The End of HistoryMessiah Conspiracy
CHAPTER 22Rome Resurrected
The Bible clearly tells us that God is in control. There is hope. The world is racing towards a climax. But instead of a disastrous catastrophe, it will be Christs dynamic return to earth to set up a thousand year reign of peace....Daniel has become a focal point of critics attacks upon the Old Testament prophecies because it contains detailed, accurately fulfilled predictions which demonstrate their divine inspiration. Because of Daniels devotion to God and his great concern for the Jewish people...the Lord seems to have given him a special understanding of what the future held for his people. These prophetic insights extend even to the end time of Hebrew history and the destiny of other nations of the world.1 Josh McDowell
Jesus Christ regarded the book as a prophetic preview of future history, and, indeed, of the divine program for a future that still lies ahead (Matthew 24:4 ff., Mark 13:5 ff., Luke 21:8 ff.). If He is wrong in His interpretation of the book then He must be less than an omniscient, inerrant God incarnate. On the other hand, if His appraisal is right, then we cannot question His claim to deity in this regard.2
Bruce Waltke, professor of Semitics and Old Testament at
Dallas Theological Seminary, Ph.D. from Harvard University
If the keys of the Bible, up to the book of Psalms, hang on Moses books, those of the rest of the Bible, through Revelation, hang on Daniel; and indeed very many of the prophetic Psalms fail to open to us till we see their solution in the wonderful visions of the faithful seer of the captivity.3 William R. Newell
The book of Daniel is the most controversial book in the Old Testament. The rabbis have often warned their students not to read it because it tells the time of Messiah. The Jews in Israel have difficulty with chapters 2:4 - 7:28, which describe the end time in detail, because they are written in Aramaic, the language of Babylon. The Babylonians captured the prophet Daniel as a boy, and held him and his people for seventy years, an occurrence predicted by the prophet Jeremiah.
LIBERAL DISAPPROVAL OF DANIEL
Most contemporary liberal scholars avoid Daniels book altogether due to the supernatural element of future-telling. Daniel foretold the future of the Gentile nations. His predictions about the rise and fall of world empires can only be explained by divine inspiration. However, for this explanation to be palatable, we of course would need to believe in the divine. Many who like to teach the Bible do not. This is where the conflict of Daniels dream comes into play. Daniel provided the king with answers when no one else could, through Gods power. As it has been said: Daniel answered before the king and said, As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians, nor diviners are able to declare it to the king (Dan. 2:27 NASB).
Daniel lived well into his nineties and his writings span a period of seventy-three years. He wrote his book in the first part of the sixth century BC, when Babylon was still the ruling world empire. In chapters 2 and 7 he describes the four major empires which would rule the world until the Messiah ushers in the eternal kingdom. Daniels prophecy is centered on the interpretation of a dream which God gave the Babylonian king. Significantly, none of the kings astrologers, soothsayers or fortune tellers were able to interpret the kings dream, which he had forgotten. Only Daniel was able to refresh the kings memory. This is why the king recognized Daniels power.
NEBUCHADNEZZARS DREAMS FORETOLD
HISTORY TO OUR DAY AND BEYOND
The dream, which revealed and outlined the rise and fall of the worlds major empires, reads as follows: Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, I had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream. Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation. They answered a second time and said, Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation. The king answered and said, I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation. The Chaldeans answered the king and said, There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh. Because of this the king became indignant and very furious, and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the kings bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch, the kings commander, For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent? Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, in order that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; Daniel answered and said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with him. To Thee, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For Thou hast given me wisdom and power; Even now Thou hast made known to me what we requested of Thee, For Thou hast made known to us the kings matter. Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the kings presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king! Then Arioch
hurriedly brought Daniel into the kings presence and spoke to him as follows: I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king! The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation? Daniel answered before the king and said, As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians, nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living
man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind. You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain
and filled the whole earth. This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory; and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the
earth. Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in
pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potters clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy. Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. The king answered Daniel and said, Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery (Dan. 2:1-47 NASB).
