Vol: 18 Issue: 5 Tuesday, January 5, 2016
“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.” (Daniel 11:38)
Conventional wisdom generally sees the coming antichrist as being both the leader of a revived form of the Roman Empire who is of Jewish extraction.
Daniel notes that in his official capacity, the coming prince will ‘honor’ the ‘God of forces.’ Note that the KJV capitalizes this reference to God. The ‘god’ whom his fathers knew not is rendered in lower-case.
The growing clash of civilizations, as we’ve discussed many times, is both temporal and spiritual, pitting the forces of Islam against the followers of Judaism and Christianity.
In context, Daniel’s antichrist pays lip service to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, while privately heaping honor on a god (small ‘g’) “whom his fathers knew not.”
However, Daniel tells us, the antichrist doesn’t have much use for either one of them.
“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.” (Daniel 11:37)
Daniel does make it clear that, whoever he is, religion will play a major part in his administration. And he will use religion to seemingly solve the intractable religious division between Israel and Islam over final possession of the Holy Land.
A FrontPage magazine column entitled “Goodbye, Europe” pulled together some stunning evidence that suggests Europe is rapidly falling under Islamic rule.
“Europe’s botched civilization, perverted by socialism and lost faith, seems to have lost the will, the passion to sustain itself,” argues Lowell Ponte.
“If it continues to practice today’s multiculturalist leftism, Europe’s demographic doom will be sealed.”
“If Europe continues as it is now, the rising Muslim tide will, one at a time, transform the members of the European Union into Islamic Republics under Islamic Shari’a law as Muslims become the majority population.”
It is that last observation that is worthy of further exploration. The Arabs have been attempting to use that exact formula to bring about the destruction of Israel.
Arafat’s insistence on the ‘Right of Return’ for those who abandoned their homes in 1948 — including their descendants — was aimed at creating an Arab majority who could then vote Israel out of existence and replace it with an Islamic republic.
It has been quietly doing, with much more success, the same thing in Europe for decades. In Europe, Muslims families are more than double the size of European families.
The average European couple now has fewer than 1.4 babies, compared to 3.6 babies born to the average Muslim immigrant couple in Europe. Across Western Europe 16 to 20 percent of babies are being born into Muslim families.
Germany’s birth rate in 2005 fell to a level lower than at the end of World War II, now fifty percent lower than those of France and Great Britain.
France is at least 12 percent Muslim. If present birth trends continue, by 2030 a quarter of France’s people will be Muslim, more than enough to determine who controls the national parliament and executive.
The nuclear-armed French military is already 15 percent Muslim. Adjacent Switzerland is now 20 percent Muslim.
Muslim populations are largely concentrated in and around big cities, where big city politics gives them plenty of clout.
In the Netherlands the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam nearly have Muslim majorities now.
In some of Europe’s growing Islamic neighborhoods, European law has already been replaced locally with sharia law. Forty percent of Great Britain’s Muslims favor the introduction of sharia law into England.
Under sharia law, the Koran is the ultimate law book and constitution, and the Islamic Mullah is the magistrate who punishes violators of this law. Under Shari’a, as practiced in much of the Islamic world, equality exists only among Muslim men; women are inferior to men, and Jews and Christians are inferior to all Muslims.
The roots of the global conflict are spiritual and any efforts to solve it using purely secular means is doomed to failure. Daniel forecasts the rise of a global leader who will pay lip service to the spiritual forces behind the conflict itself, one acceptable to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Leaving the prophecies of Scripture aside, speculate with me for a moment about what kind of credentials that would require. A European leader of Jewish extraction who was an Islamic convert with ‘moderate’ credentials would be the perfect candidate.
Israel would accept any honest peace broker. Especially one who appeared sympathetic to Jews and was respected by a Muslim dominated European Union.
Such a scenario doesn’t take much of a stretch to envision.
Europe is not yet ready for the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2. It is rapidly moving in that direction, but it isn’t quite there yet.
The Rapture doctrine often-overlooked key element is that of imminency. The Rapture could have happened in the first century, (as the Thessalonians believed) or it could take place five seconds before the revelation of the antichrist.
The Rapture doesn’t necessarily take place in conjunction with the rise of antichrist. It takes place at some point BEFORE the resumption of Temple worship signals the final seven yearresumption of the Mosaic Law during the Tribulation Period.
Daniel notes the resumption of Temple worship, whereas Paul legitimizes the Third Temple as “the Temple of God” — not the Temple of antichrist.
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
Legitimate Temple worship ended with the Birth of the Church at Pentecost, but there wasalmost forty years between the birth of the Church and the destruction of the Temple.
There is no Scriptural reason to doubt there could be a similar span of time between the Rapture of the Church and the resumption of the Age of the Law. In fact, such a scenario seems probable.
The point is this. We are watching Daniel’s scenario unfold, but much of the process could take place well after the Rapture of the Church. Islam continues to grow in power and influence across Europe, and is expected to dominate that nation within a generation.
During the Tribulation, Europe is a player, so is the Islamic world, the Russians, the Asian world, etc., but there is no mention of the Church, or of any geopolitical power corresponding to America.
By the time the world catches up to the Bible’s timeline for the rise of the antichrist, the Rapture could have easily made American Christianity nothing but a distant memory.
The Rapture occurs, according to the Apostle Paul, to remove the Restraining influence of the Holy Spirit and unleash the floodgates of evil on a Christ-rejecting world.
Without the restraining influence of majority-Christian America, Islam’s evil would do just that. Not overnight, as would be necessary for someone like Javier Solana to fit the bill, but a lot faster than it has been able to so far.
And, as we’ve seen, its already so strong it is almost impossible to restrain.
It isn’t the antichrist that the Church awaits, however. It is the Christ.
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Originally Published: March 28, 2006
Featured Commentary: Patterns and Prophecy ~ Wendy Wippel