The Antichrist

Man of sin anti christs

By Kim Riddlebarger

Perhaps no subject broached by contemporary Bible prophecy teachers engenders more speculation and less sound Biblical exegesis than does the subject of Antichrist. This is certainly due to the mysterious nature of the subject itself, as well as to the fact that no other aspect of Bible prophecy lends itself so nicely to speculation regarding the identification of one specific individual who will become the very personification of evil and the archenemy of Jesus Christ and his gospel.

“Pin the tail” on the Antichrist is not merely an evangelical fascination. Indeed, such speculation has gone on almost from the beginning of Christianity. Irenaeus (130-200) argued that Antichrist would be a Jewish born, satanically inspired, usurper of God’s true glory, who would appear in the Jerusalem temple in connection with an end-times great apostasy. (1) The Protestant Reformers, of course, universally identified the papacy with the Antichrist, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1540) stating that “the papacy will also be a part of the kingdom of Antichrist if it maintains that human rites justify (XV.18).” The Westminster Confession (1647) contends that the Pope is “that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God (XXV.6).” Rome, not to be outdone, has returned the favor, contending that antichristic Protestant “heresies have swept down from the North, where Calvin, Wycliffe, Luther and legions of Protestants are ravaging the flock of Christ.” (2)

But there is no doubt that much of contemporary speculation has taken the concept of identifying the Antichrist to new extremes. One of my favorite possessions is a booklet passed on to me by my grandmother, entitled The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (1939), wherein the author attempts to demonstrate that the revived Germany under Hitler in the pre-World War II years is the supposed last-days ten-nation confederacy predicted in Revelation 13. Of course, the author very deftly demonstrates how Mussolini is the false prophet and how Italian imperialism in Ethiopia is proof that Rome is the great harlot of Revelation 18 and compatriot of the German beast. I can still remember the fear instilled in me as a child, when I heard, one preacher declare that Antichrist was then living somewhere in the Middle East, probably still a child playing stickball in some crowded dusty street, awaiting the day when he would be possessed by the devil and allowed to wreck havoc on the world after the rapture. Continue reading

What stone Temple ? Jesus, is the True Temple !

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Jesus, the True Temple

By Kim Riddlebarger 

When Jesus declared of himself, “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here,” (Matthew 12:6) and when he told a Samaritan woman that he can give her “living water” (John 4:10-14), we are given a major clue that the authors of the New Testament have reinterpreted the pre-messianic understanding of God’s temple in the light of the coming of Jesus, Israel’s Messiah.

When we consider the fact that the temple occupies a major role in the witness of Israel’s prophets regarding God’s future eschatological blessing for the nation, and that this imagery points forward to person of Jesus, we are greatly aided in our understanding of the nature and character of the millennial age as a present reality.

We begin with the Old Testament expectation regarding the temple of the Lord.  Both Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-5, speak of God’s future blessing upon Israel in the last days, when God’s people will go up to mountain of the Lord, and to the temple, where God’s people will once again learn the ways of the Lord. Continue reading

POLL: Who is the Antichrist?

 by Grant Swart

Speculation regarding antichrist, different antichrists and the Antichrist has always been rife. Discussion regarding the identity of the Antichrist has certainly not been limited to Christian circles, but is also the topic of countless conversations among non-believers throughout much of the world. A plethora of movies, books and even TV and computer games have been produced, which have portrayed the Antichrist in many different guises. It is a topic which has been the catalyst for many to employ overly-dramatized imagery, much poetic license and vivid imaginations.

The virtual or internet realm has brought an added dimension to the world’s fascination with Antichrist, some even believing that it will be through the medium of the internet that Antichrist will gain eventual control of our armies, finances, natural resources and the minds of people. Much of this has served, in large degree, to add even more speculation and undeserved mystery to the prophesied events surrounding the coming Antichrist. Even to the extent that the personality of Antichrist has been glorified and portrayed as being “an interesting and not really such a bad guy”, or simply someone who will be unfairly persecuted or demonized by Christians for their own ideals.

More often than not, popular secular adaptation of perceived coming events, portrays Antichrist as a perfect-looking Continue reading

The History of Dispensationalism

“My brother, I am a constant reader of my Bible, and I soon found that what I was taught to believe did not always agree with what my Bible said. I came to see that I must either part company with John Darby, or my precious Bible, and I chose to cling to my Bible and part from Mr. Darby.” George Müeller (1805–1898)

I am quite convinced that all the promises to Israél are found, are finding and will find their perfect fulfilment in the Church. It is true that in time past, in my expositions, I gave a definite place to Israél in the purposes of God. I have now come to the conviction, as I have just said, that it is, the new and spiritual Israél that is intended. G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)

Dispensationalism is a device of the enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to “make the Bible a new book” by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation. A. W. Pink(1886-1952)

It is mortifying to remember that I not only held and taught these novelties myself, but that I even enjoyed a complacent sense of superiority because thereof, and regarded with feelings of pity and contempt those who had not received the “new light” and were unacquainted with this up-to-date method of “rightly dividing the word of truth.” For I fully believed what an advertising circular says in presenting “Twelve Reasons why you should use THE SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE,” namely, that: “First, the Scofield Bible outlines the Scriptures from the standpoint of DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH, and there can be no adequate understanding or rightly dividing of the Word of God except from the standpoint of dispensational truth.”

What a slur is this upon the spiritual understanding of the ten thousands of men, “mighty in the Scriptures,” whom God gave as teachers to His people during all the Christian centuries before “dispensational truth” (or dispensational error), was discovered! And what an affront to the thousands of men of God of our own day, workmen that need not to be ashamed, who have never accepted the newly invented system! Yet I was among those who eagerly embraced it (upon human authority solely, for there is none other) and who earnestly pressed it upon my fellow Christians. I am deeply thankful, however, that the time came (it was just ten years ago) when the inconsistencies and self contradictions of the system itself, and above all, the impossibility of reconciling its main positions with the plain statements of the Word of God, became so glaringly evident that I could not do otherwise than renounce it. Philip Mauro (1859-1952) Continue reading

His Number is 666

“His Number is 666”
By Kim Riddlebarger ~ Sermons on the Book of Revelation # 20
Texts: Revelation 13:11-18; Daniel 8:15-26

There is no subject–with the possible exception of the unpardonable sin–which has caused as much consternation for the people of God as has the so-called “mark of the beast.” John pointedly warns his hearers against taking such a mark on the back of the hand or the forehead. He also tells us that anyone who takes such a mark swears allegiance to the beast. This has given Christians throughout the ages a healthy suspicion of any government which persecutes the church or hinders the preaching of the gospel. It has lead to a number of questions in our own day about advancing technology and increasing government control over many areas of our personal lives. Such a warning from an apostle creates a climate in which sensational predictions and warnings about political events and technology are the norm. So we must do our best to bring clarity to this most difficult and controversial of subjects.

In past sermons, we have been working our way through Revelation 12-14 in which John introduces his reader to seven of the main characters in the great drama of redemption. Like the seal judgments of Revelation 6-8:1 and the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8-11, the vision recorded in Revelation 12-14 describes the entire period of time between the first advent and the second coming of Christ from a distinct theological perspective (or “camera” angle as we have been calling it). In this section of Revelation, John gives us a vivid description of the struggle between the people of God and our great adversary, Satan, who has been cast down from heaven to earth where he now seeks to wage war upon the church of Jesus Christ through the agency of his henchmen, the beast and the false prophet. Continue reading

A Present or Future Millennium?

by Kim Riddlebarger

Most American Evangelicals are firmly committed to the idea that an earthly millennial age will begin immediately after our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Advent. Since premillennialism is so dominant in American church circles, many who encounter historic Protestantism for the first time are quite surprised when they discover that all of the Protestant Reformers and the entire Reformed and Lutheran traditions are amillennial. Amillennialism is that understanding of eschatology which sees the millennium not as a future golden age as does premillennialism (the age of the church triumphant), but instead as the present course of history between the First and Second Advent’s of our Lord (the age of the church militant). And indeed, I am sure that there are many readers who will express shock and disappointment upon learning of my own amillennial convictions. But I am convinced, however, that many readers simply do not understand the basic end-times scenario found in the New Testament. Part of the problem is that dispensational premillennial writers have completely dominated Christian media and publishing. There are literally hundreds of books, churches, and parachurch ministries all devoted to taking premillennialism and the “pretribulation” rapture idea to the masses. And so, I can only lament the fact that my own tradition has done so little to produce popular books introducing and defending amillennialism. It is my guess that many who read this article will have never heard the case for the classical position held by the church regarding the return of Christ and the millennial age.

Another problem encountered when examining this subject is that discussions of it often generate a great deal of heat but not very much light. One local prophecy pundit has quipped that the people in heaven with the lowest IQs will be amillennial. Hal “Late Great” Lindsey goes so far as to label amillennialism as “anti-Semitic,” demonic and heretical.1 It is not uncommon to hear prophecy teachers label amillennial Christians as “liberal” or to accuse them of not taking the Bible literally. The result of such diatribes is that American Christians cannot help but be prejudiced by such unfortunate comments, and many simply reject outright (without due consideration of the other side) the eschatology of the Reformers and classical Protestantism-an eschatology that is amazingly simple, biblical, and Christ centered. And so, if you should be in that camp, instead of simply turning me off at this point, please bear with me, hear my case, and then decide for yourself on the basis of Scripture. Continue reading

Will the Antichrist Be a Muslim Cleric?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott

An Evangelical author predicts this. Does his theory stand up to Scripture?

The Islamic Antichrist?

A recently-published book titled The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast (WorldNetDaily Books) predicts that the Biblical Antichrist will be a Muslim cleric named Imam al-Mahdi, the “Guided One”.

The book has been hailed as “ground-breaking” and “convincing” by such noted anti-Islamic spokemen as Dr. Tom White, Executive Director of Voice of the Martyrs; Robert Spencer, Director of Jihadwatch; and Dr. Ergun Caner, former president of Liberty Theological Seminary at Liberty University. (Caner was ousted in 2010 for making false statements about his upbringing as a Muslim, and is now Provost and Vice President of Academics at Arlington Baptist College in Texas.)

The Islamic Antichrist book is an updated version of Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah by the same author (Winepress Publishing, 2006). Although his picture appears on the dust jacket, the author says that he uses the pseudonym “Joel Richardson” because of fears of Muslim reprisal on himself and his family.

A Faulty Claim Continue reading