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Sermon No: 42-Profile of the antichrist



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SERMON TOPIC: Profile of the antichrist

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 22 April 2007

Topic Groups: PROPHECY, ANTICHRIST

Sermon synopsis: Is the antichrist a man or a system? Was Nero the antichrist? What is the mystery behind the number 666? What did the early church believe about the antichrist?
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SERMON OVERVIEW:

THE ANTICHRIST

Profile of

and

MYSTERY BABYLON

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God…

Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Is Antichrist a man or system?

Despite the ongoing debate, the answer is BOTH.

The name “antichrist” appears in the Bible only in the first 2 letters of John. The name does not appear in the Book of Revelation, Daniel, or in any other place in the Bible.

The name “antichrist” is applied by John both to a single person and a general “spirit of antichrist”.

1 John 2:18 … as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.

So there are 2 kinds of Antichrist:

The many antichrists (or spirit of antichrist) e.g. the Gnostics originating in John’s lifetime.

THE Antichrist of the end of times.

The “many” Antichrists

They are many

1 John 2:18 … even now many antichrists have come.

The “spirit of antichrist”, which is prevalent today, was already present in the 1st century

1 John 4:3 … This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

In speaking of “the lawless one” Paul says: 2 Thess 2:7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work…

They originally came out from us, from the Christian Community!

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

The “many” Antichrists

AN ANTICHRIST DENIES THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH (CHRIST) AND THE SON OF GOD

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son.

AN ANTICHRIST DENIES THE INCARNATION. They do not acknowledge that Jesus came in the flesh i.e. Gnosticism

2 John 7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

1 John 4:2-3 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist…

The “many” Antichrists

The Gnostics taught that flesh is entirely evil. They denied that God, who is Spirit, literally became flesh. Instead, some believed that when Christ lived on the earth, He did not have a real body—it only “seemed” real.

Cerinthus was a Gnostic heretic that John opposed. This man was a leader of a cult in Ephesus which took the teachings of pagan (Egyptian influence) Gnosticism and mixed them with Christian doctrine.

The “many” Antichrists

According to Irenaeus, this prompted John to write his Gospel in which he states:

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory…

John knew that Jesus had a physical fleshy body because he had reclined on Jesus’ bosom at the Last Supper (John 13:23). The Gnostics were no match for the eye-witness evidence of John that Jesus was embodied in flesh:

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Many false Christs

Jesus spoke of many false Christs

Matt 24:5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Jim Jones told his followers to think of him as the incarnation of Christ and God. In 1978 he caused 913 of his followers to commit mass suicide in Jonestown, northern Guyana.

Sun Myung Moon is the founder and leader of the Unification Church. He claims to be the “sinless saviour of the world“ and vows that he “will conquer and subjugate the world”. According to Moon, he is the second coming of Christ and is completing the areas where Jesus failed.

David Koresh claimed the same titles directly applicable to Jesus Christ including “Lamb of God” and “the anointed one”. In 1993 he led about 80 of his Branch Davidian followers into a fiery death after a standoff with the U.S. Government, in Waco, Texas.

Many false Christs

In October 2005, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, the 104-year-old leading known Kabbalist rabbi in Israel, announced: “With the help of God, the soul of the Mashiach (Messiah) has attached itself to a person in Israel”.

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles led the “Heaven's Gate” New Age cult in which some male members underwent voluntary castration. The cult's end coincided with the appearance of the Hale-Bopp Comet in 1997, when Applewhite convinced 39 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship to the Next Level (Heaven?) which they thought was hiding behind the comet. They believed that Applewhite was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ incarnate, and Nettles was the Heavenly Father.

Many false Christs

Applewhite & Nettles

Shoko Asahara claimed for himself the mantle of “Christ”. Among the books he authored are “Declaring Myself the Christ”.

He is judged to be a false prophet by Biblical standards because of his failed prophecies. He predicted that Japan would turn into a “virtual police state” in 1990, that Japan would entirely sink into the ocean in 1996, and that war would break out between the US and Japan in 1997.

He would not let his followers drink anything else but his used bathwater and also gave his blood to his followers for a price.

This leader of the Japanese doomsday cult which gassed the Tokyo subway in 1995, has been sentenced to death for ordering the attack. The sarin gas attack, which killed 12 people and injured thousands more, shocked Japan and shed light on the fanatical Aum Shinrikyo group.

Many false Christs

Shoko Asahara

In April 1982 the Tara Centre publicized the coming of a New Age Messiah through full page newspaper advertisements in many countries: “The Christ is now here . . . pointing the way out of our present crisis . . . He comes not to judge but to aid and inspire . . The World Teacher, Lord Maitreya, known by Christians as the Christ. And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the Messiah, the Buddhists the Fifth Buddha, the Moslems the Imam Mahdi. and the Hindus await Krishna. These are all names for One individual. His presence in the world guarantees there will be no third World War… With His help, we will build a new world.”

Followers of Maitreya believe that “the title Christ does not refer to an individual at all. It is the name of a function in the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom, that group of advanced beings who guide the evolution of humanity from behind the scenes. Whoever stands at the head of this Hierarchy automatically becomes the World Teacher…”

Benjamin Crème is a British author and lecturer, who has been “travelling the globe, helping to create a climate of hope and expectancy for the World Teacher”, Maitreya.

