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The Rise and Fall of the World, Part 3

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 8, 2021 4:00 am

The Rise and Fall of the World, Part 3

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 8, 2021 4:00 am

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Jerusalem is a focal point of God's plan. This marvelously blessed city is incredible place that lingers in the plan of God yet to be unfolded this city and departed from God and while the people in captivity were great at remembering Jerusalem.

They were not so great in remembering what the city addictions of experts from many fields to the test and over the next 20 years.

He catalogued the predictions of 284 respected professionals. The results were actually quite discouraging. Tadlock found that the experts were awful at both short-term and long-term forecast even when predictions were supposed to be sure things. They were wrong more than 1/4 of the time. Well, thankfully, when God tells you what's going to happen in the future you can be sure it's going to happen and that's the focus of John MacArthur's current study on grace to you.

The future events that lead to Christ's return and how you can prepare for that great day.

Johns titled this prophecy series, the rise and fall of world powers. And with that, let's get to today's lesson. Here's John Daniel chapter 2. We've been studying the whole chapter and I'm not going to for time say go over all the review and everything, but just come in at some point to refresh your thinking and then pick up the closing portion of the chapter. Hardly a day goes by in our world when at least one time or other. You don't read in the newspaper about the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been a focal point for the attention of the world for many years now and I suppose that even the unknowing world and the world of people who don't understand its significance can't help but be amazed by the fascination that the world has with this marvelous and ancient city.

If you know anything about the Bible you know that Jerusalem is a very very special place.

There's no city like it in the world. Throughout history, it is been the focal point for the drama of redemption center stage in the book of Daniel as we pick up the scene.

The Jewish people of been taken from Jerusalem. They been made captives in the land of Babylon to the east, and according to Psalm 137 verses five and six.

This is their cry. If I forget the old Jerusalem let my right hand forget her cunning if I do not remember the let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy even in captivity they long for the city of Jerusalem, even in captivity they said that they would rather sacrifice anything then lose their great love for Jerusalem was at the ground was at the bricks in the mortar that made the walls in the building. Was it why Jerusalem why hungering hard for that city. Why 70 years later.

Was it such a major issue with Nehemiah that he go back and rebuild the walls of this ancient city why in our own modern times of Jews been immigrating back to that land of Israel to live in that city of Jerusalem. Well, I guess the first time Jerusalem was ever mentioned in the Bible it was mentioned in Genesis chapter 14 and that makes it pretty old and it says from Jerusalem. There was a priest of the most high God, only it doesn't call the city, Jerusalem, and it calls the city's LM Salem piece most likely an ancient name for city which became Ja Rule sailor. There was a famous mountain in the middle of that city called Mount Moriah and Abraham actually prepared to sacrifice Isaac on that mountain.

When God provided a ram fitting that before the city had even become what it was to become God had marked it out as a place of sacrifice. The first specific reference to Jerusalem is found in the 10th chapter of Joshua. As the children of Israel were coming out of the Egyptian captivity and being led into the promised land by Joshua. They came to the knowledge of this particular city of Canaan known as Jerusalem and Jerusalem stood like other cities such as AI and Jericho in the path of the conquering Israelites. That's where we first meet, and from then on, it dominates biblical teaching. God marvelously sets his affection on that city.

God has great plans for it, even yet in the future. Jerusalem is an amazing place. Jerusalem is on a plateau.

The plateau moves up out of the surrounding area and on three sides. Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys 3 to 400 feet deep. Only one side is level and that's the north so that the only effective way to attack the city is from the north, and thus it becomes easy to defend Jerusalem because there's only one way in which the enemy can becoming.

In other words, it was an ideal setting for a city, a natural fortress. It became the possession of the Israelites who came into the land of Canaan, but not much was said of it. After that it just was kind of their when David became king he reigned in Hebron and Hebron is up about 30 miles south and the city of the plane that would be very difficult to defendant David reigned in Hebron for about seven years and then he decided to move the capital city to Jerusalem. And he did that, according to second Samuel chapter 5 and Jerusalem became the Royal capital, where David reigned for 33 years and from then on Mount Zion, which is a hill in the middle of Jerusalem became identified as the royal seat from David on then Jerusalem is the Royal capital.

