Would it surprise you to learn that Satan has fought against God’s plans primarily through seven pagan empires and that the rise and fall of these empires are chronicled in scripture? They are the seven empires Satan has used to persecute Israel throughout its history. Scripture also foretells that one of these seven empires will return in the end times as Satan’s final empire and will be ruled over by Antichrist.
This means that no less than seven world empires are chronicled in scripture to rule the world for Satan. Six of these are historic empires and named in scripture. The last one can be identified by studying history and prophecy about the end times.
Where are the Empires?
Seven successive empires rule over Israel all the way from Egypt until God establishes the Millennial Kingdom. The seven historical empires are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Islam. This last one will appear in two phases: Islamic Empire ending with the Ottoman Empire (“Phase I”) and the re-emergent Islamic Empire of the 10-King Caliphate (“Phase II”).
This perspective derives from a careful study of Daniel 2 and 7 along with Revelation 12, 13 and 17. These five chapters profile the “Times of the Gentiles” when the Gentile (pagan) empires rule Israel as prophesied by Jesus (Lk. 21:24),
They (Israel) will fall by the sword and be taken as prisoners to all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Four Empires in Daniel
We are introduced to four of the empires in the book of Daniel when the prophet Daniel reveals the details of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two. In the dream, the king sees a massive metallic statue that portrays four of Satan’s empires from Babylon to Islam.
The four kingdoms can be identified as: Babylon (head of gold), Persia (breast and arms of silver), Greece (belly and thighs of bronze), and Islam (iron legs) – with the fourth one (Islam) having a second phase as ten toes mixed with iron and clay that will re-emerge in the “last days.”
The picture of the divided 10-toe empire (Dan. 2:40-44) graphically portrays the Sunni-Shiite division within Islam that is fighting for supremacy in the Middle East today.
Daniel provides a surprising amount of detail concerning both Greece and Islam. Both Chapters 7 and 11 highlight the life of the forerunner of Antichrist (Syrian King Antiochus – 165 BC) and Daniel 11 contains the longest description in the Bible about the wars, atrocities and activities of Antichrist.
Dual Purpose Prophecy
It turns out that the great image in Daniel’s second chapter has a dual-prophetic purpose and application. It’s end time application is mentioned in Daniel 2:28 where Daniel says,
“There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the end of days.”
In addition to portraying four historical empires, the image also stands for Satan’s 8th and final empire. According to Revelation 13:1-2, the same four empires comprise Satan’s final empire,
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard (Greece), and his feet were like those of a bear (Persia), and his mouth like the mouth of a lion (Babylon). And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
Where will Antichrist come from?
This animal imagery that portrays the empires comes from Daniel 7:4-6. The modern empires depicted therefore, that make up the final empire, include the regions of Turkey/Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The final empire will cover all the territory of these 3 former empires and will be ruled by the (10-toes) 10-King Caliphate. Nowhere in the Bible have these figurative identities ever been changed.
Lion = Iraq
Bear = Iran
Leopard = Turkey/Syria
So when we read about a beast in Revelation with these same names, we have every reason to believe the Lord is pointing us to watch the offspring of those empires as the same location for the coming beast empire. Did you get that?
The empire of Antichrist will rise from these empires!
Iranian Shiite Crescent
The maps reveal that the revived Islamic Caliphate will include a significant block of Shiite Islamic countries. The Shiite countries will be able to compete with the Sunni block of Muslim nations like Turkey and become a major force within the 10-King Caliphate. This is what is prophesied in Daniel 2:40-44 which describes the Caliphate being a bad mix, partially weak and partially strong. It appears from the above map and from Revelation 13:2, that the Shiite block will have major sway in the coming Caliphate.
There is a good possibility that four of the 10 Kings could be from the Shiite nations of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. These nations seem to be well on their way of fitting into the end time beast empire of the Antichrist.
Shiite Mahdi – Islam’s Messiah
The strong Shiite presence within the Caliphate leaves the door open, for at least the possibility, that Antichrist could be the awaited Shiite messiah known as the Mahdi. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi will appear in the end times and lead Muslims to rule the world. He will be a great leader who arrives in a time of chaos to lead the Islamic Caliphate against the Jewish people and Christianity. His exploits are eerily similar to the one we know as Antichrist.
Iran, the strongest and most militant Shiite nation has designed their nuclear program and expansionist policies solely on the hope of the coming Mahdi. As such, Iran continues to gain traction as they seek to build out their “Shia Crescent” and combine the region under their wing.
The nations are now lining up like Satan has dialed them up on the phone and gave them instructions to begin to take their rightful places in his empire. Just as seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the final empire is beginning to appear right before our eyes. Nebuchadnezzar’s 2500 year old metallic image that Daniel revealed to him is an exact portrait of Satan’s final empire.