ANTICHRIST - KING OF BABYLON
Lately there has been many fictional books written and movies produced depicting the last days of the earth as we know it. Some of these books and movies are very popular and are interesting to read or view. The authors of these productions have done a good job of showing how things may occur. The key word is Ďmayí. We must remember that any scenario of the last days is a guess and includes a lot of interpretation of the scriptures. One thing that bothers me is that many believers are treating these productions as scripture in the sense that the authorís interpretations of the end time scriptures must be correct. I have had conversations with individuals when discussing end time scriptures, and they will use the same scenarios that are presented in the current books and movies. When I asked what scriptural basis those conclusions are arrived at, they could not tell me. Iím not saying that the authorís interpretations are wrong but we should know what the actual scripture says about a subject and the rest is guess work. For instance, the phrase Ďkings of the eastí is mentioned in the book of Revelation. Interpretation is that this might be China. If you ask most believers who the Ďkings of the eastí are, they will say it is China because the books and movies have told them so. This could be China but the fact is we donít know. We are only guessing. The Ďkings of the eastí could be the supernatural army mentioned in the book of Joel. Another case is the rise of the old Roman Empire. Authors have interpreted the beast of Revelation and its ten horns as revival of the old Roman Empire. This revived European confederation will have only 10 members as indicated by the ten horns. Again believers for years have believed this. The problem now is that there are 15 members and not 10. Soon there may be as many as 28 members in the European Union. Perhaps this European Union will drop to ten members in the future but meanwhile we look silly to the rest of the world with our interpretations. What is important here is to know the scripture. When God begins to reveal his last day scenarios, we will be more prepared to recognize them. When communicating the end time events to others we need to present the scriptures and then reveal possible interpretations of that scripture if needed. Interpretations should never be presented as fact unless the scripture is absolutely clear about it.
The last case in point are teachings concerning the Antichrist. I have heard so many strange ideas concerning this man that I feel it is important to review the scriptures and offer some interpretations about him. Hopefully, this teaching will help prepare us to teach others and to offer a good scriptural basis of who this person is and what he will do in the last days. Solid Biblical knowledge of Godís word can only serve to prevent deception when the man of deception comes on the scene. Personally, I believe that all those that who are looking for and loving the appearing of our Lord and Saviour will not be here. Nonetheless, a good scriptural basis about the Antichrist can only help avoid false and wild accusations as well as increase our wisdom of Godís word.
There are many scriptures in the Bible that describe an evil character who forces his will upon the world in the last days. It canít be said that all of these scriptures are the same man for it is possible that more than one evil man may be involved in Godís plan. Certainly there are places in scripture where God begins by referring to a particular person in the present such as a Babylonian or an Assyrian King but the scripture takes a turn and reveals information about the last days. God is now talking about a different person. There are many places in scripture that this is done. The scripture has an expanded time frame from the present to the future and may include a double meaning. The Lord may go from speaking of Sennacherib the Assyrian king and his judgment to speaking of the last days tyrant yet to come and his judgment. This of course makes it more difficult to understand the last day scenarios. But I believe God has done this so that he can reveal the scriptures that have been blocked from human mind until he is ready to make it known.
To begin, lets look at different names that may refer to the Antichrist.
A. King of Babylon in Isaiah 14
B. Prince of Tyrus in Ezekial 28
C. Little horn in Daniel
D. Son of Perdition in 2 Thessalonians
E. Antichrist of 1 John
F. Beast out of bottomless pit in Revelation
King of Babylon
In Isaiah 14, the Lord appears to be talking about three different possible characters; the ancient king of Babylon, Lucifer, and the last days ruler also known as the king of Babylon. Lets look at the scriptures. Beginning with verse one, we see that the scripture is talking about the last days. "For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob." In verse three, the LORD says, "Öin the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear." This is talking about the reign of the Messiah. In verse four, God tells his people to take up a proverb against the king of Babylon who will oppress them. This king of Babylon had smote the people in wrath and ruled the nations in anger (verse 6) and now he is persecuted. Because he has been removed, the whole earth is at rest and is quiet (verse 7). Verse 8 says this, "Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us." This leaves no doubt that this evil ruler will be the last one to torment Israel. Hell is stirred up to meet this man. Spirits of the dead will wait to meet him. This is different from what the book of Revelation says concerning the last world ruler. The beast will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20) immediately after his destruction. The hell described for the king of Babylon is the word Sheol, which is not the lake of fire. So there appears to be a contradiction here in the judgment the Antichrist. However, we know that the word of God is correct. It is our own understanding that is lacking.
The spirits in hell will call out to the king of Babylon and say, "Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou also become like unto us (verse 10)?" This ruler is brought low and harassed by others in hell. His arrogancy and pride is brought down and the worms (maggots) will spread over his body (verse 11). This verse tells us that the last dayís ruler will be a man with a physical body subject to decay. However, in a later teaching, I will show how the scriptures may indicate that the Beast of Revelation may not have a physical body subject to decay. We must remember that we are dealing with physical and spiritual matters here and it is easy to mix the two.
In verse 12 the thought process takes a different turn. We are now talking about someone named Lucifer. Lucifer means morning star which is a term for the Messiah (Rev 22:16) and/or the angels of God (Job 38:7). Lucifer can also mean light bearer. Many commentators say that this scripture describes Satan. It appears that the LORD jumps from talking about the king of Babylon to discussing Satan. This Lucifer has fallen from heaven to the earth which weakened the nations (verse 12), which could correspond to Revelation 12:9 where the Dragon is cast to the earth. What was the reason Lucifer was cast out of heaven? It was because he was prideful and sought to ascend into heaven and exalt himself above the stars of God. He wanted to be equal with God and sit upon the mount of the congregation where Godís throne was (verse 13 and 14).
Now having said that. I will give another possibility to be considered. And that is that Lucifer is not Satan, but another name of the king of Babylon. Here is my reasoning.
Godís representation of heaven is the temple and in particular the Holy of Holies. So when one enters the Holy of Holies, he in a sense is entering heaven. To sit on the seat of the Ark of the Covenant or of some similitude is to sit on the throne of God and one will place himself above the stars (angels) of God. Another reason for this reasoning is the other scriptures that indicate a similar situation. For instance, in Daniel chapter 11 we have a vile ruler who comes and defiles the temple of God with what is known as the abomination of desolation that Jesus spoke of. This ruler also will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and speak marvelous things against God. It is certainly possible that this man will proclaim himself as God just as Lucifer did. This ruler is none other than the little horn, a king of fierce countenance (Daniel 8). This little horn also tramped down the stars of God. IIThessalonians tells us of another individual who also does the same thing. This is the son of perdition. Verse 4 of IIThessalonians says, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." In Ezekiel 28 we see a pronouncement against the prince of Tyrus. Verse 2 says, "thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said , I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God." Thus we have four individuals; Lucifer, the prince of Tyrus, Danielís little horn, and the son of perdition who has or will sit on the throne of God. More than likely they are one and the same individual who is yet to come, the Antichrist.
Of course there is another point to consider and that is that each of these individuals did or will exist and each was processed of Satan himself. Remember that I am not drawing any final conclusions but offering a wide area of information that hopefully will increase our knowledge of the word of God.
Isaiah 14 is the chapter many Bible scholars have used to explain Satanís fall and what his sin was, and that was wanting to be as God. If Lucifer is not Satan then his sin may not have been desiring to be God but something else. I will discuss this more when we get to the King of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28.
We have learned about the King of Babylon and how he attempts to sit on the throne of God. Beginning at verse 15 of Isaiah 14 we now see his judgment from God. "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." The word for hell in Hebrew is Sheol which means the abode of the dead, grave, pit, which is interpreted hell. The term "sides of the pit" is also interpreted as innermost, or deepest part of the pit. Instead of a heavenly realm he had hoped for, this king of Babylon has a special place for him in hell. Can this be in reference to any of the past kings of Babylon? Perhaps, but even Nebuchadnezzar believed in the Lord, so this is probably talking about a future king yet to come.
In verse 16 and 17 we see those in hell making light of this king: "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?" Whomever this king is, he destroys the world and now he is seen as a just a pathetic individual. This scripture tells us that this king is just a man.
Verses 18-20 tell us that this kingís body will not be given a kings burial. His body will be thrown into a pit full of other bodies. No honor will be given him. He will be hated. He is accused of destroying his own people and land. The phrase "the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned" is translated in other versions of the Bible as "The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again." This gives us a clue that all wickedness will be removed from earth after this fellow.
Verses 21 and 22 tell us that all of his children will also be killed so that none may rule or build cities again. Verse 23 mentions the complete destruction of Babylon. Now this did happen to the ancient city of Babylon and we can expect it to happen again to a future city of Babylon wherever that may be.
Looking at verses 24 and 25, we see new information coming forth about one called the Assyrian. Some Bibles have a subtitle called ĎAgainst Assyriaí before verse 24. This is an add on title and not part of the scriptures. We are on the same thought here and that is the king of Babylon. This king is also an Assyrian. In Isaiah 23:13 we learn that ancient Babylon was founded by the Assyrians. "Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them". God is now, in verse 25 of Isaiah 14, calling the king of Babylon an Assyrian. "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."
Letís look at some other scriptures about this Assyrian.
Isaiah 30:31-33 says "For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. 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."
The ancient Assyrians had conquered northern Israel and Hezekiah had defeated the Assyrian when they entered Judah. Hezekiah had witnessed an angel of the LORD destroy 185,000 Assyrian by a miracle. However, the Assyrian of Isaiah 30 is destroyed but the voice of the LORD. This is similar how Jesus will destroy the beast of Revelation and that is through is mouth. The destruction of the Assyrian will be accompanied with music of tambourines and harps. There must be a great celebration in the destruction of this Assyrian.
Verse 31 of Isaiah 30 mentions a place called Tophet. Tophet means: unseaonable, it is a place of terrible judgment. It was a place created long ago. It is deep, large, and full of fire that does not go out. The breathe of the LORD kindles it. It is none other than the lake of fire. This Assyrian will be thrown into the lake of fire just like the beast of Revelation after his destruction by Jesus. Can they be one and the same person? We must remember that there will be more than one bad guy in the last days. We have yet to see the seventh head of the seven headed beast and the eight horn who arises out of the bottomless pit. The eight horn is more than likely an angel or the resurrection of a previous mortal. More about that later.
Tophet was also known as a place of cremation near Jerusalem. It was a place where sacrifices were offered to the god Moloch. It became a dump area during the time of Jesus where the fire never goes out and the worm never ceases. This was also known as gehenna.
Letís turn to Isaiah 31:8. Here we learn that the Assyrian will be destroyed not by the sword of man but by God. Although the Assyrians were defeated in Judah by the hand of God, the empire itself was destroyed by the Babylonians. So this scripture is yet to be fulfilled.
In the next chapter of Isaiah it begins by speaking of the Messianic rule of our Lord in Israel. This will occur after the destruction of the Assyrian in the last days. In Micah 5:5, the scriptures speak again of the Messianic rule and how they will no longer fear the Assyrian. During this Messianic age certain chosen Israelites will waste the land of Assyria and the land of Nimrod (which is in Babylon). See the tie again between Assyrian and Babylon.