A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Periodically over the past six years, I’ve written about the similarities between Islamic prophecies of an end-times leader they call al Mahdi and Biblical prophecies about the one we call the anti-Christ. In their respective prophecies they’re both said to come on the scene during a time of great turmoil on Earth, both will claim a desire to restore peace, both have a seven year reign, both head a one world religion and one world government, both claim supernatural origins, and both reigns end in a battle between good and evil that brings Earth’s final judgment.
It’s estimated that today about 40% of all Muslims believe al Mahdi will appear during their lifetime, and a large number of Christians believe the anti-Christ is already alive and well on Planet Earth, to be revealed at the proper time. These similarities are remarkable and defy coincidence. It’s as if the Islamic and Biblical prophecies are describing the same person, and frankly, I think they probably are.
But when it comes to the makeup of the End Times Empire there are good arguments for both the Roman view and the Islamic view. In part one we saw the similarities and the differences between the two and determined that neither view is conclusive. Our challenge now is to see if these differences can be reconciled because there can only be one end times Empire.
We’ve seen that the prophecies of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 identify only four world governments from Daniel’s day to the Second Coming, and Babylon was obviously the first. Daniel 8 names the second and third Kingdoms as Medo-Persia and then Greece. Rev. 17:9-10 appears to make Rome, the ruling kingdom of John’s day, the fourth and final one, so it will have to re-emerge in some form in the last days.
In the past, I’ve reconciled a revived Roman Empire with an end times Islamic Caliphate by showing that the eastern leg of the Roman Empire covered an area that’s largely Islamic today, and its capital was Constantinople, now called Istanbul, which like Rome is a city on seven hills.
But I’ve often wondered if either a revived Roman Empire or an Islamic Caliphate can unite all the world’s religions peacefully, as prophecies in Daniel 8:25 and 1 Thes. 5:3 indicate, without some major supernatural help. And yet Rev. 13:8 says all the inhabitants of Earth who don’t believe in Jesus will worship the anti-Christ. That includes people from every ethnic and religious persuasion. How can this be made to happen?
Prophetic scriptures offer a hint for us. In 2 Thes. 2:10-11 Paul said God will send those who have refused to love the truth and be saved a powerful delusion so that they will believe “the lie” instead. I think the lie will be that the anti-Christ is God’s chosen one, and I think the powerful delusion that will unite the post-rapture world behind him will appear in the form of a woman.
Queen Of Rome
Some time ago I received a book that may contain one of the missing pieces of this great end times puzzle. I don’t remember when I received it. I only know it was right beside the copy of the Complete Works of Josephus I was reaching for one day, and it literally fell into my hands when I pulled “Josephus” off the shelf above my desk.
The book is called “Queen Of All” and it was written by Jim Tetlow, Roger Oakland, and Brad Myers. It’s about Mary, or I should I say apparitions that claim to be Mary, and documents the thousands of appearances she’s made in all parts of the world to many different religious groups, calling for unity among the religions of the world.
According to the book, witnesses describe her as a living, breathing three-dimensional woman, young and beautiful, and enveloped in exquisite light. She is often accompanied by angels, tongues of fire, or glowing orbs, and causes those in attendance to feel a tremendous sense of pleasure and joy. Numerous healings and miracles have reportedly taken place at apparition sites around the world.
You’re probably familiar with the most famous of her appearances, those in Lourdes (France), Fatima (Portugal), Medjugorje (Bosnia), and Guadalupe (Mexico). These Marian shrines receive over 30 million visits every year. The resulting “Marian movement” in the Catholic church has untold millions of members, including many bishops and cardinals, and one-fourth of the entire Catholic priesthood. Several popes claim to have been guided by her supernatural influence. Marian historians say these appearances have been taking place for centuries but never with the consistency and frequency as is happening in our day.
For example, in the US almost every state has reported at least one. In a 1997 cover story, Newsweek magazine claimed, “In many ways the 20th Century has belonged to Mary.” A leading French periodical once estimated there were 21,000 Marian visits during a 10 year period between 1976 and 1987. France alone has 937 pilgrimage shrines and Italy has over 1500. Marian sightings have also been reported in such diverse places as Japan, Africa, Korea, Australia, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Russia, India, and Ireland, and in every case, she has reportedly identified herself as Mary, the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady.
