Observations About Islam From A Last Day Seventh Day Adventist Prophetic Perspective
Introduction – The subject of Islam has become a major topic of discussion because of the perception that Islam is the primary focus of the 5th and 6th trumpets of Revelation 9, the perception that Islam is the King of the South in Daniel 11, and in some peoples thinking that Islam is the second leg of the statue in Daniel 2. In this writers opinion all three concepts stated above are incorrect and not Biblically sound interpretation. It is this writers view that while Islam certainly has had it role to play in history Islam is not a Biblical focus of any Bible prophecy. It is the purpose of this paper to discuss the purpose of Islam and how the Bible views Islam, and the relationship that Islam should have with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, God’s remnant church for the end times. In this paper I will present a number of observations about Islamic related issues from my point of view. Those observations that are Biblically related I will share Scripture to validate them, those that are historical I will leave to those who want to research them out for themselves. Those that are my personal views I will leave for the readers to decide for themselves. Thank you for reading and studying these observations, I pray that they may be a blessing for each person.
- Islam claims that its roots are in Ishmael the first born son of Abraham and his Egyptian slave/wife Hagar.
- When Abraham could not have a son his wife Sarai suggested that he marry Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and have a son through the slave maid. When God answered their prayer by allowing Hagar to become pregnant Hagar and Sarai had a conflict and Hagar fled to the wilderness. The Angel of the Lord, the preincarnate Christ, found Hagar and told Hagar what to name the child, Ishmael – God will hear, and then told Hagar that Ishmael would be the father of many people and that he would be a wild man and in conflict constantly.
- After returning to Sarai, in obedience to the command of the Christ, Hagar delivered the child and the boy lived with Abraham and Sara for approximately 13 years. About this time Jesus, the Christ, came to meet with Abraham and Sarah on His way complete His Investigative Judgment on Sodom. There Jesus, the Christ, promised Abraham and Sarah would have a son by the power of God. God also named this child, Isaac – he laughs. When Isaac was born the conflict between Sarah and Hagar erupted again and Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away. Again the Christ comes to care for Hagar and Ishmael and restates the prophecy given earlier that Ishmael would be the father of a mighty nation. God blessed Ishmael twice personally.
- After the death of Sarah Abraham married another woman named Keturah. Abraham had six sons by Keturah. These men were sent away to the east just before Abraham’s death. (Genesis 25:1-6). When Abraham died Isaac and Ishmael came together to bury Abraham in the cave of Machpelah. In Patriarchs and Prophets page 174 Ellen White says that Ishmael was converted and returned to the faith of his father.
- The descendents of Ishmael and Isaac developed into nations that routinely were in conflict with each other. Yet the descendents of Ishmael had the opportunity to learn about the Creator God through Israel (Deuteronomy 9:6-8), the descendents of Isaac. Like all people, the descendents of Ishmael sometimes were not responsive to God’s call (Judges 6:1-6) and sometimes they were responsive (II Chronicles 17:10-11). Some examples of the children of the east responding to the gospel call were the Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10:1-13); the kingdom of Sheba (Daniel 3:28-29); the people of Persia (Esther 8:15-17); and then the descendents of the wise men of Babylon came to see the incarnation of the Christ in Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 2:1-12). All these people were the true submitted people of God, those whose capital city is the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26) these are the true descendents of Abraham who accepted Jesus, the Christ, by faith.
- The next significant development in the history of Islam is the birth of Muhammad in 570 AD. By this time the Jewish world had significantly deteriorated due to the rejection of the Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome. The Christian world had spread rapidly under the guidance of the disciples of Christ but then there was significant persecution by the Romans and eventually a major divide occurred between those followers of God who had submitted to God and those who were catering to the issues of man. By 538 AD the Papacy had been formulated and many errors had been incorporated in the majority Christian faith. When Muhammad came on the scene the pre-Islamic Arabic people were a poly-theistic group and worshipped many gods. The great question that many ask is who was Muhammad? Was he a prophet, a man of God, or developer of a nation or a religion?
- There are many books about Muhammad and the things he did. One of the most understood aspects of Muhammad’s experience is that he had contact with Christians during his work as caravan worker as well as contact with Jews. Muhammad developed many of his future thoughts around the principles he learned from Christians and Jews especially those about the Creator God, the flood, the judgment, various prophets, the dietary guidelines, tithing and offerings, modesty in dress, care for the poor and the weak, and the Scriptures of God as given through Moses and the prophet. All of these things Muhammad offered to the Arabic peoples of his time.
- Muhammad claimed to receive visions from God guiding him as to what to share and how to live. I do not know if he had visions or not but I do know that he shared with his people what he had and under his influence the Arabic peoples started to move back to a view of One God, the God of Abraham, the Creator God. Muhammad did not want to establish a religion, or a nation, or have his picture displayed, or have people follow him. What Muhammad wanted was for people to return to God and live in harmony with His guidance.
- After Muhammad died his followers gathered up all of the sayings that people had written down or thought that they heard and complied these sayings into a book called the Quran. This book, and the influences of those who believed that Muhammad was a prophet of God, started the religion called Islam, the religion for those who had surrendered to God.
- The followers of Muhammad organized the Arabic peoples and turned them into a mighty fighting force and they conquered many nations. But perhaps the greatest thing that Islam did over time was to preserve knowledge and science during the dark ages of the Christian church. While the Papacy hid light in all of its forms Islam encouraged people to study, learn, and develop science in all of its various forms. The place to go during the dark ages was to the nations who followed the One God.
- Another thing that the Islamic nations did was to inadvertently protect the Reformation. The Great Controversy page 197 “…Again and again the immediate destruction of all who dared to oppose themselves to Rome appeared inevitable; but at the critical moment the armies of the Turk appeared on the eastern frontier…made war upon him (Charles V); and thus, amid the strife and tumult of nations, the Reformation had been left to strengthen and extend.”
- Today the people of Islam are among the fastest growing religious groups in the world. They have something that most people crave, a clear program, devoted interest, and methods to deal with perceived spiritual needs. People join Islam for there is clarity, goals, discipline, family support, and worship of the Creator God.
- Another great question that the Christian groups have for Islam is whether they are a major player in Bible prophecy. Is Islam one of the two legs of Daniel 2, or the King of the South in Daniel 11, or the first two of the woes in Revelation 9? As in all things Biblical God is very clear, He does not want His prophetic message confused. In Daniel 2 God says that the legs of the great image are made of iron – the Imperial Roman Empire. The feet of iron and clay are symbolic of Papal Rome where the iron of Rome joins with the clay of the church. There is no part of Daniel 2 that discusses Islam only Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece, Rome, Papal Rome and the coming of the Kingdom of God – the great stone that smites the great image.
- The King of the South of Daniel 11:40 is that spoken of in Revelation 11:1-13 the spiritual principles promoted by the French Revolution which attacked the King of the North (the Papacy) and gave her her mortal wound. See The Great Controversy pages 265-288. This prophecy does NOT speak about Islam or the Ottoman Empire.
- Regarding the Fifth and Sixth Trumpet, or the first two woes, again the focus is not upon Islam, or the Ottoman Empire, but upon two of the final three developments of the Papacy in its fight against the three last phases of the great reformation of truth. In 1216 the Papacy developed the Dominican order to attempt to thwart the development of the Reformation started by John Wycliff. The work of the Dominican monks was to try to bring people back to mother Rome. The Dominican monks also started the early stages of the inquisition. The 6th Trumpet is another reaction by Rome when the next phase of the gospel trumpet call in the Reformation under Luther. The champions of Rome who came up to respond to the reformation were the Jesuits and the final phases of the inquisition. Read the Great Controversy about the Mendicant Monks, and the Jesuit order.
- There are a number of symbols in Revelation 9 which help to clarify who are the woes. I will list a few of these symbols and their Bible interpretation:
- Trumpets – Devices to announce the movements of God’s people. In Revelation 8-11 Trumpets are calls to the gospel of the sanctuary in heaven. Joshua 6:1-4
- Star – Church leader – Genesis 37:9-11; Daniel 12:3; Gospel Workers 13
- Bottomless Pit – A Place of confusion and error and desolation– Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1-3; Revelation 11:7
- Scorpions - Rebellious church members. Ezekiel 2:1-9 especially verse 3 and 6
- Locusts – Devourers of resources. Joel 1:1-7; Mendicant Monks of Rome GC page 82
- Horses – Church members Zechariah 10:3
- Breastplate – What the priest in the sanctuary of God wears. Exodus 28, Ephesians 6:14
- Tail – A false prophet – Isaiah 9:15
- Euphrates – A boundary of the kingdom of Babylon Jeremiah 51:60-64; Revelation 16:12
- Serpents – False teachers – Matthew 23:33
With the above definitions in mind the focus of Revelation 9 is about a religious system that teaches lies, about the time of 1200 AD through 1844. This religious system teaches a false sanctuary system and a false system of grace. They are a rebellious nation, have false teachings, are aggressive and are attached to the river Euphrates. This system is the same system spoken of in the 5th and 6th seals of Revelation 6. This is the Roman Catholic Church, the Papacy.
- Conclusions – Islam, as a church is out there teaching the Bible to the best of their ability. Islam does not claim to be a descendent of the Reformation, and they do not claim to uplift Jesus as the Messiah. Nor does Islam claim to teach the sanctuary system. They do claim to want to bring people back to the worship of the One True God of Abraham and to encourage people to live by the teachings of the Old Testament Scriptures. In my opinion Islam is potentially open to those who can share the gospel in harmony with their understanding of the teachings of God. There is only one church on this earth with an understanding of grace sufficiently grounded in Scripture to be accepted by Islam as having a teaching ministry that they can relate to and that is the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is the only church on the planet that has turned away from the false sanctuary doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and the false doctrines of Rome’s daughters. The Seventh Day Adventist Church understands the teachings of the Old Testament gospel and can translate these ideas in such a manner to help those children of Islam to learn to differentiate the gospel of the Bible from the gospel taught by the scorpions/locusts/horses of Rome and then they can be free to recognize the call of God through His Son Jesus, the Christ of Nazareth.