Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
February 14, 2012
Last Updated :
February 14, 2012
NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
A Resurrected Holy Roman Empire Or An Islamic Empire, Verses Regarding The Beast And The False Prophet, Verses Concerning The Ten Horns, My Prophetic Speculations Were Viewed As Being Unorthodox, Fall Of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Nouri al-Maliki: A Ruthless Tyrant Worse Than Saddam, Other Possibilities: Iran Syria Turkey, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad And Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Arab Spring: North African And Middle East Leaders Fall One By One, Countries Being Affected By The Arab Spring, Forces Controlling Arab Spring, God Raises Up And Puts Down Leaders, America's Failed Foreign Policies, Sovereign God Overrides All Human Endeavors And Secular Powers, God's Perfect Will And Plan Will Prevail, Rise Of The Beast False Prophet And Ten Horns, Endtime Islamic Empire, Islamic Leanings Of The New Governments Of The Arab Spring, More Extreme Strain Of Islam Is Taking Hold, A Perfect Environment To Give Birth To The Beast, Israeli Concerns, Country-By-Country Analysis, Secular Military-Led Governments Replaced With Islamists, Aftermath Of Bashar al-Assad, The Wise Shall Understand
As some of my regular readers will already know, for quite a number of years now -- at least since the late 1990's -- I have speculated that the Beast and the False Prophet pair who are mentioned in Revelation chapter thirteen, and the Ten Horns -- or nations/leaders -- who temporarily transfer their power to the Beast, may symbolize, not a resurrected Holy Roman Empire -- or European Superstate -- as has been believed by many modern-day Christians, but rather a large Islamic Empire which will stretch across North Africa and the Middle East, and which will attack the nation of Israel. To refresh your memory, following are some of the verses from the Book of Revelation where the Beast and the False Prophet are mentioned:
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? . . . And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Revelation 13:1-4, 11-15, KJV
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."
Revelation 16:13, KJV
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Revelation 19:20, KJV
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:10, KJV
Following are some additional verses that are found in both the Books of Daniel and Revelation where the Ten Horns who pledge their allegiance to the Beast are discussed:
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns . . . And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows . . . And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."
Daniel 7:7, 20, 24, KJV
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads."
Revelation 12:3, KJV
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."
Revelation 13:1, KJV
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns . . . And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns . . . And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast . . . And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."
Revelation 17:3, 7, 12, 16, KJV
When I first revealed my thoughts regarding this issue over a dozen years ago, they were rejected by some Christians, and viewed as an unorthodox interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures. After all, common wisdom at that time was that the Beast -- who some people refer to as the Antichrist -- would one day arise somewhere in the European continent, and a number of Hollywood movies have certainly promoted such an interpretation. What a difference time makes! In more recent years, I have received a certain degree of satisfaction upon noticing that more and more Christian writers, teachers and preachers have been willing to embrace the possibility that perhaps my understanding of the prophecies regarding the Beast, the False Prophet and the Ten Horns may not be so far-fetched after all.
Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayat. Ruhollah Khomeini
With the previous situation in Iraq, and the bravado and belligerence that was on display with former dictator Saddam Hussein -- as you may remember, Saddam even claimed to be a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar and was also rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon -- it seemed more and more like Saddam might possibly be the infamous Beast who many Christians have long been expecting to rise on the Endtime world stage. But, of course, Saddam Hussein is now dead -- as are his sons -- and his death has effectively brought that possibility to an end. However, I must admit that I am currently wondering if Iraq's present ruthless Prime Minister -- Nouri al-Maliki -- might become a worse tyrant than Saddam Hussein ever was. Maliki has definitely been showing his true colors as of late. While Saddam was Sunni, al-Maliki is Shi'ite, and the Shi'ites have revenge in mind against the Sunnis, now that the Americans are gone for the most part.
However, my prophetic sights are not set on Iraq alone. As I mention in such series as "The Seven Heads", for quite a few years now, I have also been keeping a close watch on Iran, Syria and even Turkey, as they too have potential for being the possible place of origin of the Endtime Beast -- who I equate with the King of the North in the prophecies of Daniel -- and his False Prophet. Will one of these countries really give birth to the Beast? At this current time, I honestly do not know for certain. All we can do is watch.
