“This was the dream. Now I will tell Your Majesty what it means. Your Majesty, you are the greatest of all kings…You are the head of gold. (Babylon) After you there will be another empire, not as great as yours, (Medo-Persia) and after that a third, an empire of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. (Greece)
“And then there will be a fourth empire, as strong as iron, which shatters and breaks everything. And just as iron shatters everything, it will shatter and crush all the earlier empires. (Rome) You also saw that the feet and the toes were partly clay and partly iron….”
“At the time of those rulers the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never end. It will never be conquered, but will last forever. You saw how a stone broke loose from a cliff without anyone touching it and how it struck the statue made of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God is telling Your Majesty what will happen in the future.” (Daniel 2:36-45)
“…the majority of scholars seem to agree that the second empire is that of the Medes; the third, that of the Persians; and the fourth, the great Greek Empire….others, however, have interpreted the second empire as the Medo-Persian; the third, the Greek; and the fourth, the Roman empire” (GN and NET Bible footnotes)
“But the stone grew to be a mountain that covered the whole earth.”
“The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all.” (Psalm 118:22) “But to Israel and Judah He will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare.” (Isaiah 8:14)
“Then Jesus asked them, "Didn't you ever read this in the Scriptures? 'The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD's doing, and it is wonderful to see.' I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone it falls on.” (Matthew 21:42-44)
Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. For the scripture says, ‘I chose a valuable stone, which I am placing as the cornerstone in Zion; and whoever believes in him will never be disappointed.’ This stone is of great value for you that believe; but for those who do not believe: ‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all.’” (1Peter 2:4-7)
“And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)
“King Nebuchadnezzar had a gold statue made, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and he had it set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then the king gave orders for all his officials to come together...’” (Daniel 3:1-6)
In the first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylonia, I had a dream…Four huge beasts came up out of the ocean, each one different from the others. The first one looked like a lion, but had wings like an eagle. While I was watching, the wings were torn off. The beast was lifted up and made to stand up straight. And then a human mind was given to it. Symbol of the goddess Ishtar
“The second beast looked like a bear standing on its hind legs (raised up on one side). It was holding three ribs between its teeth, and a voice said to it, ‘Go on, eat as much meat as you can!’ ”perhaps representing Media-Persia, apparently symbolize military conquest…possibly a reference to the conquest of Lydia, Egypt, and Babylonia” (NET) “While I was watching, another beast appeared. It looked like a leopard, but on its back there were four wings, like the wings of a bird, and it had four heads. It had a look of authority about it.” “If the third animal is Greece, the most likely ID of these four heads is the four-fold division of the empire of Alexander the Great following his death.” (NET)
As I was watching, a fourth beast appeared. It was powerful, horrible, terrifying. With its huge iron teeth it crushed its victims, and then it trampled on them. Unlike the other beasts, it had ten horns. (Rome) While I was staring at the horns, I saw a little horn coming up among the others. It tore out three of the horns that were already there. This horn had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting proudly.” (Daniel 7:7-8) “This is the explanation I was given: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth empire that will be on the earth and will be different from all other empires. It will crush the whole earth and trample it down.’” (Daniel 7:23)
“The ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will appear; he will be very different from the earlier ones and will overthrow three kings. He will speak against the Supreme God and oppress God's people. He will try to change their religious laws and festivals, and God's people will be under his power for three and a half years.” (Daniel 7:24-25)
“There was one great survivor of the crisis of the western Roman empire after AD 400. This was the religion which had arisen from very small beginnings over the previous centuries to become the official ideology of the empire – Christianity.” (p. 87) “…the church hierarchy was turning into a shadow bureaucracy – a second empire- wide administrative structure standing alongside the first.” (p. 97)
“In the late 11 th century a series of ‘reforming’ popes had aspired to centralize…so as to impose a near theocratic structure on the whole of Europe.” (p. 147)
“…it was different from all the beasts that came before it. It will crush the whole earth and trample it down. The ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire.* Then another king will appear; he will be very different from the earlier ones…He will speak against the Supreme God and oppress God’s people. He will try to change their religious laws…” “the fourth animal differs from the others in that it is nondescript. Apparently it was so fearsome that Daniel could find nothing with which to compare it.” (NET) *See Revelation 17:12
Until 313 AD – “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” - Tertullian 312 AD, Constantine legalized Christianity: “By this sign you shall conquer” The first time anyone ever associated the Christian faith with violence 380 AD the official religion of the Roman empire – a crime not to be a Christian.
