Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 80
DANIEL – PART II – 1
Okay, good to see everybody back again for another afternoon of taping. We’ll just go right back to where we left off in Daniel. For those of you joining us on television, we’re just a verse-by-verse Bible study. And again, I don’t expect everybody to agree with me on every point, but learn to search the Scriptures. That’s the name of the game. And I think you’ll find that most of the time you’ll end up agreeing with me anyway.
All right, now let’s pick up right where we left off in our last half hour. That was after the end of verse 39 in Daniel chapter 2. Where Daniel is going through the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—the head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet a combination of iron mixed with clay. We made the emphasis that the specific gravity of gold is the greatest, and the specific gravity of the clay is the least. So it’s a deterioration.
Now, we’re going to look at the fourth one first. Then we’re going to go and look at some things on the board. All right, verse 40. After these first three empires have come and gone, the fourth empire that will usurp the other three—geographically as well as politically and economically. This is the fourth kingdom of verse 40.
“And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron: (Now of course, this is the Roman Empire—the most ferocious military machine that had ever existed up to that time.) forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” Which it did. The boots of the Roman soldiers were fearsome. All right, now verse 41:
“And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, (In other words, it is an amalgamation that does not really hold.) the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it (That is this coming kingdom.) the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.” Now the miry means something like muddy. When you take clay and add water to it, you’ve got a muddy mixture. All right, now then verse 42:
“And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, (Now remember, this is at the bottom of the statue.) so the kingdom (This final Revived Roman Empire that we see in Western Europe, I feel, today—with all of its ethnic differences and all of its political differences, yet they’re in a United States of Europe, supposedly. All right, this is the iron mixed with clay that Scripture is predicting.) shall be partly strong, and partly broken.”
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: (In other words, they all have their ethnic differences. And even within any of the European Nations, you have many ethnic groups. So, they’ll mix themselves with the seed of men–) but they shall not cleave one to another,…” In other words, they will not be a solid democracy like we’ve seen in the United States. They are always going to have these differences of opinion. See, they still haven’t agreed on a constitution.
“…but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” All right, now we know that this is the closing Revived Roman Empire—this whole consortium of empires coming down from 606 B.C. under Nebuchadnezzar and down through the ancient Roman Empire, which disappeared and now has reappeared since World War II in what we call the European Union.
All right, all of these come together as we see it today. Globalism on every hand and that’s why I feel this whole financial debacle is just another step God designed to bring in World Economies and World Government and a World Church. It’s all coming together so fast. All right, now verse 44:
“And in the days of these kings…” That final Revived Roman Empire, which is now 28 or 30 nations—but it is always going to go back to the original ten. That is the way I look at it—that Club of Rome. That European Community as it first began.
And I remind people, back up during the ‘70s the media never called them anything but The Ten. And that was the original Ten European Nations. Now I still feel that those are the ten toes of this image, even though there have been a lot of them added. All right, while that is holding forth, out of that Empire will come the anti-Christ, of course, and the final seven years of Tribulation that will trigger the Second Coming as we see in verse 44.
“And in the days of these kings (this consortium, I think, of the European Union) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…” Now that’s the Kingdom that Jesus presented in His earthly ministry, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth where He will rule and reign from Jerusalem.
“…shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, (As the stone—as we saw earlier in the afternoon—cut out without hands. It will strike this image on the feet.) and it shall stand forever.”
All right, now someone in our audience this afternoon had a beautiful picture of this. If I could draw it that way, I would draw it. I’m going to see if the guys can get this on the screen so that you’ll get a good image of what I’m talking about—this image of a likeness of a Roman Solider. They’ve got it on there now. Okay, now if they can draw it up, hopefully you’ll be able to see the head of gold, the shoulders and the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the two legs of iron leading on down to the feet and the ten toes of the iron and the clay.