Many false Christs

Benjamin Crème

In Nairobi, Kenya, a man appears ‘out of the blue’. He appeared miraculously before 6,000 people at a prayer meeting. Many in attendance are healed. He then leaves in an equally mysterious manner, promising to return with a “bucketful of blessings”. He was photographed addressing (in their own language) thousands of people who instantly recognized Him as the Christ. The story and photo were carried by news media around the world. (Kenya Times, BBC, CNN and newspapers worldwide) worshippers at Muslim Village, Kawangware, Nairobi, believe they saw Jesus Christ, in broad daylight. “Whole villages are visited by the ‘man in white robes’; people see him and recognize him. They call him Aisa, the Muslim Arabic name for Jesus. The man in white is now known to many.” (Source: Evangelical Broadcasting Company, Holland) It is Maitreya who calls himself Christ. His recent appearances are in Thessalonica, Afghanistan and Bolivia.

Many false Christs

Maitreya caught on camera

Definition of Antichrist

As there are many false Christs, we always should distinguish between an antichrist, and the Antichrist (as John did).

Antichrist means a false Christ, adversary to Christ, or being in opposition to all that is pertaining to Christ.

Antichristos (αντιχριστος) – However the prefix “anti” comes from the Greek language and has 2 meanings:

Opposed to AND

2. In the place of or a substitute for.

The ultimate Antichrist will not only “oppose” Christ but he will do it in a more sinister way - by pretending to be Christ! i.e. a counterfeit or rival Christ.

The unholy trinity

We will see that Revelation differentiates between the antichrist (“beast out of the sea”), the false prophet (“beast out of the earth”) and Satan (dragon: beast in the sky), who corporately form an “unholy trinity”.

Dual fulfillment of prophecies

The prophecies about the Antichrist in the Bible, like most prophecies, have a dual fulfillment:

An initial fulfillment: e.g. the types of the Antichrist: Antiochus Epiphanes IV, Nero, Hitler …

A final and exhaustive fulfillment: The Antichrist of the last times.

Many of the prophecies in Daniel had an initial fulfillment in Antiochus Epiphanes. He stormed the Temple and converted it into a pagan worship center in 167 BC. He slaughtered a pig on the altar and erected a statue of Zeus (Jupiter) in the holy place with his own face on it, thereby proclaiming himself to be God (Epiphanes means god made manifest) and required worship on pain of death. In 1 Macabbees, this was called the Abomination of Desolation.

However, Jesus still referred to the Abomination of Desolation “spoken of by Daniel the prophet” as a future event.

Antiochus Epiphanes IV

The titles of the Antichrist

Jesus calls him a “false Christ” (Matt 24).

John calls him “the Beast” aided by “the False Prophet” (Rev 13).

In 2 Thess 2, Paul calls him:

“the man of sin” (“man of lawlessness”)

“the son of perdition” (“son of destruction”)

“the lawless one”

Daniel calls him the “little horn” (Dan 7 & 8) & “the prince that shall come” (9:26).

Zechariah describes him as “the worthless shepherd” upon whom is pronounced God's “woe”, and upon whom descends His judgment (Zech 11:17).

Isaiah calls him “the King of Babylon” (Isa 14).

Ezekiel calls him “the Prince of Tyre” (Ezek 28).

The first Beast from the Sea

In Rev 12, the Dragon is revealed as Satan

Rev 12:9 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.

John’s Beast from the sea is the antichrist, who gets his power from the dragon (Satan)

Rev 13:1 And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

In Rev 17 the waters represent the nations: Rev 17:15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw… are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.”

Intelligent

Dan 8:23

… a king of bold countenance, and understanding riddles, shall stand up. (Darby)

… stand up doth a king, fierce of face, and understanding hidden things; (Young's literal translation)

… a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. (KJV)

That which baffles others shall be simple to him. The Hebrew word here translated “dark sentences” is the same as the one rendered “hard questions” in 1 Kings 10:1, where we read of the Queen of Sheba coming to Solomon with her “hard questions” in order to test his wisdom. It is also the word that is used of Samson's riddle in Judges 14.

He will be an great orator

In Daniel 7:20 we are told that he has “a mouth uttering great boasts” (NASB).

Rev 13:2 declares that his mouth is “as the mouth of a lion”. The voice of the lion excels that of any other beast.

Like Hitler who mesmerised his audiences, the antichrist will be a great orator.

Dan. 11:21 tells us that “he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries”.

Daniel 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant…

Blasphemer

He will blaspheme God

Rev 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

Daniel 11:36 The king … will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.

Arrogant

Daniel 8:25 … he will consider himself superior.

Rev 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words …

He will have no desire for women:

Daniel 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women…- KJV

There are several interpretations here:

He is so in love with himself, he doesn't have time for women.

He is a homosexual.

Some believe that ‘the desire of women’ refers to the desire of Jewish women to be the mother of the Messiah - thus he is not a Christian or he rejects Judeo-Christian beliefs.

No desire for women?

Political genius

So completely will the world be swayed by the hypnotic spell cast over it by the Beast that the ten kings of the final Roman empire shall “give their kingdoms unto him”. He will be the last great Caesar.

Rev 17:17 For God has put it into their hearts* to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule…

Exercises global authority (leader of a more powerful EU or United Nations?)

Rev 13:7 … And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

Brokers a 7-year peace treaty in the Middle East (this alone will endear him to the world).

Dan 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

* The 10 horns (kingdoms)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the Knesset and the nation on July 17th 2006. After 6 days of fighting between Israel and Hizbullah,

Olmert stated that he did not want this conflict, but hoped that Israel could soon sign an “eternal covenant of peace” with their Arab neighbours.

Will he be accepted by political leaders?

The stage is rapidly being set for the world to accept global leadership. Famed British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) was correct when he said, “The nations are ready to give the kingdoms of the world to any one man who will offer us a solution to our world’s problems.”

The first president of the United Nations General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak, who was also a prime minister of Belgium and one of the early planners of the European Common Market, as well as a secretary-general of NATO, affirmed, “We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all the people and to lift us up out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be God or devil, we will receive him.”

Paul-Henri Spaak

Treacherous

Daniel 8:25 He will cause deceit to prosper… When they feel secure, he will destroy many …

Deceit: Hebrew - mirmah = fraud; craft, deceit(-ful, -fully), false, feigned, guile, subtlety, treachery.

Breaks covenant

Dan 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.

He will be a commercial genius

All commerce will be under his control. No-one will be able to buy or sell without his mark (Rev. 13:17).

The false prophet (the 2nd beast) forces people to receive the mark compulsory for all trade:

Rev 13:16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

He will be a commercial genius

The technology exists today to take a chip similar to those used in smart cards and place it under your skin. Once the chip is implanted it could be read by an inexpensive scanner, much like the one that reads bar codes in your local grocery store. You would then become your own smart card — and the very expensive problem of making sure the owner of the card is who he says he is, has been solved!

He will be a commercial genius

Excerpt from Medi-Vet.com website: “The HomeAgain microchip is a tiny, rice-sized device encoded with a unique, permanent ID number. The device itself is implanted by a veterinarian just under the skin between the shoulders. Insertion is quick and virtually painless with no anesthetic or further treatment required. If your pet is lost, the microchip can be detected and the ID code read by a scanner used by veterinarians, animal shelters and other pet-related agencies.”

He will be a commercial genius

Excerpt from "http:// www.verichipcorp.com/ ">www.verichipcorp.com website: “As a healthcare professional...How many times have you encountered problems gaining important medical information from patients who have:

Impaired speech?

Memory loss?

Lost consciousness?

… VeriMed features VeriChip's patented, FDA- cleared, human-implantable RFID microchip. Unlike traditional forms of ID, the VeriChip can’t be lost, stolen, misplaced, or counterfeited. Because it's inserted under the skin, it's always there when you need it regardless of where other kinds of ID might be. Using a handheld reader, healthcare professionals are able to securely access a patient's unique VeriChip ID number which can be looked up in a designated secure healthcare information database, allowing them to immediately take the safest course of action.”

He will be a commercial genius

However despite being FDA approved, the company ran into trouble later:

In 2007, it was revealed that nearly identical implants had caused cancer in hundreds of laboratory animals. The revelation had a devastating impact on the company's stock price. Some time between May and July 2010, the Positive ID Corporation discontinued marketing the implantable human microchip. 1

Nevertheless it may just be a matter of time before this again becomes feasible, and the health hazards are overcome.

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Microchip_implant_(human)">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Microchip_implant_(human)

He will be a commercial genius

Using satellites, fibre optic networks, the internet and computer databases and software, there is the potential to control world commerce. Many countries are actively pursuing policies for a global cashless society. Doing business without physical currency is not only entirely feasible, but probable. For the first time ever, the technology is in place which could permit the fulfilment of the Orwellian “big brother is watching you” visions that John received 1900 years ago.

Military genius

The antichrist is believed by many to be the rider of the first horse in Revelation:

Rev 6:1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

He will sweep everything before him so that the world will exclaim, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” (Rev 13:4).

Military genius

He will subdue 3 of the 10 kingdoms.

Daniel 7:8 While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it… 19 Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast… 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.

Military genius

Daniel 8:24 … He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does…

Daniel chapter 11, which initially prophesies about Antiochus Epiphanes, switches to talking of a future king in verse 36.

Will invade Israel

Daniel 11:41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land…

Dan 11:41… Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.

Jordan will escape him (Edom, Moab & Ammon) so some believe that the Jewish remnant will flee to Petra in Jordan based on this & Rev 12.

He battles both the Kings of the South (Egypt) and the North (Syria).

Dan 11:40 At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.

He will conquer Egypt, Libya & Nubia (Sudan).

Dan 11:43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.

News from the east (China?) and the north (Russia?) will disturb him.

Dan 11:44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.

Military leader

Religious leader

He will exalt himself above God.

Daniel 11:36 The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god… He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers … nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.

2 Thess 2:3 … that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

All the world wondered after the Beast

Rev 13:3 The whole world … followed the beast … 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life…

Signs & wonders that will deceive most

2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…

Rev 13:14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.

Daniel 8:12 … truth was thrown to the ground.

Religious leader

Daniel 8:25 He will cause deceit to prosper…

Strong deception that could deceive even the elect, short of God’s intervention.

Matt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

Rev 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

Religious leader

Mortal Wound

The Antichrist receives some sort of deadly wound - which will appear to have been healed.

Revelation 13:3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. (NIV)

Rev 17:8 …The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

There is a lot of speculation as to what that means exactly ...

Will he appear to have died and fake a resurrection to mimic Jesus' resurrection?

Others believe this “Mortal Wound being Healed” refers to the Revived Roman Empire and not to a literal wound on the Antichrist himself. It could be both.

Mortal Wound

In the holy trinity the Holy Spirit gives glory to Jesus, who gives glory to the Father.

