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The Daniel 11 Prophecy And The Antichrist

Interesting article for study from Joel Richardson. Keep looking up!

The Daniel 11 Prophecy And The Antichrist

08/02/2012

By Joel Richardson – “Among the many prominent end-time passages of the Bible, one of the clearest passages that proves the Antichrist and his coming armies will arise from the Middle East, is Daniel 11. In this chapter, a prophecy is given that begins with the historical Medo-Persian empire and concludes with the death of the Antichrist.

A large portion of Daniel’s prophecy (vv. 20-34) is focused upon the historical conflict between the infamous Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the king of the Seleucid Kingdom, who is called ‘the King of the North’ and King Ptolemy VI, the king of the Ptolemaic Kingdom who is called ‘the King of the South.’

The Seleucid Kingdom in the north included the region of modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and even Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Ptolemaic Kingdom in the south ruled Egypt and portions of modern-day Libya and Sudan.

All scholars agree that Antiochus IV Epiphanes, in the north, is perhaps the most significant type of the Antichrist in the whole Bible.

In the later portion of Daniel’s prophecy, the historical events and wars that took place between Antiochus IV in the north and Ptolemy VI in the south bleed into a powerful end-time prophecy concerning the Antichrist (the King of the North) and Egypt (the King of the South). In fact, this chapter is among one of the clearest ‘slam dunks’ for the view that the Antichrist will come forward out of the Middle East and not a revived Roman or European kingdom.

Recognizing the highly problematic nature of this passage for the European-centered view, however, some teachers, in more modern times, have developed a view which holds that the King of the North is not a reference to the Antichrist, but instead is his enemy. Careful consideration of the text, however, reveals that this view simply doesn’t make any sense, as it turns the flow of the entire prophecy completely on its head, casting Antiochus IV as both a type of the Antichrist in verses 20-34, and then suddenly as a type of the Antichrist’s greatest enemy in verses 40-45. This view also takes the flow of the entire chapter, wherein the King of the North and the King of the South are historical enemies, and suddenly casts them as allies. This view fundamentally violates the clear flow of the entire prophecy in multiple ways.

But despite the popularity of this modern interpretation, a survey of views on this passage, from the very earliest days of the church until modern times, shows that the vast majority of responsible interpreters throughout church history have always understood the last-days King of the North to be a reference to the Antichrist. Consider the following brief summary of Christian leaders and theologians, from the earliest centuries of Christianity to modern times, who have affirmed the notion that Daniel’s ‘King of the North’ is none other than the Middle Eastern Antichrist:

Hippolytus of Rome (170–235), one of the most important theologians of the second and third centuries. According to tradition, Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of John the Apostle who wrote extensively about the end times.

Victorinus (d. 333), an early Christian bishop and martyr. His commentary on the book of Revelation is the oldest complete commentary on Revelation in our possession.

Lactantius (240–320), a well-known early Christian apologist in the third and fourth centuries.

Jerome (347–420), the renowned Latin theologian and historian of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393–457), the highly influential author, theologian and bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria, in the fifth century.

S.P. Tregelles (1813–1875), an English biblical scholar, textual critic and theologian. Tregelles is most well-known for translating Wilhelm Gesenius’ famous Hebrew Chaldee lexicon into English.

C.F. Keil (1813–1890), the celebrated German Hebraist and commentator who co-authored a commentary on the Old Testament with Frederick Delitzsch.

Clarence Larkin (1850–1924), an American Baptist pastor, Bible teacher and author of the classic work on dispensational eschatology, ‘Dispensational Truth.’

Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), an English evangelist and biblical scholar well-known for his book ‘The Antichrist.’

G.H. Lang (1874–1958), one of the foremost dispensational premillennialist biblical scholars of his day.

F.F. Bruce (1910–1990), another biblical scholar of the highest calibre who needs no introduction.

Edward J. Young, (1907–1968), former professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Gleason L. Archer Jr. (1916–2004), another well-known and deeply respected biblical scholar and theologian, known as one of the chief proponents of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.

Steven R. Miller Ph.D., professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, author of the New American Commentary on the Book of Daniel.

John Goldingay, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, author of the Word Biblical Commentary on the Book of Daniel.

Of course, this is only a partial list. Many other pastors, teachers, commentators, scholars and prophecy students alike could certainly be cited.

