Not for Ladies - Just for Men
Oliver Araiza is a local church evanglist out of West Union, West Virginia and founder of WVGV Radio.
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:25)
“Isn’t that an interesting thought there? In this tribulation passage, God in His sovereignty in His foreknowledge lets us know about one of the tactics the devil is going to use, the antichrist is going to use in the tribulation period. He is going to ‘wear out’ the saints of the most-high God.
“But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” (Daniel 7:26-28)
What an amazing passage of scripture that we are looking at here in this 7th chapter in the book of Daniel. It is talking primarily of the 7-year tribulation period, which is a very, very important event spoken of all throughout the Bible. This is prophecy, events yet to come. It is important to understand the tribulation period because the events of the tribulation period are precisely laid out so that we can draw the simple conclusion that the rapture, which is pretribulation, must be imminent. It has to be! The events of the tribulation period are laid out in such a way where we can see the return of Jesus Christ even today. The rapture could happen at any moment, so we should be ready to meet the Lord even now.
If you want to mark these verses down: I Thessalonians 4 explains the imminency of the return of Jesus Christ. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
This 7-year-tribulation period is important for us to understand. It honors God as a covenant keeping God, and God is going to bring the Jewish people to a place of repentance, so we know that God has not cast them aside as replacement theology claims. We know that the book of Revelation is prophecy. It is literal; it is not allegorical. The chronological interpretation looks for Jesus Christ to return at any moment. We don’t hear a lot of preaching or even too much teaching on the tribulation period. It is a very important time period that sets so many things and anchors us to some important biblical positions. Maybe we don’t hear a whole lot about it because it is easy to be intimidated for fear of getting something wrong, and no preacher wants to do that. Maybe because prophecy is not easy to preach, and difficulty of putting it into the context of daily living. Sometimes, we are so eager to put the truth of scriptures in the context of daily living that it is hard for us to do that when we come to these truths in the Bible. We ask ourselves how can believing in a literal seven-year period of time yet in the future be so important to me? How can this help me to be a better husband or father? How can it help me to be a better Christian? A better citizen? What are the practical applications of believing in a seven-year-tribulation period? Probably those are some of the reasons why we don’t hear a lot of preaching about it.
I’m sure there are some young people and even young adults that really have no interest in this because they think it really doesn’t have any bearing in their lives. What could be so important about a seven-year period of time that is supposed to happen down here while I am up there in Heaven and involving a group of people that I am not a part of?
The New Testament clearly talks about the Jew, the Gentile, and the church. Some sermons are what we could call ‘positional’ in nature. These doctrinal sermons help us to understand the scripture and take a certain biblical position. When we take these biblical positions, then it becomes very practical and personal about how it affects our lives. You see, in positional preaching and teaching, the preacher may not necessarily tell me to do something or to be something, but they help me to settle what I believe and where I stand on a biblical position based upon the Bible. That will encourage me to pray, that will encourage me to evangelize, that will encourage me to be separated from the world, that will encourage me to win souls because I understand and adopt a biblical position. It anchors me to these very personal applications.
So that is very important to keep in mind about our text, that it is a tribulation passage. Remember that the text speaks of a tactic that the antichrist will use against the saints of the most-High God. This points out a characteristic of Satan, one of his favorite tools or weapons to use against those of us who belong to Christ. The saints, the tribulation saints, are the ones in particular talked about here. According to Daniel 7:25, notice what the Bible says. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:25)
We know that during the middle of the tribulation period, the antichrist will break the covenant that he has made with the nation of Israel, Daniel 9:27 where he will substitute the worship of himself for the worship of Jehovah, causing the Jewish sacrifices and oblations to cease. “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (II Thessalonians 2:4) That one single verse answers a lot of questions. There is going to be a third temple! The antichrist is going to seat himself there, and demand the worship of himself to the entire world in his devilish desire to annihilate all Jewish institutions.
The Bible says he will change all Jewish times and laws, and this he will do for the remainder of the week of years. A time is one year. Times is another year, which equals two years. The dividing of times equals a half of a year, which gives us a total of 3 ½ years, 42 months, or 1,260 days. Concerning the antichrist’s character and his attitude toward God and towards tribulation saints will be number one, he will speak blasphemous words against God. Number two, the antichrist will persecute, or as the scriptures tells us, ‘wear out’ the tribulation saints. Number three, he will prosecute the tribulation saints by changing laws to afflict them so he will affect Jewish law. Number four, God Almighty has given to him a period of time that is his to rule, and it will be a total of seven years. So our text verse clearly teaches us distinctly defined actions that the antichrist will dish out to God’s remnant, and tells us how long it is going to last.
I am saying to you tonight, my friends, without a doubt if the devil is going to use this tactic and approach during the tribulation period, then you mark it down in black and underline it in red, he no doubt is trying to perfect that method on us right now. On the national scene and the world scene, we are able to see how this ‘wearing out God’s saints’ is occurring even now.
May I remind you what Jesus said to Simon Peter? “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32) Listen, the Lord Jesus told us right up front – the devil is coming after you Simon Peter. He is coming after you, Christian friend, and he is going to pounce on you! If you are serving the Lord and going after souls, your enemy the devil is hunting you down with the intent to destroy you. “...that he may sift you as wheat” Jesus said.
But how wonderful to be encouraged by these words of Jesus. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Thank God that is where He is today on our behalf, His place of intercession before God. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (I Peter 5:8) It is very clear to me friend that the devil is literally trying to wear us out as God’s people in these last days of the last days, trying to wear us out! I mean, it seems like every day, Pow!!!!! We are hit with another issue, another heartache, another thing we never imagined we’d be facing. Every day, Pow! Every day, Pow!
And now, living in this worldwide ‘pandemic’ and the way they have locked down the population and made attending church impossible. I mean, it is clear to me that it is happening even now. There is a persistent attempt to take God and everything related to God out of the public arena.
All across the country, students are being told that they can’t make any reference to God in their assignments or speeches, or even in the classroom discussions. “Don’t mention God,” is what they are saying. A second-grade student at a public school in New Jersey was told that she could not sing, “Our God is an awesome God” in an afters chool talent show. They can sing about rebellion, drug abuse, perversion, or killing their parents, but don’t you dare sing about God! It is just another way that the devil is trying to wear us out.
There is a continual effort to take away any reference of the Bible out of public view. They don’t want to see the Bible, or the Ten Commandments. They don’t want the words, ‘Holy Bible,’ in society. There is an attempt to remove the cross from public view because it represents and relates to the Lord Jesus Christ. A chapel in a Veteran’s Hospital was stripped of all religious symbols, including the cross and the Bible.
There is a ceaseless effort to silence Christians. Five Christian men were threatened with the rest for sharing their faith on a public sidewalk in Virginia. That doesn’t surprise me. A valedictorian’s graduation speech was cut short because she dared to mention Jesus Christ. A pastor of a church in Arizona was ordered to stop holding meetings or Bible studies in his private home.
It is kind of like what they are telling us to do during this virus. “Don’t meet! Don’t congregate! Church is non-essential!” What they are doing is a tactic of the devil. They are trying to wear out the saints of God. Pow! Pow! Pow! They want to beat us down.
There is no regard for the sanctity of life. A pro-life nurse at a hospital in New York was forced to participate in a late-term abortion even though her workplace had agreed in writing to honor her religious convictions. There is no regard for the sanctity of marriage. A Christian student at a university in Missouri was threatened with having her degree withheld because she refused to write a letter to the state legislature expressing her support for sodomite adoption. Employees of a Fortune 500 Company were fired for quoting the scriptures and are told that displaying family pictures in their cubicles could be offensive to sodomite employees. Every one of these cases that I am telling you about is documented. You know what they are trying to do, they are trying to wear us out. It is a tactic of the devil.
There is a constant attempt to confuse role models. In Harrison County, just east of Doddridge County, where I live, there was a young lady insisting on using the boy’s restroom, so the coach made her leave, and he was removed from his job. Because the pressure of the public was brought back, girls playing boys sports. Men that identify as women and competing in women’s sports and winning and setting records.
I am telling you that there is a constant attempt to confuse the role models. Drag Queen story hour during children’s library time is being promoted. How insane!!!! They are trying to wear us out. PBS promoting unnatural marriage. There is a relentless attempt to force Christians to accept what the Bible is against. They want you to say yes to something God says, “No!” about.
Some municipal workers were told that saying the words “family values” was a hate crime -- just because they used the term “family values.” A man was charged with hate crimes because he wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper criticizing sodomy as immoral. The IRS is under pressures from liberal secularism and sodomy lobbyists, and they are cracking down on Christian pastors who dare to criticize politicians who advocate sodomy propaganda. In schools, abortion on demand, same sex marriage, and other positions that fly in the face of Christian beliefs are what is promoted and taught.
On top of that, the feminization of men and the masculinization of women. We have been preaching on this issue, and brother, we are seeing the results every day. I was preaching at a small country church up in a hollow, you couldn’t possibly find that church unless you had really detailed directions. That pastor of that country church told me about a little boy who was in the service, and the top of his hair was dyed. You could just tell that he was a little boy that had the world’s influence on him. I commented and said I was glad that he was there.
The preacher said, “Brother Oliver, you don’t understand what that boy has to go through. His parents from time to time will let him spend the weekend with his aunt. When he goes to his aunt’s house, his aunt will put earrings and makeup on him, paint his fingernails, put a dress on him.” When he came to church that way, I had to pull him aside and say, “Son, you can’t come into church dressed like that. We want you to come to church, but you can’t come to church that way.”
You listen to me, we have been preaching this for a long time and a bunch of you refused to listen and thought the preachers were off their rocker. It is going to sink in when your grandson asks for a skirt for Christmas one day. It’s at the doorstep to your family.
They are literally trying to wear us out. Now, let’s go to the scriptures to see what God says for these tribulation saints to do as the antichrist attempts to wear them out. I am telling you friend, every day, even today, many of God’s saints are weary with the wickedness of this world. They are weary with the corruption in the United States Government, and they are weary because of the apostasy everywhere. Listen, we can see the organization and the formation of the One World government, the New World Order, before our eyes in the midst of this pandemic, we can see it.
In all of it, we have a tendency just to get worn out. We just get tired of fighting. I want us to go to the scriptures and find out what God says to His people. Let me quote this verse this to you. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
I have preached to you verse 25, and I told you what antichrist is going to do. Look at verse 26. “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” (Daniel 7:26) Stop and think about what God just told us in His Word. “But the judgment shall sit...” The judgment that God Almighty has pronounced upon the antichrist shall sit. What I am telling you friend, listen, we have got to keep our eyes on God’s plan. The antichrist will have his day. He is going to have his time to talk. Let him have his lecture, he is going to do all of that. He has been given seven years to prove everything that the Bible tells us about him is true. His policies will be hate driven. We know what the Bible says. He will use the forces of human government, but it is only temporary, and we know that his day is coming to an end. Then look at what God is going to do.
Remember, the Bible says that the judgement shall sit! It is not going anywhere. It is not moving. Nothing is changing. The judgement shall sit. It is in its place. It is not going anywhere. The judgement shall sit! That is what the Bible says. Nothing is going to change God’s plan. Nothing is going to change God’s mind! Nothing is going to change God’s word. The judgement shall sit.
Look what he says next. “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:27) It seems almost like a man taking a piece of candy from a baby. “They shall take away his dominion.” It is like God is saying, “People of God, tribulation saints, go get it,” and they shall take away his dominion. His power to direct. His power to control. His power to use and dispose of at pleasure. His right of possession in use without being accountable.
And then, the Bible says, “to consume.” Here’s what comes to my mind when I think about this word, consume. My wife’s uncle is in Heaven now, John Parks. He was a fine man. He was a pretty-good size man. I remember going to a family picnic up in Northern Michigan. I saw John consume a chicken leg. I saw him take that chicken leg, put the whole chicken leg in his mouth, and then her Uncle John started working on that chicken leg. I am telling you that he was working on that chicken leg. He was consuming it. He was pulling every piece of meat, gristle, everything. As it began to come off of that bone, he very, very slowly began to slide that bone out of his mouth. When that bone came out, it was nothing but a naked chicken bone because he had consumed it! The Bible says, “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.”
