THE FIRST RIDER
By Rev. Adauto Rezende
What will be his goals?
Once we know his identity, the next important inquiry is about his assignment. Just as we had discovered his character in the first chapter, now we will find out what the Scriptures teach regarding our next question:
1. To have the uniting of the civilized world under his dominion
“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. “ Daniel 11: 36-37
“People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it? ”And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Revelation 13: 4,8
2. Make a false peace-treaty with Israel
In the next chapter, Daniel explains how the Jewish people will make a seven-year covenant with the false-messiah, probably believing that he is the true one. Remember, that when the prophet wrote these prophecies, Israel was in captivity in Babylon. They had lost their land and their status. Israel went from glory to slavery, from victory to defeat. However, God had promised through his prophets that he would send the Hebrews back to their land. About 2500 years after, on May 14th, 1948 AD Israel became a nation again fulfilling the prophecies:
“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” Isaiah 66: 8
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” Ezekiel 36: 24
And, the deserted land became a garden as the Lord had promised:
“I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41: 18-20
In about seventy years, a tiny nation in the middle east of around 9 million people became one of the most powerful nations in the world. Israel consistently ranks high among the world's economies in terms of its technological readiness, venture capital availability and the quality of its research organizations. The country ranks 1st in availability of scientists and engineers, number of startups per head, and venture capital investments per capita. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. The next dream of most Jews is to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. There are many verses in the Scriptures that state their dream comes true. Daniel is one who wrote about it. He prophesied that the man of intrigue would break his peace-treaty covenant exactly in the midst of it and will desolate the new temple in Jerusalem. This seven-year period is very important, for in the book of revelation, John will constantly refer about it.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”1 Daniel 9: 27
“He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” Dan. 7: 25
3. He will organize a world anti-God structure.
He will use three main strategies: Atheism, antitheism and autotheism:
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” II Thessalonians 2: 3-4
Once we know his mission, our next search will be: How will he carry it out?
To Him all the glory!
1. Daniel 70 weeks
“Seventy ‘sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” Daniel 9: 24-26
Scholars agree that the sevens appear to mean years. Therefore, 70 X 7 = 490 years. Although Christians typically refer to the period of God bringing everlasting righteousness as 70 weeks, they really mean 70 X 7 years.
The prophecy divides up these 490 years in a handful of ways.
49 years (7 X 7): The time it takes to rebuild Jerusalem since the time the Babylonians had destroyed it (Daniel 9:25), which occurs in the Book of Nehemiah.
434 years (62 X 7): A time designated for waiting for the Anointed One to come (Daniel 9:26). The Anointed One appears to mean Jesus, here.
After those 434 years: They put the Anointed One to death and destroy the city. The first half of this alludes to Jesus’ death on the cross. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., including the temple, which had been rebuilt by Nehemiah.
The last year (1 X 7): Usually referred to the tribulation period, which transpires in Revelation, when the antichrist comes, persecutes Christians, and Jesus returns for His second coming. Theologians dispute whether this has already taken place or whether we have yet to see its fulfillment as we wait in the 69-70-year gap. This article assumes we have not yet reached the 70th week.