Turkey ruled the Middle East for have a Millenia and that’s a long time. They have taken a back seat for a century but now Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Tukeys President, is beginning to display the telling signs of his ambition.
My personal perspective is that the antichrist will arise on the power base of an Islamic empire, one that is likely centred in Turkish, although I believe the latter chapters of the Book Of Daniel suggest that Middle Eastern borders may be redrawn before the antichrist appears. Consequently, it may no longer be the “Turkey” of today.
Erdoğan certainly has taken Turkey headlong out of secularism and back to its oppressive, Islamic roots as many Turkish citizens are discovering the hard way. The West, with Obama at the forefront, seem okay with this and haven’t, to my knowledge, expressed any concern about this sharp change in direction.
Turkey has already been fighting IS, which so far has appeared a convenient excuse to attack Kurdish fighters. Now, it appears that Turkey has larger plans against IS:
ISTANBUL – US aircraft and drones are arriving in Turkish air bases and a comprehensive battle against Islamic State militants will be launched soon, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
Turkey formally approved the use of its air bases by US and coalition aircraft late last month, a major change in policy after years of reluctance in taking a front-line role against the Islamist fighters in northern Syria.
“As part of our agreement with the US we have made progress regarding the opening up of our bases, particularly Incirlik,” Cavusoglu told state broadcaster TRT, referring to a major air base near the southern city of Adana.
“We’re seeing that manned and unmanned American planes are arriving and soon we will launch a comprehensive battle against Islamic State all together,” he said during a trip to Malaysia.
Turkey and the United States have been working on plans to provide air cover for a group of US-trained Syrian rebels and jointly sweep Islamic State fighters from a strip of northern Syria stretching about 80 km (50 miles) along the Turkish border.
Diplomats familiar with the plans say cutting off Islamic State’s access to the border, over which foreign fighters and supplies have flowed, could be a game-changer in the fight against the insurgents.
But there are major challenges.
Washington said on Tuesday it had indications some of the rebels trained by its military were captured by fighters from al-Qaida’s Syria wing, Nusra Front, underscoring the vulnerability of a group thought to number less than 60 who only deployed to the battlefield in recent weeks.
Islamic State has seized large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq in its drive to create an Islamic caliphate.
With Western war-weariness at all time highs regarding the Middle East especially, the rise of a dominant power that can lead this perpetually troubled region would be very well received in many quarters. Some would even accept Iran, of all nations!
Biblical prophecy cannot be any clearer that the antichrist will be widely received with praise, though not by Christians, and that this will lead to an assault against an Israel and Jerusalem that is resting at peace and ease.
Naturally, this is not the case at this present moment and so we can expect significant changes and transfers in power to occur during the coming years of the Middle East.
For now, we must watch and pray in the knowledge that human attempts to bring peace will only lead to the rise of the most evil empire in history.
Nevertheless, Jesus will prevail and his victory is already written, so our hope is sure and we need never fear.
“The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it….And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:1-3, 9 ESV
““At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant. Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all. He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price. “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.”
Daniel 11:29-45 ESV
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” Revelation 13:1-18 ESV