I tend to think of biblical figures as heroes. Moses comes out of retirement and starts working at 80, Abraham has a child at 90, Paul faces death all day, and Daniel survives a den of hungry lions. But have you ever thought that they would consider us as heroes?
Paul, the leather-skinned apostle, said this in 2 Timothy 3:1 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”
Really? Are these the times that Paul would consider “difficult”? (as opposed to prison, shipwreck, sickness and floggings)
Well, let’s see, Paul continues in 2 Timothy 3: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
It would be difficult to imagine a time that fits Paul’s description more accurately, but perhaps human behaviour can get worse than it is now? Daniel had his lion’s den experience, but it seems, so do we.
I believe that Daniel predicted (among other things) a demonic plan to subjugate humans not merely by national conquest, but by influencing their ethos; an inside job. Changing the way they think.
This plan was to be Satan’s ‘counter attack’ to the Messiah he knew was coming. It was, and remains, crucial for him that it is an insidious attack, that humans remain generally unaware of it. Too bad for him that God announced it in big, bold letters through Daniel two and a half thousand years ago. Since then Satan’s counter plan has been to keep the minds of western people blind toward what is certainly their primary influencer.
Daniel’s book is partly Apocalyptic which, contrary to popular belief, does not make it necessarily a book about the end of the world. It means that it is a Great Revelation, just like John’s apocalypse. The word "Apocalypse" means "a Revelation" usually of global scale; significantly more important than the new iPhone and Beeber’s latest hair style, but not quite as significant as Jesus Christ.
One can see the hell-plan working itself out when we take a few giant time leaps through scripture from Daniel’s point of view:
- Nebuchadnezzar – went from narcissistic dictator to mad man, but there is one thing he never was… he was never questioned.
- A few decades later Darius was tricked into creating a “law that cannot be revoked” – the very first record of a ruler accountable to his own rule. And it didn’t take the bureaucrats long to figure out how to use that against him.
- By the time Jesus faced Pilate 500 years later, Pilate asked, “what is truth?”
From unquestioned authority, to fledgling accountability and bureaucratic abuse, to the questioning of the absolute nature of truth itself. Clearly a momentous shift in Worldview took place between those 3 events, a short space of a few hundred years!
So what exactly is this grand prediction that Daniel made? What was the plan from hell that has brought about these “times of difficulty”? Well here it is:
Set 4 mildly opposing philosophies to battle against each other for dominance in the human realm; let them rotate power in ±20 year generational cycles (generation type one gives over to generation type two, which gives over to generation type three, which hands off to generation type four; generation type four then hands over to another generation of type one and the cycle repeats itself).
In other words, create the dominant worldview we now know as "Western”. Make sure that generations do not flow smoothly into each other, rather they should bump along like a square wheel as they are driven by human behavior and influenced by spiritual forces, without the bump we would not have the manufactured generational conflict we see today. This generational conflict should be both obvious and confusing for those suffering under it.
We can define the 4 generation types a couple of ways:
- By the pictures God gives us in Daniel
- By the 4 founding Greek philosophers
- By their 4 founding philosophies
- Or by some common names for them.
I think of them as: Selfish | Cynical | Idealists | Pessimists
but there are a great many other names that sociologists have given them.
These are the 4 demonically inspired Generation types predicted by Daniel, in an ongoing cycle of repetition.
The pictures Daniel gives us are symbols, not only of the human generations, but of the demonic personalities that champion these philosophies and war against God and each other for dominant influence over the human generations. Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
If the battle is for the hearts of mankind, then the battlefield is surely the mind.
Next we’ll look at each generation type in a bit more detail.
But first a warning, this study is a blatant generalization. We are not studying personality types and trying to define each person of a group with greater and greater accuracy. We are doing the inverse, we are trying to generalize, to define a generation with greater and greater accuracy so that we can counter its core philosophies. There are exceptions in every generation, some of them rather stark. So rather than arguing, "my aunt Susie doesn't think like that." it's a lot more helpful to think, "does that generation typify this or that ethos and what can we do about it?"