I encourage you to read the article linked below. Jonathan Spyer’s assessment of Iran and the danger it poses not only to the Middle East but also to the world is significant; and for those who believe the Bible foretells of the unfolding of actual events in the end-of-days, Spyer’s article is another in a growing line that predicts that Iran will be the key player in the end-of-days, and quite likely, the trigger to WW3.
Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear
by Jonathan Spyer
July 31, 2015
… An Iranian stealth takeover of Iraq is currently under way. Tehran’s actions in Iraq lay bare the nature of Iranian regional strategy. They show that Iran has no peers at present in the promotion of a very 21st century way of war, which combines the recruitment and manipulation of sectarian loyalties; the establishment and patient sponsoring of political and paramilitary front groups; and the engagement of these groups in irregular and clandestine warfare, all in tune with an Iran-led agenda.
With the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and thanks to the cash about to flow into Iranian coffers, the stage is now set for an exponential increase in the scale and effect of these activities across the region.
Spyer goes on to discuss the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi army which plays into Shia Iran, and allows an intertwining of government forces, Shia militias and local police. The result is that the only barrier between Baghdad and ISIS are the Shia militias– of which, Shia Iran is the deep pocket. The Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani is regularly deployed throughout the area. Spyer states, “So this is Tehran’s formula. The possession of a powerful state body (the IRGC’s Quds Force) whose sole raison d’etre is the creation and sponsorship of local political-military organizations to serve the Iranian interest.”
But what is it that allows this multi-pronged, diverse, attack to be an imposing force against the religious fervor of ISIS? We must remember that ISIS is Sunni Salafi Islamist – violence is the means whereby this puritan Sunni force gains ground, and its religious fervor, is but the fuel for the growth of this cancerous tumor in the Middle East. Iran (and Shia Islam) is the one opposing force that matches religious fervor with ISIS. Shias are the progeny of Muhammad by the line of Muhammad’s only surviving child, Fatima, and her husband, Ali (also Muhammad’s cousin). Shia is the short form of the phrase “Shi-a-Ali,” meaning “followers,” “faction,” or “party” of Ali. Shias believe Ali was Muhammad’s only legitimate successor upon Muhammad’s unexpected death in A.D. 632. Sunnis, particularly Salafi Sunnis (ISIS), consider Shias as infidels, unbelievers. Shias are referred to by ISIS as “Rafida,” “those who reject,” because Shias do not recognize the first three caliphs of Islam, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as the legitimate successors of Muhammad. These three are considered by Sunnis to be the first three caliphs of Islam. Shias reject these three believing Ali was the legitimate successor.
One cannot ignore how the Shia uniquely fulfill Daniel 7:7-8
“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. –Daniel 7:7-8 (NASB)
Here is my interpretation of this passage: A leader considered “little” will arise among the original ten leaders. This little one will usurp three prior kings. (Ali was rejected by Muhammad’s successors because he was too young.) It will be as if they did not exist. The text tells us that he will “pull out three” of the ten “by the roots.” Historically, Shias and Sunnis divided at the Battle of Karbala, 680 A.D., into two sects, Shias, the minority, persecuted sect (10%), and Sunnis, the majority sect (90%). From the Battle of Karbala forward, Shias considered Ali and his male descendants to be the only legitimate successors to Muhammad. Ali was, for Shias, retroactively made the first successor to Muhammad, effective with Muhammad’s death in 632, thereby eradicating the first three caliphs of Islam for Shias. This retroactive appointment by Shias was made even though Ali was already dead (Ali was assassinated in 661, and the irrevocable divide between Sunnis and Shias did not occur until 680 at the Battle of Karbala). Shias literally rewrote their history by electing Ali as the first legitimate successor to Muhammad. Hence, Sunnis refer to Shias as “rafida,” “rejectors” of the first three caliphs. Biblically, Shias fulfill Daniel 7:7-8 in an almost irrefutable way by the rejection of these three “kings,” caliphs. The chart to the right diagrams what happened historically for Islam.
I find myself in a conundrum these days. I began writing my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, in the year 2006 and published it in 2011. My conclusion before I penned the first word was that Iran (and Shia Islam) was the glove through which satan would launch his end-of-days holy war (Revelation 13:7-8; 12:17). At the time I began, other writers were making similar conclusions but not that Iran (and Shia Islam) was the key player, but Turkey (and an Assyrian, prophesied by passages such as Isaiah 10:24, Micah 5:5-6). Although none of us can be dogmatic, I cannot help but see how Iran should be the line of Islam that we should be focusing on, not Turkey.
For a review of Daniel 8 and Iran’s fulfillment of this passage, read this post: Iran’s Nuclear Agreement – Is Daniel 8 about to be fulfilled?
Jesus come quickly.
You have finally brought me around to your way of seeing things, and I’m afraid I must agree with you Re: Iran’s place in prophecy.
Western Middle East pundits and political theorist seem all about clueless about Islam’s relentless existential, apocalyptic agenda to cause utter chaos in the whole world to bring the Mahdi.
They hold all the cards and have a worry-free position, for as soon as they get the Nuclear weapon capability they are going to use them.
So, in my view the biggest problem for Atheist Europe and Right-wing Evangelical-fueled America leadership, is that they do not have the proper respect for other people’s genuine religious beliefs.
But still, as you said, we really should try not to be dogmatic.
Which is just why I felt there was a problem with your argument when I read your book “Satan: the cloak of Islam” shortly after you published it.
It truly opened my eyes to the real threat of Islam, which led to me seriously studying the three books of this terrible and very frighten Satanically spawn Anti-Christian sect.
