Why Study the End Times
- there are 150 chapters in the Bible that have to do specifically with the end times - I put the hand out in your packet
- it was taught by Jesus and by the disciples to ALL of the followers of Jesus in the early church
- "encourage one another with these words” 1 Thess 4:18
- God has been thinking about this since EDEN
- Rom 8:18-23 - the inward groaning and the groan of creation EAGERLY ANTICIPATES unveiling of the plan of God
- ALL the promises of God are fulfilled
- The revelation of Jesus Christ
Daniel 2 -
You all know the story of Daniel - he was possibly the greatest end times prophet in the history of the world. He was revered as a prophet by many cultures and still to this day is revered even by the Muslims and others.
Daniel 2:31-45 - this is the first time that Daniel is given a picture of the future of mankind - the rest of his visions are really elucidations of this one vision so we start here.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream -
31"You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinarysplendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32"The head of that statue [was made] of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34"You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.35"Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Nebuchadnezzar had been given this dream by God - fascinating really. Why would God give this pagan king a dream of this magnitude?
- Babylon was the first great empire in the earth and the area of Babylon was the first great concentration of human civilization
- Babylon was the site “apparently” of the tower of Babel - the first time when human authority was raised up against the authority of God and the birthplace of the spirit of Antichrist in King Nimrod - Gen 11
- Babylon is what (we will see in Revelation the Kingdom of the antichrist is called by John and to John, although it may not be called that when it arises)
- Here we see the seeds of the end being sown - Neb was a descendant of that power and the most powerful of any Babylonian king vs 37 “you oh king are the king of kings"
- This was a warning from God not to think too highly of himself - he doesn’t listen - in just a few chapters he is punished for his pride with 7 years of madness
36"This [was] the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37"You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the Godof heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38and wherever the sons of men dwell, [or] the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given [them] into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.
- YOU are the head of Gold - Solid Gold - the King had supreme authority that could not be questioned - what he said was law - period - that rarely happened elsewhere in history.
- Here in Babylon at the birthplace of the human rejection of God’s provision and authority dwelt the purest essence of that wicked spirit that we will not see in full manfestation until the antichrist - we will talk more about this in 2 Thess.
- It is from Babylon that all pagan religions derive - the God’s of the Greeks and the Romans were derivations of the Babylonian gods and worship practices.
- It is from Babylon that the oldest written human codes of law are born - Hammurabi’s Code
- Not all of the empires across the earth are mentioned in this dream or in the book of Daniel - Daniel’s prophecy concerns the empires that are connected with Israel and the Babylon region.
- The Medes and the Persians take over Babylon before the end of Daniel’s life in Dan 5 we see the fulfillment of this prophecy
- The Greek Empire of Alexander the Great and those who came after him
- “ALL the Earth” means all the earth that they had knowledge of
- The Roman Empire which at it’s end broke into two pieces
41"In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partlyof iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with commonclay. 42"[As] the toes of the feet [were] partly of iron and partly of pottery, [so] some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle.
- The final empire flows from the Roman empire - all of the countries in those regions are still what Rome shaped them to be.
- No other empire since then has conquered all of that part of the world
- There have been strong and weak nations all mixed together strong and weak governments - but none that has erased the influence of the spirit of the Roman empire
- The Antichrist himself will be connected somehow to the Roman spirit and season.
- ten toes on the feet are the ten kings spoken of in later prophecy which we will see later in Daniel and Revelation
44"In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and [that] kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45"Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy."
- IN THOSE DAYS - in the days of the ten kings - the final empire
- God will set up a kingdom! The Kingdom of Jesus
- It will crush the authority of man
- It will crush the anitchrist spirit forever
- it was cut without hands - no man will establish this kingdom - only God
- it will end all other rulers - fill the whole earth
- it will endure forever!
His next vision that is recorded does not come for a long time - probably around 50 years later