Monday, March 4, 2013
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV).
The recent resignation of Benedict XVI as pope is being greatly discussed within “Christian” circles in light of eschatology. Are we seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled today, or is this simply the (usual) failure to “rightly divide the word of truth?”
Firstly, why is the antichrist in Scripture?
2. To deal with the nation Israel: to separate the believing Jews from the unbelieving Jews.
Most Jews today are lost, spiritually blinded, and ignorant of Jesus Christ: they reject the New Testament Scriptures, so they are still waiting for their Messiah to come (the first time) as promised in the Old Testament Scriptures. Israel has already rejected the authentic Messiah (the Lord Jesus) as fraudulent; in the future, the antichrist (the counterfeit Messiah) will come, and ironically, Israel will accept him as genuine. Jesus Christ warned Israel: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). Jesus is referring to the antichrist!
As in biblical times, the nation Israel today still longs for peace in her Promised Land, for the Arabs, the Palestinians, and their sympathizers still relentlessly hassle her, hoping to “drive [her] into the sea” and possess her God-given land (Psalm 83:1-18). The Jews long for their Messiah to come and rescue them, and usher in that peaceful kingdom promised by the Old Testament prophets so long ago.
One day, the antichrist will come “peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries… and such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21,32). The smooth-talking, double-talking antichrist will promise Israel a peace treaty, just like the Old Testament spoke of (Jesus) Christ’s peaceful kingdom. “He [the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27). Halfway through that seven-year Tribulation period, the antichrist will betray Israel’s trust, and he will side with Israel’s enemies by killing those (believing Jews) who refuse to worship him as God (Revelation 13:5-10,15; Revelation 17:12-14). This persecution will sort believing Jews from unbelieving Jews.