God used Islam to chastise apostate Christianity and protect His people.
Jihad = ”Striving”, ”to fight”. According to Islam there are two kinds of Jihad – the greater (inner jihad), and the smaller (military jihad). Medieval Ages: Crusades vs Jihads (holy wars).
But the war between Islam and Christianity during the Middle Ages had a deeper prophetic meaning…
2 Thess 2:3-4
What would come before the Second Coming? The Temple refers to the church (Ef 2:20-22, 2 Kor 6:16). Someone would sit in the church and claim to be God on earth. IE: History of Constantine.
”Confronted with the Pope, one must make a choice. The leader of the Catholic Church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who represents the Son of God, who “takes the place” of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” (John Paul II, “Crossing the threshold of hope”, p.13 )
“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” (Pope Leo XIII, The Great Encyclical Letters, p.304, )
“The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.” (Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, vol. 5, col. 1823)
The apostasy would distort the truth of the Injil…
What would the apostasy distort? (Dan 8:12, 7:25) False doctrines such as the pope’s infalibility, tradition’s authority above Scripture, Sunday sacredness, Purgatory, Indulgences, consumption of unclean food and alcohol, the catholic mass, celibacy, worship of images, statues and relics, prayer to Mary and other saints.
The sins of the Papacy are specifically mentioned in Revelation chapter 9…
What were they guilty of? Worshiping idols. Taking God’s name in vain. Are they true Christians?
The Quran also mentions this apostasy in Christianity at its time…
How are the majority of Christians described? Whose wrath have they drawn on to themselves? Why? What are their sins? Does it sound like Revelation?
In an effort to lead the apostates to repent, God sent seven trumpets as a foretaste of His wrath…
Woe means doom or judgment is coming (Hos 8:1). What does John see? Locusts with lion teeth, women’s hair and scorpion fangs.
This imagery comes from the Old Testament
What do the locusts represent? The army of a mighty nation (Joel 1:15, 2:1-5, Jer 51:14, 27).
What mighty nations were associated with locusts?
What were the Arabian tribes compared to here? (Jdg 6:5). The Midianites and the people of the East were descendants of Abraham’s other wives – Hagar and Keturah (Gen 25:1-6; 21:13-21). It was from the Arabian tribes that Islam arose. Today the Muslims consider themselves the spiritual descendants of Ishmael.
“Swarms of locusts often arise in Arabia fælix, and from thence infest the neighbouring nations: and so are a very fit type of the numerous armies of Arabians invading the Romans.” (Isaac Newton, Observations upon the prophecies of Daniel, p. 303-307)
”There is scarcely so uniform an agreement among interpreters concerning any other part of the Apocalypse as respecting the application of the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and second woes, to the Saracens and the Turks.” (Alexander Keith, Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 272)
IE: Brief history of Muhammed.
In the 7th century, Muhammed’s followers starts the first Jihad…
Who are the Muslims encouraged to fight? (se även 9:5, 2:191). Why?
Notice that they were not fight all kinds of Christians…
Does the Quran consider some Christians as righteous? Will they go to Paradise? What are their characteristics?
”When you fight the battles of the Lord, acquit yourselves like men, without turning your backs; but let not your victory be stained with the blood of women or children. Destroy no palm-trees, nor burn any fields of corn. Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat. When you make any covenant or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word. As you go on, you will find some religious persons who live retired in monasteries, and propose to themselves to serve God that way: let them alone, and neither kill them nor destroy their monasteries: And you will find another sort of people, that belong to the synagogue of Satan, who have shaven crowns; be sure you cleave their skulls, and give them no quarter till they either turn Mahometans or pay tribute.” (Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5, chap. 51, pp. 189-190)
Abu-bakr’s Jihad speech was predicted hundreds of years earlier in the Bible…
Who were they not to hurt? God’s seal is His law (Isa 8:16, Deut 6:6-8; 11:18). God used Islam to punish apostate Christianity for their unbelief and lead them to repentance. And Muslim victories led to the iconoclasm controversy in Christianity.
“Iconoclasm stemmed from the second commandment given to Moses… As images of Christ, Mary, and saints appeared increasingly in churches in the sixth and seventh centuries, officials questioned their legitimacy, fearing that the veneration of icons was tantamount to idolatry. … The rise of Islam and the loss of Byzantine territories to Arab armies at the time would have added to concerns that God was on the side of those who forbade holy images.” (National Gallery of Art, “Iconoclasm”, https://www.nga.gov/features/byzantine/iconoclasm-.html)
But church councils restored the use of idols and they didn’t repent (Rev 9:20-21) so God called the Protestant Movement out of the Apostate church. Protestants did not use images in worship and Islam took notice of this.
“In the 16th and 17th centuries support for Protestants and Calvinists was one of the fundamental principles of Ottoman policy in Europe. … the Sultan… saw them as standing close to him, since they did not worship idols… Under Ottoman rule Calvinism was propagated freely in Hungary and Transylvania… It is convincingly argued that Ottoman pressure on the Habsburgs was an important factor in the extension of Protestantism in Europe.” (Kemal Karpat, Halil Inalcik, The Ottoman State and Its Place in World History, p. 53)
“Due to the Turkish threat, the Habsburgs were embarrassed, if not paralyzed in their fight against the Reformation. … The Ottomans knew that too well when they encouraged Protestantism everywhere. Forcing the Habsburg to divide their forces, the Turks and the Protestants of the sixteenth century were probably saving one another.” (André Clot, Suleyman the Magnificent, p. 146 )
God used Islam to chastise apostate Christianity and protect His true followers, according to His promise.
2 Kor 6:16-18
Should God’s church have anything to do with idols? What should they do? What promise is given if they do that?
Is it clear to you that there has been an apostasy in Christianity? Do you see that God has protected His people if they turn to Him in repentance? Are you willing to turn from any idols that might exist in your own life?