Step by Step Through Daniel/Program 2
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2010|
|In this session, we address the first pillar of Daniel—the revived Roman Empire. Many are fascinated with the idea of a one-world government resembling the Roman Empire that existed two thousand years ago. What does Daniel teach us on this subject? Why does it matter in our lives today? Through our study, we’ll discover that Daniel’s prophecies concerning the revived Roman Empire may be closer and more relevant than we think.|
Announcer: Today, one out of every four Christian adults believes Jesus could return in their lifetime. The Old Testament prophet Daniel gives us the skeletal outline of all future Bible prophecy and is the key to understanding the book of Revelation. Jesus Christ himself quoted from Daniel, assuring us of its truths. This book contains Daniel’s predictions of four world empires that will rise and fall, his predictions of a final world empire that will be led by a new and powerful global leader, and his warning of an alignment of nations that will come against the nation of Israel in the last days.
Where do we find ourselves in the events Daniel describes? How do Daniel’s prophecies fit into such events as the rapture, the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, and the second coming of Christ? Today we will take you step-by-step through the book of Daniel to help you understand its message and the events God foretells are up ahead. My guest is journalist and prophecy scholar Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived and reported from Jerusalem since 1991 and has interviewed every Israeli prime minister over the last 15 years. Join us for this special edition of The John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program, we’ve got a great one for you today. You know, world events are taking place very quickly. And nations are rising up, nations are falling, there’s wars; and Christians are caught in the midst of all of this. And I know we’ve got over 187 nations watching this broadcast, and so we recognize we’re talking to you. But we’re going to try to present to you what God has to say about what’s going to happen in the future among the nations. And we’re taking you step by step through the Old Testament book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel gave us prophecies that are the skeletal outline for all the prophecies in the Bible.
- We’ve got two sets of pillars here. The first ones are the book of Revelation, the second ones are going to be for the book of Daniel. And we’re trying to fill in the outline around this, so that you can understand what Revelation is saying, and compare that with the book of Daniel.
- It’s amazing to me; Jesus Christ Himself quoted from this book a lot, assuring us that Daniel was telling the truth. And one of the things that Daniel talked about was the fact that in the future there’s going to be a world empire that’s going to come up. It’s still ahead of us; maybe it’s starting in our own day right now. And there’s going to be a powerful world leader that comes on the scene. And, Jimmy, there’s a lot of information that we’re going to present to them today. Start us off. What pillar are we talking about in Daniel and tie that to the book of Revelation.
- DeYoung: Well, of course we had the four pillars of Daniel here, which would be, John, the four main prophetic passages, the four chapters in Daniel that deal with prophecies that we want to think about in this series. This would be chapter 2, the Revived Roman Empire; this would be chapter 7, the appearance of Antichrist; then we have chapter 9, which would be that terrible time of Tribulation; and chapter 11, the fourth pillar down the way there, which would be the alignment of the nations.
- Going back to our Revelation walk-through, the three main events: the rapture, the return, and the retribution. Between the first pillar and the second pillar is a space. Now, that’s a seven year period of time, 16 chapters, detailed information. In the book of Revelation, chapter 4 through chapter 19 deals with that seven year period of time. But to get the real insight into what’s going to happen during that seven years, you have to study the book of Daniel, and in particular, you have to study this second chapter of Daniel.
- Daniel here is the one selected by God to give King Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the known world, the interpretation of the dream that he had. Very interesting how that all worked out. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream; it’s puzzling him. What does it all mean? He calls his wise council in. And he tells the men, “Fellows, I’ve had a dream, I need the interpretation.” They said, “Of course, Nebuchadnezzar. Tell us the dream; we’ll give you the interpretation.” He said, “No, no, no. If you can give me the interpretation, you can tell me what the dream is as well. I need to know the dream.” They said, “Wait a minute, nobody’s ever done that.” He said, “You’re going to do it, or I’m going to cut your head off.”
