The Lion The Bear And The Leopard - Part 2
In our last issue of the CURRENTS, we recognized the prophecy of Daniel 7 applies to more recent kingdoms. The four beasts of Daniel Seven (the Lion, the Bear, the Leopard, and the strange diverse 4th beast) are universally seen as the same 4 kingdoms found in Daniel Two (the head of gold, arms of silver, belly/thighs of brass, and iron legs). This false interpretation is among the gravest of errors, for it has helped to sustain the concept of the so-called "Revived Roman Empire" - a foundational misunderstanding primarily linked to the Rapture Cult.
The Preterist Apostates are equally flawed in their short-sighted approach as they terminate all prophetic kingdoms with the ancient Roman Empire. In a similar fashion, Seventh Day Adventists and other Sabbatarian spin-offs make the same mistake by approaching the 4th and final Empire as Rome and then integrate that error into a historicist perspective. All these systems are fatally flawed as they have failed to recognize the pivotal identification of the four modern kingdoms in Daniel Seven that are prophetic parallels of the four ancient kingdoms of Daniel Two.
In part one of this essay, we demonstrated how the Lion kingdom is emblematic of the British Empire. The Lion in the heraldry articulated rampant position (standing) is sequentially placed in the time period when the Eagle's wings were "plucked off." I have previously noted how an un-churched 8 year child, upon hearing this information for the first time, once blurted out "that's America!" Thus, a bright child has shown more spiritual wisdom than myopic seminary chancellors, "Christian" pastor-teachers, and alleged scriptural scholars.
Following the Lion era, Daniel clearly sees the Soviet Union in the form of a voracious Bear kingdom that has "three ribs in the mouth of it." 1. Also standing up, the bear is emblematic of the extreme leftist political paradigm in that it is seen "raised up...on one side." In its early days, the Communists completely devoured the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - and held them for 70 years until the Union's dissolution - a 70 year captivity of Warsaw Pact-Eastern bloc nations that provides an intriguing parallel to another well known captivity.
These two identification are overt and obvious. It is the vision of the third kingdom that has been the most challenging as it 'turns a prophetic corner' in setting up the rise of the fourth and final world Empire. Concerning this Leopard kingdom, Daniel writes:
"After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads, and dominion was given to it." 2.
Although I believe the LORD imparted to me long ago the certainty that all of these Empires are to emerge during the Christian era, I struggled for two years before I received the word of knowledge that this third kingdom was indeed Germany. To be more precise, the Third Reich of the Nazi dominion is in view with the imagery of the Leopard kingdom of Daniel Seven.
The question of identifying the Leopard with Germany is advanced by consulting the Encyclopedia Americana where we abruptly realize that a Leopard is actually another word for Panther. The Leopard "...is more commonly called Panther in India...." 3. It is interesting to note the German language is from the Indo-European branch where the Nazi party extracted their distorted concept of the term Aryan from the Sanskrit word that originated in India.
The German people seem to have a particular fondness for the Panther, and we find the term is utilized broadly in Germanic culture. In the German television industry, for example, a major vendor is Panther Electronics. In the military, two prominent naval vessels (a cruiser and a gunboat) were both named The Panther. Under Hitler's Third Reich, the primary tanks were named Panthers, while another tank was the Panther's relative the Tiger. Indeed, 21st century Germany now manufactures a tank that has been deployed in Bosnia known as the Leopard. The armored divisions of the Nazi's were known as Panzer divisions - certainly evocative of Panthers.
Because the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard/Panther are all beasts of prey, the connotation intrinsic in the imagery of these beasts is clearly militaristic. The Panther would probably be the best predatory animal image of the German militarists of both world wars. As the big cat is known for speed and agility, so was the military machine of the Weimar Republic (World War I) as well as the Wehrmacht of World War II.
ccording to the Encyclopedia Americana, "...lightning war was thought by the Prussian (German) general staff to 'be the only means to win...'" 4. Similarly, Hitler inaugurated what was called "Blitzkrieg" (lightning) warfare. Again, the historical record shows that "...German theory was based on mobile warfare...German artillery was therefore exceptionally mobile." 5. The panther is probably the most mobile beast of prey in existence.
The Leopard in Daniel's vision was described as "having four wings like those of a fowl" as well as "four heads." Lets take the wings first. Unlike the Eagle's wings mentioned in connection with earlier British/Lion figure, the prophecy specifically states there were four wings. Because no bird has one wing, this would appear to imply two sets of wings, or perhaps two forces that assist the Panther. History records the forces of The Axis encompassed Germany, Italy, and Japan. Both Japan and Italy were active in the air war, so it's possible this refers to Germany's two air power allies that backed Hitler in World War II.
In reference to the "four heads," we find there are so many groups of fours that it's difficult to know which one is actually being referred to. In the early stages of the nation, there were four major Germanic tribes: The Angles, Saxons, Alemans, and Franks. Before the turn of the century there were four prominent states -- Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Wurttemberg. Incredibly, it just so happens that the first federal government of Germany "consisted of four free cities loosely bound together...." 6.
