The Endtimes

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overview

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

  • do not believe that the Bible is a book of truth, or
  • basically believe in the Bible’s truthfulness but do not believe that predictions about the future are literal, or
  • do not want to hear unpleasant news about things that can and probably will affect them adversely, at some point in the future.
Such readers may find further study of this commentary tedious, even frightening.  Rather, they may find Prophecies of Nostradamus more to their liking, since many of Nostradamus’ predictions are interesting, and there may be some validity to some of them.

However, many of Nostradamus’ prophecies have turned out to be wrong; whereas, the Bible, so far, has a 100% accuracy rate when it comes to predicting things yet to happen.  So it really is better to go to the Bible, the Word of God, to get a valid view of events on the future horizon.  Further prophetic details can be found in some of my other Bible Commentaries.

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 city (Zechariah 14:2).
How 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... (Zechariah 14:3,4a).
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 (Revelation 11:15,17; Zechariah 14:9).  Furthermore, from that point forward, Jerusalem will be secure—never to be attacked, nor destroyed, again (14:11).  Jesus will rule and reign on this earth for 1,000 years (the Millennium), after which this present universe will pass away, and an entirely new one will come into being (see old and new Creations).

Yet another graphic depiction of the final destruction of Jerusalem was given by a different ancient prophet (Jeremiah 4:16,17,31).  We know this is an end-time event, because the whole “earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark” (4:28a).  For more details about what will happen when Jesus returns and annihilates the armies that are destroying Jerusalem, see treading the winepress and great supper of God.  “At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people” (31:1).  It is at this time that the scattered ten tribes of Israel will be reunited with the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin in Jerusalem, never to be dispersed again.


Israel hated

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 (1:2), who had been exiled to Babylon, returned to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the walls and gates of the city, which had been broken down and destroyed by fire (2:13).  Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab, all ardent enemies of the Jews, ridiculed Nehemiah and his fellow workers for what they were trying to do (2:19).  This was Nehemiah’s response:

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 it (Nehemiah 2:20b).
The fact is that no one has any historical claim to Jerusalem except  for the descendants of Jacob (Genesis 35:10-12).  But why are they so despised by the Arabic nations who surround them?  I believe it is because there is a general resentment and antipathy of the descendants of Jacob/Israel and Judah (the Jewish people) because they are God’s chosen people (see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel)).  Ultimately, they will receive special possessions and blessings reserved by God only for them (Isaiah 65:9), and this has created a fiery jealousy among the other nations and people of the world, in particular fundamentalists within Islam.

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 (Matthew 24:1-31, Revelation 6:1-17) approaches, hatred of Israel will intensify—leading, ultimately, to the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem.

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:

  • Israel would turn away from God;
  • the people would be punished, often severely;
  • they would cry out to God for mercy and turn back to Him;
  • God, in great compassion, would turn back to them and again would bless them; and then
  • the same cycle would repeat, time after time (Nehemiah 9:16-28).
At the end of the age, the ultimate occurrence of this will transpire, when God will allow and/or cause all but a few descendants (a “remnant”) of Jacob to be eliminated, probably utilizing primarily fundamentalist Islamic nations to perform most of the destruction.  It may even be that the two main factions of Islam (Sunni and Shia) will vie against each other for domination over Israel (see the Assyrian and Gog vs. Antichrist).  Perhaps this is why it was prophesied, by Daniel, that the people of the final manmade kingdom on earth “will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (Daniel 2:43).

Israel has followed, and must follow again, the same “footsteps” and pattern of their Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus.  Just as Jesus was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), Israel is considered to be His “firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22).  They both were called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:13-15).  Both have been rejected and despised.  Just as Israel’s Messiah died on the cross, Israel has “died” by being taken into captivity and will “die” again near the end of the age after being attacked by its enemies.  And just as Yeshua/Jesus rose from the dead, Israel ultimately will be resurrected, permanently, after their Messiah returns.

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 Ezekiel 25:1-17, when the Lord’s vengeance will fall upon the lands adjacent to Israel).

