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.

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