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Category: Prophecy Page 1 of 2

“All Things Made New”:  The Eighth Day in God’s Holy Day Plan

“And on the eighth day, a sabbath rest…” (Lev. 23:39)

“Now I saw a new heaven & a new earth, for the first heaven & the first earth had passed away” (Rev. 21:1)

The holy day following the Feast of Tabernacles, simply called the “Eighth Day”, is perhaps the most meaningful—and yet least talked about or understood—holy day in God’s plan for mankind.  It often gets lumped in with the rest of the Feast of Tabernacles, or rushed through as everyone packs up their temporary dwellings and sets their minds toward home.

But we would be still majorly in the dark about God’s plan and His nature without the Eighth Day.  It is not just a tack-on, a bonus day of feasting before we go back to our regular lives.  Rather, it is the point of God’s holy days and His plan for mankind.

The spring holy days are quiet, personal, intimate.  They’re about salvation on a one-to-one level, focused on inward change.  But the fall holy days are about the whole of mankind, with dramatic and world-encompassing events that no one will be able to ignore.  And how He places those holy days on the calendar is very purposeful.

Across all of God’s created times and seasons, the number seven/seventh represents completion (or perfection), and the number eight/eighth represents the beginning of a new cycle.  We see this in the foundational seven-day week, to start with.

It’s also seen repeated in the Feast of Pentecost (the 50th day or “eighth day” after seven weeks, which beginning an eighth week).  And similarly, we see it in the Jubilee Year (the 50th year, or eighth year after seven “weeks” of years and beginning of the eighth “week”).  (If that felt a bit confusing, this study about Jubilee and Pentecost may help clarify a bit.)

In its most macro fulfillment, the Eighth Day represents the beginning of a new cycle after 6,000 years of man (six “days”) and 1,000 years (1 “day”) of Jesus Christ reigning on earth.

Placed right after the Feast of Tabernacles, the Eighth Day is the ultimate culmination of God’s plan, when sorrow and death cease to exist, mankind has been fully redeemed, Satan banished forever, the physical world destroyed and recreated as spiritual, and when God will dwell permanently with His children.

And while there’s a LOT we don’t know about what it pictures and what that will be like, there are several key themes throughout the bible that can help us learn a bit more and give a clearer picture of the Eighth Day as the conclusion of God’s plan for humanity.

What does the bible say about the Eighth Day?

Of all God’s holy days, the Eighth Day is the most mysterious.  Explicitly, the bible doesn’t tell us a lot.  So I’ll mention the few verses here and some additional food for thought, but will try to keep this brief so we can dive into the themes.

“God Remembered…”:  Our Father’s Faithfulness in Action, & Future Fulfillment in the Feast of Trumpets

Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.” (Gen. 8:1)

The verse above is just one of several passages where we’re told that “God remembered” one of His people, or a promise He had made.

And to us this may seem like a strange or disconcerting statement…does God forget about us from time to time, we might ask?  You know, He has a lot on His plate, many people have bigger problems, and maybe He “back-burners” us?

Or, maybe we read that kind of statement and just gloss over it as one of those weird old-timey language things in the bible that doesn’t translate in quite the same way today.

We’re used to humans forgetting things, it’s just in our nature.  Some of us forget facts and knowledge, others can’t remember names or birthdays, and most of us get distracted mid-task and forget what we were doing.

So we may read a verse that tells us “God remembered” someone and accidentally take away an idea about the nature of God that isn’t accurate, or dismiss the statement as an irrelevant ancient turn of phrase.  And in both cases we’d be missing something powerful.

Bible verses about God remembering

The statement “God remembered” (or Him stating “I will remember”) is a common theme through the Old Testament…here are the key passages, including one from the New Testament:

  • Gen. 8:1 – “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.”
  • Gen.  9:15 – “(book-ending Noah’s story)…And I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh”
  • Gen. 19:29 – “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow”
  • Gen. 30:22 – “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb”
  • Ex. 2:23-25 – “Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob
  • Lev. 26:42 – (telling of future events)“…then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac, and my covenant with Abraham will I remember; I will remember the land
  • Ex. 6:5 – “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant
  • I Sam. 1:19 “…And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her” (she had been crying out in anguish for a child)
  • Ezek. 16:60 – “Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth”
  • Rev. 18:15 “(of Babylon the Great) For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities

It’s a lot!  This could be quite distressing if we believed this meant that God had forgotten and then remembered in all these examples.  But this phrase is a good example of where the English translation is a pale depiction of the Hebrew word’s intent.  So what does this actually mean?

Zakar ayth:  to bring to mind and act

In all those examples in the Old Testament, the word used is zakar (H2142), and specifically the compound phrase zakar ayth (H2142, H853).

Zakar means to bring to mind or recall, to remember, mention, recount, or think on.  It also means “to make a memorial” (more on that later).  It’s used a couple hundred times in the Old Testament, but only about 50+ of those include “ayth”.

Ayth is additive, used thousands of times in the bible, and basically provides a sense of entity, indicating the self and adding emphasis to what’s being remembered.  I’m not a Hebrew scholar in any sense, but the way that I think of is like “recalled to Himself” or “brought to His mind”.

Specifically, this “remembering” precedes acting on someone’s behalf—remembering with a purpose or intent.  It’s remembrance as a full-being activity, using mind and body rather than a simple head exercise.  When applied to God, it’s usually in response to a commitment He had previously made (Ps. 105:42, Ex. 6:5), or to the longing and pleading of His people (Gen. 30:22, I Sam. 1:19).

So we’re not talking “remembering” that’s simply the retention of information, the way you remember your spouse’s birthday, the family pancake recipe, or every lyric to “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

It’s not simply recollection or not-forgetting, like when you remember to pick up milk on the way home or remember that you’d promised to call a friend.

Instead, zakar ayth calls our attention to how God focuses on something or someone in a way that entails action or response.  When we’re told that “God remembered” in the bible, it’s to showcase an example of God’s consistent faithfulness to His chosen people…through ACTING on His promises.

So let’s go back to the original question…does God occasionally forget about us?

“Do Not Love the World”: A Spiritual Application of Burning Platform Theory

At the Feast of Tabernacles this year I heard an excellent short message by Don Turgeon about a topic I’d never heard of called the “burning platform”.

The analogy really struck home for me, and I wanted to do a deeper study into how God’s people should be applying this to our lives.

What is a burning platform?

When an explosion ripped apart the North Sea oil platform called the Piper Alpha and the rig caught fire, a few workers were trapped by the fire on the edge of the platform.

Contemplating certain death in the fire versus likely death (and the general unknown) by jumping the 100 feet into the icy waters, one of them chose the latter and jumped.

The term “burning platform” is now used to describe a situation where people are forced to make a particular dramatic choice, in the face of an alternative that is even more extreme (source).

It has become a shorthand in the business world for “helping people see the dire consequences of not changing”, and motivating people to move beyond the status quo to embracing drastic change.

As Turgeon explained, this type of situation has an urgency that pushes you to transform your behavior.  Because if you don’t—even though that change is scary or painful or difficult in the moment—not doing so could have long-lasting negative consequences.

A good business example in the last couple decades is Blockbuster, who (mind-bogglingly) could not read the signs of technology and consumer behavior shifts, which ultimately plunged the company from being completely ubiquitous to entirely irrelevant and out of business in a very short span of time.

How does the “burning platform” apply spiritually?

Make no mistake, this world and this present age are a burning platform.  And we need to jump. 

Those men knew they weren’t jumping into something that would save them, and believed probable death awaited them in the icy sea.  But they also knew that staying where they were was certain death, and so staying was the wrong choice.

What was interesting about that message was that it felt very prescient.  Because just that week I’d been thinking about my own relationship with the world, and realizing that I’d finally reached a place where I truly, viscerally wanted God’s kingdom to come as soon as possible.

After the last several months of bitter political rhetoric, government overstep, neighbor turning on neighbor, racial division, cities burning (including my own), and just generally looking at the state of the world…I’d finally had enough.

Sure, I’ve always wanted God’s kingdom to come…but as a young person that wish is sometimes a bit more theoretical (and scary as well).  You want to grow up, live a life, get married, do things.  My life is pretty comfortable in the grand scheme of things, with a good job, snuggly pets, the ability to travel.

The whole principle of the burning platform is that only the most dire circumstances and imminent mortal peril would induce you to jump.  It’s hard to contemplate leaving the life we’ve known, the comfort of our daily routines, our conveniences, the people we love.

The difference for us is that we aren’t jumping into the unknown, or to probable death.  Just the opposite—the only means of (eternal) survival for those of us called to God’s truth today is to jump.  To stop clinging to this world, trying to save it, and to cut the ties it has on our hearts.

(Because of the world we live in, I feel like I have to make a very strong caveat statement here that I am obviously not talking about physical life…this is adamantly not some kind of macabre statement regarding killing ourselves or dying prematurely.  I’m speaking of our mental and spiritual state, and whether we’re invested in this current world above God’s coming kingdom.)

Themes From the Book of Lamentations for the Fall Holy Days

How this oft-overlooked book can highlight themes of Trumpets and Atonement

I can count on one hand the number of sermons I’ve heard on the book of Lamentations.  I could maybe even count them on one *finger* (and I had to search for it).

While Lamentations never directly mentions either the feasts of Trumpets or Atonement, its themes are unmistakably linked to the themes of both holy days, and the fall holy day season overall in God’s plan for mankind.

What are those themes?  Complete destruction and anguish from God’s wrath as His promised judgment comes, mourning and confession of sin, and acknowledgement of God’s righteousness in that judgment.  Humility and asking for mercy while recognizing that it’s undeserved.

And harder to find, but definitely present, is hope in God’s faithfulness and mercy, and ultimately reconciliation through His promises of a coming restoration.

These holy days occur in the seventh month (seven being a number of completeness).  Chapters 1, 2, and 4 are written in acrostics, one for each letter of the alphabet and signifying the completeness and totality of God’s wrath and the destruction of Jerusalem.

What is the book of Lamentations about?

Lamentations is one of the five scrolls comprising “The Writings” in the Old Testament.  It mourns the destruction of the first temple, the “funeral of a city”, and foreshadows the destruction of the second temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The Jews recite the book on Tisha b’Av, called the “dark fast” to commemorate the destruction of the temple.  Tisha b’Av is seen as a fast without hope (dark) in contrast to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which they see as a “white fast” due to the hope embedded.

