Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a multi-part series on theories and prophecies about the Antichrist. If you haven’t already, we recommend starting with the Introduction before diving into this post, as well as Part 1: Roman Antichrist Debunked; links to the rest of the articles are at the bottom of this post.
Is the Antichrist Muslim?
The next theory on the identity of the Antichrist I personally came to believe was the Muslim Antichrist theory. I must admit, this thesis was very easy for me to believe due to the current geopolitical landscape of the world we live in. Since 9/11 this theory has become very popular.
To be honest, I bought the Muslim Antichrist theory hook, line, and sinker. I even pushed some brethren to read about and consider this line of thinking. I regret that now.
But, I eventually came to the conclusion that the Muslim Antichrist theory is just too easy. It’s too neat. Let us remember, the Antichrist will fool almost everyone. If the Muslim theory were to come to fruition, it wouldn’t fool anyone except the Muslims themselves.
Now before we start this phase of the presentation, let’s first do a little homework on the religion of Islam, shall we?
Background on the rise of Islam
During the last 22 years of his life, beginning at age 40 in 610 AD according to the earliest surviving biographies, Muhammad reported having revelations that he believed to be from God and conveyed to him through the archangel Gabriel or Jibril. (Somehow I don’t think that was Gabriel, but I digress.) The content of these revelations, known as the Qur’an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.
The Qur’an is considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God, and also by its teachings an example and way of life (or sunnah). It also is composed of prophetic traditions of Muhammad called the Hadith.
Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted or altered over time, but consider the Arabic Qur’an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God.
At the time of Muhammad’s ‘revelation’, Mecca was largely polytheistic, with the main false idol of worship being Allat, the goddess of the crescent moon. Muhammad pleaded with the people of Mecca to abandon polytheism and to worship the one god, that he named Allah.
Although a few people at that time did convert to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were largely ridiculed by the rank and file, and ultimately persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. This resulted in Muhammad and his followers migrating to other lands, mainly to the lands of the Aksumite Empire. After 12 years of persecution and migration, Muhammad found a home in Medina where he established his political and religious authority.
Muhammad developed a constitution in Medina and was subsequently at war within a few years of his arrival. Muhammad’s Muslims fought with Mecca and many of the tribes of Arabia over the next several years. However, by the time of his death in 632 (at the age of 62), Muhammad had united Mecca, Medina, and the tribes of Arabia into a single religious state.
After his death there was much disagreement, strife, and ultimately war over who would succeed Muhammad as leader of the Muslim community. This person would come to be known as the caliph.
To make a long story short…over the next 1,200-1,300 years, the Muslims fought MANY brutal and bloody wars, ultimately controlling much of the Middle East as the Ottoman Empire or as they called it, the Caliphate. The Ottomans controlled vast lands, including parts of Europe, Northern Africa, and much of the Middle East.
Next, let’s get some of the basics of Islamic eschatology (study of end-time events)
There are only a few denominations of Islam (not NEARLY as many as there is in Christendom). The two main denominations are the Sunni and the Shia. The Sunni are much more prevalent than the Shia. The Shia represent about 10-20% of Islam and are mainly located in modern day Iran. The Sunni make up about 75-85% of the Muslim population.
The Sunni and Shia have very different views about the end times. However, they do agree about the figure they call the Mahdi, though they differ in their beliefs as to how the Mahdi will come to power. But they both believe that the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according the differing interpretations).
The Mahdi comes onto the scene just before the Day of Judgment. Ultimately they believe the Mahdi will rid the world of infidels and usher in an Islamic revolution where Sharia Law will be the foundational constitution of every nation on earth.
According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the second coming of Jesus Christ (who they call Isa). And Isa will assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal or Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or their version of Antichrist).
So, in a sense, the Mahdi is their messiah. He comes to save the day, to usher in a worldwide Islamic revolution, where every person on earth will either convert to Islam or lose their head, literally. If that isn’t enough, they believe that Jesus will come with him and assist the Mahdi in this whole process. Muslims believe that Isa (Jesus) will tell all the Christians and Jews how wrong they were, and how there is no god but Allah.
(I just puked in my mouth a little bit, but I again digress.)
Here is a simplistic diagram of what the Muslim Antichrist adherents believe:
The Mahdi is Antichrist. Isa is the False Prophet, and the true Messiah (Jesus) will be thought of by the Muslims to be the dajjal.
After more studying of Islamic eschatology, it appears blatant and obvious that much of Islamic eschatology was taken directly from the pages of the Bible, and then changes were made to make it fit the Islamic worldview and religious doctrine.
