The Final Stages of The Fourth Gentile World Empire

 

The Last Beast to Control Jerusalem and the One World Government

 

The Bronze Dragon by Hawkwood

The Bronze Dragon by Hawkwood

The Lord Jesus, the Messiah made reference to a group of Gentile world Empires who would control Jerusalem and the entire world starting in 586 B.C.He referred to these times of the Gentiles as ending at some point in time.  The Gentile control of Jerusalem and world government in general is going to end.  It’s not going to last forever.  It will end when He returns to set up His world wide government in Jerusalem at the Second Coming. Now the Lord said this in the Olivet Discourse:

 The Trampling of Jerusalem

Luke 21:24

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (KJV).

THE FINAL BEAST

Images were given to the prophet Daniel in chapters 2 and 7 of his book referencing these world empires. The descriptions which are written in the 7th chapter characterize four beasts coming out of the Great Sea. The first three have animal characteristics of a lion, bear and leopard. The fourth is a beast that has no animal like description and can be called nondescript. This beast is referred to as dreadful and terrible with iron teeth. It is breaking and devouring the residue of the other beasts. We now examine the various stages of this beast or final Gentile governmental structure.

Stages of The Fourth Beast

The 4th Empire – The Empire of Imperialism

Is this the Roman Empire?

We need to have a discussion regarding the characteristics of this empire. Many commonly hold that the “Fourth Empire” is the Roman Empire.  It is also common to infer that because the Roman Empire died that there must be a Revived Roman Empire still coming. We know from Daniel chapter two that the “Stone Made Without Hands” which will be the Lord’s Messianic Kingdom will destroy this empire.

The Scripture doesn’t teach any cessation of this Fourth Empire prior to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.  The Scripture teaches that the Empire, the Fourth Empire, continues until the Messianic Kingdom.  It doesn’t show a break.  In actuality, the Empire that the Bible is talking about is something more generic than Rome. It is an imperialistic form of government which the Romans founded.

 

Roman Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts 1850

Roman Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts 1850

 

Imperialism

Imperialism is simply a policy where one government extends its influence or power through negotiations, diplomacy or military force.  Most of the Western powers are imperialistic governments.  There is nothing particularly wrong with being an imperialistic government. That’s the characteristic of the type of government instituted by the Romans.  It was Rome that brought imperialism into the world.

What the Romans would do  (and they did it much stronger than what we’re doing today) is to place their own people in a country that would control the conquered peoples government.  But, they would let that government run itself.  So the In the case of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin were still active, but they had to report to Pontius Pilate.  The Romans limited the scope of the subjugated countries activities. For example the Israelites were forbidden to carry out capital punishment.  This is one of the reason Jesus had to be seen by Pilate. The Jews wanted to crucify Him but they needed the permission of the Romans. By in large, the Romans wanted peace. They wanted this Pax Romana which they claimed to be implementing within their empire.

That’s the form of government they implemented and the first stage of this was the Roman Empire, what the Bible calls the “Fourth Empire” – the Empire of Imperialism.

Both Daniel passages make it clear that the Fourth Gentile Empire begins with the end of the Third Empire (Greek) and continues until Messiah comes to set up His Kingdom.  There is no break or gap in the imperialist form of government on the earth from the initiation of the Roman Empire until Christ returns.  Nowhere in Scripture is this stated.  This Roman Empire, this Fourth Empire, This Empire of Imperialism will go through five successive stages.  We need to study those to see where history fits in this exposition.

Five Stages of the 4th Empire – The Empire of Imperialism

Age of Imperialism – United Stage

The United Stage-Rome is the first stage of the Imperialist Form of government. The first stage or the United Stage started about 63 B.C and lasted until A.D. 364.  Rome had a long history going back into the 700s B.C. Rome was founded, perhaps by Romulus and Remus. It suffices to say, the empire began under Julius Caesar started in about 63 B.C. and lasted until about A.D. 364.  That was the First Stage, or the United Stage, of the Fourth Empire.

Age of Imperialism – Two-Division Stage

The second stage or the Empire of Imperialism was the Two Division Stage. This stage was foreseen by the Daniel chapter two visions in the Legs of Iron but not in the Daniel chapter seven visions.  It began in A.D. 364 when Emperor Valentinian divided the Roman Empire into an east and west division. There was an earlier division in AD 285, which did not last long. The emperor Constantine in AD 312-314 reunited the empire for a short period.  However the AD 364 division was permanent.  The Western Headquarters were in Rome and the Eastern Headquarters in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey).

The first split came in AD 285 when the emperor Diocletian decided that the Roman empire had become too large to be efficiently ruled by one man. So he initiated a split of the empire into Western and Eastern branches, keeping the eastern part for himself because it was richer in goods and trade. For the western territory he appointed Maximian, who was subject to Diocletian.

A civil war broke out across both parts of the empire in 306. In 314, Constantine was the victor and reunited the Empire under a single ruler. The Emperor Constantine efforts to reunite the empire were accomplished through the Battle of the Milvian Bridge against Maxentius. He reportedly had a vision where he saw a cross in the sky and the Latin inscription, “With this sign you will conquer.”  He embraced Christianity and his men became Christians as well. The capitol he established was in in Constantinople, which is modern day Istanbul, Turkey in the eastern part.

Battle of Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano 1520-24

Battle of Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano 1520-24

 

In 337 Constantine died and civil war erupted between his three sons, who divided the empire into three different parts. Valentinian emerged as victor and single leader in 364. He immediately divided the empire again, giving the eastern half to his brother Valens. Succession rebellions in the west eventually forced the Eastern emperor Theodosius I to quell the rebellions and become a single ruler of a unified Roman empire again. He decreed Christianity to be the state religion, which effectively brought on the Dark Ages as the Church merged with the state. He was however the last emperor to rule both East and West. After his death in 395, his two sons inherited the East and West respectively. This was the final and permanent division of the Roman Empire. The Western half wouldn’t last long, finally falling in 476 with the sack of Rome. The Eastern half would exist another 1000 years, becoming known as the Byzantine empire.

 The Two legs of Nebuchadnezzar vision

 

Image by TheDivineTv http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=AA3qHi-rwvI

Image by TheDivineTv http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=AA3qHi-rwvI

The Eastern Leg

When Constantinople fell, the political rulers, scribes, and scholars fled north into Russia and infiltrated the government there, where they set up an imperialist form of government.  The rulers called themselves Czars, which is Russian for “Caesar.” Later Russia began calling itself the Third Roman Empire.

They started calling the rulers up there, Czars.  The word “Czar” in Russian just means “Caesar”, the same exact Roman word.  “Czar” and “Caesar” –means the same exact thing. That was the Eastern Division.  Russia even started calling itself the “Third Roman Empire.”   We know what happened in Russia.  The balance of power shifted.  It moved from the Russian czars into the Communists and ultimately into the Soviet block of countries.   The power then shifted from there after the quiet revolution they had, which was called Glasnost (listen) coupled with Perestroika (restructuring) . The power shifted again  back to Russia and to the CIS, the Commonwealth of Industrial States.   So the power transfer shifted, but it stayed within Eastern Block from Constantinople up into Russia. 1

There are more power transfers going on right now.  The country of Russia is in great turmoil.  It hasn’t lost its power; it hasn’t lost its military prowess; it hasn’t lost its world status.  It’s still extremely strong. An autocrat is now running it by the name of Vladimir Putin. He was the former head of the Soviet KGB. But the power is starting to shift into the Islamic entities.  They’re starting to get a great deal of power in the Eastern Sphere.  There will continue to be uncertainty in the leadership of the eastern power block.  It is difficult to predict the incremental stages of the development of the power transfers.

The Western Leg

The Western Division of power remained in Rome from 364 until 476 when Rome fell.  Now Rome fell and where did that controlling power go?   The people that had power and want power and understand it and know how to get it, are not going to let it go.  It’s not just going to dissipate.  Somebody’s going to grab it.  From there it shifted to France, especially the power gained by Charlemagne in A.D. 800.  He called his domain the Holy Roman Empire of the Frankish Nation.  In 962 Otto I of Germany defeated the Franks and set up the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.  The leaders called themselves Kaiser, which is German for “Caesar.” Since then, especially after World War I, the western balance of power has been centered in the democratic nations of the west.  So the Two-Division Stage, which began in A. D. 364, continues to this day and there may be some shifting yet to come before the east-west balance becomes the third stage. The Two Division Stage we have now is ultimately going to evolve into the One World Government.

Coronation of Charles V The Holy Roman Empire by Cornelius I Schut Cir. 1600

Coronation of Charles V The Holy Roman Empire by Cornelius I Schut Cir. 1600

       Future Allied Invasion of Israel

There will be a time yet future where the Russian and also the Muslim nations encircling Israel will ally to invade Israel.  The text of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 states, that

God causes the Jews to win the battle.  The Jews do not suffer any casualties but the invading Russian and Muslim nations all lose their political power on the world stage. This causes the Divided Stage to end and that gives way to the One World Government Stage.

 

Chart by Cathy Bateson

Chart by Cathy Bateson

The Ten-Division Stage.