What does this means to us? The antichrist’s dominion is subject to a time constraint. The antichrist’s dominion is built on lies. The antichrist’s dominion is only temporary. God’s judgement shall sit. Listen to these powerful verses, because nothing can happen in a believer’s life but it first pass the desk of God for approval. Look at these wonderful verses, talking about God’s power over government. “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” (Daniel 2:21) “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalms 75:7)
You have got to keep your eyes on God’s plan. That old devil is trying to wear us out. We know that it is a tactic that he is going to use; literally weary and wear out the saints of God. Every day we are being bombarded, we are being pounced on. They are pounding, and pounding, and pounding! It is wearing people out! That is when we have got to remember and keep our eyes on God’s plan, but the judgement shall sit. “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:27)
So my friend, what do we do to keep from getting worn out? First, we have got to keep our eyes on God’s plan. Number two, we keep our eyes on God’s promise. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Hey folks, listen, it is just as simple as this, God wins! I’ve already read the back of the book, and God wins! His kingdom is not a temporary kingdom. God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Amen! Everybody on God’s side wins. They are pummeling us, they are pounding on us, and they are trying to wear us out. But our Heavenly Father says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Amen!
Hey listen, we have got to keep our eyes on God’s promise. Thank the dear Lord Jesus, God wins! Amen! Everybody on God’s side is a winner. Hallelujah! On June 19, 1976, as a 15-year-old teenage boy, when I called upon Christ to be my Saviour and redeem my never-dying soul at 10:30 in the evening at the Open-Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, I was adopted to God’s side. God wins!
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:8-9) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Corinthians 15:24-26) You better keep your eyes on God’s plan. You better keep your eyes on God’s promises. Isn’t it amazing that I didn’t have to even depart from the text when the Lord gave me this message?
Look at this next verse. “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” (Daniel 7:28) So what is He saying? Well, I think He is saying that if we are not going to get worn out, we’ve got to keep our eyes on God’s plan, keep our eyes on God’s promise, and we have to keep our eyes on the prize and press on. In other words, according to this verse, this is the end of the story.
Just as Daniel got very, very disturbed, the devil’s attacks against us makes us feel this way. I can sense it even in this room. It is the end of the story, and as for me, Daniel says, my cogitations -- he is talking about his thought process. In other words, as he pondered what God had just revealed to him about the antichrist and his kingdom and the multitude of people who follow him. Remember, broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. My cogitations, my thought process, much troubled me. In other words, he is saying, “These thoughts here, they harassed me. They bothered me. They annoyed me. They made me nervous and anxious.” Daniel was saying when I come to the end of the story, I am bothered by it.
He is talking about his visage or the expression on his face. “...and my countenance changed in me.” Daniel was saying I was literally and deeply affected by what I just heard. I was affected by it. I kept the matter in my heart. In other words, it shook me up! I was shook up by it. As I thought about these prophecies here of what is going to take place on this earth, God’s plan, God’s promise, God’s providence, as I thought of all this, he says, I understand that I will win, but somebody else loses. I go to Heaven, but somebody goes to Hell. I receive eternal life for me. But for others, it is eternal separation from God for them, eternal destruction and damnation in Hell.
I believe Daniel was saying, “These issues, these truths, they bothered me.” The truth is, they ought to bother us too. “I am a winner either way, if I go or if I stay.” But those who have never heard the Gospel message and received the Lord of glory as their Savior, they will have passed up their last chance to be saved. Oh friend, the devil wants us weary and fearful and distracted and discouraged, because he doesn’t want us telling the Good News of the Gospel and winning souls, literally pulling them out of the fire.
All of these issues have the tendency to literally wear us out and cause us to drop our guard. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9) You see, it is because we know the fate of the lost. It should bother us just like it bothered Daniel, it should bother us to the point of action.
So I just feel the application is that we know about soulwinning, we know about tracts, and we know about gospel preaching. We know it, we just have to do it. That is what this world needs. They have to hear the Gospel message and have the chance to respond to God’s invitation that is given to ‘Whosoever Will.’ We need to be so bothered and troubled and agitated to the point where we act upon it, and get busy giving the Gospel message.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Jude 20-23)
“Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20) “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30) We have got to keep our eyes on the plan. We have got to keep our eyes on God’s promises, but brothers and sisters in the Lord, we must press on with the message of the gospel. Daniel said, “When I looked at all of this, I was changed by it.” Something has to come along in every one of our lives where we are not just troubled, not just moved, but we are changed. Unless we allow God to do His work in our lives as His people so that we are renewed and refreshed and revived spiritually, the devil has a plan to wear us down.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)