By Nathan Jones
Is the Antichrist destined to rise out of Islam?
On Saturday, April 27, 2013, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I spent some time discussing prophetic trends and events that we are seeing occurring today.
August Rosado: Many try to paint the Antichrist as a Muslim using verses that really have no eschatological application whatsoever. What evidence do we have that the Beast from the Sea of Revelation 13 will be of Roman origin?
Nathan Jones: We can go to Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 9:26-27 where it talks about the end times when the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. This prophecy reads:
"After those 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. 27He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator."
So, Daniel 9 tells us about the people of the coming one-world ruler, the Antichrist as the New Testament names him, who will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The city of course is Jerusalem, and the sanctuary is the Temple. That prophecy against the city was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman general Titus Vespasian came against and decimated Jerusalem.
We also read here that the Antichrist will come into the Temple and he will desecrate it. We know from history that Titus Vespasian did not come in and desolate the Temple. No, he utterly destroyed the Temple. The destruction was so thorough that the soldiers picked the stones apart looking for any gold that might have melted in between the cracks. As Jesus foretold in Luke 21, there would not be one stone left upon another. So, Titus and his Roman people did not fulfill that prophecy about the desecration of the Temple. Therefore, the desecration of the Temple will find a future fulfillment in the Antichrist, which also means for him to desecrate a Temple there has to actually be a Temple. Devout Jews are still waiting for the Third Temple to be built.
One of the frequent arguments people who support a Muslim Antichrist will use is that when the Romans came and attacked the Temple in 70 AD, true there were some Roman leaders and Caesar ordered the campaign, but the Romans brought mercenaries with them. They'll argue that all these mercenaries were Arabs, who of course 500 years later as a race would eventually become Islamic. Therefore, the people who destroyed the Temple where really in affect Muslim.
I believe the best response to this claim that the people who destroyed the Temple were future Muslims is in the research that Sean Osborn of Eschatology Today. Sean studied the history and found out exactly what peoples comprised Titus Vespasian's army. He wrote:
"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."
Yes, Titus also brought in mercenaries from the Middle East, but the majority of the people that attacked Israel were of pure Roman blood. They were Roman citizens. Titus was a Roman. Caesar was a Roman. It's clear then that the people who destroyed the Temple in fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 were Roman people, and so therefore it's crystal clear that the Antichrist will rise out of the Roman people's descendants. Those descendants of the Romans today comprise the revival of the Roman Empire in the European Union.
The European Union is a modern-day miracle of politics. Just look in the 1940's for instance, what happened in Europe? World War II. Now more than 50 years later, Europe is basically one country, one continent. They are continually growing closer and becoming less national and more as one European Union rather than individual countries. Second to Israel as a miracle of becoming a nation again, that is the miracle of getting all those European entities to put aside their hatred of each other and join together. Clearly something is happening in the European Union, and that is in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The wars that decimate Islam and the Antichrist rising out of the EU make it a fact then that Islam will not be part of the end times. Bible prophecy seems to be against Islam as a player during the Tribulation, well, at the most not past being destroyed by the Antichrist in the first Conventional War.
August Rosado: Yes, I absolutely agree with all of that research. Those who to try to find some sort of passage that will support an Islamic origin of the Antichrist, they pull a verse here and they pull a verse there and then they roll it up into one ball and proclaim, "Islam is what it means." They try to pull a fast one. Even if it were true with these mercenaries, it doesn't matter if they were from Egypt or Lebanon or Syria. It doesn't matter if they helped the Roman army, as you said, led by Roman General Titus the son of Vespasian. The Roman Empire in 70 AD destroyed the city and the sanctuary.
My tour group and I were just in March at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount. We were looking at the remains of the Roman destruction. We went into the Davidson Center were all the archaeological artifacts are on display. We saw a 2,000 year old brick, and right on it in Latin was inscribed in Latin I'll translate the "Tenth Roman Legion." What other evidence do we need that the people who destroyed the Temple were European Romans, and therefore the Antichrist will rise out of Europe? Either you are going to ignore the evidence and stick with the plain-sense literal teaching of the Bible, or you can just go off on your wild fantasies and change the origin to the Middle East.
Nathan Jones: Yes, it's trying to pigeon-hole Bible prophecy into modern-day events. But, that's not the case as we cannot do that. The Tribulation is a picture of a vastly different world than how the nations and peoples are aligned today. People ask, "Does that mean we then have to wait like a few hundred years before the Tribulation begins?" I could say "perhaps," but really, all it takes is one economic collapse or one outbreak of disease or something climactic to radically change political and economic systems across the globe. The world is going to see a total upheaval of what exists today. So, trying to take modern-day events and then plugging them into Bible prophecy is newspaper exegesis, and we really should never be practicing that flawed interpretation.
In the eighth segment of August Rosado's and my discussion of current prophetic trends and events, we will look at modern-day teachers like Rob Bell and see if a proliferation of false teachers are prophesied in the Bible.