The Antichrist and the Great Tribulation to come are great themes and truths of the Holy Bible that the Lord spoke of through the prophets for thousands of years. This article will be divided into 4 sections – first speaking of the Antichrist, then the 3 paths. Jude (Judas; the inspired letter before Revelation), written by the half-brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55) speaks of Enoch’s book and his warning of the coming of the Lord in power with His angelic host.
The Book of Enoch (list as pseudepigrapha – pseudo – not genuine or original – a loose translation done centuries later no different than how we got the Epic of Gilgamesh or Homer’s iliad or works of Plato) says:
“The words of …Enoch, to …the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked …are to be removed. …Concerning the elect, I said, ‘…the Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, and the eternal God will tread upon the earth… the high mountains shall be shaken… and shall melt like wax before the flame …and all that is upon the earth shall perish, and there shall be a judgment upon all (as 2 Peter 3:10). But with the righteous, He will make peace. And will protect the elect, and they shall all belong to God…Behold, He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones (angels: see Jude 14; Ezek. 9:2-6; Matt. 13:49; Rev. 14:15-20; etc.) to execute judgment upon all and to destroy all the ungodly, and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness… and …things which sinners have spoken against Him…”
I. The Antichrist
But before this ‘great and awesome and terrible day of the LORD, when the sun shall be darkened (Joel 2:31),’ the prophets and apostles spoke of the Antichrist to come. The Didache or ‘Teachings,’ which was an appendix to several early Bible codex before our current Bible of 66 books (an actually Chronicles and Kings are still two scrolls divided into 4) says: “…In the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver (Antichrist) as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do so iniquitous (evil) things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved (Matt. 24:13) from under the curse itself. And then shall appear …the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead…”.
And all the early church fathers followed the truth and the prophet Daniel and the apostle Paul concerning the Antichrist – as seen in the 2nd century Book 5 of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the apostle and disciple of Christ Jesus:
“‘(Book V) …Antichrist …endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king… but …lawless …and murderous; as a robber, concentrating in himself all satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade men that he himself is God… having in himself the diverse errors of the other idols. This he does, that they who do now worship the devil by means of abominations, may serve him by this one idol, of whom the apostle Paul thus speaks …to the Thessalonians, ‘(The Day of the Lord shall not come) …unless there shall come a falling away first, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God (2 Thes.2:3,4)…’
‘…The Antichrist will endeavor in a tyrannical manner to set himself forth as God. Moreover, the apostle pointed out this which I have shown in many ways that the temple in Jerusalem was made by the direction of the true God. …And for the purposes which I have already mentioned, in the temple, the enemy shall sit, endeavoring to show himself as Christ, as the Lord also declares: ‘But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which has been spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains; and he who is upon the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: for there shall then be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be (Matt. 24:15, 21).’
‘And Daniel too, looking forward to the end of the last kingdom, the ten last kings, amongst whom the kingdom of those men shall be partitioned, and upon whom the son of perdition shall come, declares that ten horns shall spring from the beast and that another little horn shall arise in the midst of them… Daniel says, ‘Behold, eyes were in this horn as the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was stouter than his fellows. I was looking, and this horn made war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most high God, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom… The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall excel all other kingdoms, and devour the whole earth, and tread it down and cut it in pieces. And its ten horns are ten kings which shall arise; and after them shall arise another, who shall surpass in evil deeds of all that were before him, and shall overthrow three kings; and he shall speak words against the most high God, and wear out the saints of the most high God and shall purpose to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and a half time… (Dan. 7:8-25);’ that is, for three years and six months, during which time he shall reign over the earth. Of whom also the Apostle Paul again, speaking in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians… says: ‘And then shall the wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy by the presence of His coming; whose coming (the wicked one’s) is after the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and …lies, and with all deceivableness of wickedness for those who perish; because they did not receive the truth, but gave consent to iniquity (2Thes.2:8).’ The Lord …spoke, ‘I have come in My Father’s name, and ye have not received Me: when another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (John 5:43);’ calling the Antichrist ‘the other,’ because he is alienated from the Lord. This is also the unjust judge ‘…who feared not God, neither regarded man… (Luke 18:2) …he shall sit in the temple of God, leading astray those who worship him, as if he were Christ’.”
