Syrian Patriarch warning related to rise of Beasts of Daniel 7?

Artist’s view of the Beasts of Daniel 7


The Eastern Orthodox Patriarch in Syria made comments that a Protestant is trying to tie to Daniel 7:

Prophecy of Daniel 7 ‘being fulfilled in our midst’

September 1, 2016

A Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church has issued a dire warning that Christianity is in danger of disappearing across entire countries in the Middle East, the very land of its birth.

And the onslaught of ISIS has prompted an American Bible teacher, Joel Richardson, to observe that “we have begun to see the prophecy of Daniel fulfilled in our midst.” …

Joel Richardson, a documentary filmmaker and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Islamic Antichrist,” “Mideast Beast,” “The Coming Battle for Jerusalem” among other books, said it’s no coincidence that what is presently unfolding in much of the Middle East is precisely what is described in Daniel 7:7.

“There the prophet saw an empire that was yet to emerge on the earth, represented symbolically as an iron-toothed beast, which would first devour the saints of God all across the then known world, after which time, it would trample the remaining saints with its feet,” Richardson told WND in an email.

The prophecy continues:

“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.”

When Muhammad’s successors, the early Caliphs of Islam, burst forth out of Arabia in the seventh century, it was less than 100 years for the heart of the ancient church to have been virtually ripped out, Richardson noted.

“All of the great missionary-sending cities of the ancient Church were devoured. Antioch, Ephesus, Jerusalem, and Alexandria were all conquered by the Muslim hordes,” he said. “The ‘remainder,’ however, hung on. They survived the ensuing thousand years of pressure and until just a few years ago, the ancient Christians continued to call the Middle East their home. Now, since the Arab Spring and the onslaught of ISIS, we have begun to see the prophecy of Daniel fulfilled in our midst.

“The remnant is being crushed like crumbs under the feet of the iron-toothed fourth kingdom of Islam. This is the very nature of the spread of Islam. Wherever it goes, it shatters, crushes, and erases the cultures it conquers.”

Joel Richardson is totally off-base here. Notice two items from the old Worldwide Church of God and Radio Church of God:

“And four great beasts came up from the sea…. The first was like a lion…. And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear…. and there was another, like a leopard…. After this I saw… a fourth beast…. Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which arise out of the earth” (Dan. 7:3-7, 17).

Another important key… is an understanding of Bible symbolism… many misunderstand because they don’t let God interpret His own symbols. These four beasts also represent the four kingdoms these four kings ruled over: “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth” (verse 23). (See also Daniel 8:3-10, 20-22 and Revelation 13:1-11, 14:9, 19:19-20.) Mountains are often symbolic of nations in Bible prophecy: “‘And I will repay Babylon and… Chaldea for all the evil they have done…’ says the Lord. ‘Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,’ says the Lord” (Jer. 51:24-25). (McNair R. You can understand Bible prophecy! Good News, June-July 1983)

In the 7th chapter of Daniel, we find exactly these same symbols described. Here again are the “beasts”, with the “seven heads” the “ten horns,” and here also is the “lion,” the “bear,” and the “leopard.” And here the Bible tells us what these symbols represent. God had given Daniel understanding in dreams and visions (Dan. 1:17). And Daniel had a dream and a vision (Dan. 7:1) in which he saw four great BEASTS (verse 3). And notice, as in Revelation, the “beasts” came up out of the sea.

The first was like a “LION” (verse 4), the second was like a “BEAR” (v. 5), the third like a “LEOPARD” (v. 8), and the fourth was so dreadful and terrible it could not be compared to any wild beast known to inhabit the earth! Now there was only the one head described on the lion, one for the bear, one for the fourth beast — but the third beast, the leopard, had FOUR HEADS — thus making SEVEN HEADS in all! And out of this great and dreadful fourth beast grow TEN HORNS. …

Plainly, here are described the SAME four universal world-ruling Gentile powers that are described by Daniel’s four beasts. And this dream image identifies WHO they are. The first was Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, the Chaldean Empire, called “babylon” after the name of its capital city, 625-538 B.C.

The second kingdom, which followed, then, we know from history was the Persian Empire (558-538 B.C., often called Medo-Persia, composed of Medes and Persians.

All ancient history students know the third world kingdom was Greece, or Macedonia under Alexander the Great, who conquered the great Persian Empire 333-330 B.C. But Alexander lived only a short year after his swift conquest, and his vast new empire was divided among his four generals: Macedonia and Greece; Thrace and Western Asia; Syria and territory east to the Indus; and Egypt. So these were the “four heads” of the third beast of Daniel 7.

And the FOURTH KINGDOM, which, developing from Rome, spread out and gradually absorbed one after another of these four divisions, — “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly,” was the ROMAN EMPIRE (31 B.C. – A.D. 476). It had absorbed all the others, occupied all their territory, was greater and stronger than all. It included all the royal splendor of ancient Babylon, thus having the head — the strongest part — of the “lion.” It had all the massiveness and numerically-powerful army of the Persian Empire — symbolized by the LEGS, the most powerful part, of the BEAR. It was the greatest war-making machine the world had ever seen, and it also possessed the swiftness, the cunning, the cruelty of Alexander’s army, symbolized by the LEOPARD. And thus, this fourth beast was unlike any wild beast of the earth. It was greater, stronger, more terrible, than any.

And so John, in Rev. 13, sees, not four beasts, but ONE beast. Not a leopard, but LIKE a leopard — possessing all its cunning, cruelty, and speed. But it also possessed the dominant characteristics of the two other most powerful beasts — the FEET of a bear, and the MOUTH of a lion. Daniel’s fourth Beast, the Roman Empire, had absorbed, and therefore it included, the three beasts before it. Thus it includes all seven HEADS. And John’s beast also has SEVEN HEADS. It was Daniel’s fourth beast, ONLY, which had TEN HORNS, and John’s beast has TEN HORNS. And so, if we are willing to be guided solely by the BIBLE description of this “beast,” and to let the BIBLE interpret the symbols used to describe it, we come to the inevitable conclusion that the BEAST of Rev. 13 is the ROMAN EMPIRE, of 31 B.C. to A.D. 476!

The ten horns, then, are ten KINGDOMS to arise out of the Fourth Kingdom, the Roman Empire. These kings, also called KINGDOMS, continue from 476 A.D. until the time when the Stone, Christ and His Kingdom, smashes the image no its toes, and the KINGDOM is given to the SAINTS. (Armstrong HW. Who is the Beast of Revelation.  Plain Truth, August 1934)

The Roman Empire is not an Islamic one. Even most Protestant scholars basically agree with theee identifications of the four beasts. Specifically, I checked with Matthew Henry’s Commentary as well as the one from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, to cite two examples. The Roman Empire was a European-dominated one.

However, Joel Richardson incorrectly believes that the Beast and Antichrist are Islamic.

To point away from Europe, notice something that Joel Richardson wrote:

Since 1993, with the official formation of the European Union, many prophecy teachers have set their prophetic imagination like flint on Europe, confident that someday soon, the EU would invade the Nation of Israel and actually dominate the whole earth.

Surely we are witnessing the emergence of the restored Roman Empire that will ultimately come to be controlled by the Antichrist himself, they would declare. But the present harsh realities in Europe may soon cause all of this Euro-centric, restored Roman Empire prognosticating to come crashing down…

As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece’s economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive.

However, it is precisely because there will be problems in Europe that it will need a powerful leader to rise up and lead it. The Bible is clear that the union in the Beast’s territories will be “fragile”:

41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43).

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that while there are problems in Europe, Pope Francis says despite Europe’s problems, he dreams of his church turning Europe into a utopia (watch Pope Francis dreams of a Babylonian utopia).

And a church being involved with the final Babylonian European power is prophesied in the Bible:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:


6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:1-10)

15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)

And there certainly is a church in a city of seven hills that has ruled over many waters. And that city is in Europe.  There is NOT a city of Islam that is “that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

Notice more biblical proof that this empire is European:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:1-4)

2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.   5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’   6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.  7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  (Daniel 7:2-8)

The “Great Sea” that bordered the ancient lands of Israel (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16) is the Mediterranean Sea–and that is the sea that Daniel was referring to.  Despite some false claims by some, the Beast power is not a nation like Russia, which does not border the Mediterranean Sea, but Europe which does (Russia, however, will be a factor in eliminating the European beast power, see also The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy).  A comparison of the beasts in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 shows that they share many of the same characteristics (for some details, you may wish to watch the YouTube video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?).

Europe is the power that will control the “Great Sea.” And while the southern border of the Mediterranean Sea is currently under Arab control, the Bible shows that the King of the North will take over the confederated power of nations in Africa and the Middle East that are primarily Islamic (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9).

Here are a couple of statements from Joel Richardson’s book The Islamic Antichrist:

…Islam is the future.  Yes, you read that correctly: Islam is the future.  (Richardson J.  The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. WND Books. 2009, p. 3)

No, Joel Richardson, Islam is NOT the future.

After claiming that, Joel Richardson then explains that if present trends continue that Islam will be the predominant religion of the world in a relatively few years. Now, he is correct that Islam is growing, but what he does not realize is that this growth is fostering enough resentment in Europe, and this will lead a larger backlash against Islam. With the concern about immigrants, the banning of burqas and other rules, Europeans are starting to stand against Islam. And as Islam tries to intrude more into Europe, the re-emergence of a religious Europe to counter Islam is what will come to pass.

Joel Richardson, and some others, are misleading people about this.

To learn more, check out the article Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic?

Those who wish to know more about the truth about end time prophecies may wish to study the following:

Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture? Did the Bible teach that Jesus raptures Christians prior to the start of the Great Tribulation? What did Jesus Himself teach? Do the scriptural passages that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins point to prove their left behind pre-tribulation rapture assertions? Do all Christians get protected from the Great Tribulation? Who does the Bible teach will get protected? Is the Great Tribulation the ‘wrath to come’ that Christians are promised protection from? This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?

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