Daniel 7:7-8 by Robert Dean
Series:Daniel (2001)
Duration:1 hr 4 mins 32 secs

R. Dean Daniel Lesson 30

The Unique Beast: Rome – Daniel 7:7-8

We are studying an important section in Daniel as we come to Daniel 7.  This is a rugged section for some of you because many of you don't have a great appreciation for history or you were never taught history very well and the problem with the way history is taught in most secular classrooms, most of your high school and college class rooms is that ends up being a lot of dates and a lot of facts and primarily at the elementary level up through high school the purpose is really to give people sort of a framework, but unfortunately it's taught in a not to effective manner, and part of that is due to the fact that coming from a secular orientation there's no real understanding of an overriding purpose or meaning in history.  Sure, they will teach philosophies of history and they will teach from a certain theoretical basis that the basis overriding causation in history is either economics or geography or socio-economic issues or politics or some other aspect.  But remember from a Christian viewpoint all of those elements that are usually emphasized as the major element in history, it could be the military, you have military history, it could be any number of facets, those are all part of creation and we have to think biblically about that. 

Remember in Romans 1 we're told that fallen man rejects the Creator and substitutes the worship of the creature and creation.  So all of those things, geography, socio-economic facets, agriculture, mercantilism, military events, all of those are things that belong down in the arena of creation.  And what happens whenever you take one of those things and elevate it up and make it the one factor that controls everything else is it's just another form of idolatry, it's another form of taking one element of the creation and using it to replace God.  And in a secular society where we take God out of the picture and God is no longer there to give meaning and definition to human history, then something else within history takes God's place and moves into that vacuum, and the result is that people really, I think at the very core of man he is designed to have a relationship with God and there's something skeptical about all these fascinating theories about things like Marxism and Hegel's view of history and other historiographical principles.  So people just get bored, the details no longer have meaning any more, so history becomes irrelevant.  And I think that's Satan's assault on history because history from God's perspective is one of the most crucial studies because history is His story, it is the outworking of God's plan. 

In order to really understand what's happening in Daniel 7-12 we have to have a grasp, at least a basic framework of understanding of ancient history.  If you don't understand ancient history, you can't understand and appreciate what God is revealing through Daniel in Daniel 7-12.  It just isn't going to happen.  If you do not understand the history of the ancient world during that time you cannot have a grasp on what these prophets are teaching Israel.  So we have to do that kind of heavy detailed isogagical instruction which I know for some of you just puts you right to sleep but others of you find it fascinating, so hopefully we can make it less dreadful.  But again and again and again as we walk our way through Daniel 7, Daniel 8, Daniel 9, and get into Daniel 10, 11 and 12, where we get really bogged down into the politics of history, the Seleucid Empire, which trust me, I don't think anybody here ever heard about in high school or college history.  As we get into that if we don't have this framework down we will just be lost.  So it's fascinating how God gives the overview here in chapter 7, we deal with all four kingdoms.  And then in chapter 8 it narrows down, chapter 9 it narrows down, it begins to focus more on Israel and in 10, 11 and 12 the focus gets narrower and narrower so we start with the broad and general and get the overview and then move into more and more detailed studies.  

Now as we get into Daniel 7, let's just review the first 6 verses very quickly.  "Daniel 7:1, "In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.  [2] Daniel said, I was looking my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven," we saw that refers to angelic forces, this imagery, wind, sea, the imagery in prophetic literature is not just imagery that people come in and go well, I think this could mean that, or winds could be this thing, sea could mean that thing, it's not that kind of subjective interpretation. 

The Scripture is clear, these same symbols, as we're going to see, are used over and over again in Ezekiel and Zechariah, in Revelation, and so it's clear that the four winds of heaven, as we studied, refer to angelic forces, primarily demonic forces, as they are exercising their influence under the sovereignty of God on the mass of fallen humanity.  And that's what the great sea referred to, is the mass of fallen humanity and we made the point that in the 6th century BC something phenomenal was happening in the angelic conflict as these angelic powers, these demonic powers, are unleashed on human history to begin to move things, and they produce a series of empires that are presented as beasts; four great beasts were coming up from the sea, and the beast image represents man at his worst, that man, when he is in rebellion against God, dominated by the sin nature, operating on arrogance, is a beast, he's an animal, this is not a complimentary view of mankind.  And some of the leaders of some of these nations, the leaders who are at the forefront of these nations were people who were wonderful people, they were kind, they were, in some cases generous, they were magnificent men of integrity, and yet God says they were beasts, they were animals because they are operating on human arrogance.

