©2004 Homer Kizer. Updated March 12, 2011
Bible Prophecy 101:
Intro to Prophecy
For the past six millennia, the focus of God has been the creation of humankind in the image and after the likeness of God (Gen 1:26). The earth was created to be spiritually harvested, not decorated with frosting as was taught by one former radio ministry. Thus, before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father foreknew many heirs according to a plan mirrored by the agricultural cycle of Judea. The early harvest of the earth occurs at the end of the sixth day of a seven-day creation week, and is analogous to the barley harvest. The later, larger harvest occurs on the shortened eighth day-- this is the great White Throne Judgment of humanity. And the early harvest foreshadows this later harvest about which little Scripture is devoted, or is necessary. For the early harvest is the antetype of the main harvest.
The reason for God's relationship with humanity has been a mystery. For most of human history and for most of humanity, the concept of deity has been an acceptable explanation for the unexplainable. Human beings created God or gods in their own image, assigning to their creations that sprang from their heads as Athena did from the head of Zeus the power of coincidence. A man loses his knife, cannot find it, prays to a carved wood household idol, then finds his knife, and gives the credit for finding the knife to the idol. This idol now becomes the god of all that is lost. And another man prays to it so that he can find his cow that wandered away from its pasture. He offers the idol a little wine at the same time as the cow returns home for fodder. And behold, this idol has accepted his offering, as this idol increases in importance through its continuing use of the power of coincidence.
But the Creator of the universe has the bad habit of letting a man find his own knife, and of letting his neighbor's cow come home on its own. His focus has been on a person developing righteousness through the creation of the habit of choosing to do that which the person knows is right. He selected one man from all who lived, and asked this man to leave his home and live the remainder of his life as a sojourner, a stranger in a land promised to his heirs. He then made a covenant with this man, a covenant ratified by circumcision, the cutting away of the most outwardly invisible part of a man. The ratification of this covenant was hidden from the world; the covenant, itself, was unknown for five centuries. But by the terms of that covenant, one nation became holy to the Creator of the universe (Exod 19:5-6), and that one nation would eventually include all nations, thereby making this man the father of many nations (Gen 17:4) and the father of one great nation (Gen 12:2). And the Creator of the universe let this man take 318 trained men, born in his household, after the four kings who had sacked Sodom and had taken Lot captive. He let this man divide his forces by night to attack these four kings. He let this man defeat and pursue the four kings, and then He let this man pay tithes to Him of all that this man recovered; for He had delivered the four kings into this man's hand (Gen 14:20). He wasn't worried about whether this man lost a knife along the way to a stunning victory. This man was Abram, and the holy nation is Israel.
It is the perspective from which God is perceived that has been historically distorted by humanity worshiping demons and idols and the works of its hands (Rev 9:20). Noah's neighbors had no understanding of why the rain began, but "what can be known about God was plain to them, because God [had] shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, [were] clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made" (Rom 1:19-20). And in this relationship between invisible and visible, with the invisible revealed through the visible, is the wisdom necessary for endtime disciples to walk through the spiritually opened door placed before them. Noah's neighbors were not offered this key that unlocks the mysteries of God, especially prophecies about the conclusion of this age.
The man Jesus of Nazareth revealed what was hidden since of the foundation of the world (Matt 13:35), but He disclosed the mysteries of God in a manner that only His disciples could understand them (v. 11). He spoke in parables, not to unseal these hidden mysteries but to keep the mysteries secret. However, these mysteries were not to remain sealed forever. Jesus' earthly ministry was the shadow of His heavenly ministry--it was the visible that reveals the invisible. Borrowing a phrase from Jonathon Edwards, Jesus' earthly ministry was the lively representation of His pre-second-Passover ministry to spiritual Israel. And Jesus spoke only in parables to the holy nation of circumcised Israel (Exod 19:5-6). He revealed '"what has been / hidden since the / foundations of the world"' (Matt 13:35) in a manner that precluded circumcised Israel from understanding what He had revealed. He gave understanding of His parables to no one but His disciples in what was the visible type or antecedent of His invisible revealing of the mysteries of God to His endtime disciples shortly before the spiritual liberation of holy Israel. And yes, spiritual Israel prior to this holy nation's liberation from bondage to sin is not to understand the mysteries of God. These mysteries remain presented in parables that preclude understanding. Their explication cannot be seen or heard above the din of Greater Israel's enthusiasm.
A second key necessary to unlock the mysteries of God is that obedience precedes understanding. Obedience following understanding incorporates no element of faith. Therefore, using one precept as a touchstone, until disciples keep the Sabbaths of God, disciples will not comprehend that Jesus is the reality of the Sabbaths, that the rest disciples enter when glorified is the seventh-day Sabbath rest of creation week. So I can write the words, A disciple enters Christ's rest when he or she keeps the weekly Sabbath, but until the disciple actually begins keeping the Sabbath, the words will remain essentially meaningless, an independent clause to which a combination of many referents can be assigned.
The Apostle Paul in the 8th chapter of his epistle to the saints in Rome writes about being spiritually minded. He says that the natural or carnal mind cannot understand spiritual subjects or concepts and is actually hostile to God. The natural minds lacks the base constructs necessary to build a spiritual superstructure; no spiritual foundation exists until a person receives the Spirit of God. Only then are spiritual footers poured.
Many disciples live as the equivalent of an over-wintering foundation awaiting springtime construction. They know God and are known of God. Everyone who sees the foundation knows that a building project has been undertaken that will eventually produce a dwelling upon the cold footers. But no construction is daily occurring--or if there is construction, little progress is being made. But when the weather breaks, there will be a flurry of activity and almost overnight a building will be framed, sided, roofed, with windows installed. Then the work of finishing the building occurs again without much progress being observed from outside.
Being spiritually minded allows comprehending the relationship between the written law and the spiritual law through the relationship between hate and murder, lust and adultery.(Matt 5:21-30), with the invisible hate and lust revealed through the visible acts of murder and adultery. Thus, murder in the physical realm equates to hate in the spiritual realm. Jesus doesn't magnify the law. Rather, He took the law from the physical realm to the spiritual realm, an understanding necessary before any construction can begin on the foundation laid with receiving the Holy Spirit. The laws of God that are written on every drawn disciple's heart and mind through receipt of the Breath of God has hate written everywhere the finger of YHWH wrote murder on the stone tablets Moses lugged down the mountain. These internalized laws have lust written where adultery was incised in stone. And these internalized laws are the legal code by which disciples are to live their lives: a Christian isn't even to hate his or her enemies. And a Christian isn't to mock Christ, into whose seventh-day Sabbath rest they will enter when glorified, by profaning the now internalized Sabbaths of God. A physical Israelite satisfied keeping the commandments by not killing, by not touching his neighbor's wife, by not uttering a falsehood, by not pocketing what didn't belong to him (yes, him), by having the foreskin of his penis clipped, which should be the most hidden part of the person. A spiritual Israelite satisfies keeping the commandments written on his or her heart and mind (a euphemistic expression for the equally euphemistic expression of receiving a circumcised heart and mind -- Deu 30:6) by not hating or lusting, by having inward love for all of humanity, love that will be outwardly manifested in many ways. A spiritual Israelite is a son [heir] of God, and ceases to inwardly identify oneself as Jew or Greek, male or female, free or slave. Outwardly or physically, a person remains male or female. Inwardly or spiritually, a baptized disciple is a son of God. Outwardly, a son of God will keep the Sabbaths of God, will not murder, will not steal, will not commit adultery just as this son of God retains penis or vulva. The new man is inside the existing body of flesh, and governs (hopefully) his flesh--Paul didn't understand why he wasn't better able to rule himself from the inside out. The essential factor in understanding what Paul wrote in his many epistles is grasping this relationship of the outer physical man being ruled by the inner new man. Disciples are no longer under the law, for the laws of God have been written on their hearts and minds. The bodies of disciples, whether plumbed male or female, are to be ruled by the inner new man who operates under the legal code of love. There is no love in hate, so the inner new man doesn't hate which causes the flesh never to commit murder. Likewise, adultery is a specific type of coveting run amuck. There is no love in coveting sexual gratification outside of marriage, or in coveting revenge through a sexual liaison, or in coveting power or wealth through the giving or withholding of sexual favors. And in a similar manner, there is no love toward God in not outwardly keeping His Sabbaths, of which Christ is the reality.
The teachers of Israel in the latter portions of the 1st Century through the 3rd Century confused foundations for superstructures. They were spiritually blind, or extremely near-sighted. They couldn't read Paul's epistles even though they could see the words on the page; they couldn't read spiritually. Therefore, they caused this holy nation of God to wander away from the ways of God and to profane His Sabbaths. They did exactly to the invisible inner new man what physical Israel did outwardly. What the prophet Ezekiel records in his chapter 20 is the lively representation of what the early Church did spiritually. YHWH sent both houses of physical Israel into physical captivity for not walking in His ways and for profaning His Sabbaths. The Father sent both the Ephesian house and the Alexandrian house of Christianity in mental captivity for not spiritually walking in His way and for spiritually profaning His Sabbaths. These two houses are today Arian Christianity and Trinitarian Christianity. And both houses will shortly be liberated from their mental bondage to sin.
The release of spiritual Israel from mental bondage to sin is foreshadowed by the release of physical Israel from physical bondage in Egypt. Jesus is the paschal Lamb of God. He came as a flesh and breath [soma and psuche] human being to be sacrificed as the physical covering (i.e., sin offering) for spiritual Israel. He received the Breath of the Father (Matt 3:16) and life in the spiritual realm to be the sacrificial covering of born-from-above disciples in that supernal realm. Two coverings. Reconciliation and Justification. Thus, He is the reality of both Yom Kipporim goats. At Calvary, He became the reality of the goat slain on the temple altar (Lev 16:5, 15). When He ascended to the Father and was accepted, He became the reality of the Azazel goat. Grace is the glorified Jesus bearing the sins of disciples as the reality of the Azazel. And the period of time between when Jesus was sacrificed as Israel's paschal Lamb and when the holy nation is released from bondage to sin is foreshadowed by the hours between when physical Israel killed their first paschal lamb (Exod 12:21-24) and when the death angel passed over Egypt (v. 29). These six hours (sunset to midnight) represent six thousand years, for the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the earth. And here is a mystery of God: the holy nation of Israel has been in spiritual darkness for nearly two millennia. This is why a disciple is to let his or her light shine. A disciple who keeps the commandments of God and holds the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17) is as a match struck in a cave. The disciple's pinprick of light seems exceedingly bright in the supernal realm.
Jesus as the Logos does the work of bringing into the likeness of Elohim (again, Gen 1:26) the many heirs of the early harvest. He then rests on the seventh day of this creation week as the firstborn Son among many brothers (Rom 8:29-30). It is His rest that His brothers enter as foreknown, predestined, justified, and glorified heirs of God. And with many glorified brethren, Christ's work load of bringing in the main harvest of humanity will be spread out…the many laborers were foreknown and will be put to work on a shortened eighth and final day of the physical earth.
The earth as well as the universe in which the earth is a speck was created by the Logos for the express purpose of creating additional life in the image and likeness of Elohim [plural in usage]. Darkness was unable to overcome the light generated by this creation of life. And the story of darkness' tussle to overcome the light provides the context for the Bible, which is a narrative told by the Logos to His friends who will become His many brothers. Because meaning has to be assigned to words (letter or sound combinations do not carry around little backpacks that can be opened to disclose their meanings), the Bible speaks as a double-lipped sword to those individuals who hear the words of Jesus of Nazareth and who then believe the One that sent Jesus. It is spiritually silent to those individuals whose minds are set on the physical creation and all that is in the creation; it is meaningless. It is only those individuals who hear the words of Jesus and believe the Father who have life in the spiritual realm (John 5:24). It is these individuals who are foreknown, predestined, justified, and glorified as the brothers of Christ. And the vast majority of these individuals who have entered Christ's seventh-day rest come from the harvest of the earth (Rev 14:15) that begins 1260 days before Christ returns as the Messiah..
Again, two harvests: human beings are glorified upon Christ's return as the Messiah, and at the conclusion of the great White Throne Judgment. This doesn't mean two chances for salvation. Every individual only has one chance. The two harvests pertain to when a person receives the Holy Spirit and life in the spiritual realm. During the growing season for the early harvest, the majority of humanity was not and is not offered salvation. Only those individuals born anew were or are offered salvation. For these individuals, this is their only chance to become a glorified heir of the Father. If they quit on God, they will go into the lake of fire. They will not go into the great White Throne Judgment.
But at the conclusion of the age--at the end of the sixth day of creation week--the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all of humanity (Joel 2:28). Every person then alive will receive his or her chance for salvation. And all who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13), which is the good news that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations before the end comes (v. 14).
It is from this sixth day harvest of the earth that the majority of Christ's many brethren come-- or rather, have come. From outside of time, we are watching ourselves work out our salvation. If we fail to work out our salvation, we won't be watching anything; we will have been consumed in the lake of fire.
Verb tenses are an integral aspect of Indo-European languages that will cause confusion in addressing the timeless spiritual realm. Some human language families place less emphasis (such as Inuit) upon "when" a phenomenon occurs, electing instead to emphasize "where" the phenomenon occurs. Thus, verb tenses become part of the social constructs that inform how "reality" is perceived by English or Greek language users.
But time, or more properly space-time is the defining characteristic of the universe. The passage of time equals the expansion of the universe, and is created at the decay rate of heavy mass particles. Time is a low-viscosity fluid in which humanity lives as fish live in water. "When," then, becomes the fourth referent to locate a person or a phenomenon in this bowl of time, just as longitude, latitude, and elevation will locate a person geographically, thereby describing the "where" of a person or of a phenomenon.
All living beings and phenomena outside this bowl of space-time that is the universe cast shadows onto or into this bowl just as a fisherman walking along a lake shoreline with the sun behind him will cast a shadow onto the water surface and cause vibrations in the water, thereby telegraphing to fish the fisherman's activities. A wary trout has been forewarned. The fisherman might hook a few less wary trout, but that trophy fish has suddenly become leader-shy. No presentation of bait, lure or fly will cause the trophy catch to bite.
Because human beings cannot physically leave time to cross into the supra-dimensional realm usually identified as heaven, direct observations in this dimension are not possible. Even its existence cannot be directly determined, but can only be mentally speculated about--with one primary exception: living beings from this dimension can convey knowledge of this dimension to the fish (humans in the bowl of time).
The Bible exists as the word of God, and exists as the principle means by which those who have received life in this supernal realm can input knowledge about themselves that is not directly observable. It reveals the terms of the covenant into which they have been placed when they received life in this realm; it reveals what has been written in fine print on their hearts and minds. And it reveals the presence of an Adversary who would kill them if this Adversary could; it reveals the darkness of rebellion in this supernal realm that occurred, was utilized, and was corrected.
Semitic and Indo-European language users who have received life in the supernal realm built cairns of words that stand as silent as piles of dead stones to those individuals who have not yet received such life. These are the unrecognized explications of the parables of Jesus. And these word cairns locate all language users in time, but most language users are unable to assign meaning to a pile of stones created by someone who traversed the same ridge centuries earlier. The cairns are merely piles of stones. They neither mark a path, nor reveal a destination. They are curios left by a previous generation about which little is known and about which even less interest remains. But they are the recorded shadows experienced within the bowl of time that warn of the Adversary's angling of bait and lure.
Prophecy is the record of what has occurred in the timeless supernal realm. Prophecy only seems to be a record of what will occur. For the reality of the festivals, new moons and Sabbaths is Christ (Col 2:16-17), who is the alpha and omega (Rev 22:13) of the plan of Elohim [plural in usage] to create humankind in their image and likeness. Again, Christ as the beginning and as the end of bringing many heirs to glory rests on the seventh day of creation week. In the timeless supernal realm, He rests as He sits at the right hand of the Father as the firstborn Son of many sons of God. Satan has already had fire come out from his belly and consume him (Ezek 28:18-19). But in this cove of the bowl of time where humanity is prior to Israel's liberation, Satan has not yet been cast from heaven. Satan still reigns as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21). He reigns over the mental topography of humanity by being the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). Spiritual darkness still exists. And the judgments of born again disciples have not yet been revealed. The fishing continues by both Christ's disciples and by the Adversary's servants, disguised as ministers of righteousness.
Knowledge of an existing timeless dimension beyond the boundaries of space should cause hypocrites to repent, but won't. Hypocrites lack faith--and without faith, a disciple cannot please God. Hypocrites can repent, but don't, for they don't really believe what they know. They don't trust their minds, and they don't trust God. They are spiritually defective, and cannot be glorified because of their defect. Yes, they can correct this defect--but as hypocrites, they don't see hypocrisy as a defect. They see it as spiritual wisdom.
Prophecies are word cairns that stand as silent sentinels for all to see. Meaning, however, must be assigned to them--to both individual words and to the assemblage of words.
If a person stands on a ridge east of Boise, Idaho, and looks from Black's Creek across the desert to Sucker Creek, the person sees a line of stone cairns that have no meaning to either Native Americans or to anthropologists today. They mark a now non-existent trail that led somewhere at sometime in the distant past.
Prophecies will someday, in the timeless supernal realm, mark the no-longer utilized trail that led to the glorification of the sons of God. Today, though, inside time they mark a trail that leads over a near horizon, a trail along which shadows lie as emerging lions, bears, leopards, rams and he-goats, some with horns, with one horn in particular appearing like a cross. The remembered event in the timeless supernal realm will be the liberation of humanity from bondage to sin, not the road taken that led this holy nation of God out of spiritual darkness. So prophecies exist today as trail markers, revealing a road in the spiritual realm that cannot be detected by direct observation.
Humanity doesn't need God to mark a road to any geographical location. A person can locate physical Jerusalem on a globe, and can visit the city with a passport and an airline ticket. A person doesn't need God to read either a roadmap or an airline schedule for the person. However, the road to spiritual Jerusalem isn't as easily discerned. The person must cross the precipice separating dimensions, leaving behind the person's physical body which will only live within time, then mentally advance over the near horizon, following the word cairns left by the ultimate Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth. This horizon is not far, nor is the path difficult. But without life in this spiritual realm, received when the person was born anew or born-from-above, the person has no interest in the cairns, except as they reflect the naivete of earlier "superstitious" people who actually believed that life existed outside of time.
Physical Jerusalem is located by a set of four coordinates: longitude, latitude, elevation, and day. The city when visited by Mark Twain was a sleepy ghost town of sheep and rocks. It is today a city of three plus million that holds the attention of the world's prophecy pundits as its residents work to solve the problem of terrorism. And this problem of terrorism will be resolved, but not without considerably more bloodshed. Before the endtime harvest of the earth begins, both Jew and Muslim will have become spiritual Israelites. And this is what today's prophecy pundits do not understand. The endtime warring during the seven years of the Tribulation will develop into a conflict within Christianity, a conflict between Arian and Trinitarian Christianity, with Muslims "converting" to Arian Christianity when the power of the Cross is properly explained to them by the man of perdition…is this sufficiently understated? We will see that the man of perdition is an Arian Christian who actually believes that he has become god. Trinitarian Christianity will recognize this man of perdition as an antichrist, will fight against him as the five toes of married iron and clay allied with king of the South, and will be utterly destroyed as spiritual directions are revealed to be ideological, or theological, not geographical.
Consider for a moment the incompatibility of a marriage between iron and clay--I have written earlier that the ten toes of iron and clay represent ten marriages of a strong and a week nation, resulting in two ten nation alliances. My thinking was then more physical than spiritual. The marriage of iron and clay is a union of dissimilar elements, not a union of strength and weakness. I sharpen hardened steel knives on ceramic stones--on fired clay. The Space Shuttle is sheathed in ceramic tiles, for metals will melt at reentry temperatures. So, as we will see, the marriage of iron and clay is a union between spiritual and human kings. The man of perdition will be a human being possessed by a demon. This human being will truly believe that the angel inside him is Christ, that he is the messiah when he declares himself god.
Spiritual Jerusalem has theological, not geographical coordinates. A person cannot locate spiritual Jerusalem on a globe; a person cannot purchase an airline ticket to the city. But a person can live in the city by living within the laws of God, while having love for all of humanity--the laws of God actually form the walls of spiritual Eden, the garden of God, with Eden's capital being Jerusalem. A person can live within the laws of God and not be in Jerusalem. To live within the city, a person must mentally journey into the high country beyond the laws of God that have been written on hearts and minds when disciples received the Holy Spirit and actual life in the spiritual realm. A person must put love into practice, even to laying down one's life for brethren. A person must be willing to leave the city to recover the lost sheep of Israel that have left Eden and are feeding precariously on the cliffs of Babylon. These sheep were born blind, and could never read the cairns marking the way to Jerusalem. They need spiritually healed, and they will be liberated from mental bondage to sin at the second Passover. Their blindness will cease. And it is from these sheep that today's prophecy pundits come, the pundits who babble about physical Jerusalem, a united Europe, and a coming Arab-Israeli war that precipitates the Pope's intervention. It is to the dead waters of these pundits' babble that the lost sheep of Evangelical Christians have wandered, spiritually thirsty, hungry, and in desperate need of shepherds to lead them back to Eden. These blind sheep worry about being left behind as their equally blind shepherds herd them farther and farther away from the walls of spiritual Eden.
Understanding biblical prophecy begins with reading the image of Nebuchadnezzar's vision, perhaps the tallest word cairn on the road to Jerusalem. In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream he couldn't remember, but a dream that greatly troubled him. The story of this dream occupies most of the second chapter of the Book of Daniel. In the dream, the Babylonian king saw a human-like image with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, feet and toes of mixed iron and clay. A stone cut without human hands crushes the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold (all five elements are present) and becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth.
Daniel interprets the vision, and assures Nebuchadnezzar that the interpretation is certain. Thus, we can begin our understanding of Bible prophecies by accepting Daniel's interpretation as factual, as being of God. And if the interpretation is of God, then we don't need to look to men to decipher the interpretation. We don't need to insert an uninspired history book into Holy Writ. We don't need anything other than Scripture. We certainly don't need to read fourteen books about secret conspiracies and secret societies. In fact, reading fourteen or more such books about shadowy organizations is the equivalent of fourteen cows relieving themselves in your mind.
Nebuchadnezzar's image is of successive kingdoms that reign over the affairs of men, starting with Babylon and continuing through Christ's reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. And here understanding is required: Christ reigns as the spiritual and physical Lord and King. He doesn't, during the Millennium, reign as merely the secular king of humanity. Rather, He sits at the right hand of the Father as the glorified David will actually be king over Israel--and all of humanity will have become Israel halfway through the Tribulation when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh. Humanity will be the one nation promised to Abraham. All of humanity will comprise the holy nation of God, with David over this nation and Christ over David.
The key of David is understanding why this king of Israel will be in the resurrection of firstfruits, and over whom this glorified king will reign. For too many generations, Christian theologians have restricted the Millennium nation of Israel to only the descendants of the circumcised nation. These blind teachers of Israel proudly identify themselves as Gentile Christians, an oxymoron. Christ's disciples are not spiritual Gentiles, but spiritual Israelites. They are to live like Judeans, what the Apostle Peter, according to Paul, taught Gentile converts (Gal 2:14 -- read this in the Greek original). For a spiritual Israelite to live as a Gentile is prima facie evidence of this Israelite being in mental bondage to the spiritual king of Babylon. No argument this spiritual Gentile can make has standing before God. The only thing this spiritual Gentile can do is abhor himself or herself when mentally liberated at the second Passover. Until then, though, this spiritual Gentile will reveal his or her bondage to sin by hating the message I bring in love to this disciple, and by hating me. Jesus said that the father of the Pharisees was the devil because of them trying to murder Him. Again, in the spiritual realm, hatred is murder. All who read what I write and feel hatred well up inside the person need to realize that he or she is the invisible reality of what the Pharisees were the visible shadow. This person is in mental bondage to the king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21). Christ is not the person's Sovereign even though the person has been born again and feels great desire for Christ. This person is one of the young nobleman's servants who would not be ruled by him in the parable of the pounds. And this person will be slaughtered when Christ turns His hand against two-thirds of the holy ones (Zech 13:7-8) unless the person repents immediately. But the person won't want to repent if he or she doesn't do so today.
When Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, the world had only been baptized with water (the Flood of Noah was the baptism of the world unto death). Baptism by the Holy Spirit remained more than two and a half millennia in the future, with the first shadow of this baptism still six centuries in the future. Thus, when Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar, '"You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all--you are the head of gold'" (Dan 2:37-38), Nebuchadnezzar reigned both physically and spiritually, as the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego reveals (Dan 3:13-30). Nebuchadnezzar as a physical human being didn't reign spiritually in the supernal realm, but he had governance of the religious practices of all children of men as well as secular governance of humanity, which makes what Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar problematic. As the physical king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar reigned over a vast territory, but he didn't reign in China, or in the Americas. He didn't reign over most of Europe, or over most of Africa. And he didn't know about Australia, or the islands of the South Pacific. So either Daniel was guilty of overstatement, or Nebuchadnezzar was merely a shadow of a different king of Babylon.
In the Millennium, Christ reigns over all of humanity. He reigns over the same territory that had been Babylon. So, the ten toes of married iron and clay also reigns over all of humanity before they are crushed by the stone cut without hands, as do the two legs of iron, the belly and thighs of bronze, the chest and arms of silver, and the head of gold. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that as king of kings, he reigns over the children of men wherever they dwell. Christ as King of kings will reign over the children of men wherever they dwell, but Christ reigns as a spirit being. Only a spirit being can reign over humanity worldwide. No physical being has reigned so widely, nor has any physical king had the resources to reach the children of men wherever they dwell until the past century. But Satan as the prince of the power of the air reigns over the sons of disobedience and the children of wrath, which comprises all of humanity not made alive in Christ (Eph 2:2-5). When Christ returns as the Messiah, Satan is identified as the king of Babylon. It is Satan who has reigned over the children of men wherever they dwelt since YHWH sent Israel into physical captivity in Babylon. Before then, only Israel as the holy nation of God (Exod 19:5-6) was not ruled by Satan. Its husband and Lord was YHWH, but it was an adulterous nation that had spiritual relationships with sticks and stones. And it was given over to Satan for its good, just as the apostle Paul directed the saints in Corinth to turn a man over to Satan that the man's spiritual life might be saved (1 Cor 5:5).
Nebuchadnezzar serves as a physical shadow of Satan being the true king of Babylon. This now provides the logic for second dream of Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel tells the king, '"The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven lived--it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth'" (Dan 4:20-22). And again, Daniel is either guilty of overstatement, or Nebuchadnezzar is the shadow of a spiritual reality, for this human king of Babylon's dominion never reached to the ends of Daniel's known world, and certainly never reached heaven. Thus, what the voice from heaven tells the king becomes important: "'O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts…until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will'" (vv. 31-32)
Satan, as the spiritual king of Babylon, rules at the discretion of the Most High; he cannot go beyond boundaries set by the Most High (Job 1:6-12 & 2:1-6). Jesus, when about to be betrayed, identified Satan as the prince of this world (John 13:27; 14:30; 16:11; 12:31) Paul says that this world has a god that is against Christ (2 Cor 4:4). In His revelation to His servants of what must soon occur, Jesus describes the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah (Rev 11:15). Likewise, Daniel, in vision, sees the judgment of the ruler of this world (Dan 7:9-14). Therefore, coupling all of the above passages with their context to Isaiah's prophecy about the king of Babylon being imprisoned and taunted by men, and the account in Revelation of Satan being bound for a thousand years (20:1-3), we see Satan losing his ability to rule this world as the prince of the power of the air when he is cast from heaven 1260 days prior to when Christ returns as the Messiah. He is cast from heaven when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah. And he dwells within time in an analogous relationship to a man dwelling as a beast, with the reason of a beast. Nebuchadnezzar's seven years as a beast serves as the lively representation of Satan having a three and a half year reign as the true antiChrist prior to Christ's return, then being loosed for a short while at the conclusion of Christ's Millennium reign. That short season seems to be another three and a half years during which he can attempt to deceive humanity before fire comes out from his belly to destroy him (Ezek 28:18-19).
We have jumped ahead of ourselves, so let us return to the image of Nebuchadnezzar's first vision. If Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold, and if another kingdom inferior to him shall arise after him, we should see this kingdom arise in Scripture ("inferior" can mean in subjection to, as the Vice-President is inferior to the President, making both the silver and the gold present when the two meet in conference). And in Scripture we do see this inferior kingdom arise: "That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old' (Dan 5:30-31).
