Dr. W. Noble King
1. We have here, on the chart, a view of time from eternity to eternity; that is, from creation to the second judgment. We also have a scripture which reads: Rev. 1:8 "..which was, and is, and is to come"; that is, before time, during time, and after "time shall be no more."
2. Eternity, however, technically considered is all of a piece, or is one. In this technical sense we are all in eternity now as much as we shall ever be. Thus we can get out of this world and out of time, but we cannot get out of eternity. The suicide does remove himself from time and from this world, but he cannot remove himself from eternity. The substance that the spirit is made of is eternal in nature: "God hath put eternity in their hearts" (Eccl. 3:11; ASV.). Eternal existence is thus a gift of Christ as Creator to us, — thus both saved and unsaved alike, have an eternal existence.
3. Now, notice the Bible: There is no sin or mention of sin in the first two chapters, or in the last two chapters. The first two chapters tell us of creation as it was before sin entered the cosmic and human pictures; and the last two chapters tell us of the state of things after sin and its by-products have been removed.
(1) In between the first two, and the last two chapters are millennia of human tragedy, broken hearts, woe, tears, and sufferings in body, soul, and spirit, un-weighed and un-weighable, un-measured and un-measureable — all springing from the disease of sin.
(1) In between also we have the great Physician’s diagnosis of the disease, and remedy for the same. All who cooperate with God to the full are healed completely. God is thus a genius as a soul Physician (Does creation pay? Does the loss sustain the gain? "He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied" Isaiah 53:11a). Thus creation does pay.
2. We are now going
to look into the mind of God, and try to think his thought with him and
after him. In so doing our thoughts must be Biblical. We must,
as far as possible, dispense with human speculation and sensational interpretations.
The cross, we find, is an eternally overshadowing and an eternally established
and operative remedy for sin in its every aspect. Thus there has
been always a complete remedy for sin accessible by faith to the sinner.
The enablements or aids to faith change; but it has been always by faith.
Those changes constitute the different dispensations. We are now
to notice those dispensations briefly.
I The Edonic, or the Dispensation of Innocence.
1. This dispensation stretched from the creation of Adam as stated in Gen. 1:27 — "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them", to Gen. 3:6d — "She took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."
1. They were created positively
holy; hence this dispensation could be sustained only by obedience to a
negative command: "Thou shalt not." No knowledge of the cross was
imparted to them in their unfallen state; hence they had sinned without
any knowledge of a possible recovery. We do not know the length of
II The Adamic, or the Dispensation of Conscience.
1. This dispensation began with the revelation of the cross as expressed in Gen. 3:15, and 21 — "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (Christ) shall bruise thy head, and thou (the Satan) shalt bruise his heel." "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make them coats of skins, and clothed them." This dispensation closed with the rise of patriarchal leadership as expressed in Gen. 8:20 — "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar."
1. The human conscience was
then a far better guide than now. It was fallen; but it was unwarped
by the accumulative effect of sin down through the centuries. The
curse did not fully settle down on physical nature or human nature until
after the flood.
III The Dispensation of the Patriarchs
1. Conscience becoming more and more depraved by sin and nature becoming more and more affected by the curse of God and our understanding of nature becoming more obscure, God had to begin to speak to a selected group of spiritually minded men who were to assist others to know the will of God. Some of those men were Noah, Melchizadek, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Balaam, and others.
1. In large areas, no doubt,
there was little knowledge of the examples and teachings, and sacrifices
of those men; hence many were still under conscience and nature.
Those patriarchs were the spiritual pacesetters. This dispensation
began with Noah and ended at Sinai.
IV The Dispensation of Law, etc.
1. Each new dispensation carries over the standards of the previous ones. In many cases large areas never leave the standards of the previous ones. Thus when Israel passed under law, many areas knew nothing of it, and remained under the light of the previous dispensations.
1. The dispensation of law
began at Sinai as stated in Exodus 19 or more specifically in chapter 32.
It continued until about the time of the baptism of Jesus at the hand of
John. Law was thus a schoolmaster to direct Israel to the coming
Messiah (Gal. 3:24).
V The Dispensation of the Person of the Son.
1. This dispensation was brief and introductory. It lasted a little over three years, and was introductory to the millennium. Indeed it should have been followed by it. It lasted from the baptism at the hand of John to the New Testament Pentecost (Acts 2:4a).
1. Salvation in it consisted
in the personal acceptance of the person of the Christ in human form as
Savior and Lord. It should have extended over all the earth, but
as a result of human disobedience was restricted to Palestine.
VI The Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, or the Church-Age
1. The Church-Age was and is necessitated by the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by both Jews and gentiles. It is thus a filler-in from the Jewish rejection of the Messiah, until the Jewish national acceptance of that Messiah. The Jew is thus God’s timepiece with regard to the close of this age.
1. This age extends from
the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost as expressed in Acts 2:4a, and will
close with the rapture of the saints, the recall of the person of the Spirit,
and with the resurrection of the saved dead.
VII The Tribulation.
1. The tribulation will begin with the three-fold event above mentioned, and with the appearance of the Anti-Christ (II Thess. 2:7, 8a).
1. It will close at the end
of seven years with the awakening of Israel nationally to the fact that
Jesus of Nazareth was their Messiah (Isa. 53:3-5), and with the return
of the Christ to this earth; that is, He sets His feet on earth again.
VIII The Millennial Reign of the Christ on Earth
1. The millennial reign of the Christ on earth begins with His return proper, and the first judgment, and the destruction of the Anti-Christ. It will close with the destruction of Gog and Magog, and the second resurrection, the final judgment, and eternity proper.
1. Christ will then reign
at and from Jerusalem. All nations shall go to Jerusalem to worship.
Salvation will again consist of a personal acceptance of the visible Christ
as it was with the disciples.
There are many other ways of classifying the dispensations:
1. One dispensation of faith in Christ from beginning to end.
1. Two: the Old and the New Covenants – Old and New Testaments.
1. Three: of the Father; of the Son; of the Spirit.
1. Six: Innocency; conscience; patriarchs; law; grace; millennium.
1. Nine: Innocency; conscience (or self-determination); nations; patriarchs; law; grace; tribulation; millennium; Christ in the flesh.
1. Eight: Innocency; conscience (or self-determination); nations; patriarchs; law; grace; tribulation; millennium.
1. Seven: Innocency; conscience (or self-determination); patriarchal; law; grace; tribulation; millennium.
1. There is another way to get seven: Innocency — Paradise; conscience — self-determination; human authority — nations, from the flood to the call of Abraham; patriarchal – call of Abraham to Moses; law – from Moses to Christ; grace – from Christ to His return; the millennium. See Sauer, p. 24.
A dispensation is a time-age
conditioning of life on this earth during which time-age God tests man
by means of some specific requirement of conformity to his revealed will.
See Gaebelein, F. E., Exploring the Bible, p. 74.
1. In the tenth chapter of Genesis we have the beginning of the gentile nations of the world. There are about seventy representative mentioned in Genesis 10, and we have had or should have about seventy nations in the world. The world-rule or gentile nations began in Genesis 10, and will reach its end during the tribulation period. Matt. 25:31-46 is a description of the termination of the world-rule of gentile nations.
1. In Gen. 10:1 we read: "Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet: and unto these were sons born after the flood." Those sons were the seventy representative men among whom the world was divided. Then in Matt. 25:31, 32 we read: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats."
1. The vital issue of that first judgment is set forth in Gen. 12:3 in which we read: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee." In a sense that curse and blessing have been age-long, but they will reach complete fulfillment at the hall he answer and say, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these (my brethren), ye did it not to me." That is the determining issue with regard to nations and individuals within those nations at the first judgment.
1. Daniel, in his interpretation
of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream delineates a large area of the gentile period
(2:31-45). During the gentile period God selected a family, and from
that family raised up a new nation that must remain distinct and separate
from all other nations, and is, some day, to rule the world. The
nations of the world are to be judged by the way they used that nation
when it was at their mercy. Matt. 25:31-46 demands this.
I Notice, then, a few age-long characteristics with regard to the
1. The age-long conflict with regard to sin and grace begins with Gen. 3:15, 21, and terminates with Rev. 22:10: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Rev. 20:7-15).
1. There are only two classes of dead: the saved, and the unsaved. The saved dead are to be resurrected just before the rapture, and the unsaved dead are to be resurrected just before the final judgment at the termination of time as we know it (I Thess. 4:15, 16; Rev. 20:5b, 11, 12a).
1. Adam, the generic head of the race, was called the Son of God (the inbreathed finite spiritual image of the Infinite Spirit – Luke 3:38; Gen. 1:27; Gal. 4:5, 7). The title sons of God passed into the family of Seth, whose descendents down to the call of Abraham were called the sons of God. The descendents of Cain were called the daughters of men (children of men). Jesus said that those to whom the word (promise) of God came were called the sons of God. That is, revelation, and the promised Messiah came to mankind through the Sethite line (Gen. 6:2; Luke 3:38; John 10:35; Hebrews 12:5; I John 3:12; John 1:12). See margin Gen. 4:26.
1. Before the call of Abraham we had but one race with two divisions – saved and unsaved. Then after the call of Abraham we had two divisions (Hebrews and gentiles) and two groups (saved and unsaved in both divisions).
1. In this present age — the Church-Age, we have Jews and gentiles, and the spiritual Church of God (I Cor. 10:32).
1. During both the tribulation and the millennium there will be Jews and gentiles, but saved groups within each.
1. Now, there are two distinct lines of prophecy: one deals with Israel, and the other refers to the Church. Those lines must not be cross-referenced. When God says Israel he means Israel, and when he refers to the Church-Age he means that period of time. We have a tendency to take the blessings promised to the Jews, and then leave the curses to them.
(1) Certain lines of prophecy terminate at the destruction of Jerusalem, etc., other lines at the cross, other lines at the tribulations, others at the Second Coming proper, etc., and still others at the final judgment. Those lines should be recognized and observed.
(1) With regard to the Church
it is revelation, rapture, resurrection, and reward. With regard
to Israel it is revelation, restoration, and reward.
II Notice, further, the necessity for, and the divisions of the Church-Age.
1. The birthday of the Church-Age was the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:4a). At the close of the Church-Age the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn as a dispensational Head: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only He who now letteth (hindereth) will let (hinder), until He (the Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way" (II Thess. 2:7). When the Holy Spirit is removed as the dispensational Head, the Man of sin will then be revealed and wickedness will abound (II Thess. 2:8). The tribulation then begins.
1. The end of this age is determined by the attitude of the Jewish nation or people to Christ. When the Jews as a nation rejected him, the church-Age was necessitated, as God must have a witnessing body. When they nationally accept him it will close. The completion of the Bride has nothing to do with it. The Hebrew prayer of national repentance is found in Isaiah 53:3 – 5ff. ; Matt. 23:38, 39. Up to the end; the invitation is still to whosoever will (Matt. 33:9; Luke 14:21b-24).
1. The Church-Age is thus dropped in to fill the room or office of the witnessers for Christ from the Jewish defection when they turned down the Christ, until their acceptance of him as their Messiah. Their three rejections were:
(1) As presented by John the Baptist: "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:1, 2). They turned it down.
(1) As presented by Jesus himself. We read: "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: (Matt. 4:17).
(1) As presented by the disciples. Again we read: "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 10:6, 7). The heaven-like kingdom referred to here is the millennium.
1. Up to the three-fold rejection of the kingdom; the Church is not mentioned one time. Then after the three-fold rejection the term kingdom is not referred to as a fact, but is used with regard to the transfer of kingdom privileges to the Church-Age. The term church is used instead: "And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The church is not clearly mentioned one time in the Old Testament, although the possibility of such an age may be inferred. The first mention of the Church as a fact is in Acts. 5:11).
1. The redemptive privileges of the kingdom were transferred to the Church, but not the kingdom itself. It still belongs to Israel (Matt. 22:8, 9; 13:10-15; 8:11, 12; Luke 14:23, 24). Israel is also upbraided for spurning both the kingdom and the kingdom privileges (Matt. 11:20-24; 12:22-32; 23:34-39 – especially vrs. 38, 39). The Jewish nation as a whole rejected the King and the kingdom, and the kingdom privileges, the truths of the Church-Age are hidden — not however to individuals.
1. The Church-Age was kept
secret from the foundation of the world, and then revealed after the three-fold
rejection of the kingdom age by the Jewish nation. The Church-Age
was foreknown and foreseen as a necessity from eternity. Yet it drops
in parenthetically between the rejection by Israel and the acceptance by
Israel. It is fully revealed by Paul as his special God-given task
(Matt. 13:34, 35; I Cor. 2:7; Romans 2:16; 11:25; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:25-27).
III We now notice the various scripture areas dealing with the Church-Age
1. In a sweeping sense the area would be from Matt. 1:1 to Rev. 3:22. In a specific sense the seven-fold picture of the Church-Age is found in Matt. 13:1-48, and Rev. 2:1— 3:19.
