Saturday, November 19, 2016

WHAT SHOULD BE THE CHURCH'S RESPONSE TO THE ELECTION?

   
      In the wake of the U S election, we see a country divided.  We see one group gloating and celebrating victory, we see another group calling for civil unrest to protest election results.  Some are frightened, some are angry, some are excited and some are hopeful. There are also some, like myself, who are skeptical.  Ideologically, I should be exuberant and relishing the country's impending ride on the Trump Train, but...I am apprehensive because I fear the church will fail to seize this opportunity to rise above the political fray and continue to stoke the fires of discontent and apprehension.  I fear many believers, in their revelry and celebration will forget the souls of the lost that need to be loved, I fear that many who claim to follow Christ will be unloving and vicious to those who mourn the loss of the election.  I fear the church will be more political than Christ-like.  

     The day before the election, a local radio talk show host asked callers to, among other things, describe Donald Trump in one word.  I heard words like savior and hero used.  This concerned me greatly.  My fear is the church is so excited for this "victory" we are forgetting we are called to serve the King of kings regardless of who our president is.  

    In the midst of all the turmoil and chaos fomented by the election, we must remember, the role of the church is that of peacemaker: Matthew 5:9  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


HOW DID WE END UP WITH TRUMP?

     Barack Obama came into office with a very well defined agenda.  President Obama promised to fundamentally change the United States, and socially, he did.  The election of Donald Trump was a response to the liberal policy shift that has taken place in America over the past eight years.  The election of Donald Trump was an answer to a rogue Supreme Court which has blatantly overstepped it's role by decreeing law from the bench.  The election of Donald Trump was in response a president who, not satisfied with a new definition of marriage, mandated an unsafe restroom and locker room policy for children in order to placate less than one percent of the population.  The election of Donald Trump was in response to a press which no longer merely reports but creates and spins news in favor of a political agenda. The election of Donald Trump was in response to  arrogant corruption displayed at the highest levels of government. This arrogance was the final undoing of the Democratic Party.  The same corruption, on the Republican side led to a routing of the Republican party after Nixon. Donald Trump is a Republican version of Jimmy Carter, also a Washington outsider who fulfilled a desire to cleanse government from political insiders.  

     The arrogant, blatant corruption displayed by those involved in this election is unprecedented.  Debbie Wasserman-Shultz all but ruined her career, Donna Brazile lost her job with CNN, and John Podesta has been exposed by Wiki-leaks.  The audacity displayed by the DNC in allowing someone as flawed as Hillary Clinton  to run for president, in the first place, is astounding.  No other public figure in American politics has been so enshrouded in scandal.  Never before has a candidate for the presidency of the United States been under investigation by the FBI.  The Clinton Foundation was during the election and is currently under FBI investigation.  Had Joe Biden run for president, I am convinced we would have seen a much different outcome.   Had the Democrats not put up a scandal riddled candidate, under investigation by the FBI, the election would have been more about policy than personality.  Regardless of ideology, common sense chose the candidate who is not under investigation or under a constant cloud of suspicion.  

     Last November, I posted my prediction for this election and why I believed Trump would win.  (read that post by CLICKING HERE)

WHO IS DONALD TRUMP?

      Donald Trump has lived his life in the public eye for decades, but do we really know what he believes ideologically?  By his own admission, Trump supported both republicans and democrats running for office.  We know Trump had a friendly relationship with the Clintons before this election, they were guests at his last wedding, in fact.  Trump has condemned abortion while praising Planned Parenthood.  Trump touted the Bible as the number one book but revealed his ignorance of scripture when he clumsily quoted from "Two Corinthians" while speaking at Liberty University.  

     Ronald Reagan ran on a conservative ideology and governed according to that ideology.  Trump also ran on a conservative ideology, but is that who he is, fundamentally?  It is very possible Trump ran hard right as a counterbalance to the hard left tilt the country has taken in the past few years. At country tilted to far in either direction will not stand firmly.  If we go too far left, we will end up with a socialistic anarchy.  If we go too far right, we end up with fascism.  Neither is a good outcome and neither honors God.  In fact, both extremes remove God from the equation.  It is very possible Trump is more left leaning than most people realize or care to admit.  Time will tell.

THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH

     The role of the church in any society is to be salt and light.  We are commanded by scripture to make disciples.  We are also commanded by scripture to support the government authority placed over us, as, ultimately, it is placed there by God.  Romans 13:1  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  

 1Peter 2:13-15  Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,   or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. This passage was written by Peter during the rule of Nero.  It is only in the case of a direct violation of God's law that we are free to disobey authority.  "I was following orders" is not an acceptable defense for killing the innocent or bearing false witness, for instance.  