Some may be surprised to learn that so many highly respected Christian luminaries from across the centuries have supported this Middle Eastern view of the Antichrist. But while numerous Christian theologians and teachers have understood and recognized various elements of the Islamic Antichrist theory, never before in history has this view of prophecy ever been so thoroughly and systematically developed as it is today. In my new book, ‘Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,’ I make every effort to present to the reader a careful and balanced articulation of this deeply relevant prophetic view in a scholarly yet very readable fashion. It is essential that all true Bereans and students of prophecy take the time to consider what so many other great Christian leaders and theologians of both ancient and modern times have recognized from Scripture.” Source – WND.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3818

Billy Graham’s ‘Judgment’ Letter Sparks Charismatic Commotion

 

Famed evangelist Billy Graham’s letter calling America and its “deceived people” to repentance is one in a series of escalating warnings that the nation is in growing danger of God’s judgment, prominent faith leaders told Charisma News.

“This may be our last chance to call the nation to pray,” says Anne Gimenez, national chairperson of America for JesusAmerica for Jesus—The Awakening, which expects hundreds of thousands of people to gather at Independence Mall in Philadelphia Sept. 28-29 to pray and intercede for the United States.

“We believe it possibly could be the last time we have this opportunity. Nineveh is a great example. All the wickedness of that city, and yet when they did what God said they should do and repented, God healed their land. That’s right where America is today. We’re on the brink of America being destroyed as we know it, but I believe God is giving America a chance at this hour.”

In his letter, “My Heart Aches for America,” the 93-year-old Graham wrote that he recalled how his late wife, Ruth, once expressed concerns about the nation’s “terrible downward spiral”—exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Graham, who has preached to more people than any other Protestant in history—2.2 billion—wrote that he wondered what Ruth would think of the country today where “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”

“My hearts aches for America,” wrote Graham, who has provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush and received Barack Obama in his home in 2010. He has been on Gallup’s “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” list 55 times since 1955.

“The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s Day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation.”

Graham’s letter calling America to repentance comes as a growing number of highly respected Christian leaders have issued similar warnings in recent months, noting that the nation is in a downward spiral of economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.

Jack Hayford, the founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., and the former president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, says Graham’s letter comes as the nation is in a “very grim hour as we approach the election this year.”

“What we need is something on the order of shock troops at this hour, and I can imagine that can be raised,” Hayford says. “I don’t feel despairing. I do feel the urgency. We are at a point that desperate action is needed and Billy’s voice, certainly as no other, can give rise to that.”

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Harbinger, says Graham’s letter is a “prophetic word” that parallels the message in The Harbinger—that America is rapidly departing from God and is in danger of judgment unless it turns back to God in humble and genuine repentance.

The fact that Graham released the letter “should get our attention” and is “very striking” and “very stunning,” says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J.

“I believe this is a very, very critical time for America and for God’s people in America, and I believe it has ramifications for world history,” says Cahn, a descendant of Aaron, the high priest of the ancient Israelites and the brother of the Biblical prophet Moses. “The way that America goes is going to affect the world, and the way God’s people in America go will affect America.

“So, the message of The Harbinger is that we are in danger and that the same progression of judgment that occurred in the last days of ancient Israel is now occurring in America. The call is ultimately for salvation for those who don’t know the Lord and for repentance and revival for those who do. I see this (Graham’s letter) as another very stark sign that we are a critical point.”

Joel Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author of Implosion: Can America Recover from its Economic & Spiritual Challenges in Time?, echoed Cahn’s remarks in a blog entry last week, noting Graham’s letter highlights “the need for spiritual revival.”

“America is in grave danger,” Rosenberg wrote. “The massacre in Aurora. The child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State. The scourge of abortion and pornography and runaway spending and debt in Washington. The list tragically goes on and on. In Implosion, I try to document how serious the situation is, and how a Third Great Awakening is the
only answer.”

Graham’s letter comes as several organizations are planning prayer gatherings, evangelistic festivals and other events.

In his letter, Graham wrote his son Franklin Graham is planning to launch an outreach entitled My Hope with Billy Graham “that wouldbring the gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.” 

“America is desperately in need of another great awakening,” says Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International. “As many other nations in history have belatedly discovered, one cannot eliminate the name of Jesus and think that God does not see. We all need to listen and respond to what the Lord has put on the heart of Dr. Billy Graham, and respond to his message of hope as well as courageously find our own voice in calling the church and nation to repent.”

Meanwhile, starting Sept. 28 and continuing through Nov. 6, 40 Days to Save America is calling for prayer, fasting and repentance in the 40 days prior to the presidential election.

“During the American Revolution, in the darkest days of the Civil War, at the outset of our involvement in World War II, leaders as different as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared national seasons of prayer, fasting and repentance,” wrote Rick Scarborough, chairman of 40 Days to Save America on the website.

“Today, our nation faces multiple crises—pending economic collapse, moral disintegration and international terrorism—but all have spiritual underpinnings. Together, they are even more daunting than those Americans confronted in 1776, 1863 and 1941. Now as then our national survival is at stake. Now as then, our destiny rests in God’s hands. The crises confronting us are beyond the power of human beings to resolve without divine guidance. Nothing short of a Third Great Awakening can save us.”

The calls for prayer and repentance come a year after Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared Aug. 6, 2011, a day of national prayer, fasting and repentance and invited fellow governors to attend The Response at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Given the trials besetting the nation from the “global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture,” Perry said he believed it was time to “convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel.”

Doug Stringer, the founder of Somebody Cares America and the national mobilization coordinator for The Response, says a battle for the soul of the nation is underway, the wake-up call has come and yet “we keep pushing the snooze button.”

“Coming from one who has been such a great giant—an ambassador for Christ around the world—I think [Graham’s] words at age 93 should deeply, deeply impact each and every one of us,” Stringer says. “I really believe we’re in a Joel 2 moment where the church must take seriously personal and individual repentance. America is in trouble. We need God himself to intervene.”

For another Great Awakening to occur, Hayford says the church and believers must engage in “gut-level, spiritually-impassioned intercessory prayer”—something lacking in most churches today, few of which even hold prayer meetings anymore.

“The undermining of the ensconced dark powers that are eating out the underpinnings of our national life are only going to be neutralized and cast down in one way,” says Hayford, author of Penetrating the Darkness: Discovering the Power of the Cross Against Unseen Evil. “You can preach about it, and that’s valid, and it’s not worthless. But it’s what is awakened in the church through prayer that becomes the truly penetrating and ultimately victorious dynamic.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3806

The Century Of Islam’: Iran Preparing Army Of Global Terror Operatives For Islamic Messiah, ‘Islam Will Defeat All World Powers’

By REZA KAHLILI – “The Quds Forces, a special Iranian unit of thousands of operatives tasked with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution, are being told to step up preparations for terrorism for the coming of the last Islamic messiah and the destruction of the West.

Ali Saeedi, the Iranian supreme leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, emphasized during a Friday sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic must directly confront America so that the necessary environment is created for the reappearance of Mahdi, the Shiite’s 12th imam, who will kill all infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

‘In three points of history, God directly confronts the will of unruly humans in which, of course, the Right will overcome the False,’ Saeedi said, according to the Sepah News, the Guards’ official publication. ‘The first point in history was during the era of pharaoh, the second era was Bani Abbas, and the third is our current era in which it seems that God has willed us to enlighten the world with the coming of Imam Mahdi.’

Saeedi, ‘Many of the signs [necessary] for the coming have taken place during the previous years; however, the main sign will take place right before the coming.’

There are five levels of readiness that have to be prepared for the coming, he said: ‘Individual readiness, the readiness for creating the environment, systematic readiness, the readiness in the region and the international readiness. This means Occupy Wall Street must take place, the Americans must lose hope with the Democratic Party and others, and lose faith in the U.N., while at the same time the unraveling in the Middle East, which was not ripe before, must have taken place before the coming.’

This is the first time a high-ranking Iranian official has stated on the record that the Quds Forces are not only involved in the region, but also internationally for a final confrontation with the West.

‘The Revolutionary Guards are one vehicle for preparation for the coming, and in the current Islamic Awakening [the Arab Spring] in the region and on international arena, the Quds Forces play a major role in preparing the readiness of the human force needed for such an event,’ Saeedi said. ‘The chief commander of the Guards and the supreme leader’s representative are tasked for preparing the individual readiness, regional readiness as well as international readiness for the coming.’

In another Guards’ weekly publication, Sobhe Sadegh, a front-page analysis explains that the opening of Iran’s geopolitics and the empowerment of its Islamic power are a reality in which Iran’s influence has expanded not only in the region, but also in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Asia and even in Europe and America.

As was the fall of socialism and the Eastern bloc, the analysis promises, so will be the fall of the capitalism and liberal democracy.

The analysis refers to the statements of the founder of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:

‘I say with all certainty that the 21st century will be the century of Islam.’

‘I say with all certainty that Islam will conquer all key entrenchments of the world.’

‘I say with all certainty that Islam will defeat all world powers.’

‘I say with all certainty that the 21st century is the century where the oppressed will be victorious over the oppressors.’

While the Quds Forces have recently expanded their operations in shipment of explosives to Latin America, Africa and other places in the world, and at the same time have put terror cells on high alert for terrorist acts, the Islamic regime in Iran has expanded its nuclear program in which over 11,000 centrifuges are now running at two facilities, increasing its enriched uranium stock.

