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The Main Problem With Many Of The Theories On Who The Anti – Christ Is Supposed To Be

Posted by Job on July 5, 2007

Catholics say that it will be a rogue pope. More extreme Protestants say that it is the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals say that it will be the European Union or the United Nations. During the Cold War, many were certain that the communists were going to play a huge role in it. Now during the “global war on terror” (which a lot of people seem to forget that the Christian west pretty much started and is DEFINITELY responsible for funding and arming “our enemies” in the first place), Islam has replaced the communists. And it is interesting: thanks to the “ecumenism” movement, a lot of Protestants that would have put the blame on Catholics are trying to cast blame elsewhere, especially to the Muslims or the EU. By the same token, a lot of Catholics that would have figured that the best sign that the pope had turned apostate would have been his making overtures to Protestants are now looking elsewhere. After all, Tim LaHaye had to have the pope raptured in his “Left Behind” novels, or that would have seriously harmed his ability to associate with politically conservative Catholics on the religious right through the Center For National Policy and similar. (Since the Center For National Policy is an arm of the Council on Foreign Relations and similar groups, it is interesting that “Left Behind” kept the focus trained solely on the EU, and not on any of the various groups, some secret and some not so secret, that are either aligned with the Council on Foreign Relations or allied with it … no mention of the Skulls and Crossbones, the Bilderbergs, the Masons, etc. Gee, I wonder why! Almost makes you wonder if a lot of these pretribulationists are being used to run interference for certain people.) It is also curious that where many Christians once accused Jews of playing a key role in the anti – Christ coming to power, the neo – dual covenant theologians of the dispensational evangelical movement have taken precisely the opposite view (motivated by their belief that pursuing self – interested, self – motivated, self – pleasing, and self – serving “relationships” with our friends in the Jewish community is the quickest way to get them to all return to Israel and rebuild the temple so the rapture can happen; of course those same Jews that would speed the departing of the Christians to heaven would be left behind to endure the great tribulation … oh well too bad hey it sucks to be you, you should have accepted Christ while you had the chance … ooops I forgot we listened to John Hagee when he said not to target Jews for conversion because doing that will slow down the process of getting you back into Israel so we can leave you behind there to face the anti-Christ. If that is what “loving your neighbor as yourself” means, I really don’t blame Jews for not wishing to be “loved” in that fashion.)

The main issue is that this “man of sin” is supposed to cause all the people of the world to worship one religion. Claiming that it will be Roman Catholicism will mean that Muslims and Jews will have to become Catholic. (Keep on holding your breath waiting for that to happen.) Similar problems exist with the beast being a Muslim, a communist, a mason, a Mormon, a UN/EU secular humanist, or some leading political figure that you don’t like. While all of these may knowingly or unknowingly (I am believing that it is mostly the latter, though you had better believe that the former exists) play a role in bringing the anti – Christ and his system into reality and power, the beast himself will command universal support: be all things to all people. Meanwhile, any person from the groups listed above (or pretty much any other group) will by definition provoke opposition from a substantial percentage of the population. Of course, global economic, political, medical, environmental, etc. catastrophes could change a lot of that and force a lot of people that would ordinarily be enemies to set aside their differences and work together for survival. Some of that is actually happening already, and one could make the case that the Bible does prophecy such a thing happening. Further, the massive horrors that are supposed to precede the rise of the anti – Christ could wipe out a good percentage of the population, thereby wholesale removing a lot of the people that potentially would have reason to oppose the anti – Christ. You only have to look at how AIDS has dramatically reduced the population of Africa and is now spreading in Asia to see how that could possibly happen. Still, that would leave a lot of huge barriers, the primary one being the one world religion.

So, perhaps what will happen is NOT the anti – Christ causing everyone to cast aside their current religion (including atheists who have no religion at all), but rather create a way for everyone to incorporate his religion into their own beliefs? A way for a person to simultaneously participate in the one world religion while remaining a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, atheist, or Christian (including the many strands of conservative evangelical and fundamentalist)? It is very possible … especially if the said people do such a thing without knowing it, or knowing that they are practicing another religion. They may not even have to bring the world religion “into the church”, that is, incorporate it into their religious practice. Quite the opposite, it may even be expedient if they do not, because a lot of Christians would be loathe to imitate or share in what Muslims are doing, and vice versa, and the same goes for a lot of other groups. The new religion whereby the beast is worshipped COULD be something done outside of the context of that which is generally regarded as religious worship, but nonetheless be something that even the very religiously devout of all religions would not only have no problem doing, but would even desire to do, even if only occasionally. Indeed, all but the very elect, as the Bible says.

