Will the messianic expectations of all the major world religions pave the way for the rise of the Antichrist? The reality is that all of the major world religions on earth are awaiting a "Messianic figure" who will bring dramatic changes to the earth. Could the coming Antichrist use these expectations to establish his own kingdom?
Religious expectations can be a very, very powerful thing. The reality is that whether a particular religion is true or false, the people who believe those religions desperately want them to be true. Thus, during a time of extreme crisis in the future, it could potentially be quite easy for a world leader to tap into those religious expectations for his own benefit, especially if that world leader is able to tap into the supernatural and perform his own miracles.
For example, those who are Christians look forward to the day when Jesus Christ will return to this earth. Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus will return to this planet someday and will make things right. But specific beliefs about that return vary greatly from denomination to denomination.
Considering the fact that Christians seem to know their Bibles less than ever these days, could a supernaturally powerful future world leader who promises to bring peace and prosperity during a time of extreme crisis fool many Christians into thinking that Jesus has come back?
But Christians are not the only ones who are looking for a Messiah.
Jews believe that the Messiah has not come at all yet. One of the core beliefs of Judaism is the coming of a future Messiah who will be the great hero of the Jewish nation.
Connected with this belief is that this future Messiah will be involved in the rebuilding of the Temple and the resumption of Temple sacrifices. Could a future world leader who helps the Jews rebuild their Temple come to be regarded as their Messiah?
Most Christians and Jews don't realize that Islam is looking forward to a Messianic figure as well. In Islam, that figure is know as "the Mahdi" and the expectation is that this supernatural figure will bring great deliverance to the Islamic world.
Belief in "the Mahdi" is predominantly a Shiite belief, but there are a large number of Sunnis that are looking forward to the coming of "the Mahdi" as well.
Iranian President Mahmoud's Ahmadinejad is among those who are obsessed with this Shiite Islamic messiah figure. Perhaps that explains his seeming lack of fear of Western military power. According to public statements by Ahmadinejad, he believes that he is actually preparing the way for the Mahdi, and that even if Islam experiences short-term defeats, the reality is that the Mahdi is coming and Islam will be ultimately triumphant.
Of course the truth is that "the Mahdi" is not coming, but could the Antichrist tap into this messianic belief as well?
But it doesn't end with those three religions.
Buddhists and New Agers are looking forward to the coming of a "Lord Maitreya".
According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a "bodhisattva" who will some day appear on Earth, achieve total enlightenment, and will teach "the pure dharma".
In fact, prominent New Age gurus in the West openly declare that either Maitreya has come (but has not yet been revealed to the world) or that he is coming very soon. World famous New Age teacher Benjamin Creme has made headlines around the world for years with his pronouncements regarding the Maitreya, but so far the promised world teacher has not yet appeared on the scene.
Could the Antichrist some day appear and claim to be the Maitreya?
Hindus are anticipating a messianic figure as well. Many Hindus are expecting the coming of a figure known as "Kalki".
Wikipedia explains the expectations regarding "Kalki" this way.....
Contemporary Hindu eschatology is linked in the Vaishnavite tradition to the figure of Kalki, or the tenth and last avatar of Vishnu before the age draws to a close, and Shiva simultaneously dissolves and regenerates the universe.
But the truth is that the discussion above represents just the tip of the iceberg regarding messianic expectations. Other ancient religions speak of a future "return of the gods". Many modern UFO cults have some really bizarre messianic expectations. Various pagan, Wiccan, occult and Luciferian groups actively look forward to a coming leader, although these beliefs can vary widely.
However, even though there is variance among different religious traditions, the truth is that almost all major religions are looking forward to something - and in most cases that "something" involves a person.
Could the future Antichrist use these expectations by attempting to apply them to himself?
Could the future Antichrist claim to be the Christian Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the Islamic Mahdi, the Buddhist Maitreya and the Hindu Kalki all at the same time?
Could this be what happens when all of the major religions merge into the one world religion prophesied in the book of Revelation?
The reality is that such a scenario is not going to happen tomorrow, but as the world descends into times of great crisis, the rise of a supernatural world leader become more likely.