I know this is a HUGE article to read here, but I highly recommend it. The author touches on poins that are vital to the understanding of true Islam.
From Joel's Trumpet - El Gallo wrote the following:
I believe the claim that the A.C. will be Jewish is pretty thin, though the claim that the False Prophet will be Jewish is much stronger. Here is a fairly lengthy explanation why I became convinced that the A.C. will be Muslim (even before I found this site):
What Evidence does the Bible Provide for Antichrist’s Origins?
Lactantius (c. 250-330 AD), an early Biblical scholar, said in 307 A.D.:
“[A] king shall arise out of Syria [ancient Assyria], born from an evil spirit, the overthrower and destroyer of the human race, who shall destroy that which is left by the former evil, together with himself. . . . But that king will not only be most disgraceful in himself, but he will also be a prophet of lies, and he will constitute and call himself God, and will order himself to be worshipped as the Son of God, and power will be given to him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. He will command fire to come down from heaven and the sun to stand and leave its course, and an image to speak, and these things shall be done at his word. . . . Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people.”
Since Lactantius had the same scriptures as modern eschatologists, why didn’t he think Antichrist would come from Rome? Where did the Assyrian connection come from? First, many scholars believe Isaiah himself identifies the false messiah as “the Assyrian.” (Is. 14:24-27) Revelation 13 further says “1And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” You can be forgiven for facetiously thinking “Well, that’s sure is helpful.” Actually though, this passage is quite helpful, and helps me understand how Lactantius arrived at his interpretation.
Conservative eschatologists like Hal Lindsey have used simile to explain Daniel’s passage, saying, in Lindsey’s case, the animal descriptions refer to Antichrist’s characteristics like pride, speed, and strength. I think that approach misses the obvious. Scripture illuminates scripture, and the Prophet Daniel describes the very animals named in Revelation 13.
In Daniel 7 an angel tells him these animals represent great empires. The Lion was the Babylonian Empire (built upon the smaller Assyrian Empire); the Bear was the Medeo Persian Empire; and the Leopard was the Greek Empire. Accordingly it seems logical to say that Revelation’s use of these same symbols was purposeful and the “Beast,” or Antichrist, described in Revelation 13 will arise from the area formerly covered by these empires.
That territory is generally the area from Greece to Egypt, centered on modern Iraq (part of ancient Assyria) and also contains the city of Babylon, which plays such a significant part in prophecy. So its seems clear enough to me that Antichrist will come from the Mideast. Yet, one can not forget Daniel’s clear evidence that the Antichrist would come from the Roman Empire. Doesn’t that mean Italy or Europe?
In fact Daniel’s dream also included a fourth beast, that did not have the form of a known animal, and instead was simply labeled “terrible.” The angel made it clear to Daniel this fourth “kingdom” would be horrifyingly violent, crush the lands of its predecessors, and eventually dominate the entire world. Of course the Roman Empire did subdue the areas under the old empires and then, through its Western Roman Branch; i.e., Europe, came to dominate the world. Putting all this together, there seems to be a disconnect between Daniel 9:26 and Revelation 13, since none of the first three empires extended to Italy or Western Europe. There is not a disconnect.
The Roman Empire, at its height, was geographically more anchored in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, than in what would be Western Europe. As the empire matured and grew weaker, it split into Western and Eastern Empires and in fact the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire outlasted the Western by several hundred years. The Eastern Empire’s capitol was Byzantium, later called Constantinople (after Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion of the entire empire), and finally was conquered by the Muslims, who gave it its current name: Istanbul. If you lay a map of the Eastern Empire over those of Revelation 13’s three animals, it covers them all closely. So there is no contradiction at all between Daniel 9:26 and Revelation 13.
This temporarily leads back to the Harlot of Babylon, seated on seven mountains. (Rev.17) To mainstream eschatologists, this is a hint that the Beast will come from Italy, since the well-known nick name for Rome is the “City on Seven Hills.” But Dr. Ernest Martin writes there are two, and perhaps three, other ancient cities with the same nick name: Istanbul, Jerusalem, and perhaps even Babylon. All have played an important part in the history of Islam, all have ties to Babylon, and I believe all may play a key role in the Antichrist’s rise.
