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.

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