I briefly touched on Dr. Reagan’s statements about Isaiah 14, in my last article, but I want to go over some of it again, if I may. I want to focus on the section about Joe VanKoevering’s book, simply because he and I have used some of the same arguments.
I did not borrow my arguments from VanKoevering, but came up with them through my own studies of the Scriptures. It seems obvious to me that, if different people come up with the same interpretations, independently of each other, that they just might be on to something!
Dr. Reagan dismissed many of those arguments without examining their validity, I don’t know if this is because VanKoevering was not in-depth in his analysis, or if Dr. Reagan simply skimmed over them without taking them seriously.
He started with the following;
“The King of Babylon idea comes from Isaiah 14:4ff where a taunt against the King of Babylon is presented. As the King of Babylon is described in detail, he clearly morphs into a description of Satan. VanKoevering claims it is also a description of the Antichrist.”
It grieves me that Dr. Reagan would make a statement like this, and then not back it up with an analysis of the passage in question. Such an analysis would show that this passage clearly is a description of the Antichrist, right down to its comparison with the Son of God.
The first part of the passage sets the context, and it is clearly an End Times context. This eliminates any sort of ancient fulfilment of these prophecies;
1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. 2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. 3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, 4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! Isaiah 14:1-4
Notice that the time is specified in verse 3 as “in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve”. You see, that day has not happened throughout history, and will not occur until the Tribulation is over. It can even be seen in the first verse, for the time the Lord will have mercy on Jacob will not be fulfilled until the end of the Tribulation, when Jesus returns.
The taunt against the king of Babylon is a future taunt against the prominent world leader of the Tribulation period… the Antichrist! Why did Dr. Reagan miss this context?
I would argue with the KJV paraphrase of “heylel”, as “Lucifer”, but I must say that this is actually closer to the truth than the modern translator’s (such as the NIV) use of “Morning Star”, which actually confuses Jesus Christ with the Antichrist! In fact most of the ancient translators used Lucifer in this case, so the KJV is in good company, but it is clear that they did not know who it referred to. They only knew that this is an extraordinarily evil person, and assumed that it must be Lucifer, the chief fallen angel.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; Isaiah 14:12-16
Wikipedia has this to say about the translation of heylel as Lucifer;
Lucifer (/ˈluːsɪfər/ or /ˈljuːsɪfər/) is the King James Version rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל in Isaiah 14:12. This word, transliterated hêlêl or heylel, occurs only once in the Hebrew Bible and according to the KJV-influenced Strong’s Concordance means “shining one, morning star, Lucifer”. The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate, which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer,[Isa 14:12] meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus”, or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”. The Septuagint renders הֵילֵל in Greek as ἑωσφόρος (heōsphoros), a name, literally “bringer of dawn”, for the morning star.
The person spoken of here is not Lucifer per se, but a man who is indwelt by Lucifer, or Satan; the Antichrist, Lucifer’s closest human associate. Notice that verse 16 states that this person is a man. Don’t spiritualize it to say that “it says a man, but really means an angel”. If it says “man” it really means a descendant of Adam.
This man is the culmination of all the kings of the age of the gentiles. This man is mankind’s answer to Jesus Christ, and yes, his reign will shake the earth like no other ruler in earth’s history!
Verses 21-22 indicate that he has sons and nephews, which the Lord will also destroy with him. Lucifer has no nephews, and while it could be said that the Antichrist is the son of Satan, he is an adopted son, and not genetically related. Satan has many adopted sons, but no natural descendants. The Antichrist will have sons.
So much for the idea that the Antichrist is gay.
By the way, the angels who do have physical descendants have been locked up, and are no longer free to roam the earth (Jude 1:6)
This person will actually go to Hell for a short period of time;
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Isaiah 14:15-17
Who are those that see him in this condition, but his contemporaries, those who he has sent there before him? The saints he has executed will also behold him, from the comfort of Heaven. These are those who remark at his fate. His stay in Hell is shortened, however…
Notice though, that this man is an anti-christ in the sense that he is like the literal definition of the term; he is like the messiah in many ways, and tries to replace Him. The prefix “anti” in the Greek not only has the connotation of being “against”, but also “in the place of”. In fact the Isaiah account compares him to Christ in a very direct way;
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. 20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Isaiah 14:18-20
When it says the kings lie “in their own house”, it is referring to their body lying in a tomb. The king of Babylon, of Isaiah 14, is “cast out of his grave”, or resurrected like “an abominable branch”. This statement does not apply to Lucifer, nor to any other angel, nor even to any other prophetic figure, but only to the Antichrist!
