Sunday Classic A.W.Pink: “The Anti-Christ” (3-4)

Posted: April 10, 2011 in Uncategorized
“Traditional Christianity Saved by Grace”
 Hell got bigger. Grace got Greater, and the world is heading for Hell in a Handbasket. You really don’t want to go there. Unless you seriously don’t do something about it, You are Going to Hell. Hell was not made for you and you weren’t made for Hell, but it isn’t oblivion you are facing when you die, but Hell. You are going in the wrong direction and admit it or not, Hell is waiting for you. Jesus Said, Call on Me and You Shall Be Saved. We call it Salvation because it is. It is not going where you deserve to be, and that is Hell. Jesus said, Call on me. Read these so you can be assured God wants you in heaven.“Call on the Name of the Lord, and You Shall Be Saved”. Reject them, pure and simple, You Go to hell. It’s your call, it just might be your Last Call. –Michael James Stone
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This Weeks Classic

 

  

 A.W. Pink

 

The Anti-Christ

 

Chapter Three – The Person Of The Antichrist


        

  In our last chapter we pointed out how that the Antichrist is not a system of evil, nor an anit-Christian organization, but instead, a single individual being, a person yet to appear. In support of this we appealed to the declaration of our Lord recorded in John 5:43; “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive”. Here the Saviour both compares and contrasts the Man of Sin with Himself. The point of comparison is that, like the Saviour, he shall offer himself to Israel; the contrast is, that unlike Christ who was rejected by the Jews, the false messiah shall be “received” by them. If, then, the Antichrist may be compared and contrasted with the Christ of God, he, too, must be a person, an individual being.


     Again; we called attention to the expression used by the apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2: – “That Man of Sin”, “the Son of Perdition”, he that opposeth and exalteth himself”, “the Wicked One whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth”, “he whose coming is after the working of Satan” – all these point as distinctly to a single individual as did the Messianic predictions of the Old Testament point to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Assured, then, that “the Antichrist” signifies a specific individual, our next concern is to turn to the Scriptures and learn what God has been pleased to reveal concerning this Personification of Evil.

I. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE A JEW.

     The Antichrist will be a Jew, though his connections, his governmental position, his sphere of dominion, will by no means confine him to the Israelitish people. It should, however, be pointed out that there is no express declaration of Scripture which says in so many words that this daring Rebel will be “a Jew”; nevertheless, the hints given are so plain, the conclusions which must be drawn from certain statements of Holy Writ are so obvious, and the requirements of the case are so inevitable, that we are forced to believe he must be a Jew. To these `hints’, `conclusions’ and `requirements’ we now turn.
     1. In Ezek. 21:25-27 we read: “and thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until he comes whose right it is, and I will give it him”. The dispensational place and scope of this passage, is not hard to determine. The time-mark is given in v. 25: it is “when iniquity shall have an end”. It is the End-Time which is in view, then, the End of the Age, when “the transgressors are come to the full” (Dan. 8:23 and cf. 11:36 – “Till the indignation be accomplished”). At that time Israel shall have a Prince, a Prince who is crowned (v. 26), and a Prince whose day is said to be come when iniquity shall have an end”. Now, as to who this Prince is, there is surely no room for doubt. The only Prince whom Israel will have in that day, is the Son of Perdition, here termed their Prince because he will be masquerading as Messiah the Prince (see Dan. 9:25)! Another unmistakable mark of identification is here given, in that he is expressly denominated “thou, profane wicked Prince” – assuredly, it is the Man of Sin who is here in view, that impious one who shall “oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God”. But what should be noted particularly, is, that this profane and wicked character is here named “Prince of Israel”. He must, therefore, be of the Abrahamic stock, a Jew!
     2. In Ezek. 28:2-10 a remarkable description is given us of the Antichrist under the figure of “the Prince of Tyrus”, just as in vv.12-19 we have another most striking delineation of Satan under the figure of “the king of Tyrus”. In a later chapter we hope to show that, beyond a doubt, it is the Antichrist who is in view in the first section of this chapter. There is only one thing that we would now point out from this passage: in v.10 it is said of him “Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised”, which is a very strong hint that he ought not to die the deaths of the “uncircumcised” because he belonged to the Circumcision! Should it be said that this verse cannot apply to the Antichrist because he will be destroyed by Christ Himself at His coming, the objection is very easily disposed of by a reference to Rev. 13:14, which tells of the Antichrist being wounded to death by a sword and rising from the dead – which is prior to his ultimate destruction at the hands of the Saviour.
     3. In Dan. 11:36,37 we are told, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers”. This passage, it is evident, refers to and describes none other than the coming Antichrist. But what we wish to call special attention to is the last sentence quoted – “The God of his fathers”. What are we to understand by this expression? Why, surely, that he is a Jew, an Israelite, and that his fathers after the flesh were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – for such is the invariable meaning of “the fathers” throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.
     4. In Matt. 12:43-45 we have another remarkable scripture which will be considered briefly, in a later section of this chapter, when we shall endeavor to show that “The Unclean Spirit” here is none other than the Son of Perdition, and that the “house’ from which he goes out and into which he returns, is the Nation of Israel. If this can be established, then we have another proof that he will be a Jew, for this “house”, which is Israel, is here termed by Antichrist “my house”. Just as Solomon was of “the House of David”, so Antichrist shall be of the House of Israel.
     5. In John 5:43 we have a further word which helps us to fix the nationality of this coming One. In speaking of the false messiah, the Lord Jesus referred to him as follows, “Another shall come in his own name”. In the Greek there are four different words all translated “Another” in our English versions. One of them is employed but once, and a second but five times, so these need not detain us now. The remaining two are used frequently, and with a clear distinction between them. The first “allos” signifies “another” of the same kind or genus – see Matt. 10:23; 13:24; 26:71, etc. The second, “heteros”, means “another” of a totally different kind, – see Mark 16:12; Luke 14:31; Acts 7:18; Rom. 7:23. Now the striking thing is that the word used by our Lord in John 5:43 is “allos”, another of the same genus, not “heteros”, another of a different order. Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, had presented Himself to Israel, and they rejected Him; but “another” of the same Abrahamic stock should come to them, and him they would “receive”. If the coming Antichrist were to be a Gentile, the Lord would have employed the word “heteros”; the fact that He used “allos” shows that he will be a Jew.
     6. The very name “Antichrist” argues strongly his Jewish nationality. This title “Antichrist” has a double significance. It means that he will be one who shall be “opposed” to Christ, one who will be His enemy. But it also purports that he will be amock Christ, an imitation Christ, a pro-Christ, a pseudo Christ. It intimates that he will ape Christ. He will pose as the real Messiah of Israel. In such case he must be aJew.
     7. This mock Christ will be “received” by Israel. The Jews will be deceived by Him. They will believe that he is indeed their long-expected Messiah. They will accept him as such. Proofs of this will be furnished in a later chapter. But if this pseudo Christ succeeds in palming himself off on the Jews as their true Messiah he must be a Jew, for it is unthinkable that they would be deceived by any Gentile.
     Ere passing to the next point, we may add, that it was the common belief among Christians during the first four centuries A.D., that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan. Whether this will be the case or no, we do not know. Gen. 49:17,18 may have ultimate reference to this Son of Perdition. Certainly Dan is the most mysterious of all the twelve tribes.

II. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE THE SON OF SATAN.

     That Satan will have a son ought not to surprise us. The Devil is a consummateimitator and much of his success in deceiving men is due to his marvelous skill in counterfeiting the things of God. Below we give a list of some of his imitations: – 
     Do we read of Christ going forth to sow the “good seed” (Matt. 13:24), then we also read of the enemy going forth to sow his “tares” – an imitation wheat (Matt. 13:25). Do we read of “the children of God”, then we also read of “the children of the wicked one” (Matt. 13:38). Do we read of God working in His children “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13), then we are also told that the Prince of the power of the air is “the spirit that now woreth in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Do we read of the Gospel of God, then we also read that Satan has a gospel – “Another gospel, which is not another” (Gal. 1:6,7). Did Christ appoint “apostles”, then Satan has his apostles too (2 Cor. 11:13). Are we told that “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10), then Satan also provides his “deep things” (see Greek of Rev. 2:24). Are we told that God, by His angel, will “seal” His servants in their foreheads (Rev. &;3), so also we read that Satan, by his angels, will set a mark in the foreheads of his devotees (Re. 13:16). Does the Father seek “worshippers” (John 4:23), so also does Satan (Rev. 13:4). Did Christ quote scripture, so also did Satan (Matt. 4:6). Is Christ the Light of the world, then Satan also is transformed as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Is Christ denominated “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5), then the Devil is also referred to as “a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:6). Do we read of Christ and “His angels” (Matt. 24:31), then we also read of the Devil and “his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Did Christ work miracles, so also will Satan (2 Thess. 2:9). Is Christ seated upon a “Throne”, so also will Satan be (Rev. 2:13, Gk.). Has Christ a Church, then Satan has his “synagogue” (Rev. 2:9). Has Christ a “bride”, then Satan has his “whore” (Rev. 17:16). Has God His “Vine”, so has Satan (Rev. 14:19). Does God have a city, the new Jerusalem, then Satan has a city, Babylon (Rev. 17:5; 18:2). Is there a “mystery of godliness” (1 Tim 3:16), so also there is a “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess. 2:7). Does God have an only-begotten Son, so we read of “the Son of Perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). Is Christ called “the Seed of the woman”, then the Antichrist will be “the seed of the serpent” (Gen. 3:15). Is the Son of God also the Son of Man, then the son of Satan will also be the “Man of Sin” (2 Thess. 2:3).
     Is there a Holy Trinity, then there is also an Evil Trinity (Rev. 20:10). In this Trinity of Evil Satan himself is supreme, just as in the Blessed Trinity the Father is (governmentally) supreme: note that Satan is several times referred to as a father(John 8:44, etc.). Unto his son, the Antichrist, Satan gives his authority and power to represent and act for him (Rev. 13:4) just as God the Son received “all power in heaven and earth” from His Father, and uses it for His glory. The Dragon (Satan) and the Beast (Antichrist) are accompanied by a third, the False Prophet, and just as the third person in the Holy Trinity, the Spirit, bears witness to the person and work of Christ and glorifies Him, so shall the third person in the Evil Trinity bear witness to the person and work of the Antichrist and glorify him (see Rev. 13:11-14).
     Now the Antichrist will be a man, and yet more than man, just as Christ was Man and yet more than man. The Antichrist will be the `Superman’ of whom the world, even now, is talking, and for whom it is looking. The Wicked One who is to be revealed shortly, will be a supernatural character, he will be the Son of Satan. His twofold nature is plainly declared in 2 Thess. 2:3 – “That man of Sin, the Son of Perdition”. In proof of these assertions we ask for a careful attention to what follows.
     1. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). It is to be noted that there is here a double “enmity” spoken of: God says, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman”, that is, between Satan and Israel, for Israel was the woman that bore Christ (Rev. 12); “And between thy seed and her seed”. Observe particularly that two “seeds” are here spoken of; “Thy seed” (the antecedent is plainly the Serpent) and “her seed”, the woman’s Seed. The woman’s Seed was Christ, the Serpent’s seed will be the Antichrist. The Antichrist then, will be more than a man, he will be the actual and literal Seed of that old Serpent, the Devil; as Christ was, according to the flesh, the actual and literal Seed of the woman. “Thy seed”, Satan’s seed, refers to a s specific individual, just as “her seed” refers to a specific Individual.
     2. “In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing Serpent, even Leviathan that crooked Serpent; and he shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27:1). To appreciate the force of this we need to attend to the context, which is unfortunately broken by the chapter division. In the closing verses of Isa. 26 we hear God saying, “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past” (26:20). These words are addressed to the elect remnant of Israel. Their ultimate application will be to those on earth at the end of this Age, for it is the time of God’s “indignation” (cf. Dan. 8:19 and 11:36). It is the time when “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (26:21) – notice “iniquity”, singular number, not “iniquities”. It is their worshipping of Satan’s Man which is specifically referred to. Then, immediately following we read,“In that day the Lord…shall punish Leviathan the piercing Serpent”. The connection, then, makes it plain that it is just before the Millennium when God shall punish the Crooked Serpent, the Antichrist. Now the very fact that the Wicked One is here denominated “the piercing and crooked Serpent” hints strongly that he will be the sonof “that old Serpent, the Devil”.
