The two legs of the image of Daniel 2…portray the eastern and western divisions of the Roman Empire. The unequal duration of the eastern empire, which continued long after the western empire had fallen apart, is not seen in Daniel’s prophecy because it occurs in the period of the present church age…The unfulfilled aspects of the prophecies provide the clue for the future revival of Rome. Any other view has never achieved majority status among evangelicals at least because the prophecies taken literally lead to this conclusion.
How can Evangelical Christianity be so blind to the Muslim leg of the Fourth Empire? Must be ethnocentrism.
This is easy to see, however, when we overlaying a map of the classical Roman Empire with the same territory during the Middle Ages. From the 600s onward, the Eastern, which became Islamic, Roman Empire stretched from the Black Sea to the Atlantic and waxed and waned from its home base of Asia Minor, Greece and Eastern Europe over Germany, France, Italy and Spain
According to Daniel chapter 2 and Daniel 7:19-20, key identifiers of the fourth kingdom are that it
- joins West with East,
- is diverse from all kingdoms, polishing its autocratic rule by a veneer of Republican power-sharing bodies like senates and parliaments.
- devours the whole earth – controls a great amount of the world
- treads down and break it in pieces – whatever it can’t incorporate, it crushes and tears apart as a threat to its authoritarianism.
- Last, but by no means least, imposes a new religious orthodoxy. There is no denying this fact, yet it seems to have escaped the attention of many ostensibly Bible-believing fundamentalist Christians.
- 45 BC Julius Caesar becomes first emperor of Roman Empire, accepts all pagan religions, monotheistic Jews granted privilege of exemption from emperor worship.
- 395 Emperor Theodosius establishes a paganized New Testament Christianity as Rome’s state religion, including transforming Jesus Christ’s identity into the pagan sun god and saints as the lesser gods. This exclude all Old Testament Jewish elements. Jews are reviled and persecuted as well as Gentile believers who maintain Jewish elements of faith and practice.
- 610 Muhammed leads his pagan Arab people to return to the original faith of the prophets, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus with submission (Islam) to the will of God. This religious faith spreads like wildfire through the next centuries, taking over the Roman Eastern and African territories.
- 636 AD – Islam’s era-marking Battle of Yarmouk. Islam’s first battles were against the Roman occupied Byzantine states of Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon.
- 637 AD Battle of Qadasiya first milestone in conquering Iraq over the next dozen years. Within a few years the Muslims had also conquered parts of Egypt to the South and Asia Minor and Armenia to the North.
- In the 1500’s AD Babylon, Persia and the Levant were absorbed into the Turkish Ottoman Empire based in Asia Minor.
In 638 ce, Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, peacefully surrendered the city and the welfare of the Christian community to the Second Caliph Omar bin Al- Khattab in person. In an age when conquest was often characterised by intolerance and violence towards a conquered community, the terms of surrender of Jerusalem, which is known as the Pact of Omar, were generous and humane:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
This is what the servant of God, Omar bin Al-Khattab, the Commander of the Faithful, has offered the people of Jerusalem: their security, granting them protection for their selves, their money, their churches, their children, their lowly and their innocent, and the remainder of their people. Their churches are not to be taken, nor are they to be destroyed, nor are they to be degraded or belittled, neither are their crosses or their money, and they are not to be forced to change their religion, nor is any one of them to be harmed.
We can’t miss that he is a Savior.
But is he an Antichrist?
This is not a religious question so much as it is a political question. For Antichrist, religion is a means to a political end. There is no question that, just like Christianity and Judaism, Islam split into political factions.
“The original schism between Islam’s two largest sects was not over religious doctrine. It was over political leadership…”
The Hashemites, or “Bani Hashem” are descendants of…the Prophet Ismail…the son of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)….“Hashem”…was the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad. The Hashemites are thus the direct descendants of the Prophet through his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali bin Abi Talib, who was also the Prophet’s paternal first cousin and the fourth caliph of Islam…
[W]hen the Islamic Prophet Muhammad died…a debate emerged about who should be his successor…one group (which eventually became the Shiites) felt Muhammad’s successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other (which became the Sunnis) felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet’s customs was acceptable.
The great majority — upwards of 85 to 90 percent — of the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims are Sunnis…from West Africa to Indonesia…
the Shiites are…in Iran, predominance in Iraq and sizable populations in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
A shallow, religion-oriented analysis…dominates…Western thinking about most issues in the Middle East…New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asserts that the “main issue in the Middle East is the 7th century struggle over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad – Shiites or Sunnis…”
Therefore rule from Islam’s holy city Jerusalem.
[E]ight major Crusades occurred between 1096 and 1291 for land in the Middle East.
In 1099 ce, Muslim Jerusalem fell to the European forces of the First Crusade. The devastation caused by the Crusaders is well documented. Meron Benvenisti writes that the Crusaders, drunk with victory, conducted a massacre in the city, such as has seldom been paralleled in the history of war. The troops ran amok through the streets of the city, stabbing everyone they encountered4 (Muslim, Jew and Orthodox Christian alike). The few thousand people remaining from a population which had numbered 40,000 were assembled near the gates and sold into slavery. The Crusaders controlled the city from 1099 to 1187 ce, proclaiming their Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
In 1187 ce, Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi—known in the West as ‘Saladin’—recovered Jerusalem. In contrast to the Crusaders’ slaughter when they conquered Jerusalem, he granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay a paltry ransom for themselves. Salah Al-Din allowed the native Christians to remain and alowed Jews expelled from Jerusalem by the Crusaders to resettle in the city. Salah Al-Din also restored the rights of pilgrimage to several eastern Christian denominations whom the Crusaders considered heretics.
The peaceful transition of power to the Ottomans [in 1516] was welcomed by Jerusalem’s dwellers…[Under the Savior] Suleiman the Magnificent…Jew, Christian and Muslim enjoyed freedom of religion and it was possible to find a synagogue, a church and a mosque on the same street.
In 1700, Judah HeHasid led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in centuries…
Several changes with long-lasting effects on the city occurred in the mid-19th century: their implications can be felt today and lie at the root of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict over Jerusalem. The first of these was a trickle of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The first such immigrants were Orthodox Jews… others were students, who came with their families to await the coming of the Messiah, adding new life to the local population. At the same time, European colonial powers began seeking toeholds in the city, hoping to expand their influence pending the imminent collapse of the Ottoman Empire. This was also an age of Christian religious revival, and many churches sent missionaries to proselytize among the Muslim and especially the Jewish populations, believing that this would speed the Second Coming of Christ…
The Ottoman Empire was an absolute monarchy during much of its existence. By the second half of the fifteenth century, the sultan sat at the apex of a hierarchical system and acted in political, military, judicial, social, and religious capacities under a variety of titles. He was theoretically responsible only to God and God’s law (the Islamic شریعت şeriat, known in Arabic as شريعة sharia), of which he was the chief executor. His heavenly mandate was reflected in Islamic titles such as “shadow of God on Earth”.
The Eastern Islamic ruler was absolutely the equivalent of the Western Christian ruler claiming rule over the whole earth.
Current Day Islamic States
Beginning in 1902 Abdulaziz Ibn Saud had been fighting his way up the political ladder the old fashioned way, uniting regions of Arabia into a single state with his Ikhwan (Arabic for brothers), an Islamic religious militia. Made up of rough-living Bedouins dedicated to the purification and the unification of Islam, cosmopolitan Ottoman society was uprooted, and Wahhabi culture was imposed as compulsory social order. He was so successful in seizing control of much of the Arabian Peninsula that he was able to make a politically advantageous arrangement with the Ottoman Empire during WWI.
A rival chieftain, Hussein bin Ali, the sharif of Mecca and ruler of the state of Hejaz, used the opportunity to outbid Abdulaziz for regional power by making an alliance with the British. He recruited and led an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire on the promise of being rewarded a kingdom stretching from Syria to Yemen on successful conclusion of WWI.
Hussein could deliver manpower, but who could deliver oil?
Shortly after WWI Abdulaziz Ibn Saud met with a mining engineer who was convinced that much oil would be found throughout his territory. Just as they would do in the next decade while debating an alliance with Germany, the autocratic British monarchy practiced appeasement while Abdulaziz invaded and incorporated Hussein’s Hejaz. The British recognized Abdul-Aziz’s independent realm with agreed-upon boundaries.
When Abdulaziz’ powerful Ikhwan pressed him to continue their jihad into British-held Arab territory he established his political boundaries by massacring the troops who raised him to power. In return, the British granted Abdulaziz Ibn Saud a kingdom within their Empire, thereby providing assurances of protection by the British.
Contrary to the declared aims of establishing self-determination of the peoples freed from the Ottoman Empire’s control, Saudi Arabia was not set up as a democracy. Named after the ruling / owning family, Saudi Arabia possesses and controls Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam, rendering the kingdom the highest religious status in the Moslem world.
After decades of Western friendships and decadence, the corrupt Saudi regime needed to shore up respectability and acceptance by the people, so in 1962 the it established the Muslim World League to promote the spread of Islam. However, Islamic religious leaders are demanding much more – greater and more comprehensive implementation of Sharīʿah in Saudi society and breaking the monarchy’s ties with the West.
At this same time Prime Minister Qasim invited Mustafa Barzani to return to Iraq in return for his political support. When the politician reneged on his promise to grant freedom to his nation (haven’t we heard that before), Barzani began what became known as the “First” Kurdish Iraqi War lasting from 1961 until 1970. Throughout the 1960s, the uprising escalated into a long war during which 80% of the Iraqi army was engaged in combat with the Kurds.
In 1953, the Iranian coup d’état, engineered by the United States and the Western Bloc, set up Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to rule in favor of Western interests against the Iraqi peoples’, leading to the arrest and exile of opposition leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1964. By 1978, strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country, and the Ayatollah returned to establish an Islamic state.
Not to fear. Any potential trouble-making against the West was certainly prevented by The 33 Strategies of War.
- Make enemies work for you or infiltrate them. Bloodless wins are the quintessence of strategy
As well as this one in the Taking Offensive section: “find moral justifications for amoral behaviors.”
The Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States–led Western coalition under false pretenses.
- The Bush administration claimed that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, and that Iraq posed a threat to the United States and its allies. No stockpiles of WMDs or an active WMD program were ever found.
- Some US officials falsely accused Saddam of harbouring and supporting the terrorist group al-Qaeda which was blamed for 9/11. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission said there was no evidence of an operational relationship between the Saddam Hussein regime and al-Qaeda.
- The rationale for war faced heavy criticism both domestically and internationally.
- Kofi Annan of the United Nations called the invasion illegal, under international law it violated the UN Charter.
- The Chilcot Report, a British inquiry into its decision to go to war published in 2016 concluded that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted,
- that the United Kingdom and the United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council,
- that the process of identifying the legal basis was “far from satisfactory”,
- and that the war was unnecessary.
Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005…The al-Maliki government enacted policies that alienated the country’s previously dominant Sunni minority and worsened sectarian tensions, changing the invasion to an occupation..
The opportunity to seize power is tantalizing for many players who rush to join sides faster than my 5th grade baseball team at recess.
“And the ten horns…are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet [in 100 AD]; but receive power as kings one hour [a short time] with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb.” (Revelation 17:12-14)
If we draw our conclusions from a hermeneutical process, these would be the 10 kings in the fourth kingdom that is destroyed at the end time.
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.” (Daniel 7:23-24)
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:” (Daniel 2)
“A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” and that may well be its undoing. The ten kings are not all on the same side.