I enjoy hearing about strange and bizarre things. That’s why when I read an article on the Internet about the “Doomsday Clock” warning us of the soon return of Jesus, I immediately saved it in my special file of “bizarro stuff.” The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock that was created by a collection of scientists. They use it as a way of symbolizing how close we are to the end of the world. On the clock, midnight is the apocalypse—a worldwide catastrophe that will end humankind. They use events like the possibility of nuclear war and global warming to estimate how close we are to midnight. In case you’re curious, the time on the Doomsday Clock presently is two minutes to midnight! But the message from the Doomsday Clock isn’t the bizarro thing I am talking about.
Bizarro Signs of the End Times
By Karen Thompson
First in a Five-Part Series
The language-translation app called Google Translate is the source of the strange doomsday message. Here’s the story. When someone typed “dog” into Google Translate to translate it from the West African language Yoruba to English, it translated it as the same word: “dog.” Here’s the strange part. This same person discovered that when you enter the word “dog” 22 times in a row, it produces this doomsday message: “Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve. We are experiencing characters and dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return.”
It gets even weirder. When you reduce the number of times you enter “dog” into Google Translate, instead of a message about Jesus’ return, it talks about how the Antichrist will soon appear. Nobody knows why or how this glitch happened. They simply chalk it up to the fact that Google’s learning system collects information from all over the web. It somehow gathered this information. (Hmmm… Did the Google learning system get tripped up by that fact that dog spelled backwards is god? Ha, ha!) But in the end, no one can explain exactly how it happened. It’s all moot now because they fixed it, so it won’t happen again.
Real End Time Prophecies Are Precise
Sadly, before I studied end time prophecy, I actually used to get excited about these kinds of “signs.” There was a time when I would have viewed this glitch in Google Translate as, perhaps, a divine message sent by God. I didn’t know that God had already sent His divine messages. His divine messages concerning end times are given to us in the books of Daniel, Revelation, Zechariah, and the other prophets. And unlike this silly little glitch in Google Translate, the prophecies in these books are so precise about end times that we will know exactly what to expect. We don’t have to guess about end times, because they are laid out to us so precisely that we will know what events begin the end times … what events come next … and what events take place at the very end. Through all the prophets’ combined prophesies, we know the beginning, the middle, and the end of the end times.
Daniel Is the Foundation
A serious study of end time prophecy must begin with the book of Daniel. That’s because Daniel’s visions are the foundation for understanding all the other end time prophecies. Especially the book of Revelation. If you don’t understand Daniel’s visions, then John’s revelation will remain a mystery to you. To that end, this post is the first in a five-part series on Daniel’s vision of the four beasts. In past series, we’ve already studied a couple of visions from the book of Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the metal man and the angel Gabriel’s message to Daniel about 70 weeks. Before we study the vision of the four beasts, it would be helpful to briefly review the vision of the metal man and Gabriel’s message about the 70 weeks.
In our study of Daniel chapter 2, we learned about King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the fierce metal man. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of which he did not know its meaning. God used Daniel to provide the king with its interpretation. We learned the king’s dream of the metal man represented a period of time known as the Times of the Gentiles, a time when Gentile kingdoms would rule over the nation of Israel. As you might recall, Israel lost her autonomy as a nation when King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel and took her captive, making her a vassal state to the Babylonian Empire. After that, Israel was ruled by the Persian Empire. After the Persian Empire, Israel was ruled by the Grecian Empire. And after that, Israel was ruled by the Roman Empire.
The most important part of the king’s dream was about the last empire that would rule over Israel: the end time kingdom of Antichrist, which was symbolized on the metal man as the feet made out of iron and clay. If you recall, Daniel saw a stone cut out of a mountain. The stone symbolizes Jesus. In the dream, the stone smashed the metal man on his feet, which symbolized the Antichrist kingdom being defeated. When the feet were smashed by the stone, the entire metal man crumbled to the ground and the wind swept it away. The complete destruction of the metal man symbolizes the times of the Gentiles coming to an end. That means that after the Antichrist kingdom is destroyed, Israel will no longer suffer under Gentile dominance.
After the metal man was destroyed, the stone grew into a mountain so large it filled the whole earth. This symbolizes Jesus’ millennial reign, when He will rule over all the nations of the earth!
Daniel’s 70 Weeks
Next, let’s review Daniel’s vision about 70 weeks. In the series entitled “Daniel’s 70th Week,” we talked about how the angel Gabriel appeared before Daniel with a message from the Lord. Gabriel told Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Dan. 9:23).
Gabriel informed Daniel that after 70 weeks, there were six momentous events that would take place for the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem. First, “to finish the transgression.” Second, “to make an end of sins.” Third, “to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Fourth, “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Fifth, “to seal up the vision and prophecy.” And, sixth, “to anoint the most holy.” At the end of the 70 weeks, all these things will have come to pass.
We learned the 70 weeks were actually weeks of years, not weeks of days. This meant that after 490 years, these six momentous events would come to pass. So far 69 of the 70 weeks have been fulfilled. There’s only one week left to be fulfilled—the 70th week. The fulfillment of the 70 weeks was interrupted: the interruption was caused by the Romans, and because of their actions, they made it impossible for the 70th week to be fulfilled.
The war between Rome and Israel didn’t end the usual way wars normally end, with one side losing and the other side winning. This war ended in the complete obliteration of Jerusalem and Israel. So furious were the Romans with Israel and the Jewish rebels that they decided to wipe Israel off the map. To that end, the Romans literally brought an end to the nation of Israel. They not only burned the city of Jerusalem to the ground, but they changed the name of Israel to “Palestine.” And they forcibly kicked out all the Jewish people from the land, forcing them to scatter to the winds of the earth. Obliterating the very existence of the nation of Israel and kicking out all the Jewish people from the land made it impossible for Daniel’s 70th week to be fulfilled.
Remember what Gabriel said: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city….” The 70 weeks are about Jerusalem and the Jewish people. After the Romans obliterated the very existence of the nation of Israel, they made it impossible for the 70th week to be fulfilled. But praise be to God, the impossible became possible when Israel became a nation again in 1948 and the Jewish people began to return to Israel from all over the world. These events made it possible for Daniel’s 70th week to be fulfilled! And so we await.
Why Does God Communicate Through Visions?
I remember when the Lord first directed me to study the book of Daniel. After reading its short 12 chapters, I was frustrated. There was so much imagery. I read about books, fiery streams, and wheels of fire. There was a giant metal man, a great mountain, a stone, a giant tree, four winds, all kinds of strange animals including a lion with eagle’s wings, a bear-like beast with ribs in its mouth, a leopard with four wings and four heads, and a strange unidentifiable beast that had iron teeth and ten horns! And so much more.
I was in complete confusion. I had no idea what any of its chapters were about. I thought interpreting Daniel’s visions was an impossible task. I wondered why the Lord chose to communicate through visions filled with so much symbolism. Why couldn’t He simply come right out and say what He wanted to say. Why not simply use words? It was through a prayer experience of my own that I gained the understanding as to why the Lord chooses to communicate through visions and symbolism.
People who pray have learned that if you seek the Lord in prayer on a consistent basis you will experience increased prayer anointings. You will begin to pray with increased knowledge and understanding. For example, as you pray in the spirit, you will begin to hear words and phrases that come forth from the Holy Spirit. Many pray-ers keep a journal of the words they hear in prayer. At the time, the words and phrases you hear might not make a lot of sense. That’s where a prayer journal becomes valuable.
I adopted the practice of writing down all the words and phrases that I heard in prayer. Through the years, I have managed to fill several journals with my prayer times. Many times, I was fully aware of what the Holy Spirit was praying about. But very often, I had no idea. The words that I heard in prayer didn’t make sense when I prayed them, but later on, their meaning would became clear. I’ll give you an example of a prayer experience that didn’t make sense at the time, but years later, I learned what I was praying about. For instance, on November 16, 2001, while in prayer, I heard these words:
Stimulus package… gone wrong… grounded… loosen the grip on the purse… stimulus package… save your breath… it’s not going to work… federal reserve… back off… stimulus package… plummet… on a good ship… Jesus is at the helm… in the wake… stimulus package…carving out a new future… victory… stimulus package… fair and reasonable… too much pork… stimulus package… arguing… stir the pot… speeches… heat wave… debate… further debate… stimulus package… skim the pork… get the knife… start cutting… the President… reasonable… worry free… ridiculous… shave it down… make a difference…
Years later when I was reviewing one of my prayer journals, I came to my November 2001 entry. At the time, I didn’t understand what I was praying about. I knew it had something to do with the government, but I didn’t understand what any of the words were about. Then when President Bush began to talk about a Stimulus Package in 2008, the words I recorded in my prayer journal suddenly made sense. When your prayer times are confirmed in this way, it is very encouraging. That’s the purpose of prayer journals.
For years, I filled up my journals with words and phrases that I heard when I prayed in the Spirit. But then there came a time when my prayer times changed. I no longer heard the usual long stream of words and phrases while I prayed. In their place, I began to see little scenarios in my mind’s eye. “Visionettes” is what I called them. Though these scenarios seemed to reflect what I was praying about, I didn’t pay much attention to them. Rather, I was more concerned that I was no longer hearing the steady stream of words during my prayer times like I usually did. I wondered what happened. What was wrong?
I brought my concern to the Lord: “Why am I no longer able to hear words and phrases like usual?” When I brought this matter to the Lord, I began to see the strangest scenario unfold in my mind’s eye. I saw a woman afflicted in the same way as Helen Keller. She was both deaf and blind. Like Keller, this woman’s only means of communicating was to spell out each letter of every word in the palm of someone’s hand. It was a slow and tedious way to communicate. Then in the scenario, the deaf and blind woman suddenly received her sight. Now that she could see, people tried to teach her how to communicate using sign language instead of laboriously signing each letter of every word. Sign language would be so much faster for people to communicate with her, but she didn’t want to use sign language. She wanted to continue spelling out words letter by letter—the way she was used to communicating. She could not be persuaded to use the more efficient and speedier sign language.
As time went by, my inability to hear words and phrases like before continued. Convinced something was wrong, I again bought the matter up before the Lord: “What’s wrong with me? What has changed?” Again, the same exact scenario of the deaf and blind woman began to play out in my mind’s eye. I thought it was strange to have this odd little scene unfold in my mind while I’m praying. I pushed it aside so I could concentrate on hearing from the Lord.
There was no correction to my prayer times. I was still unable to hear words when I prayed. For the third time, I brought this matter to the Lord! And, again, this exact same scenario of the deaf and blind woman began playing in my mind’s eye. I saw her laboriously spelling each letter of every word. I saw her receive her sight. I saw her refuse to be taught how to use the faster method of sign language and insisted on continuing to spell out words. But this time when the scenario played out in my mind’s eye, I heard these words inside me: “INTERPRET! INTERPRET!” Upon hearing the word “Interpret,” I instantly received the interpretation of the scenario of the deaf and blind person.
Finally, I understood!
The meaning of the vision of the deaf and blind woman became clear. It was me! I was the deaf and blind woman! My desire to continue hearing words and phrases as I prayed was the equivalent of spelling out every letter of every word. All the while I had been concerned about no longer hearing those words and phrases, I had been experiencing “visions” in my mind’s eye. Those visions were the equivalent of using the faster method of sign language. To the Lord, the visions He was showing me in my mind’s eye were a faster way for Him to communicate with me. I finally understood. From that point on, I began to pay closer attention to the visions that I saw in my mind’s eye. And the Lord was right. They were a much faster way to communicate. That’s why the word of the Lord very often came to the prophets in visions. For the Lord, it was a much faster way for Him to communicate. Through the Holy Spirit, He provides us with the interpretations of His visions. So keep all that in mind as we start our study on Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts.
Reflections of an earnest email: “Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Only one thing to do. We go forward!”
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