2008-04-06 - Daniel
Chapter 12: Part 2 ~ Installment 96
The Last Times
Verses 4-13: Two angels appear, but we don't know who they are. And so the vision is to be sealed until the last times, the times in which the final things will be fulfilled. It is to be preserved for the benefit of those who will study it, and as time passes, it will become more clear in its interpretation.
It is also stated here that Israel will suffer persecution for the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, but at the end of that time, the Hebrews will be broken and recognize that Jesus as their Messiah. The Tribulation will end, and Antichrist will fall under God's hand. As we have seen, much of it is quite clear to us, because much of it has already come to pass. As the last things begin to be fulfilled, those who are alive then will also gain a greater understanding of its message. Conclusion: Sometimes it seems difficult to draw an application from a specific passage. Leupold states in his book under the Homiletical suggestions section, "This chapter might be treated in Bible classes. We do not see how it could be used for a sermon or for sermons." 4
We have observed that Antichrist exhibits no respect for anyone other than himself. He is in direct opposition to the Lord. His bottom line is self-deification, or as Hocking puts it, "selfism." Not only will he want to be the center of his own world, but he will want to be the center of all mankind's. This was what brought down Satan. "Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "In the pride of your heart you say, 'I am a God; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.' But you are a man and not a God, though you think you are as wise as a God."'" (Ezekiel 28:2).
... and this is what will bring him down. We can certainly see the world is being prepared for the coming of this individual, not just by the willingness to accept anyone who appears to be able to bring some kind of peace - peace at any price - but by an ever-growing acceptance of the selfism kind of philosophy. Most of the cults seem to teach one way or another, that you can become your own god. All over the world, the focus is moving to man as the center of the universe, that man can accomplish anything. This is why people react so strongly to earthquakes, because, as in other natural catastrophes, they see there are situations in which they are totally helpless. It seems though even here, where God is mentioned, it isn't in a positive way. After all, according to insurance companies, disasters are "acts of God,." So according to current thinking, we must become gods. And so the ultimate "human being," the Antichrist, will certainly be accepted as the proof of the death of the gods.
This is why the Gospel message is so offensive to the world at large. It places man in the proper place, a creature of God - and a fallen one at that. Instead of being the center of the universe, man is totally unable to do anything for himself, and has to depend on the mercy of God to have any hope.
4 Ibid. pg. 525.
To be continued.
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