Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 71
ANTI-CHRIST: THE BEAST, THE WICKED ONE – 2
Daniel 9:27 – Revelation 19:11
Okay, good to see everybody in again. You’ve all had your coffee. We are ready for program number two this afternoon. We’re going to continue on where we started in the first half hour. How much further we’re going to go, we don’t know. We just wait for the Lord to put an end to it in His time.
We’re going to continue on where we were in the last half hour talking about this coming world ruler. He’s called various names in Scripture. We’ll flip the board in a little bit and show you that. But, remember in one of my closing remarks in the last half hour, I said I thought the man had to be at least part Jew. I don’t do that by any stretch of the imagination to put down the Jewish people, because, good heavens, every race or nationality of people have their demagogues. And the Jews have had them before. Hitler was probably at least part Jew. Some of the Communists in Russia were, so, when I say that the anti-Christ could be Jewish, that’s not because I’m deriding the Jewish people at all.
But it’s from a common sense approach to Scripture. If they are going to think that he is their Messiah, I have to think that he’s going to have to be at least part Jew, because they would never accept a Muslim as their Messiah. They’ve got their own. I think you’re all aware of that now, that this guy in Iran is promoting their own form of a Messiah called Mahde (M-a-h-d-e).
But before we look at the verse I told you that shows that the Nation of Israel is going to accept him as Messiah, I’m going to go back for just a moment. Now, I’ve got my studio folks here in John chapter 5, but if you’ll come back with me a minute to Daniel chapter 11 and pick up where we left off in our closing remarks in the last program. This tremendous individual, and he will be tremendous from the human standpoint, is going to be extra smart. He’s going to have extra charisma and be able to just boondoggle people, and they’re going to believe the lie. Well, he’s going to also have a certain element, I think, of the supernatural in order to bring it all about.
All right, so continuing that thought, let’s go back a minute to Daniel chapter 11 and repeat where we closed. Daniel chapter 11 and we’ll drop in at verse 36.
“And the king (or this king, this coming world ruler) 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, (That, of course, would be the God of the Bible.) and shall prosper (He’s going to be a tremendous innovator of the economy and everything else.) till the indignation be accomplished: (or all the horrors of the Tribulation are finished) for all that is determined shall be done.” Now verse 37:
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,…” Now, I have to feel that if Scripture meant a god of the Muslims or a god of the Hindus or anything like that, it would have been a small ‘g’. But for whatever reason, at least our English version has this God with a capital ‘G.’
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, (Which I would say is the God of Abraham.) nor (does he have any) the desire for women,…” Which, I think again, he’ll be a homosexual. And listen, I’ve been reading more history again than I really should. How many world leaders were homosexuals? It’s just unbelievable. So, for this guy to be homosexual, hey, that’s not a stretch whatsoever. It’s very possible. But whatever.
“…nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” Like the Caesars of Rome claimed to be gods, so will this guy. All right, then verse 38:
“But in his estate (In other words, in his position, now realizing that he is kingpin of the world.) he shall honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.” He’s going to be a complete opposite of the God of Scripture.
All right, I made the remark that I feel this fellow has to be enough Jew by blood for the Nation of Israel to accept him as Messiah. I told you I had a verse in the New Testament that will substantiate that. Here it is in John’s Gospel chapter 5 verse 43. This says it all in total simplicity. You don’t have to be a theologian to understand this. This is exactly what’s going to happen. All got it? John’s Gospel chapter 5 verse 43 and the Lord is speaking. And He says:
“I am come in my Father’s name, (In other words, in response to all the Old Testament prophecies.) and ye receive me not:…” You got that? Now, there’s another verse in John that says, what?
“He came unto his own and his own received him not.” Well, here it is from His own lips.
“I came in my Father’s name, (I came in fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies and you won’t take it. All right, now read on.) and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, (Not in the name of the God of Abraham. Not claiming to be fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament, this fellow is going to come in his own ego, if I can put it that way. In his own pride. And in his own abilities. All right, the Lord says, what will Israel do?) him ye will receive.”
Now, you see what it says? When the false one comes, they’ll believe him. They’re going to claim him as the Messiah that they’ve been looking for. I think the main reason will be because of this peace treaty that now they’ll have full freedom to build their Temple on the Temple Mount. They have freedom to dismantle their military because their boundaries are going to be guaranteed. They’re going to have an exploding economy, and the Jews are just going to be blinded with their materialism. They’re going to acclaim that this fellow is the one that they’ve been looking for.
All right, now to continue on in our definitions of the names of this man of sin, the anti-Christ, come on up with me to II Thessalonians where we’ve been before. This is the one and only place, well, I guess I should say not only. There’s a little bit in Romans 8 where Paul alludes to things prophetic. But for the most part, this is the only place in all of Paul’s epistles where he draws an analogy with Old Testament prophecy.
Paul just doesn’t have anything to do with it in any other place, because we are so insulated from it. The Body of Christ is insulated from all the Old Testament prophecies and promises that were given primarily to Israel. This is one of my main arguments that the Body of Christ cannot go into the Tribulation. Not even for a day. Because there’s nothing of Israel’s theology or background or promises that associate itself with the Church. We are insulated from all that. But here in these few verses in II Thessalonians, Paul does draw a parallel with the Old Testament. It’s the only place. All right, here we go, in II Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 1.
II Thessalonians 2:1a
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,…” Now remember, who’s he writing to? You and I, the Body of Christ believers. He’s not writing to the Jews like Jesus spoke to them in John chapter 5. Paul is now directing his writing to the Gentile believer in the Body of Christ. So, it’s the Rapture that he’s referring to, which is the coming that the Church is looking for.
II Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now, that’s totally different language than the Second Coming, when He comes to the Nation of Israel. A total opposite in language. I want you to see that. Here we are gathered together unto Him. When he comes the Second time He will come to them. He’s going to stand on the Mount of Olives. He’s not going to meet them halfway in the air like He will for us, but rather, He’s going to come to them and stand upon the earth. So, watch for that graphic difference in language.
All right, now then verse 2, Paul is writing to these Gentile believers up in Thessalonica, up in Greece on the Aegean Sea. And he says:
II Thessalonians 2:2
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (not by some forged instrument) as that the day of the LORD is at hand.” He says, don’t get shook up, you’re not in the Tribulation. You’re not even in what I’m talking about. Although we know from everything I’ve been teaching the last several years, that all these writers of Scripture thought that all the end time events would be coming right down the pike without any great interval of time.
Until the Church Age opened, up as we showed in our last taping, they had no idea it was going to be 2,000 years between the early church or even Paul’s ministry and the Rapture and the Tribulation. They couldn’t see that. So always keep that in mind that they had no idea there was going to be a long interval in time. All right, Paul is writing to his Gentile believers that, you’re not in the Tribulation, even though we know it is right out in front of us. But, now verse 3 is the consolation.
II Thessalonians 2:3a
“But let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the LORD, the opening of the Tribulation by the signing of that seven year peace treaty) shall not come, except there come a falling away first,…” Here’s where I had the article by a guest writer in my last newsletter, explain it from the Greek exactly the way I’ve been teaching it for years, that a better translation from a better Greek word is from the aphistemi. I’ve got to look at that one, (pronounced: aphistemi or aphisteme) which means to depart rather than falling away. It’s a far better word and all the early translations used it: the Tyndale, the Geneva, the Coverdale and a couple of others. They all translated it exactly the way I had it in my last newsletter, and the way I taught it way back when we did Thessalonians. That was number forty-two. All right, now let’s read it that way.
II Thessalonians 2:3b
“…that day (the day of the LORD, the signing of that seven year peace treaty) shall not come, except there come a departure first,” And the word departure means just what it says, to move from one place to another. Alright, so Paul is saying to these Gentiles, you can’t go into Tribulation because we’re going to have to depart from earth to heaven before it happens. Plain as day.
Plus the fact that the Body of Christ is insulated from all the Jewish prophecies. We have nothing to do with them. That’s been the main thing that I’ve brought these Amillennialists and the Preterits out of what I call their false teaching is that when they understand this concept that the Body of Christ is a Pauline revelation and the rest of Scripture knows nothing of it whatsoever, how can you push that into a Jewish Tribulation? I just maintain it won’t work. It won’t fly.
All right, now read on. That’s not what we’re ready to teach this half hour, we were looking at the anti-Christ. All right, so the seven-year treaty shall not come except there be a departure first by the Body of Christ from the earth, and here it comes.
II Thessalonians 2:3c
“…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” Now that’s one of the names of anti-Christ that I had Sharon put on the board. He’s called anti-Christ. We’ll look at that in a little bit. He’s called the prince that shall come back there in Daniel. Now we’re going to see in the next hour or so that he’s called the Beast over and over throughout Scripture. But now in Thessalonians, he’s called the Son of Perdition. That name really tells what an evil, wicked individual this guy is. In spite of all of his attributes of intelligence and charisma and power, he is still nothing more than a son of perdition. All right, now verse 4, if this isn’t in perfect accord with what we just saw in Daniel!
II Thessalonians 2:4a
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;…” He’s going to ridicule anything that pertains to the God of this Book, and he’s going to elevate himself above anything and everything. All right, so “he’s above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.”
In other words, we know from Revelation he’s going to have a false prophet set up a humongous image of him so that the world can look at it, probably by way of television or whatever, and they’re going to worship this man anti-Christ, the Son of Perdition. All right, he’ll evidently use Israel’s newly built Temple as his headquarters.
II Thessalonians 2:4b
“…so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, (Up there on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem he will be in the temple of God.) showing himself (to the whole world) that he is God.” Now, see how plain all this is? He is causing the whole world to fall down and worship him. And he will exclude or excuse no one.
All right, now verse 5, Paul writes to these relatively new believers, fresh out of paganism. They knew nothing of Israel’s prophets. They knew nothing of the God of the Bible. All Paul preached to them was what? Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God plus nothing, and they believed it. And God brought them out of their paganism! They became true believers in spite of all the persecution and in spite of all the opposition of not only the Jew but the Roman world around them.
Now, they were something that I know Paul was intensely proud of. To think that he had in a matter of weeks brought them out of paganism and was able to teach them all these end time events, because they thought it was going to be in their lifetime. It wasn’t all that far away. Now look what he says.
II Thessalonians 2:5
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Now who knows how long was Paul with the Thessalonian believers? About three weeks. Three weeks, that’s all! And in that three weeks time, he brought them far enough along in all this that he could teach them these end time events. That’s unbelievable, but that’s what the Book says. Don’t you remember that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? Don’t worry about going into any horrible Tribulation. The persecution you are going through is enough. It won’t be any more than that. And it was all in a matter of three weeks time. All right, now then verse 6.
II Thessalonians 2:6a
“And now ye know…” See, he’d already taught them all this. These poor people just fresh out of paganism knew more than 90% of what church people do today. Most church people don’t know anything about this. The ignorance is supreme today. It’s unbelievable. But these people weren’t after three weeks. All right, so he says:
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know what (or who) withholdeth (or holdeth back) that he might be revealed in his time.” Now, that’s almost a veiled language there, that there is a restraining force on earth that is holding things back so that the Tribulation doesn’t come before the due date.
I was just sharing at break time that I just read an interesting article in the last US News and World Report, and maybe some of you read it. It was reviewing Harry Truman’s presidency and the problems he had with General McArthur. Now I knew all about that, because I was in the Korean War, but this part I had never read or heard before. When the Chinese started coming across the Yalu River by the thousands, and that of course I was aware of. I was in hospital work, and I had a young man who had faced that horde of Chinese until his machine gun literally melted. He had to run for his life. And he had pictures! I don’t know how in the world he got them, but he showed me pictures of the Chinese just literally piled up like cord wood out in front of his machine gun.
So anyway, I was aware of that Yalu overrun by the Chinese, but I never knew that Douglas McArthur wanted Harry Truman to decree and permit bombing China with 50 to 100 nuclear bombs. Now think about that. What if Truman would have given in? Well, you see, Truman, I think, knew enough biblical prophecy. He said, “If I would do that, it would bring in a worldwide conflagration.” Was he right? Yes. And that’s why I have been teaching for 30 some years that I do not believe there will ever be a nuclear bomb exploded until we get into the Tribulation.
Then, of course, I’m sure it will happen, at least in the last half. But see, over and over there have been times when it could have been used. The Cuban thing and other times, but God held it back. How did God hold it back? Through the restraining power of the Holy Spirit. All right, that’s what Paul is talking about, that the Holy Spirit is going to restrain earthly events so that the end time scenario wouldn’t be ushered in before the time. God is meticulous with His schedule. Okay, coming back to our text and, oh my, time is going again.
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know who withholdeth (a restraining force) that he (the Son of Perdition, the anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time.” But whose time is the anti-Christ’s time? God’s time! He’s in control of every minute of human history, Beloved. Don’t you ever forget it! He’s in total control.
Alright, but He uses the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course I maintain, how does the Holy Spirit work on the planet today? Through the believer. You and I are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You and I then become the visible manifestation of the withholding power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we have to take a stand on things. I’ve said it for 30 years, we’re not going to turn it around, but we can hold it back. And how do we hold it back? By our convictions. Hey, this is wrong. We cannot go along with this. And even though they finally run roughshod over us, we’re still slowing it down. That’s all that God is expecting of us. All right, now verse 7.
II Thessalonians 2:7a
“For the mystery (or the secret things) of iniquity…” I feel that that all goes back to the Tower of Babel. There again, I’ve been reading history lately coming up from the Tower of Babel, and it’s just unbelievable how clearly it all falls into place. Starting with old Nimrod and his wife Semiramis, and how out of those two all the world’s religions have evolved, and they were wicked. Oh, the wickedness.
You’ve heard me say it. Most of us have no idea the wickedness in the Roman Empire, and amongst the Caesars. But it was awful. All right, Paul is saying the same thing. That the iniquity that has begun, and I think it’s implied, from the Tower of Babel is already at work – in his day! Well, now add 1,900 and some years to it. What have you got? Well, you’ve just got it multiplied over. All right, the iniquity is already at work.
II Thessalonians 2:7b
“…doth already work: only he who now hindereth…” Now the King James has the word “letteth” and has completely inverted its meaning over the centuries. So, I’ll read it as it should be read today.
II Thessalonians 2:7
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now hindereth will hinder, until he be taken out of the way.” Now that does not mean that the Holy Spirit is going to totally leave the planet. But we will. So what is the Holy Spirit left without? You and I as the hindering force. But He will still be here. The reason I say that is because Genesis 1:2 says what? “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit has always been a force on the planet, and He will not be removed until we go on into eternity.
So, all I think that is removed here are the believers being indwelt by the Spirit, but the Holy Spirit Himself will stay on the planet, mainly because there will be people saved from the preaching of the 144,000 throughout the Tribulation. Multitudes of them. That part is never changed. They cannot understand the preaching of the 144,000 without the work of the Holy Spirit, so He will stay.
II Thessalonians 2:8a
“And then shall that Wicked one, (See, there’s another title for this man anti-Christ.) be revealed,…” Now see, this all ties in with the Rapture, or the departure, up there in verse three. As soon as the Church departs and that part of the working of the Holy Spirit is gone, iniquity comes in like a flood. That’s also the same day that the anti-Christ will sign a peace treaty there in the Middle East, I think in Jerusalem. And then the Wicked one will be revealed when he sets down to bring in this peace treaty.
And it’s this same one who, like Daniel says, is going to operate until the end of the Tribulation. Well, this says the same thing.
II Thessalonians 2:8b
“…whom the Lord shall consume (seven years later) with the spirit of his mouth, (in other words, by the spoken word) and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming:” Which will come, of course, as soon as the seven years have come to an end. And then verse 9:
II Thessalonians 2:9
“Even him, (This man anti-Christ, the Wicked one, the Son of Perdition, the Prince coming out of the Roman Empire.) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” Now you get the picture? This guy is going to be a tremendous individual. He’s going to have tremendous power and tremendous influence. The world is going to worship him like he was the true Messiah. But he’s a counterfeit. He’s false from the word go.