Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Muslim Antichrist Theory: Joel Richardson

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Joel Richardson in his book Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah argues that the Mahdi will be the Antichrist of the Bible and that the Muslim Jesus will be be the False Prophet of the Bible who serves the Antichrist and his purposes. Both will be destroyed when the true Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation.17 The true Jesus will be viewed by Muslims as the Dajjal, or the Islamic Antichrist.


Joel Richardson

As proof of his thesis, he points repeatedly to the "amazing similarities" and "amazing parallels" between the biblical Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi.18 He points out that both are pictured as an unparalleled political, military and religious leader who will come on a white horse and who will team up with a false prophet to conquer the world, and institute a one world religion.

The Bible says the Antichrist will change the laws and the times. Richardson asserts that the Mahdi would do just that, instituting Sharia law and imposing the Islamic calendar.19 Likewise, the Bible says the Antichrist will behead those who resist him, and Richardson spends an entire chapter emphasizing that execution by beheading is one of the cardinal characteristics of Islam.20

Richardson even points out that there is a Hadith passage that states the Mahdi will make a covenant with the Romans through a Jewish intermediary and that the covenant will be for a period of seven years, just like the seven year covenant the Bible says the Antichrist will make with the Jewish people.21


The Similarities Between Islamic and Biblical Prophecies

I personally find nothing startling or surprising about these similarities. As I have already pointed out, Mohammed got most of his ideas concerning the end times from discussions with Christians and Jews. And these ideas were later embellished by his followers who were even better acquainted with biblical prophecies concerning the end times. Furthermore, the one who inspired Mohammed and his followers, namely Satan, was an expert on Bible prophecy!

Nor am I impressed with the similarities he points out. It is only natural that the Mahdi, like the Antichrist, should be viewed as a great leader who will conquer the world and institute a one world religion. The assertion that the Mahdi will return on a white horse is, of course, borrowed directly from Scripture, as is the idea of the False Prophet.

As for the laws and the calendar, whoever the Antichrist may be, it is certain he will change the laws by instituting a totalitarian system devoid of individual rights, and he will most certainly change the calendar because the calendar followed by most of the world dates from the birth of Jesus.

The point about beheading is flimsy evidence at best. Beheading is not a unique characteristic of Islam. It was one of the stellar characteristics of the French Revolution, and is just the type of horror the Antichrist would institute, regardless of his nationality or religion.

And as for the seven year covenant, the Mahdi makes it with the Romans (which Richardson says should be interpreted as Christians). It is not a covenant with the Jewish people, as the Bible prophesies.


Richardson's End Time Scenario

According to Richardson's end time scenario, the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus (the False Prophet) will unite the whole Islamic world, reviving the Ottoman Empire.22 They will conquer Israel and establish the headquarters of the Caliphate in Jerusalem. Their rule will come to an end with the Battle of Gog and Magog that is portrayed in Ezekiel 38 and 39, which will occur at the end of the Tribulation, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. And, again, when Jesus returns, the Islamic world will view the true Jesus as the Dajjal, or the Islamic Antichrist.

One glaring problem with this scenario is that Islamic eschatology teaches that the Dajjal, the Antichrist, will come first, and his appearance will signal that the Mahdi is about to arise.23 Richardson's scenario puts the appearance of the Islamic Dajjal at the end of the Tribulation instead of at the beginning. And so, I ask, "If some person arrives on the scene claiming to be the Mahdi before the appearance of the Dajjal, why would he be accepted by Muslims?"


Contradictory Concepts of the Mahdi

Nor is it likely that any person claiming to be the Mahdi would be immediately accepted by the whole Islamic world. The reason is that the concept of the Mahdi is one of the key elements in Islamic eschatology that separates the Shi'tes from the Sunnis.24

The Sunni branch of Islam believes that Mohammed's successor, Abu Bakr, selected in 632, rightfully took his place as the leader of the Muslim world. The Shi'ites, on the other hand, believe that Mohammed's successor should have been a blood relative and not just a person selected on the basis of Islamic piety or politics. Abu Bakr was Mohammed's father-in-law. The Shi'ites favored Ali ibn Abi, the prophet's cousin and son-in-law. Ali ultimately became the fourth successor of Mohammed, reigning from 656 to 661.

After the death of Ali, his heirs were overcome by a military leader named Mu'awiya Umayyad, who proceeded to establish the Umayyad Dynasty centered in Damascus. Shi'ites refused to recognized his leadership since he was not a blood relative of Mohammed. They looked, instead, to the surviving heirs of Ali for their leadership.

The blood line of Mohammed through Ali became extinct in 873 A.D. when the last Shi'ite Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who had no brothers, disappeared within days of inheriting the title at the age of four. The Shi'ites refused to accept that he had died or been killed, preferring to believe that he was merely "hidden" and would one day reappear. This event is referred to in Shi'ite theology as "The Great Occultation" (the hiding).25 This boy was the Shi'ite's Twelfth Imam, and he is the one they expect to return as the Islamic Mahdi. The Sunnis strongly reject this concept, particularly since many Shi'ites teach that the Twelfth Imam will declare that the Shi'ite version of Islam is the orthodox version.