II. Path One: Reformers pointed with bias to the Pope (bishop of the Catholic Church)
Without getting into the works of Ignatius, Tertullian, Augustine, the apostles and others on the position and fallibility of the bishop of Rome, let us just start in history at a dark time of Church schism when the Pope or bishop of Rome (actually from 1414 to 1418 – 3 men simultaneously claimed to be and were supported by their followers as the true Pope) lead the Catholic Church and was opposed by Reformers that came after and in the likeness of Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Knox and Wesley.
Mid-16th century, a decade after Luther wrote Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), most of the Reformers without ceasing begin to teach that the Antichrist would be a pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
In Calvin’s Commentary on Daniel, chapter 11, he states: “…This passage is very obscure and has consequently been explained in very opposite ways by interpreters. …Some explain it of Antiochus, and others of the Romans, but in a manner different to that which I shall afterwards state. The Christian expositors present much variety, but the greater number incline towards Antichrist as fulfilling the prophecy. The last opinion has great probability, but I do not approve of it… Antiochus did not long survive the pollution of the Temple, and then the following events by no means suit the occurrences of this time. Nor can his sons be fairly substituted in his place, and hence we must pass on to some other king, distinct from Antiochus and his heirs. As I have already stated, some of the Rabbis explain this of the Romans, but without judgment, for they first apply the passage to Vespasian, and they chatter foolishly, according to their usual custom. …Some refer this prophecy to the Pope and to Mohammed, and the phrase, ‘nor the desire of women (Dan. 11:37),’ seems to give probability to this view. For Mohammed allowed to men the brutal liberty of chastising their wives… and permit a man to have a number of wives… Those who think the Pope to be intended here remind us of their enforcing celibacy, by means of which the honor of marriage is trodden under foot. …Roman Pontiffs compare marriage with fornication, thereby disgracefully …throwing scorn upon an ordinance sanctioned by God. …Some say that as Mohammed invented a new form of religion, so did the Pope; true indeed, but neither of them are intended here…”
And here in, by Calvin’s time in the mid-1500s, they were looking to find the Antichrist and among the tops search choices where the Catholic Pope and the Mohammedans or followers of Mohammad, now called Muslims (Arabic word roughly meaning: ‘one who submits’ – implied to God; but in truth it is ‘one who submits to God and Mohammad’).
III. Path Two: ISIS / ISIL / IS – Islam (Muslims); and the 12th Imam
According to the Congressional Research Service – CRS (which i had the pleasure of using and learning about while interning for Sen. J.B. Johnston in DC one semester), in an article called The Islamic State and U.S. Policy (2/9/16):
“The Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS, or the Arabic acronym Da’esh) is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, has adherents in several other countries, and disrupts regional and international security with violence and terrorism… The U.S.-led campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria (IS, aka ISIL/ISIS or the Arabic acronym Da’esh) appears to be entering a new phase in early 2016, as Administration officials implement planned changes in military strategy and tactics, pursue new diplomatic and coalition building initiatives, and consider alternative proposals. The conflicts in Iraq and Syria remain focal points in this regard, but a series of terrorist attacks inspired or directed by the Islamic State have claimed hundreds of lives on four continents since November 2015, creating a more global sense of urgency about combating the group and reversing its spread.”
So, though ISIS is obviously a very significant player in these last days (years, decades), notice they are Sunni Islamist as opposed to having Shiite dominance. If the Antichrist comes out of these nations, in the long run i am not sure it will matter which Muslim group holds current dominance; however, as to their current beliefs, actions and politics – it most certainly matters; especially to those receiving the ‘Islamic test of 4 questions’ to see if they will lose their head or not. Though the test is beyond the scope of this article, basically many terrorist have started or follow a tradition of asking certain Arabs, etc… 4 questions to determine if they are Sunni or Shia: what is your name? where are you from (or where do you live)? How do you pray? and What kind of music do you listen to [and be careful of your cell ringtone while in the Levant (specifically parts of Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey)]?
see the article: ISIS: who, what, why, how? located under ‘Pages’ on the sidebar to your right.
