XVIII: Age Of Empires

  1. Thou, O king [Nebuchadnezzar], art a king of kingsThou art this head of gold.
    • 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. 
  2. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee [silver],
  3. and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
  4. 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 [injury but not terminate].
    • And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided…so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
    • And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they [the iron] shall mingle themselves with the [clay] seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
  5. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed
    • it shall break in pieces AND consume [absorb into itself] all these [four] kingdoms… the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold;
    • and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:37-45)

Daniel’s prophecy given almost 3,000 years ago has been validated by world history up through the fourth – Roman – empire.

Doesn’t it just make sense to take seriously his prophecy of the fifth empire?

The title king of kings, used even in the 20th century by the shahs of Iran, implies that the central authority exercised power through a pyramidal structure that was controlled at levels below the supreme authority by individuals who were themselves, in a certain sense, kings.

And at the top of the pyramid is a hyper dimensional spirit being.

The concept of sacred kingship “continues to exert a recognizable influence in the modern world…kingdoms were in varying degrees connected with religious powers or religious institutions, there could be no kingdom that was not in some sense sacral.” 

This validates the biblical report that the human rulers of the world empires have always been controlled by spirit beings. Also validating Daniel’s report is his documentation that he used procedures known to effect transition from the four dimension to the hyper dimension plane to communicate with a spirit being.

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel…In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

I Daniel…lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man…His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire…and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” (Daniel 10:1-12)

Daniel’s prophecies makes it clear that the highest world rulers are controlled by hyper dimensional spirit beings.

 “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 rose up from the sea” (Daniel 7:2-3)

Daniel gives two of the winds of heaven the names of Gabriel and Michael. so we deduce that all four winds / spirits are God’s messengers, and Ezekiel confirms this.

Thus saith the LORD God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live…and the breath came into them, and they lived. (Ezekiel 37:9-11)

Just as God’s spirit, originating from him, can be passed through his righteous angels to humans, likewise fallen angels can pass their spirits to humans. The point is that successive manifestations of the four beasts seen by Daniel can have the same spirit described by Paul as the “mystery of iniquity”.

  1. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. (Babylon)
  2. a second, like to a bear. (Persia)
  3. 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. (Greece)
  4. a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth…and it had ten horns.” (Rome) (Daniel 7)

I would make the educated guess that Satan himself is controlling the thoughts and intents of the heart at the highest levels of government. Satan doesn’t get elected out of office, he simply moves from one psychopath self-and- power-obsessed human being to another. 

I have followed one thread through a maze of prophecy in Daniel 11 to highlight the continuity of one spirit individual:

  • incarnating and empowering world leaders
  • through heirs either genetic or adopted
  • over time, geography and nationalities
  • to our time in history.

Beginning with the Babylonian kingdom, where we find that Nebuchadnezzar switched teams, from an evil spirit to God’s Holy Spirit.

“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?…and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws…And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation…At the same time my reason returned unto me…Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment:” (Daniel 4)

Nebuchadnezzar’s successor lost the kingdom.

“the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour…And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven…Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

  • Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
  • Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” (Daniel 5)

We get a better grip on the message when we apply the same abstraction about the “tools” used to “measure” the degree of function vs dysfunction of individuals when we apply this concept to those used by clinicians to assess for problems.

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems (a-h)?

Not at all (0)  Several days (1).  More than half the days (2).  Nearly every day (3)

The point of using a PHQ-9 is to determine a response to the score. The same applies to God’s measuring.

“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:30)

For an in-depth review of the perspectives on “Darius the Mede” in relation to “Cyrus the Persian”, see Evidence Unseen.

Staying on point with our topic in this post, Announcing sometime between 740-700 BC.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer…I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 45)

Announcing about 200 years later, on or about 539 BC:

“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his pople? his God [acknowledging that there are many of YHVH’s people who have turned to other gods] be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:2-3)

The first account of re-building God’s original temple destroyed in 586 BC by Babylon is key to recognizing the pattern of events in the last account of re-building the temple destroyed in 70 AD by the daughter of Babylon / Rome.

“Now these are the children of [Babylon’s] province [of Judah] that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away…and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah…

    1. with Zerubbabel [reinstated heir of the deposed king, ruling as governor in the Persian hierarchy],  
    2. Jeshua [the High Priest],
    3. Nehemiah [the treasurer]“(Ezra 2:1-2)

Notice how God doesn’t work anything single-handedly. After Cyrus completed his assigned task of enabling the rebuilding of the temple, Zerubbabel and Joshua pick up the reins of leadership to ensure the completion of the project, which naturally encounters opposition.

A start was made in the time of Shesh-bazzar [governor after 538 B.C.E.], but the disturbances made continuation of the work impossible.

Opposition to the rebuilding of the Temple came especially from the nobles who had taken control of Judea after the exile. They were probably closely related to the aristocracy of Samaria.

“Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (II Corinthians 6:14-18)

Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until…the days of Artaxerxes…king of Persia…”(Ezra 4)

Among those who encouraged the project were the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. The rebuilding was resumed in the second year of the reign of Darius (521 B.C.E.). Despite continued harassment by their neighbors, the Judeans persevered in the work.

In the second year of Darius the king [successor to Cyrus] came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel…governor of Judah, and to Joshua…the high priest, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts…Consider your ways. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Then Zerubbabel…and Joshua…the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophetand they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.” (Haggai 1)

And he shewed me Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus  [the human High Priest] standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”

Keep in mind that Satan is also incarnate in the adversarial human enemies of God’s people.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?…And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts;

    • If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house,
    • and shalt also keep my courts,[instead of having them given over to the Gentiles to tread down] and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
    • Hear now, O Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold,
    • I will bring forth my servant the Branch and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” (Zechariah 3)

f2e482e5-a65c-4d81-a82f-d1ed062944edAnd the angel that talked with me came again, and…said unto me, What seest thou? And I said…a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof….

This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel / son of David, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain [symbol of insurmountable obstacle]? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [of the temple] thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto itThe hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:1-10)

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And…What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said…These are the two anointed ones / Messiahs, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying…take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying,

Behold the man whose name / identity is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD…and he shall bear [endure] the glory [struggle],

    1. and shall sit and rule upon his throne;
    2. and he shall be a priest upon his throne:

and the counsel of peace shall be between them both positions of Priest and King in one Vicar of God. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.” (Zechariah 6:9-15)

The refusal of these Jews to collaborate with their neighbors is a completely different attitude from the behavior of the priests who welcomed Greek Alexander the Great as their Savior from Persian taxation.

And when [the High Priest] Jaddus understood that Alexander was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations…Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high-priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself…saluted the high-priest. The Jews / priestly rulers also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about…And when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests…the next day he called them to him, and bid them ask what favors they pleased of him; whereupon the high-priest desired that they might…pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired.

Allowing Alexander to act as priest in offering sacrifice is a pagan custom demonstrating the sonship of the acting priest to the god to whom sacrifice is being made. Alexander’s presumptuous self-identification with the God of Israel, and the priests’ collaboration with it, was blasphemy.

“Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign..And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper…And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed…Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests…thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (II Chronicles 26)

“I shew thee the truth…a mighty king shall stand up [Alexander the Great from Greece], that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will….his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven…even for others beside those…

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  • the king of the south...one of his [Alexander’s] princes…shall be strong…and have dominion.

Geographically, the south can only be Egypt, but Antiochus Epiphanes from the northern kingdom of Seleucus has to be mentioned somewhere in this prophecy. The connection is found in his thwarted attempt to conquer the king of the south.

In 175 BCE…Antiochus IV, ascended to the throne of Greco-Syria. As did many rulers, he appended the title Epiphanes (“God Manifest”) to his name

he decided to pursue the conquest of Egypt, which no other Seleucid king had been able to accomplish…If Antiochus could conquer and annex Egypt, his kingdom’s size and power would be greatly increased and the Romans might be resisted…

to ultimately succeed in Egypt, he would need to disrupt the [rebellious] influence of the Jews within his own territories [at his back]…

Antiochus…outlawed Judaism. Among the now-forbidden practices were the rite of circumcision, the study of Torah, and the keeping of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws).

In the Jews’s Holy Temple, he placed a statue of Zeus — the god he believed was manifest in his own royal being — and sacrificed swine on the altar. He stripped the Temple of its sacred vessels, including the seven-branched golden menorah, and stole the silver and gold coin.

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  • And in the end of years

The “end of years” can only be the end of the 70 weeks determined upon Israel, i.e. the decades coming up to the birth of Jesus the Christ.

  • they shall join themselves together; 
  • for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north

“They” can only refer to both kings of the south and north, with the southern ruler being the famous Pharaoh Cleopatra VII from the Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty. She sought to strengthen her weakening hold on the family legacy by forging an alliance with the rising star Julius Caesar.

This marks the transition from the Greek to the Roman Empire.