As of the last report in May by the IAEA, Iran had enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs, and despite all negotiations and recent sanctions, the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced days ago that there will be no turning back from the nuclear path.” Source – WND.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3800

Why the Islamic Antichrist Theory Matters

Reposted from Joel Richardson

Why the Islamic Antichrist Theory Matters

July 26, 2012 in Updates

Joel Richardson WND
(Please post this article on your blogs, Facebook, Tweet it, and generally spread it around.)

As a well-known prophecy teacher, my email inbox is frequently full of questions, comments and news articles from those interested in biblical prophecy. While some of these emails are certainly helpful and interesting, there are also many that I would put into the category of “biblical prophecy as morbid trivia.” What I mean is that there are many believers who are overly fixated on discussing the many intricate details concerning the many dark events looming on the horizon. Now, to be clear, I say this as someone who deeply values biblical prophecy, but I will be the first to admit that much of what passes for biblical prophecy today is a mixture of conspiracy theories and extra-biblical concepts with only a thin ribbon of biblical passages intertwined throughout, so as to give it the appearance of credibility. I will also be the first to acknowledge that there are numerous Christians who have lost their way, having become completely distracted from the primary mandate of the Christian church, which is the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom – in both word and deed.

On the other hand, there are many Christians, who have overreacted to the unhealthy emphasis of some and now avoid the subject of biblical prophecy altogether. This is equally grievous. The Lord did not fill the pages of the Bible with prophecy because he wanted us to avoid the subject.

Although there are numerous highly relevant reasons for Christians to study biblical prophecy, I would like to use the remainder of this article to touch on just one deeply relevant reason specifically as to why the emerging Islamic Antichrist theory is so essential for the church to get a hold of. In brief, the answer is because the future of the missions movement depends on it. Allow me explain.

Today there are approximately 6.7 billion people in the world. Roughly 2.2 billion consider themselves Christians. This number is divided almost evenly in half between Roman Catholics and Protestants (with about 240 million Eastern Orthodox believers). There are also close to a billion secularists without a religion, a little less than a billion Hindus and only about 500 million Buddhists. The number of Muslims globally however is approximately 1.6 billion. This means that Muslims are far and away, the largest non-Christian people group in the world. More than any other people group in the world, Muslims need the gospel. The Islamic world needs missionaries. So one would expect the church to be obedient to the Great Commission of Jesus as found in Matthew 28:19 among Muslims:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Such, however, is far from the case. Although the Islamic world represents the greatest need, it has the least number of missionaries. In fact, on average, for every 1 million Muslims, there is only one Christian missionary! This is an absolute scandal, and I have no question that heaven is not pleased.

Now, while there is more than one reason why Christians are not going to the Islamic world, I want to touch on one very popular theological idea, a prophetic scenario actually, that is deeply demotivating a multitude of potential missionaries within many mainstream denominations from pursuing missions and church-planting among Muslims.

Briefly, this prophetic scenario holds that a series of imminent wars, most often referred to “the Psalm 83 War,” followed immediately by the “Battle of Gog of Magog” will soon result in the complete annihilation of most Muslims in the Middle East and Islam as a religion essentially drying up and fading away. This scenario is not some oddball prophetic interpretation, but is widely taught by numerous very well-known Christian leaders and teachers. Consider below just a small sampling of quotes from some such prophecy teachers, as it relates to future of the Islamic world:

“[T]he war of Ezekiel 38 will result in the annihilation of nearly all the armies of the Muslim nations of the Middle East. … Thus, if the Antichrist is a Muslim who is going to rule a Muslim empire in the Middle East during the Tribulation, then he is going to rule over an empire that has been reduced to ashes!” (David Reagan)

“I believe that the Ezekiel 38-39 war plays a key role in the rise of the Antichrist. It is clear in this passage that Iran and the Muslim coalition suffers a humiliating defeat. I believe God will use this war to bring the ultimate downfall of the Islamic religion and the false god Allah.” (Randy White)

“The elimination of this Russian-Islamic alliance and all their troops will pave the way for the Antichrist to posture himself to take over the world.” (Mark Hitchcock)

“Islam is just another system that will be wiped out before the Antichrist instills his system.” (Nathan Jones)

There is power in prophecy. What prophecy teachers teach has widespread and lasting implications. This teaching that Islam is about to disappear is truly destructive to the completion of the Great Commission among Muslims. And what makes matters worse is that the idea of the Battle of Gog of Magog as a distinct and separate battle from the final battles of the Antichrist described elsewhere throughout the prophets can easily be shown to be a bogus interpretation.

In my new book, “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” I walk the reader carefully through the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 (The Battle of Gog of Magog), Psalm 83 and many others, so as to thoroughly dispel this false idea that the Islamic world and religion is about to face “annihilation” or “will be wiped out.”

