Disclaimer: The author intends these articles to assist the reader in understanding the End Times prophecies of the Holy Bible. There is no intention to provoke hatred towards any group, tribe, or nation. Even the family of the Antichrist deserves to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The book of Revelation states that there will be members of every tribe, nation, kingdom, and tongue, in Heaven! It is the hope of the author to provoke Christians to witness of the love and forgiveness of God toward all who will listen! It is his hope that we will share in the joy of seeing even family members of the Antichrist himself, in Heaven with Jesus!
A corollary to my questions from last week would be “Is there biblical evidence against the nation of the Antichrist?”
Well, yes, and no!
If you believe the Antichrist will come from Rome, there is only a couple of cryptic passages that could indicate Rome, or they might indicate someplace else! We have the Daniel 9:26 reference to the destruction of Jerusalem;
“the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”
Now, everyone knows that the armies of Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, don’t they? That was the fact I accepted most of my adult life, but some time in 2009 I decided to take a look at an eye-witness account of the events in question. I remembered the meeting between the apostle Paul and the centurion who had bought his Roman citizenship (Acts 22:26-28), and I realized that this was probably a common occurrence. Rome itself was too small to run the whole empire without assistance from conquered peoples.
Were there Arabs in Rome’s armies which ransacked Jerusalem? Who was there, and who started the destruction?
As I looked for an eye-witness account, I found the best, and most reliable account was the one by the Jewish historian, Josephus.
In book 4 of “the Jewish Wars” I found what I had been looking for, and which I had come to suspect; When general Vespasian was marching toward Jerusalem he stopped in Damascus and gathered large numbers of auxiliaries from kings in the neighbourhood;
“So Vespasian sent his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been with Nero, to Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and. the tenth legions, while he himself, when he had passed over the Hellespont, came by land into Syria, where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the kings in that neighborhood.”
Hmmm! So we know that there were Syrians there at the destruction of Jerusalem. So much for it being entirely Rome’s responsibility. In fact Vespasian had to return to Rome to become Caesar, and he left his son Titus in charge. Titus, it turns out, made an order that the Temple was to be saved intact.
Some of the soldiers began looting, and when it appeared that he might lose control over his armies, Titus reversed his order. It appears that it was only then that the Roman armies joined the looting. So, were the Syrians responsible for the destruction?
Someone else got there first, and began the destruction while the Roman armies were still enroute. The destruction begun by this group of people served to ensure that Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple!
Who were these people? They were actually practising Jews at the time, and the closest relatives the people of Israel have on the planet, the nation founded by Jacob’s brother Esau, Edom!
These people, being brought in by the Zealots, by stealth, first went to the Temple where they slaughtered some 8,500 men, and then went throughout the city killing another 12,000 people! At the end of their slaughter, they held a trial, by jury, of the high priest Annanus, and his deputy, one Jesus. When they failed to get a conviction, they threw both men off the Temple wall.
These men knew they could not defeat Rome, and were prepared to negotiate a surrender, but with them gone, the Idumeans left the Zealots in charge. The Zealots had such a hatred of Rome that they refused to surrender, and in the end some 1.3 million people were killed and the rest taken captive. Here is what Josephus says about the Idumean slaughter of these two men;
“I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. He was on other accounts also a venerable, and a very just man; and besides the grandeur of that nobility, and dignity, and honor of which he was possessed, he had been a lover of a kind of parity, even with regard to the meanest of the people; he was a prodigious lover of liberty, and an admirer of a democracy in government; and did ever prefer the public welfare before his own advantage, and preferred peace above all things; for he was thoroughly sensible that the Romans were not to be conquered.
He also foresaw that of necessity a war would follow, and that unless the Jews made up matters with them very dexterously, they would be destroyed; to say all in a word, if Ananus had survived, they had certainly compounded matters; for he was a shrewd man in speaking and persuading the people, and had already gotten the mastery of those that opposed his designs, or were for the war. And the Jews had then put abundance of delays in the way of the Romans, if they had had such a general as he was.
Jesus was also joined with him; and although he was inferior to him upon the comparison, he was superior to the rest; and I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut off these their great defenders and well-wishers, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the public worship; and had been esteemed venerable by those that dwelt on the whole habitable earth when they came into our city, were cast out naked, and seen to be the food of dogs and wild beasts. And I cannot but imagine that virtue itself groaned at these men’s case, and lamented that she was here so terribly conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Jesus.” (Josephus, The Jewish War, Book 4, Chapter 5, Section 2)
So who was Daniel speaking about when he wrote “ the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”? Did he mean Rome, who was carried along by the actions of others, or was he referring to those others who‘s actions actually resulted in the destructon of Jerusalem? I say it was the others, and not even the Syrians, who began the destruction, but the Idumeans, who made it inevitable. The Idumeans, Edomites, the descendants of Esau, are the people of the Antichrist, according to Daniel 9:26!
But what about the prophecy in Revelation 17:9 that says the Antichrist will rule an empire from a city of seven mountains? Surely this must indicate Rome, which was historically known as “The city of seven hills”?
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”
To you and me the distinction between “hills” and “mountains” might seem small and insignificant, but the Lord is specific in His choice of words. He chose the word “mountain” because he had another city in mind, one that prides itself as being a city of seven mountains, or as they say it in Arabic, seven “jabals”! This city was a Rome wannabe, and some day soon will actually surpass Rome, its model.
The city of seven mountains that Revelation 17:9 refers to just happens to be the capital city of Esau’s descendants; Amman.
Interestingly, as you study the history of Amman, you will discover that it was known as Philadelphia from some hundred years before the time of Christ, and for some three hundred years after. This is not some insignificant fact, but a key to the whole mystery. You can bet that the Antichrist will exploit the confusion between the Philadelphia of Asia minor, in Revelation 3, and the Philadelphia which was Amman at the time. Will he call his church the “Church of Philadelphia”? This is a distinct possibility.
As you go through Revelation 17 and 18, you will see that there are actually two entities in view here. The one is Babylon the Harlot, who sits on many waters, and the other Babylon is a city of seven mountains. The first is a religious entity, and her headquarters is not identified in the passage, except by the name Babylon. The phrase “many waters” is a reference to many people groups, and refers to a world-wide base. She will have a headquarters, however, and I believe this will not be Rome, nor the city of seven mountains, but to Ancient Babylon itself.
Rome will be destroyed before these events take place, and her destruction will lead many to believe that the Tribulation is over. This is a deception of the devil. In the aftermath of the destruction of Rome, the remaining Catholic churches will be forced to select a new headquarters. I believe this location will be Babylon, Iraq.
I am quite sure that many protestant churches will view the destruction of Rome as having been the judgment of Revelation 17 and 18, and will now feel safe in uniting with the remaining Catholic churches. In doing so they will actually be forming the Harlot Church. Their unity will be to promote peace on earth, and to form the “kingdom of God on earth”, and by doing so they will ride the Beast, until he and the ten kings of the earth destroy them.
When the Harlot church is destroyed, another entity, a city of seven mountains will be ready to take on the mantle of world power, and to set up another world religion. That will be the city of the Antichrist; Philadelphia; Amman!
One would think that the “Roman Antichrist” is a footnote to history, the way that there are no specific condemnations against Rome in the bible. You can search high and low, and you simply won’t find any. This man is Christ’s arch enemy, one of only two people in the history of the world who are thrown into the lake of fire without attending the Great White Throne judgment, but there are no statements of condemnation, no prophecies about a man from Rome, or even condemnation of Rome itself by name.
Obviously the man of sin can’t be that important to God, if he is from Rome.
This is an example of studying Scripture the backwards way. Rather than looking for condemnation of Rome, one should look for who it is that God condemns, in His End Times prophecies, and then determine where the Antichrist is from.
Here is a part of a verse about a nation who suffers the Lord’s anger. Look at not only the Lord’s anger, but the reputation of this nation for ever. Could this be Rome?;
“and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever.”
If the Antichrist came from Rome this is the kind of statement one would expect about that city. It isn’t Rome. Read the rest of the story;
“Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.” Malachi 1:4
Edom, the nation founded by Jacob’s brother Esau is THE nation against whom the Lord will be indignant with for ever! There is no other nation that suffers this fate! This is the same nation responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem. This is the same nation that is today governed by the ancient city of Philadelphia, a city of seven mountains, and a Rome wannabe!
Is this everything against these people? No! There is a mountain of biblical evidence that this nation, and the people of Edom, Ammon, and Moab, will have a special relationship with the Antichrist. He is their favourite son, and the one they pin their hopes and dreams on!
Daniel 11:41 is often used to say that the little nation across the river from Israel will not be defeated by the Antichrist, as if this tiny nation, even smaller than Israel, will be so strong that the Antichrist can’t defeat them;
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”
Well, that is one interpretation, but it really doesn’t make any sense in the light of the whole bible. Why on earth would the Antichrist not take-over this little nation when it is so close to his real quarry, Israel? How is it that the man who is able to take over the whole earth, is not able to take over a little nation of some 5 million souls?
You see, it doesn’t say that he will not rule this nation, only that they will escape his hand. They will escape his hand because he has no need to attack them; they are his power base! The people of Edom, Moab and Ammon are his people, and will support him from the beginning! If he has a close relative on the throne of this nation, such as a brother, cousin, or uncle, why would he attack his own family?
I could go on and talk about the other prophecies against Edom and the people of this nation. There are even prophecies about the destruction of Amman, which is very similar to the destruction of Babylon, and there are other prophecies against the descendants of Esau, but I will leave it at that for now.
I want to end with a note; Why have so many missed these prophecies? Well, if you have already decided that the Antichrist is from Rome, then you will NOT be looking for verses that indicate the Antichrist will come from somewhere else, and if you do see them you will interpret them incorrectly!