FREE EBook – THE FIRST AND THE LAST by Ira Surface 1921
Republished by TheBibleGuy Thomas Spencer 2014
We have already seen that the fullness of the church period brings us to the end of the seventh chapter of Revelation. Also, we have seen the full and complete ending of the church in the great multitude of the blood-washed, saved Gentiles, who came up out of the great tribulation. This great multitude is not the Bride, for she was taken out of this body at the time of the rapture; but these are those who were not ready when He came. They are those who will be left to enter the tribulation, but will be delivered therefrom when the full measure of the Gentiles shall be gathered in.
Notice now the chart. You see that it shows that the “fullness” of the Gentiles is not the “time” of the Gentiles. The “time” of the Gentiles commenced about the year 606 B.C. or at the beginning of the Babylonian captivity; and will continue until the glorious appearing of Christ, when He shall come with the armies of heaven to destroy them that destroy the earth, Rev. 19:1-21. The fullness of the Gentiles commenced when the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles, as given in Acts 13:46 and 14:27:
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of the God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
This time of the fullness of the Gentiles closes with the close of the church period. Paul speaks of this in Rom. 11:25, “that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” This time will continue until the end of the church period; hence this measure of the Gentiles correspondes to the people whom the Holy Spirit is gathering from all nations, which company is described in Rev. 7:9: “After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothes with white robes, and palms in their hands.”
This corresponds to the great and full harvest, of which the rapture was a promise. Rev. 7:13-17:
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lam.
“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
This also corresponds to the barley harvest, or early harvest, which had to be gathered before the wheat harvest, or the late harvest, could be commenced. Of this we will speak later.
Now in this chapter we wish especially to consider the Antichrist.
I. WHO IS HE?
Before we attempt to show, by scriptural names, who the Antichrist is, let us consider of scriptural suggestions as to his identity. There has been much speculation on this subject. We should remember, when we are reasoning concerning the identity of the Antichrist, that what he appears to us to be may not be what he really is. His very nature is deception and his name “The Lie.” His real identity is now a mystery, and it will not be fully known until he reveals himself, as spoken of by Paul. This will take place just before the glorious appearing of Christ, when Antichrist will turn, with all his fury, against the Jews. We wish modestly to mention, as suggestions, a few scriptural statements which may help to identify him, and then dwell more certainly on the names ascribed to him.
We will notice, first, a reference which suggests that the Antichrist my be an Assyrian. Isaiah 10:5,6 says:
“O Asyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation.
“I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of My wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”
The prophet says this Assyrian is to use the rod of God’s anger, and the staff of His indignation, against Israel. They are a hypocritical nation whom the Assyrian will tread down like the mire of the streets. To show that this has a reference to the tribulation, or the time of Jacob’s trouble, we refer you to Isa. 10:12:
“Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.”
This is what the Lord will do to the Antichrist at the time of His glorious appearing.
Again, in Isa.10:24, we see the manner of this trouble will be by a rod and a staff, as it was in Egypt.
I think the words of assurance found in this verse are for the believing ones who will be in Israel at that time. In that day Israel will pass through great plagues, as they did in the land of Egypt. Let it be remembered that it was an Assyrian Pharaoh who persecuted the Israelites in Egypt.
We see the nature of the doom that awaits the Assyrian in Isa. 30:31: “For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Notice that it is by the voice of the Lord the Antichrist will meet his doom. Paul says, in 2 Thess. 2:8, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
As said before, these passages are offered merely as suggestions. They seem to identify the Antichrist as an Assyrian, but when he is revealed he may prove to be a different person.
Note one more reference found in Dan. 11:37, 38:
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
“But in his estate shall be 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.”
This scripture is more than a suggestion. There is little doubt that this kind whom Daniel saw is the same person John saw as the white horse rider, going forth conquering and to conquer. From these scriptures we may infer that the Antichrist will be an Assyrian Jew, who has repudiated the “God whom his fathers knew,” and turned to worship the god of forces.
Let us now notice some definite scriptures which refer to the identity of Antichrist, and some of the scriptural names which are applied to him.
1. One Coming in His Own Name
I believe that Christ had reference to the Antichrist when He said, in John 5:43, “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” So even in the time of Christ’s humanity, if this reference be rightly applied, we find this world character mentioned.
2. He Is the Wicked One In 2 Thess. 2:8, Paul speaks of the Antichrist as the “wicked one.” He comes as a deceiver, He will, evidently, be much in demand, even by the Jews, until he reveals himself.
3. He Is the Lie
Paul also speaks of him as “The Lie.” There are many who are willing to be deceived. Some have been trying to construct their own salvation, while others have been very ready to drift into false doctrines, and willingly reject the blood of Jesus Christ. All these who do not love the truth will be given a real deception.
4. He Is the Son of Perdition
This name is applied to but two persons in the Bible. The first time it is applied to Judas Iscariot by Christ, in John 17:21: “Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.” Paul calls the Antichrist “the son of perdition” in 2Thess. 2:3. Some who have given much thought to the subject think that this meas Judas will return as Antichrist.
There is another strange fact recorded in Rev. 19:20. The Antichrist does not die when he meets his doom; others die and are buried. At the great white throne judgment, death and hell will yield up the dead that are in them, and they will be judged and cast into a lake of fire. But of this son of perdition it is said that he was cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. This will take place a thousand years before the judgment of the great white throne. AT that judgment all those whose names are not written in the book are cast into the lake of fire. The devil is also taken and cast into the lake of fire, where the beast (Antichrist) and false prophet ARE. Some have placed much emphasis on this language, and attempt to prove that the Antichrist will be a supernatural man. While he may be more than a mere man, as may be suggested here, the scriptural proof for that petition is lacking.
Jesus said, in John 6:70, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” To no human being but Judas is the name “Diabolas” (devil) applied. We wish to be conservative about saying that Judas was the devil incarnated; but there are many who think this to be a fact. We could infer, as the Antichrist is positively identified as the son of perdition, that he must be Judas, returned to complete his mission by one more betrayal of Christ. Whether or not the Antichrist will be Judas incarnated, he will come as the arch betrayer of God’s chosen seed, Israel. His revelation will disclose who he is and what he is.
5. He Is the Man of Sin
Paul names the Antichrist “that man of sin,” in 2 Thess. 2:3-8:
“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. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
Notice the words, “the revolt.” This implies that the ones who have attached themselves to the Antichrist will revolt. These two things, the revolt of Israel and the revelation of the Antichrist, must take place before the day of Christ’s glorious appearing, when He shall come with the armies of heaven to take possession of His throne, Rev. 19th chapter. This is the “day” of which Paul speaks – the day of Christ.
Suddenly it will be revealed to them that this is the man to whom the scriptures refer when they speak of “the one in his own name,” the “wicked one,” the “lie,” the “son of perdition,” the “man of sin,” etc. National Israel, who at this time will have reached the zenith of her power, will be overthrown and her trouble, of which Christ spoke, and of which Daniel prophesied, will have begun.
This brings us to the consideration of our next subject – the seventieth week of Daniel.
But the day of Antichrist, the man of sin, must come first. Dan. 9:27 says that Israel will enter into a covenant (treaty) with the Antichrist for one week. But also says that the Antichrist will break the covenant in the midst of the week, at which time the revolt will take place; for he will take away the daily sacrifice, and set up the abomination that makes desolate. At that time Antichrist will reveal his real character, and Israel will know how miserably they have been deceived.
Rotherham translates verse three: “That no one may cheat you in any one respect. Because that day will not set in except the revolt come first, and there be revealed the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction.”
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
“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.