Section 7 Islam: The Religion of Antichrist and His Kingdom

Once Islamic eschatology and apocryphal literature are unraveled and systematically arranged in a chronological model there are a couple things that become very apparent. First, Islamic eschatology is similar to Judeo-Christian eschatology. Second, the major characters and main events in Islamic eschatology are most often the antithesis of those in Christian eschatology.

For example, Jesus returns in both the Christian and Muslim eschatological traditions. Both understand that Jesus returns to the earth to provide victory and deliverance from the antichrist figure. But, it does not take long to realize that the two are very different: the Christian Jesus returns to deliver the Christians and defend Jerusalem for the Jews, while the Islamic Jesus returns as a Muslim to deliver the Muslims, convert the Christians, and slaughter the Jews.

Why is this important? Why does it matter? Why would a Christian even consider taking Islamic eschatology seriously? To understand the situation, these are some questions a Christian should be asking:

  • If Islamic eschatology is ultimately a contradiction of Christian doctrine, how can Islamic eschatology be taken serious by a Christian?
  • If a Christian’s understanding of end time events is based on the Scriptures, which are understood to be divine revelation, how can contradictory Islamic passages from the Qur’an and traditions from Hadith be considered worthy of a place in the same eschatological model as the Christian’s?
  • If, as Christians we accept the Scriptural portrayal of end times to be true, why would we even be interested in the Islamic version?

For me as a Christian, the answer to all these questions begins like this:

The Bible is prophetically accurate.

I know there are many out there who would dispute that statement. But I am not concerned. To the skeptic, the atheist, the non-believer, I say this: “Go your way. You’ve had enough time and attention. God gave you freedom to think or not to think; to be wise or to be foolish. You’ve stated your case and made your choice. The time for apologetics is over because in your deteriorated philosophic condition of “postmodern logicalism” you do not even know if you can accept as truth what you once accepted as science and fact. Now where are you? You have gone beyond even the basic acknowledgement of fact. You have left reality! There is nothing left. As Isaiah said:

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,…Astonish yourselves and be astonished;blind yourselves and be blind!Be drunk, but not with wine;stagger, but not with strong drink!For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep,and has closed your eyes and covered your heads. (Isaiah 28:14; 29:9-10)

To the rest I say this: The world has seen the ancient prophecies concerning the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish return from exile, the rise of the four empires, the first coming of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, the formation of the Church, and Israel’s return as a nation. In my understanding of Scripture and history, the authenticity of these prophecies is perfectly defendable and their literal fulfillment is objectively provable.

The faithful Muslim also believes the Qur’an and the traditions of the Hadiths are accurate. This means that a massive number of Muslims who believe their Islamic prophecy is true, will likely become very aggressive when they see their eschatological model being fulfilled. In other words, Muslims themselves will trigger their own eschatological events when the majority of a massive Muslim population come to believe they are living in the end times. In a clear example of self-fulfilling prophecy, Islam will cause its own end time scenario to begin.

The eschatology of this false religion, created in 622 AD and designed by anti-Christians, seems to have been motivated by and designed with the intentional preparation of a fuse which could be used at some point in the future to ignite the unfolding of the events of biblical prophecy.

If someday these Muslim self-fulfilled prophecies do trigger the unleashing of the true ancient biblical prophecies, it will not mean that Christians are likewise causing the self-fulfillment of their own eschatological models.

Muslim eschatology mimics Christian eschatology - not the other way around. Christianity did not create these antagonistic prophecies of Islam. Christians were not involved in the development of Islam. In the beginning of Islam, like now, Christians were rejected for their testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the authenticity of the Scriptural text. Christians, like the Jews, were considered by the early Muslims to be infidels. And even worse, Christians were seen as polytheists requiring either conversion or elimination.

The Christian’s role in the biblical model of eschatology is not to respond to Islam’s attempt to bring about the end of the world by mounting a counter military campaign, but instead, to faithfully maintain a testimony for Jesus Christ and the Word of God - even to the point of death (Rev. 2:10; 6:9-11; 20:4). Our responsibility is simply to be faithful. God himself will bring the victory and overthrow wickedness - in his time. Here are God’s words to his church:

Do not fear what you are about to suffer…be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:10, ESV)

I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-11, ESV)

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 1:9, ESV)

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ (Revelation 14:12-13, ESV)

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. (Revelation 20:4, ESV)

In truth, all fulfilled prophetic activity will be done by the Lord himself. And since it is actually the fulfillment of a divine promise by God, it is hardly the same thing as self-fulfilled prophecy worked by deceitful men. Do not confuse “prophecy” that is worked out by the human will of those who desire it with the supernatural fulfillment of the promises of God recorded in the Scriptures. What we as Christians do is watch and wait. We respond in faith, not with manipulation or deception.

What we will see in the Islamic scenario will merely be deceived men acting out lies against the Truth. But behind the scenes it will be the Eternal God fulfilling his promise of salvation and deliverance from a world of sin and death as he promised in his Word. There is really no comparison between the two. One is the lies and deception of Satan; the other is the truth and promises of Jesus Christ, Son of God.

Identifying and Paralleling the Main Players in Islamic and Christian Eschatology

The list of key players can be reduced to two similar groups of three persons:

  • Islamic
    • Mahdi
    • Jesus, the son of Mary
    • Dajjal
  • Christian
    • Antichrist
    • False Prophet
    • Jesus, Son of God

The Mahdi

The Mahdi is the Islamic savior. He is known as the twelfth Imam. According to the Qur’an and the traditions taught in the Islamic Hadith, the Mahdi will appear and accomplish a variety of world-changing events. The list below is collected from the Qur’an and the Hadiths of Islam. These are Islamic points of teaching concerning the Mahdi. The order they are listed in here may not necessarily be the sequential order of the Mahdi’s career:
  • Mahdi will slaughter those who do not worship Allah
  • Mahdi will lead a holy war against the world where everyone will either convert to Islam or die
  • Mahdi will make a 7-year peace treaty with Rome and Israel
  • Mahdi will lead a massive army
  • Mahdi’s army will carry black flags
  • Mahdi will establish Islam as the world-dominating religion
  • Mahdi will be the savior of the Muslims
  • Mahdi’s army will eventually go to Jerusalem to slaughter the Jews
  • Mahdi will go to Jerusalem to establish his rule on the Jewish Temple Mount
  • Mahdi will ride a white horse
  • Mahdi will discover hidden ancient and “authentic” manuscripts of the Christian and Jewish scriptures near the Sea of Galilee which will prove that Christianity is wrong; the current Jewish text of Scripture and the New Testament of the Church will become obsolete with this astounding archaeological find
  • The Ark of the Covenant will also be found at this time near the Sea of Galilee
  • Mahdi will have power over the rain, the wind and the growth of crops
  • Since the Muslim calendar is mandatory for all Muslims to observe (because it is considered a divine command to use the hijjra calendar with its twelve pure lunar months according to the Qur’an), the Mahdi will change the world’s calendar system to universally match the Islamic hijjra calendar

Jesus, the son of Mary

This is where things become most difficult, because both Christians and Muslims honor Jesus. Muslims consider Jesus a prophet sent by God and delivered by God. In the Qur’an and Hadiths Jesus is honored by God, Muhammad, and all Muslims. In fact, in the Muslim version of end times, Jesus returns to earth after the Mahdi appears. The difficulty becomes especially great when Jesus returns as a Muslim, joins the Mahdi, and converts Christians to Islam.

I hope by this time you are able to see very clearly the problems we will have in the Western Church concerning this particular manifestation of Jesus. Westerners drop the name of “Jesus” into their conversations to get the green light of approval from the Christian world. Western Christians use the name “Jesus” like a politician uses talking points, the media uses buzzwords, and a sorcerer uses incantations. Paul told us there were many “Jesus’s”, but Paul did not accept everybody’s definition or characterization of Jesus, the Son of God. The Western Church must mature biblically and learn unshakably who the true biblical Jesus really is - in contrast to the many Jesus’s of pop culture who change from social crisis to social crisis, and from one cross-wearing-celebrity to the next jesus-confessing-superstar.

The simple distinction between the Islamic “Jesus, son of Mary” and the Christian’s “Jesus, Son of God” is exactly that. In Islam Jesus was merely a man, the son of Mary, who was used by God as a prophet. But in Christianity Jesus was (and is!) the eternal God, the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God who took on human flesh to die for the sins of mankind. In Islam Jesus, son of Mary, was delivered into heaven by God before the wicked Jews could kill him. But in Christianity Jesus, Son of God, was physically resurrected by God after the Jews, with the help of the Romans, fully crucified him. In Islam Jesus the man never died, but has been waiting in heaven to return to finish his ministry and life on earth as a man serving the Mahdi. In Christianity Jesus, the Son of God who became a man, ascended into heaven after his crucifixion and resurrection to be seated at the right hand of God until he returns to earth to destroy wickedness and establish his kingdom.

Again, the most basic, simple difference is this:
Islam – Jesus, son of Mary
Christianity – Jesus, Son of God

The eschatological chart below can be confusing even for the serious Christian who understands this concept. Imagine how confusing it will be for the modern seeker whose ignorance has been reinforced by 160 years of the institutionalized theological ignorance advanced by the Western Church. For those who have been “Christianized” by the theology expressed on refrigerator magnets and bumper stickers, the leap from “Jesus is Love” and “Jesus is Tolerance” to “Jesus is a Muslim” is not all that great. To those unprepared, who are just looking to hook up and have their best life now, it will all make sense. After all, the concept that “Jesus is a Muslim” has been historically documented by 1400 years of Islamic text!

If you just took a moment to really think about how many of the world’s problems would simply become irrelevant and disappear if Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and Christian Savior, were a Muslim! Just imagine…it’s easy if you try… (Does that sound blasphemous but pop-culturally familiar?)

Here is a list of the things that will characterize the Islamic Jesus, son of Mary, when he returns:
  • This Jesus will return as a Muslim
  • This Jesus will lead Christians to worship Allah
  • This Jesus will deny that he is the Son of God
  • This Jesus will explain that he is only a man who was chosen by Allah to be a prophet - and that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet
  • This Jesus will submit to the Mahdi
  • This Jesus will establish worldwide Sharia Law
  • This Jesus will evangelize the world to Islam for the Mahdi
  • This Jesus will correct all Christian misunderstandings and lead Christians to confess that:
    • The New Testament is wrong
    • Jesus did not die
    • Jesus is not God
    • Jesus did not rise from the dead
  • This Jesus will shatter all crosses which symbolically identify places as churches or Christian holy sites, thus converting all churches into mosques and Christian community centers into Islamic Centers
  • This Jesus will kill the Dajjal (who is the Islamic version of the antichrist, but is actually the returning savior of the Christians, Jesus, the Son of God)
  • This Jesus will be the Mahdi’s chief enforcer
  • This Jesus will be in charge of the execution of non-Muslims (For example, when the jizya tax is abolished - a tax that allowed non-Muslims to live in Muslim lands - this Jesus will require all people to embrace Islam or die)
  • This Jesus will slaughter the Jews after destroying the Dajjal

Dajjal / Al-Maseeh (the-messiah) / Ad-Dajjal (the-deceiver)

The Dajjal will appear as the deceiver of the Muslims, and is the Islamic version of the Antichrist. The Dajjal attempts to undermine Islam and lead Muslims away from the truth. Here are some concepts taken directly from the Hadiths (and some indirectly from the Qur’an) concerning Dajjal when he appears in the final days:
  • Dajjal is the great deceiver
  • Dajjal will be Jewish
  • Dajjal will be followed by many Jews
  • Dajjal will have an army of Jews
  • Dajjal will ride on a magic mule which can travel very fast around the earth
  • Dajjal is blind in one eye
  • Dajjal will claim to be Jesus, the Son of God
  • Dajjal will claim to be Deity
  • Dajjal will try to stop Mahdi and Jesus, son of Mary
  • Dajjal will deceive all humanity
  • Dajjal will work false miracles
  • Dajjal will be destroyed by Jesus, son of Mary

Islamic eschatology predicts a “Trinitarian” (but, not a divine Trinity) type of leadership that parallels the biblical prophecies of the leadership for the kingdom of the beast in Revelation.
● Islamic leadership of the kingdom of Islam set in place by the Mahdi:
● Christian view of the leadership of the kingdom of the beast:
Antichrist (First Beast)
False Prophet (Second Beast)

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An Islamic Antichrist

I wish to reiterate here again, that I am teaching and making possible connections with biblical references, historical events and current situations. I believe this is what Jesus and the apostles urged us to do, even commanded us to do, when they told us to be watching, to be alert and awake, to be sober, and to be not drunk. We are to be watching for the Lord’s return and comparing it to our world situation. Please understand that there is room for improvement in the model I am setting forth. In fact, there is reason enough to reject the model and the connections I am presenting since every generation and every believer is told to be watching and alert. Do not get drunk on the world system of thinking, but neither get drunk on anyone’s eschatological model. Be alert! Be watching! You need to be thinking and you need to possess enough knowledge, wisdom and insight to discern. Jesus and Paul both tell you, “Do not be deceived” and “Do not let anyone deceive you!”

That being said, I want to point out that, ever since the first appearance of Islam in 622, there have been Christians who considered Islam to be the religion of the antichrist. There have been those who watched history and studied Scripture before us that have made the same connection between the antichrist’s militant Kingdom of the Beast described in the Bible, and Islam. This view has definite historical roots in Christian interpretation of biblical eschatology.

In his book, A Second Look at the Second Coming, T. L. Frazier speaks of a Christian who wrote 30-40 years after the death of Muhammad. The text we are considering comes from the years 660-680 AD and was taken from a Christian document known as Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, which was written by a virtual contemporary of Muhammad (570-632).

According to Frazier, the author of Pseudo-Methodius considers the origin and rise of Islam to be the rise of antichrist. Pseudo-Methodius identifies these invaders (Muslims) as “Ishmaelites” and writes that they are persecuting the Church, killing priests, destroying church buildings, pillaging holy relics, and causing many Christians to forsake the faith. For the author of Pseudo-Methodius in 660-680 AD, this was the rise of the antichrist, and the time was only 30 years after Muhammad had died:

The account then leaps to the seventh century, when Islam has broken out of the deserts of Arabia to conquer everything from India to Egypt and beyond. The Muslims, called ‘Ishmaelites’, persecute the Church because of the sins of the Christian people. The Ishmaelites kill priests, destroy churches, pillage holy relics, and cause many to apostatize. For Pseudo-Methodius, this time of tribulation is undoubtedly the fulfillment of 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the falling away that will eventually reveal the Antichrist, the Son of Perdition. The Ishmaelite oppressors then speak blasphemously: There is no savior for the Christians. ‘Then suddenly there will be awakened perdition and calamity.’(Quote from A Second Look at the Second Coming, 54, in his comments about Pseudo-Methodius.)

John of Damascus classified Islam as merely a recent Christian heresy when he wrote in 750 AD and casually dismissed Islam in its early days as “the still prevailing superstition of the Ishmaelites, the forerunner of the antichrist” (Encyclopedia of Christianity, Islam and Christianity, 2.2).

During the Crusades, after Islam had reconquered Jerusalem in 1187 under the leadership of Saladin, Joachin of Fiore identified the fourth head of the Dragon in Revelation as Muhammad and the sixth head as Saladin himself. Then, in the 1190’s AD Joachin also identified the Beast that came out of the sea in Revelation 13:1. Since this beast was fatally wounded in the head, but yet lived, he believed it had to refer to Islam, which had recovered from the Crusaders’ conquering of Jerusalem and risen to retake the city from the Christians.

Islam was considered by Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley and others to be the kingdom of the antichrist - either by itself or intertwining with other powers (namely the Roman Catholic Church) to produce the antichrist.

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The Revived Roman Empire is Not the European Union, but a Revised Ottoman Empire

For those of us watching in the 1970’s through the 1990’s the eschatology battle cry was, “The European Common Market is the revived Roman Empire and the soon coming Kingdom of the Antichrist.” This sentiment held to the text of scripture, lined up with current events, and preached very well. But, time has moved on and unimaginable things have occurred (and, I say, are yet to occur). So now I would like to present a possible correction that seems to me more legitimate. And, of course, this correction itself will be subject to correction as history moves forward.

Daniel’s fourth beast (Daniel 2:40-44; 7:7-28) with its ten toes or ten horns appears to be the same beast who recovers from a fatal wound to the head. This passage seems to be talking about a kingdom (Revelation 13:3, 14) and includes an earthly king referred to as the little horn in Daniel (7:8, 20) and as the first beast in Revelation (13:1-10). The consistent opinion throughout Church history has been that this kingdom is the Roman Empire. This interpretation was even discussed by some Church writers before the Roman Empire had reached its demise.

For example, Irenaeus, who was a student of the disciples of the Apostle John, wrote around 175 AD the following:

For that the kingdom must be divided, and thus come to ruin, the Lord [declares when He] says: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself…shall not stand.’ It must be, therefore, that the kingdom, the city, and the house be divided into ten; and for this reason He has already foreshadowed the partition and divisions … The ten toes, therefore, are these ten kings, among whom the kingdom shall be partitioned, of whom some indeed shall be strong and active, or energetic; others, again, shall be sluggish and useless, and shall not agree; as also Daniel says: ‘Some part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part shall be broken from it. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter XXVI, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, page 555)

Writing in approximately 410, Augustine was concerned not only with those who were speculating concerning who the ten kings of Daniel 7 were, but also with those who were on the other extreme of disregarding biblical prophecy entirely. In response, Augustine said that both extreme groups could be deceived and misled, but Augustine himself was convinced that the prophecies regarding the ten kings related to Roman lands. He wrote:

As for the ten kings who, as it seems, Antichrist is to find in the person of ten individuals when he comes, I own I am afraid we may be deceived in this, and that he may come unexpectedly while there are not ten kings living in the Ramona world. (City of God, Book XX, ch. 23)

Instead of looking to the west into Europe for a rebuilt Rome, we should consider the historical fact that Rome originated in Italy, but later moved into the East to take Greece and the old empires of Persia and Babylon. Basically, Rome was the continuation of the Gentile dominance prophesied by Daniel and confirmed by Jesus in Luke 21:24: “They (the Jews) will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

So, if the fourth beast is to be revived, it would be logical to expect it to be rebuilt in the area consistently dominated and ruled by the four beast kingdoms (Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome). And, this geographical area would have to include Jerusalem.

If we consider the possibility that the Roman Empire continued to exist through this extended period of time called “the age of the Gentiles” then we must accept the possibility that the fourth beast morphed from the pagan Roman Empire into the Christian Byzantine Empire (i.e., the Eastern half of the old Roman Empire), which later transitioned into a Muslim-dominated empire after the Islamic conquest of the Byzantine Empire’s capital, Constantinople, in 1453 AD. This major event would have, in effect, transferred the fourth beast into the hands of Islam.

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With this scenario we have identified a consistent geographical area for the return of an Empire that would be in agreement with Daniel’s four kingdoms and align with Jesus’ words. So here again I present the theory that Islam will revive the fourth beast. Today the stage is set for the fourth beast to recover from the fatal wound and rise as a kingdom once again. If this scenario is correct and we were to continue to witness the rising of the fourth beast, we would expect to see some form of an Islamic state rising to replace the demised Ottoman Empire which was defeated during World War I. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire into smaller nations occurred between October 30, 1918 and November 1, 1922. This also set the stage for the formation of the modern nation of Israel.

The rising again of the fourth beast as a revived Islamic State, a wanna-be-Empire, may be detailed in Ezekiel 38-39, where God calls out from 580 BC through Ezekiel across the centuries to Gog to warn the leader of this reviving empire:

Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. (Ezekiel 38:7-9, ESV)

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God will see to it that this military invasion of Israel by Gog fails, and this very event may be the incentive behind the Antichrist’s seven-year peace treaty with Israel. With this seven year treaty secured with Israel, the beast would be free to leave behind the disaster of his failed invasion in the mountains of Israel with the liberty to march out against the rest of the nations to conquer the world for Islam. The Antichrist would leave Israel secure and at peace for the moment, but would still plan to return to attempt another invasion of Israel at a more convenient time. Israel will rejoice in their security and in their Temple worship, and will likely show little concern for the Islamic slaughter of the Church and other Gentiles. Israel will have overlooked Daniel’s prophecy and Jesus’ warning that halfway into this seven-year treaty the Antichrist will march on Jerusalem, end the sacrifices, and proclaim himself God on the Temple Mount. This is the time Jesus was referring to when he issued this prophetic warning to those in Jerusalem and Judea:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. (Matthew 24:15-21, ESV)