In particular, a powerful political leader, who would work in conjunction with a powerful spiritual leader, could very well arise in an Islamic nation such as Iran. Whether or not the current Iranian president -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- and the Supreme Leader -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- are that pair is still debatable. However, when I think of the Beast and the False Prophet of the Book of Revelation, in my view, a pair of Islamic extremists very similar to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei seems to fit the prophetic description perfectly; that is, a strong, outspoken charismatic political leader who will have the support of -- and who will in fact be promoted by -- a very powerful and influential Islamic spiritual leader.
With developments in the Middle East in recent years already seeming to confirm my speculations concerning the Beast and the False Prophet possibly being an Islamic pair -- and not a powerful European politician or a Roman Catholic Pope -- I received another inspirational boost when the latest events -- now referred to as the Arab Spring -- began to transpire in December 2010. Since that time, as the world's mass media has been reporting, one nation after another in North Africa and the Middle East has been rocked by grass roots popular revolt stemming from discontentment and resentment against the oppressive powers-that-be.
As a result of these unexpected civil uprisings, one corrupt, tyrannical leader after another has fallen. While the demise of Saddam Hussein occurred years before the Arab Spring really began, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen have all fallen during the past year. From the looks of it, it may very well be that Bashar al-Assad of Syria will be the next tyrant to fall. It is only a matter of time, as the odds are clearly stacked up against al-Assad. While I am not a historian, surely the fall of so many leaders in that area of the world in so short a time must be unprecedented.
Other countries have also been affected by the Arab Spring, and have been forced to deal with civil uprisings and mass protests as well. These include Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman; Lebanon, Mauritania, Sudan and Western Sahara. And of course, Israel has likewise been experiencing border problems as well in connection with the Palestinians.
What is going on here? What is the source of this massive civil explosion which has reverberated across North Africa and the Middle East? Are all of these popular uprisings just the result of longtime pent-up animosity against oppressive governments? Are we to believe that the fuse was actually lit when Mohamed Bouazizi resorted to self-immolation -- the act of burning oneself alive -- as a form of protest, which then resulted in the Tunisian Revolution? Are we to believe that his desperate act of rebellion and defiance then inspired the January 25th Revolution in Egypt, and so on? Is it possible that there are other unseen forces at work -- such as foreign governments -- which have been the real catalysts behind the widespread unrest in the Middle East and North Africa?
While it has become rather obvious at this current time that some foreign governments -- such as the United States, China and Russia -- do indeed have keen interests in manipulating the ongoing troublesome events in the Middle East and North Africa, as a Bible-believing Christian who is familiar with God's Word, I believe that it is shortsighted to attribute all of these events to human causes alone. As I explain in a number of other articles, our temporal world is influenced by unseen spiritual forces -- both good and evil -- but even they must operate within the confines of God's Perfect Will.
In other words, while we may be tempted to view these events in the Middle East and North Africa from a secular point of view, we need to realize that ultimately, God is the one who is in absolute control of the situation; and if these leaders are falling from power, it is because God desires that it be so. He is the one who sets up and puts down kings, presidents and tyrannical dictators. This truth is clearly revealed in the Bible in such Old Testament verses as the following:
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Psalm 75:5-7, KJV
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Daniel 2:20-21, KJV
"This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Daniel 4:17, KJV
If you still doubt that God is the one who is manipulating events in North Africa and the Middle East after reading the above verses, then let me share an interesting observation with you. As I stated a moment ago, there are some foreign powers which are clearly trying to influence events in that part of the world. Most notable among them, of course, is the United States of America, which until recently, had a strong presence in Iraq, and still has a limited presence there, as well as in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Turkey, Afghanistan, etc.
Now, obviously, the primary concern of the government of the United States is to protect -- as well as to promote -- its own national interests in the Middle East. As I have shared with my readers before, while the American government uses buzz words such as "freedom" and "democracy" in order to win popular support for it foreign policies and wars, the bottom line is that any type of foreign intervention by the American government is primarily designed to enforce American hegemony. But here's the thing. For years now -- and at great national expense -- almost everything that the United States government has endeavored to accomplish in the Middle East has flopped, and has not produced the anticipated results. They have been failed foreign policies.
Let me give you a few examples. Decades of dealing with the Israelis and the Palestinians has led to nowhere, and the so-called "peace talks" have pretty much reached a dead end. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, barely talk to each other. Israel continues to build and expand in the West Bank to the great aggravation of both the Americans and the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority is once again endeavoring to heal the wound with Hamas, which is alienating both Israel and the USA even further, and putting the last nail in the coffin of any negotiated two-state solution. Israel says Abbas must choose between Hamas and peace with Israel. Abbas appears to have already made his choice. Perhaps he is still betting on the United Nations.
The United States military ousted Saddam Hussein with the goal of installing a puppet government which would bow to America's will, and of course, which would keep that black gold of oil flowing. Instead, the Obama administration is now forced to deal with an Iraqi government -- led by none other than Nouri al-Maliki -- which is becoming more anti- American by the day, and more oppressive against its own people by the day as well. As I said, al-Maliki is becoming uncontrollable, and may turn out to be a worse dictator than Saddam Hussein.
Turning to Egypt, as I have pointed out before, the American government was quite satisfied for some thirty years with the oppressive, dictatorial rule of Hosni Mubarak. His human rights abuses were overlooked by Uncle Sam, and Mubarak was even rewarded with -- bribed with -- an annual one billion dollars, just as long as he kept the peace with Israel. Now that Mubarak is gone, the Egyptian government is becoming more anti-American, more anti-Israel and more Islamist, and relations with the US Government are at an all-time low.
With these three examples alone, it should be clear to you that American influence has been waning in the Middle East for a number of years now, and the American government has a growing list of failed policies in that region of the world. So what should this tell us? It should tell us that there is a power at work in North Africa and the Middle East which is much greater than even the power of the United States. It is my personal belief that said power is God Himself. God has a plan and a purpose for that area of the world, which has been in motion for thousands of years. The Scriptures reveal that God sees the very end from the beginning, and that all things will be done according to His Perfect Will and Good Pleasure, as we see by the following verses:
"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15, KJV
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
Isaiah 46:9-10, KJV
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Revelation 4:11, KJV
In short, regardless of what man tries to do, regardless of what world governments try to do in order to enlarge their sphere of influence, and regardless of everything else, in the end, God's Will and Plan for humanity will trump all. He will prevail over all human endeavors. He will override all secular powers, because He is sovereign above all. So if this is indeed the case, as I believe that it is, then what might God being doing in North Africa and the Middle East at this current time? If human rulers are merely puppets in His hand, why has He been so busy with knocking down so many of them in such a short period of time? And let me add that it does not look like He is done yet.
Obviously, I don't have a hotline to God, so I am afraid that I cannot provide you with a definitive answer. However, I do have a hunch, and only time will tell whether it is right or wrong. As I explained at the beginning of this article, it is common belief that the final generation which is alive prior to Christ's Return will witness the rise of the Beast and the False Prophet, along with Ten Horns -- or nations -- that will enter into a temporary alliance with the Beast, as a part of the Beast's empire. Together, this satanic military alliance will destroy mysterious Babylon the Great. As I have already made clear, I have suspected for many years now, that this world power may be an Islamic Empire, and not a resurrected Holy Roman Empire, which has been coined as a European Superstate.
Assuming that my speculations are correct, is it possible that God's primary purpose in changing the governments and leaders of so many nations in that area of the world at this current time, is to lay the foundation for what will evolve into the Beast's Islamic Empire? Is it mere coincidence that so many of these new governments have clear Islamic leanings, as opposed to more secular leanings?
Now, some people may argue "Wait just a minute! That's the Middle East we are talking about. Of course they are Muslim nations! There's really no big change occurring there. They have always been Islamic." If this happens to be your view, then allow me to inform you that you may not fully realize what is going on. While it is indeed true that most nations of North Africa and the Middle East are Islamic, what is in fact occurring with the Arab Spring is that while some folks are hoping for real democratic governments to step up to the plate, in reality, what is happening is that the new, young governments are demonstrating even more Islamic tendencies that the previous secular governments.
In other words, more extreme strains of Islam are coming to power, and that would be the perfect environment to foster the birth and rise of the Beast, the False Prophet and the Ten Horns which will form the Beast's Islamic Empire. Now do you see why these events are so important? Is it any wonder then that the nation of Israel is so concerned regarding the Arab Spring? If Israel already has problems with its Muslim neighbors, it may very well have to confront more serious challenges in the not-too-distant future, given the current trend towards more extreme strains of Islam.
The Iraqi government is clearly Islamic regardless of whether Sunnis or Shi'ites hold the power, and they are no friend to Israel. Let's not forget how Saddam Hussein launched his SCUD missiles at Israel. Just because the Shi'ites are currently in power instead of the Sunnis does not mean that the Iraqi attitude towards Israel has changed.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood -- which dominates the young, new government -- clearly has Islamic leanings, even though they have strived to present themselves as being secular. In fact, as you may know, for many years under the Mubarak government, the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed. Now the tables have been turned, the Muslim Brotherhood dominates, and is even trying to oust the current military government. Also, ever since the Muslim Brotherhood came to the fore following the January 25th Revolution, they have been sending mixed signals regarding the peace accord with Israel. Naturally, this makes Israel very nervous.
Looking at Turkey to the north of Israel, compared to the past eighty plus years of military rule, the current government in Istanbul under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has much stronger Islamic leanings. Furthermore, as I have mentioned before, after a short "love affair" between Israel and Turkey, the relationship has soured, thanks in part to the flotilla incident.
When the dust finally settles there, I for one do not expect an American-styled democracy to flourish in the North African nation of Libya either. A peaceful transition of power didn't occur following the death of Muammar Gaddafi, and Libya still remains in a state of internal turmoil with well-armed clans and militias fighting against each other for regional power. But again, once scores are settled, and a level of civility returns to Libya, it will still very much be a Muslim nation.
And then there is the Saudi government which is very Islamic on the Sunni side -- being primarily Salafism, which is also known as Wahhabism -- while powerful Iran is Islamic on the Shi'ite side of the fence. Whether it is Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia, or Shi'ite Islam in Iran, both nations have revealed through their actions that they practice an extreme form of Islam. Let us not forget that Saudi Arabia gave us Osama bin Laden -- as well as the alleged nineteen 9-11 Saudi hijackers -- while the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini inspired and led the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, which led to the hostage situation in which fifty-two American diplomats were held for over a year. And, of course, Iran's vocal leaders -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- have called for the destruction of Israel on many occasions.
Basically, the governments and leaders that have been falling from power since the Arab Spring exploded in January of 2011, have been for the most part secular and military-based, while the young, new governments are much more Islamic in nature, and will lean more towards the legalism of Sharia Law. What will happen in the power vacuum that is going to be created when Bashar al-Assad finally falls, remains to be seen. If events in Syria follow the pattern that we have seen in other nations of North Africa and the Middle East, then it should not surprise us if a more radical strain of Islam comes to the fore there as well. We probably don't have long to find out.
In conclusion, this article represents my personal opinions concerning what is happening in the Middle East, as well as why it may be happening. I do not claim to be a Prophet, and I most certainly have no clarity when it comes to the events of the future. I strive to understand prophetic passages in the Bible just like everyone else, but so much of it still remains shrouded in deep mystery. As I have told my readers before, until these events actually happen, we really don't know with one hundred per cent certainty. However, once they do happen, I do believe that those of us who are in tune to God's Spirit will recognize them for what they are, while the rest of the world will still be in darkness and spiritually asleep. As the Prophet Daniel and the Apostle Paul write:
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
Daniel 12:10, KJV
"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, KJV
So are we currently witnessing the birth pangs of the Beast and his Islamic Empire? Are North Africa and the Middle East in travail for this very reason? Is God's Perfect Will and Divine Purpose being fulfilled through the Arab Spring? Time will certainly tell. With these questions I will bring this article to its conclusion. I trust that you have found it informative; that it has motivated you to stop and consider what is happening in the Middle East; and that it has been a blessing in your life.