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THE ANTICHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, December 30, 2012

“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” (II Thessalonians 2:3).


Dr. Cagan spoke on the first half of this verse last night in a sermon titled, “The Apostasy.” The Christians in the city of Thessalonica had heard false prophets say that they were already living in the Great Tribulation. Apparently someone had forged a letter from Paul telling them this also. These Christians had lived through the reign of the Emperor Caligula (37-41 A.D.) and the beginning of Nero’s reign (54-68 A.D.). They were enduring persecution from many groups, including pagan idol worshippers, non-Messianic Jews, and the emperors themselves. Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “Because they were having trouble, it was very easy for someone to say, ‘Well, this is the Tribulation that we are in...we are already in it’” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume V, p. 412; note on II Thessalonians 2:2).

So the Apostle Paul wrote to them and said,

“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” (II Thessalonians 2:3).

He was telling them that the Great Tribulation had not come yet. Dr. McGee said that the Tribulation would “not come except there be the fulfilling of two conditions: (1) ‘There shall come a falling away first’ and (2) ‘that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.’ Both of these things must take place before the [Tribulation] can begin...” (McGee, ibid., p. 413).

So the Apostle told them that the apostasy (he apostasia) would have to come, and the Antichrist, “the son of perdition,” would have to be revealed before the Tribulation could begin.

In last night’s sermon Dr. Cagan explained the background of the Apostasy, the “falling away.” He showed how it grew over the centuries, beginning with the Enlightenment, until the main Christian bodies became apostate, as they are today – going so far that they deny the inerrancy of the Bible, deny the physical resurrection of Christ, and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross, while promoting such things as homosexual marriage and Communism. This is all happening now, and will come to a head as the apostate church stands ready to enter the seven-year Tribulation.

The other thing that Paul told us was that the “man of sin,” the Antichrist, would appear before the seven-year Tribulation. He said, “...that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” In this sermon I will speak on what the Bible teaches about this “man of sin,” this “son of perdition,” the Antichrist.

I. First, the time of the Antichrist’s appearing.

Please turn in your Bible to Daniel 9:24. Stand and read aloud through verse 27.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).

You may be seated. Don’t be confused by these “weeks.” The Hebrew word translated “weeks” here simply means “seven.” By noticing the context (9:2) and by the addition of the word “days” when that is what is meant (10:2-3) we see that each week, in the passage we just read, means seven years.

Sir Robert Anderson, in his book The Coming Prince, pointed out that the 69 weeks (or 483 prophetic years) of Daniel 9:26 began with the command to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8) on March 14, 445 B.C. Christ entered Jerusalem to proclaim His Messiahship on the 6th of April, A.D. 32. Sir Robert Anderson said that between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of “Messiah the Prince” – between March 14, B.C. 445 and April 6, A.D. 32, there were exactly 483 prophetic years of 360 days, and adding 116 days for leap years, this takes us to April 6, A.D. 32 – from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the Sunday before Christ’s death, when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to acknowledge that He was the Messiah. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “The accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy is observed in that he states ‘after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off’ (Daniel 9:26)” (J. Dwight Pentecost, Th.D., Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, Zondervan, 1971, p. 246). His death on April 11, A.D. 32 fulfills Daniel’s prophecy to the letter! This is so accurate and detailed that no one but Jesus could possibly be the Messiah!

Now, in Daniel 9:27, we have the 70th week of years. This 70th week of years was postponed during the Christian Dispensation. Dr. Louis T. Talbot (1889-1976), late chancellor of Biola University, said “The sixty-nine weeks were weeks of years; therefore we know that the seventieth week will be a week of years [the seven years of the Tribulation period]. The parenthetical period, known as the Church Age, intervenes between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks...Continuing our reading of Daniel 9:27, we find that the Antichrist ‘shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ This will be a covenant with Daniel’s ‘people’ [the Jews] to extend throughout the seventieth week, according to the promise of the Antichrist” (Louis T. Talbot, D.D., God’s Plan for the Ages, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977 edition, pp. 156, 157).

“The prince that shall come,” in Daniel 9:26, is the Antichrist, the final world dictator. The Tribulation, which is Daniel’s 70th week, will begin when the Antichrist “confirms the covenant...for one week” (Daniel 9:27). Thus, the signing of this treaty with Israel will mark the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation, also known as “Daniel’s seventieth week.”

People have thought that many men were the Antichrist. During the 1930s certain Bible expositors thought Hitler was the Antichrist. Others said it was Mussolini. Later some thought that John F. Kennedy was the Antichrist. Still later, in the 1970s, it became fairly popular to say that Dr. Henry Kissinger was the Antichrist. Now some people are saying that about Mr. Obama. But all of these guesses were wrong. None of these men signed a seven-year peace treaty with Israel which allowed the Jews to rebuild their temple. When you see some world leader do that, you will know that he is the prophesied Antichrist, but not before.

“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” (II Thessalonians 2:3).

“The man of sin,” who is the Antichrist, will not be “revealed” until he signs a seven-year “covenant,” or treaty, with Israel. Then, and only then, will “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

II. Second, the Antichrist’s program and his doom.

The second thing I want you to know is the program of the Antichrist. First, he will sign a peace treaty with Israel, that begins at the start of the 70th week of Daniel, also known in Scripture as the “Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14). But “in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27). Dr. Talbot said, “He will give the Jews full possession of the land of Palestine... the Jews will have their temple worship preserved...upon the very site of the Jewish temple of old. Israel will be deceived [by] these fair promises, which Jeremiah descries as ‘a covenant with hell’...The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week [three and one half years into the seven-year Tribulation]... [Then] he will aspire to divine honors – and he will want to be worshipped on the very spot where God has been honored...In order to compel all men to pay divine honors unto him, the Antichrist will set up his image ‘in the holy place’ in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, demanding that he be worshipped as God. In so doing, he ‘shall cause the sacrifice and oblation (the Jewish temple worship) to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.’ Thus Daniel 9:27 describes this climax of blasphemy..the Antichrist’s covenant with Israel, made earlier in the seventieth week of Daniel, will guarantee religious liberty; but he will count this covenant as a mere ‘scrap of paper.’ He will rob Israel of the right to worship Jehovah, and will demand that he be worshipped as God. Moreover, those who refuse to receive ‘the mark of the beast,’ giving allegiance to him, can neither buy nor sell in that day. His ultimatum will be: ‘worship me or starve!’” (Talbot, ibid. pp. 161, 162).

But most of the people of Israel will refuse to worship the Antichrist. This will mark the beginning of the second half of the seventieth week, which Christ described when He said,

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21, 22).

The second half of the Tribulation was thus called the “great tribulation” by Jesus. Tens of thousands of Jews and Gentiles who refuse to worship the Antichrist, and receive his mark, will be martyred. Many of them will be

“...beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast [the Antichrist], neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands...” (Revelation 20:4).

The Apostle John gave us a glimpse of those who will die as martyrs during the Great Tribulation, after they have gone up to Heaven.

“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 Lamb” (Revelation 7:13, 14).

Dr. Talbot said,

      God will bring to a speedy end the seventieth week of Daniel [for the sake of Israel]. The Lord Jesus will return in glory. He will hear the cry of His people, and come down to deliver them and a sin-weary world from the dominion of the Antichrist. He will purify the earth with His righteous judgments; then He shall reign “from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.”
      I wonder if I am talking to someone who is rejecting Christ as Saviour and Lord? My friend, if you reject Him as your Saviour, you will meet Him as your judge. He died on the cross to save you from sin. Will you...accept Him before it is too late? (Talbot, ibid., p. 163).

It is my prayer that you will repent of your sin and trust Jesus now, before the awful events of the Great Tribulation fall on this sinful, God-forsaken world! The Antichrist is doomed. He will be cast “alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20). How we pray that you will trust Jesus now, so you do not have to experience that same awful judgment! Amen. Mr. Lee, please lead us in prayer.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Thessalonians 2:1-9.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Latin from the 12th century;
translated by John M. Neale, 1818-1866).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE ANTICHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (II Thessalonians 2:3).

I.   First, the time of the Antichrist’s appearing, Daniel 9:24-27.

II.  Second, the Antichrist’s program and his doom, Matthew 24:21;
Revelation 7:14; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:21, 22; Revelation 20:4;
Revelation 7:13, 14; 19:20.