Saturday, January 17, 2009
By Walid Shoebat
THE THREE CHALLENGES
Does the beast of Revelation involve Middle Eastern Muslim nations, is it exclusively European, or is it both? Some say the notion that Islam could play a prominent role in the coming revival of the Roman Empire is impossible, unorthodox, untraditional, the work of ‘Lone Ranger’ type interpretation, and even revisionist..1
The majority of American evangelicals believe that the Antichrist system must be exclusively European, yet this view is changing after the last few years with the rise of Islam.
So, could Islam play a role in this end-times scenario? You might think to yourself—so what? Why should we care? Well, why then did the Almighty give us Daniel and Revelations? Even better still — why did God give us all the Messianic prophesies regarding Jesus’ first coming? Careless followers that missed these ended up without salvation, regardless of whether they sacrificed lambs in the Temple or obeyed the law—when it comes to the issue of Messiah, they missed the most crucial event in history. All for not paying close attention to Bible Prophecy. And what about the second coming? Are we to be careless with respect to the evidence presented in the Bible? I am not saying that you could lose your salvation, but if you end up on the side of Antichrist, you never had salvation in the first place.
Yet today, the debate is brewing—what about the threat of Islam? Did the Bible warn us about it? Are we supposed to keep our focus exclusively on Europe?
To shed light on the implications of such detailed evidence (which spawned countless challenges and questions) I decided to write God’s War on Terror regarding Islam’s involvement in end-times. Consequently, I get challenges daily, not only by Muslims that want me dead but also from Christians who are dogmatic about their views. Ironically, we have no record of any Christian minister killed for exposing the E.U. as the work of Satan, yet we have millions who gave their lives for standing up to Islam. So please allow me to alleviate some pressure and present you with only three challenges:
CHALLENGE 1: Did traditional Prophecy scholars teach that Europe is exclusively the Antichrist kingdom?
You might be shocked to know that the highest caliber commentators of old did not believe that Europe was the exclusive player in the End-Times. A revival of a Roman Empire never meant a revival of a European Empire.
Many of our best western scholars on Bible prophecy believed that Islam would be a major player and will revive in the end of days as part of this end-time beast. John Wesley interpreted the Iron in Daniel 2 as Islam (Works, 1841). Hilaire Belloc foresaw Islam‘s rise.2 Gregory Palamus of Thessalonica interpreted the martyrdom of Christians during the Great Tribulation to come from Islam. Josiah Litch interpreted Revelation as the ushering in of Islam.3 He even described the magnitude of Islam’s role being Antichrist to the extent of calling it the “general agreement among Christians, especially protestant commentators.” Cyril of Jerusalem (315-368 A.D) in his Divine Institutes believed that Antichrist proceeds forth from the region of ancient Syria 4, which today extends from Syria well into portions of Asia Minor (Turkey). Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (560-638) and Maximus the Confessor (580-662) identified Islam with Antichrist and lived through Islam’s invasion of Jerusalem. Maximus was also an important theologian and scholar of the early Church who helped defeat the Monothelite heresy referred to the Muslim invasions as “announcing the advent of the Antichrist.” John of Damascus (676-749) was another very important figure in the early church. In his famous book, Against Heresies, he identified Islam as the forerunner to the Antichrist. Eulogius, Paul Alvarus and the Martyrs of Cordova (9th century) believed Muhammad to be a false prophet and the precursor to the Antichrist. 5 Many are not aware that while Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation, believed that the Papacy played the role of the spiritual harlot, he also believed that the Muslims were the Kingdom of Antichrist. 6
John Calvin interpreted Daniel 2 eastern leg as the Eastern-Roman Islamic Empire and that Daniel 11:37 applied to the Muslims. 7 Even Jonathan Edwards the great American congregational preacher, revivalist, and president of Princeton University, like Luther and Calvin, saw Islam as one of the premiere elements of the Antichrist Kingdom. 8 Calvin even interpreted Islam’s fall at the sound of the great trumpet 9 Islam falling at the sound of the great trumpet even carries Islam into the Great Tribulation and not as many of our contemporary prophecy analysts who allege that Islam must be removed prior to Christ coming.
Even Sir Robert Anderson, perhaps one of the best prophecy experts who unlocked the seventy weeks of Daniel, in his remarkable book The Coming Prince, insists to focus on the Levant (Eastern) parts rather than the Adriatic (West). 10
Countless other Bible commentators warned about Islam being the kingdom of Antichrist—Selnecker, Nigrinus, Chytraeus, Bullinger, Foxe, Napier, Pareus, John Cotton, Thomas Parker, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather, and George Stanley Faber. 11
Also added to the list is Rev. Professor Dr. Francis Nigel Lee who sums up the traditional view in his excellent work Islam in the Bible: “from the seventh century onward – [the two legs] would degenerate respectively into the Papacy (which progressively took over the West) and Islam (which progressively took over the East.” (p. 5)
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