Saturday, June 22, 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Future Headlines – Middle East War

This isn’t a shocker — a war in the Middle East. Of course there would be war in the Middle East. When has there not been a war in the Middle East, right? Yes, this is the modus operandi of the area, but Scripture details a future war between modern-day Iran and modern-day Turkey. This war is part of the rise of the Antichrist and is a future headline. This series of articles lays out future headlines gathered from Bible prophecy and especially related to the Antichrist’s rise. These are headlines you can bet on.

Of the future headlines in this series, I’d bet on this one, but it would be a conservative wager because the interpretation of this war presented in Daniel 8 is a novel interpretation. I’d argue a responsible interpretation, but I’m in the minority with this view. 

Daniel 8 retells a vision that Daniel had while in Persia, which is modern-day Iran. Not only does the chapter recount the vision, but the angel, Gabriel interprets the dream. 

Daniel’s dream is of a two-horned ram and a one-horned goat. The ram was powerful — it charged to the north, south and west and defeated all it came against. Then the one-horned goat rose and defeated the ram. The goat then rose to power and spread its power throughout the area.

Following the goat’s domination, its horn broke off, and in its place grew four horns. From the four horns grew one horn that rose to power. That one horn came against the beautiful land (Israel) and the sanctuary (the temple).

Daniel admited this is a wild dream. Though wild, it provides incredible insight. Gabriel told Daniel that the ram with two horns represented the Medes and Persians, while the goat represented Javan. Most English translations have Greece in place of Javan, but Javan is the word in Hebrew. Though some connect Javan with Greece, it’s best associated with modern-day Turkey.

The angel went on the say that the Medes and Persians would rise to power and spread that power across the region. Eventually, a prominent leader would arise in Javan, and he would lead Javan against Persia and win. That prominent leader would then be disposed of in some way. In his footsteps, there would arise four leaders and from that four there would come one. This one would come against Israel and commit the abomination in the temple. From the terms used to describe that “little horn,” it’s obvious that he is the Antichrist. The terms match other descriptions in Daniel of this final ruler.

In the preceding chapter of Daniel, it is said that in the final empire there would be 10 leaders (or nations), then 3, and the 3 would be replaced by a “little horn.” In Daniel 7, that little horn is shown to be the Antichrist, as speaks boastfully to God.

In Revelation 17, we find a succession of 10 leaders or nations leading to the rise of the Antichrist. There’s much evidence connecting the final horn in Daniel 8 to the Antichrist. Also, as mentioned in a previous series, Scripture provides ample support that the Antichrist’s kingdom would be headquartered in modern-day Turkey (Javan).

There isn’t much debate in commentaries about the final horn being the Antichrist. Though the end of the vision is accepted to be the Antichrist, predominantly the rest of the passage has been understood to detail the history of the rise of Alexander the Great. In this historical view, the prominent horn is Alexander, the four horns that replace him are his generals that took over his conquest. This historical approach does match the passage. Therefore, most commentaries say Daniel 8 should be understood as having two parts, half in the past and half in the future. It could be, but multiple times throughout the chapter, Gabriel stressed that these events will take place in the latter days. The language he used points to the end of the age.

I believe a more accurate interpretation of the passage is that all the events in the chapter take place in the future at the end of the age, but there has been an almost fulfillment in the past with Alexander the Great. My friend, Daniel Secomb uses the term “pattern” prophecy. We see throughout Bible prophecy that there are near fulfillments, but eventually, there will be one ultimate fulfillment. 

In the futuristic view, Iran (Persia) will spread its power throughout the Middle East until Turkey (Javan) comes against Iran. A prominent leader leads Turkey to begin to conquer or continue conquering. Eventually, that prominent leader dies or is disposed of, and in his place, multiple leaders arise. Likely it’s not just leaders but a coalition of nations. From that group, the Antichrist rises and eventually comes against Israel, eventually ending the sacrifices that have restarted. 

Though the futuristic view is a minority view, it is gaining steam. I believe it’s important to consider the futuristic possibility of Daniel 8 because, out of all the future headlines, it’s the most detailed and likely the first to appear.

Therefore, we should expect to see future headlines like:

• Iran continues to gain power and control in the region.

• Iran has a wide reach in the Middle East, either through their army or proxies.

• A prominent leader in Turkey desires to expand its borders.

• Turkey has declared war with Iran.

• Turkey defeats Iran.

• Turkey is heading up a new coalition of nations in the Middle East.

• The prominent leader in Turkey has passed, and his coalition of nations will rule through a council of leaders.

• The Turkey-led Middle Eastern coalition has consolidated power with one man.

• The Turkey-led Middle Eastern coalition has turned its sights on Israel.

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