August 9, 1992
I am going to do something today which is totally out of character
with me: I am going to give some random thoughts concerning an
event which we hear so much about, the one word order.
I do not want this to be a deep theological study into the matter, and the only way I can prevent such a thing from happening is by using a minimum amount of notes. And besides, and prophetic speculation is just that: speculation. I am giving some things which are not new with me, but which fit together best Scripturally for me.
We must start with the book of Daniel. All prophetic teaching must fit within the frame-work established by the Lord though Daniel.
The man Daniel was removed from his native land, Judah, by the Chaldeans to Babylon. Daniel was not really a prophet, but the office was thrust upon him. He was a politician who lived during the period of two of the greatest nations ever to exist on this earth. Daniel spoke of the kingdom of God from its beginning to its final conquest of all the earth.
Daniel not only outlived Babylon who overthrew Judah, but he forecast its fall. The Medo-Persia empire overthrew Babylon, and Daniel was exalted in that empire also under King Darius the Mede.
When Daniel spoke as a prophet, he did not speak as did the other OT prophets. The other prophets spoke concerning very restricted time and events, but Daniel spoke concerning a vast period of time. He gives an overview of world history from his time unto the end of time.
There are several reasons for Daniel's book:
First, to comfort and support God's people during a fierce religious persecution yet to come from a heathen tyrant, the Roman, Antiochus Epiphanes. This persecution was to come at a time when all prophetic word of God was silent.
Secondly, Daniel was to revive the faith of his nation in Christ and His kingdom, and to warn the people against being impatient.
Third, Daniel assures God's people of all time that God alone controls all of history; God alone raises up who He will, when He will, to the place where He will and for the purpose that He wills. Mad men may rage against God and against God's people, but they are there because God placed them there for His purpose in history, 4:32, 35.
Fourth, Daniel does not permit false security; he continually calls God's people to righteousness, salvation and holiness. Daniel warns that the Lord's appearance means judgment upon those who do not place themselves in right attitude and actions toward the Lord.
Daniel assured his nation, Israel, that though the empires of the world would rise and fall, though tyranny would increase in evil and wickedness, the promise of Christ the King was still valid and would come to pass. Let empire follow empire, and the world continue to appear to triumph for ages to come and to exalt itself against the people of God; in the end, Christ would come, and with Him, the world-wide dominion of God's people would begin.
Three times in the Book of Daniel, we are given an overview of World History: Dan ch 2, 7, & 9. In chapters 2 & 7, the Messiah does not appear until the kingdoms have run their course. Chapter 9 is a little diferent in that it concludes with Jersulams destruction.
Dan 2. This well known passage must be followed for any kind of proper understanding of world-controlling events. In these few verses, God gives a total overview of history from the time of Daniel to the end when righteousness shall fill the earth.
Dan 2 records the four successive world empires: the Chaldean Empire which overthrew Judah, Babylon; Medo-Persian, which overthrew Babylon; the Grecian Empire and finally the Roman Empire which lasted the longest of them all, better than 500 years. (Babylon and M-P is the the current day Iraq. For some reason known only to Bush, the US bombed unmercifully all old Biblical remains of Iraq. These areas were totally unpopulated.) Greece was under Alexander the Great, and the fourth kingdom, Rome, was to be subdivided into 10 kingdoms, ch 2.
In Dan 2, the four empires are followed by the kingdom of Christ, which appears as a piece of stone which first breaks the image, then grinds it into dust.
Dan 7, gives another view of the image of ch 2. In Dan 7:8, three of the 10 Roman kingdoms are cast down by an 11th kingdom, called the little horn. If the 10 horns represent 10 kings, then the 11th is also a king; if the 10 represent powers, then the 11th represents a stronger power which overcomes the other three. In the case of representing a power, this llth horn denotes a new phase of the world's hatred and war against the kingdom of God.
What is the period of time between the appearance of the 10 horns out of the Roman empire and the 11th? We can only speculate! But the little horn appears to have been Antiochus Epiphanes because he appears before Christ,7:9. Furthermore, the little horn and the remaining horns only have power until the Son of man appears in the clouds of heaven and is given dominion over all the earth.
7:9-14, indicates a battle between Christ and the remaining power of the horns until Christ appears in the clouds of heaven and dominion over all the earth is given unto Him. This is confirmed by the rest of ch 7.
Note that there is no indication of Christ's appearance before v. 9, so the world-wide kingdoms have pretty well run their course before Christ appears in His first advent.
On both chapters, 2 & 7, Daniel only sees final victory for the kingdom of God on earth; John, in the Revelation, gives the steps for obtaining that victory.
Dan 2:44: clearly, God says that His kingdom is set up in the days of the fourth kingdom, and not after the fourth kingdom. Furthermore, intentionally Daniel mentions plural KINGS. The kingdoms of men are still very alive and active in their antigod activity even though the kingdom of God is among them.
According to a parallel passage in Rev 20:7-9, we see that from Daniel's time, the kingdom of God would be exalted over the heathens for a time, then for a time heathenism will reappear and flourish over the kingdom of God. The evil root of the ten kings is still present, and the spirit of the antichrist is hard at work trying to get all kingdoms of the earth to join with him against God.
Dan 9, deals with the first coming of Christ, his appearance in the flesh, and the events immediately connected with it: His anointing with the Holy Ghost, His death, the forgiveness of sin through His work, and the destruction of Jerusalem by a foreign prince. In other words, the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 were fulfilled at the final destruction of Jerusalem. This is a series of studies all in itself, and we will not go into that point at this time.
Let's look at a few NT passages:
1) Dan 2:35, we see that the Kingdom of God and Christ will not be established suddenly and in perfect form as 7:13, 14 would appear to indicate. Rather, the kingdom of God obtains its total dominion over the earth from a minute start; then it grows slowly, quietly and unnoticed by men. This is according to the Lord's parable of the leaven in the meal,Mat 13:33. Leaven in scripture is a naturel object which represents a slow quiet growing influence.
2) Dan 7:14 is clearly referred to by our Lord in Mat 20:18; therefore, He Himself says that this is already fulfilled.
3) Eph 1:20-23 is also identical.
4) Dan 7:13; Rev. 14:14 & Mat 26:46, the Lord's words to the high priest shows us that the Lord's primary reference to the clouds in Dan 7:13, was not in judgement against the kingdoms of this world, but against Jerusalem. The high priest knew exactly what the Lord was refiring to, and he was ecstatic with anger.
The Lord's reference to His return in clouds to judge the wicked does not refer exclusively to the destruction of Jerusalem. The Lord's judgment against evil is a continual judgment against the wickedness of men and nations, and He will one day visibly return and every eye will see Him (as He said in Acts 1).
Dan 7:13, just a few quick points:
Son of man.. clouds of heaven.. This tells us that He first of all had to be born of human flesh, because He is called Son of man.
Next, He had to ascend back to heaven in order to come back with the clouds of heaven.
Furthermore, He had to be the Son because He appears before the Ancient of days. The Ancient of days gives to Him the kingdom; this is Eph 1:20-23.
Now, with of the above in mind, let me just give a quick overview.
1) Man's desire to form a one world government started in Gen 11 with Nimrod. It is open rebellion against God, and the effort will continue on until the Lord brings it all to an end. It has surfaced many times over, and it is surfacing today in the heart of every world leader. Any effort to unite the world under one government has God's sure curse of judgment against it.
2) According to Daniel, there is no more one world government after Rome fell apart.
3) The only one world government which will succeed is the government of Christ because all power was given to Him in Mat 28:20. He now governs by His divine providence and His rod of iron in all the affairs of men.
4) the word of God teaches that the one world effort will continue as long as sin continues; it is a desire of fallen man to unite apart from God. Men's evil desires for a one world government must also include persecution of God's people because they naturally stand in the one world effort apart from God.
The purpose of Daniel's message is still the same:
First it gives comfort and support to God's people during fierce religious persecution under heathen tyrants.
Secondly, Daniel assures us that God is in control; He raises up who He will and for the purpose which pleases Him. His divine providence controls all of history.
Third, Daniel keeps the faith alive that the kingdom of God will indeed prevail against the tyrants of this world who set themselves up against the King and His Kingdom;
Fourth, Daniel gives no room for secruity apart from faithfulness to God. He continually calls God's people to be consistant servants to the Most High God.
Daniel warns the people of God not to be impatient. Gal 6:9, And let us not be weary in well doing : for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.