     The church, at this moment, has a once in a lifetime opportunity to reach out to a very confused and hurting society.  Many of the college aged protesters who are feeling hopeless are among the number of Millenials who have fled the church.  What an opportunity to reach out and lead them back to truth.  Many are hopeless because they have placed their hope in the institutions of man and were hoping to bring about the world imagined by the Beatles. Instead, they feel as if they have been denied Utopia. We have an opportunity to, lovingly, share our hope in the sovereignty of God.  

    The church cannot allow a perceived victory at the polls to cause us to forget our mission to reach out to the lost and help the needy. Nor can we abrogate our role as peacemakers.  Government's role is to enforce the law and protect the citizenry.  The church has left the role of poverty relief to the government causing a fiscal disaster for at the federal level and allowing "ministers" to become wealthy at the expense of the sheep.  When a pastor earns more than the mean income of his congregation, there is a fundamental problem within the church.  Mega church pastors earning hundred's of thousands of dollars while members of his church are on government assistance is unconscionable.  

     Now is the time for the church to be the church, to reach out and love. An unprecedented number of people are publicly distraught and without peace.  We are in the business of peace and joy, so instead of gloating or enjoying the pain of those with whom we disagree, we need to show them the love of Christ, love which has set us free from sin and fear.  We need to share the good news of the Gospel of Christ and put love into action by being peacemakers. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

CITIZENS CAIN - ATHEISTS ATTEMPT TO EXTINGUISH LIGHT

John 3:19-20  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

   So often, I have wondered, "why do Atheists try so hard to disprove God?"  If you have posted faith based comments on Facebook or Twitter, or if you have left a comment on an online article, referencing God, chances are you have been attacked by Atheists.  In my experience, the attack does not come from only one person, but a swarm.  Recently, I posted in a Christian community on Google + and received a negative comment from an Atheist.  I was curious why an Atheist would waste his time on a Christian site, leaving vulgar comments.  The Atheist answered my question with a question of his own, "why do you discredit sites about fairies and werewolves?"  This question was a complete misnomer, I have never mentioned fairies or werewolves in any of my writing, nor would I waste my time attempting to discredit those who do.  I explained as much to my online antagonist and continued to query him as to why he felt compelled to discredit something he considered a myth.  I received no answer.

     As our home church is studying through 1 John, we came to this passage: 1John 3:12  We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.  We talked through the saga of Cain and Abel, discussing the various theories as to why Abel was accepted by God and Cain was not.  (I will probably address this in a future post)  The murder of Abel necessitates the question, "what was Cain hoping to accomplish by killing his brother?"  Simply reading the account in chapter 4 of Genesis, we do not have an answer to this question, but in the above passage, we can find the answer to both Cain's intent and the intent of Atheists who feel compelled to discredit a God in whom they claim not to believe.  

     John reveals to us, "And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous"  Abel's righteousness cast light onto the darkness of Cain's heart, revealing the sin within.  This is a matter of accountability. Cain mistakenly believed he could extinguish the light of truth by killing Abel.  Atheists know as long as there is a possibility of God actually existing, there is a possibility they will be held accountable.  By Atheists fervently attempting to disprove  God, they are, in essence, killing Him, in order to eliminate any possibility of judgement.  God is light and His light exposes sin.  Once light exposes sin, the only course of action is to remove the sin or remove the light.  Those who choose to remove the sin must come to God through the blood of Christ. Those who choose to remove the light must eliminate the light source.  

      Interestingly, my protagonist's question about fairies and werewolves actually harms his case.  I obviously do not believe in fairies and werewolves and because I know they do not exist, the idea of fairies and werewolves is completely irrelevant to me.  Even the remotest possibility that fairies and werewolves may exist pose no threat to my eternal disposition.  People who believe in fairies and werewolves pose no threat to my eternal disposition.  I spend exactly zero time discussing fairies and werewolves with those who post about them and I spend exactly zero time preparing arguments as to why it is impossible for fairies and werewolves to exist.  

      Cain killed Abel in order to hide his own sinfulness.  Cain believed killing his brother would remove the light exposing his failure.   Atheists are modern day citizens Cain, attempting to extinguish the light rather than remove the sin.  The Church is called to be salt and light.  Salt preserves and creates thirst, while light exposes sin and illuminates the correct path.  Atheists are not satisfied with merely killing God, but are determined to silence the voice of the church.  Why?  Because by silencing the Church, the light is shuttered from public discourse and sinful hearts are safely protected from judgment.  

