Started Small But Grew in Power
Daniel wrote that the coming ruler of the world will have a lowly beginning. In fact, nobody will even expect that his country will rise to military power and its king to become the Antichrist. In Daniel 8:9,23-25 it says:
We are seeing that happening today. That nation is Iraq, a poor, war ravaged country with very slow economic recovery on sight. How did that nation start as a world power? The history of Iraq is perhaps, the world's oldest. It was known to be the Cradle of Civilization, where all nations came from, in fact, the paradise of Eden where Adam and Eve were created was located somewhere in this land. Its rise to power was prophesied in the Book of Daniel chapter 8, the story between two warring kingdoms that lasted for generations.
The Ram and the Goat
After the revelations of the kingdoms that had and will have direct effect on God’s chosen people, Israel and the Christians, Daniel again saw a vision about the Ram and the Goat. This time, the vision has centered on a specific kingdom from where the Antichrist will come. Read the whole chapter and then follow the Bible’s own interpretation listed below.
Verses 4, 20:
Verses 5, 21:
This refers to Alexander the Great of Greece. The shaggy goat therefore was the same Kingdom of Bronze of Daniel 2 and the leopard in Daniel 7. Alexander conquered the whole known world in his era and lamented that there was no more kingdom to conquer. He never had rest on the lands he conquered until he had fulfilled his obsession of personally conquering all known kingdoms of his time.
Verses 8, 22:
Verses 9, 23–25:
The event jumps up to the last days close to the Second Coming of Christ. It is very clear therefore that the Antichrist shall come from the Leopard Kingdom somewhere in the Middle East (Out of one of them came another horn). These are the different regions or horns that were discussed above:
Some theologians claim that the horn that started small but grew in power was Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the madman in 175 BC. He had actually fulfilled it in part but not totally. He was a great persecutor of the Jews and massacred many of them. He desecrated the Holy Temple, but the real madman is still to come. In fact, he may already be with us today, waiting to fulfill the prophecies.
The prophecies were naming the kingdoms based on their original locations. In the phrase "to the South and to the East and toward the Beautiful Land," the South refers to the Kingdom of Egypt, the East is the Kingdom of Assyria, and the Beautiful Land is the Kingdom of Israel.
The Beautiful Land are Israel and Europe and Egypt (South), is the United States of America. In other versions, it is called the Pleasant Land since it is the fruit and fulfillment of the great birthright promise of God to Joseph and to his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (read Genesis 49:25–26). He shall stand against the Prince of princes and eventually will be destroyed by the Spirit of God. How about the the phrase "to the East?"
But take note, the East is referring to no other land except the old rival country, Persia, the country of Iran.
The Antichrist Will Come from Iraq
Which particular place then in the Middle East shall the Antichrist originate from? The Bible also reveals it in the book of Isaiah 21:9:
Read also in Revelation 14:8 and Revelation 18:2.
And in Nahum 1:11, it says,
Nineveh was the capital of old Assyria, the kingdom that invaded the northern House of Israel, the same kingdom that was overran by Babylon. Both Babylon and Assyria are in the same place of the present–day Iraq.
In Isaiah 21:19, Revelation 14:8, and Revelation 18:2, Babylon was quoted to fall twice. The Kingdom of Babylon was the Lion Kingdom and also the Kingdom of Gold. Read Who Are the Ten Horns of the Beast? - Part 1 for details.
Babylon was one of the earliest kingdoms in biblical history. It was first known as Babel. It was established by Nimrod (Gen 10:10), a grandchild of Ham, a son of Noah. Babylon was located in the valley of Shinar or the Mesopotamia Valley. In history, this is called the Cradle of Civilization. Its founder, Nimrod was great hunter before (in some manuscripts, against) the Lord. He was a great leader of his time. One of the centers of his kingdoms, Babel, as we already know, was founded on evil purpose – to build a tower aimed to reach the clouds. The flood still very fresh from memory, they might have thought that a very high tower would be the best refuge whenever the flood might occur again. Of course we know that it was a wrong way on how to be protected by God. They relied on their own power. Nimrod was responsible then for leading his people away from being God centered. God cut his kingdom short by confusing their language so that the people and the builders of the tower could not understand each other. As a result, the people were scattered, each to their language, and the tower was never completed. Read the story of the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1–8.
So the first Babylon did not really prosper in Nimrod’s time. Suddenly, that small kingdom “resurrected” to world power under King Nebuchadnezzar many, many generations thereafter. Its center was located in the same valley, in the same place where it had originated. That time it had grown so big and became world superpower. This Babylon was accountable for the complete fall of the House of Judah. It was also the kingdom counted as the first great kingdom of the world. Because it held into captivity the people of Israel, it was called the kingdom of “gold” in Daniel 2 and “lion” in Daniel 7. Eventually, Babylon fell at the hands of Cyrus the Great, the Persian. That was the first fall of Babylon. The second fall shall occur during the Lord’s Second Coming.
Where will we expect therefore the Babylon of the book of Revelation to originate from? It should originate from the same Babylon of Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar. The prophecy on Confirmation of the Covenant by Daniel is about repeating history and therefore, Babylon shall rise again. Today, the old Babylon, the capital city of the Babylonian Kingdom is just a small deserted place of ancient ruins in the heart of Iraq, just ninety kilometers south of Baghdad, the nation’s capital. Just like the old, original Babel, the coming new Babylon will be a mixture of different languages, even religions, races, and cultures because it shall be global. Read Who Are the Ten Horns of the Beast? - Part 2 for details. This diversity and disunity are symbolized by the feet of iron and clay in the great image of a man in Daniel 2. There are two kinds of materials that cannot be mixed up, no unity and therefore weak. However, the center of this new Kingdom of Babylon of the last days is wealthy because the Antichrist will pitch his throne in America. Read New York City: The Throne of the Antichrist for details.
The United States in Decline?
Iraq today is still suffering the effect of the years of war and Western occupation as the aftermath of 9/11. To the Iraqis, they may think, that they have suffered injustice. Saddam Hussein, who was the ruler of Iraq and later killed was accused of supporting terrorism and secretly keeping weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, there was not enough evidence until today to prove that according to Iraq Survey Group reports. The U.S. troops will be leaving Iraq by the end of this year, 2011. What shall we expect on Iraq after that? On the other side, the question should also be, 'what happens to the U.S. after the Iraq era?'
Come to think of how easy for the West to decide on invading Iraq for the suspicion of keeping WMD and supporting terrorism. And also consider now that the same situation is happening in Iran which is close to developing or may already possess nuclear weapons, far deadlier than what Saddam Hussein could have possibly owned. Why is the West is very hesitant in making war against Iran this time?
The reason is, it is coming to a point where it is already becoming difficult for the U.S. to make war against "rogue" nations than it was twenty years ago. The tide is slowly rising on the enemy's side. Many think, America is in decline. The O'Reilly Factor Show surveyed the Americans and here's the result:
However, there will be another attempt that the United States (South or Egypt) will make war against the North. The North is one of the the nations north of Israel that is commonly covered by the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Macedonian empires. Again the North is Iraq, the birthplace of the oldest biblical kingdom, Babel. That time, Iraq shall have already grown in power. InDaniel 11:40-43, it says,
The United States is actually the modern Egypt, being Manasseh, son of Joseph to an Egyptian wife. Read The Real Roots of America for details. The passage above shows that this time around, the U.S. will not succeed. The U.S. will find itself fighting a nation which was weak but becomes strong that is not of human but from the Devil.
But soon, the Antichrist will meet his end but likewise, that end will not be of human power. He will be defeated by Jesus Christ.
It is time to realize that world peace and security is not attained by human power either. Let us not depend on weapons. It is not by making war that we achieve peace, prosperity or prevent war. Was there any real gain for the U.S. and the West in making war against Iraq and Afghanistan? Do Iraq and Afghanistan gain from it? Can the West be considered a winner in those wars? The answers to these questions may vary depending on whom we asked. But the bottom-line is the Truth. The Bible says, those who draw the sword will die by it (Matt 26:52) and the West will eventually reap what they sow. So, let us instead draw near to God who is the only source of real peace and our true protector from all threats.
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