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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Confession Rather than Accusation (Daniel 7-9)

My reading this morning was in Daniel 7-9, three of the toughest chapters of the Bible. They give an overview of the kingdoms which rule from 586 BC until the Messiah comes to reign in the future. But what application is there for us in these critical chapters?

Let's take a look.

In Daniel 7, Daniel is given a vision of four beasts which represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, the four world powers that rule over Israel until the Messiah comes. These are the same powers represented in Daniel 2.

The tricky part to understand about these four beasts is that the 4th beast points to both Rome of the past and a revived Roman empire which will rise up in the future.

This final revived Roman empire will not just rule over Israel, but the whole world according to Daniel 7:23. It will be a One World Government. It will start off being ruled by 10 kings which correspond to John's vision of 10 kings in Revelation 17.

The little horn in Daniel 7:8 is the Antichrist who will rise up and take control over this final One World Government. But Daniel 7:24 tells us that the 10 kings are established before the Antichrist rises to power.

That means the One World Government is formed under the 10 kings and then after it is formed, the Antichrist rises up. That means the One World Government forms before the Tribulation begins. The kick off event of the 7-year Tribulation is the Antichrist signing the forced peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 6:1-2).

We see our world right now trying to form a One World Government which is being called the New World Order. But Satan has been trying to form this One World Government from the beginning. We see the first documented attempt with the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.

Until now, God has stopped the efforts to form this final One World Government. So, only God knows if the effort we see going on right now will be allowed to succeed.

Personally, I won't be surprised if the current effort to form a One World Government is allowed to succeed. Jesus told us what it would like at the end of the church age. He described this period as "birth pangs" in Matthew 24:8. Then in Matthew 24:37, He said the world would be like it was in the times of Noah when God had enough with the human race and flooded the earth.

When you study the specifics of what Jesus said these birth pangs and the days of Noah would be like, there is absolutely no question we are living in the times of the end of the Church Age with birth pangs increasing with frequency and intensity.

But then Daniel 7 goes on to describe Jesus, the Messiah coming and defeating the Antichrist and the One World Government. He will then establish His kingdom on this earth which will be an everlasting kingdom. However, we know from Revelation 20 that Jesus' everlasting kingdom will only exist on this earth for 1,000 years before it is destroyed and God creates a new heaven and a new earth where the followers of Jesus will reign with Him for all eternity.

Daniel 8 describes these final world powers with different illustrations. This time a ram with two horns is Medo-Persia, a goat with one horn is Greece under Alexander the Great. Daniel 8:8 says the one horn of the goat is broken and 4 horns rise up in its place which are the 4 generals under Alexander the Great who took power after he died. Note though that these prophecies were written 200 years before Alexander the Great even came to power.

In fact, some parts of Daniel are so clearly describing the events that later occurred, some nonbelievers insist that the book of Daniel had to be written after those events rather than hundreds of years before them. The only problem is, there are still many prophecies of Daniel which have not been fulfilled yet, even in our time, today.

One of the later Greek rulers of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus Epiphanes IV is described in Daniel 8:9. He overthrew Israel's high priest, desecrated the temple, and horribly persecuted the Jews, shedding innocent blood of even the children.

But this prophecy regarding Antiochus Epiphanes is unfortunately just the first fulfillment. Antiochus Epiphanes IV was a foreshadowing of what the future Antichrist will do according to Revelation 13:1-18.

Then in Daniel 9, Daniel is studying Jeremiah 25-29 and realizes the prophesied time of Israel's captivity in Babylon was coming to an end. So Daniel begins to pray for Israel. He confesses the sins of his nation, Israel, which caused God to send Assyria and Babylon to destroy Israel and take them into captivity because they would not repent and turn back to God.

Daniel 9:5,8 We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. [8] Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Daniel is not the one who acted wickedly and rebelled against God. Even in captivity in Babylon, when his life was on the line, Daniel refused to defile himself and followed and obeyed God's commands. Yet in his prayer for the nation of Israel, he didn't blame the evil rulers who led Israel away from God. He said "we have sinned."

Daniel owned the sins of his nation in his prayer and confession before God.

Our nation, by the way, which was established as one nation under God, has committed the same sins Israel did but to a tremendously worse degree. How much longer will God allow our nation to survive before He destroys it or is that what we are seeing the beginning of now?

So the first point of application for me is that in my prayers, I need to confess the sins of our nation and own them as I pray for forgiveness, deliverance, and for the hearts of our nation to turn back to God.

But the other thing that amazes me in Daniel 9 is that in the middle of Daniel's prayer, before he had even finished, God acted. God sent the angel, Gabriel, to give Daniel a message, another prophecy of the future.

He told Daniel about the 70 weeks which had been decreed for Daniel's people, Israel:

  • to finish the transgression,

  • to make an end of sin,

  • to make atonement for iniquity.

What Daniel probably didn't understand is that after the first 69 weeks when the Messiah (Jesus) was crucified and Jerusalem and the sanctuary were destroyed by the Romans (70 A.D.), there would be a pause before the 70th week (final 7-year period) would occur.

That pause is the Church Age which has gone from 32 A.D. to 2022 A.D. as of today. But at some point after the Church Age, after the followers of Jesus are taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8), the Antichrist will kick off the 70th week of Daniel, also known as the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), also known as the 7-year Tribulation.

During that final 7-year period, the 7-year Tribulation, those who have not trusted in Jesus' sacrifice in their place:

  • to finish the transgression,

  • to make an end of sin, and

  • to make atonement for iniquity

will enter a time of God's wrath in which Jesus, Himself, will pour out judgments on those who have not repented and trusted in Him in the form of 7 seal, 7 trumpet, and 7 bowl judgments.

The purpose of these judgments is to get people to have eyes to see and realize their sin and their need to repent and trust in Jesus.

The purpose of the 7-year Tribulation, the 70th week of Daniel, is that God does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

He gives every last one of us the opportunity to choose eternal heaven or eternal hell. But His desire is that all would choose to be saved even though many will not.

Jesus said in John 19:30, "Tetelestai," meaning "It is finished." In other words, on that cross Jesus paid the sin debt in full for all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus. We are trusting that He finished the transgression, He made an end to the penalty of our sins, and He made atonement for our iniquity. He has washed us clean through His blood.

That means for those who have truly made Jesus the Lord of their lives, now, in the Church Age, God says we will not experience His wrath which starts in the first set of judgments in the 7-year Tribulation, according to Revelation 6:15-16. Instead of wrath, God says Jesus' followers will obtain salvation:

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sometimes people who have not studied the Scriptures on End Times Prophecy will ask, "why wouldn't the followers of Jesus go through the 7-year Tribulation?"

That's a great question. The answer is because Jesus said on that cross, "Tetelestai!!!" It is finished.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

The second point of application for me is gratitude to realize in spite of my sins, Jesus willingly took the wrath of God upon Himself and delivered me from that wrath when He died on that cross.

If I truly understand the cross and what Jesus took from me, if I truly believe in Jesus as not just my savior but also the Lord of my life that means I need to live for Him. I need to carry out the mission He has given us to go share His message of salvation with a world that desperately needs to come to Him before this Church Age ends, the Rapture takes places, and the 7-year Tribulation begins.

Dear Lord, You are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love You and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong.

We have rebelled against You, ignored and even ridiculed your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to Your Word and to the pastors and teachers You have called to share it with us. Lord, our faces are covered with shame.

This is true of all of us, the whole United States which was established as one nation under God. But You, O Lord, are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against You. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions You gave us through Your Word.

So now we see the judgments coming upon our nation because of our sin. You have kept Your Word and will do to us exactly as You warned. O Lord, I pray that the hearts of our people would realize our sin, repent of that sin, and turn to You. Lord, I pray that our rulers would realize their sin, repent of that sin and turn to You. Lord, I pray that the people of our nation would have ears to hear and eyes to see so that they will repent and trust in Jesus as the Lord of their lives.

Lord, thank you for the assurance and the peace that I have as a follower of Jesus. I know I don't have to fear what is yet to come because You have not destined me for wrath. I just need to trust in You and keep sharing your message of salvation until You take me out of here.

In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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