THE ANTICHRIST AND THE 12TH IMAM OR AL MADHI: ARE THEY THE SAME
the specific word "Antichrist" only appears in John’s writings this
figure has many titles through out the Bible…..
Old Testament References
• Bloody and Deceitful Man Ps 5:6
• Branch of the Terrible Ones Isaiah 25:5
• Chief Prince Ex 38:2
• Crooked Serpent Job 26:13; Isaiah 27:1
• Cruel One Jeremiah 30:14,23
• Destroyer of the Gentiles Jeremiah 4:7
• Enemy Ps 55:3; Jeremiah 30:14, 23
• Evil Man Ps 140:1
• Head over many countries Ps 110:6
• Head of Northern Army Joel 2:20
• Idol Shepherd Zech 11:16, 17
• King of Princes Hosea 8:10
• King of Babylon Isaiah 14:11-20
• Little Horn Dan 7:8f; 8:9f
• Man of the Earth Ps 10:18
• Merchant, with balances of deceit Hosea 12:7
• Mighty Man Ps 52:1
• Nail Isaiah 22:25
• Prince that shall come Dan 9:26
• Prince of Tyre Ezek 28:2-10
• Profane Wicked Prince of Israel Ezek 21:25-27
• Proud Man Hab 2:5
• Rod of God’s anger Isaiah 10:5
• Seed of the Serpent Gen 3:15
• Son of the Morning Isaiah 14:12
• Spoiler, Destroyer Isaiah 16:4,5
• Vile Person Dan 11:21
• Violent Man Ps 140:1f
• Wicked One Ps 9:17; 10:2,4; Isaiah 11:4; Jeremiah 30:14, 23
• Willful King Dan 11:36
New Testament References
• Angel of the Bottomless Pit Rev 9:11
• Antichrist 1 John 2:22
• Beast Revelation 11:7; 13
• False Prophet Revelation 13
• Father of the lie John 8:44; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
• Lawless One/Wicked One 2 Thessalonians 2:8
• Man of Sin/Son of Perdition 2 Thessalonians 2:3
• One come in his own name John 5:43
What the Bible tells us about the Antichrist:
From an article on "Popular Issues"
The 12th Imam: What Is An Imam?
What is the 12th Imam? According to Islamic belief, an Imam is an anointed leader or ruler. Especially among the Shia beliefs an Imam is thought (though not required), to be a prayer leader or cleric when the word is capitalized. Sunnis too believe an Imam may be a prophet; Shiites believe not all prophets can be an Imam but an Imam can also be a prophet. An Imam is said to be anointed by Allah and a perfect example of leading mankind in every way.
The Shiite interpretation is that only Allah can appoint an Imam and no man has the power to do so. The 12th Imam is said to be a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, having divine status as did each of this succession of sons. The 12th Imam is also called the Hidden Imam and the Mahdi (guided one).
The 12th Imam: Who Is The 12th Imam?
Within the Shiite, (which is predominate in
Most accounts of the story say that al Mahdi went into hiding as a child around the age of 5 years (about 13th Century). It said he has been ‘in hiding’ in caves ever since but will supernaturally return just before the Day of Judgment. According to the Hadith the criteria for the Hidden Imam are:
the 12th Imam theory plays heavily into the world’s current concerns with
The 12th Imam: Why Is This Especially Important Now?
While Christians look for Jesus’ 2nd coming, the Jews await the Messiah and Muslims await the 12th Imam. However, of the three, Allah’s designated Mahdi is the only one who demands a violent path to conquer the world. Mr. Ahmadinejad, and his cabinet, say they have a ‘signed contract’ with al Mahdi in which they pledge themselves to his work. What does this work involve? In light of concerns over
This notion and goal, along with a violent hatred of infidels,
are some of the attributes of the Mahdi according to their own Islamic sources.
Christians should note that the resemblance to the Antichrist is striking to say
1. He will appear suddenly near the end of time in
2. He will be descended from Mohammed.
3. He will stutter.
4. He will shine like an Israelite.
5. He will unite and reform the Muslims.
6. He will have a mole on his left or right cheek.
7. His eyebrows will mix.
8. He will rule Islam from
9. He will have hundreds of close companions including Elijah, Elisha, the Seven Sleepers, and al-Khidr.
10. His coming will be announced by earthquakes, sea storms, and a fire over the sky of
11. He will be a fanatical Muslim.
12. Mahdi the archaeologist: He is called the guided one because he will be guided to the place of the
13. A mountain of gold will be discovered under the
14. The people of
15. The world will love him. Note that the world will marvel after Antichrist.
16. He will have a gap between his tooth.
17. He will receive guidance and knowledge from Allah.
18. He will be helped by Jesus. Note that Antichrist will be helped by the Beast. Despite the fact that Jesus is a messenger of Allah and Mahdi is only a caliph of Allah, Jesus will pray behind Mahdi.
19. He will be charismatic, young, and very handsome. Half the women of
20. He will fill the world with peace and justice.
21. A great army will march against him in
22. He will receive aid from the East. Mohammed reportedly said, "Many armies will come after me. You must join the one from Khorasan. That is the army of the caliph."
23. Mahdi must battle Gog, Magog, and Dajjal; the Islamic Antichrist.
24. He will be beardless.
25. He will be rich and will give wealth to the people of the world freely. He will cause crops to grow. Antichrist and Beast will have great power on earth.