     3. In the first two sections of Ezek. 28 two remarkable characters are brought before us. The second who is described in vv. 12-19 has received considerable attention from Bible students of the last two generations, and since the late Mr. G. H. Pember pointed out that what is there said of “the king of Tyrus” could be true of no earthly king or mere human being, and must outline a character that none but Satan himself (before his fall) could fill[3] this view has been adopted by most of the leading Bible teachers. But little attention has been paid to the character described in the first ten verses of this chapter.
     Now just as what is said in Ezek. 28 of “the king of Tyrus” can only apply fully to Satan himself, so, what is said of “the prince of Tyrus” manifestly has reference to the Antichrist. The parallelisms between what is said here and what we find in other scriptures which describe the Son of Perdition are so numerous and so evident, that we are obliged to conclude that it is the same person which is here contemplated. We cannot now attempt anything like a complete exposition of the whole passage (though we hope to give one later) but will just call attention to some of the outstanding marks of identification:
     First, the Lord God says to this personage, “Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said I am a god, I sit in the seat of God” – cf. 2 Thess. 2:4. Second, “Behold thou art wiser than Daniel” – cf. Dan 8:23, and 7:8, “Behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of men, and a mouth speaking great things”, which intimates that the Antichrist will be possessed of extraordinary intelligence. Third, it is said of this character, “With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures” 9v. 4- cf. Psa. 52:7; Dan. 11:38).
     Sufficient has been said, we trust, to show that under the figure of this “prince of Tyrus” we may discern clearly the unmistakable features of the coming Antichrist. But the particular point we would make here, is this, that as Satan is termed “the king of Tyre”, in the second section of this chapter the Antichrist is referred to as “the prince of Tyre”. Antichrist, then, is related to Satan as “prince” is to “king”, that is, as son is to the father.
     4. In Matt. 12:43 the Antichrist is called “The Unclean Spirit”, not merely an unclean spirit, but “the Unclean Spirit”. We cannot now stop and submit the evidence that it is the Antichrist who is here in view, for this is another passage which we will consider carefully in a later chapter. But in the writer’s mind there is no doubt whatever that none other than the Beast is here in view. If this be the case, then we have further evidence that the coming One will be no mere man indwelt by Satan, but a fallen angel, an evil spirit, the incarnation of the Devil.
     5. “Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of this own; for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Here is still another proof that the Antichrist will be superhuman, the offspring of Satan. In the Greek there is the definite article before the word “lie” – the lie, “the Lie”. There is another passage in the New Testament where “the Lie” is mentioned, namely in 2 Thess. 2:11, where again the definite article is found in the Greek, and there the reference is unmistakable.
     A threefold reason may be suggested as to why the Antichrist should be termed “the Lie”. First, because his fraudulent claim to be the real Christ will be the greatest falsehood palmed off upon humanity. Second, because he is the direct antithesis of the real Christ, who is “the Truth” (John 14:6). Third, because he is the son of Satan who is the arch liar. But to return to John 8:44; “When he (the Devil) speaketh (concerning) the Lie, he speaketh of his own”. His “own” what? His “own” son – the remainder of the verse makes this very plain – “for he (the Devil) is a liar and the father of it”, i.e. of “the Lie”. The Lie then, is Satan’s Son”!
     6. “That day shall not come, except there come a falling away (the Apostasy) first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). Nothing could be plainer than this. Here the Antichrist is expressly declared to be superhuman – “the Son of Perdition”. Just as the Christ if the Son of God, so Antichrist will be the son of Satan. Just as the Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and just as Christ could say “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father”, so the Antichrist will be the full and final embodiment of the Devil. He will not only be the incarnation of the Devil, but the consummation of his wickedness and power.
     7. In Rev. 13:1 (R. V.) we read, “And he (the Dragon – see context) stood upon the sand of the sea” – symbolic of taking possession of the Nations: “And I saw a Beast coming up out of the sea, having ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy”. It is deeply significant to mark how these things are here linked togetheras cause and effect. The coming forth of the Beast (the Antichrist) is immediately connected with the Dragon! But this is not all. Notice the description that is here given of him: he has ten horns (fulness of power) and seven heads (complete wisdom)” and this is exactly how Satan himself is described in Rev. 12:3 – “And behold, a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads names of blasphemy”! Does not a linking of these scriptures prove beyond all doubt that the Antichrist will be an exact replica of Satan himself!
     But one other thing, even more startling, remains to be considered, and that is,

III. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE JUDAS REINCARNATED.

