January 30, 2012
Note to the reader: As we prepare our hearts to hear the message of God in chapters seven through twelve, it’s important to remember that Daniel often spoke of visions and dreams that he encountered later in his life. Some he received prior to the events of chapters five and six; at least one was received later.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
We are now going to move away from the historical material that we encountered in chapters one through six and plunge into the exciting depths of Daniel’s prophetic material, starting in chapter seven. Daniel’s end-time dream in this chapter consisted of symbols of real events to come-mysteries we are now able to unravel. In many ways, chapters two and seven of the Book of Daniel are similar in that they portray the most comprehensive pictures of history to its conclusion.
Chapter two depicted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning the great statue with a head of gold down to its feet and toes of iron mixed with clay-a prediction of how the Babylonian empire would be destroyed by Medo-Persia, followed by the conquering superpowers of Greece and Rome. Chapter seven refers to these identical empires in the form of beasts, indicating that within the final revived Roman Empire there will be many problems during the course of its restoration. In fact, one major challenge after another can already be observed within the framework of the European Union presently taking shape.
To the extent we saw unity in chapter two, we see diversity in chapter seven. But regardless of the message, the single most exciting thing that you are now reading is the fulfillment of Daniel 12:4, which says,
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
The Book of Daniel was designed to be a mysterious, closed, sealed book until the time of the end, but at the time of the end the Holy Spirit would enlighten people to expound this great portion of God’s Word. This is now our assignment, and you are privileged to have a ringside seat as we begin to unravel the mysteries so long alien to anyone’s understanding.
The Times of the Gentiles
The Jewish people controlled Jerusalem until 586 B.C. Then, according to Daniel 1:1, Nebuchadnezzar and his troops marched into the Holy City and took its inhabitants back as captives to Babylon. It is important to remember that this single historical event marked the beginning of what is known as “the times of the Gentiles.” An important caveat was spoken by Jesus in Luke 21:24 when He said,
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Jesus was saying that Jerusalem would remain under Gentile control until the time of the end. Isn’t it fascinating that from June 5 through June 10, 1967-as a result of the Six-Day War-the Jews took back Jerusalem and have been in control of the Holy City ever since? Even though we are still in the era called “the times of the Gentiles,” this remarkable historical reality reminds us how close we are to the time of the end. How can we say this with such certainty? In Zechariah 14:2-4 God states:
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
This entire scenario began with Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and ends when Jesus Christ returns to take Jerusalem back from the Gentiles. We are extremely close to that time when such an event takes place. Here’s why. The Gentiles could not take Jerusalem from the Jews until the Jews controlled the city-which happened in 1967 after 2,553 years of Gentile dominion. According to Jesus, the generation who lives to see this event will be alive for the battle to recapture Jerusalem by the Gentiles plus observe Christ’s return.
The Four Beasts
Daniel dreams about four winds and four beasts-all which represent the same four powers we read about in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, along with the ten toes of iron mixed with clay-a description of the revived Roman Empire, a regrouping of nations I believe to be the European Union. The fourth beast has ten horns, similar to the ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s image: again, symbolic of the restored Roman Empire.
The four winds blowing upon the sea indicate trouble-and all these nations near the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean have indeed experienced troublesome times throughout history. However, only when the European Union ultimately produces the Antichrist will the world truly know what real trouble is. It will be nothing like the nuisance these nations have been prior to this time in history. Isaiah 57:20 states,
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
Now let’s look at the four beasts and indicate what each represents. Beast number one-a lion with the wings of eagles-is the same power that was described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as the “head of gold”-the Babylonian empire. The wings of the lion suggest that it is a swift beast, with the ability to conquer great nations with its mighty armies. But as its wings are “plucked,” the kingdom begins to deteriorate, even though there remains a hint of Nebuchadnezzar’s humanitarianism. Since verse 4 makes reference to this first beast “being given a man’s heart,” you’ll recall that this is the manner in which Nebuchadnezzar closed out his days after his conversion experience-compassionate, docile, and caring for his subjects.
Beast number two is a bear that raises itself up on one side, holding three ribs in its teeth-conceivably representing Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt-a hungry beast, and capable of gorging itself. Following the pattern of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, this second beast is a symbol of the Medes and the Persians, with Darius ruler of the Medes and Cyrus the Persians. Ultimately, however, the Persians demonstrated greater strength because of their massive armies, and, as a result, the bear “lifted itself up on one side,” indicating Persian political and military superiority, all borne out by historical fact.
Beast number three is Greece, a leopard with four wings and four heads. The wings picture the speed of Alexander the Great and his enormous armies, reckoned to be the swiftest in the known world. Alexander conquered one and one-half million square miles of the globe, stretching for more than eleven thousand miles from Greece in the west to India in the east, a man who, even after his many conquests, is said to have wept because he felt he had no more worlds to conquer.
Beast number four is Rome-a terrible beast with enormous power to maim, crush, and kill. So violent is this beast that no animal on earth can represent it. Its iron teeth are similar to the toes on the image composed of iron mixed with clay as observed in Daniel chapter two. Its ten horns are a graphic description of the final revived Roman Empire-fulfilled in 1981 when Greece became the tenth nation to join the European Union.
Some people ask me, How can these things be? How can you be so certain that your interpretation of Daniel’s dream is correct?