1. Jesus the Christ was within the Church at its beginning. At its close He is pictured as standing without: (reference to Rev. 2:1 – 3:19).
(1) Within: "Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks" (Rev. 2:1c). "And I turned to see the voice of him that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like unto the Son of man" (Rev. 1:12, 13a).
(1) Without: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me"(Rev. 3:20).
1. The Church-Age was not clearly seen in the Old Testament. Thus both comings are often placed side by side with no stated time period between them. We now observe a few such statements:
(1) "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15).
(1) "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; … and the government shall be upon his shoulders…" (Isaiah 9:6, 7).
(1) "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5). Elijah preceded the first coming, but the "great and dreadful day of the Lord" refers to his Second Coming.
(1) In Isaiah 53:1, 2 we have a word picture of what the Jews thought of him at his first coming. Then in Isaiah 53:4, 5 we are told what they will say of him at his Second Coming. The Church-Age drops in midway in all of those four citations.
1. The first and Second
Comings when seen at a great distance appear as one event or star.
When the star is brought near by means of a telescope it is then seen to
be two. This is true of those verses. They break in two, and
the Church-Age appears between the two parts. Place the second parts
of those verses with Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16, 17; Matt. 25:31, 32, and
we then have the proper presentation.
Let us now notice the various definite steps in the Church-Age
1. The Apostolic Age — from Pentecost, May, A. D. 29 or 30 to about 100 A. D. "Behold a sower went forth to sow" (Matt. 13: 3-9) Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-8).
1. The Martyr Age — from A. D. 100 to about the time of Constantine. Wheat and tares are sown (Matt. 13:24-31); Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-12). During this time they were fed to lions.
1. The Mustard Seed Age — from Constantine to the formation of the Roman Catholic church (A. D. 596) ( Matt. 13:31-33); Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-18).
1. The Roman Catholic Age — from 596 A. D. to the Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther (Matt. 13:33); Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-24).
1. >From the Reformation to the time of John Wesley — the Hid Treasure Age (Matt. 13:44); Sardis (Rev. 3:1-7).
1. The Wesleyan Revival Age — holiness (Matt. 13:45, 46) Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-14).
1. The Dragnet Age — from after the Wesleyan period to and beyond our time (Matt. 13:47, 48); Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-19).
Each one of these two areas
of Scriptures goes together to describe one period of time in this Church
1. The question naturally presents itself: "Why two judgments?" In a sense there are as many judgments as there are acts of sin: for every sin has punishment inseparably connected to it — punishment is a basic attribute of sin.
1. We have already pointed out that the times of the gentile nations started with Genesis 10. From that time to the end of the tribulation period the gentile nations have been and will be in charge of the earth. During the time of the earth-rule of the gentile nations God raised up a people to himself. He started that new nation with Abraham. The nations of the world, and people within them, have taken and do take a certain attitude to that new nation and the people therein. Thus the nations and their peoples are some day to be punished or commended for those attitudes.
1. God made a definite statement with regard to this very thing in Genesis 12:3a — "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that cureth thee." There are two statements in the first part of that verse: blessing on those who use Israel well, judgment on those who use her ill. A third blessing is expressed in the words: "and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed," referring to the Christ; terminating with his millennial reign. The above verse thus necessitates the first judgment (Gen. 12:3; Exodus 14:28; Acts 7:6, 7).
1. The times of the gentiles
will then be over, and the gentiles will be swung into judgment in harmony
with Gen. 12:3, and Ex. 14:28. The basic issue of the judgment will
be how they have treated Israel during the time of their overlordship as
expressed in Matt. 25:40b, 45b. However, before they ill-treat Israel
they first of all rejected the Christ who came to the world through Israel.
This first judgment closes the reign of the nations over the world, and
world-government is then vested in restored Israel with Christ as its Head.
I A resurrection precedes each of the two judgments.
1. There are three famous passages with regard to the two resurrections. They are:
(1) John 5:26, 29 — "marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Some use this as referring to but one general resurrection; but there are two mentioned with no statement on the matter of time between.
(1) Daniel 12:2 — "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Two groups are there referred to, but nothing is said with regard to the time element between the two groups.
(1) Revelation 20:5, 6a — "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power." Here we have the time element settled. There are two resurrections, and there are one thousand years between them. The first is of the blessed, and the second is of the unblessed.
1. Let us observe a few texts dealing directly with the first resurrection:
(1) Philip 3:10, 11 — "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, …If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of (out from among) the dead." If there was to be but one resurrection there would be no use for concern as all would rise. But Paul wants to make the first.
(1) Luke 20:35, 36 — "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from (out from among) the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither shall they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." See also Acts 4:2; Heb. 11:35.
(1) At the first resurrection the saved dead rise, and then the living saints are immediately caught up (raptured): "and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16, 17). Said Jesus with this fact in mind: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36). See also I Cor. 15:54, 55.
(1) At the second resurrection,
after the thousand years are expired, the unsaved dead
are to be raised: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it;
and death and Hades delivered up the dead which were in them (the body
from the grave and the soul or spirit from hell) and they were judged every
man according to their works" (Rev. 20:13). See also Rev. 20:11-15.
Here we have the first and second deaths as well.
us now notice a few ways in which the two resurrections differ from each
1. There is a difference with regard to time. "But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming" (I Thess. 4;16, 17). "And the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Rev. 20:4, 5).
1. There is a difference with regard to accompanying circumstances: The first resurrection is immediately followed by the rapture of the living saints (I Thess. 4:16, 17). The second resurrection is immediately followed by the final judgment and eternal rewards for both good and bad (Philip 3:20, 21; Col. 3:3, 4; Luke 14:14).
1. There is also a difference
with regard to the subjects of the two resurrections: The saved are
resurrected at the first; and are resurrected "to stand before the Son
of Man" — i.e., at the marriage feast of the Lamb. The unsaved are resurrected
to be cast into the "lake of fire", i.e., the second death, or eternal
separation from God.
III Let us now notice a few contrasts between the first and
1. At the first judgment there is not a dead person resurrected. Living persons, and then existing nations only, appear at that judgment bar (Matt. 25:32). At the second judgment all the dead are resurrected and are judged as persons only (Rev. 20:11, 12a).
1. At the first judgment not a book is opened — they were judged as to how they used Israel. At the second judgment all the books are to be opened: books refer to our lives as we write day by day; the BOOK refers to the BOOK of Revelation, by which the books are to be compared (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:12b).
1. At the first judgment both the issue of judgment, and the results were surprises alike to the condemned and the commended (Matt. 25:37b, 44b). At the second judgment no such surprises appear as all were previously fully conscious of their relationship, or lack of it, with God.
1. At the first judgment the commended pass into "the kingdom prepared for you" (the millennium). At the second judgment the commended pass into heaven itself. At the first judgment the condemned take their place with the unsaved dead, and at the second judgment the unsaved are cast into the lake of fire.
1. At the first judgment the throne is a throne of glory upon which sits the Savior-Judge. At the second judgment the throne is a great white throne upon which sits the rewarding or condemning Judge of all flesh (Matt. 25:31; Revelation 20:11). The Being is the same in both cases.
1. At the first the issue
is how they have used "my brethren," and at the second the issue is what
they have done with the Christ. The man with the wounded hands, feet,
and side sits on both thrones. That is the only similarity.
The offices, however, differ slightly.
1. Conditions have much to do with the nature of results. This is true in the non-contingent field. Drop a grain of wheat into the ground under certain conditions and we have a harvest of wheat. Drop another grain into the ground under certain other conditions and it dies. Now certain conditions in the religious, social, or political areas have a tendency to produce atheism, communism, Fascism, Nazism, and dictators in general, as the case may be. Certain other conditions have a tendency to produce skepticism, and worldliness. Under other conditions it is easier to produce spirituality and Christian giants in general. In the field of rational freedom, or contingency, the free actions of the individual are always factors.
1. The tribulation period is not an arbitrary imposition by God, on the human race; rather it is the inevitable results of man’s racial age-long attitude to God. God merely withdraws his restraining hand and permits it to come. Man, by his words and actions, has been saying to God all along that he wanted to run the show without God. God is going to let him do that very thing. The godless setting in which such an Anti-Christ could appear, first made itself felt in the person of Cain (Gen. 4:3-8). This worldly and godless spirit has grown and will grow until it envelops all (II Thess. 2:7-10).
1. Just before the tribulation begins the restraining grace of God is to be measurably withdrawn by the recall of the Spirit (II Thess. 2:7b), by the resurrection of the saved dead (I Thess. 4:16b), and by the rapture of the living saints (I Thess. 4:17a). Both Jesus and Isaiah pointed out that the then living saints would be raptured before the tribulation proper would begin (Luke 21:36; Isaiah 26:19-21). They shall have to pass through the approach to it, however.
1. God uses the wrath of man to praise him: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10). Thus God shall use the tribulation as the final act of suffering to arouse the Hebrew people to accept their Messiah whom they have rejected across the centuries. As a result the tribulation is called the time of Jacob’s trouble, but God is to take the nation of Israel through it. Here the drama of the book of Esther, as a type or symbol, belongs (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 3:25-27; Micah 5:1; Isaiah 53:2-5; Esther).
1. The belief in a tribulation
period is not a belief which rests on just a passage or two of unclear
interpretation, but it rests on many passages of unquestionable clarity:
"A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a
controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give
them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord (Jer. 25:31) (Isaiah
26:21a; 34:8; 63:4; Dan. 2:1; Hosea 4:3; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:20; Micah 6:1,
2; Rev. 4:1-19; 21).
1. We are told that 70 weeks are determined to make an end of sin (i.e., in punishment for sin) from the going forth of the commandment to restore the city (Dan. 9:24-27). Those 70 weeks close with the close of the tribulation period.
(1) The Church drops in between the 69th and the 70th weeks. Then the 70th week is the week of tribulation. The 69 weeks referred to in Daniel 9:25, carries us from the commandment to restore and to build the city of Jerusalem down to the cutting off of the Messiah: from the death of the Christ back to this event is about 493 years as near as we can calculate. The specific event referred to occurred in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes when he commanded Nehemiah to return to the city and to build Jerusalem (See note at end of this lecture). The 62 weeks referred to in Daniel 9:26 evidently refers to the second commission of Nehemiah to build (after the interruption by Sanballat and Tobiah). This is about 434 years before the cutting off of the Messiah. Now those weeks are about seven years each. This would make the 70th week also about seven years in length (J. A. Seiss, Voices from Babylon, pp. 237-256).
(1) A certain covenant (we are to deal with it later in this lecture series) is to be broken in the midst of the week (the 70th). In Daniel 12:11 we are told the number of the days from the beginning to the midst of the week — 1290 — or about 3-1/2 years. This again suggests seven years for the tribulation.
(1) Daniel 7:25 refers to the breaking of the covenant at the midst of the week. After that the Beast had power to continue for 3-1/2 times. This is 3-1/2 years, which again would make the tribulation seven years in length.
(1) In Rev. 13:5 the Anti-Christ was given power to continue for 42 months, evidently after he broke the covenant with the holy people at the midst of the week. This again would make the tribulation period seven years. We have every reason to believe that it is a seven-year period of 360 days each.
1. The world, morally and spiritually, will be completely bankrupt at the beginning of the tribulation period. There will be, evidently, a worldwide and gigantic depression in progress when the Anti-Christ takes charge.
(1) The present trend reveals the fact that people will do anything for money, or prosperity so called. People will vote in the one, or the group, who can give them or promise them the most for nothing. Prosperity, or money, is the badge of approval and acceptance.
(1) The Anti-Christ comes in peaceably, with public flattery and fair speeches, in the commercial and financial fields. His first official act is in this field (Rev. 13:16, 17). He seems to bring back prosperity overnight, and, as a result, people worship him (Rev. 13:3c, 4bc). Death is administered to those who refuse to worship him (Rev. 13:15c), and eternal death follows those who do worship him (Rev. 14:9, 10).
(1) The Anti-Christ comes in peaceably, and then after he is in power he takes the sword. Intolerance to the nations marks his reign for the entire seven years. A measure of tolerance is granted to Israel during the first half, and then he is intolerant to them also after that (Daniel 3:1-7; 3:6, 16, 23, 25; Rev. 13:14; Isaiah 53:2-5).
(1) Apparently some become
Christians during the tribulation period. Christ is still on the
mediatorial throne. This is not a second chance, but a continuation
of the first chance for them. The gospel is then preached as well
as now (Rev. 6:9-11; 14:6). Many are immediately martyred.
Those martyred ones wait under the throne of the marriage supper of the
Lamb until the end of the tribulation (Rev. 6:9-11; 13:15; 20:4).
There is a possibility that both Jews and gentiles are referred to here.
The two witnesses referred to could be two groups of peoples rather than
two men (Judah and Israel; or Jews and gentiles).
II Let us now notice the Jews with regard to the tribulation period.
1. The Jews were cured of heathen idol-worship during the Babylonian captivity. They now worship no physical idol at all. They worship God alone as one Essence and one Person.
(1) Nationally they are not back in Palestine at the close of the Church-Age. They are, however, back nationally during the first half of the tribulation period. As a nation they return in unbelief as far as their Messiah is concerned. Their acceptance of him as their Messiah does not take place until the close of the tribulation period.
(1) They return under the terms of the covenant which they make with the Anti-Christ, namely, they may worship God as they see fit, if they will go back to Palestine and stay there out of the way. They enter into this agreement. That accounts for their presence in Palestine during the first half of the week.
(1) This covenant is then broken in the midst of the week. The anti-Christ cannot endure even a little despised group who refuses to worship him. He then orders them to do so, and they refuse. This agreement with death, and covenant with hell is disannulled (Dan. 9:27; Isa. 28:15, 18; John 5:43). In the breaking of this agreement we then have the fulfillment of the symbol of the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:23, 24; 3:25, 26).
1. The anti-Christ is then going to make them worship him; so he raises a great army and marches to Palestine against them (Ezek. 38:1-39; Isa. 34:3; Rev. 14:20). Joshua’s Man with the drawn sword appears, takes over, and fights for them. Joshua 5:13-15). They will then repeat Isaiah 53:3-5. Thus the second half of the period for Israel is a period of utter intolerance (Rev. 13:11-16; especially verse 16).
1. During the tribulation
period two-thirds of all the people of the earth shall have been destroyed
by war, famine, pestilence, the sword, or by the judgment of God at its
close. This is true of both Israelites and gentiles alike:
the gentiles (Zech. 13:8), the Israelites (Zech. 13:9). The elect
refer to those who are taken through the tribulation into the millennium.
For their sakes the period is shortened to one week. The close of
the period is referred to in Matt. 24:29, 30; Isaiah 63:1-6.
III Let us notice the forces which will be on either side
1. Saul, David, Solomon, and for a time Rehoboam ruled over the united kingdom of Israel. The kingdom then split, and Jeroboam took the north and Rehoboam took the south. In 722 and 721 B. C., the Assyrians carried away the kingdom of Israel. Then in 606, 597, and 586 B. C. the Babylonians carried away the southern kingdom of Judah.
1. About 536 (or 538) Cyrus the Persian issued a proclamation for all Jews who wished to return to do so either from the west or the east, and help build the house of God at Jerusalem. The Assyrian captives were home and settled in Judaea before the Babylonian captives had time to get back. For specific records of those who returned from Assyria see I Chr. 9:1-3; Ezra 2:70; 3:1; Nehemiah 7:73; 11:20. For specific statements of those who returned from Babylonian captivity see the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. I Chronicles throughout is for the most part taken up with the returnees from both east and west. Thus Ezekiel’s two sticks are again united (Ezek. 37:17). Where are the supposedly lost ten tribes (James 1:1)?
1. Abraham was called a Hebrew. Hebrews refer to the Jews in their origination. Jacob won the title Israel: Israel is their spiritual or prophetic name. They were called Jews while they were in Babylon having come from the province of Jewry: hence Jews refer to them politically. All twelve tribes are called Hebrews, Israelites and Jews today. A nucleus of all twelve tribes has returned. The battle of the Armageddon will be fought with the Anti-Christ and all the world on his side, and the Jews only on the other side. Christ comes and fights for the Jews, and they are the victors.
Note: Some hold (West)
that the 69 weeks go back to Cyrus, 536, or 538 B. C. They symbolically
figure in the Church-Age here. This leads to date setting.
Others hold (Smith and Peloubet) that the 69 weeks go back to Ezra Chs.
7-10, and with proper calendar adjustment this would give us 483 years.
Seiss and others hold that the 69 weeks go back to Nehemiah’s command by
Artaxarexes in the 20th year of his reign. This is probably correct
as it is exactly 483 years. The first relates to the temple only;
the second to polity only; the third to the city. Thus Nehemiah 2
is probably correct for the first (69 weeks) and the end of Nehemiah for
the second (62 weeks).
1. It is strange that after about 2000 years, the world would worship the opposite of the Christ, i.e., the Anti-Christ. Yet such is to be the case. The Anti-Christ is not another Christ, but is, in every respect, the opposite of the Christ, and irrevocably opposed to him. Notice a few contrasts:
(1) Christ came from above (John 6:38); the Anti-Christ will come from beneath or from the pit (Rev. 11:7).
(1) Christ came in his Father’s name (John 5:43); the Anti-Christ will come in his own name (John 5:43).
(1) Christ voluntarily humbled himself in death on the cross (Phil. 2:8); the Anti-Christ exalts himself to royal and divine honors (II Thess. 2:4).
(1) Christ was despised by the people who named the name of God (Isa. 53:2, 3); the Anti-Christ will be admired by those who name the name of God (Rev. 13:3, 4).
(1) Christ was and is ultimately exalter (Phil. 2:9); the Anti-Christ shall be ultimately cast down to the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20).
(1) Christ came to do his Father’s will — his human-nature-will had to bow to the one divine will (John 6:38); the Anti-Christ will come to do his own wicked will (Dan. 11;36).
(1) Christ came to save lost men (Luke 19:10); the Anti-Christ shall come to destroy the souls of men (Dan. 8:24).
(1) Christ is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11); the Anti-Christ is the idol or evil shepherd (Zech. 11:16, 17).
(1) Christ is the life-giving true Vine (John 15:1); the Anti-Christ is the vine of the earth — the spiritually death-dealing vine (Rev. 14:8).
(10) Christ is the true One, or the Truth (John 14:6); the Anti-Christ is the false One or the Lie (II Thess. 2:11).
(11) Christ is the Holy One — Deity clothed in flesh (Mark 1:24; Col. 1:19; 2:9); the Anti-Christ is the Lawless One — clothed with devil power (II Thess. 2:8; Rev. 13:4).
(12) Christ is the man of sorrows — bearing the sorrows of others (Isa. 53:3); the Anti-Christ is the man of sin— exploiting others (II Thess. 2:3).
(13) Christ is the Son of God — Deity, and the perfect representative of Deity to man (Jude 1:35); the Anti-Christ is the son of perdition — the perfect representative of sin in flesh (II Thess. 2:3).
(14) Christ is the mystery of godliness — humanity is incapable of demonstrating more of Deity (I Tim. 3:16); the Anti-Christ is the mystery of iniquity — humanity apparently cannot go beyond this in wickedness (II Tim. 2:7).
14. The term anti-Christ does not refer to a system, an organization, or a group of people, but to a specific person. This person is to head the anti-Christ attitude of the race from Cain to his own personal appearance.
(1) In a sense all who are against Christ are anti-Christs: "even now are there many anti-Christs." "He that is not for me is against me." This against-Christ spirit is to be headed by an against-Christ person — the anti-Christ.
(1) Neither the Roman Catholic Church itself nor the Pope is the Anti-Christ as both believe in the Trinity. The anti-Christ does not (I John 2:22).
(1) The anti-Christ will evidently feign religion for a brief hour to swing the influence of the harlot church back of him (Constantine did this for political reasons). Then he will break with the harlot church also, as he does with the God of his fathers (Dan. 11:37a).
(1) The anti-Christ then
places himself at the head of the world politically, as well as at the
head of the religious system, such as it is. He has seven heads (seven
— religious power), and ten horns (ten — political power). Upon his
head was the name of blaspheme (an antigod term used in the religious world(
(Rev. 13:1). There were also ten crowns upon his head — political
I The anti-Christ is given various titles; but those
1. "The prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26). The "king of fierce countenance" (Dan. 8:23). "The man of sin" (II Thess. 2:3, 4). "The son of perdition" (II Thess. 2:3, 4). "The anti-Christ" (II John verse 7). "The beast" (Rev. 13:15).
1. Those appellations are not his names, nor symbols flown on his flag, nor his stamp of identification. They express the nature of his character. Christ is called "The Lion of the tribe of Judah", "The Lamb slain": those statements are characteristics of his redemptive work. Jesus called Herod a fox: "Go and tell that fox." That was a quality of Herod’s nature. So also with the anti-Christ.
(1) Symbols cannot stand alone. They illustrate concrete statements or facts. When a symbol or type stands alone it can be made to mean just about anything.
(1) Symbols or parables,
etc. are only used in the Bible to further explain, and make understandable,
concrete facts already given or about to be given.
II The anti-Christ is not a believer in the Trinity,
1. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast" (Rev. 13:2, 3). "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are" (Rev. 20:10). Thus we have a trinity of evil.
1. Christ received authority from the Father, and was also wounded to death, and then the Spirit came at Pentecost. Thus the anti-Christ imitates all along the way. He, in imitation of the Christ, will be a worker of miracles and thereby obtain a large following (Rev. 19:20). We have the dragon imitating God; the beast imitating Christ, and the false prophet imitating the Holy Spirit. Thus we have a perfect imitation of the Trinity. See Rev. 13:12, 13; II Thess. 9-12; Dan 7:8. Never to date has the religious world been better prepared to accept a miracle worker than it is today.
1. The anti-Christ will not be a world figure at first (Rev. 13:1; II Thess. 2:8). He, however, will become a world figure and world ruler (Dan. 11:22; Rev. 13:7, 8). (Rev. 17: 1, 15 — many waters: many peoples).
(1) The Jews, who rejected the Christ, will enter into agreement with the anti-Christ, who is the very opposite of the Christ (John 5:43; Isa. 28: 14, 15, 17, 18). A covenant will be made with the Jews, and then broken (Dan. 9:27). We have this in symbol in Daniel Chapter 3, setting forth the fiery furnace. Most people worship, but the three Hebrews refuse, and are cast into the furnace. They are then brought out by the Christ himself (Dan. 3:25, 26). Christ shall likewise deliver the Jews when the anti-Christ bears down on them.
(1) The anti-Christ comes in peaceably, as a financier, with fair speeches and flattery and gains the kingdom, and then takes the sword (Dan. 11:21b; Rev. 13:16, 17). His capital apparently is to be Babylon rebuilt, as one of the wonders of the world.
(1) Haman started to fall when he started to fight against the Jews and Mordecai. When the anti-Christ starts to fight against the Jews he too starts to fall.
4. The anti-Christ will be extremely handsome (like a leopard), personally powerful (the paw of a bear), and a great speaker (the mouth of a lion), and vested with the power and authority of the devil (Rev. 13:2). He will also be a bachelor (Dan. 11:37), and an unknown figure at the time of the rapture (II Thess. 2:7, 8; Rev. 13:1). He will arise from the common mass of surging humanity (Rev. 13:1; Rev. 17:15). The figures CLXS; 600, 60, 6 refer to a trinity of secularism or worldliness, just as 7, 7, 7 could refer to the Divine Trinity; each is at the extreme end of possibility. They are symbols intending to conceal until the time to which they refer. Then their meaning will be self-evident.
At no time could he have
been Mussolini, or Hitler, or Stalin, or any other famous man now living,
as he shall arise from an obscure position. He is probably not a
Jew, and not necessarily Judas Iscariot.
1. The Second Coming of our Lord is mentioned 318 times in the New Testament. The millennium, or period following our Lord’s return, is known by various names:
(1) His rule from his throne of glory; with ten thousands of his holy angels with him (Matt. 25:31; Jude 14).
(2) This reign is referred to as a thousand years in length, or his thousand-year reign (Rev. 20:2, 3).
(3) "…the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ" (I Tim. 6:14).
(4) "…the glorious appearing of the great God" (Titus 2:13b).
(5) "…the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Peter1:13b).
(6) "…the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:7b; Acts 1:11).
(7) "…the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 18).
(8) "…the day of God" (II Peter 3:12).
(9) "the last time" (I Peter 1:5b).
Paul called Jesus the Christ God, without qualifiers of any kind (Titus 2:13; Colossians 2:9). Peter also calls him God without qualifiers (II Peter 3:12). Thomas also called him God (John 20:28b). It is thus the dispensation or day of God the Son.
1. At the beginning
of the millennium there will be great signs in heaven above and on earth
beneath, and outpourings of the Spirit of God upon this earth (Isa. 32:
13-15; 44:3, 4: Joel 2:27-32). Peter, in Acts 2:16-21, does not say
that Pentecost was the fulfillment f Joel’s prophecy. He did say
that it was the same thing: "this is that". The known is used to
explain the unknown. Joel saw both, with no Church-Age in between.
Thus it was the same thing or an earnest of the millennial outpouring.
It is noticeable that Peter did not repeat all of Joel’s prophecy.
I First, notice the population during the millennial period.
1. During the tribulation period, including its close, two-thirds of the entire population of the earth will be destroyed by famine, pestilence, sword, etc. The remaining one-third go into the millennium (as saved people) to repeople the earth.
2. That one-third goes into the millennium and lives and moves and has their being under vastly different circumstances than we now do. They themselves are physiologically the same. That is, they have physical bodies, and are subjected to the physical order, marry, have children as now; the children reach accountability, and are saved and later sanctified as now. They may rebel in heart if they wish.
