ZION MINISTRY - BIBLE PROPHECY

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THE BEAST OF DANIEL

The Great Image and the four beasts of Daniel describe events for our day. There is much confusion over whom they represent. Many people have attempted to offer opinions. Some have claimed that Rome and Europe will fulfill these prophecies. But the Bible is the final authority on revealed prophecy, and it is the Bible that makes known the answers to all prophecy! You will be shocked and amazed to learn to whom and what these prophecies refer! All your current expectations will be shattered as the Bible reveals all!

By Neville V. Stevens

New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified

The Book of Daniel deals with a period that started with Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. This period of prophecy began after the Assyrian Empire had come and gone and passed into history. Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar rebelled against the Assyrians who ruled over all of the Chaldees (Babylonia). Historians believe that Nabopolassar was a general in the Assyrian army in charge of the divisions in Babylonia. It's known that he trained and equipped a formidable army, and in an alliance with the Medes and the Scythians he rebelled against his Assyrian overlords. In BC 626 he utterly defeated them. In a series of campaigns over a period of 14 years he took control of the whole territory, and in BC 612 he finally conquered the capital of Ninevah. The Assyrians were taken captive and enslaved (predominantly by the Medes), and the spoils of war divided. The Iraqis claimed recently that there are about 10,000 of the descendants of the ancient Assyrians still living in northern Iraq. 

After the conquest of Assyria, Nabopolassar turned his attention to Egypt, the former allies of the Assyrians. In BC 606, the young prince Nebuchadnezzar joined his father in the battle, and led his troops to decisive victory over the Egyptian army at Carchemish. Following his father's death in BC 605, he secured his throne and expanded his territory to include Syria and the Holy Land. The territory of Judah was, at that time, a vassal state of Egypt, and was ruled by Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim quickly agreed to pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar and handed over hostages to secure peace. Traditionally, powerful nations took hostages of those they conquered to ensure that they would not rebel. Among these hostages were four young men of the royal seed of Judah - Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

FIRST KINGDOM IS BABYLON!

It's important to note, that regardless of what opinion anyone might hold to the contrary, all the kingdoms mentioned in the Book of Daniel refer to those which started with Nebuchadnezzar - the Babylonian kingdom. All of these prophecies relate to the future. Assyria had been defeated and had passed into history. The prophecies of Daniel don't include the Assyrians! The Assyrians are not even mentioned in the Book of Daniel!

It may, from the point of view of human logic, seem rational to conclude that Germany will represent the Roman Empire in the end time. Much has been written that purports to prove that Germany is the big bogey to watch; and that they will preside over ten kings that will arise. These ten are variously described as ten toes, ten horns, ten kings and ten nations [kingdoms].

As for the prophecies proposed by those who insist that Germany is to arise again and conquer the world with a resurrection of the Roman Empire, it would be expected that all the past resurrections of this Empire were headed by Germany. This is not the case! Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Turkey have all presided over a proclaimed Roman Empire at some stage. Regardless of which nations presided over the Roman Empire, if the Bible clearly identifies it as the Beast-controlled ten-nation empire described in the books of Daniel and Revelation, then we should be watching as prophecy unfolds. However, don't be too sure that it is, at least, until all the prophecies of the Bible are examined.

Christ gave details of the endtime and the events that would immediately precede His return. He said there would be wars, wars and rumours of wars. He told His followers not to be troubled by these for the end is still not due. He then said, "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginnings of sorrows." (Matt 24:6-8).

Christ continues: "THEN [at this very time] YOU [true Christians] will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and YOU [true Christians] will be hated BY ALL NATIONS because of Me." Has this happened yet? Remember Christ is speaking about the end and the time of His return!

What happens next?

"And this Gospel shall be preached in all the world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end shall come." (V14). So just BEFORE the end and the return of Christ, and AFTER the wholesale slaughter of the saints, the Gospel will be preached in all the world.

We now come to the part of Matthew 24 that mentions the prophecy of Daniel: "So when you see standing in the Holy Place the abomination of desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matt 24:15-16).

Whatever it was that Daniel said, it refers to this very endtime after worldwide famines, earthquakes all over the world of great intensity, have reaped havoc on earth's inhabitants.

Some might argue that this is currently happening, but the Bible gives a more graphic insight into the dimensions of these happenings. This is found in the Book of Revelation that speaks of seven seals. The first four are commonly referred to as the 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse'. Notice the words that relate to these first four seals: Rev 6:8 "They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." In today's terms, this translates into the death of 1.5 billion people! Have we seen a 25% reduction in the population of the world in our time?

This certainly hasn't happened yet, has it? The population continues to grow every year regardless of natural disasters, famines, plagues, etc. But when the events spoken of in Revelation chapter 6 begin, the world's population will suffer a reduction of 25% of its numbers. Plainly, these events are yet future!

What of Daniel's prophecy that relates to the 'abomination of desolation'? The verse in Matthew 24 stresses: 'let the reader understand'. Should we make a wild guess at what it's referring to? Should we check out the history books at the local library? Or should we research what other Bible scholars say it means? NO! The Bible says 'let the reader [of the Holy Scriptures] understand! If we are readers and students of the Holy Scriptures, then this is where we will get our understanding.

Some prophecies of the Bible appear to slot in nicely with some of the historic events leading up to our time. For instance, the Holy Roman Empire seems to fit many of the prophecies relating to the final kingdom of ten kings. By amassing a great many intangibles, it could also be argued that the Holy Roman Empire represents the Babylon of old. This is not something new. This has been believed for hundreds of years. Indeed the translators of the KJV, nearly 400 years ago, also believed this: See the foreword in your own KJV Bible that was written by the translators. They make reference to the Roman Catholic Pope being the beast whose deadly wound was healed. So this is no recent example of revealed prophecy. These translators even claimed that England was Sion [Zion] in the opening paragraph - a claim that was also made by a certain foolish shepherd in the 20th century.

But does the Bible say that the Popish Church of Rome is the beast? If so where?

BABYLON THE GREAT

Apart from Israel, Babylon is the most frequently mentioned name in the Bible. In every instance of this name, it refers to a city in the land of the Chaldeans - of the geographical area of Mesopotamia where the Euphrates river flows. The Bible leaves no doubt about which location it's referring. All the Old Testament prophecies leave no doubt, whatsoever, that it is referring to the location from where Nebuchadnezzar reigned. Yet for the last few hundred years, most self-proclaimed prophets have interpreted the Bible to indicate that Babylon is Rome. Whether some, or even all, of the inhabitants of northern Italy are descended from the Chaldeans of old, is irrelevant! The Bible, when it refers to Babylon, means the Babylon of old!

It's true that the Bible does use symbolism. But whenever symbolism is used, the Bible clarifies it. It is not for private interpretation to determine the meaning. For instance, Eve, the 'woman,' is the 'mother of all living.' Eve is also a 'rib' because she was formed from a rib. A 'woman' or a 'rib' in symbolic language means a branch of humanity. Such references are a genealogical symbol. The symbolic reference to a woman is sometimes rendered as 'mother' or 'daughter.' Again, this is a reference to genealogy as implied by the term. 'Mother' being the biological term to her offspring or seed, and 'daughter' being a reference to biological descent.

God refers to those in whom He has implanted His Seed as sons and daughters - that is, offspring. From the very beginning, God has divided humanity into two sectors: the seed of God and the seed of Satan the devil. Gen 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike [margin] your head, and you will bruise his heel." And so began six thousand years of enmity. The 'seed' of the woman was never more than a thin thread of humanity, whereas the 'seed' of Satan is the broad mass of humanity today. This thin thread has continually existed during 6,000 years. The 'seed' of this woman also arises in the New Testament in the person of the Christ who inflicted a deadly wound to the head of the serpent (Job 26:12-13, Ps 87:4, 89:10, Isa 51:9). More information is given on this in the article on Satan's Fate. This thin thread of humanity emerges through the tribe of Judah who is described as the 'woman' (Rev 12:1-6).

Regardless of what political correctness might demand of people today, God has clearly divided the nations according to His will. He has chosen certain branches of humanity for His own purpose. Others he has marked for slaughter. God is just and fair. Whatever He does is done with perfect righteousness (Rev 15:3-4, 16:5-7). We don't have to decide whether God is righteous; we have to decide whether WE are righteous! We decide this by comparing ourselves with the instructions of God. GOD is the arbitrator on what righteousness is!

GERMANY THE BEAST??

God also decides what His prophecies mean! He doesn't allow others to interpret them, using their own form of symbolism. Germany has caused a lot of trouble in the past, and particularly during the 20th century. It may seem logical to assume that Germany is again to arise as a super-power and unite ten nations of Europe into a military power. It may also seem logical that the 'beast' individual will arise from Germany, and emulate the conduct of Adolph Hitler. We could expand on this assumption and conclude that Germany is the logical device in the hands of Satan to enforce the mark of the beast and to restrict the buying and selling of goods. It all this is true, then obviously we can assume that Germany will be the one to lead the assault on the U.S. and Britain (the Houses of Joseph), and take them into captivity. Bible scholars around the world allude to a similar escatology. Many believe that Europe will be the ten kings of Daniel and Revelation.

And why wouldn't all this be so?

The answer is: THE BIBLE DOESN'T SAY THIS!

By clever trickery and lying assumptions you have been led to believe these things - by people who won't believe the Bible! These false prophets don't believe God. They prefer to believe what they perceive to be a logical progression to recent past events.

But God is going to shock the world! You will see what you never expected to see! While you have your eyes trained on Germany and the rest of Western Europe, you are ignoring what is the true prophetic fulfillment. During the 20th century, self-proclaimed prophets have arisen and claimed that the beast is a whole variety of nations and organisations. These include the Roman Catholic Church, Germany, Russia, the League of Nations, the United Nations, the United States of America, and even the 'new world order' of the global market.

And where do they get all these lying claims? NOT FROM THE BIBLE!

The responsibility of all true Christians is to believe the word of God - the Bible! The Bible reveals all, and its from the Bible that we will get our understanding of ALL prophecy!

Those who believe that ancient Assyria is Germany today should be made aware that this perverted observation is made on the basis of a piece of pottery found in archeological diggings in the land of ancient Assyria. This piece of pottery featured a decoration of reversed swastikas. This formed the whole basis of their belief that Germany was Assyria. They further enhanced their belief by claiming that the name 'German' means 'war men'.

The Bible speaks of two 'beasts' that will arise. Daniel first spoke of them, clearly distinguishing between them, and the Apostle John also wrote of them in the Book of Revelation. Again the distinction between them is clear. You don't need to listen to the extravagant claims of the lying frauds, the Bible CLEARLY IDENTIFIES who these two beasts are!

THE BEAST THAT ONCE WAS

Rev 17:8 "The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be ASTONISHED when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come."

Do you really believe that the world would be astonished to see another Fuhruer arise from Germany? Russia wouldn't! They've always believed that Germany can't be trusted. After starting two world wars this century, Germany's emergence as a military power would surprise no-one.

