We have been discussing the theme; Inaudible Witnesses Speaking Aloud! We have been looking at the clearly yet unnoticed fulfillment of certain Biblical prophecies regarding the return of Jesus Christ and the emergence of the Antichrist. And recently we looked at how the spirit of the Antichrist is already working in churches and in some gospel ministers causing them to depart from the faith even when they claim to be defending the faith.
This month we shall trace the nativity of the Antichrist. This is one subject where many people have their private opinions, but we shall see what the scripture says and remain within the confines of what scripture reveals. I do not claim absolute knowledge; I will go only as far as the scripture gives us light. And this is one issue I refuse to be dogmatic about. Let the reader survey the scriptures with me and let us see together what God chose to reveal.
The nativity of an important figure could be shrouded in mysteries! There was a USA president who, though born in the USA, had African roots and so was loved by Africans and the Blacks; welcomed by the Arabs as their kin and had a European family lineage. He was elected by Christians, celebrated by the Moslems and loved by the Gay community. To some people he is a Christian; to some others he is a Moslem; some people see him as an Arab; while some others see him as an American. But one thing I am sure of is that, he is not the Antichrist.
The nativity of Jesus Christ was as much shrouded up in mysteries. Let’s for a moment assume that Jesus Christ was not yet born. Let’s assume we lived in the days of the Old Testament Prophets and from that declivity let’s take a valley view of the prophecies about the birth of Jesus Christ so as to trace His nativity. Let’s see how easy it looks!
He was to hail from Judah! Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
He would come from Egypt! Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” This scripture has both contextual and prophetic meanings. Logically interpreted, that verse would be seen to be describing the Jews who came out of Egypt; but beyond that, it was prophetically talking about the Son of God being called from Egypt.
He was to be called a Nazarene or a Nazareth. Isaiah 11:1. The word, “Branch” in that verse was derived from the Hebrew word, “Netzar” and means, a branch or a Nazareth. So the prophets said He was to be called a Nazareth, which was a town in the land of Zebulun. He was to be both the Branch and a Nazareth!
To further complicate the issue, the prophets said the Messiah was going to be born, and would be a ruler (Isaiah 9:6);
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
How could someone be a Judean, a root of David as well as a Nazarene (Nazareth); and called from Egypt? How could you have convinced anyone that the Messiah was born, but He was not going to rule at that time?
When we view the history of Jesus Christ in retrospect, mysteries disappear. We can read it from the scriptures that He was born in Bethlehem of Judah; had to take shelter in Egypt as a result of the threat on His life; settled in the Nazareth of Galilee (in the land of Zebulun) when he returned. Did these complications help the Jews to understand the nativity of Jesus Christ before and after his birth? Not at all! Till His crucifixion He was called, Jesus of Nazareth, and the belief of the Jews was that, the Messiah was not going to come from Nazareth.
Similarly, the nativity of the Antichrist would be shrouded in mysteries. First, he would be a Jew and he would come to the Jews as their saviour. Concerning this man, Jesus said in John 5:43, “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
Daniel saw him as a Jew who would not regard the God of the Jews (Dan.11:37-39), “37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.”
Note the words, “…the God of his fathers…” This phrase usually refers to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The phrase, “…the desire of women…” usually refers to the Messiah Whom the Jewish virgins longed to give birth to. The phrase, “…a god which his fathers did not know…” and, “…with a foreign god…” are expressions used to denote idols. Jehovah is the God of the land of Israel; all else are idols and foreign to the land.
The Headquarters of the Antichrist government would be located in Jerusalem. Daniel 11:45 says, “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” The Living Bible translates it as, between Jerusalem and the seas. The glorious holy mountain is located in Jerusalem.
That the Jews would accept him as their Messiah indicates that he has Jewish origin. That he would stand in the temple of God in Jerusalem claiming to be God shows that he believes there is God. The Antichrist would not be an atheist!
In the vision of metallic image man shown to Daniel in Dan.2, the Roman Empire was the last world empire. Daniel 2:31-43. This is the interpretation of Daniel –
a) Head of gold => Babylonian Empire
b) Arms of silver => the Kingdoms of Media and Persia
c) Belly and thighs of bronze => Grecian Empire
d) Legs of iron and toes of iron and clay => the Roman Empire.
You would get these meanings when you compare the visions and interpretations of Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 8.
The Roman Empire has two divisions, namely, the legs of iron (none compromise) and the toes of iron and clay mixed together (a fusion of the then (Ancient) Roman Empire with other countries).
The Roman Empire will live again and this time, shall merge with some countries which were not originally within the borders of the Ancient Roman Empire.
Rev.13 gave some prophetic insight. Verses 1-6 indicated that the beast from the sea (the Antichrist) had 7 heads and 10 horns. The 7 heads were also stated in Rev.17:3 and were interpreted in verses 9-11 to mean, (a) 7 mountains on which the woman sits and also (b) 7 kings or 7 kingdoms.
The woman described as, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the earth; the woman who was drunken with the blood of the saints to the point of stupor (Rev.17:1-7), was actually a city. Rev.17:18,
“The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth." That is the most powerful city in the world! The most powerful city in the world that is situated on 7 mountains is no other city than Rome.
The 7 heads were also referring to 7 kings or kingdoms which had or would rule the earth. Out of those 7 kingdoms, 5 kingdoms had already past as at the time the prophecy of Revelation was given. As at the time the prophecy of the book of Revelation was given, the 6th kingdom was reigning (Rev.17:10), “They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.”
John saw these visions at the Island of Patmos, in the days of the Pagan Roman Empire. So we can see that the Pagan Roman Empire was the 6th head. Even if we count from the first Gentile World Empire recorded in the Bible (which was Egypt), we would still arrive at the same thing. The Gentile World Powers were; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medio-Persia, Grecian Empire, and Pagan Rome (ruled by the Caesars). What about the 7th Kingdom?
The 7th kingdom is still Roman Empire, but in a different form. In Daniel chapter 2, the Roman Empire was described to have 2 reigns; one was as the 2 legs of iron and the other was as the 10 toes of iron and clay mixed together (Dan.2:31-43). The stone which was cut without hands was representing Jesus Christ Who would come back to destroy the Antichrist Kingdom. The stone which was cut without hands hit the image on its toes of iron and clay mixed together. The indication here is that, the last world empire would be the 10 toes kingdom.
Another Biblical evidence to prove that the last world empire would be Revived Roman Empire is what John saw and said; “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”
That means, one of the 7 kingdoms was wounded to the point of demise, but somehow it came back to life. This has dual meanings, first, it refers to Roman Empire which was wounded when the rulership of the Caesars ceased; but it would resurrect as Papal Roman or Revived Roman Empire. Similarly, the Antichrist would be wounded to the point of death but would somehow resurrect and the whole world would marvel. The 6th head was wounded, but it will resurrect as the 7th head. All these show that the Antichrist would be the ruler of the Revived Roman Empire.
I do not know of any Biblical reference that directly links the Antichrist to an Arab origin. The closest hint is Daniel 9:27 which said that he would confirm a covenant with many for one week (7 years). The Antichrist would certainly make some agreements with the Arabs, the Chinese and with almost all major political and religious power blocks. There would be something about his origin, personality, and power which would make these power blocks to welcome him and listen to him. Would he have an Arab blood? Probably, but I’m not so sure. However, when this man comes to the stage of world events, we would identify him by the scriptures.
In the meantime, let us occupy ourselves with the preparations for the return of Jesus Christ. Let’s consider the admonition of Jesus in Luke 21:34-36,
“34 Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
May you stay at alert, ready, as we wait for the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..." (John 14:12).