(This is a continuation of the previous post. It’s long, so feel free to scroll down to a subtitle which interests you)
WILL ANTICHRIST DESTROY THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL, INCLUDING THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD?
Mr. Blogg’s Antichrist-is-a-Jew theory presents Antichrist as the deliverer of Israel, winning the adoration and worship of the people of Israel. The Biblical truth is that God, and specifically the Messiah, is the only deliverer of Israel, and it’s the enemies of Israel, including the attacking Muslim world, who the true Messiah will deliver Israel from. How can he do that if some charlatan has already done the job? I offer some Biblical examples at the end of the post ***
THE THEORY WHICH ROBS GOD OF GLORY
The Bible pictures God over and over as Israel’s deliverer:
“From the Lord comes deliverance…” (Psalm 3:8).
God delivers not just for the sake of who He’s delivering, but more importantly for the sake of his own glory:
“…O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes” (Ezekiel 38:16).
Not only this, but God declares very clearly just how important that is:
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another” (Isaiah 42:8).
God is not about to let Antichrist get any glory for defeating the enemies of Israel: it’s God who does the delivering.
WOULD THE JEWS ONLY WORSHIP AND FOLLOW A JEW?
The idea of the Jewish Antichrist theory is that Jews would only worship a Jewish messiah, therefore he must be Jewish, and Muslims wouldn’t worship him so they must be wiped out first. In fact, Mr. Bloggs teaches that when, according to him, Antichrist sets up home in Jerusalem and on the temple mount at or before the start of the seven year period, he will intentionally start a war with the Muslim world by building a temple and beginning temple sacrifices.
The truth is that the Bible makes no mention of Jews worshipping Antichrist, which fact deflates the whole “Antichrist-must -be-a -Jew idea. His appearance on the temple mount is a mockery of their religion: an abomination, not an agreement with it. While the “whole world” will follow the beast, the “whole world” will also be against Israel and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3 and 14:2).
Some say that the Jews would never follow or worship a Muslim. Others say that the Muslims would never follow or worship a Jew. I say it doesn’t have to be that black and white.
Muslims are generally strict about their theology, or the radicals will soon ensure that they are. For the most part, Israel is a pretty secular society. Muslims are far less likely to bend their beliefs and theology for the sake of peace.
Antichrist is going to have a lot of people fooled: he will be a master deceiver. He probably won’t jump up and down shouting “I’m a Muslim, I’m a Muslim!”, or “I’m Jewish, I’m Jewish!” It makes much more sense to me that he will appear to be “neutral” so that having confirmed, arranged or guaranteed the famous “covenant” of Daniel chapter 9, he will cause many people to say: “Peace and safety!” (1 Thess. 5:3).
Antichrist can have both Jew and Muslim fooled for a time. That is, those who don’t strictly follow their scriptures. Most moderate Muslims would be grateful to a powerful leader who could tame the Israelis, put them into a corner and get them to agree to part with some of their land, perhaps with the secret promise that he will soon get them to part with all of it. And most Israelis, desperate for peace and security, would gladly accept a deal which would give them the hope of lasting peace and rest from war and the fear of terrorism. He does not have to be overtly Jewish or Islamic, to begin with anyway.
Much of the world would be more than impressed to see someone apparently solve the Middle East troubles, impose order, and tame the ultra-extremist Muslims as well as the Israelis.
And don’t forget that Antichrist’s devilish power will not be given until the last three and a half years. Until then he will be just another world leader. But at that point, he will show his true colors.
A JEWISH ANTICHRIST WOULD NULLIFY THE PROPHESIED DIVISION OF JERUSALEM
Just in case you haven’t noticed, efforts have been ongoing for decades to bring about a peace arrangement, first between Israel and the Palestinians, and then between Israel and its other neighbors who all have claims upon Israel’s tiny land. The lands most in question now-half of Jerusalem and the “West Bank” (Biblical Judea and Samaria)-are the very lands which the Bible predicts will be wrested from the Israelis by the nations of the world just before the coming of the true messiah (see my post “Jerusalem and You: Choose Wisely”).
So it seems logical to me to see the “covenant” as one which appears to solve these problems, and which fools Israelis into thinking that they have “peace and safety” at last. If a Jewish antichrist were to come along years before the Great Tribulation (at least three and a half years before) and wipe out the enemies of Israel, there would be no point in Antichrist (or “the nations of the world”) bisecting Jerusalem after his ascension to power-he could just take the lot.
CAN “ANTI” MEAN “IN PLACE OF” OR “INSTEAD OF”?
Without doubt, this is a possible meaning of the prefix “anti” in “antichrist”. However, the term “antichrist” is only used in John’s letters. It isn’t used in Revelation, Daniel, Thessalonians or the gospels. And in any case, “in place of” does not have to mean “a false copy of” any more than if you have a girlfriend in place of your wife she must be a copy of her.