Neither Jerusalem nor Babylon needs any introduction in the arena of Biblical prophecy. As to Istanbul, I believe it is intimately connected to prophecy via its pre and post-Islamic eras.
In 670 B.C., the citizens of then Byzantium claimed the crescent moon as their state symbol, after an important victory. However, the origin of the crescent moon as a symbol dates back much earlier - to ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt . Nevertheless, Byzantium was the first governing state to use the crescent moon as its national symbol. It has been claimed that, when the city fell to the Ottoman Muslims in 1453, they saw this flag with the crescent all over Constantinople, and adopted it as their own. The Ottoman Empire, and many Muslim states since then have adopted it. It is prominent on the flags of Islam.
It is then more than ironic that Allah was the moon god, that Istanbul has an independent connection back to moon worship, and that Revelation 12:1 paints the picture of the Tribulation Jews thus:“1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Perhaps this is God’s sign that the Jews will be protected and triumphant over Islam, since the moon is under the woman’s feet. This would explain why the Muslim Antichrist would try his utmost to destroy this Lady.
The Rise, Fall and Rejuvenation of Islam
A reasonable argument may be “Even assuming he Antichrist will come from the Middle East, couldn’t he be a Jew, or of some other origin than Islam?” I believe the answer lies in the nature of Islam, and the prerequisite power base an Antichrist would need for a run at world domination. Therefore I want to touch on the nature of The Prophet Mohammed and the religion he founded.
The Prophet Mohammed was born at Mecca (modern Saudi Arabia) – now the holiest city in Islam — in 570 A.D., and began receiving visions from “the Angel Gabriel” in 612. He believed he was God’s final and greatest prophet, sent to reestablish pure religion. These visions over time were written down in the Koran. He called his religion “Islam,” or “Submission.”
He met Jews and Christians locally and by travel, and from these meetings gained a limited understanding of the Bible. But his understanding was either mistaken or intentionally skewed. For instance he declared that Judas, not Jesus, was crucified, and that the Holy Trinity consisted of the Father, Mary and Jesus.
Critically, he insisted Jesus was a great prophet (second only to Mohammed) but certainly not a co-equal son of God. Though he identified Allah as the same God as that of the Bible, Allah was actually the name of the chief pagan god in the Saudi Arabian peninsula in the time. Allah was the Moon god, and he was worshipped at the mysterious black stone called the “Kaaba,” which is now the holiest spot in Islam. Evidently Islam had stronger ties to the occult, than the Bible.
At first Mohammed tried to convince Jewish and Christian leaders that he was the latest prophet in a line of prophets stretching from Moses to the “Prophet Jesus.” He sought a kinship, but was naturally rejected as a nut, and there after turned against the Christians and Jews. This is apparently why the early part of the Koran holds a somewhat beneficent view of them, and, being recorded chronologically, in its later parts labels them enemies and declares they must be brought under submission by “jihad” (holy war).
Mohammed became increasingly capricious and violent as time went on. In contrast to Jesus, whom Mohammed declared inferior to himself, Muslim scholars admit that Mohammed often changed his commands and teachings, though always claiming divine direction. After he was reviled by the Jews, Christians and pagans, he rejected all compromise and reported instructions from Allah to use war to overcome any unbelievers. The theme accelerated as he became more successful. Eventually the Koran instructed his followers that the entire world must submit, or be subdued through jihad. As his strength grew, Mohammed led battles against opposing Arab tribes, the Byzantine Empire, and anyone who opposed him in word or deed, incorporating the teaching that any booty taken in these pursuits was Allah’s reward to the faithful.
After his death in 633, the capitol of Islam was first in Damascus, then in Baghdad, and finally in Istanbul. Islam steadily spread into the Mediterranean islands, India, Africa, through Spain, and into southern France, before being stopped in Europe at the Battle of Tours in 732.
Muslim power and expansion waxed and waned as they fought the Europeans in the Crusades and in Spain (they were finally pushed back to North Africa in 1492), each other, and the Mongols and Seljuks. But after incorporating the Mongols and Turkish peoples, Islam was revitalized and conquered Constantinople in 1453– the last Christian stronghold in the east. The “Ottoman Caliphate” was then declared and headquartered in Istanbul. Eventually the Ottomans penetrated Europe, invading into parts of Greece and all the way to the gates of Vienna, where they were defeated in 1683. This was the high tide for Islamic expansion by war, and the Ottoman Empire weakened until it was dismembered by the European powers after World War I.
. Though the European powers dominated the core Islamic lands in the modern Middle East after World War I, those latter lands have always remained Islamic. Today, powered by oil wealth and renewed fanaticism, the zealots of Islam like Osama bin Laden and the Iranian Mullahs again seriously talk of world conquest and a world wide Caliphate. While the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam are theologically at odds, their imperialists share the belief that their efforts are only the prelude to a coming messiah, Imam, or Mahdi, who will come to rid the world of unbelievers and establish the Caliphate. It is this Mahdi whom I believe will be the Antichrist.
The Spirit of Antichrist
The English word Antichrist is translated from the Greek, literally meaning “opposite of Christ”. A broader meaning is “in place of Christ”. Antichrist’s name is fully descriptive of his character. He is Anti-Christ or in Hebrew, the opposite of Messiah, whom the Jews expect to come in God’s name to save them.
The Messiah, or Christ, is the one anointed by God and qualified to carry out certain work in God’s name. This work is to redeem God’s people from sin and death by His own death, and to renew God’s creation in righteousness and peace. Jesus of Nazareth is this Christ. He is God’s anointed, and qualified to do the work of redeeming God’s people and renewing creation.
Antichrist will be a false Christ, according to Matthew 24:24. He claims to be anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and claims to be qualified to do the work in God’s name of redeeming God’s people and renewing the creation. He intends to do this by seizing world power and deceiving many.
Satan rarely works directly. His modus operendi is subtle changing and deception. Thus in Genesis 3 he did not blatantly tell Eve God was a liar, he simply filled her mind with a nuanced challenge and lie: “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the Garden?” When Eve pointed out only one tree was forbidden, he then said, “You will not surely die,” and then filled her mind with the notion that God was hiding good things from her. He is called “crafty” and in the same way scripture shows the Antichrist will be crafty, challenging scripture even while convincing billions he is God’s supernaturally gifted leader and savior. Yet as Paul warned, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:7-9)
When the Antichrist appears at God’s appointed time (2 Thess. 2:6), he will pose as the Messiah, and will be so successful that even many Jews and Christians (even if nominal) will be convinced. His “coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). Imitating the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 19:11), Antichrist will come riding a white horse to make war (Rev. 6:2). He will then claim to introduce an era of peace (Dan. 11:21). Antichrist will be so persuasive that he will convince the Israelis he is divine and make a covenant with them. (Dan. 9:27) But being essentially war like, he will initiate more war after he demands to be universally worshipped (Rev. 13:4).
Any scripturally sound Christians will easily spot him when he comes, because of his twisting scripture. 1 John 2:22-23 says: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” Nevertheless, most of the world will be fooled, or refuse to oppose him.
The Spirit of Islam
Before exploring whether a Muslim might fit the Antichrist’s description, it is worth comparing the Koran and Muslim pronouncements to the Bible to see if these do, as I contend, exhibit a spirit of antichrist.
Various commentators, including Muslims who speak admiringly, have recognized that Mohammed and the Koran practice a violent situational ethics, advocating murder, pillage and lying in furtherance of Allah’s glory. Islam’s enduring and overarching value is war; war to place the entire world under Islam. Ibn Tayamiyya (d. 1328), an early Muslim scholar, presented the view held by Islamists today: “Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is Allah’s entirely and Allah’s word is uppermost, therefore, accordingly to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”
Robert Spencer observes “Islam is unique in having a developed doctrine, theology, and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers; it is not a twisting of Islam, but is repeatedly affirmed in the Qur’an, the Hadith, the example of Mohammed, and the rulings of every school of Islamic jurisprudence . . . .” Amir Tahiri, the editor of Politique International of Paris recorded that, of the 30 wars going on at the time of the 9/11 attack in the U.S., 28 involved Muslim people fighting either non-Muslims or even other Muslims. Islam says “War is us.”
The Koran states “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya (tax) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Sura 9:29)
The Bible says “In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. (John 16:2)
The Koran states: “O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers … ” (Sura 9:123).
The Bible says: “Love your enemies.” (Luke 6:35)
The Koran states: “But 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 (ambush) for them in every stratagem (of war)” (Sura 9:5).
The Bible says: “Do good to them that hate you.” (Math. 5:44).
The Koran states: “Therefore when ye meet the unbelievers [in fighting] smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly [on them]” (Sura 47:4).
The God of the Bible says: “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-29)
The God of the Bible and Allah are not the same being because one teaches man to do good and the other teaches man to do evil. One teaches love and peace, the other teaches war and hatred.
Most importantly, the Koran states: “God forbid that he should have a son.” Jesus declared He is the Son of God and in saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM” declared Himself to be God. Jesus also said: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Gospel of John).
In sum neither Mohammed nor the Koran could be said to exhibit anything else than the spirit of antichrist. First because, as John says “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2-3) Second, because of Islam’s works.
A hundred years ago Winston Churchill observed that Islam ”is the most retrograde force on the face of the planet.” So it is today. Poverty, fury and quick violence are hallmarks of Muslim societies. News reports in recent years have documented that practices commonly accepted in Islam are antithetical to the West, and its Judeo-Christian traditions. Violence in general and against women in particular is routine. Slavery, beheadings, hand chopping, female mutilations, ritual rape of a sister to punish a brother, and many similar barbarities long absent from most of the world continue in Muslim lands.
In a typical example of the darkness seething just beneath the surface of Islam, world-wide violent demonstrations followed a Danish paper publishing some fairly benign depictions of Mohammed. Protesters in Britain displayed typical Islamic signs, but signs far from Western norms: “Freedom go to hell!;” “Slaughter those who insult Islam!;” “Europe, your 9/11 is coming!” Conversely, the outrage of 9/11 was met with large demonstrations in various Muslim capitols, but these were celebrations, not condemnatory gatherings.
Socially dysfunctional though it may be, radical Islam has invigorated its old expansionist self with oil money and renewed its ambition for world conquest. Today Muslims by the hundreds of millions are eagerly anticipating that the Islamic ferment means the Mahdi is coming soon to lead them to world domination.
Throughout the Islamic world today there is a call for the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. The Caliph (Khalifa) in Islam may be viewed somewhat as the Pope of the Muslims. The Caliph is viewed as the Vice-regent for Allah on the earth. It is important to understand that when Muslims call for the restoration of the Caliphate, it is ultimately the Mahdi that they are calling for. For the Mahdi is the awaited final Caliph of Islam. As such, Muslims everywhere will be obligated to follow the Mahdi. More importantly, they believe the entire world must follow the Mahdi, and that makes the Mahdi a prime suspect as the future Antichrist.
Spencer notes that only about 10 % of the 1.5 billion Muslims are radicals, but he also points out nearly all the rest have been conditioned to avoid criticizing the radicals. Further, since deception in jihad is paramount, it is difficult to tell “moderates” from radicals. For instance, he recites that American Muslim spokesman Siraj Wahaj deplores radical Islam publicly, but has also said the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.” According to Omar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations): “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qur’an should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth”
Spencer further warns of the West’s self-deception about the nature of Islam. “The government and media are eager to find moderate Muslims – and as their desperation has increased, their standards have declined.” Spencer reports that swaths of Europe have been brought under the sway of Muslim majorities and the Europeans have largely averted there gaze from the march of Islam, hoping that their fears are groundless. Rather than gird themselves to defend our inherited Judeo-Christian traditions, they increasingly find common cause with the Arab league and Islamists against Israel and the Untied States, back away in the face of Islamist demands within their own societies, and exhibit the subservient demeanor — “dhimitude” — required of those who wish to avoid Muslim attack. In sum, Islam has the will and vision to overcome the languishing West, and the doctrine which will obligate them to support a Mahdi toward world conquest.
The upshot is, as the comparisons above illustrate, the Koran is a manual of war that omits the concept of God’s love, while the Bible is a manual of peace, brimming with a loving God. Which is the spirit of antichrist? Now, what of a Muslim Antichrist?
The Muslims have produced a body of literature that explains their beliefs about the coming messiah. As shown below, that literature bears an eerie resemblance to the Biblical descriptions of the Antichrist, and so it is useful to compare them. This is not to say the writings are comparable, but Satan clearly knows scripture and, I believe, has invented an antichrist religion, scripture and messiah in a plot to disrupt God’s plan. Because of Islam’s weakness until recently, and the concurrent Euro-centrism of eschatologists, I believe they have missed the compelling similarities between Christian and Muslim end times literature, which collectively make the case for the Muslim Antichrist.
Initial military attack on Israel
Muslims: The Mahdi’s ascendancy to power is said to be aided by an army from the east, who will be carrying black flags or banners of war. Sheikh Kabbani states:
“Hadith (writings interpreting Mohammed’s teachings and the Koran) indicate that black flags coming from the area of Khorasan will signify the appearance of the Mahdi is nigh. Khorasan is in today’s Iran, and some scholars have said that this Hadith means when the black flags appear from Central Asia, i.e. in the direction of Khorasan, then the appearance of the Mahdi is imminent.”
Muhammad Ibn Izzat and Muhammd ‘Arif comment that:
“The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs (Jews) and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the Hadith states… Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi… That will abolish the leadership of the Jews… and put an end to the domination of the Satans who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Shari’a [Islamic Law] of the Lord of the worlds.”
Islamic tradition pictures the Mahdi as joining with the army of Muslim warriors carrying black flags. The Mahdi will then lead this army to Israel and re-conquer it for Islam. The Jews will be slaughtered until very few remain and Jerusalem will become the location of the Mahdi’s rule over the Earth. “The Prophet said… The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: ‘Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’”
Bible: Ezekiel in Chapters 38-39 also describe an attack on Israel in the last days by an army from now-Muslim held areas and their allies.
Comment: In the light of Mohammed’s teachings, it is little wonder Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes it is Iran’s destiny to attack and destroy Israel. The Iranian Mullahs have stated that Mahdi will be ushered in by war and chaos – war they believe they must start in order to get things going. The Prophet Ezekiel in Chapters 38-39 describes a “War of Gog and Magog” where Persia (Iran) and its allies attack Israel and are miraculously destroyed by God. Those who believe it would precede the last seven years described by Daniel, posit that Antichrist might use the horror of the great destruction to convince both Jew and Arabs to enter into a peace treaty; i.e., the treaty which would be the false peace spoken of by Daniel. (Rev. 11:2-3). As discussed below, the Muslim literature also talks of Mahdi making a peace treaty for a period.
Seven Year Reign Over the World and A Seven Year Peace Treaty
Muslims: Abu Sa’id al-Khudari narrated that the Prophet said: “Our Mahdi will have a broad forehead and a pointed (prominent) nose. He will fill the earth with justice as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He will rule for seven years.
“The Prophet said… He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him.”
“The Prophet said: The Mahdi… will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years.”
