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Iran, Israel and Armilus-the Antichrist
by Stephen Yulish PhD

Posted 21:09 February 16, 2007

Much has been written of late concerning the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that he had a mystical vision of the return of the 12th Islamic Imam, a child who disappeared in the year 941, who will be the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah. When this Mahdi returns, he will reign for 7 years and then bring final judgment and the end of the world. Many Christians believe that he actually will be what the New Testament calls the Antichrist who will rule and reign for seven years during the Tribulation. It makes us all see more clearly not only how those left behind after the harpazo (rapture) will be deceived to believe that those Christians who disappeared to be with Jesus in the clouds were actually abducted by the mass of UFOs all over the skies, but also how those left behind will believe that the Antichrist who appears is actually the Messiah.

False prophets and messiahs have always been with us and the Bible warns us to be aware of them whether they are a Jim Jones or a David Koresh or the great Matraiya, or a Rev. Moon or the Lubuvitcher Rabbi Shneerson or the coming Mahdi. This warning is however especially important when it comes to Islam and Judaism because these are the very people who have rejected Christ and will be left behind to suffer together through these terrible yet deceptive times of Jacob's trouble, the so called Tribulation. Satan has deceived the Muslims to believe that their Messiah will come in the end times and rule for seven years and then will bring final judgment and the end of the world. We know from the word of God that it will be the Antichrist that will rule for 7 years and then be defeated by the return of Jesus Christ who will bring final judgment and the end of the world. Muslim doctrine on this Mahdi, which is not part of the Koran but actually is part of oral tradition, is the work of Satan to deceive them and not bring them to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Satan is alive and well in the mosques of today as he once was in the Catholic Church of the Inquisition and pogroms and the Lutheran Church of the Nazis. In both instances, Satan convinced the willing to persecute God's chosen people and to try and destroy them. Satan hates the Jews because the Messiah came through them and the word of God was written by them. Also, if he can destroy Israel then where will the end time Temple be rebuilt and where will Jesus Christ return to rule and reign for 1000 years? Islam speaks of the prophet Isa (Jesus) returning in the last days to help the Mahdi defeat the evil one. Thus Islam has the two major players involved in the end times, Christ and the Antichrist, but has them terribly mixed up and jumbled. They will be deceived.

Unfortunately, this discussion of the Messiah (Christ) and the Antichrist is not only limited to Christians and Muslims. Jewish tradition also speaks very clearly about the person called the antichrist. Neither most Christians nor most Jews have ever heard of this concept. An excellent summary of all the Jewish literature relating to this concept can be found in the Encyclopedia Judaica under the name Armilus. Armilus was the legendary Jewish name of the Messianic antagonist or anti Messiah.

According to the apocalyptic Midrashim, Sefer Zerubbavel, and the medieval sage Saadia Gaon's Midrash Ge'ullah and well as the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan there will arise a Messiah ben Joseph (the first of two Jewish Messiahs) who will be slain (pierced) by Armilus in the end times war of Gog and Magog prior to the time of redemption. He in turn will be killed by Messiah ben David the second Messiah. Jews say there are two Messiahs but it is actually one Messiah coming twice.



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