BY THEIR FRUITS YOU WILL KNOW THEM…
The actions of the last-days beast are remarkably in line with the dreams of more hardline Muslims, and not at all in line with the hopes and desires of Israelis. These are some of the marks of the Biblical Antichrist:
-Mass murder by beheading;
-The Persecution and killing of Christians and Jews;
-Based in and operating in the Middle East and particularly around and against Israel;
-The desire for world domination;
-Attempted destruction of the Jew and the state of Israel;
-The conquest of Jerusalem;
-The attempted eradication of Christianity.
If Antichrist posed as a Jew or believed he was one, and then turned on Israel to destroy it, he would not logically be a Jew: he would be fulfilling the wishes of the Muslim world. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of Muslim rhetoric against this tiny nation:
-Iran’s supreme leader has stated that the “only solution” for the mid-east crisis is the destruction of Israel, and until then Hamas and others must be supplied with more weapons to fire into Israel (1);
-Hamas’ charter has not and will not cease to call for the ultimate destruction of the state of Israel:
“Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, May Allah Pity his Soul) (2);
-The charter of the Palestinian leadership, which until recently feigned “peaceful” intentions does not recognize the legitimacy of any Jewish state:
“Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time…” (3).
-The Islamic State is threatening the destruction of Israel (4).
The logical and obvious way of seeing the prophecies in light of today ‘s world is to realize that Antichrist’s plans are in line with the dreams and wishes of radical Islam, even if he doesn’t claim to be a Muslim himself.
THE EARLY ANTICHRIST
If it were true that Antichrist will build the temple and start animal sacrifices in the first half of the seven year period, he would be appearing on the proverbial “world’s stage” earlier than Jesus and Paul said he would. So Jesus and Paul got it wrong, but Mr. Bloggs got it right?
Paul’s sign of the beginning of the Day of the Lord was the revealing of Antichrist to the world, in the event known as the “abomination of desolation”, in agreement with Jesus and Daniel:
“…that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed…He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
Until this time, says Paul, the “lawless one” will be held back and prevented from being his true self and making his entrance on that stage (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).
From the moment of the abomination people in Israel will be suffering the wrath of Satan.
Why would Paul label the temple of that time “God’s temple”, if he knew that it would be built and its sacrifices instituted by the “lawless one”? Would he not at least allude to the fact that this was an unholy, false, beastly temple designed for the worship of a false messiah and the dragon?
Again, Daniel makes no mention of Antichrist building the temple or setting up the sacrifices, only desecrating it (Daniel 9:27).
Jesus mentioned only that the “abomination” would be standing in the holy place, not that Antichrist would be building it. And why would he call it “the holy place” if it had been built by the beast?
Why would Paul place the beginning of the Day of the Lord at the time of the rebellion and revealing of Antichrist (and not before) if by that point Antichrist will have already wiped out the Muslim world, fooled the Jews, built the temple and accepted worship and praise?
How can a temple built by Antichrist then have the abomination perpetrated upon it? Daniel’s prophecy puts this event in the middle of the seven year period (Daniel 9).
There’s a conspiracy theory going around-and has been for many decades-that Jews are plotting to take over the world, and as Antichrist wants to do the same-well, the two must be related, right? Communists wanted to take over the world-does that mean Antichrist is a communist? Hitler wanted to take over the world-is Hitler the Antichrist? Some Americans want to convert the world to their form of “democracy”-does that mean Antichrist is American?
No, the evidence (and not ridiculous hateful gossip) is that all Israelis want is to be left alone to live their lives in peace in their own little country. Currently, the far more likely cause aiming for world domination is radical Islam. See my post, “Where Will the Kingdom of the Beast Be?”
The idea of a Jew plotting against his own little nation is not logical, and I saw that during my six month stay in that country. Far more logical is the prospect of Muslims plotting against Israel, with the help –or possibly the leadership-of some in the West who are increasingly sympathetic to “moderate” Islam, and the desire to appease them by taming the Israelis. Israelis have articulated no wish to dominate the region let alone the world: Muslims have made many declarations, from the inception of Islam, to dominate, and in favor of the desire to destroy Israel, and indeed have made the military effort to do so in the days when they thought it was possible.
JOHN DOE AND SOME OTHER SCRIPTURES USED TO “PROVE” THAT ANTICHRIST IS A JEW
A certain teacher who I shall call “John Doe” has a website to “prove beyond doubt” that Antichrist is a Jew, and offers the following scriptures:
Genesis 3:15 :
”And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel”
This verse speaks of enmity on the one hand between children of God and children of the devil:
“You belong to your father, the devil…” (John 8:44).
But it ultimately speaks of enmity between Satan and Jesus Christ, Jesus being the one who crushes Satan’s head. There is no reason to see this verse as being “proof” that Antichrist will be Jewish.
Dan and Genesis 49:16-17
Mr. Doe draws attention to Jacob’s death bead blessings, and he singles out only a half of Jacob’s words concerning the tribe of Dan:
“Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path…”
This reference to Dan being a serpent is supposed to tell us, according to John Doe, that someone from the tribe will be in league with Satan, and will be the Antichrist. John Doe omits, for some mysterious reason, the first part of Jacob’s reference to Dan. It reads:
“Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel…” (Genesis 49:16).
