Centered In the Crosshairs
Hunting the Beasts of Daniel 7
Forty years ago in the timber town of Toledo, Oregon, the son of a sawmill owner pointed to an eight foot wall in the gunshop where I was bluing a rifle, and said, “When you’re in the alders on Kodiak, and a bear stands up that can look over the top of that wall, it doesn’t make any difference what caliber you’re packing, you’ve got a rat gun in your hands.” I didn’t then know that I would spend years on Kodiak Island, or that I’d participate in The Most Dangerous Catch, fishing for a few seasons out of Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, or that I would kill a bear with a cap & ball rifle of my own construction. What I knew was that I’d already killed far more than my share of big game animals with rat guns, light rifles shooting small cartridges, and I knew that once a beast was in my crosshairs, harvesting the animal was merely a matter of pinching off the shot.
Pulling the trigger, however, on the beasts the prophet Daniel saw adds another dimension to big game hunting. The following article will aid the beginning hunter.
In the Crosshairs: the Beasts of Daniel 7
Aiming to Kill
With great seriousness and considerable silliness, a host of prophecy pundits have sought the four beasts the prophet Daniel saw in vision between the bindings of secular history books. Their hunts spawned many self-congratulating tracts and pamphlets, but these terrifying beasts remained at large for the visions of Daniel were sealed with their shadows. But no more. These beasts have been sighted, their identities confirmed, and their fates sealed.
Because many prophecy pundits have one beast succeeding another, the destruction of the four beasts of the Prophet Daniel’s vision needs to be seen:
As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn [from v. 8] was speaking. And as I looked, the beast [from v. 7] was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts [from vv. 4-6], their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed (Dan 7:9-14).
Dominion had previously been given to the third beast (v. 6), and this beast apparently retained its dominion even though the fourth beast "devoured, broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet" (v. 7). But the court of the Ancient of Days takes the dominion of the third beast, as well as any authority to reign over the kingdom of the world possessed by the other three beasts, and gives all dominion to the one like a Son of Man. While all four beasts have joint dominion when the court begins to sit in judgment and when the books are opened, the fourth beast is killed or dealt a deathblow and its body is given over to be burned. The first three beasts, while losing their dominion, temporarily retain their lives; thus the first three beasts outlive the fourth beast. Then one like a son of man (i.e., one that appears like a human being as opposed to a lion, bear or leopard) will receive everlasting dominion. The one like a son of man is the revealed Son of Man, composed of Christ Jesus as the head and spiritually circumcised disciples as the body. And the authority by which Christ reigns as King of kings during the Millennium comes from Him receiving the collective dominion of the four beasts. Therefore, the dominion of the four beasts equates in narrative to the one like a son of man’s authority to rule the kingdom of the world, this single kingdom being the collective of all worldly kingdoms. The four beasts together had world ruling authority. It isn’t the fourth beast that ruled the world. If it would have been, the other three beasts would have had no dominion to lose when the court sits in judgment.
Virtually without exception, neo-Arian, Evangelical, and Sabbatarian Christians identify the fourth beast as the Roman Empire, even though Rome is never mentioned in endtime prophecies. These teachers of spiritually circumcised Israel, like the drunk priests of Ephraim in the prophet Isaiah’s day, use precept-upon-precept or grammatico-historical exegesis to cause a spiritual nation to stumble backwards, fall, be broken, snared and taken (Isa 28:1–13) through determining that an endtime European union is a modern resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. They find Babylon, Persia, and Greece identified by the prophet Daniel. Then cutting and pasting from an uninspired history book, they insert Rome and the Roman Church wherever their muddled minds locate a lacunae [gap] in Holy Writ large enough to fit this spiritual prostitute, not realizing that they, themselves, commit even greater abominations in the restored house of God. But not to be outdone, the Roman Church, teaching a realized eschatology, would have this present evil age being the manifestation of the kingdom of God, with the wheat harvest being thrashed in purgatory. They have been selling this same stale loaf for so long that their bread is no longer a recognizable part of the body of Christ. Nevertheless, they continue to offer the same product to a hungry world from a vendor stall adjoining their Salt Lake City rivals that hawk, along with another testament of Christ, instructions on how to lay aside a year’s worth of food.
The kingdom of the world is presently ruled by "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" (Eph 2:2), among whom all disciples once were (v. 3). All of humankind has been consigned to disobedience so that God could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). All of humanity has been given to the prince of disobedience, to a kingdom identified as spiritual Babylon, its identity taken from its head. And this kingdom of the world will not become the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ until halfway through seven, endtime years of tribulation, even though the Most High or Ancient of Days retains ultimate control of the kingdom. Again, for a while (six thousand years), the Most High has given humanity to the prince of disobedience to produce a situation that is the inverse of what happened in the heavenly realm when an anointed cherub dragged a third of the angels into disobedience. The Most High will draw a third part of humankind into obedience and the kingdom of heaven (Zech 13:7-9).
The image king Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision is that of the spiritual hierarchy of Babylon, with the prince of disobedience as its head. The division of this image occurs in the bronze portion of the statute (Dan 2:32 — the thighs are bronze), and the bronze kingdom shall rule the world (v. 39). The fourth kingdom initially appears divided, and though strong, is never united, with one leg being the image of the other.
Pause and reread Daniel chapter 2, verses 31 through 45. Four metals are present, plus miry [unfired] clay. All four metals are present when the image is broken and blown away like chaff from a thrashing floor (v. 35). And while the instincts of prophecy pundits are to identify these four metals with the four beasts of chapter 7, these instincts produce falsity because when the kingdom of the world is given to one like the Son of Man, there is no body for the fourth beast. All that remains of the fourth beast is a head that has been dealt a mortal wound. These four beasts with their seven heads appear as the first beast of Revelation chapter 13, and appear in the endtime chronological record at the same time as the first beast appears. Yet the iron of the lower legs and toes of the image King Nebuchadnezzar saw remains with the bronze, silver, and gold when all are blown away by the wind. More than just a head dealt a death wound remains of the iron until all of the metals (along with the unfired clay) disappear before the Breath of God.
When the Roman Empire overran Greece, the Empire was united. There wasn’t an Eastern and Western Empire until centuries later. Plus, biblical prophecies are confined to the geographical region that was pre-Flood Eden. China, which was a great empire by the time of the Greeks, is not mentioned in biblical prophecies, for China never reigned over the geography of Eden, whereas Babylon, Persia, and Greece did. The geography of pre-Flood Eden serves as the visual representation of humanity’s mental topography. Thus, when Daniel tells king Nebuchadnezzar that into his hands God ‘"has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making [him] rule over them all"’ (Dan 2:38), Daniel doesn’t speak hyperbole, but the reality that as king Nebuchadnezzar was the type or shadow of the prince of disobedience, this prince of disobedience reigns over the mental topography of human beings wherever they live. Likewise, the broadcast of this prince of disobedience affects both beasts and birds just as the prophesied outpouring of Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28) will change the natures of the great predators, thereby allowing the lion to lie down with the lamb (Isa 11:6–9). Human nature is a received nature in that it is not the product of only biology but is produced by the broadcast of the prince of disobedience, and is altered or affected by receipt of the Holy Spirit. The demonstration of human nature being a received nature occurred when king Nebuchadnezzar was given the mind of a beast for seven years (Dan 4:28–36) as the shadow of the prince of disobedience being given the mind of a man when he is cast from heaven. Wisdom is here required, for the false prophet is also given the mind of a man.
A mistake that goes back to the conflict for the intellectual heart of Christianity between Ephesus and Alexandria, between biblical literalists and allegorists, is the triumph of realized eschatology, the study of last things that holds the kingdom of God arrived with the man Jesus of Nazareth. Realized eschatology supports a monotheocracy, such as the Roman Church’s reign in Western Europe, but it contains within itself the argument against its validity. Christ Jesus’ reign as King of kings on this old/physical earth is a millennium long. A new heaven and a new earth come after approximately a thousand years (the length of the great White Throne Judgment is unknown) of the glorified Jesus’ reign. If realized eschatology were true, the new heaven and the new earth would have come at the conclusion of the first millennium of the Common Era. And the Roman Church taught that the new earth would then come as evidenced by the great amount of land and money donated to the Church during the latter portion of the 10th-Century. The Church scared even the minor aristocracy into building churches as it leveraged belief in the coming of the end of the age into it becoming the dominant landholder in societies where land was the primary means of determining wealth.
But Jesus identified Satan as the ruler of this world. Isaiah describes the king of Babylon, giving to this king the description of Satan (Isa 14:4-21). And Satan rules humanity as the spiritual king of Babylon by reigning over mental landscapes. Human kings such as Nebuchadnezzar reign over a physical landscape and over physical subjects. Spiritual kings reign over a mental landscape and over spiritual subjects; they reign from the supra-dimensional realm usually identified as heaven. And the kingdom of the world (i.e., control of human beings’ mental topography) will not be given to Christ Jesus until the Ancient of Days’ court sits in session (compare Dan 7:9-14 with Rev 11:15-19), even though Christ qualified to reign when He defeated Satan mentally.
Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). The Apostle Paul said that Hagar corresponds to present day Jerusalem, but Christians are of the Jerusalem above, which isn’t a city anywhere now on earth. Plus, Paul said that disciples are epistles from Christ delivered by the ministry, written not in ink but with Spirit on the tablets of the heart (2Co 3:3). These epistles are recorded in the Book of Life, with this Book of Life bearing to Scripture the same relationship that the laws of God written on stone tablets has to the laws of God written on hearts and minds—the same relationship that the first Adam has to the last Adam. Thus, the kingdom of the world that the Son of Man receives bears to earthly kingdoms of this world the same relationship as the Book of Life has to Scripture.
When the glorified Jesus comes as the Messiah, He will be Lord of lords and King of kings (Rev 19:16), thereby reigning over both physical and mental landscapes through controlling human thoughts and desires. When He comes, there will be no other religion but Christianity, false (under the Antichrist) or genuine. There will not be Buddhists, or Muslims, or Atheists. For when the kingdom of the world is given to Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all of humanity (Joel 2:28). All human beings will have become part of Abraham’s spiritually circumcised seed. Satan will be cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10), so he can no longer deceive human beings by being the prince of the power of the air. When cast down, though, he will arrive on earth claiming to be the Messiah. He will physically try to recapture his former mental slaves by requiring all who buy and sell to accept the physical mark of the beast (Chi xi stigma, or the tattoo [stigma] of the Cross [Xx]). He will give his usurped authority to the dominionless beasts of Daniel 7 that collectively form the defeated king of Greece, and he will make an image of the fourth beast, whose body is destroyed, and he will make this image speak. But as the Antichrist (the imitation of the returned Messiah), he will not make additional Buddhists and Muslims. All of humanity will have been born-from-above through receipt of the Holy Spirit. So Satan, when cast from heaven, will try to subvert these newly born spiritual Israelites, thereby causing these Israelites to lose their salvation, a sure promise to all who endure to the end (Matt 24:13) without taking the mark of the beast.
Realized eschatology developed when Alexandrian Christianity prevailed against the theologians at Ephesus. The allegorists of Alexandria did not take Scripture as their primary source of thought and theological structure. They did not use Scripture to provide definitions and distinctions, or as the basis of their homilies. And they could not win their arguments with the theologians at Ephesus as long as only Scripture was used to support pagan Greek concepts such as human beings having an immortal soul, received at human conception. Thus, the Alexandrian school devalued individual Bible study by claiming that the laity could only read Scripture literally, and was thus unable to understand Scripture. Therefore, when disagreements between the Alexandrian school and the theologians at Ephesus (who became identified as Arians) required that the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine determine the nature of Christ Jesus, the realization that Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon reigns over human beings was aborted. What theologian was willing to tell the Emperor that he, Constantine, was an agent of the devil? So in the 4th-Century, the spiritually holy nation of God was formally taken as mental captives to spiritual Babylon. Constantine wasn’t about to identify himself as an agent of Satan, nor were bishops that he compelled to come to Nicea about to argue that position. And this position would not be argued again until the 16th-Century when God ordered that His spiritual house be rebuilt.
As an aside but one of importance: when the conflict between Alexandria and Ephesus was extended into the 4th-Century, both schools were teaching error, and both schools were subservient to spiritual princes [sars] who were not of God. The spiritual king of the North reigned over the Arians, and the spiritual king of the south reigned over the Alexandrians. These two spiritual princes fought wars, with the Vandals sacking Rome as the last generally recognized war. But spiritual princes outlast generations of human beings. The king of the North reigns today over neo-Arian denominations—this king is the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and he has not yet emerged from the stump of the first king of Greece, the great horn that will be broken at the beginning of the endtime years of tribulation. The little horn appears on the head of this fourth beast, so the man of perdition will be a neo-Arian Christian. He will not be a pope, or someone to whom the pope assigns his authority. Rather, he will war against Trinitarian Christianity, and will eventually prevail only to be dealt a deadly wound thirty days after declaring himself God.
The four beasts that share dominion are the four horns of the he-goat (Dan 8:7, 22 & 11:4), two of which are the kings of the South and of the North; these two kings are the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. From the king of the North comes the man of perdition, who takes away the daily and sets up the abomination of desolation (Dan 11:31 & Matt 24:15) at the time of the end, or shortly before the court of the Ancient of Days sits in judgment. The setting up of this endtime abomination that desolates is precisely dated to 1290 days before the coming of the Messiah (Dan 12:11). Thus, the court sits in session (Rev 11:15) forty-two months or 1260 days before the return of Christ. The reign of the man of perdition after he declares himself god is thirty days.
The seventh chapter of Daniel doesn’t say what prophecy pundits would have it say. Babylon, Persia and Greece did not outlast Rome and the Holy Roman Empire. They would do so if the fourth beast were Rome and the first three Babylon, Persia, and Greece, as is usually taught by Evangelical theologians But again, Rome is not mentioned by Daniel, for the horizontal shadow of the Satan’s standing hierarchical government stretches from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to Antiochus Epiphanes, who polluted the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and placing a statute of Zeus in the Holy of holies. These physical abominations are the shadow of the endtime abomination (Matt 24:15) who is the man of perdition declaring himself God (2Thess 2:4) 1290 days (Dan 12:11) before Christ Jesus returns to restore all things. So the prophecy pundit who identifies the fourth beast as the Roman Empire needs reading glasses. Then for this person to further identify the ten horns of the fourth beast as ten revivals of the Roman Empire and to identify the little horn as the Pope reveals the person’s bigotry.
The visions of Daniel were sealed until the time of the end; they could not be understood by anyone earlier than the time of the end. They were sealed with their shadow. Therefore, until typological exegesis reemerged from the annuals of history at the beginning of the 21st-Century, no person could spiritually understand the sealed and kept secret visions.
Prophecy pundits who find the Roman Empire in the visions of Daniel do real damage to the spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham. They do not prepare the firstborn son of the last Eve to keep the commandments of God during the Tribulation, nor will they prepare a spiritual Seth, the third-born son of the last Eve, to refuse the mark of the beast. Instead, many of them teach that the born-again Church will escape the Tribulation by a pre-Trib, or mid-Trib bodily rapture, which is akin to prophesying Peace, peace, when there will be no peace. And the penalty for doing so is having the prophecy pundit’s name cut off from the Book of Life.
The spiritually holy nation was sent into mental bondage to Babylon when this nation refused to walk in the ways of God, profaning His Sabbaths, while teaching a gospel of lawlessness. The nation was mentally exiled as physically circumcised Israel was physically exiled to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. And in spiritual Babylon all of the Church, still holy to God, remained a captured nation for twelve full centuries (325 CE through 1525 CE), with God’s instructions to this nation being what the Prophet Jeremiah wrote to the captives in physical Babylon: ‘"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.…For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil’" (Jer 29:7, 11). This verse is today unwittingly cited by Evangelical theologians to congregations that have remained in spiritual Babylon after a remnant of the Church left the city through the theology of the Radical Reformers of the 16th-Century.
Thus, most of spiritually circumcised Israel will remain a mentally captive nation in Babylon until liberated at the second Passover, when firstborns, spiritual and physical, will again be slain if not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God. The plan God has for Israel is glorification. But because His holy nation would not be ruled by Him in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Centuries, He first caused the Church to separate into a spiritual house of Judah and a spiritual house of Israel. He then sent both houses into captivity, with the prince of the North reigning over the spiritual house of Israel and the prince of the South reigning over the spiritual house of Judah, as foreshadowed by the physically circumcised nation. And just as the world today recognizes the descendants of the physical house of Judah as all of Israel, the world recognizes the descendant denominations from the spiritual house of Judah as all of Christianity. The descendant denominations from the spiritual house of Israel (Arian or neo-Arian Christianity) are identified as cults. They are not recognized as Christians by the spiritually circumcised house of Judah. Yet it is one of these neo-Arian sects that will dominate Christianity immediately prior to when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and of the Son.
The neo-Arian sect that will dominate Christendom when the man of perdition declares himself God has been preparing to leverage food into discipleship for decades. This sect is well prepared for evangelism in the first half of the seven, endtime years of tribulation. But a disciple bets against God with his or her spiritual life if the disciple trades even a little lawlessness for food. The disciple will have made him or herself a spiritual descendant of Esau rather than of Israel, to whom the promise goes.
Put more bluntly, the Apostle Paul identified the 1st-Century Church as the infant Isaac, the son of promise. During the millennia between the 1st and 21st Centuries, Isaac matured, married, and with the schism in the 16th-Century, two sons were conceived that today struggle within the womb of Isaac (Rebekah’s womb is Isaac’s womb), one son hated, one loved, even though both remain under Grace with no sin imputed to either. But the faith of the hated son will not cause the natural branches of Israel to be jealous (Rom 11:11, 13-14), whereas the faith of the loved son will, for the loved son lives as a Judean even though this son is physically uncircumcised. Because this loved son keeps the precepts of the law, the uncircumcision of this loved son is counted as circumcision (Rom 2:26-29). Therefore, because the faith of the hated son is not sufficient to cause any physically circumcised branch broken from the cultivar Israel to be jealous, this hated son is a worthless son, destined to be a vessel for dishonorable use, a vessel broken in the potter’s field because of the filth it contains.
The prophecy pundits of the spiritual houses of Israel and of Judah have married teachers of lawlessness who, too often, berate disciples for remaining in covenant with God the Father. These teachers of lawlessness accuse God of legalism. Their doubly accursed gospel is the legalism that would have disciples living by the laws of God written on heart and minds through receipt of the Holy Spirit. But neither the pundits nor their wives will be recognized by Christ, despite the mighty works they do in His name (Matt 7:21-23), when they are resurrected to condemnation. Again, Jeremiah’s words pertain: ‘"Send to all the exiles, saying, "Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because Shemaiah had prophesied to you when I did not send him, and has made you believe in a lie, therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord"’" (Jer 29:31-32).
The ultimate expression of rebellion against God is refusing to enter His rest when told, and attempting to enter on the following day. For this reason, the nation that left Egypt, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, was slain as if they were a single man (Num chap 14). And this nation that left Egypt is a type and shadow of the Church during the great falling away (2Thess 2:3).
There is a very high price attached to misleading Israel. The endtime good news that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations (Matt 24:14) is that all who endure to the end will be saved (v. 13). A gospel about Christ has been taken to the world; a gospel about Christ’s soon-coming Millennium reign has also been taken to the world. The gospel that remains to be proclaimed is that when the court of the Ancient of Days sits in judgment and dominion is taken from the four beasts of Daniel 7, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all of humanity (Joel 2:28 & Acts 2:17). All peoples will become spiritual Israelites. All who then endure without taking the mark of the beast will be saved.
Endtime prophecies are about Israel, for no other nation will spiritually exist at Christ’s return. There will only be genuine spiritually circumcised Israelites, and false Israelites. Genuine Israelites are those saints "who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus" (Rev 14:12). And keeping faith in Jesus will not be easy when Christ reveals, "If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10). And the saints are those disciples who are legalists; i.e., who keep the commandments of God. All who are not legalists once Israel has been mentally liberated will be resurrected to condemnation. They will be dogs that return to their vomit, to swallow again the lies of Satan and his demons that these saints puked out when liberated.
The prophecy pundits who identify the fourth beast of Daniel 7 as the Roman Empire inevitably identify either the modern nation of Israel as the Israel of endtime prophecies, or the United States and Britain as the Israel of endtime prophecies. The first case is the error of all modern Alexandrians and most neo-Arians; and the second case is the error of the Christian Identity movement, Armstrongites and most sacred name cults. In both cases, the pundits’ vision is horizontal, not vertical. They are physically, not spiritually minded. These pundits fail to realize that physically circumcised Israel no longer has an exclusive covenant relationship with God (Eph 2:15). They fail to recognize that all endtime references to Israel are about the greater Church…a spiritual Israelite is a person who has the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9-14), who has a circumcised heart (Rom 2:29). Today, the physically circumcised descendants of the patriarch Jacob have no covenant relationship with God except through Christ Jesus.
A vision that has been sealed and secret until the time of the end (Dan 12:4, 9; 8:26 et al) can only be opened through the creation of another text through intertextuality or hypertextuality, for no new written text will be widely accepted because of the concept of sola Scriptura. Yet, only through the creation of a new text can a vision having been sealed and supernaturally kept secret become understandable.
Through typological exegesis, all of Scripture is linked to the Book of Life, this link being one of a special form of hypertextuality—and this is an especially difficult concept to accept since the restoration of the spiritual house of God in the 16th-Century.
When Israel was physical, the creation of texts came from a prophet receiving a physical vision, with the last of these visions being received shortly after a remnant of Israel returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. And since Israel became a spiritual nation, Holy Writ expanded through the inscription of selected deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, and by inclusion of epistles inspired by the Holy Spirit. The sole exception is the vision of the Apostle John [the book of Revelation], which is the self-declared revelation of Christ Jesus given to Him by the Father. Therefore, the introduction of extra-textual narrative must be viewed with suspicion. However, a sealed text cannot be unsealed except through the generation of the text or texts that does the unsealing. Without an additional text, a sealed text will forever remain sealed. It cannot be unsealed.
Christian literalists tend to disbelieve what they profess to literally believe. They choose to apply their extra-textual knowledge of history to how the sealed text of Daniel’s visions reads. They, then, to create understanding, leave Scripture to create an uninspired additional text that inevitably inserts Rome and the Roman Empire into prophecy, thereby adding to Scripture. Of course, they will deny that they have added to Scripture. They insist that they merely interpret existing symbols; yet, they will reject interpretations differing from their own, thus elevating their own additional text, created from how they read the sealed visions, to the status of Scripture.
The vision the Apostle John received purports not to be sealed (Rev 22:10), because the time is near. But despite disciples having access to John’s words for nearly two millennia, the events John saw haven’t yet taken place. The vision wasn’t for a time that was soon (Rev 1:1 & 22:6-7), or near to those disciples living in the 1st-Century. Rather, the vision was for the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10), which begins when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and of the Son. Thus, the vision was sealed through one literary trope, which allows those individuals in the vision to say that the time is soon or near, but has the vision actually occurring two millennia in the future. A second literary trope is also employed to make sure that the vision doesn’t cause the premature unsealing of the visions of the prophet Daniel. This trope has the appearance of entities being how these entities function in the plan of God, an example being that Jesus of Nazareth functions as the spiritual paschal Lamb of God so He appears as a Lamb (Rev 5:6–14). The seven spirits serve as His eyes; hence, they appear as eyes. And this trope of appearance being functionality continues forward, thereby creating the need for an additional text to untangle these figures of speech.
Jesus’ physical ministry in Judea forms the shadow of a spiritual endtime ministry that is a continuation of His physical ministry. The Book of Acts, now, forms the shadow of spiritually empowered saints during the first half of seven endtime years of tribulation. The Creation Account of Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 actually presents the typological summation of the plan of God (it serves as the abstract for the spiritual creation of God), and throughout the account, physically created life forms become taxonomically more godlike. Elohim creates humankind, male and female, in Elohim’s image the afternoon of the sixth day. Thus, the physically created life forms becoming more godlike forms the shadow of the spiritual development of the descendants of Abraham. Typology reveals an endtime conversion of Israel in the spiritual realm, not the conversion of the physical descendants of the ancient patriarch (which will happen), or the conversion of that portion of humanity that has never known God, but the conversion of the Church.
Again pause for a moment: the vast majority of the Christian Church identifies itself as the Body of Christ without realizing that not just the head of a lamb is sacrificed, but also its body. Jesus said it was enough for the student to be like his or her Teacher, and the servant to be like his or her Master (Matt 10:24-25 & John 12:25-26)—and if the Teacher and Master was sacrificed, why would the student and servant not also expect to be sacrificed? They shall be, but they are not today an acceptable sacrifice for sin still dwells in their flesh. However, when the Son of Man is revealed, both the uncovered Head and cloaked Body will be revealed. Disciples will put off the garment of Jesus’ righteousness, for every disciple will be empowered or filled by the Holy Spirit. No longer will sin dwell in the flesh. Every disciple will become an acceptable sacrifice. But the majority of the Church will take sin back into themselves, thereby making themselves into part of the great falling away with repentance no longer allowed (2Thess 2:11-12). They will be spiritually slain as if they were a single man, for they will attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day (Num 14:40-41, with Ps 95:10-11 & Heb 3:16-4:10).
Typology discloses the reality of the Days of Unleavened Bread, when those who are of God will live seven years without sin and with no covering for sin but their obedience to God. The cloak of Christ Jesus’ righteousness will be removed when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26–30). Disciples will be naked before God. They will cover their sins with their obedience to God. And they will be driven from the presence of God if they lose this covering of obedience. They will not eat of the tree of life.
The prophecy pundits that find Rome lurking in the visions of Daniel will then be like the false prophets and priests of Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s day, leading many saints astray and into iniquity. And these same pundits will now scream, Foul, as the discussion of producing additional texts is resumed.
If no additional text addresses a sealed and secret prophecy, the prophecy will forever remain sealed. But once physical Israel became spiritual Israel, Holy Writ isn’t produced through additional visions. No supplemental visions are needed. The complete shadow of events in the spiritual realm has been recorded for every spiritual Israelite to read. This is why Scripture isn’t of a private interpretation. But such private interpretations have been taught by Ellen G. White, by Herbert Armstrong, and now by Perry Stone, as well as by a host of other prophecy pundits. So the additional texts needed to open sealed and secret prophecies are produced through the concept of hypertextuality, where the received text creates an additional text once the spiritual Israelite realizes that what is recorded in Holy Writ constitutes the physical shadow of spiritual realities.
Unless a person is spiritually minded, the person cannot understand spiritual things, a trite expression, the meaning of which cannot be realized by those who are not spiritually minded. Sealed prophecies are now open to everyone through typological exegesis, the reading strategy taught at Ephesus even after the scholars there went into spiritual bondage to the spiritual king of the North. The prophecies, themselves, produce the additional narrative needed to unseal them—an academic sounding way of saying the prophecies must be reread to tell a new story that reveals the fate of spiritual Israel.
No text of human origin will be inspired. Therefore, while Babylon, Persia and Greece are mentioned by name in the visions of Daniel, Rome is not. Rome could have been if the empire belonged in endtime prophecies. Alexander’s reign was still more than a century in the future. So an argument that Rome isn’t mentioned because its reign was futuristic lacks intellectual integrity. It isn’t mentioned because it forms no part of the physical shadow of spiritual events. So to project Rome into the sealed words of Daniel is adding to Holy Writ through the production of a false additional text.
The shrillness on the denunciation of the prophecy pundits who find Rome, the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, or the Roman See in the visions of Daniel comes from an implanted need to gather the scattered sheep of Israel that have wandered far from the laws of God. These sheep are being milked for tithes and offering by the wolves that are devouring them with doctrines of lawlessness. Disciples are no longer under the law, for the laws of God have been written on their hearts and minds. But spiritual infants, like physical infants, cannot read. Only by looking into the mirror of the perfect law of liberty can these infants see what has been written on their hearts and minds—these infants still need spiritual milk (1 Co 3:1-4; Heb 5:12-13) as evidenced by one saying he is a Baptist, and another saying he is a Catholic, and a third saying that he follows Joseph Smith, and a fourth saying that she follows Ellen G. White or Mary Baker Eddy or whomever else that equates to Paul and Apollo. They are not yet mature enough to resist the blandishments of wolves who say that Christ can be found if they jump over this cliff, or if they follow that dry ravine, or if they spurn the terms of the eternal covenant into which they were placed when drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65), or if they give enough money to this ministry or to that denomination. They attend spiritual pep rallies at which a wolf will claim that he or she feels the presence of the Holy Spirit. The wolf might, indeed, feel the presence of a spirit, but that spirit isn’t the Breath of God.
The cities of the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6) to which endtime disciples are sent aren’t physical cities, but denominations and fellowships, most of which teach that the fourth beast of Daniel 7 is the Roman Empire, thereby milking the animosity that exists between the endtime followers of Paul and the endtime followers of Apollo for additional tithes and offering so that the saints discipled by the other will be converted either from dead works or from having left the universal church. These wolves have corralled the lost sheep of Israel in blind canyons, and these wolves must be confronted. The inspired text must be used against them, which means deconstructing the traditional understandings of Daniel’s vision, especially his vision of the four beasts that are four kings (Dan 7:17), and producing a new text, a spiritual text produced from its physical antecedent.
Biblical criticism for Believers is a special form of literary criticism. Much of post-modern literary criticism focuses on locating textual lacunae to pry open the text so that cultural values can be examined; therefore, criticism often focuses on what has been excluded from a text. Theoretical Feminism focuses on the "other," or that which is background. The assumption is that what has been included or foregrounded in the text can be readily discerned by even novice readers. And while this might be true with secular texts, it isn’t with inspired Scripture, as evidenced by the thousands of schisms, divisions, and denominations of the greater Church.
Again, to understand Scripture, a person must be spiritually mind. The corollary to being spiritually minded is to set one’s mind on the things of the flesh. This person is hostile to God (Rom 8:7), and if hostile to God, the person reads Scripture without spiritual understanding, then reads to pick a fight with God the Father, Christ Jesus His Messiah, and with Christianity. This person can be extremely intelligent, very well educated, and biblically illiterate without any contradiction existing. And many such individuals are tenured in academia. They know the nuances of koine Greek. They know the writings of the Church fathers; they have read these writing in their Greek and Latin original language. And these individuals have constructed a parasitic body of works based upon what is missing in Scripture.
In order to focus on what is absent from Scripture, scholars have been, borrowing Matthew Arnold’s words, educated unto unbelief. Hermann Melville a century and a half ago questioned how could a received text be believed. His conclusion was what a text gave it could take away, thereby leaving a person having read many words but knowing nothing. And scholars who focus on Scriptural absence have read many words and know nothing except what isn’t in Scripture.
Scholars who know nothing are a relatively recent phenomenon. Earlier generations of biblical scholars believed they did understand Scripture. They lacked skepticism about whether God exists, or if Scripture can be trusted. They might now be considered naïve, but because they had faith, they were able to read Holy Writ as the instruction manual God sent with humankind. They realized that disciples had to live within the laws of God. But they were not able to understand sealed and secret prophecies. They thought they could, and they assigned meanings to words sealed until the time of the end. They read much, but understood no endtime prophecy. Yet it is to these men and women, with few exceptions, that Evangelical pundits turn for their understanding of prophecies.
What has been needed is a body of biblical criticism that incorporates structuralist principles while being both modern and post-modern. The close readings of such critics will focus on what has been included in Scripture while noticing absences.
Historical exegesis doesn’t focus upon close reading of the text, but upon the traditions taught by early Church scholars at Alexandria. It is actually an anti-textual reading strategy. And it stems from the triumph of allegory over literalism.
The theology of every Christian denomination will either be text based or tradition based. When a denomination first forms the denomination tends to be text based. The few exceptions are denominations theologically based upon the teachings of a prophet, such as Joseph Smith of The Latter Day Saints [Mormons], and Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventists. Most denominations have begun like the Radio Church of God did—the Radio Church of God used the text-based teachings of Herbert Armstrong to separate its disciples from the rest of Christianity. But following Herbert Armstrong’s death, the majority of the splintered fragments of his administration ceased being text based, and become tradition based, with the largest fragment, The Worldwide Church of God, returning to grammatico-historical exegesis. The majority of the fragments now teach Scripture, especially prophecy, as Herbert Armstrong taught Scripture. They refuse to reread Holy Writ for themselves. One fragment, Gerald Flurry’s Philadelphia Church of God, even goes so far as to publicly state that Herbert Armstrong restored all truth, thereby being the endtime Elijah (Matt 17:10-12)). And the practices of these fragments closely mirror what happened to fellowships following the death of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Menno Simon, and others.
Herbert Armstrong used precept-upon-precept exegesis to lever disciples away from tradition-based denominations. As a result, he poorly understood some theological concepts such as being born again, or born-from-above. But most importantly, his precept-upon-precept exegesis caused him to believe that he and his organization represented all of the saints on earth; he claimed to be the only true church. And his administration displayed little love toward saints in other fellowships. But then, the tendency of all denominations with theology derived from precept-upon-precept exegesis is to have little or no love for anyone not in their fellowships. These denominations are spiritual elitists; they are pharisaical. They have, indeed, fallen backwards, been broken, snared and taken (Isa 28:13).
Denominations with their theology based upon historical exegesis teach the traditions of men. And where all of this seemingly unrelated (to the beasts of Daniel 7) discussion leads is in a circle back to intertextuality and hypertextuality. The supplemental text necessary to understand what has been sealed and secret until the time of the end was given when Daniel received his sealed visions.
The above creates a problem for theologies based upon historical exegesis. If a prophecy has been sealed until the time of the end, the prophecy cannot be understood by any scholar or pundit earlier than the time of the end. Grammatico-historical exegesis now stands in the way of understanding endtime prophecies; it is actually the bane of good scholarship. The prophecy pundit and his teacher wife who advocates the continued use of historical exegesis advocates keeping endtime prophecies sealed, certainly a concept Satan will support.
If the age of "revelation" ended centuries ago, then the additional revelation necessary to unseal a prophecy must already be an unread part of the text. No other statement can be true. Thus, how spiritual Israel receives revelation must necessarily differ from how physical Israel received revelation. For the endtime Church, revelation comes by being able to read the formerly sealed words of the book of truth; revelation comes by spiritual realization. This "realization" or ability to read what had been sealed comes as a gift, just as the visions of Daniel came as gifts necessary to fulfill the plan of God.
Whereas much of modern literary criticism tends to focus on what has been excluded from a text, typological exegesis focuses on what has been included. Typology isn’t about absence, but about textual presence. The unread part of the text needed to create the additional narrative necessary to open a sealed prophecy isn’t cached in a textual gap. It will be hidden in plain sight within what is present. So when typology is brought to bear upon Daniel’s vision, the reader still notices gaps; such as Daniel would have seen the body of the fourth beast. But Daniel doesn’t describe the body except that it had iron teeth, and devoured and broke in pieces and stamped with its feet, and that it had ten horns (v. 7). Daniel could have certainly described the beast’s body that was destroyed and given over to be burned. All he writes, though, is that it was different from the beasts that were before it. So this fourth beast’s body is missing from the sum of the matter, what Daniel recorded (Dan 7:1), an important omission when readers again meet these four beasts. What is most important, though, is the presence of the other three bodies without them having dominion. Therefore, the scene recorded in verses 11 and 12 of Daniel’s summation can be precisely dated.
A second omission in Daniel’s summation of his vision is who or what did the fourth beast devour, break in pieces and stamp what was left with its feet. That who or what cannot be the third beast, for the Ancient of Days takes dominion away from all four beasts. The third beast still has dominion of some sort after the fourth beast stamps whatever is left. Good biblical criticism still incorporates the basic strategies of literary criticism, but under the umbrella of belief in God. This belief will cause the critic to accept what is present in Holy Writ as factual. And if what is present in the text is factual, then the derivative texts generated by intertextuality aren’t parasitic, aren’t about what is missing, but about what occurs in the supra-dimensional realm usually identified as heaven. In actuality, the critic who stands atop typological exegesis sees into the Promised Land from the mountains across the Jordan, just as Moses did. It will be the two witnesses (Rev 11:3-13) who cross into the promised land and acquire spiritual power as the reality of the two spies Joshua sent to view the land, especially Jericho (Jos 2:1).
It is past time to begin. In the first year of Belshazzar as king of Babylon, the prophet Daniel saw a vision that greatly alarmed him. Daniel wrote the dream down, and told the sum of the matter. So what readers receive is the sum of the matter through the principle of narrative economy, which will have only what’s important being recorded with again, the key to understanding prophecy being that in all things, the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Co 15:46) and the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20). What has been recorded in Holy Writ is that portion of a historical narrative about Israel that is relevant to the spiritual reality. This recorded portion forms the physical shadow of a spiritual phenomenon, which is why the books of the Maccabees are not canonical Scripture, for Christ will break the reign of the spiritual king of the North (Matt 24:15 – compare to Dan 11:31) in a different manner than how the Hasmonean family broke Antiochus IV’s reign over Jerusalem. The Maccabean wars are not the lively representation, in Jonathon Edwards’ phrasing, of an endtime spiritual war even though they represent, again in Edwards’ words, true history…the leading Puritan thinkers of the early 18th-Century were very close to breaking the sealed visions of Daniel before the time of the end arrived.
Therefore, treating Daniel’s summation of the vision he saw in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon as inspired text rather than as an idol or as myth, understanding of the vision begins by locating the vision in prophetic context. Working backwards from the end of the matter (Dan 7:28), Daniel’s summation has "the kingdom and the dominion [of the fourth beast] and the greatness of kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High" (v. 27). Notice that the kingdom and dominion of the fourth beast doesn’t encompass all of the greatness of kingdoms under the whole heaven, but all of the kingdoms and dominions will be given to the saints. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he shall rule, as king of Babylon, the children of men wherever they were. Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) has ruled the children of men as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). So the fourth beast doesn’t exercise control over all of spiritual Babylon prior to when "the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away" (Dan 7:26) supernaturally.
Daniel’s vision occurred with a unified chronology: one event follows another. The four beasts appear, one after another, with the fourth beast having ten horns. Then the little horn came up and uprooted three of the ten horns. Then the Ancient of Days takes His seat, and the court sits in judgment. The little horn spoke great words, but the fourth beast is killed, and its body burned, while dominion is taken from the other three beasts. Then one like the son of man came to the Ancient of Days, and dominion was given to him. So in reverse, the kingdom and dominion will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High (Dan 7:27). Then the court sits in judgment (v. 26). Then the little horn "shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they [the saints] shall be given into his [the little horn’s] hand for a time, times, and half a time" (v. 25). A time, times, and half a time is usually recognized as three and a half years. It is the same length of time as forty-two months, and 1260 days. But the expression time, times, and half a time reckons this length of time from God’s perspective rather than from the perspective of angelic beings, or human beings. Therefore, verse 25 expounds the latter portion of verse 8 and the first of verse 11. The saints are given into the hand of the little horn for 1260 days immediately prior to the fourth beast being destroyed.
A host of prophecy pundits have concluded that these 1260 days represent 1260 years when the Roman Church had control of Christianity in Western Europe. They have identified the fourth beast as Rome, so they could ignore everything north and east of Byzantium, and everything south and east of Egypt. They might conclude that the dominion of the other three beasts represent the reigns of the Orthodox Churches and the Coptic Church, but they have already identified the first beast as secular Babylon, the second as Persia, and the third as Greece, thereby making these four beasts match the reigns of their assignments of kingdoms to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, where each dynasty represents less quality and more strength. So the traditional explanation of these beasts has an inherent flaw that negates its validity. The fourth beast cannot be Rome if the first is political Babylon, the second Persia and the third Greece. The text hasn’t yet ruled out the fourth beast being spiritual Rome, with the third being spiritual Greece. But this ruling will come.
Continuing to work in reverse, the ten horns are ten kings that arise from the fourth kingdom (Dan 7:24). They are all in place prior to when the little horn arises: "and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and he shall put down three kings" (same verse). So the little horn isn’t the Roman Church gaining control of the Roman Empire and uprooting Roman paganism. The ten horns are not ten successive kings or kingdoms, but contemporary kings. They are not ten revivals of the Roman Empire. They are ten kings who can telephone each other, for they co-exist 1260 days before the fourth beast is judged and dominion taken from all four beasts. And three of them are uprooted by the little horn, who makes war against the saints of the Most High. Logic would have it that three of these kings will not go along with the little horn making war on the saints. The little horn "seemed greater than its companions" (v. 20); so it was able to uproot three of its companions.
All eleven horns temporarily coexist in power. And all eleven are of the fourth beast, or king (from v. 17) who shares dominion with three other kings, even though this fourth king is different from the other three and is terrifying, dreadful and exceedingly strong (v. 7). Because the saints have been given into the hand of the little horn (v. 25), the fourth king devours and tramples saints with its iron teeth and bronze claws (from v.19) so the beginning hunter now knows more about this fourth beast than do the many prophecy pundits that will have the horns being historic revivals of the Roman and Holy Roman Empire.
The Roman Church doesn’t successfully devour and trample saints. It mis-teaches disciples, and has usurped authority not given it, but it has also nurtured many disciples who will be resurrected to life. It is an easy target at which to shoot. It is large enough that even the most blind prophecy pundit can hit some portion of it. And large numbers of very blind pundits have taken cheap shots at it, as if the Reformation were the opening day of duck season.
A question needs asked: why would a secular king wear out the saints for forty-two months? Christians are, for the most part, the best citizens a nation has. They should be the most law-abiding. They should be honest in their business dealings. They should be the least interested in overthrowing a human ruler. But the little horn shall speak words against the Most High and shall think to change times and the law (Dan 7:25); so the little horn isn’t a secular king. He cannot be and speak words against the Most High to the Most High. He is king over a false Christianity, and he shall wear out the saints who are those disciples that by faith keep the commandments of God. Only a remnant of these saints—the ones who also have the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17)—from the beginning of the endtime years will escape (spiritual virgins are those saints that received spiritual birth after the Church has been empowered) into the second half of these seven endtime years.
All Israelites, physical and spiritual, that keep the commandments are the saints, with the Sabbath commandment being the sign that identifies these Israelites to the man of perdition. During the first 1260 days of the endtime years, Sabbath observance marks who is of God in the same way that accepting the mark of the beast [i.e., the tattoo of the cross — chi xi stigma] brands who is of the Antichrist during the second 1260 days of the endtime years. The man of perdition forms a type and time-linked shadow of Satan who comes as the reality of the Antichrist when he is cast from heaven halfway through the seven endtime years. The man of perdition came by the workings of Satan (2Thess 2:9); literally, the man of perdition is a human being possessed by Satan, with this human being convinced that the angel inside him is Jesus Christ.
The little horn rules theologically. He uproots three sects or denominations of the Christianity of the Cross by changing times and the law. He will wear out saints who keep the law. And at least two sects or denominations of Christianity are seventh-day Sabbath-keepers. One major neo-Arian denomination will not compromise with another even larger neo-Arian denomination. So the three uprooted kings reign over theological kingdoms. The remaining seven kings unite behind wearing out the saints for 1260 days prior to Satan being cast from heaven and coming as the Antichrist to further wear out all of humanity, which will be why enduring to the end becomes a trial of faith. The last Eve, in giving birth to many heirs, will experience genuine hard labor pains.
Consider for a moment the theological incompatibility of Roman Catholicism and Mormonism. There are genuine saints in both denominations, so would one wear out the saints in the other if one were to exercise great dominion within the larger nation composed of all spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham? Would one try to convert the other? Would one wage real war against the other? The Vandals sacked Rome, and Trinitarian Christians lynched Joseph Smith. So yes, either would wage a shooting war against the other if the theological stakes were high enough. And stakes will be that high once the Tribulation begins.
Presently, most Evangelical prophecy pundits believe that the Church will be caught up to heaven in the Rapture prior to the trials of the Tribulation. These pundits have set their disciples up to be spiritually slaughtered, if the second Passover leaves any firstborn among them for neo-Arian Christianity to convert. Saints will be sheep that are herded here, then driven there, only to be loaded in stock trucks to be sold at depressed prices because of how many are being sheared, then butchered.
The last Eve, like the first, will give birth to three sons, a spiritual Cain, Abel, and Seth. The prophet Isaiah, quoting the Lord, wrote, ‘"Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.…For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children’" (Isa 66:7–8). The last Eve, created when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples (John 20:22), has today in her womb two sons that will be delivered in a day, one son hated, one loved, with the hated son to be delivered first, this firstborn son a spiritual Cain whose offering to God is even before birth the fruit of the ground, bread and wine, the sacraments that would represent the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, if taken on the Passover.
To clarify the preceding statement, the sacraments of bread and wine become the body and blood of the Lamb when eaten and drank on the Passover, taken on the same night that Jesus was betrayed (1 Co 11:23), which was on the 14th of the first month of the sacred year. At any other time, bread and wine is merely the fruit of the ground, leaving disciples who will be born as the spiritual Cain in the position in which the first Cain found himself. God told Cain, ‘"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it"’ (Gen 4:7) The sacraments, taken at any time other than on the night Jesus was betrayed, constitute merely an offering made to God of the fruit of the ground. Thus, the person who takes the sacraments on a night other than the night on which Jesus was betrayed will be accepted by God if the person does well, but this person must rule over sin or lawlessness through doing well, for the person has not covered his or her sin through taking the sacraments in a worthy manner. The person is outside the covenant by which the glorified Jesus bears the sins of the person in the heavenly realm. Bluntly put, the disciple who will not, by faith, keep the commandments of God is, even while under Grace and before empowerment by the Holy Spirit, hated by God for his or her lawlessness [as used by the prophet Isaiah, birth of the children of Zion occurs at the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation, this birth not of the new creature in the fleshly tent of the old man, but of the total liberation of the tent and all who dwell in one from sin].
The firstborn spiritual Cain will slay his righteous brother who’s offering to God is a lamb; specifically, the Lamb of God offered through taking the sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed.
Daniel didn’t understand what he was seeing, so in vision he approached one of those who stood by the throne and asked him the truth concerning all he saw (Dan 7:16). This angel made known the interpretation of the things (same verse). The angel said, ‘"These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever"’ (vv. 17-18). And Daniel sees another vision which has four kings that reign until broken, ‘"but by no human hand"’ (Dan 8:25) at the time of the end (v. 17). These are the four horns of the he-goat that arise when the he-goat’s great horn or first horn is broken (vv. 7, 22-23). The he-goat is identified by the angel Gabriel as ‘"the king of Greece"’ (v. 21). This vision is sealed (v. 26), and is for the time of the end (again, v. 17). It refers to many days from when Daniel received it.
While a century and a half can be considered as many days from hence, a century and a half after Daniel lived was not the time of the end. The long vision Daniel received (chaps 10–12) was sealed and secret until the time of the end (Dan 12:4, 9), when the resurrection of saints was near, and ‘"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase"’ (v. 4).
There can be only one time of the end, and only one endtime abomination of desolation. Jesus, after saying, ‘"then the end will come"’ (Matt 24:14), said, ‘"So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’" (v. 15). Jesus, thus, dates the sealed and secret words that are inscribed in the book of truth (Dan 10:21) to the time of the end. The "abomination that makes desolate" spoken of by Daniel is in chapter 11, verse 31. Forces sent by the king of the North take away the "daily" (i.e., the linguistic icon usually used to describe the regular burnt offering), and they set up the abomination that makes desolate.
The sealed and secret words Daniel recorded are no longer sealed: humanity has arrived at the generic time of the end. The words Daniel recorded in the long prophecy of chapter 11 revealed the physical shadow of endtime spiritual phenomena…no prophecy in Scripture seems more readily understandable than Daniel chapter 11. Yet the angel bringing the prophecy to Daniel said the words were sealed until the time of the end. An apparent contradiction exists. Either Scripture is correct and the prophecy has been sealed until the time of the end, or Scripture errs and the prophecy has been understandable since the Maccabean war. The prophecy cannot be understandable and still remain sealed.
Actually, what seems understandable hasn’t been even though the prophecy accurately reflects the historic record. It has been this historic record that has kept the prophecy sealed, for the prophecy is about the successive regimes of powerful spirit beings in the heavenly realm. These angelic beings reign "by the activity of Satan" (2Thess 2:9) who is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) as well as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21). The kingdom of the world doesn’t become the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15) until the court of the Ancient of Days sits in session (Dan 7:9-14, 22, 26-27). Only then does the fourth beast lose its body and its dominion, and the other three beasts lose their dominion. And the timeframe for this court session is shortly before "the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven [is] given to the people of the saints of the Most High" (v. 27). Until then, the kingdoms of the world belong to Satan and his cohorts.
The Roman Church teaches otherwise. Most Evangelical Christians refuse to believe that Satan is the ruler of this world. Secular songs have God holding the whole world in His hand. Countless hymns identify God or Christ as the Lord of this world. So it is difficult for a "Christian" to understand that this world is not now the Most High’s. God the Father wouldn’t have to draw a person from this world (John 6:44, 65) if this were His world.
Satan reigns by controlling mental landscapes through him being the prince of the power of the air. He can only do this from the spiritual realm. He cannot do this when he is cast to earth (Rev 12:9). So we have another date to establish when the court of the Ancient of Days sits in session.
Halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation (after the little horn of Daniel 7:8, 20-21, 25 has the saints given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time), the court of the Ancient of Days sits in session. The first three beasts of Daniel 7 keep their bodies but lose their dominion; the fourth beast loses its body and is dealt a mortal wound. All four beasts are horns on the head of the spiritual king of Greece, and in Revelation chapter 13, these beasts appear immediately after their judgment:
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" (Rev 13:1-4 emphasis added)
The first three of the four beasts of Daniel 7 are described thus:
And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, "Arise, devour much flesh." After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. (Dan 7:4-6 emphasis added)
Since the not described body of the fourth beast is given over to be burned, and dominion is taken from the beast when the Ancient of Days court sits in session, disciples would not expect to see, post-judgment, the body of the fourth beast or beasts with dominion. And disciples see neither in Revelation 13. Disciples see one composite beast that has the attributes of the first three beasts of Daniel 7. Again, these beasts are the four horns that arise from the head of the he-goat, identified as the king of Greece (neither the four horns nor the first great horn are identified as the king of Greece, but as kings coming from the single king of Greece). So the king of Greece, ‘"which shall rule over all the earth’" (Dan 2:39), includes these four beasts plus a great king who will be supernaturally broken before these four horns can come to power. After dominion is taken from this king of Greece, it will look like the first beast of Revelation 13. It will need Satan as the old dragon to give it whatever authority it reacquires.
Because western nations have become almost entirely secular societies, even the prophecy pundits spawned within these societies think in secular paradigms. A literary critic, though, when deconstructing Scripture will not find secular social constructs supporting the surface text, but will find the underpinnings of Christ Jesus’ reign as King of kings, a theocratic reign that will resume animal sacrifices as sin offerings. When humanity is described after Satan is cast to earth, all of humanity has received the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28). All have been called by God (Rev 18:4). There will be only one religion: Christianity. And Satan will pose as the messiah. The authority Satan will have is as the Antichrist, a spirit being claiming to be the Lord. He will literally usurp authority from Christ, to whom the world then belongs. So the first mistake prophecy pundits make is to think physically. They then compound this mistake by perceiving Islam as Israel’s principle enemy. But Islam will be no more [will cease to exist through being incorporated into Arian Christianity] before the Antichrist comes. The fourth beast devoured and trampled something. It wasn’t all of Christianity, for a remnant of the saints who keep the commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17) will still exist. The little horn coming from this fourth beast was wearing out the saints, most of whom were under the dominion of the third beast, the four-headed king of the South and of the spiritual house of Judah (i.e., Trinitarian Christianity). And this dominion isn’t taken from the third beast until the court of the Ancient of Days sits in session.
Christ Jesus as the paschal Lamb of God is also the reality of the daily, the morning and evening sacrifices. The lambs that were daily sacrificed form the shadow of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice; thus, the daily putting on of Christ Jesus’ righteousness as if this righteousness were a garment (Gal 3:27) cloaks disciples with the spiritual brilliance of the sun (Rev 12:1). And this putting on of Christ will end with the great rebellion of saints when the lawless one or man of perdition is revealed (2 Thess 2:3). Then, ‘"the transgression that makes desolate"’ (Dan 8:13) will have put an end to the daily sacrifice, or will have put an end to disciples covering themselves with righteousness. This end is precisely dated to 2300 days before ‘"the sanctuary shall be restored to its righteousness"’ (v. 14), thereby placing the great rebellion 2300 days before Christ Jesus’ return, or approximately 220 days after disciples are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The firstborn son of the last Eve, 2300 days before Jesus returns, will attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day, just as the nation that left Egypt attempted to enter God’s rest on the following day (Num 14: 40–41 & Ps 95:10–11). This will be the great rebellion for which [as if a single man] this firstborn son is condemned to die in the wilderness of sin. This son, born before the last Eve experiences her labor pains, will after rebelling against God slay his righteous brother. This son will then be marked by God. And the last Eve will give birth to a third son, a spiritual Seth, born-from-above when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh. This third son only has to endure to the end to be saved (Matt 24:13), to enter God’s rest.
Again pause: when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin, the last Eve [the Church] will through being filled with the Holy Spirit in a way directly analogous to what happened in Acts 2, a type and shadow of this liberation from bondage to sin, bring forth the two sons that presently wrestle in her womb, one son hated, one loved—one son lawless, one son keeping the commandments of God by faith, with this faith counted as righteousness. The lawless son will, even though liberated from sin, return to his sinful ways, with the outward manifestation of this sinfulness having this son attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day, the 8th-day. And this 8th-day observing lawless son will pursue Sabbath-keepers wherever they flee as this lawless son becomes the active agent of the spiritual king of Babylon, thereby sacrificing the Body of the Lamb of God as the Head was sacrificed.
The Passover lamb is selected on the 10th day of the first month and sacrificed on the 14th at even. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the 10th of the first month and was sacrificed on the 14th (John 19:31 with John 12:1 and 12:12). The uncircumcised children of the nation that left Egypt crossed the Jordan and entered into God’s rest on the 10th of the first month (Jos 4:19)—this holy nation of Israel was selected and penned in God’s rest, the Sabbath (from Ps 95:10-11 with Heb 3:16-4:10), in the same way that Jesus was selected and penned in Jerusalem. Therefore, when empowered [or filled] with the Holy Spirit, thus liberated from the sin that presently dwells in the flesh (Rom 7:25), not the heart and mind (Rom 8:2), the Body of Christ will become an acceptable sacrifice to God, so that the righteous requirements of the law can be fulfilled. Therefore, the lawless son will slay his righteous brother, whose righteousness comes not through works of the hands but through the faith that will have this brother keeping the commandments of God and professing that Jesus is Lord, believing in hearts that the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:6-9, with Deu 30:1-14). Thus, halfway through the seven endtime years, the beloved righteous son will be dead [except for a remnant and the 144,000 virgins, observant Jews who have professed that Jesus is Lord during the first 1260 days after empowerment]. The hated lawless son will be marked for spiritual death upon Jesus’ return. And with the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the third part of humankind, thereby causing all of humanity to be born of Spirit as Seth was born to the first Eve. This Seth only has to endure to the end to be saved. And it is the prophetic birth announcement of this spiritual Seth that is the good news that must be proclaimed to all the world as a witness to all nation before the end comes.
The endtime gospel isn’t another message about Jesus being the Bread of Life [You shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God]. Nor is it another message about the soon-coming kingdom of God, which will be evident once the seven endtime years begin. Rather, it is the good news that all of humanity will be born of Spirit when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and His Son. Then, everyone who endures to the end shall be saved.
Neo-Arian Christian sects and denominations will convert large portions of the world to their brand of false Christianity prior to the days being shortened or no flesh will survive (Matt 24:22). Satan as king of Babylon rules as king of kings (Dan 2:37), but there is a subservient [to him] spiritual king over Islam, and a different one over Buddhism. This fourth beast goes after them, while not ignoring the saints who keep the commandments of God, one of those commandments being the Sabbath commandment. The reign of the fourth beast and the rise of the little horn will cause genuine saints great difficulty, but non-Christian religions will be devoured. Some won’t appreciate being devoured, so there will be war. The outcome of these wars has already been determined: "Christianity" wins, but the Christianity of the Cross. Not the Christianity of liberated (at the second Passover) saints, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.
God is not a respecter of persons. He is not in the business of creating additional Adversaries. A saint who lived prior to the time of the end will have died in faith. This saint will have lived without ever physically seeing the promise around which this person’s life centered. But during the great endtime harvest of humanity, saints will see physical evidence of God, and many will believe for the sake of the miracles. These individuals will now be tried in fire to determine whether they will obey Christ when their lives and their fortunes are at stake. If their physical lives, or if their fortunes are more valuable to them than salvation, they will wash out. They will become part of the fourteen out of every fifteen who won’t make it. No one should be in this number, but consider yourself: how is your faith? What do you think God will require of you? He gave His Son. What can you give of equal value? Your life isn’t worth the life of Jesus. All of creation isn’t worth the value of Jesus’ life. And what will be offered to you is being an heir to God, a younger sibling of Christ Jesus. So what will you find to be of so much more importance that you won’t give it up to be an heir? Or will you say, God wouldn’t require that of me. What did He require of Abraham? And of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Deliverance comes from a trial, not before a trial begins.
Again, during the second half of the Tribulation—the forty-two months when the composite first beast of Revelation 13 is allowed to exercise authority received from the dragon (Rev 13:5)—all of humanity will have received the Holy Spirit. All will be spiritual Israelites. There will only be one faith: Christianity. And the saints will be divided between those who have accepted the mark of the beast (chi xi stigma, or the tattoo of the Cross) and worship the beast, and those who refuse the tattoo and refuse to worship the beast. Some of those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will, likely, be slain (v. 15), especially if they are not inside the walls of spiritual Jerusalem, which has theological rather than geographical coordinates.
The fourth beast is Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, and this beast will be dealt a deathblow when the two witnesses are publicly resurrected. Death will have been defeated, but the Antichrist will construct an image of death and will make this image speak. And for some saints the following will apply: "[I]f anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain" (Rev 13:10); and ‘"Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’" (14:13). The Antichrist, through constructing an image of Death, will kill some saints, but as Israel under Joshua and Caleb prevailed against the many kings of Canaan, so too will the saints prevail in mental or spiritual combat against the Antichrist. Lead by the remnant that keep the commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus, the third son of the last Eve will mentally defeat those who take upon themselves the mark of death (i.e., the tattoo of the Cross).
Today’s prophecy pundits find in Islam the endtime boogie-man, but Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet. It will not be a far step for Muslims to accept the false prophet (Rev 19:20) as a genuine prophet, the Twelfth Imam, and for the man of perdition to convince the entire faith to convert to Arian Christianity. Islam presently has a recognizable flaw: there is no criterion by which a person can be certain of going to heaven other than dying in Jehad. A person can never be certain that he or she is good enough to go to heaven. As a result, the culture doesn’t admit blame. It can’t and still have any chance of being with Allah. So the Islamic belief paradigm needs the means of suspending the death penalty for sin for long enough that a person can mend his or her ways. The paradigm needs grace. And the false prophet will, with charisma, explain to Islamic clerics why they must accept Arian Christianity to stop their young people from blowing themselves up—only the false prophet can stop Islamic terrorism. And while wearing out Sabbath-keeping saints, the false prophet and the man of perdition will permanently put an end to terrorism (and to the modern state of Israel). Remember, the whole world follows the beast, and worships the dragon and the beast and even the image of the beast. The world won’t worship the beast, or anyone else without cause. Hitler seemed like a German savior because he put an unemployed nation to work. The man of perdition will seem like a Christian savior for he will finally win the Crusades by bringing Christ to the 10-40 window.
So, for the last three and a half years of the Tribulation, there will be only Christians on the planet. Satan and his demons presently govern the mental landscape of humanity, but Satan rules over a motley crew. All of his dominion and authority will be taken from him when he is defeated by Michael and his angels (Rev 12:7-9). The only authority Satan has when he is cast to earth stems from him imitating Christ, his imitation based upon the Christianity of the kings of the South and of the North. Because most disciples will identify the Christianity of the beast as genuine when they are mentally liberated from bondage to sin, they will accept the mark of the beast. They will not understand why the seven bowls of the wrath of God are poured out upon them. They will curse God, and they will not repent (Rev 16:11). They will be unable to repent for God will have sent a great delusion over them (2Thess 2:11–12). For they have returned to being slaves to Satan even though they were liberated when Satan was cast from heaven. Sin lurked at their door, and they let sin in.
When Satan, newly cast from heaven, comes as the Antichrist, many disciples will believe that Christ’s Millennium reign has begun. Herbert Armstrong taught that Christ would come after three and a half years of tribulation. Saints who follow his teachings are primed to accept the Antichrist as the messiah. Only the rigidity with which they keep the seventh-day Sabbath will prevent them from worshiping the beast, who had been wearing out all Sabbath-keepers before being dealt a mortal wound.
In spiritual Israel’s shadow, Moses leads the circumcised nation into the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth of the second month (Exod 16:1). The second year that Israel is in the wilderness, the second Passover’s lamb is killed at even between the fourteenth and the fifteenth of the second month. This second year, second Passover is the shadow of spiritual Israel being liberated from sin. So the events that happen immediately after physically circumcised Israel enters the wilderness of Sin forms the shadow of what happens to spiritually circumcised Israelites, who have previously been baptized, after they are liberated from bondage to the king of Babylon. And when Israel enters the wilderness, the nation begins receiving manna, as a test of Israel to determine ‘"whether they will walk in my law or not"’ (v. 4). But God has not yet given circumcised Israel His laws. He won’t give Israel His laws for another three weeks. However, the laws of God are written on the hearts and minds of disciples when they were drawn. So spiritual Israelites have God’s laws when this test begins even though physical Israelites did not. And God said the test of Israel is, ‘"On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily’" (v. 5); and Moses said, ‘"This is what the Lord has commanded: "Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord"’" (v. 23). So the test of physical Israel was if the nation would keep the Sabbath. The test of spiritual Israel will also be if this holy nation will keep the Sabbath.
Through the indwelling of Christ as of the Bread of Life (John 6:32-35), the holy nation of Israel will again be shown the Sabbath and tested by the Sabbath, which is considered by the greater Church as the least of the commandments (Matt 5:17-19), just as physical Israel was shown and tested by the Sabbath. Time, or more properly, space-time is a fluid that has been created by God. It is also the fluid in which humanity lives as fish live in water. A portion of this fluid has been made holy by God; i.e., set apart for His usage. That portion is the Sabbath. Humanity cannot make holy a portion of the fluid in which it lives any more than a largemouth bass can make holy a seventh of a lake and thereby create a no-fishing zone. Only humans can declare a portion of a lake a no-fishing zone, and only God can establish Sabbaths. So the eighth day is not the Sabbath, never has been the Sabbath, and is not holy time.
Christians who now assemble before God on the 8th-day are quick to point out that Israel in Egypt didn’t keep the Sabbath. True. Israel was in physical bondage to Pharaoh just as spiritual Israel is in spiritual bondage to Satan today. And while the Christian who worships God on the eighth day seeks to do well, this Christian lacks faith and is an unprofitable servant. The Mennonite, for example, whose ancestor by faith left behind the errors of the Roman Church and of the Reformed Church does not, today, have the faith of his or her ancestor, a faith that will be counted as righteousness; for this Mennonite, having grown up in the faith of his or her parents, is as the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18) who could not sell all he or her has and follow Jesus into keeping the Sabbath commandment, a type of His heavenly rest. In fact, this person usually profanes the Sabbath by doing most of his or her buying and selling in holy time. But this will change within a very short unit of time—a week—once Israel is liberated from bondage to sin at the second Passover, or this person will become like the circumcised nation slain in the wilderness.
The custom of both neo-Arian and Trinitarian Christianity is to profane the Sabbath and treat the 8th-day as the Sabbath. Christians are recognized by the world for worshiping on the 8th-day, and many who begin well will return to this custom once the little horn attempts to change times and the law (Dan 7:25); for the commandments of God will need a formal, ratified amendment to change the seventh day Sabbath to the 8th-day. This amendment won’t come from God.
Therefore, when the little horn wears out the saints for a time, times, and half a time, the saints will have been liberated at the second Passover and shown the Sabbath. They will then be tested by the Sabbath as they resist the little horn that changes times and the law, compelling saints to return to an 8th-day Sabbath or be persecuted without mercy. And most Sabbatarian denominations have long warned their disciples that a future Pope will gain control of all of Christianity and will compel Sunday observance. These warnings have prepared their disciples to be tested on the Sabbath, but the attack will come from a source that will surprise them. Most 7th-day Sabbath-keeping sects and denominations are neo-Arians, and the attack on the Sabbath will come from within Arian Christianity. These sects will be uprooted horns that receive no help from the denominations ruled by the king of the South. They will either need to be ensconced within the walls of spiritual Jerusalem, or they will scramble trying to stay alive for the next seven years.
The Cross symbolizes the Christianity of the kings of the South and of the North; symbolizes Death. And when the spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham were taken captive by these two beasts can be reasonably determined by when the Cross was adopted as the logo of recognized Christianity. The cross of the Roman Church still has a man hanging on it; the empty cross of the Evangelical Church is supposed to emphasize the resurrection; but both crosses emphasize the killing of Christ, for which Satan is responsible. The Cross is, and always will be the symbol of death, which entered the heavenly realm when iniquity [lawlessness] was found in Lucifer and in the created universe with Eve believing that she would not die if she ate forbidden fruit. Christ was resurrected from the grave, so the empty tomb would be the appropriate symbol of His resurrection. But no symbol is needed other than for each individual to live within the laws of God.
The kings of the South and of the North have reigned over Christianity since God the Father sent His holy nation into Babylonian captivity. They have reigned under the dominion of the king of Greece, who has ruled the Western Lands under the spiritual kings of Persia, who in turn rule under Satan, the spiritual king of Babylon who received authority over the children of men everywhere they dwell when God consigned all of humanity to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all. Again, Satan is a king of kings, just as Nebuchadnezzar was king of kings (Dan 2:37-38).
Christianity spread early across Western Europe, but it wasn’t the united religion Catholic historians would like history to accept. Dominion was given to the third beast of Daniel chapter 7, the four-head leopard that is the king of the South…the "Trinity" is a mystery because the four-headed leopard has never been able to explain his own existence without recognizing the Father as its creator. A god created in its image will be "of one substance" Philo’s expression, and triune because early Church scholars couldn’t read the Tetragrammaton YHWH, which is God + Breath + God + Breath, with the Breath [Pneuma] of the Father distinct from the Breath [Pneuma] of the Son (compare Rom 8:9 with 8:11). Thus, dominion over Christianity was given to the author of the trinity in fantasy and fiction. And pundits of the spiritual house of Judah will attack anyone who is not a Trinitarian.
Disciples who stand on the shoulders of typological exegesis see into the spiritual realm and report back what they see. And the fishers and hunters God sends after Israel (Jer 16:16) have now seen the body of the fourth beast that the prophet Daniel saw, the body that will be given over to be burned, the image of which the Antichrist makes to speak. The whole world worships the image of this cross-shaped beast.
The old Dragon comes as the Antichrist; he comes imitating Christ. He steals authority to reign from Christ, and he does this by possessing the universally recognized symbol of Christ, the Cross, even to the point of him making this symbol/image speak. Why else would a Christian worship the image of this beast, let alone this dead beast?
The image of Death is the Cross. The mark of Death, the mark of the beast is the tattoo of the Cross.
The first and second beasts of Daniel 7 have received little attention. Disciples see, beginning with Christ’s return, "And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur" (Rev 19:20).
When the first or great horn of the king of Greece is broken, four horns appear. Their shadow is the division of Alexander’s empire between his four generals, with Ptolemy I of Egypt initially receiving dominion over the promised land of Judea. This general forms the shadow of the spiritual king of the South, who received dominion (Dan 7:6) and has reigned over Christianity since the 4th-century. This general is also a type of Pharaoh, and a representation of sin, from which the spiritually circumcised nation will be liberated at a second Passover. The first, second and fourth beasts didn’t receive dominion. But ‘"the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority"’ (Dan 11:5). The king of the North was a prince allied with or under the king of the South, just as sin and death today dwell together in the members of disciples (Rom 7:25). Sin and Death are, respectively, the spiritual kings of the South and of the North. And Death is the fourth horseman, thereby making Sin the third horseman of the Apocalypse. All of humanity has been consigned to disobedience or to sin; hence, dominion has been given to Sin, to the four-headed leopard. Sin will, in the Tribulation, make merchandise of the spiritual barley and wheat harvests. But the third horseman is not to harm the oil and the wine, the refined products of the branches that have been grafted onto the root of righteousness. These disciples have already been measured and weighed and found acceptable.
As the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires fought over control of the promised land in the shadow, the third and the fourth beasts as subordinate kings under the king of Greece have fought over Christianity since God sent His holy nation into mental bondage to Satan. But their warring was not foregrounded in the world because they were subordinate kings, and they are today, still subordinate kings to the great horn of the king of Greece. However, when the sar of Greece tramples and destroys the sar of Persia and has no more empires to conquer, this great horn will be supernaturally broken (because he is a firstborn not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God). He will be broken when the lives of men are again given as ransom (Isa 43:3–4) for the liberation of the firstborn son of God (Exod 4:22). He will be broken at the second Passover, and the four horns will arise in his place. These four horns or kings will then not be subordinate to any king but Satan, who continues to reign over humanity as the prince of the power of the air. But they aren’t taking orders from Satan, who sowed rebellion and reaps rebellion. They are, in a colloquial expression, going for it. They know time is short; they know they are in the time of the end; they have to prove their ways will work; and they will somewhat work together to demonstrate how correct they were when they joined Satan’s rebellion against God. They all have a role to play in the emerging dominance of Christianity in the world. They are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The first beast is like a lion with eagles’ wings, which are plucked off when it is lifted up and made to stand upright like a man; it is given the mind of a man. It now looks somewhat like a man, and thinks like a man. When we see this beast again as part of the composite first beast of Revelation 13, the dominant feature is this beast’s mouth, from which thoughts like a man are expressed. This beast is, again, a king. This beast is also the first horseman: "and I [John] looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer" (Rev 6:2). Again, in Revelation, appearance is how the entity functions in the plan of God. The first horseman functions as a rider with a crown who goes forth conquering and to conquer. He isn’t the little horn that speaks mighty words against the Ancient of Days, the little horn who attempts to change times and the law. Instead, this first beast, first horseman is the false prophet who performed the miracles responsible for deceiving those who worshiped the image of beast and accepted his mark. The false prophet is a spiritual king, for John "saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan — from Rev 12:9] and out of the beast [who had been dealt a mortal wound, yet lives — from Rev 13:3] and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. All three, the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet send forth demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty" (Rev 16:13–14). The false prophet is like, in authority and in substance, Satan and the beast. While the identity of the antecedent for the pronoun "they" in verse 14 can be argued, the two possibilities are that John tells readers that Satan, the beast and the false prophets are demonic spirits; or John tells readers that Satan, the beast and the false prophet command demonic spirits. Either possibility confirms the false prophet being a demon, one with near equal authority to the beast and to Satan.
The false prophet will, most likely, come to fulfill an existing office of "prophet." The false prophet will be allied with the beast, the spiritual king that functions as and represents Death. The beast is the king of the North, the king who has traditionally reigned over the northern house of spiritual Israel, over Arian Christianity. Thus, the false prophet will, most likely, step into the office of prophet for the principle neo-Arian denomination.
The second beast appears like a bear, with ribs in its mouth. The feet of the composite king of Greece belong to this second beast, and disciples find that this beast is Abaddon in Hebrew, and Apollyon in Greek. He is the king of the bottomless pit, and he is king over the locusts that attack human beings who are not sealed by God. He alone can kill the two witnesses, who are human beings with spiritual powers.
The locusts the prophet Joel described destroy vineyards, fig trees, and grain fields, but the locusts under the command of Abaddon are not to touch any green growth. Both descriptions give the locusts lions’ teeth (Joel 1:6 & Rev 13:8). So there are differences with similarities between the two accounts of locusts.
Joel tells the priests to consecrate a fast (Joel 1:14) for "the day of the Lord is near" (v. 15 — plus 2:1). Joel then goes on to describe what seems to be a supernatural army somewhat like the troops of cavalry that kill a third of humanity (Rev 9:13-19). Plus Joel describes the sun, moon, and stars not giving off their light in terms suggestive of the fourth trumpet plague (Rev 8:12-13).
The day of the Lord is near during only one period of human history. It wasn’t near during Joel’s lifetime. Nor was it near for the next two millennia. However, it is near when the good news that all who endure to the end will be saved is proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations (Matt 24:13-14). This gospel is now going to the world. The extent to which it must be proclaimed is the Father’s decision. So with certainty, disciples can know that the day of the Lord is finally near.
What about touch nothing green versus destroying crops?
The last Eve will bear three sons, two of whom are delivered before or with her first hard labor pain. The third will continue to grow in the last Eve’s womb until the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, and this third spiritual son will not be ripe for harvesting until sometime during the second half of the seven endtime years of tribulation. Thus, this third of humanity is as growing green plants before the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and of the Son. In a scenario in which appearance has become function, green crops typologically represent the physical shadow of humanity not yet born-from-above.
The four beasts of Daniel 7 are the four horns that arise when the great horn of the spiritual king of Greece is broken. They are indeed kings, and they have reigned over portions of the king of Greece’s domain at least as far back as Athens and Sparta. They have reigned over the holy nation of Israel since the 3rd and 4th Centuries. And as the great spiritual harvest of humanity nears, they will reign for a short while over the earth. Their rule shall be hard as iron.
The little horn of the fourth beast is ‘"the prince who is to come"’ (Dan 9:26) of the seventy weeks prophecy. ‘"His [alternate reading] end shall come with a flood"’ (same verse). This is the flood the earth swallows (Exod 15:12 & Rev 12:16). Then ‘"to the end there shall be war’" (Dan 9:26). So the Tribulation will be difficult to endure. Prior to the court of the Ancient of Days sitting in session, if the days of the third and fourth beasts’ dominion were not cut short, no flesh would be saved alive (Matt 24:22). Then following Satan being cast from heaven, there will be war until Christ returns as the Messiah. The birth pains of Israel will, indeed, be hard labor.
The Apostle Paul writes, about 51 CE, in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, "The coming of the lawless one is…with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2:9-12). Paul’s warning is that God will send a delusion, which is the spiritual equivalent of God sending circumcised Israelites into physical captivity. A delusion is mental captivity from which no repentance or escape is possible.
Paul believed he was living in the time of the end, as have most saints ever since—and they have been, for one long spiritual night began at Calvary, a night equivalent to when death angels passed throughout all of Egypt. So Paul directs his warning about God sending a delusion to saints who will be deceived by the coming of the man of perdition. But Paul’s warning was sealed by a lesser delusion sending lawless saints into captivity in spiritual Babylon. This lesser delusion is only lesser to the extent that it forms the shadow of endtime Israel’s great falling away when the kings of the North and of the South begin to reign over spiritual Babylon as the two legs of iron during the time of the end.
Therefore, little stalking will be required for a saint to locate the four beasts of Daniel 7 once the second Passover occurs—these four beasts will come gunning for the saints. But they have already been defeated; they were defeated at the conclusion of the creation account. And the means by which the saints will slay these beasts is by enduring to the end, refusing the mark of the beast and remaining in covenant with the Most High and with His Messiah. It is comforting to be able to say, My big brother has already whipped your king.
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©2005 by Homer Kizer. All rights reserved.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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