In fact, if there is one primary underlying point I would wish to make with my newest book and which I am struggling to awaken the Christian church regarding, it is the simple fact that Islam is the single greatest challenge the church will face before the return of Jesus. But until he returns, it is not going away.

The mandate of the church at this moment in history is to rise to meet the challenge of Islam. Now is not the time for armchair prophecy-enthusiast Christians to sit back and passively await the destruction of the Islamic world.

Numerous Western Christians today are openly calling for war with Iran, yet few are aware of the fact that Iran is experiencing the single greatest Christian revival in the world!

Now is not the time to pray for the judgment of the Islamic world. Now is the time for the church to lift up their eyes and recognize the fact that the fields are white unto harvest and pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into the fields! (Matthew 9:37-38; John 4:35)

It’s time that the church casts these false and deeply demotivating interpretations of prophecy into the waste basket. Hundreds of millions of souls are depending on it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3794

Be Sober!

Please read the attached file. It is an article of extreme importance. If you were asked to take a microchip due to the Health Care Act would you? Well it is in the legislation that was passed and believe it or not it is set for March 2013. Read and be sober! Keep looking up!

Health Care1

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3789

Warning: The world is ending and the Messiah is coming!

On one of Israel’s largest websites Ynet a yellow banner with large letters appeared on Saturday proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. “The Messiah is in Israel. This will be the last government of Israel.” A click on the banner leads directly to the website 871. Here, the religious creators of the site warn about the end of the world. “The next leader will be the Messiah Ben David. The situation in the country is getting worse and the government will become more incapable. Only the Messiah can save Israel during the war of Gog and Magog. In the near future the world will witness terrible disasters, like earthquakes and tsunamis. Cities in Europe and the United States will disappear in the sea. The world’s financial system will collapse and God will destroy the Mammon (Yiddish slang for “money”). Anti-Semitism in the world will get worse, just like on the eve of World War II. For every inch of land that the government abandons the people of Israel will be punished for, because this is a rebellion against God. Solely because the two-state solution was discussed in Israel we must pay a high price. This land was promised to the people of Israel for eternity and who negotiates about the God-given land will not experience the redemption.” The ones behind the website, who regularly publish warning signals in the Israel network, are unknown. The majority of Israel’s society does not take such websites seriously, but still they appear on Israel’s largest Internet portals, such as Ynet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3754

Israeli belief in God on the rise

Even as Israel becomes increasingly liberal (see recent report on Tel Aviv being rated top gay travel destination), it is also becoming increasingly religious, or, perhaps more accurately, increasingly God-fearing.

A survey conducted by the Guttman-Avi Chai Foundation in 2009, and whose results were finally published on Thursday after more than two years of analysis, revealed that over 80 percent of Israeli Jews believe in God. The Guttman-Avi Chai Foundation started conducing this survey over two decades ago. The 2009 poll registered by far the highest level of belief in God yet.

Furthermore, over 70 percent of Israeli Jews accept the biblical principle that the Jewish people have been “chosen” by God for a specific prophetic destiny. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they want increased biblical studies in Israeli schools.

But that doesn’t mean Jews in general are becoming more religious, at least not in an Orthodox Jewish way. Only 37 percent of Israeli Jews had a problem with fellow Jews not following the biblical commandments, and nearly 70 percent said they want more entertainment venues to be open on the Shabbat.

The numbers coincide with other recent findings and observations suggesting that Israelis are increasingly hungry for a deeper spiritual life. It also highlights the growing rift in the nation, as one portion of Israelis moves closer to God and the Bible, while the other clings ever more tightly to Western liberal humanism.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3751

IS THE ANTICHRIST BUILDING HIS NATION EVEN NOW?

Rise of Islamic Turkey triggers warnings of biblical prophecy

 

The rumblings stirred by record-setting new film in Turkey are triggering alarm bells with students of biblical prophecy, who warn the world system the Antichrist will use to rise to power is already on the march.

“Constantinople will surely be conquered one day. The commander who conquerors it is a blessed commander. His soldiers are blessed soldiers” – thus opens the film “Fetih 1453.”

 

“Fetih” (meaning “conquest”) begins in 7th century Arabia with Muhammad, who is presented off camera lest pious Muslims be offended by his physical portrayal, declaring the quote above. The film tells the story of the conquest of the Christian East Roman Empire and its capital Constantinople by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, thereafter known as Mehmet Fatih, or the Conqueror.

Director Faruk Aksoy’s film is the now the most watched and highest grossing movie in Turkish history, earning more than $60 million worldwide.

But Joel Richardson, author New York Times best-selling “The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast” and “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” just released by WND Books, views the release of “Fetih 1453″ and the rise of Turkey as a world power as confirming biblical prophecy.

“In my book ‘Mideast Beast,’ I walk the reader through several key biblical texts that also point to a renewed Turkish power in the last days,” Richardson told WND. “As the Obama administration is openly getting behind the Islamist government in Turkey, numerous world events are all aligning with what the biblical prophets spoke. For those who take biblical prophecy seriously, awaiting the return of Jesus, the events now unfolding in Turkey and the region – the days in which we are now living – are absolutely profound.”

Christian prophecy teachers are reexamining previous dogma regarding the empire of the Antichrist. Until recently North American prophecy teachers almost exclusively held to the European Antichrist theory in part because they believed that the Antichrist would succeed the Roman Empire, which some said never really fell. Modern scholars of biblical prophecy suggest the prior theories were historically inaccurate and contend that the Roman Empire was in fact conquered and succeeded.

Richardson’s work has been instrumental in the reexamination of the geographic region where the Antichrist will arise. The historical parallels between the time period depicted in “Fetih 1453″ and now are worth considering, said Richardson.

Taking a hard look at the most significant biblical end-time texts, “Mideast Beast” argues persuasively that the Antichrist, his empire, and his religion will come from the Middle East and not Europe, as has been widely taught by many prophecy teachers.

“When Mehmet gathered his Muslim soldiers around Constantinople, he purposefully had imams walk through the camps of the soldiers reading the prophecy concerning the conquering of the city, empowering the soldiers with a deep sense of divine and prophetic destiny,” said Richardson. “It was in fact the alleged prophecies of Muhammad that were among the most motivating factors driving the attack.

“Likewise today, throughout the Islamic world, there is a radical renewed interest in the many Islamic prophecies. Among these are prophecies concerning the renewal of the Islamic Caliphate, the invasion of Israel, the establishment of the Caliphate specifically from the city of from Jerusalem, the genocide of most Jews in the land and also the secondary conquering of Constantinople,” Richardson continued. “Many Turks believe that the present Islamic takeover of Turkey by the AK Party is the actual fulfillment of this prophecy. Among the significant events that are leading many Muslims in the region to believe they are again living in a moment of prophetic fulfillment are the present ‘Arab Spring’ or ‘Islamic Awakening,’ as it is more commonly referred to as throughout the region, the rise of an assertive Islamist Turkey as a regional power.”

The release of “Fetih 1453″ comes at an interesting time. Turkey is now ruled by an elected Islamist government that celebrates its Ottoman religious and imperial past. It has even been praised by Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, notorious for his popularity among youth in the Middle East and his belligerent behavior toward the State of Israel in recent years.

“It is also important to note the fact that beyond the Islamists of Turkey, so also do many of the secularist nationalists desire to see a revival of regional Turkish power in the Middle East,” said Richardson. “The yearning for the glories of the Ottoman Empire are not limited to the Islamists alone.”

Whereas most students of the Bible have long held that some form of humanism or universalist religion would catapult the Antichrist to world power, “Mideast Beast” systematically proves that the long awaited system of the Antichrist is even now before us and knocking at our door – virtually unnoticed by the church.

“I am firmly convinced that Islam is the single greatest challenge the church will face before the return of Jesus, yet most are still either asleep or in denial,” Richardson states in “Mideast Beast.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3740

Dreams, Visions Moving Muslims to Christ

Several years ago, Ali took the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.

“Of course when I went to Mecca I was going there in order to pay hommage to the Kabba and to fulfill the requirements in Islam,” he recalled.

But the trip became more of a spiritual journey than he could ever imagine.

“That night I saw Jesus in a dream. First, Jesus touched my forehead with his finger. And after touching me, He said, ‘You belong to me,'” Ali recalled.

“And then He touched me above my heart,” he continued. “‘You have been saved, follow me. You belong to me,’ he said.”

Ali’s story in Mecca was told and dramatized in a DVD called “More Than Dreams.”

“I decided I’m not going to finish the Hajj, the pilgrimage. Whatever it takes, I’m going to follow that voice,” he explained.

The film documents and dramatizes Ali’s story and several other Muslims who came to faith in Jesus through a dream or vision.

“We’re seeing that all around. We’re hearing about people that have never even thought about Jesus as savior,” Tom Doyle, with e3 Ministries, said. “They’re content Muslims and they’re having dreams over and over.”

Doyle and his wife Joanna take the gospel to the Muslim world. He’s also the author of the upcoming book, Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?

“I think our God is a fair God, that He’s righteous and just, and people are seeking and they don’t know where to go,” Doyle said.

“Maybe they don’t have a Bible, maybe there’s no missionary in the village,” he said. “He’ll get the message to them somehow.”

The phenomenon of dreams and visions has surfaced throughout the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Morocco.

“In the church if you ask how many people came to Christ, 80 percent will say, ‘I saw Him in a dream,'” one woman in central Asia told CBN News. Her identity is being protected for security reasons.

A Christian friend challenged her to ask God to speak to her personally.

“So I decided to ask Him,” she said. “The next day … in my dream I saw Jesus … I decided to come to Him.” 

Hazem Farraj hosts “Reflections,” a satellite program for Muslims. He said he often gets feedback about dreams and visions. 

“I had one lady write me … she said, ‘I turned on the television and there you were … the words that were coming out of your mouth were so peaceful I fell asleep,'” Farraj recalled.

“She said, ‘When I fell asleep I ended up having a vision of Jesus and I saw the Lord,'” he continued. “She said, ‘As soon as I looked over I knew that Christ was the sacrifice, the son of the God.”

Doyle said the dream or vision is usually the start, not the end, of a Muslim’s conversion.

“Nobody goes to sleep a Muslim and wakes up a Christian, but it knocks down the false barriers that are inherent in Islam,” Doyle explained.

The Doyles said beneath the current revolution in the Middle East, there’s a spiritual earthquake.

“As things heat up politically and spiritually within Islam, man, the Holy Spirit is moving even more powerfully,” Joanna said.

“This is the time when hearts are open, people are desperate, governments are changing,” her husband added. “Everybody’s foundation has massive cracks in it and Jesus is the answer that can come in and fill that need.”

Many veteran missionaries to the Muslim world say dreams and visions, along with satellite television, are introducing Muslims to Jesus in unprecedented numbers.

They add that more Muslims are coming to Jesus than at any other time in the 1,400-year history of Islam.

The Doyles want believers in the West to join this spiritual revolution.

“Not everybody is going to go the Middle East. But they can pray,” Doyle said.

“And no government, no leader can block intercession around the world,” he said. “So we need to pray as believers that God would continue to push the gospel out to the ends of the earth.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3725

Dispensationalism

Great article explaining dispensationalism to us by Jack Kelley! Keep looking up!

 

Dispensationalism – This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley – www.gracethrufaith.com

I’ve been answering questions from so many people for so long that I sometimes forget not everyone who comes to the site has read all of them. As a case in point, I recently answered a question about the flood where I said it was the second in a series of seven times where mankind would violate the terms of an agreement with God and bring judgment upon themselves. I didn’t think any more about it until I received several questions from people asking what I was talking about and could I list the other six times. I realized they hadn’t read the several answers I have posted over the years on the theological system I follow called dispensationalism.

What Is Dispensationalism?

Dispensationalism is a method for interpreting the Bible. The Greek word from which we get dispensation appears only 7 times in the New Testament and is only translated as such in four of those, all by Paul and all in the King James (1 Cor. 9:17, Ephes. 1:10, Ephes. 3:2, Colossians 1:25). Other meanings of this word are stewardship, administration, and economy.

What Do Dispensationalists Believe?

A dispensationalist believes that throughout history God has dealt with humanity in different ways at different times as part of the process of revealing His character and His plan for mankind, and calls these different periods dispensations.

For example, while salvation has always been by faith, the way to salvation through much of the Old Testament was through Israel and required obedience to the Law as well. That is not the case during the Church Age. And while eternal security is promised to the Church, it was not promised to Israel. Neither was the Holy Spirit sealed within Old Testament believers as is the case with believers in the Church (Ephes. 1:13-14). Therefore the way God dealt with Israel in the Old Testament took place during a different dispensation than His dealings with the Church in the New Testament. Get the idea?

This is one of the reasons I’ve given in support of my position that Eternal Security won’t be available to post rapture believers. The last seven years before the Lord’s return (Daniel’s 70th Week) will be a time when God deals primarily with Israel again, as He did in the Old Testament. He promised Israel these seven years and has yet to provide them. Daniel 9:24-27 explains this and tells us a temple will be built in Israel during that time, and that animal sacrifices will once again be offered on its altar. While these things were required during Old Testament times they would be both unnecessary and undesirable now unless the Church Age first comes to an end, something that will happen with the rapture. This is why so many dispensationalists believe the rapture will happen before Daniel’s 70th Week begins.

