—the world's oldest conspiracy theory ...
Not long ago I was looking through the newspaper's TV section and happened to come across the movie End of Days. It was described as follows:
End of Days * (1999 Horror) Arnold Schwarzenneger, Gabriel Byrne. A man must prevent Satan from siring the Antichrist.
It was hard to resist a snigger.
The Antichrist. Give me a break.
Nearly 100% of Christians all over the world have not a clue as to the true meaning of "anti-Christ."
First, the term should not be offered with the definite article. It is not "the" Antichrist, but "an" anti-Christ. It could even be written without an article at all. Many people could be simply anti-Christ.
Second, the word should be hyphenated. If it were, there would be less of a tendency to use "the" with it.
But the most compelling argument for not using the definite article is found in the bible itself:
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.
I John 2:18
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2 John 1:7
How could anyone possibly derive from these verses that there is one particular bad dude waiting to arrive on the scene who will be dubbed the antichrist?
According to the author of the Epistles of John, "even now there are many antichrists."
All the references to antichrist in the letters of John are essentially directed at a single idea (as opposed to a person), an idea that has nothing whatsoever to do with the current Christian mania over the antichrist. The notion that John is disputing (actually vigorously attacking) concerns the matter of Jesus being the Christ.
Apparently there were some grave doubts in his time over the matter. Consequently the issuance of his epistles. John is basically assuring his readers that anyone who does not recognize that Jesus is the Christ (the one who was to come) is antichrist. In other words, such a doubter would be virtually confessing to the world that he/she was either not a believer in Jesus as the Christ, or is not a believer in the very idea of a Christ, or Messiah.
The word "christ" is the English translation of the Greek word Χριστος (christos).
If the New Testament had not been written in Greek we would not even know this word, which means that we would not be calling Christianity "Christianity." We would be calling it Messianity. Christos is the Greek word for the Hebrew word maschiach, which in English is always translated as messiah. But whether Greek or Hebrew, the word has the same definition: anointed one.
All Israelite kings (and priests) in other words.
Anointing with olive oil was a staple element in the coronation ceremony. This means that all the kings of Israel (and Judah) were messiahs (as well as the priests). As a matter of fact, there was even one character in the Old Testament who was anointed (by Elijah) who was not an Israelite at all:
And the LORD said unto him (Elijah), Go, return on thy way to the wilderness
of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria
(I Kings 19:15)
This makes Hazael (a king of Syria, mind you) a messiah, right up there with David, Solomon and all the rest of the kings and priests of Israel (and Judah).
If anyone was anti-Christ, it was surely Jesus himself.
If we read the gospels carefully, we cannot help but pick up on the fact that Jesus did not seem at all interested in being a messiah, an anointed king, or priest, of Israel. It is true that the authors of the gospels seem to have this in mind, but Jesus himself appears disinterested in the matter. It is hard to miss the fact that there was always an Israelite around who seemed eager to hail Jesus as the son of David. Jesus himself, however, never referred to himself this way, much preferring the son of Man title.
Why is this?
The answer is very simple, and easy to see if you can get past all of the false teaching that the church has dumped into our head over the years. It was the church that turned Jesus into the Christ. Jesus himself had nothing to do with it.
Jesus earnestly desired the return of the kingdom of God. It is what he preached, and most fervently. It is also what his mentor, John the Baptist, preached before him. And what is the kingdom of God? It is nothing less than the nation of Israel as it was originally established under Moses.
Jesus emulated Moses, not David.
He fasted 40 days and nights like Moses, came down from a mountain transfiguration experience with his face shining, just like Moses (who, by the way, he convened with at that transfiguration event), and finally, at the end of his life, experienced the same kind of finality that Moses did:
And he (Yahweh?) buried him (Moses) in a valley in the land
of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto
The very same may be said of Jesus. No one could find his burial place either.
Supposedly Joseph of Arimethea placed him in his own tomb, but apparently not, because when Mary Magdalene went to visit that tomb, on the first day of the week, his body was not nowhere to be found. (And we all know what the church did with that little news item.)
Jesus could not have cared less about being associated with David (a rapist and a murderer), or any of the other kings of Israel or Judah. It is the reason he never acknowledged the "son of David" epithet. He was never interested in being a messiah (an anointed human king). The kingdom, as it was originally set up under Moses, had God for its king. That is why it was designated as the kingdom of God.
There is no way that Jesus wanted to usurp God's right to be the king of his own chosen nation. So Jesus was most definitely anti-human-king, or anti-Christ.
"Christ" is an office. It is therefore more proper to say Jesus, the Christ, not Jesus Christ.
Jesus would not have endorsed such an office, nor did he ever promote the idea of one, and for a very good reason: There was no such office established in the original kingdom!
The office of "Christ" is a human invention, not God's idea. (Christ is a Human Invention)
Jesus wanted things to be as they were in the beginning, under Moses, when God was the king. There were twelve tribes with judges in place over each of them to administer the laws given by God, i.e., to make sure God's will was being done on the earth as it was in heaven, which is what Jesus admonished his disciples to pray for on a daily basis. It was a system that Jesus assured his disciples that he would put in place once again, and they (the disciples) would be those judges:
And Jesus said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, 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."
The people wanted the Messiah, not God, and therefore not Jesus either. Remember, Jesus admonished his disciples to pray for God's will to be done, not the people's. Yes, Jesus was most definitely anti-Messiah, i.e., anti-Christ. He was instead very much pro-God.
April 14, 2006