Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105

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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, expects to conquer and rule the world with a secret weapon. No, it’s not a nuclear device, but a Messiah emerging out of a well. Ahmadinejad is mocked by Tehran’s elite “for his ugliness, stupidity….” Yet it is his religiosity that gives him the common touch with the masses that worries them.

Shia Muslims believe that the 12th Imam or Mahdi, the last in a line of saints descended from Ali, the founder of their sect, vanished in 941 and will one day return as Messiah. According to their tradition, he is “in occultation,” like a sun hidden by clouds—after a stormy period of wars and other ravages, the clouds will clear and the sun will be revealed. Details vary on his return.

After a local man had a vision of the Mahdi, a shrine was erected at Jamkaran, outside the holy city of Qom. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian masses believe that the Mahdi will reappear through a well at that shrine. Because thousands flock there every Tuesday evening, a postbox has been erected on the spot for the faithful to send him their prayers. One mother with tears flowing dropped a prayer into the postbox as she sobbed, “My eldest son is an opium addict.”

In one of his first acts after being elected, Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, allocated £12m of government funds to enlarge the shrine and mosque. He frequently refers to the Mahdi, even mentioning him in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September. Asked late last month how Iranians should prepare for the Mahdi, he replied: “They must be pure and devout.” On other occasions, he has talked of reorienting the country’s policies to be ready for Judgment Day, the equivalent of George Bush telling Americans to prepare for Christ’s second coming.

A quote doing the rounds in Tehran reveals just how mystical Iran’s new president is. “When I was speaking [at the UN], one of our group told me that when I started to say ‘Bismillah Muhammad,’ he saw a green light come from around me, and I was placed inside this aura,” he says. “I felt it myself. I felt that the atmosphere suddenly changed, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink. When I say they didn’t move an eyelid, I’m not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes.”

Many worry that Iran’s president actually relishes a clash with the West in the conviction that it would rekindle the spirit of the Islamic revolution and speed up the arrival of the Hidden Imam. After a cataclysmic confrontation with the opponents of Islamic Shia, Ahmadinejad believes the Mahdi will reward Iran and lead the world into a seven-year era of universal peace with Iran as his capital. Then the Day of Judgment follows in which all but Shia Muslims will be damned.

This article is not intended to be a prophetic End-Time discussion. Rather it is an evaluation of the narrow-minded bigotry motivating Shia Muslims.

How About Christians?

Many Christians, especially Evangelicals, are appalled at this bigotry of an Islamic Messiah that kills and damns the majority of the living generation on earth. But this is a matter of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

Born-again Christians are just as narrow-minded for those who do not believe as they do. Born-again Christians are adamant that the return of their Messiah Christ will also be fatal to the vast majority of God’s human creation. The world’s population is currently about 6.6 billion, one third of whom are Christian. That means born-again Christians believe that approximately 4.4 billion of their fellowmen, who are just like their neighbors and friends, will be sent straight to Hell at the Second Advent.

Looking around, who else believes the returned Messiah will condemn the vast majority of mankind in Armageddon? Oh, yes. There are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Did you ever wonder why they are always ringing your doorbell? Like the born-again Christians and the Shia Moslems, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all who enter Armageddon without accepting their teachings will be destroyed eternally.

Your God Is Too Small

We say to the Shia Moslems, “Your God is too small. Thankfully, he doesn’t even exist.” To our Jehovah’s Witnesses and born-again Christian friends we say, “Although we worship the same God, we are saddened that your concept of our Heavenly Father is so small.”

Of course, what any one of us believes proves nothing. What say the Scriptures on Armageddon and End Time judgment? The Shiites, born-again Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses all concur that Messiah’s condemnation of the vast majority of mankind will occur during Armageddon.
Psalms 46:6-10

When Jesus returns, he will be the agent God will use to dispense Armageddon’s judgment. In Psalms 46:5, the Lord first delivers His people, the Church of Christ. Then Psalms 46:6-10 deals with this Armageddon destruction. In verse 6, the Gentiles or unbelievers rage and are in an uproar during this destruction. In verse 7, the Lord is protecting His people Jacob, Israel. Verse 8 shows that the destruction will take place throughout the earth.

In verse 9, the Lord ends all wars and destroys the weapons of war. Armageddon is over. But notice—the unbelieving Gentiles are still on the scene and the Lord tells them to, “Be still, and know that I am God.” He “will be exalted among the heathen [Gentiles] in [throughout] the earth.” Therefore, some unbelieving Gentiles will live through Armageddon.
Zephaniah 3:8, 9

Zephaniah 3:8, 9 also deals with Armageddon’s destruction. In verse 8, all the nations experience the Lord’s “fierce anger” and are devoured or destroyed as governments. But verse 9 reveals unbelieving people live through the “fire of my [God’s] jealousy” that destroyed governments. Verse 9 not only shows that people live through the experience of God’s anger, but after the “fierce anger” of God is over, people are given a “pure language,” an understanding of God’s word of truth. Further, they “call upon the name of the Lord” for the first time and serve him with united consent.

