Category: Antichrist

Mar 05

Cardinals in Rome begin talks about choosing next Pope

Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world have gathered in Rome to begin the process of electing the next Pope.

Cardinals held prayers and swore oaths of secrecy at their first meeting, held by the College of Cardinals.

There will be a series of daily meetings leading up to a conclave, expected to begin next week, in which a new Pope will be chosen.

The election process comes after Pope Benedict XVI stepped down last week.

He was the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, after nearly eight years in office leading the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

The first pre-conclave meeting on Monday morning was headed by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The Vatican said 101 of the 115 cardinals involved in the conclave have arrived in Rome. A further 12 are due to arrive either today or tomorrow, while two are not attending.

They are the UK’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is standing down amid allegations of improper behaviour, and Indonesia’s Julius Darmaatmadja, who is ill.

At the pre-conclave meetings, cardinals – known as the “princes” of the Church – will discuss future challenges and discreetly weigh up possible papal candidates.

The conclave – to be held in the Sistine Chapel – is expected to take place next week, though the exact date will be agreed on in the coming days.

‘Vatileaks’ report

Correspondents say the cardinal electors, those under the age of 80 who will take part in the conclave, will want the new Pope to be officially installed in time to preside over Holy Week.

Ceremonies start with Palm Sunday on 24 March and culminate in Easter the following Sunday.

Last year’s “Vatileaks” scandal is expected to be high on the agenda during the meetings.

Corruption and infighting in the Vatican were exposed through a series of leaked documents, and the cardinals are expected this week to be briefed on a confidential report into the scandal seen by Pope Benedict.

The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says strict precautions against leaks of unauthorised information will be in operation at the Vatican until the next Pope has been chosen.

Technicians will debug the cardinals’ lodgings and mobile phones will be banned altogether during the conclave.

But some cardinals have suggested the internal workings and possible failings of the Vatican’s bureaucracy will not be a major factor in the decision to elect the next pope.

“I think the real priority in the conclave is to choose the pope who is going to deal with these great, global issues,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, speaking to the Associated Press in Rome, before the meetings began.

“If there are some internal problems in the Vatican, administrative problems in the Vatican, that’ll eventually be dealt with. But it certainly isn’t going to condition how I am going to be looking at who is going to guide and lead the church in the next years.”

O’Brien apology

The church’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse is another recurring issue.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly Britain’s former most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has said he will not take part in the conclave after standing down amid allegations of improper behaviour.

On Sunday, he admitted his sexual conduct had at times “fallen beneath the standards expected of me”.

He apologised and asked forgiveness from those whom he had “offended”.

Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh last Monday after three priests and a former priest made allegations against him dating back to the 1980s.

Benedict, 85, officially ceased to be the Pope at 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on Thursday.

He left the Vatican by helicopter, flying to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

He has vowed “unconditional obedience and reverence” to his successor.

The German pontiff, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, will continue to be known as Benedict XVI, with the new title of “pope emeritus”.

The theologian is expected to retire to a monastery on a hill inside Vatican City. Officials say he will not be able to intervene publicly in the next papacy although he may offer advice.

Petrus-Romanus

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4816

Feb 27

False Prophet may be coming on the scene

Last Sunday, Pope Benedict stood before a crowd of 50-thousand people and announced: “The time of testing is here.” This oblique reference to the start of great tribulation reflects our previous work, Petrus Romanus, in which we carefully detailed a prophecy by Malachy O’Morgair, or “Saint Malachy” as he is known to Catholics, having to do with “the last pope.”

The Prophecy of the Popes, hidden for hundreds of years inside the highly guarded vaults of the Vatican library contains a list of Latin verses predicting each of the Roman Catholic popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, Petrus Romanus or “Peter the Roman,” whose reign assists the rise of Antichrist and ends in the destruction of Rome. According to this nine-hundred-year-old prophecy, the pope following Benedict XVI is this final pontiff. The last segment of the prophecy reads:

In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.[i][i]

While investigating this mysterious prophecy, we learned of the long line of other Roman Catholic leaders who, down through time, also foresaw Rome being destroyed after becoming an engine of the Antichrist. A remarkable example of this was Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, who delivered a series of lectures in 1861 under the title, “The Present Crises of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy,” in which he predicted a future crisis in the Roman Catholic Church resulting in apostasy and the rise of the False Prophet and Antichrist. Of the prophecy in the book of Revelation (chapter 18) concerning the end-time destruction of Mystery Babylon, Manning wrote:

We read in the Book Apocalypse, of the city of Rome, that she said in the pride of her heart, “I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and sorrow I shall not see. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day: death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be burned with fire, because God is strong who shall judge her.” Some of the greatest writers of the Church tell us that…the great City of Seven Hills…the city of Rome will probably become apostate…and that Rome will again be punished, for he will depart from it; and the judgment of God will fall.[1][ii]

Manning continued, explaining how Catholicism’s greatest theologians agreed with this point of view:

The apostasy of the city of Rome…and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians, of greatest repute. First, Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Viegas, Suarez, Bellarmine, and Bosius, that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ, and return to its ancient paganism. Malvenda’s words are:

But Rome itself in the last times of the world will return to its ancient idolatry, power, and imperial greatness. It will cast out its Pontiff, altogether apostatize from the Christian faith, terribly persecute the Church, shed the blood of martyrs more cruelly than ever, and will recover its former state of abundant wealth, or even greater than it had under its first rulers.

Lessius says: “In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be destroyed, as we see openly from the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse;” and again: “The woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth, in which is signified Rome in its impiety, such as it was in the time of St. John, and shall be again at the end of the world.” And Bellarmine: “In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt, as we learn from the sixteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse.” On which words the Jesuit Erbermann comments as follows: “We all confess with Bellarmine that the Roman people, a little before the end of the world, will return to paganism, and drive out the Roman Pontiff.”