Finally, the Israeli descendants who will survive—called a “remnant” (Isaiah 10:20-22; Zechariah 8:12b)—will be returned to Jerusalem and will be greatly blessed, from that time forward.  Jesus (the Lord) will have returned to Jerusalem (Zion) and will reign there at His millennial Temple and Holy Mountain (8:2-15) for 1,000 years.


the enemy

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  (Psalm 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23).  In the invisible, unseen spiritual existence around us, the eternal battle of good versus evil rages (Ephesians 6:12).  People merely are sinful “pawns” being used in this battle to help accomplish the goals of the kingdom of darkness.  The motivating forces behind the hatred of Israel and the Jewish people are located within the unseen realm of evil.

This ongoing battle has been occurring since the inception of this Creation, and it will continue until this present, imperfect universe passes away (Revelation 20:11b)—when a brand new, perfect Creation will appear (21:1a—see old and new Creations and “very good” vs. “perfect”).  The “king” of the evil kingdom is Satan.  His “princes” and other supernatural followers are iniquitous, fallen angels and demonic spirits, who continuously are having a negative influence on mankind.


Lucifer/Satan

Many people choose to believe that Lucifer/Satan (that is, the devil), Angels & Demons, and even evil itself do not exist.  However, they are sadly oblivious to the reality of these entities.

Lucifer originally was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12).  He was created by God to be “anointed as a guardian cherub” (28:14a).  However, his heart became proud  on account of his beauty, and he corrupted his wisdom because of his splendor, so his throne was cast down to earth (28:17).  Satan’s heavenly citizenship had been revoked—which did not  mean that he no longer had access to heaven (Job 1:6,7, 2:1,2), only that his throne, or center of power, was located on earth, not in heaven anymore.  Ever since that time, Satan’s immense pride has caused him to want to place his throne back into heaven, above all the other “stars” (angels), and even to be equal to, or even greater than, God Himself (Isaiah 14:13).

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”—2 Corinthians 11:14,15a), in fact the devil has been “a murderer from the beginning” and is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

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 (Revelation 12:4b,5).

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 (Revelation 12:7-9).  Then Satan will pursue the fleeing remnant of “the woman” (Israel), who will be protected for 1,260 days (12:6) or 3˝ years (12:14).  Enraged, he will go off to “make war against” the remainder of the woman’s offspring—presumably, orthodox Jews, who obey God’s commandments, and Christians, who hold to the testimony of Jesus (12:17).

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 (Romans 11:17-19).  Satan also hates Christian believers who, by virtue of their belief in the testimony of Jesus, also have entered into God’s covenant with Israel (see God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?).


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 (Genesis 17:1-4).  Due to Abraham’s complete trust in God, God made further promises to him.  Furthermore, God later made a covenant with Israel; and when Yeshua/Jesus came, He made a new covenant.

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 firstGenesis 17:18-21).  This is because Ishmael was the son of Hagar, a slave woman; but Isaac was the son of Sarah, a free woman (Galatians 4:22-28).  God told Abraham that it would be through his son Isaac that his offspring or “seed” would reckoned (Genesis 21:12).  This “seed” would be the Messiah or Christ (Galatians 3:16)—that is, Jesus.

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 (Genesis 22:15-17).  God called Isaac Abraham’s “only son,” even though Abraham had an elder son, Ishmael, because Isaac was recognized by God as Abraham’s only legitimate son—that is, born of a legal marriage bond.

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(Genesis 32:28).  Jesus spoke of a great feast to come in the kingdom of heaven, at which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be in attendance (Matthew 8:11).

Descendants of Jacob (Israel) are God’s people who have been chosen by God to receive His inheritance (Isaiah 65:9).  Even David, a great king held in very high esteem by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, stated this as part of a “Psalm of Thanks”:

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” (Psalm 105:6-11).

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 (Ezekiel 47:13–48:35).

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 (Genesis 16:12).

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 (Genesis 25:1-26).  Yet God has made clear His favoritism and love for Jacob (Israel), but His endless dissatisfaction with Esau or Edom (Malachi 1:1-5) and the land of Esau’s descendants (Jeremiah 49:7-22; Ezekiel 25:12-14).  What started as an argument over a birthright, and Esau’s rejection of the God of Abraham, has come down to the Palestinians saying, in essence, that Jacob “stole their birthright” and Israel has “stolen their land.”

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.


Islam

the prophet

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.

Muslims believe that Muhammad’s “revelations” are recorded in the Qur’an.  Islam claims “Allah” as its supreme deity.

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 him (Deuteronomy 18:15,18).
According 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).  People who witnessed Jesus’ miracles affirmed, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14).  Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, stated, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

Muhammad, the self-proclaimed prophet of God, was not  the prophet predicted by Moses to come into the world.  Furthermore, God did not  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:

  • There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.
  • Pray five times a day, facing Mecca.
  • Give charity to the poor.
  • Fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan.
  • Go on a pilgrimage to visit Mecca, if financially able.
Muslims believe that at the time the world ends, the dead will rise for the time of their final trial.  The trial will be based on what they have believed.  Those who have completed more good deeds than bad deeds, for the sake of Allah, will be more likely to go to Paradise.  Those who have done more bad deeds than good deeds will be more likely to go to Hell.

Gabriel’s messages

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 (Daniel 8:15,16, 9:21).  He also appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:18,19), as well as to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus (1:26,27).

There are common denominators among all of these appointed visits by Gabriel to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary:

  1. Each time, the message was brief.
  2. Each message contained unique information that was not repeated  anywhere else in the message.
  3. In each case, the person inquired of Gabriel, but Gabriel never asked a question of the person.
  4. Within each message was information pertaining to the end of the age (Daniel 8:16,17b, 9:21,24,27c), or else the notification of the coming of a specific person: either John the Baptist, who was Jesus’ cousin (Luke 1:13b,19), or Jesus (1:26,31).
  5. Included in each message was some referral to Jesus Christ, whether as the Prince of princes (Daniel 8:25b), the Anointed One (9:26a), the Lord (Luke 1:17), or the Son of the Most High (1:32a) or Son of God (1:35b).
  6. In speaking to Mary, Gabriel relayed the vitally important Gospel messages that her son Jesus would be called “‘Immanuel’—which means ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23)—and also that Jesus would be called “the Son of God” (Luke 1:35b).
However, messages in the Qur’an—allegedly given by Allah to Jibrael (Gabriel) to Muhammad—are incompatible, in numerous aspects, with the above prophecies recorded in the Bible.  As such, some straightforward questions come to mind:
  1. The Qur’an was a very lengthy, not a brief, communication.
    My questionWhat sets Muhammad apart from other “humble servants of God” that he alone should have received an angelic communication that is far, far more extensive than any other?
  2. The Qur’an contains many themes that are repeated over and over and over again—such as, for example, that the “people of the Scripture” (Jews and Christians) must  give their allegiance to Allah or else be punished (âl-`Imrân: 64, at-Taubah: 29-31, al-Muddaththir: 31).
    My questionWhy would an angel spend his time stating basically the same information repeatedly, to one person, ad infinitum and ad nauseam?
  3. Muhammad does not inquire of the angel; whereas, the angel poses many, many questions to Muhammad (at-Taubah: 7,8; az-Zukhruf: 79,80; al-Balad: 7-10,12).
    My questionWhy would an extremely knowledgeable and powerful being, such as an archangel, ask a human anything, especially since he asked Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary absolutely nothing?
  4. While almost a third of the Bible is prophetic in nature, the Qur’an has virtually no prophetic passages—other than that the heavenly rewards for Muslim men will be reclining on thrones in Paradise and marrying fair maidens with lovely eyes (hourisat-Tűr: 20), whereas the Fire of Hell awaits those, including Jews, who do not believe either in Allah or in monotheistic Islam, on the Day of Resurrection (al-Baqarah: 24, 80; al-Mâ´idah: 72; Maryam: 37).
    My questionWhat about Jesus’ declaration, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30a)?  Why will no rewards await Muslim women?  If the Qur’an is God’s “final revelation” to mankind, as Muslims believe, why would not God use it to tell us specifics about future events on earth, as the Bible does?  Could it be that Allah is uncertain of the future, because he is not God?
  5. The Qur’an never acknowledges Jesus by any title that Gabriel uses in his other prophecies, as recorded in the Bible.  Furthermore, the Qur’an adamantly denies that God has a son (an-Nisâ´: 171; Maryam: 35; al-Furqân: 2).
    My questionWhy would Gabriel tell Muhammad that Allah has no son, when he clearly had told Mary that her son, Jesus, would be the Son of God?  Could it be that the angel Gabriel never appeared to Muhammad at all (although, most likely, some other angelic being did)?  Could it be that Allah and God are not one and the same?
  6. In the Bible, Paul—an extremely religious man of the tribe of Benjamin, who became a staunch advocate of Jesus Christ—clearly stated there was no Gospel message other than the one that he and other believers like him taught.  In fact, Paul went so far as to state, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8).
    My questionIf Gabriel, an angel from heaven, made very clear, to Mary, the eternal Gospel message that Jesus not only is considered to be “God with us” but also “the Son of God,” then wouldn’t Gabriel be eternally condemned by insisting, in the Qur’an, that there is no other God along with Allah and that God does not have a son (al-Mu´minűn: 91)?  Does it make any sense that Gabriel—one of God’s archangels and a primary messenger from God—would choose to be eternally condemned?