3. Sin, however, is externally greatly suppressed; but apparently not totally. God has tried everything else but racial force to get people to be good. He must use external force before he has tried everything; and he must try everything before man can stand before Him totally condemned. This use of external force cannot interfere with internal freedom — man is created in God’s image, and God is free.
4. Before the fall in Eden, all were right with God. Then as the Noachic family stepped out of the ark after the flood, all were right with God. At the beginning of the reign of Christ on earth, or at the beginning of the millennium, all are right with God. Only on those three occasions could the Spirit of God be poured out on all flesh as described in Joel’s prophecy. They backslid shortly thereafter in Eden; and some backslid shortly after they came out of the ark; and people can backslide in the millennium. Due to the suppression of evil, backsliding will be, no doubt, greatly lessened.
5. The beginning of the millennium, and during it, will be a time of great scientific advancement along all lines . To this time there must be an approach. We are told that: "…knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4b). and that they shall "run to and fro" (Dan. 12:4b), they shall also "…justle one against another in the broad ways" (Nahum 2:4), and "…seem like torches" (Nahum 2:4) and "…they shall run like the lightnings" (Nahum 2:4).
6. We are not told if the returned glorified ones will be visible to those then being born and living on the earth as we are now. Evidently Jesus the Christ will be visible to all. The returned ones will be in changed and glorified bodies not impeded by visible matter and not subject to natural conditions as we are now. This much we are sure of.
7. The curse of sin will
be partly lifted from nature, possible back to its state before the Noachic
flood. As a result life will be greatly lengthened. A
person dying at a hundred would be considered a child: "… for the child
shall die an hundred years old" (Isaiah 65:20b). A sinner resisting
for an hundred years apparently is accursed: "… but the sinner being
an hundred years old shall be accursed" (Isaiah 65:20c). This probably
means that a person resisting God for a hundred years would either be cut
off physically, or cross the deadline, or both.
We shall now consider Israel, specifically, during
1. Israel is to be restored to the favor of God nationally (Hosea 1:10; Isa. 11:11, 12; Jer. 23:7, 9).
1. Nationally Israel is to be restored to temporal and spiritual power and prosperity (Joel 2:1-21, especially verse 19; Isaiah 35:1-10, especially verse 1, — Peter only quotes part of Joel’s prophecy).
1. Jerusalem is to be the religious center of the world, and the only place of public worship (Isa. 2:1-3; 66:23; Micah 4:1, 2; Zech 14:16-19). All nations are then to be ruled by a rod of iron. Those who refuse to go to Jerusalem to worship are to be punished with affliction, and, if necessary, death. All forms of sin will be suppressed. The idea of a Moral Governor, who balances all, demands this rule of force. Then rebellious man stands totally guilty before God.
1. The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14; Isa. 11:9) (Jer. 31:34).
1. Wars are to cease from the earth during the time of the millennium (Isa. 2:4; Micah 4:3, 4; Hosea 2:18).
1. Israel is then to be God’s witnessing body as of old (Isa. 60:1-3; 62:1-4).
1. The Lord is to reign personally at, and from Jerusalem:
At Zion in Jerusalem (Micah
1. Let us now notice the close of the millennium at the end of the thousand years.
(1) The Satan is to be loosed at the end of the thousand years for a short while. He then gathers all the heart rebels against God to himself, and marches on Jerusalem and surrounds it.
(1) This is not a battle, but a God-directed slaughter, as God opens heaven and pours out fire and brimstone upon the rebels and destroys them. The destruction of Sodom and of the cities of the plain was a type of this final and last organized act of rebellion against God.
(1) This is not the battle
of Armageddon at all, but it is the destruction of Gog and Magog as prophesied
of in Rev. 20:7-9, and in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, especially chapter
1. Promises regarding the Christ, as a racial Savior, and as a personal or individual Savior.
(1) The first promise was made to the entire race as a race (Gen. 3:15, 21). Adam was the generic head of the race.
(1) To one half of the race: "Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord (Margin —Gen. 4:26). Sons of God
(1) To a nation in that half (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:16) God does not speak of an unbroken line of kings, but to one King.
(1) To a bride of that nation, namely, the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:88-10; Heb. 7:14).
(1) To a family of that tribe — the Davidic (II Sam 7:12, 13; Psalm 89:3, 4; I Kings 8:25; II Chr. 6:16-18; Psalm 132:11).
(1) To a person in that family namely, Mary (Luke 1:29-32; Matt. 1:20, 21).
Thus Mary was to return him to the House of David, the House of David to the tribe of Judah, the tribe of Judah to the national of Israel, the nation of Israel to the Semitic half, the Semitic half to the whole — he is thus a racial Savior from beginning to end.
1. Had the Hebrew people reestablished the Davidic throne during the boyhood of Jesus, they would have made Joseph king, Mary queen, and Jesus crown prince.
(1) The common people knew this: "And, behold, a woman came out of the same coasts, and cried after him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil" (Matt. 15:22). "And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David" (Matt. 20:31). "And when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wondrous things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased" (Matt. 21:15). Christ’s lowly human setting made him acceptable to the common people, and unacceptable to the upper ruling class.
(1) As far as the historic
Davidic throne was concerned, as long as Joseph was alive, Jesus was merely
a prince — the crown prince. At the decease of his foster father,
Joseph, Jesus was then the rightful king of the Davidic throne, and had
a right to ask for that throne. Hence he said, "Repent for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand." The King is here; hence the kingdom is nigh
— repent nationally so that the king may take his throne under the proper
1. Matthew traces the legal line (the line that the heirship to the crown descended) from Abraham to David and on to Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus (Matt. 1:1-17; Matt. 1:1) "The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." The genealogy is thus the genealogy of Jesus and not of Joseph. We must remember this fact throughout.
1. Between Joram and Osias in verse 8, three are left out. Those three are: Ahaziah, Joash, and Ahaziah the accursed progeny of Athaliah who introduced the idolatry of Ahab into the house of David. Two of the three were apostates, and all three met violent deaths. The writer, to show his disapproval of their wickedness, left them out of the record. The term son is a relative term, and could mean a distant relative, or even an heir or successor who was no blood descendent at all. They could then jump great distances with a father-son relationship, when they merely meant a successor. Different names are often used for the same person also.
1. Matthew is writing to the Jews only, and only David is called a king, as it was his throne. Only Jesus is called the Messiah or the Christ as he was the specially promised Son of David as he was to inherit that throne (Gal. 3:16). Matthew then passes from Abraham to David and to Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus. Thus it was from Joseph, humanly speaking, that his Kingly dignity was derived although he was not begotten by him. That, however, is not enough. He must also be traced to Adam by way of David and Abraham. He was the seed promised to the woman (Gen. 3:15).
1. Luke the gentile takes a racial view and deals with the racial promise more than with the Abrahamic promise. He goes back to Adam and to God by way of David and Abraham. Christ is the racial Messiah, therefore he is the seed of the woman (Luke 3:23-38). Luke 3:23 and 38 read as follows:
"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli." "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."
(1) As the 23 verse stands it starts with Jesus as the subject of discussion, and then passes to Joseph, and never comes back to Jesus at all. This is grammatically wrong, and intentionally wrong — the intention is to give the record of Jesus.
(1) Read the two verses this way: "And Jesus began to be about thirty years of age, being the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, … which was the son of God." This is grammatically correct, and Jesus remains the subject; but it is factually wrong, as Joseph was not the father of Jesus.
(1) Now read it this way:
"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph (but in reality) the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, … which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."
Jesus thus remains the subject,
and is declared to be, humanly, the son, or grandson (as we would say)
of Heli who was the father of Mary. That little suppressed clause
in the Greek makes all the difference in the world. Thus we now have
Christ's blood descent traced from Adam, Shem, Abraham, David, Heli, and
1. Notice our two charts on Matthew’s and Luke’s records with regard to the legal succession and with regard to the bloodline. Matthew traces the legal succession from Abraham and David down to Joseph and Jesus. Luke traces the bloodline from Adam to Mary and Christ.
1. Matthew thus passes through the kings of Judah, including Solomon, to the last male heir of Solomon who was Jeconias (Coniah), and was to become or to die childless (Jer. 22:30). The legal line then passes from Jechonias, or Jeconias or Conias or Coniah to the bloodline in the house of Nathan in the person of Salathiel (See Jer. 22:24; 22:30; Matt. 1:12; Luke 3:27).
1. Matthew goes back from
Mary and Joseph to David and to Abraham and crosses Luke at Matt. 1:12.
Luke goes down from Adam to Abraham to David to Joseph and to Jesus, and
crosses Matthew at Luke 3:27. In Jesus’ immediate family, Heli had
no male heir himself; hence his brother Joseph became his male heir, and
then Jesus who was also his own grandson. The Targum agrees with
this and says that Mary was the daughter of Heli, and that Jesus was the
Son of Mary (Note: In "Gospels" Dr. King adds that Mary and Joseph
Authentic records were lost
at A. D. 70 when Titus took Jerusalem. There was, however, no need
for further records as the Christ, the promised Seed had come, and the
succession was pegged for good and all in him.
Jesus to Adam
: Jesus to Abraham
Last of Solomon’s
House Nathan’s House
Mt. 1:15 Matthan or Matthat Lk. 3:25
Mt. 1:15, 16
Two Sons Lk 3:23, 24
Note: Matthan or Matthat is Joseph and Mary’s common grandfather.
1. The subject of the Second Coming of our Lord is one of the most popular subjects of the pulpit today. However, there are more errors, guesses, and speculations with regard to its presentation than there is with regard to any other pulpit subject.
1. As a result of the unwise,
and unscriptural speculations with regard to the matter, the unchurched
masses regard the subject with amused indifference. This is largely
true within the church group also. Nevertheless it is a fact of the
future. Hence we shall study the matter from rock-bottom biblical
1. The first and Second Comings are inseparably bound up together in Old Testament prophecy. The prophets saw them as one at a distance. We shall refer to but four: Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 9:6; Malachi 4:5; Isaiah 61:1-2ab. Jesus used this last reference in Luke 4:18, 19. Notice, Jesus stopped midway in a verse, as the first part of the verse belonged to the first coming, and the second part belonged to the Second Coming. As certain as is the historic fact that Jesus has come, so certain is the prophetic declaration that He is to come again. Both were prophetically declared side by side with equal certainty.
1. Angels from heaven also prophesied of the Second Coming: "And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:10, 11). This is meaningful as it is to be the same Jesus, with his scars and wounds, "as ye have seen him go." The same Jesus who died and was buried and arose, i.e., He shall return in His glorified physical human nature.
1. Then Jesus himself distinctly
said that He would return to earth again: "And then shall they see
the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory" (Mark
13:26; John 14:3; Jude 1:4). Then Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall
pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31).
Thus the fact of the Second Coming is more certain than the continuation
of the heavens and the earth.
1. Jesus emphasized the uncertainty of the time by means of parables:
(1) The parable of the man who went on a journey:
"For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at eve, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch" (Mark 13:34-37).
(1) The parable of the thief who broke in at an unexpected hour:
"But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:43, 44). Companionate texts: Rev. 3:3; 26:15.
1. Jesus also emphasized the uncertainty of the time by direct or positive statements:
(1) "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).
(1) "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32).
1. Paul also emphasized the same truth in the following words: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (I Thess. 5:2). Paul here has reference to Christ’s appearance in the air at the first resurrection, and the rapture of the living saints, and the recall of the Holy Spirit (I Thess. 4:16, 17). The shout and the voice and the trump would be heard only by the sainted dead and the saints alive.
1. Peter also emphasized
this same aspect of truth when he wrote: "But the day of the Lord
will come as a thief in the night" (II Peter 3:10a). Here in
Peter 3:10 we have the Second Coming and the final judgment placed together.
We are, therefore, here only interested in verse 10a. The day and
hour are thus at present undisclosed. He who sets a date is wiser
1. The parable of the fig tree:
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, he putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise, ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the door" (Matt. 24:32, 33). Let us know notice the things referred to by Jesus:
(1) A great sweep of worldliness in general, in illustration of which Jesus referred to Noah’s time: "…eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" (Matt. 24:38b). Those things are not necessarily sinful in themselves; but they were never intended to occupy man’s time to the exclusion of much of a spiritual nature.
(1) Abounding iniquity outside of the Church, and cold, and cooling love for God within the Church: "And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:12; Rev. 3:16).
(1) The loss of faith, by the world, in the great central concepts of Christianity, — the Trinity, the Deity of the Son, the Personality of the Spirit, sin, redemption by blood, heaven for the saved, hell for the unsaved, and eternity for all: "When the Son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth" (Luke 18:8b)? The implication is that He will not. Now who robbed the world (out there) of its mental faith in those great central concepts? Was it not the modernistic, evolutionary backslidden church which first denied those things?
(1) There shall be also mockings, and offences, and betrayals, and falsity in family life, in church life, in social life, and in national life (Matt. 24:9, 10).
(1) Many shall be deceived, and false prophets, and false Christs, and pseudo-preachers claiming revelatory authority, and healers shall arise galore. In short, religious isms shall abound (Matt. 24:5, 11).
(1) There shall be wars and rumors of wars — tensions and fears over periods of time; and nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:7).
(1) Then follows famine, earthquakes in divers places, pestilences, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. This apparently continues over periods of time and are but the beginnings (Matt. 24:6, 7, 8).
1. Thus worldliness
prevails, and animality or the lower nature in man is ministered to first;
abounding iniquity, and lawlessness, and unbelief outside of the church,
and unconcern and coldness in the church prevails. The conditions
in Noah’s time and in Lot’s time prevail. As a result there are mockers
of sacred things and sacred beliefs. Imitations of the real, and
the limitations are more popular than the real. During all this time
man lives on a volcano ready to erupt any moment.
1. It will be as sudden as a flash of lightning. This has reference more to the rapture aspect of the Second Coming, than the actual return to earth again: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:27).
1. Coming suddenly it will find people just as they are at a given moment the world around, — in the fields, grinding at the mills, in midnight repose. The separation will be effected before human faculties are able to grasp the fact. In short it will be over before we realize that it has begun: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Cor. 15:51, 52). They will be taken from the mill, from the field, and from repose.
1. Jesus emphasized the importance of readiness by means of the faithful and unfaithful servants. The master suddenly returned, and the faithful were commended, and the unfaithful were condemned (Matt. 24:45-51). Freedom from sin in the heart is the great dividing wedge. This is the meaning of the end-time parables of Jesus, — the ten virgins, and the man without the wedding garment. Holiness of heart was the issue.
1. Paul also said, "To the
end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even
the Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints"
(I Thess. 3:13). Again said Paul: "And the very God of peace
sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body
be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess.
The Book of Daniel
1. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, having besieged Jerusalem, and having its king made a tributary (608-7 B. C. ) carried away a number of captives (in this case they would have been hostages) to Babylon. Among the captives were Daniel and his three friends, namely Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (See A. Clarke). If the seventy years of captivity then began that would carry us to 536. Seventy years from 536 would carry us to 606. It probably took some months after the Edict from Cyrus was issued. The seventy years of captivity evidently began with the overthrow of king Jehoiakim.
1. The book of Daniel consists of two parts.
a. Chapter 1-6, consists of the experiences of Daniel and his three companions under Nebuchadnezzar, and under Belshazzar and Darius the Meds in Babylon. This part is mainly historical with some prophecy in the second chapter. This part was also written in Hebrew and Chaldean. Chapter 1:1 – 2:3 is in Hebrew; 2:4-6:25 is in Chaldaic. The language in which it was written appears to have been determined by the other people to whom it was written.
a. Chapter 7:1-12:13 consists largely of prophesy. Prophesy and subject matter. That is, they often dealt with the same events under different figures. It also was written in Hebrew. (See P. H. C.)
The modern slant is that Chapters 2:4b-7:22 were written in West Aramic, another name for Chaldean and Chapters 1 and 8-12 in late Hebrew and with Greek and Persian loan words.
1. There is no good
reason why we should not ascribe the book of Daniel to the Daniel referred
to therein. Daniel lived during the whole of the Babylonian Captivity,
down to the third year of Cyrus. (Dan. 10:1). He is mentioned
outside of this book. (Ezek. 14:14,20). Together with Noah
and Job. (Ezk. 28:3) In the former passages his righteousness
is spoken of, in the latter, his wisdom. Josephus’ statements with
regard to Daniel provide that Daniel was a well-known figure before the
period of Antiquitus — the Grecian Area. Josephus 10:11:1.
Apparently Daniel died in Exile, not having returned home with the migrating
Part I. - Chapters 1:1 — 6:28
1. Chapter One records the captivity of Daniel and his companions in the third year of the captivity of Jehoiakim. They were trained for Civil Service at the court of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.
a. Jehoiakim was put under tribute but he rebelled and was subdued by neighboring Babylonian tribes. During this stage, Jehoiakim was slain and buried with the burial of an ass, evidently at the first three years of tribute to Babylon vessels from the house of God and captive children. II Kings 24:6a; Dan. 1:16. The captive children were taken to Babylon (606 B. C.) (70 years begin here).
a. In the third year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who then marched to Carchemish and defeated Pharoah Necho. He then besieged Jerusalem and defeated Jehoiakim and bound him to Babylon. He either never carried him to Babylon or returned him to his throne, for he rebelled three years later and he was buried shamefully. (2:37-57) ?
a. There appears to have been a large group selected as those from Judah are mentioned as from Judah so they must have been other groups. (Dan. 1:6a). The first thing to happen to them was a change of name. Their Jewish names had a religious meaning in Judaism and was changed to have a heathen significance Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego. This change and environment did not change their religious experience. Their devotion to God was as steady as ever and their love to God was as steady as ever.
a. They were placed in the royal school of science and there their first test arose. The wine and the meat that they were to eat had been first dedicated to the heathen god and had they eaten, they would have been identified with the heathen religion of the land and they refused in the wisest possible way. They requested a ten-day trial of bread and pulse (vegetable diet). Pulse – seeds. Naturally they looked better than the other children who were gorging themselves with intoxicants did and unhealthy foods did. Their request was granted.
a. At the end of the three years they came before Nebuchadnezzar and in his presence. He probably gave them their questions. They were found to be much wiser than others of their sorts. Daniel was first then the other three followed him. Nebuchadnezzar was very learned or could not keep kingship.
1. Chapter Two deals with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in which he saw a four-fold image, which stands for four great world empires.
a. The dream is dated in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. That could not have been more than five years after Daniel was in Babylon. Daniel was still a very young man — probably now about twenty-five years old.
a. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream and then forgot it, but it left a terrible impression on him. Hence he called in the wise men — the old timers, not the recent graduates. He demanded them to tell him the dream and the interpretation. They told him this was unreasonable. He told them how could they give an interpretation that was sure unless they knew what the dream was. They had a time limit and if they failed, they were to be killed and their houses destroyed. This included all the wise men even the recent Jewish graduates. (2:4-6, 10, 12)
a. Daniel went to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, to find out the matter. Daniel then apparently went to Nebuchadnezzar in person and asked for an extension of time for he did not know of the dream till then. He went home and told his three friends. They went to prayer. God revealed the whole thing to Daniel in the night. (2:14, 16, 17, 19).
a. Daniel then requested Arioch that he be presented before Nebuchadnezzar. He appeared before him and told Nebuchadnezzar that there was a God in heaven above who could and had revealed the dream unto him. The brightness of the image was excellent and its form terrible. (2:31) "This image’s head was gold, and his breast and arms were of silver. His belly and thighs were of brass; his legs were of iron and his feet part of iron and part of clay." (2:32-33) A small stone fell upon the image, smashing first its feet then the whole image was ground to powder. Then the stone occupied the whole earth. (2:34-35) This is the first and Second Coming of Christ seen together.
a. Daniel also interpreted the dream. An inferior kingdom was to defeat him. This was done by Cyrus the Persian through Darias the Mede. In turn the Persians were defeated by Alexander the Great; the Greeks were in turn defeated by Rome. The head of gold lasted about seventy years. Belshazzar was probably the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The breasts were of silver – inferior in quality and unity and referred to the Medes and Persians. It lasted about two hundred years. With the exception of Cyrus himself, the rest of the Medo-Persian kings were probably the most degrading line of kings as has ever ruled an empire. The belly and sides referred to the Greeko-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great. As the empire fell when he dies, it was divided between his four generals. Two were stronger – the house of the Seleuceda in the North and the Ptoleme in the South. Rome succeeded the Grecians. The legs were of iron – strong but weak as they later mixed with other peoples. In fact her later rulers were foreigners. The image was all of one piece. It was ground to powder as a piece. The little stone hit the feet and then ground the whole image and then tilled the whole earth. We have here the first and Second Comings of Christ seen together. Their oneness is not as clear as in Isa. 9:6, but it is there nevertheless in 2:33-35. The ten toes refer to the ten kingdoms of the Romans. Ten is also a symbol of material completeness as is seven in religious field. There is no scripture teaching that the Roman Empire is to be revived, neither is there any against. We are not commanded to look for the Roman Empire, but for the immediate coming of the Christ.
1. Chapter Three deals with the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar set up in the plains of Dura.
a. The image was 60 cubits high (90 ft.) and 6 cubits wide (6 ft.). It was not necessarily solid, but was at least plated with gold so that it looked pretty solid, however it could have been really solid. (3:1).
a. All the rulers were bidden to the dedication of the image and were evidently commanded to stand and worship before it. (3:2,3)
a. A herald cried that all were to fall down and worship the image at the beginning of music. Those who did not worship were to be thrown into the fiery furnace. (3:4-7)
a. All the people and rulers fell down to worship but Daniel’s three friends. Daniel is not mentioned here. He was evidently away. His three friends are the heroes here. They were evidently already promoted to offices of great estate.
a. Nebuchadnezzar was angry and commanded his sentence to be executed. They were cast in. The guards who did so were slain but the three walked in the fire in the presence of the fourth – Christ himself. He must have been in glorious apparel for Nebuchadnezzar said he saw one like unto the Son of God. (3:21, 23, 26) This is a type of the witnesses being sustained by Christ during the first half of the tribulation. Nebuchadnezzar was a type of the anti-Christ.
a. The God of the three was exalted to a world position in the relations of the empire, and the three to world leadership. (3:29-30) The prophetic picture is this:
(1) Nebuchadnezzar represents the world, and possibly the anti-Christ along with the golden image. The anti-Christ wins the worship of the world by gold and not by the sword.
(1) All shall have to worship the anti-Christ. The Jews refuse and the anti-Christ goes to destroy them. Christ appears and fights for them and conquers.
(1) Christ becomes the world ruler, and the Jews are promoted to world rulership.
1. Chapter Four contains the record of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning the great tree.
a. Nebuchadnezzar addressed all peoples, languages and nations that dwell on earth, and then acknowledged the goodness of the high God toward him, and declared that His kingdom was everlasting from generation to generation. This information is in verses 1, 2 of Chapter 4. Nebuchadnezzar now regards himself as a universal monarch. Some time must have therefore elapsed since he took the throne. He still called Bel his god.
a. Nebuchadnezzar was at ease — kingdom was at rest — when he dreamed a dream which caused him to be troubled (4:5). All the wise men (magicians) were brought in. Daniel being chief of them all would be brought in last. (Ellicott) The king told them the dream. They failed to interpret it. Daniel was then brought in (4:7-8).
a. The king told Daniel his dream this time. It was a tree in the midst of the earth. It grew and was great and reached to heaven and filled the earth (4:10, 12). The leaves were fair. The fruit much. The beasts rested under it and the fowls rested in its branches. All flesh fed of it.
a. A Herald from heaven was commanded to cut down the tree and to trim it thoroughly, but the stump was to be left in the earth and banded with brass and iron. The stump was to be neglected until seven times (years) had passed over it. The tree was identified with man, in that its man’s heart was to be changed to a beast’s heart (4:13-17).
a. The king declared that Daniel could make the dream known (4:18 cd). Daniel pondered for an hour in troubled thought, as the dream was against the king and in favor of his enemies (4:19). The tree was Nebuchadnezzar himself (4:22). Nebuchadnezzar was to be driven from the haunts of men and was to make his abode with the beasts of the field and to be wet with the dew of heaven until seven times passed over him. This was to be a judgment on him for pride (4:25).
a. The stump was to be banded with iron and brass and was again to grow, so the kingdom was to be made sure to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel urged him to repent and thus put off the evil day (4:27).
a. At the end of the 12 months all that happened to the king (4:29). He walked and strutted in his palace. He bragged about himself for building great Babylon (4:30). God spoke to him from heaven, and in the same hour it all took place. His hair grew like eagle’s feathers and his nails like birds’ claws (4:33). (There is a disease called Zoanthropia in which one thinks himself as something and then imitates that something. The king fancied himself an ox and therefore acted like one.)
a. His reason did leave him for at the end of the period his reason returned, and he blessed the God of heaven. At the same time his glory and kingdom were returned (4:34, 36).
The picture is this:
(1) The tree represented Nebuchadnezzar who represented the world. The tree was destroyed, but the stump remained.
(1) Madness hit the king
because of self-exaltation for a period of seven years at
(1) The seven years represented the seven years of tribulation madness due to come because of the people who followed the anti-Christ. It is a tribulation picture.
If Nebuchadnezzar died about 561 B. C. that would give him approximately 43-45 years of reign. His son Evil-Merodach succeeded him but was murdered by his own brother-in-law Neriglissar, who ruled for four years. After him came Laborosoarchod who in turn fell a victim to conspiracy and was succeeded by Nabonnedes (father of Belshazzar) who in turn took sides with Crosus in the battle between Crosus and Cyrus. Cyrus determined to get even with him for it and marched against him for it. This Nabonnedes was the father of Belshazzar, who was called the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar’s mother was evidently a daughter or granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar.
