Vol: 52 Issue: 24 Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Yesterday, a reader emailed me about Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s expectation of the coming of the 12th Imam.
To recap, in a November 16 speech in Tehran to senior clerics who had come from all over Iran to hear him, the new president said the main mission of his government was to; “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance)”.
The mystical 12th Imam of Shia Islam disappeared as a child in 941AD, and Shia Muslims have awaited his reappearance ever since, believing that when he returns, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about the Last Judgment and the end of the world.
In order to prepare for the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad said, “Iran should turn into a mighty, advanced, and model Islamic society”. Iranians should “refrain from leaning toward any Western school of thought” and abstain from “luxurious lives” and other excesses.
Ahmadinejad is also rumored to have ordered his cabinet to sign a loyalty pact with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, (where they believe the imam is hiding).
The reader wanted to know, since both Islam and Christianity have an end-time scenario that lasts for seven years, could the 12th Imam also be the antichrist?
He also wanted to know if the similarities (Messianic figure, seven years’ duration, persecution, etc. ) between Islamic and Christian eschatology indicated both religions were equally valid?
There are a number of seeming similarities between Islam and Judeo-Christianity. Indeed, there are enough to give rise to the erroneous belief that Allah is just another name for God.
Like Christians and Jews, the Koran claims Divine inspiration. Islam refers to many figures from the Bible, including Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, and Jesus.
Islam shares a belief in a final seven year period of apocalypse where sinful man is judged together with the expectation of a messiah figure who will come at the end of the age.
But it isn’t Islam’s similarities but its differences with Judeo-Christianity that tell the real story.
First, let’s examine what can be known of God from His revealed Word:
God is a Person, Who can be known, Who reveals Himself in Three Persons, He is love, He is intimately involved in the affairs of men, He is a Spirit, He has a personality, He loves, He thinks, is omniscient, omnipotent and, most importantly, is a God of grace.
Allah is revealed by the Koran as unknowable, far off, neither Father, Son nor Spirit, is uninvolved in the affairs of man, does not interact with man, is defined only as what Allah is NOT, rather that what he is, and is the author, not of grace, but of judgment.
The Koran is unique among all the sacred writings in the entire world — because it alone counsels its followers to make war on unbelievers in order to earn salvation by dying in jihad.
Former AG John Ashcroft once got himself into hot water for summarizing the differences this way:
“Islam is a religion in which god expects your son to die for him, whereas Christianity is a faith in which God sent His Son to die for you.”
Is Islam the religion of the antichrist? Or could the 12 Imam be the antichrist? The Apostle John described the religion of the antichrist as having two horns like a Lamb, (counterfeit Christianity) but that ‘spake as a dragon.’ (Satan) (Revelation 13:11)
It is doubtful that the 12th Imam will be universally accepted as a ‘man of peace’ described by Daniel, (but I admit it is a tantalizing thought.)
Islam claims that Allah is the same God Who is revealed in the Bible. Mohammed was an itinerant trader who spent a great deal of time among Christians and Jews some six hundred years AFTER Christ.
He was exposed to the teachings of both faiths, incorporating parts of each into his subsequent ‘third testament’, the Koran.
Mohammed attests to the truth and validity of both Testaments: (Suras 2:87, 29:46, 32:23, 5:44, 6:154, 6:155, 2:87, 5:46, 5:68, 29:46 and 43:63)
For example, Sura 5:68 – “O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law (Torah), the Gospel (Injeel), and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.”
But the Koran itself is a mass of contradictions with the Revealed Word, falsifying both the facts and teachings of both testaments.
According to the Koran, the line of spiritual succession goes through Ishmael and not Isaac. Moses was a Muslim. Jesus was not the Son of God, and was neither crucified nor Resurrected, but merely a prophet of some lesser status than Mohammed.
God DOES have a begotten Son (not made, but One with the Father), confirmed even by the Old Testament, as well as the New.
“Who hath ascended up into heaven or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the Earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)
And not only do adherents to Islam NOT read or study the Gospel,the possession of a Bible by one of the ‘People of the Book’ in Islamic fundamentalist states can result in a death sentence. (That seems a pretty revealing fact in and of itself.)
Belief in a single god does not mean that the God of Scripture is the one being worshipped by Islam. And, because the God of the Bible was known and worshipped many centuries before Mohammed came along, it is also clear who the true God is.
If the Koran accepts the Bible as the word of God, it should adhere to its teachings. If it does not, than it reveals itself and its source without need of additional comment.
The New Testament clearly states that prophets must follow the same God as the One revealed by the earliest prophets and not lead people to other false gods (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
The fact that Ahmadinejad is awaiting the coming of an Islamic messiah is not evidence of the Divine inspiration of the Koran. A quick skim through the Koran clearly establishes that Mohammed did not teach the God of the Bible.
What IS prophetically significant is that EVERYBODY, from obscure Islamic sects to Hollywood producers, all share some instinctive expectation of a coming judgment against the earth for its sins.
It is a gnawing, spiritual awareness so profound that even those who know nothing of prophecy and care nothing for the things of God can’t shake it.
That awareness cuts across religious, secular and political lines, together with a inexplicable sense of urgency that the time of reckoning is almost here.
Even the lost sense the end is approaching. The only real disagreement is in the details; Global warming? Nuclear war? Killer Asteroids? The result is the same.
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Romans 1:19)
Whether they choose to heed the evidence or not.