What I mean by that is the writers of the Hadith looked at what the Bible said about the end times and changed certain details to make Islam appear to be victorious in the end. Let’s not forget that Islam was not even thought of until 500-plus years after the death of Messiah.
Now let’s take a look at the actual Muslim Antichrist thesis that has become so prevalent as of recent.
Exploring Muslim Antichrist theory
Please note: It is not my intention to give an exhaustive study on this theory. I am only presenting the basics of the Muslim Antichrist thesis and then highlighting my own disagreements with it.
The first basic segment of the Muslim Antichrist theory I will outline is the similarities that exist between the Muslim Mahdi and the Christian Antichrist.
When I first started studying the Muslim Antichrist theory, I must admit that I found these similarities to be striking. The Muslims believe in a coming figure (the Mahdi) that will sign a 7-year treaty. He will rule from Jerusalem and the temple. He will demand to be worshiped, and anyone that will not worship him as god, will be beheaded.
I’d like to note here—the willingness of Muslims to cut people’s heads off is one of the more compelling parts of the Muslim Antichrist theory. When I first contemplated this theory, I thought to myself: Do you know any Roman Catholics that would cut someone’s head off. NO! Far from it. Most of the Catholics I know are very kind and giving people. But the Muslims are on TV nearly every night cutting the heads off of people that they call infidels.
Make no mistake about it. This really helps in selling the Muslim Antichrist theory. The similarities that exist between the Mahdi and Antichrist are so profound that most modern readers are bound to feel a personal connection to this part of the theory. Thus, due to the almost universal human condition to want to feel that you are a part of something bigger, the modern reader can feel themselves pulled into being a part of the Bible. They are witness to the end happening right before their very eyes. And that is a POWERFUL draw, to say the least.
Now in truth, I don’t really have any major objections or refutations of the Mahdi/Antichrist similarities part of the theory. I would simply offer one question:
Are we to believe that this false religion born out of demonic revelation has the power to prophesy distant future events? This would equate to demons having the ability to call their shot for the “end times”, Babe Ruth style. I just don’t buy that. Demons can do little more than tempt, lie, and deceive. Period.
Again I would point out my view that most of Islamic eschatology was taken right from the pages of the Bible with small changes made to ‘fit’ what the adherents of Islam *want* to be true, just as they did with the story of Abraham courageously offering Isaac as a sacrifice. In the Muslim account of this story, it is the father of the Arabs, Ishmael, that Abraham offers as a sacrifice.
Understanding the prophecies in Isaiah & Micah
Another part of the Muslim theory suggests that the proper names used for Antichrist in the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament are indicative of who and what the Antichrist is. Beginning with the Prophet Micah, and in Chapter 5:
Mic 5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
Mic 5:6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.
Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
Isa 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
Isa 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
Ok, so, the promoters of the Muslim Antichrist theory use these scriptures to say: “Ah ha—the Antichrist is an Assyrian. He will come from the lands that were once occupied by the Assyrian Empire.”
They also cleverly tie this “Assyrian” belief into the bloodline of the “people of the Prince that is to come”, and they point out that the bloodline of the legion under General Titus that actually plundered the temple were from modern-day Turkey and Syria. So, they assert, the bloodline isn’t a Roman bloodline. It is a Turkish or Syrian bloodline. Therefore, the prophets of the Old Testament refer to Antichrist as “The Assyrian”.
We’ve already covered my thoughts on the bloodlines theory, so let’s move right into this Assyrian name that is primarily used in the books of Micah and Isaiah.
Isaiah 9 & 10 in context
Isaiah 10 is the chapter right after the verses made famous in the book “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn. In the famous verse 10 of chapter 9 the leaders of the Northern Kingdom arrogantly boast that the bricks had fallen (at the hand of the Assyrians), but the kingdom would rebuild stronger structures made from hewn or cut stone (I am paraphrasing here, Is. 9:10).
In the balance of chapter 9 and the first part of chapter 10 God speaks through Isaiah to all of Israel. God appears to be making sure that all of Israel understands that it was God himself that used the Assyrians to raid the northern kingdom due to their false worship, sin, and arrogance.
In verse 5 God declares through Isaiah that the Assyrian was merely a tool that he used to serve His purposes.
In verse 11 God makes it clear to the southern kingdom that if they don’t clean up their act that they will suffer the same punishment when He says:
“…shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?” (Is. 10:11)
The whole premise of the Harbinger book was that the Isaiah 9:10 verse was realized in the aftermath of 9/11. I have read all about the Harbingers of 9/11 and have encouraged others to do so. In my opinion, the book rightly points out a modern-day fulfillment of duality in scripture. It seems clear to me that God once again used the Assyrians to warn an arrogant and sinful nation, that they should repent. It is truly a fascinating study.
