10 Sep A Critical Review Of the Islamic End Time Paradigm By Jacob Prasch
I got this critique via e-mail. I do not know Jacob Prasch but have heard good things about him and his ministry. My general feeling after skimming through is that he tried to be fair and generous in some places, but not so much in others. Presently, I don’t have time to write a small book everytime someone critiques the End Time paradigm that Walid Shoebat, myself and many others have been articulating. For now, I would recommend that anyone with questions read Islamic Antichrist, God’s War on Terror by Walid and myself, and also watch my 2 DVD sets.
In any case, I wanted to pass this along for everyone to consider. Let’s all be Bereans.
I do wish to relay the following little parable so as to convey my heart with regard to the very crucial issue of the exposition of Bible prophecy and “watching”:
The Church is a city on a hill. Imagine an ancient walled city. Some of the members of this city are called to be watchmen on the walls. Watchmen are called to sound the alarm when they see danger approaching. This is how they serve the people of the city. Today, I see a large hoard of watchers gazing intently day and night on the Western wall. This is partially good. We need watchers on the Western wall. But it also concerning because there is also a vast Eastern wall that has gone virtually unprotected for years now. Now, this has not always been the case. Down throughout the history of the Church, many very great and notable leaders and men of God have called the Church to watch for the coming of the Man of Sin from the Eastern front. But over the past thirty years or so, it seems as though there has become a cementing of opinion that only the Western wall matters. In my opinion, this is very dangerous. Walid Shoebat, myself and a quickly growing base of believers, scholars, pastors, leaders and students, after considering the Biblical evidence, feel that the Eastern wall is critical. As such, we are simply calling for some of the watchers to rotate and position some men on the Eastern wall as well. There has been an imbalance for too long and we are in danger as a result.
So what I am calling for is simply a humble and loving approach. The bottom line is that we all need each other. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. And none of us have all of the answers. This is prophecy afterall. But because some of us have been trying to draw some guards onto the Eastern wall, some of the those from the Western wall, who have been there for years (serving faithfully I must add) have become angry. This is actually somewhat natural and understandable. But to upset anyone has never been intended. We are One Body. Let the hand not say to the eye, “I do not need you, I am more important than you.” Etc.
The Islamic End Time Paradigm is a compelling case that is entirely rooted in a thoroughly sound exegetical and historically grounded position. In the days and years to come, lets take the position that we all need each other. Lets discuss and debate, but let us never forget to love as we do so. The Day of the Lord is closer than most think, let us therefore be about the work of God…
The internet has been abuzz with varying views and reviews of Joel Richardsonӳ book promoted by World Net Daily Ԕhe Islamic Anti ChristԮ The book offers interesting comment and some insightful observations but seeks to challenge and reverse the popular teaching of Babylon the Great not being related to either Roman Catholicism or a revived Roman Empire, but the Islamic world. In Joel Richardsonӳ thesis, Gog and Magog are neither nations or individuals arriving from Russia but of the anti Christ (Gog) and the Islamic world following him whom the author identifies with the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah cum anti Christ (not to be confused with the Islamic doctrine of the Dajjal, the one eyed anti Christ whom they associate with the ancient Egyptian sun god and with Jesus , not as Islam understands him (which is that Jesus was a mere prophet inferior to Mohammed and not God), but as Christianity does.
Joel Richardsonӳ arguments are that Rome never conquered Babylon, that Russia is not specifically identified as the ҵttermost parts of the NorthԬ that the Gog & Magog conflict and the battle of Armageddon are one and the same, and that Israel will turn to their God and The Lordӳ Name will no longer be profaned with the destruction of Gog. Hence, since the anti Christ will cause the Name of God to be profaned and Gogӳ destruction ends this, Gog must be the anti Christ cum Mahdi.
Let us be clear that biblically Islam is certainly an anti Christ religion, Mohammed was an anti Christ/ false prophet. By the scriptural definition of 1 John Islam denies the Father & Son relationship and is categorically of the anti Christ. Islamic decapitation and shariӡ moreover plainly meet the descriptions of the ordeal the anti Christ will brutalize those refusing to take his mark etc.
As frightening, Islam has demonstrated a capacity to deceive on two fronts ֠a political & economic front and on a religious front and has been able to mobilize global forces and governments against Israel and the Jews. And this has been no less aimed at deceiving saved Christians.
On the political & economic front In the USA na Evangelical Christians are easily manipulated into being duped by Republican Party politicians as being pro Christian. It was George W. Bush who placed a Koran teaching the definitive anti Christ doctrine warned of in 1 John that God has no son in the White House to honor Islam after September 11th. It was this same Republican who forced Israel out of Gaza without a treaty resulting in Gaza becoming an Iranian controlled Hamas terror base used to attack Israeli civilians. It was his father George H. Bush who handed Lebanon to Syria and Iranian controlled Hizbollah (which killed hundreds of Americans in 1983 Embassy and Marine barracks attacks) on a silver platter. George H. Bush (who is investment partners with members of the House of Saud in the Carlyle Group) called Saudi Arabia ԯur friendԮ In Bush family politics, a nation whose ruling family and government had members that funded Al Qaeda and a regime which beheads people for becoming Christians are үur friendsҮ It was Bush who first celebrated Ramadan in The White House, who continued the express entry visa program for Saudi Arabians after September 11th, and it was former Republican Secretary of State James Baker who acts as legal counsel for the Saudi Arabians against the families of American 9/11 survivors in litigation for Saudi funding of terror. Reagan armed terrorist Iran and lied about it. Eisenhower was the first US President to knife Israel in the back in the 1956 Suez crises leaving Egypt in the Soviet camp. We also know from declassified White House tapes that Richard Nixon like his spiritual mentor Billy Graham was a vehement anti Semite. It was the Reagan Administration who refused to medivac badly wounded US Marines in October 1983 to nearby operating tables in Israel where their lives may have been saved and allowed them to arrive dead on arrival thousands of miles away in Germany and England in order not to offend the Saudi Arabian owners of the Republican Party. This betrayal is plainly motivated by corrupt economic interests. Again, the same things are true of the pro Islamic/ anti Israel policies of Democrats like Carter (whose charity is heavily funded by Moslem oil money) and Obama , the son of a Moslem. But the Republicans are misrepresented as being ԣonservativeҬ pro-Israel, and even ԃhristianԠeasily duping ignorant and undiscerning Christians. The elect are indeed increasingly being deceived by Islam and by their own leaders. The pandering to radical Islam by the British government under Tony Blare and Gordon Brown and the cancerous growth of radical Islam throughout Europe and in Canada and Australia are even more frightening. This phenomena is not devoid of prophetic significance.
This deception however has spread from the political realm and into the church with pseudo Evangelical figures such as Rick Warren, Tony Campolo, Robert Shuller, and above all Emergent church guru Brian Maclaren (who celebrates Ramadan). There is no doubt these trends are of prophetic significance and are helping pave the way for the anti Christ and false prophet. Even in an age of apostasy and spiritual degeneration within the church, it is still a fairly distant stretch however to believe that a purely Islamic can mislead Christians into accepting him as a returned Christ.
The problem with Joel Richardsonӳ approach is that he is playing baseball instead of billiards. His eye is one ball and he is ignoring all of the other balls which are no less important.
ՠ Joel Richardsonӳ first problem is that he all but ignores a fundamental principle of biblical exegesis; The Old Testament is interpreted in light of The New Testament of Christ. The New Testament focus (and indeed only mention) of Gog & Magog is the post millennia unleashing of Satan followed by Gog & Magog where they are identified with the nations of the earth. It makes no mention of the anti Christ or individuals. Joel Richardson ignores this violating a foundational tenet of hermeneutics.
This issue presents another consideration that Joel Richardson likewise ignores. Given the fact that by common consensus there are two battles of Gog & Magog and Ezekial 38 & 39 points to two future events, there is every possibility of a predictive double reference where there is a partial fulfillment in one fulfillment and a total fulfillment in the second. The precedents for this in biblical prophecy, especially eschatology, are multiple. Isaiah 9:6 predicts both the birth of Christ (first Coming) and the government being on His shoulders (Second Coming) in one breath. In the Olivet Discourse Jesus speaks of the 70 AD events first predicted by Daniel chapter 9 and then in the same discourse jumps ahead to end time events. The Ezekial 38 & 39 prediction that defilement and infidelity will cease will have an obvious and definite fulfillment in The New Testament Gog & Magog. Joel Richardsonӳ thesis , at least as he presents it, fails because his exegesis fails.
Another problem for Mr. Richardson is that in examining these prophecies in light of the New Testament, is that The New Testament in a spiritual sense identifies Rome with Babylon (1 Peter 5: 13, Revelation 17: 9 &18). It is unthinkable that the early Christians would certainly have identified Rome with its Pantheon as the custodian of the false religion s having their ontogeny in ancient Babylon. While we would never use Patristic tradition as a basis of any doctrinal or doctrinal interpretation (and we hold a rank disapproval of the post Nicean fathers theologically), the church fathers do constitute an important historical source to understand the mind set of the early church. Jeromeӳ ҄e Viris IllustribusԠ, and Augustineӳ ԠCity of GodԠreveal earlier sources viewed Rome as another Babylon.
Moreover that the fourth beast of Danielӳ vision which conquered the Grecian conquerors of the Persians who conquered Babylon is inco0ntestable as is the fact that the typological descriptions of Daniel & Revelation are the same.
ՠ Mr. Richardsonӳ contentions further fail to add up due to considerations of geography. To begin with, with a possible and debatable exception of Libya (Put), no Arab countries are even listed in the nations among those involved in the Gog & Magog War in Ezekial 38 &39. His assertion that Russia is not specifically named in scripture must be co-equally applied to the absence of Arab Moslem nations regarding Gog & Magog. The Armageddon conflict however speaks specifically of the nations surrounding Israel & Jerusalem in Zechariah chapter 12. His case, at least as he proposes it, just does not fit and fails to add up. This is to say nothing of the omission of a comprehensive theological argument to reconcile or explain how to resolve the 7 month clean up of the battlefield unless one takes the license to extend the task into Millenium when in fact the bulk of scripture , especially in Ezekiel, rather indicate that the biosphere itself will undergo a divinely reconstructed restoration to a pre-adamic state without participation of human agency.
An additional consideration is that major areas of Arab Moslem Jordan will escape the domain of anti Christ (Daniel 11:41). Moreover, one would be hard pressed to picture Saudi Arabia, the seat of Islam located directly to Israelӳ South and an Islamic world mainly to Israelӳ South, East, and West (apart from Turkey and half Moslem Lebanon) as being Ҵhe uttermost parts of the NorthԮ It just doesnӴ work.
ՠ A final problem with Joel Richardsonӳ scenario is that it avoids addressing central theological facts scripture states regarding Arab Islamic nations. To begin with there are the curses found in the Book of Genesis of Ishmaelӳ seed being divided and Esauӳ sword being against his brother.