Now, I used that just to give you a mental picture of this great likeness that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. Now I’m going to go to the board and, without benefit of having to do any drawing, I’m going to do it verbally. Up here we have the head of gold, which was, of course, Babylon—Nebuchadnezzar. Then we went down to the chest of silver. So bear with me, because I want this all implanted in your thinking. And you’ll remember better what you see than what you hear. So this would be the Medes and the Persians. They consorted together—two kingdoms.
Then we come down to Alexander the Great and the Kingdom of Greece. Greece, of course, was headed up by Alexander who died when he was 33. That’s the brass part of the statue. And when he died at 33, the kingdom was divided between four generals. They each had a territory designated to them. And it just so happened that one general, Antiochus the Great, had Syria as his domain. He also was in control of Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel. That’s why we kind of associate the coming anti-Christ as being somehow connected to Syria.
All right, then the fourth kingdom, of course, was the Roman. That’s the two legs of iron. It was a democracy, or I prefer to call it a republic. All right, then we come on down to the Revived Roman Empire which is several hundred years after the last one died. I think the Roman Empire disappeared about, oh, I’m going to estimate A.D. 350.
So from A.D. 350 until we come after World War II in1945, we have the beginning of a Revived Roman Empire. And, of course, it is the democracy that they’re trying to establish even today. And this is a combination that does not really hold together—iron and clay. It’s a weak admixture. It is now down to what I will call a democracy. Now I haven’t got the time to explain the difference between a republic and a democracy, but there is a difference.
All right, now the main thing we like to point out when we teach this on the board is that as you come down through these various metals, even though gold is by far the most expensive, basically for common use it’s the least. In other words, you wouldn’t build a plow or a garden tool—even if it was dirt-cheap—you wouldn’t make it of gold, because it’s too soft. It has no strength.
All right, so you come down to the next one. It’s a little better than the gold, but still not the best. You come on down and brass is certainly better than either one of these. Iron is better than brass. Then you come down to that which is still the strength of iron and clay. All right, now this is the political side of the coin—of that statue.
You start out with an absolute dictator. Nobody had any room to argue with him over anything. He was absolute in his political power. But militarily he’s still over here—the least of any of them, because even the Medes and Persians were able to defeat him. So what you’ve got here is that as you come down through, the political concept gets weaker and weaker and weaker because from one dictator you go to two. Then after the Medes and Persians have run out—they’re defeated by Alexander the Great. It ends up with four. And then you come down to the Roman Empire, which is now the first concept of a republic. They had a senate. Even the Caesars could not declare war or do anything without the okay of the senate. Then you come down to the present day where we’ve got democracy. Each one of these governments gets precipitously weaker. See that?
All right, but on the other hand, when we come to the military power. My, now look what a difference. Why Babylon wouldn’t last five minutes under American Military power today. And we saw that both times they invaded Iraq. It’s just stupendous—the military power that we have! I remember reading when they first invaded Iraq. They would try to hide their tanks, maybe in a back alley someplace. Hey, we found them and destroyed the tank without destroying anything else. So you see, when you compare the military power of our militaries today, compared with poor ol’ Nebuchadnezzar, he wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.
Well, the same thing happened with the Medes and Persians. They were weaker politically. It probably took them a month or two to decide when to invade. But when they invaded, they were able to defeat Nebuchadnezzar. Now the Medes and Persians held forth for about 150 years. Then along comes Alexander the Great and he whipped them hands down. He was known for his speed of conquest. But he died at 33, and his empire was divided to four Generals. Well, those four Generals couldn’t hold the empire together, so what happened? The Romans came along. The Romans usurped the Grecian Empire, but they incorporated so much of the intellectual part of Greece—their architecture and their classical literature and so forth. So the Greek and the Roman Empires sort of enhanced each other.
But here came the Romans. Again, compared to Babylon they were fearsome. The whole world quaked at the thought of the Roman legions. All right, they disappeared from view, and we have the onset, then, of the Mohammedans and the appearance of Islam and so forth. Then we come to World War II. And out of World War II we come to the Revived Roman Empire, when the survivors of Europe came together with their Club of Rome and began what has now become the European Union.
