Sunday September 2nd 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part ? Fifty Eight
1). Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
a). We had seen last week how our two verses here both form types of the same event ? the complete destruction of Gentile world power - in other words the complete overthrow of the present system of governance within the world system whereby nations other than Israel hold the scepter of rulership under the authority of the god of this world.
b). And then again, through the types given in Egypt and Jericho we are talking about a Gentile world power in the last days that literally encompasses the whole world ? a global kingdom under the direction of one leader.
c). And it is the final form of this global kingdom that is presented in Nebuchadnezzar?s dream, interpreted by Daniel ? that which we know as Daniel?s image.
2). Da 2:31 ? "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 "This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 "its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
a). There are of course 4 earthly kingdoms represented here that are followed by another Kingdom that completely obliterates all trace of the previous 4 - "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found.
b). Now as we look at this we must keep in mind that we are not looking at a history lesson but at prophecy.
c). The scriptures do identify the first of these kingdoms in the image as the Babylonian kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar - Da 2:37 "You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 "and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all-you are this head of gold.
d). This was a real kingdom, with Nebuchadnezzar as its king, which is documented in the secular, historical record ? and this kingdom encompassed the known world at that time including the old Assyrian empire.
e). We can also identify the second part of the image from the scriptures as the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians which took the Babylonian kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar?s son.
f). And we could go on and identify the next kingdom from the historical record, but to be honest, apart from the curiosity value in knowing about these kingdoms, there is little point in doing so. In fact it is trying to make Daniel?s image fit the secular, historical chronology that has caused so many Bible scholars to miss the point entirely. What we need to understand is not so much who these kingdoms were, but rather what they were.
g). If we stick with what we know to do, compare scripture with scripture and allow scripture to interpret itself, we will be on much safer ground.
h). And so in order to do this where else would we go except back to the foundation in Genesis - Ge 11:1 ? Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." 5 ? But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
i). What we see here then is a foundational picture concerning Gentile world power that sets in place a number of types that are then fully developed later in the scriptures.
j). The description of ?the whole earth? having ?one language and one speech? would give us the foundational type of a unified ?one world? kingdom.
k). The attempt to build ?a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens? speaks of an attempt within the realm of men to be exalted above God; something also seen in desiring to ?make a name for ourselves? rather than proclaiming the name of the Lord, and this of course would inevitably remind us of the intention of the god of this world who is the orchestrator of Man?s efforts at Babel ? Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'
l). And then of course we see God?s intervention in the affairs of Man when the course of action being taken at Babel can no longer be allowed to continue.
m). Now the events at Babel take place under the auspices of Nimrod, the first king of Babylon, who we would have to see as the first of Satan?s ?adopted firstborn sons? amongst the nations ? Ge 10:8 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).
n). Not only then do we have foundational types pictured here for us in the babel account, but we also have two first mention principles ? the attempt to establish a worldwide kingdom for the purpose of overthrowing God?s plan for the earth must be connected to Babylon ? and God will not allow such a plan to succeed.
o). This connection with Babylon does not necessarily mean a Babylonian kingdom per se, but certainly a kingdom that embraces the whole world that has its power base in Babylon.
p). And this is exactly what we need to understand with respect to Daniel?s image ? we are dealing with kingdoms that have Babylon as their center of power ? 3 have existed in history and 1 is yet to come. Because of what we see here in foundation we can know for certain that the last worldwide kingdom under the last king must have its power base in Babylon.
q). Any other kingdom or empire that comes after the third part of Daniel?s image within the historical record, no matter even if it encompassed the whole world, must be taken purely at face value. The final form of Daniel?s image, the 4th kingdom must be entirely ?Babylonian? and until circumstances on earth give rise to this last Babylonian kingdom all others remain just a side show to the main event.
3). Now as we continue to consider the circumstances in which Daniel?s image is revealed we cannot help but realize that Daniel is a Jew, taken into Gentile captivity and removed from the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
a). And this circumstance arises because of Israel?s continued disobedience resulting in the entire nation being taken into captivity beginning with the northern 10 tribes of the divided kingdom in 722BC ?
2Ki 17:16 So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. 19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20 And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. 21 For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, 23 until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
b). What we read here describes the beginning of what we know as the Assyrian captivity, and it may not have escaped our notice that Assyria is a region also within the kingdom of Nimrod.
c). As we will also see from our 2 Kings scripture the Jews in the south of the land were also disobedient just as those in the north. This whole scenario of disobedience is presented figuratively in Ezekiel through the actions of 2 sisters, representing the northern tribes and the southern tribes, leaving us in no doubt as to what God thinks about this - Eze 23:4 Their names: Oholah [Northern] the elder and Oholibah[Southern] her sister; They were Mine, And
they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah. 5 "Oholah played the harlot even though she was Mine; And she lusted for her lovers, the neighboring Assyrians, 6 Who were clothed in purple, Captains and rulers, All of them desirable young men, Horsemen riding on horses. 7 Thus she committed her harlotry with them, All of them choice men of Assyria; And with all for whom she lusted, With all their idols, she defiled herself. 8 She has never given up her harlotry brought from Egypt, For in her youth they had lain with her, Pressed her virgin bosom, And poured out their immorality upon her. 9 "Therefore I have delivered her Into the hand of her lovers, Into the hand of the Assyrians, For whom she lusted. 10 They uncovered her nakedness, Took away her sons and daughters, And slew her with the sword; She became a byword among women, For they had executed judgment on her. 11 ? "Now although her sister Oholibah saw this, she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister's harlotry?????22 ? "Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I will stir up your lovers against you, From whom you have alienated yourself, And I will bring them against you from every side:
d). As a consequence of this harlotry the southern tribes, pictured in the second sister, ?Oholibah?, began to be taken into captivity by Babylon some 117 years after the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria. During this 117 years the Assyrian kingdom had been conquered by the Babylonians with the northern tribes still remaining in captivity. And then 19 years on from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity for the southern tribes, Jerusalem fell, the Glory of the Lord departed from the Temple, the Theocratic Kingdom came to an end, the entire nation of Israel was now captive and the ?time of the Gentiles? had now begun with the scepter of earthly rulership passing from Israel to the Gentile nations under the authority of Satan ? And it is here both in geography and history, living in the midst of prophecy that we find Daniel.
e). And we will remember from last week that which Jesus had said concerning Israel and the times of the Gentiles ? Lu 21:24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
f). Just as the times of the Gentiles began with the trampling of Jerusalem, both the city and the people of the city, and the Babylonian captivity so must the times of the Gentiles be brought to fulfillment with the trampling of Jerusalem in like manner and a final ?Babylonian? captivity.
g). All that we see here clearly points us to that which is yet to come.
4). Now with respect to the Babylonian captivity in which we find Daniel the Lord had said this to Jeremiah about it - Jer 29:10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
a). This prophecy is something that Daniel knew and something he set his face toward the Lord about - Da 9:1 ? In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans- 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
b). The answer he receives reveals to him something very significant ?
Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;[lit. ?and shall have nothing?] And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.[lit. ?and till the end war and desolations are determined] 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."[lit. ?upon the desolator? ? the one who confirms and breaks the covenant]
c). Gabriel makes it clear to Daniel that the complete time that Israel is to be in subjection to the Gentile nations is 70 X 7, not 10 X 7 as seen in Jeremiah.
d). After Jeremiah?s 70 years a remnant of Jews did return to the land and the Temple was rebuilt, but this was not to be the time of Israel?s ascendancy ? there would be another 490 years ?To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity? that must be completed first.
e). 483 of these years have passed leaving just 7 to be completed to bring Gentile world power to an end and to place the scepter of rulership back
into Israel?s hand ? 7 years to bring about the crushing of the serpent?s head ? 7 years of Jacob?s trouble - Mr 13:19 "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
f). This final 7 years will of course take place following the end of this dispensation, once all Christians have been resurrected/raptured and will begin when ?the prince who is to come?? ?shall confirm a covenant with many [in Israel] for one week?.
g). These final 7 years are to ?seal up vision and prophecy? ? the events here do not provide a prophetic picture of future events, they are rather the fulfillment of all the prophecy from Moses onwards. Consequently the ?prince who is to come? is no ordinary Gentile ruler, but the very seed of Satan referenced in Genesis 3:15.
h). In this prince is the very embodiment of Satan?s purpose, the final throw of the dice if you will, with respect to his murderous intent ?
Ps 2:1 ? Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
i). Ps 83:2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more." 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:
j). "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more." ? This has been the watch word within the Gentile world from the Pharaoh of Egypt, to the rulers of the Third Reich, to the nations of the Middle East today.
k). This is Antichrist?s ?raison d?etre?, the very reason for his existence, and yet this is the man with whom many in Israel will make a covenant. He is the most seductive of Israel?s Gentile lovers and their relationship with him brings the nation?s harlotry to its peak.
l). But note what is recorded of him in - Da 11:21 ? "And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
5). Re 6:1 ? Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
a). The opening of the first seal on the 7 sealed scroll containing the terms for the redemption of the inheritance marks the beginning of the Tribulation and would coincide with the making of the covenant with many in Israel ? the rider on the white horse is the prince who is to come, the maker of the covenant, the ?vile person? of Daniel 11:21 ? the Antichrist.
b). The white horse denotes his appearance as a man of peace, a man who has apparently resolved the problems of the Middle East. He has a bow, but no arrows for his bow and he goes out into the world ?conquering and to conquer?, not by might, but ?by intrigue?. For 3 ? years, until ?the middle of the week? he will continue in this fashion. His aim is worldwide domination and this he achieves ? such domination it seems being given to him willingly.
c). However, in the middle of the week everything changes.
6). Re 6:3 ? When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
a). With the opening of the second seal we see a rider on ?another horse, fiery red? ? This is the same rider as on the white horse, but now with worldwide domination in his grasp he turns to his real purpose ? the annihilation of Israel - But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed and the city and the people of the city will be trampled underfoot.
b). So swift and intense will this be that the Lord says this to those in Israel at the time this takes place - Mt 24:15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
c). Those Jews who do not immediately flee to the mountains or into the desert - Lu 21:24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations.
d). This then is the 4th kingdom from Daniel?s image ? Antichrist will come out of the geographical area covered by the old Assyrian empire in the
antitype of the Assyrian Pharaoh of Moses? day and his power base will be Babylon in accord with the previous three parts of the image ? this then is the final ?Babylonian? captivity, Israel in captivity as slaves amongst the nations, and the final trampling underfoot of the Jewish people and their city which we spoke of earlier.
e). This is the fulfillment of the picture given through Nimrod and the events at Babel.
f). This is how Daniel describes the rider on the fiery red horse ?
Da 11:36 "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 "But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 "Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
g). With this man seeking to kill or enslave the Jewish people and having destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and having divided the land ?for gain?
Joe 3:2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. 3 They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
h). Because of this it is no wonder that peace is taken from the earth and that war and desolations are determined until the end.
7). To bring all of this to its complete conclusion though will have to wait until next time ? if the Lord is willing.