October 29, 2012
Who is the coming “world ruler”? What is his
role in end-time prophecy? Will his appearance
have any connection with the rebuilding of the
Temple in Jerusalem?
In Revelation 13:1 the apostle John states, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” The ten horns of John’s vision correspond to the ten toes of Daniel’s image in chapter 2 of the Book of Daniel. Let’s investigate this account and see its importance in our discussion concerning the “coming world ruler.” Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon, had a dream. However, he could not recall its content. Therefore, he called in his magicians, astrologers, and soothsayers, saying, not very politely, I might add, “Tell me what I dreamed, or I’ll kill you.” That certainly got their attention. However, they were stymied: They could not fulfill this bizarre request. However, Daniel, a young Jew and a man of prayer, fell on his knees three times a day before his God Jehovah and received the answer.
The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these . . . Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. . . . Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. . . . Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. (Daniel 2:27-28, 31-35, 37-41)
Those who scoff, ridicule, and slander the Word of God would be well advised to dust off their history books to discover the reliability of the Bible. In this passage we see that Daniel gave King Nebuchadnezzar an outline of world history down to the last days-events that have taken place precisely as God said they would. Daniel said, “You, King Nebuchadnezzar, are the head of gold (Babylon), but there will be two nations pictured by the arms of silver (the Medes and the Persians) who will destroy you. Then there will be a kingdom of brass (Greece), pictured by the stomach, which will destroy the Medes and the Persians. Next, the kingdom of iron (Rome), pictured by two legs, will smash Greece.” Why two legs? Because at one time in history, the Roman Empire was divided, having headquarters both at Rome and Constantinople. Again, a historical fact.
Notice carefully that the only power not put out of existence is the Roman Empire. At the end time, the iron again manifests itself in the toes of the image. It is a deteriorated form mingled with clay, but still viable.
Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire reminds us that Rome was never destroyed but rather lost its prominence because of degradation and sin. This historical fact fits the clay of deterioration. Nonetheless, the Roman Empire will be revived in the last days through an alignment of ten Western nations, pictured by the ten toes of Daniel’s image and the ten horns in the Book of Revelation. (See my book Final Mysteries Unsealed [Nashville: Word, 1998], 225 pages of verse-by-verse explanation of the Book of Daniel.) In verse 44 of chapter 2, Daniel says, “And in the days of these kings [the confederacy of ten Western nations] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” This refers to the return of Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, which we know is very near.
Consider Daniel 2:34 again: “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.” What, or better who, is the stone that smashes the image when the ten Western nations have aligned themselves? Acts 4:11: “[Christ] is the stone which was set at nought of you builders.” First Corinthians 10:4: “And that Rock [or stone] was Christ.” Since 1948, we have witnessed an amalgamation of Western nations in the form of the European Economic Community or “Common Market.” The movement began with Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands joining in economic alliance. Then France, Italy, and West Germany joined in 1957. In 1972, three additional members-Denmark, England, and Ireland-were received. Then, on January 1, 1981, Greece became the ratified tenth member. However, Ireland and Denmark were never part of the old Roman Empire. What about them? The answer is simple. Daniel 7:8 states, “I considered the horns [at the end time], and, behold, there came up among them [the ten] another little horn [number 11!], before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” Once a ten-nation Western confederacy has been formed, number eleven comes to power, plucks up three of the first ten, and replaces them with his own and two others. Later the majority of the globe is under his control. This leader will be the world dictator and infamous Antichrist-the final global ruler.
The organization of the European Economic Community is important because the first beast, or Antichrist of the Book of Revelation, comes out of such an alignment of Western nations. In Revelation 13:1, John says, “I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea.” The sea speaks of nations, and the ten toes of Daniel’s image and the ten horns of Revelation 13:1 describe a grouping of ten nations. Because this prophecy is now in the early stages of fulfillment, the stage is being set for a powerful world leader who works through this grouping of Western nations until he is able to assume worldwide prominence for his “greatness.” We know that he will come from the West because Daniel 9:26 states that he is of the people that destroyed the city and the sanctuary. Who are these people?
As we have already seen, in A.D. 70, Titus, the Roman general from the Western nations of the old Roman Empire, entered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and drove a million of God’s people, the Jews, to every part of the earth. Now the prophet says that it is of this people that the Antichrist shall come. With this information in hand, it becomes clear this ruler will arise from the coming together of these Western nations. This appearance of the Antichrist then leads to another important question: the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem-another major sign of Christ’s return.
The Rebuilding of the Temple
The Antichrist will come into prominence and power by signing a seven-year peace contract with Israel (Daniel 9:27). Three and a half years after its signing, he will proclaim himself to be God, the true Messiah, and will set himself up as the global ruler in a temple in Jerusalem. Study carefully 2 Thessalonians 2:4, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” During our visit to the Holy Land, I stood by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, walked through an arch at the end of the wall, and looked into a great hole in the earth. I observed that there the Jews are attempting to find, as they approach areas of the Dome of the Rock, the Holy of Holies of the old Temple. (Some have indicated through news reports that the Holy of Holies has already been discovered.) They know that the Wailing Wall is part of the old Temple area, and they say, “As soon as we find the Holy of Holies, we will try to build.” Chills ran down my spine when I heard them say this, because they were speaking ancient words of prophecy in the twentieth century!
An organization called “The Association for Progress in the Rebuilding of the Holy Temple” has four objectives: (1) to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, (2) to enlist scholars to research laws and traditions relating to Temple worship, (3) to set up a fund to receive contributions from Jews in all nations for rebuilding, and (4) to enlist architects, builders, and designers to draw up the plans. What is preventing them from accomplishing their task? According to the Jewish press, the status of the organization is holding back its work because the Israeli government does not want to incite further Arab hatred. Meanwhile, Israel continues to prepare for the rebuilding of the Temple in her own way. Excavations around the Wailing Wall have outlined the boundaries of the old Temple site.
An exciting parallel to the rebuilding of the Temple concerns the $14 million Jerusalem Great Synagogue, which was dedicated August 4, 1982. Built adjoining the “Hechal Schlomo” near the intersection of King George V and Ramban Streets in the new part of Jerusalem, the edifice is only about a mile west of the old Temple site. The synagogue is intended as a rallying point for world Jewry and as a house of prayer. (The Lord Jesus referred to the old Temple as “the house of prayer” in Matthew 21:13.) Interestingly, construction of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue took seven years, plus eleven months of delays, to complete. Students of the Bible will recall that King Solomon’s original Temple also took seven years to construct-with an additional eleven-month delay! In addition, consider the facts that (1) a symbolic “half shekel” offering was received from Jews around the world to finance construction costs; (2) the number of $50,000 donors was limited to twelve as was the number of $25,000 donors. These figures equal the number of the tribes of Israel and, combined, equal the twenty-four elders seated around Christ’s throne in Revelation 4:4; (3) the synagogue presidents are limited to seventy, the number of elders who once comprised the Sanhedrin. Although the Jews prefer to call this building a synagogue rather than a temple, one of the chief rabbis insists, “We must never believe that this is a substitute for the temple”-observers note that the Great Synagogue could serve well as the Tribulation Temple. The building contains a symbolic Ark of the Covenant (which the actual ark could replace if or when it is discovered in the old Temple excavation) and a bema seat. The Temple is constructed of the same Jerusalem limestone as Solomon’s Temple. Although there is no sacrificial altar at present, one could easily be constructed and made ready to use. Continue to read your papers and watch the day-by-day unfolding of this greatest prophecy of all-the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem-a major sign pointing to the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords who sits in His holy temple upon His arrival to earth in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Looking Through the Window
Have you ever heard the old gospel song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just ‘a passin’ through … ?”
Lately that’s how I’ve been feeling – like “a stranger in a strange land.” I’m completely out of step with a world filled with child abuse, wife abuse, animal abuse … with a world filled with hatred, violence, war, and famine. I can’t adjust my mind and heart to a place where many people accept no responsibility for their actions and feel no remorse for the bad things they do to others.
Nor am I able emotionally to cope with the throngs of homeless people on the streets of major metropolitan areas. It’s one thing to watch the news and hear statistics about the down-and-out people living in alleys and under bridges – something else altogether to meet these unfortunate ones face to face and look into their eyes. While in Toronto, my heart was abruptly opened to the real tragedy of homeless people.
One night Jack and I went to dinner in a downtown area and decided to walk back to our hotel several blocks away. Our route took us past Eaton Center – an enclosed mall which is open late, with people milling around inside until all hours. We started across a busy intersection near a major department store, amazed at the throngs of people out and about so late at night. Jack and I have always felt very safe in this wonderful Canadian city.
Before we made it across the intersection, a beautiful young girl we’d passed on the corner came running after us. She came up behind me and fell into step. “Hello there,” she said. “Where are you going?”
“Well, my husband and I have been to dinner and we’re on our way back to our hotel,” I said, noticing that she seemed to be one of the homeless crowd. Her face was smudged, and her clothing wrinkled and soiled. But I went ahead and asked, “Are you going home?”
“Oh, no,” she responded, “I am home!” And she pointed to the streets.
We walked the final step or two across the street and stepped up on the sidewalk – beside the department store, its window ablaze with a display of television sets and video equipment. The girl touched my arm and peered up into my face and Jack’s. “I told my friends who you were,” she said. It was obvious she seemed to recognize us.
“Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep,” she continued, motioning toward the display of TV sets, “I look through the window and watch you!”
As soon as she said it, she was gone, running, back to her friends on the street. Then a rush of people gathered behind and carried Jack and me on down the block. I looked back but I never caught sight of her again.
But I will never forget the touch of her hand and her simple words that seemed to bring the whole burden of her desperate situation crashing down upon my heart. “I look through the window and watch you,” she said.
How I wished I could have held her hand and brought her along with me, to tell her she could have a better life. I have no idea what she had run away from or where she was trying to go. I do know that life on the streets so often ends in tragedy. If only I could have a little more time to talk with her, I would tell her about God’s love, about the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I feel almost compelled to go back to Toronto soon and spend some time in the area where I first saw her. I can only hope the Lord will allow me to find her and spend some time witnessing to her. Somehow, my heart is so impacted by her words that I just can’t let go until I’ve at least tried to find her again.
For days now the Lord has been impressing upon my mind the fact that there are countless other people floundering in life who are looking through the window of our lives, seeking for answers and hope. Oh, you may not be on TV like Jack Van Impe and I, but your life, your light, is on view to someone trying to find a better way.
What would people see if they looked through the “window” at you? Are you living a life “like Christ,” filled with love, joy, peace, and purity?
Is the glass of that window dingy and soil-streaked, or is it bright and clear, clean and sparkling? When someone who has lost their way looks through your window, can they see Jesus in you? Or is what you claim blurred by who you are and how you act?
Since I met that homeless girl who said she looked through the window and watched me, I’ve been checking up on myself. The Lord has given me three checkpoints:
1. Living the life.
The great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, cried out, “I’m going to live the life I sing about in my song!” The life we live for God must be the same on Tuesday as on Sunday. We must treat our family and neighbors, the people at work and in the marketplace, the same way we treat the people at church when everybody is watching. I promise you that the way you act when you think nobody is looking is exactly what someone will see when they look through your window!
2. Offering a pure and simple testimony.
The most effective testimony is simply to uplift Jesus – He will do the rest. We do not have to know scores of scripture verses, or be able to explain the complexities of doctrine. All that is necessary is to say, “This is what Jesus has done for me.” As one great Christian described it, “Our witness is really just one beggar telling another where to find bread” – the Bread of life!
