Goodnews Christian Ministry
"Is it not the will of God the Almighty that the laboring of the peoples should end in fire, and the toiling of the nations come to nothing?." ---Habbakuk 2:13
"Then the he-goat from the West grew more powerful than ever, but at the height of its strength the great horn snapped, and in its place sprouted four majestic horns, pointing to the four winds of heaven. "
Daniel was a Hebrew prophet who lived during the 70-year Jewish exile in Babylon several centuries before Alexander the Great or Antiochus IV Epiphanes (two individuals most prominently associated with his prophecies) were born.
His most famous vision was his analysis of the 'handwriting on the wall' which mysteriously appeared in the palace of king Belshazzar the night before Persia attacked and brought the Babylonian empire to an end.
A human hand suddenly appeared that fateful night, and to the astonishment of those assembled in the royal quarters, it began to write out a message on the palace wall.
The writing read: "Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.." No one knew what it meant and so Daniel, a Jewish Prophet known to have great powers of interpretation was called in to decipher the words. Daniel solemnly explained to the king that the hand they had seen was the hand of God, and the writing was a message of imminent disaster:
"The meaning of the words is this", Daniel told him, "Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians." (Dn.5:25-28).
That very same night, the Chaldaean king Belshazzar was murdered, and the kingdom of Babylon fell into the hands of Darius the Mede, king of Persia.
It is this 'handwriting' prophecy which really quantifies Daniel in prophetic history, because it makes us focus the writings of Daniel on the destruction of Babylon by the forces of the East. The Book of Revelations tells us that this is not just an element of the past, but is a critical event in our future -- the plague of the sixth trumpet.
The historical format of the prophecies, therefore, is not a concern to us. We can be assured of its spiritual accuracy because Daniel's book stands in a pre-eminent position in the Bible through the instruction of Christ (Matt.24:15-17). And that is all we really need to know about its past.
Most Bible Scholars are convinced that a great many of Daniel's prophecies centered around the exploits of Alexander the Great and his immense but divided empire. Alexander was not the focal point of Daniel's visions, of course, but there are important things that the Holy Spirit wanted us to see in the Greek era which surrounded this important world conqueror.
The quotation which leads this chapter accurately forecasts Alexander's sudden death and the subsequent parcelling out of his empire into the four Greek kingdoms that replaced his rule.
While a close relationship between Daniel's prophecies and these historical events exists, we must not forget that while it is history's purpose to explain the past, Daniel's writings tell us about a future yet unveiled. They are about the end of the world.
The Book of Daniel is a book of prophecy, not a book of history.
So while the historical counterparts are important, they should be studied only to add perspective to events that still lie in history's womb. Jesus has taught us that the ultimate meaning of Daniel's prophecies are deeply webbed with the future's end-times, and, in this respect, his words have powerful elements which seem to be unfolding now, in the twentieth century.
And it is this aspect of his statements, now developing, that must command our primary attention. The probing of scholarship is not our concern. It changes with each shovelful of dirt and it's discoveries have nothing to do with the consequences of any of these visions.
Daniel's prophecy calls for a quest directed at 'the four winds of heaven' (not earth). The use of such an idiom implies diverse religious or philosophical leanings, not just differing political ideologies. We can expect to see both.
Daniel has forseen the destruction of Babylon. His book deciphers the handwriting on the wall, and its visions bring us into touch with the terrible warfare that lies under the hoofbeats of those four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the kings of the East.
We have already shown that the life of Babylon was extended through a worldwide conversion into the Christian faith -- a conversion which pre-empted Babylon and brought into existance a great Christian empire in its place. And suddenly in our time we are witnessing the reversal of this divine victory, and the rebirth from its fatal deathbed of the Babylon our early Christian fathers long ago put to rest.
The political collapse of the Christian world, or any of its component nations (The U.S.A., for instance) could not occur unless a crucial spiritual fall took place within these nations first.
God has promised to thwart this kind of disaster anywhere that His will is obeyed. "Should anyone attack you, that will not be my doing, and whoever attacks you, for your sake will fall. I it was who created the smith who blows on the coal fire and from it takes the weapons to work on. But I also created the destroyer who renders them useless. Not a weapon forged against you will succeed. Every tongue that accuses you in judgment will be refuted. Such will be the lot of the servants of God, the triumphs I award them -- it is God who speaks." (Is.54:15-17).
These words show that every conversion and every re-commitment to Christ will slow the new course of our planet and help to return the world to the faith of its past. That is why this book exists -- to urge everyone able to listen to recant their own secularization.