Viegas, on the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse says: “Rome, in the last age of the world, after it has apostatized from the faith, will attain great power and splendor of wealth, and its sway will be widely spread throughout the world, and flourish greatly. Living in luxury and the abundance of all things, it will worship idols, and be steeped in all kinds of superstition, and will pay honor to false gods. And because of the vast effusion of the blood of martyrs which was shed under the emperors, God will most severely and justly avenge them, and it shall be utterly destroyed, and burned by a most terrible and afflicting conflagration.”[1][iii]

With the forthcoming election of Petrus Romanus on everybody’s mind and not yet knowing who the Final Pope that leads Rome into destruction and great tribulation described by Catholic seers above will actually be, we should remind readers of the 61-year old codex we uncovered in our book Petrus Romanus (this book in French and English comes free on the data DVDs that will be given away with Exo-Vaticana – read more here). It was written by Jesuit academic Rene Thibaut in 1958 and contains an intriguing suggestion that the next pope will either be named ‘Pius’ or will somehow be related to a pope of that name from the past. Commenting on just one of the hidden anagrams he discovered in the Prophecy of the Popes, he observes, “Note that this way of dividing the words to sort various meanings is a method dear to the ancient Irish.”[1][iv] A simple example of an anagram is seen in the Latin text “Peregrinusapostolicus[1][v] which was the prophecy for the ninety-sixth pope on the list, Pius VI. The anagram not only reveals the papal name, it does it twice: PeregIinUSaPostolIcUS. That’s right! The name “Pius” is rather transparently embedded in the original Latin text twice, which is rather astounding considering we have a published copy of the Prophecy of the Popes dated almost two hundred years before Pius VI was elected. Furthermore, Thibaut argues the encrypted couplet within “Apostolic pilgrim” signifies both Pius VI and the very next pope Pius VII who were both forced into foreign exile (i.e., pilgrims). He also suggests that the repetition serves as a poetic refrain. In other words, “Pius! Pius!” is similar to the excited binary “Mayday, Mayday!” that sailors cry out in dire circumstances.[1][vi]

            With this in mind, we pointed readers last year to the electrifying visions of another pope named Pius—Pope Pius X who served as pope from 1903 to 1914 and who saw a papal successor carrying the same name Pius fleeing Rome over the bodies of dead priests at the onset of the end times. Pius X is widely reported to have said:

What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests! Do not tell anyone this while I am alive.[1][vii]

In a second vision during an audience with the Franciscan order in 1909, Pope Pius X appeared to fall into a trance. After a few moments, he opened his eyes and rose to his feet, announcing:

I have seen one of my successors, of the same name [a future pope named Pius], who was fleeing over the dead bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.[1][viii]

The third part of the Secret of Fátima, which was supposedly released in total by the Vatican June 26, 2000, seems to echo the visions of Pius X. A section of the material reads:

…before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.[1][ix]

The conceptual framework of these visions and their validity is volatile among many Catholics who believe Rome is complicit in an intentional cover-up involving the true Third Secret of Fátima as well as other suppressed Catholic foresights that are rife with wildly different predictions concerning the future prophetic role of the Roman Catholic Church. Marian apparitions, visions by popes, interpretations by cardinals of the apocalypse, and approved mystical prophecies often stand at odds with recent Vatican publications. Even the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” approved by the Church and promulgated by Pope John Paul II (released in English in 1994, the first catechism in more than four hundred years), which draws on the Bible, the mass, the sacraments, traditions, teachings, and the lives of the saints, states under the section The Church’s Ultimate Trial:

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the Truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in the place of God and his Messiah who has come in the flesh.[1][x]

Recent Catholic priests have confirmed these visions of destroyed apostate Rome, some pointing to the conclave and the inevitable danger of the False Prophet rising from within the ranks of Catholicism. These were also discussed in the 2012 book, Petrus Romanus as:

Father E. Sylvester Berry, whose book The Apocalypse of Saint John foretold the usurpation of the papacy by a false prophet; Father Herman Bernard Kramer, whose work The Book of Destiny painted a terrifying scenario in which Satan enters the church and assassinates the true pope (possibly during conclave) in order that his false pope can rise to rule the world; as well as similar beliefs by priests like Father John F. O’Connor, Father Alfred Kunz, and Father Malachi Martin.… In a two-hour presentation (available on DVD), Father O’Connor gave a homily titled “The Reign of the Antichrist,” in which he described how changes within [the Roman Catholic] institution were already at work before his death to provide for the coming of Antichrist. (brackets in original)[1][xi]

O’Connor’s worst fears have certainly been realized. An associate of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI who is considered one of the most important Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, Hans Urs von Balthasar, wrote a provocative essay, “Casta Meretrix,” (“Chaste Harlot”) that not only identified the Roman Catholic Church as the Great Harlot, but embraced it:

The figure of the prostitute [forma meretricis] is so appropriate for the Church…that it…defines the Church of the New Covenant in her most splendid mystery of salvation. The fact that the Synagogue left the Holy Land to go and be among the pagans was an infidelity of Jerusalem, the fact that “she opened her legs in every road in the world.”

But this same movement, which brings her to all the peoples, is the mission of the Church. She must unite and merge herself with every people, and this new apostolic form of union cannot be avoided.[1][xii]

While the embrace of whoredom is astonishing, the convicting words of prophecy, “Come out of her, my people, That ye be not partakers of her sins, And that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4), seem to forecast such apostasy. In the next entry we will re-examine what was happening around the Fatima prophecies and whether Pope Benedict himself—and the man that wants to be Petrus Romanus—have, all along, held deep secrets concerning the upcoming conclave toward world-spanning ramifications.

 
popekiss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4802

Feb 12

IS ALLAH THE ANTICHRIST?

Video suggests John saw Arabic writing in Revelation visions

Published: 22 hours ago

by Michael Carl

Bible and Middle Eastern scholars are noting a similarity between the Arabic name for Allah and the Greek letters naming the Beast of Revelation.

Former PLO operative turned Christian Arabic-language researcher Walid Shoebat affirms there’s evidence that the name of Allah in Arabic is what the apostle John saw in his vision of the Antichrist’s name in the book of Revelation.

Shoebat, author of “God’s War on Terror,” explained that because John didn’t know Arabic, it’s possible he transcribed the name of the Beast as best he could into Greek letters. The Arabic name for “Allah” and its accompanying symbols resembles the ancient Greek script for “666.”

“It seems that more Bible prophecy students are coming to grips with what we stated years ago in ‘God’s War on Terror,’” Shoebat said. “Skeptics argue that the three Greek letters are Greek and not Arabic, yet none deny that these three Greek letters do read in Arabic. I find that interesting. In other words, we have been telling the truth.

“Some die-hard skeptics will ignore the very symbols given by John, and people will always try to poke holes into any theory,” Shoebat said, “but the evidence is overwhelming.”

Shoebat said the key to the theory connecting the name of Allah to the Beast is understanding the significance of names.

He quotes from Revelation 13:7: “And that no man might buy or sell, save that he had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of the name.”

“Indeed, we have three flavors: mark, name and number,” Shoebat said. “Yet most focus and argue over the mark while they ignore the name.”

In the Bible, he explained,  a name is a title or creed.

