Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.4

We have been looking at the various names by which the beast is called. There is not a lot in the next few chapters presented, but as He is mentioned and there is other interesting information, we will take a look at them. The first is another mention of “the Assyrian” in Isaiah 31.

Verse 1-5 “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses,and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.”

Here we find a passage that tells us how Israel seek “Egypt's” help. It tells how it will not do them any good, as the “Egyptians” are just men, not God, and that both they and the Israelites will fall. It is the Lord who will come down and fight for Mount Zion. He will defend and deliver Jerusalem. Because we find in the prophecies that the land mentioned is not always the land meant in the second fulfillment, that it could be “spiritual Egypt” in this case, it is difficult to know for certain who is being referred to here. In the Scriptures, we find that Egypt is not on antichrist's side, as he goes after them to destroy them. (Daniel 11:42-43). At the moment to think of Egypt being on Israel's side is clearly not something one would consider, as the people want the peace treaty revoked, if it has not been already. From this, if taken literally, it appears that they side with Israel, and that some of the Jews flee to Egypt during the tribulation. In Isaiah 52, which I will cover in a moment says this in verse 4 “For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.” Here we see another reference to the Assyrian, and we will see when that chapter is covered shortly that it is referring to the end times. The question is, is it truly Egypt that is meant, or is it spiritual Egypt, just as America is today spiritual Babylon?

Isaiah 31:6-9 “Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.”

God warns Israel to turn back to God, from whom they have turned, instead of looking for human help in the day of distress, when the nations will come against them. Notice the idols of gold and silver being thrown away. We saw that men cast away their idols of gold and silver on the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2). This gives us a time frame, as the Day of the Lord is toward the end of Daniel's 70th week. The beast falls by a sword, but not the sword of a mighty or mean man. We know from Daniel and Revelation that it is the Lord who defeats the beast. He tries to flee from the Lord to his own refuge, and his minions will be afraid of the signs of the Lord's coming after them, but the Lord will prevail as he burns His enemies in His Holy Land.

Here we see the beast again referred to as “the Assyrian.” There is not much other identifying characteristics except that he does have a fortress type of refuge or something akin to a palace or place where someone who aspires to be the world leader would live.

Now on to chapter 52. While this chapter only contains one little reference to the beast, the chapter is very informative and deserves to be studied.

Verses 1-6 “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold it is I.”

In the first verse we are told that the holy city of Jerusalem will no more see the uncircumcised (spiritually definitely and physically possibly) and unclean (definitely spiritually and again possibly meaning ceremonially unclean) come into her. She is also told to put on her beautiful garments. This clearly is a reference to the end of times and the millennium when this will be the condition of Jerusalem. She is told to shake the dust off and take the bands of her captivity off. She is finally free from having the infidels (to borrow a Muslim term) rule over her. She is told that she sold herself (making peace treaties with all her enemies) for nothing, as she will be redeemed without money or having to pay a price (in today's case – land). She will be redeemed by the Lord. Again there is the verse that mentions that she has gone down into Egypt. As from the context the time frame concerns the end times, it is clear that there must be some Jews who run to “Egypt” whomever that may refer to spiritually. As we know the beast (again called the Assyrian) does go down into Egypt and oppresses everyone there, it may possibly fit that it is Egypt. God then asks what is going on? Have his people gone down there for nothing? Those there only give them tribulation and make them howl, and for what purpose? The purpose is then made clear. They will know the Lord's name (Yeshua) and know that it is He who is God, and who is speaking to them. Yeshua is as much the “I am” as is the Father. He is also a part of the Godhead. Again, we know that it is only at the end when He returns that Israel realizes who He is. So we see another clear identifier as to the time frame of this passage.

Verses 7-10 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”

This is a famous verse that is much quoted. It is about the Lord's first coming and the bringing of the gospel message. That is what the word “gospel” means, “good news.” But there is more than His first coming in these verses. The Lord shall bring Zion back. He shall redeem Jerusalem and comfort His people. That is about the Lord's Second Coming. Jerusalem will have been laid waste by the nations and the destroyer, but she will rejoice in the return of her Savior. The Lord will bare His arm against the nations. To bare one's arm is to roll up your sleeves for a good fight. At that time the entire world will see the salvation of the Lord.

Verses 11-12 “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”(this word is not a typo of the word “reward”, the word means rearguard or the guard of your backside).

In spite of the mention of Egypt, this section (chapters 40-66) of the book of Isaiah was originally written to foretell the Babylonian captivity, so in that context all the literal first fulfillment passages would be addressing this situation. We have been looking at it from the second future fulfillment position, which is about the end times. Therefore, the countries mentioned may be spiritually referring to another land. In the context of this chapter it is strange, as Babylon is not mentioned even though these chapters address that captivity. It is Egypt that is mentioned. So the question comes, is it talking about Babylon (America) or Egypt? Whichever country it is (and we know that the Jews do come to America to escape the beast), they are told to depart from the country. We do know from previous Scriptures that they are told to come out of Babylon at the end before she is destroyed.

So they are to depart out of “Egypt” or in the case of the fact that it is addressing the Babylonian captivity, to come out of Babylon, and not to touch any “unclean” thing. They are to separate themselves from anything that is spiritually and physically unclean. As the time of this departure will be at a time when the world will be suffering under terrible cataclysms, there will probably be a lot of diseased and dying people, as well as spiritually unclean people around them. They are to keep their distance from them. This is very important because of the following. Now comes an interesting phrase. They bear the vessels of the Lord. This is very important. Right now in Israel, the Temple Institute and the Temple Mount Faithful have been preparing everything for the third temple. From what I have read, all of the temple vessels and accoutrements have been made. This includes not only the candlesticks, bowls, and things like that, but musical instruments, clothing, etc. An altar for sacrifice has been built according to the Law, and there is a foundation stone hewn according to the Law that is dragged up to the Temple Mount several times a year at feast times to try to lay the cornerstone of the new temple. The priests have all been found and trained (Kohanin or Cohens – meaning descendents of Aaron who can be priests. Just being a Levite does not suffice). I understand a red heifer has now been born and may be ready to prepare for the ashes. I hear the temple is pre-fab for easy and quick construction, so there appears to be nothing in the way except permission to build it. Apparently as these vessels and such take a long time to make (they've been at it for years) and they will be needed immediately in the millennial temple, God will see fit to preserve them by removing them from the temple in the tribulation diaspora when they flee. They are to bring them back at the time of the regathering after the tribulation. But this time, unlike when they had to flee for their lives, they will not go back in haste or by flight. They will be following the Lord as He LEADS them back to Jerusalem. And He will also be behind them. One is reminded of the pillar of fire and the cloud that led them out of Egypt. This time Yeshua will be in front, and the Holy Spirit will be in the rear protecting them front and back.

Verses 13-15 “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee, his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men; So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”

God says that His Servant (Yeshua) will deal wisely with all. He will be exalted and praised, as He should have been right from the start. Many will be taken by surprise. Now we see a prophecy that was fulfilled at His first coming. His face was so marred more than any other man. We know from Scripture that Christ was not a comely (handsome) man to begin with. Isaiah 53:2 “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” But now we see that His face is terribly marred. This is from the horrible beating that He received at the time of the crucifixion. Whether those marks still remain as do the nail prints in His hand I do not know. But this tells us that His torture was great at that time. And his form (body) also. His skin was torn off His body right down to the bone. Now it says that the kings will shut their mouths at their astonishment, for what they have not known about Him they shall see with their own eyes and what they haven't heard about Him they will now be forced to consider as truth.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.3

In continuing our study of the references in the Old Testament about the antichrist we find a few more verses in the book of Isaiah.

In Isaiah 30 we find another interesting reference we have seen before. In Isaiah 14:29 we saw the verse, “ Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. It was seen that from Satan would come forth another snake, and from him or alongside him would come the antichrist or the fiery flying serpent. We find the same reference in Isaiah 30. In this chapter, Israel is being chastised for putting their confidence in an alliance with Egypt.

Verses 1- 7 “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that, cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.”

God is calling Israel rebellious children. This is not exactly a new problem. They go and take counsel or make agreements with Egypt against God's explicit command. He has most certainly told them to not do this. They do this to try to strengthen themselves by making allies of Egypt. On the contrary instead of making them strong, it adds to their shame before God and to the confusion of the entire situation in the Middle East. The Egyptians were not really proud of this alliance, but saw it as a reproach on themselves. This certainly speaks for the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt today, which since the recent uprising in Egypt appears to be null and void. And just as it says in verse 7, they will not get any help from the Egyptians in spite of their efforts for peace. There are two ways to interpret who sits still. In the first, God tells Israel that their strength would lie in sitting still and not looking for help from any, but trusting in God which they will not do. In the second, Egypt's strength lies in sitting back and not getting involved even after saying they would. This is how they protect themselves. From a later verse though it would appear that the first interpretation is the more correct. Vs. 15 “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”

In ancient times, Israel loaded up camels and beasts of burden to carry treasures down to Egypt for the cause of this alliance. Today it is more a case of giving away the land to get a false sense of peace. But notice in verse 6 a curious reference. The young and old lion, and the viper and fiery flying serpent are said to come from Egypt. It has already been discussed that the beast, by virtue of having inhabited all the kings of the seven previous heads of the beast is in turn referred to as coming from each of these lands. This is why it has been so difficult to ascertain exactly from which country the beast of our day will hail. In this passage we are told that both the viper (the cockatrice) and the fiery flying serpent come from the same place, in this case Egypt. It may very well be that the flying serpent is a descendant of the viper, who appears to have been a forerunner of the beast. As Antiochus Epiphanes is the forerunner that Christ refers to in Matthew, it implies that the serpent may be from the same bloodline. The other new reference we are introduced to is the old and young lion. As these two references seem to apply to the same two people as the serpents, we see that the young lion is the same as the fiery flying serpent. This is the second time the beast is referenced as a fiery flying serpent, so it appears it is necessary to consider something that I wished to avoid at this point. The fact is, we know there are fallen angels, demonic spirits, nephilim, and hybrid creatures that exist according to Scripture. In Revelation we are shown that God will allow the release of creatures from the abyss to torture people. The idea of aliens and UFOs has been orchestrated by Satan for purpose. I believe part of the end times deception involves the appearance of these various beings and creatures to convince people that aliens are invading. This seems to be the plan to get people to go along with the idea of a one world government to fight a common foe, the aliens. Much is being done to promote this idea from books, to television shows, to movies, etc. There is a great deal of evidence to support the idea that Satan is reptilian in appearance. It also appears that before the fall he possibly had beautiful wings, of which he was stripped and now he has to crawl around on his belly. This fiery flying serpent may only be of partial human origin. He may be what people will view as an alien, and literally have wings. His serpentine heritage comes from his father THE original serpent of Genesis. At this point, almost anything is possible, so while this is total speculation, it is wise to consider all possibilities, so that when he appears we are not deceived and can reconcile what may appear a completely unexpected circumstance. Most people would never expect something of this nature, but if it is in the back of one's mind as a possibility, one can quickly adapt and accept it as a deception and not be deceived.

Later in verse 31 there is a reference to the beast as the “Assyrian” again. “For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” This is cross referencing Isaiah 10:5 which said “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.” Now the beast will be beaten down, as he beat others. Verses 32-33 “And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” When the Lord goes to punish the Assyrian, everywhere that the Lord makes him pass through the people will be rejoicing with tabrets (type of tambourine) and harps. It would appear from some research that the term "grounded staff" (we have seen the beast called the staff before) is something scholars have not been able to understand. The word "grounded" is a puzzle to them as it has a meaning of foundation. On one hand it might mean that the entire world government rests on the foundation of this man, so he is the foundation of it. In English it has another connotation. When something that flies is grounded, it flies no more. Satan was grounded when God forced him to now crawl on his belly. This fiery flying serpent may also be stripped of his ability to fly.

The reference to Tophet is to a valley near Jerusalem where fires burned continually to destroy things that were offensive. It is also where people offered their children in the fire to Moloch. It is essentially a reference to the fires of hell or the lake of fire, the latter of which has been prepared to throw the beast into after Armageddon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.2

Continuing on with the various identities of the beast (otherwise known as antichrist) we find what may be a reference to him in Isaiah 16.

Verse 4 “Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.”

We have seen in previous postings that 1) Moab is a place where Israel runs at the time of the abomination of desolation, 2) Moab escapes out of the beast's hand during that time, and 3) that when the Lord returns and brings Israel back into the land, He will then punish Moab. We had also seen the possibility that the beast has been born in Jordan (Ammon). Remembering that Moab, Edom, and Ammon all now comprise Jordan, the fact that all three escape the beast's hand at that time (Daniel 11:41) indicates that the prophecies addressed to one them most probably is addressed to all of them, as they now are one country.

So we see that Israel dwells with Moab to be hidden from the “spoiler,” and the “extortioner.” We have seen the beast called the spoiler before, but now we add extortioner to his list of names. We know from Daniel that the antichrist will plunder many nations of their treasures, gold, silver, etc. It may be that the way he gets these things is through extortion, just as mobsters extort protection money from small businessmen. As long as they hand over the money, they leave them alone, but the threat of great bodily harm or worse is always there if the money is not turned over to them. This most certainly would fit the personality of this person. We also see that he is called the pride of Moab. This would be a second indication that he comes from Jordan. He is their home boy, so he is their pride and joy, so to speak. Just as any town loves to claim their famous progeny, so Moab is proud of having produced this phenomena. This is a description we have seen used before of the antichrist or beast. In Daniel it says he has a mouth speaking great things (7:8, 20, 25; 11:36-37) and also in Revelation (13:5,6). He is full of pride (Daniel 8:10,11; 11:36-37) and magnifies himself above all gods even to God Himself. We know that the wrath of the beast will be great, as he is the cause of all the horrors of the tribulation and we know he is a liar (Daniel 11:27). All of these descriptions fit this person from Moab, and it tells us the timing is that time when the throne of David is again established, which happens when Christ comes back to reign. We find another clue of the timing of this person's existence by the last verse of this chapter. (16:14) “But now the Lord hath spoken, saying Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, (contemned means despise with mockery or show contempt for) with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.” The time that the beast will reign will be 3 ½ years or by years alone, three years. Within three years from the time he sets up himself in pride, he will brought down. He will be mocked (we saw this from the inhabitants of hell when he joins them in Isaiah 14), as well as destroyed, along with the great multitude that follow him, when the Lord returns. The remnant left over from the Day of the Lord will be very small and weak after this is over. And here we have another name for the beast, “the glory of Moab.” So by all of the clues, it would seem that this pride or glory of Moab being spoken of is the beast.

In Isaiah Chapter 19 we find a reference to the antichrist concerning Egypt. From Daniel 11:42 we know that he will go down and plunder Egypt. “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” In Isaiah 19:4 we find a reference to the same event. “And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts.” We find one of these same titles used again in Daniel 8:23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up.” So we know that the beast will be a cruel and fierce king as well as being of fierce countenance or having a very stern forbidding look about him.

While Isaiah Chapter 20 is a prophecy for the captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia by the ancient king of Assyria, we know that prophecies have dual fulfillments, and we also know that one of the beast's titles is king of Assyria, so we need to see if there is any reason to look at this passage also. From Daniel 11:43 we know that not only Egypt will not escape from his hand, but also Libya and Ethiopia will suffer, so there are now two reasons to consider this chapter. It is a very short chapter, and the gist of it is that Isaiah is told to walk barefoot for three years as a sign to Egypt and Ethiopia of their captivity at the hands of the king of Assyria. Notice again the three year time period as in the previous passage. Also others will look at this event and consider that they should expect the same fate. They do not know how to escape and be delivered from the king of Assyria. vs.3-6 “And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?” This passage then seems to go along with the prophecy in Daniel that says that these countries will suffer under the reign of antichrist. Given that Egypt's government has fallen and now appears to be undergoing a change into a government with the “Muslim brotherhood” (and sharia law) most likely in charge, it would almost seem strange that Egypt would suffer under the beast's reign, as it would appear that the Muslim Mahdi is the beast. The events in Egypt bear watching as do all the countries in the Middle East right now.

The results of the passages studied in these few chapters of Isaiah would appear to show us the following: 1) a confirmation that the beast comes from the Ammon/Moab area, today known as Jordan, and 2) that Egypt and Ethiopia will suffer terribly under his reign. 3) We also saw additional names to add to the list of his monikers – spoiler (again), extortioner, pride of Moab, glory of Moab, king of Assyria (again), a cruel lord, a fierce king, a king of fierce countenance. These things tell us his character as well as some of his actions. He plunders lands and steals their wealth, he extorts their wealth, he is prideful and full of himself, he is the pride of his nation, he is cruel and without compassion, he is fierce and fierce looking, and he takes prisoners from the lands he conquers.

Now we are starting to build a profile of the man which will help us to spot him when he comes on the scene. When we get to the end of the passages, I will compile a list of all the characteristics of the beast.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.1

In the Scriptures, we find many names for the beast, which is what has made it confusing as to his national identity. He is called at various times the Assyrian, the prince of the people who shall come (Rome), a Mede, and many other things not having to do with nationalities. He seems to have a great many names. The reason for this may come from the description of the beast in Revelation. The beast has seven heads which stand for seven nations through which he has reigned on the earth over the millennia. The nations represented are the empires who have been large world dominating ones, and also they share the characteristic of persecuting Israel. The first six empires represented are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. I believe the Third Reich under Hitler was the seventh empire. Because the beast has possessed the leader of each of these, he has in turn been called by each of these names, which explains why the Scriptures calls him at various times by each of these names. When God is addressing Assyria, the prophecies have a dual fulfillment, so God is addressing the beast in his first incarnation as the king of Assyria, but also in his last incarnation as the beast for the end times fulfillment. That does not necessitate that the beast will be from Assyria (or Syria) in these end days. It means that he possessed the king of Assyria at one time. The same holds true for each of these nations so we need to look at the prophecies concerning each and see what is said about him. He is also mentioned by other names, such as the rod, the spoiler or fiery serpent, so we need to look at these verses also.

In the passage of Isaiah 7, God is speaking of “that day,” which is a common way of referring to the Day of the Lord in the Scriptures. We find a reference to God's using a “razor” (tool of his destruction) to “shave” (punish) Israel. Isaiah 7:20 “In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.” So here we see the beast called by the name “king of Assyriaand also “the razor.”

And again we see the use of this name king of Assyria in Isaiah 10:5-7, 12-15,24-25,27,33 “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hands is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few...Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.....Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a little while, and the indignation (tribulation and Day of the Lord) shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction....And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing....Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.” In these verses the beast is called by a number of names: the king of Assyria, the rod, the staff, the axe, the saw, and the bough. We see that he is arrogant, proud, and boastful. He feels he is the one who has “removed the bounds” of the people or done away with national borders (New World Order). He has taken the riches and treasures of the nations. Daniel 12:43 “But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things...” Nobody seems able to oppose him. Daniel 12:41 “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown...” But God questions him as to whom he is to boast against God. He is allowed to do this because God has ordained it, not of his own power. God reassures Israel that they should not be afraid, that while he is being allowed to smite them for a while, his yoke will be removed from their necks, and he will be lopped off like the bough of a tree can be.

Interestingly, while it is clear from Revelation that the beast hates Babylon, there are a few passages that imply that he is also out of Babylon. As Babylon was one of the heads of the beast, there is a connection between the two, even though the whore Babylon is a separate entity from the beast at the end, as she rides the back of the beast, and he hates her. We find in the following passage that the king of Babylon appears to also be the beast. Isaiah 14:3-6 “And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee (Israel) rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.” That this passage is also referring to the beast is further shown by the verses that follow those above. It speaks of Satan as being the controller of this king, and we know he reigns through the beast. Isaiah 14:9-23 “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people; the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.”

This passage brings up some very interesting problems that force us to look at what we have already hypothesized. One of the things about studying these prophecies is that you can think you have an idea of how things are going and what they are pointing to, but then you run across other verses that lead you in a new direction. While at the beginning of this study, from Genesis through Revelation, I had studied and written over the last couple of decades much of what I posted, this study of the prophets since finishing Revelation is touching on ground I had not yet gotten to really study in depth before. As such I have not had the time to research everything that I go over by comparing it to all of Scripture, so at times things may seem to point in a certain direction, and I hypothesize that that is where it is going, but then new verses shed new light which forces one to reconsider and think through those hypotheses. This is one of those cases. Clearly it can be seen that the king of Babylon is associated with Satan, and we know this would have been true as Babylon was one of the heads of the beast of Revelation. However as in Revelation it says that the beast hates the whore, who is modern Babylon, it seemed that the beast had no connection to modern Babylon as being her king. But this passage indicates otherwise. Look at what this king is called. Vs.4 “the oppressor,” vs. 5 “the staff of the wicked, and the “sceptre” of rulers. We have already seen the beast called “the staff,” and “the sceptre” implies that this king of Babylon is the ruler over other rulers. We know this will be true of the beast.The question that arises from this is, even though we saw in Ezekiel 21 that Ammon or Jordan was said to be the birthplace of the beast, is he living in America? Is he an American Muslim? Is he going to be a Muslim leader of America? I do not believe at this time that Obama is the beast, although he is our leader and regardless of what he says, he is a Muslim (you never leave the religion and live, and he was one as a boy). What people do not understand is that a Muslim can pretend not to be one if that furthers the cause of Allah. They are allowed to lie and it is not a sin, because it will allow them to do something for Allah. So conceivably, someone who is in actuality a Muslim can become the leader of this country (it has already happened.) This passage makes one have to assess that possibility, so now we have to leave the door open to that and see what we find in the rest of the Scriptures. It could be however that just as he is called by the other national names (Assyrian, Mede, Roman) it does not indicate his real nationality, but simply that he was one of the heads of the beast. It remains to be seen where this will lead.

In vs.6 we are told that this king smites the people with “continual wrath.” And in vs.12 we are told that Lucifer (Satan) has fallen from heaven. We know that in Revelation Satan comes down from heaven having great wrath aimed at first Israel, and then Christians during the tribulation. Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12: 13,17 “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. ..and the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” So this king of Babylon and Satan both have great wrath toward God and His people. Satan possesses the beast and uses him during the tribulation to kill God's servants. This is a connection between the two, both this king of Babylon (the beast) and Satan, and between this passage in Isaiah with the aforementioned in Revelation and the following in Daniel. Daniel 8:10-11 “And it waxed great (the little horn), even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the hosts, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” (The abomination of desolation). This king's wrath will be greater than any wicked leader before him. He rules the nations in anger and the kings of the earth in hell rise up to greet this greatest of all the wicked leaders.We know that the wrath of Satan through the beast will be the worst since the beginning of the world. Matthew 24:21. So by comparing all these verses, it seems that this passage about the king of Babylon is speaking about the beast or antichrist.

Then these verses in Isaiah show that this king is directly associated as having been controlled by Satan, as Satan is directly addressed as being this king. He is boastful, proud, and wants to be like the Most High. We already know that he kills God's people. These descriptions are also found in Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 12: 36 “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation (tribulation and God's wrath – notice this is the same word used in Isaiah 10:25) be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”Revelation 13:5 “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” We know that the beast boasts against and blasphemes God and so does Satan, Isaiah 14:13-14. One assumes from the way the rulers in hell mock the king of Babylon for his “pomp” and “noise of [his] thy viols” that he is also guilty of boasting even though it does not specifically say so.

