9/8/10

Is the Antichrist a Jew, Gentile, or Supernatural?

By Bill Salus

When determining the true content of the false covenant of Daniel 9:27 it proves helpful to determine the origin of the Antichrist. Will he be a Jew, Gentile, or a Supernatural being like an Alien or Nephilim as some have recently proposed?

Up until the time of Abraham there were no Jews, all of mankind was Gentile. Abraham, the ancient Hebrew patriarch, fathered the Jewish race through his son Isaac, grandson Jacob, and great grandsons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

According to Deuteronomy 7:6 the Lord formed this unique ethnicity from Abraham’s loins for His exclusive divine purposes. One of which, we are informed in Ezekiel 38:8 and 39:7, is to uphold His holy name through; for the watchful eyes of the international community in the latter years. Many eschatologists believe the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 & 39 are about to find final fulfillment, making current events involving Israel and the Jewish people extremely important.

If the Antichrist is Jewish, the content of the false covenant might favor Israeli covenantal claims made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These claims include Promised Land extending into Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia according to Genesis 15:18.

Additionally, the pages of the false covenant might grant Israel the ability to build their third Jewish Temple upon its former site in the world’s most controversial holy city of Jerusalem. Presently, the preponderance of Muslims vehemently opposes this prospect, claiming Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest city behind Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. However, blueprints, Levite priests, and ceremonial religious instruments for the construction and operation of this prophesied coming Temple are already being assembled by several religious Jewish organizations.

Is the Antichrist a Jew?

One of the best research works addressing the subject of the origin of the Antichrist was performed by Dr. David Reagan of Lamb and Lion Ministries. He questioned eleven end time’s experts in a series of interviews, which aired on his Christ in Prophecy TV show in May of 2009, regarding this topic. The manuscript for the segment addressing whether or not the Antichrist is a Jew or Gentile can be obtained here:

In a nutshell the Reagan study concluded with seven no’s to the Antichrist being a Jew, one yes, one could be, one maybe, and one he will be a Jewish - Muslim. In Reagan’s closing summary, he concurred with the seven who suggested the Antichrist will be a Gentile rather than a Jew. Thus, there were eight out of twelve experts agreed upon the Gentile descent of the coming apocalyptic world leader called the Antichrist.

Had I been among those interviewed, I would have concurred with the eight favoring the Gentile Antichrist. Additionally I would have added an argument to theirs given below:

The Gentile Antichrist Arguments

1. Antichrist will be a Gentile of Roman origin. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum brought this argument forward by quoting Daniel 9:26-27. Similarly, I wrote an article called, “Does Daniel Debunk the Assyrian Antichrist,” that agrees with his conclusion.

2. Antichrist will command worldwide attention. Don McGee states, “For a Jew to be in that position (commanding worldwide attention) would be a very, very long shot.” Don also suggests the Antichrist will not be associated with Judaism, Islam, or any other religion apart from the one he “institutes for himself.” This is determined by Daniel 11:37.

3. A Jew won’t make treaties with Jews. Ed Hindson points this out and goes on to remind us that the Antichrist will be an unbeliever according to Daniel 11:37.

4. Antichrist will lead the final great Gentile world empire. Dr. Mark Hitchcock firmly points this out. He declares this would be “inconsistent for a Jew.” Hitchcock argues this keeps in stride with “the other empires in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, the leaders of those were all Gentiles.”

5. The Antichrist prototype was Antiochus Epiphanes, a Gentile. Dr. Mark Hitchcock aptly points this commonly taught fact out. Epiphanes was the ruler of the Greek - Seleucid Empire that oppressed the Jews between 171-164 BC.

6. The Antichrist rises out of the Gentile world. Several of the experts interviewed, including Hitchcock, brought forward the Revelation 13:1 argument, which identifies the Antichrist as the “Beast” rising out of the “Sea.” The scholarly consensus is the Sea in Revelation 13:1 represents the Gentile world.

7. The Jews will never accept the Antichrist as their Messiah. Dr. Reagan makes this statement in his closing arguments. He qualifies this by stating “In fact we are specifically told that when the Antichrist reveals himself in the middle of the Tribulation and claims to be god the Jews will be horrified and will totally reject him causing him to turn on them in fury and launch an attempt to annihilate them.” He goes on to distinguish between the possibility that the Antichrist may become the ‘Political Savior” of the Jews, but never their “Spiritual Savior.”

8. The Jews will never be offered the “Mark of the Beast.” This point was not brought up in the Reagan interviews; however, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum makes this important point elsewhere in his teachings available though Ariel Ministries. This fact also identifies the Antichrist as a Gentile. One can safely conclude that if the Antichrist was a Jew, the Jews would be among the recipients of the benefits of his cashless Mark of the Beast program alluded to in Revelation 13:14-18.

The Antichrist Seeks Jewish Genocide Making Him a Gentile

Although the arguments above strongly suggest the Antichrist will be a Gentile, the one not listed that I believe most compelling is that he orchestrates the final genocidal campaign against the Jewish Race. Zechariah 13:8 points out the Antichrist will be responsible for the deaths of two-thirds of the Jewish population in the land of Israel during the Tribulation period. Many scholars suggest that totals several million more than were killed by Hitler during the Holocaust.

The repeated Gentile genocidal attempts targeted at the Jews remain atop the list of humanities worst historical crimes against the will of God. The Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Germans all attempted to destroy the Jewish Race. Deuteronomy 32:10 and Zechariah 2:8 identify the Jews as the “apple of God’s eye.” The destruction of the Jews is the scheming of Satan and the Antichrist is his seed according to Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 13:4.

The plan of Satan is to prove God is a promise breaker, a liar, with a flawed covenant making character. If Satan can accomplish this he justifies his and his fallen angelic cohorts' rebellious campaign against God and His perfect divine will. Satan has clearly evidenced throughout human history that his modus operandi is to discredit God by killing Abraham’s Jewish descendants.

In Genesis 13:15, 22:17 and elsewhere God promised Abraham descendants forever. If there are no more Jews, then God is in breach of His covenant with Abraham. Furthermore, the promise of eternal security for all believers, justified by the similar faith of Abraham can be questioned. (Romans 4 and Galatians 3)

Therefore the Antichrist will be a Gentile; otherwise Satan must also execute him alongside his Jewish brethren. I’ve often wondered why Satan, supposedly so cunning, decided to even have a “seed.” Had he not, he could have discredited God right out the Genesis 3:15 garden gate. The Lord prophesied the coming of Satan’s seed and the bruising of Messiah’s heel by that seed. Should no satanic seed come, then the God of the Bible would be an obvious liar for prophesying such a future fictitious event. To the contrary, the satanic seed is coming and may be birthed already.

The Jewish Antichrist Arguments

The arguments for the Antichrist being a Jew can be found in the Reagan project referenced above. There are a few who believe that John 5:43 and Daniel 11:37 point to the Antichrist being a Jew. However, the Reagan study evidences that the arguments for a Gentile Antichrist far outweigh those of a Jewish Antichrist.

The Supernatural Alien (Nephilim) Antichrist Argument

Interestingly, there are some scholars suggesting since the Antichrist is the “seed of Satan,” who according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 rises to power supernaturally, that he might not be human at all. They, suggest Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26 comparing the end time’s to the “days of Noah,” should be taken literally.

Genesis 6:4 informs us that there were unnatural offspring called the Nephilim, inhabiting the earth during the days of Noah. If this relatively new argument has merit it adds an interesting twist to what the true content of the false covenant may be.

8/13/10

Is the Church identified in Psalm 83?

by Bill Salus

Recently I received and email asking a very interesting Church related question regarding the "hidden ones" of Psalm 83:3.

They [Arab confederates] have taken crafty counsel against Your people [national Israel], And consulted together against Your sheltered [hidden] ones. (Psalm 83:3; NKJV) Some translations use the word "hidden" instead of sheltered.