In exchange for his support, Cleo produced a son for Julius Caesar. This had far more than emotional value. Cleopatra was the product of generational incest harboring and maximizing the traits / genes of the Egypt version of the same gods from whom the Julian clan proudly claimed descent. Like Helen of Troy, Cleo was a prize for any aspiring ruler grooming personal relationships with the gods through  fathering a demi-god. Cleo bore Caesar his only begotten (i.e. legitimate, acknowledged) son in 47 BC, anticipating he would grow up to be his heir to sole ruler of all the Roman Empire.

Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC did not end Cleo’s plans. She succeeded in winning the support of Marc Antony, who, as Julius Caesar’s favorite general in the civil war, was Caesar’s most likely heir. Marc had considerable support in the Senate and the Army, and with Cleo’s substantial financial support from wealthy Egypt he would certainly make himself Caesar’s successor. Certainly the inexperienced 19 year old Octavian, nephew and legal heir to Caesar’s finances, was no rival. Marc used his political connections to declare Cleo’s son as Julius Caesar’s legitimate heir and King of Kings. Adding insult to injury, despite being married to Octavian’s sister and the illegality of Roman marriages to non-Romans, Marc contracted an Egyptian marriage with Cleo, even fathering three children with her.

The Mafia has nothing on classical Rome’s sense of vengeance. World war waged for the next ten years.

The Battle of Actium marked a seismic shift in the history of the Ancient Mediterranean. Ptolemaic Egypt, which could trace its origins to the famous conqueror, Alexander the Great, ceased to exist, becoming one of the Roman provinces. Rome, too, went through a significant change; a few years after Actium, Octavian, the victor of the battle, became the first Roman Emperor: Augustus…

From a biblical perspective, we can anticipate that the god of this world elected to incarnate as Octavian because Octavian made it more worth his while than Marc Antony.

the ships of Mark Antony and Cleopatra outnumbered Octavian’s fleet…[but]

Before the battle, Antony had to burn many of his warships since a deadly disease had decimated his crews.

Are you picking up the pattern? The leader of the 4th kingdom declares himself the savior of peace but brings in world war with accompanying disease and death.

Back in the Roman territory of Palestine, Herod, an Edomite who had converted to Judaism rose to power over the Jewish population, ruling for 32 years.

actium15-flight-from-actium

In complete accord with the gods’ strategy of degenerating God’s people through “the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life” (I John 2:16), otherwise known as civilization (see the post The Way of Cain)

Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities,

  • of which the two greatest were new, and largely pagan, foundations: the port of Caesarea Palaestinae on the coast between Joppa (Jaffa) and Haifa, which was afterward to become the capital of Roman Palestine…
  • At Herodium Herod built a great palace…
  • In Jerusalem he built the fortress of Antonia, portions of which may still be seen…
  • and a magnificent palace (of which part survives in the citadel).
  • His most grandiose creation was the Temple, which he wholly rebuilt. The great outer court, 35 acres (14 hectares) in extent, is still visible as Al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf.
  • He also embellished foreign cities—Beirut, Damascus, Antioch, Rhodes—and many towns.
  • Herod patronized the Olympic Games, whose president he became.
  • In his own kingdom he could not give full rein to his love of magnificence, for fear of offending the Pharisees, the leading faction of Judaism, with whom he was always in conflict because they regarded him as a foreigner.

Herod undoubtedly saw himself…as the protector of Jewry outside of Palestine, whose Gentile hosts he did all in his power to conciliate.

This is a huge clue to the succeeding actor in this role during current events. As well as the following characterization.

there was a dark and cruel streak in Herod’s character…Herod murdered [his Jewish wife] Mariamne, her two sons, her brother, her grandfather, and her mother…Herod had [a total of ten] wives and had [14] children by six of them.

Not to mention all those innocent children when informed that one among them had been born the King of the Jews.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand…Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, exceptthat man of sin be revealed,

    • the son of perdition
    • Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped
    • he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God
    • For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” (II Thessalonians 2:3-9 )

There would have been no question to the readers of Paul’s letter as it circulated throughout Roman territory that the “mystery of iniquity” was the current ruler of the fourth world empire who blatantly called himself Augustus Divi Filius / God, son of God, whether Nero Caesar in 54-68 AD or Domitian or the following holders of the title Augustus or Caesar.

 “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 rose up from the sea” (Daniel 7:2-3)

And in the same light, the people in the first century AD who read John’s account would have filtered them through the Old Testament histories and analogies, and so should we as we read the following:

“There was given me [John] a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” (Revelation 11:1)

This is measuring the extent of dysfunctional apostasy in God’s people, especially his leadership.

Follow the pattern of the fall of Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Satan takes charge when God’s people in Jerusalem line up behind him.

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