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the devil and his angels." The ungodly go there first. Compare Rev. 19:20 with Rev. 20:7-10; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.85
Such events, requiring intervals of time, preclude the idea expressed in the term, "general judgment."
The "Day of the Lord" has two aspects, to-wit: Judgment on God's enemies, and deliverance and blessing on God's people.36
So we have the Judgment:
Of believers, as to their character, on the cross.
Of believers, as to their works, at the Judgment seat of Christ.
Of the living nations at the Revelation.
Of the ungodly at the Great White Throne.
Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Also 1 Cor. 6 :3; Rev. 20 :10.
(35) Rev. 19:20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev. 20:7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out M heaven, and devoured them.
10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
And 2 Pet. 2 :4; Jude 6.
(36) Isa. 2:2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
17. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
Also Isa. 4 :l-6; Joel 2 :2127, 81; 3:12-17; Dan. 7:914; Zech. 14:1-21; Zeph. 3 ;8-9; Mai. 4:1-3.
This name introduces to us one of the most solemn and foreboding subjects in the Word of God. An antichrist— one absolutely opposed to Jesus Christ—we are told, shall come.1 The spirit of antichrist is already in the world, denying the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, either in the past2 or in the future."
This spirit of antichrist, now possessed by many, will culminate in one person, the Antichrist, who will deny both the Father and the Son.4
That he is a single individual is plainly taught in 2 Thes. 2, where he is called "that man of sin" . . . "the son of perdition"—"that wicked," or properly, "the lawless one."
As Christ is the express image of God,5 so it appears that antichrist is the culminating manifestation of Satan, "the prince of this world."6 His coming is "after the working (energy, or inward working) of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders and deceivableness of unrighteousness."
(1) 1 John 2 :18. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
(2) 1 John 4:3. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh Is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
(3) 2 John 7. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that JeBus Christ is come in the flesh.
This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
(4) 1 John 2:22. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
(5) Heb. 1:3. Who being the brightness' of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
(6) John 14:30. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
He will be a "strong (or inward working) delusion," to them who believe not the truth.7
This mystery of Lawlessness (so the Greek) already worked in the days of the apostle, but there has been a hindering power, which, we believe, is the Holy Spirit, in His present manifestation, or office, viz.: as the reprover of the world and gatherer of the Church. When He, the restraining one, is taken out of the way (or out of the midst), at the rapture of the Church, then shall the mystery be unveiled, and the Lawless one be revealed. (Verses 7 and 8).
He will be received, even by the Jews,8 who, having returned to their own land and rebuilt their temple, will make a treaty with him, called by the prophet "a covenant with death and an agreement with hell."9 And antichrist
(7) 2 Ttaes. 2:3. 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;
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
6. And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8. And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;
9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11. And tor this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie :
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(8) John 5:43. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
(9) Lisa. 28:14. Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
. 15. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.
16. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that belleveth shall not make haste.
17. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall will exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God (the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem) and sheweth himself that he is God. 2 Thes. 2:4. Doubtless he is the king described in Dan. 11:36, etc.,10 who shall do according to his own will and magnify himself above every god. Again, he is seen as the beast described in Rev. lSill-lS11 whose number is the number of a man, 666, and who performs "great wonders and deceiveth them that dwell upon the earth," by means of his miracles, and has the power to kill those who will not worship the image of the beast. And again he is seen in Lucifer, or the day star, of Isa. 14,12 of whom the king of Babylon was a type, and who
sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
(10) Dan. 11:36. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
(11) Rev. 13:11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should
make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
(12) Isa. 14:12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: J will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14. I will ascend above the weakens the nations, exalts his "throne above the stars of God," and sits "upon the mount of the congregation."
Such, in brief, is the awful picture which Scripture gives us of this great opponent of Christ. Many think that he has already been manifested in Antiochus Epiphanes—or the Popes of Rome—or Mohammed and his successors, all of which we regard as erroneous. The Popes have received their exaltation and power, as the pretended vicars of Christ, and not as His opponent. It is a great mistake, therefore, to call them the antichrist, or the opposing one. Antiochus was doubtless a type of antichrist. And in his opposition to the worship of Jehovah, his sacrifice of the hated swine in the temple and his merciless treatment of the Jews, he has given us a miniature picture of what the final antichrist will do. But he passed away long before Paul and John wrote of the antichrist to come. Likewise Mohammed may be in some sense a type, but that is all.
No, antichrist is still in the future, and he will not be manifested until the true Church has been taken away, at the rapture, as described in 1 Thes. 4.13 For Paul says,14 "We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him,"— that is, by this very fact of the rapture, of which he had previously written them,13 and which must first occur be
heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
15. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.
(13) 1 Thes. 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(14) 2 Thes. 2:1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2. That we be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
7. For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.