Behold: The Prince of Persia!
…get ready for War with Iran
By Doug Krieger
A witch’s brew: The mixture of religion and politics. That’s precisely what this article has done! Scott Ritter’s analysis that the US is technically at war with Iran (as we speak), and that this can be validated by the same preparations and activity prior to the Coalition of the Willing’s incursion into Iraq in early 2003, is ominous and, unfortunately, overall trustworthy. Our analysis confronts the majority opinion expressed by conservative Christians in the pursuit of the War on Terror against the “evil doers” . . . and why the “American Patriotic Church” is theologically resolute in its support for the Administration’s designs in the Middle East—the moral under girding in the Neo-Con implementation of Democratic Globalism is just about to be wildly tested, once again.
DÉJÀ VU (Where have I heard this before?)
(Note: May I warn you from the outset . . . this treatise may commence with the levitas of “secular” indiscretions, comments and analysis . . . but it will culminate with relevant theological gravitas . . . bear with me; and, oddly enough, the article actually “hangs together”)
“President Bush had signed a covert finding in late spring 2002, which authorized the CIA and US Special Operations forces to dispatch clandestine units into Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein from power. The fact is that the Iraq war had begun by the beginning of summer 2002, if not earlier . . . as was the case with Iraq pre-March 2003, the Bush administration today speaks of ‘diplomacy’ and a desire for a ‘peaceful’ resolution to the Iranian question. But the facts speak of another agenda, that of war and the forceful removal of the theocratic regime, currently wielding the reigns of power in Tehran . . . as with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an ‘axis of evil’ (together with the newly ‘liberated’ Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of ‘democracy’ to the Iranian people. (Scott Ritter, July 2005, RENSE.COM)
History tends to repeat itself. Yes, but this fast? Yes, again! Scott Ritter, beloved voice of the Left for his criticisms of the War in Iraq, is a former intelligence officer for the United States Marine Corps (where he served as the lead analyst for the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War). Also, this “Army of One” was the key coordinator for the implementation of UNSC (United Nations Security Council) resolutions mandating the elimination of Iraqi WMD.
So . . . BAM! Ritter gets top billing in Aljazeera for his prophetic outbursts by likening Bush’s pre-invasion tactics of Iraq with what’s happening now in Iran. Indeed, the parallels are staggering and overwhelmingly convincing, even to the God bless America crowd—who, unfortunately, demand that the present conflict be expanded to include the entire “Axis of Evil” (along with a few lesser-rans like Syria and the rest of those mad bombers running around loose out there). They need to be hunted down and democratized, so the Free World can get on with globalization, along with unhindered economic growth in the USA.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop the cheap money pouring into the US economy (and, ipso facto, the accelerated/unimaginable skyrocketing prices found in the US housing market today) from central banks, all to willing to finance the national debt in order to keep Americans buying their cheap products.
The foreign purchase of US bonds, in order to finance our nearly $8 Trillion Trade Deficit (now outpacing our National Debt (also $8 Trillion) by nearly twice as fast), places uninhibited pressure upon lenders and mortgage companies to keep interest rates artificially low, which in turn directly exacerbate the already inflated housing market driving the current “economic boom/bubble.”
One must ponder the intoxicating influences of that Great City prophesied in Scripture with a new understanding of what it means to be addicted to alcohol—talk about going on a bender (i.e., a massive drunken spree), with absolutely no desire for a 12 Step or “Wagon” experience!
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:3).
Of course, all this apocalyptic hyperbole, according to our what-me-worry Preterist buds, took place years ago (like 1900 years ago) around 100 A.D. . . . . So, who cares about Bible prophecy anyway, right? After all, who wants to live in an encumbered future full of doom and gloom and “Ritter rhetoric” that smacks of “American hate speak” and, furthermore, borders (no, it actually is) malignant, traitorous propaganda. Alas! Ritter has become the replacement for Baghdad Bob; you know, that clown featured on news channels for his “all is love and oneness” remarks when all “Western hell” was breaking lose (now, come on, you lefties had to laugh at that character). His believability ratings were off the chart: “That wasn’t Saddam you guys captured, it was Santa Claus!”
THIS IS NO JOKING MATTER
O.K. Let’s get serious about this business of world conquest by democratization on a scale heretofore not seen since ancient Rome. The evidence mounts daily on US intentions (let alone Israeli intentions) regarding Iran’s pending demise (a.k.a., “regime change possibilities”). Most Americans have no idea, thanks to the complicity of the corporate media (and that’s not a cliché . . . check out this website next time (and excuse my purposeful digression), you’ll be glad you used a Westinghouse toaster while you’re watching TV; to wit:
“In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth.” (See: http://www.corporations.org/media/ )
Pilotless drones scour the airspace above Iran, while the CIA-backed Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, pans out across Iran—a bombing here, a bombing there, man, we could be talking about a real bombing campaign here pretty soon.
And, of course, Bush/Rice continue to bash the Iranian efforts at “free elections” – naturally, the hardliners have rigged the whole smear, so what else is news. Meanwhile, a huge US military buildup continues unabated in, naturally, you guessed it: Just due north of Teheran, Iran: Azerbaijan (former Soviet bastion of infiltration and headaches for Persia’s Shah). Good night, read the entire link and weep (for “joy” if you’re a crusader; for “grief” if you’re an Islamic bureaucrat), and “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
“Three air ‘lily pad’ bases in central Azerbaijan -- Kurdamir, Nasosnyy and Gyulakh -- which used to be Soviet air bases. Kurdamir was a strategic base, with Tu-22M ‘Backfire’ bombers located there. The base's upgrade, including its runway, already is completed, local sources say. This means the air base can receive U.S. strategic bombers or other heavy air transport. The Nasosnyy base used to host Soviet heavy transport Il-76es for Soviet airborne forces and other troops. With the Nasosnyy upgrade soon to be completed, U.S. strategic transport planes should be able to use it too, making the air base a major point in the Caspian air corridor from Western Europe to the Caucasus and Central Asia, where U.S. troops and aircraft are located. Initially, the United States probably will deploy some special operations forces aircraft, military transport planes, air surveillance and other spy planes (including drones) and perhaps F-16s.”
Of course, Donald Rumsfeld’s visits to the locals in Azerbaijan (be it ever so innocuous) normally portends an extension of Democratic Globalism nearby and/or a continued presence in the region guaranteeing abundant oil flows from the just opened Caspian oil pipeline, and perhaps, a little from Iran “on the side.”
Likewise, if Turkey doesn’t play ball with us, we can simply do one of two things: (1) Extend the pipeline directly through Georgia to the Black Sea and on to Europe (we figured that one out a long time ago); or (2) in general, make things miserable for the Turks! In our other articles we’ve presented a powerful case for the Islamic Turks to throw their weight behind Iran and Syria . . . you’ll have to go to those chapters in The Gog-Magog Scenario.
WHAT’S THEOLOGY GOT TO DO WITH RUMSFELD, RITTER, AND IRAN?
Not surprisingly, a whole lot, according to Thetribnet (us, of course); but little or nothing according to the otherwise brilliant evangelical eschatologist and New Age basher, Dave Hunt. You see, Brother Hunt sees nothing in the current possibilities of a Gog-Magog confrontation, lumping, as he does, the entire “initial prospects for conflict in the Middle East” into the final conflict itself: Armageddon. Consequently, all this sound and fury in the Middle East (although fun speculation making for great book sales: Judgment Day, Israel, Islam, and the Nations) is a whole long ways off (at least seven years) signifies nothing . . . besides, we’ll be “outta here”—especially us American Christians (because there’s so many of us righteous ones) and that will leave room for America’s economic collapse, and the revelation of the Antichrist from a resuscitated European Union). Hey, these guys actually believe this.
There you go again—meaningless eschatological food fights amongst otherwise nice people (they just are a little nuts when it comes to forecasting the future). Folks, bear with us. We do appreciate the absolute brilliance enunciated by one Dave Hunt and for his valiant synthesis of the occult incursions into the Church and of Rome’s pervasive influences to catapult ecumenism into the immediate present wherein Antichrist will have more than a firm base of support to inflict his dastardly script upon unsuspecting earthlings.
However, when it comes to this nuance (and we’ll get into why such “nuances” are paramount in how we live our lives today); i.e., the difference (yea, blatant distinction) between the Gog-Magog conflict and the horrific descriptions of the entire Armageddon Campaign (i.e., the FINAL conflict), we affirm the blurring of that distinction is tantamount to discrediting (seriously discarding) the very Biblical literalism we know he holds dear. In sum (as you see below) Hunt has cavalierly discarded all such differentiations as trivial and disproportionate to their theological value—i.e., there’s but one end of the age conflict and we, as Pretribulationists, have naught to concern ourselves, because we’re not part of the “Left Behind” crowd in any event: Sorry guys, we’ve been raptured from the final conflict—you’ll have to endure the Great Tribulation yourselves!
Quoting from Hunt’s 1995, “A Cup of Trembling . . . Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy” . . .
“It is true that there has been some unwarranted speculation and even sensationalism in attempts to apply apocalyptic prophecies. That fact, however, does not warrant throwing these prophecies out, but instead calls for care in interpreting them. Ezekiel 38 and 39 list certain leaders, peoples, and nations that will be involved in the future attack upon Israel. ‘Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya’ are specifically named. Others are not so easily identified: ‘Gog, the land of Magog . . . Meshech and Tubal . . . Gomer, and Togarmah of the north’ (38:5, 2, 6). Some prophecy writers have allegedly traced these names and peoples to Russia and northern Europeans. It is difficult, however, to verify the accuracy of such claims, and it is not necessary.
“There is no reason to believe that Ezekiel’s listing is intended to name each and every nation that will be involved in the last-days attack upon Israel. Moreover, we find ‘Gog and Magog’ mentioned again in Revelation 20:8, representing all nations on earth coming against Jerusalem and Christ at the end of millennium. Clearly that final battle is not the one mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. If ‘Gog and Magog’ represent all nations in Revelation, then we may assume that the same is true in Ezekiel (monster conjecture on Hunt’s part here). There are two battles involving all nations: Armageddon just preceding and the battle in Revelation 20 at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign. This is only one of several reasons for concluding that Ezekiel 38 and 39 refer to Armageddon and not to some earlier World War III” (pp. 414-415, Dave Hunt, “Cup of Trembling”).
