In my February 6, 2011 blog entry, The Ten Horns and The Little Horn: Good and Bad News for Edom, Moab and Ammon, I write:
There are numerous reasons why the…Beast cannot be a reincarnation of the Roman Empire, especially not where the European territories or western leg of that empire are concerned. The western leg disintegrated politically, economically, and militarily nearly a thousand years before the Ottoman Empire defeated the Byzantine Empire. Even though the eastern leg, which became known as the Eastern Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire, centered around Constantinople/Byzantium/Istanbul located in Turkey, lasted until 1453, this portion of the Roman Empire also gradually declined politically. Additionally, the Byzantine Empire became isolated from the rest of Europe.
Consequently, the most important reason why there will not be a revival of the Roman Empire’s western or European leg is because Europe’s political and military world supremacy no longer exists. In fact, two World Wars, economic and political crises, individual European states’ defense budget cuts, and a loss in momentum for a united Europe are key factors that explain why Europe’s reign as the dominant political and military superpower has declined.
Now, since the biblical signs are pointing to the imminent return of Jesus the Christ, then the nearness of the Lord’s Second Coming means that, right now, Europe is way too weak, politically and militarily speaking, for it to become an overnight dominant global power. For sure, it would take far too many years before Europe could ever be in another world dominance position, if ever; indeed, not one country in Europe qualifies to be the rising Beast, for not one European country is currently strong enough to be considered a politically and militarily dominant world power.
Therefore, since Europe, Italy or even Rome’s present-day political and military factors indicate that most biblical prophecy scholars were wrong about an end time revived Roman Empire, then the question that should come to mind is: Who is the Prophet Daniel and Apostle John’s Beast? Once again, Apostle John’s head number eight and Prophet Daniel’s Beast number four are the Beast with seven heads and ten horns, and this Beast will be the Islamic Empire, which is the reincarnation of head number 7 or the Ottoman Empire (a.k.a., Turkish/Islamic Empire).
The above lengthy quotation was my thinking earlier in this year. Now that Europe is looking at an inevitable financial Armageddon, there can be no doubt that countless individuals’ belief in a Revived Roman Empire needs to be revisited! In fact, because of October 2011’s focus on Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland’s debt yields, because of November 2011’s recent news about Italy’s debt yields, plus the fact that the current economic focus is on the sudden disintegration of Italy’s financial situation, which continues to add to the sudden disintegration of the euro zone, and, lastly, because of the bleak 2012 economic and employment growth predictions made by The European Commission, which is the executive body of the European Union (EU), it should be obvious that Europe is now politically, militarily, AND economically way too weak to be considered an existing, or in the near future, superpower.
As a result of Europe’s contagious economic meltdown, there no longer is a definitive connection between Prophet Daniel’s interpretation of the ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and end time biblical prophecy scholars’ conclusion that these 10 toes are symbolic of this 21st century’s present day politically, militarily, and economically unstable EU that eventually will stabilize and become aware of which specific 10 nations were meant to be the EU’s dreadfully powerful Revived Roman Empire! Furthermore, even though the Prophet Daniel interprets these 10 toes as a kingdom or empire that will not remain united (cf. Daniel 2:41-43), serious biblical prophecy scholars cannot conclusively establish that Prophet Daniel’s interpretation means these 10 toes belong to a 4th consecutive kingdom, which in context would mean Rome. At best, such an interpretation is an educated guess rather than a Divine revelation.
The truth of the matter is that the 2 legs of iron could belong to the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire instead of the Roman Empire. Why? Well, because the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire controlled much of southeastern Europe, most of the present day Middle East, and parts of North Africa. This empire also consisted of the four great Islamic Caliphates (political and religious systems of governance), which are the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Fatimid Caliphate, and the Ottoman Caliphate.
It is important to note here that the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) is the first great Islamic Caliphate (dynasty or empire) but the second established Islamic Caliphate. What makes the Umayyad Caliphate a great Islamic Caliphate is the fact that this dynasty lasted less than 100 years, yet it is responsible for establishing the largest Arab-Muslim state in history. Moreover, in this Caliphate’s less than 100-year existence, Islam expands so quickly that it touches regions in India, China, North Africa, and Spain. At its largest extent, this Caliphate covered over 5 million square miles. For these reasons, it might well be that Apostle John, in Revelation 17:10, is referring to this Caliphate when he speaks of the seventh consecutive king/kingdom that had not appeared yet, but would come to power and remain in power for just a short time!
What is for sure is that, like the Roman Empire, the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire also achieved great western (European) and eastern (Middle Eastern) territorial gains. More important, even if the 2 legs on Nebuchadnezzar’s statute were symbolic of the ANCIENT Roman Empire, just because those 10 toes are attached to those 2 legs doesn’t automatically negate the possibility of those 10 toes representing an altogether different kingdom than a Revived Roman Empire!
The point here is that God’s Word never unequivocally supports the traditional end time Revived Roman Empire theory. In fact, where end-time prophecy is concerned, the only time the Ancient Roman Empire is unmistakably identified in Scriptures as a successive empire that has ruled over and persecuted the nation of Israel is in Revelation 17:10, but even then the Roman Empire is presented as the 6th consecutive king/kingdom and not as the Prophet Daniel’s 4th Beast (Empire or Kingdom), which also is the Terrible Beast (Empire or Kingdom). For the record, the first five of those successive empires are Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and Greece.
Furthermore, when it comes to Prophet Daniel and Apostle John’s end-time visions, neither of them says that he specifically saw any images in his vision that remotely resembles the Roman Empire or the continent of Europe, nor does either man use any symbols or metaphors that clearly represent Rome, the Roman Empire, or Europe. In fact, where Prophet Daniel and Apostle John’s biblical end-time visions are concerned, there is no Scripture in which either man ever mentions ANY symbolic animal that represents the Roman Empire or Europe.
In contrast, in end time prophetic Scriptures, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian Empires (Beasts, Kingdoms) that are mentioned specifically in Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Daniel 8 are symbolized as animals—correspondingly, those animals indisputably are the Lion (fine gold head; Babylonia), Bear and Ram (silver chest and arms; Medo-Persia), and Leopard and Goat (bronze belly and thighs; Greece). Moreover, when it comes to comparing and contrasting the book of Daniel’s 4th Beast (Empire) to the book of Revelation’s 7-headed beast with 10 horns, the one difference that stands out is that Revelation’s Beast (empire, kingdom, mountain) is NOT depicted as ONE animal, but rather as a Leopard-Bear-Lion, or three animals all rolled up into one (cf. Revelation 13:1-2), which also would mean that Daniel’s 4th Beast has to be a synthesis of Beasts 1, 2, and 3, all rolled up into one (cf. Daniel 7:3-6)!
Interesting to note here is the fact that neither Rome nor Europe are territories/regions belonging to either the Babylonian, or Medo-Persian, or Grecian empires. Plus Rome and Europe are not even a part of the eastern division of the ancient Byzantine (Roman) empire either, because the ancient Greek city of Byzantium (Romans’ Constantinople and Turks’ Istanbul) was in Anatolia. Moreover, ancient Anatolia (Turkey) was considered to be located in Asia Minor. Yet, for some reason so many end time prophecy scholars still claim that the Antichrist will come out of a European Revived Roman Empire!
Be that as it may, Daniel’s 4th Beast (cf. Daniel 7:7) and Revelation’s 7-headed beast with 10 horns (cf. Revelation 12:3; 17:3, 9) represent the descendants of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires, and the descendants who primarily are from the eastern part of the Macedonian or Greek Empire. In Apostle John’s day, the descendants of these three empires still lived in the same geographic location, which is the Middle East (Iraq [or Babylonia], Iran [or Persia], Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan [or Alexander the Great’s Greece]). However, from 632 A.D., and forward, one by one these above-mentioned nations became Islamic countries. Currently, they are still Islamic countries!
Now, irrefutably, the Holy Bible is largely about the Middle East, specifically the nation of Israel and her enemies—those nations who have persecuted her. Therefore, because modern-day Syria and Lebanon (Greece), Iraq (Babylonia), and Iran (Medo-Persia) are Islamic countries, then perhaps the reason why the Prophet Daniel and the Apostle John never mention any symbolic animal that clearly represents the Roman Empire—why they do not write about any animal that conclusively would support the widely-accepted belief that the legs of iron and the part iron, part clay feet and toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue symbolize the Roman Empire and the Revived Roman Empire, respectively—is because Prophet Daniel’s 4th kingdom/4th Beast/Terrible Beast and Apostle John’s composite Beast (Leopard-Bear-Lion) do not describe either a Roman Empire or a Revived Roman Empire.
The truth is that, according to Revelation 17:11, the 8th kingdom, or the Antichrist’s kingdom, is the Resurrected 7th consecutive kingdom that was the Leopard-Bear-Lion, or the 3-in-1 composite Beast of Revelation 13:1-3. Moreover, this 7th consecutive kingdom that was also is the Beast that is not the ruling empire in Apostle John’s day, which means the 8th kingdom IS NOT a Revived Roman Empire. Put differently, the 8th kingdom rises out of the 7th successive kingdom, and the 7th successive kingdom follows the sixth, which is the Roman Empire. Furthermore, this mortally wounded 7th successive kingdom is the Umayyad Caliphate—the kingdom that after it appears it lasts for a short period of time (cf. Revelation 17:10). In other words, the 8th kingdom is the resurrected Islamic Caliphate, because the Caliphate, or Muslims’ original systems of political and religious governance that were established in Islam after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, finally was abolished 1924.
As previously mentioned, the Holy Bible is largely about the Middle East, specifically the nation of Israel and her enemies—those nations that have persecuted her. Without a doubt, many of Israel’s modern-day enemies are the Muslims in the Islamic nations that surround her; furthermore, many of these Islamic nations are not economically strapped! Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the prophesied revived end-time empire, the one that presently is building and rising exponentially, is the kingdom of Islam (Mystery Babylon).
For sure, more and more end times’ prophecy teachers are declaring that the kingdom or empire that ushers in the Antichrist will be a kingdom made up of Muslim nations. More important, Islam will be the political and religious systems that govern every aspect of Muslims’ lives, especially the Muslims living in the Middle East. For these and other reasons, Islam definitely is Mystery Babylon.
Since Islam is the book of Revelation’s Mystery Babylon, then the only past empire that best fits the descriptions of Prophet Daniel’s 4th Beast and Apostle John’s composite Beast is the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire. Indeed, what makes the resurrected Islamic Umayyad Caliphate or the Revived 7th consecutive kingdom such a dreadful and terrible Beast is the fact that Islam promotes Sharia Law, which is considered to be Islam’s legal and moral Law. As such, Sharia Law directs ALL Muslims in every aspect of their individual life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. Moreover, Islam also promotes idol worshippers and enemies of Christianity.
Without a doubt, these above-mentioned facts about Islam are why most non-Muslims have come to recognize just how dangerous Islam is, and why many of these enlightened non-Muslims also have concluded that Islam truly is a twisted version of the Gospel of Christ. The sad truth is that Islam continues to grow rapidly throughout this world, in spite of the fact that many people worldwide consider Islam to be the quintessential false religion.
So then, the bottom line is that instead of today’s EU nations proving that they will fulfill the traditional Revived Roman Empire theory, these EU nations are proving that said theory has no merit. That is why many eyes are on the Middle East and the resurrecting Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire, which clearly is rising to superpower status. For sure, only people whose eyes are spiritually blind are the ones who cannot see, or the ones who refuse to see, that a Revived Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire best fits the book of Daniel’s descriptions of the Terrible Beast that not only swiftly but also brutally crushes and devours the remnant indigenous cultures living in the territories conquered by Babylonia (Prophet Daniel’s Lion), Persia (Prophet Daniel’s Bear), and Greece (Prophet Daniel’s Leopard)—people and regions which the Roman Empire acquired but did not crush and devour.
Now historically, there are two major Empires that together, shaped, controlled, and affected the Middle East, and they are the Arab/Islamic Caliphate and the Ottoman/Turkish Empire. As a world power, the former officially began in the Umayyad Caliphate era, specifically in 661 A.D., almost 200 hundred years after the western part of the Roman Empire had collapsed. At that time, this Arab/Islamic Caliphate ruled over the Middle East, and other regions in Europe and North Africa, from Damascus, Syria. Following the Umayyad Caliphate was the Abbasid Caliphate, and the Fatimid Caliphate followed the Abbasid Caliphate, and then ultimately the Ottoman Empire followed the Fatimid Caliphate. So then, the Ottoman Empire began to rule over the Middle East from around 1299 A.D., and, while expanding its borders into regions in Europe and North Africa, the Ottoman Empire continued to be the ruling kingdom until approximately 1924 A.D. Once the Islamic Caliphate was abolished in 1924, the Ottoman Empire, which is one of history’s largest and longest-lasting empires, came to an end.
Be that as it may, once Revelation’s seventh consecutive kingdom, which begins with the Umayyad Caliphate, finally appeared in the 7th century (661 A.D.), it did everything it could do to sustain Islamic civilization, primarily by erasing any lingering residue from the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires. In particular, this major Caliphate (661-750) focused on removing the aforementioned former empires’ presence in the Holy Land. In fact, once the Umayyad Caliphate moved the Islamic capital in 661 A.D., from Mecca, Saudi Arabia to Damascus, Syria, this great Caliphate immediately began to expand the Islamic Empire.
Indeed, by building the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the then Palestinian Jerusalem, which was completed in 691 A.D., and by building the Great Umayyad Mosque of Damascus on the ruins of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, which was completed in 715 A.D., the Umayyad Caliphate successfully was stamping out the residue of Babylonian (Lion), Persian (Bear), and Grecian (Leopard) cultures and languages, along with the Roman Empire’s culture and languages. Indeed, by constructing the mentioned two structures, by minting Islamic coinage, and by mandating that, instead of using the Greek language, the Arabic language now would be used on public records, the existing Umayyad Caliphate not only significantly was confirming its on-going campaign to designate the public areas in Palestine (Jerusalem), Israel and Damascus, Syria for Islam but also the Umayyad Caliphate speedily was establishing the largest Arab-Muslim state!
As a result of the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire’s rapid and forceful on-going devouring and breaking into pieces of the earlier mentioned 4 previous empire’s persistent presence, today, in Syria and Israel there are Palestinian Arabs who practice Islam in what was Grecian and Roman territories. Additionally, the nations of Iraq (Babylonia) and Iran (Persia) are currently Islamic nations! In other words, the lingering residue was removed successfully!
Once again, it should be evident that the Prophet Daniel is predicting that the Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire is that seventh consecutive kingdom Apostle John writes about, and, thus, the 4th Beast (Empire) that crushes its predecessors’ people and divides up the lands that were once part of the Babylonian, Persian, and Grecian empires, which as earlier mentioned the Roman Empire acquired but never crushed or devoured. Now, it is important to point out that the Ottoman Empire also began as a heterogeneous mixture of ethnic groups and religious creeds. Furthermore, as this empire tried to untangle itself—free itself from its mixed populations’ conflicting interests, rival groups, and antagonistic religions, this Islamic kingdom became partly strong and partly brittle. Thus, the prophesied significance of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue having iron toes mixed with clay was beginning to be fulfilled (cf. Daniel 2:41-44).
Certainly, just like iron and clay really do not mix, Islam (both the political and the religious systems) and any other world religion or global political government do not mix, either! Thus, when the Antichrist’s kingdom, the 8th kingdom, becomes the Revived Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire, his empire’s beginning heterogeneous mixture of ethnic groups and religious creeds, which are symbolized by the iron and clay toes’ inability to unite, once again will need to be untangled. This process will leave the Antichrist’s kingdom partly strong and partly brittle, until the removal process is complete. However, before the Antichrist can fulfill the untangling process, Jesus the Christ will have returned back to Earth to set up the final earthly kingdom this world will ever know. Before doing so, the Lord will pulverize any lingering residue from the Antichrist’s 8th kingdom—a kingdom, which is a mixture of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay (cf. Daniel 2:45). Hallelujah!
Having said all that, it should be clear that the EU is in no way prepared to be the prophesied one-world government with a one-world religion and a one-world economy. Only the rapidly increasing worldwide Islamic nations are prepared to be the prophesied one-world government (Sharia Law) with a one-world religion (Islam) and a one-world economy (oil).
Moreover, because God is allowing His Holy Spirit to teach and enlighten more and more contemporary believers and spiritual leaders about the real truth, which is that there is going to be a Revived Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire, more and more full of the Holy Spirit believers are realizing that the present day politically, militarily, and economically unstable EU is just confirming that the Revived Roman Empire is a theory that NEVER will be proven true. Additionally, more and more full of the Holy Spirit believers are realizing that, even though the Revived Ottoman/Turkish/Islamic Empire, when its Caliphate is restored, will appear to be politically, spiritually, and economically very stable, that because of the prophesied mass evangelism that will take place during the Tribulation Period, after said empire is fully resurrected, the Antichrist’s inability to unite all of the mixtures of cultures, languages, and the newly arisen conflicting spiritual beliefs—Islam and Christianity—will cause political, military, and economic instability to increase within the Antichrist’s kingdom!
Lastly, as a result of the above-mentioned Divine revelation knowledge, more and more born again and saved believers will be seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit so that they will be sure to have the power to think right, live right, and be prepared right so that they will not miss the imminent Rapture!!!! A word to the wise should be sufficient! Amen!
For additional information, please read my blog entries: The Ten Horns and The Little Horn: Good and Bad News for Edom, Moab and Ammon and Mystery Babylon