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There’s no doubt the U.S. has the financial means and the military muscle to greatly influence the world. But America is losing its supremacy and the Bible gives us indications about how the United States will be replaced as the world’s global leader.
God tells us He is in charge and determines world events: “…For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens…” (Isaiah 46:9-10, NLT).
As we learned last week the prophet Daniel was captured as a teenager and taken to Babylon, which was the dominant empire at that time, ruled by the powerful dictator Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel chapter 2 we are told Nebuchadnezzar had a worrying dream and he called his sorcerers, fortune tellers and advisers to explain to him what the dream meant. When they were unable to tell him what his dream was about or interpret its meaning Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to have them executed. This order would also have included Daniel and his companions.
As Daniel didn’t know what the king had dreamed either, he and his friends prayed to God, and God answered their prayer revealing to Daniel not only what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed, but also its meaning. Daniel informed Nebuchadnezzar his vision of the statue with its head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron, with feet a mixture of iron and clay was God revealing to him what will happen in the future.
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, “You are the head of gold” (Daniel 2:37) and the different sections of the statue represented different world ruling empires that would emerge in the future. The golden head of Babylon ruled the Middle East for generations until mighty Persia conquered them in one night. The silver chest with two arms symbolized the empire of the Medes and the Persians, which was the superpower in the Middle East for about two centuries. Then, Alexander the Great and his armies swallowed up Persia. The belly and thighs of bronze represented his Greco-Macedonian Empire, which ruled for some 300 years.
The legs of iron represented the next superpower, which was the Roman Empire. The iron fist of the Roman legions united parts of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and became the greatest empire the world had ever known until that time. God predicted the Roman Empire would become divided and is therefore represented by the two legs of the statue and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay.
Daniel’s prophecy also shows this 4th kingdom—the Roman Empire—will exist in some form, right up until the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ. The Word of God prophesies another, final modern-day emergence of this superpower that will bring America, Britain, and the English-speaking peoples of the world to their knees.
Additional details about the impact of the emergence of this superpower can be found in Revelation chapter 13. There this future government is represented by a fierce beast “... rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns…” (verse1). It will be an alliance, or federation of presidents or kings, that voluntarily give their authority to a powerful political leader, called “the Beast”.
We don’t have to look too far back in history to find a fairly recent example of this. Adolf Hitler saw himself as connected to the Holy Roman Empire and the Caesars. He called his rule the Third Reich—the third realm or empire. When the Great Depression brought economic upheaval to Germany, Europe and the world Hitler claimed to have the answer and, for a time, Germany appeared to prosper under his rule. The final result of this modern resurrection of the Roman empire however was World War II, resulting in intense suffering, death camps and over 60 million people dying.
The dominance of this next, final superpower will only last for a short time. Bible prophecy assures us that all corrupt rulers and human governments will finally come to an end. In Daniel 2:34-35 and 44 we are told: “... a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces... And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth…[and] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
God wants each of us to take advantage of the opportunity He gives us now to keep His commandments and to truly love and honor Him in our lives. His Word exhorts us: “Knowing that one day all this will come to pass, think of what sort of people you ought to be—how you should be living faithful and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:11).
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