Yes, you read the title correctly. It may not have seemed like Daniel 8 had anything to do with the First Signpost, but it actually does.
Those who have read my book would have seen in Table 9-1 on p. 152, which lays out the Scripture verses for the First Signpost, that Daniel 8 has nothing to do with the First Signpost. Well, I cannot hold that position any longer.
I showed in Daniel Revisited that Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 talk about the same events like the Second, Third and Fourth Signposts but from different perspectives. Further reflection led me to write this post, where the topic of this post would be part of a future revision of the book.
Summary of the First Signpost, 1979-2011
The First Signpost included Saddam coming to power in 1979, his first conquest at the end of the Shemitah in 1980, his later attempts at conquest, being deposed as ruler in 2003, and Iraq having an outside force applied to it, to make it a democracy. That force, the United States military, left the country at the end of 2011. So the total span of the First Signpost is 32 years, from 1979 to 2011. It includes Saddam’s tenure as leader of Iraq, and then Iraq’s democratization.
At the very beginning of Daniel 8, the prophet notes the ram standing next to Susa in southwest Iran. Daniel noted some detail about the two horns on the Persian ram. It says in Daniel 8:3b,
“One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later.”
I wrote in detail in the first part of Chapter 10 in Daniel Revisited about the fulfillment of the rise of the second horn. (That section is available for download here.) The second horn, likely fulfilled by the IRGC, grew in power during the years 1979 to 2011, which is the same time duration as the First Signpost. That little phrase in Daniel 8:3, “…but grew up later” is packed with 32 years of history and growth of the IRGC. Starting in 2012, experts on Iran started publishing their findings that the IRGC was equal in power to the supreme leader; perhaps even more powerful.
Timeline of Iraq and Iran
Here is a summary of the timeline and the interconnectivity of the second horn to the First Signpost:
1) The IRGC is founded in April 1979 as the bodyguard to the supreme leader. The supreme leader is the first horn of the ram. Later in July of 1979 Saddam comes to power in Iraq, beginning the First Signpost.
2) Saddam invades Iran in 1980. With the regular Iranian army (Artesh) in tatters because of the Shah leaving and most army officers leaving, the IRGC (Pasdaran) steps in to fill the void. Today the Artesh defends Iranian territory, but the IRGC is the largest and best equipped military in Iran.
3) The Iran-Iraq War rages from 1980 to 1988. During that time the IRGC becomes a million-man military unit directly under the command of the supreme leader, which invades and tries to take down Iraq. It is a foreshadow of the Second Signpost. Over eight years, the IRGC grows from a bodyguard of a few thousand, to a world-class military force to be reckoned with, of over a million soldiers.
4) While Saddam tries to make Iraq rebound in the 1990s from the destruction of the war, the IRGC increasingly takes over the Iranian economy, earning money for itself and starting the nuclear and rocket programs.
5) By the time Saddam is taken out in 2003, the IRGC has taken over banking and intelligence. It is ready to enter politics. Several commanders run for parliament and win. The IRGC supports Ahmadinejad for president and their winning candidate fills the cabinet ministry with former IRGC.
6) By 2011 when the US forces leave Iraq and the First Signpost has ended, experts on Iran cannot determine which has more power – the supreme leader or the IRGC. In fact, they need each other to survive.
The Persian Perspective
The only way the IRGC could fulfill that little phrase in Daniel 8:3b, “…but grew up later” was due to the First Signpost. The IRGC had to grow up fast to fight the conqueror bent on conquest. With a million IRGC soldiers returning after the war, Iranian leadership put them to work on construction projects and building and buying Iranian companies.
How would Iran view the First Signpost in reality? The IRGC took the brunt of the receiving end of Saddam’s actions, saved Iran from Saddam, and then grew to be the power it is today within Iran. Indeed, it is the perspective of the Persian ram that would say the growth of the second horn is a direct consequence of the First Signpost with the Iraqi invasion of Iranian territory.
Therefore, the second ram’s horn growing up could be said to be the Iranian perspective of the First Signpost.
It is that former leader of Iraq, that dictator and tyrant, that one who was bent on conquest, who triggered the growth of the second horn of the ram in Daniel 8. If it wasn’t for Saddam Hussein and his desire for conquest, the IRGC would have never grown into the force it is today.
That little phrase in Daniel 8:3b, “…but grew up later” is Daniel 8’s version of the First Signpost.
Categories: Signpost #1: Iraq, Signpost Theology
Forget not the Mahdi!
Coming from Iran and soon to be revealed by Iran as he, the Mahdi, after it is “revealed” will order fire down from heaven, nuclear fire, into the Harlot – Saudi Arabia!
Will the Mahdi be one of the horns? Or the baby ram itself?
This headline caught my eye tonight Mark. I thought I would send you the link. Such interesting timing with this post as well!
The Mahdi/AC starts as the little horn growing out of one of the four horns on the goat.
Gen. Patreus says Iran backed militias are greatest threat to Iraq…not ISIS
Yes, they are the biggest threat to an American-backed Iraq, for if they completely take over Iraq is lost to Iran completely. Thanks for the link.
I thought you might be interested in this article:
(unrelated to this post btw)
I’m hearing alot of noise about Russia, nukes, NATO, and US Aircraft being shot down over the Artic. No confirmation, but concerning. Anyone else feeling like something bad is about to go down?
I actually expect multiple Mahdi/Caliphs to arise. i would not be surprised. I just read an article about Erdogan over the weekend in which he was posturing himself to be name Mahdi as well. Mark is correct, of course, that the Bible tells us where and when to look for the Antichrist. That is why Mark’s interpretation of Daniel 8 is so important. The church will be deceived by multiple Antichrist candidates. We need to hold fast to the what the scriptures say.
So would it surprise me if Iran proposed its own Mahdi? No, I expect it but I don’t expect him to be the real Antichrist.
I’ve heard some prophecy teachers speculate that Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davotoglu, could possibly be the Antichrist. What do you think of this idea?
Keep Daniel 9:26 in mind. It tells us (via Roman history) what ethnic groups were involved and from which people the Antichrist will come. I would say Syrian/Assyrian is most likely. Ahmet Davotoglu, like Erdogan, are ethnic Turks and so are not included. Though as Nelson mentioned in another comment, Erdogan might declare he is if he heads the future Sunni Confederacy.
To Nelson Walters:
Of Course there will be multiple Mahdi and Muslim Antichrists! They will fight for power and kill each other! But then there will be ONE that will do what the European-Antichrist Pope-Vatican-Rome-Anrichrist main stream Christian Church had predicted for almost two thousand years! That Muslim leader will kill/destroy/nuke/attack/capture/kill THE POPE!
And those churches that had predicts for generations that the Pope is the Antichrist will have no escathological choice than to accept the Muslim leader as Jesus!!!
Since those same church leaders that claim the Pope is the Antichrist ALSO by definition claim he will be destroyed by Jesus HIMSELF.
See the coming deception?
To believe on an European Antichrist is not just an incorrect interpretation but a dangerous one! When you identify a person as the Antichrist you are also saying that whoever kills that person must therefore be Jesus Himself!
Why then open yourself to that potential deception?
“Though as Nelson mentioned in another comment, Erdogan might declare he is if he heads the future Sunni Confederacy.”
There must be/have to be/will be at least two Muslim caliphate leader wannabe!
One Shia and one Sunny!
Those two groups will hate and fight each other until the end – “brother’s sword against its own brother.”
And even inside their own sects there will be inner fight and bloodshed for the COVETED position of Caliphate and its OIL/Petroleum empire!
Amen, brother. And that is why the coming invasion and war in the Middle East will show that the second horseman is indeed riding at that point. He is given power to allow men to butcher one another throughout the Middle East. This is self-evident as we will see a massive Sunni-Shia war where the two sides hate each other more than us infidels.
After you study Islam, Sunni and Shia as deep as I had, you learn a little known secret:
Sunni and Shia hate each other more than they hate the Jews!
While their hatred of God’s people seems to unite them, their blinded hatred for each other is more powerful.
Islam is a kingdom divided against itself and will not stand. Mark 3:24, but will cause a lot of pain and suffering before it is destroyed, not by the meteorite black stone in Mecca but the real stone no cut by hand – Jesus.
Josei, “That Muslim leader will kill/destroy/nuke/attack/capture/kill THE POPE!” JM
Personally I try to be very careful that everything is backed up by scripture. In this era of Blood Moons and Shmitahs there is a tendency to say “oh, this looks interesting, let’s call it a sign,” without proper biblical back-up. Now those things might be true signs, but they lack scriptural support, just like the killing of the Pope. I believe we need to absolutely back up our claims with scripture, just as Mark has done with Daniel 8 and the coming Sunni/Shia war. Now this doesn’t mean a Pope won’t be killed. Many things will happen that aren’t in scriptures.
There is even one passage that I think could indicate the killing of the Pope:
“In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue. The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.” (Dan. 11:21-22 NASB)
Although I personally consider this “prince of the covenant” to be a Jewish leader, I imagine there is a small chance it could be the Pope. Daniel is primarily focused on the place of the Jews and Israel so I think the chances are remote, but it could be the Pope. Are there other scriptures I may have overlooked?
If we assume that Satan is smart and would love to deceive two billion Muslims/souls, why would he waste the great and easy ready-made opportunity to snare main stream Christianity in their own error?
Main stream Christianity had being preaching that the Pope IS the Antichrist. Satan KNOWS that is a great opportunity to deceive millions! Why would not he jump at that opportunity?
The Bible clearly says that Satan is a great deceiver and wants to deceive even the elects.
Why would Satan not use the Pope-Antichrist error to his own advantage?
I believe he will!
There are some Bible verses that confirm my suspiction.
Yes, now that is something I think very likely. You are right, Satan loves the deception of a Pope Antichrist. Why would he disrupt that?