Daniel 7:4, "The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle.  I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it."  That's a description of Nebuchadnezzar's regeneration that took place at the end of his reign over Babylon, when God disciplined him and then removed him from power, he spent seven years as an animal, and at the end he recognized the power and sovereignty of God.  Verse 5, "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear."  So we move from a lion to a bear, the beat has agility and power, "it was raised up on one side," indicating the superiority of the Persians over the Medes, "and three ribs, were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'"  That is the expansion of the Medo-Persian Empire.

Daniel 7:6, "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it."  Now verse 3 says these "four beasts were coming up from the sea," verse 17 gives the interpretation, "These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings" or four powers "who will arise from the earth."  The first is a lion with wings like an eagle; this was a standard symbol in Babylon.  This is a map showing the basic expanse of the Babylonian Empire.  This is Babylon, and if we move up the Euphrates River to here, that's where modern Baghdad is located.  And one of the great debates that I haven't fully resolved yet in my own thinking is whether or not the Babylon pictured in Revelation 17-18 is merely a symbol that is a reference to Rome or whether it is a…that during the Tribulation there will be a literal restoration of the city of Babylon.  More and more studies are being done and it's interesting that more and more dispensational scholars have been moving to a position that it is a literal Babylon that will be restored.  There's fascinating evidence there and eventually we'll get around to studying that particular issue.

So the lion with the wings of an eagle represents the head of gold in the statute in Daniel 2.  The second was the bear which represents the Medo-Persian Empire as described in Daniel 8:3-4 and Daniel 8:20.  Daniel 7:5, ""And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear, it was raised up on one side, and three ribs, were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'"  And in that expansion the Persians defeated Lydia, which is in the western part of modern Turkey; the Medes and Chaldea.  And this led to a major problem that we began to study last time, it created a military situation between the Persians and the Greeks because the Greeks had colonists on that western shore of Asia Minor or Turkey and this brings the problem of the leopard, which is the third beast, verse 6, "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it."  So this is the fourth beast and relates to the male goat in Daniel 8:5, "While I was observing, behold a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes."  And then in verse 21, "The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece," and the four horns that were replaced the one that was broken off, the one broken off was Alexander as we studied last time, replaced by four kingdoms that emerged from his kingdom as it was divided between four of his generals.

Now here we have a map of the ancient world at that time.  This area, all the way down to Egypt, was really the Medo-Persia Empire.  They did conquer the Lydian Empire, the western half of Turkey, but along the coast in towns like Sardis, Ephesus, and on down along the Mediterranean were various Greek colonies.  Right here is where Troy was located of the famed Trojan Wars as described in The Iliad and The Odyssey.  And when those colonies rebelled against Darius Hystaspes then he sent out an army to assault them.  Now that occurred, we saw that last time, that as the bear was gobbling up territory, Darius wanted to take on the Greeks, so he took his army in 490 BC, he invaded across the Hellespont and invaded through Thrace and then down the Greek peninsula.  This peninsula just north of Athens here is Eritrea, and then Athens was to the south and that's where they had the major battle, and out here is where Marathon is located and it was at Marathon that the Greeks defeated the Persians who retreated to their ships and tried to do an end run by coming around this lower peninsula and up into the bay but the Athenians did a forced march, got back to Athens and defeated the Persians.  So that's the first invasion of the Persians under Darius.

Then the second invasion we studied last time was under Xerxes; ten years later, in 480, he invaded with a navy and an army that was in massive proportions.  The navy had 3,000 transport ships and a thousand war ships.  And the army, according to Herodotus, was up to two million.  Now those numbers are a little suspect, but allegedly he had an army of two million and as he came down the Greek peninsula he had to funnel his way through Thermopylae pass where they had a very famous battle and were defeated by… were being defeated because they all had to funnel down through a very narrow gorge and 300 Spartans under King Leonidus, the Spartans were defeating them until a traitor told the Persians of a back way and the Persians went around behind them and wiped out the Spartans.  It's an extremely famous battle and one of the most decisive battles in all human history.  And then their navy came around, back in this bay, and at Salamis there was another famous naval battle, and at that point the Persians had their navy wiped out and they went home with their tale tucked between their legs. 