When the beast power does arise, the world is going to be ASTONISHED. This powerful force is going to arise like the legendary phoenix. It will catch the whole world off-guard. It will be unexpected and it will arise when every nation's guard is down - when none will be in a position to retaliate against them.

Notice Rev 17:8 again. The only ones who won't be astonished are those whose names are recorded 'in the Book of Life from the creation of the world'. Only God's seed will not be astonished! They will be expecting it.

Throughout the prophecies of the Bible, God goes into infinite detail of the events of the time of the end. He mentions many nations and details the role they will play in these endtime events. Logically enough, He makes no mention of Assyria playing any major role in the appearance of the final ten kings and the two beasts of Revelation chapter 13.

Nor do any of the Churches of God provide any proof that Germany does play a role! If you read their literature, you will find that Germany is injected into the prophecies by means of smoke and mirrors. They hammer out the point of a 'modern Babylon' and a 'beast' power then suddenly the name Germany or Assyria springs into their prophecy. To the unwary reader, it appears to make sense based on the conduct of Germany in two world wars. The concept of these so-called prophets is that Germany will head a revival of the Holy Roman Empire

At the time that the Book of Revelation was written, the Holy Roman Empire was at the zenith of its power. Yet this book says that the Beast 'that once was, now is not, yet will come...' Whatever this beast was, it DID NOT EXIST at the time of the Apostle John. Clearly, it does NOT refer to the Holy Roman Empire! If you want to insist that it is, then you are calling God a liar! Christ Himself said, that not a single stroke of the pen will be removed from the words of the prophets until all is fulfilled! Not the smallest stroke of the pen!

It might make perfect sense to those who believe they have the right to interpret scriptures according to their own ideas and logic, but God decides who and what will fulfill His prophecies. The Apostle John recorded what he was told, and what he saw. He said that the beast 'that once was' did not exist at that time. It had existed in the past, but no longer existed! So logic alone rules out the Roman Empire which DID exist at that time! This beast that had once existed, will once again arise in the future.

And where will it arise from? The same scripture tells us. It will arise from the Abyss (sometimes referred to as the bottomless pit). What is this bottomless pit? Is it symbolic language for the airy-fairy interpretation given by the false prophets? No! Once again the Bible tells us what is meant! Here it is: Luke 8:28 "When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want from me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot, and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demons into solitary places. Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Him repeatedly not to order them to go into the ABYSS."

The Abyss is a place of punishment, and its a REAL place. You will notice that Christ had the power to order them into this Abyss. They literally begged Him not to send them there. The Greek word used here is the same word used in Rev 17:8. The Greek word is 'abussos' and means a 'place of restraint in a deep chasm.' Satan's demons tremble with fear at the thought of being sent there. The Abyss is a real place and is so described in the Bible: 2Pet 2:4 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment...." 1Pet 3:18 "He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built."

There are a number of extremely evil beings that have been imprisoned there for thousands of years. One, whose name is Apollyon will be released at a certain set time, and after he has done what he plans to do, will go to perdition (Gr: apoleia) just as his name implies: Rev 9:11 "They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon." The Old Testament mentions this 'being' five times, though in most versions his name is translated 'destruction.' All of these verses refer to this evil being that is currently locked away. He is soon to be released to bring chaos and destruction to the earth. Satan is NOT currently locked away and he is NOT Abaddon! Satan will be locked up soon - and for a thousand years (Rev 20:1-2). Abaddon IS currently locked away in prison, and he is the vicious overlord of those in the Abyss (Rev 9:11). When he is released (V1) he will reap devastating havoc on the earth and will kill two prophets in Jerusalem (Rev 11:7) - and will go to his destruction and DEATH! (Rev 17:8).

In the past many false prophets have arisen who have indulged themselves in the crackpot machinations of their own minds, to believe that the beast is to arise from the 'bottomless pit' which they believe and teach is the Holy Roman Empire and Germany! Whether they admit it or not, they have flagrantly violated the law of the Bible in attempting their own interpretation - against the evidence of the Bible! Even if an angel from heaven were to speak to them and tell them that the Bible doesn't mean what it says; if they don't speak according to what is recorded in the Bible - they are false prophets! There are no 'if's' or 'but's', if they presume to place their own interpretation on the Bible, and especially if they presume to teach others, they will go to the lake of fire!! Many are already marked for the lake of fire because they have exhibited such contemptuous disregard for God's Word!

THE GERMANY THEORY

God's power is not restricted to physical abilities. It wouldn't matter if Germany was the mightiest and most feared nation on earth today. Even if they owned 90% of all the armaments on earth today, they could never fulfill the role of the coming 'beast' and the ten kings, because God says that this 'beast' is to arise from somewhere else!

If you don't know from where the mark of the beast will come, then you will be in no position to reject it. If your eyes are on Germany and the Pope, then you will not recognize it when it is thrust on the world. If you accept this mark, even inadvertently, then you will go to the lake of fire (Rev 9:12, 20:15).

If Germany is the big bogey today, then what was the point of Daniel mentioning the three kingdoms that would arise and then a fourth - one that was exceptionally terrible? Why would God want to confuse us with irrelevant details about kingdoms that mean nothing to the endtime? But the book of Daniel states that these prophecies ARE for the endtime!

The three kingdoms mentioned by Daniel are identified in his writings. They are the Babylonian Empire, the Medes and Persian Empire, and the Greek/Macedonian Empire.

All of these kingdoms are to exist together in the end time and they are going to fall together! Dan 2:31-35 "You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue - an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces AT THE SAME TIME...."

It's true that the original three kingdoms existed sequentially, that is, one after the other. But the Bible states that when the Rock crushes and destroys them, and blows them away as chaff to fill the whole earth, all will exist at that time; and they will be destroyed at the same time. This is what the Bible says, and this is what it means!

In Daniel chapter 7, we learn a little more about these kingdoms. Here they are described as four strange animals or beasts. The fourth beast had ten horns. From among these ten horns another horn - an eleventh horn - grew. He uproots three of the other horns. This beast or horn corresponds to the second beast described in Revelation 13. Notice Dan 7:11 "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time."

Here we see that this beast, also called the false prophet in the book of Revelation, was thrown into the lake of fire. This event is described in Rev 19:19-20 "Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the BEAST was captured, and with him the FALSE PROPHET who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. The rest of them [that is, the kings of the earth] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh."

Here we have an accurate sequence of events. The beast and the false prophet are captured and then executed in the fiery lake. After this, all the kings of earth and their armies are destroyed in what is described as the great feast for the carrion of the earth (Rev 19:17).

Shortly after this, we read that a mighty angel of God, who has the key to the Abyss [Gr: abussos] seizes Satan the devil, who is the serpent or dragon, and binds him for a 1,000 years (Rev 20:1-3). Satan, always playing at being god, has just seen his demonic generals and their armies destroyed in an all-out battle against Christ. This is the battle of Armageddon. After this, Satan has a 1,000 years to contemplate his next move before his final destruction AND DEATH. He knows that his seed is still out there, his dragon-worshipping clan. They will breed in number like the sand of the seashore in the course of the 1,000 years (Rev 20:7-8). When he is released he will make one last final, all-out assault on the Kingdom of God.

THE FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL

All three of the kingdoms spoken of by Daniel, are described as having certain characteristics of animals: e.g. lion, bear, leopard (Dan 7:1-6). Described are predatory animals. These three kingdoms are vile, cruel and predatory.

The fourth beast, however is the vilest and cruelest of them all! This fourth beast is a part of the whole image described earlier by Daniel: Dan 2:31-35 "You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue - and enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of GOLD, its chest and arms of SILVER, its belly and thighs of BRONZE, its legs of IRON, its feet partly of IRON and partly of baked CLAY. While you were watching, a ROCK was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the IRON, the CLAY, the BRONZE, the SILVER and the GOLD were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the ROCK that struck the statue became a huge MOUNTAIN and filled the whole earth."

All these parts of the image are joined and are a part of the whole. They are a single entity.

DANIEL INTERPRETS

After telling Nebuchadnezzar of his dream, Daniel then proceeds to interpret it: Dan 2:36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands He has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of GOLD. After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours [SILVER]. Next, a third kingdom, one of BRONZE, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as IRON - for iron breaks and smashes everything - and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break ALL the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so will this be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a MIXTURE and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. IN THE TIME OF THOSE KINGS, the God of heaven will set up a KINGDOM THAT WILL NEVER BE DESTROYED, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush ALL those kingdoms and BRING THEM TO AN END, but it will itself endure for ever. This is the meaning of the vision of the ROCK cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands - a ROCK that broke the IRON, the BRONZE, the CLAY, the SILVER and the GOLD to pieces. The Great God has shown the king what will take place IN THE FUTURE. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

Daniel's interpretation raises some very important points. Most importantly, he says this is a prophecy for THE FUTURE. He then identifies when in the future it refers - to the time when the Rock will crush them all together and set up a lasting Kingdom that will never be destroyed. So this prophecy is yet future! The final or fourth kingdom will comprise a MIXTURE of the former kingdoms and will crush and break all the others. This last point is very important, and we will soon see why!

Many years later, Daniel had a dream. He wrote down the substance of this dream: Dan 7:2 "Daniel said, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the SEA. The FIRST was like a LION, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it. And there before me was a SECOND beast, which looked like a BEAR. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!' After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a LEOPARD. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This BEAST had four heads and was GIVEN AUTHORITY TO RULE. After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a FOURTH beast - terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large IRON teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had TEN HORNS. While I was thinking about the [ten] horns, there before me was ANOTHER HORN, a little one, which came up AMONG them; and three of the first [ten] horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully."

You will notice that this prophecy mentions only the third beast, the one with four heads is 'GIVEN AUTHORITY TO RULE.' The meaning of this will become clear as we examine the next vision of Daniel that describes this beast. The fourth or final beast mentioned here doesn't look like a lion, bear or leopard; but it has all the strongest characteristics of each of these animals. All of these animals or kingdoms are a part of it. It is a composite of them all! This beast is further described in Rev 13:1-2 "And I saw a BEAST coming out of the SEA. He had TEN HORNS and SEVEN HEADS, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a LEOPARD, but had feet like a BEAR, and a mouth like a LION. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority." This BEAST described is a composite of the first three beasts mentioned in Dan 7, and is made of parts of all the first three beasts.

The Book of Revelation, chapter 13, mentions a second beast that arises - only this one arises from the earth - not the sea! He is also referred to as the 'false prophet.' This is because he has supernatural powers and causes fire to come down from heaven, and makes an idol speak. The whole world will see him as a god. The scriptures make it clear that he exercises all the power of the first BEAST, and on his behalf, who in turn, derives his power from Satan the devil (Rev 13:2, 11-12). So these two are closely allied and endowed with considerable power.

