2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
On the eve of his forced exile, Solzhenitsyn published a final message to the Russian people, titled: LIVE NOT BE LIES!
In the essay, Solzhenitsyn CHALLENGED THE CLAIM THAT THE TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM WAS SO POWERFUL THAT THE ORDINARY MAN AND WOMEN CANNOT CHANGE IT.
Nonsense, he said; “The foundation of totalitarianism is an ideology made of lies. The system depends for its existence on a people’s fear of challenging the lies. Our way must be; NEVER KNOWINGLY SUPPORT LIES! You may not have the strength to stand up in public and say what you really believe. You may not be able to overthrow totalitarianism, but you can find within yourself and your community the means to live in the dignity of truth. If we must live under the dictatorship of lies, then our response must be: “LET THEIR RULE HOLD NOT THROUGH ME!” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rod Dreher in his book also titled “LIVE NOT BY LIES” writes: “A Soviet émigré who teaches in a university deep in the US heartland stresses the urgency of Americans taking people like here seriously.
“You will not be able to predict what will be held against you tomorrow” she warns. “You have no idea what completely normal thing you do today, or say today, will be used against you to destroy you. This is what the people in the Soviet Union saw. We know how this works.”
On the other hand, my Czech émigré friend advised me not to waste time writing this book.
“People will have to live through it first to understand,” he says cynically. “Any time I try to explain current events and their meaning to my friends or acquaintances, I am met with blank stares or downright nonsense.” Rod Dreher
John Lennox comments:
“According to 2 Thessalonians, the power of the state will be vested in a man who sets himself up against God. Playing God has always been a temptation for powerful leaders.
Thus the fourth beast can be seen as the final manifestation of human rebellion against God. Both 2 Thessalonians and Revelation point out that the man-beast is energized by the dark power of Satan and is a master of deception.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his book “THE FOOTSTEPS of the MESSIAH” Writes about the fourth Empire, which he calls “Imperialism”
“Rome fulfilled only the first stage, and it would be wrong to assume that the fourth empire ended when the Roman Empire fell. Hence, one must ask what made the fourth empire, beginning with Rome, different from all the previous empires?
The key difference was in the TYPE OF GOVERNMENT initiated by Rome. When the Babylonians conquered an area, they did not set up Babylonian rulers, but allowed nationals to govern their owned countries. In its conquest of Judah, Babylon first appointed Zedekiah and later Gedaliah as rulers. The Medo-Persians proceeded in the same manner and allowed Jewish governors, such as Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, to rule the land. The Hellenists worked in the same way. Instead of appointing Greek leaders, they allowed the Jewish high priests to govern the people. Rome, however, began a new system of government called ‘IMPERIALISM’ and this system is what made the fourth empire diverse from all the others. When Rome conquered a nation, Roman consuls were sent in to rule the area (Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus).
While the Roman Empire initiated this policy of imperialism, it was merely the first of five stages of the fourth empire. Hence, a better name for the fourth empire would be “IMPERIALISM” or, even better, “THE IMPERIALISTIC EMPIRE.”
Both Daniel passages make it clear that the fourth Gentile empire begins with the end of the third and continues until Messiah comes to set up His kingdom. The imperialistic empire is to go through five successive stages and it is now necessary to study the five stages individually to see where history fits in this development.