Mr. Allan M. Ure of North Bay, Ont., is a retired pharmacist who continues, as he has through most of his life, to teach God’s Word and serve the Lord’s people.
This article on prophecy is the first of a four-part series.
After the rapture of the Church, in what is understood as “the end times,” there will arise four great powers. In Scripture they are mentioned as the Beast (Rev. 13:1-10; 19:20), and the King of the South, Egypt. The Kings of the East, in those future times are seen moving toward the valley of Armageddon for the battle of the Great Day of God (Rev. 16:14-16). The fourth power of that future is the King of the North (Dan. 11:40). He may be identified with the Assyrian (Isa. 10:12) .
During the past the Assyrian was God’s scourge against Israel’s connection with idolatry. Perhaps he is again to be the divine scourge against the chronic unbelief of the Jewish nation.
A King of the North, one of the four dynasties which resulted from the breaking of the Great Horn (Dan. 8:21), is described in Daniel 8, where it is predicted that a future successor will possess mighty power, power that will not be his own. Apparently he will be the Assyrian (Mic. 5:5-6) armed and trained by a strong ally from the far north, Russia.
Our esteemed brother, Allan Ure, after much diligent research in these articles, gives a careful delineation of this enemy of God and of Israel. Let us prayerfully read, study and become more knowledgeable in the prophetic Word. —J.G.
Six great empires are portrayed in the history of the Old Testament as they come into contact with the nation of Israel. Two of these, Egypt in Africa and Assyria in Asia, had fallen from view as great powers before the close of the Old Testament period which ended about 400 B.C.
Assyria was defeated and superceded by Babylonia about 606 B.C. She was the power which God used to remove and disperse the idolatrous ten tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17:6). These events occured about 721 B.C. However, there are Scriptures which portray the future millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. These refer to both Assyria and Egypt as sharing in millennial blessings along with Israel (Isa. 19:18-25).
Egypt was reduced to the permanent status of a base kingdom, never more to rule over the nations (Ezek. 29:13-16). It has remained so until the present exactly as foretold.
The four other great empires were foreseen in Nebuchadnessar’s dream (Dan. 2). The head of gold represents Babylon; the beast and arms of silver, Medo-Persia; the belly and thigh of bronze, Greece; the legs of iron and the feet and toes of part iron and clay, Rome, are to appear in a soon-coming day.
At the end of the present Church period the prophetic clock, which was stopped so many centuries ago, will begin to tick again, and the 70th week of Daniel will be ushered in (Dan. 9:24-27).
Both the Old and the New Testaments refer to this time of crises that just precedes the millennial reign of the Christ, the 1000 years of Messiah’s Kingdom. Israel will then be back in Palestine, in a state of national unbelief insofar as the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned. Only 144,000 representing a believing remnant from the 12 tribes of Israel will remain as a witness to the Lord (Rev. 7:1-6).
The feet and toes of Daniel’s image (Dan. 2) now appear the form of political Christendom, the head of which is the beast (Rev. 13:1-10). Associated with this man is a religious power, the second beast (Rev. 13:11-18), referred to as the false prophet (Rev. 16-13). This man is the leader of atheistic Judaism. A third power, religious Christendon, is seen as a woman riding the political beast (Rev. 17:15-18). Finally, she is destroyed by the very beast she sought to control (Rev. 17:15-18). These beasts are destroyed when our Lord Jesus descends from Heaven with all His heavenly saints (Rev. 19:11-21). This is a broad outline of the events prophesied in the New Testament.
The Old Testament also portrays parallel events occurring in Daniel’s 70th week, but from a different perspective. The false prophet (Rev. 13) is described by Daniel as “the King” (Dan. 11:36-39). His enemies are stated as the Kings of the North and the South, similar to the hostile Arab nations which surround Israel today. The King of the North attacks him, occupies Palestine, invades Egypt, returns to Jerusalem — in the glorious holy mountains he is then destroyed (Dan. 11:45). Daniel does not supply the details. These details are supplied, however, by Joel (chap. 3) and Zechariah (chap. 14). In both accounts the armies of “all nations” are gathered in the vicinity of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2). There is no battle. The Lord Jesus descends from Heaven in power and great glory and with His saints (Joel 3:11). Zechariah asserts, “The Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:5). Joel also predicts, “Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord” (Joel 3:11).
One scene remains, it describes those who enter into this kingdom (Matt. 25:31-46). The armies of God’s enemies are no more. The survivors, indicated as “all nations,” are gathered in the presence of the Son of Man and all the holy angels. The sheep nations, or perhaps “the sheep” of those nations, are called “to come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The goats are told, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” The basis of this judgment rests upon the kindness or rejection of “one of the least of these, my brethren” during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th week. “Insomuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” The expression “my brethren” denotes a faithful Jewish remnant, pictured in the 144,000 of Revelation chapter seven and in verse one of chapter fourteen. Presumably the reference in Revelation seven is at the beginning of that event, whereas that of Revelation fourteen is at the end of the seven-year period.
It is also reasonable to assume that the sheep of Matthew 25 are likewise seen in the great multitude which no man could number of all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues (Rev. 7:9-17). These have responded to the witness of the 144,000. This witness is the everlasting gospel mentioned in Revelation (14:6), the declaration of God’s creatorial power and glory.
The foregoing remarks represent the author’s understanding, without detail, of the great events leading up to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. “Jesus shall reign”!