Are we living in the last days? This question has been asked by Christ's followers since the earliest days of the church. Reading the writings of Paul the Apostle, we get the sense that he expected the immanent return of Christ. Jesus told the Apostle Peter he would die a prisoner, but we were given no other clues as to the timing of Christ's return.... or were we? Interestingly, the Apostle John's vision of the Apocalypse was not written until after the death of Peter and the destruction of the second Temple. Not since 70 AD have so many pre-requisites been in place. We know that Israel must be a nation before Christ returns, as rescuing Israel from it's enemies is a major part of Christ's return. The Jewish Temple also has a definite role in Christ's return and currently does not exist, although, for the first time in 2000 years, a High Priest has been elected and all the implements of Temple worship are ready and waiting. As Vladimir Putin is attempting to start peace talks in the Middle East, is the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple something that is on the table? With the Pope's ecumenical visit to Jerusalem, holding an interfaith service, with Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders, will negotiations be made concerning the Temple mount, sharing the space with all three major faiths and paving the way for a third Temple to be erected, across from the Dome of the Rock? Could this sharing of the Temple Mount be what John the Revelator was referring to when he wrote: Revelation 11:1-2 - Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the Temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the outer court outside the Temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.? We know for sure the Temple will be in place before Christ returns to rule, what we do not know is when it will be built or if it is only built after the Anti-Christ comes to power, as this passage seems to indicate.
As we discern the times in light of Bible prophecy, it is impossible to watch the daily news and not wonder if we are racing toward Armageddon. Christianity is not the only major faith that has an end time scenario featuring a coming world leader. Even as the church awaits the return of Christ, Islam awaits it's messiah, the Mahdi. What is most fascinating are the parallels found between the Bible's man of perdition and Islam's Twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi. When compared side by side, a very compelling argument can be made to suggest that the Mahdi of Islam is indeed the Anti-Christ of scripture. This is the third of a three part series on this topic. Part one can be read by clicking HERE and part two by clicking HERE .
THE 12TH IMAM - IMAM MAHDE
The Mahdi, also known as the 12th Imam is believed to be the one who will come to establish Islam worldwide and to slaughter all who refuse to bow to Allah. According to the Islamic Hadith, we know this about the Mahdi:
1.The Mahdi will control an army that will conquer the earth in his name
2. The Mahdi will make a 7 year peace treaty
3. The reign of the Mahdi will last 7 years in which time, he will establish Islam over all the earth
4. The Mahdi will come on a white horse
5. The Mahdi will mark his followers on the forehead
6. The Mahdi will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem
7. The Mahdi will have a prophet who will support his message
THE MAHDI - ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLOWERS
The fact many adherents of Islam, including former president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believe the coming of the Mahdi is immanent, adds to the intrigue. Here is an excerpt from Ahmadinejad's address to the UN: God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of “all the worthy men and women of all nations” he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.
|a direct contradiction of Allah, God cannot|
have a begotten Son and not have
a begotten Son, Allah is not God
|From an Islamic website showing|
Allah has no son
The false prophet of Revelation will come after the Anti-Christ, performing signs and wonders to convince people to worship and accept the Anti-Christ, leading to the taking of the Mark of the Beast. The Jesus of Islam, Isa, is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Islamic Jesus was born of a virgin and born sinless, but was not God, nor the son of God. The Islamic Jesus was not crucified and therefore not resurrected, but ascended, bodily, into heaven, awaiting his return to help defeat the enemies of the Mahdi. Islam mixes truth with lies, much like Satan in the Garden of Eden, stripping Jesus of His redemptive power and removing the necessary sacrifice for sin. The Jesus of Islam is nothing more than a herald of the Mahdi and not King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as clearly taught by scripture. The Jesus of Islam is the false prophet of Revelation and is destined for hell, along with the so-called Mahdi: Revelation 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
THE BIBLICAL ANTI-CHRIST
The parallels between the Mahdi of Islam and the Anti-Christ of the Bible are undeniable. Here is what we know about the Anti-Christ:
1. The Anti-Christ will control an army that will conquer the Earth in his name - Revelation 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.
2. The Anti-Christ will make a 7 year peace treaty - Daniel 9:26-27 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."
3. The reign of the Anti-Christ will last 7 years in which time, he will establish Islam over all the earth - See the above passage, this indicates there is only one 7 year period left after the Anti- Christ rises to power
4. The Anti-Christ will come on a white horse - Revelation 6:2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
5. The Anti-Christ will mark his followers on the forehead - Revelation 13:16-18 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
6. The Anti-Christ will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem - 2Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so- called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
7. The Anti-Christ will have a prophet who will support his message -Revelation 13:11-14 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
Islam is Satanic at it's core and Allah is Satan himself - (for a detailed explanation CLICK HERE ). 1John 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Islam denies God is a Father and Jesus is the Son, Islam therefore is Anti-Christ. Notice John calls the one who denies the Son as "the liar". Jesus said it best: John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
This brings us back to the premise of this series - the Bible indicates the Anti-Christ will come from what we now know as the Muslim world: Micah 5:5-6 And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men; they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.
Though Islam did not exist at the time Malachi was written, the reference to the Assyrian gives us a big clue as to the regional identity of the Anti-Christ. The Assyrian empire was long defeated by the time of Malachi making any connection to the fall of the Northern kingdom impossible. Part 1 of this series connects the Assyrian reference to Turkey and can be read by clicking on the link provided earlier.
Admittedly, deciphering prophecy can be a speculative endeavor, but God shows us future events that we might prepare for what is to come and recognize His plan when it happens. Regardless of who the Anti-Christ is and where he comes from, we cannot deny that there will be a future world leader who will serve Satan and attempt to overthrow God's people. For this, we must be prepared, for this we must be busy making disciples of all nations, helping as many to escape these future events as possible. God has revealed His plan and we know the outcome, we are given this information for a reason and I believe it is for the purpose of warning others, giving us one more tool with which to witness the truth of the Gospel. Our focus must be on the true Christ, not the Anti-Christ. As John the Revelator before me, I beseech the Lord to return, "Come Lord Jesus, come!"