Tuesday, March 27, 2012
THE FIRST MANIFESTATION OF ANTICHRIST
Within Genesis chapter 10 and 11 we find two parentheses that tie together in a few words the story of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. This is interesting stuff, and this is what we shall look at in this study as we see the first manifestation in the Word of God of Antichrist.
Two Parentheses (Genesis 10:1-12)
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech and Tiras.
And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
Is it not interesting that of the 7 sons of Japheth only two have the names of their descendants listed?
God did not disclose what became of the other 5 sons. But God promised, through Noah’s prophecy, that the children of Japheth would be very great in number.
And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
And now begins the first of the two parentheses. The next 5 verses deal with the power of Nimrod.
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
Here we see the influence of Nimrod. But Nimrod is not mentioned in verse 7 in the list of the sons of Cush. So there is something special about Nimrod. We read here that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Nimrod was not a hunter of deer. You can see that clearly. No hunter of deer will in between hunting episodes establish a kingdom great enough to contain four cities of the size of Babel and Erech (which stands for Iraq) and Accad and Calneh.
As you know, these are the names of four great ancient civilizations. And this kingdom was located in the land of Shinar. I have heard that name before.
What is that land of Shinar?
The land of Shinar was the most fertile land in that area between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Another name for the land of Shinar is Babylonia. This may have been a great civilization and Babylon may have been a great city, but from God’s perspective these cities were under the curse of God. And thus we already get the feeling that there was something cursed about Nimrod, because the line of Ham was cursed. Let us continue with the following two verses:
And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.
And thus we see that Mizraim, the second son of Ham, begat 7 sons. The 5th son Pathrusim was the one who established a kingdom in Egypt. But we know that Egypt also was under the curse of God. Then we read that out of the 6th son Casluhim came forth the Philistines. Thus the Philistines who lived in the land of Canaan are not descendants of Canaan, but are descendants of Ham through another son. Perhaps this is the reason why God allowed the Philistines to survive throughout the history of the nations of Israel and Judah.
Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
Here we have the second of the two parentheses in these chapters that are full of genealogies.
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The story of the Tower of Babel is a familiar story.
But did you know that this structure was built in the land of Shinar?
And did you know that Nimrod was the leading figure in the building of this city, and most likely at the beginning of the construction of this great tower?
We read that in verse 2, “they found a plain in the land of Shinar”. And in Genesis 10:10 we read, “The beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom was Babel, in the land of Shinar”.
We must keep in mind that the ages of men in those days was about 500 years, and thus it was possible for Nimrod to build Babel and the tower of Babel, and to establish three other cities in the meantime.
What exactly was going on in those days?
The words of Genesis 11:6 give us an accurate picture of the situation of those days. All the descendants of Noah lived together as one nation, with one language, and with one ruler, Nimrod. Thus the situation is identical to that of the whole world united as one federation, like the rulership that is feared to come under Antichrist. Satan is a great imitator of God. God’s plan is that in the fulness of times He will unite all things in Christ. Satan tries to be one step ahead of God and unite everything in him. And to this end Satan needs a human body that will do his bidding, and that human body was Nimrod. If all things on earth would be united under one head, who answers to Satan, then Satan would be able to establish world peace, and world prosperity, and people would not need God any more. This was his objective also at the time of the building of the tower of Babel. Let us see if Nimrod qualifies to be their ruler.
Nimrod (1st John 2:18, 1st John 2:22, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9, Genesis 10:9, 1st Peter 5:8, Isaiah 14:12, Genesis 11:4, Joshua 7:21)
In 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, God is reminding us that the end of the world shall not come before Antichrist is made known to the people of God.
God says in 1st John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
And who are the Antichrist in our days?
God says in 1st John 2:22, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son”.
And thus in our days all the false preachers are antichrists. Because they are indwelt by the spirit of Antichrist they preach all kinds of nonsense about Christ and about the Gospel.
Let us now translate ourselves to the days of Nimrod. The name “Nimrod” means “the Rebel”. His name describes that which will be the most prominent characteristic of all in the one whom he typifies: Antichrist. He is reminding us of “the man of sin” that we read about here in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4, the son of Hell.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2nd Thessalonians 2:4
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Does the man of sin presently sit in the temple of God?
Every pulpit in the world where not the true Gospel is preached is a pulpit where the man of sin sits in the temple of God.
As you know, in the New Testament time the physical temple in Jerusalem is no longer the temple of God.
The church is the temple of God, for God resides in the souls of the saints who sit in the church. And so today there are many antichrists, like we read in 1st John 2:18. But in the days of Nimrod it was absolutely an ideal situation for Satan: One world government, one language, and one ruler who is a rebel against God.
Secondly, the form which Nimrod’s rebellion assumed was to head a great confederacy in open revolt against God. We find this in Genesis 10:9, “Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord.” It means that he pushed his own designs, openly defying his Maker. Nimrod was reaping honour and glory for himself.
Thirdly, we read four times the word “mighty” to describe Nimrod. Again we are reminded of the man of sin of whom it is said in 2nd Thessalonians 2:9, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
Fourthly, Nimrod was a hunter. Not a hunter of deer, but most likely a hunter of men (or all manner of wild beasts). That is precisely what antichrist will do. Since he has the spirit of Satan within him he will imitate Satan, who is described “as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. (1st Peter 5:8).
Fifthly, Nimrod was a king, and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. Antichrist is also called a king. There are many verses in Daniel 11 that refer to Antichrist. Let us look at one such passage.
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Here Antichrist is called a king. All the actions of this king in Daniel 11:36 identify him as Antichrist.
Sixthly, Nimrod’s headquarters were in Babylon. Likewise we find that the man of sin is called the king of Babylon. When we read Isaiah 14 we find there a description of Satan, who was called “Lucifer” before his fall into sin. We know it refers to Satan, for Isaiah 14:12 speaks of him “Fallen from heaven”. At the same time God refers to him as “the man that made the earth to tremble”, thereby indicating that the king of Babylon represents Satan by being the embodiment of Satan, Antichrist.
Seventhly, Nimrod’s supreme ambition and desire was to make himself a name. We read this also in Genesis 11:4. Pride is spoken of as the condemnation of the Devil. The man of sin will be fully possessed by the Devil, and thus an insatiable pride will possess him. It is this Satanic egotism which will cause him to oppose and “exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4).
Eighthly, we read in Genesis 10:8 that Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the earth”, which implies that he struggled for the preeminence, and by force obtained it. And thus he became a leader and a ruler over men.
Ninthly, we read that Nimrod “was a mighty hunter before the Lord”. The Chaldee paraphrase of this verse says, “Cush begat Nimrod who began to prevail in wickedness, for he slew innocent blood and rebelled against Jehovah”.
Tenthly, we read in Genesis 10:10, “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel”. Initially the name Babel means “The Gate of God”. Afterwards when God confused their languages the name Babel means “Confusion”. By coupling together the various hints that the Holy Spirit has given us in these two parentheses, Nimrod not only organized an imperial government, but he also introduced idolatrous worship. From this point forward in history Babylon stands for all that is in opposition against God. For example, in Joshua 7:21 it was a Babylonish garment that Achan stole out of Jericho, which was the first sin of the children of Israel in the Promised Land. Furthermore we learn from Revelation 17 that the whole of apostate Christendom is called “Mystery Babylon”.
We read in Genesis 11:4, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”.
They did not want to be scattered over the whole earth, even though God said in Genesis 9:1, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth”. They deliberately refused to obey God’s command.
And why did they disobey God?
It was primarily because they followed their leader. Nimrod’s ambition was to establish for himself a world-empire. To accomplish this two things were necessary:
First a center of unity like as a city’s headquarters.
Second, a motive was needed for the encouragement and inspiration of his followers. And thus we read in verse 4, “Let us make us a name”. It was an inordinate desire for fame. Nimrod’s desire was to keep all mankind together under his own leadership, “lest we be scattered”. And the tower was the project he could hold out to them as the motive for their togetherness.
But God stepped in.
God perceived the plans of Satan.
Satan intended to create a heaven on earth. And if people have a heaven on earth, what need is there for heaven?
And so, God intervened in the plans of Satan. Actually God rescued mankind by confusing their languages and by scattering them over all the earth. And here we observe one of the most far reaching miracles in human history. God confused their “tongues”. It finds no parallel until another outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost when another miracle of “tongues” was performed. The effect of God’s intervention was the world as we presently know it. And as long as there are diverse languages, and nations, and wars between nations, and earthquakes and famines and pestilences, the Gospel goes forth, and Christ is the mighty Warrior who goes forth conquering and to conquer. The Lord brings to pass and uses the calamities of this world to accomplish His purposes. But when the United Nations is succeeding to create, what they perceive to be a heaven on earth then watch out, for the end is near. Let us now consider:
Antichrist (1st John 4:1-3, Hebrews 12:23, Revelation 6:9, Isaiah 43:11, Genesis 3:15)
Let us now ask ourselves:
How does all this affect me?
Does it matter that I know about Antichrist in the early days after the flood?
And does it matter that I know about Antichrist who shall come near the end of time?
In the first part of the 4th chapter of the Epistle of John to the New Testament churches God tells us more about Antichrist, and about all those people who have the spirit of Antichrist. As you know, God utilizes the sin of man by taking the opportunity to state one or more beautiful doctrines of the Gospel of salvation. And so He does here. The sins that God addresses here are the sins of the Gnostics, who do not believe that Jesus Christ is God. There are many people today who acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but in this they mean that He is just a very holy man, or a prophet, but not God Himself. They are following the teachings of the Gnostics. And thus the Gnostic manuscripts found in Alexandria, in Egypt, have been corrupted in such a way that they have taken out all evidences that are pointing to the deity of Jesus Christ. And they are led in this direction by many of the modern versions of the Bible, which are dominated by these old, but corrupted, manuscripts found in Alexandria, in Egypt, and in the Vatican, in Rome. God is addressing this Gnostic teaching here in 1st John 4, but God is also addressing us, here in the New Testament time, and God is teaching us discernment, meaning God is teaching us how to distinguish between good and bad doctrine.
We read here in 1st John 4:1-3,
1st John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1st John 4:2
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1st John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
God says here, “Believe not every spirit”. By this is meant, “Believe not every person who tries to teach you spiritual truths”. The spirits spoken of here refer to people. We know that because the Bible uses the words spirits and souls as synonyms for the spirit essence of people. For example, we read in Hebrews 12:23, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect”. In this verse “The spirits of just men made perfect” refers to the spirits, or souls, in heaven of disembodied men. Another example, we read in Revelation 6:9, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held”. In this verse “the souls of them that were slain” refers to the souls, or spirits, of disembodied men. In other words, in 1st John 4:1 God warns us that we should not believe everyone who speaks to us about the Gospel for many false prophets have gone out into the world. And the spirit that dwells within these false prophets is not the spirit of God, but the spirit of Antichrist.
What is the spirit of Antichrist?
The spirit of Antichrist is Satan. Like Christ is God in the flesh, so Antichrist is Satan in the flesh. Satan is a spirit. In order to do any damage to the Kingdom of God Satan needs a human body which can speak, and act, in this world of mankind. God is omnipresent, and so God needs only one body, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. But since Satan is not omnipresent he needs many human bodies to represent him as Antichrist on this earth. And paraphrased God says, “The way we can recognize those spirits of Antichrist, is by their teaching whether Jesus Christ has come in the flesh”.
Let us analyze this carefully. The name Jesus means Saviour. But God says in Isaiah 43:11, “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no saviour”. And so, if we believe what the Bible says, then we believe that the name Jesus identifies with Jehovah, the God who cherishes and nourishes His people, the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, all the way from Genesis 1:26 to Revelation 22:21.
This God is Jesus, the Saviour.
Moreover, the name “Christ” means “the Anointed One”, the Messiah who was promised early on in Genesis 3:15 to fight for us against sin and the Devil, and has promised us salvation through the forgiveness of our sins. We read in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel”.
And so we see that the name Jesus refers to the Spirit of Jehovah as the Saviour, and the name Christ refers to the man whom God calls the Seed of the woman. God speaks in 1st John 4:2 about this Jesus Christ, and He said, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God”.
Everyone who confesses that this Jesus Christ has already come in AD 33, and has suffered and died for those whom He came to save from their sins, and rose again from the grave for the jusification of His people, which also proves that He is God, for no one else but God can atone for our sins within the space of three days and three nights, then that person who agrees that these things are true has been born of God.
And everyone who denies that Jesus Christ has come already, that person has the spirit of Antichrist. Look around among our immediate family, and among our friends. Everyone who is not a believer in Christ is called an Antichrist.
Do you believe that Antichrist is still coming in the near future?
God says here in 1st John 4:3, “Antichrist is now already in the world”. We should keep this in mind every day when we come in contact with people, and we should be careful not to give them occasion to blaspheme the God whom we serve. Watch and pray that God’s grace will keep you in His care.
Our Faith Shows Whom We Are Serving (1st John 4:4-6, Matthew 7:13-14)
Indeed our faith shows up in our actions, and these show whom we are serving. We read in 1st John...
1st John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1st John 4:5
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1st John 4:6
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Fear not, for greater is the Spirit of God who dwells in us, than the spirit of Satan who is in the world.
What world is this?
It is the world of all those who are in the clutches of Satan. This is not the world that God loves. This is the world that God hates. They, who are of the world speak of the things of this world. And those who are also of the world will listen to them. They will not listen to us when we speak of how great God is, or when we speak of how the Lord Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh – God incarnate, or when we speak of how Jesus came to save His people from their sins and only His people, the remnant chosen by grace, or when we speak of our names having been in God’s covenant that was drawn before the foundation of the world, or when we speak of the presence of Christ all throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. Instead the world will flock to the false preachers who bring a gospel that people like to hear.
They will speak of how their gospel must be practical for the life here and now, instead of keeping our eyes fixed on the future life.
They speak of how their prosperity gospel has already paid off on the money they have spent, instead of speaking of one soul being valued more than all the money in the world.
They speak of holding high the self-esteem of man, instead of telling people that God’s wrath rests upon them.
They speak of coming to Jesus by your own free will and thus you are the king-maker, instead of giving God all the credit and all the glory as He said in His Word.
They speak of their Jesus still whispering wonderful words in their ears, whereas the Bible says that God has finished giving all His revelations to mankind, and God will not add to the words of the prophecy of this Book.
They speaks of salvation through ceremonies and what they call "sacraments" and membership in one of their man made denominations.
Therefore, do not be dismayed if the world flocks to these false preachers, and if they grow mega-churches throughout this country. Remember the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:13 and 14 about the wide gate and many there be which go in thereat, and about the narrow gate and few there be that find it.
Therefore, when we read in 1st John 4:6, “We are of God”, who are the “we”?
We are those who believe the whole Bible, and who give all the credit and the glory for our salvation to God, for this is implied when we believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. And all those who are of God, all those whom God intended to save, all those who are the remnant chosen by grace, will want to hear from us, and will want to hear the Gospel spoken of in the Bible. But all those who are not of God do not want to hear us.
“Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error”.
(1st John 4:6)
Hereby know we the Spirit of God who dwells within those whom He determined to save, and the spirit of Antichrist, the spirit of Satan who is already in the world ever since Genesis 3. Let us therefore not set our gaze upon a mysterious human being whom we perceive to be the Antichrist, for this is a diversion of the king of the demons. Instead we must set our gaze upon the Lord Jesus Christ, for “Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error”.
By Alfred J. Chompff