FORMATION OF THE BEAST'S
POLITICAL POWER BASE
It is apparent that the world ruler, who is the center of world events during the time period known as Daniel's 70th week, needs to be in place before he can make the covenant with Israel. And although his full political and military might is not demonstrated until the middle of the week, the structure from which he operates must already be in existence and he must have some political control in order to "swing" the deal in the first place. This then is the "final" factor that needs to be a "functional" reality before the 70th week can begin. Although the rise of the world ruler relates to the beginning of Daniel's 70th week, it is necessary at this point, to give a brief synopsis of that rise in order to correlate it with the political confederacy that will be in place prior to his rise.
"And he (Satan) stood on the sand of
This refers to the beast "kingdom" rather than
and they are seven kings; five have fallen,
These are kingdoms which all have their foundation in the "Babylonian evil" of Nimrod's kingdom. Although Nimrod's world rule was terminated at the tower of Babel judgment, his influence through the religion he began, was carried with all the peoples who scattered from Shinar and was perpetuated as new cultures developed, changing and adjusting as history progressed, and yet always retaining the basic core of evil that was launched into the world through Nimrod's involvement with Satan.
Of these kingdoms, 5 have fallen prior to the then present kingdom of Rome; one is, which is Rome (from John's perspective); and one is yet to come, subsequent to Rome. There is usually no disagreement in identifying the 6 kings or kingdoms. The problems arise with trying to identify the 7th. But I think that we can find within the context of Revelation 17 as well as the context of Daniel, the fact that the 7th is simply a ten-nation confederacy formed into a political and economic power which will have great, although subtle, influence throughout the whole world. This 10-nation "organization" will be in existence at "the time of the end" and become the instrument by which one man out from among them will establish world control. It is usually identified as a revived or a reconstructed Roman Empire that will exist at the end times and prior to the world ruler taking control. However, it should not really be viewed as a "revived" Roman Empire, but this term has been generally accepted to refer to the 10-nation political confederacy which is structured out from the geographical boundaries of the old Roman Empire.
The identification of the 5 kings or kingdoms which have fallen is based on understanding this progression of "Babylonian evil" in the five kingdoms which functioned, each in their turn, as a world force both religiously and militarily. Those five then would be in order, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Persia and Greece.
The 6th kingdom which is present during the time of John, is Rome.
The 7th kingdom, which is the beast kingdom, is described as possessing 10 horns which are identified as 10 kings which have not yet received a kingdom, but will receive authority with the beast for one hour (a short time). This 10-king body, or 10-nation body refers to a political and economic organization, with roots in the Roman Empire, which will come together in the last days. We learn details of this from Daniel 2:40-44; 7:19-24; and Rev. 17:8-17.
THE VISIONS OF DANIEL
We begin with the first vision of Daniel which is found at chapter 2:31-45. Here we see a huge statue of a man designed as a broad outline of the world's major kingdoms from the time of Babylon until the future return of Jesus at the Day of the LORD.
Briefly then, the head of Gold refers to Babylon; the breast and arms refers to Persia; the belly and thighs refers to Greece; and the legs and feet refer to Rome with the 10 toes referring to the final form of "Roman" influence at the "end times."
Concerning the twofold division of Greece and Rome as represented by the image, Walvoord concludes,
Concerning the "dual" character of this "Roman" kingdom as represented by the iron and pottery, Daniel records at Daniel 2:43,
"And in that you saw the iron mixed with
The significance of the iron and pottery:
The two Aramaic words, chasaph and tiyn, used together indicate "baked" clay rather than "natural" clay and therefore should be rendered as "pottery" and not "clay." This is confirmed in the passage by the description of this element as being, "brittle," which refers to pottery rather than clay.
The meaning of this "dualism" has been the subject of many and varied interpretations, and since it is not clearly stated, the most logical should probably be based on the "nature" of the substances involved in the whole image.
