Today Islam is threatening to annihilate Israel, to replace Christianity and turn the whole world into an Islamic State. Today Islam is the fastest growing religion on earth. The main tenant of Islam states, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet”. You just simply affirm that and you are a Muslim. Understand that in Muhammad’s day the Arabs worshipped 300 gods. The moon god was named Allah and Allah was chosen as the only god to the exclusion of the other 299. That is why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam.
Fifty years ago, it was completely unforeseen that Islam would rise to dominate world affairs as it does today. Unfortunately some Bible teachers have tried to adapt Bible prophecy to the circumstances involving Islam’s dominate position in the world today. We must never interpret Bible prophecy in the light of the current world situation but rather the current world situation in the light of the Bible. The Bible does not teach that the Antichrist is to be from Islam, it clearly teaches that he is to be the leader of the Revived Roman Empire. These new teachings are a distraction for the Body of Christ. Paul said, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” Ephesians 4:14a.
The Bible clearly spells out Islam’s end time activity and her sudden demise early in the tribulation period. Ezekiel 38-39 describes how that Islam will be destroyed early in the tribulation period. Ezekiel 39:2 tells us that five of every six Muslims and Russians who come against Israel at that time will be killed, leaving Islam and Russia no longer a factor in the tribulation scenario from that point onward.
Islam hates Israel with a hatred that is hard to comprehend. At this present moment Islam stands in the way of Israel’s rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount. We know that the Temple is soon to be rebuilt, in spite of Islam’s vow that it will never happen. Today signs all around indicate the Temple is soon to be rebuilt. The question is, what scenario will suddenly appear to cause Islam to assent to the rebuilding of the Temple?
I believe that as we study Islam’s eschatology the answer will be clear.
The Church has been given an end time scenario (eschatology), Christ will take the Body of Christ home to heaven, Antichrist will appear and sign a Peace Treaty, that peace will be short lived as sudden destruction sweeps the world. Seven years later Christ will come from heaven with the Church and destroy Israel’s enemies and set up the promised kingdom for Israel and the world.
Israel has been given an end time scenario; she is awaiting the coming of her Messiah to bring peace and prosperity to Israel and the world, and to set up the kingdom.
Islam has a system of eschatology; the central figure in Islam’s end time expectations is the Mahdi. His full name is Al Mahdi Al-Muntadar (The awaited Savior). The Mahdi is the universal hope of both Suni and Shite.
The last days will be days of great deception, both Jesus and Paul taught this. Paul said, “Then shall that wicked be revealed … Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie”, 11 Thess.2:8-11.
After the church is caught away there will be three groups that will be deceived by Antichrist. Not only will they be deceived by Antichrist, God will also send them a strong delusion that they should believe the lie that Antichrist is their Messiah. The church will believe that Antichrist is actually Christ. Israel will believe that he is their Messiah. Islam will believe that he is their Mahdi. This will involve an incredible deception that will sweep over men and women who have rejected the claims of God and His Word on their lives.
There is a similarity between the eschatology of Islam and the eschatology of Israel. This is not to be wondered at because in Muhammad’s day before he founded Islam he was greatly influenced by both Christianity and Judaism.
Today there is a wave of anticipation of the coming of the Mahdi. The following news item recently appeared. “Iran last week held a multi-day conference, bringing together politicians, mullahs, students - Shite and Sunni alike – to plot what can be done on this earthly plane to hasten the coming of the anointed one, a messianic, end times personage known as the Mahdi”. This is the fifth annual such conference.
Someday, perhaps soon, Antichrist will come and present himself as Christ to the apostate church that has been left behind after the rapture has taken place.
Someday, perhaps soon, Antichrist will come and offer Israel peace and prosperity. Israel will be deceived into receiving him as their long awaited Messiah.
Someday, perhaps soon, the Mahdi will come and offer to Islam their greatly desired world kingdom.
I suggest to you that the Mahdi of Islam and the counterfeit Messiah of Israel will be one and the same person, the Antichrist. That is the only possible way that a peace treaty could be agreed upon by Islam and Israel.
It is fascinating to understand Islam’s expectations of the Mahdi; there is a striking similarity to the person and program of Antichrist. The following is the expectation of Islam concerning the Mahdi.
--- An unparalleled political, military and religious world leader. (That is also Antichrist).
--- He will be revealed after a period of great turmoil and suffering on earth. (That is today, according to Ahmadinejad)
--- He establishes justice throughout the world. (That is also the promise of Antichrist)
--- He will lead a revolution to establish a new world order. (That is the expectation of both Israel and Islam today)
--- He will go to war against all nations who oppose him. (That is the common expectation of both Islam and Israel and it is what scripture says Antichrist will do, see Rev. 13:7)
--- He will make a seven year peace treaty with a Jew of priestly lineage. (That is the preconditioning of Islam, to welcome Antichrist’s peace treaty between themselves and Israel)
--- The Mahdi conquers Israel for Islam and leads the final battle against the Jews. (That is why Islam will welcome the peace treaty)
--- Rules for seven years in Jerusalem. (The expectation of Israel and Islam)
--- Causes Islam to be the only religion practiced on earth. (Islam`s great hope)
--- Has power from Allah over wind and rains and crops. (That is Antichrist’s signs and wonders - 2 Thess. 2:9)
--- He will posses and distributes great wealth. (See Daniel 11:38)
--- His face will shine like a star and he will be loved of all people. ( That is a description of Antichrist)
The obvious fact is that both Israel and Islam are being prepared for the moment when Antichrist will appear on the scene. The incredible hatred of Islam for Israel today would lead us to believe that a peace treaty and the building of the Temple is impossible, suddenly the impossible will happen.
The European dictator will appeal to Islam according Daniel 11:38, “....a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things”. What god was unknown to the Romans during the days of the Roman Empire? The answer can only be “Allah”, who was virtually unknown until the days of Muhammad in the 7th century A.D. This text implies that Antichrist will spend great sums to gain the acceptance of Islam, perhaps building a mosque that will be of tremendous wealth and beauty. Perhaps he will move the Mosque of Omar to Mecca?
Among all of the proofs that Antichrist will be a leader of the Revived Roman Empire is the text of Daniel 9:26. We have this statement, ‘...and the people of the prince that shall come (Antichrist) shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary;’ It was in 70 AD that the Romans came and destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary. That means that the prince that shall come will be a Roman.
I suspect that early in the tribulation period Islam will realize that they have made a mistake and the scenario of Ezekiel 38-39 will unfold. The Islamic nations will come against Israel to utterly destroy her.
Ezekiel tells us that this attempt to destroy Israel will be, according to Ezekiel 38:8:
First – “In the Latter years”, during the end times, that’s our day.
Second – After Israel, “is gathered out of many people” that again is our day.
Third – “They shall dwell safely all of them”, that is not this present hour. This points to the time immediately after the Peace Treaty is signed.
Paul indicates that the Peace Treaty will be short lived (1 Thess. 5:3); therefore this war will take place early in the tribulation period.
The burning of the weapons for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9) indicates that this war takes place very early in the tribulation period. In the Old Testament times, the years of the rule of the kings were numbered from the date of his ascension to the throne, any portion of that year was counted as a whole year, so likewise if they began burning the weapons in the middle of the first year of the tribulation period that would be counted as a whole year. Seven years would then end prior to the beginning of the millennial kingdom. They will surely not be burning these weapons in the millennial kingdom.
Notice what will happen to Islam in this war early in the tribulation period. In Ezekiel 39:2 we read that five out of every six Islamic and Russian soldiers will die. Verse six indicates that this destruction will fall on the homelands of these peoples as well. Islam and Russia will cease to be a factor from that time onward.
If the USA has met its demise by this time, who will be left standing, who will control the oil of the Middle East, who will have the only standing army in the Mideast? The answer is the Antichrist. From that point onward his kingdom will explode, until it fills the whole earth. I suspect that the collapse of the USA will bring an economic recession to China. This will be a situation that will not be relieved until late in the tribulation period when China will come to the Mideast for the battle of Armageddon.
The scriptures spell out the role of Islam in the last days. We do not need to help God out by inventing new scenarios to explain the unexpected rise of Islam.
The stage is being set for the trumpet to sound to call the body of Christ home. The stage is being set for Antichrist to come. The stage is being set for Islam to play out its role in the drama of the last days.