Everyone wants to know everything yesterday. We even want to know about tomorrow – yesterday.
Questions about the Antichrist fill my mailbox – Is he alive? What is his name? Where will he be born? Is it (fill in the blank with anyone’s name)?
This column will concentrate on how the Antichrist comes to world dominance.
The Antichrist will rise to power through the aftermath of an invasion of Israel. Suppose you think the Middle East is a hotbed with Israel at the center of all the tension. In that case, you are right, but what the Bible says will happen will make what has already happened look like a playground fight between second graders.
Psalm 83 records an invasion of Israel. Some scholars believe this battle has already taken place. Others believe it is the same as the invasion of Ezekiel 38-39. The problem with these interpretations is: in thinking that fulfillment of the passage has already taken place – the prophecy states that fire destroys the participants in the attack (Psalm 83:14-15). The nations involved: Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan are still here. This destruction by fire of Israel’s enemies is also prophesied in Amos chapters one and two.
As far as Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 being the same invasion, there is a huge problem. Not one single invader is in both passages. It appears highly likely that the destruction by fire of Psalms occurs before the passage in Ezekiel.
The invasion party of Psalm 83 all border Israel; the Ezekiel armies are from beyond those nations. It is not a far stretch to see that if troops march through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan headed toward Israel, these nations, or at least people within these nations, would join in the attack. Therefore, it is highly likely Psalm 83 and the destruction by fire prophesied there of these neighboring nations have taken place before Ezekiel 38 rolls around.
Following is a list of the invasion party (Psalm 83:6-8).
Biblical Name (Current Name)
Tabernacles of Edom (Palestinians).
Moab (Central Jordan).
Hagarenes (A Clan of the Ishmaelites).
Gebal (City of Byblos in Lebanon).
Ammon (Northern Jordan).
Amalek (Southern Jordan into The Negev Desert down into the Sinai).
Tyre (City in Lebanon).
Assur (Syria and Western Iraq).
Children of Lot (Central and Northern Jordan).
Israel is attacked by all her bordering neighbors (except Egypt) and from within her borders from the areas of land currently occupied by the Palestinians and the desert. Although there is no mention of Lebanon directly, the passage lists two Lebanese cities in the attack. Hizballah is headquartered in Lebanon and has a strong influence in the cities listed in Psalm 83. With or without official government sanctioning, armies crossing the border from cities within Lebanon into Israel is part of the prophecy.
As earlier stated, Psalm 83 and Amos 1-2 prophecies of the invaders’ fiery destruction. However, Amos 2:5 also mentions “the palaces of Jerusalem” being devoured by fire.
Most likely scenario – Israel is surprised by an invasion over her borders and simultaneously by an uprising of Palestinians and terrorist groups within Israel. This attack is well planned and coordinated (Psalm 83:4-5).
The palaces of Jerusalem, most likely a reference to the Israeli government, are destroyed. The enemy is overrunning Israeli, and the government is gone. Someone on the battlefield makes the call to launch the Samson option (from Samson in the Bible, if you will die, take as much of your enemy to the grave with you) and releases the nukes. In an instant, the battle is over. Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan all lie in ashes. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of casualties. Isaiah 17 talks about the destruction of Damascus, Syria, which takes place during this battle. Isaiah 17:14 tells us the conflict starts around sunset and is over before morning.
When the sun rises in the Middle East, the world realized the one thing everyone was afraid of but never thought would happen has happened. The thought of mustering the troops and joining the fight is not an option for other nations because there is no one left to fight. The armies of all involved are gone. There is nothing left but death and destruction, nuclear fallout, and innocent civilians needing food, clothing, and shelter immediately.
Step in the Antichrist. Someone must fix this; someone will look like a miracle worker. As most nations blame Israel for using weapons of mass destruction, a few will blame the invaders for the surprise attack and taking Israel to the point of no return.
The Antichrist will organize a treaty with many nations concerning the city of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27). In this treaty, the Antichrist promises protection to Israel. Protecting Israel is God’s job and signing this treaty is what the Scripture calls the “covenant with death” and an agreement “with hell” (Isaiah 28:15-18.)
Too long to discuss here, but it does appear from Scripture that Israel will increase her borders to include the nations that invade her in this battle. If you are thinking, “The world will never agree to the expansion of Israel’s borders, especially after she has destroyed her neighbors,” you are getting the point. The Antichrist will be a miracle worker, literally and politically. The world will eventually worship him (Revelation 13:8), but at first, there will be some resistance; that is where Ezekiel 38 comes into play.
After the sixth seal, which is also the battle of Ezekiel 38, the Antichrist gains control of the world’s governments. There will still be borders, but the nations will unite behind this man. He will turn his back on the Jews, issue a death penalty for those who refuse to receive the identification mark necessary to buy and sell.
At that point, the world is at the halfway point of the Tribulation, God ramps up His judgments upon the earth, and destruction like the world has never seen occurs.
At the end of the seven years, Christ returns at the battle of Armageddon, casting the Antichrist and the false prophet into the lake of fire and starts His one-thousand-year reign on earth.
Jesus is coming back, and all will be well, but in the meantime, the Antichrist will rise.
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With houses of worship currently closed or restricted across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com