THE SEVENTH CHAPTER OF DANIEL
Daniel 7 was written in the first year of Belteshazzar4 (553 BC), an incredible five and one-half centuries before the birth of Jesus. In
33 AD, Jesus presented His case before the Sanhedrin. He quoted the thirteenth verse of this chapter in His claim of Messiahship. Again
the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:61-62 KJV).
As we mentioned, Daniel is a major source of Messianic prophecy, especially the time-frame of Jesus First Coming and the destruction of Jerusalem (Dan. 9:24-27). However, in keeping with the subject of this chapter, we will investigate certain portions of Daniel, which have remained cryptic or hidden for centuries.
Daniel himself had a dream, which he described in the seventh chapter of his work. The dream pertained not only to the future
empires and historical Rome but also to contemporary reality. The dream God allowed Daniel to have revealed major world empires prior to their actual appearance in history. The dream also exposed the current revival of the fourth empire, Rome. Daniels dream reads as follows: ...I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. The first
was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle....a second one, resembling a bear....and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts....I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth....Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly...and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up...that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. Thus he said: The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings [ten nations of the end times] will arise; and another [Antichristfalse Messiah] will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones....And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will he given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (Dan. 7:2-8, 16-17, 19-25 NASB; [ ] mine).
DOES YOUR MIND HAVE WISDOM?
Daniel wrote: As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten
kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings (Dan. 7:24 NASB). The apostle Paul added: Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour (Rev. 17:9-10 NASB).
You have just read prophetic verses, which have baffled the most brilliant interpreters for centuries. However, we who live in the twentieth century can safely say we have the wisdom mentioned by the apostle John nearly 2000 years ago! We have the vantage point of hindsight to see Johns foresight, as the prophet quoted these words from God: But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase....none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand....as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age (Daniel 12:4; 10:13 NASB).
We can understand because some of the events mentioned have actually begun to occur. Daniels words the time of the end apply to us! Because we live near the time of the end, our knowledge of biblical prophecy is increased. The things you are reading in this book escaped the most brilliant scholars of the past because they were sealed!
The seven heads and ten horns may still sound strange to youlets examine them. The seven heads are synonymous with six former kingdoms which ruled the world, with one yet to come. They also represent the trademark of the seventh coming kingdom, which is a revival of the sixth. Since a key part of the prophecy features seven hills, the seventh coming kingdom will be Rome, a city built on seven hills.
LET US DOCUMENT
The seven heads were ancient world kingdoms including Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome, which existed in Johns day. One is revived Rome, made up of ten nations which have not yet received a kingdom. However, they will receive a kingdom with the beast (Antichrist; Revelation 17:13), when the seven heads culminate in a New Rome.
Daniel 7:24 explains that the ten kings arise out of the fourth world empire,5 which he predicted, while Babylon (the first) still existed. History documents this fourth power as Rome, which was the strongest world power to that date. Daniel predicted that out of that kingdom, ten horns (nations) would come. We see the EEC (European Economic Community) as the power predicted by Daniel and John now being reassembled in its final ten-horned form.
Ancient Rome, by no coincidence, was known as the city of seven hills, which is verified throughout Roman literature and on their coins. Notice above, the woman is sitting upon seven hills etched on the coin.
HUMPTY DUMPTY IS PUT BACK TOGETHER
AGAIN! ROME IS RESURRECTED
The childrens nursery rhyme containing the line, They [all the kings men] couldnt put Humpty Dumpty back together again, was written, believe it or not, as a result of the many failed attempts to rebuild Rome. As one Bible teacher tells us: By reconstructing a world government out of the ruins of the ancient Roman Empire, the Antichrist will have accomplished what no one else has been able to do since A.D. 476, the year the Roman Empire officially died. Charlemagne tried to put it together but failed. Napoleon did his best, but met his Waterloo! Bismarck dreamed of making Germany the capital of revived Rome, and did succeed in defeating France.
Then Hitler came along. He envisioned the Mediterranean Sea as a German lake and the whole world as his empire. He saw himself as the caesar of the third Roman Empirethe Third Reich. His efforts resulted in the downfall of his own nation.
