Whose World?
 Message by: Leroy Surface

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.  I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him. Ezekiel 21:26-27

This is not a prophetic message in the sense we usually think of end-time prophecy.  It is a message about the rising and falling of nations, and the overturning of kingdoms, which has been from the beginning of time and will continue, as God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel, “until he come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.”  While we understand that Ezekiel spoke specifically of the overthrow of the wicked king Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his prophecy goes far beyond the issues at hand in that day.  God said, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn…”  He would overturn nations, kingdoms, systems, and governments; He would continue to overturn every form of man’s government until the one to whom these governments truly belongs would come.  God said, “I will give it to him.”  This prophecy speaks of Jesus Christ, and the “overturning” of “nations” and “things” will continue until it is fulfilled as spoken in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Revelations 17:10-11

It was on the Isle of Patmos in the closing decade of the first century A.D. that the Apostle John received the “Revelation.”  In writing the revelation, he was told to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are (in John’s present time), and the things which shall be hereafter (from John’s day forward)” (Revelation 1:19).  In the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, John had seen a “scarlet colored beast…having seven heads and ten horns…” (Revelation 17:3).  There are three different entities in the book of Revelation that are described as “having seven heads and ten horns.”  The first is found in Revelation 12:3; “   and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns…”  This, of course, is speaking of “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).  The other “beasts” spoken of in the “Revelation” are but manifestations of this “great red dragon,” which is our adversary, the devil, or, Satan. 

The second “entity” is found in Revelation 13:1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns…”  This beast, which John saw “rise up out of the sea,” received his “power, his seat, and his authority” from the dragon of the twelfth chapter, and is a manifestation of one of the “heads” or “the governing authority” of the dragon over the people of this world.  The beast of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation is the manifestation of the dragon’s “governing authority” in the “kingdoms of this world” throughout the ages of time itself.  In our text of Revelation 17:10-11, the angel of the Lord is explaining to John the meaning of the seven heads of the scarlet colored beast of Revelation 17:3.  The seven “heads” are seven kings (kingdoms), five of which are fallen.  The five “fallen” kingdoms in John’s day were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes and Persians, and the Greek empire.  The angel continued, “and one is…”  The kingdom that was in place in John’s present day was the Roman Empire.  “…and the other is not yet come,” speaks of a “governing authority” which would not arise until after John’s time on earth.  It would be the “seventh head” which would replace the “sixth head,” the Roman Empire.  The seventh head immediately arose out of the fall of the Roman Empire.  This “head” has not yet “fallen” in our day, but has, as the scriptures prophesied, received a “deadly wound” (Revelation 13:3).  This seventh head of the scarlet colored beast in seventeenth chapter of Revelation is also the beast revealed in the thirteenth chapter, and is none other than that which is called the “Holy Roman Empire.”

The first six “heads” of the beast were six nations that rose to world power.  Each of them became the preeminent kingdom of their day.  Even though they worshiped other god’s, they were blessed or cursed by the “true” God based upon their treatment of His chosen people, the children of Israel.  Three of these kingdoms, Egypt, Babylon (under Nebuchadnezzar), and the Medes and Persians were used to bless and sustain the righteous of Israel during critical times.  The “sixth head,” the “Roman Empire” replaced the Greek Empire before the birth of Christ and continued afterwards until the “seventh head,” the “Holy Roman Empire” replaced it.  The same day Jesus died on the cross He told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.”  Until that time, Israel had been the “kingdom of God” on earth.  In Matthew 21:43 Jesus warned her spiritual leaders, saying, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”  That “nation,” is His church, an “holy nation” (I Peter 2:9).  It was at Calvary that everything changed.  Now, His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.  It is the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-23).  Rome carried out the wishes of Israel’s high priest and the elders in crucifying Jesus.  God raised Him from the dead and set Him at His right hand in the heavens.  He began to rule from the throne of Heaven through His people on earth, His church.  The emperor Nero sought to eradicate the Christian church through the secular powers of Rome, but could not.  That first century church literally “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).  It is no wonder that the next head of the beast would be a “spiritual” head.  Under Constantine, Rome ceased to fight against the church, but instead began to fight “under the banner of” the “church.”  The people of every nation subject to Rome were required to be baptized into “Christianity.”  The influx of “pagans” into the church at the point of the Roman sword created a “monster,” or rather a “beast;” a beast that would rise up as the seventh world power to force the entire world, if possible, to bow at its altar in the name of “Christianity.”  This was the “Holy Roman Empire.”  It received its “power, seat (throne), and great authority” from the dragon (Revelation 13:2).  It made war with the saints “and overcame them” (Revelation 13:7).  It received power over all “kindreds, tongues, and nations.”  Kings, rulers, and Emperors were forced to bow and worship at its feet.  Many that refused to bow were burned at the stake.  Others were tortured in the most horrible manners imaginable.  The entire world was subjected to these atrocities at the hands of this “Holy Roman Empire” for over a thousand years, a period that historians have called “the dark ages.”  No king of earth, any nation or group of nations, no general with his trained warriors with him was ever found that could stand against or gain victory over this “beast.”  Its ruling power was from Satan himself, but this “seventh head” of the beast reigned under the banner of “Christianity.”  When the “deadly wound” was finally inflicted on this “beast,” it was dealt by the “words” of humble men of God who boldly preached the truth of the gospel without fear for their lives.  They “overcame” as men and women of God have overcome in every generation.  They raised no armies; they sought no political power; instead they “   overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).  The reformation of the sixth century was the deadly wound inflicted on the seventh head of the beast.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

This writer believes we are living in the day of the “eighth,” that is “of the seven.”  It is revealed in Revelation 13:11; “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”  This one has the appearance of reality.  It “looks like” a lamb.  It is not until he speaks that the Apostle notes something wrong; his “speech” is that of a dragon.  In the previous chapter, Revelation twelve, we saw the great red dragon, his tail gathering the third part of the stars of heaven, casting them to the ground, and making war in the heavens until he is overcome and cast down to earth by the shedding of the blood of the Son of God at Calvary.  This is revealed in the twelfth chapter, but in the fourteenth chapter we see the “Lamb” standing on Mount Zion, His “church.”  Sandwiched between these two chapters, in the thirteenth we see a “beast” that looks like the Lamb of the fourteenth chapter, but speaks as the dragon of the twelfth chapter.  A deceiver!  A false spirit!  An antichrist!  The “man of sin” exalting himself, “…so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”  This “man of sin” is not a “man” sitting in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem proclaiming himself to be God.  It is that which Paul warned us of in II Corinthians 11:4, “another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel.”  It has come, and many in the “church” have received and believed it.  It came “looking like the Lamb,” but it “speaks as the dragon.”  It came with “doctrines of devils” as Paul warned us of in I Timothy 4:1, but because it “looked like a lamb,” multitudes received it.  “Coming up out of the earth” (Revelation 13:11), it is as though the previous “beast” is resurrected, for it is the same spirit.  It exercises all the power of the first “beast,” and causes them that dwell on earth to worship the first.  This is the “beast that was, and is not, and yet is” of Revelation 17:8.  I do not know all that will come out of this beast in the future, but according to what I have seen by the Spirit and in the Word, it will bring us to that time of trouble such as never was, nor ever shall be.  It is coming in our generation.

Antichrist

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.  I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. I John 2:18-23

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. I John 4:3-6

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  II John 1:7

Here are some pretty incredible facts about antichrist.  The word “antichrist” is used only five times in the entirety of the bible.  The Apostle John is the only man that ever spoke of antichrist by that name.  These eleven verses of scripture cover everything John said about antichrist.  Antichrist is never spoken of as a world leader, political or otherwise.  Every mention of antichrist by John was of false teachers, false prophets, and deceivers that were either in the church or departed from the church.  In the Authorized Version of the bible (KJV), there is no mention at any place of “The Antichrist.”  Instead, the Apostle John warned of “many antichrists” that were at work in his day.  The people were looking for the coming of antichrist, but John was telling them it was already in their midst.  He also spoke to them of the “spirit of antichrist” that was already in the world.  Peter told us in II Peter 1:16, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”  There cannot be a more “cunningly devised fable” that more people blindly follow than the modern doctrine of “The Antichrist.”  They can tell you where he will come from; when he will arise, and exactly in every detail what he will do, yet he does not even exist in all the record of the scriptures.  You may wonder why is it important to say these things?  It is very important because the “doctrine” of “The Antichrist” has blinded multitudes to the fact that even now there are many antichrists, and the spirit of antichrist has been at work in the realm of the church from the very beginning.  Although tactics may change, and appearances may change, the goal of antichrist is forever the same.  He would take the place of Christ in the hearts and minds of the people.  He would leave the church with a “Jesus” that has no nail prints.  He would cause “Christ crucified” to never be preached again.  He would cause the “preaching of the cross” to be “foolishness” to the people.  He would cause the “blood of Jesus Christ” that “cleanses from all sin,” to be replaced by a program that will “help the people overcome their weaknesses.”  He would cause the people to believe a child of God is still a sinner, and sins every day.  He would promote the idea that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God is going to heaven when they die.  His would be a “Christian society” that would have the same sin problems as the rest of the world.

Satan’s Ambition

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:13-14

In Satan’s ambition to take the place of God, he said, “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.”  It doesn’t take much research to discover that he was speaking of the church; that he, Satan, or “Lucifer,” as Isaiah called him, wanted to be the God of the church.  Listen to the words of the Psalmist as he reveals what the “mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” really is.  “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psalms 48:1-2).  Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the mount of the congregation, is speaking of the Temple of God at Jerusalem in the Old Testament, but after Calvary, it speaks of Mount Zion, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God eventually destroyed the Old Testament Temple because of the idols and idolatry that came into it (Ezekiel 8:1-9:6).  A church that accepts the “spirit of antichrist” will be no different before God in this day.

Satan’s ambition is realized when II Thessalonians 2:3-4 is fulfilled: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”  Listen to what Jesus referred to as the “Temple” in John 2:19-21; “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.”  Now we will hear the testimony of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…”  In this place Paul speaks of our physical bodies as the “temple of the Holy Ghost.”  In I Corinthians 3:16-17, he speaks of the church on this order; “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”  His church and the bodies of His children are the New Testament Temple of God.  To defile either with sin or deception is to bring the greatest anger of our Holy God against the one bringing the defilement.  The Apostle said, “him shall God destroy.”  

Many substitutes for the Holy Ghost have been brought into our churches.  Many are the people that lift up their hands to worship, and as Jesus told the woman at the well, “ye worship ye know not what” (John 4:22).  I have seen men and women lift up their hands and worship, with tears in their eyes, while young men broke concrete blocks with their heads, or baseball bats with their hands.  They did not know what they worshiped, but I will tell you, they were not worshipping God or the Lord Jesus Christ.  They defiled the Temple of God with their “worship.”  I have seen young people numbering into the thousands, leaping, whistling through their teeth, doing back flips, and worshipping with uplifted hands while hard-rock bands rocked and rolled, and gyrated with sensual gyrations.  Many are deceived into believing these are being “reached for Jesus.”  They are not.  It is the “worship center” of antichrist, inhabited by unclean spirits, and teaching the ways of destruction to our children.  If those that are “called by the name of the Lord” understood what was going on in such environments, they would immediately throw out the smoke and vapor machines, the strobe lights, dismiss the rock bands and the rap musicians, and flee to the safety of the altar of God in repentance.  They would humble themselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from the wickedness of their own way.  Then, God would “hear from Heaven…”

The Two Faces of Antichrist

The two faces of “antichrist” are revealed in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation.  The first is that of a “beast” having seven heads and ten horns.  If you have seen the “great red dragon” in the twelfth chapter, the resemblance is amazing.  This “face” cannot deceive for long, but it rules and makes “converts” by brute force.  We saw that “face” manifest in Nero’s Roman Empire, the “Holy Roman Empire,” Hitler’s “Empire,” world communism, and we see it in modern liberalism.  It may pretend to be for “Christ,” or, as in the case of the “Holy Roman Empire,” even claim to be the sole representative of Christ.  Another “head” of this same beast will openly war against Christ and all who believe upon Him as did Nero, the Emperor of Rome.  Regardless if this “face” is publicly “for” or “against” Christ, its methods are brute force, and entirely “antichrist.” 

It is easy to recognize the “spirit of antichrist” when it rises up in open opposition and condemnation of Jesus Christ.  We have seen that ugly head of the beast rise up in America in recent years.  It began to win victories in our nation at the very beginning of this generation in the battle over prayers and bible readings in the public schools.  Since that time, antichrist has gained professorships in our major universities to teach our youth.  He has been elected to high office in both houses of congress, and appointed to judge in many of our nations courts.  His hatred against Christ has been decreed as the law of the land from an increasing number of federal courts.  The antichrist bias that is in America today is beginning to awaken even the most lethargic among God’s people in America, but there are few that believe there is anything we can do.  There is!  God is looking for intercessors for America. 

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24

The second “face” of antichrist is by far the more dangerous of the two.  This one is as much a “beast” as the first, but in appearance it is like a lamb.  It is not so easy to recognize this “face” of antichrist because it most often rises up in the very midst of the church, speaking wonderful sounding words, and doing wonderful works.  Antichrist’s most dangerous manifestation is when he comes as an “angel of light,” or a “minister of righteousness.”  The first beast of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation rose up with seven heads and ten horns, pretending to be the “church of Jesus Christ.”  It didn’t take long to see that it was the old red dragon with his seven heads and ten horns and long tail that was behind the façade.  He didn’t really deceive many, but he did hold the nations captive for over a thousand years by the bloody sword that he wielded.  The next time you see that beast, however, he looks just like a lamb.  It is the same old dragon behind the scenes, but few can discern it.  Seeing the lamb like appearance, the mind goes immediately to Jesus, the “Lamb of God.”  Reports of the wonderful works circulate.  “He can read you like a book!  He can call you out by name!”  Signs and wonders, the multitudes gather, many “repeat the prayer,” but when it’s over, there is desolation.  A decade ago the “laughing revival” swept around the world, but in its wake, many host churches had to close their doors after their “day in the sun.”  Other like “revivals” will come, but as long as they do, we will continue to lose America.  So what if the “church” gains the whole world, and loses its own soul?  The fact that we have “mega-churches” does not mean we have revival.  Antichrist rejoices to see tens of thousands of the people flocking to a church that teaches a humanist gospel, with a “you can make it” theology.  His church is a church that creates an atmosphere that a sinner will feel at home in, a “worship service” that will entertain him.  The “spirit of antichrist” likes that kind of church. 

If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear:  Mark 4:23-24

The “spirit of antichrist” always comes with the appearance of a lamb, but when he speaks, he “speaks as a dragon.”  He may “speak of much love” as in Ezekiel 33:31.  He may speak “great swelling words” as in Jude 1:16 and II Peter 2:18.  He will come with philosophy.  He will offer many programs, all of them for the “betterment of self.”  It is in his doctrine that you will discern him, for, as Paul warned so long ago, he will come with “doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1).  His word will eat as a cancer; it will increase unto more ungodliness (II Timothy 2:16-17).  His is a social gospel that would improve society in general, but never “save” a single soul.

In the twentieth chapter of Genesis there is a sad story of deception in the life of Jacob.  When Jacob was born the youngest of twin brothers, his hand was holding to the heel of his brother Esau.  It was this incident that gave him his name “Jacob,” which means “supplanter,” or “heel grabber.”  The definition of “supplanter” is one who “trips up, overthrows, or causes the downfall of another for the purpose of taking their place or position through underhanded or treacherous means.”  This was Jacob’s heart and nature from his childhood until the day he was “changed” while “wrestling with the Lord” in Genesis 32:24-30.  His greatest “deception” was on the day Jacob deceived his father, Isaac.  This was the day Isaac would bless Esau.  He had sent Esau to kill a deer and prepare some venison stew.  After Isaac had eaten of the stew, he would lay his hands on Esau and give the birthright blessing to him.  His mother Rebecca told Jacob to go quickly and kill a lamb.  She would prepare a stew to taste like Esau’s venison stew while Jacob disguised himself to appear to be Esau.  Isaac was old and blind.  He could not discern the differences between his sons by sight, but he knew his two sons.  Esau was an outdoorsman, a great hunter, and a man of the fields.  His arms and body were hairy, and he smelled of the fields that he loved so much.  Jacob was a young man that stayed in the tents.  He was his “mother’s child.”  His body was smooth, his voice was tender, and his smell was of the tents.  Rebecca instructed Jacob to put the wool of the lamb on his arms and hands; to put Esau’s clothing on; to take her stew to Isaac, and to say, “I am Esau, thy firstborn.”  The day was filled with lies and deception.  No one can say this was God’s way for Jacob to receive the blessing; it was not.  Lies and deception are never the means God will use obtain His blessing.  From the beginning, Isaac was suspicious.  “Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.”  The scripture continues in Genesis 27:22, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”  Isaac is troubled.  Something is wrong.  He wants so much to bless Esau this day, but what he hears belies what he “feels.”  Now, listen to the sad conclusion in the next verse: “And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.” 

Jesus warned us of this very thing in Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  They come with lies and deception with the “appearance” of the lamb, while behind the appearances is a ravening wolf.  How often have the people of God failed to discern, “because the hands were hairy?”  This is what happens when Satan puts on a lambskin and comes to deceive.  The people are very often “blinded” by his flatteries and good humor.  It “feels” so good; they do not discern the voice, that it is not the voice of Christ, but of antichrist.

The Heir of the World

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:13

It was several centuries after the flood that nations began to form upon earth.  The birth of the nations was actually the result of time God confused the languages and scattered the people from the Tower of Babel in the days of Nimrod.  In those days a child was born in Ur of the Chaldees whose given name was Abram, meaning “high father.”  From what we know about Abram from the scriptures, it seems that his destiny in life was to be just that; a “father.”  Not a very high calling, many would say, but this man not only became the “father” God had promised he would be but he also became the preeminent man in all history apart from our Lord Jesus Christ.  The secret to Abraham’s “success” was simple, as was everything about this man, he “believed God.” 

Out of all the billions of people that have lived on earth during the six thousand years since Adam, Abraham is the only person of which the scriptures explicitly say, “Believed God.”  Of course there were others.  The eleventh chapter of Hebrews tells us of many different individuals that did mighty exploits “by faith” in God.  Each of these “believed God” at some point and for some purpose in their lifetime, and their “claim to fame” is the result of the day they “believed God.”  Faith’s “hall of fame” begins with Abel, of whom the scriptures says, “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice…” (Hebrews 11:4).  Obviously God had spoken to both Cain and Abel concerning the blood sacrifice that was required for atonement, but it was Abel alone that “believed God.”  Perhaps the most amazing testimony given is that of Enoch, who was “translated that he should not see death” (Hebrews 11:5).  Enoch was a man of God, and a prophet, who warned of coming destruction almost a thousand years before the flood.  Although the details are not recorded, there must have been a day that God spoke to Enoch much as He spoke to Abraham in Genesis 17:1-2, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee…”  God’s covenant with Enoch was that he would not see death if he “walked with God” and was “pleasing to God.”  Enoch “believed God,” and Genesis 5:24 records, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”  The third man in this chronicle of “believers” is Noah.  God warned Noah of a great flood He would send that would destroy that world, and Noah “believed God.”  Hebrews 11:7 says it this way, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…” 

Throughout the six millennia of time there have been untold thousands, perhaps millions that have “believed God” and done exploits in His name.  Many of these were exalted by God to be recorded in the annals of history, but the vast majority were common everyday people who became shining lights in the midst of darkness to all who knew them, because, they “believed God.”  There is one common denominator among all who “believe God” however; they “possess the promises.” 

Abraham stands out above and beyond all others in the record of faith.  In fact, he is called the “father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11).  Without question he is the preeminent man of all history with the single exception of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Three major religions of the world look to him as “father Abraham.”  He is, just as God promised him, the “father of many nations.”  That little piece of real estate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that God promised to Abraham and his “seed” after him, is, and has been for most of the past four thousand years, the focal point of division and strife between nations.  The very fact that these warring nations, which, if possible, would destroy one another, all honor and revere Abraham is a testimony to the greatness of the man.  Yet, if Abraham lived today, what would be his claim to fame?  He was no king; he ruled no empire.  He raised no armies; he conquered no kingdoms.  He was neither a prophet nor a priest.  He received no tithe from men, but rather gave tithe to Melchisedec.  In fact, he is never mentioned in the scripture until he was seventy-five years old.  He lived as a “nomad” in tents; he wandered the length and breadth of the land of Canaan.  He was a prosperous man, having camels, much sheep and cattle, silver and gold, but certainly this was not his “claim to fame.”  He counted himself to be a “stranger and a pilgrim” in the land (Hebrews 11:13).  He searched for a city “whose builder and maker was God” (Hebrews 11:10).  Certainly there can be only one claim this man had that has brought him such honor and fame throughout the ages, and it is this; he “believed God.”  Ultimately, he believed God to become a “father.”  God made him to be “a father of many nations.”

“Believing God” was not a one-time affair for Abraham.  He believed when God called him to leave the land of his father and go to a distant land.  The scripture said he went, “not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8).  He believed God when He said, “I will make of thee a great nation” (Genesis 12:2).  Abraham’s wife Sarah was a barren woman; she could not bear children.  Abraham had “adopted” a slave that was born in his house to be his heir.  Abraham believed God when He told him this child would not be his heir, but rather the “heir” would “come forth out of thine own bowels” (Genesis 15:4).  Abraham believed when God told him to look at the stars for number, saying, “so shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:5).  Afterward, Abraham took an Egyptian handmaid to be his wife, and she gave him a son, Ishmael.  Some fourteen years later, Abraham wept and believed God when He told him that Ishmael was not the heir of promise, but “in Isaac shall thy seed be,” a child to be borne by Sarah when Abraham was about one hundred years old (Genesis 17:15-19).  Abraham “believed God” when He spoke, calling “things that be not as though they were,” saying, “I have made thee a father of many nations” (Romans 4:17), this being before Sarah had yet conceived.  When Isaac was a young man, probably yet a teenager, God told Abraham to go to the land of Moriah and “offer him there for a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2).  Abraham “believed God,” believing that God was able to raise Isaac again from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).  Again, Abraham “believed God” when He provided a “substitute sacrifice” to die instead of Isaac.  None of these things alone constitute any great exploit by Abraham, or unusual miracle by God.  Instead, it gives evidence of a man who spent a lifetime “believing God.”  He was called “the friend of God.”  God would not do anything before telling Abraham (Genesis 18:17), because he “believed God.”  For centuries to come, whenever God revealed Himself to man, He would introduce Himself as “the God of Abraham…”  Long before the “many nations” sought to identify with Abraham, God did.  He was not ashamed to be called Abraham’s God (Hebrews 11:16).

The greatest promise God gave to Abraham is revealed in Romans 4:13.  It is the promise that Abraham would be “the heir of the world.”  This promise goes far beyond the promise that his children would possess the land of Canaan.  It is a promise to both Abraham and his “seed” that they would be the heirs of the world.  Almost certainly Jesus had this promise in mind when He preached the Sermon on the Mount: “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  This promise was given four times in the book of Psalms alone.  The implications of this great promise to Abraham and his seed are far reaching indeed.  As mentioned earlier, Abraham is a father of many nations.  He is the father of the Arab nations through his son Ishmael.  The descendants of Ishmael became the Midianites.  Abraham is the father of the twelve tribes of Israel through his son Isaac.  He fathered six sons by his concubine/wife Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2, I Chronicles 1:32).  Through these sons of Keturah, Abraham was the father of the nations of Sheba, and Dedan.  Through Isaac He was not only the father of Israel, but also of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, and the Amalekites, the grandson of Esau.  One thing is certain, if all the nations and religions of this present world that look to Abraham as their “patriarch (first father)” were added up, together they would be the majority people of this planet.  Abraham has certainly become the “heir of the world.”  The promise, however, is not only to Abraham, but also to his “seed.”

Whose World Is It?

Recently a young Muslim woman tried unsuccessfully to be a “suicide bomber” in Israel.  Somehow the Israeli police were able to take her captive before she could achieve her goal.  A news reporter interviewed her from prison, and we heard the report on the evening news.  She said she would regret as long as she lived that she failed in her attempt, because of the wonderful blessings in “heaven” she would have received for killing Jews and westerners.  She then quoted from the Koran what she believed was the “will” of God for Islam.  She said, “We will not stop until the flag of Islam flies over Jerusalem and over every nation on earth.”  This young woman was willing to lay down her own life to advance the cause of Islam in the world today.  She was willing to “murder” both Jews and Christians, the more the better, for the advancement of her “cause.” 

This we must recognize; the radical Muslim is not seeking a “just” settlement in Israel.  Their own sovereign land, separate but equal to Israel, is not their goal.  First, it must be Jerusalem, then all of Israel, and then, the entire world.  They believe the same “promise of Abraham” as the Christian and the Jew.  They believe they are rightful heirs, not only of the promised land of Canaan, but also the “heirs of the world” through Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar. 

