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WHICH HOLY BOOK IS THE WORD OF GOD
GOD OF THE UNIVERSE
Some may hold to the notion that different people have their own gods whom they worship who help them. But this issue was addressed in the very beginning. We simply cannot have different gods all working on the same earth to help their worshippers against worshippers of other gods to make them the chief people on earth. If this were true, the earth itself would be in chaos. However, the earth and the heavens continue in their finely tuned courses such that life is sustainable on earth. If anything was to change even slightly, the earth would become too hot or too cold making life impossible. So, the only conclusion we can reach is that there is only one supreme God who has created the entire universe and is in total and complete control of it.
To debunk the human idea that the gods of different peoples have control of different peoples, the God of the Bible plainly declares that He is in total control of the universe and in the affairs of man.
Speaking through Isaiah the prophet God challenges doubters to prove Him. He says in Isaiah 46:9-10 (NKJV): "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand…"
God did tell the end from the very first prophecy in the Bible in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:15 when the serpent or Satan was cursed for deceiving humanity. God said: “15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shalt bruise his heel.” Here God prophesied that He would send the Savior to defeat Satan and redeem mankind from death.
God Himself says in Isaiah 46 that prophecy is a proof of the true God. The gods of all other religions are mere idols, incapable of predicting the future and bringing it to pass. The God of the Bible throws the gods of all other religions a challenge through Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 41:22-23 (Revised English Bible): "Let these idols come forward and foretell the future for us. Let them declare the meaning of these past events that we may reflect on it; let them predict the future to us that we may know what it holds. Declare what is yet to happen; then we shall know you are gods."
After God dealt with Israel and she proved unfaithful to Him for more than 850 years of dealings since the Exodus from Egypt, almost all of them ended up as captive slaves. But God then began to deal with Gentile nations through His prophets to show that He has control over all of them and all of humanity and sets up rulers or brings down whomever He wishes. This was made abundantly clear through Daniel the prophet to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
Prophecies about Major Empires on Earth
A remarkable prophecy recorded by Daniel is his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2 of his book. In the second year of his reign the Babylonian king had a dream that troubled him greatly which none of his counselors, wise men, magicians or astrologers could explain. But Nebuchadnezzar was convinced that his dream was of great importance (Daniel 2:1-3).
The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, pp. 39, 46 says his dream gives us a "disclosure of God's plan for the ages till the final triumph of Christ" and "presents the foreordained succession of world powers that are to dominate the Near East till the final victory of the Messiah in the last days".
Daniel records the event in Chapter 2 of his book as follows (NKJV):
“1 Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. 2 Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, "I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream."
“4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation." 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. 6 However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation." 7 They answered again and said, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation." 8 The king answered and said, "I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: 9 if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation." 10The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter; therefore, no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."
“12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave a command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So, Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
After God had revealed the dream to Daniel, he was taken to the king by Arioch the King’s captain to explain the details of the dream: Daniel 2 continues in verse 27:
“27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said…28…there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these…31 "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. 36 "This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
“37 You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all--you are this head of gold. 39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
“41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold--the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that his Babylonian Empire was represented by the head of gold (verses 37-38). The silver, bronze, and iron and clay parts of the image represented three powerful empires that would follow Babylon (verses 39-40).
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream occurred around 600 B.C. Daniel’s interpretation of the dream provided an astonishing preview of the great empires that would dominate history of the civilized world from the time of Nebuchadnezzar right down to the return of Jesus Christ to earth in our time. This was history of the next more than 2,600 years foretold in advance.
Daniel’s interpretation of the dream was that the Babylonian empire was to be followed by another empire, represented by the chest and arms of silver. Two arms of silver would represent the two divisions of the empire. History shows that the Babylonian empire was succeeded by the empire of the Medes and Persians founded by Cyrus the Great when he conquered Babylon in 539 BCE. Its two divisions were the Median and Persian arms of the empire. It ruled over all the territory of the Babylonian empire and more, and held sway in the Near and Middle East for about two centuries.
The Medo-Persian Empire was succeeded by the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great and his successors. It swallowed up all the territory of the Medo-Persian Empire and conquered more. It was represented by the belly and thighs of bronze in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. It lasted for about 265 to 300 years, until it was conquered by the Roman Empire. The belly represented the empire when it was united under Alexander and the thighs represented its two dominant divisions later, the northern division based in Syria, Babylonia and territory up to India (the Seleucids), and the southern division based in Egypt (the Ptolemies).