Now notice the parallel description of this FIRST BEAST in Daniel chapter 8, and notice from where it arises! Dan 8:8 "The GOAT [this is Greece - V21] became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its PLACE four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven. Out of ONE OF THEM came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and towards the beautiful land [south-east]. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens and it threw some of the starry host to the ground and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host, it took away the DAILY SACRIFICE from Him, and the place of the SANCTUARY was brought low."

Notice the clarity of these verses: Firstly, the goat is the king of Greece: Dan 8:21 "And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece." (NKJV). There can be no confusion about this! Now the large horn between the goat's eyes is the first king. Dan 8:21 "..and the large horn between his eyes is the first king [of Greece]." Again there is no need for confusion. The Bible makes it very plain! Combining the verse we see that the GOAT is the KINGDOM of GREECE and the LARGE HORN is the FIRST KING OF GREECE.

The large horn is broken off and four other horns grow up in its place. And what was its place? The place where the horn was broken off was the goat's head which is the kingdom of Greece. So in place of the first king, there are now four kings which grow from the shaggy goat's head. They are all a part of the shaggy goat from where they grew. So all four of these horns or kingdoms arise from the shaggy goat.

HISTORICAL FULFILMENT

Let's now recap on Biblical history. Babylon was the first kingdom that was represented by the GOLD head of the great image. This kingdom was swallowed up (not destroyed, mind you), by Cyrus the Mede, who was a general in Nebuchadnezzar's army, and became the king over the entire territory, and what is more, he adopted the name 'King of Babylon' in his title. His kingdom represented the SILVER breast and arms. After some years, another king arose. This time from Macedonia. It should be understood that the Macedonians at this time were Greeks. Alexander the Great inherited the kingdom from his father Phillip II of Macedonia. After pulling the whole Grecian territory together under his banner, he set out to do what his father had planned to do before his death: to conquer the powerful Babylonian/Median and Persian empire.

With lightning speed and exceptional military strategy and cunning, Alexander conquered the whole territory of the Babylonian kingdom, which was then under the rule of the Medes and Persians. He then mopped up Syria, the great city of Tyre (which, oddly enough, had already transferred most of their trading activities to the island of Cypress - Isa 23:1-3), Egypt, and then campaigned all the way to India. Following a rebellion by his generals, he turned back to Babylon. Here he married the daughter of Darius III, and instructed all his generals to take wives of the Media/Persian kingdom. About 80 generals and many of the men in his army took wives of the nobility. He then enlisted Babylonians, Medes and Persians into his army and sent his own Greek and Macedonian troops home. He also moved to integrate the different ethnic communities throughout the entire empire to create a multi-cultural society. This was effectively done by removing all the boundaries of his Empire, and allowing people to migrate freely.

In the few short years of his 13 year reign, Alexander the Great succeeded in establishing Grecian philosophy and learning throughout the whole world. For hundreds of years, Greek science and culture was the standard adopted by many nations. The Greek language was spoken widely throughout the world and was still used in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

In Egypt, Alexander built the city of Alexandria. This city became the most famous centre of learning in the world, and boasted more books and manuscripts that any other city or nation. As a point of interest, the Alexandrian Library is again being built today.

The Greek kingdom represents the belly and thighs of BRONZE.

THE FOUR KINGDOMS

Consider now what happened after Alexander's death. Four of his generals seized the kingdom and broke it up. Four kingdoms were formed from the kingdom that was the shaggy goat. These are the four kingdoms that grew up after the single horn (Alexander) was broken off. They were:

1. The Greek/Macedonian region Ruled by Cassander.

2. The Thracia/Turkey region (Bulgaria and Turkey today). Ruled by Lysimachus. Later called the Byzantine Empire.

3. The Babylonian/Persian region, including Syria, Lebanon, and all the coastland to the city of Tyre. Also known as the Seleucid Dynasty and ruled by Seleucus.

4. The whole of Egypt (which in prophecy includes Libya and the Nubians). Also known as the Ptolemies.

Some years later, a despicable person arose from the Babylonian/Persian kingdom. His name was Antiochus Ephiphanes IV of Syria. He was the 8th king of the Seleucid Dynasty. He is the one that drove Egypt out of the Holy Land and seized it for himself. He later strode into the Holy City of Jerusalem and defiled the temple by sacrificing a pig and then took away the daily sacrifice. This caused the Jews to revolt. The uprising was led by Judas Macabee, and he successfully drove them out, enabling the restitution of the daily sacrifice.

It should be noted that this has nothing to do with the prophecies concerning the daily sacrifice in the future when the beast appears on the world scene. The later event is of much greater magnitude. Since the acts of Antiochus Ephiphanes foreshadows a much later event, its worth studying the history and background of this man.

THE SHAGGY GOAT

Let's now see just where this beast arises from. This is revealed in very plain language in the Bible: Dan 8:8 "The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven. OUT OF ONE OF THEM came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and towards the beautiful land."

So this horn arises 'OUT OF ONE OF THEM', that is, one of the kingdoms formed from the shaggy goat. The question is: from which of these kingdoms did it arise? Should we attempt to guess, based on our knowledge of national economic stability, present-day military prowess, or recent historical events? NO! We should not! God doesn't allow us to interpret His prophecies. God does it for us! So what does the Bible say?

THE KING OF THE NORTH

In the above verse we are told! Here it is again: Dan 8:9 "OUT OF ONE OF THEM came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and towards the beautiful land." These verses are speaking of the four kingdoms that emerged from the shaggy goat. Only one of these is situated in the geographical position that has another to its east, and another to its south, and another to the south-east (or towards the beautiful land). This is the kingdom of the NORTH - the one from which Alexander the Great emerged - the third or BRONZE kingdom - the only one in this prophecy that is 'GIVEN AUTHORITY TO RULE'! So what the Bible is clearly telling us is: the beast will arise from the northern kingdom and he will be the KING OF THE NORTH.

Just so there are no misunderstandings of what the Bible is saying, let's go to Daniel chapter 11, and notice what it has to say in regard to these kingdoms. These verses clearly show that Alexander the Great was the single horn of the shaggy goat. He was the king of Greece that emerged after the kingdom of Persia, which he conquered. He was the one who did as he pleased (Dan 11:3). He is the king whose kingdom was broken up after his appearance. And remember, all of this was prophesied long before Alexander was born. Dan 11:2 "Now then, I tell you the truth. Three MORE kings will appear in Persia [after Darius the Mede], and then a FOURTH, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the Kingdom of Greece [then ruled by Phillip II]. Then a mighty king [Alexander the Great] will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parcelled out towards the four winds of heaven."

The last king of Persia, before the invasion of Alexander was Darius III. He was the fourth king after Darius I who reigned at the time of Daniel's prophecy (V1). So clearly, the dynasty of the Mede/Persian kings ends with him. After this, a 'mighty king' arises and rules over the Media/Persian empire after conquering it. The reference to the 'mighty king' that 'appears' certainly describes Alexander the Great. His legendary military victories are among the most famous battles of history. Although greatly out-numbered in his first battle with the Persian forces of Darius III at the river Granicus, his superior battle strategy led to a decisive victory. From then on, he proved himself invincible.

But just to ensure that there are no doubts, God tells us exactly how many kings would rule in Persia before this 'mighty king' appears:

1. Nebuchadnezzar               6. Darius the Great

2. Evil-Merodach 7. Xerxes (1st king)

3. Belshazzar                         8. Artaxerxes (2nd king)

4. Cyrus I                               9. Dast (3rd king)

5. Cambysses                        10. Darius III (4th king - richer than the rest)

Some people like to list Nabonidus, the father of Belshazzar, as a king. The fact is that there may have been co-regency for a few months, but it was Belshazzar that reigned as the last king of Nebuchadnezzar's empire. Nabonidus was a mystic who had antiquarian interests. He retired to Teima in Arabia and lived there for many years. After an absence of 9 years, he returned to his son's kingdom only to witness its overthrow by Cyrus the Mede. And so began the Medo/Persian empire.

One of Cyrus' first acts was to free all the enslaved inhabitants, including the Jewish nation. King Cyrus the first, was actually named in a prophecy in the book of Isaiah nearly 200 years before he ascended to the throne (Isa 44:28, 45:1).

INTERPRETATION OF THE 'GOAT'

As always the Bible interprets! After the vision, Daniel was visited by Gabriel (Dan 8:16), the mighty commander of the armies of God. This is the mighty being that fought against the Assyrians, slaughtering 185,000 soldiers in one night (Isa 37:36), leaving them powerless and vulnerable to the conquest by Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar.

Gabriel explains the interpretation of the vision: Dan 8:17 "As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that THE VISION CONCERNS THE TIME OF THE END." While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. He said, "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the TIME OF WRATH, because the VISION CONCERNS THE APPOINTED TIME OF THE END. The TWO-HORNED RAM that you saw represents the kings of MEDIA AND PERSIA. The SHAGGY GOAT is the KING OF GREECE, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation [empire] but will not have the same power. IN THE LATTER PART OF THEIR REIGN, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but NOT BY HIS OWN POWER (see Rev 13:2). He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will DESTROY the mighty men and the HOLY PEOPLE (see Rev 13:7). He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many AND TAKE HIS STAND AGAINST THE PRINCE OF PRINCES. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, FOR IT CONCERNS THE DISTANT FUTURE.""

Concerning the RAM and the SHAGGY GOAT we read this: Dan 8:7 "I saw him attack the RAM furiously, striking the RAM and shattering his two horns. The RAM was powerless to stand against him, the GOAT knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the RAM from his power. The GOAT became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place FOUR PROMINENT HORNS grew up towards the four winds of heaven. OUT OF ONE OF THEM came ANOTHER HORN, which started small but grew in power towards the south and to the east and towards the Beautiful Land. It grew UNTIL IT REACHED THE HOST OF THE HEAVENS, and it THREW SOME OF THE STARRY HOST TO THE EARTH AND TRAMPLED ON THEM." This injects a whole new dimension into the prophecy! Here is the KINGDOM OF GREECE, which has been divided up into FOUR KINGDOMS, from which arises 'ANOTHER HORN'. This horn now reaches out to the host of the heavens. What is more, he has the power to throw some of the starry host to the ground! What does it mean? Could a man do this?

We now learn the true nature of this man, and whose power he exercises! The Book of Revelation describes this beast and identifies the source of his power: Rev 13:2 "...The dragon gave the beast HIS POWER and HIS THRONE and GREAT AUTHORITY." This BEAST sits on the very throne of Satan and exercises all his power. He is the 'front' man for Satan the devil. And what does Satan do - he reaches for the 'HOST OF THE HEAVENS'. Rev 12:4 "His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky AND FLUNG THEM TO THE EARTH." This is the final straw! Up steps the mighty archangel Michael! V7 "And there was WAR in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, AND THEY LOST THEIR PLACE IN HEAVEN. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who LEADS THE WHOLE WORLD ASTRAY. He was HURLED TO THE EARTH, and his angels with him."

When does this happen? We are told in the next verse: V10 "Then I heard a LOUD VOICE in heaven say: "Now have come the SALVATION and the POWER and the KINGDOM OF OUR GOD, and the AUTHORITY OF HIS CHRIST. For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them day and night, has been hurled down."

Those in the heavenly realms rejoice over this; they are delighted to see Satan's access to heaven barred. Prior to this, he enjoyed the right to approach the throne of God seasonally (Job 1:5, Ps 89:5-7), now he is banished forever. But the rejoicing is tinged with foreboding: Rev 12:12 "Therefore rejoice you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short. When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to earth, he pursued the WOMAN who had given birth to the MALE CHILD (Christ - Rev 12:5)." Those blasphemous wretches that believe that the Church - which they believe gave birth to Christ - is the WOMAN are in for a very rude shock! It's speaking of a branch of the tribe of Judah – the House of David!  The House of David is described in Zech 12:10-14.  It consists of David’s line and the House of Levi.  As a point of interest, it was the Levite priest Samuel that established the House of David, and it was a Levite – John the Baptist – that preceded the arrival of Jesus Christ – the Son of David.  Similarly, a Levite priest will again precede the great and dreadful Day of the LORD (Mal 3:10).

So now we know that the BEAST arises from the KINGDOM of the SHAGGY GOAT which is GREECE. To many people, this would seem unlikely in this day and age. This is why the world will be ASTONISHED when it happens! But he is going to receive a little help! Gabriel spoke of this to Daniel: Dan 10:14 "Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come [distant future - Dan 8:26]" V20 "So he said, "Do you not know why I have come to you? Soon I will RETURN to fight against the prince of PERSIA, and when I go, the prince of GREECE will come; but FIRST I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth." Gabriel then goes on to tell Daniel what is in the Book of Truth - which is covered in Chapter 11. This all happens FIRST, before Gabriel and with the support of Michael (who is the commander of the heavenly realms - and who fights against the forces of the spirit world) comes to fight the prince of PERSIA.

The explanation of all this is not without complexity. But the Bible explains. The prince of PERSIA is a spirit being of considerable power. In the days of Daniel, he actually detained Gabriel against his will for 3 weeks. To put everything in context, this is what the Bible says - Gabriel is speaking: Dan 10:13 "But the prince of the PERSIAN kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then MICHAEL, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of PERSIA. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the [distant] future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come."

THE WORLD MUST SERVE THE BEAST!

When the BEAST arises from the GREEK KINGDOM, he will go out and cause devastating destruction. He will be given unfettered power to do as he likes. The PERSIAN kingdom will put up resistence and Gabriel will be sent to soften them up. Again, Michael gives support to Gabriel in this task (Dan 10:21). Then the king of GREECE will come and sweep through the land. The whole world must serve the king of GREECE - the first BEAST, just as all the world was required to serve the king of BABYLON in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. The second BEAST is the harlot 'daughter' of BABYLON and this BEAST will support the FIRST BEAST (Rev 13:12) even though he has all the power of the FIRST BEAST. But notice what the book of Jeremiah had to say in regard to the Great Harlot that ruled in his day - God is speaking: Jer 27:5 "With My great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and the people and animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will hand all your countries over to My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of BABYLON; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him, and his son and his grandson; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him. If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of BABYLON or bow his neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the LORD, until I destroy it by his hand. So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, 'You will not serve the king of BABYLON.' They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of BABYLON and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there," declares the LORD."

It was God's purpose that the tribe of Judah served the king of Babylon - just as it was His purpose that the whole 12 tribes served the king of Egypt - even before they were born (Gen 15:12-13). God has a purpose for everything. The earth and everything in it are His to do with as He pleases. Our responsibility is to do His will. The day will come when God will require all the house of Israel to serve the BEAST of GREECE and the BEAST of BABYLON. And if they don't, then God will rain down on their heads the sword, famine and plague. They will be handed over to him along with all the saints. Because they chose not to serve God faithfully according to law, they will serve the 'lawless one' as slaves. Notice what God says when Judah and Jerusalem thought that they would escape the king of Babylon: Jer 37:9 "This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians will surely leave us.' The will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down."

Many people who read the prophecies of God and understand their meaning, will still not believe. They will prefer to believe the false prophets who offer them lying words of hope. While God's hand is still outstretched for the house of Israel, time has almost run out.

BUT DON'T WORSHIP HIM!

While the world must serve the Beast, they must not worship him. If they worship him or accept his mark they will die - horribly! Rev 14:9 "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on their forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." This calls for patient endurance on the part of the SAINTS who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.""

WHO IS EPHRAIM?

Some nations will hold out from serving the two BEASTS. One of these will be the king of PERSIA (Iran today). For their refusal they will suffer the sword, famine and plague - at the hands of Gabriel and Michael. The PERSIANS will prefer to put their trust in the 'mighty men' (Dan 8:24), the mightiest nation on earth. This is the nation that speaks and men tremble! Who is this? The prophet Hosea explains: Hos 13:1 "When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel." Ephraim was the dominant tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel. What nation on earth do the nations of the earth tremble before? Which nation on earth would willingly engage the United States of America in all-out war? But there are many other scriptures that identify the U.S. as Ephraim. Indeed many scriptures would not make sense if they were not Ephraim!

It was Ephraim that rebelled against God and lead the 10 northern tribes into disobedience. It was Jeroboam, their leader that changed the seventh-month Holy Days to the eighth month and re-introduced idolatry. The U.S. today leads the whole world in decadence (with Australia a close second). Almost every nation on earth has, during this century, experienced the heartache of war in their territory - except the U.S. They have been the richest and most bountiful nation on earth and have suffered almost none of the tragic adversities experienced by other nations. And the Bible tells us why: Hos 13:12 "The guilt of Ephraim IS STORED UP, his sins are KEPT ON RECORD. Pains as a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb. I will ransom him from the power of the grave; I will redeem him from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?" The words 'death' and 'grave' are reference pointers ot Rev 6:7.

The whole Book of Hosea deals with the 12 tribes of Israel generally, and Ephraim and Judah specifically. This is because these two tribes were the dominant tribes in the northern and southern kingdoms, and it’s these tribes that God uses as a reference to the two kingdoms. And not without good reason. Continuing: V15 "I will have no compassion, even though he thrives among his brothers." Yes, Ephraim thrives among his brothers - all the other children of Jacob [Israel]. The North American continent is home to all the tribes of Israel - though not all of the people of these tribes lives there. God also speaks of the lands [plural] where he has driven them. These lands include central and northern Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa. The over-riding influence of Ephraim over all the other tribes is evident, and God makes a strong point in this regard: Hos 7:1 "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of My people, whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of EPHRAIM are exposed and the crimes of SAMARIA revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets; but they do not realise that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before Me."

When the 'sins of Ephraim are exposed', Samaria - the rest of the tribes of the whole territory of the northern kingdom - have their crimes revealed. All the other tribes follow the lead of Ephraim - even in their decadence! These words are not intended as a 'hate session' on the U.S. whom God loves very much, but merely as a prophetic warning. Because they refuse to acknowledge the laws of God they will suffer terribly - even more than most nations. They have been the recipients of the bountiful blessings of God that have far exceeded all other nations. They should have lead the world in righteousness - God's righteousness! Instead they have been foremost in desecrating God's laws!

Crazy Ephraim, they practice deceit - they actually encourage the subversive elements of armies of psychologists, psychiatrists, to influence their judgment in regard to the offenders of crime. And this is what God is speaking about. In other words LAWLESSNESS! But in a language that all can understand! The whole world knows that Ephraim has a reputation for lawlessness. Their crime rate soars above all others - with the possible exception today, of Australia. Australia, it seems is sliding away faster than any nation on earth, and will soon surpass Ephraim if the current trend continues.

Just so there is no confusion about which era God is referring to in the Book of Hosea, this is what is recorded in Hos 3:4 "For the Israelites will live for many days without a king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterwards the Israelites will RETURN and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to His blessings IN THE LAST DAYS."

God refers to Ephraim as His firstborn: Jer 31:9 "They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's FATHER, and EPHRAIM IS MY FIRSTBORN SON." These words mean exactly what they say! Refer back now to V6 "There will be a day when WATCHMEN cry out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to ZION, to the LORD our God."

And who are the 'WATCHMEN'? Hosea explains: Hos 9:8 "The PROPHET, along with my God, is the WATCHMAN over EPHRAIM." Of the two endtime PROPHETS, one is assigned to Ephraim and the 10 tribes, the other to Judah and Levi - the southern kingdom.  It’s the Levite prophet that is assigned the Holy Land and the responsibility for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.  Through a series of miracles the leaders of Judah will acknowledge that the LORD Almighty is their God: Zech 12:5 “Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.”  It will be then that the leaders of Judah will be raised to the rank of a mighty conquering army:  V6 On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a fire-pot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves.  They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.”  At this time, there will be other watchmen, perhaps several thousand of them, living among the Ephraimites, serving Almighty God in captivity.  These are called the offspring or children of the House of David.

Why does God say that Ephraim is His firstborn? You will notice that the 'WATCHMEN' call upon them to 'go up to ZION, to the LORD our God.' And where are they when the call goes out? Again and again, the Bible tells us, especially in the Book of Hosea. Here is an example: Hos 9:3 "They will NOT remain in the LORD's land; EPHRAIM will return to EGYPT and eat unclean food in ASSYRIA." V7 "The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility [to God] so great, the PROPHET is considered a fool, the INSPIRED MAN a maniac."

WHO IS ASSYRIA?

God leaves nothing to chance. He reveals ALL through his servants the prophets! Now as in the past! God chose the prophet Ezra to identify Assyria in Bible prophecy. He made this identification long after the Assyrian kingdom had passed into history, and they passed into history long before the prophetic endtime account of Daniel's prophecies were written. When Ezra made this identification it was a very significant time. For this reason, and because of the parallel significance for our time, the passage is quoted in full: Ezra 6:19 "On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover. The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves. So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbours in order to seek the LORD, the God of Israel. For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of ASSYRIA, so that he assisted them in the work on the House of God, the God of Israel." And just so there is no mistake, the very next verse tells us that it was the king of PERSIA that is referred to! Ezra 7:1 "After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of PERSIA..." Persia, modern-day Iran, is Assyria in prophecy - so says the Holy Scriptures!

Step forward now, all those lying frauds, who preside over the Body of Christ in Ephraim, show us your proof - FROM THE BIBLE - that Germany is Assyria. You can't do it because it's a LIE and YOU KNOW IT! You don't honour God, instead you honour YOURSELVES. You don't care that the Bible is the most precise and accurate literary work on earth, which gives infinite detail on all aspects of prophecy. You don't care that God tells us to 'seek and you will find' in His Word. Nor do you heed the advice 'let the READER understand'! Christ was referring to the READER of the Holy Scriptures - and more particularly - PROPHECY! And what do you frauds teach for prophecy? THE OPINIONS OF MEN!

