Behind my desk is a newly framed picture that has special meaning to me. It is a picture of the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim religious shrine that memorializes Muhammad’s “night journey” and his heavenly rendezvous with Allah. Superimposed on the picture are the words, “…only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.  And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth…” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.

It was in my study of 2 Thessalonians 2 that God revealed the first “piece” of the “Islamic Paradigm” puzzle, that is, Islam is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy of an antichrist empire that will rise up in the last days to wage “holy war” against the world (Revelation 13:1-10). The spiritual meaning behind the Dome of the Rock was the first revelation of that Paradigm (see “Introduction, p XI, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist). The Dome of the Rock is not an Islamic worship center, i.e., a mosque. The Dome of the Rock is an octagonal, domed structure that “stands over” a massive rock (“Rock”) located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There is nothing else located within the Dome of the Rock other than the Rock itself, and the marble, columned structure that foreshadows and encloses it.

Marble columns over the Rock

The Rock is the “Foundation Stone,” the literal foundation for the ancient Ark of the Covenant, long ago resident in Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Temple was rebuilt by Herod the Great in the 1st century B.C., but destroyed by the Romans in  70 A.D.  The Temple Mount is the location of the ancient Temple, and the Rock is believed to be the location of the Holy of Holies, that most sacred of locations that only the High Priest could enter, and only once a year.

In the late 7th century, the Muslim Caliph Abd al-Malik, built the Dome of the Rock so that it stood directly over the Foundation Stone, and enclosed it. In so doing, Caliph al-Malik declared to the world that Islam was superior to Christianity (and Judaism), and that Muhammad was the “seal” of the prophets, thereby “trumping” Jesus Christ (whom Christians consider to be the Son of God, not a prophet). To Christians, therefore, to “stand over” the Foundation Stone was to blaspheme God and His only Begotten Son (2 Thessalonians 2:4. Qur’anic script embroiders both interior and exterior walls stating, “… The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, say not Three – Cease! [It is] better for you!…It befitteth not Allah that He should take unto Himself a Son…). Further, God has declared that anyone who approaches the Ark of the Covenant, but the High Priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, shall die (Leviticus 16).  The Spirit of God was literally present between the cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant; and to approach it contrary to God’s laws was to do so at loss of life. Exodus 33:20, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.” I discuss this specific blasphemy in detail in chapter 4 of my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist. However, for this post, I will only discuss one aspect of 2 Thessalonians 2 that I think is readily visible in the present day.  It is the “revealing of that lawless one” and the “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:8); and, the revealing is because the “restrainer” will be “taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

When I began my personal study of Islam in the Fall of 2001, one of the first books I purchased on Muslim Holy War (and, in fact, the only book I found on the specific topic) was entitled, “Jihad,” by Paul Fregosi, Prometheus Books, 1998. The opening Introduction (page 19) states:

The Jihad, the Islamic so-called Holy War, has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Near and Middle East for more than 1300 years, but this is the first history of the Muslim wars of Europe ever published. Hundreds of books, however, have appeared on its Christian counterpart, the Crusades, …. The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored. … In the New South Wales State Library, where I did part of my research while in Australia, there were 108 entries listed in their catalogue cards for the Crusades, but only two for the Jihad! The Jihad has been largely bypassed by Western historians, and this book is an attempt to right the situation, …   (Emphasis in italics, mine).

Jihad was published in 1998, three years before 9/11. Fregosi states, “this is the first history of the Muslim wars ever to be published…The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history.”  Why? Why have the Muslim holy wars not been reported in the same way that the Crusades have been reported? Why so meticulously report on the Crusades and use them as “fodder”  to malign Christianity, and report virtually nothing on Muslim holy war? Why have the pens of historians, both American, European, and Muslim omitted the murderous actions of the mujahideen of Islam for almost 1400 years?

In fact, it is embarrassing for me to admit it, but when I first began my study of Islam after 9/11, I was somehow either unaware of it, or had forgotten, that the Middle East at the time of the Quranic revelation to Muhammad (610 A.D.) was predominantly Christian. The land that Christ once walked, the lands that the Apostle Paul planted churches, the entire Middle East, north Africa, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, were predominantly Christian. Certainly, not a “unified” Christianity, but Christian all the same. In fact, the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were all located in modern day Turkey.  Then, jihad occurred.  And, Christianity was “killed off.”  Here is how historian, Phillip Jenkins describes it in his book, “The Lost History of Christianity” (p. 30):

Given that the destruction of Christianity has not been much studied, we can make certain general observations, stressing above all the role of states. Though churches may lose political influence under Christian states or in predominantly Christian societies, though they might be secularized, they do not vanish. … In most of these cases, churches collapsed or vanished because they were unable to cope with the pressures placed upon them by hostile regimes, mainly Muslim. While religions might sicken and fade, they do not die of their own accord:  they must be killed.  (Emphasis in italics, mine)

Christianity was “killed” in the Middle East.  By Islam. After 9/11, there was a mantra that frequently appeared in public: “We will not forget.”  We may not have forgotten 9/11, but we have forgotten the Christianity that once predominated the Middle East. How have we forgotten?  I propose that the reason is because the prince of darkness, satan, has “restrained” the world’s understanding; he has covered it up much like the spirit of the antichrist has veiled the minds of humanity to the only Begotten God, Jesus the Christ (2 John 2:18, 21-22). The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

This is precisely the meaning of 2 Thessalonians 2:7, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;” only “he who now restrains” will do so until he is “taken out of the way.” The one who “restrains” is the spirit of antichrist (satan and his “minions”). He “restrains” so that humanity will not know the identity of the instrument through whom he will practice his “mystery of lawlessness.”  The spirit of antichrist will continue to “restrain,” according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, “until he is taken out of the way.” That occurred on September 11, 2001; when the world watched in unbelief as  the lives of thousands of innocent were taken.  On that day, President Bush referred to the perpetrators as “faceless cowards.” Not sure if I agree with that description. The “face” of the perpetrator was revealed that day: when the Islamists cried out in their last moments, “Allahu Akbar!” “Allahu Akbar!” “Allah is Great!” “Allah is Great!,” the face of the enemy was revealed, and, the mask that so completely covered his face was lifted ever so slightly — for the world was first made aware of the mystery of lawlessness that has so disguised itself in Islam for hundreds of years. The “restrainer,” having now been moved out of the way, will not only reveal the identity of satan’s instrument, but also use the very nature of the enemy, destruction, muck like a “fingerprint” left behind at a crime scene. The true nature of Islam will continue to be revealed to humanity — but only to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11; Revelation 13:4), until the return of the Lamb of God.

Afghanistan has filled our news lately.

Afghanistan Protestors (Reuters photo)

  The Qur’an, having been inadvertently burned, has resulted in the deaths of many.  Apologies were immediately issued, by United States and NATO leaders, including President Obama. Two high-ranking American officers were killed in retaliation. No apologies have been issued by Afghanistan officials for the lives of the innocent killed in retaliation for the Qur’an burning. In fact, Afghanistan President Karzai has demanded that those involved in the burning be tried for their actions (under what law?).

Why do I mention this event in the context of 2 Thessalonians 2?  Because it is evidence of exactly what I am stating. The mystery of lawlessness is not being restrained anymore. Evil is having its way — the holy book of Islam was burned, and people are killed! The evidence of the removal of restraint is not only in the killings, but in our expectation that death will soon occur and claim another victim in honor of Allah.  We know this happens when Islam, its Allah, or its “prophet” is blasphemed.  This is why the apologies came so quickly from every place in the non-Muslim West — to try and pacify the lust of death by prostrating ourselves in subjection, and immediate pleas of apology. Perhaps, if we hold those accountable for such despicable acts, we can satisfy the lust of lawlessness.  We know that when Muslims get “lawless,” people die. People get killed.

Here is a post I received on my blog in response to the article — What Does the Qur’an Say About its Burning?  Blogger “Blickmancin James” wrote:

it is 2012, everyone knows by now that burning a koran would lead to violent protest… its like someone ‘accidentally’ drawing a cartoon of muhammad.  innocent people in places like nigeria would be killed over this (after friday prayers)

My point? Yes, we all know — after all, its 2012, not 9/11/2001.  It has taken us over ten years, but for the one who has “eyes to see and ears to hear,” the violence of the “mystery of lawlessness” is shouting loudly.

One last point.  Did you realize that of the over thirty who have died in retaliation for the Qur’an burning, only 4 (at least from what I read) were non-Muslims? How do you explain the 26 Muslim deaths at the hands of other Muslims? Afghanistan is Sunni Islam. The Taliban is also Sunni Muslim.  This is not sectarian violence where Sunnis kill Shi’ites and vice versa.  This is death for the sake of death.  It is not death to Americans, but death to anyone, because the objective is not justice, but death for death’s sake.  Why so?  Because the hand behind it all is satan. Pure evil.  Evil that is only satisfied by evil; and the more it is satisfied, the more it will lust for more. It is this evil that is the root of satan’s masquerade behind Islam.

The mystery of lawlessness and the man of lawlessness, the antichrist spirit of satan, will become more and more bold. This boldness will escalate until the end of the tribulation period. Then, the “… Lord will slay [the man of lawlessness] with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).