Revelation 12:17 (NASB) So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Daniel 7:25 (NASB) ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
Scripture is clear. Revelation 12 prophesies that beginning with the birth of the Only Begotten One, a great war will ensue against those who follow the “commandments of God” (true Judaism, perhaps the remnant of Romans 9:27 NASB) and also those who “hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17 NASB. This Scripture is of great importance. It tells us that the one characteristic that will identify the hand of satan is to identify the party on the “other side of the line.” Identify the empire that wages war against Jews and Christians and you will identify the antichrist empire. It is not Rome in any fashion whether the political European Union or the religious Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Church has historically martyred those it considered to be heretics. It did so to eliminate those it considered a threat to its view of Scriptures. Rome labeled Jews as “Christ-killers” based upon the church fathers’ interpretation of Matthew 27:25. This resulted in the persecution and death of many Jews over the years of Christianity, particularly during the Inquisitions of the Middle Ages. Martin Luther, the father of the protestant reformation, took the same approach to Anabaptists. Luther stated:
[Anabaptists] are in no case to be tolerated. … These are thieves and murderers of whom Christ spoke in John 7, persons who invade another man’s parish and who usurp another man’s office. … They must neither be tolerated nor listened to, even though they seek to teach the pure Gospel, yes, even if they are angelic and simon-pure Gabriels from heaven. … “If he refuses [to keep his mouth shut] … consign the scamp into the hands of his proper master. … Luther, then, advocated that Anabaptists be hung for heresy, the only proper punishment for a treasonous wretch. There was no other option for the radicals for they were a threat not only to society; but to Christianity in general.1
Rome has not done to Christianity (or to Judaism) what Islam has. Rome will not be the manifestation of antichrist in the end-of-days, in fact, the Roman Catholic Church is the world’s most public advocate for Christ (although the method of worshiping God is quite different from that of many of the Protestant viewpoint). Rome is “different” but so is Islam. Islam is like the opposite side of the “different” characteristic of Daniel 7:19, Daniel 7:23-24. Interpreters must determine which side is the dark side. In my view, there is not even a question of which is the dark side.
Here is an example of the dark side of Islam as recently reported by Christianity Today:
This time, the approximately 28 men targeted by the Libya affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as Daesh) were Ethiopian Christians. In February, the killing of 21 mostly Egyptian Christians drew widespread horror and fears of future massacres, but also led to Egypt’s largest Bible outreach. … The New York Times reports more details on the video, as doesCNN. Regarding how Mosul Christians were told to convert to Islam or pay a protection tax, the speaker in the video says, “The Christians never cooperated.” Read more.
As we all know, I could give many more examples of the violence that ISIS has waged against Christians for no other reason than they are Christians. The same could be stated for Jews. Islam throughout the world is intent on annihilating Israel from the face of the earth. Psalm 83 prophesies of the endless war of the sons of Ishmael and Esau against the sons of Jacob:
Psalm 83:2-7 (NASB) For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. 3 They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” 5 For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; …
It is so simple it is difficult. Find the empire that wages war against Jews and Christians and you will find the antichrist empire. Rome is a religious empire and so it satisfies the “different” characteristic of Daniel 7; but it does not satisfy the waging war characteristic of Revelation 12. Islam does. It is a religious kingdom, it is different. It has also waged war against Jews and Christians since its inception in the 7th century and continues to do so in the modern-day.
ISIS is more than it appears to be. It is an identifier of the antichrist, and Islam is simply the cloak under which satan covers. It has done that for the last 1400 years. In the process, Christianity has been all but decimated from the land that Jesus once walked.
Jesus come quickly. May you come sooner than later.