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CHAPTER XII
THE BEAST OF REVELATION 17


"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2)

PART 1: IN SEARCH OF BABYLON

THE ANCIENT CITY

The ancient city of Babylon grew in size and importance from the days of Nimrod (Gen. 10:10) until it reached its greatest glory in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar [B.C. 604-562]. As described by Herodotus, it was an exact square of some 15 miles on a side, or 60 miles around, and was surrounded by a brick wall 87 feet thick and 350 feet high, though probably that is a mistake, 100 feet being nearer the height. On the wall were 250 towers, and the top of the wall was wide enough to allow six chariots to drive abreast. Outside the wall was a vast moat surrounding the city, kept filled with water from the river Euphrates; and inside the wall, and not far from it, was another wall extending around the city.

Twenty-five magnificent avenues, 150 feet wide, ran across the city from north to south, and the same number crossed them at right angles from east to west, making 676 great squares, each nearly 3/5 of a mile on a side. The city was divided into two equal parts by the river Euphrates, that flowed diagonally through it, and whose banks within the city were walled up and pierced with brazen gates with steps leading down to the river. At the ends of the main avenues, on each side of the city, were gates, whose leaves of brass shone as they opened or closed in the rising or setting sun like "leaves of flame."

The Euphrates within the city was spanned by a bridge, at each side of which was a palace, and these palaces were connected by a subterranean passageway underneath the bed of the river, in which at different points were located sumptuous banqueting rooms constructed entirely of brass. Near one of these palaces stood the "Tower of Bel" or Babel, consisting of eight towers, each 75 feet high, rising one upon the other, with an outside winding stairway to its summit, which towers with the chapel on the top, made a height of 660 feet. The chapel itself, which was lavishly furnished, could be reckoned in today's dollars as approaching $1,000,000,000.00.

The "Hanging Gardens" of Babylon were renowned as one of the wonders of the Ancient World. These gardens were 400 feet square and were raised in terraces one above the other to a height of 350 feet. The topmost terrace was reached by staircases 19 feet wide. The top of each terrace was covered with large stones, on which was laid a bed of rushes, then a thick layer of asphalt, next, two courses of bricks cemented together, and finally, plates of lead to prevent leakage; it was then covered with earth and planted with shrubbery and large trees. The whole had the appearance from a distance of a forest covered mountain which was a very remarkable sight in the level plain of the Euphrates.

Babylon was probably the most magnificent city the world has ever seen; "poor" Jerusalem was but a small, provincial and tacky village in comparison! Babylon the Great - that "Great City" (Rev. 18:2); Jerusalem, the "Holy City," (Rev. 21:10) - "small and compact" (Psalm 122:3).

BABYLON: A MYSTERY WRAPPED IN AN ENIGMA

And what about Prophetic Babylon? It will, of course, be every bit as magnificent!

Before we set out on our hunt for this great city, however, let's deal with one of the biggest stumbling blocks to any search: the thought that "Prophetic Babylon" has anything at all to do with the ancient city or that the verses which deal with this prophecy (i.e., Revelation 17 and 18; Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, and Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51) were fulfilled when Cyrus took Babylon in B.C. 541.

As strange as it might seem, there are some who insist that the prophecies concerning "Babylon" (again - Revelation 17 and 18, Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, and Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51) were fulfilled when the Medo-Persians captured Babylon in 541 B.C. - and that these verses have, therefore, nothing to do with events yet future. But there is too much in these chapters which were not accomplished when Cyrus took the ancient city of Babylon. For example, both the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah, like those of the Revelation, indicate that Babylon [Prophetic Babylon] is to be destroyed suddenly and catastrophically - "in one short hour," NEVER TO BE INHABITED AGAIN!! But when Cyrus took the city in B.C. 541, he took it so quietly and with such little commotion that some of the inhabitants did not know until the third day that Belshazzar had been slain and the city taken.

Some years later, it revolted against Darius Hystaspis, and in B.C. 478 Xerxes took the city and plundered it. But he did not destroy it. In B.C. 331, Alexander the Great prepared to lay siege to the once again thriving and powerful city, but the citizens threw open the gates and received him with acclamation. During the subsequent wars of his generals, Babylon suffered much and was finally brought under the power of Seleucis. In B.C. 293 Seleucis founded Seleucia in the neighborhood of Babylon, and the rival city gradually drew off a large portion of Babylon's inhabitants so that by A.D. 15, Strabo spoke of the city as being largely deserted.

