War is coming!
According to the prophet Daniel there will be a final battle between the King of the North and the King of the South which will also see other nations drawn into the conflict as they were in the two previous World Wars. Historically there have already been at least six wars fought between the Kings of the North with the kings of the South and these previous wars in history all teach us about a final conflict that will occur in the middle-east between the last King of the North with the last King of the South.
Daniel writes; “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (Daniel 11:40-45)
Seleucus and Ptolemy
Historically, the first kings of the North and the South were Seleucus and Ptolemy. These were two of the four generals that split Alexander the Great’s Empire into four parts after he died. The two empires that Daniel focused on were the Seleucid and the Ptolemy empires which fought each other in several battles. For territory Seleucus eventually got control of what we now know as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Turkey. He reigned for a time from Babylon in modern Iraq and 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. According to history and the book of Daniel there was a prolonged war between these two kingdoms.
Daniel records these wars in the earlier part of Daniel chapter eleven. There were six wars between the Ptolemy and Seleucid kingdoms from 274 BC to 168 BC. The last major king of the North to immerge was Antiochus Epiphanes the Seleucid Greek General who swept down into Egypt and then into the Land of Israel, invaded the city of Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple Mount. If you look at the same geographical areas today that made up the kingdoms of Seleucus and Ptolemy you can well see another North and South conflict brewing.
Today the King of the North could turn out to be ‘General’ Erdogan, as he is now being called, the man from Turkey. The King of the South may turn out to be President Trump of the United States of America and its allies that will seek to regain Egypt from Turkish occupation. Historically parts of Turkey were under Seleucid rule. It could be that the next King of the North will be the Antichrist himself in the man from Turkey leading a vast army from the countries of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Turkic speaking southern States of Russia and Turkey itself which all together would easily field a 200 million man army armed to the teeth with missiles by which a third of mankind will perish. (Revelation 9:13-19) The ultimate goal of the King of the North (the Man from Turkey) would be the global spread of Islam, the destruction of Israel and the subjugation of those countries in the South that are moderate Muslims and aligned with the western powers. These nations following the King of the North would be Islamic fundamentalists bent on conquering the world for Islam and the glory of Allah. Not only this, but with Islam making inroads to Europe, those nations in Europe conquered by Islam, will join their armies with the Islamic ones. This has happened in past history when Islam went to war. The aim of this last King of the North will be the invasion of Israel.
The Invasion Force
The Bible actually names these nations. In Ezekiel chapter 38 we are told what nations will invade Israel in the last days. “
“And the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.” (Ezekiel 38:1-6)
Firstly, there is Gog, of the land of Magog the Chief Prince of Meshach and Tubal. Now Gog or “Gygez,” was a real historical person from Turkey and lived around the same time that Ezekiel was writing his prophecy. Today Magog would be Turkey, parts of Southern Russia such as the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan with around 60 million Muslims, and possibly northern parts of Afghanistan. Also it would include Northern Iran, Syria and the Turkic Regions of Central Asia. Secondly, we have Meschech and Tubal which is also located in Modern Turkey. Thirdly, there is Persia which today of course is Iran. Fourthly, there is Cush which today would be the Sudan and even includes Somalia. Put today would include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya. Fifthly, there is Gomer which is located in North Central Turkey today. Togarmah is Eastern Turkey.
Some have suggested that Gomer is Germany. When you consider Germany’s relationship with Turkey and the huge influx of Muslim refugees into Germany it may well be that Germany’s anti-Semitic roots will surface again and the armies of Germany will fight under the Turkish Ottoman banner. Time will tell of course. All of these countries mentioned in Ezekiel Chapter 38 that invade Israel and sack Jerusalem are all Muslim countries today. It is interesting that most of these countries at one time or other were part of the Roman Empire. This was the Eastern Leg of the Roman Empire that came to be known as Byzantium until its demise at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople (Istanbul today) was conquered by the Ottoman Army, under the command Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II on 29th May 1453. With this conquest Ottomans became an Empire and one of the most powerful empires, The Eastern Roman Empire fell. It has lasted for a thousand years after the fall of Rome in the west to the barbarian hordes.
‘Alarm bells’ for the Antichrist
Daniel also tells us that the Antichrist will be alarmed about reports from the East and the North. (Daniel 11: 44) North of Turkey is Russia and east of Turkey is Red China. Both of these nations will not allow Islamic supremacy in their countries. Even though China has Muslims living on its border it will never allow Islam into mainland China and the Muslims know it. Russia has Christian Orthodox roots and Putin is in bed with the Orthodox Church which, by the way, is primarily anti evangelical. Even though there are many Muslims living in Russia and many serving in the armed forces it still remains to this day a Christian Orthodox country.
Seeing the bigger picture
As we see the conflict in Syria escalating in violence and intensity we also need to see the bigger picture Biblically as God sees it. Eventually the Assad regime will fall and Damascus destroyed. (Isaiah 17:1) I am persuaded that Turkey and Iran have an agenda and this is to sweep all of the Middle-east and parts of Africa into the fundamentalist Islamic fold and as much of Europe as they can. ‘General’ Erdogan’s desire is to see the revived Turkish Ottoman Caliphate become greater than the empire of the greatest Caliph of the previous Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent and there are no guesses as to whom he sees as the supreme Caliph of the Islamic world?
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I (ruled from 1520-1566) is regarded as the greatest Ottoman ruler. He was called the “lawgiver” (kanuni) by his Muslim subjects because of his strict code and enforcement of Sharia law throughout his empire. In Europe, however, he was known as Suleiman the Magnificent in recognition of his prowess by those who had most to fear from it. His European contemporaries included Tsar Ivan the Terrible and King Henry VIII. His official title was at home was Suleiman, Commander of the Faithful, Shadow of God on Earth, Protector of the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Lord of Lords of the World, East and West. These sorts of tiles and accolades have overtones of one who is treated as ‘deity.’ It is little wonder that ‘Caliph’ Erdogan has the same ambitions as Suleiman had. When Suleiman died in 1566, the Ottoman Empire was a world power. Most of the great cities of Islam–Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, and Baghdad–were under the sultan’s crescent flag. The Ottoman Court of government exercised direct control over Anatolia, the sub-Danubian Balkan provinces, Syria, Israel, and Mesopotamia. Egypt, Mecca, and the North African provinces were governed under special regulations, as were satellite domains in Arabia and the Caucasus, and among the Crimean Tartars. In addition, the native rulers of Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) were vassals of the sultan.”
A ‘Divine’ Caliph?
If ‘General’ Erdogan is the antichrist then he will undoubtedly want the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and to be heralded as the supreme Caliph of the whole Islamic world. He wants to have the Turkish Embassy in East Jerusalem because it would give him access to the Temple Mount. If the Man from Turkey turns out to be the man of sin who wants to be worshipped as God on the Temple Mount then Satan will also be indwelling him by the time he establishes his caliphate in Jerusalem. (Daniel 11:36) (2 Thessalonians 2:4) (Revelation 13:5-8) He will become “the lawgiver” in the character of Suleiman as it were and seek to change the laws and customs of Israel and impose Islamic Sharia law and government on the Jewish people as Suleiman the Magnificent did throughout his empire. (Daniel 7:25) When you consider the desires and the activities of Antiochus Epiphanies it would seem that the Man from Turkey fits the bill Biblically.
His end is assured
The Antichrist’s ultimate goal of course is to make his headquarters in Jerusalem and he will succeed for three and a half years. He will succeed for “a time, times and half a time until the power of the Holy people has been broken” (Daniel 12:7B) and then his end will come with no one to help him. God will see to it personally! (Daniel 11:45) For the sake of His elect saints God will even cut those days short and send the Lord Jesus to rescue His faithful followers, deliver Israel from all of her enemies, terminate the Antichrist and his armies, judge the surviving nations and inaugurate the Messianic Kingdom. (Daniel 2:32-35, 44-45; 7:9-12, 17, 21-22; 26-27)
The ‘Sheep’ and the ‘Goat nations’
When we look at Matthew Chapter 24 we cannot relegate what the Lord Jesus said would happen only to 70AD and say it has no future application. It did apply to 70AD but that event foreshadowed the ultimate one to come at the end of this age. When we look at Matthew Chapter 24 we also have to look at Chapter 25 as they are connected. The judgement between the Sheep and the Goat nations by the Messiah did not occur in 70AD or thereafter. It is still to happen in the future after the Lord Jesus has come back. (Matthew 25:31-46) The judgement of the nations concerns how they have treated Israel, Jesus’ brethren, the Jewish people.
Behold I am coming soon!
During the last three and a half years of this present age Michael, the great prince who protects Israel will arise. All those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be saved out of it. (Daniel 12:1-3) They will resurrected and raptured to reign with the Messiah on earth but the rest of the unbelieving dead in hell will not be resurrected until the Thousand Year Messianic Kingdom is transfigured into the final and eternal state. (Revelation 21) Those who have hated the Lord Jesus and spurned God’s laws and commandments will also be resurrected to eternal damnation. They will appear before the Great White Throne for sentencing because they have already been judged in this life for rejecting the Lord Jesus and His offer of salvation. (John 3:18) (Revelation 20:11-15) As for those who are wise and shine with the brightness of the heavens and have led many to righteousness, like the stars, they will shine forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3) They will have the right to end the City of God. As the Lord Jesus spoke to His servant John; “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation 22:12-15)
A tale of two cities
There are only two cities or two kingdoms and we either belong to one or the other. It is the tale of two cities namely the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. We cannot be in both cities. Either we belong to the God of the Bible or to Satan the god of this world. We cannot have it both ways. Either you are a bond slave to the Lord Jesus, having received His righteousness by faith and are heaven bound or you are a slave to Satan and to sin and bound for hell. Right now are you in the City of God or the City of Satan?
Under New Management!
There is a story told of a young man who was born again through faith in the Lord Jesus. He knew nothing about the things of the kingdom of god but was elated that Jesus had saved him. He was running down the street wanting to tell everyone he met about how the Lord Jesus had saved him. As he passed a certain place he saw a sign with a rope attached to the wall and grabbed it without a second thought and put it around his neck. The sign read; “Under New Management!” Do you really want the Lord Jesus to save you from an eternal hell? If so then a change of management over your life is required. What must you do to be saved?
You must repent
You firstly need to repent of your rebellion and sin and violation of the laws and commandment of God and offer no excuses for them but confess all of them to God. You have failed to keep the 10 Commandments and have broken most them in one way or another and you stand condemned in God’s Court Room. You must change from a Jesus hating, Jesus rejecting way of life to a Jesus loving, Jesus accepting way of life. This is Biblical repentance.
You must believe only on the Lord Jesus Christ to save you
After you have repented then by faith believe on the Lord Jesus the Messiah who bled and died for your sin and rebellion that He might give you the free gift of His salvation and His righteousness through faith and not by anything you can do. As it is written; “For by grace (God’s unmerited favour) you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13) He will justify you on the basis of the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus and through faith in that blood to protect you from God’s wrath upon sin at the end of this age. (Romans 5:9) You can only come to God through Him. The Lord Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth and the life, none coms to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6) It is also written; “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12)
You must receive the Holy Spirit by faith.
The Lord Jesus Himself said; “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:11-13) On the Day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit had been poured out we read what happened to those who had been convicted of their unbelief in Jesus as Saviour, Lord and the Messiah; “Now when they heard this, (Peter’s sermon) they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:37-39)
Pardon in abundance can be yours
Will you come? God says He will receive you when you repent and believe on Him who shed His blood to fully atone for your sins. “Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon!” (Isaiah 55:6-7) The Antichrist is coming and so is the Great Tribulation and everything that comes with it but so is the Lord Jesus also coming back to put everything right. Are you ready to meet Him when He comes? Will you have the garments of His salvation on when He returns? As it is written; “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” As the LORD says through the prophet Isaiah; “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:1-2) Will you come?