October 4, 2016

The Antichrist – Part 2: Unrighteous Resume

antichrist_in_sheeps_clothingAs a part of our series on the “mini-Dispensation” known as The Tribulation, we’re doing a deeper examination of the person/entity known as The Antichrist.

In the last post, we dispelled some of the common myths about him, now we’ll begin to look at what he will actually do once he arrives on the scene.

In this post, we’ll specifically focus on his career from the Jewish perspective.

When I’ve previously referred to the Antichrist as Satan’s False Messiah, I wasn’t just using colorful language. His messianic aspirations are one of his defining characteristics.

Interestingly, the prophetic path of his resume mirrors that of the REAL Messiah in several ways.

A Bad Seed

The very first prophecy of Jesus’ incarnation occurs in Genesis 3, where God states that the “seed of the woman” will defeat Satan. As we’ve seen before, that title is a reference to Jesus’ Virgin Birth.

But it’s important to note that one of Satan’s defining attributes is that he is an imitator of God. You see, in the Original Sin narrative, God emphasizes that there is another seed prophesized – the seed of the serpent; and there will be antagonism between the two seeds.

Thus just as God’s Messiah would be supernaturally born of His spirit , Satan’s seed will also have supernatural aspects to his origin (more on that in the next post).

False starts

Like Jesus, the Old Testament is rife with prophecies about the person, methods, career, and destiny of the False Messiah. But unlike God, Satan is not patient, methodical, and contrastive in his plan to reveal his messiah.

From Nimrod’s rule over the post-flood world, to the dominion of the ersatz Jewish Capital City by Adoni-Zedek (who’s name means “lord of righteousness”) after the Exodus from Egypt, Satan has been trying to unleash world leader/religious zealot facsimiles from the beginning.

Imitation game

Satan’s most brazen and audacious attempt to usurp the role of Jewish Messiah was his failed attempt to turn Jesus into a Messianic traitor by offering a shortcut to His kingdom if Jesus bowed down and worshiped him.

Essentially, Satan tried to convince Jesus to become the Antichrist! (you almost have to admire his Chutzpah).

As with all his machinations to disrupt the plan of God, Satan’s attempts to install his False Messiah have been thwarted.

In the 6th Dispensation the advent of the Antichrist is being specifically restrained by the Holy Spirit (as He indwells the Church). But as I’ve emphasized over the last several posts, once the restrainer is removed, Satan’s messiah will finally be unleashed.

A deal with the Devil

Although he will be an instrumental part of the False Apocalypse, the Antichrist’s defining moment from a Jewish perspective will be the seven-year covenant he will establish with Israel.

At some point soon after the devastation and supernatural turbulence of the 6 seals of Revelation, the Antichrist will do (or at least play a key role in) something that seems impossible today – the establishment of peace in Israel!

Daniel chapter 9 states that he will confirm a covenant (enforce a treaty of some kind) with “the many” (a title of Israel) for 7 years.

This will be one of the most impactful national policy agreements in the history of the world for several reasons:

First, it will likely establish Israel as an uncontested national entity for the first time in nearly 3000 years.

It will give the Jews an unfettered opportunity to practice Leviticus rituals (something they haven’t been able to do since 70AD) by allowing them to rebuild their temple and resume the rituals and sacrifices of the Old Testament Law.

As mentioned in a previous post, this will essentially be a temporary return to the 5th Dispensation!

Most importantly, the covenant will also signal the last 7 years of fallen man’s dominion of the earth which will end in catastrophic judgment as God’s wrath is finally poured out as justice for the accumulated sins of God’s enemies during all the previous dispensations.

But that judgment is reserved for the last half of the 7 years.

The first 3 ½ years start out pretty favorably for the Jews, and they will see the False Messiah as the cause.

False Messiah Rising

With their land, temple, and Law finally restored (part and parcel of which is likely the dispatching of their Arab/Islamic enemies), it’s understandable why the Jews will see the Antichrist as their long awaited Messiah – especially since they missed the real one when He came the first time.

The False Messiah will bask in the glory of his acceptance by the Jews (thumbing his nose at God in the process) while pushing his dominance of the politics and religions of the world (more on that in the next post).

Two thorns in the side

But things will not be all rosy for the Antichrist and his False Prophet. Two forces will cause them no shortage of irritation during that first 3 ½ years.

God will raise up and supernaturally protect 144,00 Jews (sorry Jehovah’s Witnesses. He wasn’t talking about you after all). Who will preach the Gospel during this time and will convert many to Christianity in spite of the Antichrist’s successes.

They will be joined (or possibly mentored) by the fabled “Two Witnesses” of Revelation 11 who will preach repentance as well as the truth about the Antichrist to a world that has fallen in love with him. Oh, and they’ll also call down plagues and withhold rainfall during their ministry to emphasize their points.