The Ten-Division Stage was seen in both Daniel 2 with the ten toes and in Daniel 7 with the ten horns. This stage is clearly stated to come out of the One World Government Stage.  The Bible is silent as to why and exactly how the division occurs.  These ten kingdoms will cover the entire earth and not be limited to some specific continent such as Europe.  They will begin sometime before the Great Tribulation and continue into the middle of the Tribulation.

Some view the United Nations as being a possible precursor. Perhaps that is the genesis for the divisions. The Bible just states that the ten divisions is going to cover the entire earth.  Some even consider the Club of Rome’s recommendation that the world be divided up into ten administrative districts to avoid economic collapse.  The Club of Rome is a global think tank and center of worldly innovation and initiative. It is a futurist organization, comprised mostly of liberals that take the view that there isn’t any pre-ordained plan for the earth.

The Antichrist Stage

The Antichrist Stage is going to follow the Ten Kingdom Stage.  He is going to rise to power.  We don’t know how he rises to power, we are not given that. But Daniel chapter seven describes him as the eleventh horn that plucks out three of the previous ten. So somehow he is going to eliminate three of the ten kings.   We don’t know how he is going to do that either, but he does.  The other seven submit to his authority.   Once this submission occurs, he has total control of the world’s last Gentile Empire, which has its headquarters in Babylon.  He signs an agreement of some sort with the nation Israel that starts the timing of the Tribulation. That’s the fifth and final stage of Gentile Imperialism and that’s what the Bible speaks about in the book of Revelation.

The Dynamics of Power

Power Image Unknown Artist

Power Image Unknown Artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have now looked at the dynamics of the shifting of power in human relationships.  We saw how this power over the world shifts from person to person and empire to empire, while at all times, God remains in control. He effects His will in a minimum of two characteristics; His Creative (also known as causative) Will and His Permissive Will.  He either causes things to happen or he lets things happen.  Because of the sin that came into the world, He allows it to continue. The Savior has come into the world, but only those that believe on Him are going to have salvation, and then only those that pay attention to what He says are going to minimize the problems we see upon the earth.

We can define power in the following ways:

  1. It’s a force that has an effect on human behavior.  In some way it causes human behavior to make a change from the status quo to another status quo.
  1. It’s abstract. We can’t see power.  We can’t see power in the mechanical or electronic world.  But, you can see the effects of power.  The same thing is true with power in the social economic world.  You can’t see power.  You can see people who have stations in life that appear to have power – people with lots of money, people who have high ranking government jobs, and people in large corporations with high ranking positions.   They appear to have high-ranking power.   Then there are other people who appear to have power within those organizations that can affect the behavior of the decision maker and they have power too.
  1. It’s temporary.  Nobody keeps power forever – any kind of power.  Nobody keeps it.  It’s almost an illusion.  You’ve got it for a little while and it goes away.
  1. It has many spheres.  There are all kinds of different powers.  One form form is economic power.  The person that has a lot of money or is well supported can buy lots of armaments, can engineer wars, and build huge buildings.  They can make a positive or negative effect on the economy.  There is a lot of power in particular political situations.  Heads of state have a lot of political power, so do heads of corporations.  So, organizational power is one of the spheres of economic powers. Another one is military power.  He that controls the Army, throughout history, has had a lot of power to change things for his or her needs.
  1. It gets transmitted in various ways.  Power is transmitted in a variety of ways.  It is transmitted by means of war, by means of election, or by means of somebody giving it to somebody else.  It’s not always the apparent individual in an organization or geopolitical government that has the power.  They may be the one who sits just outside the office of the President.  The Secretary that controls access to the CEO in a large corporation, she or he has a tremendous amount of power or control over who gets access to the president.  The people that want to see the president know that. So power is abstract it’s temporary.  It’s comes in all kinds of forms, transmitted in a variety of ways

God is the supreme power and always-in complete control of everything. You see the chaos in the world, you see the wars going on, you see sin that’s abounded, and you see heresies and everything that’s happening.  We have to constantly remember that God is in complete control.  The Scriptures are true and faithful.

They won’t lead us astray.

 

Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.

 

Next Post in this series: The Dynamics of Empire Collapse.

1. Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Footsteps of the Messiah Ariel Ministries San Antonio, TX 1982 pg 34

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The Times of the Gentiles Part III The Present Beast

 

The Last Beast to Control Jerusalem and the One World Government

The Lord Jesus the Messiah made reference to a group of Gentile world Empires who would control Jerusalem and the entire world starting in 586 B.C.He referred to these times of the gentiles ending at some point in time.  The Gentile control of Jerusalem and world government in general is going to end.  It’s not going to last forever.  It will end when He returns to set up His world wide government in Jerusalem at the Second Coming. Now the Lord said this in the Olivet Discourse:

 The Trampling of Jerusalem

Luke 21:24

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (KLV).

