Sid: I am so excited about the supernatural revelation that my guest Joel Richardson has had in understanding the end times.  Joel, Daniel talks about understanding the end times and how he talks about the scroll which would be the scriptures will not be understood until the time of the end.  Comment on that.

Joel: Thank you Sid, this is an incredibly important scripture that many interpreters over the past fifty years and even down through church history have ignored because it specifically says that at the time of the end and it even says, that “Those of your brothers that sleep in the dust of the ground will awaken.”  This is talking about the end times, the time when the resurrection of the dead takes place.  It says “In the last days this book would be unsealed and understood,” and as much as possible I tried to adhere to a historical Christian Orthodoxy. I try not to, you know to make up my own doctrines, I want to adhere to those things that have been believed by the church down through history, but if there has ever been a verse which is essentially invites a contrarian interpretation, this verse says that down through history the church was believed that the book of Daniel was largely pointing us to the Roman Empire.  And we’ve heard this so much coming out of a lot or prophecy circles since the days of the Jesus Movement and Hal Lindsey and “Left Behind” and so forth.  And much of the world today is looking for the revival of a European Roman Empire from which we will have the Anti-Christ and so forth, but again if that is what the whole book of Daniel is talking about Daniel 2 with the metallic statue, Daniel 7 with the four gruesome beasts.

Sid: Well, we’ve been looking for the ten nations to come together in Europe to form that confederacy, I mean there’s is a whole scenario along these lines

Joel: Right and if the majority position, if the position that has been held by the vast majority throughout history is accurate then that verse which says, “This book will be sealed until the end,” does not mean a thing!  It doesn’t mean a thing and so what I’ve been expressing to people is that when we look at this classic passage, this metallic statue, the Bible gives us some very clear criteria to identify that fourth empire.  In Daniel 2:40 it says, “That when this empire arises it will crush all of the others,” and the others of course are Babylon, Persia and Greece.  And for those modern minds that are not given to ancient history, just think Iraq, Iran and Turkey and Greece.  And the question that we have to ask ourselves is did the Roman Empire conquer Iraq, Iran and Greece and the answer is partially.  It conquered part of Greece, it conquered the very edges of Iraq and Babylon, but it never even came close to Persia and this was an essential thing.  The Roman Empire does not meet the basic Biblical criteria laid out to qualify as the fourth empire, but there is an empire that does.

Sid: But if what you’re saying is true then most of the scenario’s I’ve read on the ones we’ve mentioned and the ones we haven’t mentioned, see the antichrist and the antichrist system coming out of Europe.  If what you’re saying is correct and it sure sounds, makes sense to me that will not occur.

Joel: Well, exactly and again the imagination of the church is fixed, the prophetic end time imagination of the earth today, of the church is fixed on the Roman Empire, the EU, the European Union and so forth.  What I’m setting forth is an eschatology that is thoroughly Jerusalem, Israel and Middle Eastern centric.  I’m trying to call the church back to a Middle Eastern mindset to recognize that this Book that we look to to understand the days to come has always been an Eastern Book, it’s a Jewish book.  And unfortunately we here in the west, we Americans, we have a very American centric mentality.  We tend to even believe that the Bible was primarily written for Americans and we tend to read our world view into the pages of the Bible and unfortunately it wasn’t written primarily for us.  And so I’m calling people back to understand the centrality of Israel in the end time passages.  All of the prophets are speaking about the coming of the Anti Christ that will come out of the surrounding nation.  There called the goy subbed or the goyim subbed; the surrounding nations, the nation’s roundabout and those are the nations around about Israel.  They’re all Islamic nations today and they all bear that same anti-Semitic spirit that all the precious empires carried with them; whether it be Babylon or Medo-Persian or Greece they all carried the anti-Semitic, anti-Yahweh spirit and they came against the Jewish people.  It’s exactly what we see throughout the Middle East today.

Sid: And you go on to explain Matthew 24 verse 10 to 13.  And the Greek actually says that something is going to happen in the end-times that will cause the love of most go grow cold.

Joel: Well, exactly.  Now imagine this and imagine if the over arching majority of the church is convinced that we’re going to see the anti-Christ come out of Europe, when in fact the anti-Christ could very well be emerging right before our eyes in the Middle East and I don’t know who the anti-Christ is now, but instead of looking to the east.  You know imagine this Sid, the church is a city on a hill; imagine an ancient city, and ancient walled city and many in the church are called to be watchman, watchman on the wall.  And what we have is we have hundreds of watchman and their all gathered on the western wall and there’s a few people that are saying watchman we need to bring some people to the eastern wall, we need to balance this thing out.  We need to be looking in all directions considering all position and the majority of the church is saying no, we know that the anti-Christ comes from Europe.  Is this not much different than the days when Jesus came the first time when Yeshua came and the Pharisees were convinced that they understood eschatology and as a result they missed the coming of the Messiah?

Sid: Well, I’m told that when people go through this three DVD series called “Islam and The End Times,” ninety-nine percent of the people when they see it so clear on all the end-time theology God’s given you they agree with what they’ve heard.

Joel: You know I get emails and letters and so forth everyday and the thing that I hear over and over again is that they say, “Joel, you know I got saved during the Jesus movement and I read “The Late Great Planet Earth” and that impacted me; when Israel became a nation that was powerful.  But since those days I’ve become cynical and I’ve turned away for a study of the end times, I’ve come to you know just get a skeptical, cynical perspective on these things.  But when I heard you lay these things out for the first time in twenty years, my heart was awakened and I knew the things that you were saying were true and I bore witness in my spirit; it made sense it was easy to understand and I am stirred a fresh to give myself to holiness in preparing for the coming of the Lord.”  I get emails like this constantly.

Sid: But let me give you my spin on the end times, there’s one thing that I know for sure.  What I know for sure is the popular scenario that most Christians have been taught, the one thing I know for sure is that it’s not correct.  Now I didn’t know for sure what was correct, but I knew for sure that that wasn’t correct and that alone when people look at those scenarios as if it’s scripture that’s going to throw them off when things are very different in the end times.

Joel: It’s a dangerous reality and unfortunately Sid, what we have today is that we have many people that are very very good students of their teachers, they’re not always good students of the Bible.  And we need teachers today that can teach the scriptures clearly, but who also call the people to be Bereans and to dig into the scriptures with a prayerful heart to understand and to look for and to ask the Holy Spirit to teach them about the things shortly about to take place on the earth.  These events are real, there has to be a generation that would see these things and again because of the things in the book of Daniel and throughout the Bible are being opened up that is proof that in fact, we are living in the end times.

Sid: Well, one of the things that I find fascinating is God’s directed you to live in the Middle East and you studied Islam, you lived among Muslims and you began to see similarities between what the Bible refers to as the anti-Christ and what Islam refers to as the Mahadi or their messiah.

Joel: Exactly, when I began to study what Muslims believe about the end times and believe me I have literally read every book in the world that has been published in English on this subject.  What I saw was that Islam teaches about the end times is a perfect anti-parallel to what the Bible teaches.  They have literally taken the Biblical story about the end times flipped it on its head.  They’ve made their anti-Christ into our Messiah; they’ve made our Messiah, into their Anti-Christ vice versa.  Everything that we look to as holy they call blasphemy; everything that we believe to be evil, they say is godly.  When it comes to anti-Semitism we see as a mark of the anti-Christ, they see that as the mark of the coming messiah, the coming Islamic messiah.  In fact Muslims actually teach that one of the marks of the anti-Christ is that he will be followed by Jews; that he will be Jewish and he will claim to be Jesus Christ the Devine Son of God.

Sid: Muslims claim he will be Jewish.

Joel: Yeah, they claim that the anti-Christ will be Jewish

Sid: Oh, I see.

Joel: They call him, Ah dajjal, so in Islam their belief about the Anti-Christ, they call him Ah Dajjal Desi.

Sid: So that’s going to justify even more, add fuel to the fire of their anti-Semitism.

Joel: Oh, absolutely, oh numerous when you read the Islamic books about the end times it is a mixture of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.  The protocols of the elders of Zion, all of this Anti-Semitic stuff mixed with end time things; mixed with all sorts of conspiracy theories that are wildly popular throughout the Middle East.

Sid: And yet, what basic Koran Islam teaches is the opposite of what the Bible says about the Messiah.

Joel: Exactly, not only the Koran but the Islamic sacred traditions known as the Hadee.

Sid: I tell you what, we’re out of time.

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