THE FIVE KINGDOMS, AND THEIR LOCALITY.
Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, Rome, and the kingdom of God. The first four of these were seen by Nebuchadnezzar as a beautiful image, with head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, feet and toes of mixed iron and clay; while the fifth, the kingdom of God, appeared to him as a stone, or barren mountain. Daniel also had a vision of these five kingdoms; and to him the first four appeared as wild beasts, a lion, bear, leopard, and the terrible beast with iron teeth; while the fifth alone appeared beautiful to him.
Each of these in turn, are represented as subduing the whole earth. Of the first, represented by Babylon and her king, it was said: "Thou, 0 king, art a king of kings, for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom; and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven, hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and a third kingdom of brass, that shall bear rule over all the earth; and a fourth kingdom that shall break in pieces and subdue all these." Then he represents the God of heaven as setting up a kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever, (Dan. 2:).
Of the first four represented by the four beasts, Sir Isaac Newton observes: "All the four beasts are still alive, though the dominion of the first three be taken away. [This corresponds with Dan. 7: 12, where, in speaking of the destruction of the fourth and last, it says; "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time." It also agrees with Dan. 2: 35, when the "stone" smites the image on the feet and toes which were of iron and clay. "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together."]
"The nations of Chaldea and Assyria are still the first beast. Those of Media and Persia are still the second beast. Those of Macedonia, Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, are the third beast. And those of Europe on this side, are still the fourth beast. Seeing, therefore, the body of the third beast is confined to the nations on this side of the river Euphrates, and the body of the fourth beast to the nations on this side of Greece, we are to look for all the four heads of the third beast on this side the Euphrates, and for all the eleven horns of the fourth beast among the nations on this side Greece; and therefore, in
the breaking up of the Greek empire into four kingdoms, we include no part of Chaldea, or Media and Persia, in these kingdoms, because they belong to the body of the first two beasts. Nor do we reckon the Greek empire, seated at Constantinople, among the horns of the fourth beast, because it belongs to the body of the third."
The above, by Sir Isaac Newton, appears sound. And more especially as it is supported by facts, as well as by Scripture. If the first three beasts live until the fourth one is destroyed, and are all destroyed together, as the prophecy states; and retains, each its own individuality at the time of their destruction, neither of them can have been absorbed or lost in the other. Hence, all the divisions of the fourth empire must be looked for on its own territory, and not on the territory of the others. The "lion" did not become the "bear," nor was the leopard transformed into the fourth beast; for the gold, the silver, and the brass, are all found as such, at the destruction of the image.
Those who have not noticed this positive statement in these prophecies, and that each and all of these "beasts," live and retain their distinct individuality to the end, have supposed that five of the horns of the fourth beast must be looked for on the Grecian territory. In other words, that five of the horns of the fourth beast must be found growing out of the head of the leopard, or third beast.
This strangely loose idea of the prophecy, has come from the fact that the image of Dan. 2:, has two legs; and that men have been pleased to call Constantinople "eastern Rome". But prophecy nowhere gives the slightest intimation of the fourth empire being divided into two parts; nor does it recognize any such arrangement. "The legs of iron," represent the fourth empire. In the image of a man there are two legs it is true; but in the head of a man there are two eyes, and two ears; shall we, therefore, demand a double division of Babylon? On the arms of a man there are two hands and ten fingers; Do we look for so many divisions of the Medo-Persian empire? If the two legs demand a double division of the fourth empire, the two sides, or two thighs, also demand such a division of the third empire. Prophecy recognizes a double empire in Medo-Persia, by the arms of the image, the sides of the bear and the two horns of the goat, (Dan. 2: 7: 8). How is it that this division of Rome is made to appear only in the 2nd chapter of Daniel? for certainly there is no reference to it in either of the visions of Daniel or John: while the ten divisions are made to
appear in both the toes of the image, and the horns of the beast.
To call Constantinople Rome, and talk of five toes on each leg, sounds pretty enough; but as prophecy nowhere recognizes a double Roman empire, I think in applying it, our safest course is to keep to what the prophecy itself teaches. Those who wait until they see five of the horns of the fourth beast, on the head of the third beast, before looking for the setting up of the fifth kingdom, will probably have a long time to wait.
That Rome, and Rome alone, represents the fourth empire, is also taught in the fact that all the "seven heads" of the fourth beast, had their seat at Rome, viz: The consular, or triumvirate government, which existed in Rome at the time it conquered Grecia; the Imperial, the Gothic, the Papal, the Republic of 1798, the restored papacy, or "Image" of the forty and two month beast, and the present government, under Victor Emanuel. These seven, are the "seven heads of the beast;" and none of them were located on Grecian, Persian, or Chaldean territory.
