Could the Antimessiah Be Islamic?
How close are we to the return of Yahshua the Messiah and to the end of the age? While this ministry is not one to set times and dates, it’s safe to say that many of the signs in the Word are coming to pass.
The Messiah in His Olivet Prophecy warned about an increase in deception, war, natural disasters, and sin. We’re witnessing many of these signs in our day and age and we’re not alone in this belief.
In an article by the Huffington Post entitled, “How Many U.S. Christians Believe Christ’s ‘Second Coming’ Will Happen Soon?”, almost half of all Christians believe that Yahshua’s Second Coming will occur within the next 40 years.
“The ‘Second Advent,’ as it is sometimes called, is a divine event that is said to mark the end of the world as we know it – a time in the future when Christ will return to Earth to judge both the living and deceased. Many Christians in the United States believe this ‘Second Coming’ will occur sometime in the next 40 years – and the percentage of believers may surprise you.
“According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey…nearly half of U.S. Christians believe that Christ will ‘definitely’ (27 percent) or ‘probably’ (20 percent) return to Earth in or before the year 2050. Conversely, 38 percent believe that Christ will definitely [not] or probably not return within the next four decades.”
Yahshua warned in His Olivet Prophecy that He would return in a time most will not expect. He said many times to watch for the fulfillment of end-time prophecy.
Today’s rise of Islam likely will play a key part in end-time events. Several striking parallels exist between the Antimessiah and the final Imam. This article will review seven of them. Before we consider these signs, let’s take a brief overview of the Antimessiah and the final Imam.
Bible prophecy indicates that the Antimessiah will come against or in place of the Messiah before Yahshua’s Second Coming, which are the meanings of “anti.” He will rise to power through the workings of Satan to become a worldwide despot and dictator. He will persecute the saints and force everyone to worship him alone.
According to Islamic belief, the final Imam will be the spiritual and political successor to the prophet Muhammad. He will come at the end of this age to establish Islamic rule and law to this world. This man is also called the al-Mahdi.
In addition to the Bible, we will refer here to a book entitled, God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible, by Walid Shoebat. The author was born to an Islamic father and Christian mother and was in raised in an Arab community in Bethlehem. As a young man he embraced Islam and even considered himself an Islamic terrorist. Like his father, he married a Christian woman who later challenged him to examine Christianity. In 1993 he converted to Christianity. Since then he has devoted much time to the study of biblical prophecy from a Middle Eastern or Islamic standpoint.
Beast Denies Yahshua
The first similarity between the Anti-messiah and this Islamic ruler is the rejection of Yahshua the Messiah as the Son of Yahweh.
We read in 1John 2:22-23, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahshua is the Messiah? He is antimessiah, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
A denier of Yahshua the Messiah is one meaning of Antimessiah. We can view this prophecy as a general rejection of Yahshua’s relationship to His Father and as an actual prophecy referring to the person of the Antimessiah. We also see here that those who deny the Son also deny the Father.
It’s important that we as believers recognize the absolute need for main-taining faith in our Savior. Revelation 14:12 defines a saint as one who keeps the commandments of Yahweh and has faith in Yahshua the Messiah. If we neglect either one we disqualify ourselves as believers in the New Testament. This is why this first sign is vitally important; without Yahshua we have no Savior and no redemption from sin.
According to Walid Shoebat, while Islam accepts Yahshua as a prophet, they deny His relationship to the Father. He states, “Doctrinally, Islam and the Antichrist are in perfect agreement because both deny…the Divine Sonship of Christ.” He goes on to say, “Regarding those who do not convert to Islam, the Qur’an states that [Yahshua] will be a witness against them on the Day of Judgment: There is not one of the people of Scripture (Christians and Jews) but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. (Qur’an 4:159). Muslim scholars explain that the phrase ‘will believe in him before his death’ means that Christians and Jews will ‘confirm that he is alive and has not died and he is not God or the Son of God but His (Allah’s) slave and Messenger, and Isa [Yahshua] will testify against those who had called him the Son of God,’” ibid, p. 59. This former Muslim says that according to the Quran Yahshua never died and that He was not the son of Yahweh. According to Islamic tradition, when Mohammad returns Yahshua also will return to confirm Islam. Talk about blasphemy and a contradiction of Scripture!
Of Mideast Origin
Another parallel between the Antimessiah and the Al-Mahdi is the geographic location from which they will arise. According to Islamic tradition, the 12th Imam will come from the ancient territory of the Ottoman Empire. Bible prophecy indicates that the Man of Sin may also come from this same area.
Before we consider this, however, Daniel 8 provides a clue that many miss regarding the place of origin for the Man of Sin. “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up,” verses 21-23.
The king of Grecia here represents Alex-ander the Great, while the four horns symbolize his four generals who inherited His kingdom after his untimely death. As we note in the Restoration Study Bible, those generals and their kingdoms were: “Seleucus (Syria and Babylon), Lysimachus (Asia Minor), Ptolemy (Egypt), and Cas-sander (Macedonia and Greece)” (note on Daniel 8:8).
The last king holds the key to the Man of Sin or the Antimessiah. What’s intriguing to note first is that the Man of Sin will arise from somewhere in Alexander’s empire. It’s important to note that this ancient territory never included Rome or northern Europe, but did include much of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
We have firm support that the Man of Sin will come from one of these areas and not Rome, as so many have believed.
There are two other passages in the book of Revelation that indicate that this evil man will arise from the Middle East, particularly the Ottoman Empire, which includes Turkey. The first clue is found in Revelation 13:3: “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”
Many believe that this “wound” per-tains to the person of the Antimessiah. Is it possible though that it symbolizes something different from a literal injury to the Man of Sin? According to Revelation 17:9-11, not only is this possible, it’s likely:
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
Here John of Patmos sees a Beast (Antimessiah) that sits on seven mountains, symbolizing seven heads. Some claim that these seven mountains represent seven hills of Rome. For example, the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary states, “As nature shadows forth spiritual realities, so seven-hilled Rome is a representative of the seven-headed world power, of which the dragon is the prince.”
However, it’s more likely that these mountains symbolize seven kingdoms or nations. Here’s why.
Micah 4:1 prophesies that in the mil-lennium Yahweh’s “mountain” will be established on the top of the mountains: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the
top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”
Mountains in Scripture symbolize Kingdoms. Yahweh’s Kingdom coming to earth will be established above all other kingdoms or nations. From Revelation we also see that these seven mountains are connected to seven kings, representing seven kingdoms.
John prophesied that five of these kings had fallen, one was, and one was yet to come. From explanations in Daniel 2 and 8, the fallen kingdoms that ruled the Middle East, including Israel, were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. The king that “is” or existed when John received this prophecy was Rome. Only one other enduring kingdom historically connected to the Middle East was the Ottoman Empire, the prophesied kingdom “to come.” No other kingdom fits the criteria as does the Ottoman or Turkish Empire, which is the seventh kingdom, and out of the seventh comes the eighth king, the Antimessiah.
What comes to mind when most think of the Roman Empire is the western region, represented by its capital in Rome. The fact is, the Roman Empire had two capitals, one in Rome and the other in Constantinople, which was established by Emperor Constantine in 330 CE. Constantinople is now Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey.
This realm was also known as the Byzantine Empire, which at its peak controlled parts of southeastern Europe, southwestern Asia, the northeast corner of Africa, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, eastern Libya and Turkey. This empire would exist for 1,000 years until its overthrow by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE. Constantinople would come to overshadow and replace Rome as the capital.
After the defeat of the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire existed for over 600 years until it was vanquished in 1922. At its peak, this empire controlled Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Both Alexander’s kingdom and the Ottoman Empire share a key trait: neither one controlled Rome and both conquered much of the Middle East, which includes today’s Turkey (the ancient territory known as Anatolia).
Why exactly is this important? According to Daniel and Revelation, the Man of Sin will arise from the Mideast and specificaly from Alexander the Great’s empire. Alexander conquered what became the eastern leg of the Roman Empire or Turkey, which was later engulfed by the Ottoman Empire.
The 17th chapter of Revelation con-firms that the Beast or the Antimessiah is the eighth ruler and is “of the seven” or of the seventh kingdom. In other words, the Antimessiah will come from the prophesied seventh empire.
Mr. Shoebat also attests to this likeli-hood, “…the Empire of the Antichrist will not be a new empire; rather it will be the revival of a previous great empire that will have suffered what the Bible calls a ‘fatal head wound’ (Revelation 13:3).This empire is the Islamic Ottoman Empire which replaced the Roman Empire after the fall of its remaining Eastern section,” God’s War on Terror, p. 81.
He’ll Show Signs and Wonders
Another parallel with the Man of Sin and the Mahdi is that they are both prophesied to display great signs and wonders. Yahshua in Matthew 24:24 states, “For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
This is one of the three accounts of Yahshua’s Olivet Prophecy. The two others are in Mark 13 and Luke 21. Our Savior prophesies here that there will arise false Messiahs and false prophets showing great signs and wonders. The word “signs” comes from the Greek semeion. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this as, “…an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature.” Similarly, the word “wonders” comes from the Greek teras and refers to miracles.
Yahshua confirms here that the Antimessiah along with the False Prophet will be miraculously empowered to perform impressive miracles that man will not explain through the laws of nature or science. Because of this, the world will follow these men and if possible, they would even deceive the very elect.
The reference to the “elect” is to convey the gravity of this deception; it’s likely they will not be deceived. This is not to say, however, that all those baptized into Yahshua’s Name will be spared. The reality is, just because we’re baptized into the Messiah’s Name doesn’t make us part of the chosen or the elect. This is something that comes from sincere devotion and a faith second to none.
Where does the Man of Sin receive his power? The answer is in Revelation 13:2: “And 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.”
The dragon here symbolizes Satan the devil and will be the source of the Antimessiah’s power and authority. This is why his signs and wonders will be beyond the explanation of the natural laws of nature or science. The power behind them will be supernatural and demonic.
If this occurs in our lifetime, nothing we have ever seen will prepare us for what will come from the Beast and his false prophet. Scripture states that the false prophet will rain fire from heaven and give life to a lifeless image, Revelation 13:14-15. The signs and wonders that these apocalyptic figures will show will be beyond explanation or reason. This is why it’s important that we understand the prophecies and know the signs of Yahshua’s Second Coming.
Similar to the Antimessiah, according to Islamic belief, this last successor of Muhammad will also show great signs and wonders: “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 (Empire of Islam) will be large and honored,” God’s war on Terror, p. 83.
According to Islamic belief, this 12th Imam will receive power from Allah over the wind and rain. Like the Antimessiah, this man will be given the ability to perform great signs and wonders and will be able to deceive this world.
He’ll Change Times and Laws
In addition to being able to perform great wonders, both the Bible and Islamic tradition state that these men will think to alter worship and the system of law. Daniel in the seventh chapter states this regarding the Man of Sin: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,” verse 25.
The word “times” is from the Aramaic zeman and refers to seasons or appointed occasions. Similarly, the word “law” derives from the Aramaic dath and refers to commandments, edicts, or statutes. In essence, the Antimessiah will seek to institute a whole new system of worship and law.
According to the eleventh chapter of Daniel, this man will not honor the “Elohim of his fathers.” This phrase appears an additional four times in the Hebrew text (2Kings 21:22; 2Chronicles 21:10; 28:25; 33:12) and in all references refers to Yahweh, the Elohim of the Hebrews. No doubt, part of this worship will include the abomination of desolation and the image to which the False Prophet will give life (see Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 13:15).
We also find here the duration of this man’s rule. Daniel prophesies that he will rule until a time and times and the dividing of time. This phrase refers to the three-and-a-half years of the Great Tribulation and is also found in Revelation 12:14. According to Yahshua in His Olivet Prophecy, this will be the worst time this earth has ever and will ever see. It’s going to test the faith of Yahweh’s elect like nothing before.
Now not unlike the Man of Sin, we find that this final Imam will also seek to change times and laws. “The Mahdi…will attempt to change the law by instituting Islamic Sharia law as far as he is able to do so…This activism already exists in every nation of the world. Behind all the masks, they all desire to replace non-Islamic legal systems with Islamic Sharia law and replace every constitution with the constitution of the caliphate” (ibid, p. 85).
Amazingly, we’re beginning to see a push for Islamic law today even in America. An article dated July 29, 2013, from the Huffington Post entitled, “Sharia Law in the USA” reported, “North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday (July 24) approved a bill to prohibit judges from considering ‘foreign laws’ in their decisions, but nearly everyone agrees that ‘foreign laws’ really means Shariah, or Islamic law. North Carolina now joins six other states — Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Tennessee — to pass a ‘foreign laws’ bill. A similar bill passed in Missouri, but Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed it, citing threats to international adoptions. “The bills all cite ‘foreign laws’ be-cause two federal courts have ruled that singling out Shariah — as Oklahoma voters originally did in 2010 — is un-constitutional.”
An ongoing effort by many Islamic organizations is to include Sharia law within the United States. We also see this same pattern in many European nations. As believers, we should be vigilant as we see decline and corruption in this nation’s legal and judicial system.
Another striking parallel we find between the Antimessiah and the 12th Imam is a seven years covenant or peace agreement. Daniel 9:27 says that the Man of Sin will make a seven-year covenant or peace treaty with many nations. The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts (Lamsa) reads, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for seven weeks and half of seven, then he shall cause the sacrifice and gift offerings to cease, and upon the horns of the altar the abomination of desolation: and the abomination of desolation shall continue until the end of the appointed time; the city shall remain desolate.”
The “seven weeks” represent seven years and refer to the seven-year covenant or treaty that this man will confirm with the nations of this earth. As we see, though, this treaty will be short lived. In the middle of this seven-year treaty the Antimessiah will nullify the covenant and stop the sacrifices and oblations.
As an aside, the reference here to stopping the sacrifices may indicate a previous form of Hebraic worship and may offer an explanation how believers, even those in the Messiah, could be led astray by this imposter.
When this man brings an end to the agreement he will set up the abomination of desolation, which will stand in the holy place of the temple until the coming of Yahshua the Messiah (Matt. 24:15). At this point, he will force all of mankind to worship him and him alone.
According to the Apostle Paul in the second chapter of 2Thessalonians, he will exalt himself above all that is called a mighty one. It reads, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshiped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim,” verses 3-4.
The Man of Sin will become the ultimate dictator and despot over the entire world. No one will be able to openly oppose or defy him. According to Islamic tradition, the final Imam may also form a similar agreement.
“One Islamic tradition places the ascendancy of the Mahdi at the time of a final peace agreement between the Arabs and the Romans (‘Romans’ should be interpreted here as referring to Christians, or more generally, the West). Although this peace agreement is made with the ‘Romans,’ it is said to be mediated spe-cifically through a Jew from the priestly lineage of Aaron. The peace agreement will be made for a period of seven years,” God’s War on Terror, p. 114.
Just as the Man of Sin will make a seven-year agreement, the final Imam may do the same. Interestingly, according to author Shoebat, this treaty will be between the Mahdi and the western world, including Christianity and Judaism. Intriguing also is the mention of a Jew from the priestly line of Aaron, which will help facilitate this agreement.
Such circumstances may provide an explanation as to how an agreement might form between the Jews and Arabs. In recent decades there has been an ever-increasing effort by America and other western nations to form a peace treaty in the Middle East. Most of these attempts have ended in failure or are short-lived. However, both Bible prophecy and Islamic tradition states that such a scenario will be a reality in the future, possibly in the near future.
Ten Sycophantish Kings
Another fascinating parallel with these men is the belief of ten kings. John of Patmos in the 17th chapter of Revelation provides insight into the purpose of these kings. “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast,” verses 12-13.
Notice first here that these ten kings have not yet received their kingdoms or positions. It says that they will receive power as kings for one hour with the beast. This likely represents the time of the Great Tribulation. What purpose do these ten kings serve? They will empower and strengthen the Beast. In other words, they will be pawns that the Man of Sin will leverage to strengthen his political power.
Now before we examine the possible identity of these kings, let’s consider how this prophecy may correspond to Islamic tradition.
