Many people today, I fear, are “turned off” from hearing recurrent prophetic voices proclaiming the return of Christ in this generation, the coming 10 Nation Federation, etc. (I am one of those voices I must admit. So is Billy Graham’s ministry, I.H.O.P., the huge “Left Behind” movement and many more…) But I do see where people can get “End Times Overload” and start to tune out these voices.
Yet, the Bible often speaks about the future and gives key insights as to its timing and circumstances. For example, Jeremiah prophesied that Babylon would rule Israel for seventy years (605 BC to 538 BC).
”This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25: 11)
As Daniel was later meditating (with prayer and fasting) on these exact same verses from Jeremiah, he received the heavenly visitation from Gabriel to explain the future end of “this present age” with the destruction of the Antichrist (Daniel 9). This gives us a graphic example, I believe, to not give in to a lackadaisical, half-hearted approach to prophetic Scriptures.
One image that gets too little play in the understanding of End Time events is Daniel’s statue. Truth be told, one can get more insight and understanding of God’s heart about the Last Days from Daniel 2 than from all the popular movies, books and “Google searches” put together!
“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.” (Daniel 2: 31-35)
Let me give you as accurate condensation to the main teaching of this statue as I can:
1. The emphasis in the vision of the statue is on the depreciation (weakening) of the metals of the statue as you descend from the head to the feet!
Head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and sides of bronze, legs of iron and finally feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. Even the Olympic medals can serve as a sign of the deterioration of the metals from gold to silver to bronze! As you move down the statue from head to feet the metals became less and less valuable but more and more stronger for destruction.
To support this with the Scriptures we see that Iron is obviously not a precious metal at all but is purely meant for punishment and war: “He will rule the nations with a rod of iron.” Psalm 2:9
There is (almost) universal agreement among Bible commentators that Babylon was the head of Gold; Medo – Persia were the chest and arms of Silver; Greece was the belly and sides of Bronze; and Rome was the legs of Iron. (That Medo-Persia is “silver” and Greece is “bronze” can be implicitly seen later in Daniel 8).
2. Careful attention must be given to the “Prophetic Gap” in the statute as depicted in the future co-mingling of the Iron and Clay.
“In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s 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. 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. (Daniel 2: 41-43)
The “Prophetic Gap” in this statue is between the fall of the Roman Empire/ Iron Legs (476 A.D.) and its resurgence once again “at the end of this age” as the Feet and Toes of Iron mixed with Clay. This has yet to happen as no Empire in this area of the “Prophetic Earth”– those Empires that rule and reign over Jerusalem during her time of punishment — has exemplified these characteristics of Clay and Iron with a 10 Toes (10 Horns) separation into East and West. (For confirmation on this you can read of the 10 Ten Horns of the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and the 10 Crowns from the Beast out of the sea from Revelation 13.)
The key characteristic of the coming Federation of 10 nations is the co-mingling of Iron and Clay from out of the Roman Empire, which stretched at its height from London in the West to Babylon in the East! Since clay as a symbol of government is hard to identify from Daniel alone I offer this quote from Bible expositor A.C. Gaebelein, who in 1922, received from Wheaton College an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree:
“But what does the clay represent? Clay is of the earth. It stands for that which does not belong to the great statue at all, a foreign ingredient brought in… The clay stands for democratic rule, the rule by the people.”
One day there will come from the Prophetic Earth, those nations which encompasses the Mediterranean Sea, a Federation of 10 Nations that are strangely strong and weak at the same time, which will lead to them seek a strong, powerful leader. This 11th horn, a “little one” (Daniel 7:8) will establish himself as their leader and will rule from Babylon will try and gather the nations of the world to destroy Jerusalem (Rev 16).
3. The depreciation of the metal is a prophetic symbolism for depreciation of future Gentile nations and their corresponding type of government.
Babylon is the first kingdom to rule Jerusalem as a foreign invader and was given this position by God – And the Lord delivered… Judah into his [King Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand (Dan 1:2). God is punishing Israel for their disobedience, especially concerning their neglect of the Sabbath Rest for the land. (see 2 Chronicles 36: 20-21)
Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar, are seen as the brilliant head of fine gold. The Bible record of King Nebuchadnezzar is stunning:
“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. (Daniel 2: 37-38)
Here is an excerpt from modern times about Nebuchadnezzar, from Dr. Grant Richison, who from 1993 to 1995, was Director of Leadership Ministries for Campus Crusade for Christ (Canada):
”Nebuchadnezzar was the world ruler of his day. None of the rulers that followed him had as much absolute power as Nebuchadnezzar. He was the “king of kings” (Ezek 26:7). God sovereignly gave him this power.”
Medo-Persia, which conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and lasted longer and was much larger in size than the Babylon Empire, is depicted as “inferior” silver. This inferiority, however, is in government structure which is documented in the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. As you know from your Sunday School days, King Darius was “tricked” into issuing a decree to condemn Daniel because there was no other way to find fault in him by his jealous co-workers! Against his own personal wishes Darius had to throw Daniel in the lion’s den. Fortunately, God delivered Daniel from the King Darius’ foolish decree and those men (and their families!) who tricked the King ended up themselves in the belly of a lion!
The Persia Empire was later crushed by the mighty hand of Alexander in 331 B.C. Alexander’s Empire is seen as the much inferior metal, bronze. After Alexander’s sudden death in Babylon, the Greek Empire was divided not by the nobility of birth (which can still be directed by God!) but by the ignoble means of pure physical strength of arms! In God’s eyes this was a big depreciation from gold and silver!
Four Military Generals divided up the Empire Alexander had carved out of the known world at that time. They continually fought against one another as was prophesied in Daniel 11. Roman Emperors come next upon the world scene and defeat Greece in 168 B.C. and reign for 500 years over an Empire that was a combination of “successive kingdoms” ranging back to King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon.
Keep reading Daniel:
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the book of Daniel. It is the key to all prophecy; without a knowledge of the great prophecies contained in this book the entire prophetic portion of the word of God must remain a sealed book. One of the reasons why so few Christians have a correct knowledge of the prophetic forecast in the Bible is the neglect of the book of Daniel. The great prophetic portions of the New Testament, the Olivet discourse of our Lord (Matthew 24 and 25), and above all the great New Testament book of prophecy, the book of Revelation, can only be understood through the prophecies of Daniel. (A.C. Gaebelein)
Yours for the Coming King,
Good morning Jeff.
Just happened to get this as a part of my daily Bible messages [Revelation 17] that I get sent to my email each day… and thought of you and your study on the Book of Revelation. Boy this sounds bizarre… Are they saying that Babylon (Iran or Iraq area I imagine…) is where the drama happens?? Clue me in a bit if you would please.
Paul, yeah this is the end time situation when the Antichrist — through the harlot — is ruling the world from Babylon.
“The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” Rev 17:18
Believe it or not, one can rightly bring the whole of the Bible down to a “tale of two cities” — Jerusalem and Babylon! Jerusalem is God’s city and Babylon is Satan’s counterfeit city. Jesus has a bride — the church. Satan has his counterfeit — a harlot.
I believe the Bible says that it is the literal Babylon known since the days of the tower of Babel in Gen 10-11, on the banks of the Euphrates river. This same river is where the garden of Eden was located!! Not one word of the bible is in vain or unnecessary… So when you see things like the tower of Babel in Babylon where man tried to solidify himself and rebelled against God’s Word or the 90 ft. statute in Daniel 3 that Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon makes the whole world fall down and worship at the cost of death, know that this is not just there for random information/history but will come back again! You will see this all recycled in the Last Days.
Another example is Egypt and the Pharaoh and the 10 plagues inflicted through Moses and the End Time plagues released against the evil empire of the Antichrist by Jesus and the praying church! After the plagues the Pharaoh let God’s people go only to be utterly destroyed in the Red Sea. After the 21 judgments — seals, trumpets and bowls of wrath — in the book of Revelation (ch. 6-16) comes the complete destruction of the Antichrist and his armies and empire at the battle of Armageddon.
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 19:20-21
Babylon, on the banks of the Euphrates river, will arise from nowhere in the final days of this age to be a major city, where all the kings of the world will deal with and trade, etc. (see Rev 18). From there, the Antichrist will shift his headquarters to Jerusalem, from whence he makes an idol that will supernaturally “speak” (Rev 13:15) and the whole world must worship it at the threat of death! (BTW, this is where the mark of the beast 666 comes in!) BUT after a short 3 1/2 years (shortened by God!), Christ will come the 2nd time, riding on a white horse, prepared for battle (Isa. 63) and destroy the Antichrist’s empire and armies with the breath of His mouth. The “birds of the air” will have the feast of God and then Jesus will re-establish David’s throne (Acts 15:16) and will reign in Jerusalem for 1000 years. (Rev 20)
After the 1000 years the “New Jerusalem” will come down out of heaven with the Father on the throne (Rev 21-22) and will rest on this RENEWED earth forever!!
Revelation 17:1-18 (NRSV)
Earth’s kings conquered
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk.” So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.
When I saw her, I was greatly amazed. But the angel said to me, “Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
“This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; also, they are seven kings, of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
And he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the whore is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the whore; they will make her desolate and naked; they will devour her flesh and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”