It is baffling to me that Hunt’s Biblical literalism appears to be convenient only when it fits his presuppositions—in this case there are but two future conflicts of Biblical magnitude: Armageddon (a.k.a., Gog-Magog) and the final postmillennial Gog-Magog conflagration. The incredible specificity of Ezekiel’s constellation of nations in the initial Gog-Magog outburst is unparalleled in Scripture. What is even more incredible—notwithstanding turn-of-the-century Premillenarian hype regarding Russia’s identification with Gog-Magog—the current alignment of nations in Ezekiel 38 and 39 virtually fits the immediate contestation between the world’s super power, the USA, and the configuration of antagonists in the Middle East.
Likewise, those Middle Eastern nations either leaning toward US approbation or in its hip pocket (i.e., providing unwavering support due to military occupation and/or economic contrivance) provide ample evidence to prophetic fulfillment. A short list is too convincing (modern and Biblical names given):
FOR OR LEANING TOWARD USA (i.e., the West’s leadership; a.k.a., “Ships of Tarshish”)
Saudi Arabia (Dedan; includes Gulf States)
Jordan (Edom, Moab, and Ammon)
Israel (USA is her patron)
ANTAGONISTS (Not Mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39; but removed “somehow” …see Isaiah 17 and 18)
ANTAGONISTS MENTIONED ALIGNED WITH GOG (i.e., MAGOG) and THE KING OF THE SOUTH (Daniel 11:40-45)
King of the North/Gog:
Turkey (Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah) (Note: current “alliances” with Syria and Iran belie her “alliance” with the USA.
King of the South:
Egypt (“US Ally” in name only)
Ethiopia (Cush or modern Sudan)
Libya (Put or modern Libya)
Hunt’s complete omission of Daniel 11:40-45 (and the subsequent confrontations of major import wrought therein) is especially glaring. Robert Duncan Culver’s classic, “Daniel and the Latter Days,” conclusively substantiates the rise, exploits, warfare pursuits (prior to Armageddon and within the Middle East) of the Willful King found in Daniel 11:36-45:
“My own opinion (following the majority of recent Premillennial commentators) is that the prediction relates to Antiochus from verse 21 (of Daniel 11) to verse 35, but that beginning with 36, Antichrist (i.e., the leader of the Gentile World Power of Western Civilization; my comments), by the designation of ‘the king who shall do according to his will,’ is the theme of the prophecy, to the close of chapter 11. With the view mentioned above, that Antiochus is described in verses 21-35, and that the history detailed is typical of Antichrist’s future career, I have no quarrel. Yet I do contend that verses 36-45 are directly predictive of the career of Antichrist and of him alone.” (p. 164, Culver, “Daniel and the Latter Days”)
Culver (Theologian of the Evangelical Free Church) commences a through investigation of the exploits of Antichrist as seen in Daniel 11:36 on—listing no less than six definitive expositions of this Willful King. Highlighting his commentary are several sections which expound upon this unique figure that validates the DIFFERENCE between the Gog-Magog War (i.e., the immediate exploits of the Willful King in the Middle East) and the so-called Battle of Armageddon at the close of Daniel’s 70th Week:
From section (2), p. 165:
“The correspondence of the predictions of chapter 11 with now past history breaks down at the end of verse 35. I mean to say that if verses 36-45 were intended to refer to Antiochus, the last great Seleucid (Greek) king, then the author appears to be guilty of introducing error into the Scripture. There is nothing known in history which corresponds to the prediction of Daniel 11:36-45. Evidence of this is the utter confusion in the commentaries of those who insist that Antiochus is the chief figure down to the end of the chapter.”
Thus, Culver accentuates the personification of Antichrist as a latter day figure, juxtaposed to the mercurial prototype of Antichrist seen in Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek Seleucid who attempted to Hellenize the Jews during the Maccabean Era (Daniel 11:1-35).
Culver explores this end-time’s figure extensively in section (4) pp. 165-166:
“This predictive section (i.e., Daniel 11:36-45) corresponds so precisely with other unquestionable predictions of Antichrist that the identity of the reference can hardly be doubted. Leupold, Young, and Keil of the Amillennial School as well as most of the premillennial writers agree in this. The behavior of the ‘little horn’ of chapter seven, the ‘man of sin’ of II Thessalonians and of ‘the beast’ of Revelation 13 is so strikingly similar that on this basis of correspondence alone a strong case could be built. This king not only does according to his will, but he ‘shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods’ (11:36), just as John reveals (Rev. 13:36) of ‘the beast.’ He also ‘shall magnify himself above all (11:37), just as Paul says of the man of sin (II Thess. 2:3 ff.). He meets his end at the end of ‘the indignation’ (11:36, 45) and that in an unusual manner, just as Revelation 19:20 says the ‘beast’ will come to his end. Each one of these features is found, as indicated above, also in chapter 7 (of Daniel) in relation to the ‘little horn.’”
