The Christian History of the Four Beast Empires--Part 1
Apr 12, 2013
The Creator of heaven and earth remains sovereign in spite of man and in spite of sin. He never gave up that sovereignty, and although sin has brought about a revolt of sorts, that revolt is not destined to succeed. God plans to win, and the final outcome has never been in doubt.
In the laws of Tribulation, God told Israel that He would expel them from the land when they persisted in violating His covenant (Deuteronomy 28:64). This actually occurred in the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel. But when Daniel was taken captive to Babylon, he was immediately put into danger when the king had a dream that he could neither remember nor interpret. All of the magi were in danger, in fact, and Daniel was among them as a young man.
But God revealed the king’s dream to Daniel, along with the interpretation (Daniel 2). The king had dreamed of a great image with a head of gold, arms of silver, belly of bronze, and legs of iron. He saw a stone crush the image on its feet, and saw the entire image ground to powder.
Daniel told him that four main kingdoms would arise, Babylon being the first—that is, the head of gold. History shows that Medo-Persia was the second, Greece the third, and Rome the fourth. Further details were given years later in Daniel 7, where those same metallic empires were revealed in terms of “beasts.” That is, each empire had the heart of a beast, rather than the heart of God. They were seen as a lion, bear, leopard, and a great beast with iron teeth and claws.
In the vision of Daniel 7, Daniel saw four extensions of the Grecian beast and one extension from the iron beast of Rome. There would be a “little horn” rise up from the fourth beast (Daniel 7:20), which would make war on the saints and overcome them until the time of the end. However, toward the end, the Divine Court of Heaven would “sit for judgment” (Daniel 7:26), and the Kingdom would then be given to the saints of the Most High. At that point, verse 27 says, “all the dominions will serve and obey Him.”
In the progressive revelation of Scripture, John the Revelator was given further details about the fourth beast and especially the little horn arising from that fourth beast. In Revelation 13 John quoted Daniel 7 in regard to the little horn. Daniel 7:20 spoke of “that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts,” and verse 25 gives us the time frame of “a time, times, and half a time.”
John interprets this in Revelation 13:5, saying,
5 And there was given him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him… 7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them…
Thus, the time of authority given to this little horn would be 42 months—the equivalent of “a time, times, and half a time.” We may calculate, then, that 42 months is 1,260 days, according to the prophetic month of 30 days. Also, 3½ years equals 3½ times. In long-term prophecy, this would be 1,260 YEARS, a day for a year.
This was John’s prophecy of the beast arising from the sea (Revelation 13:1). But John also tells us of another beast that was to arise out of the earth (Revelation 13:11). This was something hidden from Daniel. It is described in economic terms and is distinct from the sea-monster. And so, between Daniel and John, we are given an outline of prophetic history.
Babylon (607-537 BC) Gold; Lion
Persia (537-330 BC) Silver: Bear
Greece (530-163 BC) Bronze: Leopard
Four Leopard Heads (Dan. 7:6) were Alexander’s four generals who, after fighting each other for control, divided up the Greek conquests between them in 311.
Interim (163-63 BC) of Judean independence, ruled by the Maccabees. This was granted because of the misuse of power given to Antiochus Epiphanes.
Rome (63 BC-476 AD) Iron: nameless beast
Little Horn of Rome, divided into two stages:
- Beast from the sea (529-1789) Papal Rome
- Beast from the earth (1789-2013?) Modern Banking System
Stone Kingdom, which fills the earth
It is obvious that we are now living at the end of the age and are witnessing the rise of the Stone Kingdom, which is destined to crush the entire image on its feet. The feet are the first to be crushed; hence, the Western banking system is the first to fall. Those “kings of the east” whom God has raised up to do His work will succeed, for God is on their side. It is evident that the kings at the top have some sense of divine destiny, but it is not likely they are familiar with Bible prophecy.
The key to understanding how and by whose hands Mystery Babylon will fall is found in Revelation 16:12, where we find a reference to “the kings of the east” drying up the River Euphrates. This is an obvious reference to King Cyrus of Persia, who diverted the River Euphrates in order to allow his troops to enter Babylon through the dry river bed. Thus, history itself interprets this, showing that Cyrus’ strategy against Babylon prophesied of a future strategy of the kings of the east in their fight against Mystery Babylon.
The River Euphrates was the life blood of Babylon. Euphrates means “fruitful,” and it is related to the biblical name, Ephrata and its plural, Ephraim. Because the final beast is the banking system, it is apparent that the River “current” is the currency of Babylon. Its fiat currency is the life blood of Mystery Babylon.
