America in the Bible

My Big, Fat, Greek Revived Empire: Part III

The Antichrist will rise from the ashes of the Greek Empire, not the Roman Empire. And don’t believe the rumor that America is not in the Bible.

While reading the Bible six years ago, something in the Book of Daniel floored me. 

Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him [the Antichrist], and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. ~ Daniel 11:30 (NIV)

I had always been taught that the Antichrist would take over the whole world, and I had never been taught that anyone would actually fight back. But right there in Daniel, it says that “ships of the western coastlands will oppose him.” Wow. It was at this time that I believe God planted the seed in my mind to wonder if America actually was in the Bible, in direct contradiction to Protestant tradition which states that America is not in the Bible.

Old Habits Die Hard

Soon after reading that verse and being stunned by it, I was at a Bible study I regularly attended. This particular night, a speaker taught on current events and Bible prophecy. In the question and answer session after the lecture, someone asked the speaker: “Since America is not in the Bible, what do you think will happen to America?” Stop right there.

Since entering the Protestant Evangelical world several years ago, I have heard it stated countless times that “America is not in the Bible.” This statement is accepted as fact by seemingly everyone. The problem is that as a relative novice to the Bible, God illuminated Daniel 11:30 to me, which in the NIV Bible states that at least one nation west of the Middle East will have a navy powerful enough to confront the mighty Antichrist, and that this nation will have political DNA befitting such bold confrontation.

Anchors Aweigh

It doesn’t take a PhD in political science or history to see that the USA is west of the Middle East, has the most powerful navy on earth, and has been sending it into action around the world for two centuries, including many incursions into the Muslim lands of the Middle East. In fact the U.S. Marine Corps (which is part of the U.S Navy) has in its anthem the words “to the shores of Tripoli.”

U.S. Marines Hymn

Official song of the U.S. Marine Corps (Image source: U.S. Library of Congress. Red highlight added by alwaysproventrue.com)

Semper Fi

This refers to the Marine Corps’ 1805 incursion into what is today Tripoli, Libya– a Muslim nation then and now, which was then under the control of Ottoman Turkey. Now back to the Bible study I attended.

Serenity Now!

To the best of his ability, the speaker at the Bible study answered the question about America not being in the Bible. I then raised my hand and brought up the fact that Daniel clearly writes that ships from the west will oppose the Antichrist. I made the case that this is likely the USA, and stated that I believe we may be wrong about America not being in the Bible. Maybe we actually are in the Bible. Do you know that the VERY next question to the speaker began like this: “Since America is not in the Bible…” I don’t remember what the rest of the question was because I (figuratively) threw up my hands in frustration after those first seven words and (figuratively) yelled, “serenity now!” (thank you George Costanza). Immediately after hearing a Bible verse giving America some hope, the crowd went back to its Protestant tradition of believing that America is not in the Bible.

Catholic Splinters, Protestant Planks

This is one of many reasons I have had a recurring theme to my writing of late. That theme is that Protestants have non-Biblical traditions they hold on to just as jealously as Catholics hold on to theirs. Yet, when I turn the mirror around and ask my Protestant brothers and sisters to scrutinize their beliefs against what the Bible actually says, I get any number of cop-outs, excuses, and refusals. I am speaking the truth in love. We Protestants are so accustomed to believing that only Catholics have splinters of tradition in their eyes, that we miss the planks of tradition in our own eyes.

Prophecy Is Pattern

At this point we must remember that Daniel 11:30 prophetically addresses at least two periods of time. The first fulfillment of this verse happened around 168 – 167 B.C., the details of which you are about to read in the paragraphs below. However, the ultimate fulfillment of this verse will be in the end times. In the Bible and in recorded history, God gives us templates, patterns, and examples for upcoming prophetic events. He does not want us to miss them, or to be confused about what we see. That is why we often see more than one fulfillment of the same prophecy over time. It is like God dropping a trail of bread crumbs for us to follow. It is like God giving us sketches of perpetrators for whom we are to be aware.

Now, the ships of Daniel 11:30 are particularly relevant to this series on a revived Greek Empire because of where these ships came from in one particular fulfillment of this prophecy, and who they opposed. Here is the verse in the King James Bible:

For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. ~ Daniel 11:30 (KJV)

This begs the question: Where is “Chittim”? Well, let’s look at history to see which event actually fulfilled this prophecy. If God says something will happen, it will happen.

“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” ~ The God of Israel, Isaiah 55:11

As They Say, “It’s All Greek To Me”

Here’s what happened. The Seleucid Empire of Syria attacked the Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt. Daniel documents all of this prophetically (that is, before it even happened). This is what separates the Bible from every other book on earth– 100% prophetic accuracy. Now, the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Empire were two of the four offshoots of Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire. God inspires Daniel’s pen to prophetically document, in lengthy and painstaking detail, the narrative of the Greek Empire, not the Roman Empire. It is to the ashes of the Greek Empire that God is loudly directing our end-times attention. Now, once the Seleucids attacked Ptolemaic Egypt, we see one of the very few mentions Daniel makes of the Romans.

Recorded history tells us that the Roman Senate was angry at the Seleucid attack on Egypt. The Bible tells us prophetically what they would do about it. They would send ships to oppose the Seleucids. Roman ships would indeed be the “ships of Chittim” that fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 11:30. The leader of the Seleucids was Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a man commonly referred to as a prototype of the end-times Antichrist– that is, a preview of the Antichrist, a blueprint of the Antichrist’s behavior and identity. Antiochus was confronted in Egypt by Mr. Gaius Popillius Laenas, a Roman commander sent by the Roman Senate to stop Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Popillius ordered Antiochus to stop his attack on Egypt. Antiochus said he needed some time to discuss it with his friends. Popillius is said to have drawn a circle in the dirt around Antiochus, and to have told him not to leave that circle until he made a decision. Wow!

Antiochus got the message and retreated out of Egypt. Popillius’ fleet then went to Cyprus and kicked the Seleucids out of there too! When Antiochus was kicked out of Egypt, he was furious. Daniel prophetically tells us what happened next.

For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant [The Chosen People, the Chosen Land, the Scriptures, and all things Jewish]: so shall he do [wage war on these things]; he shall even return [to Jerusalem], and have intelligence with them [Israeli traitors] that forsake the holy covenant. ~ Daniel 11:30

You can read what Antiochus did next in a post I wrote several months back entitled Josephus Previews Antichrist and Great Tribulation. But for the purpose of my current post, suffice it to say that Antiochus fulfilled Daniel 11:30 perfectly, and earned himself the reputation of little Antichrist.

Although the exploits of Antiochus IV Epiphanes provided one fulfillment of Daniel 11:30, and served up crucial hints as to which region will spawn the Antichrist, the ultimate fulfillment of Daniel 11:30 will be fulfilled by the exploits of the Antichrist himself. This brings me back to the way the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible translates “Chittim” in Daniel 11:30. I showed it at the top of this post, and here it is again.

Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him [the Antichrist], and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. ~ Daniel 11:30 (NIV)

NIV calls “Chittim” the “western coastlands,” meaning lands that are overseas from Israel, to the west. This is accurate because the word “Chittim” came to mean western lands in general.

…all islands [lands overseas from Israel], and the greatest part of the sea-coasts [lands overseas from Israel], are named Cethim [Chittim] by the Hebrews… ~ Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews

“the W[est] in general, but esp[ecially] the seafaring W[est]” ~ The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, 1975.

The Rockets’ Red Glare

This leads perfectly to what will happen in the end times. That is, although it is entirely possible that the Italian Navy will join the fight against the Middle Eastern Antichrist in the end times (just as it fought the Middle Eastern Mini-Antichrist named Antiochus IV Ephiphanes), the largest portion of this Naval force will come from the western nation that I believe God ultimately created for the very purpose of fighting and killing the Antichrist. It’s the western nation that Protestants constantly say is not in the Bible. It’s the western nation whose Marine Corps has a tantalizing line in its anthem, a line hinting that this nation will ultimately not succumb to fear of Islamic domination, but will actually fight back, and will take the fight to the Middle Eastern safe haven of the enemy. It is the nation that the Islamic world hates the most– labeling it the Great Satan (a tremendous honor). It is the United States of America.

No Roads Lead To Rome

The popular teaching in today’s Protestant American churches is that Rome will be the empire of the Antichrist. However, Daniel foretells (and history verifies) that Rome was not only not the nation of the prototype Antichrist, but that Rome actually opposed the prototype Antichrist! So, if the template God laid out for us in the Bible and in history tells us that Rome opposed the prototype Antichrist, then why in the world are we being taught that Rome will produce the ultimate Antichrist? I respectfully say that it makes no sense. We are sledgehammering the Bible into the shape of our Protestant tradition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update: 1/25/14

When I saw this article in USA Today, I couldn’t help but think how nicely it complements the post above, in which the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps (which is part of the U.S. Navy) play prominent roles in the end times.

Logo_usa_today

Plans are on for quick reaction force in Middle East

The idea is to place Marines closer to a region in near constant turmoil, including a civil war in Syria, a revolt in Egypt and a violent upsurge in Iraq.

[Here is how the article begins:]

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps is developing plans to establish a contingency force that will be based in the Middle East and be capable of responding to crises throughout the troubled region…

[The following two sentences nicely sum up the article:]

“The U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf is shifting from land to sea,” [scroll up to the post above and read how “ships from the western coastlands” will oppose the Antichrist] said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute. “That means greater reliance on the Marines for carrying out any missions on shore…”

Read entire article at usatoday.com.

My Big, Fat, Greek Revived Empire: Part IV

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