One Hadith talks of the Mahdi’s time including a final peace agreement between the Arabs and the “Romans.” Although this peace agreement is made with the “Romans”, it is said to be mediated specifically through a Jew from the priestly lineage of Aaron. The peace agreement will be made for a period of seven years. “Muhammad said: ‘There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians]. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron – Moses’ brother] and will be upheld for seven years.’”
Bible: Both Daniel Chapter 9 and Revelation state that Antichrist will rule seven years. Daniel further states he “will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Dan. 9:26-27).
Comment: There may not be any contradiction between “Romans” and Jews, as Israel is seen as an illegal Western outpost among Arab lands. Any treaty regarding the lands in Israel and particularly rebuilding the Jewish Temple argues strongly for a Muslim Antichrist. Arabs and Muslims in general today clearly distrust the West, and would hardly accept either the leadership or a treaty of a Westerner/non-Muslim. Only a miracle-working Muslim would have the strength to hold the Muslim Ummah (people) together under such a controversial setting. The Bible tells us why, when it says he will violate the treaty at its 3 ½ year midpoint, by committing the “abomination of desolation” in the rebuilt temple.
Early on Mohammed taught his followers the principle of “takiya”; i.e., that Allah only allows an interruption of Allah’s prescribed perpetual jihad against unbelievers, via truces. The truces are to be honored only until the Muslim side regains the strength to attack again. This is long settled doctrine among Muslims. It is quite possible the Muslims will be in a weak condition, perhaps after the War of Gog and Magog, and will need make a truce with the West and Israel. Mahdi will make sure the Arabs agree. But after 3 ½ years he will break the treaty. The Ummah in the mosques will be mollified by telling them from the beginning of the treaty that the principle of takiya is in effect.
Muslims: The Mahdi will be world leader who will not only rule over the Islamic world, but also the non-Muslim world as well. “Allah will bring out from concealment al-Mahdi from my family and just before the day of Judgment; even if only one day were to remain in the life of the world, and he will spread on this earth justice and equity and will eradicate tyranny and oppression.”
Bible: “He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” Revelation 13:7
Comment: This person clearly must have supernatural abilities to bring about world wide power, but why is it likely he is Muslim? The answer is soldiers. The consensus among eschatologists is that Antichrist will mesmerize through charisma and miraculous signs. However, mankind is relentlessly fractious and, in the seven-year time frame God allows Antichrist, he certainly would have a difficult time organizing a region, much less the world. Even Hitler took over a decade just to get his country men generally ready for war. No, Antichrist needs to “hit the ground running” and for this will require a massive ready army. A Mahdi-Antichrist will instantly have 1.3 billion Muslims, already indoctrinated before he ever shows up, and suddenly radicalized by the miracle-working Mahdi. This would be the minimum he would need to organize immediate military campaigns and world-wide dominance, and I can not imagine any other leader, no matter how wondrous, who could possibly dominate the world in such a short time frame. Another sign is the fact that the re-invigoration of Islam we currently see has already neutralized any likely resistance from Europe. They will lack to will to oppose the Mahdi, and their Muslim populations will in fact probably take over.
Antichrist Will be Seen as a Miraculous Messiah, Coming on a White Horse.
Muslims: Muslim scholar Ka’b al-Ahbar, a reputed “trustworthy transmitter of Hadith as well as isra’iliyyat”, believed Mahdi will ride the white horse described in Revelation. Two Egyptian authors, Muhammad Ibn ‘Izzat and Muhammad ‘Arif, in their book Al Mahdi and the End of Time, say:
“It is clear that this man is the Mahdi who will ride the white horse [of Revelation 6] and judge by the Qur’an (with justice) and with whom will be men with marks of prostration on their foreheads.”
Bible: Rev. 6:1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Rev 13:16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
Comment: Christian eschatologists agree that the White Horseman of Revelation 6 is the Antichrist, and it is fascinating that this is one part of the Bible Muslim scholars adopt as correct. More fascinating is that they use this horseman. In Revelation 19 there is a second white horseman, coming at the end of the Tribulation period to crush the Antichrist: “11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” How telling the Muslim scholars cleave to the Antichrist horseman, rather than the Christ horseman.
The comment above about a “mark” on the forehead is also telling. Popular culture has been fascinated with the mark of the Beast, but it is especially interesting to see Muslim scholars talk of some mark on the forehead of Muslim followers. The President of Iran takes a different tack, recently telling a rally that the Mahdi will come very soon, reign from Babylon, and make the unbelievers wear a “mark of shame on their foreheads.” Though different in affect than Issat and Tarif’s view, still it is Mahdi who controls the “mark.”
A final note is the mention of slaves taking the mark. This might be attributed to anachronism, but even today Muslims in North Africa and Arabia are known to practice slavery. No one but Muslims do so.
Mahdi Will Conquer by Means of War
Muslims: While some Muslims believe that most of the non-Muslims of the world will convert to Islam peaceably during the reign of the Mahdi, most traditions picture the non-Muslim world coming to Islam as a result of being conquered by the Mahdi. Abduallrahman Kelani, author of The Last Apocalypse, describes the many battles of the Mahdi:
“Al-Mahdi will receive a pledge of allegiance as a caliph for Muslims. He will lead Muslims in many battles of jihad. His reign will be a caliphate that follows the guidance of the Prophet. Many battles will ensue between Muslims and the disbelievers during the Mahdi’s reign.
Bible: Rev. 6:2 “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword . . . .”
Rev 13:4 “Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.”
Comment: As noted earlier, the Mahdi would have an instant army out of 1.3 billion energized, if not fanatic followers. If Muslims can be as aggressive and expansionist as they are today, imagine the state of their collective will if lead by a supernaturally endowed performer they believe is Allah’s own. They will sweep over the world by the sword, or threats. Mark Steyn in America Alone pungently comments that Europe’s zealous pursuit of ease and peace condemns them to be overcome by the demographic tide of Muslims in their midst. If Europe has no stomach for confronting radical Islam today, it will certainly fold in the face of a Mahdi and his millions of warriors. Europe lacks the will or strength to be the source of the Antichrist, or to stop him.
A further cultural tale-tell note about the Muslim candidacy for the post of Antichrist is Rev 20:4, where John writes “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.” At a time the Western and Far Eastern worlds increasingly quail at the very thought of capital punishment, the Muslim world accepts and champions beheading, both in war and as punishment.
He Will Have a Second-in-Command, the False Prophet
Muslims: Mohammed said “A group of my Ummah will fight for the truth until near the day of judgment when Jesus, the son of Mary, will descend, and the leader of them will ask him to lead the prayer, but Jesus declines, saying: “No, Verily, among you Allah has made leaders for others and He has bestowed his bounty upon them.”
Ka’b al-Ahbar says, “He will be called Mahdi because he will guide (yahdi) to something hidden and will bring out the Torah and Gospel from a town called Antioch.”
“As-Suyuti mentioned in al-Hawi that the messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘he is called the Mahdi because he will guide the people to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring out the volumes of the Torah to refute the Jews. At the hands of the Mahdi the Ark of the Covenant will be brought forth from the Lake of Tiberius and taken and placed in Jerusalem.’”
Bible: “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.” (Dan. 7:24-26)
Math. 24:24 “For false Christ’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.”
Rev 13:6 “He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. 11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast.”
Rev 19:20 “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”
Comment: Perhaps the saddest episode of the entire tribulation will be the False Prophet. God will allow Antichrist nearly unlimited power, such as changing “set times and laws,” to let an unbelieving world have what it always wanted, something other than God. First he will use his power to set up a counterfeit religion, then will demand worship of himself. His administrator will be the magical False Prophet. Most conservative eschatologists assume the false religion will be some permutation of Christianity, and I think the false Jesus the Muslim Mahdi would summon as his servant would be specifically intended to lead nominal Christians and Jews to destruction by presenting an ersatz version of their loosely held faith, which nonetheless bows to Islam.
