The Islamic Anti-Christ?
Lately, I have read a promotional artical on World Net Daily regarding the up and coming future anti-Christ. The author believes unlike most Christians that the future anti-Christ will not be West European but actually be Islamic and perhaps even Arabic. The author states that the prophecy in Daniel regarding the great empires that rise and fall and ulitimately lead to the anti-Christ will not culminate with a "revived Roman Empire" but instead will produce a ressurected Caliphate based in the Middle East. The critical break in the author's view being that it is the city of Babylon that is the key to unlocking this great "mystery" regarding the future anti-Christ.
Let me rebut these points in detail and let the reader come to his own conclusion.
1) Daniels prophecy of the statue & four beasts- Israel's enslavement to the great empires for her sins. In Daniel 2 and 7 we see from God that 4 great empires would arise to punish Israel for her sins against God. They don't arise to conquer Babylon but to conquer Jerusalem. God has allowed them to rise to power for this purpose to purify the soul of the jew not the Chaldeans who were the first to take Israel's sovereignty away.
Babylon, the ancient seat of the Chaldeans, was not the focus of God in Daniel but merely the first gentile nation to rule over Jerusalem. She would not be the last. The Persians came second and allowed the Jew to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Then came the Greeks as the third overlord of Jerusalem beginning with Alexander the Great and giving birth to Greek rule over the entire Middle East including Israel. Finally, the Romans took over where the Greeks left off and Israel becomes a vassal state to the Roman Empire just before Christ is born.
Eventually, it would be the Romans, the fourth great empire, that would trampel over Jerusalem in 70 AD and destroy the Temple the second time on exactly the 9th Day of Av of the Jewish calendar when the first great empire of the Chaldeans destroyed the first Jewish Temple over 500 years before on the same day. Christ says in Luke 24 that Jerusalem (not Babylon) shall be trodden down by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled.
All of these events preceded the rise of Islam in the late 7th Century. In fact, Islam claims Jerusalem and Israel as Jewish entities have never existed and certainly did not exist when they conquered Jerusalem in their own time (circular reasoning par excellence). Per Christ then the Moslems are simply another gentile power currently treading on Jewish property and as part of the great gentile masses will continue to do so until the Second Advent of Christ which ends gentile rule over JERUSALEM sometime in the future.
2) The Church Age - The Great Parenthesis. When it comes to prophecy it has to be recognized that the Church Age is a very unique time period and that it was completely invisible to the Old Testament Saints including the prophets such as Daniel himself. In Daniel 9, When Daniel is praying an Angel comes to him and explains that God has decreed 70 "sevens" upon the people of Israel to "finish the transgression, put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up visions and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy" the angel also mentions something very important - there is a break in the 70 weeks of seven years due to the First Advent of Jesus Christ-
"know and undstand this: from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven and sixty-two sevens (69 weeks of seven years). After the sixty-two sevens the anointed one will be cut off and will have nothing".
After 69 weeks of seven years from the time the First Temple is rebuilt to the First Advent of Christ we see that Christ is "cut off" and the resumption of the last week is not fulfilled until "he" confirms a covenant with many for one (last) seven. The Angel speaking to Daniel goes on and says something very significant - the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and sanctuary (of Jeruslaem). We know from this conversation the Angel is not talking about the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans under Nebachanezzer because by this time that event was past. Here the Angel is speaking about the future second destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and we know this because 70 sevens have been decreed by God as just announced by the Angel to Daniel. And by the 69th seven (483 years later) Christ is born but will be cutoff by the crucifixion. Crucifixion in fact and deed administered by none other than the Roman Empire in 30 AD. Islam you will note is no where to be seen until the 7th century way into the great parenthesis known as the Church Age some 600 years later.
We also know who the origin of the "people of the ruler who will come" that destroys Jerusalem and the Temple a second time because in the city of Rome itself a great arch was commemorated for the conquest of Israel showing none other than the Jewish Menora on a freize as the spoils of war in Rome itself in the heart of Italia! Nope, not in Riyadh or Mecca but in Rome we find these facts. Islam once again is no where to be found.
Between the 69th week and the 70th week that God has decreed for Israel's punishment the "great parenthesis" is inserted now known as the Church Age. The 70th week only resumes when "he" makes a covanent with the "many" for one last "seven". That "he" is the False Prophet of Revelation 13 because here in Revelation we find that it is the False Prophet of Isreal(a Jew) who erects a statue to honor the "god" of the 10-King kingdom(Revived Rome) in the city of Jerusalem and this only occurs by the middle of that last seven year "week" of Daniel's prophecy. The "god" of Revived Rome is known as the "beast" and he sits as the ruler of "the people who will come" that destroyed the second Temple and that my friends was the great Roman Empire not the tribes of Arabia or the Islamic Caliphate.
Finally, Daniel was told that all of these things were to occur during the 70 weeks of seven years of Israel's punishment. The great perenthesis or Church Age though it is between the 69th and 70th week is not part of this prophetic equation and thus Islam which arose during the great parenthesis (Church Age from 30AD to present) in the 7th century cannot be the people who return at the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy in the future as this has been reserved for the empire that ruled over Israel and Jerusalem during the preceding 69 week period which would fall squarely on the Roman Empire domiciled in Western Europe. In other words, its the ROMAN EMPIRE that stradles the 69th and 70th week of Daniel's prophecy. Hence, we call the future 4th gentile kingdom of Daniel 2 & 7 the "revived Roman Empire" and not a revived Caliphate since the Caliphate didn't exist until after the 69th week of Daniel and was only evident during the Church Age which Daniel himself could not see because he was not told of its existence (the Church Age) by the Angel.
3) The Beast - 7 hills and 7 kings. Who is the anti-Christ? I believe it's John of Revelation that tells us exactly where the anti-Christ will hail from and what people he rules over in the future. In Revelation 17 John has been shown the future and he sees a harlot riding a "beast". This beast the Angel explains to John will sometime in the future be completely worshipped and idolized by the unrighteous inhabitants of the earth. This "beast" is at once the revived Roman Emporer of the 69th Week of Daniel when Christ was "cut-off" at his First Advent on earth.
The Angel explains something quite significant- he says the people of earth will be astonished by his "ressurection" because "he once was" (in the 69th week of Daniel as the first Roman Caesar), "now is not" (during the great parenthesis or Church Age when John wrote Revelation), "and yet will come" (in the 70th week of Daniel as the last Roman Caesar). Here the Angel is connecting the future "beast" with the Roman Empire as it was when the Roman Empire cut off the Anointed One at the 69th Week of Daniel when Christ was crucified at Golgotha by the Roman Empire. No doubt Satan had used the Roman Caesar as his proxy and justification to have Christ executed for "slandering" Caesar and actually establishing himself as the Lord of Lords over the King of the West which of course during this time was heresy (civil not religous) and treason to the Roman Empire which Israel now belonged as a vassal state.
When the people of the world see the beast again in the future at the 70th week of Daniel they connect these two leaders as one - the Roman Caesar of Western Europe! Thus they are astonished and amazed by the appearance of the "beast" one last time in history when the Angel describes the beast as "once was, now is not, and yet will come". The beast is evident during the 69th Week (once was) disappears during the great parenthesis of the Church Age(now is not) and reappears at the 70th week of Daniel(yet to come).
The Angel further tells John about the future anti-Christ known as the beast - "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while".
I believe we can pinpoint quite accurately the seven kings. First, the harlot is the future ecumenical religion (religious babylon) that sits on seven hills. Clearly the Vatican with the Roman Catholic Church is the mother of all religions today (more ecumenical then Christian orthodox) and the Vatican is seated at Rome and this city has seven very famous hills (Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, Viminal) which makes Rome the site of the seven hills. Furthermore, the Angel tells John that the seven hills are also seven kings. If the seven hills are in Rome (which I'm convinced they are) then the seven kings by logic must be Roman as well. The Angel goes on and says "five kings have fallen, one is and the other has not yet come; but when he does come he must remain for a little while".
Here we can triangulate if you will to get a precise picture of the seven kings. When John was exiled to the Island of Patmos the "king that is" was none other than the Roman Ceaser Domition! By 96 AD Domition had imprisoned John on Patmos and if we count backwards we can trace the "five" kings that had previously fallen.
Before Domition there was the Ceasar Titus (5th King) then before him was Vespasian (4th King) before him was Vitellius (3rd King) and before him was Otho (2nd King) and finally before him was Galba (1st king). What is fascinating is that the first four kings all vied for the position of Emporer in what is now known as the Year of the Four Emporers. That is not without significance I believe because that year was characterized by a succession attempt by these four would-be emporers for the Roman Empire during the exact time period that Israel was being sacked by Rome when she revolted against her in 68 AD. By December 69 AD, Vespasian takes over as Emporer and just 7 short months later Israel would fall to Titus and his legions and the Second Jewish Temple would be destroyed.
Later, Vespasian (4th King) dies and Titus (5th king) takes over as Roman Caesar. Once again, Titus is significant because he was present with the Legions when the Second Jewish Temple was razed by the Romans in 70 AD on the 9th Day of Av according to the Jewish calendar. Later, Domition takes over as Caesar and he is identified by the Angel in Revelation as the "king that is" since it was he who exiled John to the isle of Patmos.
What is also significant about the 5 kings is that all of them are related or connected to events occuring in Israel at that time namely her destruction by the legions of Rome. Vespasian emerges victorious over the succession struggle in the Year of the 4 Emporers and it was he who was initially in Isreal when the revolt over Roman suzerainty erupted between the Jews and the Romans in 68 AD.
Also interesting is that the entire succession struggle occured in the first place because Emporer Nero was declared an "enemy" of the state by the Roman Senate in 68 AD. He later committed suicide to avoid certain torture and death by his executors and it was Nero who had the greatest Apostle of the Church Age, Saul of Tarsus or Paul as we now know him from the Bible executed in 68 AD in Rome! Additionally, Domition himself like Nero, would find himself dead the exact same year he had John exiled to Patmos in 96 AD after ruling for 15 years as Caesar. Invisible hand of God? Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord? Most certainly.
All of these kings are Roman. And the Angel tells John that the "other has not yet come" meaning the 7th Roman Caesar or King of the 70th Week of Daniel is yet future. The Angel goes further and states the beast "who once was" (in the 69th week) "and now is not" (evident during the great perenthesis or Church Age) "is an eighth king". This last phrase bifurcates the last week of Daniel or the 70th Week as we know it because the Emporer of Rome emerges at the begining of the 70th week (Tribulation) thus astonishing the world and by the middle of the 70th week (Great Tribluation) the Emporer of Rome becomes the anti-Christ when he is fully possessed by Satan. Hence, the "8th King" is part of the seventh at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel (human - Emporer of Europe) and by the time we reach the middle of the last 70th week of Daniel (3 1/2 years) becomes the anti-Christ (Satan possessed human - Emporer of the World). You will note in Revelation that the anti-Christ is captured alive by the victorious armies of Christ at the Second Advent and thrown bodily into the Lake of Fire - hence the 8th king "goeth to his destruction" once and for all.
Once again, the Moslems are not part of this equation and cannot be. The world will not be astonished and hopeful over a revived Caliphate but they most certainly will over a Revived Roman Empire. Once again, history comes full circle. Caesar in fact will be destroyed by Jesus Christ and Israel restored to sovereignty.
All Hail the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! All Hail Christ our Lord!