12th Imam

Islamic historian Timothy Furnish has summed up the difference between the two groups over the Mahdi by observing: "For Shi'ites he has already been here, and will return from hiding; for Sunnis he has yet to emerge into history: a comeback versus a coming out, if you will."26

The Madhi being heralded by Ahmadinejad is the Twelth Imam. If he were to suddenly appear, he would be rejected by Sunnis, and the Sunnis constitute 90% of all the Muslims in the world.


God's Covenant with Ishmael

Another problem with Muslim unity is that the whole idea is contradictory to one of the promises God made in His covenant with Ishmael (Genesis 16:10-12). In that covenant, in which God promised that the descendants of Ishmael would be greatly multiplied and would be given all the land east of Israel, God also stated that the Arab peoples would be like wild donkeys for they would always be in conflict with each other.

As Jacob Prasch has pointed out in his writings on this subject, this aspect of the covenant with Ishmael has been manifested throughout history to this day through the internecine wars between the Arabs.27 They fought each other for centuries in pre-Islamic Arabia. Mohammed believed that he could unite them through the advocacy of a monotheistic religion, but he failed. Sunis and Shi'ites have hated and warred with each other since the 8th Century. Consider the modern day war between Iran and Iraq, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, with the intent of conquering all the Middle East.

Prasch sums up the problem of Arab unity by declaring, "The curse of Genesis prevents Islamic unity from developing a united empire over-running the West."28 He further observes: "...the greatest Islamic Empire was strategically dominated by Ottoman Turks who subjugated the Arab Moslems as serfs and slaves..."29


The Extent of the Antichrist's Kingdom

One of the most peculiar aspects of Richardson's end time scenario is his insistence that the Mahdi's revived Ottoman Empire will be a regional one and not a worldwide one as is claimed in both Islamic and biblical prophecy.

In order to sustain this totally revisionist interpretation of end time prophecy, Richardson goes to great pains to deny the clear meaning of Revelation 13:7 which reads as follows: "And it was given to him [the Antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him."

Let me ask you a question: What more would God have to say to convince us that the Antichrist will have a worldwide kingdom?

Yet, Richardson tries to dismiss this verse as nothing but hyperbole. He does so by quoting Daniel 5:18-19 where it says that Nebuchadnezzar, was feared by "all peoples and nations and men of every language." Richardson then asks, "Did every single nation in the earth fear Nebuchadnezzar?" 30 My answer would be, "Yes, all nations that were aware of him." That's all the statement means in its context.

Richardson then quotes 1 Kings 4:34 which says that men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, "sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom." He then asks derisively, "Was Solomon's wisdom so impressive that not a single king in all the earth failed to hear of it?"31 That's not what the verse says. Read it again. It says the kings who had heard of his wisdom sent representatives — not all kings.

Context determines meaning, and the context of Revelation 13:7 clearly means that the Antichrist kingdom will be worldwide, not just a regional coalition of Muslim nations. His attempt to limit the kingdom of the Antichrist to a regional area is reminiscent of the attempt of Genesis revisionists to limit the worldwide flood of Noah to the Middle East.

Furthermore, the worldwide nature of the Antichrist's kingdom is affirmed in Daniel 7:23 where the prophet states that the Antichrist will "devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it." Richardson ignores this verse.


The Revived Ottoman Empire

Richardson's claim that the final Gentile empire of the Antichrist will be the revived Ottoman Empire forces him to deal with Nebuchadnezzar's vision of Gentile kingdoms, recorded in Daniel 2:31-45. The traditional interpretation of that vision is that its succession of empires ends with the Roman and that it is the Roman Empire that will be revived in the end times and provide the platform from which the Antichrist will arise.

To accommodate his thesis, Richardson argues that the Roman Empire continued to exist in the form of the Byzantine Empire until 1453 when it fell to the Ottoman Empire. It is therefore the Ottoman Empire, which ceased to exist in 1923, that will be resurrected in the end times, and not the Roman Empire, and thus the Antichrist will arise out of the revived Ottoman Empire.

The first problem with this interpretation is that it denies the historical fact that the Roman Empire ceased to exist in 476 with the collapse of Rome. What was left of the empire in the East, which is referred to by modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was Roman in name only, reminiscent of The Holy Roman Empire that existed in the Germanic areas of Europe from 800 to 1806, a political entity that Voltaire characterized as "neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."32

Another problem is that Nebuchadnezzar's dream does not provide for the insertion of the Ottoman Empire. The head of gold stood for the Babylonian Empire; the chest of silver for the Medo-Persian Empire; the thighs of bronze for the Greek Empire; and the legs of iron for the Roman Empire. The feet of iron mixed with clay represent the final Gentile empire out of which the Antichrist will arise. The traditional interpretation has been that the feet stand for a revival of the Roman Empire.

But if the Ottoman Empire is to be inserted into the picture following the Roman, where is the symbol of it? Do the feet represent both the Ottoman Empire and its end time revival? There just are not enough body parts to provide symbols for both the Ottoman Empire and its revival.

The same problem occurs when you consider Revelation 17:10-11. In this passage the Apostle John is told that there are seven kings or empires to be considered in world history and that "five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, it must remain for a little while. And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction."

At that point in history, the five fallen would have been Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The one existing would have been the Roman. The one to come would be the revival of the Roman, out of which the eighth and final empire, the worldwide kingdom of the Antichrist would arise.

If you insert the Ottoman Empire into this list, where does it fit? If it is the seventh, then its revival would be the eighth, and there is no place left for the final worldwide empire of the Antichrist. I suspect this is the reason that Richardson insists that the revival of the Ottoman Empire will be the final empire out of which the Antichrist will arise, and that it will not develop into a worldwide empire, as both Islamic and biblical prophesies specify. There just are not enough empires mentioned in Revelation 17 to include the Ottoman Empire, its resurrection, and its evolution into the final worldwide empire of the Antichrist.

Another problem with Richardson's Ottoman Empire thesis is that he completely ignores the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 that says the Antichrist will arise out of the people who will destroy the Jewish Temple. It was the Romans who destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. and it is from the Romans that the Antichrist must come. To me, it is just incredible that Richardson would totally ignore this prophecy.


The War of Gog and Magog

The final problem with Richardson's thesis that I would like to mention concerns his interpretation of the War of Gog and Magog that is pictured in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Richardson denies that the war described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 will be led by Russia or that Russia will even have a part in it. Of course, he has to take this position since he argues that the invading force will be the revived Ottoman Empire, which Russia was never a part of.

He says that the only reason people have ever included Russia as part of the invading armies is because Ezekiel says the invasion will be led by the prince of Rosh, and that the word, Rosh, sounds like Russia.33 This assertion is, or course, patently false. Many authors, including Mark Hitchcock and Ron Rhodes have gone to great pains to present historical evidence that identifies Russia with Rosh.34

The passage in question, Ezekiel 38:2, says the invasion will be led by "Gog of the land of Magog, the price of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal..." It is important to note that both Josephus in the First Century and Jerome in the Fifth Century identified Magog with Scythian tribes in Russia.35

Richardson favors Turkey as the leader of the coalition.36 Yet, Ezekiel 38 clearly states that the invasion will be led by the Prince of Rosh coming from "the remote parts of the north" or "the uttermost parts of the north" (Ezekiel 38:15). There is no way that Turkey could be considered a nation located in "the remote parts of the north." Again, this is a verse that Richardson completely ignores.

Richardson never reveals when he believes the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel will occur, but it must be at the end of the Tribulation since the invading army will be the army of the Mahdi (the Antichrist) and will be destroyed by God. Thus, he must equate the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 with the Battle of Armageddon. But these are not the same battles.

The battle of Gog and Magog involves Russia and certain specified allies who come against Israel either at the beginning of the Tribulation or, most likely, before it begins. One of the tip-offs as to the timing of this invasion is the statement that following the defeat of the invading armies, the Jews will spend seven years burning the leftover weapons (Ezekiel 39:9).

Many have equated this seven years with the Tribulation, thus putting the invasion at the start of that period of time. But we know that in the middle of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to turn on the Jews and try to annihilate them, causing them to flee the nation (Revelation 12:13-17). This will make it impossible for them to continue the burning of weapons during the last half of that terrible period. So, most likely, the battle will occur before the Tribulation begins.

In contrast, the Battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of the Tribulation. And there really is no battle at all. The armies of the Antichrist are destroyed in an instant when Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives and speaks a supernatural word, causing their flesh to drop from their bodies (Zechariah 14:1-13). In the Gog and Magog battle, the invading armies will be destroyed on the "mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:4), not in the Valley of Armageddon, and they will be destroyed by pestilence, hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22).

Another difference can be found in the motivation of the wars. The War of Gog and Magog results from God "putting hooks in the jaws" of the invading nations and dragging them down against Israel to "capture spoil and to seize plunder" (Ezekiel 38:4 & 12). In contrast, the armies of the world that will be assembled at Armageddon will be gathered by demon spirits (Revelation 16:13-16).

Another serious problem with placing the Gog and Magog war at the end of the Tribulation is that Ezekiel 38 says the invasion will occur at a time when Israel is living in peace with unwalled cities (Ezekiel 38:11). That will not be the case at the end of the Tribulation. The land of Israel will be in absolute chaos at that time.


A Final Argument

Richardson wraps up his arguments with the observation that the Antichrist must be a Muslim because Islam is the most perfect incarnation of the antichrist spirit.37 He makes this assertion because Islam denies the Trinity, rejects Jesus as the Son of God, and repudiates the crucifixion of Jesus, arguing that someone else was killed in His place.

I do not agree with this observation. To me, the most perfect incarnation of the antichrist spirit is, and always has been, Humanism in all its various forms. Islam points people toward a god, even though he is a false god. Humanism encourages people to worship Man. God is denied. Man is exalted. And I believe the rejection of God, together with the exaltation of self, is the ultimate antichrist spirit.


Anticipating Objections

Richardson concludes his book by dealing with what he calls "potential problems with his thesis." He mentions only two.

The first is the fact that the Bible states that in the middle of the Tribulation, when the Antichrist goes to Jerusalem and desecrates the Temple, he will declare himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Richardson says this is possibly the strongest argument that can be made against his thesis since it is inconceivable that any Muslim would ever claim to be God. Nonetheless, he argues that the Muslim Antichrist will become so self-absorbed that he will do so, and he claims that when it happens, the Muslims will be too embarrassed to confess that they have been deceived!38

I'm sorry, but I find this very hard to believe. To me, that is like saying that the Muslims would be willing to agree that night is day and day is night. There is a limit to deception. A person would have to cease being a Muslim in order to believe that any man could be God.

I believe the bizarre behavior of the Antichrist described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, where it states that he will proclaim himself to be God, rules out any possibility that the Antichrist might prove to be a Muslim.

An equally important fact that I think rules out the possibility of a Muslim Antichrist is that prophecy states the Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel that will guarantee the nation's security (Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:14-22). I think it is preposterous to believe that Israel would ever trust its security to a Muslim leader or that a Muslim leader would be interested in guaranteeing the safety of Israel.

The second problem Richardson anticipates relates to his scrambling of the Islamic order of end time events by placing the appearance of the Islamic Dajjal at the end of the Tribulation instead of at the beginning. Incredibly, he says that the Muslims will simply overlook this problem due to the inconsistency of Hadith traditions. As he puts it, once the Mahdi has conquered Israel and taken Jerusalem, the Muslims will accept him regardless of the fact that the Dajjal was supposed to come first.39

But again, this overlooks the fact that according to biblical prophecy, the first thing the Antichrist will do is make a peace treaty with Israel, not defeat Israel. And I would contend that any Muslim leader who would make peace with Israel would be rejected by the Muslim world, just as was the case with Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, when he signed a peace treaty with Israel. He was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists almost immediately.

There are other serious problems with Richardson's scenario that he does not acknowledge. How, for example, does he explain the miraculous resurrection of the Roman Empire in the form of the European Union? It's a development that prophecy experts have been telling us to watch for, and those alerts go back several hundred years. Is the revival of the Roman Empire just an accident of history? I think not. I believe that, just as the Bible prophesies, it is going to serve as the platform for the ascension of the Antichrist.

Another problem Richardson must deal with is the worldwide destruction that Revelation describes in chapters 6-9. Those chapters reveal that one-half of the world's population is going to die during the first half of the Tribulation. Is this going to happen as a result of a regional conflict? Or, is all this just more "biblical hyperbole"?


Two Questions

When I finished reading Richardson's book, I found myself wanting to ask him two questions. The first was what is he going to do with Psalm 83?40 This psalm portrays an attack on Israel by a Muslim coalition consisting of Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Saudi Arabia and Assyria (Syria). The Bible clearly teaches that God will protect Israel against all such attacks in the end times (Zechariah 12:6).

The outcome of this war most likely is detailed in Zephaniah 2:4-5. These verses indicate that the attacking nations will be devastated by Israel. It is during this war that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will probably be destroyed completely, never to be rebuilt again (Isaiah 17:1-14 and Jeremiah 49:23-27). That is most likely why Syria is not mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as one of the Russian allies.

The outcome of the Psalm 83 war is what will most likely produce peace for Israel, the peace that it is prophesied to be enjoying when Russia and its allies decide to launch the Ezekiel 38 invasion.

The war of Psalm 83 followed by the war of Ezekiel 38 will result in the annihilation of nearly all the armies of the Muslim nations of the Middle East, and these wars are most likely going to occur before the Tribulation begins! Thus, if the Antichrist is a Muslim who is going to rule a Muslim empire in the Middle East during the Tribulation, then he is going to rule over an empire that has been reduced to ashes!

The second question Richardson left hanging relates to the timing of the Rapture. He never mentions the event, leaving the clear impression that he identifies it with the Second Coming of Jesus.


In the next installment of this evaluation of the Muslim Antichrist Theory, I'll present Walid Shoebat's thesis as explained in his book and make some objections.


Notes

(This paper was presented at the annual Pre-Trib Conference held in Dallas, Texas in December 2010.)

17) Richardson, Antichrist, pages 50-51 and 78-79.

18) Ibid., pages 80, 94, and 187.

19) Ibid., pages 67-68.

20) Ibid., pages 136-154.

21) Ibid., pages 66-67.

22) Ibid., pages 110-114.

23) Shahid, Pages 45-72. See also, Wikipedia, "Masih ad-Dajjal," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masih_ad-Dajjal.

24) HNN Staff (History News Network), "What Is the Difference Between Sunni and Shiite Muslims – and Why Does It Matter?" http://hnn.us/articles/934.html.

25) Wikipedia, "The Occultation," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Occultation.

26) HNN Staff, "What is the Difference..."

27) Jacob Prasch, "The Islamic Antichrist: the Unresolved Problems with Joel Richardson's Theory," September 11, 2009, www.moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/news/uk/the-islamic-antichrist, page 3.

28) Prasch, "The Islamic Antichrist...", page 3.

29) Ibid., page 3.

30) Richardson, Antichrist, page 215.

31) Ibid., page 216.

32) Wikiquote, "Voltaire," http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Voltaire.

33) Richardson, Antichrist, pages 103-104.

34) Ron Rhodes, Northern Storm Rising (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2008), pages 104-109. See also: Mark Hitchcock, The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2002), pages 31-32.

35) Ron Rhodes, Northern Storm Rising, pages 102-104.

36) Richardson, Antichrist, page 109.

37) Ibid., pages 121-128.

38) Ibid., pages 197-202.

39) Ibid., pages 203-204.

40) Bill Salus has written an excellent book on the prophetic implications of Psalm 83. It is titled, Isralestine, (Lecompton, KS: HighWay Publishers, 2008), 350 pages.

32 comments:

Barnabas said...

Again, this seems to me to be a sloppy attempt at a refutation.

To say that Richardson ignores the Daniel 9:26 prophecy on the "people of the prince" is either completely dishonest or demonstrates a total failure of research.

I find it hard to believe you do not know that Richardson has written extensively on the issue. For example:

http://www.bibleprophecyinthenews.com/Daniel_9.pdf

You are apparently unwilling to take seriously the argument that those people were actually local troops raised by Rome.

This is no recent invention but is recorded by Josephus, who takes pains to point out the cruelty of the Syrians and so forth.

If not a fully developed argument in his book you should certainly have been aware of it as people have been debating it for several years now.

Gideon said...

Barnabas,

Please educate yourself on Roman History. The Roman Legions at this point in history, 70 AD were European only troops. Later in its history Rome did start filling its ranks with foreign soldiers, but Roman Legions were only European troops at the time of the Temple's destruction. Joel Richardson is feeding you a inaccurate history.

Expected Imminently said...

Totally Brilliant!

Dr. Reagan is firing on all cylinders. :D

Gideon - too right!

Anonymous said...

And so it begins again.

I agree with Barnabas. Joel Richardson doesn't ignore Dan 9:26. But he doesn't do it justice.

rg

Gideon said...

So Anon,

It is perfectly fine with you that Joel Richardson calls the scripture that states Nebuchadnezzar ruled over the earth hyperbole? A true Bible scholar would never refer to scripture as hyperbole.... I've seen Joel write this, didn't read it in his book. He wrote it in a thread when his website's comments were enabled several years ago.

Anonymous said...

I have owned 4 different Aramaic-to-English translations (which some Eastern churches insist, their originals came first - in Aramaic - and not the Greek). If what I read from II Thes. 2: 3-4 is true, then it would be possible, if the Aramaic originals are correct (if they came first):

"4. He who will become the opposition and the pretender against everyone who is called by God and by the Power, whereas he will even sit in the temple of God as God and show himself like he were God."

(from v-a.com, which is a 5th version, I do not own this one, but have 2 different Lamsas, & 2 Bauscher, & one Hebrew complete Bible.)

Here, he does not declare himself to be God, but shows himself in the Temple like he is.

-Taylor

Anonymous said...

Consider for a moment the Seven Seals and how they relate. The First Seal, the rider of the White Horse is given a crown and a bow to conquer. Consider this rider not as the Anti Christ since how would the Anti Christ come on the scene conquering and then being the one to propose a peace treaty and security for Israel. Consider the rider as a Muslim set upon the stage of setting the conditions for the Red Horseman of war and societal collapse......In that light the Seven Seals are not a part of Tribulation but the birth pangs that Jesus speaks of in Matthew and the scripture in Daniel and elsewhere of the coming war in the Middle East. I beleive we will see the first six seals prior to Rapture. In reading the 6th Chapter of Revelation they are not given in light of judgements like the Trumpets and Bowls are. They are in the setting of situations, events, or conditions prior to Tribulation....just a thought.

DrNofog said...

Anon said... "I beleive we will see the first six seals prior to Rapture."

No, Revelation 4:1 says "Come up here"!

That is the rapture of the Church and the Church is not mentioned again thru-out the tribulation that follows.

Anonymous said...

“In reading the 6th Chapter of Revelation they are not given in light of judgements like the Trumpets and Bowls are.”

Gee, I dunno.

"For this is what the Lord GOD says: How much worse will it be when I send My four devastating judgments against Jerusalem-- sword, famine, dangerous animals, and plague-- in order to wipe out both man and animal from it! Eze 14:21

Sound familiar?

And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth. Rev 6:8

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg

Have you seen the ironic video of the 'mysterious' green 'horse and rider' galloping through the street in Egypt during the riots?

Sue
x

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sue, I hadn't been back to this thread till now. Yes, I've seen the video. Methinks it's been tampered with. If the pale horse has really been riding about we'd all be in deep (you know what).

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg

That’s right, but certain 'views' have jumped onto the bandwagon for their evidence.

I have read that it is a distorted reflection from the fire, it 'moves' because the camera is panning. The 'rider' reminded me of a dead El Cyd strapped to a horse with a broom handle up his back.

My theory is a link with how ‘colour blindness’ occurs, manufactured through the prism of the lens? Most mix red and green and they are also opposite one another as ‘complementary’ colours on the ‘Colour Wheel’ with yellow linking them.

The fire was red, a hot colour with yellow which is warm and the reflection, it’s opposite as a yellow/green, a warm to cold colour – maybe?

Non-the-less, what with that and the Jerusalem UFO (demonic?) both could be classed as a 'lying sign and wonder' simply because many are being deceived by it imo.

Maranatha!
Sue

Anonymous said...

I suspect that certain groups, who argue that the trib has already started, would probably get excited about that video.

Some of the ENP bunch were so convinced about Solana and the ENP that they were looking at ways to reinterpret Daniel to keep the theory alive.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

Rg

ENP! Sorry, can’t think what that is?

I hazard a guess it has something to do with the denial the 70th Week is not seven years?

The people I know who are convinced it is/was Solana are Posties. Midtribs are actually waiting for a/c to be revealed as they are sure ‘the’ covenant has been signed and even the Preterist’s are like hounds baying at the moon; (at least I think that’s what they are?)

I wonder if I will regret posting this?

Maranatha!
Sue

Anonymous said...

ENP is the European Neighborhood Policy. The idea was first popularized by the late Herb Peters at the Fulfilled Prophecy website. Israel and a bunch of other nations signed the ENP treaty back in 2007.

They pushed it as the signing of the "covenant with many" in Daniel. When mid 2010 came and went without the Abomination of Desolation occurring, some of them began looking at other ways to understand Scripture while still hanging onto the ENP.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg

That makes sense of some of what I have been hearing. That's the second time I have heard mention of 'Herb Peter's', how did his idea come to be agreed by Israel and other nations? Sounds a powerful sort of bloke to have that amount of clout - AND a believer?

Thanks rg
Sue
x

Anonymous said...

My communication skills are sadly lacking, Sue. Herb didn't organize the ENP, he was the one who first suggested it might be the covenant.

Google "Recommendation 666 and ENP".

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg

No! My mistake sorry. I re-read again and see what you meant.

I had a brief look for HP; I think he was Mid-trib, so that explains why he even thought it could be the covenant.

We MAY see it and guess who a/c is IF we are left till the last second. So if after a couple of months we are still here - its not it.

Anyway, we should be looking for JESUS not the a/c; even this is a test of our faith in God's revealed Word. Satan is taunting us to disbelieve what Jesus has clearly told us - I reckon this will show up at the 'rewards' imo

Sue
x

Expected Imminently said...

Thanks rg

I found it! I haven't read it yet,
my eyes are too tired.

http://www.fulfilledprophecy.com/page/overview/

In case someone else is interested?

Ben Keshet said...

Josephus Wars, book 2, section 266:
"There was also another disturbance at Cesarea, - those Jews who were mixed with the Syrians that lived there rising a tumult against them... Now these Jews exceeded the others in riches and strength of body; but the Grecian part had the advantage of assistance from the soldiery; for the greatest part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it." This was before the siege of Jerusalem.

Moreover, only four Legions (24,000 troops maximum) made the final assault on Jerusalem, but they were accompanied by auxiliary forces from Syria and Arabia that raised the strength to 60,000 troops. Wars Book 3, section 64.

Daniel 9:26 uses the Hebrew "am" (people) that will destroy the city, and that might mean any of the peoples that were in the army that destroyed Jerusalem, Roman, Syrian, Arab, etc. In other words, you cannot prove that the wicked prince to come MUST be Roman, he could be Syrian or even Arab.

See also Josephus Wars, book 3 section 115, and Wars book 5 section 47.

Mitchell said...

Dr. John MacArthur now teaches that the Antichrist is Islamic. More teachers are moving toward this view now:

Dr. John MacArthur Now Teaches the ‘Islamic End-Time Paradigm’, not the ‘Revived Roman Empire’

Naushad said...

The Holy Quran which is the final testament mentions that Hadrat Isa (as) or Jesus Christ as the Rasul, Messiah, Kalimatullah “The Word of Allah” and Ruhullah “The Spirit of Allah.” He was raised alive and will return back in End Times to guide all mankind onto the right path with the power of divine love and the final truth as per the Holy Quran ~ final testament. He will thus establish God’s kingdom throughout the world and restore true faith.

When Hadrat Isa (as) returns, he will as a Rasul n Messiah come with the authority from Allah the Most High to introduce his own shariah or religious laws based on the Holy Quran. This will be an advanced and upgraded version of Islam, a universal religion followed worldwide. Those people including Muslims who do not believe in Hadrat Isa (as) / Jesus Christ or his shariah / religious laws on his return, will become disbelievers / kaffirs.

Nathan Jones said...

Naushad, that would only be true if the Quran was true, but for these reasons it isn't a revelation from God and Mohammed was not His prophet. Sorry, Man, you've been duped by a false religious teacher.

Check out the Bible if you want to know what happens when Jesus returns and also check out these articles.

Wading Across said...

It is upsetting to see someone who used to be a powerhouse in the eschatological community resting on laurels and now resorting to attacking fellow christians because you not only do not accept their interpretive premise but cannot bring yourself to the possibility that you might be wrong.

Shame on Mr. Reagan.

Mr. Reagan has hung his career on the Roman/European and pretrib paradigms and refuses to budge, even at to the point of tearing down doctrinally strong fellow Christians such as Joel Richardson.

We believe that Christ will return. We believe that there will be an Antichrist and a great period of turmoil before Christ returns and as he returns. We are to live as if Christ were returning today. These things we share and know to be true. Everything else is open to interpretation and speculation.

What if you are wrong Mr. Reagan? Are you so prideful that you cannot concede the possibility that a mere layman like Mr. Richardson might be correct, or at least on a firmer scriptural, historical and eschatological footing than you? What a blow to your ego. How sad.

And what of other strong, sound Christians like Dr. MacArthur who're coming to see the idea of an Islamic Antichrist as probable? Perhaps they're in the same camp as Joel, worthy of scorn by the likes of you, Dr. Ice and other hardcore Roman pretribbers.

Hope you're not cutting off your nose to spite your face.

All I can ask is, "What if you're wrong?"

Anonymous said...

I just seen the video with Joel Richardson. It was a great segment and thank you for that.

However I would like for all of you to become familar with and study the Imam Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a Turkish Islamic Preacher worth over 25 billion dollars. He owns and monopolizes the Turkish media by owning news papers, radio staion, Television, publishing houses, and is cornering the market on education through schools. He owns schools in over 120 countries including the United States. Yes the USA has over 125 Charter Schools supported by we the tax payer. The schools are racketeering the money brought in to support phoney Turkish owned and Gulen Devotees NGO, consulting firms, interfaith dialog, travel agencies etc. LAyer upon layers of contractors all Gulen influenced.

Please please please educate others on this person. Homeland Security and the FBI both fought to get GUlen out of this country. The CIA vouched for him to stay. He live in Pennsylvania. The reason he fled Turkey was to avoid being jailed for telling his followers to overthrow the government by moving within the viegns of the artery of the system. The GUlenist control 70% of the Turkish police. They are forcing non followers out schools for teaching jobs. He controls the Judiciary and lawyers. In fact Gulen is responsible for the arrest of 66 journalists that are now rotting in prison with charges pending. This also includes over 1000 lawsuits I will provide a few links below to help you research. Anyone who stands in there way of conquest they will try to destry this also includes here in the USA. He has a large lobbying group here called the Rumi Forum to influance our laws. Also part of there indoctrination in USA schools they have the Turkish Olympiads all Gulen financed. What is spooking is Austin Tx they are now building the Harmony School of Political Science middle and high school children to groom American sympathetic to the Glen Movement.

Gulens Veins through the Artery Speech.

http://www.actforamerica.org/index.php/learn/email-archives/1069-fethulla-gulen-infiltrating-us-through-our-charter-schools/

Gulens Shout and Roar speech

http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com/shout-and-roar.html

Gulen commands his followers to commit law fare and courts to Sue American Citizens ( Gulen Owns the Zaman Paper )

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-243407-gulen-smear-campaign-targets-those-promoting-turkish-culture.html

CNN VIDEO Gulenists Arrest journalists

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OThgPJi20ss

Joshua Hendrick ex Supporter of the Gulen Movement speaks out tells the truth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkhynfj9mlc Part one of three

CBN anylaizes the GUlen Movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZin7YaSo08


This should be enough to you started please become informed and warn others as many as possible. Make our politicians know that if they sell us out we vote them out. Make it clear. If it is at possible find a Turkish translator to translate his videos showing his speeches against Isreal and the Untied States.

Keith Patton said...

Dr. Reagan, I was just wondering when the Revived Roman Empire is going to start chopping off the heads of Christians, like the Bible says he will? Europeans don't even believe in capital punishment, let alone something so terrible. Europe is the most pansy, wussy continent on the face of the Earth; yet you say they're going to turn into a terrible beast and force the whole world to atheism. Somehow 1.5 billion Muslims, millions of whom are ready to be martyrs for Allah, are going to give up their Islam to become atheists because a European dictator says so?

You also said the anti-Christ system won't be Islam, but humanism. You said the anti-Christ system will worship man and deny the existence of God. Yet you also say that the anti-Christ will claim to be God? How will he promote an atheist system, turn the whole world to atheism, and then say that he's God? And why would he want to rule from Jerusalem?-- that is, what special place does Jerusalem have to atheists, let alone an Italian atheist dictator?

Also, the anti-Christ is basically Satan, is he not? Was Satan thrown out of heaven for denying the existence of God, or wanting to elevate himself above God (Isaiah 14)? Does the anti-Christ not believe in God, or does he worship a God of war and fortresses (Daniel 11)?

Mitchell said...

To any Muslim visitors who claim to believe in "Jesus": The Islamic version of ‘Jesus’ that is taught by the Qur’an is not the same Jesus that is taught by the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible says in Matthew 5:44-45b, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven …” Does the Jesus of the Qur’an also teach this? Is this even taught anywhere in the Qur’an or Hadith at all regarding one’s enemies?

As Christians, we are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:4 against accepting the teachings of those who “preach another Jesus” or “another gospel” than that which we have already been given by the Apostles of Biblical Scripture. In fact, “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8). There is only one true Jesus, and we believe that it is the One that the ‘People of the Book’ believed in many centuries before Mohammed, and believe in to this very day.

Why?

There are many reasons, but the Jesus of the Bible warned Christians that “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” who would even show “great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (see Matthew 24:11,24). Have you ever asked yourself why you believe that the Qur’an is a 'wondrous miracle' or why Mohammed's war victories were 'great signs'? Any so-called “gospel” or teaching about Jesus that goes against what we have already been given — which we believe to be the true Word of God whom the Lord has protected from corruption throughout the ages — is to be rejected. Even archaeological evidence time and time again confirms that the Scriptures we have today is the same that existed nearly 2000 years ago. The claims and teachings of Islam are opposed to what the Bible teaches. Islam teaches another “Jesus”. Islam teaches another “gospel”. Islam even teaches that Jews and Christians will one day submit to Islam, or be killed for the glory of Allah if they refuse. And it’s no coincidence therefore that the Bible even warned us that “the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2b).

Mohammed himself didn’t even know for certain what would happen to him in the afterlife, so please think about this one question that I have for you carefully: Why should I — or any other Christian who knows beyond a doubt that they are guaranteed eternal life through faith in the Jesus of the Bible — give up the Christian faith for an Islamic faith which we know will guarantee us nothing?

You, too, can have the same guarantee that we as Christians share. All you have to do is believe and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Do you wish to have that guarantee?

Anonymous said...

I been studying scriptures for several years with original Greek translations (Yes, the aramaic, not the Greek, did came firts in fact, it has been gramatically proven already)

All Joel said makes perfect sense and any weak spot can be proven to be correct. He is correct! So correct that many of his interpretation consequences are happening RIGHT NOW!!!

North Sudan is Cush as needed for prophecy. Quadafy is dead as needed for prophecy. Egypt radicalized as exepected by prophecy. Flotilla raid, Syria tumults, Iran nuke, all fits perfectly with Joel's interpretation.

The issue/weakness about 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 can be explained if you understand that Satan will throw a decoy into the equation to confuse many, that "man of perdition" is nothing more than the Pope himself, after he moves from Vatican into the Jerusalem temple. He will be the Dajjal for the Muslism. All is prefectly planned by Satan but God knows better.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you exactly wha I see lining up on the world stage. 1. The Beast - U.S. and NATO, 2. The Harlot the beast carries - Israel, 3. 10 Kings, Muslims. (they eventually destroy the harlot)
The U.S. & NATO backing of radical Islam is now taking place, the 10 Kings will be spawned from this. They are in league with The Beast, and hate the harlot.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd, I have just read up to the point when this text claim that "the Roman Empire ceased to exist in 476 with the collapse of Rome". A very strange claim. I am a PhD candidate on the given period and especially on certain aspects on Byzantium, and I must notify that the Byzantine Empire was very much considered to be the Roman Empire by themselves (uninterruptedly) and by the Latins of Western Europe for a long time. To claim that the Roman Empire (in toto) fell in 476 is not only uniformed, but expressive of a particular, limited Western European focus.

Unknown said...

Dr. Reagan makes excellent points. Joel Richardson's book has some interesting ideas too. But remember the best interpretation is one that best allows the words to mean what they normally mean. The traditional view does that.

Here are two more items I find supportive.

1. Dr. John Walvoord in his book, "Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis," suggests Europe makes a treaty with Israel, trading peace for oil. (They have just discovered large reserves of natural gas off the Israeli coast.) Russia and Arab allies launch the Gog/Magog invasion as a consequence.

2. Joel Rosenberg has suggested the Gog/Magog battle will effectively invalidate Islam. Why? The armies are clearly destroyed by God, very supernaturally. New Age Humanism fits the Antichrist and the final world religion better.

Anonymous said...

1) Reagan starts at a wrong premise, to say the Mahdi is a Shia concept is false; both Sunni and Shia believe in Mahdi. He can go round about the issue, scholarly he is wrong.

2) Antichrist is no atheist. Reagan is wrong.

3) hell exists, Reagan is an annihilationist. He is wrong, regardless of any degree he holds. Pharisees were learned too. Also, MacCarthur is even more learned then Reagan.

4) We can't isolate Scripture with roundabout discussions over Daniel being European or Middle Easter. The Bible predominately speaks of Middle Eastern nations. We can argue about Russia in Ezekiel 38 and write volumes on the subject. Yet Ezekiel 30 says Lydia not Russia. All scholars agree Lydia is Turkey. Ezekiel 30 includes Egypt. Lybia and Cush (Sudan), Ezekiel 38 has Persia, Libya and Cush. It seems that these two chapters refer to the same battle which happens on the Day of the Lord.

5) Matthew Henry is more learned then all of us and he says that Daniel 2, the Iron could be Roman, Selucid or Turkish. This Roman Theory is not an ironclad interpretation. In fact, the majority of Protestant scholars believed its Turkish as Martin Luther and Vatablus. This website can toot its horn till Kingdom comes, they will not change anything, Prophecy is unfolding in disagreement with this miniscule view which soon will go in the bin of history as false.