This is the same reason why a vision of Mary has appeared in the middle of Yugoslavia; and the message preached there is no different than ours. Mary has informed her visionaries in Medjugore that this is the last time she will appear on earth before the end -- i.e., this is her last visitation before Armageddon.
In light of Mary's statement, no one can say that the prophecies of conclusion are the product of a handful of kooks on the spatial fringes of Protesantism. They are sweeping through the entire Christian Church. It is God's way of telling us to wake up and listen -- to repent and stop the processes now trying to unlock Daniel's template in our time.
When we look at Yugoslavia and what has happened there since Mary first made her appearance to those schoolchildren, it is sobering. When she first began speaking with them a winter Olympics was preparing to bring the world to the pinnacle of civility in Sarajevo.
Her pleas for repentance and prayer went unheeded, and Yugoslavia has since dissolved into the kind of Bosnia we know today. And where else will the hatred that surrounds this Serbian-Bosnian-Croatian whirlpool lead the world? There must be something ominously significant about this place for God to have chosen it of all the locations on earth to effect the final appearance of Christ's mother.
The dissolution of Yugoslavia is the same kind of partitioning into camps of hatred that Daniel's prophecies define for the entire world.
If we look at Daniel's 'four winds' prophecy on a spiritual level we can see that he has these horns pointing in four dissimilar directions toward heaven. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that each of these horns will pursue the search for religious meaning in ways that are not only philosophically different from one another, but different from the teachings of their Christian ancestry as well.
This implies diverse religious beliefs rising up throughout Babylon to replace the Christian-focused philosophy that had previously ruled there.
Applying this to current events, the original empire (the 'he-goat from the west') can be seen as a Christian-oriented government that conquers the world philosophically, spreading its democratic (Greek) 'rule' almost to the ends of the earth. In this respect it follows in an uncanny way the Greek victories of Alexander.
At the peak of its power, however, its Christian orientation disintegrates, followed quickly by political collapse. Thus the quotation that leads our chapter.
That disintegration process has already begun. The western world, as we have seen, has recently abandoned its championship of Christ and has begun to espouse secular and political philosophies in His place.
Christ's moral teaching has been put out of the schools and the fierceness of its exclusion by western leaders has convinced a great many young that its teaching is bigoted, often irrelevant and subject to serious question -- in some cases, even sanity.
This has sent moral instruction reeling. As a consequence, the ethical unity of the Christian millenium is in the process of dissolution -- a disintegration visible all across the western world. Because of this evaporation of faith, the political power of western government will, itself, dissipate. This apostasy promises political and social catastrophe, not only for the United States, but for all the other nations of secular Babylon as well.
If we accept that the western world in general is Babylon, then the United States in particular represents the far west portion of this doomed kingdom. And if we accept the fact that the world is preparing itself right now for the second war of the Apocalypse (a war made up of many wars), then we must consider that The U.S.A. has a very special place in the prophecies of scripture.
It is a place the Bible calls 'Javan' (as wll as 'Kittim'). And because a powerful segment of people within it's borders will sustain a deep faith in Christ throughout the period of the tribulation, it is destined to be the only segment of the western world capable of standing off the initial onslaught of the East when its dominions come rolling over Babylon in the days ahead.
Jesus indicated, by His revelation concerning the two Hellenist visitors just before His crucifixion (Jn.12:20-23), that Greece would be integral to the spread of Christianity across the world. Today democracy and Greece are interlocked as equivalent terms.
When the Holy Spirit directed that the New Testament be composed in the Greek language, it reinforced what Jesus infered, binding Greece and what it stood for to Christ, and defining Babylon as the western world.
History has since borne this relationship out. It was the Greco-Roman world that Paul criss-crossed in all his journeys; and it was this same area whose conversion to Jesus in massive numbers formed what was destined to become the primal heartland of the worldwide Christian Church.
We can see the influence of this territory on the growth of Christianity all through the pages of the New Testament. For instance, the seven cities which house the seven churches to which the Book of Revelations was addressed were all major urban centers in the ancient Greek empire.
The fundamental structure of modern Babylon, therefore, has strong ties to classical Greece. The nation Daniel calls Javan comes from one particular segment of this framework. These western countries are all part of a Babylon that converted to God. This is true of the United States, as well -- the modern 'Javan'.
