Friday, May 13, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.6

In looking for Old Testament references to the beast of Revelation we find that the next reference comes in Jeremiah 15:5-9 “For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? Or who shall bemoan thee? Or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways. Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city. She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord.”

In this passage God seems to be initially speaking to Israel when He addresses this to Jerusalem. He is asking who will have pity on them or moan over their pains. This is exactly the attitude of the world that we find today against Jerusalem. While they are fighting to merely exist, the world blames them for all the ills of the Middle East. They take all kinds of abuse from their neighbors and they are told to not fight back. That somehow they deserve it. Nobody seems to understand that they are merely trying to survive and live their lives. The world has always treated them as outcasts. This is because they are God's chosen people. It is amazing that the fact that this one group of people is hated by all nations does not strike everyone as being unusual. Have they ever asked themselves why that is? There is no reason for it, except for the fact that they are the chosen race by the one and only true God. Now God is telling them that not only are the nations against them, He Himself is tired of them. They have been turning their backs on Him for generations and forsaking the ways that He has taught them. So now he is going to destroy them Himself. He will fan them as wind fans the chaff of the wheat. He will kill their children and widow all their women. He is going to bring a spoiler at noonday. We have seen the word “spoiler” before and we will see it again. It is a reference to the beast of Revelation. This time we are given a time frame. It says he will come at noonday. Is this a reference to 12:00 noon? Well, it is possible that is when he will declare himself God, but I think this is a more metaphorical reference. Noonday is the middle of the day. When we consider the 70th week of Daniel, it is a the middle of the week, or if one were to compare the seven year period to a day, it would be at the middle of the day or noonday, when the beast declares himself God. We know that his terror will come suddenly from the passage in Matthew 24 which tells them to get out of town without even stopping to grab a coat, as they will have to run that fast to escape. So we see another clear reference to the beast as the spoiler and another oblique reference to the abomination of desolation.

Now we see an even more interesting reference. The mother who has borne seven will languish or waste away. Who is this mother of seven? Where do we see seven “children” mentioned in the Scriptures. I believe this is a reference to the Church, the seven churches of Revelation which represent all of Christendom. We see in this passage another Old Testament reference to the Church having to go through the Tribulation. When the spoiler comes down upon Jerusalem at noonday or the middle of the 70th week, the mother of the seven, or the Church, will also waste away. She will give up the ghost, or die. Most of the saints will be killed as told us in Revelation 12:17 “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” and Daniel 7:21, 25 “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them......And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High....” We are those saints and the seed being spoken of in these passages. There is no pre-tribulation rapture to remove people from this wrath of Satan. It says that her sun has gone down while it was yet day. We have been told to gather the harvest while the sun shines, in other words, to bring people to the Lord while we still can. But the sun has gone down on the Church. She is already in great apostasy, and we are not bringing sheep into the fold. The false teachers and prophets are leading people away from the Lord, not to Him. While I am totally against the false teachings of the false prophet Harold Camping, he is right in the respect that Satan has infiltrated the churches and has introduced doctrines of demons into their theologies. Just like the Laodiceans, Christ stands outside their doors knocking to be let back in. They have virtually kicked him out. These big mega churches are introducing New Age beliefs faster than one can keep up. She is ashamed and confounded, or will be when she finds herself in the Great Tribulation, which she is so certain she is going to escape, because God loves her. Well, He loves Israel too. That has not stopped Him from punishing her for her sins. The Churches residue, those of her last generation who are alive when all of this comes, will be handed over to the sword.

So what hope does the Church have? The Church Universal does not have hope of escape unless they repent, which does not seem to be what is going to happen according to Scripture. We do know, however, what is said to the church of Philadelphia. This church represents the remnant Church that will be spared because of their faithfulness, and of holding to the truth of the Word of God, plus knowing they must patiently endure all that is yet to come. But here in Jeremiah we also find some hope. In verse 11 it says, “The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.” How the Lord will do it is unknown, but the Lord will see to it that the remnant will be treated well at the time of evil and affliction, or during the Tribulation. The question for all of us is, do we qualify as the remnant? The remnant must be faithful in all ways, including keep the Commandments, and I do mean all ten of them, the fourth included. We must know God's Word, and keep the truth and promises contained in it. God says that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee...” Hosea 4:6. It is not knowing God's Word that has led people to follow false prophets such as Harold Camping or Charles Russell (founder of Jehovah's Witnesses) or Ellen White (founder of 7th Day Adventists), or the multitude of other false prophets. People lack discernment and do not take God's Word literally and as meaning what He says. It is this lack of knowledge that causes their destruction. They believe the lies they are told and are deceived. We who study God's Word as literal and without the input of man's traditions and allegorical interpretations have hope of escape. Yeshua told us to pray that we might escape that which lies ahead. Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” There is a way of escape, not through a pre-tribulation rapture, but by being faithful to the Lord, keeping His Commandments, knowing His Word, and praying that we might be counted worthy to escape. People do not bothering learning this, as they want the easy way out. They just want to be a Christian, living however they please, but yet escape the punishment for their sins. It is not going to happen. God has said that He will start His judgment with the Church to refine them. 1 Peter 4:17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” How is it that Christians are missing this verse and thinking that they do not have to come under judgment? We are told we will be put through the fire. Daniel 11:33,35 “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity; and by spoil, many days....And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

I encourage any readers to get into their Bibles and understand what is required of them to be part of that remnant that will actually see the rapture.

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