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16

The Apostle Paul tells us explicitly that the promise to Abraham and his “seed” was not to the many “seeds” of Abraham, but to “thy seed, which is Christ.”  It is Jesus Christ alone that is the “heir of the world.”  In our text for this message, God said, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn…until he shall come whose right it is; and I will give it unto him.”  We know that when Jesus returns to earth in His “second coming,” the “kingdoms of this world” will be given to Him.  The scripture says, “And the nations were angry (Revelation 11:18), and thy wrath is come.”  In the wrath of God at the second coming of Jesus, the nations and kingdoms of this world will be “overturned,” and given to our Lord.  He will “tread the winepress of the wrath of God” (Revelation 19:15).  There will be judgment without mercy in that day.  Don’t let yourself be deceived.  Those who are not saved when Jesus returns will be lost.  They will perish without mercy.  There will be no “second chance.”  All such teaching is a deception that will damn millions of souls if they believe it.  The “world” must be “won” today, so it will not be “lost” in that day.  The question for us who are “the called of God in Christ Jesus,” is this, do we believe God?  Millions of souls, yet lost, wait for our answer.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

Are you a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26)?  Do you “belong” to Jesus Christ?  If so, then you are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  The “right” belongs to the “church of Jesus Christ.”  Paul asked us in I Corinthians 6:2, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”  We are “heirs according to the promise.”  The “promise” is that we are the “heirs of the world.”  It belongs to us, and if we believe God, He will give it to us.  According to the prophecy in Psalms 2:8, the Lord said to us, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”  This is the promise of God to His children through Jesus Christ.  It is not a promise of all the gold, silver, and material treasures of this present world.  Our “inheritance” would be revival.  It would be an outpouring of the Holy Ghost such as the world has never seen.  It is sad indeed when the precious promises of God have been made of no effect in the minds of the people by false teachers and their erroneous doctrines.  An entire generation of the church has been corrupted and rendered weak and powerless through those “erroneous doctrines.”  We must understand that to be the “heir of the world,” and receive the “heathen” for our “inheritance” we must see real revival in our day.  We must see the heathen brought into the kingdom of God through the salvation of their soul.  It is sad to see so many seeking and claiming the “riches of the gentiles” as their inheritance, when it is the “unsearchable riches of Christ” that God would give unto us.  He would give us the soul of America if we would believe Him and seek Him diligently.  We can see America turned to Jesus Christ in the greatest outpouring of the Holy Ghost this nation has ever seen.  God will do it if we ask of Him.

We hear reports of great revival coming in from many different nations of the world.  The reports are so staggering that to believe them is to believe the world is quickly being turned to Jesus Christ.  I want to believe this with all my heart, yet somehow I am troubled.  I have seen the “hairy hand” of deception that deceived even the Patriarch Isaac.  One preacher tells of preaching to a million in the Philippines.  Another man recently preached to 500,000 in Nigeria.  Certainly these meetings speak of a great hunger that is in the world for an answer, and thank God each of these men was preaching Christ.  Then I receive another report.  A “beach fest” in Argentina reached 300,000 youth.  It sounds wonderful.  I read on.  Two Argentina movie stars sang and spoke.  It was a “coming out of the closet” day for them, for they had never sang or spoken for Jesus before this day.  It was the equivalent, they said, of having Madonna sing and speak at a “gospel crusade.”  Now, I’m troubled.  Did they bring in the world to reach the world?  I don’t believe there is any doubt.  Across America, the news said, churches large and small had “Super Bowl” parties on super bowl Sunday.  They did it, the reporter said, “to show the world that Christians like to have fun too!”  I wonder if the church was edified by the game? Or, perhaps by Janet Jackson?  Am I critical?  Yes!  I’m also grieved, as I believe the Holy Ghost is.

Blood washed and bought children of God, we dare not believe the reports of great victories, nor rejoice in the vast crowds, nor even the reports of thousands of conversions to Christ that are obtained through worldly means.  If we do, we will fail to humble ourselves and pray.  We will be brought to believe that those who pervert the truth and live a lie are actually the vessels God will use to save the world.  We dare not believe this.  This world does not belong to the Muslim, the Jew, the Buddhist, or the sin-laden Christian.  It does not belong to Satan, or to antichrist.  God said He would “overturn, overturn, overturn, it; until he come whose right it is.”  It belongs to Jesus Christ and His redeemed, blood-washed, cross-crucified saints.  Until we believe God; until we humble ourselves before Him; until He lifts us up to stand in His presence; until we become the intercessors for the lost humanity He has called us to be; until He pours out His Spirit upon His saints; until the altars are filled with sinners repenting before God; until His people possess the kingdom, God must overturn everything that arises.  The Kingdom is the Lord’s.

John’s “Revelation”

On the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John received a vision from the Lord of things to come.  He called it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”  It seems, however, that most people believe “The Revelation” was given to reveal “The Antichrist,” or, “The Great Tribulation,” or “The arising of the ‘beasts’.”  Most modern prophecy teachers teach the entirety of “The Revelation,” from the fourth chapter forward, to be a revelation of horrible things to come “after the rapture of the church.”  Listen to what the Apostle said of the “purpose” in the very first verse of “The Revelation.”  “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 1:1).  Certainly, if none of these things have happened in the past nineteen hundred years, they did not “shortly come to pass,” and the revelation has already failed.  Now, read the last phrase of the third verse, “…for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3).  In Revelation 1:19, Jesus Himself instructed John to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”  The second and third chapters are given to the “seven churches in Asia,” and deal with the present condition of the churches in John’s day, hence, “the things that are.”  Beginning with the fourth chapter, John saw things that would be in his future; “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).  A simple study of the word “hereafter” from “Strong’s Concordance” reveals that “hereafter” speaks of the “space” between “here” and “there,” or the time between “now” and “then.”  John’s day was the “beginning point” of the prophecy, and the “new heavens and the new earth” of Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty two are the destination.  The book of “The Revelation” tells of things that would be between “John’s time” and the “end of time.”  The purpose, however, of John’s Revelation is not to “reveal” the horrible things that were to take place in the future so much as to reveal the “victory” of the Lamb that was slain.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Revelations 5:5-7

A number of years ago, I had preached the “Lamb of God” so much that a concerned friend and fellow pastor felt to talk to me about it  “Don’t you realize,” he asked, “that Jesus is the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah?’  He came the first time as a Lamb, but He is returning to earth as a Lion.”  My friend then turned to Revelation 5:5 to prove his point; “The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.”  As we read the next verse, how surprised my friend was to read, “And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb as it had been slain.”  I shouted, “Praise the Lord!  The ‘lion’ of the tribe of Judah” is “The ‘Lamb’ of God that was slain.” 

A further search of the scriptures reveals that while “The Lion of the tribe of Judah” is mentioned only this one time, the Lamb is mentioned twenty six times in the book of Revelation, while only four times in the rest of the New Testament.  It is amazing to realize that “The Revelation” reveals Jesus Christ as “The Lamb of God” more than any other book in the Bible.  In the “Revelation,” the Lamb is never defeated, discouraged, nor dismayed.  He is “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).  His “victory,” manifest throughout the book of Revelation, is a “manifestation” of the victory He won at Calvary over death and hell.  It is “The Lamb that was slain” that “takes the book (Revelation 5:6-7)” and “opens the seals (Revelation 6:1).”  It is He that “overcomes the beast (Revelation 17:13-14).”  It is the “wrath of the Lamb” that causes the kings of earth and the mighty men to hide themselves in dens and the rocks of the mountains, and cry “fall on us, and hide us…from the wrath of the Lamb.”  It is the “Lamb that was slain” that a “great multitude, which no man could number,” worships and serves day and night (Revelation 7:9-17).  They are those that have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  It is the Lamb that feeds them, leads them to living waters, and “wipes all tears from their eyes.”  Over and over the glory, honour, and victory of the Lamb that was slain are revealed unto the end of time.  It is His victory that was won at Calvary, and is given to His people through the ages.  From the beginning He has kept His church through great tribulation, and He will keep us until the end, “giving us victory (I Corinthians 15:57),” and “always causing us to triumph in Christ (II Corinthians 2:14).”

Daniel’s “Revelation”

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.  This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Daniel 2:31-35

The prophet Daniel received visions from the LORD revealing to him the last days of the kingdoms of men.  In his visions, however, he did not see all seven world kingdoms as the Apostle John saw, but only four, beginning with the Babylonian kingdom which was in power in Daniel’s day.  The first of Daniel’s visions was actually the interpretation of a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had one night.  It was of a great image of a man whose head was of Gold, his breast and arms were of silver, his belly and thighs were of brass, his legs were of iron, and his feet and toes were of iron mingled with miry clay.  The end of the vision was of a stone that was cut out of a mountain without hands, which struck the image in its feet, causing the entire image, the iron, clay, brass, silver and the gold to crumble together and become like the chaff of the threshing floor, and the wind blew them away and they were no more.  The stone then became a mountain that filled the whole earth.  The interpretation of the vision was that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was the head of gold.  History has shown that the kingdom of the Medes and Persians was the breast and arms of silver, the Greek empire was the belly and thighs of brass, and the Roman Empire was the legs of iron.  Traditional theology teaches that the “toes” of the feet represent ten nations that will eventually be a “revived” Roman Empire, probably involving the European Common Market.  This writer does not see this as the correct interpretation, however.  As we saw in the vision of the Apostle John (The Revelation), the Roman Empire was the sixth world kingdom, and there was a seventh after it, the “antichrist” kingdom, manifested as the “Holy Roman Empire.”  This is what the “feet and toes” of iron and clay represent in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  The “Holy Roman Empire” was created when Constantine, emperor of Rome began to fight under the banner of the cross.  He caused pagan nations of people to be baptized into “Christianity.”  You will notice in Daniel 2:43, “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men…”  This “mingling” of pagans into Christianity soon created a “beastly” kingdom that would propagate itself through the means of the sword.  The “persecuted” church of Jesus in Rome was transformed into a beastly world empire called “The Holy Roman Empire” that was itself the “persecutor” instead of the “persecuted.”  It was what Jesus called “Satan’s seat” (Revelation 2:13).  Most definitely it was, for over a thousand years, the “kingdom of antichrist” in the world.  Dealt a “deadly wound” in the Reformation, it yet survives unto this day in a “christianity” that is “mingled with the seed of men.”  Not only is the “man of sin (spirit of antichrist)” firmly seated and settled in the “house of God,” men (and women) of sin have become most acceptable with their “pagan” music, worship, and lifestyles.  Once again, the “church” has been “paganized,” but this time it did not require a “sword” to do it.

A second message that is revealed in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is that every “kingdom of this world,” whether the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, or the legs of iron; every kingdom of this world is standing on “feet of iron and clay.”  They may stand for a season, but they will all crumble and fall.  They are like the house Jesus spoke of that was built without foundation on the sand, they will fall, and no one can prevent it.  The “feet of iron and clay” is the kingdom of antichrist.  Its major manifestation in the kingdoms of the world was “The Holy Roman Empire.”  An “antichrist” sat upon a throne, demanding and receiving worship from the kings of earth.  His “kingdom” was a kingdom of darkness, hence, “the dark ages” of world history.  Today, antichrist’s kingdom in vested in that “beast” that has “two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).  It is the kingdom of those that “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (II Thessalonians 2:10).  They have been deceived by him, “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” (II Thessalonians 2:9-10).  Sadly, today, even as it was at the height of the “Holy Roman Empire,” you will not find “Satan’s seat” in the capitol buildings of the nations, but, just as the scriptures so clearly tell us, “…he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:4).  He it is “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”  Contrary to popular opinion, the return of Jesus Christ does not bring the “arising” of antichrist, but his utter destruction.

The kingdom of antichrist is not confined to “The Great Tribulation,” after “The Rapture of the Church,” when “The Antichrist” shall arise.  These “concepts” are “cunningly devised fables” of man which have deceived multitudes into thinking in futuristic terms about things that “cannot happen” until “after we are gone.”  If this is true, why do we fret over them so?  Why do we buy millions of books and watch dozens of movies, designed to tell you what to do if you miss the rapture?  I tell you, its over, its finished when Jesus returns.  It is now that antichrist sits in the temple.  It is now that “strong delusion” has deceived the masses.  This writer has written that “The Holy Roman Empire” of the Middle Ages was the “Kingdom of Antichrist.”  It was, but it did not begin there, and it did not end at the reformation.  The Kingdom of Antichrist began when “iniquity” was found in “the anointed cherub that covereth” Ezekiel 28:14-15).  He was the chiefest of the angels of God.  He was perfect in his ways and in his beauty.  His heart was lifted up because of his beauty.  He was corrupted because of his “brightness.”  In Isaiah 14:12 he is named “Lucifer.”  He is “the day star,” the “shining one.”  He “said in his heart,” (Isaiah 14:13-14) “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”  God answers the very thoughts of his heart, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). 

It is this “shining and beautiful one,” now “antichrist” that reasoned with Eve in the garden.  There he was known as “the serpent,” the subtle one of the creatures.  He was there when Nimrod determined to “build a tower which top shall reach into heaven.”  He was there when Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers; when Pharaoh commanded to throw the male babies to the crocodiles, as well as when Herod commanded to murder all the babies under the age of two years.  It was “antichrist,” seeking to destroy the Christ.  In Revelation he is the “red dragon” seeking to devour the manchild as soon as He is born.  He is the “accuser of the brethren” that was cast down to earth when the precious blood of the Son of God was shed for us.  He began his “campaign” against the church when he “crept in unawares,” (Jude 1:4) “and turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness.”  Paul discovered antichrist in the Corinthian church, posing as “apostles and ministers of righteousness,” Satan himself “transformed as an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:13-15).  The Apostle John found him disguised as teachers (I John 2:18-26), and prophets (I John 4:1-6).  Jesus warned of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15-20), Paul warned of “grievous wolves, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29-31) and Peter warned of “false teachers among you” (II Peter 2:1-3).  From these “small inroads” into the first century church in which he was held at bay and hindered by the eternal vigilance of the Apostles of our Lord, antichrist continued his “campaign” until within four centuries from the birth of Jesus, he found “place” in the church at Rome.  He usurped authority, built himself a “throne,” sat upon it and declared himself to be the “Vicar of Christ,” but all the while it was the “spirit of antichrist.”  The warfare continues on earth, but God has “decreed” his end from his beginning; “I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:17).  He was “cast to the ground” when Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  Now, listen to the “rest of the story,” in Ezekiel 28:18-19; “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

Christ Crucified-The Stone, “Cut Out Without Hands”

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Daniel 2:34

This “stone” that is “cut out without hands,” is a prophecy of Jesus.  More correctly, it is a prophecy of “Christ crucified.”  Listen to the words of Jesus concerning Himself in Luke 20:17-18; “What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected (crucified), the same is become the head of the corner?  Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”  Friend, that stone has fallen!  It is “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,” that Paul determined to know, and nothing else (I Corinthians 2:2).  It fell on the “feet and toes of iron and clay,” the “kingdom of antichrist.”  The “red dragon,” called “Satan,” and “the devil,” was cast down from Heaven to earth (Revelation 12:9).  A third part of the “stars of Heaven (angels)” were brought down with him (Revelation 12:4).  Now listen to the “gospel report” of what happened when Jesus Christ was crucified; “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).  And again, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).  And, once more, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).  Christ crucified is the stone that fell on the kingdom of antichrist, destroying the devil, spoiling principalities and powers, and “grinding to powder” everything it falls upon.  From the moment Jesus came out of the tomb, victorious over death and hell, and alive forevermore, the fate of antichrist has been sealed.  In fact, the scripture says that Satan, being cast from Heaven to earth, is come down in great wrath, “because he knows he has but a short time.”  Totally destroyed in Heaven, his activities are confined to earth, where it is promised to the church of Jesus Christ, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). 

The Sum of Daniel’s Vision

Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.  And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.  The first was like a lion…And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear…After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard…After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. Daniel 7:2-8

In the seventh chapter of Daniel the prophet saw a vision of four “beasts.”  The first beast represented the Babylonian Empire of Daniel’s day; the second beast represented the Medes and Persians Empire; the third, the Greek Empire, and the fourth beast represented the Roman Empire.  Again, when we add the Egyptian and the Assyrian Empires, which had risen and fallen before Daniel’s day, we see that the fourth beast actually represents the sixth world empire, of which the “Revelation” of the Apostle John says there are seven.  The seventh and last world empire, the one that displaced the Roman Empire is the “Holy Roman Empire,” represented in Daniel’s vision as “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8).  It is that same little horn that Daniel said in verse twenty-one, “made war with the saints and prevailed against them.”  In Revelation 13:7, the “beast” which represents the “Holy Roman Empire,” is said to “make war against the saints and to overcome them.”  These are the “spirit and kingdom of antichrist” in the world. 

The really important part of Daniel’s revelation is not these four “beasts” that would arise, or the “little horn (antichrist)” that seems to dominate every study of prophecy.  Instead, God revealed His victory over every “beast,” demon, devil, or “antichrist” that would ever arise.  He saw the victory of “Son of man (Jesus Christ), and the victory of His saints.  As the New Testament book of Revelations is the record of “the victory of the Lamb,” so also is the Old Testament book of Daniel

The Great White Throne Judgment

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.  I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. Daniel 7:9-11

Daniel saw the conflict continue, “till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit…”. God took him “in the spirit” to the final end, where saw the “beast” destroyed, and his body “given to the burning flame.”  Daniel was seeing the “Great White Throne Judgment” as described in Revelation 20:10-15.  He saw millions of people that served God, but he saw hundreds of millions that stood before Him to be judged.  He saw “the judgment set,” and “the books opened.”  Daniel was seeing the judgment of all humanity from all ages, judged out of the books.  Notice in the eleventh verse, the “little horn” is there, that old “spirit of antichrist,” still speaking “great words,” and Daniel watches until he is slain, his body destroyed, and “given to the burning flame (Daniel 7:11, Revelation 20:10, 15).” 

The Ascension of Christ

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14

It is a common mistake to mistake this vision to be of the “second coming” of Jesus to earth.  It is not.  Notice that the “one like the Son of man” came “to the Ancient of days,” and was “brought near before Him.”  After Jesus gave Himself to die, a sin sacrifice for us, He was raised again the third day, and soon “ascended” to the Father.  There, His Father said to Him, “sit at my right hand, until I make thy enemies to be thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1).  Hebrews 10:12-13 speaks of Jesus, saying, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” 

Just as Daniel saw in his vision, Jesus went to the Father to receive “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.”  His dominion is everlasting, and “His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14).  Psalms 110:2-3 continues, “The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  Thy People shall be willing in the day of thy power…”  Jesus has “ascended to the Father (the ancient of days).”  He has received “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him.”  It is an “everlasting dominion” and a kingdom “which shall not be destroyed.”  He will “rule in the midst of His enemies” when we, His people are “willing.”  God will send the “rod of (His) strength out of Zion.”  The ascension of Jesus Christ happened just as Daniel saw it in the vision.

Daniel was troubled (Daniel 7:15).  He did not understand the things he saw.  He asked for an interpretation of “the things,” and received this answer in Daniel 7:17-18, “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.  But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”  Notice how brief an answer Daniel received, with the emphasis on “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom.”  The angel sought to take Daniel’s attention away from the horrible beasts, and cause him to see the truth; “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom.”  Several centuries later, the angel Gabriel would come to a “virgin” of Nazareth (Luke 1:26-35).  He would tell her she would “conceive in her womb;” she would “bring forth a child;” He would be called the “Son of the Highest,” and He would reign forever on the throne of David.  These promises were too wonderful for young “Mary” to comprehend.  She was “troubled” at these sayings.  “How shall these things be,” she asked Gabriel, “seeing I know no man.”  Gabriel answered her, “The Holy Ghost shall come on thee, the power of the Highest shall over shadow thee, and that Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”  Mary answered simply, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it unto me according to thy word.”  She believed God, and there was a “performance” of the things that were told her. 

