The question as to whether or not the Antichrist will be a Jew or a Gentile has been hotly debated by Bible prophecy experts ever since the revival of the study of end time Bible prophecy some 400 years ago. In recent years the debate has taken on a new flavor by some who are obviously impressed with the resurgence of Islam worldwide. They have developed a whole new scheme of end time events in which one of the most prominent features is a Muslim Antichrist.
For those of you interested in pursuing this topic in greater detail, I would recommend that you consult two books and a website. The website is called "The Beast from the East." It can be found at http://www.beastfromtheeast.org/. The two books are Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah by Joel Richardson and God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible by Walid Shoebat with Joel Richardson.
Richardson and Shoebat
Richardson's book, which was published in 2006 is considered to be the cornerstone of the whole movement.1 It was picked up by WorldNetDaily and republished by them in 2009 under the title The Islamic Antichrist.2 WorldNetDaily has promoted the book vigorously ever since. The book features ten endorsements by various pastors, professors, and heads of ministries. Not a one is a Bible prophecy teacher or recognized expert on Bible prophecy.
Joel Richardson is a excellent writer who knows how to make a persuasive argument, particularly if the reader knows nothing about Bible prophecy.
Walid Shoebat's book is more detailed and is much longer (516 pages to Richardson's 276 pages).3 As most of you know, Walid Shoebat is an outstanding speaker on the topic of Islamic terrorism. But he is not a writer. His writing is very tedious and difficult to follow. Even worse, the organizational format of the book is chaotic and confusing. I can say without hesitation that his book is one of the most difficult ones I have ever tried to wade through in my lifetime of reading. To me, it was like trying to read and make sense out of the Quran!
Although most of you are familiar with Walid, for those who are not, let me point out that he claims to be a former Palestinian terrorist.4 I doubt that few, if any of you, know anything about Joel Richardson. And it is difficult to find out anything about him because that is not his real name. He reveals that fact in the introduction of his book and then states that he uses a pen name due to fear of Muslim threats on his life.5
That revelation really turned me off because I believe that people who speak out publicly on political, social or theological issues should be willing to put their name to their words. It is one thing to use a pen name in writing fiction, it is another to resort to a pseudonym when writing nonfiction. It prevents the reader from being able to evaluate the credentials of the writer.
After reading Joel's book, I contacted him by email and told him I saw no validity to his reason for refusing to divulge his true identity. I pointed out that I had found a website of his on the Internet and that on the site he provides his speaking schedule. "If someone wanted to kill you," I wrote, "all I they would have to do is go to one of your speaking engagements and shoot you."
That prompted him to give me a call. He said it was not so much his life he was trying to protect as it was the lives of his family members. I told him I still could not understand his hesitancy in revealing his identity. I pointed out that I have written extensively on Islam, that I have posted the articles on the Internet, and that I have made statements far more inflammatory than anything I had read in his book. "But," he asked, "has you life been threatened?" I told him no. "Well," he said, "mine has been." Then, for some unknown reason, he suddenly told me his real name and asked me to keep it secret!
I took advantage of his call to ask him a question that had puzzled me ever since I had read Walid Shoebat's book. I said: "Joel you are an excellent writer. Shoebat's book is very poorly written, yet your name is on the cover. What was your contribution to the book? Did you do the research?" Joel responded by saying that he had written most of the book, but that when he got the manuscript back from Walid, "it look like it had been put through a blender." He said he tried to repair the damage, but again it was returned to him in a disheveled state. He said that at that point he gave up. He then added that Walid has now hired a professional editor to try to salvage the book.
In the next installment of this evaluation of the Muslim Antichrist Theory, I'll explain what Islam believes concerning the end times.
(This paper was presented at the annual Pre-Trib Conference held in Dallas, Texas in December 2010.)
1) Joel Richardson, Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah, (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2006), 276 pages.
2) Joel Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast, (Los Angeles, CA: WND Books, 2009), 271 pages.
3) Walid Shoebat, God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible, (Lafayette, LA: Top Executive Media, 2008), 512 pages.
4) Walid Shoebat, Why I Left Jihad, (Lafayette, LA: Top Executive Media, 2005), 412 pages. Shoebat's claim to have been a former Palestinian terrorist has been hotly disputed in several articles that can be found on the Internet.
5) Richardson, Antichrist, pages xv-xvi.