Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 81
THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES INTERPRETED – 2
Okay, good to see everybody back. For those of you joining us on television, if you would like to come in for an afternoon of Bible study and coffee and all the goodies over there – it’s almost like a feast day, isn’t it? Just come over to Tulsa, normally the first Wednesday after the first Sunday, and you’ll enjoy the day. We’ve got folks today from Oklahoma City, Enid, Texas, Florida, and Nevada. My goodness, I hope I didn’t miss anybody. But anyway, we’re always glad to have visitors come in and join us.
All right, this is a Bible study. We’re going to just keep right on going verse-by-verse through Daniel chapter 7, and we’ve just left off at verse 18. And again, I do want to thank our television audience for all of their kind letters and prayer support and financial support. I can’t renege on doing that. All right, verse 18 again:
“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom,…” Now you know, people will just do anything with Scripture and twist it for their own ends.
Now, I don’t know when it started, but somewhere back in church history there was a movement abroad called Reconstructionism. What they were really preaching was that the Church would finally take over the world almost by force, militarily, and then be ready to hand it over to God at His Second Coming or whenever. And as a result of that theology came two of our favorite hymns, at least they were for me when I was a kid. One was “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Now just stop and think a minute. See how militaristic that is? And it is the same way with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It is militaristic.
And that’s not the way God is going to do it. God is going to let the Body of Christ fill up, and then He will take it out in the Rapture. In will come the anti-Christ and those final seven years, and then Christ Himself will be the One that will take the world by force with His wrath and vexation of those final seven years, especially the last three-and-a-half. So anyway, it’s amazing how people can twist the Scriptures to fit their own theology. All right, so enough of that. Now we can move on to verse 19. Daniel goes on.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast,…” Or this fourth empire. Now never lose sight of what I closed with.
In Daniel’s day, yes, Nebuchadnezzar came in 606 B.C. They held forth for a hundred years or so. Then came the Medes and the Persians, which is present day Iran and a part of the world just north of them. Then came Alexander the Great and what we call the Greek Empire. Then that faded away. A couple of hundred years later and the Romans came in. And, of course, the Roman Empire held forth, like I said in the last half hour, until around the fourth or fifth century.
After that you have the appearance of Mohammad and the world of Islam. They pretty much became the occupiers of that part of the world up until World War I when the British took over the Mandate of Palestine and so forth.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth empire, (the Roman) which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, (See, that’s exactly the way it was seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as well.) and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;”
Now all that shows is the absolute authority of these empires, and this Roman Empire especially. But, the Revived Roman Empire that’s going to appear for the final seven years of Daniel’s 490 years of prophecies, which will be coming, maybe not this taping but the next one. That will even be worse than anything that has ever been before, because it is an outpouring not only of God’s wrath, but of Satan’s. Satan, as we’ll see later, is also a major player—especially in those last three-and-a-half years.
All right, now verse 20. This is definitely Tribulation ground, because the ancient Roman Empire was not associated with the ten horns and so forth. So whenever you get to ten horns and ten crowns, then we’re leaping up to those final seven years.
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell;…” Now remember, we’re talking about nations. We’re not talking about some creature with ten horns sticking out of his head. We’re talking about an empire composed of ten distinct nations and kings and so forth. All right, out of the ten, three will disappear.
Now for thirty years I’ve taught it, and I still haven’t found any reason to change. It is that I feel these ten nations will be the original ten that came out after World War II. And they started with the Club of Rome in 1945. Those ten nations just moved on up through the years and became what we now know as the European Union. But the ten that originally started are still what I call “veto holders.” In other words, even though there are twenty-five or thirty nations coming into the Union, yet those original ten still have the final authority.
I’m going to take the time to read them, because a lot of people don’t understand who they are. I’ll try to go slow enough so that you can write them in your notes. We start out with the three small ones that I think will disappear – Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Now, if you can abbreviate, you can write a little faster. Then you’ve got the bigger ones – France, Germany, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom (that’s England, Britain), Portugal, and Spain.
Now those are the ten that came together right after World War II and formed what they called early on the Club of Rome. Then it became the European Community. And then the last few years we call it the European Union. And a year or two ago they formed their own currency called the Euro. And as I predicted way, way back—when that would appear, it would go right by the dollar in value. And I was right. It’s gone right on by and it is now presently about a dollar and thirty cents for every dollar.
So anyway, here is what I feel—now, I know there are a lot of different concepts of this end-time thing, but this is where I’m still the most comfortable—that these are the ten original nations of the Western European Union. The ten horns. And the three that fall away will be those three small ones—the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Then out of the seven will come the anti-Christ. All right, let’s go a little further in verse 20.
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell (or disappeared); even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”
In other words, he’s going to have a charismatic personality. He’s going to have an authoritarian air about him so that the world will succumb to his leadership. Now remember, he’s going to be an ordinary human being, but naturally he’s going to be given these things by virtue of God’s Sovereignty. But also, he’s going to be empowered later on by Satan himself. All right, now verse 21, as he beholds in this image or in this vision–
“I beheld, and the same horn (This man anti-Christ, now—the singular—he’s come out of the seven.) the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;” Well, what does that mean? That means that by the time he comes into full world dominion, which will be at least at the middle of the seven years, he’s going to turn on the Nation of Israel. First, because those are the saints that the Old Testament talks about. The Old Testament knows nothing of Gentiles as saints, so that’s always Jews.
All right, let’s see how the Lord Himself—and we’ll be looking at this more than once, because I get pounded constantly—don’t ever stop repeating. Jump up with me now to Matthew 24, and we’ll see exactly what Daniel is talking about.
How that at the middle of the Tribulation this man anti-Christ, the singular horn out of the ten, is going to turn on the Nation of Israel. And he’s going to do everything in his power to totally annihilate them. Now does that sound so weird and far out? No, they’ve got that guy down in Iran, that’s all he can think. It is to just totally destroy the Jewish people. He wants to nuke them in the worst way possible. But here’s what the Lord says in Matthew 24 verse 15.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,…” That is when this man anti-Christ will go into that rebuilt Temple as a result of the seven-year treaty, remember. We’ll be looking at all that over the next several programs. He will go into that rebuilt Temple and defile it with some sort of an abominational idol. It will infuriate the Jews, of course, but that won’t do them much good, because he’s going to turn on them with the idea of destroying every last one of them. All right, now drop down to verse 16.
“Then…” In other words, Jesus is telling the Jewish people of that day, when you see this happen—and it’s going to be on front page news. How this man has gone up to the Temple mount and has gone into the Temple and done all these things. It’ll be on “You Tube,” and it’ll be on the cell phones, and it’ll be all over the world. Everyone will know what’s going on. So Jesus tells his Jewish people—when you see this happen, then get out of town. That’s the best way I can put it. Get out of Jerusalem. And He says:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (to a place of safety that God will designate) 17. Let them who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house.” Now we’ve gone over this before, and I’ll probably go over it again. I feel these are the wealthier Jews of the area of Jerusalem living up in the penthouses of their beautiful apartments.
My, how many of you get the Jerusalem Post? Any of you? Am I the only one? Do you get it? Okay, do you notice the places that are for sale and for rent? Oh! Nothing less than a million dollars. I mean, there is nothing less than a million. Most of them are from two to three to four million dollars – apartments! Not houses with five acres like in America. These are apartments. So don’t think for a minute there aren’t a lot of wealthy people in Jerusalem. Absolutely! So to those kinds of people the Lord says, hey, you may have some things that you just don’t want to part with, it cost you a lot of money. Leave it. Leave it and get out of town!
All right, now we come down to the next level of the economic scale—the working people. I don’t care whether they’re professionals—lawyers and doctors and business people and the scientists and so forth in their Silicon Valley, or whether it’s carpenters or ditch diggers. We’re dealing with all the rest of that economic scale where it says:
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Now, I try to help people to understand, that when you read your Bible, understand that it’s talking in the language of that day.
Well, now think back 2,000 years—at the time of Christ. What was the occupation of probably 95% of the Jewish people? Farming and herdsman and orchards. They weren’t cosmopolitan. They were agrarians, so that’s the language. It is the same way when you read Ezekiel and all those things—you’ve got to understand that they’re writing in the language of antiquity. So, you have to use common sense and put it into the language of today.
All right, so to the working class, that whole middle area, He says: let him not turn back to take his clothes. In other words, don’t worry about a second set of clothes. Why? Because just like when Moses led the people out into the desert for forty years, what happened? Their clothes never wore out. Their shoes never wore out. Well, it’s going to be the same way with this escaping remnant of Jews. They won’t need a new set of clothes. They won’t need anything, because God’s going to provide everything for those final three-and-a-half years in this place of safety.
Because after all, I think we looked at this a couple of weeks ago, but let’s go back again before we lose our train of thought. Come all the way back to Zechariah, the next to the last book in your Old Testament, just ahead of Malachi. Zechariah chapter 13, because we’ve got to be realists, the Book knows what it’s talking about. And we have to believe it. Zechariah chapter 13 verse 8 and this is all part and parcel of what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 24 and Daniel is talking about in chapter 7.
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, (That is of all the land of Israel.) saith the LORD, two parts therein (two thirds) shall be cut off and die;…”
Now you’ve got to remember, the anti-Christ is going to be ruthless in killing off the Jews. He’s going to spare none of them. But God supremely, sovereignly, is going to spare the one third.
“…two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part (the one third) shall be left therein. (In other words, God’s going to protect them for this purpose.) 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire,…” That is of Tribulation.
Remember when we were back in Daniel and his friends were cast into the fiery furnace? You remember that I told you that was a picture in type of Israel in the Tribulation. Even though they were cast into that raging fired-up furnace, it never touched them, because the Son of God was in there with them. Well, it was a picture of this one third of Israel. They, too, will come through the horrors of those final seven years untouched, because He’s going to bring them through it. And as a result:
“…and I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, (We’re going to be talking on that a little later this afternoon.) and I will hear them: and I will say, It is my people:…” God hasn’t said that for a long, long time.
Already starting with Moses, how did He refer to the Nation of Israel? Your people. Thy people. And Moses said, they’re not my people, they’re Your people. No, they’re thy people. And all the way through Daniel’s experience, God says the same thing—thy people. But when it comes to this point in time at the end of the Tribulation, when this remnant of Israel will finally recognize their coming Messiah, then God will say “My people.” That’s part of the Jeremiah 31 New Covenant.
Now stop and think, be aware of the numbers. There are just a little over fifteen million Jews on the planet today. They just took a census of it, again, not too long ago. A few of fifteen million, so a third, is five million people. That’s about the same number that went out of Egypt under Moses. So it’s a pretty close parallel.
All right, reading on in Matthew 24, He says in verse 19—the next group of people you’ve got after the wealthy living in the penthouses, and the working class, the middle class—now we come to those who are homemakers and mothers and so forth.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days! (young mothers carrying their little ones) 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:” Because what happened three-and-a-half years earlier as a result of that seven year peace treaty? Israel was given permission to rebuild the Temple. They went back under the Law, and they enjoyed that for three-and-a-half years. It was a relative time of peace and prosperity.
So, here’s the kickback of it. Now since they’ve been under the Law, literally, they’ll have to hope that this great event won’t be on a Sabbath day. And I’m sure the Lord will see to it that it won’t be. So, hope that it won’t be on the Sabbath day, nor in the winter.
You know, a few years ago we were on a cruise ship on the Mediterranean. We were supposed to stop at Ashdod, but we couldn’t dock because of—man, we had fifteen, twenty foot waves that whole trip for two weeks. I got seasick every day. But you ought to see my tapes of those. We were in one of the ships that have little movies, and the ship taped it for us. And when you look at that DVD—not DVD, VHS—we didn’t have DVD’s in yet. There was a screen behind me because it was a movie theater. And that screen just goes like “this,” all the way through that whole hour of lecture. How I maintained without tossing my cookies, I don’t know. But anyway, we couldn’t dock. The seas were too high. So we go up to Haifa, and we rearranged our whole schedule so that we could send the buses down to Jerusalem from Haifa, so that they could at least tour. Well, they had fourteen inches of snow in Jerusalem! So we couldn’t even do that.
All to make the point that when Jesus said, hope that it won’t be in the winter time, because they can have 12-14 inch snowfall in Jerusalem. All right, verse 21, this is the whole sum of the matter.
“For then (beginning with the mid-point of that final seven years) for then shall be great tribulation,…” Now you know, that’s why some people feel that the first three-and-a-half years aren’t Tribulation.
Well, I beg to differ. Because, and now I’ll tell you why I differ. When they say that there won’t be much harm or danger or death and destruction until the first half is over—keep your hand in Matthew 24 and come back with me to Revelation chapter 6. Because I’ve got to make the point. Don’t ever think for a minute that it’s going to pie-in-the-sky the first three-and-a-half and then everything breaks loose. No. The first three-and-a-half is going to have enough of its own. Revelation chapter 6 and that’s after the white horse, the red horse, and the black horse; and then you come down to verse 7.
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth creature say, Come and see. 8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over one fourth part of the earth, (Now that’s speaking of population, not necessarily land area, but over population, because you don’t kill land area. You kill people. All right, and here it is that power was given unto this fourth horse over one fourth of the earth’s population.) to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Now, if you know your math, what’s one fourth of seven billion, which is the present-day population? Well, my little calculator said 1.75 billion people. That’s one and three quarters billion people who will lose their life in the first half. And then is when it really takes off. All right, so back to Matthew 24, again, if you will, because this is from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself. From the Creator God. From the God of Glory. And He will not stretch the point. Verse 21 again:
“For then (at this midpoint of the seven until the end) for then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world (Now you remember what that entails, all the judgments and the disasters that the human race faced for 4,000 years up to the time of Christ. But then He leaps ahead. He doesn’t just say has ever been. But He looks forward and through the eyes of the Creator God He could tell us exactly what it’s going to be.) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Now that tells us that this final three-and-a-half years is going to be the worst period of human decimations in all of human history. And the world is getting so ripe for it. Don’t ever blame God for coming down so hard on the human race.
All right, we’ve got four minutes left. Come back with me to Daniel. We’ll continue on a few more verses here in chapter 7. Verse 21 is what kicked us up to Matthew.
“I beheld, and the same horn (this man anti-Christ, the singular horn out of the ten) made war with the saints, (That is the Jewish people.) and prevailed against them;” He succeeded in killing two thirds of them, only the third that is providentially escaping will survive. All right, now verse 22.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment (or rule) was given to the saints of the most High;…” In other words, Israel is still going to come back under the rule and reign of their Messiah and King. Israel will become the greatest nation on the earth during that thousand year reign. All right, verse 22 again.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” The thousand year reign, which will open up as soon as these seven years have been culminated. All right, now verse 23.
“Thus he said, The fourth beast…” This fourth empire, which is a Revived Roman Empire which the world is getting ready for—this whole, I’m sure, this whole financial debacle is just setting the stage for a world economy, a world currency, which will lead to a world government and a world religion. It’s all coming together so quickly. All right, verse 23.
Thus he said, The fourth empire, shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, (It’s going to be different from all other kingdoms that have ever been in our past history.) and shall devour the whole earth, (Not just the Middle East, not just Europe, it’s going to be a world-wide government control.) and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” In other words, it’s going to be absolutely vicious in its control of the masses.
Now, I haven’t got time. We’ll do it in another one. I was just going to show you something from Revelation, but we’ll go on for now. Verse 24:
“And the ten horns (These ten nations out of which the three have fallen and you’ve got seven left.) the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: (Now that’s plain English. They are separate nations under separate governments, but they will all be brought together.) and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Three governments and I’ve already stressed who I think it will be. It’ll be the three little ones of Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. All right, then verse 25 and that’ll probably wind us up for this half hour.
“And he shall speak great words (Oh, he’s going to be arrogant. He’s going to be self-deifying, and he will–) speak great words against the most High, (That is against our God of Creation. Our God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:…”