    When we are confronted by attacks from Atheists, we cannot resort to name calling or angry responses.  The best way to handle attacks by unbelievers is by engaging them in deep questions.  My experience has been, Atheists will ignore most questions, pose questions of their own and then describe answers given as being something found in a cow pasture.  Though these exchanges seem fruitless and futile, I know the Word of God does not return empty and seeds of truth are planted.  Jesus is the light of the world and sin hates light.  In order to declare God cannot exist, one must claim to possess all knowledge, otherwise, there remains a possibility that God may exist.  This is the quandary in which Atheists find themselves, thus the full out assault on God.  Never be discouraged or feel defeated by gains the enemy makes against the influence of the Church. View Atheists the way God sees them, lost sheep in need of a savior.   Continue to shine the light of truth.  Most will continue to remove the light, but even if only one decides to remove the sin, that is a soul rescued from the fiery pit of hell. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

ELECTION 2016 - A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

    Tomorrow is a day of reckoning of sorts. Tomorrow's results will shape America for decades to come. Friendships have been shattered, families have been divided, vandalism and bloodshed has been committed... From an eternal perspective, God is sovereign. We pray, we seek God's will, we vote according to how we believe we have been led and beyond that, we trust God to handle the rest. Romans 8:28 - All things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. If you believe the Bible, then you have to believe this and you have to believe it applies to the election. Regardless of the results tomorrow, half the country will be jubilant and half will be angry, sad or both. Church, this is our opportunity to stand on God's promises and love those with whom we disagree. God is not fooled or mocked and the results of tomorrow's election have been known to Him and part of His plan since the foundations of the earth were laid.
Please join me in praying for America and praying that the church responds in a way worthy of our savior. Where is God? Still on the throne. Jesus is king of kings and Lord of lords and no man or woman can save America's soul. Jesus told us to go and make disciples, He did not command us to attack our friends and neighbors over politics rather, He told us to love our neighbors and our enemies. If you claim to be a follower of Christ, you have to do what He commands and that means loving those with whom we disagree because their eternal destiny is ultimately more important than who they support and why.

COOL HIP PRIEST - CONCERT AND CD REVIEW



     Rocktoberfest in Indianapolis Indiana 2016 was a once in a lifetime show.  Along with seeing Petra and Whitecross, I was pleasantly surprised by a newer talent, Cool Hip Priest.  The Friday night before the show, I saw a post about a band called Cool Hip Priest and thought, wow, what a name.  My daughter told me she thought she had remembered a band by that name doing bad rap at Winterjam and I was less than excited.  I looked for CHP on YouTube and found nothing but was able to find a Facebook page with very little info and only two acoustic clips of light rock covers. I thought, "ok, at least it's not rap..."  

      When CHP took the stage at Rocktoberfest, they immediately blew me away with a heavy wall of sound that caught my attention and held it through their entire set.  After their set, I went out and bought their EP Witness.  I also had the privilege of meeting Father Chris and DoniRox after the show, though our conversations were short, I was able to get a sense of their commitment to Christ and serving Him through their music.  Both were very down to earth and friendly.  Father Chris immediately asked me to pray for them, which is not the usual request in that situation.  Talent and commitment to Christ is a rare commodity. 

       On stage at Rocktoberfest, CHP consisted of Father Chris on lead vocals, DoniRox on vocals, Daren Short on drums, David Short on lead guitar (Daren and David Short are established musicians in their own right as members of Inianapolis glam band Rok Hollywood) and handling bass, the verstile and talented Stephen Tarak.  Father Chris wore a priest's Cossack while DoniRox had a New Orleans vibe going.   The set was musically flawless and these guys owned the stage.  



     Many bands opened the evening for Petra, Whitecross and Stryper, and all did a fine job but none grabbed my attention like CHP.  I expect this to be one of many glowing reviews this band will receive. Here is a clip of the show from CHP's YouTube channel: 

      According to their Facebook page: click here for CHP Facebook 
CHP began in 2010 as music ministers in an Indianapolis church.  As Father Chris and DoniRox honed their musical sound, they have managed to balance softer, worshipful songs alongside hard rocking metal for an eclectic mix of God honoring audio pleasure.

WITNESS

     Witness, CHP's EP mixes worshipful ballads and metal fury.  Track 1 Sing Hallelujah starts off on an almost retro worship sound that evokes 80's CCM when CCM was still fresh and innocent.  It put me in the mind of early Maranatha.  Sing Hallelujah brings a feeling of nostalgia and earnest worship.  The whole song evokes the  genuineness of CHP's devotion to the Savior.  Though I enjoyed all the tracks on Witness, the other song I want to mention is track 3 Betrayed With a Kiss.  BWAK is by far the hardest track on the 5 track EP.  All 5 songs are great in their own right, but BWAK alone, would have made the purchase worthwhile, even if the rest of the EP was terrible, which it is not. 

     Also of note is Father Chris's versatility and talent showcased throughout the recording as he handled all the instrumental work in the studio.  Father Chris's rock vocals, paired with DoniRox's softer sound offers a blend of opposites that somehow works very well. I encourage the purchase of Witness and hope it will be the first of many studio offerings from CHP.  

     If you get a chance to check these guys out live, do not miss it.  If you are looking to book a show, they are ready and willing to travel.  You can grab their EP on their Facebook page link above.  Cool Hip Priest  - rocking hard for Jesus Christ!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

CAN WE EXPECT A MUSLIM ANTI-CHRIST - PART 3

   
  Are we living in the last days?  This question has been asked by Christ's followers since the earliest days of the church.  Reading the writings of Paul the Apostle, we get the sense that he expected the immanent return of Christ.  Jesus told the Apostle Peter he would die a prisoner, but we were given no other clues as to the timing of Christ's return.... or were we?  Interestingly, the Apostle John's vision of the Apocalypse was not written until after the death of Peter and the destruction of the second Temple.  Not since 70 AD have so many pre-requisites  been in place. We know that Israel must be a nation before Christ returns, as rescuing Israel from it's enemies is a major part of Christ's return.  The Jewish Temple also has a definite role in Christ's return and currently does not exist, although, for the first time in 2000 years, a High Priest has been elected and all the implements of Temple worship are ready and waiting.  As Vladimir Putin is attempting to start peace talks in the Middle East, is the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple something that is on the table?  With the Pope's ecumenical visit to Jerusalem, holding an interfaith service, with Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders, will negotiations be made concerning the Temple mount, sharing the space with all three major faiths and paving the way for a third Temple to be erected, across from the Dome of the Rock? Could this sharing of the Temple Mount be what John the Revelator was referring to when he wrote: Revelation 11:1-2 - Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the Temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the outer court outside the Temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.?  We know for sure the Temple will be in place before Christ returns to rule, what we do not know is when it will be built or if it is only built after the Anti-Christ comes to power, as this passage seems to indicate.   

     As we discern the times in light of Bible prophecy, it is impossible to watch the daily news and not wonder if we are racing toward Armageddon.  Christianity is not the only major faith that has an end time scenario featuring a coming world leader.  Even as the church awaits the return of Christ, Islam awaits it's messiah, the Mahdi.  What is most fascinating are the parallels found between the Bible's man of perdition and Islam's Twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi.  When compared side by side, a very compelling argument can be made to suggest that the Mahdi of Islam is indeed the Anti-Christ of scripture.  This is the third of a three part series on this topic. Part one can be read by clicking HERE and part two by clicking HERE .

THE 12TH IMAM - IMAM MAHDE

    The Mahdi, also known as the 12th Imam is believed to be the one who will come to establish Islam worldwide and to slaughter all who refuse to bow to Allah.  According to the Islamic Hadith, we know this about the Mahdi:

1.The Mahdi will control an army that will conquer the earth in his    name
2. The Mahdi will make a 7 year peace treaty
3. The reign of the Mahdi will last 7 years in which time, he will         establish Islam over all the earth
4. The Mahdi will come on a white horse 
5. The Mahdi will mark his followers on the forehead
6. The Mahdi will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem
7. The Mahdi will have a prophet who will support his message 


THE MAHDI - ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLOWERS

      The fact many adherents of Islam, including former president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believe the coming of the Mahdi is immanent, adds to the intrigue.  Here is an excerpt from Ahmadinejad's address to the UN:    God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and  loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam  A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ  (PBUH) and  the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women  of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of “all the worthy men and  women of all nations” he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and  eternal ideals.
a direct contradiction of Allah, God cannot
have a begotten Son and not have
a begotten Son, Allah is not God
From an Islamic website showing
Allah has no son
This sounds so nice until you realize that the God Almighty Ahmadinejad is speaking of is not YHWH of the Bible, but Allah of the Koran.  We know that the God of the Bible cannot be the God of Islam because Islam states that Allah has no son, while clearly, Jesus Christ is declared by God, on multiple occasions, to be His son and Jesus, numerous times, refers to Himself as the Son of God.  Also, notice that the Mahdi will be returning with and preeminent to Jesus Christ.  According to the Koran, Jesus was not crucified and will return to support the Mahdi, convincing Christians and Jews that Islam is the correct religion and convert the rest of the world to Islam.  This sounds suspiciously like the false prophet of Revelation: Revelation 13:11-14  Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.  It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.   It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,  and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

    The false prophet of Revelation will come after the Anti-Christ, performing signs and wonders to convince people to worship and accept the Anti-Christ, leading to the taking of the Mark of the Beast. The Jesus of Islam, Isa, is not the Jesus of the Bible.  The Islamic Jesus was born of a virgin and born sinless, but was not God, nor the son of God. The Islamic Jesus was not crucified and therefore not resurrected, but ascended, bodily, into heaven, awaiting his return to help defeat the enemies of the Mahdi.  Islam mixes truth with lies, much like Satan in the Garden of Eden, stripping Jesus of His redemptive power and removing the necessary sacrifice for sin.  The Jesus of Islam is nothing more than a herald of the Mahdi and not King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as clearly taught by scripture. The Jesus of Islam is the false prophet of Revelation and is destined for hell, along with the so-called Mahdi: Revelation 19:20  And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 

      The last thing we notice in Ahmadinejad's pronouncement is his reference to "all the worthy men and women" who will be part of the Mahdi's kingdom. Revelation gives us insight into who will be considered "worthy" to the Anti-Christ: Revelation 13:15-18  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,   so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.   This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.  Those who worship the Mahdi and take his mark will be considered worthy and all others will be slain.  

 THE BIBLICAL ANTI-CHRIST

The parallels between the Mahdi of Islam and the Anti-Christ of the Bible are undeniable. Here is what we know about the Anti-Christ:

1. The Anti-Christ will control an army that will conquer the Earth        in his name - Revelation 19:19  And I saw the beast and the          kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war          against him who was sitting on the horse and against his              army. 
2. The Anti-Christ will make a 7 year peace treaty - Daniel 9:26-27     And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut        off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who      is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end         shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war.           Desolations are decreed.   And he shall make a strong                   covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he     shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of     abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the         decreed end is poured out on the desolator." 
3. The reign of the Anti-Christ will last 7 years in which time, he         will establish Islam over all the earth - See the above passage,         this indicates there is only one 7 year period left after the Anti-         Christ rises to power
4. The Anti-Christ will come on a white horse - Revelation 6:2           And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a       bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out                   conquering, and to conquer. 
5. The Anti-Christ will mark his followers on the forehead -                 Revelation 13:16-18  Also it causes all, both small and great,       both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the       right hand or the forehead,   so that no one can buy or sell           unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the         number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who         has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is     the number of a man, and his number is 666. 
6. The Anti-Christ will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem -           2Thessalonians 2:3-4  Let no one deceive you in any way. For     that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and         the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of                                destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-    called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the    temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
7. The Anti-Christ will have a prophet who will support his                 message -Revelation 13:11-14  Then I saw another beast              rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it          spoke like a dragon.  It exercises all the authority of the first      beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants      worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.   It      performs great signs, even making fire come down from              heaven to earth in front of people,  and by the signs that it is      allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those      who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the          beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 

Islam is Satanic at it's core and Allah is Satan himself - (for a detailed explanation CLICK HERE ). 1John 2:22  Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Islam denies God is a Father and Jesus is the Son, Islam therefore is Anti-Christ. Notice John calls the one who denies the Son as "the liar".   Jesus said it best: John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

CONCLUSION:

This brings us back to the premise of this series - the Bible indicates the Anti-Christ will come from what we now know as the Muslim world: Micah 5:5-6  And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men; they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border. 

Though Islam did not exist at the time Malachi was written, the reference to the Assyrian gives us a big clue as to the regional identity of the Anti-Christ.  The Assyrian empire was long defeated by the time of Malachi making any connection to the fall of the Northern kingdom impossible. Part 1 of this series connects the Assyrian reference to Turkey and can be read by clicking on the link provided earlier.  

Admittedly, deciphering prophecy can be a speculative endeavor, but God shows us future events that we might prepare for what is to come and recognize His plan when it happens.  Regardless of who the Anti-Christ is and where he comes from, we cannot deny that there will be a future world leader who will serve Satan and attempt to overthrow God's people.  For this, we must be prepared, for this we must be busy making disciples of all nations, helping as many to escape these future events as possible.  God has revealed His plan and we know the outcome, we are given this information for a reason and I believe it is for the purpose of warning others, giving us one more tool with which to witness the truth of the Gospel.  Our focus must be on the true Christ, not the Anti-Christ.  As John the Revelator before me, I beseech the Lord to return, "Come Lord Jesus, come!"