Thursday, January 8, 2009

Antichrist a Muslim? Unveiling the Man of Sin

Dr. David R. ReaganBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Could the Antichrist possibly be a Muslim? This is a new idea that seems to be catching fire today due to the awakening of Islam and the revival of its territorial goal of conquering the world for Allah.

I recently read four books that relate to this topic.

VanKoevering's Book

The second book I consulted that proposes a Muslim Antichrist is one published in 2007 by Dr. Joe VanKoevering. It is titled Unveiling the Man of Sin.1 The author is an eloquent and enthusiastic teacher of Bible prophecy. He serves as the host of a television program called "God's News Behind the News." He also pastors Gateway Christian Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Joe VanKoevering
VanKoevering begins his quest for the Antichrist by asserting, that he must be of Assyrian heritage. His biblical basis for this assertion is Isaiah 10:24 — "Therefore, thus says the Lord God of hosts, 'O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did.'"

Next, he claims that since Antiochus Epiphanes — a type of the Antichrist — came from the Seleucid or Assyrian area of the Grecian Empire (Syria and Iraq), the Antichrist must also come from that area.

He then tries to narrow down the search to one modern day country within the old Assyrian Empire. He does this by pointing out that in Daniel 11 there is a description of the Antichrist's invasion of the Middle East during the Tribulation. Daniel says the Antichrist and his army will conquer Israel and Egypt but will not enter the area of modern day Jordan. This prompts VanKoevering to conclude that the Antichrist will come from Jordan.

Response to VanKoevering

In response I would point out first of all that Isaiah 10:24 has absolutely nothing to do with end time prophecy. Isaiah 10 is a prophecy that God will use Assyria as His "rod of anger" (verse 5) to judge Israel. He urges Israel in verses 24-25 not to fear the Assyrians because "in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will be directed to their destruction." In other words, God will use Assyria to discipline Israel but He will not allow them to destroy the Jewish people. And furthermore, once He is finished using Assyria as a rod of His discipline, He will destroy the Assyrian Empire.

That's all there is to the passage. Again, it has nothing to do with end time prophecy or the Antichrist.

I have already addressed the argument that the Antichrist must be an Assyrian because his symbolic type — Antiochus Epiphanes — was from Assyria. Again, there are many types of the Antichrist presented in Scripture, like the Pharaoh of the Exodus and King Saul of Israel, but these types do not mean the Antichrist will necessarily come from Egypt or Israel. But the most important fact to keep in mind is that Antiochus was a Greek, not an Assyrian.

As to the argument based on Daniel 11, it is true that the Antichrist and his armies will not enter modern day Jordan. But the reason given is that the area will be "rescued out of his hands" (Daniel 11:41). That doesn't sound like a voluntary decision to refrain from invading the area. Rather, it sounds like God prevents the Antichrist from invading Jordan — and for good reason, since the Bible indicates this will be the land of refuge for the Jewish remnant when they flee Israel in the middle of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:13-17).

Additional Qualifications

Besides asserting that the Antichrist must be an Assyrian, VanKoevering also says he must be a "prince" and "the King of Babylon."

The prince requirement is taken from Daniel 9:26 which says the Antichrist will be a prince. The King of Babylon idea comes from Isaiah 14:4ff where a taunt against the King of Babylon is presented. As the King of Babylon is described in detail, he clearly morphs into a description of Satan. VanKoevering claims it is also a description of the Antichrist.

Having established what he believes are three requirements for the Antichrist — that he be an Assyrian from Jordan, that he be a prince, and that he be the King of Babylon — VanKoevering then spends the rest of his book trying to prove that the best candidate for the Antichrist is Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan!2 Prince Hassan is the brother of former King Hussein and was his designated heir to the throne of Jordan until the king changed his mind on his deathbed and gave the throne, instead, to his son, Abdullah II.

It grieves me that VanKoevering has made this attempt to identify the Antichrist. It is the sort of sensational speculation that has given the whole field of Bible prophecy a bad reputation.

VanKoevering's Antichrist Candidate

Why does he point to Prince Hassan? First, he argues that "the closest genetic relationship of the Assyrians are with the native populations of Jordan and Iraq."3 But what he overlooks is the fact that the Hashemite royal family of Jordan is not native to either Jordan or Iraq. The family came, instead, from Saudi Arabia. Members of this family were imposed upon the populations of Iraq and Jordan as kings of these nations by Great Britain after World War I. So, Prince Hassan does not even meet the first criterion stipulated by VanKoevering!

Prince Hassan
The next qualification of the Antichrist that Hassan is supposed to fulfill is that he carries the title of Prince. This is really irrelevant. When Daniel 9:26 says the Antichrist will be a "prince," all it is saying is that he will be a political leader. The Bible uses two terms for political leaders — prince and king. The biblical authors could not refer to presidents or prime ministers because those forms of ruling power had not yet developed. Thus, when we are told in Psalm 118:9 "it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes," we are being warned against putting our trust in politicians. The warning is not limited to those politicians who literally have the title of prince.

VanKoevering's third qualification for the Antichrist — that he be the King of Babylon — is, of course, unfulfilled in the life of Prince Hassan. But VanKoevering argues it could become a possibility since one of his Hashemite relatives, King Faisal, was installed by the British as King of Iraq in 1921. King Faisal, the brother of Prince Hassan's grandfather, King Abdullah, died in 1933. His son, King Faisal II, and all his family were murdered in 1958 when the Iraqi military mounted a coup d'etat.

VanKoevering believes there is an excellent possibility that the leaders of Iraq will seek to stabilize their nation by inviting Prince Hassan to become king. But that is pure speculation, and there is no indication that the people of Iraq want a king, particularly one that is not even native to their population.

Nor is there any requirement in Scripture that the Antichrist be the King of Babylon. The passage VanKoevering uses to establish this idea is found in Isaiah 14 where the King of Babylon is presented as a type of Satan himself. That there might be a double application to both Satan and the Antichrist is a real possibility since the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan, but there is no indication in the passage that the Antichrist must be the King of Babylon.

A similar taunt is presented in Ezekiel 28 against the Prince of Tyre. And like the passage in Isaiah 14, the taunt morphs into a description of Satan that could be applied to the Antichrist. Does that mean the Antichrist must also be the King of Tyre? I think not.

One final observation about VanKoevering's book. I believe that 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 teaches that the Antichrist will not be revealed until the beginning of the Tribulation. All attempts to identify him before the Tribulation are a waste of time.

Notes

  1. Joe VanKoevering, Unveiling The Man of Sin (St. Petersburg, FL: God's News Publishing, 2007), 175 pages.

  2. Ibid., p. 78.

  3. Ibid., p. 93.

11 comments:

hart_thizzle10_9 said...

it bothers me to hear joe vankoevering make such stretching statements. In my opinion he is still a knowledgable teacher and i enjoy much of his teaching. I sincerely hope he will wise up. If he is a teacher to be avoide please let me know. I also enjoy his friend perry stone.

Magdy said...

I always thought that the anti Christ will be a European man. Never considered him to be a Muslim. But now here is a thought, in order for him to be trusted/accepted by the Muslims and Jews why not he could be the son of a Jewish mother and Muslim father??? He might not confess to either teaching but imply it. If I remember the bible mention him not to follow his father's teaching.

Sound An Alarm said...

This new prophetic interpretation of the antichrist being a muslim is because they forecast according to a worldview instead of a Biblical view of Bible prophecy.

I have been a Christian for over 26 years and marvel at those whom God has called to be Evangelists presumptuously taking up the mantle of prophet when God has obviously not called them to this office.

Stick with your annointing! Hopefully this will keep you from going into glaring error and helping satan deceive the body of Christ.

Asher said...

David neglecs the fact that Isaiah 10:26 could indeed be talking about the anti christ, he just says its not" wo do you believe....
Personnally I beleive we need to be watchmen on the walls rightly dividing the word of truth.
If Hassan becomes king of Babylon..then what?
In Australia at he moment, we in the southern region are in the 14 th year of drought. If we don't get good catchment rain we will most probably run out. This is unprecedented. This is not through lack of prayer however, many, many prayers an fastings have been offered.
The bible indicates these things must come to past, (a third of the trees will die Rev 8:7)
Joel 1:13-20

Anonymous said...

K my name is Amber, and i just got finished watching Joe Koeverings video called ''unveiling the man of si n'' he makes some very strong points and hes got biblical scripture to back him up ! Im one of them christians with an open ear and an open eye to what people like joe has to say...you never know its a good possibility that what he predicts could be truue only time will tell but there is no reason to cast his ideas and thoughts out just because u simply have other beliefs... Like he says prove him wrong cause from hussans background and how he fits all the descriptions of the man of sin according to the word i wouldnt be supprised if it wasnt him?! OnlyGOD HIMSELF REALLY KNOWS but he will be revealed in due time...all i know is im keeping my eyes open for that dude ''prince hussan bin talal''for now with his broad forhead and his pointy nose!

edblaize said...

hello, to Amber: The pastor that runs this sight pretty much did prove the author wrong. 3 obvoius points are the claim that the antichrist must be Assyrian, and he will be the king of babylon. nowhere in scripture does it say either of these. also prince Hassan isnt even assyrian, the hashemites come from saudi arabia originally. I would even argue that mystery Babylon is not even in the middle east, but thats irrelevant. While i find the book very interesting and revealing in some areas, i would in NO way claim that prince Hassan is the antichrist, nor would i proclaim anyone at this point; although there is another who fits ALL the prophesies to the letter, and claims lineage from the line of David, and even claims to be the savior of the world; I still wont say he is THE one. Only a person of interest that I will add to my list that I am watching, prince Hassan included. If you are interested in this area of bible prophecy, then study what SCRIPTURE says, and give only passing interest to what MAN says. Let the Holy Spirit bring you into all truth. May God bless you in the name of Yeshua!(Jesus)

Anonymous said...

Micah 5:5 does speak of the anti-Christ and refers to him as the Assyrian.
Micah 5:2 identifies the messiah as Bethlehem Ephrathah.

Soooooo, Micah identifies Christ by telling where he comes from, and three verses later identifies the anti-Christ as the Assyrian(where he comes from).
I dont know about trying to identify the anti-Christ as this Jordanian prince,but I do believe he will be an Assyrian. I believe Micah. Read Micah and see what the scriptures say.

edblaize said...

I am well aware of the verse you mention anon. but nowhere in that verse does it identify the antichrist. and the beginning of that verse "And this man shall be the peace," isn't referring to the antichrist or the assyrian, it refers to Jesus. It is referring to the man in the previous scriptures. This isnt proof positive that the antichrist is assyrian. it doesnt even illude to it. all it says is that the assyrian will come into their land and will be destroyed with the Lord's help. to say absolutely that the assyrian is the antichrist is wrong. he could be, he may even be, but he's not definitely the antichrist. your basing this on some teaching you heard and not on what the word says. maybe he is, but to teach that he absolutely is would be wrong. the scripture's aren't clear that he is. If he is, then great, we can watch for an assyrian to come to world power and we can identify him easier. but if he isnt, then many will be deceived and suffer from teaching that the assyrian is positively the antichrist. we must take scripture for what it says, and not what we want it to say.

Anonymous said...

The above objections aside, I still think that El Hassan bin Talal has a running chance. The fact that he is president of the Club of Rome, and also was a strong force behind the movement for "Peace" in the middle east, makes him a front runner, IMHO.

Of course, the man of sin will be revealed, but only when he exalts himself above all that is called god, and claims to be God sitting in the temple as God. We can only conjecture and keep our eyes open until then.

Anonymous said...

Well here we are February 2011, and it does seem very possible that Dr. Joe Van Koevering may very well be right in his assumptions regarding El Hassan bin Talal. This upheaval in Middle East is just the opening needed for El Hassan bin Talal, to come on board in pretense of bringing peace and tranquility to the whole region.

Anonymous said...

It's now half way through 2013 and we can clearly see that this was right on the money. It grieves me that articles such as this one served to confuse and even character assassinated the people who giving warnings from God.