ROME: The final evolution of the world spirit empires manifested in her 'offspring' in European imperial power and in expansionism of 'new' world imperialistic power. The spirit of Rome, the legs that marched antichrist around across the earth and around the globe.

Table of Contents




PURIFIED perfect











The Roman Empire persecuted Christians at various intervals for two hundred and fifty years in unmerciful displays of degradation and death for the amusement of its city rabble. Nero Caesar began the wholesale persecution of Christians when he wrongly blamed them for the burning of Rome in 66 AD. He had Christians smeared with tar, lashed to crosses and poles and lit on fire as street lights for the city.












Act 3, Scene 5


Rome: Legs of Iron/

Feet of Iron and Clay


 “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:40-45


    At first the "audience" hears just a faint clatter coming from somewhere off in the distance, but little by little the sound closes in, until the deafening roar of crashing footsteps fills the earth. Before the curtain for the final scene of "the Beast" draws up, the "audience" is besieged by the sound of marching soldiers - marching - marching - marching - marching - an endless stream of fighting men cascading over the earth, carrying into every nook and cranny of the Empire the false religion, anti gospel of humanism, and repressive government of the Beast. Finally, when the thundering subsides and the curtain rises, the "audience" of Mankind is confronted with a terrifying, horrible, unnatural Beast standing atop the world stomping it to pieces. Legions of finely equipped soldiers dressed in silver armor and plumed helmets salute the monster, while cowering people bound in chains bow before it. The "audience" has heard and seen the real Rome.

    Rome is the legs and feet of the Beast. Nothing Rome lusted after was out of its reach. In 500 B.C. Rome was just a snake in the grass having conquered only Italy. But like a hungry monster lurking in the bushes Rome gradually, very slowly at first, pushed its way north and west; and then out into the Mediterranean Sea conquering every island and outpost it came upon, until it had gained control of the bread basket of the center of the world. By the second century B.C. it had moved into North Africa, and in 168 B.C. it conquered Macedonia and Greece. By 44 B.C. Julius Caesar's Rome had pushed further west into Gaul (France) and had crossed the sea and reduced mighty Egypt to a lowly vassal state totally subject to the Beast's whims and demands. Shortly thereafter, Middle Mesopotamia, Persia and the Babylonian regions were secured. Eventually, the Empire was extended north into Europe all the way to the British Isles where colonies were established. Finally, the jewel, Israel was taken along with the city of Jerusalem. By the advent of Christ, Rome's control was complete; its influence was all encompassing, and in fact became so obtrusive, that there is literally nowhere in the world today, no continent, where Rome's influence does not dominate. Rome completed the transformation of the Empire from mere beast to a supernaturally all-powerful Beast. Only the Antichrist dominion of the end, under the regime of the Antichrist himself, will have greater expression and dominion than Rome had during its Golden Age. As Daniel had seen, "the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." And break and subdue it did!


Total, Absolute Control

    Rome's world dominance lasted better than four centuries and at the height of its glory its control was absolute. Rome set up an ingenious method for keeping all parts of the Empire in communication which enabled it to collect tribute and keep a military presence in full readiness even in the most far flung parts of the Empire. The proverb "All roads lead to Rome" was both literal and figurative. Not only did the Roman road system connect the world as one big wheel with Rome at the hub; but its network of roads, along which lay strategically placed garrisons of Rome's finest fighting men, was comprehensively designed to keep the world under its watchful eye. All taxes, all requests - all hope - was funneled to Rome, while all the world's decisions, all judgment -  all hope, flowed out from Rome. All of the world's industry was in Rome's iron grip. All trade, all commerce was regulated by Rome. Rome devised a sophisticated postal system for governmental and military communications. Ultimately, absolute control of every aspect of life allowed Rome to institute Man's replacement for God's word: Roman Law. The system of Roman Law is a code that remains today at the foundation of judicial and civil law for every modern industrial nation. By its military might and strict law Rome ruled with an iron fist and through its "might makes right" politics, Rome imposed a ”Pax Romana•, or the Roman Peace, on the world which lasted nearly three centuries and continues to live as today's standard bearer for the hope of world peace.

