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The Syrian Antichrist
Posted By Joel Richardson On 06/04/2012 @ 7:54 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments
Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi, in his book “The Harbinger” and documentary “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” is responsible for revealing a significant message from the ancient Hebrew prophets for America. By comparing current events in the United States with the warnings of the prophet Isaiah to ancient Israel, Cahn shows how the LORD has used, and will continue to use, radical Islamists, the modern-day “Assyrians,” as His rod of chastisement against America to cause us to repent as a nation.
“The Harbinger” and “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” documentary reveal the startling reality that beginning the day after 9/11, several American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word, in speeches across the country.
The specificity of the many parallels Cahn has drawn out has gripped many Americans. But beyond recognizing God’s warning to the United States, it is also essential that we take note of Isaiah’s fuller message and the Bible harbingers for the whole world. For while some of Isaiah’s prophecy can be seen as a powerful warning to the United States, this was far from the prophets primary emphasis. The ultimate audience of Isaiah’s message is the nation of Israel and ultimately the whole world. Discerning and prayerful believers must grasp Isaiah’s ancient warnings for the whole earth. For by all evidences, his warnings are for our day.
While Cahn shows that America has followed the example of ancient Israel, which was also attacked by the Assyrians, his warning stops short of drawing out the larger context of Isaiah, which shows that in the midst of the LORD using the last-days “Assyians” to chastise His people Israel and the whole earth, the Messiah returns to defeat these destructive forces.
Far too many prophecy teachers today have missed the fact that throughout Isaiah, the Antichrist is referred to as “the Assyrian.” Because of the Euro-centric perspective of many modern prophecy teachers, the belief that the Antichrist was known as “the Assyrian” throughout the early church has all been but forgotten.
Consider just a small handful of great Christian leaders who openly taught concerning this great last-days harbinger:
Hippolytus of Rome was one of the most important theologians of the early third century. Speaking of the Antichrist, Hippolytus said:
“That these things, then, are said of no one else but that tyrant, and shameless one, and adversary of God, we shall show in what follows. But Isaiah also speaks thus: ‘And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes.’”
Elsewhere, when referring to the many prophecies about the “Assyrian” found in Micah and Isaiah, Hippolytus stated quite directly that “the Assyrian is another name for the Antichrist.”
Victorinus, bishop of Pettau, was an early bishop martyred for his faith in Christ and the author of the most ancient complete commentary on the Book of Revelation in our possession. In this ancient commentary, Victorinus states that “the Assyrian” mentioned in Micah 5:5 is the Antichrist: “There shall be peace for our land … and they shall encircle Assyria – that is antichrist.”
Lactantius, yet another early church writer from the third century, stated that the Antichrist would come from precisely the same region:
“A king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit, the overthrower and destroyer of the human race, who shall destroy that which is left by the former evil, together with himself. … But that king will not only be most disgraceful in himself, but he will also be a prophet of lies … and power will be given to him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. … Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people.”
Clarence Larkin (1850–1924), an American Baptist pastor, Bible teacher and famous author whose writings on Dispensationalism have been widely received, likewise took note of these things in his book “Dispensational Truth”:
“The ‘King of the North’ was the King of Syria, and his character and conduct is described (Daniel 11:36-39) as similar to that of the ‘Little Horn’ that came out of one of the ‘Four Horns’ it is clear that the Antichrist is to come from Syria. … We are to understand therefore by the ‘King of the North’ the King of Syria, which also included Assyria. This fixes the locality from which the Antichrist shall come. …”
Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), an English evangelist and biblical scholar also well-known for his work “The Antichrist,” likewise identified the Antichrist as coming from the Middle Eastern region of the former Assyrian Empire:
“We have seen that the Scriptures which help us to determine the direction from which he will arise, speak of him under the title of the ‘Little Horn.’ Now the first thing this title denotes is that he is a king, king of Assyria. … [After he] acquires the crown of Syria he will speedily enlarge his dominions.”
In my new book, “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” I walk the reader carefully through the many passages throughout Isaiah and Micah to show the overwhelming scriptural evidence for the soon coming of a Middle Eastern dictator whose military and religious movement will release a tsunami of global persecution against Christians and Jews and cause devastation throughout the world. As many Americans are taking note of the various harbingers from heaven for America, find out what recent events are the powerful harbingers of warning for the whole earth. For by all evidences, all of these things are even now looming on our horizon.
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