In the unholy trinity the false prophet gives glory to the antichrist, who gives glory to Satan.

Rev 13:11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon*. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

* Spiritual deception – The false prophet appears to be a lamb (Jesus) but speaks like a dragon (Satan)

Mortal Wound

Matt 24:23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time… 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

In the context of being told by others about the location of “the Christ” Jesus spoke this obscure verse. It has always been problematic trying to reconcile Jesus use of a “vulture” analogy with his disciples, when applying this verse to the rapture.

Could this rather be a reference to the corpse of the antichrist and the gathering of deluded followers?

Opposes the saints for 3½ years

Dan 7:21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom … 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

Rev 13:7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.

Dan 8:24… He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.

Dan 8:12 Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it (the little horn).

Oppresses the saints

Will set up his image in the temple (implying that the temple is rebuilt)

Dan 9:27 …And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation…

DANIEL 11:30 … Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. 33 Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

Oppresses the saints

Jesus warns the Jews to flee when they see the Abomination

Matt 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Oppresses the saints

Jesus’ instruction to flee is most likely because those who refuse to worship the image are killed.

Rev 13:14-15 He (the false prophet) ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

Oppresses the saints

Kills the 2 witnesses in Jerusalem

Rev 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Oppresses the saints

He will behead those who do not take the mark or worship his image

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.

Oppresses the saints

ANTICHRIST

Profile of the

Part 2: CLUES TO HIS IDENTITY

20th century nominees

Attempts to identify the Antichrist prior to the Rapture are almost futile.

20th century suggestions alone have included: Kaiser Wilhelm, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Kruschev, Gorbachev, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Anwar Sadat, Yasser Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Pope John Paul II, Saddam Hussein, Mu'ammar Gadhafi, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore & George W. Bush.

Recently, someone claimed it was Bill Clinton and Hillary was the False Prophet!

Self-nominated

Black magician Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), dubbed “the wickedest man in the world”, claimed that he was the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation and took the name “Το μεγα θηριον”, Greek for “The Great Beast”, which adds up to 666 by isopsephy*.

He popularized the archaic spelling of “magick” to differentiate it from stage “magic”.

Crowley was bisexual, experimented with drugs and is infamous for his quote: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”

However the true beast will not have horns and a pitch fork as many suppose ... but instead he will probably be a very charismatic, appealing world leader offering peace and prosperity.

* Isopsephy is the Greek language word for the practice of adding up the number values of the letters in a word to form a single number. Isopsephy is related to Gematria, the same practice using the Hebrew alphabet.

Aleister Crowley – “The Great Beast”

Was John writing about Nero?

The Assertions of Irenaeus

Irenaeus was born sometime between 115-130 AD and died in 202 AD. He was a disciple of Polycarp who was, in turn, a disciple of John. The teachings of Irenaeus are considered among the most important of early Christianity and provide important insight into John’s teachings.

In his classic “Against Heresies”, he devotes a section to a discussion of Antichrist’s name. Bearing in mind that he received his instruction from a man taught by John himself, his thoughts on the identity of the Antichrist are most important.

Some try and assert that John’s “antichrist” referred to the emperor Nero* in the 1st century, but Irenaeus (in the late 2nd century) still refers to him as a future person.

In addition, Irenaeus records that John wrote the Revelation late in the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD), which was long after Nero’s (54-68 AD) reign.

* A recent documentary on the History Channel proposed this.

The emperor Nero

His number - 666

Some emails have been circulating on the Internet, proclaiming that 666 = WWW (World Wide Web) claiming the following:

The Hebrew Letter waw/ vav is commonly pronounced “w”.

In antiquity and in modern Hebrew, letters also represent numbers.

In Hebrew, the letter waw is used to represent the number 6.

The common abbreviation for “World Wide Web” is www.

In Hebrew, this abbreviation would be spelled waw waw waw.

Numerically, this Hebrew abbreviation would be 6-6-6.

The barcode theory refers to the 3 elongated end and middle symbols on every barcode, which are identical to the symbol used to represent the number 6 on the right hand segment of a barcode. Thus 6-6-6 is the template from which barcodes are read.

However, while it is significant that barcodes and the Internet are playing a major role in commerce (buying and selling), Revelation specifically calls it man’s number and refers to a compulsory mark on the right hand or forehead. This cannot apply to the Internet or product barcoding.

Rev 13:16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; 17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark… (WEB)

His number - 666

Man’s number - 666

Rev 13:17 … that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six. (WEB)

The “man” here in Greek is “anthropos” (ανθρωπου), a genitive (expressing possession) noun: man-faced, i.e. a human being.

Man as created on the 6th day. Thus 6 is man’s number.

In addition the number is not 6-6-6, but six hundred and sixty six.

In the Greek John says the number is χξς (chi xi stigma*): denoting respectively 600, 60 and 6; 666 as a numeral - six hundred threescore and six.

* Stigma is a now obsolete Greek character, but it was used in the NT times and represented the number 6.

Man’s number - 666

John calls the mark “the number of his name” so it is quite likely that the Gematria rendering of the Antichrist’s name will be 666. But in which language? Hebrew, Greek, Latin or English?

Calculations using an invented “English” Gematria (e.g. A=6, B=12, C=18, etc) are unconvincing, as historically English speakers used the Latin alphabet and numeral system, before moving to the separate Hindu–Arabic numeral system by the High Middle Ages (c. 1001–1300 AD).

