Prophecy is written to encourage the saints. Prophecy speaks of God’s coming kingdom and the tribulation preceding it. In the context of His coming kingdom and the trials that precede it, faith and resilience are needed.
We saw in a previous column that the Roman kingdom was different and divided into 10 kingdoms, and that the little horn power was followed by the judgment.
“I also asked about the ten kingdoms … and the little kingdom that came up afterward and destroyed three of the other kingdoms. This was the kingdom that seemed greater than the others and had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. As I watched, this kingdom was waging war against the holy people and was defeating them. … Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. He will defy the Most High and wear down the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change times and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time. (Daniel 7:20-27)
Obviously this “little kingdom” is a religious/political one.
From the Bible we discover the following:
•it is a continuation of the Roman empire;
•it speaks against the Most High, persecutes God’s people and tries to change the time element in His law;
•it was fighting God and His people;
•it will uproot three kingdoms to make a place for itself on the world stage; and
•these kingdoms represent the collapse and division of the Roman Empire, this little horn kingdom must appear in Europe after the Roman Empire has disintegrated.
•Is there a religious/political kingdom in Christian history has dared to speak against God, introducing teachings contrary to the Bible?
•Is there a religious/political kingdom that believes it has the authority to change God’s holy law?
•Is there a religious/political kingdom that arose after 476 AD (the fall of the Roman Empire) and destroyed three barbarian kingdoms to establish its own authority?
•Is there a kingdom that ruled for a time, times and half a time (or three and a half prophetic years), or in other places, 42 months or 1,260 days (each meaning 1,260 years)?
•Is there a religious/political kingdom that could be considered to be a continuation of Rome’s political power?
This is all confirmed in Revelation 13 and 17 too.
Daniel took comfort — he was shown an unfolding plan that would see the triumph of God’s kingdom and his saints. Every event that took place, from the rise of kingdoms to their eventual fall, lay within God’s plan and purpose.
Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.