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 (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6,7).  The Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are not  “three Gods”; they are One God, in a perfectly harmonious, seamlessly integrated Unity.  Jesus Christ (Messiah) was, and is, a “projection” of the Godhead into our physical world.  Without Him, access to God the Father is not possible.

Christian believers have been “grafted into” God’s chosen people or “olive root,” Israel (Romans 11:17-19).  In this way, Christians have entered into God’s everlasting covenant with Israel; and through Yeshua/Jesus, this became a new covenant.

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 (Daniel 11:36-45) about the activities of a future “king,” who is widely agreed among Christian theologians to be the Antichrist (or the first beast, described in the Book of Revelation):

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—see 2 Kings 23:13], nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.  Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  He will attack the mightiest fortresses [see Habakkuk 1:10b] with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him (Daniel 11:36-39a).
Of 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 saints (Revelation 13:9,10).
It 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 (Revelation 6:9 —> 20:4b).  CLICK HERE if you wish to view a 5˝ megabyte video of the graphic beheading of Nicholas Berg, a Jewish captive, on May 7, 2004, by Islamic terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  (WARNING: This video is extremely disturbing and should not be viewed by children.)  Berg’s decapitated body was found on May 8, 2004, on an overpass in Baghdad, Iraq.

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.

radical Islam

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.

Muslim Distribution: Sunni vs. Shia
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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.

Islamic Terrorist Networks in America
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other sites

Read more about the Qur’an and Islam at these sites:

a video

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 (Isaiah 9:6), returns to earth again.

A period of seven years has been prophesied to occur (Daniel 9:27a).  Commonly, this time is referred to as the 70th Week.  The first 3˝ of the 7 years will be fraught with global unrest, destructive earthquakes, widespread famines, and deadly pestilences/plagues, among other “birth pains” (Matthew 24:6-8).

After that will be a time of worldwide trial, tribulation, and distress unequaled in the world up to that point in history (Daniel 12:1b; Matthew 24:21).  During that seven-year period, some will come, claiming to be the Christ, and deceiving multitudes of people (24:5).  Near the end of that period, because of the great devastation and ruin of the earth, and the violation of rights of the innocent (such as the unborn and the aged), the Lord will be forced to lay waste the earth (Isaiah 24:1-23), which He then will proceed to repair and restore as He sits on His throne in Jerusalem as King over the whole earth (Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:8,9,16).

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” (Matthew 24:4,5) with their professed good intentions.  John indicated that at least one of them will be “bent on conquest” (Revelation 6:2).

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” (Matthew 24:15) in Jerusalem.  There, he will proclaim himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4).  He will “exercise his authority” during the final half (3Ľ years = 42 months) of the 70th Week (Revelation 13:5-7)—until he is destroyed by the Lord Jesus, when He returns at the end of the 70th Week (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

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 (Daniel 9:27a) was given to Daniel in ancient times, when a Jewish month was 30 days in length.  If the same period of time is applied to a month during the final seven years, then presumably that span should be (at least roughly, and maybe exactly) the following amount of time:

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.


further information

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” (Revelation 19:11a); His name is the “Word of God” (19:13b).  And He has exclaimed,

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. (John 16:33).

Ted’s Bible Commentaries
and Other Links

Summary of Commentaries
 
The Chronology of Revelation  The Endtimes  The Rapture
 
The Final Battles The Beasts The Creation
 
Who Is God? Was Jesus God? Good Thursday
 
God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?
 
 
My Beliefs and Faith
 
Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
The Holy Bible
(NIV)
Pride Island
(a novel by Ted)
 
Creation ... Counterfeits ... and the 70th Week Bible Study
 
 
Ted’s Homepage Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology
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