It’s generally accepted that the book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah due to both internal and external evidence, but the author is never named in the text.  The fairly dramatic, evocative language certainly seems to fit with the book of Jeremiah though.

Much of Lamentations goes into excruciating detail about the consequences of Jerusalem’s repeated rebellions against God, and paints a terrifying picture of His promised wrath.  It is punishment with purpose, prophesied beforehand again and again to turn them from it.

It is an expression of grief and sadness, a detailed account of tragedy, and a denunciation of the sins of His people.  The book moves us through tragedy and sorrow toward a confident hope in God’s ultimate salvation of His (and all) people.

In our culture today we tend to close our eyes to suffering, grit our teeth through it, or try and ignore it in favor of looking forward to a better time.  Lamentations, instead, wallows in it.  Lamentations surrounds you in Jeremiah’s grief over Jerusalem’s destruction, in the suffering of God’s people.

Is Lamentations relevant to God’s people today?

In a word, yes.

The book of Lamentations is written to encompass Jerusalem and the nation of Judah, the remainder of God’s people at the time.  It should serve as a very sobering warning to us as His people today.

Jerusalem rebelled against God, and for centuries God warned that the judgment He promised for their sins would come.  When the wrath of His judgment finally comes upon Jerusalem, the book of Lamentations doesn’t question the reason or justice of God’s actions, but rather asks for His mercy.

The end-time application of the book is focused on Jerusalem as well. Because of this, it fits more naturally into the fall holy days and what the world will experience during end-time events, and the book’s themes very much tie into this.

While Lamentations has seen its first and second fulfillments, like most major prophecies in the bible there is a future and final one at the end time.  So although it’s focused on Jerusalem, it IS written to God’s people, and that alone makes it important for us to pay it some attention.

We know that all scripture is given by God and is good for instruction and to equip His people (II Tim. 3:16).  So what should we take from this book?  I submit that there are clear messages to God’s firstfruits, warnings that if heeded today can keep us from the terrible future reality that is laid out in the book.

As Far As East From the West:  The Second Atonement Goat

All of the holy days picture the steps God is taking to reconcile mankind to Himself, and the Day of Atonement is in many ways the culmination of that.  Atonement is a mirror of the Passover, when Christ’s sacrifice is applied to the entire world rather than just a select group of God’s firstfruits.

According to Jewish tradition, the Day of Atonement was when Adam and Eve, at the serpent’s urging, ate of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If that is the case (and it makes sense), then this day marks both the exact moment that mankind was separated from God, and fittingly pictures the restoring of that connection.

One aspect of the Day of Atonement that God gave Israel was the ceremony of the two goats.  It involves a high priest made symbolically sinless by a separate sin offering, taking two unblemished young goats as a sin offering for the people.  After Aaron cast lots for the two goats, the one chosen “for the Lord” was killed and its blood used to pay the price of the nation’s sins.  The other goat had the nation’s sins laid on it and was led out into the wilderness and left there.

This is not a ceremony that is often talked about or studied in-depth.  For many decades, most of the churches of God have taught that the second goat, who is sent into the wilderness after having the sins of the congregation placed on him, symbolizes Satan.  The theory was that this represented Satan’s culpability in mankind’s downfall and the sin that permeates this world, and that the goat taken into the wilderness symbolizes Satan being bound in Revelation 20.

This interpretation, though, is not consistent with what the bible tells us in this particular passage, nor is it consistent with what we read throughout the rest of the bible regarding the sacrificial system, the role of Jesus Christ, and our personal accountability for our sins.

In this study we’re going to go through what both of the goats picture in God’s plan.  I know it seems somewhat distant and esoteric, but stay with me—I promise this is actually going somewhere real and weighty and relevant to us today.

Two goats, one unblemished sin offering

We see first that the high priest could only come into the Holy of Holies one time a year, and he first had to offer a sin offering for himself, wash himself, and put on special garments.  This was because the sin offering could only be accomplished by a sinless high priest, picturing Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9 and 10 cover this in-depth).

After the high priest had performed the sacrifice for his own sins, he then started the rest of the ceremony:

“And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering…then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the azazel [goat of departure]” (Lev. 16:5)

The first thing that Leviticus 16:5 tells us is that both goats are for a sin offering—each is a distinct necessary element and together they constituted a single sin offering.  They could not be complete or accepted separately.  This was a unique requirement since most sin offerings were only one animal, and it signals to us that God was accomplishing something additional in this ritual beyond just payment for sin.

Who is the Antichrist? Part 5: Jewish False Messiah Theory (cont…)

Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a six-part series on theories and prophecies about the Antichrist and a continuation of the previous posts, Part 3: Jewish False Messiah Theory and Part 4: Jewish False Messiah Theory (cont.).  At very least we strongly recommend starting there before diving into this post, as this jumps right into the middle of the theory. 

If you have the time we’d also suggest starting with the Introduction, as well as Part 1: Roman Antichrist Debunked and Part 2: Muslim Antichrist Debunked.  

Mystery Babylon is eschatological Jerusalem

First, let’s establish that another significant event of the end times is the re-establishing of the temple services and daily sacrifice.  I alluded to this in the opening.

