The book God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible published in 2008 by Walid Shoebat with the aid of Joel Richardson, adds very little to the Muslim Antichrist debate, but it does clarify some issues.
With regard to the Rapture, Shoebat dismisses it out of hand as being of no importance. Specifically, he writes: “Whether the Rapture is a Pre-Tribulation, Mid, or Post-Tribulation event is irrelevant…” He then adds, “I do daily pray for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and always prepare for a Post. I am of neither position.”41
Regarding the timing of the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39, he confirms that he and Richardson believe it will occur at the end of the Tribulation and that it is, in fact, the same as the Battle of Armageddon.42
The meaning of Psalm 83 is specifically addressed.43 Shoebat attempts to prove that the war described in this psalm between Israel and its adjacent Arab neighbors is one that will occur at the end of the Tribulation, after the Second Coming of the Messiah. In other words it will be a part of the Armageddon Campaign that will include the Battle of Gog and Magog. Thus, he argues it will be a conflict between forces led by Jesus and those led by the Mahdi. I was astonished to read this interpretation because I have studied this psalm in detail, and there is not one verse in it that even implies that Jesus will be present on this earth when the battle occurs.
So, I looked for Shoebat’s scriptural proof of Jesus’ presence. Believe it or not, the proof he provided was quotes from two other psalms:
- Psalm 82:8 — “Arise, O God, judge the earth!”
- Psalm 80:14 — “Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts.”
Neither one of the psalms are related to Psalm 83. Both are prayers by Asaph for the Lord to return to the earth to bring justice. Neither one states that the Messiah is on the earth.
This kind of incredibly sloppy proof-texting can be found throughout Shoebat’s book. Whenever he wants to make a point, he goes fishing for a verse. When he finds it, he reels it in and applies it to the issue under consideration, whether it is related to that issue or not.
Another example can be found in the second argument he gives for placing the Psalm 83 war at the end of the Tribulation. He says it must occur at that time because it is a war triggered by the Antichrist’s desecration of the Jewish Temple — a temple that will be rebuilt during the first half of the Tribulation. And what is his evidence? He quotes Psalm 79:1 — “O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy temple.”44 Once again, he tries to prove a point about Psalm 83 by quoting a verse from an unrelated psalm that is most likely describing the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.
Shoebat displays some tortuous logic throughout his book. A good example can be found in his attempt to explain away the meaning of Daniel 9:26, a passage Richardson avoided dealing with in his book. The plain sense meaning of this passage is that the Antichrist will come from the people who will destroy the Temple.
Shoebat tries to dispel this meaning by arguing that the Roman legions that carried out the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD were composed primarily of Syrians and Turks. He therefore concludes that the Antichrist will arise from the Syrians or Turks and will be a Muslim.45
On the contrary, Bible prophecy scholar Sean Osborne has proved that the Roman legions were composed of Roman soldiers, recruited from what is present day Italy, and were led by Roman officers of historical renown. Local Syrians and Arabs were recruited as auxiliaries to take care of menial tasks, and had, at best, logistical support roles. “They were in no conceivable manner representative of ‘the people of the prince who shall come.'”46
But Shoebat’s argument here is really grasping at straws in the wind! For one thing, the ethnicity of the soldiers is irrelevant because the Romans never used mercenaries. All their soldiers were citizens of Rome. But it would not have made any difference if the legions had been composed of Australian Aborigines, for it was the Roman government that decided to destroy Jerusalem, it was the Roman government that gave the orders, and it was Roman generals who carried out the destruction. Rome was the rod of God’s judgment and it is from the Roman people that the Antichrist will arise.
At times Shoebat gets absolutely weird. For example, he says that one day while he was examining the Codex Vaticanus Greek text of the Book of Revelation, he noticed “that the supposed Greek letters (Chi Xi Sigma) that are used to translate to the number 666 very much resemble the most common creed of Islam…written in Arabic.”47
The lower case Greek letters for Chi Xi Sigma are as follows:
The condensed Islamic creed, shown to the right, literally means (reading right to left): “In the Name of Allah,” followed by the symbol of crossed swords.
He then observes that the Greek text for 666 (shown to the right) looks like the Islamic creed except that the word, “Allah,” is presented vertically, with the crossed swords to the left of it.
He then asks, “Is it possible that the Apostle John, while receiving his divine revelation, did not see Greek letters, but instead was supernaturally shown Arabic words and an Islamic symbol, which he then faithfully recorded?”48
In the last installment of this evaluation of the Muslim Antichrist Theory, I’ll make some final objections and conclude why I do not believe this theory holds water.
(This paper was presented at the annual Pre-Trib Conference held in Dallas, Texas in December 2010.)
41) Shoebat, God’s War on Terror, pages 197-198.
42) Ibid., pages 267-274.
43) Ibid., pages 240-243.
44) Ibid., page 241.
45) Ibid., pages 349-353.
46) Sean Osborne, “Some Additional Thoughts on ‘Debunking the European Antichrist’ by Rodrigo Silva,” http://eschatologytoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-thoughts-on-debunking-european.html. Further comments by Sean Osborne can be found on the Prophecy Depot blog in response to an article by Bill Salus, “Does Daniel Debunk the Assyrian Antichrist?” http://prophecydepot.blogspot.com/2009/01/does-daniel-debunk-assyrian-antichrist.html.
47) Shoebat, pages 369-371.
48) Ibid., page 371.