Q&A with Prophecy Experts: Part 2 – Will the Antichrist be a Muslim?

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Could the Antichrist be a Muslim? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on Christ in Prophecy.

Last aired on March 20, 2011.

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Christ in Prophecy Study Guide

Christ in Prophecy Study Guide Book
by Dr. David R. Reagan

Transcript

Dr. Reagan: Could the Antichrist possibly be a Muslim? There are some Bible prophecy teachers who think so. For a fascinating discussion of this question with 11 different Bible prophecy experts stay tuned.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Recently I attended a major Bible prophecy conference in the Dallas area where I had the opportunity to interview a number of Bible prophecy experts about some very controversial issues. Most Christians are aware of the fact that there is a lot of disagreement about the interpretation of Bible prophecy between those that have completely different viewpoints, like the arguments between those that are Premillennial and Amillennial. But what many people are not aware of is that there are some strong points of disagreement between those who take a literal viewpoint of end time prophecies. Last week I interviewed 11 Bible prophecy experts who interpret prophecy literally for its plain sense meaning. I asked each one of them the question, “Will the Antichrist be a Jew?” Let’s see I received 7 no’s, 1 yes, 1 could be, 1 maybe that is a total of 10. The 11th respondent replied that he thought the Antichrist could be both a Jew and a Muslim. I summed up the program by stating my personal belief that the Antichrist will be a Gentile. This week we are going to consider whether or not the Antichrist could be a Muslim. And I would like to start with one of the responses we showed you last week, the one by Ray Gano, of Prophecy Ministries. He’s the person who said he thought the Antichrist would be both a Jew and a Muslim. Although I find that concept hard to comprehend I do think that his comments will serve as a good introduction to our discussion of whether or not the Antichrist could be a Muslim. So here’s Ray Gano responding to my question, “Will the Antichrist be a Jew?”

Ray Gano: I actually believe that the Antichrist is going to be of Hebrew descendent, Hebrew blood but also practice the Muslim religion. And I use Daniel 11:37 to illustrate this. It talks in there he shall not regard the god of his fathers in this phrase, “god of his fathers” is always associated to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In fact this statement, “god of his fathers” is only used 5 times in Scripture. And in every time it is associated to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So I look at that, another thing that I look at is that we learn in Genesis 49:17 the tribe of Dan, these are last day prophecies that Jacob gave to his sons and it says in Genesis 49:17, “That a serpent shall cause the rider to fall backwards.” So there is possibility that he actually may come out of the tribe of Dan. I also use Revelation 7:1-8 to back this up because this is the chapter where it talks about the 144,000, Dan is not named in the 144,000. So there is speculation here or there is Scriptural evidence here I believe that shows that he will have Hebrew ancestry. Yet on the other side he will also practice the Muslim religion because we go to Daniel 11:38 and it says, “He shall honor the god of forces; and the god whom his fathers knew not.” And so the god neither, neither the god of his fathers so he will not regard the god of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will honor the god of forces or a god of war which I believe is Allah and it is a god that his fathers knew not. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not know about Allah, did not have any conception of Allah. Um, another verse that people point to often is showing that he is, he comes from the people, the people of the prince is the verse they use, Daniel 9:26. And in this it, people often say that he comes from Rome and uh, I believe that he comes from the Roman Empire but I don’t believe that he is Italian in descent which a lot of people are pointing to. There’s the Roman Empire the eastern leg of the Roman Empire comes out of Constantinople. And Constantinople ruled for a 1,000 years after Rome seceded and the reason they point to this is the Tenth Legion of Rome that Titus invaded Israel, Jerusalem and overthrew that area in 70 AD. Titus was the only person who was pretty much of Roman descent but he was a individual, not people plural, there was another individual his associate his name was Tiberius Julius Alexander and he was actually the general that did all the work. Titus took the glory, Tiberius Julius did the work. Now the interesting thing is, is Tiberius Julius was actually an Egyptian Jew born in Alexandria. And then, so again both of these people are individuals it’s the people of the prince. Well history tells us that the Tenth legion was basically hired mercenaries people from the area. That is what Rome always did any of the legions that Rome created they usually pulled from the local people right there. So the Tenth Legion, who comprised of the Tenth legion? They were Middle Eastern Arabs, Syrian, Moabites, Edomites basically the enemies of Israel. Garrisons of the Tenth Legion were stationed in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, so forth, at no time were they ever stationed in Rome. It was only when Titus came back in victory when he entered Rome, and so it was the people of the prince. And I am saying that it is the people who invaded Israel and that was the Tenth Legion the soldiers and not the individuals. One more point is, is if he is of Roman or European descent, Italian descent I question his names in Scripture he is clearly called the Assyrian he is called the Prince of Tyre, he is called King of Babylon he is called the King Pharaoh of Egypt. These are all Middle Eastern titles, Middle Eastern names and Middle Eastern places. If he was from either like Italy or Europe or something why isn’t he called the King of Italy, or the Duke of Germany, or the Prince of Rome or something like that? I tend to read Scripture literally and maintain a basics in literalness and the golden rule of interpretation and I don’t just dig into more and so with these names these names point to a Middle Eastern side.

