Kings Of the North and South Update

Kings Of the North and South Update – Commentary by Jack Kelley – http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/kings-north-south-update/

Over the past five years or so I have written several times about the Middle Eastern kings of Daniel 11 known as the kings of the north and the south. In these studies I’ve shown how these two kings will become prominent again in the end times as the Shiites (king of the north) and the Sunnis (king of the south) vie for supremacy in the Islamic movement. Before getting a look at what’s currently happening in this coming clash, let’s have a quick review of their origins.

The Two Kings In History

 t was June of 323 BC. As Alexander the Great lay dying on his bed in Babylon, having conquered the known world, he was asked who would inherit his kingdom. “Give it to the strong” he reportedly said, even though he had a son who should have been his heir. The four generals who were his principal commanders assumed it was a reference to them, and after Alexander’s death they divided the kingdom among them.

Two of the four generals, Cassander and Lysimachus, are not mentioned in Daniel 11, but the other two, Seleucus and Ptolemy, became the first kings of the north and the south. As his part of the Empire, Seleucus gained control of what we now know as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Turkey. Reigning for a time from Babylon in modern Iraq, he built a new capital city 20 miles to the south east on the Tigris river and named it Seleucia.  Eventually he moved his capital to Antioch in Turkey, where it remained.

Ptolemy took Libya, Egypt, the Sudan, Israel and Jordan, and chose Alexandria in Egypt as his capital.

The descendants of these two kings fought each other for control of the known world for the next several hundred years and their history is summarized in Daniel 11:2-35, although it was prophecy when Daniel received it from an angel. This period is capped off in Daniel 11:31-35 with the Maccabean revolt, when the last important king of the north, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, was defeated (165 BC).

The angel didn’t tell Daniel anything about the king of the south’s demise, since it didn’t directly involve Israel.  But history shows that over time the Ptolemys became weaker and weaker.  The last King of the South was actually a queen named Cleopatra, famous for her romantic involvements with Julius Caesar and then Mark Antony, both Romans.  Upon her death in 30BC what was left of the Ptolemaic Kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire, and the kings of the north and south were no more.

The Two Kings In Current Events

Now lets take a look at how current events may be hinting at a return of these two kings before concluding with what the angel told Daniel would happen concerning them at the end of the age.

About four years ago, Saudi Arabia, having been one of our most important allies in the Middle East, began rebelling against US policy. This was done partly as an expression of anger over the way the US helped oust Egypt’s Pres. Mubarak, a close friend of the Saudi King, and partly over their frustration with America’s lack of action against Iran.

The Saudis are fearful of Iran’s efforts to establish themselves as the dominant regional force and have embarked upon a more independent course of action, promising to defend the Gulf States against Iranian meddling themselves instead of relying on the US. Saudi Arabia does not want Iran to emerge as the leader of the Islamic Middle East and is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen, even if it comes to war. For example, they have offered to help Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities when the time comes. They also provided the funding for the Egyptian military’s overthrow of the US supported Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and replaced the foreign aid the US withheld from Egypt afterward.

For its part, Iran has all but taken control of Syria and Lebanon, the former with elite troops and the latter through their client Hezbollah. Iran is heavily involved in supporting the Syrian government although by many accounts Syria’s existence as a nation is now largely theoretical. If it wasn’t for the fact that a good part of Damascus is still standing and is still the seat of the Assad Government, Isaiah 17 would already have been fulfilled. That this prophecy against Damascus hasn’t been fulfilled is due solely to Iran’s support, not Syria’s strength. Iran is also the true driving force behind Iraq’s efforts to dislodge the Islamic State from their midst. Iran now has so much influence in Iraq that it too could soon become a client state. These commitments are costing Iran $6-8 billion per year in addition to the manpower they’ve allocated. I believe the growing Shiite coalition will evolve into the modern day king of the north.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait, who have formed a Sunni alliance to counteract Iran’s growing influence, are moving toward becoming the king of the south. I don’t think its any coincidence that these two alliances occupy real estate once under control of the historical kings of the north and the south.

This animosity between Shiites and Sunnis is displayed in the crisis currently unfolding in Yemen, where Iran has taken the side of the Houthi rebels in their effort overthrow the Yemeni government, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt have come to the government’s defense. They have been joined by Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates, all Sunni states.

A confrontation seemed be inevitable as a nine ship Iranian convoy, suspected of bringing loads of arms to the rebels, made its way toward Yemen. Saudi Arabia has said the Iranian ships would be prevented from entering Yemen’s territorial waters. The Saudis have already closed Yemeni air space to any foreign carriers, military or civilian, and are determined to deny Iran access to Yemen by sea as well. As of this posting, the Iranian convoy has reversed course and appears to be heading back to Iran. It’s still being tracked by the US, Saudi, Egyptian, and UAE fleets, and some US officials are warning that “This isn’t over yet.”

Whether it happens in Yemen or somewhere else, a serious confrontation is looming between Shiites and Sunnis. The stakes are high because the privilege of reigning supreme over Islam, and perhaps the whole world, is seen as the victor’s reward. (Wild cards in this coming confrontation are Turkey, which is mostly Sunni, but is friendlier toward Iran than Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and the so-called Islamic State, which is also Sunni, but is not friendly toward anyone.)

The rivalry between these two sects of Islam goes back to the death of Mohammed, when there was a battle over the right to succeed him, and continues to this day. Most of their beliefs are identical but there are some differences. For example, they both believe in al Mahdi, but they don’t agree on who he will be or what he will do. Many Shiites believe he’s the 12th Imam, who will appear at a time of great crisis in the world to establish the Islamic Caliphate, or Kingdom, and enforce world wide conversion to Islam. Sunnis believe he will revive the faith, but will not necessarily be connected with the end of the world.

The Two Kings In Prophecy

Now lets move into the future and see what the angel told Daniel about things still to come. If you read it carefully you’ll notice that three separate kings are in view in Daniel 11:36 & 40 and their identities must be discovered to fully understand what will happen in the days leading up to the End of the Age.  They are the king who exalts himself,  the king of the north, and the king of the south.

First, the king who exalts himself. The angel told Daniel this king would exalt and magnify himself above every god and would say unheard of things against the God of gods. (Daniel 11:36-37).  In 2 Thes. 2:4 Paul said the anti-Christ will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped. In Rev. 13:6 John said the anti- Christ will blaspheme God and slander His name.  So it looks like the king who exalts himself and the anti-Christ are one and the same.

When the anti-Christ first comes on the scene in the aftermath of the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, he’ll look to the world like a great peacemaker. Daniel 8:25 says He’ll use the promise of peace to deceive people into feeling secure. He will distribute gifts of power and influence and will even confirm a treaty allowing Israel to build the third Temple and reinstate their worship of God there (Daniel 9:27).  As he gains public support he’ll use force to subdue countries who don’t fall into line. He’ll make his close followers into rulers, giving them conquered lands as a reward for their faithfulness (Daniel 11:39).

But when he moves to consolidate his control of Planet Earth by going to Jerusalem to assert his divinity, the king of the north and the king of the south will both try to stop him (Daniel 11:40).

Satan has always used man’s need for a religion to help him achieve his goal of world dominance, but eventually he will have to make himself the only acceptable object of worship, unencumbered by any religious system. And just like the Jews were incited to murder when Jesus claimed to be God, so these Islamic kings will be outraged when the one they thought was the promised servant of Allah makes the claim that he actually is Allah.

In Islam there’s a saying, “Allah was not begotten nor does he beget.” When the anti-Christ proclaims himself to be God he will be committing blasphemy against both Allah and God. When that happens, it’s easy to see how the kings of the north and south, with massive armies under their command, could forget their differences and team up against him. Nothing inflames the followers of Islam like an attack on their religion.

This tells us that even among Islamic countries there will be resistance to the anti-Christ’s rule. It’s important to remember that there’s disagreement among the various branches of Islam over how and by whom world dominance will be achieved.  But he’ll bring them all into submission, and after invading many other countries, he’ll arrive in Jerusalem and set up his headquarters there (Daniel 11:42-45), where he’ll walk into the New Temple and claim to be God ( 2 Thes. 2:4). 

In Matt. 24:15 Jesus said this declaration will be the primary cause of the Great Tribulation and will trigger its beginning.  This is because it will be the event that pits Satan and his man directly against God and His Anointed, as King David prophesied so long ago (Psalm 2:2-3).  The anti-Christ’s defeat of the kings of the north and the south could be the reason for all the world to unite behind him and declare, “Who is like the Beast? Who can make war against him?” (Rev. 13:4)  And as Daniel was told, the anti-Christ will be successful until the time of wrath is completed because this is the way God has determined it will happen (Daniel 11:36).  No one on Earth will be able to stand against him.

But when his time has come to an end, he’ll be defeated. Where the kings of the north and south will have failed, the King of Kings will be successful and at the end there will be no one to help this self exalted king (Daniel 11:45).

If, as I believe, the current unrest in the Islamic Middle East is leading to the re-appearance of the ancient kings of the north and south, then the appearance of the anti-Christ cannot be far behind. And that’s another reason for us to believe that the days of the Church on Earth are truly numbered. You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah.

Nearing Midnight: How Not to Be Deceived

Nearing Midnight: How Not to Be Deceived – Todd Strandberg – http://www.raptureready.com/rap16.html

There isn’t a more important decision in life than to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. We were all born into sin, and nothing but the blood of the Lamb of God can save us from damnation. Sadly, most people will die lost because they were deceived into rejecting a relationship with God.

The Bible contains many warnings against being deceived. “Let no man deceive himself” (1 Cor. 3:18). “Be not deceived,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33. Paul also warned the Galatians, “Be not deceived” (Gal. 6:7). The epistle to the Hebrews offers yet another warning about deceit: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).

We need to be on guard because the devil’s favorite trick is convincing people they are saved when they really are not. In America, polls show that around 85 percent of the population claims to be a member of the Christian faith. These same polls find that only about 20 percent of them have had a born-again experience. In Europe, the disparity is even greater.

I get constant reminders about deception by operating a top-rated site on the Rapture. Every few days I receive a letter or an email warning that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a lie from the devil, and I need to repent before it’s too late. The position these critics take are not new or original attempts to discredit the truth of the Pre-Trib Rapture. After 28 years of operation, I’ve heard every end-time argument a thousand different ways.

The attacks from these people only help to strengthen my Pre-Trib view. Most of them have no Scripture to back up their claims. Their opinions of my supposed deception are simply the result of their own confused and misguided beliefs.

The problem of deception became clear to me when I was recently looking though my old cassette tape collection. I noticed that many of the teaching tapes were from people whom I later found to have major flaws in their doctrinal beliefs.

One name that stands out is Hobart Freeman. He was part of the Word of Faith Movement before it became fixated on money. Freeman was a very good teacher. Most of the tapes I have from him are about cults. One of his messages was on the subject, “How Not to Be Deceived.”

The ministry that Freeman ran was small, and I had lost track of him. It surprised me greatly when 30 years later I looked him up on the Web and found a Wikipedia link that showed he should have taken his own advice on avoiding deception.

Freeman held to the view that modern medicine was an extension of ancient witchcraft and black magic, so he told people to quit taking their medicine. Over 90 people died in his church and untold hundreds suffered death or complications from listening to his messages on tape or radio.

In 1984, Freeman was charged with negligent homicide but his day in court never came. Two weeks before the trial date, Freeman became a victim his own teaching when he died from congestive heart failure complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg.

The vast majority of examples of deception can be boiled down to one common problem: People coming up with their own reality rather than using the one God has provided for us. Free will allows us to make decisions, but it doesn’t give us the ability to determine truth. The Bible warns that Man is incapable of telling right from wrong:

“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).

One sin nature is the key reason why we can’t trust our own judgment. The role of the devil as the great deceiver of nations is an even bigger reason why we need to turn to the Bible for all moral guidance. Satan’s ability to whisper into the ears of mankind explains why “truth” now comes in so many varieties.

I am very wary of any teacher that has the habit of being an endless source of new biblical revelations. They are the ones who constantly find hidden messages in every verse of the Bible. Unless you are a baby Christian, you should already be familiar with most Church doctrines. Any truth that needs to be coached out of Scripture by someone, was never there in the first place.

Christians should not just be mental sponges soaking in every teaching that sounds appealing. We should be like the Bereans of Acts. When Paul and Silas shared the gospel, the Bereans didn’t merely take them at their word-they searched through Old Testament Scripture to make sure what they were hearing lined up with God’s Word.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

Deceivers are now at an all-time high. This is the worst time for anyone to be relying on the so-called wisdom offered by the world. We’re not even at the point yet of seeing the prophesied demonically inspired “signs and wonders.” And yet the vast majority of the world is already deceived. To stay clear of deception, we need to place all our trust in the Bible.

“For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matt. 24:24).