These four kingdoms, not only have their own individual and separate territory, but in the prophecy, each one is recognized as existing prior to the fall of its predecessor. Thus, Babylon was the first, but Media and Persia were organized before they conquered Babylon, Grecia was an organized kingdom before it conquered Persia, Rome was an organized kingdom before conquering Grecia. And in Dan. 2: 44, after the fourth kingdom is divided into ten parts, as taught by the toes of the image, and the horns of the beast, which divisions are everywhere in Daniel and Revelations called "ten kings," it says: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom; and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms; and it shall stand for ever." Thus the same is said to be true of the kingdom of God, that is true of the others, viz: it is to be set up before the fall of its predecessor.
Now, although we fully endorse the plain teaching of both the Old and the New Testament, that the church, or the people of God, represent the kingdom of God; the first, or Jewish house, representing that kingdom on the plane of the flesh, and the gospel church, the kingdom on the higher, or spiritual plane; still, the kingdom of God has been in a disorganized condition ever since the end of Zedekiah's reign, where God said: "Take off the diadem, remove the crown, I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until He come whose right it is, and I will give it him." And then it was that universal dominion was given to Babylon, the first of those four Gen-
tile kingdoms. Nevertheless, the kingdom of God is again to be "set up;" that is, organized as a ruling power, "in the days" of the last phase of the Roman empire, and before its work of subjugation can begin.
"Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possessions; thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potters vessel," (Ps. 2:). This synchronizes with Dan. 2: 44: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms." Not the fourth kingdom only, but "then shall the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, be broken to pieces together." But the locality of the fifth universal empire, like each of the others, is to be on its own territory. Hence, the apostle could say: "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me. [that is, keep me], unto his heavenly kingdom," (2 Tim. 4: 18). But the term heavenly, simply means spiritual; and hence, does not designate its locality, but only its character, that it is not of the earth, earthy. "The kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ," and the kingdom of God is to be over all. But the kingdom of God is never again to be on the plane of the flesh, as under the old dispensation. "The natural first, and afterwards the spiritual." Hence, men will not say, "lo here, or lo there," "for the kingdom of God cometh not with observation."
"He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son," (1 John 2: 22).
"The papacy has not denied the existence of the Father and Son, therefore papacy is not the antichrist," is the reasoning of a class of Bible expositors, whose name is legion. But we shall show most conclusively that "denying the Father and the Son" can and does mean something quite different from denying their existence. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate," (Titus 1: 16). Here we learn that men can deny God, without denying his existence. "In works they deny him." "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself," "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own
house, he hath denied the faith." Denying, means acting contrary to; "Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts," is living a Godly life. Has the "man of sin," he who has exalted himself above all that is called god or that is worshiped; he who has applied torture, sword, flame, and captivity to all who have offended him, lived contrary to, and opposed the teaching of him who said, "love your enemies;" "resist not evil;" "if they smite you on the one cheek, turn to them the other also?" if so he has denied the Son. Has he taken vengeance into his own hands? then he has denied Him who saith "vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord."
"Ye have heard that antichrist shall come," says John, "even now are there many antichrists." And Paul says: "The mystery of iniquity doth already work, only he who now letteth [hindereth] will hinder until he be taken out of the way; and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his month, and destroy with the brightness of his coming." The civil power was what hindered; but in process of time the church got control of the empire, and Rome became papal Rome; then "that wicked was revealed."
That church has claimed, and, to a certain extent, exercised all the prerogatives that Christ himself is to exercise in his kingdom. When the church element got the power, and the "woman" was seated on the "beast;" that beast was said to be "in the bottomless pit." And this beast, "having seven heads and ten horns," is the same as "the dragon, having seven heads and ten horns," of Rev. 12. And this beast is to ascend out of the bottomless pit; that is, throw off the control of the church, (Rev. 17: 8), and "go into perdition," just as the "dragon," or nations now controlled by the Devil, who is the "prince of this world," are to throw off,"or be let loose from the control of Christ, at the end of the thousand years.
"The dragon," of Rev.l2:, and the dragon of Rev. 20:, are clearly one and the same. "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan," (Rev. 12: 9). "And I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand; and he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit," (Rev. 20: 1, 2).
As the dragon, the civil power of the nations has been in the "bottomless pit," under the antichrist, so the nations are to be subdued under the real Christ. "Ask of me and I shall give
thee the heathen for thine inheritance ;" and "the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord," And it will be noticed that what is said of the real Christ, has, in every particular, been counterfeited by the antichrist. "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings, be instructed ye judges of the earth, serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, least he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little." And has not antichrist demanded the same homage of the kings of the earth? He also demanded kisses, least they perish from the way when his wrath was kindled but a little. As Christ is to be "King of kings, and Lord of lords," so have the popes professed to be. "And on his head were many crowns," (Rev. 19: 12). So too, the popes wore the many crowned hat. And as the saints are to be "Kings and priests, and reign on the earth," the Romish church has claimed that dignity for her priesthood. So perfect is the counterfeit, that many have mistaken the false for the true, and really suppose the thousand years reign of Christ and the saints is in the past. But, though the reign of antichrist is over, that of the real Christ is not yet; for "when the kingdom is the Lord's, and he is the governor among the nations, all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall come and worship before him."