|Antiochus IV Epiphanes|
With an eye to historical events, did Antiochus IV Epiphanes inherit his very powerful and militarily dominant empire, or did he conquer and establish it as Alexander the Great had done 157 years earlier? The historical fact is that Antiochus IV Epiphanes inherited his empire; it was literally handed to him when when his predecessor, Seleucus was assassinated by a general named Heliodorus upon returning to the capital Seleucia from Jerusalem in 175 BC. Antiochus, the second son of Seleucus then seized the throne through royal scheming and the subterfuge of some close associates. Daniel 11:21 was thus literally fulfilled by Antiochus in 175 BC (see the comments section on precisely how this fulfillment came to pass). I believe we can expect to see similar subterfuge and conspiracy as the future Antichrist comes to power.
The end of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the transition or overlap to the future Antichrist occurs within the text of Daniel 11:29-39. These ten verses apply to both Antiochus IV Epiphanes and to the future Antichrist. Then at Daniel 11:40, where the prophecy states "At the time of the end..." the overlap has been completed and the time-line has definitively jumped forward by about 1,850 years into the 70th Week. None of the text of Daniel 11:40-45 was fulfilled in the past; all of it is set for a future fulfillment during the 70th Week.
It is also important to note that the Seleucid bloodline which followed Antiochus IV Epiphanes (his son Antiochus V Eupator; his grandson Demetrius I Soter; his great-grandson Demetrius II Nicator who was overthrown by another great grandson supported by Rome and the Seleucid Empire became fully a vassal state of the Roman Empire, Alexander I Balas; his great-great grandson Antiochus VIII Grypus; his great-great-great grandson Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator. This line continues all the way to the last Seleucid vassal king named Philip II Philoromaeus (which means 'friend of the Romans'), and then to Antiochus XIII who ruled for a year in 65-64 BC when Rome turned what remained of the Seleucid kingdom into a full-fledged province of Rome controlled by Roman General Pompey. This kingdom was then stripped of its Macedonian-Greek name Seleucia and renamed Syria by Roman decree. At this time Antiochus X Eusebes Philopater became a figurehead ruler of Syria, but he was quickly replaced in 58 BC by the Roman general and supporter of Pompey, Aulus Gabinius. Antiochus XIII ultimate fate and progeny thereafter are unknown to this day. A descendant could literally be anywhere, yet what is certain is that he will emerge and fulfill everything that has been prophesied.
The keen-eyed will likely have already made note that this same lineage lent its name to a major city of ancient times, the Biblical city of Antioch, which is today known by its Turkish name, Antakya. This city was founded in the 4th century BC by the first of the Seleucid kings, Alexander the Great's close aide, Seleucus I Nicator. Acts 11:26 teaches that this city is where believers of Jesus Christ first became known as Christians.
Just as Gabriel's prophetic narrative scaled time in a single bound, so now shall this SITREP. In the year 2016 AD, according to the Julian calendar we use, the world situation is similar to that of the fourth decade of the 20th Century AD (1931-1940).
In a nutshell, the events which preceded World War II ensured its occurrence. These were chaotic events which gave rise to the emergence of strongmen on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Stalin, Tojo, Chamberlain, Churchill, Roosevelt. Each of major nations of the world found the necessity of a strong leader to rule absolutely essential; such is the call and dictate of national survival. The League of Nations, the first modern attempt at globalism, was weak and therefore ineffective and ultimately incapable of fulfilling is purpose. Right by might became the rule with some nations taking territory that belonged to others, and other nations doing nothing to stop it. A world war was the inevitable result.
Midway through the second decade of the 21st Century AD chaotic events are once again occurring. In many countries strong leadership is once again seen as an essential necessity. Nations are seizing the territory of others; corruption is rampant in almost every facet of society. A blood-thirsty religious cult centered on a 7th Century AD madman's demonic-inspired conquests is running rampant through both legal and illegal means all over the globe. Before everyone's eyes the global semblance of order that was established following World War II through the establishment of the United Nations has been fully corrupted and continues as a virtual functioning debacle.
The difference this time is that the means to destroy all life on the planet is in the possession of a handful of nations who are more or less aligned in opposing blocs known as East and West. Strong men and dictators currently rule in the Eastern Bloc. And smack dab in the middle of this is the Middle East. No longer is the threat of war in the Middle East the issue, the issue now is that there is ongoing warfare of one type of another occurring in even its remotest corners, with the major nuclear-armed powers directly involved from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Levant. These are wars which will ignite larger ones, eventually dragging the nuclear-armed powers into a flood of direct conflict. The absence of a strong-man in the Western Bloc cannot last much longer; and the opposing sides in the trifecta of the Middle East's wars are all clamoring for the emergence of their expected messianic figure.
As we all know from prophetic Scripture, the fast approaching appointed time of this demonically-controlled man's emergence and revealing is imminent. So is the blessed hope of the Harpazo. "Ready" and "Get Set" have already been announced, all that remains is for our Father in Heaven to say "Go!"