By Walid Shoebat
For many years, it has been taught that in the Last Days literally every nation of the earth, including the United States, will be utterly dominated by the Antichrist; that there will be no place to escape from the dreaded Mark of the Beast; that every last nation of the world will come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12 is usually used to validate the theory, as well as the Apostle John, since the Antichrist will be given “authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). This would seem an ironclad case for the Antichrist ruling the globe, including the United States, which he uses in his march against Jerusalem. It is this dilemma that caused many to believe that America will be taken over by the Antichrist.
But before we solve this issue, it is necessary to clarify the dilemma. For this, we can ask a Jesus-style question: Does the usage of “the whole earth” and “every tribe, tongue and nation” in the Bible mean “the entire globe”? If so, then did Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:1 send his letter to every nation, tribe and tongue in the “entire globe”:
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you” (Daniel 4:1).
“O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him” (Daniel 5:18, 19).
“Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom” (I Kings 4:34).
Did anyone visit Solomon from China?
“Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt” (2 Kings 17:29).
Did the inhabitants of every last nation of the earth have Samaritan gods in their homes?
Then there is:
“The kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries” (Isaiah 37:18).
Did King Sennacherib of Assyria actually destroy all nations on the face of the earth?
“As I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth (Daniel 8:5).
Did Alexander the Great occupy the whole earth?
So then, let us shed some light regarding the end-times verses:
Zechariah 14:2: “For I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle.”
Matthew 25:32: “I will also gather all nations.”
Joel 3:2: “I will gather all nations.”
Such verses should not be isolated. Zechariah 12 in context only encompasses the surrounding nations:
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves” (Zechariah 12:2-3).
In Joel 3:12 we find the same:
“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.”
“The surrounding peoples” and “all the nations of the earth” are two references pertaining to the same people; “all the nations” and “the earth” is not the entire globe, though the translation may seem to allude to it as such. The problem is that the translation at times makes it difficult since in English “the earth” tends to mean “the entire globe” and in Hebrew the word “Eretz” commonly means “the land” and not “the entire globe.”
Then we have the culture. In ancient Hebrew we find grammatical construct that make emphatic statements to convey their point where using hyperbole is extremely common in Eastern cultures. Elaborating on the exceptions would entirely blunt the impact of the statement. For instance, imagine a speed-limit sign that listed the exceptions painted on it: “Speed limit 55 – except ambulances, fire trucks, police giving chase, etc.” Thus, exceptions cannot be ruled out on the basis of exclusive language. This type of language is actually found quite frequently in the Bible. Throughout the prophecies of the end times, the Bible is speaking of a regional war and not global (Ezekiel 36:4, 5, Psalm 79:12, Jeremiah 12:14, Ezekiel 28-32).
One common argument I always get is an objection that “the earth” is meant to be “the known world,” that today’s “known world” must then encompass the entire globe. This assumption is false since all “Four Beasts” in Daniel chapter 7 arise out of “the Great Sea” (Daniel 7:2). “The Great Sea” is the Mediterranean region, not the entire globe. That with all the literal nations of the end times encompass only the Middle East and Asia Minor. If the first beast (Babylon), second beast (Medo-Persia) and third beast (Greece) all were out within the “Great Sea” (Mediterranean), then the fourth beast of Daniel 7 could only pertain to the Mediterranean Sea as well.
To make the Antichrist rule a global one, many Western interpreters today allegorize “The Great Sea” as “the sea of humanity” – by this we lose the meaning and the intent of the prophecy. This reference to “The Great Sea” cannot be an allegory pertaining to the “sea of humanity” since in every verse the Bible uses “The Great Sea” it is as the Mediterranean Sea (see Numbers 34:6-7, Joshua 1:4, 9:1, 15:12, 15:47, 23:4, Ezekiel 47:10, 15, 19, 20, Ezekiel 48: 28).
The Bible makes every effort to clarify that the nations roundabout Israel is what is intended: “And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord” (Psalm 79:12). Do Israel’s “neighbors” include the United States? No. This is confirmed in many places in the Bible: “Thus Says Jehovah against all mine evil neighbors that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit” (Jeremiah 12:14). The neighbors are all Muslim.
In the Bible, the Antichrist “will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it” (Daniel 7: 23), yet several prophecies state that the Antichrist will be confronted and will not take over the globe (Daniel 11:40-45, Daniel 11:30, Ezekiel 28:7-8).
So where is the United States in the Bible? How many ever think about this – that perhaps in the end, the United States is mentioned fighting against the Antichrist? Daniel 11 tells us that the Antichrist “acts against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory” (Daniel 11:39).
Who are these “strongest fortresses” [the strongest military might]”? How could the Antichrist rule the entire globe if we have strongest fortresses that fight against him? Does he truly defeat these strongest fortresses? Does he defeat the United States? Does he rule the entire globe?
The answer to this is “No”.
Why then do so many modern Western prophecy analysts insist that the Antichrist hold the most powerful military might in the world? Which nations hold the strongest military might? Is it not the United States?
The text regarding end times is clearly portraying what we see in Islam today – even when we read that he declares war “against the strongest fortresses.” What could that mean except what it plainly says – to declare war against the most powerful nations on earth? Jihadists already declared war on Europe and the U.S. And now with the Arab Spring clearly becoming an Islamic storm, we see that which we have said to you years ago in advance; everything is happening in accordance to a plan.
However, the West today seems oblivious to this fact. Who else could be as maniacal as Muslim fundamentalists to declare war on the powerful West? Who else is deceiving the West with false peace saying that “Islam is a peaceful religion”? And it is all for the purpose of advancing their god, Allah. This is exactly what we see today.
This position that every nation will fall to the Antichrist is impossible since the Bible clearly states that some will even resist the Antichrist and even defeat him. The verses are rarely even discussed. In Ezekiel 28 it even confirms that the most powerful nations (strongest fortresses) on earth will annihilate the Antichrist:
“Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of [them that are] slain in the midst of the seas” (Ezekiel 28:7-8).
“They” pertains to these powerful nations, and the term “terrible” implies to being “terrible in battle,” “most powerful,” “strongest fortresses.” God will raise up several nations that will carry out God’s judgment and attack the Antichrist in the end. Therefore, it cannot be true that every nation of the globe will fall to the Antichrist and attack Israel. There have always been attempts to establish a one-world government, yet they have never succeeded; far too many in the West fail to remember that God divided the nations after the Tower of Babel to never allow them to be one. Even in the Millennium we will still have nations separated.
This promise is as the rainbow for Noah. Too many today read the Bible narcissistically. Many books have been written that revolve prophecy around the West and interpret history through a Western-centric lens. Far too many Westerners have missed the obvious fact that the Bible is thoroughly Middle Eastern. In the biblical worldview, Jerusalem is the center of the earth, not Europe or America. The biblical prophecies about the end times are no different.
Walid Shoebat is the author of “God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible” and “For God or for Tyranny: When Nations Deny God’s Natural Law.” Shoebat was a radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of jihad until he converted to Christianity in 1994. As a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, he was involved in terror activity, and was imprisoned in Jerusalem for three weeks. In prison, he was recruited to plant a bomb in Bethlehem, though no one was injured. His mother was an American and his father a Palestinian Arab. In 1978, his parents sent him to the United States to study at Loop College in Chicago Illinois. There he was recruited at a hotel “Terror Conference” by Jamal Said, a founder of the Islamic Association of Palestine and imam at one of the largest mosques in Chicago. The IAP was a forerunner to today’s Hamas terror organization and also to the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations). In the early 1980s he was being trained for jihad activities in the U.S. Later he became a convert to Christianity and has dedicated his life to exposing Islamic radicalism and teaching the Bible.