WORLD POWERS OF DANIEL PART 1

THE EIGHT WORLD POWERS OF DANIEL, REVELATION AND HISTORY

…And Implications for our Future

[Note to the reader: the previous posting completed the World Today Series. This three-part posting summarizes the implications of Daniel and Revelation regarding the one-world end-time government and adds some thoughts on what this government will look like.]

There is a remarkably precise correlation between the composite beast described by John in Revelation 13 and the sequence of nations prophesied by Daniel from his time in the sixth century B.C. until the last days of this age. While the prophesies have not yet been completely fulfilled, significant portions of them already have come to pass. The amazing precision of the fulfilled parts is confirmed by history itself.

The following information represents a summary integration of prophecy and history with respect to the major governments of the world until the end of the age. This summary is at best a partially informed guess under the recognition that a wealth of new and important clarifying information is still waiting upon future, perhaps imminently close, events. At this point in world history, Christian eschatologists still differ in their opinions of how recent and current events fit into prophecy, particularly whether the events foretold in Revelation have begun to occur and particularly what the end-time world government will look like. Among these differing viewpoints, the one proposed by Irvin Baxter in his televised series End Times appears to be the most consistent so far with Scripture, and is the one to which I refer the most, although not exclusively.

DANIEL’S VISIONS:

During his incarceration in Babylon, Daniel experienced several detailed visions regarding the succession of governments that would greatly impact world events from his time to the end of the age. These kingdoms are described in Daniel Chapters 2, 7, 8 and 11. They historically followed the sequence described by Daniel and although most didn’t exist during his lifetime, his visions were sufficiently detailed that there is no chance of mistaking their identification.

In Daniel Chapter 2 these empires are described as metallic components of a composite figure of a man, who represents the attempt of man himself, in his unjustified arrogance, to rule the world. As the metals decline in nobility from the top down, they increase in hardness.

Five kingdoms of man are thus described, starting with the current king Nebudchadnezzar’s Babylon as the head. Following this were breasts and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay. The final government of man is struck and shattered to pieces by a stone cut without the aid of man, after which the stone became a great mountain that filled the earth, representing ultimate King Jesus Christ reigning in the everlasting government of God.

The kingdoms of man that followed the golden head of Nebudchadnezzar were not yet identified in Daniel’s Chapter 2, but he embellishes his commentary of the kingdom of iron with the remark that it is uncommonly vicious and terribly destructive. He goes on to make a cryptic commentary regarding the final kingdom of two feet and ten toes:

“And whereas thou sawest the feed and toes, part of potters’ clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, foreasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not adhere one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”

The last sentence in this commentary leads one to question whether this final government will involve beings not of the seed of men, or, more plainly put, aliens as described in Genesis 6:4:

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

An even more horrifying alternative possibility is that these beings may be the genetically-altered products of man’s twisted mind. After all, man himself is said to be fashioned out of clay, even being likened to the product of a potter, as in Isaiah 45:9, which inspired Paul’s pronouncement in Romans 9:20 and 21:

“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?”

Indeed, there are numerous more direct associations between clay and man in Scripture, one being Job 10:9:

“Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay. And wilt thou bring me into dust again?”

The kingdoms of man are described once again in Daniel Chapter 7, this time in terms of wild animals: a lion with the wings of an eagle on his back; a bear on its side with three ribs in its mouth; a four-headed leopard with the wings of a fowl on its back; and a strong, vicious and horribly destructive ten-horned beast that was unique and possibly not a creature of the same order as the animals that came before it. Presumably, this last beast is a combination of the fourth and fifth metallic beasts of Chapter 2, indicating that this regime existed continuously in some sense, perhaps not always as the dominant kingdom.

Significantly, the eagle whose wings are plucked off the back of the lion is given a man’s heart and made to stand on its feet like a man.

Heads and horns are a recurrent theme in the prophecies of both Daniel and Revelation. The common, logical interpretation is that heads represent the same kingdom in time succession and the horns represent simultaneously-reigning kings. Thus, the four heads of the leopard in Daniel’s vision of Chapter 7 would represent four different occasions during which the kingdom represented by the leopard was the dominant world power. Each horn, on the other hand, would represent one part among others of a multi-component kingdom.

Observing that the ten-horned kingdom was the final one of man, we find Daniel in Chapter 7 seeing a little horn speaking great blasphemy come up among the ten and pluck three horns up by the roots. This horn is commonly interpreted as the antichrist. The significance of the term “little” will be examined later.

In Chapter 8, Daniel adds additional information about the second and third kingdoms, again with the features of animals, but this time the animals are different than before. He also portrays the antichrist and his abomination of desolation, particularly with respect to a famous precursor.

Specifically, he describes the second silver kingdom, earlier depicted as a bear, now as a ram with two horns, one higher than the other which came up last. This ram pushed to the west, the north and the south and in conquering became great. Later in Chapter 8, Daniel named this empire as Medo-Persia. After this, a he-goat with a horn between its eyes, earlier depicted in metallic terms as brass and of an animal, the bear, comes from the west to cover the earth and clashes into the ram with two horns, subduing him. But at the height of his power he is replaced by four horns of lesser stature. Out of one of the four horns comes a little horn that becomes great, magnifying himself over the Lord, disrupting the daily sacrifice and desolating the sanctuary.

In Chapter 11, particularly in verses 36 through 45, Daniel describes the end-time antichrist and his abomination of desolation foretold in Daniel 9:27 and confirmed by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:15

[to be continued]

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