March 24, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
The image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 has been an oft visited prophetic passage by prophecy teacher and scholars through the years. The head of gold, the chest and arms of silver, the thighs of brass, and the legs of iron are interpreted for us by history. We know these parts and their various metals represent the four dominant world empires that would be on the earth and exercise authority in the world from Daniel’s time all the way up until the Return of Christ. There is not a lot of room for speculation here.
However, when it comes to the feet of the image, made partly of iron and partly of clay; there has been quite a bit of speculation down through the years as to the interpretation of this part of the image in the dream. It seems clear that the ten toes represent ten future kings. Apparently ten will rise out of the West, and ten out of the East. I say this because the two legs represent the East-West division in the Roman Empire. Scholars have long debated the identity of the ten kings the ten toes represent. They are certainly a coalition of End Time nations prior to the Return of Christ.
I can remember many years ago hearing prophecy teachers state that the Common Market (now the EU) would be the fulfillment of this prophecy. In 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed, creating the European Coal and Steel Company (ECSC). This stirred prophetic interest, since coal came out of the clay of the earth, and steel was made from iron ore (thus the iron and the clay). One purpose for the creation of the ECSC was to unify nations in Europe to prevent further war. Eventually, the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, creating the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Eventually, a common economic market was set up in Europe. There were six original member countries: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
In the 1980’s Greece became the tenth member to join, and again prophetic teachers began to sound the alarm, warning North America that the ten kings of prophecy had formed. However, the alarm began to quiet as more than ten nations have since united with the EU coalition. By 2008 there were twenty-seven nations in the coalition, with more waiting in the wings to join. Does that mean the EU coalition does not figure into end-time prophecy at all? I don’t think it does. I submit to you that the EU is part of the seventh Empire of prophecy that continues a short space, but I don’t believe it is the eighth empire with the final ten kings.
There are three basic facts that lead me to make this conclusion. First, as we have already stated, there are more than ten nations in the EU, with many others planning to join in the future. Second, the present nations in the EU are predominantly Western nations from the Western side of the Roman Empire. The ten toes, representing ten kings, must be both East and West. Third, take a look at the other nations that were part of the old Roman Empire and which are NOT presently a part of the EU:
- Parts of Iraq
These nations were all part of the Roman Empire when John wrote the book of Revelation, and with the exception of Israel, are all Islamic nations today; yet eighteen hundred years ago these regions were all under the occupation, control, or influence of the emperors of Rome. We cannot, when interpreting the meaning of the ten toes in the image, make the toes come out of the same foot; yet that is exactly what many prophecy teachers down through the years have done by forcing a belief that the EU is the sole fulfillment of Daniel’s ten toes.
One explanation that has come forth is that most of the above nations will eventually join the EU and use the Euro currency, which may be possible with the demise or decline of the U.S. dollar. Or the ten kings may actually be a combination of Islamic nations (some listed above) that will form a ten-nation coalition and give their Islamic nations over to the Antichrist to form one unit of ten kings.
Some in the prophetic community identify the leaders of the ten-nation coalition as the ten kings mentioned in Daniel 7:24 and Revelation 17:12. Democratic nations like America elect one person as President. The Romans gave their leader the title of Emperor. Britain and Israel speak of their leaders as Prime Minister. The only area in the world where the governmental leaders are still identified as kings is in the Islamic Persian Gulf, with such leaders as the King of Saudi Arabia. Seven of the Gulf nations are called emirates. Several have a prince who oversees their nation. The kingdom of Jordan also has a king and a monarchy form of government. This may be another clue as to the identity of the Antichrist, as he is called “the prince who is to come…” [Dan. 9:26]
The Persian Gulf is a major sea through which much of the world’s oil travels on oil tankers. This prophetic beast could rise up not only out of the sea of nations but also from the literal nations that are surrounded by the Persian Gulf. It is during the days of these ten kings when “the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” [Dan. 2:44]
If you will recall, we said in the first installment of this present series that there are three major dreams/visions in the prophecies of Daniel that reveal the kingdom of the beast. The first of course was Daniel 2. The second is Daniel 7. This vision describes four animals, each representing a different prophetic empire.
This is another very revealing prophetic study. I want to begin looking into it next time.
The Weekly Word is found in Daniel 7:2, 3. Here the Bible says,
Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. [Daniel 7:2, 3 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson