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During the days of the Old Persian Empire when Israel was in captivity, the prophet Daniel received many visions concerning his people and Jerusalem and what would happen to Israel in the times before the end. God told Daniel that those things would be sealed until this " time of the end. To begin to comprehend the context of Persia present day Iran in the prophecies of Daniel, we need to start with the vision of the " Ram " at the river:. Daniel was in what today is southwestern Iran when he had this vision. Persia and Mesopotamia is the context and focus of this vision. The Bible goes on to define the identities of this " ram " and the " he goat " spoken of in this prophecy:.
The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Then the Lord God identifies the two horns of the ram as the kings of " Media and Persia " which would roughly indicate the land area from eastern Turkey and Iraq into Iran and eastward into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Politically speaking, Syria is now allied with the Iranians and their Hezbollah segregates against Israel. The king of " Grecia " is a reference to the peoples immediately west and north of present day Turkey, specifically, the regions around Greece, Macedonia and up into the Crimea and present day Ukraine and the Balkan states.
Some scholars interpret this king of " Grecia " to be a generalized reference to Europe and the western world. But, if we restrict our interpretation to a more literal one, a somewhat startling prospect arises. And the seeds of that prospect are found in the current European Union economic crisis in Greece. What would happen to Greece should the crisis there deepen and the Greeks leave the Euro Zone? Besides defaulting on their debt, and throwing Europe into an economic tailspin, such a possibility would precipitate a political rift between the Greek peoples and Europe and a shift into the Russian sphere of influence.
There is a common strong religious bond between the Greeks and the Russians because these regions are bastions of the Greek Orthodox faith. And I am not talking just about Greece or Russia, proper.
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This includes the Orthodox peoples of Cyprus, the Balkans and the east European nations situated between Greece and Russia. There is a strong enmity between the Greeks Christian Orthodox and the Turks Muslims that goes back to the conquest of Constantinople Istanbul and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
There exists the strong possibility of a new political power block rising across this region and peoples, which would become aligned against the west and Europe for economic reasons, and against the Muslim peoples of Turkey and the rising Islamic forces to the east for religious and political reasons. There eventually would emerge one leading nation within that power block who could constitute the " he goat " who will be moved to attack the ram and crush the empire.
Certainly the winds of politics are blowing is this direction. The Russian aggression in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine is just another unfolding episode in this story, as are the crisis of the ongoing tide of refugees flooding into the Baltics and Europe from Syria, the rise of the Islamic State ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Russian and Iranian military intervention on the side of the Syrian dictator, president Assad. And what effect will that intervention have on Turkey which is fighting the Kurds and ISIS and insisting on military action against Syria?
These are complex issues that must be factored into the prophetic equation.
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We are certainly living in the days before this 'Ram' prophecy will be fulfilled, but we are also living in the times when the prophecy is actually unsealing right before our eyes, so that we can understand what is happening in this world and where all this is leading. The Ram is rising, it is becoming "great" but the larger of its two horns is yet to rise.
Specifically, the lands of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are yet to fully join forces with the Iranians. It should also be pointed out that these nations, although they are all predominantly Islamic nations, are not Arab nations. These are different peoples than the descendants of the Ishmaelite who inhabit the predominately Sunni Arab nations to the south that are on the western shores of the Persian Gulf Arab Gulf and in northern Africa.
Having said this, allow me to digress for a moment and show why the prophecy of the " he Goat " and the " Ram " is still future prophecy, and not the description of a past historical event, as many Bible scholars argue. Proponents of the historical interpretation school the amillennialists claim that this vision was fulfilled in the conquering of Persia by Alexander the Great about BC. But does the Bible really support that interpretation?
Notice in the prophecy that the " he goat " came from the West. Ok, so did Alexander the Great, but Alexander's army touched the ground every step of the way there.