“In 2002 a plan for the reestablishment of the Caliphate was written by…the Guiding Helper Foundation entitled, The Plan for the Return of the Caliphate. According to the plan, the Caliph would be assisted in his rule by a ten-member council of “Assistant Caliphs.” These assistants, or council members, are similar to ministers in many of today’s governments” (ibid, p. 91). Just as Bible prophecy foretells, Islamic tradition states that there will arise ten leaders or caliphs who will support the Caliph or the last Imam. The similarities here between the Bible and Islamic tradition are quite amazing.
Regarding the 10 kings that Revelation describes in the seventeenth chapter, Psalm 83:3-8 may very well offer a key to unlock their identity.
“They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.”
Notice here that there are 10 kings mentioned and that they form a confederacy for the sole purpose of destroying the nation of Israel. Two questions are crucial: 1) is this passage historic or prophetic and 2) do we know the locations of these kingdoms today?
Let’s take the first question. According to many scholars, there is no historical tie to this passage. The HarperCollins Study Bible states: “There is no particular historical moment with which such a grouping of nations against Israel can be associated.” The Wycliffe Bible Commentary agrees, “The occasion cannot be identified with certainty, because at no period in Israel’s history has such a confederation of nations existed.”
Based on this fact, it’s reasonable to conclude that this passage can only be prophetic. While there is some debate, the locations are generally assumed to be the following (list from the Restoration Study Bible):
• Edom – Southern Jordan
• Ishmaelites – Arabs
• Hagarenes – Egypt
• Gebal – Lebanon
• Ammon – Northern Jordan
• Amalek – Sinai Peninsula
• Philistines – Gaza Strip
• Tyre – Lebanon
• Assur – Syria and Iraq
• Children of Lot – Jordan
Amazingly, every nation listed in Psalm 83 is located in the Middle East and today are Islamic. Some might say that this is only a coincidence, but the evidence says otherwise.
Who Rules by Force
The last parallel is the use of military force or aggression. According to the Bible and Islamic tradition, both the Antimessiah and the final Imam will be men of war. Daniel 7:23 reads, “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
This fourth kingdom represents the Antimessiah and his empire. The Bible states that this kingdom will be different from all others before it. Daniel confirms that this final kingdom will devour the whole world.
It’s a historical fact that no kingdom or empire has ever managed to conquer the entire world. In addition to global rule, this man will also tread down and break this world in pieces.
In addition to Daniel, Revelation also prophesies that this man will rule by war: “And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” We see again here that the Antimessiah will receive power from the dragon, representing Satan the devil. The power that this man will possess will be supernatural and demonic.
Notice the last part of this verse, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” This is a rhetorical question confirming that no one will be able to resist or defy the Antimessiah. He will rule over this earth as the ultimate dictator and despot. For three-and-a-half years this man will have complete control and seek to destroy all those who believe in the Bible and in Yahshua the Messiah.
Like the beast of Revelation, Islamic tradition verifies that the Mahdi will also rule by force. “The Mahdi is portrayed throughout the Islamic tradition as being the military leader of the Islamic ‘world revolution’ that will defeat all the other religions and political systems” (God’s War on Terror, p. 93).
Just as the Antimessiah will rule through aggression and violence, Islamic tradition conveys that the final successor of Muhammad will do the same. He will rule by complete force without regard to human life or continuance.
To summarize, we find the following seven parallels between the Antimessiah and the final Imam:
• They will both deny Yahshua as the Son of Yahweh
• They will arise from the Middle East.
• They will show great signs and wonders.
• They will change worship and system of law.
• They will form a seven-year covenant or peace treaty with many nations.
• They will receive strength and support from ten kings.
• They will both rule by aggression and through warfare.
Only time will settle questions sur-rounding the identity of the Antimessiah and the impact that Islam will have on end-time prophecy. For now, it’s important that we have an open mind and consider all possible scenarios. While the majority of Bible believers are looking to Europe and Rome as the fulfillment of the Man of Sin and this final empire, it’s far more likely that this last kingdom will arise from the Middle East, being that Yahweh always centers prophecy on Israel and its surrounding neighbors.
May we heed Yahshua’s words in Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
We hope that this article “Could the Antimessiah be Islamic?” has been a help in your search for truth. For more on this subject read our booklet: The Prophecy of the Beast and the Ten Toes
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