Sunday, January 18, 2009

Debunking the Islamic Antichrist

18 January 2009

During additional research last evening, some crucial, inter-related eschatological points made themselves apparent. The notion that Antichrist will be Islamic carries with it the implied baggage that his global empire arises from within the Islamic world which has been mutated by some authors into an implication of reference to the eastern leg of the Roman Empire. Nothing could be further from the truth of this prophetic matter.

The prophetic Word of God declared otherwise, most recently about 1,980 years ago through John on Patmos, who declared to all mankind, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:1-3 NKJV)

I also remind the reader of the Lord’s admonition regarding this prophetic Word, for it is NOT to be trifled with: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19 NKJV)

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:1-2 NKJV)

As I referenced in blog comments made to Bill Salus' Prophecy Depot, this above prophetic picture is given in the reverse order as it was originally given to the prophet Daniel. (see Daniel 2: 31-43) Instead of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome we see Rome, Greece, Persia and Babylon.

The key eschatological reference here is that not one leg of the Roman Empire is singled about, but both are. And below them are the ten toes of the two feet upon which it stood, not just five of the eastern foot, but all ten of both feet, which is inclusive of all the territories of its predecessors.

Then in Daniel 2: 44-45 we are given the key with which to interpret the prophetic Word of God: "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

The above is a direct reference to the Kingdom Of God, and of the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Messiah Jesus Christ. It was His Kingdom which came to be in 33 AD with His Crucifixion and Resurrection during the period of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was THE LAST of all earthly empires according to God Almighty.

It is all of those specifically referenced ten toes of loose iron and clay that arise again as the kingdom of the Antichrist, not just five of them at the terminus of the eastern leg and foot. This prophetic image specifically details that all subsequent empires are irrelevant to the prophetic picture from our Lords perspective. And this includes the subsequent Empire of Islam, which truly was no empire of individual states, but of a single political entity – the Islamic Khalifa (Caliphate) in all of its various forms. At no time in history did the Roman Empire ever have dominion over Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. Neither did the Macedonian-Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, nor Persia at its greatest territorial extent under either Darius I or as reconstituted under Artaxerxes III, nor did the Babylonians.

Clearly and unambiguously, with the prophetic Word of God being the final arbiter as it is written in Daniel 9:26b (NKJV) “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” is a direct reference to the Roman Empire and its peoples, of all ten toes and none other. It was indeed the Legions of Rome who destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD and it will be from the descendants of the people of Rome that Antichrist will arise in these ‘Last Days.”

3 comments:

SeanOsborne said...

The following are all precursor remarks made by myself on the PROPHECY DEPOT Blog of Bill Salus, and were made in response to 'anonymous' comments or to Joel Richardson's statements or responses in particular and concerning this subject matter. They are added here "for the record." Time anddate of the blog comment are at the bottom of each.
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SeanOsborne said...
An anonymous commenter wrote:
"The book of Daniel didn't have the final say on the matter."

The Lord's prophesy to Daniel wasn't final? I beg to differ. I believe the prophecy given to Daniel was the Lord's final say in the matter. Why else would He repeat himself on the prophesy given Daniel, not once, but twice more for a total of times?

Once again for emphasis sake only, it is clearly seen in both the Olivet Discourse of our Lord while He walked this Earth and in our heavenly Father's 'revelation' to His victorious Son and thereafter given to John on Patmos -- the prophesy given to rendered by Daniel regarding this last days subject matter have been specifically repeated and confirmed by Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This three-time repetiton has a considerable importance that stands it above the rest.

Joel Richardson wrote:
"Sometimes looking outside the box can really illuminate things."

Joel: You just got done writing that Biblical Scripture interprets Biblical Scripture.

Since that is unassailably the truth, then of what possible utility would it be to the believer to look "outside the box" in order to illuminate things?

Consider the Islamic (Submitted)sources Walid and yourself cite specifically.

At the core of Islam(Submission), is the original narrative of the encounter which reveals that Muhammad was choked 3 times by an impostor demonic spirit (a spirit which most certainly was NOT Gabriel). That this spirit was not Gabriel is a fact in itself proven by the Word of God multiple times within the "box" of the Holy Bible as recorded in every appearance of Gabriel before a human being to whom he carries a message from God.

In an appearance before Muhammad we are to believe that Gabriel chokes an illiterate Arab boy (Muhammad cannot read nor write) to within an inch of his life and in so doing terrorizes him so that Muhammad flees to his wife Khadiga to hide him lest that spirit terrorize him further?

No! No! No! Islam (Submission to a false god) is a Satanic deception upon mankind.

So, please tell us then, why would any member of the Bride of Christ go into satanically deceptive Islamic sources AND ACCEPT THEM AS FACT to illuminate REAL truths already told us by the One True God?

Would yourself or Walid offer a response to refute these facts?

January 12, 2009 4:18 AM
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SeanOsborne said...
Bill, Yes I would like to make a few futher comments directly from my research to shed more historical light on some specifics posted above regarding the statement from Joel.

"The Roman Empire never even reached Persia and did not "crush" Babylon."

Incorrect. The Roman Empire did engage the Parthian Empire in warfare. The Romans won a few battles, and lost a few against the Parthians. As many as 10,000 Roman soldiers were captured by the Parthians and sent east as forced labor border guards in what is today known as Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Babylon was conquered by Rome, but therewas no long-term occupation of this short-lived Roman province which was known as "Babylonia."

"The people that destroyed the Temple were Arabs and Syrians. This is attested to in great detail by historians from this time. Josephus & Tacitus make it very clear who these "people" were. Under the Roman domination, the soldiers who served were recruited from the local region where they were garrisoned. The legions involved in the destruction of the Temple (the 10th, 5th, 15th, 3rd and the 18th) were all Middle eastern legions and composed of Arabs and Syrians."

This is absolutely incorrect according to historical sources, including those cited by Joel. I am going to repeat myself by quoting my response to an article by Dr. David Reagan (posted on the Bible Prophecy Today blog) which deals with this same subject matter. I have made some very minor edits to improve the wording of my comments or correct spelling of certain words.

"With respect to the Roman legions that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, I have seen Joel cite elsewhere an argument which you also cite above that those Roman legions consisted of Syrian and Arab conscripts and not citizen-soldiers of Rome. This argument is patently ridiculous and I would like to expound on why this is so.

The four primary Roman legions involved were:

Legio X Fretensis (The 10th Roman Legion), whose name Fretensis literally means "of the straits," was composed of soldiers who were recruited in Italy by Julius Caesar's heir (Octavian) from the geographical regions on either side of the Straits of Messina (Sicily and Calabria). Legion 10 soldiers were interacting with our Lord - particularly in Jerusalem - as described in the Gospels. And nowhere in the Gospels are these Roman soldiers described as "Syrians" or as "sons of Ishmael!" This is because they were Roman soldiers commanded by Roman officers.

Legio XII (12) Fulminata, Legio XV (15)Apollinaris and Legio V (5)Macedonica were also composed of Roman soldiers, recruited from what is present day Italy, and led by Roman officers of historical reknown just as Legio X (10) Fretensis was. Roman veterans of these legions,along with those of Legio VIII (8) Agusta, founded the Roman settlement known as Berytus, otherwise known as modern day Beirut, Lebanon.

Legions Fulminata, Apollinaris and Macedonica were stationed in the Middle East in a manner no different than that of Germans, Britons, Italians and Americans were stationed in the Middle East during WWII, or are to this day. The locals near these deployed areas ("syrians" or "arabs") took care of menial tasks, and had, at best, logistical support roles. They were in no conceivable manner representative of "the people of the prince who shall come."

Legions Fulminata, Apollinaris and Macedonica were camped during the seige of Jerusalem circa AD 70 to the west of Jerusalem, on Mt. Scopus. Legion 10 Frestensis camped on the Mount of Olives, directly in front of the Temple and was the primary Roman military force under the command of Roman General Titus Vespasian which destroyed the "city and the sanctuary."

Finally, in the aftermath of the destruction of "the city and the sanctuary" the gold taken from the Temple, the instruments of worship, the vessels, and Jerusalem as a whole were taken to Rome and melted down into Roman coins and inscribed with the words "Judea Defeated."

The Jewish military commanders of this same military campaign fought against the Roman legions, Simon bar Giora and John of Gischala, were summarily sentenced and (respectively) executed or put in prison for life in Rome. None of these things occured in a Syrian or Arab capital city! They occured in Rome, and prove that Rome is "the people of the prince who will come."

January 12, 2009 11:35 AM
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Joel Richardson said...
Hi all,

First, Bill, thank you for posting my very brief and sloppy response. Embarrassing.

Secondly to Mr. Osbourne. Is that a quote from me? If so, I sound like a corporate goof. But as to your question: If I understand you correctly, you have misunderstood my research. Islam is indeed demonic. I fully agree with you. My history is as an evangelism missions guy to Muslims. So I am very well studied concerning Islam. But I certainly ascribe zero prophetic value to Islam's prophecies other than to instruct us as to what Muslims are expecting. They are expecting a man who will gather a coalition of nations to attack Israel and set up the One World rule of Islam from the Temple Mount and rule for seven years. They are expecting a false Messiah to return from heaven to claim to be Jesus Christ and to be the Son of God. They are also expecting Jesus to return to abolish Christianity and kill Jews. You get the idea. They have been set-up.

As for your thoughts regarding the Roman Legions, I have numerous citations that establish who the peoples were from Josephus and Tacitus. The majority were Arabs and Syrians and were thoroughly acknowledged as such by those contemporary historians. While Legion 10 may have originated in Italy at one point, by 70 A.D. they were garrisoned in Antioch, in Syria on the border of modern day Turkey. here is my e-mail address. I can send you some references if you want em':

menosabe@hotmail.com

Bless you,
Joel Richardson

January 12, 2009 3:52 PM
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Joel Richardson said...
Hi Sean,

I just wanted to actually accompany my comments with at least a couple of short references. Roman citizenship was given to those who served fifteen years in the Legions. I think I had said ten. In any case, if merely living under Roman dominance was all that was enough to declare a people "Roman", then I suppose that Reagan would also say that Jesus was a Roman. You get the idea. But regarding those that destroyed the Jewish temple (The people of the prince to come):



[T]he greatest part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it.



The Wars of The Jews: History of the Destruction of Jerusalem By
Flavius Josephus Trans.William Whiston BOOK II: CHAPTER 13:Para7



This force was accompanied by... a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbors…



—Tacitus The History New Ed edition Book 5.1 Editor: Moses Hadas, Translators: Alfred Church, William Brodribb (Modern Library; New York, 2003)


Bless ya, Joel

January 13, 2009 4:29 AM
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SeanOsborne said...
Joel,

Anything written by Tacitus was hearsay at best because in 70 AD Tacitus was just a 14-year old boy. His writing on this subject are the equivilent of my own son describing the coalition forces or specific units in Operation Desert Storm. The point here being that it was an American-led military force, composed first and foremost of American commanders and their troops that executed the lions share of the actual conquering of the enemy forces, but there were token units of Syrian, Egyptian and other Arab military units on the field of battle.

Even still and in accordance with my dismissal of Tacitus account, what he wrote in Vol II, Ch.5 of "the Jewish war" was that the was was begun under Vespasian who had Roman Legios 5(V), 10(X) and 15(XV) committed to prosecute the war. He describes the Roman Egyptian garrison as "knights of Rome", not knights of syria or of arabia. And therein is the sum of Tacitus input. Not a whole lot of anything IMHO.

Daniel 2:40-43 provides the first description of the fourth kingdom from who the people of the prince who will come arises.

"Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay."

There is no question that Daniel's prophetic description here specifically identifies this kingdom as what we know to have been the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire completed its conquest the Holy Land, including Egypt, in 63 BC. It was act at the pinnacle of this conquest when Roman General Pompey entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

Legio X Fretensis was THE elite legion of all the Roman legions engaged in the taking of Jerusalem. To Legio X Fretensis specifically was the mission given to assault Jerusalem's wall in front of the Temple and the Temple itself.

I have also read the account of Flavius Josephus. I am very much aware that Josephus wrote in his "War of the Jews" (Book 6 Chapter 1) that Antiochus Epiphanes arrived at a Jerusalem already beseiged by Roman toops under the command of General Titus; that Antiochus Epiphanes arrived with a "considerable number of armed men" among whom was included a predominant group specifically identified by Josephus as "Macedonians" who were merely schooled in Macedonian combat tactics, but were not Macedonian, nor even worthy of that nomenclature. Yet there is no mention by Josephus of these armed men, and the Macedonian boys, (described by Josephus as young, tall and just out of their childhood) as being "Arabs" or "Syrians." And what he does say aboutthem is that they failed to breach Jerusalem walls, were bascially pin cushions for the Jewish defenders spears and arrows.

