Is ISIS Fulfilling Prophecy?

Most of the western world was shocked by the sudden emergence of ISIS in the spring of 2014, its lightning conquest of northern and western Iraq and the establishment of a caliphate.  The question on the minds of many Christians watching for the signs of Jesus’ return has been is ISIS fulfilling prophecy?

Personally I think it is too soon to definatively say that it is.  There are numerous hints that it may be however, so it warrents careful observation over the next months and years.  In my upcoming book, Are We READY for Jesus? How to prepare for his return I discuss many of these factors in greater detail.  The book is anticipated in early 2015.


The first of these hints is the Arabic acronym/nickname of the Islamic State, “Daesh.”  This word has an arabic meaning of “to crush” or “to trample underfoot.”  I am sure that readers of the book of Daniel are staring at this definition in stunned amazement.  It is a perfect match with Daniel’s prophecy of Dan. 7: 7 regarding the fourth terrifying Beast.

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. (Dan. 7: 7 NASB)

When I first read about this nickname in this article “On the Origin of the name Daesh” I felt perhaps Christians had chosen it to try and force a prophetic meaning on ISIS.  Careful reading however shows that the Muslims themselves have chosen the name.  Many in the western world are now adopting this nickname.  (“France Says it will Call ISIS, Daesh” “Boston Globe Recommends Using the Name Daesh.”) Although it was originally a name the terrorists did not like, recent articles show that it is becoming widely accepted even by the militants.  ( “Daesh Palestine painted on soccer field“)   When we see this name in print we need to remember what it means and Dan. 7: 7.  Is ISIS fulfilling prophecy?  Maybe.

Seven Kingdoms

The Fourth Beast has been around for a long time.  As we have seen in PULVERIZED and  THE FOURTH SIGNPOST: THE BEAST on this website, this Beast is Islam,  not Rome as many in the church has thought.  A more detailed explanation of this can be found in Mark Davidson’ book “Daniel Revisited.” Might ISIS be a precurrsor however to the final form this fourth beast is going to take.  It might.  Let me explain.

In Rev. 17 we see a picture of a scarlet beast rising from the abyss.  This beast reflects the Dragon found in Rev. 12.  The dragon is red, the Beast is scarlet.  Both have seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns.  We know from Revelation 12 that the Dragon is Satan so the Beast is the splitting image of Satan.

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.  Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,  and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.  The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.  The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.  These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. (Rev. 17: 8-13 NASB)

We notice that the seven heads are seven mountains and seven kings.  From Daniel 2, we learn that “Mountain” is a symbol for kingdom so this passage means the heads are seven kingdoms and seven kings.  Most prophecy teachers believe, as I do, that these are 7 historic kingdoms that Satan has used to try and defeat God’s plan of salavation.  These kingdoms were:

Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and the Islamic Caliphate

We also notice that one of the kingdoms “was” and “is not” and “will come.”  That means that one of the kingdoms will be defeated and removed from the world stage but it will return.  This is also seen in Rev. 13

I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast. (Rev. 13:3 NASB)

This passage confirms that it’s one of the heads (kingdoms) that “appeared” to be slain.  The seven kingdoms conquered each other one after another for over 4000 years.  Then in 1924, the Allied powers broke up the Ottoman Empire which was the Islamic caliphate at the time.  This was the “killing’ of the head of one of the beasts.  At that time Satan no longer had a kingdom on the earth.  Has the Beast arisen from the pit?  Is ISIS fulfilling prophecy by reforming the caliphate?  We aren’t sure, but we need to watch.

The Assyrian

Both Isaiah and Micah tell us the Antichrist will arise from the area that used to be Assyria (Eastern Turkey, Western Iraq and Syria).

And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword. (Isa. 31:8 NASB)

This One will be our peace when the Assyrian invades our land,
When he tramples on our citadels.  (Micah 5:5 NASB)

This is the same region that ISIS currently occupies.  Will ISIS fulfill prophecy?  Maybe.

Blood Moons

Last moon I wrote a post about the Blood Moon tetrad.  In that post we discussed that it may or may not be prophetic.  WHAT ABOUT THE BLOOD MOONS.  What is interesting is that ISIS arose and formed the caliphate immediately after the first blood moon in the tetrad.  Again this may be prophetic and it may not.


The execution method of choice of ISIS is beheading.  Interestingly this is also the method by which the saints die in the tribulation.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. (Rev. 20:4 NASB)

None of these prophecies are definatively fulfilled by ISIS.  However ISIS may fulfill a number of them.  I think all Christians should keep a close eye on ISIS and “watch” as our Lord has commanded us.

15 thoughts on “Is ISIS Fulfilling Prophecy?”

  1. Thanks Nelson for not posting the other post…

    This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, HIS BELLY AND HIS THIGHS OF BRASS,

    Daniel 2:39 ….and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

    I can clearly see the split happening in the Brass not the Iron now. Most teach the Eastern and Western Roman Empire as if the split happened in the Iron.

    An interesting note according to Wikipedia: Ptolemy Kingdom (Hellenistic culture) continued to thrive in Egypt throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest.

    1. Randy you are probably not aware but two weeks ago I had open heart surgery. I am at home recovering. I did delete messages upon returning home that were too long or too full of error for me to take the time to respond to.

      My opinion as well as Joel Richardson’s is that the Iron kingdom is the Islamic Caliphate not Rome. As you rightly point out, Hellenistic culture thrived during Roman occupation but stopped when the Caliphates invaded. This is part of the “Crushing” of the iron kingdom

      As a general rule, keep comments short, make one or two points, don’t quote scripture, just give the address (example: Dan. 2:39) to conserve bandwidth. Thats how to get comments from being deleted. Thanks. Nelson

  2. Daniel chapters 2 and 7 both start with Babylon (Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon…). Daniel didn’t dream about Assyria or Egypt. if Revelation 17:10 is an overlay then Assyria or Egypt wasn’t used either.

    1. Babylon Empire – 1st Beast – Islamic
    2. Medo-Persian Empire – 2nd Beast – Islamic
    3. Grecian Empire – 3rd Beast – Islamic
    4. Seleucid Empire – (was bigger than the Assyrian Empire without Egypt). – Islamic
    5. Ptolemy Dynasty (Egypt) – Islamic
    6. Roman Empire – 4th Beast

    Babylon – First Beast like a Lion (Daniel 7:5)

    Second Beast like a Bear (Daniel 7:5) – 3 ribs in it’s mouth… Babylon, Medes and Persia came together.
    The writing on the Wall in “Daniel 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
    I know most say the 3 ribs are Libya, Babylon and Egypt in that order. Just a thought about the 3 ribs being in the mouth of the Bear before the order was given to “Arise, devour much flesh” in Daniel 7:5.

    Third Beast like a Leopard with four wings and four Heads (Daniel 7:6).

    Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

    Fourth Beast in Daniel 7:7 is dreadful and terrible.

    In Revelation 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

    was like unto a Leopard (Grecian Empire) … 3rd Beast
    his feet were as the feet of a Bear (Medo-Persian Empire) …2nd Beast
    his mouth as the mouth of a Lion (Babylon Empire) …1st Beast

    In order to be the mother of harlots and abominations (which denote spiritual idolatry), she would have to be the source from which her daughter harlots were born. Babylon [Babel] was founded in rebellion against God.

    1. It’s interesting Randy, but I’ve been thinking and praying about this same line of thinking for some time now; that the fourth empire of the statue, fourth beast is the Seleucid. The Beast doesn’t include Egypt or Saudi Arabia apparently in its Lion, Bear, Leopard footprint, so just maybe this is a possibility.

  3. Mr Nelson you said, 7th kingdom is the Islamic Caliphate.

    Bible tells us that there will be 8th king
    “11The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.” Rev17

    Is there any world empire now? If so, why it can not be 7th kingdom?

    Is eighth king an empire or a president/king?

    1. Thanks for commenting Mesfin. In my opinion (and the opinion of many others), the seventh kingdom was the Islamic Caliphate. There is a table in my book Are We Ready For Jesus that shows who the seven kingdoms were and how each one conquered the preceding one. (Egypt/Assyria/Babylon/Persia/Hellanistic (Greek)/Rome/Islamic Caliphate). That seventh head of the Beast (Islamic Caliphate) suffered a fatal head wound in 1924 when the allied armies dismantled the Ottoman Empire after WWI. This is the head that will be healed (the one that received a head wound with no successor empire). This Islamic Caliphate will return with a new “king,” the Antichrist. ISIS is a precurrsor of that revived Caliphate I believe. We still have a bit longer before it is fully revived however, IMO.

  4. REVELATION 13 by each verse

    1. Beast appeared (look daniel 7 4th beast), this is symbol of islam/allah as whole
    2. resembled of lion, bear and leopard only islam ever conquer 3 beasts territory and it is HISTORICAL FACT you will never seen rome map reach persian.
    3. one head wounded but heal, it is the first fitna when muawiyah fight against ali which cost many jihadist troops but finally muawiyah wins and his umayah caliphate conquer from spain to persia
    4. who can fight the beast? islam is so powerfull under rashidun and umayah and most of her conquest last until now (while rome suffer many defeats, split even lost its territory) men worship islam as religion not rome
    … etc.

  5. Nelson I saw you mentioned above about the possibility of ISIS being the Lion but we haven’t seen its wings clipped yet. Does this mean the wings are clipped before Iran invades? If so do you think it may be possible that what were seeing right now with Russia in Syria and them bombing ISIS could be the wings being clipped and made to stand as a man? In other words Russia may wipe out ISIS then the Bear (Iran) rises afterward to devour much flesh. I just read an article today on Armageddon news about Russia opting a Nuclear strike on Islamic State.

    1. I did mention that as a possibility Jlils. That doesn’t mean I think it is assured, just that it is possible. I think the best candidate for the Lion is still an ancient Iraq only fulfillment. However, ISIS is certainly a better modern day fulfillment than Saddam’s Iraq at this point.

  6. Being silent and on watch within what we cLearLy understand that is happening in this earth and taking notice of since 2001 serious changes taking form and in what you printed and shared covers some serious prophecies and to identify in identity of the interpretations is very accurate from being watchful and a follower of scriptures in what we have Learned keeping in mind and heart in the Life we are Living

    1. David, Thank you for suggesting the article, I will read it. I do own Joel’s books. He and I know each other and have spoken from the same stage. I have great respect for Joel. His teachings take an approach of presenting those things that might have more than one interpretation humbly, giving room for the Holy Spirit room to work in each reader. I try my best to emulate him on this.

    1. The rise of ISIS has caused many of us to rethink our previous thoughts on a lot of things. That is of course why our Lord’s most frequent command is to “watch.” ISIS as the Lion is a very legitimate possibility. We haven’t seen its wings clipped or it given the mind of a human yet (which I think is unlikely) so again we need to watch.

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