The Resurrection of Anti-Christ
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Recently, my church family held our “Resurrection Sunday" meeting. In my vocabulary I no longer refer to it as “Easter.” This message isn’t about addressing the differences between Easter and Christ’s Resurrection. It’s about ‘The Resurrections.’ I say the Resurrections [plural] is because there are more than one I’d like to address. We’ll begin with the most obvious one.
The Resurrection of Christ
Being that Resurrection Sunday just passed, I believe that we should give praise and honor, credit and glory to the One Who made our lives possible. It is because of His resurrection that we have everlasting life. Jesus was not only resurrected by the Father, but He also proclaimed Himself, “the Resurrection.”As a matter of fact, everyday a Christian takes a breath should be thought of as a "Resurrection Day."
in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
In John 11:25 Jesus not only says that ‘He is the Resurrection,’ He also says He is “the life.” What an astounding statement! According to Jesus, He has covered every base. He says that if we simply believe, even though we die, we’ll still live. That’s the resurrection part.
And, if we believe and are alive when He comes, we will never die. That’s the “life” part. Seems to me, the only thing that is up to us is whether we believe on Him for everlasting life or not. Not only did He raise others before His death, was raised Himself, and will raise others at His coming, He’ll also keeps alive those who are His elect who get’s saved during the LORD’s Wrath when He comes at the Battle of Armageddon. This resurrection will be complete just as His is. He now has a physical body of flesh and bone. He breathes. He speaks. He hears. He eats. His body isn’t limited by time and space. His body will never tire, hunger, cry, hurt, or die. I don’t even think He can get dirty.
Without Him we’d have no blessed hope, nothing to look forward to, no participation in Heavenly things. There would be no relationship with the Father, no hope of ever seeing our loved ones, no eternal life. Yes, Christ IS the Resurrection and the Life.
Not only do we know of Christ’s Resurrection, but there is also…
The Intermediate Resurrection
Those who died ‘In Christ’ before Christ’s visitation to Earth have a special place in Resurrection history. Men like Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah and all those who died in Christ have experienced an Intermediate Resurrection. Intermediate is defined as, “coming between two things in time, place, order, character, etc.” Resurrection is defined as, “the revitalized or revival of something.”
These souls were raised, but not their physical bodies. Their physical bodies are dust in the ground. They are corrupt. They were mortal. But, their soul and spirit lives on. We see evidence of this in the account of Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. We know that Jesus transfigured Himself and spoke with Moses and Elijah supernaturally as witnessed by three of His disciples.
Matthew 17:1-9, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”
In this instance, bodies were seen. These bodies are what I like to call intermediate bodies. These bodies could be seen, but they were not flesh and bone, as we know our bodies to be right now. Why? Because the first resurrection has not yet taken place. When Jesus arose, He took captivity captive. That means that all of the dead saints of old were taken to Heaven from Abraham’s Bosom to await the first resurrection. The first resurrection is known as ‘The Day of the LORD,’ a.k.a. ‘the Rapture.’ It is the first physical resurrection. The ones who Jesus took with Him from the underworld to Heaven when He arose was an Intermediate Resurrection, however, Moses and Elijah got their intermediate bodies before Christ took captivity captive. Until the trumpet sounds, all those who died or will die in Christ from the time when Abel entered into Abraham's Bosom and before the Rapture will possess an intermediate body in Heaven.
We’ve seen Christ’s Resurrection and the Intermediate Resurrection. Now comes…
The Resurrection of the Saints
In Matthew 27 we see the account of Jesus' death. As we know, His death brings forth life, just like the corn of wheat. Here we see that after He gave up the Ghost on the cross, six specific events took place three days before His Own Resurrection.
First, the Veil in the Temple was rent from top to bottom, signifying the end of the Mosaic Ceremonial Laws and the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood. Now, all believers and those who seek salvation in Christ can boldly come before God's Heavenly Throne. Before this event happened, a person wishing to come before God's Throne had to have a mediator in the person of a Aaronic priest with a blood sacrifice. The veil in the Temple was a symbolic barrier between man and God's Holiness. Only one person a year could enter into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant rested behind the veil. This veil was woven from thick materials, thinker than most phone books today. It was torn from top to bottom by God Himself signifying a new era; an era that will allow man to approach God without the formalities of a blood sacrifice. Why? Because Jesus was the ultimate Blood Sacrifice and is our High Priest.
Next, the earth did quake. I’ve never been in an earthquake, but I’m told it can be a frightening experience. Imagine the ground that supports our feet trembling, shaking and moving. The sound of rumblings and the rocks breaking up around us. Imagine us witnessing buildings being moved from their foundations? God sure knows how to let people know He is present.
Third, we see that the rocks were rent. Rent means tear. It takes a Mighty Hand to be able to tear a rock. The Power of God was indeed present that day. Why is this an important to notice? I believe it is to show how thorough God is. How can the graves be opened if the rocks weren’t torn asunder?
Fourth, the graves were opened. Wow! That should shiver our timbers right there! These graves were holes in the ground for most. Others were tombs for those who could afford them. Either way, these graves were opened.
Fifth, many bodies of the saints which slept arose. Did all those in their graves rise? No. Only those who had recently died that were believers. If we take a moment to think about it, this should be a significant number of people. Among three to four million Hebrews In Israel, the death rate over the past three days before Christ’s death would still be great. Perhaps thousands were raised that day. Why were they chosen? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that those who buried them previously witnessed their dearly departed’s testimony for Christ. All along the deceased were telling their loved ones and friends about Jesus. Perhaps some believed and others did not. To those like Doubting Thomas, who didn’t believe, can you imagine the looks on their loved one’s faces when their deceased loved one came strolling through the door and said, “Honey I’m home! What’s for dinner, I’m starved?”
Sixth, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. These saints walked out of their graves, breathing and full of life. They weren’t zombies looking to feast on someone’s brains. They were the Walking Living, not the Walking Dead. When it says, “after his resurrection,” it’s not speaking of a chronological order of events. Rather, it’s talking about after the same manner of Christ’s resurrection.
Also, the first things they did were to go into Jerusalem and appear unto many. I can see it now: I’m walking down the street minding my own business and who walks up to me but my dear old friend Bernie. I say to him, “I thought you were dead! I attended your funeral service two days ago. I sang a special for your family. They gave me a $25 shekel check!” And, he would say, “Yeah, I know! Crazy, huh? One minute I’m lying in my grave and the next I see daylight. I find out later that Jesus just died on the cross. Wow! Everything He said is coming true. What a great Saviour. If I were you, I’d start believing on Him right now. Bye the way, you can keep the check. You look like you could use it.”
These six events preceded Christ’s resurrection. It is said that God often does things in ‘sevens’ because it signifies perfection. Well, the seventh event was His Own resurrection. Previous to Christ’s death we can find several examples of people dying, which through the power of God came to live again.
The most recent account of a person who died and was buried in the Old Covenant was Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Before that, the Ruler’s daughter was known to be dead by family and friends. Jesus defined those who were saints that had just died, as being “asleep.” He tried to tell everyone that He had the power to grant life or death, but being conditioned to believe that death is a finality, they laughed Him to scorn. The third instance was when Jesus came upon a widow woman at the gate with her dead son being carried off to be buried.
The Widow Woman’s Dead Son:
Luke 7:12, “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.”
Luke 7:15, ”And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”
Matthew 9:24, “He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.”
Mark 5:35, “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?”
Mark 5:39, “And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.”
Luke 8:52, “And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.”
John 11:14, “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.”
John 11:42-44, “And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” 43, “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” 44, “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus did a lot of grave robbing before He could convince everyone that He was Who He claimed to be. Those who didn’t see His miracles first hand still wondered. It’s not like they had You Tube back then. And even if they did, doubters would say what had happened was Photo shopped. Those in the Religious Establishment were concerned because they didn’t see Jesus as they imagined Messiah would appear. Instead, they saw a lowly carpenter’s son. To them, He was an insignificant speck. Who was He to overthrow their control on the people? He had to be stopped. But they didn’t realize that He is the Resurrection.