With the above stated, it should be noted sense this article is about the coming Antichrist that we should speak about the Twelfth Imam. In an article on al-islam.org, The Signs of the Reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (ajtf), they write, ‘Among them are: The Sufyani will come out in revolt; the Hasanid will be killed; the Abbasids will dispute over worldly kingdom; there will be an eclipse of the sun in the middle of the month of Ramadan… the wall of the mosque of Kufa will be destroyed; black standards will advance from Khurasan; al-Yamani will come out in revolt; al-Maghribi will appear in Egypt and take possession of it from Syria… The Turk will occupy the region of al-Jazira; the Byzantines will occupy Ramla… three standards will dispute over it (Syria)… The standards of Qays and the Arabs will come among the people of Egypt… the black standards will advance towards them from the east; the Euphrates will flood… The bridge next to Karkh in the city of Baghdad will be established; a black wind will raise it at the beginning of the day and then an earthquake will occur so that much of it will be swallowed up; fear will cover the people of Iraq and Baghdad; swift death (will occur) there and there will be a loss of property, lives and harvests… after that every disease will be taken away from those of the Shia of the Mahdi, peace be on him, who believe in the truth; at that time they will know of his appearance in Mecca and they will go to him to support him… The appearance of the one who will arise (al-qa’im) from the family of Muhammad, may God bless him and his family, is another of the things which must happen.”
Who is this 12th Imam; the Mahdi? Shiite Muslims or those of Shia Islam make up about 12% of all Muslims. About 85% of these are referred to as Twelver Shia. That is they believe in the 12 Imams; 11 which have already lived and 1 which is to come. Imam is a term for their highest Leaders. The 12th Imam is said to have come from Muhammad’s linage and was born in 868 AD and God has hidden him (as in the heavens – known as the occultation) until his return. He is also call the Mahdi, Arabic term conveying guide or messiah. One of the reasons for Iran and Iraq’s differences is in a world of about 12% Shiites, Iran has over 80% and they dominant their government and religious leadership. So this Mahdi, ‘Guided One;’ he also is called by some by another title – Antichrist.
According to Muslim scholar Imam Muhammad Baqir, “…the Mahdi will establish his one-world religion: “There must be bloodshed and jihad to establish Imam Mahdi’s rule.” And Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini of the Religious Learning Center in Qom, agrees: “The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it, they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.” (from The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi – Part2 10/2/14; http://www.michaeljoussef.com)
The article also states: “The parallels between the biblical Antichrist and the Mahdi of Islam are chilling. Both are associated with the End Times and the Judgment. Both possess political, military, and religious power, and head up a one-world religion. The Mahdi will force all non-Muslim people to convert to Islam. Like the Antichrist, the Mahdi will establish Jerusalem as his capital, from which he will rule the earth. Islamic scholars Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad Arif write:’
‘The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the hadith states. . . . Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam AL-Mahdi. . . . That will abolish the leadership of the Jews . . . and put an end to the domination of the Satan who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Sharia [Islamic law] of the Lord of the worlds’.”
Above: Millions of Muslims in Mecca seeking to be near the Kaaba.
IV. Path Three: That the Antichrist will be a or the leader of the United Nations or the European Union. Around the time the EU was picking Javier Solana (former Sec. Gen. of NATO) to be the their Secretary General; and at a time when he was significantly involved in a TREATY that would basically reestablish what many saw as the old-Roman Empire (Eastern), may Christians where digging into Daniel’s prophecy and putting Solana on the list of possible Antichrist candidates. After all it was European Council ‘recommendation 666’ drafted by Javier Solana in 2000, that would grant him great control of the EU military powers. And he was in fact the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy from 1999 to 2009 and held two other Sec. Gen. positions during that period. Nevertheless, he will be 74 this July 2016 and other than roaming around his Club of Rome and Bilderberg connections including King Juan Carlos (age 78; another former Antichrist candidate by some), he will remain behind the scenes.
Now, for sure, the United Nations communication system will be used under the Antichrist 42 month reign. But more significantly is what many reputable theologians say is a requirement for the Antichrist. Although i disagree with Finis Dake’s Pretribulation Rapture teachings, he does deserve great respect. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible contains over 500,000 cross-references and about 35,000 notes and he claims took him 100,000 hours in 43 years to do – i don’t doubt it seeing Calvin did the same with several of his works and through i don’t compare to either – i have put over 10,000 or 15,000 hours into my biblical studies and research.
So Dake’s who was followed by many in many subjects, including Swaggert and a great many Pentecostal ministers, states: ‘Antiochus Epiphanes (is) not Antichrist;’ and in another places: ‘…that Antichrist will come from Rome and Italy is false, he will come from Babylon and future enlarged Syria. (However, Dakes says ‘he will not come into prominence… until after the Rapture’ and this is wrong – see my hundreds of pages under Topics: concerning the Pretribulation Rapture Theory.
Yet, Dake’s may very well be correct concerning the area of old Syria and even new. And he rightly teaches ‘the Antichrist, he will come in the last days when sin and iniquity shall abound…’ Also, when he teaches concerning Daniel’s visions (chapters 7 & 8) about from the 4 kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome; comes 4 horns or kingdoms out of Greece. He then says, ‘since the Antichrist is seen coming out of one of the 4 divisions of the old Grecian Empire, we can eliminate entirely the other 6 kingdoms of the Revised Roman Empire… 4 divisions of the Grecian Empire… except the extreme eastern part of the kingdom of Seleusus were conquered by the Romans and made a part of the old Roman Empire… these 4 today: Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt.’
No doubt among these Egypt and Greece have little power and it is not likely Turkey will be the seat of power for the Mahdi or any Antichrist. Thus, it is very likely concerning these lasts days that our eyes should be on Palestine; especially on Israel and Temple progress and on Syria and its Muslim role.
Concerning Syria it is interesting that according to certain Jews the Geula or Geulah (Redemption of the Jews by the Mashiach) will not come without War World III and Syria’s involvement. Rabbi Alon Anava at Atzmut.com – goes on for hours with tons of Jewish Midrash (commentary on the Torah by certain rabbis and sages) in his ‘Mashiach is coming – are YOU ready?’ He talks about the significance of the time and with mathematical midrash concluded that ‘the beginning of the redemption’ will be in 2016; but what is interesting is his Jewish prophecies on WWIII and even Syria.
In 2011, in an interview with Britain’s dailysquib.co.uk (since 1862) titled ‘If you can’t hear the drums of War You must be deaf,’ then 89 year old Henry Kissinger (who met with Donald Trump this week – 2016), stated, “The United States is baiting China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them… This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state… The great Russian bear and Chinese sickle will be roused from their slumber and this is when Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli. Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future… Out of the ashes we shall build a new society, a new world order; there will only be one superpower left, and that one will be the global government that wins. Don’t forget, the United States, has the best weapons, we have stuff that no other nation has, and we will introduce those weapons to the world when the time is right.”
More over; the Catholics also speak of WWIII:
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) states, ‘Pope Francis has invoked World War III, saying that it has begun in a piecemeal fashion. The Third Secret of Fatima could provide Christians a framework for considering this terrifying new development.’
And note: according to certain Catholics; ‘Our Lady’ offers a prophecy concerning this:
Syria Has The Key… Our Lady – “My child, one part only can be made known, given to you. Syria has the key to the solution of world peace or the third world war. It will be the destruction of three quarters of the world. A world aflame, with also the Ball of Redemption.”
“Your country, the United States, and many nations of the world now are under the domination of a godless government. As such, without prayer, atonement and sacrifice. I say unto you now, as your Mother, that you, too, proud and arrogant a nation that you be, the United States shall fall. Many shall suffer.”