Every once in a while, prophecy articles come along that just get my goat.
I’m not angry that people have a different opinion than I; everyone has a right to their own opinion. What gets me is when someone speaks out on a subject when he has not done his homework. This is especially so when the author is well known as a prophecy scholar, and should know better.
I found such an article the other day written by Dr. David Reagan.
What especially bugs me is that Dr. Reagan has a copy of my book, The Spirit of Prophecy, and he was speaking about a subject which is covered at length in it.
Some of his criticism of four books, on the subject of a Muslim Antichrist is actually correct, but it is his pretense that their arguments are the only valid ones on the subject that irks me.
The Spirit of Prophecy covers many of their arguments, and more.
If you want to see biblical arguments that the Antichrist will have a Muslim/Arab background, then you need to get a copy of The Spirit of Prophecy.
His first statement in the article goes as follows;
“The traditional viewpoint has been that the Antichrist will be a European of Roman descent. This view is based on a statement in Daniel 9:26 which says that the Antichrist, referred to as “the prince who is to come,” will be from “the people who destroy the Temple.” Those people proved to be the Romans who destroyed the Temple in 70 AD.”
This statement is really a glossing-over, and an over-simplification of the facts; Yes it was the Roman armies who finished the job of destroying the Temple and Jerusalem, but it is also a historic fact that there were Syrian Arabs in those Roman armies.
“So Vespasian sent his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been with Nero, to Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and. the tenth legions, while he himself, when he had passed over the Hellespont, came by land into Syria, where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the kings in that neighborhood.”(Josephus, The Jewish War, book 4)
In fact the Roman General, Titus, specifically made an order to preserve the Jewish Temple intact. Some of his troops disobeyed his orders and began to destroy the Temple. When it became apparent that it might appear that he had lost control of his troops, he reversed his order.
Now, do you think the crack, highly disciplined, Roman troops would be the first ones to disobey their General’s orders, or is it more likely that it was the auxiliaries from the area of Damascus, who’s loyalties were divided between their own kings, and Rome. Would Roman troops from Italy, France or Germany be more likely to disobey the Roman general, or would it be Syrian troops who already had a long history of hostility toward Israel?
Roman soldiers who disobeyed a direct order were subject to the death penalty. Think about it!
Of course, this is only scratching the surface, when you dig deeper, you find that there is more to the story; Even as the Roman, Egyptian, and Syrian troops were marching toward Jerusalem, someone else got their first. This other nation was officially Jewish by religion at that time, but this did not stop them from killing some 20,500 people in Jerusalem! This is some 5 times higher than the death toll of 9/11! I would call this act of barbarism an act of war!
The tribe of Edom is actually the closest relations the Jewish people have on earth, even closer than the Ishmaelites, these were the Edomites, or Idumeans, the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau! This is the predominant tribe of the three founding tribes of the modern nation of Jordan.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem had locked the city gates, and refused to allow the Idumeans in. No doubt this irritated the Idumeans, but it is hardly an excuse for them to kill so many people. After dark, a group of Zealots opened up a small door in the city wall and invited in the Idumeans.
Once inside the city the Idumeans went first to the Temple where they killed 8,500 men, and then they went throughout the city killing another 12,000 people!
In the aftermath of the killing they held a “trial” of the high priest Ananus, and his deputy, a man named Jesus. Calling a jury of 70 Jerusalem citizens, they held a trial, but failed to get a conviction. Rather than allow these two men to go they took them to the wall of the temple and threw them over, killing both.
Josephus states that it was this event that was the beginning of the destruction of Jerusalem, because these two men knew that they could not defeat Rome and were prepared to negotiate a surrender of the city. With its leaders dead, the Idumeans left the Zealots in charge of the city, and these people hated Rome so much that they were prepared to sacrifice the entire city in defiance of Rome, and this is exactly what happened.
I take Josephus’ analysis rather seriously; he was there, and he knew the people of Jerusalem. You can read more of Josephus’ account on my blog.
So who was responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem? Was it the Romans, who were carried along by the actions of others? Or, was it the group of people who’s deliberate, hostile actions directly led to the destruction of the city? Who do you think Daniel’s vision refers to? I think it was the Edomites.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26
Reagan’s assertion that the Antichrist will be a Gentile is correct, there is no flaw in his reasoning on this point. The Jews will accept the Antichrist as a political Saviour, but when he declares himself to be God, they will rebel against him. This will trigger Armageddon.
What gets me is that some of his refutation of the four books is correct, but it seems that he is pointing to their weakest arguments. Those four books are; The Assyrian Connection. 1993, by Phillip Goodman, Unveiling the Man of Sin, 2007, by Dr. Joe VanKoevering, Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah, by Joel Richardson, God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible, co-authored by Richardson and Shoebat.
While I said that some of his refutation of these books is correct, but that is not to say that he is entirely correct. Over all, they are closer to the truth than he is. His statement that Babylon’s downfall, predicted in Isaiah 13, had occurred by the time Alexander visited the city, ignores the clear statement in Isaiah 13 that Babylon’s downfall will occur during the Day of the Lord.
“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Isaiah 13:6
Keep on going…
“9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”
The world will be punished with Babylon. That does not sound like the defeat of Babylon by the Persians. Verse 10 is a direct reference to the same events in Jesus’ statements of Matthew 24:29. Notice that the Lord will make men “precious”. This does not mean that they will be good, but that they will be rare! Rare the way gold is rare in comparison to Iron.
No, there are not two Days of the Lord! Babylon’s destruction still awaits. Its fall into disrepair is not fulfilment of that prophecy; It will be rebuilt and re-inhabited before the Day of the Lord. A prophecy scholar like Dr. Reagan should know that the destruction of Babylon is predicted for the Tribulation period, and not before.
Even when the site of Babylon was visited during the 1,800s there was still a village there that was actually using the bricks of Babylon to build its buildings, the very same ones that had Nebuchadnezzar’s face impressed on them! This cannot happen if the Isaiah 13 prophecy has been fulfilled!
“And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 51:26
Jeremiah 50-51 is a parallel passage to Isaiah 13, and a careful scrutiny of these chapters also indicates that Babylon’s downfall is reserved for the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation period! It can’t happen at that time if it has already happened, can it? No. Babylon will rise again before being destroyed completely!
Revelation 17:1 is a direct reference to Jeremiah 51:13;
“O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.” Jeremiah 51:13
No, the destruction of Babylon, prophesied in both Isaiah and Jeremiah, is reserved for the Day of the Lord, and any prophecy scholar worth his salt should know that.
Reagan denies that the “Assyrian” in Isaiah 10:24 could be a reference to the Antichrist, yet many scholars think that it is. I would counter their argument by saying that just because someone is the king of some place, it does not mean that he is from there, or was born there. The queen of Canada, Elizabeth, lives in England, and has only visited here sporadically, and yet she holds the title as the “Queen of Canada”.
This is true even in the bible;
“But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.” Ezra 5:13
Cyrus was the king of the Medes and Persians, but he reigned over Babylon, and took that title for himself. The Antichrist will also call himself the king of Babylon, but he does not have to live there to take that title.
In his rebuttal of VanKoevering’s book, Reagan says this about the idea that the reason the Antichrist will not defeat Jordan is because they support him;
“As to the argument based on Daniel 11, it is true that the Antichrist and his armies will not enter modern day Jordan. But the reason given is that the area will be “rescued out of his hands” (Daniel 11:41). That doesn’t sound like a voluntary decision to refrain from invading the area. Rather, it sounds like God prevents the Antichrist from invading Jordan — and for good reason, since the Bible indicates this will be the land of refuge for the Jewish remnant when they flee Israel in the middle of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:13-17).”
Here we have an example of Dr. Reagan taking Scripture out of context. The overwhelming prophecies regarding Edom, Moab, and Ammon, are negative, and speak of God’s judgment against this nation. You can’t take one prophecy that seems positive on the surface, and base a whole system of eschatology on it.
They are “rescued out of his hands” by supporting him, more than any other nation.
Once again Reagan is glossing-over a lot of Scripture about this nation. He is correct that Scripture does indicate that Israel will take refuge in Jordan, but I think this looks more like God saving them right under the nose of the Antichrist, rather than that the nation goes out of its way to help them.
Careful scrutiny of this event reveals that a few women of Jordan will hide the people of Israel, while their own husbands are a part of the Antichrist’s army hunting them down!
2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. 3 Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. 4 Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. Isaiah 16:2-4
It is the “daughters of Moab”, and not the entire nation, who will be instrumental in saving Israel.
“A wandering bird cast out of the nest”, is a reference to these women of Moab, who are unlike their countrymen. They don’t belong, because they belong to God!
Immediately after these verses, the prophet proceeds to prophecy judgment against the pride of Moab. Clearly these righteous women of Moab are a very small minority, and not representative of the entire nation.
Still there is evidence that some of the women of Edom will be with them;
(about Edom) “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.” Jeremiah 49:11
It may very well be that some of the women of Edom will join with the Moabite women, in protecting the believing remnant of Israel, but very clearly their own husbands will die because they are in the Antichrist’s armies, hunting for the people of Israel!
What is the future for the descendants of Esau?
“And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.” Obadiah 1:18
How is this possible if women of Jordan, both Moab and Edom, are instrumental in the survival of Israel? What will happen to these women, after the Tribulation is over?
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” Amos 9:12
You see, the righteous women of Moab and Edom will be absorbed into Israel. They will marry Jewish men, and their children will be adopted into Jewish families. If you ask them, “aren’t you a Jordanian?” they will answer “I am a Jew”, and it will be true! Why?
“Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.” Malachi 1:4
Edom is not known as “the nation against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever” today, are they? No. Most people, even most Christians are unaware that the bible makes this prediction. They are not known that way today, but after the rise of the Antichrist, and after they form his power-base, Jordan will be a curse-word, throughout the world!
In order for David Reagan to say what he does about Jordan, he has to take Scripture out of context, and he has to ignore a mountain of evidence that the future of Jordan is not so rosy, in spite of the fact that Israel may well take shelter there.
Well, I have hardly even scratched the surface, but I’ll leave it there for now. Suffice it to say there is a lot more I could say about Dr. Reagan’s analysis of those four books, but I’ll leave that for another day.