The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1:1-11:32, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)
The one who is testifying to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’”
Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!
(Rev. 22:20)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology:

What Torah Says About
The Future

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. No other so-called “sacred writings” are considered inspired by God or authoritative for the Believe’s walk of faith.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

[Please read the introductory comments first]

The Twelfth Imam
in Islam Eschatology

The descriptions of the “Twelfth Imam” in Islamic writings almost exactly parallel those of the Antichrist in Christian eschatology. He is the Muslim “messiah” who stands against and finally defeats “Isa” (Islam’s rendering of the name “Yeshua”) when Isa returns with the intent to eradicate Islam. Contrary to the most widly-held opinion that the one-world government of Christian eschatology is a revived Roman empire, I think it more likely that it will be a revived Islamic Caliphate, as all of the place-names in the biblical prophecies of the end times refer to current Islamic nations.

The Twelfth Imam is a concept in Shia Islam tied to Muslim beliefs about the end times. Shia Islam is the second-largest denomination of Muslims; it gives greater weight to the title Imam than does Sunni Islam. Most Shia believe there have only been twelve “true” Imams, the last of which has been hiding unseen on earth since the ninth century. According to this belief, “the last Imam” will one day return, along with Jesus Christ, to defeat Satan and an antichrist-like figure, Al-Masih ad-Dajjal.

Most Shia subscribe to an approach called Imamiyyah, often referred to in English as “Twelvers.” These Shia believe in only twelve men who can be called an “Imam.” All were born between the seventh and ninth centuries. The last, according to most Shia, was the Twelfth Imam: Muhammad bin al-Hasan (also named Abu al-Qasim Muhammad), more commonly referred to as Muhammad al-Mahdi or simply the Mahdi.

Mahdi is a title meaning “guided one.” He is anticipated as the perfect Muslim who will reappear and unite the world under Islam. According to Shia beliefs, Muhammad bin al-Hasan was born near the end of the ninth century and was no longer seen after the middle of the tenth century. This disappearance was supposedly not the result of death but of a divine cloaking, known as occultation.

The doctrine of occultation contrasts with the belief of Sunni Muslims and a small proportion of Shia Muslims who believe al-Mahdi has not yet been born. Or, at least, that he has not yet publicly appeared on the world stage. Shia belief in the role of the Twelfth Imam is at least partially responsible for Iran’s approach to international politics. Some observers of world events wonder about a possible connection between this figure and the Bible’s depiction of the Antichrist. [, accessed 11/23/21]

Each Imam was the son of the previous Imam, with the exception of Husayn ibn Ali, who was the brother of Hasan ibn Ali. The twelfth and final Imam is Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is believed by the Twelvers to be currently alive, and hidden in the Major Occultation until he returns to bring justice to the world. [Wikipedia, accessed 11/23/21]

In Joel Roselberg’s series of novels, Iran’s president “vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites ‘before it’s too late.’ The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace. And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam. Word of his miracles, healings, signs, and wonders is spreading like wildfire.”

I have included this interview in the section on future events because I believe these novels depict a very plausable series of events in our near future, ushering in the Tribulation Period. Apparently Mr. Rosenberg is of a similar opinion.

This article is mirrored from The Daily Caller without permission only for the permitted purpose of teaching and scholarship in accordance with the “Fair Use” provisions of Title 17 USC, section 107. If you are the copyright holder and want the article removed, please contact me and I will remove it immediately.

Eight Questions With Twelfth Imam Author Joel Rosenberg

By Jamie Weinstein - The Daily Caller | Published: 8:17 AM 10/23/2010 | Updated: 1:26 PM 10/24/2010

Joel Rosenberg is the author of the new novel, The Twelfth Imam.

The New York Times best selling author of the political thrillers is also a communications strategists who has formerly worked with such figures as Rush Limbaugh and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rosenberg recently agreed to answer 10 questions about his new novel and other topics of interest from The Daily Caller:

1. Why did you decide to write the book?

We are living on the brink of the apocalypse, but the world is asleep. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in July that he actually met with the Shia Islamic messiah, known as the Twelfth Imam. Few know that happened. Fewer still know what that means. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his government’s mission is to hasten the appearance of the Twelfth Imam on earth. What’s so dangerous is that in the Shia Islamic eschatology – or End Times theology – of these two men, they believe that their God-given mission in life is to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it, in order to accelerate the arrival of their so-called messiah to earth. Given their feverish efforts to build nuclear weapons, this is very dangerous stuff. The problem is that most world leaders aren’t paying attention to the eschatology driving Iranian foreign policy. Most Americans aren’t aware of it either. We have a Farsi-speaking Hitler rising, and the world is doing nothing decisive to stop him.

Now, I’m a failed political consultant. But sometimes fiction has a way of capturing people’s imagination in a way that non-fiction doesn’t. Conservatives typically haven’t written much fiction – specifically political thrillers – over the years to educate, inspire and mobilize people on issues of great import, but we ought to. I want to take people on a spellbinding journey inside one of the darkest regimes in the world, the Iranian regime. I want to take people “inside the room,” as it were, as Iranian leaders plot their nuclear weapons strategy and plot the annihilation of Israel, which they call the “little Satan,” and the United States, which they call the “Great Satan.” Perhaps this novel, The Twelfth Imam, can play a small role in waking up a nation, a world, asleep at the switch.

2. Explain who the Twelfth Imam, or the Mahdi, is for those who may not know.

The Twelfth Imam was a real, flesh-and-blood person who lived during the ninth century AD. Like the eleven Shia religious leaders who went before him, he was an Arab male who, as a direct descendent of the founder of Islam, was thought to have been divinely chosen to be the spiritual guide and ultimate human authority of the Muslim people. His name was Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali. It is generally believed by Shias that he was born in Samarra, Iraq, in AD 868, though few details of his brief life are certain or free from controversy.

Sunnis, for example, believe he was born later. Before he could reach an age of maturity, when he could teach and counsel the Muslim world as was believed to be his destiny, Ali vanished from human society. Some say he was four years old, while others say five and some say six. Some believe he fell into a well in Samarra but his body was never recovered. Others believe the Mahdi’s mother placed him in the well to prevent the evil rulers of the time from finding him, capturing him, and killing him-- and that little Ali subsequently became supernaturally invisible. This is where the term “Hidden Imam” is derived, as Shias believe that Ali is not dead but has simply been hidden from the sight of mankind-- Shias refer to this as “occultation”-- until the End of Days, when Allah will reveal him once again.

3. What is the gist of your novel and why should we want to read it?

The Twelfth Imam is the first in a series of three new political thrillers I’m writing. It follows the life of the Shirazi family, who escape out of Iran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979. They find asylum in the U.S. and raise three sons. One of those sons, David, is deeply affected by the terrorist attacks on America on 9/11. Enraged, he decides to join the CIA, hunt down Osama bin Laden, and bring his head home in a box. But by the time he is ready to be deployed, the CIA decides to send him not to Afghanistan or Pakistan but into Iran. His mission is to find previously unknown nuclear weapons sites and help the CIA sabotage them to keep Iran from getting the Bomb, and to keep the Israelis from launching a preemptive attack. Once he gets inside Iran, however, events start taking a bizarre and unnatural twist. Shirazi starts hearing strange rumors of an Islamic messiah already on the planet and about to reveal himself. What’s more, he begins to learn of how the Iranian regime’s obsession with the Twelfth Imam is a recipe for wars of annihilation against Israel, and then against the U.S.

4. Is it true that as mayor of Tehran, current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a grand avenue built in anticipation of the Mahdi’s return?

Ahmadinejad campaigned for mayor promising to prepare the way for the coming of the Twelfth Imam, but most of his significant accomplishments occurred after coming to power as president in the summer of 2005. He has spent millions to build roads leading to the Jamkaran Mosque, where the Twelfth Imam reportedly once appeared to a farmer and told him to build a mosque and intimated that he might return there one day to a well in the courtyard. Not all Shias believe this so-called messiah will return there, but Ahmadinejad does. As a result, millions of Shias have visited the mosque and like to write prayers and toss them down the well, hoping they are heard and answered.

5. Let’s get serious: Do you believe the current Iranian regime is apocalyptic and would use a nuclear weapon against the United States or Israel if they were able to produce one?

Based on the End Times theology of the current Iranian regime, and their publicly stated intentions of annihilating the U.S. and Israel (which I documented in my non-fiction book last year, Inside The Revolution), I have absolutely no doubt that Tehran will use nuclear weapons to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization once they have such weapons. They may use them directly, and/or they may give such weapons to terror groups such as Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Hamas or others to be used against American and Israeli targets. Worse, how do you successfully negotiate with, deter or contain someone who believes it is his God-given mission in life to annihilate you in order to bring about his messiah?

6. What’s your view on how to stop Iranian nuclear proliferation? Will sanctions work? Or covert operations? Or do you think that military strikes will be necessary?

Much tougher sanctions along the lines of a quarantine or blockade of Iran could bring the country economically to its knees and trigger a coup. But that might not be enough. What if the new leaders are equally aggressive? Covert operations are having some effect, such as the kidnapping of Iranian nuclear scientists, the persuasion of others to defect, and the computer virus that is attacking Iranian industrial computer systems at the moment. But we are fast running out of time. I’m praying for the peace of Jerusalem. I’m trying to mobilize millions of evangelical Christians to pray for peace as well. But not peace at any price. An End Times regime in Tehran with nuclear weapons is a worst case scenario.

7. Do you believe the Obama administration would ever launch military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities?

The Obama administration is highly unlikely to use military force to stop Iran from getting the Bomb, and all Iranians know it. After all, the president is doing everything he can to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan as rapidly as possible. Americans are growing increasingly uneasy with the president’s approach, and they are right to be concerned. He doesn’t understand the gravity of the threat of Radical Islam, and he is making us and our allies increasingly vulnerable to new and devastating attacks. NATO won’t lead. The EU won’t lead. The UN won’t lead. So who will?

All eyes are turning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I can tell you for a fact that Netanyahu doesn’t want war. He doesn’t seek it. He has supported sanctions and even the president’s efforts at engaging Iran diplomatically. He’s exhausting every option short of overt war. But I can also tell you for a fact that Netanyahu refuses to preside over a Second Holocaust. If the world doesn’t move decisively in late 2010 and 2011, I think we’re looking at a major war in the region in the next few years. It may be a nightmare, and set the whole region on fire. It might send oil prices skyrocketing, and anti-Semitism skyrocketing worldwide, as well. But what other choice would Netanyahu have, if the world does nothing to stop Khamenei and Ahmadinejad in the 21st century, as it did nothing to stop Hitler in the 20th century?

8. How did you get Rush Limbaugh to blurb your book? That is a big get. Did you have a conversation with him about your latest novel?

Rush is a friend. As you know, I served on his staff back in the 90s for two years. He has endorsed several of my books over the years, and interviewed me about them. I haven’t yet had a conversation about this one, but I’m grateful for support. I don’t deserve it, but I’m grateful!

Originally posted in November 2010
Added introductory marerial on Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Page last updated on Monday, 25 September 2023 01:13 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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