Why would Mr. Doe want to miss out the good words spoken about Dan?
If we look a few verses on we see that, “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey…” (Genesis 49:27). What, then, do we make of Benjamin being a “ravenous wolf”?
Much is made of the fact that Dan is omitted from the list of tribes in Revelation 7:48. This is seen as further evidence that a child of Dan is the Antichrist, so that Dan doesn’t deserve to provide 12,000 of the 144, 000 preachers.
It seems rather unfair of God to disallow the entire tribe because of one man’s sin. Ah, but the real evidence demonstrates otherwise, because in Ezekiel’s prophesies of the Millennial kingdom, which follows the Tribulation, Dan is included:
“At the northern frontier, Dan will have one portion” (Ezekiel 48:1).
Mr. Doe claims that a phrase in these verses is referring to the Antichrist:
“O profane and wicked prince of Israel…”
There’s no reason to insert “Antichrist” into this Scripture. Instead, if you read it in context, it’s plain that God is speaking either of Jehoiachin or Zedekiah, the last kings of Judah and about to be judged by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. It could possibly speak of a spiritual entity, just as nations and cities are said to have demon spirits over them. For example, “the prince of Persia” in Daniel 10:13.
*** BIBLE EXAMPLES OF GOD BEING THE DELIVERER, NOT ANTICHIRST:
1: It’s God who will destroy Edom and the armies of all nations, not Antichrist
Edom, with its major city, Bozrah, was to the south of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, in the area currently claimed by Hamas and the Palestinian authority with the blessing of the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. Mr. Bloggs sees the Jewish Antichrist defeating attacks from such enemies. But this is the record of Isaiah:
“Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson…?”
“It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save…I have trodden the winepress alone, from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath” (Isaiah 63:1-6).
This passage predicts the true Messiah delivering Israel from its enemies-with no help from anyone, let alone Antichrist. The same event is covered in chapter 34:
“The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood…for the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom….For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause…God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation” (Isaiah 34:8-11).
It’s not just Edom which is in the Lord’s line of judgment here:
“The Lord is angry with all nations, his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter” (verse 2)
And there’s no doubt as to the timing of this event:
“All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved, and the sky rolled up like a scroll” (verse 4).
2: It’s God who will defeat Russia, and Iran and other Islamic nations who attack Israel, not Antichrist
Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 are well-known among prophecy students as predicting a last-days invasion from many nations into a newly-reborn Israel, and the Middle East. The exact timing of the invasion in relation to other last-days events is debated, and a few of the nations named are in question, but there’s no debate over the fact that one of the major members of the invasion force will be Iran, named “Persia” in Ezekiel, as it was known until the early 20th century. Another is likely modern Turkey, also Islamic and in opposition to modern Israel. Libya is named-perhaps not the modern Libya precisely, but certainly a North African nation, as are others named such as Cush. North Africa today is Islamic.
Iran is known- by those who don’t refuse to consider the fact- to be a mortal enemy of Israel, and many pronouncements of its spiritual leaders in recent times can attest to this fact.
So who did Ezekiel say would be the deliverer of Israel against this invasion force? It’s not Antichrist, but it’s undeniably God himself:
“This is what will happen in that day: when Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the sovereign Lord…”I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him” (Ezekiel 38:18, 22).
3: It’s God who will defeat Babylon, not Antichrist
“Woe! Woe, O great city…Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged you for the way she treated you” (Revelation 18:19, 20).
It’s God who will defeat Egypt, not Antichrist
“But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood” (Joel 3:19).
4: Joel and the theatre of war
In Joel’s prophesies of end-times “all nations” are targets of God’s anger (3:2). Notice that he did not say, here or elsewhere, “the rest of the nations which were not destroyed by the beast”.
The picture given by Joel and other prophets such as Zechariah is not that Israel will be going on excursions to defeat and possess the lands of their enemies, but that the Lord will draw all Israel’s (and His) enemies to Israel and particularly Jerusalem, and then destroy them there:
“Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side…”The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel” (Joel 3:12, 16).
Zephaniah speaks of “The great day of the Lord” (1:14). Apart from the fact that “all who live on the earth” will be affected (1:18), nations and cities named specifically as God’s targets include Gaza (2:4), Moab and Ammon (2:8-9), Cush (2:12), “the north”, and Assyria (2:13).
6: Zechariah: It’s God who helps Israel, not Antichrist
Zechariah prophesied that Israel and most particularly Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemies in the last days. Who will their deliverer be? It’s not Antichrist:
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations”
“I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations (read “Iron Dome”?). On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place” (Zechariah 12:2-6, see also chapter 14).
7: The missing allies of antichrist
According to Mr. Bloggs the leaders of Israel will go along with Antichrist, who, according to scripture, is known by men to be empowered by Satan, and who will lead them in the conquest of surrounding lands. But the narrative of Zechariah’s prophesies contradicts that theory firmly. The leaders of Israel are not in alliance with Antichrist, but with their God:
“Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God” (Zechariah 12:5).