Thursday, February 3, 2011

Islam as a Precursor to the Antichrist

An interesting quote from John of Damascus in Fount of Knowledge (c.a. 726 CE) [HT:Christianity Today]:
"There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist."
I do believe the Antichrist will be a nominal Muslim (at least when his career begins) and that Islam will be the precursor to his worldwide empire and religion. Perhaps the thought isn't all that new after all!


  1. What if the antichrist is not even a person but persons and not a future ruling leader?

  2. Demar and McDurmon are correct insofar as the technical use of the word "antichrist" in the Johannine epistles, but that is not how the term is used by dispensationalists. Whether or not that use is actually proper is an argument that can be made, but I think most folk understand what is meant by the way dispensationalists use it. That is no more an issue, I would think, than disrespect suddenly becoming a verb among our contemporaries.

    That an individual in political power is in view in Daniel's prophecy concerning the King of the North is beyond doubt. Furthermore, the Beast, at least at times, in Revelation is addressed as if a person who is most definitely "antichrist". That "antichrist" can be used more generally, even less personally, does nothing to change the figure Daniel or the Revelator paint a picture of and which, for whatever reason, people have come to call the Antichrist. So even if there are many antichrists, and have been since the first century, that doesn't mean that there will not be a son of perdition at the end of time who is a political/religious figure who fulfills all the prophecies of Daniel, Jesus, Paul and John.

  3. Just a thought. The Bible describes the antichrist as having power to do miracles to deceive those in the world during his reign. I am just throwing out a thought that the spiritual power wielded by the antichrist would come from an indwelling of satan. Much like we have power by the baptism of the Holy Spirit in us. Not that it is our power but the power of God through us by His Spirit. Would not the antichrist derive his power through satan who dwells in him? If so it would support that the antichrist is one man because I can see nothing in the scriptures that would allow for satan himself to dwell in more than one person at a time. Just a thought?

  4. Heanous,
    I agree with you that Satan is limited--he's not an "omni" being. I would note, however, that both the first and second beasts (the Antichrist and the False Prophet) are attributed with having miraculous powers (see 2 Thess 2 and Rev 13). So, though Satan seems to have a particular influence, possession, empowerment of the Antichrist, that doesn't stop him from finding a way to influence others contemporaneously. John, in his first epistle (5:19), said the whole world is under his sway, and implies in other places that there are many "children" of the devil.

    I do believe your basic premise is correct. Perhaps the serpent is just super speedy in getting around, or has a voice that really carries over great distances, and then, there are his minions.

  5. Hey SLW

    What's with the PC use of CE? What happened to AD and BC?

  6. Anthea,
    BCE and CE are the standard designations among historians today. I'm just following the accepted convention for historical dates.

  7. Hello SLW

    Lots of historians would love to airbrush Christ out of history...but how are we then to explain what created or initiated the 'Common Era'? And what do we have in common?

    I just love the idea of Jesus' incarnation splitting time...

  8. I am with you SLW on this issue except for the C.E. designation. I note that the CT article didn't use any.

    I usually use both: AD/CE or BC/BCE

    The modern C.E./ B.C.E. designations started with Jewish scholars in the mid 19th century who were offended by the common usage and theological implications.

    When I started college in the 60's AD and BC were still being used. It wasn't till I went back for my doctorate in the 80's that the new BCE/CE designations were becoming popular.

    Now it is overwhelmingly the accepted academic preference.

    But I'm an old guy I guess and I refuse to give up any more ground when it comes to Christ. For me I am in the 'year of our Lord' 2011 not some kind of 'common era' without Christ.

    Even using both is an academic PC concession that I continually choke on and still causes me some discomfort.

  9. Dr D,
    Great to hear from you. I'm old too, and remember well the common use of BC and AD. I personally think that BCE and CE are silly sounding and sour grapes, but it is what is academically acceptable, so I use what is recognized.

    It will all be moot when the clouds open and Christ returns.


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