THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 2, THE RISE OF PERSIA

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"God has roused the spirit of the king of the Medes, because he has a plan against Babylon to destroy it..." ---Jeremiah 51:11

CHAPTER 10

The Ships of Kittim

"In due time he will make his way southwards again, but this time the outcome will not be as before. The ships of Kittim will oppose him, and he will be worsted."
Dn.11:29-30

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Is the United States of America specifically foreseen in the writings of scripture?

It is not identified by its current name, of course, but then in scripture nothing ever is. Unmistakably, though, by description.

And in these descriptions, its role is pivotal, because it is the country that seems able to single-handedly block the East from taking sole control of the entire planet during the final days of civilization.

According to Daniel, the only government on earth powerful enough to soundly defeat the Rebel and his associates in battle is an island nation far to the west across the sea called 'Kittim'.

Associated with 'Javan' (the western empire responsible for defeating the Ram), Kittim appears destined in prophecy to rise up out of the collapse of Javan to become the last surviving remnant of western civilization at the close of history.

With the discovery of the 'new world' a few hundred years ago, the boundaries of western civilization were greatly expanded. The 'Kittim' (or 'west') of Daniel's time was Rome. The ships of the 'west' that opposed the evil Antiochus -- the beast of Jerusalem -- were Roman ships. And the 'islands of the sea' in his day were the islands of the Mediterranean.

But Daniel's prophesies were not about Antiochus or his times, they were about our times and about the future. And in our days, the boundaries of the West have been moved across the Atlantic Ocean to include the United States.

The Roman Empire which was the powerful west at the time these prophecies were written, is powerful now only in spiritual matters -- in the strength of the Christian nation which bears its name. Militarily and politically, however, it possesses not a thread of its ancient power. It's global military prowess disappeared with the Caesars.

That inheritance, having passed through several European hands, has gone to a western nation that carries with it every bit as much power as the Caesars possessed, and infinitely more -- the United States of America.

Because the world is larger today it is almost certain that the provinces occupied and fought over by the beast will involve greater boundaries than the place names listed in Daniel's prophecies. For this reason, Daniel's place names must be seen as symbolic representations of future boundaries that mirror them in the last days.

A 'west' that is powerful enough to oppose the formidable armies of the beast, block his advances and soundly trounce him and his precursors in military combat will not be any force on the European continent. Only the United States has that kind of 'western' power and there is little chance that this will change in the foreseeable future.

For this reason, the 'islands of the sea' (Dn.11:18, Is.24:15, Ez.26:18) must be considered in terms of the American continent.

Perhaps confirming this, up until just a few years ago the Europeans in their provincialism thought of the western hemisphere as simply 'islands' in a vast ocean that stretched all the way to China.

We can see that kind of thinking in a song written just a few decades ago: 'The Continental', which was an American reference to Europe. Before the 1940's, anyone traveling to Europe from the United States, was said to be going 'to the continent' -- presumably from the islands of the sea.

What Daniel's words seem to imply, therefore, is that although the beast will be given power over Rome, he will not have power over the military might of America. At least not until the very end, because the prophecies indicate that the Rebel's final attack on this last western power will have terminal consequences for world history. (Dn.11:44-12:1).

As we have already seen, the United States will not die when it loses its European and Asian alliances. Although it will be a horn which 'snaps' in relation to most of western civilization (Babylon), it will, by Daniel's terms, remain intact and immensely powerful in its isolation.

The power of this 'west' (Kittim) in Daniel's prophecies is very significant. When the two northern kings destined to head the ten-nation eastern confederacy of the last days appear, neither of them will be successful in their efforts to vanquish this western force in their struggle to take world control. On the contrary, according to Daniel, every time the two engage in military combat, the west will emerge victorious.

For this reason, even at the very height of his power, the great Rebel of the end will not control the entire world. His empire will never include the United States. (Dn.11:40-44). In fact, Daniel seems to indicate that the eastern forces will lose every major battle they engage in against the Americans.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the ruler on whom a great many of Daniel's prophecies are thought to be based, had to measure every one of his moves because of the superior strength of the Romans in the West who were displeased with his aggressions, and, on several occasions, blocked his moves and defeated him on the battlefield.