Tracing the visions of Daniel, we can see that the western power which defeats the twin horns of Media and Persia will stand for a brief moment at the summit of world power. That is exactly where a U.S.-led western world, victorious over Iraq, is stationed today after the fall of the Soviet Union. It will stand higher still.
Yet if the images follow through, the Bible indicates that the world-wide dominence of the western world will come to a sudden end very soon after a second war in the Middle East (a war which has not yet been fought) has ended. (Dn.8:8).
In other words, what happened to the Soviet Union in the disintegration of its relationships with eastern Europe will happen to America and the western nations of Europe as well. This, despite the fact that the latter's combined forces will have just secured convincing victories in both Middle Eastern wars.
In the case of the Soviet collapse, it was communism that seemed the loser. In the western collapse it will be the leadership of Christian government that will be vanquished. The political events which surround these changes are chronicled in the pages of scripture because they are frought with spiritual meaning.
Since all the prophecies concerning the last days seem to be coming to a focus in this century, it is reasonable to assume that Saddam Hussein imaged the first Median king. He was in the right place and the circumstances of his defeat matched perfectly with Daniel's vision.
Since the same empire that won the first war will also win the second (Dn.8:7), the western world (the confederation of nations which the Bible calls Babylon) must be seen as the victor in both conflicts -- and, therefore, as the horn which Daniel said will collapse at the height of its power.
If these visions are about us and our times -- and there is every indication that they are -- then somehow, at the very pinnacle of its influence on the planet, the western world -- an American-led alliance of Christian nations -- will be broken (at least its vast world dominance will soon be shattered) and that authority re-distributed 'to the four winds' soon after a second Gulf conflict has ended.
There is little question that the western world has occupied the throne of world government throughout much of recorded history -- enjoying an uninterrupted reign since the days of Alexander the Great. As the political nerve center guiding the West's latest push east, the U.S. role has been crucial.
Resurrecting a Greek political principle (democracy), America has changed the nature of world government by distributing this ideology across the face of the earth.
But with this western victory has come spiritual erosion. Human rights cannot flourish outside of Christ; and with His influence disappearing from the equation, the whole foundation of western government is beginning now to founder.
While many nations have come to rely on the U.S. to oversee and direct the major affairs of the planet, the costs of doing so are becoming prohibitive, and the success of such efforts, in the face of expanding world hostility, increasingly questionable.
Whenever a problem breaks out anywhere on earth the U.S. is expected to step in and solve it. The United States is the world's army, it is the food bank, the monetary system, the business leader and, more recently, the political ideal for all the other countries. Even the headquarters of the United Nations is located in a U.S. city.
Whatever else may disappear, certainly this dominating and guiding political influence over the rest of the world by the United States will be lost in the western collapse foreseen by Daniel.
A complete disintegration of the stars and stripes does not fit the vision, though, because there are additional prophecies in Daniel's book which strongly suggest that the United States will remain militarily powerful throughout the balance of the end times.
What does fit the vision, then, is the sudden disintegration of western civilization -- at the very height of its power and influence in the world. Daniel's prophecy shows a western political and spiritual world-dominance suddenly scattered to the four winds.
Taking the place of this 2000-year old 'Greco-Roman' Christian authority, Daniel envisions a suddenly powerful East, composed chiefly of a fiery Middle East (Persia) and a conglomerate of nine other nations centered in the Asian north.
The term 'Persia' is used in the prophecies but this is a spiritual designation. It separates a wildly militant sect of Muslims (somewhat like the Shiites of Persia) from the moderate Muslim community (like the Sunni's which up until recently ruled almost all of Islam).
While the precise political logistics in the collapse forseen by Daniel still remain clouded to a large degree, the underlying cause seems certain to lie in the spiritual 'Revolt' which is erupting inside all western nations and driving the influence of Christ's Gospel out of world affairs. If faith were strong, an outside attack could never be successful.
The spiritual dominion of Christ and His Church over the political West has been in place for almost 1700 years. All the nations that have sprung up on earth out of the roots of this Christian base (i.e., all the nations of Babylon) have been deeply impressed by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Until recently, these governments, manifesting their strong Christian orientation, have all acquiesced to the moral guidance of the Church, demanding an unswerving obedience by their subjects to the Gospel's righteousness.
But this submission by western government to Christ no longer exists. Reflecting a changing attitude in those they rule, these governments no longer want Jesus coming in and telling them how their citizens should behave. Instead, they now acknowledge no authority that is higher than their own.
