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Prophetic Gleanings

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The Coming World Dictator

God's prophecies concerning the "end times" are woven around two outstanding kings. One is the "king of fierce countenance" (Daniel 8:23); and the other is the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19:16). The former is the Anti-Christ, a usurper, and he shall obtain his worldwide dominion by "flatteries" (Daniel 11:21). The latter is the Christ of God, the rightful heir to the world throne, and He shall take the throne through "the zeal of the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 9:6-7).

The coming world dictator is commonly called the Anti-Christ. He is given twelve different titles in the Scripture. Note these titles: "The king of Babylon" (Isaiah 14:4); "The Assyrian" (Isaiah 14:25); "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isaiah 14:12); "The prince that shall come" (Daniel 9:26); "The king of fierce countenance" (Daniel 8:23); "The vile person" (Daniel 11:21); "The willful king" (Daniel 11:36); "The man of sin" (2 Thess. 2:3); "The son of perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3); "That wicked one" (2 Thess. 2:8); "The beast with ten horns" (Revelation 13:1); and "The little horn" (Daniel 7:8). A careful study of the context of these references will prove that each title has to do with the Anti-Christ.

The "Four Great Beasts"

of Daniel 7:2-6 are "four kings, which shall arise out of the earth" (Daniel 7:17). The first beast was "like a lion" (verse 4); the second was "like a bear" (verse 5); the third was "like a leopard" (verse 6); and the fourth was so terrible that the Holy Spirit has not compared it to any known animal.

It is this fourth beast or king that we are primarily concerned about just now. In chapter 7 and verse 7, Daniel describes this dreadful personality in the following language, "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns." These "ten horns" demand our close attention if we are to have understanding concerning this fourth beast. The "great red dragon" of Revelation 12:3 had "ten horns," and the beast which John saw "rise up out of the sea" also had "ten horns" (Revelation 13:1). John also declares that these "ten horns" are "ten kings" which shall have "one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Furthermore, they shall stand with the beast against the "Lord of Lords, and King of Kings" and shall be overcome by Him in the day of His glorious appearing (Revelation 17:12-14).

The "Little Horn" of the Fourth Beast,

described in Daniel 7:7-8, is the power of the end time, so far as the world is concerned. The "ten horns" are kings, but the "little horn" is the king. In the closing days of the great tribulation period, the ten horns will represent the governing powers of the world, and will be backed up by strong armies. The little horn will be the world dictator and will be supported by these ten governing powers and their forces.

Let us examine Daniel's testimony concerning this "little horn." "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Daniel 7:8).

It seems that Daniel was not so concerned about "the rest of the beasts," but he inquired particularly concerning the "fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows" (Daniel 7:19-20).

Daniel asked that he might "know the truth of the fourth beast," and after God gave him the truth, which he sought after, he said, "As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart" (Daniel 7:28).

God's revelation to Daniel concerning this coming world dictator, the dreadful beast, is recorded in Daniel 7:21-27. "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

While it is true that this "fourth beast," the "little horn," the Anti-Christ, is to be a world dictator and as such shall "speak great words against the Most High," and shall "wear out the saints of the Most High" for "a time and times and the dividing of time," yet it is also true that his reign of terror is limited to this designated period, after which his power shall be taken from him and he himself shall be judged. This particular period which Daniel designates as "a time and times and the dividing of time" represents the last half of the "one week" of Daniel 9:27. The Holy Spirit speaks of the same period as "forty and two months" in Revelation 11:2, and as "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" in the third verse of the same chapter. The same period is referred to in Revelation 12:6 and 12:14.

The "Little Horn" of the He Goat

We suggest that our readers make a thorough study of Daniel, chapter 8, remembering the words of the messenger to Daniel in the 17th verse, "Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision." He said again in the 19th verse, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." He spoke along this line a third time in verse 26, "Wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days." These verses seem to suggest that the purpose of the entire vision was to acquaint Daniel and the readers of his prophecy with that which shall take place "at the time of the end."

The "ram which had two horns," verses 3 to 7, represents "the kings of Media and Persia" (verse 20). The "he goat" which "came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground," and which had "a notable horn between his eyes," and which was "moved with choler" against the ram, and "brake his two horns" and "cast him down to the ground" represents the "king of Grecia" (verse 5-7 with 21).

It is important to note that the "great horn" between the eyes of the he goat was "broken," and that "for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven" (verses 8-9). However, the thing that concerns us most just now is the fact that out of one of these four notable horns "came forth a little horn" (verse 9). "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. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered" (Daniel 8:9-12).