The prophecy says he " touched not the ground ," and that part of the ancient prophecy could not be literally fulfilled or comprehended until the invention of the airplane. What the prophecy seems to be describing could be a massive airborne launched attack from the west; the modern doctrine of warfare i. The feet of attacking troops will not need to touch the ground until they parachute in or make marine landings. It is no coincidence that the beginning of John's visions in the Book of Revelation focuses on the western shores of Turkey.
That is the Biblical land of Asia Minor where the seven churches of Revelation are located. Are you starting to see the connection? All of the seven churches of Revelation chapters are situated along the western edge of Turkey. The Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey is a geopolitical dividing line between the so called lands of Christianity to the west and the lands of Islam to the east.
The Apostle John was on an island named Patmos currently a Greek controlled island , situated in the Aegean sea just west of the Asia Minor mainland, when he saw his vision. Daniel's visions are a complement to the visions of John. The Middle East region is the future literal focus of the events in the book of Revelation. In fact, notice the wording of the last sentence in that prophecy:. That is, the king that leads the attack against the kings of the lands of the ancient Medes and Persians will occupy and breakup this resurgent empire and establish himself as the next ruler in the region. The rest of the kings are nations in the Middle East region, not Europe.
Of course, all of this is just background to the key focus of end-times prophecy; the nation of Israel and the time of Jacob's troubles see Jeremiah The future Jerusalem will be the ultimate "ground zero" of all geopolitical focus and the Temple Mount will be the detonator. All present conflicts in this area of the world are but a precursor to the main events that are yet to come to pass on the Earth before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, before the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the Antichrist must appear on the prophetic stage.
When this person actually first appears on the prophetic scene is not clear. In the book of Revelation, John says that one of the seven churches, located at Pergamos, is in a city where " Satan's seat is " See Revelation Since the Antichrist is Satan incarnate, Pergamos may be where this " man of sin " first emerges or establishes his power base. But the Bible is very clear in telling us that when he is finally revealed to the Jews and the world for what he really is, it will be in the future Jerusalem and in a Third Temple yet to be built in Jerusalem. The Bible believer knows that, however all this comes about, the still unbelieving nation of Israel will build a Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem and re-institute Temple worship and sacrifices see Da ; Da ; Da Considering the decades of bloodshed and violence between Israel and the Arabs, and the entrenched respective positions of both the Jews and the Arabs concerning the Temple Mount and final status of Jerusalem, one can only imagine the magnitude of any sequence of geopolitical events that would bring this prophecy to pass.
How this will happen is unclear. Israel claims Jerusalem as its eternal capital. The Palestinians and the Islamic world want Jerusalem too. In a change of policy that stunned the world, the United States of America formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital near the end of This act changed the political calculus of the issue and only increased the uncertainty of Jerusalem's final status and the animas between the sides.
Is there now a possible compromise to peace on the horizon? One key to how this could come about may also be found in the writings of the prophet Daniel. In future times, after that Temple is built in Jerusalem, there is a prophecy about a " Holy Covenant " already being in place for some time prior. Here are the references:. These passages of prophecy seem to indicate that there will be some form of treaty or " covenant " between Israel and their cousins in the Arab world.
It could be over the question of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount; a covenant between both sides to share the Mount. The Jews build their Temple and are free to worship there, while the Arabs are free to worship beside them at the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, with both sides respecting each other's religious claim to the Mount.
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A farfetched idea? Not really! Look at what is said in the book of Revelation about the Temple and the Mount during the Great Tribulation:. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months. Keep in mind that both Israel and the Arabs are blood cousins, being the common descendants of Abraham through his sons Isaac and Ishmael respectively.
Both people's faiths are rooted in the same Old Testament traditions, and they are both from common genetic stock, although the Messianic line is through the bloodline of Isaac and Jacob the Hebrews , a fact the Arabs deny. And, politically, both of these people have something else in common - both consider Iran a threat. On a Bible doctrinal basis, both the Jews and Arabs have one more thing in common besides eschewing pork : Both their religions deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God came in the flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus.
