By Michael D. Evans
Published: August 30, 2007
In March 2006, Rakan bin Williams, an al-Qaeda commander stated: “I will not give any more clues; this is enough as a wake-up call. Perhaps the American people will start thinking about the magnitude of the danger that is coming their way.”The heart of the battle between darkness and light centers around the Islamic belief that an apocalyptic event will usher in the second coming of the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi. The subject of the Second Coming is the most important subject in evangelical theology, outside the cross. Christians have not generally been exposed to the theological belief system of the second coming as it relates to the gravest threat faced by the world-an atomic Iran. Why is that such a grave threat? The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wants to usher in the second coming of the Twelfth Imam or Mahdi through nuclear war.
The beliefs of the Iranian “Twelvers”-the followers of the Twelfth Imam who believe that the world must teeter on an apocalyptic precipice before their “savior” (the Mahdi) will return, may well impact our world dramatically long before Christ returns.
These “Twelvers,” as they are sometimes called, number over ten million. With the ascension of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the position of power in Iran, we have heard much about the last known descendant of Hussein, Muhammad al-Mahdi, or the Mahdi. Al-Mahdi was the Twelfth Imam in the line of Ali who disappeared down a well at the age of four.
Refusing to believe that he was dead, his followers imbued him with timelessness. They declared him to be merely “hidden,”and that on some future date he would suddenly appear to reestablish an Islamic caliphate worldwide. Their eschatology, however, proved problematic; it espoused an apocalyptic upheaval in order for the Mahdi, or Hidden Imam, to ascend to his rightful place of leadership. These “Twelvers” championed the belief that every individual, regardless of their religious belief, would one day bow to Islam-or die.
The President of Iran believes this so strongly that he subtlety mentioned this in two U.N. speeches:
O, Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause. (First UN address, September 19, 2006)
And, invoking the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful during a second U.N. address, Ahmadinejad said:
O, Almighty God, bestow upon humanity the perfect human being [the Mahdi] promised to all by You, and make us among his followers. (Second U.N. Address, November 29, 2006)
While the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was a hero to Ahmadinejad, his true mentor is Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi. It is this man who has shaped much of Ahmadinejad’s worldview. Yazdi is the director of the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom. He is also a member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts. Reputedly, the hard-liner Yazdi believes, “If anyone insults the Islamic sanctity, Islam has permitted for his blood to be spilled, no court needed.”30
In my interview with James Woolsey, he touched on the subject of Yazdi and his influence over Ahmadinejad:
Ahmadinejad believes that the Twelfth Imam, the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, went into occlusion, as he would put it-disappeared in the eighth century-and is waiting to come back. [Ahmadinejad] goes off every week or two to sort of commune with the Hidden Imam and get his instructions. [Ahmadinejad’s] mentor is an Ayatollah named Mesbah Yazdi, who runs a school in Qom, in the holy city in Iran. The reason Mesbah Yazdi was exiled there in 1979 by the Ayatollah Khomeini was because Khomeini thought he was too radical. So Ahmadinejad’s mentor was too radical for Khomeini.
The beliefs that surround their worldview have to do with working hard to get a lot of people killed as quickly as possible. So the prize of pain will summon the Mahdi. And then they also believe once the Mahdi comes, the world will only exist for a brief period of time. So Ahmadinejad is effectively on a campaign to see if he can’t get the world to end.
What weapons are effective against an enemy such as this? Will those Muslims that do not share this Iranian president’s worldview be enticed to take up arms against him? Can we even convince them that they are in as much danger as any infidel on the globe? Or will we simply sit idly by and allow the madmen, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Iran who support him, to take the world by nuclear storm?
As with all false religions, there are parallels to the Scripture. For instance, the theology being taught by the Twelvers in madrassas in Iran is this:
-If a suicide bomber commits an act of martyrdom, they will feel neither pain nor fear. Bible parallel: I Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where [is] your sting? O grave, where [is] your victory?”
-The suicide bomber believes he/she will not die; all souls go into the ground awaiting the resurrection except the souls of martyrs. They go directly into paradise. This is an attempt to parallel the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and certainly parallels the statement of Christ to the thief on the cross: Luke 23:43: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
-Once in paradise, a crown of glory with the jewel of the wealth of the world is placed on the head of the martyr. Biblical parallel: Revelation 2:10c: “. . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
-They believe that they will be given not one mansion, but 72 mansions. The mansions will be inhabited by 72 black-eyed virgins (incorruptible.) Biblical parallel: John 14:2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
-The martyr is taught that he will be invited to a wedding. Biblical parallel: Revelation 19:9: “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
– Another teaching is that the shedding of the blood of the martyr will atone for the sins of 70 of their relatives, thus exempting them from the horrors of hell. Biblical parallel: Hebrews 9:22: “In fact, we can say that according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by sprinkling with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”
This is the heart of the spiritual battle that believers face.
“Now as He [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Just as there are specific signs in the Scriptures that alert the child of God to watch for the return of our Lord, so there are specific signs in Islam. The difference is that Jesus admonishes us to, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36) While Christians believe that God controls the events of the Second Coming of Jesus, Muslims believe that it is they who will orchestrate the apocalyptic events surrounding the second coming of the Muslim Messiah.
This is why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so intent in his efforts to achieve nuclear capability; he believes that it will be his mushroom cloud that calls forth the Mahdi to rule over a Muslim caliphate that extends worldwide.
What are the signs Muslim fundamentalists believe will signal the arrival of the Muslim messiah? What will announce the time when every creature worldwide will supposedly bow before Allah and declare that “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet?”
The signs that, according to Islamic fundamentalists, will usher in the Islamic messiah are:
> Greater Materialism
> Decrease in knowledge of religious things
> Men outnumbered by women
> Acid rain
> Increased illegitimacy
> Rampant homosexuality
> Mothers ignored
> Increase in female singers
> Dancing into the night
> Taller and taller buildings
> Women in the workplace
> Women will look like men, and men like women
> Women will not bear children
> Increased earthquakes
> Time will seem shorter
> People will prefer death to life
The word “Islam” is translated “submission”, literally, submission to the will of Allah. Predestination is the fundamental basis of Islam. The Koran records, “Allah verily sends whom he will astray, and guides whom he will.” (Koran 35:8)
Allah pulls the strings that control the faithful; man has no free will. His only choice is to bow before Allah in total submission… not out of love, but out of divine necessity. Jehovah God calls us first to love Him and then to love our neighbor: “So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:27)
The Muslim “Antichrist” or Dajjal is characterized as a red-faced Cyclops with unruly hair. His mode of transportation is a white ass that will bear him from place to place at lightning speed. The world – except for true Muslim adherents – will be led astray by the Dajjal. His despotic rule will extend worldwide until, Muslims believe, Jesus will return to a mosque in Damascus. He will slaughter all pigs, destroy all crosses and embrace Islam as the one true religion.
According to Muslim belief, Jesus and the Mahdi will join forces to fight and destroy the hated Dajjal. Following the victorious battle, Jesus and the Mahdi will create a worldwide caliphate under shariah, or Islam rule of law.
After the defeat of the Dajjal, the sound of a trumpet will be heard around the world; the sun will be extinguished; stars will plummet to earth; mountains will become piles of debris and the seas will erupt into a blazing inferno. The earth’s inhabitants will be slain, only to be resurrected to stand before Allah and be judged. Man will be consigned to hell – a place of either excruciating heat or freezing cold. The favored Muslims, strict adherents to Islam, will be given glorious gowns laden with jewels. Of course, the seventh heaven will be the resting place for martyrs who battled the Great Satan and the Little Satan.
There are those among Islam’s adherents who believe that George Bush is the Dajjal (Antichrist) and Osama bin Laden the Mahdi (Islamic messiah.) In fact, bin Laden has begun to sign his name, Osama bin Mohammed bin Laden. Many among bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization point to the fact that their leader has the features attributed to the Mahdi- distinctive forehead, protruding nose, gapped teeth, a black mole. Bin Laden is descended from Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima, and was called forth from his cave in Afghanistan to fight the “Dajjal.” In fact, bin Laden refers to President Bush as al-Dajjal and the United States as Dabbah (the beast that must be slain.)
Radical Muslims believe that Islam will prevail, not only over the United States, but over the entire world. They believe that history has been written by Allah, and that mankind is predestined to bow to Islam.
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)