Its a Great Book, Jack, and very informative, but the biggest problem I had was seeing how Satan and the Anti-Christ just could not fit into the same glove together.
Students of prophecy are talking so much about the coming of the Anti-Christ and they speculate he’s this person or that one, but none,. its seems to me, ever really think that they could be very wrong, and the Anti-Christ is really is not any human, but is a supernatural being, who will come stepping up out of the Abyss as Scriptures does in fact tell us this fact.
I think you are the best man for the job in the world today. As an excellent expository writer on prophecy, and with all the skills and immense knowledge around today, I believe you’re the one man you who could tackle this problem, Jack.
Because it sure seems to me, that the biggest question in prophecy today is this:
Will the Supernatural being known to students of prophecy as the Anti-Christ, be the expected “Mahdi” of Islam?
God bless you
Thank you very much for the encouraging words. May God bless your study as He has done mine. I have found that the further along I go in prophecy, the less I know. Amazing field of study and one that never lets you go.
I am having difficulty understanding how you can apply this prophecy of Daniel 7:7-8 to Ali. You’re leaving out the rest of the verses that put it in context. The 10 horns and the “little horn” are spoken of clearly in the context of the end of this age and the coming Kingdom of God. This “little horn” makes war with the saints, and prevails against them UNTIL the Ancient of days comes…(Dan 7:21-22). It’s the same story being told here as in the king’s dream (Daniel 2:31-45). The 10 horns are the same as the 10 toes. Both were interpreted as 10 kings/kingdoms that exist at the time the Lord returns and establishes His Kingdom on earth. “In the days of these kings, God will set up His Kingdom which will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44). It’s the same in Daniel 7, “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his (the little horn) dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end.” (Daniel 7:26-27).
The 4th beast Daniel saw was the Islamic Kingdom and it says the 10 horns are “out of this 4th kingdom”. These 10 nations are Islamic. “Another shall arise AFTER them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings” (Daniel 7:24). The 10 kings/kingdoms are in place before the “little horn” arises. In his rise to power it says he “plucked up by the roots” three of the 10 kings/kingdoms (Daniel 7:8).
So, the 10 toes or 10 horns are 10 nations that exist in the Middle-east at the time of Christ’s return. The “little horn” is not Ali, it is the Antichrist. That is consistent with the context.
There are events happening right now in the ME that are very significant, and might possibly be the fulfillment of Daniel 7:7-8. Let me explain:
The “little horn”, the Antichrist, “uproots” three horns in his rise to power. The Islamic State, in a lightning fast military campaign literally uprooted Syria and Iraq overnight. They seized a very large part of both nations and made them into a caliphate. Syria and Iraq are not the same nations today as they were before IS took control of large parts of them. They were “uprooted” suddenly and changed into something else. The IS continues to expand. It is possible that we could be witnessing the beginning of the last days Beast Kingdom, and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may very well be the Antichrist. The prophecy says THREE nations are uprooted, but it doesn’t say they necessarily happen all at the same time. I am watching to see if there will be a third.
Consider Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Verse 20 says of the Little Horn, “whose look was more stout than his fellows”. The Aramaic word for “stout” is rab, which can be interpreted as captain, chief, great, lord, master, stout. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself “Caliph Ibrahim” of the newly created Caliphate (The Islamic State, or IS). He claims to be a direct descendant of Muhammad. When he proclaimed himself a caliph, he suggested that he recognized no juridical authority above his own. In Daniel 7:24 it said of the Little Horn that “he shall be different from the first”. Al-Bagdadi is different from the leaders of the 10 Islamic nations in the region, he is a caliph, known to his followers as Al-Khalifah Ibrahim. He holds a Ph.D. from the Islamic University in Baghdad. He is well-versed in Islamic theology, history, culture, science, genealogy, and law. This caliphate was announced on June 29, 2014. He made his first appearance on July 4, 2014 when he revealed himself to the world in a video giving a Friday sermon on the first Friday of Ramadan preaching about world domination and proclaiming himself to be the Caliph, the leader of the Islamic world and demanding that everyone is to honor him and obey him. They call him their “prince”. Muslims are urged to “gather around your Caliph, so that you may return as you once were for ages, kings of the earth and knights of war.” Sunni Muslims all over the world are now required to declare allegiance to the Islamic State.
It also says of the Little Horn, “he sought to change times and the law”. Antichrist will seek to convert to the Islamic calendar and he will enforce Sharia law. This is happening right now in all of the territories captured by IS. They are strictly enforcing Sharia law, and it is ruthless and barbaric. It also says of the Little Horn that he would “wear out the saints”, especially for a 3 1/2 year period of time right before Christ’s return. The IS has especially targeted Christians for slaughter. We all read daily of the unspeakable horrors taking place right now.
Jack, you said, “One cannot ignore how the Shia uniquely fulfill Daniel 7:7-8”, and “Shias fulfill Daniel 7:7-8 in an almost irrefutable way”. I’m afraid I can’t agree with those statements. I’m not so sure anymore that Shia Islam should be our focus. We will all have to wait and see, and keep on watching. Though I don’t agree with you on some things, there are many things I do agree with, and I am always eager to read what you publish. I’ve learned a lot from you and I am grateful to the Lord for you.
This is for Servant: You are right to say that Antichrist is a spirit being, but he is also a human being. The Beast is a man, a spirit being who indwells the man, and a kingdom (geographical territory). All these are aspects of the Beast.
