Time is running out! Armageddon is closer day by day, and it's not too many days off now. Troubles, even wars between nations are increasing all the time. It may have a great deal to do with plunging this world into the nuclear World War III, and that's going to end this civilization. Just how near are we to the nuclear World War III right now? Are we in the last days? I've mentioned a booklet several times recently; let me mention it once again: 'Are We In The Last Days?' now. That's a booklet; 'Are We In The Last Days?' Write in for your copy. I probably will forget to announce that at the close of this program, but you write in for it if you don't already have it.
Just how near we are to the nuclear World War III? Well only Bible prophecies can tell you that. Bible prophecies tell you what is going to happen, in general, from here on out — not the details, but in general. We can know a great deal about it. The book of Revelation is the chief book of prophecy in the New Testament. So I would like to come now to the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. And that is one that tells about the final battle and the Second Coming of Christ. Revelation 13, or Revelation 17, I mean, and first I'll just read two or three verses here, verse three. And incidentally John, who wrote the Revelation, it is a "...Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to (unto) him. He sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" (Revelation 1:1 paraphrased). And John wrote it.
John's Vision Now he wrote what he saw in a vision, and it was all in symbol. And here is some of the vision that he wrote in the seventeenth chapter:
"So he [the angel that was revealing these things to him in a vision] carried me away in the spirit [or in vision] into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast [now that's a peculiar kind of an animal, a scarlet colored beast and here's a woman riding this beast, and the beast is], full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." (Revelation 17:3)
Now that certainly is a very peculiar type of a beast. But dropping down — I'll come back to some of this later. But, I want to drop down now to verse twelve. There were ten horns on this beast. It had seven heads and ten horns. And in verse twelve:
"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings [kings or kingdoms], which have received no kingdom as yet..." (Revelation 17:12)
That is at the time of the vision. Now it's not the time that the vision was revealed to the apostle John, but the time that the vision is taking place. And the vision was, was for the far future, in other words it is for our day now.
"...the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings [or kingdoms], which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast [with this beast. They] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. [Then they] shall make war with the Lamb [now here the Lamb is a symbol for Christ, Christ at His Second Coming, now notice that they are going to make war with Christ], and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings..." (Revelation 17:12-14)
Christ has never been Lord of lords and King of kings. He will be the Lord of lords and the King of kings at the time of His Second Coming. And Christ's Second Coming is not far away now. It's within the lifetime of most of us living now. I hope I may live that long even myself. He will be:
"...Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." (Revelation 17:14)
That is speaking there actually of the church.
The Symbols of Revelation Now, that's a peculiar kind of a beast. But what do they mean by beast and what is it a symbol of? The book of Revelation is speaking in symbols, and here it speaks of a rather weird beast. Well, that refers us immediately back to the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. So we have to go back there to learn a little more about this beast and what it is. Now back then to the thirteenth chapter and in verse one of the thirteenth chapter:
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea [now John is speaking of what he seemed to be in the vision, he seemed to be standing on the seashore in his vision, and he was speaking really of the Mediterranean Sea]. I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns [now this seems to be referring to the same, or certainly a similar beast of that in the seventeenth chapter], and upon his horns ten crowns..." Revelation 13:1
Now the crowns were not on the heads, the crowns are on the horns. And there were ten horns coming out of the seven heads of this beast.
"and upon [the] heads the [names] of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard [now that becomes more weird than ever, it was like a leopard, it wasn't a leopard, but it had characteristics of a leopard], and his feet were as the feet of a bear [he had the feet of a bear, the body of a leopard], and his mouth [was] as the mouth of a lion..." (Revelation 13:1-2)
You see he wasn't like a lion, he wasn't like a bear, but he had the feet of a bear. He had the body of a leopard and a the mouth of a lion.
"..and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." (Revelation 13:2)
Now you have to turn over to the twelfth chapter to find out who and what the dragon represents. That is another symbol that represents something. There it will tell you the dragon is; "...that old serpent, called Satan the Devil..." (Revelation 12:9 paraphrased). Satan the devil, gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Now, what do these things symbolize? Just what do they mean? Well now we have to go back still further to understand. Because the Bible interprets its own symbols. And so Daniel interprets these symbols. In the seventh chapter of Daniel we begin to find a lot more about it. So we turn immediately, next back to the seventh chapter of Daniel. And that will describe this beast of the thirteenth chapter. So back in the seventh chapter of Daniel, beginning with the first verse:
"In the first year of Belshazzar [the] king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed [he was asleep in bed]: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea." (Daniel 7:1-2)
Again this is speaking of the Mediterranean Sea. And the Mediterranean Sea is very stormy in the late fall and the early winter, very very stormy.
