June 9, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
I am posting back to back editions of THE WEEKLY WORD this week to make up for the two weeks we did not post.
I want to continue on with our current series, “What Every Christian Needs To Know About Islam”. This will be the sixth and possibly last post in this current series.
I have to come to see clearly that God has a very plain, detailed end-time plan for Israel and the Jewish people, the nations of the world, and for the Church. If we do not understand that God sees three groups of people in the earth, and that He has plans and purposes for each; we will never have our end-time doctrine straight. [See 1 Cor. 10:32]
Just as surely as God has an end-time plan, so does our Adversary, the devil, have one. His plan is referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 as “The mystery of lawlessness.” The Bible says, 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. [2 Thess. 2:7 NKJV] Notice Paul tells us this “mystery” was already at work in his day. This “mystery” is the working of Satan to bring about a one-world government, one-world religious system, one-world monetary system, ultimately controlled by the last days dictator known by many titles but probably most notably, the Antichrist.
I am of the firm conviction that this individual will be an adherent to radical Islam, hence the rise of Islam especially in the West in the past few years. In short, I believe there will be an Islamic Antichrist rising to the forefront especially after the departure of the Church prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation. I will have more on this coming up.
Last time we closed by touching on the sentiment held by many that Islam is a, “religion of peace.” Is this true? It is important to remember, as we pointed out last time, that the first murder in the Bible was done in the name of religion. Since that time, many men have killed others in the “Name of God.” In fact, shortly before Jesus left this earth he warned of a time when his people would die as martyrs, and the murderers would believe they were doing God a favor. [See John 16:2]
During the past two thousand years, the world has been drenched in the blood of innocent people who were victims of religious conflict. From the Roman Empire, the Roman Church, and the Inquisition to the Islamic call for Jihad, men are dying in the name of religion. Some politicians and American Muslims have pointed out that Islam is “a religion of peace.” Certainly there are Muslims, both desert dwellers and secularists, who want to live in peace. The early history of the religion, however, is one of fighting, conquering, and conflict. While most Muslims are not looking for an actual combat, dedicated and practicing radical Islamists believe the world needs to be converted to Islam, just as true Christians wish to spread the gospel around the world.
It is important to understand that one of the tenants of Islam is that of Jihad, or a holy war. Few Americans had heard the term jihad before the attack on America on September 11, 2001. Even then, for fear of anti-Islamic back-lash, secular newscasters were reminding Americans that Islam is a peaceful religion. Yet, few commentators were familiar with the Islamic scriptures that allow for war and death to the infidel.
Since there are two different branches in Islam with a mixture of End Time theology, a spiritual and military conflict is occurring between the Sunnis and the Shiites as to in which region of Iraq the future Mahdi will appear. The two specified locations are the cities of Samarra, a holy site for Shiite Muslims, and Karbala, a holy site for Sunni Muslims.
The Great Mosque of Samarra, one of Shiite Muslim’s holiest sites, was constructed in the ninth century in Samarra. Samarra also holds the shrine where the tenth and eleventh caliphs, Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-Askari, were buried. It was at a well in Samarra where the twelfth imam, Muhammad Al-Mahdi, the son of the eleventh, disappeared. Some suggest the young boy was hidden in the well and will reemerge from that well to announce the new Islamic caliphate at the End of Days.
The apocalyptic struggle between these two locations was evident on February 22, 2006, when bombs were set off in the Golden Mosque, a Shiite mosque that sits adjacent to the Mosque of the Twelfth Imam in Samaria. Americans could not comprehend why Muslims would destroy one of their own mosques. However, it was a group of Sunni Muslims who posed as police officers who blew up the famous Shiite mosque. It was an attempt by the opposing group to destroy the mosque where the last (twelfth) imam was allegedly to appear. The bombing was a division over the apocalyptic beliefs of two opposing groups within the Islamic religion. Months later, the Shiites retaliated against the Sunnis by bombing an important mosque in Karbala, which the Sunnis believe would be the site of the appearance of the Mahdi.
Both Sunnis and Shiites have extensive End Time beliefs, many of which agree, and others that differ between the sects. The battle for Iraq was more than “sectarian violence” and a struggle to remove Western forces from the land of Allah. It was the rebirth of an ancient religious conflict that dates to the earliest times of Islam. Most informed Muslims believe in prophetic events with the same passion as Jews who believe in the scriptures and Christians who believe in Christ’s Return. It is interesting to understand how these beliefs crisscross and form and End Time theology with the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims.
The Weekly Word is found in Daniel 7:25. Here the Bible sys,
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time. [Dan. 7:25 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E Johnson