May the force not be with you
19 Adar II, 5763
I was watching Iraqi war coverage on one of the news channels around 1:00 pm EST on Friday, March 21, 2003 when the "shock and awe" campaign began. The news anchor was talking to a reporter in the Baghdad area and the reporter, seeing he was in the midst of an awesome, historic display of military might, was understandably starting to sound quite breathless. When he would say "shock and awe" it came out sounding like one long word and I was struck by the way it sounded very much like Shekhinah. The word Shekhinah means "Divine Presence" and is used whenever there is a physical manifestation of God, i.e. the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night during the Exodus, the cloud formation on Mount Sinai when Moses went up to talk with God, etc. The Shekhinah Glory is said to have left the temple in Jerusalem before the war of 70 AD and to have moved to the Mount of Olives, staying there for a while (3 1/2 years). It hasn't been seen since but we are awaiting its reappearance soon accompanied by Jesus (for more info, please see YHVH file under the letter "heh").
The reason I found this so interesting is that last week in our Bible Study group we had been discussing the Antichrist and how he would try to counterfeit everything godly. For one thing he would be associated with Babylon, which is the area of modern-day Iraq and he would also honor the god of forces and I wondered if I wasn't watching a bold, bogus display—the god of forces making its "divine presence" known by covering the land of Iraq/Babylon with its own cloud covering. Could this be a counterfeit Antichrist shekhinah glory manifestation while the whole world watched? If so, what could it mean? Could this be a precursor to the unveiling of the Antichrist?
The timing of this war has coincided with another aspect of Antichrist we had been discussing in our group, the fact that a few days before Passover seems to be a good time to be watching to see if Antichrist will be revealed (Passover this year starts less than a month from now on the evening of April 13, 2003). We had been discussing a Christian Research Ministries "The Open Scroll" article from March/April 1996 entitled "Nissan 13 - A Day of Infamy Yet Unfulfilled":
"God has often used historical events to foreshadow other events in order to teach His people important truths in preparation for them. What is of particular interest as we seek to understand the seasons and appointed times of the prophetic Word is the fact that the events foreshadowed and those which have preceded them are often found to occur on anniversaries of the same days on the Jewish Calendar. In this study, we will find that the revealing of the lawless one foretold in 2 Thess 2 is foreshadowed in events which have occurred on one particular date - Nissan 13."He goes on to give three examples of biblical figures who are a type of Antichrist and the time of year surrounding their "unveiling." He sticks to the Nissan 13th date although I could go give-or-take one or two days before Passover and be satisfied:
Esther 3:12 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded... (this is exactly on Nissan 13)Haman tried to annihilate the whole Jewish population and is a prime candidate to look at when doing a study of Antichrist. Haman had been drawing lots trying to figure out the most propitious time to kill the Jews and had finally decided on a day. After receiving the go-ahead from the king, he got all the scribes together on Nissan 13 and had them write out an official declaration that spelled out exactly when and what to do to rid the empire of all Jews.
John 18:39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. (Passover is celebrated on Nissan 15 and Jesus was already in custody so it had to be not more than two days before)Barabbas ("son of a father") was a thief, murderer and insurrectionist unlike our righteous life-giver Jesus. Tradition states (and some early manuscripts explicitly say) that they chose to free a man called Jesus Barabbas (Jesus, son of a father) and crucify Messiah Jesus (Jesus, son of God); one Jesus in place of another.
3. Judas Iscariot—
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;At the Last Supper right before Passover Judas is revealed. Watch how he is revealed:
John 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.John, the disciple leaning on Jesus' bosom (the Bride?), asks who it is and Judas (Greek form of Judah) is revealed as the betrayer. How was he revealed? Back to the Nissan 13 article from CRM:
"Peter was curious as to the identity of the one who would betray Jesus as are we today about the identity of the one foreshadowed. The betrayer's identity was revealed to Jesus' disciples in a very intriguing manner on that day. I've often wondered why Jesus didn't just come out and just say Judas was the betrayer, or, why he didn't point to him. Was Jesus just being melodramatic with all this bread dipping activity? I don't think so. I think its an allusion to His own baptism and anointing so that we don't miss the hidden teaching about the parallel revelation of the lawless one.Here Jesus is betrayed by one of his own inner circle, one of the family so-to-speak. Judas is revealed to be the betrayer in the same fashion as the Lord was revealed to be the Lamb of God.
All three of these examples of Antichrist was revealed a couple of days before Passover and we should be watching a little more closely in the coming days as that season is again here, especially this year with what is happening in Iraq with the possibility that the god of forces is starting to show his hand.
Yet another tie-in with our Bible Study, Antichrist and what is happening in Iraq has to do with an email one of the members of our (now defunct) BPR mailing list sent to me a couple of years ago. It had to do with the geography of the Middle East and how the very topography of the area gave us clues to understanding the Bible. The author of the email stated that the King of Bashan was named Og. In Jewish thought, Og is one of the greatest obstacles holding the Jews back from meeting their destiny, he is a pretender and, therefore, a candidate for the concept of Antichrist. She went on to state that Og meant "long-necked" and that he supposedly was buried in Amman, Jordan. If you look at the following graphic, you will see that Jordan, the place of Og's burial, looks like a long-necked man/king.
Notice the "crown" on the "man's head" is the Sinai which was won and then returned to Egypt. The "covered blue head" is Israel whose glory (hair) is covered before God. The pink "hair" is Lebanon. Notice that the so-called West Bank of Judea/Samaria is in the shape of an "ear"; "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith..." It isn't shown but the Gaza Strip should also be marked off and would be near the coast of the Mediterranean up near Sinai and would be in the place where we would consider this man/king as having the beginning of male-pattern baldness (baldness is usually a sign of mourning).
Again from the email:
Daniel 11 19 Then he [Antichrist] shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.The "face" of Og the Antichrist is pointed at Saudi Arabia which holds the holiest sites of Islam, Mecca and Medina. This marks him out to be a Muslim. His stumbling and falling most likely will have something to do with the constant infighting between the Arab states and he will somehow be considered a pariah and not a "true" Muslim.
Back to the email:
Revelation 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, [Sinai] and their faces were as the faces of men. [Jordan] 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, [Lebanon] and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. [Jordan] 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; [Iraq, iron, oil] and the sound of their wings [Saudi Arabia, Syria] was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, [I have to get another map!] and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.These Islamic, Middle East locusts will invade Israel and try to overthrow her.
Continuing further with what we were discussing in our Bible Study on Antichrist, we kept coming across the attribute of stoutness (usually in the form of a primitive root to another word we had been looking up that portrayed the Antichrist and his behavior). We had a bit of a discussion on what the word "stout" stood for seeing we were looking for synonyms of fierceness and strength but the word "fat" kept creeping into the conversation. Finally we decided to shelve the "fat little man" talk and move on. This week, however, I remembered the BPR email and went back to look it over. I found that if I added the country of Iraq to the original graphic of the topography of the Middle East it looked like a paunchy man/king. Could it be portraying a "stout" man/king?
Putting all of the info in this article together we could possibly come to the conclusion that:
Who will he be? will he be the one left in charge of the Babylonian "body" when the fighting is through? Will it be the actual "head" Jordan/King Abdullah who of all the Arab/Muslim monarchs is the least offensive? (please see Daniel 11-12) Is the god of forces speaking through the "burning Bush"?
So many questions, so little time...
(Hans Solo to Luke Skywalker)