Prophetic Comparisons: Moshiach, Mahdi and Messiah
Part 2

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Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
January 20, 2011

Last Updated :
January 30, 2022

Events Following The Moshiach's Arrival, John The Baptist Was The Prophesied "Elijah" And The Forerunner To Jesus Christ, Moshiach ben Joseph Will Be Forerunner To Moshiach ben David, Temple Worship Restored, Armilus Or Gog And Magog Will Fight Against Jerusalem, Jewish Interpretation Of Word "Messiah" Jewish Expectations Of Jesus, Restoration Of David's Kingdom, My Kingdom Is Not Of This World, The Greater Israel Doctrine, Comparisons Concerning Jesus Christ, Moshiach ben David And Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, Different Endtime Interpretations, Muslim Schism, American Television Show "To Tell The Truth", Jesus Is Our Only Mediator And Only Way To Obtain Salvation, A Name Which Is Above Every Name, "Endtime Game", One Real Messiah & Two Impostors, Will The Real Messiah Please Stand Up, Jesus Has Overcome Death And Hell, Our Promised Victory Over Death And The Grave, Ask And It Shall Be Given To You, Spirit Of Truth, God Cannot Lie, Closing Remarks, Reading List

Continuing our discussion from part one, let us now turn our attention again to Jewish beliefs. If we accept the word of the Orthodox Jews, their anticipated political savior known as Moshiach ben David is going to win political and military battles for Israel. He will inspire the Jews to repent and to return to God. In Judaism, this process is referred to as "teshuvah". Furthermore, Moshiach's presence will result in the re-establishment of Jewish temple worship. Lastly, said Orthodox Jews believe that the arrival of this great leader will result in the Law of God proceeding from Jerusalem, and filling the whole world with justice and peace.

What I haven't explained to you yet, is that there is still another very interesting parallel between Christian beliefs, Jewish beliefs and Muslim beliefs concerning these different spiritual leaders. As I mentioned earlier, most Christians know that John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ. He prepared the way for Jesus. As I explain in other articles, such as in the lengthy series "Elijah: Where Are the True Prophets of God?", John carried the spiritual anointing of the Prophet Elijah, as had been prophesied concerning John in such Books as Isaiah and Malachi. Even Jesus revealed that John was the prophesied "Elijah" -- or Elias in Greek -- in the Gospels. Consider these sample verses:

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts."
Malachi 3:1, KJV

"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
Isaiah 40:3, KJV

"And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come."
Matthew 11:14, KJV

As it turns out, according to certain Jewish eschatological beliefs, Moshiach ben David will also have a forerunner. His name is Moshiach ben Joseph, or Messiah, son of Joseph. This belief states that at some point in the near future, Moshiach ben Joseph will appear on the scene as the leader of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Under his command, they will march to Jerusalem; and after overcoming certain hostile forces there, he will re-establish temple worship on Mount Moriah, and set up his power base. In other words, in this scenario, Moshiach ben Joseph re-establishes temple worship even before Moshiach ben David arrives on the scene. At the very least, his taking control of East Jerusalem and Mount Moriah will then allow Moshiach ben David to re-establish temple worship, once he makes his appearance. Again, this is according to Orthodox Jewish beliefs.

Once Moshiach ben Joseph gains control of all of Jerusalem, Armilus -- who is the evil Antichrist figure that I mentioned earlier -- will march against Jerusalem, and lay siege to it. During the course of the war which ensues, Messiah ben Joseph will be killed. Some rabbinical sources say that the body of Moshiach ben Joseph will remain unburied in the streets of Jerusalem. Another view is that his corpse will be hidden by the Angels with the bodies of the Patriarchs, until Moshiach ben David arrives and resurrects him.

In other rabbinical sources, it is stated that rather than Armilus arriving to wage war against Moshiach ben Joseph, it will be Gog and Magog, as per Ezekiel chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine. These chapters inform us that Gog and Magog will be miraculously defeated by God, which would help to explain other rabbinical sources which state that prior to his death, Moshiach ben Joseph will initiate a union between the Lost Ten Tribes and Judah, which will be led by Moshiach ben David, or Messiah, son of David. With the death of his forerunner -- Moshiach ben Joseph -- Moshiach ben David will then rule over all Twelve Tribes, and Judaism will eventually become the one true religion of the world, as the Law of God is taught from Jerusalem, the world capital.

Allow me to remind you again that when non-Christian Jews use the word "moshiach" -- or "mashiach" as it is also spelled -- they are NOT referring to a messiah of Divine Origin such as Jesus Christ. To those Jews who even accept the concept of a messiah, he is an earth-born human being who will obtain both political and military victories for Israel. Furthermore, as we have already seen, he will re-establish Jewish sacrificial worship in a rebuilt temple on Mount Moriah -- or the Noble Sanctuary if you prefer -- and likewise establish Judaism as the world religion. The anticipated Jewish messiah isn't seen as being the Son of God or the Savior of the world. He will not be Jesus Christ returned in the flesh.

I feel that it is important to reiterate this point, because Christians who are not familiar with Orthodox Jewish beliefs may be erroneously led to believe that when a Jew speaks of the messiah, he is referring to THE Messiah -- that is, to Jesus Christ -- when he most certainly is not. If one is not aware of this fact, he can easily become deceived. On the other hand, when a Messianic Jew refers to the Messiah, it's my understanding that he is referring to Jesus Christ. So please make sure that you are aware of the difference that exists between believing and non-believing Jews when they use the word "messiah".

Continuing with our discussion regarding the Jewish view of the word "messiah", as I point out in articles such as "The Kings of the North and the South", this non-Christian view of the word "messiah" is exactly what the Jewish radicals, such as the Zealots, and other common Jews were anticipating during the First Century, when Israel was subjugated under Roman rule. When Jesus spoke of the coming Kingdom of God, they erroneously thought that He was referring to the actual physical revival of the kingdom of David, and the defeat of the Romans. It is probably for this very reason that Peter and the other Disciples were shocked to hear Jesus speak of His coming Betrayal and Death in Jerusalem. They apparently assumed that Jesus was going to remain on Earth, and become the new king of Israel. It is for this reason that we find verses such as the following in the New Testament:

"And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear."
Luke 19:11, KJV

"Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."
Mark 11:10, KJV

". . . Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
Acts 1:6-7, KJV

So as the previous verses make rather clear, what Jesus was planning to do, and what the Jews assumed that He was going to do, were two very different things. They wanted Him to declare Himself the new king of Israel, defeat the Romans, and re-establish the kingdom of David. But, as I mention in other articles, Jesus' primary concern at that time was not with re-establishing David's kingdom on Earth. Jesus had a far more important goal; and that was to open the way to Salvation, and to restore the path to the true Kingdom of God. Thus, towards the end of the Gospel of John, we find the Lord saying the following to Pontius Pilate:

"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
John 18:36, KJV

Today, two thousand years later, the Orthodox Jews continue to look for the very same kind of a messiah. In other words, as I point out in "The Kings of the North and the South", their "moshiach" will be a direct descendant of David who will once and for all deliver them out of the hands of their Arab and Muslim enemies who currently surround their nation, and fulfill all of the things which I have described in this article. They are looking for a restoration of the ancient kingdom of David, according to prophecies such as this one:

"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this."
Amos 9:11-12, KJV

If you do not fully understand what the previous verses mean, please refer to part three of my seven-part series entitled "The Fruits of Disobedience", where I discuss the concept of a "Greater Israel".

In contrast to the prophetic scenario which is derived from Jewish eschatological beliefs, Islamic eschatological beliefs inform us that it is really al-Mahdi -- the Guided One -- who will be victorious in battle. The Muslims believe that he too will rid the world of injustice, oppression and tyranny; and with the help of "Isa" -- or Jesus -- will fill it with peace and justice. However, he'll accomplish his goals by the edge of a Muslim sword, and Shari'a -- or Islamic law -- will then become the basis for global law, and NOT Jewish law according to the Torah. That is, the five books of Moses.

We have likewise seen that al-Mahdi will be preceded by a forerunner by the name of al-Yamani -- that is, the Yemenite -- who may possibly originate in, or at least proceed from, northeastern Iran. Just as the Jewish forerunner Moshiach ben Joseph will fight against the evil Armilus, we are told that al-Mahdi will fight against such characters as the one-eyed Antichrist-like Masih al-Dajjal, as well as against the evil tyrant Sufyani.

Finally, as many Christians know, Futurist teachings convey the belief that our Lord, Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return soon, and will likewise be victorious in battle, when He subdues and defeats the Beast and the False Prophet at the great and terrible Battle of Armageddon, and utterly destroys their ungodly armies. Afterwards, He will establish His Father's Kingdom upon Earth, and rule in Righteousness during the Golden Age of the Millennium.

If we were to make a comparative chart of the eschatological beliefs of these three religions, it would look something like the following:

Jesus Christ - Christian Messiah
Moshiach ben David - Jewish messiah
Muhammad al-Mahdi - Islamic messiah
John the Baptist - Jesus' forerunner
Moshiach ben Joseph - Moshiach ben David's forerunner
al-Yamani - Muhammad al-Mahdi's forerunner
Jesus - defeats the Beast and the False Prophet
Moshiach ben David - will be victorious over Armilus
Muhammad al-Mahdi - will defeat Masih al-Dajjal and Sufyani
Jesus - will establish Kingdom of God on Earth
Moshiach ben David - will establish worldwide Judaism
Muhammad al-Mahdi - will establish global Islamic empire

Before continuing with our discussion, I think that it is important to point out that the information which I have presented here concerning Jewish and Islamic eschatological beliefs is very basic. The reason for this is simple. Just as there are many different points of view concerning the correct interpretation of prophetic events from a Christian perspective, in similar fashion, if one delves into Jewish eschatology, or Islamic eschatology, he will find the exact same thing occurring. In other words, Jewish rabbis do not always fully concur with each other with regards to the previously described prophetic events. The same can likewise be said for Islamic scholars who don't always see eye-to-eye on every single point concerning the proper interpretation of the Hadith, and the events that deal with the return of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi.

In fact, as I mentioned earlier, this is precisely why there is a schism between the Sunni and the Shi'ite Muslims. They are unable to even agree on who are the real successors to their prophet Muhammad. Thus, if Jewish rabbis and Islamic "ulama" are divided concerning their own beliefs, it should not come as much of a surprise to you then that my grasp of their beliefs, particularly their eschatological beliefs, is even more limited. If you are interested in performing a much closer examination of the rabbinical writings, as well as the writings of the ulama, you will find plenty of free resources online which are at your disposal. Trust me when I say that it will take you days, weeks or longer to absorb and comprehend it all.

So again, my goal in writing this article is to simply give you a basic picture of how some of the prophetic beliefs of these three faiths compare with each other.

In thinking about this situation regarding three religions and three leaders -- Moshiach, Mahdi and the Messiah -- I am reminded of an old television program that I used to watch as a young boy. It was called "To Tell the Truth". The gist of the show was that there was a panel of four celebrities, along with three contestants. After asking the contestants a series of questions, the celebrities had to try to correctly identify which of the three contestants was truly engaged in the unusual occupation or experience that had been described to the celebrities. Two of the contestants were impostors, while the third one was the real deal. The impostors were allowed to mislead, or even lie to, the celebrities, while the real contestant was obliged "to tell the truth"; thus, the name of the show "To Tell the Truth".

No doubt you can see how this show relates to our discussion regarding Moshiach, Mahdi and the Messiah. One of these three is telling the truth when he claims to be the real Savior and the Messiah, while two of them are deceptive, lying impostors. Obviously, being as I am a Bible-believing Christian writer, it should be clear to you which of the three I believe is the true Savior and Messiah. Being as I already amply explain in considerable detail in other articles why I believe in Jesus, I am not going to belabor the point here. However, allow me to share just a few verses with you, in case you are one who has not yet embraced Jesus Christ. Consider the following verses which plainly reveal to us the status of Jesus Christ:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12, KJV

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
1 Timothy 2:5, KJV

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:9-11, KJV

"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Romans 14:11, KJV

Thus we can plainly see that if Jesus is the only Savior and Messiah of the world, the only Mediator between God and man, and the only bestower of Eternal Life, whose Name is above every name, then obviously, He cannot be below, or even equal to, al-Mahdi and Moshiach ben David. Jesus' status is in fact far above theirs, for He alone died for the sins of the whole world. Thus, when the symbolic "Prophecy Game" concludes, and one of the three contestants must stand up, tell the truth and reveal his true identity, Jesus Christ will surely be the only one standing. Everyone will have no doubt then, that He has told the truth all along, and that He has truly won the "game". Why is this? Well, because as Jesus told us almost two thousand years ago, not only has He already overcome the world, but He has in fact overcome death and hell itself. Consider these verses:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV

"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Revelation 1:18, KJV

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Revelation 20:14, KJV

Thus, as the Apostle Paul was inspired to write concerning our own coming victory over death and hell, that is, over bodily decay in the grave:

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:51-57, KJV

So what about you dear reader? Has your spiritual hunger led you to seek for the truth? Have you asked all of the correct questions? Have you been able to see through the deception of the two impostors, and identified the one and only Messiah? Jesus promised us that if we search for the truth with all of our hearts, God will give us what we desire, and He will not disappoint us. Consider the following verses:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened . . . If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
Matthew 7:7-8, 11, KJV

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22, KJV

If you are still not sure in your heart that Jesus is who He says He is, then I encourage you to read more of my articles concerning the subject of Salvation, and the nature of Jesus Christ, such as "Is Jesus the Only-Begotten Son of God?", and "Message to the World". As you will see, these articles are filled with many Scriptures that will reveal to you the true nature of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that God's Word will lead you to all truth. That is, if your heart is truly open to the Voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not deceive you, or lie to you, because as Jesus Himself tells us, he is the Spirit of Truth, as we see by the following verses:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
John 14:16-17, KJV

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"
John 15:26, KJV

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV

As I explain in other articles, the Spirit of Truth proceeds from God the Father Himself; and as the Scriptures also make abundantly clear, God is not a man that He should lie. God always tells the truth, and His written Word will reveal to you the plain truth concerning His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Again, please consider the following verses:

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV

It is my hope and prayer that upon reading this article, you will begin to question anything in your life which has led you astray, and away from the truth and Salvation that can be found in Jesus Christ alone. If you have been deceived by the lying spirits of any false religion which has denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ, or has denied the atoning Sacrifice which He made for our sins, I earnestly pray that the scales will fall from your eyes, that your spiritual vision will be fully restored, and that you will clearly see the Light that is found in Jesus Christ alone. For He indeed is the one true Light of the world.

With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!

For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which contain topics that are related to this article, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server.

2012: New Age Deception and Psychobabble
Elijah: Where Are the True Prophets of God?
Is Jesus the Only-Begotten Son of God?
Message to the World
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Kings of the North and the South
Who Hindered the Antichrist?
Who is Who?: Defining Important Prophecy Terms

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