Where do people stand on the AntiChrist (or antichrists) these days?

(SeanO) #21

@matthew.western For me personally, I’ve never been able to believe that Ezekiel 28 really refers to Satan - the text itself simply never implies that… If you read the next chapter the King is compared to a giant fish with a hook in its mouth, but we don’t read anything into it. I’m not saying it does not, but for me personally I struggle to see that as a type.

I think the clearest types in the Bible are related to Christ. Jesus is the Son of God that Israel was supposed to be. Israel wandered 40 years in the dessert - Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness. Israel was delivered from Egypt - Jesus came out of Egypt - ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son’. However, in contrast to Israel, Jesus obeyed God perfectly. Also, Jesus is the second Adam - humanity as it was meant to be…

I Cor 15:45-49 - So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

There is also the temple / sacrifical system which the Bible says was only a ‘shadow’ of Christ.

Colossians 2:16-17 - Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ

That is the main type that I see in Scripture, but i have not studied the topic extensively.

(Matt Western) #22

thanks heaps @SeanO, I’ll go and have a read of those particular passages, and reflect further.

(Andrew Shaw) #23

A few years ago I read the book by Steve Gregg, which is an excellent, detailed, and - I think - fair explanation of the different views on Revelation. What was interesting to me is that Gregg went into writing the book holding to one particular view, but being careful not to misrepresent or undermine the other views. I forget which one he held, but I do recall him saying that after writing the book he saw more of the merits of some of the views different than his own.

I hold to the “Idealist” view, I think. From my recollection of Gregg’s book all of the other views have holes or stretches that are a little awkward. The “idealist” (I think he referred to it as “Spiritual” in the book), doesn’t try to pin specific individuals and single events to everything which sounds like a cop out, but to me that’s the most logical way to read Revelation.

Recently my wife and I watched the Bible Project overview of Revelation which was pretty neat and helped to make sense of the structure of the book. I think this is the “idealist” approach too, if I have my definitions straight! They call it “symbolic”…

(Kathleen) #24

Thanks so much @Andrew_Shaw and @matthew.western for the Bible Project links. I do love those overviews! Esp. love how they didn’t skimp on the Revelation one, making it 2 parts and explaining how they see it all fitting together. And even to see how the church in Thessaloniki was dealing with anxieties about missing the return of Christ. (I’ve read, but never really studied those letters!)

As some of my own interests lie in social and cultural anthropology and how ideas (philosophy) drive not just individuals (psychology) but communities (sociology), I wanted to quickly narrow to the American context for a second… do y’all (or anyone else reading this) think that the early 20th century ‘fundamentalist’ emphasis on the ‘literal’ interpretation (which rose in opposition to ‘liberal’ theological challenges coming out of continental Europe) drove a ‘Futurist’ view to permeate a wide swath of the American church? (I’m not keen to label people, which is why I use quotation marks, but it’s more concise to use the labels!)

Matt, I know you’re in AUS, but you may see an equivalent where you are. And Andrew, if I remember correctly, you’re a transplanted Aussie based in the American South, so you’d have a unique perspective as well! :slight_smile:

(SeanO) #25

@Andrew_Shaw Yes, it is a good book. I believe Steve is some form of partial preterist if I am understanding his teaching correctly, but he would have much in common with the idealist because both believe there is a lot of symbolism in Revelation. I agree the idealist view is a great candidate. I don’t think it’s a cop out as long as the person holding that view has taken the time to study before coming to that conclusion. Since Revelation is so hard to grapple with, I think the only cop out is to not study sufficiently and still claim to hold one view strongly.

(SeanO) #26

@matthew.western If you are interested in types, you might really enjoy Hebrews. Much of the book is about how the OT sacrifical / priestly system all pointed to Christ.

(Jimmy Sellers) #27

Sean I agree, Heiser is taking crazy talk. Who could believe in god who ruled via divine counsel, a god who has a divine family of created beings who have free will, a god letting others step up and act as his agent to do his will, a god changing his mind, a god giving over nations to a rebellious group of divine free willed beings, a god who claimed his portion and sets out an eternal battle with his disobedient sons, a god who sent his only begotten to fulfill his will for this world, a god who rules supreme over the seen and the unseen?

It appears that this was a plausible belief for the 2nd temple Jewish believers and based on this I think it warrants investigation. This might be a good place to say they (2nd temple Jews) could be wrong and the other side of the same coin is that not all 2nd temple Jews were on board with 2 powers in heaven view of the cosmological landscape.

