United Nations vs Israel
and the End of the World

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"Jerusalem will be...
burdening the world...
all the nations of the earth
unite in an attempt..."
- Zechariah 12:3 LB

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Home
Bible Prophecies Don't Endorse Israel's Behavior
As Foretold, the Nations Are Already United and Prepared to Act
But the Bible Contradicts Itself - Doesn't It?
Many of the Prophecies Have Already Come True
Jerusalem a Problem for the Whole World
Ezekiel's Prophecy: a Coalition Attack on a Restored Israel
Will You Have Seven More Years to Decide?
God Doesn't Send Natural Disasters - Or Does He?
Anti-Semitism Foretold in Scripture
The Holocaust Foretold in Scripture?
Jerusalem, Canaan, Sodom and Today's World
"Chosen People" - Chosen for What?
Promised Seed
"Promised Land" - Promised to Whom?
"Holy City"
Promised Messiah
An Islamic Antichrist
Daniel's Beasts and the Beasts of Revelation
What Jesus Said about Jerusalem and the End of the World
How to Survive
Many "Christians" Won't Survive
What Happens Next?
America's Role
Nations United and Resolved
Why Do Churches Fail to Preach about the End?
Are You Ready?
Prophecy Timeline
About the Writing of this Book
Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references
Contact

United Nations vs Israel, and the End of the World
online edition of the book by David A. Reed
"Jerusalem will be...burdening the world...all the nations of the earth unite in an attempt..." - Zech. 12:3 LB
"Jerusalem shall be...administered by the United Nations." - UN General Assembly Resolution 181


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An Islamic Antichrist

 

 

 

‘If you become a Christian, we will kill you.’  That is what Islam teaches more than a billion of its followers worldwide.

Sometimes the death sentence is imposed by governments.  Other times the execution is carried out by neighborhood thugs.  But it is the official position of Islamic authorities that Muslim converts to Christianity must be killed according to Islamic law.  And it is a threat that does not have to be carried out very often to accomplish its intended result—to intimidate Muslims and prevent them from choosing to follow Jesus.

A popular notion among many American churchgoers today is that a future Antichrist will arise who will make it punishable by death if anyone declares himself to be a follower of Jesus.  But that is already the case in much of the world where Islam holds sway.  Could Islam itself be the expected Antichrist?  You may be surprised to learn that such notable Bible commentators as Martin Luther and John Calvin answered Yes.

Unlike the major religions of the world that arose independently, Islam arose as a response to Christianity—a hostile response.  And Islam has remained hostile to Christians and to Jews throughout its existence.  However, that hostility has greatly increased since the restoration of the state of Israel in 1948 and Jewish control over Jerusalem in 1967. 

Does the Bible speak prophetically of the rise of Islam?  Yes, it does—according to such respected students of the Bible as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Sir Isaac Newton and Jonathan Edwards.  But before looking at what these men wrote, let’s look at a bit of history and a bit of Scripture.  Then it will be easier to see whether Islam fits the pattern that Luther, Calvin and Newton pointed to in the Bible.

The founders of Hinduism and Buddhism knew nothing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the founders of the Islamic religion were already familiar with the Christian Gospel message, and they rejected it—denying that Jesus is the Son of God. 

In fact, one of the chief tenets of Islam—adopted to repudiate the teachings of Christianity—is the assertion that God has no son.

Interestingly, that is exactly how the Bible describes the “Antichrist.”  There are only three passages in the Bible that use the term “Antichrist,” and they are all found in the letters of the Apostle John.  This is what he wrote:

“you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. . . . They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. . . . Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. . . .  I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.”

— 1 John 2:18-26 NIV

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

— 1 John 4:1-3 NIV

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

— 2 John 7 NIV

Do any of those descriptions fit Islam?

The Muslim holy book, the Koran, makes a number of references to Jesus.  It calls him “Isa, the son of Marium” (Jesus, the son of Mary).  The Koran admonishes Mohammed’s followers to believe in the revelation given by God “to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus.” (2:136)  It says that Jesus was sent by God, empowered to do miracles and strengthened through the Holy Spirit. (2:87, 253)  It acknowledges that he healed lepers, gave sight to the blind and raised the dead by the power of God.  (5:110)  It affirms that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that he was taken up to God’s presence. (19:20; 4:157-158) 

But then Islam goes on to deny that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God.  So, it is actually an apostasy from Christianity, and therefore fits John’s description of “antichrists” who “went out from among us” and deny “the Father and the Son.” 

