Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 81
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED – 4
Okay, good to have everybody back from your break. This is the fourth program this afternoon. We’re going to get out of here and get home in just a little bit, but let’s pick up one more program by going back to Daniel chapter 8 where we just left off in verse 9.
Now remember what I’ve been saying—this is history before it happened, prophesied by the prophet Daniel. Consequently, the unbelieving world can’t comprehend it. That’s the beauty of prophecy. It just simply proves that our Bible knows what it’s talking about when it can predict things or foretell things long before it happens. All right, now back to Daniel chapter 8 verse 9 again.
“And out of one of them,…” That is out of one of these four areas of the Greek Empire. Now don’t forget that after Alexander the Great, by his own cunning and his leadership, had conquered the then-known world and actually cried tears that there wasn’t any more ground to conquer, he died a drunkard’s death, really, if you want to know the truth of it, at the age of 33.
He had four generals, and in order to make sure that none of Alexander’s sons would take his place, they murdered them. See, now that’s how history works. These four generals connived to kill the sons of Alexander the Great so that there wouldn’t be anybody to usurp the power except themselves.
These four generals now divide the empire. And the worst of the four was Antiochus Epiphanes. Now you want to write that one down. Antiochus was the general that took over the part of the world that included Syria and Israel and Egypt. He was a despot, and he gave Israel fits. He was, well, we’ll see it here in the Scripture in just a minute. That’s why he is what the Scripture calls a preview of the man anti-Christ. So we go back to so many of the things that Antiochus did that we know the anti-Christ will do as well. Verse 9 again:
“And out of one of them (out of these four generals) came forth a little horn, (which is an indication that he’s the type or picture of the anti-Christ) which waxed exceeding great, toward the south. (See, that took in the land of Israel.) and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” And that, of course, is another reference to Palestine, or the land of Israel. All right, verse 10:
“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” Now, that may be kind of hard to comprehend. But one commentary designated that as the priests as they worked in the Temple. He made a point of killing them first and downtrodden them. All right, now verse 12:
“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice (Now you know, that’s in the realm of the Temple worship. He’s down in Jerusalem, and he had a daily host or–) an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.”
Now, I think all that is in reference to his destroying the Temple and the Temple worship and the Word of God and all that was associated with it. Then verse 13:
“Then I heard one saint (or a believing Jew) speaking, and another saint (believing Jew) said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host (That is the population of Jerusalem in general.) to be trodden under foot.”
Now keep remembering, this is all taking place back there in about 300 B.C. while Antiochus Epiphanes was ruling his part of the Greek Empire before the Romans came in. And the anti-Christ is going to follow in his footsteps now some 2,300 years later. All right, read the next verse. Verse 14:
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days;…” Now nobody of whatever I can read can give an answer to this, and I can’t understand it. So we’ll just leave that verse set. Nobody can understand what those 2,300 days are referring to. Now verse 15:
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.” Now whether it’s the Lord, or whether it’s an angel, I’m going to wait and see if it comes up in the coming verses.
“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. (So, I think that’s who the man’s voice in verse16 is—Gabriel.) 17. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face:…”
Now you can understand that Daniel is still very human in spite of all that God has been doing with him, and he was afraid. Who wouldn’t be? To have an angel the likes of Gabriel suddenly appear?
“…but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” See, now we’re leaping all the way over to what for us is still future, that would be 2,300 years plus.
“Now as he was speaking with me, (this angel Gabriel) I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And he (Gabriel) said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation:…”
Now the indignation in Scripture is the seven years of Tribulation. Let’s go back. I haven’t done it for quite a while. Keep your hand in Daniel. I hope I can remember where I’m at. Come back with me to Psalms chapter 2 again. We use it quite often. I always call it the outline of the Old Testament program.
And here we pick it up, of course, at the crucifixion, the rejection of Israel’s Messiah. Psalms chapter 2, I think it’s high time that we review it. We might as well start at verse 1. In years gone by we’ve used it quite often, but it’s been a while. Psalms chapter 2 and I just want you to see how beautifully this is laid out now since we’re seeing it also in Daniel.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? (What’s the matter with their thinking?) 2. The kings of the earth (Now in this case, it’s the likes of Pilate and the Roman authorities.) set themselves,…” In other words, you know, they were all prone to think that they were God themselves.