Tossed out from government along with the Church in this rebellion has been the Gospel of Christ with all its commandments from God. There is little question that this recent renunciation of the Gospel by world government is about to tear apart the wall of protection that faith erected between the orderly world of previous centuries and the global political anarchy envisioned by Daniel for the future.
The signs of this wall's collapse are everywhere. And since it relates to a handwriting that Daniel deciphered only moments before the wall was destined to fall, we must assume that our sudden insight into Daniel's words gives us precious little time to change the events his visions portend.
Since the unseen force that gave the West its world dominating position was not the power of its governments, but faith in Jesus Christ, the political collapse of the West foreseen in these prophecies could not occur unless a disintegration of faith had not first preceded it.
Indications of such decay are evident everywhere in the violence and hedonism of our times, and it is this same fury that is propelling the youth of today's world down a course far different from the paths walked by their Christian predecessors.
Even of those who still remain loyal to the Church, many are doing so outside of faith -- much like the Jewish militants at the time of Christ who were outwardly religious, but internally faithless.
Ultimately, then, the downfall of the western world -- the collapse of Babylon -- will be specifically related to a failure in faith little different from that which we can see in progress all around us right now.
This dovetailing of current circumstance with Daniel's prophecy is another indication that the times now surrounding us are the very ones scripture has been predicting for the final fall of Babylon.
If the present course persists, then -- if there is no major faith awakening in the world in the near future -- then those few who still remain faithful in the wake of the current collapse will be powerless in their minority to change these events or prevent the revolt of Satan from occurring.
The world power of the western world will collapse because, in its rejection of the Gospel of Christ, it will have undermined the divine invisible supports which have given it all its strength.
The fact that one bastion of faith will remain ('in the islands of the sea') has also been predicted by scripture. "Therefore in the islands of the sea they give glory to God, in the islands of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel." (Is.24:15).
"But 'Enough, enough!' I say. 'Woe to the traitors who betray, to the traitors who treacherously betray!' Terror, the pit, the snare for you, inhabitants of the earth..." (Is.24:16-17).
The partial exemption of this one area across the sea from the ensuing devastation will stand as a political metaphor in the sight of a darkening world -- an indication that a last bastion of faith will remain amid the collapsing ruins of Christian belief -- portraying in one single location on earth a faith sufficiently powerful to counter the satanic processes overwhelming the rest of the planet.
Yet this is the hour of Satan, so those who remain loyal to Jesus on these 'islands' across the sea will be barely able to support the faithlessness of their own citizens let alone that of the rest of the world. There is every reason to believe, as we shall see later, that these words refer to the United States of America.
Yet it should be noted that it will not be America in general that will be the final citadel of faith on earth, but a group of strong and independent spiritual communities within it which will steadfastly hold to the obedience of Christ and so block the main body of the wrath from overwhelming selected parts of this hemisphere. (Is.1:19-20).
In Daniel's vision the collapse of Babylon points not only to spiritual division, but to a divided political world as well. All the works of God go in pairs by opposites. The division of Babylon is no different. This partitioning will produce four separate alliances of nations.
An event of this sort would shatter completely the American dominance over foreign affairs that is currently powering international politics. Moreover, according to Daniel, it will shift the balance of world power from west to east.
Examining the historic prototype on which Daniel's vision is said to be based, Alexander's death in Babylon did not kill ancient Greek government; instead, it caused the Greek empire to splinter into four widely disparate kingdoms. This broke apart the unity of Alexander's empire and left the Greek heartland impotent and, for the most part, uninvolved in the warfare and dissension which followed.
In the same way, then, the snapping of the great horn in our time (Dn. 8:8), while not actually implying the death of the United States, does confirm the disintegration of its world-dominating role. With its former allies suddenly shifting alliances, this will leave America isolated.
This is where the division shifts from 'Javan' to 'Kittim', because America will not be relegated to impotence like the Greek heartland was during Antiochus' time. Instead, it will assume the mantle of a powerful isolationism like that which cloaked Rome during the age of the Syrian empire.
While tariffs and other provincial economic measures may play a part in this fracturing, much more must be involved, because the collapse Daniel foresees points to something far more dramatic and final -- the disintegration of Babylon itself.
The vision is based on nothing less than Alexander's death -- a really momentous event that forever altered world history in ancient times. And it's counterpart will do the same in our own time. This is an event that will splinter Babylon, and it looms quite close to us now. It is not something that lies far off in the future.
The ten-nations of the Apocalypse cannot grow outside this rent. In its wake, the western world will collapse, and the United States, despite its overwhelming strength, will be relegated to a distant voice in the new sweep of world politics.
Western political dominion over the world will crumble in response to its loss of faith. As the influence of the western world disentegrates, the spiritual dominence of Christ on earth will collapse with it.
Christ's influence among the nations will become increasingly isolated as His popularity plummits among the nations, and the political collapse of the western world will follow, mirroring Christ's dissolving world authority. Instead of seeing this devolving catastrophe in terms of faith collapse, the world will target faith as the culprit of the ensuing misery and Christianity will suffer accordingly.
Since the political part of this dissolution is shown by Daniel to follow right on the heels of a Middle Eastern war, the isolation of America from the favor of its allies may well have something to do with that war itself. It might even involve world resentment toward the United States for the way in which victory in that war was pursued.
If this is the case, resentment toward Israel would likely play a key role in the break of relations as well. Certain verses of scripture seem to bear this out. Graphic prophecies exist which show a militarily powerful west throwing its support, not to Europe, but to the king of the South in the last days. The conditions which would cause the United States to abandon NATO and realign with Arabs and Jews cannot even be contemplated at this time.
The Jewish presence in Palestine will be a key factor underlying any war that is fought in the Middle East. Therefore, a strengthening American alliance with a militant Israel in this inflammatory part of the world could easily swing Europe and Asia away from cooperation with the United States.
Such possibilities are not remote. The world's major oil supply, for instance, is in the Middle East; and many world nations are bitterly opposed to Israel's conquest and occupation of Arab territory -- to many minds the Jewish version of a biblical 'manifest destiny' that has persistently escalated tensions in the Middle East and chronically destabilized the region.
With Israel currently factionated between two parties (one arguing for peace and the return of such land, and the other pushing for war and greater territorial expansion) any future Gulf-style conflict, if large and protracted enough, could easily tip the scales in favor of the latter. This will bring to power an even stronger military-oriented government in Israel.
Those who maintain that a second Gulf War is unlikely have not read their Bibles. Daniel shows that serious warfare in the Middle East will become a chronic fact of life as the days of the End approach. According to scripture, the whole area is destined to ignite into a furnace of firestorms which will not end until the day that Christ returns. (Is.4:4).
If nuclear weapons are involved in any of the fighting -- nuclear weapons employed by militant Muslim extremists, a possibility that cannot be taken lightly in view of the wanton behavior exibited by Saddam Hussein during the initial Gulf War -- the entire population of Europe and Asia would be legitimately terrorized.
The spectacular fields of burning oil in Kuwait would pale in comparison to the specter of wind-driven clouds of radiation raining its charged particles down onto the soil of Europe, contaminating the water and food supplies of all its nations.
Such possibilities might, of their own accord, make many western governments there willing to take radical steps to pacify tensions. This alone might freeze European-American relations.
The fact that Iran has been steadily expanding it's military arsenal in the direction of nuclear armaments (they have even stockpiled atomic submarines) does not bode well for any expectation of rational behavior during a future Middle Eastern conflict. With Israel already possessing nuclear weapons, the whole region is rapidly becoming a tinderbox capable of igniting the kind of world-wide conflagration all the prophecies of Armageddon postulate.
The potentialities inherent in this circumstance would not be lost on the people who live closest to the area -- the people of Europe and Asia for instance. Even a few nuclear weapons detonated in a limited war in the Middle East would have devastating repercussions throughout the entire eastern hemisphere. Economic and political sanctions against Israel and its allies would be the very least of many possible reactions.
One thing is certain, only a severe break with America by its former European allies could explain the ability of the 'ten horns' of Asia to conquer so much of that territory so quickly.
Daniel's prophecies seem to show that although reprisals by the United States (i.e., 'Kittim') will be the only successful military responses taken against the eastern kings, these will be measured and will only involve encroachments by the North against Israel and the southern alliance, they will apparently have little to do with affairs in Europe.
The disintegration of America's influence in Europe and Asia points to the dissoluton of Babylon itself -- a kingdom reborn on earth by spiritual revolt. Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Such will be the case here.
The prophecies show that as this reborn Babylon breaks apart, world government will splinter into four distinct coalitions of nations. One of these will meld Russia with the northern Middle East while another will unite Egypt and the southern Middle East. These two will form the 'North' and 'South' in Daniel's prophecies.
Overnight circumstances can dramatically change political alliances. Up until the time of the overthrow of the Shah, Iran was strongly allied with the United States. And today a tenuous alliance exists between the United States and Russia.
When Alexander's great empire dissolved, four separate kingdoms appeared to replace the territories of his conquest. And, of these four, the one that produced the beast of Judah (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) was the quarter that lay on the northeast quadrant of his empire.
Since this is Daniel's template, we can expect to see a similar kind of pattern in the future -- but this time involving the fractured pieces of the western world. For this reason, American victories and alliances today in the Far East, including its cold war victory over the Soviet Union, are significant.
Countries that once were inside America's democratic circle will go another way. Following the pattern Daniel has forseen, one of these, rising up out of the remnants of the fourth Persian empire (like a clone of the old Soviet Union), will become the eastern ten-nation confederacy destined to destroy the world. Joining it will be Persia.
Responding to Satan's mobilization for war, the Middle East will become embroiled in almost uninterrupted combat as the days of the end approach. Daniel's prophecies imply a rift dividing the Persians from their Arab neighbors.
The first Gulf War must certainly have been the opening stages of this civil conflict. The second Gulf War will make the division irreversible. Pitting muslim against muslim, as this rent expands it will fracture the Islamic faith, creating north and south kingdoms in the Islamic world and bringing one of Daniel's most important visions to momentous substance.
This partitioning of the Middle East has major implications because it will drive a large number of muslim Arabs into an alliance with Israel -- an alliance which is sure to involve the United States of America as well and thus perfectly fulfill Daniel's descriptions.
Responding to Jewish and Arab requests for aid, the United States (the 'Kittim' of Daniel's prophecies) will lend its support to the 'king of the South'. In response to this southern alliance, Persia will join the north (the Ten-Nation Confederacy) locking in place Armageddon's battle lines.
There are convincing indications in Daniel's words, then, that the final coalition of western forces in the last days will find the Arabs and Jews united and supported by the military complex of the United States; with most of the rest of the world leaning toward the Asian North and its Persian allies.
Once the coalitions solidify, Daniel's visions show us that great battles will rage all across the earth, plunging the world into warfare more intense and destructive than any ever experienced in the history of the human race. This is the time of the great tribulation when all the violence that scripture has predicted must come to pass.
Before it is finished, the mayhem will touch every person on the planet. "When that time comes no grown man will know peace, for many troubles will afflict all the inhabitants of the country." (2 Chron.15:5). "
For the day is near, the day of God is near; it will be a day dark with cloud, the end of an epoch for the nations. The sword will come on Egypt, and terror will visit Ethiopia when the slaughtered fall in Egypt...when her foundations are destroyed...the whole of Arabia...and the sons of my covenant will fall by the sword along with them." (Ez.30:1-5).
While these descriptions may seem fanciful, they detail scenario's Daniel's prophecies have already locked into place.
So many circumstance matching these prophecies have passed into fact in this century, it is hard not to assume that we are at the focal point of his vision. If this is true, we stand at this very moment on the precipice of all the mass devastation scripture's words have described.
If this destruction does not follow precisely the format outlined above, it will follow one that is similar. Because one thing is certain -- the Bible has decreed that it must happen -- and, according to Jesus, the book of Daniel is the key to just how it will happen.
When Alexander the Great was rolling to victory across the lands of Persia some twenty-five centuries ago, he was defining a template which would become manifest in the last days. As we watch the political climate of Asia change with the democratization of what was once the Soviet Union, we can see that template suddenly springing to life in our times.
The victorious penetration of Asia by the spirit of democracy seems to be transforming almost all of the eastern world by infusing it with western culture and politics. It is Alexander the Great all over again, but in a new format.
We can see this change everywhere we look. Western fashions and music have become the world rage. So, too, have western businesses. American franchises are popping up in every conceivable part of the globe.
But the most significant export by the United States to the rest of the world during this period has been its system of government -- i.e., democracy itself. Because it originated in Greece, the spread of democracy deep into Asia today symbolically parallels the earlier successes of Alexander the Great when he first brought Greek culture to the East 2500 years ago.
It is Alexander that most scholars feel Daniel was referring to in his prophecies concerning the "king of Javan", (Greece) (Dn.8:21). But, as we have noted before, Daniel's prophecies were not about Alexander -- they described a parallel to Alexander. They were about the future. And that future is almost certain to be what we are watching unfold today.
In all of previous history, never has the relationship between the Javan of the prophecies and a current nation been more compelling than the similarities which tie Alexander's Greece to the United States of America.
