It has always been apparent from Daniel 11:29-31 that Cyprus was important in the end-time scenario with Israel, the Antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation. To those aware of this Scripture, the following news items should act as an alert to the lateness of the hour. To understand what is happening, we first note that Antichrist arises in Daniel 11:21. This is the case since a single individual is in focus from that point to the end of the chapter. In addition, the 7 year Covenant is signed or begins in verse 22 and is mentioned again in verse 23. These verses literally read “And with a flood of armaments [a war] many will be swept away from before him [Antichrist] and also the Covenant begins. And after the Covenant is made with him, he works deceitfully and becomes strong with a small ethnic group [probably the Palestinians].” Second, we note that in verse 31 the Abomination of Desolation is set up which Jesus stated was yet future in Matthew 24:15. Therefore it is incorrect to ascribe these verses to the activities of Antiochus Epiphanes (c.165 BC), as some do, and claim that the Antichrist only arises in 11:36.
Third, from the context of Daniel 8 and 11, he is most likely to arise from Turkey. The reason is that both these chapters speak of Antichrist arising in the territory ruled by one of the 4 Generals who gained control over the Grecian Empire when it was divided up on the death of Alexander the Great. Daniel 11 traces the activities of the King of the North and the King of the South in this precise context from the death of Alexander right through until the Millennial reign of Christ. The first King of the South was General Ptolemy who gained control over Egypt and the surrounding lands. The successive kings of the south in Daniel 11 are those who had control of Egypt and its adjoining lands starting with the Ptolemaic Dynasty up until the battle of Armageddon. Interestingly, Daniel 11:25, 29 and 40 mention that Egypt and Antichrist clash militarily three times during the Tribulation after the Covenant is signed. The final time in verse 40 is the run-up to the Battle of Armageddon.
It is in this context that Daniel 11 specifically calls the Antichrist the King of the North. The general who controlled the northern sector of the old Grecian Empire after the breakup was General Seleucus and his Empire became known as the Seleucid Empire (see map below).
Originally, the Seleucid Empire held lands from what is now Turkey across to and including what is now Iran. However, the Parthians subsequently conquered the eastern territories and left the Seleucid Empire with a heartland consisting of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Daniel 8 and 11 therefore indicate that the Antichrist, the king of the north, probably arises from Turkey, as Syria will shortly be destroyed as outlined in Isaiah 17 and Iraq is a country without the military strength or political will to fulfill Antichrist’s program in Daniel 11.
It may be objected that many believe that Antichrist comes as a European leader since the European Union is known as the Treaty of Rome and Revelation mentions that Babylon the Great is a city built on 7 hills, like Rome. What is not generally known is that the major trading city in Turkey is modern-day Istanbul, which used to be the old Constantinople, and that, too, was built on 7 hills like Rome. Indeed, Constantinople was the old Eastern capital of the Roman Empire. Today it is a center of commerce and trade. It is also true that the ocean cuts the city in two so that shipmasters could stand off in their vessels and watch the smoke of her destruction go up (Revelation 18:17-19). That cannot be done for Rome which is well inland. It is also true that Istanbul/Constantinople “sits on many waters” since it guards the entrance from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and from there the Dardanelles (controlled by Turkey) guard the entrance into the Aegean Sea and on from there into the Mediterranean.
It is commonly assumed from a cursory reading of Daniel 9:26 that the Antichrist will be a Roman or at least a European. Let's look at the verse.
"And Messiah will be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is yet to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." The argument is made that since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman, Titus, then Antichrist (the Prince who is to come) must be Roman.
But that is not what it says. It says "the PEOPLE of the [coming Antichrist] will destroy the city." Titus was indeed the Roman commander of the legions which destroyed Jerusalem. But the PEOPLE comprising those legions (who Titus commanded) were NOT ethnic Romans. A closer look at Daniel 9:26 reveals that it says the Antichrist will be of the same ethnic group as the people who did the destroying of the city and sanctuary. We know Titus commanded 10th, 12th, 15th, and a fraction of the 5th Legions on this occasion. The ethnicity of the peoples making up those legions has been documented as follows:
10th Legion (Fretensis) - predominantly people from Syria and Turkey.
12th Legion (Fulminata) - people from Eastern Turkey and Syria.
15th Legion (Apollinaris) - people from Syria
5th Legion (Moesia) - people from Serbia and Bulgaria – only part of this Legion was involved.
In other words, the PEOPLE who destroyed city were from Turkey & Syria, the old Seleucid stronghold. According to Daniel 9:26, this is the ethnic group Antichrist comes from - NOT Europe or Rome. This is in complete agreement with Daniel 8 and 11.
There is also a direct link with Babylon which is important since Antichrist’s seat is called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17:5. Following the fall of ancient Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:31), the Emperor Cyrus tolerated all religions. Eventually, however, the Babylonian priests tried to set up their own king. Their base was destroyed by the Persian Xerxes and they were banished from Babylonia and, indeed, the whole kingdom about 485 BC.
“the defeated [Babylonian priests] fled to Asia Minor, and fixed their central college at Pergamos [Turkey], and took the palladium of Babylon, the cubic stone, with them. Here, independent of state control, they carried on the rites of their religion” (William B. Barker, ‘Lares and Penates: or, Cilicia and Its Governors,’ Ingram, Cooke and Co., London, 1853, pp. 232–233) quoted in the journal "Vision" for Summer 2001.)
That is why the Church at Pergamos is told that they "dwell where Satan's throne is" and "where Satan dwells" (Rev. 2:13). So effectively, the Satanically inspired Babylonian system was transferred to Turkey. Therefore, Babylon the Great need not be in the location of Old Babylon but rather near the newer location in Turkey. So for these reasons, Turkey looks increasingly likely to be the country from which Antichrist emerges.
Reinforcing these conclusions, it should be noted that Turkey has the largest standing army in the Mid-East and the second largest in NATO next to the United States. Just recently, the Turkish Army has come under the control of the Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan after being independent since the founding of the Turkish nation. In addition, Mr. Erdogan has recently announced he will double the size of the Turkish Army to 1 million men.
Turkey is also the backbone of the newly revived Mediterranean Union, an event which occurred in 2 March 2011 as a response to the so-called “Arab Spring.” This Union, first launched in Paphos, Cyprus on 17-18 January 2008, though with subsequent problems, now contains 10 members along the eastern Mediterranean and North African coasts. It comprises Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, The Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It is important to note that, though Libya is shown to be part of the Union on the map below, it only has observer status, and is not an official member. It is in this context that the political party in power in Turkey, whose head is Mr. Erdogan, also has as one of its branches the Muslim Brotherhood. This body has been responsible for destabilizing a number of countries in the Mid-East with the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Two nations from the Mediterranean Union have lost their rulers this year since the Union was revitalized, namely Egypt and Tunisia, because of the action of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the third, Syria is shortly to fall as Isaiah 17 dictates. Turkey has supported those who overthrew these governments. All 3 are still part of the Mediterranean Union. Libya has also fallen, but only has observer status in the Union and is not a member. In view of these developments, we must keep in mind the possibility that we may be seeing “three of the first kings plucked up by the roots” from the original 10 as Daniel 7:20 and Revelation 13 seem to indicate. With this background, let us now look at the details about Cyprus and its connection with Israel, Turkey, and Antichrist.
We have already noted Dan. 11:29-31, where Antichrist begins to move against Egypt again. But this time it is different from the first occasion. On this second encounter, we are told that "Ships from Cyprus will come against him ... and he will be enraged ...and forces will be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary, and take away the daily sacrifice and place the Abomination of Desolation." - Why should Grecian ships from Cyprus so offend Antichrist & link with setting up the Abomination in Israel?
The reason is that Cyprus is a divided island. - Half belongs to Greece and so is a member of EU. The other half belongs to Turkey, but UN does not recognize Turkish claims. [see note 1] So the dispute is ongoing even though the situation been largely quiet for some time.
If Grecian [see note 2] ships from Cyprus offend him, it indicates the Antichrist is from Turkish side in the dispute. The setting up of the Abomination of Desolation in Jerusalem marks the end of the first 3 & 1/2 years of the 7-year Covenant. But how can the Cyprus dispute cause Antichrist to place Abomination of Desolation in Israel? What is the link between the two? We are just beginning to see. Reports have indicated that the Greek Cypriots have found gas and oil in the ocean in the Cyprus Economic Zone. Israel has been asked to supply expertise and other assistance to develop these deposits. Israel has agreed and has been promised some of the gas and oil as a result. This has angered Turkey extremely since she has claimed some of the Zone as hers. However, Turkey does not have international backing for her claims. The developing scenario has been reported from several sources.
In the article, "Turkey’s foreign policy is in shambles" is the information:
Cyprus decided to go ahead with gas drilling off its southern coast beginning in October 2011. After it concluded a maritime boundary agreement with Israel in 2010, Turkey unalterably opposed this course. Turkey claimed that having invaded Cyprus and established a Turkish entity there, which no one else recognizes, it is entitled to forestall all activity in the Cypriot economic exclusion zone (EEZ) until the status of Cyprus is worked out through negotiation.
At the same time, Erdogan has announced to the United Nations and leaders of Cyprus that his country is no longer prepared to accept the concessions it agreed to in 2004 on the reunification of Cyprus. The Turkish side will accept nothing short of recognition of a two-state solution on the island.
In a Reuters news of September 6, 2011, the following was in an article by Pinar Aydinli:
Commentators have suggested Turkey might use the feud with Israel to build up naval patrols in seas between the Jewish state and the divided island of Cyprus. Turkey has bitterly complained about recent Greek-Cypriot / Israeli energy deals. The presence of Turkish ships would have a menacing effect and could be seen as a provocation by neighboring Greece, also a NATO member. Noble Energy, a U.S. firm, started exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas off Cyprus in early October 2011 despite warnings from Turkey against such concessions. Turkey claims the zones involved. Energy would be traded with Israel. Turkey objects.
Asked about drilling for natural gas by Greek Cypriots, Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU minister, told the media last week: "It is for this (reason) that countries have warships. It is for this (reason) that we train our navies."
An excellent article as well is 'Cyprus on the World Stage'
Greek Cypriot and Israeli Exclusive Economic Zones:
The numbers in the Mediterranean above show the various lots in the Cyprus economic exclusion zone. Lot 12 is where gas and oil have been found. The red section is the Israeli economic exclusion zone, which is very close to it. This is why Cyprus is seeking cooperation with Israel to develop and pipe the gas and oil found in its zones.
The following is from the DEBKAfile of October 2, 2011:
Turkish warships harass Israeli freighters. Israeli missile boats off Cyprus
Increasingly assertive Turkey is setting the scene for clashes in the eastern Mediterranean. Since Thursday, Sept. 29, Turkish warships have been harassing Israeli merchant vessels in waters off Cyprus, debkafile's military sources report. They come close enough to establish wireless communication and caution the Israeli vessels they are in contravention of international law and ordering them to change course. The Israeli crews mostly ignore these "orders", treating them as Ankara's latest bid to assert Turkish naval mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean. But the situation is getting explosive enough to spark a major incident.
Over the weekend, Israeli Air Force planes circled near the sites of the incidents but not directly over the Turkish vessels. At the same time Israeli missile ships sailed close to Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone waters, where the Houston-based Noble Energy began drilling for natural gas on Sept. 19 in the face of Turkish threats. The rig is situated 160 kilometers south of Cyprus adjacent to Israel's Leviathan gas field.
Western naval sources tracking the new Turkish and Israeli deployments reported Saturday, Oct. 1: "Turkey and Israel are in a constant muscle-flexing contest in the eastern Mediterranean. They are metaphorically shaking fists in each other's faces and raising the risk of a confrontation that could quickly veer out of control."
Last week, Ankara retaliated for Cypriot and Israeli deep sea gas explorations by sending an exploration ship of its own escorted by a frigate and a submarine to Cyprus. Ankara sources also disclosed that Turkish F-16 fighters had been deployed in the northern part of the island. Voicing concern over Turkey's assertiveness, NATO secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Friday, Sept. 30, said: "Obviously, the tensions between Turkey and Israel are a matter of concern. It's a bilateral issue – NATO is not going to interfere with that. But it is the interest of the alliance to see these tensions eased, because Turkey is a key ally and Israel is a valuable partner for the alliance."
Referring to concern about the tensions over natural gas exploration "between Turkey and Cyprus as well as Israel," Rasmussen said: "I urge all parties to find peaceful solutions to disputes through constructive dialogue." He said he did not expect armed clashes in the region. However, he suggested that Turkey has to be managed carefully as it asserts a growing role on the global stage.
Also Saturday, Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias had this message for Ankara: "I wish to underline to all those who attempt to question this right of the Republic of Cyprus: our sovereign rights are non-negotiable."
Five days ago, the prime ministers of Greece and Turkey, George Papandreou and Tayyip Erdogan talked by phone. And four days ago, Adm. James Stavridis, Commander of NATO forces in Europe, flew to Ankara directly from Israel for talks with Turkish leaders.
Turkish harassment of Israeli cargo vessels began after those interchanges, indicating that the Erdogan government has no intention of meeting exasperated US and NATO efforts to cool rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.
Here is an update on events in the Middle-East that have occurred since the article on Cyprus was written.
First of all, there is the ongoing situation in the Ukraine involving Russia. One half of the country favors going into Europe, the other half favors staying with Russia. Oil pipelines are involved and the feelings of the Europeans are mixed, particularly in Germany. There is the possibility of a trigger here a bit further down the track for the scenario in Ezekiel 38-39 to be played out. At least, this is the feeling of some of my contacts in Israel.
Turkey is another player to watch here as well. The Turkish economy is run 95% on natural gas. This is how the present Prime Minister, Mr. Erdogan, cleaned up the country and made it eco-friendly. However, Turkey has virtually no supplies of oil or gas and is dependent on other countries. Because huge reserves of natural gas have been found by the Israelis and the Greek Cypriots in adjacent economic zones in the ocean off their coasts, Turkey has now contracted to have a gas pipeline from these fields to Turkey to supply their needs. This plays right into the end-time scenario where some issue of contention between Turkey/Cyprus/Israel causes the Turkish antichrist to go against his Covenant with Israel and set up the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple. It could very well be that a threat to gas supplies from these Israeli/Cypriot fields may be the trigger for that event.
The present government in Turkey has the Muslim Brotherhood as one of its arms and controls their activity throughout the Middle East. In a similar way, the Turks trained, armed, supplied and assisted the ISIS group, even providing hospital facilities for them. The ISIS incursions into Iraq and Syria were planned. Note the following fact: Turkey controls the flow of the Euphrates in both those countries by 4 dams higher up the river in her territory, one of which is the Ataturk Dam. A short time before the incursion, Turkey closed the dams and stopped the flow of the Euphrates into Syria and Iraq. In less than two weeks, the river levels there dropped 20 feet until the Euphrates became a mere trickle. The ISIS troops were ready for this but the locals were not. As a result ISIS swept through the region where water was at a premium.
Because ISIS is Sunni as is Turkey and Saudi Arabia, both these countries support them. Turkey is using them to fulfill her plans in the region and the Saudis see them as a counter-balance to the Shiites in Iran. The problem for the USA is that Turkey is a NATO member and must be supported and the Saudis are our main allies in the Mid-East. If we go against ISIS, we go against our allies and support our enemies, so our hands are tied.
The other major event is that Erdogan is in his last term as Prime Minister of Turkey. In August, a Turkish President will be elected by the people for the first time in modern history. Erdogan is running for the presidency along with 2 others and he is the front runner. He has planned, through the legislation he has passed in Parliament, to set up Turkey with a Presidential system of government. He is almost certain to be elected in August. If his Justice and Development party is re-elected in the parliamentary elections in 2015, he will be given all power over Turkey and the Mediterranean Union. We could be watching the rise of the Antichrist as his term as President will be for 9 years. He would then be in a position to make a 7 year Covenant with Israel as the Bible indicates. As Prime Minister he only had 4-year terms, so that was impossible.
ISIS has support throughout many countries in the Mid-East, but ISIS might be expected to obey their Turkish masters. Note that the Turks need the assured supply of oil and gas in the Iraqi fields as well. The third factor in the equation is the Kurds. Currently they favor the Turks and ISIS is largely leaving them alone, but that situation is more unpredictable.
Notes from a Greek reader:
1. Cyprus is not part of Greece as you state, but an independent Republic and EU member in its own right; the north of the island is the self styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which actually is a euphemism for ''Cyprus territory illegally occupied by Turkey''.
2. Please don't call Greeks Grecians - that implies ancient Greeks at most.