Saturday, July 2, 2022

Five End Time Individuals of Bible Prophecy

  by James C. Morris – 

One of the most common errors in interpreting the prophetic scriptures is rolling various end time individuals into an imaginary single individual. And that imaginary composite character is usually called “the Antichrist.”

For there are five distinct end time individuals found in Bible prophecy.

The most widely known of these is the end time individual called “the beast.” This is the end times ruler of Rome who will bring about a revival of the Roman Empire. He is the little horn of Daniel 7:8 that uproots three other horns, and has “a mouth speaking pompous words.” And he is “the prince who is to come” of Daniel 9:26. We know he will be a ruler of Rome because he will be a ruler of the people that destroyed “the city and the sanctuary.” (Again, Daniel 9:26) As this was done by the Romans, this “prince who is to come” has to be a Roman. A common error about this prophetic individual is that he will attack Judah, which is now called Israel, in the middle of the seventieth week. The scriptures indeed describe such an attack. But no scripture says, or even implies, that this attacker will be “the beast.”

But an end time individual that is noticed much less often is called “the king” in Daniel 11:36-40. In considering “the king,” we need to remember that the language of scripture is very precise. God does not waste words. Every detail is significant. “the king,” of Daniel 11:36-40 (which in the Hebrew text is מֶלֶךְ, melek in our alphabet, word number 4428 in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary) is a wholly different word from “the prince,” of Daniel 9:26 (which in the Hebrew text is נָגִיד, nagid in our alphabet, word number 5057 in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary.)

This change in wording indicates two different persons. This evil “king” is the “worthless shepherd” whom God “will raise up” “in the land,” “who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.” (Zechariah 11:16)

He will be punished for this by receiving wounds in his eye and his right arm. He cannot be the head of the seven headed beast that John saw “as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.” (Revelation 13:3) For wounds to his eye and his right arm, though serious, are not “deadly.” And the “worthless shepherd” will not recover from his wounds. Instead, “His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.” (Zechariah 11:17)

Our Lord contrasted himself to this shepherd, calling him “a hireling,” and again saying he “leaves the sheep and flees.” (John 10:11-16) In so contrasting himself to this “hireling,” our Lord was pointing him out as “the Antichrist,” the great false Messiah. Again, our Lord said, “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” (John 5:43) Here, again, Jesus was referring to “the Antichrist.” This individual appears in the Revelation as the “beast” that John saw “coming up out of the earth” in Revelation 13:11-18 and as “the false prophet” which is found in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, and 20:10.

Now many think “the false prophet” cannot be “the Antichrist” because he tells men to worship “the beast.” (Revelation 14:12) But they forget that Jesus told men to worship God the Father. In imitating the true “Messiah,” the great false Messiah will in a similar way claim to be God, but will also tell men to worship another.

Another end time individual found in the scriptures, but almost universally missed, is called “the Assyrian.” He is clearly described in Isaiah 7, 10, 14, 30, and 31, in Micah 5, and in the whole book of Nahum. He is the great attacker that invades “Judah,” which is now called Israel, in the middle of the seventieth week. The daily progress of his attack is given in Isaiah 10:28-32. God will allow this attack as punishment because the leaders of the Jews will have allowed “the man of sin,” who is also called “the son of perdition,” to sit “as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

If you compare a map of the ancient Assyrian empire with a map of the Selucid empire, which is “the king of the north” of Daniel 11, you will see that these two ancient empires covered the same areas at different ancient times. The maps of their empires are identical except for a few sparsely settled areas around the edges. Because of this, I conclude that “the Assyrian” and “the king of the north” are two different designations for the same end time individual.

Another end time individual is “the king of the south,” of Daniel 11:5-40. which attacks “Judah,” which is now called Israel, at the same time as “the king of the north.” (Daniel 11:40) But “the king of the north” turns on him and attacks his homeland, Egypt, (Daniel 11:42-43) causing him to pass out of the picture. The identity of “the king of the north” with “the Assyrian” is again shown by the fact that in Isaiah 7:17-19, the armies of “Assyria” and “Egypt” are depicted as swarms of insects, attacking “Judah” at the same time.

The other end time character is “Gog,” Who in Ezekiel 38:2 is identified as “of the land of Magog,” which is unquestionably Russia. He is there also stated to be the “prince of Rosh,” which is the name of the ancient tribe for which Russia is named, and the prince of “Meshech and Tubal,” two tribes which in ancient times lived in what is now Turkey, but in Medieval times migrated en masse to what is now Russia. Numerous markers in Ezekiel 38 and 39 make it plain that this attack comes after, not before, the time of “the Antichrist,” and before, not after, the millennium. In Revelation 20:8-9, the nations that attack after the millennium are called “Gog and Magog.” But that, being a thousand years later, is a completely different attack. And every detail we are given about that attack is different from the corresponding details given in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

So each of these five end time individuals is clearly set forth as being from a different country, and each of them does distinctly different things. So lumping all (or some) of them together as if they were a single individual throws all of the prophetic scriptures into an unintelligible mess.

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