CONSPIRACY – IMAGINGED OR REAL?

 

The notion has been around for quite a while that a conspiracy might be afoot, wherein a cadre of enormously wealthy and powerful individuals band together to plot a worldwide system of government that will work to their exclusive advantage, effectively enslaving all but a privileged few.

Those who read their Bibles don’t find that to be so hard to believe. It’s right there in the pages of Scripture, particularly in Daniel and Revelation. In Daniel 2, for example, Daniel interprets a dream of King Nebudchadnezzar, the ruler who sacked Jerusalem and took Judah into captivity in the sixth century B.C. This troubling dream involved a metallic image representing the mightiest kingdoms of man on earth, appearing in sequence from the time of Nebudchadnezzar’s dream up until the time that Jesus reigns on earth.

“This is the dream, and we will tell its interpretation before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heavens hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.

Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall rise another [silver] kingdom inferior to thee, and another kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and, as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet 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 iron, forasmuch 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 cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke 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 of it sure.”

Up to our own point in time, Daniel’s prophetic interpretation of Nebudchadnezzar’s dream has been sure indeed. Nebudchadnezzar’s Babylonian kingdom of gold came and went, as did the silver kingdom of the Persian Empire, and after that the brass kingdom of Alexander the Great. The iron kingdom of the Roman Empire followed the others in its rise and fall. Daniel in Chapter Seven also described these kingdoms in terms of animals: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and the most dreadful beast of all, which had iron teeth. These animals fit well with the features of the first four kingdoms. The Leopard, for example, is fleet of foot, as was Alexander in the speed with which he conquered the known world in the fourth century B.C.

We now await the rise and fall of Scripture’s final worldwide kingdom of man, Daniel’s kingdom in Chapter Two of iron and clay and in Chapter Seven having ten horns, also known as the kingdom of the antichrist as described in Revelation 13:

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as though it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon who gave power unto the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience of the saints.

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them who dwell on it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, that had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he hath power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads, and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”

This awful ten-horned beast that shall be the final kingdom of man has features that represent a composite of the earlier sequence of kingdoms spoken of in Chapter Seven of Daniel: lion, bear, leopard, and power from a great and terrible dragon. This similarity of features evokes a closer look at that chapter of Daniel. There, in verse 4, the lion is found to possess a feature of startling significance in a modern context.

“The first [beast] was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings; I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man; and a man’s heart was given to it.”

The association of England with a lion is a common one; the lion is an iconic fixture of government buildings in that nation. It is also common knowledge that America sprang from English roots. Its first non-indigenous people were English, and it was an English colony before gaining its independence. Given that America’s icon is the eagle, this passage in Daniel, as Bible scholar Irvin Baxter first pointed out, very clearly relates to America. It is wrong, therefore, to assert as many theologians do that America can’t be found in the Bible. There are other Scriptural references to a modern kingdom that match well with America, such as the feckless young lions of Ezekiel 38:13 and the twice-fallen Babylon of Revelation 18. But these associations are more speculative than the eagle of Daniel Seven, which points quite strongly and, to my mind, unequivocally to the United States.

[to be continued]

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