These two recent articles, one on Islam’s Messiah and the other on the Orthodox Jewish Messiah is further evidence the end times Antichrist figure spoken about in the Bible is soon to appear on the scene.
1. THE MAHDI ISLAM’S MESSIAH FIGURE
Shia’s (15%) Mahdi vs. Sunni’s (85%) Al-Mahdi (pop. %)
Mahdi is the title of the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) before the Day of Judgement literally, the Day of Resurrection and rid the world of evil. According to Islamic traditions, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus (Isa), who will assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).
Differences exist in the concept of the Mahdi between Sunni Muslims and adherents of the Shia tradition; for Sunnis, the Mahdi is Muhammad’s successor who is yet to come, while for most Shia Muslims, the Mahdi was born but disappeared and will remain hidden from humanity until he reappears to bring justice to the world.
The belief by Muslims in the Mahdi as the end -time redeemer and the one to usher in an age of global peace makes him a strong candidate for the Biblical Antichrist.
There are Shia Muslim leaders in Iran today who claim to have met the Mahdi numerous times. Writing in the Jerusalem Post on January 20, Brian Schrauger explained: “Crazy to Western ears, this messianic creed of the Mahdi is the raison d’être for the Islamic Republic of Iran according to its founders and leaders. It is also the basis of Tehran’s foreign and military policies; and it is impossible to overemphasise the Iran regime’s visceral commitment to it. The Imam Mahdi is invoked in every public gathering, both civil and military; he is the singular inspiration for every policy, every tactic, every mission; indeed, he is nothing less than the regime’s reason for its existence and, as such, its singular and unwavering motivation for the future.” And Schrauger can provide documentation for every single claim he has made.
In the words of Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamanei, “The Iranian nation, enjoys a great privilege today: the atmosphere of the country is an atmosphere of Imam Mahdi. . . .” And, Khamanei states, “many of our great scholars have personally met with this beloved [Imam] of hearts of the admirers during his occultation; many have made a pledge to him in person; many have heard from him some heartwarming words; many have been caressed by him and many others have received his kindness, care, and love.”
So, the Islamic Mahdi is here according Ayatollah Khamanei, he is known to many insiders, and he is about to be revealed. And remember: this article was written before Iran was smitten with COVID-19. What are the leaders thinking today?
2. THE ORTHODOX JEWISH MESSIAH
A February 20 headline in Israel Today stated that, “Israeli Rabbi says he’s already holding meetings with Messiah.” And, “Israel’s biggest rabbis are all afraid to leave the country lest they miss Messiah’s coming.”
The article, by Ryan Jones, cited a three-hour radio interview in which Rabbi Yaakov Zisholtz “told religious broadcaster Radio 2000 that Kanievsky recently told him that he (Kanievsky) is already in direct contact with the Messiah.”
Rabbi Kanievsky, now in his early 90s, is considered to be the leading authority in the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) community in Israel, and he has often spoken of the nearness of the Messiah’s coming. But it seems he is saying even more today.
According to Rabbi Zisholtz, “…the process of redemption is about to start happening very quickly and at a fast pace. It is important that people remain calm and steady to act properly in the right time. “Getting the word out now that the Messiah is closer than ever is a matter of life and death. Haven’t you heard of Gog and Magog? That is what is going to happen very soon. Right now, the situation is explosive more than you can possibly imagine. Everyone needs to know whether they are on the inside or if they are going to be left out.”
Yes, these are the words of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel, not those of an evangelical Christian, Bible in hand, with end-time prophecies heavily underlined.
While Rabbi Zisholtz was careful to say he couldn’t promise anything, he was certainly raising the bar with specific predictions and events. And again, he claimed that certain religious Jews knew exactly who the Messiah was and have even met with him.
Adding to all this was the statement of Israel’s Health Minister, Yaakov Litzman, himself ultra-Orthodox, as reported in HaAretz on March 26 and with reference to COVID-19: “We are praying and hoping that the Messiah will arrive before Passover, the time of our redemption. I am sure that the Messiah will come and bring us out as [God] brought us out of Egypt. Soon we will go out in freedom and the Messiah will come and redeem us from all the troubles of the world.”
Well, Passover ended on April 16. And, in case you missed the news, the expected Jewish Messiah did not come. Ironically, Litzman himself contracted the virus, although he has since recovered. And for a number of reasons, including heavy criticism of his handling of the crisis, he is reportedly considering quitting.
But all this talk about the Mahdi being here, ready to be revealed, along with the traditional Jewish Messiah being here, ready to be revealed, underscores what Jesus said about false Messiahs and false prophets in the last days.
Let us, then, keep our focus on the Second Coming of the true Christ. But let us not forget the warnings about the false Messiah (Antichrist) and his False Prophet who will come first.