First of all, the nations are mentioned by name in Daniel 1:1, 8:20, 8:21, and Romans 1:7. These empires cover a period of 676 years. Adding scholarship to the truth of God’s Word, a prophet by the name of Esdras wrote in 90 A.D. that there was little doubt that the fourth beast was Rome. Add to these the research insights of Drs. Gabelein, Scofield, Bultima, Ironside, Barnhouse, DeHaan and other evangelical scholars, and the evidence mounts that the only possible meaning of the symbolic fourth beast is Rome itself. Specifically, Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, said there will arise a great confederacy of nations springing forth from an old Roman Empire that will become the devil’s last trump card.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
The Quest for Peace
I heard a story recently about a nagging wife who kept writing complaining letters to her serviceman husband who was on combat duty in another country. Finally, after receiving yet another hateful letter, the husband wrote back, “Will you please stop writing me vicious letters so I can fight this war in peace?”
We all want peace, don’t we? Personally and nationally we crave it. Yet, so few of us find it. I’ve read that over half the beds in our hospitals today are filled with people who have mental problems. These individuals have desperately sought for peace but haven’t found it. At last, they have reached the place where they can no longer cope with life, and they have become ill.
A noted doctor once said that if all the tranquilizers were taken away from the American people, we would have a national nervous breakdown so big there wouldn’t be enough well people to take care of the sick ones. People who take tranquilizers are trying to push the turbulence in their lives out of their minds. They have to resort to a little pill to put them in “peaceful” oblivion.
My heart goes out to those who do not know the meaning of peace. Each day is a repetition of the previous one, filled with hostility, despair, and loneliness. They are miserable, frustrated, and unhappy with themselves and everyone around them.
A picture of peace
Remember the story of the rich man who commissioned an artist to paint him a picture illustrating true peace. The artist painted a beautiful picture of a lake surrounded by trees. In the distance were majestic, snow-covered mountains.
When the rich man saw it, he shook his head. “It’s very beautiful,” he told the artist, “but it’s not a picture of true peace. Please try again.”
This time the artist thought a long time before he began to paint. On the canvas, he painted a huge, thundering waterfall. He showed the water churning over the falls and crashing onto rocks far below. Then, at one side of the waterfall, he painted a birch tree whose slender branches reached out over the roaring water. On one of the branches, he painted a little bird sitting quietly and contentedly on her nest, oblivious to the danger around her.
That is true peace — not an escape from the pressures and trials of life but the quiet repose of a heart at rest with God. Jesus said, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Jesus’ life was anything but peaceful. Yet, His last legacy to His disciples and to all those who would follow Him was the promise of peace. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
I love the old hymn that goes:
Trust and rest when all around thee
Puts thy faith to sorest test;
Let no fear or foe confound thee,
Wait for God and trust and rest.
Trust and rest with heart abiding,
Like a birdling in its nest,
Underneath His feathers hiding,
Fold thy wings and trust and rest.
I don’t know the things in your life that cause you unrest and destroy your peace. But I want to remind you that there is a way to handle them. God has given us guidelines that can take us through these troublesome times.
Guidelines for troubled times
In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9). What does that mean to you in your everyday life? It means that if you will turn your thoughts to God, He will take control. Then, regardless of the conditions around you, you have His abiding peace, joy, patience — whatever you need at the moment — to draw on.
The Apostle Paul tells us that He [Jesus] is our [way of] peace (Ephesians 2:14). It’s only when we follow after Him that the walls of hostility which surround us come tumbling down. He is our way of living at peace with others. Paul also speaks of those who do not seek after God, and he observes that they do not know the way of peace (see Romans 3:17).
A verse that has helped so many who were going through turbulent times is Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. When you keep your mind on the Lord and trust unwaveringly in Him, you can truly live in peace though the world around you be filled with turmoil and strife.
My prayer for you today is that… the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Jack & Rexella,
I love your program. I look so forward to hearing from you every week.
Thank you for all of your studies for I know that you are truly of God and teach only from the Holy Bible. Thank you for standing up for the Bible and for our Lord no matter what. I do feel we are in the last days and that 2012 is going to bring many changes for the world, due to my study of prophesy and my listening to you as well as some other prophetic ministers that teach only from the Bible. God Bless you both and I look forward to listening to you each week more than you will ever know. God Bless!
Yours in Christ,
Dear Drs. Jack and Rexella,
We have been re-watching New World Order Rising and the Final Seven Signs. Amazing… the things you reported on are happening so very fast. Thank you for all your hard works to bring the faithful up to date on how this world is fulfilling God’s word! Thank you for your faithfulness to bring the lost to salvation! May God keep you in the palm of His hand.
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Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe explain the biblical truth for you and your family.
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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils I Timothy 4:1
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Timothy 3:13
Will everyone be in Heaven? Are there many paths to follow to get there? Can anyone get to Heaven without the Lord Jesus Christ? In this world of Political Correctness the answers are shocking. The very foundations of Christianity are under attack.
Drs. Jack & Rexella Van Impe meet these attacks head on in this fascinating new video Christianity Seduced. They stand for Biblical Correctness – “ let God be true, but every man a liar ” (Romans 3:4). In this amazing study you will discover that the New Age teaching is nothing new but has been around since Satan first spoke in the Garden of Eden.