And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. Revelation 13:1
Over recent decades many have watched the rise of the European Union through its various stages (EFTA, EEC etc) and wondered. . . . Is the European Union the Beast foretold in Revelation 13? Others have proposed Islam as another answer. Babylon candidates
But you will notice in Revelation, that the Beast or the Antichrist of Revelation is an individual - not an organisation or an ideology.
See David Pawson's observations on page 1299 of "Unlocking the Bible".
Malcolm Hedding spoke on the seeking to know identity of "the Man of lawlessness" at the 2007 ICEJ conference in England. The following has been prepared from that address and is used with his kind permission. A source of the CD of this address has not been arranged as yet.
The Antichrist features in all the gospels, in Revelation, and in Daniel.
Jesus warned of him when he expounded on the prophecy of Daniel .
Paul speaks as a matter of urgency, in 2 Thesalonians 2 v8-12, of the Man of lawlessness.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.John in 1 John 2 v18-23
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.Note this is written to the people of God; not to the unsaved. John refers to an individual who is coming, whom he calls the antichrist as he denies Jesus is Christ, but he also says, “many antichrists have come.” The saints need to understand what has already happened and be ready for what is still to happen.
Jesus warned of the coming of antichrist. In Matthew 24 v15 we have Jesus making a remez (a link for those who can pick it up due to their scripture knowledge)
"So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand—“Jesus is saying to those who know their Bible, “See I told you beforehand.”
There have been many antichrists through history. Antichrist means … Another Christ, in place of Christ – and to a lesser extent, against Christ. The picture is not like the movies; the bad guy being instantly identifiable and opposite in every respect to the good guy. The antichrist is likely to appeal to the church by looking and sounding like the real thing. John also speaks of the antichrists going out from us; so deception and delusion of the church is clearly part of the story.
What is this delusion and deception, and how will the church fall for it? – Perhaps it will be another form of discipleship – more popular and less demanding.
We should become like Christ, but are there other ways that can be seen in church?
How have we learned of Jesus?
Are we holy people?
Something is wrong in church if it is not making us holier. Any other way is delusion and blasphemy
2 Thessalonians 11 & 12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. -Notice that a lie is sent out - probably phrased in pompous words - and it is embraced. How and why? The beast is speaking arrogant blasphemies (Rev 13 v5)
This antichrist spirit also appears in the torah – in Deuteronomy 13
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.Note that “God is testing you” - here we see a true prophet, doing real signs, proclaiming a false god.
These people arose, and will arise, under the sovereignty of God. Why does God do/allow this? He allows this in order to judge the world and purify the people of God with respect to our commitment to Jesus.
These are Last Days matters; but the “last days” period, in scripture, started with God’s last word that was the death, resurrection and Pentecost of Jesus. Perhaps, when we talk of the last days, it would be truer to speak of the last hour. We are looking at the last test of that generation. The antichrist is the final test, “because they did not love the truth”.
Remember – it happens under the sovereignty of God… Revelation 17 v17
For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled.“God put it in their mind” - Consider all the world politicians and leaders and their humanistic arguments, consider the EU arguments “…..but remember - it is God.
We need to avoid making simplistic deductions about the source of world trends.
Revelation 14 v12-13 says,
" This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."Notice, “patience of the saints”, so this is about a test for the saints. (see also Tribulation)
Revelation 13 v10
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. –Who are the saints” John’s Revelation follows that given to Daniel.
Daniel 11 v35 - … .
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. …..”Notice the reference to “Until the time of the end” – this is God’s last test – for the appointed time.
Daniel 11 v32 - …
With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. (see comments below)We need to aim to be part of that body of people who know their God. (saints is referring to us! - Old Testament and New Testament saints) (see also below)
Daniel 7 v25 - .
Notice how this individual speaks, and what he is trying to do. (there is a suggestion of pompous words against God)
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (NIV)
“ He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High.” (CJB)
“speak great words… and persecute saints” (AV)
Remember that these references are not just to the church, since the church is not the new Israel, but to the old Israel, or God’s one Israel. There is one olive tree! Realise that the branches will not be raptured before the tree! Those being tested and persecuted are the members of the whole flock of God (the olive tree)
An evangelical vacuum - Post Christian Europe
As Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2 v3, “
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed,”We should be seeing….
Antichrist - the man of lawlessness - (CJB calls him “the man who separates himself from Torah.”) The sense of this is not lawlessness in the sense of being an outlaw or bandit, so much as one who has rejected the constraints of God’s instructions.
These prophecies are widely understood as saying that the Beast will achieve what no man has been able to -- peace in the Middle East - many premiers are trying to achieve this ( Clinton, Bush, Blair, Obama etc)
Aristochus Epiphanes (see Hannukah), was a type for Antichrist. Daniel 11 v31.
"His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.
Jesus quoted Daniel 11 - prophesying how the antichrist would rise…
Today is the time to study Daniel seriously!
"He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses--but only for a time. Daniel 11 v21-24 .Notice how he comes in “enter peaceably”(AV) / “through intrigue” / “ act deceitfully” and how he “ will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did.” This, with the end of chapter 9 and other words, has convinced many that he is the man who will be able to sort out peace, especially in the Middle East, where all before have failed.
The return of the Jews to Jerusalem is an end times sign as Jesus said. Also many other developments could very soon fit in with the words given to Daniel.
At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. " Daniel 12 beginning.Notice the references (also parallel ideas in Revelation 12 ) to - Michael - time of trouble (see also Tribulation) - such as world has never seen - people shall be delivered (Michael is the archangel with special responsibility for Israel) (Consider also, “all Israel shall be saved” - Romans 11)
He will lead all the nations against the returning Jesus - Revelation 19
The whole world follows him - Revelation 13
He has other worldly, supernatural power
He dies and comes back to life - Revelation 14 and 17.
He comes up from the Abyss. Revelation 11
He is a person - not an organisation or ideology - Revelation 19
He is associated with the false prophet - Revelation 19
He is finally disposed of by Jesus Revelation 19
Antichrist is half man, half devil, who will come up out of the abyss (no man comes up out of the Abyss)
Rev 11 v7 (re the two witnesses) –
Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.
Revelation 13 v3-4
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"Rev 17 v8 .
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destructionRev 19 v19-20
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.Revelation 12 v17
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.The dragon transferred to the physical world and went to attack God’s faithful.
See how Aristochus Epiphanes fitted the antichrist pattern. (Book of Maccabees - Hannukah)
(He came after Daniel received the prophecy, but before Jesus repeated it.)
"So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand “Matthew 24 v15Since Jesus spoke of when you see the abomination standing, he was talking of a man, not an ideology.
Are you astonished? - We shouldn’t be if we know the word - Revelation 17 v7
Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.“What if I told you antichrist has already been?
"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
"The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
The seventh is the last; he comes for a short while and vanishes, and comes again.
He is also the eighth, as he comes twice.
He comes back from the dead.
He has been here.
He seeks the destruction of the Jews and the church.
We need to align ourselves God’s purposes, and that means with Israel!
Israel will be delivered and the church will be purified. Are we ready?
How is it that so much scripture is dedicated to this individual, and Jesus, John and Paul all warned of him, yet we who are living in these times pay so little attention?
This is all about our commitment to Jesus, and understanding the days in which we live, “in those days the love of many will grow cold….. a great falling away.”
This is what Malcolm Hedding said about his Test Question.
“Here is the mind of wisdom” - revelation can be to me as much as anyone else.”
“I asked Holy Spirit to take me on a journey in this issue.”
“ICEJ is committed to the preparation of the end times church.”
“Jesus will not share this revelation with us unless we come and sit at his feet”.
“Bible says Daniel was a man who understood enigmas and riddles because he had an excellent spirit. You must make it the pursuit of your heart.”
“I am challenging you to get before Jesus and ask him to take you on a journey unravelling this matter and you will be surprised what he will reveal to you and how he will share his heart with you. ”
Obviously, wildolive will not be handing you, on a web page, the answer.
It is only for those who earnestly seek Jesus for understanding! I am still seeking.
Daniel was said to have an excellent spirit (“an extraordinary spirit was in this Daniel” Daniel 6 CJB)
Daniel 9 tells how Daniel came to receive wisdom and insight from God.
“I turned to Adonai, God, to seek an answer, pleading with him in prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.”…… (v3)Notice the context is of concern for Israel / Jerusalem / the Temple and of God’s name,
”While I was speaking, praying, confessing my own sin and the sin of my people Israel.” (v20)
”Then he said to me, “Don’t be afraid Daniel; because since the first day that you determined to understand and humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard; ….. ” (10 v12) (all from CJB)
“ for your own sake, my God, because your city and your people bear your name!” (9 v19 CJB)
He was told,
“You man so greatly loved, don’t be afraid. Shalom to you; and be strong, yes truly strong.” (10 v19)
If you have repented and been saved and grafted in, do you realise how greatly loved you are, and that you will be heard if you seek God like Daniel did?
Those who know their God - Daniel 11 v32 -
With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. (NIV)The Hebrew uses the word Chazaq (strengthen, be courageous, be firm, resolute) and asah (to do, fashion, accomplish, make) so this text translates literally that the people that know their God will “be strong and do”, but the context indicates being us strong in the LORD and achieving the great things He purposes in resisting antichrist.
“but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (AV)
“but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and prevail” (CJB)
The role of those with discernment - Daniel 11 v33
"Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.We who have understood something of God’s purposes re Israel, where others have missed it, have work to do – it may be uncomfortable – we may stumble but we will be refined.
We must seek the mind of the LORD and his purposes, rather than hoping to be smug about having secret knowledge.
As the book of Daniel concludes,
"Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.Is now the “time of the end”, when these words are to be unsealed?
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