Sunday, September 21, 2014

The True Identity of The False Prophet

I've discussed The False Prophet's possible ties to other Bible Prophecy, and the nature of his Signs and Wonders, as well as who he might claim to be.  Now I shall speculate on who he really is.

The term "Son of Perdition" is used only twice, the 2 Thessalonians 2 passage that's been important to this study is the second.  You'll recall I argued that the "Son of Perdition" could be the second Beast rather then the first.

The first was John 17:12 where it refers to Judas Iscariot. Because of that many have taught that Judas is the Antichrist. This ties in with the statement about Judas being sent to "his own place" after he died, possibly meaning the Abyss.

But to me Judas being The First Beast isn't possible because Judas was not a King in a succession of Seven Kings.  (I also partly feel it's important that both the death and resurrection of The Beast is witnessed by the 70th week World.)  But since I've already argued Paul's "Son of Perdition" might actually be the Second Beast rather then The First.  I notice that those issues are not a problem with Judas being The False Prophet.

There are two Old Testament prophecies cited in the New Testament as referring to Judas, yet when read in their entire context seem much grander then just Judas as we normally think of him, (and have been interpreted as referring to The Antichrist independently of noting their Judas connection). Psalm 109 (in Acts 1:20), and Zechariah 11 (in Matthew 27:9).  The latter has also already been relevant to this study.

Zechariah 11:17 calls him "the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock", sounds like it could connect to the same terminology as the verse where Jesus calls Judas the Son of Perdition. "I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.". This is a strong verse on Eternal Security, but Judas is sort of the exception that proves the rule, and his being lost is a fulfillment of prophecy.

Psalm 109 actually has three evil personages in mind, the subject of the Psalm (Who we are told is Judas) and verse 6 says "Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand." Could it be another picture of the counterfeit Trinity?

In John 6:70 Jesus refers to Judas as "a Devil" (after saying He Chose him). In the Greek this is Diabolos, any time you see references to people being possessed by "a devil" "devils", or any references to plural "devils" the Greek is Daimon or Daimonian. This is the only time Diabolos refers to anyone other then Satan himself, but in reference to Satan it's always "the Devil" not "a Devil" so this is very unique.

Revelation 13 says of the Beast out of The Earth "he spake as a dragon", the dragon in mind here is almost certainly The Dragon. Judas is the only person who is known to have been indwelt by Satan himself, (Luke 22:3 and John 13:27). So he could easily speak with his voice.

Judas had the ability to perform miracles, just like the False Prophet will do. In Matthew 10:1-8 the Disciples (all of the Twelve are listed, including Judas) are given the power to perform miracles. Even tough Judas wasn't really saved he could perform divine miracles, including healing and raising the dead.   In this period they'll be Satanic miracles rather then divine as in Matthew 10, but the point is Judas has experience in doing this.

In Revelation 13:13 he can make "fire come down from heaven on the earth". Satan had this ability in Job:12. But Luke 9:51-56 implies this was also in the arsenal of the Twelve, though Jesus rebuked John and James then for desiring to use it in that way.  Chris White considers that miracle the key clue to who the False Prophet claims to be, why not consider it also a clue to who he really is?  Judas as one of the 12 is the only unsaved Human outside Revelation ever even remotely attributed this power.

The Second Beast isn't just the religious leader, he's also in charge of the new economy. In Revelation 13:16-17 we're told he makes everyone get The Mark and requires them to need it to buy or sell. John 12:6 tells us Judas was in charge of the moneybag during Jesus' ministry, he was their treasurer.

Judas "hanged himself" the same day Jesus was crucified. Different means of execution (the Greek term here is precise, it refers to hanging with a rope to cause strangulation), that can both fit the description of "hanged on a tree" (Deuteronomy 21:23). The First Resurrection began with Jesus, so perhaps likewise the Second Resurrection will begin with Judas.

 It's popular today to view Judas sympathetically, as someone doomed by fate, and as someone probably forgiven for what he did. The Bible definitely paints him as a Villain however.

I'm not saying it's evil to sympathize with him at all, he was human and I wouldn't want movies to make him a 1 dimensional mustache twirling villain.  But remember that he was motivated by Greed.  He was not a disillusioned revolutionary like many movies have chosen to paint him.

