Friday, December 13, 2013

The Empire: The Antichrist-2

The Empire: The Antichrist-2

The Empire: Bible Prophecy and the EU
2


The Antichrist

The Tribulation is a seven-year period of wars, plagues, famines, earthquakes, and disasters. It ends in the Battle of Armageddon, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Part of the earth’s judgments happen through a leader whom the masses empower. The Scriptures profile this dictator’s reign of terror. Due to his anti-God, anti-Christ policies, Evangelical circles customarily refer to him as the Antichrist. 


The Bible mentions this title only once in the Scriptures. The Devil enters this man’s body and wreaks havoc on the world. His reign ignites the Battle of Armageddon (Is. 14:12; Ezek. 28:3-4).

Evidencing this leader’s significance, over thirty titles relate to him in both the Old and New Testaments. These include:

Ps. 5-6 The Bloody and Deceitful Man

Ps. 10:2-4 The Wicked One

Ps. 10:18 The Man of the Earth

Ps. 52:1 The Mighty Man

Ps. 53:3 The Enemy

Ps. 74:8-10 The Adversary

Ps. 111:6 The Head of Many Countries

Ps. 140:1 The Violent Man

Is. 10:5-12 The Assyrian

Is. 14:2 The King of Babylon

Is. 14:12 The Sun of the Morning

Is. 16:4-5; Jer. 6:26 The Spoiler

Is. 22:25 The Nail

Is. 25:5 The Branch of the Terrible Ones

Ezek. 21:25-27 The Profane Wicked Prince of Israel

Dan. 7:8 The Little Horn

Dan. 9:26 The Prince That Shall Come

Dan. 11:121 The Vile Person

Dan. 11:36 The Willful King

Zech. 11:16-17 The Idol Shepherd

2 Thess. 2:3 The Man of Sin

2 Thess. 2:3 The Son of Perdition

2 Thess. 2:8 The Lawless One

Rev. 9:11 The Angel of the Bottomless Pit

John 5:43 Another Coming in His Own Name

Dan. 8:23 The King of Fierce Countenance

Matt. 24:15 The Abomination of Desolation

Dan. 9:27 The Desolator

Ezek. 28:12 The King of Tyre

Jer. 4:6-7 The Lion

Jer. 4:6-7 The destroyer of the nations

Is. 14:12 Lucifer[15]

1 John 2:18, identifies him as the Antichrist, a liar who denies the Father and the Son. Rev. 13:1 refers to him as “the Beast,” and later in the passage names him 666. The number six, translated from the New Testament Greek into English, means “vex,” or “curse.” Seven represents God’s number of perfection. The triple six represents the unholy trinity, with the Devil acting as God. The Antichrist, whom Satanists call the son of Satan, mimics Jesus Christ. The False Prophet who the Bible predicts will comes onto the earth and performs miracles to get the masses to worship the Beast, mocks God’s Holy Spirit. The unholy trinity are named in Scriptures as “The Dragon,” “The Beast,” and “The False Prophet.” Unlike previous dictators, Satan himself possesses the Antichrist. He obtains the world’s respect by bringing the world prosperity, until the day he declares himself a god and demands worship for himself alone. Once the Antichrist establishes himself as a deity his evil side manifests itself.

Satan provides the Antichrist with a “great seat of authority," i.e., the political position he will hold. Similarly, the Bible presents Jesus sitting on a throne. Daniel refers to the Antichrist as a “prince,” with a lower-case p, while capitalizing the Prince of Peace. The Antichrist’s “great seat of authority” becomes the highest position of the most powerful government to exist. Despite its earthly might, it does not compare to the heavenly kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Antichrist’s reign on earth will completely contrast our Lord’s. Unlike Christ, whom the masses rejected, the Antichrist they will accept. In John 5:43, Christ affirms: “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.” Jesus came to save, Antichrist comes to destroy. God’s kingdom contains numerology such as the numbers 7 and 12 and 40. The final world power contains numerology, numbers 4, 9, 13, 666, which a later chapter discusses.

The Four Beasts of Daniel

Daniel and John, in the Revelation, disclose the area and identity of the final world power. Daniel’s vision details the four world empires that ruled the Middle East region throughout history (Daniel 7 and 8). Daniel states in 7:2-7:

“I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: Arise, devour much flesh! After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet.

Of all of the beastly visions, the fourth beast disturbs Daniel the most, and he inquires of an angel who stood by the vision, and the angel identifies the four beasts as four kingdoms that will rule on the earth. Daniel specifically asks about the fourth beast, which he describes as “different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet” (Dan. 7:19). In the remainder of the chapter, Daniel continues to describe the fourth beast, including details of the evil leader who commands it. The angel Gabriel further elaborates on the kingdoms and provides their identity. The lion signifies the Babylonian kingdom. The bear represents the second or Medo-Persian empire. The third, the leopard or cheetah, compares to Greece. Daniel describes the fourth beast at the end of its history and, unlike the preceding empires, it conquers the entire world. Dan. 7:23 states: “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.”

The fourth beast possesses the combined strength of all the previous governments, and holds the political seat of the Antichrist. Dwight J. Pentecost, in his book Things to Come, quotes Gaebelein, who noted that while the first beast has a man’s heart, “it was a beast still,” and the three ribs in the bear’s mouth are Susiana, Lydia, and Asia Minor, which the Medes and Persians conquered. One paw is upraised because “the Persian element was stronger than that of the Medes.” The leopard, which represents Greece, has wings that “denote its swiftness,” and its four heads symbolize the division of Greece into the kingdoms of Syria, Egypt,Macedonia, and Asia Minor. He adds: “God tells us that their moral character is beastly. The lion devours, the bear crushes and the leopard springs upon its prey.”

While the first three beasts compare to strong, fierce animals that prey on weaker species, the fourth beast appears almost mechanical and monstrous. It possesses great iron teeth, bronze fingernails, and ten horns.

Revelation 13, further elaborates on the fourth beast. In addition to his ten horns, he has seven heads, which add to his frightful appearance. The Bible tells us that this beast looks like a leopard with the feet of a bear and it has a lion’s mouth (Rev. 13:2).

The Greek and Hebrew word used for leopard includes the various species and specifies the large spots, which also describe the cheetah. Both the lion and bear reign their territories and exist at the top of the food chain because of their power and fierceness. The leopard, though fierce, is no match for a lion. Leopards are stealth predators and of the three big cats they possess adept climbing skills and protect their kills by running them up trees. Today they are more numerous than lions and cheetahs because of their ability to hide and blend in with their environments. The cheetah, though considerably less powerful than a leopard, surpasses all animals in speed; running at speeds up to 70 miles an hour and reaching high speeds in three seconds. Of the three big cats, the cheetah kills more game than the others but does not always get to eat their kill. Tougher opponents such as lions, leopards and hyenas hijack them.

It is this author’s view that Scripture refers to the Beast having the body of a cheetah and not a leopard as expositors traditionally teach possibly because they failed to analyze the differences in the species. The cheetah does not have the strength of the lion or leopard because it can out run the fiercest predator. Its speed is its power. The leopard strength lies in its stealth from climbing trees and hiding.

The Beast possesses the mouth of a lion, iron legs, bear’s feet and the sleek body of a cheetah which resembles a leopard. The cheetah built for speed has a narrow body, long slender feet and legs, a flexible spine, and bones as light as aluminum. Their paws are less rounded than other cats; their pads are hard, similar to tire treads to help them in fast, sharp turns. Cheetahs have distinctive black "tear stripes" that connect from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an anti glare device for daytime hunt and its claws act as cleats for traction when running, its tail moves as a rudder. The cheetah has a powerful heart, over sized liver and large strong arteries.

In addition, the Cheetahs have distinctive black "tear stripes" that connect from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an antiglare device for daytime hunting Cheetahs have distinctive black "tear stripes" that connect from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an antiglare device for daytime hunting Cheetahs have distinctive black "tear stripes" that connect from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an antiglare device for daytime hunting. Cheetahs have distinctive black "tear stripes" that connect from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth that may serve as an antiglare device for daytime hunting.tear stripes on inner corner of its eyes act as anti-glare device and its small head, flat face and reduced muzzle length allow the eyes to be positioned for maximum binocular vision.

Each of these parts represents the fiercest and strongest attribute of its respective animal. Thus, in possessing the cheetah’s (body) speed, the powerful jaws of the lion, and the crushing feet of a bear along with its long sharp nails, he obtains the combined strength and power of all these animals. The final world power will be both strong and fast in the speed at which it conquers other nations vs. conquering through stealth as a leopard.

The straightforward animal nature of the first three beasts symbolizes the notion that these kingdoms possess an earthy element, but the horrifying and dreadful appearance of the fourth—its iron legs and teeth, its bronze nails, and its many heads and horns—makes it appear demonic, as if it emerged from the pits of hell. The iron on the image represents modern weapons of steel. To Daniel, it appeared as a creature out of a dark fantasy, for it was unlike anything he had ever seen.

