June 8, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted. In the beginning of these summer months sometimes time can get away from me.
We live in a very exciting time prophetically speaking. There are certainly famines, pestilence, earthquakes in various places, fearful sights in the sky, and signs from heaven to name a few of the signs that are now occurring with greater frequency and intensity that Jesus and the Apostle Paul spoke of in their prophecies. Both Jesus and Paul spoke of what is known in prophecy circles as the “birth pains” concept. Just as labor pains grow in frequency and intensity on a pregnant woman, so these signs will the closer we get to the time of His returning. Keep in mind there are no preliminary signs in connection with the “catching away” of the Church. The signs point to His triumphant return with us to rule and reign.
We have been sharing of late concerning what every Christian needs to know about Islam. We have laid quite a bit of foundation with this particular study. I really want to continue along the lines of looking at reasons why I believe the expected twelfth Imam of Islam, or the Mahdi, is in fact the Biblical Antichrist who will be revealed in the end of days.
I want to examine yet another set of traditions that further enlighten us concerning the expectations of Muslims about the coming Mahdi:
- The Syrian army will attack him but will be destroyed in the desert. When this happens, both Iran and Syria will unite to pledge their allegiance to him.
- He will take Turkey through force.
- After uniting all of Islam, he will then take over the entire world in the name of Islam. Muhammad predicted the conquest of Spain, which some believe will occur under the Mahdi.
- Under the Mahdi’s leadership, there will be great prosperity, including gold and silver for his faithful followers.
- After all of this is accomplished, the Mahdi will rule for five, seven, or nine years (depending upon which tradition is followed), and then the end of the world will come, followed by the judgment of Allah.
When one studies the expectations of Muslims, there are amazing links between their traditions of the Mahdi and the prophecies given by biblical prophets. For example, we can compare Islamic traditions about the Mahdi to biblical references regarding the Antichrist – the final world dictator. Understandably, many Muslims would not appreciate such a comparison, but other Muslims would almost be shocked by the parallels between the twelve-hundred-year-old Islamic beliefs and the ancient prophecies of the Bible concerning the world’s last dictator:
|Muslim Belief Bible Prophecy|
|The Mahdi will unite the Muslim world.
The Mahdi will bring gold and silver to his followers.
The Mahdi, according to some traditions, will rule for seven years.
According to Islamic beliefs, the Mahdi will take over Turkey.
Syria and Iraq will submit to the Mahdi.
Most Muslims believe the Mahdi will appear from the east.
Muslims believe that after the appearing of the Mahdi, Jesus will reappear and will march into Jerusalem following this Islamic leader. Jesus will then announce He is a Muslim and not the Son of God and will convert the people to Islam. This is when the Mahdi will kill the swine (Jews) and remove the cross (alluding to killing Christians).
|The Antichrist will bring ten kings under his subjection (Rev. 17:12).
The prophet Daniel predicted that the coming Antichrist “shall honor a god…which his fathers did not know…with gold and silver (Dan. 11:38).
The Antichrist will come to his position early during the seven-year Tribulation (Dan. 9:27).
Daniel states that the “king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships” (Dan. 11:40). The “king of the North” during the Tribulation will be the nation of Turkey. Turkey will be in conflict with the Antichrist.
I believe there is biblical evidence that the Antichrist will come out of the area of Syria and Iraq, which is the territory of ancient Babylon.
Daniel states the coming Antichrist “grew exceedingly great…toward the east” (Dan. 8:9).
The Bible indicates a false prophet will arise following the Antichrist’s taking Jerusalem captive, and both the Antichrist and false prophet will form a large religious following (Rev. 13:11 – 15).
The theme of war is predicted and anticipated in Islamic apocalyptic belief. It is predicted that a war will occur between the Eastern powers and the Western powers. Two European countries will also be attacked. Some Muslims note that Osama Bin Laden initiated the beginning of the war between the East and the West with the 9/11 attacks on America. Since 9/11, both Spain and Britain have been attacked by terrorists, which some saw as the beginning of the attacks on the two European countries. Sheikh Nazim Adil al Haqqani, world leader of the Naqshbandhia Order, said the following about the coming Mahdi:
“As believers of the traditions, we believe in a savior who will come first, before Jesus Christ. We have in our traditions his name, which is Muhammad d’ul Mahdi. He is coming, but his arrival will be after a great war. It will be the fight of the big powers with each other. And in that war the savior will come like a divine hand from heavens to the earth and stop the war.”
One of the important signs will be when an Islamic army is prepared for the arrival of the Mahdi. In Iraq, the al Qaeda army has been replaced by the Mahdi Army, called “the country’s most dangerous accelerant of potentially self-sustaining sectarian violence” by the Pentagon. Prior to the recent war in Iraq, it was known that there is a cleric in Iraq who at that time had about five hundred seminary students serving as an armed militia. Their leader, a black-turban-wearing religious cleric named Muqtada al-Sadr, is a Shiite Muslim with close ties to Iran. He is also a close friend with the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Since the beginning of the recent war, al-Sadr’s small army grew from five hundred to more than sixty thousand radical militia members.
Why would this cleric form a Mahdi army? The Shiite Muslims believe the Mahdi will appear in Iraq. Al-Sadr is simply preparing the minds and hearts of his followers for the arrival of this man, and he is preparing the army that will march to Jerusalem to liberate the city from the Jews and Christians.
In the face of all of this militant talk, many continue to proclaim Islam as a religion of peace. What about that? Consider that the first murder in the Bible was done in the name of religion, as Cain slew his brother Abel. Both men brought an offering before the Lord, but the Lord favored Abel’s sacrifice. In a religious rage, Cain murdered his brother (Gen. 4:5 – 8). Since that time, men have killed one another “In the name of God.”
Jesus warned of a time when His people would die as martyrs, and the murderers would believe they were doing God a favor. [See John 16:2] During the past two thousand years, the world has been drenched in the blood of innocent people who were victims of religious conflict. From the Roman Empire, The Roman Church, and the Inquisition to the Islamic call for Jihad, men are dying in the name of religion.
Next time I want to take a look back historically at the founding of Islam as we answer the question of whether or not Islam is a religion of peace.
The Weekly Word is found in Revelation 6:2. Here the Bible says,
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. [Rev. 6:2 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.