PART VIII – AN ALTERNATE PROPHETIC ROAD
Well, after a delay of a couple of weeks to cover the crisis in more depth, we’re back. Last time out, we made the case for a ‘Roman’ Antichrist coming out of the European Union. But could this 10-hormed beast mean more than just Europe, – or a revived Rome? After all, Daniel 7:23 tells us that this last kingdom “will devour the whole earth.” There are many Bible scholars that believe that this ‘beast’ will manifest itself in the form of a truly world government. The blueprint for such was laid out, – again in Rome, – by the Club of Rome back in 1972. It has since then been advanced by the World Constitution and Parliament Association, which works toward a constitutional world government and the dividing of the world into regions, – ten coincidentally, that their official documents refer to as “kingdoms”. Those divisions include the EU, the North American Union, and similar groups for Central Asia, Latin America, Central Africa and other regions throughout the world. This too would fulfill the prophetic requirement of a “covenant with the many.”[i] Now, the idea that the government of the Antichrist will involve more than just the EU does NOT mean that the “the prince who is to come” (Daniel 9:26) will not be the one that ‘confirms’ the covenant. It does not mean that a Revived Rome, even united with a Christ-less church centered in Rome will not lead the world into the Tribulation. It just means that God’s fulfillments are beyond our present knowledge. “For now we see through a glass darkly.” (1Corinthians 13:12) That’s the standard case for the Roman Antichrist. But there’s a very compelling argument for an entirely different manifestation. So next, we’ll begin to look at the equally compelling case for an Islamic Antichrist. And there may just be a way to reconcile some of those differences.
A Roman or an Islamic Antichrist?
Beginning in the early 1990’s rigorous study of the Scriptures began to lead several prophecy scholars down a new road. Instead of the traditional interpretation where you wound up with a Roman Antichrist: They began to calculate the probability that the Man of Sin may indeed be Muslim. When they looked at the Islamic writings, – the Koran and the Hadith, – they were confirmed in this view. The Pioneers in this area included Perry Stone, Dr Joe Van Koevering and a converted Muslim by the name of Walid Shoebat. Also included on that train are Joel Richardson and Jack Smith, whom we just quoted above.
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” (1John 2:22)
Walid Shoebat came to a very disturbing conclusion. He was studying the Bible in an effort to convert his Christian wife. Now understand that Mr Shoebat had operated as a Palestinian terrorist and so was zealously committed to the Islamic cause. He had rarely questioned the theology which he had been taught. But as he studied the Scriptures, he came to realize, – in his words now, – “My Mahdi was your Antichrist. Your Christ was my Antichrist.” His study of Scripture led him to realize that he had been living a lie. And after praying for discernment to the God of Abraham, – the common ancestor of Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, – God answered. And he gave his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior.[ii]
It is interesting that Shoebat, the former Muslim should have been convinced of the Truth of the Christian Faith by looking at the teachings of his own religion. But he just saw what many others were beginning to see: That when Islamic writings are compared with the Scripture; – one comes to the almost inescapable conclusion that the Mahdi, (the Islamic messiah) – and the Antichrist are one and the same man. In fact many Islamic scholars, – who believe that the Bible is just a form of ‘corrupted’ scripture, – agree with the Bible on at least this one point. The Mahdi will return after the opening of the first seal judgment. “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ 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.” (Revelation 6:1-2) [iii] Muslims believe that the Mahdi is coming to claim his kingdom, – actually not figuratively, – riding on a white horse.
Let’s review just a few of the similarities between the projected careers of Mahdi and Antichrist.
- The Mahdi is to rule the world from Jerusalem for seven years. According to Daniel and John writing in Revelation, that is to be the exact length of the career of the Antichrist. He too will set up headquarters in Jerusalem.
- The Mahdi will operate with a partner called Issa, (Arabic for Jesus). The two of them will go to Jerusalem where, in line with Islamic teaching, this Islamic Jesus will deny that he is the Son of God. Revelation 17:5 tells us that the False Prophet, – head of the world’s combined religious systems, – will cause “the earth and those that dwell in it to worship the first beast.” [iv]
- The Islamic scriptures, both the Koran & Hadith, teach that the entire world will convert to Islam. [v] Revelation 13:8 teaches that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship” this pretender prince. In Sura 8:11 and elsewhere, Islam teaches that this One World Religion will be enforced under the pain of death by beheading. [vi] [vii] “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads”, says that passage. Revelation 20:4 talks of “the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast.”
- Islam brags Muslims will hunt down Jews and Christians in those days. The Bible says the same of the Antichrist. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7)
There are more parallels with the Bible. The Mahdi will rule both the civil and religious spheres. That theocratic imposition of Sharia law is both the Islamic way and the prophesied nature of Antichrist’s rule. [viii] He will lead the final battle between good and evil. [ix] In fact, this notion that the Antichrist is the same as the Islamic Messiah, (the Mahdi), – is gaining traction in the prophetic community. Walid Shoebat points out a confirming phenomenon of Scripture: Whenever God goes to war against nations in the Bible, – they are always Muslim nations! Look at the nations mentioned in Psalm 83:5-8: “They form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them.” Today, all of these people are Muslim. Or take the “burden” prophecies of Isaiah, found primarily from chapters 14 through 23. In that extended passage of Scripture God passes judgment on many nations; – Babylon (Iraq), Philistia (Palestine), Moab (Jordan), Syria (& its capital Damascus), Ethiopia, Egypt, Assyria (Iran & Iraq), Arabia, Edom (Palestinians), and Tyre (in Lebanon). Again all of them are Muslim.[x]
Shoebat sees Islam as the False Religion represented by the woman that rides the beast of Revelation 17:7. And then there is the description that the Bible gives to the coming Antichrist as the King of Babylon and the Assyrian. There is a clear link made between the King of Babylon, who is “cast from your grave” (Isaiah 14:19) and Satan’s own Antichrist of Revelation 19:20, where we see the Antichrist and the False Prophet “cast alive into the lake of fire.”[xi] As for the Assyrian connection, it is Micah 5:5-6 that makes the case. It describes the coming world ruler as “the Assyrian” from the “land of Nimrod.” Assyria is found in Iran and Iraq. The name Nimrod means “rebel”, and Nimrod ruled his empire from Babylon itself, – the very symbol of mankind’s end-time rebellion.[xii] Babylon is of course in Iraq. In Isaiah 14:24, God promises to “break Assyria in My Land, and on My Mountains.” And Isaiah 30:31 tells us “The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down.” All of this comes at a time when “The Lord will come down to fight for Mount Zion.” (Isaiah 31:4) This all is clearly a reference to the Last Days, when Christ Himself will destroy the Antichrist and his evil world system.[xiii]
Jeremiah takes up the call of judgment on the nations adding Elam (Persia) and Babylon to Isaiah’s list. Again, all are Muslim, – and with the exception of the Elamites, – all are Arab, – sons of Ishmael, as it were. Islam’s awaited Messiah, the 12th Mahdi is to be a direct descendant of Mohammed through his daughter Fatima. And that Mohammed traced his ancestry back to Ishmael himself through his second son Kedar. [xiv] The fact is, the ruling Hashemite family of Jordan is the direct linkage to Mohammed through the proper line and therefore is the only line that can produce an authentic candidate for the office of Mahdi. In addition, with the approval of the Israeli government they control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and had family members on the thrones of Saudi Arabia and Iraq even during the 20th century. [xv]
[i] David Eells, Hidden Manna for the End Times, Chapter 11, The Ten King Covenant
[ii] Walid Shoebat, from his presentation at the International Prophecy Conference 2007
[iii] Jack Kinsella, Mahdi Rising…, Omega Letter, April 6, 2006
[iv] Consulted notes from: John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible, notes for revelation 17, pgs 2,016-2,017
[v] Hal Lindsey, The 4 Horsemen, al Mahdi, and the Magnetic Polar Reversal, Oracle, March 14, 2006
[vi] Hal Lindsey, The 4 Horsemen, al Mahdi, and the Magnetic Polar Reversal, Oracle, March 14, 2006
[vii] Jack Kinsella, The Third Pillar of Antichrist, Omega Letter, March 13, 2006
[viii] The Hadith as quoted by Jerry Robinson, Calling Al Mahdi, Understanding The Antichrist – Part II, WIR
[ix] Jerry Robinson, Calling Al Mahdi, Understanding The Antichrist – Part II, WIR
[x] Walid Shoebat, from his presentation at the International Prophecy Conference 2007
[xi] Walid Shoebat, Islam And The Final Beast
[xii] Chuck Missler, The Return of Nimrod, Personal Update News Journal, October 2002
[xiii] Walid Shoebat, Islam And The Final Beast
[xiv] Hal Lindsey, The 4 Horsemen, al Mahdi, and the Magnetic Polar Reversal, Oracle, March 14, 2006
[xv] Dr Joe Van Koevering, The Pope, The Prophecy And The Promise, International Prophecy Conference 2006