My first impression of Heiser was very much the skeptic and if he were the only scholar espousing these views, I don’t think that I would waste my time, but he is not. I have read 4 of his books. I am not sold out on all his views but some of them are hard not to consider.

I am not a trained Biblical student, nor do I have any language skills, save maybe a small claim to English and that not a full command as it pertains to the writing of the word. He is a Hebrew and ancient language scholar and even his critics give him credit for that. If he is correct on his reading of the text, then for me the question is not is he (Heiser) correct but did the ancients have it right. If they were right, then where did the church jump the tracks? I think that we can agree that Jewish writing certainly inform the New Testament writers which was/is a major point in NT Wrights work.

I don’t think Heiser is making a claim that he is right. I do think he is saying that there is a good chance that the 2nd temple crowd believed this (all the above) not that it is the new revelation.

You mentioned NT Wright who I have great respect for and have spent considerable time reading and studying his work and as I recall he is/was looked at as a man who was talking crazy talk. I still remember John Piper, another man that I have read and respected writing a 200 + page book refuting Wright’s idea of justification and Wright’s response to Piper’s book. (read them both twice) This is still a bone of contention in many circles.

Lastly, I would say that I don’t agree with either one them hook line and sinker. I hope that sheds a little light on why I included Reversing Mt. Hermon as a 5th possibility. As always thoughts and comments are welcome.

This is an edit, after thought:
I would like to point out that from my study the difference between reason and faith is how much supernatural is enough. None and you have pure reason (the enlighten) all supernatural and you have fedeism.

(SeanO) #28

@Jimmy_Sellers Well thought out response :slight_smile: I don’t doubt Heiser’s qualifications - he is a Logos scholar - and I’m sure I would learn a lot from his books. And thank you for clarifying your position.

I think my main critique is that it appears that he is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

(Jimmy Sellers) #29

Do I smell a pun?

(SeanO) #30

Lol, I thought you would appreciate that…

(Tony Hacker ) #31

Never heard of that jargon.

This is partially true. You can be an expert in any field yet not an expert communicator. These two do not always run together.
Thank God Jesus was an excellent communicator in that He spoke the every day language. He could speak slang, different dialects, and most importantly- relate with the people even the “foolish”.
Matthew 11:25 NASB — At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NASB — but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.
I too deal with training being in manufacturing and construction now for over 22 years. It never ceases to amaze me how some young bucks will pick up what they’ve learned and make it better. At the same time some old timer set in his ways can not keep up even with all that experience cause he was unwilling to change and/or adapt with the continuous improvement process.
The greatest teachers make other teachers. Disciples make disciples and like Jesus said in Luke 7:34-35 NASB — “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
I apologize to the Alabama fans cause I was rooting against them. Most people do tend to root for the underdog. I am most amazed by teams like Iowa Hawkeyes who will work with 1,2 and 3 star requires recruits for example and make them better than a team who has 76% 4 and 5 star recruits from the start.
Not too long after Jesus called the disciples it was like He had an epiphany and was amazed at who the Father had chosen, we tend to choose those who are closely related to us so there’s not that much discomfort in working with them.
If you have large break areas or cafeterias, observe who hangs with who. It’s funny how we talk about how our country is so divided yet many you will find sit with their own race, age, title, buddy, even Christians just congregate with the “healthy” when the sick are all around.
Our intellectual prowess can actually at times do us more harm than good cause it can be a turn off to those who cannot relate.
Jesus was an “expert” at humbling Himself because there was a higher goal than just teaching a truth. An intellectual can hang with the intellectuals and a former gang member may not be afraid of the streets yet few can become like Paul who said 1 Corinthians 9:22 ESV — To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
The way of this world is to get smarter, stronger, faster, healthier, better, richer, increase increase increase, the way of the kingdom is contrary.
You were correct in quoting love chapter, love of self wants to advance only myself even under the guise of helping someone else at times, while love- of others will choose the lowly, sick, ignorant, stupid, poor and find a way to emphasize and relate to walk with them into salvation. To become like a fifth grader.
Romans 1:22 ESV — Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
Im a fool for Christ! Let’s put our energy and our knowledge into winning the lost , even the least of these. Let’s learn simplicity and even how to be unpolished at times.

(Jimmy Sellers) #32

Another book for you.

(Matt Western) #33

Ah you’ve hit the nail on the head completely. An expert may be unable to communicate, or also might also want to just sound like an expert and thinks that by baffling everyone it makes them more believable. I’m a fairly practical person and want to know where all this teaching meets real life.
I quite enjoy Tim Mackie’s podcast ‘Exploring My Strange Bible’ - (one of the guys that does the Bible Project).

I love your entire post and it’s so true. Especially 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 passage.

The one passage in matthew 18:1-4 means a lot to me - as I work with kids. Generally in society, we want to be the greatest - and something in us strives to want to achieve something of meaning, and Jesus does not say, don’t try and be great or do great things, but rather explains what greatness looks like in God’s kingdom. Greatness is achieved through humbleness, and serving others.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

(Matt Western) #34

Hi @KMac,
I am not sure, having not thought about this in relation to church history as a whole. I will say that it has helped me to understand that a particular author (commentator) writing in a particular time period, would be facing pressures from opposition - internal pressures in the church, and external pressures from other world views.

I personally am encouraged to see God working through many denominations, and meeting people who love Jesus, and show that love to others. I want to see the Gospel spread, and others reached for Jesus, and try to find common ground with other believers. On a personal level, having been through a church split, and many changes in life - I’m a little tired of competition between church a, and church b (in the same denomination), or even competition between denomination a and b. We are all on the same team, and need to be reaching out. Sorry I can’t give a decent answer to your question. :slight_smile:

(Tony Hacker ) #35

So yes or no or possibly. Do you or do you not, literally believe in a future anti-christ embodied in 1 man?

(Tony Hacker ) #36

Hi KMac
It was an older book published in 1976 called “The Terminal Generation” written by Hal Lindsey.
At this point in my walk (which was just beginning) it only opened my eyes to the fact that the bible was much more than some old book that sat open at my grandmother’s house but was nothing more to me than a table ornament at the time.
It was a tool God used to open my eyes that His Word was much more than historical or ancient BUT was relevant for today and the future.
Through God giving me the gift of faith I was able to take in and receive the prophecies concerning Jesus birth and thus have the same amount of faith towards Jesus second coming.
I started off spiritually speaking concerning bible prophecy with the likes of Hal Lindsey, Grant Jeffries, Jack VanImpe, my AG pastor and youth pastor.
All until 15 years later when a special friend/teacher/minister/counselor came into my life and dismantled a small yet major portion of my eschatology beliefs.

(Kathleen) #37

Thanks for your reply, @matthew.western! Much agreed on not being a fan of competition between churches, and have also been encouraged by how God moves in and reaches different people though different denominations. :slight_smile:

It just dawned on me that my question could be interpreted as me making a value judgement about a branch of American evangelicalism. I definitely am not doing that! I am just trying to connect some dots in my head. I am always fascinated by ‘why we are the way we are’, and do not mean to ‘throw shade’ on a particular interpretation. :slight_smile:

And, @SpiritfilledBerean, thanks for your question! I definitely believe that a future anti-christ embodied in one person is a possibility. I would not rule it out, but I do not believe it has to be. The anti-christ spirit, in my mind, is more easily noticeable and much more prevalent in every age/generation, so I myself focus much more on opposing that. :slight_smile:

(Tony Hacker ) #38

Thank you for response.

And in every age/generation there are those who lead the way whether for good or evil. Even since God’s people first asked/demanded a King over themselves, the other nations already had them. Look at (1 Samuel 8:5 NASB) — and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”
I mean do we think it will always be a free democratic system? Even today there is no tribe, nation, country or peoples that does not have some form of a “leader”.
To not believe in a one world leader at some point seems to be doing a little more bending backwards than forwards to me.
Especially when we see in
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB) — Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the “man” of lawlessness is revealed, the “son” of destruction, who opposes and exalts “himself” above every so-called god or object of worship, so that “he” takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying “himself” as being God.

I put in quotes the pronouns that describe a person. An individual to be specific. What do you do with this passage?

(Tony Hacker ) #39

You must have missed my question at the end OR be done with this topic.

(SeanO) #40

@SpiritfilledBerean It helps sometimes if you include peoples’ handle - like @KMac. That way they get a notification and it is easy to recognize that you have directly addressed them. There is a lot going on in Connect and it can be easy to miss something.

So using the handle, @KMac, or @SpiritfilledBerean in your case, can help people be aware of your question. Hope that helps :slight_smile: