We may very well be living in the days when the seventh beast empire described in Revelation 17 is alive and fulfilling biblical prophecy.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Antichrist the Beast
Last week we looked at the statue in Daniel 2 to determine who the major players will be when Christ returns to destroy His enemies and set up Israel’s millennial kingdom. Today we’ll look at another prophecy that may be playing out before our eyes, and it has similarities to the Daniel 2 statue. This new one is found in Revelation17:8-18 where we find a beast that carries the great harlot. This beast represents the antichrist and is someone who once lived and has been in the abyss (hell). He will be allowed to come up to earth to make war with the two witnesses (Rev. 11), to war against the saints and to pour out his wrath on all who refused to worship him (Rev. 13:7-10). He will carry the great harlot who will seduce most of the world’s population (to follow her counterfeit religion that will dominate the world) (Rev. 17:1-7), and will eventually go to his destruction forever (Rev. 17:11).
The Seven Heads
This beast has seven heads representing seven mountains which are seven kings. In biblical prophecy, mountains typically represent kingdoms (as in Dan. 2:35), so we have seven kingdoms each headed by a specific king. Five had fallen and one existed at the time Revelation was written. These are all kingdoms that have come against and dominated Israel and/or her people. God used them all to punish Israel for her idolatry and disobedience, but God eventually destroyed them for their wickedness.
Here we have the same players as those represented in the statue of Daniel 2, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome with the addition of the two that preceded Babylon, Egypt and Assyria. Therefore, the five that had fallen were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The one that existed was Rome. These are all easy to identify, but the 7th and 8th are not. The 7th had not yet come, so it is a new player, but it seems as though there must be some continuation of one of the players in the Daniel 2 statue. Otherwise, why was it not mentioned in Daniel 2? Since the image culminated with Christ (the stone) taking them all down at once, surely all the kingdoms that would fall would have been included in the Daniel vision.
AS I SEE IT
Identifying the 7th Empire
Over the years, several possibilities have been presented to identify the 7th
empire. One of the most popular candidates has been Nazi Germany. Hitler certainly stands alone among the
perpetrators of unimaginable cruelty against the Jews. Even today, anti-Semitism is on the rise in Germany. Yet, I fail to see a connection between Germany and any of the Daniel 2 empires. Besides, the Nazis never had control of Jerusalem as the others did.
Then and Now
Remember that all the empires in the Daniel 2 statue existed in the past and continue to exist today in some form. Therefore, it seems reasonable to carry the chronology of the statue forward from Rome to see if a good candidate emerges. The Roman Empire, as a single undivided entity extended from roughly 27 BC to 324 AD. When the Empire was divided between East and West, the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire extended from 324 AD to1453 AD when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople. This brought the Roman Empire to an end. While the Ottoman Empire ruled from 1299 AD to 1923 AD, it survives today in the nation of Turkey. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been quite vocal regarding his desire to restore the Ottoman Empire to its days of glory and domination of that part of the world. As to its control of Jerusalem, any visitor to the Holy City can see the evidence (especially in the walls) of her control over Jerusalem from 1517 until the British captured it during WWI in 1917.
And the Winner is…
Things change, but as of this moment, I believe Turkey best meets the requirements of the 7th Beast Empire. It didn’t exist in John’s day, and it ruled over Jerusalem after the Roman Empire fell. It came to power after the Roman Empire. Finally, the regions contained within this empire include those of the statue in Daniel 2. A potential problem arises, however, with the statement in Rev. 17:10 that the 7th must remain a little while. It could be argued that the extent of the Ottoman Empire was far more than a little while. However, with God, a thousand years is as a day, and the Greek word oligon that is translated “little while” can also be translated “while.”
All things considered, I would say, “Keep your eye on Turkey” as biblical prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes.
Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”
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