THE FOUR GREAT EMPIRES OF THE WORLD
Babylonian Empire ruled as the first world empire from 605 BC, till Medo-Persian Empire also took over from them in the year 538 BC, followed by Grecian Empire in the year 331 BC and finally Rome as the fourth world empire with her Roman Empire of the Caesars from the year 168 BC until 476 AD when it was divided into Ten Kingdoms just before its collapse. So no wonder history proves that the Bible does not speak in vain. But since we are dealing with the beast of Revelation let's be so curious about the fourth beast, even though we might definitely treat something about the three other beasts in Daniel's visions. But kindly permit me to take you through some other biblical proofs, to show that the Lord was so explicit about who should rule first, second, third and the last before His KINGDOM comes to take over from them after He has judged them right.
In a dream to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Lord's interpretation of the dream through Prophet Daniel told him the King point-blank that he is the first king. DAN.2:1-19,31-38. Again when Nebuchadnezzar's successor King Bel-shazzar fooled before the Lord and the hand writing came, Darius overthrew the Babylonian empire true to the word of God according to the interpretation of the hand writing by Daniel. And that was the beginning of Medes and Persia as the second empire. DAN.5:1-31; 2:39. Also with the term "King of Kings” referring to both Christ and the Omniscient God, He again revealed to Daniel how the Greeks should become the third empire of the world. 1 TIM 6:15, REV 17:14 and 19:16. So here the dream concerning the Ram and the he Goat also unravels all the mysteries concerning how Alexander the great and his Grecian empire took over from the Medo-Persians as the third one. DAN.8:1-22; 2:39. So dear reader, if the first three kingdoms had their coming into being foretold by the Lord, how could He leave His dear children in total darkness as far as matters concerning the last or the fourth kingdom was concerned? By this He even gave some hints about it in DAN.8:9-12, 23-26 as continuation of information about the reign of the third empire.
Let God be true and everyone a liar. ROM.3:4 All these explanations above proves beyond reasonable doubt that history is very, very important as far as our quest for the truth in this matter is concerned since it shows that the report is nothing but the truth. In short one can easily assert that the Bible is itself a book of history.
From the various illustrations above it is clearly seen that since the days of King Nebuchadnezzar till the end to come, only four great kingdoms should reign before our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ possess the whole Universal Kingdom for His obedient saints who remain loyal to Him. Herein lies the basic truth concerning the dream shown to Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel about how the whole world should be from Nebuchadnezzar's time till Christ's Kingdom. (DAN.2:1-45) Let's have a critical look at the fourth kingdom and its aftermath here in the following verses:
(33) "His legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay. (34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
(40) 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. (41) 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 the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. (42) 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. (43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed 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. (44) 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 for ever. (45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the 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". (DAN. 2:33, 40-45).
Frankly speaking, these passages above also lay much emphasis on the fourth kingdom as ending all the kingdoms of the earth and like the fourth beast of DAN.7:7-8, this one must also be divided into some kingdoms under the same kingdom according to verse 41 above. Just look at this phrase, 'THE KINGDOM SHALL BE DIVIDED'. Which Kingdom shall be divided? Is it not the same fourth kingdom? Please check verses 40 for your answer and crystal clear understanding of the interpretation of the dream about the IMAGE. Even in considering the divisions of the Image into different parts, it had only four major parts namely, HEAD, BREAST AND ARMS TOGETHER, BELLY AND THIGHS TOGETHER AND FINALLY THE LEGS WHICH INCLUDE THE FEET symbolizing the four great kingdoms of the world since Nebuchadnezzar's reign till the end of this worldly rule. That was why the interpretation did not make mention of any FIFTH KINGDOM. Perhaps one may ask why; based on that fact that it did mention feet portraying the mixer of iron and clay. Please, can one have legs without feet? So it implies that a complete human structure or body has the FEET as part of its LEGS.
Hence the scripture limiting the kingdoms represented with the parts of the Image to only FOUR in order to prove to all mankind that the Bible does not contradict itself: Neither is God Almighty and Revealer of Mysteries an author of confusion. JAMES 4:5; l COR.14:33
Note also that since the feet of a human being have only TEN toes, the toes mentioned as the division of the Image's feet of iron and clay is simply indicative ofthe fact that the fourth kingdom should duly have TEN Nations both strong and weak. DAN. 2:42 .
So in short the Ten-Horned Beast of Revelation with its code number 666 is likely to be identified with both the fourth beast of Daniel's vision and the fourth part (Kingdom) of the Image ofNebuchadnezzar's dream. (REV. 13: 1-2; DAN.7:7-8; 2:33, 40-42) This is why it is easily asserted without fear that the Beast of REV.13 pictures the Roman Empire which history attests to the fact that it was divided into Ten different Nations before the year 476AD and later on ruled by the Bishops or the Popes of Rome from the year 538 AD till 1798 AD.
According to World Book Encyclopedia, page 448, under the article Ancient Rome, sub-article, DECLINE AND FALL, history reports the following: "The West Roman Empire grew steadily weaker. The Vandals, Visigoths, and other Germanic peoples invaded Spain, Gaul, and northern Africa. In 410, the Visigoths looted Rome. The fall of the Empire is often dated 476. That year, the Germanic chieftain Odoacer forced Romulus Augustus, the last ruler of the empire, from the throne. Germanic chiefs had already begun to carve up the empire into several kingdoms."
You see, since God is not a liar, it is evidently clear that there had been an empire in the history of mankind which had dominion to rule the world under a single emperor but was later divided into ten kingdoms and ruled by ten different kings.
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