“For example, Jesus was called Emmanuel, ‘God with us.’ While His name is not literally Emmanuel, its meaning is,” Shoebat said. “He is God with us. Similarly, the name of the Beast is his title and creed and not a literal name.”

Want to delve deeper into the Islamic connection to the End Times? Be sure to read “The Islamic Antichrist” and “Mideast Beast” by Joel Richardson.

Shoebat said the most compelling case for the similarity between the Greek name for the Beast and the name for Allah is how Muslims wear the name of Allah.

“Any Christian skeptic who would like to argue that the Islamic creed, the name, the title and the declaration of faith is not blasphemous, please step forth,” Shoebat said. “Yet is it not what many Muslims put on their forehead? Or are we still led to believe the mark of the Beast to be a computer chip?”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4763

Feb 11

ALERT: Pope Benedict to Resign

In addition to the story below please also go to the Prophecy Studies page and study up on the False Prophet presentation as to why this is so significant.

 

Pope Benedict to Resign

 Monday, 11 Feb 2013 06:06 AM

Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world’s 1 billion Catholics.

The 85-year-old Pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.

Benedict called his choice “a decision of great importance for the life of the church.”

Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new Pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a Pope doesn’t have to be observed.

It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next Pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.

There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict’s decision, but in recent years, the Pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.

His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the Pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.

“His age is weighing on him,” Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. “At this age my brother wants more rest.”

Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being Pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires “both strength of mind and body.”

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he told the cardinals.

“In order to govern the [ship] of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths which, in the last few months, have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said.

Popes are allowed to resign; church law specifies only that the resignation be “freely made and properly manifested.” But only a handful have done it.

The last Pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants. The most famous resignation was Pope Celestine V in 1294; Dante placed him in hell for it.

When Benedict was elected at age 78, he was the oldest Pope chosen in nearly 300 years. At the time, he had already been planning to retire as the Vatican’s chief orthodoxy watchdog to spend his final years writing in the “peace and quiet” of his native Bavaria.

On Monday, Benedict said he would serve the church for the remainder of his days “through a life dedicated to prayer.” The Vatican said immediately after his resignation that Benedict would go to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat south of Rome, and then would live in a cloistered monastery.

Contenders to be his successor include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan; Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna; and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s office for bishops.

Long shots include Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Although Dolan is popular and backs the Pope’s conservative line, the general thinking is that the Catholic Church doesn’t need a Pope from a “superpower.”

Given half of the world’s Catholics live in the global south, there will once again be arguments for a Pope to come from the developing world.

Cardinal Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, has impressed many Vatican watchers, but at 56 and having only been named a cardinal last year, he is considered too young.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana is one of the highest-ranking African cardinals at the Vatican, currently heading the Vatican’s office for justice and peace, but he’s something of a wild card.

All cardinals under age 80 are allowed to vote in the conclave, the secret meeting held in the Sistine Chapel where cardinals cast ballots to elect a new Pope. As per tradition, the ballots are burned after each voting round; black smoke that snakes out of the chimney means no Pope has been chosen, while white smoke means a Pope has been elected.

The pontiff had been due to attend World Youth Day in July in Rio de Janeiro; by then his successor will have been named and will presumably make the trip.

Benedict himself raised the possibility of resigning if he were simply too old or sick to continue on, when he was interviewed in 2010 for the book “Light of the World.”

“If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign,” Benedict said.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had an intimate view as Pope John Paul II, with whom he had worked closely for nearly a quarter-century, suffered through the debilitating end of his papacy.

The announcement took the Vatican — and the rest of the world — by surprise.

Several cardinals on Monday didn’t even understand what Benedict had said during the consistory, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman. Others who did were stunned.

“All the cardinals remained shocked and were looking at each other,” said Monsignor Oscar Sanchez of Mexico, who was in the room when Benedict made his announcement.

Benedict was born April 16, 1927, in Marktl Am Inn, in Bavaria, but his father, a policeman, moved frequently and the family left when he was 2.

In his memoirs, Benedict dealt what could have been a source of controversy had it been kept secret — that he was enlisted in the Nazi youth movement against his will when he was 14 in 1941, when membership was compulsory. He said he was soon let out because of his studies for the priesthood. Two years later he was drafted into a Nazi anti-aircraft unit as a helper. He deserted the German army in April 1945, in the waning days of the war.

He called it prophetic that a German followed a Polish pope — with both men coming from such different sides of World War II.

Benedict was ordained, along with his brother, in 1951. After spending several years teaching theology in Germany, he was appointed bishop of Munich in 1977 and elevated to cardinal three months later by Pope Paul VI.

John Paul named him leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981 and he took up his post a year later. Following John Paul’s death in 2005, he was elected Pope on April 19 in one of the fastest conclaves in history, just about 24 hours after the voting began.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4757

Nov 03

UN Representative Calls For Establishing A ‘World Capital’–In Islamic Istanbul

The world needs a global capital and it should be the capital of Islamic Turkey, Istanbul, according to a UN special representative. Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, wrote a Nov. 1, 2012, opinion piece for the controversial al Jazeera English site calling for a “global capital” because of integration “by markets, by globally constituted battlefields, by changing geopolitical patterns.”

While Turkey is a longstanding U.S. ally and a member of NATO, its nearly 80 million population is 99.8 percent Muslim, according to the CIA Factbook. Its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had several run-ins with Israel over access to Gaza. In March, he urged Israel to “stop the brutal attack against Palestinians and stop the massacre and bloodshed.”

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey sent out an “emergency message” for U.S. citizens in September warning of “a planned anti-American march/protest” in Istanbul. The march was tied to protests against the YouTube video claimed by critics to be anti-Islamic. “The Department of State strongly recommends avoiding the march/protest location as well as any other large crowds that may gather in Istanbul to protest against the controversial video that has created other demonstrations throughout the world,” explained the warning.

Falk recommended what al Jazeera called a “modest proposal” that should move the world past “the persisting tendency is to view the hierarchy of global cities from a West-centric perspective: London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles placed in the first rank.” Along with his UN duties, he is the Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Falk said there were two sides on where to locate such a capital – hard and soft power dynamics. He defined hard power as a view “that history is principally made by those who prevail in warfare, and little else.”

His description of soft power included “culture, political vitality, religious identity and ethics shapes and forms what unfolds.” He listed “several factors” why to choose Istanbul. Those included the city as a tourist destination, it has “also become a secure and acceptable place to hold the most delicate diplomatic discussions,” it is convenient, and Turkey has “gained economic and political credibility at a time when so many important states have either been treading water so as to remain afloat.”

He credited Turkey for “achieving a stable interface between secular principles and religious freedom” and for “moving away from the ‘over-secularizsation.'” Falk said choosing Istanbul as a world capital would be good because Turkey could provide the “satisfactions of a post-Western world civilization.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4357

Oct 09

Building a Throne in the Middle East

 

The Turkish AK Party is on the verge of altering the balance of power in the Middle East. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could soon be recognized as the most powerful man in the region.

Erdogan is campaigning to merge the offices of Turkey’s president and prime minister. Currently, the Turkish presidency is a ceremonial role with some judicial appointments, but the president also has the power to call for referenda, appoint the chief of the Turkish military and to mobilize the Turkish military. However, the chief of the general staff is the effective commander in chief, with the president only having a figurehead role. That could change.

The prime minister is the head of government, leader of Parliament and the driver of the legislative agenda. He also coordinates the foreign policy of the government but is limited by the powers of Parliament and the need to seek approval in advance for many initiatives. Erdogan has been open about his admiration of French and U.S.-style executive power.

The similarity between Erdogan and another regional strongman have not gone unnoticed. Islamism expert and Turkey observer Joel Richardson has noted the danger.

“No doubt, Turkey has found its Putin. One notable difference, however, is that Erdogan is loved both within and outside of his home country. While some have said that in Putin, a new czar has emerged, it’s actually much more accurate to say that in Erdogan, a new caliph has emerged. Even Khaled Meshaal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, recently stated, ‘Erdogan, you are not only a leader in Turkey now, you are a leader in the Muslim world as well.’”

Mr. Erdogan has pursued his goals relentlessly. When the AK Party did not win the two-thirds majority in Parliament necessary to unilaterally rewrite the Turkish constitution, it settled for a less ambitious amendment project and won a 2010 referendum, which enhanced the powers of the party but included minor reforms that pleased European Union observers. In 2007 the party pushed through the switch from a parliamentary vote for the presidency to a popular one and allowed presidents a second term.

Now, even without the merged powers of the prime minister’s office, the future presidents of Turkey will have increased influence through a personal mandate from the voters. Additionally, the 2007 changes forbid former presidents from seeking popular election, which – coincidentally, I’m sure – leaves Erdogan with a smaller pool of credible rivals but allows the prime minister to run without resigning from his office prior to the election. However, Erdogan must achieve his goals soon; he recently won his third term as head of the AK Party, which bans fourth terms for its leaders. Erdogan has announced that he will keep his word to leave the premiership in 2015. If, however, the presidency is reshaped in time for presidential elections in 2014, the prime minister may have a better job to go to anyway.

There is a fear that the Iranian regime and its terrorist network are in a position to seize hegemony in the Middle East. With its influence in Syria and Lebanon, it is believed that Iran is positioning itself to build a petro-terrorist empire. However, the Iranian clerics are not in a position to challenge Turkey. If they were to try, I believe that the tale of the tape is weighted in Turkey’s favor.

As a member of NATO the Turkish military has received American military technology and boasts a modern command-and-control structure. Additionally, the Turkish economy has grown by an average of over 5 percent for a decade, a record that is the envy of the United States and Western Europe. Turkey and Iran are nearly equal in population, with 79 million people in Turkey and 78 million in Iran. But the Turkish GDP is $770 billion while the poorer Iranians make do with $330 billion. Richardson has emphasized the scale of Turkish economic ambition, highlighting the fact that “Prime Minister Erdogan has recently announced plans to renovate a massive section of Istanbul as an international banking center that will compete with Dubai.”

Economics do not reveal the entirety of Iranian disadvantage, however. As always in Middle Eastern calculations, the religious element must be considered. While the populations are equal, the Turkish population is 75 percent ethnic Turkish, while only 53 to 61 percent of Iranians are Persian. Additionally, 20 percent of Iranians are members of various Turkic ethnic groups sharing cultural and linguistic ties with Turkey. Further, while 99 percent of Turkish citizens are Sunni, the Shia population of Iran is an 89 percent majority with a not-to-be-ignored 10 percent Sunni minority. The Sunni Arab states – with the significant exception of Shia-dominated Iraq – are more likely to accept Turkish leadership over Iranian Shia dominance.

Mr. Erdogan has a firm foundation on which to build Turkish hegemony. Could the Iranians accept Turkish power? Maybe. It is not impossible for them to experience a “revelation” that allows for Shia-Persian and Sunni-Turkish rapprochement. In any event the Iranians will recognize that if the Sunnis support Turkey, al-Qaida and other allied groups could match Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies in terrorist lethality. The AK Party and Prime Minister Erdogan’s time is coming.

Joel Richardson agrees: “There is no question that in the chess match for regional dominance, Turkey is about to place Iran in checkmate. While Iran’s economy is buckling under the pressure of sanctions, the Iranian regime is struggling to appear confident while fighting to avoid a free fall into hyper-inflation. Meanwhile, Turkey’s economy is roaring. The final straw that will break Iran’s back and set in motion the final shift toward Turkey’s ascendancy will be the fall of Basshar Assad’s Alawite regime that functions as an Iranian proxy. In the absence of an Iranian pawn in Syria, Erdogan will no doubt extend his Sunni paternal hand of assistance to the newly forming government. All of this together will guarantee Turkey’s dominance over the Middle East.”

Richardson’s appraisal of potential counterbalances to Turkey in the Arab counties is bleak: “After Iran falls under Turkey’s growing umbrella of power, only Egypt and Saudi Arabia will remain.” This outcome would render U.S. hegemony in the Middle East untenable. Neither would China or Russia be able to take America’s place without military intervention. In either case, if Turkey can stabilize its hegemony, it would be able to defeat any attempt at interventionism.

Turkey is unhindered in its rise. Europe and North America are largely blind to the danger. The Western diplomatic establishment – including the U.S. leadership – continues to see Turkey through the pre-2002 paradigm that existed before the AK Party took over. They view Turkey as a model for Muslim democracy. They should be reminded that Erdogan was jailed by Turkey’s secular authorities – and initially banned from taking office as prime minister – for inciting religious hatred with the words “the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers. …”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4265

Oct 09

A Critique Of The Preterist Interpretation Of Daniel 2 & 7

Another Joel Richardson classic!

