I have received a number of emails from readers forwarding links about Joel Richardson’s views about an Islamic figure emerging to fulfill biblical prophecies about an antichrist figure in the latter days (see link below for a sampling of his views). There have been a sufficient number of such inquiries that I think it is time to blog on this subject. Mr. Richardson expounds a view that an Islamic figure will emerge to be the “antichrist” of biblical prophecies and asserts that Islamic prophecies about a messiah-like figure called the “Mahdi” mimic those of the Bible. While I respect his right to propose whatever prophetic viewpoint he has, I disagree with his conclusions. Indeed, I think that the chances of an Islamic “Mahdi” becoming the antichrist of the Bible’s prophecies are almost zero, for the following reasons.
Revelation 12:9 warns that Satan will have deceived the entire world at the end time. Revelation 13:13-14 warn that an antichrist figure will “deceive” those who dwell on the earth with real or contrived miracles. Matthew 24:5 cites Jesus/Yahshuah himself warning that “many will come in my name, saying I am Christ, and deceive many (emphasis added).” He again warns his followers about false prophets in the latter days in Matthew 24:11, and further warns that the antichrist deceptions will be so great in the end time that even “the very elect” would be deceived by the counterfeit Christs and prophets “if it were possible.” These biblical warnings indicate that deception will be the greatest danger to upend believers into following a false prophet/antichrist type of figure in the latter days. Indeed, even the strongest and most biblically-grounded Christian believers (the “very elect”) would be deceived by the counterfeit Christs “if it were possible” (which apparently it is not).
Ask yourself some pertinent questions. How likely do you think an Islamic mahdi would deceive even nominal Christians, much less the very elect? Any Islamic “antichrist” would come in the name and doctrines of Islam and the Koran. Do you think the very elect would be almost deceived by any Islamic figure telling them Muhammad is the true Savior? I think the answer is obviously “no.” Do you think any Christian churches would experience a groundswell of fervor to adopt Koranic lifestyles? Do you think any Lutheran Ladies Aid societies or the women of any western Christian churches are going to experience a mass desire to wear burkhas? Will western women be attracted by a Koranic “antichrist” who tells them to give up attractive swimsuits, the right to drive cars, drink alcohol, go to school and walk a certain number of paces behind their husbands (as some Islamic nations teach)? I think the answer is a vigorous “no.” Will westerners be attracted to a Koranic antichrist to give up their pet dogs and kill them or turn them loose to die (dogs are anathema to many Islamic believers)? As a dog-owner myself, I can assure you that the answer is a vigorous “no.”
The great weakness of the “Islamic antichrist” teaching is that any such “Islamic antichrist” will be coming with doctrines and lifestyles taught by the Koran and will openly reject Jesus Christ as the Savior (and not fulfill Matthew 24:5’s warning). Islamic Koranic doctrines and lifestyles will have almost zero appeal to any westerner or any Christian. Indeed, even the least-grounded Christian is highly unlikely to be attracted to any Islamic antichrist even if he does miracles due to the radical cultural practices that would be required of westerners and Christians to follow any Koran-teaching “antichrist.” Any Islamic Mahdi figure will categorically deny that Jesus Christ/Yahshua is the Savior of all mankind and the Son of God. That alone means that Christian believers will be inoculated against being deceived by any such figure. The “very elect” could be knee-walking drunk and see through that deception with ease.
The real antichrist figure that will emerge in the latter days is one who will be a counterfeit Jesus Christ who counterfeits the prophetic prophecies about Jesus Christ. These false prophets will come in the name of Jesus Christ, claiming to be Jesus Christ’s teachers and prophets (Matthew 24:5); they will not come in the name of Muhammad. In order to be able to have a deceptive appeal to even the very elect followers of God, the antichrist will have to very deceptively appear to be fulfilling the roles and prophecies about Jesus Christ and biblical teachings in the latter days (not Koranic teachings).
I assume that readers of this website are biblically-grounded believers found in many different denominations and religious affiliations. Would you be strongly attracted by and eager to follow an Islamic antichrist who told all of you to reject Jesus Christ, avoid alcohol, told all women to wear burkhas, told all dog-owners to kill or abandon their pet dogs, adopt Sharia laws, etc. I think the answer is obviously “no.” Do you think any Catholic or Lutheran or Anglican church would be eager to add minarets to their church buildings and adopt a Muslim call to prayer many times a day from those minarets? I think the obvious answer to these questions is “no”.
I simply do not see any Islamic, Koranic “antichrist” having any deceptive appeal to Christian believers whether they are nominal or biblically-well grounded. Prophecies about the antichrist figure in the latter days indicate that he will have to have a strong appeal to Christians, deceiving nominal Christians to himself and appealing even to the most biblically-solid believers. To do this, the antichrist must have some very strong Christian characteristics, not Islamic ones. At least, that is my opinion on this subject.