ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 217
“THE PAPACY AND ISLAM IN PROPHECY”
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,
Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,
The last two newsletters no. 215 and 216 generated an unusual volume of responses. Rather than taking time to respond to each message which would be impossible at this time, especially since I am flying to London, England in a couple of days, I decided to devote this newsletter to respond to two major concerns expressed in several messages. The first is my suggestion that Obama will foster the expansion of the presence and power of Islam in America. The second is my expanded interpretation of the Antichrist to include Islam in addition to the Papacy. Some feel that the two religions are radically different and can in no way work together to empower the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13 (America) to opposing God’s people. This is a legitimate concern that I will address in this newsletter
SUNDAY LAWS PROPOSED BY THE EUROPEAN EPISCOPAL COMMISSION
Many years Adventists have been wondering what could triggers the promulgation of international Sunday laws. In my past readings I found references to social, ecological, economic, and energy considerations as possible reasons for introducing Sunday Laws.
I came as surprise for me to learn this past week that the impetus for Sunday laws may come from the current financial crisis that affects many nations today. The European Episcopal Commission, known as COMECE, consisting of 24 bishops, each representing a western country, met in Brussels, the headquarter of the European Parliament from November 12-14, 2008.
The Bishops agreed that “the financial crisis has exposed a deeper spiritual crisis and a misguided set of values. The sense and value of human work has been pushed to the background in the general struggle for profit.” “In their exchange of views with the State Secretary for European Affairs, the Church representatives expressed their wish to see the Sunday rest day being better protected in national legislations as well as in the future EU Working Time Directive which is currently being revised.”
“The Bishops called for respect for Sunday rest as one of the foundations of the European social model and as a way of balancing work and family life. In recent years, Sunday as a weekly rest day has been threatened by legislation in many Member States thanks to liberal and consumerist-driven political concepts. In the context of the present economic crisis, Bishops call on the Members of the European Parliament to assume their responsibilities and include the protection of Sunday in the Working Time Directive that will be submitted to the European Parliament’s vote by the middle of December.” (http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/ccb/catholic_church/media_centre2/press_releases/press_releases_2008/the_financial_crisis_is_a_test_for_the_values_of_european_society).
What this means is that at their next meeting scheduled by December 15, the European Parliament will discuss the European Bishops’ request to pass a legislation “for the protection of Sunday.” This is a startling new development in Western Europe where Sunday has become a secular day.
There are signs that such legislation could draw support in the USA. In an article entitled “ Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need,” Michael Pearce’s Blog writes: “There have been a lot of changes in the past 100 years. Not only have we seen gang activity increase along with crimes, but so has energy consumption. The other change I realized was the rescinding of the ‘Sunday Laws’ across the United States.”
The article continues listing a host of benefits provided by Sunday Laws. The conclusion of the article is: “So perhaps we should consider enacting a Sunday Law. Not to restrict people from working, but to give liberty to those who can’t choose. And imagine the tax dollars that would be saved?” (http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/Tritium/gG5ngR).
It will be interesting to see if the European Parliament will pass a legislation “for the protection of Sunday,” and the possible repercussions of such legislation in other countries, including the USA.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION
During this past year many of you readers of this newsletter have expressed your deep appreciation for the information and inspiration received from these Bible studies. Your notes of appreciation have been of great encouragement to me. Unfortunately we do not pay bills with thank you notes.
Looking back to 2008 I note that I have posted about 25 newsletters, that is, about one every two weeks, for a total of over 600 pages.
Preparing each newsletter takes between 50 to 100 hours, because I try to address each subject as thoroughly as I possibly can. This newsletter you are about to read is another example of my dedication to this ministry of research.
This is a voluntary ministry which is not supported financially by any benefactor. Since I took an early retirement in the year 2000, I do not receive any pay check from Andrews University or any other source. I try to support my ministry through the sale of my publications.
Lately both myself and Cristina Piccardi, an outstanding soprano who joined my ministry a little over a year ago, have received invitations from overseas countries. For example, this week I will be flying to London to speak at two rallies and Cristina will fly to the Philippines and Malaysia to sing for the Messiah and other sacred operas. Because of the financial limitations of our churhces, only part of the travel expenses will be paid.
If you have been blessed by our ministry and wish to include us among the recipients of your donations, your gift will be gratefully received. It will be used strictly for our outreach ministry. At this time we are receiving many requests from countries in Africa, Inter-America and South America for free copies of the English and Spanish Editions of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? This is a powerful witnessing book tha greatly benefits our people in these poor countries. Your contribution will make it possible for us to send many more free copies to our fellow-believers overseas.
Thank you for considering our ministry among the beneficiaries of your end-of the year contribution. If you need a tax deduction receipt, write your check to MASTER BUILDERS. Our son, Dany, who is an Architech, has a non-profit account for their overseas mission building projects. For general contributions, write your check to BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, and send it to 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103.
May the Lord bless your life and work during the new year 2009.
OUR MINISTRY OF INTERCESSION
Loretta Bacchiocchi, Associate Professor,
Department of Nursing B.S.N., M.S.N.,
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
The reference that my father made to the intercessory prayer ministry of our team, generated an unusual number of requests from different parts of the world. I have received many phone calls and emails, which with the help of God and our team, we have diligently brought the needs before the Lord and interceding on your behalf. If you have emailed me and have not heard from me, please rest assured you are being prayed for, and you will be hearing from me. These past weeks have been unusually busy and there were several local prayer needs which required much time our prayer time.
This past Friday and Sabbath our prayer team prayed for people of all ages, beginning with 7 months of age! Our team has become increasingly aware of how Satan is attacking and afflicting our precious brothers and sisters. It breaks our hearts to see how many people feel helpless, hopeless, and/or are overwhelmed with difficulties and/or illnesses. It is our hope that through our prayer interventions peace, joy, strength, courage, and boldness are restored.
Physical healing is only a portion of the aim of our prayers. The reality is that many brothers and sisters need emotional and spiritual healing as well. Many have family members who also need to be restored. Through our intercessories prayers we have seen many people completely restored.
We Need to Know How to Pray More Effectively
The calls and emails received have convinced that many need not only our prayers but also need to know how to pray more effectively. I feel impressed to share my own personal testimony of how God has guided me into becoming a prayer warrior for His Kingdom.
Since my father has written an exceedingly long newsletter, I will share with you my pilgrimage of faith in the next newsletter. Let me just says that God wants each of us to feel empowered against the evil one. He also wants each of us to experience the fruits of the spirit including peace and joy! I have found that this is much easier when we come together in groups to pray over one another. Thus, I encourage you to organize prayer groups in your home asking God to guide and bless you group. You will be amazed at the results.
I will share more of my spiritual journey in future newsletters. It is my hope and prayer that each of you will find renewed energy and power as you continue in your prayer journey and that you each will become more effective in setting brothers and sisters free from the bondage of the evil one.
Feel free to forward any comments or prayer requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-880-0336. Our prayer team will bring your petitions before the Lord.
ARE YOU CONSIDERING MOVING TO BERRIEN SPRINGS, NEAR ANDREWS UNIVERSITY?
If you are planning to move to Berrien Springs, Michigan, near Andrews University, my wife and I have a brand new three bedrooms townhouse to offer you, located one mile from Andrews University.
We have bought this townhouse from our son, Dan Bacchiocchi, who has developed a 16 units Townhome community designed around the needs of empty nesters, retirees or young professional families.
Our three bedrooms townhouse has been upgraded to meet our expectation. We have added granite counter tops, wooden floors, a heated sun room, stainless steel appliances, etc. Our plan is one day to move from our current large home to this smaller home.
If you want to see a picture of our townhome with the floor design, click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/townhouse.html
At this time we are thinking of leasing our townhome to a responsible couple or single person. It will be ready to move in a week by the end of November. The following services are provided by the Association: Snow plowing of the drives and front walks, landscaping maintenance and lawn cutting, exterior maintenance of the townhome, insurance of the exterior of the townhome, waterservice supply and septic system maintenance, bi-annual replacement of heating filters.
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THE ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE SEMINARS, SPECIAL OFFERS AND SERVICES ARE PLACED AT THE END OF THIS NEWSLETTER
“THE PAPACY AND ISLAM IN PROPHECY”
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,
Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,
Several readers have strongly protested against my suggestion that Obama could well foster the expansion of Islam in the USA. Their reasoning is that Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim. Some go as far as claiming that Obama never had any Muslim connection in his life and consequently he has no reason or desire to facilitate the expansion of Islam in America.
This claim is negated by several evidences to be submitted shortly. But the issue in my mind is not whether or not Obama has had Muslim connections in the past or has Muslim leanings today. After all America is a multi-cultural society that can legitimately elect a Muslim, Jewish, or Catholic President.
Will Obama Foster the Expansion if Islam in the USA?
From a prophetic perspective, our concern is not to investigate Obama religious background per se. After all Obama has the right to profess any religion he chooses. Rather our concern is to see if during the next four years of Obama administration the Muslim’s presence and power will grow significantly in America, as the Catholic influence has greatly grown during the past eight years of the Bush administration. Time will soon tell if the proposal presented in this newsletter was right or wrong.