A Critique Of The Preterist Interpretation Of Daniel 2 & 7

10/07/2012

By Joel Richardson – “In the second chapter of the Book of the Prophet Daniel, we are introduced to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a massive metallic statue:

“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.” —Daniel 2:31-33

The statue, we are then told, represents a series of historical kingdoms or empires. Daniel informs the king that the first component of the statue, that of gold, represents the historical Babylonian Empire, which Nebuchadnezzar ruled over. Scholars and commentators are in general agreement that the next three empires represented by the respective metals of silver, bronze, and Iron are the Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires. Though this is the majority position, in my book, Mideast Beast, I demonstrate that the descriptions of the kingdom of Iron laid out within the text align perfectly with the historical Islamic Caliphate, and not with the Roman Empire. Though this view will likely be met with skepticism by those who have not yet considered the exegetical and historical arguments in support of this view, what is unarguable is that during the final days of the fourth kingdom of iron, a stone suddenly appears and strikes the feet of the statue, causing the entire statue to shatter:

As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. —Daniel 2:34

Commentators of all persuasions identify the stone as representing the Messianic Kingdom of God here on the earth. As the stone shatters the statue, the fragments are seen to blow away as dry chaff in the Autumn winds. The stone however, is seen to grow and spread, until it fills the entire earth:

Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. —Daniel 2:35

Later, in Daniel 7, we are given further details concerning the timing of this victory of the Kingdom of God over pagan earthly governments. There, we are told that it will come after a period of intense persecution, even near complete victory, by the final empire, against the saints:

“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” —Daniel 7:21-22

This is essential to note. The timing of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God is placed in the midst of an intense period of great persecution against ‘the saints of the Highest One’. It is not until after this period of great tribulation that the saints then come to possess the Kingdom of God.

The Futurist versus the Preterist Interpretation

Among Christian interpreters, there exists disagreement concerning the nature and timing of the stone striking the statue. Those who take the Futurist position understand this event to remain yet in the future. The feet of mixed iron and clay represent a secondary, distinct and final manifestation of the empire or iron—the final Antichrist empire—which will be utterly destroyed when Jesus returns. The stone, of course, represents the second coming of Jesus the Messiah, whose kingdom will then come to dominate the whole world.

Alternately, the Preterist interpretation sees the feet of mixed iron and clay to simply be one with the legs of iron. To the preterist, there exists no distinction between the legs of iron and the feet of mixed iron and mixed clay. The stone that strikes the feet represents the first coming of Jesus with his invisible, spiritual kingdom. Preterists would claim that the legs and feet represent the historical Roman Empire, which was conquered by the coming of the invisible Kingdom of God. Today, this spiritual kingdom is spreading throughout the earth.

The purpose of this article is to very briefly discuss some of the more obvious failures of the Preterist interpretation of Daniel 2 & 7.

The Five Components of the Statue

The first problem with the Preterist view of Daniel 2 is its inability to account for the two-fold division of the fourth kingdom between the legs and feet. Although the passage speaks of ‘four kingdoms’, when one analyzes the structure of the passage, the statue is seen to be divided into five distinct components. There is both a continuity and a division between the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay. Consider the following structure of the text translated literally, word for word, in exact order:

The Image Head Fine Gold Breast Arms Silver Belly Thigh Brass Legs Iron Feet Part Iron Part Clay. —Daniel 2:32,33

The following chart demonstrates the organization and structure of the passage, again with the words maintaining their exact order:

Body Part / Element
——————————
Head / Fine Gold
Breast Arms / Silver
Belly Thighs / Brass
Legs / Iron
Feet / Part Iron – Part Clay

Because the Preterist position is unable to satisfactorily account for the clear distinction between the legs of iron and the feet of mixed iron and clay, it is forced to argue that the feet merely represent a particular period within the broader historical Roman Empire. Some argue that the clay intermixed with the iron in the feet represents the mixture of Roman and Jewish-Herodian rule during the first century. This explanation however doesn’t represent the totality of the Roman Empire, but merely one very small segment of the broader empire. Nor does this view satisfactorily account for the sharp distinction between the legs and feet.

The Futurist view however, understands the feet of the statue as describing the broader final period of the fourth empire as defined by its revival in the last days. This latter days revival of the fourth kingdom is clearly articulated by John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation. There, John speaks of the final kingdom as suffering a fatal head wound and coming back to life’

I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast —Revelation 13:3

Later, the apostle also speaks of the same final ‘seventh’ empire, as being an empire which ‘was, and is not’ and finally reviving as an ‘eighth’:

The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. —Revelation 17:11

And so it is seen that only the Futurist position is able to reconcile Daniel’s prophecies with the Book of Revelation’s descriptions, accounting for both the continuity and the division of the last empire. The Preterist interpretation however offers only a strange and forced explanation, which does not sufficiently explain the distinction, nor can it define any period within the Roman Empire when any could say that it ‘was and is not’.

It should also be noted that the Preterist position here is forced to understand the seven heads of the Beast to represent specific historical Roman emperors, rather than as historical kingdoms, as is consistent with the motif of ‘mountain’ as found throughout the Bible. While virtually all Preterists attempt to identify the final seventh heads / mountain of Revelation 13 and 17 as referring to some series of historical Roman emperors, it seems as though no two Preterists can agree as to which seven these might be. Virtually every Preterist seems to have a different list of which Roman emperors they believe ‘fit’ the criteria of the prophecy. Futurists however, share general agreement that the seven heads of the beast represent a series of pan-historical, pan-Biblical pagan empires, beginning with Egypt, each which at one time, tried to destroy the Hebrew people and her connection to the promised land.

The Nature of the Destruction of the Statue

Some further insurmountable problems with the Preterist interpretation of Daniel 2 is that the text portrays the final kingdom, in fact, the whole statue, as being destroyed suddenly, immediately, and completely. No sooner does the Messianic rock strike the feet of the statue that it is shattered, and its residue is blown away. The Messianic Kingdom of God fills the whole world leaving no trace of the previous pagan kingdoms. All four of the kingdoms are destroyed ‘at the same time’ (Dan. 2:40, 44). When one compares the descriptions given concerning the end of this final pagan kingdom, in both Daniel 2 and 7, it is clear that the text emphasizes the finality and totality of the transition from pagan to Messianic rule. First, the establishment of the Kingdom of God is expressly placed within a particular timeframe. It is established ‘in the days of those kings’, a reference to the final period of the fourth kingdom:

“And in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” —Daniel 2:44

An essential portion of the above verse is often overlooked. We are informed that, unlike the other kingdoms mentioned within the passage, the Kingdom of God will not be left to others. This same theme is later expressed again in Daniel 7:

“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. —Daniel 7:11-12

Many have misinterpreted this verse to mean that the other kingdoms in Daniel 7 are essentially contemporary empires or kingdoms that exist in their fullness during the time when the fourth kingdom is destroyed. This is not the meaning of this verse however. Instead, its point is to contrast the nature of the destruction of these previous empires. The other empires, unlike the final empire were given to other peoples, with much of their culture, languages and peoples having lived on in those empires that conquered them. This is not the case however with the fourth kingdom. It would first suffer an apparent death. Then, after having come back to life will suffer a final, devastating, immediate and ultimate blow. This is also seen to contrast sharply with the Messianic Kingdom of God, which will never be given to another people, but will last forever:

‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ —Daniel 7:27

Yet history informs us quite clearly that the Roman Empire never met such a fate. In fact, the fate of the Roman Empire was precisely the exact opposite of the descriptions given within Daniel’s prophecy. Instead of meeting an immediate and decisive blow, the Roman Empire continued to exist and even grow for many years after the coming of Jesus in the first century. The Roman Empire, suffering from internal decay and external attacks, sputtered and crept along for another 1400 years after the coming of the Messiah. History informs us that it was not the influence of the Church that destroyed the Roman Empire, but moral decay within, and pagan forces from without. And all of this, over a very long and drawn out time-frame, at various times, in various places, long after the coming of Jesus.

Christo-paganism? Who Assumed Who?

Additionally, it can also be argued that instead of being entirely overwhelmed by the gospel, instead, the Roman Empire essentially incorporated and assumed Christianity into itself, resulting in a significant Roman-pagan influence within the culture, practices, traditions, and even to some measure, the liturgy and doctrines of Christianity. Though I reject the radical views on these matters as argued by Alexander Hislop and many after him, it must be admitted that the exchange between Roman and Christian culture was certainly not entirely one-way.

In keeping with the language of the passage, the Futurist interpretation looks forward to the time when Jesus will return to genuinely shatter the pagan governments, and ungodly systems of this world, resulting in the complete and utter victory of the very real and substantial Messianic Kingdom of God filling the whole earth, leaving no remnant of the former pagan influences.

The Timing of the Coming of the Kingdom: During Great Persecution

Earlier, we showed that the timing of the coming Messianic Kingdom is said to occur specifically during a time of unparalleled persecution by the final empire against the ‘saints of the Highest One’:

“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” —Daniel 7:21-22

The Preterist interpretation of these chapters cannot account for this clear statement concerning the timing of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God. When Jesus came the first time, it was not during a time of unparalleled persecution by the Romans against the Jewish peoples, nor did the Kingdom come later during Roman persecution against the Church. The Futurist position, on the other hand, in faithfulness to the text, looks forward to the time when the Messiah will deliver his people from out of a period of overwhelming persecution under the Antichrist, perhaps even in the near future.

Who Struck Who?

Another point that few Preterists seem to acknowledge is that unlike the descriptions of the prophecy, the Romans struck and killed Jesus, not the other way around. It will not be until Jesus returns that his victorious judgments will be executed against the pagan governments of the earth.

True Messianic Hope

In the perpetual cycle of increasingly frustrating and even outright depressing seasons of political elections, it is heartening to take note of the fact that when the Messiah comes, all corrupt, pagan, and ungodly politicians, governments and unrighteous leaders throughout the earth will be utterly, completely and finally judged and removed. Unlike the vague, partial, and perpetually drawn-out hope that is held-out by the Preterist vision of history (and the future), only Futurism provides us with a vision of the days to come that truly encourages our hearts with the incorruptible hope of a soon coming transition to truly righteous, humble and godly leadership throughout the whole earth. Maranatha! Source – Joel’s Trumpet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4255

Oct 06

Archbishop tells UN we need World Government

The Vatican’s Chief Foreign-Policy official, Archbishop Dominque Mamberti ,tells the UN General Assembly that the world has lost confidence in the moral principals that sustain the organization.

The archbishop states that international problems and the economic fears is due to “a profound anthropological crisis—that is, a loss of a common understanding of what is truly human.” The Vatican official explained that “only an international community firmly anchored in authentic values consistent with human dignity can produce viable solutions to new types of conflicts.”

Referring to terrorism, Mamberti  said there needed to be a consensus of mortality  as an antidote  to “new types of conflicts initiated by transnational groups that spread a pseudo-religious ideology of contempt for human rights and civil peace.” He said that the problem is shown “most flagrantly by current developments in the Middle East, and in particular in Syria.”

The archbishop praised the UN’s work for world peace but felt the structure was lacking, stating the organization “deprived of the force of unity and persuasive power that it could legitimately have” because of the lack of a clear international accord on basic moral principles, such as those that were set forth earlier in fundamental international agreements on human rights.

 “How is it,” the archbishop questioned, “that in spite of universal acceptance of the UN charter and fundamental treaties, we cannot establish a real and equitable system of world government?”

Mamberti also mentioned the disparity between the rich and the poor and that “world wide action” is needed to quell the global financial crisis.

Source: catholicculture.org,

My Comment:

Anyone with eyes to see, can see the woman riding the beast. The Vatican is demanding quick action by the UN to bring in world government and a world currency.

It is clear the Vatican is getting impatient by basically asking “Now that you have world wide approval from the nations and everything is in place, why don’t we have world government yet?!”

The Vatican notes,that they will approve of this new world order as long as all of her doctrines and dogmas are accepted into the world religion to come with it.

After the murder of the USA ambassadors, Catholic  Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, told Vatican Insider that Western countries should have the “courage” to ban “all blasphemous projects” and establish “a policy that is respectful of religion.”

This is the beginning of the world religion that will be implemented into the fast approaching world government. No one will be able to insult Islam or Catholicism or other world religions. Freedom of speech will be quelled because the true Gospel will be called hate speech.

The underground church will again resurface as we will join our brothers and sisters who worship in secret in many places around the world.

Revelation 17:1-2

 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4243

Sep 27

Ahmadinejad’s End-Times Speech At The UN Calls The Mahdi ‘The Ultimate Savior’ Who Is Coming ‘Soon’ To Rule The World

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

With great anticipation, the Islamic world awaits a “savior.” They call him “The Mahdi.” They believe that he will unite the Muslim world together against all who refuse to submit to Islam, creating peace and lasting security by leading all nations into a new era of global Islamic “justice.” And today, at the annual United Nations General Assembly and in front of millions of people around the world, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that we would soon witness a new “global management” ruled by the Mahdi and his deputy, “Jesus Christ.”

The world of Biblical eschatology has undergone a major shift over the past few years. Many discerning Christians now recognize immediately this “Islamic messiah” as a prime candidate for the Biblical Antichrist. But despite all that has happened and continues to happen in the Muslim world as of late, there are still many others who continue to resist any notion that Islam is the religious ideology of the Beast in Daniel and Revelation and that the Biblical Antichrist could be a Muslim or arise out of Islam. In their way of thinking, the argument always begins with the premiss that the Antichrist will be someone who will literally announce to the world that “I am God” and will then demand to be worshipped as God. Since no Muslim would ever dare claim to be God (under accusation of blasphemy and penalty of death) and since no Muslim would ever dare to worship a mere man who made such a claim (under accusation of blasphemy and penalty of death), Islam must, they believe, either be all but destroyed before a non-Islamic Antichrist comes to power or undergo a significant theological metamorphosis, making it virtually unrecognisable to the Islam that we have today. But there is something very significant that many are missing, and it involves the premisses upon which their conclusion is derived.

When someone assumes even one or two false premisses as true, the wrong conclusion will more often than not be the end result. The belief that the Antichrist must say “I am God” is one example in particular. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 the Apostle Paul writes that the man of lawlessness “shows” or “proclaims” himself to be God. The Greek word is “apodeiknymi” and it means “to declare” or “exhibit” or “show” or “demonstrate”. The implication of “apodeiknymi”, therefore, is not that the he says “I am God” in any sort of a veracious verbal declaration, but rather that he displays himself as God through behaviour or action. But how?

According to Sunni and Shi’a Islam, the Mahdi or 12th Imam is believed to be “the infallible intercessor between Allah and faithful Muslims” [1]. The Iranian President even described the Mahdi today as ”The Ultimate Savior” of the world. The significance of this claim cannot be overstated. According to Scripture, there is only One who is the intercessor between man and God:

Romans 8:34, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

And there is only One who is worthy to be called the Savior:

Isaiah 43:11, 46:9b, “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior… I am God, and there is none like me.”

According to Biblical Scripture, anyone who would proclaim himself to be the “intercessor” between man and God or the “savior” of the world would be attributing to himself a title or position that is exclusive to God alone, therefore presenting himself as God. To the Islamic way of thinking, however, this is not the case at all. Their religious jurisprudence is based upon Islamic texts, not upon the Hebrew/Greek Scriptures. Since ”savior” is not one of the 99 names of Allah in the Qur’ancalling someone the “savior” or claiming to be the “savior” is therefore not an attribution or declaration of divinity in the Muslim mind. They will not view any such proclamation as making oneself equal to the Almighty.

One of the claims often pushed by Muslims against the Christian belief in the Deity of Christ is that Christ never said, “I am God” anywhere in Scripture. And they are right. Jesus never said to the Sanhedrin “I am God.” However, He showed Himself as God by accepting worship. He demonstrated it by forgiving sins. He proclaimed it when He declared to the Sanhedrin to be “I Am” and called God His father. And the Sanhedrin understood immediately the theological significance of His words and sought to kill Him because He was “making Himself equal with God” (cf. John 5:18) by attributing a title or function to Himself that can only be attributable to the Almighty or His office. If someone was present who did not know the Hebrew Scriptures as the Jews did, would they have understood the theological significance of what Jesus did or what He said? Of course not. Likewise, when Antichrist proclaims himself to be God, he will do so in such a way that Jews and Christians will recognize it immediately, but those who believe the lie will not. The elect will not be deceived (cf. Matthew 24:24). Proclaiming to be God does not therefore necessitate the words “I am God” in order to make the claim. In fact, while accepting the position or claiming to be the “savior” on one hand, he would deny the accusation that he is claiming to be God on the other. But in the eyes of the God of Israel, this is precisely what he would be doing.

Does The Prophet Daniel Tell Us That Antichrist Will Exalt Himself Above Every God, Including Allah?

One other argument against an Islamic Antichrist that is often raised involves Daniel 11:36-37:

Daniel 11:36-37, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

The argument asserts that the Antichrist could not be Muslim since Daniel tells us that he will “magnify himself above every god” and “will exalt himself above them all.” And since “every” must also include Allah, the Antichrist therefore cannot be a Muslim.  To address this concern, we should first be made aware that even though most translations incorporate the word “every” in verse 38, it is not included in the original Hebrew. For instance, the NCV renders Daniel 11:36 to say that Antichrist “will brag about himself and praise himself and think he is even better than a god.” Wycliffe’s translation says that “the king shall do by his will, and he shall be raised [up], and magnified against each god, and against God of gods he shall speak great things.” Moreover, the thrust of Daniel 11:36-37 will not be fully understood unless it is read in full light of the verses that follow it:

Daniel 11:38-39,But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.”

Context is key. Daniel 11:36-39 is not only a perfect description of how Islam operates, but it is also a perfect description of what Islam is. An Islamic Antichrist will exalt himself over every faith and belief system that exists or has existed outside of his estate, outside of the religious ideology that the “seat of the beast” forces upon everyone under its control. Antichrist (and by direct implication the one whom he represents, Satan) will position himself against everything called god or considered God or divine, outside of his base/estate/office (H3653 ken — base, estate, office). He will exalt himself over Ayyavazhi. Over Buddhism. He will exalt himself over the gods of Hinduism and each and every single one of its sects or denominations. He will exalt himself over Manichaeism. Over Mithraism. Over Zoroastrianism. Over Confucianism. Over every Shinto sect and school of thought. Over every indigenous religion that exists or has existed in the Americas, in Eurasia, in Africa, in Oceania or elsewhere. He will even exalt himself over the One True God of gods — the God of his fathers — over Adonai, over Mashiach, over Ruach ha Qodesh. He exalts himself over them all. How? By calling himself the savior of humanity, and by definition declaring himself to be the God of gods. Daniel was clear to show us in verses 38-39 that “in his estate shall he honour the God of forces.” He honours “a god whom his fathers knew not,” one that would be familiar to him, but not one that would be familiar to his fathers Abraham and Ishmael.  He cannot honour his god and increase him with glory if he believes that he is his god [Allah] or that he is above him. That would be nonsensical.

Calling the Mahdi the savior makes this man to be “Christ.” (The word “anti” doesn’t just mean against. It also means “in place of”).  This is blatant idolatry and blasphemy in the eyes of God, making YHWH and His Messiah a liar, and is all a part of the deception that is Islam. Consider for a moment their behaviour and teachings in light of Biblical revelation. On one hand, Islam convinces Muslims that they must not worship idols, yet on the other hand it commands them to kill anyone who says or does anything negative to the Qur’an, and to be willing to die for it. It commands them to kill anyone who says anything negative about Mohammed, and to be willing to die for their prophet.  It causes them to bow down facing Mecca five times a day where the Black Stone (Kaaba) sits, even teaching them that touching the Kaaba absolves them of sin(!). They will gladly offer their lives for every one of these, each of which is blatant idolatry in the eyes of YHWH because it is worship of the Qur’an, of their “prophet”, of the Black Stone, of their “savior.” It is worshipping the image of the Beast.

What Does It All Mean?

Islam is directly influenced, controlled and is even being given its authority by Satan himself. I think most of us would agree. Lately, however, Islam has been strengthening considerably in its authoritative influence, and may even strengthen militarily if/when Iran reaches nuclear capability. But it is more than just a violent religion that hates everything outside of its ideology. It is Satan’s platform upon which he is attempting to exalt himself and become like the God of Heaven. It is a means to an end.

As the Prophet Isaiah tells us, Satan has explicitly declared his intention to rise above the stars of God and to become like Him:

Isaiah 14:12-14, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

It is no coincidence that this also happens to be the exact description of Antichrist as given to us by the Prophet Daniel. Isaiah exposes Satan’s own corrupted ambitions, to magnify himself above everything that is called god, above everything that is associated with the God of gods, to be like God Himself.  And the Ummah of Islam is how he intends to accomplish this. The “stars of God” may even be referring to the the people of God, His ekklesia:

Deuteronomy 1:8-11, “‘See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–to give to them and their descendants after them.’ … ’The LORD your God has multiplied you, and here you [are] today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. ’May the LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you”

The name of Satan in Isaiah 14:12 (Lucifer) is “heylel,” which means “light-bearer”. The Arabic equivalent of Satan’s name is “hilal,” which means “crescent moon.” Also consider the “Takbir” of Islam, the victory cry of “Allahu Akbar.” What are they saying? It doesn’t mean “God is great” as it is often translated in the West. It actually means “Allah is greater.” If it is Satan’s intention to be like the Most High and to exalt his throne above the stars of God and sit upon the mount of his own congregation, it only stands to reason that Satan will seek to accomplish these things and perform these blasphemies through Islam, through the system to which he has given power. After all, those who marvel and follow the Beast “worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast” (Rev 13:4), and Satan knows that when they are worshipping “Allah” and the image of the Beast, they are worshipping him. Satan is therefore working to exalt and magnify himself as the Prophet Isaiah described through the office of Antichrist, through the religious ideology of Islam that diametrically opposes everything that the Judeo-Christian faith represents and stands for. But although the enemy will try to destroy what God has created, he cannot and will not prevail against the ekklesia of God. All he can do is create his own corrupted version of God’s elect, to wage war against God’s elect, in an effort to replace God’s elect with one that is created in his own image:

Yahweh has the Ekklesia.
Satan has the Ummah.

Yahweh’s Ekklesia is “as a bride adorned for her husband” and filled with “the glory of God”.
Satan’s Ummah is a harlot “decked with gold and precious stones and pearls” filled with abominations.

Yahweh has given the Ekklesia His Word, the Bible.
Satan has given the Ummah its corruption, the Qur’an.

Yahweh’s Ekklesia is the multitude of the Lamb, whom they follow.
Satan’s Ummah is the multitude of a man, the “prophet” Muhammed, whom they follow.

Yahweh’s Ekklesia comes out of Great Tribulation.
Satan’s Ummah is responsible for it.

Yahweh’s Ekklesia receives the seal of God upon their foreheads and are redeemed.
Satan’s Ummah receives the Mark of the Beast upon their foreheads and are condemned.

Yahweh’s Ekklesia will be lead to springs of living waters.
Satan’s Ummah will drink of the wine of the wrath of God.

In the “theatre” of Biblical eschatology, the stage is now set for the final act.  All “props” are in position.  The “characters” are in full costume.  And the world is watching in attendance. Very soon we will witness the final act begin, and through Islam Satan will make his final stand against the Prince of princes.

 

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Sep 23

IRAN OFFICIAL: ‘BIG WAR’ MEANS MAHDI’S COMING

For the first time, Iran’s highest-ranking military official has tied the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah to the regime being prepared to go to a war based on ideology.

“With having the treasure of the Holy Defense, Valayat (Guardianship of the Jurist) and martyrs, we are ready for a big war,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to Mashregh news, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards.

“Of course this confrontation has always continued; however, since we are in the era of The Coming, this war will be a significant war.”

Shi’ites believe that at the end of time great wars will take place, and Imam Mahdi, the Shi’ites’ 12th imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

Vahidi became the Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer after the 1979 Islamic revolution and later was promoted to chief commander of the Quds Forces. He is on the Interpol most-wanted list for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Vahidi also played a major role in the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

Speaking at a mosque in remembrance of the martyrs who died in service to Iran, Vahidi stated that, “The Islamic republic is going to create a new environment on the world stage, and without a doubt victory awaits those who continue the path of martyrs. … we can defeat the enemy at its home and our nation is ready for jihad. Martyrdom has taught us to avoid wrong paths and return to the right path. Martyrdom is the right path, it’s the path to God.”

Vahidi said Iran’s enemies would have taken action in Syria in the past couple of years if they had the capability. Iran is a much more formidable power than Syria, he said, and concluded that Tehran can easily wipe out the “Zionist regime” of Israel.

Several U.S. officials, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called the officials of the Islamic regime “rational actors.”

Meanwhile, a Revolutionary Guards report quoting the head of the Guards’ public relations, Ramezan Sharif, revealed that Iran has military assets in several countries.

The presence of Quds Forces in Syria and Lebanon, Sharif said, is with the goal of supporting the Islamic nations and for the special situations that exist in those countries.

Sharif said Iranian presence is based on international laws and that, “Currently the Revolutionary Guards has presence in 15 countries, among them Syria and Lebanon, while the Iranian military also has presence in some other countries.”

As revealed recently, terrorist assets of the Islamic regime have been put on high alert for attacks on Israeli and U.S. interests. This extends from the Middle East to Africa, Latin America and the United States.

In a report Thursday in the Washington Times, Kevin L. Perkins, deputy director of the FBI, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency considered Iran’s assets a “serious threat.”

“Quds Forces, Hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capability and the willingness to extend beyond that (Middle East) region of the world and likely here into the homeland itself,” he testified.

Guard commanders have openly stated that they have recruited assets from Latin America and even some from European countries to avoid suspicion by intelligence agencies and will target America should it get involved militarily against Iran.

 

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