26. His personality will be similar to Mohammed's.
The Hadith, Bukhari, Vol 2,
The sun eclipsed and the prophet jumped up terrified that it might be the Hour (of Judgement).
I think this is interesting because the sixth seal includes the sun becoming black as sackcloth. It is when the men of earth recognize God's wrath coming. It seems Muhammad had the same idea and it scared him. This is the day of the Lord.Revelation 6:12-17
him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Islam's fight with the world:
Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985
(Muhammad said:) "The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him..."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 59
Allah's Apostle (Muhammad) said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’”
Fight those from among the people of the Book, who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor hold as unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful, nor follow the true religion...
Islam's preferred execution method:
Abu ‘Ubayda told me on the authority of Abu ‘Amir the Medinain, when the apostle (Muhammad) got the better of the sons of Qurayza he seized about four hundred men from the Jews who had been allies of Aus against Khazraj, and ordered that they should be beheaded. Accordingly Khazraj began to to cut off their heads with great satisfaction.
When ye encounter the infidels, strike off their heads.
A most compelling proof that Muhammad taught his followers
to advance the cause of Allah by the use of the sword, is provided by the
example of his immediate successors, known as Califs. They followed his intense
fanaticism in waging relentless wars of conquests against Christians, Jews, and
pagans. In a relatively short time they carved an enormous empire for
themselves. At the height of their power, the Muslims' territories stretched
from northern Africa and southern Europe in the West to the borders of modern
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
this is talking about the time just after the
of desolation, when 2/3 of
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
The Mahdi: Islam’s Awaited Messiah
Among the Major Signs, the most anticipated and central sign that Muslims are awaiting is the coming of a man known as, “The Mahdi.” In Arabic, al-Mahdi means, “The Guided One” 1 He is also sometimes referred to by Shi’a Muslims as Sahib Al-Zaman or Al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar which translated mean “The Lord of the Age” and “The Guided/Awaited One.” The Mahdi is the first of the Major Signs. This is confirmed by Ibn Kathir, the renowned Muslim scholar from the eighth century:
After the lesser signs of the Hour appear and increase, mankind will have reached a stage of great suffering. Then the awaited Mahdi will appear; He is the first of the greater clear, signs of the Hour.2
The coming of the Mahdi is the central crowning element of all Islamic end-time narratives. So central to Islamic eschatological expectations is the coming of the Mahdi, that some Muslim scholars do not even refer to “the Minor Signs” as such, but instead, refer to them as, “The signs accompanying the Mahdi”. 3 While there are some variations of belief between the Sunni and Shia’ sects of Islam and while certain quarters of Sunnis reject him altogether, general belief in the Mahdi is not a sectarian issue within Islam, but is universal among most Muslims. According to Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America:
The coming of the Mahdi is established doctrine for both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, and indeed for all humanity 4
Ayatullah Baqir al-Sadr and Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari, both Shia’ Muslim scholars in their book, The Awaited Savior, describe the Mahdi this way:
A figure more legendary than that of the Mahdi, the Awaited Saviour, has not been seen in the history of mankind. The threads of the world events have woven many a fine design in human life but the pattern of the Mahdi stands high above every other pattern. He has been the vision of the visionaries in history. He has been the dream of all the dreamers of the world. For the ultimate salvation of mankind he is the Pole Star of hope on which the gaze of humanity is fixed… In this quest for the truth about the Mahdi there is no distinction of any caste, creed, or country. The quest is universal, exactly in the same way as the Mahdi himself is universal. He stands resplendent high above the narrow walls in which humanity is cut up and divided. He belongs to everybody. For all that and much more, what exactly is the Mahdi? Surely that is the big question which the thinking people all over the world would like to ask. 5
Indeed, just who is this “awaited one” that the Islamic world is longing for, and what is it that he does that has them all in such a state of anticipation? This chapter will attempt to thoroughly answer this question primarily by citing various Islamic traditions and the interpretations of Muslim scholars that study them. I would like to encourage you to take the time to read each and every quote. It is in these references that we find an articulation of one of the central beliefs and passions of many of the 1.3 billion Muslims that we presently share the Earth with. Those of us who desire a greater understanding of one of the primary underlying spiritual factors affecting the world today should pay very close attention…
In the simplest of terms, the Mahdi is Islam’s Messiah, or Savior. While the actual terms “Messiah” and “Messianism” have very clearly Judeo-Christian roots, University of Virginia Professor Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina agrees that these terms are appropriately used in an Islamic context when referring to the Mahdi. In his scholarly work on the subject, Islamic Messianism, Sachedina elaborates thusly:
The term “messianism” in the Islamic context is frequently used to translate the important concept of an eschatological figure, the Mahdi, who as the foreordained leader “will rise” to launch a great social transformation in order to restore and adjust all things under divine guidance. The Islamic messiah, thus, embodies the aspirations of his followers in the restoration of the purity of the Faith which will bring true and uncorrupted guidance to all mankind, creating a just social order and a world free from oppression in which the Islamic revelation will be the norm for all nations. 6
Thus it is fair to say that the “rising” of the Mahdi is to the majority of Muslims what the return of Jesus is to Christians. While Christians await the return of Jesus the Messiah to fulfill all of God’s prophetic promises to the people of God, Muslims await the appearance of the Mahdi, to fulfill these purposes. Sheikh Kabbani likewise identifies the Mahdi as Islam’s primary messiah figure:
Jews are waiting for the Messiah, Christians are waiting for Jesus, and Muslims are waiting for both the Mahdi and Jesus. All religions describe them as men coming to save the world. 7
A Man From The Family Of Muhammad
The first and most often cited Islamic belief with regard to the Mahdi is the tradition which states that the Mahdi will descend from the family of Muhammad and will bear Muhammad’s name:
The world will not come to pass until a man from among my family, whose name will be my name, rules over the Arabs. 8
The Prophet said: The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah [Muhammad’s daughter]. 9
A Universal Leader For All Muslims
Throughout the Islamic world today there is a call for the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. The Caliph (Khalifa) in Islam may be viewed somewhat as the Pope of the Muslims. The Caliph is viewed as the Vice-regent for Allah on the earth. It is important to understand that when Muslims call for the restoration of the Caliphate, it is ultimately the Mahdi that they are calling for. For the Mahdi is the awaited final Caliph of Islam. As such, Muslims everywhere will be obligated to follow the Mahdi.