But that is not what we are looking at here. The proponents of the Muslim theory assert that Isaiah 10 points to the time period just before the return of Jesus, and that the “Assyrian” represents the Antichrist figure that we are studying. And here is the key—the Muslim Antichrist theorists also assert that Isaiah 10 reveals that Messiah Himself defeats this ‘Assyrian’ character.
While it may very well be true that Isaiah 10 does point to the ‘end times’, and it may also be true that the ‘Assyrian’ is a representation of Antichrist, I personally don’t see it that way. But let’s assume for a moment that Isaiah 10 is about the end times, and the Assyrian does represent the Antichrist. Does this necessarily mean Antichrist is a Muslim?
After a careful reading of Isaiah, I just don’t see it. I would encourage the reader to study the 9th and 10th chapters of Isaiah for themselves and formulate your own conclusion.
What does Micah 5 tell us?
As to Micah 5, this appears to point to the millennial reign of Christ in my opinion. Could it be about the “end times” just before the return of Messiah? I suppose it could.
While researching for this presentation, a wise elder suggested I read Micah 4 and 5 together as one prophecy. He pointed out that the chapter break is man-made and is likely not very well-placed. When one reads the two chapters together, it really appears to be pointing to the millennium, and the battle with the “Assyrian” is the final battle that comes just before the White Throne Judgment. That, of course, is my opinion.
Again I would encourage the reader to study these scriptures for themselves.
As you can see below, there are a few other scriptures used by those that ascribe to the Muslim theory. They claim these names also point to the Antichrist, and that these names also point to modern-day Muslim-controlled lands. Most of these don’t carry much weight to me, and some appear to point to Satan more than Antichrist.
- Isa 14:4 – king of Babylon
- Eze 28:2 – prince of Tyrus
- Dan 11:13 – king of the north
Messiah at war
The final and, in my opinion, most compelling part of the Muslim Antichrist theory that we will examine revolves around the nations that Messiah is at war with upon His second coming. The proponents of the Muslim Antichrist thesis point out that all of the lands or nations that Messiah wars with upon His second coming are currently Muslim nations. Based on these assertions, they suggest that Messiah must be at war with the Muslims upon His second coming, thus, the Antichrist must be a Muslim.
Let’s examine the verses they utilize for this segment of their thesis:
“I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Was your wrath against the rivers, O LORD? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation?” (Hab. 3:7-8)
Cushan or Cush is the region south of Egypt, modern-day Sudan and a Muslim country. Cushan has also been identified with the land in and around Babylon—also, Muslim. Midian is, of course, Arabia, which is modern-day Saudi Arabia. It gets no more Muslim that modern-day Saudi Arabia.
“An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them” (Isa 19:1)
“Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low” (Isa 10:33)
“He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One” (Isa 10:34)
Not only is Lebanon a Muslim country, it is a terrorist stronghold since it is the home of Hezbollah.
Again we are back in Isaiah 10 here, and I just don’t see this as ‘end times’ or about Antichrist. But they cite it, so we must examine them.
“What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily” (Joel 3:4)
I LOVE IT when God talks trash. NO human can step to Him and He knows it. Awesome!
Tyre and Sidon are Lebanon and Hezbollah, Philistia is Gaza, the home of Hamas. Muslim terrorists to be sure.
“Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land” (Joel 3:19)
Here we see the use of Edom which, according to current biblical maps, is in and around modern-day Jordan and Saudi Arabia (south of Moab and Beersheba). In Ezekiel 25, Edom is described as “from Teman to Dedan”. That is Arabia.
However, we know that Edom is a reference to Esau. And that is really what this is all about, isn’t it? Jacob, Esau, and their great uncle/step/half cousin/whatever Ishmael, all fighting for the birthright and the blessings. Suffice to say, I don’t think Rome has a part in the epic battle for the birthright, but that is just my opinion.
Let’s move on to Psalm 83 where a confederation of nations is described. Psalm 83 is used as a smoking gun-type proof text for the Muslim Antichrist theory.
They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant— the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. (Psa 83:3-8)
- Edom we have discussed—Arabia
- Moab, Ammon, and the children of Lot—modern-day Jordan, Muslim
- Gebal—according to Unger’s Bible dictionary, Gebal is in Lebanon, about 25 miles north of Beirut
- Tyre, and Philistia we’ve covered—Lebanon and Gaza, respectively; Hezbollah and Hamas
- Ishmaelites and Hararites I think is a reference to Arabs in general
- Assyria—here is a map of the lands controlled by the Assyrian Empire; Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Iran, all Muslim today
An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. (Isa 17:1)
Damascus is the capital of Syria, another hotbed for terrorism, and the home of ISIS.
As I stated earlier, the wars of Messiah are the strongest part of the Muslim theory in my opinion. Thus, it deserves a thoughtful and thorough refutation.
The first thing that I would point out is this: Just because Messiah is at war with Muslim nations, does not necessarily mean that Antichrist is a Muslim. Now, I am not trying to use this statement as proof that Antichrist is not a Muslim. I am just stating that one thing does not necessitate the other.
As another part of my refutation, I would also offer a few scriptures of my own, where Antichrist is “at war” with some of the very same “Muslim” nations.
“The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all. Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts. Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants. (Dan 11:36-43 NLT)
Now, there is no doubt in my mind that these scriptures are referring to the Antichrist figure that we are discussing in this presentation. The text describes many nations falling, but Edom, Moab, and the best part of Ammon will “escape”. Now, to escape, one has to have been attacked or flat-out controlled, and then finally “escaping” this attack or control, whatever the case may be.
Daniel 11 then goes on to describe Antichrist as “controlling” the treasures of gold and silver of the Egyptians, Libyans, and Ethiopians after he CONQUERS them and makes them his servants.
If Antichrist is a Muslim, and is considered to be the Mahdi, this figure that all Muslims pray for and will worship and love. Then why would Antichrist be fighting and conquering Muslim nations and peoples? This doesn’t seem to mesh or tie together very well.
When I present my current working theory in a later installment, we will revisit Daniel 11 a lot, and I will lay out why Antichrist is fighting against Muslim nations in a way that I think fits together very well. More on that in future blog posts.
Making sense of Psalms 83
Finally, the last part of my refuting of this section of the Muslim Antichrist theory, I would suggest that Psalm 83—the supposed “smoking gun” scriptures for the theory—is not even prophetic, or an actual battle…at all.
Psalm 83 is a prayer of Asaph that describes many of Israel’s closest neighbors plotting against her. Asaph is praying to God asking Him to destroy the nations that are conspiring against Israel. In my opinion, that’s it.
A plain reading of Psalm 83 suggests nothing more than a number of nations in Asaph’s day had recently been making political alliances against Israel; they never actually attacked anyone. In fact, the phrases used to describe their actions include: “They have taken crafty counsel,” “They have said,” “For they have consulted together,” and, “They form a confederacy.”
These phrases simply show the nations in question as making alliances and plans; nothing in the text suggests them doing anything more than that. The whole point of Asaph’s prayer is to ask God to prevent these nations from going any further than the planning of an attack. There is simply no war to be found here in these scriptures.
Also, none of the language in Psalm 83 suggests the psalm to be prophetic in any way. In other prophecies of future wars or judgments upon nations, the prophet often declares that he is speaking a prophecy by saying something along the lines of: “The Lord said that in the latter years such and such will happen,” or, “At the time of the end, so and so will attack so and so.” You don’t find any of this terminology in Psalm 83.
Simply put. Psalm 83 is not a war, and it is not prophecy. In my opinion.
OK. I will stop here for today. Like I said, this is not an exhaustive study. It is just the basics. If the reader would like to learn more about the Muslim Antichrist thesis, there is no shortage of information out there.
My takeaway on the Muslim Antichrist theory
I will conclude this part of the study by saying: The Muslim Antichrist theory is just too easy in my opinion. If a Mahdi figure were to come onto the scene, every person that has ever heard of the book of Revelation and the Antichrist would immediately assume the Mahdi to be the prophesied Antichrist. Well, I guess some may be so stuck on the Antichrist being Roman, that a Muslim Antichrist could come onto the scene and they would never know it.
To me, this Muslim Antichrist theory is just more deception. Satan really has the modern Christian involved in a game of Three-Card Monte. This is just one of the dummy cards. It isn’t the queen we are looking for.
The many parts in identifying Antichrist should fit together seamlessly. The whole Bible should come together with one voice, and point in one direction. The Muslim Antichrist theory simply doesn’t fit this description in my opinion.
In my next post, I will start to lay out my current theory. You, the reader, can decide for yourselves whether or not this new theory does in fact ‘fit together’.
Catch up on the other parts of this series:
- Part 1: Roman Antichrist Theory Debunked
- Part 3: False Jewish Messiah Theory
- Part 4: False Jewish Messiah Theory (cont.)
- Part 5: False Jewish Messiah Theory Continued, Mystery Babylon