by Ini Morgan
Every human being on earth is under the obligation of understanding scriptural prophecies, especially the ones which captures literal events expressive of what the Bible calls the “Last days”, and clearly propagated by prominent religious faiths in Nigeria. We are told that “when the world says it is peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes…” on the human race “…as the travail upon a woman with child” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
My mission here is to put my Christian brothers in Nigeria in remembrance of the Revelation of John, what he said of the “Beast” and the “Great dragon”, and to indulge my Muslim compatriots in reflecting what their Holy scriptures revealed about the Mahdi and Annabi Isa that should return to earth in the “last days”. It is interesting how on so many historical points, both faiths share similar insinuations, though from different points of observation.
It is therefore necessary, from time to time, to use the impressive situations around us to define the times apportioned in divine destiny, so that as it is demanded of us, as faithful servants, we should keep the welfare of the household of God, lest the times will catch up with us unprepared and in the gnashing of our teeth (Matthew 24:50-51).
We cannot continue to kick against the goad of truth. The reign of the “Beast” and the “dragon” will be a reality as divinely prophesied. The emergence of ISIS in the Persian Peninsula, Al’Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular and the Far East, Al’Shabab in the African Magrib, Taliban in Afghanistan and other emerging “Islamic” terrorist groups; and their modes of operation, are manifestations of the spirit of the “Antichrist” at work.
There has never been a determined thrust, by any group of Muslims, whether rightfully or wrongfully, to pursue the realisation of an Islamic world order as it is presently been led by Islamic fundamentalists under different flags. No one should be deceived about its reality or its ultimate realization. No one can do anything about it, not the US, not even Israel, but a personal commitment to God and his Christ will determine who wins this war. Few may see this as the emerging “Holy war” that should lead to “Armageddon” (Revelation 16:6-16).
The Bible book of Revelation has not told us how and in what religious appearance the “Antichrist” will manifest, but identifies him as a “lawless man” who would show himself off as “god“. Though we are given hard-to-imagine pictorials of what we should expect of and from him, Islamic literatures clearly talks about a “Mahdi” who should come by the introduction of a prophet in the name “Annabi Isa”, as the Muslims call our Lord Jesus Christ; and he shall rule the world from the Temple Mount upon “Moriah” in East Jerusalem.
In Islam, the expected “Mahdi” will be a political, military and religious ruler, who shall force all governments on earth to submit to his authority. The principal objectives and deriving principles of the present “Islamic” terrorist groups also show to pursue world domination upon these trio-power platforms. It is clear how the Biblical and Islamic teachings find a common ground on this earthly government predicted for the “Last days”.
There will surely be a time of tribulation, according to Biblical accounts: a time when the “abomination of desolation”, spoken first by Prophet Daniel, and called to remembrance by Jesus Christ, shall stand in the “holy place“, and the “man of sin“; the “son of perdition” shall sit in the temple of God, showing himself as god. But this shall be for a period of forty-two months (Matthew 24:15; Revelation 13:5; 2Thessalonians 2:3-4).
The “Antichrist“, who in my opinion may be the Muslim “Mahdi” will change the present world order, will change times, institute Islamic order and be in charge of the world economy, such that “buying and selling” shall be by his approved “number” and insignia (Revelation 13:16-18). All who will not worship him would be killed, just as the groups of terrorists have compellingly initiated. Biblical prophecies also show how he shall have great power to demonstrate signs and wonders on earth.
I shall be finding time to draw the attention of the world to the need to understand scriptural “land and bench marks” to prepare our readers for the times that have emerged and shall soon come to pass. It is happening in parts of Iraq and Syria, where Moslem fundamentalists are slaughtering Christians and non Islamic conformists on a daily basis, this is very novel. There are also countries already under strict Islamic rules. However, the principal targets of these “masked and marks men” is to Islamize America and Israel. With these two giants under their waist bands, they would take the world like a booty of war. The present struggle to take Jerusalem from Israel, the conspiracy of the US and the placement of the ancient Jewish temple under Islamic restrictions is very instructive.
All conventions of terrorism is therefore aimed at these two nation States. A time will surely come when ALL humanity will face this reality: when the conquering of established national authorities will spread throughout the earth, and Islam shall be imposed as the official religion of every nation on earth, but there shall be a remnant of those who shall escape this imputations and fundamental impositions on humanity. According to predictions from both the Christian and Muslim literatures, this dominance will be briefly consummated at “the end of times”.
A charter is believed to have been agreed upon by foremost Islamic terrorist groups to take territories under different flags and Caliphates, but the emergence of the Islamic State group seem to have changed all that, as the intention of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, head and founder of the group, is clearly to bring all fundamentalist groups under his command by either subduing or annihilating them. The trending fundamentalist ideology of the Islamic State group attracts more voluntary radicalized Muslim recruits from all over the world.
The conversion of Taliban supporters to ISIS in Afghanistan, their current war differentials, and the caution from the “Emir” of Al’Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi to see the “Jihad” as one struggle under God’s sovereignty is also very instructive and compelling.
