Antichrist is going to rule the whole world at some point before Christ returns–right? That is the thought of many who have studied Bible prophecy throughout the decades. It is not an accurate assessment of what is scheduled, however.
Much of the thinking regarding the all-encompassing rule of the beast of Revelation chapter 13–Antichrist—is based upon the prophetic passage: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). It certainly appears from this portion of Scripture–Revelation 13:12-18—and others that the entire world of earth-dwellers comes under Antichrist’s beastly rule. But this is not the case.
There is a fancy term that defines why the simple word “all” doesn’t necessarily mean “all.” The term is “synecdoche,” which, according to the World English Dictionary, is a figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part, as in fifty head of cattle for fifty cows or the army for a soldier.
This means for our purposes here that the use of the expression “He causeth all” is a synecdoche, or representative of many people throughout the earth, but not necessarily every single individual on earth or every nation. The Bible might include a synecdoche in terms of geography, but never in matters dealing with the soul. In other words, when Paul wrote that “all” will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, he meant that literally everyone who is born again will be changed in that atomos of time that will be the moment of Rapture. When John wrote “He causeth all,” he meant “all” in the synecdochical sense.
All of that explanation is to say that Antichrist will have absolute power over much of planet Earth, but not all of it. He will not, according to Bible prophecy, be allowed to spread his tyrannical hegemony to the Middle Eastern nation of Jordan, for example. That prophecy is most interesting when considered in light of the news story just reported this past week.
The Obama Administration and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have both reportedly sided with Israel in its demand to retain control over the Jordan Valley in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians…
Israel has long insisted that, even if it surrenders the bulk of Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), it must retain control of the Jordan Valley as a buffer against future external threats, and as a deterrent and protection against Palestinian aggression.
Jordan wants Israel in the Jordan Valley to prevent further influx of Palestinian Arabs into the Hashemite Kingdom. Jordan’s Palestinian majority has threatened the Bedouin-backed Hashemite monarchy in the past, including in the 1970-1971 Jordanian Civil War. (Ryan Jones, “US, Jordan Agree: Israel Should Control Jordan Valley,” Israel Today, 12/09/13).
There has been over the decades an almost comfortable arrangement between Israel and Jordan. The late Jordanian King Abdullah, and now his son, have always received a degree of protection from Israel, the much-hated Arab enemy.
Of course, the geopolitical reason for the arrangement is that Jordan and surrounding area gives Israel a buffer zone against attacks that could otherwise be launched, giving the Jewish state a much shorter warning time. However, the real reason for the peaceful arrangement doubtless derives from heavenly directive. Jordan is scheduled to escape the deadly Antichrist regime’s tyrannical grip during the time of Tribulation. There are interesting aspects of this apparently heaven-given arrangement we will examine momentarily.
Let’s look first at the prophesied rise of Antichrist in the region and the lead-up to the matter of Jordan escaping his murderous control. Daniel the prophet gives the beast of Revelation 13 the title “the king”:
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. (Daniel 11:21-22)
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11: 36)
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. (Daniel 11:41)
Daniel switches from ancient wars and conquest, as recorded in chapter 11 prior to verse 40, to suddenly bring the reader to the end of the age and the Antichrist’s appearance and rampage across the pages of end times history. This vile king of fierce countenance overtakes many nations, but Daniel foretells that Edom, Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon escape his terrible land grab.
Moab, which is in essence modern-day Jordan, it is fascinating to consider, isn’t mentioned as part of the coalition in the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 prophesied to attack Israel. It is also interesting that Edom, part of modern Jordan, is the place the Lord will come from at the Second Advent in great fury. Bozrah was that area’s capital. Here is what Isaiah said about that area when Christ returns to do battle with Antichrist and earth’s rebels:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. (Isaiah 63:1-4)
Another fascinating point of prophecy to consider, seeing as how Jordan and its relationship with Israel is in the headlines, is that nation’s apparent treatment of the Jews as Antichrist’s full fury storms against them as given in Revelation chapter 12. The remnant of Israel will escape into the wilderness while Satan’s forces rage after them. It will be in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week, the last half or three and a half years into the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). All Jews are told to flee Jerusalem, for Antichrist’s full fury will come against them.
The remnant of Israel will flee, many believe to Petra, the ancient, rose-red city. And that is, guess where, in the Jordanian desert area, somewhat south of the place known in ancient times as Bozrah.
Whether the hiding place is Petra or another, it almost will certainly be in the area of the Jordanian valley, and Christ will make a stop there, as we know, to save God’s chosen people–the remnant (all) of believing Israel.
Jordan is proving to be one more indicator of this late date on God’s prophetic timeline.