(Revelation 13:1-4, 11) “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name… Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.”
In the book of Revelation John saw the immergence of the last beast empire that would expand the globe before Jesus comes back (Revelation 13:1-10). This empire would be like nothing else that had ever been. It would have the combined powers of Ancient Babylon, Persia and Greece. Daniel also saw the same vision of four beast empires that described four successive world empires that would dominate the history of the world. These nations were Ancient Babylon, Persia, Greece and also a fourth beast empire led by the Antichrist, an empire which had absorbed the other three empires before it and yet had the same geographical boundaries. All of these empires combined were Middle-Eastern Empires.
Daniel also saw that this fourth empire namely the kingdom of the Antichrist would immerge and in fact would be the last great beast empire to exist before the Second Coming of Christ. Look again at what Daniel wrote in scripture; “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. 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 man and a mouth that spoke boastfully” (Daniel 7:7-8). In Daniel chapter seven between verse six and verse seven Daniel does “a time leap” and begins to describe a future kingdom to come. In this second study on Daniel chapter seven we will look at the Fourth Beast and what it means for us in the last days.
The Fourth Beast. (Daniel 7:15-24) The Kingdom of the Antichrist
(Vs. 15-16) “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of this. “So he told me the interpretation of these things:”
The prophet Daniel had received another vision in which he saw four great successive empires. So powerful were these visions that he was greatly disturbed emotionally by what he saw and deeply troubled in his thoughts. His vision of the future was no postmillennial theory or a Kingdom Now, Kingdom Dominion dream of a Christianised world but a vision of the Last Days and of a beast empire that would terrify the inhabitants of the earth just before the Second Coming of Christ. When Daniel approached one of those standing before the presence of the Lord he asked the true meaning of the things he saw. The one he spoke to gave Daniel the interpretation.
(Vs. 17-18) “The four great beasts are four great kingdoms that will rise from the earth.” But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever-yes, for ever and ever.”
Once again Daniel was encouraged to know that the saints would ultimately inherit the kingdom of God. However the fourth beast empire was the one that Daniel wanted to know about because of its terrifying nature and character. And so we read…
(Vs.19) “Then I wanted to know the true 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.”
This last beast empire primarily would immerge from the other three beast empires before it. All of these beasts were connected just like the different body parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue were connected. Even though they represented separate historical empires they were still part of the one statue. Separate empires yet connected with their source in Babylon. For example when you see its “bronze claws” you see a direct connection to the empire of Greece. This last beast kingdom would be different than the other beast empires. It was different from the others as it did not assimilate into the cultures of the other three before it. Historically Persia absorbed Babylon and Greece absorbed Persia. Even Rome absorbed the philosophies, the culture and even the religions of the Greek empire. Rome had the same gods as Greece had but renamed them to assimilate them into Roman culture. There was a connection with these ancient empires. Much of the culture including the mystery religions were passed on down to all of the empires I have just mentioned. Alexander the Great actually made the ancient city of Babylon his Eastern capital. Historically the city of Babylon was never destroyed.
However this fourth beast “crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.” This fourth beast empire totally disregarded any previously existing civilization. It could not absorb the culture or the philosophy or even the religions of the former empires it crushed. Historically there have been many empires down through history however, the ones we are looking at are the empires mentioned in the Bible. This fourth empire has already immerged and is rapidly sweeping the globe today.
About 650 AD this empire arose from Mecca, almost out of nowhere and within a few hundred years controlled an area twice as big as the United States of America. The geographical boundaries of this empire today are the same ones that Ancient Babylon, Persia and Greece had. Remember Greece had an eastern empire. In the North you had the Seleucid regime in Turkey and in the South you had the Ptolemy regime in Egypt. You had the Kings of the North and the South which Daniel also mentioned in Chapter eleven of his book. There were several wars between the kings of the North and the South between the Ptolemy and the Seleucid empires. In the book of Daniel we also see that another war at the end of this age will occur between the King of the North and the King of the South before Jesus comes back.
The only empire today that has been on the rise is the empire of Islam. The Islamic Empire was the dominant power in the Middle-East for centuries ruled over by the Ottoman Turkish Caliphate until it received a temporary sword wound after World War 1 when Turkey was defeated by the western allies. For years it lay dormant as a “beast wounded by the sword and yet still lived.” Then it came to life again and is now once more seeking to subject the whole world to the rule of a supreme Caliph with Sharia law as its only law. This empire has no respect for other cultures, politics, religions or laws except its own. Islam is not just a religion but an ideology, a political, socio-economic system of government and a militant militaristic power that subjugates with the sword. When you look at the legs of Iron on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue they are equal in length but divided. They have the same power but have two separate divisions. Today Islam has two main divisions, namely the Sunnis and the Shiites and they are at war with each other when they are not fighting everyone else. Indeed Ishmael’s seed is at war with each other. God said this would be so. “He (Ishmael) will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12).
Today the Arabs are still fighting each other. The empire is divided yet each division equal in power just as depicted by the two legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Also notice specifically that “the beast that crushed and devoured its victims.” In Daniel chapter two we are told that this beast empire that it will “crush and break all others.” This empire will crush and replace languages and perpetuate ethnic cleansing. To “crush” means to conquer, to subjugate, to dominate culturally and religiously and to do away with existing laws to replace them with its own laws and culture. Islam fits the bill today! Some think this fourth beast described is Rome however, even though Rome was an empire of “iron” it practiced tolerance and sought to assimilate other cultures and ideologies and religions into its culture. Many of the Roman legions were composed of men from other nations. A multitude of religions and gods were tolerated and absorbed into Roman society, however, with fundamental Islam, as taught in the Koran and the Hadith cannot assimilate with any other culture as is evident all over the globe today.
Right across the Muslim world there is a call to re-establish a global Caliphate like the one that existed in the centuries of the Turkish Ottoman Empire with Sharia law as its only law. On the basis of scripture and in the light of history I have come to believe that Islam today is the fourth and final beast kingdom that both Daniel and John saw. Islam then, is spreading through almost every nation with its agenda to establish a global government ruled over by a supreme Caliph who enforces Sharia law on everyone in his empire. Whether it is by immigration, or by political parties or by oil deals with European and American politicians or a combination of all of them it is a “Trojan Horse” in the western democracies. Islam invented the word “terrorist.” Imagine a nuclear warhead in the hands of an Islamic terrorist with Jihad on his mind and with his finger on the button who sees martyrdom as a direct way to enter paradise where he will have 70 virgins to entertain him? But let’s continue…
(Vs.20) “I 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.”
In Biblical Apocalyptic literature “horns” represent kings or rulers over their kingdoms or empires and here Daniel saw that in the last days just before Jesus comes back there would be ten kings. Then he saw another horn that looked more imposing than the others, that overthrew three of them and that one was the Antichrist.
In the book of Revelation John tells us that these ten kings and their empires are given power along with the Antichrist’s empire for a brief period of time but are subservient to that empire. “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.” (Revelation 17:12-14) This “horn that spoke boastfully” is the Antichrist himself. Other scriptures confirm this when it says. “This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully. “(Daniel 7:8b) “The king will do as he pleases. He will exult and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” (Daniel 11:36a) “He opposes and exults himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple. Proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4) “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months (Three and a half years). He opened his mouth to Blaspheme God, and to slander His name and His dwelling place and those who live in heaven.” (Revelation 13:5-6) After he comes to power the Antichrist will depose three of the ten kings. Most probably it will be a federation of 10 Islamic nations over which the Muslim Antichrist will ultimately rule. In the process of his ascendency he will depose three of those nations. Another thing is that this is “a little horn’ that arises out of obscurity. There is a very real possibility that he is alive today but as yet has not been revealed. Now let’s move on…
(Vs. 21-22) “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them.” (This describes the Antichrist’s persecution of Israel and the Church) “Until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.”
In the hype accompanying much of Kingdom Dominion theology and triumphalism we can ask those perpetrating it when did the Saints possess the kingdom? It was only after the kingdom of the Antichrist had been overthrown. This flatly contradicts Kingdom now and postmillennial theology of a progressively Christianised world before Jesus comes back. The very last thing happening just before Jesus comes back will be the Time of Jacob’s Trouble when Israel will be centre-stage in world affairs and the whole world on the very precipice of annihilation. Daniel knew that the vision was something that was to happen in the future. Now let’s continue reading…
(Vs. 23-24) “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. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom…”
In verse twenty four Daniel continues to take us into the time of the last beast empire that will cover the earth. The ten kings will be a part of the last beast empire. Historically the ten beast kingdoms ruling along with the beast kingdom of the Antichrist is yet to come forth. However, it is interesting when you look at the beast empire of Islam today it already is associated with ten kings or kingdoms that have already existed in history. Let’s look at these kings. These ten kings are an integral part of the seven mountains as both are mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter seventeen. Historically there have already been ten kings. 1. Egypt. 2. Assyria. 3. Babylon. 4. Medio-Persia. 5. Greece plus the four generals that split Alexanders Empire into four separate kingdoms after he had died. 6. Rome. If you count all of them together you have ten kings or “horns” “or kingdoms. The ten “horns” would corresponds to the ten “toes” on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue in Daniel chapter seven. These ten horns are directly associated with and are an integral part of the seven “mountains” or “kingdoms” mentioned in Revelation chapter seventeen. They all cover the same geographical area in the Middle-East today that was the ancient fertile crescent of Mesopotamia. Allah in fact is the very ancient Mesopotamian moon-god of war that goes way back beyond the time of Mohammed. It is interesting in passing to note that there are seven literal mountains that surround Mecca, the heart of the Muslim World.
In the Bible Mountains are metaphors for kingdoms. In Revelation chapter seventeen John says that of these seven kings (kingdoms) that five have fallen. Historically these beast kingdoms were 1. Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medio-Persia, 5. Greece and the sixth empire was Rome which existed in the time of the Apostle John. However there would be a seventh empire. Historically the seventh empire that conquered Rome was the Turkish Ottoman Empire of Islam. This was the seventh king (mountain). However there would be an eighth king that belonged to the seven. This eighth king would be the Antichrist and his beast empire. Because the eighth king belonged to the seven his empire would have to be a revival of that seventh empire which historically was the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The seventh king was Islamic so if the eighth king belongs to the seven then he must also be a Muslim and the head of a revived Islamic empire. This is the same beast empire mentioned in Revelation chapter seventeen.
In fact the geographical areas today associated with the other six ancient empires mentioned are all Islamic today. These ten kings would have to be Middle-Eastern and Islamic nations or geographical regions within the Middle-East today. In fact even Ancient Rome had an eastern leg of its empire which continued for at least another thousand years in the Middle East with its headquarters in Constantinople which today is Istanbul in modern day Turkey. In the book of Revelation we are told the ancient city of Pergamum was the place “where Satan has his throne and the city where Satan dwells.” Today the ruins of Pergamum are also located in Turkey. Antiochus Epiphanes came from the Seleucid Greek Empire which encompassed that region of Turkey. Antiochus is a major type of the Antichrist to come and Daniel tells us that Antiochus’ character and conduct towards Israel directly foreshadow the character and the conduct of the Antichrist to come.
An excerpt from the Wikipedia Encyclopaedia explains how the Eastern Leg of the Roman Empire was superseded by the Turkish Ottoman Empire which was an Islamic empire. The excerpt reads; “The end of the Roman Empire is sometimes placed at 4 September AD 476, when the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustus, was deposed, and not replaced. However, Diocletian, who retired in AD 305, was the last sole Emperor of an undivided Empire whose capital was the City of Rome. After the division of the Empire by Diocletian into East and West, each branch continued to style itself as “The Roman Empire.” The Western Roman Empire declined and fell apart in the course of the 5th century. The Eastern Roman Empire, centred on Nova Roma (founded by Constantine I on the Greek city of Byzantium), which would later adopt Greek as its main language, known widely today as the Byzantine Empire, preserved Greco-Roman legal and cultural traditions along with Hellenic and Orthodox Christian elements for another millennium, until its eventual collapse with the conquest of Constantinople, as Constantine’s city become known, at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1453.