Daniel's prophecies call for a future repetition of this sequence at the End when the kings of the East pit themselves against the ships and forces of the far West. Daniel reveals that even though some of these conficts will be hard fought, the East will always be forced, ultimately, to withdraw. (Dn.11:30).

The 'ships' of the West foreseen here by Daniel cannot be those of any European power. Only the United States has the kind of naval armada necessary to overpower such a massive eastern force. Daniel's words must apply, therefore, to the ships of the Western Hemisphere -- to the warships of the United States.

We can see elements of this already. Wherever war threatens today in the world, U.S. carriers are sent steaming toward the area to aggressively enforce the peace. Whether it be China, the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean Sea or the Persian Gulf.

Supporting this armada, hundreds of nuclear submarines invisibly patrol the depths of the seas. And each one of them alone carries enough armament to bring human civilization to a halt at the signal of an electronic bell.

While the Bible's prophecies stipulate that the Rebel will have little success against the American forces, he will be much more capable on his own continent. It is clear that he will conquer at least a part of Jerusalem: "God will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women ravished. Half the city will go into captivity, but the remnant of the people will not be cut off from the city." (Zc.14:2).

Daniel indicates that he will withdraw soon after taking the city, but later, filled with a contempt for the holy covenant, will try to recapture Jerusalem again. However, he will be thwarted in this second attempt by the forces of the West. This is similar to what happened to Antiochus IV Epiphanes during his second invasion of Palestine. (Dn.11:29).

After being warned by the Romans to pull back, Antiochus was overwhelmingly defeated by them because he ignored their threats. (Dn.11:30). Humiliated on the battlefield, he abandoned Jerusalem and retired to his own country.

Angered by this bitter defeat at the hands of the Romans, Antiochus turned his wrath inward -- toward the holy covenant and the people who adhered to it.

The implication, of course is that a similar attack on the people of God can be expected at the true End after the forces of the United States administer their crushing defeat on the Rebel as he tries to recapture Jerusalem.

By focusing so strongly on the fury of the Rebel's attack on the holy people, (Dn.11:30), Daniel seems to portray this sequence as the fiercest moment of the tribulation.

The template has been defined as scripture, therefore it must be followed as written. But where Antiochus concentrated on destroying the Jewish religion, the Madman of the last days, when he is forced to abandon Palestine, will refocus his wrath on the Christian communities trapped and scattered throughout his empire. This will involve an enormous number of people.

Unable to destroy the first House of Israel, he will attack its successor. Bent on exterminating even the memory of Christ, the beast's wrath against God's people will be devastating. (Dn.8:10-12). While this purge will involve vast territories, there will be boundaries to the mayhem because the Rebel will not have unlimited world political power.

Many different forces will stand in his way. Daniel's prophecies indicate that the beast will be virtually surrounded by enemies. In addition to his lack of success against the west, reports coming from the north and from the east will worry him (Dn.11:44), and he will be constantly opposed by the forces of the south. Obviously he will not control the entire world. But he will destroy it.

Because of his inability to best the United States in combat, the Rebel's major victories will be restricted for the most part to the eastern hemisphere -- to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Yet given the sophistication of his missiles and his stockpile of nuclear weapons, his forces will have the capacity to wreak havoc anywhere on the globe. (Dn.11:44). And if the end goes the way Jesus has warned that it will, he will do just that. Babylon, her sins reaching to heaven, will be burnt to the ground.

At the time that Babylon is scheduled to fall, the Judea held captive within it will be released and return to Palestine to prepare for its reconciliation with God.

That return is the sign of signs, and , in 1947 it began, amazingly, to occur. But the reconciliation process will not evolve in a unified and harmonious spirit as so many expect. Instead, it will be quite different. It will happen as the prophecies have announced -- unexpectedly, and amid terrifying violence.

It will go by the Book.


The Last Days of Babylon


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