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Does the Bible give any clues as to the nationality of the Antichrist?

Throughout history there have been many attempts to identify the Antichrist, but it will never be possible for the Bible student living in this church period to identify the Antichrist with real certainty. His identification will only become known during the tribulation time. The so-called early church fathers differed in their view as to the nationality of the Antichrist. Irenaeus thought that the Antichrist would be a Jew. Tertullian did not believe that the Antichrist would necessarily be a Jew. In more recent history many believers during World War II believed that either Hitler or Mussolini was the Antichrist predicted in Scripture. Some think he will be a Gentile, some even believe he will be a Muslim.

I suggest that while Scripture does not explicitly, nor in so many words, say that the man of sin will be a Jew, he is more than likely to be a Jew for the following reasons in the statements of Scripture. Ezekiel 21.25-27 describes the end time. The prince that Israel will have in the tribulation days is called the "prince of Israel" (v.25). The crown is taken off his head, for his day has come and the only one whose right it is to reign is the Lord Jesus (v.27). Does not this passage contain a very strong hint as to the nationality of the Antichrist? In Daniel 11.36-37 we read further of the Antichrist. There he is seen as the wilful king. In this intriguing chapter there is reference to "the God of his fathers" (v.37).

What are we to conclude from this? Have we not a hint here that the Antichrist will be an Israelite and that his fathers were the patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? In John 5.43 the Lord Jesus speaks of the coming Antichrist: "if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive". It is quite significant that the word for "another" here is "another of the same kind". This is helpful because had He used another word meaning another of a different kind it would have indicated the Antichrist will be a Gentile, but another of the same kind would show that the Antichrist, like the Lord, will be of Abrahamic stock. It is hard to believe that Jews will ever accept a non-Jewish false Messiah.

John J Stubbs

What will be the offices and responsibilities of the twelve apostles during the Millennium? Will this continue into the eternal day?

It was in response to the question of Peter, "Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?", that the Lord Jesus said to his disciples, "That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Mt 19.27-28). The words of the Lord in Luke's Gospel are these: "And I appoint unto you a kingdom...That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Lk 22.29-30).

Some explanation is appropriate. "Regeneration" is here spoken of as a time "when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory"; it refers to Christ's future reign on earth. Then conditions on earth will be different from what they are at present. They will immediately succeed the terrible times of "the great tribulation". That time of trouble is likened to "the beginning of sorrows" (or birth pangs) (Mk 13.8) and when they have resulted in bringing again into the world the Son of man, it will be the rebirth of a section of the creation.

The "twelve apostles" are "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev 21.14), i.e. eleven of the original twelve chosen by the Lord Jesus (Lk 6.13-16) with Matthias (Acts 1.26) replacing "Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him" (Mt 10.4). Peter had said, "Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? (Mt 19.27); the promised reward given to the disciples is specific for them and does not embrace other believers. In fact, we learn that overcomers (genuine believers) of this present dispensation will sit with Christ in His throne, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev 3.21), having authority over the nations.

However, with Israel restored, the apostles will have a position of judicial authority over them during the millennial age. Just as the apostles served as the link between the infant church and the Jews, for we are told that "they were all scattered abroad...except the apostles" (Acts 8.1), they will serve as the link between the church in glory and regathered Israel.

This function of the apostles will not continue into the eternal day, for there will then be no recognition of nations; the church, however, will retain its identity for ever and ever.

David E West


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