|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Edition description:||Revised ed.|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Discovering the Four Mideast Signs Leading to the Antichrist
By Mark Davidson
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Mark Davidson
All rights reserved.
The Antichrist's Islamic Empire Revealed
In exploring the idea of an Islamic Antichrist in the Bible, I realized that the first step was to examine the prophetic passages that were used to argue for a Roman Antichrist. Two passages in particular are commonly used to "prove" a Roman Antichrist. The first is found in Daniel 2 and relates Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a giant metal statue, and Daniel's interpretation of that dream which tells us of the Antichrist's kingdom. The second passage is found in the last four verses of Daniel 9, which is known as the "Seventy Weeks" prophecy and tells us the Antichrist's ethnic background. Popular prophetic theology uses these two passages to show that the Antichrist comes from a revived Roman Empire and will be of Italian or at least European descent.
If the assertion that the Antichrist will be Muslim is true, then the first thing I needed to investigate was the historical evidence measured against these two passages of Scripture. The results would be able to tell me if a Roman Antichrist could be clearly proven or not, and hopefully show that a Muslim Antichrist is a better fit. If the idea presented in Joel Richardson's book about an Islamic Antichrist is indeed true, then these two passages would not only have to show that a Roman Antichrist is the wrong choice, but also verify that an Islamic Antichrist is the right choice.
It is interesting to note that knowledge of world history can actually affect our view of how a Bible prophecy was and is fulfilled. We will see in this chapter and the next that without an awareness of certain historical facts, we may think Rome fulfills the prophecies in these two passages. But having a better or more complete view of history allows us to see that Islam as the fulfillment is much more complete. That will in turn allow us to see the true interpretation of prophecy, and that it is being fulfilled these very days.
In Daniel 2, the Antichrist's end-time empire includes ten nations represented by the ten toes in the statue. There are parallels between this vision and other prophetic visions in the Bible that we will explore later in this book. As an example, in a parallel picture, Revelation 17:12 says ten kings will rule with the Antichrist. These ten nations will come from the historical Empire of Iron represented by the iron legs, whichever empire it may be. In turn, whichever empire the legs represent also defines what end-time countries the feet and toes represent. The current popular thought, of course, is that the iron legs "clearly" represent Rome, and many arguments have been made in support of that. The question I had on my journey was, "How could the iron legs actually argue against Rome and argue for Islam instead?" The remainder of this chapter will answer this question.
We will also look at the second passage, Daniel 9:26, in chapter 2 of this book. This second passage mentions the "people" who burned down the temple in AD 70. Most scholars argue that these people are the Romans. After all, there were Roman soldiers in Jerusalem. Daniel 9:26 says that the people who burned down the temple were the people from whom the Antichrist will come. Does the fact that the soldiers were Roman soldiers make the case for Rome ironclad? Is there another way of looking at this passage? Indeed there is, and we will see how historical facts change one's perspective on this passage.
Daniel 2: The Statue
King Nebuchadnezzar's mind wandered to thoughts of the things to come, so he was given a dream. He was troubled by the dream because he didn't understand it. Daniel asked the Lord for wisdom in this and was given the same dream and told the meaning of it. The dream started with a huge, splendid metal statue of a man composed of five parts; each part of this statue was made of different metals. The statue was struck in the feet by an uncut stone, and the metals of the statue turned into dust and blew away until nothing was left. The stone then became a mountain that filled the whole earth. The text for the dream is found in Daniel 2:31–35.
You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue — an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
The interpretation is given in Daniel 2:36–45. Daniel 2:45 tells us that this vision is a picture of future history from Daniel's perspective, "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."
We saw that the statue was made up of five parts, starting with the head and going down to the feet. The history starts in Daniel's time (about 600 BC) because in Daniel 2:38 Nebuchadnezzar was told, "You are that head of gold." Regarding the fifth and last part of the statue which is the iron and clay feet, we are told in Daniel 2:44, "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people."
So we can see that this dream covers all of the history of civilization from Daniel's time to the Second Coming of Christ. We know this because the head of gold, Nebuchadnezzar, was in Daniel's time, and the toes are in the time when God sets up a kingdom here on earth. This is when Christ returns, which is generally undisputed. So everything chronologically from the head to the feet is a summary of the history of the world after Daniel's time.
I agree with most Bible commentators who say the head of gold is the Babylonian Empire, the silver chest is the Persian Empire, and the bronze belly and thighs are the Greek Empire, which started under Alexander the Great. What I dispute here in this chapter is the popular view that the empire represented by the iron legs and feet is the Roman Empire. As we will see later in this book, the Bible has much to say to help the saints see what season we are in relative to the return of Christ. But, in order to see these things and to understand these prophecies, we must know the set of countries from which the Antichrist will come. If the iron legs represent the Roman Empire, then we need to watch countries like France, Italy, Spain, and perhaps other countries in Europe such as the UK and Greece. But if the iron legs represent the Islamic Realm, we need to watch countries such as Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and other countries in the Middle East. They are two very different sets of countries. Bible prophecy can't inform us and comfort us if we insist on looking toward the wrong countries.
This vision in Daniel was given to the king of Babylon and is from the point of view of someone living in Babylon. The metals of the statue can be likened to conditions that the city of Babylon found itself in during the times of those empires. During the Babylonian Empire, the city of Babylon was like gold among metals — noble and first among all cities, the capital city. Being the center of the greatest empire at the time, it was also likely lavished with actual gold. During the time of the Persian Empire, Babylon was that empire's third capital, and of reduced importance, like silver. And during the Greek Empire, Babylon was not a capital at all, but an important center of trade and commerce. The metals become less valuable as time progresses and so does the status of the city of Babylon within the region. It is finally under the iron, as we will see, that Babylon is crushed.
The popular interpretation arguing for a Roman Antichrist is that the iron legs represent the Roman Empire. But let us carefully look at the interpretation of the vision of the statue, and in particular the iron legs. The Bible says about the legs in Daniel 2:40, "And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others" (nkjv, emphasis added). Daniel 2:40 is one of those verses mentioned in this book's introduction as being key to understanding the vision, and yet it has been unyielding in allowing a proper interpretation prior to the end times.
This verse says that the Empire of Iron would have to break, crush, and shatter all the other empires — Babylonian, Persian, and Greek. The phrase "breaks in pieces" is translated from the Aramaic word deqaq (Strong's #1855, pronounced dek-ak') meaning, to crumble or break into pieces. Another English word used by at least one translation is pulverize. The words shatter and crush are translated from the word chashal (Strong's #2827, pronounced khash-al') that means to subdue, to weaken, or to make feeble. The phrase "all the others" at the end of the verse refers to the three preceding empires — Babylonian, Persian, and Greek.
So how do we apply the idea of crushing and breaking into pieces the parts of a metal statue to affecting actual empires? The terms we have are shatter and crush, which mean to subdue and weaken, and breaking in pieces, which means to crumble or pulverize. These terms fit in a sequence of typical actions a conqueror may do to the conquered: first subdue, followed by weaken, and then pulverize.
So we begin with subdue which means "to conquer." By conquest one empire would occupy another and could weaken certain existing economic, social, or government infrastructures and institutions in the conquered empire. Enfeebling an institution of the conquered empire could include, for example, the disbanding of a native caste of priests that run a state religion.
Next, to understand the meaning of "to crumble" or "to pulverize" we must consider them in relation to the parts of a metal statue. The head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly and thighs of bronze must be so completely broken that all that is left of them are very small fragments. This would, of course, make their original form completely unrecognizable. What was once a gold nose or a gold ear is broken into so many small pieces that it is unrecognizable as a nose or an ear. Likewise, in the case of conquered lands and peoples, they would be completely unrecognizable when compared to their previous state.
For an idea of how a land can be so transformed that its end state is unrecognizable from its initial state, we need look no further than the history of the United States. In the 1600s when the Pilgrims first landed, the people living on the east coast of North America spoke a language other than English and practiced their own native religions. The people there hunted and wore the skins of animals. A few centuries later, we find the people living in North America speaking English, living in cities where there are skyscrapers and automobiles, and practicing a religion other than the one practiced by the indigenous people. The people there farm or work in factories and wear sewn or tailored cloth such as cotton or wool. We could say that area has undergone a tremendous transformation. A change in language, culture, and religion of a given people would qualify as transforming any area or empire so that it is unrecognizable.
So, in summary, for the Empire of Iron to fulfill Daniel 2:40, it would have to conquer the former three empires, enfeeble the various established institutions, and so change or transform those empires that they become unrecognizable from their earlier preconquered states. This transformation would include a loss of native language, religion, and other cultural identities. That really is a lot for the Empire of Iron — or any empire — to accomplish.
As one surveys history, an immediate problem arises with the iron legs being the Roman Empire. The popular prophetic picture clashes with real history, because Rome would have had to conquer Babylon, Persia, and Greece. But the Roman Empire never conquered the core part of the Persian Empire located east of the Euphrates River, and so certainly never crushed it!
Popular theology gives its own arguments as to why Rome is the Empire of Iron. One argument is the idea that Rome used iron weapons in their warfare — but so did other empires, which weakens this argument.
A second argument is that there are two iron legs, which they say represent the western and eastern empires of Rome. However, the bronze part of the statue that represents the Greek Empire includes the two thighs. No one arguing for the iron being Roman bothers with this detail. In fact, just as a single belly becomes two thighs, so Alexander's empire broke up into four pieces, but two dominated. They are known in Daniel 11 as the king of the North and the king of the South — Syria and Egypt (two political kingdoms as part of the Greek realm set up by Alexander the Great). And just as each thigh turns into a leg, and each bronze column becomes iron, so the Empire of Iron would have to conquer both the northern and southern kingdoms. If anything, using this logic, the two legs would need to be the Roman continuation of the parts of the Greek Empire. But this would require the Greek legs of the north and south to become the Roman legs of the north and south. However, Rome had an east and west, so the argument for Roman legs fails here also.
The third argument, which seems strongest to me but still ineffective, is that Rome has a reputation in the Christian community as being a crusher and breaker because of the way the Roman Empire treated the Christians and Jews. Christians are somewhat familiar with this since Rome did crush a Jewish revolt in AD 70 by burning the temple and city of Jerusalem and enslaving its inhabitants. Rome did try for three hundred years to stamp out the Christian faith. However, we all know Christianity went on to take over the Roman Empire in the early fourth century AD and became its state religion. So Rome did successfully crush one province but at the same time it failed to crush a faith.
Generally, Rome did not end the language, religion, and culture of a conquered province unless there was rebellion, as was the case in Judea where the Jews lived. One could speak Latin and his or her own language. One could pay homage to the Caesars and practice his own religion, unless of course it clashed, as was the case with Judaism and Christianity. But Rome never trampled the language, religions, and culture of Spain, Gaul (France), Britain, North Africa, Egypt, Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, and Syria. They were all allowed to continue their ways.
But that key passage of Daniel 2:40 which reveals "crushing and breaking" is not talking about doing that to individual provinces like Judea. To be the Empire of Iron, Rome had to conquer, subdue, crush, and enfeeble not little provinces, but the empires of Babylon, Persia, and Greece!
Rome Did Not Break Babylon Into Pieces
Under Emperor Trajan, Rome managed to conquer Babylon in AD 116. He then formed the Roman province of Mesopotamia, having carved it out of the western edge of the territory of the Parthian (Persian) Empire. Most of the province's territory was limited to the land between the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers. However, Trajan died the very next year and his successor, Emperor Hadrian, reversed Trajan's strategy of expansion. Hadrian even abandoned the province of Mesopotamia containing Babylon.
Excerpted from Daniel Revisited by Mark Davidson. Copyright © 2015 Mark Davidson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations v
Section 1 The Bible Shows Us the Antichrist Comes From is Am Rather Than Rome 23
1 The Antichrist's Islamic Empire Revealed 25
2 The Antichrist's Ethnic Background Revealed 51
3 What's So Special About Islam? 63
Section 2 Seeing What Must Happen Before the Tribulation Comes 77
4 The Amazing Warning the Bib e Gives Us of the Antichrist's Coming 79
5 The Vision of the Four Beasts 87
6 The Vision of the Ram and the Goat 123
7 The Vision of the Four Horsemen 129
8 How Three Visions Form Four Signposts 139
Section 3 The Four Signposts Revealed 149
9 The First Signpost: The Coercion of Iraq 151
10 The Second Signpost: The Conquest by Iran 171
11 The Third Signpost: The Confederacy of Four Nations 209
12 The Fourth Signpost: The Coalescing of an Empire 237
Appendix A A History of the Commentary of Daniel 2:40 259
Appendix B Bible References Quoted or Mentioned 271
Glossary of Islamic Terms 285
About the Author 299
What People are Saying About This
“Throughout the body of Christ, many students and teachers of the end times are awakening to the solidly Scriptural basis for the Islamic antichrist theory. Daniel Revisited, which develops this interpretation of the end times, will no doubt greatly add to the growing understanding of the Church as the Day of the LORD draws near. Mark Davidson, who I have come to know and exchange ideas with over the years, is a humble and careful student of both the Scriptures and history whose work must now be considered by everyone who seeks to understand the days ahead.”
– Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of Islamic Antichrist and Mideast Beast, co-author of God’s War on Terror, internationally recognized speaker and activist Joel Richardson, , New York Times Bestselling Author
'Some books provide great entertainment, others great education, but quite frankly, the God of the Bible spoke when I read Mark Davidson’s Daniel Revisited. On the deepest personal level, things that I had an inkling about for more than two decades were at long last confirmed! Even the most Berean student of Bible prophecy looked at me funny when I dared to suggest that Daniel chapters 7 and 8, for example, may be entirely future. I vividly remember saying to friends back in 2000, “I have no idea why Saddam Hussein is still in power. God must have another part for him to play.” Davidson answers that plainly and scripturally in this book; I felt Jesus was speaking directly to ME. Something as rudimentary as “unsealing” jumps off the page when you finally “see” that the book of Daniel has been Sealed and will be broken just as the scroll that is Sealed and broken in Revelation 6. Building on the Scriptural foundation laid out by teachers like Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat, Daniel Revisited peels back the onion to reveal that not only is the Tribulation not imminent, but there are several signs that will occur before! Such is the great value in reading this book; it doesn’t end when the pages do, but it is ongoing at foursignposts.com. Even today as we see the Islamic State encompassing the kingdom of ancient Babylon, the Persians of Iran are about to make their move. Don’t be left in the dark and DON’T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Even if Daniel Revisited blows away every paradigm you hold dear, let the Holy Spirit teach you as He did me. Time is short.'
– Christopher Mantei, Managing Director, WingsOfTheEagle.com, and Northeast Region Community Voice, Voice of the Martyrs Christopher Mantei, , Managing Director