The Antichrist, Pt. 3

Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned, because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, friends, and welcome again to Bible Talk. I'm John Bradshaw, and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. I had been waiting with anticipation to get back to this program because we left off at a very interesting point last time, talking about the Antichrist. You outlined several identifying characteristics of the Antichrist right from the Bible. You kind of left me and our listeners hanging as to who is the Antichrist.

John: You know, this is an important subject. Some people would have you think it's not really vital, you don't need to understand it. You don't need to study this thing at all. But you just take a look in Revelation 14, the Bible says in the last days, there'll be this prophetic beast. It will have a mark. Anyone who receives the mark of the beast cannot possibly be saved. This is a subject of the utmost importance.

Gary: In fact, there in Revelation 13, it's probably one of the strongest warnings found in all the Bible. It says, "Those who follow the beast, receive its mark or worship the image to the beast will receive the unmitigated wrath of God."

John: In fact, I think, that's the sternest warning message you're going to find in all of Sacred Scripture. So the question is, who is this beast? How do we understand what it is? I think, many people are pretty common with what the generally accepted view is today.

Gary: Now, you showed us last time that the generally accepted view really isn't biblical. I was taught as I became a Christian that the Antichrist would be a single individual in the last days who would be anti-Christian. It would attack and persecute the Christians and would be a Jew, and all sorts of things. Maybe we can come back to that in more detail, but you really kind of ripped that to shreds. You took us to Daniel 7, and showed that the little horn, which is the Antichrist, is really not a single individual at all.

John: Yes. I would encourage anyone to try, for a moment, to let go of anything that isn't biblical, and cling to everything that is biblical. What you discover when you get into Daniel, Chapter 7, is that the Bible lays down a foundation that should you stand on it, that you're going to be sought. Listen, it says in Daniel 7, Daniel had a dream. He saw four beasts. He goes on and tells us what these beasts are. Daniel 7:17, "The four great beasts are four kings." Verse 23 makes it even clearer, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth..."

Gary: "... Kingdom."

John: OK. So, take that. A beast in Bible prophecy represents a?

Gary: A kingdom.

John: Right. Now, don't take that too far, just because the lion there represents the kingdom of Babylon. It doesn't mean, every time in the Bible, you read about a lion, it's dealing with the kingdom of Babylon. But, in prophecy, this is a symbol of beast that represents a nation. So this is within the realm of prophecy now.

Gary: OK. So now, how does that tie to the Antichrist?

John: Well, we look at the fourth beast, which was the Roman Empire. The Bible says it had ten horns, corresponding, interestingly enough, to the toes on the statue, the image in Daniel, Chapter 2. See, the Roman Empire would divide up into 10 nations, and then the Bible says, "The little horn would come up out of one of those nations." Remember that?

Gary: That's right. We saw last time that it came up out of the fourth beast, which was Rome, and so has its roots in Rome.

John: That's right. I wonder whether we should take a moment and run through those identification points.

Gary: Let's do that, let's do it quickly. Then let's come back and see, historically, how this has been interpreted by different interpreters through time.

John: OK. Now, understand, we're going to take this identification points from Daniel, Chapter 7, Verses 8, 24, and 25. We'd done it already on Bible Talk, and so...

Gary: Now, you mean Daniel 7:24 and 25?

John: What did I say?

Gary: You said Daniel 8.

John: I just said that to see if you were listening.

Gary: OK. I'm awake.

John: Very good! Thank you. See, that's why I have you here, Gary, to keep me strike.

Gary: All right. So, Daniel 7, Verses 24 and 25.

John: Yes, thank you very much. Chapter 7, Verses 8, 24, and 25. So, you can go there and read that passage. OK. We found out that this little horn - well, it would be little. It would rise up after the other 10 horns, meaning that it would rise after the year 538 A.D.

Gary: Because that's when Rome fell and was divided into these 10 nations of Western Europe. It comes up after Rome fell, obviously.

John: Right. The 10th nation, or the last of those nations, was set up in 476. Rome would come along after then. It would destroy three of those 10 horns. It would rise in Western Europe. That's very important. So we've got a time factor, we've got a geographical location. It would be different from the other nations somehow. In it would be eyes like the eyes of a man. We've said that we think that means that there would be a man at the head of this thing.

Gary: Who sees for it?

John: Sure. That's a good way to put it. It would speak great words against God. As a matter of fact, over in Revelation, Chapter 13, it flat out says, "Great words and blasphemies." This is a blaspheming power. It persecutes the people of God, wears out the saints of the most high. It would think to change times and laws. Then, it would rain for a time times and half a time. Compare that with Revelation 12, and you find right there, it gives that time period in two different ways. Time times and the dividing of time and 1260 days.

Gary: Now, what does that mean? Isn't that the three-and-a-half year period that the Antichrist reigns like the first part of the Tribulation or the second part of the Tribulation?

John: I can see we're going to have to do a study sometimes soon on that whole Tribulation subject. It says in Revelation 12, "Would rule," that's how long it would rule, you see. Then, when you look at prophecy, you'll say, "OK, the beast represents a kingdom. The horns are nations," and so on. What does these days represent? It's a well-established principle of prophetic interpretation that in Bible prophecy, a day equals a year.

Gary: It's like when you look at a map then, on a map, one inch equals so many miles.

John: Sure, quite right.

Gary: So in symbolic prophesy the time is symbolic of a day equals a year.

John: That's right. So 1260 days would therefore be 1260...

Gary: Years.

John: Now, just in case someone is saying, now that's new to me...

Gary: Well, it really isn't new because I remember this when you study the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.

John: Exactly.

Gary: Everybody takes that as the day for a year because you come up with 490 years, seven days to a week times 70 weeks, 490 days and everybody applies that because it's focusing on Jesus, 490 years.

John: And everyone you know takes that 70th week and says that's the seven years of tribulation because the days in that week represent a year.

Gary: Yes, that's right.

John: So let's be consistent now. Twelve hundred and sixty days, that would be 1260 years. So there are the... Well, there's 10 identification marks.

Gary: In fact I wrote them all down. And so, I'm getting a picture here. It's a little kingdom starts out little but it really grows large. It comes up after 476 A.D. So it's right after Rome falls. As it comes up it takes out three kingdoms. Now, do those three kingdoms not exist today?

John: They don't exist and history anchors them as being the Heruli, the Ostrogoths and another kingdom known as the Vandals and they're gone.

Gary: And why don't they exist any more?

John: Because this little horn utterly destroyed them. History shows that what took place was, when the little horn came into some sort of prominence, these three nations disagreed with their doctrine. And so the little horn...

Gary: It was religiously based.

John: Yeah, that's right. That's another interesting thing about this. When you look at this, you've got to come to the conclusion that it is a thing of a religious orientation. It's persecuting God's people, changing times and laws. It was, what was that other one?

Gary: Speaks blasphemy and claims to be God.

John: Blasphemy, that's right.

Gary: So that's what makes it the different kingdom than the other kingdoms. And then it rules for 1260 years starting shortly after 476 A.D. It rules for a long time. It seems like we ought to be able to figure out who this is. John, probably better minds than ours have probably looked at this before. As different people look at these things, what do they come up with? What do they say it is? And I recognize, we're going to look at a variety of different opinions here. And maybe you want to kind of pre-warn us a little bit about what people say this is.

John: Well, some people are going to say that it's Nero but it can't be Nero. Others have said the [inaudible 09:52] things like Reagan and Kissinger and Proctor and Gamble, but that doesn't hold any water at all. You have got others who have said that this is Saddam Hussein or a Jew in the Middle East or some Romanian guy. That doesn't work, either. Let's go back and I want to share this with as much respect and tact as I can, but let's look at this historically.

Gary: That's what we're doing. We're just looking at what history says and then we're going to look at other views, other than some of these that you're mentioning right away because there are many views on this.

John: Yeah. Go back with me. It's October in the year 1517. A young German monk, named Martin Luther, nails what became know as the 95 Theses on the door of the castle of Wittenberg, German. These were his protests against the errors of the Church of Rome or the Vatican City. He disagreed with Rome on a number of points and came to the conclusion that it was the Vatican City that fulfilled all 10 of these identification points.

Gary: Wow.

John: That's what Luther believed. In fact, all of the protestant reformers believed that unanimously.

Gary: Now, do they all believe this today?

John: Well, what's interesting is that all 10 of those identification points do square with the Vatican City. There's no doubt about that. But today, where once there was a lot of unanimity on this subject or total unanimity, today, Gary, you really don't get people teaching that and preaching that it seems like there's been a move away from that.

Gary: Now, how did that happen? I can see where the Protestants would come up with that. It comes up out of Rome. Papacy came to life, really officially became a church state power. A lot of these things line up, but why do others not agree with that? What have they come up with?

John: Well, the short version of the study is this. The er Reformation was launched. Rome said we don't like people saying this about us. Let's look at these prophesies and see whether we can spin them another way. And so they commissioned a couple of their brightest minds and one of them a man named Alcazar took these same prophesies and recast them in the past. We received from him a system of interpreting prophesy called preterism. Pre-terism, it will happen before. Another fellow named Ribera said, "Well, I'm going to give you the idea that it all happens way down at the end of time." And ultimately, eventually this became popular.

John Nelson Darby came to this country and started the Plymouth Brethren. He popularized it a little bit. Cyrus Scofield got hold of these ideas and put them in the Scofield Reference Bible. Then you had people like Hal Lindsey popularizing them in "The Late, Great Planet Earth." Some of the most prominent theological seminaries in this country adopted those ideas and started teaching as evangelical protestant theology, theology that had it's had it's birth in the church of Rome.

Gary: Well, that's very interesting but it sounds like we have a lot of study to do.

John: There's a lot of study to do.

Gary: Because you've presented the traditional historical view of not only the Protestants but the Catholics and now Evangelical Christianity. I want to study more. I'm sure our listeners do. What do we do, John? [music]

John: You're got to get this study guide. We're going to offer this to you in a moment. Call the toll-free number. And join us again next time. There's more here on Bible Talk.


John: If you'd like more information on what we have been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide that we would love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject, including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, information Bible study guide simply call, write or email and ask for BT115, "Antichrist is Alive Today." The toll free number is 866-Biblesays. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678, or email us at Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.





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