“…and the rulers (That is of Israel.) take counsel together, (In other words, when the High Priests consorted with Pilate to put Him to death.) against the LORD, (in other words, Jesus of Nazareth) and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (That is the reigns, or the controlling power, of Israel’s God. They wanted nothing to do with Him.) and cast away their cords from us.” Well, Israel had been that ridiculous all through their history, of course.
“Let us break their bands asunder, (That is the bands of the Triune God.) and cast away their cords from us. 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:…” How can Israel, or anybody else for that matter, be so ridiculous?
“…the LORD shall have them in derision. 5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, (That’s the Tribulation.) and (he will) vex them in his sore displeasure. 6. Yet (After running the course of the days of indignation, the seven years of Tribulation, this is what will follow.) Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
See how perfectly it unfolds. They reject the Messiah. They kill Him. But according to Old Testament prophecy, in short order the Tribulation would come in. Christ would return, and Israel would have the Kingdom. See, there’s no hint of Paul and the Church Age in anything in Old Testament prophecy. It was a secret kept in the mind of God until He gave it to the Apostle Paul.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said it unto me, Thou art my Son; (See, there we know we’re speaking of Christ.) this day have I begotten thee. 8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (the Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth…” As we’ve already seen, that’s a reference to the coming Kingdom.
All right, so all the way through, now, we’ve got this set of events: first Christ would be rejected, and then would come the Tribulation, then the Second Coming and the establishing of the Kingdom.
All right, now let’s come back up to where we were in Daniel chapter 8. Now we’re going to see this vision explained. Verse 20:
“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: (That’s Alexander the Great.) and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (Or Alexander himself.) 22. Now that being broken, (In other words, he died at the age of thirty three and his power is broken by virtue of physical death.) whereas four (Those four generals that we’ve been talking about.) four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
In other words, those four segments of Alexander’s Empire will become pretty much independent, yet they’re going to be fighting against each other. Verse 23:
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, (these four generals including the main player, Antiochus Epiphanes) when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, (In other words, I think it’s a reference to his demonic influence, satanic power.) shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” That’s Israel.
“And through his policy also shall he cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall he destroy many: (All right, now we come to an understanding that we’re talking about the anti-Christ. The one who is the follower of Antiochus Epiphanes, because of the capitalized word Prince. Here’s the key.) he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (Which is a title of Christ.) but he shall be broken without hand.”
Now let’s jump ahead. We’ll be coming to it probably in the next taping. But jump all the way up to chapter 9 verse 26, and here’s where you get the connection that now we’re talking about the anti-Christ confronting the Son of God, Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming. Daniel chapter 9 verse 26, we’ll look at this in detail in our next taping, hopefully.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, (a reference to His crucifixion) but not for himself: (In other words, He died for us, not for anything He had done. Now here it comes.) and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood,…” Oh, I didn’t go up far enough. I should have gone up to verse 25. I’m sorry. Sorry about that. Jump back up to verse 25.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the (What?) Prince….” There, I made my point. Now it’s Prince, capitalized.
All right, now flip back. We will look at this in days to come. Now come back to Daniel chapter 8. This is the same Prince referred to in verse 25, the coming Christ. All right, so now we know that we are dealing with the anti-Christ, who is going to follow in almost the identical footsteps of Antiochus Epiphanes some 3,000 years earlier.
“…and by peace he shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (He thinks he can fight the coming Christ.) but he shall be broken without hand.”
Now let’s go back and see how the Book of Revelation deals with that verse. To what extent will God the Son utterly destroy this man anti-Christ. Revelation 19, let’s drop in at verse 19.
“And I saw the beast, (the anti-Christ) and the kings of the earth, (who he had subjected under his own power) and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, (Which is a reference to Christ, God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth, however you want to name Him.) and they had gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army.” But all we have to do is look at verse 20, didn’t take much but a spoken word.
“And the beast was taken, (the anti-Christ by virtue of the power of God the Son) and with him the false prophet…” The religious leader that’s going to head up a world religion.
Now we’ll come to that maybe in a later time, how that everything during the Tribulation is going to be under one world government. That’s why I feel we’re getting so close to the end. Everything is pushing for a one-world government, a one-world currency, a one-world religion. That is subtle, and it’s closer than most of us realize, the idea of a one-world religion. All right, that’ll be headed up by the other major player of these seven years, which is the false prophet.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him,…” See, miracles and religion, they go together. They just go together, never forget that. You don’t find Antiochus Epiphanes creating miracles. You don’t see Nebuchadnezzar performing miracles. But it’s always associated with religion. All right, this false prophet—one of his major points of winning the world will be miracles.
“…the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them who had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. (And here’s their end.) These both (As human men that God has seen fit to empower and to use.) These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” In other words, they do not get the advantage of the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be cast directly into the Lake of Fire.
All right, now come back with me to Daniel chapter 8, and we were at verse 25.
“…he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; (God the Son, the Coming Christ) but he shall be broken without hand.” He won’t stand a snowball’s chance. Oh, he’s going to feel that he’s had the world under his thumb for seven years, and he thinks that he can defeat the Christ of Glory. No, he will not. He will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet. And then, as we know from Revelation, Satan will be locked up. They can’t put him in the Lake of Fire, yet, because he still has to come back at the end of the thousand years. Okay, now come back to chapter 8 verse 26.
“And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: (In other words, Daniel says, believe it.) wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days;…” Well, I can see why. My, when he got a picture of these end-time events and saw it so vividly, it was almost more than the human can take. So he was sick certain days.
“…afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Even Daniel could not get a complete picture.
In fact, this might be a good time. Jump all the way up to chapter 12, because this just says it all. Daniel chapter 12 verse 8. We’ll be looking at it again somewhere down the road, but for now it just says it all.
“And I heard, (all these things from these visions and from the angelic conversations) I heard, but I understood not:…” He couldn’t comprehend what all this was all about. Why? Because God didn’t give him that much insight.
Now you see, whenever I speak of God keeping things from people, such as Daniel and such as these other prophets—and even the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry, He kept things from those Twelve men that most of Christendom today thinks they understood—and they did not.
For example, did the Twelve have any idea of what we call the Church Age or the Body of Christ? No. Not a clue. Why? God did not see fit to tell them. And you see, all the way up through the first part of the Book of Acts, those twelve men did not have a clue. But they weren’t supposed to. It wasn’t their fault. Well, now read how Daniel puts it.
“I heard, (all these vision experiences) but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? (What is all this coming to? But look what God says.) 9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed til (When?) the time of the end.”
All right, what did I say a little while ago? I don’t know if it was this half hour or the last one. What began about a hundred years ago? Well, the understanding of prophecy. For seventeen or eighteen hundred years, Christendom knew nothing of end-time prophecy. They had no idea that the Jews scattered out into every nation under heaven would be going back home. They didn’t have a clue. But in the latter part of the 1800’s, Bible teachers began to see it—that evidently the Jews are going to come back to their homeland. It started in 1900. Well, it’s the same way here. Daniel is told don’t fret over it. It’s not for you to know. But when the end time comes, then God will begin to reveal these secrets.
All right, got four minutes left. Come back to Daniel and we’ll read the last verse once again.
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days;…(Because he could see the ramifications, how horrendous it all was, and yet couldn’t put it together.)…and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
All right, now then, for a couple of minutes we’ll start in chapter 9.
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes,…” See, we’re at the heart, yet, of the Mede and Persian Empire. Now remember, when Daniel talked about Alexander the Great, that was still out in the future. Don’t get confused now. We’re still in the Mede and Persian Empire time-wise in Daniel’s life. The Greek Empire will come later. Daniel is still writing from the time of the Mede and Persian Empire before Alexander the Great.
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;” Because they had defeated them. They had literally overrun the Babylonians. All right, verse 2:
“In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of (What?) Jerusalem.” Now I told you to keep that word in your “computer,” didn’t I? Let’s go back to Jeremiah 25, and let’s just see what Daniel is talking about.
Jeremiah, come back to chapter 25 and verse 11. See, now this is the beauty of Scripture. Jeremiah is writing probably a hundred or more years before Daniel, and here it is.
“And this whole land (That is the land of Israel. Jeremiah 25:11—I noticed some of you are still turning the pages.) and this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment;…”
Do you remember years back I read what old Samuel Clemens wrote—the guy who wrote Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain—when he traveled in the land of Israel in the 1860’s. I think I can still almost quote it. He said—I have never seen such desolation. Even the weeds of the desert will not grow here. We rode for days and days and never saw a human being. The sun got hotter and hotter. I would not want to live here. Well, that’s exactly what was prophesied.
“…an astonishment (of the desolation); and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
Now, I know I’m going to have to push time. Come back with me really fast to Leviticus 26. Moses already speaks of it in Leviticus 26 verse 32. I won’t be able to wait for you.
“And I will bring the land into desolation:…” And we know it was for seventy years.