THE FINAL BEAST

The images given to the prophet Daniel which are written in the 7th chapter are four beasts coming out of the Great Sea. The first three have animal characteristics of a lion, bear and leopard. The fourth is a beast that has no animal like description and can be called nondescript. This beast is referred to as dreadful and terrible with iron teeth. It is breaking and devouring the residue of the other beasts. It is to this beast that we must now turn our attention.

The Third Vision, the activity in Heaven

4th Beast Image from www.Friendsofgod.com

4th Beast Image from www.Friendsofgod.com

Daniel 7:9-12

 9I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. 10A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11I beheld at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire. 12And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. (ASV 1901).

The third vision is found in verses 9-12 and the activity is taking place in Heaven.  In verses 9-10 the vision is of the Throne Room of God the Father. This is similar to the glimpse of the throne room revealed in Revelation chapter 5. God the Father is described here as the Ancient of Days.  This is the only spot in the Bible where He is referred to as the Ancient of Days.  It is very clear who he is; He is a Judge, and the books of judgment are opened.  There are myriads of Angels present – thousands upon thousands, 10,000 X 10,000 that are in front of Him and He is carrying out these judgments through the angels. God uses angels to carry out His plan for this earth (cf.Zechariah 1:7-17).

The Lord is judging the Fourth Gentile Empire (vv.11-12).  In verse 11, the text emphasizes the fourth beast and particularly the little horn that is judged and destroyed.  The previous three beasts are also mentioned. Their dominion was taken away; and their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.  This means that they have not been completely eradicated but continue albeit without the dominating power they had over the entire world.  The third vision is of God the Father ready begin judgment against the Fourth Gentile Empire.  He’s not actually conducting judgments, but He’s ready to move out in judgment.

 The Fourth Vision and the Kingdom of God

Daniel 7:13-14

13I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (ASV 1901).

These verses describe the destruction of the Fourth Gentile Empire (Terrible Beast) and the establishment of the Messianic Empire or Messianic Kingdom.

Of the four visions described the major emphasis is on the fourth one.   Now Daniel asks for an interpretation of the four kingdoms.   He wants to know, who’s going to posses the Kingdom.   He sees that possession of the Kingdom will only be temporary.  Whereas the four beasts rose out of the sea, here they arise out of the earth in this vision.   Coming out of the sea emphasizes their Gentile identity.  But, coming out of the earth identifies their humanity.  None of the first three empires are divine.

So Daniel requests further interpretation.   It is not clear who he is requesting this from but it is presumably the Angels that are before the throne of God.  In making this request, he describes what he saw regarding the four beasts.  It is important to note how the diverseness of this fourth beast continues to be emphasized.  Throughout the scriptures it is emphasized as being “diverse” – different from the othersThe beasts are not given an animal-like characteristic.  But Daniel wants to know what it means so he pushes for a meaning.  So in requesting this, he is given further information on the activity of the Little Horn that causes the three horns from the original 10 to be pulled out or eliminated and the Little Horn becomes the eighth horn.

The Prophet Daniel Seeks Some Clarification

15As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth. 18But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was diverse from all of them, exceeding terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; 20and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. 21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. 25And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. 26But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him (ASV 1901).

What Daniel is given here is a summary of the interpretation and information of the Messianic Kingdom. He is told that the beasts represent kingdoms and they will all be replaced by the Kingdom of God on this earth. All the Gentile world empires are only temporary.

The Diverseness of the Fourth Beast

Having received this summary interpretation in verses 19-22, Daniel asks for more information  regarding the fourth beast.  In making this request Daniel describes what he saw regarding the fourth beast.  In verse 19, its diverseness is pointed out.  It is important to note how the diverseness of the Fourth Empire is continually emphasized.

For this diverseness Daniel seeks a meaning.  He wants to know the meaning of the ten horns  and also the little horn.  Daniel is given more information about the little horn. It causes three of the ten horns to fall and he he speaks great things. He wars against the saints and prevails over them.  But finally he is defeated by the coming of the Ancient of Days.  Once the judgment is passed on the little horn by the Ancient of Days, he will be done away with and the kingdom will pass over to the saints.  The saints are the Jews, not the Church.   The ten horns are ten nations that will encompass this Empire, yet future to us. Some want to refer to this a Rome. But Rome is no longer a world empire trodding down Jerusalem. It is better to view this as imperialism the form of government created by the Romans. Daniel 2 clearly demonstrates that this beast continues as a world power until the Messianic Kingdom is set up.

The Little Horn

The little horn is the Antichrist who will appear someday on the planet.  I don’t know where or when, we just know he will do this.  He will sign a covenant with the nation Israel.  It will be some type of covenant.  We don’t know what it is or what it’s about but he signs it with the majority of the Jews.  Not all the Jews, but enough to get this thing signed – that begins the Great Tribulation.  The Great Tribulation begins when the covenant is signed and it’s a seven-year covenant.  The Church will be raptured out of the world before that.  That is not the trigger for us to leave.  There is no description anywhere in the Bible about when the Rapture takes place – it’s unknown.  We know that at some point in time, the Tribulation is going to start.  The seven-year war is going to start with this covenant that gets signed.  Daniel talks about the Ancient of Days judging him the Antichrist and he gets thrown into the lake of fire at the end of time.

To Be Continued

Next Post: The Stages of Imperialism

Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.

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The Times of the Gentiles Part I

 

The Times of the Gentiles

What are the Times of the Gentiles and why is that important?

How does if fit into what we need to do today to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ?

The Lord referred to the times of the gentiles ending at some point in time.  The Gentile control of Jerusalem and world government in general is going to end.  It’s not going to last forever.  Now the Lord said this in the Olivet Discourse:

Drawing by Clarence Larkin

Drawing by Clarence Larkin

 The Trampling of Jerusalem

Luke 21:24

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (KJV).

His disciples asked Him, “What’s going to happen?   When are you coming back?  Tell us when these things are going to happen.”  He wouldn’t tell them when He’s coming back, but He would tell them what the circumstances on the earth were going to be.  One of them was that Jerusalem is going to be trodden down by the Gentiles.  In other words, the Gentiles are going to control Jerusalem for only a predetermined amount of time.

He warned us to be alert to the dynamics of the social environment we live in so we will know what is transpiring on the world scene and be able to avoid much of what He warns us about.

He is warning us to be aware of the deception that is in the earth today and The Great Tribulation that is coming.   We should know that He has made us aware of these circumstances.  He wants us to know what has happened, what will happen.  He doesn’t want us to be deceived (Matthew 24:25).

Hosea 4:6 tells us that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because thou hast rejected knowledge.”  Now the context of that is that the Jews have rejected learning, rejected the knowledge of Christ, [Jehovah] and they have rejected the knowledge of God.  Therefore, they’re going to be deceived and it’s going to destroy them.  The same thing can happen to us by our not being aware of the world environment. It’s even worse for people that aren’t Christians; they have no idea who’s driving the world scene. They think it’s just chance, circumstances, treaties, and political powers.  They don’t think that God is causing and managing all human events on the earth

 The Times of the Gentiles is a long period of time

 

The Times of the Gentiles is that long period of time from the Babylonian captivity until the Second Coming of Jesus where the Gentiles have been in control of Jerusalem.  During this time, the Gentiles [have had and will have] control over the city of Jerusalem.  There has been only a few times of temporary [or partial] Jewish control over the city:

Maccabean Period (164-63 B.C.) The first period the Jews took control was in 586 B.C. which was the Maccabean Period. They ruled Jerusalem from 154 to 63 B.C

First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-77) This [occupation was short lived] and finally ended up with Titus Vespasian leveling Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and destroying the Temple.  The only thing left to the Temple now is that Western Wall. There was a Jewish revolt and for the first four years the Jews had control, but they lost it.

The second Jewish Revolt (the Bar-Cochba Revolt) against Rome (A.D. 132-135) Simon Bar-Cochba was one of the first false messiahs.  Those unbelieving Jews that wouldn’t accept Christ were following him. The people who were following him were declaring him to be the Messiah so they decided to have a revolt against Rome. The Romans just crushed them.

Since the 1967 Six-Day War.   [This is still only temporary], because Jerusalem will continue] be trodden down by the Gentiles for at least another 3 years during the Tribulation (Rev 11:1-2).  Since 1967 when the Six Day War occurred, the Jews took Jerusalem back – again. This Six Day War is another temporary period, it’s not going to last, nor do the Jews have total permanent and complete control over Jerusalem. 1

In order understand the predominance of Gentile control over Jerusalem it is necessary to couple the prophecies that the prophet Daniel received from chapters two and seven. Daniel was carried away in the very first invasion of 605 B.C.  Nebuchadnezzar the King has this dream but could not understand it until the Jewish Daniel interpreted the vision.

This is Daniel talking to Nebuchadnezzar:

Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision, Daniel 2:31-35

 

Daniel 2:31-35

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness [was] excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof [was] terrible. This image’s head [was] of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest [In his dream that is] till that a stone was cut out without hands, [It wasn’t made with human hands] which smote the image upon his feet [that were] of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (KJV).

 First Daniel provides a general description of the awesomeness of the image (v.31) that Nebuchadnezzar saw, then he moves to a composition of the image. (vv.32-33) The image is described as having a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and ending with the feet and toes of part iron and part clay.  These metals have two important characteristics:

They increase in strength [as you move from the head to the toes].

The metals [as you move from the head to the toes] decrease in value as they increase in strength.  As they go from gold to iron, they decrease in value.

The fulfillment [of the image as we move from the head to toe] will be in the decrease of the character of authority and rule.  Babylon [as the head] was an absolute monarchy and the monarch was above the law.  The king could do anything he wanted even if it broke the laws of the land.  [As we move down the image we see that] the Medo-Persia monarch, [the breast and arms of silver] was not above the law and did not have the authority to change his own decrees. The Hellenic kings [the belly and thighs of brass] had no dynastic or royal right to rule, and ruled by force of conquest and personal gifts. Finally Roman Imperialism was a republic [legs of iron], which degenerated into mob rule merging with the imperial form of government.

You will notice that as there was a decrease of character and authority as we moved down the image there was also an increase of the strength of these empires, one over the other.  A stone destroys the image, and the stone smites the image on its feet (vv.34-35a). Then with the image destroyed, the stone become a great mountain that fills the whole earth (v.35b). The stone cut without hands, emphasizes His divine origin. We know who the “Rock” is. Christ is described as the Rock throughout Scripture. (Luke 6:48; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4 etc.)

Untitled

 Interpretation of the vision, Daniel 2:36-45

After Daniel describes the image to Nebuchadnezzar, which he dreamed, he proceeds to give the interpretation of it in verses 36-45.

Daniel 2:36-45

36This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37Thou, O king, art king of kings, unto whom the God of heaven hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; 38and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens hath he given into thy hand, and hath made thee to rule over them all: thou art the head of gold. 39And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that crusheth all these, shall it break in pieces and crush. 41And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay. 44And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (ASV 1901).

Head of Gold

After declaring, “this is the interpretation” (v.36) Daniel begins to interpret the meaning of the head of gold (vv.37-38) as being Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed the First Temple and Jerusalem in 586 B.C.  So Babylon was the first empire that began the Times of the Gentiles when they dominated Jerusalem.  The actual grant given to Nebuchadnezzar included the whole earth but he chose not to take advantage of this. Jeremiah affirms this fact in 27:5-8 and Ezekiel also in 26:7-14.

 Breast and Arms of Silver

The two arms of silver united into the breast of silver represents the two nations of the Medes and Persians, who established the Medo-Persian Empire (v. 39a).  It is declared to be inferior to the Babylonians. It lacked the inner unity of Babylon because the Medes and Persians though united, never fused into one people group.  Further their government was not above the mistakes of the law (Daniel 6:12-14).

The Medo-Persian King or Monarch was not above the law.  We see this in the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  This is just one example, there are secular examples too, where Darius makes this stupid law where people can’t pray and Daniel’s detractors go to the King and say, “Look, this one’s praying.”  Darius [doesn’t want the law to apply to Daniel but he says], “We have to follow it; I’m not above the law.”  So they put him in the lion’s den and God miraculously saves Daniel.  You know what the story is, but the issue here is that Darius doesn’t have the ability to by-pass the law and do what is right.  We see that character [of absolute authority] is decreasing with [each subsequent] kingdom.

 Belly and two Thighs of Brass

The Greek, also known as the Hellenistic Empire, followed the Medo-Persian Empire. It is symbolized by the belly and two thighs of brass (v.29b) for the third territorially embraced both East and West.  The two thighs may also represent Syria and Egypt, which arose out of the Hellenistic Empire and controlled Jewish territory and Jerusalem.  Its grant was the same as Babylon, the whole world, but like Babylon it did not choose to exercise the entire world dominion that was given to them by God.

We know that Alexander of Macedon went east and he went west from Macedon, which is just north of Greece, and he conquered a huge portion of the world.  He set up Hellenistic schools where Greek was taught (The New Testament was written in Greek). The Greek language spread around quickly especially in the whole area where the Apostle Paul went on his missionary journeys.

Finally the Hellenistic Kings didn’t have any dynastic or right to rule.  Alexander didn’t need one.  And when he was on his death bed he was asked, “Who will get your kingdom?”  He said, “Give it to the strong; Give it to the strong.”  So he had his generals fighting themselves for it.  There was no divine rule, no legal succession.  It was just simply fighting throughout the Kingdom.  The generals took it by force and they didn’t have the right to it

 The Legs and the Toes

The rest of the image represents the Fourth Gentile Empire (vv.40-43).  Other aspects will be given in the seventh chapter of Daniel. This Fourth Empire goes through several stages, three of which are presented in this text.  First there is the United Stage (v.40).  But this United Stage gives way to the Two Division Stage (v. 41), which still has the strength of iron.  Eventually, however, the Fourth Gentile Empire gives way to a Ten Division Stage, as seen in the ten toes (vv.42-43) being composed of part iron and part clay.   Part of this Ten Division Stage will be strong and part will be brittle and weak.  The lack of cohesiveness is especially evident in the toes (vv.42-43) being composed of part iron and part clay.  Unity is impossible and the ten divisions take place because the individual elements will not coalesce – they just won’t come together.

The Fourth Gentile Empire is unique from all the previous ones.  It totally subdues and crushes all that precede it.  It is the fourth Gentile Empire that is particularly emphasized by the text dealing with the Times of the Gentiles.

So there is an increase in the strength in these empires we are seeing as we move from the head to the toes.  The empires are progressively becoming stronger and more war-like than the previous one and are able to conquer more.  So the empires represented by this image will be successively destroyed, one by one, one by another.  They don’t disappear from the planet, it’s just their power ceases to exist as a World Empire.

Conquering of Jerusalem by Titus Painting by Nicholas Poussin 1638

Conquering of Jerusalem by Titus Painting by Nicholas Poussin 1638

 A Supernatural Stone

Then this stone comes in and it smites this image on its feet.  We see that in verses 34 and 35a.  The “stone”, as represented in the Bible is the same as the “rock” and it’s Christ.  [1Cor 10:4 “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”] Christ is the stone; Christ is the coroner stone.   And this Stone, cut without hands (meaning with divine origin) is going to eliminate the last segment of the Roman Empire.  The Roman Empire is going to be revived; it’s not revived yet.  We know who the Rock is and we know He is going to set this Kingdom up.

Following the Fourth Gentile Empire, God is going to set up his own Kingdom.  The Fifth Empire that follows is going to be predominantly Jewish. (vv.44-45). Two prominent symbols are used here, but they are consistent with their usage elsewhere.

Whenever the word stone is used symbolically it is always a symbol of the second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.  Whenever the word mountain is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of a king, kingdom, or throne.  Therefore, following the Fourth World Gentile Empire, God will set up His own Kingdom.  The Kingdom is set up during the Ten Division Stage (v 44a), and this brings to an end the domination of the other kingdoms (v.44b).  In the end the image of Gentile domination will be smashed at the Second Coming.  Once the Messianic stone smashes Gentile domination, the Kingdom of God will be set up by this stone.  That’s this mountain that takes over the whole world.  It’s not evangelism by the Christian Church, it’s God making His statement that, “I’m taking back control of the earth!”  That will end Gentile domination.

 God’s Kingdom

With God, in Christ, sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem a new government is going to be set up.  It’s going to be an entirely different form of Government.  It’s going to be a theocracy ruled by the real King and it’s going to be a whole lot different than the way things are now.   That brings an end to all of Gentile dominion over the earth, particularly Jerusalem. Once the Messianic stone, as we saw in the image, smashes Gentile dominion, the Kingdom of God is going to be set up.  Everything is going to change, the whole world structure.  Everything we know is not going to be as it is now.  The trees and everything are going to be here, but it is the way people conduct themselves and even the way animals act toward us will be different. There is going to be peace here.  It’s going to be entirely different for 1,000 years.

In summary, the Times of the Gentiles is a long period of time when four Gentile empires will follow one another in sequence with the Fourth Empire going through several different stages.  But eventually this will give way to God’s setting up His own Kingdom.  While the Gentile empires are of human origin; the Kingdom of the Stone is of divine origin.  While the Gentile empires are all temporary, God’s kingdom is eternal.

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The Kingdoms of Daniel 2 Outline

 

The Babylonian Empire starting in 605 B.C.

The Medo-Persian Empire.

The Hellenistic Empire

The Fourth Empire,

The United Stage.

The Ten Division Stage

The Messianic Kingdom

 

1. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of The Messiah

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Antiochus Epiphanes IV – A Type of The Antichrist

Antiochus Epiphanes

Wojciech Stattler, Machabeusze or the Maccabees painting, 1842

Wojciech Stattler, Machabeusze or the Maccabees painting, 1842

 A Type of The Coming Antichrist

Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.

