I attended the Moody Bible Institute and grew up as a Baptist, so I know how I would receive the following, but I'd like you to suspend initial reactions.
First, pertinent autobiographical info:
In 2008 I followed God's call to leave the US (one month before stock market crash and prior, too, to Obama's election). God put me in the center of a Muslim country, Indonesia.
The Islamic exposure has yielded shockingly unexpected considerations. I see that, as an American, I was culturally and nationalistically limited. Much of what I read coming from my evangelical Christian friends in the US about Muslims is actually very wrong-headed.
For example, the Muslims expect a figure to precede Jesus (the so-called Mahdi). We mustn't forget that we expect a figure also, Elijah. From the first advent, we learned that Elijah can come as a distinct personality (John the Baptist), and that, unless we perceive, we might not recognize him. Might the Mahdi and Elijah be one and the same? Might this figure unite all believers in God against antichrist?
Look at the characteristics of Elijah's role.
1. He came from the transjordan area, was fed by Arabs (not 'ravens') and a Gentile woman. So he was coming from outside of Judaism.
2. He brought punishment on Israel by withholding rain (destroying the agrarian economy) for 1260 days.
3. His style was mocking and ridiculing.
4. He brought opposition to the evil Kings specifically for bonding to the high places (bamah) instead of to the true God. This idea of 'bamah' is akin to the Muslim idea of 'shirk.' Shirk is anything that replaces the primacy of God in the heart. Bamah, the high places, the rival worship centers, are represented finally by the American system that has created a Calypso-like earth, where the soul is contented and becomes forgetful of its original quest to God. Israel has made a covenant with death, putting her faith in Bamah's 'god of fortresses' rather than sole reliance on God.
Elijah 'attacked' Israel. To an Israelite suffering from famine, he was probably a villain. But he attacked as an agent of God's judgement, and to cleanse Israel of a corrupt, godless political regime.
So, whoever cuts off the economy (maybe April-closure of Hormuz) in order to exact judgement on the godless temporal rulers of Israel for their reliance on bamah rather than dependence on God- that could be the spirit of Elijah.
I know, Islam is wicked, Islam is terrorism. But we are further along than many of you realize. (And, by the way, I agree with much of what you folks offer.) Obama is the antichrist. The beast is to make war against the saints and to overcome them, correct?
To be fair, the only ones fighting the American antichrist are the Muslims.
Trust me. Muslims, too, expect antichrist. He is called 'ad dajjal' (the deceiver). He is to be born on an island, east, east, east of Yemen (Hawaii), and will make heaven seem like hell and hell,heaven. 'Democracy'. 'Freedom'. 'Consumerism' etc..A sign of his arrival will be 'when the slave woman gives birth to her master.' We saw this with the election of the first African-american president. He will travel the world and bestow wealth on the ones who go along with him, and cause a withering to the ones who oppose (economic aid/sanctions). There is more, but we're beyond all that now.
Muslims believe this dajjal will be blinded in his right eye. Actually, a passage in Zechariah concurs with this. This remains to be understood.
Sometimes certain strains of Islam and Christianity won't meld. But, with every passing day closer to Jesus' return, I am finding that humble believers in both camps are truly close cousins. I can tell you, Indonesian Muslims here bear nothing but goodwill to Christians, and to Americans. They are always quite open to hearing teachings of Jesus.
I think you guys will agree that events are developing so quickly now that our original conceptions are being stressed out of recognition. That is good. Preconceptions kept the Jewish people from knowing the hour of their visitation. I think we've learned a little.
Surabaya, East Java