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.  (Dan. 12:11 KJV)

Next, I will attempt to demonstrate that the Mystery Babylon figure from the book of Revelation is eschatological Jerusalem, and the verses used to describe Mystery Babylon reveal the peoples of eschatological Jerusalem getting RICH on the backs of those that come—by force—to worship the weird talking statue and/or the actual beast himself.

The people of Mystery Babylon are also made rich by selling the goods needed for temple services and the sacrificial system.  Which begs the question: Was it mere coincidence that the only time Messiah showed real anger in the gospels was when He turned over the merchants’ tables and chased them from the temple?

To begin, let’s list out what we know about Mystery Babylon.

Revelation 17 and 18, where Mystery Babylon is described, are passages of scripture loaded with symbolism and allegory, but there are some literal descriptions of Mystery Babylon that we can use to develop a hypothesis about who and what Mystery Babylon is.

For instance:

She is RICH Rev 17:4
She is the Mother of Harlots Rev 17:5
She is drunk on the blood of the saints Rev 17:6, 18:24
She herself is a prostitute Rev 17:16
She is a City Rev 17:18, 18:10, 16,18
She is full of Sin Rev 18:4-5
She boasts that she is not a Widow, and never will be Rev 18:7
The Kings of Earth commit sexual immorality with her Rev 18:9
She makes her merchants RICH Rev 18:11-12

Now let’s analyze each of these descriptions to further develop the hypothesis.

She is rich

In ancient times, wearing garments of scarlet and purple was a sign of great wealth.  The clothes of commoners, the rank and file, were the natural color of the wool or cotton that the garment was made from.  The dyes used to make a garment colorful were expensive, and the bold colors of scarlet and purple were the most expensive of the dyes.

I believe there is additional significance to the use of scarlet and purple and the notable absence of the color blue, but we will get into that later.

Who is the Antichrist? Part 4: Jewish False Messiah Theory (cont…)

Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in a six-part series on theories and prophecies about the Antichrist and a continuation of the previous post, Part 3: Jewish False Messiah Theory.  It’s followed by the last in the series, Part 5: Mystery Babylon.  At very least we strongly recommend starting there before diving into this post, as this jumps right into the middle of the theory. 

If you have the time we’d suggest starting with the Introduction, as well as Part 1: Roman Antichrist Debunked and Part 2: Muslim Antichrist Debunked.  

The “first beast”

One thing that seems abundantly clear about the coming Antichrist figure is that he is a man of war. He rules with a rod of iron to be sure. Let’s now take a look at some of the scriptures that I believe show him as a man of war and others that detail some of the wars that he wages.

Revelation 13 describes a seven-headed beast rising out of the sea and that the “dragon” gives this beast “his own power and throne and great authority” (Rev. 13:1, 13:2 NLT).

It is almost universally believed that the beast in Revelation 13 is the Antichrist figure that we are studying. To be sure, interpretations that are “universally believed” are not always a good thing, but in this case, I tend to agree with this position. With that said, it is also almost “universally believed” that the dragon in question is Satan.

The NET Bible translates that scripture as, “The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule.” So, if those “universally believed” interpretations are correct, then we can deduct that Antichrist is somehow empowered by Satan himself, and as the interim ruler of this world, Satan will grant the Antichrist a great deal of authority with which to rule.

In verse 4 we read about people worshiping the dragon for “giving the beast such power.” Those same people go on to say, “Who is as great as the beast?” and “Who is able to fight against the beast?”. It seems from these statements that the people of the earth don’t think that any fighting force could defeat this beast. Now, this could partially be due to the beast receiving a mortal head wound, and then coming back to life, in the previous verse, verse 3.

We will discuss the mortal head wound in the next section, but I think it is safe to say that the people believe the beast cannot be killed. Who could fight against something that can’t be killed?

In verse 7 of Revelation 13 we learn that this beast is “allowed to make war with the saints and to conquer them.” Now, it is clear to me that the figure that does ALL “allowing” is God. God is in total control at all times. If it were up to Satan, he would “allow” the killing and conquering of the saints today…if that were in his power to do. No, this is God Himself allowing the beast to make war with the saints and to eventually conquer at least some of them. I guess the little bit of good news from this verse is that there are, in fact, saints left on the earth in the end—though it sounds like it will be a quite a tumultuous time for them to say the least.

The false prophet…a false Elijah?

While we are here in Revelation 13, I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the second beast that is described towards the end of the chapter. This second beast is near “universally believed” to be the false prophet figure mentioned elsewhere in Revelation.

Before we read the scriptures describing the second beast—the false prophet—I want to point out that nearly ALL adherents of Judaism are still awaiting Elijah the prophet, whom they believe will precede the coming of Messiah.

Remember, the Jews don’t believe that Jesus was the Christ; therefore they also don’t see John the Baptist as the Elijah figure that prepared the way for Messiah. So the Jews are still waiting for Elijah to prepare the way for Messiah. Some Jewish people go so far as to set a place for Elijah at their table during the Seder meal.

In Malachi 4:5, we read: “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives.” It cannot be stressed enough here how much the adherents of Judaism are expecting a literal reincarnation of Elijah the prophet.

Now let’s read the description of the ‘false prophet’ in Revelation 13, starting in verse 11 (from the NLT):

Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon.

