The relevance of Islamic Eschatology finally hits the mainstream media

In 2004, when I first penned my book Islamic Antichrist (first called Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah), I was convinced that understanding the relevance of Islamic eschatology was a critical factor that Christians as well as simple geopolitical analysts were missing.

Now, ten years later, the mainstream media seems to be catching on to the fact that indeed these beliefs, no matter how wrong they may be, guide what a large segment of the world believes and yearns for. Of course, it took the Islamic State to wake them up, but better late than never.

The first article, by the Clarion Project is excellent, I highly recommend everyone read this.

The second article is from the Wall Street Journal. You will need a subscription to read the full text, but the link is here in case you have access.

  • good4u
    Posted at 00:29h, 20 November

    Oh dear God, Joel!

    Why did I do it??? I should not have. That video posted within the link is the most awful wake-up call to the West and to deny that they seek to come here is folly. These men have no light in their eyes and are full of utter darkness and to kill in such a horrific, robotic way without emotion for victims is to be controlled by demons. Posters, please do not watch the video, it is painful. I say this for your own good. The warning before the video is absolutely accurate.

    This is the future we face and we must know and be secure in Christ to endure until His return.


  • Nick
    Posted at 01:55h, 20 November

    Joel — Ironically, while some in the wider media are awakening to this, others within the Church are castigating you for looking at Islamic eschatology.

    How can anyone deny that people who adhere to Islamic theology would be motivated by Islamic theology?

  • George
    Posted at 02:09h, 20 November

    I think ISIS needs to read your book Joel! ‘Romans’ in Muhammad’s time referred mainly to Anatolians/Greeks. Not North Americans.

  • Christopher
    Posted at 03:31h, 20 November

    Hi Joel,
    could you share your thoughts on this video by Chris White which very politely disagrees with your view on an Islamic Anti-christ. I am not sure on which view is closest to scripture as we all have personal views on what we understand the scriptures to say. While he has presented his refute of your work, I would like to hear your refute to his video presentation. Thank you for sharing.

  • Joel
    Posted at 04:12h, 20 November

    Hi Christopher,

    Very briefly, if the title of the video is an indicator, then his argument is a straw man, as I never claim the Antichrist will be an ethnic Assyrian. However, the Antichrist is foreshadowed through “the Assyrian” in a few passages. So there are a variety of options as to how we understand this. But it would certainly be informed by two passages which White clearly misinterprets. These are Daniel 8 and 11. Both passages which both point to the historical Antiochus Epiphanies (a gentile) as a type of the Antichrist. Read Daniel 8 and ask yourself if the little horn is merely the historical Antiochus or if it is speaking of the Antichrist. There will your answer lie. Please forgive my brevity, as I simply do not have time to answer questions that require too much time right now. But I hope this has helped.


  • linda keyes
    Posted at 18:27h, 20 November

    Amazingly i read about this on a BBC article(of all organisations)

    I watched a little bit of the Chris white clip, and have to say that i do think the scriptures do indicate that the ac is an Assyrian, those are my own conclusions, to be honest i was of the opinion that the scriptures do not even refer to Antiochus Epiphanies, but all the commentaries say that they do, so i just assumed they must be right. I then came across another article by Samuel Clough which i liked : Why Antiochus is not Mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

    I am learning to be more confident in how i see things, and not always assume the other person is right, which is why i so appreciate this website, with all the articles and comments. I know doctrine is not life and death, God is looking for relationship, but its really thrilling for a lay person to see something, and then see a good teacher say similar.


    (will be watching the video soon Joel)

  • Nelson Walters
    Posted at 19:29h, 20 November

    Hi Chris,

    I had a chance to listen to Christopher’s video and I might offer a little more explaination as well. I respect Mr. White a great deal, however he and I also disagree on a number of points. In regard to the Micah 5:5 passage he slip slides the obvious end time application of the use of the name “the Assyrian” for the Antichrist by quoting the NET version which translates the verse “if the Assyrian might come” into our land. This translation offers some wiggle room for a verse that is pretty air tight. Mr. White implies that Micah was giving his readers a hypothetical instance rather than a prophecy. This is the only major translation that translates the Hebrew this way and it flies in the face of ancient Hebrew which uses the word yā·ḇō·w which is clearly “will come” not “might come.”

    The concept of giving a hypothetical in a known prophetic passage with clear messianic reference is also quite strange. I do not know the motives of the NET translaters, but sometimes translations make a verse say what their theology indicates “it should say” rather than what the words actually say. The majority of translations do not handle this verse as a hypothetical.

    Nelson Walters

  • Nelson Walters
    Posted at 19:44h, 20 November


    When you’re looking at Daniel 8, please note verses 8:17,19. These verses (repeated for effect!)clearly indicate the entire vision is for the appointed time of the end, not historic. Antiochus is the type or foreshadow but the Antichrist is the fulfillment.

    Hope that helps as you ponder these things.


  • Joel
    Posted at 20:46h, 20 November

    Hi Nelson,

    I haven’t actually watched the video. I didn’t realize the NET Bible read that way. Yes, unfortunately at times, interpretive inferences can make their way into particular translations, and this one is quite an obvious and unfortunate example. The NET literally inserts a few words into the translation that actually change the meaning. The “Should” and the “attempt” are clearly interpretive insertions that have no basis in the Hebrew text.

    Notice that such qualifiers are not even hinted at in other translations:

    “This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, when he tramples on our citadels” —New American Standard Bible

    “And this man shall be the peace, When the Assyrian shall come into our land: And when he shall tread in our palaces,”—King James Version

    “And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces” —English Standard Version

  • Howard
    Posted at 14:00h, 21 November

    Thanks, Joel, for the post and explanations.

    Jesus wants the readers and hearers of His Olivet Discourse concerning the time prior to His return to know that Daniel is not referring to Antiochus Epiphanes, but of a future event: “Therefore when you see the abomination that brings desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Mt 24:15-16)

  • Dave S.
    Posted at 16:31h, 26 November

    Great web site , God bless you all. I am amazed at the speed of ISIS right now. They are gaining a foothold in Libya,Sinai, Pakistan as well as Iraq and Syria. We cannot be dogmatic about Turkey. ISIS is moving faster than Alexander. It will all come together soon. How can anyone that’s into bible prophecy not see the Islamic paradigm is the real deal?
    Don’t stretch the text geographically and it will all fall into place. It’s just that simple.

  • Joel
    Posted at 15:11h, 28 November

    I finally just had a few minutes to watch the video.

    While I appreciate White’s compliments at the outset, (He and I have exchanged some e-mails and have a friendly relationship), from the little bit that I did listen to, I must begin by saying that White has quite brazenly misrepresented my position on a few counts. My hope is that he did this out of sloppiness and was not doing so deliberately.

    A large part of White’s polemic rests on his claim that I apply all of Isaiah 10 to Jesus and the future. Wrong. I do not such thing. This is one example of White’s misrepresentation of my views.

    The position I take is a very common position among conservative exegetes. I understand the entirety of Isaiah 10 as being primarily historically fulfilled, with various elements of the prophecy also having end time Messianic application. There is a significant difference between this and applying every aspect of the text to Jesus.

    Conversely, it must be pointed out that White essentially takes a preterist view of all of chapter 10, except the one sliver which the NT applies to Jesus, i.e.., the portion about the virgin being with child. In order for his view to hold up, he must disregard any further futurist fulfillment. To do this, he must ignore the clearly eschatological language of the text:

    In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. —Isaiah 10:20-22

    My argument, along with many conservative futurist commentaries on this passage, is that it has historical application and fulfillment, yes, but it is also quite clearly pointing to a greater last days Messianic fulfillment. The language of “in that day” and the description of the remnant of Israel being fully reliant on the “Holy One” of Israel is language that ultimately points to the Messianic era. It is nearly identical to that which is found in Isaiah 11.

    Then in that day
    The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
    Who will stand as a fnsignal for the peoples;
    And His resting place will be glorious.
    Then it will happen on that day that the Lord
    Will again recover the second time with His hand
    The remnant of His people, who will remain,
    From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath,
    And from the islands of the sea.
    And He will lift up a standard for the nations
    And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
    And will gather the dispersed of Judah
    From the four corners of the earth.
    Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart,
    And those who harass Judah will be cut off;
    Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
    And Judah will not harass Ephraim. Isaiah 11:11-13

    White’s failure to acknowledge the eschatological language shows that he is practicing a form of eisegesis (reading into the text a preconceived idea) and not exegesis (drawing out the meaning of the text through a careful study of the text). You see, White’s position is that the Antichrist will be Jewish. He must therefore deconstruct the numerous passages throughout the prophets that foreshadow the Antichrist through various Gentile invaders as having no prophetic future fulfillment. This forces him to take a strained interpretation.

    Another clear error on White part is seen when he asks how the Messiah can be both a sign of the Assyrians defeating Israel, while also being the one who will defeat the Assyrians. White actually says that Isaiah teaches that “the Assyrian armies are a judgment from God, and they will be victorious, and will not be defeated” (6:45).

    But what does the text actually say?

    “When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, ‘I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.'” —Isaiah 10:12

    Do you see that? First the Lord uses the Assyrians as His rod of chastisement against Israel and then He breaks them. Strangely White even quotes this passage later and does;t realize that he has answered his own question and proves my initial point.

    Yet White sees no eschatological meaning to this passage whatsoever, despite the fact that this is precisely what so many of the other prophets describe with regard to the armies of the Antichrist: Last Days foreign invaders who are initially victorious, but are then defeated when the Messiah returns to deliver the surviving remnant of Israel.

    White is a very articulate speaker, but his exegesis and argumentation here is very sloppy. This is the danger in beginning with a theory (the Antichrist as well as Mystery Babylon are all Jewish) and then seeking to defend that position rather than allowing the text to speak for itself.

    As I continued watching, again White misrepresented my position concerning Isaiah 9.

    I was also surprised that White ended his commentary by referring to my view as “new.” Again, I will chalk this up to ignorance and not assume that he purposefully misrepresented the facts. As a brief reference I would begin by citing Hippolytus, the early 3rd century theologian who said the following concerning Isaiah 10:22:

    “That these things, then, are said of no one else but that tyrant, and shameless one, and adversary of God, we shall show in what follows. But Isaiah also speaks thus: ‘And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes.’”

    Later, Victorinus, bishop of Pettau, an early bishop and the author of the most ancient complete commentary on the Book of Revelation in our possession, states that “the Assyrian” mentioned in Micah 5:5 is the Antichrist:

    “There shall be peace for our land … and they shall encircle Assyria – that is antichrist.”

    Lactantius, yet another early church writer from the third century, stated that the Antichrist would come from precisely the same region:

    “A king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit, the overthrower and destroyer of the human race, who shall destroy that which is left by the former evil, together with himself. … But that king will not only be most disgraceful in himself, but he will also be a prophet of lies … and power will be given to him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. … Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people.”

    Later Clarence Larkin (1850–1924), an American Baptist pastor, Bible teacher and famous author whose writings on Dispensationalism have been widely received, likewise took note of these things in his book “Dispensational Truth”:

    “The ‘King of the North’ was the King of Syria, and his character and conduct is described (Daniel 11:36-39) as similar to that of the ‘Little Horn’ that came out of one of the ‘Four Horns’ it is clear that the Antichrist is to come from Syria. … We are to understand therefore by the ‘King of the North’ the King of Syria, which also included Assyria. This fixes the locality from which the Antichrist shall come. …”

    Later yet, Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), an English evangelist and biblical exegete also well-known for his work “The Antichrist,” likewise identified the Antichrist as coming from the Middle Eastern region of the former Assyrian Empire:

    “We have seen that the Scriptures which help us to determine the direction from which he will arise, speak of him under the title of the ‘Little Horn.’ Now the first thing this title denotes is that he is a king, king of Assyria. … [After he] acquires the crown of Syria he will speedily enlarge his dominions.”

    I’m not going to continue as I think the little I have written is sufficient to show that White’s polemics against my view are rooted in a rather hasty and sloppy interaction with my work as well as the text. Sadly, I wish I could be more generous, but this was very disappointing.

    I hope these brief comments are helpful.


  • Loretta Jones
    Posted at 13:23h, 20 August

    Joel, I am reading Chris White’s book False Christ. I am having a hard time with his views. I’ve listened to you and Reggie Kelly along with Art Katz and Nelson Walters for so Long that I’m not sure I can keep an open mind to his view. I know we should never be dogmatic but have found his book hard to swallow. I’m half way through and nothing about Jacobs trouble or how the Jewish people need us Christian’s in the end times. He says the Jews will think he is their Messiah. Your thoughts if you have any.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:08h, 21 August

    White’s book is filled with exegetical, historical, and simple logical errors.

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