The Great World Powers of Bible History March to Their End!
CAN you imagine history written in advance? ‘Impossible,’ you say? Yet, there is a book that really did tell history in advance—hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years before the events occurred! That book is the Bible.
The Bible not only reported ancient events with accuracy but in a most amazing way it even foretold the major outline of world history as it would affect God’s people, from the time of ancient Babylon, more than 2,500 years ago, down to and even beyond our present day.
Daniel, a prophet who lived in the sixth century before our Common Era, was given four separate revelations that dealt with the future of world history. Where did he get his information? Said Daniel: “There exists a God in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets.” (Daniel 2:28) Archaeologists, uncovering the remains left by ancient world powers, have found astounding proof of the truthfulness both of the history and of the prophecy found in the Bible.
Two of the great world powers of Biblical history, Egypt and Assyria, existed long before Daniel’s time. Babylon was ruling in Daniel’s day, and the names of the succeeding two world powers were revealed to the prophet. (Daniel 2:47, 48; 8:20, 21) Two others would follow these, bringing us up to the present time.
According to the Bible, how many of such world powers would there be? The answer was given to the aged apostle John and shows where we are in the stream of time. An angel told John: “There are seven kings: five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet arrived.”—Revelation 17:10.
What five world powers had already come and gone by John’s day? Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. Which one still existed? Rome. And which power had “not yet arrived”? The Anglo-American World Power of our day. These are the world powers with which God’s people, ancient and modern, have been primarily concerned.
An especially important fact is this: There was to be a succession of only seven such world powers! A contemporaneous eighth power, which would include remnants of the seven, was foretold to exist for a short time during the days of the seventh. (Revelation 17:10, 11) This means that we are living during the time of the last of the great world powers ruled by man. There will be no more!
Soon now, the world powers will have had their day. Daniel prophesied that these human systems will be crushed and ‘carried away by the wind.’ (Daniel 2:35) What will replace them? Something far better! Daniel reports: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. . . . It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite,” forever. (Daniel 2:44) So nothing less than God’s Kingdom will replace these human world powers. What a magnificent improvement in world rulership!
No doubt you know something about the world powers. But would further knowledge of their customs, their religion, and their relationship with God’s people and Bible prophecy help you to understand more about mankind’s history in the light of the Scriptures?
Yes, indeed. So we are pleased to publish, starting with this issue, a series of eight articles dealing with the world powers. These articles should help to convince you that the history related in the Bible is reliable and trustworthy. They should also strengthen your faith in the fact that the Bible’s prophecies are faithful and true!