Islam from a Biblical Perspective X
The Theology of the Antichrist
In Daniel 11:36-39, we understand what the passage says concerning the Antichrist's religion or theology.
While it will become clear that the Antichrist does blaspheme the God of the Bible and rejects virtually every other god, there is one particular god that the Antichrist does honor: "He will show no regard for the god of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures".
The first three elements are negative, defining that which the Antichrist rejects and denies. The fourth component reveals that which the Antichrist affirms:
- The Antichrist rejects "the God of his fathers".
- The Antichrist rejects "the desire of women".
- The Antichrist rejects "every other god".
- The Antichrist affirms and honors "a god of forces".
Who is the God of his fathers?
The meaning of the Hebrew phrase (elohim ab) is used frequently throughout the Scriptures. Every time it is used, it is a reference to the Lord (Yahweh). Elohim Ab is a reference to the God of the Jews. Because the Antichrist rejects the God of his father Abraham, in no way does this prove that is a Jew. He could just as easily be an Ishmaelite, an Edomite, or a descendant of any number of relatives of Abraham's sons that fill much of the Middle East and are dispersed throughout the earth today. The simple point here is that the Antichrist will "show no regard" for the Lord God of the patriarchs. While Muslim apologists will claim the Allah of Islam is, in fact, one and the same as the God of Abraham, this is merely Islamic propaganda. The Allah of Islam has far more in common with Sin, the moon god whom Abraham left behind in the desert than with the Father God of the Bible.
What is this "Desire of Women"?
The "desire of women" is a Hebraic phrase referencing the Messiah. This phrase would have been understood by its original hearers as such. Ultimately this desire of Jewish women was realized and fulfilled in Mary, who rejoiced in being chosen as the blessed one and cried out.
We see the Antichrist rejects:
(1) the Lord (Yahweh), the God of the Bible; and (2) Jesus the Messiah.
This two-fold rejection should simply be seen as a denunciation of God the Father and God the Son. Support of this view is found in the New Testament.
1 John 2:22-23
Consider his emphasis on the Antichrist's denial of the Father and the Son. But, where did John get this information? Because John's Scriptures consisted of the Old Testament, the primary text he would have looked to for understanding concerning the Antichrist's theology would have been Daniel 11:36-39. The denial of both the Father and Son is a repeated theme among other antichristic passages as well. In Psalm 2, which repeats the common motif of the end-time gathering of the nations, specifies exactly whom the gentile nations gather against the Lord and His Messiah.
Elsewhere Jesus also, speaking of the time when the saints would be killed because of their faith in Him, explained it.
Jesus then extends the meaning to a time when those who killed the believers would actually believe themselves to be serving God. This is a difficulty for those who see humanism as the final "religion" of the Antichrist. If humanists were in mind here, then Jesus would have said that these men would think the killing was justifiable, not that they believed their murders pleased a god in whom they do not believe. One religion in the world today stands out as a likely candidate to fulfill this prophecy on a global scale. Christians are already killed regularly by Muslims who believe that such acts are pleasing to their god, Allah.
Third, beyond rejecting the Father and the son, the Antichrist rejects every other god globally. There is one exception to the Antichrist's disregard for all gods - a god whom he, in fact, greatly honors; "A God of War".
The history of the Middle East, of course, is filled with the worship of astral-and-war deities. Thus, we see that the Antichrist, while rejecting God the Father, God the Son, and all of the other various gods throughout the earth, does worship a god of war. Islamic doctrine rejects Yahweh in exchange for the Allah of the Qur'an. Islam denies Jesus as the Son of God and rejects the gods of every other religion. And certainly, the Allah of Islam could be understood as the god of war or jihad. Finally, we are told that with the assistance of the "foreign god", the Antichrist will attack the most formidable of fortresses and reward those who support his efforts.
Three passages have led most to believe that the Antichrist will actually proclaim himself to be God. The first passage, which we examined earlier, is Daniel 11:36 But as we have already discussed, this statement cannot be divorced from the fuller context of the passage that shows that the Antichrist does, in fact, honor and make offerings to a god of war. Hard to justify honoring a god and claiming to be him at the same time. The second passage looked to as proof that the Antichrist will proclaim himself to be God is in Paul's second epistle to the Thessalonians.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Will he claim to the Yahweh, the God of the Jewish people? It does not appear so. On the contrary, the Antichrist will: - "speak blasphemies against the God of gods"
Daniel 11:36 - "speak pompous words against the Most High"
Daniel 7:25 - verbally blaspheme God, His name, and His Temple.
It appears as though the Antichrist's sitting in the Temple is an act of defiance, derision, and superiority over the God of the Temple. It seems unlikely that the Antichrist would both worship a god of war and also claim to be a god. The third passage some use to support the notion that the Antichrist will declare himself to be God is Revelation 13. Here, we are told that Satan, the dragon, will authorize the beast (the Antichrist and his kingdom) to receive worship.
Behind the Antichrist will be Satan, the dragon, who clearly desires to be worshiped. Later, we are told that the Antichrist's assistant, "the false prophet" will set up an image, and all who will not worship the beast will be killed.
The word used here for "worship" is the Greek proskyneo, which can mean any of the following:
- to kiss the hand, as a token of reverence
- to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence - to kneel or prostrate oneself to pay homage to one or make obeisance, whether to express respect or to make a request
- to pay homage to men and beings of superior rank
In light of the range of meaning of proskyneo, we must be cautious in declaring dogmatically that the Antichrist will be worshiped as God or a god. Revelation 13 could simply indicate that the people of the earth will display utter submission to him and his empire. Consider the fact that the Muslim is obligated to make a pledge of allegiance, known as the bay'ah to any sitting caliph, and the refusal to do so is punishable by death. One Islamic author describes the bay'ah thus:
"Bay'ah means taking an oath of loyalty. whoever makes bay'ah agrees to submit his entire life to the leader... He will not act against the leader in agreed matters, and will be loyal to him in every action, regardless of his personal likes or dislikes".
Muhammed said, "those who obey me obey Allah, the Almighty. Those who disobey me disobey Allah, the Almighty. Those who obey my leader obey me and those who disobey my leader disobey me".
It is difficult to imagine a humanistic, materialistic, atheistic Antichrist mocking God and rejecting all other gods on one hand, but claiming to be God on the other. This would be an oxymoron. It is far easier for people to believe that the Bible predicts something that only exists in their imaginations than to believe it predicts something that is right in front of them. If the Antichrist is not a Muslim, how he cajoles the 1.6 billion (and growing rapidly) Muslims of the earth to follow him?