Jesus Christ Superstar was a popular Musical, the writer of which said once his agenda was to show Jesus as "just a a messed up dude like Judas", meaning to show Jesus as human but not divine. That is the Antichrist Hersey on it's own, but on an esoteric level I noticed something.  It does not carry the story to Jesus Resurrection, but it does have Judas sing a song after he hung himself (the title track).  In the first movie version of it, this sequence began with Judas clothed in white descending from heaven hanging onto a star.

The only Biblical basis to try and claim Judas was redeemed is Matthew 27:3 "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself". First Repentance is not synonymous with Salvation, even those who erroneously think it's required for Salvation view it as only a first step. But also this word in the Greek is similar to but different from the usual word(s) for repentance which mean a change of mind. Metamellomai (met-am-el'-lom-ahee), simply means he was regretful.

Why he regretted it is not necessarily because he felt guilty. All the immediate text tells us is that "he saw that he was condemned", which could mean a number things, not liking how others view him, or it could simply refer to the outcome of what he did not being what he expected. But even so, feeling guilty isn't enough, what saves you is placing your Faith in Jesus.

Some of the Judas is the Antichrist theorists have suggested that what happened at Gethsemane was not what he planned, that he did not expect Jesus to simply willingly hand himself over. After all Satan's previous attempts to kill Him Jesus had averted somehow. It's been suggested that Satan didn't know yet there would be two Advents.

Now, "that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet" is not a contradiction, first off there is a connection to Jeremiah 32:6-9.  Second, chapters 9-14 of Zachariah unlike the earlier chapters do not begin with Zachariah identifying himself, it's possible he was recording additional prophecies of Jeremiah that he gave after his own Book was finished, and that weren't scribed by Baruch accounting for a different literary style.

Now as for the supposed contradiction in how Judas died. I'm not entirely sure what I do think, but viewing them as somehow irreconcilable is absurd given the lack of detail both verses have.

Matthew 27:5 simply says "And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." It actually does not say he died here at all, lots of attempted self hangings fail, it's kind of the easiest form of suicide to botch.

But all Luke says in Acts 1:18 is "this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." This could mean the rope broke and he fell. It's possible Luke intended here a Poetic connection to a parable he recorded Jesus saying in Luke 5:36-39.
 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
What's Interesting is that Acts 1:18 implies Judas himself bought the field, while Matthew 27 says the Priests did. But that's not a big deal, the money was still legally Judas's, that's the point of what the Priests did with it.

Zachariah 11 is a very cryptic Prophecy. And without the help of the New Testament it's not necessarily clear who will throw the money, and it's possible many Rabbis did indeed assume it was the Good Shepard. So the theory of some is that when Judas threw the money he expected the Priests to interpret it as fulfilling that prophecy. And that now Satan had figured out that the Messiah had to be "hung on a tree" and that Judas was intentionally making a last minute ploy to set himself up as a False Messiah.

If as I suggested in part 3 of this study, The False Prophet claims to be Jesus.  Judas would have an advantage in pulling that illusion off, he too was a first century AD Judean male of probably about the same age.  He also interacted with the man he'd be seeking to imitate.  But it wouldn't be impossible for such an individual to pass as Elijah either, fitting Chris White's theory.

Another purely conjectural note.  What if the False Prophet as a fake Jesus chooses to incorporate a claim that certain heresies have made about Jesus having children who became ancestral to various Royal Houses is true?  Easy enough claim to make, but what if he offers to prove it via a DNA test?  Remembering that Psalm 109 is about Judas, it also tells us he had a wife and children.  Maybe he helped sire the bloodline(s) claimed to be from Jesus?

I no longer view the Islamic Antichrist theory as being likely to be how things play out.  But I do still hold that the Mahdi is among many false Prophecies Satan inspired for the purpose of being possible avenues for The Antichrist.

Part of that theory is seeing Isa as the False Prophet.  It is also well known how the Koran is interpreted at one point as claiming Jesus wasn't on the Cross but was switched with someone.  Well the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas (not to be confused with his also falsely attributed Epistle) seems to, in the form of it we have, be a pseudo Proto-Islamic text, claiming to foretell Mohamed by name, and agreeing with many Islamic ideas like Ishmael over Issac.  In this Gospel of Barnabas the person who was on the cross instead of Jesus was Judas, which is potentially interesting.

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