Why do many Christians believe our world is in its “end times” or “last days”? There are many Biblical reasons; one of which is Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. The book of Daniel tells of many kingdoms, the first of which is the Babylonian Empire. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ruled over much of the known world at that time. One night the king had a dream.
The king demanded that his magicians and sorcerers reveal the dream, as well as its meaning – on pain of death! However, there was none who could reveal the king’s dream save Daniel the Hebrew, because he had inquired of the Lord.
The king’s dream centered on a giant statue, as Daniel describes and interprets to the king his own dream:
“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image!…This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
“This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings….—you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” (Daniel 2: 31-45 – emphasis mine)
By declaring to King Nebuchadnezzar, “you are this head of gold” (Daniel 2:37), Daniel reveals the identity of the statue’s first empire: Babylon. Then in Daniel 8, the angel Gabriel reveals the next two empires to Daniel in a parallel vision about a “ram” and a “goat”:
The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. (Daniel 8:20-21A)
So while the top-most majority of the statue can be identified in Daniel, the fourth empire remains unnamed; only its nature is described. Many commentaries have understood the fourth empire to be Rome. In the next part of this series, I will challenge that assertion by referencing Joel Richardson’s Mideast Beast and Mark Davidson’s Daniel Revisited. The real fourth kingdom garners much of the news these days, and will continue to do so, until the stone that was “cut out of the mountain without hands” brings an end to every kingdom which has subjugated its people for millennia. Judgment will come against the wicked, small and great, rich and poor. The ‘Great White Throne’ judgment is reserved for all those who refuse to follow Jesus Christ, son of God. But for those who received His eternal forgiveness of sins, the real “final” kingdom will be without end; Jesus the Messiah will rule from his rightful throne in Jerusalem’s temple. And the world will know Peace in that day, his name is Jesus.
This image below will be the main chart of our study. It will be explained further in the subsequent pages. Briefly, the Biblical prophet Daniel was told that the fourth kingdom would “break in pieces and crush all the others [kingdoms of the original empires defined within Nebuchadnezzar’s statue]“. One empire in all of history has sufficiently accomplished this feat: the Islamic Empire. Along the left-hand side of the chart below, the recorded dates of Islamic Conquest are next to each kingdom we are to watch for in this prophecy of Daniel 2:
The “toes” predict a “revival” of the Iron Age of Islam. Wait a minute, you might say – the great Ottoman empire is ancient history. There isn’t going to be any imperialistic expansion by Islam — we are now living in a “civilized” world. Consider this very insightful blog by Nathan Leal of Watchman’s Cry. Leal reveals that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made some very ambitious 2015 campaign promises. For instance, in Turkish many of his campaign posters read “Yeniden Dirilis Yeniden Yukselis – Fetih ‘in 562. Yilinda Birlikteyiz!” The translation is: “Resurrection Rise Again – We are together in the conquest of the 562nd Year!” What does that mean? It has been 562 years since the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople in 1453, changing it to the Islamic city of Istanbul; and today of course, Istanbul is Erdogan’s capital. Erdogan has his sights on a ‘higher’ kingdom; in his mind, he is not merely the President of Turkey. Erdogan’s ambitions are far beyond what many may perceive; his reign is a continuation of the great “holy” war of 1453.
But you might ask, isn’t Turkey a secular government, part of the NATO alliance – and isn’t Erdogan a “moderate” Muslim? Yes, and no. While Turkey has been a secular government since 1923, President Erdogan has undermined many of the military controls which keep Turkey secular. For instance, currently “more than half of Turkey’s admirals are in jail, along with hundreds of generals and other officers (both serving and retired), all on charges of plotting to oust Turkey’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) government.” Erdogan tolerates western democracy, but only as a ‘vehicle’ to build another type of government. He once said to King Abdullah II of Jordan that democracy is for him a bus ride, “Once I get to my stop, I’m getting off.” This begs the question — where is Erdogan (and Turkey) getting off? Does this ring similar to the early days of Adolph Hitler and WWII Germany? President Erdogan is an outspoken promoter of Sunni Islam, and he himself rejects the label “moderate” as a legitimate qualifier of Islam. Speaking at Kanal D TV’s Arena program, then Prime Minister Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”:
“These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” ¹ (emphasis mine)
This should warrant that we take pause; could an Islamic Caliphate be forming right before our very eyes?
Leal’s blog insinuates that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is part and parcel of Turkey’s plans for conquest. Russia’s expressed purpose in Syria is to bring down the Islamic State terrorists whose terror and cruelty are becoming legendary worldwide. Yet Putin says he can prove Turkey financially supports ISIS. And why would Turkey shoot down Russia’s war plane in November 2015? A clue can be gleaned from ‘semantics’. Leal states: “ISIS also calls themselves ISIL. (The term that Obama favors.)… The Levant [“L” in “ISIL”] is an area of the Middle East that has similar real estate to the old Ottoman Empire.” Why does Obama favor calling the Islamic terrorists ISIL? Could the US President be giving a hint where his allegiances lie? The Levant also includes the land of Israel. The goal of ISIL (by definition of its acronym) is to conquer Israel. Could this explain Obama’s part in his overtly strained relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu? As Vladimir Putin so aptly rhetorically questioned regarding the ISIS fighters: “Who on earth armed them?…Do you really not understand who is fighting in Syria?” Indeed. From whom did ISIS get their Toyota trucks they drive in convoy, meandering down gravel roads with their US M16 assault rifles? Why are US military supplies dropped on the “wrong side” – of the avowed terrorists – time after time? Could the West be complicit, even instrumental in the nefarious plan to use ISIL as a vehicle to restore the Islamic Caliphate?
Surely Erdogan and Obama support ISIL because it represents their “Resurrected” Caliphate; as well as their new ‘foreign policy’ for those unfortunate nations within their cross-hairs. But don’t worry, there are infidels all around the world; so rest assure the Caliphate dream will likely extend to ‘a neighborhood near you’. As we traverse this tangled web, let us remember that the Lord foretold these events long ago.
Ten kingdoms (“toes”) will arise within a Revived Islamic Caliphate, and the Bible says this shall be the headquarters for the notorious “man of perdition” or “man of sin”. The Antichrist will subvert justice; while giving the appearance of peaceful intent, he will deceive and destroy many. Thankfully, there is a set time for this final Caliphate, and the Lord will bring it to an end prematurely.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
The hearts of grown men will fail them for fear because of what is coming upon the earth, but let us take heart in Psalm 46:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; he burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. (Psalm 46)
Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a beautiful song called There’s Something About That Name; it gives us the answer for our tempestuous day:
…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s just something about that name
To understand more about this notorious fourth kingdom – including why it isn’t a revived “Roman Empire” like many commentaries have predicted, continue to: Islamic Antichrist: The Statue (Part 1-B)
¹ Milliyet, Turkey, August 21, 2007 (provided by Dr. Tony Costa: PowerPoint slides from presentation:”ISIS and the Cross”, www.tonycosta.webs.com)