This dualism indicates the division within the kingdom that will occur later in its history. It has been suggested that the dualism represented by the iron and clay refers to the division of the Empire into West and East. However, that geographical division is indicated by the "two legs" of the image while the iron and clay speaks of some other factor.
The first aspect of this division refers to the two spheres of power that will exist within the Empire after its "iron" stage. Those two spheres are political and religious with neither truly being able to merge with the other.
The second aspect of the division is that the one half will be strong and the other will be brittle. Eventually, the political sphere will give way to the religious. The political, being more brittle, will shatter into many segments as separate and diverse nations are formed. The religious, however, will remain strong and administer its own political influence through its massive economic and religious controls.
The next major factor concerning this image is its scope. This image traces the history of the 4th empire UNTIL the time when "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed." It bypasses the 1st advent of Messiah and extends far into the future without even hinting at the length of time involved, but it ends with the Messiah bringing an end to Gentile rule and establishing His own reign on the earth.
What we should gather from this, is that Daniel's 4th empire, which is generally identified as Rome, would eventually diminish in its power and influence and yet remain "mingled" with the seed of men, without itself being a major political body. Often people speak of the Roman Empire coming to an end and no longer having any kind of impact on the world as a whole, but this has not been the case. Peters quotes from Freeman's, Historical Essays:
The influence then, of the Roman Empire, will continue to be felt throughout subsequent history and finally reach a stage in the last days where it is to be viewed as a 10 nation confederacy which will once again have a world-wide impact. And yet, this confederacy is not to be viewed as a kingdom "power" on the earth, but rather a political body or organization which works for the mutual benefit of the whole world. Since this organization will not have "authority" itself, it is probable that its influence will be carried out in a "behind the scenes" manner until such time as it is taken over by the world ruler.
The diversities within the the Roman Empire continued to cause more and more division. The political side totally crumbled into many separate and distinct cultures, whereas, the religious side strengthened and wielded its own political influence through the power of its religious and economic controls.
We find then today, that the religious sphere is still strong and influential in world affairs, but carries no "direct" political clout.
However, the political sphere, which long ago splintered into many different pieces, is now pushing and shoving; moving toward some kind of political union that will be able to once again administer the affairs of the world with a "unified" political authority as the Roman Empire did for so many years. Eventually, this pursuit will result in a 10-nation organization which will exist at "the time of the end" from which will arise a dynamic world ruler who will use that organization to resolve the economic, religious and political crisis in the Middle East.
The next vision also focuses on these four major world kingdoms with greater emphasis on the "end times" status of the fourth.
The fact that this 10 nation confederacy will be in existence in the last days is established by Dan. 2:44,
"And in the days of those kings,
A CHANGE OF FOCUS
We saw earlier that at Revelation 17:1-7, there seems to be a focus on a kingdom which is designated as a beast (the beast-kingdom). At Rev. 17:8ff, there seems to be a subtle change of focus as we switch from looking at the beast-kingdom to the beast-ruler who will arise prior to the 70th week and accomplish the peace keeping desires of the 10 nation confederacy by taking control of that political body.
The vision of Daniel 8, focuses on this "beast-ruler." Verses 1-22 prepares Daniel's people for a time in the relatively, near future, as Gabriel tells him about what will take place progressively from the rise of Media and Persia, to Greece and then to the oppression of Antiochus Epiphanes. The historical progress of this passage is given in "prose" and extends approximately from 538 until 164 BC.
However, at Daniel 8:23 the writing style changes to "poetry" and the focus goes far beyond even the few hundred years of the near future and looks to "the latter period of their rule," which corresponds with Dan. 2:44, "and in the days of those kings," which takes us to the "end times" period.
Furthermore, the phrase at v. 8:23, "when transgressors have run their course," has eschatological significance in reference to the discipline stage of Israel's history, which has extended currently from 70 AD to the present. This same point of focus is found at Daniel 9:24 with the phrase, "to finish THE transgression."
