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"God has roused the spirit of the king of the Medes, because he has a plan against Babylon to destroy it..." ---Jeremiah 51:11
"This is what I observed: a he-goat came from the West, having covered the entire earth but without touching the ground...It advanced towards the ram with the two horns and knocked it down, breaking both its horns;
no one was there to save the ram."
To this point we have chronicled the rise of a great empire called 'Persia' -- an eastern kingdom destined, according to Daniel, to fight its way to world dominion in the last days. Warfare of cataclysmic proportions will engulf the globe in this kingdom's ascension to power.
Rising from the ashes of two earlier defeats, the catastrophic combat associated with this empire's militant growth will be the defining edge of the destruction of Babylon and for this reason it is described in scripture as the 'Wrath'.
During the terminal sequence of this destructive rampage, Christianity itself will become the focus of the venemous hostility that is destined to sweep the earth during these fateful times. And it is that aspect of the wrath which is called the 'tribulation'.
At the final helm of all this devastation will be a madman (the 'beast') who will come down on the world from what scripture calls, 'the far north'.
As we have shown before, however, the sequence of Daniel's prophecies does not begin with this Rebel. It begins many years before he is scheduled to appear. For this reason Daniel's prognostications portray a time-line of events leading from the Millenium to Armageddon.
This allows us to follow in his words a trail of prophecy leading from the time of Christ, past our own era, down a spiraling and apocalyptic road to the Day of Judgment.
In this sequence, the fourth and final eastern empire described by Daniel in his visions of the last days seems now to have appeared. But before it rises up to set fire to the earth, Daniel foresees it's embryonic beginnings undergoing two spectacular defeats at the banks of the Euphrates river. (Dn.8:3).
"This is what I observed: a he-goat came from the West, having covered the entire earth but without touching the ground, and between its eyes the goat had one majestic horn. It advanced towards the ram with the two horns...and charged at it with all the fury of its might. I saw it reach the ram, and it was so enraged with the ram, it knocked it down, breaking both its horns and the ram had not the strength to resist; it (the he-goat from the West) felled the ram to the ground and trampled it underfoot; no one was there to save the ram." (Dan.8:5-7).
This prophecy brings us to now. We are living today in the time of the ram. The overwhelming defeat of Iraq and Saddam Hussein by the forces of the western world at the Euphrates river -- forces led by the United States -- clearly parallel events offered in Daniel's description.
Almost all of the western forces came to the Middle East through the air, 'covering the entire earth without touching the ground'. The close correlation between this war and Daniel's vision suggests that we have now arrived at the very earliest stages of Daniel's final sequence -- a convergence of circumstance and prophecy which implies a countdown that has already been launched.
Not only that, but the entire scenario of Daniel's vision has already been completed in terms of Asia. That was accomplished in the western world's defeat of the Japanese empire followed by its subsequent astonishing victory over the Soviet Union. The two horns of this mammoth Asian Ram were born and felled in this century.
The same is true of the militant 'Media' -- the first horn in the recent Gulf War. And there still exists ample room for the second to arise as well before the century passes.
For the sake of our understanding, it would appear that God has doubled the vision. This duplication allows us to see that the final empire of Persia -- the monster in Daniel's prophecies -- will actually involve almost all of Asia, encompassing territory far beyond the ancient biblical boundaries that defined this kingdom in the past.
Most importantly, the sequence also parallels the 170 year period in ancient history that led from a comparable kind of war to the erection of the 'desolating sacrilege' over the altar in the Jewish temple which Jesus spoke about in apocalyptic terms.
Christ's warning shows that this is a convergence that defines the end point.
It has already been noted that Daniel's prophecy involves western victories over two horns, not one. This means two wars in succession.
"I raised my eyes to look round me, and I saw a ram standing in front of the river (the Euphrates). It had two horns; both were tall, but one was taller than the other, and the one that rose the higher was the second." (Dn.8:3).
After the first king of Media/Persia has been defeated, a second, even larger king arising from the same area will also challenge the power of the West and will, in his turn, be defeated here as well.
In the case of Asia, we saw a large Japanese empire followed by an even more titanic Soviet Union pit themselves unsuccessfully against the western world. And in the case of the middle eastern segment of this vision Saddam Hussein seems to have his own larger counterpart as well.
As this second aggressor -- the second horn of Daniel's ram -- grows to power, the militant hostility of the Middle East will become increasingly volatile until finally the entire area will erupt into another fierce battle -- a second Gulf War.
Although the West is slated to be victorious in this war just as it was in the first, the second battle will be more violent than the first. We can see evidence of this in the fact that the second horn is destined to be larger (and therefore more powerful) than Saddam Hussein.
The fact that Daniel has these two horns arising from both Media and Persia seems to indicate the added involvement of Iran in the second conflict. (Dn.8:20). While modern Iraq occupies territory that once was a part of earlier Media, the ancient country of Persia was located almost entirely inside present day Iran.
Right now a second war in this area appears unlikely; but it seems inevitable if the current conflict represents the prelude to specific events detailed by Daniel in his vision.
As his words unfold, they seem to suggest that the triumph of the West against the second 'horn' of the East will bring the victor -- in this case, the United States -- to the pinnacle of world power. But it will also set in motion a restructuring of the nations of the eastern hemisphere -- one that will result in the parcelling out of the world into the national boundaries of the final days.
This will bring together the alliance destined to form the ten eastern nations (the ten horns) which crown the beast in the Book of Revelations. From that point on -- from the day that these ten nations are formulated -- the prophecies show that devastation and disaster will follow on earth like the cars on a train.
Because the second western victory in the Middle East has not yet happened, these final national boundaries have not yet been formed, so the ten-nation confederacy does not at this writing exist. All of these things still lie in the future.
The eventual boundaries of the malevolent empire of the last days, then, can only be seen in broad terms using the clues provided by the prophecies.
Scripture suggests that the genesis of the Rebel's empire will occur somewhere above, and to the East of the Euphrates river, north of Jerusalem, and probably centered near the Black Sea. (Ez.38:3).
The nations which touch this sea or occupy regions close to it today are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the former Soviet states of Georgia and Armenia -- all of which lie below the Caucasus mountains. Farther to the north (on the northern side of these mountains, but still on the Black Sea) lie Russia and the Ukraine. See Map.
On the western side of this sea sits Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria and just to the west of these, Yugoslavia. All these areas are in a tremendous state of political flux today -- a volatility that will certainly increase with the warfare predicted to occur close to here in the near future.
More than that, almost all of these areas lie directly north of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, matching perfectly the geographical positioning defined in the Bible's terminal prophecies.
Since an Asian parallel has reproduced Daniel's 'he-goat and ram' vision on a far more worldly stage, both 'wars' could easily be considered to have already come and gone. The vision's fulfillment would seem complete just as it stands.
But not quite, because scripture has decreed that all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. (Sir.42:24). The prophecy calls for the combatants to come from Media and Persia. This means that the prophecy must also be fulfilled literally at the Euphrates.
The militant Japanese empire whose attack on Pearl Harbor precipitated World War II; and the much more powerful Soviet Union, were eastern, but not Middle Eastern. They were metaphoric elements that God has used to show the wider world stage to come, and to prove the implications inherent in the Gulf War conflict.
While the Japanese expansion followed traditional grounds, the Soviet challenge brought a new kind of war to the world, the 'cold war' -- a terrifying conflict that piloted the entire planet to the brink of nuclear extinction.
The capitulation of this gigantic and powerful eastern empire was so swift and so dramatically bloodless that it has virtually no historic counterpart. That is because the war it waged and lost was philosophic. When the freedoms associated with western democracy overpowered the tyranny of eastern communism, the Soviet's military resolve dissolved internally.
This philosophic contest is very important in terms of the prophecy because it ties the western world to Greece. By carrying the banner of democracy across the world, ancient Greece is glorified a second time-- a glory that inevitably brings reminiscence of Alexander the Great.
Since Daniel's visions of the 'he-goat/ram' conflict are tightly interlocked with the historic events associated with Alexander the Great's victories over the East, these two dynamic western conquests of Asian territory appear to be twins of one another. Although the circumstances of each series of conquests is separated by more than 2 millenia, both fit uniquely with the prophecy.
Democracy, the instrument of victory over both Japan and the Soviet Union, came from Greece, the land whose flag Alexander carried into the heart of the East. Here again, we can see God manifesting His works in opposite pairs.
While the events of this century allow us to see the twin defeats of Media and Persia in a way that encompasses the entire eastern and western world, we can expect the second Gulf War to occur at the Euphrates as well, and thereby perfect the dualism inherent in this prophecy.
The fact that these events have been carried to a world stage makes a certainty of the Holy Spirit's message: the entire East will be involved in one way or another with the ten-nation coalition of the last days. This almost goes without saying. The Persian empire that grows out of the ashes of these two defeats would not be able to amass an army of 200 million soldiers without immense Asian participation.
We have reached a time when prophecy and circumstance match -- a match so precise that the interaction between the two can be seen on several levels. The pieces fit so well that there can be little doubt that these are, in fact, the very days Daniel's visions were about -- a conclusion further confirmed by the sudden and astonishing rebirth of a Jewish Israel in the land of Palestine.
There is no question that the Book of Daniel is the key to the time of the end because, as we saw above, Jesus himself referred us back to it on just that basis alone. (Mt.24:15-16). Doing this, he confirmed that comprehending Daniel was the key to interpreting the events of the last days -- a comprehension that could only occur at the end once the nations Daniel spoke about began to form.
For this reason, the coalition of these eastern nations and their rise to world power in this century constitute one of the most graphic signs of all that the final end is not very far away.
All of these signs revolve around a giant eastern empire with great iron teeth stirred to life by a revolt against Christ which has consumed the western world, and which has allowed the secular hedonism of Babylon to be reborn in their community. In the wreckage of the Church the prince of Persia has been born.
God has, in our own time,"...roused the spirit of the king of the Medes, because he has a plan against Babylon to destroy it..." (Jer.51:11).
While the West has beaten back these challenges so far, the predictions are clear. Unless there is an immediate and resolute turn from sin, the wrath of the last days is virtually at hand. The pieces have all fallen into place.
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