It’s often easier to imagine an unimaginable sci-fi thriller unfolding to the end of the age than an unrestrained, real-life evil. There are clearly sci-fi events detailed to occur at the end, but most of what we read in the Bible about the end-times is an unrestrained version of life as we know it. Somehow it is easier to conjure up an out-of-this-world ending rather than an ending rooted in this world.
Jesus compared the end of the age to the flood in Noah’s lifetime and the destruction of the cities in Lot’s time. Though both the flood gushed forth and the door of the ark was sealed supernaturally, most of the Great Flood account is rooted in the real world. The same is with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
I believe it’s important that we see this same principle as we extend our thinking of the final days to come, and even more so regarding the foretold Great Deception. Though Satan works through the Antichrist and False Prophet supernaturally, these men will be an extension of the natural world we know.
Previously, we established that the Antichrist and his empire will arise from the Middle East, making it highly likely his religion will be Islam. Therefore, if it’s Islam then it’s likely these two will be the long-awaited individuals within Islam — the Mahdi and Isa (the Muslim Jesus). We have also looked at how Islamic eschatology is the exact opposite of ours: their Messiah or Mahdi perfectly matches our Antichrist and their Isa or Jesus perfectly matches our False Prophet. I don’t share these things to say Islam is correct, but to warn that, through their teachings, Satan has likely set the trap of the Great Deception.
There’s one other counterfeit figure in Islam’s end-times scenario and, crazily, he is an exact counterfeit to Jesus at His Second Coming. This person is called the Dajjal. The Dajjal is viewed as the Antichrist within Islam and, to a certain extent, the False Prophet, too. It seems Satan has made it so that when the real Jesus returns, those under Islam’s hold will view the real Jesus as the Antichrist and Great Deceiver.
Let’s review what we believe about Jesus’ return. At His second coming, the Jewish people will be pushed to the brink of survival. They will be encircled by the Antichrist, his army and the armies of the world gathered with Him. A remnant will have turned back to God. Then at that eleventh hour, the skies will break open, and Jesus will return on the white horse with the army of Heaven to fight the Antichrist on behalf of Israel.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Then I saw the beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast (Antichrist) was captured, and with it the false prophet…The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Rev. 19:11-20 NIV).
Thinking about those details, check out this list from Joel Richardson’s Islamic Antichrist on Islam’s view of the Dajjal:
• He will be a great deceiver.
• He will have miraculous powers.
• He will pretend to have power over this world.
• He will deceive the world by healing people.
• He will pretend to be the Messiah.
• He will have something unique with his eyes.
• He will have a name written on him.
• He will be an “infidel” — not a Muslim.
• He will be a Jew.
• He will perform false miracles.
• He will claim to be Jesus Christ.
• He will claim to be the Son of God.
• He will travel the world at great speeds on a giant magic mule.
• He will have an army of Christians and Jews.
• A remnant of remaining Jews will follow Him.
• He will fight the Mahdi and Muslim Jesus.
• The Muslim Jesus will defeat him.
Crazy, isn’t it? It’s like a schoolyard child came up with a pretend game to confuse others. Yet the second largest religion in the world, which is on track to surpass Christianity, holds to this.
A contemporary imam wrote about the Dajjal: “The army of Satan will be led by a person who will claim to be Jesus Christ himself. The Muslims will call him the Dajjal or the Deceiver. The real Jesus’ army will fight the Dajjal’s army and defeat him. The empire of Israel will fall, and the religion of Islam will prevail.”
I’m confused even writing about this! I’m sure you’re equally confused reading it. Can you imagine then what a deception this could be?
— Jake is the newest state missionary and would love to share about the work in Northwest Arkansas and encourage your church to stand firm (standfirmministries.com).