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Lions, Leopards and Bears ... Oh My!

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • January 16, 2016
    11:30 AM
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It has stood the test of God's book. The Bible. Still relevant in today's complex world. It is written messages of hope around the world with friends as we begin this series we introduced a very powerful principle. That helps us to determine whether our claims about the knowledge we have are certain. Simply stated this principle is the principle of probability. And what it reveals is that. Extremely small probabilities. Point to certainty. And the Limon a chance. As an explanation. So this principle of probability. When applied to the existence of God and the reliability of his word. It's solid demonstrates that God is real and that this Bible can be trusted. Some of the greatest evidence of all of this is found in prophecy. Now over the course of our study. The first six chapters of Daniel. Demonstrated probability. Through seeing some incredible things that defied simple chance. As an explanation. That was most especially the case in King Nebuchadnezzar stream of Daniel two that Daniel interpreted that dream. Outlined. Over twenty five hundred years of history. In Advance. Simply amazing. But more than amazing. It points to the existence of an all knowing all powerful god. Who cares and interacts with us as His creation. And this week as we turn our attention to the prophetic section of the Book of Daniel and open the pages of the Bible to Daniel seven. This chapter. Introduces us to a very sinister power that does all kinds of things against God and against God's people. In fact his attacks are so devastating that Daniel wants to make sure that God's people are able to identify this. Menacing. Agent of evil. Let's turn in our Bibles to Daniel the seventh. Chapter verses one through seven. In the first year of Bel Shaz or king of Babylon. Daniel had a dream and visions of his head. While on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream. Telling the main facts. Daniel spoke saying. I saw in my vision by night and behold. The four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea and for great beasts came up from the sea. Each different from the other the first was like a lion and had Ingles wings. I watched tell its wings were plucked off. And it was lifted. Lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet. Like a man and a man's heart was given to it and suddenly. Another beast. A second. Like a bear. It was raised up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it arise. Defy our much flash. After this I looked and there was another. Like a leopard. Which had on its back for wings of a bird. The Beast also had four heads and dominion was given to it after this I saw in the night visions and behold. A fourth beast. Dreadful and terrible. Exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth. It was devouring breaking in pieces and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it. And it had ten horns. What should stand out. First about this amazing train. Is that these creatures. These creatures will never be seen in any of your local zoos. Each of these animals. Violate the very laws of nature. I mean. Have you ever seen a lion with eagle's wings or a leopard with four wings and four heads or animals with iron teeth. Of course not as we look at this passage. There are four symbols that we need to interpret or understand the winds the great sea. The Big East Sea and the horns. Now our mission here and it is written is to instill the understanding that the Bible. Interprets itself. And so each of these are symbolic representations of something else. So what do they all mean. What about these four winds. Well if we go to the bulk of Jeremiah Jeremiah Chapter fifty one. There in Jeremiah fifty one in verse one. The Bible is quite clear about what these winds are. God said that he would send a destroying wind against Babylon. He was speaking of the strife and destruction caused by the middle Persians. This means that wind. Represents strife and destruction. But what about the see what Revelation seventeen fifteen. Is actually quite clear when it states. The waters which you saw are people's multitude. Nations and tongues. Thus the great sea. Represents peoples or a populous place. That still leaves us wondering about those beasts. What do they represent. Daniel seven seventeen helps us answer that question. Those great beasts are four kings. Which arise out of the earth. A bit later in verse twenty three it says the Fourth Be shall be the fourth. Kingdom upon the earth. Now the priests. Represent. Kingdoms. Empires. Now interestingly enough Daniel seven twenty four declares that the ten horns are ten kings. So the horns also represent kingdoms. But what does this all mean how do we sort this all out. Well let's look at the specific symbols and see what they might mean. Now the first symbol that we had is a lion with eagle's wings. What could that amount to as a beast. It represents a kingdom. But what kingdom. Friends. It is a fitting symbol of Babylon. Which came to power in six zero five B.C.. Now remarkably enough. Jeremiah chapter four in verse seven. And Jeremiah Chapter fifty verses seventeen and forty four. Refer to never can as are and Babylon. As a lion. That has arisen out of his lair. To destroy the nations. In addition the winged lion is one of the forms that is often. Pictured in art and inscriptions in combat with. Mar do. Mar Duke was the patron God of the city of Babylon. But Daniel informs us that the wings were plucked off of that lion. And a man's heart was given to it. What an apt description of the fate of Babylon. After never could answer is death. BABYLON lost much of its prestige. Much of its power. And it ultimately became a weak and enfeebled nation. Now it is here that I want to introduce you to how Hebrew thinking. Works. It is something called. Re capitulation. Or simply repeat. And in large. Now our Western minds don't quite work like those from the east. But here's the basic comps. Concept. Something is said then that same thing is repeated. Or restated with greater detail. But possibly in a bit different language. Daniel seven. Is a recapitulation or a repeating and enlarging of Daniel two. It is a restatement of the world's history of empires. But with greater detail. And so this description of Babylon. As the lion. Parallels that of Daniel two and Babylon. Being represented as the head of gold. But after the two wing that lion on the scene of bear shows up. That is not just any ordinary bear it's a bear raised up on one side with three ribs in its mouth. As you could probably guess. This bear represents the Middle Persian Empire. And although Daniel seven does not mention who the three ribs represent. History reveals that they were symbols of the three principal powers of. Lydia Babylon and Egypt. That were conquered by the combined forces of the means in the Persians. Who came to power around five thirty nine B. c. Now what makes this symbol. Additionally fascinating. Is the reality that when these powers. Came together. The maids were actually the stronger of the two however over time. The Persians grew in strength and became so strong that most history books today simply refer to it as the Persian Empire. This symbol of the bear. Parallels the chest and arms of silver from Daniel two but the bear is moved aside by an even stranger looking creature. A lap or with four wings and four heads and this bizarre looking beast represents the kingdom of Greece. Now like the other beasts. Leopards are fierce and carnivorous. If they have the added advantage of being swift and agile. Even more this beast has four wings which denotes its incredible speed and agility. What a fitting representation of grace. In fact it's almost an adequate to describe the amazing speed of Alexander the Great's conquest of the known world. A stop on a shingly. In less than a decade. Alexander and his army came into possession of the greatest empire the world had ever seen at the time. One commentator put it this way. There is no other example in ancient times. Of such a rapid movements of troops on so large and successful a scale. In three thirty one B.C. Alexander's army. Decisively defeated the Persians. In the famous battle of Arbella. Yet Alexander's Kingdom would not last very long. Alexander could conquer the world. But he could not conquer himself. He died from his own lustful exuberance and on his deathbed was asked who would succeed him. He simply answered these words he who is strongest. Greece was weakened by internal strife and civil war. The foreheads of the leopard. Represent the four kingdoms that occupied the territory of Alexander's Kong wise. Greece would come to an end. This wing the leopard Kingdom. Corresponds with the bronze or brass of the statue of Daniel two but now we are brought to the fourth beast. The description was frightening. It is described as dreadful. Terrible. Exceedingly strong and with iron ts. Now you remember back in Daniel to the metal started with gold. Then silver bronze. And finally the fourth symbol and Daniel two was iron. These iron. Teeth. Of this nondescript fourth beast. Give us a clue to who this is in Daniel seven. It is the kingdom of Rome and perfectly matches the order of Daniel to with the legs of iron in the vision of Daniel two. There was no fifth world empire. Simply a mixture of iron and clay. A representation of the kingdom of road. Not being defeated. But falling apart or dividing. Similarly in Daniel seven. The Bible records that this. Nondescript beast. Would not give way to another beast or world empire. Instead. This beast has ten horns which means that ten. Kingdoms would arise out of the Roman Empire. And although or or more barbarian tribes. Evolved from the Roman Empire. The ten. Kingdoms that would eventually represent the divisions of Rome. Are the Ostrogoths the Vis a Goth the Franks. The vandals. The swayed by the aliment I the Anglo Saxons. The air you lie the Lombards and the burg on the ends. But wait there's more. Three of those are removed and replaced by a little horn. Now at this point we need to notice that as we have read Daniel seven. We will not find Daniel. Identifying the little horn. He doesn't say that it's Christianity or. The little horn is Islam or Buddhism or Hitler or Napoleon or some other power. Danial does not provide us with a short concise statement. Telling us exactly who the little horn represents. However instead of a short statement. Daniel describes the various characteristics that make up the identity of the Little Horn. God in His wisdom has provided. This much better approach. How so you might ask. Well quite simply the probability of misinterpreting or falsifying one statement is much greater than the probability or misinterpreting or falsifying of many characteristics that describe one entity. So think about it in this way For example let's say you were robbed. And you were robbed by someone at gunpoint. And they took all of your belongings. And after that the police came and visited with you and they asked you to describe the robber and. So you tell them. He was light skinned. Average height. Average build long hair. Mark on his face and spoke with an accent and friends. They're going to be several problems with this description. If that's the most precise you can be his long hair could be cut. The mark on his face could be removed and he could modify his accent. If you can even remember what type of accent it really was. See all of those characteristics are too general. Maybe your son. Maybe your nephew. Could match that very description. The probability of getting the wrong fief increases greatly with such general characteristics. But the probability of getting the right. The five increases with specific characteristics. He was five nine. Black haired down to his shoulders. Brown eyes. Crooked nose. Spoke with a British accent. And he was missing his left ring finger. That type of description. Greatly helps. Catch the thief. And so it is in the same way that the probability of wrongly identifying the Little Horn of Daniel seven. Greatly decreases with more specific characteristics and descriptions. So God in His infinite wisdom did not limit the identification of the little horn to one statement of fact he gave nine. Characteristics or nine. Features. To this little horn power. Those nine. Characteristics. Would be like using that earlier. Illustration of being robbed. Finding that the thief's fingerprints. Will all over in your house and in addition. You. You struggled with the thief. And you scratch the thief. And you had some of his skin and hair under your fingernails. With D.N.A. now in hand. The probability of correctly identifying the thief is almost sure. And that is what we have here in Daniel. Chapter seven. The D N A of the Little Horn power. What we are about to reveal is nine characteristics of the little one power that no one else on the face of the earth will be able to fulfill other than one identifiable power. So with all of that said. We are now ready to reveal those nine. Specific characteristics of Daniel seven. That identify that little horn. Power. Now according to verses. Eight and twenty four. It rises out of the fourth beast. According to verse seven and eight. It tells us that a rose. Among the ten horns. Geographically. Verse twenty four. Iterates that it appeared after the ten other horns. Verse twenty five. Says that it was a lot of special powers for thyme two times. And a half a time. The fifth characteristic. As alluded to in verse eight and twenty four states that it was to put down the three kings so that. As it arose. Three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. The sixth characteristic is spoken of in verse twenty five and says that this power would think to change. The Times. And the law. The seventh characteristic is informed by verses eight and twenty which tells us that it was little when it was first seen. But in time. It became greater than its fellows. Verse eight and twenty five. Outlined that it had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth. Speaking great things and it spoke words against the Most High. And the ninth characteristic found in verse twenty five says that it was to wear out. The same save the most high. History clearly tells us who this power was and is of the ten kingdoms that rose out of the Roman Empire. The hair you lie where the first to be eliminated. After them the vandals fell. And finally there was a decisive blow against the Ostrogoths and five thirty eight eighteen. Now why would this little horn choose these three kingdoms to eliminate with a little horn war against God The hair you lie. Vandals and Ostrogoths. They represented Germanic Christianity. And why is that important Germanic Christianity consisted of a more pure and Biblical religion than that derived from the east. You see the Germanic Christians many of them kept all the commandments of God. Including the Fourth Commandment which remembers the seventh day sabbath. To Germanic Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the only mediator between God and man. They also believe that Christ was not created. But a divine being. And while they rejected the NY scene creed. It was for other reasons. Then that divinity of Christ. But because they rejected it. They were labeled as being Arion tribes. For this little horn power that war against God. It needed to make sure that these Christians who practiced biblical Christianity disappeared. As I said the last of those was defeated in five thirty eight. Interestingly enough five thirty eight. Marks the beginning of the time. Times and a half the time. You'll remember from our last show that the phrase is equal to twelve hundred sixty Prophetic days. Or twelve hundred sixty literal years. In addition five thirty eight represents the year that Emperor Justinian made it to create a which a stablished to follow says I'm as the religion of the empire this. Any Christians. Outside of Catholicism were either forced to accept. Roman Christianity or suffer the death of martyrdom. And in addition to that in five thirty eight. At the third Synod of Orleans. A church state system that was set up. Made it so Christians would be punished for violating or desecrate ng. Sunday. And here's what it says. Not as the civil authorities may direct. But as the a clean Z. asked the cool powers. May determine. Each of these nine characteristics. Give us a clear picture of who the little horn power must be. Would be utterly impossible for any human being to try to predict by chance processes some of these characteristics. You know there is a perception that outlines the characteristics that clearly identify it. Perhaps the characteristic that most clearly the FAI's the chance processes. Is the prediction that this little horns activity would last for twelve hundred sixty years. But when we account for this time period. Along with the geographical location in which it arose. The fact that it arose after the fall of Rome and. After the ten horns. That it would intend to change times in laws that it would put down three kings. As it arose. That it would have a man at the head. That it would speak blasphemous words against God and that it would persecute the Saints. Throughout the twelve hundred sixty year period. The only reasonable conclusion is that the information that Daniel seven contains did not originate with any human source. In fact Isaiah the prophet States this present your case. Says the Lord bring forth. Your strong reasons. Says the king of Jacob. Let them bring forth and show us what will happen. Let them show the former things. What they were that we may consider them. And know the latter end of them or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come here after that we may know that you are God's got a spoken. And his words are clear his power is clearly identified. It is not speaking of a person or peoples. But rather a system a system of religion or political magnitude. That actually opposes God it has but the beautiful promise of scripture is that this power doesn't want God. The future is in his hands. He is coming again. And here Daniel seven further. Emphasizes. What we have seen over and over again. God has for you got care and. God wants to be in relationship with you having the Father we thank you that you are in control of all things. Please be with us we pray in Jesus name Amen to send the kid a night with with the. The one to restore. She saw surprised me then of God Look with me choice and shout. Saying here is the blessed sit all day today good watching for the dawning the king. Say no one was sauce. To me sauce. Rise. Is An awesome. Rain. God is and I saw from Would you like to learn more about these amazing prophecies. What offer you living in the end time prophecy study guide for today's offer. Here's the information you need to request today's offer. Just log on to W W W dot. It is written Canada dog CA for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight eight eight. Call or if you wish. You may write to us at. It is written. Box two thousand and ten. I want to age seven before. Friend thank you so much for watching. God cares for you. God loves you join us again next week until then remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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