This passage of scripture is given in full, because it gives a profound summary of history from the time of Nebuchadnezzar up to the present day. This vision concludes with that almighty and glorious kingdom of Christ made "without hands," that will ultimately overthrow all worldly empires and dominions at the Lord's 2nd coming.
In addition to the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, the four kingdoms are later represented by another vision as four beasts in Dan 7. It was explained to Daniel:
The Four Kingdoms
They represent the four great empires of the ancient world. The first kingdom was the Babylonian Empire that was defeated by the empire of the Medes and the Persians to form the second kingdom. This in turn was conquered by the "prince of Grecia," Alexander the Great, the Macedonian emperor; this is the third kingdom - that was divided amongst his four generals after his death.
The fourth kingdom, that defeated all others, including the surviving parts of Alexander's kingdom, was the mighty Roman Empire. It has shaped the history of Europe and the world ever since. To understand the nature of the Roman Empire properly, we must begin by considering the origins of Rome and its links to Babylon.
Rome and Saturnia
Ancient history has it that Romulus and his brother Remus founded Rome. Before the founding of the city of Rome, there stood on the Capitoline hill (one of the seven hills of Rome) a place called "Saturnia" or the city of Saturn. It was here where the great Babylon god Saturn was worshiped. The Latin name "Saturn" = "Satur" in Chaldee. It was by this name that Nimrod was known as the god of Chaldean Mysteries. Now, "Satur" means in English the "god of Mystery" or the "hidden god." The word "Satur" is also very similar to the Hebrew word "Sethur," which means "mystery." Both these words add up to the number 666, the fatal number of the Beast. Discussed further on.
In the early days of the city of Rome this Babylonian worship was suppressed - until a colony of Etruscans, who seriously practiced Babylonian idolatry, later settled in the neighborhood of Rome. Even before they were incorporated in the growing Roman State, they exercised a powerful influence over the religious worship of the Romans. This led to the formation of a college of Pontiffs, with a presiding Sovereign Pontiff - modeled on the Babylon pattern. The Capitoline hill, the original site of Saturnia, became the great high place of the worship of ancient Rome.
Even the name "Latin," the name of the language of Rome, carries with it a secret meaning and confirms the Babylon origins of Rome. The name comes from the Latin word "lateo," which means, "lie hid." "Lateo" in turn, comes from the Chaldee word "lat," which also means, "lie hid." In fact, the names "Lat" and "Saturn" are synonymous and both represent the great god of the Mysteries. In the Egyptian version of the Mysteries a fish god "Latus" was worshiped, that is clearly just another version of Dagon.
Although Chaldee was the language of the Mysteries of Babylon, the Latin language has a special connection with the Mysteries, since Latin is the "mystery" or "hidden" language. How remarkable is it then to find that Latin became central in the worship of the Church of Rome!
Pergamos - Satan's Seat
There is yet a further and more direct connection between the Mysteries of Babylon and ancient Rome. However, it is necessary first to explain what happened to the original Babylon position of Sovereign Pontiff of the Mysteries after the death of Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon.
The true legitimate representative of the god of the Mysteries, the deified Nimrod, was the king of Babylon as Sovereign Pontiff. The Bible shows how astrologers, soothsayers and magicians always surrounded the kings of Babylon. Following the overthrow and death of Belshazzar by the Medo-Persian Empire under Darius, Daniel was preserved by the grace of God. The Chaldean sorcerers and priests, though, were expelled from Babylon and fled to Pergamos, in what is now in western Turkey, where they receive asylum and established their central college. The kings of Pergamos, who were regarded as gods, were put in the vacant seat left by Belshazzar and his predecessors. They were hailed as the legitimate representatives of the Babylonian god of Mysteries.
It was at Pergamos where the god Aesculapius was worshiped in the form of a serpent. The name "Aesculapius" meant in Greek "instructing snake," but the serpent also symbolized the enlightening of souls of men by the sun. Thus we see the sun god being worshiped in the form of a serpent, supposedly enlightening mankind as "Lucifer" the shining one. However, the Bible shows the serpent to be the Devil, who first tempted man to sin against God. It is for this reason that the Lord refers to Pergamos as "Satan's seat" (Rev 2:13). Notice also the striking similarity between the name of the god of Mysteries, "Satur" or "Saturn" with that of the Hebrew name for the Devil, namely Satan.
As the power of Rome expanded into many parts of Greece, Attalus, the last king of Pergamos died and in 133BC and left in his will all the dominions of Pergamos to the Roman people. Thus the kingdom of Pergamos was merged into the dominions of Rome. For many years, though, there was no one who could openly lay claim to all the powers and dignity inherent in the title of the kings of Pergamos, namely that of Sovereign Pontiff. The powers of Roman Pontiffs were therefore somewhat restricted, but the situation changed dramatically with the arrival of Julius Caesar.
The Caesars Reign as Sovereign Pontiff
After invading France and Britain in 55 and 54 BC, Julius Caesar assumed the position of Life Dictator over the Roman Dominions in 44 BC. After his assassination in the Senate, a relative of his became Emperor in 27 BC after years of internal strife. His rule effectively ended the Roman Republic. It was from Julius Caesar's name that the Roman Emperors took their title of "Caesar." However, few are taught that the Caesars held the position of "Pontifex Maximus," that is "Supreme" of "Sovereign Pontiff." This is a very significant fact in history, but it is also very inconvenient to the Church of Rome, for it indicates the origin of the papacy.
Julius Caesar was elected to the position of Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC, following which, he assumed the position of supreme ruler of the Roman State. Thus he vested in himself all the powers and functions of the Babylonian Pontiff. And he was the true legitimate successor of Belshazzar. Not satisfied with this, he was declared to be Jupiter's incarnation on 25th Dec. 48 BC in the temple of Jupiter in Alexandria. The Encyclopaedia Britannica also says about Julius Caesar: "There are signs that in the last six months of his life he aspired not only to a monarchy in name as well as in fact, but also a divinity which Romans should acknowledge as well as Greeks, Orientals, and barbarians." By claiming divinity, he followed the pattern of the kings of Pergamos. The Roman Emperors that followed Julius Caesar were commonly regarded as gods.
Destruction of the Second Temple by Caesar's Army
When Pontius Pilate brought Jesus before the Jews, he asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Note the terrible denial of the King of kings, the true Messiah Jesus Christ and their awful declaration that Caesar is their only king - the head of the Babylonian Mysteries and the earthly head of the worship of Satan. Just as the Lord gave the Jews in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar after they corrupted themselves with the worship of Nimrod, so he poured forth terrible judgments on them at the hands of the Roman Emperors whom they professed to follow. It was the Roman army of Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Titus later became Emperor and held the title of Caesar. Thus Babylon and Rome have in common that they both destroyed the Temple.
Janus and Cybele
In ancient Rome and its dominions there were a multitude of gods that were worshiped. The origins of these gods can be traced to Babylon as representing either Nimrod or his wife. Two are of special interest at this point of the discussion, namely Janus and Cybele. They were worshiped in Rome long before Jesus Christ's birth.
The origin of Janus is a corruption of the account of Noah! In the Babylonian Mysteries, the commemoration of the ark and the grand events in the life of Noah was mingled with the worship of the Queen of Heaven and her son. Noah, as having lived in two worlds, both before the flood and after it, was called "Dipheus," or "twice-born," and was presented as a god with two heads looking in opposite directions, the one old, and the other young. This is how Janus was represented in Rome. The name Janus came from the Chaldee "Eanush," which means "fallen man." Janus is also identified as another version of the fish god Dagon. (Back to Doctrines#Noah | Rome-Symbolism#Janus)
The goddess Cybele, who was always associated with Janus, was known in pagan Rome as "Domina" or "The Lady." Cybele was also represented as wearing a tower or turret as a crown, which was on account of her being the first to erect towers in cities. This honor was also ascribed to Semiramis, the first queen of Babylon, and the crown of towers was symbolic of Semiramis deified as the Queen of Heaven. Thus the worship of Cybele was simply the worship of Semiramis.
Cybele can also be identified with Diana of the Ephesians. Diana was represented in various abominable forms signifying fertility, but like Cybele had a crown of towers on her head. Furthermore, Diana was sometimes represented as part woman and part fish, in a similar manner as Dagon.
Janus was worshiped in Rome as the god of doors and hinges, and was called "the opener and shutter." This had a blasphemous meaning, for he was worshiped in Rome as the grand mediator. Whatever important business was at hand, whatever deity was to be invoked, an invocation first of all had to be addressed to Janus, who was recognized as the "God of gods," in whose mysterious divinity the characters of father and son were combined, and without that no prayer could be heard - the door of heaven could not be opened. Here again Janus's two heads/faces come into play, in their signifying the old and the new/young, and holding a key in his hand. In like fashion the goddess Cybele also carried a key. (Back to Papacy#Cardinals)
The worship of Janus prevailed in Asia Minor at the same time the Lord commanded the Apostle John to write to the seven churches, viz.
It is confirmed, the Lord is the one true God, who alone opens and shuts the door of heaven.
As the great head of the Mysteries of Rome, the Sovereign Pontiff or "Pontifex Maximus" held the key of Janus and the key of Cybele, which were tokens of his position as their earthly representative. The keys became the symbol of the authority of the Pontifex Maximus. He was known by the Latin title "Pater Patrum," that means, "Father of Fathers." He was also addressed by the title "Your Holiness." (Back to Festivals#Father)
The interpreter of Mysteries
The Pontifex Maximus also had a mysterious title, variations of which were used by heads of the Mysteries in other parts of the ancient world. The priest or Pontiff who explained the Mysteries to the initiated was known as the "Interpreter," which is in Chaldee (the real language of the Mysteries) "Peter." As the revealer of that which was hidden, nothing was more natural than that, while opening up the esoteric [i.e. intended only for the initiated] doctrine of the Mysteries, Peter should be decorated with the keys of the two divinities whose Mysteries he unfolded. Thus we see how the keys of Janus and Cybele would come to be known as the keys of Peter, the "interpreter" of the Mysteries.
We even find something similar in the book of Genesis where Pharaoh's butler and baker both had dreams and wanted an interpreter to explain them. Remembering that Hebrew and Chaldee were related languages, it is remarkable to note that "interpreter" is a translation of the Hebrew word "pathar," which is very similar to the Chaldee "Peter."
The god of Mysteries was also known by the title "Peter-Roma," which is Chaldee for the "Grand Interpreter." This "Peter-Roma" was transformed by the papacy into the Apostle "Peter of Rome." Behold the Mysteries of iniquity.
Martin Luther made a very perceptive statement when he wrote, "I know that
the papacy is none other than the kingdom of Babylon, and the violence of
Nimrod the mighty hunter
The papacy is a vigorous chase led by the
Roman bishop to catch and destroy souls.