(Or, the first sign of the Antichrist)
Do you remember the story of when Jacob, the father of Israel, was leaving his father-in-law with his two wives? Do you remember how Rachel, though she was leaving with the man of God, stole some of her father’s idols? There is a tendency to cling to that which is familiar and comfortable, rather than trust God and head into the unknown!
Do you realize that this scenario has occurred countless times since then?
People never seem to be content with the Word of God, or the instructions God has given us. So many of us seem compelled to make up rules, when it seems to us, that God didn’t give enough. Israel did this, adding a couple thousand laws to the 613 God had given them, as if there was no challenge keeping those 613 laws!
Not to be outdone, Christians have done the same thing time and time again.
One time, sitting in a service at our local Independent Baptist Church, Heritage Baptist, the pastor read from I Timothy 3:8
“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;”
At this point he stopped and said “We can do better than that! If there is any deacon sipping a little wine on the side, I want his resignation on my desk tonight!” And there was a chorus of “amens” from the audience!
My immediate thought was “do you actually think you can do better than God’s word? There is no way you can consistently keep it all, let alone do better!” As John says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
But before you get offended at Baptists, you must realize that almost all Christians do the very same thing, and sometimes on more serious matters, like Salvation! A great many Christians add works to Salvation, saying such things as “you are saved by grace, but you must keep it through works”! And when they do this they nullify the Gospel of Grace!
So where do we get our standards for living? Is it from the bible, or do we add traditions of men? Most add traditions, and in fact, while many might say that they base their standards of living on the bible, when the bible contradicts their culture, they are happy to ignore the clear teachings of the bible, or to twist them to fit the culture.
Well, what if your view of morality puts you at odds with God, and clouds your view of major prophecies? Is it possible that a wrong view of morality could actually interfere with prophecies regarding the identification of the Antichrist?
It is not only possible, but it is actually a certainty, that those who refuse to understand the biblical standards of morality will miss the sign of the Antichrist!
What am I talking about?
There is a prophecy in Isaiah, about the early years of the Millennial reign of Christ, which describes how the death-toll of the Tribulation and Armageddon, will result in Jesus Christ allowing polygyny, that is marriages of seven women to one man.
1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. Isaiah 4:1-4
The rules of context certainly apply here.
Verse 1 starts with the phrase “in that day”, which links the following with the previous chapter. If you go back only 2 verses you can see the reason for the ratio of 7:1
3:25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. 26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
Specifically, this is a prophecy about Israel, though it has implications for the whole world. Many of the men of Israel will stay behind to fight the Antichrist and his armies, when he sets-up the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple, in Jerusalem. Like men everywhere, these guys will tell their wives “you go and run for shelter in the wilderness, and I will stay behind to defend Israel’s honour”.
After finally getting their Temple back after some 2,000 years, who would blame them? The problem is that Jesus told them…
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:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Matthew 24:15-18
Jesus was telling them this for their own protection, and those who disobey Him will pay with their lives! These Jewish fighters will trigger Armageddon, however, and the armies of the world will converge on Israel, and will slaughter each other there!
After it is all over, and after Jesus returns and fights Israel’s enemies for them, it will be the ones who were obedient and fled to the wilderness who will be the one third of Israel who survive!
Jesus will use these families of one man, and seven women, to repopulate the world in the early years of the Millennial reign. Indeed, not only will the survivors of Israel be 100% believers, so will the survivors of the rest of the world!
The unbelievers will pick up arms to fight against this “invader from the sky”, and everyone who does so will die. It will be the believers who understand that this is Jesus, who died for their sins, and who is returning to set-up His earthly reign.
There is another End Times war that has a very similar ratio of men to women, at its end. This is an earlier war, and rather than immediately preceding the return of Christ, this war will actually precede the coming of the Antichrist! This war is probably the most significant Church-age war, which occurs very close to the end of the age; the war of Gog and Magog, found in Ezekiel 38-39.
I have discussed this war at length in the past, so today I will just note one small portion, which describes the aftermath of this war;
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. Ezekiel 39:1-5
Notice that of the number of men that attacks Israel, during this conflict, only 1/6th will return to their homeland, the rest will die on the hills of Israel!
So what will those surviving 1/6th part of the armies find when they return home? Something very similar to the situation at the beginning of the Millennial reign; there will be more women than men, to the tune of 6 women to one man!
I can’t be totally certain what the Antichrist’s role will be in the aftermath of the Gog/Magog war, but it appears that he will initially be appointed as a governor, or administrator over the nations that now have to rebuild after this horrific war.
Now the Antichrist bills himself as a replacement for Christ, but in this situation his reaction will be the very opposite of Christ, only a great number of professing Christians will applaud him, because they misunderstand the teachings of the bible, and of Christ! Here is the relevant passage from Daniel;
36 And the king (Antichrist) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. Daniel 11:36-37
You see, the phrase “nor the desire of women” is a direct reference to the desire of women in Isaiah 4:1, and while Jesus will concern Himself with this desire, the Antichrist will not! By forbidding polygyny in this situation, the Antichrist will cause women who want children to have affairs, and steal men from their wives, and play the harlot!
While professing Christians applaud this man, he will actually be causing sin to increase exponentially!
Do you remember the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s? In that war approximately one million men died, about five hundred thousand from each side, and very few women. This left about five hundred thousand women without husbands in each country. We did not hear much about this in the west, apart from the statistics, because the Muslim practice of polygyny simply meant that the surviving women had to double-up on their men. This has been the standard solution to the problem of large numbers of war dead in most Middle Eastern societies, since ancient times.
It was a solution that predated Islam, and was God’s provision so that women did not have to live alone during their old-age. God’s plan for Old-Age-Security was, and is, children! The government does not have enough cash to care for the elderly in any society, and it does not have the love for them, that their children should have.
You see, the nations that attack during the Ezekiel 38-39 war are mostly Muslim, and it would be natural for the women of those countries to desire to marry several women to one man, this time, this man who is from a Muslim family will prohibit this practice. How do I know he is from a Muslim family? “he does not regard the God of his fathers” is a simple statement that separates the God of Gods, the biblical God, from the God of his fathers. He cannot come from a Christian or Jewish family, and since the rest of the world is polytheist, it leaves only Islam, or Zoroaster. But Zoroastrianism is very small, so it would be unlikely, and since the subject is polygyny, legalization of which is a characteristic of Islam, it really eliminates all but Islam as being the religion of his fathers.
The world will look at his prohibition of polygyny, and think that it is so out-of-character for a Muslim to think this way, that he must be a Christian! They are wrong, of course, for when he speaks of “Christ” he is actually speaking of himself, and not Jesus!
You can also see the “desire of women” throughout the bible; From Rachel and Leah’s competition for children (Genesis 30:23), to Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar’s seducing her father-in-law (Genesis 38). From Lot’s daughters (Genesis 19:31-38), to the Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37), and Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother (Luke 1:25), the “desire of women” is the same; to have children, and preferably within the security of a marriage! This is exactly the desire that the Antichrist will not be concerned about!
Some prophecy teachers will tell you that “the desire of women is to be the mother of the messiah”, and “this is the desire that the Antichrist has no regard for”! This is wrong because the subject at hand is the desire of women in general, and not just Jewish women. Besides that the Messiah has already been born, so no woman can be the mother of the Messiah today, neither Jewish nor Gentile! If you think about it, it is a rather silly thing to say! No, don’t look for some obscure desire that doesn’t apply today, look for something, as I have shown you, that is found throughout Scripture, and is a general desire of women of all national backgrounds!
Some might say that I am wrong, because Jesus forbade polygyny, but there is no place in Scripture where God ever said it is wrong for a man to have more than one wife at the same time. In fact what Jesus actually said is exactly the opposite of what is practiced in most Christian Churches;
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 5:32
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:7-9
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. Luke 16:18
Notice that the phrase “put away” means “divorce”. Also please notice that polygamists/polygynists don’t divorce one wife to marry another! Jesus is condemning modern western society to a greater extent than he is Muslims!
I went through this myself, and my pastor told me that he couldn’t marry me to my new sweetheart until I was a divorced! It is so amazing to me that we Christians do the exact opposite of what Jesus said, and still think we are Christians!
If you, like me, have been through this already, the thing to do now is to repent (change your mind), and don’t do it again. Keep your vows even if it kills you! (Don’t leave your current spouse, because you have already made vows to him/her) (I would make an exception for “gay” marriages, because God does not recognize those relationships as marriages)
Oh, hey! Here’s another one, from Paul this time;
But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. I Corinthians 7:36
Notice to whom this statement is directed to; “any man”. Notice that Paul does not qualify the statement by the word “unmarried”. We add to Scripture when we read “unmarried man” when God says “any man”!
So where did the teaching that it is wrong to practice polygyny come from, if not from the bible? The truth is that polygyny was prohibited in both the Greek and Roman empires, with the only exception being Israel, in both cases. The Roman Church, because of their tendency to add man-made traditions to the bible, added this cultural tradition, and read-into Scripture reasons for doing it! Ultimately it was their pride in their culture, and disdain for their Jewish brethren that led them to reject the biblical teaching on this subject, and to accept a man-made replacement!
So, will Christians who support the Antichrist be going up in the Rapture? I don’t think so! If you support the Antichrist because of what he does with regard to this subject, then you don’t know the God of the bible!
My friends, it is time to start taking the bible seriously, every part of it!