Please do not be distracted by this rather elaborate theological contestation. It unequivocally necessitates an explanation as to Daniel’s amplification of the passages found in Ezekiel 38 and 39 (Ezekiel preceded Daniel’s exile into Babylonian captivity; and, therefore, expands upon the revelations found in his text.). Furthermore, the Willful King’s initial subjugation of both the King of the North and the King of the South demands an explanation—because its exploitive episode is of obvious magnitude (i.e., Gog-Magog!). Those who insist that the Willful King is Antiochus IV Epiphanes or another “time of the end” Seleucid monarch, confusing the antecedents of the “he” and the “him” in the text (Daniel 11:40, in particular), strain at extending the character (i.e., King of the North) throughout the entire chapter, neglecting the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
Culver’s ultimate conclusion is noteworthy with respect to the sequence of events at the commencement and conclusion of Daniel’s 70th Week; to wit, (6):
“The conclusive and decisive evidence for an eschatological setting of the prophecy of the willful king (Dan. 11:36-45) is (as noted in passage above) the phrase at the opening of chapter 12 (of Daniel). This phrase is, ‘And at that time.’ Then follows a listing of three of the most important events of eschatology—the great tribulation of Israel, the resurrection of the dead, and the final reward of the righteous. It is unquestionably true that if the career of the willful king, and his conflicts with the king of the south and the king of the north, are at the time of these things, then he is none other than the final Antichrist.” (My emphasis.)
The point to be made here in Culver’s declarations that Daniel 11:36-45 speaks of a future Antichrist at the close of this age, is simply this:
(1) If this is the future Antichrist, his “initial thrust” into the Middle East results in a conclusive victory over the King of the North and the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43); whereupon . . .
(2) He shall “go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many” (after hearing of “news (i.e., “rumors”) from the east and the north” (Daniel 11:44).
(3) “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain” (i.e., an obvious reference to the infamous “treaty with death and hell” concluded with Israel, yet allowing Israel’s rebuilding of their “Tribulation Temple” or “Third Temple” and the commencement of the sacerdotal rites) (Daniel 11:45).
(4) “ . . . yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:45) . . . this undoubtedly refers to the ultimate destruction of the Antichrist/Beast at the Second Coming of Christ and the ultimate conflict leading up to his demise, i.e., the Armageddon Campaign against the “Kings of the East” (Revelation 16:12-16) . . . which I quote in toto, linking the so-called “Battle of Armageddon” directly with Antichrist and the Kings of the East (i.e., in all likelihood, China and India . . . “news from the East/North will trouble him”) and NOT the initial King of the North/King of the South (i.e., Gog-Magog) War:
“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief (Note: Just prior to the Second Coming of Christ; these are the words of Christ.). Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’ And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon (i.e., lit. Heb. “Mt. Megiddo) (Revelation 16:12-16).
IN DEFERENCE TO DAVE HUNT . . .
Hunt goes on to substantiate his own argument that there is no difference between Gog-Magog and Armageddon (i.e., Gog-Magog is Armageddon) by stating:
“There is no doubt, from both Zechariah 12 and Revelation 1 and 19, that this personal coming of Yahweh to rescue His people and to destroy Antichrist and his armies takes place at Armageddon (Note: We do not deny this timetable.). It is significant, then, that similar language concerning the personal presence of God is found in Ezekiel 38 and 39, thus identifying the event described there as Armageddon also (unfortunately, an exegesis unsupportable; my comments):
“All the men that are upon the face of the earth shall shake at my presence . . . and will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 38:20, 23) . . . I will set my glory among the heathen (nations), and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them” (Ezekiel 39:21).
Not only does Hunt disregard the specificity of nations aligned against the Willful King in both Ezekiel 38 and 39 and, apparently again, in Daniel 11 (wherein Ezekiel 38 and 39 targets Israel’s plight; whereas Daniel 11 focuses upon Antichrist himself), he then takes a quantum leap by conjecturing gentile recognition of the Almighty’s intervention upon Gog-Magog on behalf of Israel (even it be at the hand of Antichrist himself) must take place at the miraculous Second Coming of Christ wherein “every eye shall see him” and wherein Armageddon shall conclude (Revelation 19:19-20). Gentiles have in past history lauded the Almighty, recognizing His intervention into the affairs of man. A global reckoning of such a “deliverance” near the commencement of Daniel’s 70th Week is perfect tender for the Man of Sin, the Lawless One, to maximize his deception—both upon Israel and the rest of the world; and, in so doing, reveal himself as the Antichrist of Daniel 11:36-45.
Later, Hunt continues by aligning Revelation 19:17, 18 with “similar sounding” Scripture found in Ezekiel:
“Furthermore, we see striking similarity of language between this passage in Ezekiel and John’s description of Armageddon in Revelation 19:17, 18. John writes: ‘An angel . . . cried . . . to all the fowls that fly . . . . Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men . . . .’ Obviously referring to the same event, the Old Testament prophet wrote: ‘Speak unto every feathered fowl . . . gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice . . . upon the mountains of Israel . . . Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth . . . ye shall be filled at my (supper) table with horses . . . with mighty men and with all men of war, saith the Lord God’ (Ezekiel 39:17-20).”
The incredible contradiction of Hunt’s appraisal of the “similarity” of these distinct conflicts is the absolute circumvention of Antichrist’s embrace of Israel as their messianic deliverer from their Middle Eastern foes. How Hunt can deny the initial subterfuge of Antichrist in the region is beyond me, and constitutes a gapping denial of the very essence of Antichrist and his role as protector of Israel, and of his initial conquests in the region—concluding in a major conflict with some 200,000,000 representing the “Kings of the East” (Revelation 9:13-21 & 16:12-16) in Armageddon’s conflagration, which precedes the final destruction of Antichrist and his armies: “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army” (Revelation 19:19).
Confusing the Armageddon conflict between the Kings of the East (i.e., the 200,000,000) and the forces of Antichrist (i.e., Armageddon) with the Second Coming of Christ and His confrontation with the “residual” of Antichrist’s forces, is a glaring oversight indeed. Armageddon, is, in essence, a CAMPAIGN throughout the entire 70th Week of Daniel, culminating in the devastating terminus between Antichrist and the Kings of the East, immediately followed by Antichrist and his forces vs. the King of Kings Himself, and the miraculously deliverance of Israel!
THE SATANIC MASTERMIND
If there be any connectivity of Gog-Magog (i.e., the initial strategic military cataclysm) and Armageddon, it is the Biblical fact that what initiates the Armageddon Campaign is, in point of fact, the Gog-Magog War—that seminal conflict between the soon-to-be revealed Antichrist/Willful King and what appears to be a constellation of nations enraged at both Israel and the USA.
The logistics of the conflict observed by Daniel necessitates the PRE-POSITIONING of the forces of the Willful King/Antichrist in the region. His forces are summarily summoned, and, in the context of the reading, appear ready and able, not only to thwart the pincer movements of both the King of the North and King of the South, but are invigorated to (as Rome did) “press the battle” to the furthest reaches of the north, and most certainly, to the east, after their/his conquest of both kings.
The aforementioned rage which crystallizes the physical forces opposed to those of the Willful King, can be directly attributed to the “divided house” of BOTH the Willful King (and his desire for the “hidden riches” of the region), as well as what appears to be Islamic Fundamentalism’s distain for the leadership of the West, and her protégé, Israel.
The “inflammatory” element in this equation is none other than the Satanic Principality, Gog, and those aligned with Gog (Magog), out to do the bidding of their master! These ghastly “spirit beings” lurk within the satanic cabal, who, as Jesus declared: “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10a).
Now, concerning additional “students of prophecy” who disagree with Hunt (i.e., “the majority view” who disagree with Hunt’s Premillenarian assumptions that the Gog-Magog War is identical to Armageddon) . . . let us consider their defiance of Hunt’s interpolations:
First of all, the late Dr. John Walvoord, President of Dallas Theological Seminary, clearly identifies Antichrist from Daniel 11:36 on—the importance of this discovery places Ezekiel 38 and 39 smack dab in the controversy of Antichrist’s whereabouts and when. The Culver-Walvoord “Axis of Insight” is a testimony to the majority of Premillenarian scholars who “rightly divide the Word of Truth.”
“The reference to ‘the time of the end’ referred to in the remaining prophecy beginning in verse 36 was not the immediate outcome of the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The chronological gap between Antiochus IV Epiphanes (vv. 21-35) and the end time (vv. 36-45) was common in the Old Testament as many prophecies concerning the first and second coming of Christ though presented together were separated by thousands of years in their fulfillment . . . beginning with verse 36, prophecies given by Daniel have not been fulfilled and, in fact, relate to the period just before the Second Coming.
“The final world ruler was described by Daniel, ‘The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods’ (v. 36). Some interpreters have attempted to relate this king to Antiochus IV mentioned in the earlier verses of this chapter. However, the evidence of history is that Antiochus IV died shortly after fulfilling the preceding verses in the year 164 B.C. Some think he was insane at the time of his death. In any event he did not fulfill any of the events described in the latter part of this chapter, beginning in verse 36.”
(Prophecy Knowledge Handbook, Walvoord, p. 271)
Walvoord continues to imply that with the disclosure of Antichrist from Daniel 11:36 on we must conclude that:
“A more plausible explanation (of the identity of the ruler mentioned in Daniel 11:36 on) is that this ruler (is) referred to (as) the little horn of Daniel 7:8, 21-24 as well as to the beast out of the sea (Rev. 13:1-10). In this identification he will be the future world ruler and a Gentile. For many reasons the identification of this king as the final Gentile ruler is a superior interpretation. According to Daniel himself, he will be a willful king who will consider himself above every god as well as above every king. This would not fit a Jewish king who was not the supreme ruler in the times of the Gentiles. It would also be incredible that this ruler would be a Jew inasmuch as he persecuted Jews.” (Ibid., p. 271-2)
One of the world’s foremost eschatologists, J. Dwight Pentecost, Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Dallas Theological Seminary, concluded: “Two diverse movements (wars) must be acknowledged.” (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958, pg. 332) . . . and in the same text he continues:
1. In the Gog/Magog War, definite allies of Gog are mentioned as opposing Israel - "Magog," "Mescheck," "Tubal," "Gomer" (Turkey), Ethiopia, Libya, (see Ezekiel 38) and Egypt (see Daniel 11:42), while at Armageddon all nations are engaged against Jerusalem (Joel 3:2; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 12:3; and 14:2).
2. Gog comes from the North (Ezek. 38:6, 15), while at Armageddon, the armies come from out of the whole earth.
3. Gog comes to take a spoil (Ezek. 38:11-12), while at Armageddon the nations of the earth assemble themselves together specifically to destroy the people of God.
4. Gog is the head of the armies at his invasion (Ezek. 38:15), but at Armageddon, the Beast is at the head of the invasion (Rev. 19:19).
5. There is a protest against Gog's invasion (Ezek. 38:13), but at Armageddon there is no such protest because all the nations of the earth have joined themselves with the Beast in his attack against Jerusalem.
6. Gog is overthrown by divine intervention through the convolutions of nature (Ezek. 38:22), but the armies at Armageddon are destroyed by the sword which goes out of Christ's mouth (Rev. 19:15).
7. Gog's armies array themselves in the open fields (Ezek. 39:5), while at Armageddon they are seen in the city of Jerusalem.
8. Gog's armies are destroyed outside of Jerusalem on the mountains and in the valleys (Ezek. 39:2-4), while the Beast and his armies are destroyed in the city of Jerusalem itself (Zech. 12:2; 14:2).
9. The Lord calls for assistance in executing judgment on Gog (Ezek. 38:21), while at Armageddon He is viewed as treading the winepress alone (Rev. 19:15; Isaiah 63:3-6).
10. The invasion by Gog will be sudden and will come with relatively little warning (Ezek. 38:11), while Armageddon will be no sudden and unexpected event. (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958, pg. 332)
I realize that Brother Hunt has not linked Daniel 11:36-45 on with Ezekiel 37 and 38; however, the two are virtually inseparable and to obfuscate the passages in Daniel 11:36-45 from those in Ezekiel is a grave and/or convenient oversight. Likewise, to perpetuate the figure of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (or a fellow successor) to the extremity of Daniel 11 is an indefensible necessity, and leads to a complete convolution of these Latter Day passages.
To amplify the confusion of the Hunt school, there is a cryptic attempt to assume that the King of the North is none other than Gog himself and that the antecedents of “him” and “he” mentioned in Daniel 11:40-45 is none other than the opposing “kings” – to wit:
“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him (i.e., the King of the North); and the king of the North shall come against him (i.e., the King of the South) . . . . and he (i.e., the King of the North) shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown” (Daniel 11:4a).
This clever connivance eliminates the primary culprit, “King of the West” (if you would) altogether. Thus, the North, the South and, eventually, the East are mentioned, but nothing about the West? The absence of the West presupposes that the forces of Antichrist (which we affirm to be the “him” and the “he” of the above passages in Daniel) are nonexistent in the region—a fallacious conjecture to be sure—for was not the Empire of Alexander the Great the overt expression of the West? The entire thrust of prophetic Scripture regarding the future of a revived and invigorated Rome militates against this possibility; furthermore, the entire setting of these passages from Daniel 11:36 on occur “at the time of the end” and immediately thereafter—“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time, and at that time your people shall be delivered . . .” (Daniel 12:1). In other words, these passages from Daniel 11:36-45 meld into the final chapter of Daniel 12 and the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (i.e., the Tribulation or “Great Tribulation” period/Daniel’s 70th Week).
Antichrist has been loosed (if you would). He perpetrates war in the Middle East under the rouse of protecting Israel (and on behalf of the “hidden treasures” which always obsess him). He defeats Gog-Magog (King of the North/King of the South). He goes forth upon hearing of “news” from the east and again, the north, which trouble him and, subsequently, “goes out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.” Ultimately this news from the East precipitates into the final conflict of Armageddon with the very Kings of the East (undoubtedly led by those major powers of the East today).
THE SEVEN YEAR CLEANUP
The postulation that these conflicts are so radically differentiated, and thusly, is NOT the same conflict, receives further evidentiary proof text from Ezekiel 39:9:
“And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons . . . and they shall burn them with fire seven years . . .”
The Scriptures do NOT support a seven-year time frame concluding Armageddon. Immediately following Armageddon the beasts of the field and the fouls of the air will dispense with the devastation left over from Armageddon; and, will do so in a very short period of time. Why/How? Because the initiation of the Kingdom of Messiah shall immediately commence upon the earth in all its fullness at the conclusion of Armageddon! It is divinely improbable that a seven-year period of time would supercede the millenarian bliss.
Hunt knows this, and so do Premillenarians like Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey . . . but why do a growing number of them, like Hunt, contend that these conflagrations bespeak of a singular catastrophic military event? Why do they not acknowledge the undeniable, intrusive quest of the US military throughout the entire Middle East, and why, may I ask, are they complicitous with the current administrative policy to defeat Islamic designs throughout that same region with unbridled US military technology, troops, and propaganda?
Let us consider some of the religio-sociological implications of their eschatology . . . you certainly may disagree with my conclusions; however, consider:
AMERICAN PRE-TRIBULATIONISTS ALIGNED WITH THE PATRIOTIC CHURCH OF AMERICA
The intoxicating demand to align with the War on Terrorism, against militant Islamic extremists, is so engrained within most of the believing Church today (Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox), that to contemplate any other devotion is unpatriotic, secular, and even anti-God/anti-Christ!
I will not belabor you with endless quotes that substantiate my thesis; however, these Premillenarians of repute, are unwittingly, or by overt design, aligned with the likes of avowed Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionist bent on a theocracy—the Kingdom of Heaven here on the earth headed up by the USA without Christ’s miraculously intervention! America is either ascendant as a “city set on a hill which cannot be hid” or she is purposefully absent from the prophetic script (either by design or by future cataclysmic destruction)—in sum: There is no prophetic role for the United States of America played out in the Bible’s end-time scenario.
But, a few quotes of prominent members of this eschatology will suffice. First, those of the Patriotic Church proclaim their fidelity to wage a just war, and, ipso facto, their unflinching support for the immediate war effort (a.k.a. “War on Terrorism”). Cal Thomas, syndicated evangelical pundit (former executive director of the Moral Majority) and war proponent then and now who cajoled for war with Iraq prior to going to battle, supports a “just war” as follows:
“If ever there was a ‘time for war’ (Ecclesiastes 3:8), surely this is it. If the United Nations is to be taken seriously, the time is now for it to act. If the United Nations - founded on the dubious premise that flawed humanity can be perfected by flawed human beings - remains a toothless, clawless tiger, whose resolutions can be defied without consequence by the butcher of Baghdad, that body will implode in a chaotic downward spiral.
“When evil is opposed, it can be defeated. This is history's lesson. But if the United Nations, France, Germany and those "peace activists " among us and overseas will "see no evil, " they are doomed to have history repeat itself in a new holocaust.
“The time for debate is over. The time for Iraq's liberation is upon us. The time for more resolutions by the pathetic United Nations is long past. The time for war is now.” (townhall.com)
His compliments are ubiquitous amongst evangelical leadership . . . whose feelings have changed little . . . a backward glance implicates their persistent theme:
“In just-war theory only defensive war is defensible; and if military force is used against Saddam Hussein, it will be because he has attacked his neighbors, used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and harbored terrorists from the al Qaeda terrorist network that attacked our nation so viciously and violently on Sept. 11, 2001” (Signed by Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ and Carl Herbster of the American Association of Christian Schools.) (“Why War” - Alan Copperman, The Washington Post, Oct. 12, 2002)
And what can be said of Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Chuck Swindoll, and scores of other evangelical leaders throughout the nation who daily lead the charge to defeat the “evil doers?” The alignment of the Evangelical Church (and we’re talking here of the vast majority of them) with the current administration in the support of the war effort is striking, unreserved, and irrepressible.
Howard Dean’s rant that the Republican Party is comprised of “white Christians” only confirms the obvious, though it be a lousy effort at stereotyping.
AMERICA IS NOT IN THE PROPHETIC EQUATION
Premillenarians like Dave Hunt, and a host of other Premillenarians like Chuck Swindoll (current President of Dallas Theological Seminary), and virtually every major Evangelical Denomination from the Assemblies of God to the Southern Baptist Convention leadership, are resolute in their support of the war effort—the President can and does count on them when the chips are down, and down they are at this moment.
Hunt, Lindsey, and LaHaye, along with Falwell, Robertson, and the vast majority of Premillenarians within the Southern Baptist Convention, see absolutely no place for America in Biblical prophecy, aside from a possible veiled reference here and there which at best allude to Ellen G. White’s America in the “wilderness.” If there is no preliminary revelation of the Antichrist prior to Armageddon, no Gog-Magog War as aforementioned, and only a singular eruption at the close of this age, and most definitely, no Babylon of the Last Days led by the greatest economic, military, and political power ever to countenance the planet (a.k.a.,
the United States of America), then there is absolutely no need to oppose or speak out against the current military operations in both Iraq or Iran—none! To the contrary, the “time for war” was then, and the time for war is now! Radical Islamic Fundamentalism must be stopped on their own turf in order to prevent the spread of that contagion upon our own shores.
The Neo-con policy of “Democratic Globalism” where unilateral, preemptive wars of national interest, to spread “freedom” and “democracy,” has been and continues to be the entrenched foreign policy of the current administration with the unreserved support of the Patriotic Church, its base and partner in the cause to vanquish the evil doers.
And the “prophetic voice” of Biblical literalism cries out with a whimper after the implosion of the European Union, and its much acclaimed constitutional ratification—which went down somewhere near the flames of the Bastille:
“The mention of a core Europe or a core group of European nations resonates with Bible prophecy in the books of Daniel and Revelation. It concerns a latter-day revival of the Roman Empire. The prophet Daniel predicts that a group of 10 ‘kings’ (national leaders) will give rise to a frightening union that will fulfill many end-time prophecies. Depending on the decision of the French, and later the Dutch voters, the coming weeks may give some hint to the answer to the Economist’s intriguing question: ‘And What Happens to the Beast Now?’”
Hal Lindsey, WorldNetDaily, May 26, 2005
Better yet, read the contortions of www.fulfilledprophecy.com’s Herbert L. Peters, whose masterful “spin” on the collapse of the EU (and, ipso facto, Antichrist’s base) is absolutely laughable:
“The EU beast is facing a virtual state of emergency. Its next seven-year feeding period is swiftly approaching. And, instead of coming to an agreement over how much to feed the EU beast, its 25 little heads are fighting with each other.
“To make matters worse for the beast, the little heads have lost the support of their folks back home. In other words, the EU beast's 25 little heads no longer even have authority to be its heads. Now how is the EU beast going to survive in this dangerous world?
“And, the US beast is attempting to use its victory over the bear to its advantage elsewhere. The US beast is out seeking to intimidate all the other beasts into doing what it wants, including the EU beast. This is something the EU beast can't allow.
“What's the EU beast to do? It has ten horns, but they're not strong enough yet to take on the other beasts, especially the powerful US beast. How about its little horn? Does its little horn have the answer? The little horn says it does.
“The little horn has fought beside the US beast against a mutual enemy before and knows the US beast's strengths and weaknesses. The little horn says the EU beast should make friends with the US beast. That way the EU beast won't become a victim of the US beast, it will become a partner.
“The EU beast likes the idea. In fact, the EU beast is pleased with its little horn. (Editor’s Note: Obviously, the “little horn” has absolutely nothing to do with the United States of America but someone from Europe—as if the USA did not spring from Europe!)
All right, class, it’s time again to identify the beasts in the picture below . . .
O.K. Johnny, what do you see?
“Teacher, I see a little white birdie . . . he looks sick.”
“That’s right, Johnny, the little birdie is soooooooo….sick!”
But, just in case you didn’t see the awesome, little, white birdie, Johnny, check out the unfathomable wisdom of the British eschatologist, and newspaper editor, Alan Franklin (Taken from Moriel Ministries . . . notwithstanding, may the Almighty bless J. Jacob Prasch!):
“The monstrous project that is the creation of the EU began in earnest
with The Treaty of Rome in 1957 and now it is Rome which is the base for the signing of the document which officially creates a single super state—the EU constitution. Italy is planning to be the first European Union member state to approve the European constitution, having decided not to join the six countries that say they will hold referendums on the issue. (Note: As of this July the French and the Dutch rejected the EU Constitution and the British “tabled” it.)
“The constitution will be signed on Capitol Hill, Rome, where the Treaty of Rome was signed by the six founder nations. All 25 nations have to sign the treaty before the vast new country can be created, although it is already operating as if the treaty had been signed, taking ever larger slices of national sovereignty away from nation states.
“The Rome signing ceremony will be the last official duty of Romano Prodi as President of the European Commission and he can move on knowing that the great project which he has pushed for years is almost fully in place. In future national governments will only be able to act in areas where the EU decides not to.
“The European Army is already on overseas assignment. The Euro symbol—the stars of Mary—appears on documents, buildings, flags and license plates through the 25 countries. Europe has a common currency, the Euro, a national anthem—the Ode to Joy—, a supreme court and much else.
“Now it awaits just one thing: the supreme ruler who will weld it into the most terrifying institution ever seen on the face of the earth. The Bible calls him Antichrist. Expect his arrival on the scene in the not too distant future.” (From: EU Superstate—Base of Antichrist, by Alan Franklin)
A CONCLUDING WORD
Yes, the body count continues to mount; scores of suicide bombers flow across the porous borders of Syria into Iraq—giving credence that “somehow” such intrusions, which blatantly feed the insurgency, must be stopped once and for all. The clouds of war envelop the Middle East . . . yet the prophets of Biblical literalism cringe when the USA is implicated as the chief culprit in the final countdown to Armageddon; instead some mystery Spanish figure, Club of Rome character, Hapsburg Monarch, Reincarnation of either Nero or Alexander the Great, and, of course a Jew springing out of the Middle East—perhaps Syria—taking the throne of the EU. . . ad nausea, ad infinitum!
All these figures lurk in the shadows—ready to spring into action once the USA is destroyed by a cataclysmic explosion wrought by the heavens, the earth, or the sea. The voices of reason—even objective secular reason, let alone Scriptural reason—have all but acquiesced, been sold out, to the patriotic drumbeat of war . . . as the “Merchants of the earth” prolong her luxury . . . when, O Lord, will Your people “come out of her” and cease to partake of her fornications? When? When Johnny sees the elephant!