The only credible English alphabet- numeral equivalents are found in the ASCII* code, which is used in computers for storing all keyboard characters including the alphabet characters.

* American Standard Code for Information Interchange

Hexadecimal representation of ASCII

Man’s number - 666

Unlike English, many ancient languages like Hebrew, Greek & Latin had no separate numeral system e.g. Most of us are familiar with the Roman (Latin) numerals: e.g. 1-10: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

However in the Latin system only certain alphabet characters have numeric equivalents: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, M=1000

Some claim that Hebrew is the “heavenly language”, and so any calculation should be done with a transliteration of the name in Hebrew.

However the Revelation was written in Greek, so it is more likely that this is the most important language for calculating the 666.

The Greek alphabet used as a numbering system

Man’s number - 666

8 is the number of the new creation.

The name Jesus (Iesous in Greek) adds up to 888 (8 x 111). Christ (Cristos) is 1680 (8 x 210). Kurios (Lord) has the value 800 (8 x 100). Savior (Soter) is 1408 (8 x 8 x 22).

7 is the number of perfection & 777 represents the triune perfection. 888 surpasses the perfect number 777 by 1 in each case, while 666 falls short of the divine perfection in each case.

NOTE: ς is an end-of-word lowercase sigma (σ), which equates to 200.

The number of Jesus’ names and titles in Greek

Kept back by the restrainer

Regarding the man of lawlessness, Paul wrote: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains [will do so] until he is taken out of the way.” 2 Thess 2:7 (NASB)

Some believe that the restrainer is the Church (“taken out of the way” being the rapture).

Others believe that this refers to the Holy Spirit.

Both could be correct if the Holy Spirit is removed when the Christians are raptured!

The restrainer

A Baby’s cry or Lightning?

The real Christ will NOT return as a baby. It will be a sudden return:

Matt 24:26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (NIV)

Chris de Burgh in his song “A Spaceman Came Travelling” (where he implies that the star of Bethlehem was a spaceship of an alien) sings:

“And just before dawn at the paling of the sky, The stranger returned and said ‘now I must fly, When two thousand years of your time has gone by, This song will begin once again, to a baby’s cry...’ Oh the whole world is waiting Waiting to hear that song again, There are thousands standing On the edge of the world, And a star is moving somewhere, The time is nearly here, This song will begin once again, to a baby’s cry...”

As lightning flashes

Roman / European descent?

A debate exists as to whether the antichrist will be a Jew or Gentile.

Dan 9:26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. (NASB)

The people who destroyed the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (temple) after the Anointed One (i.e. Messiah) was cut off, were the Romans (Titus in 70 AD).

Thus the “ruler who will come” must have some link to the Roman Empire (modern Europe*) or Rome itself (Italy).

* On 29th September 2004 the new European Union constitution was signed in Rome - in the same room where the Treaty of Rome had been signed to establish the EU in 1957. There had been a long fight over whether or not to include mention of Europe’s Christian roots in the constitution. In the end they agreed not to mention it.

Titus destroys the temple in 70 AD

Roman Empire in 150 AD

Jewish descent?

Heading up the 10 nation confederacy of the revived Roman Empire does not necessarily mean that he will be a Gentile or a European.

The Roman Empire also included the Middle East & North Africa.

Dan 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers … (KJV)

The fact that he does not “regard the God of his fathers” has a very Jewish ring to it*. Many, therefore, believe that he will be a Jew.

Still, others suggest that he may be a European or American Jew who rises to power in the Western world.

* This terminology was used often in Kings & Chronicles when Judean kings forsook the LORD.

Jewish descent?

In John 5:43 Jesus said to the Jews: “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” (NASB)

Would the Jews receive and accept someone (potentially as Messiah) who had no Jewish roots?

The 13 (12 + 1) tribes of Israel?

The tribal arrangement in Israel was based on descent from the 12 sons of Jacob (also called “Israel”).

However, Israel blessed Joseph’s 2 sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and said: “… your two sons … will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.” (Gen 48:5 NASB)

With the tribe of Joseph being reckoned as 2 tribes, this effectively meant that there were 13 tribal divisions.

The names of the 13 tribes are stated in Numbers 1 as Moses was taking a census of all that were able to go to war. They were (1) Reuben, (2) Simeon, (3) Gad, (4) Judah, (5) Issachar, (6) Zebulun, (7) Ephraim (son of Joseph), (8) Manasseh (son of Joseph), (9) Benjamin, (10) Dan, (11) Asher and (12) Naphtali.

The census total did not include the tribe of (13) Levi, as the Levites were exempt from the draft due to their priestly duties. God had told Moses, “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites.” (Numbers 1:49 NIV)

Thus there were 12 tribes and one priestly tribe (the Levites).

The 13 (12 + 1) tribes of Israel?

When the tribes received their land inheritance in the Promised Land (Joshua 13-19), there was no “tribe of Joseph.” Instead, the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim were counted as distinct tribes.

The land was still divided into 12 tribal regions, but this included separate areas for Ephraim & Manasseh. Levi’s descendants had no separate area, but were given 48 cities distributed among the other tribal regions:

Num 35:6 “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee. In addition, give them forty-two other towns… 8 The towns you give the Levites from the land the Israelites possess are to be given in proportion to the inheritance of each tribe: Take many towns from a tribe that has many, but few from one that has few.” (NIV)

A tribe is missing from the “elect”?

