As the world’s attention becomes directed more and more toward ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, many will wonder what implications these events may have for the world’s future. No one, of course, can know precisely what the future holds. However, the Bible, more than any other book ever written, gives consistent guidelines leading to an overall understanding of what is yet to occur and how it will unfold.
There are some reading this commentary who
I believe that the final seven years of this age, commonly referred to as the 70th Week, constitute the period of time during which these events will occur. I am convinced, as never before, that recent and current happenings indicate that this period of time, as prophesied in the Bible, is very near.
destruction of Jerusalem
I feel it is easier to understand current events if one perceives what the endpoint will be, at least according to biblical prophecy. Here is a description by God, through His prophet Zechariah, of what ultimately is in store for Jerusalem, near the end of 70th Week (the final seven years of this age):
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the cityHow do we know that this refers to a point in the future, rather than to the time in the past when the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem and deported most of the population to Babylon? We know this because the prophecy next speaks of how the Lord will return to earth and come against the armies of the nations who have attacked Jerusalem (just as, soon thereafter, He will fight the armies gathering to attack Him in the Battle of Armageddon):
Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem...We know that this is when the Messiah (Yeshua = Jesus) will return, because at that time He will begin to reign over the whole earth
Yet another graphic depiction of the final destruction of Jerusalem was given by a different ancient prophet
Why will Jerusalem eventually be attacked and be all but completely destroyed? One reason is that a majority of the world hates Israel. The descendants of Jacob have been hated, ostracized, and persecuted for millennia. For instance, in approximately 445 B.C., Nehemiah, a Jew from Judah
The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to itThe fact is that no one has any historical claim to Jerusalem except for the descendants of Jacob
There have been a number of attempts to eliminate Israel throughout their history, even since 1948 when it became a nation again for the first time in the modern era. During the final half of the 70th Week, as the very end of this age
The people who descended from Jacob (the grandson of Abraham, and the son of Isaac) have been punished many times by God, often severely, for turning to, worshiping, and paying homage to gods other than the one true God. The Old Testament of the Bible contains uncountable descriptions of how:
Many of the people of the world will rejoice while Israel is being torn apart, mostly during the final 3˝ years of the 70th Week. But then utter destruction will come upon the rest of the world as well, during the cataclysmic beginning of the Day of the Lord period: the “day of vengeance” (for example, as described in
Finally, the Israeli descendants who will survive—called a “remnant”
Although many would like to believe that people basically are “good,” the fact is that all of us, innately and instinctively, are malevolent and sinful
This ongoing battle has been occurring since the inception of this Creation, and it will continue until this present, imperfect universe passes away
Lucifer originally was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty”
Accordingly, Satan desires, even craves, to be the sole focus of all worship, praise, and allegiance—above God and every facet of God, including Jesus, the Messiah (Christ). Satan’s ultimate goal is for no one to give any of these things to any other god, including the One, true God. Although Satan appears as an “angel of light” (and those who serve him appear as “servants of righteousness”—
As such, he has created many religions and cults in which he has deceived followers into believing that God is not multi-faceted and has no “partners,” especially rejecting the concept that Jesus is the Son or physical manifestation of God. Unknowingly, adherents to many such religions and cults embrace Satan as their god, though of course they adamantly would deny it.
Perhaps from the dawning of Creation, Satan has been envious and jealous that he was not created as God’s equal and co-ruler of all things. In fact, it infuriates him that he is not God, as Jesus is (see Was Jesus God?). As such, he attempted to destroy Jesus—the Son of God and the son of “the woman” (Israel)—via crucifixion; but Jesus, “who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter,” was resurrected physically, from death, and taken up to God’s throne in heaven
At the midpoint of the 70th Week, Satan will be hurled down to the earth by the archangel Michael, permanently losing any further access to heaven
Satan hates the everlasting covenant that God made with Israel and has done everything he can to destroy it completely. Christianity has been “grafted into” Israel, by God, in His great mercy
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel)
When the great patriarch Abraham (Abram) was 99 years old, God appeared to him and confirmed a covenant with Abraham
Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac. God chose to give the everlasting inheritance, which He had promised Abraham, to Isaac, his second-born, rather than to Ishmael, his first-born (see the second greater than the first—
Interestingly, after Abraham, demonstrating great humility and sacrifice as Jesus did, had been willing to give his son Isaac back to God, the Lord told Abraham that He would bless him greatly because he had not withheld his “only son” from God
Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, to God, was a foreshadowing of God’s willingness to sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, for the sake of humanity. Islam does not understand or recognize that Jesus is the Son of God (Maryam: 35, 92). However, it teaches that Jesus will return again with the coming redeemer of Islam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, at which time Jesus will kill everyone who does not convert to Islam.
The tribes of Jacob/Israel are descendants of Isaac, through Isaac’s son Jacob, whose name God changed to “Israel”
Descendants of Jacob (Israel) are God’s people who have been chosen by God to receive His inheritance
O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit”
After Jesus returns to earth as the Rider on a white horse, at the end of the 70th Week, and while He is reigning during the Millennium, the nation of Israel will have specific boundaries on the north, east, south, and west. Each of the twelve tribes of remaining Israelites will receive an inheritance within this land
Most Arabic people, on the other hand, are descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael—who was described by the angel of the Lord, to Ishmael’s Egyptian mother, Hagar, the following way:
He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers
Others, such as those in some regions of Jordan, are descendants of Esau, the (fraternal) twin brother of Jacob; both were sons of Isaac, son of Abraham
I believe that Satan has picked a specific people on the earth—many of the descendants of Ishmael and Esau—who feel that they have been “treated unfairly” and “victimized” by God, just as Satan believes he was when his throne was cast out of heaven. Satan has deceived them into accepting the idea that they are the “chosen people” when, in truth, they are not. Yet, of course, any of them, just as anyone else on earth, can be assured of eternal salvation by choosing to follow and trust the One true God—of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—including the Son, Jesus, who is the Messiah, as their Lord and Savior.
Satan’s deceptive rationale, to the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, is that Israel has failed in its mission to bring the world into a relationship with God. As a result, God (allegedly) has turned permanently away from the descendants of Jacob and, instead, toward the descendants of Ishmael and Esau to do His bidding. Frankly, this is one of the greatest deceptions in history, and it is at the heart of Islamic jihad and terrorism. Thus, I believe, one of the most powerful tools of Satan’s deception is Islam: the most oppressive, dangerous, and fastest growing religion in the world today.
It is believed by those within the religion of Islam that an Arabic prophet, Muhammad (or Mohammed), was visited by and received revelations from the angel Gabriel, beginning in 610 A.D., and continuing for many years. The (presumed) beginning of Islam generally is placed at 622 A.D.
Moses told the Isralites that God had said the following to him:
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. ... I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command himAccording to Islam, the “prophet” to whom Moses referred was Muhammad. Yet, the “prophet like me from among your own brothers,” about whom Moses spoke, had to be an Israelite as Moses was. Muhammad, though, was not an Israelite.
In fact, the prophet to come was Jesus, not Muhammad. Jesus, a Jew, stated, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” (John 5:46). Furthermore, people who witnessed Jesus’ miracles affirmed, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14). Muhammad, the self-proclaimed prophet of God, was not the prophet predicted by Moses to come into the world, nor did God put words into Muhammad’s mouth and command him to speak to the people.
branches and sects
Most Muslims are Sunnis, developed from a group who felt that any earlier believer of Muhammad could become his successor. The Sunnis follow the Qur’an strictly and refuse to reinterpret traditional teachings.
Approximately 10% of Muslims are Shi’ites. They believe that only Muhammad’s direct descendants could become his successor. The Shi’ites follow the Qur’an more loosely and believe that the Qur’an is not the final word.
Sufis are a group who believes that orthodox Islam is too impersonal. They seek direct personal experience of the divine. A person can be either a Sunni or a Shi’ite and a Sufi.
The Taliban is made up of about 25,000 to 30,000 members. They adhere to an extreme interpretation of Islamic law.
pillars and beliefs of Islam
There are five main pillars of the Islamic faith:
Gabriel (Jibrael) is believed, by Muslims, to have been the angelic messenger from Allah that brought the message of the Qur’an to their great prophet, Muhammad (al-Baqarah: 97). I question the claim that it was Gabriel who visited Muhammad, because much of the Qur’an is inconsistent with the accounts of information given by Gabriel in his visitations to others.
As recorded in the Bible, the angel Gabriel is seen to have paid two visits to the prophet Daniel
There are common denominators among all of these appointed visits by Gabriel to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary:
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
In the Christian faith, there is one God, but He is understood to have multiple facets or aspects (see God: One, Two, & Three). Jesus is considered to be not only the Son of God but also the Messiah (Christ) and a facet of God Himself, as shown in at least two ancient prophecies
Christian believers have been “grafted into” God’s chosen people or “olive root,” Israel
In the Jewish faith, there also is but One God. He is understood to have various names and character traits (see NAMES for and CHARACTER of GOD). The Messiah (or “Christ” in Greek) is seen, by orthodox Jews, to be the future Savior of Israel, who will come and defeat their enemies, ushering in an unending time of peace and prosperity. Many Jewish rabbis also understand that the Messiah, in Scripture, actually is God Himself (see names for and attributes of the Messiah). “Messianic” Jews recognize that the Messiah is Yeshua (Jesus).
In the Islamic faith, the belief is that there is one God, named Allah. He is seen to have thirteen qualities or attributes, which are impersonal features rather than Persons or names. It is believed that Allah stands alone and that there is no possibility of his having a “partner” (as the Son is a partner with the Father in Christianity). Indeed, according to the Qur’an, the idea of having a son “befits not” and is “not suitable” for Allah (Maryam: 35, 92). It is not understood by Islam that the two (Father and Son) are One God (see Was Jesus God?).
Muslims claim that Abraham also was a Muslim (âl-`Imrân: 67). Jesus is recognized as the son of Mary and is believed to have been created by Allah, who said, "Be!" and it (that is, Jesus) was (âl-`Imrân: 47). They believe that Jesus never was killed (crucified) but, rather, that his soul and body were taken into heaven (an-Nisâ´: 157,158). Jesus is seen as a messianic figure (âl-`Imrân: 45); however, the idea that Jesus is God/Allah or that God/Allah is the Messiah is utterly rejected (al-Mâ´idah: 17, 72, 75; at-Taubah: 30).
Many Muslims have some complete misconceptions about what they think Christians believe about God. One fallacy is that Christians believe that God had sexual relations with Mary, and this is how Jesus was conceived. Another fallacy is that Christians believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, Mary, and Jesus (i.e., that Mary is a deity). Of course, no true Catholic or Protestant believes such foolishness (although some Catholics believe that Mary is a co-Savior with Jesus, which also is foolishness).
In Islam, Jesus is believed to be nothing more than a messenger (an-Nisâ´: 171) and a prophet (Maryam: 30). In Shi’a Islamic tradition, Jesus will return again, but not alone. Rather, He will return with Muhammad al-Mahdi: the prophesied redeemer of Islam who, it is believed, will bring peace and justice to an utterly chaotic world by establishing Islamic rule, and an absolute submission to Allah, everywhere on earth. And, according to Islam, Jesus not only will be subservient to al-Mahdi, but Jesus will kill all, including Christians and Jews, who do not convert to Islam and pledge allegiance to Allah. (See also Christianity and Judaism vs. Islam and the Bible vs. the Qur´an.)
Interestingly, John wrote about two “beasts”—the first beast and the second beast—who will be personified by the Antichrist and the False Prophet, respectively. I feel it is quite likely that both of these men will embrace the Islamic faith, whether openly or secretly.
The truth is, Jesus Christ, God in flesh and born of a virgin, came to this lost world and died, willingly, on a cross for the sins of all mankind, out of love. He came to redeem fallen man and to give everlasting life to those who would believe. He will come again, at the end of the 70th Week, to rule and reign over the world with justice, fairness, and righteousness. Islam threatens people with death if they leave the faith, while Christianity promises people life if they come to Jesus.
the god of fortresses
The ancient prophet Daniel wrote a passage
The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers [Chemosh and Molech] or for the one desired by women [Ashtoreth—seeOf special note is the fact that this man will “honor a god of fortresses” (Daniel 11:38). This “god of fortresses” is none other than Allah—the god of Islam. Jihad, or “struggle,” calls for holy fighting on behalf of Allah and is ordained for Muslims (al-Baqarah: 216,217; Muhammad: 4).
It seems quite plausible that this “king” (or the beast) will conquer, destroy, and kill in the name of Allah or Islam:
He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saintsIt is a fact that some fundamentalist Muslims are known for taking prisoners captive and killing them with the sword. One of their primary means of killing with the sword is beheading
Those who embrace Islam’s extremist theology are like murderers on a wild rampage. During the last half of the 70th Week, they are the ones, quite plausibly, who will become “drunk” with a frenzied euphoria from the massive, widespread killing of those who bear testimony to Jesus (Revelation 17:6a)—see also the woman and the beast.
The claim that Islam “basically is a peaceful religion” is an inaccurate statement. Many Muslims are peaceful individuals. I have Muslim friends and acquaintances here in California, and I harbor no ill will nor hatred toward them at all. I definitely am not a “Muslim basher.”
On the other hand, the Qur´an calls for “non-believers” (non-Muslims)—those who do not give their full, unswerving allegiance to Allah—to be captured, besieged, ambushed, and killed (at-Taubah: 5). This applies, especially, to Jews and to Christians, and nationally to Israel and the United States: the most Jewish and Christian nations on earth.
As such, I believe that fundamentalist Muslims (such as Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood), who embrace the destructive tenets of Islam as taught in the Qur´an, are the greatest threat to world peace and stability today. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and its advocates earnestly and zealously want for it to be the only religion in the world.
CLICK HERE to see a disturbing video, Fitna, by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. One thing the video shows is how Islam has gained significant control over Holland and Europe. CLICK HERE to see another video about how the percentage of Muslims, in the overall population, is increasing rapidly all over Europe. CLICK HERE to hear Pat Condell’s sentiments about radical Islam. An interesting website presenting Islamic beliefs and demonstrating how to counter them, in a logical way, is AnsweringMuslims.com.
At a minimum, I believe that Muslims will engage in “hate crime” lawsuits, in an increasing effort to get laws changed to accommodate them and their practices. At a maximum, I believe that during the 70th Week, there will be increasing terrorist acts by radical Islamic groups attempting to force nations to convert to Islam. Somewhere in the middle, there will be an escalated economic pressure on nations (for instance, in ever-increasing prices for Arab oil, most noticeably at the gas pump) to accept and embrace Islam, its “god” Allah, and its “prophet from Allah” Muhammad.
Anyone who will “wage war against Allah” or who will “do mischief in the land,” both very subjective judgment calls, are to be killed, crucified, have a hand and foot cut off on opposite sides, or be exiled from the land (al-Mâ´idah: 33). A thief is to have his or her hand cut off (al-Mâ´idah: 38).
Islamic fundamentalism is similar, in many ways, to Nazi fascism, the latter which was responsible for the terrifying Holocaust of World War II, in which several million Jews and Christians were annihilated. (Interestingly, Hitler’s Mein Kampf means “My Struggle” and the Arabic word jihad refers to “my inner struggle.”) The (Islamic) president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stated publicly that he would like to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth.” He also is devoted to working for the return of the 12th Imam: the “ultimate Savior,” according to Islam (see Will the 12th Imam cause war with Iran?).
Both of the main branches of Islam, Sunnis (more moderate) and Shi’ites (more radical), seek the absolute destruction of Israel. I believe it is plausible that the forces of Gog/Magog will be one branch of Islam and the forces of the Antichrist another branch, both vying to capture the ultimate “prize”: Israel.
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Fundamentalist Islam teaches and preaches absolute hatred and destruction of non-converted Jews and Christians (that is, those who do not embrace Allah as God, Muhammad as his prophet, and the Qur´an as his holy book). I am convinced, in fact, that the main adversary of those who adhere to the faiths of Judaism and Christianity (and any other faith, for that matter) today is Islam, and that Islam is the primary force working against the peace and prosperity of every nation (including Islamic nations) in the world today. CLICK HERE to see, as an example of this, photos of an Islamic march in London.
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Read more about the Qur’an and Islam at these sites:
I strongly recommend this video:
true Christ and false christs
Most people wish for peace in the world, and there are about as many suggestions on how to achieve it as there are people. One such person is Dr. José Luis de Jesús Miranda, who claims to be the “Man, Christ Jesus.” However, peace will remain out of humanity’s grasp until the real Messiah (Christ) Jesus, the Son of God and Prince of Peace
A period of seven years has been prophesied to occur
After that will be a time of worldwide trial, tribulation, and distress unequaled in the world up to that point in history
the covenant and the Antichrist
The final seven years of this age will begin with the confirmation and/or strengthening of a covenant or accord, involving Israel and other nations—probably with the anticipation, by Israel, that peace will follow. According to what Jesus said, many will come in the role of savior or “christ”; they will “deceive many”
A man, commonly referred to as the Antichrist (fundamentally associated with the first beast, described in the Book of Revelation), is expected to be a (or the) main person to confirm or affirm the 70th Week covenant. Evidently, he will present himself to many under the deceptive guise of peace and harmony.
Some have suggested that many in Israel, unknowingly, will accept the person of the Antichrist as their long-awaited “Messiah.” Perhaps he will “force” himself into that position. In any case, this man will turn out to be a false christ—a substitute for the real one, Jesus, who will not return to earth until the very end of the seven-year period, as the Rider on a white horse, to rule and reign.
As conditions around the globe deteriorate, particularly during the first half (3˝ years) of the 70th Week, a frantic and apprehensive world will seek many false christs to bring real, lasting peace and order, amid widespread hostilities and chaos. None will be successful. During this time of turmoil and desperation, the Antichrist’s power will increase.
By the time he has gained universal power, around the middle of the 70th Week, the true motives (world power and domination) of this “man of lawlessness” will be revealed, when he walks into a “holy place”
timing of the covenant
It should be possible, theoretically, to calculate the approximate timing that the 70th Week covenant could take place, in any given year. The presumption is that Jesus will return to earth on a Yom Kippur, the most solemn Jewish holy day, seven years later. (See How is it that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish Spring and Fall feasts and holy days?)
The 70th Week prophecy
7 years × 360 days/year = 2,520 days.For example, Yom Kippur in 2013 is on September 14 (see Calendar of Jewish Holy Days 2006–2014). Considering that to be day #2,520, then day #1 would have been October 22, 2006. Interestingly, this date (a full moon) was less than a week, in either direction, of two important regulations, taking place on 17 October 2006 and on 24 October 2006, relating to the funding and establishment of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Although, retrospectively, this seems not to have been the prophesied agreement, its timing in relationship to Yom Kippur seven (Hebraic) years later may have set a precedent for the 70th Week agreement to come.
For comprehensive details on prophesied events to take place during the 70th Week, see these lengthy commentaries:
a worse time, a better time
Most people of the world always are hoping for a better day, a time when peace will reign throughout the earth, forevermore. This time is coming, beginning with the Millennium, and being fulfilled, ultimately, in the new Creation (see old and new Creations).
Before that can happen, however, a time of great sorrow and suffering first must come to pass on the earth. Untold billions will die. But those who survive can have the assurance that God, through the Power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, will be with them through the most difficult of times (see repentance, endurance, and overcoming), if they put their faith in Him: the One true God. Even if they are killed, they can have the guarantee of eternal salvation, if they have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world and was raised from death on our behalf.
Praise be to the Lord Jesus for His infinite grace and mercy, and especially for the better world to come! He is “Faithful and True”
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Ted’s Bible Commentaries
|Summary of Commentaries|
|The Chronology of Revelation||The Rapture|
|The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?|
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
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