In Daniel Chapter 2, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream he does not understand.
None of his magicians (magi) can tell him the content or the meaning of the dream. But the God of Israel reveals the content and meaning of the dream to Daniel, a Hebrew boy captive in the king’s service.
Daniel then explains the dream to the king. The dream featured a large statue of a man.
- Its head was gold.
- Its chest and arms were silver.
- Its belly and thighs were bronze.
- Its legs were iron.
- Its feet were iron mixed with clay.
Daniel explained that these five body parts represented a chronological succession of empires, starting at the head of gold. Nebuchadnezzar (who had the dream) and his Babylonian Empire were that head of gold. The next empire down would be Medo-Persia. After that comes Greece. After that comes…
The whole time I’ve been a Protestant Christian, I’ve been taught that the legs on the statue represent the Roman Empire, and that the feet represent a revived Roman Empire that will be the Antichrist’s end-times beast empire. This revived Roman Empire is shown here as the “Holy Roman Empire.”
A Failing Grade For Anatomy 101
The American church teaches this version of the statue’s anatomy as a foundational truth. In other words, it is asserted as fact– as if God himself had assigned the legs and feet to Rome. All other end times teaching in the church is then based upon Rome being the legs and feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. However, even the most cursory reading of Daniel is enough to cast serious doubt on this teaching (I’m being very generous). The fact of the matter is that Daniel gives a great amount of ink not to the Roman Empire, but to the Greek Empire! God, through Daniel, is directing our end-times attention to Greece, not Rome.
When In Rome
For years I believed what Bible teachers told me about Rome being included on the statue. I simply went along with the crowd. After all, we in the Protestant church are Bible believers, and we would never allow tradition to take precedence over the Bible, right? That’s something only Catholics do, right? Wrong and wrong. Despite the fact that many Protestants assign Rome to the legs and feet on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, God does nothing of the sort. To the contrary, God paints vivid prophetic pictures of leaders who sprang forth from the Greek Empire, not the Roman Empire. In Daniel 8, we read lengthy and painstaking detail foretelling Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Medo-Persian Empire, and the dissolution of his Greek Empire to his four generals– exactly as would happen 300 years later in perfect fulfillment of this prophecy. In Daniel 11, we read lengthy and painstaking detail foretelling the exploits of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (a foreshadowing of the Antichrist) of the Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid Empire was one of the four offshoots of the Greek Empire, not the Roman Empire. If a revived Roman Empire is the empire we need to watch out for in the end times, then why does God commit such great swaths of Scripture to the Greek Empire? Why does God not give Rome such attention? Again, it is because He is directing our end-times attention to Greece, not Rome.
Turkey Platter, Hold The Greece
But why is God directing our attention to Greece? Well, first a geography lesson is in order. The word “Grecia” (Greece) is used three times in the book of Daniel. The Hebrew word used here is “Yavan.” Look at what the word “Yavan” means:
Yavan (yaw-vawn’); effervescing (i.e. hot and active); Javan, the name of a son of Joktan, and of the race (Ionians, i.e. Greeks) descended from him, with their territory… ~ Strong’s Concordance
Note these words: “Ionians… with their territory.” Now, in which modern-day nation do we find the Biblical land of “Ionia”?
Ionia is in modern-day Turkey, the mother nation of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. This is the empire that comprises the legs and feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.
Turkey is like a rubber ball that keeps popping up in the end-times pool no matter how much the American church tries to ignore it and push it under the surface. Acknowledging that Turkey plays the primary role in the end-times would mean that American Bible teachers, who for years have trumpeted a revived Roman Empire based in Europe as the end-times beast empire, would be wrong. These teachers have written countless books, and recorded countless CDs, DVDs, and podcasts asserting that Rome (in the form of the European Union) will be the Antichrist’s end-times beast empire. With so much time, energy, and reputation invested in the Roman paradigm, few teachers are willing to admit that they are wrong.
“A+” For Anatomy 101
In addition to Daniel pointing our end-times attention to Turkey, Jesus Christ himself points our end-times attention to Turkey by addressing all seven letters in Revelation to churches in Turkey.
In addition, Jesus Christ himself says that Satan’s throne is in Turkey, not Rome.
“To the angel of the church in Pergamum [Turkey] write: …I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. ~ Revelation 2:12-13
Just as He does in the Book of Revelation, in the Book of Daniel God is figuratively jumping up and down, waving his arms, and screaming to direct our end-times attention to Turkey, not Rome! We must reject the incorrect labeling of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue that dominates the American church. We must trust the Bible, not Protestant tradition. As such, the correct labeling of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue looks like this:
Among Christians who admit Turkish end-times dominance, I notice a fascinating phenomenon. That is, not only do they reject a revived Roman Empire based in Europe, they also see that the pre-tribulation rapture is nowhere in the Bible, as do I! I am very excited about this dual shift in theological understanding. I notice it so consistently that I cannot help suspect that God is creating for himself new wineskins specifically for the time of testing that is coming upon the whole world.
If there is anything the Bible is as clear about as end-times Turkish dominance, it is the fact that the church will go through the Great Tribulation.
The Bible is always proven true.
Who are the “people of the prince to come” in Daniel 9:26? Read about it here: