Who Comes to His End before the Great Tribulation?

18 04 2015

It has been a while since my last post. Our world is at the tipping point, its is on the verge of rushing headlong into the final events described in the apocalypse. While the coming events can not be avoided, they can be delayed just as the destruction of Nineveh was postponed as it responded to the warning of Jonah. Also, in mercy God holds back the coming strife so that some might take heed of the warnings and be saved from the coming destruction. How long will God wait? how long will the door of mercy remain open? We can not know but the signs of the times yell out that it can not be long. Every day brings us a day closer to the event that will unleash the forces of hell. That event will be the open repudiation of the two main principles that underly the constitution. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that, that day is not very far away. The time that we have we should spend in preparation for what is coming. One thing we can do is to  gain an understanding of what is to come.

To most people the final player in the world drama before the great tribulation in 11:40-45 is a bit mystery. Some think it is one identified as “the  king of North” others disagree. Some think this is a literal kingdom/nation  others think it is some other kind of power. Some claim it belongs to the distant past (preterism) the less distant past (historicism) or the present/future (futurism)? Since they don’t understand who it represents they turn to the easy solution of allegorising or “spiritualising” the prophecy so that they can claim to understand it while in fact they really don’t.  Yet, there is really no need for it to be a mystery as the prophecy quite clearly explains itself. Further more it does not matter whether we take a preterist, historicist or futurist view – all roads as they say lead to Rome (figuratively), as we shall see.

Lets start with the classical historicist view as it is the best understood. The first time the king of the North is mentioned is in Dan 11:7 and we know from verse 2 that this follows the rise of a new kingdom under a mighty king after the Medo-Persian empire. That can be no one else other than the empire established by Alexander the Great. History is clear that following his death his empire split up eventually forming two great rival fragments known as the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires. These underwent a series of wars to gain the ascendancy known as the Syrian wars that is described by Daniel as the struggle between the kings of the North and South. Eventually however these gave way to the Old Roman Republic that Daniel also describes in verse 16 as “he that cometh against him (the king of the north)”. This new power “that shall do according to his own will” and was “to consume the glorious land” was not a new kingdom because Rome as a republic and had no king. Hence Daniel describes just calls the leader of its government “him” or “he” rather than “king”.

Having introduced Rome as the successor of the Greek Empire, Daniel proceeds to describe its history through to its end in verse 30 when the ships of Chittim came against him. Chittim is the land of Phoenicia and Carthage was a Phoenician city and the sacking of Rome by Generic’s navy who was based in Carthage, along with its sacking by Attila the Hun in about 450 AD marks the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. When the Roman empire collapsed it was quickly replaced by the Holy Roman Empire whose primate Daniel tells us in verse 37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women”. The Roman pantheon of Jupiter, Apollo, Bacchus, etc was formally replaced by Maddona and child and varius saints and celibacy was upheld as a new virtue. The change from the pagan Roman empire to the Holy Roman empire is was a gradual transition but once complete retained almost nothing recognisable from the past. Daniel describes the characteristics of the Holy Roman Empire upto verse 40 when he proceeds to tell us about the time of the end. It is commonly accepted by historicists from the description of the time of the end in Daniel 12:4 that the beginning of the “time of the end” refers to  the end of the 18th Century coinciding about the time of the rise of the secular state at the time of the French revolution and the US war of independence. It was also at that time that the Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved in the year 1806. As Daniel is describing the history of the leading world power in each age, the verses following 40 must next describe the history of the next world power to take the stage after about 1800.

Now before we consider the events after 1800 and who this world power might be, lets consider the “time of the end” and the “great tribulation” not of the Christian era as we have been doing from historicist perspective but of the Jewish era in a preterist perspective. The time of the end in the Jewish era began with the rise of Rome. As soon as it arose the days of Jerusalem were numbered. The rise of Rome as an independent state happened to coincide with Alexander’s overthrow of the Medo-Persian Empire and the granting of self-determination to Israel. These events marked the beginning of the Jewish era’s time of the end. If Daniel described the history of the world power during the Jewish time of the end, then it must describe the entire history of  the Roman Empire  from its beginning at that time. This is exactly what we see. In verse 40 we are told that the rise of Rome (“him”) was marked by its victory over two rivals, one to its north and one to its south. The first was Carthage (to the south) which it defeated in the Punic wars to become master of the Mediterranean and the second was the Seleucid empire (Carthage’s northern ally) which it had to defeat to become master of Asia Minor. In verse 41 we are told “he” (Rome) would then enter the glorious land which it did when it later annexed Judea, and that Egypt would not escape which was the battle of Actium in 31BC. Daniel then tells us about the war against Licinius at Byzantium in verse 44 that led to the relocation of the seat of the empire from Rome to Constantinople, a sacred seven hilled city located between the Black sea and Aegean sea. It is there that the remnants of the proud Roman empire came to its end in 1453 when in response to its plea for help to Europe, none came. In every detail the history of the Roman Empire from its rise to its end perfectly matches the description of the power desciribed as “he” or “him” in verses 40-45. The main player here was not the Seleucid king the north – a leftover of the previous Greek empire, since it was overthrown by Rome. Also the Ptolemaic kings never hindered the rise of Rome and are accordingly irrelevant in this history, instead a new identity played the role described as the king of the south. Now given, as we have elsewhere demonstated  that the history of Daniel’s four prophetic kingdoms repeats in each age we know that the history at the time of the end of the Jewish era is repeated  at the time of the end of the Christian era.

So with this in mind, returning to the events following 1800 and the “time of the end” and the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, which nation arose at that time that would establish a world-wide empire? Only one nation arose that was to steadily grow to almost universal world domination. It is that same nation that was to enter into the countries and overflow and pass over, and that was to “enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown” and who was to “have power over the treasures of gold and of silver.” As Rome had to overcome two rivals before it could establish its empire,  this world power also needed to overcome two rivals. As before, the king of the north was a remnant of the previous empire and so aptly represents the German and Austro-Hungarian allicance that remained of the previous Holy Roman Empire. Similarly the king of the south was a new identity, its rival for control of the Pacific Ocean, Japan. Just as the Punic wars had begun over control of the island of Sicily, so also, the Pacific war began over control of the islands of Hawaii. Having defeated these two literal kingdoms, it became master of both Europe and the Pacific. The identification of the world power being made, the rest of the vision leading up to the great tribulation mentioned in Dan 12:1 describes the events related to the fall of this singular world power.

Now some people get all confused about who the ‘him’ is in verse 40, “the king of the south push at him and the king of the north shall come against him.” Do both hims refer to the same power, or different powers, and who is the first him? Trying to unravel the prophecy from this text alone without considering the overall context of the vision is like a blind man trying to determine what an elephant is just by feeling an elephant’s tail. Lets try to do so for the sake of it anyway. Lets take the traditional historicist view that the first him is the Holy Roman Empire from the preceding verse. In this case the king of the south might be either the Napoleonic or the Ottoman empires.

If it was the Napoleonic empire, then nothing remained of the Holy Roman Empire after Napoleon for the king of the north to come against and so the ‘him’ that the king of the north comes against can only be the Napoleonic empire or what remained of it being France. This can only mean that the king of the north is Germany but neither France nor Germany fulfill the specifications in the rest of the prophecy, neither entered into the glorious land nor relocated their capital’s to a sacred city between the seas. So that view does not work.

If it was the Ottoman empire then the ‘him’ that the king of the north could come  against was either the Holy Roman Empire which had withstood the Ottoman attacks or against the Ottoman Empire itself. This leaves France as the potential king of the north but again, neither France nor the extinct Ottoman empirec an fulfil the remaining prophetic specifications in in the rest of the prophecy. Some people just ignore the role of the king of the south and say that the king of the north and the actor in the rest of the prophecy was the Ottoman empire because it’s capital was situated At Constantinople between the seas, but  it came to its end in the 1840’s or so when it sought and was granted the protection of  England, Germany and France from the Egyptian caliphate and is no longer in existance while the great tribulation of Dan 12:1 did not commence “at that time”. Yes the Turks are a small regional power today but it remains subjegated to the European powers. In no sense of the word can it be construed to be a world power, a successor to the Holy Roman Empire.

So we are left with the conclusion that the first ‘him’ that the kings of the north and south come against is not the Holy Roman empire that but a new international power, that arising after 1798 would not itself overthrow the Holy Roman Empire but was to inherit at least in some extent its perogatives and assume its place in the world. It is easy to see who now controls the foreign policy of Europe and to a large extent its politics and economy. As Daniel’s vision glosses over the long transition from the Roman empire to the Holy Roman empire, so too is the transition from the holy Roman empire to the new world power which today controls the silver and gold markets worldwide and that has extended its military bases into almost all of the countries in the world, and overturns the governments of many nations seemingly at will. When this power comes to its end, “none shall help him”, nor mourn for him. “And at that time then Michael shall stand up … and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Dan 12:1)

It is clear to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear that time is very very near. Only those who are prepared will survive. For a start move out of the cities and seek God while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near, while you still can. “while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,  And the doors shall be shut in the streets.”  Ecc 12:1-4

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