OF THE KINGDOM
TO think that all government is of God and that the devil advocates nothing but anarchy is a mistake. It is true, anarchy is one phase of the devil’s work, but the spirit of antichrist strongly advocates, and seeks to establish a government. There are demons of anarchy whom Satan uses at certain occasions, but the devil himself understands the strength of organization, and knows the power of government. To say that the governments of the world have and are today entirely under the control of Satan would be a mistake; to say that they have been and are today entirely under the control of Christ would be as great a mistake. “The powers that be are ordained of God” (Rom. 13: 1), but because of the prevalence of wickedness in the world these “powers” are greatly hindered from being just what God would have them be. On the other hand, the influence of God’s people in the world hinders Satan from making these “powers” just what he would have them be. In our last chapter we said that Nimrod’s tower marked the beginning of all earthly sovereignties this side the flood, stating that it was the purpose of Satan to fully establish the kingdom of Antichrist at that time, and that he would have done so, no doubt, had he not been defeated by the Almighty. Since the defeat of Satan at Babel, and the dispersion of the people in the whole world, Satan has been seeking to establish a government similar to the one begun in the land of Shinar, and to fully establish the kingdom and reign of the Antichrist. So far he has failed. It is the purpose of this chapter to trace developments of the kingdom of Antichrist through the ages. We can not think of discussing all points in this connection, or even mentioning all the governmental powers
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
which Satan has had to do, but we wish to trace the principal heads.
In so doing, we shall see that Satan has had much to do with the
governments of this world.
1. Egypt. First in the list after leaving Nimrod’s unfinished tower is Egypt. Very little is known of political history between the confusion of tongues at Babel and the rise of Egyptian dominion. When the historic curtain first rises from the mystic shores of Legendary, there were people living in the valleys of the Nile and the Euphrates. Egypt is the first governmental power to attract our attention. The ancient Egyptians were the chief people of the Hamitic branch. The Hamitic branch were the children of Ham, the son of Noah. Nimrod was the grandson of Ham. Therefore, the Egyptians, likely, were the descendants of Nimrod himself. Menes, the founder of the first Dynasty of the Pharaohs, as well as the Pharaohs, was, perhaps, a descendant from Nimrod directly through the royal family. In our last chapter we stated that no government could exist without a religion. The ancient Egyptians had a religion in connection with their government. They worshipped bugs, animals, etc. Their religious ideas were filled with mysteries. In a word, the predominating characteristic of Egyptian worship was mystery. Their religious belief reacted in a remarkable way upon the earthly life of the people of Egypt. It was the cause and motive of many things they did, and of many of the laws they made. Their religion was in no way connected with anything that pointed to the blood of Christ, and hence, it was the religion of Antichrist. Their religion and politics were closely allied to each other, and these had one common centre. Such a state of affairs is often spoken of in the Bible as fornication. God always regards the union of the state with false worship as spiritual adultery. The Egyptians made effort to extend their dominion world‑wide. Thus we see many of the characteristics of Nimrod’s kingdom springing up in ancient Egypt.
2. Assyria. Second in the
list of world‑wide kingdoms
OF THE KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST.
after leaving Nimrod’s tower is Assyria. The Assyrians are said to have descended from Shem, the son of Noah. The founder of their dominion, however, was surely Nimrod himself, for “He (Nimrod) went out into Assyria, and builded Nineveh.”—Gen. 10: 11. (Margin.) The Assyrians also had a religion in connection with their government, but it was the religion of Antichrist Sennacherib, the most renowned of all the Assyrian kings, devoted much to great building enterprises at Nineveh. Representing the decoration of Nineveh, one of his inscriptions says, “I raised again all the edifices of Nineveh, my royal city; I reconstructed all its old streets, and widened those that were too narrow. I made the whole town a city shining like the sun.” Their religion seemed to prompt them to the work of architecture and painting. Their devotion to this art was the cause of many things they did. Much labor also was given to the work of sculpture. In short, the predominating characteristics of Assyrian religion were sculpture, architecture, and painting. The Assyrians, like the Babylonians, sought to make their dominion world‑wide. Thus in several ways we can see the characteristics of Nimrod’s kingdom in Assyria.
3. Babylon. Third in the
list of world‑wide powers is Babylon.
The Babylonians, as well as the Assyrians, are said to have descended
from Shem. That Nimrod, however,
was the founder of Babylon is certain. From
the time that Nimrod went down into the land of Shinar (Gen. 11: 2) until this
present day Babylon has not been entirely lost from view.
Of the fact that the Babylonians play a great part in history before
Assyria rises to her highest mark of power, I am not ignorant.
After the Assyrian kings had lorded it over the whole East for nearly
or quite six centuries, their dominion was overpowered by Nabopolassar, king
of Babylon. For a short time,
therefore, Babylon filled a great place in history.
this reason it is proper to consider her as the third world-wide power.
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
Babylonians also had a religion in connection with their government.
They had quite a mixture of religion.
One important element of their religion was their worship of nature
gods. Nimrod attributed the flood
to nature only, and this idea has ever been prominent among the Babylonians.
Another prominent feature of their religion, of which we must not lose
sight, was the belief in spirits, particularly in wicked spirits, and the
practice of magic rites and incantations to avert the malign influence of
these demons. Yet, no one can
fail to see that the ever‑prevailing element of Babylonian religion was
that of self‑exaltation. This
is so vividly brought out in the history of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s
greatest king. As “He walked in
the palace of the kingdom of Babylon, the king spake, and said, Is not this
great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my
power, and for the honor of my majesty?”—Dan 4: 29, 30.
After his restoration from insanity, he said, “Those that walk in
pride he (God) is able to abase.”—Dan. 4: 37.
This self‑exaltation was clearly the religion of Antichrist.
Thus we see the third development of the kingdom of Antichrist to be
Persia. Fourth in the list of
world‑wide powers is Persia. It
is sometimes called the Medo‑Persian power.
The Medes were at first the leading people, but their leadership was of
short duration. Cyrus, king of
Anshan, overthrew both the Medes and Babylonians, assumed the leadership of
both Medes and Persians, and soon built up an empire more extended, so far as
we know, than any established before his time.
The Persians also had a religion in connection with their government.
Of course, as in the cases already considered, there was no blood in
connection with their religion. It
was the religion of Antichrist. The
Persians were moralists. They
taught that it was the duty of man to labor to eradicate every evil and vice
in his own bosom, that the good would finally triumph, and all evil would be
forever destroyed. Thus we see
characteristics of Antichrist in Persia.
OF THE KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST.
Greece. The fifth in the list of
world‑wide powers is Greece. It
is sometimes called the Graeco‑Macedonia power.
This kingdom immediately follows the down‑fall of Persia in its
world‑wide authority. The
Greeks also had a religion in connection with their government.
One of the chief characteristics of the religion of the Greeks was
the sacred games celebrated at Olympia. Another
chief characteristic, in close connection with this one, was their literary
taste. In a word, the
predominating features of the religion of the Greeks was athletics and
education—a religion without blood. Thus
we see that the fifth great world‑wide power was Greece.
Rome. Sixth in the
world‑wide powers is Rome. Greece, having held the reins of worldly
authority for nearly two centuries, was overcome by Rome.
Rome held the authority of the world, more or less, after she had
conquered Greece, for more than six centuries.
She also had a religion in connection with her government.
Mars, the god of war, was the favorite deity of the Roman race.
In their conquests, the Romans were often very cruel.
By inflicting all forms of cruelty upon the conquered, the Romans
seemed to think that they were doing the will of the gods.
In fact, in a word, the chief characteristic of the religion of the
Romans was cruelty. This religion
was a religion connected with blood, but it was blood that in no way pointed
to the blood of Christ; and hence, it was the religion of Antichrist.
Thus it was that the sixth development of the kingdom of Antichrist was
Rev. 13: 1, John says, “I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven
heads.” From what is said
concerning this beast in Revelation, he is taken by all Bible students, so far
as I know, to be the final Antichrist of which John speaks in 1 John 2: 18.
What are these heads? This question is answered in Rev. 17: 9, 10.
“The seven heads are seven mountains, . . . . and they are seven
kings” (R. V.). Mountains they
are, but not piles of material rocks and earth, for it is immediately
stated, “they are seven kings.” A
mountain is one
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
the common Scriptural images, symbols, or representatives of a kingdom, regal
dominion, empire, or established authority.
(See Jer. 51: 25; Dan. 2: 35.) Such
is the only reasonable explanation of these heads.
Concerning them, the angel said, “Five are fallen, and one is, and
the other is not yet come.”—Rev. 17: 10.
“One is.” What empire
was in existence at the time John received this Revelation?
Any school boy might tell you. It
was Rome. “Five are fallen.”
Counting backward from Rome, we have Greece, Persia, Babylon, Assyria
and Egpyt; these five, no more, no less.
Are these six regal dominions so many developments of the kingdom of
Antichrist? Surely, for they
spring from the antichrist spirit; in Antichrist they exist; he bears them on
his shoulders; they are his
Each of them has one or more characteristics of the religion of
Antichrist. These characteristics
we have mentioned, but in order that every reader may keep them well in mind,
we sum up as follows:
1. Egypt, Mystery.
2. Assyria, Sculpture, Architecture, and Painting.
3. Babylon, Self‑exaltation.
4. Persia, Morality.
5. Greece, Athletics and Education.
6. Rome, Cruelty.
A common characteristic of all, Union of Church with State, or
“The other is not yet come.” Since
the overthrow of Rome in A. D. 476, there has been no empire to exercise sole
authority as these six which we have mentioned did.
However, there is one like unto them yet to come, and this one will be
the seventh head of the beast. Of
this head we shall treat in our next chapter.