Christians in Nigeria MUST not take what is beginning to set in upon our polity for granted: the deceitful display of political disobedience for a Presidential directive by a subordinate-bureaucrat and the constitution of legislative authorities through the evil imposition of desperate self interests was quite disturbing. As we watch the manifestation of a certain nouveau political hits and revenges, let us pray that God’s will alone be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
What is now left for Nigeria to fall into Islamic occupation will be the unfortunate instigation of civil disobedience by the emerging political commotion gearing its head to open the gates for the invasion of Nigeria by Islamic fundamentalists. Let us not quickly forget that ISIS has declared “North East Nigeria” as been among areas of its influence and they are already eyeing Nigeria for occupation, having indicated interest to align with the Boko Haram insurgents long ago. Their target is to use Nigeria as a traffic route into the US. The “technical defeat and immobilisation” of the Nigerian Islamic sect by the Buhari administration may be a sign of “stooping to conquer“.
I therefore advice the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and that of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) to stop their hypocrisy and pretenses. They should stop propagating the fear of “Islamizing” Nigeria, like Ayo Fayose did this afternoon in Port Harcourt, at the “thanksgiving service” to celebrate Governor Wike’s supreme court victory that upheld his election as governor. If they know the truth indeed, their fears should rather centre more on the foreseen adverse loss of the Christian faith by many of them when the great tribulation sets in. They are so gluttonous and so earth conscious in their pursuits that I fear more for them and those they continually deceive.
ISIS’ fire and sword also take Shi’ite and non-Salafi Muslims, Jews, Turks and Christians alike. It is therefore unsound to limit the wicked advance of these fundamentalist to Christians alone. The Boko Haram suicide bombers do not separate their Muslim “brothers and sisters” from Christians when letting off their improvised Explosive Devices.
When Nigeria will be “Islamized”, even the Muslims would be victims of the despotic rule of these extremists. So the CAN and the PFN should stop spreading unfounded rumour like they did during the “Buhari for President” campaigns. It is totally a “wolf cry”. If the scripture they preach talks about an Antichrist that shall arise in the form of a ferocious beast to overcome every authority on earth and force his personal worship, then where is the basis for their fear of Nigeria been Islamized? Should that be their focus than to “prepare saints” for the Kingdom of God?
Is it that they fear more for the loss of their earthly investments and religious powers over their “subjects“? In the blessed memory of singer Jim Reeves, I sing “this world is not my home, I am just apassing through…” Are Christians in Nigeria better Christians than those who in Iraq and Syria are having their throats slit, including toddlers; and we in Nigeria find pleasure in sharing the gory pictures of their experiences in new media? How long do we think it will take for others to share our own gory pictures, have we asked ourselves this question?
Scripture has certainly predicted an end time tribulation and I wish to think that it is appropriate that our attention should centre more on reading through the events around us so as to relate them to the truth left in our charge, than to continue in the pursuit of vanity and material glory. Do not those preachers who buy private jets say they did so to aid their “world evangelism”? How many of them have landed in the Levant for evangelism? Maybe, in their opinions, the members and leaders of the Islamic States are beyond redemption, so they do not have need to be evangelised.
Let them who are yet to gird on their armours of salvation boast than they that have put theirs off. It is better today for the Egyptian, Iraqi and Syrian Christian martyrs, they are holding on to their faith in the midst of a large and influencing population of Islamic fundamentalists. Would we be able to stand in the evil day as they have; and having done all, still stand as they have? Awon igbabo Najeriya wa, e ronu – Christians in Nigeria, reflect on this.
While our heads of indoctrinated congregations (I hate to call them Churches) are busy teaching Christians the arts of entrepreneurship, business methods and how to get married, with the aim of expanding their economic and monetary frontiers, they MUST be told that they need to prepare themselves for the rapture. I must quickly say that their private aircrafts will not fly them to heaven nor would their throats resist the slit of the fundamentalists’ blades.
I have news for them: that at the destruction of the two nations of Sodom and Gomorrah, only four members of one family were rapture-delivered, and in the face of this deliverance, one among the four was drawn back to the wealth she left behind. She is today an everlasting testament to the fact that one is found unworthy for the Kingdom of God when he puts forth his hands to the plow and looks back (Genesis 19:26; Luke 9:62).
We thank the Almighty God for the innocent souls he receives daily from the butchers’ slabs and knives of Islamic fundamentalists. I dare to say that to make heaven, there must be a deliberate need to show a longing for it and a personal commitment to gain an entrance into it. Wishing for it is like a beggar planning a chariot ride with horses, when he knows he has no fingers to freely sway the muzzle belts.
Inasmuch as NO ONE knows the day nor time when the end shall suddenly descend on us (Matthew 24:36), it is futile to fear the Islamizing of Nigeria. We should rather be praying for the grace to endure the tribulation to the end, so that we can be counted worthy of eternal life. It may, or not, be in our time but if we are children of Abraham, then we must see God’s word as Abraham also saw it, to guide our children aright and prepare the appropriate foundation for an everlasting generation of the faithfuls, knowing that we shall join in the “cloud of witnesses” and shall also “see” the fulfilment of God’s infallible words, when they come to pass. How would we feel for our grand children in Christ while watching this from the “clouds“, when we realise we I’ll prepared them for what they face?
Strait (difficult) is the way and narrow (unpleasant) is the path that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). He that saves his soul shall lose it but he that loses his soul for Christ sake shall save it unto eternal life. According to scripture, many shall desire to enter into eternal life, but they shall NOT BE ABLE. Meaning, entering into eternal life will not be about taking any PERMISSION TO ENTER, but it will be about having the personal ABILITY TO ENTER therein (Luke 13:24). To enter into eternal life is a personal endeavour.
Ini Akpan Morgan is a Port Harcourt based architect, writer, public speaker and political analyst. He is married with children. You can reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org, he tweets from the handle @japheth_morgan.