Posts filed under ‘israel’
THEN we get to verse 6b of Zechariah 13 and the famous verse that some take to refer to Jesus. It is clear that the false prophet is being questioned here, but about what? The “wounds” on his arms. This is where some people assume it refers to Jesus (because of the wounds He received leading up to and including the crucifixion). Unfortunately, IF we consider that the context is all about false prophets, then the wounds referred to here are more in line with what the prophets of Baal did to themselves in 1 Kings 18:28. They cut themselves in order to get Baal’s attention, much the same way Muslims cut themselves today during certain ceremonies to gain Allah’s attention and favor. Throughout history, there were many of these types of self-mutilation ceremonies connected with Phrygian, Syrian, Cappadocian, and other cultures.
What our friend completely fails to grasp is that the chapter began with a brief parable of the lost sheep, then segued into the lost coin. In both of those brief stories, the emphasis is on the sheep owner and the woman, both of whom went out of their way to search for what was lost. In essence then, we could say that these are examples of Jesus coming to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and attempting to win them to Him. Israel has always had an “in” and “out” relationship with God. That cycle continues to this day, yet I do not believe for one moment that just because someone is an orthodox Jew, they are “saved.” Jews need to be saved today the exact same way that everyone else is saved, by grace, through faith, in Christ. I also believe that God will one day take from the nation of Israel a final “remnant” of people who will come to believe in Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Messiah. These will represent the final version of the nation of Israel. Still, the method of salvation is always the same.
The “day of the Lord” (DOTL) represents a time of judgment and that is very clear even from the few verses we have touched on in this series. What is not necessarily as clear is how long a period of time is represented by the DOTL and when it is supposed to occur. We’re going to look at a few more Scripture references to see if we can shed more light on the subject. Eventually, we want to cover all the Scripture that deals with anything to do with the DOTL.
The problem of course is that, while some choose to believe that Paul’s reference to the “man of sin” is a metaphor that refers to the Christian and the fact that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, this stretches the credulity of the text itself. They believe that the “man of sin” is an appellation for the spiritual man created by the Holy Spirit. They do not see Paul’s words as being literal, but merely figurative. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the text that supports this. Paul seems to be clearly pointing ahead to a time still in front of us when a man will walk onto the scene and will surrender himself to Satan. Satan will then give him his authority and enabling (supernaturally). This man will be known as the Antichrist, or “man of sin.” Paul’s use of the singular here is very important. He is speaking of ONE specific individual.
I believe since then, Satan has been busy attempting to rebuild a Tower of Babel, but not in the physical sense. I believe Satan has spent thousands of years bringing people together as “one” in thought, religion, government, and societal structure. This will make it much easier for him to completely indwell one coming individual who will be offered the same thing Jesus was offered in Matthew 4. There, Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of the world if only He would bow down to Satan and worship him alone. We know that Jesus rejected without consideration Satan’s temptation. We also know according to 2 Thessalonians 2, the coming “man of sin” (which is not a metaphor), will likely face the same temptation and, unlike Jesus, will succumb to Satan. At that point, Satan will supernaturally endow this coming “man of sin” with all of Satan’s ability. We learn this in Revelation 13:3-4, which states, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.”
This part of Daniel has no literal fulfillment in all of history yet. Even many liberal scholars believe that this is unfulfilled prophecy. While it might be argued that Antiochus Epiphanes may have fulfilled some of what is described in this section of Daniel (11:36-39), he did not fulfill all of them. Paul also speaks of future events when the “man of sin” will sit in the Jewish temple that will be built during the Tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2). While some allegorize that portion of Scripture to mean the physical body of the Christian, it really does not have any follow through. Paul, like Jesus, referred to a future event that was very reminiscent of the act performed by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC where he physically went into the existing Jewish temple and defiled it. Jesus emphasized this in His Olivet Discourse to underscore the fact that the coming “man of sin” (Antichrist, a physical human being) will do the same thing that was done in 168 BC. Of course, this means that another Jewish temple will be built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. How that will happen is anyone’s guess, but it most likely tied into the confirmation of the covenant that Antichrist brokers with Israel’s leaders (Daniel 9:27). This is the exact event that starts the Tribulation.
There is much in Daniel that we seem to understand very well today. We understand all the empires mentioned in Daniel 2, 7, and 8. Scholars are also in agreement (with few exceptions) as to the identities of the individuals mentioned in Daniel 11. While people still argue about the meaning of Daniel 9, it also seems as though the meaning of that chapter is clearly evident. So as a whole, the book of Daniel is not so mysterious (from our vantage point in 2015) as it most certainly was during Daniel’s day. Yet, even Daniel understood a good deal of what he wrote down.