This little horn of verse 9 seems to be the king of verses 23 to 25. "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."

Even though most of our outstanding Bible teachers of today hold that the "little horn" of chapter 8 represents Antiochus Epiphanes, who lived some 175 years B.C. and profaned the Jewish temple and persecuted the Jews, I cannot reconcile such an interpretation with the time element brought out in verse 23. It seems to me that this verse refers back to the "four kingdoms" which shall stand up out of the nation over which Alexander the great reigned, "but not in his power" (verse 22). We cannot get away from the clear statement "in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up" (verse 23).

As I understand the Scripture, the "little horn" of chapter 8 is the same person referred to as the "little horn" in chapter 7. They both represent the coming world dictator, whose power shall be felt throughout the earth immediately preceding the return of the King from glory.

The Beast Out of the Sea

John "was in the spirit on the Lord's day." Physically speaking he was on the Isle of Patmos, but spiritually he was wafted by the Holy Spirit into a yet future period spoken of in the Word as "the day of the Lord." His experience was something like that of the prophet Ezekiel. We quote Ezekiel 3:12-14, "Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place. I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me."

One of the clear visions which God gave to John concerning the day of the Lord is recorded in Revelation, chapter 13. It has to do with "a beast" which John saw "rise up out of the sea." We quote the first eight verses of this chapter—

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 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 dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

The "sea" of the above quotation has reference to the masses of humanity. The expression is used by Daniel in chapter 7, verse 2, where the prophet said, "I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea." In Revelation 17:1 John speaks of the great whore that sitteth upon "many waters," and in the 15th verse he interpret the "waters" which he saw as "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

We conclude, therefore, that the beast of Revelation 13:1 came up out of the multitudes or masses of the people. His "seven heads" and his "ten horns" definitely link him with the "great red dragon" of Revelation 12:3. His likeness unto "a leopard," and "a bear," and "a lion" indicates that he has the characteristics of the beasts of Daniel, chapter 7. The fact that he shall receive "his power, and his seat, and great authority" from the dragon seems to identify him with the "king of fierce countenance" who shall operate "not by his own power" (Daniel 9:23-26). The healing of his "deadly wound" will get multitudes of worshippers for the beast. Just as Christ was wounded unto death and raised from the dead so the Anti-Christ will receive the deadly wound and be healed.

The time allotted to the beast after his deadly wound is healed will be "forty and two months." This corresponds to the last half of Daniel's seventieth week (Daniel 9:27). This will be the period spoken of by Daniel as the "abomination of desolation," and by Jeremiah as "the time of Jacob's trouble," and by our Lord as "the great tribulation." Paul refers to this period as a time of "falling away" when "that man of sin" shall be revealed. He declares him to be "the son of perdition" and one who will oppose and exalt himself "above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God" shall sit in the temple of God, "shewing himself that he is God." He emphasizes the fact that the coming of this man of sin will be "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10).

The Mark of the Beast

shall be worn by multitudes in the closing days of the great tribulation. Revelation 13:16-18 gives us some idea as to the pressure that shall be brought to bear upon the multitudes concerning this thing. We quote, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

Multitudes will receive the mark and bow down to the beast, or Anti-Christ, but an elect number will choose death rather than beast worship. The souls of these are referred to in Revelation 6:9-11. We quote, "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." This number of martyrs will be raised and glorified and shall reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).

The Number of the Beast

shall be "six hundred three score and six," or 666. God declares that this is the "number of a man." He further states, "here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast" (Revelation 13:18). The one who has understanding from above will know better than to bow down to man. Just as Christ, "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross," so the believers in Christ, during the tribulation period, will endure suffering and death for the joy that is set before them, even the joy of reigning with Him.

Tribulation saints are not the only ones who should count the number of the beast. In the present day of our "Body Dispensation" we see the number of man indelibly stamped upon places of worship and programs of worship. The cost which true worshippers of Christ must pay for the privilege of bearing their testimony is becoming greater and greater. The leaders of man-made denominations have led their organizations under the dominion of the Federal Council of Churches, and this Council is dominated by modernists. They are gradually getting control of all religious effort, even to the extent of making it impossible, in some cities, for a preacher to secure a lot or building permit for church work without their approval, and on many radio stations it is impossible to secure time for religious broadcasts without the O.K. of the Federal Council of Churches. Individual Christians are being ostracized by their so-called Christian associates because they are not linked with some man-made organization. It is becoming more and more difficult for the individual Christian, or for a group of believers to stand for Christ and Christ alone in their public worship.

The False Prophet

is spoken of in the Word as "another beast." He is definitely linked with the beast which is called the Anti-Christ, yet his is a separate and distinct personality. The Anti-Christ is one member of the Satanic trinity and the false prophet is another member of the same. The Anti-Christ will be the political head and the false prophet will be the religious head. The following quotation from Revelation 13:11-17 has to do with the person and work of the beast which is spoken of elsewhere as the false prophet.

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

In the brief quotation of the above paragraph, the "first beast" (Revelation 13:1) is referred to eight times. We are told that the beast which is the false prophet will exercise "all the power of the first beast," and that he will cause "the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast." All of his "great wonders" and deceivable works by means of miracles will be performed "in the sight of the beast" which will come before him. This proves to us that the false prophet in his future ministry will be an imitation of the present work of the Holy Spirit. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Christ said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, ... he shall not speak of himself, ... he shall glorify me." When the Holy Spirit came He took up His ministry of magnifying the work of Christ and glorifying the person of Christ. When the false prophet appears, during the tribulation period, he will serve to magnify and glorify the person and work of the Anti-Christ. Just as the first beast will be the Anti-Christ; so the "another beast" or false prophet will be the Anti-Spirit.

The business of the Holy Spirit today is to seek worshippers for the true and living Christ. The business of the false prophet will be to seek worshippers for the false Christ. The Holy Spirit accomplishes His work by guiding believers "into all truth" (John 16:13). The false prophet will accomplish his purpose through "the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thess. 2:9-10). Thus we see that those who will not receive the truth as offered by the Holy Spirit in the closing days of this age of grace will be deceived by the false message of the false prophet. However, the sinner who believes the testimony of God concerning His Son will be saved regardless of how many times he has heard before and rejected. The door of salvation will be open up to the very closing moment of the tribulation period, but those who reject the truth will accept the lie of Satan and be damned (2 Thess. 2:12).

The Image With Life

is described in Revelation 13:14-16. This image will be made by the people that dwell on the earth, under the leadership of the false prophet, during the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. The false prophet will have power to "give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." This Satanic power will be even more deceiving than that which was manifested by the wise men and sorcerers of Egypt in the days of Moses. We quote Exodus 7:10-12, "And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods." We call your attention to the fact that these rods were still called rods by the Holy Spirit even after they had been changed to serpents (verse 12). This makes it plain that the rods were still rods, even though they were moving around on the ground as serpents. The power of God caused Aaron's rod to become a serpent and the power of Satan caused the magicians' rods to become serpents. It is consoling to note that the power of God swallowed up the power of Satan. This was true in the days of Moses and it is true in our present day experiences, and it will be true in the days of the false prophet and the Anti-Christ. Christ will overcome them when He returns in power and great glory.

The Great Red Dragon

is mentioned as one of the wonders in heaven (Revelation 12:3). We have the beast which is the Anti-Christ, the false prophet which is the Anti-Spirit, and here we find the dragon, the Anti-God. When he is cast down to the earth during the tribulation period he will give power to the beast in all of his tribulation program. He will center his attack upon Israel and with the remnant of her seed, because at that time this remnant will be keeping "the commandments of God," and will "have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Just as Satan centers his attack upon Paul's message concerning the body of Christ in this age, so he will center his attack upon the kingdom message which will be given by faithful Israelites during the tribulation period.

Overthrow of the Satanic Trinity

The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet will send out of their mouths "unclean spirits like frogs" to call forth "the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:13-14). This battle will be fought in a place "called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:16). Satan has instigated all the wars and bloodshed from the days of Cain to the present time. He will bring on wars and rumors of wars on down to the tribulation period, but this last battle at Armageddon will bring about his downfall and the human race will be delivered from war and strife for the full thousand years of Christ's reign.

The battle line of Armageddon will cover a space of "a thousand and six hundred furlongs," and the blood will flow to the horse bridles. Christ Himself will wield the sword which shall proceed out of His own mouth as He tramples the battle line from one end to the other. Kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, both free men and bondmen will fall in this terrible battle. The fowls or vultures of the air will be gathered to feast upon the flesh of the slain and it will be called "the supper of the great God" (Revelation 14:19-20; 19:15-18). The beast and the false prophet shall be "cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone," and the "dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan" shall be bound for "a thousand years, and cast into the bottomless pit" (Revelation 19:20; 20:3).

This destruction of the Satanic trinity will be the end of the coming world dictator, in whom shall dwell, for a season, all the power of the unholy trinity. This will make room for the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords who shall govern the earth with righteousness and judge with equity for the meek of the earth.

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