That, of course, set things up for a hundred years later when Alexander came to power over Greece, that he united the Greek city states and developed the strategy and tactics of the Greek phalanx, which was usually about six or eight rows deep and about twelve men across, and his father, Philip, was quite brilliant and the battle of Leuctra had noticed that phalanxes tended to move to the right.  You see, every Greek soldier carried his shield on his left hand and he carried his sword on his right hand, and he had another soldier, another hoplite to his right.  And that hoplite's shield on his left side was supposed to protect him.  So the tendency is that you've got your shield here and you're wanting to make sure you're behind the guy's shield to your right, so there's a tendency for the phalanx as it's moving across the field to kind of veer to the right.  Philip noticed that and so what he developed was a reinforced phalanx where they put four or five more rows just on the back left side so that as they moved forward across the field and one phalanx is angling to the right and the other one is angling to their right, and you hit just at the angle, he would tend to move them… he picked this up from the Spartans, that he would move and hit fast and really accelerate or exaggerate the shift to the right so he'd clip them right on the corner and then he'd have this reinforced left side and then they would do an oblique left and hit the other phalanx from the left and wipe them out.  So Alexander picked that up and used that to wipe out every army in the ancient world because they had no clear defense for that. 

That's important for understanding a few things about the development of Roman tactics, which we'll get to in a minute.  But last time we saw that in Alexander's campaign there were four major battles that relate to the four wings; the battle at Granicus, then the battle of Issus, then the battle of Arbella, and then his battles over along the eastern side of the Empire on the Indus River, and through those four major battles he gained control of the Persian Empire and more, in a period of ten years, from 333 BC until his death in 323 BC.  So that is the speed of the leopard, the speed of his conquest.  Then when he died his empire is divided up between four generals, Cassander took over Greece, Lysimachus took over Thrace and part of Asia Minor, Seleucus took over Syria and the majority of the Persian Empire which he later lost to the Parthians, and then the Ptolemies took Egypt and Palestine.  That area around Israel was kind of a buffer between the Ptolemies in the south and the Seleucids in the north, and so they were constantly fighting over Israel, and it went back and forth from one empire to another. 

That is about where we stopped last time and this time we're going to look at the fourth empire which is the Roman Empire in Daniel 7:7.  Now you have a great understanding and you've had a good review, you understand a little bit about Persian and Greek history, and that gives you a little understanding why we run marathons and call them marathons is because from Athens to Marathon is whatever it was, twenty-six and a half miles, and one soldier made a run there to warn them about the Persians doing an end run around the city and that's we run marathons today.  They didn't just come up with the word out of English.

Daniel 7:7, "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth.  It devoured and crushed, and trampled," now that's not an accurate translation, notice it translates those as finite past tense verbs and they are participles in the Aramaic, it was devouring, and crushing and trampling.  See, if you change it to participles you've got energy and power operating here and that's the picture …this is like an enormous machine that's just chewing up territory and chewing up people, "It's devouring and crushing and trampling down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.  [8] While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little horn," this is important, "a little horn, came up among them," that is among the ten, "and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts."

Now we're not going to get all of that covered this evening, we're just going to barely get started on understanding this fourth beast tonight.  I want you to notice some things about this particular beast.  There are six characteristics given about this beast; let's list them.  First of all, it's said to be "dreadful and terrible."  Second, "it's exceedingly strong," that means its strength, its power, its military might exceeds that of its predecessors.  Third, it has "enormous iron teeth."  Fourth, it's "devouring, crushing and trampling," it's continuous action.  Fifth, it has "claws of bronze" as described in verse 19 which we'll look at.  It is said to be "different from all the previous beasts," and it had "ten horns."  There are seven points there: first, dreadful and terrible; second, exceedingly strong; third, enormous iron teeth; fourth, it was devouring, crushing and trampling; fifth, it had claws of bronze; sixth, it's different from all the previous beasts; and seventh, it had ten horns.

Now what made it different from the previous beasts?  Two things, the previous beasts are all natural, you may not see them in nature but you know what wings of eagles are and you know what a lion looks like, you know what a bear looks like, you know what a leopard looks like, you've never seen a four headed leopard with four wings but you know what those look like, wings occur in nature.  But you never see an animal with teeth of iron and claws of bronze.  See, what's introduced there are man-made elements.  Iron and bronze both have to be smelted and both are products of man-made processes.  So there is something special, let's just call it an unknown X factor that makes this beast particularly ferocious and it's the introduction of something that is man-made and distinguishes this beast from all of the other beasts. 

