Psalm 2 begins with a simple question. “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?” We now know from our list of characters that Satan, the Dragon, is the ultimate answer. He’s the fallen spiritual force behind the raging nations. “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us’ ” (Ps. 2:2-3). This is the battle cry of the Beast: we shall do it our way!
The beastly standard has been raised throughout the centuries, as pictured in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue in Daniel 2. As we’ve seen, the goal is not just the ultimate control of this earthly realm, but also control of the unseen spiritual realm. Building on a foundation of oppression and annihilation throughout the ages, the cosmic conflict is coming to a head in our not so distant future.
As that appointed time draws near, God is shining a bright light on our horizon so that we can not only acknowledge the chronos timing, but we can also spot the kairos signs in our “news” headlines. A false trinity is set to bring forth the original plan of the Fallen Angel with a financial, religious, and political system to replace man’s relationship with God.
The final Beast carries the same evil desire to devour Israel as its predecessors. Its leader shall speak pompous, prideful words, intending to change the times and laws. Revelation 17:9-11 identifies the final beastly kingdom. “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman [the Harlot] sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”
To decipher this cryptic clue, we go to the Scriptures. The five kingdoms or empires that have fallen, and have come and gone are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. The one “kingdom that is” refers to the Roman Empire that was still in power in John’s time (when he penned the book of Revelation). The other, the 7th, had not yet come in John’s time. He prophesied that when it did come, it would continue for a short time only.
We know from Nebuchadnezzar’s statue that the Roman Empire split into two parts when Alexander the Great died. The capital of the western part remained in Rome (the 6th kingdom). The capital of the eastern part became Constantinople. That 7th kingdom became the Islamic Ottoman Empire that eventually gained power over much of the Middle East. [Remember the Crusades?]
Oh, by the way, the Ottoman Empire only continued for a relatively short time. In our time the city is called Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, which lies directly north of Israel on a globe. In Jesus’ time, the area was known as Asia Minor. In ancient times, it was where the offspring of Noah’s son, Japheth, settled, including Gog of Magog, Gomer, Tubal, and Meshech.
Incidentally, these are the same names listed in Ezekiel 38 and 39 as the nations that come against Israel at the start of the Day of the Lord (the 7th Day and Last Day in God’s prophetic timetable.) Now you know the identity of the 8th kingdom that is ruled by what Daniel 7 describes as the “little horn,” the Antichrist. Since our clue tells us he was of the seventh kingdom, we know he is of Turkish descent.