Islam and Christianity in Prophecy

Hello friends, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Want to welcome you to another prophecy news flash. People have been asking me to send in an update and I've been deliberately waiting because I knew some things were on the horizon about to transpire and I wanted to incorporate them in this next report. A lot of things are going on in the world today and I believe that the events show that the religion of Christianity and Islam are drifting towards some form of critical mass that's actually foretold in the Bible.

Well, let me give you a little background as we begin. If you look at the map of the Muslim world back around 2000 there was a relative stability. I know that there were some conflicts in the Gulf but the country's pretty well had their leaders in their borders, but then about 2011 and with the entrance of the Arab spring, everything became a yard sale.

The whole Arab world began to unravel during that time and it degraded into a lot of military violence in conflict and as a result of this fighting and nations like Tunisia and Egypt and Libya and a number of north African countries in Iraq, in Syria, in Iran, people began to swarm out of these Middle Eastern countries looking for some stability and a better life.

Some were coming in to fight. This graphic actually addresses the people that are flowing in from all over the globe. People that are sympathizers with ISIS. ISIS of course stands for the Islamic state of Syria and Iraq because there is this desire among many in the Arab world to have a great major Islamic country. Iran has reportedly been helping to fund making that happen. They'd like to see the power of course centralized with them except they're letting the battle take place largely in Syria.

Using the Internet they've been recruiting people who have been coming in from around the world. Well, this has caused a lot of turmoil, a lot of violence, and that has led to an unprecedented wave of immigration. Just normal people that are wanting happy lives there's a lot of good, decent Muslim people that just want lives of peace and they are streaming out of these countries in waves flowing into mostly Europe and some of these other countries that are overseas.

You can see that there's been a great growth of Islam in Europe and this has caused some uneasiness among the long time residents in those countries buildings that were once Christian churches, Anglican churches are now turning into Mosques and the churches are closing, which has caused a little bit of anxiety among the Catholics and Christians in Europe. Some of the same trends are happening in Australia and in the United States of America.

You can look at the two great religions of the world are Christianity and Islam. There are approximately as of this recording, about 2.2 billion Christians in the world today. There are about 1.7 billion Muslims, but the growth rate of the Muslims is greatly outpacing every other religion. You can see these graphs on the screen that it's estimated that by the year 2050 there will be as many if not more Muslims in the world than Christians. You can see among the other religions in the world the two that are growing the fastest are Christianity which is about 35% between now and 2050 is the estimate, but Islam is predicted to be growing 73%, twice as fast as Christianity and Hinduism.

You can see here it says that by 2050 there'll be more Muslims in India and Pakistan than even Indonesia but it's on the rise everywhere. Now, what does this mean? I'd like to bring you to a prophecy in the Bible and try to tie this together. If you look at the last prophecy that talks about a great conflict that will begin, and all of this happens before Daniel 12, of course where Michael stands up. There's a great time of trouble. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 24 and then there's a resurrection. That's obviously the end of the world when the resurrection is taking place.

These events in Daniel 11:40-41 are talking about what's going to happen in the world that will precipitate the final events and the great time of trouble just before Jesus comes. Listen to what it says, "And at the time of the end that can't be misunderstood, the king of the South will attack him." Him being the king of the north, "And the king of the North will come against him, the king of the south, like a whirlwind with chariots and horsemen and many ships and he will enter the countries, overwhelmed them and pass through. He will also enter the glorious land in many countries will be overthrown."

It describes that this is final conflict between the King of the South and the King of the North. The King of the North will retaliate and be victorious and enter many countries and become supreme during the time of the end. The big question then is, who is the King of the North and who is the King of the South? Keep in mind in the Bible when it describes the King of the North and the King of the South, it's from the perspective of the nation of Israel.

Israel is a country that runs North South, something like California, and because there was a very large desert to the east of Israel, invading armies would come from the north or from the south. They got an ocean on the west. It was either Hittites so the Babylonians are Syrians. They came in from the north, the Egyptians, and the Arabs from Saudi Arabia, the Midianites and the Malocates they came up from the south. As you trace the king of the North and the King of the South through chapter 11 of Daniel, it finally begins to shake out to the descendants of Abraham, one being the descendants of Isaac, namely the Christians of the world, and Jews, the Judaeo Christian beliefs of the world and the descendants of Ishmael.

The Bible contrast the differences between Ishmael and Isaac both came from the same father, different mothers. You remember Abraham lost faith and Sarah lost faith that she'd ever be able to have a child and so they use the surrogate named Hagar, who was an Egyptian. That was a lack of faith. Paul tells us that Ishmael represents works and law, whereas Isaac represented faith. There are two different mountains. One represents a mountain in Saudia Arabia, Ishmael, and Paul says that Isaac represents Jerusalem, or where Christianity was born in the center of Judaism as well.

Ishmael was circumcised at the age of 13 an age of awareness whereas Isaac entered the covenant of circumcision as a child and infinite total dependence. It was a faith. Ishmael is Mount Sinai in Arabia, born after the flesh. That's where Muhammad comes from. Islam of course, was born in Saudi Arabia. Isaac he's called the only son. He is born after the spirit, Ishmael persecutes Isaac they don't forget that.

Ishmael who ends up becoming the father of the Arabs and later grows into the religion of Islam around the world. He persecutes Isaac who becomes the father of course the Jews, Hebrews, and the Christians of the world. This battle between these two siblings ends up playing itself out just before the end of time. You can also read where it tells us that Ishmael has a near death experience but God intervenes. Isaac has a near death experience there on the mountain with Abraham, but God through an angel intervenes.
One is a hunter one is a farmer shepherd.

God named Isaac and Ishmael. God said he will bless both Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac had through Jacob 12 sons and a daughter. Ishmael had 12 sons and at least one daughter because he saw Mary's her. Isaac goes Northeast for his wife, Ishmael goes to Egypt South West for his wife. Isaac's wife chosen by the father, Ishmael's wife who was an Egyptian chosen by his mother who was an Egyptian. Here you've got these two great religions that you can see are polarized.

With that in mind let's take a look at some geography of the two great peninsulas that are the centers of worship for these two great world religions. You've got Italy which is a Peninsula and Saudi Arabia the biggest peninsula in the world. You've got one that is in North Italy of Israel, if you go by land. The other is South. One represents the epicenter for Christian pilgrimage Rome Christians, Catholics in particular around the world see Rome as the center of Christianity and it's becoming more that way as I'll explain in a moment. There's no question that Muslims prayed towards Mecca. Mecca is a city that Muhammad came from and it is in the South.

There you've got the capital of the Christian religion on the western shore of the peninsula of Italy. You've got Mecca on the western shore of the peninsula of Saudi Arabia. With that as a backdrop now I want you to look at what's happening on the Christian side of the equation. History was made a few years ago when the Pope Benedict resigned and then the world was astounded as the College of Cardinals chose the first Jesuit Pope and the first Pope from the Americas. Pope Francis has been one of the most loved Popes, unlike Pope Benedict whose time ended in scandal with financial problems and a murder mystery in the Vatican. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has been well received and loved by leaders around the world.

Almost immediately, Francis began to increase his spiritual clout by canonizing Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa. You got to be pretty spiritually powerful to be able to authorize that someone can be prayed to. Almost to deify someone else will give you a lot of clout and power. He went from there and began to travel the world and build these alliances with other political leaders. He made an alliance with Israel, which is really unprecedented because there was a lot of tension between Catholics and Jews following World War II. Many Jews believe that the Roman Catholic Church was an accessory to the Holocaust.

Building this alliance and even having Jewish leaders say that the pope would be the most logical person to lead a religious coalition in the world, but not only with the Jews, with the Palestinian leaders. He's being loved by all wherever he goes. He entertained President Obama when he came to the Vatican. I should add that both the Jewish and Palestinian leaders came to the Vatican for a special prayer meeting. The President returned the favor by inviting the Pope to come to North America where he visited President Obama in the White House.

