p>King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, a very troubling dream. In this dream, he saw what would happen in the future. He viewed a succession of empires, beginning with his own and then continuing on through four more. The last empire which formed part of this huge image is the reign of the Antichrist.
During his dream, a stone is cut out of some location without human hands. This certainly is a supernatural stone. It then smashes the feet of this image. Not only the feet are destroyed, but all the other parts of the image were also “crushed together” and blown away “like chaff” (Dan 2:35).
This stone represents the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus will return to earth, smash the Antichrist empire and extend His authority over all the inhabited earth (Dan 2:44,45).
In this image, we are presented with a progression of kingdoms. Beginning with Babylon (the head of gold), we then pass through the Media-Persians (chest and arms of silver), Alexander the Great (belly and thighs of bronze), the Roman or possibly the Ottoman Empire (legs of iron), and finally the Antichrist kingdom (feet of iron and clay) (Dan 2:31-43).
During the period of time represented by this image, there were no doubt many other great kingdoms on the earth. China certainly had its magnificent dynasties for thousands of years. Egypt has often been a dominant force on the world scene. There have been great empires of the Aztecs in what is now Mexico, the Incas in South America and others in Africa.
Yet none of these kingdoms have a part in this image which Nebuchadnezzar saw. Why not? What is it about these particular kingdoms which make up the image that makes them special? The answer is that all the empires which constitute this image have one thing in common – they all conquered the Middle East. They all had influence over the holy land, Israel.
Israel has been and always will be the focus of God’s attention. When and if any other nation begins to gain control or influence over this part of the world, God takes notice. This is the glue that holds all the parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s image together. Each one, at some time, took control over the holy land.
NOT A “REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE”
Some theologians, noticing that what they believe to be the Roman Empire in this vision is succeeded by the Antichrist, then have mistakenly used this to support a “revived Roman Empire” theory. From there, they go on to teach about the European Common Market being the kingdom of the coming Beast. However, nothing in this revelation suggests this. No verse would give rise to such an interpretation.
Each of these kingdoms was not a “revival” of the former one. They did not all cover the same parts of the globe. Also, each did not come in an unbroken succession to the previous one. For example, the Roman Empire did not conquer Alexander the Great. It was not until hundreds of years after his death that Rome conquered the Holy Land.
These nations in the image are merely a series of notable empires which touched upon God’s people, the Jews. The last kingdom, that of the Antichrist, is simply the final one which will dominate the land of Israel. It is true that the coming beast will control part of the world (the Middle East) which was once ruled by Rome. It will assume authority over that particular part of the old Roman Empire. This much is biblical and clear.
Yet this empire, coming from and centered in the Middle East, as all the other prophecies clearly show, could not be considered a revival of the Roman Empire. It would only qualify for this if it was centered in Italy and conquered much of Europe also, therefore encompassing much of the same territory as Rome did. This is very, very unlikely.
Further, and extremely importantly, the empire which is “revived” cannot be an ancient one but must be a modern one, to fulfill the scriptures we have already studied (Dan 7:24).
Here we have two maps of the territory of the Roman Empire compared with Alexander’s Empire. The boxes mark the approximate overlapping areas of these two kingdoms. Clearly, they shared little of the same geographical areas. Rome conquered to the west. Alexander spread to the east. Basically, what is known today as the Holy Land is common to both.
ROMAN EMPIRE (Below)
ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE (Below)
In fact, of all the other kingdoms included in Nebuchanezzar’s image, only the Roman Empire embraces much of modern Europe. All the others were situated to the east and south of Greece, approximating more closely the conquests of Alexander.
In short, the only strong basis for a revival of Rome is the fact that so many insist that it must be so. There are no clear verses which mandate this conclusion. If we can lay aside tradition and the general clamor of those who have not really studied these things thoroughly and honestly, we will be led to a more logical and biblical understanding.
THE COHESIVE PART OF THE IMAGE
As we have mentioned, the cohesive part of this image is that all these kingdoms ruled over Israel . This is the part of the world that they all conquered, making them part of Nebuchanezzar’s image. In order for any coming empire to be included in this list, it too must conquer and dominate parts of the Middle East and the land of Israel. (By the way, the possibility of the Common Market doing so is extremely remote.)
Therefore, this dream also completely supports our thesis. The coming Antichrist must have, as part of his kingdom, the Middle East. He must eventually dominate the land of Israel. This is the message of Nebuchadnezzar’s image.
This conclusion very strongly supports our thesis of a “revived” Ottoman Empire with all its Muslim roots. Interestingly, this too fits very nicely with our present-day geopolitical situation.
"Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself, alone. But if it dies, it produces much fruit!
He who loves his soul life, will have it destroyed. But he who has a deep aversion to his soul life in this world, will have it preserved [through transformation] into the eternal life of God. John 12:24-25