With a view toward global developments and the growing threat of economic and political instabilities that could lead to an unprecedented world war, we should now be watching for a pattern that the Bible lays out in no uncertain terms. It is the clear-cut pattern of ten kings, who shall arise in the last days, and out of their midst will come the rule of the Antichrist.
At this writing, there is a quickening in the already rapid development of prophetic fulfillment. The last few decades have traced a downward spiral in the destabilization of political, social, economic and military matters. Those who study prophecy, no matter what their method of interpretation, have become alarmed at recent developments. They are rightly seeing the rise of a predicted global rule … the system of the Antichrist. It involves the subterfuge of super-rich investors, military organizations, industrialists and a variety of think tanks. Global politics are shifting toward war, or a series of wars.
But the next global war will involve now secret and mind-boggling technologies, with super soldiers and super weapons. At present, they are gathering strength. But soon, when their plan is realized, they will spring forth into a series of global conflicts that finally coalesce into a single world dictatorship. Scripture is quite clear about that.
Many of us remember that in the decades following Israel’s statehood, biblical authorities engaged in naming several of the then-powerful state leaders as the Antichrist. North and South America, Europe, Russia and the Middle East all provided candidates, some of whom featured very persuasive credentials. But they came … and they went.
From the time of Israel’s statehood up to about 1970, prophetic milestones focused upon Israel’s spectacular success against a succession of enemies. Christians began to get excited about the rapture of the Church, which at that point, began to be a hot topic. In response to this, a variety of prophetic interpretations began to compete with classic dispensationalism, in which the Lord is seen to work out His plan for the nations in a series of discrete time periods, each having a unique set of characteristics. It asserts that we are now living in the Age of Grace.
The result was a series of eschatological disagreements about the nature and timing of the rapture, the coming prophesied wars in the Middle East, and endless discussion about the Antichrist and the signs that indicated that he was about to appear.
During the last fifty years or so, many thought they saw the rise of the Antichrist system in the politics of Europe and the Middle East. They thought that they saw him in a succession of political and military figures around the world. Especially in the ten nations of the proposed European Common Market, several leaders were seen as possibly being the Man of Sin, himself. The ten kings of Daniel 7:24 began to be seen as the ten-nation confederacy in Europe. But then, the Common Market began to break down into its present loose society of competitors, whose motives seem to shift with the wind. The rise of the Antichrist was pushed back into an uncertain future.
At present, as we watch the rapid shifting of world powers, we begin to see new battle lines being drawn. In a very short period of time, our vision is more certain than ever before. Computerized global marketing, satellite communications and universal surveillance is being sent around the world. Secret codes are made, then broken. Stolen technology fuels burgeoning weapons systems, so that once-backward nations can now wage terrifying war. Morality and ethics shift like the wind.
Oligarchs are in a constant competition for world domination, and the old political ties of the twentieth century are being steadily altered to fit a “New World Order.” That’s an old term, but now, it is buttressed by high-level digital technology that was only a dream a decade ago.
Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the world’s stabilizer. Its wealth and global vision were loosely based upon its Christian foundations. Because of that, we set the moral and ethical standard of the world. There was a time when generals and high-level political office-holders prayed for our nation.
Lately, however, it has become obvious that we have fallen prey to an internal coup of incredible proportions. The Judeo-Christian ethic that once directed our policies has all but collapsed. A number of dark figures have quietly risen to power, backed by super-technology and incalculable wealth.
At the moment, they operate in the background, but their names continually pop up. They are the technocrats, innovators of new technologies in transportation, communications, shipping and the daily transfer of coded information in trillions of daily transactions.
Information controls the world. It is power. Once, it was common for those who went before us to honor God as all-powerful. Our nation prayed for God’s blessing. He brought us through earthquakes, famine, pestilence and horrific wars. It was recognized that He saves us from spiritual death. But now, technology is seen as the world’s savior.
Most egregious of all is the steady decline of sound doctrine in America’s churches. They have gradually departed from the firm and disciplined way of life that is urged throughout the Bible, from cover to cover. God’s words to the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 have become a visible truth: “… thou has left thy first love.”
And to the Laodicean church, He wrote, “16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:16, 17).
The Church is meant to uplift and stabilize society. Historically and doctrinally, it has brought mankind through many crises. Scripture is given as the model for government. But time after time, and nation after nation, the Church weakens under the temptation of wealth and political power. In an often-repeated pattern that has been seen throughout the Church Age, it begins to love the world instead of the Lord.
And just as the Bible predicts: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (1Tim. 3:1-5).
This oft-quoted Scripture clearly enunciates the conditions that will prevail throughout global society during the period called the “last days.” These would be the days that come at the approach of the second millennium since Christ arose and the Church was born. In other words, we’re looking at a prophetic statement that refers to the present period of time!
OLIGARCHS, TECH GIANTS & DICTATORS
Looking at the present world, we see two prominent characteristics: First, man has forgotten God. World Wars One and Two, along with a series of Communist revolutions has created a focus upon trade, travel and business, set in an everchanging and warlike series of competitive maneuvers that have brought us to trade wars and the constant theft of ideas. From the marketplace to the military counterfeiting has become an art form. On every level, there are “cold wars” being fought. There is the false hope that this can continue without an explosion into open warfare. We would think of it as World War Three.
But the Bible describes it as dwarfing all the wars before it: “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18).
Second, the diabolical motives of man have created a new world of super-computers and genetic experimentation. The initiate the false hope that these two avenues of discovery will take people to a humanist paradise.
Technology is exploding. Experimental genetic development is proceeding in secret at lightning speed. Since the flood, there has never been a period of time when man has worshipped science as he does now. Scripture lays out exactly what is happening: Paul writes to Timothy a description of man’s proclivity to believe that he can save himself: 17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (I Tim. 6:17-21).
Paul also describes man as, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7). In other words, science can never save mankind. We now believe that we are at the end of the age of the Church, which we think will mark the termination of this Age and the initiation the New Age, which we refer to as the Millennium. The duty of the latter-day Church is to call out God’s revelation of His coming judgment. Will the Church go through all or part of the Tribulation?
We have long held that it will be taken to heaven long before that. As we investigate the nature and timing of the rapture, we look at individual clues that Scripture offers us. One of these provides some most interesting aspects. Here’s the main point: To describe the sequence of events preceding the Tribulation, we must see things through the lens of Twenty-First century developments. We take the view that prophecy features events that are actually going to happen as described in Scripture. Because many are convinced that we live in these days, it is natural to ask the question: Can we see the clear-cut developments of prophecy that point to this fact?
DANIEL’S MULTIPLIED VISIONS
On that basis, it is very appropriate that we return to the prophetic pronouncements of Daniel the Prophet. He clearly spoke of present-day developments in the 6th century B.C. God gave him a clear picture of the Gentile world powers, in the form of a magnificent statue.
Anyone who has studied Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream knows about the succession of world powers that were laid out by these prophecies. By solving the riddle of the dream, he foresaw four great world powers that would, in order, rule the Gentile world.
This revelation, of course, is the well-known statue with its head of gold and feet of clay. In descending order, the statue was made of gold, silver, brass and iron, but its feet were imperfect, causing the statue to collapse: “40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:40-44).
In Daniel’s vision, the statue is so corrupt in its final manifestation, that it has no structural integrity. Its ten toes are corrupt. As we have written in many other studies, the genetics of humanity (“… the seed of men …”) will be corrupted through manipulations of the human genome. A sinful humanity will in some way be weakened by a mysterious group called, “they,” who successfully tamper with God-created human beings.
Even now, such activity is taking place in secret developmental compounds, so the biblical description should come as no surprise. One of these is first seen in the book of Daniel, and is later revisited in Revelation. We are shown a beast kingdom that is prophesied to appear in the latter days – specifically the days of the Tribulation. When and how this beast appears gives us much to think about in the final global gentile government before Christ’s Second Coming. Daniel’s view of this beast empire follows the exposition of three previous global powers. They are wild animals, rapacious and uncivilized. The first – representing Babylon – appears as a lion with eagle’s wings. The second is a bear, holding three ribs in its teeth. It is commanded to eat much flesh. The third was a leopard with four bird’s wings growing out of its back.
DANIEL AND REVELATION LINKED
The fourth beast is more violent than the three that precede it. It is indescribable, but its appearance suggests unstoppable power. Its iron teeth grind its subjects to powder. In addition to these, we are shown ten horns, representing a consortium of great individual powers. Three of these horns are plucked out by another little horn, which appears after they are established.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns” (Dan. 7:7). “And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows” (Dan 7:20). “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings” (Dan. 7:24).
Further information in Revelation shows Daniel’s fourth beast as a dragon. It, too, has ten horns, but we are also given an additional descriptive detail. It has seven heads, each of which is apparently topped by a crown. The beast is red, and he is a dragon.
If there is one beast whose identity and description is well known, it is the dragon. Especially in the Orient, it is used to celebrate the calendar, and to bring in good fortune and blessing. Its fire-breathing, forked-tongued, leather-winged persona is well-known throughout the world. Revered in the East, but in the Christian West, it is the picture of rebellion and the enemy of God.
And there is another interesting visual detail: His heads are somehow labeled with a name: “blasphemy.” This beast has one mission – to oppose and overthrow the God of heaven: “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads (Rev. 12:3).
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Rev 13:1). Later in Revelation we are given yet another look at Daniel’s fourth beast. Upon his back, a woman is seated. The beast is described as scarlet in color. In the Bible, scarlet is linked with that which is ungodly or sinful.
The following verses illustrate the connection between the earthly kings and the spiritual power behind them: “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 17:3). “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 17:7). “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast” (Rev. 17:12).
“And the ten horns, which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Rev. 17:16).
WATCHING FOR THE TEN KINGS
If these are the times we think they are, given Israel’s regathering to statehood and the rise of nations that exactly mirror the Bible’s descriptions, then shouldn’t we be looking for a the rise of ten kings? The Bible is quite explicit about their appearance, and that one of them would rise to the role of Antichrist.
We have seen how clearly it is illustrated in both Daniel and Revelation, that the Antichrist’s rise to power will initially take place with the backing of horns, which are clearly described as ten kings. Initially (See Revelation 17:2), they are practically unknown; they have no kingdoms. But during a very short period of time, they share their power with the Antichrist. As close as we must be to all these specific details, it is probable that they are alive today. They would be the oligarchs, tech giants, bankers, investors and super-scientists who are totally invested in a godless order of global powers. Some of them might even be the leaders of nations (although that need not be the case).
Without referring to any of them by name, just think of the trillionaires of the digital world, who are publically linked to a new order of science, genetic transformation, digitized global politics and any of a variety of technologies. They are now hailed as the ones who will save the world through their new methodologies.
It seems apparent that the world is about to be turned upside down, as they assume power. But really, they are only the foundation of the Antichrist’s rise.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE NUMBER TEN?
It should come as no surprise that the new power group waiting in the wings is signified by the number ten. Over the years, we have studied this number as it is used in Scripture. In fact, we’ve written many studies that connect number with meaning. But of all biblical numbers, ten stands with a particularly powerful meaning. It represents the perfection of God’s order.
TEN GENERATIONS OF MORAL CORRUPTION
Of Earth’s creation, only man has a conscious recognition of God’s existence. His work and behavior form a written history, recorded by the Spirit of God in the pages of Scripture. The Bible is the only dependable record of early man. This document is spiritual, rather than secular, in its emphasis. Names, dates and places are chosen for inclusion on the basis of their significance in the fall and redemption of mankind. It should come as no surprise that it outlines spiritual truth.
The importance of the biblical story is shown in its devotion to the redemptive story of Adam’s life, and the lives of his descendants. The first division of our history covers the period from the creation of Adam to the Great Flood of Noah. It begins with the flawless environment of Eden, and the perfect couple who were seduced by the serpent. Their flirtation evil soon resulted in a complete immersion, bringing moral failure. In the culmination of this first historic period, Adam’s children brought about the complete breakdown of society.
Genesis 6:5 states the matter succinctly: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” How significant that it took precisely ten generations for this breakdown to completely manifest itself: 1. Adam 2. Seth 3. Enos 4. Cainan 5. Mahalaleel 6. Jared 7. Enoch 8. Methuselah 9. Lamech 10. Noah This is the Bible’s way of demonstrating that man had become irreversibly corrupt. In this case, it documents destruction.
TEN GENERATIONS OF PROMISE
Fortunately, the line of Adam through Seth (the man appointed to father the Messianic line) remained pure throughout this sordid period. The faithful Noah came through his lineage. In Genesis 6:9, Noah is called, “… a just man and perfect in his generations.” He and his family were brought through the flood to perpetuate the hope for redemption. As Noah descended from the mountains to the fertile valleys below, his descendants brought forth new generations. Though the majority of them squandered their spiritual lives in idolatry, there remained a Godly remnant.
Again, we find that the second period of biblical history is measured out in precisely ten generations, beginning with Shem, the son of Noah. 1. Shem 2. Arphaxad 3. Salah 4. Eber 5. Peleg 6. Reu 7. Serug 8. Nahor 9. Terah 10.
Abram Abram stood out in stark contrast to the other children of Noah. He was the man of faith who, “… looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). Abram, later given the name Abraham by God, is noted for his willingness to faithfully obey God by traveling to the Promised Land. It was a step into the unknown. His faith was rewarded by a covenant of grace that would extend to all the faithful in the world to come. The history of his personal origins bears the stamp of ordinal perfection in the ten generations that brought mankind from complete moral corruption to the promise of redemption.
TEN CONDITIONS OF OPPOSITION
On the dark side, there is a good example of ten evil and negative spiritual forces, which is found in First Corinthians: “37 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 38 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).
Here, the security of the believer is illustrated in the affirmation that no dark force or physical circumstance is capable of coming between the believer and the love of God. To emphasize this truth, the declaration is made tenfold, as forces arrayed against the Christian are declared to be totally ineffective in the light of our common salvation: 1. Death 2. Life (In This Evil World) 3. Angels (The Fallen Ones) 4. Principalities (Satan’s Chief Agents) 5. Powers (Satan’s Delegated Authorities) 6. Things Present (Life’s Difficulties) 7. Things To Come (Unforeseen Events) 8. Height 9. Depth 10. Any Other Creature (Created Thing)
However, the unregenerate are branded by a number of vices that will prevent them from entering into the Kingdom of God. The body of Christ is holy—justified in Christ and washed clean. As if to underscore this fact, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 enumerate a tenfold list of exclusions from God’s presence: “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”(I Cor. 6:9-11)
Clearly listed, these ten prohibitive vices, are: 1. Fornicators 2. Idolators 3. Adulterers 4. Effeminate 5. Abusers of themselves with mankind 6. Thieves 7. Covetous 8. Drunkards 9. Revilers 10. Extortioners
TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
The commandments, given to Israel (Deut. 5), are ten in number for a perfectly complete statement concerning the Lord’s desire for man’s conduct. It is neither too long, nor too short. The Lord’s prayer has ten clauses that speak of God’s perfect order and His power.
TEN & THE ANTICHRIST’S WORLD POWER
As we continue to examine certain negative occurrences of the number ten, one notorious example stands out above all the others. The ultimate evil of the world system will one day be manifested in a global tyranny, headed by the antichrist.
This final kingdom is described in Daniel, beginning in Chapter 2, where Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s mysterious dream. The dream featured a great statue which illustrated the succession of Gentile world powers. Its head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet and toes of mixed iron and clay present a perfect picture of degeneration, from Babylon to the latter days. What began as gold will end in clay that is crushed and blown away as dust. But it is important to understand that, in spite of dissenting forces, the antichrist will attempt to unify the nations of the world. Like the toes of the statue, they will finally be ten in number.
In Daniel 7:7, this final empire is depicted as a beast — the fourth and final monster in a succession of such wretched creatures: “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns” (Dan. 7:7). Here, and in Revelation 13 (which we repeat here to make the point), the final world government is associated with the number ten, illustrating evil in its full and complete form: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1).
From these negative illustrations, it may be seen that the perfection of divine order includes even the corrupted world system. For good or for evil, God is in control. His principles cut through everything that happens in time and space. Here, as elsewhere, ten illustrates a complete cycle. In other words, the Lord will allow the government of the Antichrist to run to its full extent before His final judgment falls.
This short study is given to point out one amazing fact: Although God’s ways are far above man’s ability to discern, we are, nevertheless, given enough information to see how He prefers to bring about his plans. Today, it is almost a certainty that there are ten men who are poised to come together in a global ruling body.
What the world will call them is anybody’s guess. God calls them “kings.” At first their number will be ten; then another will be added bringing their number to eleven, the biblical number of disorder. Finally, this last man will destroy three of the group, bringing their number to eight. Will the Church still be on Earth when this happens? The answer is “No,” because these things will emerge during the Tribulation. Still, we watch, as the leading lights in politics, technology and military power begin to assemble themselves into the formation of a global power. You keep watching, too!