Thus, in the past few years the modern kings of the east have been freezing their funds in the banking system. The “river” is drying up, and for this reason the Western nations dominated by Mystery Babylon have suffered a cash-flow problem. There is not enough money to pay their debts, and this is the source of the recession/depression.
Because all of this was prophesied thousands of years ago, the sovereignty of God is clear to all who know the prophecy. We need not fear that the earth is going to be destroyed. We need not fear the kings of the east as they do God’s work. Neither do we need to worry that the kings of the east might be non-Christians. God can work with Christians as well as Buddhists. (While the political leaders of China may be Communist atheists, the dynastic leaders are mostly Buddhist, but also include some Christians.)
The result of all this is that “the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). It is pictured as a Stone that grows until it fills the whole earth.
The role of the overcomers has been to petition the Divine Court at the proper time, and to give voice to the Divine Court’s decrees, so that they may be witnessed in the earth. This we began to do on November 29, 1993 as the result of our Jubilee Prayer Campaign. It was a 13-year prayer campaign in all, ending October 7, 2006, but we knew that we had received the final victory over Babylon when we met in Babylon, New York to prophesy: “It is done” (Revelation 16:17).
The entire story is recorded in my book, The Wars of the Lord.
We then met the following week end at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading, PA. God led us there to illustrate the fact that the slaves of Babylon were being set free. Within the next year we began to see the subprime mortgage crisis (2007), which led to the banking crisis (2008). Bailout after bailout was done, but nothing has fixed the underlying problem, for Babylon’s time has come. The judgment has been issued, and we are now watching the inevitable results, described in Revelation 17-19.
Daniel 7:27 tells us the immediate future:
27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
Years ago, when Babylon fell to the army of Darius, the Mede, that king reorganized the kingdom into 120 provinces and commissioned three governors. The chief governor was Daniel himself (Daniel 6:1, 2). This appears to be the prophetic type of what we will see today in the fall of Mystery Babylon. In his day, Daniel represented the overcomers, or “the saints of the Highest One,” as the NASB puts it.
Details are scarce, of course, but one fact is clear: we need not be afraid of the modern Darius and Cyrus. In Daniel’s time, the kings of the east ruled the Medes and Persians, but in modern times they are the rulers of Russia and China and perhaps others. For this reason, Revelation 16:12 is vague, for although it refers to the act of drying up the Euphrates, it does not say that Media and Persia are the latter-day kings of the east. As modern history has begun to show its hand, it is apparent that those kings of the east are the new nations that God has raised up to accomplish His purposes.
The sovereignty of God is shown in Isaiah 45 by the fact that Cyrus would do all that God told him to do, even though he did not really know the God of the Bible.
1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus, His anointed [Heb., meshiyach, “messiah”] … 2 I will go before you … 3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name [Cyrus] … 4 I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me. 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.
God’s sovereignty is proven by the fact that men’s unbelief is not a hindrance to the divine plan. God can work with unbelievers as well as with believers. Yet also, God can turn the hearts of kings to Himself very quickly and easily. Look what He did in Daniel 4 with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He brought the king to the place where he declared the sovereignty of the true God of Heaven. That entire chapter of Scripture was taken directly from the royal archives of Babylon, written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. He ends his account in verse 37,
37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.
To “exalt and honor the King of Heaven” is to recognize His sovereignty over Babylon in compliance with the First Commandment. God did other things with the other beast nations later in history to make them recognize the sovereignty of the God of Heaven. The problem was that those kings and nations did not yet receive sufficient teaching to give them a clear understanding of the character of God. Hence, those nations later reverted back to their old gods. But that is about to change in our day.
At our end of the age, the Stone Kingdom will endure because the overcomers will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ to the nations and teach them the laws and ways of God. What God did in the past was only a type and shadow of things yet to come. In past millennia, it was not time yet for His Universal Kingdom to fill the whole earth. But we have now come to the end of the western beast nations and their Mandate of Heaven.
Next time we will show how each of those beast nations in succession have been forced to recognize the sovereignty of the God of Heaven, each in their turn in history. As we see the works of God in history, it will be clear that we have nothing to fear today with the rise of the new kings of the east. Only Babylonians have something to fear. Informed believers have every reason to rejoice.
This is the first part of a series titled "The Christian History of the Four Beast Empires." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones