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The Brussels Terror Attacks
IS will not defeat Europe
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March 31, 2016 - Audio, 13.17 MIN
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The western world has once again been shaken by a terrorist attack performed by members of Islamic State. In this weeks Bible in the News we look at whether or not IS will fulfil their ambition of establishing a worldwide empire from the perspective of Bible prophecy.

Brussels bombings

On the 22nd March 2016, three coordinated nail bombings took place in Belgium in the city of Brussels. Two bombs went off at Brussels Airport and one at the Maalbeek metro station. The Islamic State claimed the attacks as being from their organisation and experts are investigating the possibility of a terrorist network stretching across France and Belgium.

According to a BBC article entitled "Brussels explosions: What we know about airport and metro attacks” the following was reported "At least 35 people are now known to have died in and after the explosions at Brussels airport and a metro station on Tuesday 22 March.” 

The New York Times in a report entitled Strikes Claimed by ISIS Shut Brussels and Shake European Security” stated: "Bombs packed with nails terrorized Brussels on Tuesday in the deadliest assault on the European heartland since the Islamic State’s attacks on Paris four months ago, hitting the airport and subway system in coordinated strikes that were also claimed by the militant extremist group. The bombings paralyzed Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, prompted international travel warnings to avoid Belgium and reverberated across the Atlantic to the United States, where New York and other major cities raised terrorism threat levels. Anxieties intensified about the inability to prevent mass killings at relatively unprotected places.”

In response,  the people of Brussels flocked to the streets in the aftermath of the attacks. They wrote messages of support and defiance on the streets in chalk.

IS declared the establishment of their Caliphate in June 2014. A Caliphate is an area containing an Islamic steward known as a caliph which is run by Islamic law. It is a kind of empire. IS's ambition is to continue to grow it’s territory so that it eventually becomes worldwide. Will they succeed though?

Bible prophecy and the kingdom of men

In the prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 we read of four beasts which come out of the sea. We are told that these four beasts are four “kings” or kingdoms in verse 17. These kingdoms correspond to a succession of four Empires which succeeded one another on the world stage from the time of the Neo Babylonian empire.

In verse 4 we read of a Lion which represents the Neo-Babylonian empire (626 BC - 539 BC). In verse 5 we read of a bear representing the Medo-Persian or Achaemenian Empire (539 BC - 331BC) which succeeded and took over from the Babylonian.. In verse 6 we read of a Leopard which corresponds to the Greek Empire (334BC - 146BC) which took over from the Medo-Persians. Finally in verse 7 we read: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible”. This last beast is so terrible that unlike the other beasts of a lion, a bear and a leopard, no comparison or likeness is given to it. This final beast corresponds to the power of the Roman Empire which began around 100BC and grew and grew, swallowing the Greek empire which became a province within it around 146BC. Subsequent to this the Roman empire split up and fell. The dividing of the Empire has led over the centuries to the nations of modern Europe today.

As the prophecy of Daniel 7 continues on though we find that the Forth Beast cannot simply relate to the Roman Empire which took over from the Greek Empire almost 1900 years ago. The reason for this is that this same beast power of Rome somehow exists at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth and takes the Kingdom, with his saints, for himself.

We can see this for example in verse 18:
“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."

In verses 23 and then 26 to the end of the chapter we read:
"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces… But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart."

So from this we can understand that the beast power, which takes over and dominates the ancient Greek empire somehow is also alive and well at the time when Jesus returns.

It is this Roman power which also has attached to it a religious horn which we read in Daniel 7 "speaks great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25. History teaches us that the great religious power which came from the Roman Empire was indeed the catholic church which answers to this horn power. This church has indeed made "war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (verse 21).

The important thing to bear in mind from the prophecy of Daniel 7 is that there is only one fourth beast. No other beasts come up beside the Roman beast. We can therefore expect to see a revival of the Roman beast system in the time just before Christ returns. The Islamic State will therefore not take over, conquer and dominate the territory of the Roman Empire in any significant way because the prophecy demands that at the time before Christ's return a European Roman power will exist on the earth as a descendent of the original Roman power. This power will be revived in the time leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The beast in Revelation

In Revelation we read of more detail as to how the fourth beast would metamorphosize through various phases. These two aspects of Daniel 7, of the fourth beast and it’s religious horn, are brought together in Revelation 19:19-20:

"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. 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.”

This is a symbolic depiction of the same events recorded in Daniel 7. The political Roman beast system with its religious Catholic horn or “false prophet” being removed. It is the European powers then which will succeed and remain until Christ returns, not the Islamic State. IS will not conquer Europe.

The reign of Christ

Unlike IS whose ambitions will fail, the Bible teaches that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns he will re-establish the ancient Kingdom of Israel back again on the earth.

When the last King of that Kingdom reigned (King Zedekiah) the prophet Ezekiel was sent to condemn him with these words:
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it [the kingdom]: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:26-27

The one whose “right it is” is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who, at his birth it was said by the angel Gabriel that "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32

David reigned over the Kingdom of Israel around 950BC. This Kingdom of Israel will therefore be re-established on the earth. This kingdom will begin from the land of Israel which will become it’s “first dominion  (Mic 4:8). It will also spread throughout the whole world. We know this because of prophecies like the one which we find in Psalm 72 about the time when Christ will have returned. We read there in verse 7:
“In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”

In verse 19 the prophecy continues "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”

It is this coming Kingdom we watch for knowing that it’s establishment will replace the Roman beast power and not an ISIS Caliphate.

This has been Matt Davies joining you for another Bible in the News. Come back next week God willing as we watch and wait for the return of Messiah.

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