Daniel still did not understand.  “How was it possible that the ‘saints’ of the most high,” that had been trodden under the heel of the enemy so long; how was it possible that they would ever “possess the kingdom.”  For every problem God’s children on earth have, there is but one answer; “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee; the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee…”  Finally, Daniel told the angel,  “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows” (Daniel 7:19-20).  Oh, that the children of God today would be troubled enough to cry to God, “I would know the truth!  I would know the truth about Calvary.  I would know the truth about the Holy Ghost.  I would know the truth about ‘The Antichrist.’  I would know the truth about ‘The Great Tribulation.’  I would know the truth that would ‘make me free’.”

Pentecost

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.  Daniel 7:21-22

God gave the “truth” to Daniel.  There is a “victory that overcometh the world.”  Daniel looked forward to it with hope; because it was won at Calvary by the “Son of man” he had seen in his visions.  The “victory” to come was the “stone cut out without hands.”  We have that victory.  It was wrought at Calvary.  The “Son of man” sits on the throne of heaven.  On earth, Daniel saw that the adversary, antichrist, would make war with the saints, and prevail against them “until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High.”  This is the “promise of the Father;” the promise that “I will pour out my Spirit…”  The promise that, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost;” that, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”  All these are contained in that one promise to Daniel, that the “Ancient of days” would come and give “judgment” to the saints of the most High. 

The disciples were fearful after the crucifixion of Jesus.  They even hid behind locked and barred doors, “for fear of the Jews.”  Even seeing Jesus alive after the resurrection did little for them, for each of them returned to their old livelihoods of fishing on the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus had to go to them as at the first, and “renew” their calling to “follow Him”(John 21:21-22).  They did follow Him to Jerusalem where they saw Him ascend to the Father from the Mount of Olives.  In obedience to Him they did not leave Jerusalem, but “waited” for the “Promise of the Father.”  It came of the “Day of Pentecost,” hence the “adopted” name for the experience, “Pentecost.”  It was that which God spoke by the prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”  It was also that which was spoken to Daniel, “the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High.”

Another promise was fulfilled that day.  It was the “promise” that was given to our Lord in Psalms 110:2; “The LORD shall send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion.  Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.”  The time had come for the “saints of the most High to possess the kingdom,” and they did, in their generation.  They preached the gospel; they cast out devils; they healed the sick, and they raised the dead; it was just as Jesus had promised them, saying, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). 

Every generation must diligently seek for the promise of the Father.  If they do not receive it, antichrist will creep into the house of God again.  There, he will prevail against the saints until, once more, the Ancient of days comes to give judgment to His saints.  It happened in the “reformation.”  It happened again in the Moravian revival, beginning in 1727.  He came again in 1901 to pour out His Spirit on that generation, and oh, what a revival He gave.  Consider the “great awakening” that came to New England during the founding days of America.  Consider every other true revival the world has ever seen.  In every case, “judgment” was given to the saints of God.  The “spirit of antichrist” was defeated.  The forces of hell were driven out, and a great “harvest of souls” was brought into the kingdom of God. 

The Second Coming of Jesus

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints (Holy One) of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.  Hitherto is the end of the matter…”  Daniel 7:27-28

The “end of the matter” is simply this; Jesus Christ is returning soon.  He is Lord of lords, and King of kings.  When He returns, the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked will be punished.  The “vine of the earth” will be gathered and cast into the winepress of the wrath of God almighty.  Satan, the devil, Lucifer, the red dragon, the serpent, antichrist; by whatever name you call him, will be bound for a thousand years, and finally cast into the lake of fire.  The “overcomer” shall inherit all things, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).  “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). 

The “end of the matter” could be sad.  If we do nothing; if we do not “humble ourselves and pray;” if we do not intercede for the soul of our nation and the world; if we live for ourselves, seeking only our own “gain” in this life, Jesus will still come soon, but the entire world will be lost, and His redeeming death will have been in vain for billions of people, because we “did nothing.”

The “end of the matter” should be glorious.  If we that are “called by His name will humble ourselves and pray;” if we will seek His face, turning from our wicked way; if we will weep in the altars of God for a lost nation and world; if we will “wait” before Him until He pours His Spirit upon us, and endues us with power from on high, and “judgment” is given to His church to “judge” with righteousness; if this is the case, we will “harvest the earth” before the return of Jesus, and His coming will be glorious indeed.

Must America be Destroyed?

In the days just before Jerusalem was destroyed, the description of life in Judea and Jerusalem was very much as it is in America today (Ezekiel 22:24-29).  In fact, wickedness had progressed so far that God had already removed the righteous people out of the land for their own protection (Jeremiah 24:1-10).  Daniel, the three Hebrew children, Mordecai, Esther; all these, along with all the righteous people of Jerusalem, were carried away in the captivity to Babylon.  Note, however, that God said it was for their “good” (Jeremiah 24:5).  Each of these I have mentioned was exalted to places of great honor in the “land of the Chaldeans,” and the LORD God of Israel was greatly glorified in them.  Remaining in Jerusalem, however, were “prophets,” and “priests,” and “princes” and many people.  In Ezekiel 22:24-29, we read the sad description of all that remained in the land.  Jeremiah described the situation in Jerusalem in condensed fashion; “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof” (Jeremiah 5:30-31)?  God was not looking for a reason to destroy Jerusalem; He was seeking a reason not to.  In the eighth chapter of Ezekiel, God had shown Ezekiel all the abominations that were committed in the Temple at Jerusalem.  He said these were the reasons that He had departed so far from Jerusalem.  In the ninth chapter of Ezekiel, God called for the destroyers to come to destroy, beginning at the Temple with the elders of Israel.  The massacre was on its way.  There was only one thing that could stop it.  God said, “I sought for a man among them…”  Was there a prophet in Jerusalem that would turn from his “fund raising schemes” and “humble himself to pray?”  Was there a priest that would cease from his compromise to weep in the altars for the people?  Was there a prince, or even a citizen in the land that would turn from the status quo to become an intercessor for the nation?  God said, “I found none.  Therefore I poured out my indignation on them.”  Jerusalem was utterly destroyed for the lack of an intercessor.