Now in Daniel 7:19 we're told, Daniel says, "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast," so he doesn't just contemplate his navel and try to figure out what the fourth beast could possibly mean; he doesn't consult various works of literature, he turns to the angel that is standing there to get specific information because Daniel knows that it's designed to communicate.  See, God doesn't give these symbols to obfuscate or cloud the meaning; He gives these symbols in order to teach certain things through the symbols and he wants them to be clearly understood.  So Daniel says here, "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze," verse 19 gives us that new information, "and which was devouring, crushing and trampling down the remainder with its feet."  Verse 20, "And the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates." 

Daniel 7:23, "Thus he said the fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth," the "he said" refers to the angel, the messenger from God who is interpreting this to Daniel.  "…the fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms," so there's something about this fourth kingdom that distinguishes it from all the other kingdoms.  We have to figure out what that is.  "…and it will devour the whole earth," so it's going to have a universal control, "devour the whole earth, and tread it down and crust it."  Tremendously powerful verbs are used here to illustrate the power and the strength of this forth kingdom.

Daniel 7:24, "As for the ten horns," the angel says, "out of this kingdom ten kings will arise," now in the early years in the ancient world, and sometimes in the Middle Ages crowns were made out of horns; you can think about the helmets that Vikings wore with horns coming out of them, they would take horns and they would create a helmet or some type of hat and that was the early form of a crown so when we think of a crown today, we think of a crown that has these pointed things on it, that is just a stylized version of the ancient crowns which were made from horns.  And so the horn is used as a symbol of power, and the symbol of a kingdom.  So these ten horns represent ten kings or kingdoms that "will arise," future tense, at the time Daniel writes they are future to Daniel.  "As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them," notice the order, this is important to understand what happens at the beginning of the Tribulation.  Ten kingdoms are going to arise and then another one after them.  So first you have this ten nation confederacy and then there is an eleventh king that arises after that and he's different from the previous kings and he is going to subdue, through military conquest, three of those other ten kings.  This takes place in the early stages of the Tribulation because the antichrist isn't revealed until after the rapture.  So in the early stages of the Tribulation, in order to consolidate his power over the Revived Roman Empire, he is going to subdue three of these ten kings and consolidate that power.

Daniel 7:25 characterizes him in terms of his religious orientation, "And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time."  We'll investigate that and we'll see that that means three and a half years.  So this is talking about what he is doing in the first three and a half years of the Tribulation.  [26] But the court will sit for judgment…excuse me, that's the second half of the Tribulation, he's consolidated his power and now he is assaulting the saints, that is tribulation saints seeking to destroy them in the second half of the Tribulation.  And then in verse 26, "But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever." 

Now the fact that this fourth beast has the iron teeth is so unusual and struck Daniel as so unusual that he has to get extra information from the angel that's in attendance.  So he asks the angel and the angel gives him the information and begins to explain what all of this means in verses 23-25.  So this is the authoritative information given from the angel in terms of interpreting what's going on here.

Now there are several different interpretations offered for these ten horns.  First of all there's the liberal interpretation and the liberal interpretation seeks to make all of this history, so for the liberal the ten horns, they try to squeeze this into the Greek Empire, not the Roman Empire, I briefly touched on this, you my not remember, but briefly covered the fact that the liberals want all of this to be history, so the first kingdom is Babylon, the second kingdom is a Median kingdom, the third kingdom is a Persian kingdom and the fourth kingdom is Greece.  But there never was an independent Median kingdom.  So there's no historical support for the liberal view on that, but by adopting their position they have to make, with their typical ram, cram and jam type of hermeneutics and interpretation, they have to make these ten horns symbolic of something related to the Greeks.  But nobody has been able to do that because there's nothing in Greek history that relates to ten; there aren't any ten powers or ten city states or anything like that, and so it can't relate to the Seleucids or the Ptolemies.  Remember the Greek Empire is broken into four segments and that easily relates to Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and the Seleucids.  But there's nothing that relates to ten, so the liberal position just doesn't fit history at all, but that doesn't bother the liberals because they don't think the Bible has anything to do with reality any way. 

Then there's our amillennial and postmillennial friends, our Calvinistic Reformed crowd, who wants to ignore or deny the fact that there's a literal millennium in the future, and in order to do that they have to make these ten horns relate to something in the Church.  This last kingdom in Daniel 2 is the Church and so they have to make these ten horns relate to something in the Church and of course, these ten horns therefore have to be in the past, and they have to be something that has already occurred before the Church Age and yet there's nothing in history that corresponds to the ten horns.  So this is something, if you're ever in a discussion with somebody who has trouble believing in a premillennial coming of Christ, you can always take them to the ten horns and try to get them to figure out what those ten horns refer to.

What happens in verse 8 is that this little horn comes along and he's going to displace or destroy three of them so that now they are really only eight powers, but he takes over these eight powers and he wages a war in verse 21-25 against the saints.  Now the term saint can refer to either an Old Testament saint, a Church Age believer, or a tribulational believer.  Saint is not necessarily a term restricted to the Church Age.  So you have to determine which era this is talking about, and of course, if the liberals want to make this history then they try to identify this with Antiochus Epiphanes when he tried to destroy the Jews in the second century BC.  The problem is, they can't figure out what the ten horns would refer to at that particular time.  Not only that but as we look at the Scriptures, in Revelation John picks up on this same imagery in Revelation 17.  We'll come back and look at Daniel 13 because he sees a description of the beast and the antichrist that comes up in Daniel 13:1 as composing a body like the lion, the power of a bear and the speed of a leopard.  Now how can you interpret that if you don't understand Daniel 7?  You can't.  And so this becomes the background. 

Now in Revelation 17:1 we read, "And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me saying, 'Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.'"  That's the system of the antichrist.  [2] "With whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.  [3] And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns."  Now doesn't that sound familiar?  See, to understand Revelation 17 you have to understand Daniel 7 because here we see the seven heads which are the ten horns minus the three that are destroyed, and there are ten horns, they are still ten nations but there's really only seven heads that are left. 

And then we skip down to Revelation 17:12 and when John wrote Revelation in approximately 92 AD these ten horns were yet future.  See, the amill has a problem with that and the postmill, and especially the new preterist crowd, that isn't a term you use a lot but preterist means past. 

When Tommy was here three years ago he did a whole lecture on preterism and this is gaining steam where there are those theologians who are teaching that all or at least the majority of prophetic events in Matthew 24 and Revelation occurred in 70 AD, that all of those prophecies in Revelation and in Matthew 24 were simply allegorical messages related to the destruction of Israel and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.  And there are numerous problems with preterism, not the least of which is they operate on a non-literal interpretation.  But when John wrote Revelation, see, one of the things they have to do is make the writing of Revelation much earlier than it has been traditionally set up and Revelation is traditionally viewed as having been written about 92-94 AD and now they're trying to say no, it was really written about 60 AD, and that would refer… everything in Revelation would be related to events around Titus' invasion of Israel in 70 AD.  So this is a major battle among scholars in the realm of eschatology and one of the younger guys who's a member of the pretrib rapture study group is writing his PhD dissertation at Dallas Seminary on the date of the book of Revelation, which we're all looking forward to with much anticipation because he is going to really nail down some issues for us in this ongoing battle.

Now we miss that here but every time I go to these meetings apparently in the real world out there, outside of New England where people have, at least outside of southeastern Connecticut, where people have Trinity Broadcasting Network and all the other idiot heretical Christian broadcasting systems and they get Christian radio, there are major battles of this apparently going on in the Christian talk shows and Christian radio and you have major speakers like R. C. Sproul who has a national or international radio ministry and he's now teaching a preterist view, as are many others.  So I just have to let you know that in case you ever run into some of this. 

In Revelation 17:3 John wrote, "And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, bull of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns."  So this is yet future in Revelation 17.  In Daniel 7:25 we're told that "he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time."  So this is clearly speaking of the operation of the little horn, who is the antichrist.  We'll do a study of the little horn, comparing him with the beast in Revelation.  Right now we just have to look at the historical aspect of the fourth beast as Rome, and before we do that we need to introduce it with three questions we need to answer in our study.

First of all, we look back at this beast; he has teeth of iron and claws of bronze.  That's a man-made factor introduced into this empire and we need to determine that that might be.  So the first question is: what is the manmade-ness, the manmade X factor of the fourth kingdom?  What is the manmade X factor of the fourth kingdom pictured in the humanly refined iron teeth and in the humanly refined bronze claws?  That's something completely different from what we find in the earlier kingdoms, so what's the X factor pictured in the iron and the bronze.

The second question: How did Rome act differently, because there's an emphasis made on the fact that this kingdom is different from the other kingdoms.  How did Rome act differently from the three earlier kingdoms such that it is pictured as being dreadful, terrifying, extremely strong, devouring and crushing the whole earth and treading it down?  Let me suggest something, as a hint; this is not going to be military as much as it's going to be ideological or theological because the Scriptures always address this more from an ideological perspective than a military perspective.  Something in their thinking is going to make them terrible.