The Bible says that Ephraim and the whole house of Israel who are with them will return to Egypt. They will suffer enormous defeat in war. This speaks of the armies. The ARMIES will fall in battle in the Holy Land. God will send his prophet to resurrect them - believe it or not! God will redeem them from DEATH and the GRAVE. This is what God says: Eze 37:9-14 "Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the FOUR WINDS, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast ARMY. Then He said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O My people, I am going to open your GRAVES and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, My people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your GRAVES and bring you up from them. I will put My SPIRIT in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN, AND I HAVE DONE IT, declares the LORD."" What God has spoken He will do!

Can we be sure just when this is to occur? Perhaps Jeremiah was speaking about the end of the Millennium or of some other time. Should we consult the writings of other Bible scholars to get an opinion? No, let the frauds and the false prophets do that! That's their modus operandi. God's true servants check the Bible for answers. Lo, and behold, what do we find? The very next verse gives us the answer: V15 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to JUDAH and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood and write on it, 'EPHRAIM'S stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they become one in your hand." V22 "They will become ONE NATION in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms." V24 "My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow My LAWS and be careful to keep My decrees. They will live in the land I gave My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their CHILDREN and their CHILDREN'S CHILDREN will live there for ever, and DAVID My servant WILL BE THEIR PRINCE FOREVER."

The destruction of the armies of Israel is accomplished by the BEAST that arises from the SEA. Just as the first Beast's armies perished in the sea - the armies of Pharoah - this BEAST will arise from the SEA to conquer the armies of the House of Israel. At the time of the destruction of Pharoah's armies, Israel was baptised in the sea (1Cor 10:2). The first HEAD of the BEAST was fatally wounded by the WORD of God - the One who became the CHRIST (Isa 51:9). More extensive details are found in the article: 'Satan and his Demons'. Just briefly: The slaying of these heads was prophesied in Gen 3:15. The seven heads of the beast that the great harlot rides have now passed, but one of these heads, who has already been fatally wounded will arise as an eighth king (Rev 17:11). All these heads had crowns (Rev 12:3) - all were the enemies of God. David recorded this about these heads: Ps 68:21 "Surely God will crush the HEADS of His ENEMIES, the HAIRY CROWNS of those who go on in their sins." Rahab is the great harlot, who once ruled over Egypt. This head was cut down by the WORD: Isa 51:9 "Was it not You that cut RAHAB to pieces, who pierced that MONSTER through?" [MONSTER: RSV=dragon, NKJV=serpent, KJV=dragon]. Job said: Job 26:12 "By His great power he churned up the SEA; by His WISDOM he cut RAHAB to pieces. By His breath the skies became fair; His hand pierced the gliding SERPENT." God used WISDOM to cut RAHAB to pieces. Who this 'WISDOM' is, is revealed in Proverbs chapter 8. But that's another subject which is covered in other articles. The prophet Isaiah identifies this gliding SERPENT or DRAGON, and also calls him 'LEVIATHAN'. Isa 27:1 "In that day, the LORD will punish with His sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, LEVIATHAN the gliding SERPENT; He will slay the MONSTER of the SEA." For further study see: Ps 74:14, Ps 89:10, Job 9:13, Ps 87:4, Job 41:1-10).

THE KING OF THE SOUTH

Alexander's Greek/Macedonian territory extended to the Danube - from Bucharest to the border of present-day Austria. His very first act after ascending to his father's throne was to secure this northern frontier.

Alexander's inherited kingdom of the Greek/Macedonian region was prophesied to become the 'Kingdom of the North' after his kingdom was broken up. The Bible also speaks of the 'Kingdom of the South.' Which is the 'Kingdom of the South'?

Most Bible students know that the 'King of the South' is Egypt. Egypt is actually named as the 'King of the South' in the Bible (Dan 11:8). In addition to this, by examining the four kingdoms that arose from Alexanders empire, it's obvious which is the southern one. In Daniel 11, we find out more details about Egypt in the endtime. Dan 11:40 "At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood." V24 "He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission." Notice that the king of the north extends his power over Egypt and gains control of her wealth. Not just Egypt, but also her implied allies - the Libyans and Nubians. He will subdue these and they will submit to him. Notice the words 'in submission.'

Here we see that Egypt will be subjugated and this BEAST will gain control of all their wealth. This clearly indicates that Egypt will be swallowed up and absorbed into this military machine. Libya will be a part of this southern kingdom and will also be controlled by the BEAST. We also have a reference to the Nubians (some translations: Ethiopians. Others: Cush). All indications are that the beast will target the oil-rich provinces of Africa. That is, those who have strategic, military riches necessary for his war machine. Since his power base will include all the Middle East states that are rich in petroleum, he will seek to secure all sources of it, rendering other nations immobile. For this reason, his strategic design may include other Nubian states in Central and Western Africa. This is, however, a private observation and is not necessarily Biblical in origin. It just happens that the extent of the beast's power will include the most oil-rich provinces in the world.

Dan 11:41 says that he invades the Beautiful Land - the nation of Israel where the city of Jerusalem is. Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon are delivered from his hand. In other words, God protects them - temporarily! Later in V45 we are told that he 'pitches his royal tents' at the Holy Mountain - Mount Zion. Why these nations are spared at this time, and why he sets up his palace tabernacle [royal tents] 'between the seas' at Jerusalem is thoroughly covered in other articles.

GRECO-MACEDONIAN - NOT GERMANY!

After reviewing the evidence of the Bible, on what basis do the false prophets claim that Germany is the beast or the king of the north? And on what basis do they label Rome as modern Babylon? How can they make these assumptions, and what is their Biblical authority? These are valid questions that every true and dedicated Christian should seek answers for. If your 'leaders' cannot answer these questions, convincingly, from the Bible, then they are false prophets according to the true Biblical definition of the term! And if after you confront them, they fail to speak according to the revealed knowledge of the Bible, then you should have nothing to do with them! What fellowship does light have with darkness?

Clearly the BEAST, whom the false prophets identify as Germany, is to arise from the kingdom of the shaggy goat - the GREEK EMPIRE of which Alexander was the first king.

BABYLON, THE GREAT HARLOT!

Babylon is described as a harlot woman in the prophecies. This Great Harlot is destined to come to great prominence in Babylon. Iraq today, which is often referred to in the Bible as Babylon or the Babylonian Empire, is predominantly Islamic today. Should we therefore assume that the religion of Islam is the Great Harlot? From the human perspective it would seem reasonable to do so! BUT, as always, the Bible is the final arbitrator. It's the Bible - the Word of God - that reveals its secrets to God's servants, the prophets. God has made provision to thoroughly identify this Great Harlot and He has also made known its source. It's found in the book of Zechariah: Zech 5:5 "Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, "Look up and see what this is that is appearing." I asked, "What is it?" He replied, "It is a measuring basket." And he added, "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land." Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a WOMAN! He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover over its MOUTH. Then I looked up - and there before me were TWO WOMEN, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth. "Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel who was speaking to me. He replied, "To the COUNTRY OF BABYLONIA [margin verifies this is Shinar - the land of Iraq] to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will BE SET THERE IN ITS PLACE."

The basket or ephah is a measuring device used by the ancients. This woman represented full measure. The words: "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land" should be translated, "This is the full measure of the iniquity of the people throughout the whole earth!" The NKJV renders it: "This is their resemblance throughout the earth." Neither versions render it with the overall force with which it was given and emphasised.

The lead cover was lifted briefly, and then pushed down again to cover its MOUTH. All versions use the word 'MOUTH', to indicate that this evil woman is to remain SILENT until 'A HOUSE IS BUILT FOR IT.' And where is the house to be built for it? Is it the Vatican? That's already built and has been for many centuries! No, it refers to another house that is to be built in 'THE LAND OF BABYLONIA'. And just to reinforce the meaning of the term, the margin further identifies this as the land of Shinar - where the tower of BABEL was built by Nimrod (Gen 11:2). When this house is built, the BASKET and the WOMAN will be 'SET THERE IN ITS PLACE'. So now we know where this woman is to be set, and what its place is, and also when (after the house is built for it).

So who is to set it there? The Bible says it will be two women with the wind in their wings. This is a clear reference to the two branches of humanity symbolized by the two legs of the great image, and referred to as the King of the North and the King of the South. The wind in their wings is the wind that begins to blow on the earth after the 144,000 are sealed. These winds are further described in Dan 7:2. The woman in the BASKET or ephah arises from the ten toes or horns and begins to rule with their consent. This woman, who is the little horn who arises from among the ten toes, horns or kings, uproots three of these ten. The King of the North becomes stronger than the King of the South and sets out to destroy him. Egypt, Libya and the Nubians fall before him (Dan 11:42-43).

ISLAM - THE EMERGING WORLD RELIGION!

Under the auspices of this little horn or false prophet that is set in the house at Babylon, a whole new system arises that overwhelms and supersedes every other system, and truth is cast to the ground. The vast pool of nations in the Middle East considered to be Arabic, and who are of the Islam faith, will form the base of his activities. This person will be a subtle, plausible deceiver that will weave a magic spell over these hordes of people.

The fastest growing religion on earth today is Islam. It's followers are called Muslims or Moslims. It's founder was a man called Mohammed. He was born in Mecca, in the central - west region of Arabia, in AD 570. His wife bore him 6 daughters over a period of 24 years before she died. Afterward he took multiple wives in the hope of having a son, but was unsuccessful. For further information about the background of this burgeoning religion, see the following excerpt taken from The Illustrated Book of Ancient History. It has this to say:

'When he was 40 years old Mohammed, who loved solitude, was in a cave on Mount Hira outside Mecca when he had visions of the angel Gabriel calling him to "recite" in the name of God the Creator. He received revelations that were to become the first parts of the Koran ("recitation"). Mohammed conveyed these teachings to a group of friends who believed with him in the unity of God. At first the little group, which met for prayers to God (Allah), was ignored or scorned, but as their numbers grew, they were persecuted. Some took refuge for a time in Christian Ethiopia. They were called Muslims (Moslems) - "surrendered men" - in the religion of Islam they had "surrendered" or submitted to the one God. Early converts were made from Yathrib, a town 200km north of Mecca, and Mohammed was invited to go there. In 622 the "hegira" (migration) took place and Mohammed and his followers moved from Mecca to Yathrib, henceforth called Medina the "city" of the prophet. The Muslim year is dated from the hegira.

'At Medina, Mohammed built a mosque and a house, and sent his followers on raids to provide funds and ensure protection against armies from Mecca. There were battles at Badr and Uhud and finally Mohammed's armies and influence grew so that in 630 he was able to capture the city of Mecca almost without loss. He rode around the Kaaba shrine and had its idols destroyed.

'The death of the prophet in 632 was sudden, but after some hesitation his friend, the elderly Abu Bakr (576-634), was appointed as caliph - successor to the prophet and vice-regent of God. Arabian tribes that had been bound to Mohammed by oath began to break away but Abu Bakr sent armies to establish Muslim rule. They were so successful that his forces broke out of Arabia into the rest of southwestern Asia. Abu Bakr died two years after his appointment, but under his successors, the Caliphs Omar and Othman, Arab armies rapidly conquered Mesopotamia and entered Persia, while others entered Syria. Jerusalem surrendered to them and Omar visited the Christian Churches there and the site of the ancient Jewish temple where later a great shrine was built, incorrectly called the Mosque of Omar but more properly called the Dome of the Rock, one of the most holy places of Islam. Arab armies went to Egypt, where [the city of] Alexandria surrendered; then after some delay they travelled along North Africa and in 711 crossed into Spain at Gibraltar. They even penetrated into the heart of France, where between Tours and Poitiers the Muslim armies met Frankish forces under Charles Martel in 732. After seven days of fierce skirmishes the Arabs were forced to retreat southwards. They remained in Southern France for some years but Spain was the limit of their rule and here they remained for centuries until the fall of Granada in 1492, after which Muslims and Jews were expelled from Spain.

'In the east, Persia came completely under Muslim rule as well as a large part of India. The Muslims preserved much of the cultures they encountered and transmitted them, taking Indian numerals as Arabic numerals to Europe and preserving Greek medicine, astronomy and philosophy during the period of the Dark Ages in Europe.'

There will be much more said about all this at a later time.

THE GOD OF FORTRESSES

The BEAST that arises will honour a god of 'fortresses' (Dan 11:38). None of the translators of the Bible knew how to deal with this word. It' s translated from the Hebrew word 'mauzzim' which means 'God's protectors' or the 'fortress' that protects. Elohim, the Father, doesn't need anyone or any being to protect Him because He alone, of all beings in the universe, is immortal (1Tim 6:16). He can, however, impart immortality to whomever He chooses. Only one Being has qualified for that great honour - Jesus Christ! But it wasn't always this way, Christ did, in fact, die - before He had immortality! God, however, did appoint some powerful beings to protect His realm. One of these was Lucifer, who became Satan the devil. He was one of the 'Mauzzim.' This BEAST honours this Mauzzim - Satan the devil!

In ancient times the main object of Babylon's worship was an idol called Bel or Baal. Iraq today, are the people of Babylon. They are primarily of the Islam faith. Islam follows the edicts of their prophet Mohammed. They worship towards the city of Mecca in Arabia. They are scattered around the world, in almost every country. They have no official leader or spokesman. No titular head as such. Writers of Islamic precepts earnestly desire to have a leader to unite them. This is evident in many contemporary writings. Although Islam rejects the worshiping of idols, they have a pronounced proclivity to worship their LEADERS. They are so devout in this regard that they idolize any image of their national LEADERS with unswerving devotion. It will be a natural progression to worship an image of a LEADER that will arise. When they are presented with an image of the first BEAST; and especially an image that will speak, they will embrace it with great fervour. Rev 13:15 "He was given POWER to give BREATH to the IMAGE of the FIRST BEAST, so that it could SPEAK and cause all who refused to worship the IMAGE to be killed."

Furthermore, they will enforce this worship on all others, just as they try to enforce their views on people like Salman Rushti with threats of death. This is the type of vicious, brutal obsession that characterizes the coming BEAST and his followers.

The Bible makes it clear that this coming beast power will totally eclipse events of the past in extremism. The excesses of Nazi Germany in the past will seem like a stroll in the park by comparison!

God further identifies these people as being more righteous than His people Israel. Bible students will be aware that the teachings of Islam are many times more exact in their approach to the principles set out in the Bible than any of the official religions of the tribes of Israel. What is more, they are fanatically obedient to their beliefs. God levels criticism against the tribes of Israel for not living up to the standards of righteousness of the nations around them. In a prophecy against the tribe of Judah in Jerusalem, God says this: Eze 5:7 "Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept My laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you." And in the next chapter God speaks against the House of Israel (who had already gone into captivity 130 years before). This is what He says: Eze 6:8 "Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me - how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from Me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them." The tribes of Israel always seem to be at the forefront of liberalising the most detestable violations of God's laws. Many Gentile nations of the world ban movies and other 'cultural' imports from the house of Israel, labelling them 'decadent.' What an indictment against God's elect nations!

DANIEL'S DREAM OF THE 4 BEASTS

Dan 7:1 "In the first year (561 BC) of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea."

BABYLONIAN - CHALDEAN EMPIRE

1st BEAST

"The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it."

This perfectly describes the life of Nebuchadnezzar, and how he had his lofty power stripped away and was given the mind of a beast, and even his body took on the characteristics of an animal (Dan 4:33). This will become evermore significant as you begin to study your Bible and understand it! Nebuchadnezzar ruled for and on behalf of Satan the devil. He emulated him to the extent that he built a fiery furnace to throw God's servants in - a simulation of the fiery furnace that God is going to throw the Beast, the False Prophet AND Satan the devil in. Nebuchadnezzar became arrogant and compared himself with God, and was driven out of his kingdom. He became an ugly beast. At the end of seven years, he stood upright and his sanity returned. God restored the MAN - Nebuchadnezzar, but the BEAST had gone. Sanity returned to his kingdom. In this account, God is telling us of the nature of the 'rulers and authorities of the heavenly realms' (Eph 3:10). Lucifer became Satan the devil. God tells us that Lucifer was perfect, in fact: 'You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and PERFECT IN BEAUTY' (Eze 28:12). After he became Satan the devil, his appearance was that of an ugly dragon or serpent! His offspring were referred to by Christ and John the Baptist as 'a brood of vipers' and 'snakes and vipers.'

Humanity was created in the PERFECT IMAGE OF GOD. So was Lucifer! Today he is an ugly beast - a repulsive dragon or serpent! And the Bible so describes him as such! The understanding of this will become more and more important as you begin to understand the true meaning of prophecy! Take the time to study the many pointers and markers in the Bible that illuminate these things. They are very important!

MEDES AND PERSIAN EMPIRE

2nd BEAST

"And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'"

The Medes (who were the ruling class of this empire) are Madai of the Bible. These, today, occupy Iran, the former Russian provinces of Armenia and Moldavia, Ukraine, and parts of Romania. They are also scattered through the slavic nations and Romania and Bulgaria. The three ribs in the mouth of the bear represent three women (Gen 2:22). A woman is a nation (Rev 12:1). Three nations fall before the beast that looks like a bear and are consolidated into its kingdom. This bear beast is then invited to arise and eat flesh (that is to conquer).

GREECE - MACEDONIAN EMPIRE

3rd BEAST

"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule."

This third beast that looked like a leopard was Alexander the Great in early fulfillment. The speed with which his army travelled was frightening to all that beheld him. It was not until he reached Tyre and began his conquest of it that he was slowed to a stop. For seven months he besieged it before he finally conquered it. After the conquest of Egypt, where he built the city of Alexandria, he turned to the east and conquered all the way to India. He died suddenly of illness, and his kingdom was divided up into four parts. Notice that the beast was the leopard but it had four heads symbolizing the breakup of the empire with Alexander's death. Four of his former generals each took a province of the empire. The empire then ceased to exist.

The first three beasts had a total of six heads. All six heads were embodied into the Greco-Macedonian Empire, that is, its territories.

UNIFICATION OF ALL THREE BEASTS

4th BEAST

"After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast - terrifying and frightning and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, WHICH CAME UP AMONG THEM; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully."

Here we clearly see that this beast is a frightening power that has arisen and it has ten horns or ten kings in its empire. The eleventh horn, the little horn that comes up out of one of them, uproots three of the other horns. In other words, this horn uproots three of these kings. He has a mouth that speaks boastfully. His boasting arises from the enormous power he has been given by the dragon, which is Satan the devil (Rev 12:9, 13:2, 4). It is this super-natural power that elevates his prominence. People will worship the dragon and the beast (V4). Dan 7:9 "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books [plural] were opened."

This is the moment in time when God Almighty sets up the judgment proceedings; and the books are opened, ready for the recording of evidence. (See Rev 20:11-15 for further reference to these books). This court is seated when the little horn, also known as the false prophet, rises to prominence. This is after Satan's assault on heaven, and after he is cast down.

The response of the world to this little horn's activities is what will determine their guilt or innocence. This is when the clear division of the righteous and the evil of this world is made. The eyes of all the heavenly host will observe those who accept the mark of the beast - and all of these will be marked for destruction. Everyone on earth will be given the clear choice of accepting or rejecting this mark of the beast.

Prior to the mark of the beast being enforced, the Gospel will be preached in all the world; to every nation, tribe, language and people. This follows the persecution of the remaining [remnant] group of God's seed. This remnant will have already heard the true Gospel and will either accept or reject it. Those who accept the true Gospel will be those who are diligently studying their Bibles to see if these things are so! God doesn't hide the truth from those He loves and so you must be told that many of you will die even if you now accept the Gospel and re-dedicate your lives. Be assured that if you do, you will live again and your salvation is sure! Rev 13:8 "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have NOT been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints."

You have no control over whether you go into captivity or whether you will be killed. God has already determined this. You have been prepared for this final endtime and your future determined. Prepare yourself, be strong so you don't fail, and God will raise you up at the last day.

If your whole motivation for obedience to God is to save your physical life, then forget it, you will never enter the Kingdom of God! When you repented and gave your life over to God, it was a total commitment to God. You were either sincere or you were not! If you were, then you should be willing to follow in the footsteps of your Saviour and go to your death for God - as He did! If you love this life so much that you will shrink from death then you are of no use to God! You must now be strong and very courageous! Your salvation is close at hand!

THE FATE OF THE BEAST

Some have attempted to argue that the beast is a group of nations rather than an individual. The Bible makes it plain that the beast is a man - AND an empire of nations. This man is to be thrown into a lake of fire in the sight of all his armies (Rev 19:19-20). It's quite obvious that this refers to a single individual.

Dan 7:11 "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like the son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; [that] all peoples, nations and men of every language [should] worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM

V15 "I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things. 'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive THE KINGDOM (the only Kingdom after the four are destroyed) and will possess it for ever - yes, for ever and ever.'"

When Daniel wrote these words, two of the kingdoms had already arisen. One had passed away when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon. Yet the prophecy clearly states that these four kingdoms will arise - yet in the future! Daniel said that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold, that is, he represented it. But he was only a foretype of this kingdom. Notice that Nebuchadnezzar was said to rule over everyone on earth (Dan 2:37-38). This is not true! He didn't rule over the fledgling Roman Empire in Rome that had begun their kingdom with the conquest of the Etruscans, centuries before. Nor did he rule over the eastern hordes, and particularly those whom Alexander conquered to the east. Nor did Alexander conquer India, even though he wanted to. And neither did Nebuchadnezzar! And neither did he rule over the lost ten tribes. His rule centered around the Middle East. The final kingdom will include all the three previous kingdoms under a common ruler.

But the Bible plainly says that Nebuchadnezzar did rule over everyone on earth including all the animals! Is this a mistake in the Bible? Did God wrongly inspire this statement? Can there possibly be another explanation for this seeming error?