In Genesis 48, Jacob had blessed the younger son Ephraim above his elder brother Manasseh. When the “12 tribes” are mentioned in Revelation 7, both sons of Joseph are implied in the listing; “the tribe of Joseph” (i.e. Ephraim) and “the tribe of Manasseh”.

Levi is also mentioned, so which tribe is missing?

Rev 7:4-8 (NIV) Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from … Reuben 12,000, from … Gad 12,000, from … Asher 12,000, from … Naphtali 12,000, from … Manasseh 12,000, from … Simeon 12,000, from … Levi 12,000, from … Issachar 12,000, from … Zebulun 12,000, from … Joseph 12,000, from … Benjamin 12,000.

Dan is missing from the “elect”?

A close look reveals that the tribe of Dan is missing from the 144,000 “elect” Israelites*.

Based on their absence in the 144,000 some believe that the antichrist will come from the tribe of Dan.

In addition, the genealogies in 1 Chronicles 4 to 7, list 12 tribes including Ephraim and Manasseh, but excluding Dan.

Just as the 12 apostles had a 13th apostle added to replace the apostate Judas, so it seems that Dan is replaced in the sealing of “the elect”.

* In the millennial temple though, Ezekiel (ch 48) again refers to the tribe of Joseph and to the tribe of Dan in the naming of the 12 temple gates. Thus God will restore Dan to it’s former status in the millennium.

Irenaeus wrote the following about Dan’s exclusion in the Apocalypse*:

… he who shall come claiming the kingdom for himself … having a name containing the aforesaid number, is truly the abomination of desolation. This, too, the apostle affirms: “When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction shall come upon them.” And Jeremiah does not merely point out his sudden coming, but he even indicates the tribe from which he shall come, where he says, ‘We shall hear the voice of his swift horses from Dan; the whole earth shall be moved by the voice of the neighing of his galloping horses: he shall also come and devour the earth, and the fullness thereof, the city also, and they that dwell therein.’ This, too, is the reason that this tribe is not reckoned in the Apocalypse along with those which are saved.**

As mentioned, Irenaeus’ own interpretation of this Scripture could have been influenced by Polycarp, who in turn had personally received his doctrinal training from John.

* i.e. Revelation ** Against Heresies, Book V

Horses from Dan

John’s disciple Polycarp

Irenaeus links Paul’s warning about the swift onset of the Tribulation with the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) and the horses of Dan. He sees Dan as the progenitor of the Antichrist.

He follows this train of logic with the assertion that Dan is not listed in Revelation (written by John) among the tribes of Israel because this tribe is the one that brings forth the Antichrist. Thus, we see that this belief dates back to the earliest days of the church!

But which tribe would Jews expect the Messiah from?

The Jewish Midrash* claims that the Jewish messiah will come from the Tribe of Dan as well as the Tribe of Judah, through the line of Solomon. Samson, in some respects, was considered a forerunner of the Messiah who will come from Judah but his mother, according to the Midrash will be of the Tribe of Dan. Both Judah and Dan were represented by a lion, though Dan has the additional symbols of the serpent and horse.

* Classical rabbinic biblical interpretation. A collection of biblical sermonic material dating from the 2nd to 5th centuries AD.

Horses from Dan

Irenaeus

Irenaeus quotes a prophecy from Jeremiah as indicating the Israelite tribe from which the Antichrist will come:

Jeremiah 8:16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions the whole land quakes; for they come and devour the land and its fullness, the city and its inhabitants. (NASB)

Jeremiah prophesies the impending judgment of Judah in a time preoccupied with peace and security, when there is none.

Note the similarity of Jeremiah’s prophecy to the passage in 1 Thessalonians (which speaks of the Day of the Lord) quoted by Irenaeus.

Jeremiah 8:11 … Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace… 15 We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror! (NASB)

1 Thess 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (NASB)

Horses from Dan

Jeremiah’s prophecy not only mentions horses from Dan, but serpents:

Jeremiah 8:16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses… 17 “For behold, I am sending serpents against you, adders, for which there is no charm, and they will bite you,” declares the LORD. (NASB)

Remember that on his deathbed Jacob prophetically referred to Dan as a serpent:

“Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.” (Genesis 49:17 NIV)

Hippolytus, a student and disciple of Irenaeus, lived from A.D. 170 to 236. He was a Roman citizen of Greek extraction who carried the words of his teacher forward to coming generations. His words powerfully echo those of his master and he echoes the assertions of Irenaeus that the Antichrist originates from the tribe of Dan.

Horses from Dan

Hippolytus

Hippolytus writes, “And that the case stands thus, we see also from the words of Jacob: ‘Let Dan be a serpent, lying upon the ground, biting the horse’s heel’ [Gen. 49:17]. What then is meant by the serpent but Antichrist, that deceiver who is mentioned in Genesis [Gen. 3:1], who deceived Eve and supplanted Adam? … [I]t is in reality out of the tribe of Dan, then, that tyrant and king, that dread judge, that son of the devil, is destined to spring and arise”.

Note that Hippolytus links the serpent in Dan’s prophecy with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and thereby connects the Antichrist with the Old Serpent, Satan.

He will fulfill the prophecy concerning the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). Just as Jesus was “the seed of the woman” so the antichrist will be “the seed of the serpent”.

Enmity between the “seed of the woman” and the “seed of the serpent” (Gen 3:15)

Dan – a serpent?