But like anyone who opposes an object of affection, the Two Witnesses will be hated, resented, and marginalized (the plagues and drought don’t make them all that loveable either).

As they preach in Jerusalem, people will attempt to kill them. Buuuut they won’t be so easy to get rid of, since they also have the power to turn their would-be assailants into charcoal briquettes.

So who are these guys anyway?

It’s pretty much universally accepted that one of them is the prophet Elijah, who lived during the time of the Jewish kings.

Not only did he have the power from God to stop rain during his original ministry, he never actually died! God raptured him up to heaven alive.

Most importantly, God PROMISED to send him back to preach to the Jews before the end.

There is a minor dispute about the identity of the second witness. Some say that he will be Enoch, the pre-Flood ancestor of Noah who, like Elijah, was raptured to Heaven before he died.

Others believe that Witness #2 is Moses, because he was known for sending plagues on those who would not listen to God. And although he DID die, there was a curious event where Satan and the Archangel Michael fought over his dead body – possibly indicating that he’ll have some future role to play.

There also the interesting scene at the Mount of Transfiguration, where the Disciples saw Jesus in His spiritual form talking to Moses and Elijah (perhaps a Tribulation strategy briefing?). And lastly, unlike Enoch, both Elijah and Moses are Jews.

I tend towards the Elijah/Moses combo for these reasons. But honestly, their identity is far less important than their mission and destiny.

Macabre Rave

After their 3 ½ year ministry is over, God will allow the Antichrist to finally kill them (and possibly a good chunk of the 144,000 too).

With their “reign of terror” over, the world and the unbelieving Jews will literally celebrate like its Christmas (assuming Christmas is still legal at this point). And they will hold the False Messiah in even higher esteem for delivering them from their tormentors.

The world will throw a huge party in Jerusalem and literally dance over the dead bodies of the witnesses, whom they will not allow to be buried (why let a funeral get in the way of a good party?)

The Abomination

After overcoming God’s messengers, the Antichrist will be feeling his oats (or “feeling pretty invincible” for those of you who don’t get farm references). Drunk on his own pride and success, and at the height of comparative thinking, he will – on behalf of his master and patriarch Satan, attempt to claim the Godhood that Lucifer aspired to from the beginning.

The False Messiah will enter the Holiest part of the Jewish Temple (where only the High Priest is allowed) and there declare himself to be God.

Not “a” god. THE God!

This is the seminal event known as the Abomination of Desolation – the act of idolatry that desolates Judaism.

Thus with the enthronement and worship of the False Messiah in the Temple of God, the rejection of Jesus by the world and the Jews in favor of Satan will finally be complete.

Its time for judgment.

The Great Tribulation Begins

After decomposing in the streets of Jerusalem for three days, God will resurrect his Witnesses in front of the whole world, using the same words that signaled the pre-Tribulation rapture, “come up here!” (This also signifies the mid-Tribulation, or “pre-wrath” rapture).

With His people gone from the world, God begins to pour out his wrath upon the earth. It will be a level of devastation unlike anything ever seen (we’ll cover the smack down in vivid detail in an upcoming post).

At this point, the Jews will finally see the Antichrist for who he really is. Jesus warned them that the moment they see the Abomination of Desolation (I’m guessing CNN will have live coverage), they should immediately run for the hills and not bother to pack a toothbrush.

Why? Because when God begins to unleash the pain on them, Satan and the Antichrist know that their time is almost up. So they will turn on the Jews with an anti-Semitic fury unlike any in previous history.

Its estimated than during the German Holocaust, 1 out of 3 Jews in the world was killed. Before the Antichrist is done it will be 2 out of 3!

Salvation for the asking

Why the genocide? Because what Satan knows (and the Jews SHOULD know) is that Jesus is scheduled to comeback and deal with His enemies once and for all at the end of the second 3 ½ years.

But a prerequisite condition is that the Jewish remnant repents and ASKS HIM to come back!

Remember, this is the MAIN PURPOSE of God allowing the persecution and bringing the Tribulation.

Satan figures that if he can kill all the Jews before they can make their petition to Jesus, then He CAN’T return!

As usual, Satan will fail. During the Antichrist’s initial conquest of the world, the region currently occupied by the country of Jordan will somehow escape his control (probably because that region was intended to be part of Israel, so God has spiritual land rights).

God will hide the Jewish remnant there. And just as the Antichrist is preparing to wipe them out, they will earnestly accept their true Messiah and will call on Him.

Three days later, Jesus will come and execute Armageddon. We will examine Armageddon in a future post, but I’ll give you a spoiler now…Jesus wins.

The Gentile perspective

Now that we’ve looked at the Antichrist’s (ultimately failed) Jewish Messianic aspirations, it’s time to examine his career from the secular/gentile point of view. We’ll also take a glimpse into WHAT the Antichrist might actually be from a supernatural standpoint…and it’s disturbing to say the least.

In the next post, we will take a look at “The Beast”.

 

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