Introduction

The Bible gives a prophecy about the development of a world empire out of which a man called Antiochus Epiphanes would emerge. In this clear example of Bible typology God is giving us an example of the coming Antichrist and what he will do in the middle of the Great Tribulation. He along with the False Prophet who will be the leader of all the heretical pagan world’s religions will place an image of the Antichrist in the rebuild Jewish Temple. Because of the Antiochus typology we assume it will be placed in the Holy of Holies where it will come alive. The Abomination of Desolation was prophesied by The Lord Jesus (Matthew 24:15) and will be carried out by the Antichrist and the False Prophet (Revelation 13:14-15). Jesus wants His children to realize what is coming. We have the example of The Lord Jesus telling His inner circle; Peter, James John and Andrew of future end time world events in His Olivet Discourse. He said to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). Jesus also wants to strengthen our belief by telling us events long before they occur.

John 14:29

And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe (KJV).

Alexander’s Generals

We see the prophecy of the vision of the coming Hellenistic empire (also called the Greek Empire) from Daniel 7:6 where this empire is described as one beast that is leopard-like with four wings and four heads. With leopard-like swiftness, Alexander the Great conquered the Medo-Persian Empire and greatly extended the Hellenistic Empire. In 323 B.C. Alexander dies, and when asked who should succeed him, he says to leave his empire to “the strong.” The empire is split into four kingdoms. The four wings represent the four kingdoms rising out of Alexander’s Empire and the four heads represent the four generals who took control of the four kingdoms, and who would fight with each other continually over these territories. The generals and their areas were:

  • Ptolemy, who ruled over Egypt, Israel and Arabia Petrea
  • Seleucus, who ruled over Syria, Babylonia, and as Far East as India
  • Cassander, who ruled over Macedonia and Greece
  • Lysimachus, who ruled over Thrace and Bithinia

Here is a map showing the divisions in 301 B.C.:

Untitled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Retrieved March 28, 2013 from

http://etc.usf.edu/maps/pages/6800/6811/6811.htm

Notice the position of Israel is in between the areas claimed by Ptolemy and Selucis, and would be a an area of constant turmoil as these two powers fought with each other. The successors of Seleucus and Ptolemy are all prophesied in Daniel 10 and 11. Out of the Seleucid line came the leader, Antiochus Epiphanes, who eventually exerted control over the Holy Land and imposed extreme persecutions to the Jews as described in Daniel chapter 8. Here is the line of succession that preceded Antiochus Epiphanes:

323 B.C.                                Alexander dies. He says to leave his empire to “the strong.”

312-280 B.C.                        Seleucus I Nicator succeeds as ruler over the Israel region.

280-261 B.C.                        Antiochus II Soter assumes leadership over Israel.

261-246 B.C.                        Antiochus II Theos replaces Soter.

246-226 B.C.                        Seleucis II Callinicus assumes control.

226-223 B.C.                        Seleucis III Keroneos rises.

222-187 B.C.                        Antiochus III The Great took control.

187-175 B.C.              Seleucis IV Philopator plundered the Temple and raised taxes to the Jews.

175-164 B.C.              Antiochus IV Epiphanes is the brother of Philopator and he begins a very severe persecution of the Jews, which causes a revolt led by the Maccabeans, and creates a turning back to God by the Jews for a short while.

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Antichrist Will Mirror Hitler’s Rise to Power and Jewish Persecution

The Antichrist will persecute the Jews on an industrial scale like Adolph Hitler did. 1/3 of the world’s Jewish population died under Hitler. 2/3 will  die under Antichrist’s reign (Zachariah 13:8)

 Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler review SS troops during Reich Party Day ceremonies. (September 1938)

Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler review SS troops during Reich Party Day ceremonies. (September 1938)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many have written about their hatred for the Jews from the time of the Bible. Christ said that they would suffer because they did not recognize Him at the time of His visitation. Corporate Israel refused to recognize Him as their long awaited Messiah.

Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.(NASB)

 Matthew 23: 37-38 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!(NASB)

 Within the militantly intolerant and violent Nazi Third Reich, Jews were considered to be foul, have shameful lives, and were subjected to horrible treatment. The Nazis wanted to first expel them from Germany and then later to subject them to cruel treatment as well as painful death simply because they were Jews. The Nazis used the same despicable kind of language found in Martin Luther’s The Jews and Their Lies when describing them publicly. It also appeared in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Nazi Germany did not invent anything new regarding the treatment of Jews. They simply amplified the anti-Jewish attitude inherent in European Christianity and its history. The constant “question” which rose in Hitler’s party and later in his administration was, what do we do with the Jews? The issue became known as the “Jewish Question.” They attributed the Jews as the source of all economic and social problems. Their answer was found in 1941which became known as the “Final Solution.”

 

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