01 Jul The Islamic End Time Paradigm
This is an article that I wrote which just appeared in Prophezine Magazine:
How many of you are aware of the fact that there is presently a massive paradigm shift-taking place in the world of Biblical Prophecy? The shift that is talking place is away from the Roman End-Time Paradigm with its European-centric perspective and toward the Islamic End-Time Paradigm with its Middle Eastern focus. In brief, the Roman End-Time Paradigm holds that the Antichrist, his religion and his empire will emerge from out of the former Roman Empire, the focus of which is most often centered on the EU. The Islamic End-Time Paradigm holds that the Antichrist, his religion and his empire will emerge from out of the Middle East. While the more general Roman End-Time Paradigm has indeed been the majority position down throughout Church History, over the past forty or so years, and most specifically since the advent of the European Union, the eyes of the majority of Evangelicals have been turned toward Europe.
Allow me to introduce myself: My (pen) name is Joel Richardson and I am the author of Antichrist: Islamӳ Awaited Messiah, a comparative analysis of Islamic and Biblical eschatology and the co-author with Walid Shoebat of a revolutionary new book, Godӳ War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible. In this monumental new book, Walid and I offer devastating evidence that the majority of todayӳ teachers and students of the End-Times have been looking in completely the wrong direction. I understand that this is quite a statement to make, and of course, unless the Scriptures back us up, these claims amount to nothing. I assure you however, that after carefully considering the exhaustive Scriptural evidences that we present for an Islamic Antichrist and Empire, you will be making the paradigm shift yourself. While I have to defer you to the actual book for a more thorough convincing, I can nevertheless begin to wet the appetite of all serious Bereans.
Where to begin?
When we are attempting to get a birdӳ eye viewشhe larger picture of what the Bible truly says about the End-Times, the first question that should be asked is this: Where do we begin? And in fact, this is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that so many have erred in their quest to accurately understand what saith the Scriptures on this matter; they begin in all the wrong places. Whenever I speak or teach on the subject of the End-Times, the first rule that I always mention when establishing some basic rules for responsible End-Time Hermeneutics is this: When you begin to approach the Bible in order to properly understand what it is saying about the End-times, you do not begin with the Book of Revelation! Yet everyday, many very good students and teachers alike will make this mistake again and again. The Book of Revelation, unlike any other book in the New Testament literally oozes with direct citations, references, allusions, and even more subtle echoes of dozens upon dozens of passages throughout the Old Testament. The Book of Revelation is so thoroughly founded upon the Old Testament that one cannot even begin to understand this book without first understanding the numerous passages that this book is founded upon. So rule number one is that you do not begin with what comes last, rather you begin with what comes first! Begin with the foundation. I know, now many of you are saying that we should begin with the Book of Daniel, right? Wrong. When attempting to understand a subject that is so vast and complex, you do not begin with passages that are allegorical, highly symbolic or difficult to interpret in general. Instead you begin with that which is clear, direct, and literal. Where you begin will always help determine where you end up. So as you are beginning to form assumptions that you will carry with you to numerous other passages, you must begin with passages that are clear, direct, and literal. This way the assumptions that you begin with are solid, thus providing a solid foundation of understanding to rely on as you approach the more difficult, questionable, or highly symbolic or allegorical passages. So you begin with what comes first (rule number one) and you begin with what is literal, clear, direct and easy to understand (rule number two). Does this sound fair, responsible and reasonable so far? Good. Now observing these two rules, letӳ look at just a couple of passages and begin to lay a proper Biblical foundation for understanding the true nature of the Last-Days.
The Return of Christ in The Old Testament
Lets go all the way back to the Torah and letӳ look at one of the oldest, the most direct and one of the clearest prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. YouӬl be surprised at what you discover. This is the story of Balaam and Balak. Balak of course was the Midian King and Balaam was a Midianite Prophet of Baal. Balak had paid Balaam to speak a curse over the Hebrews who were camped out in a vast array in a large valley below. As Balak and Balaam stood together on a large precipice overlooking the Hebrew camp below, something powerful happened. Rather than speaking according to the demonic spirit of Baal, Balaam instead began to speak according to the Spirit of God. What he said should be very important to all of us who desire to know the truth regarding the nature of the End-Times. The passage begins with Balaam speaking words to Balak that Balak most certainly did not want to hear:
Ӆcome therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people (The Hebrews) shall do to thy people (The Midianites) in the latter days.” ؎umbers 24:14 (KJV)
What needs to be pointed out however, is that while most translations say something here like, ԩn the latter daysԬ the literal meaning is, Դhe end of daysԠ(ҡchariyth yawm see also Isaiah 2:2; Genesis 49:1; Micah 4:1; Daniel 10:14). If you are a good Berean, look it up to see if what I am saying is true. So Balaam is about to tell Balak what the Hebrew peoples will do to the Midianites in the End-Times. The chronological context of this prophecy is quite clear. But it is what he says next that we need to pay very close attention to. In one of the clearest and most direct Messianic prophecies of the Torah, it is Balaam the pagan prophet of Baal who gives us a glimpse into some of the specifics regarding the nature of the return of Christ:
ԉ shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.Ԡ ؎umbers 24:17-19 (KJV)
Jesus Christ, the ruler of Israel will arise from among His people. As believers, we know that when Christ came the first time, His kingdom was inaugurated. But that which He has already inaugurated, He will also come back to establish visibly and physically on the earth. This will be accomplished at His second coming. But of all of the things that the Lord could have highlighted regarding His return (remember the context is the End-Times) what is it that the Lord focuses on? What is the primary action and mission of the Messiah as described in this prophecy?
ՉHe will smite (on the head, to shatter) Moab.
ՉHe will destroy the sons of Sheth (the sons of tumult, see Jeremiah 48:45)
ՉHe will have dominion over His people Israel, who shall act valiantly.
ՉHe will cause Edom and Mount Seir to become the possession of Israel.
ՉHe shall destroy the remnant of Israelӳ enemies.
It is important that we understand exactly whom the Lord is speaking about here. By speaking of the Midianites, the Moabites, the Edomites and Mt. Seir all together in an essentially synonymous way, the Lord is pointing us to the Baal worshipping pagans of the desert that lived to the east and south of modern day Israel. While the primary capital cities of these peoples were largely in modern day Jordan, Egypt and northern Saudi Arabia, their greater kingdoms extended all the way down the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
Now, at this point, the responsible Berean must ask the following questions: When the Lord returns, the Bible says that He will destroy a certain people. Based on this passage, is it more reasonable and responsible to conclude that Jesus will crush the modern day spiritual and physical ancestors of the ancient eastern peoples that were continually giving trouble to the Hebrew people all throughout Biblical history, or is it more reasonable to conclude that this passage is speaking about France, Germany, Romania and Luxembourg, etc.? By Moab, Edom and Midian, should we understand this passage to be referring to Italy or to modern day Saudi Arabia, and all of the peoples who are the spiritual and physical ancestors of the peoples who fourteen hundred years ago, burst forth out of Mecca, Arabia to spread their Arab-Islamic religion and empire throughout much of the world? I think that the answer is clear, yet I have yet to see one serious treatment of this passage or dozens of others just like it in any of my fairly substantial collection of prophecy books. And there lies the problem; when one begins with the false assumptions of the Roman End-Time Paradigm, one is then forced to ignore or twist numerous other portions of Scripture to make them fit this un-Scriptural paradigm. This passage most often is in the category of ignored.
Now letӳ move on into the prophets to look at another very clear, very literal and very direct passage that is also often ignored by the Roman End-Time Paradigm. Remember when the Herod came to the Jewish religious leaders and asked them where the Messiah was to be born? The answer that they gave him was Bethlehem. This was based of course, on the famous Messianic prophecy found in Micah 5:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” ؍icah 5:2 (KJV)
Once again, Scripture has provided us a very straightforward Messianic prophecy. So the question needs to be asked once again: According to this passage, what is the primary mission and action of the Messiah once He returns? The answer is seen quite clearly in the verses that follow.