Some say that dispensationalism is a relatively modern system of theology first proposed by John Nelson Darby in the mid 1800′s. But evidence that the early church believed in the principles of dispensationalism can be found in the 2nd Century writings of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Justin Martyr saw four distinct periods (dispensations) and gave them the names of the principle players, Adam to Abraham; Abraham to Moses; Moses to Christ; and Christ to Eternity. Irenaeus also saw four periods, from the Creation to the Flood, from the Flood to the Law, from the Law to the Gospel, and from the Gospel to Eternity.

More recently most scholars have settled on seven dispensations. Each one has begun with an agreement between God and man that man has subsequently broken, causing the agreement to fail and requiring a judgment. Here are the seven dispensations in chronological order.

1) Innocence … Between the Creation and the Fall of Man in the Garden. God interacted freely and personally with Adam and Eve during this period. Then they broke the only rule He had given them (Genesis 3:11-13) and were expelled from the Garden. Sin entered the world.

2) Conscience … Between the Fall and the Flood, God allowed man’s conscience to govern his behavior without Divine interference. Because of the sin nature passed down from mankind’s first parents, the result was that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God pronounced judgment upon the world and destroyed all but 8 members of the human race in the Great Flood.

3) Human Government … from the Flood to Abraham. After the flood God told Noah to go forth and replenish the Earth (Genesis 9:7). Noah’s descendants disobeyed God’s commandment, setting about instead to build a great city and tower from which to study the stars (Genesis 11:4). God confused man’s language, causing them to stop building the tower, and scattered them throughout the world (Genesis 11:8-9).

4) Promise … from Abraham to Moses. God promised Abraham a homeland for his descendants (Genesis 17:8) and a son for him and Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16). But they grew tired of waiting and produced a son on their own, who they named Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-2.15). When God’s promised son Isaac was born, Ishmael was sent away (Genesis 21:8-13) causing enmity between the Jews (descendants of Isaac) and Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) that continues to this day. After Mohammed, a descendant of Ishmael’s, founded Islam this enmity took on religious significance and became even more intense.

5) Law … from Moses to Jesus. God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and promised the Jews a life of peace and plenty in a Kingdom of their own if they obeyed (Exodus 19:5, Exodus 20:1-17). After repeated periods of disobedience which included rejecting their Messiah King, God withdrew His offer of the Kingdom and expelled them from their land (Matt. 21:43, Luke 19:41-44).

6) Grace … from Pentecost to the Rapture, the Church Age. No longer requiring righteousness through works, God granted a righteousness by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ to all who accept, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 3:21-24). Most will not accept and will be punished through eternity.

Note: It’s important to realize that Grace didn’t replace Law, it just interrupted it.  Law has another 7 years to run, called Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), which fills the time between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. During this time all the nations to which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed and Israel will be disciplined in preparation for receiving the Kingdom (Jeremiah 30:4-11).

7) The Kingdom … the 1000 Year Reign of Christ that begins with the 2nd Coming. This time Israel will accept the Kingdom offer (Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 14:8-9). Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2), all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet (Matt. 25:41-46), and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people (Ezek. 43:6-7). You’d think man could finally live in a manner pleasing to God. But he can’t. With the exception of Israel, the world will rebel against God and His people. God will send fire to consume them all (Rev. 20:7-10).

What Is God’s Purpose In This?

I think the overarching purpose of these seven dispensations is to demonstrate that there are no conditions under which natural man can behave in a manner acceptable to God. Only the Church is able to do so and then only after being perfected in the rapture. This why Paul wrote that after the end of the Millennium when it comes time for Jesus to present the kingdom to the Father, He will first destroy all dominion, authority and power (1 Cor. 15:24).  As we enter eternity neither mankind nor the angels will ever have the desire or ability to disobey God again. That’s why there isn’t an eighth dispensation called Eternity.

Two of the major changes that dispensationalism as we know it today brought upon the post reformation world were the return to a literal interpretation of Scripture, especially where it deals with prophecy, and the realization that there’s a distinct difference between Israel and the Church in the End Times. It’s the best tool I know of for determining the context of a passage and understanding who its intended recipients are. (Reform theology does not adhere to a literal interpretation of Scripture, treats end times prophecy as allegorical, and blurs the distinction between Israel and the Church to the point where some claim the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan making Israel an unnecessary part of our times.)

Most dispensationalists believe in a pre-tribulation rapture followed by Daniel’s 70th week with its accompanying judgments and a literal Kingdom of God that will begin with the 2nd Coming and last for 1,000 years. During this time Israel will be God’s Kingdom on Earth while the Church will be God’s Kingdom in Heaven.

So this is what dispensationalists believe. It’s what I believe and is the theological foundation for all the articles and answers to be found on this site. This is why I said the Great Flood was the second in a series of seven times where mankind would violate the terms of an agreement with God and bring judgment upon themselves.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3722