So fruitless were the efforts of men to reconstruct the Roman Empire that poets wrote sonnets about the futility of it the childrens nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty was originally written about the
fallen Roman Empire and all of the attempts to put it back together again.6
THE ANCIENT RABBINIC LITERATURE
CONFIRMS OUR INTERPRETATION
We believe that New Rome, which will soon be consolidated by the Antichrist, has already seen its primary reassembly, as Daniel predicted 2600 years ago in his famous Old Testament prophecy (Dan. 7:24). In the book of Revelation in the New Testament, John adds even more vivid details: 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 (Rev. 13:1 KJV).
The ancient rabbinical writers adhered to the same interpretation of a ten nation revived Rome headed by an evil king who would
attempt to destroy Israel: ...Armilus...will rule over the entire world, and there will be nobody to stand up against him. And all those who
do not believe in him will die by his cruel sword. And he will come
to the land of Israel with ten kings, to Jerusalem....And then there
will be trouble in Israel the like of which never was in the world.
And they will flee in to crevices and caves in the deserts....And
these are...ten kings who will arise over the nations in those seven years.7
We, as Bible believers and political spectators, see before our very eyes a group of countries known as the EEC (European Economic Community) or Common Market. We believe that they are soon to be consolidated into a final form,8 which will be the fulfillment of the prophecies contained in the ancient text of the Bible! This will be accomplished by the greatest evil leader who has ever lived. He will attempt to become a world caesar over a one-world government energized by Satan himself. This event, to take place shortly before the return of the Messiah, will be expanded upon in the next chapter.
HOW MANY KINGS?
The EECs original goal when it was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, was a confederacy numbering ten nations. More than twenty-five years ago, when the association consisted of only six nations, a Time magazine article entitled, Europes Dreams of Unity Revived, said: Should all go according to the most optimistic schedules, the Common Market could someday expand into a ten-nation economic entity whose industrial might would far surpass that of the Soviet Union.9
For many years, the nations in this group numbered fewer than ten: in 1958, they numbered six; in 1973, they numbered nine; and in 1981, they numbered tendrawing Greece into the fold. In 1986, they included Spain and Portugal, bringing their total to twelve-fold, a number that could increase again. One day their numbers will decline again to precisely ten,10 as predicted in the Scriptures. However, it
may be possible that this may be more than twenty years away. It is also possible that one ancient nation may have covered the same area
as several modern countries. If we look at it from this perspective, current numbers would be meaningless (see our footnote below for
Rev. Chuck Smiths observations). At that time, they will be used by the Antichrist to accomplish a counterfeit one-world Messianic Kingdom, which will be terminated by Armageddon. Only then will true peace be possible through the real Messiah.
ONE MIGHTY SUPERPOWER? WHERE IS
THE CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE?
Is there any proof that these nations in the modern EEC have the ambition to become one mighty power, consolidated in a ten-nation confederacy of Europe? Dr. Walter Hallstein, former president of the EEC, wrote: Three phases of the European unification are to be noted. First, the customs union, second, the economic union, third, the political union...what we have created on the way to uniting Europe is a mighty economic-political union of which nothing may be sacrificed for any reason. Its value exists not only in what it is, but more in what it promises to become....we may fully expect the great fusion of all economic, military, and political communities together into the United States of Europe. 11
BACK TO BABYLON AND ALEXANDERS
Babylon became an empire in 606 BC and was still in power when God began to give Daniel his famous visions. The second kingdom, like a bear, was Media-Persia (Dan. 8:20).
Around 530 BC, the Babylonians were conquered by the Medes and Persians, who replaced them as the world empire. Daniel predicted that the Greeks would rise and defeat Media-Persia. He recorded this in 530 BC. Did it occur? History records that in 331 BC, Alexander the Great conquered them! Interestingly enough, Dr. Louis Bauman noted: It is said that Alexander the Great, when he marched his swift-moving columns into Palestine, entered the Temple in Jerusalem. While there, the high priest showed him the scroll of the prophet Daniel. Alexander was greatly interested in discovering that his own plans, as he thought they were, were the plans of the God of Israel, and were all written down by Daniel before he (Alexander) was born!12
DANIELS PREDICTION OF GREEK DESTRUCTION
Daniel 8 predicted that the Greek Empire of Alexander would crumble into four separate parts when its king died abruptly. His prediction also said that four powers would divide his empire: And I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven....And the shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power (Dan. 8:7-8, 21-22 NASB).
History also bears witness to the fact that Alexander died of alcoholism at the age of thirty-three. On his deathbed, he was asked who would take over the empire. Traditionally, it had gone to the son; however, Alexander said, Give it to the strongest. The kingdom was then divided up amongst his four strongest generals: Lysymmacus, Casander, Selecus and Ptolemy. The divided Greek Empire was considerably weakened and in 68 BC, four hundred years after the rule of Alexander, it was overthrown by Rome, which became the greatest world power to date.
Reverend Larkins chart compares the Old Testament book of Daniel to its New Testament complement, Revelation, in relation to our future.
1 Josh McDowell, Prophecy, Fact or Fiction?, pp. 4-5. McDowell works for Campus Crusade for Christ and has lectured at over five hundred college campuses in fifty-three countries, speaking to over five million students as of 1981. In his book, McDowell does a very good job of exposing liberal Bible critics who have attempted to discredit Daniel as a sixth century BC prophet. If you have friends who have doubts about Daniel, have them read McDowell! Then they will have no more doubts.
2 Ibid, p. 6.
4 See Daniel 7:1 to authenticate this date.
5 Daniel does not count Assyria and Egypt because they were not in the kings dream. Therefore, Daniels fourth kingdom is Johns sixth. The first ruling kingdom mentioned in Daniel (Babylon) is documented as Johns third because Daniel begins with the Europe of his day. In the book of Revelation, John gives us a complete view of the three kingdoms which existed before Babylon (Revelation 17:10).
6 Hal Lindsey, Theres A New World Coming, p. 177.
7 Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts, pp. 126, 128. Patais source was Sefer Zerubbabel, BhM 2:54-57.
8 Interestingly, a Brussels, Belgium, Associated Press report on this issue surmises: With more of a whimper than a bang, the European Community is ushering in a new era in its decades-old drive for a unified Europe. The dozen nations have put into place their Treaty of European Union, linking the political and economic fates of their 346 million people more closely than ever. Over time, EC citizens will be able to vote and run for office in other EC countries. Foreign ministers will speak with a single voice on world issues. Their currencies will one day fold into one. Hal Lindsey, Countdown..., Vol. 4, No. 12.
9 Europes Dreams of Unity Revived, Time, July 4, 1969, p. 23.
10 The ten nations of the EEC match the ten toes mentioned in Daniels prediction. Concerning this, the learned Reverend Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA, tells us: The original idea for the formation of the EEC came from a group of intellectuals known as the Club of Rome. The confederacy of European nations is relevant to this discussion because each nation in the EEC was once a part of the old Roman Empire....However....The latest maps of Europe list the nation north of France as Benelux. This is a combination of the three small nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. All are listed separately as member-nations of the Community. If they were recognized as one, there would then be ten nations corresponding to the ten toes....Daniel 7:8 tells us that an eleventh horn shall arise which will destroy three of the horns. This eleventh horn is identified as the Antichrist who will rise to rule over the world. [If one more enters and he destroys Benelux, you will still end with ten]....the nations of the EEC have a greater potential gross national product than the United States, and could conceivably become the greatest economic power in the world.... Chuck Smith, The Final Curtain. Eugene, OR: Word for Today, © 1991, pp. 11-12, used by permission. Available through Word for Today, POB 8000, Costa Mesa, CA, USA 92628. Tel. (800) 272-WORD or (714) 979-0706.
11 Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson, The Late Great Planet Earth, p. 96.
12 Louis S. Bauman, D.D., Light from Bible Prophecy, As Related to the Present Crisis. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, © 1940, p. 66, used by permission.