Democracy, the political seed of ancient Greece, found no soil anywhere on earth until the United States was born. So in this important sense, the 'king of Javan' appears to mean the 'prince of democracy' -- i.e., the president of the United States.
It is this relationship that brings Daniel's concept of Javan into union with the western kingdoms which make up the empire of Babylon in our time.
As we have shown before, since all of Daniel's visions surround events which started when Alexander the Great carried the banner of Greek culture deep into Persia, Alexander is one of the primary codes we must use to open the book of Daniel.
His victories are pivotal because they began the critical cycle of events which ultimately culminated in the 'Abomination of Desolation' whose recapitulation in the last days, Jesus said, would bring the world to its end.
Alexander's two victories over Media and Persia and his subsequent death were the three pivotal events which began the 170 year sequence leading to this infamous desecration in Daniel's prophecies.
If the United States and its war with Saddam Hussein have anything to do with the fulfillment of Daniel's words, then we are right now at the beginning of the times that these first three events were pointing to -- i.e., we are at a moment in history that corresponds metaphorically to a time that lies somewhere between Alexander's two wars (Dn.8:5-8).
We have now discovered that these two wars relate in our time to the Persian Gulf. One of these two wars has already been fought and the second is approaching.
Even though the relationship between democracy and Christian government in America seems to many to be interchangeable, the idea of democracy does not come from heaven. In fact, the more democratic western nations have become lately, the more vocally they have recanted their previous ties to Christian government. Jesus has been freely offered everywhere, and government in His name exists only where that offer is freely accepted.
While democracy, itself, as a political principle does not come from God, it was resurrected by this nation's founding fathers in response to traditions that sprang out of His worship.
The rebirth of democracy as a political ideal grew out of principles that surrounded the ministry of Jesus Christ. His teaching concerning human rights -- that all men were created equal by God and should be treated with equal respect and compassion -- provided a tilled and fertilized field in which the democratic ideal could grow.
The promise of democratic government is that it gives mankind a fighting chance against the tyranny of evil rulers. But this is true only when the people who form the democracy are steeped in Christian principles -- because it is the principles of Christ underlying the democracy that give it its real power.
If the people who run the democracy are as wicked as the totalitarian leaders they have replaced, their tyranny will be just as oppressive. If the people elect leaders and support laws that promote greed and wickedness over justice and compassion, Satan will rule the democracy. So the difference is Christ, not the constitution.
As good as the constitution and democracy might look to us in this world, they are values of Caesar, not God. We can see this when we examine the kingdom of Christ.
There is no need for a 'rule of the people' in heaven because God is all-powerful and absolute. More than that, He is infinite goodness and the pure essence of righteousness -- virtues which are almost incomprehensible to our worldly view.
In his own kingdom Jesus is a King, not a president. He was appointed by God, not elected by the people. No one in the kingdom of heaven is allowed to oppose him or to hold different values. Democracy, therefore, does not even exist in heaven. Those who are accepted to live there must obey God's rules, while those who are opposed to His rules do not even get in.
In heaven, Jesus has absolute authority -- so the people there have no power to throw him out and elect someone different in His place. Satan, in fact, marshalled a great many angels to his side in an attempt to do this very thing and his effort created hell itself and brought death to the entire universe and to every angel and man who followed him. Dissent in heaven, then, is fatal.
While the principle of individual authority clashes strongly with the powerful dominance of God's church government, the fact remains that democracy can succeed on earth only where Christian faith is strong.
Those who put God (and His will) first in their lives (above even the government) infuse themselves with the essential virtues that make democracy vital. Those who put themselves and the government above God subvert all forms of government, including democracy.
Today we find ourselves in a political system supposedly built on Christ, now being used to try to destroy His influence in society. This shows that democracy allows people the opportunity to go either way -- to choose God's ways or reject Him as they please, and to do it publicly at the polls.
What we see happening worldwide today is democracy choosing Satan's glamor and rejecting Jesus Christ. And that is just as much democracy in action as the reverse would be. Western government, then, gives us a graphic way to measure the extent of the Great Revolt by giving us direct and rapid access to majority views.
Blinded by the new sense of democratic urgency which is now sweeping the globe, many view the Gospel as simply one of many viable paths to religion; but the words Jesus spoke are commandments that God has ordered us to obey, they are not suggestions subject to review. Majority rule cannot change the will of God. This is something the kingdom of Judah discovered.
There is, then, a benevolent ruler that has absolute dominion over us, and if we strive for independence from Him, we will die. Christ is a king -- the King of Kings -- he was not appointed by any man on earth, nor is he an elected official. "You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last..." (Jn.15:16).
It needs to be noted here that the issue of democratic government is stressed in this chapter, not for its own virtue, but because democracy links America with ancient Greece making it the significant common denominator's in Daniel's prophecies.
As we will see later on, Alexander's Greece and the government of the United States each form polar images of the majestic 'he-goat' that came from the West to fell at the Euphrates, the eastern 'ram' with its two horns. (Dn.8:5-7). It is this victory over the East that ties the United States to ancient Greece (Javan).
And it is democracy's current sweep to popularity all across Asia that has brought Alexander back into the equation. Because, with the rise of America, the ancient dream of Pericles seems finally to have found its age. Elucidated by Jefferson, the ideas of this Greek politician have victoriously spanned the entire earth, spreading western influence far beyond the borders of the eastern world, pushing past Russia all the way to Japan and profoundly impacting even the people of China and southern Asia.
With its most powerful Asian threats thrown aside in this century, westernization of the planet is now approaching a second zenith, uniting America with Alexander and fostering bitter resentment in many parts of the eastern world.
In the case of the United States, it is important to note again that this government is a nation in the empire of Babylon, not a kingdom coming from God. Only one nation (Israel) actually came from God, but even that country lost its inheritance on account of sin. Now, according to Christ, the only country that truly comes from God lies hidden in the kingdom of heaven.
While the western world is an empire that made a spectacular conversion to Christ, it is, today, reneging on its repentance and returning to its original pagan roots. It is an empire in revolt. And that rebellion is why there is now a militant Persian empire standing in the wings.
The classic years of the millenium encompassed a time when so many people on earth chose to live in the ways of Jesus that peer pressure worked for God, creating an atmosphere that encouraged repentance and conversion. But now, with the Revolt in full swing and the millenium beginning to collapse, all that is starting to change.
With fewer and fewer people believing in the commandments of Jesus, peer pressure is beginning to create an opposite climate, and as this reversal grows it will further compound the Revolt. For this reason, it is not the West's impending second victory over the ram that is important, it is the events which will follow this victory that are at the heart of Daniel's prophecies.
The Gulf Wars stand as warnings of what is certain to occur in the absence of faith. They are signs for this age and that is why they are so clearly and graphically detailed in the prophecies of Daniel.
Everything that has happened in the 20th century (and the metaphors paralleling these events) have put the world on notice that God's promised Day of Judgment is closing fast. That is why the call to faith is so urgent. The Bible has forecast these events as absolute. Only the timetable is a variable. Faith can forestall the sequence and slow its coming.
But this can happen only if we abandon our participation in the Revolt and return to a Christ-centered life in the faith of the Gospel's commandments.
Daniel's words show that democracy's recent victory over communism in Asia will not bring the world to a lasting peace as many now believe. It is not the Gospel of Jesus that is sweeping to victory in Europe and Asia, but a political ideology based on the principles of this world; and it is no more a panacea for peace in eastern Europe than it is for peace in Los Angeles.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, when it dwells in the human heart, is the only power that comes from heaven and brings true peace to the world.
It is impossible to separate the Great Revolt from the collapse of Babylon. Failing not only to produce the fruit of God's Good News, the world has now bolted from its conversion as well and activated a set of gears that have begun to grind toward the Apocalypse itself. Chasing freedoms that don't exist, and placing its trust in realities that are not of God, the world has launched the forces of biblical ruin into motion.
Before every storm there is a calm. This period of quiet should not be misinterpreted. "The day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, 'How quiet and peaceful it is' that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labor pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it." (1 Thes.5:2-3).
The signs are clear. Jerusalem has been restored and rebuilt. The Jews are back in Palestine. The Gulf Wars have begun. Sodom and Gomorrah have returned. The forces of the East are stirring at the Euphrates. The age is filled with violence. Even the cosmos has begun to reveal its fiery hand.
Twice this century the world has been mobilized for all-out war. "Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates." (Mk.13:28-29).
Despite all these signals and many more, the nations, have seen fit to toss out the Gospel and blind its children to the message of God. And as the people dash off in pursuit of the Revolt, most are laughing at those who have been ordered to stand watch on the wall and call out the warning. So it has become for us now just like in the days of Noah.
NOTE: This Chapter was written several years prior to September 11, 2001, the day God's notice was given.
For a post 9/11 analysis, see "Fall of the Wall of Babylon"
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