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Friday
Sep262014

The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi (Part 1)

Many people—religious and non-religious—are asking questions about a word they hear the media use when referring to ISIS and other Islamist jihadists. That word is apocalyptic, which is used when specifically referring to the fatalism of Islamists.

People wonder, why do so many Muslims (both Sunni and Shiite) operate with such an “apocalyptic,” end-of-world mindset?

Our secular society, however, coupled with the media’s carelessness, is bandying about words like apocalyptic without using them properly and without explanation. That creates a great deal of confusion for some, many of which just throw up their hands in resignation and say, “I don’t understand this.”

But for those who want to understand, I am offering this 2-part column, taking excerpts from my newest book, Jesus, Jihad, and Peace. I hope this will put things into perspective, so when the media says that an Islamist entity (such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, etc.) operate with an apocalyptic vision, you can make sense of it.

The word apocalypse does not, in fact, refer to a disastrous, catastrophic, end-of-world event. It’s a Greek word, the root of which means revelation, or revealing things that are hidden. For instance, we know the last book of the Bible as Revelation, but in the original Greek language, it is Apokalupsae. It reveals what is happening in the heavenly realm, as well as events in the future.

The Concept of the Antichrist

Both the Old Testament and New Testament spoke of an end-times figure, the Antichrist, some six hundred years or more before Islam came on the scene. That timing will be important when I explain Islam’s “end of time” coming of a Mahdi in my next column.

The Antichrist is known by various names. Paul calls him “the lawless one,”  “the man of lawlessness,” and “the man doomed to destruction” who “will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The most detailed description of the Antichrist is in Revelation 13, where the Apostle John refers to the Antichrist as “the beast.” The Old Testament prophet Daniel describes the abominable works of the Antichrist, but gives him no name or title (Daniel 9:27).

Who, then, is the Antichrist, whose brief but terrible reign is predicted in both the Old and New Testaments? He will be a world leader of unparalleled political, military, and religious power. He will be charming, persuasive, and popular beyond measure. The world will not know him as the “Antichrist,” but by some attractive name and appealing title. But just as the word “Antichrist” suggests, he will be the opposite of the Lord Jesus Christ in every way. Everything Christ is, the Antichrist is not; everything Christ is not, the Antichrist is.

Jesus came from heaven (John 6:38); the Antichrist comes from the Abyss, the spiritual domain of evil (Revelation 11:7). Jesus came in the name of the Father; the Antichrist comes in his own name (John 5:43). Jesus was despised by the world (Isaiah 53:3); the Antichrist is worshiped by the world (Revelation 13:3-4). Jesus came in humility as a servant (Philippians 2:7-8); the Antichrist comes in pride, claiming to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:36). Jesus is the truth (John 14:6); the Antichrist is the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35); the Antichrist is the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV).

The Apostle Paul tells us that the mystery (or secret) of godliness is that God Himself has appeared to us in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)—and that the mystery (or secret) of lawlessness is that Satan has produced a counterfeit Christ, the Antichrist, Satan wrapped in human flesh (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). Jesus is the true Shepherd; Satan will have his evil shepherd, the Antichrist. Jesus is the Holy One of God; the Antichrist will be the lawless one of Satan. Jesus is the Man of Sorrows; the Antichrist will be the man of sin.

One Antichrist and many antichrists

First of all, the Antichrist is coming—a lawless man who will come in Satan’s power, demanding to be worshiped as God, destroying all those who love God. But John tells us that there are many other antichrists, lesser deceivers who are also self-exalting, evil, and destructive. They are antichrists, but they are not the Antichrist.

Jesus tells us that, shortly before His return, the Antichrist will arise during a time of global chaos and confusion, when the world is in political, social, financial, and ecological upheaval. The terrified people of the world, desperate for a strong leader, will turn to this man and give him control of the governments of the world.

Daniel tells us that the Antichrist will speak “boastfully” (Daniel 7:8), yet it is clear that these will not be empty boasts. The Antichrist will appear to possess superhuman brilliance. He’ll be the ultimate smooth talker, the greatest con-man who ever lived, and he’ll unite the nations under his rule. At first, he’ll seem to be a wise and benevolent dictator, bringing peace, prosperity, and hope. But once he is firmly in control of the gears and levers of power, he’ll reveal his true intentions.

The way has been paved for such a leader. Atheists, humanists, New Age mystics, Hindus, Buddhists, and Islamists have little in common with each other—but they all share in the belief that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. There are even many self-styled “Christians” who deny the Lord’s claim to be the only way to God. So it will be easy for the Antichrist to establish himself to many as an acceptable alternative.

In these days of muddled and confused worldviews, it is vitally important to know the truth. After all, Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” As events unfold, we need to see them not only through the cameraman’s lens, but also through the lens of biblical revelation.

That the Antichrist is coming is known—only the timing is unknown. Although we know not the hour of night that the thief comes, we must be prepared nonetheless.

In next week’s article (Part 2), we’ll take a look at the striking parallels between the Antichrist and Islam’s Mahdi (savior). 

Friday
Sep192014

Will ISIS Bring About the Demise of Western Civilization?

Today, many people are wondering if ISIS will ultimately destroy Western civilization. But before I address that question, we need to take a little journey to discover what Western culture has done to itself.

Beginning with the age of reason in the 17th century, Western culture built itself on the foundation of reason and objective truth.

In the 1960s, however, Western culture underwent a radical transformation. A new way of looking at reality—focusing on the inner, subjective experience instead of objective truth—profoundly affected the baby boomer generation.

In 1967, Dr. Timothy Leary toured the U.S., speaking on college campuses with a psychedelic light and sound presentation called “The Death of the Mind.” He urged students to experiment with LSD, start their own psychedelic religions, turn off their rational minds, and reach out to the universe with chemical-altered feelings to “run on, tune in, and drop out.”

Most baby boomers will remember the summer of 1967 as the Summer of Love, with huge gatherings in cities across the United States and Canada. Years later, Time magazine said that the overriding theme of the Summer of Love was “trust your feelings.”

Ten years later, the message was blasted into our collective consciousness with the release of George Lucas’s movie, Star Wars. In the film, the wise mentor Obi Wan Kenobi instructs young Luke Skywalker to “trust your feelings.”

Baby boomers then taught that “trust your feelings” message to their children and grandchildren. So now, young people are even more divorced from rational thinking than their parents were—a feeling-based worldview pervades our culture.

Fast-forward to today, where those children and grandchildren are now in power. They are congressmen and women, governors, and even the president. They use their feelings to make decisions on factual matters that require logic and rational thinking.

We feel bad for the poor, so instead of creating a rational program to provide them with employment and therefore dignity, we dole out billions, ne trillions of dollars in the form of welfare credit cards by which they can buy alcohol, marijuana, or whatever they may “feel” they need. This reliance on feelings has created dependency, irresponsibility, fraud, and victimhood, to say nothing of trillions of dollars in debt.

Take this whole issue with dealing with a group of murderous, bloodthirsty savages who call themselves the “Islamic State.” Our “trust your feelings” politicians rush to the television cameras explaining that those people are not really Islamic.

But the thugs of ISIS say that they are the true Islam. And furthermore, they say that their beheadings come as a direct order from their religious book, which they say their god gave them. To them, this is very logical and rational.

In accordance with their logic, they will do a whole lot of killing through their foot soldiers and sleeper cells in Western countries, including the United States. They have no emotional investment in these decisions, only clear-cut facts.

When Western politicians that make decisions based upon “trust your feelings” meet the cold reality of Islamist logic, hands down the Islamists will win—that is unless we begin to change either our worldview, or replace our current “feelings” politicians with logical, rational ones.

Back to my question, will ISIS destroy Western civilization? The answer is no—Western foolishness will destroy Western civilization. The instrument used for that destruction notwithstanding.

In these columns I have been raising the alarm louder and louder, but unless this warning is heeded in 2014, 2016, and every election thereafter, I’m afraid our Western civilization as we know it will go down the tubes.

Friday
Sep052014

The Occupational Hazard for Prophetic Voices

Whenever prophetic voices rise to explain world events from a non-secular perspective, those voices are minimized as “fringe” and “lunatic.”

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Wednesday
Aug272014

Understanding the Iraq Crisis

Below is a special video I want you to watch. For those of you who have seen news reports of the persecution and political turmoil taking place in Iraq, this is an explanation of who ISIS is.

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