Sid: Hello. Sid Roth here with Joel Richardson. If you do not understand Islam, you will not understand the Antichrist. You will not understand End Times because when you understand Islam and you understand the scriptures, it is the clearest picture. And I can’t wait to find out from Joel Richardson because of his knowledge of the scriptures and because of his knowledge of Islam, what the Mark of the Beast really is. What is it, Joel?

Joel: Well what we need to understand first, Sid, is there’s been a lot of popular discussion in the church, past a hundred years, what is the Mark of the Beast. And we’ve heard people talk about things like a tattoo or a microchip. And it’s almost as if, you know, someone could just pin you down and give you this microchip, and if you get it, you’re going to Hell, because the Bible says, “Whoever receives the Mark of the Beast will be cast into the lake of fire.” But what we need to understand is that the Mark of the Beast in the Book of Revelation is intended to be the opposite of the mark of God, which is spoke of in the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel. And so the mark of God is that sign which marks the true believers. The Mark of the Beast is a creedal, it is a doctrinal, it is a statement of faith. It will entail a statement of faith. It will deny the Father, deny the Son. Now when we look at Islam we see that under Islamic theology, under a Caliphate, an Islamic government, there’s something called the Bay’ah. The Bay’ah is the pledge of allegiance or submission. Every Muslim is obligated, he is commanded. If there is a Caliph in place that’s in Islamic government, they need to make the pledge to the Caliph, and if they don’t do that, according to Islamic theology they are to be beheaded. Now Shariah Law…

Sid: A Christian or a Jew would never make an oath like that if they’re a real Christian, if they’re a real Jew.

Joel: Right. In other words, according to the Bible, people are cast into the lake of fire based on their acceptance or rejection of the Messiah, of Yeshua, of Jesus. And so the Mark of the Beast is not just, you know, some microchip or something like this. It entails a denial or a rejection of Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible. And so under Islamic law, obviously you have Shariah. And so you know, under Shariah Law if you reject the authority of the Caliphate you wouldn’t be able to buy or sell. When you look at Islam, it has all of the traits of the biblical system of the Antichrist. Now beyond this, you and I, we’ve talked about the anti-parallels between biblical and Islamic eschatology. With regard to the Mark of the Beast, what Islam teaches is that at the end of the age they have this character. They call him [Arabic]. That is the Beast from the Earth.

Sid: Revelations talk about him, too.

Joel: The Beast from the Earth in Revelation is the Antichrist and his empire. Now it’s symbolic. It’s not a real beast. It’s an empire. In Islamic theology, it is a real beast that comes up out of the earth. And according to their traditions it says that, “He will have with him the staff of Moses, that he will mark the faces of all true Muslim believers and their faces will glow,” and that will be an identifier that they are true believers. So according to Islamic theology, Muslims would desire to receive the Mark of the Beast from the earth. Again, that which the Bible says is bad and demonic, Islamic tradition has twisted and said, no, this is good. This is something to be yearned for.

Sid: At the same time, there is such a move of God among Muslims turning to Jesus. For instance, Joel, what’s going on in Iran?

Joel: Iran right now over the past 10 years has seen the most significant revival in the Islamic world in history. You have roughly 70 million citizens in Iran and reports coming out, and they’re varied, anywhere from one to as many as several million Iranians have converted to Christianity. They have become followers of Jesus because they’ve become so disenchanted with the radical regime, the radical Ayatollahs that have been reigning over them and crushing the life right out of them, that they have turned the scriptures.

Sid: Why do you believe that this is happening right now? Why are there so many Muslims turning to Jesus?

Joel: Sid, biblically throughout history, whenever the Lord uses a people to chastise or judge the earth, or His people, Israel, that’s exactly what He’s going to do with the Islamic. He is using his Islamic world as his rod of chastisement against an unrepentant world. But whenever the Lord uses a rod of chastisement, when He’s done, He breaks that rod over His knee. And He will judge the Islamic world after He has used them. But before He judges a people, He calls out a remnant. Sid, right now the Lord is calling a remnant of sincere, passionate believers out of the Islamic world. He’s calling them to Himself and He’s making them willing martyrs for Jesus.

Sid: And they’re going to be real believers. I mean, do the stuff the Bible says, for instance, I found out there’s an entire city in the Middle East of Muslims that have turned to Jesus. Tell me about them, Joel.

Joel: Yeah. There’s so many fantastic stories coming out from out of the missionary community. There’s one story, it’s a village and there was a missionary that was going to show the Jesus film in the village. When they showed the Jesus film, when they got to the point where he was being crucified, the village began to weep and wail, and then they said, “This man had been in our village for the past couple of weeks preaching to us.” They said, “That’s the guy that was here.” It was Jesus that had appeared to them, preaching to them. They saw the Jesus film. The whole village converted.

Sid: Did you hear that? The whole village became believers in Jesus. We really are in the end of the End Days. As a matter of fact, Jesus told us to look for certain signs, and Joel they’re happening. What’s going on in the realm of, say, earthquakes and tornadoes?

Joel: Jesus told us to watch all of these natural events as if they were birth pains. Birth pains increase in frequency and intensity. So I mean, we were just having record tornadoes here in the United States. We’ve had earthquakes destroying Japan, you know, all across the world. Some statistics. Let me just throw these out because these are what we are to watch for. In 2000 to 2008, there were 127 major earthquakes, 7.0 or higher. That’s one major earthquake every 28 days. Then in 2009, there were 17 major earthquakes, 7.0 or higher. That’s one every 26 days. A small increase. In 2010, there were 20. That’s one every 18 days. And then thus far, at the time of this recording, 2011, we’ve had what would amount to one every 13 days. That’s a double in the amount of massive earthquakes since the beginning of this millennium. They’re increasing. The Lord commanded us to watch these events as signs of His soon coming.

 

Sid: Do you believe that the things we’re talking about on this show, the emergence of Turkey, the emergence of the Mark of the Beast, the emergence of the Antichrist, the invasion of Jerusalem is going to happen in our lifetime?

Joel: Absolutely, absolutely. These things are happening. They’re happening quick. Believers are to watch for them. Much of the church today, Sid, has turned off the subject of the End Times. They’ve said this is irrelevant. Now is the time that the church needs to wake up, needs to start paying attention to things. The prophetic church, as you said at the beginning of the show, needs to understand the foundation, capital “P” prophecy throughout the scriptures as they try to and desire to speak with relevance and prophecy into the world. They need to understand the foundation. These things need to go hand in hand. It’s time for the church to return to biblical prophecy.

Sid: You do not know. You know we’re coming to the wrap-up. But you don’t know when your end is going to come. You don’t know when you’ll breathe your last breath. If there’s ever been a time to get right with God, if there’s ever been a time to know God, if there’s ever been a time to have your sins cleaned and be able to be a new creation by Jesus being your Lord and living inside of you, it’s now. Now.

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