By Terry James
Economic emergencies in the news turned my thoughts to Rome and its place in the final unfolding of Bible prophecy. Following the trail of great world empires to today’s news headlines leads inescapably to the conclusion that the birthplace of the Caesars figures to be at the very center of end-times turbulence.
Daniel the prophet gave a sweeping panorama of the major empires that would appear in the time of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and conclude with the world system of government being broken to dust (Daniel 2:26-45). This prophecy of humanistic dominion over the world and its dramatic end came through Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s night vision about a gigantic, metallic man-image.
Those who have studied the appearing, dominion, and destruction of each succeeding kingdom within the prophecy almost without exception believe the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s man-image to represent the Roman Empire. That powerful empire divided into the two legs–the western leg, with Rome as capital, and the eastern leg, with the capital being Constantinople (now known as Istanbul).
Rome is most important to think upon in Daniel’s overall prophetic unveiling because it is the “people” out of whom the one called “the prince that shall come” will emerge to step onto the stage of history as dictator of earth’s final human government (Daniel 9:26-27). This brings us to some logical conclusions, I think. Since most all other indicators are now on stage for human history’s final act, should Rome not be front and center as the end-times spotlight illuminates?
To set that stage again–as we have done so many times in these commentaries —here are some of the main signals that we are near the end of the end times:
The Kings of the East–Revelation 9 and 16–China and the powers of Asia are on the rise as potentially earth’s most powerful entities. Gog-Magog –Ezekiel 8-39—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others have formed alliances that continue to grow in strength. The European Union (EU)–Daniel 9 is forming the revived Roman Empire. The U.N.–Psalm 2 personifies mankind’s globalist desire to throw off God’s restraints. Israel–Zechariah 12-14–is at the center of hatred, both its Arab neighbors and the UN as a whole seeking to destroy God’s chosen nation. Cries for peace–1 Thessalonians 5:3–are coming from the international community which is attempting to impose peace on Israel that would divide the land God gave the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There are many more specific signposts that indicate the present world is at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). So, with all of the stage-setting for Christ’s return in view, should Rome, the geographical as well as historical system that will produce the world’s last and most terrible tyrant, not be front and center?
The answer of course, is yes, it must–and that geographical entity just happens to be at the center of one of the great end-times indicators not mentioned above, but most important to consider.
The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This world system, whose would-be masters love the power wealth can generate, is caught up in what I believe is the catalyst for bringing Antichrist’s regime to its prophesied position of satanic control. Most who believe they are destined to control the world don’t have a clue that the great upheaval in economics they are struggling with is the result of the master manipulator–Satan himself—fomenting the tumult. The only way to ever reestablish any degree of control from this point is for there to take place a complete rearrangement of all matters monetary.
This rearrangement can’t happen as long as national sovereignties exist–as long as there is relative liberty left on the planet. Therefore, it will take a crisis of monstrous proportion to bring everyone into compliance with controls of a completely changed world–a new economic world order.
Rome is at the very center of the great economic storm. Its financial stability has come under great stress over the past decade and it’s economy –like that of all of Europe and much of the world—is in sharp decline with danger of imploding.
At the same time, Pope Francis and his strange handling of Vatican orthodoxy, changing things almost as radically as Barack Obama has radically transformed America, adds increased surreality to the influence this prophetic reviving empire has on end times stage-setting.
I firmly believe that the Rapture of the Church is the crisis that will convince the world–the western world, at least–to forfeit what little freedom there might be left, and give power and authority to the Beast. Antichrist, son of Rome, Satan’s ultimate dictator, will derive his power and control through a perverted economic system as foretold in Revelation 13:16-18.
Rome’s place in prophecy is taking shape before the eyes of God’s watchmen on the wall.