Nevertheless, there still existed within the city a large Jewish population left over from the "Captivity." Indeed, we find that the Apostle Peter wrote his First Epistle from Babylon in A.D. 60 (I Peter 5:13). About the middle of the Fifth Century, Theodoret spoke of Babylon as being inhabited only by Jews who still had three Jewish schools or "Yeshivas" there. In the last year of the same century, the Talmud was issued from Babylon and accepted as authoritative by Jews throughout the world.

In A.D. 917 Ibu Hankel mentioned Babylon as still being in existence, and by A.D. 1100 it had again grown into a city of some importance. Shortly afterwards, it was enlarged, fortified and renamed "Hillah." In 1898, Hillah contained about 10,000 inhabitants and was surrounded by fertile lands and beautiful groves which stretched along the Euphrates River.

During this entire period (B.C. 541 - A.D. 1996) it could never be said that "neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall shepherds make their fold there" (Isa. 13:20). Nor could it be said of Babylon - "Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land WHEREIN NO MAN DWELLETH, neither doeth any son of man pass thereby." (Jer. 51:43). Nor could it be said, "... and they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations, but thou shalt be desolate forever, saith the Lord" (Jer. 51:26), for many towns and cities have been built from the ruins of Babylon - Seleucia by the Greeks, Ctesiphone by the Parthians, Al Maiden by the Persians, and Kufa by the Caliphs. Indeed, in Baghdad today (the capital of modern Iraq) Babylonian stamped bricks may be frequently noticed.

But Isaiah is still more specific, for he locates the time when his prophecy will be fulfilled. He calls it the "DAY OF THE LORD" (Isa. 13:9) - that is to say, at the end of the "Great Tribulation." Moreover, he says that when Babylon is destroyed, "The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (Isa. 13:19; see also Luke 21:25-27). Surely nothing like this happened when Cyrus took Babylon in B.C. 541.

In the description of the destruction of the city of Babylon given in Revelation 18, we are told that Babylon's destruction will be accomplished in "ONE HOUR" (verse 19). Again - this is certainly not the description of events which surrounded Cyrus's taking of the city. In addition, we are told in the same chapter that she is to be destroyed by fire (Rev. 18:8-9, 18) and this is in exact harmony with the words of Isaiah 13:19 and Jeremiah 50:40. Moreover, in Revelation 16:17-19, we are told that an earthquake will shake the city at the time of its destruction. No such earthquake ever shook the city when Cyrus took it in B.C. 541.

Obviously, then, the Babylon that is described in Isaiah 13 and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51 and in the Revelation is not the ancient city of Babylon, but some great "latter-day" nation which by means of its enormous military and economic might will establish its ascendancy over the world.

Lastly, there are those who insist that the prophecies which deal with Babylon refer to modern-day Iraq. Indeed, prior to the Gulf War, countless numbers of fundamentalist Christians could be found who were predicting doom for America in its confrontation with Iraq over Kuwait. Such thinking, of course, was moronic - U.S. forces sliced through Iraq like a knife through butter, revealing in the process more about the real identity of Prophetic Babylon than most American Christians were (are) prepared to admit.

BABYLON THE GREAT

In Scripture, Babylon represents the kingdom and glory of Satan (Rev. 17:1-8); Jerusalem is the city of the Living God (Rev. 12:22).

Satan is called the "Prince of this World" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) over which sits Babylon, the city of Satan. What is meant by the term "world?" As we have discussed in previous sections of this book, the word "world" is the translation of the Greek word Kosmos, which means an harmonious order or arrangement, and it is used in three ways in the New Testament:

  • First, it means the MATERIAL UNIVERSE (Acts 17:14; Matt. 13:35; John 1:10; Mark 16:15).

  • Second, it means -

    1. THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD as whole (John 1:10; 3:16; 12:19; 17:21);

    2. THE WHOLE RACE OF MAN ALIENATED FROM GOD AND HOSTILE TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST (Heb. 11:38; John 14:17; 14:27; 15:18); this is but an extension of (a) above and is the meaning we are most concerned with here.

  • Third, it means the whole circle of WORLDLY goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, which though hollow and fleeting, stir our desires and seduce us from God, so that they are obstacles to the cause of Christ (I John 3:17; Matt. 16:26; I Cor 2:12; 3:19, 7:31; Titus 2:12; II Peter 1:4; 2:20; I John 2:15-17; James 1:27). It is the world of our split level homes, two cars, good careers, good educations, bank accounts, vacations, etc. It is when these pleasures and even so-called necessities of life "possess our hearts" and crowd out our commitment to the Lord and to His people that they have in reality become part of the kosmos.