He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  (Rev 13:11-12)

So this ‘false prophet’ figure is granted authority that is like the first beast, and he requires that the inhabitants of the earth worship the first beast. Take note of how the first beast is being described, kind of reminding the reader which beast is in view by calling the first beast the beast “whose fatal wound had been healed”. Keep this in mind as we go forward.

He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching.  And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world.

He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. [There it is again]  He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.  (Rev 13:13-15  NLT)

The verse that I really want to draw attention to is verse 13, where the false prophet, the second beast, is said to perform astounding miracles—even making fire come down from the sky. Please take note of how the bible makes sure that we know that this false prophet calls down the fire “while everyone was watching.”

Imagine that on the evening news: “Tonight in Jerusalem, a man calls down fire from heaven,” while they roll footage of the event. I think it is safe to say that any person that calls down fire from heaven would garner quite a lot of attention from the ENTIRE world.

Now, recall—what was the prophet Elijah famous for in the book of Kings? Stopping the rain for a few years, being risen to the heavens, and…calling down fire from the heavens.

The story of Elijah is one of the great stories of the Old Testament, the way he laughed at and taunted the priests of the false god Ba’al. I love the story myself.

But, to modern-day Jews who see a man calling down fire from the heavens on the evening news, they will immediately equate that event to mean that the prophet Elijah has returned, and the coming of Messiah is imminent.

I really don’t quite know what to say about a statue that comes to life and demands to be worshiped. I think this is probably symbolism, but I guess anything is possible during this time period.

The wars of the Antichrist

OK. Let’s circle back now to our study on the wars of the Antichrist.

In part two of this presentation, we briefly looked at Daniel 11. Let’s now go deeper and peel back the layers of these scriptures a little bit. I’m going to go verse-by-verse using the NIV, starting in verse 40.

“At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.  (Dan 11:40)

The “him” of course, I believe to be the Antichrist.

During the Cold War, most scholars believed the king of the North to be Russia. Who else? It was the Cold War, after all. However, in his paper titled “Daniel’s ‘King of the North’: Do We Owe Russia an Apology?”, Dr. J. Paul Tanner, a professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, suggests that the king of the North is “a confederation of northern Arab nations that will attack the Antichrist and his forces.” The modern-day nations of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Afghanistan are brought to mind, but that is speculation on my part.

It is widely believed that the king of the South is Egypt. So Egypt attacks ‘him’ first, and then Antichrist invades many countries and sweeps through them like a flood. Floods move fast and they destroy everything in their path.

He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.  He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.  (Dan 11:41-42 NIV)

The NLT renders the first part of verse 41 as “He will also enter the glorious land of Israel”. So, I think we can assume that Antichrist enters the land of Israel.

But I feel that the NIV might be in error for rendering the Hebrew word eiserchomai (ice-er’-khom-ahee) as “invade”. Most all other translations use the word “enter”. For instance the King James translates Daniel 11:41, “He shall also enter the Glorious Land”.

Other translations also use terminology that is more along the lines of ‘entering’ rather than ‘invading’.  For instance, the ESV renders it as, “He shall come into the glorious land”.  The Stongs definition of the word also points more to ‘entering’ or ‘coming into’ rather than ‘invading’.

After ‘entering’ Israel, many nations fall; by that we can assume that he conquers many nations, but Moab, Edom, and the leaders of Ammon escape. These three names seem to point to modern-day Jordan. However, Egypt does not escape. So the Antichrist conquers Egypt. Egypt picks a fight but ultimately they get their hats handed to them.

He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites in submission.  (Dan. 11:43  NIV)

After conquering Egypt, the Antichrist takes their money, and also makes Egypt’s neighbors his servants. To me, it sounds like he takes control of the entire area. Let’s also make note here, as we did in part two, that all of the nations mentioned in these verses are modern-day Muslim nations.

But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.  He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.  (Dan. 11:44-45  NIV)

Antichrist hears of news to the east and north, and in a rage, he storms out to annihilate many. Then verse 45 is very interesting. He “pitches his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain”. In verse 41 he “comes into” Israel, and now we see him “pitching his tent” there. In my opinion, the “beautiful holy mountain” is the Mount of Olives.

At this point, one has to ask themselves the question: Are the people of Israel accepting of the Antichrist, or are they in a position of having been conquered, and thus in bondage to the Antichrist?

I believe, and will continue to attempt to demonstrate, that it is the former. The people of Israel will welcome the Antichrist with open arms, considering him to be the long-awaited Messiah whom they are expecting to rule from Jerusalem. Where does he pitch his royal tents according to Daniel? “Between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain”.

Most commentaries, however, believe verse 45, coupled with verse 41, depict the Antichrist as conquering the land of Israel. They assume that Antichrist is going into Israel to make war and ‘invade’.

However, I would ask: Does this necessarily mean that the fight is with the Jewish peoples in the land of Israel? Could it not be pointing to the Antichrist going into Israel and “invading” Israel’s enemies, such as the Muslim Palestinians that control Gaza and the West Bank?

OK. Back to our narrative. So here we have a man soundly defeating and conquering Egypt. Remember also, the Jews believe that a big portion of Egypt should be theirs due to God’s declaration in Genesis 15:18, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates”.

Thus, the Jews believe that from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates River is and always will be their God-given land.

So imagine this:

  • A man comes and calls down fire from heaven and is considered by many to be a prophet while paying homage to and promoting a second man..
  • After that, the second man conquers all of Egypt and thoroughly defeats almost all of Israel’s enemies, most notably Israel’s neighbors that they have been fighting with non-stop since the tiny nation was established in 1948.
  • After that, this same man comes to Israel and submits the Palestinians and Muslims to his authority—thus, giving the “Jews” near total control of the land that they believe to be their God-given land, for the first time in millennia. And this same figure sets up shop “at the beautiful mountain” (again, this has to be the Mount of Olives in my opinion).

It would be hard to imagine a Jew NOT believing this figure to be the long-awaited Messiah.

In my opinion, a GREAT number of modern Christians—who don’t read their bibles closely—after seeing these events, where fire is called down from the sky, Israel’s enemies are finally subdued, etc., will believe that the Millennium has come. This person MUST be the Messiah. In other words, the majority of Christians will buy this lie too, just as the Bible prophesies.

In the interest of time, I need to move on, but I would point the reader to Zephaniah 2 for further corroboration of my assertion that the Antichrist is not only a man of war, but he specifically wars with the enemies of modern-day Israel.

Antichrist ‘resurrected’

At this point, I want to re-look at the “resurrected” Antichrist. I really don’t like using the term resurrected in accordance with Antichrist, so let’s just refer to it as the healed head wound going forward.

Going back to Daniel 11:45, we read about the Antichrist “coming to his end” and that “no one will help him”.

For whatever reason, a chapter break has been placed here, but you can be sure that Daniel didn’t place a chapter break there, so let’s keep reading, this time from the NKJV:

“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time.  (Dan 12:1  NKJV)

To fully comprehend this verse, I think we should also look at Matthew 24, where Messiah Himself describes a time that sounds very similar to this “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation”:

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”  (Matt. 24:15-16  NKJV)

Skipping down to verse 21:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be”  (Matt 24:21  NKJV)

In these verses contained within the Olivet Prophecy, the Messiah seems to go out of His way to make sure that everyone listening knows that He is making reference to specific prophecies made by Daniel.

OK, let’s continue to try to put all of these things together. First, the Antichrist pitches his tents in Jerusalem in Daniel 11:45. He then commits the abomination of desolation from earlier in Daniel that Messiah makes reference to in Matt. 24:15. Which is to say, that the Antichrist will go into a temple of God and claim to be God and defile the temple. This act will cause those with understanding to flee from Israel to the mountains. And then, Antichrist will “come to his end”, with a mortal head wound described in Rev 13, but he will come back to life, at which time the period known as the “Great Tribulation” will begin. “A time of trouble like there never has been, and there never will be again.”

Are you with me?

You might be surprised to know that many Jewish people are waiting for a man to do exactly the things I just described. Namely, they are waiting for a man called Messiah ben Joseph to destroy the enemies of Israel and after these wars march victoriously to Jerusalem, where he will be killed by his enemies, but then miraculously be brought back to life. These events are thought by many Jews to happen at the end of this age or the beginning of the Messianic Age.

Allow me to explain.

In the Talmud, when trying to reconcile the various natures of the Messiah in the Bible (suffering servant, king, and conqueror), the writers came up with the idea that there will actually be two Messiahs in the end times. The first, Messiah ben Joseph, will precede Messiah ben David. Ben David is considered to be the superior Messiah. Ben Joseph will do all of the things that I just mentioned, and then Ben David will actually rule over the Messianic Age as king.

To be sure there are many differing views about how the end times will play out within Judaism, but the view of there being two Messiahs is widely accepted.

The following is what the Jewish Encyclopedia says about the two Messiahs:

“Messiah b. Joseph will appear prior to the coming of Messiah b. David; he will gather the children of Israel around him, march to Jerusalem, and there, after overcoming the hostile powers, reestablish the Temple-worship and set up his dominion. Thereupon Armilus, according to one group of sources, or Gog and Magog, according to the other, will appear with their hosts before Jerusalem, wage war against Messiah b Joseph, and slay him. His corpse, according to one group, will lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem; according to the other, it will be hidden by the angels with the bodies of the Patriarchs, until Messiah b. David comes and resurrects him.”.

Now, not all modern Jews believe in the concept of two Messiahs. But when these events transpire, most Jews would likely start reading the teachings about the two-Messiah theory that has been taught by nearly every sage since the Talmud was written. I would also point out that a false Jewish Messiah Antichrist and/or a false Elijah could exploit these teachings themselves when the time came.

All this is to demonstrate that there are many Jews that believe in two Messiahs. They even believe that the first Messiah, Messiah ben Joseph will suffer a mortal injury, but will be brought back to life. This, of course, is eerily similar to the verses in Revelation 13 where we read:

I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.  (Rev 13:3  NLT)

The two words in focus here are the words translated as “wounded beyond recovery” and “fatal wound”. The first comes from Strong’s G4969 sphazo, meaning “to butcher or slaughter or maim, kill, slay, wound”. The other is Strong’s G2288 thanatos, meaning literally and figuratively death or deadly, or as Thayer puts it “the death of the body.”

Every translation that I analyzed this verse in uses terminology that points to the wound being a death wound. This beast is believed to be DEAD.

Let’s also analyze the word translated as allegiance, as in, they “gave allegiance to the beast”. In the Greek, the word is thaumazo from Strong’s G2296, meaning “to wonder; by implication to admire: – have in admiration, marvel“.

I like the way the NLT translates this as “gave allegiance to the beast”. Most other translations render this sentence as “and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.” In plain modern English…they give their allegiance to him.

Later in Revelation 13, as we read earlier, John then uses this concept of mortal injury and being brought back to life as a way to identify the particular “beast” that he is speaking of.

Rev 13:12 (NLT) – “… the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed”

Rev 13:14 (NLT) – “… the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life”

I think it is safe for us to assume that the calling down of fire from heaven by the false prophet, and the suffering of a mortal wound and being brought back to life are significant events during the end times.

To be concluded soon.


Catch up on the other parts of this series:

Studying Bible Prophecy: Where to Start

When I was growing up, bible prophecy was something that was discussed quite a bit in my family, so it’s always been a part of my life.  The church I was in also talked about it quite a bit, though it seemed to be falling out of favor around that time.  What I’ve witnessed in the last 15-20 years has been a pendulum swing the other way, to where talking about prophecy in the bible in any kind of detail almost makes people uncomfortable.  People who study it in-depth are looked at as radicals, and the very idea of speculating about events, times, etc. gives people hives.

I get where some of the reaction is coming from, to some extent—for a long time, people were setting specific dates and claiming to know things, and none of it was true.  And certainly, there are many other things besides prophecy that we should be focusing on, such as growing in Godly character, showing love to our brethren, and readying ourselves spiritually for the kingdom.  I’ve had people argue that if we’re doing all of these things, it doesn’t really matter if we’re studying prophecy in the bible.  But I don’t agree with that argument.

This post is meant to be a thought-starter for people who don’t or haven’t studied prophecy, not an all-encompassing look at the topic.  This was originally a presentation that’s been adapted into article form, so we’ve included a downloadable Powerpoint at the end that covers the highlights and can be printed out if desired.  The main purpose of this post is to talk about why studying prophecy in the bible is important, and then offer some key insights and direction for getting started or digging back in.

3 reasons we should care about prophecy in the bible

The bible is a lot more seamless than we give it credit for—prophecy is one of the major common threads, if not THE major thread, through the entire thing

You’d be hard-pressed to find a book in the bible that doesn’t contain prophecy (there may be a couple, but you have to try really hard).  In fact, Genesis—which many people wouldn’t list as a prophetic book—is one of the most important prophetical books we have, the foundation of all bible prophecy.  Go read Genesis 3, when God pronounces the punishment of Satan and Adam and Eve, and basically tells them that they’d totally screwed up, but it’s okay because He’d thought ahead and already had a plan to fix it.  Read about the Tree of Life, and God commanding the start of a family.  In fact, the bible starts and ends with a marriage and the establishment of a family—think that’s a coincidence?  It all starts there.

Additionally, the holy days give us a framework for God’s plan for mankind.  They’re the macro view of prophecy, a large-scale roadmap of when He plans to step in and how He plans to accomplish His will.  Bible prophecy is a constant reminder of God’s power and omnipotence, His everlasting nature, and His ability to accomplish everything He says He will.

Who is the Antichrist? Part 3: The Jewish False Messiah Theory

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a multi-part series on theories and prophecies about the Antichrist. If you haven’t already, we recommend starting with the Introduction before diving into this post, as well as Part 1: Roman Antichrist Debunked and Part 2: Muslim Antichrist Debunked.

So, without further ado…. I will now lay out an outline of my current working theory on who the Antichrist is.

The “Jewish False Messiah” Theory

My current working theory is that Antichrist will present himself as the prophesied Messiah.  A FALSE CHRIST.  Just as the scriptures prophesy.  I don’t really have an opinion as to whether he will present himself as the second coming of Jesus (the true Messiah), or if he will claim that Jesus was not Messiah and he is.  That really isn’t my point.  My point is that Antichrist will claim to be of the line of David, born in Bethlehem, etc.—i.e. a ‘Jewish’ Messiah.  A figure that the end-time “Jews” will believe to be THE Messiah, and many Christians too.  He will work to convince Jews and Christians that he has come to usher in his millennial reign and kingdom.

I think Antichrist will be promoted by a ‘FALSE PROPHET’ that will claim to be a reincarnation of Elijah the prophet.

Not many of us have truly studied the eschatology or end-time beliefs of the adherents of Judaism.  In this presentation, we will explore some Jewish eschatology according to the Talmud and other rabbinic writings.  I will demonstrate how these writings seem to encourage Jews to accept as Messiah a man with very similar characteristics as the biblical Antichrist, and how I believe Antichrist will use the Jewish end-time beliefs to his advantage.

With that said, let’s get something straight right here, right now.  I am NOT taking an anti-Jewish stance, nor am I arguing anything that should be perceived as such.  If you feel that I have degraded or put down the Jewish people at any point in this presentation, then I have spoken poorly, or you have simply perceived my words incorrectly.  Period.  I am not against the Jewish people in any way.

With that announcement out of the way, I would first point out that I am not alone in this belief of a Jewish Antichrist.  In fact, many of the 1st- and 2nd-century elders believed in a Jewish Fake Messiah.  There are also a few modern-day writers and videographers that hold to the Jewish false Christ theory as well.

The person whose writings I have most studied on this subject is Chris White.  Please note – Chris is a Sunday keeper.  In fact, he created a series of videos on why Christians should not keep the Sabbath.  Normally I would pass right by such a person’s work, but I felt very compelled to read his books titled “False Christ”, and “Mystery Babylon”.

Truth be known, this presentation started out to be presenting a Muslim Antichrist theory.  In the midst of doing the research for my “Muslim Antichrist” presentation, I was moved to read Mr. White’s books.  And I have to admit, Chris’ argument for the Jewish False Christ is just simply stronger than any other argument for the identity of Antichrist that I have heard to-date.

As I mentioned in a previous post, all of my non-core beliefs I hold like a scientist holds their theories—the theory is what I believe until a better theory is presented and tested.  White’s theory is simply the best I have heard so far.  If a new theory comes along and is better than the Jewish False Messiah, then that will be my theory.  Until that time, I will be studying and continuing to test the Jewish False Messiah idea.

With that said – I would like to openly admit that I am borrowing HEAVILY from White’s book “False Messiah” in this presentation.  Some might call that plagiarism.  Whatever.  I’m telling you the reader up front that a lot of what is presented, comes from that book.  I am not claiming that these are my theories.

There are several things that I disagree with White on, and those things will, of course, be omitted from this presentation.

Let’s get back on point here, as I continue to lay out the theory on the Jewish False Messiah.

Who is the Antichrist? Part 2: Muslim Theory Debunked

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a multi-part series on theories and prophecies about the Antichrist. If you haven’t already, we recommend starting with the Introduction before diving into this post, as well as Part 1: Roman Antichrist Debunked; links to the rest of the articles are at the bottom of this post.

Is the Antichrist Muslim?

The next theory on the identity of the Antichrist I personally came to believe was the Muslim Antichrist theory. I must admit, this thesis was very easy for me to believe due to the current geopolitical landscape of the world we live in. Since 9/11 this theory has become very popular.

To be honest, I bought the Muslim Antichrist theory hook, line, and sinker. I even pushed some brethren to read about and consider this line of thinking. I regret that now.

But, I eventually came to the conclusion that the Muslim Antichrist theory is just too easy. It’s too neat. Let us remember, the Antichrist will fool almost everyone. If the Muslim theory were to come to fruition, it wouldn’t fool anyone except the Muslims themselves.

Now before we start this phase of the presentation, let’s first do a little homework on the religion of Islam, shall we?

Background on the rise of Islam

During the last 22 years of his life, beginning at age 40 in 610 AD according to the earliest surviving biographies, Muhammad reported having revelations that he believed to be from God and conveyed to him through the archangel Gabriel or Jibril. (Somehow I don’t think that was Gabriel, but I digress.) The content of these revelations, known as the Qur’an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.

The Qur’an is considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God, and also by its teachings an example and way of life (or sunnah). It also is composed of prophetic traditions of Muhammad called the Hadith.

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted or altered over time, but consider the Arabic Qur’an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God.

At the time of Muhammad’s ‘revelation’, Mecca was largely polytheistic, with the main false idol of worship being Allat, the goddess of the crescent moon. Muhammad pleaded with the people of Mecca to abandon polytheism and to worship the one god, that he named Allah.

Although a few people at that time did convert to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were largely ridiculed by the rank and file, and ultimately persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. This resulted in Muhammad and his followers migrating to other lands, mainly to the lands of the Aksumite Empire. After 12 years of persecution and migration, Muhammad found a home in Medina where he established his political and religious authority.

Muhammad developed a constitution in Medina and was subsequently at war within a few years of his arrival. Muhammad’s Muslims fought with Mecca and many of the tribes of Arabia over the next several years. However, by the time of his death in 632 (at the age of 62), Muhammad had united Mecca, Medina, and the tribes of Arabia into a single religious state.

After his death there was much disagreement, strife, and ultimately war over who would succeed Muhammad as leader of the Muslim community. This person would come to be known as the caliph.

To make a long story short…over the next 1,200-1,300 years, the Muslims fought MANY brutal and bloody wars, ultimately controlling much of the Middle East as the Ottoman Empire or as they called it, the Caliphate. The Ottomans controlled vast lands, including parts of Europe, Northern Africa, and much of the Middle East.

Next, let’s get some of the basics of Islamic eschatology (study of end-time events)

There are only a few denominations of Islam (not NEARLY as many as there is in Christendom). The two main denominations are the Sunni and the Shia. The Sunni are much more prevalent than the Shia. The Shia represent about 10-20% of Islam and are mainly located in modern day Iran. The Sunni make up about 75-85% of the Muslim population.

The Sunni and Shia have very different views about the end times. However, they do agree about the figure they call the Mahdi, though they differ in their beliefs as to how the Mahdi will come to power. But they both believe that the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according the differing interpretations).

The Mahdi comes onto the scene just before the Day of Judgment. Ultimately they believe the Mahdi will rid the world of infidels and usher in an Islamic revolution where Sharia Law will be the foundational constitution of every nation on earth.

According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the second coming of Jesus Christ (who they call Isa). And Isa will assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal or Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or their version of Antichrist).

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