Why Only Seven World Empires?

We meet a seven headed beast in Revelation 12:3 and 13:1, but the text does not explain there what the heads represent.  We know from the Revelation 13:1’s composite beast that the bizarre seven headed creature is related to Daniel, for it is a composite of all four of Daniel’s beasts. This identity in composition links John’s vision to that of Daniel and permits us to draw from the inspired explanation of what the pieces symbolized. For example, in Daniel’s vision, the multiple heads were the multiple kings that ruled the pieces of Alexander’s empire (cp Dan 8:22). Later in Revelation John explains the meaning of the heads (Rev 17:10). John explains the heads to be seven kings or kingdoms, and he said the sixth kingdom (Rome) was then ruling (Rev 17:18). From Revelation 17 we also learn that the heads symbolize a sequence of kingdoms (“five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come” Rev 17:10), and there was one kingdom remaining in the sequence of seven at the time when John wrote and Rome ruled the world.

Since John wrote Revelation in AD 96, there have been many empires that have come and gone, but there was to be only two other empires after Rome until the end of the world.  Why do not the empires such as the Muslims, the Monguls, the Ottomans, and Napolean make for many more than seven world empires?  Why are there only seven?
To answer why God counts only seven empires, you need but look at to whom the Old Testament (OT) was directed. The people of concern in the OT were the children of Israel. Since the seven headed beast is linked to the OT through the composite beast of Daniel 7,  the context of the seven headed beast is Israel. The seven world empires of whom Daniel and Revelation speak were all intimately involved with the nation of Israel.

The first head of the beast is Egypt, and Israel dealt with that kingdom at the birth of their nation, but the ancient empire of Nimrod preceeded Egypt by many centuries.  Why was it not counted?  We can see why Nimrod was not counted when we recall that God’s covenant with Israel only began in the days of Moses, a time when the Egyptian empire was in its ascendancy. The empires of the ancient Babylonians (Nimrod, Gen 10:9-10) and Elam’s Chedorlaomer (Gen 14:5), while historically were very significant, were too early to deal with the nation of Israel, since Israel did not emerge as a nation until around 1460 BC.

For the seven headed beast to be a succession of only seven kingdoms, the only criteria that makes sense to arrive at only seven kingdoms is to limit the kingdoms under consideration to those that had dominion while Israel existed as a nation and that interacted with the nation of Israel.  Six existed before Israel ceased to exist as a nation in AD 70.  From AD 70 until AD 1948, there was no nation of Israel, and the empires that existed during that time had no relevance to Israel as a nation.  However, since the rebirth of the Israeli state in 1948 it has become possible for Israel to once again interact with world empires, and according to John’s prophecy one still remains to emerge before the end of the age.  I believe that empire is emerging, and it will be the New World Order.  When the seventh empire emerges, John says, “He must remain for a little while.”    The seventh world empire will be destroyed by the Antichrist (the Beast of Revelation 17:11) when he destroys Rome (Rev 17:18). 

Israel will not be destroyed when the Beast burns the NWO’s Rome, but the NWO’s Rome will not be the last of the seven heads with which Israel has to contend.  John says, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Rev 17:11).  The Antichrist will rule the 8th world empire, one of the previous seven (the Medes/Persians) that rises from a death stroke to once again rule the world.  The Antichrist in the company of 200,000,000 of his closest friends invades Israel and takes Jerusalem only four days before the end of the world (Joel 2:9, Zech 14:1-2, Rev 11:8, 11).  That will be the end of his career.  The Father comes while the Antichrist revels in the “victory” over God’s Christ, and when the Father stands on the Mt of Olives, the power of His presence causes the mountain to split in two.  The Son comes like lightning and shines from one part of heaven to the other, the graves are opened, and the righteous dead come forth immortal to destroy the Beast and his army.  The Beast is taken and cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20).  The army of the Beast is slain by the Son and the armies of heaven (Rev 19:21).  Such is the end of the seven headed beast and those that would dare touch the elect of God.


About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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2 Responses to Why Only Seven World Empires?

  1. Anna says:

    God’s kingdom does not come with observance; it is WITHIN YOU. Lk 17:20-24.

    The old covenant types and shadows were ‘passing away’ in the first century. Heb 8:13.
    The END of all things was NEAR to them. 1 Per 4:7. The END pertains to the old covenant world or age and the earthly kingdom. The nation of Israel was chosen to be a 3rd party mediator between god and mankind while the two were alienated, which was the result of Adam’s refusing to listen to the spirit and following his flesh. He was ‘cast out’ of his father’s PRESENCE and was DEAD in relationship to his father. That condition was the fate of all mankind thereafter so god chose a few to enter his presence, to be messengers (prophets), to offer sacrifices for atonement (priests) and to administer judgment. The old covenant was ‘ordained by angels’ (Gal 3:19) according to the rendering of the KJV but that word can be rendered as ‘messengers’ instead and makes more sense. The new is not subject to angels (messengers). Heb 2:5. Since the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth was to restore our position as sons and reconcile us to our father, the removing of all 3rd parties in 70 AD gave us DIRECT access to our father so that we need not be subjected to human spiritual authorities. Matt 23:8-10. Jesus forbid them 2000 years ago: “Do not call anyone by a title spiritual authority over you such as ‘Father, Rabbi, TEACHER, Pastor, Reverend, ‘ etc for you are all ONE (equal in the father’s eyes and have the same access to him and have his new name written on our foreheads) and all have the same TEACHER.” And that Teacher is whom? 2 Cor 3:17. The Lord Jesus. Anyone, anytime, anywhere can enter the father’s presence and there is no need of 3rd party mediators. Jer 31:34; Heb 8:11. “No longer will they say, ‘Know the Lord for they will all know me from the least to the greatest.”
    We were ‘raised up’ with Christ to the same position that Adam had. We now commune ‘face to face’ with our father. ‘No man can see god for he is spirit.’

    Revelation was not written after 70 AD. It was written to ‘Bondservants.’ 1:1.Only one nation was in bondage to a MASTER and one could not inherit his Master’s possessions unless they were adopted. The first century Firstfruits were waiting on adoption. It was written when? Rev 1:9 . During the tribulation. Only the nation of Israel was under god’s wrath. ‘The law brings wrath.’ The curses of the old covenant were ‘sword, famine, plagues, death.’ And angels/messengers carried out the curses under the BEAST empire which brought ‘sword/WAR’ upon them in 66 AD. Paul confirms this timeline that historians have written about by telling Timothy in his second letter from a Roman prison cell, ‘All in Asia have abandoned me.’ 2 Tim 1:15. This was written in 66 AD. The same year the rebellion against Roman occupation began in Judea. Beast kingdoms were god’s rod of punishment for the nation of Israel. God divorced her, the unfaithful Queen who became a harlot and kept repeating her harlotry, forcing god’s hand to do as the covenant law required. A harlot was to be stripped naked and burned in the fire. She was, 66-70 AD. This allowed Christ to marry his VIRGIN BRIDE (the wedding is a motif) who had not worshipped the BEAST or his image (Emperor worship) and SHE sat as a QUEEN at the right hand of power as a 3rd party mediator judging her own people. Once these 144,000 Firstfruits were offered to the Lord and declared HOLY then the whole lump of dough was HOLY to the LORD, fulfilling the Law of Firstfruits.

    We are not the Bride; we are not bondservants; we are not Firstfruits. We are sons of the most high god, having been reconciled to him 2000 years ago.

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