"And four great beasts came up [out of] the sea [now he doesn't see one beast, he sees four different beasts you will notice, coming up out of the sea], diverse one from another [each one was different from the other. Now] The first was like a lion... And behold another beast, a second like a bear... [that's in verse five, then we skip to verse six and] After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard..." (Daniel 7:3-6)
Now it's beginning to resemble what we saw in the thirteenth chapter. The first was like a lion, the second like a bear, the third was:
"...like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; [and this] beast had also four heads; and dominion was given [unto] it." (Daniel 7:6)
The Fourth Beast Now what could this beast be? It had four heads. Well the lion had one head, and the bear had a head, but the leopard had four heads. So now we have six heads so far, and dominion was given unto him and that sounds like government. Well let's go further and see, and:
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth [signified by iron, stronger than the other and]: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the [others]..." (Daniel 7:7)
Different from the others. Now we read that the one beast had different characteristics in the thirteenth chapter. But we see the same things here. We see the lion and the bear, the leopard and now we see a fourth beast, and it had ten horns. Now here are ten horns on the fourth beast. Now the other beast didn't seem to have any horns So, we see that the ten horns were on the fourth beast. And:
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head [was as] pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." (Daniel 7:9)
And so on. Now next we come down — just skip down to the seventeenth verse:
"These great beasts [or wild animals], which are four, are..." (Daniel 7:17)
Now here we begin to see what they represent. What do the beasts as symbols, what do they represent? The thirteenth chapter didn't tell us, the seventeenth chapter of Revelation didn't tell us, but here in Daniel it does tell us. They are four kings or kingdoms:
"...are four kings [and it's, as we'll see later, synonymous with kingdoms], which shall arise out of the earth [they arise out of the earth — the kingdoms — although he saw the animals arise out of the sea]. But [it says here] the saints [in verse 18 the saints] of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, [and] for ever..." (Daniel 7:17-18)
And so on, that was verse 18, now verse 23:
"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be [not a fourth king but a] fourth kingdom [the fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom] upon the earth [a kingdom or government], which shall be diverse from all kingdoms [as these beasts were diverse or different, that is one from the others], and shall devour the whole earth, and... tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of [the] kingdom [out of the fourth beast] are ten kings [or other kingdoms] that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and...shall subdue three kings." (Daniel 7:23-24)
I haven't time to explain that right here, but that other beast has been explained. I skipped those verses here as another little horn among them — and which is the woman riding on the beast in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, when you put them all together. Now in verse 27, it speaks about down, coming to the end time in verse 26:
"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven [it's not in heaven, it was on the earth, and the kingdom], shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High [will take over the government that these governments had been ruling on the earth, the saints will take them over]...and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:27)
Which is referring to Christ at His Second Coming, and the saints will be ruling under Him, as you will read in the second and third chapters of Revelation. If we overcome, we will sit with Him on His throne. If are overcomers, we will be given power over the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. As you read in other places in the book of Revelation.
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Now then, we know something about — that these are kings and kingdoms, and governments. But what kings? What governments are they? We still don't know, it doesn't reveal it here. We have to go back still further, now back into the second chapter of Daniel. We go all the way back into the second chapter of Daniel now.
And Daniel was called on to reveal a dream to the then reigning King, Nebuchadnezzar. Now, there had been many ancient city states. Then they became some ancient nations. City states, just cities that were governments in themselves, finally became whole nations. Of which was Egypt, ancient Egypt, and there was ancient Greece, and other nations of that sort. But the first world empire growing into a group of nations as an empire was formed by this Nebuchadnezzar, along about 604 BC, and he was ruling oh, up until to about 580 BC.
And this Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the first world empire, had a dream. And Daniel, the prophet Daniel, one of the Jewish lads in the captivity, had been taken captive when Nebuchadnezzar and his army had overcome the Kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem, and conquered them, and brought them as slaves into Babylon. And Daniel was a very brilliant young Jewish lad and was given an important part in the government. And they learned that somehow God revealed dreams and things to him.
And so he was brought in to this King Nebuchadnezzar, who had a great dream. He'd called the fortune tellers and all those people in the kingdom in to tell him the dream. Of course they couldn't tell him what he dreamed. And he claimed he had forgotten, and he was just testing them. But, Daniel said there was a God in heaven who would reveal it to him. And so he prayed to God for the revelation of the dream, that this king had had. Now we come to this second chapter and verse 28 in Daniel. Where Daniel said before this King Nebuchadnezzar that:
"...there is a God in heaven [who] revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days..." (Daniel 2:28)
Getting down to our time now, the last days. You need that booklet I mentioned a while ago 'Are We In The Last Days?' right now? Because here is a prophecy about our time now, in the latter days.
"...Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;" (Daniel 2:28)
Now he went on to describe it. I will just say that he saw an image that was so great. It was so great, it was terrifying, it was so large and so great. And it had a great head of fine gold. It had a breast and arms of silver, a belly and thigh of brass. And it had legs of iron, strong, of iron. And feet and toes, part of iron and part of miry clay. Especially the ten toes on the feet. And the king had seen such a vision, but he didn't understand what it was; and Daniel came to tell him. So now we drop down to the thirty-seventh verse:
"Thou, O king [Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, Thou, O King], art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom..." (Daniel 2:37)
He was a king of kings. In other words a number of nations, there were other nations under him, it was an empire and not just a single nation. And he said:
"...the God of heaven hath given [you] a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. [Then he continues]...Thou art this head of gold." (Daniel 2:37-38)
Now we begin to understand the meaning of these symbols.
"And after thee shall arise another kingdom [or another world empire] inferior to thee [just as silver is inferior to gold, but silver is a little stronger than gold, and militarily it was going to be stronger, but spiritually or morally it was inferior], and another third kingdom of brass [again still inferior morally or spiritually, but stronger materially, and in military power], which shall bear rule over all the earth." (Daniel 2:39)
Now we know that's not some magic man coming to bare rule over the earth. This is the ancient kingdom of the Greco-Macedonian Empire.
"And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron..." (Daniel 2:40)
Now we know what that was, that was the Roman Empire. There is no doubt about what that was, and that was in verse 40. Now we come to verse 44:
"And in the days of these kings [which was speaking of the feet and the toes, and the ten toes, at the bottom of the two legs, of course, the two feet and the ten toes. And in the days of these kings] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44)
Who These Animals Represent AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD! And speaking of Christ coming to set up and to rule the Kingdom of God. And so here we have it all the way through, so you can see that Daniel saw it in four wild animals.
The first was like a lion, that was equivalent to the head of Nebuchadnezzar's image. And the second was the bear with the strong feet, and that was equivalent to the next kingdom that followed, the Persian Empire. And the third beast that Daniel saw in the seventh chapter was like a leopard, swift and flight like, cat like, very rapid and fast. It was like a leopard and it had four heads, that was the Greco-Macedonian Empire.
Now Philip of Macedon died when he was just going to start a war, and his son Alexander, who became known as Alexander the Great, took it up. And he had the swiftest army that the world had ever known, like a leopard. He came down and conquered the whole world. He died in a drunken debauch, and he said he died in despair because there were no more worlds to conquer. He'd conquered all the world that he knew in those days. The whole world centered around the Eastern Mediterranean, as far as they knew in those days.
And in his stead came up four divisions, each headed by one of his four generals of his army. And that represented the four heads of Daniel's third beast, like a leopard. And then the fourth beast that Daniel had, strong, like iron, was the same as the Roman Empire, which followed that. With the strength of iron and ruling the whole world at that time. Ruling on the West, ruling all of the East, on both sides of the Mediterranean Ocean, as a matter of fact. And as far east as India. And so now we begin to get a little bit of a definition of just who these wild animals represent. What they represent, and they're representing political governments in this world.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ Suppressed I wonder if you know that the gospel of Jesus Christ was suppressed within 21 or 22 years after He preached it. It had been suppressed and was not preached in the world until now. And Jesus Christ Himself in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew was asked for a sign of His Second Coming as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And He said, this gospel of the Kingdom, of the Government of God, it's the family of God, the born again family of God. Not born again into human beings, but born again into divine beings. You see:
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; [but] that which is born of the Spirit [said Jesus Christ] IS spirit." (John 3:6)
And we are not spirit, and nobody who is flesh and blood IS born again or HAS been born again! But we have a lot of people, even a few million of them, claiming to be born again now. And they are simply deceived. That is not scriptural. It's not according to the Word of God.
"...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." (I Corinthians 15:50)
And the gospel that Jesus proclaimed was the Kingdom of God, about a government. And we Christians, and the Church, is merely the Kingdom of God being trained; and having the Holy Spirit of God, and learning the way of life of God; of God's way of life. To be changed from mortal to immortal, from human to divine. And to rule over all nations under Christ when He comes at His Second Coming to rule. That, my friends, is the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has not been proclaimed for 1950 years, and is being proclaimed this minute in your ears, and you are listening to it. And it's time that we begin to heed it.
Now I want to go on a little further in this, and in a little more detail in the Book of Revelation. We will put that off till later, but meantime, that mysterious book of Revelation; it is unveiled now so you can understand it. And here I have a booklet I'd like to offer to you. 'The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!'
I've read to you in previous programs how in Daniel the twelfth chapter, the prophecy that was given to Daniel, which runs right along with the book of Revelation was; "...closed and sealed until the time of the end when many would run rapidly to and fro [like we do in automobiles, and airplanes, and every way of speed today], and knowledge would be increased. (Daniel 12:4 paraphrased). Oh, what a time of increase of knowledge.
But here the book of Revelation is open to our understanding, at last and you can understand it, and it tells of the events that are going to open up the way. Now I'm going to show you later, that this beast of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation is a coming United States of Europe, that is being formed right now! And that will bring on the Great Tribulation, and that will end in the Second Coming of Christ, the end of this present civilization, of this world; and the beginning of the wonderful world tomorrow.
You need this booklet on Revelation. You need that booklet that I mentioned. You need this booklet; 'The United States And Britain In Prophecy ' Where is the United States and Britain mentioned in Bible prophecy? And specifically what is going to happen to us in this Great Tribulation that is pending right now in the next few years? The only way you can know what is going to happen to us. Prophecy has been closed, it is unlocked in this book 'The United States And Britain In Prophecy '
There is no charge for these booklets. We want to give. We are not out to get. There'll be no follow up and request for money, I'd like to give it to you.
So until next time, Herbert W Armstrong, goodbye friends.
Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.