Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Assyrian?

Is The Anti-Christ An Assyrian?

Q. I was wondering if you might be able to comment on a recent article claiming that many of the prophesies of Isaiah 10 and 11 (and Isaiah 30:30-31) that traditionally are understood to have been fulfilled by the Seleucid King Antiochus IV around the time of the Maccabees might instead be prophesies that lie ahead for the Anti-Christ himself.

Could it be that understanding the Seleucid King who defiled the second Temple in the second century BC could teach us more about the Anti-Christ and how he arises to power such as where he comes from, how his government is formed, and his path of conquest than just the act of “Desolation” itself spoken of in the book of Daniel? As we come closer to end times events I’m reminded of Paul’s words that looking forward was like looking into a dark glass, however as we approach these events things get more clear. Could it be so here too?

A. I believe that much of Isaiah has a dual fulfillment, the first one now historical to us and the 2nd one coming soon in the End Times. Antiochus Epiphanes was one of our clearest models of the anti-Christ, and was the only figure in History to demonstrate what the Abomination of Desolation will look like. Roman Emperor Nero and Adolph Hitler were two others. In Old Testament times the Jews saw Assyrian King Sennacherib as a type of the anti-Messiah with Hezekiah foreshadowing the Messiah. Since the former Assyrian Empire was included in lands identified as part of the Roman Empire, an anti-Christ of Assyrian descent is compatible with Daniel’s prophecy of the coming prince (Daniel 9:26).

At the rate other prophecies are being fulfilled, if the Assyrian view is correct we should see the re-emergence of the Assyrian Empire very soon. However, whether he is Assyrian or not is of secondary importance. The Church is looking the Christ, not the anti-Christ. Having a certain amount of curiosity about who the anti-Christ will be is only natural, but it shouldn’t distract us from getting ready to meet our King and preparing for our life with Him.

Is The Anti Christ From Syria?

Q. I have been listening to some teaching by a messianic Jewish bible scholar who was talking about the identify of the antichrist. Though he agrees no one knows the antichrist’s identity, he believes the little horn mentioned in Daniel suggests the antichrist will be (a)-syrian.. or from Syria. He traces Syria history back from the Hittites, to the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, Alexander, Ottoman and so forth. What are your thoughts?

A. There two little horns in Daniel. The one in Daniel 7:8 springs up within the 4th Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and is clearly a prophecy of the anti Christ. In Daniel 8 a little horn comes out of one of the four surviving components of the Greek Empire following Alexander’s death. This is commonly thought to be the Selucid Kingdom in today’s Syria. This prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Selucid King responsible for the desecration of the Temple and subsequent Maccabbean revolt in 168-165 BC.

But beginning in Daniel 8:23 the Angel Gabriel’s interpretation of Daniel’s vision also seems to include an end times reference to the anti Christ, called a stern faced king, who will come to power by means of peace. This reference has helped scholars see Antiochus as a type of the anti Christ since much of what he did in prompting the Maccabbean revolt will be repeated at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Like the antiChrist, Antiochus called himself a god, and set about to destroy Israel. He erected a statue in his own likeness in the Holy Place, and required worship on pain of death. This too was called the Abomination of Desolation and sparked a 3 1/2 year revolt.

This may be where your teacher draws his Syrian conclusion. I am currently enamored with the notion of al Mahdi, the so-called Moslem Messiah as a likely candidate for the anti Christ, although I don’t believe the church will be around to see him emerge.


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