Dr. Reagan: Well that was certainly a thought provoking answer. Let’s follow it up with the responses of two Bible prophecy teachers who take the position that the Antichrist will likely come out of Syria. And therefore could possibly be a Muslim, but if so he would certainly be an apostate Muslim.

Al Gist: I don’t think there is sufficient evidence in the Bible to come to that conclusion. Well Dave, I am convinced he will be a Gentile. Uh, he will be the last great Gentile leader, you know the last kingdom will be the revived Roman Empire lead by the Antichrist. And I think Daniel chapter 2 gives us that time span for the time of the Gentiles, which began with the Babylonian Empire with Nebuchadnezzar and will end with the Antichrist and his Empire. So I believe that he is the last great Gentile leader. Uh, but to say that he is a Muslim Gentile I don’t think we have enough evidence to say that positively. One problem I have with that idea is the thought the Antichrist when he commits the abomination of desolation will sit in the temple in Jerusalem and claim to be god. And I just can’t quite see a Muslim sitting in the temple claiming to be Allah. I think that’s a stretch and I just don’t see it. So I have my doubts about that. I think there is some evidence that he could possible be Syrian. And from that perspective because Syria is mostly Muslim I guess there is that possibility. I also believe the Muslims will have a large role to play in the Last Days events and wars. Um, but I really don’t, wouldn’t say positively that he’s going to be Muslim only that he would be a Gentile.

Phillip Goodman: Um, I don’t think it makes any difference and here is why, because the Antichrist during the initial stage of his rise he is going to partner with all the religions of the world. And he is going to be part of the great harlot system at that point no Muslim would do that no Jew would do that who were orthodox. Um, during the, uh he is not official revealed as the Antichrist until the abomination of desolation and that is what the Lord says in Matthew 24:15, Paul confirms it in Second Thessalonians. At that point he rejects all the religions of the world, he rejects the gods of his fathers according to Daniel chapter 11 and he exalts himself and magnifies himself above every so called god. So in other words there is no possible way he could be a Muslim of course and put Allah beneath his feet which he will be doing at that point he will magnify exalt himself above every so called god including the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So he is going to be unique in that respect in all of history. Antiochus Epiphanies the strongest type of the Antichrist magnified himself to the extent that he claimed to be god manifest but he didn’t put himself above all gods. He put the god Jupiter in the temple, was a strong type of Antichrist, but this guy is unique in all of history. So where he comes from is the real question. Is he going to come from the area of Muslims, or where the Jews are? It is my belief that he will come from the Middle East he will arise there I think the Biblical evidence points in that direction. Uh, but the time he is revealed he is not going to be a Muslim. He’s not going to be a Jew. He is going to be god proclaimed himself he is going to proclaim himself to be god and not identify with any other god. He is going to reject all the other gods.

Part 2

Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our discussion of whether or not the Antichrist could be a Muslim. Thus far our tally is 1 yes, 1 possibly, and 1 he will be a Syrian but not necessarily a Muslim. The other 8 people I interviewed all took the position that the Antichrist could not be a Muslim. Here are their responses.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum: No. I think based upon Daniel chapter 9 verses 26 and 27 that the Antichrist has to be a Gentile of Roman origin, so would be of European origin. Could it be a European Muslim? Here again no because according to Isaiah chapter 28 verses 14-22 when Israel signs the covenant with the Antichrist they sign it because the Antichrist guarantees Israel’s military security. And Israel would not trust any Muslim to guarantee Israel’s military security. Just like it isn’t going to happen with the leadership of right wing or left wing it is not going to happen.

Don McGee: I do not believe the Antichrist is going to be a Muslim. Several reasons actually one of them is the fact that Israel is not a religious nation. The confidence that they are going to put in this man that is going to, that they are going to look at as someone that really has the answers to a lot of there problems is going to be a secular humanistic view. If he were a Muslim then they would associate a type of religion with him that has an agenda and uh, because of their history with the Muslim nations that is not something they are going to be interested in. But they will be very, very ready to accept the input the expertise, political expertise from a man who is a secularist and a humanist. Because if you think about it look at their Knesset look at their Prime Ministers every last one of them since Menachem Begin has been a secularist. So I think that mindset is going to bleed over into their acceptance of the man that is going to be the Antichrist.

Todd Strandberg: I don’t think that he is going to be a Muslim because the Antichrist is going to come out of Europe and only 10 percent of Europeans are Muslim. And I don’t think the Jews are going to be able to jive with him being a Muslim. If he is going to be the Messiah to them I just can’t see him being a Muslim.

Don Perkins: No, I don’t. For a number of reasons, number 1 Daniel 11 talks about him not honoring the god of his fathers. Uh, in Daniel 11 verses 36-37 it actually translates God there as Elohim but it says he will not honor God of his fathers. And, uh, the God of his fathers is Elohim one part of the verse says Jehovah or true God, for that reason I think it disqualifies him. Also in Second Thessalonians chapter 2 the Scriptures says that during the time of the Tribulation the Antichrist would literally go into the temple of God and he would be worshipped as God. Uh, I believe there also disqualifies him because I can’t see the Israelis’ even during the Tribulation worshipping a Muslim as god, I just can’t see it.

Nathan Jones: No, I do not. There’s a lot a things that preclude the Antichrist from being a Muslim. For one, I don’t think that Islam is even going to be a religion during the Tribulation. Between Psalm 83 knocking out the nations around Israel and Ezekiel 38 and 39 knocking out the Islamic nations and Russia, Islam will not even be a player during the Tribulation. And, there is a lot about the character of the Antichrist that doesn’t seem to fit, either. For one, the Mahdi – the Islamic Messiah – that is supposed to be worshipped, well in Islam you worship Allah alone, and so they would not take this guy and worship him. If you look at Daniel 11:37 and his unaffection for women, there is a good chance that the Antichrist will be gay. Well, Muslims have zero tolerance for homosexuals. So, no, I don’t think the Antichrist will be a Muslim.

Daymond Duck: No, I don’t think the Antichrist will be a Muslim for several reasons. First of all the Bible says that the Antichrist will be a Satan worshipper doesn’t say anything about him being a Muslim. It tells us that he will say that he is god he won’t say that Allah is god so I don’t think he will be a Muslim. Another reason when you look at the Old Testament types and there are a lot of Old Testament types of the Antichrist, Pharaoh to an extent, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanies, Titus none of these types were Muslims. There were no Muslims until about 700 AD, that kind of thing. The third reason why I don’t think he will be the Antichrist I don’t think will come from Iran or Syria because I believe that the Antichrist his people are the people that destroyed Israel, Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD and that was the Roman Empire. I don’t think as far as I study and look at it that Iran was in the Roman Empire in 70 AD and the way I look at Syria I believe that Syria is going to be destroyed before the Tribulation period. Another reason some people say that the Antichrist is the Assyrian in Micah, in the book of Micah chapter 5 verses 5 and 6. I really don’t think that is the Antichrist, the Assyrian is going to be destroyed by a small number of Jews, 7 shepherds, and 8 principle men I think be destroyed it isn’t really clear but I think in the land of Assyria. But that is not the way the Antichrist is going to come to his end he is going to be captured when Jesus comes back at the Second Coming and he is going to be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. And then you have some people that say the Antichrist is the King of Babylon. And I can go along with calling him the King of Babylon in fact I believe the Antichrist, one of the names that is given to him is the King of Babylon. But you can look at Babylon they had all kinds of kings that were not Muslim so just because he is called the King of Babylon doesn’t means he will be a Muslim. Now it is my personal opinion that the Muslims are going to suffer great defeats before the rise of the Antichrist. I think the Islamic religion is going to be devastated before the rise of the Antichrist. And I think that is going to pave the way for the Antichrist to come out of a revived Roman Empire, the European Union.

Mark Hitchcock: Um, no I don’t believe the Antichrist will be a Muslim, really for several reasons. One is the Bible says that he is going to arise from the same group of people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD of course which was the Romans. Now of course Rome did cover some areas that are Islamic nations today, but it seems to me that he will rise out of the core of the Roman Empire. Really the biggest problem I have with seeing the Antichrist being a Muslim is that it says in the Bible that he is going to declare that he is God. And it seems to me that goes against the very tenet the main tenet of Islam which there is one God which is Allah and his prophet is Mohammed. So I don’t see how someone who is a follower of Islam could ever declare himself to be God. So for that reason I think that he is just going to be some type of pagan follower of religion maybe a person who has been a follower of dead Christianity in Europe or something like that or apostatizes from that. But I don’t see how he could be a Muslim and declare himself God.

Ed Hindson: Absolutely not! The Bible says that he will be a person who will not regard the God of his fathers. Muslims are committed generation after generation to their belief in Allah. I think the New Testament makes it very clear that the Antichrist is either a total unbeliever or an apostate Christian who claims a form of Christianity but does not believe in the person of Jesus Christ who can change and transform an individual’s life, let alone his life. He is against Christ anti-Christ he is also in some senses a substitute Christ who in everyway will say to the world I can bring about change, I can bring about peace, and I can bring prosperity to the world. Those are the same three things that most of our political candidates and our new President are saying over and over again. That ought to get our attention that as we get closer to the time of the end it is that very message that sets the stage for the arrival ultimately of the Antichrist.

Dr. Reagan: Let me take a moment to share my viewpoint with you on this question of whether or not the Antichrist will be a Muslim. Personally I don’t think there is any possibility. What Muslim would ever proclaim himself to be God? And yet that is exactly we are told the Antichrist will do in Second Thessalonians chapter 2. Also any Muslim who would make such an absurd proclamation would be instantly rejected by the entire Muslim world. My second point relates to the fact that the Bible says the Antichrist will make a treaty with the Jewish people that will guarantee their nations security. Now let me ask you something why would the Jewish people ever put their trust in a Muslim by signing a treaty that would allow him to guarantee their security? I can’t even imagine it. One of the advocates of this theory said to me, “That is exactly what the Jews are doing today in the peace treaties they are trying to negotiate with their Muslim neighbors.” But folks that is not true. They are putting their trust today in us in the United States, to guarantee those treaties and their defense. Another point I would like to make relates to Daniel 9:26 that verse says the Antichrist will come from the people who destroyed the temple. Well the temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans meaning that the Antichrist will be of Roman descent. Those that advocate the Muslim Antichrist theory respond by saying the armies of the Romans were made up of Middle Eastern people like the Syrians who were forced into the Roman army when they were conquered by Rome. But folks even if that were true, it would be completely irrelevant. Folks it does not matter whether or not the Roman Legions were composed of Australian aborigines or African pygmies it was the Roman government that gave the orders, it was Roman Generals who carried out the destruction. Rome was the rod of God’s judgment and it is from the Roman people that the Antichrist will arise. One aspect of the Muslim Antichrist theory that you should be aware of is the idea that the final empire of the Antichrist will be a revival of the Ottoman Empire. In other words the empire of the Antichrist will be a regional one in the Middle East. Well folks, that idea is very unbiblical, the Bible says point blank in Revelation 13:7 that the empire of the Antichrist will be worldwide. Here is what the verse says, it says, “And it is given to him the Antichrist to make war with saints and to overcome them an authority was given him over every tribe, and people, and tongue and nation was given to him.” Let me ask you another question what else would God need to say to indicate clearly that the Antichrist will rule over all the nations of the world? Yet those that espouse the Muslim Antichrist theory claim that this verse is nothing by hyperbole or in other words they say it is an exaggeration. Another problem with this Muslim Antichrist theory is that is based on a belief that Muslims are going to rise to world power during the Tribulation. I believe the Bible indicates just the opposite. That God will pour out his wrath on the Muslim both before and during the Tribulation, removing them from the world scene. We will take a look at the fate of the Muslims in just a moment. But first let’s pause for a message about how you can get a very helpful study resource about End Time Bible prophecy.

Part 3

Dr. Reagan: Let’s consider for a moment the fate of the Muslims as it is revealed in End Time Bible prophecy. The Bible prophesies that God will pour out judgement upon the Arab Nations in the end times for their hostility towards the Jews and their attempt to claim the Jewish homeland as their own. Consider Joel 3 verse 19 for example this passage has a clear end time context and in that context it says, “Egypt will become a waste and Edom will become a desolate wilderness because of the violence done to the sons of Judah in whose land they have shed innocent blood.” Keep in mind that Edom is often used as a symbolic term for all the Arab peoples just as Israel is used as a term for all the Jewish tribes. Ezekiel says that all of Edom will be dealt with in the End Times because of its hatred against the Jews and its lust for their land. The result will be the desolation of the Arab states. The book of Obadiah prophesies a similar fate for Edom in The Day of the Lord. Part of this destruction is going to take place in the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38, most likely before the Tribulation begins. Psalm 83 indicates that Israel will defeat the inner ring of Arab nations that have a common border with it. Ezekiel 38 states that God will supernaturally destroy the outer ring of Arab Nations that will invade Israel under the leadership of the Russians. But these wars affect only the nations in the Middle East. Folks the vast majority of Muslims live in nations outside the Middle East. I believe the Muslims in other parts of the world like Pakistan, or Bangladesh, India, Indonesia will taste the wrath of God at the beginning of the Tribulation, when they refuse to accept the European Antichrist. They will become the focus of the Antichrist military actions to subdue all the world to his authority. The book of Revelation states that one-fourth of humanity will die in the initial military campaign of the Antichrist. Folks that is one and a half billion people in today terms. Then we are told the war will expand into what appears as a nuclear holocaust and during this second phase one-third of those will remaining will die. That is another one and a half billion. So a total of three billion people are going to be killed in the wars of the Antichrist during the first half of the Tribulation. I believe that most of these will be Muslims. But the future of the Arabs is not all bleak they must suffer for their sins, just like the Jewish people will suffer during the Tribulation. And like the Jews we are told in Jeremiah 12 that a remnant of the Arabs will emerge from their suffering with their hearts turned to the one and only true God. The Bible says in Zechariah 2:8, “that the Jewish people are the apple of God’s eye”. But that does not mean that He has no love for their cousins. The Arabs just as God has covenants with the Jews He has a covenant with the Arab peoples you can find it in Genesis 16 and 17. In this covenant God promised to make the decedents of Ishmael the Arabs a great nation and to give them all the land to the east of their Jewish brethren. God has been faithful to those promises today there are 22 Arab nations with a combined population of over 300 million people. The Arabs occupy a total area of 5.3 million square miles of oil rich land. By contrast there is only one Jewish state with a population of only 5 million Jews who are squeezed into only 8,000 square miles of space. Folks that is a population ratio of 58:1 and the land ratio of 662:1, the Arabs have truly been blessed. There is no partiality with God. He choose the Jews not to be a repository of His blessings but to be a vehicle through whom he would bless all the nations of the world including the Arabs. But the fundamental requirement to receive God’s blessings for both Jew and Arab as well as all people is to accept God’s gift of love in Jesus by receiving Him as Messiah. You know when I consider the blessings that God has given the Arab peoples and the grace He is going to show them, toward them in the future, despite their persecution of His chosen people. I am reminded of what Paul wrote when he considered God’s grace towards his Jewish brethren he cried out from his heart, “Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.” Well that is our program for this week, I hope it has been a blessing to you. Until next week, the Lord willing this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful for your redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program

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