It is from within this 10-nation confederacy, that a king will arise who is arrogant and skilled in intrigue. He will use the 10-nation confederacy as a political base from which to implement his peace keeping ideas in Europe and the Middle East. And it is from this ideology that comes the M.E.P.T.A. covenant of Dan. 9:27.
"And in the latter period of their rule,
And he (the prince who is to come)
It is important to note at this point that the language indicates that these 10 kings will exist together in a union of political power, and are NOT to be viewed as following one another in history. Furthermore, it is "out from among them" that the little horn will arise and conquer 3 of them (Dan. 7:8, 24). That is, a man from within the borders of the 10 but not one of the 10, will rise to take control of the 10.
Nor are they to be viewed as a kingdom "power" on the earth, but rather a political union for the mutual benefit of many nations. There status as a kingdom power will not come about until the take over by the world ruler. According to Rev. 17:10, the 7th kingdom has not yet come (at the time of John) and when it comes it is to remain just a little while. This refers to the 10-nation confederacy that will be in place just prior to the beginning of the 70th week. Our passages make it clear that the 10-nation confederacy is in place first and then the "little horn" rises up from among them and violently takes control of the group. Thus, my point is that the confederation will be in existence prior to the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. This body will be a confederacy of nations that will reflect the interests of Europe and the Middle East for certain, but may also include representatives from other parts of the world. At any rate, this block of nations will inter-relate with all the nations of the world in an attempt to solve the social, religious, economic, ecological, health and warfare problems which will exist on a very large scale. However, this body will be unable to accomplish its honorable intent as every attempt will meet with failure. The necessary ingredients for success will not be in place until such time as the world ruler himself takes over the management and implementation of "peace and safety." It is indeed, the promise of "peace and safety" made by the world ruler and the pursuit of such by those who associate with that ruler, that is in view at 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.
The "peace and safety (security)" is not being longed for here but being enjoyed. This is what lulls them to sleep. However it will quickly be interrupted and replaced with "sudden destruction" at the Day of the Lord" return of Jesus some 18 to 24 months after the mid-point of the week.
At Rev. 17:12, the 10 kings are described as not yet having received a kingdom but will receive authority with the beast for one hour, ie, a short period of time. Prior to the beginning of the week, these 10 kings serve in a political union that benefits the whole world through social and economic management but have no kingdom authority or function.
The United Nations and the European Union are two good
examples of such a body, although at the present time, we do not see a specialized
10-nation section within either of those bodies.
"and the ten horns which you saw are
At the beginning point, of the week, the "little horn" will take over authority of the confederacy and begin to institute his own agenda for world peace. It is in connection with this "overall" agenda that the new dictator will institute the covenant of peace in Palestine (M.E.P.T.A.). The "ten" do not receive authority with the beast for "a short time" UNTIL the mid-point of the week when the world leader breaks the covenant and begins his oppressive reign using not only the 10 kings to do his bidding, but a special Palestinian leader as well, known as the beast out of the "land" or the false prophet (Rev. 13:11-17).
When the little horn comes on the scene he will politically conquer 3 of the 10 nations and thus bring the whole confederacy under his control. This is the event represented by the 1st seal of Rev. 6:2.
"And I looked, and behold, a white horse
It is this "conquering" that gives this man authority within the 10-nation group and subsequently results in establishing THE peace of the 7 year covenant. In actuality, he will function as a benevolent dictator over this political/economic confederacy and accomplish great good for the world. This is the 7th world kingdom which is yet to come as mentioned at Rev. 17:10,
The other has not yet come; and when he comes,
Now even though those of the church who are oriented to the scenario of events as revealed in the Bible, will "pick up" on what is going on and may be able to recognize this leader when he comes on the scene, he will not actually be "revealed" to Israel and to the world as an oppressive dictator (man of lawlessness) until the mid-point of the week when he breaks M.E.P.T.A. and institutes his own religious and economic agenda. It is this act that then initiates the 8th world empire, the kingdom of the beast (2 Thes. 2:3-8; Mat. 24:15; Rev. 13:1-8). And it is this act which is represented at the 2nd seal of Rev. 6:4,
"And another, a red horse went out
Most translations do not recognize the presence of the definite article (the) in the verse which precedes the word, "peace." It is placed there to indicate that there is in existence through the activities of the first seal, a universal "peace" in the world. It is this very peace which is then interrupted and indeed, totally removed by the activities of the beast at the midpoint of the week when he sets himself up as God and begins his oppressive reign, known as the tribulation, the great one.
