Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WHO IS THE ANTI-CHRIST?






by Pastor Mike Taylor



“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." Revelation 6:2

Many people are fixed on the end time’s prophecies that we are observing right now in our time. With that focus many are looking for someone to rise up and fulfill the prophecy of the end time ruler, called the Anti-christ.

When I pondered this question, I remembered many emails coming from a fellow across the big pond who thoroughly disbelieves that there will be an actual Anti-christ, This English fellow believes that this is all fictional nonsense, (as he calls it) and there will be no one who will head the end time government that is prophesied to be in place just before the return of Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom. But is he right, or is he just a scoffer? Let’s see what the biblesays about what and who is called the “Anti-christ”.

The term "antichrist" is found only in I and II John. Notice 1st John 2:18: 
"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour."

In John’s day, there were many people who could be classified as anti-christ. They were those that denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh and was from God, and was God. John went onto to say in v. 22 “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” So even in John’s day there were many people who had the spirit of anti-christ, but is that where it stops?

Daniel speaks of the king that would come, in Daniel chapter 11,  Let’s look at verse 15 and start reading. 
“So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.” 
Reading on down we see this verse depicting a ruler to come of when Daniel wrote it. In verse28 
“Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.” 
If you read this chapter, you will learn from historical documents and your own history books, of a ruler from Syria called Antiochus Epiphanes. History shows us that he lost a battle to the king of the south, Egypt and as he was making his way back home, he came against Jerusalem and defiled the temple in his wrath and hatred of the Jews.

From a book of history we read, “Daniel's prophecy describes the reign of one of the later Syrian kings, Antiochus IV, surnamed Epiphanies ("the manifest" or "the illustrious"). With tragic wit, the Jews named him Epimanes, or "the madman," when it became apparent that his policies were violently anti-Jewish. Determined to "civilize" (i.e., Hellenize) the Jews, this Syrian king systematically forbade, under penalty of death, circumcision, Sabbath and holy day observance, and the reading or possession of the scrolls of the Torah. He executed some for refusing to eat swine's flesh and butchered others who would not bow to a pagan image.

Additionally, he had a statue of Zeus erected in the Temple. Swine were sacrificed on God's altar, and pagan rites, orgies, and festivals were performed in the Temple grounds. In his pride, he decreed that he should be worshipped as Zeus; his coins were struck with the inscription theos epiphanes ("God manifest"), a horrible counterfeit of the true "God with us."

This man was many years before the ministry of Jesus Christ and was known to all who were Jewish by birth at the time of Jesus being on earth. His defiling of the temple led to the Maccabean War that defeated Antiochus and restored the Temple after being cleansed and they are observed in the Days of Hanukkah.

When Jesus was approached by His disciples on the Mount of Olives, after His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said this in Matthew chapter 24:

v. 15  "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

v.16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

Bible prophecy has been shown to have duality of fulfillment. Just as Daniel spoke of the “abomination that causeth desolation” and was fulfilled years later by Antiochus Epiphanes, so too, will it be fulfilled again in the last days. Years after Jesus spoke of this prophecy, the temple was destroyed by Roman legions and the prophecy was put on hold, as Jesus spoke of the end of days.

Since the temple has been destroyed and has never been rebuilt, YET, then it would be safe to say that the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. Many men who fit the concept of the
“anti-christ” have come and gone. Some of them we know from our history books, from ancient times to our modern era. Some of the names you will recognize such as Nebuchadnezzar from the book of Daniel, Haman from book of Esther, the Pharaohs of Egypt, Judas Iscariot the disciple of Jesus, Emperor Nero, and even into modern days, such as Hitler, Pol Pot, and Jim Jones. But none of them have stood in the Temple in Jerusalem and claimed to be a “god” and defile the temple. That is a future event. This man is called further “the man of sin.” I would liken him more than Anti-christ, but “Anti-God”, as Paul writes of him in II Thessalonians starting in chapter 2: verse 6:

 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2:7  "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,"

So how will we know when the “man of sin”, the “lawless one”, the Anti-Christ has taken center stage?

Daniel 9:27, "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

This is the very first sign and indication that the ruler who makes a peace treaty with Israel for a seven years of “peace”, then this is the man we have been watching for. Daniel says that this man will allow sacrifices to resume, which will require a temple…either of stone, or a pitched tent, as was in Shiloh. During this time, he will be looked at as a peace keeper, a man of peace.

What’s going on right now in Israel? Leaders are trying to make a peace treaty between the Palestinians and Israel without much success. This man will succeed when all others have failed. Why? Jesus said,  John 5:45, 
"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” 
Some have postulated that this man will come in his own name, and the Jewish people will accept him as their “messiah”, a peace keeper, a restorer of Israel’s right to exist and a “friend” of Israel. I have to agree with this premise.  Then only too late, Israel will realize their mistake that he is an imposter, when he defiles the temple and proclaims himself to be god, and does the same idolatry as “Antiochus Ephiphanes’ did thousands of years ago. Because of their rejection of him, he will turn on the Jewish people with untold wrath and a vengance that will surpass Antiochus.

We shift to the prophecy in Revelation chapter 13. Whole books have been written about this prophecy, but we’ll try and summarize the gist of the argument I am supporting.

13:1  "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

13:2  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

13:3  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

13:4  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

13:5  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear."

Notice the change in focus in this passage? It speaks of “the beast” as an organization, or a political power machine.  Then makes a decidedly shift to speak of “him, his” which a personal pronouns denoting an individual. He will be Antiochus Epiphanes arisen in spirit, empowered by Satan himself. Also notice that this system arises out of the sea, which in bible speak is a sign of the nations, or Gentiles. Then notice the next passages:

13:11  "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (666).

 This speaks of the “false prophet” who supports the beast and rises out of the “earth”, which is bible speak for a member of the nation of Israel. Will this false prophet be Jewish? Appears that it could be, but only time will tell.

To the present day Christian, those called by the Holy Spirit to repentance and acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ, as their personal savior, this should bring no fear to you, or to me. Why? If you look up in the middle of the message is a verse that gives me great comfort.  II Thessalonians chapter 2:

 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"

Strongs Concordance reveals the meaning of the word “Wicked” in the previous verse as: #459 anomos, lawless, not subject to the Jewish law, (by implication, a Gentile) without law, lawless, transgressor, unlawful, wicked”

There is only one thing that is holding back the revealing of the Anti-christ , this lawless one in our present time. Who is “he who now letteth”…I believe along with many others, that the Holy Spirit is holding back all the evil power and Satanic forces that wish to destroy human kind. This passage says that “he” will be taken out of the way. I firmly believe this is the Holy Spirit who called each of us to repentance and provided the Salvation of God to each of us upon our acceptance of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Know this my reader, if the Holy Spirit is making a departure, so are we. It makes no sense that God would leave us alone and powerless and make His Word a lie. Something He will not do. He gave us His promise never to leave us alone, and God cannot lie. Only then will the Anti-Christ be firmly revealed according to scripture.

We may see the run up to this Anti-christ being revealed. There will be hints and we might even have a pretty good idea of who that person will be, because of his position and the politics of its formation, but I believe we will not see its fulfillment, as we are not present on earth. God has removed His church out of the way, as He has done many times before when God’s people are in direct line of the horrors of an evil world.

And horrors they will be. All who do not take the mark of the beast, or his name will be marked for martyrdom. And all who take the mark will be doomed for all of eternity. Remember Revelation chapter 13?

"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

During Roman times, each citizen had to take an oath of allegiance to the emperor and burn incense before his statue and profess these words “Caesar is god”. Then they were free to be a part of this economic system for another year.  I say this because all who knowingly take this mark of the beast will know exactly what they are doing. It will be a conscious decision to follow the way of this world, to partake of the forced economic system imposed by the beast power, and its leader, the Anti-Christ, the Prince to come. It will not be a decision of confusion over it’s meaning.

And what will be the punishment from God for all who take allegiance to the “god of this world”? God warned all who take the mark of the beast of this result. Revelation chapter 14

14:9  "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

There you have it, my reader. You have two choices at that time. You can either fight and resist the beast power and it’s leader and be a martyr, as many will….OR, you can take the mark of the beast and live another day and be doomed for all eternity per God’s warning noted above.

But wait, you have another choice today, right now. Roman 10:9-13,

10:9  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Then you can look forward to Paul when he writes:

4:15  "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Taking into consideration all the scripture that points to a coming Tribulation and a Prince to come spoken by Daniel and more so, in Revelation, and the surrounding historical context of his reappearing is a most dangerous position to not believe in.  The idea of there not being a literal man of sin, the son of perdition, “the ANTICHRIST” is to deny the Words of the book, your bible. Scoff if you will, but the word of God makes a most concrete argument to that error. Don’t waste another day as the Lord could come back any time in the future. There is nothing in prophecy that must be fulfilled before He breaks through the clouds with a loud trumpet sound and call His saints home. Do it today, while there is still time.

And what of my friend across the Atlantic? Even though he is a scoffer at the idea of a anti-christ or even Jesus coming for His church, will he be taken as well? Yes, if he be found in Jesus Christ, then he will, along with the rest of us, rise to meet the Lord in the air. I can only imagine the grin on his face and the look of complete joy at being.......wrong!!



This is pastor Mike Taylor, wishing salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, comes into your life. should you need prayer, counseling or just a listening ear, email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net. 



God bless you all,  till we meet at Jesus' feet.

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