This is an update of an
article I first posted 2 years ago. Two things prompted me to post it again
at this time. First, it’s a good follow up to last week’s article on the
growth of Islam. And second, last week, at the last minute, Turkey booted
out of a joint training exercise also involving
and the US. When
they withdrew in protest, Turkey
responded by scheduling a training exercise with Syria instead. The reason Turkey gave was
Israel’s inability to deliver an order of Heron
surveillance drones to Turkey on the agreed schedule, even though it was
the failure of a part produced by Turkey that made on time delivery
has been distancing itself from Israel since the Gaza offensive, and on top of the canceled
training exercise recently began airing a TV series depicting Israeli
soldiers as child killers. Inside sources indicate that Turkish PM Erdogan
has become convinced that Turkey
is destined to play a more pivotal role in Middle Eastern politics by
reviving the Ottoman Empire. To that end Turkey has been more involved in MidEast
diplomacy, acting as a mediator between Syria
and Israel, and has
formed a pact with Syria
that features increased military and commercial involvement among the
three. Some see in this the re-birth of an end times military force known as
the King of the North in Daniel 11. Let’s take a closer look.
The Kings Of The North
And The South
“At the time of the end
the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North
will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of
ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.”
Three separate kings are
in view in this one verse and their identities must be discovered to fully
understand what will happen in the days leading up to the end. They are the
King of the North, the King of the South, and the one who was identified in
Daniel 11:36 as the king who exalts himself. We call him the anti-Christ.
All of Daniel 11:4-35 has been taken up with a discussion of various
generations of the King of the North and the King of the South, but the King
who exalts himself is neither, and subdues them both.
First, the King of the
North. The vision of Daniel 11 was given in 536BC and begins with an angel
telling him what would happen to the
Kingdom then in power.
After 3 more Persian Kings, a fourth would arise, an especially rich and
powerful King. This Persian King, who we know as Xerxes I, took as his queen
the Jewish woman Hadassah, called Esther in the Persian language (Esther
2:16-17). He put together a mighty army and mounted an unsuccessful attempt
to conquer Greece
in 480BC. About 150 years later the tables would be turned and a King from
Greece would conquer the Persian Empire. This was fulfilled by Alexander the Great.
Then Daniel was told in
effect that Alexander’s Kingdom would be divided into four pieces according
to the four winds of heaven, not going to his offspring. (After Alexander’s
death his four generals divided up the Kingdom among them.) The next 30
verses are devoted to the families of two of the four, Seleucus, known in
Daniel 11 as the first King of the North and Ptolemy, the first King of the
South. 135 historically confirmed prophecies are contained in the first 35
verses of Daniel 11, most having to do with the descendants of these two
men. The other two generals, Cassander (West) and Lysimachus (East) are not
mentioned here, but in fact Cassander went back to their homeland and ruled
over Macedonia, and Lysimachus eventually lost his portion to Seleucus.
So the first kings of
the North and the South were Seleucus and Ptolemy. For territory Seleucus
eventually got control of what we now know as
Lebanon, Iraq, Iran,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Turkey. Reigning for a time from Babylon in modern Iraq,
he built a new capital city 20 miles to the south east on the Tigris river
and named it Seleucia.
Ptolemy took Libya, Egypt, the Sudan,
Israel and Jordan, and chose Alexandria
as his capital.
descendants, these two kings fought each other for control of the known
world for the next several hundred years. Then Daniel 11:33-35 brings us to
the Macabean revolt when the last important King of the North, Antiochus IV
Epiphanes, was defeated.
History To Prophecy
Up till now this has all
been a recounting of history. Beginning in verse 36 we fast forward to the
time of the end when modern versions of these two kings will go after the
anti-Christ. What would make them do that? Well, here’s where we get a
little more speculative. There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that
a struggle is underway between Arab Moslems and non-Arab Moslems for control
of the emerging Islamic Empire. The goal of Islam is a single Islamic World
Empire, or Caliphate as it’s called, and there’s fierce competition to see
who can bring it about. This competition finds
Iran, and the countries aligned with it, pitted against Egypt and its allies. The Iran group is
largely non-Arab and Shiite and the Egyptian group is largely Arab and
It should not surprise
students of prophecy to learn that Iran’s
group is almost identical in territory to the Biblical King of the North and Egypt’s group is a modern equivalent of the King
of the South, with the addition of Saudi
and absent Israel.
(Of all the countries involved,
is the biggest anomaly here, being Arab speaking and predominately Sunni.
Maybe this is why Iran
reportedly has a contingency plan to depose Bashar Assad if it becomes
But remember, according
to Daniel 12:1 we’re talking about the beginning of the Great Tribulation
here. Both Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39 will occur before this competition
for Moslem supremacy comes to a head. This tells us that while Syria will
cease to be a factor after Isaiah 17 and is not even mentioned in Ezekiel
38, Iran will neither be pre-emptively destroyed by the US and/or Israel
(even if an attempt is made) nor completely taken out of play because of
Ezekiel’s battle, and will recover to contend for Moslem supremacy.