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia “Dan plays a peculiar role in rabbinical tradition. Owing to the fact that his name, as the name of a tribe, is connected with the blasphemer (Lev. xxiv. 11), and with the idolatry of northern Israel (Judges xviii. 30; I Kings xii. 29; Amos viii. 14), while Samson, the judge of the tribe of Dan, proved faithless to his nazirate (Judges xiii. 2), Dan came to be regarded as the black sheep of the house of Jacob.”

Early on in their history, the tribe of Dan was linked to a false and substitute religion. This tribe was given an inheritance just like the rest, but failed to conquer its territory (Judges 18:1). They chose to move away and settle north to Laish, thereby rejecting the word of the Lord.

The tribe practiced idolatry after stealing the graven images (teraphim) from Micah (along with his personal Levite) (Judges 17-18).

Dan & false religion

Jeroboam’s golden calf

The substitute religion of convenience (no need to travel to the temple in Jerusalem) introduced by Jeroboam was based on golden calves in Dan & Bethel.

Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. (1 Kings 12:28-30)

That sin prompted the prophet Amos to include the land of Dan in his denouncement of pagan worshippers.

Amos 8:14 “Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, ‘As your god, Dan, lives;’ and, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives;’ they will fall, and never rise up again.” (WEB)

Dan & false religion

Samson

On his deathbed Jacob predicts that:

“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.” (Gen 49:16 KJV)

The name Dan comes from “din”, the root word for judgment. But from the very first, the house of Dan is cast in a negative light. This presents a riddle: How can a tribe that we now view as vacillating, weak and faithless ever act in any way to judge the tribes of Israel? Yet this is his role, designed by God in ages past to be played out at some future time.

Has Dan ever judged his people? Certainly not in the ultimate way predicted in Scripture. Samson, for example, was a Danite judge, but his weak- willed and vacillating ways are not likely to be the fulfillment or this ancient prophecy.

Thus it is possible that the Antichrist will fulfill this ancient prophecy.

Dan – a judge

Jacob also prophetically indicates that the Messiah will come from Judah, and the lion is used to symbolize this tribe:

Gen 49:8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. (NIV)

One of the elders in Revelation uses this same terminology about Jesus:

Rev 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed…” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne… (NIV)

Judah – a lion

Shortly before his death, Moses prophesies: “Dan is a lion’s cub, springing out of Bashan.” (Deut 33:22 NIV)

When we think of a lion, our first thought is of Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus sprang from the tribe of Judah. But another lion is coming, this time from Dan. He will be a pretender to the messianic throne who will claim to fight for Judah and Jerusalem.

This lion – the Antichrist – will spring from Bashan, the fertile territory east of the Sea of Galilee, and northward to Mount Hermon and Damascus. During the period of Greek rule, this was the territory of Seleucid Syria!

Dan – a lion?

Hippolytus again sees in this the line of the counterfeit Messiah:

“Now as our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also God, was prophesied of under the figure of a lion, on account of his royalty and glory, in the same way have the scriptures also beforehand spoken of Antichrist as a lion, on account of his tyranny and violence. For the deceiver seeks to liken himself in all things to the Son of God. Christ is a lion, so Antichrist is also a lion. Christ is a king, so Antichrist is also a king…”

“We find it written regarding Antichrist . . . ‘Dan is a lion’s whelp*, and he shall leap from Bashan’ [Deut. 33:22]. But that no one may err by supposing that this is said of the Savior, let him attend carefully to the matter. Dan, he says, is a lion’s whelp. And in naming the tribe of Dan, he declared clearly the tribe from which Antichrist is destined to spring. For as Christ springs from the tribe of Judah, so Antichrist is to spring from the tribe of Dan.

* a cub

Dan – a lion?

Is the antichrist Satan?

The antichrist (first beast) is distinct from Satan (the devil):

And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also… (Rev 20:10 NASB)

But he gets his authority from Satan (the dragon):

2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (NIV)

Daniel 8:24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power… (NIV)

Rev 13:2 … The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority…4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast… (NIV)

The dragon gave the beast his power

The beast comes from the Abyss

In Rev 11:7 John identifies the first beast (antichrist) with the leader released from the Abyss. Writing about the 2 witnesses he says, “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” (NIV)

Speaking of the beast’s alliance with the harlot church in Rev 17:8 John records the angels words, “7… Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.” (NIV)

“Locust” demons from the Abyss

“Locust” demons from the Abyss

Apollyon

The “beast” is identified by John as Apollyon, not Satan!

Rev 9:2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. … 5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months … 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.

Apollyon & Abaddon both mean “Destroyer”.

Apollo

Apollyon is identified as the “angel of the Abyss” (bottomless pit), and the king of the demonic “locusts”. In one manuscript, instead of Apollyon the text reads “Apollo”, the Greek god of death and pestilence as well as of the sun, music, poetry, crops and herds, and medicine. But the name Apollo (Gk Apollon) was often linked in ancient Greek writings with the verb apollymi or apollyo, “destroy”. From this time of Grotius, “Apollyon” has often been taken here to be a play on the name Apollo. The locust was an emblem of this god, who poisoned his victims.

While some try and identify Apollyon with Satan, this is not possible. Apollyon is currently bound in the Abyss while Satan roams freely (Job 1:6-7, Matt 4, 1 Pet 5:8, Eph 2:2). Satan is only cast into the Abyss after the tribulation (Rev 20:1-3).

Apollo

Who is Apollyon?

