Critical Mass: Doug Batchelor Ends Series on Islam & Bible Prophecy

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Critical Mass: Doug Batchelor Ends Series on Islam & Bible Prophecy

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the position of The Compass Magazine.

On Sabbath, October 29, 2016, Pastor Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts and the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church continued his new sermon series on Islam’s role in Bible prophecy. Part 3 of the series was entitled “Critical Mass.” You can read the synopsis of part 1 here, and the synopsis of part 2 here.

Resources on Islam and Bible Prophecy

Pastor Doug Batchelor began part three of his sermon series on Islam, Christianity and Bible prophecy by sharing some of the resources he used to construct his series. These resources included the following:

  • The Anatomy of the Qur’an by G. J. O. Moshay
  • Islam: God’s Forgotten Blessing by Stephen Dicky
  • Islam and Christianity in Prophecy by Tim Rosenberg
  • Jerusalem Caliphate and the Third Jihad by John Witcombe
  • Sharing your Faith with Muslims by Rudy Harnisch

Review

After sharing some of the resources he used to construct his sermon series, Batchelor proceeded to give a brief summary of the points that he made in the previous parts of his series. He reemphasized that there is a battle between the two great religions of the world of which the story of Isaac and Ishmael may be used as a prototype (or metaphor) of final events. Both Isaac and Ishmael, according to Batchelor, represent Judaism/Christianity and Islam, respectively. After rehashing some statistics on the growth of Islam and its projected rise as the largest world religion by 2050, Batchelor turned to the main passage of his message, reading from Daniel 11:40-45. He explained the importance of the passage, in that what follows the events of Daniel 11:40-45 is the standing up of Michael, which not only signals the close of probation but also the second coming of Christ in Daniel 12:1-2. Batchelor stated that the tensions which have simmered between these two lines of Abraham (Christianity and Islam) will soon reach critical mass, and then Michael will stand up in what we know to be the second coming and the resurrection.

Oil Crisis

Pastor Batchelor spent a few minutes sharing various facts about Arab countries in the Middle East, specifically the wealth of Arab countries. He shared that Saudi Arabia was building a tower called the “Jeddah Tower” not far from Mecca at the cost of $1.23 Billion, which will serve as the centerpiece of an entire new development that will cost a total of $20 Billion. The Jeddah Tower will be 1 Kilometer tall. He shared these facts to help his audience understand that though the United States is rich, it is not the richest country in the world per capita. He shared that the United States GDP per capita is $57,000 a year, while the United Arab Emirates stands at $67,000, Kuwait at $71,000, and Qatar at $146,000. Batchelor then revealed the not-so-secret secret to Arab wealth, namely oil production. Describing the Arab economy as a river of money flowing into the country due to its oil resources, Batchelor related anecdotal evidence of Arab wealth including showing pictures of gold-plated exotic cars, and relating an experience of actually seeing a gold-plated toilet in the world’s only seven-star hotel in the Middle East. Batchelor than related that the United States is still dependent on foreign oil, and that if Arab nations decided to cut off supply to the United States for any reason, it would cause food delivery issues in the United States which could, in turn, cause civil unrest, looting, and rioting. He ended this section of his sermon by reminding the audience that the United States is living on a hair trigger and hanging from a spider’s web in terms of its stability, and could dissolve into chaos at the slightest interruption of oil production from the Middle East.

Islam in Revelation

Batchelor then turned to the point of his series in providing an exposition of the last trumpets in Revelation, and the battle between the “King of the South” and “King of the North” entities in Daniel. He began with the trumpets in Revelation.

He explained that Revelation contains several series of sevens, including: (1) Seven Churches, (2) Seven Seals, and (3) Seven Trumpets. Each of these series looks at the same large swath of history from the ascension of Christ to the Second Coming, but from different perspectives. The Seven Churches, according to Batchelor, cover the history of the spiritual history of the Christian church from the ascension to the Second Coming. The Seven Seals cover the same time period, but from the perspective of political history. The Seven Trumpets cover the military history of the same time period. Batchelor was careful to make the caveat that these portions of Revelation are dealing primarily with areas of the world, kingdoms, and spiritual entities that have a direct impact on the major populations centers of Christianity. In other words, though China was and still is a great civilization, it is not mentioned in the prophecies due to its remoteness from the cradle of Judaism and Christianity, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Batchelor then explained that the United States would also be included in Revelation’s focus because the United States has become a major guardian of the message of the gospel, in that it sends more missionaries and mission money than any other country in the world.

