurring dream, which greatly troubled him. The dream consisted of two parts:
A magnificent statue, composed of different metals, and
A rock arising from a mountain, which destroyed the statue and grew into a mountain which covered the earth.
THE DREAM: THE STATUE. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a magnificent statue. Of all the wise men in Babylon, only Daniel could interpret the dream, and, then, he could interpret it only through revelation from God.
General statements: Understand the following:
Nebuchadnezzar's statue represented successive empires (kingdoms) that would affect God's Covenant People, the Jews, only when they occupied God's Covenant Land, Israel. There are gaps in the history of empires in the statue (absent empires during the Diaspora, for example) because the Jews were forcibly removed from present-day Israel in AD 70, but the prophetic history continued when they returned in AD 1948.
Metals were involved, representing different empires (kingdoms), progressing from the head to feet. Each metal (empire) became less valuable (culturally, less advanced) but stronger (militarily, more advanced), as it progressed from the head (gold: valuable, weak metal) to the legs (iron: common and cheap, strong metal).
Parts of interpretation of this chapter require consideration of companion dreams and visions in Daniel, chapters 7 and 8, which I will omit from today's lesson.
The parts of Nebuchadnezzar's dream statue were:
Head of gold: The head of gold represented King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. In Daniel's time, Babylon was a relatively strong, wealthy, advanced empire. It was renowned for its great riches and beautiful art and architecture. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:12-14) had prophesied destruction of Babylon in a single night. On one night in 539 BC, the Medes and Persians (Medo-Persian Empire) diverted the Euphrates River sufficiently to breach Babylon's strong defensive walls and gates. Babylon— then ruled by Nebuchadnezzar's successor, Belshazzar— was defeated. Darius, a Mede, was installed as the new ruler.
Chest and arms of silver: The chest and arms of silver represented the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medo-Persian Empire was stronger but less culturally advanced than Babylon. The two arms represented the two merged kingdoms of the Medes and the Persians. The Medo-Persian Empire existed another 207 years, until defeated by the Grecian Empire.
Belly and thighs of bronze: The belly and thighs of bronze represented the Grecian Empire (Greece). The Medes and Persians were defeated in 331 BC. The small, rapidly advancing Greek army, led by Alexander the Great, swarmed over and defeated the Medes and Persians. Bronze is less valuable but stronger than the silver it replaced. Of possible interest to you, recall that in less than ten years, Alexander led his small (32,000-man) army throughout the known world from the Mediterranean Sea to India. In 332 BC, Alexander marched from Tyre (a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon to the north of Israel) toward Jerusalem, with the intention of conquering Jerusalem. The Jewish High Priest, carrying a scroll of the words we now call the Book of Daniel, met with Alexander outside of Jerusalem. The priest showed the scroll to Alexander, explaining that the Jewish prophet Daniel had prophesied three centuries earlier that a great king from the west would defeat eastern empires. Alexander was so impressed and moved to find himself mentioned in the holy scroll that he commanded that Jerusalem must be spared, and he entered the Temple to worship.
Legs of iron: The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire. The Greeks were defeated by the Romans in 63 BC. Iron is common and worth relatively little, but it is extremely strong, just as the Roman culture was primitive and imported its religion and art from the Greeks, but was militarily almost invincible. This empire ruled the Jewish nation during Jesus' time. The two legs foretold the division of the Roman Empire in the fourth century AD. The western division's capital was Rome; the eastern division's capital was Constantinople. The western division was defeated by the barbarians in AD 476; the eastern division was defeated by the Turks in AD 1453.
Parenthesis: In prophecy, a parenthesis is a gap in time— a time gap in which events are not divulged or recorded. Such a parenthesis occurs in the Book of Daniel between the time of the legs of iron (Roman Expire) — history past— until the feet of clay and iron (the revived Roman Empire) — history present.
Feet of clay and iron: Coming from the iron legs were feet made of a mixture of iron and clay. This empire is the revived Roman Empire.
Following World War II, European nations were fearful. In less than three decades, two world wars had been fought throughout the European continent. European nations had been on opposite sides of these wars. Following 1945 with the atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the face of war was forever changed. Europe was now in the middle of two great Cold War enemies— the U.S.S.R. on the east and the U.S.A. and Great Britain on the west— and all enemies possessed nuclear weapons. European nations understandably feared that World War III could be fought in Europe, with nuclear bomb destruction and fallout.
In 1948, three small nations— Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg— forged a mutual defense pact, the Benelux Treaty (named from Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg). Although the military might of these three nations was small and would present no challenge to military forces of larger nations, the idea was well received throughout Europe. Progressing through early stages of development, the Benelux partnership has grown to the European Union (E.U.). Today, the E.U. is similar to the United States of America, being a United States of Europe. The E.U. has twenty-seven member countries; a military force; and a single currency, the euro ( ), adopted by most member countries.
The E.U. incorporates much of the land formerly held by the Roman Empire. It is, therefore, properly considered to be the revived Roman Empire.
