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Introduction To Daniel And Revelation


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 08:11 PM

Seventh Day Adventist scholar David Gullon writes:

Two centuries ago, however, the historical school of interpretation was common to both amillennialism and premillennialism, since Roman Catholic futurism concerning the appearance of a future antichrist had not yet made an impact upon the Protestant prophetic interpretation, and almost all Protestant expositors on the prophecies of the books of Daniel and Revelation in the Reformation and post-Reformation era belonged to the historical school of interpretation, known as the Protestant school of interpretation.

...

The historicist approach to apocalyptic prophecy espoused until the nineteenth century was challenged and gradually rejected in favor of the futurist interpretation of Revelation.

...

In their writings, the early Fathers followed the historicist approach as the correct method to interpret the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.  Irenaeus and Hippolytus both used the historical approach in their interpretation of the coming antichrist.


What we find, in fact, is that from the second century AD through to the present day, there has been a large scale agreement on historicist interpretation which has existed for some 1800 years, across all denominational divides.

Catholics, Hussites, Anabaptists, Hugenouts, Waldensians, Calvinists, Lutherans, Millerites, Anglicans, Greek Orthodox, Puritans - men from all different sects and denominations came to the same conclusions, even when those conclusions were by no means comforting to them (thus the Orthodox and the Anglicans, for example), or were downright condemnatory (thus the Catholics, for example).

They agreed - why?

- Not because they were of the same denomination: they were not

- Not because it was popular to hold these views: many were killed for them

- Not for political motivation: invariably the Historicist school eschewed human intervention in the political sphere

- Not for denominational unity or ecumenism: such ideas were anathema to all

- Not because they shared the same epistemology, or because they shared the same process of reasoning: deductive, inductive, humanist or otherwise - these philosophies came and went, whilst the core of the historicist interpretation remained constant throughout the centuries

They agreed because they had come to the same conclusions in the same way (often without knowledge that others had done so), and sometimes because they had read of predictions made by previous historicist scholars, predictions which had been entirely accurate, as proved by events between 50 and 300 years after the prediction had been made.

What examples of agreement do we have? What common understanding did those men from various denominations, separated by geography and hundreds of years, have?

Firstly, they had a common understanding of Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Revelation 13, understanding these key prophecies to be a progressive revelation concerning the kingdom of men. Let's deal with their understanding of these three passages separately.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 08:12 PM

DANIEL 2


What did they understand with regard to Daniel 2?

- That the golden head was the kingdom of Babylon

- That the chest and arms of silver were the kingdom of Medo-Persia

- That the belly and thighs of brass were the Graeco-Macedonian kingdom

- That the legs of iron were the Roman kingdom

- That the feet and toes of iron and clay showed that the Roman kingdom would eventually fragment and splinter into a host of other nations, some weak, some strong

Which men believed this? Many - but let's just concern ourselves with those who predicted it prior to the Reformation, prior to the events, in fact.

The following men (all Roman Catholics), wrote of these events prior to their fulfillment:

180: Irenaeus
200: Hippolytus
306: Lactantius
401: Sulpicius Severus

To be specific, they believed that:

- Rome would eventually fragment into a collection of strong and weak nations which would ever attempt to recombine, without success

- The ‘feet and toe’ nations of Daniel 2 would comprise nations predominantly in Western Europe, which would eventually combine into an unstable coalition, with a view to re-establishing a union based on the former Roman Empire

They did not predict these events because they seemed likely.
When Hippolytus and Irenaeus were writing, the empire was prospering, and Hippolytus knew that his predictions would sound hollow and false to his audience.

Time and again he exhorts his readers to believe what he has to say, regardless of how absurd it sounded:

'These things, then, are destined to come to pass...'

'Should we then not mark the things prophesied of old in Babylon by Daniel, and now yet in the course of fulfilment in the World?'

'We should not, however, refuse to believe that these things will come to pass...'

'These things also shall certainly be fulfilled...'

Let's be absolutely clear on this - what these men predicted, came true.

It was for this reason that men following them had the same ideas:

800: Berengaud - Catholic
1246: Eberhard - Catholic Archbishop
1246: Grossetesse - Catholic Archbishop
1522: Luther - Reformer
1553: Joye - Reformer
1500’s: Conradus - Reformer
1639: Dutch Dordt Bible - Calvinist
1650: Bossuet - Catholic Bishop
1791: Manuel de Lacunza y Díaz - Jesuit Priest
1813: Adam Clarke - Anglican
1851: Albert Barnes - Anglican
1933: Phillip Mauro - Episcopalian

...and many others.

Across denominations, through hundreds of years, these men had the same understanding - because they could see it was right, and that it had been fulfilled just as it had been predicted.

This is one of the key threads of the Historicist methodology - Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 13.

It was established as early as the second century AD, and would be followed for the next 1800 years.

Back to those men from various denominations, separated by geography and hundreds of years. What was their understanding of Daniel 7?

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 08:12 PM

DANIEL 7


It is critical to note that their understanding of Daniel 7 was based on their understanding of Daniel 2, since they understood these prophecies to be related, and to provide a continuous and progressive revelation of events from Daniel's time to the return of Christ.

What did they believe?

- That the Fourth Beast is Rome, and its ten horns are the divisions into which the Roman Empire would be fragmented.

- That these fragments are in Western Europe, which is where they will attempt to recombine

- That these fragments are democracies, kingdoms, nations (some strong, some weak), which would continue to attempt to recombine into a restored empire such as that from which they had come

- That many such attempts would be made throughout history, until they would ultimately form a system which would almost re-establish the empire - but would be broken at the return of Christ

Which men believed this? Many - but let's just concern ourselves with those who predicted it prior to the Reformation, prior to the events, in fact.

The following men (all Roman Catholics), wrote of these events prior to their fulfillment:

180: Irenaeus

'Also Daniel, looking forward to the end of the last kingdom - i.e. to the ten last kings among whom the kingdom of those men shall be partitioned and upon whom the son of perdition shall come - declares that ten horns shall arise in their midst... Daniel says again: 'And he shall desolate the holy place... and he shall be lifted up in his heart... He shall also ruin many by deceit, and lead many to perdition'...

'In a still clearer light, John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord's Disciples what shall happen in the last times - and concerning the ten kings who shall then arise, among whom the Empire which now rules, shall be partitioned.

He teaches us what the ten horns shall be which were seen by Daniel - telling us that thus it had been said to him: 'And the ten horns which you saw, are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet.

But they shall receive power, as if kings, one hour with the beast'... God shall also send them the operation of error, so that they may believe a lie' [II Thessalonians 2:10-12]...

'When he, [the] Antichrist has come, and of his own accord concentrates the apostasy in his own person and accomplishes whatever he shall do according to his own will and choice - he shall also sit in the temple of God... His coming John has thus described in the Apocalypse [Revelation 13:2-14]: 'And the beast which I had seen, was like a leopard; and his feet like a bear; and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon conferred his own power upon him and his throne'...

'After this he likewise describes his armour-bearer, whom he also terms a false-prophet: 'He spoke like a dragon... The name of the Beast or the number of his name... is 666... Lateinos has the number 666; and it is... very probable... this was the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel].

For the Latins are they who at present [that is, in 185 AD] bear rule... This Antichrist shall... devastate all things... But then the Lord will come from Heaven on the clouds... for the righteous.'

Irenaeus, 'Against Heresies' III:7:2.


200: Hippolytus

'In the vision of the Prophet, the ten horns are things that are yet to be...
Behold, a Fourth Beast!'... That there has arisen no other kingdom after that of the Greeks save that [Roman Empire] which stands sovereign at present, is manifest to all... From it, will spring ten horns...

We ought to look for the ten horns which are to spring from it - when the time of the Beast shall be fulfilled and the little horn which is Antichrist suddenly shall appear [future tense] in their midst, and righteousness shall be banished from the Earth... We ought not to anticipate the counsel of God, but exercise patience and prayer - so that we do not fall on such times. We should not, however, refuse to believe that these things will come to pass... These things also shall certainly be fulfilled...

'The Fourth Kingdom...from which the ten horns are to spring... [are] to be apportioned among ten crowns. And amid these, another little horn shall rise - which is that of Antichrist. It shall pluck up by the roots the three others before it... with a view to acquiring for itself universal dominion.

And, after conquering the remaining seven horns, he will at last begin, inflated by a strange and wicked spirit - to stir up war against the saints and to persecute all everywhere, with the aim of being glorified by all and being worshipped as god...'

Hippolytus, 200, 'Scholia on Daniel' (III), on chapters. 2:31 to 7:19.


'The Fourth Beast (was) dreadful and terrible: it had iron teeth, and claws of brass.'

Who, then, are meant by this - but the Romans, whose kingdom that still stands, is expressed by the iron?'

'For,' says he, 'its legs are of iron'.... By the toes of the feet he meant, mystically, the ten kings that rise out of that kingdom.

As Daniel says: 'I considered the beast; and look, (there were) ten horns behind - among which shall come up another little horn, springing from them.'

'By this, none other is meant than the Antichrist which is to rise. These things, then, are destined to come to pass... The toes of the image turn out to be democracies. And the ten horns of the Beast - are distributed among ten kings.'

Hippolytus, 200, 'Fragments from Commentaries' 2:1-3.


212: Tertullian

'That day shall not come, unless, indeed, there come a falling away, he means indeed of this present empire...and he who now hinders must hinder, until he be taken our ot the way. What obstacle is there but the Roman state, the falling away of which, by being scattered into ten kingdoms shall introduce Antichrist upon its ruins?'

Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, chapter XXIV.



Scolia

Between the years 250 to 300 some unnamed person wrote comments called 'scolia' in the margin of the writings of Hippolytus. They are really good and there is a detailed exposition of Daniel 7, where each of the beasts are analyzed and interpreted.

He says, Babylon, of course, is the first, the bear is Persia, the leopard is Greece and the four heads of the leopard are the fourfold division of Alexander's kingdom. He names each of the principalities. He makes a very accurate historical interpretation of Daniel's prophecy. The scolia then go on to the fourth beast:

'...a fourth beast. Now that there has arisen no other kingdom after that of the Greeks except that which stands sovereign at present, is manifest to all....for there is no other kingdom remaining after this one, but from it will spring 10 horns.

And it had ten horns, for as the prophecy of the leopard with four heads...was fulfilled, and Alexander's kingdom was divided into four principalities, so also now, we ought to look for the ten horns which are to spring up from [the fourth beast] when the time of the beast shall be fulfilled, and the little horn, which is Antichrist shall appear suddenly in their midst.'

Hippolytus, Fragments from the Commentaries, Scolia 6-9.


390: Ambrose
400: Jerome

'…innumerable and most ferocious Nations occupied the territories of the Gauls. The Quades, the Vandals, the Sarmatians, the Halani, the Gipedes, the Heruli, the Saxons, the Burgundians, the Alemanni and (O sorrowful Republic!) the armies of Pannonians wasted whatever lay between the Alps and the Pyrennees, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the Rhine.'

Jerome, 'Epistle 123 to Ageruchia', c. 345-430..


Subsequent to Jerome, the Roman empire fragmented, just as these men had foretold.

Many did not think it would ever be restored, but various shortlived attempts were indeed made to perform this - by Charlemagne, by Napoleon, and even by Hitler.

It is now, of course, being restored by the European Union, which is the most successful attempt ever made since the Empire was dissolved in 476.

The interpretation was also held to by:

354-430: Augustine - Catholic Bishop
424: Salvianus - Catholic
800: Berengaud – Catholic

'…[by Daniel's fourth Beast] the Romans are designated. It is described as having had ten Horns, signifying those Kingdoms which destroyed the Roman Empire... The Vandals conquered Africa for themselves; the Goths, Spain; the Lombards, Italy; the Burgundians, France; the Franks, Germany; the Huns, Pannonia; and the Alani and the Suevi… depopulated many areas.'

Berengaud, 830, 'Exposition of the Apocalypse in the Works of Ambrose', Tome vii, ed. Ven., 1781.


1191: Joachim of Floris - Catholic Abbot
1240: Eberhard - Catholic Archbishop
1250: Grossetesse - Catholic Archbishop
1522: Luther - Reformer
1553: Joye – Reformer

'The Roman Empire, the fourth division, dispersed and decayed into Germany, England, Spain, France et cetera, shall be mixt together but yet they shall not cleave. They shall be confederate to make a new and all-one monarchy, but all in vain.’

George Joye, Exposition of Daniel, c. 1553.


1500’s: Conradus - Reformer
1576: Bellarmine - Catholic Cardinal
1669: Increase Mather

‘The ten kings which give their power to the Beast are in Europe.

That part of the world was to be principally the Seat of the church of Christ during the reign of Antichrist, who must continue until Christ himself shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.’

Increase Mather, ‘Ichabod:  Or, A discourse, shewing what cause there is to fear that the glory of the Lord, is departing from New-England’, page 64, 1669.


1696: Cotton Mather - Puritan
1639: Dutch Dordt Bible – Calvinist

'Hungary, Spain, France, England, Scotland, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Bohemia, and Naples etc.'

Dordt Dutch Bible, 1639.


1640: Grotius - Dutch Independent Theologian
1650: Bossuet - Catholic Bishop

'…[the ten Kingdoms seem to be] Vandals, Huns, Franks, Burgundians, Suevi, Alani, Heruli; to whom succeeded Lombards, Germans, Saxons.'

Bossuet, 1650, Roman Catholic Bible commentator.


1712: Matthew Henry - Anglican
1791: Manuel de Lacunza y Díaz - Jesuit Priest
1796: Timothy Dwight - Anglican
1813: Adam Clarke - Anglican
1851: Albert Barnes – Presbyterian

'If the Papacy was 'the eighth [Head], and of the seven' then it is clear that this must refer to some form of civil administration lying between the decline of the Imperial and the rise of the Papal power...

All this power was concentrated in the Papacy; all that revived or prolonged Roman power had now passed into the Papacy, constituting that mighty dominion which was to be set up for so many centuries over what had been the Roman World...

The 'ten Horns... are ten Kings'... Soon they passed into the more permanent forms of administration, which succeeded them in Europe... With the rising Papal power, they would exercise their authority in connection with that and under its influence... In history, all these King[dom]s... became Roman Catholic, and were united in the support of the Papacy... until the Reformation in the sixteenth century....

The same powers, represented by the ten Horns that were formerly in alliance with the Papacy, shall become its enemy and contribute to its final overthrow... The ten Kingdoms on the Beast would ultimately hate the Harlot and destroy her... The Nations of Europe embraced within the limits of those ten Kingdoms, shall become hostile to the Papacy...

The period will come and that probably not far in the future when those powers that have for so many ages sustained the Papacy will become its determined foes, and will rise in their might and bring it forever to an end... That mighty power, which has controlled so large a part of the Nations of Europe for more than a thousand years of the World's History, will come to an end.'

Albert Barnes, 1851, Analysis and Commentary on Revelation.


1881: Apostolos Makrakis - Greek Orthodox
1933: Phillip Mauro - Episcopalian

...and many others.

Thus far, we have shown that the one interpretation of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 was held to by a host of men (some of whom interpreted it so correctly as to be able to predict future events accurately before they occured), and that these men (separated though they were by years, geography and creed), had the same understanding of the progressive fulfillment of these prophecies.

We shall next consider how they related to Revelation 13.

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 08:13 PM

REVELATION 13


Their understanding of Revelation 13 was founded on their understanding of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7.

They all identified the fourth beast of Daniel 7 as the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2, and identified the same beast as the beast of the sea in Revelation13.

The combination of the descriptions of the beast of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 (together with Revelation 16), was understood to be a prophecy of this reconstitution of a new Roman empire comprising Western European nations, with the antiChrist system as the combining and dominant element.

Of course, once more we find that certain men (all Roman Catholics), predicted successfully certain of these events prior to their coming to pass - and so we find the following early witnesses to this CH interpretation:

180: Irenaeus
200: Hippolytus
306: Lactantius
401: Sulpicius Severus
430: Jerome

These men predicted that these events would occur, and they predicted them even before the empire disintegrated.

Their interpretation was followed by the following men, who further identified the Roman Catholic Church as that antiChrist system which would be the combining element of this restored 'Roman Empire':

490-583: Cassiodorus - Catholic Monk
500: Andreas of Caesarea - Catholic Bishop
730: Bede - Catholic Theologian
800: Berengaud - Catholic
860-932: Arethas of Caesarea - Catholic Archbishop
1191: Joachim of Floris - Catholic Abbot
1130-1203: Peter of Blois - Catholic Theologian
1157 - 1236: Rabbi Kimchi - Jewish Rabbi
1240: Eberhard - Catholic Archbishop
1250: Grossetesse - Catholic Archbishop
1415: John Huss - Anabaptist
1415: Walter Brute - Lollard
1553: Joye - Reformer
1567-1637: Cornelius a Lapide - Jesuit Theologian
1576: Bellarmine - Catholic Cardinal
1580: Fransiscus de Ribera - Jesuit Theologian
1650: Bossuet - Catholic Bishop
1660: Joseph Mede - Anglican
1791: Manuel de Lacunza y Díaz - Jesuit Priest
1813: Adam Clarke - Anglican
1851: Albert Barnes - Presbyterian
1933: Phillip Mauro - Episcopalian

...and many others. What is fascinating to note is that prior to the Reformation, this understanding was widely held in the Catholic Church. Why?

These men came to this stunning realisation through the inevitable process of reading Daniel and Revelation:

- They recognised that the Early Church Fathers (notably Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and Lactantius), had identified the fourth kingom of Daniel 2 successfully as Rome, and had predicted successfully its downfall

- They recognised that these same men had identified the fourth beast of Daniel 7 successfully as Rome, and had predicted successfully its representation of a number of fragmented ex-Roman countries struggling to recombine

- They recognised that these same men had identified the beasts of Revelation 13 successfully as the Roman empire in various guises (first pagan, then apostate Christian), and despaired at the moral and theological depravity into which their Church had fallen

- They recognised that these same men had identified the beast and harlot successfully as part of this apostate Christian system which would attempt to rebuild the Roman empire and use the Church in a cynical bid to enslave the hearts and minds of men

- They understood that the identification of this entire system pointed in only one direction - the Roman Catholic Church and her many political intrigues to rebuild the Roman Empire under her own headship

The moral and theological corruption of the Church from the fourth to the sixteenth century was for many of them the ultimate proof that the Church of Rome had herself fallen away from the faith and become apostate.

New doctrines invented, Church positions bought and sold, wars waged, terror and destruction inflicted on any who opposed the Church, a constant grasping at political power, endless intrigues and rivalries with the kings and princes of the world, widespread immorality from the priest to the pope (an immorality both sanctioned and promoted), the entire system corrupt to the core.

Several of them (notably Berengaud, Eberhard, Grossetesse, Lacunza and Ribera), actually appealed to the Church on various occasions to reform itself.

They were direct - they made no secret of their interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, insisting that if the Church did not reform, then she would be that antiChrist system which would be destroyed at the return of Christ.

For the most part, they were ignored. A few protesting voices over the centuries were easily drowned out by the constant theological and political power struggles within the Church's own ranks. These men, though many of them held high offices, were powerless to take action.

It all changed with the Reformation. Suddenly it became apparent that the Church must change, or be destroyed. Power lay in the hands of the Reformers - political and military power - and the Church was compelled to consider these issues seriously.

Now these views became a genuine threat - having been held by some highly significant Church figures (archbishops and abbots, no less, as well as some very distinguished theologians), it was necessary to create an alternative interpretation of the apocalyptic writings, especially since they were now being widely interpreted among the Reformers in exactly the way that so many Catholics had previously.

The two men responsible for defending the Church in this way were Franciscus Ribera (who founded the Futurist interpretation), and Luis De Alcazar (who founded the Praeterist interpretation). Both of these were supported and promoted promiently by the Church.

Interestingly enough, it was Lacunza's interpretation (the first alternative interpretation written after the Counter-Reformation by a Catholic scholar), which was banned by Rome.

The reason? Because, unlike Ribera or Alcazar, Lacunza insisted on holding to the traditional historicist interpretation of papal Rome as the antiChrist, and the Roman Catholic Church as the beast/whore system of Revelation.

Given that the Roman Catholic Church was still reeling from the aftershocks of the French Revolution at the time, this aspect of Lacunza's interpretation was not well received.

#5 Phebe_*

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:07 AM

Phew! 'Can somebody bring me some water?' Hee hee!! :P Very good but very lenghty Mr Fortigurn!! :rolleyes: Just thought I'd reiterate the meaning of the four beasts in Daniel 7. :cool:

"The Four Beasts of Daniel"

Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 occurred at night time indicating that the events he was viewing would sweep over the world in the darkness of Gentile times. He witnessed four powerful winds bursting forth upon the Mediterranean Sea and from this turbulent abyss he saw four great beasts emerge which were defined as four successive world empires emerging from the earth ..

“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth ..”

The first was like a lion and this was an appropriate symbol of the Assyrian and Babylonian dynasties.

The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentile is on his way; he gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 4:7)

“Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones”
(Jeremiah 50:17).

Two phases of the empire were described. The eagle’s wings represented the extended territory of the Assyrian empire with Ninevah as its capital but these wings were later plucked when its conquests were wrested from its grasp by Nebuchadnezzar became a man more responsive to divine impressions compared with his predecessors (Daniel 4:34-37)

The second beast was like a bear raising itself on its side (v5). Like the horns of the ram in chapter 8:3 this represented the mixed dynasty of the Medes and Persians. In devouring much flesh the prey of its vast conquests were reduced to “three ribs” which had become firmly fixed to its head. This depicts the three divisions of its dominion under the jurisdiction of “three presidents” (Daniel 6:2).

The third was like a leopard, representative of the extensive Greek dominion under Alexander the Great. The four heads speak of the empire’s four fold division after Alexander’s death whilst the four wings demonstrated the four points of the compass each division had in relation to Israel (Daniel 8:8).

The fourth beast had brasen claws and iron teeth (Daniel 7:7,19), and therefore symbolised an undivided Greco-Roman empire whose 10 horns were identical to the 10 toes of chapter 2:42. After the establishment of 10 horns were identical Western European dominions a new power was to arise amongst the 10 which would speak blasphemies, subdue other kingdoms and oppress the saints (Daniel 7:8, 24, 25). This joint dynasty was the combination of the Pope and the Emperor in AD 799 and its constitution will be revived in the latter days until destroyed by Christ (v19-22).

It should be noted that this fourth beast stamps the remaining dominions of the other beasts with its brasen claws when Gog controls the Greek portion of the Greco-Roman empire ..

"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet" (Daniel 7:19)

#6 Phebe_*

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:17 AM

Hey Fort,

Did you ever notice the occurance of "a mouth speaking great things" in Daniel chapter 7?

".. and a mouth speaking great things" (v8)

".. the great words which the horn spake" (v11)

".. a mouth that spake very great things" (v20)

".. he shall speak great words against the Most High" (v25)

Makes me think of Psalm 12:3 ..

"The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things." :)

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 05:54 AM

Hey Fort,

Did you ever notice the occurance of "a mouth speaking great things" in Daniel chapter 7? 

...

Makes me think of Psalm 12:3 ..

"The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things."  :)


Great point! ^_^

#8 Phebe_*

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 12:32 PM

THE REVELATION

Christ’s Last Message To His Friends

The scope and purpose of the prophecy

“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter .. “ (Revelation 1:3). The things recorded in the Revelation thus reveal a continuous record of prophecy, from the days of John in Patmos, to the coming of the Lord Jesus in power. Any interpretation that does not provide for this, does not measure up to the requirements of the prophecy.

The Apocalypse was given to the end that the servants of Deity who are keeping their garments might be able to discern the signs of the times preceding the apocalypse of Christ; and the real nature of things extant in their several generations. No believer, understanding this prophecy, could be seduced into fellowship with clerical institutions of the world; because he see them in all their native deformity and sin.

Most people claim that The Apocalypse is too deep and enigmatical to be understood. :unsure: But it’s style constitutes a challenge to faith. :) In delivering it to John for the benefit of “his servants”, the Lord treated them as “his friends”. He declared: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). The Apocalypse needs to be treated in that fashion. If we value the friendship of Christ we will not be deterred by its problems, but will prayerfully and conscientiously seek to understand it. :cool: “Blessed is he that readeth,” declared Christ. Christ does not mock us by inviting us to engage in a vain study. The Apocalypse is not sealed: “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:10).

Let us earnestly consider this Divine Revelation and learn to love those things our Heavenly Father approves of and to hate those things which would dishonour Him, and so become part of that glorious multitude who truly LOVE THE LORD’S APPEARING. ;)

#9 Phebe_*

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 12:10 AM

The Seven Seals

1st Seal - Truth Prospers (Revelation 6:1,2)

Opening signalised by Lamb hurling the cruel Domitian like a thunder-bolt out of heaven, as Rome passes from its Age of Iron to its Age of Gold. Peace and tranquillity diffuses through Empire as believers conquer the darkness of Gentilism with Light of Truth.

2nd Seal - Peace Dismissed (Revelation 6:3,4)

The former peace expelled, the conquering of the Christ ones considering of the Christ ones considerably curtailed, the peoples of Rome experience the effects of licentious Emperors. The Empire reddened by the interest of the greedy guards. The Lambs beings to avenges His Brethren.

3rd Seal - Famine and Distress (Revelation 6:5,6)

Rome becomes distressed by the black passions of the profligate Caracalla. Famine produced by his misrule and extortion. All people under Roman Heaven severely afflicted by grievous taxes and further by wanton effeminacy of foreign usurper.

4th Seal - Widespread Death (Revelation 6:7,8)

Changing from white, red, black, the Roman horse becomes pallid as a body near death. Gibbon “The animating health and vigour were fled.” For our brethren the times of release from Pagan Rome was seen to be drawing closer. The Lamb works all things after counsel of His own will.

5th Seal - Souls under Altar (Revelation 6:9-11)

For about 10 years our Brethren and nominal Christians experienced a cruel resistance unto blood, striving against sin in its political manifestation. The Lamb who is also the Altar reminds them that He endured before them and the reward of the faithful pilgrimage is “walk with Him in white”. Relief came with expulsion of their despotic overlord.

6th Seal - Political Upheaval (Revelation 6:12-17)

A great catastrophe of nature overtakes the Roman world as the ‘Christian’-Woman of Chap. 12:1 casts out Paganism from the Heaven. Victory gained by the blood of the Lamb as His followers loved not their lives unto the death. Exhibiting to us the great truth that death is a glorious victory.

7th Seal - Trumpets sounds, empire invaded, saints prayers answered

The 7th Seal begins with the beautiful symbology of the prayers of Saints arising as an acceptable sacrifice unto the Father and does not close until the mighty Angel of the Rainbow has exhibited to the world the completed mystery of the Deity.




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