    Each of Rome's predecessors had a spirit prince guiding it (Dan. 9), and the spirit prince guiding Rome had certainly learned all the lessons of Empire well. Rome had accomplished a peace and unity just as the vision of Daniel had declared. True it was iron and clay stuck together in an unnatural way, a precarious way, held together by the brute persuasion of the Beast, but it was still stuck together. The symbols used: man-forged iron, and man-sculpted potter's clay, suggested that the ”Pax Romana• was a man-forged, man-sculpted unity and peace rather than one divinely created. The prophecy clearly declared that any such unity was a temporary illusion doomed to failure, as all the works of men are doomed; but, for men confined to the vision of this world, the ”Pax Romana – seemed then, as the hope of reviving it seems now, to be an eternal force, just as the city of Rome is even today blasphemously called the "Eternal City".

    Indeed there was a time when the Empire seemed eternal, and because its influence has lived on through the entire Age of the Latter Days it has been eternal in that sense. Its power was overwhelming because it had assimilated the energy of the other three empires; it had the religious soul of Babylon (even carrying its obelisks and other articles of mystery worship from Egypt to Rome), it had the highly organized imperial government of Persia, and it had the spirit and humanism of Greece. Rome blended all this into one and added not so subtle finishing touches of its own to make it - a dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong, Beast.


            "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 brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns." (Dan. 7.7)


Rome is the Crudest of All Empires

     The first three empires were truly beasts among beasts, but even they pale in comparison with the horrid beastliness of Rome. Diverse from the others because of its devastating cruelty and unmatched strength, with its iron teeth devouring whole empires and its heavy foot stamping all peoples into submission, Rome turned the Beast into the ugly task master that prophecy had vowed it would be. Nebuchadnezzar was told that his was the greatest empire and that - as the symbols indicate - the empires would grow increasingly inferior as they succeeded one another. Babylon, symbolized by gold, is the great one; Persia, symbolized by silver, is less great; Greece, equated with brass, even less; and Rome, the last empire, symbolized by the basest of materials, iron and clay, is the least great. The kingdom's growing baseness is symbolized further in chapter 7 when the beastliness of each kingdom is unmasked. Babylon, the greatest and most majestic empire, is symbolized by the regal lion; the symbols then degenerate in splendor to a bear for Persia, a leopard for Greece, on down to an indescribably, horrible and unnatural beast for Rome. But - as the Empire wanes in sophistication and temperance it increases in cruelty and cleverness. The digression is not that the Empire becomes weaker in power and dominion, but that it becomes more and more inferior in ability to administer God's truth or dispense with any sort of righteous judgment.  The Empire's opposition to God increases as each beast increasingly distances itself from him, so that eventually the Beast becomes stone deaf to God's voice. This mounting ignorance and disregard for truth is illustrated by the Empire's eroding respect for God. A repentant spirit fell on Nebuchadnezzar after God's judgment fell on him. Even the Persian kings were willing to be used by God to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. But those attitudes gave way to the spirit of Greece, culminating in the arrogant defiling of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes who sacrificed a pig on God's altar in 170 B.C.; and then reached the ultimate depths with the show of ignorance and unbelief, when Rome's representative, Pontius Pilate, disdainfully said to Jesus, "What is truth?" and washed his hands before turning the Messiah over to be mocked, whipped and unjustly crucified.

     No, the Empire's growing inferiority is not in worldly power; to the contrary, its power and influence increases steadily. Rather it lies in its growing disregard for God's truth. The kingdom degenerates so that it finally turns into a totally self-intoxicated Beast, ignorant of the true God, with a vicious, but high sounding false religion employed to bewitch the world and disguise the gruesome fact that it is a man-eater. Step by step, the Empire becomes inferior in light: a kingdom shrouded in the darkness of Man's own inventions and imaginations, where black is white and truth is ridiculed as fiction. Persia, with its inferior spirit, began the backward evolution; Greece, with its humanistic faith continued the slide; and Rome with its thirst for blood and love for perversion brought things to rock bottom.

    Opposition was crushed quickly and without mercy by mass slaughter of innocents, public flogging, crucifixion, and by using men, women, and children in the gruesome exhibition of deadly sports. Slaves were taken from among conquered peoples, used up, and thrown away like disposable dish rags. Taxation often pushed peoples to the brink of starvation and enemies of the state were whisked off to jail, enslaved, or often, summarily executed. The judgment of Rome was swift and without mercy for any unfortunate who did not bow to its authority and merciless power.


click to enlarge map

Rome Won the World's Heart

     Though Rome's cruelty and brutish nature was unmatched, there was another side to the beast, one more clever and subtle. By duping the world with false hopes and enticing it with carnal rewards for placing faith in Man, Rome won the hearts of the world. Roman citizenship was idealized throughout the empire and the Beast freely dished it out to conquered subjects or foreigners alike, to anyone who wanted to eat from the platter of faithlessness and become part of the Roman unity. As time progressed the offer literally became one that no man could refuse! According to the spirit which Alexander had introduced, the Emperors in Rome were deified and the alternative to bowing down to Rome's leader was even less pleasant than the judgments handed out by Babylon and Persia for refusing to kneel before their idols. Demanding a unity of worship and belief throughout the world by outlawing worship of God on pain of death and insisting on the worship of its "god", the Emperor, gave the world a cohesiveness. Roman Law, and not God's Word, was everyone's judge; Roman citizenship and achievement, and not God's inheritance of eternal life through Christ, was supposed to be Mankind's lasting heritage; the Emperor, and not God, was the one to be worshipped. There was no freedom of choice, no deviation, but Rome held the world together with the glue of intimidation and force. It was Rome's unremitting, crude way of trying to forge Alexander's "Brotherhood of Man".


Persecution of God's People

     Stuffed in the same sack along with Roman pretensions of unity and law was hatred and intolerance for the truth. With so much hinging on its humanistic hopes, those who held to the truth, as in Babylon, Persia, and Greece before, became enemies of the State Babylon had tested the killing of men who worshipped God on an individual basis; Haman had tried in Persia on a mass scale to get rid of God's Chosen People; and the Greeks had slaughtered and persecuted Jews in Israel after their return from captivity; but now – now - there was a new player in the game: the Christian. Rome not only had the Jew to persecute, it had the newly born Church to hate as well, and like everything Rome did, it combined the tactics of the three previous empires and implemented them with its own unique brutality.

    With the advent of Christ and the birth of the Church, Satan put Israel on hold for awhile and made the vulnerable but invisible nation of Christians Rome's prime target. Anyone caught worshipping God and Jesus Christ was to be put to death. It was the same old tactic only with much more desperation and fury behind it. Satan's persistence paid some dividends. Worn down by constant assault and seduced by its desire for esteem and worldly acceptance, the Church began to compromise its faith, rejecting the Holy Ghost and conceding to political methods and pagan practices of worship. By the third century A.D. the "great falling away", prophesied in the epistles and Revelation had taken root in the Church. Satan and his Antichrist Empire of Rome had refused to let up on the people of God. Rome had destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in A.D 70 and sold countless Jews into slavery, while throwing true believers of Christ to the lions, or burning them at the stake,  or crucifying them, or killing them in some other vicious manner. Satan's two-pronged attack of seduction and intimidation was turning the Church into an apostate body, alien to the one the apostles had built two hundred years before. The Antichrist power embodied in Rome was awesome; it was a mature beast able to subdue faith and demand the worship of all peoples.

    If God had not intervened the Roman Empire would have crushed the Church and forced the world to submit to the Antichrist vision of the end times.  But it was not yet time for the final confrontation. The salvation of Christ was just beginning to be offered to all men everywhere. So to buy more time, God afflicted the Empire with his prophesied delaying tactic: division. It was all according to the vision of Daniel some 750 years earlier.


Beast Thwarted by Supernatural Division

            “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the

kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of iron, for as much as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

            And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.” (Dan. 2.41-42)


            The initial split of the Roman Empire took place under Constantine I when he removed the Capital of the Empire to Constantinople in A.D. 306. Soon the Empire succumbed to internal rot and cracked into two rival parts: East and West. With typical irony God used Constantine's conversion to Christianity as a primary cutting edge in the split of the empire. The Eastern part started by Constantine, later known as the Byzantine Empire, spanned ninety emperors and lasted 1,058 years from A.D. 395 to 1453. The Western half fell to the invading barbarian Goths from the north in A.D. 410 which began Europe's descent into the Middle Ages and the rise of the feudal system. Later the bishop of Rome seized the reins of authority in the West and for better or worse, mostly worse, the Papacy became the major unifying force and one of the most powerful ruling dynamics of the European part of the dormant Roman Empire. Though the Eastern part of the empire was the more stable of the two, the real power always lay in Rome, and because of that God kept the West, the European part, in a constant state of turmoil and chaos. By dividing the Beast into competing parts, thus keeping the West weak by divisions from within, God was able to hold the Beast at bay until its appointed time at the end when it would once again surface to fulfill its final destiny as the Beast of beasts. Revelation speaks of the miracle of that day when Rome will once again come together:


             The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.  (Rev. 17.8)


    We must remember that ultimately the Antichrist is both a kingdom and a person; this duality of the Beast as both Empire and individual is fundamental to understanding "The Redemption Play". As Alexander was to Greece, and the Caesars were to Rome, so the Antichrist will be to the Antichrist Empire. The Empire makes the leader; and the leader breathes life into the Empire. Only at the end will Empire and leader be joined together fully, when the division and weakness of the Empire is lifted and the "Man of Perdition" rises up out of obscurity to take his place in infamy. During most of the Age of the Gentiles the Beast has lived in a dormant state, a prophetically imposed hibernation, divided among itself, pining for the appearance of its head so he can once and for all lead the Empire and fulfill the vision of the Antichrist as laid out in Daniel. The Empire, like a wounded animal, with its body, soul and spirit torn apart by division from within, survived. Miraculously, Rome has continued to live on in various forms through this entire age; but in spite of its relentless struggle to revive its former glory and strength, it has always been kept at bay by God. Rome's struggle, and the opposition God raised up to harass Rome, is the sum and substance of the history of the Age of the Gentiles and is succinctly mapped out by the vision of Daniel in chapter 11.

    With the coming of age of the Beast the curtain comes down on Act 3. The major players have been created and a villain has risen from their midst. Our Hero, waiting in the wings, is about to appear. God's Word is about to become flesh and dwell among men. Act 4 will feature The Hero's true message and his true faith. The conflict over Redemption is ready to be played out.

     But there is a another new player besides our Hero, one from among the nations, one introduced into "The Redemption Play" whose primary function will be to confound, harass and compete with the Beast so that God can buy the time to offer salvation to men everywhere before his promised judgment falls on an unbelieving world. Like the Antichrist, this new player also develops an anti gospel of its own to counteract our Hero's Gospel of Truth. Act 4 covers the nearly two millennia since our Hero's birth, the time of history labeled Anno Domini (A.D.). "The Redemption Play" calls this 2,000 years, the Latter Days: days of salvation and days of competition between the Beast and the new player, the King of the South. These Latter Days, days when the Word of God becomes flesh and is fully revealed to anyone in the "audience" of Mankind with ears to hear, are days of great light and faith, but they are days of great struggle and darkness too. No good play is complete without drama, and even though the greater suspense is taken away because prophecy reveals the ending, suspense still lies in the battle for each individual heart of those seated in the "audience". Will a person hear God's Word and do it? or, will he ignore God and follow after a false gospel? In Act 4 the war over redemption intensifies as the Gospel of Truth pits itself against False Religion and its anti gospel of humanism which often masquerades shamelessly as God's Word. The salvation of each and every person hangs in the balance. The world's inhabitants cannot serve two masters.


                               next  > ACT 4; SCENE 1: OUR HERO APPEARS