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Because most of the kings of Judah were in a state of rebellion against God, the Dominion Mandate of Judah was finally given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Jeremiah 25:9-12 says,
9 …I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants… 11 This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 Then it will be when the seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nations, declares the Lord…
Again, we read in Jeremiah 27:5-7,
5 I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. 6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. 7 All nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson until the time of his own land come; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant.
As the Creator of all things, God claims the right to empower anyone He pleases according to the pleasure of His own will. In other words, He will give the Dominion Mandate to whoever He wishes, and the kings of Judah should not think that this Mandate is theirs unconditionally.
The effect of giving the Dominion Mandate to another nation (Babylon, in this case) was to put Judah and Jerusalem under the authority of “gentile” nations whose kings did not know God. In fact, God then commanded the people of Judah to serve the king of Babylon. Jeremiah 27:8 says,
8 “It will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will NOT serve him, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and which will NOT put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence,” declares the Lord, “until I have destroyed it by his hand.”
During such times of captivity, one cannot say, “I refuse to serve these ungodly rulers, because God wants me to be free to serve Him!” No, the rulers of Judah were ungodly as well, refusing to listen to God’s laws and the prophetic word (Jeremiah 25:7, 8). So God says (in effect), “If you want ungodly rulers, then I will give you ungodly rulers, so that you will know what it means to be ruled by the arbitrary laws of men.”
In the New Testament, this is referred to as Tribulation.
The Times of the Gentiles
Jeremiah saw only a seventy-year tribulation for Jerusalem, for his revelation was limited to the time of the Babylonian captivity. During that captivity, however, God raised up Daniel and gave him further revelation, showing that Babylon was only one of four empires who would hold the Dominion Mandate until the rise of the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7:27 KJV). These “saints,” along with Christ (their Head) were to rule in the Kingdom of God, pictured as a great “stone” (Daniel 2:34, 35).
In other words, the Dominion Mandate was never again to return to Judah itself. Instead, the Mandate was to be held by a succession of empires in “the times of the gentiles” (Luke 21:24). When those “times” reach their conclusion, then the saints will be given the Kingdom, and the Dominion Mandate would be given to them. These saints are a cross section of overcomers “from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Babylon’s practice was to take a few men from each of the nations it had conquered and train them in the ways and culture of Babylon. These would represent their own people in the government of Babylon. God has been doing the same during the times of the gentiles. He has chosen a few from each nation, trained them in the ways and culture of His Kingdom, and empowered them to reign with Christ when the last gentile kingdom is struck by the stone.
These are the ones who will inherit the Kingdom. Of course, the majority of these chosen ones have already lived and died in past generations. For this reason, they must be raised from the dead on the Feast of Trumpets, so that they can be joined as one body with the living overcomers who are changed into His image on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Then, of course, their Head will descend upon the body in the midst of Tabernacles, so that they may be presented as a complete body to the Father on the 8th day of Tabernacles.
The resurrection of these overcomers will be a limited resurrection, for we read in Revelation 20:5,
5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
A thousand years later will be the general resurrection of the rest of the dead—all who were not raised in the first resurrection. These will be summoned to the great White Throne, where “books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life” (Revelation 20:12). The need for the book of life is because there will be many believers who will be raised along with the unbelievers, as Jesus asserted in John 5:28, 29. Paul affirmed this in Acts 24:14, 15.
Therefore, we see that the overcomers will receive their inheritance a thousand years before the other believers receive their inheritance. This is the Birthright.
The Succession of Empires
Jerusalem’s tribulation began when Nebuchadnezzar captured the city in 604 B.C. (The city was later destroyed in 586 B.C. after the king of Jerusalem revolted in violation of God’s word in Jeremiah 27:8.) This tribulation was not merely seven years—nor even seventy.
Cyrus the Persian overthrew Babylon in 537 B.C. and allowed the Judahites to return to their old land in 534 B.C., which was precisely seventy years after the fall of Jerusalem. Even so, the people remained under the dominion of Persia, which had inherited the Dominion Mandate, according to Daniel’s prophecy.
Persia held the Mandate for about 200 years, and then it was conquered by the Grecian empire under Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. Alexander died young while he was in Babylon in the year 323 B.C., and his kingdom was divided among his four generals.
The four generals are pictured as four wings in Daniel 7:6, but the most important prophecy about Alexander is found in Daniel 8:8, where he is pictured as the mighty horn of a strong male goat:
8 Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
Two of these generals (or “horns”) were the subject of further prophecy, as they were in a state of constant war to control the land of Judah (Greek: Judea). Alexander’s general, Ptolemy Soter, took Egypt, Libya, Cyrenaciea, Arabia, Judea and some Mediterranean islands. Another general, Antigonus, took Syria, which included the territory of what is now Turkey.
These two generals became known prophetically as the king of the south and the king of the north (Daniel 11:6). The directions are relative to the land of Judea, of course. The eleventh chapter of Daniel gives us a detailed history of these conflicts, culminating with the atrocities of the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes. There, Daniel’s historical prophecies end.
The wickedness of Antiochus Epiphanes cut short the time in which the Grecian empire was allowed to hold the Dominion Mandate. They should have held it from 330 to 63 B.C., a period of 267 years. However, their time was cut short by a full century, for the Judeans rose up and overthrew Antiochus in 163 B.C. Judea then became relatively independent for the next century, being ruled by the Hasmonean king-priests until Rome took over in 63 B.C.
Rome was the fourth empire in the times of the gentiles. It held the Dominion Mandate from 63 B.C. until 476 A.D., when Rome finally fell. Fifty years later, it was replaced by “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8 KJV) in the time of Justinian, the Roman Emperor who ruled the eastern empire from Constantinople (now Istanbul).
The Little Horn
Justinian’s first project (527 A.D.) was to alter the Roman calendar. Up to then, the calendar had been dated from the founding of Rome in the year 753 B.C. That old calendar, known as AUC, “Ab Urbe Condita,” had stood for 1,279 years, and all contracts had to be dated accordingly. But Justinian changed the calendar to begin with the birth of Christ.
Justinian’s new calendar is what we use today, and it is why we date historical events with the words “Before Christ” (B.C.) or “In the Year of Our Lord” (Anno Domini, A.D.). This was established in 527 A.D.
Justinian’s next project was to change Roman laws to reflect church laws. The first draft of this new law system was published in 529 A.D. The Catholic Encyclopedia says of Justinian, “the most enduring work of Justinian was his codification of the laws.” It was known as the Corpus Juris Civilis. The Catholic Encyclopedia says further,
“It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this ‘Corpus.’ It is the basis of all canon law (ecclesia vivet romana) and the basis of civil law in every civilized country.”
New law textbooks had to be written to reflect these new laws, so the Corpus did not take effect until December 30, 534 A.D.
Daniel 7:25 describes the “little horn,” saying,
25 He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
As we have seen, Justinian made alterations in times (calendar) and in law (the Corpus Juris Civilis). The “time, times, and half a time” refers to a period of 3½ “times,” which Revelation 13:5 interprets more precisely as “forty-two months.” A prophetic month is 30 days, and so this time frame is also said to be 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6, 14).
If this were merely a short-term prophecy, then the time of the little horn would have lasted just 3½ years, ending perhaps in 538 A.D. However, this was long-term prophecy, where a day is actually a year. (The Hebrew word yom is translated as a “day” or as a “year.) Hence, the 3½ “times” actually span 1,260 years from 529-1789 A.D. or from 534-1794 A.D.
It ended with the French Revolution (1789-1794), at which time, the Roman Church began to lose power. Out of that revolution, Napoleon rose to power. He marched on Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in 1798. The pope died in prison the following year. This was the “fatal wound” described in Revelation 13:3. His fatal wound, however, was healed when Napoleon allowed Pius VII to become the next pope on March 4, 1800.
Napoleon reinstated the papacy in order to have someone with sufficient gravitas to crown him as emperor (in 1804). When Napoleon was finally defeated in 1814, the Roman Church was fully revived from its near-death experience.
So Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled, but this was still not the end. Daniel saw only one “little horn,” but John received a more detailed revelation. Revelation 13 speaks of two beasts, the first rising from the sea (Revelation 13:1) to fulfill the main portion of Daniel’s “little horn” prophecies. However, John then saw a second beast rising from the earth (Revelation 13:11).
This second beast was described in financial terms and describes perfectly a banking system and dynasty that arose in 1798—the same year that Pope Pius VI was taken captive. This was the year that Meyer Amschel Rothschild sent his son Nathan to London to set up a bank, which soon took political control of Britain and much of the world as a whole.
To be continued.
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