Babylon And Antichrist
5:5-11 outlines a vision in which a woman who personifies “wickedness”
is put into a basket with a heavy lead over, to stop her from escaping.
This basket is then taken to Babylon to have a temple built around it.
The idea of God restraining wickedness is undoubtedly picked up in the
prophecy of the “man of sin” who is presently restrained, but will be
released in the last days. Zechariah’s vision says that the “house” or
temple of Babylon will rise again “when it is ready” (Zech. 5:11). The
city where mankind’s first rebellion began against God will be the place
where the final rebellion will be based.
Thess. 2:3 is clear enough that the “man of sin” will arise in the last
days immediately before the Lord’s return. We need not think that Christ
is about to return until we see this person gloriously enthroned “as God”.
This is what Paul seems to be saying. And when the Lord was asked for
the signs of His coming, he started off by warning that false Christs
would come (Mt. 24:4,5). 1 Jn. 2:18 says just the same: “It is the last
time [RV “hour”]: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even
now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time”.
This was true in the run up to AD70, and it will be true in the ultimate
last hour too. Ezekiel 38 likewise speaks of a man called ‘Gog’, a “chief
prince”, who would come against God’s people at the time of the end.
is the man of whom Dan. 8:25 speaks- “he will destroy many and will stand
up against the Prince of princes”, the Lord Jesus. This person is therefore
and thereby ‘anti-Christ’, against Christ. One of Daniel’s terms for the
antiChrist is “the little horn”. This alludes to the Semitic practice
of anointing leaders- when the horn of oil was poured on the head, it
seemed as if a horn was coming out of the head of the leader. This “little
horn” is associated with, to the point that he is, the “abomination
that maketh desolate” (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). This only had a partial
fulfiment in Antiochus Epiphanes, because the Lord Jesus says Himself
that this “abomination” will appear in the very last days as the special
sign of His return. The vision concerned “the time of the end” (Dan. 8:16,17).
There are often big leaps in Bible prophecy to the end time- and here
we have such an example. Having spoken of the break up of Alexander’s
Kingdom, Dan. 8:23,24 jumps right ahead to the last days: “In the latter
part of their reign…a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.
He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding
devastatiojn and will succedd in whatever he does. He will destroy the
mighty men and the holy people”. And yet he, or “the Prince of [his] host”
will by himself offer “the daily sacrifice” [see Pulpit Commentary
on the textual problems here]. This along with 2 Thess. 2 and other passages
demands a rebuilt temple to exist in Jerusalem, where Antichrist sits.
And it can be no accident that the Jews are determined to build one. Perhaps
they may have short term victory over their Arab enemies in order to do
this. And then the Lord will come suddenly to His holy temple (Mal. 3:1)
to destroy the Antichrist system enthroned there.
little horn takes a stand against the Prince of princes and then is destroyed
“but not by human power” (Dan. 8:25), i.e. he
will be destroyed by the stone [Jesus] cut out without human hands. This
is just the language of 2 Thess. 2, of how the Antichrist will be destroyed
by the Lord’s sudden return. Micah and Isaiah call this individual “the
Assyrian” (Is. 10:5; 14:25). We have shown elsewhere that the description
of Lucifer being thrown out of heaven can be read as describing the fall
of a future King of Babylon in the last days. The most comfortable understanding
of antiChrist as being an Assyrian / Babylonian is that he will be an
Assyrian / Babylonian, and ruler of those areas. A leader of Iraq would
ideally suit this. And their leadership shows every sign of the aggression,
meglomania and anti-Semitism which will characterize
the antiChrist. Note too that Gog is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal-
areas identified by some as being in present Iran / Iraq. The number of
the beast is the number of a man (Rev. 13:18); he becomes personally identified
with the system that persecutes the saints and Israel in the last days.
“man of sin” will sit in the temple of God and proclaim that he is God.
This is surely the “abomination that maketh desolate” that the Lord Jesus
predicted would sit in the temple just prior to His return. The abomination
makes “desolate”, clearly referring to Jerusalem being made desolate
by Babylonian / Iraqi invaders (Dan. 9:2,17). Luke 21:20 parallels “the
abomination that maketh desolate” in Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 with “the desolation
of Jerusalem”. The abomination / abominator will stand “where he
ought not” (Mk. 13:14 RV). He is the “one that maketh desolate” (Dan.
9:27 RV). A specific individual is clearly implied. Dan. 8:13 RV describes
this person as “the transgression that maketh desolate”- yet it is the
abominator that makes Jerusalem desolate. Therefore “the transgression”
is surely being put by metonymy for a man, who will sit in the Most Holy
place and make Jerusalem desolate. And 2 Thess. 2 says just the same-
“the man of sin / transgression”. The whole tenor of the Daniel prophesies
is that they refer to an individual who will arise in the last days- not
someone like a Pope sitting in St. Peter’s for centuries. The vision of
the 2300 days of abomination- the days during which the abominator will
make Jerusalem desolate- “belongs to the latter days” (Dan. 8:26). These
are the days during which the sanctuary and the host of God’s people will
be “trodden under foot”; interpreted by the Lord as Jerusalem being trodden
down of the Gentiles until “the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled”.
is quite clear that the Iraqi leadership would dearly love to sit and
stand in the Sanctuary if they could get their hands on Jerusalem [as
they vow they will]. He will sit there “as God”. Another place where we
read of a man sitting in the temple proclaiming
that he is God is in Ez. 28:2, where the King of Tyre proudly says that
he sits as God ruling the seas of the people. The King of Tyre was a prototype
for the latter day man of sin. And he was an Arab, too- what we would
call a Lebanese. It could even be that the rebuilding of Babylon is to
be associated with a rebuilding of Tyre. One of Nimrod’s characteristics-
the founder of Babylon- was that he filled the face of the earth with
cities. The King of Tyre was “in Eden the garden of God” where he was
“anointed” and beautifully adorned (Ez. 28:12,14). These descriptions
may be further information about the serpent in
Eden, although omitted from the Genesis account. In this case, the fake-Christ
[annointed one] is “the old serpent”, just as the latter day beast leader
will be (Rev. 12). The beast is so often paralleled with its leader, just
as the little horn seems to refer to both a leader and a nation / political
system. The sudden destruction that comes upon Antichrist in 2 Thess.
2 is the same kind of thing spoken of in 1 Thess. 5:3- “When they shall
say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh”. The saying of
peace and safety is exactly the language of Daniel regarding
the false peace produced in the very last days by Antichrist. It could
well be that under Babylon’s domination there is a brief boom period for
the entire world. This ensures his political survival, and explains why
all the world’s merchants will weep at his fall. This sorrow by the traders
hardly seems likely to happen if the Vatican was destroyed. This person
will accuse the brethren of Christ before the throne of God (Rev. 12:10),
but will be thrown down by the Lord’s return and the establishment of
the Kingdom. This is exactly the language of 2 Thess. 2 about the antichrist
who is to be destroyed by the Lord’s coming. Yet the idea of a false accuser
of the brethren before the throne of God takes us back to Job’s satan-
who seems to have been an Arab pseudo-disciple, bringing down the outpouring
of vial-like judgments upon God's ’eople (cp. the scene in Revelation).
the man of sin, sitting in the temple of God, is surely the abomination
that Jesus said is to be in the temple in the last days, leading to the
final desolation. Is. 14 describes the rise and fall of the King of Babylon;
he too desired to set himself as God in the temple of God, having first
terrorized the nations that dwell on the ‘earth’, those situated in the
land promised to Abraham between the Nile and Euphrates. This seems so
on the cards for latter day Babylon in the form of Iraq- to terrorize
the Arab world into accepting her leadership, and then to seek to set
up the King of latter day Babylon on “the mount of God”, Zion. Finally,
Nahum speaks of how there was one specific Assyrian leader who was to
be destroyed by the coming of Messiah. The phrasing is so similar to that
found about the “man of sin”: “There is one gone forth out of thee, that
imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor…behold upon the mountains
the feet of him [Messiah] that bringeth good tidings…the wicked one shall
no more pass through…he is utterly cut off. He that dasheth in pieces
is come up before thy face” (Nah. 1:11,15; 2:1 RV).