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After several centuries — just as the Bible had warned — the Early Christian Church had departed from Holy Scripture. Subsequently, it lapsed into idolatry. However, God would not allow His purposes to save the World to get thwarted. So, as long-term correctives, God sent against the sins of His wayward Christian People two terrible scourges — Islam, and the Papacy.
Pre-Christian Rabbis or Teachers, as well as those more or less contemporary with Jesus Christ and His Apostles, generally saw Daniel's Fourth Kingdom as being Pagan Rome.2 The Mediaeval Judaists saw it as either Papal Rome or as an Arabian-Turkish Islam — both the continuation of respectively the Western and the Eastern parts of the Roman Empire as foreseen by the earlier and as experienced by the later Pre-Christian Rabbis.3
The Early Church Fathers agreed with the Pre-Christian Rabbis about this matter. Some of them even seem to have foreseen, as the successor of Pagan Rome, also the later rise of what subsequently became disclosed as Romanism and/or the Papacy and even as the [Islamic] power which would then and thereafter occupy the Near East etc.
All this they saw foreshadowed and as the fulfilment of the many Biblical predictions made in Daniel, Second Thessalonians, First John, and/or the Book of Revelation. Thus the (Post-Neronic!): Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (A.D. 80f);4 The Epistle of Barnabas (A.D. 100);5 The Shepherd of Hermas (160);6 Irenaeus (185);7 Tertullian (195f);8 Clement of Alexandria (200);9 Hippolytus (220);10 Victorinus (300);11 Lactantius (310);12 Cyril (335);13 Aphrahat the Persian (345);14 Basil (373);15 Ambrose (378);16 Jerome (386-409);17 John Chrysostom (400);18 the 413-426 Augustine,19 as the greatest of all the Western Early Church Fathers; the 678f Pseudo-Methodius;20 and the 730 John of Damascus, as the greatest Early Church Father of the later Eastern-Orthodox Church;21 etc.
It needs little argumentation to show that Romanism and/or the Papacy were seen even in the middle ages to have been foreshadowed in Biblical predictions by: Walafrid Strabo (840); Waldo and the Waldensians (1120); Joachim of Floris (1191); Eberhard of Salzburg (1240); Dante Alighieri (1300); John Wycliffe (1384); Matthias of Janow (1394); Jan Huss (1415); and John Purvey (1428).22 This was re-affirmed by Martin Luther (1520) and John Calvin (1536); and by every Lutheran and
Calvinist Leader and Confession of the Reformation and Post-Reformation period whatsoever.23
Also remarkable were those mediaeval churchmen who warned against Mohammed and Islam from the prophecies of Holy Scripture. Such included the tenth century's Arethas of Caesarea; the 1124 Guibert of Nogent; the 1191 Joachim of Floris, the 1292 Arnold of Villanova; and the 1321 Archbishop of Aix, Pierre Aureoli.24 Interestingly, so too did some of the Protestant Reformation's Confessions25 — such as that of Augsburg, the Second Helvetic, and the Westminster Assembly's Directory.
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But what, if anything, does the Holy Bible say about Islam? Does it regard Mohammad as a false-prophet — or as the last and the greatest of all of the true Prophets? As the Apostle Paul would ask: "What does the Scripture say?" Romans 4:3.
The Scripture of the Older Testament warns us against false-prophets, and predicts the need to follow especially Christ as the predicted great Prophet of the Newer Testament. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:15-18. Indeed, in a sermon on Deuteronomy 18:15, Calvin held26 that "Mahomet" was one of "the two horns of Antichrist."
Many see also the two legs of the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as teaching the same thing at Daniel 2:32-44. Thus, for example, the mediaeval Jews.27 Also, many Bible-affirming Christian commentators — such as Selnecker, Nigrinus, Chytraeus, Bullinger, Foxe, Napier, Pareus, John Cotton, Thomas Parker, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and George Stanley Faber, etc.)28 -believed that both Islam and Papacy were predicted and condemned as the fulfilment of the then-future tyranny predicted either in Daniel or the Book of Revelation or both.