Scripture shows that Eden's corruption was so complete that only nine exceptions to it existed in the history of its civilization: Enoch, and the eight people who were saved at the time of Noah.
Enoch was a type of the rapture in the land of Eden. "Enoch walked with God. Then he vanished because God took him." (Gn.5:24). He lived in the land for 365 years and then ascended directly into heaven. "It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not have to experience death." (Heb.11:5). Because he pleased God, Satan and his battalion of evil angels had no power over him.
There is something very special about Enoch -- his holiness, his companionship with God and the fact that his life of 365 years (a year of years) relates symbolically, like Jesus, to our sun. What that importance is, we can only speculate, but it is as if Jesus, Himself, had been planted there and then divinely removed because the creation in Eden was too faithless and evil for Him.
We know that Christ pre-existed our earth because scripture tells us so. Before Abraham was, Jesus was (John 8:58). In the Gospel of John it is written, "In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him...he was in the world that had its beginning through him, and the world did not know him." (John 1:1-10).
Was He among the ancient patriarchs in Eden? It is quite probable. Many scholars feel that Jesus was one of the three heavenly beings who appeared to Abraham regarding the destruction of Sodom (Gen. 18-19), so his appearance in Eden seems appropriate. At the very least, Enoch certainly prefigured Jesus.
Enoch was unique because he, alone, among all the beings in Eden enjoyed the companionship of God. This is the same role Jesus has in our own generation. Eden was a civilization before ours that was consumed by wickedness and violence -- a violence which came to a peak in the days of Noah.
When the corruption of that first world reached its nadir, Noah and those who were with him were warned by God to get on an ark and to load it up with the seed of the world and to seal the ark behind them. Once they had complied, God destroyed His first creation in a deluge of waters.
Except for that tiny group of people (Enoch and Noah, and Noah's immediate family) everyone else in Eden perished in the chaos of the watery darkness that had suddenly enveloped their land from on high.
Severing Himself from the creation and returning to His own heaven, God abandoned the lower sea, leaving behind a shattered world swallowed up in the chaotic turbulence of divine punishment and facing eternal disaster.
It is to the spirits of all those people, those who died in the flood, that Jesus descended and preached during His entombment after His own crucifixion.
The People of the Past
There is a fundamental difference between the people who died before the flood and those who came afterward, and for this reason, scripture tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. The Bible says that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified. "I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7).
In doing this, Jesus did not go to the people who had died on earth before he was born, he went instead to those who had died before the flood took place. (1 Peter 3:18-20). This means that God was able to rescue everyone who was born on earth after the flood occurred through the Christ of our own scriptures.
How He was able to do this is a mystery, but it shows that a vast chasm exists between the spirits in Eden and those which appeared through Noah after the ark came to rest when the waters of the great flood receded.
Jesus confirmed the difference between the people of Eden and those who came later when he said, "On judgment day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here." (Mt.12:41).
But those who lived in Eden had no faith and went right on sinning up until the moment their world was destroyed. Their was no repentance in them, so they perished by the hand of God and had to be preached to another way. That is why Jesus had to go to them in spirit after he was crucified.
"In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people 'by water'...that these spirits refused to believe." (1 Peter 3:20).
The dividing line that separated those souls from ours was a boundary of both faith and flood. Everyone born in Babylon is descended from Noah, and therefore has come to life in the seed of faith.
The people of Eden were just the opposite. Since they had no faith, God had no power to raise them up to see Christ the way He was able to do with us. Their souls could not be raised to life in this world because of their lack of faith, and for the same reason there is little likelihood that any of them listened to Jesus when his spirit preached to them in their captivity in Hades.
The Ten Nation Confederacy
The prophecy of the ten nations was first voiced by Daniel. "Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns." (Dn. 7:7).
While I was looking at these ten horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and inside this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts." (Dn. 7:8).
"Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remaind; and the truth about the ten horns on its head -- and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns." (Dn.7:19-20)
"This (new horn) was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favor of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom." (Dan.7:21-23).
"This is what God said: 'The fourth beast is to be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it underfoot and crush it. As for the ten horns: from this kingdom will rise ten kings, and another after them; this (later arriving king) will be different from the previous ones and will bring down three kings. He is going to speak words against the Most High, and harass the saints of the Most High. He will consider changing seasons and the Law, and the saints will be put into his power for a time, two times, and half a time. But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him, consumed, and utterly destroyed. And sovereignty and kingship and the splendors of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty and every empire will serve and obey him'" (Dn.7:23-27).
There is further amplification on the nature of these ten horns by the Apostle John in the New Testament Book of Revelation:
"Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles." (Rv.13:1)
"The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet been given their royal power but will have royal authority only for a single hour and in association with the beast. They are all of one mind in putting their strength and their powers at the beast's disposal, and they will go to war against the Lamb; but the Lamb is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, and he will defeat them and they will be defeated by his followers, the called, the chosen, the faithful." (Rv.17:12-14).
When these ten nations appear, they will constitute a single republic formed by the union of ten specific countries which will meld their resources, peoples, politics and armies under the control of a single leader. Thus this confederation will constitute a republic comparable in character to the now dissolved U.S.S.R. The United States is a similar kind of union, but it has 52 states, not ten, and it is located in the west. Prophecy specifies that the ten horns of the beast will arise in the east.
Jeremiah terms this confederacy, 'Media' (Jer.51:28). Daniel calls its early configuration, 'Persia' (Dn.11:2), and says that it will lie in the 'north' (Dn.11:15; Ez.38:15) -- above the Euphrates river (Rv.9:13-15).
There is a strong indicaton in prophecy that the headquarters or birthplace of the ten nation confederacy will lie close to the Black Sea and will include many of the countries surrounding it. This is infered from related prophecies by Ezekiel which include such names as Rosh, Meschech and Tubal -- countries which, in ancient times, bordered this sea (Ez.38 & 39).
Other prophecies show that its dimensions will spread far beyond this body of water, however. The size of the confederation will be enormous.
Ezekiel says that associated with it will be Magog, Rosh, Meschech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, Bethtogarmah, and many other nations as well. (Ez.38:4-6). Far more, it seems, than the ten defined by the prophecies. This shows that many satellite nations will unite to add vast support to the ten-nation republic.
Such visions conjure up images of an empire that could stretch the length and breadth of Asia, from the Black Sea to the eastern Pacific, encompassing the entire Middle East above Saudi Arabia, and perhaps involving extensions deep into Europe.
This confederacy will be the mechanism of the wrath alluded to ubiquitously throughout the scriptures, and under the dictatorship of the eleventh king, bring the earth to its final ruin.
John said that the armies of the beast "will be as many as the sands of the sea" (Rv.20:8). Isaiah said that it will be composed of 'vast hordes' of soldiers. (Is.17:12). The prophet Joel described these minions as "a great and mighty host as has never been seen before and will never be seen again..." (Joel 2:2).
Such descriptions give certain indication that almost the entire Asian continent will mobilize behind the confederacy.
Ezekiel says that its troops will "cover the earth like a cloud." (Ez.38:16). With many nations they will invade Israel, bringing there "a great army of countless troops all mounted." (Ez.38:15).
For more information on this confederacy, see 'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 19, "Ten Nations--The Confederation of the Medes".
The World Wide Authority of the Beast
In The Book of Revelation (Rv.13:2) it is stated that satan will have worldwide authority and will hand this world domination over to the beast. In this same chapter it is shown that the beast has seven heads. These are the ruling empires of the world.
Thus the number of heads is both symbolic (seven is a number of fulfillment and completion), and literal. It's literal component relates to the subjugation of the House of Israel.
Since it is shown in the Bible that Rome and its Caesar's constituted the sixth of these seven heads, we must assume that the heads have arisen one by one. They do not exist at the same time. Each of these heads have come up in turn, and all have at one time or another, ruled Israel, holding its people captive. Each in turn has dominated the world and issued the decrees and rules that its captive populations must adhere to.
Scripture refers to the beast as 'Babylon'. It is a civilization that all of us are born into when we come to life on this earth. Jesus called us out of it. The only path by which anyone can leave it is through faith in Christ and obedience to His Gospel.
We were all born sinners and this sinfulness stems from the worldwide authority of the beast. We have all been born into the worldwide domination of the beast. Only by dying to sin through Christ can we escape the authority of Satan.
We can visualize the principles of Babylon (the rulebook of Satan) easily by comparing the commandments of Christ with the teachings of this world.
The seventh head of the beast was undoubtedly Adolph Hitler. No other 'head' had a more virulent impact on the House of Israel. Scripture indicated that his reign would be very short. Hitler's was.
Prophecy teaches that an eighth head will arise at the very end of time, and will actually be the reincarnation of one of the first six heads. "I saw that one of its heads seemed to have had a fatal wound but that this deadly injury had healed and, after that, the whole world had marvelled and followed the beast." (Rv.13:3).
Most Bible scholars see this reincarnation as the rebirth of a pagan Rome. But powerful prophecies point with equal strength to Persia. Elements of both are certain to exist in the final fulfillment of these visions.