If you see him, go and give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl over ice, because he is the Vice-regent (Khalifa) of Allah, the Mahdi. 10
He will pave the way for and establish the government of the family [or community] of Muhammad… Every believer will be obligated to support him. 11
The Ruler Of The World
The Mahdi is believed to be a future Muslim world leader who will not only rule over the Islamic world, but also the non-Muslim world as well. The Mahdi is said to lead a world revolution that will establish a new Islamic world order throughout the entire earth:
The Mahdi will establish right and justice in the world and eliminate evil and corruption. He will fight against the enemies of the Muslims who would be victorious. 12
He will reappear on the appointed day, and then he will fight against the forces of evil, lead a world revolution and set up a new world order based on justice, righteousness and virtue…ultimately the righteous will take the world administration in their hands and Islam will be victorious over all the religions. 13
He is the precursor of the victory of the Truth and the fall of all tyrants. He heralds the end of injustice and oppression and the beginning of the final rising of the sun of Islam which will never again set and which will ensure happiness and the elevation of mankind… The Mahdi is one of Allah’s clear signs which will soon be made evident to everyone. 14
The Mahdi’s means and method of accomplishing this world revolution will include multiple military campaigns or holy wars (jihad). While some Muslims believe that most of the non-Muslims of the world will convert to Islam peaceably during the reign of the Mahdi, most traditions picture the non-Muslim world coming to Islam as a result of being conquered by the Mahdi. Abduallrahman Kelani, author of The Last Apocalypse, describes the many battles of the Mahdi:
al-Mahdi will receive a pledge of allegiance as a caliph for Muslims. He will lead Muslims in many battles of jihad. His reign will be a caliphate that follows the guidance of the Prophet. Many battles will ensue between Muslims and the disbelievers during the Mahdi’s reign… 15
Even Harun Yahya, a moderate and very popular Muslim author refers to the Mahdi’s invasion of numerous non-Muslim lands:
The Mahdi will invade all the places between East and West. 16
The Mahdi’s ascendancy to power is said to be preceded by an army from the east who will be carrying black flags or banners of war. Sheikh Kabbani states:
Hadith indicate that black flags coming from the area of Khorasan will signify the appearance of the Mahdi is nigh. Khorasan is in todays Iran, and some scholars have said that this hadith means when the black flags appear from Central Asia, i.e. in the direction of Khorasan, then the appearance of the Mahdi is imminent. 17
Another tradition states that:
The Messenger of Allah said: The black banners will come from the East and their hearts will be as firm as iron. Whoever hears of them should join them and give allegiance, even if it means crawling across snow. 18
In Islam there are two flags. One is white and one is black. Written across both flags in Arabic are the words, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger”. The white flag is called Al-Liwaa and serves as the sign for the leader of the Muslim army and is the flag of the Islamic State. The black flag is called Ar-Raya and is used by the Muslim army. It is also called the flag of jihad, and is carried into battle. One flag is governmental and the other is a military flag. 19 When Muhammad returned to his home city of Mecca after being exiled for eight years, he returned as a conqueror. With him were ten thousand Muslim soldiers. They carried with them black flags. On the flags was one word written in Arabic: punishment. 20
I was once talking to a group of young Muslim men and asking them some questions. I asked them if the obvious superior militaries of America and Israel compared to the militaries of any Islamic nations were a source of difficulty for many Muslims. One of these men then became very angry at my question and snapped out, “You Americans and Zionists better get ready, because the black flags are coming!” At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about. Later I learned the meaning.
Islamic tradition pictures the Mahdi as joining with the army of Muslim warriors carrying black flags. The Mahdi will then lead this army to Israel and re-conquer it for Islam. The Jews will be slaughtered until very few remain and Jerusalem will become the location of the Mahdi’s rule over the Earth.
