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Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Daniel - Part 2

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2020 7:00 am

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Daniel - Part 2

So What? / Lon Solomon

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July 15, 2020 7:00 am

A study of the book of Daniel. 

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Will ancient Babylon be rebuilt?

Will it once again become a world power center? Will the antichrist empire be an Arab empire with its center at rebuilt Babylon? What does the Bible have to say about all of this? Well, the key to all of this is the book of Daniel. And we're going to get a real good sense of what the Word of God teaches about the end of the age. We want to begin with chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar's dream. And we're going to answer the questions I believe that I just asked from the Bible tonight.

Now let's begin. Verse 1. In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had some dreams, and his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians and the enchanters and the sorcerers and the astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. And when they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, I have had a dream that troubles me, and I want to know what it means. So the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic and said, Oh, king, live forever. Tell your servants the dream and we will interpret it.

And the king replied and said to them, Well, this is what I think. I think that if you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut in pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So now tell me the dream and then interpret it for me.

You get the picture here, don't you? Nebuchadnezzar was sleeping one night, was sleeping like a little baby. Everything was going fine. Suddenly he had all of these dreams that really troubled him. It troubled him so much he couldn't get back to sleep. So he called in all of his professional wise men and all of his professional astrologers. And this was their full time job to come in and interpret his dreams. And of course, mostly they were just political flunkies who came in and told him whatever they thought he wanted to hear. So they said, all right, King, tell us your dream and we will put a good spin on the ball and we will give you a great interpretation.

You'll like it. Well, the king said, no, wait a minute. I don't think so. What I want you to do is I want you to tell me what I dreamed and then tell me the interpretation. I mean, he figured that these people were really astrologers and seers and spiritual men, that they ought to be able to divine whatever they divine and tell him what the dream was. Some people have theorized here that he forgot the dream. You know how when you wake up and you forget, you can't remember what it is anymore?

I don't think he forgot it. I just think he wanted these guys to put them to the test and see if they could really tell him what the dream was. And he said, if you don't, I'm going to kill every one of you. Now, they protested and they said, King, oh, whoa, you know, this is not in our job description. We did not get hired to tell you what you dream. We got hired to tell you what it means what you dream. But you were changing the job description on us, King.

Look what they say here. They said, verse seven, let the king tell his servants the dream and we'll interpret it. The king said, no, you're just trying to gain time.

I'm not going to do it. Verse 10. And the astrologer said, there is not a man on the earth who can do what you're asking them to do. King, no king, no matter how great he is, has ever asked this of his professional magicians and astrologers.

What you ask is too difficult. And it made the king so mad, verse 12, that he ordered them to kill every wise man in the whole kingdom. Well, Daniel, of course, is one of these wise men. And so they came looking for Daniel to kill him. Verse 13. So the decree was issued to put all the wise men to death. And men were sent out to look for Daniel and his three friends so they could kill them.

Well, let's read a little bit. Verse 14. And when Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, went out to come to find Daniel, put him to death, he said to the king's officer, why did the king issue such a decree?

I don't understand this. And Arioch explained the whole matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went into the king and asked for time so that he might interpret the dream for him.

And the king gave it to him. So Daniel came back to his house and explained the matter to his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. That's, you know, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, same three guys. And he urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. And during that night, the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. So Daniel called his three friends together and said, Fellows, we're having a prayer meeting, all right? And here's what we're going to pray for. We're going to pray that God would show me what the king dreamed so I can go in and tell him. And, brethren, I want to tell you this is not a good night to skip your prayers and go to sleep because if I can't do this, we are all dead ducks tomorrow. And so I'm sure they were up praying and praying and praying and God honored. And he told Daniel what the dream was.

Now let's move on down. Verse 24. Daniel went into Nebuchadnezzar and he said, King, God has shown me what the dream is.

God has shown it to me. And notice Daniel didn't take the credit for himself. He gave the credit to God. He said, It wasn't me, it was God. Daniel, verse 27, he said, No wise man, no enchanter, no magician is able to do what you ask them to.

But, verse 28, there is a God in heaven who's able to do it. And he's told me what your dream is. And then he went on to tell what the dream was. Now I'm going to summarize it.

It's in verse 31 to 35, but here it is. The king dreamed about a big statue. The statue had a head of gold and the statue had chest and arms of silver and the statue had belly and thighs of bronze and the statue had legs of iron. And then when you went down to the feet, the feet were partly iron and partly clay. And as the king was watching, suddenly there was a little piece of a rock that was broken off, made without hands, and that came out and smashed the image on its feet. And the entire image crumbled, shattered in pieces to the ground. And a strong wind came along and blew the whole thing away.

And that little tiny stone then grew into a mountain that filled the entire earth. That was Nebuchadnezzar's dream. And the king was amazed.

He couldn't believe it. But then now Daniel has to interpret it. And so he begins to do that in verse 36. He said, this is the dream, king, and now I'm going to interpret it for you. Verse 37. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory.

Verse 38. You are the head of gold. You are the head of gold. The head of gold, of course, was Nebuchadnezzar himself. Then Daniel went on. He said, and after you, verse 39, another kingdom will rise inferior to yours.

That is the chest and the arms of silver. Now, what kingdom was this? Well, Daniel doesn't say in Chapter 2. But if you flip back to Daniel Chapter 8, we'll find out what it is.

In Daniel Chapter 8, look with me at verse 20. It says the two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. And so this is the kingdom that is coming after Nebuchadnezzar, the Medes, and the Persians.

And we know that indeed this did happen. This was an Iranian kingdom begun by Cyrus the Great. And in the year 539 B.C., the city of Babylon fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great. And the second kingdom, the kingdom of silver, took over. Now, then there's the third kingdom.

The third kingdom was the belly and the thighs of bronze. And Daniel goes on to say in Chapter 2, you don't need to look there, stay in 8, but he says in Chapter 2 that next a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. And here in Chapter 8, if you look at verse 21, we find out what it is. And it says in verse 21, the shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is its first king.

And the four horns that replace the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power. Now, this is one of the reasons why critics want to discredit the book of Daniel, because Daniel was writing in the mid-sixth century B.C. about a kingdom, a Grecian kingdom under Alexander the Great that wouldn't even appear for another 200 years. How in the world could he possibly have known that information if there wasn't a living God who was able to reveal it supernaturally? And this is why the critics want to move the writing of the book of Daniel down to 160 B.C., because then they say, well, he's just looking back and writing history.

But that's not the truth. He was looking forward and writing prophecy. And he said there was one horn, Alexander the Great, in the middle, and at the death of Alexander the Great, the kingdom would be split into four parts, which, if you know your history, is exactly what happened, and the total of all four would never reach the level of power that the first king had had.

That's exactly what happened. Well, of course, I'd want to discredit that, too, if I didn't believe in the living God. But Daniel wrote it as prophecy, the kingdom of Greece, and in 332 B.C., Alexander the Great smashed the Persian Empire. He captured Babylon, and he did control all the world of his day, just like the Bible says. Now, up to this point, biblical commentators all agree, at least all that I know of. It's when we get to the fourth kingdom that it gets a little tougher. Now, let's go back to Daniel 2 and see what it says about the fourth kingdom.

Verse 40. Finally, Daniel 2, 40, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron. For as iron breaks and smashes everything and smashes it into pieces, so this kingdom will crush and break everything. And just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, and even as you saw the iron mixed with clay. And as the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united any more than iron mixes with clay.

Now, what's going on here? What we're finding out is that there's a fourth kingdom. And this fourth kingdom encompasses, this is very important, if you missed this, we'll get the prophecy wrong. The fourth kingdom encompasses not only the legs, but also the feet.

Did you see that? Verse 40 and 41 make it clear that the toes go right along with the legs. It's all one kingdom, perfectly clear. Just as you saw verse 41 that the feet and the toes were partly of clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom.

It's not a different kingdom in the feet than in the legs, it is the same kingdom all the way down, iron through the legs and iron and clay in the toes. Everybody with me? Do you see that? Because if you miss that, we'll get the prophecy wrong. It is one united kingdom. There will be a divided kingdom. It'll have some weak members, some strong members, verse 42 says.

They'll have trouble hanging together, just like clay and iron have trouble hanging together, but it will be the fiercest Gentile kingdom that has ever, ever existed. And then the prophecy ends, verse 44, in the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. Now look at verse 44, in the time of those kings, what kings were they? Well, those are the 10 kings in the toes. And so by saying this, we have no doubt that this fourth kingdom is a kingdom that is in existence when Jesus Christ comes back.

Do you see that? Because it says in the time of those 10 kings, God will set up a kingdom that will never cease to exist and it will crush those kingdoms and it will bring them to an end. But it will endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of the mountain, but not by human hands. It is a rock that broke the iron and the bronze and the clay and the silver and the gold into pieces. The great God has shown you, O King, what will take place in the future.

This dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy. And so the fourth kingdom is a future kingdom that is in existence when Jesus Christ comes back and strikes that kingdom and totally demolishes it and sets up the kingdom of God that will never cease. Now, what does Nebuchadnezzar do?

Well, let's tidy this up and then we'll try to figure out what kingdom number four is. What does Nebuchadnezzar do? Well, verse 46 says, Nebuchadnezzar went bonkers.

Look at this. Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate on the floor before Daniel, paid him honor, ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. And the king said to Daniel, Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mystery because you were able to tell me my dream. And the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and put him in charge of all of its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel's request, the king made Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon while Daniel himself remained in the royal court. So the king really honored Daniel, didn't he? And this is where, of course, the chapter ends.

Now, it's exciting to see how God honored Daniel's prayer, how he honored Daniel's simple trust in him. But the question remains, how does the interpretation of this dream, especially kingdom number four, apply to the events that we see going on around us today? What is kingdom number four?

Let's talk about it. Remember now, let's make sure we know what we've already learned. Remember that the focus of this prophecy is on the fourth kingdom. The first three kingdoms are dealt with just like this.

Did you notice that? They were not the focus of this prophecy. It wasn't Nebuchadnezzar. It wasn't the Persian Empire. It wasn't the Greek Empire.

Those not the focus. The focus is the fourth empire. That is the culminating point of this prophecy.

The first three are relatively unimportant. It is the fourth kingdom that is the central issue because the fourth kingdom is the kingdom of the antichrist. The fourth kingdom is the kingdom of the end of the age. The fourth kingdom is the kingdom that the Lord Jesus Christ confronts when he returns to the earth at his second coming and the kingdom that he smashes and defeats when he comes back.

Everybody with me? So it's the fourth kingdom that is the center of this prophecy. Now the commonly taught position is this, and many of you have probably heard this position taught in all kinds of places. It goes like this, that the legs of iron represent the ancient Roman Empire. There was first Babylon, then there was the Persian Empire, then there was the Greek Empire, and finally there was the Roman Empire. And the Roman Empire, the reason there is two legs is because the Roman Empire was divided into two parts, and the western part fell to the Huns in 476 A.D. while the eastern part kept on going until 1453, another thousand years or so before it was destroyed. Then the theory goes that the feet with the ten toes represent a revived Roman Empire, a revived in modern times Roman Empire at the end of the age consisting of ten European nations. That's the ten toes, and this is none other than the European common market of today even though it has more than ten members. That's all right. It had close to ten.

It did have ten for a while. And that the revived Roman Empire will be the kingdom of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will be a European ruler who will unify Europe and will carry out his diabolical schemes on Israel such that it will occasion the return of Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. Now this is the commonly taught position as to what this fourth kingdom and empire is. And many of you were taught this in Sunday school, in church, in Bible college, in seminary, at community Bible study or Bible study fellowship or wherever you may go.

This is a very commonly taught theory. And if this interpretation is correct, we have nothing to fear from Iraq. We have nothing to fear from the Middle East.

None of that makes any difference. The showdown at the end of the age is going to be European versus Israeli. That will be the showdown. The Persian Gulf War has been a bad global experience, but it's nothing more than a blip on the graph and it has nothing to do with prophecy if that interpretation is right. The question is, is that interpretation right? And you know when Adolf Hitler, some of you who are older will remember when Adolf Hitler rose to power? Man, everybody was sure. There he is, the Antichrist. Well, he turned out not to be. And there have been others who have come along and have in some way or another been accused of being the Antichrist.

Is this really right? It is my understanding, it is my opinion that based upon the scripture, this revived Roman Empire is not at all what is going on in this prophecy at all, that it is totally and completely incorrect and puts the focus on the wrong area of the world. I don't believe Europe is the focus at all, but I'll tip you off ahead of time and tell you I think it's the Middle East. Let me tell you why. I've got some reasons. Number one, would you notice that God never names the fourth kingdom in the book of Daniel? He names the first three. God names the kingdom of Babylon, he names the kingdom of Persia, he names the kingdom of Greece, but in the book of Daniel, he never names the fourth kingdom.

Never. God certainly knew the name of Rome and if he'd have wanted to name it, he certainly could have, but in Daniel, God left the fourth kingdom unnamed. However, in the Bible, God did not leave the fourth kingdom unnamed. You say, really?

Where? Keep a finger in Daniel, let's go back to the book of the Revelation, chapter 17 and 18. We're going to see here in chapter 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation, God names the fourth kingdom.

Look at chapter 17 and 18. It says in verse 5 that this is written on the head of the great harlot, the great kingdom of the antichrist, mystery Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. Flip on over to verse 12. The Spirit of God in chapter 17, verse 12 tells John, the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast, the antichrist.

Now, how many toes, how many toes did the statue have? How many kings are here that will receive authority? Okay, string along with me, chapter 18. And after this, I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had a great authority and the earth was illuminated by his splendor and with a mighty voice, he shouted, fallen is what? Babylon, the great. She's become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit. Skip over to verse 10. Terrified at her torment, they will stand afar off and cry, whoa, whoa, oh, great city, oh, Babylon, city of power.

In one hour, your doom has come and we could keep going. But the point I'm trying to make to you is that the Bible does name the antichrist kingdom and it names the antichrist kingdom as Babylon. They say, how do people who believe in the revived Roman Empire handle this? Well, they spiritualize it. They say this is spiritual Babylon, meaning Rome.

Now, I never could figure out how that worked. It never made any sense to me. What a spiritual, I mean, you know, but if you buy into the theory, you buy into everything. But that never made sense to me. What do you mean calling it spiritual Babylon and that means Rome?

The more I've studied, the more I've become convinced that there's no reason to spiritualize this one bit. That when God says Babylon, God means Babylon. And if he'd have meant Rome, he certainly in the book of Revelation knew the name of Rome. He could have said Rome. Why would he say Babylon if he meant Rome? I think he said Babylon because he meant Babylon.

That's what I think. And the only reason anybody would have any other reason to interpret it as Rome is because they've already made up their mind about how to interpret Daniel 2 and they got to make this fit in. I'm saying this doesn't fit into a revived Roman Empire. I submit to you Babylon means Babylon and that nothing in Daniel chapter 2 contradicts this. That it's a needless twisting of the Word of God to talk about this being spiritual Babylon and that the Antichrist kingdom at the end of the age, I believe, is taught here in the book of Revelation to be an Arab kingdom that will have its center at Babylon.

Now, a second reason. You know what ties the entire statue together? What ties all of those kingdoms together is one single thing. Every single kingdom in that statue controlled one place.

Where was it? Babylon. That's right. Greece didn't control everything that Persia controlled and Nebuchadnezzar didn't control everything that Persia and Greece controlled, but there was one spot all three of them controlled that tied all of them together and that was Babylon. Friends, listen, there are a lot of great empires that don't appear in this statue.

Do you ever think about that? There are a lot of great empires before the Babylonian empire that don't appear in this statue and after it. The Hittites don't appear here. The Assyrians don't appear here.

The Egyptians don't appear here. But the thing begins with Babylon and the Persians only get in on it when they capture Babylon. And the Greeks only get in on it when they capture Babylon. And it would only make sense that the fourth kingdom, whatever else it does, is going to have Babylon as part of it. In other words, I believe the city of Babylon is the unifying factor of the statue and of the prophecy. It was when Nebuchadnezzar made Babylon the center of his world empire, the prophecy began. The Persians had been around for a long time, but it was when they captured Babylon that they got into this image and made it their power center.

The Greek city-states had been around for a long time. They had fought with the Persian empire, but the reason they got in on this prophecy is because they captured Babylon. Babylon is the constant in this prophecy and it only stands to reason that the fourth empire will be an empire that emanates from Babylon just like Revelation 17 and 18 says.

Third reason. The identification of the legs as the Roman empire has got some problems. First of all, scripture never says it. And second of all, the other problem I've got is that the history of Rome rules out identifying it with the legs because the legs are of equal length. And if the two legs represented the divided Roman empire, one eastern and one western, it would seem to me one of these legs would be a whole lot longer than the other leg. Because one side of the Roman empire went a thousand years longer than the other side. Rome has no special place in biblical prophecy anywhere. You will not find Rome in biblical prophecy anywhere. And I don't believe it fits here.

Fourth, I've got two more. Another problem with this revised Roman empire model is that the prophecy distinctly states that the legs and the toes, the legs and the feet are part of the very same empire. Remember, we established that. And there's no room anywhere in here to split it and say, well, the legs are already accomplished, but the feet are something that came 2000 years later and are part of a revived empire.

There's no reason at all to split it. As a matter of fact, if you look in Daniel 2, it makes it very clear in verse 41 that the feet and the toes are part of the very same empire as the legs. I can't see any breach in the fourth kingdom that would allow for the demise of it and the later startup of it in this revised Roman empire. I believe that's an invention of commentators to make this fit into their theory.

And their mistake is that I don't think they've got the right country. Scripture indicates this fourth kingdom even more so is still future, and it has not yet appeared. Scripture does name it, calls it Babylon. Fifth and finally, there are some divine predictions regarding the sudden fall and destruction of Babylon that have not yet been fulfilled. We just read in Revelation 18 about the sudden quick fall of Babylon. In one day, God's going to destroy her.

I'm not going to read the verses, but you can look up Isaiah 13 19, Isaiah 13 19, and you can look up Jeremiah 51 verses 58 to 64. And in those verses, you will find that in those verses, God says in one day, suddenly I will destroy Babylon. Nothing will ever live there again. There won't be a beast there.

There won't be a man there. There won't be any life ever to inhabit that city again, but that hasn't happened. You say, well, Babylon kind of died out, didn't it?

Well, yeah, it did, but it didn't die out like God describes it in the Bible. When Cyrus the Great captured the city in 539, he was so impressed with the city that he never destroyed it. And then when Alexander took it in 332, he was so impressed with the city, he made it his eastern capital. And life went on in Babylon into the 5th century A.D. In fact, in the 5th century A.D., the Jewish community there was thriving to such a degree that they wrote the entire Talmud. The entire Jewish Talmud was written in Babylon in the 5th century A.D. And even until this century, Babylon has been inhabited. It has only been in the 20th century that Babylon has ceased to be inhabited as a city. The kind of sudden cataclysmic destruction that Jeremiah 51 and Revelation 18 talk about has never happened to Babylon.

Never. And what that means, as I see it, is that Babylon's going to be rebuilt so that these divine predictions that have never been fulfilled will be fulfilled when Christ comes back. He's going to wipe that city out in an instant, just like the Bible says, and it will never be inhabited from that point on. So let's try to draw some conclusions.

I don't know if I've lost you, but let's try to sum it up. From what we've seen, I believe that Daniel 2 teaches that we should expect to see the city of Babylon being rebuilt in the last days of this age. Somebody's going to take that project and finish that city, and I wouldn't even be surprised to see the capital of Iraq moved to Babylon once it is finally reconstructed. And we should expect to see that from this rebuilt Babylon, we should expect to see it form the nucleus of a great kingdom that is going to arise in the end time, consisting of 10 confederated rulers, some weak and some very strong.

Daniel 2 says it. They have a little bit of trouble hanging together sometimes, but they hang together with Iraq as the major power. I believe this confederation will be led by none other than the Antichrist himself, ruling with his power source from Babylon. He may very well be the leader of Iraq, and his kingdom will be an Arab kingdom, and he will be an Arab leader, and the Battle of Armageddon will be an Arab-Israeli showdown. It will not be European and Israeli, but Arab and Israeli showdown. The ultimate goal of the Antichrist will be to destroy the nation of Israel, the goal that the Arabs have said they have had from the very beginning.

It has never changed, and Daniel chapter 9 talks about the Antichrist making a covenant with Israel, and in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period, he breaks the covenant and sets out to accomplish what his real goal was all the time, not to bring a covenant of peace to the Middle East, but to use it as a cloak to get Israel to let her guard down so he can destroy her. Do you have any idea what a worldwide hero some Arab leader would be if he could bring peace to the Middle East, if he could bring a solution to the Palestinian problem, if he could bring a solution to world terrorism, if he could get all the Arab nations to recognize Israel, if he could bring a cessation of hostilities to the Middle East? Do you know what a world hero that man would be?

Has it ever occurred to you that's exactly the covenant that the Antichrist might make in the end days that will make him the kind of world hero that the whole world will follow? And we're talking about a world economy for the Antichrist? Hey, friends, where do you think all the money in the world is?

It's not here. Don't kid yourself. We're broke.

We just don't know it yet. But we are stone cold broke. We are bankrupt. So is Russia. So is all of Europe. Cut off Japan's oil and they'd be bankrupt in six or eight weeks.

There's only one place in the world where there's any money. And that's right smack dab in the middle of where this prophecy is talking about in the Middle East. Is it possible in the next few years that using that monetary and economic power that the Middle East could bring the rest of the world to its knees? I believe it's possible.

I do. And I believe that the end will come when the Lord Jesus returns to confront these armies who have gathered against Jerusalem. They made a covenant. They got Jerusalem to disarm. They got the Israelis to dismantle.

They got them to relax. You say the Israelis will never do that. God says they will. They're going to believe in this man to such a degree. He's going to be such a master deceiver with Satan working along with him.

He will even deceive the Israelis into disarming. And once he accomplishes that, he will break the covenant and he will move on Israel. And really, the great overriding message of this prophecy is not even the fourth kingdom, is it? It's the rock that was made without hands that destroyed the fourth kingdom. And then once it had destroyed the fourth kingdom, filled the entire earth with an eternal kingdom from God. That's the point of the prophecy. We can get so hung up trying to figure out what the fourth kingdom is that we miss the real climax of the prophecy. The climax of the prophecy is not the rise of the fourth kingdom.

The climax of the prophecy is the destruction of the fourth kingdom by the return of Christ and the setting up of the kingdom of God. And so I believe we're going to see the power focus of this world shifting more and more and more to the Middle East as the years go on. Europe, in my opinion, is through being the power focus of this world. Europe is not going to matter anymore. The Cold War between Russia and the United States is no longer going to be the primary power focus of this world.

But you can see it happening already every day in the news. It's the Middle East, the Middle East, the Middle East. And the world's focus is going to be shifting there because of money and oil. God's focus is going to be shifting there because of his plan for Israel.

And friends, as God's focus shifts to the Middle East, you can be sure that Satan's focus is going to shift right there along with God's focus. And the whole thing is heading towards the return of Jesus Christ. Are we ready to have Jesus return today?

I don't think so. Is the return of Christ imminent? Yes. Could the rapture happen today?

Yes. Did it ever occur to you that the Bible never says that the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation start on the next day from one another? The Bible never says that.

I mean, we assume that. We say, yeah, gee, when Christ comes to get us, the tribulation period starts right away. The Bible doesn't say that. There could be who knows how much time between the rapture of the church and the beginning of the tribulation. I tend to think like you, they're close, but I don't know. God only knows. Is the tribulation period close?

I think it's close. Is it right around the corner? Well, I don't see things are set up yet fully for it to be right around the corner. I still think there's some things that need to happen first before we're going to see the Antichrist be able to appear, consolidate power in the Middle East, unify the Arab countries, rule from Babylon. How many years will it be?

I have no idea. But I think it's still a little while. Christ could still come back to get us tonight.

He didn't promise us it was going to be a one day next day thing. But it's coming. Can't you see it coming?

It's going to happen. And what we've just seen take place in the Middle East is going to be something like what's going to happen in the end of the age, except, folks, what we've just seen is baby food, pablum, compared to what it's going to be like when the Antichrist unleashes everything he's got. Remember it said in Daniel 2, this is a kingdom more ferocious and more ruthless than any Gentile kingdom that has ever existed. You think the Babylonians were bad. You think the Assyrians were bad.

You think Hitler was bad. Friends, this world hadn't seen nothing yet. But praise the Lord, if we know Christ, we don't have to worry about it, do we? Praise the Lord, if we know Christ, we're not going to be here to be a part of it. But some of your friends at work might be.

Some of your neighbors might be. And that's good reason for us to tell them about Christ. I want us to end making sure that we end our message tonight with the emphasis on the right syllable, prophetically. And so to do that, I just want to quote to you Revelation chapter 11, because this is where our prophecy ends. And the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in the heavens that said, the kingdoms of this world have now become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. And he will reign forever and ever. And that's the way it's all going to turn out.

And one of these days, you and I are going to see it happen. And praise the Lord for that. So keep your eye on the Middle East. Keep your eye on Babylon, because that's where I believe the Bible teaches. It's all going to be shaping up in the years to come. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-10 09:12:23 / 2023-06-10 09:27:02 / 15

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