The militant church “If there is anyone of the Saxon people lurking among them unbaptized, and if he scorns to come to baptism…and stay a pagan, let him die.” – Charlemagne (742- 814 AD) Inflicting temporal pain to help someone avoid eternal pain is justified.
“In the third year that Belshazzar was king, I saw a second vision. In the vision I suddenly found myself in the walled city of Susa* in the province of Elam. I was standing by the Ulai River, and there beside the river I saw a ram that had two long horns, one of which was longer and newer than the other. I watched the ram butting with his horns to the west, the north, and the south. No animal could stop him or escape his power. He did as he pleased and grew arrogant. (Daniel 8:1-4) *a winter residence of Persian Kings “The ram you saw that had two horns represents the kingdoms of Media and Persia” (Daniel 8:20)
“While I was wondering what this meant, a goat came rushing out of the west, moving so fast that his feet didn’t touch the ground. He had one prominent horn between his eyes. He came toward the ram, which I had seen standing beside the river, and rushed at him with all his force. I watched him attack the ram. He was so angry that he smashed into him and broke the two horns. The ram had no strength to resist. He was thrown to the ground and trampled on, and there was no one who could save him. The goat grew more and more arrogant, but at the height of his power his horn was broken.” (Daniel 8:5-8) “The goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the prominent horn between his eyes is the first king” (Daniel 8:21) “In its place four prominent horns came up, each pointing in a different direction.” (Daniel 8:8)
“Out of one of these four horns grew a little horn, whose power extended toward the south and the east and toward the Promised Land. It grew strong enough to attack the army of heaven, the stars themselves, and it threw some of them to the ground and trampled on them. It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the heavenly army, stopped the daily sacrifices offered to him, and ruined the Temple. People sinned there instead of offering the proper daily sacrifices, and true religion was thrown to the ground. The horn was successful in everything it did.
“The little horn is Antiochus IV Epiphanes” – Good News Bible “This small horn is Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175-164” – NET Bible
8 th king of the Seleucid dynasty (175-164 BC) – Hellenistic kingdom Son of Antiochus III the Great - lost all of Asia Minor to the Romans Suspended temple services from 168-165 BC Antiochus taken hostage by Rome to enforce the treaty, but then allowed to return to Antioch
“Antiochus besieged Alexandria but he was unable to cut communications to the city and he also needed to deal with a revolt in Judea so, at the end of 169, he withdrew his army. In his absence, Ptolemy VI and his brother were reconciled. Antiochus, angered at his loss of control over the king, invaded again. The Egyptians sent to Rome asking for help…on the outskirts of the capital, he met Popilius Laenas, with whom he had been friends during his stay in Rome. But instead of a friendly welcome, Popilius offered the king an ultimatum from the Senate: he must evacuate Egypt and Cyprus immediately. Antiochus begged to have time to consider but Popilius drew a circle round him in the sand with his cane and told him to decide before he stepped outside it. Antiochus chose to obey the Roman ultimatum. The "Day of Eleusis" ended the Sixth Syrian War and Antiochus' hopes of conquering Egyptian territory. ”
“And then there will be a fourth empire, as strong as iron, which shatters and breaks everything. And just as iron shatters everything, it will shatter and crush all the earlier empires.” (Daniel 2:40) As I was watching, a fourth beast appeared. It was powerful, horrible, terrifying. With its huge iron teeth it crushed its victims, and then it trampled on them. Unlike the other beasts, it had ten horns. While I was staring at the horns, I saw a little horn coming up among the others. It tore out three of the horns that were already there. This horn had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting proudly.” (Daniel 7:1-8) “This is the explanation I was given: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth empire that will be on the earth and will be different from all other empires. It will crush the whole earth and trample it down.’” (Daniel 7:23)
“Out of one of these four horns grew a little horn, whose power extended toward the south and the east and toward the Promised Land. It grew strong enough to attack the army of heaven, the stars themselves, and it threw some of them to the ground and trampled on them. It even defied the Prince of the heavenly army, stopped the daily sacrifices offered to him, and ruined the Temple. People sinned there instead of offering the proper daily sacrifices, and true religion was thrown to the ground. The horn was successful in everything it did.
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