NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Jesus is coming back, but it isn't to secret away his church or to establish a millennial kingdom on earth, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed in the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq.
Instead, the terror group claims Jesus will return to clear up the nasty rumors Christians have been spreading about him for just under 2,000 years.
"When the Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, returns in the end days to battle the Antichrist – the false Messiah – and his army, of the myths he will debunk once and for all are those of his crucifixion and divinity," the magazine said.
According to ISIS, Jesus will "break the cross" and "crush the false notions of Christianity to which millions of people ignorantly adhere."
What Christians have missed, according to the jihadists, is Jesus's teaching of submission to monotheism – or to Allah. They also claim that Jesus will wage jihad against infidels.
To disprove the message of Christianity – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ to pay humanity's sin debt and put death to death in his being raised to life – the ISIS "scholars" claim the early apostles lived lives of obscurity and "had no public venue."
"They maintained no authority. ... It is no wonder that there is not a single surviving original manuscript of the Christian scriptures, or even an authentic oral transmission thereof. Regarding authorship of the gospels, then even those of them who are claimed to have been disciples of Jesus have no evidence to back them up," the magazine claims.
It also attacks the doctrine of the Trinity, claiming it is an affront to monotheism. It rehashes early church controversies where heretics such as Arius taught Jesus was a created being instead of the co-eternal Son of God (the Word of God and second person of the Trinity). The piece then uses the Koran to debunk the notion of Jesus being God's Son.
"Allah is only one god, glorified is He above having a son. To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And sufficient is Allah in whom to put one's trust," An-Nisa 171 says in the Quran.
The article also claims Jesus was never crucified and Paul, the apostle, was an "imposter" who encouraged people not to follow the Law of God (because of Paul's emphasis on grace). It also called into question Paul's Damascus Road conversion experience.
"If Paul did in fact see something then it was not Jesus whom he saw on the road to Damascus, but Satan, he who inspired unto Paul to permit what was forbidden, abandon the Law, and worship Christ instead of Allah. It is remarkably written in their own texts that Jesus said, 'For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray,'" the article claimed.
The article concludes with an evangelistic appeal of sorts to Christians, extolling the supposed virtues of Muhammad and his miracles – such as "the splitting and merging of the Moon, feeding hundreds with a small amount of barley, once even feeding 900 soldiers with only a few dates, quenching an entire army's thirst with water poured from his fingers, and more than dozens of other miracles that were reported by large groups of people."
The writer(s) also claim that the prophet promised by God in Deuteronomy 18:18 is Muhammad. Christians universally interpret the "prophet" God promised to be a messianic reference to Jesus Christ.
The article is replete with mistranslations of Scripture and important words such as "Paraclete," the word used to describe the "Comforter" or the Holy Spirit given to the church. It is defined by the jihadists as "one defined by praise" and they claim the term refers to Muhammad.
In Greek, however, the word (from para "next to" and kaleo "to call") literally means "to call alongside" or "comfort."
But that, like all the other points of Christian theology dismissed in the 17-page article, is said to be the result of error or "Satanic tampering."