Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist IV

Will the Antichrist usher in and reap the benefits of an era of peace, security and unity unknown previously upon the face of planet earth? Although such a case could be made using some passages of the scripture, that's not quite the whole picture the Bible paints. Though the Antichrist may be a mesmerizing messianic figure to the world, ultimately, it's his use of the big stick that gets things done. The question the world asks that elicits its acquiescence is not about his program for peace nor his prowess in the supernatural, but his ruthlessness in war.

Because of the head wound passage (and this one), it is often supposed that the Antichrist suffers an assassination attempt and recovers in a seemingly miraculous way--a pseudo-resurrection of sorts. That interpretation is wrong because it mixes metaphors and thereby misses the point. The heads of the beast, its horns and its crowns refer not to the physical person of the Antichrist, but to the nations or kingdoms that make up the beast empire. A wound to one of the heads of the beast, therefore, is not a physical wound to the Antichrist's person, but the loss of political control over one of the kingdoms in his empire. 

My reading of Daniel and Ezekiel tells me that the wound will be a rebellion of the King of the South (Egypt). It is put down with such a ruthless, callous, cunning, and overwhelming display of willfulness and power that whatever independent spirit might have remained in the Gentile world at that time evaporates in a flash. "Who is able to wage war with him?" they'll ask themselves acquiescently. The Antichrist will then be poised to expand his hegemony from the Middle East to the world, though he'll need a friend to do so.

Jay Leno learned a valuable lesson shortly after taking the reigns of the Tonight Show. When one is in the limelight, it can be very helpful to have a sidekick (a foil that makes the big dog look good). He hadn't planned for that when he took over for Johnny Carson, and Branford Marsalis wasn't willing to play that gig. Kevin Eubanks was, hence his rise into the spotlight.

The False Prophet will play a similar role for the Antichrist. He provides a sense of spiritual legitimacy, backed up by signs and wonders, for the Antichrist's claims of divinity. He's the foil that makes the Antichrist look good and the lieutenant that advances and executes the spiritual component of the Antichrist's agenda. He will be the Roman Catholic Pope alive at that time, and his doom will be as inevitable as is that of the Antichrist he serves.

Index to the Entire Series

No comments: