Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Q&A: Will the Antichrist Come From the Ottoman Empire?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Q) Will the Antichrist not originate from the Roman Empire, but rather instead the Ottoman Empire, and will he be a Muslim?

To answer this tough Bible question, Dr. David Reagan and I on a Christ in Prophecy television episode interviewed Dr. Ron Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes is the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.


Dr. Ron Rhodes

A very faddish thing has developed recently in Bible prophecy. It is the idea that the empire that will be revived in the end times will not be the Roman Empire but the Ottoman Empire, and that the Antichrist will come out of that Ottoman Empire and he will be the one who will rule over it. In fact, not only do some say it's going to be the Ottoman Empire and the Antichrist is going to be a Muslim, but they argued that it's hyperbole when the Bible says that the Antichrist is going to rule over all the nations of the earth. Instead, the theory goes that he's really just going to rule over the Middle East.

I think, though, that the Scriptures are very clear that the Antichrist's empire is from a revived Roman Empire. When we look at Daniel in his writings, he talks very specifically about how the Antichrist would come from the people who overran Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple. That happened in 70 AD. It wasn't the Muslims that overcame Jerusalem. They didn't even exist at that time, as Islam was founded by Muhammad 600 years later. And so, to say that could possibly apply even metaphorically to Muhammad or to Islam would be just reading something into the text that's not there.

I also think about Daniel 7, where it talks about how a little horn emerges out of ten horns right there with them. That indicates to me that whole context is about the Roman Empire that will reemerge. And so, this ruler comes out of the Roman Empire. He is said to be of the same people who overcame Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple, which was Titus and his Roman warriors who destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. If words mean anything, it is a Roman Empire.

Furthermore, I think that the idea that the Antichrist will be a Muslim, that really kind of runs amiss in terms of what Islam teaches when you think about it. For example, Islam believes in the Islamic creed, "there's one God named Allah and Muhammad is his prophet." They will not tolerate any other claims to deity. In 2 Thessalonians 2 it's talking about the Antichrist and it says that he is going to go into the Temple, exalt himself above every god or object of worship, take his seat in the Temple and display himself as being God. Well, for a Muslim to do that, especially in view of the Islam creed which says that "there's one god named Allah," and in view of the very clear Islamic teaching that Allah can have no partners, it becomes an impossibility.

Further, just consider how it stretches credulity to say that this individual according to Daniel 9:27 will sign a pact guaranteeing protection for Israel. Why would a Muslim sign a pact guaranteeing protection to Israel? I mean, if there's any group of people who want to see the destruction of Israel, it is Muslims. So, how would that work?

Not only that, but I believe that this invasion of Muslim countries into Israel will probably take place before the Rapture, or after the Rapture but before the Tribulation, or at least the very beginning of the Tribulation, somewhere in there. If the Muslim nations are largely destroyed by judgment, as seems to be indicated in Ezekiel 38 and 39, how will an Antichrist emerge from the ashes of what used to be a very strong group of people but now are almost gone?

Anyway you look at it, there're just all kinds of variables that do not fit this idea that the Antichrist could be a Muslim.

Daniel even says that he will have no regard for the gods of his father, but he will claim that he is above all gods. How can a Muslim say that? No, a Muslim couldn't possibly say that. In fact, one of the things that Muslims get mad about in terms of Christians today is claiming that Jesus is the Son of God. They say that's absolute blasphemy because that means that God has partners.

For those same people who would say the one-world religion will be Islam, I've done a lot of thinking about the coming one-world religion. Now, just think about it. The Rapture takes place before the Tribulation, that's what I believe. So, the Christians are removed. If in fact this invasion into Israel by Russia and the Muslim nations takes place before the Tribulation or maybe at the very beginning of the Tribulation, then Muslims are largely taken out of the picture, too. To me that opens up the door for the easy emergence of both the Antichrist and the great power as well as a one-world religion. And so to me it just fits chronologically very, very well.

Concerning the argument that this is going to be a local empire and not a world-wide empire and that that's hyperbole when Revelation says that, if a prophecy as you read it in the past came true literally and if you look at all the prophecies that deal for example with the First Coming of Christ and see how absolutely literal they were fulfilled, then the indication is that all the other prophecies that deal with the Second Coming and events associated with it will be fulfilled just as literally. So, there's no room for spiritualizing in my opinion. Very often in the Old Testament you've got things referring to both the First and Second Coming within the same basic passage. As the first part was literally fulfilled, so the second part will be literally fulfilled.

The proper policy is to read the Bible first. Let the Bible speak for itself and then as Jesus said in Matthew 16, to be accurate observers of the times.


Nathan's IMHO

Daniel 9:26 tells of the origins of the Antichrist, "The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary." In other words, the Antichrist will arise from the people group that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. That occurred in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.

Some like Sid Roth, Joel Richardson, and Walid Shoebat teach the current fad "Beast from the East" view, that the Antichrist will be a Muslim and the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah. The whole theory of a Muslim Antichrist is based on the incorrect historical account of what groups of people made up the Roman legions who destroyed the Temple in 70 AD, a full 530 years before Islam came into existence.

As Sean Osborne of Eschatology Today reveals from history, the Roman army that destroyed the Temple is 70 AD were those of the Legio X Fretensis, Legio V Macedonica and Legio XV Apollinaris, under the command of Roman General Titus Vespasianus. The soldiers of Legio X were Italians from the region of the Straits of Messina; Legio XV from the mixed Illyrian-Celtic people of the region of Pannonia along the Danube River, and Legio V were of the Thraco-Illyrian people in the region of the lower Danube formerly known as Moesia. In sum, the "people of the prince" were Europeans and Roman citizens.

The Jews of the First Century would have recognized the destroyers of the Temple to be orchestrated from Rome and so recognize "the people" then as Romans. It's possible that the Romans could have been lumped into the larger unbelieving Gentile world, but the text is pretty specific about the people group — Romans, not Syrians.

For the Antichrist to originate from the Middle East and Islam is religiously problematic. If Russia-Iran-Turkey is wiped out in the Ezekiel 38-39 attack God miraculously delivers Israel from, and Israel's surrounding nations seem to be non-players in most of the Tribulation, how could Islam dominate the Middle East and the Antichrist be Muslim? It would seem such defeats would dishearten any Muslim. Also, if the Antichrist is supposedly not into women and could be gay (Dan. 11:37), the Muslims would want him dead, right? Also, the Antichrist glorifies himself. Even the Mahdi couldn't do that, for worship alone is for Allah.

I'd have to conclude on these and other verses that Islam is just another system that will be wiped out before the Antichrist instills his system and makes a grab for the Middle East riches that Israel will also be claiming, hence a peace treaty and the taking over of all former Roman Empire lands.

Those who fight tooth and nail over origins, though, tend to hold to a Post-Tribulation Rapture view, and are deeply concerned that they have to be able to recognize who the Antichrist will be so as not to be deceived. I, on the other hand, believe the Church will not be around to worry about the Antichrist or even past a study interest care where he originates from due to the Rapture occurring before the Antichrist ever comes on the scene.

14 comments:

Barnabas said...

It doesn't seem to me that you have dealt properly with the actual texts which the pre-wrath or post-trib proponents use, which is troubling.

Silva and others have supplied actual quotes from Josephus and the Roman historian, Tacitus, which clearly show the presence of Middle Eastern troops' involvement in the war and the harassment of the Jews. It is clear from these writing that Arabs and Syrians (whom we would now style Assyrians) were present. Why do you ignore this?

Also, the argument of Silva and others does not depend on the existence of Islam at the time. The prophecy obviously speaks of the people in the ethnic sense. This is asking to insisting that the relevant countries rename themselves Magog, etc. before Ezekiel 28 can come to pass.

It was absolutely possible for non-Italians to be Roman citizens and all Bible readers know that Paul was a citizen inasmuch as the people of Tarsus had been given this right in 66 B.C. So, Richardson and others are correct to say that a person could be a Roman politically and yet not ethnically. One need only look to modern day America to see the profusion of ethnicities, all American, and yet not derived from Anglo-Saxon stock.

As far as Muslims not making agreements with Jews, there are Muslims who will make agreements with them, deceptively or not. Did not Yasser Arafat even do so? If Antichrist comes with deception and the miraculous power of the enemy, why might he not do the same?

Finally, this is not a "faddish" belief as you assert. The idea of an Assyrian or Syrian Antichrist, or an Antichrist arising from the Syrian division of Alexander's Empire is very ancient indeed, going back at least as far as Cyril in the 4th century A.D.

Expected Imminently said...

Nathan
'Fad' is indeed a good term to describe this 'newpaper exegisis'. In any event, it makes no odds what nationalities were fighting under the Roman eagle.

My usual example is that as we speak our beloved Nepalese Ghurkhas are fighting in Afghanistan under the Union Jack, under the authority of British Officers. If the local inhabitants have a complaint, it’s made to Britain, NOT Nepal.

Recently one young Ghurkha soldier has been in a spot of bother after giving his British commander evidence that the Taliban leader they were after really was dead. He produced the blokes head from a sack. Maybe his camera was out of film? Anyway, he has been reprimanded by the British Army, not the Nepalese Army.

Same situation with the Romans!

Anonymous said...

Barnabas, once again, this topic was beaten to death before. All Silva's arguments (and others) have been argued dry. Do a search on the topics going back a year or so.

rg.

Nathan Jones said...

The Eschatology Today link in the above article contains a tit-for-tat on Silva's arguments for an Eastern Antichrist.

Gideon said...

It is ludicrous to argue that the Ottoman Empire will be revived...

1. The Ottomans never ruled over Israel. The people had been taken into captivity by Rome.

2. All empires referenced in Daniel and Revelation ruled over Israel and the Jews. The Ottomans didn't.

3. Not only did the Romans destroy the Temple, they sacked the city, and changed its name. They tried to erase Jerusalem from history. Jerusalem was not a Jewish city again until 1948.

4. The fact that Islam beheads people is often brought up in this debate, but the AC starts beheading Christians following the 3.5 year mark when he proclaims himself god, which would not make this Islam.

5. If the AC is Muslim, and leads a Muslim Empire, then, why does he go to war with Egypt?

6. Rome didn't start outsourcing its military until a much later date than 70 AD. The troops were from Europe.

7. Revelation tells us that during the trib people will be guilty of sorcery, adultery, etc. We know that sexual deviancy will prosper along with all other sin during the trib. Well, Islam doesn't allow for the free practice of adultery, homosexuality, sorcery, etc. Humanism, and New Ageism does though.

8. Israel was taken into captivity and had their temples destroyed twice. Once by Babylon, and once by Rome. It will happen a third and final time. Does it make sense that this Empire (Ottoman) would be one that had nothing to do with this or does it make sense that it will be Rome...??

As I have stated before, I believe that the AC will come out of Europe, and initially lead a European Union. This system will expand to take over the entire world, and the headquarters will be out of a rebuilt Babylon. Babylon has twice lead the world under Nimrod, and later Nebuchadnezzar, and the AC will be the third attempt.

Jeremiah 51:26 states:

And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.

The Iraqi town of Al Hillah has man structures built out of the ruins from Babylon, so this has yet to be fulfilled.

But, this Babylon will not be Islamic in any sense.

This time Israel will face both Rome, and Babylon rolled into one. The Roman economic system coupled with the false Babylonian religion.

Gideon said...

Barnabas said: "As far as Muslims not making agreements with Jews, there are Muslims who will make agreements with them, deceptively or not."

Okay, sounds like you are talking about Taqiya. Fine. The problem here isn't Muslims making a deal, the problem is Israel giving up its military (IDF) totally, and handing over the defense of their country to some Muslim emperor. Does this make sense to you....??

Now, this does make sense. Have you ever heard of the Union of the Mediterranean? How about the EU Neighborhood Initiative? Both of these are being headed up as a way to pull the ME into a greater expanded EU, and this includes Israel. Now, Sarkozy set up a EU military wing a few years ago. Currently it is NATO, but in the very near future it will be the EU military. All EU nations will have to give up their national armies in favor of the EU military. Any nation that joins will have to do the same thing. Do you know what you have to do to join the EU or this future union? You have to sign a treaty. The future treaty will, again, require the joining nation to give up their national military in favor of the EU/future union's military.

Do you see how this is so clear, much more than a muslim AC?

I can also give you this info: The EU's parliament building was modeled after a partially finished Tower of Babel. See for yourself:

http://workforall.net/assets/EU-BABEL-TOWER.jpg

Have you ever seen the EU Tower of Babel poster distributed by the EU itself, that states "EUROPE: MANY TONGUES, ONE VOICE?" See for yourself:

http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/euposter.jpg

Also, you can look up pictures of Europa outside government buildings. Europa is a bull, which is Baal, ridden by a woman (Zeus' daughter). Jesus' letter to Pergamus was clear that Zeus was an image of Satan.

Expected Imminently said...

Yep!
And when Britain joined a postage stamp was issued with the woman riding the beast. No one listened to me THEN!

Barnabas said...

I find it curious that some may not want me to comment since it's all been said before. However, I am commenting about the actual subject matter of this post, which has only been up on this site for 15 hours. So why would someone object to my commenting?

As far as the Ottomans coming back, certainly you know that there are people who want this, even by name. Of course the Ottomans ruled "Palestine" and the Jews there. Do you believe that there ever came a time when the Jews were completely expelled from the land so that the land was what would later be called "Judenrein?" This is patently false and Jews and Christians lived under the Ottomans in the Holy Land in a degraded condition.

Read: http://goo.gl/uXUc

I may at some point respond in greater depth on my own blog. For the moment, I would point out there is debauchery in the Muslim world just as there is in the Christian world. Also, why would it be thought strange that a Muslim empire would attack a Muslim nation? We need only go back to the 1980's to see the horrid spectacle of the Iran-Iraq war.

son of thunder said...

Gideon, as always, good stuff.

Gideon said...

Thanks Son of Thunder!

Anonymous said...

Just read though your responses, Gideon. Excellent.

Not only will Israel never trust a Muslim AC but a Muslim AC would never allow a Temple.

rg

Dennis said...

a muslim ac wouldn't allow it now, but though they are forbidden to lie unless it for islam it fine. they wouldn't trust a muslim now, but if he is upheld by the deciever, than that wont matter, they will be decieved. I personaly at times find the identity of the ac interesting, but not to into it. I will never know he will be, he wont be revealed until the church is taken out of the way anyways. I do believe he will be a revived roman though I don't think bible is clear to exactly where. Though many of us are us citizens, deeper detail would be some of us are california born us citizens and so forth into the cities, counties, and towns. as far as that aspect of the ac. It don't really matter to me. He will come, I think he is hear now, yet not revealed.

Expected Imminently said...

AF believes the a/c will be born of a woman, but fathered by Satan, mimicking Christ's birth; so won't be Jewish but a European gentile born within the Roman Empire.

(A Nephilim/giant of sorts?)

Anonymous said...

Hey Barnabus,

I think these folks have got you on your Islamic Anti-christ!

ParsonRob @ www.libertybiblefellowship.com