I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
I apologize first for the delay in getting this edition of THE WEEKLY WORD out. Sometimes time gets away from me, and I get behind. I wanted to get it out today.
We began a new series of teaching last time that we entitled. “The Antichrist – Separating Truth from Fiction.” I chose this title because there have been things taught through the years concerning this individual that rather than being based on scripture have largely been based on assumptions that have arisen largely out of tradition from a few anti-Semitic early Church fathers. We are setting out to hopefully clear up some of these and present a more scripturally balanced look at this one who will come in the end of days.
The first thing we said last time was that the antichrist will be a gentile (with an Islamic background), and not a Jew from the tribe of Dan. This assumption concerning Dan has come from about three main scriptures, that all have been misinterpreted I believe. These scriptures are, Jeremiah 8:15, 16; Genesis 49:17; and Revelation 7. The passages in Jeremiah and Genesis both connect the tribe of Dan with horses. Thus, it has been assumed that the tribe of Dan will be connected to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse; therefore meaning that a descendant of Dan will be the antichrist. This is a stretch at best as far as I am concerned.
Then tradition has stated that since Dan is missing from a register of the tribes of Israel, listed in Revelation 7, a descendant of Dan must be the antichrist. The question we ended the last edition with was why is Dan missing? This tradition concerning Dan is probably fortified by the fact that today in modern Israel, many of the Jewish people living in the contemporary cities of Israel identified as part of Dan’s ancient territory either are agnostics, atheists, or very nonreligious secular Jews. In the other areas of Israel there are many religious Jews, including reformed, orthodox, and, in Jerusalem, ultra orthodox Jews.
It may be that Dan is missing because the Jewish men living in the area of Dan are simply unbelievers and therefore are not sealed as others who “[have kept] the commandments…” [Rev. 12:17]. It is in reality a Biblical mystery why Dan is missing, and to suggest why is speculative.
If you have been around the Christian Church for many years as I have, and have heard prophecy teaching, you have probably heard it said that the antichrist would be a Jewish political/military leader from Israel. There is a problem, a big one I might add, with this position. It does not take into account the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims who would never follow a Jew who, while living in Israel, would rule and control surrounding Middle East nations, all which are Islamic. I remember years ago Evangelist Lowell Lundstrom writing a book entitled, “The Muslims Are Coming.” I had never heard anyone ever put forth a teaching on Bible prophecy that mentioned an end-time connection with Islam as he did in that book. Frankly, I put it on the shelf at the time. Now it all makes sense, and thank God many prophecy teachers are being raised up now who are connecting the dots.
Why though have many ignored this connection, even today? One explanation offered is that Islam will be destroyed in the war of Gog and Magog. I submit to you that this cannot be true, since there are presently fifty-two nations whose population is predominantly Islamic, and in the war of Gog and Magog, only five major Islamic nations are listed as taking part in the battle. When God said He would defeat all but one-sixth of Gog’s army, it did not mean that one-sixth of the Islamic nations would remain, but that five-sixths of the invading armies would be destroyed. [See Ezek. 39:2]
After studying this for many years now, I have to conclude as do many prophecy teachers of today, that the antichrist will be a Gentile and not a Jew. This is based on several important prophecies and apocalyptic dreams and visions.
First, in Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a metallic image that prophetically identifies the world empires from the time of Babylon, the empire symbolized by the image’s head of gold, down through the final kingdom, symbolized by the ten toes of the image. All of the empires represented by the image are Gentile, not one is Jewish. It is true that all the empires symbolized by the image has impacted or affected the Jewish people or Israel in some manner. I want to discuss this image, and the empires represented, in a future edition of THE WEEKLY WORD.
Another scripture that puts forth the concept that the final empire will be Gentile, and not Jewish, is put forth by Christ in Luke 21:24, And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The context of this prophecy as recorded by Luke, finds Jesus speaking of “the day of vengeance” (Vs. 22), a word used by Old Testament prophets to allude to the coming time of God’s wrath or Tribulation [Isa. 34:8; 35:4; 61:2; 63:4]. Other signs Christ also mentioned include cosmic signs, men’s hearts failing them, and His return [Luke 21:22 – 27]. The point is that this prophecy alluding to the fall of Jerusalem to the Gentiles was not fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed the city. It will occur once more in the future when the Gentile antichrist will invade Jerusalem, divide the city (Zech. 14:2), and set up an image of himself at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Rev. 13:14, 15).
Revelation 11:1, 2 also alludes to the Gentile control of Jerusalem. John states, Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
Most scholars believe the book of Revelation was written around A.D. 95 in the time of the emperor Domitian. The Temple in Jerusalem had already been destroyed in the year A.D. 70. Think with me, twenty-five years later, John was told to “…measure the temple.” How could John measure the temple and the outer court, which we are told the Gentiles would “trample underfoot for forty-two months,” if the temple was already in ruins? The most common logical answer is that there will be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem during the Tribulation. It will be at this temple where the Gentile antichrist will place his abominable image and be worshipped by masses of his followers, causing Jews to flee from Jerusalem into the wilderness. [Rev. 12:6]
Beginning next time, we will begin going into detail showing not only I believe that the future antichrist will be a Gentile, but also his clear connection to Islam.
The Weekly Word is found in Revelation 12:6. Here the Bible says,
Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. [Rev. 12:6 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson