Assorted Antichrists

BFB140217 Types of AntichristIt is a peculiar thing that the book of Esther does not mention God, particularly since the hand of God is evident throughout the story.  In brief, the story is that Haman, the Grand Vizier of Persia in the reign of King Xerxes, became consumed with hatred at the Jews because Esther’s kinsman Mordechai refused to bow down to him.  Haman determined to gain revenge not only against Mordechai, but against all the Jews.  His plan was to manipulate the king into issuing a decree that on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar all the enemies of the Jews throughout the Persian Empire could rise up and kill them.  God’s plan of salvation was already in motion for He had brought Esther in to the palace as Xerxes’ new queen.  He worked through Esther to reveal Haman’s plot to the king.  At the king’s order, Haman and his sons were executed, and Mordechai and Esther had authority to issue another decree in the king’s name for the Jews to rise up against their enemies on the very day that they were to have been slaughtered.  Since that time, Jews have celebrated the feast of Purim every year on the fourteenth day of Adar.

But why is this story important to Christians?  And why bring it up now?  In answer to the second question, Purim comes around twice this year because it is a leap year.[1]  Because there are 13 months in this leap year, Purim Katan, or the “Lesser Purim”, happens in the twelfth month of Adar I, but the greater observance of Purim happens in the thirteenth month, Adar II.  The dates for the two Purims are February 14 and March 15.[2]

As for the first question, the importance to Christians comes in two ways.  First, since Christians are grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel by virtue of the work of Messiah Yeshua (Ephesians 2:11-13; Romans 11:11-27), anything that happens to our brethren of the House of Judah concerns us deeply.  Second, the spirit that motivated Haman was that same spirit of Antichrist, or Anti-messiah, that has been at work from the beginning to destroy the work of God.  That spirit is what will be at work at the end of this age to bring about the satanic government of the Great Tribulation.  Haman was a type of the Antichrist, as have been many others in history.  One that comes readily to mind is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian king who defiled the Temple in Jerusalem and persecuted the Jews to death in the days of the Maccabees.  Then there is Herod the Great, who slaughtered the innocent male children of Bethlehem rather than see the infant Yeshua threaten his throne.  We could also put Constantine the Great in that category.  His establishment of Roman Christianity came at the expense of Jews and believers in Yeshua who followed Torah.  In modern times we can add Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who plunged all of Europe into war and who, while liberalizing the legal restrictions against Jews, did so in hope that they would assimilate into European society and cease being Jews.  And finally we have the greatest Antichrist figure of all time, Adolf Hitler.

There may still be a question of how “Antichrist” equates to “anti-Jew”.  Here it is necessary to be reminded of two more things.  First, salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and since salvation is Yeshua, anything that touches them touches Him.  Second, it might be more accurate to say “anti-Israel” rather than “anti-Jew” or “anti-Semite”, because God is working through all of Israel, Abraham’s seed, to bring salvation to all nations.[3]

I cannot explain this any better than Asher Intrater of Revive Israel.  Asher is one of the leading voices in the Messianic movement in Israel.  His profound insights have often astounded me, and such was the case last week when he published the third in a series of short teachings on the Antichrist.  Here is the full text of his blog:


Revive Israel

Antichrist – Could It Happen Again?

By Asher Intrater, Revive Israel

http://reviveisrael.org/antichrist-happen/

Haman and Mordechai

The Greek compound “anti-Christos” is the New Testament term for one who is either “the opponent” of Christ (Messiah); or one who “takes his place.”  In the modern Hebrew New Testament, the translators chose the word tsorer, based on Esther 3:10 in which Haman is described as an “enemy” or “troubler” of the Jews.  Tsorer also is from the same root as “tribulation,” describing the tribulations of the end times (Jer 30:7, Dan. 12:1).  Haman is a figure of the Antichrist, who will also cause terrible trouble for the Jews in the time of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21; Rev 7:14).

Mordechai refused to kneel to Haman.  Haman became infuriated.  When he realized Mordechai was a Jew, he wanted to kill not only him, but also all of his people.  This is a central role of the antichrist figure–simply put:  kill all the Jews!  Esther 3:6 – Haman sought to destroy all the Jews.  This aspect of genocide is similar to Pharaoh, Herod and Hitler. It will be a clear identifying mark of the Antichrist of the end times.

A Decision to Make

Could it happen again? – Certainly.  If it happened in Persia (ancient Iran), it could happen today.  A few years ago, I was in Jordan for a conference of Arab Christians and Messianic Jews.  One of the Arab pastors said to me, “Did you know we could be killed for coming to this conference?”  I replied, “Is that because you are Christians in a Muslim country?”  He said, “No, we could be killed for talking to you, because you are a Jew.”

Haman’s plan was “…to destroy, to kill and to cause to perish all the Jews” – Esther 3:13.  This gives profound insight into Yeshua’s words that Satan comes – “to steal, to kill and to destroy” John 10:10.  This attack is not only spiritually in the minds of men but also historically in attempted genocides of the Jewish people.

When the nations of the world unite to try to destroy Israel, the Christian community internationally will have to decide which side to be on.  Let us all take our place as modern day Mordechais and Esthers to intercede against the plans of Satan and the Antichrist to destroy Israel, the Jewish people and Christians alike.


[1] See  Demystifying the Calendar, posted on The Barking Fox February 2, 2014.

[2] For a related post on Purim and the spirit of antichrist see Why Amalek Matters, posted on The Barking Fox March 15, 2014.

[3] See Commonwealth and Cooperation:  How Jews and Christians Can Work Together, posted on The Barking Fox in three parts, January 3-9, 2014.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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About The Barking Fox

I am . . . - A lifelong disciple of Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth. - An avid student of the Bible. - A devoted husband and father. - A 29-year veteran of the United States Army. - A historian who connects people with their own stories.

4 responses to “Assorted Antichrists”

  1. Sherri Rogers says :

    I ran across your blog and definitely not by accident. I have a question. Where do the ‘anti-missionaries’ fit into this picture since they do not reject the concept of Messiah, but they virulently oppose Yeshua as Messiah?

    Like

    • The Barking Fox says :

      Hi Sherri! Welcome.

      This is a very good question, and I’m not sure I can answer properly without more prayer and thought. In fact, this is something we should all ask Abba to explain to us! My first impression is that the anti-missionaries are like our brother Shaul/Paul before he met Yeshua. Consider what he said of himself:

      If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Philippians 3:4-6

      My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. Acts 26:4-11

      We know what happened to Paul after he had the revelation of Yeshua as Messiah. My thought is that a similar thing will happen once our opponents among the anti-missionaries receive that same revelation. Paul writes specifically of them when he says:

      Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:1-4

      Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Romans 11:28-33

      Are the anti-missionaries operating in the spirit of antichrist? It certainly seems so. However, they are zealous for Torah, and therefore we have much common ground. In the same way, our brethren in the church who oppose Torah operate in a different aspect of the spirit of antichrist, for although they profess allegiance to Messiah Yeshua, and indeed have revelation of Him, they deny the applicability of many of His commandments. Thus we pray for revelation for both.

      If I may be so bold, it seems to me that our Jewish brethren who so violently oppose Yeshua will come around to the truth much faster than our Christian brethren. Since they already have the foundation of Torah, all they need is revelation of the Living Torah so they can see Messiah right there in the midst of it. Look how quickly Paul turned around. Can you imagine how it will be when thousands of Hasidim get that same picture? On the other hand, we know from our own experience that our Christian brethren first have to come to revelation of the applicability of Torah, and then have to begin with the basics to learn and apply it, just as the Apostles and Elders understood in Acts 15.

      I hope that begins to address your question. I am in no way an authority on all this, and of course I do not in any way condone the persecution and great violence done to our Messianic Jewish brethren in Israel and elsewhere by anti-missionaries. Rather, like Paul, I grieve for them and pray for all to come to full understanding of the Truth.

      Shalom,

      Al

      Like

      • Sherri Rogers says :

        Excellent reply! Thank you and if you receive more, I would like to know. Prompting another question, if I may. What about those who have professed Yeshua as the Messiah and are turned away by the anti-missionary zealots? I am talking about Gentile believers who are influenced by the rhetoric. I weep over this and my heart is grieved.

        Like

      • The Barking Fox says :

        Thanks Sherri. That’s very encouraging!

        About your follow-on question, I think you are asking about Gentile believers who become doubtful about Yeshua’s divinity and Messiaship because of anti-missionary persuasion, resulting in their conversion to Judaism, or their falling away from the faith entirely. If that is correct, it seems that Paul is again helpful. That’s precisely what he is addressing in Galatians. The believers in Galatia had come under the influence of judaizers who convinced them that salvation was not by faith, but by formal conversion through circumcision and sacrifice, followed by rigid adherence to their halakha. That’s why Paul was so direct and blunt with them, opening his epistle with:

        “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

        Do I understand you correctly? Again I’m not sure I have a complete answer. I’m glad Abba has touched your heart in this way. Someone must be in deep intercession for those so misled. Thank you for bearing and sharing that burden.

        Like

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