So this is the whole concept of history—that these little empires, all Gentile, all of them overran and controlled Jerusalem. Now turn with me to Luke 21, if I’m not mistaken. Luke 21—let’s start at verse 20. Here again, this is during the time of Christ. So it’s in red if you’ve got a red-edition Bible. Jesus is speaking prophetically. He’s looking forward only 40 years, because He was crucified at A.D. 29 or 30, and in A.D. 70 these events took place when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. All right, now look at the words of the Lord Jesus in verse 20. He says:
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. (That is of the city of Jerusalem.) 21. Then (when Jerusalem comes under attack) let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them who are in the midst of it depart out; let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. (In other words, if you’re living out in Egypt, for goodness sakes don’t go to Israel. It’s not the best place to be.) 22. For these be the days of vengeance,…”
Now remember, God is a God of love and a God of mercy, but at times He becomes the God of vengeance—especially pertaining to Israel.
All through the Babylonian captivity—why did little Daniel and his three friends end up in Babylon? Well, God was judging the nation for two purposes. Number 1, they did not keep the seventh year sabbatical for the land. They were to let the land lay fallow, remember? Every seven years. Well, over a period of 490 years they never did. So what did God do? He emptied the land and it laid rest for 70 years to pick up those 70 sabbaticals.
But the other reason was that the Jews had almost completely fallen into idolatry. All you’ve got to do is go back and read the prophets. My, they were just constantly warning Israel to turn away from all their pagan worship or He would send in people of another language. That’s the way the prophet put it. You’ll have foreign languages in your midst. What’d it mean? They’d be overrun by foreigners. My, they had idols. And as we’re going to see in our next program, it was an abomination what they worshipped.
I won’t even dare put it graphically on the program. I can’t. But it was so immoral that there was no remedy. So what does God do? He let Nebuchadnezzar come in with his armies. They destroyed the city and took the Jews captive. But only for 70 years, then they were permitted to come back.
“For these be days of vengeance,…” This coming Roman invasion in A.D. 70. The Babylonian invasion was 600 years back. This is another one. Now of course, at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, what was Israel’s biggest act of rebellion and unbelief? Well, the crucifixion. That just proved that they could not believe a thing the God of Abraham said. So He comes in with vengeance. All right, now He’s predicting it. But it doesn’t happen until 40 years later. All right, now verse 23:
“But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days! (That is when this big Roman invasion comes. And we know from history it did—the Roman general Titus.) for there shall be great distress in the land, (That is the land of Israel.) and wrath upon this people.” God’s wrath because of their unbelief.
And there was just seemingly no remedy for it. Three years of wonders and signs and miracles—did it affect them? No, just a precious few. The rank and file of Israel scorned everything that He said and did. And what was their final decree? “We’ll not have this man to rule over us.” A carpenter’s son? So they crucified Him.
All right, but now you see, God is still in His heaven. He was raised from the dead. He went back to Glory. Thirty years later His prophecies came true. All right, now read on in verse 24.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, (And they did. They died by the thousands under the Romans.) and shall be led away captive into all the nations:…” Now that was the beginning, then, of the dispersion of the Jewish people from A.D. 70 up until our own present time. Then beginning about 1900, some of them started going back to their homeland—which brought about the present-day Israel as we know it in the news every day. All right, now watch this prophesy.
“…and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem (Which maintained its city entity all up through the centuries, Jerusalem has never failed to exist.) shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,…” Beginning with Nebuchadnezzar, followed by the Medes, followed by the Greeks, followed by the Romans, followed by the Mohammedans, followed by the Moors, and then followed by the British. In 1948 they became an independent state, but they’re still under the heavy hand of America and Western Union. They are not a free nation to really do as they want to do.
All right, so Jerusalem, from the words of the Lord Himself is going to:
“…shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Now fulfilled means it’s going to come to that point in time when God is going to re-enter the affairs of planet earth at His Second Coming.
I always like to compare that, and I think I’ve got time. Six minutes, yeah. Now jump ahead with me to Romans, because I always like to tie these two together. Because I think it’s such a perfect fit. Romans chapter 11 and remember the terminology. “The times of the Gentiles” is that period of human history beginning with Nebuchadnezzar where Jerusalem and the land of Israel are under the heel of the Gentile governments or their military boot. All right, now in Romans chapter 11 our Apostle, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, gives us another group that’s designated.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,…” The opposite of that is—oh, Paul says, how I wish that you could be aware of these things. But see, most of Christendom is still ignorant. They don’t want to listen. They don’t want to hear it. And it’s getting worse by the day. But the Book is true. It’s going to happen!
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (Or secret, something that has never been revealed in Scripture until we get to Paul. And what’s this mystery?) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (Now here’s the mystery that was kept secret until Paul revealed it.) that blindness…” Spiritual blindness—that the people of Israel cannot see the truth of God’s word. And it’s so evident today.
All you’ve got to do is read some of their theologians, and it just makes you gasp. How can they dream this stuff up? And they never, never seemingly can come to the truth of their Old Testament. It’s just amazing. But you see, that’s all been decreed.
“…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, (They cannot comprehend the things of God. But there’s another time word, and what is it?) until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Now you’ve got two terms concerning Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles is when their political and their military systems will walk and control the streets of Israel. Paul comes up with another group of Gentiles—the fullness of the Gentiles. And what is that? The Body of Christ!
A Pauline revelation you will not find anywhere else in your Bible. That’s why most theologians today are all mixed up. They will not recognize Paul’s distinctive Apostleship. But it is, because he was designated to go to the Gentile world and is the Apostle of the Gentiles as seen in Romans 11:13.
Now let’s see if I can find the other one back in the Book of Acts. Come back with me, Honey, I think it is chapter 15. Yeah, this one I can find. Acts chapter 15 and this is after that counsel in Jerusalem where Paul finally convinces the Twelve that his Apostleship is divinely appointed. He is here by God’s design to take salvation to the Gentile world. And Peter, James, and John just couldn’t see it. They thought that his Gentile converts had to become adherents to Judaism.
So they have this counsel in Jerusalem, and they hammer it all out. Finally Paul and Barnabas come to the crux of the matter, and they win the argument. All right, now we come down to verse 12. The setting is in Jerusalem.
“Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” Contrary to everything in the Old Testament. All right, now the next verse:
“And after they had held their peace, James (who was by now the leader of the Jerusalem Church, not Peter) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken (or listen) unto me: 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles,…” This was unheard of in the Jewish culture, as they had nothing to do with the Gentiles.
And I’ll show in our next taping session, why. In fact, it came up in one of my classes here in Oklahoma just the other night. Why did the Jews refer to Gentiles of their day as “dogs”? I won’t tell you this time. I’ll let you think about it. Why were they called “dogs”? And they were, you know. All right, I’ll leave that to the next taping.
“Peter hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (Gentiles) a people for his name. (Now then, prophetically, time-wise, we’ve got to keep going.) 15. And to this (James says) agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (In the Old Testament and he goes back to the Book of Amos.) 16. After this (after the calling out of this Gentile Body of Christ) I will (What?) return,…”
That’s Christ’s Second Coming, and that will end the times of the Gentiles ruling Israel. Christ will set up His own Kingdom, and He will rule and reign from Jerusalem. It will be Heaven-on-earth. No more sin. No more curse. No more death. No more sickness. No more sorrow. It’s going to be Heaven-on-earth under the rulership of the King of Kings.
All right, but that cannot happen until the Body of Christ is completed first. And that’s what Romans 11 is talking about. That when the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought in and the Body of Christ is complete and it’s taken out of the way by what we call the Rapture, then that will trigger the Tribulation and the Second Coming and the coming of the glorious Kingdom.