But this is just the beginning. The Marian apparition claims not to have revealed her full glory to the world, but that soon she will be seen by every denomination and religion throughout the world.
Queen Of Islam
In one visit a Marian apparition said, “The Muslims and the Orthodox for the same reason as the Catholics are equal before my son and I. You are all my children.” (This should have made it clear that her son is not our Lord, but it hasn’t.)
In fulfillment of this claim, a Marian apparition made several appearances each week at a Coptic Orthodox Church in Zeitoun Egypt, a suburb of Cairo, over a period of time between 1968 and 1973. Millions of Muslims, Copts, Catholics, Protestants, and others heard her say her mission is to establish unity among the nations. Hundreds of spontaneous healings accompanied these appearances.
Did you know that Muslims call Mary “Our Lady” just like Catholics do? Did you know she’s mentioned 34 times in the Koran and the 19th surah (chapter) is named after her? Or that both Islamic and Roman Catholic doctrine hold that Allah and the God of the Bible are the same? Or that because of this, Catholic Catechism teaches that followers of both religions are included in His plan of salvation? Or that several Catholic officials have claimed that one day the two religions will unite because of Mary’s influence on both?
Based on these facts, it’s not difficult to see how the two major views of the End Times Empire could be reconciled to each other after the Church is gone. But that still doesn’t address the issue of the Eastern religions. What about them?
Queen Of The East
The eastern religions have many gods and goddesses, but it seems that each one has a special goddess that such Catholic dignitaries as Bishop Fulton Sheen have compared to Mary. Bishop Sheen cited Kwan-yin the Chinese goddess of mercy as one, and Japan’s version known as Kwanon as another. Others have named the savior-goddess Tara of Tibetan Buddhism, and the Taoist goddess called “the Queen Mother of the West” as likely eastern versions of Mary.
On the New Age side of the Eastern religions, it has been noted that the emergence of the “divine feminine” or female personality of God in western thinking has been recognized in the eastern religions for thousands of years. One author said, “Those who know only the Christian tradition have no idea how deep the roots of Mary go or how prayers to her echo the prayers to ancient goddesses from time immemorial. People pray to Mary as they once did to Ishtar, Hathor, and Isis.” After all the term Queen of Heaven did not originate with Mary, but with Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod and mother of all pagan religions.
Queen Of All
Advocates of Marianism assert that at the appropriate time Mary will appear in various forms all over the world, each form chosen to be most meaningful to a particular audience. But her message to all will be the same. “There is only one fold and only one shepherd.” Her mission is to bring everyone together into that one fold to be guided by her son, the only shepherd.
(This is just a glimpse at the documented claims made in this book. If you’re interested in more you can order it from Amazon.com. Type Queen of All by Jim Tetlow in Amazon’s search box.)
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thes. 2:9-12).
The foregoing gives us a hint that the powerful delusion Paul spoke of might be someone claiming to be Mary. She could be instrumental in persuading the whole world to come together in unity to worship the one she calls her son, fulfilling Rev. 13:8. Whether they’re Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, New Age, or Eastern, she’ll resonate with all of them.
Because of what they’ll believe to be miraculous signs that accompany her visits and the promise of peace she brings, the world will respond joyously, and through her, the anti-Christ will be given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation for a time (Rev. 13:7). His Empire will be worldwide, fulfilling all the prophetic requirements of the end times kingdom, and people everywhere will think that peace has finally come.
This will be the work of the devil, but it will accomplish God’s purpose. From Daniel 2:41-44 we see that this Empire will not remain united. The core differences of its many people will be too great for even Satan to overcome, and he’ll have to resort to force to hold it together.
Once God’s purpose in allowing it to exist has been fulfilled, He will set up His own kingdom that will crush all four of the Kingdoms of Gentile Dominion and bring them to an end. His kingdom will never be destroyed nor will it be left to another people, but will endure forever.
So we’ve seen that both the Roman and Islamic views have good points in their favor, but in the end, each falls short of fulfilling all the prophecies of Daniel’s 4th Kingdom on its own. Only a combination of the two will suffice. Perhaps the Marian apparition has been brought to Earth for the specific purpose of tying them together. If so it’s another sign that the End of the Age is upon us. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 08-18-12