Third: since the ten kings of the fourth kingdom of Daniel 7 are yet future to our time, and we in the 21st century are still within the time period of the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2:7, we should be able to discern this manmade feature X, so what is it?

Let's take a little overview of the Roman Empire, Roman history in ten minutes or less; we're just going hit the high points, we'll hit more detail later.  I've studied Roman history a lot over the years and it's hard to nail things like this down if you don't have the basic broad outline.  So that's all we're going to do is just try to give you a basic broad outline of Roman history so that as we come back later and teach more details you'll have something to organize all the details with.

There are four periods that we're going to look at.  The first is the pre-civil war period.  The pre-civil war period; this is the period up to about 60 to 75 BC, the pre-civil war period and this period is roughly analogous to the time in our history of the colonial era up to the revolutionary war.  It's the time when the old Romans, the old Patricians would look back and say those were really the good old days, when we were primarily Etruscans astride the seven hills of Rome and we weren't concerned about world affairs, we didn't dominate the…  [tape turns] …we just took care of things in our own backyard and life was really good; these were the good old days. 

During this time militarily Roman strategy and tactics was not much different from the Greek strategy and tactics.  They had a heavily armed infantry which was the backbone of their army.  Now that becomes important in a minute.  They stressed the infantry and they usually marched into battle accompanied by music, and they had six or eight rows along a solid front line, so they continued to use the basic phalanx of the Greeks.  The army was made up of 193 units called centuries and they basically, the first 18 centuries included all those who could afford horses and armor and they were called the equites for the cavalry, this would be equivalent to the knights in the Roman Empire, these were the aristocracy of Rome, those who had wealth who could afford to outfit themselves well.  And then as you went to the next group of thirty or forty centuries they were infantry, they couldn't afford horses but they had better weapons and better armor than the next group of centuries, and so by the time you got down to the last 20 or 30 centuries they weren't very well outfitted and they were made up with the lower elements of society.  The leaders were called consuls, the leaders of the army were consuls and under them were military tribunes.  And each citizen was required to serve in the military for ten years.  So there was universal military service, ten years from the time you were about 15 till you were 25.  That's the early pre-civil war period. 

Then there were the days of expansion from roughly…there's some fudge factor here, overlapping depending on how you periodize things, but from roughly a little before 100… this would be 250-150 BC, the earlier period is before 250 BC, this period would roughly run from 250 to 150-100 BC depending on how you break it down, and this would cover the Punic Wars with Carthage.  Now about the beginning of this period, I think I said the pre-civil war period, this should really be the pre-expansion period, the first one should be called the pre-expansion, early days, the Etruscan period, then the second period is the days of expansion, and at this time, at the beginning of this period, the period of expansion, the tactics changed.  They reorganized the army into what they called maniples, and each maniple was made up of two equal sized centuries, and they would organize them on a battlefield so it looked like a checkerboard, and they would set up three maniples across the front line, looking something like this, with a hole here and a hole here, then you'd have reserve maniples in the rear, and this allowed them to spread out to left and right if they needed to, and it also enabled them to be flexible from front to rear and to move the maniples in the rear off to the left or the right in order to reinforce your front line maniples.  So it gave them a tremendous amount of flexibility and with that Rome was able to roll over just about every opposing force once they got their act together.

Now about the time they are developing that they had to deal with a major empire that was down south called Carthage.  Now the Carthaginians were Greeks, they were descendants of the old Phoenicians and Greek sea peoples, they were related to the Philistines and Phoenicians that had settled and colonized on the coast of Israel and they were pushing forward into Europe.  The Carthaginians had crossed over into Spain; they had defeated all of the armies there which were the ancient…whatever the ancient people were in Spain at that time, they had defeated them under the leadership of Hannibal.  Hannibal Barca was well-trained by his father, Hamilcar and he wanted to defeat Rome and take over Italy so he did an end run, he headed north, he crossed the Pyrenees and then he headed back around to the east, across the Alps and came into Italy from the north.  And he was defeating the Romans and just wiping them out and everything they threw against him he would defeat them because he had brought his elephants with him and he was heavy on cavalry and the cavalry could take out the infantry without any problem.  But there was a young Roman General by the name of Scipio who realized that if you're going to ever win you have to take the battle to the enemy, you have to go on the offensive so he put together a Roman army and they sailed across the Mediterranean and headed for Carthage and as soon as Hannibal heard that he had to get out of Italy and head for home as quick as he could and he didn't get there in time and so Scipio defeated Hannibal and they completely wiped out Carthage. 

