In Rev. 13:1-2 John reveals the true nature of the Beast. “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
By now you know that the Beast is a title used to describe the final 8th Gentile kingdom that comes against Israel. The seven heads represent the previous historical kingdoms that oppressed Israel: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Islamic empire that culminated in the Ottoman Empire. The ten horns are leaders from the modern day Middle Eastern nations that want to destroy Israel.
The leader of this coalition is also called the Beast, along with his cohort known as the False Prophet. John, in his letters, called that leader the Antichrist because he denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22). Surprisingly, that title is never used in Revelation, but the Spirit-inspired connections confirm his identity. Paul called him the son of perdition, the lawless one, and the man of sin. Daniel called him the little horn.
John goes on to explain the power behind the Beast. He just so happens to be the serpent of old, the devil, the dragon—Satan himself. This unholy trinity is the mystery behind Gog of the land of Magog that Ezekiel describes. We learned from the prophet that Satan dwells in that area of Turkey, for his throne is in Pergamos (Rev. 2:13). He is the chief over the princes, the rulers of the darkness of this age, powers, principalities, and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:12).
Yes, Satan is the god of this world, but he is not on par with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is not omnipresent (present everywhere), he is not omnipotent (all-powerful), and he is not omniscient (knowing all). He is the prince of darkness, but he is no match for the Light of the world.
Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 2:9-10 that “the coming of the lawless one [the beastly man] will be according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Yet in verse 8 Paul reveals the outcome of this final war: “the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” Sound familiar? The purpose of the rapture is to gather Christ’s heirs together with Him as the heavenly court that is seated to execute the righteous judgments that consume and destroy the beastly armies.
In Revelation 19:20 we learn that the beastly Antichrist and the beastly False Prophet are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire. The armies of the Beast are devoured at the Supper of the Great God. As for the power behind the throne, Satan is temporarily bound in the Pit of Hades for the rest of the 1,000-year reign of Christ. He is released at the end one last time to give the inhabitants of the earth one final choice—Christ the way, the truth, and the life, or Satan the father of lies, the murderer from the beginning.
Given where Satan dwells, it should not surprise us that he goes out “to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle.” He gathers another army that goes up against Jerusalem. “And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet [already are]. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
When we make the Spirit-inspired connections, we see clearly what lies ahead. There is a war on the horizon. It begins with the revival of what was the Islamic Empire of old. It’s the most significant war that will ever take place with humanity.
We know when it will begin—just before God turns out the lights as this 6th Day ends and the Day of the Lord dawns. We know that during the war the beastly kingdom will turn on the Harlot of false religion that rides it. It will turn against all religion. We know it will eventually become World War III, as news from the north and east trouble the Antichrist. We know the heavenly court of Christ and His raptured Bride will unleash the trumpet and bowl judgments that consume and destroy the beastly aggressors. We know it will only last 3½ years and ends with the Supper of the Great God. This is the future history of the world. It’s already in the Book!
If you read the last two blogs and took the time to read through Ezekiel 38 and 39, then you have a pretty good idea of what the final world war looks like. Unlike the previous two world wars, this one truly is the war that ends all wars.
We continue to rule as the heavenly court during the rest of the last 1,000 years from above, with Israel being the natural government on the earth. It is a time of relative rest on the earth. The end of the first 3½ years of the Day of the Lord brings the end of the times of the Gentiles. The statue of the empires that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream is destroyed.
“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. 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” Daniel 2:34-35.
In case you’re wondering, the seated heavenly court is the Stone that crushes the image. The Stone is the rule of Christ that fills the whole earth. We are the living stones, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-21).
The so-called one-world order, the counterfeit kingdom of the lawless one, is brought down at the end of the 3½-year war at the start of the Day of the Lord. It wasn’t done politically by invading seven mountains that men have determined, by believers whose spirits have been made new, yet still see only in part and are not yet perfected.
It shall be done literally by the perfected Body of Christ finally united as One New Man with Christ the Head. It will be fought simply by speaking the predetermined will of the Father, God Almighty, the Most High God. Only He, and He alone, determines the times and the seasons, and raises up and brings down the kings.
Ezekiel 38 and 39 also tell us the state of the world after this war for Jerusalem. To make sure we get the point, there are 8 verses. Eight is the number of new beginnings and regeneration in the Bible.
In short, the nations see how God delivered Israel against all odds and raised them up to be the head and not the tail. There is no God like our Father God!