“And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.” ؍icah 5:4-6 (KJV)
According to this passage, the primary action of this Bethlehem-born Messiah is that He would lead the Israelites in a victorious battle against the invading armies of Դhe Assyrian.ԠClearly this did not occur during the earthly ministry of Jesus. This is clearly a description of what will happen at the return of Christ. The Assyrian is simply another name for the Antichrist.
So again, is it more responsible and reasonable, based on this passage, for us to conclude that the Assyrian / Antichrist will emerge from the regions of the former Assyrian Empire, or is it more reasonable to conclude that the Antichrist will come from Europe?
Is it more reasonable for us to conclude that the Antichrist will be a leader from the Middle-East or it is more reasonable for us to conclude that the Antichrist will be someone like Nicolai Carpathia from Romania as is speculated in the very popular Left Behind series? I think that the answer is quite clear.
In Godӳ War on Terror, Walid and I discuss dozens upon dozens of passages just like this one. Every passage points clearly to the same peoples, and the same region. The Roman End-Time Paradigm strains to deal with such passagesةt is forced to either ignore or twist such passages in order to make them conform to its prophetic worldview. The result is always confusion and inconsistency.
The Four Passages That Have Led To The Roman End-Time Paradigm
I want to make it very clear that neither Walid nor myself take the idea of challenging such a widely held paradigm lightly. Not only has this been the primary End-Time paradigm down throughout much of Church History, but I myself also held to this belief for quite a few years. It took me much prayer, and much study to even begin to consider otherwise. The four primary passages that I clung to most fervently in this mistaken interpretation were the following:
ՉDaniel 2: Nebuchadnezzarӳ Dream of a Metal Statue
ՉDaniel 7: Danielӳ Vision of Four Beasts
ՉDaniel 9: The People of the Prince to Come
ՉRevelation 17: The City on Seven Hills
In Godӳ War on Terror, Walid and I deal with each of these passages in great detail and absolutely shatter the notion that they are pointing us to anything other than an Islamic Middle-Eastern End-Time Empire.
Perhaps the most amazing and confirmatory aspect of the Islamic End-Time Paradigm is that it so fluidly reconciles every relevant passage throughout the Bible regarding the End-Times and seamlessly brings them all together to paint a very clear pictureء picture that we are seeing emerge right before our eyes today in the Middle East. Not a single passage is ignored. Nor is a single one of our interpretations strained.
What You Will Learn From Godӳ War on Terror:
ՉThe nature of the return of Christ as portrayed throughout the Old Testament.
ՉThe Jerusalem, Israel and Middle Eastern focus of all Biblical Prophecy.
ՉHow to break away from a Western-centric mentality when examining the End-Times passages of the Bible.
ՉHow to gain an Eastern mind-set when examining the various End-Times passages of the Bible.
ՉHow every nation that the Bible specifies for judgment at the end of the age is a Muslim nation.
ՉHow the Bible never mentions a single European nation with reference to Godӳ judgment at the return of Christ.
ՉThe numerous ways in which Islamӳ Messiah is identical to the Biblical Antichrist.
ՉThe numerous ways in which the Bibleӳ Messiah is identical to Islamӳ Antichrist.
ՉThe numerous ԡnti-parallels between Biblical and Islamic eschatology.
ՉThe real identity and timing of the Gog and Magog coalition and its Last-Days assault against the nation of Israel.
ՉThe premiere nation to watch with reference to the emergence of the Antichrist.
ՉThe true identity of the Great Harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.
ՉThe truth regarding the name, the number, and the mark of the Beast.
ՉHow numerous world events and trends are all merging together to confirm the Biblical template of the End-Times.
ՉMuch, much moreō
Get your copy today, make the paradigm shift tomorrow.
God’s War on Terror by Walid Shoebat, former Palestinian Terrorist and author of Why I Left Jihad and Why We Want to Kill You and Joel Richardson, author of Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah is the most exhaustive study on the subject of Islam and the End Times that has ever been written. The Islam and the End-Times Manifesto. Harcover, 589 pages.
Place orders here by clicking on the appropriate Google Checkout Button below. Please note that there are two buttons, one for USA & Canada orders and another for International orders. Once again, thank you all very deeply for you patience and prayers. Blessings all, Joel
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