Recently Book Stop Blog featured excerpts from the book Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist by author Jack Smith. Here is an interview of the author.
What compelled you to write this book?
Following the events of 9/11, I undertook a personal study of Islam and its history so I could articulate the differences between Islam and Christianity. It was my sole intention to prepare my congregation, particularly the younger generation, for the spiritual threat of a competing faith. At the same time I also happened to be teaching a study on last-day prophecies. I was amazed to see how Islam fulfilled the Bible’s end-times prophecies in 2 Thessalonians. The more I studied, the more I saw the parallels in Scripture and in current world events. It was as if the very prophecies I was interpreting were being fulfilled by Islam right before my eyes. I soon realized that God was revealing Bible prophecy to me and that I should reveal it to others. Not to do so would be an act of disobedience. So I began writing it all down. At first, there were few available resources for research, and even fewer from Christian authors who shared my same views. Over the years, that has changed. I now realize that God has been revealing the same message to many other Christians. The message is that Islam is truly the “religion of the beast” prophesied by Scripture.
Have you encountered strong reaction to this message?
Yes. When I first began writing the book in 2008, I set up a website which included postings of the book as I wrote it, chapter by chapter. I chose the author pen name “Jack Smith” for the book. I also set up a blog. Since that time, I have received numerous blog postings that my life was in jeopardy for offending some element within Islam.
How do you think that God has prepared you for this task?
Most people find it difficult to tell someone what they do not want to hear; to tell them something that might offend them. Such has been the case in the writing of this book. Yet, so many times God has given me the word I needed to keep pushing forward. He has done this through the process of writing as well as the weekly process of teaching Bible studies using a biblical worldview. . . This requires me to teach messages that often conflict with what the postmodern, secular culture that we live in.
As you conducted your research, what was it like to see biblical prophecy fulfilled?
As I studied, I could see more and more biblical prophecies being fulfilled by Islam on a daily basis. Current world events reinforced the conclusions I’d reached concerning prophecies being fulfilled by Islam. These current events were not limited to Muslim jihadists in holy war against the world, but Islam against Islam. That is, Sunnis and Shi’ahs, the two primary sects of Islam, were waging war against one another. Scriptures were being fulfilled right before my eyes.
What convinced you that the Antichrist will arise from Iran?
Iran is the only nation in the world that is composed primarily of Shi’ah Muslims. Shi’ah Islam uniquely fulfills the prophecy of Daniel 2:31-45, Daniel 7:7-8, 19-22, as well as Revelation 17. Iran is also included in the list of Israel’s enemies enumerated in Ezekiel 38 – 39 as well as Revelation 16:13 as a “nation from the east” that will attack Jerusalem in the Last Days. Iran fulfills the Bible’s requirement that the nation of the Antichrist will be “different” than the other nations it aligns with against Christianity. Iran is Persian. It is not Arab. Iran is different.
I believe this empire is a spiritual empire: Islam. The divided parts of the statue represent the two major sects of Islam, Sunnis (90%) and Shi’ahs (10%). Of these two sects, Shi’ahs are members of the “party of Ali.” Ali was the fourth caliph of Islam (656-661AD). He was also the closest male relative and only male descendant of Muhammad. Not only do Shi’ahs believe that he should have been the successor when Muhammad died in 632 AD, but they also believe Ali was the first legitimate caliph of Islam because of that blood relationship. This belief combines—unites—the Shi’ahs. Sunnis, the majority sect of Muslims, do not hold to that belief. Iran is the only nation in the world whose population is predominantly composed of Shi’ah Muslims. Thus, I interpret Iran to be the “nation from the east” which “combines in the seed of men.” I also believe that the Antichrist will be Shi’ah Islam’s prophesied Messiah, the Mahdi. All the characteristics that the Bible gives for the Antichrist are satisfied by the Shi’ah prophecy of the Mahdi.
Many people don’t see much difference between Christianity and Islam in how they have waged war against “unbelievers.” After all, doesn’t the Old Testament include many instances of God commanding the Israelites to destroy others in His name?
When God commanded the people to kill the inhabitants of the Promised Land in order to claim the territory, that specific command covered a specific period of time against a specific people. No such command continued into the time of the New Testament nor even after the twelve tribes occupied the Promised Land. The Quran’s command for jihad, however, is a perpetual command given to all Muslims and continues until the entire world falls under the dominion of Islam and Sharia (Q 2:193). The command does not end until they achieve world dominion because Islam views itself as a superior ideology to all other ideologies, including political systems and religions. Thus, to a Muslim, jihad is waged for the benefit of the infidels. The Quran and the Hadith provide three options for unbelievers: 1) convert to Islam, 2) become subject to Islam, including the payment of the “humiliation tax” (jizya), or, 3) be killed. The difference between holy war for Islam and holy war for Jews and Christians is especially evident when jihadists today proclaim “Allahu Akbar,” “God is Greater.” Modern-day Christians or Jews don’t make such a proclamation. Only Muslims proclaim “death to the infidels” to the glory of God.
There has been a lot of publicity recently on the building of the Ground Zero Mosque in New York. Do you believe that the building of this mosque fulfills Bible prophecy?
Yes. Both Rev. 13:7–8 and Daniel 7:23 prophesy that the entire world will one day come under the authority of the deity of a false religion. The phrase “one-world religion” comes from this specific prophecy. Muslims see the building of a mosque as the restoring of Muslim authority over the land. Muhammad is said to have proclaimed the “whole earth to be a mosque.” Thus, the mosque built in New York shouts to the entire world that Islam has claimed this piece of ground under Muhammad’s prior claim. It is, in effect, a declaration that the attacks on American soil by Islam on Sept. 11, 2001, were a successful jihad against the Great Satan (America). The building of a mosque at Ground Zero is a public witness of this success. Islam made the same statement when the Dome of the Rock was built upon the Temple Mount in 691 AD. It was a declaration to the people of Jerusalem that Islam was superior to Christianity and Judaism and that Islam was now in “authority” since the taking of Jerusalem some 60 years before. The same is occurring with the building of the Ground Zero mosque.
Who is the Mahdi of Shi’ah Islam, and why do you believe he is the Antichrist of the Bible?
The Mahdi is Islam’s “Messiah” who is prophesied to return (“rise up”) at a time of world chaos. When he returns, he will lead Islam to conquer the world. Muslims also call the Mahdi the “Awaited One,” the “perfect, pure, peaceful one,” who will lead the world to know the “true religion,” Islam. They believe he will subdue the world through the literal sword of Muhammad, and that “peace” will come only through jihad. Shi’ah Muslims believe the Mahdi is in hiding, as he has been for the last 1200 years (since 873 AD). Present-day Shi’ahs refer to him as the “Hidden Imam” or the “Twelfth Imam.” When he arises at the time of world chaos at the command of Allah, he will do so as “al-Mahdi.” The Mahdi is the “Awaited One” referred to by Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the United Nations in 2006, and on many other occasions since then. Muslims don’t use the word “Messiah” in the same way that Christians use it to refer to Jesus. To Christians, Jesus is the “Messiah,” the “Anointed One,” and the Savior whose death on the cross atones for the sins of the world. The Mahdi is not an atoning savior/Messiah but rather a leader who will unite Islam through the sword and then conquer the world by the sword. Thus, the Mahdi is savior only in the sense that he saves the world from itself and then imposes Sharia law upon the world. The world will then experience “peace” since it is then under submission to Allah and Islam, the religion of peace.
Do Muslim writings include any prophecy of the return of Jesus? How do these prophecies differ from Bible prophecies concerning Christ’s return?
Muslim writings do include end-time prophecies of the return of Jesus Christ. Islam prophesies that Jesus will descend from heaven in full view of humanity; that Jesus will assist the Mahdi in the destruction of the Antichrist and then will follow the Mahdi. Jesus will require Christians to confess that Islam is the only true religion and that they fabricated the Bible in order to claim that Jesus was the Son of God. Finally, Christians will be required to remove all crosses from their churches and convert to Islam or be killed. Jesus will also require the killing of all pigs. After forty years, Jesus will die and be buried.
Christian end-time prophecies, on the other hand, include the second coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the tribulation period whereupon Jesus will gather the nations of the world for Armageddon. Jesus will be accompanied by the saints (his followers) and will secure victory against the beast and his followers. The beast (Allah), the false prophet (the Mahdi), will be judged in the lake of fire. Satan will be restrained from further deception upon the earth for the millennium period. Thereafter, he will similarly be judged in the lake of fire.
Many people think that the number 666 will allow us to identify the Antichrist as a future leader who deceives the world into following him. Do you agree with this interpretation?
Rev. 13:16–18 talks about the number 666 being a mark that will be placed on an individual’s forehead or right hand, thereby allowing the bearers of the mark to participate in society’s normal commerce. The Bible states that people without the mark will be unable to buy or sell. In other words, they will not be allowed to work and be paid for their work without the mark. They will not be able to provide for their families or others.
The Cloak interprets this mark to be a metaphor representing one’s conversion to Islam in the last days. At this time, Islam will dominate the entire world, and the entire world will worship Allah. Those who convert to Islam will be allowed to “buy or sell.” Those who do not convert to the religion of the beast (Islam) will be unable to buy food, clothes, or any other products. Revelation 13:8 states that those whose names have been recorded in the Lamb’s book of life—Christians—will not convert to the religion of the beast—Islam. In other words, Christians will not convert to Islam. They will be forced to survive through some other means; for example, an underground church. This is similar to what happened to the Jews at the hands of the Germans in World War II. It is also similar to what “dhimmis”—non-Muslims—experienced when they became the subjugated peoples of Islam in the centuries following the birth of Islam (621AD).
In interpreting biblical prophecies, you conclude that Islam will one day be successful in its global jihad to dominate the world. If these are Bible prophecies that cannot be changed, is to simply accept them the only option that the “free world” has left?
It is not God’s purpose to make us fearful when we read Bible prophecy. His purposes are multiple and include:
- To warn us and help us get ready for what is coming. What king upon learning that a mighty army is approaching does not prepare for the coming onslaught? In his preparation, he readies his kingdom to withstand the onslaught, thereby preserving life from the hands of his enemy. Likewise, God reveals prophecy so we can prepare for what is coming.
- To help us to know that God is in control. When something happens that God told us about beforehand, we know that God is actually behind the event; that He is in control regardless of how difficult the event might be for each of us. In the process, God is revealed to be supreme, mighty, and bigger than anything in life. To see God in this way puts us in precisely the place we need to be so we can truly know Him.
- To come to God. Because God foretold the events, we know He is truly God. This God reveals Himself so we can come to Him. Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son, is the door through whom we come.