The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist
This is the second instalment of the three blogs which cover the identification of the Antichrist. As the blog is aimed at covering the scriptures related to the Antichrist and enabling believers to be able to identify the Antichrist on his rise to power, not completing all three blogs will severely limit the individual’s knowledge on the subject and their ability to identify the “man of sin.”
Part 1 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist
- Mystery Religion
- The identity of the Antichrist
- Putting the pieces together
- The Antichrist must be Jewish
- The Antichrist will worship the Queen of Heaven
- His name will have significance
Part 2 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist continued
- The Antichrist will be of African descent
- The Queen of Sheba
- How did Judaism come to Ethiopia?
- Other criteria required by the Jews for their Messiah
- The significance of the Ark for the Jews
- The nationality of the Antichrist
- The Antichrist will be the Muslim Mahdi
Part 3 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist Continued
- The links between Catholics and Islam
- The spirit of Nimrod is the spirit of the Antichrist
- Biblical types of the Antichrist
- The number of his name is 666
- Summary of the Antichrist – A checklist
The Antichrist will be of African descent:
Nimrod started the mystery Babylonian religion. He sought to turn man against God and institute a one-world government and a one-world religion. The book of Genesis reveals that Nimrod was the great grandson of Noah, his father being Cush, the son of Ham. Cush means “black” in Hebrew, his race being confirmed by the fact that Cush became the patriarch of the Ethiopian people. The area covering Ethiopia and Sudan of today is referred to as the land of Cush in the Bible. So, Nimrod as a son of Cush was a black African. Nimrod is always depicted as being white, which seems to have a racial bias as he was the original great conqueror and leader. God has a way of bringing things full circle, so it would be appropriate that the Antichrist – the head of the Babylonian end-time religion – be an Ethiopian, from the same culture as Nimrod, a direct descendant of Cush.
It is worth noting that the Liberal Left has been running a campaign against white men for some time, bashing straight white men has become very common in the mass media, with racism being regularly inserted in their propaganda. Hollywood has joined the party by removing straight white men as the heroes from their movies. The irony behind all of this is the mass media and Hollywood are run by white men, so what can be the reason behind this indoctrination by the Liberal Left? Firstly, globalisation is about breaking down national barriers and introducing a global village mentality, but if, as I believe to be true, the Antichrist will be black, this is an excellent way for the world, especially the West to be socialized into accepting the idea of a great leader being non-white.
The question that then needs to be answered is: how will it be possible for the Antichrist to be black, if it is also necessary that he is Jewish? For the Antichrist to be linked to Nimrod he needs to have a black mother or a black father and to be Jewish he only needs to have a Jewish mother. His father can be of any nationality. Remember that the Jews require the Messiah to come through the line of David. Jews today cannot say from which tribe of Israel they belong to, as the genealogical records were destroyed when the Romans set fire to the Temple during their conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70. The only Jews who are able to prove their lineage are those named Cohen and Levi, as they connect to the priestly tribe of the Levites, and there is no genealogical link between them and King David.
To explain the existence of a black Jewish mother from the line of David, we need to study the scripture in 2 Chronicles 9:12 which states “King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.”
We know from the Bible that Solomon was not averse to marrying foreign women and having children by them. According to Ethiopian history, the Queen of Sheba married King Solomon and they produced a son named Menelik. A study of the Queen of Sheba and Menelik is therefore necessary to determine the veracity of an Ethiopian Jew being a direct descendant of King David through his son Solomon.
The next problem to solve is how if the Antichrist will be of African descent, is it possible that Menelik whose mother was an Ethiopian Gentile could be considered Jewish with the Jews holding to a law of maternal descent? The explanation is simple, in the Old Covenant times a person’s Jewish status was determined by patrilineal descent (through the father). An example would be Rehoboam the son of Solomon and his successor to the throne of Israel, his mother was Naamah an Ammonitess. There is no evidence of Naamah converting to Judaism; in fact, the opposite is true with scripture recording how Solomon allowed his wives to continue their pagan worship. The enforcement of the law of maternal descent only seems to have taken place after the time of the kings of Judah with the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. This was done in an effort to ensure that the Jews did not once more end up in rebellion against God. Evidence of this is seen in Ezra 10:2-3, where the Jews vowed to put aside their non-Jewish wives and the children born to their Gentile brides. This instruction would not have been carried out if the children had been considered to be Jews.
It should also be noted that Falasha Jews are considered to be fully Jewish in nationality by Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed Jews. Then According to modern traditional Jewish law, a person’s Jewish status is passed down through the mother, so the Antichrist being born to a Falasha Jewess will be considered to be Jewish.
The Queen of Sheba
We first read of the Queen of Sheba in scripture in 1 Kings 10, which informs us that she heard of the great Wisdom of Solomon and travelled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to meet with him. The Bible tells us that the Queen of Sheba was “overwhelmed” (1 Kings 10:5) by what she saw and heard in Jerusalem, and that she gave God the acclaim for what He had done for Solomon. Jesus gives her credit for recognising God as the true God, when he said, “The Queen of the South will rise at the Judgement with this generation and condemn it.” (Matt. 12:42). Jesus implies by this scripture that her seeking after the Wisdom of Solomon led her to a greater wisdom, the knowledge of God. So, like the men of Nineveh who repented on hearing the warning Jonah gave them, she will be an example of those who, on hearing the truth, believed without the need for miraculous signs. Her faith in the God of Solomon will condemn those who rejected the anointed Messiah, Yeshua.
The Bible does not give a clear indication about a love relationship taking place between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, simply stating that at the end of her stay in Jerusalem, “she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.” (1 Kings 10:13). However, 1 Kings 10:13 does say that Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba “all she desired,” and this could mean that she sought to have a child by Solomon. The Bible also reveals that Solomon was a man who would be more than willing to fulfil this desire. It is also possible that the Queen of Sheba was seduced by Solomon, a man with an insatiable appetite for beautiful woman, and the wise, wealthy, powerful Queen would have been a much sought-after prize.
Further evidence that the Queen of Sheba had an intimate relationship with Solomon, is that many scholars believe that the beautiful love song recorded in the Song of Songs was written by Solomon. While the song is an allegory for the love of God for his people Israel and Jesus’ love for the Church, some Bible scholars believe that the song is a record of the relationship between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
The website The Queen of Sheba and the Song of Songs (1) gives evidence that the woman in the love relationship with Solomon is the Queen of Sheba, recording that:
- Despite the fact that there is a deep love and affection displayed in the Song of Songs, there is no mention of a forthcoming marriage ceremony, an extremely important part of a courtship of those times.
- The woman in the Song of Songs is forthright and forward in her advances, which is totally uncharacteristic of the woman at that time, as they were submissive to men. The website states that “In a strongly patriarchal society, how could this have arisen, in which the female expresses her desire so unashamedly and takes the sexual initiative so boldly?” The only explanation, it seems, is that the Queen of Sheba, a woman of royalty, authority and power, would not have the inhibitions of the women of her time.
- A further indicator that the woman is the Queen of Sheba is that Song of Songs 3:6 records that the woman comes “up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense.” The Queen of Sheba, making her way to Jerusalem from Ethiopia, would have arrived coming out of the Negev desert south of Jerusalem. 1 Kings 10:10 records that spices were a major part of the gift the Queen gave to Solomon. The spices would have included the royal spices, frankincense and myrrh.
- Most important of all, the woman in the Song of Songs is depicted as being black, matching the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian woman, who also would have been black. Genesis 10:7 records that Sheba was a descendant of Cush who was the father of the Ethiopians. The Various Bibles translate Song of Songs 1:5 differently. For example, the New American Standard Bible and the King James Version have “I am black but comely.” The New International Version has “Dark am I yet lovely.” In plain English the verse translated means the woman in the Song of Songs is black yet beautiful. Just as the tents of Kedar were made from the hair of black goats so the skin of Solomon’s love was black (Song of Songs 1:5). This is a strong indicator that the woman in the song is the black Queen from Ethiopia.
(1) The incredible Royal Dynasty of King David: amaickingdavid.blog.com/2011/04/20/the-queen-of-sheba-and-the-song-of-songs/ (12/02/2013)
The Ethiopians claim that the Queen of Sheba conceived after her relationship with Solomon and gave birth to a son naming him Bayna-Lehkem (Menelik), which means “son of the wise man.” This would have occurred around 940-930 BC. Menelik took the throne after his mother died, which started the Ethiopian Solomonic dynasty, a royal line that ruled uninterrupted right up to Halie Selassie in 1974, a time-span of some 3 000 years. The important point from this is that the Ethiopian royalty claim a direct link to King David. Halie Selassie called himself the “lion of Judah,” and he was the 225th king in a direct line of descendants from Menelik.
According to an Ethiopian 14th Century document the Kebra Nagast (“Glory of the Kings”) Menelik, when he was old enough, travelled to Jerusalem to spend time with his father. While he was in Jerusalem he lived in the palace with his father and studied under the Temple priests. Under the influence of the priests, he became a devout follower of the God of Israel.
Menelik’s commitment to Yahweh, according to the Kebra Nagast, went to the extent of his taking the Ark of the Covenant with him when he returned to Ethiopia. The story goes that Solomon had a copy of the Ark made for Menelik to take back to Ethiopia with him. However, Menelik had become extremely concerned in the decline of worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem. King Solomon had allowed his wives to lead him astray (1 Kings 11:3), resulting in his worshipping “Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.” (1 Kings 11:5). The increase in idols to foreign gods on the Temple Mount troubled Menelik to the extent that when it was time for him to return to Ethiopia, he felt compelled to take the original ark with him, leaving a copy in the Temple.
Menelik, after he removed the Ark from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, followed a traditional route linking Israel with Ethiopia. The route home for Menelik was to travel from Jerusalem to Gaza, and then follow the trade routes along the edge of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, then use the Nile River to navigate south into the African interior. By then following the Takazze river, a tributary of the Nile (the Nile and Takazze rivers were the “roads” through which travellers made their way south through the desert and past difficult terrain), Menelik would have reached the western slopes of the Abyssinian highlands in Ethiopia. The highlands are a massive barrier between the Ethiopian interior and the Red Sea coast. The Ark was stored on Lake Tana, a sacred lake, on an Island which is now called Kirkos. This is where, according to the Ethiopians, the Ark stayed for 800 years, until the Ark fell into the hands of the growing Christian population of Ethiopia. It was these Christians who moved the Ark to Axum, where it is believed to have been placed in a church in the city.
The entourage that journeyed with Menelik to Ethiopia included priests and other Jews who would help him establish the Jewish faith in Ethiopia. These Jews and their Ethiopian converts became known as “Falasha” Jews, and they still embrace the Jewish faith to this day. Falasha means “exiles” in Amharic and is not the term used by the Jews of Ethiopia, they refer to themselves as Beta Israel (House of Israel).
Both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Chief Rabbis in Jerusalem, have identified the Falashas as indisputably Jewish, so Israel now admits these so called “black Jews” into Israel under the “law of return.” The return of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah 11:11 which makes reference to the return of Jews to Israel from their dispersion in Ethiopia (Cush). As this scripture was written before the end of the first temple period, it proves the existence of Jews in Ethiopia at that time.
The important link to the Antichrist from the Falasha Jews is that if an Ethiopian Jewess, who is able to trace her lineage back to Menelik 1, has a son, he will be in the line of King David. These are the only Jews who can make that claim today.
How did Judaism come to Ethiopia?
The view of most scholars is that Jews fled from Israel during the Roman suppression of the AD 68-70 Jewish rebellion. The Jewish refugees moved south and settled in Yemen, establishing a large Jewish community there. A number of these Jews then migrated to the Abyssinian mainland from southwestern Arabia in the first and second centuries AD and subsequently converted members of the local population to Judaism. The Falasha Jews are therefore seen by these academics as the descendants of these converts, not blood Jews with genealogical links to the 12 tribes of Israel.
Graham Hancock, in his extensive research for his book The Sign and the Seal (1), found that this scholarly consensus was due to the fact that there was a lack of evidence pointing to any other possible theory. This absence of evidence was due to the fact that these scholars viewed the record of Menelik’s journey south with the Ark of the Covenant as fictional. So, rather than having proof that the Jewish faith could not have arrived in Ethiopia through Menelik, the academics had no evidence that this could not have been the case.
Observance of the Falasha, their culture, religious practices, and traditions sheds light on the origins of their faith and also provides evidence that Falasha Judaism predates the Babylonian exile:
- The Falasha had no knowledge of the Babylonian or Jerusalem Talmud, both of which were written during and after the time of the Babylonian captivity.
- The Falasha did not observe the feast of Purim which commemorates the victory of the Persian Jews over the Persian Prime Minister Haman (473 BC), a descendent of Amalek, the traditional enemy of the Jewish people. The observance of Purim by the Jews had become popular by 425 BC.
- The Falasha did not observe the feast of the dedication of the Second Temple which is called Hanukkah (dedication). The dedication of the Second Temple occurred after the Maccabean war (a revolt to liberate the Jews from the rule of the Seleucids), which took place in about 164 BC. Judas Maccabeus reclaimed Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and reinstituted temple sacrifice, which is remembered by the celebration of the holiday Hanukkah by the Jews.
- Every place of Jewish worship in Ethiopia had an altar on which blood sacrifices continued to be performed. The last blood sacrifice offered by the Jews occurred in AD 70, just prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. At the time of Solomon, local sacrifices were still carried out by Jews, especially those who lived some distance away from the Temple. It was only during the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC) that all form of sacrifice other than those offered at the Temple were banned. So, when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 there could be no sacrifices. Thus, sacrifices as a means for atonement for sin ceased for all Jews, except the Falasha Jews, isolated as they were in the Abyssinian highlands. This is evidence that the Falasha must have been converted to Judaism prior to King Josiah’s ban, which would have been no later than the 7th Century BC. This means that sometime after the building of Solomon’s Temple in the mid-900s BC, and before Josiah in the mid-600s BC, the Falasha came into contact with and were converted by Jews who had immigrated south to Ethiopia. This would explain why the Falasha Jews are the only Jews who continued to sacrifice to Yahweh. Hancock, on studying the traditions of the Falasha, discovered that they accurately followed the sacrificial requirements recorded in the Mishnah, to the exact detail of the sprinkling of the blood on the altar and on the tent housing the Ark.
- The Falasha Jews in Ethiopia do not have rabbis and synagogues. As rabbis and synagogues became part of Judaism during the Second Temple period this is once more evidence that the Falasha were converted to Judaism before the Second Temple era. Hancock points out that the Falasha religious officials are called kahen, which is derived from the Hebrew kohen meaning priest. Cohen is a common name among Jews today which links them to the priestly families of the First Temple period.
- The Falasha Jews obeyed the Biblical laws on the subject of food. They did not follow the strict kosher laws instituted from the time of the Second Temple. For example, while the Falasha would consider it an abomination to eat the meat of an animal that had been cooked in its mother’s milk (a restriction recorded in both Ex. 23:19; 34:26 and Deut. 14:21), they had no compunction in mixing dairy and meat foods at the same meal, a definite Kosher restriction. Kosher laws will not even allow cutlery and plates to be used for both meat and milk, and a kosher kitchen will have cupboard space for the storage of cutlery and plates used for meat separately from those used for dairy products.
- Further evidence that Hancock puts forward that Menelik took the Ark and used the Nile to transport it into Ethiopia, is the location of the Falasha Jews in Ethiopia, which is in the region west of the Takazze River which includes Lake Tana. This region is west of the Abyssinian Highlands, while to the east of the highland is the coastal plain. If the Ethiopians were converted by Jews from Yemen, how is it that the Falasha Jews isolated on the west side of a major mountainous barrier were converted and not the Ethiopians along the coast? The conclusion must be that Menelik entered Ethiopia – as the Falasha history records – from the North West.
- The recent return of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah 11:11 which makes reference to the return of Jews to Israel from their dispersion in Ethiopia (Cush). As this scripture was written before the end of the first temple period, it is evidence of the existence of Jews in Ethiopia at that time.
The information provided above makes it clear that if the Falasha Jews were the converts of the Yemen Jews, they would have observed the feasts of Purim and Hanukkah; they would have eaten kosher meals, and they would not have held sacrifices, etc. The theory that Yemenite Jews introduced Judaism to the Falasha is, therefore, suspect. The logical conclusion is that Falasha Jews must have received their Judaism from another source.
The “legend” of Menelik seems to have more facts and evidence than the “historical facts” of the academics. The evidence points to the fact that the Falasha Jews are the only Jews who can claim a genealogical link to David. So, if the Antichrist is a descendant of a Falasha Jewess he would be able to make a strong claim to be the promised Jewish Messiah. He would also then have a genealogical link to Nimrod.
- (1) Hancock, Graham. The Sign and the Seal. Mandarin Paperback, 1992
Other criteria required by the Jews for their Messiah:
Moses Maimonides, who was the greatest Jewish commentator and scholar of the Middle Ages (AD 1200), said “He (the Messiah) will build the Temple, gather the dispersed of Israel. Then, in his days, all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer sacrifices and observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, according to all their particulars mentioned by the Torah” (Halachah 11:11). According to Maimonides, if a man succeeds in building the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Messiah (Halachah 11:14). Further expectations outlined by Maimonides are that the Messiah will be a scholar of great wisdom who will usher in a time of peace and prosperity for the Jews. The Jews of the first century wanted a messiah to bring about a time of peace, relieving them of the brutality of the Roman occupation of Israel; so too are the Jews now expecting their Messiah to bring peace to their land after the years of continual conflict since their formation as a nation in 1948.
We know from Daniel 9:27 that when the Antichrist confirms a covenant with Israel for one week, he will fulfil the criteria of Maimonides for the Messiah. The covenant will be a peace treaty between the Arabs and the Jews, which will allow the Jews to build the third Temple. This will result in many secular Jews returning to their faith, offering sacrifices and worshipping Yahweh at the Temple.
Remember that, although on the surface this may seem a good thing, it is not; Jeremiah 31:31-33 reveals the promise of a new covenant so wonderfully fulfilled by Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross the thick veil that separated man from the presence of God in the Holy of Holies was torn in two. With the debt for the sins of man having been paid, our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). When the Jews of Jesus’ time refused to acknowledge His saving work on the cross and continued to offer sacrifices, God used the Romans to destroy the Temple in AD 70, putting an end to the temple sacrifices.
The restoration of the Temple and the resumption of sacrifices is a rejection of the New Covenant and a return to the Old Covenant. Satan, through the Antichrist, will have successfully turned many Jews away from their true Messiah. For these Jews the erection of the third Temple will be proof positive that the Antichrist is their Messiah and that Jesus was a false Messiah. Their joy will know no bounds. That is, until three and a half years later when the Antichrist places a statue of himself on the Temple Mount and requires all to worship it. Then their joy will turn to mourning.
What if the Antichrist went even further and restored the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple? This would greatly increase the credibility of the Antichrist as the Messiah amongst the Jews. Two strong theories place the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia:
- The first, as has been discussed, has Menelik taking the ark back to Ethiopia with him, when he left Israel to go home.
- The other is that during the reign of the evil king Manasseh (687-642BC) the son of Hezekiah, it is believed that priests fled Jerusalem with the Ark, taking it to Egypt with them. In Egypt they built a temple to house the Ark, (the ruins of a Jewish temple-like structure exist in Egypt to this day). The Jewish priests then fell into religious conflict with the local Egyptians and fled Egypt, going to Ethiopia and taking the Ark with them. This theory on the Ark’s presence in Ethiopia does not detract from the evidence that Menelik is the son of Solomon. It only implies that the ark was taken to Ethiopia at a later date, and not by Menelik when he returned home.
Christianity started in Ethiopia after the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch by Philip in Acts 8:26-39. Christianity grew to be the dominant faith in Ethiopia, and over time the Ark fell into the hands of the Ethiopian Christians. They believe they possess the original Ark, and that the grace of God still rests upon the Ark, because the Ark still contains the tablets with the Ten Commandments. The Ark, therefore, is still Holy and of great significance to the Ethiopian Christian. The Antichrist, being a powerful religious figure with Ethiopian lineage, who will be head of the apostate church and be responsible for restoring the Temple to the Jews, will have the influence needed to convince the Ethiopians to restore the Ark to the Temple in Jerusalem.
A further possibility, which many Jews believe, is that the Ark is hidden under the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, as the Temple Mount is controlled by the Muslims, the Jews are not able to search the maze of tunnels that exist under it. The Antichrist will be able to change all that with the signing of the peace treaty between the Arabs and the Jews. Ultimately, Satan knows where the Ark built by Moses and Aaron is, and will be able to guide the Antichrist to its location. The end result will be that the return of the Ark to the Temple will add great credibility to the Antichrist’s claims of being the Jewish Messiah.
Many Christians believe that the search for the lost Ark is nonsense because Revelation 11:19 speaks of the Ark being in heaven. That is not the case, as the earthly Temple, the Ark and all of the furnishings, are copies of the original Temple and artefacts in heaven. What is being shown in Revelation 11:19 is the original Ark, not the Ark made by Moses and Aaron. The Temple in heaven is not a reconstruction of Solomon’s Temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians; it is the original Temple which has its own Ark and furnishings, as can be seen in Revelation 8:3, where an angel stands with a golden censer by the heavenly altar. The possibility exists that the Ark of the Covenant may still yet be found. The great credibility that the Antichrist would get from both Arabs and Jews for producing the Ark makes me believe that the Ark may yet be found with some demonic assistance.
The Jewish concept of Messiah
The coming of the mashiach (messiah) to be anointed king and at the end of days, which signals the commencement of an Olam Ha-Ba (messianic age), characterised by a time of world peace, has been a fundamental and much longed for part of Judaism. The belief in Judaism is that each age has men who could possibly be called upon to be the meshiach, but only he who is successful at meeting the requirements is the true meschiah. Through the ages men have risen up to make the claim that they were the Messiah. Some of the most well-known men who were considered to be the Messiah by Jewish followers are:
- Simon Bar Kokhbar (The Star) who in AD 132 lead a revolt against the Roman occupation of Israel. He was a charismatic leader who attained military successes against the Romans. Many rabbis including Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest Jewish scholars, believed Bar Kokhbar to be the Messiah. Bar Kokhbar captured Jerusalem from the 10th legion and reinstituted temple sacrifices; he also established a Jewish government for the region. This was exactly what the Jews were looking for in their Messiah, but the Bar Kokhbar revolt had disastrous consequences for the Jews. The Romans systematically crushed the uprising, killing 580 000, including Bar Kokhbar, who died in AD 135, ending his claim to be the Messiah. Jews were forbidden entry into Jerusalem and the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem, calling it Aelia Capitalina. To further insult the Jews Hadrian renamed the land of Israel Palaestina, after the once long time enemy of the Jews, the Philistines.
- The next most prominent false messiah to arise was the 17th-century Ottoman Jew Shabbetai Zevi (1626–1676). He used kabbalism to institute a mixture of strange teachings and bizarre customs which drew a considerable following of people, including rabbis and teachers. His enthusiasm for his new status waned however when the Turkish authorities gave him a choice of converting to Islam or being put to death. For Zevi discretion was the better part of valour and he converted to Islam, thus ending his claim to be the Jewish Messiah.
- More recently Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), the very popular seventh Chabad Rabbi, who because of his exceptional work within the Jewish community, had a large number of followers who proclaimed him to be the Messiah. Schneerson however, throughout his life, continued to reject the claim that he was the Messiah. He passed away in 1994, ending the hope of his followers.
With the belief by the Jews that there are messiah figures in all generations there has been a continual process of men claiming to be the Meshiach. Even today in the streets of Tel Aviv, by the shuk (market), there are Jews who hand out flyers proclaiming some claimant to be the Messiah.
A major part of Satan’s End Time plan is for the Antichrist to be accepted by the Jews as their Messiah. In achieving this goal Satan usurps the position from the true Messiah, Jesus, and diverts the glory that belongs to Jesus towards his false messiah. Satan will also succeed in directing the wrath of God against his long-time enemy, the Jews, because of their support for the Antichrist. To successfully achieve this goal Satan must ensure that the Antichrist meets sufficient of the criteria to be recognised by the Jews as their Messiah. The table below is a list of the criteria the Jews would expect their Messiah to fulfil:
|1||He must be Jewish from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:8–10).|
|2||He must be from the line of David (Isa. 11:1-2; Jer. 23:5 and 30:9; and Hosea 3:5).|
|3||Like David, the Messiah will be a great warrior but will ultimately usher in a time of peace. Meshiach means “the anointed one,” and links to the practice of anointing kings, therefore the Messiah must become a king like David.|
|4||Also, in the image of David, the Messiah will be a great charismatic political leader.|
|5||He will bring about a time of universal peace between mankind which includes an end to wickedness and sin (Zeph. 3:13).|
|6||He will rebuild the Temple and implement temple services (Jer. 33:18).|
|7||He will be a scholar of great wisdom and will restore the religious courts of justice (Jer. 33:15).|
|8||Due to the Messiah bringing political and spiritual redemption to Israel, Jews from all over the world willreturn to Israel.|
|9||Israel will become the centre of world government with the Messiah establishing his throne in Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1).|
Two further criteria that Satan could possibly use to enhance the standing of his false messiah are:
|10||He will have a name significant to messianic scripture|
|11||He will restore the Ark to the Temple in Jerusalem|
The significance of the Ark for the Jews:
The Ark is the holiest artifact that the Jews have, and it is mentioned almost 200 times in scripture. During the exodus, God instructed Moses to build the Ark according to the instructions he received on Mount Sinai. It was a rectangular wooden chest measuring 1.1 meters long and .70 meters high and wide. It was overlaid both inside and out with pure gold, and two winged cherubim faced each other across the lid, which was referred to as the Mercy Seat, upon which the blood of the sacrificial goat was sprinkled. During the feast of Yom Kippur, the high priest would enter beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies carrying the blood of the goat, which had been sacrificed for the sins of the people of Israel. Through this act of obedience, God’s anger and judgement towards the Jews would be satisfied.
The contents of the Ark are revealed in Hebrews 9:4, which states the Ark contained “the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.” This revelation of the contents of the Ark is seen by many to represent the sin of the people of Israel. The two broken stone tablets of the Testimony would symbolise the rejection of God’s laws (Ex. 32:19). The jar containing manna symbolised Israel’s rejection of God’s provision (Ex. 16). The third item which would be added was Aaron’s rod that sprouted buds and blossoms and bore ripe almonds in a single night, symbolising the rejection of God’s leadership and authority (Num. 17:7-8). These three items encompass the sins of Israel and would explain the necessity for the blood sacrifices to attain the Grace and forgiveness of God.
The return of the Ark to the Temple will reinforce the Antichrist’s position in the eyes of the Jews that he is their long-awaited Messiah. The building of the Third Temple along with the restoration of the Ark, will bring about a revival of worshipping at the Temple Mount and offering animal sacrifices among the Jews.
Jews from all over the world will travel to Israel to pray towards the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies and offer their sacrifices. The Ark will have special meaning for the Jews, not only because of the significance of the role that it plays in the temple sacrifices, but also because of the manifest power the Ark displayed during its time with the Jews:
- The Ark dealt with Israel’s enemies: In Josiah 6:6-7, the Ark leads the March around Jericho, then on the seventh day after the seventh circumnavigation of the city, the walls of the city collapsed at the sound of the trumpets and the shout of the Israelites. With no walls to defend it, the city is easily captured. The collapse of the city walls is attributed to the power of God working through the Ark. Then in 1 Samual 5, after the Philistines had captured the Ark and placed it as a trophy in the temple of their god Dagon, the idol collapsed, and broke before the Ark of the Lord. The Philistines were also afflicted with tumours for the duration of the presence of the Ark in their land.
- The Ark had power over nature: Joshua 3:13-17 records that Joshua sent the priest carrying the Ark into the Jordan River, and as soon as the priests’ feet touched the waters they stopped flowing. This allowed the nation of Israel to cross the river into Canaan on dry ground.
- Scripture records the warning of the respect and reverence that must be shown to the Ark. In Leviticus 10:1-2, Aaron’s sons are consumed by fire that “came out from the presence of the Lord,” (the Ark), for offering “unauthorised fire before the Lord.” Then in 1 Samuel 6:19: “God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord.”
- There is also the promise of blessing when the Ark is dwelling among His people. In 2 Samuel 6:11 during the Ark’s stay in the home of Obed-Edom the Gittite, “the Lord blessed him and his entire household.”
The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament was where God’s justice and judgement towards sin was satisfied. With the sacrificial death of Jesus, the Ark became redundant. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the judgement for the sins of mankind upon Himself, and God’s justice and judgement for sin was satisfied for all time. The Ark of the Covenant will no longer have the awesome powers that it manifests in the Old Testament, as its work was as temporary as the sacrifices.
Just as animal sacrifices can no longer forgive sins, so the Ark no longer has the presence, power and authority of God upon it. The veil of the Temple was rent to show that the blood shed by Jesus was sufficient to cover all mankind’s sin for all time, and that man could, with the blood covering of Jesus, come before the presence of God. Through Jesus, sin no longer separated man from God. Man can go into the presence of the Holy of Holies and petition God the Father. The Ark is as obsolete as a logarithm book after the invention of the calculator.
The power of the Ark is no more, and all authority and power are in Jesus. Jesus, therefore, supersedes the Ark of the Covenant, and when He returns to earth at the beginning of the Millennium, the scripture will be fulfilled that says “men will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Lord” (Jer. 3:16-17). This scripture was fulfilled in the Christian era with the crucifixion of Jesus. We no longer need sacrifices, and with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us. For the remnant of Messianic Jews this scripture has been fulfilled, but for the majority of Jews this scripture will only become a reality during the Millennium. Jeremiah also gives us strong evidence that the Ark will be recovered by the Antichrist in the last days. Jeremiah prophecies that once the Lord is seated on His throne in Jerusalem, the Jews will no longer visit the Ark; the thought of it will not even come to their minds. Jesus their Messiah-King is on His throne and can be worshipped directly. As there is no temple and no Ark in Jerusalem at the present, the Jews can hardly visit the Ark, so Jeremiah’s prophecy makes no sense unless the lost Ark is discovered and placed in the Holy of Holies of the Third Temple.
Once the Ark of the Covenant has been found the Jews will be compelled to build the Third Temple with the Holy of Holies to house it. The construction of the Temple will result in the mass emigration of thousands and thousands of Jews to Israel. Just as Hitler’s persecution of Jews was used by God to push Jews into leaving their homes and emigrating to the land of Israel, so God will use the Antichrist, the Third Temple and the discovery of the Ark to pull Jews from all over the world to Israel. Israel is where the Jews will be confronted by Jesus when He returns (Zech. 12:10), so it is where God wants all Jews to be.
The nationality of the Antichrist:
Micah 5 records the birth of Jesus, His millennial reign, and His defeat of the Antichrist at his return at the end of the age: “And He (Jesus) will be their (Israel’s) peace, when the Assyrian invades our land and marches through our fortresses… He will deliver us from the Assyrian.” This scripture cannot be referring to the Northern Kingdom of Israel as they were conquered by the Assyrians. The Assyrian king Sargon and son Sennacherib, ruling from their capital city Nineveh – a city established by Nimrod – were both involved in the conquest of Israel and are both types of the Antichrist. With the main threat of the time on the safety of both Jewish kingdoms being Assyria it is logical for Micah to use the term “the Assyrian” to describe the Antichrist, who will also threaten the safety of the nation Israel in the future, but who will be delivered by the Prince of Peace, Jesus. However, the reference of Micah to the Antichrist as “the Assyrian,” has a further connection, in that the Antichrist will be born in Assyria, and the home of the Antichrist will be in the “land of Nimrod.” (Mic. 5:6). The scripture makes a specific link between Nimrod and the Antichrist. The Antichrist will be born in the territory established by Nimrod – the land that has always been the center of opposition and rebellion against God.
Further evidence that the Antichrist will be born in the region of Mesopotamia is seen in Daniel. The vision that Daniel was given of a Ram and a Goat in Daniel 8 gives us a clue as to what the nationality of the Antichrist will be. Daniel sees in his vision a Ram being trampled and killed by a Goat. The Goat is the Grecian Empire of Alexander the Great, which defeated the Medo-Persians represented by the Ram. By 331 BC Medo-Persia was incorporated into the empire of Alexander. Daniel describes the goat as becoming “very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place, four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power…” (Dan. 8:8-9). This scripture indicates to us what part of the world the Antichrist will come from. The large horn on the goat’s head represents Alexander the Great. The horn is broken off, representing Alexander’s death. From the break, four new horns spring forth to take its place. These four horns represent the four generals who divided up Alexander’s kingdom among themselves.
Out of one of the four horns appears a small horn that grows in size and power. The little horn represents both Antiochus Epiphanies as a type of antichrist and the real Antichrist. Antiochus, a Hellenistic king who persecuted the Jews 400 years after the time of Daniel, is a foreshadowing of what is to come. Many interpreters of scripture will argue that the little horn in Daniel 8:9 is not the same as the little horn recorded in Daniel 7:8, because Daniel 7 is referring to Rome and Daniel 8 is referring to Greece. So, Antiochus, being Greek, must therefore be the little horn of Daniel 8.
This is not necessarily the full truth, because the Antichrist will come from Alexander’s Grecian empire as well. The only territory conquered by Alexander the Great that did not fall under Roman control was the Eastern section of the Seleucid Empire called Parthia (Central and Eastern Iran). If the Antichrist was to be born in the Western section of the Seleucid Empire (Syria, Iraq, and part of Western Iran), this would be territory that was controlled by both Greece and Rome. This links Daniel’s little horn to both Rome of Daniel 7, and Greece of Daniel 8. Also, although the Antichrist will be born in the territory of the Seleucid Empire he will eventually rise to power in the city of Rome, the ancient capital of the Roman empire which again links the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8.
When determining who the little horn of Daniel 8 is, it is important to understand that Daniel’s prophecy is revealing both Antiochus as a man who prefigures the Antichrist and the Antichrist. It is not either-or, but rather both-and.
A comparison between the two prophetic characters clearly reveals that Antiochus is a forerunner of the Antichrist. An understanding of the similarities between the two prophetic characters has great relevance for our times. The history of Antiochus gives us an indication of what the character and nature of the Antichrist will be:
- Antiochus used bribery and flattery of Roman politicians to stay in power.
The Antichrist will use bribery and flattery to attain political power.
- Antiochus was proud, arrogant, and boastful.
The Antichrist will be proud arrogant and boastful.
- Antiochus used military power to further his ambitions.
The Antichrist will use military power to further his ambitions.
- In an attempt to Hellenise the Jews, Antiochus forbade the worship of Jehovah and Jews were forced to worship other Gods. All religions were seen as equal.
The Antichrist will divert worship away from Jesus to the queen of heaven and open his arms to all religions, calling all religions equal.
- Antiochus discontinued the temple service, erected a statue of Zeus in the Temple, and consecrated the Temple to Zeus.
The Antichrist will discontinue the temple services and have a statue of himself erected in the Temple, and will consecrate the temple to himself.
- Antiochus believed himself to be a god and gave himself the title “Epiphanes,” which means the “illustrious one” or “God made manifest.”
The Antichrist will require that the statue of himself in the temple is worshipped and he will call himself God.
- Antiochus tolerated religions that included worship of him as God, but for this reason, he would not tolerate Judaism.
The Antichrist will tolerate religions that include worship of him as God, but for this reason, he will not tolerate Christianity or Judaism.
- Antiochus persecuted Jews who refused to worship the Greek pagan gods and continued to follow Judaism.
The Antichrist will persecute Jews and those saints who refuse to venerate him as God.
- Antiochus blasphemed God by desecrating the Temple.
The Antichrist will blaspheme God (Rev. 13:6).
- Antiochus Epiphanes did not die at the hands of man (Dan. 8:25), but of disease on his way to restore order in Judea after the defeat of his armies by the Maccabees.
The Antichrist will be defeated by Jesus – not by mankind, at the battle of Armageddon in Israel. He will then be thrown into the lake of fire with the False Prophet.
- The Jews were delivered from the persecution of Antiochus by Judas Maccabaeus.
The world will be delivered from the rule of the Antichrist at the end of the Great Tribulation by the return of Jesus.
So, the little horn of Daniel 8 is not representing Antiochus only. Antiochus is a type of the Antichrist – a shadow of the reality of what is still to occur. Daniel 8:25 says the man will “take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” Antiochus fulfils the prophecy in that he fought against Yahweh, Almighty God, when he attacked the Jews. He desecrated the Temple with the erection of a statue of Zeus and the sacrifice of a pig in the Temple. However, it is the Antichrist who goes against Yeshua, the “Prince of princes,” and it is he who is defeated by Jesus at His return. So, the fullness of the prophecy is seen in the Antichrist, while Antiochus is merely a type, a shadow of the reality.
Much of Alexander’s empire eventually fell under the influence of Rome with Pompey conquering ancient Syria (modern Syria and part of Iraq), so the Romans brought an end to the Seleucid kingdom and rulers in 63 B.C. Therefore, if the Antichrist is to originate from an area that was part of Alexander’s empire, that also included an area of the Roman Empire, then the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 are linked. With Greece being the only nation within Alexander’s Empire that is not an Islamic nation, there is a strong possibility that the Antichrist could be of Muslim descent from his father’s side, his origins being the area where the Roman Empire overlapped Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire, very likely the modern-day region of Syria and Iraq.
The claim of the Antichrist to have Arabic roots would be a powerful tool in his being able to broker a treaty between the Arabs and the Jews. The Jewish Patriarch is Isaac and the Arabs claim to be the descendants of Ishmael. Both lay claim to being the true line of inheritance from Abraham. Ishmael’s claim is through being the eldest son of Abraham, through the bondwoman Hagar, and Isaac’s claim is the covenant of God, and being the only son of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Antichrist will be able to claim a genealogy that links to Isaac from His mother’s side and Ishmael from his father’s side. The Antichrist, as the Pope with Jewish and Arabic heritage, will be head of the apostate ecumenical church, and he will also be able to put himself forward as both the Jewish Messiah and the Muslim Mahdi. This will enable him to combine all the great monotheistic faiths, an ability only achievable by a messianic figure. The implications of this must not be underestimated; the Antichrist will be connected to both Jew and Arab by culture and as their Messiah/Mahdi, through Roman Catholicism as the Pope and head of the ecumenical church. With the syncretised ecumenical church opening its arms to pseudo-Christian cults, New Age beliefs, liberal humanism and deceived evangelical churches, the Antichrist will be able to connect with a large range of people. He will bridge the divide between East and West, pagan and Christian, Jew and Arab, with a wide variety of people and cultures accepting him as their own.
An analysis of some of the important characteristics the Muslims are looking for in their Mahdi is required to validate the veracity of this claim, the evidence for which is explained in the next section.