Both Peter and Jude draw from Enoch when referring to the imprisonment of the fallen angels. The story of the fallen angels is related in Genesis 6, but the punishment not mentioned.

According to the Book of Enoch, the Abyss is the abode of the fallen angels (Watchers) who sinned before the Flood by intermarrying with women.

1 Enoch 21:5 … Columns of fire struggled together to the end of the abyss… Then I exclaimed, How terrible is this place… 6 Uriel… said: This… is the prison of the angels…

1 Enoch 53:1… I beheld a deep valley burning with fire… 3 And there my eyes beheld the instruments which they were making, fetters of iron of immeasurable weight. 4 Then I inquired of the angel of peace, who proceeded with me, saying, For whom are these fetters and instruments prepared? 5 He replied, These are prepared for the host of Azazeel…

Jude quotes from Enoch in Jude 14 and in Jude 6 writes, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” (NIV)

In the context of the Flood judgment, Peter writes, “For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved to judgment” (2 Pet 2:4 NIV)

Luke relates how the demons feared the Abyss as a place of punishment.

Luke 8:30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. (NIV)

Thus Apollyon is the leader of the fallen angels in the Abyss, who we discover are the Watchers of Gen 6, Jude, 2 Pet 2 & 1 Enoch 21/ 53.

So indirectly John identifies Apollyon as the leader of the Watchers, whose sin is recorded in Genesis 6 and was the direct cause of the Flood judgment.

According to Enoch, the leader of the Watchers was a fallen angel known as Samyaza (meaning ‘infamous arrogance’ or ‘infamous rebellion’).

Who is Apollyon?

Mount Hermon in Dan

Enoch (1 Enoch 7:7) also relates that when the Watchers came down to the daughters of men, they descended upon Mount Hermon.

Interestingly, the city of “Dan” was located on the southern base of Mt Hermon *.

Paneas south of Mt Hermon

* Some identify the city of Dan with the Greek-named town of Paneas (and named Caesarea Philippi by the Romans) also on the south of Mt Hermon. It has a cavern in the mountain and was dedicated to the worship of the god Pan.

* Others say Dan is Tell el-Qadi, 3 or 4 Roman miles from Paneas. This large stone platform is believed to possibly be the "high place" set up by Jeroboam I.

Tell el-Quadi

The Beast’s duration of rule

We are told that the Abomination of Desolation, occurs;

“... in the middle of the week...” (7 year Tribulation) Daniel 9:27

The “week” mentioned in this prophecy is a “week of years”

From the Abomination of Desolation, we are then told in precise detail the amount of time that remains until the end of the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ ... (Remember the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture are 2 separate events)

The Bible clearly defines this remaining time period:

... A “Time, Times & half a time” [Daniel 7:25, Revelation 12:14]

... 42 Months [Revelation 11:2, 13:5]

... 1260 Days [Revelation 12:6]

The Euphrates dries up

Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty… 16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (NIV)

Euphrates dries up

The Euphrates is the principal water source of the entire Middle East. This is like prophesying that the Mississippi River will be dried up!

This Euphrates prophecy appeared to be impossible. That was until 1990, when the flow of the Euphrates was stopped for 30 Days. Turkey had built the huge Ataturk Dam and 30 days were required to fill up the newly constructed reservoir.

So the Euphrates was temporarily stopped. The river is flowing again now. However, as of 1990, the mechanism is in place that can stop the flow of the Euphrates at will.

The prophecy states that, at the time of Armageddon, the flow of the Euphrates will be dried up to facilitate the invasion of Israel. It will really be very simple. Just push a button, raise the dam level, and the Euphrates stops. But remember, it's only been possible since 1990!

Armageddon – Har Megiddo

Daniel 8:25 … he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. (NIV)

Armageddon is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Har Megiddo” and means literally “the mount of Megiddo.”

The adjacent Jezreel valley measures 32 kilometres long and 11 kilometres wide.

During the past 4000 years, at least 34 bloody conflicts have already been fought at the ancient site of Megiddo and adjacent areas of the Jezreel Valley.

Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Midianites, Amalekites, Philistines, Hasmonaeans, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Crusaders, Mamlukes, Mongols, French, Ottomans, British, Australians, Germans, Arabs and Israelis have all fought and died here.

The names of the warring generals and leaders reverberate throughout history: Thutmose III, Deborah and Barak, Sisera, Gideon, Saul and Jonathan, Shishak, Jehu, Joram, Jezebel, Josiah, Antiochus, Ptolemy, Vespasian, Saladin, Napoleon, and Allenby, to name but a few of the most famous.

Megiddo & the valley of Jezreel

King of kings

Armageddon

Rev 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.” (NIV)

Final destiny of the antichrist

Daniel 8:25 … he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (NIV)

2 Thess 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (NIV)

Rev 19:19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. (NIV)

The rider of the white horse defeats the Beast at Armageddon

The lake of fire

Daniel 7:9 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. 11 Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (NIV)

Rev 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (NIV)

The Beast & false prophet cast into the lake of fire

I have installed my king on Zion

The millennial rule

Revelation 17:15 quotes Psalm 2 as prophetic of the King of kings coming at Armageddon:

Psalm 2:1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. 3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will rule them with an iron scepter… (NIV)

The Son of Man’s duration of rule

Daniel 7:13 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (NIV)

THE END

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from The Message (www.biblegateway.com/ versions/ Message-MSG-Bible)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.


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