The Kings Of The North And The South
Grace Thru Faith (Link) - Jack Kelley (October 17, 2009)
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 Israel out of a joint training exercise also involving Italy 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 impossible.
Turkey 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 and Iran 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.� (Daniel 11:40)
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 Persian 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 Syria, 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 in Egypt as his capital.
Through their 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 Maccabean 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 Sunni.
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 Arabia and absent Israel. (Of all the countries involved, Syria 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 necessary.)
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 Iran 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.
A Non-Traditional Perspective
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 East 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 living relative.
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 Iraq.
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. (Revelation 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. (Revelation 20:4)
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah.
I agree with Jack's perspective regarding the timing of Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39. I'm still divided and observing his "non-traditional perspective" regarding an Islamic antichrist. It could very well play out that way and there is enough on both sides that keeps me watching. Having shared his reasoning behind the Islamic antichrist, let me share a little on a Western one.
One of the main reasons behind this belief is the political infrastructure already present and powerful throughout the western world. While this teeters with much of the worlds energy being exported from the Middle East, it seems to me that the primary infrastructure and technology necessary to implement the kinds of global control prophesied are of Western origin and control. Could this change with enough economic crisis and power in Islamic countries? Maybe, but it seems also to me that while Islam boasts of global domination, it is also much more divided than the West to accomplish it alone.
Another strong reason I hold in a Western antichrist comes from the Bible studies I did on the fourth kingdom. With the combination of the symbology and history of a woman riding (directing) the beast, it seems clear to me that Europe, a revived Roman Empire is the center of political power for the man of sin.
I believe that whatever side one wants to take on the issue, mankind's mutual enemy uses all sides as puppets for his purposes, betraying whoever along the way to reach his goal. I believe the forces of radical Islam serve a purpose in the angry masses willing to do whatever for the sake of Allah. They strike the chord of fear in those without a solid spiritual foundation that don't understand the spiritual warfare being waged for the souls of mankind. Yes I believe Islam will play a very large role in the prophesied end-times, the full details of that role and how they will get there are still no completely clear. We see through a glass darkly.
link: A most compelling proof that Muhammad taught his followers to advance the cause of Allah by the use of the sword, is provided by the example of his immediate successors, known as Califs. They followed his intense fanaticism in waging relentless wars of conquests against Christians, Jews, and pagans. In a relatively short time they carved an enormous empire for themselves. At the height of their power, the Muslims' territories stretched from northern Africa and southern Europe in the West to the borders of modern India and China in the East. Their battle cry was: "Before you is paradise, and behind you are death and hell."
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
As for the West, if you've read Recommendation 666, you see the road signs that we have been passing with little fanfare from most of the population. Again we see through a glass darkly, but hindsight is 20/20 and there is much that has already happened that should perk the attention of the watchmen out there. While timing remains the big question, we've seen Europe go from many nations to a regional governance with a single currency over the past 50 years, viewed as an example to aspirations for global governance. With the economic crisis, America - once the most powerful nation in the world - is being brought down from that position and we're seeing Europe coming out in much better shape. In addition we're seeing more and more that while the New World Order may not be one nation, it is one governance as international law takes greater precedence in a world afraid of destroying the earth ecologically and through wars and rumors of wars.
As I said, the enemy of mankind has much to gain from using both of these diverse angles to gain power. With the increasingly secular humanist West and their brainwashing, mixed with the power and religious fervor of radical Islam, could Satan gain the power to rule over the earth in his appointed time? I believe so. Though exactly how hasn't been made completely clear yet, this is my thought on the matter.
The man of sin (antichrist):
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Here we see the symbology of the beast with seven heads that can be combined with Daniel 2:26-47 and Daniel 7:1-11 laying out the history of these kingdoms yet waiting for the final kingdom to be made clearer. We see that a leader will be given position and power by the dragon (Satan) that will last for 42 months (3 1/2 years) and that the world will be amazed at his resurrection and will worship this now powerful leader. It also says that he will make war with the saints (those whose names are not written in the book of life) and will overcome them.
The false prophet:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
This second beast comes up out of the earth and has two horns like a lamb but speaks as a dragon. God is love and Satan and his fallen angels represent that which is not of God, hatred and death. Notice also that he has the same power as the man of sin does and forces those under his power to worship the man of sin, doing great wonders like calling fire from heaven, deceiving the people by these "miracles." For those that require signs and wonders to believe, this will be a powerful delusion. Moreover he can give life to the image (idol) of the beast and forces those under him to worship it. He is also the enforcer of the infamous "mark of the beast."
The 12th Mahdi is expected to rise from a well on Qom at some point in the future. This is a Shi'ite Islam's expected leader and while the Sunni sect doesn't necessarily hold to the same belief in this 12th Mahdi, would that make much difference if he came with such signs and lying wonders?
I've thought for some time, perhaps incorrectly, that somehow the two extreme centers of power, Islam and the West, will necessarily merge in some way at some point. If it was under the fear of crisis mixed with the power of signs and wonders, could a common message of the Western antichrist unite with the message of the Islamic Caliphate to bring about an unholy union of the world into the final form of the New Age religion, the worship of Lucifer? With the mutual hatred of Israel, I could see this as another uniting force between Islam and the West. There is a time of great tribulation coming in Israel and then the world and while it is not here yet, those forces in Islam chomping at the bit to run Israel into the sea will one day be given their chance. With their leader enlightening them on the true Islam and the West in fear and awe of the man of sin, are we seeing the perfect storm brewing on the horizon that will culminate in the most destructive and bloody time on earth? Keep watching.
The message of the Bible is not one of fear, but rather warning us that an existence without the loving God who created you and I should shake us to our core and bring us to see that we cannot exist without Him. God doesn't let bad things happen because He's bad, He honors the gift of free will given to mankind when we ate from the forbidden fruit, consequences and all. He's given us ample warning throughout history of what happens without Him there and even made sure the written history and the story of our future would be preserved through thousands of years as a guiding light for all who would listen. And for those who listen and obey He has promised time without end in His presence because His Son Yeshua (Jesus) took the sin that separates us from God upon Himself. So even in the gloom of what is coming on the horizon, stand firm in the faith and believing the promise of eternity. The worst years of torment in this life aren't even a blink compared to eternity and what God has in store for them that love Him. Learn more at your local Holy Bible!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.