The Ottoman Empire (1299 to 1922) also known as the Turkish Empire or Turkey by its contemporaries, was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Turkish-ruled state which, at the height of its power (16th – 17th centuries), spanned three continents, controlling much of South Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar (and, in 1553, the Atlantic coast of Morocco beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria, Slovakia and parts of Ukraine in the north to Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen in the south.
The empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. At the height of its power, the Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces, in addition to the tributary principalities of Moldavia, Transylvania, and Wallachia. With Constantinople (today known as Istanbul) as its capital, the Ottoman Empire was in many respects an Islamic successor to earlier Mediterranean empires — namely the Roman and Byzantine empires. As such, the Ottomans regarded themselves as the heirs to both Roman and Islamic traditions, and hence rulers of a “Universal Empire” through this “unification of cultures.” (End of quote)
During WW1 the Ottoman Turkish Islamic empire was thrown back by the British and no longer retained its power, however, after the decline of the British Empire the Islamic world began to stir again. Today an Islamic empire is rapidly invading the nations of the world once more and Turkey itself will become a major player in its formation. Historically the Turkish Ottoman Empire was the empire that conquered Ancient Rome and although the Ottoman Turkish Empire declined after WW1 it has once more risen out of the ashes of history seeking once again to dominate the world with a revised Caliphate that enforces Sharia law. This is clear today when you see Erdogan of Turkey wanting to revive the Turkish Ottoman caliphate with himself as the supreme Caliph of the whole Islamic world. Is this “the beast (empire) that was wounded by the sword and yet lived?” Yes we see in the European Union a confederation of sorts emerging today but we need to also be aware that Islam is spreading across Europe today. Now let’s continue with the text…
“…After them (the 10 kings) another king will arise, different from the earlier ones, he will subdue three kings.”
The beast empire will subdue three of these final ten kings. The “horn” or king that brings this about will be the Antichrist. In Daniel chapter eleven we see the Antichrist with his beast empire sweeping through the Middle-East and there are three countries that are specifically mentioned that fall to his power. In chapter 11 verses forty three we read that, “He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.” The three countries mentioned today would be Egypt, Lybia and the Northern Sudan which was called “Nubia’ or “Ethiopia” in ancient times. Today Egypt has a new ruler and he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic movement dedicated to the establishment of a global Islamic empire with a supreme Caliph that enforces Sharia law. Libya has also fallen and it is possible the next target of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East will be the Sudan, however time will tell. Never the less in Daniel chapter eleven it specifically mentions three “kingdoms” or “horns” that will be overthrown. Could these kingdoms be the three “horns” spoken of that are plucked up by the roots? We are told that these three plucked up will be forced to follow after the Antichrist. They will be completely subdued by him. Some translations say; “shall follow in his steps” (ESB/KJV) “shall follow in his train” (ESB/KJV) “will follow at his heels” (NASB)
If these three countries all have governments controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood then, when the Antichrist comes riding in with his army, these three countries will be annexed by him. The Muslim brotherhood will have done their work in preparing for the 12th Mahdi when he arrives. It may well be that the awaited Mahdi of Islam will be the Antichrist. I personal am persuaded by scripture and by the rise of Islam that this will be the case. He will not be a western European man at all but a Middle-eastern potentate and despot who will demand unquestionable obedience and unswerving loyalty by all who follow submissively in his train. Much of Europe will also fall to his power and in the final analysis he will be both a Middle-eastern and a western European potentate.
The scriptures clearly identify the Antichrist with Nimrod who came from the regions of Ancient Babylon and Assyria. Nimrod was not a western man at all! In fact as we have seen the ten kings to come are all Middle-Eastern kingdoms and geographically located in the Middle-East and are all Islamic today. Now notice that he “horn” that uproots three of the other ten horns is “different from them.” He is different in that he is described as one who speaks against the Most High, oppresses the saints and tries to change the set laws and times and for three and a half years will dominate all the nations within the geographical location and boundaries of his empire. Now Daniel is no longer describing Antiochus although Antiochus is implied to a degree bur Daniel is describing the Antichrist himself. This is a “time leap” into the future. In the final study we will look at what the Antichrist does and how he and his empire is destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ.