Don’t tell anyone, but one of my favorite movie franchises is “Back to the Future.” Of course, that’sfitting for a foil-hat-wearing-prophecy guy. I’ve seen the movies several times, well except for the third movie — I’m not necessarily a fan. When I think of the remarkableness of Bible prophecy, I’m often taken to “Back to the Future 2,” where future Biff gets a sports almanac from the future and returns to the past to then bet on the sporting events in which he already knew the winners. He could bet with confidence because he had a book that told the future. Sounds familiar, right? He knew future headlines in the sports section of the newspaper. In that same way, through the Bible, we can know future headlines — especially those in geopolitics.
I apologize for spending the past five issues sharing Biblical evidence of the location of the Antichrist, but I wanted the amount of consistent evidence within Scripture to be seen. Along with a large amount of evidence on the location of the Antichrist’s empire, there is also a large amount of evidence as to how the empire and the Antichrist will rise to power. Knowing how Scripture tells of this final empire’s rise gives us future headlines to expect and watch to appear.
I begin in a few familiar places within Scripture. The first is King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream in Daniel 2. Here the Lord revealed a timeline of empires that would rule over the land of Babylon from that moment until the establishment of the Messiah’s Kingdom (the Second Coming and the Millennial Kingdom). The divisions of this statue reveal a succession of empires, and there are five divisions. The fifth division represents the empire of the Antichrist. What’s fascinating is that this fifth empire is shown to be a revival of the fourth:
“Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron — for iron breaks and smashes everything — and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (Dan. 2:40-43 NIV).
Notice the fourth division is called an empire of iron, while the fifth is a mix of iron and clay. This points to elements of the final empire being the same as the previous. Unfortunately, this fourth empire is not identified in the book of Daniel, but it is in the book of Revelation: “They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction” (Rev. 17:10-13).
In Revelation 17, the Apostle John recounts this vision of a seven-headed beast. He’s told the seven heads represent God-opposing empires that ruled over or will rule over Jerusalem. John is living in the sixth kingdom (Rome), but one would come after it. Notice like in Daniel 2, the final kingdom (the eighth) would be the same as the seventh. From the evidence of previous articles, the seventh empire was the Ottoman Empire which ruled modern-day Turkey from 1453 to 1922. The empire was dissolved after World War I and was divided up into other nations. And yes, that does sound eerily similar to Daniel 2.
We also see this idea of the Antichrist’s kingdom having existed, going away and then returning in Revelation 13, where we read about a vision of two beasts. They are representative of the Antichrist and False Prophet, but there is also a possibility that in the description of the first beast (the Antichrist) we get a mix of a description of the king, as well as the kingdom:
“…I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name…One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed” (Rev. 13:1-3).
This beast has the same description as the one in Revelation 17. They both have seven heads and ten horns. Notice one of the heads is wounded and comes back to life. This is often understood to refer to the Antichrist himself being wounded and coming back to life. It likely could be, but it would be scripturally consistent if this referred to this final empire having been “wounded” and coming back.
Regardless, if Revelation 13 refers to the Antichrist or his kingdom, Scripture is clear that the modern-day, Turkey-led empire would exist and then go away. We’ve seen that happen a hundred years ago. Scripture is also clear that it will return.
Therefore, a future headline we should expect is that the former Ottoman Empire would be revived. The Ottoman Empire was also known as the Islamic Caliphate or Islamic State. Therefore, like Biff betting on sporting events in “Back to the Future,” we can go all-in betting we will see future headlines that there is a desire to revive and rebuild the Islamic Caliphate or Islamic State. We should expect that the Ottoman Empire will return.
Jake is available for revivals and preaching learn more at standfirmministries.com.