Inaudible Witnesses Speaking Aloud - Part Two

Who was the Antichrist - Antiocus Epiphanes, General Titus or Nero?

Pastor Longinus Ekeh, February 1, 2014

Last month we started a discourse on the above subject. Our main text is taken from Psalms 90:12 where Moses prayed and said, “…teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom…” and Psalms 19:1-4 where the Psalmist said, “THE HEAVENS declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork…2 Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. 4 Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world…” (AMP). So we see that, the Day speaks and the Night speaks! What are they speaking? They proclaim the faithfulness of God and confirm His Word to all generations. They attest to the veracity of God’s Word and show to humanity the fulfillment of God’s promises and prophecies. If we would heed the warnings of these silent messengers the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ would not overtake us like a thief in the night.

We started an expository teaching on the Antichrist. Later on in these series we would see how those prophecies are evolving in our days. Today, we shall be exploring the personality of the Antichrist so as to know where in time the Bible fixes his physical presence on earth.

The Antichrist: His Personality

There are many definitions of personality but here are three of the definitions which impressed me. Among others, personality is defined as;

a. the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual.

b. the organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of the individual.

c. the essential character of a person.

In other words, a person’s character defines his personality; and his personality defines who the person is. Ultimately, your character is who you are!

The sum total of this person’s character and personality was described with the word, “Antichrist.” The Greek word is, “antichristos,” which means, “against Christ” or “opposing God.” I however found more interesting the definition given by the Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. It has the following comments on the Antichrist. Explaining antichristos, he said; “… can mean either ‘against Christ’ or ‘instead of Christ,’ or perhaps, combining the two, ‘one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ’ (Westcott).”

That is interesting! From the above explanation we can understand that, it is likely that the Antichrist would be someone whom the world would respect as holding a leadership role in Christendom. The voice of Christianity! Regarded as God’s representative on earth!! But he would destroy the cause of Christ and the cross.

Has This Figure Existed Already?

Let’s look at what the scripture says about the time and events surrounding the rulership of this Son of Lawlessness, and then we would understand whether or not he had existed.

The Ruler of the last world empire

No doubts, the Antichrist shall be the ruler of the last world empire. In Daniel 7 the last ruler was described as the little horn which came out of the fourth kingdom (v.8). He was defeated only by the second coming of Jesus Christ; the kingdom of the Little Horn was succeeded by the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. (Dan.7: 19-26)

“19Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, the one so different from the others and so terrifying. It had devoured and crushed its victims with iron teeth and bronze claws, trampling their remains beneath its feet. 20 I also asked about the ten horns on the fourth beast’s head and the little horn that came up afterward and destroyed three of the other horns. This horn had seemed greater than the others, and it had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. 21As I watched, this horn was waging war against God’s holy people and was defeating them, 22 until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom.

23 Then he said to me, ‘This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling and crushing everything in its path. 24Its ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. 25He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time.

26“But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed. 27Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him.”

The interpretation above was given to Daniel by the Angel that talked with him. It explicitly shows that, after the rulership of the Little Horn King (Antichrist) Gentile world powers would cease to exist; God’s Kingdom shall set in.

The same interpretation was communicated in Daniel 2. The metallic image man represented the Gentile world empires through to the end. The Ten Toes Kingdom was representing the last world empire. The Stone which was cut without hands represents Jesus Christ. This stone cut the metallic image man at the Toes (vs.31-35). This is what Daniel said in vs.41-44,

“41The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. 42But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. 43This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.

44“During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”

Note verse 44. It identified the time of the reign of the Ten Toes Kingdom (and the Little Horn King). It is during their reign that the God of Heaven shall come to set up His Kingdom.

The Great Tribulation

The Great Tribulation is simply the era of this Little Horn King (Dan.12:1, Rev.13). The persecution of the saints as described in Rev 13 would characterize the reign of the Antichrist.

A Man of Supernatural Abilities

The Antichrist would not be an ordinary human being. Although he would start out as a man, he would eventually be incarnated by the Nephilims and becomes superhuman. He would have a pseudo resurrection experience (Rev.13:3-4),

“I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. 4They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”

The fatal wound was healed because of the beast’s supernatural powers. He exercised the power of Satan and the whole world marveled.

Subdued by the physical presence of Jesus Christ

The Antichrist would defy death. He would be such a hybrid man, a trans-human, Satan incarnate that no mortal could combat with him or exterminate him. That was why the whole world chanted, “…who is able to fight against him…” (Rev.13:4). Jesus Christ would return during the reign of this monster.

Paul wrote in 2Thes.2:8, “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.” Note the words, “…the splendor of his coming…” It is the coming of Jesus Christ that would ultimately put an end to the reign of the Antichrist.

The Antichrist would embark on war against Jesus Christ. (Rev.19:11-21)

“11Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. 12His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. 15From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. 16On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords…Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.”

All Bible translations I know and have checked stated that the Antichrist and the False Prophet were thrown alive into the burning sulfur. So, the Bible teaches that the Antichrist would not die; the False Prophet would not die. They would be men of supernatural abilities and would be burnt alive in the lake of fire. And that indicates that, no world leader, past or present, has been able to fulfill these scriptures. The belief that the Antichrist had existed in the past is perhaps a wrong interpretation of the scriptures.

The Antichrist is not yet manifest

It is very important to understand that the prophecies about the main character of the Antichrist are yet to be fulfilled and that the last Gentile World Empire is yet to emerge. When we view these prophecies in this perspective then things begin to fall in place. We would view the book of Revelation as in most part containing prophetic events not yet fulfilled. Students of prophecy would begin to watch out for events heralding the fulfillment of these end time prophecies. The amazing discovery would be that, Inaudible Witnesses are Speaking Aloud! Our aim is to explore how prophetic events are unfolding in our eyes without our seeing it! The acknowledgement that these prophetic events are being fulfilled today should awaken the believer to the consciousness of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

I would admonish us with the words of Jesus Christ in Matt.24:42-44,“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Let’s concentrate most of our prayers on the things which have eternal relevance; let us mind heavenly things as those whose treasures are not on this earth. Let’s pray without ceasing that we may be able to stand before God without any spot or wrinkle. It’s time to pray and not to faint.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." John 14:12