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A Revived Roman Empire or An Islamic Empire?

I have usually just accepted the concept of a European antichrist, but I did a little reading up on Rodrigo Silva's beastfromtheeast website, and I have to admit, some of the arguments seem pretty convincing. Particularly the argument about how "Xi Chi Stigma" in Revelation 13:18 resembles the Arabic for "in the name of allah". Basically I've become more open to the possibility of a Middle Eastern/Islamic antichrist, but I'm still not convinced and here is why:

1.) In order to make "in the name of allah" fit with Revelation 13:18, "count" has to be translated "decide" and "number" has to be translated twice as "multitude". I did a lot of Greek Lexicon searching and it seems like that would be a major stretch. For example, the Greek word "arithmos", used in the verse for "number" is never used for "multitude" in the NT. I found that it is used 17 times for "number" and only once for anything else ("group"). It is where we get the word "arithmetic" from. So in short... I do find it interesting that "666" in Greek resembles "in the name of allah", but it also seems like the verse is clearly telling the reader to "count the number" and not "decide the multitude".

2.) The big controversy exists over Daniel 9:26 where it says "the prince of the people to come". The Islamic antichrist view seems to put emphasis on this verse because, it is argued, the "people" were Syrians and not Italians. However, though they were probably not from Italia, they were still Roman citizens. My point here is this: Daniel 9:26 does not specify if the prophecy refers to an
ethnicity or to a nationality. It could be either/and/or. We simply don't know. Any nationality is going to be made up of different ethnicities. Imagine if the prophecy was about America... is it specifying "Americans" or "Hispanic-Americans"? It could be either. One thing is for sure though: the Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire.

3.) If Javier Solana or another European leader (such as Sarkozy) were to be the antichrist it would still fit well with the prophecy if it is referring to a nationality. Spain (Iberia), for example, was one of the longest-lasting territories of the Roman Empire... in fact, Iberia was part of the Empire for almost
700 years! Check this animated map out:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Roman_Empire_map.gif

4.) Another strong argument for an Islamic antichrist is that there seems to be an indication that he will come from a kingdom that will have been divided into "four" parts. Instantly we think of Alexander's empire, which is prophesied earlier in Daniel. The problem is, the Hellenic Empire was not the only relevant empire. The Roman Empire was ALSO divided into four parts during the Tetrarchy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tetrarchy_map3.jpg In fact, this might even be more relevant because the Hellenic Empire lost control of Judea when the Maccabees revolted, while the Roman Empire maintained control of Judea from the time it conquered Palestine until its demise.

5.) The antichrist is said to exalt himself above "everything that is called god and worshiped". This, at least on the surface, would seem to indicate an atheist/agnostic type antichrist. The "god of fortresses" certainly could refer to allah or some other false deity, but it might also be emphasizing the antichrist's worship of his own material strength (i.e. putting his faith in his military might or something similar). It's another and/or possibility that we simply don't have an answer to yet.

6.) The big issue for me is this: I find Islam to be detestable and vile, but I'm not sure I see it to be as evil as the other major worldview opposed to Christianity--Secular Humanism. Basically, if we indeed are close to Christ's return there are just three major worldviews left: Christianity, Secular Humanism, and Islam. I believe firmly that either Humanism or Islam will produce the antichrist, the other will serve as a diversion, or one will produce the antichrist and the other will produce the false prophet. Personally I tend to lean toward an irreligious antichrist and an Islamic false prophet. As much as I hate Islam, Secular Humanism is what produced Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Margaret Sanger, eugenics, abortion, gay marriage, pornography, moral relativism, etc.

7.) Building on #6 is the idea of "Babylon". The antichrist's empire will be a worldwide "Babylon" system. I've commonly heard the Babylon system as referring to a worldwide apostate religious system (i.e. some argue it is the Roman Catholic Church, while others argue it is Islam, while others argue it is a universal "New Age"-type religion). This seems like a possibility, but here is the big glaring problem: Revelation 17-18's description of Babylon doesn't once mention religion or idolatry as Babylon's sin. The sin is adultery, material greed/wealth, persecution of the saints, etc. If we go back to the origins of Babylon at the Tower of Babel, we see that the chief sin was humanity's quest to become its own 'god', not in worshiping another deity. This is the same sin that caused Eve to eat the fruit "to become like god". Babylon is, in essence, taking idolatry one step further--suggesting WE are god, the STATE is god, and WE can do it on our own. This is how Babylon, the Tower of Babel, and Secular Humanism are all the exact same thing. The EU and the UN are the pinnacle of Babylon.

