What in the world will the prophesied kingdom of the Beast look like? From where will it originate? Can we identify it now? Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy? Herein are my own answers to these questions…
(BLAERG- “The Chattering Cyclops”)
This is not a “prophecy”. The Lord has not “told me” what’s about to happen. I don’t claim to have any special fool-proof knowledge or insight into Bible prophecy, and I don’t want any money out of you. I’ll try not to use the word “scenario” even once. What follows is my current view of the kingdom of the Beast of Revelation and Daniel, based on many years of Bible study and observation of world events and trends. I’m sorry it’s rather long, but I have sub-headings here so you can scroll down and skip parts you aren’t interested in. In case anyone is uninitiated into these things, I must declare that I have no intention to incite any kind of rebellion or opposition movement against the government or international organizations, or against any religion or belief system.
As I’ve written before, considering the predicament that the nation of Israel is in along with its recent history and very likely near future, it seems that either we are witnessing an incredible set of simultaneous coincidences, or the prophesied events of “End Times” are nearly upon us (you can search for my posts on Israel and Jerusalem and how Bible prophecy is seen to be fulfilled in its ancient and recent history). With that in mind, I’ve been considering prophesies of the kingdom of the Beast.
Looking closely at the prophesies, we find that the beast will be a kingdom but also a man who will ascend to almost unstoppable world power.
Daniel’s prophesies and those of Revelation depict a series of world empires affecting the nation of Israel from ancient times up to the future coming of the Jewish Messiah, (actually the second coming), this time to judge the earth. Without attempting to explain the related prophesies I’m hoping that either you know something about them or that what I have to say will make sense and be of some help.
WHO THE BEAST IS NOT
Over the last several decades most prophecy “experts” within the evangelical Christian world (I mean those who don’t go along with “replacement theology”) have clung doggedly to the conviction that the kingdom of the Beast will be a “Revived Roman Empire”, with the European Union as its likely immediate progenitor. Enthusiasts have watched the Union get stronger and more unified politically, but there’s been something missing: a considerable lack of unity and a total lack of willingness to dominate and subjugate the rest of the world. Perhaps a far more radical union will form in the future.
A few commentators believe that the Antichrist will be a Jew. This idea is immediately demolished by realizing that the Islamic world would never follow or worship a Jew, miracles or not: they would be far more likely to want to kill him.
For centuries the Roman Catholic Pope has been seen by many in Europe and the US as the Antichrist or his predecessor. At least one prophecy “expert” today even claims that the “Holy Roman Empire” has been reborn in the form of the EU with the Catholic Church. I can’t help seeing this as a silly idea. The Pope has little influence in Europe except with his own committed followers, and the Islamic world, the Hindu world and so-on will never willingly worship the head of a long-distrusted Christian organization, even if he could manage to perform some miracles, and even if the latest pope has been photographed kissing the Quran (yes he has).
THE ONCE-UNLIKELY ALLIANCE
Within the last fifteen years or so a few brave commentators, namely ex-Muslims, have stuck their necks out (imagery intended) and suggested or insisted that according to Scripture the Beast will be a Muslim, and his kingdom the Islamic world, or part of it. This leads me to my own suspicion bordering on conclusion which goes one step further: the kingdom of the Beast will consist of some of the Islamic world in an alliance with the West. That doesn’t mean that I expect everyone in the West to be reading the Quran and kneeling towards Mecca five times a day (yet), but that public opinion is warming to the Islamic world and agreeing with its views on Israel and the rest of the world. Some top politicians are reaching out to the Muslim world and turning their backs on Israel. What was unthinkable a few decades ago is happening.
I’m not the only one beginning to connect the dots to produce this picture. I’ve noticed that perhaps the most famous figure in the prophecy world who once taught the “Common Market” theory is becoming more and more wary of the Islamic world and its actions and intentions. Below are some of the reasons, from Scripture and from my own observations, why I’ve come to my conclusion.
TARGETS OF THE BEAST
The Bible, and particularly Revelation, makes very clear the fact that the kingdom of the Beast will have two declared targets for extinction: Christians and Jews. The Beast will increasingly persecute these two groups and ultimately seek to destroy them totally. There is one religion today, and one only, whose most committed followers have this very same stated goal. Its founder had the same approach in his day towards the “people of the book”, and the Turks in the Middle-Ages, having occupied the “Holy Land” and claimed it as their own, attempted to purge the Middle East and then Europe of Christianity. Today the more radical groups in the Middle Eastern countries have been and are working to eliminate Christians. The same has been happening in parts of Africa, such as Sudan.
Today we see the West submitting to Islam. How can I say that: the West is free, isn’t it?
Well, Islam is all about submission to Allah, and now that in the very Western nations where millions fought for freedom of thought and speech we have a virtual ban on any criticism or scrutiny or questioning of Islam, it seems to me that the submission has already occurred. Islamic movements within our nations are asserting their rights and spreading their message, and everyone else is afraid to disagree, or else those who try to disagree are castigated by their own courts and governments. More than that, Muslims are winning over many to their way of seeing the world, particularly in regard to Israel. While the nominal, peaceful Muslims just want to live out their lives and get along within the nations they’ve settled (and the same applies to their nations of origin), radicals work to drive the rest on to deeper commitment and radicalism. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog, and the dog is afraid or unwilling to resist.
THE CAPTURE AND DIVISION OF JERUSALEM
One of the central aims of the Beast, according to Scripture in several prophesies, will be the capture and division of Jerusalem, and the destruction of Israel as a nation. Don’t look now, but this is the dream and the stated goal of most of the Islamic world (see my post “Israel and the Sound of Gnashing Teeth”). The United Nations, including the European Union and the United States, are in declared agreement that at least half of Jerusalem must be given to Israel’s enemies, and while the West is currently willing to tolerate the existence of Israel in a greatly diminished form, that’s going to change. According to United Nations “law”, Israel is an illegally occupying presence in much of the little land they possess, and something must be done to extract it. Until a few years ago, the United States was known to be the protector of Israel, but the will to alter that position has been apparent.
While Jerusalem is mentioned well over seven hundred times in the Bible as Israel’s capital and home, it is not mentioned once in the Quran-written several hundred years later. The kingdom of the Beast is going to aid Islam in its assault on Jerusalem, and the world’s stated decisions and proclamations to date are undeniable evidence that the Kingdom of the Beast and Islam will be in agreement over this matter.
WHERE IS THE U.S. IN BIBLE PROPHECY?
For a long time people have been asking the question, “Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy?” Of course, the name “United States” would not have been used in Bible prophesies made many centuries ago, in fact the known names of that time were given so that people of all ages, not just ours, could make some sense out of them.
As an example, Persia is named in the Bible as being the member of an alliance against Israel (Ezekiel 38). In the early 20th century, the name of the nation “Persia” was changed to Iran, a country whose spiritual leader has said that the only solution to the problems of the Middle-East is the destruction of Israel.
Various answers are given to the “U.S.” question, including one which involves the Revelation reference to the “wings of a great eagle” which will rescue the remnant of Israel from the onslaught of the Antichrist. Proponents of this idea believe that the US will come to the aid of Israelis and air-lift them to safety. I personally see this as a hopeful guess at best, particularly as Old Testament references to the “wings of an eagle” always refer to God’s own miraculous deliverance, not to the national symbol of a nation:
“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).
There are a couple of interesting terms used in the Bible which suggest a reference to the US, such as the “young lions” and the “coastlands” (Ezekiel 38).
It seems to me that the most logical conclusion that the US does not seem to be specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy is that it will be a part of the global problem-and perhaps even the driving force of it. The kingdom of the Beast will be an overpowering military force, according to Scripture. Among other reasons the clincher, for me, is the fact that “all nations” will be involved in the attack on Israel and Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). The word “all” seems to suggest “all” doesn’t it? The US in this case would be just a part the United Nations or the “international community” invasion force, or else the US will stand back and watch it happen. Israel will be alone against the world, and their rescuer will not be a post-Christian, ungodly culture, but the Lord Himself:
“I have trodden the winepress alone, from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath…For the day of vengeance was in my heart…” (Isaiah 63:3-4).