Jesus says false Christ’s and prophets will perform such great, lying wonders that they will “deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” (Math. 24:24). The logical inference is that these false ones would be preaching some semblance of Christian jargon, and many will be led astray, but not the faithful believers (elect), who will be killed when found. It follows that if someone appears showing great signs, calling himself the second appearing of Jesus Christ, and explaining the Bible was corrupted and Mohammed was right, nominal Christians and Jews will be deceived and fall away.
The extreme offense here is Satan’s proffer of a false Jesus, fulfilling Mohammed’s slander that Jesus was not divine; echoes of Satan’s oily and snide words to Eve: “Did God really say . . . .?”
Through this counterfeit, Satan will ask unprepared nominal Christians “Did God really say he would dwell with men?” (Math. 1:22-24) “Did God really say Jesus was his only begotten son?” (John 3:18) “Did God really say he would sacrifice his only begotten son to save sinful men, if only they would believe on him?” (John 3:16) “Did God really say ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me?’” (John 3:16) Using his full bag of deceitful, vicious, and blasphemous tricks –including false religious artifacts — this vulgar imposter will lead probably millions of nominal Christians and Jews, who will not rely on scripture, to destruction.
The other, more monstrous, offense of this counterfeit is that Satan appears to accomplish through deceit what he could not do when facing Jesus. Satan fruitlessly offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, if only Jesus would worship him. Now this false Jesus will bow down to Antichrist. Through the ages many scoffers have questioned Jesus’ divinity and many others suggested the scriptures about Jesus were untrustworthy. But none other than Mohammed dared suggest he was superior to Jesus. Through the False Prophet Satan doubles the outrage, manufacturing a false Jesus who acknowledges Mohammed’s boasts, then subject’s himself to Satan’s chosen.
Miraculous signs and untold riches
Muslims: Islamic scholars maintain the Mahdi will have control over the weather and the rain and crops. Under his rule, the world will live in prosperity. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad said:
“In the last days of my Ummah, the Mahdi will appear. Allah will give him power over the wind and the rain and the earth will bring forth its foliage. He will give away wealth profusely, flocks will be in abundance, and the Ummah will be large and honored.”
“In those years my community will enjoy a time of happiness such as they have never experienced before. Heaven will send rain upon them in torrents, the earth will not withhold any of its plants, and wealth will be available to all. A man will stand and say, “Give to me Mahdi!” and he will say, ‘Take.’”
Bible: Rev. 13:11 “Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
2 Thess 2:8-10 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders . . . .”
Rev.18:2 “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” 14″They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out: ” ‘Woe! Woe, O great city . . . .”
Comment: Eschatologists relate Antichrist and the false prophet will preside over a splendid economic empire, which God will destroy as he chastens the earth during the Great Tribulation. The above Bible scriptures indicate that for a time Antichrist may in fact be able to control weather, if only in some places. The Muslim nations and their allies (like Chavez’ Venezuela) will of course control most world oil reserves from the start; ergo the world economy. As Muslim armies overcome “nonbelievers” and confiscate their goods – particularly when the “Mark of the Beast” economic system is in place — the wealth creation for “believers” will be rapid and phenomenal.
Nothing here is meant to denigrate individual Muslims. In fact we should pray for them, and the word coming from people in the know is that a vast hidden miracle is under way, as untold numbers of Muslims are receiving miraculous visions and dreams from God, telling them Islam is a lie and Jesus the truth. They now know what I believe is true.
But Islam still grows in strength, aggressiveness, and reach. In the sweep of history, Islam is the only large movement to seemingly be spiritually opposed to the very essence of Jesus Christ’s teachings, ministry, and church. It is the only one to offer an opposite alternative across the globe. And it is the only one having a body of tradition and literature which brings Bible prophecy into sharp relief. It is a movement with the spirit, motive, ability and will to produce the Antichrist. As the saying goes, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Jesus said “Watch.”
Now is the time to be the Sons of Issachar - 1 Chronicles 12:32
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.