Of course, history books will confirm that the Media Persian Empire succeeded Babylonian Empire. But history books are uninspired secular accounts of events the historians thought important. They need to remain shelved when a person seeks to understand prophecy. Babylon and Christ's Millennium reign were/are combined physical-spiritual kingdoms. They are theocracies. And Christ reigns over humanity from the heavenly realm even during the Millennium. Likewise, the king of Babylon has reigned over the earth from the heavenly realm prior to the fall of Babylon. The image Nebuchadnezzar saw that has Christ reigning - '"the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people'" (Dan 2:44) - is the image of kingdoms in the heavenly realm that manifest themselves in the affairs of humanity as Christ's Millennium reign will manifest itself in human affairs.
God's focus throughout human history is the dual endtime harvests of the earth. God's focus is spiritual. History books restrict themselves to only what can be known physically. Thus, the use of historical texts to understand Bible prophecies causes spiritual blindness, and is the principle reason why Daniel's visions could be read by everyone but could remain sealed and secret until the time of the end (Dan 12:4, 9), when knowledge has increased.
Inspired Scripture has Darius the Mede defeating--because God so directed--the Babylonian kingdom. And if Nebuchadnezzar was a type of, or the physical shadow of a spiritual king of Babylon, then so too is Darius the shadow of a spiritual king or prince of Persia. Thus, we are now ready to look at Daniel's second vision: '"I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but the one was higher than the other, and the higher horn came up last. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great"' (Dan 8:3-4). When Daniel sought to understand his vision, he was told by the angel Gabriel, '"As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia'" (v. 20).
Darius the Mede represents the shorter horn that came up first, but as a man, neither he nor any king of Persia are able to withstand angels for 21 days. The angel who brings the long inscribed passage from the book of truth (Dan 10:21) to Daniel says, '"Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia"' (vv. 12-13). As one of the chief princes, Michael and his angels cast Satan and his angels out of heaven (Rev 12:7-9). So for the angel bringing Daniel understanding of what is to happen to Israel in the latter days (Dan 10:14) to need the assistance of Michael, the prince of the kingdom of Persia is a very powerful angel himself. He is not a human king although a human king, like Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, will form his physical shadow, or be a type of this demonic king.
The key to understanding prophecy is a restating of what Paul wrote about the invisible things of God being revealed through the visible. This key is that in all prophecies (actually, in all of Scripture), the physical precedes the spiritual. The physical and spiritual creations merge when the iron and clay marry to become one flesh and one spirit during the first 1260 days of the Tribulation. But they will not hold together because they are not of God--the harvest of the earth is of the married creations that have disciples having life in both the spiritual and the physical realms while remaining in corruptible bodies. Disciples consist of psuche [physical breath], pneuma [spiritual breath], and soma [bodies of flesh] (1 Thess 5:23). And since all of humanity will have received the Holy Spirit when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah, all of humanity will have life in both the physical and spiritual realms. So this endtime harvest of the earth casts both a physical and a spiritual shadow. By extension, then, the physical shadow foreshadows the spiritual shadow. And the married iron and clay is the reign through armed conquest of a counterfeit Christianity that also casts physical and spiritual shadows.
Returning to Daniel's second vision, the prophet records, '"As I was considering [the ram], behold a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes'" (Dan 8:5), and Gabriel tells Daniel, '"And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king"' (v. 21). And about this ruler of Greece, the angel who needed Michael's help says, '"But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come…there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince"' (Dan 10:20-21).
Scripture cannot be understood by those individuals who are spiritually blind. These individuals see the word cairns left by the prophets, but like anthropologists in the Idaho desert, they cannot assign meaning to the cairns. They can speculate, using history books as the uninspired source of their speculations. But unless sent by Christ, they have the spiritual understanding of anthropologists.
Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar, '"Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth'" (Dan 2:39). From what Gabriel tells Daniel, this kingdom of bronze that shall rule over all the earth is the reign of the king of Greece. Of course from secular textbooks, we know that Alexander the Great defeated the Persian kings. However, Daniel's second vision is for the time of the end (Dan 8:17). The vision was sealed (v. 26). Thus, the vision is like the long prophecy recorded in chapter 11 that was sealed and secret until the time of the end (12:4, 9). And we should examine how God seals visions.
Antiochus Epiphanes sent troops to take away the daily sacrifice made at the temple in Jerusalem, and to set up an abomination of desolation: the statue of Zeus in the Holy of holies. Jesus, when asked by His disciples for the sign of His coming and of the end of the age (Matt 24:3), said, '"So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains'" (vv. 15-16). The prophecy of Daniel was, according to Jesus, about an end of the age abomination of desolation. It wasn't about Antiochus Epiphanes and his statue of Zeus. And the understanding necessary is that the vision of Daniel was sealed and secret until the time of the end by its physical shadow occurring, thereby causing prophecy pundits to believe that the prophecy had been fulfilled and was understandable before the time of the end arrived. And it is here where true understanding is required: the man of perdition (2 Thess 2:3-4) declaring himself god is the fulfillment of the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel that Jesus references. This man of perdition is the demonic little horn of the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7 possessing a human being. He is "the prince who is to come" (Dan 9:26) who "shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end shall come with a flood" (same verse -- this is the flood of Rev 12:15-16, and of Exod 15:12). He is both spiritual (i.e., the little horn) and physical. And he casts both a physical and a spiritual shadow, while he is himself the shadow of Satan coming as the reality of all that is against Christ when Satan is cast from heaven. Again, his physical shadow was Antiochus Epiphanes. His shadow in the spiritual realm hasn't yet fully defeated the prince of Persia, but is winning the war just as Alexander the Great won. His shadow in the spiritual realm is the first horn of the he-goat, identified by Gabriel as the king of Greece (Dan 8:21). This vision of Daniel is for the time of the end (vv. 17 & 26). And it, like the long vision recorded in chapter 11, was sealed by its physical shadow fulfilling the described events.
Understanding that phenomena in the supernal realm cast shadows in both the spiritual realm and in the physical realm is the wisdom or understanding necessary to read the prophetic cairns marking the highway to spiritual Jerusalem. Sunlight passing through water droplets casts a primary and a secondary rainbow (as well as many lesser, weaker bows). Likewise, phenomena in the spiritual realm when passing through segments of historical narrative cast a primary and a secondary shadow, as well as many weaker shadows. But these shadows aren't dead images of the phenomena. The Logos has at times manipulated events to form these shadows, such as when He hardened Pharaoh's heart so that Pharaoh would serve as the shadow of Satan refusing to let humanity leave first spiritual bondage to sin, then mental and physical bondage when he is cast to the earth. Likewise, Jesus fulfilled many prophecies when he came as a man so that his earthly ministry would foreshadow His spiritual ministry. Some of these fulfilled prophecies would not have been recognized if Jesus Himself hadn't pointed out their fulfillment.
There are three liberations of Israel, the holy nation of God. The first liberation was physical, was of the circumcised nation's liberation from physical bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt. The second will be spiritual. At the second Passover, spiritual Israel will be released from mental bondage to sin and to Satan. This release will occur at the beginning of seven years of tribulation, and will occur when the reign of this spiritual Antiochus Epiphanes is broken supernaturally. And the third liberation will be of all humanity when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah, when all of humanity becomes the holy nation of God, when Satan is cast from heaven and can no longer reign over humanity from that supra-dimension.
Again, the prophecies of Daniel were sealed by their physical fulfillment satisfying the prophecy, thereby causing blind disciples to look for one of two alternatives: (1) an additional future physical fulfillment, which was/is the prophetic understanding of Herbert Armstrong, Ellen G. White, and Perry Stone; or (2) no future fulfillment, the position of many academics, especially of those holding tenured chairs in Ivy League schools of theology. In the first case, the sheep have focused on their own salvation, which is solid evidence of them remaining carnally minded. The sheep look for a place of safety to escape the birth pains of Israel bringing many heirs to glory. Some of these blind sheep look for the Church to be Raptured before the Church gives birth to many heirs of God; some look for Petra or another geographical location as a place of safety. The better readers of this geography group look for the place of safety to be in Mt. Zion. And in the second case, the Bible is not considered the authoritative Word of God, but a collection of ancient wisdom writings, again, a natural minded position. In both mindsets, very intelligent men and woman have not recognized that the focus of God has been the endtime harvests of the earth once Satan is cast to earth.
Jonathon Edwards was once asked about Christianity representing only a sixth of the earth's population, the question being in a form of, doesn't God care about the other five-sixths? Edwards didn't have a satisfactory answer. The answer is, however, yes, God does care. The end of the age will not come before all of humanity becomes His holy nation of Israel, and has had the opportunity to live by faith in Him and by belief in the words of Jesus. The last seven years of this age are represented by the Days of Unleavened Bread, are represented by living sin-free. First the holy nation of spiritual Israel (i.e., the greater Christian Church) is liberated from mental bondage to the king of Babylon at the second Passover, then all of humanity is liberated from mental and physical bondage to Satan 1260 days before Christ returns. When spiritual Israel is liberated from bondage to sin, half or more of the world's population will identify itself as Christian. The evangelistic efforts of both Arian Christianity (the spiritual house of Israel, the northern kingdom), and of Trinitarian Christianity (the spiritual house of Judah, the southern kingdom to whom dominion has been given) will be successful beyond their imaginations. Both spiritual houses today represent the Christianity of the Cross--and the Cross will devour and trample and break in pieces every ideology of the world between today and the middle of the Tribulation.
Throughout the Millennium, humanity is the holy nation of God. No additional liberation will be needed even though Satan is loosed (inside of time) for a short while after the 1000 years. So once the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah, all of humanity has access to the Holy Spirit. The final liberation from bondage occurs on day 1260.
I cannot overly stress this: God's focus is the dual harvests of the earth. It isn't democracy, or human rights, or recognizing cultures, traditions, geographic boundaries, or anything else that seems important to human beings. God's focus is the creation of many sons. Hence we can expect to see the population of the world continue to rise as more potential sons come into existence. Birth control is a mocking of God. He will repay this mocking, especially in the case of the nation of China, by killing all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God. All firstborns belong to Him. He has made plain His claim on their lives. Therefore, China's one-child policy coupled to the nation hindering its population from coming to Christ and covering their sins will together cause enormous devastation to the country. If China's leaders have any concern at all for the nation, they will make sure that everyone is covered by the blood of Christ in a Passover service taken as Jesus gave the example. They will genuinely turn the nation to God, for if they will not, they will be, the morning following the passing through of the death angels, as dead as the Pharaoh who would not let circumcised Israel leave to worship God.
Because God's focus is the harvest of the earth, the situations necessary to cause all of humanity to accept Christ as its Savior will arise. God will use Satan and his demons to bring about universal Christianity. From there, it is only a short step to living by faith. The endtime conversion of Christians has begun: its shadow is the earthy ministry of Jesus of Nazareth to the nation of physical Israel. But according to the shadow, not many spiritual Israelites will be converted prior to the second Passover--fifty days after His sacrifice, Jesus only had 120 disciples meeting together for Pentecost.
The greater Christian Church is today the Israel of prophecy. Jesus was an Israelite, a Jew, a man of the house of Judah. Joshua leading Israel across the Red Sea is the physical shadow of the glorified Jesus leading Israel to glorification; Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe that would lead the northern house of Israel. So the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel are united in Christ--and the work of Christ at the end of the age comes out of the spiritual house of Israel as His work began with the spiritual house of Judah. This separation didn't exist in the beginning, and it won't exist at the end. Unfortunately, the separation has existed for many centuries, and still exists in greater Christianity as evidenced by the genuine animosity Baptists have for Mormons, or Lutherans have for Jehovah Witnesses, or all Trinitarians had for Herbert Armstrong.
Thus, endtime prophecies about Israel are first not restricted to the circumcised nation that no longer has a covenant relationship with God (Eph 2:15). Israel is the holy nation of God (compare Exod 19:5-6 with 1 Pet 2:9). She is the woman of Revelation chapter 12 -- the woman who gave birth to the man-child who will rule the world (v. 5), and whose offspring keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (v. 17). She has been called out from Babylon (Rev 18:4), and she includes all of humanity when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28). So endtime prophecies about Israel are about the Christian Church. All of humanity will become Christian when it receives the Holy Spirit, but the Christianity of the Cross will oppose and persecute the Christianity of Jesus of Nazareth, who would have men live as spiritual Judeans (Matt 5:17-19; Gal 2:14), not spiritual Gentiles. Therefore, to understand prophecy, a disciple must be able to identify who Israel is. Time, now, becomes an extremely critical referent. Today, Israel is the Christian Church, in captivity in Babylon, and represents a little more than a third of humanity, up quite a ways from Jonathon Edwards' day. Arian Christianity at a personal level is better prepared for evangelism than is Trinitarian Christianity, but the latter has greater electronic resources; i.e., more television and radio stations and programming. Dominion has been given to Trinitarian Christianity, but wars will again be fought (first in the realm of ideas, then with live ammo) between these two houses of Israel that are mingled as the clay married to the iron.
Arian Christianity represents all those denominations and sects that hold some variation of the doctrine that Christ is a created being, either at His birth or prior to His creation of the universe (as in the case of the LDS Church). They hold that God the Father was the Father of Jesus prior to Jesus' baptism and the Breath of the Father descending upon Him like a dove (Matt 3:16) This is an error Luke refutes in the story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Jerusalem Temple (Luke 3:49). God the Father's house was never the temple in Jerusalem; disciples are the spiritual temples of the Father. YHWH's house was the Jerusalem temple. For the boy Jesus to identify the temple as His father's house, He identifies His father as YHWH, or the Logos. He identifies His father as Himself, for, again, circumcised Israel never knew the Father. The Pharisees and Sadducees only knew YHWH, or the Logos, born as the man Jesus of Nazareth, who came as His son, His only (John 3:16 -- read this in the Greek original, noting the distinction between Theos and Theon that John establishes in the beginning two verses of his gospel). The Logos could only enter His creation once.
Trinitarian Christianity represents all those denominations and sects that descend from 2nd and 3rd Century theologians who made an idol of monotheism. These theologians fought Jewish charges of making Jesus into a second God by assigning to Jesus the same substance as the Father, thereby making the two one. They then compounded their error by assigning personhood to the Breath of God, making the three one. And a person can date when the Father sent Israel into mental captivity to the king of Babylon by the emergence of a triune deity.
Again, the Father sent spiritual Israel into spiritual captivity for the same reasons that YHWH sent physical Israel into Babylonian captivity (Ezek 20:5-26). Israel would not walk in His ways, and Israel profaned His Sabbaths, the reality of which is Christ. Thus, by profaning His Sabbaths, Israel mocked His Son, who died for the nation's sins. And today, spiritual Israel sacrifices its sons and daughters to the lake of fire by teaching spiritual infants to ignore the laws of God written on hearts and minds of born again disciples--the Father has turned the mocking back upon the mockers in an extremely deadly way.
Jesus identified Himself as the shepherd whose sheep, when the shepherd is struck, are scattered (Matt 26:31 -- compare to Zech 13:7). The prophecy in Zechariah continues to say that the Lord of Hosts will turn His hand against the sheep, slaying two-thirds of them (vv. 7-8). In the parable of the pounds, the nobleman has the seven of ten servants with whom he left a pound brought before him and slaughtered; these seven would not be ruled by him. So it is serious business when a person mocks God by refusing to walk in His ways, profaning His Sabbaths weekly, monthly, and annually. The Father avenges His Son, and the Father will cause you to murder your children if you mock His son. He is a jealous God. And He will not have sons who will not be ruled by Christ and by Himself. He will have you kill them for Him, for you determine your own judgment. You pronounce your verdict. The Father has set everlasting life and eternal death before you, and has commanded you to choose one or the other. Once you have life in the spiritual realm through receiving the Holy Spirit, you have no alternative but to choose either life or death. And all who dwell in the supernal realm are watching to see which you will choose. Your choice is simple, hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who sent Him and live with life inherent. Or mock God, practice hypocrisy, ignore His laws that have been written on your heart and put into your mind, refuse to walk in His ways, profane His Sabbaths and commit spiritual suicide. Lean over the muzzle of hypocrisy and blow your brains out. Splatter them across the ceiling. Make a mess that someone else has to clean up. There is no love in suicide.
The pundits of the Evangelical Church recognize that the head of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision represents Babylon, the arms and chest represent Media Persia, the belly of bronze represents Greece, but here is where problems enter: both the belly and thighs are of bronze (Dan 2:32). The division of the image occurs in the bronze portion, not in the iron-clay portion. The image is divided while the king of Greece still reigns. Although the legs of iron break and shatter all things (v. 40), '"rule over all the earth"' (v. 39) is not taken from the bronze kingdom. Rather the legs of iron, and the feet of iron and clay are derivatives of the bronze kingdom, with one leg being the mirror image of the other. Neither leg is able to rule over the other…again, the iron kingdom is never united as one entity. It is a divided kingdom (v. 41). The division of the image's torso occurs during the bronze kingdom, but the division of the iron portion is both bifurcated and within each leg. A doubled division, both laterally and vertically, so to speak. And the principle of foreshortening needs mentioned: I carve in the Northwest Coast tradition, where the head of a figure usually represents two-thirds of the figure. This tradition stands opposed to the composition of most Western art, which assigns one-seventh of a figure's height to its head as a general rule. Thus, if Nebuchadnezzar's image were drawn according to the rules for Formline composition, the figure would appear in near agreement with the quantity of time assigned to the reigns of successive kingdoms. The belly, thighs, legs and feet would be greatly foreshortened. The image's gold and silver portions that identified themselves as Babylon would comprise most of the spatial volume, leaving diminutive legs and feet to not attract attention to themselves, with these legs doubling as another figure, or elements of another figure. The logic behind Formline composition is an alternative reality that wasn't appreciated until 20th-Century Surrealists recognized what these Native Americans had been doing for many centuries.
Western culture has constructed Nebuchadnezzar's image according to its reality, that reality governed by the culture's use of language, a use centered around "when" an action occurs. Western culture has also developed atop the twin pylons of Greek Classicism and Greek Christianity. An argument could be made that Rome borrowed its values and its culture from Greece and as such satisfies Nebuchadnezzar's image's legs being made of iron as being an extension of Greek rule, but the argument would be an adding to Holy Writ. Rather, the spiritual reign over Western Europe within Babylon (which reigns over the children of men wherever they dwell) has been by the spiritual king of Greece, with the subservient kings of the North and of the South reigning over Christianity. These two kings have not been satisfied to restrict their dominion to Europe or the Americas. They have, using human beings in a marriage-type relationship, taken the Christianity of the Cross to all of the world. They have perverted Jesus' great commission, using iron swords to do what the double-lipped sword of the Word should have done. It is this Christianity that intellectuals have recognized as the scourge of the earth.
Because Western culture has visualized Nebuchadnezzar's image as a man drawn using single-perspective drawing with the perspective focused on the feet, the reign of the iron legs has been long, whereas the reign of the head of gold was short and distant. This image is a visual lie. But from the reality of Western culture, this image describes reasonably well the reign of Babylon over Christianity in Europe, for the Father formalized Israel's spiritual captivity in the 4th-Century. The reign of the Christianity of Constantine over the Christianity of Christ was foreshadowed by the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel about YHWH sending Israel to Babylon for the holy nation's good because the nation would not walk in His ways and profaned His Sabbaths. And at the Council of Nicea, Constantine ruled in favor of the Trinitarians over the Arians, thereby satisfying Daniel's prophecy of dominion being given to the beast with four heads (Dan 7:6). It is this Christianity of the Cross that is represented by the iron married to the clay. And this beast with four heads cannot explain itself so how can theologians possibly explain a triune deity--God, for them, remains a mystery.
Returning to Nebuchadnezzar's image, the bronze portion identified by Gabriel as the king of Greece continues to reign even though the bronze kingdom is divided, with the bronze of each division replaced by iron and clay. Today, democracy, a classic Greek value, is sweeping across the world, being spread through the elevation of individual human rights. The spread of this Greek ideal is being fueled by the economic strength of the United States, but the spread isn't by any human king. Rather, the spread comes from the spiritual king of Greece gaining rule over the mental topography of humanity. A war is presently being fought between this king of Greece and the kings of Persia--the he-goat has flown out of the west and is trampling the two-horned ram. The battle is in the supernal realm, but because the battle is for rulership of mental landscapes, this battle has physical fallout. That fallout includes France and the U.N. as agents of the kings of Persia resisting American intervention in Iraq, intervention that will allow the kings of the North and of the South to spread the Christianity of the Cross into Muslim nations. It is a shame that Americans have to die in Iraq, but as a nation, we will be as successful in the Middle East as the he-goat of Daniel's second vision is in trampling the ram. We win big. The world will become Christian, but not without horrific bloodshed. The Christianity of the Cross is a very bloody religion.
Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon is bound and taunted at Christ's return (again, Isa 14:4- 21). He transcends time until he is cast into this bowl of time where humanity lives as guppies. So his reign as the prince of the power of the air will cause him to remain the head of gold foreshadowed by Nebuchadnezzar. He is the gold present when the stone cut without human hands strikes the image on its feet and breaks them to pieces, when '"the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken to pieces'" (Dan 2:35). The stone strikes only the image's feet and breaks them. It doesn't break the head of gold. Rather, the toppling of the image results in the breakage of all of the kingdoms. And again, all of the kingdoms are present when the image topples, even though one kingdom has arisen after another.
Notice an absence in the text: Daniel doesn't tell Nebuchadnezzar that the bronze kingdom is inferior to him; rather, Daniel says that the bronze kingdom shall rule over all the earth (Dan 2:39). Daniel says that the silver kingdom is inferior to Nebuchadnezzar--and we see this in Scripture when, in the days of Ezra, Tattenai wrote to Darius and said, "However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree" (Ezra 5:13). The Persian governors identified the Persian king as the king of Babylon. So transferring this from physical shadow to spiritual reality, the spiritual sars of the kingdom of Persia derived their authority to rule from Babylon, from Satan. This is not the case with the spiritual king of Greece, who would depose Satan himself if Satan stood in his way. Now, the reason why Daniel's second vision is for the time of the end (Dan 8:17) becomes more understandable. Satan has an endtime rebellion on his hands. He literally reaps what he has sown. And this rebellion within a rebellion in the spiritual realm is the catalyst that brings about the conclusion of the age.
When Daniel sees the he-goat fly out of the west, Daniel records, "He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him, and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns towards the four winds of heaven" (Dan 8:6-8). And let us read this passage closely: the translation is reasonably reliable. There was no one who could rescue the ram -- the text doesn't say that the ram is destroyed, but that the ram came under the power or authority of the king of Greece (from v. 21), that there was no one who could come or choose to come to the ram's rescue, for obviously Michael and his angels have power to defeat even Satan. Christ has the power to defeat Satan, let alone demons of lesser quality than Satan. So it is reasonable to conclude from the silver being present when Nebuchadnezzar's image topples that the ram became a vassal king under the king of Greece. The breaking of its two horns indicates the change of administrative authority within the image that takes its identity from its head: Babylon. This is certainly suggested by the breaking of the great horn of the king of Greece, and the four horns emerging. Gabriel says of these four horns: '"And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power'" (vv. 21-22). The four horns are on the head of the king of Greece, but they signify a change of kingdoms as is inscribed in the book of truth (Dan 10:21):
And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. [paragraph break in translation] And now I will show you the truth. Behold three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided towards the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these. (Dan 11:1-4 emphasis added)
This long vision of what is inscribed in the book of truth was sealed and secret until the time of the end (Dan 12:4, 9), when many shall run to and fro and knowledge has increased (it wasn't understandable in 1843, or in 1927, or even in 1947). Daniel's vision of the he-goat flying out from the west is for the time of the end (8:17) and was sealed (v. 26). Yet what the angel brings to Daniel has the angel saying that he stood up for and strengthened Darius the Mede. This angel empowered Darius. This angel, then, participated in some way in Darius, when sixty-two years old, capturing the great city of Babylon (Dan 5:30). This angel reveals that spiritual beings are involved in the rise of nations and kingdoms. And after revealing that spiritual beings are behind the thrones of men, this angels says in paraphrase, Now, beginning now, I will show you the truth. The angel concludes in paraphrase with an interchange that says, This revealing of what has been inscribed in the book of truth is sealed, Daniel, and you cannot understand it. It won't be understandable until the time of the end. It was sealed by this angel mentioning Darius the Mede. When the physical shadow of endtime phenomena occurred, every prophecy pundit living prior to the actual time of the end believed the prophecy had been unsealed when Alexander defeated the Persians and Antiochus Epiphanes set up a statue of Zeus in the temple. But Jesus, asked specifically about the end of the age, said that when a person sees the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet set up, the person shall flee to the mountains. Jesus said the prophecy was for the end of the age. The angel Gabriel said the vision of the king of Greece's first horn breaking and being replaced by four horns was for the end of the age. It would seem like the testimony of both the Son of God and an archangel ought to be enough for prophecy pundits to believe that from, '"And now I will show you the truth'" (Dan 11:2) is about the time of the end, when the vision is unsealed.
In fairness to that brotherhood of blind pundits herded together in the corrals of Evangelical orthodoxy--all of whom identify the legs of iron as the Roman Empire--no one could understand these visions of Daniel until they were unsealed. They are now, though, unsealed. So a disciple needs to believe what has been recorded in Scripture. Don't believe that the legs of Nebuchadnezzar's image represent Rome, the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, or the Roman Church. Rome is NOT mentioned in prophecy. Rome doesn't belong in endtime prophecies. Believe, instead, that the single horn or king atop the head of the king of Greece is broken without great explanation (this horn is broken because he is first; he is broken when firstborns in the spiritual and physical realms are slain at the second Passover). Believe that after this single horn is broken, four kings emerge, that these four quickly become two (the kings of the North and of the South -- Dan 11:5-6) that continue to reign until Christ breaks them. Hear the Word of God; hear the voice of Christ. His sheep know His voice. The brotherhood of blind pundits are hirelings of either the king of the North, or of the king of the South. They are false prophets…every pundit who finds Rome in the prophecies of Daniel is false! And Christ assured His disciples that many false prophets would come during the Tribulation (Matt 24:11), and many false teachers would lead many astray in the lead-up to the Tribulation (v. 5).
Again, the image of Nebuchadnezzar becomes bifurcated in its bronze portion, but each bifurcated half is divided into iron and clay. Thus, in this fourth kingdom, there are two "irons" present, and two "clays." One iron is like the other iron, as if one is the mirror image of the other. The same for the clays. And the process of growing in knowledge allows me to better understand the ten toes than a year plus ago when I wrote Rereading Prophecy.
The four horns that replace the single great horn atop the head of the king of Greece quickly become (in one verse) two horns: the kings of the North and of the South. The physical shadow is the divisions of Alexander's empire developing into the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. The domains of the other two generals were just sort of absorbed. But spiritual kings don't disappear as easily. They go somewhere. But first we need to see who these four kings are.
Because the Father's focus has been on the dual harvests of the earth, let us look at the longer account of when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15). This longer account is found in Daniel:
As I looked, / thrones were placed, / and the Ancient of days took his seat; / his clothing was white as snow, / and the hair of his head like pure wool; / his throne was fiery flames; / its wheels were burning fire. / A stream of fire issued / and came out from before him; / a thousand thousands served him, / and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; / the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. / I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn [from v. 8] was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. / I saw in the night visions, / and behold, with the clouds of heaven / there came one like a son of man, / and he came to the Ancient of Days / and was presented before him. / And to him was given dominion / and glory and a kingdom, / that all peoples, nations, and languages / should serve him; / his dominion is an everlasting dominion, / which shall not pass away, / and his kingdom one / that shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:9-14)
The beasts whose lives were spared are the first three beasts of the chapter: the lion, bear, and four-headed leopard. Dominion had been given to the leopard (v. 6), dominion that is shared by all four beasts, or their dominion couldn't be taken from them.
The blind pundits of Evangelical orthodoxy identify the four beasts of Daniel 7 as Babylon [the lion], Persia [the bear], Greece [the leopard], and Rome [the cross-shaped fourth beast -- the description of this fourth beast comes from its mark: Chi xi stigma], but Rome is nowhere mentioned in prophecy. Thus, a disciple needs to discount everything these pundits have for sale. They are selling misunderstandings that will actually get spiritual infants murdered. They do Christianity much more harm than good, and their reward will be spiritually the same as was the reward given to the false prophets of Jeremiah and Ezekiel's day. Their names will be removed from Israel.
Is that shrill enough to get attention? Their wives are already spiritually prostituting themselves, leading women ministries that teach Christian women how to commit spiritual suicide by ignoring the laws of God written on their hearts and minds. Golda Meir once said, paraphrased, that peace won't come to the Middle East until Muslims love their children more than they hate Israelis. The same is true within Christianity: until the teachers of Israel love their infant sons of God more than they hate the laws of God, they will continue burning their babies on the altar of the Cross.
So, listen carefully you blind pundits: the Pope is not the antiChrist. No pope will ever be the antiChrist. The man of perdition is the physical/spiritual shadow of Satan, who when cast from heaven declares himself the messiah, declaring himself the Christ. Satan is the true antiChrist. And the man of perdition is an Arian Christian possessed by the little horn of Daniel's first vision. The little horn emerges on the head of the king of the North. He teaches that Christ is a created being. And one physical human being will come with great power who genuinely believes that he is Christ. Most likely, a physical man will believe that the angel inside him is the glorified Christ; this man will probably believe that humans are born with angels inside them. And this man comes conquering, and to conquer. He is the first of four horsemen that will cause even Muslims to become Christians.
He will have success beyond any of your imaginations. And you will hate him, but you will link yourself to him through the Cross. You will be torn between supporting him, for he will convert the 10-40 window, and fighting against him -- unless you begin listening to the voice of the glorified Jesus of Nazareth
The two legs of iron are the reigns of the king of the South, to whom dominion was given, and the king of the North, who has greater endtime power. These two kings are the iron of the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's image, and they have reigned over Israel since the 3rd-Century C.E. But Israel doesn't become half of humanity until just before its second Passover liberation. Israel doesn't become all of humanity until halfway through seven years of tribulation. And the kings of the North and of the South go from being vassal kings under first horn of the king of Greece, himself a vassal king under Satan, to being the reigning kings when the first horn of the king of Greece is broken. Since such kings are powers behind human thrones, their reigns effect humanity. Their warring between each other has fallout in the affairs of men, as evidenced by what has occurred since 9/11/01. Again, the American ideals of democracy and individual rights are the values of the spiritual king of Greece. The might of American armed forces has been used to promote these ideals in a manner similar to how the power of the Roman Church was used to spread Christianity throughout Europe. Plus, the might of America's military is being used to punish forces governed by the spiritual prince of Persia. These forces have, indeed, a Persian geographical referent, but the prince of Persia's reign has been over all of Babylon. He has been the spiritual power behind the United Nations, behind "old Europe," behind religious equality (in a UN-type model). And when strong through riches but not through strength, he tried to shove the king of Greece around. Both can see that their reigns under Satan will be cut short if they are unable to solve the problem of rebels living together in peace under laws that are not the Father's. And within the king of Greece's domain are the kings of the North and of the South agitating for getting as close to God's model of love as possible without actually submitting to Christ and the Father. The Christianity of these two kings increased from reigning over a sixth of humanity to being over a third in the past three centuries. And with the accumulation of wealth and technology in the countries governed by the spiritual king of Greece, all of the princes of Babylon see the inevitable outcome of Babylon going Christian, what they fought a heavenly civil war to overturn. People, as the demonstrators of their schemas for alternative forms of governance, keep killing each other. So tension has been rising within the cadre of rebels identified as "the dragon and his angels" (Rev 12:7). It is as if the Father in giving spiritual Israel over to mental bondage to the king of Babylon sowed a cancer within the rebel cadre that will kill the entire body while producing the harvest of the earth upon which His steadfast focus has remained fixed. And Satan was greedy enough to swallow the poisoned bait…Christ played a gambit pawn, and is now about to permanently checkmate Satan. As I have written before, the mind of Christ is something to be truly admired. Only at the end of the age can disciples begin to appreciate the deep chasm between humanity and God. Job had heard of God by his ear; he came to see God with his eye (Job 42:5). And the end of the age, disciples know God with their minds through having the indwelling of both the Breath of the Father and the Breath of the Son (Rom 8:911 -- note the differing Pneuma of Christ from the Pneuma of Him who raised Jesus from the dead). Disciples see the Father and the Son with their minds. Ears and eyes are physical. The mind that has the indwelling of the Father and the Son is spiritual.
Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar, '"And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay"' (Dan 2:40-43).
Daniel records no overturning of the iron by the mixed iron and clay, but uses the toes as a magnifying lens to better see the feet, and the feet as a lens to better see the legs. Thus, the legs are not pure iron, as most pundits claim. The legs are not a Roman Empire that undergoes changes through time, becoming progressively weaker. Again, Rome is never mentioned in Daniel whereas Babylon, Media Persia and Greece are. Therefore, since the division of the image occurs in the bronze portion, and since the angel Gabriel identifies the he-goat of Daniel's second vision as the king of Greece, and since this king of Greece subjugates the ram, identified as Media Persia, and since Daniel records Darius the Mede overturning Babylon, we can state with the authority of Scripture that the division of the image occurs when the great horn of the king of Greece is broken. The four horns that emerge quickly (within one verse) develop into the reign of the king of the South, from which comes the king of the North. In the physical shadow, the Greek kingdom doesn't go to Alexander's heirs, but to his generals. Four become two: the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires, with the Ptolemaic Empire reigning over Jerusalem for most of the years between Alexander's death and Antiochus Epiphanes' setting up of the abomination of desolation. Paul, developing what Jesus taught in His Olivet discourse, equates Antiochus Epiphanes' polluting the temple with the man of perdition declaring himself god; Jesus says the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel comes at the end of the age. Thus, the physical shadow of Nebuchadnezzar's image stretches from Nebuchadnezzar to Antiochus Epiphanes. Christ, with a stone cut without human hands, breaks the man of perdition differently from how the Maccabees defeated the Greeks. Rome and its history is not part of this shadow. Only the blind brotherhood continues to insert the defunct empire into endtime prophecies.
Now, making an excuse for this blind brotherhood: building on what I wrote earlier about art, for the past century, Western culture associated an image of a large, standing Chaldean, arms crossed, leaning a little backwards, being struck on the feet with a stone angling downward from the sky as the image Nebuchadnezzar saw. The image, I believe, was drawn by an Adventist artist, and the image has become a cultural icon, recognizable without explanation. The image, at a subconscious level, establishes that the stone comes from heaven, that the reign of the legs represents a greater length of time than the reigns of the head and chest, that the legs are solid iron whereas there is marbled iron and clay only in the feet and toes. The image confirms Rome as the legs of iron. And the image is a lie.
The Mount of Olive splits, and swallows the armies of the man of perdition (Zech 14:3-4 plus Exod 15:12, Rev 12:16 & Dan 9:26 alternative reading: "His end came with a flood"). No stone cast from heaven crushes the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Rather, the split Mount of Olives comes together to crush the kingdom of mixed clay and iron when Christ fights on a day of battle (note the indefinite article). This day of battle occurs 1260 days before Christ's return as the Messiah and the battle of Armageddon. This earlier battle occurs at Jerusalem, not to the north of the city, and it occurs on earth while Michael and his angels are casting the dragon and his angel to the earth. And with the crushing of the armies of the man of perdition, Satan comes and says, I did it. I'm the messiah. But he has been a liar from the beginning. There shall be wars to the end of the age. And by these wars, Israel will know not to accept the mark of the beast, which is the tattoo of the Cross (Chi xi stigma). Israel will know not to worship the beast or the antiChrist; yet as many as fourteen of fifteen will. Since all of humanity has the Holy Spirit and life in the spiritual realm, those who do not repent of worshiping the beast will go into the lake of fire.
Is that enough making excuses for the blind brotherhood of false prophets? I wouldn't taunt them if they weren't doing so much damage to Israel today. They are keeping the holy nation's focus on physical nations and human kings, about which we need no prophecies. Was World War I prophesied? Or World War II? Or the Great Depression? How about the American Civil War?
Do we need a prophecy to know that the modern nation of Israel must solve the problem of suicide bombers? What pundit will tell you that Muslims succumb to the power of the king of the North and become Arian Christians? None will believe when I tell them. But the Father will have the last word on this matter: when the death angels pass through Babylon, slaying all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb. The blind brotherhood will not recognize the absolute need to cover their sins, which I pray is not the case. The morning after this Passover will find a greatly changed world. Israel will be mentally liberated, and ready to listen to Christ--but for only long enough to establish a precedent for rebellion, or the great falling away. In one night Christianity will go from being an unrespected force in the world to being both the most hated, and the most dominant. But the Christianity the world will recognize is that of the Cross, the Christianity of Constantine, the Christianity of the great falling away, not the Christianity of Christ. The great first horn of the king of Greece will have been broken. Israel will mentally/spiritually spoil Babylon, and Satan will go after the liberated holy nation of God just as Pharaoh went after liberated circumcised Israel. And here is a mystery of God: it is Satan who pours water out of his mouth after the woman (Rev 12:15) who gave birth to the man-child who will rule the world (v. 5) and who gives birth to "those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (v. 17). The woman is Israel and Satan goes after her to destroy her seed when cast from heaven. The flood he sends are the armies of the man of perdition. Satan has control of these armies. The man of perdition's end comes with a flood. Pharaoh is a shadow of Satan. And the little horn that spoke great words when the beast was taken, judged and its body given over to be burned is the spirit being who overturns three kings, the spirit being who has eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things (Dan 7:8, 11). This little horn made war on the saints and prevailed over them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High (vv. 21-22). This little horn spoke directly to the court of the Ancient of Days as if he were the defense council for the fourth beast. He speaks against the Most High, and the saints "shall be given into his hand / for a time, times, and half a time" (v. 25). Prior to when the court sits in judgment, he received authority from God over the saints for three and a half years--and if the tribulation of this period were not cut short, no human being would be saved alive (Matt 24:22). This little horn is utterly ruthless, and this little horn is the dragon himself, having come to earth possessing a human being. He is not yet cast to earth to live like a man, as Nebuchadnezzar spent seven years living like a beast. He is, prior to the court of the Ancient of Days sitting in judgment, as he is described in Job, able to wander the earth overlooking the affairs of men, but wander the earth from another dimension. He reigns over the mental topography of humanity as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). But when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ, Satan will be cast into this sea of time. He will be cast into our dimensions. In comparison to his former glory, he will become as a human being; he will become like a human being with the mind and instincts of a beast. Compared to Michael, Satan will become like a cow compared to a saint.
But Satan will have no Daniel to save his kingdom for him. After his release for a short while at the conclusion of Christ's millennium long reign, Satan will have fire come out from his belly until he is ashes under the feet of the saints (Ezek 28:18-19). The Most High will not keep rebels around beyond their usefulness in bringing many heirs to glory…a person must choose to be ruled by Christ and the Father. Believing that everyone born who will not be ruled by Christ lives eternally in a spiritual rotisserie after the person's death is not worthy of a Christian. Nothing the person could believe displays a greater lack of love and godliness, for the wages of sin is death, not eternal life in hell. Everlasting or eternal life is the gift only of God the Father. It isn't the gift of a human father or mother. Belief that humans have immortal souls is prima facie evidence of the person being in mental bondage to the spiritual king of Babylon.
The logic for Satan possessing a human being to become the man of perdition begins with the mental liberation of Israel at the second Passover. Satan had been spiritually ruling over Israel just as Pharaoh physically ruled over the descendants of Jacob. He rule was over and through the kings of the North and of the South, who were under the king of Greece's single great horn. This great horn is broken just as the Pharaoh to whom Moses and Aaron spoke was killed. Another pharaoh came to power and decided that letting liberated Israel go was foolishness, and he, not the Pharaoh with whom Moses and Aaron spoke, went after their former slaves. This is the Pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea; this Pharaoh is the shadow of the man of perdition, whose end comes with a flood.
The first horseman of the Apocalypse comes looking like Christ, comes conquering and to conquer, but comes with a bow instead of a sword. He is a counterfeit. He is the direct shadow of the true antiChrist. Because Satan being cast into time has a physical as well as a spiritual component, the phenomenon creates a time-linked fulfillment as a physical shadow as well as a spiritual shadow not linked by time. The spiritual component of this phenomenon also casts a physical shadow that isn't linked by time: this shadow is Pharaoh. The time-linked shadow, however, is the first half of the seven years of tribulation. Just as my shadow is linked to me by time, Satan as the antiChrist casts a shadow that will be linked to him by time; hence, the mirror-like quality of the two halves of the Tribulation. The Light that causes the shadows to be cast is Christ and the Father. Since Christ rests on the Sabbath, the Light rests as the omega of creation, rests on day seven, causing all shadows to be cast back towards day one. A new concept can here be introduced. Because Christ rests on the seventh day, which is a region of time directly ahead of humanity as Puget Sound is ahead of a ship sailing north from the mouth of the Columbia River, Christ is the reality of the Sabbath. It is into His Sabbath rest that a person must enter. Plus, He is the light of the world. His brilliance causes the shadows; He creates them in an interesting combination of action and reflection. But in every case, the shadow has been created because of the light shining backwards from day seven of the summation of the plan of God towards day one at the beginning of the creation. Therefore, a person's spiritual illumination is in a calculable relationship to the distance the person is from Christ's Sabbath rest. "Distance" has both quantifiable geographical and (here is the key) quantifiable spiritual coordinates, based upon the length of the shadows. The location of the light source is known. The location of the phenomena casting the shadows is also known. The angles are known So wrestle with the concept. I will return to it in another article. But as a prelude, if a spiritual relationship can assume quantifiable perimeters, then the mathematics for the supra-dimensional realm identified as heaven is determinable. All will be known--and if known, in subjection (Heb 2:8). The end of the age, however, will come first. We have nearly arrived at the end as we unwind the strings holding everything together.
What happened to our hunt for those beasts of Daniel chapter 7? We shall momentarily return to our stalk of them, armed as we are with greater spiritual understanding.
All prophecy and all scriptural history is connected, so neither seemingly unrelated prophecies nor the disjointed historical narratives can be properly read in isolation. All should be read together. And when they are, they produce wandering explications.
Many Christians wonder why they should read the history of circumcised Israel. Often the New Testament is coupled with Psalms and Proverbs in condensed Bibles to be given away. These condensed give-a-ways leave readers without a copy of the covenant by which they will be judged, and without the record of the history of Christianity in the spiritual realm. They are spiritual suicide specials, leaving readers with an illuminated path to the lake of fire.
Now, laying aside the cheap tracts of left behind mentality that should never have been imported into Christianity, let us pick up the big-bore rifle of Christ, necessary for slaying the beasts that terrified Daniel. We are in lion, bear, leopard country, but it is the Cross that poses the greatest threat to disciples, for it is by the iconography of the Cross that the four beasts have shared the dominion given to the four-headed leopard.
When the court of the Ancient of Days sits in judgment, the fourth beast has it body destroyed, and is dwelt a mortal wound. These four beasts have seven heads, with ten horns on the head of the fourth beast (Dan 7:7) when we first see it. A little horn whose dominion over the saints shall be '"for a time, times, and half a time'" (v. 25) uproots or overturns three of the ten horns. And we can date with precision when this little horn emerges by adding a time, times and half a time to a time, times and half a time (Rev 12:14) to arrive at when Christ returns. There are exactly two periods of a time, times, and half a time in length between when the little horn emerges and Christ returns. The first period ends when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of God, ends when humanity is liberated and the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, ends when the dragon is cast from heaven, ends when the first beast of Revelation 13 is allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. Thus, a time, times and half a time is half of seven years, or forty-two months, or 1260 days. We can be certain that there are two identical units of time, for we see the four beasts immediately after their dominion is taken away by the court of the Ancient of Days.
The Apostle John records:
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" (Rev 13:1-4)
Remember, after the great horn of the king of Greece is broken, four horns emerge in its place. The king of Greece wasn't the first horn; it is a coalition of kings, four of whom emerge when the first horn is broken. Plus, dominion was given to the four-headed leopard. So if the coalition that comprises the king of Greece were to appear as a beast after the body of the fourth beast is destroyed, the coalition would look like the beast John saw. Its dominant feature would be from the four-headed leopard. The lion was given the mind of a man to speak like a man, so its mouth would be of the lion. The bear was its devouring power, is the king of the bottomless pit, so logically it becomes the feet. The fourth beast was dwelt a mortal wound when the court of the Ancient of Days sat in judgment, and it is this head who has the mortal wound that has healed.
But when the court of the Ancient of Days sat in judgment, dominion was taken from the four beasts -- and when the first beast of Revelation 13 emerges from the sea, it has no dominion. The dragon gives it his authority, but when cast from heaven, the dragon as the king of Babylon loses his ability to reign over the mental topography of humanity. The dragon loses his great authority when the kingdom of the world is given to Christ. The dragon, though, is a thief. He steals the authority of Christ by posing as the messiah; he comes as the antiChrist. And because he proclaims himself to be the messiah and because he gives authority to the Cross-shaped fourth beast (whose body was destroyed), the whole world worships him and the beast.
Remember, all of humanity will now be the holy nation of Israel; all will have received the Holy Spirit; all will be infant sons of God. And Satan's avowed purpose will be to devour as many of these sons of God as he can. And you will be sucked into committing spiritual suicide if you accept the tattoo of the Cross [Chi xi stigma].
Three spirit beings are cast into the lake of fire: the beast and the false prophet upon Christ's return (Rev 19:20), and Satan after being released for a short while following Christ's Millennium reign (20:10). We know all three are spirit beings, for John records, "And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty" (16:13-14). The dragon [Satan] is co-equal with the beast and the false prophet in being able to spit forth a demon. Human beings don't do this little feat. So we can establish that the false prophet is the same sort of being as is the beast and the dragon.
Let us return to the beasts of Daniel 7: the first beast that emerged from the sea "was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as [Daniel] looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it" (v. 4). Four horns or kings appear on the head of the king of Greece. Two of the horns are the kings of the North and of the South. Four beasts appear in Daniel's first vision. These four beasts are the four horns. The little horn in both visions (chapters 7 & 8) is Satan, coming first possessing a human being as the man of perdition, then coming when cast from heaven as the true antiChrist. The first beast is made to look like a man, and to think like a man. He is the false prophet. We know the name of the second beast: Apollyon. The third beast is the king of the South, to whom dominion was given. The fourth beast is the animated Cross that devours and tramples and stamps and is the scourge of the world; the fourth beast is the king of the North.
Although bear baiting is legal in some states and provinces, it can be risky when the hunter is the bait. This will be the case both now and in the future, when only the bear is able to kill the two witnesses. But I have killed a bear I never saw, except as a word in my mind. So it is with experience that I now mentally stalk four of the most dangerous beasts the world has ever known. Christ throws two of them into the lake of fire. That only leaves two for His disciples to finish off at His return. The saints of the Philadelphia Church fight to win a kingdom for their elder brother, who leaves them with work to do. That work might well include slaying a couple of beasts.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."