One From Eleven Makes Eight

by George F Spall

Let us tease ourselves by the sort of riddle that Samson would dream up to confuse a Philistine. As you are not a Philistine, you will probably turn to the Book of Daniel and find the clue to it in there. This is the riddle: "One over ten looks like a fraction but is not. Bring up one to take away three and so make eight. Use the one that makes eight and place over seven and thus take over many more." Is that really mathematics? Yes. At least it is political mathematics, and global at that. And when it is worked out finally, it will affect everybody on earth.

Daniel , Israel 's prophet, presents that futuristic formula for World government and as his other detailed prophecies to date have come true, we may safely assume that this one will. As there is a possibility that this situation may arise in this generation, it is sensible to check it out.

This is what he said: "After this, I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet and it was diverse from all the beasts what were before it; and it had ten horns.

"I considered the horns, and behold there came up from among them, another little horn before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame." (7:7-11).

Daniel further states: "and the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and a half a time." (7:24,25).

Man of Mystery

We are reminded of one of those children's picture puzzles that kept us indoors out of the rain and mother's door mats just a little cleaner. We peered at them, holding them sideways and upside down, till suddenly the face of a girl or the figure of a villain could be discerned peeking at us through the leaves of the trees in the picture, making us wonder that we did not see it earlier.

For a long time now, studious and pious people have stared at those words in Daniel 7 and at others equally mysterious in the Book of Revelation (chapter 13), which is the last book in the New Testament. They describe a somewhat similar figure who comes to rule over ten others, but unlike the man in Daniel, he does not put down three. But he is a very big Mr Big, a formidable figure of global stature and artful arrogance.

You get the impression that both writers have the same Dictator in mind and that when the curtain is drawn back to reveal him on the world stage, the differences in the descriptions may even help to identify him. Both portraits present us with men of supernatural ability at the very last crisis point in history, which makes us conclude that they are the same person, and 'both' stand in the defendant's dock before the great Judge of all men.

Who Is He?

Who is this man? We have tried to focus our binoculars on him before. Indeed, we need binoculars rather than a telescope at the moment, for the scene to be scanned is very wide. We notice the world stage is packed with action. Every day the newspapers tell us of yet another nation seething like an overhot pot of soup. This colonel or that sergeant revolt and do revolting things as they bubble to the top like scum and are skimmed off to be dropped in the waste bucket till at length a more acceptable or powerful or unscrupulous master stays there and gets help from the U.S.S.R. or the U.S.A. or the U.N. to turn off the heat.

One day, one will emerge who will take over ten, put down three and remain to use the other seven to master the world. Many believe he will be both political and religious at the same time, so they ponder the Pope who, as head of a large section of Christendom, may be he.

Others suspect that a remarkable Moslem leader will come to the fore.

During the Middle Ages, a combination of factors, political, religious, theological, accidental and personal brought the church in Europe to a peak of political power. Misreading its charter, it mistook itself for the kingdom of God. Because of those Scriptures which spell it out that the Messiah is to be King of kings, it believed it had the right to make kings, and some of its prelates and potentates used this temporal power oppressively. It is a tragic tale that explains why the Middle Ages are also known to historians as the Dark Ages.

Both Jews and non-Jews suffered badly through those years -- Jews because they were Jews; others because they dared to read and interpret the Bible for themselves.

Not being able to identify the prelates on their thrones in regal robes with the Man of Galilee who was more accustomed to an apron at a bench or sitting on the gunwale of a fishing boat, they rejected them. Their test was Messiah's words: "Whoever should be great among you, let him be everybody's slave."

They knew from the Tenach, the Old Testament, that there was to be a ruthless regime, a universal despot in the last times, and having suffered at the hands of the church, they saw in its head the final tyrant. They called him the name that is applied to the despot, the name that is found in the New Testament of 'Antichrist' .

Not the Pope

There are other terms used in the Bible for him. Isaiah calls him the 'Assyrian' . Micah used the same name. We have mentioned this in last month's issue of this magazine. New Testament writers also call him the 'Lawless one' , the 'Man of Sin' , the 'Son of Perdition' . Struggling out of their chains, we can understand the Reformers' misunderstanding. However, if there were a closer scrutiny of all the clues provided by the Biblical writers, no one would think of the Pope as the head of the coming world government.

One of the features of that coming 'Antichrist' is that he will declare that the Messiah has not come in the flesh and that he himself is that Messiah. No Pope ever makes such a declaration. On the contrary, his office depends on the claim that he is the appointed representative of the Christ who did come.

Another feature is that this Expected One will make a treaty with Israel for a period of seven years. No Pope has done that. Indeed, until May 1948 when Israel became a nation with parliamentary style of government, no one could conclude a treaty like that, for Daniel expressly says it will be made with ' the many' . The Hebrew word for it is 'ha rabbim' which is also 'the majority', just as it is in the Knesset.

Though numerous writers have sought to identify a group of ten nations here or ten there, over which the church has held sway at various times, they are proven wrong by the fact that at no time when such a situation was said to exist did the Lord God Almighty bring the evil coalition to judgment and destroy its dictator, which both Daniel in the Old Testament and John in the New say He will do.

Granted that the Vatican is a church-city-state, has Legations, deals with heads of other states and is religious, it still does not fit the mathematical riddle before us. Let us not let the real villain escape while we search the wrong forest.

Where to Look?

Where then should we look? The Australian Broadcasting Commission may help as it focused attention in its programme on the 16th August (which it repeated on the 17th) last year, on the work that Pakistan is doing to obtain its own atom bomb. The programme showed that the Moslem world has had a good deal to do with it and calls it 'The Islamic Bomb'. Interesting!

There is an Islamic revival in progress all over the world. Its key note is 'The Mahdi, the Expected One is coming'. Should a brilliant economist, politician, strategist, diplomat arise from the area of old Assyria, perhaps Syria itself, and should a convenient 'leak' to Jewish leaders convince them that he is really a Jew, it seems certain, so great is Israel's desire for peace, they would accept any covenant he offers as leader of a ten-member confederacy that guarantees them economic stability and secure borders.

Isaiah and Micah both say that this Expected One will be an Assyrian. It is known in Syria that there are direct descendants of that ancient empire living on the banks of the Euphrates -- Syria. Interesting!

If and when that Islamic leader is in power, trusted by both Arabs and Jews and wielding tremendous authority in Europe, probably even having some European countries in his coalition because of their dependence on oil, he will be able to make a treaty with Israel. Isaiah 28:18 speaks of a covenant with death that is to be disannulled. Is this that covenant?

When Yeshua was here, and in discussion with some who were in opposition, he told them: I am come in my Father's name and you do not receive me: if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him." What a vital and final choice is before us.