Report From The Tower
I saw the thing...got the revelation, when I was performing the update to the present day to the Guiness Calendar of The Times Of The Gentiles. Calendar of The Times Of The Gentiles-H. Grattan Guinness (1880) Pt 2 (Including Part 3-Updated To The Present Day by Stephen L. Bening) There are 2,670 years from the dawn of the Assyrian Empire in 747 BC, as marked by the accession of Nabonassar to the throne, to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 AD. I saw this thing and I have studied enough to realize what I was looking at. Guinness had wondered in 1878 what would be coming in 1923, but there is no indication that he considered that what might come would be the fall of the Ottoman Empire. And now, how to explain this to readers who, for the most part, are not taught any history and have absolutely no clue just who or what the Ottoman Empire was and why they should even care? Oh, and not to be forgotten, just how does this 2,670 year time span have anything to do with Daniel?
First of all, the Assyrian Empire was the very first empire to trod national Israel under foot. This empire brought the Northern ten tribes of Israel into captivity in 713 BC, according to Guinness. So, for those who try to mark out the time periods of the seven great world empires that are referred to in Revelation 17:10, this is a critical study. By that time, 90AD, there were five Empires that had fallen and one that was: Imperial, Unified Rome. So, that is the first reason you should care about this revelation: it has a part or piece of an important cog in the Book Of Revelation. The five that had already fallen by the time of Christ and then later, John, were: 1) Egypt, 2) Assyria, 3) Babylon, 4) Media-Persia and 5)Macedonia-Greece. Rome was presently in power and that scripture says that one more would follow, making seven Empires in total. Then, an eighth would arise which would be "of the seven", but just who or what is that seventh empire? Most say the Holy Roman Empire under the Papacy, but that never held sway over the Eastern lands or the Holy Land.
Daniel became involved in this panorama of Empires when his life was threatened by Nebuchadnezzar, the emperor of Babylon: third of the seven world empires. Daniel must receive a revelation from God: a dream interpretation. More than that, God must tell Daniel the exact dream that Nebuchadnezzar had received. If Daniel did not do this, he would be put to death. Wow! Talk about pressure! But, praise be to God: the Lord came through for Daniel and showed Daniel a statue and then gave the interpretation that four kingdoms were indicated, with Babylon being first that would rule over the whole Earth. I should rather say that these four Empires ruled over all the Earth and over all of the Kingdoms that were known at that time. Each of these four kingdoms would rule over the whole world, or in essence, they would rule over the same territory that Babylon had ruled over. And so, over the course of time, Media-Persia overthrew Babylon and ruled over all it had ruled over. Then, Macedonia-Greece overthrew Media-Persia and ruled over all it had ruled over. Then, we come to a thing of great perplexity. You people who have been twitterized will need to pay close attention.
We have always been told and I have always read that Rome was the fourth empire that Daniel saw in that statue. And so, it sort of does appear to be so, but God is exact with His details. The Roman Empire, if it is pictured in Daniel Chapter 2, as the fourth empire, will have had to have control over all of the territory that the previous three empires dominated, and it just is not so unless we do some adjusting to our thinking and we stretch out the timing of things. Rome did not initially dominate enough territory to qualify. We do see in Daniel 2:41-42 that this fourth kingdom would be divided, and so it occurred, after the time of Christ, that the Roman empire was divided into a Western Roman Empire, centered at Rome and an Eastern Roman Empire, centered at Byzantium, or Constantinople (today Istanbul, Turkey). In looking this far forward, we are looking several hundred years after the time of Christ, but still, we do not see the Eastern leg of the Roman Empire occupying all of the territory that Babylon had originally dominated: a region known as Parthia was still left out. Several hundred years later, this Eastern leg of the Roman Empire was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and it was, at this time, that the Roman Empire finally occupied all of the territory that Babylon had dominated, under the control of the Papacy in the Western leg and under the control of the Islamic Caliphs of the Ottoman Empire in the Eastern leg. At one point, the Ottoman Empire controlled territory as far West as near to Vienna, Austria. It controlled the African Mediterranean and the Arabic lands over to Parthia, all the way to India. In short it was huge. But, how are we to consider Ottoman rule over the Eastern leg of the statue to be essentially Roman?