Moreover, the word Kosmos, taken in conjunction with the three meanings described above, implies that behind all this there is a mind - the Prince of this World - which gives order and arrangement to it all. John says:

"The whole KOSMOS [as described above] lieth in the evil one." (John 5:19)

He is the KOSMOKRATER or world-ruler - a word which, however, appears only once, and is used in the plural of his lieutenants: "the WORLD RULERS OF THIS DARKNESS" (Eph. 6:12).

Politics, education, literature, science, art, law, commerce, music, our homes, careers, etc. - together they constitute the "kosmos." Subtract them, and the world as a coherent system ceases to exist. It is the development of these things that constitutes history. The question is, which direction is history tending? What is its ultimate goal? - BABYLON THE GREAT, the masterpiece of Satan!! That is the direction of the world's advance - the kingdom of Antichrist, and we are only seconds away as God's prophetic clock winds down.

The world [kosmos] is Satan's grand creation and he has directed all his strength and ingenuity into causing it to flourish. To what end? To capture man's allegiance and draw him to himself. He has one object - to establish his own dominion in human hearts worldwide! Babylon is the centerpiece, the pinnacle of his great design.

COMMERCE

Commerce is at the heart of Babylon! It is at the heart of Satan:

"The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying...

"Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus [Satan],

"And say unto Tyrus, O thou that are situate (situated) at the entry ["midst" - is the more accurate translation] of the sea, which are a MERCHANT of the people ... [the traders of the earth] have made thy beauty perfect.

"Tarshish [the trading nations] ... traded in thy fairs.

"Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God, because thine heart is lifted up and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God IN THE MIDST OF THE SEAS ...

"By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic [commerce] thou hast increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

"By the multitudes of thy merchandise they have filled ... thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: ...

"Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by ... the iniquity of thy traffic [commerce] ..." (Ezek. 27:1-3, 12; 28:2, 5,16, 18).

NOTE

Concerning the identity of this personage (i.e., the "King of Tyrus"), almost all evangelical scholars are in agreement that what the Scriptures have in mind here is Satan. Pember writes: "... the lamentation upon the King of Tyrus ... cannot be applied to any mortal ... To adopt the too common plan of explaining these (verses) away as mere figures of speech, is to trifle with the Word of God. We have no right to use so dishonest a method of extricating ourselves from difficulties, a method which enables men to deduce almost any desired meaning from a passage, and makes the whole Bible an enigma instead of a disclosure ... [Please see Pember, Earth's Earliest Ages (pgs. 45-49) for a detailed treatment as to the identification of Tyrus as Satan (antichrist)].

At the heart of commerce is money. Money is addictive and all too often leads the possessor of it into unrighteousness. The Word of God speaks of "the mammon of unrighteousness" (Luke 16:9). The corruption which results from the "love of money" and the things which it can buy, invariably leads away from God.

Paul writes:

"They that desire to be rich fall into a temptation and snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition.

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which some reaching after, have been led astray ... and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (I Tim. 6:9-10)

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

With all this in mind, let's now begin our quest in earnest. We will use as our principle guide the best evangelical review on the subject - Things To Come, by J. Dwight Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary. In doing so, we will gradually paint a picture of "Prophetic Babylon" and let the reader draw his own conclusions. We will also carefully note all of our sources. We will begin with a discussion and explanation of the "Times of the Gentiles." Why? Because Prophetic Babylon is to be the culmination of the full development of Gentile world power - its final and complete fulfillment.

In Luke 21:24, Jesus said:

"Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

This time period - the "Times of the Gentiles" - is one of the most important time periods in the prophetic Scriptures. It is to be a period of time in which Jerusalem is to be under the dominion of Gentile world power. This period began with the Babylonian captivity when Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Gentiles, and as J. Dwight Pentecost writes:

"... it has continued unto the present time and well continue through the Tribulation period, in which era the Gentile powers will be judged. The dominion of the Gentiles [will] end at the second advent of Messiah to the earth."

In other words, the "Times of the Gentiles" will end at the second coming of the Lord in glory. While there are some who contend that the "Times of the Gentiles" ended in 1967 when Israel retook the City of Jerusalem, most evangelicals reject this thesis because the present Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is destined to be cut short when the Gentiles will once again wrest the city from the Jews for 1,260 days (3-1/2 years) shortly after the Abomination of Desolation during the Tribulation. (Rev. 11:2)

Scofield defines the time limits thus:

"The times of the Gentiles is that long period beginning with Babylonian captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar, and [which is] to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world power ... [at] the coming of the Lord in glory." (Dan. 2:34, 35, 44 and Rev. 19:11, 21)

Scofield, then agrees with Pentecost - the "Times of the Gentiles" will end at the second coming. The fullest description of the period is given to us in Daniel. Edward Dennett writes:

"What we have in Daniel is ... the course and character of Gentile power, from the destruction of Jerusalem [under Nebuchadnezzar] on to the appearing of Christ, together with the position of the remnant and the sufferings of the Jewish people, while the Gentiles possess the dominion, until at last God, in His faithfulness in pursuance of His purposes, interposes, and for His own glory, works for the rescue of His elect EARTHLY people (i.e., the Jews)."