This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Therefore, based on the authority of the Scriptures, both the mainline Jewish and Islamic faiths of today to say nothing of other world religions and apostate "Christian" cults and sects who deny the physical resurrection of Jesus and His Deity are all under that spirit of antichrist. It is not inconceivable that both the Jews and Arabs, indeed the whole unsaved world, could find a common basis for religious unity under that spirit i.
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Jerusalem is considered a holy city by three faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. What the Bible does tell us about the Jerusalem of that future time before the second coming is revealed in the book of Revelation. And what is revealed gives us an unbelievable glance into the conditions at Jerusalem at that future time. In that day Jerusalem will be a " great city " in this present evil world and a global center of religious worship, commerce and political power. It will be a corrupt place where religious authorities much like the Pharisees and Sanhedrin of olden days rule over and suppress the poor and persecute the truly righteous.
And once again the sins of Jerusalem and the world will cause the Lord God to rise up and send prophets to Jerusalem, preaching repentance and that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; the very same message of John the Baptist, Elijah and Jesus. Two of those future coming prophets are killed by the rulers of the city in that day:.
The Jerusalem of the future is likened unto Sodom and Egypt. In Old Testament Jerusalem, the city was replete with sodomites when the Lord was angry with His people for their falling away from His laws and commandments see 1Ki ; 1Ki ; 1Ki ; 2Ki When the Hebrews were in Egypt they were cruelly oppressed as being in an iron furnace see De ; 1Ki ; Jer Future Jerusalem, being likened to Egypt indicates that the Hebrew people may at that future time be oppressed by an occupying foreign power or in captivity in their own land by a gentile nation.
Perhaps this is why other references in Revelation to the " great city " refer to it as " Babylon " and " The Mother of Harlots ". These comparisons may be telling of the level of depravity and hardship being endured by the righteous in the " great city " at that future time. Keep in mind that, in Old Testament prophecy, cities like Jerusalem are spoken of as women, and usually in less than flattering terms when the Lord God is angry with them:. It is a popular belief in the fundamental protestant school of prophecy that Papal Rome and the Catholic Church system somehow comes to power in the end times, and that Rome is the identity of the " woman " spoken of in Revelation as riding the beast:.
I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
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Since the city of Rome is situated on seven hills, a phrase commonly associated with the city of Rome, they interpret this passage to be pointing to the Roman Catholic Church of Rome. Revelation KJV. Reasoning that the Catholic Church has over a billion members in all countries across the world, and since the Catholic Church claims to be the "True Church" of the Apostles, then this could be none other than Rome the Bible is speaking of in Revelation.
It is believed to have been used to weigh the temple tax during the First Temple period. The image on the clay depicted two figures facing each other and the inscription. The governor of the city, much like a modern mayor, is mentioned in 2 Kings , where the author lists a man named Joshua as the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles , where the author notes Amon as governor of the city in the days of Jehoshaphat NASB.
Another seal impression surfaced in , this one with the actual name of one of the most important Old Testament prophets, Isaiah. One piece of evidence that suggests that the seal impression refers to the biblical prophet is a small piece of clay that archeologists recovered in an area near Jerusalem's Temple Mount. This discovery might have shot to the top of the list if there was some way of identifying who this statue head depicts.
But there's no name or inscription. The best clue to his identity is the band around his head, suggesting a crown. It dates to the 9th century B.
Apocalypse Revealed #789
The name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator who interrogated Jesus and then ordered him crucified, has turned up for the second time in the archaeological record. The first time his name and title were found engraved in a stone discovered in in secondary use at Caesarea Maritima. The inscription on the badly corroded ring was finally read using advanced photographic techniques.
The copper alloy ring was probably not fancy enough to have actually been worn by Pilate. It was more likely worn by someone who was authorized to act on Pilate's authority and who would use the seal to create official communications. These discoveries, relatively insignificant individually, join with many other discoveries over the decades to give us a great deal of confidence in the historical details contained in the Bible.
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