5. Chapter Five deals with the famous or infamous feast of Belshazzar. The empire is thought to have fallen about 25 years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar. (Ellicott) This would give Nebuchadnezzar 43 or 45 years of rulership. Thirty years are placed between the fourth and fifth chapters.
a. The kingdom was ruled by two monarchs. When one was off, one was home to protect it. This was true at its fall. Nebonnnedes was off with one army and his son was home with the other. Description: Bulgeion, Archeology of Babylon, or similar title.
a. Cyrus took after Nebonnedes and Darius was to go after Belshazzar. The river ran along a ridge. Darius cut the banks and the river flowed around into the low land. And then his army rushed through on the riverbed. This bed was tile, hence was solid.
a. The feast was for a thousand lords evidently in honor of Bel their god. The feast was for Belshazzar’s 30th birthday and Bel. Drunken orgies followed. With this we are familiar. God wrote on the wall, and Daniel was called in from semi-retirement. He read the fateful death sentence to the king and to the empire. That night Belshazzar was slain and Darius was made king, being then about 62 years old. This happened in 538 B. C. Darius was uncle of Cyrus (5:30, 31).
1. Chapter Six, we have the lion’s den incident, which to Daniel was no incident.
a. Darius set 120 princes over the whole kingdom. Over these he placed three. Over these three he considered to place Daniel. Daniel is thus brought out of semi-retirement to active duty in a high office. He is about ninety years old.
a. This preferment of Daniel aroused the ire of the others and then they sought occasion against him (6:3,4). They then sought occasion against him with his worship of his God, called "the law of his God."
a. King Darius was interviewed by them against Daniel, through a law forbidding any to ask any petition of any god or men save the king for 30 days. The penalty for violating that was to be cast into the lion’s den. The decree was signed by the king and broken by Daniel before the ink was dry. Daniel’s admirable custom of praying three times a day is brought to light (6:7, 10). "He kneeled before God…"
a. They were watching Daniel and at once rushed to the king with the intelligence. The king was displeased with himself, and weakly tried to release Daniel (6:12, 14).
a. Daniel was cast in and the stone at the mouth was sealed and the king returned and fasted all night in concern for Daniel. He rushed to the den the next morning and cried in to Daniel, and lo! Daniel was well and greeted the king. He was at once taken out and his accusers were cast in, families and all (6:16, 17-20). Daniel declared that God had shut the lion’s mouths (6:22). Daniel’s three friends are absent here, as was Daniel at the fiery furnace incident.
a. Darius then issued a proclamation
in favor of the God of Daniel and Daniel prospered during Darius’ reign
Part II - 7:1
The second part is mostly prophecy and much of it is parenthetical or recurrence in vision under different symbols of what has been discovered from the viewpoint of history.
1. In Chapter Seven we have the visions of our beasts, diverse and strange, representing four kings or kingdoms (7:17).
a. The four winds strove upon the great sea, i.e.; the whole earth is concerned in it (7:2). In the whirling confusing four beasts arose. (touble) (7:3). This chapter is dated in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar (7:1).
(1) The first beast was Babylon. The then captive world empire tottering to its doom. In Daniel 7:4, we have similar statement of the vision of the tree.
(1) The second was like a bear, and it devoured much flesh. This corresponds to the Medes and Persians. They were already hot on the trail of the Babylonians (7:5).
(1) The third was like a leopard (swift and strong) with four wings and heads. Dominion was given to it (7:6). This was Alexander the Great, whose kingdom was divided among his four generals at his death.
(1) The fourth beast was
great and terrible and strong exceedingly; it had great iron teeth (corresponding
to the iron feet in image). It had ten horns (totality in the physical
field) (meaning world dominion). Among them then a little one arose
and removed three. Seven remained. This little horn had eyes
of a man and a mouth speaking great things. This little horn is identified
as the anti-Christ and is dethroned by the coming of the Ancient of Days
whose dominion was everlasting one. This is the overthrow of the
anti-Christ at the end of the tribulation period (7:7, 8, 9, 11,
1. In Chapter Eight we have the vision of the ram and the he-goat. This again is a parenthetical vision. It is dated in the third year of Belshazzar’s reign. In the vision Daniel as at Shushan in the palace of the province on Elam. He was by the river Ulah (8:1, 2).
a. A ram with two high horns appeared. The last to appear (Cyrus) grew higher than the former. This ram was Medes and Persia. The higher horn was Persia, who rose last and highest under Cyrus (4:20).
a. A rough goat appeared from the west and swept across the face of the earth swiftly. He had a notable horn between his eyes. He dashed at the twin horned ram and destroyed it (8:6). Alexander.
a. The he-goat waxed great and when he was strong he mastered the earth. The one horn was broken, and four grew in its place. This goat was Greece, and Alexander was the first horn, and when he died, his four generals split the earth into four kingdoms.
(1) Canander – received
Macedonia and part of Greece.
a. Let us carefully orientate ourselves here. The he-goat is Greece. The horn is Alexander. The four horns are his four generals. The first is biblically stated and the rest must follow. Now from one of the four horns grows a little horn. And it waxed great against the hosts of heaven (8:10). The daily sacrifice was taken away. The sanctuary was cast down. One saint asked of another how long such outrage would continue. The answer was until 2,300 days, and then the sanctuary would be cleansed (8:14). The indignation referred to the time of the end (8:19 also 25, 26).
a. The Bible has this horn or king of wickedness or deceit arising before there was a Roman Empire. It is not the same as the little horn that arose among the ten, but it refers to the same, later day tenor, hence this man is a type of the anti-Christ, and is not the anti-Christ himself. Isaac and Joseph were types of Christ but were not the Christ.
a. This man Antiochus Epiphines, the son of Antiachus the Great was a brutal murderer of the people of God. His sister, Cleopatra, having died, he laid claim to Palestine and "waxed great toward the south."
(1) While he was conquering Egypt, the Jews heard a false report concerning his death, and at once disposed of his representatives. He marched back and ravaged Palestine. (This is what people are yet looking for.) This battle in Egypt make some think the anti-Christ will come from Egypt, but it is only a type.
(1) Minalaus betrayed the Jews to Antiochus and was made High Priest.
(1) He slew 40,000 persons in three days, and took as many more captives and sold them as slaves.
(1) He entered the Holy of Holies and there sacrificed a sow upon the altar of burnt offerings; a broth was made from the same unclean animal and he sprinkled the broth over the sacred precincts to defile them.
(1) He also carried away a great many of the sacred vessels therefrom. He was later checked by the Romans in Egypt, and then returned and vented his anger against the Jews and destroyed Jerusalem. They waited until the people were at worship and then fell upon them all. Then the daily sacrifice ceased to be offered. Jupiter Olympus was introduced into the temple and sacrifices were offered unto him upon the altar.
(1) Proclamations were issued demanding the cessation of circumcision and the eating of unclean and the disregard of the Sabbath and Holy Days.
(1) Heathen religions with their feasts of vile nature were substituted for the feast of the Tabernacles.
Under the Maccabees the Jews regained partial freedom and the temple was cleansed and worship restored. Josephus says that just three years and six months after the statue of Jupiter was set up, the temple was cleansed – literally half of 2,300 days. This corresponds with the breaking of the covenant with the Jews in the anti-Christ.
This man was to die without human hands (8:25). The anti-Christ is to be destroyed by God’s hand. Antiachus Ephipanes is not the anti-Christ, yet he is the Bible type.
1. In Chapter Nine we have the 70 weeks foretold. This is dated in the first year of Darius (9:1).
a. Daniel learned by the study of books (Jeremiah) that the 70 years of punishment was nearly closed. So he set himself to pray for Jerusalem. He took the crimes of Jerusalem upon himself, and pleaded for them. (Jer. 25:11, II Chr. 36:21, Ezra 1:1, and Lev. 26:34)
a. While Daniel was thus praying the angel Gabriel touched him about the time of the evening oblations. Gabriel informed him that he was greatly beloved and then informed him of the 70 weeks. The 70th week was the week of tribulation.
The church age falls in between the 69th and 70th. Seven years in one week brings us back from the cross to Babylonian captivity. The church age was not seen by Daniel and had Messiah not been cut off the Church Age would not have been at all.
1. In Chapter Ten, the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia.
a. Daniel was fasting and praying for three full weeks (10:2, 3). In the twenty-fourth day in the fist month he was by the river Hiddekel, and a glorious figure appeared to him (10:4-6). Daniel fell into a deep sleep.
a. A hand touched him and sat him on his knees then on the palms of his hands, then he spake to him and told him he was greatly beloved. Daniel then managed to stand tremblingly.
a. Gabriel informed him that from the first day he prayed Gabriel started to come to him, but was hindered by the prince of the kingdom of Persia. (Satan should probably be understood.) Michael helped him to get past, so he made it (10:12, 13).
a. He then told Daniel that he was about to tell him what was to befall his people in the latter times. Again Daniel became speechless and weak and had to be strengthened. Gabriel had to return and fight against the prince of Persia and evidently help the prince of Greece (10:20, 21).
1. In Chapter Eleven we have the overthrow of Persia by Greece, and we have the dominion of Greece, dated the first year of Darius (11:1).
a. Three other kings were to follow in Persia, Cyrus being the first, he was followed by Cambases and then by Darius, and Xertes. Xertes was the wealthy great king who stirred up the spirit of the Grecians (11:2). Pseudo Smernus.
a. The mighty king mentioned next is not stated to be Persian or Grecian. He could be either as far as the Bible is concerned. But his description points to Alexander the Great, whose infant son did not inherit, but whose four leading generals did (11:3, 4).
a. The inheritors of the south — Ptolemy made himself strong and had great dominion. The king of the North (Selucia) also became strong.
Ptolemy Philadelphus gave his daughter Bernice in marriage to Antiophus-Theos on condition that he should divorce his wife Laodecia and exclude her children from succession from the throne. Ptolemy died two years later. Antiophus put away Bernice and recalled Laodecia. She caused him to be put to death, then through her, her son caused the death of Bernice and through her son and servants, war resumed.
In his desire to possess Egypt, Antiochus the Great gave his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy Ephiphanes, but she sided with her husband and the plan failed. This is probably referred to in Chapter 11:17.
We are again dealing with a type of the anti-Christ, but the two mix (11:19). To the end, we have a picture and the account of Antiochus Ephipanes, a type of the anti-Christ. This period of battles between north and south (Egypt and Syria) in which the type played a most prominent part is often confused with the present, or looked for in the future.
Cambus, Hyterthus, and Xerxes, Cyrus, Ahasus of Easthar, Xerxes whose wealth was great, and marched five million men against Greece. One hundred years later Alexander used this as an excuse to march against Persia.
Antiochus Ephipanes referred to as being broken in hands; he returned in defeat and died in Paretaceme in the hills in poverty by a loathsome disease. "He died without hands." Jesus, Paul and John did not look for the anti-Christ to come in war, but in peace.
1. The closing of the Book of Daniel
a. Daniel starts off with the tribulation period yet the people of God were to be delivered. The angel Michael was to stand for them (12:1).
a. We then have the first and second resurrections stated together, not so much together in time as side by side in revelation (12:2). Jesus deals with them together (John 5:28, 29). John deals with them together, but places them a thousand years apart (Rev. 20:5, 6). Place the three cases together and we have the truth. There are two but there is a period of a thousand years between (Dan 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:5, 6).
a. The vision was to be sealed to the time of the end (Dan. 12:4). Two spoke to each other and asked how long it would be till the time of these wonders! During the tribulation the abomination that maketh desolate would be set up. After this it would be 1290 days. Then a blessing was pronounced on those who came 1335th day. Judgment for 45 days. Enough remained to be concealed.
a. Daniel was to go his way (die) and rest and then stand in his lot in his day.
(Matt. 24:1-41; I Cor. 15:1-39;
I Thess. 4:1-18, and II Thess 2:1-17)
Book of Revelation
1. There are four methods of interpretation with regard to this book.
(1) First is that the book is a symbolic representation to good and evil principle that could be applied to any age and is to be understood spiritually.
(1) The historic representation sees in the book a summary of the church’s history from the early days to the end.
(1) The preterist (beforists) representation looks back to the past and interprets the book as having to do with the times in which it originated. This view would be favorable to a 68 A. D. production after the persecution of Nero.
(1) The futurist representation regards the book as dealing with the end of our age. And with events and persons that immediately precede that end.
1. Saint John, the Divine, could mean no one else to the early Church than the Apostle John. He was banished on the Isle of Patmos for the Word of God. We shall date the writing about 95 or 96 years after Jesus was born. This would make it the last book in the Bible to have been written.
If we regard the Bible as a unit, then this is in keeping with the writing itself (Rev. 22:18, 19).
(1) It is said to be the "revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him to show unto his servant the things which must shortly come to pass and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Rev. 1:1). Thus the book is called a revelation or an Apocalypse at the outset and elsewhere it is called a prophecy. Prophecy refers to the past. Revelation means that something is revealed. Hence, it cannot be an un-understandable book or its title belies its content.
(1) The message is to the seven churches located in Asia. Grace was promised from God the Father and from the seven spirits (possibly the Holy Spirit or maybe even just spirits). There were other churches in Asia Minor besides these. (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardus, Philadelphia and Laodicea). So these seven seem to appear to have been under supervision of the apostles.
(1) The Second Coming of Jesus in bodily presence is emphatically stated at the very outset (Rev. 1:7-8; Acts 1:10-11). Furthermore, that Second Coming is stated immediately before the appearance of the glorified Christ to John on Patmos (Rev. 1:10-11).
(1) The seven candlesticks that John saw were the seven churches. In the midst of the seven candlesticks was the Son of Man Himself (Rev. 1:12b, 20d). The seven stars are the seven guardian angels of the seven churches (Rev. 1:16, 20c).
1. John the revelator is given a three-fold command (Rev. 1:19), "write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." We shall deal with them historically.
(1) "The things which are." That is, in the present age and are now going on. In other words the church age.
(1) "The things which thou hast seen." Referring to the tribulation period that lies just beyond this church Age. "And after this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven" (Rev. 4:1). "Come up hither and I will show you things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne" (Rev. 4:c, 2). "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside" (Rev. 5:1a, b).
(1) "The things which shall
be hereafter." Referring to the judgment that lies beyond the tribulation
period, 1000 years of peace, and eternity (Rev. 1:19c). We shall
deal with the three periods in the order stated.
I. The Church Age (Rev. 2:1 – 3:22)
We have dealt with this period elsewhere at some length and so we shall deal with it only briefly here.
1. The Church at Ephesus. The Apostolic age – from Pentecost (possibly 29, 30 A. D.) up to about 100 A. D. (Rev. 2:1-7; Matt. 13:3-9). They were commended highly and yet they had left their first love. They were to recognize that they had fallen and were to repent of that fall and do the first work. This was the age in which the sower sowed in all kinds of soil (first 100 years).
1. The Church at Smyrna. The Martyr age in which they were fed to lions, etc. From 100 A. D. to Constantine’s time (first half of fourth century) (Rev. 2:8-11; Matt. 13:24-31). The church at Smyrna was commended and encouraged to endure to the end. No indictment was brought against her. Yet, during her time the tares were sown with the wheat. Constantine corrupted the church doctrinally and ethically.
1. The Church at Pergamos. The mustard seed age from Constantine to the formation of the Roman Catholic Church with headquarters at Rome (Rev. 2:12-18; Matt. 13:31-33). Two serious charges were brought against this church:
(1) It had within it propagators of the doctrine of Balaam (money) doctrinally it was off-center.
(1) It had within it propagators of the doctrine of the Nicholaitans. Ethically they were astray. They were to repent and do so quickly or else the Lord would fight against them with the sword of his mouth.
1. The Church at Thyatira. Roman Catholic age. From 596 to the Lutheran Reformation. Leaven is a corrupted force (Rev. 2:18-24; Matt. 13:33). The Church was wholly corrupt (Matt. 16:6).
1. The Church at Sardus. From the Reformation of Luther to the further reformation directed by the Wesley’s (Rev. 3:1-7; Matt. 13:44). Here we have the hid treasure. They were weak and ready to die and were to be established. From their group were to come few with whitened garments.
1. The Church at Phildelphia. The Holiness Revival under John Wesley and his helpers. The Pearl of great price (Rev. 3:7-14; Matt. 13:45, 46). First we have the discovery of the hid treasure, now we have the discovery of the pearl of great price.
1. The Laodicean Church.
From the Weslyan Revival on to the end of the age. It is the present
age in which everything is dragged into the visible church. It is
the dragnet age (Rev. 3:14-19; Matt. 13:47-48).
At the beginning of the Church
Age, Christ was in the midst of the candlesticks or churches. At
the close, He is standing without begging for admittance (Rev. 3:20-22).
I. The Tribulation Period (Rev. 4:1-19:10)
1. Chapters 4 and 5 are introductory to the tribulation proper.
(1) After the things previously described and a door was opened in heaven, he heard a voice saying, "Come up hither." And see things to come. That is see things that are to happen after this age.
(1) Immediately he was in the spirit and saw a throne in heaven over which there was a rainbow (mercy is not past Gen. 9:14) on the throne sat the Lord Christ or the Lord God or the Trinity for no being is described here, but effulgent glory.
(1) Around this throne were 24 thrones upon which elders sat with white robes and crowns of gold upon their heads (R. V.) From that central throne there came lightning, and thunder and voices.
(1) Seven lamps burned before it. These are the seven spirits of God (H. G.). There was also a sea of glass like crystal.
(1) In front or in the midst of it, there were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. One had the face of a lion (power) the other had the face of a human man (human quality). The other had the appearance of a flying eagle. The fourth had the face of a calf. Each had six wings. They rested not, but constantly said, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come."
(1) The 24 elders fell down in worship before the inhabitant or inhabitants of the throne and said, "Worthy art thou our Lord and our God to receive the glory and the honor and the power for thou didst create all things. And because of thy will they were and were created" (R. V.).
(1) >From the effulgent glory centered on the throne, a being takes form. In his right hand is a little book sealed with seven seals (perfectly hidden). A strong angel asked who could unseal and open it. It contained the full contents of God’s purpose for man in the future (Ezekiel 2:9) (Adam Clarke, Dummelow).
(1) No one in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, no angel, no man, no disembodied spirit or demon could open it or look thereon. John wept because of it. But he was told that the Lion of the tribe of Judah could loose the seals and look thereon and disclose its contents.
(1) Then in the midst of the throne, living ones and elders stood, a Lamb, not a Lion, as though it had been slain. It had seven horns (perfect power) and seven eyes (seven spirits of God understanding). There we have perfect understanding. The Lamb came and took the book out of the hand of him that sat on the throne.
(10)Then the four living ones and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each had a harp and they had bowls filled with sweet incense which is the prayers of the holy ones (saints). Apparently in that prostrate or kneeling poster, they sang, "Worthy art thou to take the book and to open the seals thereon. For thou wast slain and didst purchase unto God with the blood, men of every tribe and tongue and people and nation and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom of priests and they reign on the earth."
(11)John then saw and heard
angels, myriads of myriads and chilliads of chilliads and the living creatures
and the elders saying, "Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive
the power and riches and wisdom and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
Then there is a tremendous sweep of creatures. "And every created thing which is in the heaven and on the earth, and under the earth and on the sea and all things that are in them heard I saying, ‘Unto him that sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the dominion forever and ever.’".
The four living creatures said Amen to that sweeping outburst of praise. And then the elders fell down and worshipped. It is possible that at the first they fell on their knees and then they fell prostrate before the throne.
a. Chapter 4 is to be the glory of God and Chapter 5 is to the glory of the Lamb.
a. The two chapters constitute an awe-inspiring overhead scene under which the tribulation is to be enacted. God is God in spite of the blasphemy beneath.
1. We now start with the tribulation proper. The figures and plagues and judgments contained therein are all effected within the seven-year period of the tribulation.
We are not going to be overly technical with regard to what each means outside the fact that each is a woe or a judgment within that short period of time. Many of the series are parenthetical. That is, John starts at the beginning of the tribulation and carries one series through, returns to the beginning of the period and carries it through to the end (Rev. 6:1-19:10).
(1) The Lamb who has the book is now to open or disclose a series of seals that carry us through the entire period. There are seven seals, but the first six carry us through once (Rev. 6:1-17).
First parenthetical vision.
a. One seal was opened by the Lamb and one of the four living ones in a voice of thunder said, "Come." John then saw a white horse and the rider had a bow and a crown was given to him, and he came forth conquering and conqueror. It is apparent that Christ is presented here. His presence in judgment (a bow) and a sovereign authority (a crown) conquering and to be conqueror (over his enemies). That will be a fearful woe.
a. The second seal was opened by the Lamb. The second creature said, "Come." A red horse dashed forth with a rider who had power to take peace from the earth and men were to slay one another. This rider was given a great sword (war). Peace is gone and war and death have broken forth.
a. The third seal was opened by the Lamb. The third living creature said, "Come." John then saw a black horse dash forth and the rider had a pair of balances in his hands. Certain foods are spared. Judgment is tempered with mercy. The second and third seals refer to war and famine, which is the aftermath of war.
a. The fourth seal was opened by the Lamb. The fourth living creature said, "Come." A pale horse dashed forth. Upon that horse sat death and Hades followed the horse and his rider – death.
a. The fifth seal was opened by the Lamb. No living creature spoke. But John saw the souls of the tribulation martyrs who had died for "the testimony that they held." They said, "How long..doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth." (6:10) White robes were given them and they were told to wait until the other tribulation martyrs would have been slain.
a. The sixth seal was opened by the Lamb. Nature was thrown into convulsions. Earth’s great men and earth’s humble men cried for the rocks and the mountains to hid them from the face of Him that sat on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. The great day of his wrath is come. Thus we are carried from the beginning of the tribulation to the end of it or the first judgment throne.
(1) Chapter Seven is an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals or series of judgments. Gentiles who refuse to be marked by the beast were slain right through from the first to the last of the tribulation. In the second half of the tribulation period the Jews also find themselves in trouble. Chapter seven deals with them. And then apparently closes with references to the both groups of martyrs.
a. Four angels are standing holding the four winds (or judgments) back until the Jewish martyrs were sealed.
a. 144,000 were sealed. Twelve thousand from each of the tribes. The tribe of Dan is left out. (No reason given.) Why? We can only speculate. There was a Jewish belief that the anti-Christ was to come from that tribe. It was in this favor. Those figures are probably symbolic.
a. The sealed are not saved
from death. But they enter the chorus above by death. John
saw a great throne and before the Lamb singing with palms and saying: "Salvation
unto our God who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb." All the
angels stood around the throne, and around the elders, and around the living
ones, and cried loudly, "Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and
thanksgiving and honor and power and might be unto our God forever and
Second parenthetical vision.
(1) When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Seven angels stood ready to deliver seven trumpets of judgment. Even here in judgment there are prayers heard. For the whole thing is to be tempered with mercy. At least for the elects’ sake, those days are to be shortened.
a. The first angel sounded and hail and fire and blood were cast upon the earth. Much destruction was accomplished.
a. The second angel sounded and a great fiery bulk fell into the sea and again much damage was done.
a. The third angel sounded and a great star fell from the heaven. The star is called wormwood and contaminated the fountains and rivers. Many people died by reason of the wormwood.
a. The fourth angel sounded and the third part of the sun was smitten and the third part of the moon and stars the day and night did not shine forth a third part of them.
Those four woes are largely in the realm of nature and destroyed about one-third part of everything that they fell upon. Thus these four are comparable with the preceding sixth seal which was also a judgment through a medium of nature.
a. The fifth angel sounded and a star fell from heaven to the earth. The key of the pit of the abyss was given to him. This is not necessarily an evil angel at all. Much smoke issued from the opened pit. With the smoke issued evidently evil spirits. Locusts devoured green vegetation. These were not to do that, but to torment the beast-marked men of the earth until they would long forget.
There is a dreadful description of those released spirits. They look like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns like unto gold. Their faces were the faces of men. Their hair was like unto the hair of women. Their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like as of iron. Their wings sounded like chariots rushing to battle (9:7, 8, 9).
Their power was for five months and they stung like scorpions. Their leader was the angel of the bottomless pit whose name is the Hebrew Abaddon and in the Greek it is Appolyan.
Apparently men were to be tormented by demons from hell for a period of five months.
a. The sixth angel sounded and a voice came from the golden altar – that is, before God – and said to the sixth angel: "Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates." They were loosed as they had been prepared one year, one month, one day and one hour.
The third part of men was killed by this great army of horsemen. The riders had marvelous breastplates. The horses had heads like lions and from their mouths proceeded fire, smoke and brimstone. By these plagues a third part of men were killed. The horses’ power was in their mouths and in their tails as their tails were like scorpions. The rest of the men repented not.
(1) Between the sixth
and seventh trumpets as between the sixth and seventh seals, we have an
episode consisting of two visions. One is of a little book and the
other is about two witnesses (bodies-groups) (Rev. 10:1-11:15).
The angel then swore by him that liveth forever that time shall be no more. The voice from heaven then ordered him to go to the angel and take the book and eat it. He did so. It was both bitter and sweet. They then said to him, "Thou must prophesy again over many peoples and nations, and tongues and kings."
a. John was ordered to measure the temple (leaving out the outer court as that was given to the Gentiles) and the altar. The Gentiles were to tread down the holy city 42 months (3-1/2 years). Two witnesses were to witness 1260 days clothed in sackcloth (3-1/2 Jewish years). (Rev. 11:1-13).
These two witnesses were in the power of Elijah and Moses. They were not those any more than Elijah was the person of John the Baptist. They might have been two persons but not likely as the terminology with regard to their dead bodies would call for a great number. They might have been two groups of people or more likely the two houses of Judah and Israel.
God protected from heaven the two witnesses for a time. When their testimony was finished the beast from the abyss came up and slew them. Their dead bodies lay in the streets of Jerusalem.