- Well, meanwhile, Daniel and his three buddies were not involved. They had been trained up, in chapter 1of the book of Daniel, to be members of that wise council. Now, they weren’t there. I guess they were having a prayer meeting: Daniel was a man of prayer, we see that throughout the entire book. But God, as he asked the Lord to do, gave him the capability of interpreting that dream, and also gave him the dream. And he goes in to meet with Nebuchadnezzar to give him the dream. Now, this dream is, and as Daniel stands there before the king, the most powerful man in the world, he talks about the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had.
- Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, “In your dream you saw the image of a man. This man had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and ten toes of iron and clay. Then, in the dream, you saw a stone come, destroy that image of the man. And like the chaff on the threshing floor, the summer winds would blow that away. And that stone becomes a mighty mountain.” That was the dream and then Nebuchadnezzar wants to know what the interpretation is. Daniel says, “O Nebuchadnezzar, thou art the head of gold.” And what he was explaining to him was then from the Babylonian Empire all the way to the time of the Revived Roman Empire, he was going to be able to know, in advance, those Gentile world powers. For example, the chest and arms of silver, that would be the Medo-Persian Empire; the belly and thighs of brass, the Grecian Empire; the legs of iron, the Roman Empire; those ten toes would represent the Revived Roman Empire. In other words, the Roman Empire was the mightiest empire that had ever existed on the face of the earth. It would be destroyed; it would go off the world scene. Historically, a number of years later, we see 2000 years later now, that there would appear a Revived Roman Empire. That’s represented in those ten toes of iron and clay.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let me also tell you why this is amazing is that this information was written down in the sixth century, in the 500s, okay. And these empires didn’t exist yet, Jimmy. Nobody knew they would come to power. Nobody knew that the Medo-Persian Empire, it would rise up and knock off Babylon. Nobody knew that Alexander the Great later on would come. And nobody knew anything about this Roman Empire that would come and crush the world. Daniel, he can’t… all he can do is see this vision. And God tells him these are empires that are going to exist, and when they’re going to fall, and how they’re going to fall.
- And this is why the critics look at Daniel, and they say, “It can’t happen, because if this is true, only God could give a person this kind of information.” So, they try to date it all the way back to about 168 BC. Okay, you can’t do it, because the words that are used, Dead Sea Scrolls showed that the words are late Aramaic. These are words that were used in the Babylonian Empire. The very information that Daniel conveys about Babylonian society, only a guy that lived in that society would know that stuff. So the fact is it’s got everybody stumped. This is one of the most amazing books in the Bible. We’re going to tell them more about why this is amazing, but here’s Daniel laying out these empires. Take it from there.
- DeYoung: Well, the Revived Roman Empire has to come in existence in the last days. We can, in retrospect, look back through history. We can see the Babylonian Empire was in place, defeated by the Medo-Persian Empire, followed by Alexander the Great conquering the known world, with the Grecian Empire. By the way, he did that in an 11 year period of time. That had never happened before in the history of the world. And then the Roman Empire brings down the Grecian Empire. We have to look to those ten toes of iron and clay to understand what’s going to happen in the last days. And I can tell you, I believe the infrastructure for those ten toes of iron and clay, the Revived Roman Empire, that infrastructure is in place today.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, as I’m listening to you, people might say, why did God give us information where he’s using these dreams, and the symbols in the dreams? And why is it… It sounds so weird. How can we take this seriously?
- DeYoung: Well, John, you see, at that time in history there was no written word of God. God would breathe into men what He wanted them to write. He may give them a dream. Somehow, He communicated through these prophets. And Daniel was one of those prophets who God communicated with to tell the world what was going to happen. By the way, there’s a test to determine if this was truly a prophet of God. Deuteronomy 18 says, “If the prophet is speaking from Me, everything he says will come to pass in absolute detail, as I gave it to him, and as he presented it in a prophecy.” Now, as we look back through history, we can see that Daniel’s prophecy about the Revived Roman Empire, following the succession of the Gentile world powers – the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Grecian Empire, the Roman Empire – they all came to fulfillment in the exactly the way Daniel said they would. Thus we have the basis upon which then to look at what may be taking place today, to determine if we are in that time that Daniel was speaking about here in chapter 2.
- Ankerberg: Alright. So, we’re going to take a break and we’re going to be all over that. Because now, what’s the practicality of what you’re talking about and what God is saying? Well, here’s the practicality is, the fact is, we see the structure that Daniel, back in the 6th century, was describing, starting to take place in our day. In fact, we believe the infrastructure is right there, in place now. And we’re going to explain all of that when we come right back. Stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re talking about the book of Daniel. We’re taking you step by step through the entire book of Daniel, tying it to the book of Revelation. And let me introduce this segment this way: we all know that President Obama came to be the President of the United States and had a meteoric rise to power and it went across the world. And his popularity numbers were just up there like mad, okay. In 12 months they have dipped considerably, but this whole thing of a leader rising to power quickly and influencing the world, we’re seeing this happen today. Now, Jimmy, Daniel in the sixth century said there’s going to be a Revived Roman Empire, and then there’s going to be a leader – which we’re going to talk about next week – that’s going to lead this empire. But this empire is going to come on the world and kind of take over the world. Explain that. How did you get that out of chapter 2?
- DeYoung: Chapter 2 is Daniel looking into the future, the head of gold. Remember, that was a part of the dream that Daniel was able to interpret for Nebuchadnezzar. It says right there in the text in chapter 2, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, thou art the head of gold.”
- What’s interesting about Bible prophecy is you do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand. All you simply need to do is read the prophetic passages and God explains it to us. He did through Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonian Empire, it was in place, it’s absolute history. There is evidence, archeological remain of the Babylonian Empire, even in the modern-day state of Iraq today. The Medes and the Persians came to power, and that is history as well. We know that happened in the past. Alexander the Great traveled across the known world and in 11 years, and at 32 years of age, had conquered the known world, the Grecian Empire, which he established and setup as his headquarters in the city of Babylon itself, a connection with Daniel also. The Roman Empire, the mightiest empire that’s ever been upon the face of the earth, was there at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, and throughout the life of Jesus Christ. In fact, it would stay around about 300 hundred years after Christ left before it would ultimately fall.
- So, we know that those prophecies that Daniel gave about those four Gentile world powers – Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman – those prophecies did come to pass. That gives us the basis upon which to look then for the fulfillment of the rest of the prophecy, the ten toes of iron and clay. And of course, the stone, which would be Jesus Christ coming back to establish His kingdom. The Revived Roman Empire, now that word or that phrase is not actually in the Bible, but as we look at the result of what’s going to happen, the ten toes, and then in chapter 7 we’ll see it’s ten horns. There’s a connection, by the way to the book of Revelation with that. That is giving us the information about this Revived Roman Empire which prophecy scholars have called the appearance of these ten kingdoms that it’s talking about, here in Daniel chapter 2.
- In the book of Revelation, the rapture is the first event that happens in the future, the first thing on God’s calendar of activities; followed by a period of time. Now, before the seven years does actually begin, before the clock starts ticking on that time, which we’ll talk about when we get to chapter 9 over here in the book of Daniel, there’s going to be the appearance of this Revived Roman Empire , these ten toes of iron and clay. Daniel is quoted there in the book of Revelation, to deal with that period of time, when this unit, this political, geographical, economic governmental operation comes to power.
- Ankerberg: Alright, what people want to know, Jimmy, is, if Daniel predicted it and John talked about this Revived Roman Empire, give me the history of what you think is the infrastructure that’s in place today. Where do you see this happening in our world today?
