We are going to continue our look into biblical prophecy. So far we talked about Israel and part of that nation’s role in end time events. End time events can be defined as the events that happen before the return of Christ. We discussed prophecies that have come to pass and even talked about a few unfolding as we speak. Another major series of prophetic events that will come to pass will be the rise of a one world government. A lot of details are given that describe this one world government and the events that lead up to it. We will explore these series of prophecies next in great detail.
We will be reading through large parts of the book of Revelation. This book goes into detail and describes the actions and events that happen to this one world government. To better understand the book of Revelation we need to start by looking at the book of Daniel. Revelation sits inside of the book of Daniel and we will never fully understand Revelation without first seeing what Daniel has to say about end time events.
At this point I should talk about whose authority I am speaking with. A lot of people will casually say God told me or they will say this is what God says. I want to make it clear before we go any further that I am speaking from my own opinion of what I believe the scriptures mean. Yes I studied and prayed about it and yes I believe some of this is personal revelation. I am not speaking on behalf of God as if he is telling me what to say. I am not a prophet. I am not speaking for God.
I am merely trying to understand a complicated subject while applying proper hermeneutics. I say this because a lot of Christians talk about bible prophecy and other things about God’s word and then say they are speaking for God while expressing their opinion. I don’t want to make that same mistake or leave that same impression. This is merely what I believe about bible prophecy. So with this disclaimer out of the way let’s begin.
Daniel is taken captive and he is carried off to Babylon during the time when Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem. In chapter 2 of Daniel the King has a dream that troubles him and he wants to destroy all the wise men because they are unable to interpret the king’s dream. He demands that the wise men tell his dream and then interpret it for him. Daniel prays and God reveals the dream to Daniel. We will pick up where Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar his dream. Then Daniel interprets his dream.
Daniel 2:24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.” 25Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation.”26The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation? ” 27Daniel answered the king: “No wise man, medium, diviner-priest, or astrologer is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed were these: 29Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came to your mind about what will happen in the future. The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. 30As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.
31“My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. 34As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it, struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them. 35Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. -HCSB
There is no need for us to speculate what the interpretation is going to be because now Daniel begins to provide the interpretation starting in verse 36.
36“This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38Wherever people live — or wild animals, or birds of the air — He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.39“After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. 40A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. 41You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron — it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, 42and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay — part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43You saw the iron mixed with clay — the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.44“In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.” -HCSB
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. 47The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.” -HCSB
The book of Daniel has a lot of critics. The same is true for the bible as a whole. To begin with the second year is used by critics in an attempt to use verse 1 as evidence of the “inaccuracy” of this book. This is an attack they are forced to continue because to accept the literal, historical account of Daniel as written in the 6th Century BC is to be forced to accept a belief in a sovereign God who knows the future in exact detail!
Never mind the fact that some of the prophecies foretold by Daniel and written 600 years before Christ reveal events leading up to the time of Christ. Because skeptics don’t understand the meaning behind verse 1 or they point to their interpretation of the time frame for what the second year reign means, they feel that they are justified throwing out the entire book of Daniel.
With the second chapter being set in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, it is alleged to conflict with Chapter 1. In chapter 1 Daniel and his companions were supposed to go through a three-year training course in the Babylonian academy. Their final examination wouldn’t be due until the end of that three-year period
So what does this really mean? Ultimately, the authenticity of Daniel and his prophecies means these critics and all those who have scorned and mocked God and His plan for the ages will in the end stand before The Supreme God to give an accounting for their brief time on earth!
It is important to note that a literary irony could be drawn from the narrative in that Daniel was a mere trainee in the Babylonian academy. Even though he was a trainee he was able to outperform the king’s full-fledged experts.
The second year is in fact the second according to the Babylonian computation, but the third year according to that of the Jews, who reckon from the time he was associated with his father. This corresponds to the calculation of the king’s reign according to Babylonian computation in Da 1:1 = third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, and according to Jewish computation in Jer 25:1, 46:2 = the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah.
The following time frame is adapted from John Walvoord’s book (Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision Of The Great Image) based on the information from Wiseman’s “The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings” (p159ff) and J. Finegan’s ” Handbook of Biblical Chronology” (p. 38).
In the end skeptics use verse 1 in an effort to discredit not just that chapter but the whole book of Daniel.
Daniel 2:1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him. -HCSB
The king wondered about the events that would arise after his time on earth was over. God gave the king a dream that would reveal the coming kingdoms. (verse 29) In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream he saw a statue of enormous size. This statue was made out of 5 types of materials which included 4 types of metal.
The head was made out of gold. This represents Babylon and king Nebuchadnezzar (verse 38) There will be another kingdom after Babylon and that is represented by the silver metal in the statue. The kingdom that conquered Babylon and took its place was the Medo-Persian Empire. The bronze represents another kingdom that comes after Persia. Greece conquers Persia and they are the kingdom represented by bronze. The legs of Iron represent another kingdom that comes after Greece. It just so happens that Rome conquers Greece and rules with an iron fist.
Next we see a rock cut out without hands. This means that this stone is not of human origin. The rock strikes the statue on the feet which is part Iron and part clay. It destroys the statue and the rock grows and turns into a mountain that covers the whole earth. This stone cut without hands is referring to Jesus. He is the chief cornerstone that the builders rejected. His kingdom grows and eventually covers the whole earth. ACTS 4:11
Most scholars and prophecy students agree with this interpretation and there is little dispute.
I am going to depart from the traditional view of the description of the Iron legs and the feet that are part Iron and part clay. One of the most common beliefs is that the feet represent an end time kingdom that will be revived and ruled by the anti-Christ. Some 20th century prophecy experts believe that the Iron legs represent the earlier Roman Empire. They also believe that the feet that are part iron and part clay represent a revived end time kingdom that the anti-Christ will rule.
I flat-out reject this notion. Some books that I have read refer to the feet as the ten toe kingdom of the last days. Each toe represents a king. Daniels translation of the dream does not mention the toes as kings or kingdoms. It would not be proper hermeneutics to insert that meaning here without another scripture defining the toes as kingdoms. The stone strikes the feet not just the toes! The scripture speaks as though the feet are one cohesive unit. The vision does not separate the feet from the toes! nowhere else in the bible is a kingdom represented by toes.
There are two main views on this.
- The feet and toes are a part of an end time kingdom that will be ruled by the anti-Christ. It will be destroyed when Jesus returns to set up his kingdom
- The feet and the toes represent the end part of the Roman Empire. At the time of the end of the Roman Empire they were divided and weak. The tried to mend the divided parts together but in the end they failed.
I tend to agree with the second interpretation for a few reasons. The two legs of iron represent the Roman Empire. The feet and the toes are not a part of a new kingdom according to the interpretation. believing so adds meaning to the scripture that is not there. The feet and toes are part of the old Roman Empire. They are chronologically the last part of the Roman Empire. Remember what Daniels interpretation said about the clay?
(verse 41) You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron — it will be a divided kingdom,
We have already seen a fulfillment of this prophecy in history. At the end of Rome’s existence it was divided right up until the fall of Rome. Forcing this prophecy to apply to the anti-Christ’s kingdom means you got to believe that the anti-Christ kingdom will be weak and divided. The description of this one world government does not reveal that it will be weak or divided at all!
(Verse 42) and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay — part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle.
Are we to believe that the same kingdom that causes everyone to receive the Mark of the Beast will be partly weak and brittle? Let me tell you that scripture says otherwise about the anti-Christ. People will declare who is able to make war with him? The anti-Christ has absolute power and he kills those who do not worship him.
We already talked about a revolt in 132 A.D. that led to the total dispersion of the Jews. This revolt led to the destruction of Rome’s 12 legion. This is something that Rome never recovered from. The Crisis of the Third Century (also called “Military Anarchy” or “Imperial Crisis”) (235–284 AD) was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression.
The Roman Empire was divided into 4 parts. Constantine united the empire once again. Several years after his death the empire was divided yet again in two divisions. These divisions were known as the east and the west. It would stay that way until Rome finally fell in 480 A.D. The end of the Empire experienced division and weakness.
The western empire was weaker than the eastern empire. The western empire was fragmented and the capital was moved from Rome to Ravenna for defensive reasons. The western empire relied on barbarians and mercenaries. It rewarded these groups with land. They intermarried with the Roman people. “Partly iron and partly fired clay.” The western empire was the first to collapse. The eastern empire collapsed during the middle ages.
The Rock made without hands represent Jesus and his kingdom. It would start out small then it would grow big until it covered the whole earth. Jesus began his kingdom in his day. This was during the Roman Empire. It was supposed to start small. It started with Jesus and his ministry, then it spread to the apostles, and finally the church was born on the Day Of Pentecost. Then it grew as thousands were added. In the end Rome tried to squash Christianity through persecution, but it failed to do so. Finally Constantine legalizes Christianity and then claimed to be one himself. This rock that is made without hands is still growing today, but it was established during the Roman empire
Mathew 12:28 If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
Mark 1:14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news! ”
Jesus considered the Kingdom of God to be established when he was on earth and during his teaching ministry!
Luke 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; 21no one will say, ‘Look here! ’ or ‘There! ’ For you see, the kingdom of God is among you.”
I use to believe the traditional point of view about this chapter. I use to believe that the toes represented the end time kingdom. Now my view has changed. I still believe there will be an end time kingdom and Daniel does talk about it. As we progress you will see why my views have changed.
Let’s Continue reading through parts of the book of Daniel. Let’s start by diving right into Chapter 7 of Daniel.
Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. 2Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. 4“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it. 5“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
6“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. 7“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. 8“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 9“As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
10A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.
11“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time. 13“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. -NIV
The Interpretation of the Dream
15“I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this. “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
19“Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 23“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25He 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. 26“ ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’ 28“This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” -NIV
Once again I am going to depart from the traditional view and this time I believe you will see why. You should understand my reasoning behind Daniel chapter 2 after I explain a few points about chapter 7.
Daniel sees 4 beasts that rise up out of a sea and fortunately for us the translation to this dream is given as well. According to verse 17 each beast represents a king. The sea in verse 1 represents the people of earth. In Revelation chapter 13 we see a beast that also represents a world king or kingdom. It rises out of a sea too. This same beast is found in Revelation chapter 17. In both cases the beast rises out of the sea or sits on many waters. An angel reveals the meaning of the vision in Revelation chapter 17.
Revelation 17:15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. -NIV
Therefore the great sea that Daniel is referring to is all the people of the earth. Every nation and every tongue makes up this sea. The four winds of heaven represents north, south, east, and west of the compass. The wind represents events that take place.
So as a result of global events that happen to people all around the world and from every direction there are 4 global kingdoms that rise among the people of the earth. The tradition view is that each kingdom appears in an order of time. Each kingdom identifies with the kingdoms found in Daniel chapter 2. But I believe that these kingdoms rise and exist at the same time. I believe this for a number of reasons.
Dan 7: 11“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time. -NIV
In verse 11 and 12 we see that the fourth beast was killed and thrown into a blazing fire. Other translations say the 4th beast was slain and burned with fire. The other 3 beasts were allowed to continue on for a season. Their authority was taken away from them. Now they had to answer to God. They still had dominion for a season, but all authority was stripped from them. All of this happens after the 4th beast was slain. Then after this the kingdom is handed over to the people of the most high.
So if each beast represents a kingdom in a different order of time then how is it that the other 3 government structures continue after the 4th beast is slain? If the 4th beast represents the Antichrist kingdom and if the other kingdoms are no longer around, then how do they continue after the Antichrist kingdom is destroyed? The Scripture says that the 4th kingdom subdues the other beasts or brings them into submission. The 4th beast has 10 horns. Each horn represents a ruler. A little horn comes up from among the 10. It uproots 3 of these rulers and takes over the 4th beast. Then when the 4th kingdom is destroyed and judged by God the other government structures are allowed to continue for a season.
Those who hold to a view that each kingdom represents the same kingdoms in Daniel chapter 2 do so because they believe that the feet that are part iron and part clay is the end time kingdom of the anti-Christ. In other words they believe the feet mixed with iron and clay is the 4th beast found in Daniel chapter 7.
These two descriptions conflict with one another. The 4th beast in Daniel is strong and conquers the other 3 beasts while the feet in chapter 2 of Daniel describe a kingdom that is fragile and divided. The feet are portrayed as part week and part strong. Yet this is not the description of the 4th beast. I don’t believe these two prophecies are talking about the same events simply because it is very apparent to me that the descriptions of both kingdoms are opposite of each other and the other beasts are present at the same time. It is hard to get around verses 11 and 12.
If the 4th beast which is supposed to be Rome conquers the other beasts and if the second beast is supposed to be Persia as the common belief says, then people must also know that Persia becomes Parthia in Rome’s day. Maybe someone can tell me when Rome conquered Parthia? During the time of the Roman Empire the Parthia Kingdom reigned in Persia. It is true that Parthia and Rome where rivals but Rome’s borders never extended to that area.
If the you change your belief to say that the second beast is a reference to Persia in the last days (present day Iran) then you also must conclude that both beasts exist at the same time. The next questioned would be, how does the bear analogy fit with Persia?
Furthermore it should be noted that the beast that appears in Revelations chapter 13 is a combination of the 4 beasts found in Daniel Chapter 7. When you combine all the characteristics of the 4 beasts in Daniel we see the beast found in Revelation. This is also the exact same beast that is in Revelation chapter 17. We see the origins of this Revelation beast in Daniel chapter 7. This further supports the belief that these 4 beasts exist at the same time.
Revelation 13:1 And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. -NIV
For example the total amount of heads on every beast in Daniel is 7. The beast in Revelation has 7 heads. The fourth beast is the only beast with horns and it has 10 horns. The beast in Revelation has 10 horns. The beast was like a leopard (3rd beast) His feet were like a bear (second beast) His mouth was like a lion (1st beast)
It is my belief that world events will divide the world into 4 regions. I don’t know what these regions will look like. It could be that North America will be one region. Europe may be another region. I don’t know for sure how it will be divided I am just using these as examples.
Events will arise on the earth that will cause the earth to be divided into four regions. On the 4th beast we see 10 horns. Each horn represents a ruler or king. These horns all appear at the same time. These could be 10 countries that make up one region. A little horn comes up from among the 10 horns. He subdues 3 horns. Once this little horn takes over the 4th beast he subdues the other 3 beasts and the kingdom of the anti-Christ is set up.
So it is my conclusion that the book of Daniel reveals where the beast in Revelation comes from. Chapter 7 of Daniel has nothing to do with Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, or a revived Roman Empire. If you believe that the feet of iron and clay is the same kingdom as the 4th beast of chapter 7 then you are led to believe the false conclusion that the first beast is Babylon, the second beast is Persia, the third beast is Greece, and the 4th is Rome and then a revived Rome in the last days. But the real problem with this interpretation is this, there is no indication that the 4th beast is actually two kingdoms! (Early Rome and a new Revived Roman Empire) The interpretation given by the angle would reveal this detail. There would be a part of the vision that showed two kingdoms instead of one. Since the angle did not say this we cannot insert that sort of wishful thinking here. This makes no sense hermeneutically and does not align in the way events play out in Daniel chapter 7.