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  • Writer's picturekeithburwell

Daniel 7 and The Rise of Christendom




Chapter 7 is typically interpreted as a recasting of the Dream in the 2nd chapter of the statue of gold, bronze, iron, etc. Let’s start by dispelling that myth.

Daniel 7 CANNOT be a recapitulation of the empires represented in Daniel Chapter 2 because of the following reasons-

1. Daniel 7:17 indicates that the beasts are 4 kingdoms which will come in the future from that point forward. The first verse of Ch. 7 indicates that they were past Nebuchadnezzar’s rule and it was now Belshazzar, his son, therefore, the first kingdom could not be Babylon. Which means it does not match the statue from Daniel 2. The comparison ends right there.

2. The 4th beast, which many claim to be Rome in a revived way, doesn’t match the imagery of the Daniel 2 statue. For example, the Dan. 2 statue indicates specifically that the feet are brittle (iron mixed with clay), yet the Daniel 7 beast uses its feet to grind “what was left”. The imagery would not use brittle feet to grind and stomp anything. Again- there is no crossover between the images.

3. As for the bear representing the Medo-Persian empire- this has always been a stretch to me. The Persian empire was known for its love of peace. While they had various wars (they were an empire!), they generally were tolerant of other religions, and maintained calm. This in no way equates to a bear with 3 ribs in its ravenous mouth and being told “Arise, devour much meat.” This is one of the last phrases that would be used to describe the Persian empire, and doubtful it would be the image conveyed of them.

4. The 4 headed, 4- winged leopard- certainly there is a view that would make this look like the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great, but we need to see that there is a larger theme at play.

God Wasn't Showing Daniel the Same Vision Twice

God wasn’t just showing Daniel 4 future kingdoms just because He wanted Daniel to know them. There was a purpose and it certainly wasn’t to recapitulate a dream that the Babylonian King had.

We must realize that the 4 kingdoms from Daniel 7 exist at whatever time period the Son of Man is riding on the clouds- which we can surmise it would be the end. Therefore, the 4 kingdoms, according to Daniel 7:12, exist either now or in the future, and the first 3 kingdoms outlast the 4th in some way.

According to Dan 7:11-12, the 4th beast is killed while the other three were able to live longer but without dominion. [Dan 7:11-12 ESV] 11 "I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.


What does this indicate? Recall that the beasts represent kingdoms- the angel says this explicitly in the 17th verse. Therefore, a fierce kingdom is going to be destroyed at the same time three other kingdoms exist as a shadow of what they were. The text seems to indicate that the kingdoms will exist when Jesus returns and rules. They may not have dominion during that time but they may be understood to exist.

This is a good fit for understanding how Revelation explains that time period. When Jesus comes back, it says He will rule and reign on the Earth for 1000 years and all the nations will come to Jerusalem to give Him honor. This indicates there are other nations existing, yet not under their own authority. Exactly as Daniel 7 lays out.


One more question to answer before we get to naming the beasts. Why would 3 beasts be allowed to stay “alive” while a fourth is destroyed?

BECAUSE THE THREE BEASTS HELP ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH WHILE THE 4TH BEAST IS AN ENEMY TO THE KING WHO COMES.

So the three beasts are actually empires which drove the rise of Christianity across the world and at the same time stemmed the tide of the Islamic expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Which is why Jesus would allow them to exist during His reign until the millennium is completed- despite their overall moral failings as distinct cultures.


We will turn now to naming the empires.

[Dan 7:4 ESV] 4 The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.

Rather than bury the lead, let me spell it out clearly at the outset. The 4 Beasts being described are 4 Empires established for the purpose of spreading a religious message. The first one, as we read above, has the characteristics of a lion, but an eagle as well. This is representing the Britih Empire.


The explosion of Christian missionaries in the 18th and 19th Centuries is a direct result of the reach of the British Empire. At its height, 12,000 missionaries from many different denominations were working around the world to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who had never heard it.


The next scripture refers to the Russian Empire. [Dan 7:5 ESV] 5 And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, 'Arise, devour much flesh.'

Due to its continuous wars, it held Turkey and the Ottoman Empire at bay, allowing multiple nations in the Caucasus region to maintain independence. It ensured the Orthodox Church would stay strong in Eastern Europe, even to this day.


The third beast in Daniels vision was a representation of the Spanish Empire. [Dan 7:6 ESV] 6 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

Beginning in 1492, the Spanish Monarchs began a meteoric rise in discovery of the New World, as it was termed. This brought with it the Spanish language, but also the Catholic Church. The influence of these conquests cannot be overstated. To see the map of the combined Spanish and Portuguese colonies is to see the strongholds of Catholicism even today.


Why Didn't You Say Anything About a Revived Roman Empire?

Some may question the interpretation of these 3 beasts. Traditionally they have been viewed as either Grecian, Roman, Babylonian, Medo-Persian or some other empire but there is too much difficulty in fitting any of them in based on the language that is upcoming in the chapter. According to the angel that interprets the vision for Daniel, the 4th beast is a kingdom at the time Jesus takes His reign on Earth. However, it also states that the other 3 beasts are in existence while the 4th beast exists.


What does this mean in practical terms? If the beasts are kingdoms and they are present in the time when Jesus returns to take dominion, we must examine what “kingdoms” are present-either now or in the future? Daniel tells us in Chapter 2, when he is speaking to Nebuchadnezzar about his dream, that God raises up and sets down kings and kingdoms. [Dan 2:21 ESV] 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

We need to ask- for what purpose? What is the reason for God to raise up and remove kings and kingdoms? Clearly when it comes to these 3 previous empires, they facilitated the exponential growth of Christianity across the world. While we can say that the Roman Empire was the initial soil of the rise of Christendom, it is the British, Spanish, and Russian Empires that brought the most growth and stability of the Faith. In this light, one can see that God’s overall purpose in bringing these three powers to the forefront was to give vehicles for the spread across the globe.

It was the rise of these three dominant powers that kept the Ottoman Empire and the spread of Islam at bay. All three would have conflicts at various times and in various places which kept the Turks, as they were known, reigned in, not gaining ground in the mainland of Europe.



While these three empires may not look like they did one hundred years ago, we are not removed from their long shadows. While the sun may indeed now set on both the Spanish and British Empires, the mark they have left is still fresh- whether that be administratively, religiously, through language, tradition, or culture, we still feel the effects of every one of these giants. The world still watches when the King of England is crowned, even though his power is almost completely ceremonial. For example, America is over 250 years removed from the British influence and 100 years from the Spanish, but there is no doubt, when we see the way our Houses of Congress operate, our dominant languages-English and Spanish, and many other daily reminders that we have a heritage of not long ago tied to them. It almost perfectly fits the description in Daniel 7:12- [Dan 7:12 ESV] 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

It is the best way to describe these former great empires- their shadows loom large over much of the world but with little to no authority as they had before. Their greatest contributions (and the reason why we can assume God allows them to stay somewhat in view) is their maintaining of the Gospel through the proliferation of the Church- both Catholic and Protestant.

However, this brings us to the 4th beast of Daniel’s vision. [Dan 7:7-8 ESV] 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

There are two key lines that give clues to this final kingdom- “stamped what was left” and it was “different than all the beasts before it”- meaning the other 3 beasts discussed in the vision. If we evaluate the beasts in the vision as being representative of empires Christianizing the world, then we must assume that the final kingdom does not do that and, in fact, proselytizes something else. The verse tells us where that would be- it is in the region of “what was left”. Left from what? The coverage of the other 3 kingdoms. If we look at what the “what is left” portion of a map, we clearly see what the 4th and final kingdom shown to Daniel will be.

How perfectly does this model fit? Look at this map showing all 4 kingdoms and their geographic regions.

The area “which was left” from the three kingdoms forms what is now the Islamic states. We have seen the rise over the last 40 years of an Islam that is much more cohesive, and much more pronounced on the world stage. While we have seen individual nation-states like Iran and Pakistan, among others, make headlines due to their rhetoric and saber-rattling, it has been on a singular basis, or at best, a loose coalition of Islamic countries. Only in recent years has there been heightened discussion about the possibility of a renewed Ottoman Empire to bring the greatness of the Islamic Caliphate back to the world stage.


Is There a Caliphate Now?

Which then brings us to the ASSAM Congress- the emblem of the alliance of Islamic countries (see picture above).

The ASSAM Congress is a group formed from all Islamic nations around the world, dedicated to creating a “MODEL” for an Islamic Union, or really, a Caliphate. This would combine all predominantly Muslim countries to come together under a common constitution and rule of law based upon Islamic principles.

This group has been meeting every year since 2017, each annual event focusing on another major topic related to the enjoining of these nations- Organizational Structure, Defense, Economic Cooperation, Common Foreign Policy, and a Common Justice System.


As an aside, the Congress is not just an academic think tank full of Turkish professors. The head of the organization is Adnan Tanriverdi, a former Turkish Brigadier General who, in 2012, founded the Turkish equivalent to Blackwater- SADAT. It is an organization that employs ex-special ops military to train any number of people and organizations in security and military training. Tanriverdi was also appointed as Erdogan’s chief military counselor in 2016. Their relationship goes back to the 90’s and is fundamentally based on convictions behind their Muslim faith.

This makes it clear that the ASSAM Congress is not speaking in academic hopes and dreams. This is a formal planning group that is missing one thing to implement the neo-caliphate- and that is- opportunity. But there will certainly come a time where that is right as well.

Rather than me speak for the Congress, let me show their words and allow you to see for yourself how they feel about such an endeavor.


They spell out their Fundamental aim in their constitution.

IV. Fundamental Aim of ASRICA Islamic Countries Union ARTICLE 7- The fundamental aim of ASRICA Islamic Countries Union is to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Muslim Nations, the indivisibility of the National and Islamic States, to ensure the sovereignty of justice, supremacy of law, as well as establishing & maintaining peace, fundamental rights and freedoms of people, while also ensuring the Islamic World to be seen on the scene of history again as a supreme power.


Ok- we have established that there seems to be significant support to create a new Muslim Caliphate, or a new Ottoman Empire, and to do it soon. The question you may be asking is- how will this affect the rest of the world? Should we be concerned?


Looking at the next verse in Daniel- [Dan 7:8 ESV] 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Let’s discuss a few important assertions by the ASSAM Congress-

• 57 of 206 Nation States are within this planned Union, joined by their shared religion- Islam.

• This Union would control 56% of the world’s oil, 64% of natural gas, 24% of world’s population, and 20% of the world’s land mass.

• Its fundamental aim is for Islam to be seen as a superpower again, like the Ottoman Empire was.

• It is planned to be broken into 9 Regions with 1 governing authority in Turkey. (Ten horns=ten rulers)


This Isn't Fitting With My Mainstream Understanding...

At this point, I would imagine there is significant pushback in some due to what has been taught about this subject for so long. Let me address these questions-


  1. Aren't we looking for the man of lawlessness to come from a revived Roman Empire?

2. Isn't the antichrist a "king of the north", according to Daniel 11:40?

I think Turkey, being directly north of Israel, could be under consideration.

3. Doesn't the antichrist come from one of the 4 split kingdoms of Alexander the Great?

That theory would work here as well.


4. In all of the movies, isnt he European?

5. Aren't ten kingdoms joined together to be united under one government?

Ten Kingdoms Come From the 4th Kingdom- Not the World

Another important point regarding this prophecy. Note that the ten horns are ten kings that come from this SPECIFIC kingdom. Not a WORLDWIDE kingdom. They are ten kings/ rulers in THIS 4th kingdom. They don’t divide the entire world into ten zones. They DIVIDE the 4th kingdom into ten, each with their own head, wherein 1 comes up to usurp 3 other territories- within the 4th kingdom.

Again- how can we believe this? The other 3 kingdoms were allowed to “live on” after the destruction of the 4th beast. That means that the first three empires we discussed outlasted the 4th kingdom because they were given to the saints to rule, according to Daniel- [Dan 7: 23-24 ESV] 23 "Thus he said: 'As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones and shall put down three kings.

There is a significant argument here that the antichrist’s reign will be regional. Many good scholars have proposed this before, so I won’t dismiss that idea. In fact, let me show the arguments for this assertion based on what we have put forth so far.

According to Revelation, there are certain destructions that are measured by fractions of populations, land, sea, etc. Let’s list them out.

[Rev 8:7-12 ESV] 7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter. 12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

According to this passage,

• 1/3 of the earth burned up

• 1/3 of all trees burned up

• 1/3 of the sea became blood

• 1/3of sea creatures die

• 1/3 of ships destroyed

• 1/3 of rivers and springs destroyed

• 1/3 of light darkened


According to ASSAM, 57 of 193 Member States of the UN ( of the 206 total) are Muslim countries, or 29%. This is significantly close to 1/3 of the total UN member states.

This could potentially justify or explain why the disasters that befall the earth in John’s Revelation seem to affect 1/3 of the total.

In fact, if we go back to Daniel and see what the fate of the 4th beast is- [Dan 7:11 ESV] 11 "I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.

Remember- that’s the fate of the BEAST- not the horn (loud mouth king). So we are seeing that the scripture is saying the 4th “kingdom” will be “destroyed and burned with fire.” Literally- the kingdom (the land, architecture, government, sea, etc.) which is the 4th kingdom in the vision, will be destroyed and burned. And in Revelation we see that the plagues destroy and burn 1/3 of the earth. And ASSAM tells us that their Muslim alliance equals roughly 1/3 of the earth.

Summary

To summarize this lengthy post- I believe Daniel 7 is a prophecy about the spread of Christianity prior to the return of Jesus. It seems that the 3 empires that ruled much of the world in the last 400 years were designed to spread the Gospel to as much of the earth as they could and also squelch the encroachment of Islam. In fact, this is somewhat a fulfillment of the following two commands- [Mat 28:19-20 ESV] 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." And-[Mat 24:14 ESV] 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


Before Europe was called “Europe”, another name was widely used to describe the same land mass- Christendom. Europe was literally called Christendom because of the spread of Christianity. It seems, then, no surprise that they were used in order to give flight to the Gospel across the world. Likewise, the Apostle Paul saw the completion of his ministry as getting to Spain. Paul likely knew the message he was entrusted with would need to make it further than the Iberian Peninsula, which, we now know, was the launching point for the age of discovery.

These three kingdoms have fulfilled their purpose and because of that they will stay on the earth a bit longer than the 4th kingdom, however, they will not have dominion or authority- they will simply be a remnant of what they once were. The 4th kingdom in the vision, however, is different from the other 3 in that it spreads the religion that is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus. It is a kingdom devoted to Islam. It sits in countries and nations which are “left over” and not within the first 3 kingdoms.

We happen to be in a time where this geography lines up with what we are seeing and there is a group actively attempting to bring back the Ottoman Empire or the last Islamic Caliphate. They are doing it in the exact place where Daniel saw that they would.


To be clear, we are not looking for a Roman Empire. The only thing that this empire represents is it was on the same territory as the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, the land of the King of the North, the Seleucid Kingdom, and the place where the Assyrian will come from (Turkey). We need to realize that this is the next step in the prophetic clock- the setting up of the 4th kingdom of Daniel 7, and it is underway. Currently, their last academic session is coming up in 20 days. What will their next exercise be?


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