IRON MIXED WITH CLAY
Daniel’s prophecy of the feet of iron and clay at the bottom of a statue, depicted as the last world empire before Judgment (Daniel chapter 2, and mirrored in Revelation) is commonly interpreted by evangelicals as lingering remnants of the empire of ancient Rome which will soon evolve into the last world empire-that of the Beast. This is why the European Union has been so fascinating to prophecy students. It did seem for some time that the forming Union was going to realize all that Napoleon, Charlemagne and Hitler had tried but failed to do by force. Here’s the Roman Empire:
In recent years those who insisted that Islam would be the kingdom of the Beast drew attention to the fact that ancient Rome became divided between East and West. Therefore, they say, if we must see the legs as remnants of ancient Rome, one of the legs as represented in Daniel’s vision must be the Eastern leg, consisting of much of what later became the Ottoman Empire-that is, the Islamic world, which almost succeeded in conquering Western Europe.
This leads me to my “one-step further”. While it’s true that Roman boots never occupied American soil (as far as we know), not only is Western Europe culturally and politically a legacy (excuse the pun) of ancient Rome, and “out of” Rome, but the United States is “out of” Western Europe. It was founded and settled initially by Europeans. It too has Roman roots culturally and politically. The US is a part of that iron-and-clay mix: the US is as much descended from ancient Rome as Europe is.
In Daniel’s vision the iron and clay of the legs represent peoples groups which join together as an empire, but are essentially so different that they cannot become truly one. Europe and the US are composing themselves as much as possible of a mixture of peoples groups, with some successes and with some problems. I see the iron and clay mix as the mingling of races and the attempted union of nations which are really too different to merge. I’m not at all prejudiced against any race or ethnic group: we’re all members of the same human race. However, it’s painful to see that while many of the millions of Muslims moving into Europe want to assimilate and get along, many others have no intention of blending, and cannot because of their beliefs or because of the extremists among them. Countries such as the US and the UK are now producing home-grown Islamic Jihadists.
Not only this, but it’s clear that their presence is helping to turn the people of Europe against Israel, so that politicians of all persuasions are increasingly blaming tiny Israel for the ills of the world, just as they did in pre-war Germany. It’s political correctness to bash Israel. The same mentality is flowing through the media into the minds of Americans, including some Christian denominations. Currently the attempts of Israel to reign in the violence of Hamas, an organization which has in its charter the destruction of Israel, is producing large-hate filled demonstrations across Europe, organized by angry Muslims and supported by large numbers of sympathizers. Meanwhile the media whips up more hatred with their biased, one sided reporting.
WAR IN-A BABYLON
Revelation tells us of a war which will affect the entire world beginning at the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:13-16). This river runs through present-day Iraq, currently wracked by violence and the gains of the Islamic State, which with many other factions has as a stated goal the destruction of Israel. Another prophecy speaks of an invasion of Israel by several nations identifiable today, which include Iran and Turkey, both very much opposed to Israel’s existence (Ezekiel 38 and 39). The Euphrates region has already been plagued by war for many years.
THE KINGDOM WILL HAVE UNMATCHABLE MILITARY POWER
“Who is like the Beast? Who can make war against him?” (Revelation 13:4).
At the present time this could not be said for the European Union, but it could be said for the West led by the US, which together has been the policing force of the most of the world for some time. The undisputed military super-power has for decades now been the US along with its allies in Europe. No, they haven’t been fighting under any Islamic banner, but they have been fighting for the cause of various Islamic groups, and/ or funding them.
About the beheading of an American reporter and other evil actions of ISIL/ISIS/ the Islamic State, President Obama claimed just this week that:
“ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents”.
There’s an apparent intention on the part of the US administration to ignore the fact that the “I” in “ISIL” stands for “Islamic”. The IS has been targeting Christians for extinction, and killing them in the most horrific ways they can think of-including crucifixion and burying them alive. And perhaps members of the administration have not read the parts of the Quran which teach the faithful to:
“Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day…. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!” (Sura 9:5,29,41).
“I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” (Al Bukhari vol. 4:196).
The US and NATO aided, provided weapons, and trained fighters for the Al-Qaeda take-over of Libya and the brutal murder of Qaddafi. The US, talking about an “Arab Spring”, aided the Moslem Brotherhood’s take-over of Egypt, deposing its President of thirty years, and one who had been almost a friend to neighboring Israel. The US administration, led by President Barak Hussein Obama, arranged for the new Moslem-Brotherhood government-which openly declared its violent intolerance of the existence of the state of Israel (2)-to be given as a gift twenty F-16s and two hundred Abrams tanks (3). Only the opposition of some US congressmen and senators and the return of the military in Egypt to the scene prevented most of the gift from being delivered.
When Egyptian citizens and the military saw that they were going to be put under strict Sharia law by the Muslim Brotherhood, which even as Muslims they rejected, they managed to take their country back, to the howls of disagreement from the media and various top politicians in the West. I personally spoke to some Coptic Christians who were horrified at the Moslem-Brotherhood’s US-backed ascension to power, because they were aware that Christians, tolerated by Mubarak, were being attacked and murdered by the Moslem Brotherhood, and ancient churches destroyed.
The West has been funding and giving weapons to those rebelling against President Assad in Syria, in a war which up until April of this year had resulted in the deaths of almost two hundred-thousand people, with the number still climbing. Assad was known to tolerate and accommodate Christians in his country, and the ancient churches there were relatively safe: the rebels-Islamists-have the opposite view and have been killing Christians, driving them from their homes and destroying the churches. For a sizeable part of the world, the kingdom of the Beast has already arrived.
Barring a successful political firestorm, Hamas, whose charter calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel, is now to be funded to the tune of over 400 million US taxpayer dollars a year with the blessing of President Obama (4).
Yes, the West went into Iraq and Afghanistan-seen by some as an attack on Islam, but look at the result: extremists have gained the upper hand. American troops there have had to burn their Bibles (5).
THE METHOD OF EXECUTION
Revelation tells us that the kingdom of the Beast will execute its enemies-those who refuse to convert, by beheading. There is only one movement whose extremists have this approach today, and whose founder had the same approach:
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands” (Revelation 20:4b).
The harlot of Revelation chapter 17 is generally recognized to be false religion in some form. The Harlot “rides” the Beast, meaning that false religion is a major part of, and perhaps the controlling factor in the kingdom of the beast. Old Testament imagery depicts false religion as a harlot on many occasions. The kings and leaders of all of history are said to have “committed fornication with her”, and the people of the earth had become “drunk” with her adulteries” (verse 2).
THE LAST HUMAN EMPIRE: NOT TOTAL WILLING COMPLIANCE
This may seem like an insignificant point, but while the last human empire will become world-dominant in many ways, there are texts which show that not all nations will be willing to join the alliance (for example, see Daniel 11:40-42). When “experts” speak about world government they often lead us to think that there will be one big, happy world State with everyone in agreement: this is not the case at all.
THE ACCEPTABLE BEAST
The world of the End Times is going to give its allegiance to the Beast-either willingly or having been forced to, while at the same time agreeing that Jerusalem must be wrested from the Israelis. Prophecy experts have noted that according to Scripture (Bible) the Beast himself will deliver some amazing signs, spectacles and achievements. They believe that this will be enough to win over the peoples of all faiths to him,. It seems to me that signs or not, the Islamic world will never give its allegiance to anyone who is not himself a Muslim, or who at least does not support their claims upon the world.
ANTICHRIST: THE PEACE MAKER?
A dominant characteristic of the man known as “Antichrist” will be his masterful deception. Antichrist will talk peace but wage war, perhaps including “proxy war”. Whoever Antichrist may be, he will have to be in a very influential position to persuade the Israelis into the prophesied “covenant”, an agreement which he will have no intention of keeping. Antichrist will double-cross the Israelis, and must be someone in a position to double-cross them, i.e. someone they are willing to trust or someone they have no alternative but to trust.
There’s a very determined drive towards a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians at this time (along with necessary agreements in a wider context) involving, “coincidentally”, the division of Jerusalem and of the “West Bank”. The West Bank was spoken of by Jesus in his account of Tribulation and Armageddon events as “Judea” (Matthew 24).
The West, and particularly the US, has shown ongoing determination to be the peace-brokers in Israeli-Palestinian discussions.
RELIGION AND THE BEAST
The kingdom of the Beast will be marked by a strict requirement to adhere to the worship of its leader as enforced by his very own prophet (Revelation 13). So this is not a kingdom without any religious worship.
The Antichrist will be presented to the world as a deliverer: the wonder-man who has come to save humanity from itself. He may be labeled a “prophet” or the latest incarnation of a prophet.
WILL REGARD NO GOD
The fact that Antichrist-the Beast-“will not regard any God” does not mean that he will be averse to Islam. He may say something like “we do not regard ourselves as a world of Christians or Hindus or Buddhists, but as a world of citizens.” His own intentions will be uppermost in his mind, and he may seem to have no belief in a real god. He may well present himself as a secularist or even as an atheist, but at the same time shape his policies and aims upon an affinity for one religion in particular.
LAWLESSNESS AND IMMORALITY
The West is arguably the most immoral empire on earth, and the US leads in this regard. The Antichrist is described as a man of “sin”, or as the NIV translates it, “lawlessness”. This does not mean that he will not have his own set of laws-he will. It means that he will be in defiance of the ways of God as defined in the Bible. The Beast and his kingdom will promote sin and call it “good”. He will “try to change the set times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). He may well be a law-breaker in his own political context too, doing what he pleases despite what the laws of the land or constitution may say. A mark of the end-times, according to Scripture, is total immorality as God sees it. We live in that kind of world now.
While Islamic law counsels certain self-controls and standards of right and wrong, and while Sharia law can be very strictly interpreted, the reality of its front-line extremists as demonstrated by IS, for just one example, is murder, kidnapping, rape and slavery: total lawlessness and immorality. Anything goes when it comes to dealing with their perceived enemies.
REPORTS FROM THE EAST, NORTH AND SOUTH
Daniel tells us that “at the time of the end” the Beast will be engaged in battle by the “king of the North” and the “king of the South” (Daniel 11:40). Not only that, but having gained the upper hand against these powers, and being situated in the “Beautiful Land” (most likely a reference to Israel), he will receive worrying reports from “the east and the north”. Who knows what jockeying for power is going on here, and remember that often-times Muslims are in violent opposition to Muslims, as in Syria at the present time: he could conquer or be allied with some forces in the Middle East and still have some against him. But the interesting thing to note is that only three of the four points of the compass are accounted for as the origins of his enemies. The one remaining direction from which enemy forces do not come against him is the West. Could this be because he himself is from the West? At the least, it seems like the US and the EU-the West- will not be against him.
IS THE LAST CHRISTIAN NATION TURNING AGAINST CHRIST?
We expect atheists to try to rid their country of the message of the cross, but this aversion to the Christian faith has been manifesting itself more and more in the courts, the government and the military in recent years, in the US and in Europe. Some prominent and trusted ministers and organizations are speaking of the growing trend of opinion against Christians, and the prospect of persecution in the United States is a lot more believable now than it was just ten or twenty years ago. The US is a “post-Christian” culture, where prayer in the name of Jesus is banned in schools and government offices, where speaking about one’s Christian faith at work can lose you your job, where the government and the media dictate what you must believe about origins, where Christians are taken to court and put out of business for refusing to bake someone a cake, and where the IRS focuses on obstructing Christian and conservative organizations.
In the nominal Church “Chrislam” attempts to convince us that Muslims and Christians are really worshipping the same god. There are so many ways of showing that this is not true, but as an example, compare what the Quran says about Jesus Christ with what the Bible says:
“Allah is only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son…” Quran [004.171 ]
“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them”. Quran [005.073]
In contrast as stark as it could be, with the term “antichrist” being used, the Bible, written centuries before, says:
“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
Please let me know if you have good arguments or evidence against what I’ve written-I would not at all mind being wrong.