“The Islamic Antichrist” and the possible connection between the Biblical Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi

5019 reads

There are 12 Comments

Jay's picture

What Mr. Demar says is quite interesting:

Quote:
A new book claims that the antichrist is Islamic. Like the author’s predecessors, he’s reading the Bible through current events. Here’s some of the advertisement copy:

Quote:
In “The Islamic Antichrist,” Joel Richardson breaks new ground with this devastating account of the possible connection between the Biblical Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi. The Bible predicts that in the last days a charismatic leader will establish a global following in the name of peace. The Quran also predicts that a man will rise up to lead the nations, pledging to usher in an era of peace. The man in the Quran is called the Mahdi, or Islam’s savior. However, the man in the Bible is the Antichrist. Could it be possible that they are one and the same person?

The problem with this interpretation is that (1) there were many antichrists, (2) they were alive and well in the first century, and (3) they served as a sign that the end was near for that first-century generation (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:2; 2 John 7), hundreds of years before Islam entered the historical scene. Of course, this very specific definition did not stop prophetic speculators from projecting the antichrist and reconfiguring him for their time, similar to the way Joel Richardson has done for his Islamic antichrist view. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that there are some similarities between Islam and the biblical antichrist since these similarities exist between Judaism and the biblical antichrist since both reject the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The problem with Mr. DeMar's comments is that it seems like he hasn't actually read the book. Richardson specifically spends quite a bit of time clarifying that he is discussing the final antichrist, and not just one of the many...I believe it's in the very first chapter. He also takes at least one full chapter on the history and background of Islam in order to explain that the teachings of Islam are part of the Islamic religion and culture, and have been since Mohammed walked on Earth (AD 570). Mr. Richardson spends the vast majority of this book using Islamic teachings and sayings in order to argue that the promised Mahdi is in fact the final antichrist, not just one of many; while there are references to geopolitical and social events, they are scattered throughout the book. Richardson also does a good job of quotes at least one sura or Islamic scholar every two pages in order to buttress his point.

Richardson is one of few (any?) that I've ever read that takes the explicit sayings of Islam and then compares them to what we know from the Bible. The parallels are intriguing and disconcerting, and I thought the book was excellent and well worth a read...not a cheap attempt to profit on the fears of many.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

MShep2's picture

Jay C. wrote:
What Mr. Demar says is quite interesting:
.......

The problem with Mr. DeMar's comments is that it seems like he hasn't actually read the book. Richardson specifically spends quite a bit of time clarifying that he is discussing the final antichrist, and not just one of the many...I believe it's in the very first chapter. He also takes at least one full chapter on the history and background of Islam in order to explain that the teachings of Islam are part of the Islamic religion and culture, and have been since Mohammed walked on Earth (AD 570). Mr. Richardson spends the vast majority of this book using Islamic teachings and sayings in order to argue that the promised Mahdi is in fact the final antichrist, not just one of many; while there are references to geopolitical and social events, they are scattered throughout the book. Richardson also does a good job of quotes at least one sura or Islamic scholar every two pages in order to buttress his point.

Richardson is one of few (any?) that I've ever read that takes the explicit sayings of Islam and then compares them to what we know from the Bible. The parallels are intriguing and disconcerting, and I thought the book was excellent and well worth a read...not a cheap attempt to profit on the fears of many.

Agreed. I found the book fascinating and seemingly much more Biblical since it looks at the prophecies through a Middle-Eastern perspective. I have always found the eurocentric prophetic hermeneutic to be interesting, but sometimes too pat (e.g. Jack van-Impe and his writings, Lahaye/Jenkins and the Left Behind series, etc.).

It seems the most obvious thing showing from this article is the author's Presbyterian beliefs (amillennial?). If you take his point of view, all end time predictions are by their very nature wrong.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

JobK's picture

The Bible makes it clear that the anti-Christ will DECEIVE people. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ states that were it possible, the anti-Christ would deceive even born again Christians in Matthew 24:24. That means that EVERYONE but the unsaved is going to support and follow the anti-Christ, including most professed Christians.

These efforts to paint the anti-Christ as whoever the "bad guy" of the moment is going to be, whether the communists (because Russia was "the bear"), some U.N. leader (globalism), or some European Union leader (the EU being the reconstituted Roman Empire), Barack Obama, or the Muslim madhi ignore this. Such a person would deceive no one, because he fits the profile that so many folks believe the anti-Christ is going to be or could be. That is the problem with suggesting that the anti-Christ is going to be someone that all "good, God-fearing, Bible-believing people who support the American way of life, Christian values and traditions, and stand with Israel" will naturally, logically oppose. The problem with this idea is that such people would oppose a Muslim, a communist, an EU/UN globalist, or a liberal Democrat because of the flesh, not the spirit. They would reject him for earthly reasons, not for spiritual ones. When the actual anti-Christ comes, he is going to appeal to the flesh of EVERYONE, and the only ones who will reject him will be those that are born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5) and not of the flesh.