The information about the beast at Rev. 17:1-10 describes the relationship of the beast-kingdom and Babylonian evil as it will exist in the Roman church. But the description covers a time period many years prior to the arrival of the beast-kingdom, and in fact reviews the religious harlotry of Babylonian evil from ancient Egypt to ancient Greece (the 5 that have fallen) and then to Ancient Rome.
King #6 is Rome, and although it officially passes off the scene in 1453 AD, its political, economic and religious influences remain "mingled in the seed of men" to this very day.
The king who is to come (#7) will come on the scene out from among the 10 kings, gain authority over them and reign for a short time (one hour).
Rev. 17:11-15 describes what happens at the midpoint of the week when the 7th king becomes the 8th (the beast-ruler) and will abolish all religion and promote himself as God. Verses 16-18 describes what happens to the Roman church at the midpoint of the week when the beast-ruler begins his oppressive reign over the world. He uses the 10-nation political confederacy to destroy the religious "harlot" and neutralize her capital city, Rome.
The great and powerful religious body of Rome will be instrumental in establishing religious tolerance in the Middle East which is absolutely necessary for THE peace to take effect. But after the beast-ruler is empowered by Satan, the agenda for beast worship will have no use for the ecumenical religious body of Babylonian evil nor the city of Rome which is its headquarters.
At about the mid point of the week, the benevolent world ruler will be assassinated (suffer a fatal head wound) but be raised up by the power of Satan which brings his soul back from the place of torments in the abyss of hades. It is for this reason that he can be described as "was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss."
Notice that the people of the world will OBSERVE that this person "was and is not and will come." Accordingly, it does not seem likely that this has reference to the "7 kings" of verse 10, where we see that "five have fallen, one is and one is to come."
Here, at verse 8, viewed from the perspective of people alive AT THE TIME -
1. "Was," refers to the life of the world ruler (#7) as he reigned over the 10-nation confederacy.
2. "Is not," refers to the fact that #7 is killed and "lies in state" before the eyes of the watching world.
3. And "about to come" refers to the resuscitation of the world ruler as he comes from hades in the abyss and becomes the 8th king.
We are given a picture of the rise, activity
and demise of this ruler at Daniel 8:23-26.
The religious body itself will be destroyed at the midpoint of the week but the city will not be destroyed until during the warfare that leads up to Armageddon. The fall of this city takes place at such a time that allows for the nations of the world to express their shock and sorrow at its destruction (Rev. 18:9-19). This would indicate a time frame prior to Armageddon rather than afterwards.
There has been much debate about whether this city is a "restored" Babylon or the city of Rome which has "housed" Babylonian evil since Constantine the Great in about 313 AD.
Details of this subject must await another chapter. However, let me say that the language found at Rev. 18 concerning the greatness and influence of the city involved, which is called "Babylon the great," can hardly apply to the physical city of Babylon either at the time of John or at any time since, nor could it apply to even a "restored" city of Babylon without a large number of years to fulfill the language of Rev. 18:3,
I must suggest that if there is to be a restored "physical" city of Babylon for the end times, it seems that Revelation 17 and 18 do not have it in mind.
At any rate, the world ruler will utilize the political structure of a 10-nation confederacy to carry out his initial peace-keeping activities and later, as the beast-ruler, use it to carry out his religious agenda.
İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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