Batchelor than explained that he would focus particularly on the last three trumpets in Revelation, which are also called the “three woes” (Revelation 8:13). These woes are great times of trouble, distress, and tribulation. He also stated that the symbol of a trumpet was used because trumpets usually have to do with battle, citing the battle of Jericho in Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. (Joshua 6:1-5)

The Rise of Islam In Revelation

Throughout the rest of the sermon, Batchelor read portions of the Scriptures, and then gave brief explanations of the more cryptic elements of each passage. He began by reading Revelation 9:1-3:

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (Daniel 9:1-3)[1]

Batchelor explained that at times, in the Bible and in the Middle East, people would think they were seeing smoke from a fire, but when it got closer they would realize it was a swarm of locusts. This is what John is seeing in vision. Furthermore, the “locusts” can be identified as Arabs and the descendants of Ishmael, by referencing the story of Gideon in the book of Judges (Judges 7:12). Thus the “smoke” coming out of the pit is the birth and spread of the religion of Muhammad (570-632 AD). The angel is a messenger, but this is a fallen messenger, which probably represent Muhammad. Around this same time another religion rose up, apostate Christianity, which was loosely based on Scripture but was commingled with pagan sun worship, whereas Islam was mingled with pagan moon worship. This was the first woe and fifth trumpet. Many theologians identify the 5th and 6th trumpets as the rise and spread of Islam through its battles with the Byzantine Empire and western Christendom. Supporters of this interpretation include Martin Luther, Isaac Newton, Edward Gibbon, and others.

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. (Revelation 9:4-5)

Using the day-for-a-year principle, we can calculate how long it would take the armies of Islam to conquer the Byzantine Empire. In 1299 AD, the Turkish muslims attacked the Byzantine Empire; in 1449 AD, the Byzantines submitted to the Ottoman Turkish Empire, exactly 150 years after their initial attack. The text says that Islam would have the power to torment like a scorpion, but not destroy (kill) Christianity in the eastern remnants of the Roman Empire. Batchelor then suggested that since the first woe involved an Islamic attack on Christendom, it would seem reasonable that the second and third woes are also battles between Christianity and Islam.

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13-16)

What is described in Revelation 9:14-15 is the Second Woe. At this stage, Batchelor explained, Islam began to attack western Christendom. The four angels which are mentioned are at the river Euphrates. Batchelor noted this as significant because, in the book of Daniel, four major empires (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) attacked Israel, and all of them attacked from the North, or by crossing the river Euphrates. By using the day for a year principle again, Batchelor explained that it could be calculated when Islam’s control and occupation of Christendom would evaporate, particularly the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The time element of the prophecy was explained as follows:

Hour = 15 Days

Day = 1 Year

Month = 30 Years

Year = 360 years

Total = 391 Years and 15 Days

Starting with the end date of the fifth trumpet, 1449, an additional 391 years comes to 1880 in which the Ottoman Empire, to the day, requested assistance from European powers in order to continue to function as a state. Josiah Litch, a prominent figure in the Millerite movement, predicted the very date of this “fall.” The reference to a slaying of a third of men is most likely a reference to the great loss of life suffered by the Christian armies in their struggle with Islamic forces. In regards to the tabulation of the armies of Islam, Batchelor suggests that the Greek word used in the text simply means myriads, however if it is to be taken literally, he recommends William Miller’s interpretation in that an army’s population should be calculated as 400,000 or 2 x 200,000. Interestingly, the Ottoman Turkish Sultan, Mehmet II, who took Constantinople, did so with an army composed of at least 350,000 soldiers.

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire [or iron], and of jacinth [blue], and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. (Revelation 9:17-19)

Batchelor explained that Mehmet II primarily used calvary, as the text suggests, and that they did indeed wear breastplates of iron and that they typically had the color blue represented in their dress. The smoke and brimstone referenced in the text is probably a referring to the Turks’ early use of firearms, including primitive rifles/muskets and powerful cannons.

The Seventh Trumpet and Third Woe

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:15-18)

Batchelor noted that the first two woes have already occurred in history, and that the third woe is what we are now facing and could experience shortly.  He then links some of the language and themes of Revelation 11:15-18 with Daniel 11-12, keying in on judgment and resurrection.

Islam in Daniel

Proceeding to Daniel 11, Batchelor then began to provide a brief overview of some of its main characters and events. This included the rise of King Xerxes in Persia, who would attempt to extend Persian influence across the Aegean into Greece. (Daniel 11:2) It also included the rise and fall of Alexander the Great who, upon his death, had his empire broken into four regions, divided amongst his four generals (Daniel 11:3).

Batchelor then explained the notion of the “King of the North” as being, in reality, a title for God that the devil has attempted to usurp (Isaiah 14:13). He explained that the ancient astrologers and astronomers noticed that the stars and constellations in the north, nearest the pole, did not move as fast as other stars. They concluded that the stationary point of the north must be the throne of God. As previously stated, the devil wanted to be the King of the North, and thus used earthly kings to attack God’s people on earth in order to take the place of God.

Next, Batchelor introduced Caesar Augustus, “the raiser of taxes,” found in Daniel 11:20 and confirmed in Luke 2:1 and Acts 5:37.

In Daniel 11:25, a major shift takes place in that Pagan Rome, who at this point takes the role of the King of the North, retains the King of the North identification, but transforms into Papal Rome. Daniel 11:25 also mentions a major attack on the King of the South who Batchelor identities as Islam. This major attack is known in history as the Crusades. From here, the battles mentioned in Daniel, though at times having literal fulfillments, are more focused on the spiritual conflict over the control of the truth and the gospel. Daniel 11:31 is the Papacy’s introduction of a myriad of heresies into the Christian faith, including salvation by works, infant baptism, transubstantiation, indulgences, penance, etc.

In Daniel 11:33-35 there are major developments including the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent persecutions and martyrdoms that took place as a result of the inquisition.

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:33-35)

In Daniel 11:36 there is a resurgence and renewal of the Papacy which is echoed in Revelation 17. Finally, Batchelor arrived at Daniel 11:40-45, which was his main focus for his series.

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11:40-45)

Batchelor sees special significance in this passage due to the time element which designates it as “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40), which he believes is the present time. He also points out that there is an impending attack on the King of the North (the Papacy and Apostate Protestants) by the King of the South (Islam) though we do not know the nature of the attack.

Continuing to expound on Daniel 11:40, he stated that the first and second woes are both Islam. Specifically, it is a battle between the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac. We don’t know what the King of the South’s attack against the king of the North will look like. Right now, the western powers are very nervous because they know that that tensions are high. Batchelor even mentioned that ISIS is threatening an attack on Rome or the Coliseum. He then queried the crowd as to what would happen if ISIS were somehow able to assassinate the pope. Batchelor suggested that the world would not sit back and just say, “Let’s just love each other.” He also hinted at the possibility of some occurrence or attack that would halt the flow of oil. Batchelor was adamant that if events such as the ones he has mentioned were to take place, the King of the North would not sit by and talk about peace. There must be some scary event that will occur to serve as a catalyst for a new coalition of Christian powers. He then mentioned that the current Pope, Francis I, is actively seeking to build a coalition now by reaching out to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, Charismatics in the United States, and Protestants in South America. The reason, Batchelor suggests, is that Islam is making major inroads in the Christian homeland of Europe, and the Pope recognizes the possibility of the extinction of Christianity in Europe, let alone of Catholicism.

Citing the end of verses 40-42, Batchelor contends that the Christian world will invade several Islamic countries in order to control and subjugate Islam, and that the King of the North will at some point gain control of the wealth of the Arab nations, including the oil resources. Batchelor then shifts focus to Daniel 11:44 which he interprets as the tidings of the Second Coming of Jesus, the real King of the North, who will appear in the East at his coming. This will also trigger the time of trouble for God’s commandment-keeping people, as the King of the North will be enraged at those Christians who will not submit to his authority.

Finally, Batchelor explains that the pitching of a tabernacle on the holy mountain is the King of the North’s last attempt for total control of Christendom and Islam by a possible literal invasion of the Middle East and constructing a foot hold in the land of Israel but by also issuing a death decree to all those who will not submit to Papal authority by acknowledging the day of worship ordained by the Papacy. Batchelor concluded his message by stating that the real battle will be over worship. The Bible begins with two brothers, where one murders the other over a difference in worship. The same occurred with Isaac and Ishmael, in which Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He also asserted that there would be a wave of Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and Protestants that will come out of Babylon and return to Biblical Christianity. He ominously warned that there will indeed be a great time of trouble coming, but there will also be a great time of evangelism. Biblical Christians will be tried for their faith, and will have to give an answer to judges and those in power, providing Christians with the opportunity to be persecuted and engage in evangelism simultaneously.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

It is when the time of trouble occurs that Michael will stand up as indicated in Daniel 12:1. Batchelor explained that when someone starts picking on (persecuting) God’s children, God will stand up in their defense. He ceases his intercession, and will come to deliver his people. Batchelor’s last words to those watching were to remember that the most important thing is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, so that your name may be recorded in the book of life. All the prophecies do is to help us know how close we are to the end, but they won’t save anyone. Now is the time of salvation, and to accept Jesus Christ before probation closes and it is too late. The Christian doesn’t need to be afraid of what’s coming upon the world because Jesus will protect his own.

You can view the video recording of Pastor Batchelor’s sermon here.

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Notes:

[1] All Scriptures references are quoted from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.

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About the author

Ingram London

Ingram London is a PhD student studying systematic theology at Andrews University. He serves as head of content development for The Compass Magazine.