Now at the same time, the Greeks had done something very foolish; the heirs of Cassander and Macedon and in Greece were fairly weak and they were feeling the pressure of this expanding Roman power so they had entered into an alliance with Carthage.  They had bet on Hannibal and they figured if Hannibal took out the Romans then they were going to be in great shape but Hannibal lost to the Romans and because the Greeks were allied to the Carthaginians they were now the enemies of Rome and Rome wasn't going to stand for that.  So Rome looked eastward and said well, we're going to have to destroy the Greeks.  So at this point Rome headed east, conquered Greece, and then they had to go around and wipe out the other colonies, the other Greek colonies, the Seleucid dynasty and then head down to Egypt and take out the Ptolemies.  So when it was all over with, all of a sudden Rome woke up one day and the Mediterranean had become a Roman lake.  Now they didn't set out for world conquest, but that was all sort of the result of the Punic Wars, that's the technical name for the wars with Carthage. 

Then you have the period of the Roman civil wars, where you have Julius Caesar coming back from his conquest of Gaul and Britannia and he is told not to come back to Rome so he took his army and he defeated the other major Roman army in the field over in Spain, and then together they marched on Rome, and he had himself appointed as Emperor.  Now he was really a populous who was catering to the masses and as usual, whenever you have any politician who is spouting phrases where they're going to give more power, more money to the people, usually more power and more money ends up in their pockets so always watch out for the populous.  So he becomes Emperor and then he is assassinated by Brutus and Cassius and that crowd which began a civil war between Octavius on the one hand, Mark Antony and the others and that went on for several years until Octavius, the nephew of Caesar, defeated Brutus and Mark Antony and Augustus became the Emperor and this occurs in 30 BC and Augustus Caesar is a brilliant man, a genius, who redefines Rome and he basically establishes the constitution of Rome and the political organization of Rome which enables Rome to survive for almost a thousand years.  The residual effects of this one genius are incredible because of the way he structured the empire.

So one question we have to ask here, as we arrive at this point in history, is: can we point to something unique that happens at this time that makes the Roman Empire different?  And the first real signal to this is what happens under Augustus because he is going to establish a new kind of administration.  He single-handedly establishes the empire and its based on his own character.  Now Augustus himself is not a tyrant, he was not a cruel man; in fact, he seems to have been a very generous individual with the empire.  He could be compared to certain politicians of our own day who are very charismatic, and who seem to never have any negative criticism stick to them, and are always thought of as being very kind and wonderful people. 

Dr. Merrill C. Tenney writes of Augustus very perceptively, he says: "The cessation of the bitter civil wars that had distressed Rome for nearly a century inaugurated a welcomed peace.  The moderation and sagacity of Augustus fostered confidence in his rule.  He spared the lives of all his opponents who asked for pardon."  See, he's generous, he's gracious, he's magnanimous.  "He refrained from the wholesale slaughter of his enemies in which is predecessors had indulged."  So he's not bloodthirsty.  "Augustus even demilitarized the empire" to satisfy all the pacifists, "by discharging 300,000 soldiers from the army and settling them in their own colonies and in their own towns.  In times of economic stress he paid for free grain out of his own pocked for the people."  That'll get you a few votes.  "He erected numerous public buildings at his own expense; he reformed the laws concerning adultery and usury and strengthened the laws regarding the establishment of the family.  He enforced a just assessment of taxes.  He improved the organization of the government.  The catalogue of his numerous achievements carved in the wall of a temple in Turkey credits him with the erection of 14 temples, restoration of 82 public buildings, together with the construction of extensive aqueducts and roads."  That spells jobs.  "Piracy and brigandage which had flourished in the last disorganized days of the republic and civil war were firmly repressed.  A salutary esprit de corps sprang up in the empire so that people began to pride themselves on being Romans and to become conscious of a new unity in the world."

Now listen to the words of a letter written by a retired army commander about Augustus to show what people thought of him in his day.  This retired soldier says: "There's nothing that man can desire from the gods, nothing that the gods can grant to man, nothing that wish can conceive or good fortune bring to pass, which Augustus on his return to the city did not bestow upon the commonwealth."  Notice his comparison to the gods.  "The civil war was ended, foreign wars were suppressed, peace was reestablished, the frenzy of conflict everywhere lulled to rest.  Validity was restored to the law; authority to the courts; prestige to the Senate; the power of the magistrates was reduced to its former limits; the traditional form of the republic was revived; agriculture returned to the fields; respect to religion; to mankind security of possessions.  All laws were carefully amended, new legislation enacted for the general good; the senatorial panel was rigorously if not drastically revised.  The dictatorship which the people persisted in offering him he persistently refused."  

He was a good guy, there was a golden age in the Roman Empire and he refused to be a dictator, he gave power back to the Senate, but in its place was the deification of the emperor.  See, what Augustus did was he took something that the Greeks had developed under Aristotle and Plato, they were interested in developing the city-state, what made good government, and he took the results of political thought developed in Greece and he wedded it to a Roman concept of law as absolute, but law that doesn't come from God as the Creator outside of creation, it means that it comes from some authority in creation that supplants God or replaces God in the process.  And that always happens, if you reject God as the source of absolutes, something is going to take His place, so what takes the place of God is the government.  And the government becomes the ultimate reference point for values and absolutes, and that is what makes Rome, the development in Rome so terrible, and we see that played out through the history of western civilization, is this constant fight and struggle between the Church and the authority of God and the state that seeks to be the ultimate arbiter and decided of power.  And that's what's going to end up happening in the Tribulation when the antichrist sets himself up as a god.  He will deify himself and he will be the ultimate determiner of values and of absolutes.  So what really went to seed with Nero and Caligula, as they were also viewed as gods, was the result of what Augustus had begun.  And it's the deification of the state. 

So in conclusion let's answer those questions: first of all, what's the manmade factor in the fourth kingdom?  And that is that the Roman Empire is the first empire in history that publicly admits that man is the source of absolutes and law, that human reason is the source of law rather than dreams in a temporal or some sort of God-revealed law code; it is man's reason, his own abilities that generates law.

The second question was how did Rome act differently from the other three earlier kingdoms?  And that was in the way that the Roman Empire devoured and crushed the whole earth and controlled the earth through their administration of law, such that after Christianity, remember, it is in the time of Augustus that Jesus Christ is born.  Everything here points to the birth of Jesus Christ as God works these empires, we're told in Galatians 4:4 that it was "in the fullness of time that Jesus Christ was born."  So it's in this Pax Augustus, in this golden age under Augustus, that Jesus Christ is born and He becomes the competition to the Caesar, even though his kingdom is not of this world, Christianity becomes competitive with the deified Roman Empire at this point and this is why the Roman citizens had to bow down and say that Caesar was lord, and this is why there were so many persecutions of the Christians because it put their allegiance in direct conflict with allegiance to Caesar.  Does law come from Caesar or does law come from God?  That's what made Rome different.

The third question, we said since these ten kings of the fourth kingdom of Daniel 7 are still future for us, as they were at the time John wrote, can we see this same element in the world today.  Let me just read to you one quote from Dewey, who was the founder or architect of much of the public education system, and in his book, A Common Faith, he articulates the same spirit that we find in ancient Rome.  He wrote in that book:  "I cannot understand how any realization of the democratic ideal as a vital, moral and spiritual ideal in human affairs is possible without surrender of the conception of the basic human division to which Christianity is committed, namely the saved and the lost."  Let me read that to you again.  Dewey, the architect of the modern public education system in American, John Dewey, said: "I cannot understand how any realization of the democratic ideal," see, that's setting the "democratic ideal" up as the ultimate arbiter of truth, that replaces God.  "I cannot understand how any realization of the democratic ideal as a vital, moral and spiritual ideal in human affairs is possible without surrender of the conception of the basic human division to which Christianity is committed, namely the saved and the lost."  In other words, if you're going to have real success of democracy you've got to do away with this Christian idea that some people are saved and some people are lost; you've got to do away with Christianity because Christianity is the enemy to democracy, because it's a battle as to who the ultimate authority is.  

And that's what we have to understand.  There is no such thing as neutrality and this is what distinguishes the fourth kingdom, which in this intervening stage between the destruction of the Roman Empire and its resurrection as the Revived Roman Empire is in abeyance.  We still see these trends going on today because we in the west are the heirs to the old Roman Empire.

Next time we'll compare the little horn to the beast and in the next session we will get into some more doctrines that relate to the end times that are just fascinating.