Moreover, Islam forbids its subjects from becoming followers of Jesus—from accepting him as their Lord and Savior.  Those who do embrace Christ face intense persecution, prison and even death.  Their stories seldom become headlines in Western news media, but there are currently a number of Muslim converts to Christianity on death row in strict Muslim countries, convicted in court of such offenses as “apostasy,” “leaving Islam,” or “insulting the Prophet Mohammed.”  And there are many others who have been murdered by relatives or neighbors for the same reasons, with Muslim police and authorities turning a blind eye.

Consider, too, another Bible passage that commentators often apply to the Antichrist: 

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;  so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

—2 Thessalonians 2:4 KJV

The New International Version puts it this way: 

“He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

—2 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV

Islam opposes all other forms of worship, but what about God’s temple in Jerusalem?  Has Islam set itself up there, in God’s place?  God’s temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman armies almost two thousand years ago.  Some students of the Bible expect a future Antichrist to build another temple there, to fulfill the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  But Islam has already built a temple there.  Might the prophecy be fulfilled by the structures sitting in God’s place on Temple Mount since shortly after the Islamic conquest?

To fulfill the prophecy, is it necessary for someone or some group to say the words “I am God”?  Or is sitting in God’s place equivalent to declaring oneself to be God?

“The entire top of the hill where the Temple is built is holy,” according to Ezekiel 43:12 (LB).  An Islamic temple called the Dome of the Rock sits there today, and it bears an inscription saying it was built by “the servant of God Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan, emir of the faithful, in the year seventy-two.”  (The year 72 in the Muslim calendar is 691-692 A.D.)  Adjacent to it sits the Al Aqsa Mosque which was built around the same time, and has been rebuilt a number of times over the centuries.

 


 

“The entire top of the hill where the Temple is built is holy.”

—Ezekiel 43:12 LB

“. . . he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

—2 Thessalonians 2:4 NASB

 

 

Who is sitting in God’s place on Temple Mount?

 

“. . . he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.”

—2 Thessalonians 2:4 WEB

 

“The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy.”

—Ezekiel 43:12 NLT

 

 


Do the owners of these structures that sit in God’s place on Temple Mount fit the biblical description of an Antichrist?  Consider what the Arabic inscriptions on the walls of the Dome of the Rock say about Jesus Christ.  Are they the sort of statements we would expect of an Antichrist?  These inscriptions repeatedly deny that Jesus is the Son of God.  They say:

“Oh God, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he shall be raised alive!”

“God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.”

“The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him.”

“Such was Jesus, son of Mary... It befitteth not God that He should take unto Himself a son.”

“Praise be to God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son.”

Notice how closely these inscriptions on the walls of the Dome of the Rock fit the Apostle John’s definition of an Antichrist as “the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies the Son has the Father.”  (1 John 2:22-23)  So, could this Dome of the Rock, which sits in God’s place on Temple Mount, be Antichrist’s temple?  Before dismissing the possibility, consider that the Islamic occupier of Temple Mount was also identified as Antichrist in the words of both John Calvin and Martin Luther.

Calvin and Luther lived in an era when people who chose to read the Bible and follow Jesus were being put to death by enemies of biblical Christianity.  The pope of Rome was executing people who wanted to read and follow the Bible, and Islamic armies were conquering Christian lands and leading their inhabitants to renounce belief in Christ.  Luther and Calvin identified both of those enemies as the Antichrist.

For centuries the Roman Catholic papacy had been using the Inquisition to stop ordinary people from reading the Bible in their own language.  The papacy was burning Bible-readers at the stake as “heretics.”  Prominent among these were Czech Bible translator John Hus, executed in 1415, and English Bible translator William Tyndale, executed in 1536—but there were thousands of others killed by the Inquisition and other papal authorities.  And, during the same time period, the armies of Islam were threatening Christendom from the east and from the west—Moors in Spain until the late 1400’s and Ottoman Turks invading eastern Europe and even besieging Vienna, Austria, in 1529.

So, Martin Luther and John Calvin spoke of Antichrist as having two legs or two horns:  one leg the papacy and the other Islam, or one horn the papacy and the other Islam.

Calvin saw the Pope and “Mahomet” as “the two horns of the Antichrist.”  He declared, “Lyke as Mahomet saith ty his Alcoran is ye soveraine wisdome, so saith the Pope of his owne decrees: For they be the two hornes of Antichrist.” (The Sermons of M. John Calvin upon the Fifth Booke of Moses called Deuteronomie, translated by Arthur Golding, first published in London, 1583, from a facsimile reprint by Banner of Truth Trust, 1987.)  Or, to put that archaic English into modern speech, “Like as Mohammed says that his Koran is the sovereign wisdom, so says the Pope of his own decrees:  For they are the two horns of Antichrist.”

Calvin also wrote, “Paul, however, does not speak of one individual, but of a kingdom, that was to be taken possession of by Satan, that he might set up a seat of abomination in the midst of God’s temple—which we see accomplished in Popery. The revolt, it is true, has spread more widely, for Mahomet, as he was an apostate, turned away the Turks, his followers, from Christ.” (Calvin’s Commentary on Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians)

If Calvin saw the papacy and Islam as the two “horns” of the Antichrist, Martin Luther saw them as the two “legs” of the same Antichrist.  (Luther’s Works, Weimer ed., 53, 394f.)  Luther added, “the Pope is the spirit of antichrist, and the Turk is the flesh of antichrist. They help each other in their murderous work. The latter slaughters bodily by the sword; and the former spiritually by doctrine.” (Luther’s Tischreden, Weimer ed., 1, No. 330)  

So, in their writings quoted above, both John Calvin and Martin Luther interpreted Scripture about the Antichrist as finding fulfillment in Islam.  

Sir Isaac Newton saw a similar fulfillment in regard to the Islamic conquest of the Middle East and North Africa.  But before looking at what Newton wrote, a brief history and geography lesson will help to put it in perspective.

The disciples of Jesus obeyed Christ’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19 NIV), and by the year 600 A.D. Christianity was the prevailing religion from the British Isles across Europe and Eurasia to the Black Sea, south to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, farther south to the Nile River in Egypt, and across North Africa to the straits of Gibraltar.  Besides the southern European countries, the lands we know today as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq were largely Christian by the seventh century A.D.  Then came the Islamic conquest of the mid-to-late 600’s and early 700’s.  Today those same countries of North Africa and the Middle East are almost exclusively Muslim.

During the centuries after the Muslim armies swept across the region there were periods of intense pressure on the Christian inhabitants to convert to Islam, interspersed with other periods of hostile toleration of Christianity.  Even during the best of times believers in Jesus were relegated to second-class citizenship, and were burdened with extra taxation for not being Muslims.

The Bible book of Acts and the letters of the Apostle Paul focus largely on cities in modern-day Turkey—Lystra, Iconium, Derbe, Galatia, Ephesus, Colossae.  Tradition has it that the Christian church in Antioch, Turkey, near the border with Syria, was founded by the Apostle Peter in the year 37 A.D.  And it was there that the term “Christians” was first used:  “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26 NIV)  The seven churches named in the opening chapters of the Bible book of Revelation were all located in Turkey.  And the Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches of the Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians were written to churches in Turkey.  Today Turkey is 99.8% Muslim.  It is illegal for Christians to preach the Gospel to Muslims, and Muslims who choose to follow Jesus may face violence and even death.

According to tradition the Christian Gospel was brought to Iraq by two of the original Twelve Apostles—Thomas and Thaddeus.  And Iraq was largely Christian for centuries prior to the Islamic invasion.  Modern Iraq is now 97% Muslim.  Christians are forbidden to preach the Gospel to the Islamic majority, and Muslims who convert to Christianity may be killed.

Egypt was predominantly Christian for centuries prior to the Muslim invasion.  Today Egypt is 90% Muslim, with only 10% of Egyptians professing Christianity.

Syria, 90% Muslim today, had been largely Christian for centuries.  Today only about 10% of Syrians profess Christianity. 

Ancient Carthage covered the area known today as Tunisia and Algeria.  It was a prominent center for Christian thought before the Islamic conquest, home to early Christian writers Tertullian and St. Augustine.  Today Tunisia is 98% Muslim, and Algeria is 99% Muslim.

So, the Islamic conquest of this area was not a conquest of pagan lands.  It was a conquest of Christian countries filled with Christian inhabitants.

Was this Muslim conquest foretold in the Bible?  Some notable commentators see the spread of Islam in this passage from the book of Daniel:

“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.  Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.  . . . And at the time of the end . . . the king of the north shall come . . . like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.  He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown:  but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.  He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.  But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [shall be] at his steps.  . . . And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;  yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”

—Daniel 11:36-45 KJV

Discussing Daniel 11:36-45, Sir Isaac Newton saw this passage as fulfilled in the Islamic conquest—the lands ruled by the Muslim Turks.  He commented to the effect that “these nations compose the Empire of the Turks, and therefore this Empire is here to be understood by the King of the North.”  (Newton’s The Prophecies of Daniel and The Apocalypse, p. 189)  That Islamic empire and its successors held the Holy Land until the Turks suffered defeat along with their German allies during the First World War and Jerusalem was taken from them by the British in 1917.  Considering Muslim hostility toward other religions, along with the oppression of women in Islamic countries, this passage’s description of a king rejecting the gods of his fathers and the desire of women could well fit Islam.

Colonial American Congregationalist theologian and missionary Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), who served also as president of Princeton University, expressed the historic view that prevailed in the Church for hundreds of years that the Islamic sweep over the remnant of the eastern Roman Empire was foretold in Scripture.  He summed it up this way:

“The Mahometan kingdom is another of mighty power and vast extent, set up by Satan against the kingdom of Christ. ... And then the Turks, who were originally different from the Saracens, became followers of Mahomet, and conquered all the Eastern empire.  They began their empire about the year of Christ twelve hundred and ninety-six; began to invade Europe in the year thirteen hundred; took Constantinople, and so became masters of all the Eastern empire, in the year fourteen hundred and fifty-three.  And thus all the cities and countries where stood those famous churches of which we read in the New Testament, as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, &c. now became subject to the Turks.  These are supposed to be prophesied of by the horsemen in the 9th chapter of Revelation, beginning with the 15th verse.” 

(Quoted from Jonathan Edwards’ classic, A History of the Work of Redemption)

In our modern world political observers in the West have expressed concern over Islamists rising to political power in Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa.  The world took notice when an Islamic revolution in Iran brought the Ayatollahs to power in the 1970’s, and again when the “Arab Spring” of 2011 toppled secular dictators across the region and gave more political power to Islamic political parties.  Dramatic events in Afghanistan and Iraq replaced secular leaders there with others determined to impose Sharia Law based on the Muslim holy book, the Koran. 

But, as documented above, Islamic political power is really nothing new.  In fact, from its beginnings in the seventh century, Islam was both a religion and a political power.  The Constitution of Medina united a few Arab tribes under the prophet Mohammed, and then they conquered Mecca, also on the Arabian Peninsula.  During the next few years the lands we know today as Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq fell under Muslim control.  Egypt was seized from the Byzantine Empire in the year 645.  (Still, historians report that Egypt was majority Christian until around 1400 A.D.)

The prevailing model in countries that are overwhelmingly Muslim, is that Christians are forbidden to preach the Gospel to others.  Christian evangelism is outlawed, and conversion to Christianity is illegal.  Muslims who decide to follow Jesus may be punished with death—either through the judicial system or by way of extra-judicial mob violence, with authorities turning a blind eye. 

There are many Christians who believe that an Antichrist will arise someday  during a future tribulation, and that this future Antichrist will make it difficult for believers to practice Christianity.  But even today a sizeable portion of the world’s population already lives under such circumstances.  In April 2012 alone, the news media reported violent Muslim attacks on Christian churches in Kenya, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia, criminal charges of apostasy or blasphemy being brought against Christians in Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan, and Christians being otherwise abused or oppressed by Muslim authorities in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

Could anything be more “anti”-Christ than that?

So, might Islam itself be the expected end-times Antichrist?

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