In the last blog we confirmed that the war that is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is the final war against the Antichrist—aka Gog of the land of Magog. We saw how this war begins just before the end of this age, just before Christ comes again. The invasion of Israel begins rapidly and comes to a screeching halt when God turns out the global lights. It is the final sign of this age.
So the next thing we should expect to see is the coming of Christ at the rapture. It happens as the Day of the Lord dawns. That Day begins with the wrath of that Day—God’s vengeance against evil. “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face” Ezekiel 38:18. The next thing we see in verses 19 and 20 is the Lord’s coming.
“For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ ”
Compare this to Rev. 12:15-17. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [the remnant of Israel who have finally accepted Jesus], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
We’re looking at the same 3½-year war for Jerusalem as prophesied in the Old and New Testaments. We’re seeing the same beast [Antichrist] who comes against Israel for 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6) or 42 months (Rev. 13:5) or for a time, times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14; Daniel 7:25).
So how does this war go down? It begins with the rapture of the Church (Daniel 7:9-10). The heavenly court is seated—Christ the Head and His Body, His Bride, as joint-heirs. The new song is sung and the heavenly declarations are made. Scripture describes these as the two-edged sword coming out of our mouths.
The next thing that happens is recorded in Rev. 12:7-9. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The evil spiritual forces influencing the earth are brought down first.
Then comes Operation Consume and Destroy. The ruling judgments of the court gradually consume the beastly armies via the first six trumpet and bowl judgments. “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” Ezek. 38:22.
Then suddenly the 7th trumpet sounds. “Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured” (Ezek. 39:3-4).
Rev. 19:17-21 describes this same event as the Supper of the Great God. “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” That’s how the war ends. The rest of Ezekiel 39 describes the mop-up operation.
Ignoring these obvious Spirit-inspired connections has left the Church with a confusing mash-up of competing views. We can’t even agree whether or not we go to Father’s House as Jesus promised, go up into the sky for a moment and then come back down to earth, or we never get to go up and see our mansions.
These views rob us of our true destiny. When we follow the scriptural connections, we see that we go back to God’s throne room with our Beloved Jesus and are seated in the position of all power and authority with Him. We execute the wrath of that Day that brings down the Antichrist and restores the kingdom to Israel as the natural head of the earthly nations. It doesn’t get better than that, folks. Why would you settle for an inferior, unbiblical account?
The next set of connections we’re going to examine are from the prophet Ezekiel, as recorded in chapters 38 and 39. As with the connections we’ve seen from 2 Thess. 4 & 5, Rev. 12, Zech. 14, and Daniel 7, these connections will probably disturb your end-time views. But that’s okay. We’ve seen how important it is to know what Scripture says through the Spirit-inspired connections rather than simply trying to reason with our limited human reasoning. We’ll see another example of this in this blog.
For a quick recap, we know the four features of His coming: (1) our resurrection (rapture); (2) which is a timely harpazo gathering; (3) as the Day of the Lord begins; but (4) after the initial invasion by the Antichrist (birth pains).
Why do we need to be reminded of this? Because what we’re going to see in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is how this initial invasion happens, how it unfolds, how it ends, and why it happens. For some of you, going through the details of a war may bring up not-so-pleasant memories of boring history classes. But bear with us, because we assure you—these are important details to see.
In fact, even as we write this, a misconception is being circulated based on our current events. More on that later. The majority of believers recognize that the time of Christ’s return is soon—very soon. So it’s time that we get a clear picture of what is in our near future, especially as it concerns our next assignment as the Church.
Chapter 38 begins with Ezekiel prophesying to Gog of the land of Magog. In short, Ezekiel declares on earth, as God’s representative, what God has spoken in Heaven. Ezekiel calls Gog the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech and Tubal refer to tribal lands in Turkey named after the offspring of Japheth (table of nations in Gen. 10).
God—via Ezekiel—tells this chief prince that God will put thoughts in his mind for an evil plan. Namely, to attack Israel. We know this refers to modern Israel because it has unwalled cities and the people think they are safe because of their defense system. Ancient cities had walls for protection. Notice that this happens as “that Day” is about to dawn. From our connections, we now know that this wording doesn’t refer to any day, but to the Day—the Day of the Lord.
Also from our previous connections, we know that a war that comes at the Day of the Lord is the final end-time war against the Antichrist. Ezek. 38:17 confirms that he is the one prophesied by God’s servants. It is the war that brings down the oppressive empires that have come against Israel. It is the end of the times of the Gentiles. More on that later in another video in this series.
The chapter goes on to tell us that it is a sudden, destructive, and fast-moving invasion. Israel is experiencing agonizing birth pains, to say the least. But then God responds. First, we know from our previous connections, that He turns out the celestial lights and plunges the world into total darkness. That temporarily stops the invasion.
“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face” (Ezek. 38:18). Also from our previous connections we know that this fury is the wrath of that Day. It’s how the 3½-year war unfolds (remember times, time, and half a time). More on this in the next video.
Ezekiel 38:23 tells what results from this war. “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ Needless to say, that will can only happen at the final end-time war against the Antichrist. So we can conclude that Gog of Magog is the chief prince or leader of this war—namely, the Antichrist. We’ll see more proof of this in this series.
How did we miss this important detail? As we’ve said so many times before, we miss the specific details in God’s Word because we don’t make the necessary connections to determine the meaning of key phrases. Instead, we read a passage and make assumptions based on our own context.
In this case, the popular view thinks Gog of Magog is Russia simply because we see them as a superpower—both in the past and now—that has been allied with the Gentile oppressors seeking to destroy Israel. We read “Rosh” and think it sounds like Russia. We read “Meshech” and think it sounds like Moscow. We read the headlines today and can see Russia going to war. So we “interpret” Ezekiel’s prophecy to be another invasion before the end of this age and before Christ’s coming. But all that does is add more confusion—dare I say, the fog of war—because that interpretation doesn’t fit the rest of the details and connections in these two chapters. Stay tuned if you want to see the biblical sequence of events.
In the last blog we learned that God’s intentions rule the Day, much to the dismay of the Antichrist who seeks to change the times and the seasons. Mr. Big Mouth is not the one who removes kings and raises up kings—no matter how powerful he thinks he is. We already know his fate, and it’s not a pretty picture. First, a quick recap of what we’ve learned from Daniel 7.
Here we want to focus on how that happens and what results. It’s recorded in the last half of Revelation 19. In a nutshell: “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15). In case you haven’t guessed, John is referring to the Faithful and True One, who judges and makes war.
Remember, only God has the authority to set the times and the seasons. The judgment has already been made—it’s time to bring down Mr. Big Mouth who dares to speak pompous words against the Most High. And all it takes is the Word spoken from Christ and His Bride as the seated court and it's a done deal.
“And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:21). Verse 17 of the same chapter calls this the “supper of the great God.” Suddenly, the Antichrist’s prophetic career and his notorious armies are destroyed.
So what happens next? The Daniel 7 connection tells us. “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 7:21-22).
Remember the context; we have to be consistent. The saints here are the Jewish remnant still on the earth that has accepted Jesus as the Messiah, who are at war with the Antichrist. God has already determined when it is time for the counterfeit king to be removed. It can only happen when the heavenly court has been seated. It can only happen after the completed Church has been raptured and is in Heaven with Christ in God’s throne room.
We execute the 7 trumpet/bowl judgments. The Antichrist’s armies are cut down by the power of the two-edged sword of our declarations. The birds of prey have a field day at the supper of the great God. Then one more declaration goes forth concerning the Jewish saints because it’s finally time.
4. The kingdom under the whole heaven is given to the saints. That is, God’s earthly kingdom.
This is when the kingdom is finally restored to Israel. This is when the promise made to King David is fulfilled—his kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom through Jesus Christ. God alone has the authority over the times and the seasons, to dethrone and raise up the kings of the earth. As the heavenly court, we rule with Christ over the earth from above. Israel rules on the earth only by that authority. To God be the glory!
In the last blog, we saw how the saints, the called out ones of the Church, stand in Heaven as a result of the rapture. We saw them seated as the heavenly court and then executing the trumpet/bowl judgments recorded in the books (God’s written Word). The first six trumpet/bowls consumed the Antichrist and his armies gradually. The 7th destroyed them suddenly. [For extra credit, check out this same connection in 2 Thess. 2:8].
Now let’s look at this from earth’s perspective—from the view of the newly revived Jewish believers who have finally recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Our camera zooms in on Mr. Big Mouth mouthing off against God (Daniel 7:25). “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.”
Hopefully by now you recognize this as the 3½-year war against Jerusalem that happens at the start of the Day of the Lord, which is when God pours out His wrath against evil, and also coincides with the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. It’s a timely sequence of events—to say the least.
You may be surprised to learn that the disciples asked Jesus about this timely sequence just before He ascended. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority (Acts 1:6-7).
Notice Jesus didn’t say that this time would never come. He simply said that it was not yet time for it to happen. God had other things in store for the disciples—namely, continuing to establish the Body of Christ on the earth. What we really need to notice, however, is the last part of Jesus’ answer--the times and the seasons are in God’s authority only.
Now let’s check out what “the books” have to say about that statement. Look again at what Daniel says the Antichrist intends to do. He shall intend to change the times and the law, and he intends to do so through that 3½-year war against Jerusalem (verse 25)!
By now you also know that when the Holy Spirit directed the biblical writers to record a specific phrase, He was very intentional and purposeful. We can’t just look at a phrase and decide what it means in our own mind. No, the Spirit always provides God’s definition. So what does this phrase mean? We have to make the biblical connections to find out.
Daniel 2:20-21 gives us our first insight. “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” In other words, God determines who is in charge anytime and anywhere. Not the ancient kings. Not Jesus’ disciples. Not the enlightened Church on the earth right now. And certainly not the Antichrist who we shall see rise up shortly.
This is why the Antichrist is allowed to stay on the earth after the rapture and make war for 3½-years. God uses Mr. Big Mouth as a weapon of His indignation. He does so partly as a judgment against Israel for missing their visitation at Christ’s first coming and then rebuilding the temple in our time despite Christ’s final sacrifice. God also uses the Antichrist to bring judgment against the Harlot.
So far, so good. What may throw you, though, is the use of the word saints in Daniel 7. The term literally refers to those set apart to God. Who those people are depends on the context of the passage. Remember, the context here is the 3½-year war against Israel. That is, the Jewish remnant on the earth after the rapture who have finally accepted Jesus as the Messiah. They are now the saints on the earth because we’re up in Heaven with Jesus as the seated court.
To confirm this, we can turn again to Rev. 12:17, which happens to describe this same time period after the Church is raptured and the Antichrist goes after the Woman’s offspring. Again we see the Jewish remnant who keep the commandments of God (the testimony of Moses) and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Remember this designation—it will come in handy in our next blog.
We’ve been looking at the connections in Daniel 7 with Revelation 7 and 13. We saw the rise and the demise of the Antichrist, with the pivotal in-between being a fiery stream of angels that are sent forth to gather those whose are Christ’s at His coming. We saw Christ ascend again, accompanied by an innumerable company that is His completed Bride—the 144 thousands. “A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10).
If you’ve been following these blogs, there’s another word here that should stand out—pun intended. It has prophetic importance. It speaks to your near future. It’s the word stand. Here’s a few other connective clues for you.
This standing is recognition of our position in Christ—standing in all power and authority with Him. To visualize this, we need only look at Esther 5:1-3
Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!”
The rest of the book of Esther foreshadows what we will do next. We see it again in Daniel 7 as we stand before the throne of God in Daniel 7. And then we are seated as the heavenly court with Christ our Head. Part of our declarations are for our new brothers and sisters in the Lord in Israel. Our declarations answer their prayers as recorded in Psalm 94.
“O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render punishment to the proud” (vs. 1-2).
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (v. 16).
Did you catch it? Who will stand? We will! We will stand before the throne of the King of kings, touching the righteous scepter of our God, fully conformed to the image of Christ as His blood-washed joint-heirs. The kings of the earth have conspired to break their bonds from God and Christ. They think they have won. Like our Father, we laugh momentarily at their foolishness and then execute His righteous judgments against them by virtue of having been birthed from death.
Do you see yourself standing there? You need to. Because seeing what is in your future will embolden you now as you stand in the full armor of God against the lawlessness of this age. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13).
In Part One we connected the time stamp of time, times, and half a time from Revelation 13 with the vision in Daniel 7. We know this 3½-year period covers the prophetic career of the Antichrist, compliments of another connection. We get the same beastly description in both Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The first eight verses in Daniel reveal the rise of the final beastly kingdom by showing us what has happened in history with four beastly empires: the lion representing Babylon, the bear representing Persia, the leopard representing Greece, and the fourth beast representing Rome.
So why is this beastly collection repeated in Revelation? The Spirit is confirming that the Antichrist and his coalition of armies will come from this same geographic region of the Middle East. Again, the Spirit leaves us with no doubt that this is the final invasion of Israel because He repeats another phrase to confirm the connection to Daniel 7. “And he [the Beast] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [3½ years]” (Rev. 13:5). Daniel’s overview tells us in verse 11 that “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.”
We know from Part One that what happens in between this rise and demise of the Antichrist is the placement of many, many thrones in Heaven’s throne room. The heavenly court is seated and the books are opened. The heavenly judgments bring his demise.
How are the thrones occupied? A fiery river goes forth from the Ancient of Days—a thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousands, an innumerable company of angels are sent forth. For God “makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire” (Psalm 104:4).
Our Lord described this scene in Matt. 24:30-31 (ESV). “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
So how do the angels gather us? Do all the believers around the globe shoot up like bottle rockets and somehow come together in the sky above? No, Father has something much better in mind for us. As foreshadowed in Elijah, chariots of fire with horses of fire, manned by angels, will appear (2 Kings 2:11). The four winds will converge into a whirlwind, like whirling wheels, for “the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire” (Is. 66:15).
This divine limousine service takes us back to Heaven. The innumerable company of angels comes back with an innumerable company of the raptured Church! The completed Bride, the 144,000 thousands, stands before the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:10), singing the new song of the Lamb (Rev. 7 & 14).
Now joined together in Heaven, our Lord declares the decree over His Bride, empowering us to be fully conformed in mind and soul to Christ. The seated court can now declare the judgments over the earth—God’s fury over the godless, rebellious nations and people. It’s the wrath of that Day.
The sixth chapter of the Song of Solomon paints an interesting view of this awesome, whirling spectacle. The Shulamite woman—literally Solomon’s girl—strolls into the garden to check on the fig trees, to see if they’re blooming yet. The Berkley version of the passage says that before she was aware of it, her soul’s fancy or desire seated her in a princely chariot and she was whisked away!
In short, what we see here in Daniel 7 is what we saw in Rev. 12. It’s Christ’s second ascension, and this time around He’s got His Bride with Him, and we’re all standing before the Father’s throne. We’re raptured in order to execute justice against the Antichrist and to bring deliverance to the revived Jewish believers. This is what it means in Hebrews 3:1 when it says we are partakers of the heavenly calling. This is our hope of His calling (Eph. 1:18). It’s the general assembly and church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). Truly seeing this as our not-so-distant future is what enables us to stand in comfort, hope, and victory while we are yet on the earth.
In this Connections Series, we’re endeavoring to put the end-time prophetic puzzle together using the Spirit-inspired scriptural connections in God’s Word. Why? Because God is not the author of confusion. Resurrection and judgment are considered basic, foundational doctrines of our faith. So why on earth would God leave us floundering in the midst of uncertainty?
The early apostles eventually assembled the puzzle based on what Jesus taught them, particularly Paul. That’s why we’re following his lead from 1 and 2 Thessalonians concerning the four strategic elements: (1) resurrection; (2) the harpazo gathering (rapture); (3) the Day of the Lord; and (4) the end of the age invasion of the Antichrist that signals birth pains.
Some of the truths we have come to see may be new to many believers. Some believers may dismiss them immediately because they do not fit the end-time view they’ve come to support. Still others may not see why we’re bothering to bring clarity to what they see as a not-so-important element of our faith, despite what Hebrews 6:1-2 records.
We get it. But here’s our concern. In His letters to believers in Revelation, our Lord informed us that it is time to get out of the fog of confusion and get clarity of vision. He counseled the lukewarm Church in Laodicea to put salve on their eyes, to anoint their eyes so that they could see clearly.
So what’s the big deal about something being lukewarm? We’ve certainly seen the worst of two extremes politically and culturally. From what I can tell, the issue is not knowing one way or another for sure. We’re neither hot nor cold. Or to say it another way—we’re not clear on what we believe. Uncertainty leaves us hesitant to share our faith. It robs us of understanding our role now until that Day arrives. It leaves us treading in the tumultuous waters of insecurity.
So let’s pick up where we left off. We first see the initial end-time invasion of Israel by the Antichrist. Then God turns out the global lights, bringing everything to a screeching halt. Next, He pulls back the veil covering the unseen realm and all the earth sees Jesus coming to gather His Church at the rapture and take us to Heaven as promised. Having finally seen Jesus for who He really is, the Jews have accepted Him as the Messiah. They become our fellow saints, part of the family of God and the redeemed. Since Christ has taken us, His Bride, to Heaven, the Jews are forced to flee into the wilderness, to their prepared place, for a time, times, and half a time. The war for Jerusalem is back on.
By now you probably suspect that the words in bold type signal another crucial connection. It has to do with our Day-of-the-Lord calling as the heavenly Esther. This Spirit-inspired connection takes us to Daniel 7. The vision opens with the rise of the Antichrist and ends with his demise. In between is something astounding: ten thousand times ten thousand and a thousand thousands to be exact. Well, not exactly. The description informs us that this is an innumerable company that cannot be numbered!
Not only that, many, many thrones are being put in place in God’s throne room. So who are the thrones for? Why is this innumerable throng standing before God’s throne? It is the immortal government of Christ and His Bride—the two have become One New Man. We take our seats and the books are opened. Our heavenly intercession protects and empowers the Jews to take their triumphant earthly stand. Our heavenly declarations release the trumpet and bowl judgments that consume and destroy the Antichrist and his forces.
Like Esther, we’ve completed our two periods of preparation (two great Days of this age), and now we’re standing before the King for such a time as this. He has extended the ruling scepter to us as joint-heirs and fellow overcomers to rule with Him. Now it’s time to spoil the wicked plot of Haman (aka: the Antichrist). We rule from the place of all authority and power, both in heaven and on the earth.
And, in case you’re wondering, we continue to rule over the earth for the rest of the Day of the Lord. We rule over cities and regions as foretold in Jesus’ parables. Although we reside with Him in Heaven, we can appear on the earth when needed, just as angels do now. We don’t have to know exactly how that will look, but we can know that it is in our future.
This is why getting a clear view of the Lord’s coming is so important. None of our previous ideas fit. The timing of the Day of the Lord rules out a secret and signless coming. Thinking that Christ comes to immediately defeat the Antichrist also doesn’t fit, for we clearly tread first (the consuming part) and then destroy him. We do so from above, from God’s throne room. We don’t come back until we come as the City, to the new heavens and earth. May you have eyes to see!
In the last few blogs we have seen the connection between our 3rd-Day resurrection and Israel’s 3rd-Day revival at the start of the 7th Day, the Day of the Lord. We’ve seen that first the final invasion of Israel by the Antichrist and his coalition of Middle Eastern kingdoms has to happen. Then God turns out the lights, temporarily halting the invasion, as the final sign of this age (the 6th Day). God rends the heavens, and the whole world sees Christ coming to gather His Bride and take us back to Father’s House.
When Christ comes and physically stands on the Mt. of Olives, His presence causes an earthquake, making a way of escape for the now redeemed Jews. Infuriated, the Antichrist makes war with them for a time, times, and half a time (3½ years). This is confirmed in Revelation 12. Revelation 13:2 describes the Antichrist as the beast: “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
Once again, the Spirit-inspired wording captures our attention. This description comes from Daniel 7, which just so “happens” to include this same poetic time frame and a pompous big mouth speaking blasphemies against God.
Daniel 7 is an example of how prophecy often gives us two views of the same event. The first is like going up a ladder in order to get a better view of the whole scene. We get to see the end to give us a better perspective. Then we go back down the ladder, following the same sequence of steps. Only this time, we get more details about the event.
In a nutshell, the vision shows us the rise of the Antichrist toward the end of this age (vs. 1-8). It also shows us the demise of the Antichrist (vs. 11-14). In between, we're shown an awesome scene. We see the Ancient of Days—the eternal God Almighty—and His throne, which looks like a fiery flame. It’s wheels look like a burning fire. A mess of angels are placing a mess of thrones before the throne of God just before we see the demise of the Antichrist.
Naturally, we have to ask: Why are we seeing these thrones at this point in the sequence—in between the rise and the demise of the Antichrist? Who are going to sit on these thrones? Hopefully by now, you know that we don’t have to guess. God always gives us the answer to such symbolic references either in the context close by or elsewhere in His Book. This time around, we don’t have to go searching; He tells us in verse 10. The thrones are for the court who is to be seated. When the court is seated, the books are opened.
That’s the overview. As we “go back down the ladder” in the second half of the vision, we see what opening the books releases. The beast (the Antichrist) is slain and his body is destroyed in the Lake of Fire, just as Revelation revealed.
So what do the books contain that brings such a result? Acts 17:30-31 clues us in. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” The books list the lawless deeds and ungodly rebellious actions of the oppressive times of the Gentiles.
Notice who gets to bring the righteous judgments. The Man. How does the Man gain this position? By being raised from the dead, overcoming death through resurrection. So if the Man has this position, then why are the angels so busy placing so many thrones in the throne room of God? Because the Man includes Jesus Christ the Head of the Church and His Body, His Bride, united together as One at the rapture.
You see, the books cannot be opened until all the heirs are seated. The will and testimonies cannot be “read aloud” until the immortal government is seated in the place of all authority in Heaven and over the earth. In short, we’re seeing the whole purpose of the rapture: the seating of the heavenly court. As for the whirling wheels and fiery stream? Stay tuned.