The anti-Christ won't just deceive the anti-American, anti-western, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-tax, anti-military, globalist, multicultural left. He will deceive EVERYONE who isn't saved, including the unsaved among conservatives, Christian Zionists, and yes, the state of Israel, which is basically a theocracy (and becoming more and more so) dedicated to a religion and worldview that denies Jesus Christ. Look, the anti-Christ will negotiate a peace treaty with Israel, and be seen as strongly pro-Israel, indeed Israel's advocate, possibly even their savior and deliverer (recall the prophecy of Jesus Christ that Israel would reject Him who came in God's Name and in His place accept one who comes in his own name, meaning the anti-Christ) and in the process will have the backing of all the world Jewry (save born-again Messianic Jews and other Jewish born again Christians), plus not a few "Christian" Zionists. Are we to believe that Israel is going to sign a peace treaty with a Muslim, and that said Muslim will be embraced, beloved and followed by the scores of John Hagee type acolytes right up until he turns on them?

Also, let us remember what Daniel 11:37-38 says about the anti-Christ: that he will have no known or identifiable religion, because he will set himself above ALL religions and beliefs (including Islam) and he will only honor (or will only have behind him as his power source) the "god of forces", which I believe to be a reference to Satan.

Also, I think that Christians peddling this line give Mohammed a bit too much credit. What evidence is there that Mohammed was actually a descendant of Ishmael? Or that the Arabic tribes and people that Mohammed CLAIMS descended from Ishmael actually did so? Just because Mohammed said it doesn't make it to be so. Mohammed was creating a religion designed to usurp and replace Judaism AND Christianity, so he had to find some way of asserting authority to base it on. The only way to do that was to claim that Ishmael was the actual child of the promise, and that the Jews who claimed that it was Isaac were liars, and that the New Testament is based on false Jewish scriptures (plus the false texts that the church produced itself) and that Mohammed and his people were the descendants of Ishmael. Of course, I believe that Mohammed (assuming that such a person ever actually existed, which cannot be proven and should not be assumed!) was demonically possessed, and that the Koran was the product of "auto-writing" common to the mystics of the cults in Mohammed's area (according to tradition, Mohammed protested to the "angel" that he was not such a mystic when the demon demanded to use him as his channel). So, this demon had Mohammed write a book claiming that he and his people descended from Ishmael. Guess what? DEMONS ARE LIARS! Satan: a liar from the beginning! Now, take away the idea that Judaism is from Isaac and Islam is from Ishmael (and where does Christianity fit into all this by the way?), the idea that the anti-Christ will be the mahdi, or that he will be Muslim, loses a lot of steam. Which means that this belief requires believing that some lying demon was telling the truth. It requires taking revelation given by some lying demon at face value. Doesn't the Bible command us not to accept or believe revelation from any spirit but God's Spirit? So, what does the Bible call believing what some demon says concerning Mohammed and his people coming from the line of Ishmael? Idolatry? Divination? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Either some combination of those or some other VERY SERIOUS SIN! And don't deceive yourselves. Believing the Koran when it calls Mohammed the descendant of Ishmael is believing the words of a demon spoken through a demonically possessed medium/mystic or whatever, and that is VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Not saying that the anti-Christ won't be a Muslim. Not even saying that he won't be this madhi. But I am saying that we should not accept the doctrines and prophesies given by DEMONS in this FALSE RELIGION. 2 Titus 3:16 says that the Bible tells us all that we need to know concerning the anti-Christ. Why add to Biblical truth with demonic lies? Finally, it doesn't matter whether the anti-Christ will be Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Bahai, atheist ... IT DOES NOT MATTER. It doesn't change a thing. It only matters to people who have agendas, plans, goals or whatever in this life. "The anti-Christ will be a communist. So Christians need to support the west in the Cold War." Or "the anti-Christ will be Muslim. So Christians need to oppose creeping sharia law and multiculturalism." Or "the anti-Christ will be an EU/UN leader. So Christians need to oppose globalism." Seriously, stuff like that cannot be justified by the Bible, and all it does is to take us further and further away from what the Bible actually says. The Bible says that it will be given to the anti-Christ the power to make war with the saints and overcome them. So, for the Christians who will be alive during that terrible time, whether the anti-Christ will be Barack Obama, Rick Perry or Benjamin Netanyahu (just to pick 3 names), it won't matter. All that will matter TO THEM is that the anti-Christ will be hunting them down and martyring them, and he will have the entire world backing and supporting him as he does it. And since that is all that will matter TO THEM, it is all that should matter TO US. All other considerations are our own flesh, our own ideas, our own selfishness. Honestly ... like knowing the anti-Christ will be a Muslim will allow us to stop him. The Bible already says that his coming to power will come to past, just as the OT scriptures stated that Israel would be persecuted by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Greeks. And knowing that the anti-Christ will be a Muslim won't keep people from following him, as Jesus Christ Himself stated that all but born again Christians will be deceived by him (a key fact REJECTED by the Left Behind movies).

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Fred Butler's picture

I pretty much take everything Demar writes with a heavy grain of salt. All he does is hunt his great white whale of dispensationalism.

