Expansion of Islam in Christian Biblical Prophecy - The Beast in Revelation
God gave the apostle John the Revelation from Jesus Christ to make known to the servants of God what will take place. He wants us to know. Anyone who reads and takes this revelation to heart and follows it will be blessed, because the time this will all happen is very soon.
He is coming! (1:7) John sees Christ prepared for the spiritual and earthly battle (1:20) with a sharp double-edged sword (1:16), holding the keys of death and Hades (1:18).
As I consider the expansion of Islam in light of biblical prophecy, it becomes clear in my Bible study on the Revelation of Jesus Christ that it revolves around events in the Middle East.
Blessed is the one who reads and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near!
To the seven churches in the province of Asia
After the opening chapter of Revelation is a series of seven individual messages to each of seven churches in Asia; that is, the Roman province that is now a part of modern Turkey. Any sign of the end times will be apparent and plainly evident there, in that part of the world.
Simple overview of the Middle East problem
Sultan Selim I of the Islamic Ottoman state conquered Jerusalem in 1517 and it remained under Ottoman control for almost exactly four centuries. In 1917, during World War I, General Allenby and the British army entered the city having defeated the Ottoman Turks, and the next year Ottoman operations in the active combat theaters ceased. By 1924, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was deposed as the last Ottoman caliph, the Caliphate was abolished.
The wars in the Middle East are the front-line of the Islamic Nazi-like offensive, a 60-year aggression of Muslim Arabs against the Jews. Israel in fact was created out of the ruins of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
The First Four Seals in Revelation
Let's consider the Islamic empire in the light of the biblical prophecy of Revelation chapter 6. I will also refer to some other passages that relate to this passage.
1 Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, "Come!" 2 I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer.
Seal #1 - Return of the Ottoman Empire
Though the last Caliphate was abolished in 1924, over the decades Muslim countries one by one gained national independence. Not only that, but out of the ashes of the Ottoman Caliphate has emerged the ever growing Islamic empire ("crown") of the Islamic movement. It has come with a false peace ("white horse" and a "bow") bent on worldwide conquest to restore the Caliphate in order to apply complete Islamic law.
7 "While I was watching in the night visions, a fourth beast appeared, frightening and dreadful, and incredibly strong, with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had 10 horns.
As Islam has expanded it has waged holy war, jihad, against anyone who stood in its way. This type of war is described throughout the pages of prophetic scripture. Islam, though not the only world empire that has waged holy war against Jews and Christians, is different from the others. This is a discriminate fact of the beast of Last Days, and as we move forward in Bible prophecy, Islam as this fourth beast in Daniel that is different from the others becomes a more apparent "piece of the puzzle."
Revelation 13:1, 3
1 And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems... 3 One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed.
In 1968, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait founded OAPEC, to control oil, their main export, better than they did in the 1967 oil embargo during the Six Day War. Oil as a weapon was originally intended by OAPEC to be leveraged conservatively, but by 1972 OAPEC became much more activist with the addition of Algeria, Iraq, Syria and Egypt, who then attempted to overwhelm Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Today, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are now a part of OAPEC -- additional horns on the beast.
Islam in Biblical Prophecy
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" 4 Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its horseman was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.
Seal #2 - 1980-88 Sunni-Shia War
Iraq (ruled by the Sunni) attacked Iran (ruled by the Shia) in September 1980 to prevent the spread of the Islamic Revolution (which began the year before in Iran), as one of its main objectives. Both countries were devastated.
- One of the deadliest wars since WWII, extremely costly in lives and material: An estimated 1 million in Iranian casualties, killed or wounded. Iraqi casualties are estimated at 250,000-500,000 killed or wounded. Thousands of civilians died on both sides in air raids and ballistic missile attacks.
- More than 100,000 Iranians were victims of chemical weapons, which includes civilians contaminated, many of whom have developed blood, lung and skin complications.
- First and only conflict in the history of warfare in which both forces used Ballistic Missiles against each other, and also saw the only confirmed air-to-air helicopter battles in warfare history.
In 2005, the new government of Iraq apologized to Iran for starting the war. As a result of the war, however, the Islamic Revolution of Iran was strengthened and radicalized (fiery red ). Also, Kuwait started to over-produce oil, to keep Iraq's economy down. Iraq accused Kuwait of land drilling and stealing oil which then lead to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
The Sunni, who maintain that any devout Muslim could potentially become the successor to Muhammad (if accepted), have been perceived as a threat to the Shia sect, who maintain only the person selected by God and announced by the Prophet could become his successor. The Shia comprise only about 10–15% of the entire Muslim population and remain a marginalized community in many Sunni Arab dominant countries (without the rights to practice their religion and organize). The persecution of Shias throughout history by Sunni co-religionists has often taken the form of brutal and genocidal acts.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
Seal #3 - Islamic Financial Jihad
Why not, as Revelation 6:6 says, damage the oil? The oil wealth in Arab land has provided a means to the Islamists for propagating financial Jihad. They have campaigned that Allah has provided oil wealth as a means to build armies and spread Islam.
It smells like America is being set up for a take-over by the Muslim world when you see what's going on with the US dollar and sharia finance. Are we currently in the midst of financial jihad?
In 2008, Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said, "The collapse of the capitalist system based on usury and paper and not on goods traded on the market is proof that it is in crisis and shows that Islamic economic philosophy is holding up," said the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based cleric.
Bin Laden's plan (reported by CNN on Nov. 1, 2004) was not just to crash planes into the World Trade Center. His intent was to completely destroy the financial foundation of America and, in so doing, he believed that the vast U.S. military empire would also collapse -- the same bleeding of resources the Afghan insurgency carried out against the Russians in the 1980s. While no plan by Bin Laden, in itself, could possibly have the power to lead America into bankruptcy, the fact is that , at the time of 9/11, America already had a deteriorating economy
In April (2010) the Islamic finance chief, Tun Musa, was reported to have said, laughing, “The methodology of Islamic banking will become more acceptable, even without being in Islam."
Revelation 6:6 describes an economic situation where basic goods are sold at greatly inflated prices. (Robert H. Mounce in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, "The Book of Revelation," p. 155). The black horse rider, therefore, depicts times of deep scarcity or famine, though not of starvation.
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" 8 And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.
Seal #4 - Antichrist follows Satan
Turkey’s significance is rising.
All in the Middle East know that the name of the president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, in Arabic means "the Servant of Allah/Beast (Monster or Demon)".
He had forced the breakup of a previous more radical Islamic party in 2001, established the AKP, and together with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current prime minister, forced themselves into power a year later in August 2007.
A strange image can be seen beginning at the 1:19 mark of the following video, taken during part of the 2011 riots in Cairo, Egypt.
Turkey's unsafe Christians
Though Christian persecution is happening in various places in the world, the extremism is noteworthy in Turkey. In April '09, Turkey’s Christians are subjected to horrific attacks by Muslims. The government condemns the attacks but does nothing. There is increasing hostility towards Christians. Converts to Christianity are often jailed for being anti-Turkish.
In March '10 Turkey’s PM threatened to deport 100,000 Armenian migrants, amid renewed tensions over the Turkish genocide of over one million Armenian Christians in WWI that more than 20 countries have recognized as genocide.
Christian Persecution in Turkey
The forces of Islamic barbarism are extended against the civilized people of America and Israel. On May 31, 2010, Israel attacked the Gaza-bound flotilla Mavi Marmara resulting in nine Turkish citizens dead. Some asked, was Turkey’s "GAZilla incident" more about re-establishing itself as leader of the Ottoman Empire? The Turkish PM has clearly been spoiling for more trouble with Israel as troops have been deployed in Cyprus and radical Islamists fill intelligence ranks.
3 One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed.
24 The 10 horns are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings.
23 ...an insolent king, skilled in intrigue,
will come to the throne.
24 His power will be great,
but it will not be his own.
Support for Turkey is at an all-time high in the Arab world. Turkish flags have recently been carried through the streets of Middle Eastern capitals for Turkish support of the Gaza blockade-running mission—the first time since WWI when it was in support for the Ottoman sultan-caliph against the western powers. It's said that,
“No ruling Arab leader is as popular as the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”
Turkey’s aspiration is to lead the Islamic world and establish itself along with Iran as an alternative to American power. So, it is once again turning eastwards.
The geopolitical balance in the Middle East is shifting east; Turkey is moving to assume leadership to bridge the gap between Sunni and Shiite Islam.
© 2010 Deidre Shelden