Let me just reply to your first paragraph and we can go from there. Here is what you said:
“I am having difficulty understanding how you can apply this prophecy of Daniel 7:7-8 to Ali. You’re leaving out the rest of the verses that put it in context. The 10 horns and the “little horn” are spoken of clearly in the context of the end of this age and the coming Kingdom of God. This “little horn” makes war with the saints, and prevails against them UNTIL the Ancient of days comes…(Dan 7:21-22).”
1. There are two periods of application in Daniel 7:7f. The first is 7:7-8 which I interpret as Islam and its beginning in 610 AD at Muhammad’s revelation of Qur’an. Then, Muhammad dies in 632 AD, survivived by 10 key leaders (historically referred to as “Companions” in Islam), and the fight among Muslims begins as to who will succeed him. The first three Sunni caliphs are decided upon by the Companions, and none of them have the blood relationship to Muhammad. Only Ali does. Shias therefore rejected them and rewrote their history to incluse only Ali as the first leader of Islam. Thus, the first three caliphs were “uprooted” by Shias in fulfillment of Daniel 7:8. Ali was the 4th leader, but Shia’s considered the first three as “usurpers,” and rejected them, hence, Sunnis refer to Shias as “rafida,” rejectors of the first three caliphs.
Daniel 7:9-10 jumps to the end-of-days and gives us a preview of what will happen at judgment when the spiritual beast is thrown into the lake of fire. The empire in 7:7-8 is not the same as 9-14. We now that because of the phrase “I kept looking…” which describes an unknown period of time from the beginning of 7:7-8 to the judgment at 9-11. It is the same phrase used throughout Daniel 7 to describe time changing from one empire to the next. This end of days period is also parallelled by 26-27 when the passage describes judgment along with the saints receiving the everlatsting kingdom.
Daniel 9:21 looks to a later period, not the first period. The phrase “I kept looking” is used again to tell us that an extended period of time occurs. The saints are not victorious until v 22 when they take possession of the kingdomm which could only occur at the return of Christ. Verse 23 gives us explanation of what has already happened in v 22. Verse 23 describes the end-of-days dominion of the empire which will “devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” That has not occurred as of yet. It has to be an unfulflilled prophecy, which confirms the interpretation that a later annihilation is being described, different from the beginning annihilation of Daniel 7:7-8 (when Ali and Shia Islam were identified by the text, 7:7-8). The end of days empire will also be Shia; but hardly will it be the same generation of Daniel 7:7-8.
Most important, however, is that Daniel 7:24 is different than Daniel 7:8 as it relates to the three leaders. In 7:8, the three kings were “pulled out by the roots,” meaning they are completely uprooted as if they did not exist (which is what Shias did in the beginning of days). 7:24 says the three were subdued. To be subdued is far different than to be uprooted. I think 7:24 is telling us that Shia Islam, i.e., Iran, will subdue three Middle East countries, perhaps, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt., including the overpowering of the saints (7:21) in the end-of-days.
I will try to respond to the next part of your email in the next 24 hours. Thanks so much for your views. Perhaps we will each discover truth more clearly as we work through these very important passages.
What about Daniel 11:36 – 43? Seems to me that Baghdadi fulfills that passage better than Daniel 7. I dont think “different” in Daniel 7:7 (or 7:24) refers to Baghdadi vs ten other Islamic countries; Daniel 7:7 specifies it refers to the “kings that were before it.” In the context of Daniel 7:1-6, the kings that were before it were the three prior empires, Babylon, Media-Persia, and Greece, in the first 6 verses. All three of these empires were political/military empires. None of these were relgious. Islam fulfills the identifier because it is not a political empire. It is governed by Sharia law not a constitution or a monarchy. This is one of the reasons given for interpreting the Roman Catholic Church as the 4th beast because it is “different,” i.e, it is religious rather than politcal.
If we look at Daniel 7:24, the text defines the beast as “a fourth kingdom on the earth” which looks back to the identification of the 4th beast in 7:7-8, i.e, Islam. The different characteristci in 7:24 seems more likely to refer to the prior “kings,” and here is where I would agree with you partly bout Bagdadi. He is “different” but I dont think his education, etc., is what will qualify him to fulfill 7:24. I think the text is talking about Muhammad al-Mahdi, the “awaited one” of Islam who is prophesied to bring peace and justice (but only after he has subdued the earth by violence). He will be the antichrist who will be indwelt by satan and darkness.
Bless you, Susan, in your studies!
Jack, regarding your comment about Daniel 11:36-43, those verses were perfectly fulfilled by Herod the Great. I’m not looking for any future fulfillment.
You said “I don’t think “different” in Daniel 7:7 (or 7:24) refers to Baghdadi vs ten other Islamic countries”.
In Daniel 7:7 the 4th beast (Islamic Kingdom) is being compared to the three previous beast kingdoms. But in Daniel 7:24 it is the Little Horn who is being compared to the other 10 horns that were in place before him. I was comparing al-Bagdadi with the leaders (kings) of 10 nations which the horns represent. They are heads of nations, he is a caliph, that’s the difference.
I did not realize that you were dividing Daniel 7 into different “periods”. How confusing that makes it. The reason is because you are trying to make Daniel 7:7-8 refer to Ali. You believe Ali is the “Little Horn” of verse 7. In order to hold to that, you must make the prophecy pertain to two separate time periods, and two separate little horns, instead of letting it be about one time period (end of days) and one “Little Horn”, who is the Antichrist of the last days. Your justification for doing that is the phrase “I continued looking”. I don’t believe that phrase has to indicate a switch to a different time period. It just means that Daniel continued looking as the scenes were unfolding before him. It could have been 30 seconds, 10 minutes, one hour. Who knows? It doesn’t have to mean anything except that. It is important to note that many “identifiers” are given to us to show it is indeed not changing to another time period, or another “Little Horn”. I will point them out.
Daniel was given a vision of the rise of four kingdoms on earth — Babylon, Media-Persia, Grecian and Islamic. It is the 4th beast that is the burden of the vision. Daniel describes it in verse 7 and makes the point that it was different from the previous three beast kingdoms. He also says it had 10 horns. While Daniel was thinking about the 10 horns “another little horn” came up among them. Daniel tells us several characteristics of this little horn and they are important because we will see these characteristics again throughout the vision, so that we can know he is talking about the same horn. The identifiers are “another little horn”, with “eyes like the eyes of man”, and a “mouth that speaks great things”.
Daniel kept looking and the vision continues (verses 9-10) where Daniel sees the Ancient of days seated on His throne, and he explains the details he saw. In verse 11 Daniel said he continued looking because of the “voice of the great words which the horn spoke”. Daniel is hearing the SAME horn with the same identifying characteristic of a mouth “speaking great words” that he saw in verse 8. It’s the same horn. He saw the beast destroyed. [ In verse 12 he gives a brief explanation that this 4th beast was removed suddenly and violently, unlike the previous three, which passed away allowing a succeeding kingdom to come.] The vision continues in verses 13-14 when Daniel sees the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven and taking his place as King and Lord.
In verse 15 Daniel became grieved and troubled by what he had seen.
In verse 16 Daniel asks for understanding of the vision.
In verse 17-18 the angelic interpreter gives Daniel an answer.
In verse 19-20 Daniel wants to know more about the 4th beast, the 10 horns, and about the other horn which came up and “before whom three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows”. This is the same horn as in verses 8 and 11, because it gives the same identifiers — of eyes, and a mouth speaking great things. Instead of “plucked up” it says “fell before him” (and in verse 24 it says “subdued”). Three different words are used to describe the same event, and that’s all it means.
In verse 21 Daniel continues looking and the text says he sees the “SAME HORN” that he saw in verse 8 and 11. He specifically names it as “the same horn”. The horn is making war with the saints and prevailing. It’s the same horn all the way through the vision.
In verse 22 The Ancient of days comes and the saints possess the Kingdom (as in verse 9-10).
In verse 23 the angelic interpreter answers Daniel’s request for more information. He explains the 4th beast is the 4th kingdom and describes it.
In verse 24 the angelic interpreter explains the ten horns represent 10 kings that arise out of the 4th kingdom and that “another” arises after them and he “subdues” three kings.
In verse 25 more information given to Daniel about the “other” horn — “he shall speak great words”, wear out the saints who are given into his hand for 3 1/2 years”. Again, it’s the same horn with the same identifiers.
In verse 26 the angelic interpreter further explains that judgment will come to this horn and his dominion will be taken away.
In verse 27 the Kingdom of God comes and will last forever.
In verse 28 Daniel says the vision ended and he was troubled.
This is a vision about the end of the age, the Antichrist, and the coming Kingdom of God. There’s no switching time periods or horns. I think it is very clear that one horn is being spoken of throughout, including verse 8.
The 4th beast is a very accurate picture of the Islamic Kingdom. The 10 horns on this beast are the same as the 10 toes of the king’s dream of Daniel 2. In the interpretation to the king Daniel said “in the days of these 10 kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…….” (Daniel 2:44). That statement pinpoints the exact time period — the 10 kings exist at the same time the God of heaven sets up His kingdom.
I know you are a busy person, thanks for taking the time to speak with me about this.
Just a brief comment for now. Actually, I am not forcing Ali in Daniel 7. Perhaps, I might be forcing Shia Islam, and Ali is the first Imam of Shiism. This is not just based on my view of Daniel 7 but also Daniel 2 (but that is another point and not for now). The real issue is the “horn” that Scripture describes as “behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts. –Dan 7:8 (NASB). I interpret that phrase as a reference to the spirit of antichrist (Ali was dead at the time of the retroactive appointment by his followers). The text says “eyes like the eyes of a man,” which implies that whatever the horn is, it is not a physical human being; rather, the spirit of antichrist that possesses him or his teachings made manifest by his followers belief in him (Ali, deceased). That to me is the reason why the “horn” keeps appearing in the passage. The same description of the horn is given in v 20, but for one additional identifier: “namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.” Dan 7:20 (NASB) This time the horn is “larger in appearance than its associates” whereas in v 8 it was “the little one.” How do you explain that change in description if it is the same person, i.e., Baghdadi? If you say it is Baghdadi before the caliphate, Baghdadi was not “little” when he broke away from Al Qaeda. He was just as much a leader to his mujahideen then as he was when he proclaimed the caliphate. Perhaps to the world, he became known but not to Islamists in the Middle East.
We are in agreement on the main issues. Islam is the 4th beast. However, I find it hard to interpret that v 7-8 refer to Islam in end-of-days and omitt Islam when it comes into existence which is precisely the time period when it overcame the first three empires in the 7th century AD. The text tells us this so we can identify the 4th beast: “… It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. –Dan 7:7 (NASB). How could Islam in the end-of-days fulfill 7:7-8 since Baghdadi has not overcome Bablyon (Iraq), Media-Persia (Iran), and Greece (Turkey)?
Lastly, the phrase “I kept looking” as you say could refer to any period of time. However, the period is defined by what the text adds: 7:21 “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them
22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. –Dan 7:21-22 (NASB) That period of time is clearly the end-of-days since the saints take possesion of the kingdom. Dan 7:7-8 still looks to me like the beginning of this period since the text says: “… it devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder (Greece was the remainder kingdom. It defeated Media Persia in 332bc, and Media-Persia defeated Babylon in 521bc).
Thank you Jack for another great post, and for Susan for your additional commentary. Both make a compelling case. BTW, if Susan is the Susan who commented extensively at MidnightWatcher a while back, I’d like you to know that I found your interpretation of Matthew 24 so compelling that I did additional research and have since then composed an entire verse-by-verse commentary on Matthew 24 utilizing the AD30 preterist interpretation. It’s over 80 pages long.
I do also agree that the phrase “behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts” (Dan 7:8) implies that we are dealing with a being that appears to be human, but is more than human. Revelation 17 gives more information about him in that regard.
You asked how I would explain the change in the description of the little horn from Daniel 7:8 and Daniel 7:20. I’m not sure I can, but what I have observed throughout my years of study is that God “throws” a revelation out there and then He retells it over and over again adding bits of new information each time. It is a progression. He doesn’t give us all of the information at once. He goes at it again and again from multiple angles. I feel very comfortable with it because I’ve seen it so much in my studies of the end times. God seems to put the “big picture” out there first, then he goes back and fills in the details. So it doesn’t bother me at all that the information about the little horn progresses. And this does not only happen within the 7th chapter of Daniel. It happens throughout prophecy.
I agree that Daniel 7:7 is revealing Islam in its beginning and how it more than conquered the previous three kingdom territories, it actually wiped out their cultures, languages and religions, which is one thing that made it very different from the other three. (And the crushing is still happening to this very day). But what causes me to connect it to the end of days is the fact that the focus moves very quickly from the 4th beast in verse 7 to the horns and the other little horn. Verse 7 is about Islam, but the remainder of the prophecy is about the 10 horns, and especially about the little horn, and the demise of his kingdom when the Kingdom of God comes. I have to remember that the 10 horns of this vision are the same thing as the 10 toes of Daniel 2. It was interpreted as a “divided” kingdom. God connected this divided kingdom to the end of days very clearly when he said “In the days of these 10 kings, God will set up His Kingdom which will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and shall stand forever.” Exactly the same scenario is happening here in Daniel 7. The 10 toes in Daniel 2 are interpreted as 10 kings in the context of the end of days. The 10 horns of Daniel 7 are interpreted as 10 kings in the context of the end of days, and the 10 horns again are seen in Revelation 13 on the beast in the context of the last days. Then we go immediately in 7:9 to the Ancient of days in judgment and the destruction of the 4th beast.
Verse 17 begins the interpretation of the vision by the angelic being who retells the events Daniel just saw adding several more details — the little horn was “more stout than his fellows” (v. 20), he “made war with the saints and prevailed against them” (v.21), “he shall wear out the saints”, “he shall think to change times and laws”, and “the saints will be given into his hand for 3 1/2 years”. (v.25). More information was given by the angelic interpreter, which is most often the case.
I want to make one thing clear though. I did not say al-Baghdadi is the Antichrist. I said “it is possible we may be witnessing the beginning of the beast kingdom, and its leader may very well be the Antichrist.” It’s a possibility. I want to say something more about this. I have been studying the end of days prophecies for many years now. I think I have a pretty good understanding of what to watch for. In December 2013 I first became aware of the Islamic State and its leader al-Baghdadi. They immediately caught my attention. I continued to watch them as closely as I could. I was very surprised by the speed at which they took over large parts of Syria and Iraq. I was sickened by their brutality. I soon began to realize how evil they are. I kept waiting for someone to recognize what was happening and go to the rescue of the thousands of innocent ones being slaughtered. It took so long for the nations to begin reacting. It’s been over a year since that time, and the IS continues to grow despite thousands of air strikes from coalition forces. I don’t know what is going to happen, I can only watch like everyone else (and pray much). But I must say this — the Islamic State and its leader al-Baghdadi are exactly what I was expecting to see after my years of study. I used to believe the AC would come from the Shia, but I’m just not sure anymore. When the world sees the acts and ideology of the IS on the evening news, they are seeing true Islam, just the way their prophet preached and practiced it. It sure looks like that 4th beast to me, but then perhaps I’m wrong, and only time will tell. I just don’t know at this time.
Once again Jack, thanks.
Infidelsrising: Hello! Yes, I’m the same Susan and I remember our meaningful conversation about Matthew 24. I’m very happy to hear you continued your research and wrote a commentary. That’s wonderful. I do not receive the posts anymore, though I’ve requested to be on the mailing list several times. I don’t know why.
So good to hear from you.
Perhaps I could entice you to look again at Daniel 11:36f? Let us suppose that it does not refer to Herod, particularly because the passage states the period of time it applies to: “and he will prosper until the eindignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.” –Dan 11:36 (NASB). (Actually, I thought it was Antiochur Epiphanes and his Seleucid Empire that the passage had been fulfilled by, but it may have been Herod as you say). Then, if we agree that it applies to the end-of-days, then the “identifiers” in the passage can be used to determine who this refers to. It semms to me that the passage is speaking of Islam and some spiritual being that has indwelt a leader who “destroys to an extraordinary degree,” i.e., the Islamic State. The long and short of the passage is that it predicts that whomever this is, it will eventually be destroyed, albeit only after it has done much destruction. It will eventually headquarter itself “between the seas” (Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip), and will be threatened by, “… the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and 1annihilate many.” –Dan 11:44 (NASB). The east is likely Talivan/Afghanistan and al-Qaeda with affiliates in much of the territory of Islamic State; and the north is Iran. Iran is Shia. Islamic State is Sunni Salafist. They are enemies. In fact ISIS considers Shias as unbelievers, infidels.
My request for you to consider again Daniel 11 is that if ISIS is in Daniel 11 as initially prospering but in the end, defeated (Daniel 11:45), it cannot be the same force in Daniel 7. That force is Shia Islam, eventually led by the so called Muhammad al-Mahdi, who will bring Islam “under one roof” and the world under Islam. Rev 13:7-8, Daniel 7:25, and Christians being overcome and worn down, at least for 3 1/2 years.
Blessings. Thanks for your reponses!
I don’t seem to be able to give an answer that is brief. So I apologize for sending another lengthy response, and then I’ll “go away”.
I believe many prophecy teachers and students today are making a very big mistake, and I see it every day when I am reading through various articles and writings. The mistake is failing to distinguish between unfulfilled prophecy that must yet find fulfillment in the future and fulfilled prophecy that found fulfillment in history. It causes a very distorted picture of what to be watching for and what to expect. I will address only the few verses you pointed out in your last post.
Antiochus Epiphanes was the “little horn” of Daniel 8. He certainly was a “type” of the future Antichrist in many ways. He did commit terrible acts (Daniel 11:21-25) against God and those of the people who were faithful to God. He stopped the daily sacrifice, tore up the temple, offered swine’s blood and destroyed the city. He did cause astounding devastation, until Mattathias, the godly priest, and his five sons, led a successful revolt against him. Daniel 11:32 says “….but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” This was seen in Judas, who was surnamed Maccabeus, that is, the Hammer of God. This nickname of Judas has been applied to the whole family, but they are properly the Asmonean Princes (named after Mattathias’ grandfather, Asmoneus). The family of Mattathias continued for several generations to serve the people of Israel as priests and teachers. Of these “some” fell by violent deaths and captivity. This continued to the very “end” of the Asmonean era (Daniel 11:35); for the last of the family, Aristobulus, who held for a short time the high priesthood, was murdered at the command of Herod. The Asmonean dynasty lasted from 168 BC to 37 BC. It was brought to an end by violence and bloodshed, and it was replaced by that of a “king”, Herod the Great who had commanded the murder of Aristobulus. This story ends in Daniel 11:35.
Then in Daniel 11:36, both secular history and the New Testament record the acts of a “king” who appeared on the scene in Israel at the end of the Maccabean period. He is called “the king” in the Gospels (Matt 2:1, 2, 9; Luke 1:5). He, like Antiochus IV before him, was a type of the coming Antichrist, as his actions revealed. It is said of this king that “he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished” (or until wrath be completed), in fulfillment of which is the fact that the dynasty of Herod retained, through all the political upheavals of the times, its favor with Rome, and flourished in authority in Palestine, until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which is the “wrath”, or “indignation,” or “tribulation,” to which these prophecies of Daniel so frequently refer to as “the end” of Jewish nationality. The “king shall do according to his will”. Herod was a completely ruthless and cruel tyrant, even to those of his own flesh and blood. He murdered his most loved wife, the beautiful Mariamne, who was a princess of the Asmonean family, he put to death three of his own sons because he suspected them of aspiring to his throne; and similar deeds of willfulness characterized his entire reign. Josephus gives many instances of this (Ant. XII 9, 4). Herod’s way of making himself secure upon the throne was to put to death every suspected rival. This included the Son of God, Immanuel. “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many” Daniel 11:44. It was the “news from the east” that troubled Herod, the arrival of the magi heralding the birth of the One “who had been born King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2). “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matt. 2:3). God warned the magi not to tell Herod the location of the newborn King and Herod “was exceeding wroth (great fury), and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matt. 2:16). But it was not just the news from the east that troubled Herod, but news from the north. Herod’s oldest son Antipater was planning to take over his throne. He sent a letter from Rome (the north) to his father saying that two of Herod’s other sons had defamed him to Caesar. Herod was troubled and had the two sons killed. Later, Antipater himself was executed. Additionally, it was Herod’s successors of his own family that put to death John the Baptist (Herod Antipas) and James the brother of John (Herod Agrippa I) and finally sent Paul in chains to Rome (Herod Agrippa II).
“And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” Dan. 11:45. Herod had many royal palaces throughout Judea. When Herod became critically ill, he retired to his winter palace at Jericho, less than 10 miles northwest of the Dead Sea, about 45 miles east of the Mediterranean Sea, and less than 20 miles northeast of Jerusalem. His disease was incurable. No one could help him, though he sought help. He died a prey to a horrible disease five days after he had ordered the execution of his oldest son. He was 70 years old when he died.
Jack, I don’t see Islam or IS in Daniel 11. I hope the following few paragraphs will explain why, and will show the continuity and flow of the chapters in Daniel.
Chapters 2 and 7 refer mainly to four kingdoms that were to come beginning with Daniel’s day (Babylonian) all the way to the end of days and the coming of the Kingdom of God. Chapters 2 and 7 mirror each other. Most of the rest of the book is for Daniel and his people. God gave THEM detailed information about all that was to happen from that time through to the destruction of the Temple and the city, Jerusalem, and the end of the Jewish nation.
In Chapter 8 God gives Daniel more information about the 2nd and 3rd kingdoms and what was ahead for them. The main subject becomes the “little horn” who comes from one of the four divisions of the old Grecian empire (north, Syria, Seleucid). It tells of his acts of destruction of the Jewish people, their Temple and City. Many of the details of this time are given in Chapter 11. Daniel became sick and fainted.
In Chapter 9 the marvelous Seventy Weeks Prophecy is given. Daniel had learned through Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10 that the period God had set for the “desolations of Jerusalem” was just seventy years (Daniel 9:1). Daniel set his heart to pray. God’s response was the Seventy Weeks Prophecy (seventy sevens of years, or 490 years). The declared purpose of the prophecy (v. 24) was to foretell the exact time of the occurrence of certain things which are of supreme importance to the Jewish people, and to mankind – the coming and cutting off of the Messiah, and the destruction and desolation of the City and Sanctuary. Six things were to be accomplished within those 490 years. All six were perfectly fulfilled. There’s no “week” left somewhere in the future to yet be fulfilled.
Daniel Chapters 10, 11, and 12 are one continuous vision Daniel received. These chapters contained additional revelations given to Daniel in response to his prayers (Daniel 10:12), in order to enlighten him as to matters which were to befall his people during the period of the seventy weeks which had then just begun. A new era of national life for Israel had now begun; and this second term of Jewish history, starting with the return from Babylon in the first year of Cyrus (BC 457) is called “the latter days,” to distinguish it from the first era of Israel’s national existence, which is called “the former days”. The Seventy Weeks prophecy had filled Daniel with grief, for while it foretold the coming of the Messiah, and gave the exact time of it, instead of showing that His advent would mean deliverance and prosperity for Daniel’s people, it declared that Messiah would be cut off, and that a terrible judgment was to follow, and desolations of unmeasured length were determined. The angel messenger said “Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days” Dan. 10:2-14). These matters concerning his people had not been disclosed by the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 are a complete account as a continuous historical narrative of the second period of Jewish national existence, from the reign of Cyrus to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies under Titus. It was given to make Daniel understand what he had not been able to understand concerning what was to befall his people during the additional term of seventy sevens. Chapter 10 serves as the introduction; chapter 11 provides a great number of details, and chapter 12 serves as the conclusion. It is absolutely amazing.
Whether you believe it or not, or whether you accept it or not, with the exception of Chapters 2 and 7, the rest of Daniel found fulfillment in history. Many will call me a “preterist”, which is a dirty word to many prophecy teachers and students. But I am clearly not a preterist because I do not believe that ALL prophecy found fulfillment in history. I believe SOME of the prophecies found historical fulfillment. And, I believe that it is critically important to understand what was and what was not fulfilled in order to have an accurate picture of what we are to be watching for in the future. So many articles and books have, and are, being written about the prophetic future which are all based on verses that were historically fulfilled. I think it would be good for these writers to take a little time and research history. Josephus did an excellent work in recording Jewish history. He was and is a highly respected historian. He was an eye witness, who stood at the side of Prince Titus as the sanctuary was being burned and destroyed. He articulates what he witnessed extremely well and makes you feel as though you are with him there. He brings out facts that you could never know from anyone else (for example how Prince Titus, through Josephus, pleaded over and over with the Jews because he did not want the Temple to be burned down). Josephus had an intimate understanding of the Jewish people and Jewish history. And there are other historians as well, like Eusebius.
It is a strange phenomena of the 21st century church that “grabs” the prophecies of old and drags them into the present time and makes them refer to “our generation”. Is it only about us? Did not God have things to say to Daniel and his people that just might not pertain to us? Yes, he did.
What I can learn from Daniel 11, even though it was historically fulfilled, is to know that Antichrist, which is future, will be like Antiochus and he will be like Herod the Great, who were both foreshadowings of him.
I respect your view that Shia Islam will produce the Antichrist. You may be right. At this time I don’t know what is going to happen. I only watch each day and compare events to Scripture. That’s about all I can say about this subject.
God bless you in your continued studies,
Thanks Susan. Blessings and look forward to our next discussion.
I didnt have time to respond last night. Here is why I do not see Daniel 11 as limited to past fulfillment.
First, Daniel 11 certainly was fulfilled by Antiochus Ephiphanes, the Seleucid Greek leader prophesied by Daniel 8. However, there are elements within the passage that must be interpreted for a second fulillment, e.g., Daniel 11:31, when Antiochus sacrifices the pig on the altar in the Temple; and then Jesus specifically says this will occur again, Matt 24:15. (I think Antiochus’ abomination has already occurred — when the Dome of the Rock was built in 691 AD to commemorate Muhammad as superior to Jesus Christ and continues that same abomination today by not allowing Jews access to the Temple Mount today. ONLY Muslims have access. The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque sit upon the Mount and descrate it just like Antiochus’ sacrifice of the pig on the altar rendered it unclean and no Jew could worship there without if first being cleansed. Same today for the TEmple Mount.)
Howver, my key to interpreting Daniel 11:36-42 as a not-yet fulfilled prophecy are the identifiers in the passage that Islam fulfills. Here are some of them:
1. Blasphemy 11:36
2. Shows no regard for the God of his fathers (v 37)
3. Shows no regard for the desire of women (v 37). Read my post here: http://www.jacksmithprophecy.org/2012/10/09/no-regard-for-the-desire-of-women-islam-fits-the-profile/
4. No regard for any other God, i.e., There is no god but Allah in Islam. (v 37)
5. Honors a god of fortresses. May be a little stretch here, but I think this applies to Islam because of it honor of the Kaaba, Grand Mosque, and really any mosque which is viewed as more than a religious structure.
The most signigicant of the criteria is v 38-39, “… he will honor … a god whom his fathers did not know… he will take action against the strongest of forces with the help of a foreign god
Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Ishmael. Jehovah (Yahweh) is but not Allah. Even though Islam claims Jehovah as their God and gives Allah the name of God of Abraham, he is not. There is the deception. The foreign god is the satanicly backed god of Revelation 13, the breast from the earth. He is satan’s designee (Rev 13:4), and the “foreign god” of a new religion not the religion of the forefathers of Muhammad. Muhammad claims descent from Ishmael and the God of Ishmael was Jehovah: Gen 17:20 “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”
Let me say this regarding Daniel 11:36-42 which you believe is unfulfilled. What might be happening here is this: there may just be multiple fulfillments of prophecy, I’m not sure. These verses were historically fulfilled, and there are many writings to verify this. Yet perhaps there could be “layers” of fulfillment. Perhaps what you are seeing in these verses is another fulfillment. I’m not sure. Personally, I feel much more comfortable with the historical fulfillment, but I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying I don’t feel comfortable with it.
I think the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount are very significant (I’ll explain why in a moment), but maybe not for the same reasons you think. They are an abomination for sure. But I don’t think Jesus was referring to that in Matt. 24:15. The “abomination that causes desolation spoken of through Daniel the prophet” is Daniel 9:27. It says “the people of a prince yet to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”. It was to happen sometime after Messiah was “cut off”. The abomination that caused desolation means the Roman army, as Luke explains in 21:20 “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies, then you are to understand that she is about to be destroyed”. He goes on to say “For these are the days of vengeance, when everything that has been written [in Daniel] will come true….For there will be great distress in the land and judgment on THIS PEOPLE. Some will fall by the edge of the sword, others will be carried into all the countries of the Gentiles, and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the age of the Gentiles has run its course” Luke 21:22-24. There would be no time to gather their belongings. Their only safety would be in instant flight.
Jack, here is my point — The early Christians understood Daniel’s prophecies. They learned through studying them exactly when to expect Messiah. They learned of the terrible judgment that was coming upon the nation after Messiah was cut off. When Jesus reminded them of Daniel’s prophecy, they understood, and when they saw the Roman armies enter the suburbs of Jerusalem, they got out of town. It is believed no Christians lost their lives. There was no time for them to misinterpret Daniel. Their lives depended on them understanding it. I believe that is the main reason why God went into such great detail about everything that was to happen to the Jewish people between Babylon and the destruction of the city and sanctuary in 70 AD in Daniel’s prophecies. They had to understand, so their lives could be saved. The unbelieving Jews perished, millions of them. The end of the Jewish nation was a huge event in history.
I think it is also important for us to understand Daniel, especially chapters 2 and 7, because they do pertain to the present time in which we live, as well as the Revelation and other passages concerning the last days. What are we to watch for? What are we to expect? We must know, and we have to get it right, so that we are ready. Jesus said if the householder had KNOWN which watch the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. Discussions like this one are good to have and I appreciate you letting that happen on your website.
I’m not sure what you believe about a “rebuilt Jewish temple” in the last days. Most believe it will be rebuilt, and that the AC will desolate it. That’s because they don’t understand that the prophecies pertained to 70 AD, not to the future. So they are looking for something that is not going to happen. I don’t believe the temple will ever be rebuilt, but as you say, there is an abomination there now where the sanctuary once stood. Satan is the one who is making a statement on the Temple Mount today. Islam was his creation, and he stands there as defiant as ever stating that Allah is the true God and he has no Son. We know how this story is going to end.
The identifiers in Daniel 11:36-42 you say are fulfilled by Islam. Perhaps, but they were also fulfilled by Herod in great depth and detail. For example “honors a god of fortresses”.
The Caesars claimed to be divine, and Herod honored them as “gods” in the most extravagant ways. He built many fortresses and cities and named them after the Caesars (Caesareas). He sent delegations to Rome with costly, lavish gifts to honor them. He set up statues and images of Caesar to be worshipped in various fortified places. Herod used the expression “our fathers” when addressing the people. He was fully regarded as a Jew. He was born 73 BC of Idumean origin. The Idumeans had been united with the Jews several centuries previous. The Herodians even held him to be the Messiah.
One of Herod’s most prominent acts was his rebuilding of the temple and his making the temple area a stronghold for Caesar. He made the temple the most famous building in the world for its dimensions, its magnificence, and for the size of the stones. But in the rebuilding process, he also converted it into a fortress for his own purposes, this being the “most stronghold” of the land. He constructed on the north side of the temple a strong citadel which he named the Tower of Antonia after Mark Anthony. During the terrible siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD the last of the rebels tried to flee Jerusalem and were all killed. Prince Titus could not understand why they did not go into the Tower of Antonia. If they had, no one would have been able to get to them. They would have been left to starve to death. There was no way they could have been defeated in that tower because it was such a stronghold. Titus believed God had given them into his hand.
There is much that could be said about the other identifiers as well, but I’m not sure if it matters.
Again, we are in agreement about the beast kingdom being Islamic. Whether the AC comes from Shia or Sunni, I don’t know. I do believe his kingdom will be limited to 10 nations, and not a worldwide one. For the Christians living in the region today the tribulation is already underway. It’s not future for them. They need our prayers every day.
Take care Jack,
Well done Susan, what an explicit and informative piece of writing. So clear in your descriptions of that prophecy of Daniel’s “70 weeks” having being fulfilled in history namely AD 70 and not carried over to some future date. Yes, our brethren in the ME certainly need our prayers – they are right in tribulation now.
Very important to investigate these things and discuss as times are very short and our Lord’s return is near.