Arab tribes fought each other in pre Islamic Arabia for centuries. Mohammed believed that by monotheism he could bring about a pan- Islamic and Pan- Arab unity called ҵmmahҮ It failed and continues to fail to this day. From the 8th century Battle of Carballah Sunni and Shia Moslems have hated each other to the Sunni ֠Shia and Arab-Kurdish war in Iraq to this day. There is no ҵmmahҮ Indeed, this is a reason why Islam must murder Christians and Jews; without a common enemy they will always kill each other. If Mohammed , Abu Bakir, and Ali could not Islam neither will the Mahdi; the union will fail and break down as usual just as the Fatah based Palestinian Authority and Hamas massacred each other in Gaza, as Iran and Iraq killed 1.5 million of each other, as Sadam Hussein raped Kuwait, and as King Hussein of Jordan exterminated 18,000 of Yassir Arafatӳ followers in Black September of 1270. The curse of Genesis prevents Islamic unity into a united empire over-running the West. Islam needed Christianized Britain & America to liberate Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia from Sadam Hussein just as they still need the West to protect them from their Persian Moslem brothers in contemporary Iran. Indeed, the greatest Islamic Empire was strategically dominated by Ottoman Turks who subjugated the Arab Moslems as serfs and slaves as Black African Moslems are enslaved by Arab militias today. This is the true face of Islam ֠a colossal ideological and religious failure, just as it has always been and always shall be.
It is additionally true that the Book of Daniel indicates that coming in the character of Antiochus Epiphanus recapitulating the exploits that brought him to power. When the Kings of The North (Western powers) fought the Kings of The South (nations which are today Islamic), the Kings of the South lost and will lose. Joel Richardson simply avoids dealing with these issues. Ignoring an issue will not make it go away. He also does not explain how Jesus prediction that the anti Christ will come in his own name whom unsaved Jews will believe (John 5: 43). How will Jews be deceived by an Islamic messiah? The issue of John 5:43 must be examined carefully.
All in all Joel Richardson, while raising some valid points that warrant consideration, constructs a weak case deficient hermeneutically, geographically, and historically. His exegesis is not solid and there are simply far too many questions he does not even address let alone answer.
We do not maintain however that there is no merit to the alarm that Noel Richardson, and similarly Brother Walid Shoebat are attempting to sound. Islam is most certainly an anti Christ Religion, but so is any religion that places another in the place of Christ. Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, Sun Yung Moonӳ Unification Church and a host of cults are anti Christ and The World Council of Churches dominated by theological liberalism is controlled by an anti Christ spirit. As Moslemӳ await a mahdi and Jews a Messiah, so too Buddhists await the 5th Buddha and New Agers await Matriyeh. Could it not be that the anti Christ will be diabolically empowered to cover all bases being satanically animated to represent all things to all people?
There is however one saving grace in the proposal of Joel Richardson which appears to echo the emphasis of Walid Shoebat. While the Book of Acts and the Epistles mainly trace the growth of Christianity and the expansion of the Gospel message to the Greco Roman world in the direction of Europe climaxing in Rome itself from where Western civilization springs politically as it springs from Macedonia and Athens culturally. This is the biblical record of the New Testament.
However, the Gospel although having its spiritual origins in eternity was in historical and theological terms born not in the West but in The East out of Old Testament Pre-Talmudic Judaism during The Second Temple Period. The strength of Joel Richardӳ and of my dear friend Walid Shoebat is that they seek to redress an imbalance which fails to view eschatology (and biblical dogma generally) from an Eastern as well as Western perspective. It is a further truth that the dangerous threatening and anti Christ nature of Islam must not be understated as it too often has been. Here too we are also indebted to Joel Richardson. He is drawing attention to an evil paving the way for the anti Christ more than any other religious trend with the exception of the ecumenical/ inter faith deception. While much of Joel Richardsonӳ arguments are implausible and predicted on theologically abject suppositions drawn from faulty exegesis, we must at the same time acknowledge that there is a beneficial dimension to attributing the demonic disease of radical Islam and the need not to limit our perception of scripture to reading it through a helenistic cultural prism.
None the less, Joel Richardsonӳ proposition is as perforated as Swiss cheese. If his position is credible, his book categorically fails to package and present this position and to furnish a comprehensive apologetic for it. The source deficiency in Joel Richardsonӳ book is bad exegesis, which bequeaths the rest of his case a shallow and wobbly if not hollow foundation.
(Jacob Prasch/ Moriel)