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I. The Antichrist Will Be a Jew
The Antichrist will be a Jew, though his connections, his governmental position, his sphere of dominion, will by no means confine him to the Israelitish people. It should, however, be pointed out that there is no express declaration of Scripture which says in so many words that this daring Rebel will be “a Jew;” nevertheless, the hints given are so plain, the conclusions which must be drawn from certain statements of Holy Writ are so obvious, and the requirements of the case are so inevitable, that we are forced to believe he must be a Jew. To these ‘hints’, ‘conclusions’ and ‘requirements’ we now turn.
1. In Ezek. 21:25-27 we read: “and thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until he comes whose right it is, and I will give it him.” The dispensational place and scope of this passage, is not hard to determine. The time-mark is given in v. 25: it is “when iniquity shall have an end.” It is the End-Time which is in view, then, the End of the Age, when “the transgressors are come to the full” (Dan. 8:23 and cf. 11:36 — “Till the indignation be accomplished”). At that time Israel shall have a Prince, a Prince who is crowned (v. 26), and a Prince whose day is said to be come when “iniquity shall have an end.” Now, as to who this Prince is, there is surely no room for doubt. The only Prince whom Israel will have in that day, is the Son of Perdition, here termed their Prince because he will be masquerading as Messiah the Prince (see Dan. 9:25)! Another unmistakable mark of identification is here given, in that he is expressly denominated “thou, profane wicked Prince” — assuredly, it is the Man of Sin who is here in view, that impious one who shall “oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God.” But what should be noted particularly, is, that this profane and wicked character is here named “Prince of Israel.” He must, therefore, be of the Abrahamic stock, a Jew!
2. In Ezek. 28:2-10 a remarkable description is given us of the Antichrist under the figure of “the Prince of Tyrus,” just as in vv.12-19 we have another most striking delineation of Satan under the figure of “the king of Tyrus.” In a later chapter we hope to show that, beyond a doubt, it is the Antichrist who is in view in the first section of this chapter. There is only one thing that we would now point out from this passage: in v.10 it is said of him “Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised,” which is a very strong hint that he ought not to die the deaths of the “uncircumcised” because he belonged to the Circumcision! Should it be said that this verse cannot apply to the Antichrist because he will be destroyed by Christ Himself at His coming, the objection is very easily disposed of by a reference to Rev. 13:14, which tells of the Antichrist being wounded to death by a sword and rising from the dead — which is prior to his ultimate destruction at the hands of the Saviour.
3. In Dan. 11:36, 37 we are told, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers.” This passage, it is evident, refers to and describes none other than the coming Antichrist. But what we wish to call special attention to is the last sentence quoted — “The God of his fathers.” What are we to understand by this expression? Why, surely, that he is a Jew, an Israelite, and that his fathers after the flesh were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — for such is the invariable meaning of “the fathers” throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.
4. In Matt. 12:43-45 we have another remarkable scripture which will be considered briefly, in a later section of this chapter, when we shall endeavor to show that “The Unclean Spirit” here is none other than the Son of Perdition, and that the “house” from which he goes out and into which he returns, is the Nation of Israel. If this can be established, then we have another proof that he will be a Jew, for this “house,” which is Israel, is here termed by Antichrist “my house.” Just as Solomon was of “the House of David,” so Antichrist shall be of the House of Israel.
5. In John 5:43 we have a further word which helps us to fix the nationality of this coming One. In speaking of the false messiah, the Lord Jesus referred to him as follows, “Another shall come in his own name.” In the Greek there are four different words all translated “Another” in our English versions. One of them is employed but once, and a second but five times, so these need not detain us now. The remaining two are used frequently, and with a clear distinction between them. The first “allos” signifies “another” of the same kind or genus — see Matt. 10:23; 13:24; 26:71, etc. The second, “heteros,” means “another” of a totally different kind, — see Mark 16:12; Luke 14:31; Acts 7:18; Rom. 7:23. Now the striking thing is that the word used by our Lord in John 5:43 is “allos,” another of the same genus, not “heteros,” another of a different order. Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, had presented Himself to Israel, and they rejected Him; but “another” of the same Abrahamic stock should come to them, and him they would “receive.” If the coming Antichrist were to be a Gentile, the Lord would have employed the word “heteros;” the fact that He used “allos” shows that he will be a Jew.
6. The very name “Antichrist” argues strongly his Jewish nationality. This title “Antichrist” has a double significance. It means that he will be one who shall be “opposed” to Christ, one who will be His enemy. But it also purports that he will be a mock Christ, an imitation Christ, a pro-Christ, a pseudo Christ. It intimates that he will ape Christ. He will pose as the real Messiah of Israel. In such case he must be a Jew.
7. This mock Christ will be “received” by Israel. The Jews will be deceived by Him. They will believe that he is indeed their long-expected Messiah. They will accept him as such. Proofs of this will be furnished in a later chapter. But if this pseudo Christ succeeds in palming himself off on the Jews as their true Messiah he must be a Jew, for it is unthinkable that they would be deceived by any Gentile.
Ere passing to the next point, we may add, that it was the common belief among Christians during the first four centuries A.D., that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan. Whether this will be the case or no, we do not know. Gen. 49:17, 18 may have ultimate reference to this Son of Perdition. Certainly Dan is the most mysterious of all the twelve tribes.
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