JobK's picture

Fred Butler wrote:
I pretty much take everything Demar writes with a heavy grain of salt. All he does is hunt his great white whale of dispensationalism.

Well, there are a lot of dispensational beliefs that need to be hunted. Some dispensational views that I have heard or read:

1. Israel was rash to accept the covenant at Sinai.
2. Animal sacrifices will occur during the millennium in the presence of Jesus Christ at the third temple.
3. The church age is a parenthetical period - an adjustment on God's part - that occurred because the Jews rejected Jesus Christ, and had the Jews accepted Jesus Christ the messianic age would have started immediately.
4. The Sermon on the Mount only applies to the people living in that time.
5. Baptism was only for the early church.
6. We should study the Old Testament first and read the New Testament from the perspective of the New Testament authors. (A statement from a post here on Sharper Iron!)
7. The new covenant is with the Jews and not the church. (Again, in a post on Sharper Iron.)
8. The church will fail to complete the great commission, which will be fulfilled instead by 144,000 Jews who will effectively evangelize and win converts without the work of the Holy Spirit, which will be taken from the earth.
9. The two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah.
10. Many forms of dual covenant theology.

Those are just some. There are many others.

I am not an amillennialist, because that eschatology was created by the Catholics for their political purposes, going way back to Constantine apologist Eusebius. But books like this are evidence of issues with a system that practically did not exist or have any adherents before the Plymouth Brethren and Cyrus Scofield. As I stated above, what good does knowing the anti-Christ will be Muslim do? What difference does it make? The Bible makes it clear that there will be an anti-Christ, and the Bible also makes it clear that no one will know the anti-Christ's identity until the time of his revealing, which will not happen until after the great apostasy 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and that when he is revealed, all but the elect will follow him. Does dispensationalism deny these? If so, why and based on what?

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Fred Butler's picture

I would grant you there are problematic interpretations within dispensationalism. Never claimed there weren't any. Preterism, which predates dispensationalism maybe a 100 years, has its problems as well.

I am just merely pointing out that Gary Demar has the reputation of being a dispensational hater. Hence, when he offers his critiques of any book that favors premillennial dispensationalism, readers should know his biases will taint his opinion.

CPHurst's picture

Whether or not you like Demar he is right on this guy and his book. Any Dispensationalist should distance themselves from Richardson. He may be premil & pretrib but he's not your brand....I think. Not only that but Richardson believes he received direct revelation from God about his interpretations. I am pretty sure no self respecting Dispensationalist would agree with how he got his interpretations.

JobK's picture

Your point against Demar is valid. I acknowledge that there are plenty of "anti-" types out there who cannot be viewed as a fair, impartial etc. judge. If Demar represents the eschatology equivalent of "King James Version Only", for instance, I see where you are coming from. Unfortunately, this very book is just the sort of thing that gives folks like Demar their ammunition.

Preterism is that young? Didn't know that. But I make no real distinctions between preterism, postmillennialism and amillennialism. I consider myself a chiliast, or one having views similar to those often attributed to Polycarp.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Fred Butler's picture

Whether or not you like Demar he is right on this guy and his book. Any Dispensationalist should distance themselves from Richardson.

That is the regrettable thing. Perhaps he is right, but once I see "Gary Demar" or "American Vision" attached to the review (or any review of "dispensationalism), I immediately have red flags and I am skeptical of the criticisms. And 9 times out of 10, my red flags are right.

Preterism is that young?

The cornerstone to preterism is the insistence that Revelation was written before 70 AD and the fall of Jerusalem. That is a viewpoint no one held for hundreds of years after the first century. I think the first person to actually articulate preterist ideas based upon the date of Revelation being pre-70 AD was an Enlightenment era skeptic whose name escapes me at the moment.

JobK's picture

Fred Butler wrote:
The cornerstone to preterism is the insistence that Revelation was written before 70 AD and the fall of Jerusalem.

The funny thing is that I also happen to believe that Revelation was written prior to 70 AD also. My belief is that Revelation was written by the apostle John - and not another John as many assert - and that John wrote Revelation before he wrote the Gospel of John. I just reject the idea that prophecies in Revelation and Matthew 24 were fulfilled at 70 AD. Or if they were fulfilled in 70 AD (which WAS the end of the Jewish age mind you) it constituted a lesser fulfillment, with a greater fulfillment coming later. For instance, Nero may have been a forerunner of the anti-Christ, as was Antiochus Epiphanes, but was not the beast, the man of sin. (Also, Paul's prophecy that "all Israel will be saved" of Romans 11:26 certainly wasn't fulfilled in 70 A.D., but quite the contrary ... many Jews of that time and to this day blame 70 AD on Christians!)

So, believing that Revelation was written before 70 AD does not preclude being a millennialist (whether dispensational or historic/chiliast) so long as one does not overstate the importance of 70 AD. Apart from the "woe" sermons and pronouncements of Jesus Christ, 70 AD is not something that figures prominently in the New Testament in any book or by any writer. There is a reason for this, and if one wants to call that reason "replacement theology" then so be it.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com