The contrast of this beast to the others is further seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image (Daniel 2: 31-41), which symbolizes the four kingdoms and relates their strength to metals. The golden head of the image is Babylon. Its silver arms and chest are the Medes and Persians. Its bronze thighs represent the Greek empire, and its legs and feet are of iron, but the toes have clay mingled in with the iron. According to Scripture, the fourth beast is made of iron because iron “breaks in pieces and shatters all things.” While gold, silver and bronze each possess some esthetic value and pliability, iron’s sole value is its strength. This entity does not merely rule and have dominion; it crushes and breaks in pieces all of the other kingdoms, and its purpose is that of a destroyer and crusher rather than a conqueror which is possible using modern weaponry.

The fourth beast encompasses the same area as the ancient Roman Empire. It rises from the midst of the seas, specifically the Mediterranean (Rev. 13:1). When Daniel foretold Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70, he simultaneously prophesied that the coming prince would come from the area of the Roman Empire. Daniel 9:26 states: “The people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." The Romans under Titus in A.D. 70 destroyed Jerusalem.


The Antichrist holds his political position in re-empowered Europe. The final world empire represents a second phase in the Old Roman Empire’s history. 


According to Daniel 7:24, the fourth kingdom never passes out of existence, but rather continues in some form until its final condition emerges. The Scriptures view the Roman Empire as continually developing until the second coming of Christ. The final world power will possess similarities to the Old Roman Empire. Dwight Pentecost summarizes the purpose of its revival by concluding: “As the Roman Empire had been the agency through which Satan attacked Christ at His first advent, that empire in its final form will be the agency through which Satan works against the Messiah at His second advent.”[16]

Tyrus: A Place of Commerce and Trade

The final world empire is synonymous with international trade. The writings of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and John in the Revelation evidence this fact. Ezekiel chapters 27 and 28 foretold the destruction of the ancient city of Tyrus, once located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Under Solomon, the Hebrews and the Tyrians had a close alliance. Through trade relations, Solomon obtained supplies from Tyrus for the building of the Temple (I Kings 9:11-14, 26-28; 10:22). This good relationship changed as the Tyrians and neighboring Phoenicians began to buy Hebrew captives from their enemies. They sold them as slaves to the Greeks and Edomites. These acts brought God’s judgment upon the City of Tyrus (Joel refers to it as Tyre), as predicted by the prophets.

Throughout Tyrus's history, several conquerors invaded it. From the time of Christ up to the Crusades, it was a flourishing city, renowned for the great wealth it derived from dyes of Tyrian purple—extracted from shellfish on its coast. Its present condition is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 26:5, which describes it as “a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea.” It contains fifty or sixty poor families, who live in part by fishing, and is a rock where fishers dry their nets. [17]

Ezekiel chapter 26 records Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Tyrus. Chapter 27 describes the city's wealth, and the amount of trade that passed throug its borders. Fourteen verses detail the merchandise, and name the many nations that traded with Tyre.

In chapter 28, literal Tyrus, the city of ancient times, changes to illustrate the Antichrist. The Prince of Tyrus is none other than Satan in a man’s body. Situated in the midst of the seas, he claims that he is a god sitting in God’s seat. He is proud because of his wealth, which he increased through trade. God tells him that he is a man, and not God. Verses 12 to 16, identify the Prince as Satan himself, who was the most prominent angel in all of heaven, and who was cast out by God on the day he sinned.

Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God; You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

You were in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz and the diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper. Sapphire, turquoise and emerald, with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.

You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.

You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God: and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;: I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they may gaze at you.

You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you.

All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you: you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.

Verses 18 and 19 describe the Antichrist’s and False Prophet’s judgment at the Battle of Armageddon. God will cast them alive into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20-21).

Joel foretells the Battle of Armageddon, and names Tyre as guilty of selling his people and robbing the treasures of Israel (Joel 3:4-6). The Antichrist, like Tyre’s king, invades Israel, takes spoil, and persecutes the Jews. Tyrus, as the final world power, obtains its wealth through trade, and its king claims to be God.

To better understand prophecy in Scripture one must consider that the prophetic writings retain continuity from author to author and time does not count as we measure it. In the forecasts events take place all in the same time period. The Scriptures note that certain events will take place in the latter or end of days because the Bible describes ancient and future locations in the present tense. Their beginning, era of notoriety and their end are relayed as if in the same time frame. Although these places have passed out of existence the Bible views them in existence. There exists no differentiation from their end and the people and nations that arrived in their stead as exampled by Tyrus and Babylon.

Babylon

While the prophet Daniel establishes Babylon as parallel with the final world power and provides many details of its structure; Jeremiah 51 predicts Babylon’s judgment. He prophesizes against the literal land that once existed, as well as its latter- day counterpart. As with Tyrus, whose king God identifies as Satan, God refers to the king of Babylon as Lucifer. The Antichrist is “the King of Babylon.” Isaiah 14:4-6 records his evil rule and conquest:

That you will take up this proverb against the King of Babylon, and say, How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city ceased!

The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers. He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, He who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and no one hinders.

The passage later identifies Satan as the King of Babylon, and describes Satan’s fall from heaven. Isaiah 14:12-17 continues:

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!

For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the North:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high.

You will be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit.

Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms;

Who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities who did not open the house of his prisoners?

Babylon was the commercial hub of the Near East. Trade and commerce increased its wealth. The invention of wheeled carts allowed trade to expand from local to foreign commerce. Nebuchadnezzar helped Babylonian businesses by improving the highways. Countless caravans brought to Babylon’s shops half the world’s products. Under Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon became a thriving and prosperous marketplace. Babylon, referred to in ancient times as “a great city,” drew the nations of the Mediterranean world into closer contact.[18]

Like Tyrus, ancient Babylon was renowned for trade. Revelation records Babylon’s fall in the end times. The merchants lament its destruction. The verse reads: “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her; for no one buys their merchandise anymore” (Rev. 18:11). Revelation 18:15 reiterates: “The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing.” The world’s nations will prosper from trading with this political power, which acts as a hub for trade. Ezekiel 27:33 confirms: “When your wares went out by sea, you satisfied many people; you enriched the kings of the earth with your many luxury goods and your merchandise.

The Medes and Persians conquered Babylon. The Greeks followed and the Roman Empire came next. The Antichrist emerges from the revived Roman Empire, which becomes powerful through trade and commerce. It makes itself and the world’s merchants rich. Its prosperity extends to the earth’s rulers. Nations will gain wealth by trading with this world power. This prophecy is beginning to see fulfillment with the emergence of the European Union.

The Final World Empire

The European Union is a group of Western European nations that eliminated their trade barriers to form a Common Market. Trade among the Member States moves about freely. As the world’s largest market, the EU is virtually synonymous with international trade and commerce. The Union coordinates more than economic policy; it has instituted a governing body to which the member nations are accountable in certain areas. Many refer to the EU as “the United States of Europe.” The EU has its own currency, flag, and national anthem. The EU’s founding fathers viewed the achievement of economic strength as a prerequisite for attaining political power—the Union’s ultimate aim. The EU aims to become a powerful political player on the world stage.

The Economic Race

Tyrus and Babylon provide age-old lessons in economics. Trade accelerates the economic growth of nations, increasing their wealth and power. Today’s superpowers realize that military might alone will not make a nation great and powerful. Economic strength is key to a nation’s prosperity. At the end of the Cold War, economic wealth replaced military might as the primary goal of the superpowers. The stake is what Helmut Schmidt once called the struggle for the world product, rather than for traditional power—wealth and power have become more closely tied together.[19] For this reason, nations are uniting with one another to become regional trading blocks, to guarantee economic success. This premise underlined the US’s free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, as well as the formation of the European Union.

Today the EU is an economic powerhouse, with almost 500 million citizens. The EU generated an estimated nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 18.39 trillion dollars based on purchasing power parity in 2008, accounting to over 22% of the world’s total economic output in terms of purchasing power parity which makes it the largest economy in the world and the second largest trade bloc economy. It is also the largest exporter and largest importer of goods and services and the biggest trading partner to several large countries such as India and China. Of the 500 largest corporations measured by revenue, 178 have their headquarters in the EU.

In addition to becoming the leading place of trade and commerce—a major characteristic of the final world empire—the European Union will become a political power as well. The completion of the 1992 Common Market acted as a first step toward political union. The EU’s objective is to obtain superpower status, as many of its member nations had in their individual histories. According to the Scriptures, this new world power becomes the most powerful political entity the world has ever known.

The European Union’s borders lie within the realm of the Holy Roman Empire of old. Like Babylon and Tyrus, it is renowned for international trade, except it holds the political seat of the Antichrist.

The Arrival of the Antichrist

The Antichrist arrives in the right place at the most opportune time. His astute abilities in national and international finance help him to direct the EU into great prosperity. His genius leads them into superpower status. Ezekiel 28:3-5 deems him “wiser than Daniel” for “there is no secret” hidden from him. By “wisdom” and “understanding,” he accumulates “riches and gold and silver” into his treasuries. Ezekiel concludes: “By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches.

Daniel 8:23 describes the Antichrist’s understanding of sinister schemes and his fierce features, and states that he deifies himself (Dan. 11:37). Isaiah 10:13 confirms the Antichrist’s estimation of his wisdom. “For he says, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.”

The Antichrist’s genius is greater than Daniel’s, whose intelligence surpassed that of all the other prophets and Old Testament patriarchs. Daniel was skillful in all learning, knowledge, and wisdom. He understood science and comprehended the most difficult concepts. Daniel also possessed the ability to interpret dreams and visions (Dan. 1:4,17, 5:11-12).

In addition to having wisdom like Solomon, he possessed the mind of a scholar, scientist, and mathematician. Recognized for his brilliant mind, Daniel served in Nebuchadnezzar’s court as Master over all of the wise men, the consultants to the king. When Darius the Median (the Medo-Persian Empire succeeded the Babylonian) took over Babylon, he appointed 120 princes to rule over the whole kingdom. Presiding over the princes were three presidents, of whom Daniel was first. All of the officials were accountable to him (Dan. 6:1-3). When Cyrus the Persian succeeded Darius, Daniel served and prospered during his reign as well. Daniel acted as chief consultant to kings who ruled two of the four world empires that once existed. The Antichrist’s abilities will enable him to rise to world leadership.

The Antichrist’s Reign


The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist makes a covenant of peace with Israel (Dan. 9:27). His government will agree to act as the guarantor of the nation’s peace. Prosperity follows the first three and a half years after the agreement. The Antichrist raises the EU into a great economic and political world power. Nations prosper through trade and association with him. The Antichrist wins the favor of the masses because he leads the European Union into great prosperity, and all associated nations will prosper.

The Antichrist gains popularity through deceit. The seeming people’s president tells the people what they wish to hear, while pursuing his own diabolical plans. Midway through the Tribulation, the Antichrist changes his pro-peace policy. He receives a deadly head wound, possibly from an assassination attempt. Miraculously, he comes back to life (Rev. 13:3). A terrorist group may murder him due to his pro-Israeli policies. For one reason or another, certain individuals will oppose him.

Zechariah elaborates upon his wound. He describes: “The sword shall be against his arm, and against his right eye: his arm shall completely wither, and his right eye shall be totally blinded” (Zech. 11:17). He will remain blinded in his right eye, and paralyzed in his right arm. The Antichrist’s return from the dead—or near death—instantly increases his notoriety. The Antichrist allies himself with “the False Prophet,” (Rev. 19:20) a member of the unholy trinity. A renowned religious leader able to perform miracles he campaigns for the Antichrist. In this time frame, the Antichrist institutes the Mark of the Beast worldwide. No person can buy or sell unless he wears it.

The Temple Rebuilt

During the first half of the Tribulation, the Jews rebuild the Temple of Solomon according to the exact dimensions described in I Kings, chapter 6. Christ warns the Jews of the “abomination of desolation: spoken of by the prophet Daniel,” indicating the Jewish Temple’s restoration. The abominable act takes place inside the Temple. This desecration prompts the beginning of God’s severe wrath and judgments upon the earth.

Currently, the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic Shrine which houses the foundation stone and a major landmark built in 691 a.d., making it the oldest Islamic building in the world was constructed over the site of the second Jewish Temple destroyed in AD. 70. At present, in Israel a Fundamentalist Jewish movement exists that aims to rebuild the Temple. Within the Israeli government, the right-wing political party, the Temple Mount Faithful, also known as Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement wish to relocate the Dome to Mecca and replace it with a third Temple. They intend on constructing the third Temple on the Dome of the Rock and also suggest building a new Temple on the site, in a place that will not interfere with existing buildings. They openly declare that their ultimate goal is the demolition of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and the reconstruction on their site of King Solomon’s Temple. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Jerusalem. [20]

Jeremiah foretold the Temple’s destruction by the Babylonians (26:6-12). Daniel predicted the Temple’s desecration by the Syrian king Antichious Euphrates (Dan. 8:8-12). He also foretold Jerusalem’s restoration and rebuilding by Herod and the Temple’s destruction by the

Romans in A.D. 70 (Dan. 9:25). Hosea 3:4-5 foretells the long time the Jews remain without the symbols used in their worship, and without the Temple and how they will return to their God in the latter days.

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim.

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

Daniel also foretells the desecration of a future third Temple, and the persecution of the Jews by the Antichrist (Dan. 9:25-26)

Before this prophecy will see fulfillment the Jews will erect a new Temple which means that some future event will destroy the mosque and the Dome of the Rock that are on the site. This destruction will either happen from a natural disaster such as an earthquake or by war. Earthquakes have rumbled through the area in the past causing damage to the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Russian and Arab invasion predicted in Ezekiel may destroy the Dome of the Rock located on Mount Moriah. Bible scholars debate the timing of the battle. Some argue the war occurs prior to the Tribulation and others that this conflict takes place during the millennial reign of Christ. Either way we know some event will destroy the existing buildings which will clear the area for the building of the third Temple.

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Temple Mount History

• 950 B.C. Solomon completes building the first Temple.

• 587 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroys Solomon’s Temple.

• 515 B.C. The book of Ezra records the building of the second modest Temple.

• 161 B.C. A Syrian ruler pillages this second Temple.

• 164 B.C. The Maccabees (an Israeli priest and his five sons) recapture the Temple. (The Jewish holiday Hanukkah celebrates this restoration.)

• 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. Herod, King of Judea, triples the area of the Temple Mount in expanse to accommodate an enlarged Temple and other buildings.

• A.D. 70 Roman armies, in a quest to end Jewish rebellion, storm and dismantle the Temple, and hurl its stones over the parapets of the mount. (Today, a remnant of the Temple complex is a portion of the western retaining wall, named the Wailing Wall.) The

Romans forbid Jews from entering the old city of Jerusalem, but eventually permit them to enter once a year “to wail over its stones.”

• A.D. 687 A mosque, the Dome of the Rock, is built there, and remains today. At the southern rim of the platform stands the silver-domed al-Aqsa Mosque. For Muslims, the same place, Haram-al-Sharif, which means Noble Sanctuary, is the third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina. Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammed made a miraculous night journey from Mecca to this place, and from there ascended to heaven.

The Abomination of Desolation: Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, Daniel 8:11-14, 12:11-13, 9:26, 11:31, Joel 1:6


Within Solomon’s Temple, the “most holy place” (I Kings 6:16-36) housed the Ark of the Covenant. This sanctuary was the place God dwelt among the Israelites (Exodus 25). The Ark (made of shittim wood overlaid with gold) housed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and manna. Upon the Ark’s mercy seat, the sprinkled blood of sacrificed animals atoned for all of Israel. It stood as a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ, which would one day be shed and remit the sins of the world. The priests abided by many details of dress, conduct, and worship. When the priests performed these rituals, God met with the children of Israel and sanctified the Temple by His glory (Ex. 29:43). All of these details and acts symbolized the Messiah, who was to come and be the propitiation for sin. In that most holy place, God reaffirmed His promise to His people.

Today’s Jews fundamentally reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and do not recognize the New Testament. They abide by the regulations of the Old Testament’s Law of Moses and the rabbinical traditions of the Talmud. The Levitical priests performed the rituals and rites within the Temple. Animal sacrifice was necessary for the remission of sin. Without a Temple, no Orthodox Jewish person living today can practice his faith to the letter of the law. This explains the desire of some Jewish sects to rebuild the Temple, which is as great a part of Judaism as possessing the land which God gave to the Israelites.

Three and a half years after the Antichrist agrees to his covenant (i.e., peace treaty) with Israel, he invades Jerusalem with an army (Joel 1:6, Dan. 11:31, 9:26). He then enters the most holy place, sits in the Temple and declares himself a god (II Thess. 2:4). The Antichrist terminates the worship and sacrifice, and commits sacrilegious acts, desecrating the Temple. He

places some abominable thing in the Holy Place. His true character reveals itself as he lays siege to Israel, occupies its territory, and wages war against Christians and Jews, undertaking their annihilation (Dan. 11:33-35, 12:10, Rev. 6:10-11, Jer. 50:33, Joel 1:6, Matt. 24:9, Mark 13:9-13).Only a third of the Israelites will survive. Zechariah 13:8 declares: “And it shall come to pass, in all the land, says the Lord, two in it shall be cut off and die; but one third shall be left in it.

Concurrently, he and his federation of kings abolish the Catholic Church, and destroy the Vatican (Rev.17). The Antichrist will not tolerate any religion other than the worship of, and devotion to, himself and his empire. Daniel 11:37 affirms that the Antichrist regards no man, and thus has no regard for human life or suffering. He epitomizes man’s inhumanity to man.

Christ solemnly warns the Jews in Judea at the time to flee to the mountains. He commands them to run and leave their jackets behind. He notes the additional suffering for pregnant and nursing mothers who must flee. In Matthew 24:21, Christ declares: “For then there will be great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

The Covenant of Death


In Isaiah 28:18, God refers to the treaty as a “covenant with death,” an “agreement with hell.” In Ezekiel chapter 13, God is angry at the prophets and prophetesses who speak from their hearts and tell the Israelites of peace. Verse 16 reads: “That is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her, when there is no peace, says the Lord God." Psalm 55:20-21 describes the Antichrist’s aims by stating:

He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him: he has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” Isaiah 33:7-9 adds: “Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside, the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly. The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases. He has broken the covenant, He has despised the cities He regards no man.”

The four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8 symbolize the Antichrist’s reign of terror. Entering the world on a white horse in the name of peace, he comes to conquer. The red horse signifies the bloodshed wrought by him in war. The black horse depicts famine. The pale horse, a mixture of all the colors, represents the death of one-fourth of the world’s population—a result of his conquest.

Coincidentally, the Nazi flag was red, white, and black, and both the swastika and the circle are satanic symbols. Hitler declared that these colors formed “the most brilliant harmony in existence.”[21] Red and black are also the symbolic colors for Satanism.

When the Antichrist enters power, he acts deceptively, and exalts himself above all, and speaks against the God of gods. He honors a strange god of fortresses by acknowledging and glorifying it and causing it to rule over many (Dan. 11:23, 36-39). This might possibly be a weapon system, or computer infrastructure. The Antichrist changes times and laws (Dan. 7:25), and has a statue made of himself, which the False Prophet will cause to speak. Those who refuse to honor his image, he murders. He demands worship from the masses, and the crowds worship him (Rev. 13:8, 14-16). He prospers by accomplishing his aims. His dreadful and terrible empire devours the world, and breaks it in pieces, with the speed of a cheetah. (Dan. 7:7, 8:24; Rev. 13:2).

The final world power is the equal of all the previous world powers combined, and its authority extends worldwide (Rev. 13:2). Revelation 13:7-8 confirms that “authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation and all who dwell on the earth will worship him.” The Antichrist initially gains the masses’ admiration through his eloquence, financial solutions and his ingenious peace proposals. He invades and conquers those nations that oppose him. Isaiah 10:14 records the power of the Antichrist’s conquest in his own words. He declares: “My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; and there was no one who moved his wing, nor opened his mouth, with even a peep.” This lines up with Daniels description of a demonic, animal, metal beast, which rises to great power.

Russia, the kings of the East, and a great nation from the coast of the earth attack and destroy his kingdom, possibly by a nuclear attack. Hearing of this, he goes out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many people, and flees to his sanctuary in Jerusalem. Invading armies attack him in Israel, and the remaining troops of the nation’s join them at the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16, 18; Ezek. 38; Jer. 4, 5, 50; Dan. 11:40-45).

All of the Old Testament prophets refer to Armageddon as “The Day of the Lord.” Jeremiah 46:10 records it as “a day of vengeance, a great slaughter, north of the river Euphrates." The greatest earthquake in history levels and divides cities around the globe. Mountains cease to be, and islands sink under water. The sun darkens, stars fall from the sky, and the moon turns to blood (Is. 2:12; Ezek. 30:3; Zech. 14:1-9; Zeph. 1; Joel 2:1-2, 10, 3:1, 15; Rev. 6:12, 16:9; Mark 13:24-25; Matt. 24:29).

At the Tribulation’s end, Jesus Christ, shining bright as the sun, appears in the clouds with the saints and legions of angels (Rev. 19; Mark 13:26-27; Matt. 24:30). John Walvord records in his book Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation that: “The description of the time of the end confirms Daniel’s revelation that it will be a period of trouble such as the world has never known, trouble of such character that it would result in the extermination of the human race if it were not cut short by the consummation, the second coming of Jesus Christ.”[22]

God’s Judgments

The Antichrist’s reign and the final cataclysmic earthquakes and radical changes in the solar system are only part of the Tribulation that befalls mankind.

• Nation rises against nation in war (Matt. 24:7).

• An army of 200 million men (possibly China) slays a third of the earth’s population (Rev. 9:13-21).

• A great volcanic eruption destroys a third of all sea life.

• Hail and fire mingled with blood burns a third of all trees and grass (Rev.8:7).

• A great star falls from heaven, poisoning a third of the earth’s waters (Rev. 8:10-11).

• Day and night reverse (Rev. 8:12).

• A five-month plague of locusts stinging like scorpions leave men in agonizing pain (Rev. 13:21).

• Large hailstones rain down on the earth (Rev. 16:21).

• Rivers, seas, and lakes become as blood, and all sea and aquatic life disappear (Rev. 16:3-4).

• The sun becomes extremely hot, and scorches men with great fear and fire (Rev. 16:18).

• Darkness fills the seat of the kingdom of the Beast, and grievous sores torment the individuals who bear the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 16:2,10).

• The river Euphrates dries up, making way for the kings of the East (Rev. 16:12).

After all of these events occur, the world's armies surround Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon. Christ returns in the clouds with His legions of angels. The Antichrist and the world’s armies attempt to make war against him. Christ casts the Beast and the False Prophet into the lake of fire, and slays the remainder of his forces by the sword of His word (Rev. 19:19-21). The earth returns to its pre-flood state, and God judges the nations (Matt. 25). Christ himself rules the earth for a thousand years, and binds Satan. At the millennium's end, God frees Satan, and he causes men to rebel against God. They surround the holy city, and God sends fire from heaven to devour them. God casts Satan into the lake of fire for eternity. At this time the judgment seat of God takes place. Those whose names are not in the book of life, God casts into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).

God creates a new heaven and earth. The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, with streets of gold and walls of precious stones. The glory of God and the light of Christ illuminate the new heaven, and those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ live on for eternity (Rev. 21).

God’s Promise

God provides man the opportunity to seek Him during the Tribulation. “Two witnesses” prophesy for almost three and a half years. Men try to hurt them, and they smite the earth with plagues that cause rain to stop, and water to turn into blood. The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit makes war against them and kills them. The nations rejoice at their death. God raises them from the dead and lifts them into heaven (Rev. 11:3-13). Tradition identifies these men as Moses and Elijah (Rev.11:16) because God gave Elijah and Moses the ability to perform miracles and because they both appeared with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Matt.17:1-3). Elijah and Elisha together as a team might also be the two witnesses because of all the prophets they performed powerful miracles which included raising a person from the dead.

In addition, during the Tribulation 144,000 witnesses, consisting of 12,000 from each of 12 tribes of Israel, preach the Gospel to the four

corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1-9, 14:1-7). Despite the outpouring of God’s anger and judgments, He still desires that men turn to Him. Revelation 9:20-21 declares: “after all of these plagues, man will not repent of his evil ways. Instead, he curses God." This phrase repeats throughout the entire book of Revelation with each plague issued.

Today we have the Gospel and the Bible which teaches us about Jesus Christ and forewarns the world about the horrific events that are yet to come. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior will not go through the Tribulation. God takes them out of the world in the Rapture just prior to the earth’s final seven years. II Thessalonians 4:14-18 tells us:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first:

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

In John’s vision on the Isle of Patmos, he saw an innumerable multitude of people dressed in white robes, praising God. John asked who these people were. The angel answered him and said: “These are the ones who come out of the great Tribulation, and washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9,13,14). Christians will come out of the Tribulation. The blood of Jesus Christ makes them perfect in God’s sight.

God ushered Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah before destroying the city. He commanded Noah to build the ark, rescuing his family from the flood. God brings those who have placed their faith in his Son out of the Great Tribulation. The rapture occurs just prior to and after the sealing of the 144,000. This disappearance of people will go virtually unnoticed amid the tumultuous events of the times. Some may regard it as a rare occurrence of individuals disappearing into another dimension. Others may claim that aliens abducted the missing. Various experts will offer their explanations of how the disappearance of these people could have occurred. On the whole, though, with paranormal incidents occurring with increasing frequency, and stories of alien abductions filling the airwaves, the Rapture will seem unremarkable to most of the world’s inhabitants. After the Rapture, the Tribulation will usher in signs and wonders performed by false Christs, the False Prophet and those performed by God Himself through the two witnesses.

NOTES

  1. A good portion of this list is found in Dwight J. Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Bible Eschatology, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971, p. 334.

  2. Ibid. Dwight J. Pentecost, pp. 317, 319-323. See also Lehman Strauss, Commentaries-Revelation, New Jersey: Neptune, 1964, Loizeaux Brothers, 1985, p. 248.

  3. William Smith L.L.D., Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979, pp. 715-718.

  4. Will and Ariel Durant, Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization 1, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963, pp. 227-229.

  5. Stanley Hoffman, “The European Community and 1992,” Foreign Affairs, Fall 1989, p. 33. See also Donald S. Zagoria, “The China Challenge: American Politics in East Asia,” The Academy of Political Science, vol. 38, no. 2 (New York, 1991), p. 4.

  6. Wikipedia contributors, “Dome of the Rock,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dome_of_the_Rock&oldid=331219660 (accessed January 2, 2010)

  7. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960, p. 43.

  8. John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, Chicago: Moody Press, 1971, p. 283.