Ezekiel’s phrase “ send
down fire” (Ezekiel 39:6), which many believe to be a reference to nuclear
warfare, is directed at Magog, the distant coastlines (somewhere beyond the
Mediterranean) and the battle field in Israel. No mention is made of any
destruction in Persia (Iran). Whatever
Iranian forces are involved in Israel
will be decimated, but
itself will survive.
Followers of middle East
politics can already spot the jockeying between these two groups for Islamic
supremacy. For instance, remember how Osama bin Laden, a Sunni from Saudi
Arabia, condemned the Shiite Hezbollah for “prematurely” going to war with
Israel in the summer of 2006? Even though Israel is their common enemy, he
warned the Arab world not to support the Hezbollah action. Lately it’s been
rumored that if push comes to shove, Saudi Arabian air space will be opened
to Israeli jets on their way to bomb Iranian nuclear targets. (Although
reported in the British news, Saudi Arabian officials deny this.)
And notice how Iran has
displaced Saudi Arabia as
the primary sponsor for Hamas, even though Hamas is Sunni. To win this
competition, you have to control
Jerusalem. All of Iran’s
positioning with Hamas, Syria, and Hezbollah is directed
toward that end.
If this view is correct
we should expect to see more jockeying between these two groups, building to
a point where at the outset of the Great Tribulation only a king superior in
power and authority to both can unite them. This superior King will have to
be an Islamic figure with an even greater right to head the Caliphate than
either the King of the North or the King of the South, and even then they
won’t give up without a battle.
Of course this view
requires that the one world religion of the last days will be Islam, not
some version of Catholicism or New Age pantheism. And it makes it more
likely that when the anti-Christ emerges, he’ll come from the Eastern leg of
the Roman Empire, not the West.
Constantinople (Istanbul) is also known as a
city on seven hills, is a former capitol of the Roman Empire, and can just
as easily fulfill the prophecy of Rev. 17:9 as Rome does.
As details of Islamic
eschatology become more widely known, prophecy students are discovering
striking similarities between descriptions of al Mahdi, sometimes called the
Moslem Messiah, or 12th Imam, and a figure from Christian eschatology called
the anti-Christ. I’ve made mention of them in previous articles, how in
their respective prophecies both come on the scene during a time of great
turmoil on Earth, both come claiming a desire to restore peace, both have a
seven year reign, both head a one world religion and one world government,
both claim supernatural origins, and both reigns end in a battle between
good and evil that brings Earth’s final judgment.
He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will
be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not
escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the
riches of Egypt, with the
Libyans and Nubians (Sudan)
in submission. (Daniel 11:41-42)
This view also provides
the first plausible explanation I’ve seen for why Daniel was told that
present day Jordan will be spared in this Grand Caliph’s
“holy” quest to put the world under submission, even though Egypt, Lybia and the Sudan will be forced to bow. Sunni
Moslems believe that the Grand Caliph has to be an Arab from the Hashemite
family of which King Abdullah II of Jordan is the current patriarch.
This helps explain Abdullah’s extra-ordinary influence in middle eastern
affairs and why he “unofficially” controls the Temple Mount.
The Hashemites once held sway over the entire Middle
and served as custodians of all Moslem Holy Sites.
I’m not saying that
Abdullah II is the anti-Christ. Remember, Daniel 11:41 says that Jordan and
its leaders will be delivered from the anti-Christ’s control. I believe Jordan will be
left alone out of deference to King Abdullah’s genealogy as the 43rd direct
descendant of the prophet through Mohamed’s daughter Fatima, and his closest
No, it’s more likely
that al Mahdi (also known as the anti-Christ) who will be senior even to
Abdullah II, will bring the Kings of the North and the South into submission
while sparing Jordan. Incredibly,
in a way only God could manage, this makes Petra,
a mountainous area about 3 hours south of Jordan’s capitol Ahman, the perfect
hiding place for the believing Jews during the Great Tribulation.
And this view explains
why, with all the quicker and easier ways of executing people available, the
one mentioned in Revelation is beheading. We’ve only recently been made
aware of Islamic terrorists’ preference for this method. For generations
Biblical scholars were ridiculed for their insistence on a literal
understanding of beheading as the method of execution in Tribulation times.
That all changed when we got to
The biggest mistake the
West makes is to ignore the religious undercurrents in the Islamic Middle
East. As recent events have already shown, Moslems will always choose to be
governed by Islamic law rather than western style democracy, given the
chance. Their religion teaches them that Islamic law is more just. And the
goal of Islam is a world wide Caliphate where there are only two kinds of
people, those who submit and those who are targets for execution.
He was given power to
give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and
cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. (Rev. 13:15)
And I saw the souls of
those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because
of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had
not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. (Rev. 20:4)
If you listen carefully,
you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah.