THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 6, THE WRATH

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name." ---Matthew 24:9

CHAPTER 25

An Anointed One Cut Off

"Rebellion is at its work already, but in secret, and the one who is holding it back has first to be removed before the Rebel can appear openly."
2 Thes.2:5-7

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The reign of Christ will end abruptly and the last war be ushered in by assassination.

"And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off..." (Dn.9:26).

First and foremost, the word 'anointed one' here revolves around Jesus Christ. This passage in the Book of Daniel tells us that at the end of the '62 weeks' the Messiah will be 'cut off' from the people. It predicts that the millenium of Christ's rule on earth will come to an end suddenly.

The prophets have written that this end will come at 'noon', at the pinnacle of preaching on earth: "That day I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight...I will make it a day of mourning like the mourning for an only son. As long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness." (Amos 8:9-10, Ez.32:7-8).

Paul has shown us that there is more to this prophecy than the removal of Jesus alone. Coupled with this 'cutting off', Daniel has indicated that all these events revolve around the desolation of the 'perpetual sacrifice' (Dn.8:11); And the 'one', Paul said, who holds the rebellion at bay. (2 Thes.2:76).

The word 'anointed one' not only refers to the Lord, but to His ministers as well. Daniel has written 'an anointed one', not 'the anointed one'. In this case, the prophecy points to a minister of Christ -- and not just to any minister, but to one of the highest figures in the faith.

Just as the Jewish religion had a high priest, the Christian religion also has a personage who the world recognizes as its leading spokesman.

This recognition is not a faith issue. There are many who rightfully argue that Christianity has only One true leader -- Jesus. Yet the title remains and so does the office. Centuries of bitter assaults against this figure and the erosion of time have not changed this fact, they have only strengthened the reality.

The reason is simple: this particular bishop is the highest officiating caretaker on earth of the communion sacrifice. The perpetuation of the sacrifice (the 'perpetual sacrifice', in Daniel's chronology) is the whole reason for this pastor's ministry.

Communion is the peace offering that God has made with the world (by treaty in the blood of the cross) giving it (for a limited time) amnesty from annihilation so that all people on earth who choose to do so are able to repent of their sins and return to God through the path of Christ.

As long as the the offering is able to continue, the rebellion is held in check, , and the wrath is blocked.

Every church on earth exists for a purpose, just as every Christian on earth has been given a specific job to do for God.

The 'one' who has been assigned the task of holding back the catastrophic wrath from crashing against the world is the anointed prince of the Last Supper -- the overseer of the peace offering. The church he heads has devoted itself to the perpetuation of that offering.

Daniel made the significance of all of this known when he revealed that the beast will attack the sacrifice after 'cutting off' the high priest who is its guardian. (Dan.9:26-27). In making this prophecy, the Holy Spirit had Daniel structure it as an echo to two historical events which duplicated its conditions and therefore emphasized the future implications involved.

And once it reoccurs as predicted -- then, on the heels of the final fury -- the full blackness of Satan's night will unfurl across the earth and the light of Christ's peace offer to the world will be no more. (Is.24:1-6). This is the catastrophe.

"...the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by a prince who will come." (Dn.9:26).

Paul said that when the Revolt had reached a certain point -- a point which seems almost certain now to have already passed -- Satan would come up out of the Abyss and deceive the world one final time.

"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilize them for war." (Rv.20:7-8).

That militant 'mobilization' has become the very signature of the twentieth century. Never before in the history of man has there been a time of such intense and widespread combat on earth; genocide and mass murder.

Although warfare is not new to the planet, the last 80 years have witnessed a period of combat and human carnage unlike any ever seen before -- an endless march of armies carrying wars from one end of the earth to the other.

Twice in that time, the entire planet has been embroiled in the fighting en masse. Using monstrous weapons against soldier and civilian alike; and coalescing with the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem, these armies have responded to the proclamation of God issued through the lips of the prophet Joel:

"Proclaim this among the nations. 'Prepare for war!' Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for I am going to sit in judgment there on all the nations round." (Joel 4:9-12).

It is because of sin that Satan has been released: "Put the sickle in...come and tread: the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing, so great is their wickedness!" (Joel 4:13).

According to Paul, the return of the dragon will lock the world in its rebellion, and the assassination of the priest holding back the worst of the fury will make inevitable the final countdown to the Judgment. (2 Thes.2:5-7 ).

"The harvest will be over, gathering will not come again." (Is.32:10). With the anointed prince removed, and the peace offering desecrated, the vintage will be consumed by the Wrath.

"The word of God was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, say, 'The Lord God says this to the land of Israel: Finished! The end is coming for the four quarters of the land. Now all is over for you; I mean to unleash my anger on you, and judge you as your conduct deserves and force you to answer for all your filthy practices. I mean to show you no pity. I will not spare you..." (Ez.7:1-4).

By chaining Satan in the Abyss, God allowed the rule of Christ to occur. Without that incarceration there would have been no millenium -- no rule of the Christian Church on earth. (Rv.20:3).

Satan's power of deception is just too great for many to overcome. Had God not locked him personally away, the last 2000 years would have been disasterous for the Church and millions of Christians could easily have been lost in the chaos.

His reappearance on the earth in our time is a direct result of the world's rejection of Christ's rule. Satan has been allowed by God to return to our world because of the apostasy of the Revolt -- the secularization of the planet.

The world's conversion to Christ is the power that put him in chains, and the world's abandonment of Christ in our time is the power of his release.

"The reason why God is sending a power to delude them and make them believe what is untrue is to condemn all who refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead." (2 Thes.11-12).

Freed from his long incarceration in the Abyss, he is back sowing the seeds of his chaotic deception wherever we look. His new emergence on earth is why everything has suddenly gone so berserk around the globe.

Brash and violent, godless, intoxicated with riches and trampling over the poor, the malevolent spirit of Satan has manifested itself into the soul of the earth and its people. From the streets of Los Angeles to the battlefields of Bosnia and Palestine, violence has erupted like a volcano in spate.

All this is a response to Satan's power for evil.

It is happening just as the Bible promised it would, and yet it is all going quite unnoticed.

As if in a hypnotic trance, the world, in its march away from Christ, sees nothing of the disaster that now dogs its heels.

The tycoons of business and industry are still busy building their monuments, thinking that everything is as it was during the peaceful days of the reign of Christ, unmindful that everything has suddenly changed for them.

Satan has returned to the helm of the planet filled with an unsatiable thirst for war.

Jesus warned that when an evil spirit has been driven out of man and then is allowed to return, it will always bring in seven others more wicked than itself so that the last state of the man will be much worse than the first.

If this applies to each of us individually, it applies even more to the world. The collapse of world faith -- the rejection of the Church by the world -- will bring more evil to this planet than it has ever seen before.

The days that are coming will be incredibly wicked and unremittingly violent. Seven times worse than the pagan world of the past.

The Revolt that ends the millenium will be certain proof that the reign of Jesus in the world could not have occurred had Satan been actively present on earth during its term. Locking him away, Michael removed the most powerful obstacle that stood between us and our reconciliation with God. (Rev.20:1-3).

His return has brought that obstacle back. But before the worst can happen, Satan's partner in crime, his 'son of perdition' must appear. Paul revealed that in order for Satan to accomplish the unholiest part of his charade, he must first bring forth his Lawless Prince, the man Paul calls the Rebel, the Lost One, who is also known in scripture as 'the beast':

"When the Rebel comes, Satan will set to work; there will be all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, and everything evil that can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp the love of the truth which could have saved them." (2 Thes.2:9-10).

A similar kind of deception swept over the Jews when they rejected Christ. They were made blind because they repudiated God when he came to them. The times ahead will see that blindness reversed.

It is the people of Babylon who will go blind -- and the deception in our time will be much worse than that which afflicted the Jews.

A dominion and power that has the capacity to vent his emotions into men, Satan's anger has already engulfed the planet, plunging it into a level of violence that has driven love far away and made men's hearts grow increasingly cold. (Matt.24:12).

Recent hostilities launched against the poor and needy are indications that some of Christ's most frightening words are coming true even as we watch.

The fact that Satan is so powerful in his capacity to manifest delusions on earth and the fact that the Christian world has not had to deal with him directly since the beginning of Christ's reign shows the terrible impact that his appearance will ultimately have on mankind.

In fact, the nations are all polarizing at this very moment against the Son of God. Not content merely to change 'Christ' to a 'common era', they are secretly plotting a fate far more malignant. And at some point in the process Satan will be allowed to remove the last entity on earth which blocks his return to power.

In a strange parallel to the game of chess, the Beast will take out a strategic bishop and, in so doing, checkmate the world and himself with it.

It is not because he is popular or powerful that this slaying is so strategic. It is because of his office. The bishop in question oversees the power which drives the entire millenium: the perpetual sacrifice.

And that is the key to the end of the world, said Daniel -- the 'abomination of desolation' that the Rebel will place on the perpetual sacrifice. (Dn.8:11-12; 11:31).

By removing the Bishop who guards this sacrifice, the way will be opened for the disastrous abomination to be installed.

The words 'cut off' imply an act of lethal violence. When we explore the historic circumstances behind Daniel's words, we discover just such a murder.

When Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the great desolater of the Jewish temple during the Greek occupation of Jerusalem) was rising to power, his forces assassinated Onias, the immensely popular high priest of Jerusalem. (2 Macc.4:34-38).

It is around this event and its surrounding circumstances that Daniel constructed his last-day prophecies.

The assassination of a modern high priest will duplicate the biblical circumstances which led up to the appearance of Antiochus. The murder of Onias, the Jewish high priest, allowed Antiochus to subject the Jewish sacrifice to abomination, giving historic circumstance to all the visions.

Daniel's model (Dn.9:26) projects the assassination of Onias into the prophecy, and for this reason it foreshadows a like catastrophe against the world's foremost Christian bishop at the end of time.

Paul confirmed this when he told the people of Thessalonia that the Great Rebel who was destined to enthrone himself in God's sanctuary at the end of time, could not appear until this Christian leader had first been 'taken out of the way'. (2 Thes.2:5-7).

Since it is this shepherd that God has assigned the duty for holding back the wrath from the earth, none of the final events described by Daniel can happen until this terrible act of violence takes place and the Bishop who guards the Eucharist is removed from his station.

Paul's words show us that once this assassination does occur, Satan's appointed beast will appear openly on earth. The hidden purpose behind the Rebel's violence will become clear to everyone once he takes over the sanctuary and turns it into his own palace.

The significance of Rome to these prophecies has already been noted. The Bible shows us that the beast will arise in the eastern hemisphere and he will be obsessed with, not just conquering Jerusalem, but Rome as well. He will succeed with the latter, but the world will end before he can take the city of God.

The early Christians had one word which stood for both the appearance of the Rebel and 'the Second Coming' of Christ. That word was 'Parousia'.

The polar circumstances inherent in this single definition points to the close relationship between these two appearances -- one counterfeit, the other real -- and it may also refer to their chronology as well.

That is because there is a certain day set aside in the Christian calendar for the appearance in the world of a divine Being. That day is January 6th, Epiphany -- the word itself meaning 'appearance' or 'manifestation'.

In the western church epiphany represents the day Jesus Christ was made manifest to the Gentiles as the Son of God -- i.e, the day of the three wisemen.

In the eastern church Epiphany represents the day of Christ's birth (the eastern church does not recognize the western Christmas). It also represents the date of Jesus' baptism by John at the river Jordan (thought by eastern Christians to have occured 30 years to the day after His birth).

In its ultimate fulfillment, however, the word and the date point to the Parousia -- the word with the double meaning.

Whether the Rebel, as the impersonation of divinity, or Jesus, returning as the true Son of God will make their appearance in the view of the world on this specific date cannot be said for certain, but scripture is clear that the whole Christmas season has deep symbolic ties to the gravest events of the last days.

Because the calendar governing Christ's return has been divinely altered, it is not possible to link His Second Coming with this date, (or any other date, for that matter), but the Rebel's appearance seems to be another matter.

Since Epiphany follows by only 12 -22 days the event of the abomination of the sacrifice (see below), the 'son of perdition' will likely make himself manifest to the world very near to this date (January 6), if not coincident with it.

Following the bishop's murder the identity of the beast will be clear to everyone who understands the prophecy. The assassination itself will permit the Rebel to openly manifest himself before the world, and his coronation will confirm it in terms which are absolute.

For this reason, in the aftermath of this devastating martyrdom, the final events of the End will cascade upon each other, one after another, each precipitated by the other in rapid succession.

The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus lasted a little over 3 years -- in fact, the Jewish sanctuary itself lay desolate almost 3 years to the day. The prophecies of Daniel indicate that the persecutions of the Rebel will follow a similar pattern. (Dn.12:11).

The desolating sacrifice was instituted on the 15th day of Chislev (1 Macc.1:57), a lunar Hebrew month which correlates with the Christian solar month of December (Dec.8, 164 B.C.). The temple was purified three years later on the 25th day of Chislev (1 Macc.4:52), an event commemorated by Hannukah.

Ten days in December separate these two events, the same number of days that often separate Hannukah from Christmas. The coincidence in the two dates and their season (winter/December) are so striking that there can be little doubt that they, too, are portents of the future.

The Rebel's assassination of the prince of the Christian covenant will be quickly followed by the rout of the sanctuary and the iniquity on the Eucharistic sacrifice. That is the moment when Jesus said that everyone in Judea should run for their lives by escaping to the mountains. (Mt.24:15-16).

The assassination of the Christian bishop will signal the imminent desecration of the sacrifice.

God has decreed that for as long as that Bishop remains in place overseeing the perpetuation of the Last Supper, the rebellion will be kept at bay.

But with his removal, the whole Church will collapse -- Catholic, Protestant, Greek -- all of it. "That day -- it is the Lord God who speaks -- the peg driven into a firm place will give way. It will be torn out and will fall. And the whole load hanging on it will be shattered, for God has spoken." (Is.22:25).

With the Bishop's death the signal will be clear -- the 'abomination of desolation' is at hand -- the Rebel is on his way to the sanctuary.

Tearing down the communion sacrifice and placing iniquity in its place, the beast will make inevitable the world's end. (Is.24:5-6).

Daniel used the disastrous abomination in the sanctuary as the measuring point for his 1290 days of Christian persecution, and the 1335 days. The latter illustrating a 45-day period of world darkness and disaster beginning with the Rebel's death, his army's annihilation by God, and Michael's journey to Jerusalem. (Dn.12:11-12).

For this reason, we must see the assassination of the 'anointed one' and the desecration of the sacrifice he ruled, as the 'Pearl Harbor' of the second war of the Apocalypse -- the definitive signal that the final war against Christ (Rv.20:7-9) has been officially launched by the people of the world. (Dn.12:11).


The Last Days of Babylon


Table of Contents Go To Chapter 26

 


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