For 3-1/2 days (probably 3-1/2 years) their dead bodies lay there unburied. Those who dwelt on the earth rejoiced over their death, but they were still there unburied out of sight. At the end of that time they arose and ascended into heaven and their enemies beheld them.
Then there was a great earthquake and a tenth part of the city fell and the rest were affrightened and gave glory to God. This is declared to be the end of the second woe and now the third is to come…quickly. That is, the seventh angel is about to sound (Rev. 11:14).
(1) The seventh angel then sounded and voices in heaven said,
a. "The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever."
a. The 24 elders who sit on their thrones in front of the throne fell on their faces and said, "We give thee thanks O Lord God the Almighty, who are and who was because thou hast taken thy great power and didst reign. And the nations were wroth and thy wrath came, and the time of the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints and to them that fear thy name, the small and the great and to destroy them that destroy the earth."
a. The temple of God in heaven was then opened and there was seen in that temple the ark of the covenant. There then followed lightnings, thunders, voices and earthquakes, and great hail.
(1) In heaven there appeared a woman clothed with the sun and the moon was under her feet. This woman was to bring forth a man-child.
a. A great red dragon stood ready to devour the child as soon as born.
a. This dragon had seven heads and seven diadems and ten horns. In him was centered all ecclesiastical and political power. His tail hurled down a third part of the stars to the earth.
a. The man-child was born and was caught up to God and to his throne. This child was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.
a. The woman passed into the wilderness where she was sheltered for 1260 days (3-1/2 years).
a. War in heaven could hardly mean at the throne of God. It would mean either our heavens or the central place of authority on earth. The great dragon, that old serpent, the Devil and Satan was cast down to the earth and his helpers with him. That would lead us to believe that it was from our heavens to our earth.
a. Real persecution of the woman then went on in earnest. The woman was given great wings that she might fly away to safety. This she did.
This section is quite simple. The woman refers to Israel and the child to Christ. Satan, first through Herod, then through the anti-Christ, tried to get the child. God cared for both woman and child. The woman was especially hid for 3-1/2 years, again referring us to the tribulation (Rev. 12:5, 6, confirms some of our contentions.)
(1) Chapter 13 is the Satanic trinity chapter. Satan is arch-imitator of everything that God does. Hence he too has the semblance of a trinity.
a. John stood on the sands of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (the multitude of humanity). The beast had ten horns and seven heads and upon his heads the names of blasphemy and on his horns diadems. The horns refer to absolute political power and the heads to religious authority, evidenced by the term blasphemy. He was like a leopard with the feet of a bear, and a mouth of a lion.
a. The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (God gave Christ all power in heaven and on earth). One of these heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded. The deadly stroke was healed and all the world wondered after the beast. (Christ received a death stroke and later rose from the dead. By death Christ draws people to him. By the apparent death stroke, the beast draws a following after him). He was given a mouth to speak great things and authority to continue 42 months (evidently after he broke his covenant with the Jewish people for that is when he uttered his greatest boasts.)
The beast blasphemed God and those in heaven and the throne of God and he made war with the saints and overcame them and had all authority. All worshipped him except those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
a. John saw another beast rise up out of the earth and he had two horns. He was like a lamb and spake like a dragon. He had a dual exterior at least. He had the power and authority of the first beast in the sign of the first beast. He used his influence to have men worship the first beast. (The Spirit urges all to worship Christ — this beast is the false prophet imitating the Holy Spirit). He did great signs; even had fire come down from heaven and he deceived men
The second beast had an image made to the first beast whose death stroke was healed and caused the image to speak and caused all to die who refused to worship the image of the first beast. All were marked either on the right hand or the forehead with the mark of the first beast. Those who had no mark could neither buy nor sell. The healed beast’s number was 666.
When the time comes it will be self-evident what 666 means. That is the purpose of using a figure. The number was given after the beast had world power.
(1) In Chapter 14 we have the Lamb standing on the Mt. Zion with a figurative number of 144,000 with him. These have the name of the Lamb and of the Father on their foreheads. They had harps and they sang a new song that none but themselves only could sing. They played their harps and sang before the throne group and were spotless and pure.
a. An angel flew in the midst of heaven having good tiding to proclaim to all nations, tribes, tongues, and peoples. He also declared that the hour of judgment had come.
a. Another angel followed declaring the fall of Babylon that had made all nations drunk with the wine of the wrath of her fornications.
a. Another angel followed and declared that torment and eternal punishment were to be meted out to those marked with the mark of the beast.
a. John then saw a white cloud upon which sat one like the son of man crowned with a golden crown and armed with a sharp sickle. Another angel, apparently the fourth, came out of the temple which is in heaven. He too had a sharp sickle.
a. Another angel, apparently the fifth, came out of the Altar. He had power over fire and called to the angel who had the sharp sickle, telling him to reap the earth and cast the harvest into the great winepress of the wrath of God. This was done.
a. The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates and the waters were dried up so that the kings might come from the sun rising. Then said John, "And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits as it were frogs."
Revelations 16:16 declares that those spirits were the evil intentions of the trinity of evil in ordering a general mobilization against the people of God. (Armageddon is the result.)
a. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. A voice spoke from the temple and said, "It is done." There were lightnings and thunder and a great earthquake. Cities fell and cities were divided. Islands fled and mountains were not found and great hailstones fell and men blasphemed God because of the plagues —of the hail.
(1) One of the seven angels (John did not say which) came to John and invited him to come and see the judgment of the great harlot (Babylon) that sitteth upon many waters (the wicked ones that ruled many peoples). He evidently saw the seat of the beast (Babylon) arrayed and glittering with wealth as no city on earth has ever been arrayed. The headquarters of God forgetfulness, wealth, vice, and desperate wickedness was Babylon. It is an awful picture.
When John gazed at her he was smitten with wonder. It dazzled him. We have seven and ten again, referring to the combination of all religious and political power in one person. The many waters are peoples (Rev. 17:13, 15).
The woman, the harlot, is the great city Babylon (Rev. 17:18). The kings and leaders are dazzled and demoralized by the vice and splendor of that world capital.
The beast upon which the woman sat (upon which Babylon was founded) was from the bottomless pit — the principle of diabolical evil from the pit itself. The seven heads are the seven mountains upon which the woman sat. Now notice that she sits on the peoples and on the religious system or systems of the people. They are likened to kings. Five have come and gone and one is and the other is yet to come. The ten horns are also likened to ten kings without kingdoms but with authority as kings, evidently puppet representatives of the central power of the beast.
Thus the woman sits on everything — on peoples, their religions and of their governments. Everything rests on the principles of hellish evil. That much as least is very plain. The ten horns and the beast hate the harlot and destroy her with fire.
Apparently they intended to change the site of the capital to Jerusalem (or build it greater) in that reign. They seem to have been in possession of it before the battle of Armageddon. This is not clear.
(10) The 18th chapter is partly parenthetical with the 17th that is with the destruction of Babylon. Another angel came down from heaven with great power and the earth was illuminated with his glory.
a. He cried that Babylon had fallen — the system and the capital of the anti-Christ had crashed. His kingdom came in with a crash and went out with a crash.
a. The few remaining saints, that is the last group, was slain for Christ before the full measure of Babylon’s judgment.
a. Her destruction is a punishment from God. But apparently God did not reign down fire and brimstone upon her. The anti-Christ and his chief lieutenants evidently did it. It was a case of the wrath and folly of men made to praise God.
a. Those who had frequented her and traded in her and visited her — leaders of business and empire bewailed her destruction.
a. Babylon, the center of world trade in all fields (Rev. 18:11-13), is destroyed and trade evidently is seriously disrupted. But the disruption is so close to the end that it matters little. The anti-Christ came in as a restorer of prosperity in the business world and he becomes a destroyer of the very thing. In one hour (a brief period) great riches are made desolate (Rev. 18:17-19). It was a fitting finish for prosperity built by wickedness.
a. A strong angel took up a stone and cast it into the sea and said, "Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon the great city be cast down and shall be found no more at all." Utter desolation in every branch of life was to be her eternal lot. She had been the headquarters of the shedding of martyred blood and utter destruction was her doom.
(10) In Chapter 19:1-10 we have the final close of the tribulation period. The clean- up comes after but here is the conclusion.
a. After these things there was a great praise in heaven (Rev. 19:1-2).
a. A second time they burst out in praise (Rev. 19:3-5).
a. A third time they burst out in praise (Rev. 19:6-8).
a. Then John was commanded
to write and say: "Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage
supper of the Lamb. John fell at this angel’s feet to worship but
he was forbidden. The Saints are now to become the bride of the Lamb
and descend with Him in the Second Coming proper. The raptured saints
are in with the bridal saints. The martyred saints were under the
throne including the last group that the first group was waiting for.
All are now joined together and become the Bride and descend with Christ.
(The Saints are now to become the inheritance of the earth. They
go in the marriage supper as guest and come out as bodies.)
I. The Judgment – 1000
years of Peace
1. "And I saw the heaven open." That is something beyond this world order. A white horse rode forth and Christ sat thereon. His appearance was glorious. The armies of heaven followed him on white horses. In righteousness He made war and ruled (that is destroyed) and had a name written "King of kings and Lord of lords."
1. Another angel stood in the Sun and cried to all birds to come and devour all the flesh of the fallen enemies of God and of the saints. The armies of the anti-Christ are marshaled for battle. The Beast (anti-Christ) and the false prophet were taken and cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone. Their armies were slain by the sword of Him that sat upon the white horse. All the birds were filled with their flesh.
1. Another angel came down and bound Satan himself and cast him into the pit for 1,000 years. (That is all persons of the evil trinity cast in somewhere). It could have been the same place and yet maybe not. Satan was to be loosed for a little season at the end of the 1,000 years.
1. The tribulation martyrs and others lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years. The unsaved dead were not resurrected until after the 1,000 years. The resurrections in connection of the first coming constitute the first resurrection those thus raised are called blest and holy and live and reign with Christ 1,000 years.
1. At the expiration of the 1,000 years Satan is loosed from his prison and is unbound and then goes forth and deceived the people on earth and gather them together. They encompassed the camp of the saints about (or Jerusalem). No battle is fought, but there is a slaughter for fire came down out of heaven and destroyed them like Sodom and Gomorrah. This is the last organized act of rebellion against God.
(1) The gathering of the nations are called the Gog and Magog and take place at the close of the reign of Christ on earth. (Rev. 20:8; Ezekiel 38:1-2; 39:1-8.
(1) This is where many people get mixed up with the end of this age. Ezekiel refers to this gathering as the final act of rebellion against God. Chapters 38 and 39. It refers to the gathering of all heart rebels against God. At the closing hours of time as we know it.
1. At the destruction of this, the devil is then cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are and they are tormented forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10). This scene closes the 1,000 years of the Millennium.
1. John then saw a great white throne. Over which there was no rainbow. Mercy is gone and judgment has come. The heavens and the earth fled away from the face of Him that sat on that throne.
1. Judgment Scene
(1) The dead, small and great, stood before the throne.
(1) Books were opened (lives were disclosed).
(1) Another Book was opened apparently Word of God…and the books were compared with the Book and judged therefrom
(1) Death and Hades cast in the lake of fire. And all whose names were not written in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Good and evil and good men and bad men are at last eternally separated.
The last sneer at God and at the true Church of God and at the Christian has been made for the tide has turned.
1. John then saw a new heaven and a new earth for the former ones are gone. We are again in a sinless world as it was in the first two chapters of the Bible.
(1) The New Jerusalem then came down from God out of heaven. It was prepared and beautiful beyond description.
(1) It is called the tabernacle of God. For God is now to dwell with me and they with Him. In measurement the city was a cube. That is perfect in every respect (12,000 furlongs).
(1) The city was higher than the walls. The walls and foundations for the 12 apostles of the Lord would give us 12 foundations of 12 cubits each.
(1) There were 12 gates on each side. Three on them the names of the 12 apostles of the Lord. The old and new seemed to have been perfectly blinded in what John saw. The foundations were adorned with all manner of precious stones. And the gates were pearls. The city itself was gold or like gold.
The Lord God Himself is the temple of it. The city did not need light. Apparently God’s glory lit it up at all times. This city is the ultimate for the people of God as is the lake of fire is for the unsaved.
1. It appeared to have been one of the seven angels who had the seven last bowls who was showing John these things (Rev. 21:9). Yet that angel is declared to be a man as was John. For John was about to worship and was rebuked for it (Rev. 22:8-9).
(1) John was shown a river of life. On the bank of which grew the tree of life. The tree bore 12 manner of fruits and whose leaves were for the healing of the nations.
(1) This prophecy was not to be sealed for the time was near when each would forever remain as he was. The wicked whole (Rev. 22:11).
Jesus is now speaking (probably) to John and informed John that he is coming quickly to make the final and eternal separations (Rev. 22:16-17).
(1) Then follows a warning
with regard to adding or subtracting to the Book (whether Bible or Revelations
is disputed.) (Note: Dr. King holds that this is for the whole
Bible.) Rev. 22:18-19. "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely
I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus."
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