During that same occasion, he was able to address the leaders of the world at the United Nations. That takes a lot of influence to do that. Another unprecedented event was when the Pope was invited to address all the leaders of our country in a joint session of Congress. Boy, if that doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will. That represents a lot of political clout. Then who can forget that picture where the Pope was standing with the Vatican flag waving in the wind next to the American flag, on the backdrop of the largest obelisk in the world, the Washington Monument. You know where the other obelisk is, is in the Vatican. Just makes you think about the two beasts that are described there in Revelation 13.

Not only has the Pope been building political government alliances, he's been working overtime to build Christian and religious alliances, meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, leader of the Orthodox Church, meeting with Muslim leaders, there is at the Temple Mount, meeting with the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church has been going through a number of divisions. Here you can see the Pope is meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

I think everybody has seen in recent years how the Pope has gone the second mile in trying to build relationships and alliances and unity among the evangelicals and Protestants in meetings with people like Joel Osteen who met the pope at the Vatican, Rick Warren. Then, of course, there was an incredible meeting where not only did the Pope send a greeting video to Kenneth Copeland and a group of charismatic ministers that was introduced by Tony Palmer, but then they went to the Vatican and had a three-hour lunch.

At that lunch meeting, they presented the pope with a declaration that they were inviting the Pope to sign on the 500 year anniversary of Luther's nailing his thesis to the doors of the Wittenberg Church. It's a declaration of profess unity between Catholics and Protestants. According to AP news, the Pope has that document on his desk and he is planning on signing it on the 500 year anniversary of Luther's declaration on the doors of the Wittenberg Church. It's this document that declares unity between evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics.

Let me read something to you from that statement. "According to the Pope's biographers and journalist Austin Ivereigh in the Boston Globe, it is a joint document on the Reformation which will include three priorities, the Nicene-Constantinople Creed, which Catholics and evangelicals share, the core of the Catholic-Lutheran declaration of 1999, making clear there's no disagreement over justification by faith, as well as a final section, asserting that Catholics and evangelicals are now united in mission because we are declaring the same gospel."

What's interesting in this document is what it's not saying. It's the fine print because it declares that we believe that all Protestants, evangelicals, and Catholics are equally saved, that we recognize that we are one body. We're not saying there's anything wrong with their relationship with Jesus or our relationship with Jesus. That because of that, they are going to frown upon and forbid evangelism among each other's communions. They call it cheap sealing. Any group that does evangelism among the evangelicals or among the Catholics is going to be marginalized by the others.

In case you missed it, friends, that'll be us. I knew that the Pope was waiting until the 31st of October to kick off a year of celebrating the Reformation. Now, it's beyond me why the Pope would want to celebrate the Reformation. They all said that Martin Luther was the devil. Boy, things are changing. They're going to great lengths now to speak kind soft words to the Protestants to win them back because the Catholic Church realizes they're losing their foothold in Europe to Islam.

They're needing to build a confederacy among the Protestants and evangelicals in North and South America. That's why this is going to be the center of some of the final events. When the pope, on the 31st of October, he went to Lund, Sweden to meet with the leaders of the Lutheran Church to sign another document of a joint unity and declaration. That, friends, ought to just give you goosebumps. Just think about this for a moment. The Jesuit Church was founded for the purpose of fighting against the work of Martin Luther.

Here you've got a Jesuit Pope who's meeting with the Lutheran leaders, and they are all hugging each other and praying together and saying, "We are working in the next year towards being able to celebrate communion together." Now, I don't know if you remember, but one of the things that brought about the Protestant Reformation is a protest against what the Catholics do in their communion. It's called transubstantiation, saying that the priest has the power to convert the bread into the actual body and the grape juice into the actual blood of Christ.

Don't be surprised if they, at the end of the year, celebrate their unity by declaring oneness at the 500 anniversary of Martin Luther's Reformation by celebrating a mass and a communion together. It's moving that direction. Let me read a few comments that were made during this gathering there in Sweden. "When the pope entered Lund, Sweden, he was flanked by the General Secretary and the President of the World Federation of Lutherans.

There at Lund's Lutheran Cathedral on October 31, 2016, applause rung out in the Lund Cathedral as Pope Francis and the President of the Lutheran World Federation, Bishop Munib Younan, signed a joint statement pledging to improve relations between Catholics and Lutherans." The joint statement was the high point of Francis historic visit to Sweden, Sweden, a very secular country, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Now, friends, I don't know about you, but just in my mind, when I think about a Jesuit Pope joining Lutherans to celebrate the Protestant Reformation, it just sounds a lot to me like Adolf Hitler asking Jews if he can join them for Hanukkah. It doesn't make any sense at all. They fought the beliefs of each other to the death. This is where it gets really interesting.

When you read some of the statements that were made during this gathering, I'm going to quote, "Catholics and Lutheran leaders took turns asking God's forgiveness for maintaining divisions, allowing political and economic interest to exacerbate the wounds in the body of Christ." Notice the word wound.

I read on, "A joint statement signed in Lund by Pope Francis and Lutheran Bishop, Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, said many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the constant expression of full unity and an expressed longing for this wound in the body of Christ to be healed." They called the rift between Catholics and Protestants a wound in the body of Christ. You can't help notice that word.

When you read what it says in Revelation and it mentions this four or five times. You read in Revelation 13:3, for instance, "I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded and the deadly wound was healed. All the world marveled or wondered or followed after the beast." Revelation 13:12, "He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence," speaking of the US, a second beast, "and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Revelation 13:14, "He deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs that he was granted to do in the sight of the beast telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived."

Now, we all know the sword is the word of God. When did that beast receive a wound from the sword during the Protestant Reformation? They received what looked like a deadly wound through the Word of God being printed in the language of the people. First printing press Gutenberg printing press, first book, Luther's Bible. The Word of God went everywhere.

The Protestant Reformation exploded, people found the truth again, they found Jesus and now all of that work of the Reformation is being undone in preparation for the final movements of the beast. What does this mean and what's happening? Well, we can see there's a polarizing happening between the two great religions of the world, Christianity and Islam. Islam is following unbiblical things in the Quran as their holy book. It's what was once a religion of Abraham but it's become corrupt. Catholicism, Protestants battling the woman in her daughters is another great religion of the world but most don't know Jesus.

They're going to continue to polarize and consolidate until there's going to be some kind of an event that will take place. An attack. The king of the South is going to do something to provoke the king of the North. The Muslims are going to attack in some way in a prominent, significant way, Christianity. That is going to unravel into a Confederacy of the Christians pulling together, recognizing the Pope and even Satan at some point maybe impersonating Christ to counter-attack Islam.

They may actually technically enter the Land of Israel. There may be boots on the ground in the Holy Land but even more than that, it's going to be a spiritual attack that's happening where the teachings of the beast power are going to claim preeminence over the teachings of Jesus in the world. That God's people, spiritual Israel is going to be coming under attack as well. These things are going to introduce and pave the way for the final events of prophecy. What I think is really interesting is in the Pope's recent visit to Sweden to join the Protestants and celebrating the Reformation.

The Catholic Church has managed to call the strain Daughters of Babylon back to the fold and to win the war without giving up any of the beliefs that the Protestants protested against. It's just amazing friends in the name of unity. If Martin Luther knew these things, he would roll over in his grave because he was willing to die for biblical truth rather than sacrifice it for unity. They're doing the very thing that he fought against.

Friends, there's a lot more I'd like to say right now but time won't permit. If you'd like to study these things in greater depth, take a look at the new series I just completed called, "Islam and Christianity in prophecy". You can find out more about that at Stay tuned a lot's happening in the world. We'll be putting out another prophecy news flash.



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