Summary: Part 13 in a series on the prophecies found in the book of Daniel. Continuation of study of Chapter 11 and the first 42 months of the Tribulation.
The Prophecies of Daniel
Part 13: The First 42 Months (Daniel 11:23-24; 39)
We are still in the book of Daniel studying the prophecies God gave to this Old Testament prophet concerning the Times of the Gentiles, and the latter days or the times of the end. We have reached our 13th week of study and are presently working our way verse-by-verse through the last half of chapter 11.
I hope you brought your map and the handout of parallel verses in Daniel 11 back with you this morning. If you weren’t here or forgot yours there are a few extra copies on the vestibule table should you need one.
Let’s briefly review so we can remember where we are at. Verses 21 through 45 of Daniel, chapter eleven are all dealing with the first 42 months or 3 ½ years of the seven-year Tribulation period when the Antichrist is going to be gaining his power in preparation to rule the earth for the last half of the seven-year Tribulation. In these verses all mentions of the king of the North are referring to the Antichrist. All mentions of the king of the South are referring to Egypt and the surrounding areas.
We have been and will continue interpreting these verses on the premise that the Antichrist will arise from within the Muslim religion. I truly believe that this fits the Biblical prophecies more accurately than the idea that he will come to power from somewhere in the west like from the EU or UN.
Two weeks ago I also showed you just a few of the parallels between the description the Bible gives us of the Antichrist and what the Muslim’s believe about their final prophet of the end times, the Mahdi. Because of their mirror descriptions, I believe that when the Antichrist does finally appear, the Muslims will believe that he is their long awaited Mahdi. So, the Antichrist and the Mahdi will be one and the same person.
You know, I’ve studied Bible prophecies for a while now, and I was always amazed at the thought that by the time the Tribulation period is over that there would still be people who did not believe in God. I couldn’t understand why after experiencing His power and wrath in the form of plagues and earthquakes and famine and everything else, they would still deny God. But when you see the Antichrist as a Muslim, coming from a religion that has its own end times beliefs that can explain away the events of Daniel and Revelation, you can begin to see how people would believe the lies of Satan instead of the Word of God.
The Muslims have an answer for the Antichrist. They call him their Mahdi. They and an answer for the prophet Elijah who appears and builds the Jewish Temple and performs miracles. They call him the Dajjal or Antichrist. The Muslims have a battle of Gog and Magog with armies coming from the north. They have an answer for the false prophet. They call him Jesus. So you see, in the context of the Muslim religion, I can now easily see how many people could live through the horrors of the Tribulation and still come through them denying the deity of Christ. It’s because they will believe the lies of Satan instead of the truth of God’s Word.
Last week we made it through five of twenty-four verses in Daniel 11. We saw the Antichrist make his appearance on the world stage from somewhere in the Middle East, most likely from the country of Iraq. We mentioned that it is the most likely place because not only does it fit all of the Bible prophecies that mention where the Antichrist is supposed to arise from, but it also fits with the Islamic apocalyptic teachings of their Mahdi arising from Iraq. He will be setting up his kingdom to rule from Babylon for the first 42 months of the Tribulation. And then we saw how verse 22 is a reference to the Battle of Gog and Magog which will set the stage for the Antichrist to step in as a great Muslim leader whose purpose is to unite the world under the banner of Islam.
Destruction of Damascus
Now before we get to the next verse this morning, I want to talk to you about another prophecy that isn’t mentioned in Daniel, but will be a part of these end times events. The reason I want to mention it here is because as we go through this I want to try to explain these events in order so that you can see how they relate to each other. By understanding the order of events you can understand why certain things happen the way they do.
Now we mentioned last week that the Antichrist will set up his headquarters in Babylon and rule from there the first 42 months of the Tribulation period. I also believe that the Antichrist will arise from among the more fanatical Shiite branch of Islam. This is important because presently the Shiite branch of Islam does not have a central headquarters or power base. They are the minority Muslim sect. Now, while they do not have a headquarters per se, they do have a major city in the Middle East that acts as a haven for their terrorist cells. And that city is Damascus, Syria – not anywhere in Iraq. So, if the Antichrist arises from within the Shiite branch and is supposed to rule from Babylon, according to Bible prophecies, then what would make it necessary for the Shiites to decided to move their base of power from Damascus to Babylon?