The Branch is one of the terms for the messiah, Jesus, throughout the Old Testament, and yes, He was raised from the dead. This person is resurrected like an “abominable branch”, like an “evil Messiah”.
Many have speculated that the resurrection of the Beast of Revelation 13:3, is a trick, but these passages indicate that it is genuine; God allows Satan the power to raise this one man, as a trap for those who have rejected the resurrection of the Son of God.
As he is raised from the dead, he will demand worship, and the world will fall to its knees! This event will be at the end of the age, and then there will be two persons who have been verifiably raised from the dead; Jesus Christ, and the Antichrist!
Again I have to ask, “Why didn’t the bible translators, or Dr. Reagan see this?” The only answer I can see is that they are viewing the passage through their pre-conceived notions, and not simply reading, or understanding, what is there. Traditions can be very powerful, and can blind us to much truth. We need to pray that the Lord will help us remove our traditional blinders, and allow us to see what He has placed there!
Dr. Reagan also has this to add;
“A similar taunt is presented in Ezekiel 28 against the Prince of Tyre. And like the passage in Isaiah 14, the taunt morphs into a description of Satan that could be applied to the Antichrist. Does that mean the Antichrist must also be the King of Tyre? I think not.”
I had never considered that the Ezekiel 28 passage might concern the Antichrist before, but it actually appears that it could be! It is unwise for Dr. Reagan to dismiss this idea out of hand.
It actually appears that Ezekiel 28 consists of two sections that are divided in the middle. The subject changes with the phrase “Moreover, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying…” Earlier in the passage, however, it describes this person who declares himself to be God, and then dies as a man at the hands of his enemies, in a way which could refer to the death of the Antichrist. Again, that part of the passage cannot refer to Satan, although the subsequent section just might.
Don’t forget that emperors can call themselves “king” of any part of their empire.
He may be correct that the first section of Ezekiel 28 does not refer to the Antichrist, and perhaps only refers to an ancient king of Tyre, but this passage does not have any events that could ONLY refer to the Antichrist, as the Isaiah 14 passage actually does!
Dr. Reagan disagrees with Joe VanKoevering, that Prince Hassan of Jordan is the best candidate for the Antichrist, as do I, but his methodology in refuting VanKoevering’s arguments is lacking substance.
“The next qualification of the Antichrist that Hassan is supposed to fulfill is that he carries the title of Prince. This is really irrelevant. When Daniel 9:26 says the Antichrist will be a “prince,” all it is saying is that he will be a political leader. The Bible uses two terms for political leaders — prince and king. The biblical authors could not refer to presidents or prime ministers because those forms of ruling power had not yet developed. Thus, when we are told in Psalm 118:9 “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes,” we are being warned against putting our trust in politicians. The warning is not limited to those politicians who literally have the title of prince.”
I don’t know why he would say “The Bible uses two terms for political leaders — prince and king.” because this simply is not true. Maybe it is true in the translation he is using, but I would advise him to read the KJV. I did a search for “governor” in the AV, and had 79 matches. Now, not all of these matches refers to a political governor, but some of them definitely do;
And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. Genesis 42:6
And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.Genesis 45:26
Notice that Genesis, the oldest book in the bible had a hebrew word for “governor” from way back during the time of Moses.
Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. I Kings 10:15
And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. Nehemiah 3:7
Now, my Hebrew is just basic, but I don’t see “Melech” (king) in this passage. Notice also that his governor has a throne!
Dr. Reagan’s characterization of Hebrew as not having any word for a political leader other than a prince or a king, is an over-simplification.
For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Isaiah 9:16
While princes are often politicians, the “prince” Daniel refers to in 9:26 could actually be the son of a king. While I would agree with Dr. Reagan that prince Hassan is not likely the prince in question, this possibility should not be dismissed lightly. Very clearly the ancient Hebrews had words for political offices other than kings and princes, so the use of the term “prince” could very well mean just that!
I am sorry that I didn’t get to the other two books in Dr. Reagan’s article. I shall attempt to get to them another day.