The Third Pillar of Antichrist
Vol: 27 Issue: 22 Saturday, October 22, 2016
I have always been leery of those Bible teachers who have a new ‘revelation’ — seeing something in Bible prophecy that they had never seen before.
I am also keenly aware of the dangers inherent in interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events. It is a good attitude to have, I think, but it does tend to close one’s mind to alternative explanations.
In that regard, what should rightly be accepted as interpretational can subtly shift over from interpretation to doctrine. And interpretation and doctrine are two entirely different animals.
‘Doctrine’ is defined as “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.”
‘Interpretation’ is defined as “a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style.”
Doctrine is iron-clad; a ballet teacher teaches the identical doctrine of classical ballet to two students in the same class, but how they INTERPRET that doctrine is what separates a Mikhail Barishnikov from a Rudolf Nureyev.
Doctrine is constant but interpretation changes with understanding.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
According to Bible prophecy, the reign of the antichrist rests on the existence of three central pillars; a global government, a global religion and a global economy.
The prophet Daniel identifies the antichrist as being of “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)
History tells us the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple took place in AD 70 under the command of Titus, later Emperor Titus of Rome.
Hence the interpretation that the antichrist comes to power through some form of a revived Roman Empire that serves as a de facto global government.
In this generation, the countries of the old Roman Empire united under the banner of the European Union, uniting Europe as a single empire for the first time since the fall of Rome.
The second pillar, that of a global economy, is necessary to fulfill John’s prophecy that he will have the ability to restrict persons from normal buying and selling at the individual level.
Such economic control was never possible prior to this generation. If you doubt it exists now, imagine if your Social Security number were deleted. You couldn’t work, open a bank account, get a loan, or make a major purchase.
Elimination of cash (a work already in progress) would completely exclude a person from any economic participation.
Of the third pillar, the global religious system, the Bible reveals the following:
1) It will claim authority over Christianity. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of theearth; and he had two horns like a lamb. . .”
The references to ‘the lamb’ are pretty much self-explanatory. It is a reference to something ‘like’ Christianity, but a counterfeit. . . . “he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)
2) It will share political power with the first beast. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.”
3) Participation will be mandatory. “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)
4) The method employed by the false prophet’s religious system as the penalty for refusing conversion is decapitation.
“and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast.” (Revelation 20:4)
For more than a thousand years, most interpreters saw the Church of Rome and the papacy as the third pillar of the antichrist’s platform.
The Vatican claims authority of Christianity and has always been as much political as religious. But that is where the similarities stop.
600 years ago, the papacy tried to enforce conversion and sometimes executed those who refused. The papacy also believed the world was flat 600 years ago.
It is safe to say when the Pope believes in a flat earth, the papacy will launch another Grand Inquisition.
There is in existence another religion that fits John’s description like a glove. Islam claims to be the third revelation from God.
It claims its existence from Abraham, acknowledges the Divine inspiration of the Bible, but claims that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslim prophets.
It is Islam’s claim to be the third and final revelation from God from which Islam derives its claim of authority over Christians and Jews.
Islam is not just a religion but is equally a political system carefully defined by Sharia law and fulfilling points 1 and 2 much more perfectly than does the modern Vatican.
Islam is the religion of the sword. The word itself means ‘submission’ and Islamic law authorizes the death penalty for unbelievers, fulfilling point 3 as a matter of existing religious doctrine — not a new doctrine forced upon an existing system by a mad pope.
And the penalty of choice for refusing to submit to Allah is decapitation, fulfilling point 4.
None of this has to be developed and imposed upon Western religionists as new religious doctrine by a new pope as previous interpretations required — it already exists. And it is already practiced by one-fifth of the human race.
As noted, Islam claims to be the well-spring of Judeo-Christianity, claiming Islam predates both. Islam claims Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews and that the Old and New Testaments were corrupted by scribes.
Christians and Jews scoff at this claim, since the Koran’s Allah bears no resemblance to the God revealed in Scripture.
God is love. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith. As a matter of accepted doctrine, it cannot be imposed by force.
Salvation through Allah comes through martyrdom in the jihad, after conversion to Islam either voluntarily — or by force.
Daniel provides another glimpse into the religion of antichrist. He says that he will be an atheist, but that he will pretend to be religious in public.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
Then Daniel gives a letter-perfect description of Islam — as Islam describes ITSELF.
“But IN HIS ESTATE shall he honour the GOD OF FORCES: and a god WHOM HIS FATHERS KNEW NOT . . .” ‘A god of forces, and a god his fathers knew not’ cannot be applied to the Roman Catholic Church or the Papacy without the RCC formally renouncing Scripture, God and Jesus.
For 1600 years, interpreters looked to the Vatican and for 1600 years, the argument seemed valid. Until the arrival of the generation to whom the prophecy was written.
“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEAL TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.” (Daniel 12:9-10)