Rasulullah [Muhammad] said: "Armies carrying black flags will come from Khurasan. No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (Baitul Maqdas in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags." 21
It is important to note here the reference above to “Baitul Maqdas”. In Arabic this means “the holy house”. This is referring to the Dome of the Rock Mosque and is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In a particularly venomous manner, Egyptian authors, Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammd ‘Arif comment on the above tradition:
The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the hadith states… Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi… That will abolish the leadership of the Jews… and put an end to the domination of the Satans who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Shari’a [Islamic Law] of the Lord of the worlds. (Emphasis mine) 22
There is a very famous tradition that is often quoted throughout the Islamic world that speaks of the Mahdi’s military campaign against Israel. The tradition is both sickening and very sobering:
The Prophet said… The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him… (Emphasis mine) 23
It is said that the Mahdi will have control over the wind and the rain and the crops. Under the Mahdi’s rule, the world will live in prosperity. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad once said:
In the last days of my Ummah [universal Islamic community], the Mahdi will appear. 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 will be large and honored… 24
In those years my community will enjoy a time of happiness such as they have never experienced before. Heaven will send rain upon them in torrents, the earth will not withhold any of its plants, and wealth will be available to all. A man will stand and say, “Give to me Mahdi!” and he will say, “Take.” 25
As a result of the numerous benefits that the Mahdi brings, it is said that all the inhabitants of the Earth will be possessed with a deep love of him:
Allah will sow love of him in the hearts of all people. 26
Al Mahdi appears, everyone only talks about Him, drinks the love of Him, and never talks about anything other than Him. 27
The Timing of The Mahdi’s Reign
While there is more than one tradition regarding the nature and timing of the Mahdi’s ascendancy to power, there is one particular hadith that places this event at the time of a final peace agreement between the Arabs and the Romans (“Romans” should be interpreted as referring to Christians, or more generally, the West). Although this peace agreement is made with the “Romans”, it is said to be mediated specifically through a Jew from the priestly lineage of Aaron. The peace agreement will be made for a period of seven years.
Rasulullah [Muhammad] said: “There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians]. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron – Moses’ brother] and will be upheld for seven years. (Emphasis mine) 28
It appears that the period of this seven year peace agreement will likewise be the period of the Mahdi’s reign. While there are a few traditions that specify that the Mahdi will reign on the earth for as much as eight or possibly even nine years, most traditions state that the time of his reign will be seven years.
The Prophet said… He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. (Emphasis mine) 29
The Prophet said: The Mahdi… will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. (Emphasis mine) 30
The Mahdi is believed to ride on a white horse. Whether or not this is symbolic or literal is hard to say. Quite interestingly, this tradition is based on the Muslim interpretation of Christian Scriptures. Despite the fact that Muslims view the Bible as having been changed and corrupted by Jews and Christians, they still claim to believe that some portions of the “original” inspired books are still to be found within the “corrupted” Bible. As such there exists a tradition within Islamic scholarship that seeks to extract those portions of the Bible that Muslims feel may be untainted by the corrupting influence of Jews and Christians. These Judeo-Christian traditions are called by Muslims, isra’iliyyat. One such transmitter of biblical traditions is Muslim scholar Ka’b al-Ahbar. He is viewed among Muslims as a trustworthy transmitter of Hadith as well as isra’iliyyat. 31 Ka’b al-Ahbar is supported in his view that this description of the rider on the white horse as found in the Book of Revelation is indeed the Mahdi by two well known Egyptian authors, Muhammad Ibn ‘Izzat and Muhammad ‘Arif in their book Al Mahdi and the End of Time. ‘Izzat and Arif quote Ka’b al Ahbar as saying:
I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets… For instance, the Book of Revelation says: “And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him…went forth conquering and to conquer.” 32
‘Izzat and ‘Arif then go on to say:
It is clear that this man is the Mahdi who will ride the white horse and judge by the Qur’an (with justice) and with whom will be men with marks of prostration on their foreheads [Marks on their foreheads from bowing in prayer with their head to the ground five times daily]. 33
It is said by some that it was for this reason that Saddam Hussein had numerous murals painted all over Baghdad portraying himself as a Muslim Knight on a white horse with sword drawn doing valiant battle against the infidels. 34
In one final very interesting series of traditions regarding the Mahdi we find that he is said to produce some previously undiscovered Bible scrolls and even the Ark of the Covenant:
Ka’b al-Ahbar says, “He will be called ‘Mahdi” because he will guide (yahdi) to something hidden and will bring out the Torah and Gospel from a town called Antioch.” 35
As-Suyuti mentioned in al-Hawi that the messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “he is called the Mahdi because he will guide the people to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring out the volumes of the Torah to refute the Jews. At the hands of the Mahdi the Ark of the Covenant will be brought forth from the Lake of Tiberias and taken and placed in Jerusalem.” 36
Ad-Dani said that he is called the Mahdi because he will be guided to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring forth the volumes of the Torah with which to argue against the Jews and at his hands a group of them will become Muslim. 37
Apparently, the purpose of finding these “lost” portions of the Old and New Testaments as well as the Ark of the Covenant is to help the Mahdi win converts from both Christianity and Judaism prior to “eradicating” the remainder who do not convert to Islam. We will discuss this aspect of Islamic tradition further in later chapters.
Comparing The Biblical Antichrist And The Mahdi
Most people who haven’t even read the Bible have heard of the man known popularly as “The Antichrist.” Simply put, according to the Bible, the Antichrist will be Satan’s primary human agent on the earth in the last-days. Interestingly, in the Bible, the Antichrist is actually only referred to once by that specific name (1 John 2:18). Using other names however, there are numerous references to the Antichrist found throughout the Bible. Some of the various names that Scripture assigns to the Antichrist are “the Beast” (Revelation 13:4), “the abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15), “the desolator” (Daniel 9:27), “the man of sin,” “the man of lawlessness,” “the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2) “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8), “the Assyrian” (Micah 5:5, Isaiah 10:5,14:25), “the oppressor’, “the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14) and even the mysterious “Gog” (Ezekiel 38:1, Revelation 20:7). There are several other names that Scripture uses to refer to the Antichrist as well.
But beyond all of his unusual names, who exactly is the Antichrist? In this chapter we will review a few of the primary descriptions and actions that define just who the Antichrist is according to the Bible. Our examination will also focus on several very specific similarities between the Antichrist and the Mahdi.
A Powerful Political And Military World Leader.
From the Bible, we learn that in the last-days, the Antichrist will emerge as a man who will lead a very powerful world empire the likes of which history has yet to produce. This powerful leadership role of the Antichrist is first described clearly in the Bible by the prophet Daniel. In the Book of Daniel, in the seventh chapter, we find Daniel describing a vision of four very bizarre and gruesome “beasts”. After describing the first three beasts, Daniel says this of the fourth:
After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast-terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully. Daniel 7:7,8
Then, in verses 15-16, Daniel asks an angel in his vision to explain the interpretation of the vision of the four beasts. The angel explains that the four beasts represent four very great kingdoms or empires:
I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. Daniel 7:15-17
It’s actually pretty straightforward. Daniel again asks the angel specifically about the fourth beast, and in particular about the “little horn” that uprooted three horns. The angel again responds with a very direct and clear explanation:
He gave me this explanation: The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. Daniel 7: 23,24
Essentially, the angel explains that the fourth kingdom will be an empire that will cause great destruction to the whole earth. Initially, this kingdom will consist of ten kings. Then another king, an eleventh, will arise and will displace three of the previous kings. This eleventh king is the Antichrist first referred to as “the little horn”. Thus we see that based on the vision that Daniel was given, the Antichrist is a future king who will first gain control over three other kingdoms or nations, and eventually over ten, thus forming his future ten nation “Beast” empire. It will be an empire of unparalleled power and ferocity, which will “devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it”.
In the last part of Daniel, chapter seven, the angel describes to Daniel the actions of this king as well as his end:
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Daniel 7:25-27
The king is said to oppress the saints of God for a period of time that most Bible scholars agree is three and a half years (a time, times and half a time). But eventually his dominion will be taken away, and replaced by the Kingdom of “The Most High” God.
Three hundred years later, in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John likewise describes the Antichrist and his “beast” empire in very similar terms:
I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten
crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw
resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of
a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great
authority… Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the
beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast?
Who can make war against him?"
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:2,4-8
While the symbolic language here is fairly thick, if we understand the biblical usage of particular symbolic terms, then the picture is actually quite clear. The “beast,” again refers to the Antichrist who is a king over a ten-nation empire. The horns represent authority and power. Ten horns speak of both an extremely high degree of authority as well as the number of nations and their kings that will unite to form the beast’s kingdom. The “dragon” who gives the beast his authority is Satan. Satan is often spoken of in the Bible as a dragon or a serpent. The global impact of this beast-like empire is made clear by the phrase: “And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” We see the specific question that the people of the earth ask is, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" It appears to those on the earth that the beast is absolutely beyond challenge. And again, we see the same specific period of time that was given to the beast to persecute the God’s people as forty-two months. Forty-two months is three and a half years. This same time frame was given in the previously cited passage of Daniel 7:25.
Thus, we have seen that the Bible prophecies that the Antichrist will be a political and military leader whose power will be unparalleled by any other world leader throughout history.
As we have seen from the Islamic traditions and Muslim scholars, the Mahdi, like the Antichrist, is also prophesied to be a political and military world leader unparalleled by any other throughout world history. The Mahdi is said to “fight against the forces of evil, lead a world revolution and set up a new world order based on justice, righteousness and virtue.” 1 At this time, according to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi is said to preside over the entire earth as the final Caliph of Islam. And of course as we saw in the last chapter, the Muslims will, “take the world administration in their hands and Islam will be victorious over all the religions.” Without question, Islam views the Mahdi as one whose rule will extend over all of the earth. Clearly then, we see that the Antichrist and the Mahdi are both described as being political and military leaders the likes of which the world has never before seen. While many powerful leaders have arisen throughout world history, the descriptions given concerning both the Antichrist and the Mahdi surpass any that have yet arisen. But the Mahdi and the Antichrist are both described as being more than merely political and military leaders. They are both viewed as being supreme religious leaders as well.
The Bible establishes the fact that the Antichrist will be a spiritual leader whose authority will be acknowledged worldwide. After examining the Antichrist’s role as a universal religious leader, many Bible prophecy teachers have talked about the coming of the “One World Religion” or “the false church” which the Antichrist will both create and enforce upon the entire earth. This concept of a coming dominant and demonically inspired world religion is partly arrived at due to the frequent references to worship that are associated with the Antichrist throughout Scripture. In the Book of Revelation we read that the Antichrist will both inspire and demand worship. This worship will be directed at both Satan, who is referred to as “the dragon” and the Antichrist who is referred to as “the beast”:
Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"… All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:4,8
Beyond the fact that the Antichrist establishes a worldwide worship movement, another reason to see him as a spiritual world leader is because the Bible says he will be assisted by a man whom it refers to as “The False Prophet.” Of course, the very title, False Prophet, assumes the religious nature of this man. One of the primary roles of the False Prophet is to specifically perform deceptive “signs and wonders” that will help persuade the inhabitants of the earth to worship the Antichrist/Beast:
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. Revelation 19:20
It is clear then, the Bible teaches that the Antichrist will be the leader of a worldwide religious worship movement that will attempt to displace and usurp worship from the God of the Bible. This worship will then be directed toward both himself and to Satan - the invisible spirit – the provocateur and puppet master that motivates, empowers and gives authority to the Antichrist to accomplish his worldwide task.
The Mahdi As A Spiritual World Leader
Likewise, it almost goes without saying, the Mahdi of Islam will also be the leader a worldwide worship movement. It will be a worship movement that will seek to cause anyone who practices any religion other than Islam to renounce their faith and worship Allah, the god of Islam. As we saw in the last chapter, the Mahdi, “will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet and establish Islam on Earth.” 2 And, “Islam will be victorious over all the religions.” 3
Thus we see that the Mahdi is the leader of a world revolution that will institute a “new world order” that will be based on the religion of Islam. Islam will be the only religion that will be allowed to be practiced. Both the Antichrist and the Mahdi are said to be the unqualified leaders of a global religious movement that will draw worship away from the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ. As we will see clearly in later chapters, inherent in the worship of Allah within the context of Islam is a direct denial of the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, this is the reason that some Muslims feel so strongly as to say that the Mahdi will, “eradicate those pigs and dogs” – the Christians and the Jews who refuse to convert to Islam. Which leads us to the next obvious similarity between the Antichrist and the Mahdi.
The Bible is very clear that Satan, through the Antichrist, will specifically target first Jews, and then Christians for death. In the Book of Revelation, chapter twelve and thirteen, we read another prophetic passage of Scripture that is rich with symbolic language. Initially it is slightly difficult to understand, but after the symbols are explained, it becomes very clear:
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. (Revelation 12:1)
The “woman” symbolically pictured here is the family or nation of Israel, the Jewish people. We see that she is crowned with twelve stars. This represents the twelve sons of Israel who became the twelve tribes that make up the family or the nation of Israel (Genesis 35:23-26).
She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:2-5)
The woman - Israel becomes pregnant and gives birth to a “man child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter”. This is a clear reference to Jesus the Jewish Messiah (See Psalm 2:9). The Dragon mentioned here is identified in verse 9 as, “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” We see that Satan desires to kill Jesus, but instead Jesus is, “snatched up to God and to his throne.” This is a reference to Jesus’ ascension to heaven after the resurrection (Acts 1:8). After this:
The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him…He (The Dragon) pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child… The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:1-6,9,13,14,17
We see that Satan is, “enraged at the woman (Israel) and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Israel’s “other offspring” are those Christians who indeed “obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” This is the only passage that makes specific reference to Satan making a direct target of both Jews and Christians together. And we know that this passage is speaking specifically of the end-times, because it mentions twice the three and a half year period (1260 days and “a time, times and half a time”) that the Antichrist will have authority to war against the saints:
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Revelation 13:5-7
The prophet Daniel also saw that the Antichrist would have this authority to wage a successful war against “the saints”. Saints is also translated as “holy ones” in some translations. It speaks primarily of the true followers of Jesus who know and serve the One True God.
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. Daniel 7:25
Again here we see the reference to the three and a half year period that Antichrist will persecute those who resist him.
The Bible is clear then, the Antichrist will specifically target those who resist his attempts to establish his religion all over the earth. From the book of Revelation as well as the Prophet Daniel, we see that the two groups that Satan is most enraged against are the Jews and the Christians.
The Mahdi’s Targeted Campaign Against Jews And Christians
Interestingly enough, Islamic tradition speaks much of the Mahdi’s special calling to convert Christians and Jews to Islam, yet speaks very little specifically of conversions from other faiths. It seems as though converting Christians and Jews to Islam will be the primary evangelistic thrust of the Mahdi. The following quote from Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini clearly articulates this vision:
The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed. 9
And of course we cannot forget the infamous Hadith that has become a favorite of many Muslim anti-Semites. Again, note that it is speaking specifically about “The last hour”:
The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. 10
After commenting on this particlar Hadith, several Muslim authors will be quick to point out the very “interesting” fact that this particular tree, “the Gharqad” (apparently the boxwood tree) is presently being planted in abundance by Jews in Israel. The point is that this final holocaust is expected by Muslims to take place within the present state of Israel. This of course corresponds to another very specific similarity between the biblical Antichrist and the Mahdi.
A Military Attack Against Israel And The Establishment Of The Temple Mount As The Seat Of Authority.
The Bible teaches that The Antichrist, with his multi-nation coalition will attack Israel, and specifically Jerusalem to conquer it:
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people (who submit to Antichrist’s rule) will not be taken from the city. Zechariah 14:2
"You (Gog - Ezekiel’s name for the Antichrist) will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people (Israelites) who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world. Ezekiel 38:9-12 NASB
According to the Bible, after this attack, the Antichrist will specifically set up his “throne” in “God’s Temple”. The Apostle Paul lays this out quite clearly:
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4
The location of the Jewish Temple has always been on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. Today, the Temple that once stood on Mt. Moriah does not exist; it was destroyed by the Roman Emporer Titus in 70 A.D. according to the prophecy of Jesus:
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." Matthew 24:1,2
Today, Mt. Moriah, sometimes known as the Temple Mount or in Arabic as Haram Ash-Sharif, is the location of two Mosques and is considered to be the third holiest site of Islam. There is endless speculation about the Temple Mount regarding issues such as exactly where the Jewish Temple once was located on the Mount or whether or not there will be a Jewish Temple rebuilt there in the future. Based on the above verse from the Apostle Paul, it certainly seems to indicate that there will indeed be a rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul says that the Antichrist will “set himself up in God’s Temple,” or more literally, “he takes his seat in the temple of God”. This speaks not so much of a literal sitting down as it does of a taking a position of authority. Thus we see that the Antichrist will make Mt. Moriah, and more specifically, the rebuilt Jewish Temple, the specific location of his rule. Jesus warned of this event two thousand years ago. Referring to the Antichrist having set himself up in the Jewish Temple, and the events that will immediately follow, Jesus said:
"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand-- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:16-22
Here we see Jesus referring to the Antichrist’s occupancy of the temple as, “the abomination that causes desolation.” The desolation is a reference to the chaos and severe persecution against the Jews and Christians that will immediately follow when the Antichrist’s true identity is revealed. After his military campaign against Jerusalem, the Antichrist will make his base of authority, the Temple Mount itself. At this time, it is clear that the Antichrist’s malevolent feelings toward Israel will become fully manifest. So much so that Jesus warns the inhabitants of Jerusalem to straight away flee to the mountains.
The Mahdi’s Attack Of Jerusalem And The Establishment of the Islamic Caliphate From Jerusalem
Likewise the Mahdi is said to attack Jerusalem and re-conquer it for Islam in order that the new Islamic rule over the earth will be established from Jerusalem:
"(Armies carrying) black flags will come from Khurasan (Iran). No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags." 11
Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al- Mahdi 12
Also, as we just saw in the section above, the Mahdi will not end his campaign against Jerusalem in a peaceful way. For the Jews, the Islamic version of the last-days ends with the last few surviving Jews hiding behinds rocks or trees from the sword of Islam. The military campaign against Jerusalem and the establishment of the Islamic caliphate there likewise will not result in a benevolent rule over the Jews by the Mahdi, for as we have already seen, the last quote above continues:
…That will abolish the leadership of the Jews… and put an end to the domination of the Satans who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth. 13
In relation to the above attack against the inhabitants of Israel, there is quite interestingly, another very specific correlation between the actions of the Mahdi and the actions of the biblical Antichrist. While the similarities between the Antichrist and the Mahdi that we have already discussed are quite astonishing, I believe that the specificity of this next parallel is just simply incredible.
The Antichrist’s Seven Year Treaty With Israel
After rising to power, and as a prelude to his invasion of Israel, the Antichrist is said to initiate a treaty with the nation of Israel for seven years.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. Daniel 9:27
In context, this verse shows us that the Antichrist will establish a “covenant” with Israel for seven years. The specific Hebrew word used in this verse that is translated merely as “seven” is shabuwa. It literally means a week, but can mean either a “week” of days or years. In Hebrew thought, a seven-year period is similar to our decade. We in the West tend to measure years through a decimal system based of increments of tens, while we measure days in terms of seven (a week). The Hebrews measured both days and years in increments of seven. The word translated as “seven” in Daniel 9:27 is referring to seven years. This is the specific amount of time that the Antichrist will set for his peace treaty with Israel. Then, in the middle of the seven years, the Antichrist will renege on his treaty and stop the offerings and sacrifices in the Jewish Temple and then he will proclaim himself to be not only the ruler of the world, but also God himself. Isaiah the Prophet makes mention of this “covenant” and rebukes Israel for making it: He actually refers to it as a “covenant with death” (Isaiah 28: 14-15). In this covenant, the Israelis find a false sense of security.
The Mahdi’s Seven Year Treaty
Again, similarly the Mahdi is said to be one who will initiate Islam’s fourth and final treaty between “the Romans” and the Muslims. (Again, Romans should be interpreted as Christians or the West in general – the executioners of Nicholas Berg in their pre-execution statement addressed President Bush as, “You, O dog of the Romans”) Interestingly enough, this fourth treaty is said to be made with a descendant of Moses’ brother Aaron the Priest. Such a descendant would be a Cohanim. That is to say, he would be a priest. Only Cohanim are allowed among Jews to officiate the priestly duties of the Temple. This is important in light of the fact that many Christian prophecy teachers and theologians have speculated that the treaty that the Antichrist will initiate with Israel will include an agreement to allow the Jews to re-build their Temple. But probably the most amazing aspect of this treaty that the Mahdi makes with this Jew of priestly lineage is its time frame. The specific time frame given for the treaty is exactly the same as the Antichrist’s peace treaty - seven years! Citing Hadith which speak of the Mahdi’s emergence and rule, Muhammad Ali ibn Zubair relates this amazing tradition:
The Prophet said: There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The fourth will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Aaron (Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses) and will be upheld for seven years. The people asked, “O Prophet Muhammad, who will be the imam (leader) of the people at that time?” The Prophet said: He will be from my progeny and will be exactly forty years of age. His face will shine like a star... 14
Changing The Laws And The Times
Another of the Antichrist’s goals according to the Book of Daniel is said to be that he will “try to change the set times and the laws”:
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. Daniel 7:25
This is actually quite a big hint into the person of the Antichrist. For by his actions, we see a hint of his origin. It is said that he will desire to change two things; times and laws. Now we have already seen that the Mahdi will change the law by instituting the Islamic Shariah law all over the earth, but we have not seen any evidence in Islamic apocalyptic literature of him changing the “times.” The simple question however is, who else other than a Muslim would desire to change the “times and laws”? Besides the Gregorian calendar used by the West, there is also a Jewish, a Hindu and a Muslim calendar among others. Jews or Hindus however are not a people who would desire to impose their religious laws or calendars onto the rest of the world. Islam however, does have both its own laws and its own calendar, both of which it would desire to impose onto the entire world. The Islamic calendar is based on the career of Muhammad. It begins at the migration (Hijra) of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. The Muslim calender is viewed as being mandatory for all to observe. Dr. Waleed Mahanna, articulates the Islamic position regarding the Islamic “Hijra” Calendar:
It is considered a divine command to use a (Hijra) calendar with 12 (purely) lunar months without intercalation, as evident from… the Holy Qur'an. 15
Not only does Islam view as a divine imperative the use of a unique religious calendar, it also has its own week. Unlike the western rhythm of a week; Monday through Friday being the body of the workweek followed by Saturday and Sunday as the weekend with Judaism and Christianity using these two days for their respective days of worship, Islam holds Friday as its sacred day of prayer. This is the day that Muslims meet at the Mosque to pray and listen to a sermon.
Thus it quite plausible that the biblical reference to the Antichrist who will “try to change the set times and the laws” is a Muslim. As we look at the full picture, only Islam fits the bill of a system that has its own unique calendar and week based on its own religious history and a clear system of law that it wishes to impose onto the entire earth. Surely if a Muslim ever emerges who is as powerful as the Mahdi is described as being, then he will certainly attempt to institute both the Islamic Law worldwide, and the Islamic calendar and week as well.
The Rider On A White Horse
The final similarity between the Antichrist and the Mahdi that we will discuss in this chapter is the fact that both the Antichrist and the Mahdi are identified with a biblical passage that describes a rider on a white horse. While this could be literal, it is most probably a symbolic picture of the two men. The amazing thing is that the origin of the biblical tradition of the Antichrist on a white horse and the origin of the Islamic tradition of the Mahdi on a white horse are both attributed to the same passage in the Bible.
The basis for the symbolic picture of both the Antichrist and the Mahdi on a white horse is the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation. Here the Apostle John is describing his vision of the release of the events that mark the beginning of the end-times. The picture is of Jesus holding a scroll - on the outside of the scroll are seven wax seals. As each seal is broken a specific and distinct end-time event is released:
I watched as the Lamb (Jesus) opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Revelation 6:1-2
The seals that follow this rider are:
1. Peace is taken from the earth
3. Plagues and death
4. Persecution and Martyrdom of God’s people
5. A great earthquake
6. The wrath of God
So we see that after the rider appears on the scene, the world essentially freefalls into the chaos that defines the Last Hour. The interpretation that many Bible scholars apply to this passage is thus:
The rider is given a white horse, which is an attempt to be an imitation of the white horse that Jesus is said to ride when He returns (Revelation 19:11). Thus the rider is an imitation Christ, an imposter - an Antichrist. The bow (without any arrows) that the rider carries is a false peace. The rider is pictured as one who emerges carrying with his rise to power a false promise of peace. This is in alignment with and may be a direct reference to the false peace treaty that Antichrist makes with Israel at the start of the seven-year period of his rule. The crown on his head is obviously a reference to the position of authority and leadership that will be given to him. And we see that the true motivation and bent of the rider is to conquer. In light of the identity and activity of the rider then, we are not surprised to find out that the events that follow his emergence onto the world scene are not in keeping with an age of peace, but rather an age of apocalyptic chaos. Apparently this is not a problem for the Islamic scholars who generally adopt a very arbitrary pick and choose approach to the Bible. For in seeing the Antichrist on the white horse with a crown and conquering, Muslim scholars see a clear picture of the Mahdi. As mentioned in the earlier chapter on the Mahdi, the early Muslim transmitter of Hadith, Ka’b al Ahbar is quoted as saying:
I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets… For instance, the Book of Revelation says: “And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him…went forth conquering and to conquer.” 16
So in conclusion, we see that several of the most unique and distinguishing aspects of the biblical Antichrist’s person, mission and actions are matched to quite an amazing degree by the descriptions of the Mahdi as found in the Islamic traditions. And now, even further, we see that Muslim scholars actually apply Bible verses about the Antichrist to their awaited savior, the Mahdi. This must be seen as quite ironic, if not entirely prophetic.
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