Early Protestant theologians' anti-Rome bias was great enough that when these scholars began to explicate the visions of Daniel, they inserted their knowledge of history into Holy Writ, thereby identifying the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar's image as the Roman Empire. But the visions of Daniel were for the time of the end, or were sealed and secret until the time of the end. They were not for two millennia, or centuries ago, or for even seventy years ago. In true Catch-22 fashion, the time of the end begins when Daniel's vision can be understood, and Daniel's vision can only be understood when the time of the end begins. And if the time of the end will be less than one generation in length (Matt 24:34), then explications of Daniel's visions that have the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar's image being the divided Rome Empire are faulty. Those explications are, in fact, so wrong that the explication can be used to separate the shepherds sent by Christ from false teachers.
Physical Israel forms the shadow of spiritual Israel, just as the first Adam was a physical being, and the second Adam was a spirit being. The physical comes first, then the spiritual. And the history of the first Israel becomes the spiritual history of the second Israel. Humanity, however, cannot see into the spiritual realm. Humans can only see the physical shadows of events that occur in the spiritual realm.
Shadows exist in one less dimension than the reality that casts the shadow. As three-dimensional creatures, humans cast two-dimensional shadows, linked to the one who casts the shadow because space-time exists as a fourth dimension. But, since time is a mathematical function of gravity, time is part of the creation. The spiritual realm exists outside of time; therefore, the shadow of phenomena in that dimension can occur anywhere within the dimensions of time, of the creation. Thus, the historical record of the first Israel can properly be labeled the Ashadow" of the second Israel that exists in the spiritual realm. Receiving the Holy Spirit, regardless of the terminology associated with being born again, causes a person to have mental life in the realm of spirit. That life exists based upon the promise of disciples becoming heirs if disciples abide in the covenant by which the promise was made. Therefore, the mental or spiritual life of a born again disciple casts a physical shadow, as do the activities of spirit beings. So through the shadows that have been recorded by divine inspiration human beings can observe what spirit beings have done, or are doing, or will do in the spiritual realm. In addition, the greater Christian Church (i.e., spiritual Israel) can see itself as God sees it. Its mirror is Scripture.
God sealed and made secret the understanding of Daniel's visions. Yet, the inscribed record of his visions has been available for everyone to read for two and a half millennia. So, how is it possible to conceal what seems obvious? One way is to not prevent misunderstanding, or miss-readings of the text. For example: the division of the two legs begins with the bronze thighs. The Roman Empire is unified when it overwhelms the Greeks. The Roman Empire doesn't divide until the 4th-Century A.D. But the division of Nebuchadnezzar's image occurs during the Greek reign, and this Greek reign shall rule the whole world, even through the reign of the fourth kingdom, which begins divided and is never united. Neither leg of this fourth kingdom rules over the other. So any close, critical reading of the text precludes the Roman Empire from being the two legs because of when the division occurs, and because of how long the bronze kingdom continues to reign even after it is overturned.
The text identifies the iron legs: they are the competing kingdoms of the king of the North and of the South. Now comes how the Father sealed and kept secret the endtime understanding of these visions. Daniel's vision of the he-goat trampling the ram is for the time of the end; it wasn't for the 4th-Century B.C.E. But it has a physical shadow that appears as Alexander's romp through Persia.
In Daniel's last vision, the angel tells Daniel that he, the angel, has been fighting with the ruler of Persia, and that he would have to fight with the ruler of Greece. These rulers are demons. They are not men. So without adding to Scripture, we can say that the he-goat the angel Gabriel identifies as the king of Greece is a spiritual beingCand his trampling of the ruler of Persia will cast a shadow in the creation. That shadow is the exploits of Alexander the Great. Just as Adam's naming of the animals preceded Jesus' naming of the animals (calling the Pharisees hypocrites and vipers), Alexander's trampling of the Persian sar preceded the spiritual king of Greece's trampling of the spiritual Persian sar.
There is, however, a complicating feature of this shadow/reality typology that can be seen in the Apostle Paul's wrestling with his flesh. While the shadow of the spiritual king of Greece's trampling of the ram occurred in human history centuries ago, the battle between these rulers is for the mental landscapes of humanity, so that actual war will have (in addition to its shadow) physical manifestations within the creation. What humanity has been witnessing in Iraq, and with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Nations are these physical manifestations. Presently, the U.S., Britain, Spain, and its coalition of Eastern European democracies have been fronting for the spiritual king of Greece, who will utterly trample the ram, thereby establishing a new world order, one based upon Greek ideals such as democracy. These ideals will not be superceded by other ideals until Christ returns, even though this spiritual king's great horn is broken. And the United Nations has been fronting for the spiritual sar of the kingdom of Persia/Babylon.
When the great horn of the spiritual king of Greece finishes trampling the ram, he will control the mental landscapes of humanity, but there won't be harmony among humans because there isn't harmony within his governing coalition as evidenced by what happens when he is supernaturally broken.
Jesus linked the endtime "desolating sacrilege" (Matt 24:15) with the physical king of the North [Antiochus Epiphanes] taking away the daily sacrifice and setting up a statue of Zeus in the temple. The angel Gabriel tells Daniel that the he-goat will trample the ram in the time of the end (Dan 8:17), and we see this event occur in Awhat is inscribed in the book of truth@ (10:21). The visions of Daniel 8 and 11 are linked through the revealing of the trampling, the breaking of the first horn, and the rise of the four horns (compare 8:8, 20B22 with 11:2B4). What is revealed in the remainder of chapter 8 is the record of what happens spiritually during the time of the end that cannot be determined from examining the shadow. The prophetic events of the remainder of chapter 11 constitute the shadow of what happens spiritually. Together, they form the endtime physical manifestation of the spiritual reality that casts the shadow seen as the iron legs and mixed iron and clay feet and toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Thus, Daniel's visions of chapter 8 and 11 are the revealed knowledge about the bronze belly and thighs, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of mixed iron and clay of the image that rules the world. That image is of spiritual Babylon. Its shadow is the record of human theocratic dynasties that ruled over Jerusalem from when God sent the house of Judah into Babylonian captivity until the rebuilt temple was polluted.
The glorified Christ will cleanse the temples of God (1 Cor 3:16-17) differently than Judas Maccabeus. Therefore, the Books of the Maccabees are not canonical Scripture because they do not shadow events that will occur in the spiritual realm, whereas Ezra and Nehemiah do. The Roman Empire isn't mentioned in prophecy because its history doesn't shadow how Christ will deal with the man of perdition halfway through seven years of tribulation. The antiChrist that then comes is Satan, and it will be Satan who requires everyone to have his slave mark to buy and sell during the second half of the Tribulation. While there are similarities between what popes have done and what Satan will do, the history of the Roman Church is not, today, the inspired shadow of Satan's earthly reign. Rather, the record of physical Israel's wanderings in the Wilderness beyond the Red Sea is the inspired shadow of the Christian Church during these last 1260 days.
If we have the wisdom to understand, we can know what will happen between today and halfway through the Tribulation by examining the shadow and extrapolating the events revealed in the shadow with what caused them in the spiritual realm, then understanding how this spiritual reality of the shadow will manifest itself physically. And we have an example from which to work: again, we are this spring witnessing the he-goat trampling the ram. The shadow was Alexander the Great's military successes against Persia. The physical manifestation of the spiritual reality that cast this shadow is America and Britain's military success in Iraq and worldwide political success (which hasn't fully occurred yet), with the loser being old Europe and the United Nations. Likewise, the shadow of the spiritual king of the North's pollution of the temple of God was Antiochus Epiphanes's sacrificing a pig on the altar and erecting a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. The physical manifestation of the spiritual reality of him polluting the temple of God will have him possessing the man of perdition who declares himself god on day 1290. But that physical manifestation also has him persecuting and martyring many genuine disciplesCwho are the temples of GodCwho refuse to be mentally ruled by him, who refuse to recognize him as god.
Rome isn't mentioned in endtime prophecies, because Rome and its history shadows no spiritual entity, coalition, or phenomena relevant to the creation of heirs of God. Wouldbe scholars who focus their attention on Rome, the Roman and Holy Roman Empires, the Roman Church, and the European Union are carnally minded. Their focus is on physical events. They have never seen into the spiritual realm even when that realm stands revealed to them. Therefore, they will be taken unaware by unfolding events. They have set themselves up to accept Satan's slave mark even though they have been mentally liberated from bondage to Satan. They will be as those who mocked Noah for building that ocean liner in his backyard.
The great horn of the spiritual king of Greece will be broken at the second Passover. This will either be day 2520, or 1335, I think. I have no revelation as to when this second slaughter of firstborns will occur. What has been revealed is the typology.