February 29, 2012

Apocalypse Prophecy XXVIII: Evil In A Long Line Of Evil-Part III: The Godless of War

At the end of Daniel chapter 11 we see the wars of Antichrist in verses 40–45, and the time of this conflict is declared to be “the time of the end”. The end of all things and the final battle terminates with the destruction of Antichrist at the beautiful holy mountain (v. 45) followed by the resurrection of the saints (12:2). These events have obviously not yet transpired, and the “end” here must be the final days of the present age. The “chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships” are symbolic of modern counterparts. Although “the king of the South” represented an Egyptian leader; and “the king of the North,” the Syrian king, in the end times this seems to change. These kings must symbolize nations or confederations of nations that exist in the last days. Unless something changes dramatically neither Egypt nor Syria today qualify as world leaders of the stature of their ancient counterparts. Annoying tyrants yes, powers…no. These territorial North and South must be in relation to Israel. The “king of the North” in this context seems to be Antichrist but could be someone else. The “king of the South” is anyone’s guess right now. Whoever the kingdom of the South is it has to have enough might to challenge Antichrist.

In verses 36–39 Antichrist is simply called “the king,” not the “king of the North.” Antichrist is from Rome (not directly north of Israel). But Babylon was northeast of Judah yet it is referred to as “the land of the north” because the invasion came from that direction. Ezekiel 38 and 39 also predict an invasion from the north. Until recently this enemy has been viewed as Russia as it is mighty and due north. The easiest and most logical explanation of the King of the North is Antichrist in this situation. Any other explanation becomes extremely convoluted and subject to pure speculation which I am currently flirting with myself.

In light of modern politics and geopolitical situations the most sensible arrangement for a king of the North seems to be a confederacy of northern Arab nations that occupy the area controlled by the ancient Seleucids. But that only applies to today in 2012. As the world changes so would this current scenario. In all probability…it will change because every generation believes it’s the final one and they are always wrong. Regardless, this league of nations or confederation fails against Antichrist.

A southern force will then attack Antichrist (possibly “the king of the North”), and Antichrist will retaliate and rout his challenge. He then subsequently invades the “countries” (sovereign entities) of those who have attacked him and will “sweep through them like a flood.” My question here is: Are these real nations as we have always understood them or are they areas of financial blocs or seats of culture different from those around them?

Some believe the massive military campaigns of Ezekiel 38–39 and Daniel 11:40–45 are theoretically impossible to pull off within such a small timeframe so they view these two Scriptural accounts as identical in the mid-Tribulation period. Having seen the technology and speed at which the United States military could mobilize and move troops in the Middle East, I question this assessment. We saw the elapse of hours in the Iraq War, not months or days. Technology has changed the battlefield…pilotless drones anyone?

Gog will be defeated, Antichrist will have “full control of the world,” and his persecutions will begin. Whoever Antichrist is he will have absolute control of the Middle East area. From this base he will branch out like tendrils of a disease or parasite.

Although the enormity of such a conflict preceding the great Battle of Armageddon three years post-hence seems out of the question to many “experts”. If God wills it…who cares what men think? As I have already stated my reasoning previous to this, technology has drastically sped up the ability to blitzkrieg. These battles may by synonymous. We see in verse 41 that Antichrist invades “the Beautiful Land”. “Edom, Moab and Ammon” (v.41) of ancient times were geographically where Jordon is today. This country will avoid battle (somehow). Whether it is because it is outside the Antichrist’s path or because it allies itself with this demonic force is unknown. Verse 42 refers Egypt or some form of coalition from this area. It is highly probably that whoever this is it will be allied with many others in a push to stop Antichrist.

“Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites will be put in submission”. These are areas in North Africa west of Egypt that includes modern-day Libya. Cush was/is an area roughly equivalent to modern Ethiopia and Sudan. Something tells me Ethiopia will not be mustering up a powerful army anytime soon so again I believe we will see congregations of other nations in these areas as “launch points” for attacks on Antichrist. Antichrist will overpower these also.

If the king of the south is Arab countries than Antichrist gaining, “control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt” may very well pertain to the immense wealth of gold crude (oil) in these nations. Gold crude is most prevalently turned into the fuels that power vehicles…and machinations of military machines---as Hitler found out too late…no oil…no machines of war. If these are in Antichrist’s back pocket and not the rest of the world, he has a distinct advantage to wage war with everyone else. What we know for certain is that the powers that emanate from Libya and Ethiopia are named as allies of Gog.

Reports from the east and the north will alarm Antichrist. He will launch and assault that will destroy many. Incensed that anyone would dare oppose his power and authority, he will arrogantly assemble troops with the intent of annihilation. Antichrist will meet these attacking forces in Palestine and “pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain.”

The beautiful holy mountain will probably be Israel/Palestine. Specifically Jerusalem or the place where the Temple was built (known as Mt. Moriah in the OT) and the seas clearly allude to the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. God’s city will be this brute’s headquarters.

Although there will be other battles in other places, Daniel is saying that the final war will be fought in Israel. The Book of Revelation indicates that it will actually be the Valley of Megiddo or Μαγεδών or Har-Meggiddon…Armageddon. Daniel 11 ends with an exacting statement, “there will be no escape for Antichrist when the Lord falls upon him and his empire. He will be destroyed by the splendor of Jesus’ coming. The beast will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

In all there are 135 prophecies literally fulfilled in Daniel 11:1-35. This has to have come from God. We see His omniscience, omnipotence, timelessness, sovereignty and perfection in this book alone (not to mention the remainder of the Holy Bible). There is no other religion or religious text can make this claim…not even close. This should clue people into the extraordinary nature of the Bible. Since no human being can know the future (apart from divine inspiration), there must be a God in heaven who revealed these matters. As scary as these statements about the future are, we must absolutely realize they are coming from a God that knows this and has promised us that the faithful will inevitably be spiritually protected from tribulation in the long run. The assurance that previous prophecy has been fulfilled perfectly assures that prophecy that has not been fulfilled…will follow the same pattern of exactness.

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