Handicapping the A/C
Vol: 98 Issue: 30 Monday, November 30, 2009
One of the more interesting trends pointing to this generation as the one that will see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the return of Christ is the tremendous amount of interest in His counterfeit.
Back in the 1990’s, I was involved with a lot of prophecy conferences. We hosted a couple a year when I was with “This Week in Bible Prophecy”. And at every one of them, somebody would come up to me to share their personal research concerning the identity of the antichrist.
Later, when I went to work with Hal Lindsey, we put on a couple of conferences down in LA and one in Seattle. It didn’t much matter whose conference or which coast — I’d still end up with reams of personal research naming the antichrist.
The obsession with identifying the antichrist seemed to take off near the end of the 1980’s with some ministries devoting more of their attention to the coming of the antichrist than they do to the return of Christ Himself.
One such theory was presented by Tim Cohen back in the early 90’s entitled, “The Antichrist and A Cup of Tea.” Cohen names Charles, Prince of Wales, as the antichrist. Charles was born in 1948. His name calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew.
Cohen notes the symbols in his official coat-of-arms resemble the first beast of Revelation 13. He claims descent from David, Jesus, and Mohammed, Cohen says, and hopes to be the King of Europe.
Of course, that was back in the early 90’s. Charles no longer even hopes to be King of England.
The late Charles Taylor pegged King Juan Carlos of Spain, noting that Juan Carlos’ name adds up to 666 in ten different languages. King Juan Carlos is hereditary heir to the title, “King of Jerusalem”. King Juan Carlos has a sailboat named “The Dragon.”
But while Juan Carlos is Spain’s titular head-of-state, the real power is invested in the country’s prime minister, not the King. It seems unlikely that a King not entrusted with political power over his own country would be handed authority over all of Europe.
Javier Solana is another famous Spaniard widely promoted as the antichrist. Until last month, Solana was the de-facto head of state for both the European Union and the Western European Union.
Solana’s supporters point to WEU Agreement 666 which combined the two posts into one under Solana’s authority. Both the EU and WEU arose out of the old Roman Empire as a consequence of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
But Solana retired last month after serving out a ten year term and was replaced by Catharine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy, at least temporarily taking the EU presidency off the list of potential antichrists.
Some of Solana’s cheerleaders have shifted their allegiances over to Von Rompuy since Catharine Ashton is disqualified by her gender. They point to a speech he gave shortly after being named to his office:
2009 is the first year of global governance, with the establishment of the G-20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet.
If making that observation qualifies one for the job of antichrist, Von Rompuy’s bid has to stand behind George Herbert Walker Bush, who was the first to address the move towards a New World Order during his “Thousand Points of Light” speech.
But President Bush wasn’t the antichrist and now he’s too old. His son can’t be the antichrist, either. Scripture paints a detailed portrait of the man Daniel said would be a prince of the people who would destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple]. Both were accomplished at the hand of future Emperor Titus of Rome in AD 70.
We know he comes from among ten ‘kings’ in a restored Roman Empire. (Daniel 7:7 7:24, Revelation 13:2) The Western European Union, interestingly enough, restricts its FULL member roster to ten nations. All other member-states are either ‘associate members’, ‘affiliates’ or ‘permanent observers.
That would seem to disqualify Barack Hussein Obama as well, although of all the possible pretenders to the throne, Obama’s credentials are the most impressive. On the day he was elected president, the winning Pick 3 numbers in his home state lottery were 666.
Daniel 7:8, 24 says the antichrist will rise from obscurity, but with a ‘mouth speaking great things’. That’s our Obama. His beginnings are so obscure, we aren’t even sure if he began in Hawaii or Kenya.
We know nothing of his background; his educational records are sealed, and he has a phalanx of lawyers on retainer to keep the details a secret.
He will blaspheme against God. (Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5)
In his first major speech on foreign soil, Obama denied America is a Christian country and said it was one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.
For the record, the CIA World Factbook disagrees — or it did when it was last updated in 2007.
Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
While 51.3% Protestant and 23.9% Catholic (75.2%) may not make America a Christian country, (although I don’t see how) America’s 0.6% Muslim hardly qualifies it as a Muslim country, even to Muslims.
The antichrist will confirm a covenant between Israel and her enemies. The covenant will establish a Jewish presence on Temple Mount and will restore Temple worship.
He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15].
His power will be as absolute as any ‘king’ of the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks. [Revelation 13:2] He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases.” [Daniel 11:36]
The antichrist will pay lip service to the religion of his ancestors. Obama’s religious ancestry is Muslim. He will deny Jesus as the Messiah and deny His resurrection and His Deity. But Obama claims to be a Christian — a God his fathers knew not.
But Obama, like Solana, Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Juan Carlos of Spain, is not the antichrist. Like all the rest of them, he is missing several critical qualifications.
First off, the antichrist is an organizational genius who essentially rules the world single-handedly. Obama has a mouth speaking great things, but that’s about as far as one can reasonably take it.
Obama’s administration is proving itself to be as inexperienced and inept as his most vociferous critics had feared. He’s been unable to pass a single piece of major legislation despite having veto-proof control of both Houses of Congress.
He’s not accomplished a single one of his campaign goals. He’s practically lost the war in Afghanistan. Any hope he had of convincing America he could set up an efficient government-run health care system evaporated when his administration dropped the ball over H1N1.
Far from the picture of the antichrist as controller of a global economic system, Obama’s economy is the worst in sixty years, no matter who he tries to blame it on.
Obama’s charisma is undeniable, but his popularity is plummeting faster than any American president in living memory, including that of George W. Bush.
The difference between Obama and the antichrist is obvious. The Bible says people will like the antichrist.
I don’t believe it is the job of the Church to be watching for the antichrist. I believe the Scriptures teach it is the duty of the Church to be watching for the coming of Christ for His Church, not the coming of His enemy.
I don’t believe the Church will still be here when the antichrist comes to power, so his identity is largely irrelevant. ‘Largely’ irrelevant. Not completely.
The Bible goes into great detail concerning the antichrist, listing at least twenty-seven separate prophecies regarding the man of sin — of which we’ve touched on just a handful.
No Scripture is without relevance to the Church, including those concerning the antichrist. What is important is viewing those Scriptures from the right perspective.
In addition to the prophecies regarding the antichrist, the Bible gives dozens of other prophecies to the Church, most of which will not be fulfilled until after the Church has been Raptured.
That begs the question; “if we aren’t going to be here when it happens, why devote so much time to the details?” It’s an excellent question.
In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus outlined events from the perspective of Israel at the time of the end. He described the Tribulation Period from two entirely different perspectives.
Matthew 24:4-14 describe the events now ongoing as the Church Age comes to a conclusion. Jesus speaks of global wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc., saying “all these are the BEGINNINGS of sorrows.”
Jesus promises that, “he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” (24:13) That He is referring to those Christians that are alive at His coming at the end of the Church Age is confirmed by the next verse:
“And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (Matthew 24:14)
Immediately after THAT ‘end has come’, there is a shift in focus from global events to localized events from Israel’s perspective, all of which are framed within the context of Jewish Law.
Jesus alludes to the ‘abomination of desolation’ (of the as-yet non-existent Temple.) (24:15) He addresses those specifically living in Judea (the modern West Bank). He makes reference to the Jewish Sabbath travel restrictions (not imposed on the Church).
For the Church, it is a warning that our time is drawing to an end, that the fields are white with the harvest, and that the harvest season is quickly drawing to a close.
For the Jews, it is evidence that this same Jesus Who forecast the Tribulation will also return at its conclusion.
When He returns visibly at the conclusion of the Tribulation, Zechariah says that “they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,” [Zechariah 12:10] ultimately resulting in Israel’s national conversion and salvation in accordance with God’s purpose for the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble.’
The details about the coming antichrist are useful to the Church only in that they impart a sense of urgency to fulfill the mission of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom into the whole world BEFORE the end comes.
As the saying goes, “if the calendar says Thanksgiving, then you know Christmas is right around the corner.”
If the symbols, heads, horns and beasts of Daniel and Revelation are beginning to make sense, then you can know that this is the generation to whom they were addressed. Daniel didn’t understand all that he was seeing in his vision, and he asked for an explanation.
Instead, the revealing angel told Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” [Daniel 12:4]
The Book of Daniel is no longer ‘sealed’ — because this is the time of the end. The search for the antichrist has become an obsession for many — even within the professing Church.
But the purpose for Bible prophecy is not to entertain, titilate or scare people with stories about the coming of Satan’s boogeyman. Its purpose is to validate the truth of Scripture to a lost and sin-sick world.
It is to give the warning that time is running out on this world, and that the time is coming when the world has to make a choice. The Christ? Or the antichrist?
Pontius Pilate offered the Jews a similar choice before he pronounced sentence on Jesus. Will it be Jesus? Or Barabbas?
The true Church has already chosen Jesus. There is no need to put the question before it again.