There is certainly another explanation and the Bible makes it very plain! It's the key to understanding many things. God was speaking of the true ruler of the world - He was referring to Satan the devil! Nebuchadnezzar was Satan the devil personified! And the Bible proves this!

When Nebuchadnezzar finally reached the pinnacle of success he made the fatal mistake of comparing himself with God by elevating his assumed stature. Immediately, God drove him out from among men and gave him the mind of a beast. For seven years he ate grass like an ox, and he adopted the attributes of an eagle with feathers and claws (Dan 4:33). This being was Satan the devil and the man Nebuchadnezzar; both received seven years of punishment. Afterward, Satan was cast out of the man and his sanity returned. He was given the heart of a man - no longer that of a beast - and he was restored to his kingdom. We hear no more of this man, Nebuchadnezzar, but it can be assumed that after this bitter experience he followed the advice of Daniel and enjoyed a peaceful reign for the remainder of his life (See Dan 4:34-37).

We see a further indication of the identity of Satan and his cameleon-like appearance in Eze 28:2 "..In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the sea. But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you?" Speaking of the same being we read in V12 "...You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in the garden of Eden, the garden of God...."

God makes the point to this same being: 'Are you wiser than Daniel?" This king knew Daniel well! King Hiram of Tyre didn't! He lived 400 years before Daniel was born. The king that this scripture is referring to, did know Daniel! Only the king of Babylon knew Daniel, and what is more, he admired and respected him for his great wisdom and righteousness that he, himself, could not match. This was Nebuchadnezzar! When warned by Daniel of impending disaster, he refused to listen and suffered the consequences of having his rulership stripped away (Dan 4:27). Can this scripture be referring to anyone else except Satan the devil as king of Babylon in the person of Nebuchadnezzar?

It has not gone unnoticed that Ezekiel chapter 28 is referring to the prince of Tyre in the first part and the king of Tyre in the second part. The only named rulers of Tyre in the Bible are those who lived in the time of David and Solomon - 400 years before Daniel. Yet this 'king of Tyre' was in the garden of Eden! He was the anointed guardian cherub! (V14). So this being, who thought he was wiser than Daniel, was a contemporary of Daniel! Daniel lived out the rest of his life in Babylon, and was advisor to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar ruled over all the countries of the Middle East including Tyre - and was the king of Tyre! Nebuchadnezzar conquered Tyre (Eze 26:7) but received no wages for his efforts (Eze 29:18). Later, Alexander the Great came along and conquered it again.

Now the king of Tyre is called the anointed guardian cherub who was in the garden of Eden, and who was in the holy mountain of God. This being was not born - he was created (V15). King Hiram of Tyre was never in the garden of Eden - but Nebuchadnezzar was! Babylon is the regional site of the original Garden of Eden. All the kings from Nebuchadnezzar to Alexander the Great ruled over Babylon. And all of them ruled over Tyre. This king of Tyre is specifically mentioned because the new Babylonian Empire will become the great trading empire of the world, just as it was in the days of Hiram..

Ezekiel 27 describes Tyre as a great ship sailing on the seas. This great ship is symbolic of a future trading empire. This ship trades with all the nations of the world. Notice Eze 27:33 "When your merchandise went out on the seas, you satisfied many nations; with your great wealth and your wares you enriched the kings of the earth."

Now notice Eze 28:16 "Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour. So I threw you to earth..."

Christ mentioned an earlier event: Luke 10:18 "And He said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." A later event is prophesied in the book of Revelation: Rev 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

In the book of Revelation, all of Chapter 18, we see further evidence of this trading empire, and here it's clearly identified: Rev 18:2 3, 10, 11, 16, 17 "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!" V3 "For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." V10 "Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come! The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no-one buys their cargoes anymore..." V16 "They will weep and mourn and cry out: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin! Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: 'Woe!, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! Rejoice over her, O heavens! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.' Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it in the sea, and said: 'With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again."

Just to reinforce that this scripture is speaking of Babylon and not Rome, Jeremiah also prophesied of the destruction of this city, and recorded this event: Jer 51:61 "He said to Seraiah, "When you get to BABYLON, see that you read all these words aloud. Then say, 'O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate for ever.' When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the EUPHRATES. Then say, 'So will BABYLON sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.'" You will notice that this scripture is speaking of a city called BABYLON near the EUPHRATES river. 'BABYLON' is NOT referring to a people that migrated from Babylon of old. It means the actual city that has featured in so many prophecies throughout the Bible. And just to reinforce this, notice the final words of this scripture: 'And her people will fall.' This clearly shows that the city of Babylon and its people are treated separately here.

There is nothing in the scriptures that identify Rome or the Vatican with the city of BABYLON! Every assumption made to this effect is made by human reasoning that is not in accord with the Bible. Jeremiah prophesies, that like the stone thrown in the EUPHRATES river, BABYLON will sink - and it will rise no more! It's NOT true that the old city of Babylon was even destroyed - and it certainly didn't sink like a stone! Babylon didn't sink when Alexander the Great destroyed it. In fact, the city continued to be inhabited until at least 10 BC, and probably long after. The Apostle Peter mentions that his wife, and his son Mark, were in Babylon at the time he wrote the epistle (1Pet 5:17). Alexander knocked down many of the temples and the great ziggurat (which he intended to rebuild but his premature death prevented it). This prophecy refers to the same fate that befell Sodom and Gomorrah (Jer 50:39-40, Isa 13:19). These two cities sank and were consumed in burning sulphur lava. They have disappeared and no-one today knows the exact site of either of them.

Saddam Hussein has recently commissioned the re-building of Babylon. Much of it is now complete. Nebuchadnezzar's throne room is also restored.

Now notice Rev 18:24 "In her [Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of ALL who have been killed on the earth." Surely this must be an exaggeration! Surely Babylon can't be blamed for ALL who have been killed on earth! Is this what you think? The Book of Jeremiah also states this: Jer 51:49 "BABYLON must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of BABYLON." (The NIV is the only version that translates this verse correctly).

Are you aware of the purpose of 6,000 years of human suffering? The Apostle John tells us. He tells us the primary reason for Christ's appearance on earth: 1John 3:8 "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work."

A proper understanding of the Bible makes this very evident! Satan has been violating the laws of God from the very beginning. The prime objective for God is to rid the universe of this creature, but justice must be seen to be done. God's great virtue and justice will not allow Him to condemn him without a fair trial. As Lucifer, Satan commanded one third of all the created angelic beings. His rank in the God hierarchy requires that his removal be done with all judicial protocol. His judgment is soon to come. The 24 elders that are seated with God are the jury. Notice now, that the court is about to sit: Dan 7:25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change the set times and laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and HIS power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever."

Anyone who understands the great power and glory of the Almighty God would have to wonder why the great heavenly court would preside over the judgment of a puny man. Since this puny man has been condemned to death already, prophetically, there would seem to be no point in convening a court to judge him if he is to be thrown in the lake of fire anyway (Rev 19:20). Such a view, if believed, would make a mockery of God's judgment. Let's be absolutely sure of what this scripture is saying. Here it is again: "But the court will sit, and HIS power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever." So the Almighty God and all the heavenly host convene a court to judge this one man? Not at all! This heavenly court sits in judgment of the very one who has caused all violent death on earth. The arch-rebel who controlled all rebellion against God from the days of Adam, the very one who has influenced every despot that ever ruled. And who is he? None other than Satan the devil! It is Satan the devil who gives 'his power' to the beast (Rev 13:2).

So why is the court sitting in judgment of this beast? The Bible tells us! Notice the description of Satan the devil: Rev 12:4 "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads." Now notice the description of the beast: Rev 13:1 "And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name." Now notice what the dragon gives this beast: V2 "...And the dragon gave the beast HIS power and HIS throne and [HIS] great authority." Notice that the dragon has a crown on each head. That is seven crowns or kingdoms. The beast also has seven heads and ten horns, and he also has crowns, in fact, ten of them. The crowns are not on the heads of this beast, but on its horns. Satan has reigned over seven kingdoms, now the prophesied beast appears - to whom he gives his power, throne and authority. Seven great empires have passed into history that have been ruled by Satan. Now this final beast is the eighth! The eighth and final kingdom is about to arise. But this final king who exercises the authority over the entire kingdom comprising ten peoples or nations, will not be given the honour of royalty: Dan 11:21 "He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honour of royalty." The reason is that this being has used up all his seven crowns or kingdoms. Satan has ruled over seven empires and brought death and destruction to many people. His final role will be with the his high-ranking generals, some of whom will be cast to earth with him, and some who will arise from the Abyss. This beast will have the throne of Satan but he will no longer enjoy the unfettered honour of royalty that God has allowed him during the evidence-gathering process over 6,000 years. He knows his time is short and he marshals his most wicked accomplices to reign over the ten kingdoms.

CONTRADITION OR CONFUSION?

We now come to the verses that no Biblical scholar has ever understood. They've noticed what appears to be a contradiction in the Bible but have chosen to ignore it. Because they can't explain it, they've chosen to gloss over it. The Bible makes it plain that there is a special emphasis on the understanding of Bible prophecy by injecting the words: "This calls for a mind with wisdom." Foolish people who have wrestled with the scriptures to pervert them to their own private outcome will never understand. The wisdom mentioned here is the same wisdom that God granted Daniel through the Holy Seed: Eze 28:3 "Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you?" The answer to these two questions is NO! Satan is not, and was not, wiser than Daniel! The reason is that Satan never set his heart to understand the glory of God. He sought only his own glory. Those who seek their own glory instead of the glory of God always fall into the same trap.

The great contradiction, which is really no contradiction at all, is found in Rev 17. It describes a woman sitting on a beast. This woman also sits on many waters (V1) which are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (V15). The beast she sits on, which is a separate entity, is described as: Rev 17:8 'The beast which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction." This beast that had once existed, did not at that time exist! So the beast that did not exist in the days of John is not the Roman Empire which did exist at that time! This woman, who sits on the beast with seven heads, is described as 'Mystery, BABYLON the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.' Of the seven heads she sits on, the Bible has this to say: Rev 17:9 "This calls for a mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills [mountains] on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come." Of the seven kings or kingdoms, five had already fallen, and one still existed - at the time of John. But the beast did not! Only one of the heads of the beast she sat on existed at that time. The woman who sat on this beast did exist at that time, and had existed for a long time prior to this. This woman, Babylon, and all that it entails, is guilty of all deaths: Rev 18:24 "In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of ALL who have been killed (slain, slaughtered by violence) on earth."

This scripture alone, rules out the Roman Catholic Church as being the great harlot. The Roman Catholic Church did not come into existence for hundreds of years after John penned the book of Revelation. In the days of Christ, this woman was already active. It had already infiltrated the ranks of the seed of God. The thread of God's seed was concentrated in the tribe of Judah at that time. John makes mention of this: Rev 12:1 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant (with God's seed) and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." Well you say, this is obviously speaking of Mary, the mother of Christ! No, it isn't! It's speaking about the tribe of Israel that had a crown of 12 stars on her head. This was the tribe of Judah, and more importantly, the seed of David from whom Christ was born. In AD 70, this same woman fled into the wilderness for exactly 1260 days or 3˝ years.

Nearly two thousand years later, after Satan and his demons are cast to earth for the final judgment of them, Satan pursues this same woman who had given birth to the male child (which is Christ - V6), so this woman is NOT Mary! It is the tribe of Judah, and more specifically, the House of David! It's from this House that all the prophecies allude in relation ot Christ's birth. Rev 12:13 "When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of an eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach."

Don't let the false prophets deceive you! This verse is referring to the House of David!  Christ was also called the Son of David.  Well what about the saints? Surely there is some reference to the saints of the Churches of God headquartered in Ephraim (U.S)? Yes, there is! During this same 3˝ years, the book of Daniel describes what happens. Speaking of the beast it says this: Dan 7:25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time (3˝ years)." The woman of Revelation 12 is taken away completely out of reach of Satan and his influence, but the saints are handed over to him! Rev 13:7 "He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them." This is not good news for many of you, but it is absolutely sure to happen! You need to prepare yourself with the whole armour of God.

The harlot woman of Babylon, who is responsible for all the slaughter on earth was active in Christ's day. Christ identified her! Like a chameleon she had slipped into the ranks of Christ's oppressors: Matt 23:31 "So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" V35 "And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berakiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell the truth, all this will come on this generation."

Satan's seed had infiltrated and corrupted the Jewish leaders of the day. Christ recognized the emergence of the Great Harlot in His own people and identified them with being of the seed - the generation - that had been responsible for all the shed blood on earth!

It should NOT be assumed that the tribe of Judah is the Great Harlot! Satan plants his seed wherever he chooses and he covers the whole spectrum of peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (Rev 17:15). Very soon now, God will cleanse Judah and Jerusalem, and will again call to duty the House of David and Judah, and the Levites for a very special mission: Zech 12:10 "And I will pour out on the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one that mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day, the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the House of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the House of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives."

God will refine the house of Jacob who are of the tribe of Judah (Isa 48:1-2) after he has passed them through the furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10). At this time, God will redeem the people of Jerusalem for a mighty work: Isa 59:20-21 "The Redeemer will come to Zion; to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. "As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your descendants from this time on and for ever," says the LORD."

Referring to Satan's seed, God intends for 'this generation' of vipers, snakes and serpents to come to their end. When God obliterates them from the earth they will never arise again! Isa 14:20 "The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities." See also V29: "Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent."

In the garden of Eden, God identified two seeds: the seed of the woman and the seed of the Serpent. All virtue sprung from the woman's seed, and all evil sprung from the Serpent's seed, which the Serpent disguised to emulate the woman. But God, in unmistakable terms calls it a great harlot. This harlot 'woman' will make her final appearance in Babylon and will go to her destruction in Babylon. All her sons will then be slaughtered and will never rise again! There will be no resurrection for them!

THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

We have previously examined this verse: Rev 12:17 "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring - those who obey God's Commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus." Every devoted and dedicated Christian knows what is meant by the Commandments. But what is meant by the 'testimony of Jesus'? On the street corners of many cities you see people 'testifying for Jesus'. Are they really testifying? What does it all mean? Whether you want to believe it or not, the remnant or 'the rest of her offspring' refers to those who understand prophecy. This is what 'the testimony of Jesus' means! Here is the explanation: Rev 19:10 "At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow-servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY.""

It is the people who have the 'SPIRIT OF PROPHECY' that will attract the attention of Satan's fury. Those in the Church of God who have always jokingly referred to their group as a NON-PROPHET organization need not worry initially. They will be spared the persecution for a short time. They will believe themselves to be more noble and virtuous than their brethren who are being killed. But what does the Bible say? Rev 14:12 "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's Commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.""

The book of Daniel describes events that are yet to happen in the future. All the prophecies from Daniel chapter 7 to 12 are for the endtime (the latter days). Daniel was told to go on his way because the words of the book are closed and sealed up to the time of the end. The events that Daniel described were not for his understanding at that time. Rather, they were designed to warn us in these latter days, and it is God's true people in these latter days that MUST have the spirit of prophecy! If we are God's seed, then we WILL understand! Dan 12:8 "I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, BUT THOSE WHO ARE WISE WILL UNDERSTAND."

The four beasts of the book of Daniel are symbolic of the great image that Nebuchadnezzar saw. This is made clear by the reference to the ten horns of the fourth beast which correspond to the ten toes of the great image. The four beasts of Daniel 7 must be combined with the great image of Daniel 2. This great image, which represents four empires, will all exist at the endtime, and all will be struck with the Rock that will shatter them. That Rock will then become a great mountain and fill the whole earth. This is obviously speaking of Christ. For further details of what this mountain is, see the articles on the geology of the earth.

Dan 7:19-22 "Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws - the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the 10 horns on its head and about the other horn (verse 24: king) that came up, before which three of them fell - the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom."

You will notice that judgment is given against the persecutor and in favour of the saints. This judgment is given against Satan the devil, after 6,000 years of violence. The judgment determines who will possess the kingdom. Which kingdom? The very one that Satan ruled!

"He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms, and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings that will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

"But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. "This was the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself."

These verses make it very plain who is being judged here! It's the power of Satan that will be taken away forever. This is why the court is sitting; to depose the arch-rebel against God; the very one that has slaughtered everyone who has been killed on earth. When the heavenly beings, of whom Satan was originally a colleague, see the judgment they will rejoice! Rev 19:1 "After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the Great Prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants." And again they shouted: Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever. The 24 elders and the 4 living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: "Amen, Hallelujah!""

The whole court that were seated on the thrones fell down in worship of God. 6,000 years of human suffering has come to an end because judgment is passed against the devil. God takes the kingdoms of the earth and begins to reign, and all the prophets and saints receive their allotted portions as God promised to Daniel (Dan 12:13, Luke 13:28).

Rev 11:16 "And the 24 elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints who reverence your name, both small and great - and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

THE 2,300 DAYS

Much has been written about these mysterious 2,300 days or evenings and mornings. The Bible is very clear on what they represent. At the end of them, the sanctuary will be cleansed. It's speaking of daily sacrifices - the morning and evening sacrifices that are required to be offered in the Temple of God. The mystery of these days centers around what is meant by the 'Temple of God.' This subject is thoroughly covered in other articles, but briefly it is this: The Bible refers to two Temples - the physical and the spiritual. The Temple of God under the Old Covenant is the physical Temple that was built by Solomon at Jerusalem. The second physical Temple was built by Herod. There is another Temple described in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48 that is yet to be built. The river of life will flow through the streets of Jerusalem when this is built. And also the tree of life will grow along its banks (Eze 47:1-12, cp Rev 22:1-2). Obviously, this Temple has not yet been built. But it will be, and when it is, the daily sacrifice will be restored.

Everyone who is under the Old Covenant, and that includes the whole world - with the exception of a special group of people whom Christ has called as His own. These people are the spiritual Temple of God, and Christ is their High Priest. Christ knows His own! Christ will tell many people who believe themselves to be Christians: "I never knew you." Only those who are truly Christ's are NOT required to offer sacrifices! The rest of the world is! In the Millennium they will be required to do so, and will be severely punished if they do not! Be sure to download the articles that relate to this subject. It's vital to the understanding of the Bible.

The other temple, the spiritual temple is the Body of Christ. He is the High Priest of all those who believe and obey. Christ performs the ceremonies of a High Priest in heaven where there is a Tabernacle (Heb 8:1-2). The Tabernacle that Moses built is a precise copy of this Tabernacle in Heaven, including all the fixtures.. This Heavenly Tabernacle also contains the Ark of the Covenant (Rev 11:19). If Christ were on earth today, He would not be a priest: Heb 8:4-5 "If He were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already MEN who offer the gifts prescribed by law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven." The reason that Christ would not be a priest on earth is because there are already others that perform this task. Christ is a High Priest ONLY to those whom He has called and chosen! Those whom He has called and chosen are the spiritual Temple of the Living God. All those 'Christians' around the world in various mainstream denominations who refuse to obey God are NOT Christ's! Therefore they are still under the Old Covenant and will be required to offer sacrifices in the Kingdom of God! Other articles cover this subject in greater detail.

A special cleansing ceremony is required in the Temple before sacrifices can commence. At the end of the 2,300 days this ceremony will be performed. Let's now examine what the Bible has to say on this matter.

Dan 9:1 "In the third year (559 BC) of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as he charged towards the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.

"As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came towards the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him; the goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power. The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven.

"Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and to the beautiful land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints [margin: Because of rebellion, the armies..] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

"Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled - the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?"

"He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evening and mornings; then the sanctuary will be consecrated."

THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION

"While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man's voice from Ulai calling, "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision."

"As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end."

"While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.

"He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from HIS nation but will not have the same power.

"In the latter part of THEIR reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.

"The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future."

"I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king's business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding."

This vision concerns the evening and morning sacrifices, and the whole vision covers a period of 2,300 days.

THE TEN KINGS

This stern-faced king or beast (Rev 13:1) that will arise from the four kingdoms that formed from Alexander's Greek Empire, is to be destroyed but not by human power. His empire will comprise 10 nations which are represented by the ten toes or ten horns. The image of Daniel 5 shows that the ten kings will be divided into two groups; symbolized by the two legs, with each group representing the two feet. Even the toes on each foot will not be properly welded together, but will be brittle with very little cohesion. The Bible further describes this division of the ten kings (toes, horns). These two sectors of the Empire are called the King of the North and the King of the South. The legs of the image represent the long passage of time until the feet with the ten toes appear.

The northern Empire will come to prominence in the endtime - our time - with the emergence of Greece and an alliance with the Balkan states. This alliance will continue to build to include all the nations around the Black Sea. There are indications in the Bible that this great alliance will also include Rumania, Ukraine and Bulgaria. At the appropriate time, God will reveal the exact identity of all these nations to His servants the prophets.

The fourth beast is a kingdom or empire. From this empire 10 kings arise. It's important to note that this empire doesn't arise from the 10 kings, but the 10 kings from the empire. This indicates that the beast will parcel out territory to the ten kings.

The southern Empire will include Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya and some other states, mainly on the African continent. This huge mass of humanity will form an alliance with the King of the North.

After the emergence of the Beast or Empire, formed from the northern and the southern empires, they will grow weary of the excesses of Iraq, and will begin to show hatred towards them. Finally, they will turn on them and destroy them as a nation. Many prophecies in the Old and New Testaments describe this event. The re-built city of Babylon will be destroyed and left a ruin. This will be deemed by Christ to be insufficient. He will sink the whole city into a sea of burning brimstone to be utterly consumed - just like Sodom and Gomorrah! The smoke of its burning will continue forever.

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