Prophecy

The Southern Confederacy - PR03-02

Let's do a little reviewing now. We have been studying some great specific events of the prophetic Scriptures. We've been studying currently the great power blocks that will exist in the end times. We have seen that there is to be a northern confederacy. This northern confederacy is described as having a leader who is called the king of the north. We have learned that in the Bible, directions in the prophetic Word are expressed in relationship to the land of Israel.

As we look at a map of the world, we find the great power to the north, of course, of the land of Israel is Russia. So it is evident that the power to the north, the king of the North, is Russia who will lead a bloc of nations. We have looked at these nations which have been described as being affiliated with this northern power. These are spoken, of course, in terms of the ancient names of these people. But through the work of scholarship, archaeological findings, and historical data, we are able to determine the parts of the world where these particular nations came from, the territories that they once occupied, and translate that into modern terms with the territories and nations that now occupy those territories currently. The northern Confederacy will basically be made up of those Eastern European nations which were behind the Iron Curtain including communist Germany, and the communist bloc of the Eastern European world.

Then we have found that there is also a western confederacy, and that this is led by a man that has various titles in the Scriptures, but we call him the antichrist. The antichrist is the leader of the revived Roman Empire. He is a man who arises and brings together a group of nations that once occupied the territory of old Rome around the Mediterranean Sea. So this will include the nations as far as Britain and parts of Spain, and it will include, perhaps, the United States and Canada, as an extension of that western world which developed out of the old Roman Empire.

There is a third power block in the end times that we want to look at now. We've already looked at this somewhat. We will review and expand that a little bit, and that's the southern confederacy. This is under a king called the king of the south. Again, as you look at a map of the Middle East, it is evident that the power to the south is Egypt. Egypt is allied with a group of nations which form this southern confederacy. This alliance will include the Arab nations, particularly the North African Arab nations, and it will also include the African nations which will join forces under this southern power bloc. We're going to be looking at some specifics in time as to how these power blocs interrelate themselves to one another.

Now there is another one that we will touch upon briefly later. We'll just mentioned it here. That is the eastern confederacy. The eastern confederacy comes out of the Orient. It is a power bloc under, we might say, the king of the east. It is a power bloc of oriental nations which, of course, we already have on the scene in the world today, primarily in China.

The Southern Confederacy

We want to look now at the role of the southern confederacy. As we think about the role of Egypt in history, a little bit of reading in the history books makes it readily evident that Egypt was a very very great civilization. If you were going to try to equate Egypt to nations today, Egypt would fall in the category of the two superpowers that are on the earth today, the United States and Russia. That's the kind of a nation and the kind of a civilization that Egypt was in its day. 3,000 years before Jesus Christ, Egypt was a magnificent civilization. Even undertakers go back with fond comparison to their skills. I once had an undertaker tell me that they embalm bodies today in a matter of hours as effectively as they used to do in Egypt over a period of months of an embalming process. He was very proud that he had the skills that he equated the ancient embalming skills of old Egypt.

Egypt

When we come to this nation for the first time in Scripture, you find it in Genesis 10:6. It has its ancient name of Mizraim, who was the son of Ham. So getting Egypt oriented in our minds racially, where did the Egyptians come from? They came from Ham, from whom the African nations also descended. Egypt, throughout history, is in the background of Israel's fortunes. Sometimes she's a conquering element controlling Israel. Sometimes she's an unreliable ally that Israel would have done better without. God would often warn her not to lean on Egypt as she sometimes did. Ezekiel 29:7 puts it very picturesquely with Israel leaning on Egypt. Ezekiel says, "When they took hold of you by your hand, you broke and tore all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon you (Israel leaned upon Egypt), you broke, and made all their inward parts to shake." So Israel found that Egypt was an unreliable ally.

The story of Abraham, you remember, part of which we looked at in the previous session, was a story that led him to Egypt. He went into Egypt the first time because of famine, which he should not have done, and tried to pass his wife off as his sister, which was a half-truth. He was expelled from Egypt when the pharaoh discovered who Sarah really was. But in the process they picked up a handmaiden, a servant girl for Sarah, named Hagar. Out of that Egyptian excursion came the subsequent troubles later when the faith rest of Abraham broke; he took his wife's advice; and, he married the servant girl in order to provide a son from his own body that was essential for him to inherit the promises. So Ishmael was born, from whom the segment of the Arab nations descended, and the troubles that have come into the world between Jews and Arabs since. Ishmael himself, under his mother's influence no doubt, married an Egyptian girl.

Egypt had an advanced society on the Nile, in large part I suppose, because the ancient world was grain-oriented in its food supplies. The Nile River with its annual overflow flooding was an excellent situation for the production of an abundance of grain. So it led to a necessary organization and supervision of such a vast project, and Egypt therefore became a highly organized and civilized society. The height of its glory was reached in a period that historians call "the new empire" which went from about 1570 B.C. to about 1150 B.C. This was the period in which The Exodus took place. The children of Israel left Egypt in the year 1440 B.C., and it was during the reign of Amenhotep II.

After the event of the Exodus, Egypt went downhill. It declined to the point in time when it was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and became part of the Babylonian Empire. Ezekiel had predicted this ultimate decline of Egypt, as a matter of fact, to the point of no return. Ezekiel 29:12 says, "And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate 40 years, and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries."

But then he promises that he would bring the Egyptians back after this period. Verse 13 says, "Yet, thus says the Lord God, 'At the end of 40 years will I regather the Egyptians from the people among whom they were scattered. I will bring again the captivity of Egypt and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation, and they shall be there a base kingdom." Then verse 15 says, "It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exist itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them that they shall no more rule over the nations."

So this magnificent Egyptian civilization, which in its day could be compared to the United States or Russia, came to the point after its high period in the period of The Exodus. God said, "I will bring this nation where it's going to be the lowest nation on the totem pole. It will never again be a great world power." And, of course, that has been the history of Egypt since--a steady decline, and it has never again taken the role of a world power. And it never again will be a significant power. This is amazing that way back in Daniel's days, a couple thousand years ago, that Ezekiel should have made such a declaration concerning Egypt, and that it has been fulfilled so specifically. Egypt, after the fall of the Roman Empire, became part of the Muslim world, and it has only gained its independence in comparatively recent times.

Daniel 11:5-35

Now as far as the modern situation in Egypt goes, we are interested in leaping the years down to the present. Daniel 11 gives us some amazing details, particularly the first part of this chapter, about the history of Egypt. It describes the period of the history after the death of Alexander the Great. Egypt came under the conquest of Alexander the Great, and after Alexander died, his empire was divided among his four generals. Daniel 11:5-35 cover Egypt's struggles with a certain personality called the king of the north. And in this time, it was the King of Syria. So over a period of many many years, there was this constant struggle between the rulers of Egypt and the rulers of Syria. The ruler of Syria was called the king of the north, and the ruler of Egypt was called the king of the South.

This prophecy that we have in Daniel was written more than 200 years before these things took place between Egypt and Syria. We're talking about the details up to Daniel 11:35. (We won't go through the details here.) But the details can be read in the Scripture, and then if you have an open history book on the history of Egypt, the details are so exact in their fulfillment, and so specific, that it really takes your breath away when you realize it was written 200 years before these events took place. I mean there are minute details that come to pass just exactly as you run through these verses in Daniel 11. As a matter of fact, it bothers the liberal critics so much that they have concluded that this book was not written by Daniel, but that this book was written by some fake Daniel after these events had taken place, and that is the reason that he can be so accurate in the things that he has written. When we get to Daniel 11:36, something happens to the history. From verse 36 on to the end of Daniel 11 (verse 45), there is no historical fulfillment. All of a sudden, your history book no longer fits what is described here.

The reason for that is that, as often happens in prophecy, the prophet who is speaking about matters that have to do with his own day is suddenly taken by God the Holy Spirit, and he leapfrogs over the centuries, and he skips a period of history in between, and goes to the end. It's like somebody who's reading a mystery novel or a detective novel, and you read the opening first pages, and you get all the characters in mind, and then you jump to the end and see who did it. And sure enough there's the butler again at the center of everything. That's what prophecy does. It just leaps over and tells you how the thing ends and what comes out. So the reason that from verse 36 on it doesn't fit is because this has never yet taken place. Verse on to the end of Daniel 11 are the future. Here in this section, you have a king of the south again. This king of the south is Egypt who heads up a confederacy of Arab and African nations.

Now this southern confederacy comes into conflict with the antichrist and his western confederacy--the King, spoken of here in verse 36: "And the king shall do according to his will (this is the antichrist); and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every God, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that which is determined shall be done." What we are going to read here has to do with the period in the middle of the tribulation. What has happened on the world scene at this time is that the king of the north, the Russian ruler, with his confederacy, in the middle of the tribulation period, has moved down against Israel in order to take this very profitable and economically desirable land.

Israel then experiences some of her worst hours of tribulation. God supernaturally enters the picture, and He destroys the northern confederacy. Russia is terribly defeated. It takes seven months to bury the dead alone from that campaign. What remains of the Russian military force makes its way back to Russia. At the same time, God has brought devastation upon the homeland. This does not eliminate Russia as a nation, nor does it eliminate Russia as a military force. It has devastated her in a tremendous way. For the immediate, she's out of the picture.

Now when that happens there is suddenly created a vacuum. And who slips into it to take over? The antichrist from the western confederacy. And it is at this time, in the middle of the tribulation period, that he becomes the world ruler. Up to now he's only been the ruler around his old Mediterranean empire. Now he takes over the whole world. He rules over all of Eastern Europe; all of China; all of Russia; all of North America, including the United States; and all of South America. He is the world ruler, and nobody can stand up to him. This is the picture that's taking place here. And you've got the period when the nations of the world settle down to this grievous condition where they are under one world dictator.

Nasser

As you look at the leadership of Egypt today, you can see immediately that she is moving toward the position of leadership in the African Arab world. When Nasser was alive, the declared purpose of Egypt was to bring Arab socialism to the African continent. Her opposition to Israel is essential to every Egyptian leader. If you want to be a political force in the Arab world today, you have to hate Israel with a vengeance. It seems that Nasser was playing a little bit of a popularity game in 1967 when he decided to blow his image up a little bit by making some big dramatic moves against Israel. He told the United Nations to take their peacekeeping force out of the Gaza Strip. He told the United Nations to get themselves out of the peacekeeping position on the Gulf of Aqaba and the Sharm el Sheikh.

Then he was so popular that he went too far, and the result was almost seemingly that he didn't intend for it to go this far. He ended up with the June 1967 war in which the Arab world, in particular Egypt, was totally devastated militarily, and the territorial holdings of Israel were tremendously expanded. I think they ended up with three times the amount of territory of what they had before. This is Egypt today--a great antagonist of Israel, and the nations who are aligned with Egypt are constantly being driven toward hatred and to the elimination of Israel.

Daniel 11:40-43

Now in Daniel 11, our story picks up here in the in the end times. We've had this description that we've already read concerning the antichrist, and how he doesn't regard any gods; how he magnifies himself and makes himself a god; and, how he worships the god of war (of fortresses). Then we come to verse 40. We have the picture here. This man is now in charge of all the world. He has been a protector of Israel for the first three-and-a-half years of the tribulation period. Now with Russia in the middle of the tribulation period destroyed by God supernaturally, he moves in and moves upon the land of Israel; he moves his own image into the temple that has been restored; he stops the Jewish worship programs; and, he turns against the Jews themselves in a monstrous persecution. Anti-Semitism breaks out all over again.

Daniel 11:40: "At the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him (the antichrist)." The time comes when the southern confederacy gets fed up. This is coming now toward the end of the tribulation period. The southern confederacy rebels. They're under the antichrist's control, like all the rest of the world, but they set in motion a rebellion against the antichrist, and they move against him. At the same time, Russia has apparently revived its military forces sufficiently to put an army in the field. They again, as the king of the north, come down from the other direction against the antichrist who is now established in Jerusalem.

"At the time of the end, shall the king of the south push at him (from the south), and the king of the north shall come against him (and push against the antichrist) like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through." Now, the "he" at the end of verse 40 refers to the antichrist. It is best taken as referring to the antichrist, as there can be some doubt about this. But it seems best, in the total picture of what happens here, that it is the antichrist who rises up, and because he's so tremendously powerful militarily, he knocks the brains out of the southern confederacy and out of the northern confederacy attacking him. The result is that he turns and moves south.

Verse 41: "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown, but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon (those who are in the south above Egypt). And he shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape." Verse 43: "But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps." Again, you remember, that we have these terms "Libyans" and "Ethiopians" that refer to those North African Arab nations today. They also will come under his conquering hand.

The Eastern Confederacy

So, Russia has joined the king of the south, and they have moved together upon the antichrist in rebellion against him. He moves down to the south, any he tears with conquest right through all the southern confederacy nations without any problem at all. However, verse 44 says that his intelligence officer brings him some news that disturbs him: "But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him." Word comes that an army is forming (a resistance is forming) out of the East. And here's where the eastern confederacy comes into the picture. When the orient sees what is happening, the orient joins into this rebellion. They move in. The Euphrates River dries up and they are able to cross. They come in, sweeping down to hit the antichrist, hopefully when he's off balance in his conflict with the southern confederacy.

Revelation 9:13-20

This is the picture that you have in the book of the Revelation describing this event. Revelation 9:13: "The sixth angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, 'Loose the four angels who are bound in the great river Euphrates.' And the four angels were loosed, and were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men."

Now, first of all, a third of the earth's population is going to be killed. That would be billions of people, probably more than the population of North and South America. "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand." This is the army coming from the orient. The oriental confederacy puts into the field an unbelievable army of 200 million men. Now at our heyday, the greatest military force that the United States ever had was in World War II. It was the biggest in all of our history, and that only amounted to 11 million military personnel. Now here we have an army of 200 million who are put into the field.

"And I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire," and so on, as he describes: "mouths that issued fire and smoke and brimstone." This may be descriptive terms for modern military weapons. "And by these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, was issued out of their mouth."

Verse 20: "And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the work of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, and silver, and bronze; neither repented they of their murderers nor of their sorceries." And, by the way, "sorceries" there is the drug addiction. That's the word for drug use. It's the word in the Greek here from which we get our word of "pharmacy." "Neither repented they of their drug addiction nor their fornication nor their thefts."

Revelation 16:12-16

Now you compare this with Revelation 16:12, just to clarify the picture a little more. "The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates, and this water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean stars like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles that go forth unto the kings of the earth, and the whole earth, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." This is referring to the battle of Armageddon, the final World War. "And behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

So what we have here in Daniel describing the rebellion of the king of the south and his allies and their destruction by the antichrist, and then the kings of the east sweeping in at the same time, you have the setting up of the final last great World War which takes place on a field between the Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem, the field of Megiddo.

So here's the picture. The European confederacy, nations of Western Europe, form a federation to resist the Russians, who is the king of the north. The leader of the European Federation pledges protection to the Jews. So this king of the west is viewed as a savior to them. For the first time, a false peace is created for Israel. When these things hit Israel, she's described as being in her land and at rest, meaning that she is now under a condition of peace. The opponents of this just western federation are the king of the north, Russia and the communist European states; the king of the south, Egypt and the Arab African states; and the king of the east, the Asiatic nations.

Armageddon

The battle of Armageddon is actually a series of battles. It's a campaign. The man of sin is struck by the southern confederacy, and he resists and defeats. The north comes down and strikes, and we have (in Daniel 11:40) the beginning of this operation. And "the time of the end" here refers to the final days of the tribulation. When Russia and Egypt have been put out of the operation, they withdraw up to the plain of Armageddon. There the kings of the east meet with the western confederacy. Now they have moved into the glorious land, this willful king. It is actually the nations of the world gathering together to fight over the Jew.

Revelation 19:11-21

At that point, something happens in heaven. Now they have monstrous weapons--weapons that are probably even more refined than we have today. But there is no problem today believing that with atomic weapons how humanity can be totally destroyed. So these nations gather with modern weapons ready to destroy each other. In Revelation 19:11, something suddenly happens as they are about ready to destroy themselves: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God." This is the Lord Jesus now appearing in the heavens. "And the armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

Now this is seven years after the rapture has taken place. You are returning with Him in this scene. "And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." It says it's as if God himself should come now and trample upon his enemies like a man would trample a vat of grapes when he squeezes out the juice with his feet to make wine. "And he has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." This happens just as these world powers are gathered together to do battle amongst themselves. Well, they join forces. When they look up, and you can imagine what this is going to be like to look up and see heaven opened, and see this scene of Christ returning with his heavenly army, and they turn to prepare to do battle with the Lord Jesus.

Verse 19 says, "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army." You would think that that kind of madness could not possess them. And yet they're absolutely that deranged that they now think, with all that they know, with all that they've heard, with all the trouble that they've had with believers in the tribulation, and as many of them as they had slaughtered by this time, that there must be something real to this thing about God and about the supernatural that they would not be so mad bent as to turn to fight Him. But that's what they do.

And so they turn to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven announces their doom that's going to take place. This is done in the verses just preceding, in Revelation 19:17: "I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great god. That you may eat of the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, the flesh of all men, both free and enslaved, both small and great.' And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, (and so on) gathered together to make war against the Lord."

Now the results: Verse 20: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." It's a scene of tremendous carnage on this final last battle of the last world war.

Now with this as the end of the story, you may now look upon today's scene. When you look upon Egypt, remember that Egypt will form the core of the leadership of the southern confederacy. When Nasser was alive, Nasser was the big man and the leader of Egypt. As time goes on, whoever is the leader of Egypt is the key man as fulfilling the role of the king of the south. It is Egypt that you should watch. She and her alignments will go in this direction. More and more, the Arab states will draw together. These states of the northern African continent, these Arab states, will draw themselves together into a closer alliance, along with the Arab nations on the Arabian Peninsula. They will be joined by the evolving nations of Africa. They will join forces increasingly and throw their lot increasingly with Egypt. And out of all of this will come a common bond of antagonism toward Israel.

So this would indicate that the Arab world and the African world are going to move toward socialism and toward communism. They will be united in a common antagonism against Israel. In time, Egypt will play once more one final dramatic role of her history as she sweeps out of her territory to strike Israel down, and the antichrist with his western confederacy comes in and stops them. But it proves to be the opportunity for the antichrist then to make himself the dominant factor all over the world.

Your news will fulfill these things, little by little, day by day, until the scene is ready and set for that seven-year period, and for the final battle on the field of Armageddon. You may escape all this, and you will escape all this if you are a Christian, because you will have left this earth seven years before in the rapture when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to catch us and take us to Himself. This return that we have read in Revelation is the return of Christ when He actually comes down to this earth. In the rapture, he doesn't come to this earth. Here He actually comes to this earth. Here He actually comes into contact with the armies that are met against Him, and He destroys them. Your place is secure because you're on the winning team.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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