I want to talk to you about the momentous and unusual times we are living in. I hope that you are noticing that current events seem to have taken on a new prospective in the last decade or two. Have you not noticed our society (and other countries of the world), is experiencing difficulties and anxieties. What about Japan’s devastating earthquake, followed by a giant tidal wave that struck a nuclear power plant and subsequently released deadly radiation? What about the turbulence and unrest in the Middle Eastern nations? Rulers of those Dictatorial nations are toppling like dominos, being slain like wild beasts. Even the most calloused individual can hardly view the bloody accounts shown on the TV news.
THERE ARE SOME VERY INTRIGUING, PROPHESIED EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN EUROPE!
This attracts my attention very much, because God’s true Church, through the Holy Spirit, is shown to have a special understanding of prophecy, we read in:
II PETER 1:19 “We havealso a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (Spirit).”
Right now, the news sources are filled with stories about the financial upheavals taking place in those “Euro-nations”, mainly concerned about the “bail-outs ”of some of the member countries, such as Greece. But even those who need help can’t agree on how they want to accomplish it. Today’s news sources have revealed that Greece isn’t going to cooperate with the other member nation’s methods. My newspaper, dated Nov. 3, 2011, had the bold headlines: “Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, faces furious European leaders.” (The Prime Minister has since stepped down from his office.) Then to show the seriousness of this latest development, one of the leaders (of Luxembourg) stated: “all 17 of us made decisions a week ago,” he said, “urging Greece not to ‘dissociate itself’ from those decisions. ‘The situation is serious.’”
At this time, there are 17 nations united (supposedly) in this European Union; but Biblical prophecy indicates these will, eventually, be reduced to ten nations or ten groups of nations.
THE BIBLE REFERS TO THESE NATIONS AS A BEAST!
I AM GOING TO DISCUSS THE AWAKENING OF THIS BEAST IN A SERIES OF THREE ARTICLES. THIS IS PART 1.
We’ll need to have an INTRODUCTION to the terminology about: “IMAGES”, “BEASTS” and “HORNS”:
This takes us back to the Old Testament:
Daniel 2:1 “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, the thing is gone from me: if you will not make known unto me the dream with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.”
(Please read about these Chaldeans calling for God’s servant, Daniel to interpret this mysterious dream in verses 13 through 27. Notice it spans the time period all the way down to the “latter days ” (Ver. 28) and covers FOUR WORLD- RULING KINGDOMS!)
THIS DREAM WAS FROM GOD AND IS A VERY IMPORTANT PROPHECY; IT HAS, AND WILL, EVENTUALLY, AFFECT ALL NATIONS!
Only God’s true servants can correctly discern prophetic events:
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he (it) the Spirit of truth, is come, (it) will guide you into all truth: for (it) shall not speak of ‘itself’ but whatsoever ‘it’ shall hear, that shall ‘it’ speak: and ‘it’ will shew you THINGS TO COME (PROPHECY).”
Recently, I used a Scripture in a sermon, describing the Greatness of Almighty God and His ability to declare the fulfillment of prophecy in advance of its happening! That scripture is Isaiah 46:9. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Let’s continue with the article.
Later, I will be using various Scriptures, as well as information from materials I have received over the many years I have supported and been a part of God’s True Church. As an ordained minister of Jesus Christ, I feel I have the privilege, the opportunity and right to fulfill Matt. 10:8 “Heal the sick…: freely ye have received, freely give.” Also I have been careful to: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”, as instructed in, I Thes. 5:21.
Way back in 1952, Herbert W. Armstrong, a patriarch and pioneer in the modern Church of God, wrote in the Plain Truth magazine that East Germany would be reunited with West Germany and that Russia would “be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria”. In 1956, following the Soviet invasion of Hungary, when it seemed that the “Iron Curtain” had inexorably rung down on the nations of Eastern Europe, Mr. Armstrong stated. “The way is being prepared for a colossal THIRD FORCE in world politics -- an European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States! --- We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia’s ill fated Empire in Eastern Europe” (The Plain Truth, Dec. 1956, p.3).
How could Mr. Armstrong have known these things? The prophetic messages of the Bible have far more to do with our modern, current world conditions and where they are headed, than most people could ever imagine. But, destined (by God) to play an important and defining role in world events is the mysterious “Beast” of the book of Revelation. Believe it or not, this will have a very serious effect on the United States and Britain!!
Not since the days of the Tower of Babel have the affairs of humanity been more intertwined. We find that a great-grandson of Noah, descending from Ham, Cush and then NIMROD began to try to form the first world ruling government:
Genesis 10:1 “… 8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before (in place of) the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD (32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations (BEING) DIVIDED in the earth after the flood.”
In the following Chapter 11 the theme changes to one of (becoming) UNITED, under the leadership of this NIMROD: Chapter 11:1 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 4 And they said one to another, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, LEST WE BE SCATTERED (DIVIDED) ABROAD UPON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH.”
It appears that mankind has always desired to have his own (apart from God) one world religion and a one world government totally separated from God and His Divine Laws!
WHO is the one behind this scheme, in trying to thwart GOD in His DIVINE PLAN OF SALVATION and ESTABLISHING HIS HOLY KINGDOM OVER THE EARTH?
BACK TO THE BOOK OF DANIEL!
I find it interesting that in this dream or vision of this king of Babylon that was interpreted by Daniel the prophet, he only saw FOUR WORLD RULING EMPIRES from Nebuchadnezzar’s BABYLON to the final ROMAN EMPIRE. Daniel described it as “a great image” or “statue” in:
Daniel 2:31 “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This images head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.”
Notice! Only FOUR distinct metallic components: GOLD, SILVER, BRASS AND IRON!
But! These covered a time span from Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon to the DIVINE EVENT of the return of Jesus Christ to this earth and to establish God’s Kingdom!
Verse 34 “Thou sawest till that a ‘stone’(Mt. 16:18 Christ is this Stone!)was cut out without hands, which smote the imageupon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.” i.e. the return of Christ is the final end of man’s despotic, evil rule!
Verse 44 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people (human governments), but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.”
Even as I write, our President, Barack Obama, is visiting in Europe in an attempt to calm the unrest among these nations because they are our allies and what they decide will seriously affect the U.S. economy as well. (Sarkozy, the French president and President Barack Obama both face potentially tough re-election battles within the year.)
As one writer puts it: “The world has been transformed into a ‘global village’ by jet planes and instantaneous telecommunications. Satellite TV transmissions bring us live images from any place on earth where news is happening. The Internet allows computers around the world to be linked by phone. Yet, paradoxically, as the world becomes more and more inter- connected, nations are increasingly subdividing and fragmenting along old ethnic and religious lines. ---”
“Beginning in 1914, English-speaking nations have spent more than half this century locked in wars of either ‘hot” or ‘cold’ variety. But, finally, in 1989 (I believe under President Reagan), the Iron Curtain was no more. People danced in the streets throughout Eastern Europe. Two years later, in Dec. 1991, the Soviet Union itself ceased to exist.
To replace this was a non-communist Russia and more than a dozen other independent republics. The cold war was over and the West had won! Peace had finally been achieved! --- Or had it?
President Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in the New York Times, “It is very depressing. What hopes we had five years ago with the end of the Cold War. Why did the New World Order that we envisioned dissolve so quickly and abjectively in the New World Order?”(9/6/95).
So, let’s look to God’s Word to see who these various “beasts” represent and what influence they hold for the future of the world: Revelation 13:1 “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. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: AND THE DRAGON(SATAN) GAVE HIM HIS POWER, AND HIS SEAT, AND GREAT AUTHORITY.”
Did you realize that Satan has this kind of power and authority? Scripture proves it:
II Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (Mk. 1:14), who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Who is it that has this temporary power to grant authority over the kingdoms of this world?
Luke 4:5 “And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Notice that Jesus did not deny that Satan had this authority!) Ultimately, it is God Almighty, who allows or permits those in authority or offices (Romans 13:1), but, for the present time and according to His Plan, He tolerates Satan’s influence over this present evil world.
Return, again, to the Book of Daniel: Daniel 7:1 “In the first year of Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar’s descendant) king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matter. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
(In my Bible, there are marginal references to Zach. 6:1-4 and Rev. 13:1).
4 “The first was like a lion, and had eagles wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given unto it.” (A “man’s heart” is evil! Jer. 17:9).
At this point I am going to end PART I of this subject: “AWAKENING of THE BEAST“ Please be watching for Parts 2 and 3 soon to follow. (Later, we’ll discuss the “Beasts” of Revelation 13 and 17 which will play a very important role in, soon to occur, world events.)