The Roman Empire As Future Prophecy
By Nathan Jones
Our special guest on Christ in Prophecy, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, makes that amazing claim!
Mark was a lawyer who felt called by the Lord to give up his legal career and enter into full-time ministry, so he enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary. Since 1991, he has been the Senior Pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Mark’s published many books related to Bible prophecy, including one of his best titled The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy: What You Need to Know in These Uncertain Times.
The first half of Mark’s book focused on ten stunning prophecies that have already been fulfilled in history, and with 100% accuracy! The second half of the book looks at ten more amazing prophecies, but those still yet to be fulfilled. We’ll look at chapter 11 titled, “Reuniting the Roman Empire.” The Roman Empire existed obviously in the past, so Mark has to explain how anything to do with the Roman Empire can be future prophecy.
The Roman Empire As Future Prophecy
Mark Hitchcock: The book of Daniel, in chapters 2 and 7, contain some stunning prophecies that were given to the Prophet Daniel concerning world empires. Daniel 2 records that King Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream a great statue of a man. The statue’s head was made of gold, the chest and arms were of silver, the belly and thighs were composed of brass, the two legs were made of iron, and the feet and toes consisted of a mixture of iron and clay. We learn from Daniel’s interpretation that the head of gold was Babylon, followed by Medo-Persia, followed by Greece, and then the legs of iron became the Roman Empire. Bear in mind Daniel was only alive to see the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires rise, and the Greek and Roman Empires were founded hundreds of years after Daniel died.
So, what to make of the feet and the toes that were composed of iron and clay? The text reveals to us that these ten toes are ten kings. Well, history shows that the Roman Empire was never ruled by ten kings simultaneously. If every other empire that this image represents came to power in history exactly as prophesied, then the feet have to one day be fulfilled as well. And, Daniel says in the days of those ten kings, that’s when the Messiah is going to return as the rock not cut by human hands smashes Gentile world powers.
What many have concluded in Daniel’s interpretation, and I agree with them, is that through the years the legs of iron, being the historical Roman Empire, will revive or reunite. Eventually, the Roman Empire will be revived and in the end times be ruled over by ten rulers, referred to in Scriptures as kings.
Daniel 2’s prophecy is reiterated in Daniel 7. Daniel had a vision of monstrous beasts. These same empires Nebuchadnezzar saw are pictured in Daniel’s vision as wild beasts. There were four: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and then kind of this nondescript beast with ten horns.
Those ten horns are also pictured as the statue’s ten toes, being in reality ten kings. Something else is added to the fourth beast’s story. Among these ten horns, a little horn rises up among them. It ends up subduing three of those horns and soon overtakes the whole beast. This Little Horn I believe is to be interpreted as the coming Antichrist who will one day become the one-world ruler.
So, if all the parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s image have been literally fulfilled by actual empires, then there has to be a time when the Roman Empire will be ruled over by ten kings, and then eventually a little horn will rise up among the other horns to rule supreme. I believe, and many other Bible prophecy teachers hold to this as well, that the Roman Empire never really ended. It just crumbled apart politically until one day the Roman Empire reunites and is revived in the end times. Eventually, this Revived Roman Empire will be ruled over by ten kings.
Some Bible scholars have taken those ten toes and horns to be ten nations, but the Antichrist who rises up among them — the Little Horn — he’s an individual. So, it makes sense the other horns are individuals as well. Context points to the ten toes and ten horns as ten kings. One day the Revived Roman Empire will be reunited under ten rulers, and maybe work together as some kind of ruling committee. Some kind of oligarchy will exist.
Of course, it’s obvious to all that the European Union now exists as the embryonic stage of the Revived Roman Empire. The EU today is not the fulfillment of the resurrected empire, but the conduit. Maybe the EU will morph into a Mediterranean Union which encompasses parts of it’s old territory in northern Africa, but whatever the final form, it’s still future. What I think we are seeing with the EU today is the stage being set. We are seeing a build up towards this final form. Great Britain has just departed the EU with Brexit, and that has significantly weakened the union. So, there may be a lot of twists and turns getting to the Empire’s final form.
We don’t know exactly from Scriptures how this Revived Roman Empire prophecy is all going to come to pass, but I know it is prophesied in Scriptures, so I have to believe it will indeed come to pass in the future at some time. How interesting it will be to see what developments take place to bring about that final form of the Roman Empire!
The EU’s reaction to Brexit has been to double down. The leadership desires to erase the borders surrounding the remaining member countries, and there’s talk of dividing the EU into ten regions. Truly this is fulfilled Bible prophecy, and it’s beginning to happen right before our eyes. Really exciting!