This multiplicity of candidates indicates the repetitive themes that are found throughout Bible prophecy. These patterns continually re-emerge. However, moving to the most recent and overt manifestation, it should be apparent that the four head's primary fulfillment refers to the fourfold division of authority that occurred via the four victorious allies under the QUADRIPARTITE agreement that legally enforced the occupation of Germany after Hitler's defeat. After the war, four military commanders controlled Germany.
"An interallied agency, called the Kommandatura, operated as the four power coordinating group...." 7. in the administration of the country. The Encyclopedia tells us a government structure known as The Allied Control Authority was created "...composed of the four zone commanders." 8.
A Russian general controlled the Eastern zone, a British general ran the Northwestern zone, a French general ran the Southwestern zone, and an American general administered the western zone. This arrangement continued for years after the war.
It is at this point that we see one of the most striking examples of dual fulfillment in Biblical prophecy. Just as the third kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream (the Grecian empire of Alexander The Great) was replaced by four generals in what has come to be known as the Ptolemaic period, the third kingdom of Daniel's beast vision (Nazi Germany) was also replaced by four generals.
One of the reasons this identification has been obscured is because of Daniel Eight. In that crucial prophecy, we see a straightforward description of the third ancient kingdom of Alexander the Great. In that "ram/goat" vision described in Daniel chapter eight, there is a detailed prophecy concerning this fragmenting of the third kingdom of the 'statue' prophecy of Daniel Two.
In the ram/goat vision, the "great horn" of the powerful goat was predictive of Alexander The Great. The scripture says that...when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones towards the four winds of heaven." 9. The "four notable ones" were the four key generals that had served under Alexander, and they divided up the empire between them. The power struggle that ensued eventually boiled down to two factions that produced a series of wars known as the Ptolemaic-Seleucid wars.
The Seleucid kings were descended from Seleucus I, the general that ruled Syria under Alexander. His opponent was Ptolemy I, the general that ruled Egypt. For almost 200 years, these two dynasties controlling Syria in the North and Egypt in the South brought the Judeans into constant military turmoil. The northern Syrian kingdom eventually generated the most hideous and demonic leader of his day: Antiochus Epiphanes.
Antiochus persecuted the Jews in unheard of ways, but he was finally overthrown. The occupied state of Israel then passed into the hands of the fourth kingdom of the statue dream - Rome.
The reason I've gone into such detail here needs to be clarified. Since both vision/dreams are clearly operating in parallel with dual fulfillment of the prophecies, an accurate identification of the various players should provide solid evidence relating to the identity of the final world empire and its leader. To put it another way, if we misidentify the first 3 kingdoms of the beast vision, how could we possibly expect to accurately identify the fourth, and final kingdom?
This point is so important that it's worth repeating. The third kingdom of both vision/dreams is the next to the last kingdom. In both cases, they precede the fourth, and most important kingdoms. Both third kingdoms were noted for the speed in which they conquered surrounding nations. Both third kingdoms culminated in the death of their charismatic leader, and both kingdoms were marked by a transitional governmental composed of four military leaders.
In the statue dream, the fourth kingdom was the Empire that witnessed the coming of "him whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." 10. This fourth kingdom was the Roman empire, the most powerful military and political confederation in antiquity. The Romans were in power when Jesus Christ was born. The Romans crucified our Lord, and witnessed his resurrection. Following the ascension of Christ and the birth of the Christian church, the Roman empire completely obliterated the ancient nation of Israel.
This identification means the four kingdoms of the statue dream provided a countdown to the first appearance of Jesus Christ. The four statue kingdoms also provides us with a countdown to the military destruction of God's Old covenant people. Conversely, instead of being simply a reiteration of those four kingdoms, the four beast visions represent four different kingdoms that begin their chronology about 2,000 years later. These four kingdoms provide us with a prophetic countdown to the military resurrection of God's Old Covenant people. This occurred in 1948 when the Jewish people were re-gathered in their historic land and formed the modern nation/state of Israel.
Following this line of interpretation, because the first four statue kingdoms were all manifested sequentially before the destruction of ancient Israel, the four beast kingdoms must all have been sequentially manifested before national Israel was resurrected as a modern state. Thus, the fourth kingdom should have been established shortly before the founding of the nation of Israel, and obviously, the first three must precede the fourth. This establishes a rather narrow time frame within which we may identify the fourth and final kingdom of planet Earth.
Adolph Hitler, the leader of the third beast kingdom of Daniel's prophecy, committed suicide on May 1, 1945 and Nazi Germany surrendered a week later. Shortly thereafter the allied powers installed the four generals to administer post-war Germany. Since Israel became a nation in 1948, it follows that the fourth and final world kingdom must have been established within those two dates - 1945 to 1948.
Another factor important to this identification is the requirement that this fourth kingdom must have the same thing in common with all the other kingdoms mentioned: a significant interaction with the Jews. These two requirements, the narrow time frame, and the necessary interaction with the Jewish people, preclude the popular notion that the fourth kingdom is the so-called 'Revived Roman Empire,' as personified by The European Community (EC).
The European Community, and its predecessor organization The European Common Market, developed as a result of The Treaty of Rome. This treaty was signed in 1957, and accordingly, does not fit within the appropriate time frame. Further, the EC has had virtually no historic role whatsoever in terms of a significant impact on events in national Israel.
Because the fourth kingdom is the empire that catapults The Antichrist to power, our identification requires a global perspective. Every verse in the Bible implies he is a global figure. Speaking of his confederate The False Prophet, the text does say "...he causes ALL to receive a mark...." 11. The word all would appear to imply far more than Europeans. Indeed a quick bit of research in practically any Encyclopedia will find the European Community listed under regional organizations. Yet, to this day, the vast majority of prophecy teachers confidently and categorically state that the European Community is the final empire that will host The Antichrist.
There is only one global political entity of a lasting consequence in the world today. It was founded between 1945 and 1948. It has claimed absolute authority in establishing jurisdiction over the historic land called Palestine. Its power and political reach is now reaching overwhelming proportions as its members include virtually every government on the face of the Earth. The United Nations IS the prophesied one world government so frequently mentioned in the Bible.
The recognition of the intermediate American hegemony that is presently being manifested only serves as a 'red herring' in understanding how these kingdoms fit into the scriptural account. In many respects, America and the United Nations are alter egos of each other. The US created the UN as a vehicle to draw in the rest of the world's nations to the construct the American government intended to engineer. At the very same time the UN was formed (1947), the United States implemented the National Security Act which formed the National Security State the US has become.
By slowly ceding power to it's own creation, the US is transitioning its power base into world government and the UN is the heir apparent. There are some very important details to this process that are found in our study on The Beast with Seven Heads - however, those are beyond the scope of the present exposition. For the present, suffice it to say that the United Nations is the designated entity for world government and significant elements of the US and the UN may be seen in the description of the fourth Beast of Daniel Seven.
In Revelation, we recognize the components of the final beast government with its description of the Lion, Bear, and Leopard kingdoms now integrated into the final Beast. Thus, one can hardly believe the ridiculous interpretive system that identifies the Lion, Bear, and Leopard as Babylon, Persia, and Greece if we see these as these 'Beast' empires as primary players in the world government in the end times. However, when we recognize these kingdoms as the British Commonwealth (many nations including the US), the Russian Federation (14 nations), and Germany (the strongest power in the 20+ European Community), we see a plausible explanation of the real power embedded in the description of the final Empire of planet Earth.
Thus, when searching for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, instead of looking at the fallacious and fictional concept of a 'Revived Roman Empire,' we must instead look at the United Nations. Furthermore, the last time I looked, the UN was based in New York.
Through international treaty, the UN is now determining how nations educate their children. The UN is forcibly intervening in international military conflicts. The UN is overseeing the world's financial systems as well as all legal matters involving disputes among nations. These are not activities that are scheduled to occur next year or next century - The United Nations is running the world NOW.
In spite of the common perception that The UN is a benevolent organization seeking to guarantee peace and safety, the prophet Daniel gives us the most accurate description of the last government of a Christ rejecting world.
"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 broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." 12.
With this world government now in power, we can be certain that Jesus Christ will soon return. We can also be certain that we are about to witness the emergence of The Antichrist, for the Apostle Paul warns us that the return of Christ, characterized in Thessalonians as The Day Of The Lord, "...shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." 13.
It's time to throw away what you've been told and study this for yourself. The Beast Empire isn't coming to power in some "Revived Roman Empire" in Europe. It's here in America - NOW. The Antichrist will shortly come to power within the institution of the United Nations, and he will take advantage of every man, woman, and child that fails to recognize the truth that Jesus Christ repeatedly warned us about.
The Apostle Paul wrote that the emergence of the one world government headed by "the man of sin" (the Antichrist) would be preceded by a counterfeit gospel. This is the great "falling away" from the truth seen in II Thessalonians 2. Jesus Himself said "take heed that no man deceive you for many will come in my name." 14. In this regard, He was saying that the ones who come in the name of the LORD proclaiming that He (Jesus) is indeed the Christ, will be the ones that will deceive you. This plainly states the deceivers will be found in the "Christian" leadership.
The deception is upon us, and time is running out. The spiritual trap is about to spring shut and most of the world has already fallen into it. Leaders that you consider to be fine Christian men may be among them, and many of them are unknowingly working to convince you to follow them to their unpleasant fate.
Turn to Jesus while you still can.
[This essay was adapted from a work first published in 1994 and adapted to the book of the same name.]
February 3, 2003 - James Lloyd
Copyright © 2003 Christian Media Network
1. Daniel 7:5
2. Daniel 7:6
3. Encyclopedia Americana, 1954, Volume 17, page 268
4. Encyclopedia Americana, 1954, Volume l2, page 524
5. Encyclopedia Americana, 1954, Volume 29, page 55
6. Encyclopedia Americana, 1954, Volume 12, page 53
7. ibid., page 538
9. Daniel 8:8
10. Micah 5:2
11. Revelation 13:16
12. Daniel 7:7
13. II Thessalonians 2:3
14. Matthew 24:4, 5
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