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Problems with identifying the Roman Empire as the fourth kingdom.

One of the things that dominate my thoughts is how we are lacking in our understanding of end times events and scripture about them. I am also fully aware of how alternate points of view can make closed-minded people angry because it rocks their traditional worldview. I happen to believe that we are in the last moments of the ballgame with one out to go, and then Jesus will return to gather His long-awaited bride, the church.

If you have watched the news about events in the middle east then you are aware that he has already gathered so many of the saints home to himself. While I honestly wish I were home myself, I believe that he has given me a mission, and that is to share and encourage those of us still here, paying attention, and have a heart that longs for an adventure.

I want you to visualize an event with me. Jesus is gathering up the disciples after telling them that He is to be betrayed and specifically hands the chunk of bread to Judas indicating who it was that was to do the betraying. With this announcement, He has made it clear that he is about to die at the hands of the Jewish priesthood, and now his compulsion from the Holy Spirit is driving him to his favorite place on earth, the olive garden. He knows exactly where he is going, he prayed there often. This is the place where Peter and John saw him glow. In addition, Moses, whom they had never seen showed up and they recognized him. He pauses, and then turns looking Peter right in the eyes and says, grab some swords. Peter stunned, replies, we have two. We can buy more. Jesus responds, no, that is enough. It was not about the swords but the readying and the glory of God about to be demonstrated.

If you are a follower of Christ then you know that the sword is His Word. I am asking you to do what the Apostle John tells us that they did:
1 John 1:1(b) NASB …. “what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life”

The word looked in Greek, theaomai, is to view attentively, or to contemplate. I am asking you think about what I am about to say. Look attentively at the scriptures, do not be afraid to challenge God, ask him questions, He can handle your questions. Consider the direction that things are going in the earth. You are surrounded by wealthy people who want control so badly they can taste it, and they are doing it at your expense. This is not just mere circumstance, it is a directed, intentional effort, and if you are paying attention, and student of scripture, then you should be aware that this is all spelled out in the Revelation.

I will tell you straight out this was initiated because of someone coming back at me with, “no its not! We are supposed to be waiting for the revised Roman Empire.” They demonstrated no interest in changing their point of view at that moment, and I do not convey myself well at times. I wish my head could retain information, it does not, but my computer does. I got away for a couple of days and pulled enough information together to reestablish my knowledge base in my head, and write sufficient information to show others what is happening in the immediate future.

I guarantee you that I could not have said this any better than the author Joel Richardson. It his books, “The Islamic Antichrist”, and "The Mideast Beast” that opened my understanding of Revelation, Daniel, and in general, what is going on around me. I have taken portions from his book “The Mideast Beast” in order to convey a clear intent, and added my own comments as I thought necessary. I have indicated quotes from Mr. Richardson’s book by placing an asterisk in front of it.

Problems with identifying the Roman Empire as the fourth kingdom.

*"The first problem with the Roman identification of the fourth kingdom is that the Roman Empire does not meet the specific criterion of Daniel 2:40. This verse, speaking of the nature of the rise of the fourth kingdom, says that when it emerged, it would crush all three of the other kingdoms:"

Dan 2:40 then there will be a fourth kingdom. That kingdom will be strong like iron. Just as iron breaks things and smashes them to pieces, that fourth kingdom will break all the other kingdoms and smash them to pieces.

*Later in Daniel 7, speaking of this same empire, we find a similar description:

Dan 7:23 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.

The three other kingdoms that are to be trampled are spelled out in scripture.
Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

*"The three empires never coexisted, and thus we must ask what the text means when it says that the fourth empire would "crush" all the others."

Daniel 5:28 spells out the kingdom that follows the Babylonian.
Dan 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

We call this the Medo-Persian Empire, and are the second kingdom that is to be crushed.