Question: I have a question concerning Psalm 83:3 and its link with Isaiah 26:20. The last section of the Psalm verse reads..” and consulted against thy hidden ones “, and Isaiah explains who these are that are hiding. I understand these passages refer to the Saints/Church.

That being the case would not the inference in the psalm be that the Church has already been taken before the fulfillment of that prophecy?

Kindest Regards
Garry M.

Answer: Brother Gary, since Psalm 83 appears to be a Pre-Tribulation event, I presume that makes you a a Pre-Trib Rapture believer. I'm also a Pre-Tribber. In fact, I get goose bumps at the sound of a trumpet. However, I don't believe the Church is identified anywhere in Psalm 83. Furthermore, since the Rapture is an imminent event, Psalm 83 is about to occur, and the Church is still present, it is very possible that Christians may witness the final fulfillment of Psalm 83.

In Psalm 83:3, the Hebrew word for "hidden" in "hidden ones" is Tsaphan. This word does not appear in Isaiah 26:20 or anywhere else in the book of Isaiah. The first usage of Tsaphan is in Exodus 2:2-3 alluding to the baby Moses being hidden by his mother from Pharaoh's edict of death in Egypt. At the time all Hebrew males were being killed at birth in order to keep the Hebrew ethnicity weak and enslaved. However, a remnant led by Moses ultimately survived and departed for the Promised Land.

Typologically, from an end time’s perspective, the mother of Moses likely represents national Israel and Moses, the faithful end time’s remnant that eventually emerges from within it. Similarly, the next usage of Tsaphan is found in Joshua 2:4 whereby Rahab was hiding the two spies. These two also typologically signify a select sub-group or remnant of Israel.

I believe that Psalm 83:3 alludes to both national Israel (Your people), which exists today in a condition of unbelief, and the faithful remnant (hidden ones) that comes out from national Israel in the end times in a condition of belief. Although the faithful remnant hasn’t emerged yet from within Israel, one will in the Tribulation period. Today, they are “Tsaphan”, within national Israel. Presently, they remain unidentified but probably exist on the world scene somewhere unknowingly. However, omniscient God knows who and where they are.

Psalm 83 represents a genocidal attempt of the Jews and the final destruction of the Jewish State, that the name Israel be remembered no more. (Ps. 83:4). Geo-politically the Arab confederates want to destroy Israel and confiscate the Promised Land. We see this stage setting in the Middle East today. Geo-prophetically, Satan wants to destroy all Jews worldwide, especially the infamous coming faithful remnant, to prove God is not a covenant keeper.

In Genesis 13:15, 22:17, and elsewhere, God unconditionally promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, descendants forever. In Genesis 15:18 these patriarchs were promised land from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq and Syria. The Psalm 83 Arabs dwell upon a majority of this “Holy Land” today. They want to destroy the Jews and possess the land (Psalm 83:12).

Psalm 83 represents the first of three end time’s genocidal attempts against the Jews. Ezekiel 38 & 39 appears to follow soon and sequentially on the heels of Psalm 83. In Ezekiel’s prophecy Russia, Iran, Turkey, and several other nations will confederate to kill the Jews and confiscate the plunder and booty that Israel will possess after they defeat the Psalm 83 confederacy.

Lastly, the Antichrist will muster up his Armageddon forces in the Tribulation Period in a final Jewish genocidal attempt. This is when the Tsaphan, faithful remnant, of Israel will emerge. They become the saved remnant of Romans 9:27 and 11:26. They are also the “sons of the living God” in Hosea 1:10 and Romans 9:26. I believe the Psalmist Asaph was informing us that Israel’s Arab enemies will attempt to kill all Jews, even the hidden faithful end time’s remnant, so that God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be broken.

Although the Church may be here to witness Psalm 83, it does not appear to be indentified anywhere in the Psalm. Psalm 83 is Satan's attempt to inspire the Islamic Arabs that hate and surround Israel to destroy the Jews and the Jewish State in order to prove God is a promise breaker. In fact, the Church needs to come out of hiding on Psalm 83 and preach the possibility that it’s about to find final fulfillment.

Best reading regards
Bill Salus
info@isralestine.net

6/10/10

Understanding the Geopolitics of Zionism vs. Palestinianism

By Bill Salus

Presently there are two conflicting ideologies competing for sovereignty over the Holy Land. They are Zionism and Palestinianism. Recognizing their powerful affects upon the geo-politics of the Promised Land is prerequisite for achieving a comprehensive understanding of what’s driving today’s Israeli - Palestinian conflict.

On the surface this conflict appears as a resolvable territorial dispute of strategic soil inside the Fertile Crescent, but at the core it involves the complexities of the angelic conflict, Arab hatred of the Jew, and ultimately, the epic battle between good and evil. God’s covenant making character is held in contest by Satan and it’s acting out in its final stages through this Mideast conflict.
The world wants to broker a two state solution forcing Israel to forfeit land to the Palestinians assuming this will enable the two ethnicities to live side by side in lasting peace. However, genocide of the Jew, not peace with the Jew, is the end game of Israel’s enemies. It always has been and always will be until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to punish Satan and subsequently set up the millennial kingdom bringing peace on earth and goodwill to men.
Satan determined long ago that his best course of action to discredit God’s character was to destroy the “apple of God’s eye”, the Jewish people. A careful review of Hebrew history dating back to the time of Moses’ conflict with Pharaoh, on to Haman’s Persian genocidal plot of the Jews, followed by Herod’s “Babes of Bethlehem”, and more recently Adolph Hitler’s holocaust attempt, offers sufficient historical precedent attesting to this truth.
The International Community wants Israel to give back lands captured by the Israeli Defense Forces in the aftermath of the six day war of 1967. According to Genesis 15:18 these territories belong to today’s Israeli descendants of Abraham. This Holy Land standoff between Satan and God, played out through the Arabs and Jews, is what the world witnesses almost daily on the 6 o’clock news.
The underpinnings of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict are indelibly rooted in their contemporaneous struggle for religious and geo-political autonomy in the Biblical Promised Land. It is an ideological war between Zionism and Palestinianism.
The term Zionism was coined by Nathan Birnbaum and later popularized by Theodor Herzl in his 1896 book entitled Der Judenstaat (the Jewish State in German). Zionism, as it was originally understood, advocated the best way to avoid the Anti-Semitism spreading rampantly throughout Europe at the time was to create an independent Jewish State in Palestine.
The word was derived from Mount Zion in Jerusalem, which was the historic symbol of the Jewish homeland since 6th Century BC. Today Zionism banners the Israeli government's view that it is Israel’s God given right to possess their fair portion of the Holy Land and to declare a Jewish State therein.
Conversely, Palestinianism is a term the Egyptian born British scholar, Bat Yeor, alludes to in her 2005 book “Eurabia”. Palestinianism condenses jihadist values, by promoting the destruction of Israel and the denial of Hebrew biblical history and hence Christianity. It preaches Islamic replacement theology and the Arabization and Islamization of the Holy Land’s biblical archeology.
In a nutshell, Zionism promotes the rightful existence of a Jewish State in the Holy Land and Palestinianism vehemently opposes any such State! This is why the Palestinians and the preponderance of their Arab and Persian supporters today refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist. In fact, it is almost impossible to find a Palestinian school text book that includes a Middle East map with Israel located upon it.
Additionally, Palestinianism is at the center of Arab Nationalism. The Palestinian refugee plight ignites the Arabs to unite and will ultimately cause many of them to collectively fight against Israel. With each passing conventional Arab – Israeli war or conflict the Palestinianism rally call gains more momentum among Israel's predominately Islamic enemies. Ultimately it seemingly escalates into the climactic concluding Arab – Israeli war foretold to come in Psalm 83.
Secular world leaders can’t fix the Middle East problem because it is a deeply rooted in the supernatural. In the center of the geo-political equation are the three major religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, listed in the order of their advent upon the world scene. Many Jews and Christians believe God gave the disputed Mideast territories to the Jews for their eternal homeland called “Israel”. Conversely, the pro-Palestinian Arabs and Persians seek the creation of one final Arab State instead called “Palestine”. They perform Islamic Jihad to accomplish this end.
Presently this ideological controversy has pushed the Middle East to the brink of war. Decade old political attempts to resolve the matter through land for peace deals have served to salt the wound. The Promised Land in question is the central issue and threatening to take it from Israel and dangling it like a carrot on a stick in front of the Palestinians is like playing Robin Hood for all the wrong reasons. It portrays Israel as the wealthy villain and the Palestinians as the unjustly impoverished.
Israel in political moves of conciliation has attempted to appease the Arabs and Palestinians by withdrawing from portions of the disputed territories. In May of 2000 Israel unilaterally withdrew from the security zone in Southern Lebanon only to be punished by a 34 day conflict in the summer of 2006 with Hezbollah. Four thousand rockets struck Israeli soil during that conflict. Today, less than four years later, Hezbollah has 15 times as many rockets (60,000) inclusive of scud missiles recently obtained from Syria.
However, the fateful pivotal episode that should lead to the soon coming Mother of all Mideast wars occurred in the summer of 2005. That dreadful August Israel’s government experienced enormous pressure from the George W. Bush American administration to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza. Gush Katif was a bloc of 17 Israeli settlements inside of Gaza at the time. At the risk of provoking an Israeli civil war, these Gush Katif settlers were forced to vacate their homes. Some of them still seek proper assimilation back into Israeli society today.
On the day the last settler was removed from Gush Katif the storm clouds of Hurricane Katrina were forming over the Atlantic. In probable fulfillment of the curse for curse in kind clause contained in Genesis 12:3, America was forced into its own Katrina refugee crisis much like was created in Israel as result of Gush Katif.
That following January 2006 the Palestinians elected the Hamas of the Gaza territory, a vowed enemy of Israel, as their representative government. George Bush did nothing to prevent this from occurring. In fact, he had previously publicly discounted the potential for a Hamas election victory over the Fatah party. Shortly thereafter, Hamas began to indiscriminately lob Katusha rockets into neighboring Israeli cities.
This led to the 22 day Operation Cast Lead war between Israel and Hamas in December 2008. This conflict, in my prophetic estimation, is the straw that may end up breaking the camel’s back. This conflict caught Hamas’ allies with their tales between their legs. None of them were able to do anything but rattle their sabers from the sidelines. This infuriated them as it mocked the fabric of their supposed Arab Nationalism in support of Palestinianism.
However, this is not the case today. Hamas’ friends are boldly showing their disdain toward Israel. Turkey, for instance, has severed most of their political ties with Israel. By Turkey’s own admission, this is a direct result of Israel’s decisive victory in Operation Cast Lead. Additionally, bonafide war pacts were confirmed in December 2009 between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. This means that should Hamas be attacked by Israel in the future, which holds a high degree of probability, Israel runs the risk of provoking a major Mideast war.
Furthermore, Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman has pledged his support to Hezbollah in the likely event Israel and Hezbollah go toe to toe again. Even Israel’s moderate peace partner Jordan’s King Abdullah is warning of a summer time 2010 war if a Palestinian - Israeli peace is not achieved immediately.
Jeremiah 12:14-17 informs us that the Arabs of Palestine, i.e. today’s Palestinian Refugees, were to be assimilated into their ancient surrounding Arab homelands. The Arab nations that were to assimilate these refugees have chosen to banner their refugee plight rather than bear the burden of their resettlement. Historically many of these Arab nations warred against each other, however today they are unified in their support for Palestinianism and opposition of Zionism.
Palestinianism and Zionism have no common ground. They represent opposing ideologies. Allowing them to coexist is a recipe for disaster. The scripturally supported solution is for the Arabs to support Zionism, abandon Palestinianism, and resettle the Palestinian refugees back into their historical homelands. According to the forthcoming foretold prophetic episodes described in Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38, and elsewhere, this is not the course Israel’s modern day enemies apparently take.