THE GREAT IMAGE

The first prophetic outline of the course of this period - the "Times of the Gentiles" - is given in Daniel 2, where, through the medium of the "great image," the successive empires that would exercise Gentile dominion over Jerusalem are outlined. [The term "empire" as used here is better understood as "civilization;" the English word "empire" implies mere political or military unity, while Daniel has in mind a unity of far greater dimensions than what the word "empire" denotes - a unity which embraces a common culture, law, science, social structure, religion, etc., and is best expressed in the English language by the word "civilization."]

The book of Daniel reads:

"And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

"Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

"And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

"The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

"The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things of any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

"Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

"Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

"He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

"The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

"Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king;

"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

"This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

"His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

"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.

"This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

"And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

"And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

"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.

"And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom [i.e., the fourth kingdom, the kingdom of iron] shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

"And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

"Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (Dan. 2:1-3, 5, 10, 14, 19-22, 26-28, 31-45)

Lewis Sperry Chaffer, founder and first President of Dallas Theological Seminary, elaborates on these verses:

"Five world dominions in their succession are foreseen ... FOUR of these are represented by the portions of the image and the fifth as that which will arise upon the wreckage of the four ... [after] the judgments of God fall ... . The first, [Ancient] Babylon as the head of gold, was already at the zenith of its powers when Daniel gave his interpretation. The second was Media-Persia in which kingdom also Daniel lived to share. The third dominion was Greece under Alexander, and the fourth was Rome, which was in its fullest development in the day that Christ was here on earth. It is this iron kingdom which merges in its final form [still as the fourth great Gentile world kingdom] into feet of iron and clay. It is in this time of the feet of iron and clay [of the fourth world kingdom] that the 'Smiting Stone' [as the Fifth Kingdom - the Kingdom of Christ] strikes [and shatters the image - that is to say, Gentile world power]."

THE FOUR WILD BEASTS

The second prophetic outline of the course of this period is given in Daniel 7. Whereas in Daniel 2, the course of world empire is viewed from man's perspective, in Daniel 7, the same course of world empire is viewed from the Divine viewpoint, where the Gentile empires are seen not as an attractive image, but as four wild, voracious beasts, which devour and destroy all before them and, consequently, are worthy of judgment.

The Book of Daniel reads:

"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

"And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

"As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

"I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

"These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

"But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

"Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

"And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

"Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. (Daniel 7:1-28)

Arno C. Gaebelein explains this passage as follows:

"The gold in the dream image, and the first beast represent the [ancient] Babylonian empire. In the beginning it was a lion with wings, but they were plucked out; it lost its strength and though it had a man's heart it was a beast still ... The bear stands for the Medo-Persian empire, the empire seen as of silver, the chest and arms. One paw is lifted up, because the Persian element was stronger than that of the Medes. The bear had three ribs in its mouth because Susiana, Lydia, and Asia Minor had been conquered by this power. The leopard, with four wings and four heads, is the picture of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, corresponding to the thighs of brass in the image of Nebuchadnezzar. The four wings denote swiftness, the four heads the partition of this empire into the kingdom of Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, and Asia Minor ... we call attention to the fact that in the selection of beasts to represent these world powers who domineer the 'Times of the Gentile,' God tells us that their moral character is BEASTLY. The lion devours, the bear crushes, the leopard springs upon its prey ... then we have the fourth world empire, the iron one, ROME. It is described in a way as none of the others are. It is dreadful, terrible, exceeding strong; it has great iron teeth. It devours, breaks in pieces and stamps down. It has ten horns [which correspond to the ten - toes of the image] AND IN THEIR MIDST RISES UP A LITTLE ["YOUNGER" OR "HINDERMOST"] HORN ..."

Thus, the Scriptures reveal that from the time of Daniel until the time when Jerusalem shall be given freedom [ON A PERMANENT BASIS] from Gentile dominion at the second advent of Christ, there will be four great empires which shall rise and fall. The period of Tribulation [the last seven years of the Times of the Gentiles] ... [will] be the final epoch in the development (of this period).

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