The False Prophet, the Beast & the Times of the Gentiles
Our Scripture text (which you may read from your own Bibles) is Daniel 2 and 3. The prophet Daniel was taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, bringing-in the 'times of the Gentiles.' One night the king had a Spiritual dream which troubled him, particularly as he was unable to recall its substance. So the following day he summoned his Chaldeans (who were the priests, astronomers and wise men of Babylon), and demanded on pain of death that they tell him both the dream and its interpretation. Of course no man could attempt an interpretation without first learning the dream. But God revealed the dream, and its import, to His prophet, Daniel.
The king had seen a great image whose head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet of iron and clay. And as the king watched, a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image in the feet, breaking the whole image into pieces, and the stone grew into a great mountain or kingdom, and filled the whole earth.
The four divisions of this image represented the four divisions of the Gentile world empires, commencing with Babylon. Babylon was succeeded by Medo-Persia, which was itself succeeded by Alexander the Great's Greece, which fell to Imperial Pagan Rome, which was transformed into the Holy Roman Empire, or Papal Rome, when the Roman state united NOMINAL Christianity with paganism at the First Nicaea Council of AD325. The stone cut out of the mountain (or kingdoms of man) without hands is the TRUE Church of Jesus Christ which will finally overcome the Roman Empire.
Any war performs two rather contradictory services for the social context in which it occurs. On the one hand, it changes the minds of men, especially the defeated, about the factual power relationship between the combatants. And, on the other hand, it alters the factual situation itself, so that changes which in peacetime might have occurred over decades are brought about in a few years.
This has been true of all wars but never has it been truer than in respect to World War II. The age which began in 1945 was a new age from almost every point of view. We have moved from a period of democracy to an age of experts. As the Lord revealed to Daniel concerning the present day, 'knowledge shall be increased . . . but the wicked (individuals) shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked (individuals) shall have faith' (Daniel 12:4, 10). The same revelation was given to Paul as recorded in II Timothy 3 and 4.
You'll notice the declining nobility of the image which began with gold, the most noble and precious of metals, and ends with iron mixed with clay, in a kingdom divided between the five Eastern and five Western divisions into which he Old Roman Empire was resolved. Prophetic testimony to the decline in the nobility of the nature and character of man.
We live in the age of information. An age where technology and knowledge have liberated man from his fellow, and caused him to reason himself away from God. An age of instant gratification of material desires wherein peace and ease have united to destroy man's belief in God and rob him of character and any expectation of eternity through faith. Our age of individualism and egaliterianism has laid the foundation for anarchy and disaster culminating in Armageddon.
As Paul prophesied, the permanent natural relationships between husband and wife, children and parents, individuals and the community, national loyalties and respect for elders and fellow human beings have dissolved. Nowadays, men commonly hold none of these loyalties, and recognize only those who are in some way more powerful through a sensual or material notoriety.
Man's greatest problems were once the material ones of helplessness in the face of the natural threats of disease, starvation, and the unpredictability of natural catastrophes. Now nature is dominated, transformed, and in a sense, totally destroyed by man and the greatest threat to man is man himself. In this present age of instant communication that knows no national or ever planetary boundaries, man has become insular and he is unable to commune with his neighbour or his God. Man's problems are now the social (nonmaterial) ones of what his true goals of existence are and what use he should make of his immense power over the universe, including his fellow men.
For thousands of years, some men viewed themselves as creatures a little lower than God, and a little higher than the beasts. In just this century, man has acquired almost divine powers and he no longer regards himself as just an animal but at least a man. The nineteenth century had challenged this ancient conception of man as a dualistic creature in which an immortal soul was encased. The industrial revolution, democracy and education emphasized man's freedom to indulge his more animal-like aspects: to obtain freedom, for his body, from disease, death, hunger, discomfort, and drudgery. This movement eventually gave us modern surgery and medical science, modern technology, mass production of food and other consumer goods, central heating, indoor plumbing, domestic lighting, air conditioning, and the plethora of so-called labour-saving devices. But in the process of satisfying our mortal senses, we've forgotten God and our inner man who is experiencing famine of the direst sort.
The Wars of the twentieth century and Great Depression accelerated the departure from self-discipline for future benefits, restricted consumption, thrift, devotion to work, and a postponement of enjoyment to a future wherein 'the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea'. These outlooks and values have now been superseded by quite different outlooks and values. And those who embrace them today are regarded as Right-wing fanatics.
Daniel told the king, 'as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. (And in the days of THESE kings which shall have one mind, and shall give their power and their strength to the beast) . . . the God of heaven shall break in pieces and consume ALL these kingdoms' (Daniel 2:31-45; Revelation 17:13). I want you to note that the physical serpent's seed peoples are not represented in this image, and have no part in the struggle for redemption.
The king made Daniel a judge and great man in the kingdom, placing him over all of the wise men. And in Chapter three, assembled the dignitaries of his kingdom for the dedication of an immense golden likeness of Daniel, commanding worship of his image.
The Gentile kingdoms were ushered in by FORCED worship of the image of a holy man. Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, after his god, Bel. The name Belteshazzar means 'Lord of the straitened's treasure'.
Nebuchadnezzar united church and state by erecting the image of a holy man and FORCING the people to worship it. And the times of the Gentiles end in the feet of iron and clay where church and state united FORCE the worship of a FALSE 'holy' man, the Pope incarnate by Satan.
Revelation 13:1-8, 'And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 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'.
Man's deification of man had its roots in ancient Babylon where Ham's son Cush became Bel, the 'father of the gods'. Nebuchadnezzar subsequently encouraged false worship of God in an image of His VINDICATED prophet, Daniel, and the Babylonian system so dominates the world today men will very soon worship Satan in his FALSE prophet as we have read. Whereas Daniel REFUSED to worship his own image (along with Shadrack, Meshach, and Abedbego); the Pope DESIRES to be worshiped as God (II Thessalonians 2:4).
Daniel 8:1-8, 'In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, Daniel, similar to that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram [the national emblem of Persia] which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other [Darius], and the higher [Cyrus] came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward [against Lydia], and northward [against Babylon], and southward [subjugating Egypt]; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
And as I was considering, behold, a he goat [the national emblem of Macedonia] came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes [Alexander the Great]. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and broke his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and in its place came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven'. [Ptolemy I of Egypt; Seleucius of Babylonia; Antigonus of Syria, and Antipater of Greece and Macedonia who divided Alexander's Empire between them].
Daniel 8:9, 'And out of one of them [Syria] came forth a little horn, [Antiochus Epiphanes IV (215-164BC) who was king from 175-164BC], which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land [Judea]'.
Antiochus Epiphanes types the leader of the reconstructed Holy Roman Empire in the end-time. Two years earlier Daniel had seen Rome in his Spiritual dream symbolized as an indescribable beast (Daniel 7:7-8, 23-28). Unable to recognize a national symbol, Daniel was troubled because this beast 'wore out' Israel until the consummation. Antiochus types this beast which arose from the sea, became Vatican Rome, aligned with the European Union (EU), and is today extending its influence south to the north African nations bordering the Mediterranean, and east to Cyprus and the Middle East, including Israel.
Daniel 8:10, 'And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; [that is, the Hebrew saints?remember Revelation 12:4 where Satan cast them to earth through his deceit? And II Thessalonians 2:7-12 which prophesies how, through his FALSE prophet, he will deceive the Gentiles as he did the Hebrews, and cause ALL to receive the mark of Rome?Revelation 13:1-18]; and it cast down some of the host [Hebrews] and of the stars [Israelite priests] to the ground, and stamped upon them'.
We can verify the identity of the host, and the Prince or Captain of the host from Joshua 1:9 and 5:13-15, 'Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go . . . And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and enquired, 'Are you for us, or for our adversaries'? And He said, 'Nay; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come'. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, saying, 'What says my Lord unto His servant'? And the Captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, 'Loose your shoe from off your foot; for the place where on you stand is holy'. And Joshua did so'.
And in I Samuel 17:45, 'David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the Name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies or host of Israel, whom you have defied'.
Oh my! It was God, Who later manifest in the flesh of Jesus Christ to bleed and die for us, the God of the armies of Israel, Whom they would crucify.
Daniel 8:11-12, 'Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host [God]. Antiochus was a prefigure of the incarnate anti-Christ to come], and FROM (NOT by) him the daily [sacrifice] was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of [Judah's] transgression, and it cast down the truth [Torah] to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered'.
In 169BC Antiochus looted the temple and murdered some Hebrews (I Maccabees 1:20-28). Circumcision was forbidden, unclean meat was mandatory fare, and the sabbath and other feast days were profaned. In this context, Judas Maccabaeus began his nationalist exploits.
The daily sacrifice was taken away FROM Jehovah, and Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the sacrifice altar by sacrificing a sow and making a broth of its carcass, which was scattered about the sanctuary. He burned the Torah, condemned the Jews to death and desecrated the temple in 167BC, making it a temple to Jupiter Olympium, or Zeus, whose incarnation he claimed to be. Epiphanes means 'god made manifest'.
I Maccabees 1:54, 'On the fifteenth day of the month Kislev in the year 145 [167BC], the abomination of desolation was set up on the altar . . .'
Daniel 8:13-14, 'Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, 'How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, AND the transgression of the desolation [of the temple], to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed'.
Many students come to grief on these two verses of Scripture, trying to apply them to Daniel's Seventieth Week and augmenting years for days. The 2,300 evenings-mornings, or 2,300 days in which evening and morning (continual) sacrifices could not be offered, date from the murder of Onias III (Menclaus), the high priest, in 171BC by his own brother, who bribed Antiochus Epiphanes for the position. It covers the oppression of Antiochus Epiphanes by the Maccabees and Romans, his death of ulcers and worms in 164BC, and the cleansing of the Temple by Judas Maccabaeus about 165BC.
I Maccabees 4:52, 'Then, early on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, the month Kislev, in the year 148 [164BC], sacrifice was offered as the Law commanded on the newly made altar of burnt offering. On the anniversary of the day when the Gentiles had profaned it, on that very day it was rededicated . . .'
It was not a human hand that brought down Antiochus but the Divine hand that will also crush the statue of Daniel 2:34 and 45, and that wrote on the wall at Belshazzar's feast. The death of Antiochus Epiphanes is described in I Maccabees 6:1-16 and embellished and dramatized in II Maccabees 9:5-6, 9-10, 28. Antiochus '. . . was seized with excruciating pains in his bowels and sharp internal torment, a fit punishment for him who had tortured the bowels of others with many barbarous torments. . . The body of this impious man was swarmed with worms, and while he was still alive in hideous torments, his flesh rotted off, so that the entire army was sickened by the stench of his corruption. Shortly before, he had thought that he could reach the stars of heaven, and now, no one could endure to transport the man because of his intolerable stench. . . So this murderer and blasphemer, after extreme sufferings, such as he had inflicted on others, died a miserable death in the mountains of a foreign land.'
Daniel 8:15-22, 'And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me one like a Man (Christ). And I heard a Man's voice BETWEEN the banks of the River Ulai, which called, and said, 'Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision'. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell on my face: but he said, 'Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the END shall be the vision'.
Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, 'Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king [Alexander the Great]. Now that being broken, whereas four arose in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. [The four divisions of Alexander's empire will be inferior to the united empire they succeed]'.
Daniel 8:23, 'And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors [the apostate Jews] are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up'.
When the Jews reach the fullness of their apostasy, as the Gentiles are today (Romans 11:32; II Thessalonians 2:1-3; II Timothy 3-4), another king shall arise. He will have a 'fierce countenance', meaning a strong or insolent face. And 'understand dark sentences'?in other words, mysteries, intrigues, and ambiguous speech. He will be the FALSE prophet. This is the fourth and last Gentile world power.
Daniel 8:24, 'And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own [but by Satanic] power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people'.
Revelation 13:4-10, 'And they worshipped the DRAGON [Satan] which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the BEAST, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him"?
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his Name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven [that's the elect Old and New Testament saints. Through Satanic power he will unite all the churches and religions together to form an image unto Rome that will force EVERYONE to accept his doctrine or at least do his bidding. He will reconsolidate the powers of the ten states which once comprised the Holy Roman Empire, harness US might, and through agreement with the Jews, refinance the US dollar and bring the world's wealth and commerce under his control].
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, [at this time, the 144,000 elect and their two prophets (Revelation 12:7-17)], and to overcome them and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 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 has an ear, let him hear. "He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword" (Genesis 9:6; Isaiah 33:1; Revelation 11:18). Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. [The Law of "eye for eye, life for life" (Revelation 6:10-11; 14:12)]'.
Here Satan is incarnate! And with the power of the Pope's incarnation comes the wealth and worship of the world. The (once) Protestant churches form an IMAGE to Rome, a World Council of Churches, through which the Pope directs his power and exercises control. They enforce his will by the military might of the United States of America, the natural image to Rome,
Revelation 13:11-18, 'And I beheld ANOTHER beast coming up out of the EARTH; [Unlike the beast of Revelation 17 which 'sat upon many waters', symbolizing the Gentile multitudes, this beast rises in the new world] and he had two horns like a lamb [representing civil and religious power], and he spoke as a dragon [Satan]. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him [Rome], and causes the earth and them who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed'.
[The first beast and incorporates all the evil attributes of the previous three Gentile world empires. Imperial Rome was mortally wounded but was revived at the First Nicaea Council of AD325 where Constantine united the NOMINAL Christians with the pagans to transform it into what would become the Holy Roman Empire of the Catholic church whose leader will 'stand up against the Prince of princes' (Christ) in the time of the end. Herein the Eastern and Western divisions of Rome, represented by the iron legs of the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, became mixed with clay].
'And he [the USA] does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [the atomic bombing of Japan], And deceives them who dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [unite the religions]; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed'.
[The times of the Gentiles will go out as they came in. Once again there will be a union of church and state, with FORCED worship to the image of a man. As Israel's denominations united with the Roman State to crucify the Son of Man, the two horns of Rome's image, the beast from the land, unite Gentile denominational and US Civil powers to crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh].
'And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let he who has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six'.
This mark in the head is to receive the DOCTRINE of the world church system, which is Trinitarianism, etc., The mark in the hand is to obey the WILL of the world church. With this great power, the church systems will persecute the true Bride. This image will try to keep the Bride from preaching and teaching. Her ministers will be forbidden to give comfort and truth to the people who need it. But before the antichrist (in person), takes over this complete world system of churches, the true church will be taken from this world, to be with the Lord. God will catch away His Bride for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
In the time of unprecedented natural catastrophe that marks the close of the Gentile dispensation, Satan is cast down to earth and incarnates the Pope. After their 'wilderness journey' (Revelation 12:7), the apostate denominations and the nations will cry for a king like Israel at the end of his journey in the wilderness (I Samuel 8:5). They'll plead to be rules by this Papal 'prince of peace'. Through the auspices of the UN the Pope will bring peace and, one world government.
It won't be just the denominations and the USA behind him. Revelation 17:12-13, 17, 'And the TEN horns which you saw are TEN kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings [the royal houses of Europe known as the "Black Nobility" will rule] one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast . . . For God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled'. [Or unto the consummation].
These ten horns or powers correspond to the ten toes at the END of the times of the Gentiles symbolized in the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. They were the ten divisions of the Imperial Roman empire: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Seuvi, Alemanni, Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombards and Burgundians.
Daniel said, 'In the days of the union of THESE kings, shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall NEVER be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people [because its citizens have eternal Life], but it shall break in pieces and CONSUME ALL these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever' (Daniel 2:42).
Daniel 8:25, 'And through his policy also he shall cause CRAFT to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by PEACE shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand'.
The Gentile dispensation terminates with a massive upset of nature. Los Angeles and 1,500 by 3-400 miles of California will sink beneath the Pacific; the 'Pacific ring of fire' will erupt sending massive tidal waves sweeping over islands and coasts, and the Mount of Olives will split, demolishing the Mosque of Omar on Mount Zion. Brother Branham taught that the earthquake would be accompanied by volcanic activity, with tidal waves sweeping the world, breaking along the ocean shores, killing thousands and washing away parts of cities, breaking along the Great Lakes upon Chicago and even up the Mississippi to Kentucky (The Pillar of Fire, 53-0509; The Infallibility of God's Word, 56-0405; The Ark, 22:172-174; Jehovah Jireh, 56-1209e; Everlasting Life and How to Receive It, 26:208). Can you imagine Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Olympic Games Site, beautiful beaches and seaside towns washed away? The Prophet said 'It will be worse than the last days at Pompeii!
Luke said, 'Men's hearts failing them for fear (on account of the cosmic disorder, earthquakes and tidal waves), and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth (atomic warfare): for the powers of heaven shall be shaken' (Revelation 6:12; Luke 21:26).
This will be America's darkest hour. With Russian support, the Muslim nations will attack Israel. The Bible says men's hearts will fail for fear of a nuclear holocaust after Russia attacks and invades mainland USA. The world's religions will unite to stop communism, and the nations that once formed the ten divisions of the Holy Roman Empire will agree to give their power to Rome via the UN headquartered in New York.
The monetary system will collapse at the close of the Gentile dispensation but Vatican policy will establish an agreement with the 'Jews' to refinance the US dollar for the love of money is the root of all evil. Thus 'craft' or manufacturing will 'prosper in his hand,' and 'Who can make war with the beast?' The Pope will bring peace through this New World Order, and 'by peace, will destroy many.' Israel's two prophets, their 144,000 elect, and all of the 'saved' will be martyred.
We have already discussed the present peace, or ease and prosperity that was needful to sedate us with human rights and material comfort. This peace has morally destroyed our once Christian Western civilization. Through US foreign policy (corrupted and misdirected by John Foster Dulles) and the CIA (corrupted under his brother Allen), we have cheated and lied, bought and sold individuals and nations, 'destroying many.' We also sold our own birthright and Satan now occupies the place where the character and nature of God should reside.
I Thessalonians 5:1-3, 'But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, "PEACE and SAFETY"; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape'.
Brother Branham said we've tried to 'buy' the friendship of the heathen and communist countries with our foreign aid. But when we can no longer afford to pay these bribes, we'll discover they never were our friends. Had we sought reference to and identification with God's word, we would know that God placed ENMITY between us and these people. And that enmity is still there (Genesis 3:15).
Yes indeed, God has sent us 'strong delusion,' and we've believed the SAME lie Satan used to deceive Eve. "Oh, God's a GOOD God, He loves ALL men, and Jesus died for EVERY man. You're ALL Christians who regard Jesus as the Christ. ALL religions acknowledge the SAME God and Father of ALL". But He does not, and they are not.
Satan will unite the non-elect against the revealed Word, and they will believe his lie. They'll form a world-wide confederation and crown his earthly representative as their king. He'll bring peace. He'll make an agreement with the 'Jews' and restore material prosperity. But after three and a half years, when he has the world's resources in his control, he'll break his agreement. Then Armageddon will set in, destroying all life.
Daniel 8:26-27, 'And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it'.
The vision is true. Remember, from the going forth of the command of Cyrus to restore and to build Jerusalem, only 490 years of 360-days were determined to Israel until the Millennium. Let's read Daniel 9:25-27, 'Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [After 49 years, Jerusalem was rebuilt]. And after threescore and two weeks (that's 434 additional years) Messiah shall be cut off, [and He was] but not for His personal gain or blame: and the people of the prince that shall come [Rome] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary [Titus was the Roman 'prince' who fulfilled this prophecy (Matthew 24:1-3, 14-21]; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [of enemy troops], and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And the prince out of Rome shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [7 years?here's the incarnate Pope]: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation [which will have been restored] to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate [just like Antiochus Epiphanes], even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate'.
As the Spirit of Christ returned after Calvary to build His Church, this antichrist spirit returned to establish his FALSE church. He began by inspiring men to the 'deeds' of the nicolaitanes?establishing a clerical hierarchy between God and the laity. The 'deeds' gained acceptance among the FALSE vine and became legislated as the 'doctrine' of the nicolaitanes. The antichrist spirit was crowned with a triple crown in the person of the Pope, or FALSE prophet. Once the TRUE Vine is mature and ready to manifest the Sons of God, Satan himself will incarnate the Pope, thereafter known as the beast. But like Judas, he's a deceiver. His claim to power is proven by SIGNS, experiences and physical works WITHOUT faith, and contrary to the revealed Word.
For the Pharisees 'seeing is believing', because they have no faith. By the eyes of faith, or a clear understanding, God's elect 'see' His Word coming together and producing Its promises (Hebrews 11:1).
Jesus promised false anointed ones and false prophets would arise in the days of His 'parousia', which commenced with the revelation of the Seven Seals in 1963. He said these will be renowned for their great signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). Paul said this would be in the time of the apostasy of the churches (II Thessalonians 2:3, 9-10). He said a seducing spirit among clergy who were reprobate concerning the apostolic faith would impersonate God's genuine prophet as Jannes and Jambres impersonated Moses (II Timothy 3:8-16). Jesus said these wonders would be so convincing, people would unite in a World Council of Churches against the very God they claim they love (Revelation 13;13-14).
Brethren, it's the Word from Genesis to Revelation. It's Faith in that Word, or perish (Acts 3:23). Daniel's vision was 'shut up' until 'the days of the Voice of the seventh angel' when 'the mystery of God was finished' (Revelation 10:7). Once you have the revelation, 'prophesy again before many peoples and nations and kings'. bb950721.htm
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