I had a very good interview with Irvin Baxter this evening. One hour long. You may listen to it here. While Irvin believes that the Antichrist will come from the Roman Empire, we had a great discussion. I was also pleased to learn that Irvin also shares with myself and Dave Hunt the conviction that Gog and the Antichrist are one and the same.Read More
Baltimore Christian Examiner: Joel Richardson is author of The Islamic Antichrist, a book whose premise is that Islamic eschatology is sort of a mirror opposite of Christian eschatology. Joel has also written several other books but this is his ministry not his business. Joel has dedicated a lot of his time to studying Islam so that he can share the truth of the Gospel with Muslims and share what he has learned with fellow Christians.
I first met Joel at a local church where he was invited to speak about the Islamic Antichrist. I had never heard anything like this theory before and at first I thought he was completely off base with his theology about the end times because it was different than anything IӤ heard before. However, since that time IӶe been following his ministry on his website Joelӳ Trumpet and have found that his viewpoint definitely has merits and should not be quickly dismissed. Mainstream prophecy teachers who hold the standard dispensational views of the end times have been quick to shoot down Joelӳ ideas. A bit too quick in my view.
Last week Joel gave me an interview and I asked him a few questions about his book and ministry. I think his answers reveal a lot and are very educational.
Below are the questions I asked but Joelӳ answers are paraphrased.
What inspired you to write the book?
To make the church aware of Islamic eschatology. So people can see that Muslims have been setup by their religious system to fulfill prophecies of the Bible. They have been set up to embrace anti Semitism and embrace the Antichrist.
The book is also targeted to Muslims, not just Christians. Muslims get very deep into theology and so the answers are precise and the book is worded in a way to reach Muslims. While I believe their prophecies need to be looked at I do not believe Islam is prophetic.
Who is the Mahdi?
Islamӳ primary messiah figure, they believe in him as well as Jesus. By and large the majority of Muslims do believe in the coming of the Mahdi (also spelled Mehdi.) This belief is espoused by an overwhelming majority of respected Muslim scholars throughout history.
Sunnis in recent times have emphasized the coming of Jesus but Shia Muslims have emphasized the coming of the Mahdi. Over the past ten years however there has been a massive groundswell of belief in the Mahdi across sectarian lines. I have every book on the subject (about 40) and only two of those books donӴ follow this direction. Some Muslims believe that Jesus and the Mahdi will be one in the same.
How does Islam look at Jesus?
They see him as another Muslim prophet in a long line of prophets to reawaken the religion called Islam. Mohammed was the final prophet. They believe Jesus will come back to end Christianity and show that Christians had it all wrong and that the Bible was all wrong. There is a famous tradition that says Jesus will; break the cross, kill the pigs and abolish the Jizya (the Jizya is the tax that subjected people pay to exist in Islamic dominated countries.) They believe the Jesus will remove all crosses from churches. Jesus will expose that Christians eat unclean food. And no longer will a dhimmi status be accepted, people of any and all other religions must convert to Islam or die. Muslims also believe Jesus will kill the Antichrist. They think the Antichrist will be who the Jews will follow as their messiah. They believe the Antichrist will have miraculous powers.
The Islamic version of the Antichrist is called the Dajjal. He is supposed to be one eyed or blind in one eye (speculative) according to pop culture in Islam. Islam is filled with conspiracy theories. Some see the all seeing eye and freemasonry as an all encompassing Dajjal system. Similar to the way some conspiracy theorist view the Ԯew world order.ԠThereӳ even a website called the Dajall New Network.
Itӳ my belief that Satan knows Godӳ plan and has had a long time to study it and theology throughout the ages. So Satan has his own plan and part of that plan is to build an army and the primary method for that army is Islam.
How did you get started with studying Islam?
I went to school to become a missionary to the Islamic world. I lived in the Middle East for a while also. I came back to the US and went to school for engineering as a tent making career. While I was there I spent a lot of time reaching out to Muslims on campus.
I developed a real love for Muslims. One of the reasons for that is that I love to discuss theology and most people donӴ want to talk about theology but Muslims do want to talk to you about it and at length. I was also moved by hearing about the 10/40 window of un-reached people.
Why didnӴ you become a missionary?
My life changed and was taking me in different directions. But after 9/11 a lot of Americans converted to Islam. There was something powerful (not in a good way) about it.
Americans are honest and wanted to know what Islam was all about. People would go online to Muslim websites just looking for answers. Muslims at these sites are generally trained to tear down Christianity and western civilization and that feeds on the self hatred and guilt people of the West sometimes have about their self and their culture. Many Christians and those in the West donӴ know or understand their own theology and culture very well either. At the same time Muslims on these sites would present a westernized version of Islam to get people in the door.
After seeing people convert to Islam online I realized that I could have an online ministry and not have to travel to be a missionary.
Do you believe the Antichrist will come from Islam and why?
I do and the evidence is beyond circumstantial. More than just their eschatology being the opposite of Christianity, Biblical geography points to the Antichrist kingdom of that of the surrounding nations of Israel and not of a Roman Empire or revived Roman Empire. The Antichrist theology also matches with Islam. Islamӳ creed, the shahada is the most Antichrist creed that has ever existed.
I want everyone to take the Islamic paradigm and consider it. I donӴ want to change all of the Christian outlook on eschatology but to expand the horizons to spread out and look at all directions for the fulfillment of Christian prophecy. We are to be watchmen on the wall and right now I think many people are ignoring the Eastern wall.
Calvin, Martin Luther and Jonathon Edwards all looked at Islam as vehicle of the Antichrist. I think bad eschatology can lead to pain and confusion. I just want to share my heart and correct the imbalance of looking only at a Roman empire as the vehicle of the Antichrist.
What makes you think the Antichrist will come soon and that we are living in the end times?
The trends toward Muslim domination in Europe and the Middle East is a big end times indicator I think. Also the Middle East peace push seems to be an indicator. There has been such a push for so long that I think something will eventually come out of it. I think the next major sign post will be the rebuilding of the (Jewish) temple.
Talk about the threats that you get for spreading your beliefs?
Islam allows people to hate, murder and men to live very sexually and to have legal prostitution. In Islam all is acceptable in the name of God. Mohammed was a warrior, and so followers of Islam see themselves as warriors. Muslims get to experience the rush of religion and the freedom to hate. Radical Islam has a lot of appeal.
Joel Richardon: WND: An al-Qaida video just released on YouTube titled “The Mahdi Army” reveals for the first time the deep degree to which al-Qaida views itself to be the prophesied apocalyptic Mahdi army. While this is something I and other observers of Islamic apocalyptic movements have been very suspicious of for years, this video offers the first solid proof that al-Qaida is guided by the end-time apocalyptic prophecies of Islam.
The video is a typical al-Qaida recruitment video released under the al-Sahab label, replete with ninja-esque Islamic mujahedeen soldiers flaunting their military skills. What is new, however, is the multiple references to the Islamic end-time prophecies with al-Qaida featured as the frontline soldiers of the Mahdi.
The video begins with a subtitle of several Islamic sacred traditions called “hadith.” One of the first hadiths states that in the last days an army of Islamic soldiers will come from the area of “Khorasan” and will march forth to Jerusalem to conquer the land of Israel for the Islamic Mahdi. Khorasan straddles the border of Iran and Afghanistan where al-Qaida is presently still very active.
Featured prominently throughout the film is the imagery and motif of black flags. The black flag of Islam is the symbol of Islamic rule, the government of the Caliphate. Across its face is the Islamic “shahada,” or creed, which states, “There is no god other than Allah, and Muhammad is his final Prophet.” According to Islamic “theology,” the black flag is the flag of war that was carried by Muhammad. This black flag features prominently in most al-Qaida videos and can also be seen carried and waved by literally hundreds of thousands of attendees at the massive yearly Caliphate conferences sponsored by the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. The first Hizb-ut-Tahrir conference in the United States was recently held on July 23, just outside of Chicago. Dr. Timothy Furnish, author of “Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, their Jihads and Osama bin Laden,” attended the conference and wrote about his observations in an article featured in the Washington Times.
Understand the significance of the Muslim’s Mahdi ‘messiah’ in Joel Richardson’s new book, “The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast.” Note: The book is also available in electronic form at reduced price through Scribd.
Throughout the video, we see dramatized scenes of al-Qaida mujahedeen soldiers on horseback carrying the black flag as if they are marching to Israel.
According to Islamic sacred tradition, when any Muslim sees the Islamic armies carrying the black flags from Khorasan toward Israel, they are religiously obligated to pledge their allegiance to the army and its leader. This pledge is called the bay’ah. Then the words appear: “That army has already arisen and answered the call to defend Islam.”
A Muslim preacher named Imran Hussein Nazir appears giving a sermon in which he states the following:
The Messiah will destroy the false Messiah. And when that happens, then a Muslim army will liberate the Holy Land. The prophet said, “When you see the black flags coming from the direction of Khorasan, go join their army. That army has already started to be established. They know it. And that is why they demonize as a terrorist anyone who supports Allah. That army will liberate every single territory in a straight line, until it reaches Jerusalem. And the heart of Khorasan is Afghanistan. That is why we have occupied Afghanistan. When this army liberates every territory on its way to Jerusalem, there will be in that army, Imam Mahdi. And so the liberation of the Holy Land is not going to come about through any negotiations. Ţ
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Ever since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his now-infamous speech at the United Nations in New York City in 2005, and prayed for the coming of the Mahdi, many in the Western media have inaccurately believed that Mahdism is a belief unique only to Shi’a Islam. But as this video clearly demonstrates, and as I show in my new book, “The Islamic Antichrist,” as well as in “God’s War on Terror,” which I co-authored with Walid Shoebat, belief in the Mahdi is not at all unique to the Shi’a, but is held by a majority of Muslims across sectarian boundaries. While some variances exist between the Shi’a and the Sunni beliefs about origins of the Mahdi, what he does once he comes is essentially the same. And as I demonstrate in “Islamic Antichrist,” the mission of the Islamic Mahdi is virtually identical to the biblical Antichrist. According to Islamic belief, the Mahdi will revive an empire and will invade the land of Israel. He will cause the whole world to become Muslim and unite under one religion. Islamic tradition holds that the Mahdi will conquer Israel and establish his seat of world rule from Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. Islamic tradition also holds that the period of time the Mahdi would rule is seven years. After looking at the striking similarities between these two apocalyptic figures, some have rightly pointed out that Islam borrowed heavily from Christian, as well as Gnostic, Jewish and Zoroastrian traditions. However, what is not discussed is that in the Islamic narrative, that which is evil has been transformed into the Savior. Instead of saving the Jewish people, the Islamic Mahdi conquers the Jewish people. Instead of delivering the Jewish state from invasion, the Islamic Mahdi is the invader.
The revelation that al-Qaida is so strikingly apocalyptic in their worldview is a powerfully relevant factor, whether one is a believer in the Bible or not. As Dr. David Cook of Rice University once rightly stated, “There is power in apocalyptic.” Much attention has been paid to the apocalyptic vision of the Iranians, but now it is clear that the problem is far more endemic than we had previously known. Believer or unbeliever, skeptical or not, none can deny that we live in desperate and very interesting times.
Another somewhat common idea that I have seen passed around prophecy circles for years is the notion that the “Gog” of Ezekiel 38,39 cannot be the Antichrist because Gog receives a burial and Antichrist does not. This idea comes from a surface reading of the two following passages:
But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Isaiah 14:19,10
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the [noses] of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call [it] The valley of Hamongog. Ezekiel 38:11
So, it is clear that Gog will be buried. But is Isaiah really claiming that the Antichrist will never be buried? Is there really a conflict here? Not at all. In order to understand what this passage is saying, one must simply read the whole context.
So, lets look briefly at Isaiah 17: It is a poetic / prophetic dirge against the King of Babylon / Assyrian / Antichrist.
The Antichrist first claims that he would make his throne on the Mountain of God (Ie. the Temple Mount, where God’s Temple or “seat” was) but instead, God declares that he would find his “seat” on the side of the pit of hell instead:
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north… Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:13, 15
This final resting place in hell is then contrasted with his actual physical burial that would be one of utter shame. In ancient times, wealthy families shared a family sepulchre. These were cave-like burial places. Bodies were given their proper place along the sides of the sepulchre. Not entirely unlike a modern mausoleum. In this passage, shame is being cast upon the Antichrist. God informs the Antichrist that unlike the other kings of the earth, the Antichrist will not be buried in his family or royal sepulchre, but will instead be buried in a mere pit and that his only clothing would be other dead bodies. It is not saying that he will never be put into the ground. Instead it is simply showing the nature of his shameful death. He will never experience a proper burial in a family or royal sepulchre. Instead of dying like royalty (as he has said in his heart that he is like the most high), he will be treated like dung with the rest of those who are slain.
All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. Isaiah 17:18
But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment (his clothing will consist) of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Isaiah 14:19,10
He is buried, not in a sepulchre, but rather in a common pit along with other bodies in a mass unmarked grave. His only covering (raiment) is other dead bodies that surround him.
In conclusion, any claim that Gog and the Antichrist must be two different individuals based on the above argument is seen to be based on improper exegesis and a surface reading that fails to read th full context of the passage. For further study, I highly recommend Alec Motyer’s commentary on Isaiah.Read More