The third empire to be crushed was the Grecian empire.
Dan 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
male goat … large horn. This is the third Gentile world power, the kingdom of Greece, and specifically Alexander the Great, the notable and "first king" after conquering Medo-Persia. Cf. Dan_11:3. (John MacArthur)

Richardson implies that word crush, as used in Daniel 2:40 means geographically. When I look at the meaning of the word, I find this in the dictionary:
CRUSH, v.t.
1. To press and bruise between two hard bodies; to squeeze, so as to force a thing out of its natural shape; to bruise by pressure.
2. To press with violence; to force together into a mass.
3. To overwhelm by pressure; to beat or force down, by an incumbent weight, with breaking or bruising; as, the man was crushed by the fall of a tree.
4. To overwhelm by power; to subdue; to conquer beyond resistance; as, to crush ones enemies; to crush a rebellion.
5. To oppress grievously.
6. To bruise and break into fine particles by beating or grinding;

Joel Richardson proves his point with historical fact.
*"the Roman Empire only conquered roughly one-third of the regions controlled by Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. About two-thirds of the regions controlled by these empires were left entirely untouched by Rome. In fact the Roman Empire never even reached the two Persian capital cities of Ecbatana and Persepolis."

Others have claimed that *"because the Roman Empire succeeded Greece, which succeeded Medo-Persia, which succeeded Babylon, the Roman Empire did crush all the others." Richardson acknowledges a professor named Stephen R. Miller, as substantiating that view, but Richardson goes on to say that the view is based on faulty reasoning because it goes outside the biblical text.

*"Although the Roman Empire did conquer portions of the land holdings of the other empires, it clearly did not conquer all of them, not even a majority of them. The Roman Empire only conquered roughly one-fifth of the land holdings of the Medo-Persian Empire, whose capital cities of Ecbatana and Persepolis forever remained hundreds of miles out of the Roman Empire's reach."

The only empire to fully, absolutely, and completely conquer all the prescribed lands was the Islamic Caliphate.

If the definition of crush is expanded beyond geographic to mean culture, religion and language, what do we get when we do a comparison between the Roman Empire and the Islamic Caliphate?

The Roman Empire is known as one puts down rebellions. Putting down rebellions does not qualify as the crushing descriptions found in Daniel's prophecy.

*"When we consider the nature of the Roman Empire, it was far from being a purely destructive influence to its conquered peoples. Rome is better known for being a nation-building force of the ancient world. When the Roman Empire conquered a people, rather than destroying the culture, abolishing its religion, and imposing a new language, it generally tolerated these things while adding law, building roads and infrastructure, and creating order."

Referring back to Daniel 2:40 once again:
"Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.” NASB

According to criterion of Daniel 2:40, the Roman Empire does not fulfill the requirements of scripture. If the crushing means something other, such as, culture, religion, and language, then what do we find when we compare the Roman Empire against the Islamic Caliphate?

Since its inception the Islamic Caliphate (Rashidun Caliphate in 632 AD ending with the demise of the Ottoman empire in 1923) *was an Arab-Islamic-supremacist force that crushed and erased the cultures and religions of the peoples it conquered. This is due to the uniquely all-encompassing ideology of Islam, which includes every facet of life. Islam has rules and commandments that pertain to far more than just theology. It also dictates law, government, language, military, and even the sexual and hygienic practices of those under it authority.”

* “The very name Islam means submission to the laws of Allah, the Muslims’ god, as well as the practices of Muhammad, their prophet.”

*“Wherever Islam spread, it brought with it this oppressive ideology of submission. Islam conquered all the regions of the former Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian empires. It exported and imposed the Arabic language onto a vast proportion of its conquered peoples. Today, in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and throughout much of North Africa, the people speak Arabic. While the Persians and Turks have retained their own languages, their alphabets were both Arabized. Later, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk enforced a new, anglicized alphabet in Turkey.”

*“As an Imperial force, Islam imposed Arab religion and culture onto all of its dominated peoples, while erasing evidence of previous religions and non-Islamic cultures.”

Consider where we have seen the evidence of this type of activity. The first I can recall was when the Taliban shelled two large images carved into the side of a hill. These two images were considered global art treasures. Although we have witnessed the death of, not only the worshippers of other religions, but also the destruction of any identifying symbols of religion outside of Islam. Under the guise of overthrowing a regime, this destructive activity has gone on in many nations including: Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nigeria, Sudan, most any northern African nation, and we are beginning to see this in Britain as well.

There is calculated effort to destroy any evidence of a historical Jewish connection to the temple mount in Israel today. This has actually been going on for several years.

*“Examples of Muslim ‘Temple Mount denial’ in both popular and academic contexts are legion. The former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, has stated on many occasions that the Jewish connection to the Temple was a myth. In 1998, Sabri stated, ‘Moslems have no knowledge or awareness that the Temple Mount has any sanctity for Jews.’”

These atrocities by Islam and it’s followers are many, outlandish, and ongoing.

*“Wherever Islam has spread, the conquered culture is gradually erased, the symbols and evidences of the former culture destroyed. The religion of the subjugated peoples are most particularly targeted. This is Islam’s heritage, the perfect fulfillment of the criterion of Daniel 2:40.

Richardson warns us to stay within the context of both scripture and Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, a concept we Westerners struggle with, because we trace much of our culture and history through the Roman and Greek empires. We also tend to look at the Bible from a Western perspective. I consistently admonish my bible study to remember that for the most part the scriptures were written primarily to a Jewish audience; we are fortunate to be included by adoption. Changing the way we think will definitely aid in our understanding.

THE DEMISE OF THE FOURTH KINGDOM
The second problem for the Roman identification of the fourth empire is the criterion of Daniel 2:34-35. The verses spell out the demise of this fourth kingdom, its destruction, and the return of the Messiah and His kingdom. Christ’s kingdom is that rock-cut out, but not with human hands. This is a specific destruction of the Antichrist’s kingdom, but also of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece; all at the same time.
Daniel 2:34-35 NASB "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. (35) "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The point to this is that this empire is so all-encompassing that it takes all these with it. You could not and cannot obtain that level of destruction based upon the effectiveness, and conquering abilities of the Roman Empire.

BABYLON DID FALL
Exactly as the prophecy declared. Later, the Medo-Persian Empire was conquered by the Greek Empire by Alexander the Great. But in the midst of Alexander’s conquest of the region, he dies leaving the empire to be split four ways among his generals/successors.
This is discussed in detail in Daniel 8 and 11.

And so did the Roman Empire
The "Roman Empire" ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the fall ofConstantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
There is only one entity that does everything that Daniel’s interpretation covers, and that is the Islamic empire or Caliphate. They have conquered every piece of property and more. They have obliterated and crushed entire religions in their path, and are more than willing to do that again. There are only two things that have stood against Islam in their efforts to gain world dominance; one is their inability to get along with each other. This strife was demonstrated during our first ventures into Iraq, as Sunnis and Shiites fought against each other. This will never end.
Look at what God says about this:
Genesis 16:11-12 NASB The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. (12) "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."

The other thing that stands in the path of Islam is Jesus Christ coming physically back to this earth. When that happens he will slaughter those that blatantly oppose him, and radical followers of Islam will fall into that category. Scripture tells us that anyone worshiping the beast will be cast into outer darkness with their leader, Satan. This is difficult for me to write about because tradition (yes, I struggle with it too) gets in my way. What I see clearly, is that even in the last days God is merciful. I know this because while we as followers of Christ want to see a world purged of sin, all you have to do is read about the millennial reign, and you will find statements implying that there are vile sins going on as nations not turning their hearts willingly to Christ are forced to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem every year. Choosing not to participate results in no rain upon your land for a year. A second offense brings a plague upon and what sounds like a rather instant death. While that does not sound so merciful at first read, you have to understand that tradition and poor teaching would have these people wiped out so that all the happy people can have free reign of the 1000 years.
Why then do we have those martyred being brought back to life to rule and reign over this earth during that time period?
Who are they reigning over, other followers of Christ?  I do not think so. There will be middle of the road people that refused to worship the beast and yet do not a solid relationship with Jesus Christ. Perhaps mere compliance during this time grants you entrance into the 1000 years. It also sounds like life just continues.
Don't fight and argue over this stuff. Take the time to look intently into it, and you will see exactly what I am talking about.

Should you not know this Jesus Christ I speak of, you can. Merely ask him into your life and allow him to have all of it. That is actually a process, but know this, He will come into you immediately, as you are. You do not have to do anything like shower, and fix your bed, just ask him. He will change your life as you allow him the freedom.
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