Not only was there the Resurrection of Christ, the Intermediate Resurrection, the Resurrection of the Saints, but there is also...
The Resurrection of the Damned
We know that the rich man who fared sumptuously and gave scraps from his table to Lazarus at his gate saw Lazarus and Abraham after he was placed in hell. He saw their essence. They were recognizable to him. How the three disciples were able to recognize Moses and Elijah I’m not sure either, since both had been dead for hundreds of years. Perhaps it was an awareness God gave them to be able to perceive whose intermediate body it was. How the rich man recognized Abraham, I can only speculate that it was the same for him. But, the Bible says that he saw. So, he still had his eyes. We know he still had his ears because he was able to hear Abraham speak to him. Not only did he see and hear, he spoke. He also felt. He was tormented and thirsty. He has a tongue. His body ‘felt things.’ This story was not a parable. These are factual events from the lives and deaths of real people who lived upon this earth.
Did the rich man have an intermediate body? It’s possible. Was it a spiritual body? Perhaps. It is also possible that it will be changed into a resurrected, physical, glorified body at the Judgment. It won’t be a glorified saved body, but it will become an immortally lost body. Regardless, after the Judgment, whatever his body is to be fashioned into, it will remain the same for all time. There is no indication that it will ever be changed again. The only respite it will have from his torments in the hell he knows now will be when he is summoned to the Great White Throne. After he is sentenced, his body will burn. It won’t burn up. It will just continue to burn forever in a lifeless Hell.
Rev 20:12-13, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
The resurrection of the Damned precedes the second death. This is the abrupt ending of having contact with anyone ever again. When it says, ‘the dead,’ it isn’t speaking about someone being unconscious. There will be no sleep, no relief, no comfort, no breaks, no hope and no one to rescue them. There will be plenty of things to keep their attention however. They’ll be the worm that dieth not. Demons will be attacking them, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth will be ongoing and never ending. There will be total darkness that will be felt. The most significant thing they will experience will be the total separation from God’s presence. This is the second death. What a terrible existence to be without God. Those who died in their sins will rise together, as will the Pharisees of Jesus’ time with those generations of the past, present and future. These and all those who die without Christ will suffer the ever-expanding horrors of Hell.
We’ve heard about Christ’s Resurrection, the Intermediate Resurrection, the Resurrection of the Saints, the Resurrection of the Damned, and now we’ll see a resurrection seldom spoken of in these terms…
The Resurrection of Anti-Christ
2Thessalonians 2: 3-11, “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; 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. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (Here the word 'let' means to hinder, not 'to allow.' The same usage of the word 'let' can be found in Romans 1:13.) 8 And then shall that Wicked (Satan) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" What lie? The lie of the false resurrection of the beast (anti-Christ): Grammatically, the word ‘he’ in vs 7 needs an Antecedent to refer back to whom this Scripture is talking about. All we would need to do is trace back to the last person mentioned. That person would be the son of perdition, or anti-Christ.
Revelation 13:11-15, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he (the second beast) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
The first beast is the son of perdition mentioned in 2Thessalonians 2. In 'Mob' terms, he will be ‘whacked.’ But, the deception, the strong delusion God will send, is that of the False Resurrection of anti-Christ. He will be wounded with a deadly wound. All will know that he is dead. But, some how, some way, he’ll come back to life. At least that’s what the public will believe. The fact is, Satan himself will indwell the body of the first beast and control it through his own manipulations. The former beast will have no will or thoughts of his own. His soul is dead. He’s waiting in hell with the rich man of Lazarus fame.
Not only is there the Resurrection of Christ, the Intermediate Resurrection, the Resurrection of the Saints, the Resurrection of the Damned and the Resurrection of Anti-Christ, there is the…
The False Resurrection Taught By Fundamentalism
The delusion that is taught today in the world of Fundamental Christianity is that the Holy Spirit will be “taken out of the way,” and with Him the saved. They also believe that the lost will be deceived into believing that aliens came to take the Raptured away. Many have been conditioned to believe that aliens do exist from other worlds. They believe that fiction is closer than fact. This delusion doesn’t come from God. This comes from the pulpits of American Fundamental ‘Churches’ who are deceived by Satan’s media circus and their own false pet doctrines. This will not happen because the Bible says nothing in 2Thessalonians 2:1-7 about the Holy Spirit’s involvement in this passage of Scripture. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit isn’t even mentioned in the first eleven verses of 2Thessalonians 2. The fact of the matter is, the Holy Spirit is God, and He cannot be taken out of the way from anywhere!
The Holy Spirit is not the One who is described in 2Thess. 2:7, as we were told. This reasoning may sound plausible, but it isn’t. We’ve reasoned for years that if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, we as the saved, will be taken with Him. We’ve assumed that this will be what happens at the Rapture. This assumption has evolved into a pet doctrine. The reality of it is, that the ‘he’ that’ll be taken out of the way is anti-Christ, the first beast. The lie that believers will be taken out of the way with the Holy Spirit is a Fundamental, Institutional ‘Church,' man-made concept that has no basis of fact in Scripture. The actual lie believed as described in Scripture is the False Resurrection of anti-Christ.
The Resurrection That is to Come
Revelation 20:4-6, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years were finished. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Since we’re still living in our mortal bodies, we are awaiting the Resurrection that is to come. It has several names; the Day of Redemption, the Day of the LORD, the Rapture, the Blessed Hope.
1Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Paul here was addressing those who were missing their dead loved ones asleep in Christ. Those asleep here are those who are like Moses and Elijah. They are up in Heaven in their intermediate bodies waiting for Jesus to bring them down into the clouds so that they might claim their new bodies out of the grave on the Day of the LORD. They have been waiting the longest, so it stands to reason they should be the ones who get their immortal bodies first. This is the comfort Paul was speaking of. It wasn’t that we’d miss the Great Tribulation. It is my belief that we, in all probability, will be among those who already have an intermediate body before the rapture takes place. Not because Christ’s coming isn’t just around the corner, but because there is a chain of events that must take place before He could come. One of those events is WW-3. We are now living in the what's known as the Beginning of Sorrows ~ Matthew 24:8.
Chronologically, the next time period on God’s prophetic calendar is known as the Times of the Gentiles. I believe that we are living in the beginning of the “times of the gentiles” right now. In the Times of the Gentiles, wars will be raging throughout the globe. These wars will culminate with WW-3. For the northern nations to surround Jerusalem and attack, preventative measures have to be taken by the aggressors. One of those measures will be to destroy Israel’s greatest ally. We see in Ezekiel 37-39 a trilogy. These chapters chronicle the events that will take place before and up to the times of the gentiles. Chapter 37 is dedicated to showing the restoration of Israel, also known as the Valley of Dry Bones. Chapter 38 tells of the enemies of Israel collaborating and assembling to destroy Israel. Chapter 39 speaks of God trampling on the armies of Gog and Magog, the Islamic nations who occupy the land of Southern Russia to the north of Israel.
Five sixths of these armies will be utterly destroyed by God. He will rain fire and brimstone upon these armies somewhere in the hills surrounding Jerusalem. After God does His work, the bodies will be marked and there will commence a mass burial that will take seven years. Israel will even burn their weapons for fuel for seven years. After God strikes, there will arise anti-Christ, who will take credit for saving Israel. He’ll become a Peacemaker along with his crony, the False Profit. This will begin his time of ministry as the "savior of the people." He solves most of the world’s dilemmas; food, housing, money, commerce, governments, etc will be under his direction. The Corporations of this Earth (Merchants) will give him absolute power to rule, and he’ll have the weapons to back it up.
He will make a peace treaty with Israel and promise to build the Temple with the help of his false ‘Church’ System. He will destroy the Roman ‘Church’ system and will set up a New World Order ‘Church’ where all are commanded to worship under one altar. That altar will be located in Jerusalem. He will appear in the beginning of his reign to be the Messiah. As he builds the Temple, he implements many social, food and welfare programs and will have the support of all the people, except the very elect. When the Temple’s construction is complete, and the dedication ceremony takes place, he will commit the Abomination of Desolation. He will pull the Mercy Seat out of the Holy of Holies and proclaim to be God. When the Jews refuse to worship him, he orders all to be killed. This begins the Great Tribulation period. This Great Tribulation will see many atrocities, none of which come from God. Immediately after this Great Tribulation period, the Day of the LORD will come ~ Matthew 24:29 & Mark 13:24. This is when the dead in Christ shall rise first, and those saints still on Earth will be changed and taken to Heaven to be with the Lord forevermore.
This brings me back to my original point of where we will probably be. Before the gentiles march on Israel and surround Jerusalem, the Northern armies must take a major precaution. They must get Israel’s number one ally out of the way. Guess who that is? That’s right. More than likely, it’ll be us. Scripture describes a nation west of Ethiopia, across the sea, that lies on many waters, that is meted out, has a symbol as of wings, is politically powerful, where most luxuries come from. This nation is commonly known as ‘The Political Babylon.’ There’s the ‘Original Babylon,’ of Nebuchadnezzar, ‘the Religious Babylon’ a.k.a. the Vatican, and ‘the Political Babylon,’ Washington D.C being it’s capital city. An assembly of great nations from the north will destroy her with the mighty arrows of men. All of these arrows will be launched and none will return void. Geographically, I believe the only nation that fits this description in the latter days is the good old USA.
If that’s the case, we might be spared having to go through the Great Tribulation because we’ll all be vaporized in a nuclear attack and will immediately be in Heaven with intermediate bodies. Another alternative is that we’ll survive WW-3 and we’ll either starve, be hunted down like dogs in the street, tortured, beaten and finally be-headed for our testimony for Christ. It could be that we will be around for the Great Tribulation period and that we’ll be killed for refusing to take the mark of the beast and refuse to worship him. Few will endure until the end, but we know that some will as the Lord promised. Although this doesn’t sound appealing, it may very well happen to us or someone we know.
The good news is that immediately after the Tribulation of those days, the LORD shall appear in the clouds. We’ll be front and center when the Lord takes us down to get our new glorified bodies if we are one of those who are asleep in Christ. Or, we’ll be looking up into heaven knowing that our redemption draweth nigh if we are survivors of the Great Tribulation. We do know that the Day of the LORD is not the Battle of Armageddon. That doesn’t happen until after the Lord reigns down his Wrath upon the earth after the Rapture ~Revelation 8:7. The Bible is clear in so many places pertaining to the order of events that will occur. The reader may want to refer to Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 5-8, Acts 2, Joel, Daniel 9-12 and other Prophetic Books. Here are the chronological events in order as the Scriptures reveal.
1. Beginning of Sorrows
2. Times of the Gentiles (including WW-3)
3. Abomination of Desolation
4. Great Tribulation
5. The Day of the LORD (Rapture, Judgment Seat of Christ, Marriage Supper of the Lamb)
6. The Day of the LORD’s Wrath (God’s Judgment upon the Earth)
7. Return of Christ (Battle of Armageddon, 1,000 year Reign, Final Battle with Satan’s armies, White Throne Judgment)
8. New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem created.
Whatever the outcome, we can be rest assured that we would be wise to heed what Scripture has to say about the end times and how they relate to the Resurrections. In review, these are the Resurrections I have found:
The Resurrection of Christ,
The Intermediate Resurrection,
The Resurrection of the Saints,
The Resurrection of the Damned,
The Resurrection of Anti-Christ,
The False Resurrection Taught By Fundamentalism, and
The Resurrection That Is To Come.