February 6, 2012
The Plot Thickens – and Will Get Thicker
It is only within the last century that God has been unsealing the mysteries of this book and Daniel’s dream. While the significance of the first three beasts is relatively easy to interpret because of its solid basis in historical fact, the ten toes (Daniel 2:41-42, 44) and the ten horns (Daniel 7:7, 20, 24 and Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 12, 16) must now be addressed in some detail.
To do this, we need to go back to the year 1947 when Benelux came into power: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg-the first three horns on the terrible fourth beast, and the first three nations of what presently comprises the European Union. In 1957, France, Italy, and Germany joined the confederation, making it six, with the Treaty of Rome ratifying this amalgamation. In 1973, Britain, Ireland, and Denmark joined for a total of nine. Then, on January 1, 1981, Greece joined the group to make it ten in number.
At this point many evangelicals were elated, making the assumption that all the members of the group had finally been assembled. However in Daniel 7:8, 20, and 24 we read that the confederation will grow to thirteen. This has already taken place: Numbers eleven and twelve who joined the EU were Spain and Portugal, coming into the confederation in 1986. Then with the arrival of Austria into the movement in 1996, the EU grew to thirteen.
But this is only the beginning. Eventually the fourth beast becomes a world empire-the New World Order, something we are already beginning to witness. Daniel 7:23 states that he shall devour (or engulf) the whole world. Revelation 13:7 adds:
“Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
No longer is this fulfillment of prophecy something you and I read about in the Book of Daniel alone, but it is also the subject matter for the correspondents and editors of the pages of your daily newspaper: Prophecy is being fulfilled in black and white each day for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The Little Horn
Now let’s look at the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8. Who and what is it? What is its influence? Martin Luther said that this little horn is the New Testament Antichrist of the future, and I agree. This little horn’s appearance was not for an earlier period in history, but for the end time of Daniel 12:4. Why? Because this little horn-the Antichrist-arises at the last day out of this grouping of ten nations. Since the European Union is now in place, there is little question that the Antichrist can-and will-arise soon.
The Beast Speaks
Verse 11 says the little horn, or beast, speaks, and his words are great. This event takes place during the Tribulation hour when the little horn, the infamous Antichrist, finally arises and comes to power. Revelation 13:5 and 6 add,
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”
The Antichrist blasphemes God almighty and eventually calls himself God, but at a great cost to this “beast” because Jesus Christ will destroy him with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). However, there is even more devastation ahead as the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone (Revelation 19:20). Furthermore, when Satan is cast into the lake of fire one thousand years later, the beast and the false prophet are still in existence-proving that the fires of hell do not annihilate anyone, as some cults teach (Revelation 20:10).
And what about the other beasts in Daniel’s dream? When do they have their dominion taken from them? This is a fascinating question, and an important one. The Medes and the Persians destroyed Babylon; Greece destroyed the Medes and the Persians, and Rome destroyed Greece. Their kingdoms and powers were taken away. Yet, the passage tells us that they still exist because all their customs and cultures were passed on to each nation that conquered them, meaning they are all still with us in some way. Remember that the old Persian Empire is today’s Iran and Iraq. Would you not agree these two nations are still with us, continuing to create havoc in the area and around the world with their commitment to regional conflict and international terrorism?
The Son of Man and the Ancient of Days
In his dream, Daniel had a vision of one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. This prophecy is about to happen because the term Son of Man is definitely the Messiah and the Savior. Let’s investigate further. The term Son of Man is the precise one Jesus used repeatedly to describe Himself. Matthew 8:20 says,
“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
Matthew 24:30 tells us,
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Now the Ancient of Days-Yahweh-presents the kingdom to His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the moment when the stone cut out without hands smashes the feet of the image in Daniel 2:45. This announces the return of Christ because He is the stone or rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). Then comes the tremendous battle we read about in Revelation 19 when Christ comes on a white horse (v. 11) and the armies of heaven follow Him (v. 14). Verse 19 says,
“And I saw the beast [the Antichrist, the little horn], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him [Jesus] that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
But they do not prevail. This is the time when the prophecy of the stone smashing the feet of the image is fulfilled. It’s all over for the world powers at this point because Jesus Christ has arrived to set up His Kingdom. However, as the Lord appears, the armies of the revived Roman Empire attempt to stop the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:19-21). Psalm 2:1-6 pictures this final battle:
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
This will be the great climax, that moment in history when Gentile dominion ends, and when Jesus Christ is seated on the throne of David. Luke 1:32-33 says, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” After the thousand-year reign of Christ, the earth is purged and Christ is recommissioned and rules eternally upon earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). That’s why Ephesians 3:21 adds, “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
We will continue our study next week with Daniel’s response to the vision.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
They Shall Mount Up With Wings
All of us at some point in our lives have had traumatic experiences. Life has a way of forcing us to cope with difficulty, pain, sorrow, and stress.
Some people seem to come through every test stronger… and rise above every tumult. Others appear to be in danger of drowning in their sorrow …of being totally overcome by seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
What makes the difference?
I believe a large part of the answer is a matter of perspective… the point-of-view we have of life and its challenges.
Let me share with you a beautiful experience of Dr. Van Impe’s and mine which helps reveal the way I feel we should look at life’s problems. It happened when a special friend of the ministry called and asked if we’d like to ride in his hot air balloon.
Of course we said yes. And Mr. John Raya, of Father and Son Construction Co. in Rochester, Michigan, set a time for us to meet him.
So on a glorious afternoon, we climbed into the passenger basket and looked up at the beautiful blue-and-white balloon billowing fifty or sixty feet above us. My pulse was pounding with excitement …and I have to admit the tiniest bit of apprehension gripped my stomach.
But not for long! With a blast of flame from a propane burner above our heads, additional hot air was pumped into the balloon… the crew turned loose of the basket… and we took off — up, up, and away!
What a sensation! What a thrill! If you’ve ever gone up in a balloon, you know what I mean — it’s an unforgettable experience.
Ballooning is nothing like flying in an airplane, enclosed by glass and aluminum. Instead, you begin to feel like a free spirit — there is a distinct sense of physical disembodiment as you feel yourself floating upward, leaving the earth, rising higher and higher.
A new way to see!
First of all, I was astonished at what I could see. There was more sky than earth! Once above the walls and enclosures of man-made structures, a panorama of incredible beauty and unlimited space unfolded all around me. I remember thinking that this must be like seeing things from God’s viewpoint.
In their now miniature size, things that appeared so important on the ground seemed somehow insignificant. Dented car fenders, a burned-out house, rushing traffic — everything seemed to blend into a much larger background. The walls and fences separating people diminished before my eyes and faded into mere lines in a magnificent tapestry of soft color and interwoven patterns.
I began to see a bigger picture of life itself. Suddenly I understood as never before how even events that seem like disasters close-up can actually disappear into the perfect pattern of God’s master plan for our lives. And rather than being overwhelmed, it is possible to accept each circumstance as a purposeful part of God’s will… of His greater good for us!
How good it is to develop our spiritual sight in faith. If only we would make it a practice to allow the Holy Spirit to lift us above ourselves and see our situation from God’s viewpoint.
A new way to hear!
The second thing I discovered up in the balloon was that in addition to a new way to look, there was also a new way to listen.
As a musician, I am very conscious of sound — of voices, cries, music. Floating hundreds of feet in the air, I discovered there was no noise — no traffic roar, no barking dogs, no ringing telephones, no blaring radios or TV sets. There was only the soft sigh of the wind… and the silence. It was so quiet I could almost hear my own heartbeat. I actually had to get used to hearing nothing. And in the soothing, uninterrupted silence, I felt a healing, restoring power washing out my brain and smoothing down the wrinkles in my inner being.
With crystal clarity, I sensed a message of reassuring love being whispered inside my heart in a still, small voice. I recognized that Voice! And suddenly I thrilled with new understanding of what my Heavenly Father meant when He gently commanded, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
On that crisp autumn afternoon, drifting quietly above the patchwork quilts of the earth and under the brilliant blue of the heavens, I knew God afresh and anew.
The Lord ministered to me through all my senses on that special day. In addition to being blessed through seeing and hearing, I became so aware of God’s presence that I could almost reach out and touch Him — I’m sure I felt Him touch me!
And smell — the air above our beloved Michigan homeland was so pure, so unpolluted at that height. I’ve never smelled anything so clean. It was like the very breath of God… exhilarating… delicious!
I distinctly remember being aware that my senses were totally filled up — that I wanted nothing to be satisfied. I had no need for food or drink. I could cry out with the Psalmist David, O taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
All too soon our balloon ride came to an end, and it was time to descend back to earth. Almost reluctantly we left the sky and stood once more on the ground.
But I’ll never be quite the same again. How much I learned about Christian living through what I experienced that day up in the balloon.
I’m told that in stormy weather, that greatest of birds, the eagle, does not seek a shelter or place of refuge. Instead, he flies high into the sky, turns into the wind and sets his wings so that the very force of the storm lifts him safely above it.
Surely it is no coincidence that God’s Word declares —
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dearest Jack and Rexella Van Impe,
I wanted to take a moment and extend my utmost respect and gratitude for your dedication and loyalty for the Word of God. It has been your program that I turned to many times when feeling lost or alone or somehow forgotten the importance of faith in Jesus Christ. Jack, your very apparent love and enthusiasm for the Lord is remarkable and heartwarming to say the least. It gives hope and testament to the joy in Jesus. Rexella, your sweet, loving and encouraging words are what so many need especially (in my opinion) women who may be struggling with something that they need the Lord for. You are such an inspiration to me, my mother (who is now with the Lord), and my sisters. You are both terrific role models to all of us, and young Christians too, in so many areas. First and foremost your passion for Jesus Christ, really gives an example of what we should be. Secondly, your devotion to each other. It is so encouraging to see the two of you after so many years of marriage still dedicated to each other and speaking so highly of one another. It is very inspirational as a wife of 10 years to see the two of you together, even though it is through the television; it is still a blessing to me. I received The Jack Van Impe Prophecy Bible as a Christmas gift from my dad this past Christmas. I was absolutely delighted with this gift, as I had wanted one for a while. I could not be more pleased with a Bible; it was everything I expected and MORE. I truly thank you for putting this amazing book together, and using your wisdom in something that can be shared with others. This Bible is my first new Bible, and it is a precious treasure. I still keep it in the box (when I’m not reading it of course) to keep it clean and protected. Thank you again, I enjoy your program, your videos, and your website so very much and Thank God for you in my prayers. Thank you so much,
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Discover the exciting story of how God has used the Van Impes to win the lost to Jesus Christ and how God wants to use you too!
The sheer volume of their work is staggering. Through hundreds of crusades, banquets and church revivals: through thousands of TV programs and a wealth of books, audio cassettes and videos: through music song and the powerful spoken word, Jack Van Impe Ministries has become the tireless tool of the Master, bringing millions to salvation at the foot of the cross. The fascinating story of their unprecedented success is also the story of the dynamic forces God uses to shape us all. It’s the story of Conflicts and Conquests
With each prophetic tick of the clock, we find ourselves one moment closer to the day of Christ’s appearing. Yet Armageddon is not the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new era – a glorious New Millennium. When the risen Christ returns to earth at the close of the Great Tribulation, He will reconcile all creation to Himself – and usher in a thousand-year era of peace and righteousness such as the world has never known.
Readers will find within the pages of Coming Soon: Earth’s Golden Age fascinating answers to their questions about the coming of earth’s “golden age,” including:
- How will God heal the planet in the aftermath of Armageddon
- What part will believers play in the Millennial Kingdom?
- What will spiritual life be like in the Millennium?
- Why will the Millennial kingdom fall short of absolute perfection?
- What will happen as the Millennium draws to a close?
For everyone who has limited his or her understanding of end-times events to the study of Armageddon, this fascinating look at the thousand-year reign of Christ will be a joyous study of the new Millennium.
Previously released as Millennium: Beginning or End?