27 Jul Deconstructing the Roman End Time Paradigm
By Joel Richardson
A month ago in Prophezine, I wrote about the new book that Walid Shoebat and myself just released entitled Godӳ War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible. As I mentioned then, Walid and I have put together a comprehensive Scriptural presentation as to why there is presently a revolution taking place within the world of Biblical prophecy. The revolution is away from the Roman End-Time Paradigm and towards the Islamic End Time Paradigm. Many students and teachers of Bible prophecy who have long believed and taught that the Antichrist, his religion and his empire will emerge from out of Europe are now acknowledging that this is not what the Bible teaches. Instead, the Antichrist, his religion and his empire will emerge from out of the Islamic lands of the Middle East. Yet, despite the many that are coming over to the Islamic End Time Paradigm, there are still many determined clingers to the Euro-centric position. Despite the overwhelming evidence throughout the Bibleئrom the Torah to the Book of Revelationشhat the Antichrist will come from the Middle East and will be a Muslim, there are four primary passages that are still very often misinterpreted to support the false Roman End Time Paradigm. Those four passages are:
ՉDaniel 2: Nebuchadnezzarӳ Dream
ՉDaniel 7: Danielӳ Dream of Four Gruesome Beasts
ՉDaniel 9: The People of the Prince To Come
ՉRevelation 17ԠThe City on Seven Hills
Daniel 2 and Nebuchadnezzarӳ Metallic Statue
In this brief article, I want to look at Daniel 2 and begin to deconstruct any notion that this passage is pointing us to an End Time Roman Empire.
Anyone that has studied Bible prophecy for any amount of time is somewhat familiar with the story of Daniel 2 and Nebuchadnezzarӳ Dream of a great metallic statue. The image of the metallic statue was revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and subsequently to Daniel the Prophet by the Holy Spirit. The statue is divided up into four (and arguably five) components, each representing a different world empire. Traditionally the components have most often been understood to be the following:
ՉHead of Fine Gold: Babylonian Empire
ՉChest and Arms of Silver: Medo-Persian Empire
ՉBelly and Thighs of Bronze: Grecian Empire
ՉLegs of Iron: Roman Empire
ՉFeet of Iron and Clay: Revived Version of the Fourth Empire
While there are many reasons to agree with the identification of the first three empires, there are several very significant problems with identifying Rome as the fourth/fifth Empire. In this article, I want to highlight two reasons why this passage cannot be speaking of the Roman Empire.
Problem #1: Daniel 2:40 And The Rise of the Fourth Empire
The first criterion that the Bible gives us in our efforts to identify the fourth empire is the nature of its rise. Speaking of the rise of the fourth empire, the Bible says:
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. aniel 2:40
When the fourth empire was to arise in history, the Bible tells us that in doing so, it would break or crush all three of the previous empires. So as the fourth empire arose, it would crush or break into pieces: Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. If we are to think of the primary capitals or regional strongholds of these ancient empires in modern terms we could say that Babylon was centered largely in modern day Iraq, Medo-Persia in modern day Iran, and the capital of the Hellenistic Greek Empire today would be the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. So the question must now be asked, did the Roman Empire upon its riseدr everأrush all three of these empires and the regions that we are speaking of? The clear answer is no, it did not. The Roman Empire did conquer the western-most edges of these empires, but did not conquer the primary geographic strongholds of two out of three of the empires. Lets look at some maps to get a better visual:
If we take the time to study these maps, we can very clearly see that the Roman Empire never conquered more than half of any of the three empires and never even reached the primary geographic stronghold of the Persian Empire. While the ancient city of Babylon, (the actual location that the dream was given), in A.D. 116 under Emperor Trajan was taken by the Roman troops, within months Trajan died and the troops withdrew. All things considered, the Roman Empire, at the time of its greatest eastward expansion, was only able to conquer the western portions of all three of these empires. However, if we look to the Scriptural criteria given to us to identify the fourth empire, we can clearly see that only the Islamic Empire conquered all three of the previous empires. Today, Babylon (Iraq), Medo-Persia (Iran) and Greece (Turkey) are all Islamic territories. The evidence is staring us in the face, yet most have missed this obvious reality. The Islamic Empire meets the Biblically defined geographic description of Daniel 2:40 but the Roman Empire does not.
Problem #2: Daniel 2:34-35 And the Fall of the Final Empire
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. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. aniel 2:34-35
In case you are not convinced by the previous argument, the Lord has given us yet another very similar geographic pointer. In Daniel 2:40, we saw the nature of the rise of the Antichrist Empire, and in Daniel 2:34-35 we see the geographic parameters of the Antichrist Empire as it will exist when Christ returns. Here we are told that when Christ returns, when His kingdom crushes the empire of the Antichrist, once again, all three of the previous Empires will be crushed as well. So now, I ask you, if Jesus returned today and crushed the Roman Empire, would Iraq (Babylon) also be crushed in the process? What about Iran (Persia)? The clear answer once again is no, it would not. Yet the Bible says that Դhe iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, [will be] broken to pieces together.Ԡ No matter how hard one might try, the Roman Empire simply cannot be twisted or stretched to meet these Scriptural geographic requirements. But if Christ returned and destroyed the Islamic Empire, then indeed, Iraq (Babylon), Iran (Persia) and Greece (Turkey) would all be destroyed as well. No longer can we look to Europe for the eventual rise of the Empire of the Antichrist. The Lord has already made it abundantly clear that the Empire of the Antichrist and the Islamic Empire are one and the same. Beloved, the Antichrist Empire is staring us all in the face.
In Godӳ War on Terror, Walid and I walk through dozens upon dozens of Scriptural reasons why the Church has been looking in the wrong direction. In my latest DVD set, Islam & The End Times, I also walk through this passage in great detail. I encourage you to study both of these resources. As the end of this age approaches, it is critical that the Church begins to wake up and recognize the Beast that is even now just before us. The time is short, the King is at the door; let us awaken our hearts to repentance, holiness, sobriety, intimacy, and the fear of the Lord. And let those with understanding also awaken and alert the slumbering Church to the storm clouds that are even now forming over the whole earth.