The (Coming?) Prince
Vol: 115 Issue: 29 Friday, April 29, 2011
Understanding Bible prophecy requires one to take into consideration four different states of knowledge. There are the things we know, the things we think we know, the things we don’t know and the things we can’t know.
For example, we know that the Bible forecasts the rise of antichrist and we know that it takes place during the last days. We know he will rise from obscurity and that his rise to power will come very suddenly.
We know that his reign of terror lasts only seven years and we know that if it lasted any longer, there would be no survivors.
Then there are the things we think we know. We think we know that he will establish his headquarters in Rome.
We think he will be a prince of the revived Roman Empire based on Daniel’s identification of him as the prince of the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70. Jerusalem was sacked by Titus of Rome on behalf of the Roman Empire.
And at the same time that Israel was undoing the Roman Diaspora by reestablishing the State of Israel in 1948, the seeds for the restoration of the old Roman Empire were planted — with the signing of the 1948 Benelux Treaty creating the embryonic European Community.
Based on Daniel 11:37, among the things we think, but don’t know, are his religion; some think he will be a Muslim, some think he will be a Jew, others believe he will be an atheist. We know only that he will ‘honor’ a ‘god whom his fathers knew not.”
His identification as a possible Muslim is derived from his honor of a “god his fathers knew not” since Mohammed would not introduce Allah to the world for another thousand years. But we don’t know.
We don’t know how old he will be when he comes to power, but we think he will be around thirty.
There are only a few things that we definitely don’t know about the coming antichrist. We don’t know his name. We don’t know what specific nation he will hail from. We don’t know what he looks like.
And there are a few things we can’t know. For example, Church-age Christians can’t know who he is or when he will assume his mantle of power. Before the antichrist makes his official appearance, the Lord will return for His Church at the Rapture.
While there may be many candidates between now and then, the Body of Christ can never know for sure who he will be.
The Book of the Revelation outlines a series of twenty-one judgments during what Jeremiah called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” also known as the “Seventieth Week of Daniel”. The Bible outlines two specific reasons for the Tribulation Period.
The first is to judge a Christ-rejecting world. This is a period of Divine judgment against the earth and its inhabitants for refusing to repent and for rejecting the offer of salvation.
The second is to bring about the national redemption of Israel. That is why Jeremiah called it the time of Jacob’s Trouble. That is why Jesus warned the Jews living in Israel at that time to flee to the mountains.
The focus of the Church Age is REDEMPTION — for the Gentiles. The Bible calls it the “times of the Gentiles.” When the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled, the Lord turns His attention back to Israel’s national redemption during Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
The Church is not under judgment. The Church is under grace. Grace is withdrawn with the Church – and before the judgments against a Christ-rejecting world begins.
The Apostle Paul said the first judgment will come as a strong delusion that will affect people who received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. That disqualifies all saved Christians.
First, the Lord returns for His Church and then is “that Wicked” revealed. We cannot know when the Lord will return for His Church and so we cannot know – for sure — who the antichrist is.
Revelation 6:2 tells us that the revelation of the antichrist is the first of the twenty-one judgments of the Tribulation. His revelation cannot come until after the Holy Spirit and the vessels He indwells have been taken out of the way.
On this side of the Tribulation, whoever the antichrist might be is anybody’s guess. Trying to figure out who the antichrist is from this side of the Tribulation is a fool’s errand.
But watching for the signs of his coming is not.
Watching for the signs of the antichrist is a bit like a man without a calendar watching for signs of Christmas. You aren’t waiting for winter – you are waiting for Christmas.
The onset of winter is simply a clue that Christmas is just around the corner.
Let’s look quickly at some of his leading characteristics. We know that he will be a dynamic deceiver.
The world will hail him as their savior in a time of great trouble. He will later be exposed as being hostile to Israel, hostile to all things Christian or Jewish, arrogant, blasphemous, hateful, immoral and idolatrous.
Can you think of a world leader who is a proven liar, hostile to both Christianity and Judaism that fits the mold of an arrogant, hateful, immoral blasphemer?
The Bible describes him as a great materialist, obsessed with power, unconcerned with the law.
The Bible says that he will be diabolically cunning and politically astute. He will recover from a deadly wound to “one of his heads.” Can you think of a world leader that has been written off for dead, politically?
The Bible says his hatred for all things associated with God, Israel or Christ will characterize both his administration and his personal outlook.
Finally, the Bible describes him as contemptuous of those that are good, contemptuous of Bible-based religion and as one who honors “the god of forces”.
Can you think of a world leader who acknowledges every religion and religious holiday – except for one?
One could make a very powerful argument for Barack Hussein Obama as a terrific candidate for the job.
If there is one safe inference to make from the official presidential history, birth certificate notwithstanding, it is that Barack Hussein Obama was likely born out of wedlock.
His father had a wife and family in Kenya at the time of his birth, and his father later took another wife while at Harvard – there is no mention of divorce in any of the official presidential histories.
Obama was raised poor by his grandparents and began his educational career at a California college, probably on a scholarship. Whatever turned his life around happened around the time he went to Pakistan in 1980.
Somehow, he went from being a (probably) illegitimate black child raised by poor white grandparents to a California community college to Columbia and Harvard to his meteoric rise to President of the United States. Nobody can explain how.
- He will confirm a covenant with the many for one week. (Daniel 9:27)
One cannot confirm anything until it exists. The Oslo Agreement was a land for peace deal of seven years duration that collapsed in 2000 over the issue of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Obama has a plan in place to divide the land of Israel, using Oslo as the basic model, by supporting a Palestinian declaration of statehood this September. The list goes on:
- He will be a great orator and demagogue. – Daniel 7:8
- A speaker with regal authority – Revelation 13:2
- A philosopher of distinction who traffics in deception – Daniel 8:23
- A clever and persistent politician – Daniel 8:25
- A deceiver who will use the false religious system to gain power – Revelation 13:1-18
- A man different from other men – Revelation 13:4, Daniel 7:7,19,23
- A highly intelligent man – Daniel 7:8
- A king of fierce countenance – Daniel 7:20
When the time is right for the antichrist to ascend to power, world conditions will be perfect.
- He will arise amid exponentially increasing disasters; earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences, false religions and false messiahs.
- His powers of deception will be world-wide and will come at a time of military and financial upheaval.
- He will be worshipped by his followers as a messiah or even as a god.
The Middle East is on the brink of exploding into yet another all-out war of annihilation against Israel. Never has there been a louder cry for peace in the region in the midst of ever-escalating conflict. The timing is perfect on all counts.
Is Obama the antichrist? I don’t know. I suppose that he could be, given the circumstances but somehow, he just seems too. . . I dunno. . . obvious, maybe?
All that he is and everything that he does seems to point in the same direction that the Bible indicates for the antichrist. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is The Guy. He could just be a kind of counterfeit John the Baptist – the voice of one preparing the way for the counterfeit Messiah.
I really, really don’t know – and I really, really don’t think he is. But he certainly could be. And that is why everything the guy does is so relevant to Bible prophecy.
It might not be Christmas – just yet. But it’s starting to snow.