8.) The antichrist will call himself "god". This is probably my biggest objection to an Islamic antichrist. In Islam a man cannot be "god"... period. There's no way. This is why Islam is so radically opposed to Christianity. Islam teaches that Imam Mahdi is merely a man, not a god. If he were to claim to be "god" that would be categorically opposed to their religion. Their god "allah" is an absolutely unitarian, immaterial being, and nothing can change that. This is why I see the "day of declaration" as not a good fit with Islam. Secular Humanism seems to fit well, though. He will call himself "god".

9.) The symbolism that is shared between the EU and ancient Babylon is simply striking. The EU Parliament building is shaped like the Tower of Babel. The "woman riding the beast" is plastered all over the place (statues, coins, pictures, etc). Stamps, pictures, murals, and other images that the EU uses show the Tower of Babel. Also consider the U.S., also part of the Secular Humanism worldview. One of her motto's is "out of many, one". This is literally the reason God destroyed the Tower of Babel and confused their languages. America is saying, essentially, that we can undo what God did at Babel. This is also what the EU is saying.

10.) Power. Secular Humanism has the power right now. It has the nukes, it has the world government (the UN), it has the US, EU, UNASUR, AU, China, Russia, and others. It controls everything except parts of the Middle East and a few countries in North Africa and central Asia. Certainly this could change very rapidly, but an Islamic/Middle Eastern confederation, if it existed right now, could be wiped out completely by a couple US carrier battlegroups and a few weeks of Israeli airstrikes.

11.) Israel takes a ton of land in the Middle East after the first or second war. Clearly the first war will be between Israel and Islamic countries. So when Israel takes over the heart of the Middle East, and the antichrist is yet to bring his troops to Megiddo, it wouldn't make much sense, at least in my mind, for the antichrist to be a Muslim when Islam just had its butt kicked all over the place by the IDF.


I am open to the possibility of an Islamic antichrist, but I'm leaning more towards a scenario where the antichrist rises out of the former Roman Empire and the false prophet rises out of Islam in order to bring religious people, who would otherwise be opposed to the antichrist, under the beast's control. The false prophet, I think, might be the Imam Mahdi to the Muslims, Matreiya to the Buddhists, etc.
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2 comments :

  1. I agree completely. Slightly different subject:

    Anti-Christ ~ To be advesarial to Chris. To be against Him or opposite from Him. All of us are anti-Christ in some sense, but I am not headed to some universalist new age thought.

    The world continues to run full steam ahead to self-will, self-governance, we can do it ourselves thank you very much.

    Just like the Tower of Babel. God's says spread out. They say we'll stay right here and do it ourselves.

    God says - you will fail with out me and he forces them to spread out.

    The world is running towards one world government, one world currency and on and on. Some human will be appointed to sit on top of this pyramid. Psalms 127 - Unless God builds the house...

    See 1 Samuel 8:7

    http://notworthcomparing.blogspot.com/ - see February blog on the Tower of Babel.

    This human at the top of this house of cards will set himself up as the solution to the world's problems. Only one, Jehovah, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, The Soverign of the Universe, the Omnipotent - Omniscient, Omnipresent one is able.

    When we turn to Washington, the EU, nukes, savings, border fences, guns, power or whatever we set ourselves against trust in the One solution.

    When this world unifies around a human instead of the self-existent creator, sustainer and redeemer we have taken the mark of this beast.

    Is the anti-Christ from Rome, the EU, Islam, Moscow, Beijing or Jerusalem - don't know, but I know we make him out to be bigger and scarier and more powerful than he is.

    Perhaps he will be possessed by satan and become stronger. For now he's just a man. He will never be anything like the Holy One who is the Word who created everything John 1, including lucifer and all his cohorts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gary,

    Forgot to tell you how well constructed your article was. You are quite the writer and apologist.

    D.

    ReplyDelete


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