Now in the same passage in Isaiah 14, we see a sudden change. In vs.21 God stops speaking about the king of Babylon and starts speaking to the nation of Babylon. This separation of the two is interesting, as He could have spoken to both at the same time if they were one in the same. It appears that the reason for separating the two is that he is speaking directly to the beast in the first part of the chapter, but then He is speaking to the whore in the last part of the chapter. This makes sense, as in the end they are not the same entity. This seems to be borne out by the fact that now the beast has a new name. He goes back to being the Assyrian. Isaiah 14:24-26 “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.” If we question that the Assyrian is the beast, after having been the king of Babylon, we are now given more clues. Isaiah 14:29 “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.” Here we see the reference to “the rod” again. And even more, we are told that this rod has come from the serpent's root. As Satan is the serpent, we know that this is referring to an “offspring” of his. And that is in fulfillment of the prophecy way back in Genesis (which is why this study originally began in Genesis.) Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The seed of woman was Yeshua. The seed of Satan is the beas,t or as more commonly known, the antichrist. What is interesting is that there is a three generation or three-fold system here. The serpent (1st person) is the root. The next generation is the cockatrice (which is a snake such as an adder) and his fruit is a fiery flying serpent. Now here we see what may be a puzzle as we only expect Satan and the beast, two people. It may (or may not) be solved by the following interpretation. Satan is of course the serpent. The cockatrice may be the human whom we know as the beast, and the fiery flying serpent may be the demon who has actually inhabited the previous seven kings, or heads, of the beast and then comes up from the abyss to inhabit the eight king, the beast himself. It may also be that the forerunner of the antichrist is the cockatrice and from his bloodline will come the antichrist. There may also be another explanation, but that would require really thinking outside the box, which is not impossible, just not something I want to indulge in here.

There are still many more references to go, but they take time to find, so this will continue on the next post.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zechariah Chapter 2

For this Bible study on references to Babylon, the last pertinent reference to Babylon in regards to the end times in the Old Testament is found here in Zechariah.

Verse 1-5 “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”

An angel appears to Zechariah. He is holding a measuring line and tells Zechariah that he is going to measure the borders of Israel. (In Ezekiel we are told what the borders of Israel will be during the millennium.) Then another angel meets up with the first and tells him to tell Zechariah that Jerusalem will one day be full of people and animals and be unwalled and safe because the Lord will be her protection in the midst of her. This is the promise that God is giving Israel.This is the kingdom during the millennium that they have been promised. A time when they will live in complete safety for the first time since becoming a nation, and God will be in their midst again, with Yeshua their Messiah on the throne.

Verse 6-9 “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord; for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.”

God has just given Israel a promise, but first He tells Israel they will have to flee from Babylon. He says he has scattered them to the four winds, but now is the time for them to deliver themselves and return to Jerusalem. But notice, they are dwelling with the “daughter” of Babylon, which as we have seen in previous verses refers not to ancient Babylon, but modern Babylon. We have already seen in Ezekiel that she is dwelling in Babylon, to be delivered from the sword that is coming upon everyone else. Now is the time when she is to run or come out of Babylon before Babylon gets what is coming to her. “After the glory” or after the glorious redemption of Israel when God redeems her from Babylon and the nations, He will punish the nations who have spoiled her. Now they who have hurt the “apple of His eye”will be spoiled or punished. Now everyone and especially Israel will see and know that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. This is clearly speaking of the Lord's return and God's wrath upon all the nations of the earth. So again we see a passage that indicates that Babylon the Whore is actually going to be a refuge for Israel in the last days. However, there is an appointed time when Israel must flee so that she does not partake of the judgment being poured out on Babylon. Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

Verse 10-13 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”

Now God goes back to the promise. He tells Israel to sing and rejoice for He will once again dwell in the midst of her. This is referencing the Lord's Second Coming. Not only Israel will worship the Lord, but all nations will be joined to the Lord during the millennium, and shall be his people. Here is a verse that shows two members of the Trinity. It says that “I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of host hath sent ME.” The Lord is sending the Lord. God the Father is sending Christ the Son. God will again reestablish His people in the holy land and will set up His throne in Jerusalem in the Temple. Now all of Israel will know and acknowledge their Messiah is Yeshua, the Savior we have all been worshiping for 2,000 years.

Notice this last verse that speaks of being silent before the Lord. We saw that in Revelation at the opening of the seventh seal. Revelation 8:1 “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. We also see a reference to it in Zephaniah 1:7 “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand.” God is going to get up off His throne and pour out His wrath on the nations, but before He does, the heavens and earth will experience a moment of silence. The calm before the storm. This chapter goes back and forth between reminding the people of the promise He made and what they have to look forward to, the wrath He will pour out on the nations, and their redemption from the nations.