Now how elect does one have to be not to follow after some of these things? One does not have to be an elect Catholic to generally avoid Protestantism, or an elect Muslim to stay away from masonry. (That was not a universalistic or ecumenical statement on my part, since I steadfastly reject both; I am just making a general point.) And no, observing the sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday (when actually according to Jewish tradition it is sundown Friday until sundown Saturday anyway) and refusing to partake in the “Christmas”, “Easter”, or other traditional Christian holidays (in the western or orthodox tradition anyways) does not make you an elect Protestant Christian either (because if it would, it would imply that God would hold such a thing against a Christian on judgment day even if the Christian erred out of ignorance).

Instead, we might have to look in another direction; something whereby everyone in the world can worship Satan while not knowing that they are doing so; something that everyone from a person living in a “remote illiterate primitive tribal culture” to a refined Middle Eastern oil aristocrat to a middle America fundamentalist would theoretically be able to share in. One “easy out”: causing “the whole world” to worship the anti – Christ may not be a reference to each individual, but rather to the leadership of each nation. Keep in mind: it is a pretty consistent biblical principle that the actions of the leaders of a nation were counted to the nation, and that God would punish a whole nation on account of wicked actions by its leaders. (Before you claim that God is unfair in doing this, please realize that holding an entire nation accountable for the evil actions of its rulers in this life is a way of sparing them individual accountability on the day of judgment; destroying the nation on account of its leaders prevents the spiritual evil that is coming from the leaders of the culture from infecting each individual member of it. Therefore, it is actually an action of God’s mercy and saving grace to destroy a nation whose leaders want to turn it into Sodom and Gomorrah before it actually BECOMES Sodom and Gomorrah, because when a nation becomes Sodom and Gomorrah everyone in it is wicked, everyone is individually accountable on the day of judgment for their evil, and none will be saved.) That was why God warned Israel not to pray for a king, and why the results of their getting a king was the nation dividing and ultimately going into captivity because of the wickedness of their kings. Also, since one would have to be a “nation” to actually qualify, remote cultures that have not politically organized themselves into a nation – state or kingdom might for these purposes be excluded, and not be part of “the world”, so to speak, in this respect (another example of God’s saving grace, and also why we should not be so quick to look down upon “third world, primitive, tribal, savage, heathen” peoples and presume ourselves to be better than them because of our wealth, culture, and technology … they might actually be the ones that wind up with the better deal of it!

Another thing to consider: the gospel. The end cannot come until the gospel is preached to all nations, so said Jesus Christ in the gospels. Since we are talking about the “anti – Christ” here … is it possible that the gospel must be preached in a nation before people can choose the anti – Christ by virtue of either A) rejecting the gospel outright or B) accepting it initially only for a great many of them to turn away to a false Christianity? It would be the greatest of ironies if one of the consequences of our spreading the gospel to an unreached land would be the people of that land ultimately falling under the control of the anti – Christ. Or perhaps it would be better to think of it this way: what if the very reason why God wants to use His preachers of the gospel in a certain area is so the people there can hear it and reject it so that God can judge them? Please realize that God used Moses in a similar fashion before pharoah for the purposes of God judging the entire nation of Egypt, thereby glorifying Himself.

In the end, God’s Will alone shall be done, and the result will be God alone being glorified. Remember: it is ultimately not Christianity or even the church that will be glorified and whose righteousness will be vindicated, but Jesus Christ Himself, so that through Jesus Christ the Father alone will be vindicated. Think not that Jesus Christ saving you is in any way evidence of your righteousness or the correctness of your church or movement or of the church itself, but is instead merely proof that God alone is able to do the impossible, which is to save one individually (and the church collectively) from sin and the punishment of sin in the time, place, manner, and reason of His choosing. That, perhaps is the main thing that Christians should keep in mind when considering these endtimes scenarios lest they forget that it is God alone who will save them and as a consequence of their failure to remember God they will also fail to be elect and in that way be led astray, not so much by the man of sin but rather by their own pride of life.

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5 Responses to “The Main Problem With Many Of The Theories On Who The Anti – Christ Is Supposed To Be”

  1. John Kaniecki said

    I would like to throw in some comments about the anti-christ if I may.

    My understanding of the scripture is that the devil will take on a trinity like God (kinda). There will be the anti-christ the beast and the false prophet. See Revelation 19:20 the beast and the false prophet are tossed into the fire. The third the Devil or Satan is bound for a thousand years Revelation 20:2. That is clearly three figures.

    The devil wants to be God. The devil doesn’t understand God which is another matter but he desires to be above all. Therefore he imitates the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Note the number 666. It is three sixes. There is the seven manifold spirit of God. Add the number 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 and you will get eighteen the same sum as 6 + 6 + 6.

    Now there is a beast from the sea Revelation 13:1 and a beast which rises from the bottomless pit Revelation 17:8. There is also the whore of Babylon. Now this confuses me these two beasts. Are these beasts meant to represent nations, ideas, philosophies or individuals.

    John 2:8 clearly say the anti-christ is coming. Since there are anti-christs already in the world the one to come must be an individual.

    My personal beliefs (or rather opinion if you will) is that Charles Manson is the anti-christ, Ronald Reagan is the Beast and Pope John Paul is the false prophet. I realize two of the three are dead. Revelation 13:3 speaks of the beast’s head as if it was wounded to death and became healed. Could this be a return from the dead of these figures?

    This I am very certain of but I could be wrong. The tribulation will be seven years. The first three and a half years of tribulation will be interupted by the events of Revelation eleven. These two witnesses which are individuals will speak God’s truth. I call this the foot note in the Bible. The end of the book of Revelation closes prophecy yet these two witnesses prophecy for three and a half years. Yes the Bible is completed but these two will reveal more. Or rather the may re reveal. Those who lived with Jesus knew far more than scriptures teach. They knew his habits, mannerisms and opinions. For example I believe Jesus greeted everyone with a friendly hello. Mathew 5:47. These people however all passed on. Now two thousand years later we have all these debates about many many issues. Don’t you think Peter, or John or any of the other apostles could have answered many of these things. However when these two are slain by the devil the second part of the tribulation will begin. The devil was defeated by Jesus on the cross. But in Satan’s twisted rational he still thinks he can win. Yes Jesus rose from the dead but he was God. When these two witnesses rise from the dead the devil will know his doom is sealed. This is why I believe the two parts of the tribulation will be very different. The first part will be deception. The devil trying to make people believe that he (the devil) is with God. However after the two witnesses tell the truth there will be no doubt who the devil really is and what he is about. Then the second part will be the devil unleashing all the fury he can. The ruse will be over and the devil will just try to unleash as much pain as possible.

    Whatever the scenario be I am one hundred percent confident of this. God will triumph and not one of the elect will be lost.

    Furthermore scripture progresses. What I mean is we know a lot more about God as the history completed. The Bible is silent about many things. A lot of things like computer technology, cloning, space flight and so forth were not relevant at Christ’s time. I feel the two Witnesses will expound on those things and more. Also I feel that the two witnesses will lay the foundation for the thousand years of Christ’s reign on Earth. Revelation 20:4-5 is where I get this thousand years. Do you think the kingdom will materialize over night. No the two witnesses will instruct the Earth on it’s principles and systems.

    I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and ideas. Revelation is a very difficult book and there has been so much said on it. I am eager to learn from others.

    Maranatha

  2. John: My understanding of the scripture is that the devil will take on a trinity like God (kinda). There will be the anti-christ the beast and the false prophet. See Revelation 19:20 the beast and the false prophet are tossed into the fire. The third the Devil or Satan is bound for a thousand years Revelation 20:2. That is clearly three figures. Agreed.

    Now there is a beast from the sea Revelation 13:1 and a beast which rises from the bottomless pit Revelation 17:8. There is also the whore of Babylon. Now this confuses me these two beasts. Are these beasts meant to represent nations, ideas, philosophies or individuals. They refer to the same beast: Revelation has a way of repeating things from different perspectives. The beast coming out of the seas/waters means that mankind will produce the beast as a product of its own sin and rebellion: see the Tower of Babel. It will represent mankind in his fallen state, and Satan will co – opt it. I have not figured out whether the beast will be the nations, ideas, philosophies/religions in and of themselves, or whether he will join them together and use them. Ultimately it does not matter much, because since Satan will be in control they would be able to work in a coordinated fashion without a single leader anyway, and if there is a leader he will simply be the personification of the system. I, myself, strongly lean towards the notion that it WILL be a literal human being, because Paul referred to “the man of sin.” This seemed to be common thought at the time, because recall that the John epistles referred to people looking for the beast and pontificating on who he might be. John’s statement “there are many anti – Christs” seems to have been for the purpose of reorienting their concerns over the struggle between those for Christ and those against Him and against excessive unhealthy speculation. In other words, quit trying to figure out who the anti – Christ is supposed to be and get to work spreading the gospel!

    My personal beliefs (or rather opinion if you will) is that Charles Manson is the anti-christ, Ronald Reagan is the Beast and Pope John Paul is the false prophet. I realize two of the three are dead. Revelation 13:3 speaks of the beast’s head as if it was wounded to death and became healed. Could this be a return from the dead of these figures? Charles Manson is just another sinner. Ronald Reagan and John Paul were merely working for the anti – Christ system, and they both did incredible jobs bringing about the New World Order. It is ironic that Soviet communism, evil as it was, stood in the way of the New World Order because there could never be a global collective consensus so long as it existed. So, a lesser evil had to be overcome by a greater evil. Scripture in Daniel, Revelation, and elsewhere speaks of how during this current time the other lesser demons, principalities, rulers, etc. are all having their little areas of the earth to control, but during the tribulation they are all going to be forced to exit the scene and Satan himself will consolidate everything and turn it over to his human representative and the system that he will rule. Now we know that this will happen on the spiritual plane, my only question is whether it will be explicitly evident on the natural one. A lot of people presume that we will explicitly have one world government and one world religion under the beast. I think that it would take at least a century – or a grotesquely catastrophic event of global proportions (the pre – tribulation rapture would qualify, but I am post – tribulation so …) – to pull that off. I think that it would be more attainable, and also more like the ways of the accuser and deceiver Satan, to let people THINK that they are still living in their own sovereign nations and worshiping their own distinct religions in the natural plane while he is actually in complete control of the earth in the spiritual one. And as far as Reagan and the pope: only God resurrects from the dead, and He is not going to raise anyone evil from the dead except for final judgment. The scripture says that his DEADLY WOUND would be healed, meaning that he would be near death and everyone would presume his death, but that he would survive. Case in point: if Ariel Sharon wakes up out of his vegetative state, sell all that you have and head for Bozrah! This quote from the Jewish virtual library: “Sharon remains hospitalized and is not expected to recover from his illness.” Of course, were he to wake up, he would re – assume the presidency, and it would then be very easy for him to negotiate a peace deal with the Arabs/Muslims because all but the very elect Christians will certainly presume that God raised Sharon from the dead, and this includes a lot of conservative dispensational John Hagee Pat Robertson Christians that love Sharon.

    This I am very certain of but I could be wrong. The tribulation will be seven years. The first three and a half years of tribulation will be interupted by the events of Revelation eleven. These two witnesses which are individuals will speak God’s truth. I call this the foot note in the Bible. The end of the book of Revelation closes prophecy yet these two witnesses prophecy for three and a half years. Yes the Bible is completed but these two will reveal more. The canon of scripture is completed, not prophecy. There were tons of prophecies referenced in the Bible that are not articulated in scripture. The issue is that all further prophecy must conform to scripture in accordance with the rule of faith, and that is the meaning of the close of Revelation when John pronounces a curse on anyone who adds to or removes from the Bible. I am certain that the prophecies of the two witnesses will be new information but consistent with the old. It may be an exposition, a fleshing out, of the prophetic scriptures, it may be saying “This is going to happen tomorrow, this is going to happen next week” or it may be forthtelling instead of foretelling: pronouncing doom on the earth for its failure to repent.

    Those who lived with Jesus knew far more than scriptures teach. They knew his habits, mannerisms and opinions. Careful now, you are veering into gnosticism. What we have in scripture is necessary and sufficient, said Paul.

    Now two thousand years later we have all these debates about many many issues. Don’t you think Peter, or John or any of the other apostles could have answered many of these things. Quite the contrary, the Bible’s writers admitted that they did not know everything, and that it was not God’s Will for certain things to be revealed to mankind. And then you have in Daniel, Revelation, and I believe also Ezekiel where the prophet was told to seal up what he had seen, or not write down what he had heard. Also, Paul said in Acts that the things that he knew came not from the apostles or any man but by revelation from God Himself. We have not only access to that same God as Paul did by way of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we have an advantage that Paul did not have, which was a completed canonized Bible and the events of 2000 years of Christian history, starting with how the church sold itself out to Rome and then started acting like a bunch of pagans for 1200 years until the blessed Reformation.

    The devil was defeated by Jesus on the cross. But in Satan’s twisted rational he still thinks he can win. Yes Jesus rose from the dead but he was God. When these two witnesses rise from the dead the devil will know his doom is sealed. This is why I believe the two parts of the tribulation will be very different. The first part will be deception. The devil trying to make people believe that he (the devil) is with God. However after the two witnesses tell the truth there will be no doubt who the devil really is and what he is about. Then the second part will be the devil unleashing all the fury he can. The ruse will be over and the devil will just try to unleash as much pain as possible. Furthermore scripture progresses. What I mean is we know a lot more about God as the history completed. The Bible is silent about many things. A lot of things like computer technology, cloning, space flight and so forth were not relevant at Christ’s time. I feel the two Witnesses will expound on those things and more. Also I feel that the two witnesses will lay the foundation for the thousand years of Christ’s reign on Earth. Revelation 20:4-5 is where I get this thousand years. Do you think the kingdom will materialize over night. No the two witnesses will instruct the Earth on it’s principles and systems. Well that is a new way of looking at things. I will investigate scripture to see. I do think, though, that the kingdom will immediately materialize upon Christ’s return, and that people will basically act according to what Jesus Christ and the elect Christians that will have the privilege of reigning with Him say. Please recall: the Bible says that Christ will rule the world with a rod of iron!

    I hope this helps, thanks!

  3. John Kaniecki said

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have a couple of comments.

    The idea that the beast is the same makes sense to me and is consistent with my understanding of Revelation.

    I think you misunderstood what I meant by mannerisms and habits. Yes the Bible is sufficent for all things concerning salvation. I have a colleague who said the Bible never tells us to be nice. The word nice is never mentioned in the Bible he says. Technically he is correct that nice is never mentioned in the Bible. I think the overwhelming evidence of scripture proves Jesus was a nice person. If my colleague could spend one day with Jesus any doubt in the area would be eliminated. It is things like this I had in mind.

    Your point about raisning the dead is well taken. Perhaps it is just my stubroness to focus on Reagan and the Pope and that I am letting my thoughts over rule scripture. Then again the devil will do many signs and wonders. The conclusion is the devil couldn’t do anything that God wouldn’t permit. But you must admit the return of these figures would amaze the entire world.

    Your mention of communism brings this thought. The devil knows that he has all the communists (at least those that expose atheism), the muslims, the hindus, and so forth. That is why I feel his greatest attack will come on Christians. It would then make sense that Satan would like to hijack the Christian faith more than any other area.

    I’m glad you mentioned the rapture. That is perhaps the most pertinent thing to discuss regarding end times. For many scriptural reasons I feel the rapture will occur with the return of Jesus. The idea that all the Christians will dissapear and that nobody will figure out where they’ve gone is abusrd in my opinion, especially now that the Left Behind Series came out. I feel that believing in the rapture before the tribulation will prevent many from realizing the tribulation is here. If the first part of the tribulation is Satan trying to deceive people that he is from God then you see the dilemna. The rapture people will deny attacks on Satan because they feel that Satan will only come after they leave the Earth.

    Of course any prophecy by the two witnesses will coincide with the rest of the Bible. Just like Isaiah and Paul and Jeremiah are consistent.

    I think it may be a healthy exercise to get opinions on these matters. As the night gets darker the light shines brighter. The dawn is just around the corner.

  4. Steve Mullican said

    Jesus never predicted a AC and Paul did not expect one..JOhn said in 1 John 2:18 they were present with him and there were MANY..John goes on to say this IS THE LAST HOUR..

  5. Job said

    Steve Mullican:

    Paul did not expect one …

    2 Thessalonians 2:3

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Now regarding “son of perdition”, correlate with these verses.

    Revelation 17:8
    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    Revelation 17:11
    And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

    So that directly contradicts your statement regarding Paul.

    In 1 John 2, he did not preclude a literal, personal anti-Christ. That statement was not a negation but rather a redirection. As far as Jesus Christ, you are correct, He did not speak of an anti-Christ per se, unless it is Matthew 24:15, and that would have had to have been fulfilled in 70 AD in my opinion. However, Jesus Christ did not reveal a comprehensive endtimes picture as that was not His mission. Paul did not either, incidentally, but only snippets. The most comprehensive endtimes revelation is in Revelation.

    I will say that there are lots of arguments for a personal anti-Christ and very few if any for an anti-Christ that is not personal or nonexistent. Even Matthew 24:15, which would have to require preterism or something similar, clearly speaks of a person, a human being.

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