Tantamount to arriving at the correct interpretation of end time prophecies – and there is only one correct interpretation of prophetic Scripture, is a proper identification of the many prophetic characters and events which make up the eschatological paradigm presented in the pages of Scripture. And this truth can not be over emphasized.
For example, the book of Daniel speaks of four “beasts” or empires which will rule from his day (530 B.C.) until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Dan 7:1-28). Daniel specifically names the first three of these “beasts” or empires (Dan 2:37 – Babylon; 8:20 – the Medes and Persians; 8:21 – Alexander’s Grecian Empire) but, even though he speaks about it in great detail, as do other prophets, Daniel never specifically names the fourth “beast” or empire. Nor does any other prophet of either the Old or New Testaments. Naturally this has led to a great amount of speculation over the centuries as to the true identity of Daniel’s fourth beast, or empire.
This becomes obvious in the various teachings over the centuries concerning the identity of Daniel’s fourth empire. Because of the dominance and brutality of the Roman Empire during the first two centuries of the Christian era, for example, many of the early Church Father’s believed that Rome was the fourth empire Daniel had in mind. Many scholars of the Eastern, or Orthodox Church of the Byzantine era (600 A.D. to 1400 A.D.) believed, because of the many Islamic invasions and atrocities, that Islam was Daniel’s dreaded fourth empire. After the Protestant Reformation many in the Protestant Churches throughout Europe believed that the Catholic Church, because of its brutalities during the schismatic war, and because it controlled many lands and kings throughout Europe, was the infamous fourth empire of the book of Daniel. Other examples could be referred to, but the point is that none of these “speculations” were ever proven for various reasons. Thus none were ever accepted by all the Church. As a result, many variations of these end time paradigms are still being taught, and confusion reigns throughout the Church as a whole.
Even though Daniel never names the fourth “beast” or empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream vision, he does, nevertheless, give several unique specifics and/or characteristics of this empire. The Apostle John, in the book of Revelation, also gives us various unique specifics and/or characteristics about the same fourth empire of the book of Daniel. In my new book, Kingdom of the Antichrist, I examine twenty-six of these specifics and/or characteristics in great detail. And this is the key to correctly identifying Daniel’s fourth “beast” or empire. Because it is not specifically named anywhere in Scripture, to correctly identify Daniel’s fourth “beast” or empire one must use the only identifiers Scripture provides, and that is the twenty-six unique specifics and/or characteristics.
In a previous article (Identifying The Eight Kings Of Revelation 17:10-11) concerning bible prophecy, we addressed one of these unique specifics and/or characteristics when we identified the eight kings which the Apostle John informs us will rule over Daniel’s fourth empire from its inception to the Second Coning of Jesus Christ (Revelation 17:10-11). In this article we would like to address a second unique specific and/or characteristic bible prophecy gives us concerning Daniel’s fourth empire, and that is properly identifying the ten kings which will make up the end time empire of the Antichrist (Eze 38:1-13).
For reasons which are not very apparent, virtually every prophetic theologian from the 19th century forward has attempted to identify the ten kings of Ezekiel 38 by race. This has, obviously, led to wild speculations regarding the descendants of Gog and Magog (Gen 10:2) who originally inhabited Asia Minor and their speculative migrations, or the ancient Scynthians and/or Cimmerians who also once inhabited Asia Minor (the Land of Gog and Magog, Eze 38) and their various speculative migrations, etc.
In Kingdom of the Antichrist/Rise of the Beast we take a completely different approach to identifying these ten end time kingdoms. Rather than arguing Scripture was only interested in the race of theses ten kingdoms as a prophetic identifier, we argue that Scripture was only concerned with the geographical areas which made up these ten ancient kingdoms and use that as a prophetic identifier of the ten kingdoms which will encompass Daniel’s fourth empire in the end times. We called this new way of looking at prophetic Scripture “The Biblical Principle of Nations.”
The Biblical Principle of Nations suggests that ethnicity played no part in the division of nation in Genesis 10. Ethnicity, in fact, is not even a Biblical concept, but rather, ethnicity, or “race” comes directly from the godless beliefs of Darwinists. Scripture knows of only one “race” – the human race as we are all descendants of the same biological parents, Adam and Eve. Genesis 10, and indeed throughout all of Scripture, God is only concerned with tribes, and later, after those tribes had grown into nations, nations and eventually empires. Nevertheless, Scripture did not intend to suggest that these same tribes or nations would inhabit these same geographical areas for all time. In other words, even though the geographical area first inhabited by a peculiar tribe mentioned in Genesis 10 became known and identified by the name of that peculiar tribe, Scripture does not assume that that identical tribe would remain in that same geographical area throughout time. As any historian knows, migrations of entire nations and tribes, whether forced or not, dominate the ancient world to the point that modern historians view migrations of nations and tribal groups as the major defining force of the ancient world; more defining and important than either wars or governmental policies. Nor is Scripture concerned with the ethnicity or “race” of the particular tribe which originally inhabited the land. If it did, this would forces us, the last generation, to seek out the various migrations of various tribes and nations throughout history which, in many cases, is impossible due to lost records. The end result would be that no one of our generation would be able to correctly interpret many eschatological characters and events because many of their ancient migrations are no longer known for various reasons. Thus, many of the end time prophecies written specifically for our benefit, because we are the last generation which will experience the fulfillment of these prophecies, would be worthless because no one could properly interpret them.
Thus, the principle that geographical nations, not races, in various geographical areas was set in Genesis 10 can be seen with the foundation of Babylon; which Scripture informs us was founded by “Nimrod (Gen 10:8-10). Nimrod, as Genesis 10:6-9 makes clear, was a descendant of Ham, the brother of Japheth, and thus of the “Hamite” tribal linage Nevertheless, the ancient “Babylonian Chronicles,” which were composed by indigenous Babylonians around 2250 B.C., informs us that Babylon was, by the third millennium B.C., under the control of Sharkalisharris, the son of the great Sargon I (d. 2300 B.C.), who was of Indo-European stock.
By the mid-second millennium B.C. the Amorite invasion of Babylon was complete, and the founding of the First Dynasty of Babylon under the Amorite king Suma-Abum (d. 1894 B.C.), a Semite, was established. In 1595 B.C. the Babylonian kingdom was captured by the Hittites, another Indo-European people, but subsequently occupied for unknown reasons by the Kassite people of Arabian (Semitic) stock.
By the first millennium B.C. Babylon was under the control of the Assyrian king Shalmenesar II, who was part Semitic and part Indo-European. The Chaldeans, another Indo-European people, would take control of Babylon around 626 B.C. The famous Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was of Chaldean, or Indo-European, stock. The Chaldean kingdom of Babylon was subsequently captured by the Persian king Cyrus, also of Indo-European stock; on October 29th, 539 B.C. King Cyrus would be followed by the Medo-Persian king Darius II, also known as Artaxerxes II (521-486 B.C.), who was a Mede of European stock only.
On October 1st, 331 B.C., Alexander the Great and his Grecian army would conquer Babylon after Alexander’s victory over the Medes at Gaugamela. Alexander would subsequently have himself crowned “King of Babylon” in 324 B.C. Alexander’s death on June 13th, 323 B.C., however, would allow one of his generals, Syleucus, a member of the famed “Diadachi,” to claim the title of King of Babylon in 305 B.C.
Thus, even though Babylon has been conquered, and subsequently occupied, by Indo-Europeans, Amorites, Arabs, Kassites, Chaldeans, Persians, Medes and Greeks, “Babylon” is always “Babylon” in Scripture regardless of the ethnicity of the ruling class, or even the ethnicity of the majority of its population at the time. “Babylon” is “Babylon” because of its geographical location, not because of the peculiar ethnic make-up of its ruling class or the majority of its population at any given time.
Egypt is another example we can site from Scripture. “Egypt” is always “Egypt” in Scripture because of its geographical location, not because of its peculiar ethnic make-up at any given time. Thus, even though the Egypt of Abraham’s day (2100-1900 B.C.) had an indigenous Egyptian population made up primarily of descendants of Ham (Hamites), “Egypt” is still “Egypt” over three-hundred years later when Joseph is sold into an “Egypt” completely dominated by the Hyksos (The so-called “Shepherd Kings”) of Semitic, or possibly Indo-European, ethnicity. Furthermore, “Egypt” is still “Egypt” in Scripture over a thousand years later when, around 609 B.C., “Neco Pharaoh of Egypt” (2nd Chron 35:20), an Ethiopian Pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty, led his Egyptian forces into Israel.
This same biblical principle, then, applies as well to “Meshech and Tubal.” Even though both “Meshech and Tubal” were, undoubtedly, founded by Indo-Europeans, possibly even the two sons of Japheth, to assume that a prophetic reference to ”Meshech and Tubal,” a “Meshech and Tubal” over 2700 years into the future should literally refer to the original Indo-European (or Russians as American Evangelicals would contend) inhabitants of “Meshech and Tubal” is to misunderstand the true meaning of Scripture. As far as Scripture is concerned, “Meshech and Tubal” will always be located in the same geographical location, even though the ethnicity of their inhabitants will change from time to time for various reasons. Thus, when prophetic Scripture speaks of an “end-time” “Meshech and Tubal,” it must be speaking about the people who inhabit the same geographical area of ancient “Meshech and Tubal” of Ezekiel’s day. Therefore, because the eschatological character known as “Gog” is said to come from the area around ancient “Meshech and Tubal” (Eze 38:1), we must, then, look at the modern nation that inhabit the same geographical area today (Turkey) if we are to be able to correctly identify the national origin of “Gog.” “…the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (v.2).
Moreover, a minority of ancient manuscripts read “…the prince of Rosh” (v.2). American Evangelicals, then, apply the same standard to “Rosh” that they apply to “Meshech and Tubal” and, as a consequence, they interpret “Rosh” as an ancient corruption of “Russia.” Thus they claim to be able to follow the ancient migrations of various tribes out of Asia Minor and into modern Russia, thus making the Russians the descendants of “Meshech and Tubal.” As a consequence, they teach the nation modern nation of Russia will invade modern Israel (Eze 38, 39). In reality, “Rosh,” like “chief prince of,” many archeologists now believe probably refers to a military commander, thus, Gog should be viewed as a possible military commander of the area around ancient “Meshech and Tubal” (modern Turkey) and not ancient corruption of a word and language which, at the time, did not even exist.
Incredibly enough, Scripture actually names the ten ancient kingdoms, or nations, which will comprise the coalition force that will follow Gog in his invasion of modern Israel. And these ten “kingdoms,” or nations, and specifically their modern identities, will be of the utmost importance for a clear understanding of “end-time” eschatological events: “…Meshech and Tubal (Eze 38:2)…Persia, Cush, and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north (vs.5-6)…Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages…(v.13).
Again, Ezekiel uses the ancient names for certain geographical areas when he names the “end-time” eschatological nations that will accompany Gog on his invasion of Israel. Thus, we must apply the “Biblical Principle of Nations” spoken of above in any attempt to identify the modern nations that will accompany Gog. If we were, then, to superimpose a modern map of the Middle-East and Mesopotamia over an ancient map of the same geographical areas, doing so should provide us with the exact geographical areas these ancient kingdoms once occupied, while allowing us, at the same time, to identify all the modern nations which currently inhabit these same geographical areas.
Ancient “Meshech and Tubal,” as previously discussed, were located in southeastern Anatolia, or Asia Minor. Today this area is inhabited by the peoples of southeastern Turkey. Ancient “Persia,” naturally, is undoubtedly modern Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait (the ancient boundaries of the Persian Empire). Ancient “Cush” inhabited the area which is today modern Ethiopia and the Sudan. Ancient “Put” in Northern Africa is the same geographical area as modern Libya. Ancient “Gomer” encompasses an area around the Black Sea which would include the modern nations of Kazakhastan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Ancient “Beth Togarmah” inhabited an area which today includes the modern nations of Armenia and Georgia. Ancient “Sheba and Dedan” were located in the vast Arabian deserts which today is home to the kingdoms of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The ancient “merchants of Tarshish” would include the modern countries of North Africa known as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
It is nothing short of remarkable, in our opinion, that, while writing over twenty-five hundred years ago, the inspired priest-prophet Ezekiel could see how all these modern nations of diverse tribes, cultures, languages and histories would, in the end, share one common trait of the utmost importance—their belief in the Gnostic religion of Islam. Making them, of course, parts of the world-wide “ummi” or community of Islam which, when reunited under Gog (Eze 38), will become the fourth empire spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Dan 7).
Even more remarkable is the fact that Ezekiel was not the first to write about this “end-time” confederation of nations which would seek to “destroy Israel as a nation.” Over four-hundred years earlier Asap, a leader of one of king David’s Levitical choirs, wrote a Psalm in which he spoke about a ten nation confederacy of nations that would seek to “destroy “the nation of Israel”: “…O God, be not still. See how Your enemies are astir, how Your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against Your people [Israel]; they plot against those You cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them [Israel] as a nation, let the name of Israel be remembered no more.
With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance [a coalition] against You; the tents of Edom [parts of areas that encompass modern Palestine, Jordan and the northern Arabian desert] and the Ishmaelites [Arab Bedouin], Moab [an area encompassing the West Bank of Israel, Jordan and the northern Arabian desert] and the Hagrites [an Aramean confederacy mentioned in ancient Assyrian inscriptions, thus, an area that would encompass parts of modern Syria, Iraq, and the Black Sea region], Gebal [an important Phoenician city, thus modern Lebanon], Ammon [an area which would encompass the West Bank of Israel, which is inhabited by the Palestinians, and modern Jordan] and Amalek [a tribal people living in the ancient Sinai peninsula, thus, modern Saudi Arabia] Philistia [the Gaza strip in modern Israel]. Even Assyria [a geographical area which would encompass parts of modern Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Babylon and areas around the Black Sea] has joined them [the confederacy] to lend strength to the descendants of Lot [the sons born to Lot's daughters were the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites (Deut 2:9,19), and were known to inhabit an area east of the Jordan River encompassing parts of modern Jordan, Syria and the northern Arabian desert]” (Psalm 83:1-8).
The “ten kingdoms” of the seer Asaph resembles, then, the “ten kings” of the priest-prophet Ezekiel in three very important ways; first, the ancient geographical areas inhabited by both sets of “ten kingdoms” are basically the same. Consequently, just as the ten eschatological kingdoms of Ezekiel will share one very important trait, they all also belong to the Gnostic empire of Islam, so the same can be said of the ten eschatological kingdoms of the seer Aseph. And thirdly, just as the ten eschatological kingdoms of Ezekiel’s vision will devise an “evil scheme” that will subsequently lead them to invade Israel in search for “plunder,” so too will the ten eschatological kingdoms of the seer Aseph seek to invade Israel in an attempt to “destroy” the nation.
Returning to Ezekiel’s remarkable prophecy. “…Get ready; be prepared, you [Gog] and the hordes gathered about you [the ten nation coalition force], and take [military] command of them. After many days [a biblical reference which often refers to the end-time] you [Gog and his coalition force] will be called to arms [war]. In future years [another biblical reference which often refers to the end-time] you will invade a land [Israel] that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel [an event prophesied in Ezekiel 4, and literally fulfilled in 1948 A.D.] which had long been desolate [for the most part, the Promised Land laid "desolate" for all the years Israel was dispersed among the nations].” They [Israel] had been [notice the past tense] brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You [Gog] and all your troops and the many nations with you [the ten nation coalition] will go up, advancing like a storm; will be like a cloud covering the land [of Israel] (Eze 38:7-9).
“…This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day [a phrase referring to the day of Gog's invasion of Israel] thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages ["unwalled villages" were unheard of in the days of Ezekiel. Walled villages become obsolete only in the Middle Ages with the discovery of gunpowder and the subsequent invention of the cannon. Thus, Ezekiel must be viewing a nation of "unwalled villages" sometime in the very distant future from his day]. I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins [modern Israel is, without a doubt, settled upon many ancient ruins] and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods [modern Israel is definitely "rich" in "goods" when compared to her Islamic neighbors], living at the center of the land…” (38:10-13). “…You [Gog] will come from your place in the far north [American Evangelicals see this as a reference to Russia while, at the same time, ignoring the fact that ancient "Meshech and Tubal" were, indeed, located to the extreme north of ancient Israel in what would be modern Turkey], you and many nations with you [we have already identified these "nations," or geographical areas]…’ (38:15).
“…You will advance against My people Israel like a cloud that covers the land [denoting an immense army]. In days to come [another biblical reference to the last days], O Gog, I will [allow] bring you against My land, so that the nations will know Me when I show Myself holy through you [or your destruction] before their eyes…” (38:16).
“…This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel [probably a general reference to earlier prophecies of divine judgment of the nations arrayed against Israel in the "latter days"]. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them…” (38:17-18).
“…I [God] will execute judgment upon him [Gog and his coalition force] with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him [Gog] and on the many nations with him [the ten nation coalition force]…” (38:21-22).
“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, 0 Gog, chief! Prince [or military leader] of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around [does this mean Gog and his forces will be leaving an earlier engagement[s] with Israel?] and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel…” (39:1-2).
“…On the mountains of Israel you [Gog] will fall [die], you and all your troops and nations with you [Gog and his coalition force will be defeated my God Almighty]. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals…” (39:4).
“…I [God] will send fire on Magog [the Hebrew prefix "ma" means "land of." Thus, "Ma-Gog" should be read as "Land of Gog." Consequently, God is saying here that He will destroy the "land of Gog," the land where ancient "Meshech and Tubal" were located] and on those who live in safety on the coastlands [the "coastlands" of modern Turkey and Lebanon which bordered the ancient geographical area around "Meshech and Tubal"], and they will know that I am the Lord…” (39:6).
“…I will make known My holy name known among My people Israel [this sentence clearly implies that modern Israel will not know the true name of their God]. I will no longer let My holy name be profaned [is this a reference to the way the Rabbinic Jews have, over the centuries, attempted to profane the name of Jesus Christ in their Talmud and other Rabbinic writings?], and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. It is coming [the invasion of Israel by Gog]! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken about. Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up [the "War of Gog and Magog" will be so catastrophic that Israel will be forced to burn Gog’s weapons for fuel]…For seven years [Daniel's 'seven,' or the "Seventieth Week" of Daniel] they will use them as fuel…” (39:7-9). “…On that day [of the invasion of Israel] I [God] will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea [the Dead Sea]. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hammon [Hordes of] Gog. For seven months the House of Israel will be burying them [the hordes of Gog] in order to cleans the land [corpses are considered unclean in Levitical law (see Lev 5:2; 21:1,11; 22:4; Num 5:2; 6:6-12; 19:16; 31:19)]…” (39:11-12).
“…From that day [the day the Lord destroys Gog and his coalition force] forward the House of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God [this implies, again, that Israel currently does not know the true identity of their God]…” (39:22).
“…They [Israel] will forget their shame [caused by rejecting their God over two-thousand years ago] and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward Me [Jesus, Christ through Rabbinic teachings] when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid…” (39:26).
“…Then they will know that I am the Lord their God [implying again that modern Israel does not know the true identity of their God], for though I sent them into exile among the nations [the Diaspora beginning in 135 A.D.], I will gather them to their own land [literally accomplished in 1948 A.D.], not leaving any behind…” (39:28).
The Apostle John speaks of this same ten nation coalition which will encompass the fourth empire of Daniels. For example, the aged Apostle writes: “And I saw a beast [Daniel's fourth beast] coming out of the sea [of humanity]. He had ten horns [the same ten kingdoms of Ezekiel's prophecy] and seven heads [the Caliphate of Islam]…” (Revelation 13:1); “There [in the desert] I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast [representing the heretical religion of the fourth empire of Daniel] that was covered with blasphemous names [heresy?] and had seven heads [the Caliphate] and ten horns [the ten nations/kingdoms of Ezekiel 38]” (Revelation 17:3). “The ten horns you [John] saw are ten kingdoms [the same ten kingdoms of Ezekiel 38] who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They [the ten kingdoms] have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast [Daniel's fourth empire]” (Revelation 17:12). See also Revelation 17:15-18).
So we see that the key to properly interpreting end time prophecy is a correct identification of the various characters and events which make up the one eschatological paradigm presented in the pages of Scripture. Consequently, using our Biblical Principle of Nations we were able to properly identify the ten nations that will encompass the end time fourth empire of the book of Daniel. Once these ten kings were correctly identified, we were then able to apply our findings to other end time prophecies of the book of Revelation and come to a correct interpretation of these prophecies from the book of Revelation as well.