July 4, 2012
By Mike Bradley (See all my reviews (REAL NAME))
This review is from: Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist (Paperback)
I have approached this book as a person holding to a pre-tribulation rapture/revived Roman Empire eschatology (end times events) for many years. Prior to buying this book, I decided that I would benefit most from it if I read it to understand the author’s view and to look for truth within its pages, not loopholes. As such, it is not my intention here to form my review of this book around a debate of the issues I don’t find appealing or that do not coalesce well with my own view, but to simply describe my impression of the author’s presentation of his view.
My first impression is that the author, so-called “Jack Smith” has presented his view with honesty. In fact, on several occasions he plainly and openly describes opposing views truthfully, giving the reader every option to disagree with the author’s view as presented in the book. Examples would be from pages 101-104, where he first describes the “revived Roman Empire” view that has been prevalent for many years. He also quotes from leading advocates of that view, letting them speak for themselves. Another example of this kind of transparency is when the author presents opposing views of the use of the Hebrew term “Rosh”, on page 252, pertaining to whether “Rosh” is a proper noun or an adjective…a name or a characteristic of a person respectively.
I get the impression thus far that the author is an honest person, not insecure about his own view or others, willing to compare it with others and see where the historical and contextual evidence best points.
The subject matter of the book is serious without being boring. It’s may seem technical to some, probably not immediately appealing for someone without an interest in eschatology, that is until one reads the rather explosive first several chapters. However, for those who do read it without an initial interest in Christian (or Muslim) eschatology, I believe they will be interested in both by the time they finish the book.
The book is obviously well researched. There are a whopping 705 (43 pages of ) end note citations and 77 selections in the bibliography. Though not an issue with the book itself, I was interested in doing further research on a particular topic, so I investigated the Islamic Jesus from several different sources online.
From the author’s quote (pg 206, citation #541) of Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, “Islamic Messianism, The Idea Of The Mahdi in Twelver Shi-ism” 171-172, it includes a description of the Islamic Jesus’ role in the end times…
“He [Jesus] will kill the swine, break the cross, and kill all the Christians who do not believe in him [the Mahdi].” (brackets mine)
Strangely, there are online sources for this entire passage that have omitted this particular sentence, while others, like the author has quoted, obviously includes this sentence.
I believe the identity, character and actions of the Islamic Jesus (Isa)are important. This is why. Muslim evangelists, using “taqiyya” (lying for the cause of Islam) in an attempt to deceive Christians, often claim to believe, love and follow Jesus. However, when Islamic end times eschatology is known, it can be readily pointed out from their own eschatology that they believe, love and follow a different Jesus than the historical, Biblical Jesus. In Islamic eschatology, Jesus will be a Muslim who will kill Jews and Christians who do not submit to the Mahdi and Islam. The Jesus of Islamic eschatology is a killer, not a Savior.
Getting back to the book itself, there were times I simply could not put it down. There were also times that I couldn’t help but skip ahead to some later chapter, eager to delve into the insights the author had to offer there and then return to where I left off before continuing a methodical, chapter-by-chapter reading.
While reading the book, I distinctly remember that with the so-called “revived Roman Empire” view, I had had suspicions about it being contrived. In fact, in the past I have struggled to keep up with the seemingly contrived interpretations of beasts, horns, nations, mountains, 10 European nation conspiracies and such, all constantly being altered to fit the “revived Roman Empire” view over the years. I have found little on the Islamic end times paradigm view to be contrived. This book presents the Islamic end times paradigm with evident soberness. In fact, the author’s view is presented as being so realistic, so relevant for today, so eminently plausible that it is astonishing.
Though there are aspects of the Islamic end times paradigm as described within the pages of this book that I will remain undecided on pending more research, I can say with confidence that after reading this book, there is sufficient warrant for rejecting the so-called “revived Roman Empire” view. Even if some aspects that I am undecided on are incorrect, the Islamic end times paradigm as presented in this book is redeemed on account of the overwhelming remainder of evidence the author brings to the fore, showing that this view is the more plausible, less strained, less contrived eschatology.
I readily and happily concede that this book presents a serious challenge any previously held Christian eschatology that does not involve Islam. In other words, in my opinion, this book presents the Islamic end times paradigm as being decisively, the best and most relevant interpretation for Biblical end times events. I highly recommend this book and will be encouraging others to obtain it. I thank the author, Jack Smith, for his time, research and love for the brethren which are all evident in the book. This concludes my review.
From within the seemingly secure borders of affluent western nations, the reach of Sharia Islam may appear quite distant. It is not. The Bible describes the adversary trying to deceitfully and for malicious purposes, copy what God does. The adversary mixed truth with a lie in the Garden of Eden, misquoted Scripture and used Scripture out of context with Jesus in the wilderness, and has his own “unholy trinity” of Satan, the beast and the antichrist/false prophet, among other examples. Indeed, when Christ comes knocking on the door of today’s modern, complacent, Laodicean church, the adversary is ready to fabricate his own seemingly benign appearance. For those who live in countries with hostile Islamist neighbors, it is Islam that knocks on the door, not Jesus.
For many, the door has been forced open, while for others, Islam has crept in through cultural jihad, taking advantage of weak immigration laws, using established welfare systems to feed families with typically more children than non-Muslim families, sometimes up to eight or ten children compared to the typically smaller one or two children in non-Muslim families.
Also, with an increasing population of Muslims within naïve, politically correct democracies, there is the inevitable inclusion of Muslims in political offices, the judiciary and police force. Those who would ordinarily be responsible for protecting religious and civil rights, will end up being in positions of abusing or eliminating such rights in the name of Sharia law. In other words, cultural jihad is based on the lie of Islam being a religion of peace, to infiltrate an existing non-Muslim culture, use of existing laws that protect religious freedom …to establish Sharia law that will ultimately do away with religious freedoms.
In many developed countries, Sharia law and Islamist culture have already established significant progress in so-called “cultural jihad”. The Muslim call for a worldwide caliphate has already begun to be realized. The remarkable increase in the spread of Islam in the UK due in part to high numbers of immigrants and active Muslim evangelization among the young, unemployed and otherwise socially disenfranchised continues unchecked. Also, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada and even parts of the US are affected by Islamist cultural jihad, even recently highlighted by unchecked Muslim persecution of Christians in Dearborn, Michigan. For these places and others in the near future, Sharia Islam is at the door.
For many, as has happened before in times past when Islam was at the door, capitulation, compromise, political correctness, so-called multi-cultural equality and ultimately, apostasy from Christianity are how many will answer Islam’s increasing presence.
(NASB 2Th 2:3) “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”
(NASB (2Th 2:10) “…for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
For others, a more sure victory is to be found
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.”