Making Moslems Mad:
Is Left Behind to Blame?
by Bob Pickle
Friday, October 19, 2001, I was listening to the radio while driving
around and came across a Christian radio station. Someone was reading a
book about a US President named Hodkins, or something like that, who was a
dedicated Christian. The book mentioned the 1988, 1992, and 1996
elections. The Christian right had walked out of the 1992 elections and
had supported their own candidate, leading to a landslide victory for the
Democrats. Sounded familiar.
Hodkins was starting off each morning with prayer and Bible study, and
was searching the Bible not just for strength but for guidance. Meanwhile,
at the Pentagon discussion was underway about some Israeli situation. It
seemed that US officials were supportive of the idea of some group coming
in and smashing the Dome of the Rock, and then that group or another group
would quickly rebuild the Jewish temple in 30 days, the stones already
having been cut for the task.
"Is this one of the books of the Left Behind series?"
I wondered.* Even if it wasn't, the scenario of the Left Behind
series has to be essentially the same when it comes to the rebuilding of
the temple, for this is a fundamental theological premise behind those
novels. It must be rebuilt where the Islamic mosque, the Dome of the Rock,
Then the next day as I got ready to leave for church, it suddenly hit
me. How utterly stupid! Here American evangelicals have been pushing these
books and the movie this year, and the false theology promoted by them
calls for smashing the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest shrines of
Islam! No wonder bin Laden is mad!
This idea by no means lessens bin Laden's guilt, but it has made me
wonder if the Lord is permitting our blessed land to reap the natural
consequences of our apostasy from truth.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
In our apostasy from truth we have espoused a theology that cannot
possibly be true, and that particular theology has the natural effect of
infuriating Moslems to the point of desperation.
Having now thoroughly opened the can of worms, I will elaborate.
Multitudes of Catholic and Protestant scholars down through the
centuries pinpointed the identity of the little horn of Daniel 7 and the
first beast of Revelation 13 as being the Roman Papacy, the government
of which the pope is the head. Indeed, every detail specified in the
prophecies seems to fit.
The Papacy didn't like the idea, so in the Counter-Reformation two alternative theories were proposed:
- The prophecies about Antichrist point to a single man in the
- The prophecies about Antichrist point to a single man in the
Either way, if we put the prophecies into the distant past or the
distant future, they no longer can be talking about the the government
of the Papacy. The first idea gained some ground among Protestantism in
some parts of the world, but the second idea didn't start to do so until
around the 1820's.
In the 1830's John Nelson Darby worked out a scenario in which Daniel
9's 70th week was separated from the other 69 and placed into the
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Instead of "he" being Christ who caused the sacrifice and
oblation to cease by His death, Darby said that "he" meant the
Antichrist who would stop the sacrifices in a rebuilt Jewish temple in
the future. This would take place after a secret rapture of the church.
Once the church was out of the world, then the prophecies about Israel
Traditions and beliefs in Protestantism die hard. Baptists still
don't sprinkle and Lutherans still don't immerse. Since the vast
majority of Christians in the US in 1820 still believed that the Papacy
is the Antichrist of prophecy and Daniel's 70th week is past, how in the
world did we get to the point today where the vast majority who believe
anything about the matter now believe that the Antichrist and Daniel's
70th week are future?
Beginning around 1848, Seventh-day Adventists started drawing
attention to the following:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High,
and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
The Papacy in loud tones had boasted of its change of the Sabbath from
the seventh day to the first day of the week, and Seventh-day Adventists
repeatedly drove the point home. Of all the 10 Commandments, this was the
only one having to do with "time." And, though the Papacy had
tampered with the second commandment as well, she only "thought"
she had "changed" the fourth.
Whether consciously or not, a wish to escape the conviction of the
Sabbath has given impetus to this radical change of theology on the part
of American Protestantism.
"The little horn is the Papacy!"
"What about changing the 'times and the laws'? Isn't that the
"Well, maybe the little horn isn't the Papacy after all."
Yet this new theology of Darby recently adopted by American
Protestantism can't possibly be true.
- No valid dates can be found for the first 69 weeks when the 70th
week of Daniel 9 is placed in the future. (See "An
Examination of Anderson's Chronological Errors Regarding Daniel 9's First
- The theory is supposed to allow Old Testament prophecies about
Israel to be fulfilled, but it fails to do this. (See "Does
Dispensationalism Allow to Be Fulfilled the Very Prophecies About Israel
It says Must Be Fulfilled?")
- In New Testament times "Israel" and "Jews" are
born-again Christians (Rom. 2:28, 29; Gal. 3:29).
- No verse in Scripture says that there will be a coming of Christ
in secret to take His church away. Christ returns as a thief at
Armageddon, at which time every island is moved, every mountain
disappears, and all the wicked are slain (Rev. 16:14-16, 20;
Some wonder why the US supports Israel so strongly. Here's one reason
why: While perusing a used book store in Georgia, the old man who was
the cashier asked me:
"How did the first Jews get to Palestine who started the
"I don't know."
"I took them there!"
Then he told me how the Jews had contributed financially to the
Allies during WWI on condition that they get their land back, but the
promises of the Allies were never kept. When WWII came along they got
asked to contribute again, and they made the same conditions. This time
the Allies came through, and this book store cashier was one of the
soldiers who smuggled some of the Jewish fighters into Palestine. At
least, that was his tale.
Particularly after Hitler's atrocities, who cannot but sympathize
with the desire of many Jews to have a land of their own. Yet the
current theological atmosphere in America causes us to look with favor
on the Jews having more than just a bit of land again. If they control
all of Jerusalem, that is fine. If they rebuild their temple, that is
fine, for does not the Bible foretell it?
No, the Bible does not foretell it anywhere. It's all a delusion.
Around 1994 or 1995 I had the opportunity to speak with a member of
the Israeli government, someone having to do with tourism. I asked him
about this rebuilding of the temple that we keep hearing about. He
"It would cause World War III!"
And obviously, he's right. Americans don't just support Israel's
presence in Palestine. We have big-name preachers who are telling
everyone around the world that one day the Dome of the Rock, one of the
holiest shrines of Islam, will get smashed.
Dr. Tim Lahaye, one of the principal authors of the Left Behind Series,
started an organization with theologian Dr. Thomas Ice, an organization
devoted to the defense of the doctrine of the pre-trib secret rapture.
Since Dr. Ice is a scholar, and since his organization is devoted to
answering questions like the ones I have, I wrote him on April 8, 1999,
regarding point one above. I also inquired about how the nagiyd (a
special Hebrew word translated "prince") who confirms the
covenant in Daniel 9:27 could possibly be a different individual than
the nagiyd of the covenant in Daniel 11:22. The similarity in
grammar seems to necessitate that they be the same individual.
Not having heard back, I wrote Dr. Ice again on May 11:
"Dear Dr. Ice:
"I sent the following message over one month ago. Did you get it? Have you been able to find any
answers to these questions? Do I have the right address? I do hope you can write back.
This time I did get a response that same day :
"Got your e-mail. Too busy. Do not have time to respond.
On May 13th I responded:
"Thank you for your reply.
"Who would you suggest I ask regarding the first two of my three questions? Before accepting the pretrib rapture, I need to find someone who can help me with them, particularly the one
regarding the dating of the sixty-nine weeks. My guess is that the average person wouldn't have a clue about the dating.
"Who would you suggest I ask?
I got only silence in reply.
And now it is more than two years later, and the World Trade Center
is in ruins, our nation is at war, and anthrax letters are scaring the
public and our postal workers.
It's now time for an appeal.
Dr. Tim Lahaye, Dr. Thomas Ice, and evangelicals everywhere: Until
you can give valid dates for the first 69 weeks if the 70th week is put
into the future, until you can show how the prophecies about Israel in
Ezekiel can be fulfilled within a dispensational scenario, until you can
cite a single verse that says that the next coming of Christ will not be
earth-shaking, ear-splitting, and eye-blinding, until you can explain
how the nagiyd that confirms the covenant can be a different
individual than the nagiyd of the covenant, please, for the sake
of our country, stop insisting that the Dome of the Rock will be smashed
and the Jewish temple rebuilt.
I implore you to return to your Protestant roots, those roots that
declare that the Papacy is the Antichrist of Scripture. I do not ask you
to change your day of worship, though I would like to. But for now, I
simply ask that you stop promoting Darby's views. The times demand it. The good of our country
And if after careful study, the objections to Darby's theology are
indeed unresolvable, please consider apologizing to Moslems everywhere
for needlessly offending them with ideas that cannot be supported by
Scripture. Would not this be following the teachings of our Lord Jesus
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
(Mat. 5:23, 24)
* I am indebted to one of the readers of this paper, a Baptist from
Illinois (I assume a preacher), for informing me that the book I heard
being read was Kingdoms in Conflict by Chuck Colson.