     1. In Psalm 55 much is said of the Antichrist in his relation to Israel. Among other things we read there, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (v. 21). The occasion for this sad plaint is given in the previous verse – “He had put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant”. The reference is to Antichrist breaking his seven-year Covenant with the Jews (see Dan. 9:27; 11:21-24). Now if the entire Psalm be read through with these things in mind, it will be seen that it sets forth the sorrows of Israel and the sighings of the godly remnant during the End-Time. But the remarkable thing is that when we come to vv. 11-14 we find that which has a double application and fulfillment – “wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company”. These verses describe not only the base treachery of Judas toward Christ, but they also announce how he shall yet, when reincarnated in the Antichrist, betray and desert Israel. The relation of Antichrist to Israel will be precisely the same as that of Judas to Christ of old. He will pose as the friend of the Jews, but later he will come out in his true character. In the Tribulation period, the Nation of Israel shall taste the bitterness of betrayal and desertion by one who masqueraded as a “familiar friend”. Hence, we have here the first hint that the Antichrist will be Judas reincarnated.
     2. “And your covenant with Death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it” (Isa. 28:18). The “Covenant” referred to is that seven-year one which is mentioned in Dan. 9:27. But here the one with whom this Covenant is made is termed “Death and Hell”. This is a title of the Antichrist, as “the Resurrection and the Life” is of the true Christ. Nor is this verse in Isa. 28 the only one where the Son of Perdition is so denominated. In Rev. 6 a four-fold picture of him is given – the antithesis of the four-fold portrayal of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels. Here he is seen as the rider on differently colored horses, which bring before us four stages in his awful career, and when we come to the last of them the Holy Spirit exposes his true identity by telling us, “and his name that sat on him was Death and Hell followed with him” (Rev. 6:8). Now “Hell” or “hades” is the place which receives the souls of the dead, and the fact that this awful name is here applied to Antichrist intimates that he has come from there.
     3. Above, we referred to Matt. 12:41-43 to prove that Antichrist will be a super-human being, a fallen and unclean spirit; we turn to it again in order to show that this coming incarnation of Satan has previously been upon earth. The history of this “Unclean Spirit” is divided into three stages. First, as having dwelt in “a man”; second, as having gone out of a man, and walking through dry places, seeking rest and finding none – this has reference to his present condition during the interval between his two appearances on earth. Third, he says, “I will return to my house”. This Unclean Spirit, then, who has already been here, who is now away in a place where rest is not to be found, is to come back again!
     4. In John 17:12 we have a word which, more plainly still, shows that the Antichrist will be Judas reincarnated, for here he is termed by Christ “The Son of Perdition”. But first, let us consider the teaching of Scripture concerning Judas Iscariot. Who was he? He was a “man” (Matt. 26:24). But was he more than a man? Let Scripture make answer. In John 6:70 we read, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil?” It is hardly necessary to say that in the Greek there are two different words for “Devil” and “demon”. There are many demons, but only one Devil. Further, in no other passage is the word “devil” applied to any one but to Satan himself. Judas then was the Devil incarnate, just as the Lord Jesus was God incarnate. Christ Himself said so, and we dare not doubt His word.
     As we have seen, in John 17:12 Christ termed Judas “the Son of Perdition”, and 2 Thess. 2:3 we find that the Antichrist is similarly designated – “That Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition”. These are the only two places in all the Bible where his name occurs, and the fact that Judas was termed by Christ not a “son of perdition”, but “the Son of Perdition”, and the fact that the Man of Sin is so named prove that they are one and the same person. What other conclusion can a simple and unprejudiced reader of the Bible come to?
     5. In Rev. 11:7 we have the first reference to “the Beast” in the Apocalypse: “The Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit”. Here the Antichrist is seen issuing forth from the Abyss. What is the Abyss? It is the abode of lost spirits, the place of their incarceration and torment – see Rev. 20:1-3, and Luke 8:31, “deep” is the “abyss” and cf. Matt. 9:28. The question naturally arises, How did he get there? and when was he sent there? We answer, When Judas Iscariot died! The Antichrist will be Judas Iscariot reincarnated. In proof of this we appeal to Acts 1:25 where we are told, “that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place”. Of no one else in all the Bible is it said that at death he went “to his own place”. Put these two scriptures together: Judas went “to his own place”, the Beast ascends out of the Abyss.
     6. In Rev. 17:8 we read, “The Beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition”. This verse is generally understood to refer to the revived Roman Empire,and while allowing that such an application is warrantable, yet we are persuaded it is a mistake to limit it to this. In the Apocalypse, the Roman Empire and its final and satanic Head are very closely connected, so much so, that at times it is difficult to distinguish between them. But in Rev. 17 they are distinguishable.
     In v. 8 we are told that the Beast “shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit”, and that he shall go into perdition”. In v. 11 we are told, “And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seventh, and goeth into perdition”. Now nearly all expositors are agreed that the Beast of v. 11 – the “eighth” (head, and form of government of the Roman Empire) – is the Antichrist himself; then why not admit the same of v.8? In both, the designation is the same – “the Beast”; and in both, we are told he “goeth into perdition”.
     We take it, then, that what is predicted of “the Beast” in 17:8 is true of both the Roman Empire and its last head, the Antichrist: of the former, in the sense that it is infernal in its character. Viewing it now as a declaration of the Antichrist, what does it tell us about him? Four things. First, he “was”. Second, he “is not”. Third, he shall “ascend out of the Bottomless Pit”. Fourth, he shall “go into perdition”. The various time-marks here concern the Beast in his relation to the earth. First, he “was”, i.e. on the earth. Second, he “is not”, i.e. now on the earth (cf. Gen. 5:24, “Enoch was not for God took him”; that is, “was not” any longer on earth). Third, he shall “ascend out of the Bottomless Bit”, where he is now, which agrees with 11:7. Fourth, he shall “go into perdition”. We learn then from this scripture that at the time the Apocalypse was written the Beast “was not” then on the earth, but that he had been on it formerly.Further, we learn that in John’s day the Beast was then in the Bottomless Pit but should yet ascend out of it. Here then is further evidence that the Antichrist who is yet to appear has been on earth before.
     7. “And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone”. (Rev. 19:20). This gives the last word concerning the Antichrist. It makes known the terrible fate which awaits him. He, together with his ally, will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. This is very striking, and confirms what has been said above, namely, that the Antichrist will be one who has already appeared on earth, and has been in “the Abyss” during the interval which precedes his return to the earth. And how remarkable Rev. 19:20 corroborates this. The Antichrist will not be cast, eventually into the Abyss, as Satan will be at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-3), but into the Lake of Fire which is the final abode of the damned. Why is it that he shall not be cast into the Abyss at the return of Christ? It must be because he has already been there. Hence, the judgment meted out to him is final and irrevocable, as will be that of the Devil a thousand years later, see Rev. 20:10.
     Our next chapter will be devoted to an examination and consideration of the many Names and Titles which are given to the Antichrist in the Word of God, and we would urge the student to diligently search the Scriptures for himself to see how many of these he can find – there are over twenty.

     

[3] See also the chapter on Satan’s Origin in the writer’s “Satan and his Gospel” obtainable from the Bible Truth Depot, Swengel, Pa. at 20 cents.

Chapter Four – Names And Titles Of The Antichrist


         

 There is a distinct science of nomenclature, a system of names, in the Word of God. Probably every name in Scripture has either a historic, a symbolic, or a spiritual significance. The names are inseparably bound up with the narrative, and it frequently happens that the meaning of a proper noun is a key to an important passage. Names are not employed by the Holy Spirit in a loose and careless manner – of course not! – but with definite design. A variety of names for the same individual are not given in order to prevent monotonous repetition, but because the significance of each separate appellation is best fitted to express what is recorded in any given instance. “Devil” and “Satan” are not synonyms, nor are they used at haphazard, but with Divine discrimination. Upon the meaning of names found in Holy Writ rests a whole scheme of interpretation; even the order in which names occur is not fortuitous but designed, and constitutes a part of each lesson taught, or each truth presented.

     There is here a wide field opened for study, a field which few have made serious effort to explore. It is strange that it has been so neglected, for again and again the Holy Spirit calls attention to the importane and meaning of names. In the first book of the Bible we find that children and places were given meaningful names, which called to remembrance incidents, experiences, characteristics of interest and importance. Examples are given where names changed to harmonize with a change in the person, place, experience, or situation where it occurred. Abram and Sarai will at once occur to mind. For a place, take Luz, which was changed to Bethel! – “House of God” – because by reason of a vision he received there it became that to Jacob. Jacob’s name is changed to Israel; and in the New Testament an example is furnished in Simeon being re-named Peter. In Heb. 7:1,2 the Holy Spirit calls attention to the significance of the names Melchizedik and Salem (Jerusalem). These are sufficient to show the importance of this line of study.

     Names are used in Scripture with marvelous discrimination, and it was this fact which first demonstrated to the writer, the verbal inspiration of Scripture. The precision with which names are used in the Bible is especially noticeable in connection with the Divine titles. The names Elohim and Jehovah are found on the pages of the Old Testament several thousand times, but they are never used loosely or interchangeably. Over three hundred names and titles are given to the Lord Jesus Christ, and each has its own distinctive significance and to substitute any other for the one used would destroy the beauty and perfections of every passage where they are found.

     Names are employed to express character; titles are used to denote relationships. It is only as we make a careful study of the various and numerous names and titles of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are in a position to appreciate His infinite excellencies and the manifold relationships which He sustains. From an opposite standpoint the same is equally true of the Antichrist. As we pay careful attention to the different names and titles which are given to him, we then discover what a marvelously complete delineation the Holy Spirit has furnished us with of the person, the character, and career of this monster of wickedness. It is unfortunate that the great variety of names bestowed upon him has led some brethren to the conclusion that they must belong to separate persons, and has caused them to apportion these out to different individuals; only confusion can result from this. There is almost as much ground to make the Devil and Satan different persons, as there is to regard (as some do) the Beast and the Antichrist as separate entities. That the Devil and Satan are names belonging to the same person, and that the Beast and the Antichrist is the selfsame individual, is proven by the fact that identically the same characteristics under each is found belonging to the one as to the other. Instead of apportioning these names to different persons, we must see that they denominate the same individual, only in different relationships, or as giving us various phases of his character.
     An old writer has said the name Devil is most suggestive of his character. If “d” is taken away, evil is left. If “e” is taken away vile is left. If “v” is taken away ill is left. And if “i” is taken away and the next letter be aspirated, it tells of hell. It is equally true of the Antichrist: his names reveal his character, expose his vileness, and forecast his career and doom.
     The names and titles given to the Antichrist are far more numerous than is commonly supposed. We propose to give as complete a list as possible, and offer a few comments on their significations. We shall not expatiate on them at equal length, for that is not necessary; instead, we shall say the most on those cognomens which are of the greater importance, or, which because of their ambiguity call for a more detailed elucidation.

1. THE ANTICHRIST

     “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). This name introduces to us one of the most solemn and foreboding subjects in the Word of God. It brings before us one of the persons in the Trinity of Evil. At every point he is the antithesis of Christ. The word “Antichrist” has a double significance. Its primary meaning is one who is opposed to Christ; but its secondary meaning is one who is instead of Christ. Let not this be thought strange, for it accords with the two stages in his career. At first he will pose as the true Christ, masquerading in the livery of religion. But, later, he will throw off his disguise, stand forth in his true character, and set himself up as one who is against God and His Christ.
     Not only does anti-christ denote the antagonist of Christ, but it tells of one who is instead of Christ. The word signifies another Christ, a pro-Christ, an alter christus, a pretender to the name of Christ. He will seem to be and will set himself up as the true Christ. He will be the Devil’s counterfeit. Just as the Devil is an Anti-theos – not only the adversary of God, but the usurper of the place and prerogatives of God, demanding worship; so the Son of Perdition will be anti-christ – not only the antagonist and opponent of Christ, but His reval: assuming the very position and prerogatives of Christ; passing himself off as the rightful claimant to all the rights and honors of the Son of God.

2. THE MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PERDITION.

     “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). This double appellation is probably the most awful, the most important, and the most revealing title given to the Antichrist in all the Bible. It diagnoses his personality and exposes his awful character. It tells us he will be possessed of a twofold nature: he will be a man, and yet more than a man. He will be Satan’s parody of the God-Man. He will be an incarnation of the Devil. The world today is talking of and looking for the Super-man. This is exactly what the Antichrist will be. He will be the Serpent’s masterpiece.
     “That Man of Sin”. What a frightful name! The sin of man will culminate in the Man of Sin. The Christ of God was sinless; the Christ of Satan will not only be sinful, but the Man of Sin. “Man of Sin” intimates that he will be the living and active embodiment of every form and character of evil. “Man of Sin” signifies that he will be sin itself personified. “Man of Sin” denotes there will be no lengths of wickedness to which he will not go, no forms of evil to which he will be a stranger, no depths of corruption that he will not bottom.
     “The Son of Perdition”. And again we are forced to exclaim, what a frightful name! Not only a human degenerate, but the offspring of the Dragon. Not only the worst of human kind, but the incarnation of the Devil. Not only the most depraved of all sinners, but an emanation from the Pit itself. “Son of Perdition” denotes that he will be the culmination and consummation of satanic craft and power. All the evil, malignity, cunning, and power of the Serpent will be embodied in this terrible monster.

3. THE LAWLESS ONE.

     “And then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8 R. V.). This is another name of the Antichrist which makes manifest his awful character. Each of his names exhibits him as the antithesis of the true Christ. The Lord Jesus was the Righteous One; the Man of Sin will be the Lawless One. The Lord Jesus was “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4); the Antichrist will oppose all law, being a law unto himself. When the Saviour entered this world, He came saying, “Lo I come to do Thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:9); but of the Antichrist it is written “And the king shall do according to his will” (Dan. 11:36). The Antichrist will set himself up in direct opposition to all authority, both Divine and human.

4. THE BEAST.

     “And when they shall have finished their testimony the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them” (Rev. 11:7). This is another name which reveals the terrible nature and character of the Antichrist and which places him in sharp antithesis from the true Christ. “The Beast” is the title by which he is most frequently designated in the Revelation: there are at least thirty references to him under this name in the last book of the Bible. The Greek word signifies a wild beast. This name “the Beast” contrasts the Antichrist from the true Christ as “the Lamb”; and it is a significant fact that by far the great majority of passages where the Lord Jesus is so designated are also found here in the Apocalypse. The “Lamb” is the Saviour of sinners; the “Beast” is the persecutor and slayer of the saints. The “Lamb” calls attention to the gentleness of Christ; the “Beast” tells of the ferocity of the Antichrist. The “Lamb” reveals Christ as the “harmless” One (Heb. 7:26); the “Beast” manifests the Antichrist as the cruel and heartless one. Under the Law lambs were ceremonially clean and used in sacrifice, but beasts were unclean and unfit for sacrifices.
     It is a point of interest to note that there is one other very striking contrast between the persons in the Holy Trinity, and the persons in the trinity of evil. At our Lord’s baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and the first mention of the Holy Spirit in Scripture represents Him as “brooding” like a dove over the waters which covered the pre-Adamic earth (Gen. 1:2). How remarkable are those symbols – a “Lamb” and a “Dove”! A Dove, not a hawk or an eagle. The gentle, harmless, cooing “dove”. Over against this the Devil is termed “the Dragon”. What a contrast – the Dove and the Lamb, the Dragon and the Beast!

5. THE BLOODY AND DECEITFUL MAN.

     “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the Bloody and Deceitful Man” (Psa. 5:6). The Psalm from which this verse is quoted contains a prayer of the godly Jewish remnant, offered during the Tribulation period. In proof of this assertion observe that in v. 2 God is owned and addressed as “King”. In v. 7 intimation is given that the Temple has been rebuild in Jerusalem, for turning away from it when it has been defiled by “the Abomination of Desolation”, the remnant say, “But as for me I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy Holy Temple”. While in v. 10 we find them praying for the destruction of their enemies, which is parallel with Rev. 6:10. It is during that time the faithful remnant will exclaim, “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the Bloody and Deceitful Man”.
     The Bloody and Deceitful Man views the Antichrist in relation to the Jews. In the earlier stages of his public career he poses as their friend and benefactor. He recognizes their rights as a separate State and appears anxious to protect their autonomy. He makes a formal covenant with them (Dan. 9:27) and their peace and security seem assured. But a few years later he comes out in his true character. His fair speeches and professions of friendship are seen to be false. He breaks his covenant (Psa. 55:20) and turns upon the Jews in fury. Their benefactor is now their worst enemy. The protector of their interests now aims to cut them off from being a nation in the earth (Psa. 83:4). Thus is he rightfully denominated by them “the Bloody and Deceitful Man”.

6. THE WICKED ONE.

     “The Wicked (One) in his pride doth persecute the poor: the Wicked (One), through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God” (Psa. 10:2,4). This entire Psalm is about the Wicked One. The opening verse gives the key to its dispensational scope. It contains the cry of the Jewish remnant during the Tribulation period, here denominated “Times of Trouble” (cf. Jer. 30:7). So desperate is the situation of the true Israel, it seems as though Jehovah must have deserted them – “Why standeth Thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble? (v. 1). Then follows a remarkably full description of their arch-enemy, the Wicked One. His pride (v. 2), his depravity: “He abhorreth the Lord” (v. 3 margin); his blasphemy: “All his thoughts are, There is no God” (v. 4 margin); his grievous ways, (v. 5); his consuming egotism, (v. 6); his deceitfulness, (v. 7); his treachery, (v. 8); his cruelty, (vv. 9,10); his complacent pride, (v. 11), is each described. Then the Remnant cry, “Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Thine hand: forget not the humble. Break Thou the arm of the Wicked and Evil One” (vv. 12 and 15). The whole Psalm should be carefully studied.

7. THE MAN OF THE EARTH.

     “To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the Man of the Earth may no more oppress” (Psa. 10:18). The “Wicked One” describes his character; the “Man of the Earth” defines his position. The one speaks of his awful depths of depravity; the other of his vast dominions. The sphere of his operations will be no mere local one, He will become World-emperor. He will be a king of kings and lord of lords, (Rev. 13:7). When the true Christ appeared on earth Satan offered Him “all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” if He would fall down and worship him. When the false Christ appears, this offer will be repeated, the conditions will be met, and the tempting gift will be bestowed (Rev. 13:2). In consequence of this he shall be “the Man of the Earth”; just as later, Christ shall be “King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:7).

8. THE MIGHTY MAN.

     “Why boasteth thou thyself in mischief, O Mighty Man” (Psa. 52:1). This is another Psalm which is devoted to a description of this fearful character. Here again we have mention of his boastfulness (v. 1), his deceitfulness (v. 2), his depravity (v. 3), his egotism (v. 4), his riches (v. 7). His doom is also announced (v. 5). This title, the Mighty Man, refers to his immense wealth and possessions, and the power which they confer upon their possessor. It also points a striking contrast: Christ was the Lowly Man, not having where to lay His head; the Antichrist will be the Mighty Man, of whom it is said, “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his substance” (:sa. 52:7).

9. THE ENEMY.

     “Because of the voice of the Enemy, because of the oppression of the Wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me” (Psa. 55:3). This is another title used of the Antichrist in connection with Israel, a title which recurs several times both in the Psalms and the Prophets. It points a designed contrast from that Friend that “sticketh closer than a brother”. This Enemy of Israel oppresses them sorely. His duplicity and treachery are here referred to. Concerning him Israel shall exclaim, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psa. 52:21). Let the student be on the lookout for passages in the Old Testament which make mention of the Enemy.

10. THE ADVERSARY.

     “They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any profit: neither is there any among us that knoweth how long. O God, how long shall the Adversary reproach? Shall the Enemy blaspheme Thy name forever?” (Psa. 74:8-10). This title occurs in several important passages. In Isa. 59:19 we read, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the Adversary shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him”. Lam. 4:11,12 is another scripture which obviously speaks of the End-time. “The Lord hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the Adversary and the Enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem”. In Amos 3:11 we read, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; an Adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled”. This is a title which intimates his satanic origin, for the Greek word for Devil means adversary.

11. THE HEAD OVER MANY COUNTRIES.

     “He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the Head over many countries” (Psa. 110:6). The context here shows that it must be the Antichrist which is in view. The Psalm opens by the Father inviting the Son to sit at His right hand until His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then follows the affirmation that Jehovah will display His strength out of Jerusalem, and make His people Israel willing in the day of His power. Then, following Jehovah’s oath that Christ is a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (which contemplates the exercise of His millennial and royal priesthood), we read, “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the Head over many countries”. The “Day of His wrath” is the closing portion of the Tribulation period, and in the Day of His wrath. He wounds this Head over many countries. The Head over many countries refers to the Man of Sin as the Caesar of the last world-empire, prior to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.

12. THE VIOLENT MAN.

     “Deliver me, O Lord, from the Evil Man: preserve me from the Violent Man” (Ps. 140:1). This is another Psalm which expresses the plaintive supplications of the godly remnant in the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. Three times over the Antichrist is denominated the Violent Man. In v. 1 the remnant pray to be delivered from him. In v. 4 the petition is repeated. In v. 11 his doom is foretold. Cry is made for God to take vengeance upon this bloody persecutor: “Let the burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the Violent Man to overthrow him” (Psa. 140:10,11). The Violent Man is a name which fully accords with his Beast-like character. It tells of his ferocity and rapacity.

13. THE ASSYRIAN.

     “O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand in Mine indignation…Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks” (Isa. 10:5,12). We cannot here attempt an exposition of the important passage in which these verses occur – that, in subsequent chapters, we shall treat in detail of the Antichrist in the Psalms, and the Antichrist in the Prophets – suffice it now to point out that it treats of the End-time (see vv. 12,20), and that the leading characteristics of the Man of Sin can be clearly discerned in what is here said of the Assyrian. Almost all pre-millennial students of prophecy are agreed that “the King of Isa. 30:33 is the Antichrist, and yet in the two verses which precede, this “King” is identified with “the Assyrian”.

14. THE KING OF BABYLON.

     “Thou shalt take up this proverb against the King of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” (Isa. 14:4). We do not wish to anticipate what we shall discuss at length in our future studies, enough now to state it is our firm conviction that Scripture plainly teaches that there will be another Babylon which will eclipse the importance and glories of the one of the past, and that Babylon will be one of the headquarters of the Antichrist. He will have three: Jerusalem will be his religious headquarters, Rome his political, and Babylon his commercial. For those who desire to anticipate our future expositions, we recommend them to make a minute study of Isa. 10,11,13,14; Jer. 49:51; Zech. 5, and Rev. 18.

15. SON OF THE MORNING.

     “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the Morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations” (Isa. 14:12). “Lucifer is a Latin word which signifies the “morning star”. “All the ancient versions and all the Rabbins make the word a noun denoting the bright one, or, more specifically, bright star, or according to the ancients more specifically still, the Morning Star or harbinger of daylight” (Dr. J. A. Alexander). This term “Lucifer” has been commonly regarded as one of the names of Satan, and what is here said of the Morning Star is viewed as describing his apostasy. Against this interpretation we have nothing to say, except to remark that we are satisfied it does not exhaust this remarkable scripture. A detailed exposition must be reserved for a later chapter. Sufficient now to point out that however Isa. 14 may look back to the distant past when, through pride, Satan fell from his original estate, it most evidently looks forward to a coming day and gives another picture of the Antichrist. In this same passage “Lucifer” is termed “the Man that did make the earth to tremble” (v. 16), and in his blasphemous boast “I will be like the Most High” (v. 14), we have no difficulty in identifying him with the Man of Sin of 2 Thess. 2:3,4. The force of this particular title “Morning Star” is seen by comparing it with Rev. 22:16, where we learn that this is one of the titles of the God-man. The “Morning Star” speaks of Christ coming to usher in the great Day of rest for the earth. In blasphemous travesty of this Satan will send forth the mock messiah to usher in a false millennium.

16. THE SPOILER.

     “Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the Spoiler: for the Extortioner is at an end, the Spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness” (Isa. 16:4,5). It will be observed that the verse in which the Antichrist is spoken of as the Spoiler comes immediately before the one where we read of the throne being established, a reference, of course, to the setting up of the Messianic Kingdom. These two things synchronize: the destruction of Antichrist, and the beginning of the real Messiah’s reign; hence we read here “the Spoiler ceaseth”. A further reference to the Man of Sin under this title of the Spoiler is found in Jer. 6:26: “O daughter of My people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mournings, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the Spoiler shall suddenly come upon thee”. This is another title which views the Antichrist in connection with Israel. After the return of many of the Jews to Palestine, and after their rights have been owned by the Powers, and their security and success seem assured; their enemy, filled with satanic malice, will seek their extermination. “The Spoiler” contrasts him with the Lord Jesus who is the great Restorer (see Psa. 69:4).

17. THE NAIL.

     “In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the Nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa. 22:25). The last ten verses of this chapter should be read carefully. They furnish a striking foreshadowment of the End-time. Shebna was holding some office over (note “government” in v. 21) Israel. Apparently he was a usurper. God announced that he should be set aside in shame, and the man of His choice – Eliakim – should take his place. These historical figures merge into prophetic characters. In v. 22 we read that God says, “And the key of the house of David will lay upon His shoulder, so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open”. As we know from Rev. 3:7 this refers to none other than the Lord Jesus, and of Him it is here said, “And I will fasten Him as a Nail in a sure place; and He shall be for a glorious throne to His father’s house” (v. 23). Then, in the closing verse of the chapter we read, “In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the Nail that is fastened in a sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall”. Just as Eliakim foreshadowed Christ, so Shebna pointed forward to the Antichrist; and just as in v.23 we have a prophecy announcing the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom, so in v. 25 we have foretold the overthrow of the false messiah’s kingdom.

18. THE BRANCH OF THE TERRIBLE ONES.

     “Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; the Branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low” (Isa. 25:5). The first five verses of this chapter contemplate the Enemy’s stronghold – Babylon – and the remainder of the chapter pictures the blessedness of the millennial era. In the fifth verse the Antichrist’s overthrow is announced: “The Branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low”. With this should be compared Isa. 14:19, where of Lucifer it is said, “Thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable Branch”. This points another contrast. The “Branch” is one of the Messianic names: “Behold, I will bring forth My Servant, the Branch” (Zech. 3:8); “Behold the man whose name is the Branch” (Zech. 6:12). By placing together Isa. 4:2 and Isa. 14:19 the antithesis will be more evident. Of Christ it is said, “The Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious”. Antichrist is called “an abominable Branch”: Christ is “the Branch of the Lord”; Antichrist is “the Branch of the terrible ones”.

19. THE PROFANE AND WICKED PRINCE OF ISRAEL.

     “And thou, profane wicked Prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him” (Ezek. 21:25-27). The Profane and Wicked Prince of Israel here can be none other than the Antichrist, for we are expressly told that his day shall be when iniquity shall have an end”. The reference is, of course, to Israel’s “iniquity”, and their iniquity shall end at the appearing of the Messiah (see Dan. 9:24) when “He shall be a priest upon His throne” (Zech. 6:13). “Here in Ezekiel we see how the Son of Perdition shall ape the Christ of God, for he, too, will be a priest-king: “Remove the diadem” refers to the insignia of his priesthood (in every other place in the O. T. where this occurs the Hebrew word here translated “diadem” it is rendered “mitre” – worn only by the high priest of Israel); “take off the crown” is the symbol of his kingship.

20. THE LITTLE HORN.

     “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another Little Horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this Horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Dan. 7:8). For a full description of the Antichrist under this title see Dan. 7:8-11, 21-26; 8:9-12, 23-25. We must reserve our comments on these verses till a later chapter. “Little Horn” refers to the lowly political origin of the Antichrist, and describes him as he is before he attains governmental supremacy.

21. THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME.

     “And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Dan. 9:26). This title connects the Antichrist with the Roman Empire in its final form, and presents him as the last of the Ceasars.

22. THE VILE PERSON.

     “And in his estate shall stand up a Vile Person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Dan. 11:21). This contrasts the Antichrist from “the Holy One of Israel”. His identity is established by noting what is predicted of him.

23. THE WILFUL KING.

     “And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (Dan. 11:36). The Antichrist will not only be the High Priest of the world’s religion, but he will be King supreme at the head of its government.

24. THE IDOL SHEPHERD.

     “For, lo, I will raise up a Shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young ones, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe tothe Idol Shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened” (Zech. 11:16,17). This is in evident contrast from the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep. The Idol Shepherd of deluded Israel will prove himself the monster Desolator, who shall bring upon that people the severest tribulations ever experiences by that race.

25. THE ANGEL OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.

     “And they had a king over them, which is the Angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon” (Rev. 9:11). “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” mean Destroyer. It is the “Spoiler” of Isa. 16:4 rendered “Destroyer” in Jer. 4:7. That his name is here given in the Hebrew and the Greek shows that he will be connected with both the Jews and the Gentiles.
     Other names of the Antichrist which the student may look up are, “The Rod of God’s anger” (Isa. 10:12); “The Unclean Spirit” (Matt. 12:43); “The Lie” (2 Thess. 2:11); “A Star” (Rev. 8:10 and 9:1); and “The Vine of the Earth” (Rev. 14:18).
     In our next chapter we shall deal with the genius of the Antichrist, and point out the many striking comparisons and contrasts between him and the Christ of God. Let the student see how many points of resemblance and opposition he can find.

 

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