The Growth of Catholic Influence During the Bush Administration
In newsletter 208 I discussed at length the expansion of the Catholic influence during the Bush administration. Writing for The Washington Post David Burke offers this good summary: “This Protestant president [Bush] has surrounded himself with Roman Catholic intellectuals, speech writers, professors, priests, bishops and politicians. These Catholics—and thus Catholic social teaching--—have for the past eight years been shaping Bush’s speeches, policies and legacy to a degree perhaps unprecedented in U.S. history.
“Bush has also placed Catholics in prominent roles in the federal government and relied on Catholic tradition to make a public case for everything from his faith-based initiative to antiabortion legislation. He has wedded Catholic intellectualism with evangelical political savvy to forge a powerful electoral coalition.” (The Washington Post, April 13, 2008).
For a discussion and documentation of the growth of the Catholic influence during the Bush administration, read newsletter 208 “Is President Bush Converting to Catholicism?” (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_208.htm)
Will the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13 Be Empowered by Both the Papacy and Islam?
If Obama will facilitate the growth of the Muslim’s presence and power in America as Bush has done for Catholicism, then we could see how the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13, which our Adventist church has identified with America, will be empowered by both the Papacy and Islam to oppose the true people of God.
In the current 2008 devotional The Gospel from Patmos, Prof. Jon Paulien writes: “There is something lamblike about the beast when it first appears [America], but its opposition to the dragon fades and over time it begins to speak like a dragon. The land beast becomes the decisive player on the world stage, bringing about an end-time world unity in opposition to the true people of God (Rev 13:12-18).
Twenty-five years ago the thought that America could become the dominant player on the world stage seemed lucricrous. From Vietnam to Watergate to stagflation to Jimmy Carter’s apologies, Americaseemed in decline on the world stage. Before you can speak like a dragon you have to have a dragon’s power and vocal cords! But the scenario of Revelation is credible today.” (P. 240.)
Can the Papacy and Islam Work together to Bring About the Final Showdown over Worship?
Can the Papacy and Islam work together to bring about the final showdown over worship? The response of several readers is “NO,” because they reason that these two religions are radically different in their beliefs and in their methods to achieve world domination.
We shall see that problem with this reasoning is the failure to recognize that the Catholic and Muslim Faiths, share far more in common that many realize. In this newsletter I will attempt to show that both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been working intensely to develop a new partnership between the Papacy and Islam.
It is noteworthy that on November 4, 2008, while Americans were voting for their new president, over 130 Muslims leaders were meeting at the Vatican to discuss ways to improve their relationship and develop a new partnership.
This important subject is examined in this newsletter. You may not agree with all the points of my Bible Study. But that is not a problem. I do not expect any reader to agree with everything I write. What I present is a proposal for further consideration, not a dogmatic position. My goal is to stimulate your thinking and broaden your understanding of Endtime prophecies.
WILL OBAMA FOSTER THE EXPANSION OF ISLAM
IN THE USA?
As mentioned earlier, several readers have strongly protested against my suggestion that Obama could well foster the expansion of Islam in the USA. Their reasoning is that Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim. Some go as far as claiming that Obama has never had any Muslim connection in his life and consequently he has no reason to facilitate the expansion of Islam in America.
In retrospect, I feel that it would have been wiser for me to avoid making any comment about the presidential candidates themselves, because it is evident that American feel very passionate about them. For some Evangelicals, as stated by Pat Robertson on LARRY KING LIVE, Obama is “someone between Moses and the Messiah,” For me, however, both Obama and McCain are not messianic deliverers, but fallible politicians who try to win popular support by promising far more than they can deliver.
No American president can legitimately be glorified as a God-sent deliverer with a divine mandate to solve the problems we face today such as economic crisis, crime, alarming rate of divorce, abortion, the push for same sex marriages, health coverage for 45 million uninsured Americans, affordable education, and unemployment.
From a Prophetic Perspective the close we come to the end, the more these problems will intensify, ushering in what Revelation calls “the Great Tribulation.” The ultimate solution to the problems facing America and the world, is to be found in the divine in-breaking into human time and history by Christ Coming. His Second Coming will soon bring to an end to all the economic, social, and political crisis and establish God’s eternal Kingdom of peace and prosperity.
Humanistic Ideologies Weaken the Advent Hope
It is important to note that a significant fact which has led many people to reject the Advent Hope is humanism. Simply stated, humanism teaches that mankind possesses the political, economic, scientific, technological resources to contract a better tomorrow. Thus, there is no need for Christ to return to establish a new world, because mankind has the resources to construct a better tomorrow.
I was reminded of these humanistic ideologies while watching the speeches and debates of the presidential candidates. They boldly presented their programs as a solution to all the problems facing America today. Million of Americans were captivated by their eloquence and responded by contributing their time and almost one billion dollars to support the candidate of their choice. They sincerely believe that their candidate will implement policies that will usher in a better future. Such a belief ultimately obscures the need of the Second Advent to establish God’s eternal Kingdom.
The passion and enthusiasm generated by the presidential campaign, taught me an important lesson. People can get really excited and are willing to contribute their time and money to support a man who offers them the hope for a better future. About a billion dollars were contributed to the presidential candidates. We have been overwhelmed by telephone calls, fliers, posters, letters, urging us to vote for a certain presidential candidate.
How marvellous it would be if the our Adventist church could generate the same excitement and support to prepare a people for the soon-coming Savior! Could it be that the church needs to learn new strategies from the gurus of the presidential campaigns on how to convince, inspire and mobilize people to proclaim the good news of a soon coming Savior? Could it be that we need to learn how to develop a simple and clear “platform” Endtime message that offers to people the hope and reassurance of a better tomorrow.
Obama Denies Muslim’s Connections
The discussion of Obama’s possible Muslim’s connections, is not meant as a criticism of his religious affiliation. As mentioned earlier, in America any person has the right to profess and practice any religion. The interest for this investigation stems from the fact that the possible growth of the Muslim’ presence and power in America during the Obama’s administration, could represent a significant prophetic fulfilment of Revelation 13. We could see how the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13, which our Adventist church has identified with America, will be empowered by both the Papacy and Islam to oppose the true people of God.
Obama has repeatedly affirmed: “I have always been a Christian,” and adamantly denied ever having been a Muslim. “The only connection I’ve had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father’s side came from that country [Kenya]. But I’ve never practiced Islam.” In February, he claimed: “I have never been a Muslim. Other than my name and the fact that I lived in a populous Muslim country for 4 years when I was a child [Indonesia, 1967-71] I have very little connection to the Islamic religion.” http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5544
“Always” and “never” leave little room for equivocation. But many biographical facts gathered by American and foreign reporters, suggest that during his childhood Obama had a reasonably Muslim upbringing under the auspices of his Indonesian step-father.
Obama’s Kenyan father Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (1936-1982) was a Muslim who named his son Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. ”Hussein” is a common name given to Muslim boys.
Obama’s stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was also a Muslim. In fact, as Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng explained to Jodi Kantor of the New York Times: “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.”
The information from the Catholic school Fransiskus Strada Asisia, which Obama attended in Indonesia from 1967-70, suggests that he enrolled as a Muslim. Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports that “documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim” while attending the Catholic school during the first three grades. Kim Barker of the Chicago Tribune confirms that Obama was “listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school.”
The public elementary school that Obama attended from1970-71 in Indonesia, is variously known as the Sekolah Dasar Nasional Menteng No. 1 or the Basuki school. Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times learned from Indonesians familiar with Obama when he lived in Jakarta that he “was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended.” Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star visited the Jakarta public school Obama attended and found that “Three of his teachers have said he was enrolled as a Muslim.”
Obama’s Indonesian family: His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was a Muslim. In fact, as Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng explained to Jodi Kantor of the New York Times: “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.” An Indonesian publication, the Banjarmasin Post reports a former classmate, Rony Amir, recalling that “All the relatives of Barry’s [nickname given to Obama] father were very devout Muslims.” (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0408/pipes042908.php3)
Obama Fondly Recalls Evening Call to Prayer. In a 2007 New York Times interview, entitled “Obama, A man of the World,” Obama fondly recalled the Islamic evening call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” According to the article, “Obama went on to recite its opening lines with a perfect Arabic accent: “Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah! I witness that there is no god but Allah! I witness that Muhammad is his prophet!”
It is difficult to comprehend how a genuine Christian could say: “‘Allah is supreme and there is no god but Allah.” It is evident that Obama still find meaning in his Islamic religious tradition. (http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/558288452.html)
Obama’s Statement “My Muslim Faith:” On September 5th, 2008, in an ABC television live interview “This Week” with political pundit, George Stephanopoulos, Obama uttered the line, “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.” While the phrase “My Muslim Faith” was explained away as a verbal slip, perhaps it could reflect Obama’s lingering subconscious attraction to his Muslim heritage. (http://sooshisoo.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/obama-on-abc-news-my-muslim-faith/)
Obama Believes that there are Many Paths to Salvation. The most extensive comments ever offered by Obama about his faith came in a 2004 Chicago Sun-Times interview. When asked what he believes, Obama said: “I am a Christian. I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.” (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=78757)
Obama belief that there are many paths to the same place, runs contrary to biblical statements like the one found in John 14:6: “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Obama Campaign had an Outreach Director for the Muslims. I have never heard the media saying that Obama appointed an Oureach Director to the Muslims. Yet, according Jim Popkin, NBC News Senior Investigative Producer, the Obama campaign appointed a Muslim outreach director who participated in a meeting in mid September that was attended by several controversial Muslim activists. The Obama campaign now concedes that was a misjudgment, and that its top Muslim staffer would not have attended the meeting if she had known the full participant list beforehand.
On September 15, 2008, newly named Muslim outreach director Minha Husaini spoke to a small group of Muslim leaders and potential Obama supporters at a hotel in Springfield, Virginia, several meeting participants and the campaign said. Two other Obama-affiliated Democratic Party workers joined Husaini and also spoke to the crowd. Some Virginia and Washington, D.C.-based Muslim activists and interested citizens attended, and flyers were passed out from “Arab Americans for Obama.” (deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/10/09/1525564.aspx).
Much Of Arab World Rejoices Over Obama’s Election
The election of Obama as President of the United States is hailed in Arab and Muslim countries as a victory for Islam. Unprecedented celebrations took place in most Muslim countries.
For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s president congratulated the U.S. president-elect Obama on Thursday, and offered to meet with him. Hamas adviser Ahmed Youself also told WorldNetDaily that Obama’s election marked a “turning point,” and that “everybody is looking forward to Obama’s change.”
Libyan President Moammar Qaddafi declared to his people that Obama is a Muslim because his name proved it. He said: “All the people in the Arab world, Islamic world and Africans have applauded him and are expecting good results.”
Even radical Jihadi leaders share in Obama victory. For example, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organization that claims ties to Al Qaeda, stated that “the election of Mr. Obama — and the rejection of the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain — was a victory for his Islamic movement, a claim that has already begun to resonate among the radical faithful. In so doing Mr. Baghdadi highlighted the challenge the new president would face as he weighed how to remove troops from Iraq without also giving movements like Al Qaeda a powerful propaganda tool to use for recruiting.
“And the other truth that politicians are embarrassed to admit,” Mr. Baghdadi said, “is that their unjust war on the houses of Islam, with its heavy and successive losses and the continuous operations of exhaustion of your power and your economy, were the principal cause of the collapse of the economic giant.” New York Times, November 8, 2008. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/world/middleeast/08jihadi.html?partner=rssnyt).
The Reason Why Obama Did not Openly Seek Muslim’s Support
In the light of the above evidences, one wonder why Obama did not openly admit that his campaign was seeking the support of the Muslims. The answer is provided in an article published in Islamica Magazine, a Muslim magazine. The article says: “ While it is impossible to tell, it would be reasonable to assume that if Obama could say something nice about Muslims he would because he wants votes from any and all Americans. . . . The only reason a candidate like Obama would not say something nice about Muslims is because he is making a clear political calculation. The votes he would gain from Muslims are far less than the votes he would lose from his association with Muslims.
“This is a political reality that Muslims in America must face. It is a clear demonstration that the collective efforts of Muslim institution building over the last 20 years have largely failed to make any real progress when it comes to impacting the American political process, at least at the national level. Muslims have found the perfect candidate, but cannot vocally support him for fear that if they do, they may be the reason he loses. How is that for a wake-up call.” (Emphasis supplied. www.islamicamagazine.com/Online-Analysis/Muslim-Voters-and-Obama.html) Note that Obama’s election is seen by Muslim as a wake up call to expand their power and influence in America.
Obama is hailed by the Muslims as their “perfect candidate,” because they perceive in him a President who will support their cause. This gives us reasons to believe that during the next four years there will be a significant expansion of the Muslim presence and power in America. This development support our understanding of the prophetic role that the Papacy and Islam will fulfill in the endtime showdown over worship.
THE NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE PAPACY AND ISLAM
At this point the question we need to consider is: Will the Papacy and Islam develop a partnership that will empower America, the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13 to oppose God’s people? At first sight this seems to be an impossible scenario, because historically, Islam and the Papacy have been violent enemies that have fought for the control of the territories of the Roman empire. Eventually Islam swallowed up most of the Christian countries comprising the Eastern wing of the Roman Empire, restricting the influence of the Papacy to a few Western countries.
At the time of the Reformation, Muslims were more inclined to draw the sword against Catholics than against Protestants, because the Catholics venerated the images of Jesus, the saints and Mary—a practice especially abhorrent to Muslims. The Catholic veneration of the images has remained the same, but her policy toward Islam has radically changed in recent years.
Luther and Calvin’s Understanding of Islam and the Papacy
In the last newsletter we reviewed Luther and Calvin’s understanding of Islam and of the Papacy as being the two aspects of the power of the Antichrist predicted in Daniel and Revelation. We saw that this interpretation was defended even by Jonathan Edwards, the first President of Princeton University and one of the most respected American theologian,
In his book A History of the Work of Redemption, Edwards wrote: “The two great works of the devil which he wrought against the Kingdom of Christ are . . . his Anti-Christian (Romish or Papal) and Mahometan (Muslim or Islamic) kingdoms, which have been, and still are, two kingdoms of great extent and strength. Both together swallow up the Ancient Roman Empire; the (Papal) kingdom of the Antichrist swallowing up the Western Empire; and Satan’s Mahometan kingdom the Eastern Empire . . . In the Book of Revelation (chapter 16-20) . . . it is in the destruction of these that the glorious victory of Christ at the introduction of the glorious times of the Church, will mainly consists.”
I feel that this historical interpretation deserves serious consideration. Thus in the last newsletter I examined the identifying marks of the prophetic Antichrist. We found that both the Papacy and Islam fulfill the distinctive characteristics of the Antichrist presented in 1 John, Daniel and Revelation.
In this newsletter we continue our study by exploring the new partnership that is developing between the Papacy and Islam in the light of the past and present prophetic role of the Antichrist. Specifically, we want to find out if the past struggle for supremacy between the Papacy and Islam and the new present cooperation between them, are part of the prophetic vision of the role of the Antichrist.
Our study is divided into two parts. The first part looks at the new partnership that is developing between the Papacy and Islam. I will argue that the Pope’s attempt to win the Muslims to himself by acknowledging Allah as being essentially the same God of biblical revelation, may be politically correct, but is biblical wrong. The two Gods differ radically in their nature and teachings regarding such things as methods of evangelism, womanhood, and salvation.
The second part considers some of the distinctive beliefs and practices that the Catholic Church shares in common with Islam. I will argue that this commonality may provide the basis for understanding the future prophetic role of these two powers.
The Papacy Attempts to Woo Mecca to Rome
Both Benedict XVI and John Paul II have been working to improve relations with Muslims. For example, at the end of November 2006, Benedict XVI made a historic visit of Turkey which won the sympathy of the people.
In an article “From Foe to Friend in Turkey,” the German newspaper Spiegel writes: “Before he arrived, the Turks hated him. Now that Pope Benedict XVI is in Turkey though, he has made 73 million new friends. Not only has he sought to heal the Christian-Muslim divide. But he also supports Turkish EU membership at a time when the country really needs an ally.
“It didn’t take long for Pope Benedict XVI to transform himself from one of Turkey’s worst enemies to one of the country’s best friends. Already on Wednesday, the pope was being given praise for his attempts to bridge the gaps between Christians and Muslim.” (http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,451418,00.html)
BBC reports: “The visit to the mosque, an extra stop inserted in the Pope’s programme only at the last minute, appears to have gone down extremely well with his hosts. It was a bold gesture, considering that this was only the second time in the history of the papacy that a pope from Rome has entered a Muslim place of worship. “(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6199350.stm
According to the BBC, “On November 6, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at a time of strained relations between Islam and Christianity over global terrorism, the Iraq war and the lack of religious freedoms for nearly 1 million Roman Catholic migrant workers living in the Persian Gulf state.
“It was the first meeting between a Saudi monarch, who also oversees Islam’s holiest shrine at Mecca, and the head of the Catholic Church. . . .The Vatican media office said the meeting was cordial and “provided an opportunity to consider questions close to the heart” of both sides. The statement said that Vatican officials wished for the prosperity of all peoples living in Saudi Arabia while noting “the positive and industrious presence of Christians.”
“Saudi Arabia and the Holy See do not have formal diplomatic relations; the country’s practice of strict Wahhabi Islam opposes close ties to Christian organizations on Saudi soil.
“The meeting and handshake between the king and the pope offered encouragement to efforts to resolve the religious and political turmoil across the Middle East. The Vatican statement said the two leaders emphasized the “importance of collaboration between Christians, Muslims and Jews for the promotion of peace, justice and spiritual and moral values.” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7080327.stm)
On November 4, 2008, the very day when Americans were voting for the new president, Papal officials, Islamic leaders and scholars began a historic summit in the Vatican to foster better understanding and a new partnership between the two largest religions in the world. (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0801242.htm)
John Paul II and the Muslim
Benedict XVI is building upon the legacy of Pope John Paul II who worked hard to woo Mecca to Rome. In May 2001 John Paul made history by becoming the first Catholic leader to set foot into a mosque and participate in an organized prayer service. The symbolic meeting took place when the Pope entered the Umayyad Mosque in the Syrian capital of Damascus. This mosque has significance for both Muslims and Christians. For Muslims it is the oldest stone mosque in the world, while for Christians it is the alleged place where John the Baptist was buried.
The Pope led in Christian prayers, while his Moslem counterpart, Sheikh Ahmed Kataro, led in Moslem prayers. By this dramatic act of worshipping in a mosque, the Pope underlined his commitment to work toward a rapprochement with the Muslims.
Twelve days after the horrors of September 11, 2001, the Pope renewed his commitment to work toward a new partnership with Moslems in his message to the predominantly Muslim nation of Kazakhstan. The Pope declared: “’There is one God’. The Apostle proclaims before all else the absolute oneness of God. This is a truth which Christians inherited from the children of Israel and which they share with Muslims: it is faith in the one God, ‘Lord of heaven and earth’ (Lk.10:21), almighty and merciful. In the name of this one God, I turn to the people of deep and ancient religious traditions, the people of Kazakhstan.” (Homily of the Pope, in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, 23 September 2001).
The Pope then appealed to both Muslims and Christians to work together to build a “civilization of love”: “This ‘logic of love’ is what he [Jesus] holds out to us, asking us to live it above all through generosity to those in need. It is a logic which can bring together Christians and Muslims, and commit them to work together for the ‘civilization of love’. It is a logic which overcomes all the cunning of this world and allows us to make true friends who will welcome us ‘into the eternal dwelling-places’ (Lk.16:9), into the ‘homeland’ of heaven.” (ibid).
In his final prayer, the Pope again appealed for Christians and Muslims to work together side by side in fulfilling God’s will:
“And in this celebration we want to pray for Kazakhstan and its inhabitants, so that this vast nation, with all its ethnic, cultural and religious variety, will grow stronger in justice, solidarity and peace. May it progress on the basis in particular of cooperation between Christians and Muslims, committed day by day, side by side, in the effort to fulfill God’s will.” (Ibid.).
In spite of the catastrophic events of September 11th, the Pope continued to work toward a partnership with the Muslims. The basis of this partnership is the belief that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God of Abraham.
A Reappraisal of Islam
This belief is clearly expressed in the new official Catechism of the Catholic Church, which speaks of the new Catholic relationship with the Muslims in these terms: “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, (San Francisco, CA, 1994) Paragraph 84).
The Catechism continues affirming that “The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, whose faith Muslims eagerly link to their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devotedly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.” (Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, No. 56, Nostra Aetate, Austin P. Flannery, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI, 1975 & 1984) Vol. I., pp. 739-740).
It is evident that the Catholic estimation of Islam has undergone a fundamental change from the religion of “infidels” to that of believers who worship the same God of Abraham. While in the past the Catholic Church denounced Islam as an evil religion to be suppressed by crusades (Holy War), today she welcomes and affirms Muslims as having the same faith of Abraham as herself.
The driving force behind this tactical reappraisal of Islam is the determination of the Vatican to bring about a New World Order under the moral and religious leadership of the Pope. This goal was expressed at Vatican II which declares: “The encouragement of unity is in harmony with the deepest nature of the [Roman Catholic] Church’s mission....” (Ibid., No. 64, Gaudium et Spes, Vol. I, Sec. 42, p. 942).
The profound danger facing Evangelical Christians today is to naively accept the Pope’s claim to be the official spokesman for Christ on earth—a deception that is deeply embedded in the new thrust to create a global coalition of nations on the basis of a politically constructed god which can be adapted to different religious systems.
The determination of the Pope to develop a partnership with Muslims stems from the simple fact that their 1.3 billion members outnumbers the 1 billion Catholic members. By acknowledging the legitimacy of the Islam faith, the Pope is facilitating the Muslims’ acceptance of His role as the leader of a future New World Order.
The Fatima’s Appearances
In their informative paper on “Islam and the Vatican,” Richard Bennet and Robert Nicholson mention a highly emotional episode which has contributed to building a common ground between Rome and Mecca, namely, the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima, in the town of Fatima, in Portugal. Since Fatima was the name of Muhammad’s daughter, attempts have been made to explain Fatima’s apparitions as Muslim’s phenomena. (Richard Bennett and Robert Nicholson, “Islam and the Vatican: A New Partnership with Muslims,” at www.users.bigpond.com/farel/wfs3gu.html, p. 3.).
Bennet and Nicholson write: “To quote a Catholic news organization, ‘Our Lady of Fatima is really Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.... On October 23, 1995, Iranian television began running stories that the apparitions in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 were religious phenomena of Muslim origin.” (Ibid., pp 3-4).
“Islam teaches that men can achieve favor with God by what a person does. On the Fatima site in Portugal on May 13th, 2000, the Pope proclaimed a message that could be readily accepted by both Muslims and Catholics. ‘Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them’....” (www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_p.../hf_jp-ii_hom_ 20000513_beatification-fatima_en.htm accessed 6/1/00.).
Heroic deeds to win the approval of God, appeal to the natural man, including the devout Muslim; it is, however, light years away from the Gospel of grace. The Pope’s message, and the message and veneration of heroism in Islam are a total negation of the Gospel, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. (Titus 3:5)”
Is the God of the Koran the Same as the God of the Bible?
The difference between the teaching of Koran and that of the Bible is not limited to the doctrine of salvation, but includes the very understanding of God. In fact, all the distinctive beliefs and practices of Islam and Christianity, stem from their respective understanding of God. We noted that the Pope is attempting to build a new partnership with the Muslims by affirming that they worship the same Abrahamic God worshipped by Catholics.
In my reading I found that this view is embraced by numerous church leaders and scholars of different faiths. For example, secretaries of European episcopates met in Instanbul, Turkey, for a five-day period in June 2002 to discuss the relation between Islam and Christianity. The assumption is that by acknowledging Allah, the God portrayed in the Koran, as being essentially the same as Elohim/Yaweth, the God revealed in the Bible, it is possible to develop a relationship of mutual understanding and acceptance between Islam and Christianity.
Is this assumption correct? A careful comparison between the Koranic God and the biblical God, clearly shows that the two Gods are radically different. Though the Arabic name Allah derives from the Hebrew name for God Eloha, the similarity is only etymological, not theological. In other words, the two names sound similar, but their respective teachings are totally different. To illustrate this point, we will look at a few significant teachings.
Our aim is to show that the attempt of the Pope and other Christian Church leaders to build a partnership with the Muslims by acknowledging their God, Allah, as being essentially the same as the God of biblical revelation, grossly misrepresents the biblical God. The reason is that the two Gods differ radically in what they have revealed about themselves and their creative and redemptive acts for the human family.
From a prophetic perspective this new partnership between the Papacy and Islam, represents the historical outworking of the power of the Antichrist. We have shown in the previous newsletter that this power is committed to promote the false worship of God and the persecution of God’s people. We shall see that both the Papacy and Islam fulfill the prophetic identifying marks of the Antichrist.
The Understanding of God
Muslims and Christians believe that there is one God, but the way they conceptualize God in their respective theologies is radically different. For example, while the God of the Bible is an incarnate Being who entered into human time at creation and into human flesh at redemption in order to be Emmanuel, God with us, the God of the Koran cannot and will not incarnate. He is remote, inscrutable, utterly inaccessible to human knowledge. Though human beings are his creatures, no interpersonal relationship is possible with Allah.
The difference between the unitarian view of the Koranic God (“There is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad, his prophet”), and the trinitarian view of the biblical God (consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), differs not only in numbers, but in nature and character. The God of the Bible is a triune Being because HE IS LOVE. Love cannot be exercised in isolation. You cannot be all-loving and be alone at the same time. Love is manifested in relationships. Augustine expressed this truth eloquently, when he said: “Ubi amor, ibi trinitas - Where there love, there is a trinity.” By that he meant, that where there is love, there is a lover, a beloved, and a spirit of love.
For Muslims the biblical teaching that Christ is the Son of God is blasphemous. “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no God except One God” (Surah 5:76). Islam’s teaching of the absolute Oneness of God stems from their believe that God is “far above” and beyond any intimate relationship. He lives in solitary aloofness. Such a teaching derives from gnostic sects that lived in Saudi Arabia at the time of Muhammad. By contrast, the God of the Bible consists of three Beings who live in eternal fellowship. He is both transcendent and immanent, beyond and within His creation.
The God of the Bible was not content to bless His creation from outside of it. He humbled himself to the point of becoming part of his created order through the incarnation of His Son Jesus Christ. By becoming part of His created order, God sanctified humanity. The Sonship of Jesus in the Bible, is a testimony of divine love—a love that transcends human understanding.
It is from this perspectives that we, as Christians, can help our Muslim friends to understand the uniqueness of the triune God of the Bible. Rather than wasting time to prove the Trinity—a sublime mystery that transcends any human explanation—we can affirm that the biblical God does not live in solitary aloofness, but in a holy communion of three beings, because He is love. But we need to explain to our Muslims friends that the three Beings of the Godhead are indeed ONE GOD, because they share the same center of consciousness—a mystery beyond human comprehension.
Method of Revelation
Another significant difference between the God of the Bible and that of the Koran, is in the method of revelation. In the Koran God has spoken through a book. In the Bible God has revealed Himself supremely through a Person, Jesus Christ. In Islam the great marvel of God is to be found the Arabic version of the Koran. In Christianity the great miracle is to be found in the Person of Jesus Christ. Being a personal God, the Christian God can reveal Himself more fully through a Person, than through a book.
The radical difference between the biblical God and the Koranic God, becomes even clearer when we compare their respective teachings on such areas as sin, salvation, Jesus, hell, paradise, evangelism, and womanhood. For the sake of brevity, we shall look only at the last two.
Method of Evangelism
In the newsletter no. 85, we noted that the Koranic God explicitly enjoins to slay the pagans, Jews, and Christians who do not embrace Islam. “When the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity [become Moslem], then open the way for them.” (Surah 9:5).
Such a coercive method of evangelism stands in stark contrast to the teachings of the biblical God to win men and women for His Kingdom by proclaiming to them the Good News of His saving grace through Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
Apparently the Pope has no problem in accepting the teachings of Allah regarding the extermination of the infidels, because historically the Catholic church has taught and done the same thing. Thomas Aquinas, who is rightly regarded as the most influential Catholic theologian who ever lived, clearly states in his Summa Theologica that heretics are not to be tolerated, but exterminated. He wrote: “With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side, the other, on the side of the church. On their own side there is a sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports the temporal life. Wherefore, if the forger of money and other evildoers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 11, Article 3.)
This historical Catholic teaching that “heretics,” if they did not recant, must be not only excommunicated but also exterminated, sound strikingly similar to the teaching of the Koran. Such a common teaching explains why the Catholic Church has historically used Holy Wars (crusades) to exterminate Muslim “infidels” and Christian “heretics.” The fact that the Catholic church has historically embraced and used Islam’s Jihad, Holy Wars, to exterminate dissenters, helps us understand why the Pope finds the Koranic God to be similar to the intolerant God worshipped by the Catholics. Such Gods, however, are light years away from the God of biblical revelation.
The Koran and the Bible on Womanhood
The infinite superiority of the biblical God over that of the Koran, is most evident in the teaching regarding the status of women, especially as it relates to marriage, divorce and the world to come.. A brief comparison between the two can be instructive. It will help us to see that, in spite of what the Pope says, the biblical God cannot be legitimately compared to the Allah.
The God of the Bible created woman out of man to be his counterpart (Gen 2:18), corresponding to him mentally, physically and spiritually, and making him a larger person than he would have been alone. The same hold true for man. He brings to his wife a perspective that enlarges her life, making her a more complete person than she could be without him. Thus, “in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman” (1 Cor 11:11).
The Bible consistently teaches that marriage is a sacred and permanent covenant which God Himself witnesses and protects. For this reason, marriage is effectively used in the Old Testament to portray God’s relationship with Israel, and in the New Testament to represent Christ’s relationship with His church.
The high esteem that the biblical God places on the role of women in the home and in the church, is foreign to the Koran. According to Allah, women exist primarily for the sexual gratification of men. To ensure this goal, the Koran allows an ordinary Muslim to marry four wives, though wealthy Muslims can fill their harems to the extent of their wealth and lust. The latter practice has been encouraged by the example Muhammad himself who did not follow the Koranic limitations of four wives.
After the death of his first wife, Khadija, he married nine wives. One of them, Aiysha, was only nine years old. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr As Siddiq who was a close friend of the Prophet and in charge of his books. Muhammad was 53 years old when he insisted in marrying Aiysha, a nine years old child, immature, and obviously ignorant of married life. He also gave his twelve years old daughter, Fatima, in marriage to his cousin Ali binAbu Taleb. These criminal acts of child abuse alone suffice to discredit Muhammad’s claim to be the greatest prophet sent by Allah, even greater that Jesus Christ Himself.
It amazes me how Muslims can accept Muhammad as a greatest prophet who ever lived, in spite of the fact that he had sexual intercourse with a nine years old girl. If the Koranic God sanctions the abuse of children for sexual gratification, then He should be exposed as a criminal God, rather than worshipped as a Holy Being. Perhaps the Pope is not distressed by the sexual misconduct of the Prophet, because the Catholic Church has had its own share of sexual scandals, not only in the past when some Popes had women lovers and children (see ENDTIME ISSUES No. 82), but even today when Catholic priests are being sued in many countries for sexually abusing minors.
The fact that the Koranic God permits special people like Muhammad to do things forbidden to others, raises serious questions about His moral character and consistency. Muhammad claims that Allah gave him the permission to marry any other woman he fancied. Here is the relevant text from the Koran:
“Oh Prophet, We have made lawful for thee thy wives whom thou hast given their wages and what thy right hand owns, spoils of war that God has given thee, and the daughter of thy uncles paternal and aunts paternal, thy uncles maternal and aunts maternal, who have emigrated with thee, and any woman believer, if she give herself to the Prophet and if the Prophet desire to take her in marriage, for thee exclusively.” (Surah, The Confederates, vs. 49 ff.).
The special provision granted by the Koran to a man like Muhammad to take any woman as wife, even those captured in warfare, without any regard to the will of the women, clearly shows that Allah treats women as lambs to be led to the slaughter by the whims of men. After a man has obtained whatever he desires from a woman, he is free to keep or dismiss her without fear of injustice. This is clearly taught in the same Surah: “Thou mayest put off whom thou wilt of them, and whom thou wilt thou mayest take to thee; and if thou seekest any thou hast set aside there is no fault in thee” (Surah, The Confederates, v. 50).
It is evident that Allah has no respect for a woman’s emotions and rights. He treats women as disposable objects. By contrast the Biblical God teaches that “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). “The wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Cor 7:4). This mutual equality and complementarity taught by the biblical God, is foreign to the Koranic God. The polygamy and servile concubinage taught by the Koran, destroys the dignity of woman, the beauty of the home, besides discrediting the morality of Allah’s character..
Women in the Afterlife
A most compelling example of the glaring difference between the biblical and Koranic Gods, is to be found in the teachings of the Koran regarding the role of women in the afterlife. It came to me as a shock to read in the Koran and the Hadith - traditional teachings of Muhammad - that in the afterlife, most women are consigned to Hell fire to suffer eternally. Only some chaste maidens, known as hur, will live in the garden of Paradise, in order to provide sexual gratification to faithful Muslims.
The teaching that the majority of women will be consigned to Hell fire, is said to have come from a vision of the Prophet Muhammad. This vision is reported in several traditions (Hadith). According to one tradition, the Prophet related: “I saw the Fire and I have not seen to this day a more terrible sight. Most of the inhabitants are women. They [those to whom the Prophet was talking] said: O Messenger of God, why? He said, Because of their ingratitude. They said: Are they ungrateful to God? He said, No, but they are ungrateful to their companion [meaning husband] and ungrateful for the charity shown by their husband to them. Even if you men continue to do good things for them, and a woman sees one thing bad from you, she will say, I never saw anything at all good from you.” (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Cairo, 1895, vol. 1, p. 359)
The same vision is reported with minor variations in other traditions (Hadith), which speak also of the sin of breaking of confidence. Frankly, I find it appalling that the Koranic God consigns most women to Hell fire because allegedly they are all ungrateful and untrustworthy. This teaching is insulting not only to women in general, but to devout Muslim women in particular.
A visit to any Christian church shows that women outnumber men in church attendance and religious piety. It is hard to believe that Moslem women are less religious and trustworthy than their Christian counterpart and consequently they deserved to be consigned to Hell fire. The problem is not the Muslim women, but the teaching of the Koran that treats women as mentally and morally deficient. The low esteem of women is especially evident in their absence at the worship service of the mosque in most Moslem countries.
Chaste Maidens to Delight Faith Muslims in Paradise
While most women are consigned to Hell fire, some chaste maidens, known as hur, will live in the garden of Paradise to delight the faithful Muslim. The Koran refers four times to these chaste maidens who no man has ever touched (Surah 52:20; 56:22; 55:72, 44:54). The are described in the Koran as chaste, with glancing eyes like pearls, lovely, virginal, and of the same age of male believers (about 30 years old) for whom they are intended as a reward. Later traditions offer a great deal of elaboration.
In their book The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection, Jane Idleman Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad offer a helpful summary of the traditional teachings regarding the chaste maidens of Paradise: “In the hadiths [traditions] detail of their description differ, but they are generally said to be composed of saffrom from the feet to the knees, musk from the knees to the breast, amber from the breast to the neck, and camphor from the neck to the head. Working often with multiples of seven, the traditionalists have described them as wearing seventy to 70,000 gowns, through which even the marrow of the bones can be seen because of the finesse of their flesh, reclining on seventy couches of red hyacinth encrusted with rubies and jewels, and the like. The hur [chaste maidens] do not sleep, do not get pregnant, do not menstruate, spit, or blow their noses, and are never sick. References to the increased sexual process of those male believers for whose pleasure the hur [chaste maidens] are intended, are numerous; the reports make it clear that the hur are created specifically as a reward for males of the Muslim community who have been faithful to God.” (Jane Idleman Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad , The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection, (State University of New York Press, 1981), p. 164)
The sensual element that pollutes even the Koranic vision of Paradise, shows the immense difference that exists between the sexual obsession of Allah and the holiness and purity that characterizes Jehovah.
The foregoing comparison between the teaching of the Koran and that of the Bible, suffice to show that the Pope’s attempt to equate the God of biblical revelation with that of the Koran, may be politically correct, but it is biblically wrong. The two Gods differ like day from night in their nature, character, and plan for human life and destiny. The biblical God offers salvation as gift of grace, koranic God teaches that salvation is a human achievement.
Similarirites between Islam and Catholicism
In the light of the radical differences we have found between the biblical and Koranic Gods, one wonders: How can the Pope work toward a new partnership with Muslims by praising their faith as being the same faith of Abraham? Could it be that the Pope feels drawn to Islam more than to any other non-Christian religion, because there are significant similarities between Islam and Catholicism? To test the validity of this assumption, let us take a brief look at some significant similarities between the two religions.
Autocratic Form of church Government
In the first place both Islam and Catholicism have a similar autocratic form of church government where the seat of authority resides in one person: the Pope in Catholicism and Muhammad in Islam. What the Pope is for Catholics, Muhammad is for the Muslims. Both of them are accepted as God’s representatives on earth. The Pope claims to be the vicar of Christ, and Muhammad proclaimed himself to be Allah’s greatest prophet, superseding Christ Himself. What this means is that both the Catholics and Muslims share the same admiration and veneration for a human leader who dictates their beliefs and practices.
Importance of Good Works to Earn Salvation
A second striking similarity between Islam and Catholicism is their respective understanding of the importance of good works to earn salvation. Both in Catholicism and Islam salvation is the result of a combination of grace and works. In Catholicism, God’s grace is infused into believers to enable them to do the necessary good works to merit salvation on the day of judgment.
On a similar vein in Islam salvation is a combination of Allah’s grace and Muslims’ works. On the Day of Judgment, if a Muslims good works outweigh their bad ones, and if Allah accept their good works, then they may be forgiven of all their sins and enter into Paradise. Therefore, Islam is a religion of salvation by works because it combines man’s works with Allah’s grace.
Few verses from the Koran suffice to exemplify the importance of works: “To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward” (Surah 5:9). “Then those whose balance (of good deeds ) is heavy, they will be successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in hell will they abide” (Surah 23:102-103).
The Muslims’ understanding of good works is largely determined by the performance of the Five Pillars of Islam. These are (1) the recitation of the creed that there is only one true God Allah and Muhammad his prophet; (2) Praying five times a day; (3) Fasting and abstaining from sexual relations during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadan; (4) Alms-giving to the poor; (5) Pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible, at least one in the life time.
Similar Definition of Good Works
The Roman Catholic understanding of good works is strikingly similar. Like the Muslims, the Catholics recite the Apostles’ Creed in their church service. The recitation of prayers is also an important part of Catholic piety. I vividly recall my Catholic relatives reciting their prayers in the evening. They held a rosary in their hands to count the number of Ave Maria and Pater Noster (Lord’s Prayer) they had recited.
Fasting also is recommended to Catholics, especially as a form of penance to expiate sins confessed to a priest. Alms-giving is also an important aspect of Catholic piety. Alms are usually given to in the forms of charitable contributions to various religious (monastic) organizations that minister to the orphans and the poor.
Like the Muslims, Catholic are also encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Rome, especially during the Anno Santo, that is the Holy Year, which is now celebrated every 25 years. During the last Jubilee (Holy) Year of the year 2000, it is estimated that over 40 million Catholics made their pilgrimage to Rome, seeking remission of their sins, and indulgences for their loved ones in Purgatory. An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment for sins on behalf of loved ones, that can be obtained through prayers, pilgrimages, and special masses. These can shorten the duration of the punishment experienced by loved ones in purgatory.
It is evident that the methods of salvation in Islam and Roman Catholicism are striking similar. Unfortunately, both religious systems ignore that salvation is a divine gift of grace (Eph 2:8) and not a human achievement. Works of obedience are not the basis of our salvation, but a loving response to the gracious provision of salvation. It is because “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Cor 5:14), that we observe His commandments (John 14:15).
A third striking doctrinal similarity between Catholicism and Islam is the intercessory role of human agents. In Catholicism, believers pray to Mary and the Saints to intercede with God on their behalf or on behalf of their loved ones. We noted earlier that the new official Catechism of the Catholic Church, acknowledges that the Muslim “venerate Jesus as a prophet, his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devotedly invoke.”
For Muslim the supreme intercessory role is reserved for Muhammad. On the final day of judgment, the Prophet will prostrate himself before God who, according to tradition, will say to him: “O Muhammad! raise up your head, and speak, it will be heard; and ask, it will be given; and intercede, and it will be approved.” (A. N. Matthews, Translator, Mishcat-ul-Masabih, The Tibrizi Collection, Calcutta, 1810, vol. 1, p. 607.). The text continues indicating that God will pull out of the Hell fire those for whom Muhammad will intercede.
The notion of human mediators interceding with God on behalf of others, is foreign to Scripture. The Bible teaches that “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). It is only Jesus Christ, “who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us” (Rom 8:34).
Immortality of the Soul
A fourth outstanding doctrinal similarity between Catholicsm and Islam, is the belief in the survival of the soul apart from the body at the moment of death. In my book Immortality or Resurrection? I have shown that a host of heresies derive or are largely dependant upon the belief that the soul is immortal by nature and survives the body at death.
For example, the belief in the intercessory role of Muhammad, Mary and the saints mentioned above, stem from the belief that at death the souls of the faithful ascend to the beatitude of Paradise, known as “The Garden” in the Koran. Similarly the beliefs that at death the souls of those whose sins are pardonable transit to purgatory while the souls of impenitent sinners are cast into eternal hell fire, are based on the belief in the immortality of the soul. Both Catholicism and Islam hold to the belief in purgatory and hell.
It is humorous to read some of the Islamic manuals describing the process of the extraction of the soul from the body. For example, Al-Ghazali, in al-Durra al-fakhira offers this colorful description: “And when one’s destiny approaches, that is, his earthly death, then four angels descend to him; the angel who pulls the soul from his right foot, the angel who pulls it from the left foot, the angel who pulls it from his right hand, and the angel who pulls it from his left hand. . . . Then he is silent so that the his tongue is tied, while they pull the soul from the tips of his fingers. The good soul slips out like the jetting of water from a waterskin, but the profligate’s spirit squeaks out like a skewer from wet wool.” (Cited by Jane Idleman Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (n. 14), p. 37).
Once the soul is extracted from the body, the angels take it to one of three places: Paradise (the Gardens), Purgatory, or Hell, depending upon God’s judgment on the individual. Since we discussed earlier the pleasures of the Gardens granted to faithful Muslims, we shall limit our comments to Purgatory and Hell.
Purgatory and Hell
The two doctrines of purgatory and hell are remarkably similar in both Catholicism and Islam. Both religions believe that the souls of penitent sinners need to go through a purgation or purification process before they can be admitted to Paradise. In Catholic teachings the suffering of purgatory is needed to pay for the temporal punishment of sins committed on this earth. In Islam the suffering is inflicted as punishment for sins of omission.
Jane Smith and Yvonne Haddad, explain that in Islamic teaching the suffering of purgatory is needed, because “despite all that the pious believer may have done according to the commandments of God while on earth, he still may have committed some transgressions, however slight, or failed to do certain things that he should have done. Many of the traditions suggest punishment for single sins of omission. ‘Why are you punishing me when I carry out prayer and pay alms and fast in Ramadan thus and thus?’ The angel replied, ‘I am punishing you because you one day passed by an oppressed person who was calling for your help, but you did not help him. One day you prayed, but you had not cleansed yourself before urinating.’” (Ibid., p 48.). The last sin refers to the requirement of the Koran to rinse the sexual organs before praying - a common practice in the Moslem world even today.
The notion of believers suffering in purgatory to pay for the punishment of their sins before they are admitted into Paradise, negates the all sufficiency of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sins. Scripture clearly teaches that Christ “has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9:26; cf. 1 Cor 15:3). The Good News of the Gospel is that “God showed his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). There is no need for penitent sinners to suffer the punishment of their sins in this present life or the next, because Christ’s atoning sacrifice has paid the penalty of our sins.
The Islamic vision of Hell is remarkably similar to the Catholic one. In fact, some writers suggest that the seven stories Inferno of Dante Alighieri, was inspired by the Islamic Hell with seven stories, each of which for a distinct class of wicked.
In his thesis on the Eschatological Teachings of Islam, Wadie Farag writes: “Hardly a cruder or more barbarous picture of hell could be conceived than that depicted in the Koran and Hadith. The fires of hell are seventy times the intensity of terrestrial fire. The wicked who will suffer in it throughout eternity, will forget that they ever enjoyed any pleasure on this earth. Their tongues will drag out and men will stamp upon them. They will suffer hunger and when given food it will stick in their throats. They will be given ‘hot water served to them, with iron hooks; and when it comes near their faces it will scorch them, and when it goes into their bellies will tear every thing there into pieces.’” (Wadie Farag, “Eschatological Teachings of Islam,” A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, 1949, pp. 74-75).
“Scorpions as big as mules and snakes like camels torment them; stinking rivers full of vile creatures entrap them; the damned have black charred skins, huge long tongues, mouths vomiting pus and blood, entrails filled with fire; their bodies will be greatly enlarged so that they can more adequately experience the torture. All suffer by fire, although the degree of punishment differs according to one’s sins. The damned attempt to escape, but each time the guardians of the Fire seize them and throw them down again.” (Jane Idleman Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, p. 87).
The gruesome and barbarous description of hell, that is common to both Islam and Catholicism, may serve the cause of promoting the worship of their awful God— a God to be feared rather than loved, but it defames the biblical God who in His mercy will annihilate the evildoers at His Coming (2 Thess 1:9; 5:2-3; Gal 6:8).
The preceding comparison of some of the beliefs shared in common by Catholicism and Islam, has helped us to understand why the Pope is working toward a new partnership with Muslims by acknowledging the commonality between their respective faiths. We have seen that the basis for such partnership is not merely a generic view of God, but a similar autocratic form of church government, as well as similar beliefs in such areas as the role of good works in salvation, the intercessory role of human agents, the immortality of the soul, the coercive methods of evangelism, and the vision of purgatory and hell.
The commonality of certain beliefs and practices between Catholicism and Islam, encouraged us now in the previous newsletter to explore the past and future prophetic role these two powers. A basic understanding of the two religious systems is essential to understand what we studied in the previous newsletter the prophetic characteristic of Islam and the Papacy as two manifestations of the Antichrist.
We suggested at the beginning of this newsletter that if Obama will facilitate the growth of the Muslim’s presence and power in America as Bush has done for Catholicism, then we could see how the Lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13, which our Adventist church has identified with America, will be empowered by both the Papacy and Islam to oppose the true people of God. Time will soon tell if our suggestion is based on a correct understanding of the prophetic role that Catholicism and Islam will play in the final showdown over woshi.
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SERVICES AND PRODUCTS
UPCOMING SEMINARS FOR DECEMBER
As a service to our subscribers, I am listing the seminars scheduled for the month of December 2008. We wish to extend a warm welcome to those of you who live close to the location of our seminars. Our new seminars with Words and Songs will touch your heart and expand your mind.
NOVEMBER 28: LONDON FULHAM SDA CHURCH
Location: 259 Lillie Road, Fulham, SW6 7LL
For directions and information call Pastor Cline De Silva at 0208 384 1710
NOVEMBER 29: LONDON CORNERSTONE SDA CHURCH
Location: Paul Robeson Theater, Treaty Centre, High Street, Hounslow, TW3 1ES
For directions and information call Pastor Cline De Silva at 0208 384 1710
NOVEMBER 30: LONDON FULHAM SDA CHURCH
Location: The Brunswick Club, 34 Haldane Road, Fulham SW6 7EU
For directions and information call Pastor Cline De Silva at 0208 384 1710
DECEMBER 5-6: LONDON STONEBRIDGE SDA CHURCH
Location: St. Margaret & St, George’s United Reform and Moravian Church, Nicoll Road, Harlesden, London NW10 9AX
Fo directions and information call Pastor Michael Mannix at 07958 743661
DECEMBER 12-13: EL SOBRANTE-APIAN WAY SDA CHURCH
Location: 980 Appian Way, El Sobrante, California 94803
For direction and information call Pasto Jim Mamanua at (510) 724-3477
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR OF MY BOOKS
At this time I am pleased to announce also that Ivan Jakovac, an Australian Adventist who operates a Storage Business, has requested to distribute my books and recordings in Australia at a considerable cheaper price than in the USA. The reason is that he has ordered a large quantity that is being shipped by sea-freight, which costs a fraction of the airmail.
This is the name and address of the distributor:
107 North Street
Albury NSW 2640
(Near Melbourne, Australia)
Phone 02 6021 8088
Mobile 0406 854 500
web site: <http://www.alburystorage.com/>
If you live in Australia, feel free to contact Ivan Jacovac by phone or email. You will save time and money. For example, the cost of airmailing to Australia one copy of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? is $40.00, that is, $30.00 for the book and $10.00 for the airmail. You can order the same book from Ivan Jakovac for less than half of the price. The reason is that I have shipped the books to Ivan by sea-freight, which costs a fraction of the airmail.
TANZANIAN DISTRIBUTOR OF MY BOOKS
In the last newsletters I made a call for Adventists with marketing skills, interested to distribute my books in major English-speaking countries. The response has been encouraging. Several Adventists have contacted me and are now exploring the possibility of distributing my books in their countries.
At this time I am pleased to announce that Mr. Lazarus Lokaji Mollel from Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania has requested to become an official distributor of my books in Tanzania and neighboring African countries. He has already wired me the money for 1300 books which have been delivered to a sea-freight company in Chicago. The shipment should arrive in Dar-Es-Salaam in about a month. By shipping the books in large quantities by sea-freight, it reduces their cost by over 50%.
This is the complete name and address of Mr. Mollel:
Mr. Lazarus Lokaji Mollel (B.Sc Eng, Dip Dev, FRS, CLS. FIST)
P. O. Box 11191
Office phone (255) (22) 2121894, Fax 2138962, mob +255784784471
Home phone Tel (255) (22) 2171944
If you live in Tanzania, feel free to contact Lazarus Mollel by phone or email. You will save time and money. For example, the cost of airmailing to Tanzania one copy of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? is $40.00, that is, $30.00 for the book and $10.00 for the airmail. You can order the same book from Lazarus Mollel for less than half of the price. The reason is that the cost of sending the books by sea-freight is a fraction of the airmail.
For a description and picture of each book, click at this link:
MORE DISTRIBUTORS NEEDED
If you find my publications and recordings timely and biblically sound, you may wish to consider becoming a distributor in your own country. On my part I will support your endeavors by shipping you all my 20 books and 14 albums at a fraction of the retail price. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or by calling me at (269) 471-2915.
THE SPANISH EDITION OF POPULAR BELIEFS: ARE THEY BIBLICAL? HAS BEEN RELEASED
The Spanish edition of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? entitled LAS CREENCIAS POPULARES, ņSON BÍBLICAS? came off the press 10 days ago and already over 2000 copies have already been shipped. You can see the cover of the Spanish book and read a description by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/spanpop
To facilitate a massive distribution of Las Creencias Populares, ņSon Bíblicas? we are offering the book at a special introductory price of $5.00 per copy on quantity orders. For details click at this link http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_39 or call us at (269) 471-2915.
Your personal effort to inform Hispanic pastors and believers about the availability of Las Creencias Populares, ņSon Bíblicas? is much appreciated.
UPDATE ON POPULAR BELIEFS: ARE THEY BIBLICAL?
The third printing of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? came out few days ago. We have now resumed the shipment of the book to churches and institutions in the USA and overseas.
Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? is proving to be by far the most popular and best-selling book I have written. The reason is that the book meets the urgent need for a witnessing publication that Adventists can give with confidence to people inquiring about our faith.
Many Adventists have emailed me messages of appreciation, saying that they have waited for years for a book like Popular Beliefs that shows why the most popular Catholic and Protestant popular beliefs are unbiblical, while the less-popular Adventist beliefs are biblically correct.
Last week two evangelists informed me that they gave a copy of Popular Beliefs to several people who still had questions about some Adventist beliefs. The book answered their questions and the were baptized.
Popular Beliefs has Adopted by Adventist Colleges and Seminaries
Popular Beliefs is widely used not only for witnessing, but also for teaching at our colleges and theological seminaries. For example, we received orders from the School of Theology of Friedensau Adventist University in Germany. Prof. Denis Fortin, Dean of our Andrews University Theological Seminary, requested a supply for the class he teaches on Roman Catholic Theology.
Several professors told me that Popular Beliefs is ideal for some of their Bible classes, because it traces the historical origin and theological development of the major Catholic and Protestant heresies popular today.
As a church historian by training and profession, I have spent 15 months tracing historically and examining biblically 10 popular beliefs (heresies) in a calm, objective, and non-confrontational way. The ultimate goal is to lead ruth-seekers to appreciate the biblical validity and contemporary relevance of our Adventist beliefs.
Has your Church Received a Supply of Popular Beliefs?
If your church has not yet received a supply of Popular Beliefs, we will be glad to send you at this time as many copies as needed, since we have just received the third printing.
Popular Beliefs is an ideal gift for any non-SDA attending evangelistic meetings this Fall. As you know, evangelistic lectures can only touch on the highlights of our message, leaving many questions unanswered in the mind of the visitors. Popular Beliefs fill in the gaps by offering compelling answers to frequently asked questions.
To make it possible for many Adventist Churches to use Popular Beliefs for evangelistic outreach and for the personal growth, we offer the book at this time for only $6.60 per copy for a case of 30 copies, instead of the regular price of $30.00 per copy. This means that for $200.00, your church can order a case of 30 copies of Popular Beliefs. We will pay the mail expenses to US destinations. The details for ordering the book are given at the end of the newsletter or by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35 or call us at (269) 471-2915.
Two Copies for the Price of One
At this time I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the pastors and lay-members who have actively promoted and distributed Popular Beliefs to their church members. Without your promotional efforts, the book would not have been reprinted three times in three months.
To make it possible for all our pastors and local church leaders to become acquainted with this timely book, we are offering until October 31, 2008, two copies of Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical? for the price of one. This means that for $30.00 you can order two copies, one for yourself and to give to your pastor or a local church leader.
After reading Popular Beliefs many pastors have ordered the book by the case of 30 copies for only $6.60 per copy. Many churches have ordered 100 copies at the special offer of $5.00 per copy, to give to non-SDA attending the Mark Findley’s Satellite program Discoveries 2008 or other evangelistic meeting in the Fall.
But, there are still many pastors and churches that are unaware of the release of this powerful witnessing book Popular Beliefs. This newsletter reaches only about 35,000 readers. Thus I need your help in promoting this timely book.
Thank you for introducing your pastor and local church officers to this timely book. To facilitate your effort, I am offering you two copies for the price of one. The details for ordering the book are given at the end of the newsletter or by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35 or call us at (269) 471-2915.
SPECIAL OFFER ON POPULAR BELIEFS: ARE THEY BIBLICAL?
To facilitate a massive circulation of Popular Beliefs, I have decided to continue to offer the book at the following substantially discounted prices:
2 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? for the price of one, namely $30.00 for two copies. Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $10.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.
10 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $10.00 per copy, postage paid, instead of the regular price of $30.00 ($100.00 for 10 copies). Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $50.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.
30 copies (one case) of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $6.65 per copy ($200.00 for 30 copies). Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $100.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.
100 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $5.00 per copy, postage paid. ($500.00 for 100 copies). Mailing expenses are included for the USA. Add $300.00 for AIRMAIL postage to any overseas destination.
NOTE: We can ship by sea-freight up to 1000 copies of Popular Beliefs (that is, up to a cubit meter) to any foreign destinations for only $500.00. This reduces the cost of mailing to only Ę50 per book. Fee free to contact me for further details.
HOW TO ORDER POPULAR BELIEFS: ARE THEY BIBLICAL?
You can order Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? in four different ways:
(1) ONLINE: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=26_35
(2) PHONE: By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.
(3) EMAIL: By emailing your order to <email@example.com>. Be sure to provide your postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.
(4) REGULAR MAIL: By mailing a check to BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order as soon as we receive it.
THE PDF VERSION OF MY BOOKS CAN BE DOWNLOADED
At the request of American and Overseas readers who need immediate access to my books, often for a personal research project, we have decided to make it possible to download all the 20 books offered online in a PDF version.
The advantage is speed and saving. You can immediately download a PDF version of any of my books for only $15.00, instead of waiting for days or weeks to receive a printed copy which costs $40.00 to airmail overseas.
To download a PDF copy of my books simply click this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=37&osCsid=a5769f896270d26a770e18e1354ce7f1 If you have a problem, we can take your order by phone. Call us at (269) 471-2915.
FIRST TIME INCREDIBLE OFFER!!!
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE OF 14 DVD/CD ALBUMS FOR ONLY $150.00, INSTEAD OF THE REGULAR ONLINE PRICE OF $1650.00.
This offer may sound too good to be true. At this time we are offering together as a package all the 14 DVD/CD albums which contains 41 live, video lectures for only $150.00, instead of $1650.00.
This package contains 41 professionally recorded live, video lectures with all the lectures of Prof. Bacchiocchi, Prof. Jon Paulien, Prof. Roy Gane, Prof. Graeme Bradford, and Soprano Cristina Piccardi.
Until now these recordings were sold separately, costing considerably more. But to make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, we offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $1650.00.
You can view the picture of all the 14 ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this link:http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm
The Package Includes the Following 14 Albums:
1) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI AND CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD Album with Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs recorded at the Loma Linda SDA church. The album contains three DVD disks with 6 hours of lectures and sacred songs.
2) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S newly recorded DVD ALBUM called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR. The album contains 2 video powerpoint lectures: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages and How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. These two lectures summarize the highlights of Bacchiocchi’s two books Wine in the Bible and The Marriage Covenant. Two separate files with 225 powerpoint slides are included.
3) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM containing 10 video powerpoint lectures on the SABBATH/ADVENT SEMINAR. Some of the lectures show the documents Prof. Bacchiocchi found in Vatican libraries on the role of the papacy in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This album contains the popular powerpoint SABBATH/ADVENT seminars Prof. Bacchiocchi presents in many countries.
4) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on CRACKING THE DA VINCI CODE. The album contains a two hours video lecture, professionally taped with a virtual studio as a background. A separate file with 200 powerpoint slides is included. The two video lectures reveal the prophetic significance of Dan Brown’s neo-pagan false worship promoted through his book and film. The two hours video lectures will help you appreciate the role that The Da Vinci Code plays in the prophetic endtime battle between true and false worship.
5) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST. The album contains two hours professionally recorded video lecture and a separate powerpoint file with the 200 slides used for the lecture. The project was commissioned by Prof. Jon Paulien and Prof. Ranko Stefanovich, who are the foremost authorities on the book of Revelation. With the help of 200 beautiful slides the video lecture shows the origin and historical use of 666. You will see stunning pictures of papal tiaras, including disputed one with the pope’s tittle Vicarius Filii Dei.
6) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S CD ALBUM with all his BOOKS AND POWERPOINT LECTURES. The album consists of two disks. The first disk has all his 20 books and over 200 articles. The second disk has the 2000 slides and script of 25 of Prof. Bacchiocchi’s popular PowerPoint presentations.
7) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S DVD ALBUM on THE PASSION OF CHRIST. The album contains the 2 hours live interview conducted by 3ABN on Prof. Bacchiocchi’s book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History. The live video interview show that that this movie is a strict Catholic film that in a subtle and deceptive way promotes fundamental Catholic heresies.
8) PROF. BACCHIOCCHI’S MP3 AUDIO ALBUM which contains 2 disks with 22 AUDIO LECTURES on on Marriage, Music, Temperance, Dress, Sabbath, Second Advent, State of the Dead, and others. You can enjoy these lectures while driving, working, or relaxing. Ideal for listening in your car while driving.
9) PROF. JON PAULIEN’S newly released DVD ALBUM video seminar on Simply Revelation. The four live video lectures focus on the essential messages of Revelation and their relevance for today. This mini Revelation Seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Currently, Prof. Paulien is preparaing a new Revelation Seminar at the request of the General Conference
10) PROF. JON PAULIEN’S CD ALBUM with a dozen of his books, and all his articles. You will find in this collection a priceless resource to enrich your understanding and experience of biblical truths. Prof. Paulien examines fundamental biblical beliefs in a profound and yet popular way. He is a recognized expert on the book of Revelation. Several of his books will help you to unlock the secrets of Revelation.
11) PROF. GRAEME BRADFORD’S DVD ALBUM with a two hours video lecture on Ellen White. He shares the highlights of his book More than a Prophet. The album contains also Prof. Bradford’s the publications and articles. A searchable data base enables you to access Prof. Graeme Bradford’s published and unpublished writings, including his the latest book More than a Prophet.
12) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S CD ALBUM REJOICE IN THE LORD. The album consists of 11 sacred songs recorded with Marcelo Caceres, Professor of piano at Andrews University. The CD Album includes Gospel songs like How Great Thou Art, He Shall Feed His Flock, Softly and Tenderly, The Holy City, etc. You can play this audio recording in your car CD player, or on any CD or DVD players you have in your home.
13) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD ALBUM SING UNTO THE LORD. This DVD Album contains 12 sacred familiar songs that were recorded during a live sacred concert presented at Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church. This is a video recording that you can enjoy in your living room and play in your church.
14) CRISTINA PICCARDI’S DVD ALBUM BY HIS GRACE. This DVD album consists of 16 sacred songs recorded in Loma Linda with four high-definition cameras. The songs cover the major themes of God’s creative and redemptive love. Her marvellous singing will touch your heart and inspire you to devote your life more fully to the Savior.
FOUR WAYS TO ORDER THE 14 ALBUMS PACKAGE
You can order the complete package of 14 DVD/CD Albums, which contain 41 live video lectures and powerful soprano singing, for only $150.00, instead of the regular online price of $1650.00, in four different ways:
(1) ONLINE: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm
(2) PHONE: By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.
(3) EMAIL: By emailing your order to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Be sure to provide your postal address, credit card number, and expiration date. For security reasons, you can email your credit card number in two separate messages. In the first message you email me the first 8 digits and in the second message the last 8 digits, plus the expiration date. Be sure to include your postal address.
(4) REGULAR MAIL: By mailing a check for $150.00 to BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.
INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS
HITACHI has released the new CP-X401 3000 lumens projector, which has an impressive high resolution, low fan noise, and a wealth of connectivity options. The most impressive feature of this projector is the incredible price of only $1000.00 to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. The projecor can be purchased with or without accessories such as the REMOTE PRESENTER to control the flow of images in the lap-top.
To receive detail information about this projector as well as on other models offered to us by HITACHI at a substantially discounted price, feel free to call us at (269) 471-2915.
DOES YOUR CHURCH OR SCHOOL NEED A SCREEN?
If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30%