Both Psalms and Zephaniah teach that in Armageddon the unbelieving nations will be punished for their wicked rule and will be destroyed as governments, but the people will not be damned to Hell or eternally destroyed as Moslems and many Christians teach. Rather, many of the unbelieving will live through the period of God’s fierce anger and for the first time will learn the truth about God and His purpose for mankind.

How is this possible? It is a mistaken concept that the present life is the only time for salvation. The Apostle Peter stated that the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” is Jesus (Acts 4:12). Before the time of Jesus, how many had the opportunity to hear that Jesus died for their sins? No one. Besides the Old Testament saints listed in Heb 11, the people of Israel are only ones who had a relationship with God. Amos 3:2 confirms this: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth….”

From the time of Jesus until now, notwithstanding all the missionary endeavors, millions died not hearing the only name “Jesus” whereby they could be saved. Even in our time millions have not had the opportunity to learn that Jesus died for their sins.

The Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Cor. 6:2, “…now is the day of salvation” has been the victim of a gross mistranslation, intentional or unintentional. Paul is quoting from Isaiah 49:8 the Hebrew reads, now is “A day of salvation.” The following verses in Isaiah 49 show that the Church is called to God’s favor before the remainder of mankind so that they can share with Jesus in his future Kingdom of blessing mankind.
Opportunity For All

The Apostle Paul writes in I Timothy 4:10: "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL men, specially of those that believe." Yes, God through Jesus does save all of Adam's descendants, He gives each and everyone a full and fair opportunity to hear the truth about God and Jesus and then have an opportunity to accept it and gain life eternal. However there is a special salvation for those who accept and believe into Jesus now, one of being resurrected to the divine nature and to reign from heaven as kings with their Lord and Bridegroom, Jesus.

Now is not the time for ALL to hear the name of Jesus. God is not trying to convert the world between the first and second advents. If He was, then He has obviously failed. For after nearly 2,000 years, less than one third of the world’s population even claims to be Christian. The fact is Jesus predicted only that the Gospel would be a witness to the world, not that all would be converted before the end of the Age.

Mark 4:11,12, specifically states that God is not trying to convert the world now. Jesus said to his disciples, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without all these things are done in parables. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Ponder well this scripture.

If Jesus died for ALL, why has God arranged that many would not be able to understand the Bible and, therefore, not be converted and have their sins forgiven? The Bible is not written like a textbook system of logic. God purposely had the Bible written in parables and symbols, so that many would not be converted and have their sins forgiven. This is why there are over 500 Christian denominations with so many different interpretations of the Bible. God has not attempted to convert the world, but is only calling a “little flock” at this time. If man’s eternal destiny were dependent upon understanding the Bible now, our God of love (1 John 4:8) would have surely made the Bible plain and simple for all to understand.

Acts 15:14-17 reveals that “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name [not to convert ALL]. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this I will return [Second Advent] and will build again the tabernacle of David [set up the kingdom of God]… that the residue [remainder] of men might seek after the Lord and ALL the Gentiles….” God’s work since the death of Jesus has not been to convert all humankind, but merely to take out or to call out a “people for his name.” In the Kingdom, all the remainder of men, who are not of these called out ones, will have their opportunity to seek the Lord.

John 5:28, 29 states that “ALL that are in the graves… shall come forth, they [Christians] that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [live and reign with Christ, Revelation 20:4]; and they that have done evil [the remainder of men] to a resurrection by krisis [Greek].” Many translations say, “resurrection of judgment,” but the Greek is literally “resurrection of krisis.” A doctor will speak of a patient reaching his crisis. He doesn’t mean the patient will die. Rather, the crisis time is when the patient will take a turn for the better or the worse. The “krisis” or probation time for the remainder of men will be in Christ’s Kingdom.

The word “krisis” has been incorporated into many different languages. The Chinese write in symbols, and they use two symbols to denote “krisis.” One symbol denotes danger, the other conveys opportunity. Humanity’s trial or “krisis” in the Kingdom will offer the opportunity to attain eternal life. But it will also be a time of danger. Those who fail to meet God’s conditions for attaining eternal life will be condemned to Second Death (Revelation 20:13-15) which is utter and lasting destruction, mercifully they cease to exist, being unhappy themselves and as a danger to the rest of restored mankind.