- DeYoung: Well, John, you can look down through history and see the efforts by political leaders who’ve wanted to revive the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. And I’m not going to take all of the history. Let me come to the early 1800s, when Napoleon, a man everybody knows about, was a great military leader, he had an infatuation with the city of Rome and the power that surrounded the city of Rome in history. In fact, he said, and called for a United States of Europe early in the 1800s; went to Rome, and claimed that he was the Roman Emperor of the Revived Roman Empire. The end of the 1800s, along comes Bismarck, who was the iron chancellor of Germany, and he took Wilhelm, Wilhelm was his prime minister, he named him, Kaiser Wilhelm. Kaiser is the word for Caesar in German. And so he was establishing what he thought was the Revived Roman Empire. But after World War I, in 1921, Mussolini came to power. He went to Rome; he said we have to revive the Roman Empire. He claimed that he was the emperor of the Revived Roman Empire. And from 1921 until 1936, he captured all the land from Rome, Italy, to Ethiopia. In fact, Adolf Hitler said that Mussolini had indeed revived the Roman Empire. We quickly come to March 25, 1957, when six European leaders met in Rome. They signed the Treaty of Rome, and at that time, that was the beginning of the European Economic Community, the EEC, which became the European Common Market, and ultimately has made its transition to today, when it’s called the European Union. And it has been established in recent days as the political structure for all the nations in Europe.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, and if you look at a map, if you go to Rome itself, and you go back into the ruins of the Roman Empire, the Caesars actually put maps of the geographical territory right on some of the walls next to the forum. Alright, if you look at that geographical area that they consider to be the Roman Empire, that the states that are joining the European Union are filling in that geographical area today. So, what we’re saying is, is that geographical area is coming together in a union, European Union.
- DeYoung: Well, the 27 member states of the present European Union, indeed, you’re exactly right on target as you talk about how they’re filling in that map of the old Roman Empire. But you have to add this to it as well. President Sarkozy of France, a couple of years ago, established the Mediterranean Union, which would include 17 states around the coast of the Mediterranean: 16 of those are Islamic states or Arab states; one of them, the Jewish State of Israel. You put 44 states together and you’re going to have exactly what was the location of the old Roman Empire. In fact, the Libyan leader, Kaddafi, said when he was invited to the meeting to establish the Mediterranean Union, “What is Sarkozy trying to do, revive the old Roman Empire?” That’s exactly what they’re endeavoring to do.
- And the European Union, in recent days, has jelled itself for the infrastructure, at least, of the Revived Roman Empire. December 13, 2007, they signed the Lisbon Treaty in Lisbon, Portugal. By 2009, November 3rd, they had ratified that treaty, and in 2009, November 19th, they elected two leaders to lead this 27 member state, and then the additional 17, all 44 member states into the future. They elected Mr. Van Rompuy, who was at that time prime minister of Belgium. He’s now the president of the European Union; and the Baroness Catherine Ashton from Great Britain, she is the chief of foreign policy, a key and powerful position in the European Union.
- So, the European Union is jelled and it’s in place with leadership to be the fulfillment of what Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 2 called for, the Revived Roman Empire. I would not say it’s the absolute fulfillment, John, but at least it is the infrastructure; it’s all in place. And interestingly Daniel said in chapter 2 and verse 44, “When you see these kings,” referring to what we’re talking about as the European Union, “come to power, know that that’s the time that Jesus Christ returns and sets up His kingdom.” And, my friend, that’s the day we’re living in today.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, people need to recognize that Hillary Clinton has made statements about the European Union and its importance. What did she say?
- DeYoung: Our Secretary of State was recently in Brussels, Belgium, headquarters for the European Union. She made the statement that what we have seen in the last couple of months is historic. And decades from now we’re going to look back and see this was one of the most historic events that happened within the last 50 years. The structure for the Revived Roman Empire, the European Union, in place with its leadership to take them into the future.
- And by the way, speaking of leadership, this empire, I do believe is in place, the infrastructure for it. And in fact, when we come next week to chapter 7, we’re going to see that out of those ten toes of iron and clay, ten horns talked about in chapter 7, a little horn comes. And that’s the leader for this Revived Roman Empire. I do believe that leader is alive and well on planet earth today.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’ve got the empire that’s taking shape today. We’re going to talk about the leader and his office is starting to come together. And then we’re going to talk about the time period and then the alignment of the nations. So, folks, we’ve got a lot to tell you. Please join us next week.