I think it a good time to summarize what I have so far discussed.
The early church fathers who were living in the time of the rule of the pagan Roman empire were all in expectation of the coming Antichrist or man of sin spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians. They knew through studying the prophecies of both Paul and Daniel that the Roman empire would break up into ten distinct kingdoms, three of which would be uprooted by the Antichrist power which event would be singularly powerful in identifying him.
Subsequent church leaders recognised this, and from the 6th century to the 19th, pointed unwaveringly to the papacy as the fulfilment of the prophecies.
In order to establish exactly why those students of the scriptures and leaders of the church came to their conclusions, conclusions I might add in which the vast majority were in agreement, I began a study on those significant prophecies which over the centuries have been used in establishing the identity of that much feared and mysterious entity known commonly as Antichrist. Beginning with 2 Thess 2 I continued with a short study on Daniel 2.
We have seen that history has been incredibly subservient to prophecy. Just as Daniel 2 revealed that there would be 4 major world empires reigning consecutively from the time of Daniel and the final enduring to the second coming, so has history born this out.
I mentioned early that Daniel 2 lays a foundation for understanding all subsequent prophecy; that later prophecy which deals with the same subject matter is merely an amplification or magnification of previous prophecy. Thus any interpretation of later prophecy which violates Daniel 2 cannot be accepted.
With these thoughts in mind, I would now like to offer in further posts a detailed study of Daniel 7 and 8, which study you will realise will be in perfect accord with Daniel 2.