..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Daniel Bible Study: Daniel 7: The Ancient of Days and The Little Horn

The seventh chapter of Daniel begins the
long hard road toward the end of the world!
The rise and fall of four worldly kingdoms
are telescoped across time and eclipsed by
the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ!

It is a fearsome vision which leaves
Daniel troubled and reeling because
he sees just how intense things will
become and just how much warfare will
happen before Israel is saved and
the Ancient of Days is victorious
in the earth.

Daniel sees the four great kingdoms of
world history. Babylon (the Lion); the
Medo-Persian Empire (the Bear); Greece
(the Leopard); and a terrible ten-horned beast
(a revived Roman Empire) are these kingdoms.

The first three kingdoms go the way of
all flesh and are superseded by the next
as dynasty gives way to dynasty. The
fourth is a fearsome beast and a latter
day formation of the old Roman Empire is
empowered by the "little horn" (vs 8) to
such an evil extent that God steps in.

The "little horn" is the Antichrist,
and to allow us to see the immensity of the
situation, the vision cuts to a scene
in heaven where the "Ancient of Days,"
even God Himself, is ruling and reigning
in glory.

The little horn blasphemes God and persecutes
His saints and it is God who steps in to avenge them.
The Antichrist (the little horn) continues to
unrelentingly persecute the saints even
until the coming of the Lord when they
possess the kingdom (vs 21 & 22). This gives
us pause in any thinking about "premature escape."

Has there not always been persecution against
the saints of God by the powers of Satan and
every antichrist spirit? Yes, and yet this is
a specific persecution speaking of a specific
time YET TO COME. When Jesus speaks of
"'the Abomination of Desolation' spoken of by
the prophet Daniel," He did not refer to it as
something already made manifest or consider it
a parable with no earthly manifestation
(Matthew 24: 15ff).

There are many antichrists that have gone
out into the world, John tells us (1 John 4:
1-3). And yet, Daniel went pale and weak
at what he was seeing: the final war
between the saints of God and the forces
of darkness. What God allows Him to see,
on our behalf, is the calm certainty
of our God reigning in heaven and
of His, and our, ultimate victory.

This is our hope! He that endures to
the end will be saved. Whether we
live unto the Lord, or die unto Him,
WE ARE THE LORD'S! No weapon formed
against us will ultimately prosper,
and yet we cannot underestimate the
magnitude of the persecution still
in front of the saints.

There is much we do not understand,
but there is much written here that
we can understand: that our allegiance
to God must be total and that we
can expect to bear persecution so
that His purposes might come to
pass and that Israel might be saved.
But more of that in lessons to

Questions to ask: Have I actually
studied the bible for myself with
regard to those events and prophecies
related to the end times?

Do I think that others know better
and that I cannot "figure out"
what these prophecies mean?

Take time to study God's word
and to ask Him to teach you and
to reveal to you His perspective.
This does not come easily but
it will not come at all unless
you start!

To be forwarned is to be ready.
We need great humility in
approaching the Scriptures,
but we dare not be as the 5
foolish virgins who have not
prepared. Perilous days lay
ahead, there is no doubt about
that. Trust God. Prepare your heart.

Other installments of the Daniel
Bible study are in the archives of
this blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely in encouraging others to read the WORD for themselves and ask the LORD to reveal HIS OWN WORD to them! I always say that to get information about the Bible from a preacher or teacher is like a bird eating regergatated food like a mother bird feeds it baby bird. It is fine to get encouragement from another, but the LORD is looking to FEED us Himself with Himself! :) I find it interesting to see all the different places throughout the Bible where the LORD is telling us little glimpses of the end-times. But, if we are prepared by His Spirit to follow Him in Truth and Righteousness, then when these times come we will be ready!