3. Being consistent.
A nursery rhyme describes a little girl who, “when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” Have you ever known a person who, on one day, was helpful and kind … and on the next was cranky as can be? What does this kind of erratic behavior say about the depth and validity of our Christian experience? Our Lord is described as Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And we are to be like Him!
Being on television these last several years has been a real challenge and amazement to me. One thing I’ve learned is that the TV camera sees through our facades and reveals us as we really are to the view of the people. On screen you simply can’t hide who you are. I believe this is why people say so often, “I know you. I’ve seen you on TV!”
I can never forget that the Lord has His divine TV camera on us all the time. He looks past our outer front and sees inside us to our very heart and soul. Lord, help me to live for You consistently.
Although I know our programs are seen throughout the United States and Canada, and in numerous places overseas, it still boggles my mind to consider the numbers of people and the kinds of individuals in different walks of life who are being reached and touched by the program.
I could never have imagined a homeless street girl going up to a department store window late at night to watch Jack and me on TV through the glass. I hope and pray that something she saw and heard will stay with her … and that God and His wonderful grace will reach her.
On that day when we stand before the Lord, this young woman will discover that she need not stand outside on the sidewalk wistfully watching through a glass. For as her eyes catch a glimpse of Jesus and she reaches out to take His hand, He will throw open that window and make it a door – a grand entrance through which she can walk freely into His presence.
Waiting to go home
Never in my life have I felt more of a longing for the coming of the Lord than in recent days. “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace.” I long to see Him and feel His arms wrapped around me. I can’t wait to hear His voice saying, “Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!” Oh, how I pray that my life will allow this salutation to be so.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How wonderful that will be.
God is so good to me even here in this life. His presence never leaves me, and I take joy in intimately communing with the Holy Spirit inside my heart. But more and more I feel a strange longing to be in heaven. And I sense that time is running out. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon.
First Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
But until then, I will keep on keeping on. I will try to use all my time, all my talents, all my opportunities to shine out the story of Jesus to help all who may be looking through the window of my life. With God’s help, I will keep on living the life of love, joy, peace, and purity. I will keep on giving my pure and simple testimony about what the Lord has done for me. And I will endeavor to be consistent in my living for Jesus, daily keeping the window glass, looking into my life, clean and unsmudged.
You can do it, too, God will help you. Join me in making a new commitment to Christ’s commission and calling. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mathew 5:16).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack & Rexella
Thank you so much for your interesting, inspiring & challenging TV programme – also thanks for your electronic newsletter which is equally informative and uplifting.
I am chronically ill and can’t get to church so your programme means so much to me. You are assured of my prayers.
Alison (in the U.K.)
Just letting you dear people know that I do enjoy the newsletter very much. I am so glad to know there are people in the world who still proclaim the gospel, without changing. You have been consistent ever since I first heard you on the radio back in the 70s.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
- Is America, under President Barack Obama’s leadership, moving toward socialism? Maybe even communism?
- What radical cadre of left-wing extremists is out to destroy the USA’s moral foundations?
- Who was the first ‘radical’ known to man, and where is his kingdom?
- How are demonic spirits controlling some of the most influential politicians, kings, and dictators of this world?
- What did noted pundit Peggy Noonan mean when she described President Obama as ‘devious’ and ‘dishonest’?
- Can President Obama (or anyone else) really be a Christian if they believe there are many ways to heaven?
- Who said Barack Obama could be America’s most biblically hostile president – and why?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe answer these and other critical questions about the administration of President Obama and where his leadership is taking America! Discover the moral and spiritual repercussions of the dubious ‘change’ President Obama promised, and is making to this nation.
Is it possible to understand the mysteries of the book of Revelation?
Dr. Jack Van Impe, renowned as The Walking Bible and one of America’s foremost authorities of Bible prophecy, takes you verse by verse through this dramatic and monumentally important section of God’s Word.
This fast paced, interesting CD series provides clear, concise explanation of each verse.
Understand the culmination of all the prophecies of the ages through Dr. Van Impes teaching on this CD series.
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