The Roman Empire that succeeded the Greco-Macedonian Empire was tough and ruthless as iron is tough. It ruled all the territory of the Greco-Macedonian Empire in the Middle East, and is represented by the legs of iron, and feet partly of iron and partly of clay in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. The two legs of the empire represented its two divisions with their capitals at Rome (the western leg) and Constantinople (the eastern leg).
The Roman Empire was crushed in 476 A.D. But Daniel’s prophecy mentioned in verse 44 that “…in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.” This part of the prophecy says that Jesus Christ will set up God’s kingdom in the days of the kings represented by the ten toes. This means that though the Roman Empire was crushed in 476 A.D., there would be later resurrections.
The details of these resurrections are provided in other prophecies revealed to Daniel. In fact, the Roman Empire is also represented by the fourth beast in the prophecy in Daniel 7 (NKJV) which states:
“1 In the first year of Belshazzar 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. 2 Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it.”
Students of prophecy have long understood from history the empires that these beasts represented. The lion represented the Babylonian empire, corresponding to the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. The wings being plucked off and then lifted up from earth and made to stand on two feet like a man is talking about King Nebuchadnezzar’s ordeal mentioned in Daniel 4 when a beast’s heart was given to him and he ate grass like an ox for 7 years because he boasted that by his mighty power he had won the kingdom and made Babylon great.
Daniel continues: “5 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, devour much flesh!'
The bear represented the Medo-Persian Empire, which in Nebuchadnezzar’s image was represented by the chest and arms of silver.
Daniel 7 continues: “6 After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.”
The leopard represented the Greek Empire of Alexander and his successors, corresponding to the belly and thighs of bronze of Nebuchadnezzar’s image.
Then verse 7 continues: “7After 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. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. 9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated…11 "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame…13 "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. 15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
“16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.' 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
“23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. 26 'But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'28 "This is the end of the account…”
The ten horns of the fourth beast in this prophecy indicate that after the Roman Empire was destroyed in 476 A.D., there would be ten resurrections of the Empire right down to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. Then another little horn came up among the ten horns with a mouth speaking pompous words against the Most High, meaning God, before whom the first three horns were plucked up by the roots. Verse 25 says: 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.”
A horn in prophecy represents a king or ruler, and one speaking against the Most High means it is a false religious power. There has been only one religious power in the territory of the Roman Empire whose head wears a crown, which has persecuted God’s true Church through the centuries, and has actually changed times and laws; and that is the head of the false Church based in Rome.
This false Church has persecuted God’s true Church through centuries, martyring hundreds of thousands. It has also changed times. It has given the world a different calendar from God’s calendar, the Gregorian calendar. It has changed the beginning of a day from sunset to the middle of the night, beginning of the year from spring to the dead of winter, the beginning of the week from Sunday to Monday. It has changed God’s laws, the Ten Commandments and holy days by doing away with the seventh day Sabbath, instead worshipping on Sunday, the day of sun worship of the pagans; deleting the second commandment that prohibits worshipping images or idols; doing away with God’s seven annual holy days and foisting pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter dressed in Christian garb on Christianity. So history clearly points out who the prophesied little horn is!
Now notice how this little horn fulfilled Daniel’s prophecies.
The first three resurrections of the Roman Empire after 476 A.D. were those of the Vandals, the Heruli and the Ostrogoths. These three horns or kingdoms were uprooted at the behest of the pope (the little horn of Daniel 7:8) as prophesied in Daniel 7:8. The reason the pope encouraged rulers and generals to drive these kingdoms out of Rome was that they held beliefs different from those of the Roman Church. The word uprooted is also significant. These barbarian peoples were completely driven out of Rome. They were not allowed to take root in the Roman lands.
After the three successive kingdoms ended, the next seven resurrections would be called the Holy Roman Empire. The reason was that the pope of the Roman Church would crown the emperors of these kingdoms as holy Roman emperors and protectors of the False Church. In 554 A.D. Emperor Justinian began the first resurrection. This was followed by that of Charlemagne who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 A.D.
The 3rd resurrection was that of Otto the Great who was crowned in 962 A.D. The 4th resurrection was that of Charles V of the Hapsburg Dynasty, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1530 A.D. The 5th resurrection was that of Napoleon from 1804-1814 A.D., and the 6th resurrection occurred when Garibaldi united the little kingdoms in Italy by 1870 and then Mussolini signed a secret concordat with the pope and declared his rule as the Holy Roman Empire, including the African territories of Eritrea and Somaliland as parts of his kingdom. The Hitler-Mussolini Axis was part of the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
The seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, which is also the 10th resurrection of the Roman Empire [the Vandals, the Heruli and the Ostrogoths being the first three], is yet in the near future and is represented by the tenth horn of Daniel’s fourth beast and feet and ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. This indicates an alliance of ten rulers. In the days of these kings Jesus Christ will return, smash this kingdom and set up God’s kingdom which shall never be destroyed, as indicated by the words in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and also in Daniel 7:13-14, 26-27.
Further prophecies in Daniel 8:1-21 provide more details about these empires and identify the Medo-Persian and Greek empires by name.
Thus, we see that God prophesied the succession of great empires ruling the Near and Middle East, and brought it to pass exactly as prophesied. The odds of any human being foreseeing these events on his own and predicting them correctly defy reason. Daniel said: “…There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days” (Daniel 2:28).
We living today will soon be witnesses to the fulfillment of this prophecy when ten rulers will unite in Europe to set up the tenth resurrection of the Roman Empire, which is the seventh resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. It calls itself the Holy Roman Empire because the great false Roman Church will be involved in its resurrection.
New Testament Prophecies Already Fulfilled
Just as many of the prophecies written by Daniel have already been fulfilled, the prophecies written by John the apostle in the Book of Revelation have already been fulfilled. The two prophetic books complement each other.
When Daniel wrote his prophetic book, all the empires prophesied were still to come in the future. But when John wrote the book of Revelation, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian and the Greco-Macedonian empires had passed from history. Jesus and the apostles were living in the Roman Empire, the fourth Empire of Daniel 7. So, the prophecies in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 in the form of beasts refer entirely to the Roman Empire and its ten resurrections. (For detailed explanation, please refer to the booklet titled “The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?” by John H. Ogwyn, available free of charge from the Living Church of God at www.lcg.org).
The nature and history of the great false Church based in Rome was prophesied as the little horn of Daniel 7:8, but also as the other beast of Revelation 13:11-18 and the Great Whore of Revelation 17. The ten resurrections of the Roman Empire were prophesied as the 10 horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, but also as the 10 horns of the beast of Revelation 13. These ten horns were on the seventh head of the beast of Revelation 13. The last 7 of the 10 horns on the 7th head of the beast of Revelation 13 corresponded to the 7 heads of the beast of Revelation 17. These 7 heads of the beast of Revelation 17 were the seven resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire ridden by the great Whore which is identified as the great false church based in Rome. The ten horns on the seventh head of the beast of Revelation 17 also corresponded to the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image of Daniel 2.
Six resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire have already been fulfilled, and the seventh is soon to take place. The ten horns on the seventh head signify that it will be a combination of ten rulers in league with the false Church. Fulfillment of these prophecies in the Book of Revelation thus provides further proof that the New Testament like the Old Testament is backed by the power of Almighty God. Hence it is the true word of God.
God Even names King Cyrus Century and a Half in Advance
God through Isaiah the prophet prophesied about the coming of a Persian king named Cyrus century and a half in advance who would let the Jewish captives go free and rebuild Jerusalem.
Isaiah 44:28 (NKJV), “28 Who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, "You shall be built," and to the temple, "your foundation shall be laid." '
Isaiah 45:1, 13, “1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut…13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, says the Lord of hosts.”
In this remarkable prophecy God named the ruler a century and a half in advance and foretold what he would do. The British Museum contains the cylinder of King Cyrus of Persia, dated to 538 B.C. which records a description of his conquest of Babylon and his policy of tolerance for the religions of his subject peoples. The Bible records Cyrus’ decree allowing the Jews taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar to return to their land and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Through the fulfillment of this prophecy, God of the Bible again demonstrates His total control over the lives of people and affairs of mankind.
God of the Bible is Sovereign over the Entire Earth
In the astonishingly accurate fulfillment of these detailed prophecies, the God of the Bible demonstrates His Almighty power, and proves that the gods of all other religions are false gods. In fact they are no gods at all, but idols. He has declared ‘…from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand…" as stated in Isaiah 46:10, and has brought it to pass.
The God of the Bible rules not only in Israel, but He is Sovereign over all the kingdoms of men and appoints over them whomever He wills. When King Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was lifted up with pride because of the greatness and might of the Babylonian kingdom he had built, he was abased by his mind being turned into a beast for 7 years. Daniel thus describes the lessons he learnt to his successor Belteshazzar in Daniel 5:18-21(NKJV):
“18 O king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: 19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomsoever he will.”
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