10 Questions on the Twelfth Imam and Shia Islamic End Times Theology
Here are a few samples of his answers (the entire article is worth reading) in the order in which they appear:
1. 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.
2.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.... the Twelfth Imam is a recipe for wars of annihilation against Israel, and then against the U.S.
4. 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. The Twelfth Imam, should he actually come, will be a false messiah. True followers of Jesus Christ should never welcome agents of deception. That said, Jesus Christ warned three times in Matthew chapter 24 that we should expect many false messiahs to come in the last days of history and to deceive many. Shia “Twelvers” do believe that Jesus is coming back at the end of time, but they believe that Jesus is not the Savior, Messiah and Lord of the universe. They believe Jesus will be the Twelfth Imam’s deputy, and will force all Jews and Christians to convert to Shia Islam, or perish. Nothing could be further from the truth.
6. 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?
7. 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.
8. 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. American 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.
Question/answer 9 and 10 involved his new book, so these weren't included; they are found in the main link given above.
The truth and the reality of what we are dealing with, in terms of Iran's leadership and their false end-times beliefs is very sobering. It is important to realize what is driving their policy, particularly as directed against Israel. We have to understand that in dealing with Iran and their increasing influence in the Middle East, we aren't seeing the usual political games - this is a religious war that is being planned, and the usual "rules" don't count for much. This scenario far exceeds anything we have seen in world politics before and that includes Hitler's bloody reign.
Mr Rosenberg also said the following, and this is worth remembering in the coming weeks:
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?
As we have been for many months - we still remain just on the brink of apocalyptic war in the Middle East. It will happen only according to God's plan, at God's timing. Whether the Church is here or not at that time, is perhaps the most interesting question to ponder. I don't believe so - but that too is in God's hands.
But one thing is certain - it is coming, and most likely it is coming soon.