The political center the economic center the religious center the cultural center the social center of Jewish life and may I add, is the center of God's redemptive plan was just down the road from Jerusalem. The Messiah was born it was just outside the wall of Jerusalem that he died it was equally just outside the wall of Jerusalem that he rose again. It will be just outside the wall of Jerusalem on the Mount of olives, where he will descend and then finally he will enter the city of Jerusalem and establish his throne. Jerusalem is a focal point of God's plan. But as we come to the book of Daniel. This marvelously blessed city. The city which God above all other cities had marked out for up place in redemptive history.

This incredible place that lingers still not in the memory but in the plan of God yet to be unfolded. This city had departed from God and while the people in captivity were great at remembering Jerusalem. They were not so great in remembering what made Jerusalem great while remembering their love for the city.

They had forgotten the place of God. They were loving the city without loving the God who city it was. So God took them out of that city and invader came along by the name of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar. This powerful monarch who, for all intents and purposes establish the Babylonian Empire, the greatest empire of the world of its day. This Nebuchadnezzar sat, destroyed, plundered, pillaged and made captive of the people of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 5212 it says now in the fifth month in the 10th day of the month which was the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came never garden captain of the guard to serve the king of Babylon to Jerusalem and burn the house of the Lord and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem and all the houses of the great men burned.

He with fire and all the army of the Chaldeans that were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem roundabout. Never start on the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people in the residue of the people remain in the city and those who fell away who fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude only left for a few vine dressers and farmers to make sure they got some product out of the land they wiped the place out smashed all the houses crush the temple of God destroyed the palace of the key they obliterated the city.

Nebuchadnezzar did that yet to great objectives in mind first is objective was to destroy the house of God. Why wanted to break the back of their religion. Secondly, he destroyed the palace that was to break the royal house the political order.

He wanted to destroy the religion of their politics, and thus render them impotent in 586 BC.

He succeeded, and it was an end of the great era at that particular point in history. There began a time which our Lord Jesus calls the times of the Gentiles. In Luke 2124 the Lord said that Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Jerusalem was initially trodden down by the Gentiles when Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed it. And Jesus said in Luke 2124 that it would stay that way until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. So that would be this tremendous period of history in which Gentile power would hold sway in the city of Jerusalem.

I believe Jesus reiterated this very same judgment in Matthew chapter 23 verse 37. He said all Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou the killers the prophets and stones them who are sent under the how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not listen. He said, behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I send you, ye shall not see me henceforth to you shall say, Blessed is he that, in the name of the Lord. In other words the Lord is saying this Jerusalem will be desolate until you recognize who I am and then you will see me and then will come the end of the desolation of Jerusalem. Christ was reiterating then that Jerusalem would be desolate until he returned until he came to set up his kingdom and he would not do that until they recognized him for who he was. The point is this the times of the Gentiles than Mustang with the coming of Christ and Christ cannot come until the Jews see him for who he was until Zachariah puts it, they look on him whom they have pierced and mourn for him as an only son until they say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. That's why we believe that prior to Christ coming in establishing his kingdom during the period known as the great tribulation. There will be a tremendous revival among the Jews and Israel will be redeemed. Revelation 7 and 14 tells us that so beginning with Nebuchadnezzar there came this time of the Gentiles.

When Jerusalem was trodden down by the Gentiles, and it will exist until the return of Jesus Christ say will Arthur periods of time when the Jews were in Jerusalem.

Yes, right. Today is one of the Jews went back to Jerusalem, 70 years after the Babylonian captivity and try to rebuild it, but they never had the freedom and the autonomy they had before they were oppressed by the nations around them. They were living really on thin ice. No sooner had they rebuilt their city that it came not only was it under the control of the Medo Persians at that time, but it came under the control of the Greeks, and even though they had a little bit a liberty to live there and did well there. The Greeks assigned Amanda was a raving maniac by the name of Antiochus epiphanies to rule over them. It was then followed by Roman rule and the Romans took charge of them and they were vassals really to the Romans even there it do me and Kings. The heretics were nothing but the servants of Rome. And so there have been times while they while they have been there. They have not yet had the autonomy that they should have in the absolute freedom and right to rule her own land God promised them in the beginning you remember that in 70 A.D. Titus son of the Sebastian brought his Roman legions into Jerusalem and he destroyed it again. In fact, some Bible scholars tell us that they probably killed 1,100,000 Jews and that one massacre in 70 A.D. and after the destruction of 70 A.D. An interesting thing happened. There were some remaining Jews and they wanted to pray for the restoration of their city as they had prayed through all the times of the Gentiles, that God would give them back their city and all their land to rule freely without any intervention by anyone else.

Any Gentiles, and they want to pray about this and so they began to congregate in a place where the temple originally stood and they would meet there in the morning and in the noon day and in the afternoon and in the evening and they would always seem to be meeting at the same place. The last remnants of the temple and it became such a familiar place of prayer that it got a name the Wailing Wall. It was the place where they went to pray that their city would be restored and that it would no longer know Gentile dominion they would weep they would wail as the psalmist said, praying for the peace of Jerusalem praying for God to send a deliverer praying that God would break Gentile dominion so they could rebuild their temple and repossess their city. It was controlled by all different kinds of people, Arabs, Turks, even the British Persians had it for a while never got it. Not until 1948 when they became a nation that they even get a piece of much of anything, but still they didn't get the Wailing Wall Pl. where they had prayed so often for the peace of Jerusalem on Wednesday, June 7, 1967 they broke through the air of resistance, irreverent in the Six-Day War and they arrived at the Wailing Wall and begin to pray and begin to shout one of them said for 2000 years. Our people prayed for this moment they stood in the old city and they said it is now ours, and some people said the times of the Gentiles is there's no Gentile dominion in the land in the nation in the city of Jerusalem.

Oh, you think that's true, times of the Gentiles doesn't end when the troops get the Wailing Wall times of the Gentiles ends when the Messiah returns. You can ask any thinking Jew in Jerusalem today if the Jews have absolute free autonomy in their land or if they feel the burden of Gentile oppression. You get the same answer they feel the burden of Gentile and per oppression in order comes from comes from the United Nations. For one thing comes from international imposition that other nations are put upon them more than anything.

It comes from the presence of the mosque in the dome of the rock that sits right on the very place where the temple is supposed to be and they can't do a thing about it without starting a Middle East war that would be a Holocaust and there they are occupying their city. But this great big round thing representing Gentile intrusion faces them every day and the one thing you see when you look at Jerusalem is the dome of the rock is the only thing in all city that's got gold top. You know you can even build anything in Jerusalem today and wish you Jerusalem stone. You can't bring anything in it all has to fit the code everything in there looks the same.

It's all the same white stone except the dome of the rock in the mosque domes gold of Moscow silver that sits on the temple ground is a sign outside the temple grounds only Orthodox Jews and it says do not enter here and it signed by the chief rabbi and the reason is you might inadvertently step on the holy of holies because are not too sure where was it still under Gentile dominion, they never really had their their own self-rule and dominion that they lost when Nebuchadnezzar came in the future.

People there was going to be a Gentile invasion of that land like nothing that's ever happened in the past. Zachariah chapter 12 verse two it says I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling undo all the peoples roundabout when they shall be in the siege, both against Judah and against Jerusalem is not come siege against that city and the end time. It says in Zechariah 14, the day of the Lord will come and I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled, and the women ravished and half of the city shall go forth the captivity and the residue of the people, shall not be cut off from the earth and then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations is when he fought in the day of battle, and his feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of olives, which is before Jerusalem on the East and the Mount of olives shall split in the middle, toward the east, and toward the west. That's the coming of Christ is, but prior to that coming. There's going to be a gathering of nations to Jerusalem. There are four fronts where the battle of Armageddon will be fought. One is in Jerusalem, south of Jerusalem north of Jerusalem and at the plain of Megiddo in the blood will be as deep as the horses bridles for 200 miles. This great conflagration notice peace of Jerusalem is not yet come out at all and so the peace of Israel awaits the peace of Jerusalem.

Now we have been studying the flow of Gentile history from the Babylonian Empire to the Medo Persian Empire. The Greek empire to the Roman Empire and last time. Having looked at the dream received the dream recalled the dream revealed we focus particularly, I want to look back at this now on the final phase of this world Empire.

The final phase is indicated in verse 34 of verse 33 I'm sorry the legs of iron that speaks of room but the feet are part iron and part clay, part iron and part clay. Now go down to verse 40 and the fourth kingdom and is the explanation of that shall be strong as iron for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things and is iron the brakes all these, it shall break in pieces and crush but doesn't end there. And whereas now sauce the feet and toes, part of potter's clay that's tile like material part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. There shall be in it of the strength of iron for as much is now sauce the iron mixed with miry clay and as the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle and whereas now sauce iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of man, but they shall not adhere one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. Now what the final world Empire was ruled right but it appears in two phases. The first part is all iron, the two legs used in the Western empires of Rome, but the final phase changes and it's a mingling of iron with clay as an inherent weakness is more diverse than it is ever been because the weakness the tile represents the seed of men.

The final form of the Roman Empire will be a diverse situation trying to mingle strength with weakness and they cannot coexist any more than you can connect iron to clay. You get to the final form will be partly strong and partly brittle. The Bible doesn't see the. In between.

The Bible sees Rome as the final world Empire strong and nine-week.

Rome was never conquered by any other world Empire. No nation is ever taken Rome's place.

Did you know that no nation ever conquered Rome in the eastern part of the Empire took 1500 years before they finally kind of faded out.

I believe the Bible tells us. They went into an abeyance. Their head was wounded as if they were dead, only to rise again in the future. Roman Empire simply different disintegrated, but it's influences are still here at the Roman thought Roman law and it doesn't see the.

In between the church age. But that isn't surprising because the Old Testament never did see the church age. That's why in Ephesians 3, Paul says that this is a mystery. This is a mystery why am a preacher of a mystery. God has given me a message to give you that is a mystery. The dispensation of the grace of God to me is to preach the mistreatment of the mystery was a mystery is something hidden. That is now revealed.

The Old Testament never saw the church age and so were not a bit surprised when we find it interval in the New Testament era that is discussed in the old.

For example, you have passages in the Old Testament the prophesied things about Christ, half of which are of his first coming Of which are the second coming. Yet the Old Testament puts no time. There why because it doesn't see that mystery.

Known as the church in that's the mystery that's that which was hidden in his revealed in the New Testament.

This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study from the book of Daniel is looking at the rise and fall of powers John of all the biblical prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. There are two main books of Scripture that come to my mind. One is Daniel.

That's the focus of your current study here on grace to you the other, of course, is revelation and those two books fit together remarkably don't think you spent years studying Revelation what lasting impression did that leave on your life. While I think the difference between the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation is in in Daniel's case you have visions of the future visions of the coming of Christ. But you don't necessarily have a chronology when you get to the book of Revelation. You have also visions of the coming of Christ and all the events around it, but you have this crystal-clear chronology that flows from the church on earth to the new heavens and the new earth and all the steps in between your people think the book of Revelation is so difficult to understand. And yet it begins with the promise. Blessed is he who reads and understands this book I think is one of the easiest books in the Bible to understand all course, there's the graphic imagery in their visions, and, but, but they're basically there explained in the book of Revelation, and I think it it's chronology lays out exactly what the future is going to be around the coming of Christ.

Remember teaching the book of Revelation in one day in eastern Russia to 1600 pastors who wanted to know about the future and when I finish teaching related note, never had any formal training.

They said we believe what you believe and I was amazed you believe what I believe because they had just read the book of Revelation that was that clear to them. All of that is summed up.

That's a jet tour through revelation. I'm talking about in a booklet that we would love to send you the title of the booklet. A jet tour through revelation. It's the printed edition of a sermon I preached in an hour and 1/2 and went through the whole book of Revelation. Of course it's free. We would love to send one to you.

You will understand the Birdseye, the high-altitude view of the book of Revelation. Again, the booklet, a jet tour through revelation free for limited time to anyone who asks yes and do get in touch with us and ask. This booklet shows you what Scripture says about the return of Christ in the millennium the final judgment, the eternal state. All of them powerful truths that can motivate you to a life of worship get the booklet at jet tour through revelation. It's free. Just contact us today. You can request your free booklet when you call 855 grace or visit our website jet tour through revelation packs a lot of content into just a few pages and it's a great reference tool for answering questions that you probably have and again at jet tour through revelation is our gift to you request or call us at 855 and for a more in-depth study of Revelation. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of John's book because the time is near. It's a resource that will guide you through the final book of Scripture helping you understand what all the prophecies mean and showing you how the book of Revelation should shape the way you live as you anticipate Christ's return. It's an ideal gift for your pastor or perhaps a Bible study leader who's teaching through this vital section of Scripture to order, call 855 grace or visit now for John MacArthur and the staff find Phil Johnson. Thanks for listening today back tomorrow as John continues his look at the rise and fall of world powers. With another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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