Clay and iron do not mix well together. There are real differences and heated disagreements among member countries of the E.U. The two materials are of unequal strength— clay is soft, weak, and brittle; iron is strong. Some E.U. countries are weak, whereas other E.U. countries are strong. Five E.U. Countries— the PIIGS countries of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain— are teetering on financial collapse, and have been propped up by stronger E.U. Countries (Germany and France). (WATCH: I personally believe that global financial collapse may usher in the Rapture/Resurrectrion, followed by the Tribulation. I will teach a lesson on this situation later this year.)
The ten toes: Coming from the iron-clay feet were ten toes.
The Antichrist likely will rule the European Union and seek to rule the world. That is, the Antichrist's base will be the European Union.
The ten toes may represent the ten divisions of the world which will come from the Antichrist's government in the E.U., as ten toes come from feet.
What could these ten toes represent? Prophecy scholars present different interpretations of the toes. I believe they may represent ten world divisions during the time of the Antichrist. Consider the following:
In prophecy, a horn represents authority (a king, a kingdom).
Daniel reported another vision, which mirrored the ten toes of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 7:7-8): [Daniel spoke] "After this I saw... a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pierces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It... had ten horns. ... There was another horn, a little one. Coming from among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words." INTERPERETATION: The beast is the Roman Empire (corresponding to the iron legs in Nebuchadnezzar's dream). The ten horns (corresponding to the toes in the dream) are kingdoms arising in the last days. From these, will arise a little horn with human features, who speaks pompous words, which foretells the Antichrist. Although having ten kingdoms at first, three of these will withdraw support from and allegiance to the Antichrist, and become his enemies.
In the post-Rapture world filled with the most evil, reprobate persons, these kingdoms will follow Satan rather than God (Revelation 12:3b): ... behold, a great, fiery red dragon having... ten horns [was cast to earth to attempt to destroy the Child of the woman]. INTERPRETATION: The Child is Jesus and the woman is Israel. Satan will never stop trying to destroy Jesus, Jews, and Christians.
John saw two great beasts (evil persons) who would dominate the world during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:1): Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his head a blasphemous name. INTERPRETATION: This Beast of the Sea is the Antichrist, one of the three members of the Unholy Trinity who will rule and wreak havoc during the Tribulation. The ten horns, wearing crowns, are the nations of the world who will follow the Antichrist's evil designs.
This ecclesiastical harlot— the apostate church— will ride a scarlet beast with ten horns, as the church commits spiritual adultery against God and persecutes His saints (Revelation, chapter 17, including 17:16-18): [The angel said] "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God... give[s] their kingdom[s] to the beast,.... And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."
The Club of Rome: What may the ten horns (ten kingdoms) signify? Could the ten kingdoms represent the ten regions of the world, which are already formatted by the Club of Rome?
The Club of Rome describes itself as an independent, not-for-profit organization with international membership. The Club modestly (!) boasts of its ability to meet the needs of the twenty-first century through managing economic growth and environmental issues, climate change, resource (petroleum) depletion and usage, crisis of the ecosystems, limitation of population growth, "to create a better world for future generations," and other issues. Many persons fear the Club may be wittingly or unwittingly part of the Illuminati's efforts to establish the New World Order of the Antichrist's government. Globalism, whether in matters of faith, economy, government, and so forth, must be embraced cautiously, if at all. Understand that the Antichrist's government will seek to establish globalism in all facets of life during the Tribulation.
The Club of Rome was founded in April, 1968, when representatives from ten countries gathered in Rome to show the rest of the world our errors and the Club's solutions to our problems. The Club is now headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland.
In 1973, the Club of Rome divided the world into ten regions for political and economic control:
REGION 1: United States and Canada
REGION 2: Europe (European Union)
REGION 3: Japan
REGION 4: Australia
REGION 5: Russia and China
REGION 6: South and Central America
REGION 7: Middle East and Northern Africa
REGION 8: Mid-Africa
REGION 9: India and Indonesia
REGION 10: Asian states.
THE DREAM: THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS PROPHECY— THE ROCK. The first part of Daniel's prophecy is amazingly accurate and could have been revealed only by an omniscient God. As remarkable as is that portion of the prophecy, the last port portion is of great significance for Christians.
Daniel laid out a succession of empires from his time until the end of time. These empires are those that would most directly affect the Jewish nation. Intriguingly, some empires (British and American, to name two) are omitted.
After the last empire in the future is established (the Antichrist's empire, with division of the world into ten regions), Daniel wrote (Daniel 2:34-35, 44, 45b): [Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar] "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. |...| And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. |...| ... the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
The elements of this portion of the dream are:
Stone cut out from the mountain without hands:
The Stone is Jesus the Christ. Some Scriptures tying the Messiah to a Stone include:
The psalmist prophesied the Christ as being our Cornerstone of faith (Psalm 118:22-23): The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Jesus confirmed that He was this Cornerstone (Matthew 21:42, 44): Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?' |...| And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder." (See also Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Peter 2:4-8).)
Jesus explained that He was the Stone— the firm Foundation— upon which His church will be built (Matthew 16:18): [Jesus said to Peter] "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." This passage is often misinterpreted, I believe. Some people believe Jesus established His church upon Peter. Jesus was building upon the psalmist's writing of a future cornerstone and making a play on words with Peter's name, as He talked to him. "Peter" translates the Greek Petros, and means "rock" or "stone." Because of the ending (-os), we know this is a masculine noun. It would be an appropriate name for a male.(Recall the actor Rock Hudson?) "... this rock" translates the Greek petra, and also means "rock," commonly a "large rock." Because of the ending (-a), we know this is a feminine noun. Jesus was talking about two different rocks. Strong Peter (Petros) would be instrumental in spreading Christianity to many peoples. But, the church of Jesus Christ was established on a different rock (petra) — the rejected Cornerstone (Jesus).
The Christian Church was established on the Day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus' ascension to the Father (Acts, chapter 2). Peter was in attendance and explained the baptism of fire (Holy Spirit baptism), but Jesus' church was established by God through actions of the Holy Spirit. At this point, Peter was an observer, participant, interpreter, and beneficiary of the Holy Spirit's baptism.
: The Mountain is God. (A mountain in prophecy signifies a kingdom. In this prophecy, the Mountain is the Kingdom of God.)
Cut without human hands: The Stone (Jesus) cut from the Mountain (God) without human hands foretold in Nebuchadnezzar's dream the virgin birth of Jesus. I hope you are well aware of the Old and New Testament Scriptures prophesying and attesting to the birth of Jesus to Mary, a virgin. I will not review them in this lesson.
Struck the image of its feet... broke... became like chaff: The Stone (Jesus) struck the statue, representing the empires of the world, and utterly destroyed it (the statue and the empires it represented). Note that the Rock did not strike most parts of the statue (head through legs), because these empires will no longer exist at the time of Jesus' return. The Rock struck only the feet (especially, the toes), because this part (the Antichrist's government) will exist at the time of Jesus' return. Note also that the statue (man's empires) was destroyed, pulverized like powder and blown away. When Jesus returns, never again will there be any government of man. God has patiently allowed mankind to try to govern ourselves, but all governments have dismally failed. Apart from God's guidance and man's obedience, man is incapable of any form of effective government.
The stone... became a great mountain and filled the whole earth: After destruction of man's last government, the Antichrist's government, Jesus— the Rock which becomes a Mountain which covers the earth— will rule the entire world for one-thousand years, the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:4c): ... And they [saints in Heaven] lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure: Agnostics, atheists, and liberal pastors and theologians detest the Book of Daniel. It is too accurate for their whining, twisted, apostate theories. I even heard a "Christian theologian" on a television program years ago claiming that the Book of Daniel surely was written centuries later than scholars have always believed in order to incorporate past history into the book, and present it as though it is a prophecy of the future. This "theologian" shamefully asserted, "Only a person who can foretell the future could write about such future events, and we know no one has such ability." Shame on this brain-dead, theologically bankrupt, probably unsaved "scholar!" The interpretation of this prophecy came from the God of All Ages. Scholars who believe in God's Word place the date of writing of this book at 536 - 530 BC.
Many "theologians" scoff at prophecy, because they do not believe in a loving God who has told His children about the future. We are warned not to slice the Bible into parts we choose to believe and parts we choose not to believe. For example:
(Revelation 1:3): Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it;....
(Revelation 22:18-19): For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written on this book.
CONCLUSION. Horrendous times are ahead for the world. Those left behind after the Rapture/ Resurrection must face the worst seven years of history. Millions will be saved during this time, but many others will refuse God's grace. When the King of kings and Lord of lords returns, they will even try to shoot Him out of the sky at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:19).
The prophecies of Daniel and the Apostle John assure us that Jesus will be victorious, and we who follow Him will share in His victory.
The outcome of the final battle is fixed. Jesus will win, and Satan and his minions will lose. We will forever serve our Messiah in victory. For this reason, we are instructed to watch in great expectation for Jesus' return (Luke 21:28): [Jesus said] "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
In the upcoming weeks, we will study the signs of the coming Tribulation, which are already in place. We will be able to understand current news as the news confirms previously prophesied and upcoming global financial collapse, wars and rumors of wars, treachery against Israel, failure of the Christian church, and many other frightening events in the world today. God has always been in control, and is in control now. We should never be frightened, but should keep looking up because our “redemption is nigh!”
ACCOUNTABILITY. The author of this lesson, RAYMOND FINNEY, is solely responsible for its content. No staff person or congregation member of the RIO Network of Churches has reviewed or pre-approved this lesson. Any error will be corrected in writing, upon presentation of appropriate documentation.
REFERENCE. This lesson may contain information gleaned from multiple sources. To conserve space in class notes, source attribution may be omitted.
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