It was, as stated before, Roman Legions, led by the elite Legio X Fretensis, and composed of Roman commanders and their Roman troops which did the actual breaching of Jerusalem's walls at Antonia and took the city and the sanctuary - exactly as described by Daniel.

In all of this, not once does Josephus attribte the sacking of Jerusalem and the Temple ("the city and the sanctuary") to "syrians" or "arabs."

Josephus account has reference after reference after reference to this military conquest attributed to "the Romans", "the Romans", "the Romans", etc., etc., .etc, ad infinitum.


I find all attempts to paradigm shift the prophetic Word of God into meaning the eastern Roman leg, Syrians or Arabs, or of Islam to be the epitome ofall strawman arguments because it is wholly unsupported by secular historical facts the proponents have chosen to cite.

January 14, 2009 10:11 AM
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Anonymous said...
Does it really matter where the antichrist comes from? I, for one, will not be here when he is revealed, so where he comes from is of very little importance to me. Shouldn't we all be more involved in leading people to a saving knowledge of Christ instead of spending time debating the origin of the antichrist? Certainly, it is a very interesting topic, but really of no great significance to those of us who eagerly look for Jesus to come and take us up to heaven before the antichrist is revealed.

January 16, 2009 8:32 AM
SeanOsborne said...
Anonymous said...
:Does it really matter where the antichrist comes from?"

From my persective it most certainly does, and that perspective is directly related to Bible prophecy and all things eschatological.

Let me put it this way - what does the Bible tell us is the purpose of prophecy?

And in order to understand prophecy - i.e. the Bible interprets the Bible - we must therefore dig into His Word for meaning and interpetation as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, what value can be assigned by engaging in this type of study and also in discussing these subjects with our brethren?

Moreover, to understand prophesy and effectively use it as a tool in witness to the un-saved about the Lord, about real-world events ocurring right now and in the near-term, how we know of them in detail and in advance.

Each of us has a mission, a purpose as designed by the Lord, what Bill and others are doing is fulfilling His tasking.

January 16, 2009 10:10 AM
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Sean Osborne said...
The attempt to paradigm shift from a Roman to Assyrian/Islamic "beast" as suggested by Joel and Walid is very much indicative of surface-skimming scholarship.

The crux of the matter lies in identifying "the people" of the prince who will come which destroyed the city and the sanctuary.

Circa 70 AD Roman Legions were composed of two classes of soldiers.
"Legionaries" were foot soldiers (pedes) who were the rank and file ground assault troops and had to be a Roman citizen ("Cive") in order to enlist in the legion. Being a Roman citizen itself was a privileged social status bestowed only upon males in Italy proper. No foreign nationals were allowed the privilege of serving in the Roman Legions.

The Roman citizen-soldiers of Legio V Macedonica (LVM), Legio X Fretensis (LXF), and Legio XV Apollinaris (LXVA) which surrounded Jerusalem were from Italy and it was they who destroyed the city and the sanctuary under Roman Commander-In-Chief in Judea General Titus Flavius Vespasianus. This is established fact and the literal fulfillment of Daniel 9:26b (NIV) or Daniel 9:26a(YLT).

The "Auxilia" were male non-citizens of Rome They were primarily horsemen and archers. Their legal status was that of "provinciales" under the Roman legal code known as ius Latii (Latin Right) - which meant they were second class citizens, one step above women and two steps above slaves.

Additionally, circa AD 70 and even predating back to 300+ years earlier when Alexander the Great conquered Syria, that land and culture was totally transformed from what it had been under empires previous to Alexander's into a purely Hellenistic culture. Any reference to "Syrian" soldiers by Josephus circa 70 AD does not make a reference to Syrians as we understand them today, but to fully Hellenized provinciales of the Roman Empire (S.P.Q.R.)
Sean

January 16, 2009 12:59 PM
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Joel Richardson said...
Sean,

You stated:

"Being a Roman citizen itself was a privileged social status bestowed only upon males in Italy proper."

?? The Apostle Paul was a Roman Citizen. Paul was from Tarsus in Cilicia. (Ie. Syria, or Asia Minor (Turkey.

I'm trying to figure out if this is a typo.

Blessings, Joel

January 17, 2009 8:44 AM
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SeanOsborne said...
Joel,

I fail to understand why you're not up to speed regarding the facts surrounding those who lived within Imperial Roman society 20 centuries ago. Are the data points I cited regarding the hierarchical classes of Imperial Roman society new news?

Roman history from The Social War (which pitted the Italian Marsi and the Samnite tribes and their would-be break-away republic of Corfinium against Rome) in 90 BC forward to the era of our Lord through to 70 AD are crucial benchmarks of knowledge in order to make claims about who was - or who was not - a citizen (Cive) of Rome, and who were peregrini and who were provinciales. The crux of the argument regarding the "the people" depends upon this information.

Cetainly any researched book concerning the specifics of that pivotal era requires the acquisition of such knowledge, including Roman Imperial civil status under ius Latii, through diligent research, does it not?

Joel Richardson wrote:

"The Apostle Paul was a Roman Citizen.

Given the information above ... was he really? Or was he a provinciale and covered only as a second-class citizen as granted under ius Latii due to his having been born in Tarsus, Cilicia?

By what aspect of Roman law (i.e. Lex Julia) would the Roman garrison in Jerusalem arrest Paul if he trully were a Roman Cive, scourge and torture him, imprison him there and then in Caesarea?

Didn't full-Roman Cives have rights and privileges against such treatment, and in particular the fact that Paul broke no Roman law (the apparently false charge that Paul had taken a gentile into the Temple)?

"Paul was from Tarsus in Cilicia."

Correct, a Roman province.

"(Ie. Syria, or Asia Minor (Turkey)"

It's one or the other, not either/or. A good look at any map of that era reveals that the autonomous political entity (i.e. province) of Cicilia (modern-day Çukurova, Turkey) was never a part of the Syria.

Our Lord was born in the Roman province of Judea. Was he also a Roman citizen with all rights and privileges?

January 17, 2009 5:11 PM
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Joel Richardson said...

Sean,

You gave a long answer to my question. And to be honest, I am not sure what your answer means. You said that only those from Italy were afforded Roman Citizenship. I mentioned that Paul was a Roman citizen. Do you disagree that Paul was a Roman citizen?

January 18, 2009 6:13 PM
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SeanOsborne said...
Joel Richardson wrote:

"You gave a long answer to my question. And to be honest, I am not sure what your answer means. You said that only those from Italy were afforded Roman Citizenship. I mentioned that Paul was a Roman citizen. Do you disagree that Paul was a Roman citizen?"

Joel,

My thoughful response in the form of posing 7 specific questions for you were quite unambiguous.

I am beginning to suspect that the reason you did not understand my questions was they fail to conform with your preconceived notions regarding who was and who wasn't a citizen of Rome, and the legal rights of the Imperial class-system.

You can prove my suspicion incorrect by answering the 7 specific questions i have posed to you:

1.) Are the data points I cited regarding the hierarchical classes of Imperial Roman society new news?

The second question was prefaced by this statement:

"Roman history from The Social War (which pitted the Italian Marsi and the Samnite tribes and their would-be break-away republic of Corfinium against Rome) in 90 BC forward to the era of our Lord through to 70 AD are crucial benchmarks of knowledge in order to make claims about who was - or who was not - a citizen (Cive) of Rome, and who were peregrini and who were provinciales. The crux of the argument regarding the "the people" depends upon this information."


2.) Certainly any researched book concerning the specifics of that pivotal era requires the acquisition of such knowledge, including Roman Imperial civil status under ius Latii, through diligent research, does it not?

3.) Given the information above ... was he [the Apostle Paul] really [a full Roman citizen]?

4.) Or was he a provinciale and covered only as a second-class citizen as granted under ius Latii due to his having been born in Tarsus, Cilicia?

5.) By what aspect of Roman law (i.e. Lex Julia) would the Roman garrison in Jerusalem arrest Paul if he trully were a Roman Cive, scourge and torture him, imprison him there and then in Caesarea?

6.) Didn't full-Roman Cives have rights and privileges against such treatment, and in particular the fact that Paul broke no Roman law (the apparently false charge that Paul had taken a gentile into the Temple)?

7.) Our Lord was born in the Roman province of Judea. Was he also a Roman citizen with all rights and privileges?

January 18, 2009 11:01 PM
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Anonymous said...

I like to point out in NIV's translation of Dan 2:40, ""Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others." there is no "finally" in the Aramaic text. It is an interpolation by the NIV translators.

SeanOsborne said...

True, the word "finally" does not appear. But I'm not sure what this point has to do with the linked Bible quotes in this article... my quoting of Dan 2:40 is the KJV.