For my fourth and final installment on the Jordanian Antichrist, I want to focus on something that has eluded most biblical End Times schloars.
The Antichrist, like Jesus Christ, has many names in the bible. He is called the son of perdition, the idol shepherd, the abominable branch, the Beast, and others, but the term Antichrist is actually a title, not a name. The word “anti” in the Greek not only connotes opposition to Christ, but actually means “in the place of”.
The Antichrist will actually place himself in the position of Jesus Christ. He will do many things that Jesus Christ will do, and has done, including being raised from the dead. He will actually arise at a time that appears to be the end of the Tribulation, and will pose as a Savior!
Many have noted the similarity of dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, to the character of the Antichrist, and in many ways these comparisons are accurate, but there is one where there will be a big difference. These men were famous for their opposition to the bible, and for big piles of bibles being burnt. I am quite certain that Satan has another European dictator in the works who will also be strongly opposed to the bible, however, this is not the Antichrist, but a decoy sent to distract those who are looking for the Antichrist.
The real Antichrist, on the other hand, will actually use the bible to establish his authority! Rather than burning big piles of bibles he will actually open one up, point to certain passages and say “This is about me!” He won’t burn bibles like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, but will use it, more like Rick Warren, or Joel Osteen!
In researching for The Spirit of Prophecy, I read over half way through Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” and was shocked at how often he takes Scripture out of context, and twists it to conform to his own ideas! Scripture manipulation is truly an art with Warren! It is so bad I couldn’t get past the twenty second week! If you want to know how the Antichrist will treat Scripture just read through Warren’s book, but be careful; he is slippery!
I have searched through the bible looking for a passage that could be used by a Roman dictator to establish his throne as the throne of God, the Messiah. There isn’t one! There is no place where a dictator from Rome could open up a bible and say “Do you see this passage here? This is about me and my ministry!”
The scholars have not been able to come up with one, simply because there isn’t one, and yet so many of them still insist that the Antichrist must come from Rome.
Should the Antichrist come from Edom, however, there are a number of passages to which he could point and say “I am the fulfilment of this promise”!
A few years ago I came to the conclusion that the Antichrist must come from the gentiles, and while walking my dog, I asked this question “If the Antichrist comes from the gentiles how is it that he will be able to masquerade as Israel’s Saviour?”
The very next morning as I was reading Isaiah 63, I was shocked to read verse 1 “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
I had read through that passage before and didn’t get it, and I have heard pastors read it and miss the point, but all of a sudden my eyes were opened! If the Antichrist comes from Edom he can actually use this verse and say “I inspired Isaiah to write this”!
This is what Daniel meant when he wrote that the Antichrist “shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods” (Daniel 11:36). He will claim to be God in the flesh, just as Jesus is truly God in the flesh!
If this verse were alone we could say that maybe it is an accident of translation, but there is more;
LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. Judges 5:4
“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.” Habakkuk 3:3
“And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” Deuteronomy 33:2
Teman was a grandson of Esau, and Paran, and Seir are districts in Edom. The Lord spoke to Moses while the Israelites were in the wilderness of Paran, in Edom. This is what these passages are referring to, but if you take them out of context, you can turn them into messianic prophecies, saying that the messiah comes from Edom! This interpretation will be what the Antichrist wants you to believe!
You may remember how, in the book of Hebrews, Levi payed tithes to Melchizedek while in Abraham’s loins? (Hebrews 7:5-9) The passage is pointing out that the priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to the Levitical priesthood, since Levi payed tithes to Melchizedek before he was even born.
The Antichrist will use the same principle with regard to an incident which occurred between Jacob and Esau.
In Genesis 33 Jacob and Esau meet again after having been apart and estranged for many years. Esau had been so angry with Jacob that he was ready to kill him after he tricked his father, Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing. Now after many years apart Jacob is coming home and brings a number of peace offerings for his brother.
3 And he (Jacob) passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
8 And he (Esau) said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. 10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
I have no doubt that the Antichrist will use this passage to say that Jacob, as the patriarch of Israel was recognizing Esau’s superior position in the covenant, by bowing to him, and even foreshadowing the “Messiah’s” coming from Esau. Jacob even called his brother “lord”. Such an interpretation would have to ignore the fact that Esau had sold the birthright to Jacob many years before this incident. The truth is that Jacob was simply trying to make amends to his brother, but he never gave the birthright back. Israel couldn’t give it back then, or today, even if they wanted to!
The problem with taking these verses as prophecies is they don’t match the bible’s other messianic prophecies, which were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The only way that the Antichrist will be able to fool the world that these passages are prophecies about his “ministry” is if the world is ignorant about the bible, and if they take them out of context. Unfortunately we have a number of popular teachers, like Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen, who are experts at taking the bible out of context. They are preparing a generation for the master of Scripture manipulation.
One key prophecy is Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy found in Daniel 9:24. The seventy weeks of years began when the proclamation went out to rebuild Jerusalem. There were three proclamations made, but regardless of which one was intended, they all would have required that the Messiah would be “cut-off” before the year 33 AD. This would preclude any messiah coming along at any other time in history.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:24-26
And this takes us full circle; The people of Edom are there in verse 26, not as the Messiah, but as the people of the “prince to come” the Antichrist. It was their actions in Jerusalem, shortly before the Roman armies arrived on the scene, that ultimately led to the destruction of that city.