There is another problem with the common teaching, as noted by some, in that Daniel saw that the fourth empire would have an attribute of crushing or breaking the bones of those it dominated (Daniel 2:40). Rome never really operated like this, except with those who actively revolted. Those who willingly submitted to Rome were not crushed at all. However, the Ottoman Empire was founded under the reign of Osman, whose name literally means "bone breaker". This is, in fact, how that empire operated everywhere it went. All other cultures, including Christian cultures, were entirely crushed and broken. So, we are faced with these two interpretive problems and the Roman Empire does not quite fit as Daniel's fourth empire of Chapter 2 without use of and consideration of the Ottoman Empire as being part of the overall Roman Empire. A few, like Joel Richardson, argue today that we should totally overlook the Roman Empire and regard the Ottoman Empire as Daniel's fourth empire, but, to me, each one needs the other. By 1600 AD, Rome, through the Papacy, was still ruling over the Western leg and the Ottoman Empire was still ruling over the Eastern leg of the Empire. All of this only works if the Ottoman Empire was in some way Roman. Was it?
The Jesuit Alberto Rivera revealed that he had a long discussion with a Roman Catholic priest named Cardinal Bea in which it was revealed that deep in the Vatican archives, records still exist to document that the dawn of Islam was a Roman Catholic idea and creation, with Vatican funding. There is certainly anecdotal evidence to suggest that early on, after the rise of Mohamed, each left the other alone militarily for a substantial period of time. I believe this little story, though just second hand news, is probably the truth, because the fourth empire is simply not whole without the Ottoman Empire and it must have some essential connection in its' infancy to the Roman Empire for this to be so. Now, we also have the anecdotal evidence that the Ottoman Empire is necessary to complete the 2,670 years of the Times of the Gentiles.
So, as I have noted, 2,670 years covered the passage of time from the dawn of the Assyrian empire to the close of the Ottoman chapter in history and with the close of that year in 1923, we can finally see that the times of the Gentiles have drawn to a close. But why 2,670 years? Daniel spoke about time, times and half a time. He also spoke in Chapter 12 about the 1,260 days that was to be extended first to 1,290 days and then to 1,335 days, which is clearly to be understood as referring to a day for a year. See "The 1,260 Day Prophecy Of Revelation-The Great Tribulation" . So, that covers 1,335 years, which as expressed in Daniel's words regarding times, is as a "time, times and half a time" plus the extension period of 75 years, yielding a total of 1,335 years. But, what is this? We see a total of two sets of these time periods in operation: 1,335 years plus 1,335 years= 2,670 years to cover the entirety of the times of the Gentiles from Assyria to the Ottomans. Why two sets?
Two sets of a "time, times and half a time" will yield "SEVEN TIMES". We find this time period mysteriously mentioned by Daniel in 4:25, where Nebuchadnezzar was told by Daniel that "Seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." So, "SEVEN TIMES" plus two of Daniel's 75 year extension periods, will take us to the full passage of solar years covering the times of the Gentiles.
Now finally, if you think there is even a prayers chance that I am right, you will realize that the seventh Empire of Revelation 17:10-11 must have been an amalgamation of the Holy Roman Empire, under the Papacy in the Western leg and the Ottoman Empire in the Eastern leg. That will then logically follow on to indicate that the eighth empire (Rev 17:11) could very possibly, or rather just as possibly be (partly) comprised of a reconstituted Ottoman empire (Islamic). The only one our modern prophecy mavens ever speak about is the reconstituted Roman Empire that has formed to some extent in Europe. Meanwhile, quite surreptitiously, Islam has been making dangerous strides in the last decade and Turkey has taken ominous turns during the last month. One will do well to watch carefully so that the right leg keeps an eye on what the left leg is doing.
Stephen L. Bening
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